Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Switching frustrations

One of the things that is happening as I come back to my kink community and interact with potential play partners is that I am getting the feeling that as a switch I don’t count in this community. I’m dumfounded. In the last month I have heard people both assert that they would not play with a switch because switches are not serious enough, and appear to be offended because I play too hard on both sides of the spectrum. I don’t remember having this problem before I left for Thailand and I wonder if I’m not just more aware of it now because while this is my community I have also been away long enough to look at it as something slightly more akin to an outsider.

So what is actually going on here? One friend suggested that the underlying assumption may be that playing both sides of the field doesn’t let me spend enough time on each to be good at it. I can see how that would make sense but if we are simply clocking hours I’m sure I’m not far behind some of the domly dom types out there. And if you look at anything past my dungeon timesheet I would argue that bottoming makes me a much more conscientious top. What makes a good top is not just excellent technique, though that is important, but also a firm grasp for the bottom’s emotional process. The latter makes it possible not just to make sure that your bottom is safe but to also capitalize on subspace thereby creating a more on point experience all around. I have certainly met and played with amazing tops who have managed an incredible level of insight into my subspace without ever having bottomed themselves, but I personally learn from experience. I don’t bottom to become a better top or visa versa – both are immensely pleasurably activities in and of themselves – but I do believe that both are mutually beneficial. Which leads to my confusion as to why switching would make me both a bad bottom and a bad top.  Thoughts?  Ideas?  Polite suggestions that I am on crack?


And next in the blogging queue: an actually coherent post about the scenes I did last Sunday that goes beyond “yum.”

Written by kinkinexile

January 24, 2008 at 6:24 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I’ve always seen such arguments as descendant from the very same mutually exclusive thinking as all other hetero-normative approaches tend to perpetuate: you can’t be this and that because both this and that are not like the other one.

    Which may, of course, be true, but to say that one thing is not like another and thus exclusive of it is a leap of faith I can’t follow logically.


    January 24, 2008 at 9:45 pm

  2. It sounds stupid to me. The best I can think is that people want to know that you “mean it” when you bottom or top, and are worried that because of your ability to switch, you must not be truly sincere in the other role. Stupid.


    January 24, 2008 at 11:25 pm

  3. I identify myself as a Dom who occasionally likes to submit, and even that small smidgen of switchiness seems enough to put some people off. I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon either – I am sure I have read plenty of posts by switches complaining about it, going back some years now.

    I don’t understand it either, from what I can gather of the naysayers’ position, I think the suggestions of both Maymay and Devastatingyet play some part in it.

    I think a part of it is just “You don’t fit in my neat pigeonhole! How dare you!”


    January 25, 2008 at 1:22 am

  4. Hello, I’m new here having wandered over from the Dominatrix Next Door. I am solely a submissive, but my good friend and mentor is a switch who occasionally runs into the same problems you have. From my perspective, simply put, I think she (and probably you also) scares people.

    It takes strength to be a good Dominant. It takes a different kind or strength, but just as much to be a good submissive. A woman who has both has got to be as intimidating as hell to the majority of people out there. You know what is going through your play partner’s mind when you are on either side, because you’ve been there. Neither a submissive or a Dominant is going to be able to fake it through anything or bluff you.

    For my friend, it is a bit frustrating, because her high standards mean there are relatively few people she can play with and truly enjoy it. Don’t let the critics of switches get you down. They don’t know what they are missing and those of us who do get to play with y’all are more than grateful for the opportunity.


    January 25, 2008 at 1:49 am

  5. Personally I’m jealous of those who switch. Being able to enjoy even more of the menu, not to mention having a wider selection of partners, is very appealing.

    Having met you though, it was difficult to imagine you submitting to anyone. It’s possible that you just have a more dominant personality, but I wouldn’t consider you being a switch a bad thing.

    I have heard of submissives who have a hard time seeing their Domme in the same light once they find out that she switches on occasion.


    January 25, 2008 at 1:52 am

  6. I think I’m possibly part of an odd microculture, but I feel like in my corner of the scene, switching is the norm. I’m always a bit surprised when I meet a top who doesn’t also bottom. Oddly though, I am not surprised if I meet a bottom who doesn’t top. I did always feel a bit unique in that I bottomed but didn’t top, and now that I’m learning to top I feel like I’m starting to become like everyone else.

    I think maybe this confusion is linked to other confusions, like how people find it terribly confusing when I’m being all confident or assertive socially and then realize that I’m a bottom. I’ve gotten a lot of “oh, I thought you were a top” in the past, when we had not talked at all about what we liked kink-wise. If you think that people are intrinsically dominant or submissive, you’re going to have trouble with the whole concept of switching at all.


    January 26, 2008 at 6:42 pm

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