Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Thursday, December 14, 2006

#2. Better

#2. "Better"....

Essays on a life of P.E.
July 27th, 2003
by shadow

In a message dated 7/23/03 6:26:34 AM, Patrick writing for Jack Rinella's column ( writes:
>I was frustrated about the mummification scene ending. Not because he stopped playing, but because I couldn't handle it. I thought about my reaction and how that came about and vowed to do better next time.<,<<

When Patrick (Jack's slave) write this, it touched a chord in me. It was coming from the point of an owned member of a leather family, a man that has lived this life and knows the basics. He had been with his master for over 2 years, and it struck me that even *he* with *his* well educated owner, still feels this way and thinks this way from time to time.

He is not a newbie, nor is he writing about what others think or feel. He is educating from his own viewpoint. But he has struck a very important and, IMHO, vital concept that should always been discussed with new folks in the scene - and reviewed from time to time with older members. We all are capable of forgetting this concept in our quest to please those we serve.

We in the life, as bottom folks- the subs, slaves, bottoms, sensation receivers- often tend to think that, when it comes to pain, physical contact, or impact play , that we can "improve" with time-- that we can learn to take "longer", or be "better" or somehow please MORE. Especially when it comes to receiving hurtful sensation. Things we LIKE to feel we *try* to get more of, but things we dislike (hate even), we often still tend to try and expand the amount that we handle.

This brings up two different lines of thinking.
One line- that we can always improve, educate ourselves, and become better as people, as lovers, as friends, as slaves and service givers and mentors and members of our community and this planet, that is a noble and worthy ideal. It is what humankind is founded on, the notion of always learning and changing. It is a noble imperative that any human always try to be more of their ideal and restructure the things they dislike in themselves. "When ya quit learnin', ya die" as Strong Eagle always reminds me, and i have always lived. Growth and change are inevitable, so doing them in a structured manner with clearly defined goals and outcomes is logical, saves time, and really can't hurt.
Learning how to serve better, how to accommodate, be more graceful or to work more seamlessly with others is a worthy goal. There are many ways outside of a scene to stretch ourselves in and grow.

While we can educate ourselves, and work on our inner being to grow and improve in all areas, BDSM sensation and WIITWD, impact play is a slightly different kettle of fish .
It is not that we SHOULD "take more" when it comes to pain play and sensation.
Some can, over time. Some cannot. New people especially have a large learning curve, and can absorb more and more sensation as time goes by and they become acclimated. Many of us find that we change our perceptions of how we “feel” when we play with pain, and unconsciously create coping mechanisms that help us accept more over time.
This does not happen to everyone, and no one needs to feel “less” if their abilities are not of the same duration or quantity as others.

Before we even get to that end of the discussion however, maybe we should look at what we are really talking about.

What is *more*?
More Yesterday? My standards? Your own needs? What you felt was total but someone else said was not as far as THEY do it?

What you can endure, or enjoy, or appreciate, or love, or hate but stand still for is not something that needs to change...
More is subjective, and not something that needs to be defined so much as dismissed in a discussion amongst adults.

If you WANT to try and go other places, yes, then by all means-- if you find that you YOURSELF want to push yourself for yourself, then this is a good thing and can be dealt with. If the person you have given power over to says that you WILL be doing something that you did not think you could, or going to places you have not, that is also fine. That is your personal dynamic, and you have negotiated that willingly and with knowledge by both parties.

Thinking that you HAVE to take whatever your top gives, and that you have somehow failed when you don't, while a universal thing with us bottom folks, is not accurate. It is putting undue pressure on yourself, and creating a measurement standard that is not only unnecessary- but actually counterproductive to being in this life.
Wanting to see how much you can GIVE to someone is different that just gritting your teeth and bearing it.
Unless that has been a negotiated part of your play with your partner, and they have TOLD you they want you to do this, then "endurance" is not the goal.
A dominant person in play is not an abuser-- they play due to CONSENT. That person on top wants to know that you WANT this thing- that you will take it for them, that you like it, that you feel happy when they do it to you (even if the thing itself is not something you love or like).
If they do not know that you are ENDURING their loving administrations, then you are in effect lying to them. If you tell them that you are enduring this- and they know up front when you play what you are enjoying and what you are enduring- then they can judge what they give you and why-- and they do not find out that they have been abusing you after the fact.
Now, once you tell your partner that you are enduring something, then it is up to THEM to do one of several things:
1) Not do it any more.
2) Do it in such a way that they and you feel you can bear all of it
3) Do as much of it as they want to until you cave in and red on them
4) Do it just a little for their own enjoyment, knowing full well how you feel about it.

Each of these is a fair and just decision so long as BOTH partners agree to it. Each has it's own drawbacks and it's own joys and reasons.

But having some kind of play that makes you need to red every time you play, and "vowing to do better next time" to yourself is, with few exceptions, counterproductive to the PE act and not going to work.
One cannot convince themselves out of a panic attack. One cannot flog themselves past a pain point. And putting yourself in emotional or physical danger out of some misdirected sense of "being better/doing better/going farther" is not required by anyone of good standing in our communities, be they straight or gay, lez or trans, het or poly.

Those in charge of a scene really do not feel in charge if the receiving end is thinking/ making decisions during a scene. It takes away from their power. It shows that they have NOT got your mind. You are STILL IN CHARGE WHEN YOU DO THIS. This is not good unless you have, as say, a bottom sensation only player in a pick up scene, negotiated this kind of thing.

i know several T/D/M's that have explained their views on this, on their submissives "enduring" for them.
All of them hate it. It makes them feel like abusers. It takes away from their power. It undermines their beliefs in being in control and knowing what is happening in the body they are playing with. It is not fair.
When they lean in and *tell*you to endure for them, it feeds their power. When they find out after a scene that the part that made them feel so damned wonderful was *endured* and put up with and you hated it and did not want to have it happen at all... then their feelings of abuse and use and lack of control are fed instead.

Most of them expect it to happen when asked.
But none of them want to see that as a pattern with all play.

They do not want *any* of us to "endure" the love they share with us.

Doing "better"... that is probably a myth. We all do what we do, and being HONEST with our play partner is much more important than any *level* we achieve or any * amount* of pain/sensation/input we can take.

Try not to do "better". Be honest, be truthful, and be real. THAT is what they want from us.

In bondage,
copyright 7-27-03 by shadow, all rights reserved.
This document may be reposted and reprinted only in it's entirety including copyright and author contact **WITH PERMISSION from the AUTHOR**. (i like to know where my stuff is being reprinted). Failure to abide by the laws of common decency will result in inhuman revenge. Ask around. i can do that. It will be painful.


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