A couple of days ago, at a kinky gathering, I was cuddling with my girlfriend. It had been a week since the last time I saw her and I had a hard time keeping my hands of her. Hugging, stroking, kissing, running my hands through her hair, squeezing her hand, kissing her neck and cheek, pinching, biting and pulling her hair … Wait a minute, that’s not cuddling!
At one point I recognized what I was doing; I was giving her pain and cuddling at the same time. It was almost like I had been doing it on autopilot, not really aware, but having a good time nonetheless. I enjoy her sounds of contentment as much as I enjoy her sounds of pain. A hug there – a pinch here. A kiss on the cheek – a bite on the neck. The usual. The thing is; it kind of has become the usual. Not to say that we never cuddle without any pain, we do (I think), but cuddling and pain goes hand in hand, so to speak. Personally, I think they do great together.
When I realized what I was doing, I also realized that we hadn’t discussed whether my girlfriend was okay with it or not. At no point had she protested or asked me to stop, but still, I had to ask, to be sure. My girlfriend assured me that she was okay with the cuddly pain and of course she would tell me if she wasn’t. Her one reservation was that there would be no cuddly pain in vanilla situations and I readily agreed.
I have quite often come across writings that state that the bottom must trust the top before any play take place. The bottom must trust the top to respect his or hers boundaries, he or she must trust the top to release them at the end (if there is bondage), not to harm them and to help them if anything should go wrong. I wholeheartedly agree at all points and then some.
Something that doesn’t get as much attention is the fact that the top must trust the bottom just as much. A top must trust the bottom to tell him or her everything that might have an impact on the play and to be honest about his or her health, physical as well as mental and emotional. The top must trust the bottom to give feedback and to stop the play if anything should go wrong or feel wrong, and he or she must trust that the bottom won’t turn against the top should a mishap occur.
I have believed that being the bottom would have to be the scariest thing, what with the helplessness and all, and that trust had to be paramount for the sake of the bottom. I have felt that being in control in a scene is daunting too, but a bit less so. Now I’m not so sure. I doubt that I would be as relaxed if I didn’t trust my girlfriend and I wouldn’t be able to go from stroking to pinching and from kissing to biting without a thought if I wasn’t convinced she would tell me to stop if she disliked it.
I trust my girlfriend. I trust her to tell me if something is wrong, if something is too much, too little or simply not right. I trust her the same way I hope she trust me, to speak up for herself when needed. Even so … I’m not able to stop worrying. I worry that I might do something wrong, and not only with the cuddly pain; I worry about the all kinds of pain and pleasure in addition to the small dose of D/s we have dabbled with. I worry that I do or push too much, too little or in the wrong places or circumstances. In short, I worry – which is nothing new. What’s new is the fact that I give someone pain, I hurt her and I like it (a lot) and that’s worth worrying about. (Not that I like it, that’s not the issue here.) So now there’s a small, nagging part of me that goes: What if she doesn’t tell you if she’s had enough, what then, hmm?
Luckily the small, nagging and very annoying part doesn’t get a lot of room. Partly because I know my girlfriend quite well now, and partly because my girlfriend is very good at giving feedback; no matter what I do to her, her noises tells me how she feels about it. I might miss a hint now and again or misinterpret a sound, but if I’m in doubt I ask. (Right now I will most likely piss her of by asking is she’s okay, long before I drive her off by doing something really wrong. Not that I really believe that either of those will happen.)
While I wait for my doubts to shut up (and yes, it’s likely to be a very long wait) I will indulge in a bit more of cuddly pain with my girlfriend and take one day at a time.
And for the record, cuddly pain is so a term – as of now.