Dominance and submission are odd things. They require you to have traits that go against the grain of your role. Submissives need incredible strength, courage, and power. Dominants need extreme gentleness, humility, and compassion. It’s those traits that seem to be the opposite of our roles that allow us to dominate and submit with any real depth.
There’s a fine line between a dominant and a douche. There’s a fine line between a submissive and a doormat. A top accepts control. A douche demands control. A dominant earns control. The only way a dominant has ever earned the incredible power they’ve wielded over me is by showing me that they would never demand it. They expected to earn it using the softest parts of their natures.
Submission is not something I choose to give. I can choose to bottom, but if I’m to submit, it must come from a profounder place. It must come naturally. I must feel it’s being drawn out of me. I submit because you show me unconditional love and care. I submit because you prove to me that you can be trusted with my greatest vulnerability. Submission is intensely intimate, and I will not expose the part of me that is most likely to be judged and harmed until you prove to me that you will hold it gently.
I usually play with a certain degree of blanket consent. I don’t sit down to write out every last thing I’m willing to do. I let my Dom bring things to play that I’ve not explicitly agreed to, and when I make a list of limits, I don’t only leave behind those things that I *want* to do. I leave behind anything that is not a hard limit because I don’t want a service top. I feel no submission if he’s playing only with those things that I enjoy. Giving him enough free reign to approach types of play that I *don’t* like creates a dynamic that I very much *do* like—D/s.
*I* choose edgy play. That is what I enjoy. One day, given enough time, I hope my Dom will trust me enough to enter into a CNC dynamic. I hope that he will trust me enough to know that I will not wake up in the morning and blame him for the consequences of my having agreed to consensual nonconsent. I play with that dynamic because it’s hot. I play with it because that is what feels like submission to me.
Every time he raises a hand to me, he’s taking some enormous risks: will I turn my regret into anger? Will I accuse him of abuse? Will I judge the softest, most intimate part of his sexuality? Will I take the vulnerability he showed me when he dominated me and piss all over it?
The amount of blanket consent we work with is 100% reliant on how much he trusts me and how vulnerable he’s willing to make himself with me.
In many ways, kink asks you to have the kind of body image that would make Giselle Bündchen jealous. It’s not as though we’re fucking in the missionary position in the dark, covered in blankets. If you’re a sub, you’re expected to hang out in whichever position your top chooses for you, in broad daylight with not a damned thing to cover up with. If you’re me, you land up with a Dom who’s a photographer who wants you in front of a lens.
And as an anorexic, that’s intimidating. Regardless of my number of years in recovery, I still have as much love for my body as Misery Chastain has for Paul Sheldon in the book, Misery: obsessive, toxic, and destructive as all hell.
Your idea of a hot time might be Spartacus. Muscles, muscles, every damned where. Me? I’m a West Wing girl, not only for the dialogue, which is fucking genius, but for the hot factor. All those wise eyes, those receding hairlines and crow’s feet are my idea of a gladiator pit.
“My name is Maximus Decimus Nerdius, commander of the brainy people of the North, General of legendary vocabulary and loyal domly dom of the sub, SpanishRed. And I will have my sexual gratification, in this life or the next.”
West Wing is my man-porn. When I need to be cock blocked by a photograph, I look at a Men’s Health magazine cover. Those biceps and abs are enough to turn me off for an entire hour. I need spectacles, not Ray Bans. I need good hugs, and all that hard body just doesn’t snuggle well. Lemme tell you about a man who snuggles well. He’s addictive. I wake up on Monday morning feeling his skin against mine even though he left 10 hours ago. I wake up wanting because when a man who has intellect and strength touches you, it feels as though he’s leaving electric pathways on your skin.
I need personality. The more classically good looking a man becomes, the more character his face loses. I want to see an evil grin, and that just ain’t possible if you don’t have crow’s feet. Sorry, young-uns, but you’re not all that. ‘All that’ is the man with the silver in his beard whose kisses feel like sex.
Apparently there are still men who think asking to fuck a woman at a party before they’ve even seen any platonic interest from her is appropriate, or so today’s thread has told me. If a woman accuses you of being inappropriate, odds are good you were inappropriate. If more than two or three of them have, you, sunshine, are the common denominator, and you are trying to jump to the top of the mountain before finding your way to the middle.
I’m not convinced that men who make that kind of pass are making innocent mistakes, but okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Relationships work on a gradient. Before you get to kiss the girl, you prolly have to talk to the girl. Before you talk to the girl, you prolly have to make eye contact with her. Before you touch her in a nonsexual way, you need to find out if she’s holding your gaze for longer than three seconds. I know this sounds hellishly complicated and pedantic, but it’s not, really. It’s just that most of us work our way up the gradient intuitively, without having to think about it. If you’re not able to read people well enough to evade the ‘inappropriate’ label, you’re going to have to go to the same body language nursery school that the rest of us went to when we were teenagers. You’re going to have to learn that shit like you were supposed to years ago.
Apparently you’re not supposed to use parties, munches, and Fetlife to find partners. Fetlife is not a dating site. Play parties are not to be used to meet partners. Kfine, but if you’re not meeting kink partners on Fetlife and at parties, where are you meeting them? At the supermarket?
“Please will you pass the cereal and, by the way, are you into being tied up and tortured?”
I use Fetlife for its platonic friendships and education, but sex and love are some of the coolest, happiest things life has for us. Hoping to find them at parties or a kink networking site is hardly my idea of an ethical problem. If I were here to find victims for my serial killer fantasies, that would be an ethical disaster. Finding love on a social networking site? That’s not a moral catastrophe.
People use all kinds of places to find partners. Church, salsa clubs, cooking classes… They don’t use them solely for romance, but we all have an awe-inspiring talent for multitasking. We can use Fet and munches for more than one reason at a time. This is not even as hard as juggling two tasks at once. This is child’s play.
As long as you aren’t being blatantly dishonest with me, as long as you’re not pestering me, I’m good with those motives. I don’t need express consent to exist for all that happens in the early stages of a relationship before sex is on the table. Obviously there are many in the community who want to do things that way, but I’m the magic and rainbows type. I would rather you got your consent through a combination of intuition and observation.
A victim is “a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment.” It’s not possible to get to the other side of trauma alive by being passive and helpless. That’s what makes you a survivor in those early days.
In the beginning, you will think of yourself as a victim. You will sit in the same figurative room as your rapist going through every minute of the encounter, processing it, turning it, impossibly, into something palatable; something you can live with one slow minute at a time.
You’ll fail, so you will know with utter certainty that nothing will ever set you free. You will know that there is no life left for you that is unaffected by rape.
You will be wrong.
Rape will drill into the centre of your psyche and lift out the kind of self-hatred that will make you want to die not because life is hard, (although it will be) but because you despise yourself that much. With that, you will begin the slow journey of trying to relearn to love yourself. You will know it’s an impossible one to arrive at the end of.
You will be wrong.
And so you’ll comb through those few hours that changed your life again and again. It won’t work the first time. Or the second. Or the third, so you will do it again. And again.