There are many ways to manage depression. Here our newest guest blogger, James Mycroft, talks about one way that works for him.
Sometimes I make bread. The measuring, mixing… definitely the kneading. Other times I’ll run, losing myself between the music in my earphones and the thump of my feet on the pavement. Or I’ll spend an evening on a first person shooter video game that reminds me of being young.
And sometimes my partner ties me to the bed and does whatever the hell she wants with me.
‘I find myself paralysed by choice at times’
Everyone has bad days, and everyone feels down at times. That’s not the same as depression. I’m not going to recite the statistics, or argue about how there’s still a stigma attached to those who need or seek help for their mental health as opposed to diabetes or a broken bone (I’ve had broken bones. Depression, for me, is worse). And I’m not suggesting that instead of anti-depressants and talking therapy that we should be able to get thoroughly dominated on the NHS. Apart from anything else, nurses’ uniforms really don’t do it for me – I’m not judging, just my personal preference. And I’m sure that for many people, even those that are into power exchange, it’s the last thing they want when they’re having a low patch. But it works for me. Why? Well, I think there are a lot of reasons.
I find myself paralysed by choice at times. Choosing a breakfast cereal at the supermarket can take five minutes. I don’t have a particularly high-powered job, but every day is filled with a hundred minor and major decisions about what I’m doing, who I’m contacting, what I need to say or write or ask. In some situations, when I’m feeling overwhelmed by life, the ability to choose feels like another demand. What if I get it wrong? What if I’m too rough, or too gentle? Too fast or too slow? What if I miss those subtle cues? What if I ruin the moment by asking too many questions?
But if I don’t have a choice, all of that goes away. If what is expected of me is my obedience and my involuntary response, then I can’t get it wrong. Of course there is still consent, implied and explicit: enthusiastically expressed before and after. But I’m consenting to be done to, to be directed, to take what I’m given and do as I’m told.
“Lick me. Slowly.”
“Tell me when you’re close.”
“Count the strokes.”
‘Paying attention to how things feel, rather than what you’re going to do next’
The sensations are something I can lose myself in. They can be soft, or rough. The oddest feelings can be sexy, literally mind-blowing, when they’re provided by someone paying attention to every twitch of your body, every change in your breath. I don’t necessarily mean intense punishment, just things many people might never have considered as a sexual touch. The back of a metal spoon, trailed over skin, makes an amazing contrast to a warm mouth. And of course a blindfold increases the anticipation, the surprise and the focus on your body rather than sights of another (it can be a great way for your partner to feel less self-conscious, too).
I don’t want to assume too many stereotypes here, but I’d bet that many men would find paying a little more attention to how things feel, rather than what they’re going to do next, an intoxicating change. I’d like to think we’re past the point when toys were considered something for women or perverts, but that’s probably too optimistic. Such a shame, when a moment’s thought would suggest that we’re missing out if we don’t indulge. And that’s before you consider the possibilities of toys specifically designed for the penis and prostate.
Sometimes the sensations are pretty intense, of course. There’s a locked cupboard with floggers, straps and crops for when she isn’t in the mood to feel my skin under her hand. It’s about the rhythm, about giving up control, about the anticipation of the next impact and the contrast between the deep thud that makes me push back and the sharp slap that brings a gasp from my lips.
It isn’t really about punishment, because that would suggest that what she does is a response to a mistake. I can see how that would work for others, but it’s not the focus for me. It’s not about me atoning, although there may be a reason given for what she chooses to administer.
“I told you not to let go of your ankles.”
“I never said you could get hard.”
“You didn’t ask permission to come.”
‘She wants to do these things to me and with me, not because I asked, but for simple desire’
In everyday life, I have a tendency to over-analyse. It can be about second-guessing myself, but not always. Sometimes it’s simply that I want and need to understand reasons and explanations, causes and effects. In the moment, all that is gone. My brain is filled with equal parts compliance, sensation and euphoria; not just for the sensations, but because of the joy she takes in them.
She wants me. She wants to do these things to me and with me, not because I asked or because she feels she should, but for the simple desire of it. She expects – and delights in – my obedience, my attention to her service. And she wants my body, my mouth and my hands, my cock and my ass. Every part of me is hers.
“Two fingers… deeper… that’s it…”
“Just your tongue. Quicker.”
“Hold yourself open.”
When she’s done with me, everything except our breathing is quiet. The world is gone, and for a moment nothing and nobody matters but us. She did what she wished with me, and whether she denied me a single orgasm, or insisted on several, I am content that she is pleased, that she has satisfied her desire for me. One night she might tease every inch of my body, alternating gentle caresses with harsh strokes of the leather strap. Another time I might be tied and blindfolded, hearing the sound of her groans and tasting a single wet finger to tell me she is done.
She gives me the greatest freedom I could ask for: freedom from choice.
James Mycroft was a Sherlock Holmes fan before Benedict Cumberbatch made him cool again. He reads, writes and enjoys adrenaline sports, including those that happen in the bedroom. Sadly he is much less interesting in real life than online.