I had a wonderful experience at a recent rope convention with a man who needed a partner and advertised on Fet. I really liked him, to the point where I thought I might be finally meeting someone I could date. We spent some meals together and scened three times. He introduced me to breath play in the most moderate way possible and thrilled me in several other hot/mean ways. Things did go wrong at the con. I was triggered by a trigger warning. He did not handle that well, could not even empathize with me when I told him about being assaulted. But it was the last day, and he was already pulling away. A few days later, he wrote to check in and told me he was disappointed with the con and with missing the classes that I was unable to hack.
I tried over the past two weeks to be patient and let him go through drop and job stress and come out with positive feelings. But I stopped short of telling him he was an amazing top. I wanted to spare myself the humiliation I’ve experienced in the past: I would PM a top to tell him he was wonderful and describe the parts of our scene I loved, and I would hear nothing in response. I ended up humiliated anyway, because eventually, all my con partner could say was “Don’t worry, you were very good within the parameters.” I sent him an angry message in response to that, and he replied by saying that he’d reread all his messages and didn’t know what he’d said wrong. And felt sad. I then sent a conciliatory message, telling him that from my perspective we had been very lucky to find a partnership that was so enjoyable. We are both intellectuals. He likes good art, not Renoir. I found him attractive without wanting to have sex with him, which is perfect for rope and coincided with his limit on sex. He wore appealingly odd outfits, and would randomly touch my ankle or knee in an affectionate way during class. This was lovely because I wanted to touch him too, and that’s unusual for me: if there’s no connection and chemistry with a stranger, I have no way of faking it. Many times I have sat on mats separated from partners by two or three feet, feeling envious of the cuddling couples in the classes. This time I was with someone who invited me to get close without pressing for it, who even welcomed me when I asked if I could climb into his lap on a morning I was particularly stiff and tired. He stroked my back while I lay there and asked me if I purred. (Be warned: below the cut is a big bare butt.)