writhe a while in my ropes.
I recently read about a dominant who switches being tut-tutted by submissives who insist that they are not a “Real Dominant.”
34 things wrong with that, but I will only address one.
I also have heard dominants assert that they refuse to bottom.
Should someone who is not self-identified as a top or dominant ever switch?
In a word, “Yes!”
In two words, “FUCK YEAH!”
In twelve words, “Yes, if you want a shot at owning my curvy black ass.”
The truth is that all experience, being subjective, is therefore subject to interpretation.
A masochist is certainly going to have a different experience of pain than is a person not wired to sexualize the intense stimuli usually interpreted as pain. However, I do not feel this absolves a person who chooses to dole out pain from being enhanced by having experienced some quantity of that pain.
If one had physical limitations to intense play, that certainly is a reason to not experience painful sensation yourself. However, creating sensation is a very complex act of choreography. A choreographer, sure, does not HAVE to do the dance moves to create gorgeous wondrous works. They could, theoretically, still create art with the bodies that they sculpt on-stage.
But I would be surprised to find a choreographer who was not themselves a dancer in some phase of their career…
Or a chef who intuits, improvises, creates, executes and serves a dish without EVER tasting it.
Would you eat that?
As a dancer, would you want a choreographer who had never sweat and broken their bodies in the way that they ask you to do in service to their vision?
Sure you COULD.
An aficionado of dance, after years of study, could certainly put together a nice piece that would be pleasing to the eye.
But I will put money and heart behind the fact that it would never, ever have the soul or guts or skeleton, sinew and heart of a piece that the choreographer and dancer(s) put together from communal knowledge and shared experience
It takes a metric fuckton of trust to let someone take several feet of kangaroo hide tipped with Teflon, get it traveling at the fucking speed of sound and throw that punishing destructive force at my body. Yet you see that on an average day in an average dungeon on any given Saturday night.
I would like…OK, No. I need to know that the person throwing that whip at me has a clue what they are asking me to take, in a REAL visceral way.
Theoretically, you can sympathize with my plight, and my head-space.
But if you have not been there, it is all theory. You cannot, by definition, CAN NOT empathize with me because you have not been there in your own body.
And empathy is very sexy for me.
That does not necessarily make you less skilled. It means you are ignorant of the mindset that CAN occur in your own body when faced with the emotional stress of pain and the mental stress of trust.
If you have not been tied up, KNOWING how bondage MAY impact your thinking and your emotional arc is simply beyond your experience.
If it is not within your experience to be tied up and beaten, can you really know how hard it is to process additional pain when you are immobilized? How it can grow to an insane frustration that can take you right out of head space…or how it can push you rapidly to a communicative event horizon of panic?
Or are you guessing, based on your interpretation of what you can see and what your partner can tell you, and your own subjective experience?
There are many ways to learn.
In my experience, experience is a peerless teacher.
I have immense respect for dominants and masters who take their welts in the interest of knowing, as fully as they can, what it is that they ask of their property. I prefer those people as my play partners. It is not a requisite for everyone.
It is not something I require in a casual, scene-delineated play-space.
It is a core need for me if I am to submit to someone.
I am going to go much further for a top who I KNOW has direct understanding of what they are doing to, with and for me.
If I am taking 50 lashes with a single-tail, and I get to 45 and I think I am about to call out of the scene because I am at the psychological and physical breaking point, and the person administering the beating takes me in hand, looks me in the eyes and says “I know this is difficult, and I know how much it takes for you to accept this, but it pleases me for you to do this, for me, and to bear it well.” and I KNOW that they have pleasure and yet they trust me to take that from them, the power exchange becomes blindingly miraculous.
If I know that the top has never been beaten, or has no direct knowledge of what even one good pop from a 10′ single-tail feels like, I know I will quail in that moment because my gut will whisper “They know not what they ask!” and I will lack the strength to trust in their capacity to really know how this energy flows.
It is a dance, it is a banquet, it is breath, it is love and it is danger.
My owner is the choreographer, the chef, the air, the lover, and the risk I take.
And I really need to know that my Dominant My Master, My Daddy…. I need to know that have been there before me.
Do you know if I have ever let someone else tie me up? Do you know if I have ever let anyone else use a single tail on me?
I believe, many years ago, when I was still with the individual with whom I was in “Training” and we attended one of your really cool weekly classes, there was some discussion that included anecdotes about this very subject!
If that is a trick of my memory and I am misremembering, I certainly stand corrected on that particular count! And furthermore, I would be a somewhat surprised to learn that your curiosity alone would leave you in a position of never checking out the other side of the game, to some extent.
I do know that you tend to not engage in play about which you do not have a high degree of proficiency (i.e, your not performing suspension bondage because your proficiency with sail boats casts most suspension bondage in a dubious light).
But more to the point, we’ve never negotiated anything beyond self-contained scenes, and this isn’t the same, for me, as doing the “Pre-relationship shuffle”. The people with whom I have,for better or worse (and still to date with no long-term &^%$ luck, dammit!) engaged in ongoing power exchange relationships have had that particular exposure, and that was something that I felt was important to me!