Rules rules rules
Last night I was reading some blogs and came across Not Just Bitchy’s No Wrong Way to Do Kink. Yes, I’m sure regular readers are now thinking, “oh no, a long rant about all the wrong ways to do kink!” But no, I need a break, so instead I wanted to talk about point 5:
5. Giving up control or giving out rules before your partner has earned it. It’s great to have a new sub who says he’ll do whatever you say and is excited about being given new rules, but what’s going to happen when he has to actually live with all those rules? Or when you have to remember all of them and catch it if he messes up? I don’t actually have a huge amount of experience with d/s, but I’m pretty sure that’s more likely to be overwhelming and a huge pain in the ass than fun and satisfying.
I love this because rules – how to make them, what happens when they’re broken, etc – is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. I love rules. I love having a question and being able to find a policy about it – I enjoy tax season! – but more importantly for this post, I kink on rules. I like making arbitrary-seeming proclamations and having you obey them because we both get off on it. It’s hot. But it’s bedroom hot – like the pirate thing, I’m not a pirate when I’m at work, and obviously you don’t have to kneel, naked, at all times at work.
But rules are also hard. When I make an arbitrary proclamation, I trust you to go along with it and engage in shared story telling with me. And I trust you to indicate to me that a rule is hitting a boundary when that happens, also. I balance the hotness of a rule against the practicality and against my willingness or ability to enforce it.
Take for example one of my long-time fantasies: to know every single time you’re aroused and to know what you fantasize about while you masturbate (with my permission). It’s like NSA meets alien mind probe but more hot and less civil rights violation across the land. It’s hot because it’s exposing and I love the idea of you exposed, of having that much access, and of the fact that, yeah, that’s probably going to be slightly embarrassing for most people.
Now imagine I’m at work and I’m in the middle of a client meeting, and my phone buzzes with a notification that you’re fantasizing about being molested by alien tentacle monsters at my command. That’s not hot, that’s distracting. Maybe you think it’s hot, and in fantasy land it is, but in reality I’d be annoyed. So that’s a great bedroom rule, but not a reasonable real rule.
Then there are other people’s rules: you can only wear socks in my favorite color. Sure, ok, if you kink on that, but…why? I like making arbitrary rules, but only about things I care about…your orgasms for example, or how you share information with me. If I hate your socks, I’d tell you I suppose, but I simply can’t imagine caring. And then I’d have to keep track. There’d be a spreadsheet on my computer labeled “Rules, do not forget” where I would dutifully record the date, the proclamation on socks, and your response. Neat little columns. What happens when you wear the wrong sock color? Do you lose socks for the week? Have to wear extra socks? Are there naughty boy socks one can buy at specialty shops?
I think I wanted to write something about building rules and responses to them together, about kink as shared creation, and about how we communicate subtly and overtly, but you know what? Tentacle monsters. I’ll be in my bunk.