Friday, May 9, 2014

Dear Diary, I Had No Idea I Was So Boring: Submissive Journaling

Journals and diaries were always super popular when I was a kid. They were always coming out with all these gimmicky journals like the Password Journal, or ones with locks you could easily pick with a paperclip or a pencil, or the ones with the decorated padlocks. Of course, the padlocks are pointless because I swear every diary padlock ever made is keyed the same. I had a few lockable ones. I have a vague memory of having one with a password function, but it may have been a friend's and I just remember playing with the password bit because it was weird.

But, despite being in love with beautiful journals, I've never been good at journaling. All of my journals are full of stories or bits of stories and waiting for those stories to be continued. The thing is, I can invent other people's lives all day long, but I find writing about my own in a book that only I'm going to read to be incredibly boring. One would think that being into weird shit would mean you wouldn't find yourself so boring, but I basically don't have the ability to write to myself. I've been irrevocably trained to write everything with an external reader in mind. I would try as a kid to start a journal, but I would get maybe a few days in and get bored and give up. Even those I would write as if I expected someone to find it one day and read my drivel about how much I hated my mom that day.

Ah, the ridiculousness of childbrain.

Getting into the online BDSM arena, I noticed that journaling is also super popular here. Subby journal things everywheres! Out of the three d-types I've had, the only one that asked me to do a journal, was the second dynamic, a temporary, non-sexual dynamic I had with a couple of friends to tide me over while I searched for an actual partner. They wanted one every day, which was incredibly difficult. I was in college and my day consisted of class, homework, and fetlife. Without any sort of direction, it became a tedious task. So eventually I was given prompts, but that too became tedious because I would get angry at the prompt, although, I suppose that resentment was compounded by my irritation at a few rules that fucked with some psychological issues of mine.

My first dom didn't require journaling. After the first few months, he barely paid attention to me as it was, so I don't think he would have a read a journal even if I had done one. Daddy has never required any submissive to journal for him. It's never been something he's been interested in.

This blog is probably the closest thing I've got to a journal. Although, I wouldn't call it a journal, since I basically just find random things to talk about that interest me. I'm fairly certain that Daddy does not read this blog. He's never said anything to indicate that he does. He watches my dance videos as I post them, but given his injury, I'm fairly certain he doesn't spend much time online at all.

The fact that it looks Moroccan makes it

This is the closest thing I have to a physical journal. It was a birthday gift from a friend in college. It's not really a journal per se. It's the  book in which I keep things pertaining to my relationship because I'm a fan of reference material. I keep my rules in it. I keep a list of my limits in it. I keep his preferences in it and other little things like that. The trick is, it is for me, for my obsessive compulsive need to know exactly what I'm doing and be able to double and triple check.

I write it in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) so most people won't be able to read it. I learned it while studying linguistics in college. Writing this journal/reference/book thing in IPA insures a higher degree of privacy and it keeps my skills sharp. I also write in it at work when it's slow and I'm bored and want to work on posts or stories. There are at least 3 cameras in the room where I work, so writing in it makes sure no one can read it and bitch at me.

While I don't personally do submissive journaling in the traditional context, it is something I have recommended to others. I recommend it to any couple that has communication problems, especially newer D/s couples. I understand how hard saying things actually is. I have a hard time expressing myself out loud, because I'm extremely sensitive to body language, facial expressions, and non-verbal cues. A lot of times, I ask important questions of him in a text rather than when we talk on the phone. I find it easier than saying it out loud.

And that's something a journal is perfect for, being able to express oneself without dealing with all the immediate feedback. It's also good to be used as a safe space to say what you want without fear of retribution. I typically recommend it to newer couples because a lot of the time, they haven't been able to fully determine what they want out of the relationship and what they want from their partner. The journal is good for that, because it cuts down on awkward conversation and gives each person the time to process and think about what they want to say.

One thing I will say is that every day journals is probably too much. I found that requirement to be frustrating personally. And one girl I recommended it to complained about not having time for a daily. I totally get that. I'd say weekly is probably a better idea. You don't run out of shit to say as fast. Some days there is just nothing to say. I don't sit around and meditate on submission every day. Less frequency also keeps everyone from getting bored with the whole institution.

If you're looking for a more guided approach, Submissive Journal Prompts is a good place to start.

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