Why I didn’t fight for us

rezdaylightTomorrow it will be three weeks since he ended our relationship in a snit of anger. My first top, my first rigger, gone. We were on the phone. I let him end it, didn’t protest it. “Why not?” I am asking myself now. Would things be different if I had told him we should talk it through when he was calmer? Prior to the phone call, we had had a number of extremely difficult conversations about play. In some of them I was alarmed, and one night I panicked, but I put the difficulty down to growing pains. His primary relationship (he’s poly) was falling apart, they agreed to take a break. He started to examine his life and decided he wanted to spend more time with me. As difficult as they were, our conversations were welcome because his self-examination was insightful, his self-expression so eloquent. I thought he was finally showing himself to me. I thought we were becoming more intimate. We were, and I couldn’t deal with what I found out.
I can’t speak for him. I can’t because he won’t talk to me, won’t text with me, won’t email me. I contact him every other day: I break down in a different way and try to convey to him how I feel and my need to talk to him. On Friday I sobbed into the phone, telling him that I feel abandoned and that I feel he wants me to think I’m a bad person. Today, the one-week anniversary of begging for exchange, I asked him if he would answer just one question: Did you really mean to end it when you ended it or were you just lashing out? I believe that we could have admitted that we aren’t compatible and split amicably. I also kind of believe that he made a fatal error and we should get back together. Which is an error of another colour.
scholarsn ightmareI’d been dissatisfied with the (handful of) scenes we’d done over the past four months, but it wasn’t until we had a sustained, seemingly affectionate and inspired, but ultimately fruitless, exchange of emails about future play possibilities that I realized the problem was not the scene itself. It was his need to control our interaction outside of the scene as well as inside it. This hadn’t been clear before now because our negotiations had been vague. When he opened up, I responded by asking that we negotiate fully. I started to tell him explicitly what I wanted. We emailed about what turned us on in non-sexual play. The exchange had wonderful positive moments, but in retrospect I realize that those were primarily affirmations of abstract principles of relationships rather than elements of our relationship.
I imagine that for some tops control means giving orders. For my top, control means saying no or withholding things. I discovered that he has four ways of saying no to my requests for scene activities. “I don’t play that way.” “That makes me a service top.” “I can’t pull [admired rigger] out of a hat.” “Don’t tell me to make you feel submissive.” That last one was hardest of all because, as I told him, he had done things in prior scenes that had made me feel submissive. “Put me in a submissive headspace” proved to be a more successful locution, but I could not see why it was necessary, and I could not understand why he refused to do what he had done before (hair pulling, leading me around the dungeon on a rope leash, pushing me into a squat or onto my knees at unexpected moments, nothing WEIRD). Although he said no to my requests in the emails, he did think about it and come through with some new possibilities for our next scene. Sadly, it was too late. By the time he brought them up, we had gone through an agonizing conversation. He freaked out before we could get to the dungeon: he believed I was planning to violate a new hard limit he had set. He trusted me so little that he would barely listen to me explain why I’d chosen one vibrator over another when packing toys for the scene. He was so upset that I couldn’t tell him that he had changed the limit since we’d agreed upon it the previous week, that he was now using a more expansive term, and that I sensed trouble ahead. Under the new term, I couldn’t use a bullet vibe, could only take pleasure when he offered it with the Hitachi, because that was a vibe that he would control. “What if I accidentally have an orgasm?” I asked. I can’t have an orgasm when anyone else is present in the room, so my impulse to ask that question demonstrates just how much the new limit threatened, in my mind at least, to lessen and eventually prohibit my sexual pleasure.
The conversation wound down and we left my place to go to the dungeon. But by the time we got to the curb he had set some kind of speed record in rejecting three more things I said I’d like to do. The certainty that had been building during the evening snapped into place. In a flood of tears and an avalanche of sobs, I told him I could not play with him that night. He was shocked and said nothing more than “okay,” and then, once I’d turned to enter my building, “I’ll wait for you to find your key.” I wanted him to embrace me, to help me sort out what was going wrong. But that doesn’t happen in real life. I tried to hug him goodnight but he returned my squeeze weakly. I will never forgive myself for freaking out. I should have stayed calm and suggested we go for a drink. I told him this when I realized it a week later. I don’t think he forgave me for walking away. I will never forget the shocked look on his ghost-white face, the look of a kid who has just been betrayed by his best friend. I wish I could tell him that I regret how much I hurt him that night. Even if he was being an asshole.
shuffle sad Things had been so fraught that when he got angry at me a couple of weeks later on the phone, it made no sense to ask him to think twice about ending it. And yet here I am today kicking myself for wanting too much too soon. I wanted our negotiation and play to change dramatically right away, just because I requested it. That was unrealistic. I myself had balked at the implications of the new wording of the limit, had resisted saying yes to it, because it compromised my sexual autonomy. This is something which a bottom typically surrenders during a scene. In theory I am willing to do it. But it’s clear to me that that is contingent on my top being willing to keep me aroused. I shouldn’t have waited so long to suggest we play differently, shouldn’t have stayed silent out of fear of offending him. I was new at this. He took pride in bringing me along slowly. I trusted him because of that. But my reluctance to spell out what I would like to do must have played into his need to control our relationship outside of play.
I also said a knee jerk NO when I rejected the submissive rituals he suggested because they were acts of service, and service is not what I mean by submission. (No one knows what anyone means by submission….) I told myself that I didn’t want to serve him by getting him water because I liked getting him water as a spontaneous act of care that I performed as my quotidian self, in my regular headspace, for his ordinary self, before scening. Truthfully, I didn’t like the idea of service because I associate it with those choking blow jobs I see in porn. Even a non-choking blow job is a hard limit for me, as is any kind of typical sexual activity. I believed that there is a difference between BDSM and sex and asserted that the former is erotic rather than sexual. It seems to me now that that was bullshit. And at this moment, in a new theory, my hundredth, I suspect that what wrecked us was an unwitting battle over sexual reciprocity. And that has always been a battle that I can’t win. Because I can’t come the way a man does. {More about that in BDSM isn’t sex, but it is.}

Credits
These photos were originally meant to complement my contribution to Strawberry Singh’s Yearbook Rez day challenge. See the collection of photos. See the challenge.
NEW All the Moon Elixir items are from Fantasy Gacha Carnival till June 7:
Moon Elixir – Coven – 10 – Maitreya – Bustier – Dusty Rose
Moon Elixir – Coven – 13 – Maitreya – Shorts – Dusty Rose
Moon Elixir – Coven – 20 – Maitreya – Boots – Dusty Rose
Moon Elixir – Coven – 7 – Maitreya – Arm Wraps – Dusty Rose
Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
!dM MataHari – jewelPastie (add) **LOTUS** (past gacha)
*BOOM* The Illustrious Sproket Strand Rose Gold (not available)
MONS / MESH – Septum Rings (style23) rosegold
NEW Moon. Hair. // Tin Foiled II Hysteria pack
-Glam Affair – Sasha skin – India 01 NB (past gacha)
Nox. Beauty Marks [Four]
[KOOQLA] Nico – beauty marks tattoo
.random.Matter. – Misery Brows (tintable)
{S0NG} :: Chibi~ Abyss Eye
pose prop: Glitterati, Schooled (on Marketplace)

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