A good cry

Posted at 19:01 on 25 Jul 2011 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: dominance and submission, hand spanking, kink, other pictures, otk spanking, Real life punishment, Thomas Cameron

I've been working a lot on my site the last couple of weeks, and it's been a stressful time. Not preparing content; preparing content is an energising, happy-making experience. Instead I've been wrangling with the realities of finance, logistics, web development; contingency trees collapsing my timescales into unrealistically short deadlines. D, who is handling the site back-end for me, is only available to work on the project until mid September. I can't apply for a CCbill account - which we need before we can get to grips with the billing integration - until my site is ready to launch. Ergo, my site needs to be ready to launch by September. Never mind the complexities of finding the money to pay his mortgage while I'm taking him away from other paying work.

The feeling of urgency when I think about this project has been increasing by the month. Every time I contemplate how much work there is still to do it feels like a hand is squeezing my heart. Not panic: merely a sense of overwhelming certainty that this is what I need to be working on, not anyone else's website, not any client projects, this, now. My breath catches and my pulse quickens as every cell in my body urges me to drop everything and work on this, now, go go go. I have been patiently squeezing work on it into my evenings and weekends for too long. I know with every part of me that right now, this is where my time and energy should go.

Of course, I still have clients. I still need to pay my bills. I can just about find enough to finance the shoots already booked and D's time; until one of my funding options come through, I still need to work for free. Much as I would like to, I can't turn my back on my other commitments. But the collapsing timescales have left me little choice over the next four weeks.

During this process, I have been as tense as perhaps I've ever been. It's a new, unfamiliar sort of tension. Not helpless anxiety, feeling out of control; nor a sense of being overwhelmed, of being unable to cope. It's the muscular, jaw-clenched tension of being completely in control, of carrying all the weight oneself. I can manage. I can do it. It will happen. But the burden of responsibility is so heavy that my shoulders are shaking under it. Carrying this is occupying every part of my attention; I can't think or talk about anything else. I'm absolutely determined not to drop it, but sweat is starting to drip down my back and my legs are beginning to tremble.

When I asked Tom for a stress-relief spanking, I wasn't sure how I'd react. Would I crumble under the pain? Would I be able to submit? He was gentle with me, rubbing my back as I lay over his knee. The spanks he gave were firm, regular, reassuring.

I found myself staying quieter than usual. It was as if I didn't want to communicate any vulnerability. As the sting increased, I gritted my teeth and had to force myself to breathe. I wasn't fighting the pain, but I wasn't relinquishing control, either. I lay there absolutely still, exhaling and inhaling in measured breaths, maintaining a carefully relaxed and limp position over his knee. It was as if I sat on the other side of my desk accepting each smack with a courteous nod, filing it away for future use. I had asked for this, I knew I needed it, but I wasn't about to break.

When the spanks started coming really hard, my breathing became a little more ragged and I wondered if I would cry. But then it ended, and as we hugged I realised that I was much more relaxed, and I hadn't thought about work for a whole fifteen minutes. As heat radiated out from my bottom into the rest of my body I felt that pleasant glow and the beginnings of a happy buzz. That evening, I was more functional and sociable than I'd been in days.

The next day Tom and I got together to deal with any discipline arising from my weekly exercise schedule. The decision to hand over maintenance of my exercise regime to Tom had clearly paid off: I had missed only 2 items from my weekly goals, one of which was a late report. It was the best I'd done in quite some time, and our mood as I lay down over pillows for twelve whacks with the brush was very positive. Not a punishment; merely a gentle, necessary reminder to accompany deserved praise. I took them almost silently, acknowledging the pain but not succumbing to it.

Afterwards we were both keen to continue to play. Still feeling somewhat fragile, I asked if I could go over his knee. I wanted the physical intimacy, the reassuring closeness of being supported and held. Again, I wasn't sure in what way my tension would manifest. Would it spill over into anger, making me reject the pain? Would I react badly if things went in a direction I didn't expect?

As the spanking started I realised I was reacting in a very similar way to the previous night. I breathed evenly through the pain, accepting it, waiting for more. It occurred to me that my quietness might give the impression that I wasn't enjoying it, but deep inside I nurtured a suspicion that I needed him to go hard. Still, I couldn't quite let go of my pride enough to give the encouraging murmurs and whimpers which normally signal to a top that I want more. Instead I rested a palm against the bare skin of his thigh, under my ribs. His hand on the back of my neck steadied me securely, and I returned the gesture with a reassuring pressure of my fingers. Too withdrawn for words, I managed to unbend enough to signal my assent non-verbally, squeezing his thigh and, occasionally, with the slightest appreciative wiggle of my hips.

He got the message. My quietness was not the disengaged, uncertain silence of someone who wasn't into what was happening. It was the quietness of someone too strung out to play games; of someone willingly waiting to be pushed.

This time the pace of the spanking stepped up more briskly. The weight of his hand knocked the breath out of me; then a yelp. Sting layered upon sting to create a growing burn. Finally, I found myself unbending. My muscles loosened as impact shook my body. I pressed my face into the pillows and surrendered.

By the end, I was crying out. But it wasn't until he stopped, his hand affectionately caressing my inflamed skin, that the tears came. Where pain had released my emotional grip, tenderness pushed me over the edge. I curled in his lap like a small thing and wrapped my arms around his neck and cried. He held me fiercely, understanding without explanation what was taking place, and before long I was laughing through my tears. It was laughter at how ridiculous my stress had been, how ridiculous my preferred mode of relaxation. But it was also the laughter of delight, at having found this perfect solution to grown-up woes, and at having a partner who knew what I needed.

Comments

The pair of you are just lovely :)

I'm convinced that a human brain can contain exactly one complex project (i.e. a novel, a thesis or a baby business). The closer you get to completion, the less room there is for anything else, as the project fills every crevice of your brain. But when you get there, it'll be a glorious liberation!

Well, the fact that I don't have the option of putting down the other projects is probably why this one is taking so long! And I'm not surprised to find that I'm already lining up the post-launch projects in my mind...

One thing that's telling, though, is that normally no matter how much I've daydreamed about a project or how passionate the inspiration I've had, once it becomes my job to work on it, I lose my enthusiasm and start spending my spare brainpower thinking about something else. For years I've juggled this tendency to make the most of my inspiration, all the while knowing that it's inevitable I'll rarely get to work on something while I'm actually inspired to. But this one is different. All the work I do on it fuels my enthusiasm. The more time I spend on it, the more time I want to spend. I'm taking this as a good sign.

Ray, you have my deepest sympathy. I've suffered from panic attacks as well, and it is a horrible thing to go through.

I would say that spanking therapy can be very helpful, but great care is required. From a physiological perspective, it can be suitable. If you are prone to disassociative attacks where you spiral inwards or outwards and no longer feel connected to your body, spanking can put you right back in it. (When I was younger I used cutting to arrest my panic attacks for exactly this reason). As you say, spanking also helps with rhythmic breathing, which could help - and if it turns you on and leads to enjoyable sex, then that's a very positive outcome.

On the other hand some people feel claustrophobic and can't bear to be touched during an attack, so it's highly personal.

Emotionally, there are lots of risks. Your play partner would need to know you and your disorder very well, so you could trust them to read you and pitch things appropriately. Spanking is very intimate, and that can be hard for someone experiencing panic, who may be distancing themselves and want to emotionally withdraw. In spanking, the reaction to this is often harder spanks and greater pain, which is probably not actually what a panicking spankee needs.

Sometimes, with someone you know very well, being pushed through a more violent spanking can release the destructive energy churning under your panic - and this can be therapeutic. But if it goes wrong then the consequences could be very damaging.

Gentle spanking can be very reassuring, loving, steady the spankee and enable them to rebuild their emotional bridges, so that might be a place to start. But you may find yourself closing down and not wanting to respond to it, in which case your top has to make a call whether to stop and hug you, or keep going. It's a tough one.

I'd say spanking has the potential to be very beneficial, depending on the person, but using it during an attack is very risky. Personally, when I'm started to hyperventilate and my pulse begins to increase, I've found it helpful for my dom to make eye contact with me and use their "dominant" voice on me - gentle, loving, absolutely in control. That alone can be enough to bring me down. (Other times it doesn't work at all - it depends.)

When I have used spanking successfully to bring me down from a mounting stress/panic which hadn't peaked in an attack yet, as in this post, the method that worked was starting out very gently with a trusted, perceptive dom who knows my history, my reactions and is experienced with mental health issues. Then trusting them to understand where my responses need them to lead. Sometimes a very gentle, kind spanking will be all I need to steady myself and re-engage. Other times, as I described above, I need to be pushed.

Personally, I could only ever accept this from a primary partner whom I trusted with my greatest vulnerability and was not too proud to let past my barriers. You may find the same.

Good luck, and let me know how you get on! x

Good Morning Pandora,

I had an unusual thought occurring to me today. At various times in my life I have suffered "panic Attacks" hasn't happened for a while due to meds I am taking. But the prime treatment for it is slow breathing and distraction. Spanking is very distracting for the person being spanked, is it possible that Spanking might have a place it treating this disorder?

Kind regards

Ray

Ray, you have my deepest sympathy. I've suffered from panic attacks as well, and it is a horrible thing to go through.

I would say that spanking therapy can be very helpful, but great care is required. From a physiological perspective, it can be suitable. If you are prone to disassociative attacks where you spiral inwards or outwards and no longer feel connected to your body, spanking can put you right back in it. (When I was younger I used cutting to arrest my panic attacks for exactly this reason). As you say, spanking also helps with rhythmic breathing, which could help - and if it turns you on and leads to enjoyable sex, then that's a very positive outcome.

On the other hand some people feel claustrophobic and can't bear to be touched during an attack, so it's highly personal.

Emotionally, there are lots of risks. Your play partner would need to know you and your disorder very well, so you could trust them to read you and pitch things appropriately. Spanking is very intimate, and that can be hard for someone experiencing panic, who may be distancing themselves and want to emotionally withdraw. In spanking, the reaction to this is often harder spanks and greater pain, which is probably not actually what a panicking spankee needs.

Sometimes, with someone you know very well, being pushed through a more violent spanking can release the destructive energy churning under your panic - and this can be therapeutic. But if it goes wrong then the consequences could be very damaging.

Gentle spanking can be very reassuring, loving, steady the spankee and enable them to rebuild their emotional bridges, so that might be a place to start. But you may find yourself closing down and not wanting to respond to it, in which case your top has to make a call whether to stop and hug you, or keep going. It's a tough one.

I'd say spanking has the potential to be very beneficial, depending on the person, but using it during an attack is very risky. Personally, when I'm started to hyperventilate and my pulse begins to increase, I've found it helpful for my dom to make eye contact with me and use their "dominant" voice on me - gentle, loving, absolutely in control. That alone can be enough to bring me down. (Other times it doesn't work at all - it depends.)

When I have used spanking successfully to bring me down from a mounting stress/panic which hadn't peaked in an attack yet, as in this post, the method that worked was starting out very gently with a trusted, perceptive dom who knows my history, my reactions and is experienced with mental health issues. Then trusting them to understand where my responses need them to lead. Sometimes a very gentle, kind spanking will be all I need to steady myself and re-engage. Other times, as I described above, I need to be pushed.

Personally, I could only ever accept this from a primary partner whom I trusted with my greatest vulnerability and was not too proud to let past my barriers. You may find the same.

Good luck, and let me know how you get on! x

Lady,

You and Tom seem to be a great couple and stress relief pair too...I enjoyed reading your stress relief story.I have a question?...Why don't you switch sometimes with someone and relieve your stress that way.........


Enjoy your blog,
Bryan

A very beautiful post, Pandora! :-) I'm glad that your communication with Tom worked so extraordinary well and that you got exactly what you needed. I'm looking forward to your new site and I hope that you'll be able to meet your deadlines without challenging your health too much.

Indeed there seem to be two different forms of silence: The one signalling that something is going wrong during a spanking and the one that means that everything is fine but that the spankee is in a mindset that simply doesn't call for a talk. It's great how you managed to signal Tom that the latter was the case, and that you even managed to show him non-verbally what you needed! Using gestures is a good idea, I have to keep that in mind for the next time when I'm not in the mood for talking.

Indeed there seem to be two different forms of silence: The one signalling that something is going wrong during a spanking and the one that means that everything is fine but that the spankee is in a mindset that simply doesn’t call for a talk.

Indeed - and the one that means everything is fine but you need to go much harder; and the one that means you've dropped deep into subspace; and the one that means the spankee isn't quite sure how they feel about this just yet but they're not in the mood to make it easier for the top... Really, when you think about it I'm amazed tops manage at all! Empathy and perceptiveness are certainly very important talents for tops to have, but I think bottoms have a duty to be communicative too - even if that communication takes place before the scene, or non-verbally.

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