Monday, November 8, 2010

Talk Normal To Me

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my experiment on learning to talk dirty. In the interim, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to porn, watching how others talk, practicing phrases and conversations in my head, and trying things out on daddy. And yes, I did ask what he meant. It’s just that his answer wasn’t any more helpful than anything else.

This was a real struggle for me. Not because I don’t know how to talk dirty, but because everything I tried sounded either really silly (“manmeat”) or sounded like my normal voice when talking with daddy.

I get off on Daddy’s voice. His growls and purrs. His “good girl” and his “little slut”. I get off on the colors and tones in his speaking voice, and I really get off when he speaks Spanish to me. I don’t care if he calls me a portable refrigerator, if it’s in Spanish, it has a very marked reaction on my body. (Although I’m onto the “la nariz” thing). But even that, I can’t help myself. I willingly give up my nariz to him. His voice alone, sets off reactions that I can’t control. It’s not even the words (and I certainly can’t understand Spanish), it’s just his voice.

It never occurred to me that daddy might also get off on my voice, speaking normally, saying things that I usually say. It never crossed my mind that talking normally would work when he gave me his directive to “talk dirty to me”. I was looking for a complicated answer to a simple problem. I heard what he wanted, but thought that it couldn’t possibly be that easy.

Communication is a big catchword in bdsm. Communication about how you feel, what you want, what you don’t want, rules, protocols, consent, and negotiation. We use that word “communication” as if “oh, that explains everything” and as if it’s the easiest thing in the world. "Communication" as it relates to bdsm has become a generic catch-all term for speaking to someone about all those things that we need to discuss to keep our asses out of jail. But if you think about it, communication is much more than talking or listening. It’s also about style, body language, and intent.

I’ve always believed that I was pretty good at listening, and I’ve always thought that I was even better at understanding what I’d heard. But learning to communicate is more than just talking, listening and understanding. Learning to communicate with each other takes time, patience, and practice. Mistakes are bound to be made. Mistakes in understanding what someone else is thinking. Mistakes in applying what you think you heard. And mistakes in saying what you mean. A classic example of a miscommunication is when a ropetop says “lets play with rope” and you hear “play” and “rope”. Without knowing the intent behind the words, without knowing each other’s styles, and without knowing that Monday nights are practice nights, it’s too easy to only hear what you think you hear, and get really disappointed when your play and his play seem to be very different things.

Time together, speaking to each other, listening to your partner's body language and learning all those neat little buttons to push, and the ones never to push, is the real key to communication in bdsm. Expressing ideas is not enough when there are no set-in-stone definitions, when there are no dictionaries or board of directors to set the parameters. The biggest thing about learning to communicate is that you have to learn that the other person is listening with more than their head. They’re also listening with their emotions, their own experiences, and their own ideas of what they’ve heard you say.

I don’t know exactly when I figured out the right combination of tone and words to give daddy what he was looking for. I think it was when I’d finally given up trying to figure it out and said to myself “if he wants me to talk, I’ll just talk and then he’ll see I can’t do this”. I had no idea what I was saying, I just opened my mouth and repeated a conversation we’d had a few days earlier. It was nothing really overtly "dirty". It was just a phrase that I'd used before in another context. But I was struggling, so I figured what the hell.

And the reaction was astounding.

Since then, I’ve expanded somewhat. I still listen when we’re talking normally and put things in my brain for the “next time”. They still sound silly to me sometimes, but I’ve also learned that it’s not really the words that he’s hearing. He’s hearing my intent and my emotions. Even if I’m saying things that aren’t inherently dirty, they appear that way because I intend them to be. The same way that calling me a portable refrigerator in Spanish works on me.

This weekend I’d asked him if he thought I’d finally got this “talking dirty” thing down, because I still felt like I was repeating myself and that very often I was just talking normally.

He smiled and said, "babydoll....just talk normally to me then".

Job done.

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