This article is written by me – Kim Debron – it is owned by me. If you copy it, please give the credit to me, otherwise you are committing an act of plagiarism – you are stealing my work.
"fear is the parent of cruelty" (J.A Froude)
Fear can be defined as several different types of feelings or emotions:
*A feeling of agitation and anxiety, caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
*A state or condition marked by this feeling: e.g. living in fear.
*A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: e.g. a fear of looking foolish.
*A feeling of extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
*A feeling or a reason for dread: e.g. being alone is my greatest fear
*A feeling of unease or apprehension: e.g. a fear of test results.
There are, however, other ways to describe fear - words such as fright, dread, terror, horror, panic, alarm, dismay, consternation and trepidation.
These words all describe quite accurately, the feelings of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger – they describe fear.
There are many very common fears – fear of small spaces, fear of wide-open spaces, fear of spiders, of snakes and other animals. People fear dentists, needles, flying, the dark, death – just to name a few.
There are also fears of things like being robbed, being raped, being in a car accident, drowning, thoughts of those types of incidents can scare some people. Things we see on the news, or in the media – children being abducted, murders, natural disasters - many folk are frightened of such things.
Mostly, people control those thoughts, and they only surface when we are reminded of them, such as seeing something in the news, or hearing about it from somewhere.
However for some people, these thoughts can consume their minds totally and make ordinary, every day life almost impossible – this is in extreme cases though, and is not all that common.
To me, fear is a pure emotion, a gut feeling, it is something that can consume the mind totally and push all other thoughts aside. It can cause somewhat diverse reactions in people – many women and children scream when they are frightened, while others may cry, or go completely quiet, or run away if they can. Some people pass out in extremely fearful situations; others look for support, for courage and reassurance to help them get through whatever situation is causing the fear.
So what is it exactly that causes fear - why is it that some people are scared of things which never bother other people? Fear can be irrational and illogical, no amount of reasoning or coherent thoughts can stop the fear – The logical mind knows that it is irrational to be scared, but the emotions take over and the fear will not go away.
A lot of the time, people fear things that they don’t understand, and in some instances, education and enlightenment can dissipate the fear.
A good example from my own life is about snakes. I used to work in the country and in the beginning I was really scared of snakes. Then I was taught that if you stay still, a snake does not know you are there. The hardest thing was to actually put that into practice, but I did, and it worked. I now have a very healthy respect for snakes, but I am not scared of them anymore.
Another cause of fear can be an unpleasant experience in life, which causes pain or other emotions and so the fear of that particular thing happening again takes over. It can become an unreasonable or unnatural fear, which no amount of reasoning or logic can cure.
In the world of BDSM, fear can play an important part in the things we do and the experiences we have. Fear can take us to new heights and to new levels of play, and it can increase our enjoyment, feed our desires and help to fill the needs of both the Master and the submissive. However, in my opinion, there is one very important ingredient that must be there, if fear is to have any bearing on play whatsoever. That ingredient is TRUST.
Trust is vital because it is one of the main links between a Master and a submissive – especially when play is taking place.
As we know, there is good fear and bad fear – without trust, bad fear would become a horrible experience, but with trust, even the worst fears can be worked on, and sometimes overcome, or at least made more manageable.
How can we define what is good fear and bad fear?
Good fear would be something that scares the hell out of you, yet gives you an exhilarating feeling while it is happening. For me, a great example would be knife play. My Master has a very, very sharp knife, which He brings into play sometimes. He holds it against my throat, or runs it over my body – I know exactly how sharp that knife is, and it terrifies me to think that I could be cut, but I trust Him, and I know that He would never, ever hurt me with it, so even though I am scared, I enjoy the scary feeling and the associated adrenalin rush. When I first met Master, though, knives were on my hard limit list, they were a very bad fear for me – this fear stemmed from an incident in my past, when someone threw a carving knife at me. My attitude towards it now, proves that with trust, a fear can be overcome, and even turned into something enjoyable.
Another fear I have managed to overcome is a fear of canes. The thought of being caned was a very bad fear for me, however, due to Master’s patience, and my trust in Him, I can now tolerate a cane, and I also know that canes don’t have to hurt, in fact they can be very sensual if they are used properly in a certain way. I am not sure if canes would come under the heading of “good fear” for me, but they certainly are not the “bad fear” that they used to be.
Bad fear is something that scares the hell out of you, and really makes you feel terrified, uncomfortable or uneasy. For me, a bad fear is the thought of a hood, or mask over my face, or being put into a small space
i cannot cope with anything over my head, over my face, or having my mouth and nose covered. i feel as if i cannot breathe – i get hot and i panic, and i fight to get away.
i wake up panicking if the covers get anywhere near my face when i am in bed, and if i have to take clothes off over my head, they are off so fast, because i can’t stand the thought of my head being trapped inside my jumper.
Strangely enough though, I like being blindfolded, as long as my mouth and nose are not covered. I struggle to understand this inconsistency in my mind.
One of my friends wore a hood to a function, and I couldn’t talk to her or look at her until she took it off.
However, at a club not so long ago, there was another friend who was wearing one, and I forced myself to go and have a conversation with him. It was very hard for me but I did it, I tried to focus on his eyes rather than the whole hood, and tried to remember just who it was in there, a friend - not a scary person!
Another example just recently was watching my Master do a Vac-bed demonstration. It was a very confronting thing for me to look at, and in the end, I had to turn and walk away, it affected me to the point of tears, watching how tightly the submissive was fully encased in the rubber of the bed, with only a breathing tube for air, she couldn’t move at all. I kept imagining how it would feel to be her, and I wanted to get her out – my emotions took over my logic.
I now realise that I was putting my own fears on her situation. I was so scared of it, and so scared for her, I was almost at the point of beginning to panic, and yet it wasn’t even me experiencing it – I learned a valuable lesson from this incident, which is that my fear is much deeper than I realised. My reactions to watching it were totally irrational and illogical, yet I was powerless to stop the feelings I had.
It was made worse by the fact that I had to walk away from Master’s side, and could not be there to serve Him properly, I felt as if I had failed Him, I let my fear overcome all other thoughts in my mind – but that is what real fear does to a person. Nothing else mattered except to get away from it, to not look at what was happening.
So, in conclusion, I believe that fear is something everyone experiences to some degree, at some time in their lives. People may say they are not scared of anything, but, every single person most likely has some particular thing that he or she fears, and it is often related to a past experience.
A good way to sum up what fear actually is, would be to say that physically, it is a type of chemical reaction in the body, like a defence mechanism against what we emotionally sense as a danger – it is a warning signal to be careful, to be aware, and to get away. Being fearful helps to keep us safe, so it can be perceived as a healthy reaction, even though it is an irrational one at times.
© Kim Debron 2005