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147. Power Play: Healing, Abolitionism, and Spirituality with Tshegofatso Senne

Nicole: Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast, exploring sex, relationships, and liberation. I'm your host Nicole.

 On today's episode, we have Tshegofatso Senne . Join us for a conversation about the transformative nature of power play. Together we talk about an abolitionist perspective to harm and transgression in kink, green flags in play partners, And the spirituality of BDSM. Hello, dear listener, and welcome back to Modern Anarchy.

Hello to all of my pleasure activists and radicals out there in the world. Thank you for joining me for another expansive conversation. In this episode, Power play. Wow, I mean, my brain is just thinking about all the ways that power is constantly present in our relational dynamics. And what does it mean to play with that intentionally?

I have learned so much about myself and my relationships to other people. Through being in the BDSM and kink community, it has brought a lens of consent and power dynamics that I now see the world through in very different ways than when I previously started, and that perspective is continually shifting.

I'm learning new things about myself every day. I'm making mistakes every day, and learning, and growing, and expanding, and In that way, it reminds me a lot of my psychedelic work, right? These difficult experiences, these profound experiences are changing me. And the importance of doing both in community, right?

It is the community that is the medicine in both of these spaces. It's where we learn. It's where we grow. And it's also where we are held when things get difficult. And so, what does an abolitionist perspective to harm? look like. It's a very nuanced conversation and one we just touched today, but will probably be a continued conversation in this podcast space.

And I know I talked a little bit about this in the episode with Psy on queering psychedelics, but dang, dear listener, if I can share anything with you about my BDSM and power play journey. It's that the things you're interested in will change. Will change! I think every single guest that I've brought on to talk about eroticism and connection and play It's gonna change.

I'm just gonna invite that for you to get comfortable with now because I continue to struggle with that, you know, the things I thought I knew and then the ways that, you know, my relationship to power changes. And it's also something that happens in all of our relationships, right? Relationships to humans, our dynamics are changing and evolving every day.

And so what does it mean to get into deeper connection with that? There's so much healing that can be found in play. I mentioned it during the episode that we do play therapy with kids and the benefits of what we can find there. And I'm curious, you know, as a researcher in the space, what adult play therapy can look like.

And I'm really excited to be a part of the movement of forwarding these ideas and making it more common conversation, because I do believe that this is how we dismantle rape culture in the end. And, yeah, dear listener, I am writing such a high right now. I matched for internship last Friday. And you don't know, but I have been holding so much stress and tension in my body about this, because I have to go to an AP accredited internship as my last year of my training.

I have to leave Sauna Healing Collective for the year to train elsewhere because of systems, and that's how you get the degree, and lots of complexities here, but There was a queer, non monogamous site that offered internship, they're called Lifeworks if you're in Chicago, great space to check out, right, for healing, but I couldn't go there because it wasn't an APA accredited internship, and that was heartbreaking because I felt like, damn, you know, so much of my identity, my kinkiness, my queerness, my relationship anarchy, all of this stuff is so public on the podcast.

And I was so deeply afraid that no one would want me as an intern given what I am passionate about, given my identities and all the things. And so I am so damn excited to tell you, dear listener, that I matched during the first round. I have an internship placement and this next year of my life. is gonna be great, and I applied to these sites with my podcast on my CV, so anyone who accepted me could know that these are a part of the things that I'm passionate about and a part of the things that I believe in, in terms of social justice, but I can't express to you enough how scared I was.

I started preparing for internship in this process and this application about a year ago, and I knew in the last couple of months that damn, I am putting my podcast on my CV. So that means that all these episodes I'm listening to, at any point, the people seeing my application could go in and hear. And damn it, dear listener, I cut some stuff out.

Like I cut some stuff out of episodes or I was like, Oh my God, can a applicant be saying that she orgasms and has these experiences and oh no, what if my internship site sees this and they don't want me? And I can't even express to you enough how, uh, scared I was with every episode. I was putting out, dear listener, to think that my, uh, internship sites I was applying to could hear what I was saying. So I am so delighted to have this off of my chest. Dear listener, I'm so excited to be able to speak to you more freely. Uh, you know, I was just holding that and, uh, I signed a contract, you know, uh, it's happening, it's done. And so I am really delighted to tell you that as part of my celebration, I have planned my first large scene at a dungeon with All of my femme play partners that I love dearly, and we are gonna celebrate.

There's a lot of tension in my body that needs to be, you know, talk about spirituality. I need a damn exorcism, okay, from all of that stress. And I am so excited to be getting that out with that type of. Healing. Power. Play. With all of my fems that I love dearly. And I'm so excited that I can tell you that, dear listener, without fear of what it would mean for my internship placement.

So yeah, I'm riding a really good high, dear listener, and I'm excited to keep growing and learning with you in this space. And I am so, so thankful for all of you dear listeners that keep tuning in, that keep sending this podcast to your friends, and. growing together with me in this space. Now with that, I am sending you all so much love and let's tune into today's episode.

So then the first question I like to ask each guest is how would you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Tshegofatso Senne: Hmm. I often struggle, I think, with self definition as probably a lot of creatives, but also just queer people in general do. But I would probably say that I am, you know, I'm a black, chronically ill, genderqueer community worker and a traditional healer who does the most.

That's how I often introduce myself. Um, a lot of my work is rooted in pleasure. In healing, in dreaming, in community, in care and pleasure and the ways that those kind of intersect a lot of kind of my base frameworks, I guess, are incredibly feminist, incredibly queer, focused on like gender justice, focused on community, focused on disability justice.

Around those specific topics, I write, I speak, I run workshops, I hold space in specific organizational spaces. And I'm able to kind of do a little bit of that work one on one quite recently, which I felt really fortunate to be able to do. I run a online platform called Hedony that kind of focuses on queer people and Black people, African people who are thinking of their own lives as kind of our lived experience as theory and theorizing around, you know, pleasure and healing and community.

Yeah, I think that, that kind of sums up, yeah,

Nicole: powerful today, today, exactly. Maybe not tomorrow. Yeah. The journey, right? The journey. Yeah. Well, it's a pleasure to have you on the podcast and pleasure to be here. Yeah. And I know that we, or I had heard of your work through your Ted talk on BDSM. So if it feels okay with you, maybe we start there.

Yeah, let's definitely start there. So I would love to hear, you know, take me back to your first experience with BDSM or even hearing of the term, you know, where did that journey start for you?

Tshegofatso Senne: Hmm. Um, so my journey actually started on Twitter. Um, back in probably I think 2012, where it was my first time kind of in an online space where I was like, Oh, okay, cool.

People are just sharing their opinions. People are sharing their lived experience. And I started following a lot of like sex positive black feminists. Two specific ones who live in the country. I was just like sliding into dms saying, Hey, hi. I see you talk about this thing and I'm a little bit interested.

What is BDSM? What is kink? Um, one of them who is, who is a disabled activist who lives in Cape Town, she. Was incredible. She like sent me a bunch of books. She was like, this is what you should read. Come talk to me. If you have questions, these are the sort of things you should look out for. And gradually over time, I started experimenting with it.

And I was really fortunate that one of the people that I connected with on Twitter was, uh, Dom who did a lot of, I guess. Kind of in his own experience of being a Dom and being within the kink in BDSM space, but also somebody who was, as I like to say, neuro spicy. Um, he was helping me with connecting with kink, but also in the ways that It was holding my mental health.

So a lot of my first experiences with kink was deeply entrenched in like, okay, how do you manage your anxiety? How do you manage your depression? As someone who back then is like, okay, I was first born. I'm a daughter back then, you know, and I had obviously had a lot of control issues, as you can imagine, and it was really wonderful for me to.

Have this person who I still to this day have never met, this person who was holding so much of me, so much of me that I didn't yet understand, who was helping me manage that with something as simple as like, cool, this is your bedtime. This is what you need to do before bed. This is what you do as you wake up.

These are the sorts of things that you can do for yourself when you're in the office and you're feeling anxious. Like one of the first things that I ever did was just play with an elastic band on my wrist, because that's one of the things that he was teaching me in terms of body awareness and just being aware of all of these different ways of, okay, how do I bring Pleasure.

into managing my mental health, into figuring out what caring for myself looks like, and most importantly, how do I even figure out ways to be vulnerable with this person that I have not met? And in cases where I often didn't necessarily feel comfortable being vulnerable. So it felt really, really beautiful to have someone who was my dom and was incredibly sexual as well.

I think it's important to speak about that side as well that, you know, it wasn't all like, and as much as kink and BDSM are incredibly, incredibly beautiful when it is, when they are non sexual, it was a space where I was, I think 2021. So that time in your life when you're going through some self discovery, you're like shedding off the bullshit of like, I was a teenager and I'm not that person anymore.

But also, the self discovery of, I've always been a deeply sexual and sensual person, and I haven't necessarily had a way to hold both of these things. And even through going, you know, sub frenzy of like, I need to find the dom, I need to find the dom and be able to find this person online was such a wonderful thing for me because it felt like.

Okay, there's a lot less pressure. I don't feel as terrified that, you know, this Dom is someone who's going to know where I live, who's going to ever see me in public. So it felt incredibly safe. It didn't end very well,

but I think, yeah,

I think in hindsight it probably ended the way that it needed to, because it also kind of taught me the thing of, balancing what polyamory looks like.

So my first kink experience was also kind of my first, not even my first, maybe my second entry into polyamory. Because he had a very, very long term partner who I later then found out was not actually comfortable with. Yeah. So it also taught me that side of things, right? To be like, okay, cool. So you're really wonderful to me, but on the other side, you're not exactly being wonderful to this partner of yours.

So trying to hold both of those truths was tricky. Yep. But now it's like, in hindsight, I'm like, okay, cool. I learned in that very specific relationship. And in that interaction of kink, I learned how to behave and how not to behave. So I was like, okay, cool.

Nicole: I'll take the lesson. I'll take the lesson. Yes.

Very good lessons for sure. Yeah. Yeah. So then where did you go from there?

Tshegofatso Senne: From there, honestly, I was writing quite a lot about my experiences. So I I started a little blog because it was only on Twitter where I was like, Oh, I am kind of a writer. Oh, I have been writing for a long time. And in realizing back in 2012, there weren't that many black women who were speaking openly about anything in terms of sexuality, in terms of intimacy, and especially in terms of kink and BDSM.

Right. So I was also, I know how fortunate I was to be able to experience my entry into this world by other black women and by a people who were incredibly like, this is what to be careful of. So I was very well informed in terms of then going through my own experiences of slowly starting to write about it from a lens of.

This is how we can start to take care of each other. And these are the things that I do to take care of myself. This is what you can do to take care of yourselves. And also more importantly, this is what we then do to try figure out. Hello, what do we then do when harm is done? Because I think in kink and in BDSM, it's important for us to have both of those conversations, right?

So we always speak about yes, enthusiastic consent. We speak about rack. We speak about prick. You know, we speak about all of these sorts of different things that are speaking about enthusiastic consent. But I think a lot of the time people kind of struggle with, okay, cool. I understand how to give my yes.

But what happens when I do give a no and somebody isn't respecting that so even trying to Do that shadow work basically of saying, I am entering into this world. I know what my responsibilities are. I also know how it is that I can navigate if I'm the person doing harm, if somebody else does harm towards me and how like the people around me can hold me accountable.

So a lot of the work that I then started doing was outside of my own exploration. I used to run consent workshops. I used to run kind of one on one kink munches just to. Create a space that felt very black, because especially in South Africa, a lot of the King spaces that I was finding were incredibly like white.

They were a lot of spaces where I didn't necessarily feel welcome for the reasons I wanted to be welcome. So even if I did feel welcomed, it was more of a fetish. It was more of like, Oh, cool. Yes. There is a Brown or a black person here. Yeah. Whereas a lot of the spaces that I think I was trying to create with.

Other black women with queer people with disabled people was saying, Hey, how do those of us who necessarily don't feel like we're being centered in these spaces, how do we center ourselves. So I started doing workshops. I did that TEDx talk, which was Really terrifying, but also incredibly exciting because it was the first time I had shared that openly about this is something that feels so important to me.

And this is how it's worked in my life to assist me with the softer sides of things. Because. The more extreme side is very well archived. There is a lot of information about the ways that you can, you know, go into specific bondage, into, you know, fire play, into blood play, into all of these sorts of different things.

But I wasn't necessarily seeing as much just to be like, okay, cool. But if I'm not even someone who necessarily consists or considers myself to be a Kingston and funny thing I always used to say. No, no, no, no, that's not really my thing. That's not really my thing. Even in high school, before I had actually even had any sort of sexual contact, uh, or with other people, let me say that.

Sure, sure, sure. I, I was always known to be like, oh, Tsuho is dirty. Like, Tsuho dirty jokes. Tsuho has got such a dirty mind. So. I had always been that incredibly sexual and sensual person, I just didn't necessarily have a place to put it into and King felt like home, you know, because it felt like a place where all of these different cells were very grounded.

They were able to come together in a way that felt. Natural. And that felt like it could hold all of me, even in my questioning. Powerful.

Nicole: Mm. Mm. Sorry, my cat's, like, fur is, like, all over my face. I'm, like, trying to get this off. Relatable. Yeah. Um, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So much there that you share that we could probably unpack over, like, a whole podcast.

My God. You know, just to slow down and unpack all of those. So, I'm already feeling the limitedness. of my, like, hour scope with you, but I'm gonna try and hit some good pieces here. I'm thinking, um, I'm thinking about the fact that this podcast is like a global reach, right? And so there's people in this podcast that are going to be listening and that don't have the benefit of what you've spoken of, which is community, right?

People who kind of like, brought you under their wing and spoke to you about, you know, what to avoid, what to be careful of those sorts of things. And especially, Given, you know, the internet, internet access to these concepts and ideas, a lot of people are hearing it being drawn in, but lacking that community.

So I'd be curious if we could slow down too and just even share, you know, some of those first pieces that were shared with you of what to be careful of. Hmm.

Tshegofatso Senne: I mean, I think one of the most important lessons I learned in kind of the beginning of my exploration. Was just trying to figure out what I wanted first.

So that's almost always where I tell people to start because I know that feeling of once you start saying, okay, I'm questioning this thing. I want to find out a little bit more information and immediately your thing is I need to find somebody to practice this with. So that's some frenzy, which is also very similar.

To almost like a polyamory frenzy. So the thing of now I've discovered that I want to date more than one person. I need to like load up all of those partners. Give me 10. And now I'm like, Oh God, no, not more than two. Yeah, exactly. So it was. It was honestly, like, I think the most important thing for myself is trying to figure out, okay, what do I want?

What do those wants look like when they're not attached to anybody else? And how can I find a way to fulfill those specific needs by myself before I involve anybody else? So something as simple as like There are so many, like, Kink and BDSM quizzes online. Yeah. Finding something like that and just being like, Okay, I just want to identify what my limits are.

So, what are the things that I definitely like? Yes, these are my green flags. These are things I definitely want to explore. But what are those softer limits? So, these might be things that I might not necessarily be open to yet, but if I get more information, if somebody talks me through it, if I'm able to explore it a little bit slowly, then I would be open to it.

So understanding the green flags, the soft limits, and then obviously the hard limits. So I know a lot of my hard limits have stayed consistent, but some of them have become softer limits because I'm like, Okay, no, maybe I would be willing to try blood play, you know, so just trying to figure out what those limits are for myself before I involve other people.

Because a lot of what you, what I was told in terms of, or kind of warned about in terms of how do I try to figure out ways to keep myself safe. From people who might be within the BDSM space, but not for the reasons that you think, not for the sorts of like intentions that you think that they might want to do that work.

And obviously then how do you try balance that shit out when you feel as though as a newbie in the space, there's always a little bit of peer pressure. I mean, we're always just like, no, I'm an adult. Peer pressure isn't a thing for me, but it happens. And it happens a lot for people who don't necessarily know what it is they want.

And this isn't me, then, kind of victim blaming. It's me saying, come from an informed place. When you're coming from that informed place, when you know, what are the reasons that I am doing this? What are the reasons that I want to explore this specific thing? And how is it that I want somebody to interact with me in this exploration?

Just something as simple as figuring out those needs, those intentions and ways of engagement. Those I think are the main things that make it a little bit easier for me to then be able to say, okay, cool. So in a situation where I feel like somebody might be pushing on my limits a little bit, then I kind of know that, okay, this doesn't feel good.

And then the next step then becomes trying to figure out what does the not feeling good feel like, right? Because boundaries feel really different for all of us in our bodies, especially. So I know for a fact that sometimes my mouth might say yes, but I can feel it in my stomach if it's a no. And just being able to have kind of that full body awareness of saying.

Okay, but if I'm feeling this in my body, if my chest feels a little bit tight, if maybe sometimes I get a little bit dizzy, sometimes my palms can get sweaty, and that can definitely be confused sometimes as just, you're just excited. This is a new experience, you're excited, but practicing that thing of.

Being aware of your body. So how does your body feel when somebody suggests some of these things and you feel safe enough to say no. And how does your body feel when you're feeling as though, Oh, I'm about to say yes, but it's not a yes. And then practicing giving that no. Right. Because I know that we speak about enthusiastic consent so much, but it's not very often that we speak about.

It takes a lot of practice to get to a place where you're like. I am confident about saying, no, I am confident that this is not what I want. And I'm confident to say, here is my safe word. Please stop what you're doing because a lot of times, and especially in harmful situations, you might not feel safe enough to do that.

So I just want to track my own thoughts. So it's the first thing of realizing your limits, realizing what it is that you do want, what are your yeses, your nos, your maybes. Practicing what full body awareness feels like and what a no feels like in your body and then practicing the no. And then to expand on that is trying to find the people in your community that you can go to should harm happen.

Because I think a lot of the time when we speak about, you know, safety, we speak about consent, we might not have necessarily a plan of what is them look like when harm has been done. And especially in a community where Or my community, specifically, that comes from an incredibly abolitionist way of thinking, which is that we don't discard of people simply because they've done harm.

We try to figure out what are the processes of repair. Here's donkey.

Nicole: Hi baby. So cute.

Tshegofatso Senne: So it's that thing I've been trying to figure out who are the people that I can lean on. Should I feel as though I have done harm? Or that somebody has harmed me because there's nothing. I feel as lonely as feeling as though you've been harmed, but you don't necessarily have people that you can lean on for that.

Nicole: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I'm just thinking about even the risks, you know, we're talking from the sub perspective, like even the risks for the dom on the other side, right? If, if a sub comes to you and says, yeah, I don't know what my hard limits are. I've never done this. Let's just explore everything.

Yeah. Right. Right. Like on the other side, there's some risks there too. I'm curious. You're already responding. What do you want to say to that? Yeah. I mean,

Tshegofatso Senne: I think even for someone like me who is very switchy and I know exactly what it is that I want as a sub, I know what it is, what I want when. I'm dominating.

I am always very wary of people who say I don't have limits because I'm like,

you haven't done enough

thinking. And maybe it's the people pleaser

in you that wants me to think that you're down for whatever. And I'm like, I don't feel safe doing whatever because I also Might not know you in all of the ways that you feel like maybe the people in your life do know you and you don't necessarily ever have to say a safe word with a sexual partner who knows you very well.

But if we're interacting, perhaps for the first time, I need you to know what those limits are, and I need you to be able to explore that so even when I. Oh, now I have hair on my face.

Nicole: Now you have the cat hair. Yeah.

Tshegofatso Senne: So even in those times where somebody might approach me and say, Hey, listen, I'm a submissive.

So maybe I want to be trained as a submissive, or I want to be trained as a dominant. I, my first question is cool. Let's investigate why. Like, what is it that you're looking for? What are you trying to feel like? How is it that I can support you in feeling that way? What are the things that you know for a fact that I definitely want to explore these and what are the ones that I like?

It's so uncomfortable, you know, so that's always where I start. I never start from a point of cool. Let's meet up. Let's play. Let's see how things go. I'm a big talker. I'm queer. I'm polyamorous. I'm a king star. I'm a traditional healer. Yeah. All of the work I do is very talk focused, but in that talk focused, as I was speaking about body awareness, it's about what is it that our bodies are feeling and do our energies match?

Because you might be like, Hmm, okay, this person is hot. I want to interact with them within BDSM or kink in this specific way, but maybe our energies just don't match. Maybe we just don't vibe. Maybe You know, so it's also thinking about all of these different things. So I always thought by saying, let's try and figure out what our intentions are.

And what is it that we're trying to get from what we're doing together?

Nicole: Communication piece. So, so big. And then the embodiment of that, right? I'm always talking about that on the podcast, how crucial it is just, just in general to feel pleasure, right? To feel more pleasure, we have to be embodied, but let alone the ability to know when your no is in your body, because we feel it first in our bodies, right?

And then communicate that. And even just the intuition of, of, you know, this, this person's giving me a weird. Five. I don't know. I can't cognitively put my, you know, words on it, but I know it doesn't feel right. And being able to listen to that is so, so crucial. And I appreciated what you said about, you know, in terms of there's so much healing and benefits to kink, but in the space where harm happens.

Right. And I think it's important to name the realities that like when you're stepping into edge play, you We can do our best to have that consent conversation, but the reality is harm happens. Right. And, and yeah, I'd love if you could say more about the philosophies of not, you know, abandoning people in that process because it's human to mess up.

Right. I don't want to create any space to say do harm. Do you know what I mean? But there is the reality that when you're playing with edges, it happens. And so like, how do you walk through that sort of, uh, yeah. Yeah. Recovery. Rehabilitate. What words do you even use to describe that process?

Tshegofatso Senne: I mean, I think the, the word I tend to use is repair.

Yeah. Because yeah, it does often feel like this kind of steva or this Yeah. I think sever is exactly the word. So oftentimes then when in a situation where harm happens, if it feels as though somebody is doing it from an ignorant place, if it feels as though somebody is doing it from an intentional place, those are also the two main points to try to figure out is this the first time something like this has happened?

Does it feel as though perhaps this person is continuously doing it? And then Backing away and leaning on the fact that oh, no, I didn't know any better. Does it feel as though this person is perhaps interacting in parts of Kink that they're not ready to yet be interacting with? Does it feel as though they are being respectful or aware even of any person in the space of limits.

So even just being aware of like nonverbal communication, right? So are you paying attention to the people in that space to a point where you're also Aware that, okay, I am not going to keep pushing this person, even though they're saying, no, go harder, you know, even though somebody is saying, no, no, no, no, I haven't, I haven't reached my limit yet.

Is it going to also then be your responsibility? And are you taking that responsibility to say, maybe I should pull back a bit, maybe we should slow down a little bit. And I know in terms of like not throwing people away has been a very long journey for me as well Because I mean we've come far and I know you know from like twitter culture that it is very much that thing of like Cool.

You did this harm. We're just going to get rid of you. But then what happens when that, that happens to you? Do you feel as though you would want to be discarded? Do you feel as though you would want to be given the benefit of the doubt in terms of having a conversation? And of course, leaning on the fact that who is the person who has been harmed and what do they want?

Do they want to have a conversation? How is it that you can keep them safe in future aspects? Does it feel as though the person who did the harm needs to be pulled away and kind of some work needs to be done in terms of trying to figure out the reasons they did it? upskilling somebody in terms of doing things better and then what are the steps that we want to take when it feels as though somebody does not want to do better?

Because sometimes that's exactly the case. As much as we don't just simply discard of people, there are some people who are being willfully violent. And it is not discarding of them if you are trying to keep yourself safe. If your point is to make sure that I am safe, other people in the space are safe, how do we make sure that that continues?

If that means that they need to find a different way to interact with King outside of the specific situation, then yes. But that is usually, there should be other steps involved in that before we just immediately jump to that. Do you feel as though, like, um, in your experiences of, like, kink or community, that there are ways to manage that?

Because I know it's a very complex conversation.

Nicole: Yeah, that's what I was just gonna say. It's nuanced, right? Very, very nuanced. Because, you know, and I liked what you had said about, you know, Is it conscious that they're doing this or, you know, what's their intentionality? I mean, there's just so much packed behind this that I think it's kind of glossed over, but it's an important piece in terms of, yeah, what it means to be in community, right.

With people. And I think, I mean, my belief. as like a therapist is that hurt people cause harm, right? What's the hurt people hurt others? Hurt people hurt people. Yeah, exactly. I'm like, I'm struggling hurt people hurt people, right? So then it's like, when you think about that sort of frame, I have this draw to like, call them in closer and continue to call them in closer.

But then the reality is that can continue to cause harm for the community. Right. And so then it's just so tricky. Um, And then I start to think about larger ideas of like, okay, well, then they go see a therapist, right? Or something of that level. But then also what does it mean truly in a larger like anarchy sense that like in our communities, when something gets to that level, we push it off to the capitalistic structure of like, go get outside of our, our community somewhere else, you know, but then also needing to keep the community safe.

And then I just go into a spin of like, this is, this is a complex. So hence why it's. It's just way more complex than the Twitter nuance of, you know, or, or a lot of people's choices of, yeah, just throw them out. And it's like, what if that's you? What if that was your, you know, lover? And the reality is that, you know, if we know ruptures and repairs happen in our normal day to day relationships, you know, our, our relationships in general, then it's inevitable that when you're playing, it's going to happen there.

And particularly when you're playing an edge place. Edge play, it's going to happen. And so what do you do as a community when that happens is, is nuanced and complex. And so I appreciate you, you know, sharing how your community handles it and maybe some more insight for other listeners who are looking to navigate this.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah, I think it's the intentionality of what community means, right? Because I think a lot of the time we also kind of dilute what community might mean. And community means we show up even when shit is hurting, right? We show up even when it feels as though it's really difficult and it's uncomfortable.

And it also means that we share the load. So if it doesn't feel like I can necessarily do that work on a specific day, how is it that I can also rely on other people to show up to know that I am not the only person who is maybe responsible for this, I am not the only person who should be doing processes of accountability because it needs to happen as a community and if harm, so for example, I've had an experience in my past where a friend of mine had done harm and the ways that Another friend of mine and I decided to do it was, okay, cool.

The first step, we reached out to the person who had been harmed. We tried to figure out, okay, do you feel like you want to be involved in this at any point? So trying to find out firstly, how do we center the person who's been harmed? And trying to figure out, okay, cool. You don't want to be involved in this conversation.

Are you comfortable in us taking it forward? Perfect. You are okay with us doing that. Then we reach out to the person who's done the harm. We go to them with a couple of suggestions in terms of this is how we can hold some of this with you. This is what we feel is a personal responsibility on your side.

And this is how we can support in your personal responsibility. And then you allow that person to also make the choice because simply because you've done the harm and you want to enter back into a community. It doesn't mean that you'll always say yes. Right. Because some people are just like, Oh, cool.

You're holding me accountable. I'm actually not interested in this. Then it's like, fine. You've made your own decision. That's perfectly okay. So what that experience became is we went to this friend with a couple of suggestions. We said, this is how we can hold. This is how we can support. They decided not to, we haven't spoken since.

So at other times, it's just a case of what is it that I can control in this situation? What is it that I can't control? You can't force people into accountability. You can't force people into ways of working in terms of community. And I know for a fact that They probably have a different sort of story to tell on their side because their experience was maybe a little bit different.

My experience was also a little bit different, but we can hold both of those truths by saying we did the best that we could at that time with the resources that we had and all we can do in the future is try to do a little bit better. Right. So I know for myself, it's also trying to make sure that the people who are holding me accountable in my community aren't just my friends.

Because that also makes things a lot more complicated. Right. So are there people who in these different so me among us does this thing that speaks about specific pod mapping. Right. And I know that she specifically speaks about it because she says. It assists with disability in terms of disability justice and disability care, but it also helps us figure out who we talk to when harm is done.

So we don't know who to talk to unless we prepare before the harm is done. Because once the harm is done, also everybody is incredibly activated and you can't necessarily think in the ways that you want to. You can't act in the ways that you want to. So it all takes prep and it all takes communication and trying to figure out, okay.

These people are part of my close circle. These are part of my general community. This is when I start to involve community frameworks. This is when I start to involve institutional frameworks. So trying to also allow exactly as you said, these capitalist solutions as the last resort. I don't think I would ever suggest almost immediately.

Oh, no, you need to go to therapy because then you need to think about resources. Think about readiness. You need to think about is talk therapy even going to be the solution for this person? Do they perhaps need to talk to a traditional healer? Because a lot of the times what i've been seeing in my own work of intimacy healing Is a lot of those wounds aren't even ours.

A lot of those times they are intergenerational. There's been violence in your past. There's been harm done in your past. There's ways that you have been kind of conditioned not to ask for help. There's ways that you've been conditioned not to accept or see or hear a no. So how do we also think of all of these different solutions that don't only involve who go to a therapist, go to a somatic practitioner, go get some help from a herbalist, go work with a traditional healer, where are all of these different pockets that in totality then create the community at large, instead of just relying on like, oh, no, but this is the person who was supposed to hold the space and it's their responsibility to sort out now by themselves.

Nicole: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. It's so tricky too because even on, you know, the therapist side, the reality is that, you know, there's no education on sexuality that's required at least to become a psychologist. Yeah. So what that means is That's tricky. At least in, at least in the States. I don't know about your country.

But at least in the States, there's no required. So say you do have this experience, someone has that. They and say, we say, Oh, go to a therapist. The reality is they might get a therapist who has significant bias against kink. And then all of a sudden here's that and is like, well, you shouldn't be doing that at all, you know, and just takes them down a whole different route.

So I think, you know, in the large history of psychology and it's, you know, roots with white men, you know, we have to be thinking about the ways that that, you know, yeah. Beginning continues to infiltrate and create biases towards certain types of things like kink and different intersecting identities behind that.

Right? So the reality is, it's not always the best move to actually go to a therapist, depending on where you sit in that with the bias that the field has, you know, and my dream is that by creating this space where we can talk about these conversations, I don't know if it will happen in our lifetime. But maybe in the future that like therapy will not be needed because we could actually have the communities where we would hold one another, where the skills of whatever it was that we were taught to become these healers, quote unquote, and they're important skills, but I think that everyone should have them so that therapy could.

No longer exist because it, you know, this is not how people, you know, functioned in communities for centuries before the idea of psychology. Right? So there's, there's a lot tied up in that, but I can imagine. Yeah, but that's why I appreciate you talking about the complexities of navigating this. In relationships, right?

In community. And I was just thinking about too, even when you were talking about the responsibilities of that dom to know when the sub is saying, no, go more, go more. It's like, we also have to talk about the reality of like the endorphin rush. Right? Like, Yeah. You know, like you're, you're in that altered state of consciousness because your endorphins are going right.

And so, so much complexity here in terms of consent and edge play. I mean, I'm curious if you'd want to say anything more to that. I see you nodding.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah. No, I mean, I'm nodding because I'm completely in agreement. I think it speaks to exactly what we were speaking about in terms of embodiment. Right. So if a dom also in a specific situation doesn't necessarily understand what embodiment is, even for them, they might not realize that this person is asking you to go harma that harder

Yeah. That might cause harm on them, but it might also cause harm on you. Yes. 'cause how do you then deal with. For example, the ways that your body is then reacting or might feel tomorrow because you're doing a little bit more than you should. How will you feel if the next time you play this person doesn't necessarily want to play with you because they were like, Hmm, you know, I am, I'm struggling a little bit to try to figure out if this person can take care of me.

How do you then feel if somebody might feel differently about the ways that you were playing the days after because maybe they pushed their own body too hard and they didn't, you know, so it's about thinking about all of these different sorts of things and when it comes to having kind of that relationship with your own body, and being able to have those conversations beforehand with somebody to say, give me some sort of signal.

So if it feels as though Um, You know, even building some of those cues. So without just saying, cool, we're just going to have a self safe word. What are some of the other non verbal cues that you'll let me know that, okay, maybe not this time. And also can we then agree if this isn't, you know, consensual non consent situation, what are the times that you will also take my yes.

be what it is, take my no to be what it is, and also understand when exactly, as you said, those endorphins are conflating the two. Because I know that feeling very well. I also felt really pissed off when I kept saying to somebody, no, no, no, why, why are you stopping? And they were like, I think you should stop.

And it took me, you know, Maybe a couple of years, probably just to be like, Oh, okay, I see why you did that. And they were doing that also for my own case. That was the ways that they were caring for me and the ways that they now have allowed me to think a little bit more about. Okay. Let me pay attention to what that yes and no feels like in my body, even though those hormones are telling me, no, keep going, keep going, keep going.

Yeah. Yeah. It's tricky.

Nicole: It is. Cause you're like, trust me. I want more. Give it now. Right. Like the toddler comes out and said, no. You know? Um, but it, it's, it, yeah, it's so hard. I mean, and, and also we can name the hotness of that, right? Like there's so much power in the tease of the. You know what? We're actually going to stop right here and then we're going to have a communicate.

We're going to have a conversation about it and you are going to wait for more, you know, like there's so much power in that I think gets lost because we just want to, it reminds me of like the, the kids with the marshmallow test that just want to eat it immediately rather than wait for the two. It's like, wait for the two.

It's good. I promise. Uh, but I think it's also, uh, you know, important to name, uh, the pressure that can come from a sub, right? There's so much on the other side where it seems like, you know, the Dom did this, the Dom did that. But the reality is, you know, the sub can also put an immense amount of pressure on the Dom.

Please, why won't you come on? You know, and I think particularly if you come from a different, you know, depending on the politics of identity there, you know, I, I hear a lot of women. Who will put pressure on other people and be like, Oh, but I'm the oppressed group. I can never, you know, it's impossible for me to pressure anybody else.

Right. But what you don't understand is that when you're saying, please, please, please, please, please, even though it seems soft, you're putting emotional pressure and coercion on the Dom. And I feel like that's not given enough space either,

Tshegofatso Senne: you know, that's incredibly true. Yeah. Because it also does feel like sometimes then, especially when you get subs that are more on the bratty side, that it then feels as though I am purposefully pushing your boundary and I want to see if you can handle it.

And a lot of times, if as a dom, you're not necessarily certain or, you know, you, you don't feel affirmed in then knowing that. You can say no as the Dom. You can also say no. It's not only on the sub to say no. So it's that thing of then realizing also that how do I ensure that I am taking care of both of us?

Because that is often the largest responsibility of being a Dom, right? Is not only taking care of the other person, but taking care of you. So how are you then navigating that space when somebody is pushing your own boundaries and you have to feel very secure in? you know, verbalizing your no can be very tricky.

And especially when you then get those people who are almost taunting in, Oh no, we're just playing. And I'm like, you're not playing, you're not playing. And trying to then distinguish between what is playing, what is brattiness. What is pushing a little bit as part of that tease and what is completely disrespecting the know.

Nicole: Hence the beauty of conversation, you know, like what if we just talked about that before we started doing it? Like, I don't know, you know, obviously not everything's going to be solved, but it would get a lot closer. I mean, it would get so much closer if we could have that conversation. Hey, when I. When, if I were to push here, how would that feel for you?

Right. And then being able to like quite literally take it so slowly. Like there's so much, I mean, maybe I just like to be teased, but damn, there's just so much heat and being able to like, just like, Oh, I want to try this. How did that land for you? Let's pause here. Let's check in. Did it land well?

Anything you want to see different moving forward? And then keep edging slowly and slowly rather than just trying to grab that marshmallow and stuff it down the throat before you even taste it. You know, there's so much there to go slowly.

Tshegofatso Senne: It's just that act of savouring. Like how can we savour this moment?

How can we? Basically play with time, right? So how do we make sure that we're making that time a little bit more elastic? How do we make every feeling a little bit more heightened? How do we make sure that the sensation is what we're focusing on and not just what is going to happen at the climax, whatever climax looks like to you.

So, yeah, I'm a very big fan of drawing things out. I'm a big fan of a slow burn that might also just be the, you know, The Wimp Queer in me, right? So I like, I like that thing of like, Are we going to? Are we not going to? Are we going to? Are we not going to? And then when it finally happens, it feels so much more heightened.

Yes it does. Than exactly as you said, if we just grab that marshmallow and now it's like, okay. It's gone and now I want more and the more is usually then where I'm like, we're gonna have to pull back because you did too much. You did too much. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Nicole: Mm hmm. Some more green flags to look for in terms of when you're meeting people, right?

Of like, how fast are they trying to go? Are they willing to slow down? And, and if you ask to slow down, dear listener, and they push back on you, that's a huge red flag.

Tshegofatso Senne: Um, unless if you've spoken about it beforehand, you see, so I'm like, it's like, we keep saying all of these sorts of different things, but it's the awareness of body, mind and spirit, right?

Being able to have those conversations for me to also, whether I am a dominant or I am submissive in that specific place scene, how do we navigate what all of those different sensations bring up? And also how we hold all of those, because what happens if I then. Keep going and trigger a response from you that neither you or I were expecting.

How then do we figure out ways to hold what might be coming up? And the best way to do it is to continuously keep talking. And I know talking just feels so unsexy to people. And I'm like, that's so hot. What do you mean? Like, break everything down for me. Yeah. I'm like, narrate the scene for me. I like it. I like it.

Keep going. Yeah.

Nicole: Right. And there's so much intimacy in that process because I feel like when you're communicating, whether it's during the scene, after the scene or anywhere in your relationship and in any type of relationship, right? The intimacy of being understood is so erotic to feel like we're on the same page and we're co creating the narrative moving forward of what we're doing in our relationship.

And I think that is so So hot, right? So I, and I, I hope people can see that. I mean, I'm, I'm, I'm holding the space to where we're in, you know, and then the space where people are just so orgasm focus. And then the space where I came from as a very Christian purity culture, we're even talking about sex feels impossible, right?

So there's just, there's such a spectrum of this to where people were are at, but there's just so much juiciness in the conversations and talking about what your fantasies are and how you want to construct them. I mean, Getting creative about that can, can be erotic and, and it's so hot.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yes. And there's also just so much hotness in knowing that this person is making the effort to understand me.

So that assumption that a lot of people, or not even assumption, but I feel like a lot of people want to jump all of the steps. To say, I want to get to a place where we know what we mean without having to say anything, just give me eyes and I'll know exactly what you want. And I'm like, okay, but how do you think that people get to that point?

It needs to be continuously built on. We need to both set the intention. We need to both. Actually follow through with the fact that we are making the effort to learn each other. We are making the effort to continuously understand that, Oh, okay. When Tsukho does this specific thing, it means this. When Nicole does this specific thing, it means this.

And how do we then try to figure out ways to then get to the point where we understand each other in those hot ways where I can just look across the room and I know exactly what you want. It's not going to happen from the first get like, so I'm like, I think a lot of people. Tend to rush that intimacy, right, without thinking about the work that goes into actually building that, which oftentimes is also kind of my philosophy around how we build any sort of community and especially kink community.

You want to say, okay, we have shared interests. We're meeting at this place. Surely then our values align, our politics align, the ways we deal with harm align. And I'm like, no, not really. We're making a lot of assumptions about this. And how do we continuously grow together? How do we hold each other's complexities?

Whether you're going to feel as though, okay, I no longer feel interested in this thing. Will you understand? Cool. I now want to explore a little bit more of my soft limits. Then we can continuously grow together and then it becomes a lot easier for us to get to that point where I can just ask you to kneel and then you're like, Oh, I know what's coming.

I know what's coming. And that's also incredibly hot just to know what's coming. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, exactly. It's good. It's good. And I'm just, I'm holding, you know, the space for the people who have never explored kink and who don't understand then, you know, the intimacy of what you're talking about there of, of, yeah, we've done this for years and we've had conversations.

And so when I do look across the room like that, they know what I mean. And I think there's also so much, you know, You know, when people are in long term relationships and they hit that space of boredom, I'm just like, there is so much more play to happen there. Right? And like, what kind of plays you can reach with that person kind of what we're talking about of, of years of conversation and connection.

I mean, The people who are bored like they're, we got to expand that space to play and what is possible within those relationships. Cause there's a lot that comes with the beauty of that time, energy and intimacy. And yeah, I know you talked a little bit about the softer sides of BDSM and also wanted to hit a little bit on the spirituality of it.

So I'm curious if you want to speak to that now.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah, definitely. I think, I mean, so I have been within the BDSM community's lifestyle for almost 10 years now. I think it's just over 10 years. And I have been a spiritual, spiritually gifted or spiritually inclined person for most of my life, but I was only trained in these past two years.

So it's been within that training and within the time after that, that I started putting these pieces together of. Okay, but intimacy is also deeply spiritual and understanding myself in a spiritual way. And when I speak about spirituality, I'm not necessarily even attaching it to any sort of religion.

I'm not attaching it to any sort of like divination or practice or culture. It is simply that awareness that there is something more than me. And for me, That's something more is that acknowledgement of where it is that I came from and the thousands of people who had to exist for me to get to the point where I exist and realizing that in those thousands of people, so many of them were also sluts.

So many of them were also deeply queer. So many of them played with kink and BDSM, even though they might not have called it that. Right. So many of them have done harm or have been harmed. And I carry some of those wounds with me. So it's just trying to meld what then is spoken about as body, mind, and spirit, and trying to be a little bit more aware of.

That embodiment, being aware of how it is that in that embodiment, some of my ancestors might be coming through. So I know in specific situations, maybe if I feel incredibly emotional, that oh, okay, I know which ancestor that is. There are other times where I feel like the biggest slut and I'm like, Oh, I know, I know who's showing up.

So it only comes with that full body awareness of paying attention to the ways that sorts of sensations are coming to you. Right? So there might be somebody who comes a little bit more because they play a lot with sensation. Maybe there's a specific ancestor who only comes up when you're being bound really tightly.

Maybe there's one who only comes up when you specifically play with blood. So there's all of these different sorts of sensations that I think, once I started realizing the connections between my spirituality, the sensations I was experiencing in my body, My own intuition and the ways I was continuously just like burning to find more pleasure.

I was like, Oh, okay, cool. I literally come from a line of slur. Yeah. And it feels, it feels so wonderful to be able to own that. Yeah. And to be able to kind of get rid of all this weight that a lot of us that might have grown up in incredibly religious households or in, um, Kind of oppressive or stifling environments to say that a lot of the time and as Audrey Lorde speaks about the power of the erotic, right?

It's a lot of the time that information and those sensations and those understandings are kept from us because It's powerful, and they know how much more you'll be able to access, how much more you'll be able to do, how much more of a residual effect it will be once you're aware of that power, and aware of that connection, and aware of how sexuality, sensuality, spirituality, intuition, and desire all play together.

And it becomes so much more fun when you're able to play with that and when you're able to play with something as simple as, you know, knowing that I'm a chronically ill person, I'm a disabled person, but within kink, I feel so fucking powerful. I feel as though I can consent. To pain in my body that I am making a choice that I want this, I am able to offer this to other people for them to hold how powerful it is when they get to pick pain and on the inverse, how powerful it then becomes when I know that.

It's not just me experiencing this. It's not just me and the people in this room. It's me and people who've lived long before, because they have also been wanting to experience these things through you, who is living in a time where Things are a lot more free. Things are a lot more, you know, you have a lot more access to information.

You have a lot more access to community. You can listen to podcasts like this to access a lot more people and people who are living 50, 60 thousands of years ago might not have had that access. And now that yearning is coming up through you. And how is it that you can also almost. feel that intergenerational yearning, because I know we speak about intergenerational trauma so much, but the yearning, because there's so many people who didn't get to be queer, who didn't get to be outwardly kinky, who didn't get to experience the beauty of power and play and pleasure and pain playing together.

And how can I then be able to, in just grazing a knife along somebody's thigh in just kneeling until my knees are painful. And how do I get to do a little bit more than just think about myself in this moment? It feels like presence and mindfulness that goes across time, basically, because I think to me.

When you interact with kink and spirituality in that way, it is definitely a form of time travel.

Nicole: Sure. Absolutely. Yeah. And I, I, I journal every morning and I'm always writing about like how the ancestors that never, like you said, never had this liberation can, can like move through me and be in this space because it's true, right?

Like they never had access to these things. And depending on different intersecting identities of that, even more so. Right. So to be able to like embody me. embody that today in honor of like the journey of, you know, the reality that we stand on the shoulders of giants who had to actively fight for us to get to this space where we could be able to have this conversation without, you know, being arrested or just so many things.

So. I try to hold that with gratitude when I, you know, hold conversations like this and get to play because it's so true and, and, and I, I pray that the generations after us just keep running and going, you know, and continue that lineage of divine slut hood and, and, and what we're talking about, right?

Yeah. I really take that one after my Christian upbringing. I really, I really run with that.

Totally. Yeah. Um, one of my partners was like planning a burning at the stake scene for me as a way to reclaim that one. So I was like, this could be fun. Um, but yeah, there's just so much there and I'm, I'm holding space for the people who, you know, want to explore these things and hear us speaking about that and, and the letting down of shame because I think what we both know is that there's just So many people, I mean, even I just recorded a, um, an episode with Dr.

Elizabeth chef who, um, are just released when she does expert witnessing for kink cases that go to the court when, you know, worst case scenarios. Yeah. Yeah. And she was talking about the research she had found that said, you know, 70 percent of people have BDSM fantasies, right? So whether you enact them or not is a choice, right?

But if we're thinking about 70%, I think there's so much more. Need for conversations like this that hit on the intimacy and the love and the dare I say psychological transformation Field of psychology where you're at, you know what I mean? Because when you feel empowered in these moments That doesn't just stay in that moment there.

It transfers out to how you carry yourself in the day to day and how you play with people in other areas of your life. And so it's, it's transformative.

Tshegofatso Senne: Hmm. And exactly what you're saying in terms of how many people have these thoughts. And a lot of the times when we feel like we don't necessarily feel safe to practice them in ways that feel like they can hold us gently, then they come out the most.

Inconvenient, inappropriate, and in harmful ways. So it feels a lot better and a lot more grounded when it feels as though, okay, let me allow myself a little bit of exploration. Let me do this thing of almost permitting myself to say that I am going to lean into what this yearning is, and I'm going to lean into it in a way that feels radical, that feels as though I can honor exactly what it is that my past.

Needs to heal what it is that I feel like I might need to grow in for my future as well because I'm just like thinking about the ways that specific kink scenes have triggered and healed things for me just in these past two years, you know, just being able to be in experiences where a lot of the time as I play with my gender also kink has allowed me that.

Because, I mean, I should have known, you know, how switchy I was. I was like, I've always been a switch, even with gender, you know, it's never been one or another. So it's, it's just interesting how many different forms of healing are contained in this thing. The healing that happens in the body, that happens in the mind in terms of shame.

Also the healing that happens. In the past, in the future, that happens in community, that allows me to show the fuck up, quite honestly,

Nicole: yeah. Totally, totally. I'm, I'm thinking about the field of psychology and how we do, you know, play therapy with kids and find so much in that. And it's like, well, what if we remember?

We all have an inner child and we all like to play and maybe there's some play therapy here, you know, for us to be exploring in terms of parts of ourselves and who we're becoming things that we're carrying. I mean, there's just so much here. So I am. Yeah, really thankful that you, you know, shared your expertise and your lived experience and your community experience in the space and one of my favorite questions I've been holding on to as I've been doing this work with guest is asking, you know, in this moment right now, if you could tune back to yourself, hearing BDSM and the Twitter space for the first time, is there anything that you would want to say to your younger self?

Tshegofatso Senne: Hmm. That's a wonderful question. I would honestly say lean a little harder. Like don't be afraid of this thing that you feel might consume you in ways that you might not want to be consumed. Know that it is going to lead you into forms of understanding that no one can hand to you, because it feels as though.

This creative outlet, this form of play, this being able to release shame, this being able to find different forms of care that you might not have had access to, that speaks to like five year old Tzecho, that speaks to 11 year old Tzecho, that speaks to even the inner teenager who just wants to be a brat, who just wants to be numbed.

Who just wants to feel pain in consensual ways. This leaning is going to be so much more powerful for you than you think it is.

Nicole: Mm. So true. So true. I know there's a listener somewhere who's like there in that spot. So those words, you know, are powerful. Yeah.

Tshegofatso Senne: And what would you say?

Nicole: That's a great question.

You're pushing it back on me. Oh, I got it. I got to step up into the space. Um, Ooh, I think just. You know that, I, this world, word is packed with so much, but this desire you have to play with these things are normal. You know what I mean? I, that's I think a huge one is, is wondering is something wrong with me that I have these desires?

And, and the answer is no. Right? And it's the choice of how do you want to go about playing with them consensually and through conversations and all of that. And then kind of like you said, the ways that that gives you lessons about yourself that you couldn't get otherwise. Someone could say this to you, this is what you're going to understand.

Here you go. But until like we, you know, hit on multiple times through this, it's that embodiment of that experience and the way that that transforms you and the ways that, yeah, I mean. The ways that I've found intimacy and love and empowerment and play through this type of dynamic is, is, you know, almost ineffable for the good, you know, that that is because I don't, we don't have to always have words for it.

So it's hard to really hit that. But like, it's been so transformative in terms of my psyche that there is no going back in that way. You know, once you've opened this up to this level of play and embodiment and connection, there is no going back. And for the better, I feel so much more in touch with my rage and the way that that's been helpful in terms of social justice, that's also something I've been speaking about, right.

Is that like, we need to feel that rage and, and it's been fun to like take that rage into a. Space where I'm like, I'm fucking furious. Can we play with this here? Consensually? Yeah, that's great. That keeps me in the fight. Right. Cause then you're like, okay, like I can put it here and we go back, you know?

Tshegofatso Senne: I honestly love that you mentioned rage because I think, and especially for when you're incredibly young and you start noticing things about the world and the ways that the world treats you and the ways that you're craving all of this.

Outlet. And craving all of these ways to use anger in ways that don't feel like you're burning yourself out, but that you're able to restore something within yourself. I think that's so important. And to do that, I would have loved to hear that. Yeah, I would have honestly loved to hear that. And to just say, here is a space where your anger can be as angry as you need it to be, as long as you know, also that once you leave here.

Allow it to do something that feels good, that feels healthy, that doesn't feel as though you're just holding it all in. I think so many people need so many more creative outlets for their age.

Nicole: Mm hmm. Absolutely. We're getting to a space where more like, Oh yeah, go take a boxing class. Go do that. That's okay.

You know, so I think. Being able to do that in a space with partners that you love and that there's been communication. Right. Cause that's the difference. And I know we've hit on this multiple times throughout the, you know, this conversation is the ways that like, we can do things without the awareness versus the conscious awareness of like, Hey, I have this rage.

I want to play with it here. Or do you want to do that with me? Right. That is very different than what I think frequently happens within our society is people have this and then they let it out. Right. So. I think collectively we're going to get to a better space when we are, one, better able to communicate, more in our bodies to notice our emotions, able to play with those emotions in outlets that make sense for us in our world, and then use that embodiment to keep enacting that change.

I mean. I think it's revolutionary to really like focus on that and the pleasure that is in that.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah. Yeah. This was exactly the conversation I needed on this here Saturday.

Nicole: Happy Saturday. Hell yeah. Well, I want to hold space too as we come towards the end. I always check in with each guest to make sure there wasn't anything that you wanted to say to the listeners and the community.

Otherwise I can guide us towards a closing question.

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah. I mean, I think. The only other thing I would probably say is just play. Like, so whether it is that you're making people pink with slaps, whether you're holding them with rope, whether you're staying in your room and exploring all of this by yourself, all of that is incredibly radical.

Just being able to maintain that connection, that intimacy, that sensation, getting a taste of pleasure and safety. And having pain in acted on you in ways that you wanted to be being able to tap into those emotions that you might not have ever felt safe to be able to share with people the rage, the numbness, the anger.

The wanting to enact pain on other people, all of these things are so incredibly radical, being able to give yourself that permission is such an incredible form of care that I felt for myself, because it's realizing that. in kisses that have been given to me, like in forms of bruises, in rope indentations, in different sorts of cuts, in rug burn, in sore knees, and you know, sometimes in a little bit of blood.

Both of those are incredibly kinky and spiritual for me, and being able to hold both of those together is how I allowed some of my yearning and my needs To lead me to something that feels really good for myself. So I would say just keep playing because playful pleasure allows us such a wonderful space to heal.

It gives us the radicalness of feeling, of healing, of connection, of knowing that You're not doing this by yourself, even when you are doing it by yourself in your room. So I hope that kink, BDSM, pleasure, and healing are just a soft place to land.

Nicole: So, so powerful. And I'll be, I'll be waiting for your book one day.

Where's the book on spirituality and BDSM? I want to read more. Don't hit me with a good time. But we need you! We need you, right? Yeah. Yeah. I read, um, Radical Ecstasy. That's the closest I've seen to anything, um, from the writers of The Ethical Slut. Yeah, they wrote a book on that. That was pretty good. Um, or there was another one I found from this researcher in London, UK, I don't know, um, called Play, Pain, and Religion.

Ooh. Creating the gestalt through kink. Yeah. And so it was a part of their research where they would ask people about what it means and all that stuff. So you, you might like that. That was a really interesting book. I love that. I think I had to pay like 50 bucks to get it, but it felt, it felt very worth it.

I was like, I need it. So when you're ready to write your book, I'll, I'll be there buying that first copy. Okay.

Tshegofatso Senne: And I will remember this conversation as the genesis of that book. Totally. I had to make it religious.

Nicole: For sure, of course, of course. Well, if you feel good, I can guide us towards our closing question.

Yeah. Okay. Well then, the last question that I ask every guest on the podcast is, What is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?

Tshegofatso Senne: Hmm. That's so interesting. My mind went in like six different places. Mm hmm. Um, I would say that you don't always have to know, right? So you don't always have to know the reasons that you're doing things.

You don't always have to know all of the answers and the ways to do things. You don't always have to know exactly the sensation that you're looking to get out of something. But what you do need to know is how. So it's that intention. What is actually the intention that I'm setting in terms of, Am I simply exploring?

Am I allowing this to give me a place to put my rage? Am I allowing this to transform me in different ways? Is my intention simply to connect to somebody and in that not knowing, allow different forms of answers to come to you. Because I think in my own experience of, of kink, of doing different sorts of pleasure work, of doing different sorts of holding in terms of space for people as a healer, as a facilitator, as a friend.

I know that I don't always have to know, but sometimes all I have to do is just sit with the feeling. So allowing that feeling to give you the information that it wants to give you. Is all I would say to people. You don't always have to know.

Nicole: Yeah. Very powerful. My therapist always used to say living into the answers and I love that, right?

Like I'm living into the answers. I don't need to know right now, but I'm taking that step. And, and also even holding space for when we have conflicting feelings, right? The different parts that will say, I want this. And the other half that says, I don't want this and holding all of that nuances, we live into these answers and the answers that might change throughout time, right?

You, you have one experience and you felt like it now, months later, you might feel different about it, right? And just holding space for the ways that we change and evolve, I think is such a important part of the human experience.

Tshegofatso Senne: Mm. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Not knowing is a good thing to play with.

Nicole: Yes, it is.

Yeah. Well, it was such a pleasure. Where can the listeners find you and connect with you and your future book?

Tshegofatso Senne: Yeah. Okay. Um, so I'm mostly active on Instagram. My handle is mbongomuffin. So it's M B O N G O and the word muffin. And I have my own website so you can get information. You can get in contact with me on my website.

It's chofatzoszenne. com. So my full name. com. And I, if you ever have any stories, any experiences you'd like to share with your general queer community, my platform, Hedony, that's heyhedony. com is always open for submissions. I'm always down to collaborate with people, to share people's stories, to share their experiences.

So yeah, please get in contact with me. I always want to get to know people.

Nicole: Great. I'll have all of those linked below so the listener can just go to the show notes and connect with you directly. Thank you for coming on the show and co creating this beautiful conversation with me.

Tshegofatso Senne: Thank you so much. I loved all the questions.

I love being able to go on this very convoluted journey with you. Yeah. It felt very affirming for my brain.

Nicole: Mm hmm. Me too. Me too.

If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And head on over to ModernAnarchyPodcast. com to get resources and learn more about all the things we talked about on today's episode. I want to thank you for tuning in, and I will see you next week.


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