Saturday, May 14, 2011

Anatomy of a Scene.

Rowdy and I are at a play party. We start flirting, playing around, him pulling my hair, pinching my breasts, shoving me up against the wall and kissing me. He tells me to go get the flogger.

We sit on the couch and talk before doing anything. Our negotiation is brief, because we know each other well and have played before. I tell him I want a flogging; he asks if he can punch me too, and I enthusiastically agree. He asks if he can spank me, and I say I'm not really into that. If we were new to each other, we'd clarify more--he already knows that I can't take heavy pain and prefer to be hit on the back and shoulders more than the butt, that I like it when play gets sexual, and that I love being bitten.

We go to a St. Andrew's cross in the playspace, a seven-foot-tall wooden "X" shape with metal loops to attach ropes or cuffs. I undress. Rowdy takes two coils of rope out of his bag and ties a knot around each of my wrists, then ties them up to the cross. I end up facing away from him, into the cross, my arms stretched high over my head and outward in each direction. It's a longish process and to be honest I'm a bit fidgety, even distracted, looking around at my surroundings, passively holding my wrists for his convenience but not emotionally taken up into the scene yet.

Midway through tying me he uses the ropes to hold my wrists over my head and kisses me, and that helps, though.

Then I'm tied, and he starts out with just his hands, running up and down the length of my body, warming me up, waking me up to the feeling in my skin. It's sweet and sensual and gentle, and at the same time just a little frightening, knowing he's priming me to fully feel what comes next.

What comes next is the flogger. The first time it lands on me it's soft, just a dusting, soft flexible leather gently stroking down my back. The next time is not quite as soft. Soon the flogger is landing hard and fast on my shoulders, my back, my ass and thighs. It's not truly painful--I'm not much into heavy pain--but it's a constant pounding, a warm slap into my muscles each time the tails land on my skin.

And then--WHAM--I'm in subspace. It's that strangely detached place I go when I'm high or heavily drunk, when I'm under hypnosis, and during intense sex; I'm aware of everything that's going on and can think about it lucidly, but my reactions are not lucid and there's a powerful sense of otherness to the experience, a folding in on myself, a shift to an emotional parallel universe. I'm nearly limp in the ropes, and aware of my limpness, but unable or unwilling to compose my body. I can sort of babble out words with great effort, but without that effort I just moan. For reasons I can't possibly explain, it's wonderful.

The character of the blows changes in my mind, then. I'm no longer experiencing them physically but as a lulling sensation, a periodic thump at my brain, a feeling at once sustaining and intruding upon my trance. Now and then one stings a little too much and I can feel that on my skin, but the ones that are just right, and that's most of them, are not blows at all. They're words, pulses, thoughts, something abstract. They're feelings.

At some point I guess Rowdy puts down the flogger. He comes up close behind me, his whole front against my back, kisses me, and punches me. I have a great back for punching, broad and strong, with big meaty muscles over my shoulderblades. Perfect for catching a fist with a lovely thump. These impacts hit me harder than the flogging, physically and emotionally, and I grunt with each one, almost roaring. It is not a sound of surrender. It is a sound, despite my hands still tied over my head and my body obediently receiving the blows, of fighting. I'm roaring and Rowdy is roaring back, growling at me as his fists pound into my back.

There just aren't words for some things. It's... good. Let's go with good.

But too soon my back starts getting bruised and the punching can't go on forever without crossing the line into real pain. So Rowdy comes in close again, sets his teeth on my back, and bites down hard and holds. It hurts, and it's wonderful, and it's the first thing that edges completely over the line into sexual pleasure, and I'm about to come just from having my back bitten. It feels like my back is coming.

On the second bite he rubs my pussy while he bites me, and then I come the regular way.

Finally I say--babble--that I've had enough. My face is slumped forward into the rough wood of the St. Andrew's cross. Rowdy runs his hands up and down my body, then his nails just barely graze me and I gasp, and he kisses me and unties me. I'm half-aware and giddy as he helps me down.

We lie down on a mattress and cuddle for a long while afterwards. At first I'm just flying, maybe even more so than while we were playing. His body feels warm and wonderful against mine. Then again, everything feels warm and wonderful. I am deeply, deeply inside myself mentally, and yet I'm acutely sensitive to every touch and every word. It's a long and delightfully gradual process to come back to Earth, to where I can walk and talk and do stuff and pretend to be a normal person.

So when I say half-jokingly that "my boyfriend hits me," this is what I mean. It's a carefully constrained and constructed process, far more complicated inside and out than just hitting, and the end result is nothing like just hitting.

The end result is the complete bliss of mind and body.


  1. That was so sweet. :)

    Still more proof that everyone is different. I can take heavy pain, in the very few instances where I want to be flogged, but biting sends me over the edge with rage. (Got bit pretty bad in a fight as a kid, inspires "gouge out eyes to make it stop" instincts now.) Punching is good, though. :)

  2. This is sweet and adorable and it made me very happy to read it. :)

  3. I love your description of subspace and it really makes me long to feel it. Pain makes me all happy and giggly, but it doesn't cause that same change that you describe. I wonder if it'll happen more as I explore BDSM more.

  4. You're doing a wonderful job fighting some pretty damaging expectations, too. I mean, this is obviously an important text for people, who think BDSM is a disease, to prove, how it's all planned and consensual and sane, but it's also important for us newbies to see how waiting, getting tired or distracted and other possibly ambigous feelings can all be entwined even in an excellent scene/play. And it sounds wonderful. You guys are so lucky.

  5. After reading this I realized that if anyone can relate to it then they should completely understand the fight game.............Respectful violence.

  6. I want to print this out and stamp it to the foreheads of every. batshit. stupid. fandom. writer. who just lazily puts BDSM tag on everything and their dogs, thinking it's the ultimate scapegoat for rape and abuse.

  7. in defense of the fandom writers, the specific words that MAKE UP the acronym BDSM are a pretty good description of what goes on in their fanfiction.

    The only difference is whether or not it's consensual, but OFTEN, if it's not, it's TAGGED as such. Look for tags like Dubcon or Noncon. The authors KNOW they're writing rape and abuse, and they're often writing it for people who WANT to read about rape and abuse.

    I guess in a perfect world there would be tags like BDSM Consent in addition to BDSM Dubcon, but most of the fanfiction sites I've been on (mostly fanfiction, livejournal, and deviantart) are USUALLY operating under a consensual unless stated otherwise paradigm.

    That's just my own personal experience with it.

  8. "It feels like my back is coming."

    Wow, I know exactly what you're saying!

  9. FFF (heh), I don't want to pull out the my dad is stronger than your dad card (nor take over such a beautiful post with a fanfic rant), but seriously? The number of years I've been in fandom (yes,, AFF, dA, LJ, Y!gallery, recently AO3; which is a ray of hope in the abyss; and so on...), and I've yet to run into a BDSM story done right. Okay, I'm lying. I have... like... twice (and one had Garak, so... yeah). It ain't dubcon if the consent is missing completely or, god forbid, is explained by, "oh, but you see, he was enjoying it! He had an orgasm, didn't he?" And if you need an A/N to explain why exactly this was so totals consensual, while a 5k word body of your fic failed to to that... well, that ain't BDSM done right, now is it?

    If you want examples, oh I can provide examples. There's a good reason why I've yet to finish off a story in the past 2 years. It all boils down to pretty much being crept up 20% in.

    And this is where I'm gonna give my way overdue thanks to Holly for her BDSM primer series. I've been told so many times by these shining examples of BDSM writers how there's something wrong with me for telling them what they're writing is a fucking rape, because they live in their 24/7 relationships, and they're so totally like that exactly, and where's my experience? For, well, teaching me why exactly people enjoy it and why it's fun. And why people trying to turn the BDSM crowd into the... other are so fucking wrong.

    There. :P

  10. And blergh, should've just written this the first time. So there, short version is short:


    Or should I add blingy red text next time? With sparklies?

    ...I can't believe I actually had to say that in a comment of Holly's blog. I... feel violated. *sigh*

  11. Re: Ice

    Might I offer hobbitdragon's work? He is very much into writing consensual BDSM, and though not much is fanfiction (and he clearly labels when the consent is less than utterly completely clear)

    Because yes. I have a massive rape/noncon/dubcon DO NOT WANT response, and I do NOT want it in my fic if it's labeled something else.


  12. Ice: Have you seen Kink Bingo? Sure, many people write non-con fantasy porn, but there are also lots and lots of explorations of BDSM relationships and kinks.

    And I honestly do hold porn to a different standard than real-life play. In porn, we can have 100% pure knowledge of consent and intention and how people feel about things. We can have terrible things happen to people and it doesn't matter because they're fictional. I do like reading about people in realistic BDSM relationships, but sometimes I also want to read gratuitous slavefic, y'know?

  13. I love this and I'm very jealous since my orgasms are always 'rather nice'.

    Holly, have you read this article? I would love to know what you make of it. It left a very bad taste in my mouth, especially the argument about The Ultimate Bad Thing

  14. Anon - I think joking about and trivializing one's own sexual assault can be the prerogative of the survivor, but it doesn't give you licence to be Rape Jokes Ahoy in general. Especially since the punchline of most rape jokes isn't "rape! so stupid and pointless!" but "rape! that's a jolly good prank to play on a lady!"

    So, I think she has a point in terms of survivors coping, but I don't think transferring that attitude to society at large is a good idea at all.

  15. On the fanfiction stuff - I wouldn't put a stamp on a particular physical activity as "BDSM" or "not BDSM"--what I would say is that I don't want to read it and don't want to have it lumped in my lifestyle unless:

    A) All participants enjoyed it (on some level if not in the immediate physical way)


    B) All participants consented to it, in an objectively visible way. "This was what Jack Sparrow had always wanted" isn't consent, because his partner can't see that; "'This is what I always wanted, Will,' Jack said," is actual visible consent.

  16. ". I have a great back for punching, broad and strong, with big meaty muscles over my shoulderblades."

    Love it, you don't get this kind of sexiness appreciated in Cosmo.

    Thanks for the feedback on the article. There's a lot of other stuff on that site that I could talk abou but it's quicker to spang myself in the face with a shovel.

    Must learn to avoid things I know will

  17. Holly: My first, long, well-thought-out comment got eaten by blogger. Grr.

    Re: porn, I don't know, I mean--I don't want to hold written porn to different standards than filmed porn, you know? There's a lot of "BDSM porn" out there which is a dramatization of fantasy, in which we know all the actors have consented to what they're doing, but the characters in the video are not consenting.

    I personally don't tag my stuff "BDSM" if there isn't an actual BDSM relationship involved (though I also write about people who are bad at communication and trust--I have a "Bad BDSM Etiquette" tag I reflexively put on anything involving Dr. House, for example) but I don't mind people writing BDSM fantasies and tagging them as such. What I do mind is people writing as though they're talking about real BDSM relationships and then having their characters say things like, "I think it's good you're training your submissive to not use safewords!" AUGHARGHLBLARGHLAUUUUUGH!

  18. Holly, there's a lot of very sad journalism in the UK regarding superinjunctions and kinky people in the public eye. Lots of celebs outed as 'perverts' online. Also, this week, the father of a murdered girl who was declared by the press as someone who collects kinky porn and how this lead to the police to hold him as a suspect. Disheartening since they already caught the killer.

    Oh and by the way, wow, it gets way worse on that site:

    Real women don't blame rape on clothing. no?

    Right, I *am* going to stop reading that now.....

  19. What an awesome description of that head space... wonderful!