I wasn’t planning to do anything for this week’s prompt because, well, I don’t say “no” very often! What would I have to write about? Though of course I do have a picture or two that pretty much screams “no”…
But that really wasn’t what I wanted to post. I’ve been tearing through my BBW write-ups, and I didn’t want to slow that train down, right? But then I realized that “no” WAS a big part of the party for me, and I decided to take a breather from the day-to-day breakdown of the event and focus on some of the stuff that was going on mentally while I was there. (I know, ya’ll thought you were going to escape my endless mental gymnastics and analyses on this one, didn’t ya? Sorry.) ;-)
So what does the word “no” have to do with a spanking party?
Well, let’s start with the fact that I am submissive by nature. I’d like to say that I am a dominant woman in the real world as well as my sexual one, but the reality is, though I am extremely independent, confident, competent, and something of a go-getter in my chosen career (none of which are antithetical to being submissive), at my core I am still a pleaser, and very needful of praise, approval and validation by my superiors. I respond to authority in ways that I recognize are driven by these needs, and to the kinds of authority figures that (instinctively or deliberately) provide the kind of reinforcement I need. So although I’d like to say that my submissive nature is contained within the box that is my sexuality, the reality is that it isn’t. I’m a pleaser by nature. I crave approval. I thrive in situations where there is clear authority and I can (as long as it makes sense) follow it.
And damn it, put me in a roomful of subtly toppy, authoritative men and women (and some not-so-subtle), even if it is a social or professional situation, and all those tendencies spring to the forefront. And what that means is…I want to please. I don’t want to say no. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed in me.
W and play on this theme a bit in our social interactions at kink and swing parties, and in our games in which he places me in a sexual situation, or gives me directives about sexual situations from afar. His primary directive to me, that I am to make myself sexually available if it is appropriate, safe and sane, is a prime example of this. (This is not a hard and fast rule, by any means, and not always in place, but there are times when it is.) This works on my twisted brain (and more twisted sexuality) and we both get off on the angst, anxiety, and heat it ultimately produces.
But I had no such directive in Atlantic City. I was there entirely for myself. I had absolutely no rules, directives, orders, or even much contact with W while I was there.
I was completely on my own.
And…I had to learn to say “no.” No to my own brain when it said I had to go here or do that (sometimes it doesn’t pay attention to my emotions, which are saying, “we need a mental lie-down!”) No to my body when it said, “another glass of wine, you’ll feel b-e-e-e-ter.” And no to some of the people around me, who wanted “a piece of me” (albeit in a nice, flattering way) that I was perhaps not willing to give. Not even to please them. Because I was there to please myself.
I had an interesting discussion with P right in the beginning of the weekend about nearly that same topic, actually: how to say no – how to reject someone – gracefully. I was really curious about how to do it, as I have said yes many (many!) times, to sex, to dates, to play – even to marriage – just to avoid making someone unhappy, uncomfortable or displeased with me. To please, but more than that (I recognize now) to avoid having to be the one to say, “No.” To avoid conflict.
I didn’t want to do that there. I really did want this to be “mine.” I wanted to come home knowing that I had owned myself at the event, and pleased myself.
So I watched P, as she negotiated the sometimes-tricky social interactions that come when you are “someone,” and also an attractive, highly desirable, “someone.” I watched, and I learned. Although she had confessed to feeling somewhat unsure of how to handle a situation occasionally, I was so impressed by her calm, matter-of-fact way of dealing with the numerous demands and requests on her time and her person. She was forthright and yet always gracious, and I admired her finesse greatly. When faced with a request that I didn’t want to fulfill, I thought about her and how she reacted, and I modeled my own responses after hers.
I was kinda proud of myself, and I think it is one of those take-aways that I will value long after the event is a memory. ;-)
I was glad that the event is set up in a way that removes a good deal of the question of sex (spanking in the common areas seemed to preclude any overt sexual contact (well, accept the spanking itself, obviously) but anything “more” doesn’t seem to be on the table, which was perfect for me. I liked not having to make that decision every time I played with someone – primarily because I do know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t have been able to separate play and sex very well, and would probably have ended up in a lot more sexual situations than I was ready to be in.
OTOH, I think my reticence to even go there in my mind may have cost me the opportunity to spend some sexy time with two lovely men – at the same time! – though, truth-to-tell, since it didn’t come out overtly, I’ll never know for sure if that was on their minds as well. Quite possibly, it was all my fantasy. And, as we know, sometimes the fantasy is better than the reality!
(It occurs to me that perhaps W doesn’t know about the “opportunity” I may or may not have missed out on. So let’s keep it our little secret, shall we? Cuz I wouldn’t want him regretting he didn’t institute the prime directive!) ;-)