I have a confession to make: I actually started this journey a year ago. It was around May last year when one of my closest friends suggested I explore and around July when I got up the courage to do so. In the beginning, around like July and August, I had two interactions that really resonated with me.
Note: I’ve modified some of the identifiable traits of these people because I don’t want to put all of their biz in the street.
The summer smelled of rotting garbage and roasting lamb. Hesitant, I headed to a divey bar in the heart of town. The man I was set to meet was much older than me, maybe late 40s or early 50s. A self-professed “Master in training,” he’d been in the community for over 20 years. The idea of “Master” and “engineer” led me to expect a buttoned-up stiff or a sinister trench coat-clad deviant, two thoughts that almost made me cancel.
As a precaution, I’d given all of the night’s details to my closest large male friend. I was supposed to message him when I got home following the date and, if I didn’t, he would call me the following morning.
With all my bases covered for my first blind date, I walked into the hole in the wall where we agreed to meet, my blue and white striped dress grazing the grimy bar floor. There he was. A regular guy. Maybe 5’9”. Shin length cargo shorts and an oversized dark tee. No trench. The clothes were inconsequential. What struck me the most was his air. He was calm and modest, yet his eyes never wavered and he spoke with confidence. Despite his slovenly exterior, his thoughts and speech were measured.
And scene. What happened? We hung out for five hours or so just laughing and talking.
Advice from the German
-Never sub for any master who doesn’t talk to you first about who you are and what you’re looking for
-Don’t be afraid to just jump in, but be smart and don’t do anything you don’t want to do
The German’s Biggest Regret
-Not getting into the community sooner
I’m sure he said more great things, but those were the two points that resonated. Oh! And there was one more thing that stood out: kinksters could be normal people too.
At the end of the night, I was so overwhelmed by how good a time we had that I kissed him. He tasted of cigarettes and whiskey; he tasted good. Around 1:30 a.m., I jumped in a cab home in a very pensive mood.
Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/mg4yrt7
Facing the wall, kneeling on the cushions, hands gripping the back of the sofa, the pole dancer looked over her shoulder with a who-stole-the-cookies-from-the-cookie-jar grin.
The Pole Dancer
Two weeks later, I sat in a popular gay bar. I was preparing for a big move and was only a month shy of leaving the country for a while, if not for good. The pole dancer picked me up at that bar. I was not attracted to her right off the bat, but after a couple dates, we started hanging out regularly and becoming intimate. I visited her lane house one afternoon. We made dinner and, as they do, things evolved.
Facing the wall, kneeling on the cushions, hands gripping the back of the sofa, the pole dancer looked over her shoulder with a who-stole-the-cookies-from-the-cookie-jar grin. Her black lace boy shorts traced her minimal ass, displaying her hard-earned fitness gains. She was a different person from the clumsy clothed woman who’d under seasoned the salmon just hours earlier. Nakedness gave her confidence.
Unlike with the German, I felt no hint of dominance in her personality, sexually or otherwise. In fact, she was more submissive than anyone I’d ever encountered. Her eyes screamed, “oops!” daring me to become angry. Provoking me.
Domination has always scared me because of a feeling I’d be good at it. One night, while I was spanking the pole dancer and slowly getting the hang of my style of humiliation talk, I started to feel powerful. The red hand and paddle marks riled me up and I felt myself settling into a very comfortable sense of control. Have you seen Black Swan? Do you remember that scene where Natalie Portman is turning into the black swan at the end of the movie? She’s breathing it in, winding her neck rhythmically, looking almost serpentine as she leaves her old skin and slides into a new one. Eventually, she starts beating her wings in a graceful yet aggressive way and turns completely into a black swan. Well, I started spanking harder in a graceful yet aggressive way and… stopped as I felt myself turning into someone I wasn’t ready to become and perhaps someone she was expecting to be.
The pole dancer and I didn’t work out, and at the end of the month I left the country. Inexperienced, selfish, and oblivious, I abandoned a sub, leaving her feeling emotionally unguarded and mishandled. I was not in a good place for any sort of relationship. However, life doesn’t pause to consider your voids and inadequacies. The pole dancer and I had slipped into a relationship structure which I tried to entertain despite my ill-preparedness.
I knew that domming required care physically. I’d heard that it was important to check in with your partner and make sure things weren’t going down the wrong road. Safe words. The whole nine.
What I failed to acknowledge was the emotional aftercare and, perhaps more importantly, the expectation management needed. I didn’t realize how much trust she’d put in me as a sub, so I treated it like a month-long hookup: full of respect but with no real chance of a relationship. I’d shirked my dom responsibility to care for my sub because I didn’t know what was expected of me. In a way, there was nothing BDSM specific to my mistake. It was a simple miscommunication between me, myself, and the pole dancer.
Things I learned from the pole dancer
-Emotional aftercare is just as important as physical aftercare, both immediately after a scene and long-term
-I can’t let someone I view solely as submissive top me unless I give the order; otherwise, it isn’t fulfilling
Advice from the pole dancer
-Never sub for anyone who needs to drink before a scene
In the end, I apologized repeatedly to the pole dancer for my negligence, but nothing came of it.
Photo Credit: http://tinyurl.com/qbu2g9c
Exploration of a switch
I guess it shocks me how differently I responded to the German and the pole dancer. In each circumstance, I really embodied the flow of the power dynamics; the urges that accompanied my roles were genuine albeit completely polar. After experiencing these opposing desires, I wondered if they could ever be satisfied with one partner. I wondered if monogamy could ever satisfy a switch fully, if one partner could, like me, embody both capacities, and, more accurately, display them in one sexual encounter.
Quest is a switch in training