Hey, tops. How do you feel when a bottom says “Why did you do that?”
Hey, bottoms. How do you feel when a top slaps your hand away from the rope and mutters “Don’t help.”
Here’s an even more fun one, for those of you in a relationship, mono or non- : “So, now that we’ve met [NAME], what do you think of [GENDER PRONOUN]?”
Hint: Many Western-culturalized males will recognize this question as one of the Great Traps of Conversations with Your SO, only slightly less treacherous than “Does this make me look fat?”
The thing is, all of these statements have one thing in common: they are only hurtful if they are asked from a place of suspicion, or if they are perceived to be.
Think about that. The inner monologues go something like this:
“Why did you do that?:
TOP: Oh fuck, she doesn’t think I know what I’m doing. She’s not being submissive at all. She’s probably laughing at me right now! Goddamnit, I would have gotten it if she hadn’t’ve interrupted my flow! GAHHHH!
BOTTOM: Doesn’t he care enough to make it feel right? He’s not even checking the ropes, much less paying attention to me! I’m just a piece of meat to hang that fucking rope on. He probably doesn’t even remember that it’s me in the ropes, he’s probably thinking about somebody else. Fucking prima donna.
TOP: See above.
BOTTOM: See above.
“So now that we’ve met…what do you think?”
You don’t really need that explained, and if you think I’m dumb enough to dig that hole for myself, you obviously think I’m an idiot. In fact, you’re probably only reading this blog because you want to quote parts of it on BDSM_snark and chuckle about it with your friends. Fine, go ahead, if my blog’s not good enough, maybe some other blog will make you happy. Just go on, I don’t even care any more. Obviously I’m not enough, and I’m sure you’ll be much happier over there with that interesting intelligent person…
You get the idea? It’s all about insecurity, either in yourself or in the other person.
So here’s the idea: work on how you ask those questions so that the person knows they’re coming from a position of trust. “I know you know what you’re doing, but I noticed a rope twist up here. Mind if I fix it?” “No, I’ll go over all those later – right now it’s just a spice for the experience. Thanks for letting me know.” Both cases acknowledge the value of the other person.
Or you can establish trust through opening yourself up first: “She seemed nice, and pretty, too. Do you think she’d like to hang out with us more? You two seemed to have a lot in common.” Suddenly instead of “You vs. Me” it’s “Here’s my view. And I’m secure in us, so here’s how we can continue to explore things together.”
Here’s the sucky part: it’s hard to learn to communicate this way. It takes practice, it takes conscientiousness, it takes going around and around in circles with “What I’m hearing you say is…” and starting over again. Non-violent communication is one way, and going to classes on kink communication in particular can help (btw, if you sign up for that, let ’em know I sent ya, ok?).
However, if you do take the time, in the long run, it’s worth it. Because one of the 10 Commandments of Kink is:
Thou shalt ask for what thee wants, and thou shalt get what thee asks for.
No more, no less.