Monday, February 29, 2016

Expectation vs. Reality

This ended up being a bit longer than intended, and I want to take a second to clarify that the experience described herein is as close to factual as I could make it. It touches base on some very severe abuse I endured, and I want anyone who feels concern for those events to rest assured they’re presently of no consequence to me. I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun since - some of which was directly a result of what I learned during that weekend - and just wanted to show that it’s possible to come back from scenes that go awry. Moreover, I wanted to discuss how to try and prevent things from going awry.

Everyone has sexual fantasies: some may be incredibly detailed and involved, some may be as simple as wanting to feel a certain way in the moment, and some may be a specific goal or idea we want to incorporate into a larger scene. Most of the time it’s fantasies which drive us to seek a new level of play that helps prevent stagnation and keeps things fresh. They’re a perfectly natural part of sexual development - even when aberrant activities are involved - but there is a very real risk of literally losing yourself in a fantasy. As we focus on details that get us more and more aroused, it becomes easier to forget our thoughts and feelings at the time are also a part of the equation. When this happens you’re very apt to have a rude awakening when you actually find yourself in the fantasy.

One of the most recurring themes of this blog is helplessness. I’ve written stories - both fantasy and real - about it, and I’ve tried to deconstruct and detail how it can be accomplished. My approach to this kind of play has always been that when one agrees to waive the right to revoke consent, one must accept responsibility for misjudging the severity of one’s response to a situation. There will always be times where the Dom may be at fault, but only when ignorance, dishonesty, or incompetence is the cause; if a Dom does precisely as discussed in scene negotiations the end result is not necessarily his fault. It can take a lot to swallow your pride and admit you really shouldn’t have been so adamant about your request, but stubbornly insisting you didn’t make a mistake does absolutely nothing productive. Learn from it: incorporate how you felt at the time into sculpting your fantasies and be more careful when you negotiate your next scene. The main thing here is that refusing to accept responsibility is denying yourself the opportunity to recalibrate and improve future scenes.

For several years now, I’ve sought a loss of control that is as close to absolute as possible - the helplessness that is such a recurrent theme here. Whether it’s needing to know I can still be controlled even if I break headspace or deliberately putting myself in scenarios where resistance is nearly impossible, it all hinges on being unable to change my mind based on circumstance. From seeing first-hand how these changes of opinion can arise mid-scene, I’ve gotten pretty decent at limiting variables in scenes with unfamiliar or inexperienced Doms. Limiting variables results in reducing confusion as to what is an acceptable level of duress as well as helping establish what level of responses can be ignored. I’ve also learned that negotiating scenes is a walk in the park compared to finding someone with the ability and drive to wholly disregard your plight. With this in mind, I decided some time ago I place more value in a scene in which I ask for too much and am given it than one where I feel like I can walk all over the guy, even bound and gagged.

There was a particular scene a few years ago that was exceptionally difficult for me to get over; not because of how much I regretted it in the moment, but rather because it felt like a tremendous failure to communicate (or interpret) the desired “tone” of the scene. Based on my understanding of the discussions we’d had, I thought it was clear that it was supposed to be centered around a level of degradation akin to the treatment of a POW. To be precise, I thought this was mutually agreed upon as opposed to just a request or demand on my part. I’d even recommended some specific fantasies that would be so horrible while happening I knew they’d break me out of headspace and solidify my inability to deter him even in the worst of circumstances. I’d given him plenty of ammunition and he had a rather sizeable playspace in the basement, so it definitely seemed like a weekend of uninterrupted dehumanization was possible.

Prior to arriving at his house I received instructions to enter through the side of his garage. Upon entering I was to strip, hood, and handcuff myself, then wait for him on my knees without my ass touching my feet. My memory is a little hazy of this part, but I remember that the garage was not fully closed off. I couldn’t see any people, but what areas I could see felt like places you would be apt to see people, and where people could easily see me. It made me a little uneasy since I had no idea how long he’d keep me waiting, but I kind of liked that the weekend was starting off with a bit of a mindfuck. I’d read a number of fantasies when I was younger where someone happens upon a helpless boy and proceeds to take the reigns, and the memory made my dick twitch. So for a while I waited there, silent, vulnerable, and nervous, with old fantasies swimming at the back of my mind and swelling at base of my cock.

Eventually he came to grab me, and I was lead into his house. The uneasy fear of walking too fast or missing a step was something I was used to from previous scenes but, after waiting as vulnerably as I had been, every step still drove me deeper and deeper into headspace. He dragged me along to his St Andrew’s cross where he tied me securely enough I was confident things would continue to go well. The cross had never much been my thing, but I felt pretty immobile and contented. After I was secured he explained to me that his boy had moved my car, so even if I somehow managed to get my belongings I’d still be fucked. It made me feel even more helpless, and my dick jumped again.

One of the “shoot myself in the foot” things I had given him was that face-slapping infuriates me. Like, full-on rage within half a dozen light slaps. What happened next was not one of the light or moderate slaps I’d grown accustomed to in rougher scenes, but what felt like being backhanded, full-force. Stars exploded in my hindered vision, and instead of rage a wave of panic washed over me. This wasn’t a “no warmup, start out intense” kind of scene, this was turning out to be a “get a black eye literally within the first 30 seconds of abuse” kind of scene. Apparently he had taken much of what I had said about pain play to heart, and it didn’t stop there. Unfortunately for me I had also mentioned to him that slapping my dick elicits a similar response to face-slapping, and at this point he proceeded to use a harsh enough impliment to do so that my cock and balls were bruised for about a week after the scene. Before this I didn’t even know you could bruise a cock.

I have no idea how long it lasted; I’ve had scenes less than half as intense produce a time dilation effect so significant it caught me off-guard after the fact. What I do know is that at one point I remember sobbing and then screaming for help, literally, and meaning it. But the St Andrews cross held firm and the assault eventually diminished in intensity at some point after I instinctively realized screaming for help was futile. By this point I had fought so hard that my wrist hurt like hell from the struggling against a slightly misplaced rope, and I was pretty sure I had drawn blood. The crying didn’t stop, but now it was because of the issue with my wrist as opposed to the deliberate pain; it wasn’t that the pain was too severe, but rather that I felt so overwhelmingly helpless to correct it.

Had things continued along the same vein of being so dehumanized that screaming at the top of my lungs for help didn’t even phase him, it might have actually been really hot come the end of the scene. Instead I was met with conversation after this barrage, bringing me back into being myself and making me a whole person again. I felt empowered, and it largely undid the impact of what had just transpired. As a continuation of intensity, we had discussed me sleeping restrained, nude, and without a blanket, but with the conversation in between and being re-humanized it was more like being tucked in for the night. By then, the handcuffs and leg irons couldn’t rob me of feeling like myself again and any concern about waking him had dissipated.

Suffice it to say this made for an incredibly long night without a single sexualization of the situation. I hadn’t anticipated he’d have hardwood floors and my belongings were also left a few feet away from me, so things were pretty substantially different than I’d imagined. With freedom within reach, at several points in the night I contemplated using the handcuff key that was surely still in my pocket. If the intensity had been consistent I likely would have been afraid to even try; in that scenario I’d have had no way to predict how intense the punishment would be for such a serious infraction. Eventually I settled for using my clothes as a pillow (something else I should have been afraid to do), and managed to sleep for around an hour or two collectively.

The next morning the sense of normalcy continued and, instead of the desired POW-level degradation, I was treated as a boy and given enough freedom to serve him breakfast. I’m not opposed to that sort of service in a different setting or as a part of a more long-term dynamic, but after the abuse from the night prior it felt very out of place. Even more out of place was alternating from having the freedom to move around only to be “forced” to eat out of a bowl on the floor while still feeling as though I could look up, free to continue our conversation. After breakfast there were a few things that blurred together fairly uneventfully: a flogging scene during which I also broke down and cried, an easy/nice scene in a sleepsack, and some very eager foot worship. Even after being disappointed that I hadn’t been adequately subjugated, I was still elated to get a chance to service his feet. In contrast to the abuse it was more than enough for me to stay hard pretty much the entire time, and almost enough to get me begging for more.

One of the primary features of the weekend was that there was to be no “out;” no safeword, no ending the scene, no breaks. If I got too enraged or collapsed into a sobbing ball of putty, too bad for me: the scene must go on. By this point it was pretty apparent I wasn’t going anywhere despite my malcontent with the tone, and I was getting frustrated. One of the specific countermeasures to tantrums I had suggested centered around how sensitive I am about my neck. I saw a video a long time ago where, as punishment, a boy had a chain padlocked around his neck and was then aggressively led down into a basement by it; you could see him panicking as he realized he couldn’t prevent himself from being taken down. Once downstairs, the end was attached to the ceiling and pulled taut enough to make him stand on his toes, his hands clawing at the chain digging into his throat. As the Dom pulled his hands away to be restrained behind his back you could see him fighting, for real, to keep his fingers under the chain in order to protect his neck. Once his hands were secured his thighs and ass were belted and otherwise beat brutally, and he was too focused on minimizing the pressure on his throat to move even an inch. There is not a single aspect of this I would enjoy in the moment, and constriction on my neck is very likely to cause me to panic - something which seemed appropriate for punishing a particularly grievous slight. Rather than this situation being used for punishment or to exude further control over me, I was simply walked down and strung up as though it were a casual scene. More importantly, this made me feel as though he believed it was something I’d actually enjoy to some extent.

By this point I had reached the maximum level of disappointment that I could force myself to tolerate. Casually approaching the most severe punishment I could think of proved too much to handle, and within less than a minute of abuse I lost it and yelled, “Oh, yippe! You’re going to fucking break me AGAIN!” Apparently the sarcasm and rage rang clear enough to show there was no coming back because immediately after this he ended the onslaught. My hands were instead locked in front of me with a set of allen-wrench irons shaped like an ‘8,’ and the chain was removed. Still blindfolded, he led me into a standing cage and locked me in, heading upstairs without so much as a word. There was no way I was getting out of those irons, there was no way I was getting out of the cage, and there was especially no way I was getting out of his house without him letting me ... and I was done.

While I was unattended I used the time to pull myself as far out of whatever level of headspace was left, and to channel every ounce of willpower I had. Part of this included sitting down in the cage and taking off the blindfold, more or less as an act of defiance. Apparently gathering my will worked because when he walked down the stairs and I looked him in the eye saying “I think we need to call it quits,” he agreed and proceeded to let me out. As I was leaving his house I apologized to him and his boy for how my attitude had soured - truly meaning it - and set off for the road trip home, bruised and battered. I never harbored any resentment for the severity of my treatment, but I was incredibly bitter for quite some time about the purported miscommunications surrounding how the weekend should have been structured.

The important thing to keep in mind here is that the issue with the scene was not the intensity of the abuse, but rather dissatisfaction with how the weekend played out. When there is a conflict between expectation and reality, it can stem from a number of different aspects of a scene. It’s easy to understand that being beat too hard can ruin an experience, but it’s less intuitive to understand that sometimes things we view as an afterthought in fantasies can have a significant impact in practice.

There’s a difference between …
… beating a boy and training a boy,
… humiliation and degradation,
… your play partner making a mistake and regretting your own informed decision,
… service-oriented servility and dehumanization,
… a sub requesting something because they enjoy it and requesting something they dislike because they believe it could benefit the dynamic.

In fantasies, the ways these situations manifest are nearly identical without further context. A boy crying from being beat in an of itself will always be a boy crying; how that relates to the scene or dynamic is a different story. Does he receive less abuse when compliant? Is the purpose for pushing him to increase his pain tolerance? Is the Dom sadistic and expressing control through making the boy miserable? In this single instance, these are at least three different approaches that could drastically change how the sub experiences the same event; this is why in prolonged or weekend scenes observance of these subtle differences can be especially important. When we read or develop our own fantasies, it tends to just be the “highlight reels” of the interaction - the contextual nature of what is happening in the fantasy is not always apparent because what’s happening is hot and we don’t give a shit while we’re stroking. Variables like these different approaches can not only make or break the highlights, but also the times inbetween where things can be, to be frank, dull. What about bathroom breaks? Eating? Stretching? Sleeping? No scene spanning more than a few hours - and even few of that duration - will be free of monotony, but with the right chemistry and dynamic it can be manageable. Knowing how you will react in given situations may help preempt this by enabling conversations about the scene’s momentum, but simply realizing that lulls need to be discussed, pointedly, is half the battle.

Expecting your scene to be perfect or that your weekend will result in you feeling completely helpless 100% of the time can still lead to a lot of disappointment - something I surely still have issues with. While a perfect scene may not be possible, learning to actively identify differences between fantasy and reality is the best way to minimize the impact of this eventuality. The better you understand these distinctions, the more it allows you to guide discussions and make changes to yield a more positive outcome. Above all else, it is paramount to make sure you know yourself and your play partner well enough to ensure you’re both actually a part of your fantasies. Generalities might give you something more fun to fantasize about, but extensive (and often grueling) attention to detail is what will help you live your fantasies.

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