After a year’s hiatus during which I labbed a little as a rope bottom but mostly learned, labbed and scened as a top, I’ve had two chances to play. In both cases, I went nowhere near headspace. I could express this as having trouble suspending my disbelief. I was very aware that we were doing things that are supposedly fun, hot things, and I was wondering too much whether people in the dungeon thought we were awesome doing these supposedly fun, hot things. And I was disappointed in the moment because they weren’t really fun and hot and we weren’t really charming the pants off the other dungeoneers. I felt none of the disoriented spaciness or psychological transformation that I expect from scening. I wonder if I couldn’t go there because I have found a kind of safety and control in topping and I’m now not willing to risk that. I wonder if I couldn’t go there because my partners and I are not suited to each other. Agreeing easily about what to do is not the same as chemistry. But I’ve had good enough chemistry with most people who are good enough players.
I was particularly disappointed in these last two scenes because classic ways of making a bottom feel exposed didn’t work: dress pulled down, dress hiked up, spanked, silly gag, but no shame. Oddly, what disappointed me most was not being hit hard enough. The rope bundles in the first scene were stimulating and they left marks on my inner thighs, but they didn’t hurt. I know that some bottoms like marks because they’re signs that they have taken a lot or that they have been beaten by a top who cared enough to be brutal. The cane in the second scene marked my lower butt and upper thighs, but I mark easily and the marks were minor. Again, although I enjoyed the surprise of the unpredictable rhythm of the caning, it didn’t hurt enough and it didn’t drive me into an altered state. What, I wonder, do I want? What do I need?
I have never thought of myself as a physical masochist (psychological yes, in my desire to be shamed), so wanting physical pain and finding it not painful enough surprises me. I think it has to do with meeting someone who inspired in me the desire to suffer his sadism, which involves risky and physically demanding suspensions as well as humiliation and, most of all, a kind of absolute, insurmountable stance of distance. “I want you to hurt me”—that’s what I would have said to him if there was world enough and time. I have to admit it wasn’t these elements, not even in combination, that truly kicked my desire to play with him into high gear. No, it was an intuition—probably just a fantasy—that he would play slowly, giving me time to explore predicaments and only gradually determine they were psychologically harrowing. This came to me when I demo bottomed for him in class. His goal was to manipulate me gently rather than aggressively until he conquered my resistance. I wasn’t very resistant because instead of making me want to get away, his moves drew me towards him, as though we were dancing. Finally, and I’m a little proud of this, he overcame my cooperation by getting me on my knees on the floor, bent right over, in a headlock I can only describe as deviously sensuous. He gave me time to figure out that I didn’t like the feeling of his wrist on the right side of my neck or, when I turned it, on the left side. The process of slowly rotating my neck was awful because I could feel the pressure on my windpipe. Seeking relief from the pressure, which was actually very subtle but nonetheless alarming, I shifted to what seemed like the roomy crook of his elbow, only to find that I was trapped by much thicker parts of his arm. I had that feeling of taking a step too far into the deep end of a pool and being frightened by the water suddenly rising above my chin and over my mouth. I heard myself making little distress noises that were new to me. So much so that I was surprised to hear them coming from me. After it ended, my mood went black. There had been no resolution to that distress. I had not come out the other side. I bounced back as the group moved on to other things, but that dark feeling stayed with me through the next day. I still don’t know how I feel about this.
What works for me, I think, is surprise. If a scene is too predictable (I’m tied, so now comes the traditional Japanese gag), I don’t sink into it with my body and mind. The one thing I loved about the last scene I did, with someone I am about to scene with again, was that he used rope in spite of not being a rope person. He didn’t really know that I am a rope bunny, so he was pretty casual when he said that if he was going to tie my wrists, he might as well start the scene with a simple chest harness. He made an impression when he yanked hard to lock off the harness, drawing me close to him, forcing me to find balance by hooking my chin over his shoulder and eliciting an exclamation that went something like “Gah! Oh…mmm—unf—whimper.” He later tied my hair to the rear of the harness so that I was bent backward in a difficult position, unable to move forward but also unable to move further backward because of the limit of my flexibility. I couldn’t see where he was or what he planned to do. I just knew that my chest was out so my breasts were vulnerable to a new kind of toy that I ended up loving. It’s a cunning small silicone simplified dragon’s tongue. And it stung my nipples. (The right one was still humming an hour later.)
I was very conscious afterward that I had just done these things with someone I don’t really know. That didn’t make me feel that it was a risky thing to do, but it left me flailing for a way to be connected during aftercare. Having not gone into headspace I had also not hit cuddly euphoria. I think we spent too long talking so that the feeling of awkwardness dominated and it escalated in a way the scene hadn’t. It wasn’t until the next day that reflecting on what we’d done had me breathless and shaking. Is this typical? I always feel disappointed when it’s my solitary memories that move me, not the scene—or the sex—as it unfolds.
As I said, we are going to play again. He concluded from the first scene that I REALLYREALLYREALLY like rope, like REALLY; and we have agreed that he is going to hit me harder and with a much bigger stick. I concluded from the first scene that the key to feeling shame is not the exposure of my body but the unwilling revelation that I am enjoying being controlled and manhandled. This is probably going to be the part that’s hardest to engineer, if only because it means being open to accident instead of engaging in a strategic activity. I never really understood what people meant when they said: “I’m evolving in my kink.” Maybe instead of worrying that I am no longer a (good) bottom, I should just assume that, after four years, I am moving beyond the first phase of kink frenzy and need to wait and see what surprises me next.
This is nominally an SL blog and I’ve posted some pics I haven’t used before. Please forgive me for not providing details. See, however, yesterday’s Sweet Witch post for details about the last pic.