There is a running joke in my house, when we are feeling silly and simultaneously misunderstood and/or judged, one of us will invariably say “You don’t know me! You don’t know where I’m from!” a la Jerry Springer guest, complete with wagging finger and attitude driven head bob.
I’ve been thinking about this because I finally put two and two together (yep, I’m a little slow and math is not my strong suit). Since it began popping up, I’ve had an issue with people saying they want to be me “when they grow up” – these are adults, mind you, some older than myself. I did not, until very recently, understand just why this admiration bothers me so much.
This past week, I spent a bit of time at the local dungeon with a new visitor. We’ll call him Tony. He asked for a tour. I gave it. That night he kept coming back to speak to me … coming back like a homing pigeon. Every five minutes he turned up at my elbow. (ok that’s an exaggeration … it was probably more like fifteen) Though he was never inappropriate, by the end of the night I just wanted him to go away.
Since then he has remarked via fet mail that he wants someone just like me and, if only I could be cloned. My issue with these two scenarios is that none of these people genuinely know me. Not Tony who wants to be with me. Not the people who say they want to be me.
While the sentiments are nice and I would like to be flattered, I’m just not. Tony is judging me mostly on my appearance and perhaps an hour, total, spent with me over the course of an entire evening. Others are judging me based on my public/scene personae which doesn’t come close to being an accurate representation of who I am. They see the pretty, sparkling water. They do not see the rip tide beneath.
They don’t know I become emotionally unstable when I’m sleep deprived. They don’t know that if they reach for one of my fries, they stand to lose a finger, especially if I’m hungry. They don’t know if they motion with their fork toward my desert I will cut them. (That’s a joke … mostly.) They don’t know that I can’t remember much of anything, regardless of importance. They don’t know that I let down the people I love on a daily basis, in numerous ways. They don’t know that I often feel like the man behind the curtain, all smoke and mirrors, playing at something I can never be. They haven’t had to endure me questioning and analyzing everything before I will commit to a simple yes/no question. They don’t know the million other things that regularly make the people I love want to exile me from their lives. They know none of this.
These people who think I’m so wonderful … They don’t know me. They don’t know where I’m from.
This weekend was the first time I Topped someone I knew. I have Topped in this setting prior to this but it has always been pick-up play. “Hey I don’t know you. I’ve seen you around. How’s about I beat on you for a while?” Followed by a brief medical history and negotiations.
I have been talking with this individual for some two years now and it was odd asking him things I would never ask someone I wasn’t negotiating with. He asked about a degree of undress and what I prefer. I told him I don’t hit what I can’t visually assess. Since he’s into CBT …well…. you can guess where I’m going with this.
In the lifestyle, we encounter a plethora of nudity in various stages from topless to completely nude. (I remember my shock in seeing a completely nude female just hanging out the first time I attended my local dungeon and she wasn’t even playing! <gasp>) Often we see people nude before we know their names. All of the strangers I have Topped have been naked. So why then, was it so uncomfortable this time?
He knelt with his back to me before we began. I stayed outside of the scene space, watching him, to give him quiet time, allowing him to transition from friends who were joking a few moments ago, to whatever his bottom mindset was. I was also giving myself time for transition from friend to Top. A minute or two into the scene and he was was simply the bottom on which I focused my energies. His nudity, who he was prior to the scene, ceased to be an issue.
I’ve been pondering this. I maintain, when questioned, that I Top folks I don’t know well (if at all) for practice, to get better, that these experiences are not at all sexual for me. They are the practical to my theory. Something that came up with my self examination after this weekend, was the idea that perhaps I was uncomfortable because I was hit over the head with the fact that, though this is not at all sexual for me, it more than likely is for my bottoms, regardless of gender.
This concept is not new for me. I’ve had multiple conversations about that very thing. I have recognized this idea to be true in the past: The folks I beat, hurt, mark, some with whom I do nothing more than sit in the same room, are having sex with me, in some form. This weekend, there it was, staring me in the face, big as life and just as undeniable. I’m not saying that was the entire source of my discomfort. I am saying it’s more than probable that it was part of it.
It’s icky. I don’t like it AND it’s unlikely to stop me from Topping. I get far too much enjoyment from hurting people. I’m not sure what that says about me and I’ll keep working on it.