Archive for June 8th, 2009

Today’s questioner brings up the very valid question of what happens when we start getting all meta on ourselves – or as I like to think of it, human.

I’m a switch, so I enjoy both domming and subbing. I’m also a scatterbrain and an overthinker, which means it’s hard for me to stay in the mindset of either. I can deal with this fine when I’m subbing – when I get distracted, I can hide it until I get back into it. I am not the one managing the scene and the other person.

However, when I am the one who does-to, it’s harder to hide that I am distracted or out of the “zone”. I start thinking that it’s all very silly, or I start thinking about any of a zillion other things, and suddenly I’m not into it. This then triggers the usual nervousness that I look silly, or am saying silly things, and then I can’t do much of anything.

What do I do?

First of all, I want to acknowledge that what you’re experiencing is common. None of us can be an uber-dom or an uber-sub all the time. Sometimes scenes go, as Midori is fond of saying, “beige,” and we zone out thinking about what color to paint the ceiling. Sometimes we start thinking about our shopping lists. Sometimes we even freeze up, especially in the dominant role, and don’t know what we should do next. Or we step outside ourselves and lose focus.

A couple years ago, in the long process of introspection about pro-domming, I wrote the following:

Most days, when I’ve just spent the bulk of an hour with a grown man over my knee bruising his ass with a hairbrush, and am sitting disdainfully on his head, fully clothed, while he whacks off, I tend to step just outside of myself for a moment, look down, and think, Damn, I have a weird job.

Sometimes, it’s just weird, what we do. Or as you say here, “silly.” And we get self-conscious, which is really the curse of being people.

As far as what to do. First off, good on you for going easy on yourself when you’re in the sub role; it can be very painful for a dominant if the sub reveals, during scene, that he or she is bored or distracted, and sometimes it’s better to just fake it until you come back to yourself. You may talk to your dominant afterwards, too, about making the intensity level higher if this happens to you frequently: a great way to stay in the moment is to have something that is insisting on your attention, like, say, a knife at your throat.

Drifting off during domming, though, can be quite a can of worms. Not only is there the danger of losing sight of the sub’s physical safety in some cases, but subs are often in a heightened state of emotional vulnerability as well, and can be devastated if they realize that you’re not really with them.

So here are some ideas.

1. Blindfold the sub. While you’re practicing other ways to stay in the moment while you’re controlling a scene, keep your submissive blindfolded. This is a great way both to conceal from them that you might be distracted or screwing up, and to increase their sense of helplessness. Blindfolding can also induce a deeper sense of “subspace,” and the trancier your sub gets, the less he or she will notice if you, say, need to trim a hangnail all of a sudden.

2. Center yourself beforehand. What kinds of things center you, make you feel present and capable? Sometimes, I’ll do a brief meditation before a scene. Some people find that having a cigarette, some caffeine, or a small amount of alcohol (like, half a glass of wine – no more!) will bring their minds into focus. Sometimes, physical exercise works this way. Figure out what gives you focus and do it before you meet up for your scene. You’re more likely to be able to stay present throughout it.

3. Plan what you’re going to do beforehand. If you have an order of events in mind (e.g., First I’ll tie him up by his wrists and put a spreader bar between his ankles. Then I’ll run this vampire glove over his body for a while. Then I’ll spank him with the following tools. Then I stick on the nipple clamps while I let him fuck me), it’s easier to not get sidetracked and wonder what you should be doing. If you blindfold him, you can even have this written down. Or, if you want to do a roleplay, you can have a list of tortures that you check off right in front of him.

4. Do something else. You mention that sometimes when you start thinking it’s silly, you’re no longer into it. If this happens and you feel you can’t get back into the swing of what you’re doing, start doing something else. You might even comment on it honestly: “Well, isn’t this just ridiculous. I can’t have you all twisted up into a hogtie when what I really want to do is fuck you in the ass, now can I?” Of course, it all depends on what you’ve negotiated beforehand, but one of the nice things about being the dom is that you are in charge. This can be a burden at times, but it can be very freeing at others, when you realize that you don’t have to keep doing whatever you’re doing when it ceases to interest you. If you can think of something to do in the moment that you would find super-hot, that’s even better, as it’s much more likely to keep you engaged.

Sometimes you might lose interest in the scene entirely: what then? Do be mindful of the sub, and don’t just stop a scene cold when this happens. Think of some graceful way to end the scene, and make sure that you include extra of whatever kind of aftercare – for both of you! – that you like.

5. Be gentle with yourself. When you get distracted – because in spite of all this you still will – stop, recognize it to yourself, and take a deep breath, remembering especially to let that breath out again. It can help to come up with a symbol – like a word and a gesture, or a mental image – to anchor your centeredness to. When you find yourself drifting, call up that image or word to return you to yourself. If you simply can’t and find yourself stuck – again, find a way to end the scene that’s not too hard on either of you.

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