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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Heart / Strings

The problem with no-strings attached relationships is exactly that. No strings. No expectations. You can't berate casual partners for not dropping everything to come and be at your bedside on a whim when they are half way across town doing something else. Strings entangle, they make knots, and they pull. They pull both ways. Without them, there is less stress and worry. For the most part, "no strings" is good - it fits in with how busy I am, and how busy those I'm playing with are. Sometimes it smarts a little, when I can't instantly get what I want but I appreciate the fact this means I do not have to deliver at all times, either. A cancelled date or two just need to be shrugged off because in the grand scheme of things I am not the most important thing in their life. And neither are they to me.

Which isn't to say that my relationships are not important. They are and I care an awful lot about those under my auspices, but I am also trying to be easy going. A light touch. This all works very well when everyone is happy and not very much in need of anything deeper: it's fun, delicious and friendly. The drive for these types of relationships is self-imposed. Partly to give me physical and mental space and partly to protect myself and those I'm playing with from the encumberance of serious, weighty emotional entanglements. I know that my lovers' hearts belong to other people, and I know that my heart is not (not yet, not quite) ready to fall in love again.

But it has recovered enough for me to feel the absence of love.

Maybe it's because Valentines Day is approaching, and I'm a sucker for annual marketing schemes. Perhaps because a number of friends of mine are variously falling in, falling out or generally being in love. It's in the air. More and more I keep getting a twinge of wishing that there were more strings. Wanting to have someone who is mine, there for me, but not really feeling capable of getting it just yet. It's quite frustrating.

Dominance has its own set of anxieties. The worry about being "good enough" still persists but in a different kind to its submissive sibling, especially when you are playing with people who are not exclusive to you and who you don't see very often. There is a limit on what you can do, when and how much. It affects the quality and type of dominance, making it focus much more around the scene itself and then retreating back to almost nothing at other times.

The freedom of loose, unaffiliated exchange is also a freedom from the comfort, reassurance and solace of bonds and ties. Each time I play a scene I feel as if I am starting from scratch, on some level. Consent is given (and taken) for the first and last time every single time. I feel as if I need to improve on the last time we played, to reassert my will, my dominance, because it isn't an "always on" scenario. And that's just the physical side. I feel less sure about my ability to dig deeper into my dominance and their submission when levels of consent are always flickering - when they are only mine whilst they are there, laid out, naked.

And don't get me wrong, I love those times and the recent moments of submission that have been offered to me over the past few weeks have been beautiful. But like an explorer seeing the edges of a new land, I feel as if there's more to be found. Bigger highs. Deeper space.

No requirements outside of the scene itself means that emotions stay transient, and to a certain extent, abstract. Aftermaths are about feedback messages, memories and thoughts of what to do with them next time. All of these things are good and make me smile, but I'm starting to see how they could be better. A lot of my play is about the doing and less about feelings, especially deep, lasting emotions. Especially love. The dominant I want to become wants to play in those waters of the heart. The dominant I am right now, isn't ready and more to the point would do more harm than good by playing there.

Doesn't stop me wanting it though.


Lilith said...

I was going to meditate on the differences between committed love and the limited love one can feel in no-strings relationships, but instead I want to talk of love's pain and wonder.

Your post minded me of a piece from my favourite single piece of writing (Kahlil Gibran on Love):

"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears."

Love is brutal, but it is also wonderful. It is a madness which can give you wonderful highs but also the depths of despair. However, like some mental illnesses (in their case through medication), you can choose not to experience the lows, but in doing so you "letterbox" yourself, and do not experience the heights of joy either.

You may not be ready yet, and you may never feel entirely ready to expose yourself to love's painful brightness once more, but my advice is that when that person arrives in your life, be brave.

"When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. "

What Gibran's poem does not mention, however, is that if you were to be devastated by love again, you would not have to face that alone. We, your loving friends, are here to catch you if should you fall.


M said...

I hate valentine's day most notably because I am sorta-happily single, but it also does make me feel a bit of a pressure and a sense of inadequacy that I'm not seeing anyone or that I've not got anything planned.

With the exception of this blog post on my RSS feeds, and having to go into into Sainsbury's today (to which I thought: why are there roses and heart shaped helium balloons? oh yes valentine's day), ignoring it's valentine's day for me at least is a way of not letting me affect me too much.

It's hard not to give a shit when
deep down, what you really want involves those little things about being in a relationship, such as love, cuddles and having arm candy to take with you to places.

Considering you have so many fingers in so many pies, I suspect you have enough to keep you busy to forget the day. Falling for the corporate conspiracy that is Valentine's day is an evil akin to ultra freetrade capitalism or ultraconservatism. Subscribing to valentine's day is seen by many (and cynical lonely me can see why) as a corporate ploy, even for people in relationships many feel it a chore.

I'm going busy myself with something geeky such as xbox, or maybe i'll do another gym session to distract myself on Monday. Keeping busy doesn't run away from the thoughts you are trying to hold back from, but it will make the ides of February finish quickly.

It's one thing to be caught up in the valentine's hype (whether in a relationship or not), and its another to long for what love once brought. Note the difference, the latter probably won't go away, but the former will dissipate come the 15th.

I've very much enjoyed the fun posts and stories you've given of late. I think all things considered you should feel quite pleased with all the domination fun you've had lately! It's most enviable and no corporate delusion such as valentine's day can take that away :)