It’s great being kinky. It’s fun, it’s hot, you get to feel like one of the “cool kids” and a counterculture rebel at the same time. You get to feel a part of some of the most transgressive and talked-about fiction in the world, from the ancient “Satyricon” through 50 Shades and even more fine literature by people such as Laura Antoniou, Henry Miller, and others.
But there is a downside to having a habit that is the subject of so many stories: you sometimes forget that this is real life, and in real life, things go wrong. Orgasms don’t happen spontaneously (most of the time, at least), the whip doesn’t always hit where it’s aimed, and rope has an irritating tendency to get tangled at the least opportune moments.
All of this can lead to a scene going wrong. Maybe it simply wasn’t as good as your fantasy, or maybe you’re trying to explain things to the nurse at the hospital, but regardless of the situation, there are a few rookie mistakes that you want to try to avoid.
Probably the biggest among these is: Don’t shut down. Keeping up communication between yourself and your partner is essential. Depending on how bad the “scene gone wrong” is, you may want to use some of the techniques offered by Kitty Stryker in her clip on sexual trauma, or maybe it’s just a matter of checking in with them. The important thing is that it comes from you; if you just shut up and don’t talk, it’s entirely possible that your partner will carry on mental conversations with an imaginary version of you, and that version is rarely as nice, as understanding, or as smart as you actually are.
It doesn’t mean that you have to instantaneously start a review process with checklists; sometimes the best communication can be nonverbal, an extra wiggle like Shay demonstrates in “Body Language for Impact Play” or just a smile and appreciative “Mmmm…”
The second big thing to avoid is blame. Not blaming yourself, not blaming your partner, not worrying about whose fault it is at all. It’s not that it might not be someone’s fault; it’s that knowing that won’t help the situation at all. Kinky play at its best is a place that makes people vulnerable, both as a top and a bottom; understanding that actually reinforces the connection between the two of you. A great way to prepare for a scene that might be pushing the edges for you and your partner is to watch the three-part “Dominant Vulnerability Round Table” and then check out Mollena’s further opinions on the matter in the “Boundary Smackdown” series. Clips like that give a great perspective on figuring out what kind of headspace might have contributed to the scene going wrong. Contributions, not blame; that is the tool that can help you analyze the situation and keep it from going wrong again.
However, all of that can wait, because another thing that is often forgotten when a scene goes wrong is aftercare. Just because things didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean that it still wasn’t an intense experience – in fact, it may be more intense. Taking a look at what kind of aftercare you and your partner need and then making sure you both get it is essential. As Lucky Albatross points out in her Aftercare series, sometimes you have to be the one to provide aftercare to yourself. Make sure that’s actual care; too often tops especially will try to jump right into “What went wrong?” instead of taking the time to let all the parties involved recover. In fact, that may be the aftercare that is most needed: calming the top down and getting them out of the headspace of “I messed up.” While most people know rationally that no top is perfect, there is a deep-seated sense of responsibility in most tops (especially those of the dominant variety) and when things go wrong they will internalize the blame faster than you can say “oops!”
And remember that it is ok to say oops. You can watch every video on safewords out there, from Scotty and Annie’s D/s segment to using them with rough sex and you and your partner still need to remember what Janet Hardy said in The Topping Book:
“If the bottom needs to safeword and doesn’t, and the top doesn’t realize it – and if you play long enough and hard enough this will happen – there is no blame.”
Don’t shut down. Don’t blame anyone. Don’t worry about figuring it out right away, because you don’t want to forget about aftercare for yourself and your partner.
Most of all, don’t stop exploring your kink and staying true to your desires.