Jack and I still talk about the first time we tried a BDSM scene together. How badly it went, and what we both learned from it.
It was a turning point in the process of working out what kind of a submissive I really was, and how to communicate that to lovers.
(It kind of follows on from the post I did on becoming a submissive, but is also kind of its own story, so I haven’t called it Part 2- that’s coming real soon!)
It’s funny to think how I met Jack, now that we live together.
I put an anonymous profile (a picture of me from the back) on OK Cupid, saying I was looking to date and maybe get into a relationship with a Dominant man.
(I also wrote normal stuff on my profile. What books I read, what I liked to cook, my political leanings, some jokes.)
He wrote to me, dropping the name of a book he was reading, and letting me know that he thought he might be what I wanted. I thought so too, and we went on a date. (More about that here.)
Soon, we were getting more serious, and becoming sexual. We decided to start experimenting with our kink roles.
The timing of this new relationship was significant.
Jack and I met after I had learned enough about the world of kink and BDSM to understand that I was a submissive, and very broadly, what kind of a submissive I was.
But before I really knew enough about the specifics of my kink.
How to articulate these needs, on an ongoing basis. How to make kink work as part of a relationship, which is equitable, loving and respectful.
I also had very little idea about what I liked sexually, because I had never had the chance to explore my sexually submissive role with a loving, trusting partner. I’d only ever had one-off hookups, or non-sexual BDSM play scenes.
I had learned a lot from watching porn. This was kind of a help and a hindrance. Porn can be misleading, because you don’t know what stuff feels like when it’s being done to YOUR BODY if you just watch it on a screen.
Doing is very different than seeing, as it turns out.
Our first time doing a proper BDSM scene was…not good.
That night sticks in both our heads as a defining moment in our relationship. A failure that taught us, the hard way, what not to do.
We thought that because we were in love, had talked in vague terms about what we both liked and the roles we found sexy… because we could turn each other on, that was enough.
We thought we didn’t need to talk about the scene. The scene would just happen.
The lust and hormones would carry us through. We would have a sizzling, exhilarating scene, and both get the kinky sex we’d been waiting for all our lives.
We didn’t really have a script for the scene, or try to create one. We didn’t go over the detail on our wants, mutual needs and boundaries. Nope, we freestyled it!
Because when you love each other, you can automatically read each other’s minds, right?
So we began playing. Things rapidly got out of control.
I won’t go into detail, but in the absence of any discussion, we both defaulted to activities and roles we’d seen in hardcore BDSM porn which I guess we both …thought would work?
Here’s three reasons why it didn’t:
- We hadn’t watched the same porn. We didn’t have the same frame of reference, so, I didn’t know what was coming next.
- We couldn’t read each other at all, as we hadn’t played together before.
- We weren’t stopping to check in, or going slow enough to keep things feeling safe.
From my perspective, as the submissive, it felt a bit like if you were to jump on a mountain bike and plunge off down a mountain track, without really knowing where any of the bends or bumps are, or really being a very good or skilled mountain biker.
Suddenly you realise that you are plummeting downwards towards a cliff edge, gripping the handlebars for dear life, and you don’t really know what to do except jump off the bike…
I quickly began feeling scared, out of control, and physically uncomfortable as the scene progressed- way too fast for me to process.
Jack, for his part, felt unsure of himself and very out-on-a-limb.
It was unsafe and unpleasant for him too. I still feel bad for putting him in that position.
We hadn’t experimented enough for him to learn to read my non-verbal responses to domination.
Also, the learned narrative that ‘men should be in charge during sex and women don’t need to give feedback or guidance because men should just KNOW WHAT THEY LIKE if they are any good at being men’… was still one we both kind of …weirdly …subscribed to on some subconcious level. It’s a hard, pervasive pattern to shift.
He wasn’t any more experienced with BDSM than I was, and couldn’t tell if I was liking what he was doing or not. He couldn’t tell if I was really distressed- or just acting distressed while actually loving it.
(This was really only happening over a minute or two, this scene. But it felt like a very long, drawn-out minute! )
For both of us, the sexy warm loving feelings were being replaced by fear and discomfort.
It suddenly felt like were totally disconnected.
I felt like I had no idea who this person was, this Dominant man, looking down at me.
I panicked, and used my safeword.
Jack, of course, immediately stopped what he was doing, and we both collapsed into each other’s arms. Me panicking and a little teary. He, soothing me and hugging me, and saying ‘sorry, I’m here’.
I don’t know which of us felt more guilty. It was an instructional moment. Now, of course, I know exactly what we should have discussed. What I should have said. (That’s a blog to come shortly).
That’s why this scene, this…well, fuck-up, is my most valuable submissive experience. This scene made us sit down and share with each other what we’d been too scared to share before.
Also published on Medium.