Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)
I think it’s about time I make a confession – something I haven’t been fully honest about to even some of my closest friends. During my senior year of college I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia, brought on by my already existing generalized anxiety disorder and mild obsessive compulsive disorder. 80% of the time, I look in the mirror and see myself anywhere from 20 to 60 lbs heavier. Some nights, I will still spend hours at a time poring over my facial imperfections in photos uploaded on Facebook. It’s only under very rare and specific conditions that I see myself accurately. And when I do, I end up spending the whole night crying.
With that said, over the past few summer months a friend introduced me to the concept of fitspiration. It became popular after pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs started getting banned from Tumblr. The idea is to see “fitness” as the goal, not “skinny”. Since then, I’ve been eating a lot cleaner, and focusing more on toning. And although the number on the scale has remained the same, I can definitely see the change in my body. Most importantly, I’ve learned that being fit is not a fad that you do temporarily until you’re happy with yourself; it’s an entire lifestyle change.
Three things I’ve recently added into my regimen are: oatmeal, biking, and light weight training. Every morning for breakfast, I used to have yogurt with granola. And while it’s a fantastic option, it doesn’t fill me up. And because I can’t take a break for a small snack on busy work days, I would always end up overeating during my lunch break. Oatmeal is plenty filling and contains soluble fiber, of which I otherwise don’t get much of throughout the rest of the day. It’s great for your heart and digestive system, and tastes so good with some fruit, walnuts, and a dash of brown sugar! But personally, I prefer the texture of the old-fashioned rolled oats over the all-too-mushy instant oatmeal.
As for biking, my boyfriend and I go for about 5 or 6 miles every Sunday morning – usually in a local scenic spot like Alley Pond Park or Bayside Marina near Fort Totten. It’s a great addition to our weekly schedule, and it’s so much easier to get motivated to exercise when you have a workout buddy. Unfortunately, my old bicycle that I used to cruise around my college campus with is now a dilapidated mess. Not fit for riding anymore, I’ve been borrowing my brother’s. I plan to invest in a speedy new one in the near future, though. :)
And last, but not least, is light weight training. It all started when my regular Zumba instructor was out for the whole month of August. The substitute incorporated dumbbells into our dance moves, and you can really feel the resistance and burn in your arms after a few minutes! I was able to score a weight set on Amazon for an amazing deal, so every other night I do a bunch of reps for a more toned upper body. And in the relatively short time I’ve been doing it, I can already see more defined biceps! I really want to keep this up, since it takes more work to get rid of the dreaded “bra bulge”. Wish me luck!
There are only a few, selective memories of my childhood that I actually remember, but some of the most prominent ones involved my idolization of two fictional television characters in particular – Xena the Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Both heroines were strong, sexy, independent women whose skills surpassed most (if not all) men in their respective series. And who were they to me? They were my role models, and the embodiment of female empowerment to my seven-year-old self.
So it only makes sense that when my boyfriend brought up the words “dominatrix” and “mistress” in a casual conversation about our intimate fantasies, these women are who I imagine. Not the stereotypical leather-clad she-devil brandishing a riding crop so often featured in fetish pornography. And although BDSM culture has been around for a really long time, I find that with the recent popularity of 50 Shades of Grey (which, after reading a few excerpts, I believe is terrible writing) the idea has gone mainstream to the point where anyone from young hipsters to stay-at-home-moms have convinced themselves that it’s the “new, edgy, cool” thing to do nowadays. Take a look at the classifieds on Craigslist, if you don’t believe me. On a related note, if you want to read good BDSM-themed literature, I’ve heard great things about Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. (Which I’ve also conveniently added to my wishlist page, lol.)
So for the sake of research, curiosity, and wanting to be an open-minded girlfriend, I purchased The Mistress Manual: The Good Girl’s Guide to Female Dominance by Mistress Lorelei from Amazon for about $11. Not only do the first few chapters cover the psychology behind female domination and power exchange, but it’s a recurring theme throughout the book – even when it gets technical about the more hands-on skills. My favorite thing about this read, though, is how she dedicates an entire chapter to each of the five archetype fantasies: Nursemaid, Governess, Queen, Amazon, and Goddess.
Because the author takes the time to describe these archetypes in-depth, the reader gets a thorough understanding of the subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the relationship between Mistress and sub during role play. For example, in the simplest terms: the Governess is more inclined towards punishment and reward, whereas the Amazon style relies on bondage and the struggle for power. On the other hand, the Goddess fantasy is heavier on the servitude and worship aspect.
The goal is to identify which archetypes reflect both you and your significant other’s needs, and come to a compromise so that both parties are satisfied and fulfilled. In a way, this manual is a metaphor for planning, preparing, and enacting the perfect theatrical play. Ultimately, she emphasizes that it’s easy to get carried away, and there should always be a line drawn between fantasy and reality. Importance is placed on a safe word, as well as a mutual respect for each other. She sincerely believes that dominance play is healthy for relationships because it takes the highest amount of trust to give someone that kind of power over your physical self.
Some of the phrases and vocabulary are a bit dated, but otherwise this was an excellent book that opened my eyes to a different lifestyle. And although it may not be something I ever saw myself doing, I have noticed a significant and positive difference in my self-image since starting to experiment with it. So much so that I lent it to a good friend of mine who is having issues with her overbearing boyfriend, because I think that it has the ability to change your own attitude about your self-worth as a woman. Definitely a recommended read. If you’re interested, a few chapters are available for free here. Enjoy! ^.^
Posted in Books, Movies, TV, & Games, Personal Life, Reviews
Tagged 50 shades of grey, amazon, anne, archetypes, bdsm, book, boyfriend, buffy, culture, dom, domination, dominatrix, domme, empowered, exchange, fantasy, female, femdom, five, lifestyle, lorelei, mistress, novel, physical, power, psychology, read, relationship, review, rice, sexy, significant other, slayer, sleeping beauty, stereotypes, strong, sub, the mistress manual, trilogy, vampire, warrior princess, xena