August 14, 2007

Communication of Thoughts

One of the more difficult things about writing messages it getting the tone right. I have been exchanging email with a lovely woman that the Significant Other and I are hoping to meet in person soon. Among the many, many things we've discussed came this comment:

"Re. play rape -- yes! Thank you! The reaction I've got from men I broached this with made me feel very self-conscious about this fantasy. And I know it's not at all the real thing ... that's the point. The power is in choosing to surrender, right? I so want to get past feeling guilty for my rape fantasies."

Which is an interesting point. This is not a woman who is unaware of the society she lives in; she is not foolish or "weak"; and she is certainly not stupid. She's had some experience in life, and she's put a lot of thought into this. She also has a college degree, which is a fair bit more than I've managed!


She's been made to feel guilty about expressing a part of her sexual nature, both by the horrified and uncomfortable reactions she's received from boyfriends and by the environment we live in.

Considering the nature of rape itself, that's perfectly understandable: it is a nightmare scenario for anyone to have to endure and deserves full approbation. But what she is talking about is NOT rape, but more (as the romance novels put it) "being taken". It's simple arousal, but to such a degree that her lover(s) cannot help themselves but ravish her on the spot, and there's nothing she can do to stop it.

And this is where S/M and B&D come in to play. So to speak.

This is the first time she's managed to discuss this with someone who has the vocabulary and experience to ask her the right questions, and it makes a BIG difference! When everything is out in the open (what you want, what they want), it becomes much easier to make things safe, sane, and consensual.

Handing physical control of yourself over to someone else is a very dangerous thing. There is a lot of trust needed on the part of the person who yields, but also some from the person who is taking that control: we have to know that if anything is going wrong, they will tell us! There are safewords (usually "green" "yellow" and "RED!"), or hand signals when they can't speak (waving quickly works), or even stomping the feet if the hands are otherwise occupied. Whatever it happens to communicate the message needs to be decided upon before any play even starts.

But there is something that has to be done earlier than that: meeting in person.

And no, parties or bars don't count. People say and do things there that aren't exactly revealing of their home life...

Likewise on-line encounters. Someone can say the most amazing things, deeply impressing you... until you catch on that they're cut-and-pasting Whitman and Yeats.

So meeting in person is paramount. But how to do that safely, when you could well be traveling quite some distance to meet people? Here's the basic rules if you're not comfortable bringing someone you know and trust along:

1) Always have a way out. Either your own vehicle, or a transit system that will still be running (and is very close by) well past the time of the meet;
2) Meet in public, during daytime. Nothing secluded or dark - including dark restaurants/cafes and dark corners in same;
3) Always watch your drink. Seriously, take the thing with you to the bathroom if you have to. Never leave it alone with the person(s) you're meeting ("It's okay, my friend has fainting spells. I'll take her home...");
4) If you decide to go home with them, arrange a phone call with a friend, and make sure they have the full (real) names and address of the house you're going to before you go on the date! If 48 hours pass without contact, they can make a couple phone calls themselves...
5) No "last minute changes". Them calling to say they're going to be late is a polite thing to do: them calling to try to get you somewhere else is not.
6) Always remember you can leave at any time. During the date, when you see their dilapidated house, when you realize that their home is an insane asylum, or just because you get a "bad vibe". ANY EXCUSE is good enough.

Keep to these, and use them EVERY TIME, and that's as safe as this sort of encounter can get, short of bringing a body guard. Trust how you feel: if anything sense anything that disturbs you, say "I'm just not feeling a connection, here. Thanks anyways!" and walk. Disappointing, sure; perhaps borderline rude. But better than some of the options.

Another option is always playing in public. Go to a munch of a local group, or attend a party as a non-participant and just see what happens. Lots of people around, dedicated to having fun and not wanting that fur ruined = a safe environment. Remember these are adults, not kids; they know what they're doing.

Trust us.


posted by Thursday at 9:17 pm


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