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Limited

This woman drives me crazy.

We’ve been discussing play via FetMail off-and-on for weeks now. The flirting at parties has escalated from brief teasing as we pass in the hall to her grabbing me by the throat while we chat over tea and fruit. (I goaded her into it. And oh, man, that was fun.) I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more.

I have the distinct impression that this is how she views herself.

But she worries me. I don’t know if she can understand what is and is not crossing a line. She offered to tag in a couple of weeks ago, while the Fireman was getting a drink. It amused me at the time, but it was in no way appropriate to think that she could just join that scene without so much as asking me. I don’t know if that’s indicative of her attitude generally, that she thinks subs/bottoms are just there for her to play with, or whether she would have spoken to me before jumping in if the Fireman had given her the go-ahead.

Still, it didn’t worry me enough to prevent the beginning of FetLife flirtations. She called me a little banshee. She makes me laugh. Her over-the-top imperious attitude may be serious to her, but it just makes me giggle. So we mail, we flirt, she suggests lunch, I say great, when and where?

She didn’t answer. Maybe life got in the way, maybe it was some kind of test, maybe a power play. I didn’t think much of it:  she knew how to reach me if she wanted to. The next time I saw her was at the party. She had me by the throat with her fingers up my skirt ten minutes after we said hello, then we barely said a word the rest of the night. I did wake up to a new e-mail, the gist of which was “that was hot, we should play, you should know I don’t play with someone unless I can bite, claw, choke, and cut them.”

Cutting? Nope. No way. Not happening. I tried to make that damn clear: “Choking, fingernails, biting, all lovely. I will not participate in any form of cutting, blood- or knife-play. It’s a hard limit, due both to health issues (severe anemia and hypotension) and past trauma. If that’s a deal breaker, it’s a shame, but understood.”

Her response? “Health issues… ahhh the dreaded foe. Truly, that is the only acceptable reason for a hard limit.”

Honestly every time I read that it makes less sense. Maybe I’d get it if we were talking about escalating an existing relationship into a 24/7 M/s deal. Maybe. But we’re talking about casual play at parties. I can have any damn limit I want. If I said no sex, it wouldn’t be for health reasons, but it’d be acceptable. Or no food play unless it’s kosher. Or no Russian accents. Doesn’t matter. My point is that my limits aren’t something she gets to rummage through and pick the ones she likes. I come with all of ’em. If that’s not workable, she can play with someone else.

I’m actually kind of regretting responding as politely as I did. At the time the (possibly paranoid) implications hadn’t really sunk in, so I just restated: no knives, no threatening with counterfactual knives, I’m serious, this is non-negotiable. Now that I’ve thought about it, I’m 95% sure she’s not someone I’m willing to trust anyway. The 5% is willing to check whether her apparent dismissiveness was sarcasm that didn’t translate over e-mail. Given that I get the distinct impression of Twue Domliness from her, it seems unlikely.

See this? This is me being responsible and not a zebra. Which is a shame, because I kind of want to be the zebra.

 

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  1. March 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I find this really interesting (and should probably just have made a blog post response because this got really long!!).

    Firstly, I want to say that agree with you about your concerns and your reasoning 100% and am not making a case for anything. I’m really just musing about her behaviour.

    There is a ‘thing’ that some people do that is an act put on for mutual pleasure. It’s the “I’m so domly, imma take you right here!” thing, and on the other side it’s the ‘ooh, so hot, *swoon*’ thing. It’s D/s flirting on steroids (per your ‘within 10 minutes hand on my throat, hand up my skirt’ scenario). It can be super hot. But boy does it ever rely on being able to read the other person perfectly or you can *easily* cross a line.

    Following on from ‘knowing where the line is’ in this play-acting, there is this exact situation you are facing. At some point both parties have to stop play-acting and get down to brass tacks if it’s going to go further, and I think the ‘game’ can have proceeded so far by then that the participants aren’t sure how to ‘get there from here’. Because dammit, that kind of discussion requires dropping the hot interplay and having a rational not-hot discussion and she has to dismantle that ‘domly persona’ that she has worked so hard to impress you with in order to do that.

    So she could be hearing you clearly, but responding all uber-domly like in order to keep up the hotness that she thinks is working so well (that is, she has misjudged how to interact with you), OR she could be completely delusional about her uber domliness and actually be dangerous because she is so invested in her own persona.

    The reason I find it so interesting is because even though I don’t ‘play the uber-dom’, I very often WANT WHAT I WANT, and I really really just want to go for it and I really really don’t want to break the flow of some hot interaction to make sure it’s okay. But I do really really need to make sure it IS okay. Ugh.

    I find walking that line frustrating sometimes and worry a little that saying it out loud sounds like I am blurring the consent lines there *insert defensive stuff here about how my partners love it and wish I would do it more, how I don’t play casually, how I tease consent out beforehand in different ways etc etc*.

    Great thought provoking post!

    Ferns

    • gingernic
      March 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      It’s D/s flirting on steroids (per your ‘within 10 minutes hand on my throat, hand up my skirt’ scenario). It can be super hot. But boy does it ever rely on being able to read the other person perfectly or you can *easily* cross a line.

      It is super hot, no question. And that’s the thing, I feel like a damn hypocrite because I do this. I’ve held my fingers down my husband’s throat and listed horrible things I could do while he’s gagging too much to even scream. But then, we have nine years of shared history, we’ve done the serious talks, and read each other well. And we still screw up sometimes, because this is a danger zone. Even when we screw up, we take care of each other for the next hours or days or weeks or whatever because that’s what you do in a serious relationship.

      This woman? She’s got experience, and her scenes are beautiful, but I hardly know her. I’m still willing to have that lunch date on the 5% chance that this was intense flirting that came across too scary. At the same time, I need to know she’s listening when I say “this is serious,” because we don’t have a relationship. If she pulls a knife to be a scary uber domme because she thinks it’s hot, that has consequences. For me, it could mean flashbacks and night terrors again, because having been actually assaulted with a knife was pretty darn traumatic. It affects my husband, my students (lots of knives in a cooking class). But for her, no consequences. She can go home and not deal with it. That’s scary in a not so sexy way.

      The “I want what I want right now” thing is great, with someone you trust and know. As you say, you don’t play casually, and there are definite advantages to that. I don’t think that being spontaneous and domly and rawr blurs consent at all, unless you’re putting a boy in a position such that he can’t withdraw consent (verbally or otherwise). But maybe spontaneous and rawr can wait outside for “hey let’s negotiate ’cause you need to know knives aren’t cool and I’m allergic to strawberries, and I need to know whether you’d like me to tone down the teasing/goading/general lippiness”? It makes the fun part later much less likely to go horribly wrong.

      As for your defensiveness, you have a whole blog of really good D/s insights. It’s pretty clear that you actually think about these things, care about your partners, and are not a violent sociopath. If she had a similarly detailed collection of thoughts and writings, I’d be a lot less paranoid right about now.*

      *Unless it was full of scary thoughts. “Marrow is more difficult to extract from the finger bones than the femur, but its delicate texture is incomparable,” &c

  1. March 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

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