Sometimes, words fail. Sometimes, it is simply an act, or a look, or a feeling, that defines a moment.
The other night it was all of those things.
We’d had a failure of another sort the night before and both of us had ended the evening feeling a bit…tender maybe. Not at each other, but for each other, which is almost more painful in some ways. I had found a picture of a particular tie on the net that I really wanted to try. Now, I am not always realistic about my own physical capabilities. I get
a little overly enthusiastic, my eyes get bigger (or more limber) than my actual body parts, I get excited…and maybe a little unrealistic. “I can do that! C’mon, let’s just do it!”
I have learned many times that sometimes, my body will JUST NOT DO the shit I see on the net. Sometimes it is age, sometimes I am just not built in a way that makes it possible, sometimes we realize that there are probably other, unseen factors that enable a model to do things that no one could actually do in the real world. (Sometimes it’s a model and not “real world.”) W is experienced enough to see those things right away, and even when that isn’t the case, he is always careful to…temper my enthusiasm with the realities of how stressful the position is likely to be. But regardless of my own flights of fancy and lack of understanding of physics, body mechanics and my own frailties, I never worry that it is W that does not have the skill or experience to do a tie. I know that he is amazingly skilled, and if he doesn’t know how to do something specific, or doesn’t feel he can do a thing safely, he will either a) say so, or b) figure out how to do it. In all the years we’ve been doing this, we’ve only had – maybe – one or two failed attempts at ties.
It’s important to realize that we do this for fun, and in scene play. It’s not a performance, and we don’t have “practice sessions.” I make this distinction because we have a number of of acquaintances that do do this as part of their “repertoire,” as part of something more like performance art, or as a job. They spend hours practicing a certain tie or a routine so that by the time they do it at a play party or in public, it is seamless and flowing. It’s choreographed, in other words, like a dance number or a theatrical production. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different than how W approaches rope, and by extension, how I do, and how he evaluates what I want to do in rope, when I do come up with stuff. He uses rope as a tool to hold someone or torture someone. It’s about subjugation, and control, and sometimes (although he hates this word) sadism. Only secondarily is it about achieving a certain look, though occasionally we play that way, too.
On the other hand, he knows I do enjoy the occasional spectacle, the “pretty rope,” or trying to emulate a certain position or tie. I also like to make pretty rope pictures at times, or I have an image in my head that I want him to create, and I’ll ask him to do so.
are good examples of that.
And, of course, he too likes to have evocative images for Bondage Demons, though his definition of what is “evocative” is usually an extreme predicament or position and/or subjugation-type play, not the typical “sexy rope” images that most riggers/photographers and models do. They are images of actual play, of scenes, not choreographed or posed shots.
The few times we have had a bondage “fail” have been when I have had an image in my head, or have a picture of something and have asked him to recreate it. It’s not usually his failure, but, as I mentioned, my own dis-understanding of body mechanics, or of how stressful a thing is likely to be, or of overestimating my own physical capabilities. However, on the occasion that I am talking about, I was fairly certain that this would not be an issue. It looked to be a fairly easy position, and not even one that I particularly liked – it was what could be done with the person in it that appealed to me. I have been wanting a certain kind of play at our local play party. I have never seen anyone do it there before, and I thought it would be fun to do in front of a crowd. It’s not particularly edgy, just intense and different, and certainly not our style of play-party play. And this position would lend itself very well to it, besides being a somewhat unusual suspension tie.
Another note: I am not a huge fan of suspensions. Frankly, most of them, to watch or be in, bore the fuck outta me. So I get put up in the air and twirled around. ~shrug~ They are performance art, and as I mentioned before, that’s not why I get tied up, not why I want to be tied up, not why W wants to tie girls up. There ARE exceptions to this (just as there are “riggers” who actually play) and those exceptions I enjoy: when the chemistry is palpable between the two players, when the suspension is for something other than a performance, when I can feel the heat and energy between them. But…those are (unfortunately) less frequent than I (personally) would like. And yes, I know that this is not the way those that enjoy these kinds of suspensions feel about them, I understand what they do get out of them, that’s just not my experience with them. I’m thrilled to see/know people that really, really dig them, get off on them and enjoy them. To each their own and the world would be a boring place if were all alike, right?
I say all this because the tie I wanted to try IS a suspension, but it is one that has a very, very specific use (in my mind.) Or I wanted it to, at least.
This is, again, the conundrum I live with. (But which I – and W – are learning to navigate better and better.) I wanted a certain kind of play. I have hinted at it several times, and even out and out asked for it, but it hasn’t happened. Not because he doesn’t want to do it (if that was the case he would say so, and I would respect that) but because there are so many, many fun, awful, nasty, fucked-up delightful things to do…and/or (and this is the real issue) he doesn’t like to plan things. He doesn’t like to plan out in advance (except in very broad, loose terms, possibly) about what he is going to do when we go to a play party. He enjoys letting the synergy of mood and venue and energy and our own dynamic dictate where he wants to go when we play, and because of that, and because this kind of play is so very…different…for him, he never even considers it when he is in the moment. It really is something that – because it’s unusual for him to do – he would need to think about and decide to do beforehand. So…I realized if I really wanted it, I would have to ASK for it. Specifically. And make him PLAN for it, and, in the case of this tie, because it was an unusual one for us, practice it before we went. Not, as I said, our usual M.O.
So that’s what I did. He agreed, and that’s what we did the other night.
Suspensions, even ones that are relatively less stressful, as this one appeared to be, are not easy, no matter how easy they look when you see an experienced Top putting a girl up, no matter how relaxed and blissed out she seems to be. They are edgeplay and even the least stressful tie can be dangerous. This particular one didn’t look difficult, but we wanted to give it a try to be sure that we could do it before we did it at a party. There were certain engineering/mechanical details that needed to be worked out, and also we wanted to be sure that it was a tie that I could maintain for long enough for the scene I envisioned in it.
For various reasons it ended up being trickier than we anticipated, and ultimately, we were not able to get it worked out. We were both pretty disappointed, but for very different reasons. W was unhappy with himself because he couldn’t make the tie work, and I was unhappy with myself for asking him for something that caused him to feel inadequate or frustrated.
Everyone has an off night sometimes. Play long enough, and you’ll have a scene that doesn’t work out, that you just can’t “get there” in. We have (blessedly) had few of those, mostly because we are both pretty adaptable and empathic with each other. When we realize it isn’t working for whatever reason, we are able to either change it up so it does work, or find something else entirely to do. In the instance the other night, that wasn’t the case – but there is a very simple reason why: we weren’t playing. It wasn’t spontaneous. We had a goal. We were practicing.
And that turned out to be the key, when we did get it right. Which we did, the very next night.
But prior to that, I had to go through the whole mind-fuck that I put myself through. “I shouldn’t have asked for something. I have made him feel bad. I should keep my mouth shut. He’s the Top. It’s not my place to dictate what I want.”
Stupid, stupid girl.
Of course that wasn’t the way it was, and that is certainly not what he wants in a play partner. We have been together long enough that I should know that. But that is where my head was at when I left, and I was more than happy to drop the idea entirely – in fact I wanted to, and thought that we had.
Until W suggested that I come over so we could give it a go the next night.
I admit, I was hesitant. One of the things I love about my Mean Guy is his self-confidence, but how that is manifested is in a way that you may not understand or appreciate. He is humble. I know that doesn’t sound like it goes with “self-confidence,” but it does. He knows he’s capable, he knows he’s skilled, he knows he’s good. He doesn’t have to crow about it, or show off, or puff out his chest. And he can admit to having failings, because he knows they do not define him. Intellectually I knew that he would bounce back from his frustration, but emotionally I was having a hard time dealing with having been the cause of that frustration – and I didn’t want to go there again. So…I agreed to try again, but reluctantly. Reluctantly to the point of, once having arrived at his house, I made an excuse to leave right away, rather than try it again.
He wouldn’t let me. “Five minutes,” he said. “That’s all I need.”
I looked at him. This was not the same man as the night before. This was my Mean Guy, my Top – my Dominant. There was a confidence about him – and an authority about him – that wouldn’t let me refuse.
It took longer than five minutes to actually do the tie – but far less than that for me to realize, when we got upstairs and he got the rope out, that I was playing with an entirely different man than I had been playing with the night before. In fact it took about thirty seconds, the time it took for him to grab my arms, pull them back and cinch the rope around them.
I wonder if he heard the sound of me dropping like a stone into rope space.
FUCK that man is good.
I can still see that look on his face, in his eyes, still feel a shiver at the memory of his hands on my body, on the rope. Feel the surge of adrenaline and heat and satisfaction and pure pleasure that we were both getting in having, somehow, inexplicably, arrived there, in that space, with everything going just so. There were no words needed, and even now words fail me as I try to describe the absolute perfection of those moments. But that’s okay. Sometimes we don’t need words.