In an email conversation with Green Man, I've been sending strangely timely text messages by all accounts (nice to know that my radar is not completely off-kilter) and he asked me an interesting question about whether I did consider myself a switch, given that the situations in which I appear to be having the most fun are those when I am submitting.
The short and pat answer is "yes" but he certainly got a better response than that. There's a number of reasons and I thought it worth going through, it's the end of the year and I'm always easily led into a spate of introspection. To kick things off, I don't like labels. They serve a purpose and that purpose is usually served within five minutes of introducing oneself. My thoughts on labels are similar to my thoughts on stereotypes - I can accept that I might appear to be certain things, but that's usually because of where I am and how I'm doing. Usually. Sometimes it's all true. So far, so muddy, that's the difficulty with talking labels. What I can talk about is activities, experiences and feelings (physical, emotional, that crazy-wonderful place that is both, neither and in between).
I do BDSM because I enjoy it, simply put. Really, really enjoy it. I like all sorts of things about it. I like being part of a niche community that does things differently to others. I like being engaged in something that inspires passion and massive responses. I'm fascinated by human responses, others and my own. I like to observe reactions, feel skin go taut. I love kit, the smell of leather, the jingle of buckles and sex that is more than sex. I like it when my heart races. I like it when other people's hearts race and when they collapse into a silly, giggling, grinning heap. I like doing that to people and I like it when people do it to me. It's not just the net result though - it's about how we got there and who I'm doing it with. Certainly my main serious partners have been mostly dominant, which means that I've done mostly submissive things. Different strokes...
The physical stuff is easier to describe and although I currently stipulate (on various websites across the internet) a few activities I don't enjoy, I can imagine that with the right person, in the right context they could be amazing. They just haven't been right for me yet. Or I haven't done it and am worried about not knowing how. So I can't tell you about my BDSM orientation by just telling you what I have enjoyed doing. Just that I've enjoyed doing it. I might not in the future. It depends on what's in my head. And there's a lot going on (I know it doesn't often seem that way). Right now, for example, I am seeking out some beautiful young men who might be interested in becoming pets for my own personal amusement - this has resulted in some epic dreams about cunnilingus training that I'm hoping to turn into reality. I have also had dreams about being beaten til I couldn't move then strapped down and fucked.
Before I start to isolate everyone by sounding very undecided and fickle (which certain parties have already defined as being the core of "a switch") I do know that the real desires of my heart lies in the psychological context for those activities. Because it's not about what I'm doing. Really, it's about me. I like to feel important and valued, that comes across in how I play - when I'm on top I don't want to have to fight someone for control, I want them to come to me and beg me to take it from them. To offer themselves up for me. When I'm submitting, it's about being "good", either because I just am, or because I've done something difficult and challenging. Either way, I want to make someone happy because they are with me.
The key is in who that someone is, what they want and what pleases them. It's that which drives the way I feel which in turn drives what I enjoy doing. It's in the D/s, in the power play - in whatever real connection I have with my partner, whether that be love, fondness or a deep, chemical need to fuck them right then and there. Without that connection, things become a little less interesting to me, it's casual sex and messing around and I'd rather spend my time doing something with a bit more "me".