The Physical Price
I forget, at times, that along with the expected emotional toll that hard scening sometimes takes (subdrop, neediness, clinginess, etc.) there is also a physical toll. Aching body. Various and sundry hurts and pains.
It’s all good. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade even one of my aches and pains away–and my marks? Never. I cherish them. I look at them with affection and joy and use them to remind myself of the scene that caused them. I poke at them and rub on them and love them.
But still…they hurt. Tonight I am sore, and achy, and finding all kinds of muscles I never knew I had. Combine that with the beginning of subdrop and…sigh…you have a sad Jade.
And, dammit, I have W back in St. Louis, but he’s still there, and I’m here.
We had a spectacular weekend though.
W, Ad and I had been signed up for quite awhile for the St. Louis Lewbari Weekend Intensive with the fantastic rigger and bondage educator Lew Rubens, when Jay and Georgia of Fit to Be Tied emailed us that they, too, were coming into town for the event. Lew’s original demo bottom apparently couldn’t make it, so he’d texted her to see if she was available. If she’s anything like me, I’m sure she would have cancelled just about any other plans to get to be Lew’s demo bunny. As it was, we invited them to stay with us if they needed a place to stay while they were here, and they did.
It’s so cool meeting people from this space, and then parlaying that into a RL friendship. Jay had first recognized me at another conference-or unconference, as Graydancer calls them-the Grue in the ‘Lou, last year. It was another one of those odd moments. Someone sees or hears my name, they do a doubletake as the face registers as well, and recognition lights their faces. “Oh! You’re that Jade! I’ve seen your pictures (or read your blog)…” And I have a few moments of trying to get my mind around the fact (and get over the embarrassment in the knowledge) that the person talking to me has probably seen me naked, or read my words here as I exposed far more of myself than I ever would in person. But once I am over my initial embarrassment it is, of course, a pleasure to be recognized.
After the Grue, at which W, Ad and I got to know Jay and Georgia a little, we kept in touch via Twitter & Fetlife, occasionally throwing out the idea of having them down for a party or us going up there for one. So it was a natural to have them stay with us at W’s, and a pleasure to actually get to spend time with them outside of the weekend classes and play party.
The Lewbari Intensive was just an amazing weekend. Lew is a fantastic educator, and more than that, a really stand-up guy. W had told me about him before, having met him and spent some time with him at other events, and I had of course seen his work on his Fetlife profile and knew of his enormous popularity, so I was prepared for a “celebrity,” even though W insisted that he was as low-key and not-celebrity-ish as a person can be. But still. How could the kind of adulation that people heap on him not go to his head?
I’m here to tell you you could not find a more down-to-earth, personable and friendly person around. He reminds me of W in a way, actually. With a quiet kind of authority that comes with experience and knowledge, not self-aggrandizement. And he’s as quick to admit his own foibles as he is to acknowledge when he’s done something truly spectacular. The man has such an incredible wealth of knowledge, and yet he still encourages others to find their own way, applauds ingenuity and fosters a feeling of collaboration, a collaboration that he welcomes and seeks.
It was that feeling of being allowed to collaborate in the experience that made it so unusual this weekend. Most of the time I don’t want to play a part in steering where a scene goes. I know that W, and Ad to a degree, will use my reactions to inform the direction in which they move a scene. Occasionally I will request that we do a certain thing that I have seen, or try something out. But mostly, as W says, I go there and he does things to me. That’s the way we both like it. But since this was a learning experience for Ad, and for W in some ways, I was allowed–and encouraged–to help, to advise, to ask for and suggest things.
Interestingly enough (but probably not so odd, when you think about it) I think that is what led to the very intense resistance-play scene we had at the play party Saturday night.
I didn’t intend to fight back. As you all know by now, I tend to become very submissive when W is Topping me. I love that surrender, that release, and seldom fight back. (Actually, come to think of it, most of the times we’ve had resistance play in scenes has been when we’ve played with Ad. Resistance play during sex is very much more frequent.) But this weekend was about rope, not impact or pain play. And further, in some ways, “gentle” rope. Making rope comfortable for the bottom, which has its place, certainly, if what you want to do is prolong a scene. As Lew says, anyone can make rope hurt, but knowing how to make it comfortable or tolerable is a different skill, and by doing a few simple things to make it so, you can increase your bottom’s tolerance and ability to play longer. But…W and I usually like it a little rough. LOL Still, I was prepared to do some kind of rope scene, maybe even a suspension, something showy but still playful, because I can’t imagine the guys doing a scene without some kind of stress/duress or pain. That would be too far outside what we do, and…well, bottom line for me…boring.
Okay, I am going to admit it here and now. I am not a big fan of suspension. Yeah, it’s pretty, but…after that…so what? I mean, I want stuff to be done to me. I like it rough, I like it active. I don’t just want to be a piece of art. I want to be tied up and helpless and bound tightly and subjugated so that you can use and abuse my body, not so that you can hang me up like a picture. W’s the same way, and so even when he does suspend me, there is usually a predicament element, or some other distress he is causing me. So it’s all good.
We got to the playspace and everyone was doing their thing. Lots and lots of scenes going on with lots of rope, as expected. And I was still in this…I don’t want to call it Top space, because never, even when I was helping during the classes, did I feel toppy to either of them, but I certainly wasn’t in my quiet, good-girl submissive headspace. I think…I needed to be taken down. I needed to have that power, that control that I had been allowed during the classes, to be stripped from me.
And was it ever.
I don’t actually remember many specifics about the scene. Things got pretty fuzzy pretty fast.
I do know it started out quiet enough. I started out compliant. But then…I don’t know when it turned. Suddenly…I was fighting the rope and them. I fought and twisted and swore and kicked. And they grabbed me, and pinned me, and finally tied me roughly to a post. Then they caned me and whipped me and cropped me until there was no more fight in me. Until, finally, I surrendered.
My clearest memory: W pressing me hard against the post behind me, my arms stretched painfully back around it and tied tightly with rope, the rough wood scraping my back. He has one hand at my throat, cutting off my air and lifting me onto my toes. His breathing rasps in my ear as he runs his other hand over my body with an intimacy that shuts out the rest of the room and freezes us in that moment.
And I am more alive in that moment than I have been all month.
Later, as he loosened the ropes moments before I collapsed into his arms, I recall saying to him, “I won’t kick you anymore.” To my befuddled mind, it seemed very important that he know that. He paused for a moment and then, with a laugh, replied, “I know.”
Today, I have marks and bruises all over my thighs, ankles and calves, from rope and crops and canes, and my body aches in a myriad of places. I am paying the physical price for our play. And I am as deliriously happy as I can be.