All of me
or,
It’s About Damn Time

The following piece was written in response to some questions put to me by friends trying to figure out my interests in pain and sex. It evolved from there.

I had a very entertaining night the other night – very entertaining and also very awkward.

At the end of the night, my friends were trying to pin down my thoughts/feelings/attitudes to pain. I was having a tough time articulating them, because they’re all tied up with my thoughts and feelings and attitudes to sex, too. Let’s see if I can lay this out.

Mentally, the idea of spanking, whipping, caning, exposing myself, wearing binding outfits, being restrained, being denied orgasm (maybe), being made to or brought to orgasm, simply being out of control – all of these things are arousing and very much part of the spank bank, as it were. I have no problem owning up to and embracing what turns me on when it’s me alone with my body; it’s when another person enters the picture that things get difficult.

Despite my fantasies, I’m not an exhibitionist by nature. I get self-conscious when I’m under scrutiny, even if it’s just from my partner. I wonder if I’m making the right faces, the right noises, moving enough… unless I’m really aroused and therefore distracted enough not to care – but it isn’t always easy to get me to that point, either because I’m challenging, or because my brain gets in the way.

My experience combining pain with pleasure has been unusual, to say the least – or at least maybe not as common. Pain, in the right circumstances, is a sexual experience for me. As previously stated, whips, spanking and so on, arouse me. I have played with pain, but had very little sexual contact with my tormentor. This was agreed to ahead of time, and wasn’t an issue, for the most part.

However, because my tormentor wasn’t a “sex” partner, that and the whole ‘awkward in new circumstances’ side of my personality combined to ensure that I was never 100% relaxed and comfortable. So I act the smartass (hooray for defence mechanisms).

I did experiment a little with my ex-, too, but there a different set of problems arose. Although he paid lip service to an interest in the harder side of things, it was almost always up to me to initiate, which seemed to translate into a lack of real interest, to my mind. So combine a perceived lack of commitment to the cause with my dead sex drive and submissive inability to start up anything, and what you get is two instances of spanking, one of me tying him up, and some three-quarter-hearted whacks on the butt during sex (which always screws up a guy’s rhythm). Then throw in some whining on his part about how boring our sexy life is, but a resistance to me going off the pill and an inability on his part to step up and actually effect any changes on his own, without me leading, and you have a snapshot of several months of my life.

Abdicating control turns me on. Being shoved up against a wall, being manhandled. Being pinned by the wrists and unable to move. Letting someone else lead – as long as they know what they’re doing. But these are all moves that require confidence to carry out. I can sense fear (okay, maybe not). But if I’m able to pick up on uncertainty or a lack of follow-through, I can’t really get on board. If you’re going to fuck me, fuck me – don’t start out fucking and then switch to loving caresses or gentle thrusts. Commit!

Okay, so some of this hyperbole, and it’s up to you to figure out what, but I think (hope), I’m getting some of this across. I’ve said for years that confidence is sexy, and that goes hand-in-hand with having the ability to make me believe you’re enjoying whatever it is you’re doing to me – you aren’t just watching as a bemused spectator, secretly marvelling that anyone would enjoy the action, but going along with it because there’s nothing good on tv, and hey, at least you’re getting some.

I complain sometimes about not meeting guys who treat me the way I treat them – willing at times to just get the other off, with no further expectations – but I know that I sometimes paint them into that box. Because I’m uncomfortable being the focus of attention, and I’m difficult and don’t want anyone to get frustrated, I’ll often dissuade someone from spending too much time on me – a problem of my own making, full-circle.

I know that the grown-up, rational thing to do is be patient and explain to the boys in my bed how I like things, but I’ve never really figured out the best method for doing so. The first time together is too soon, in my opinion, and sometimes it just seems as though the lessons never stick – there are only so many times I can ask the same thing of someone before I just give up in frustration – and stay frustrated.

I’d thought that I would have some of this figured out by now, although I don’t think I’m doing too poorly. I’ve certainly improved from where I once was.

Going off the pill has helped immeasurably, too; for the first time in almost a year, I have a highly active sex drive that’s once again had the fantasies returning with an impressive frequency. It may also help that it seems as though everyone around me happens to be kinky, which naturally lends itself to interesting and at times exciting conversations.

I’ve been told by some that I have a high tolerance for pain. I’m not sure if it’s that or I’m just stoic, but in any case, it can take a lot to get me to say ow. I’ve also been known to laugh my way through some sexual-pain experiences – but I put that down to a combination of enjoyment and nerves. In at least one scenario, while I did want to continue pushing to see how or if things would escalate, I also theoretically knew better.

Which is another aspect of my personality – I’m bad at first moves (or rather, I pretty much don’t ever make them), so I tend to push others into making them. It’s like I’m not confident enough early on in a relationship to feel as though my advances would be welcomed. Either that or I just prefer being chased, and find someone else making first moves to be much sexier. Probably both. Maybe I should work on this; kiss a boy first. On it goes to the list of things to do.
I’ve had a bit of a non-discussion recently with a male friend about sex, big surprise. Mainly we’ve just raised the question, ‘why do guys always want to rush into sex?’ (my question), and his answering, ‘why do girls always want to wait?’, although that seems somewhat contradicted now by his statement yesterday that once he has a girl half-naked, he usually gets laid. Apparently Seinfeld did have the right track when the characters said that ‘sex begins when the nipples come out.’

I tend to waiver back and forth from relationship to relationship as to how quickly I do or want to sleep with someone. There are a lot of different factors for this, but the two main ones are fundamentally selfish: one, I’m difficult to get off or sometimes even turn on, so I want to have a decent idea that the guy and I are compatible (i.e., he has some clue of what’s going on with a woman’s body) before we get to knocking boots, and two, I’d rather not regret things. I have had a fair bit of bad sex, but only a few occasions I can point to and go, ‘now that was a mistake.’ It’s how I like to live my life – few regrets. Sure, the experience might not be something I regret in the end, but if I don’t care that it happened one way or the other, isn’t that almost the same thing?

Beyond that, I enjoy anticipation and arousal. It’s fun to learn different ways of making each other gasp and moan, and it’s something we don’t always take the time to do when sex enters the picture. After all, once we’ve crossed the final hurdle, there’s often an implied need to get there each time after that.

Notice I said implied need. Of course I don’t believe that penetrative sex is the be-all and end-all of sexual encounters. There is, after all, a reason we’ve been given hands, lips, tongues and a brain. But does it not seem as though, at least for a little while after having sex for the first time, every subsequent encounter ends with sex? What happened to the time spent kissing, licking, biting and sucking all the other fun body parts? Why do ears, necks, shoulders, chests, feet, hands and so on seem to miss out on the fun once the dirty parts enter the playing field?

Maybe I’m just too creative for me own good – or too much of the playful/tease sort. I have a few friends whose turn-ons include fairly tame, public-safe acts: hair pulling, being clawed by nails, biting, etc. (okay, so it depends on your ‘public’, it’s true). I may have never kissed or otherwise touched these friends in a sexual manner, but it’s unlikely anyone would say they haven’t enjoyed themselves – but wouldn’t things change if we had had sex?

Maybe for the better, it’s true. A friend has observed that people touch differently after they’ve slept together. I’ve never consciously noticed, but I’m sure it’s true. I’m sure shenanigans would continue to be amusing post-sex, but I’m having a blast in the meantime (and I can fantasize all I want about how awesome the sex would be without reality intruding!).

I’m sure many would say I seem somewhat defensive right now, and I’ll admit they may have a point. But when it comes to sex, especially sex with someone new, I really want to want them before I jump them, and that often takes time with me. My last new partner, I really wanted. There was semi-serious consideration being given to us having sex on a Greyhound bus, and if it wouldn’t have been our first time, then it would’ve been done. My partner before that? I sort of wish I’d waited a bit longer; story of my life, really.

Engage my mind, respect my body – respect me – and your odds improve. Pressure me, whine, beg or treat me poorly, and for some reason your odds drop.

Throw me up against a wall, kiss me properly, bite and lick my neck right, and don’t try to tear off my nipple or rough up my insides, and your odds may improve dramatically.

So, do I make sense yet, damnit?

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