Over the weekend, Shona and I went out clubbing, to a place that is half dance-club and half fetish-club. Due partially to an extremely busy few days, we hadn’t negotiated a dynamic in advance, but over the course of the evening it became clear that we were both sliding into an m/f dynamic. Since the last time we had been fetish clubbing was at Pedestal, we were keen to redress the balance.
I think the point at which we both realised that things were heading that way was in the line for the cloakroom, when I was going to put my collar on (which I was wearing more as a part of my costume than a statement of role.) Shona asked if I would like her to put it on me, and I said no. I think we were both surprised, and relieved, at the strength of my reaction. I had been through a bit of a wobble earlier in the evening, and I think we were both half expecting me to need the reassurance of being dominated. We danced for a while, and we chatted with our friends, and we gradually became certain that we were both of the same mind about how we wanted the rest of the night to go, until eventually I took my collar off, and put it on her.
A side-note here. I don’t know how many of you have been in switching relationships, but Shona, Adele and I have found that very often we don’t need to negotiate which roles we are going to be in during a certain scene. We all pick up on one another’s body language, subtle cues that we have learned, we feed them back to one another and by the time the scene starts there is no doubt as to who is in charge, and what kind of scene it is going to be. We have likened it to “kemmering”, a concept from Ursula Le Guin’s book The Left Hand Of Darkness. The idea is explained in greater detail behind the first link, but it relates to a situation where the roles within a coupling could be assigned either way around, and a natural consensus is reached without either of the parties making the first move. In essence, a hint of submissive feeling in any of us is sure to bring out the dominant side in the other/s, which in turn will amplify the submissive state of mind, and so forth. Or, of course, vice versa.
From there, things began to gain momentum. The more certain I felt of my ground, the more confident I became in reading her desires, and the more completely she felt able to put herself in my power. D/s dynamics, of course, work out differently in public from the way they do in private, and it can be difficult to accommodate this at first, so we started out lightly with a bit of drinks-fetching and walking to heel, and then moved on to some things which were a bit more intense, either because they were harder to accomplish, or because they were more closely held desires for one or both of us, which I shall cover shortly.
For the past month or so, I had been feeling a very strong desire to let one particular aspect of myself out on the town – one which I have always associated with being out by myself, and it wasn’t until about halfway through the club night that I realised that I had been making that association because, until that point, I hadn’t been free to express it while I had a partner with me. I don’t need, when I’m in that headspace, to be in a dominant role over anybody in particular, but I do feel very dominant within myself. Perhaps that needs a little unpacking, because it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense. Most of the time (although less now than ever before) I am a very deliberately considerate, careful person, and I spend a great deal of energy trying not to cause anybody inconvenience, or to cause offense, or to get in anybody’s way, and I have traditionally had very few arenas in which to get free of this – if you suddenly start being domineering or loud, or if you suddenly stop letting everybody out through the door in front of you, people who know you tend to think that you’re in a snit, or that you’re trying to tell them something by it. (This very much links in with my previous post on identities, in that it’s not healthy to keep the same persona all of the time, unless it’s an exceptionally well-rounded and balanced one.) I’ve only recently gained the freedom (granted partially by external circumstances and partially by myself) to let that side of myself to the surface in the home, and I had been gagging for an opportunity to take it out on the town. When I’m in that mood, I feel wild and wooly, stronger, bolder, and very, very, male. It’s an exhilarating experience, and it allows me to let go of a great deal of mental baggage.
It was about 2AM when we really hit our stride. I told her to go up to the cloakroom again, and deposit my jacket and her skirt – this would leave her wearing only a basque (with a frilly trim that barely came down over her hips) and a pair of briefs. For context, we both have an exhibitionist bent, and each have experience of not being able to express this due to shame and self-consciousness – she later told me that she had desperately wanted to do just that, but wouldn’t have had the courage to do so herself. She blushed, acquiesced, and reappeared a few minutes later with a good deal more skin showing. We danced together for a while longer, I told her to get up on the stage and keep dancing, and sat there and just watched her for a while.
I wasn’t the only one watching, it must be said. Shona is an extremely attractive woman, and never more so than when she’s dancing. I’m used to seeing her retreat into herself, feel the music and let it move her, but the expression of bliss on her face when she was up in front of the crowd, admiring eyes fixed on her from all over the room, swinging her hips and raising her chin to show off her collar, was like nothing I had ever seen. As free as I felt for all of that night, the sweetest thing of all was the freedom to make somebody feel like that.