Edit: I started this post before the events of yesterday, which, while they do not change the essence of my post and thoughts and feelings, have caused me to think about the nature of what it is that W and I do, compared to how others do this, and what it is about W’s style of play that makes it work so much for me. Why he can push me so deeply into a place, and I am willing and want to come back for more, but pushed there by someone else, that may not be the case. This ties into the nature of pain, and eroticizing it, as opposed to pain play for the sake of pain itself; although even in the scene I described in my first link below, while he was as objectifying and detached as a person could be, I had already reached that place with him where I knew that at the heart of what he was doing was a deep sensuality, a desire and ability to eroticize our interactions, and so that groundwork of trust–and even, joy, in what it was that he wanted to do to me and with me–was laid, and enabled me to endure it, and want to endure it. Indeed, it is that trust in him, and desire to do what he wants, even when I really, truly do not like it, like last night, that kept me there. He was watching, he didn’t think I couldn’t take what his friend was doing to me, therefore I could, and would. In the moment I hated him for that, for letting me hurt that way, for believing that I could take it (and thus, forcing me to take it, without exerting any “force” at all.) In fact, it never occurred to me not to: at any point I could have broken position, but I didn’t, and only tried harder to do as I was told, to obey both his friend, who was demanding that obedience directly, and W, who was demanding it simply by watching, by showing me that he believed I could handle it.
I am still processing last night, so these thoughts and feelings are deeply personal, and not quite formed, actually, and perhaps not even ready to share. But because I had already started this post, and because last night’s play does impact my feelings about the subject, I wanted to at least touch on those thoughts first.
“Has W ever pushed you beyond the limitations of what you could endure?” FlaviusIulianus asked me over IM yesterday.
The question gave me pause. There was one scene, early on, in which I really felt I was at the limits of my physical endurance, but, in the end, of course I wasn’t. People can deal with a hell of a lot of physical pain and discomfort, and that, after all, pushing to that edge, is oftentimes why I want to go there, to do this. While I don’t classify myself as a masochist, pain–and enduring or pushing through that pain–is often a goal for me. It releases me. When the scene I referenced above was over, I was filled with gratitude that he had been courageous enough to take me there. It can’t be easy as a Top to push someone–especially, as in our case at that time, someone you don’t know well–to a place you know (or suspect) is just beyond the limit of where she feels she can endure, but where you know (or suspect) she can. In fact it is probably damned scary.
There have been other physically brutal scenes that, afterward, left me dazed, empty, physically shattered. And yet, of course, I survived, and more than that, I rejoiced when it was over, curling into him, feeling his arms around me, my emptiness replaced by the fullness of the deep gratitude and a sense of peace, of homecoming, that I always feel after such scenes. And I came back for more, and indeed, came to love him for the precise reason (among other things) that he was willing to go to those places, to take me there.
There have also been tests that had nothing to do with physical duress, but that tested the limits of my willingness to do what he wants me to do, that pushed me emotionally into spaces that were uncomfortable, exploring the edges of my emotional limitations as well. Those might be the scariest ones of all, because you can tell if you’ve broken a body, but what about a heart? A mind? How do you recover from that (as either the Top or the bottom)? But no, even in those spaces he has deftly taken me to the edge, shown me the abyss, even hung me over the edge, and then pulled me back.
Or watched as I crawled back to him.
So I can’t truly say that he has “pushed me beyond” what I can endure.
I thought to say to FlaviusIulianus, or perhaps did say, that if he had, I wouldn’t still be with him. Except that when I think about that scenario, I don’t know if that is true either. Because if it did happen, I know it would be accidental, and definitely not deliberate, because yeah, folks, accidents happen. In WIITWD and in real life. In that wonderful serendipity of internet and real life interweaving, SayNine was just discussing that over on his blog recently.
And that would certainly not warrant never coming back.
Because here is the thing. I have often thought about how I went to him, that first time, and played without a safeword. About where my head was, why I did it, and did it reveal a heretofore unknown flaw in my usual cautious nature? I have never been much of a risk-taker: sometimes I think even BDSM, which on the surface seems like an activity a risk-taker would gravitate to (and perhaps is), is actually a way for me to act out dangerous/fringe activities without risk, or at least in a safe, controlled environment. Risk-taking for the risk-adverse. So why would I suddenly throw my usual caution to the wind that way?
I have often said, and thought, that it had to do with following my instincts. I trust my intuition, and my intuition led me to place myself in W’s care right from the beginning. To trust him with my physical safety, without fear of actual harm. To know, deep inside, without a shadow of a doubt, that while he might hurt me, he would not harm me. I had absolute faith and trust in that nothing he did would be done carelessly. I am using that word not just in the sense of being inattentive, incautious, or negligent, but in the deeper sense of being without care for one who has placed herself in his hands, who has placed her trust in him: unthoughtful, unmindful. He truly cares, and it informs everything that he does, every interaction that we have; it was that sense of him that caused me to trust him in the way I did, intuitively, right from the beginning.
That is not to say that he might not ever push me too far. It can, and does, happen. But if it did, if it does, I know without a moment’s second-thoughts that he wouldn’t have done it carelessly. And that, if it happened, it could be fixed. We would talk about it, as we do all things, and because I know at his heart is the desire not to be careless with me, as a human being, as someone he loves, we would work through it. That, to me, is the essence of truly trusting someone as deeply, and wholly, as I trust him.