A friend of mine on Fet commented on my Landmines post recently, which I had posted in my writings there as well as here. One thing that she mentioned resonated with me, and reminded me of something I had wanted to explore in the original piece, but which I had left out because it was already a long enough post, and actually it deals with a completely different kind of landmine.
What I spoke about in my previous post had more to do with an emotional/psychological landmine that W and I had run into in him. But many bottoms’/submissives’ landmines are triggered by physical play, which can trigger a “fight or flight” response or PTSD-like response. I’ve only had that happen once, very early in my explorations into kink with the Ex, but that may only be because I am very careful in my choice of playpartners and the types of play we do, making sure that that type of play is not on the “menu.”
Or I had been before W.
Let me explain.
After that incident with my ex, when I started seeking out new playpartners, I sought players that all had a very specific, easily-recognizable trait: they were all very controlled in their approach to BDSM play, even remote at times; very disciplined and measured. This filtering was initially instinctive, not deliberate, as I hadn’t had the time to analyze all the stuff going on in my brain then; hadn’t figured out how my kink worked, or why. I just knew, instinctively, that I needed that kind of control in a play partner to feel safe.
I’m still working on figuring out how this kink stuff works for me, but parts of it have become pretty clear. It wasn’t until I was with W that I really began to understand and accept some of those things about myself. And one of those things is that violence turns me on.
I should probably preface this by telling you a bit of my history. When I was 18 I met and fell in love with someone that would get drunk and abuse me. Shove me around a bit, knock me down every once in awhile, other…more dramatic things. I own my own complicity in the situation, but I also recognize that there was a reason I gravitated to a relationship that had such violence in it. Thank god I was finally able to get my shit together and leave him, but…the fear…it stays with a person. The fear of him being out of control, and really hurting me…
So. Years later, I know what attracted me to him. Not exactly the violence, but what it represented: power, the ability to dominate, and ultimately, control me, even if it was through fear.
Plus: crazy hot sex that lived just on the edge of consent–and sometimes crossed it. The fact that I was attracted to that–to him–scared the shit out of me. But I could not deny that attracted I was. (The post linked above talks a lot more about this theme in detail. Plus it’s a hot read.) ;-)
I made some very deliberate choices after I left him. One of those was to fall in love with a man that was my Ex’s complete opposite. Bland where he was fiery, calm where he was volatile, hesitant where he was passionate. My (2nd) Ex was a good man. He never gave me a reason to fear him. But he never inspired the incredible intensity of passion that I had felt with my first ex, either–until I introduced him to BDSM. And then all those qualities I had chosen him for were all that much better: again, I never had reason to fear him. He was calm, methodical & practiced. Sexual, but on some level, detached. I was never afraid that he would lose control.
That is until one day, after we’d decided to try to move into a DD relationship, and I did something that made him mad, and he came after me with a crop for “punishment.”
I don’t remember the whole scene now, or what I had done, or what happened after. All I remember was being on the bed and facing him with the crop in his hand…seeing the anger in his face…and suddenly all I saw my K, my first ex, and suddenly I was screaming at him to get away, get away, get away, scrambling backwards like a crazed animal until my back was against the wall, my heart pounding so loud I couldn’t think, and all I could see was K’s hands, his twisted ugly angry mouth, the rage in his eyes. When I came to I was shivering in the corner, sobbing and hysterical.
It took a lot of discussion for us to get past that, both for me and him. It had scared him as much as me–perhaps more so, as I had been the one to initiate impact play into our relationship in the first place, and actually enjoyed it, while he was on the fence about this whole “hurting his wife” thing. It was that kind of early experience with landmines–and dealing with them–that laid the groundwork in my later relationships for positive ways to deal with them, and move on. In that case, we realized a physical punishment dynamic was probably not going to work, unless we did it in a very controlled environment (which we did try, but it turns out that that sort of play did nothing for either of us.)
So. Fast forward to the here and now. I’ve recognized my trigger; I’ve taken steps to avoid having it stepped on again by choosing partners with certain traits and, when necessary, discussing the trigger. So what now?
Well, now comes the tricky part. Because, suddenly, I have become fascinated by this kind of play. Not exactly anger play, but…rough play. Confrontational play. Edge-of-anger play. Play who’s energy is derived from having to physically subdue the bottom. Being thrown around, knocked down, fought with. And fighting back.
It started, this “fighting back” play, with wrestling with Ad. Or maybe…maybe before that, in games of “Betcha Can’t Get Loose,” with the Ex. That was a safe game because I could fight back against the ropes, but not have to fear a human being’s emotions. It allowed me the emotional release without the fear. With Ad, there was never fear, because wrestling was all laughter, and he’d never actually strike me during it. He is never serious and it is all play.
But now, with W…I find myself facing a different kind of energy. There is a seriousness to him, an edge, a desire to truly take me down and subjugate me. If I engage in that kind of play–if I fight back–he fights back. Seriously, and with intent. And I know that I could, possibly, get hurt. Or hurt him.
And…I’m okay with that.
And…I love it.
And…I want more of it.
W has been the only person that I’ve ever felt safe in playing this way with. And suddenly, I find myself craving, not just this resistance play, but more. I want a physical beating scene. I want to get taken down and slapped, kicked, tossed around, drug across the floor, hit & pinned. Something that feels like true violence. Something that skirts the edges of his control.
I don’t know if he is capable of that. Or willing to play that way with me. Maybe that would be pushing a limit for him. I don’t know.
But like those other landmines that we uncovered, and are still working thru, if anyone could do it, and get out of it without emotional damage from it, I think it could be us. I believe that even if it did trigger all kinds of landmines, we could get through it. We would recover. We could conquer it.
And I’m ready to conquer this one.