I was listening to a podcast this weekend on the way to Ikea. I love that store. The podcast? Not so much.
Mollena Williams, Cunningminx and Graydancer were talking about something that he called "scene etiquette". I was really interested in what they'd had to say because that was a subject that holds some irritation for me personally. But as I listened, I realized what they were really talking about was the difficulty experienced by single bottoms when trying to find playdates at parties.
When I first started listening, I was torn between feeling sympathy for the difficulty that Mollena and Minx had finding appropriate playdates considering their "fame" and the feeling "so why should it be any harder or easier for them than the rest of us?"
Being a single submissive is not easy. I acknowledge that fact and because I have been one many times in my life, and was one recently for a long period, I know how hard it is to be friendly, be happy, walk into a room trying to balance being a person people would want to know better, with my natural inclination to fade into the background because it's too much fucking work to bother sometimes. I know trying to watch tops play with others left me feeling left out, while trying to decide if it were someone that I could trust to play in a way that I was comfortable with. And I know how hard it was for me as a submissive to "make the first move". Yeah...I wanted to be desired, feel wanted, and always be sure that my submissiveness was enough to overcome a top's rejection. The truth is, I'm not that good at pretending.
It's far easier being "someone's submissive" than it is to practice situational submission (aka bottoming). Especially when you don't really have a reason to bother.
I understood both Minx and Mollena's points: too many people make playdates and don't follow through; too many times they've had to be the instigator; too many times they just wanted to feel desired and wanted but were rejected for one reason or another.
But what I couldn't understand was the sense that they'd already had such a narrow range of options, had limited themselves to a "certain acceptable group" of tops, had not taken ANY opportunity to just get to know others that fell outside those choices, that they couldn't understand why they couldn't find playmates.
Mollena had said that "she doesn't play with just anybody who asks", yet bemoaned the lack of people asking. She doesn't want to be rejected by a top she's got her eye on. And she got it right when she said that tops don't either.
Minx bemoaned the fact that once people found out she'd been tied by Max, others didn't seem to want to tie her. Then she said that she'd be happy being sort of a practice dummy for knotwork. I giggled when I heard that. Mostly because I've BEEN the practice dummy...and it's not fun, it's not a scene, it's not even enough to keep my interest a lot of times. I said to myself, "yeah...go ahead....talk to some ropegeek at the next party and offer to just be a practice dummy instead of holding out for a scene....and then tell me that you're OK with that".
What struck me though was that both of these women are smart, witty, vivacious and beautiful. And they're having trouble finding acceptable playmates. This is no different from ANYONE in the scene that isn't "attached". Tops and bottoms both have this problem. Whether it comes from fear of rejection, being in awe of someone, or just normal feelings of wanting to be desired, and not having your feelings validated by others...I'm not sure. I really don't know what the answers are for each individual.
What I do know is that It Happens. The sad-to-say main reason is that the older a woman gets, the harder it is to find the connection to someone that will be in your acceptable range of desired qualities. There's competition for tops. We auto-select as we get older, finding out what we want from our partners, what we expect and need from a partner, and as a result, the pool of acceptable people diminishes. Being in the "limelight" of the scene the way Mollena and Minx are makes things even more difficult. Not only do they have a more limited range of options (I mean we ALL would like to have a scene with Graydancer once in our lives)...but there's just not that many tops at some of these events that are well-known enough by reputation alone that they'd likely feel comfortable with anyway. We remove unknown people automatically. Hell, even I wouldn't play with someone I didn't know or hadn't seen playing with someone else. Reputation, observation and conversation are key.
And while doing that, it did tend to leave me on the sidelines a lot. But what it also did was give me the time to decide that I far preferred to determine my own destiny rather than always sitting things out.
I was rejected. I felt unsexy, unwanted and undesired. I had dance cards filled and then left with gaping holes. I was ignored, pushed back, and seldom received an apology. I felt like I was somehow to blame for people not wanting to play with me. But I also watched those tops that interested me. And very often they were alone as well. It's like those conferences where everyone seeks out the speaker afterwards to talk to them. It's the ones that are hanging back who have the really interesting story. They're just afraid of coming off like a starfucker. Somebody has to break that dance of a bottom saying "I want to be asked to play", with a top saying "she's so beautiful, funny and wonderful, she'd never be interested in me in a million years". I learned that showing interest, got me asked for those playdates. A little enthusiasm and interest in a potential partner goes a long way. And for most submissives...well...we tend to learn early on how to make a man feel special. And I've rarely met a man who didn't feel that from someone who didn't want to reciprocate...at least enough for a scene.
But what I really felt listening to the podcast is a universal truth among humans. We're not really just looking for random connections to people in a scene. We want the emotional, underlying relationship (whatever form that may be) to someone. I don't think that either Minx or Mollena were truly bemoaning the lack of acceptable choices in tops. What I think that they're searching for is elusive in many scenes. The connection to someone. To be able to emotionally relate to someone. And THOSE people are even harder to find than really good tops.
My final word on this subject is a piece of advice for single situational submissives who find themselves alone at parties, longing for "a scene". Instead of dismissing those shy, sweet tops, who may be a little intimidated at first by a sexy, funny, vivacious and experienced bottom, seek them out. Be friendly, open to conversation, smile, emit an aura of confidence, enthusiasm, and availability. Even if you don't get a scene out of it this time...the next time you just might.
Or he might even have a kinky brother :)