If there is such a thing as a bad night at the dungeon, this one was it.  I was mistreated in my scene, and then treated as a fifth wheel outside of that.  It’s definitely caused me to reevaluate how I view D/s and my own role within it.

Recently, my regular play partner became involved in a relationship with someone whom she called her “Sir”.  Since she became involved with this person, our play scenes had become more dominant/submissive with the inequality that comes with that designation, rather than filling the top or bottom role between equals.  I was being ordered around more in our scenes.  Pre-scene negotiations became almost nonexistent.  “Give me your hands,” was usually the extent of it, and if I attempted to negotiate a scene, I was told that it wasn’t my place as the sub.  If I tried to explain mid-scene that something wasn’t working for me or getting too intense, then I was told, in an annoyed sort of way, that I was “topping from the bottom”.  And she would refuse to gag me, which, as I mentioned before, I need in order to get to subspace.  And if I’m making noise, gag or not, I’m not there.  I’ve noticed that when I’ve reached subspace, I stop making any sound.  I stop talking (or “mmphing”, as the case may be), I don’t giggle, and I don’t make happy sounds.  I just go silent.

So last Friday, I got together with my play partner for our usual dungeon night routine: dinner somewhere and then off to DCDungeon.  I knew that her “Sir” would be coming along, and that was fine, because I was interested in meeting him.  He seemed like a nice enough guy at dinner.  We talked about whatever, and then when dinner was done, we headed over to DCDungeon.  At DCDungeon, after my play partner and I showed her “Sir” around the place (it was his first time), it was time for a scene.  As I had understood it going into this, we were going to be beaten together.  That’s not how it happened.  First she was flogged by “Sir”, and then when he was done, she was going to do similarly to me.

As was often the case for our scenes, I was asked to pick out what items I wanted to be used on me.  Normally, I take enough time to inspect and feel the various items.  This time, my play partner said that I had to the count of ten to pick out what items would be used on me or else she would pick them for me, and then she started counting out loud – loudly.  I did not appreciate that.  I like to inspect and make sure that I want to be hit with something before handing it over to be hit with.  The act of counting out loud, besides ruining the mood, also made asking others if I could use their implements more difficult because it was difficult to hear over her counting.  Don’t ask me how I finished, but I did.

Then my hands were bound in front of me – tightly.  I even said as much that I was tied too tightly.  The ropes were not adjusted.  Then I was bent over the table and the flogging began.  As I was being flogged, my play partner’s “Sir” was standing there behind her with a flogger, hitting her with his flogger when she wasn’t hitting me.  I did not consent to a threesome.  I just happened to be there with my wrists tied too tightly while someone else was topping my top.  Thus she couldn’t get into her top space with me because she herself was being topped by someone else, and I couldn’t get into subspace because it was all about her.

During my scene, the flogging technique used on me was sloppy at best.  The well-handled flogger is supposed to hit its intended target and nowhere else.  With this flogging work, the falls were hitting the intended area (which would feel good being struck) too far up, and the tails further down were then wrapping around my body and hitting me on the side (which didn’t feel good at all).  I indicated as much, and I was told that I was topping from the bottom.  Because of the sloppy technique, I ended up using my “yellow” safeword a lot, since I was having trouble with the impacts, on top of being annoyed with the situation.  Realize I don’t settle into a role when I’m playing.  I’m myself.  If I say I don’t like something or something isn’t working for me, I will say so in plain English (when I’m not gagged, that is).  My steps are usually to discuss it plainly, then formally give a “yellow” safeword to slow down a scene, then formally give the “red” safeword to end a scene (but “red” is rare for me).  Usually, though, discussion will work.  “My hands are going numb” is normally sufficient to adjust or end a scene.  This time, my attempt at discussion was met with, “‘No’ is not a safeword,” or “‘Stop’ is not a safeword,” and continued play.  Eventually my play partner started complaining each time I said “yellow” that I was topping from the bottom and how she didn’t like that.

Additionally, she was asking the people in the room watching our scene for suggestions about what to do next.  Way to kill the mood.  My scenes are between the top and me.  I don’t mind if other people are in the room or watch my scenes, but I have to be able to kind of forget that they’re there.  And I certainly don’t consent to their helping determine the course of a scene without my consent.  I don’t appreciate being topped by committee.  After all, the top should be able to get a rough idea as to how their bottom is doing, and that involves paying attention to the bottom and not the audience.

At one point in our scene, I indicated that being bent over the table wasn’t doing it for me, so after more complaining about topping from the bottom, we changed my position to one where I was laying flat on top of the table.  And the scene continued.  After a few more calls of “yellow”, eventually my play partner got tired of my use of the safeword, and said that if I complained any more that she would end the scene.  Yes, a safeword was “complaining” in her book.  And then she went to get a large wooden paddle off the wall, and started hitting me with that.  I did not choose a paddle earlier.  Therefore, I did not consent to have a paddle used on me.  And there I was, being spanked with a paddle nonconsensually.  Inevitably, I said “yellow”, and therefore, by her logic, I was complaining again, and end of scene.  Just as well, as far as I was concerned.  I was a bit upset (in the annoyed/pissed off sort of way) about the way the scene had gone.

I like to think that I can be something of a good sport with things, and put up with a lot that I really probably shouldn’t have to or need to put up with.  Looking back, I don’t know how this scene even lasted as long as it did, considering the nonconsensual things that happened in it.  I guess I was trying too hard to make the scene work, despite all of the things that were bad about that scene.  Hindsight is 20/20, and I think I was trying very hard to salvage it, when I should have dumped it.

And then once my scene was over, I was told to undo the ropes on my wrists myself, while my (now former) play partner and her “Sir” ditched me, going off to play somewhere else.  Thanks for nothing.

After that, I pulled out my cell phone and started tweeting about it:

It is aggravating when a scene doesn’t leave you in subspace, but rather leaves you pissed. #bdsm‬

Likewise, I think I’m not as much of a “sub” in a D/s relationship as I am a “bottom” in an equal relationship. Does that make sense? #bdsm

I find it a turnoff when I am being treated as being beneath someone else. But I do like being the one getting tied up. #bdsm‬

Being ordered to say or do things is not my thing. #bdsm‬

In my scenes, it needs to be just the top and me. No other people directly involved in my scenes. #bdsm

Likewise, the top should not be complaining to the other people in the room when I indicate that something is not “doing it” for me. #bdsm‬

That kind of stuff gets me out of my zone. #bdsm‬

Of course, lack of blindfold or gag makes it harder to get into my zone as well. #bdsm‬

And when the top is being topped by someone else while they’re topping me, I end up being the one who loses out. #bdsm‬

After all, the whole idea of BDSM, as I see it, is the mutual exchange of pleasure. If one part of the scene isn’t having fun… #bdsm‬

…then it’s time to rethink what you’re doing in a scene. #bdsm‬

I also determined that part of my problem was that I branded myself as a submissive on FetLife.  I changed my role listing through the Android mobile app from “sub” to “Bottom”.  When I picked “sub” when I joined, I thought that “submissive” = “bottom”.  While some may consider the two sets of terms to be synonymous, I do not.  “Top” does not automatically mean “dominant”, and “bottom” does not automatically mean “submissive”.  I consider the terms “top” and “bottom” to be more or less value neutral, implying equals, while “dominant” and “submissive” implies one person actively having power over the other.  And to be honest, I don’t see myself as fitting into a dominant or submissive role as commonly defined.  I could never see myself as being “owned” by someone else, or being someone’s slave.  It’s not me.  If it works for other people, great, but it’s not me.

The way I view my relationships, both in the vanilla world and in the scene, is that we are coming together as equals and filling different roles in that relationship, be it friendly, romantic, play, or what have you.  Therefore, I approach a scene as a play partner’s equal, and we take on different roles to mutually provide pleasure to the other person – the top’s getting pleasure from administering whatever to the bottom, and the bottom’s getting pleasure from receiving it.  After all, without a bottom, there is no top, and without a top, there is no bottom.

I also am a strong believer in negotiation of a scene every time.  I’m not going to feel the same way every day.  A play partner might not feel the same way, either.  It doesn’t have to be right before the scene, but it needs to be figured out.  I want to know what to expect to a reasonable extent.  Spontaneity is good, but only as long as it’s kept within the realm of what was negotiated.

And no topping by committee.

Needless to say, I will not be playing with that particular play partner again.  Honestly, I feel that I can’t trust her in a scene anymore.  I feel like with her, I can say anything I want, and it doesn’t matter, because she’s going to do whatever she wants to do regardless of what I say.  And for her “Sir”, while I said, “It was nice meeting you,” to his face in a polite way, I was thinking, and I never want to see you again as I was saying it.  He certainly helped ruin my scene, as I was made to feel like a fifth wheel in my scene because he interfered with my top.

Also needless to say, I am looking for a new play partner.  My ideal play partner at this time would be a female who is primarily a top, and who can approach a scene relationship with someone as an equal.  I want someone that I feel comfortable around and can have kinky fun with, and whom I can view as an equal, both in real life and in BDSM play.  Likewise, I want to be an equal in their eyes as well, both in real life and in BDSM play.  And I want there to be a mutual sense of respect between top and bottom.  And I want a good scene negotiator who will stick to what we have negotiated and not disregard the other’s wishes.

So there you go, I suppose.  I doubt I’ll be playing again for a while since I no longer have a play partner, but who knows.  Maybe I’ll be back at DCDungeon with a new play partner sooner than I think.  We’ll see, I suppose!