Sunday, 3 May 2020

How to kneel - a short guide for fellow kinky slaves - Part 1

Priest kneeling  Period:     New Kingdom, Ramesside Dynasty:     Dynasty 19–20 Date:     ca. 1250–1070 B.C. Geography:     Country of Origin Egypt
Blame the ancient Egyptians.
My phone alarm goes off. I jerk awake and a chain jerks me back: I'm sleeping in my cell - Xena's dressing room - on a bedding roll, a short chain leash running from an attachment point in the wall to my new steel collar.

Hurriedly I unclip, slip out of my cell, and kneel at the foot of the bed waiting for my wife and mistress to wake...

Kneeling is odd because it seems such a natural slave posture, and yet it's impossible to keep up for any length of time.

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"Slaves kneel"
I've always thought of kneeling as a slave thing; the ultimate being present but not present, of making myself small. I probably picked it up from all those erotically charged kids books on the Ancient Egyptians.

Later, there was 1970s Fantasy art in crinkled second hand art books. Then, it was kneeling slave girls, but I got the idea.

Slaves kneel.

The joke is, historically, no they don't.

Or, they do sometimes, but mostly in cultures, like Ancient Egypt, where everybody kneels. I couldn't find a single contemporary illustration of a kneeling slave - not Roman, not Greek, not Egyptian.

That's because, kneeling is really impractical. Your legs inevitably go to sleep. Perhaps that's why kneeling is a gesture of submission - it's hard to leap up and defend yourself if your legs aren't working.

For practical reasons, a real slave would wait like an 1800s servant, standing unobtrusively out of sight, or at least out of line of sight, ready to serve.

Even so, we modern kinksters really like the idea, and I'm certainly... stuck with it. How then do we go about it?

It turns out there's a whole modern culture that spend a lot of time kneeling: the Japanese and they call it "seiza".

Wikipedia tells us:

Non-Japanese who have not grown up sitting in this posture may, however, have difficulty assuming it at all. Those unfamiliar with seiza will likely find that maintaining it for more than a minute or two tends to lead to paresthesia, whereby the compression of the nerves causes a loss of their blood flow, with the accompanying "pins and needles" feeling, followed by painful burning sensations, and then eventually complete numbness in the legs. However, the physical discomfort lessens with experience as the circulation of the blood improves. Experienced seiza practitioners can maintain the posture for forty minutes or more with minimal discomfort.

Reread that last paragraph: a mere 40 minutes is an achievement.

Kneeling is also the yoga pose, "Vajrasana". Typical recommendation is to aim for 2 minutes at the start, and work your way up to 5-10 minutes... this makes me feel good about my meagre 20 after 6 years practice.

However, I've recently improved. The last 5 minutes of that 20 came recently, and very quickly, and that's what this blog post is about.

CAVEATS: I'm not any sort of yoga instructor. What follows is just the result of googling and experimenting. If you have any sort of joint problems, kneeling is probably a bad idea and you should do further research. You can also "cheat" and simply order up a meditation cushion, or experiment with folded blankets behind the knees.

So, if you are male slave, submissive, here's how to get into a sustainable kneeling pose:

  1. Half kneel with your feet flat, your toes crossed and your knees a hands-breath apart so you aren't crushing your balls.
  2. If you're not naked, draw your clothing away from the crooks of your knees so it doesn't get trapped - this is really important!
  3. Lower your buttocks so they rest on your heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis - make a pelvic thrust - so that your buttocks really do rest on your heels.
  5. Relax your spine and sit naturally.
  6. Whenever the discomfort starts to becomes intense, shift your weight of your legs by leaning forward slightly. It's a good idea to do this whenever your dominant leaves the room or is looking the other way - it's all about projecting stillness and self-abnegation.
  7. Once you've gone on as long as you can, shift to cross legged. Mentally note the time, and perhaps agree this as a the current limit.
And that's it.

There are, however, things you can do to improve your kneeling endurance. I'll get to that next time.

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  1. I think it's most likely that the custom of kneeling emerged in the middle ages as an extension of the handling of captured prisoners of war, just like chaining or the use of collars/yokes. Captured prisoners were often beginning a life of slavery, so there's a natural connection here. It's not too hard to find ancient images of prisoners of war forced onto their knees before a captor.

    An actively serving slave would usually have far too much work to do to be allowed to waste time in a resting position doing nothing, but I suspect there are many instances of active service being provided on the knees (and not just THAT kind of service, although that certainly happened too). For example, we know many female slaves ended up spending their time grinding grain or washing clothing, and many ancient images or statues that depict grinding or washing are in a kneeling posture.

    1. I think so, though I think kneeling as a sign of respect is probably older. You're very right about kneeling for a task; I think we've mistakenly generalised that as a signifier of slavery, perhaps working back from modern kneeling in prayer etc.

      As for slaves kneeling: I think personal and table servants have always done a lot of waiting around in attendance, for example:

      So being present and ready to serve seems a legitimate for of submission. Certainly that was my experience this morning: serving breakfast, waiting, being sent to open up my wife's study, waiting again, being sent to make coffee, waiting again, taking orders for the day and clearing the dishes before finally being dismissed. I suppose in a historical scenario I could have been busy with some practical task such as stitching, however that would have meant bustling around, which is inimical to a tranquil atmosphere.

      Would it have been more efficient if I had been standing? Probably.


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