One of the many challenges upon entering the realm of
alternative lifestyles is finding out what works for you. Labels are
restrictive, and yet human beings tend to exhibit a natural pull to
classify life, including people. Yes, it makes conversation faster,
like any industry-specific jargon, but in a domain where there are SO
many variables, and SO many crossovers, it can be a challenge to find
the terms that best suit you.
is, of course, on top of the challenge of determining what works for
you – which regularly includes failure. It often takes something not working to shine the light on what would have worked or will in the future. Those who cannot learn from failure are not well suited to these lifestyles.
Accordingly, let me take a moment to share some of the lifestyle distinctions as I have come to know them, and some of the experiences that have illuminated the differences for me.
physical pain excite you sexually? Does a partner with an evil grin and
the willingness (or rather, the desire) to hurt you make you hot? If
so, you may be masochistic. Those inflicting the pain are sadistic, and
they are a wonderful breed of creative evil-doers. I know a
particularly evil sadist out northwest who will find out how you enjoy
being hurt and then do it in ways you won't enjoy. Needles, knives,
canes, whips… heck, hands, pressure points and kitchen implements…
sadists are wickedly wonderful fun if you enjoy feeling the pain.
am not a masochist, nor a sadist. I don't get excited by pain, nor do I
enjoy inflicting it, but I love to watch those who do. I suspect that
it's very important for sadists to have a rather good understanding of
human biology, as they need to know how to hurt you without damaging
you. Chew on THAT one for a while!
so maybe pain isn't your thing, but you'd love to be on the receiving
end of the implement anyway. Does the thought of being tied up and
spanked send you into La La Land? If it's not spanking, insert the
delivery method of your choice. Flogging, punching, wax play,
electrical play, sharp things, bondage, etc… all are available to
she/he who wants them. If this sounds like fun, you may be a bottom.
Tops wield the instruments with the intention of helping their bottoms
to achieve an altered state of consciousness, sometimes referred to as
"flying" or "subspace". A bottom responds to the physicality of the
play as well as their connection with the Top.
you enjoy the implements, or maybe you don't, but what really drives
you nuts is being controlled… restrictions on your actions (don't move,
don't make a sound), being restrained or teased, being directed or
commanded… whatever allows you to know that your partner is absolutely
in control. If this is the case, you may be submissive. In my personal
situation, if we wrestle and you cannot completely restrain me, forget
it. Dominants are the ones who want to be in charge and in control, to
varying degrees and the practice is known by the acronym D/s.