I realized a few weeks ago that I don’t want to do bdsm right now. I realized that, in fact, it would be satisfying to just say, “I’m not doing bdsm right now.”
I still live with Joscelin (though we broke up over 2 years ago), and occasionally we play together, sometimes just for a quick fuck, sometimes for a week or more at a time. But we haven’t done anything lately. He’s been working on some projects that he might like a guinea pig for, and I realized it might be helpful to let him know I’m not doing bdsm right now, so we had a good long talk about it.
Partly it is that I don’t like the local bdsm community — at least, the part of it that I’ve seen. Our most “local” club (45 minutes away) is almost entirely heterosexual. Even though I’m sort of mostly straight myself, this doesn’t work for me, and it’s not because of some theoretical objection. I not only enjoy watching gays and lesbians do bdsm, I also seem to require the presence of gays and lesbians to legitimate the scene for me.
At this club, I find the kind of yucky thing I didn’t find where we last lived, or didn’t find enough to bother me – gender/role essentialism of some kind. It feels like there is a community there in which some are recognized as submissives and others as dominants and submissives are collectively regarded as cute or adorable or precious or funny. It’s hard to express clearly, and it may be more about me than about what’s actually going on there, but that’s how I feel.
When I go there, I end up interacting mostly with people who are either jerks or obviously troubled. By “obviously troubled” I mean the kind of people who I can tell, in my first conversation with them, are too emotionally damaged or somehow delusional for me to want to play or be friends with or even talk to more than I have to. And by “jerks” I mean, for instance, the guy who told me to smile (and then I did, which only makes me more angry), or guys who insist on telling me about things they like to do and which squick me out, or just that guy who sits next to you and tells you about himself in a way that makes you hate him.
Of course, there are plenty of other people there, but the ratios are wrong for me. I’m also not the easiest person to approach socially (I’m sort of shy and tend to maintain a gaze/body language that makes it impossible to talk to me), so maybe only maniacs (the kind of people who hit on and/or tell their life story to everyone in the room) even try.
My own history of doing bdsm is not so great. I had amazing, moving, sexy times with Joscelin – I’ll never deny that. But I think a lot of the choices we made were fundamentally misguided. Some of what he wanted was stuff I no longer really think it was OK to do.
That’s sort of beside the point, because right now, my desire to dominate people is basically non-existent. Being firm, creating experiences, making up the story, guiding people, etc. – those things don’t come very naturally to me, and my current job uses up every scrap of energy that I have in that direction, and then some. Maybe that’s part of it. I wouldn’t mind being submitted to, if submitting to me completely freely was satisfying enough for a partner, without my needing to do anything to make the experience complete, but I don’t expect such a person to exist. (Frankly, I think the idea is crazy, and I’d have to satifsy myself that a person who presented himself that way wasn’t just ridiculously emotionally damaged somehow.)
As for being a submissive…well, it does align with my innate desires pretty well. All of my masturbatory fantasies since early childhood have involved force, control, punishment, training, denial, and/or overstimulation directed at me.
In real life, I find submitting to be extremely compelling and satisfying and good…for a little while, like a couple of weeks. After that, I still find it compelling, but no longer really good. I start to hate it but I’m unable to see that I hate it, and so I just do it in a way that makes things impossible for my partner, while still believing fervently that I want to be doing it. And I’m devastated when it ends.
In general, submitting turns me into an emotional wreck anyway. Even in the early parts, I fall apart at the drop of a hat and need constant and deep reassurance all the damn time. (I’m not like this in everyday life, though I’m not a supremely confident person either.) That seems to suggest that maybe it’s not the healthiest thing for me to be doing.
Of course, this is all in a 24/7 type of setup. There are other ways to do bdsm, but over the years of knowing Joscelin and being around the scene I have kind of lost this knowledge.
It also takes a fuckload of trust for me to want to bottom to someone more than extremely casually. It’s not the physical risks — I’m not too worried about someone ignoring my safewords or raping me, etc., though I probably should be — it’s the mindset. If I learn later that there is gender essentialism in the other person’s mind or [fill in the blank with other things I find objectionable] I’m going to be really rageful and feel shame over what I participated in. It’s a lot to demand of another human being, really.
So, damn, what about the fact that it’s mostly only bdsm (or at least sex with some kind of power imbalance) that turns me on? Well, whatever. I’m not trying to constrain my future self from having whatever funtimes she chooses. But right now, sexual gratification doesn’t actually feel very important to me. I masturbate and that’s enough for me.
If I met someone I wanted to have sex with, then I would (assuming it was mutual, of course), and if we wanted to do some bdsm, then we would. But right now I’m not looking for that to happen, and certainly not going and seeking it out.