In recent post Take Control or Submit, I began talking about concepts in BDSM that feel relevant to my learning. I feel like the practice resonates with me even if I am not always actively practicing it sexually.
I was first introduced to the language when I was picked up by a Dominant online. I was in a chat room, NOT for BDSM, and a man popped into my direct message in order to talk about art…something I posted was of interest to him. Looking back on it and watching him with others over time, he looked for these sorts of connections. He looked to find women that were specifically not trained in BDSM. He looked to pick through minds and light fires he was not equipped to tend. He fucked up my head, but I learned.
I was fascinated by the language of it and its impact on me. He asked more questions, and he seemed to listen to me. Being heard was something I specifically needed at the time but didn’t realize. His presence made me feel assured, confident, centered, and beautiful. Conversely, his absence made me feel lost. He was very present, and then he wasn’t.
He taught me about tasks and poses. I clothed in things he chose for me. I felt wrapped in his care when I walked around in my day. I sought in person learning experiences with other Doms, but I didn’t understand the convention of being “owned” by someone. There were not rules about that, but I didn’t understand rules at the time anyway. I hurt him by not understanding rules. It was not the first or last time in which expectations not clearly communicated would cause pain. I learned from a Dom who picked me up off of FetLife. His language was strong and exciting. I learned a lot from him. He was very clear that he had a love and our interactions were just play. He disappeared with no notice. I learned from a Dom who was less a Dom and more of a protector. He introduced me to parties and the potential for play with people only linked by the language of BDSM and kink. I learned to articulate my boundaries in those situations. Articulation of boundaries…this is the single most useful skill that I have learned from the kink community.
Somewhere along the way…I realized that shitty experiences with Doms made me grow to switch. I don’t like being told how and where and when. I don’t like being used. I don’t like the language of removing choice. I don’t like rules, but I love clear expectations. I think I realized it first as I was being told to orgasm on command, and expected to perform as such, and I leaned over to bite the pants of my Dom. I grabbed hold of his pants with my teeth and I got slapped, hard. And he yelled, “No biting.” I was confused. We had not talked about that as a rule or limit. I wouldn’t have bitten him hard or left a mark. I had expressed that degrading, abusive language, and yelling were all hard limits for me. He told me to stop being bratty as he doesn’t like brats. I don’t have an ounce of brat in me. I don’t push boundaries and rules expressed. I don’t seek to be put in my place or managed. I seek to be on equal footing. For me, that means having some equal time with my own dominance.
In no way do I mean to infer that subs are not equal to Doms…far from it, but power dynamics have a potential for abuse, manipulation, and dependence that make equality a rarity. Equality is essential to healthy sexual expression of BDSM. I think it is fair to claim your choice as a sub to submit to anything. I think it is an enormous responsibility for a Dom/Domme to care for the expressed needs of the sub.
I have spent a good amount of time using my Domme voice with others, both in a strictly play situation and with an ongoing partner. I feel an intense responsibility for anyone for whom I am a Domme, for any amount of time. I am not sure any of the Doms I have been with felt anywhere near the same sense of responsibility for me when I was serving. I was not equal in those cases.
When I look at myself, and my desire for balance, it is no wonder I switch. I like to plan, and I appreciate others planning for me. I like to be on top, and I like to be pounded from behind. I like to release myself not to think, and I like to care for another completely. I like to be close and equal. I like actual mutually balanced sharing…my voice and another combined. I like mutual desire and mutual responsibility…mutual accountability.
So, I switch, whether or not I practice my Domme or sub voices.