Forgive a blathery sort of entry, I feel the need to think into text, but have little idea about the actual direction I'm heading.
My mind was drifting back to Hooked Up a few weeks ago. I've already written about how I find hook events to be profoundly spiritual, a place of connectedness and community that is just delicious and warm in sensation.
I was pondering about the pull I took part in, and what the others involved in it have said of it. Particularly the puller, and the heavy spiritual things that pull meant for him, what it meant for him to succeed and what it meant to even take part in it at all. Now that it is some time later, I am finally in a place to truly consider what it all meant to me, as well.
It's not that I don't know these things when and directly after they happen, simply that I am someone who likes to move slowly. I like to think about things a lot before deciding on how I feel about something. I was heady and ecstatic after the event, euphoric even, and continued to feel a strange fuzzy joy and elatedness for weeks after it.
I am extremely susceptible to my own brain chemistry. While my body has a resistance to most drugs (something which can be very annoying in a hospital, let me tell you!), when shifts come from within my own biology and chemistry I am more very vulnerable to them.
I actually enjoy this; it means that when I have a crush, I can spend weeks floating on a cloud of euphoria (as I did when I first began seeing Princess). It means that when I love someone, I love them with a fiery, painful passion. And while, yes, it means that heartbreak and depression also hit me harder than they might otherwise, they are valuable experiences that I try to appreciate.
Being so vulnerable to my own chemistry means that my tendency to move slowly serves me well. It gives me time to let the chemistry return to normal before I go making decisions or shooting my mouth off.
So in this vein, I have finally settled enough to think about Hooked Up in a meaningful way, that is not coloured by euphoria.
Oh, where to begin.
When I was a child, I fancied (like many children do) that I would grow up to be a rock star sort of person. In the spotlight, the centre of attention. A brilliant thing that others would behold. As I began to grow up and become the person that would become who I am today, I began to accept that this was not actually where I was headed.
No, I seem to do best a little behind the scenes. Not in the shadows, by any means, but not in the spotlight either. I am the supporting character, so to speak, or even perhaps the stage manager in some cases.
It's been a strangely difficult journey coming to accept that. Part of me still wants to be a rock star.
But, the show doesn't go on without the stage manager. The story cannot continue without the supporting characters. I would never feel satisfied feeling like a cog in the machine, but then again, that's what I am best at. A large, sparkly cog, perhaps, but a cog nonetheless.
When I guide, this is also my strength. I do not often simply tell people things. I instead ask them questions, and let them find the answers themselves.
At Hooked Up, this was definitely my place. The ground, to hold everyone steady. The one who keeps an eye on the others. Protector. Nurturer. A few steps back from the spotlight, making sure there was enough room for those who are supposed to be there.
And I didn't mind, at all. I felt that I was happily in my place.
There was a moment at the beginning where it was revealed (to me, perhaps it was obvious to everyone else) that I would be rigging pretty much the whole show. Even the cord that went from the hooks to the rope to the pulley system to the woman in rope was my responsibility. It was me that directed those around us to keep back or come forward.
And in my hands, two people. The literal life of one in one hand (the woman being suspended) and the health if not life of the other (the puller, with steel through his flesh, who could be jarred or injured by a wrong move).
I spent most of the pull squatting or kneeling on the floor, just between them both. One hand up to steady the suspendee, so she could watch and feed energy forwards as was her role. My eyes flicking between her and the beast pulling her up, watching for signs of fatigue, weakness, or just a general vibe of "I'm done".
Giving off as much of my love and calm and care for them both as I could. Keeping my senses alert and sharp. Watching. Waiting. Letting them have their moments.
Being the first one to start, examining the rig and preparing my gear before hooks even went near flesh. To say, yes, I can do this. Being the last one to leave, still coiling my rope and watching others talk and smile and congratulate and cheer.
And I was so terribly, terribly happy.
I feel that this is very much a large part of my role in my life, not just in D/s, but in everything. I have written before that I am very much a nurturer. Always that has had a certain innocence, or simpleness to it. Nurture is affection and food and somewhere to sleep.
But at Hooked Up it took on a much, much more powerful tone. To assist in a journey, to help make it possible. To literally guard over people's lives and the health of their bodies. To lubricate a challenge, an experience, to make it just that little more possible, that little bit more enjoyable.
And in return for all this, I received such joy and beauty and euphoria, the likes of which many people spend their whole lives chasing. To be part of something so great, so incredible. Truly, I am the one who got the better end of the deal.
When I was younger, I was convinced that my gentleness would somehow make me less excellent as a dominant. The more I grow and learn, the more I realize that that gentleness is part of what makes me an excellent dominant, and person besides.
One of the most important things any man does is decide what kind of man he will be. It is clear that I am a gentle man, one who loves and nurtures. I could not be more pleased by this. Not only do I consider them good traits for a man to have; but in a society where masculinity is so frequently measured by aggression, I have the opportunity to present a different kind of masculinity. Neither more nor less legitimate, but merely an example that there are as many kinds of masculinity as there are men.