Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Horrible People

She called me, "I'm feeling masochistic, and I don't know what to do". Her options she said were to go to her ex, who is infinitely bad for her, or to find someone else to satisfy her need.
Finally she asked, "How good are you with a knife?"
When I was done there was blood on my sheets, drying on my hands and the scalpel blade. The rich smell of copper and flesh filled my nostrils. Incised into her back was a rose, of a delicacy that surprised even me. The only errors in it were where she had arched her back, or wriggled, in combination with one of the deep throaty moans she'd make each time I drew the blade deep and long across her back.
Walking out the door she was happy, and seemed somewhat spent. I, on the other hand, was on an endorphin rush that kept me above the water for several hours afterwards.
It had been years since I took a blade to someone else's flesh for their pleasure. Since I had allowed myself to revel in the smell of blood, and the careful, small, shallow movements of the knife; the orchestration of damage to the tune of moaned responses. Afterwards I was on a high to rival all the alcohol, strong cigars and danger I've put myself in chasing adrenaline. I'd hurt someone, and she had liked it, and I was ecstatic.

I've hurt people in my life. Emotionally, physically, angrily, panicked, out of fear, in defense. It's been justified, and unjustified. I've left people in tears, and occasionally (always with reason, the immediate need to keep breathing) injured. And every time I've hurt, torn someone with a word or dealt a physical blow to someone to defend myself or another, when it was over, when I was walking away, I've had that sick knot in the pit of my stomach. I don't like doing harm. I don't like violence. Even if I am right, even if I was justified in my argument, or my attack. Never has it made me feel better to lay true harm on someone else - Glad I was alive, reinforced in some conviction or another that had been central to the argument, these things yes, but there is no high from that kind of harm for me. I don't want to tear someone apart emotionally. I don't want to feel my palm driving that man's nose inwards, his head against the tiled bathroom wall, the ceramic breaking beneath his skull as he goes limp under my hand. I've never wanted that.

But I do want to feel her smooth, soft, curved body pressing against mine. I want to feel her heat, and her sweat, and the smoothness of her skin, and her hot blood on my fingertips. I want to feel the air fill her lungs as she draws in to release a moan that will vibrate through her diaphragm into my pressing hands as she arches her back into my blade. I want to feel the radiance of her smile as she enjoys the subtle pain, the impermanent wounds.

There is hurting people, and then there is hurting people. I know the difference. I'm good at both - but one is easy. Cruelty, maliciousness, is easy. It rises up and all it takes is a word, a contortion of muscle, to leave someone scarred, bleeding, tormented.
The other is difficult. The other requires empathy, and kindness, and gentility, and strength, and force, and will. It is not something everyone can do, not something for just anyone to play with.

There is a difference between the types of hurt inflicted. One does not equate the other.
Yet too many think it does.
Too many assume sexual sadism is the realm of serial killers, rapists and torturers. People who inflict themselves, inflict inhuman pain on the unwilling, undesiring, and defenseless. This is tough for those of us who enjoy the exchange of giving/receiving pain-pleasure, but the real problem is - Too many people who are capable of sexual sadism, look at it this way. It is the infliction of pain and harm that excites them. They relish in terror and suffering. And this extends outside the bedroom. They treat others with a cruel hand, the misery they bring to others irrelevant to their own glee at hurting and domineering.

I was reading another blog tonight, and the author was saying she very much enjoyed this area of sexual exploration but was discouraged in that, "The biggest problem is that the only people who're willing to do horrible things to me are... well, horrible people, and will keep their knives to themselves, thanks."
This really sums it up.
On both sides of the coin are horrible people who want to participate in horrible things for the sole reason that it allows them to be horrible to someone else. It is not a mutual thing - It is not a give and take. It is a take, and take only, activity for them. They trade is misery and suffering.

Some, I imagine, wont see the difference. They will see the blood, and pain, and enjoyment and immediately file those participating as "horrible". It is not their cup of tea, and outside their scope of understanding. And so be it. Just another example of how this is not for everyone.
This realm is something unique, to be participated in by unique people.

When I was done with my friend's back, before she left, before I found myself lost to adrenaline in the absence of her flesh to consume it, she was expressing her surprise to me, looking over the pictures of the process on my digital camera. "This is a side of you I've never really seen" she said.
And its true. Most people know I am kinky. I am an open book, and my friends know who and what I am. But, along with that, I think most make assumptions - Because I don't push it. Unless you want to explore it with me, I am happy to let you do that. Explaining is just too much work sometimes. And really, unless you are on my side of this, there is no good explanation of my intentions, my attitudes, and the care and gentility with which I approach hurting someone for their pleasure. The empathy to know which touch is right, and which is undesirable, the kindness to be unreserved in exploring their desires, the strength to maintain control of an inherently dangerous practice and the restraints (or lack there of) with which I practice it, and the will to put it all together in a focused, concentrated, effort for mutual benefit. And even then, there is no good explanation unless you are someone I am willing to do that with - Which is, really, a select few. Some people's masochism is self destructive, and I refuse to indulge that.

The assumptions created by the horrible people leave a stain on the rest of us. Their actions and their cruelties muddy the waters for those of us doing "horrible things" without being horrible people.
Its a fine line - And a misunderstood one. The line of just enough pressure to not go too deep, without having so little as to make no mark at all.


Perrin said...

So, how do you know whose masochism self-destructive, and whose isn't? How do you differentiate the two?

And, possibly to my own surprise, I'm not taking an "against this post" stance. It actually interested me, and I had to raise the question.

Nagrom said...

There are behaviors, a carelessness or flippant attitude towards risk, that generally characterize self destructive tendencies in most things, and the same holds here.
You've probably seen it in people who seek self destructive relationships, be they one night stands or long-term affairs. They settle, or they go after temporal things, quick fixes, quick rushes - Regardless of the potential consequences of where they seek this.
The same people or personality types who repeatedly pursue destructive behaviors with relationships, substances, etc. pursue them in the kink realm.
There is a desperation, and recklessness that characterizes their willingness to participate. Often in conjunction with a serious lack of education about what they are taking part in.
Most grounded, serious, non-destructive masochists I've met are both well educated, and carefully experienced. Their experiences may not always be expansive, but they approached them carefully, and were extremely reluctant to return to an uncomfortable partner or scene.
Like all things, particularly in relationships (and sex there-in), communication is key.
In the case of my friend, this is someone I have known for almost two years now, and have had long talks with about this kind of thing before ever indulging in it with her. I, at least, knew where she stood. I also know she has access to other people willing to do this for her, who are more prone to rash, and uncontrolled, behaviors so I assume it was a two way street in terms of knowing who and what was involved.
In terms of sadists/top's who are destructive, the same applies. The same people who seek out self-destructive people to prey upon in relationships, seek out self-destructive bottoms. The sort of folk who are takers, who enter relationships only for themselves, and what they can get from the other person no matter the cost (often with the desire simply being to make the other person suffer).
Pretty much the same hallmarks of destructive personalities in any other area, particularly relationships and sex, carry over to kink. Combine those with an expressed masochistic desire, and you've got someone who is more often than not setting themselves up for real harm and abuse at the hands of someone who is simply seeking an outlet to be destructive to others.
Its something someone responsible will look for, and shy away from in this area, just like in drinking partners, potential girlfriends, etc. As far as I am concerned, anyone who doesnt hold themselves responsible to their partners well-being and pleasure (above and before their own to an extent, particularly I think in the case of a sadist), isnt educated and and isnt communicative has no business playing. Of course, I think that applies to any relationship - Someone only willing to take, unwilling to learn and uninterested in having a mutual dialog, makes a shitty partner.