Being Seen: Rope Journaling 6-5
When the scene was over and we brought our bodies close for comfort and to come down from our roles as top and bottom, back into the equal playing field of everyday life, he kissed my forehead saying, “You’re pretty. And smart and talented too.”
He meant it. Warm eyes, smiling the boyish trouble-maker smile he’s notorious for and holding me in his strong arms. I was on the verge of tears, not because he’d hurt me or pushed me hard in the ropes that he’d used to contort my body. Though he’d done those things too. But because the words “Thank you, daddy” were stuck in my chest, unsayable.
Age play squicks me out hard, especially after a former abusive partner had manipulated me into being his mama for years despite my disinterest and eventual abject revile of all age-related role play. He refused intimacy or sex unless I would put on an apron, tell him what a naughty boy he was, spank and jerk him off over my knee, the words “Come for mama” his signal to allow himself release. After all this it would be my turn as if any of that had perked my libido.
Besides, this man, the man whose ropes I just melted into, couldn’t possibly be less like my father in personality or appearance. Which is probably why when he holds me and listens, I’m quick to tears with him like I am with almost no one else. Though we don’t have the big and little roles in our play he exudes it, the safety and comfort that were missing from my childhood. He radiates warmth even when he’s hurting because the ouchies are always given in yummy ways. The pain never comes from absence or from surprising and dangerous outbursts of anger.
I’ve just written a 500 page book containing some of the most vulnerable writing about the most intimate moments of my life and yet faced with this man’s kindness I make some smartass quip. Sarcasm, the wall I build to keep myself at a distance from people. No wonder that I’m attracted to avoidant types, if I’m honest with myself my anxiously attaching to lovers, drawing them too close too fast, is the chocolate coating around the gooey center of avoidance. All of it in the grab bag of daddy and abandonment issues.
So this man circles into my life, never allowed to get too close. Life is busy, we have other partners and interests, it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t connect in anything but the most basic way. Sure we’re regular play partners but there’s more somewhere between us that I’m too cowardly to admit to. The times he’s taken me to his chest to make everything okay. The way he shows up exactly when I need to not be strong for a few minutes.
There’s nothing wrong with casual affection. Saying “thank you” for intimacy shouldn’t be so difficult. So I eek out, trying to correct my words, “I like you.”
Another forehead kiss and I curl up around his body while he coils up his many skeins of well- conditioned jute rope. The rope that had minutes ago been wrapped around my body tightly, in sometimes baffling configurations that I had to keep reminding myself to stop trying to reverse engineer and just enjoy. It’s hard to stop being a rope geek and just be.
He’s one of the very few men that I trust to tie me these days. And so this slipping into bottom space, of letting go, drops me into a dreamy, dopey oxytocin high that has me swimming, unable to stand on rubbery legs. His breath on my neck, his hands in my newly short hair, his rope tickling, caressing, biting my skin as he ties. All this draws me in closer, falling against his chest, smelling his excitement in the air around us. In these moments closeness is simple, wordless.
After my arms are taken from me, pinned in the small of my back, the rope tangled around my arms and chest until it feels like a ropey hug, that’s when I can relax. He uses this harness to support my dead weight to a hard point above us. I rock into the rope, testing it’s tension, enjoying being safe in his lines. His talent, the endless practice, the newly acquired skills each time we play makes him beyond trust worthy. My body is in good hands, I can let my guard down.
Those hands press at points of pain, tug at willing flesh, and pet at the warm wet center of me, always after asking through intense eye contact, “May I?” And this little sex positive slut always blushes to nod an enthusiastic “yes.” Fingers thrumming me into pleasure and breathlessness, only to pull away in a shocking juxtaposition to step away and move my body into a different contortion.
I look at him across the distance, both of us with wry smiles, as he untangles an up-line. Only he knows what comes next. All I understand is that it will hurt. In each other we’ve found an ideal game of sadomasochism, he can give enough to challenge me and I give him my squeals of pain, a place to lay his whip.
From up right, legs splayed, he repositions the lines holding me in the sky so that I’m now diving through the air upside down, watching the party from an interesting perspective. All this done nearly effortlessly. I understand his actions and yet am in awe of the fluidity and grace with which he contorts my body.
For a brief moment during the transition two ropes on my one thigh are all that hold me in the air. It should be excruciating and yet in my cocoon of rope bliss it only registers as a slight pinch. The next day I’ll wear a stippled ruby outline of slightly damaged blood vessels in the shape of this hip harness, a souvenir I’ll caress under my desk at a job that slowly attempts to nibble upon my soul. But with a body covered in bruises and marks I have a hard time caring about the banality of copy machines and paper weights.
When I’m inverted his cruelty comes to a head. He stands the length of a single-tail away to snap the whip in my direction. It makes contact with my thighs, ass, nipples. I feel like a fish on a line flopping in the air against the ropes around my thighs and ankles each time the crack of the whip finds bare skin. It’s sharp and shocking, not the sort of pain that’s easy to sink into and yet I’m so far gone, given so much of myself to him I barely whimper.
Earlier in the evening I was told to stop dreaming so largely, to stop being so shameless, that I had reached the limits of what I deserved to have. Once I would have believed them, absorbed those words until they became a cancer inside me, killing me slowly in the wee hours of the night. Now I know to get up and walk away, to find friends that will support me with words and hugs, the love and touch missing from so much of my life.
And when this man’s whip hits my body I feel each of those ugly words snatched away from me and into the air. When he eventually takes me out of the sky, curls his body around me, what his limbs and heart beat say are, “You’re enough, you’re perfect, I see you.”