By Mako Allen
Years ago, I remember being new to kink, and very hungry for it. I spent money I didn’t really have on all sorts of toys and clothes. I embarked on the quest for the most comfortable diaper that would make me feel the most babyish. I tried all sorts of new activities; new styles of play, all in the effort to reach some imagined new height of fulfillment. I made all these changes on the outside, which in the end it all came to nothing. But that’s exactly how it works.
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
Lao-tzu was a pretty smart guy. He knew the value of nothingness. The wheel turns around the hole, the pot holds the stuff inside, and the walls around the house enclose the space in which we live. It’s not the individual parts that make things what they are. All those parts wrap around or contain this essential void that truly defines them.
We’re like that too. I’m submissive to two of my partners, both of whom I consider to be my mommies. There are lots of ways they dominate and baby me. Sometimes they diaper me. Other times they put me to bed. Often, one or the other, or both will give me chores to do around the house, or scold me, and tell me to mind them. Much like the spokes in the wheel, the clay of the pot, or the wood of a house, these exchanges and play are the things we use in our power exchange. We build with them.
But it’s not like it’s a recipe. There are weeks when they don’t diaper me, and we don’t particularly “play”. Lots of times we just live our lives. But I still always feel that power-exchange between us, still respect it, and still get energy, calm, comfort, and surety from it. Even when I’m dressed in my vanilla day job clothes, and on my way to work in my car, there’s this invisible something going on between me and them, that wraps me up, and makes me feel complete.
It’s Nothing. That capital N is there on purpose. It’s life, without filter, without judgment. It’s experience, perceived. You can’t name it, can’t describe it, can’t teach it, and can’t learn it. You just live it.
What’s amazing about this is that everyone and everything, deep inside it, is Nothing. I’m Nothing, and so are you. This is about as close as Taoism gets to the idea of the soul. It’s not some ephemeral, unknowable, mystical thing, though. It’s who and what you are, without any of the external components that surround you.
Long before I ever had partners to submit to, or dominate, I was someone could do that. This is true of lots of things about me, and you, too.
Let’s strip me of everything. Away goes my relationships, the material things I surround myself with, my job, my home, my clothes (yes, even the diaper), heck even my very skin, bones, and body. Let’s not stop there – let’s yank away even my thoughts. What’s left inside is the unnamable, imperceptible essence of who I am. When I stop talking, stop thinking, stop yearning I’m one with it.
This is a challenge for us kinky people. We love to think in terms of our stuff, our achievements, and our community. I’ve myself said more than once about how I wanted to try to be a better submissive, or learn to be a more skillful, worthwhile dominant. You don’t try to be happy, though. You allow yourself to be.
Go inward, and observe your essential self.
A great way to do this is through meditation. It’s an immensely satisfying thing to do. I’ll slip into it as I run, or even while I’m being spanked, or during a diaper change. I quiet my mind, and follow the silence inside me.
In those quiet moments, I feel at peace. I recognize that when I throw off all those trappings and distinctions by which I name myself separate from everything else, that I kind of love everyone, and everything.
Why? It’s because without those trappings, we’re all Nothing.