Gala - just wanted to clarify that I'm only referring to established/safe playmates, not some new random guy with handcuffs!
Thanks for the clarify! That gave me the heebiejeebies initially. Whew!
Let me revisit that chunk then.
If you’re into D/S play, how do you manage this with having an extremely equal relationship in all other ways? Sometimes it’s hard for either of us to let the other take control because we’re so equal in all other arenas, and both extremely independent people… it’s almost like it’s easier with someone you’re not in such a close partnership with, I’m wondering if others can relate
Basically my answer is still basically the same. As a top, bottom or switch? I think it boils down to good negotiation of the scene beforehand to define the play arena and trust in the partner and the partner's skills as to how easily you can let yourself go with them either as a top or a bottom.
We both switch. Also independent. Again, some things are earned. To help set the mood and role for the scene firmly in place? To help build trust?
You could have a putting on of collar or some other "ritual" you do with each other.
Rather than only a safeword you can go colors.
- Green = all good.
- Yellow = use caution
- orange = something in between yellow and red, approaching red limit
- Red = this feels ugh, change it to something else please
- Black = Mayday! Game totally over!
There's nothing wrong with topping from the bottom if you are learning each other's styles still and need a little nudge to get the scene to move a bit. Or maybe you just LIKE topping from the bottom!
You can negotiate how to express those things without it taking away from the scene mood or vibe. Look up the "new topping book" or the "new bottoming book" for ideas. Or see FetLife and other resources online.
If you view having topping from the bottom as "bad form" (which I do not think it is) or view it like "not good enough at topping and my bottom has to tell me"... That's not so much about the scene I think as your communication skills, your "think on the spot" skills, and/or your esteem/confidence stuff in self or the other. Either before the scene in negotiation or during the scene or aftercare -- your confidence in your own skills or that of your partner can influence your "let go-ability" with them.
And all those can be learned and honed in time served. It's not going to progress if you don't practice your skills together. Things get earned in time because you keep moving the bar over in tiny increments. The skills grow, the trust grows.
How ARE your aftercare skills for each other? Are they weak? Are those holding you back on full on trust with your partner if you are in subspace? Or are you worried about yourself in topspace?
I had a hard time with this with DH initially and he had a hard time with this with ME. Because I can seem like I am HERE but I really am not. I can talk and answer things and have no recollection. I can also go to the no speech place. He goes to a no feedback zone. Everything is "I'm fine, I'm ok" and I cannot tell if that is true or some kind of mantra so we had to take the time to ID and learn the other "tells" and not rely only on verbal cues.
Also when topping had to learn to ride own leash in topspace and start winding the scene down when the top is at limit whether the bottom is ready or not because a bad judgement mistake from the top could be BAAAAD. Besides... it's the Top
saying the game over. Deal with it, Bottom! Ha.
He had to learn to trust I could ride my topspace leash well enough to protect both of us from mistakes. He also had to learn to respect my topspace limit and not egg me on further. I had to learn same about him. There came the eveolution of the "1 snooze tag rule" -- past that, nope. Which led to the habit of the Top pulling back one step before pulling back was really
needed. So if the bottom wants the 1 snooze tag, you have the space to grant it safely. Or deny it. Haha.
Again -- takes time to be able to cut totally loose and let go and develop your banter/style together. There's nothing WRONG with it taking time.