"HARNESS" column for Beefyboyz.com - July 2004
What kind of SM scene do you want?
"You've mentioned in several columns that SM bottoms need to be aware of the kind of sex they want and negotiate that with the Top before a scene begins. But I don't think an SM bottom should control the scene. Isn't the best SM when the bottom surrenders to the Top and the Top decides what takes place?"
I agree with you that it's an amazing experience when you find an SM Top that you trust and who has the skills to take you to new places. It's also very tedious to play with an SM bottom who won't give up control and tries to dictate the scene. However, being aware of the kind of scene you want is important so that you can find an SM partner whose idea of a good time is the same as yours.
Here are some factors to consider that can lead to very different SM scenes. There are no right or wrong answers and you are allowed to answer "both" or "neither":
- Domination and submission or equal partners?
For some people an essential element of SM is where one person has authority over another, for example Master/ slave relationships or scenes where the Top is always called "Sir". There are other players, perhaps who were bullied at school, who enjoy many SM activities (flogging, fisting, electro play etc.) as active and passive participants but without the dominance aspect.
- Wet fish or pushy bottom?
Some Tops are looking for very submissive bottoms who will do whatever you tell them with humility and good grace. Others prefer to play with subjects who have a bit of rebellion and fight back.
- Sensory deprivation or sensory overload?
Some bottoms are happy to be left in a cage for a couple of hours with nothing to do but contemplate their predicament, while others need constant stimulation.
- Adrenaline or endorphin?
Adrenaline is a hormone produced in response to excitement, fear, shocks or surprises, and might occur in an SM scene involving take-downs, threats, interrogations, kidnapping and some role play. Endorphins are natural pain killers produced by the brain in response to stresses such as punching, flogging, whipping and needle play.
- Thud or sting?
Some people prefer "thuddy" sensations such as punching or using a leather flogger with unfinished ends. Other people prefer "sting" sensations such as whips or canes.
- Marks or no marks?
Some bottoms like being marked and proudly display their bruises, welts etc. after a scene. Other people have a strict rule about "no marks". You can use ice to reduce bruises or heat to make them show more vividly - but it's always best to negotiate this beforehand.
- Edge play or comfort zone?
Some bottoms aren't happy unless they are being pushed beyond their limits. Other people wish to play within their limits, especially if they are new to SM or playing with a new SM partner.
- 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks?
Some people can keep playing for days or weeks, others wish to play only for a few hours. What kind of scene are you looking for?
Ultimately, no matter how much you discuss things beforehand, the bottom is always in control. If the bottom says "enough" you can only attempt to talk them through any issue that may come up. If you cannot resolve the issue, limit or fear then the scene is over.
Have fun, and look after yourselves and the people you play with.
International Mr Leather 2003