When studying masochism, people have these ideas that it is all about sacrifice and martyrdom and the desire to be punished. While this is true to an extent, I don’t believe it’s wholly true. Beatings, humiliation, being helpless, they’re all ways to get to a different mindset, to experience sensation. The only reason why we view this sensation as bad is because that’s what society thinks it is. Pain is bad, pain should be avoided. Pain gives us an endorphin high similar to that we get from drugs. Pain is not the desired effect it’s the sensation that comes along with it.
The same with any sort of submission, be it physical or mental, it’s all about getting to that place of sensation, of giving, of doing for another. The thing about BDSM is that it is seen as so one-sided, when really it is all about giving and taking on both sides at different times. As different people practice and experience BDSM in different ways, this is simply my way, my experience, and not to be generalized too broadly, but meant to be taken as mine.
Basically, someone is always giving and taking and someone is always taking and giving. Giving someone the gift of sensation, as Tops do to bottoms in the bedroom, also allows the Top to take pleasure from the situation, whether it is beating, fucking, making them bound and helpless, humiliating, anything, both parties are getting what they want and desire from the situation. And then, outside of the bedroom, the bottom giving their gift of submission is them able to give themselves overabundantly to the Top, while gaining pleasure from doing so. The Top is gaining pleasure from the submission of the bottom while also giving the bottom reciprocal energy and love.
This is the give and flow of energy.
I’m not sure if I’m explaining this correctly, but it all was very clear to me on Saturday night. Basically, regardless of the situation, it is always time for both the Top and bottom to win. They are both getting exactly what is wanted and needed out of the situation. There is no punishment going on, really, (except when punishment is needed but that is only for bad behavior). There is only giving and taking of sensation, pleasure, energy, submission, and love.
At any given time both the Top and the bottom are getting something out of the interaction, both are selfish and selfless at the same time. This could be said for any relationship, really, but I believe it is heightened due to the heightened nature of interaction within BDSM relationships. Many (both outside and within the lifestyle) see the relationship as one-sided, that the Top is simply selfish and desiring great things from the bottom. However, the bottom is rewarded for hir actions through certain means, and the Top is rewarded for hir rewarding through other means.
Without the openness of both parties, a successful interaction will never take place. This is what Master and I have had such a hard time with. When we were first together, first met, I gave myself to him overabundantly. I tried to shower him with my love, my desire for him, and it was too much for him. He has a hard time expecting others to do things for him, he has a hard time receiving love and being open to it. I get this now, though I didn’t then. It has hurt our dynamic quite a bit, but we are slowly getting to the place where we can work again.
I have been more than receptive of taking from him, and he has been more than willing to give. However, it’s the other way around, it’s what most people think of as D/s, that is where we have problems. I shut myself off to him for quite some time because I was hurting, because I had given so much of myself to him and had gotten nothing in return, so by the time I moved here I was fragile and defensive and didn’t want to give anything to him ever again. This wasn’t conscious, it’s just the way it works. In return, since I was not giving and he has trouble taking, we didn’t do much aside from bedroom stuff, which I see as him giving and me taking.
For quite a while I tried to make him dominate me in other arenas. I was pushing him to take so I could give… it was a very backwards way of doing it, and it really didn’t work at all. I’ve gotten back to the place of desiring to give to him overabundantly, but it has taken quite some time to get here.
Part of what really helped me with the short-lived relationship with Kat was that she made me give myself to her, not the other way around. She wouldn’t do anything unless I was the one to initiate it, unless I was the one to submit to her, as opposed to her dominating me. I only started with her after Master and I had repaired some of the breaches in our relationship, as I was determined to do, but submitting to her, shortly and really not largely as I did was enough to remind me what it was like to be with someone who was willing and desiring to receive what I had to give.
Master and I have been better about it, and now that I’m done with school he’s made it pretty clear that he is going to demand more from me, and I’m very okay with that. I mean… I am and I’m not, heh, but mostly I am. We’re moving to a place that is extremely necessary and extremely important, and it’s taken us nearly two years to get here, but it couldn’t have happened any other way.