A conversation on my twitter stream got me to think about crying, kink and gendered attitudes to emotional release. Bear with me, it will all merge together seamlessly. Crying - and I mean genuine, gut-wrenching bent over uncontrollable snotty sobbing rather than a few Virgin Mary dew drops on the cheek - is an astonishing outpouring of human emotion and a very challenging thing to watch and to participate in, especially if you are kinky.
Even if you are not, it is a strange sensation, a rarity to see someone cry in public for example, except on cases of obvious exception such as a funeral - in which case the oddity is not crying. Social expectations, perhaps in particular British social expectations mean that the physical breakdown and loss of control shown through crying can make us feel very uncomfortable. We know that someone is unhappy, so unhappy that they are unable to mask that feeling in accordance with the weight of social convention. We empathise with them, and perhaps our heart gives a little pang as it reaches out to them, but at the same time we feel a barrier, we may even feel awkward around them, possibly needing to move away. They have passed over a certain point, we have not.
Dacryphilia, to give it the full name is a complicated beastie, as hinted in the wiki link.Tears, especially a man's tears, are rare, hard and beautiful like diamonds. More so than anger, which is the more generally conditioned male response and certainly the most socially acceptable. One could argue that men are taught to get angry and women are taught to cry, certainly I have been around many more crying women than men and the few men who have cried in my presence have been long term partners after a serious emotional incident.
I love tears. Both crying and the idea of making someone cry. Tears evoke exactly the sort of push/pull response that is the foundation of my own power exchange and D/s. They are a release that gives intense relief after something pent up has been let go - in a very similar way to pain play or to orgasm, an ideal scenario (for me at any rate) would involve all three. It hits all of my buttons. The physical manifestation of an emotional and psychological overload: the mixture of shame, sexual flush, fear and desire. I find tears fascinating. I don't cry often in the presence of others - like many I view breaking down in tears as having "lost" and I have yet to force anyone else to the point of tears. But I want to.
At the moment I can only imagine what it might be like to be the dominant in such a scenario - I have been on the other side of the equation so I understand the level of submission and emotional reliance that this can entail, and therefore the duty of care and responsibility that kind of crying it would bring, would mean. Equally I know that, like orgasm, the release can be very context specific. I have cried as a bottom and it has been a pleasure to cry and to experience the joy of doing so. And finally, I have cried simply for the sorrow and loss of the end of a D/s relationship that was very special and important to me - one that I thought would be forever. I literally sat down and wept every single day for a couple of weeks, I am certain that I cried more than I have ever cried in my life. But each day I cried a little less, and like the washing out of shore by the tides it cleansed something inside of me.
I want to kiss the tears that I have created off the glistening cheeks of my lover as I wrap my arms around them and let them sob their heart out, comforting and protecting them. The need to cry is in some respects like the need for orgasm, and to be the person who can inspire and fulfill both those needs must be a heady sensation indeed. It's one thing to bring someone to orgasm - even going via a humiliating or challenging route, quite another to make them do so through a mist tears. To take them through that barrier of social constraint, to the next level of trust and opening up, to mingle hurt with pleasure with loss of bodily control. To know, and yet not quite know, because the inside of other people's heads and hearts are still a wonderful mystery, that their tears are like yours in part but belong to you in whole.