Monday, August 31

Standing in the way of control

It was an interesting weekend of play. We had some lovely scenes, and the road side spanking was probably one of my all time favourite scenes ever.

But the weekend wasn't as much fun and games as it usually was. I had worried in advance that I wouldn't be able to shake off the tiredness and work stresses. I also had to do the organising, rent a house, pick up HH, plan the route and the non-spanking activities as well as do all the driving. None of which were things I minded doing, but not very conducive to giving up control.

Our first scene was a gentle de-stressing one. Well as gentle as HH goes with me, OTK hand spanking and junior slippering followed by a tawsing. Lovely. And I thought my fears were unfounded.

But then we played later just before bed and Caoilfhionn was getting a very hard slippering from her housmaster, with the very scary, hurts so much it makes me and Kami cry slipper. I got 12 to start with. And they hurt so badly. At 2 I couldn't see how I could get to 12. And at 11 I lost it completely. I screamed and jumped up in pure rage, literally stamping my feet in anger.

HH gave me a minute then bent me back over for the 12th. And that was it, we were done. But I couldn't relax. The anger had upset me. One minute I was heading for deep headspace and the next I was out of scene throwing a tantrum. And it wasn't fair on HH.

So I asked for more. She deserved more. I deserved more. But 6 was hard to take and then I got 3 extra for not staying still, all as hard as the previous ones. And again the anger came back. And I stormed off to bed in a sulk. With my anger turning to frustration at my inability to control myself.

When chatted about it later I came to the conclusion I was angry I couldn't take the strokes. They hurt too much. And I was frustrated that I couldn't ride it out, like I usually do. That I couldn't convert it into my usual deep headspace and tears. Every time Caoilfhionn got close, Emma Jane pulled her back. Why couldn't I let go?

Was it too hard for me? I don't know. It certainly was no harder than other spankings HH has given me. And if it was so hard why didn't I plead mercy or say yellow.

The anger appeared in another scene, again when the pain got too much for me. And I came right out of character. As before HH dealt with it perfectly, neither letting me away with it or pushing me too far.

It really freaked me out, this lack of control and outright anger. But the real issue over the whole entire weekend was that I never got anywhere near the deep headspace I normally would. And it unsettled me. Was I losing my spanking mojo? Had my pain tolerance disappeared? Was I over this spanking thing? What was going on?

And as we drove to the airport HH and I chatted about it and started a gentle argument over it. He claims the lack of headspace is his fault as a top. That it's his responsibility to create the situation where I can get there. And apply the right amount of pain, discipline and intimidation to make it work.

I in turn argued that no matter how great a top is that ultimately the bottom or sub has be open to him/her. And I told him that with all due respect I thought it was patronising for him to think he had so much power over me.

Having taken a step back now I realise I was not at all open over the weekend. I wanted to play on my terms, to my specific level of play, to my script. I found myself getting irritated when a scene turned differently to how I expected, annoyed to get extras or have an unexpected implement or have to assume a position I didn't like. I wanted to be in control.

Which is completely at odds to how I normally play. I love to be a girl with a name and a background and no-more. My favourite part of playing is to completely give up control, to let myself go. And this weekend I was not capable of letting go. I wasn't in the right place. And only I can change that, poor HH didn't stand a chance.


Henry Higgins said...

Yes, there are some very interesting issues here.

Of course you're right that in general the bottom offers the top control and he takes what is offered. In that sense he can't take what isn't given - at least within the bounds of consent.

But it's not really as simple as that. Most bottoms want to be able to give in, to surrender to the scene (which isn't quite the same as surrendering to the top (grin)). I'm sure that you did this weekend: it was the fact that it wasn't happening that frustrated you, and it was the frustration that led to anger - with yourself as much as with me, though anger is not a finely focussed tool.

I do think that part of the skill of a good top is to facilitate letting go: to make you feel safe enough to be vulnerable, to read you well enough to stop at the right time: not too soon, not too late.

That doesn't mean carrying on until you say I've gone too far. Of course you have a safeword, or something you can use as one: just say my name. But girls very seldom call a halt because it hurts too much. And keeping enough control to safeword is a big obstacle to letting go. Yes, the bottom can stop it. But no responsible top can/should assume that she will stop it, so I believe that "deciding when to stop" is primarily the top's responsibility.

I think I read you wrong in the bedtime scene on Friday. I think that, when you asked for more, I should have understood better that you wanted "enough more to fix the disconnect" rather than "enough more to be cathartic".

I'm not beating myself up over it: I think it was an excusable mistake, and certainly one that we trust each other enough to talk through and understand [we already have]. But this thing we do is all about the interactions between two people. We take risks, because risks give the hottest scenes. But taking risks means that scenes don't always go exactly to plan, and aren't always exactly what we hoped. When that happens, the causes are usually shared. You say it was "because you couldn't let go", but I claim my share of the responsibility (grin).

Having said all that, it was a great weekend.

EmmaJane said...

@HH yes it was a great weekend, I shan't argue that point :)

Julie said...

Very well and openly written. I can see myself having the same kind of desire to control although trying to give up exactly that.. definitely need to overcome the urge to top from the bottom.

Master Retep said...

I can see why, after a demanding week in the vanilla working world and being the weekend organiser, it could be very difficult to switch off and resist topping from the bottom - and then getting preoccupied with your feelings about that behaviour.

Both of you appear to understand that, don't beat yourselves up (other than in the nicest possible way). Even a weekend escape sometimes doesn't get away properly.


Abel1234 said...

This is the sort of thoughtful, open and perceptive entry that makes your blog so good. This sparked a couple of not terribly coherent thoughts from me, aside from wanting to give you a big hug, but I'll try and see if I can make sense of them...

No matter how well planned a scene, no matter how well the players know one another, there'll always be moments of surprise - when someone's in a different headspace than usual, and so the things that habitually work so well end up being a cause of stress. The most important thing, I guess, is that both parties are trusting and open enough to be able to talk and share what went on, and how they were feeling, and resume again the next time they play (adapting if needs be).

And then I wondered about the types of scene. There are certainly times when I want my play partner to surrender (or loan me) control: to remove them to a different place, a different persona, a different headspace than their usual world.

But I'm wondering about the power of a punishment scene in which one doesn't allow the girl to let go of control - when the spanking feels very real, very painful, very unwelcome. Is that, actually, the nearest thing to a real-life spanking?

And the fact that the scene you write about was played by two such lovely people is a relief, at the end of the day. I know you can both chat and explore and that the next time will be just right.


Unknown said...

I'm so relieved to read your post because I had a very similar experience recently.

It was a hard session, I tried to get into the right headspace but found myself getting angrier and angrier. I was stamping my feet, he added more strokes and finally I opened the door and just stormed out of the room and I could not look at him for a long, long time.

Still don't quite understand why that happened but glad to know I'm not the only one.

EmmaJane said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments which have helped to reassure me and realise it happens, jsut deal with it.

@Mandy very glad to know it's not just me, thanks.

Paul said...

EmmaJane, don't know how I missed this entry.
Just dealing with it isn't alway easy.
Thanks for posting this frank post, it just goes to prove the importance of communication, if you and HH hadn't been able to talk it out it would have been very bad for both of you.
Warm hugs,

Ms. Stick said...

Do you feel this relates at all to your concerns about submission, as distinct from the role of 'bottom' in a play scene? Consider the quote: "My favourite part of playing is to completely give up control, to let myself go."

Indy said...

I'm behind the times again, catching up with blogs, but I did want to say thanks for starting such an interesting and thought-provoking discussion.

Caroline Grey said...

Wow, beautifully written.

I struggle with this a lot, as Abel said "hen the spanking feels very real, very painful, very unwelcome." Which can be pretty often, when you're living in a world full of hairbrushes and canes. I haven't found a solution yet, though, of course, communication helps.

But takes a lot of courage and trust just to be able to say to yourself as well as to your partner "I'm having a really hard time with this and I don't know why." It's easy to blame yourself for being a "bad sub" and it's also easy to let resentment build at the Top.

I find it so valuable to have both your perspective and HH's. Both viewpoints make sense to me. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about!