In BDSM interactions, we can only set the ball rolling, not predict where it is going to land. We can only speak for ourselves and our states of being. And even then it's not certain. For me, this is especially true of emotional or psychological areas: my submissive state is one in which I have increased sensitivity not merely to touch but to thoughts, to feelings. I will take things to heart, particularly criticism because I want to be good, to be wanted, desired, pleasing. This isn't a mutely facile servile mindset without process, far from it, it is part of who I am as a person so by extension it is part of me. I hate failure, weakness, vacillation or lack of care. Actually, it is truer to say that I fear failure, letting people down, not doing what I should. This can often be a powerful and positive driver, it moves me forwards, keeps me honest. But in a submissive state these fears are exacerbated and the channels for moving beyond them locked down, out of reach because not only do I fear the act of failure itself, I am not in control of what determines a failure, or the consequences.
"Aren't you going to answer me?" He slaps my cheek again, holding my face firm with his other hand, turning it over so he can hit the other side. Hard, regular strokes.
A little thing, in isolation, a small correction of behaviour. Talking about it afterwards we both agreed that it could have gone either way, we could have ignored the blip, laughed it off and carried on, but neither of us did, there was an edge to what had happened, for whatever reason. One of those unexpected, unpredictable turns of emotions and we both decided to run with it. The incident in question isn't important, only that I hadn't behaved precisely as I should, as a slave should. And now I wasn't responding as I should, a simple yes or no would have done, but I didn't: passivity had slid into something else, refusal, negation. I was holding my lips firmly pressed together. A cold, slippery fish flipped in my stomach, I was upset with myself for letting him down, but there was more to it than that. I could feel myself pulling away from him, becoming angry with him just as I was angry with myself. And resolved not to speak, not to react, to not play this game. It wasn't bratting, there was no conscious decision on my part to try and "push" him, or make him angry with me, I just wasn't in a place where I felt I could speak, I gritted my teeth, I started to cry but they were not tears of abandon, or pain or suffering, they were angry, frustrated tears.
"Why aren't you answering me?" Calm voice, still hitting me. Within me I could feel something build, and at that point I almost felt as if most of my conscious mind had simply shut down, whatever was piloting me forward was pure and simple rage, hate and hurt. It was an animal place, of push and pull. And I was being pushed.
I lashed out, turning round and hitting him back before he caught my arms and bore me down onto my side, holding my wrists tight, his voice was harder, he was talking to me, demanding to know what was going on, making me aware of just what would happen if I ever tried to hit him again but his voice started to sound very far away. It was like blacking out. I had moved so far away, away from my mistake, from his punishment of that mistake and my own guilt at having let him down. I was just angry, cold and angry. There weren't any words where I was, and I didn't move either, immobilised and unwilling to respond. I think I might have growled. After a while he stops, turning away from me, pulling the sheets around him, leaving me in the dark. Like a surly lover, refusing to bridge the gap after an argument with a single kind words, still too raw and angry to speak, I reached for the sheets to cover myself but he pulled them back. At which point I got up and left the room.
Two minutes walking up and down a small, cold bathroom in the dark wondering if this was the end of the experiment, If I'd gone as far as I could reasonably go. If I'd broken what we had, and what I could do next. On my way to make up the spare bed, too proud to go back to the room, The Photographer met me in the kitchen and held out his arms, I held on for a long time and then we went back to bed to discuss what happened, to reassure each other that we were both safe, both happy with each other, both wanting to continue.
The play that we have is not really play. It does not turn on and off, we are not actors who adopt roles, we are people exploring a serious and deep connection. So to say that we went back to the scene is not the right phrase, but we did push ourselves back into that place, to resolve it in the space where it was created. I can start it at any point I want, if I want. And I do, with all my heart. I get on my knees, at the foot of the bed and apologise to him, sincerely, in full and honest earnestness. There is no anger in me any more. I am calm with flashes of concern and worry that he will not take me back. Collar and cuffs put on in silence and after a few minutes I am allowed back into the bed, held tightly.
Whatever was started was both powerful and unexpected and is still continuing. We've talked further, in more depth and the emotional angle to what we are doing is something we are only just starting to fully appreciate. I'm interested to see how it will develop. As my submission grows, as our connection grows, there will be further moments like this, barriers that we never knew existed will appear and we will have to work through them, or put a line under it, say "this far and no further." I'm not there yet. I've got more distance to go.
5 weeks ago