Journals: What How and Why

Author: Raven Shadowborne © 1998


Many have asked about and often discussed journals and how they are used within BDSM. A journal can be very complicated or very simple. It can include minute details of every action, thought, emotion etc the submissive had throughout a single day. Or it can just encompass those times the submissive needs to clear some thoughts from her mind and heart. Many also call a journal, a diary. Most women I know at some point in their childhood used a diary. Those little books with the tiny little locks on them. Hidden beneath the bed, or behind the dresser, hopefully safe from prying eyes. Where they spilled their heart felt desires, defeats, and puppy loves. Or maybe that's just a romatic view of childhood. Either way, I think you can understand what I am speaking of. These journals can be something as simple as a notebook or as complicated as a personalized book bound solely for the submissive. Some have leather covers custom made for their journals. Other simply use word processing programs on a computer and save the files to disk. I, personally, use those composition books where the pages are sewn between black and white marblized covers. They fit nicely on my shelves and the pages usually don't fall out like they will in a spiral notebook. 

Within the context of BDSM journals have many different uses. The biggest one being to allow the submissive a place where he/she can discuss anything he/she needs to, without fear of punishment for what is stated within the pages. In most cases the journals are read by the dominant. This allows a deeper level of communication between the dominant and the submissive. Many times a submissive will write things in his/her journal that they may not feel comfortable speaking aloud at that time. By writing those thoughts, fears, feelings what have you, in the journal the dominant has a better understanding of what is going on inside the submissive. This allows for the dominant to make better decisions which are tailored to the current mind set and or level of his/her submissive. By recording their thoughts and experiences the submissive can look back and see how much he/she has grown. Journals can in this sense, serve as a growth chart so to speak. 

I have had many people tell me that they are not comfortable writing in a journal yet they write short stories or poems. These writings have meanings within the words. Imagery which shows whatever conflict or emotional state the writer is in at the time it was written. These writings can also be a means of communicating with a dominant, much like a journal can. A person can either write them on seperate peices of paper, in a computer file or simply have a notebook dedicated solely to those writings. 

Whether or not a journal is read by the dominant is up to the participants in the relationship. Not every dominant requires a journal, though many will order the submissive to write something if he/she believes the submissive is having some difficulty. 

A journal can also be a place where the submissive will record secret desires which he/she may be afraid to verbalize. Fantasies and things they'd like to try in the future. They can also be used to vent anger or work through some confusion. 

The journal I keep is a personal journal and I have used it for many years before I started living this lifestyle. For quite some time my journal was my life line during some seriously stressful and painful emotional upheavals in my life. I find my journal to be a great release to me. It took me a while to feel totally comfortable writing down some of my more hidden emotions. Someone I spoke with once told me to just write and not think about what I am writing. And when I was done, to re read what I wrote and that I would probably be surprised to see some of what came out. So that is what I did. I will turn on music and allow my concious mind to focus on singing along, while I just write out anything that seems to need to come out. Many times in rereading my journals I have been surprised by what I wrote. I would then write my surprise in the journal as well. For me, it was a wonderful release and provided me a way to safely share my feelings with my partner without having to verbalize them. It has also, on many occasions, allowed me to find a solution I hadn't thought of or couldn't see because of the emotions. As I grew, I found I can indeed verbalize my feelings and feel safe doing so. I still write in my journal, now on a daily basis, and in this way my master can share with what is going on in my mind and heart.


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