On my triumphant return to socializing in the BDSM scene – anxiety on a night out

Lyra reflects on her difficult experience attending a social event and the lessons she learnt. The piece was first published on her site.

It’s been about a month since I attended my first Tears for Beers. It’s taken this long to process how all that went. 

Take a healthcare worker with social anxiety; throw in a recent musclo-skeletal injury and the pressure to impress at my first fetish social.

The way I prepped and premed for this. The clothes, makeup, earrings and bobbypins strewn about the room I languished in the entire next day.

I went in with a nervous edge. It’s my first night out in a long time. As in, I stopped clubbing in 2017. I stopped drinking in 2019. My dream social experience involves something quiet, like going for a massage or watching a movie, loud bunkers ain’t my thing. Coupled with a fresh whiplash and muscle injury affecting half my body, I was in for a good night(?) 

Ok more like so long and goodnight. 

(at least I didn’t get kicked out)

But I’m a domme now, right?

I not only have to BE SOCIAL, I have to be the instigator, the first move-maker, the top. This feels somewhat alien to me. Socialized as a privileged white girl I had cookie-cutter leanings. My deep well of catholic guilt runneth over to the point where ya girl didn’t even masturbate until last year. Or… didn’t masturbate and manage to cum. But that’s a story for another post.

I’m a domme. I have to be serious, tall, imposing, fearsome. But my issue is that I don’t feel this way. I’m burnt out. I can’t turn it on and off like a switch. Family stress and physical injury has had me feeling isolated and crazy. I’m convinced if I shut down and hibernate I can push through it. But the social scene is opening up. Our T*ry Overlords have decided it’s safe to go out again. I’m feeling overworked and letdown by my main job. I want to domme full time, and this is my chance.

People were so nice to me when I arrived. I was dripping in sweat from hopping on and off of trains. I was dabbing my hair with a hankie in an effort to not look like a wet rat. The table service was, as you would expect it would be on a Wednesday in an underground crypt club. Lacking. It’s also a million degrees down here and I am wearing wool trousers. I remember most of the faces and some of the names. I didn’t get plastered until late into the night, so co-pervert comrades sat with me and got to know the sweat puddle. When my beer arrived I choked it down. My mouth was so dry and I was so nervous.  

I had fairly productive conversations with the table that kindly invited me to join them. My nerves were turned up to 11 and so was the music, so that made for a really intellectual atmosphere, mostly people asking me questions about myself and me gawping at them like a fish. When I did answer questions it was with speed and defensiveness, like I wanted it to be over with.

 Our group essentially collected all the newies, the people flying solo. I watched one guy with an annoying face enter and just knew he’d be stuck to me like glue all night. Why do submissive men talk so much? SHHHHHH. I spent our entire conversation with my eyes roving around for someone, anyone to catch them, and break me away from the limpet now attached to me, standing over me and actively preventing anyone else from joining our convo. 

I think I started to panic at that point. I wasn’t making connections. I wasn’t impressing as a dominatrix or really even as a person. I was dumbfounded and wide eyed. So I did my usual party trick and absolutely rinsed the bar.

Later on in the night I was talking to, then kissing a pair of friends by the bar (double vax and test for work- SUCK IT). Then one drink became 3 or 4 and they ditched me. Or moved out of my toddler’s field of vision. Seriously, why am I like this?

The most ick-inducing moment is burned into my brain. I joined a conversation and felt everyone leave. It was like the world’s saddest magic trick. How to make 5 possible new friends book it away from you. It’s fair, I was slurring and sloppy. I would’ve done the same.

So my monkey brain decided it would be a fab idea to sit beside the girl I had been kissing and playfully bite her shoulder. I got a view of the woman across from her’s face as I did. Abject horror. I did a faux pas. At the kink club. Bad girl. bad domme. 

I don’t know if my brain blacked out in the interim. I used to think the anaesthetic affect of alcohol saved me from my embarrassing moments. Now I know they caused, amplified and vilified me the next day. 

I have snippets. By now I was fighting contact lenses, heels and pain from my injury. I remember a trip to the toilets with the beetlejuice broadway lighting. I remember speaking to groups of different people. Walking around with lipstick smeared down my chin and on my nose. 

I was moving through the sea of people towards Woman Whose Shoulder I Bit. I remember her name but I doubt she’d want it posted here. I casually (slurredly) asked her where her and her friend were heading now and she told me straight with a really kind voice at I was “a bit drunk.” So no. Very British. I can hear it echoing in my head and my body recoils with embarrassment. 

So I Irish Goodbye-d that shit. I smiled at her like she had given me some great insight. I did a pat down to make sure I hadn’t lost anything and I booked it. I turned on my heel and boosted away from the group of 8-10 people all saying their goodbyes. I didn’t even look back. I was legit too ashamed. 

How did I fuck up my first kink party?

Well, here’s how:

1. Over expectation 

2. The demon drink

3. Not being authentic self 

I showed up there prepared to schmoose and make contacts. I’m spending my next evening out being friendly, respecting boundaries and enforcing my own.

I offer up my sincere apology to anybody who was in attendance and saw me. Or had to deal with me. Or just the second-hand embarrassment. I apologize most of all to Woman Who’s Shoulder I Bit and her Man Friend. Nothing spoils chemistry like drinking past the ability to consent. 

My next social is August 3rd

I saw the ticket a few days after my astronomical hangover. Still reeling, it was in my basket and paid for at a touch of my fingertips. 

That’s one thing I can depend on myself for. When the demons really have their grip on me I can drag myself back. My body and my ego were bruised. I’ve winced a lot while writing this. I’m embarrassed and feel like a social pariah. 

I’m battered and bruised, cut up from the inside out, but determined to go back and try again. 

Mostly to fix first impressions and also because I want to apologise in person to WWSIB. I’ll be slugging the occasional beer between full fat Cokes. But only after I track down some people and apologise for being a batty crease. 

I’m coming back to Tears for Beers in a different mindset. I’m tempted to go in different hair so nobody recognizes me. However I’m trying to own it. I’m the tit that got panic drunk on an empty stomach at her first kink social. 

I’m not the first and I’m definitely wont’ be the last.

The worst has already happened.

What do I have to lose?

Miss Lyra666, 25 July, 2021

Reblogged: This Is Me

Little Sketch by Anna Vanes

The importance of early psychological disorder diagnosis is extremely evident in Tamra’s beautifully written blog-post, This is Me, – which must be read in its entirety – in which she provides a lucid biographical outline of her journey from childhood with anxiety and type 1 diabetes to middle-age and living mostly house-bound, suffering a variety of serious health problems.

Tamra’s case, albeit anecdotal, of multi-morbidity, long undiagnosed, suggests that early psycho-therapeutic attention is vital, especially, in such cases of concurrent conditions. Her type 1 diabetes diagnosis helped to obstruct her family’s attention to her psychological difficulties and also became another to ‘reason’ to hate herself for ‘inadequacy’ or ‘inferiority’ and engage in a lifelong pattern of self-harm and, later, self-medication. From this, as Tamra outlines, her health deteriorates, step-by-step, exacerbated by moments of misfortune.

“I come from a family thick with type 1 diabetics. There are six of us that I know of, my father, an aunt, one of my brothers, two cousins, and myself. Type 1 diabetes does have a hereditary link, but not always, and it is extremely rare for it to be so prominent in one family as it is in mine. I was diagnosed at age eight. I felt frightened, I knew what this disease is, I knew how dangerous it is, I knew I would forever have to take shots, prick my fingers, eat carefully, and would probably lose a leg, go blind, and die young. It was the mid 1980’s and these were the possibilities at that time.”

At the age of eleven, she lost her father, as a result of a stroke caused by complications from his type 1 diabetes. Tamra’s rage and self-harm only increased, as she paid little or no regard to her body and condition, “always running sky high blood sugars.”

She began to skip classes and then whole school days as she developed agoraphobia symptoms alongside her social anxiety. Her problems went unrecognised, even by herself. Though she graduated, she went on to suffer similarly in college and in the workplace: “I went through part time minimum wage jobs like a person with a cold goes through tissue. As soon as the anxiety of responsibility mixed with the anxiety of social environments and the outside world got too much, I would up and quit, take some time to recoup and then find a new job.”

Marriage and friends would bring new stresses and risk, alongside benefits. In her 30’s she describes using social drinking and smoking to suppress her pain and fear. A series of serious health crises followed. She underwent triple-bypass heart surgery necessitated by damage caused by her poorly managed diabetic condition and exacerbated by consumption of alcohol and her smoking. She then had multiple eye surgeries and would go on to suffer from hypothyroidism.

At this belated stage, however, her social anxiety and agoraphobia were diagnosed and she started medication and therapy. However, the impact of hypothyroidism and accompanying problems with obesity interrupted her treatments, as did a bereavement and serious accident.

Currently, she describes herself as being mostly house-bound, suffering insomnia and hypersomnia as well as some dysfunction with conscious awareness: “My dreams are so vivid (nothing new there, they always have been) I sometimes think they are real, and my reality feels like a dream. I also have trouble with my memory sometimes.”

It is notable that Tamra describes her brother’s childhood response to her father’s death as to become “militaristic” about taking care of his blood sugar levels – the opposite of her heightened reckless and, even, self-harming response. One can speculate whether the diagnosis of social anxiety and agoraphobia, as a child – even if subsequent treatment had zero effect on symptoms – would have reduced negative judgement of her by others and by herself,  by explaining her behaviours and difference, and, whether the pattern of self-harming could have been diverted.

Image by Anna Vanes

To read Tamra’s full blog-post at her site, tamrakgarcia.wordpress.com, click below.