Monday, August 30, 2010

Master Baiting

A few times over the past few months, Daddy has joked about his being called Master. Usually it’s followed up by my saying “Master, Sir, Lord, God, Domleh-Pants?” and both of us laughing. But he did ask me a few times whether or not I’d thought about being someone’s slave again. Saturday night, I saw a friend sign his name "Master XXX". And it got me thinking: is the designation Master one that is demanded or one that is bestowed?

Other than this blog, I usually refer to him as my boyfriend. I tend to call him Daddy, but I don’t usually call him Sir except when we’re engaged in s&m activities or, as I call it, when he’s being an adorably mean bastard. I’ve never called him Master except in that Igor voice, while dragging one leg behind me and contorting my face into Marty Feldman.

But thinking about M/s relationships inevitably leads to a mental list of the good things and the not so good things. Since that list is specific to me, posting it won’t help anyone else. Something I might find outside the boundaries of any relationship, and would be negotiated into any eventual M/s one, is likely to be different from anyone else’s.

But one thought keeps creeping into my head. Not would it be better for me but would it be good for Daddy? And ultimately, would it enhance our relationship? I sometimes think that in crafting any D/s or M/s relationship, submissives would be better off thinking more like a top than a bottom during the formation. And vice versa.

I’ve been in an M/s relationship before. It was carefully crafted, and built through years of knowing each other. It changed as we both changed, and as our individual needs changed. At the basic level, it was an “I make the rules, you keep the rules” relationship. It eventually morphed into a M/s relationship. It didn’t start out that way.

The part that worked for me, was that the rules that he made were rules that were obtainable. The things he expected from me were things that I’d have probably done anyway. Even when things weren’t easy, I always understood that he was doing whatever it was, to have me learn something about myself. Standing quietly holding his brushes was a way to teach me patience and not to fidget. Learning to paint was to teach me to appreciate the beauty of the world around me. Even learning to laugh while being hurt was to teach me that it was perfectly ok for me to live my life and giggle over the absurdities of that life. He pushed me into places that weren’t comfortable for me, and didn’t push me into those areas where he’d known I wasn’t able to cope. His mastery was designed to help me, enhance my life, and provide me with a safe place to explore my masochism. I used to think he did it for him. But hindsight makes me think that he’d done it for me. He helped a scared, lonely, hurting girl find her way in a world that he was familiar with. There were so many things that I learned from him that it was easy to believe he’d taught me everything that I’d ever need to know.

And as usual, I was wrong about that.

Daddy has taught me many things. Some of them I’m still learning and probably will be for the rest of our lives. He’s getting me to open up more about what I want, how I feel. Talking to him in equality and not as a lesser part of a whole. That’s a hard lesson to learn after years of just accepting that no matter what I thought, things were going to be done for me, to me, and in spite of me, regardless. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re used to not being heard. When you spend that much time with your own thoughts, it’s difficult to learn that someone not only wants to hear you, but damn well expects you to talk. It’s one of the most difficult things for me simply because I have a tendency to SAY what I’m thinking and very often don’t recognize the consequences to others. Being honest is one thing. Saying something honest and having the one you love hurt because of it, that’s quite another. But on the plus side, my dentist says that he’s pleased to see I’ve apparently stopped biting the inside of my cheeks.

It’s difficult to compare one man to the other and I’ve never tried to do it. They’re both very different. And yet Daddy and J share a lot of the same traits: patience, creativity, self-awareness and self-expression. Where they differ is in how I relate to them. I called J Master because it fit our relationship at the time. I call my boyfriend Daddy because that’s how we fit together.

But when I look at Daddy and wonder if we’ll ever “do the M/s thing”, I realize that he already has as much right to be called Master as J ever did. It isn’t how long you’ve been in a relationship, or who makes the rules and who lives by them. Being a Master is more about how I relate to him than in how he views himself. As long as he’s coaxing the best out of me, whether by rule or by love, he’s entitled to be called Master. As long as his rule is my agreement, whether expressed, if he can remember them or not, or because I love him, he’s qualified to be called Master.

He can’t call himself Master, or demand that I do, and get away with it. Only I can call him that, and be believed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Habits of an UnSuccessful RopeBottom

A friend of mine read a post I made on Fetlife about there being plenty of female ropetops around and took issue with it. He indicated that he’d been looking, been unable to find them, and wanted to know “where they all were?”. He complained he’d attended events as a single male bottom and was disappointed to find that most people attended events with partners. He complained that he couldn’t find where all those female ropetops were looking, when there he was----all ready and eager to be tied up by them! I read his complaint to me as “you SAY this, but his experience shows it not to be TRUE”.

I thought a lot about what the problem was. I know dozens upon dozens of female rope tops. And I know quite a few male ones who like to practice with other male bodies as well. The female rope-tops I know are beautiful, youngish (and by that I mean under 50), and very open to at least practicing rope with all kinds of people and all body types.

I know that when I tried learning rope-topping, I didn’t mind tying practically anyone that didn’t seem creepy. It didn’t matter to me about the body I was tying, so much as the person. I wanted to tie people who were fun to BE around for a while. Those who could talk to me while I was tying, and I especially looked for those who could make me laugh.

I thought about why this guy was having such a hard time finding people to tie him. At many rope events, people DO tend to come partnered. And those that don’t, are generally able to find someone. There’s no shortage of rope-switches. I really couldn’t pinpoint why it was so difficult for a single, male, ropebottom to find someone to tie him.

And then instead of thinking about who WASN’T tying him, I started thinking about the times I’d actually SEEN him tied by people. When I thought about that, I could pinpoint several things in his approach that are working against him finding what he wants.

a) He’s into bondage for bondage sake. He enjoys being tied tightly, mummified, bound and helpless. The tighter and stricter the bondage the better. Tied, blindfolded, earphones in, gagged, and helpless is what gets him off. This is his kink. He’s not really into much else, although he will engage in other activities if “forced” into them. Pain isn’t something he really enjoys so S&M activities are mostly out. I’m sure while he thinks his kinks are pretty encompassing in the area of bondage, he’s significantly narrowed his playground so much that it’s difficult to find people to join him there. The more you limit the options, the less people you have to share your kink with.

b) He’s a pushy bottom. One who seldom gives back anything to a top. I’ve watched scenes that he’s been involved with, and after he’s been bound, the tops are always left pretty much baby-sitting a grown man who has been immobilized. He drops so far when bound that he’s no longer interactive enough for most tops to play with more than once or twice. His objectification fetish gets in the way of the tops’ enjoyment.

c) He directs a scene. Which is fine for service tops. We like to be told what to do. But even service tops also look for more from those they’re topping. I don’t mind being directed in a scene when I’m service topping, but neither do I want to feel as if I’m doing it wrong. Being told that it’s not tight enough, or that my bottom can do something better hardly makes me want to go back for more. Just as bottoms seldom want to feel like the diningroom chair, tops don’t want to feel like they’re only there to get you dressed in rope.

d) He only wants women to tie him. I can understand that. I’m mostly heterosexual and I usually prefer only men to tie me. The problem with his attitude is that most women, at least nearly all of the ones that I’ve met, are looking for some sort of relationship. Whether it be friendship or romance, most of us (I think) want to connect to the other person in some emotional way. This guy doesn’t really like women except for the part that they play in his fantasies. He isn’t looking for a D/s relationship. He doesn’t engage them in anything except bondage related activities, he doesn’t appeal to a woman’s emotional core, or even to her intelligence. And without having “something” to build on, most of the women I know, aren’t really looking for long-term casual bottoms to tie up.

e) And finally, as much as I hate to say this, his age and body type are working against him.

I’ve never had much of a problem finding people to tie me. When I was learning to tie, I never had much of a problem finding people to tie either. I’m at a loss with this one. How do I tell someone who has a narrow playground and has such serious bottoming issues that he has to get his act together first? Should I even bother to try? Can a bottom learn new tricks by attending classes? Are old habits too hard to break? Or are there just some things that can’t be changed at any age?

Sometimes I think my own habit to trying to fix the world needs to be broken.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Right Handed Thinking, Left Handed Thoughts

I have no problems telling people what I like. It’s not that I’m picky about how I like things. Rather, I like too many things to ever really be picky. If I’m not in the mood for something, I’ll say so (while trying desperately to talk him out of it). But unless there’s some reason why doing a certain thing isn’t such a great idea, I truly don’t care.

I have no problems asking questions, talking about my day, explaining legal theory, and talking about books, movies, friends, family, religion, computers, food or anything else. I enjoy learning and I enjoy those kinds of conversations. OK, sometimes I do have problems deciding what to make for dinner, but that stems more from I'm happy with a bowl of cereal than anything else. I'm not picky.

What I seem to have problems with is just opening up when something is upsetting me. That I get annoyed, angry, confused, hurt, or disappointed isn't a surprise. I'm human. It happens. But the problem with not being able to just stop and say that I'm upset, annoyed, angry, confused, hurt, scared or disappointed is that instead of just saying “hey, I’m feeling a little X because I’m hearing XYZ, can we talk about it?”, I say to myself “it doesn’t matter”.

The fact is, it does matter. Very much.

My style of not talking comes from learned behaviors over a lifetime. Keep quiet, keep my thoughts to myself, keep away from controversy. All those behaviors learned from hard knocks, and being knocked around hard. A lifetime of learned behavior is difficult to change. It’s a lot like I’d imagine being right-handed all your life, and suddenly forced to be a leftie. Your left hand has always been there. You’ve just forgotten how to use it. I know that communication when things are going downhill is difficult for me. But knowing that doesn’t help me figure out a way to actually do it.

I’ve gone through periods where not much was expected of me in the way of communication. But looking back realistically, even then there was a problem with me swallowing my hurt or disappointment in favor of “not making waves” or “it’ll blow over”. And because it always DID blow over, I tended to think that the problem blew away with it.

The fact is, it never does.

I’m with someone who expects me to talk to him. Expects me to be able to put my feelings into words, to be able to express what I’m thinking in a coherent way when the turmoil inside my head from my feelings makes it difficult to even breathe. Most of all, he expects me to be completely open about anything and everything with him. And while being open about kinky things is easy, being open about something that is bothering me, is sometimes just too fucking hard. I don’t want to upset anyone else. I don’t want to hurt anyone else. I don't want to feel upset. I just want to forget about it. Not make those waves and let it blow over. And I can’t bear especially to see his face when I can’t just open my mouth and talk to him.

I suppose it is narcissistic of me to think that I can disappoint someone so greatly. I have to laugh at the self pity-party I’ve been having the past few days. It's the epitome of selfishness that, for whatever reason, I can't share a part of myself with him. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to care about what anyone thought except myself. I don’t know how to apologize for that except to say that I’m trying.

The fact is, if he didn’t mean so much to me, I’d have already given up trying to learn to do this. For him. For us. I’m still thinking right handed, when I’ve only got my left hand available to me.

So I’m resigned to one thought this morning. And that is, if he wants this one as much as I want to give it to him, this is one that we’re going to have to work on together. Left to my own, I’ll never tell a soul when something is bothering me. This may be one time where I can’t give him what he needs from me, without his helping me by taking it from me.

At least until I can think with my left hand.

Monday, August 2, 2010

They Shoot Fantasies, Don't They?

You know the feeling you get when that question is asked in an interview about “where do you see yourself in five years?”. When someone asks me about what my fantasies are, I get the same feeling.

I never know quite what to say.

I used to have a lot of fantasies. But over time, either I’ve managed to adapt those fantasies to my reality, or I’ve given up on them completely. I used to wonder if I’m defective for not having simple, mundane fantasies about school-girl spankings, Story of O whippings, or pirate ravishings.

But what it really is, is that I’m a little afraid of telling anyone what my few remaining fantasies are. I’ve learned over the years that one of two things will happen: they’ll either try to make them come true for me and because reality seldom matches the fantasy, it’ll be just another time when I re-arrange my fantasy to suit the reality; or, the fantasy scares the hell out of me and I’m not altogether sure that trying to make them come true is exactly the best thing at a particular moment. I also don’t fantasize about people, places, or activities. I fantasize about feeling something in particular.

While I think it’s admirable that people have fantasies about naughty secretaries, school-girl spankings, and gangbangs, my fantasies revolve around one thing. Fear. The kind of fear that terrifies me, makes me really uncomfortable, and gets my heart racing. The kind of fear that’s hard to fabricate. The kind of fear where I believe I should be afraid. The kind of fear where you realize that someone really does have a power over you, and not necessarily one that you’ve given them implicitly.

For someone who goes out of her way to please, who cringes at the very thought of criticism, who rationalizes humiliation in such a way that it’s hard to actually humiliate me, fear is an aphrodisiac. I’m often drawn to natural disaster movies for that very reason. The uncertainty of what I’d do in that same situation, the fear that I wouldn’t be able to survive it. The fear of what I'd have to do to survive it.

Fear play is hard for me. I’ve learned over the years to hide my fear and so it’s rare that Daddy is able to find a piece that I’ve left open. Once in a while he hits on it and exploits it. And he knows that there are a few that can’t ever be touched on. It’s difficult for us to play with fear. We love each other and there’s always a risk playing with fear that the fear will put a tinge to everything else. But that’s what makes it so alluring. The hardest thing to figure out is how to experience the fear, when you know that the person trying to give it to you, really wouldn’t do a damned thing to harm you.

It’s not that I don’t have fantasies. I just haven’t figured out how to explain I want to “feel fear” and give a concrete example. Fear, like love, is one of those things that you know when you feel it.