Seeing Clearly

Sometimes things don’t go the way you expect them to. Although it’s not the end of the world, it doesn’t help to ignore it either.

Not every scene or encounter I have works out. Sometimes things just don’t work for a variety of reasons – not enough chemistry, miscommunication or just that one or both the people involved are looking for something slightly different than what is happening. These things happen and you move forward. No big deal.

When a scene goes slightly more askew, let’s say when a limit gets pushed further than intended, it can lead to an awkwardness that makes resolving the issue difficult. One or both parties are embarrassed about what happened and rather than discuss things afterwards, let the incident hang in the air between them exacerbating any bad feelings that might linger. Ignoring things doesn’t make them go away. Pretending as if something that did happen didn’t can be even more detrimental.

If I have a spanking session with someone and go harder than they wanted or do something that gets into their head a bit too deep, I want to know that and know it right away. If I’ve done something that is some degree of “wrong” during a scene, it does not help me to walk away from that scene thinking everything went fine. I know it can be uncomfortable to approach a person afterwards especially to tell them something was not right, but I think the moment of difficulty is worth the effort just to make sure that perhaps a minor thing does not become bigger.

It also doesn’t help to make believe something that went wrong didn’t as if ignoring it will make it all go away. I certainly like to hear when I’ve done something right in a scene but I equally want to know if I did not do something correctly. That’s the only way I can ever get better at what I do.

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12 Responses to “Seeing Clearly”

  1. As a bottom it is SO hard to talk about these things. Obvious disregards for safety, ignoring a safe word, or inappropriate touching, are easy to deal with. I simply stop the scene. But I rarely stop a scene if I’m pushed too hard (I’m rarely pushed too hard), and if it’s too light and the top isn’t responding to any of my hints, there’s not a lot that can be done. He really hasn’t done anything “wrong,” and a discussion will end up sounding like criticism. If he’s a nice guy I don’t feel comfortable giving criticism, “constructive” or otherwise. However, if the top approaches me and wants to talk about things, I will try to gentle discuss what could have worked differently.

  2. If something goes awry during a scene, I don’t know that one can always talk about it immediately after. In the couple of crappy scenes I’ve had, I know I was way too angry (and probably trying to hide it as well) after the fact to try to deal with explaining things to the top. Usually any negative feelings were directed at myself (sometimes greedy bottoms just don’t know when to say when, or maybe how to say when) more so than the top.

    Fortunately, older and wiser has applied here. I’m much more selective about who I play with and it takes what seems like forever to play with someone new. Why I am more anxious about new play partners now, I really have no clue. But all the time put into new encounters usually pays off in a better scene.

  3. Being new at this, I usually write up accounts for myself of memorable scenes, good, bad, or experimental. This helps me to process them and to become better at talking about what works for me and what doesn’t. Not too long ago, I had a scene that didn’t work for me in a number of ways, though I’d found it to be a valuable learning experience. The top in question knew I’d shared it (actually, an edited version) with a friend who had arranged the scene and hinted that he’d like to read it, too. After giving it a little thought, I sent an unedited account, with a brief explanation that I felt awkward about not having been able to communicate to him the misgivings I had before the scene. Somewhat to my surprise, he didn’t seem at all upset, just interested in my take on the scene. And he certainly used some of the little details I’d included during our next meeting!

    I totally agree with Laura that it takes time to process these things before you can really talk about it. And, as Sandy says, it’s damned difficult and therefore only worth doing if you want to play with the person again.

  4. MrCommenter Says:

    It’s great that you are making this effort to analyze things, and from here it looks like you’re trying to uncover/develop a code of behavior that would be beneficial to all.

    However, we’re dealing with an unusual practice here, and mixed-up sensations. Sex itself is mysterious and confusing enough, and this shares a lot of the mentalities of sex, although from what I understand it usually isn’t sex.

    Good luck, maybe the discussion here will improve things.

    I will describe a situation that may or may not have anything to do with the ‘scene’ you describe on this blog: many years ago I browsed a book by Larry Kramer, and I recall a few pages in which he described the goings on at gay sex clubs. When the men entered a room for an anonymous encounter, they would spend the time in advance negotiating in detail what they were planning to do, and only begin once they had reached an agreement. The story ends with one of them doing what he said he wouldn’t do – ending things abruptly, but with no other consequences.

    It seems to me that the models of behavior for spanking parties have come from those that have evolved in the sex clubs. Maybe a new generation of participants could come up with something more elegant than a request to “play”

  5. I had my first “bad” scene just this past July, and since I knew that I would never see OR play with the top again, I didn’t discuss what went wrong. I would like to think that if I played with someone I was comfortable with that I would be able to either stop the scene, or at least feel able to talk with the person after the fact. Most of the Tops that I play with are very open to communication, and go out of their way to set the scene and find out about my limits before play begins.

    I love your thought processes, Rad.

  6. Mr Commenter: I agree that a lot of the etiquette of the spanking and larger BDSM scene seem to be derived from the underground gay scene of the, let’s say, 60s to the Age of AIDS. Although sometimes awkward, I am hard pressed to think of a more “elegant” solution or set of rules. It may require learning a new “language” when entering the scene but for the most part it ain’t broke so fixing it comes across as unnecessary. The mileage of other folks may vary, of course.

  7. I am kinda with Sandy on this one. I like to be pushed….I want my limits to be tested. The only disappointments I have had are people being too light…and I can’t get into my proper head space unless I am being hit…hard. When that happens – as it did for me this past Tuesday…it keeps me happy for a long time – in fact I am still hurting/smiling from that night. It releases something…amazingly wonderful for me. I would TOTALLY say something if a top ignored our agreed upon safe word. Inappropriate touching? What is that? lol

  8. MrCommenter Says:

    Rad – I really don’t care for the limited vocabulary that seems to have been settled into. There MUST be something that is more imaginative, more stimulating.

    I would hope that this Blog could propose some alternatives.

  9. MrCommenter: I can’t promise anything but I will do my best.

  10. Really like what Sandy said about being open to a top… if the top approaches her after a spanking. Can understand why she’d not be real comfortable with bringing up unsolicited critiques. But if asked, she’ll tell.

    Really… that’s all a spanker can ask for too. Just be honest, because like you say Rad… that’s the only way to make the next time better.

    Have learned that no matter how much you talk and get to know each others wants and desires pre-spanking… you gotta have those post-spanking chats. “I like a hard spanking” is rather meaningless until there is something that both spanker and spankee can compare it too.

    ~Todd

  11. Todd: I agree. The pre and post talks not only let the two people get to know each other as people (some of those talks get rather in depth) but let two people who might play again in the future get closer to learning each other’s styles. It’s obviously not just about things going wrong but things going right as well.

  12. Critique? Damn. I get a spanking, it’s all good. This is the one area of my life I refuse to analyze. I sure as Hell won’t analyze his actions! I just to have the idea not to obviously bait him (being a bad girl on purpose). I want to contribute to his state of mind and his pleasure.

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