Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trust - The Top Perspective

(A burden to the top?)

In my last post Trust – The Bottom Perspective I took a closer look at the issue of trust in spanking play from the perspective of a bottom. This is the second part of my ramblings about the topic of trust, this time from the perspective of a top. Because trust between a bottom and a top of course is not one-sided. As Prefectdt pointed out in his comment on my post: The trust bonding element, in play, is one of the most important aspects of spanking interaction. Be it between a couple in a relationship or just between playmates. It has to go both ways as well, a Top must be able to trust the bottom/sub that they are playing with to be honest and not expect crystal ball reading style intuition from the Top. Thinking about this, it is a complicated issue.

I absolutely agree with Prefectdt. On the one hand this is really simple, for any spanking play one needs trust on both sides, on the other hand the topic of trust can become quite complicated once you take a closer look. And as if the issue of trust between top and bottom weren't already complex enough, to my mind there seems to be even more to it than that. I'm of the opinion that tops don't only need to trust the bottoms they are playing with and their abilities to tell the top about their desires and limits, tops must also trust their own capability of guiding a bottom and taking care of his or her safety during a scene.

In order to learn more about the things that topping someone takes and to develop enough self-confidence, even some spankos who are predominantly tops start their kinky exploration on the bottom side. Ludwig chose that way and our reader Ursus Lewis did the same. Knowing how a spanking feels on the receiving end, feeling the emotions that go along with the anticipation, giving oneself into someone else's hands, the spanking itself and the experience of having been spanked prepared these tops for their responsibilities on the giving end.

Others who are predominantly bottoms also start switching after having played on the receiving end for a longer time, when they feel self-confident enough to explore the other side. Leia-Ann Woods talked about this topic when Ludwig and I met her for the football bet clip. She said that she didn't enjoy topping earlier because she didn't have the feeling that she was good enough. Today she has that self-confidence and can now lead others to the places she likes to go to when she plays as a bottom.

Even though I think that I'm a true switch, equally enjoying both sides (but with a strong preference for bottoming in my sexual play), I also needed more than one year before I felt self-confident enough to make my first topping experience. And of course one doesn't only need that self-confidence in general, the feeling of trusting one's leading abilities must be there right at the moment when one starts playing out a scene. I guess that might be a bit more difficult especially for those among us who are predominantly bottoms and only switch on rare occasions. Mija has written a wonderful account under the title Dressing the part about a scene with Paul in which she spontaneously decided to switch into the role of the top. And in her case it was the clothing that helped her to get into the right mood. It all started with Paul getting into his school uniform:

As I saw him changing into it, an idea formed in my head. Perhaps, just for one day, I could watch over his school boy self. Just for one day, I could be in charge. This prompted several quick actions. First, I very quickly wrote up a list of rules that seemed appropriate for a uniformed boy I was watching over. […] Second I decided that I shouldn't be dressed casually, that I should dress as a proper teacher since he was such a proper school boy. What did I wear? My grown-up panties and bra, a silk blouse (which Paul in a very un-school-boy-like moment, mentioned was a tiny bit see through for a teacher -- opps!), grey bias cut wool skirt and black pumps with sensible heels. As I put on my business-y jewelry, I felt suddenly focused and in control. I think Paul was a little surprised to see me dressed up and even more surprised by my rules list. But he gamely agreed. Did he know yet how suddenly sure of myself I felt? I doubt it. I barely knew myself.

So, a top needs to trust into the bottom and into him- or herself. But what about the trust that a top receives from the bottom? What does it mean for the tops to know that someone makes him- or herself vulnerable to them? In his post about his desire to be broken during a spanking, Burl Apsack quoted another excerpt from Julnick's text about the different kinds of spankings. And this excerpt led to a discussion about whether the responsibility that gets along with the trust given to a top by a bottom isn't also a burden for the top. Julnick wrote:

I think that in at least some of the spankings I do, I'm not playing a game, it isn't about enjoyment, or dominance or submission, its about opening up and touching souls. Its dealing in emotion, in very fragile hearts and psyches. After a breaking, and often after a punishment, I will hold the bottom, and they will often cry, and cling to me, for a long time, completely vulnerable. And my heart is open, exposed as I do this, because otherwise I couldn't feel them, I couldn't touch them the way they need to be touched. That is the responsibility I feel. As a top, I can never let go, I have to be constantly aware, balancing many plates that are too too precious to risk even for a moment. I don't want to give that responsibility away, I want to see it through until all those plates are safely down again. But sometimes I envy the bottom, who is given the freedom of having someone else hold their soul for a while.

Is the responsibility that goes along with being a top a burden then? In some cases it might be. A good friend of ours once lived in a kinky relationship with a woman who was some years younger than him. She did not just want him to top her during their spanking play, but needed someone to guide her in her real life as well. Consequently, their relationship was not one between equal partners. There was a permanent imbalance of power. Their relationship was closer to a father – daughter relationship than to one between equal adults. As a result, he had to stay in top mode almost all of the time because he felt like he had to be strong for her and that he was the one who was responsible for both of them. The relationship only lasted six months.

But quite frankly, I don't think that this was due to their kink. To my mind the problem was their lack of equality as mates. And I'm not sure whether this is more likely to happen in kinky relationships. I don't know enough about 24/7, FLR (female led relationship) and HOH (head of household) relationships to have an informed opinion about whether the pressure on the leading partner in these kinds of relationships might be similar. But I think that there's an imbalance of power in many vanilla relationships as well, so I guess that this is not really a kink-only issue.

What can be difficult for a top, though, is the question how to deal with desires expressed by the bottom, with which the top doesn't feel comfortable. Respecting Mistress wrote about such a problem in his post Punished to breaking point: One aspect of punishment that intrigues me still after all these years is a desire to be punished to the point that I break down and weep. [...] I’ve still not reached that breaking point, though Mistress does seem to take me closer and closer to the edge. The only thing it seems that stops me teetering over it is Mistresses thoughts for my welfare. Although she loves wielding the power over me, she’s still only capable of pushing me so far before her natural instincts kick in and she stops beating me.

Again, I can see that this is a difficult issue. But to my mind the fact that a bottom gives his or her trust to a top doesn't mean that the top has to feel comfortable with all of his or her desires and that the top can fulfil them. I'm of the opinion that both, top and bottom, have the right and the duty to be open about their limits and to respect both, their own and their partner's boundaries. To my mind the responsibilities of tops and bottoms are quite similar concerning this aspect. Interestingly, as the desires of the author of Respecting Mistress go - writing about them and talking them through with his Mistress encouraged her to try out a more severe scene about which you can read here.

And during a certain scene? Is the responsibility of the top that gets along with the trust put into her or him a burden? I can imagine that it can sometimes be one, especially if one plays very often as a top and if the scenes are on a deep psychological level. But quite frankly, to my mind being trusted enough to be chosen as a top is much more a positive thrill than a burden. I think that this feeling of being trusted and maybe even chosen for a scene which has a special meaning for the bottom is something that many tops seek, something that is part of their kink and part of what they get out of topping. Taking the responsibility that comes along with it might be a challenge (like submitting to a spanking is a challenge for many bottoms), but it is also part of the thrill. Ludwig beautifully captured that in the post about our preparations for my introduction into the world of kink:

Losing one's spanko virginity is such a Big Event. For most of us, it is bigger and more life-changing than losing our "vanilla" virginity. It certainly was for me. The same weighting of importance applies for me when it comes to the helping-to-lose part: I never obsessed over "deflowering" a girl (an ugly term, in my view!), the way many men apparently do. However, being the first to spank a girl was an idea that held immense appeal, both as an erotic fantasy and in terms of more general values and emotions. Being the first to chastise her with the dreaded cane, my favourite implement, was an alternate fantasy that seemed almost as good.

If you asked me to state, in one simple sentence, what I really want as a top (in private play, not in filmmaking mode), I would say: "To give a special experience to the spankee." Well, what more special and memorable experience could you possibly give someone than their first ever spanking? Conversely, what greater gift could you receive than the trust that you are the right one to administer it? Granted, not all first spankings take place after such careful considerations (in other words, not everyone is a perfectionist control freak like Kaelah and me). But many do, and there is something romantic about the idea.

First times are life-changing, but not always in a good way. They are delicate moments. A lot of potential joy can be ruined, or even worse, a lot of long-term damage can be done if things go wrong somehow - if it turns out that that you were with the wrong person after all, or if the circumstances are not what they should have been. So, giving someone their first spanking is also a challenge for the top. As the top, even more than usual, you want everything to be just right, just about perfect. You want to reward the trust that has been given to you. […]

Predictably, I was delighted at the delicious prospect [of being the one to introduce Kaelah into the world of erotic spanking]. […] But more than excitement or gleeful anticipation, I just felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Above all, I was flattered by Kaelah's trust and openness. I wanted to be absolutely sure, probably even more than she herself, that it was justified. I was going to meet her, and if I had any doubts that I was the right guy, I would back out. Rare as these opportunities might be, I was going to do what was good for Kaelah and place my self-interest strictly below that.

I think that as a top I tick similarly. Erica Scott wrote in her comment on the first part of this post: It really is amazing, the places we can go with those we trust. And most important, that trust can never be demanded -- it must be earned. The idea of having earned someone's trust like that is definitely one of the thrills topping has for me. When I think about topping Ludwig, there are of course a lot of egoistic joys involved: Dressing up, being in control during the scene, a certain feeling of power, wielding an implement, perfecting my abilities as a spanker, the meditative mindset during the spanking, provoking reactions from Ludwig, watching the marks develop and so on.

But right now, as I am in the process of planning a special scene between the two of us, the most important thought is the question: What might push certain triggers that will make this an exciting experience for Ludwig? What works for him and what doesn't? I guess that I couldn't enjoy one of the things I mentioned above if it wouldn't work for Ludwig. If you asked me what would be the best possible thing that could happen during or after that scene, the answer would be as follows: The absolutely greatest thing that could possibly happen, would be that Ludwig gets so much out of the scene that he wants me to top him again some time in the future. I'm not sure that this is going to happen, because Ludwig already was at a point where he strongly assumed that he might outgrow his desire to switch at all any time soon. But it is at least my goal to create a scene that is exciting for both of us and becomes one of the positive memories of our adventures as a kinky couple.

So, what is the bottom line? Trust seems to be a very complicated issue, especially from a top's point of view. As a top, trust comes along with a responsibility to take care and to protect. Being responsible for leading a bottom and for his or her safety during a scene can go along with different emotions. It can be a challenge, maybe even a burden at times. But to my mind being trusted is also a wonderful gift! And I assume that it is part of the thrill and the positive outcome of a spanking for many tops.

In my opinion the discussion shows one ultimately important thing about spanking (and life in general), though: Talking openly is a must! No matter whether one is a top or a bottom, whether it is a spanking between friends or partners, whether it is a fun or a deep psychological scene and no matter whether the spanking is soft or severe: There is always a lot of trust involved. Open discussions about desires, limits, mental images and responsibilities help to build up trust. And of course feedback about past scenes as well.

Sometimes negative feedback might reduce the self-confidence of a top. Long before I made my real first topping experience I once took over control during a more sensual scene between Ludwig and me. The scenario didn't involve any spanking because I didn't feel ready for that yet and I didn't have the feeling that I had Ludwig's permission to spank him at that time. The scene didn't work for Ludwig because switching only works for him with a partner who is in a completely toppy mindset. I managed to find the right tone some time later in another sensual scene where I talked to him about my toppy fantasies. But still, Ludwig's feedback on that very first try made me feel insecure for a while, until I realised what was missing and had built up the self-confidence that I could give that to him once I had his permission to spank him as well.

And again it had been our talks which enabled me to understand Ludwig's desires better and better and finally gave me the self-confidence that my desires as a top fit very well to his switching fantasies. So, my conclusion is: Trust might be a very complex issue concerning both, spanking play and kinky relationships. But it is something very precious as well. As are open talks which help to build up trust between people and to reduce the complexity of the issue.

Wow, now this has become another monster post... Thanks for bearing with me! What are your thoughts about trust and kink? Tops, bottoms, switches, observers – you're all very welcome to share your ideas in the comment section!


Underling said...

Hi Kaelah (from the title of this post, I'd expected it to be by Ludwig - it's great to see you so thoroughly embracing your toppy side!)

Something that stood out for me here is Ludwig's reference to the responsibility he feels towards a 'virgin' bottom. It's great that he can rely on his experience to make someone else's first time safe and enjoyable. My first 'real' spankings were delivered by a professional - while of course that lacks romance, I've never regretted having been inducted by someone who really knew what she was doing (and in any case I was single at the time!)

Also, you're absolutely right about a top feeding off the reactions of the bottom, and I think that's what can make erotic spanking work in relationships where one partner isn't really into it - because so long as you're not totally squicked out by it, being able to provoke such a strong sexual response in your mate is still a powerful aphrodisiac!

Mija said...

I completely identify with the idea of it not going very well the first time and that undermining confidence to do it again. I think I trusted too much that what worked for me as a bottom would work, just in reverse, the first time I tried to top Paul. But we're different of course and our scenes require different techniques. It took a long time after my first try for me to be able to insist on trying again.

Your writing is so thoughtful. I find your posts quite inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kaelah,

I'm Annapurna.

I have done some lurking around on your blog in the past, and I now feel a little more confident about expressing some of my feelings in regards to what you have written in your latest post.

All I can say is, "Wow!" Your post about "Trust - The Top Perspective" is very deep, well-thought out, and passionate. You raised so many issues, in fact, I had to take notes so I could respond with a thoughtful post of my own, which I'm still formulating.

I will post this brief reaction and my full support of your exploration as a couple now, and maybe later tonight I will write a longer reply.

Thank you for sharing yourself so freely.


Anonymous said...

Part One

Hi Kaelah,

I’m Annapurna.

I have had some time to think about the thought-provoking issues you raised in your post about “Trust – The Top Perspective,” and I found myself agreeing with virtually everything you said, not that I was looking for points of divergence necessarily. So If I might be allowed to indulge myself with a lengthy response, I will proceed with my post.

Yes, trust between a top and a bottom is complicated to say the least. The top, if he or she is to experience any degree of emotional or sexual freedom during a scene, needs to feel relatively secure in assuming a role of authority and dominance in any situation in which the bottom has clearly stated his or her emotional, physical, and sexual limits in regards to preferences and taboos. The top must operate with the reassurance and knowledge of just how far a scene can progress based upon the realistic expression of needs and desires by the bottom so as to minimize the possibility that actions will not get out of hand, causing a potentially damaging experience for the bottom. If the bottom has exaggerated his or her experience, limits, and tolerance levels or has concealed past traumatizing events that could be re-experienced during spanking play, the top needs to know about it in advance and not learn about such experiences after a limit has been exceeded. A bottom’s willingness to please, be subservient, and express stoicism may account for some of the miscommunication between top and bottom that could lead to a bad experience for the bottom, and maybe for the top as well. Thus, the top must trust that the bottom has been forthright in his or her disclosure about self, expectations, past experience, limits, and the willingness to bend those limits as play progresses.

Your concept of self-trust from the top’s perspective is an insightful one. In order to lead and direct a scene with confidence and poise, the top must first command self-assurance that he or she can actually orchestrate a scene with conviction if the bottom is to reach whatever emotional depth he or she is seeking. This self-confidence comes from experience and maturity, of course, which we usually gain from the world at large, but it can also come from having experienced the perspective of having been a bottom at some time in our lives. If we don’t know the searing burn of the cane on our bare flesh or the repeated fury of a razor strap across our exposed checks, how can we possibly know what the bottom is experiencing when we administer the same level of energy to our subject? The answer is we don’t know, leaving us guessing and perhaps indecisive in our corporal administration. But there’s more involved than simple hand motion, the swooshing sound of a ridding crop, or the resounding smack of a hairbrush hitting its target. What about attitude, carriage, firmness, empathy, involvement, and distance? How should we, as tops, be responding to our partner during the more intense moments, especially those that lead to a climax? Without prior direct experience as a bottom, we are left wondering about our role as a top because we have really never experienced similar moments on the receiving end of things.

Anonymous said...

Annapurna: Part Two

I think it may be self-evident, and perhaps you alluded to it during your post, when we play both top and bottom roles, we reach hidden aspects of ourselves. Role playing offers a multiplicity of avenues for self-exploration, especially when we assume the top position. We learn of our capacity to hold two states of mind as one: our ability to express deep-seated aggressive and domineering impulses toward our partner while holding the fragility of our partner’s soul and body in our hands. With each stoke, we have the power and the obligation to bring our partner to the edge of pleasure and pain without breaking his or her spirit. We may exhort warnings and make threats, but there should never come a moment when helpless pleas go unheard during the commotion of a spanking. As tops we, too, must remain open, allowing our souls to touch the form below us, naked, vulnerable, and crying. It’s the touching of souls in such moments that creates true intimacy and trust.

Perhaps the only point of disagreement between you and me is the concept of burden. While I will quickly concede that some bottoms can act in a way that is burdensome due to emotional conflicts unresolved or lingering family of origin issues that disrupt effective interpersonal relations in the present, the word, “burden,” seems to carry a pejorative connotation and perhaps “obligation” or “responsibility” may be more suitable? Again, I will concede that anyone who withholds emotional needs from his or her topping partner and then demands that these needs be fulfilled in what could be experienced in an awkward manner could be rightfully described as burdensome. Hopefully, truthful and clear communication can clear up these matters in advance, but nevertheless there are times in which most of us want to be a “burden” upon someone else so we can experience the comfort and security of being cared for as if we were a child again. This desire, or need, is not only endemic among spankos, but it’s a wish that most people carry, for if the bottom were truly independent and self-sufficient he or she would only be attracted to the pain side of discipline and perhaps little else? Yet, I’m not advocating a relationship based upon a permanent imbalance of power, in which one partner is cast into the role of parent, teacher, authority figure, or master while the other assumes the role of child, pupil, subordinate, or slave. Such relationships are of short duration and are perhaps the basis in which tops may feel burdened and even resentful toward their ever helpless bottoms.

As for spanking a virgin bottom, the notion of less is more seems appropriate. It takes time and repeated exposure to being spanked over months and maybe years before a bottom can develop true tolerance and the pleasure of being compliant. The virgin may fantasize about being spanked by a “god” or “goddess” only to find out that when the hand begins to fall on his or her bottom, the reality of a good spanking bears little relationship with the fantasy. However, the skillful top knows how to gauge the reactions of the green-pea bottom so that initial experiences under the hand are not only tolerable but maybe even provocative? This approach is perhaps a good way to turn a fence-sitter into a true spanko so that the novice spankee would rather be draped over our laps than sitting on the sharp points of a picket fence wondering how to enter the world of spanking without experiencing too much collateral damage to body or soul.

Kaelah, thank you for the opportunity to post on your most intriguing blog, and if you like what I have said tonight, perhaps you might be interested in a more introspective view about myself. The choice is yours.


Rayne said...

Kaelah -- both of your posts on trust are quite thought-provoking, thank you for the lovely read.

I would absolutely agree with you, in both accounts, that trust is an essential element for the success of any scene. For me, I think this is where the true power of any scene comes from: the exchange of real trust exercised by both top and bottom.

What really resonated for me in this post was your quote from Julnick (as originally posted by Burl), where he writes:

"I think that in at least some of the spankings I do, I'm not playing a game, it isn't about enjoyment, or dominance or submission, its about opening up and touching souls... Sometimes I envy the bottom, who is given the freedom of having someone else hold their soul for a while."

As a bottom, I can relate very much to this experience, and it is one of truly transformational proportions -- but impossible without a deep sense of multi-directional trust from both players. :)

Kaelah said...

Thank you very much for your comments, everyone! I'm flattered to see that some readers really made it through the whole monster post. ;-) And a very warm welcome to the new commenters Annapurna and Rayne! I'll write longer replies to your comments soon. Since I'm quite busy at the moment, it might take a day or two though. But I wanted to let you know that your comments are very appreciated! :-)


"But right now, as I am in the process of planning a special scene between the two of us, the most important thought is the question: What might push certain triggers that will make this an exciting experience for Ludwig?"

I think that you are the one in the best position to answer that, as you know the real world Ludwig, unlike most of us who only know the online Ludwig. However the one line version of Ludwig does come across as a "boundary breaker" type of personality. This might not be best expressed in the field of severity, as however hard a play one person can take there is always someone else who can take harder play. But something unique, that has never been done before, does seem to be the best way to titillate the interest of Ludwig (at least the online version of Ludwig, that I know and occasionally poke the metaphorical ribs of). It is hard to think up something new, with so many people trying so many things but there must be something. I am lighting up my pipe right now, this is a three pipe problem, if I come up with any ideas I will pass them on to you.

On the subject of earning the Trust of a Top, this is a question that vexes me greatly. I expect a lot from a Top, when it comes to earning my stamp of approval, on the trust bonding front and very often worry that I am not reciprocating on the same level. Are there any Tops out there that can give some simple guidelines as to what signifies success in earning the trust of a Top?


Anonymous said...

From Annapurna


Thank you for your kind comments.

I'm in the process of constructing my blog so you will have a better understanding of who I am.

I do have more I would like to add to my last post if that's okay with you?


Kaelah said...

@ Underling:
Yes, I was very lucky to have Ludwig for my first experience! By the way, we both were single at that time which changed quite soon afterwards... ;-) But making one's first steps into the world of spanking with the help of a trustworthy professional is a good choice as well. Ludwig chose the same way and he didn't regret it either!

Concerning relationships between a kinky and a vanilla person: I think you are right that it is possible to include a certain degree of spanking into such a relationship, just because the vanilla partner enjoys the fact that it turns on the kinky partner. But to my mind there are certain limits because the two can't really enjoy fitting kinky mindsets.

@ Mija:
Thank you so much for your kind comment and for the inspiration! :-) Finding out what works for one's partner is a great challenge indeed! Ludwig and I talked a lot about our preferences, about his experiences and so on and now I've got the feeling that I have a good idea about his triggers. And I have his permission for a complete role reversal which is an important precondition for turning into a convincing top as well. That's why I'm now feeling ready to try it again.

Kaelah said...

@ Annapurna:
Welcome and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic of trust! I agree with you, talking openly about limits, desires, “red” buttons and so on is a crucial task when it comes to the build-up of trust between a top and a bottom. Of course often the bottom isn't aware of all the possibly critical things in advance. So, sometimes you only find out during a scene. In this case the bottom can either use the agreed safeword or at least explain his or her feelings and thoughts to the top after the scene which helps to avoid similar situations in the future.

I think there are tops who have never played as bottoms but still have a good feeling for the needs of the bottoms there are playing with. To my mind one can also develop self-confidence as a top by playing with trusted bottoms and learning from their feedback. But for some people it is easier to gain self-confidence by experiencing the other side themselves. I guess it depends on one's personality and kink.

From my point of view whether we reach hidden aspects of ourselves during play depends on two aspects: First of all, how psychologically deep are the scenes we play, and secondly, how open are we in our real life about our different character traits and how much insight do we have. The scenes I play usually don't lead me to any hidden aspects of myself, since I'm very self-reflective, know myself pretty well and show my character traits quite openly (at least in a safe environment, for example when I'm with Ludwig) and since I usually don't seek any psychologically deep scenarios.

Personally I don't see topping as a burden at all, but for Ludwig and me spanking is erotic play and we don't have any permanent top-bottom power dynamics in our relationship. I know that many people have different relationships (HOH, FLR, DD) and asked myself whether there could be certain constellations which might make topping feel like a burden, at least from time to time. To my mind, if the form of relationship and play suits both partners this shouldn't be the case.

As first time spanking experiences go: To my mind the most important point isn't to start very soft but to listen to the desires and the limits of the bottom. My first experience with Ludwig was a proper spanking experience featuring the hand, a plastic paddle and the cane. I was quite bruised afterwards, but it was absolutely okay because the scenario had been exactly the one I had dreamed of. If you like you can read everything about our preparations and the scene here . Had we chosen the wrong scenario (for example the famous punished schoolgirl), it could have been a negative experience, no matter how soft the action would have been.

Of course you are welcome to share your thoughts here on the Rohrstock-Palast, Annapurna. Since you seem to have so many thoughts on your mind, writing your own blog seems to be a very good idea, though! It will allow you to write longer posts about all the things that come to your mind without the limits that occur in the comment section. Oh, and one little hint that might make commenting a bit more convenient for you: Instead of using the “Anonymous” option you can chose the Name/URL option, only enter your name and leave the URL field blank. Your comments show up as comments from “Annapurna” then.

Kaelah said...

@ Rayne:
Welcome and thank you very much for your comment! And you're right, the feeling of trust and the special emotional bond between top and bottom which can be created during a scene is wonderful. I usually don't do any scenes in which I'm completely vulnerable and Ludwig holds my soul (I'm too much of a control freak), but I feel very close to him during a spanking nonetheless and I have this feeling of being loved and protected when we are cuddling and Ludwig is holding me in his arms. :-)

@ Prefectdt:
You are right, the online Ludwig enjoys exploring new and unique things very much! And of course this desire to experience a special event from time to time is also part of Ludwig's real life personality. But, as you know from his formerly strict posting schedule, there is also another part, a part that longs for routine and for intensifying things one is happy with. The latter is much more important for our every day play than the special event part. But since Ludwig doesn't switch very often, it would of course be nice for him to have a scenario that involves at least little variations which he hasn't experienced before.

Luckily, I don't have to worry about that part. Because a) this is Ludwig's first scene with me as a top (the scene with Leia-Ann was one between friends and not one between Ludwig and me as a couple, and in our training scene with different implements there was no storyline and I didn't really top him), b) it's also his first scene as a bottom in a love relationship at all, c) the scenario is new to him as well and d) I also know about positions and alike which he hasn't tried before. I think that should be enough new experiences for one scene! ;-)

What I'm trying to figure out, though, is which psychological triggers might work for Ludwig and how I can incorporate them into our scene (maybe in a way that surprises him a bit). It's not about reinventing the wheel, it's just about little things because I think these things can make a big difference as well.

As earning the trust of a top goes, that's a very difficult topic indeed! When I think about which people I would trust enough to feel comfortable with topping them (especially given my lack of experience as a top), one critical aspect would surely be their ability and willingness to talk openly about their desires, limits, experiences, possible “red” buttons and so on and to give me feedback after (and if necessary also during) the scene.

Annapurna said...

Hi Kaelah,

Thank you for responding to my post. This time I’ll try making shorter entries rather than fitting everything into one long message.

I agree with your observation about the limits affecting a relationship between a kinkster and a vanilla partner. I am in such a relationship of long duration.

While my wife does not derive sexual gratification from being spanked, her orientation, however, has not dissuaded me from smacking her bottom whenever I can.

Because I’m a bottom-switch, my greatest satisfaction comes from being on the receiving end. To heighten my experience and safety, I have had to coach my willing mate in the proper use of implements. She learns quickly and spanks hard.

As for the fitting together of two kinky mindsets, that will not happen in our case. She’s not a pervert like me. She’s sensitive, emotionally dependent, is genuinely afraid of hurting me (which is a healthy fear), is sexually modest, and is often physically worn out by her overly demanding job. Notwithstanding these constraints, however, my perversity still finds avenues of expression in our relationship: she has now agreed to wear provocative outfits during our play and is open to playacting. Despite these developments, I don’t expect her to understand fully what it means to be possessed by a spanking fetish, but you know I don’t understand it either.

Annapurna said...

Hi Kaelah,

I have read your comments regarding my post. Thank you, and thanks for the posting tips; I appreciate it.

In your reply to my original post, you gave a reference link, which in turn had two or more links embedded in it. So it does appear I have some reading to do before I can respond with care and consideration. I don’t want to take anything out of context. I do have one question, though, how long did it take for you to heal from your experience that you described in “Ritual Chamber?” How did you manage the pain and the fear?

Before I started reading your blog, I had not considered being caned. Now I feel differently. Your experience in “Ritual Chamber” would be at the outer limit of my endurance. I will explain more about that when I get my blog up and running, something I will begin this weekend.

My wish to explore the cane is not a competitive one, although I can understand how such a fascination could quickly become one; nor is it wise of me to think of caning as the rite of passage of every bottom, after which we can proclaim to the world the full extent of our fortitude and tolerance.

I must admit after quickly reading exerts of your experience in the “Ritual Chamber” that I felt *real* fear, not just for you, but for myself because I found it far too easy to project myself into your place.

As for any insecurity you may have felt at that time about yourself in the “Ritual Chamber,” all I can say is that you’re simply beautiful, not only of body, but of mind and soul as well.

Annapurna said...

Hi Kaelah,

I have finished reading all three parts to your story, and I must say that I am in awe of you and the bravery you showed. I'm not sure I could have done as well under the circumstances, especially when we consider it was your first adult spanking.

I need some time to reflect upon what you have so graciously shared before I comment again.

Thank you so very much.


Kaelah said...

@ Annapurna:

Wow, given the fact that she is not into spanking I think your wife is very open-minded indeed! I assume that the two of you won't be able two create the positive feeback loop that can occur between a kinky top and a kinky bottom (both enjoying their experience but also enjoying the knowledge that their partner enjoys it as well which makes the experience even more rewarding and so on), though. But you have obviously found ways to incorporate your kink into your play which also work for your wife (at least to a certain extend).

As for my first spanking experience: After about two weeks most of the marks were completely gone. The aftercare is an important factor here. We applied arnica ointment on a daily basis. Today I would also use ice packs directly after the play because that reduces the bruising right from the beginning. Most of the marks were created by the paddle, btw, not by the cane. And the bruising doesn't necessarily say much about the pain. We have implements that cause very little bruising but hurt a lot and others which cause a lot more bruising (like the paddle) but create a kind of pain which I find much easier to endure.

The pain during my first spanking wasn't so difficult to bear because we started each segment with rather light strokes and Ludwig always increased the severity step by step. That allowed my body to get used to the pain. The breaks between the segments also helped a lot. With a well warmed bottom even the cane isn't so difficult to take, and of course one doesn't have to apply the cane overly severe either. A cold caning is a completely different experience. I find that quite hard to take, even if the strokes are only medium severe. Once I'm warmed up, even very severe strokes are bearable, though, maybe even easier than medium severe ones because the latter produce a rather stingy pain while the severe ones produce a rather blunt pain which I personally prefer.

Should you ever want to try out any canes, though, please make sure that the one who applies them (your wife?) has exercised a lot with a cushion first. Because canes are rather difficult to handle and one should make sure that more sensitive parts of the body (especially the kidneys) don't get hit. And my advice would be to try only softer strokes at the beginning (especially given the experience with your trip to the ER you wrote about) and only after a good warm-up.

And of course no one has to try the cane at all, in order to become a “real” spanko. Living out YOUR own fantasies and playing within YOUR limits is what this is all about. You've got fantasies about spanking (and you even live them out), so you are a “real” spanko, no matter how your fantasies and your play exactly look like! The “brave” part of my first experience was the fact that I tried it for real at all and that I was open enough to tell Ludwig about my fantasies and to create a scene with him that fitted to my personal dreams.

And obviously that's what you've done as well. You told your (vanilla!) wife about your fantasies and you found ways to include them into your play. In my opinion you don't have to prove anything to anyone, just do the things the two of you are comfortable and happy with. A certain degree of severity was (and from time to time still is) part of my fantasies, but there are many forms of edgy play which I won't ever try, even if that would make me look braver, because they aren't part of my desires, they are outside my own comfort zone and I know that they wouldn't work for me in a positive way.

I wish you all the best for the start of your own blog! :-)

Annapurna said...

Hi Kaelah,

After reading your post about your first spanking experience, I was amazed by how completely I was drawn in by your account. It felt like it was my first time too, and Ludwig seemed so scary, which is absurd and irrational of me! My reaction only underlines my own distrust of men in general and my feelings of discomfort when I’m around them. I know that sounds strange, but maybe I’ll explain it later.

I also feel discomfort about the falling ritual, something I cannot do even if the person catching me is my wife. I have such a fundamental issue with trust it’s amazing that I allow myself to be spanked at all. But then my high pain tolerance and tough skin may be a form of body armor?

Notwithstanding my own projected anxiety, Ludwig really is a very considerate spanker, even though I still feel your first session was perhaps a little too much? Taking two weeks to heal is a fair amount of time. However, you took it so well and the spanking didn’t faze you one bit emotionally so you are a true spanko indeed! Hooray! Ludwig’s level of concern and his checking in with you throughout the initiation is quite enlightened and humane. He really put your needs ahead of his.

Despite all my talk and considering how many times I’ve been spanked, my stomach still does flip flops whenever I lay over my partner’s lap. For me, every spanking is new and it always seems like the first time despite the permanent tan markets on my bottom.

There seems to much talk about topping from the bottom. I’m not sure what that means. In my case, I have to instruct my partner (wife) because she lacks experience and she has no desire to spank me without my asking for it first. I realize this relationship might be unacceptable to many, but it’s not a problem for me. Think about it: how brazen is it to ask for one’s own spanking and then to tell one’s partner to spank harder and longer! But that’s life and I don’t see my situation being any more difficult than what most vanilla couples deal with in regards to sexual pleasure giving. Once the first swat falls on my bottom, I’ve already given up control; now it’s simply time for me to relax into the event, soak up the spanks, and be thankful I’m getting exactly what I want. The only thing I must remember to do, however, is to react; that is, show some involuntary response that the spanking is actually affecting me, which it is of course, but not on a level many tops might desire. We live in a causal universe and most of us have a basic need to feel that our actions are having some effect. So it is with spanking and pleasing the top, even if that top happens to be vanilla. Beyond that, my partner usually decides when the spanking ends, not me, and in that past that meant when she got tired.

I read with fascination your preparation for the spanking. My being spanked is much more impromptu, but that is now changing I think. (I’ll talk more about that later.) What I found of interest was your impulse to tell your friends about your special orientation. Telling someone like me would hardly be a challenge, but telling vanillas, that takes some doing. This past week I’ve even toyed with the idea of vetting my hidden interest to a few others, but so far I’ve prudently kept quiet.

There are two other things I would like to say: if it were me in your place, I don’t think I could have even swallowed the bean paste because I would have been so overwrought with apprehension due to the long build up. I hate build ups; just spank me now! And come to think of it, if my partner and I were to incorporate that much preparation, I would be scared to be spanked at all! The second observation concerns Ludwig’s touching you toward the end of the spanking. What a thoughtful and erotic expression; what a beautiful gesture. It shows that he really cares for you!

Kaelah said...

@ Annapurna:
Don't worry, there's not need to be scared about my first experience, it was really wonderful! As you already mentioned Ludwig took good care of me and I fully trusted him. I also trusted my decision-making and was sure that I really wanted to try this. That's probably why I felt so calm at the beginning of the scene despite of the long build-up (planning and preparing the scene was as much fun as the scene itself!). And it was also very important that Ludwig didn't put any pressure on me and calmed me down when I started worrying that afternoon.

I marked quite heavily because this was my first-ever spanking and because the paddle easily produces marks. But it wasn't all that bad because my bottom didn't hurt afterwards. So it wasn't a problem that the marks took about two weeks to heal!