In high school, I was damn sure I was submissive. I remember wandering around with a friend, just hanging out, talking about how she actually had confidence, but failed at seeming confident, whereas I was good at seeming confident without actually having any. I didn’t want to have to be confident, I wanted to submit.
In college, I realized I was a switch. Pretty early on in fact, because by the end of my freshman year I was identifying as a switch, though usually with bottom tendencies. Somewhere along the way I started getting more comfortable being dominant, being toppy.
There are times when I think maybe I’m just one or the other. I’m pretty sure life enjoys reminding me exactly why that is completely false just at those moments. Any time I’m starting to wonder if I’m just one or the other, something happens. For instance, cuddling on a couch with a very scary top, who pulls my hair, controlling my head, and for those moments at last I’m finally out of my head. The relief washes over me of not deciding, not being responsible, not being careful, of not having to pay that kind of attention. Instead, I get to push through pain, through challenge, and show my strength in giving up that control… and it is a relief to let go and submit. Because I’m not any one thing and I need breaks from whichever roles I chose to take on.
But until more recently I really hadn’t much bottomed (with regards to pain) in a long while. T has dramatically altered not just how I process pain, but the physical sensations. Pain feels different. It is really hard to describe. I’m more jumpy, though less sensitive technically. I don’t know my physical limits as well, I want to push those boundaries more and more because I like not liking the sensations. The first real time I pushed past the pain I liked into the pain I seemed to not like in a consensual, trusting manner got me incredibly turned on… and left me with wonderful bite marks all across my skin for quite some time. In a way, I really hated those bites. Because, dammit, they hurt. I told her more, not to inflict harm but to feel that hurt. I was nowhere near harm, and the pain wasn’t bad for me, it got me wetter than I had been in a long time. But that was before T. So, now bites send me writhing, whining, and twitching far more than before. I don’t know how to process this new sensation, but damn am I enjoying learning.
Also, stingy pain got a lot different, and a lot more intense.
Yet, even while I’m relearning my reactions to pain, even while part of me is seeking out chances to bottom, I pull out The New Topping Book to read. I seek out new opportunities to top, to dom, to control. After years of relationships trying to throw off the politics of owning another person, I’ve come to find how much I want someone else to be “mine” (which, me being me, has absolutely nothing to do with monogamy. Just because something would be “mine” does not mean exclusive rights…) Unless I actually feel my more submissive side reacting to someone, another person’s attempts to dominate me lead to entertaining times of wrestling and me biting them a lot. Probably biting them very hard. A certain puppy learned this the hard way. Or maybe I should say the fun way.
Hmmm… One of these days I should get a picture of someone’s bruises from my bite. They can be really pretty.
My mind shivered at the feel of the rope in my hands. Sliding it through to get the right length for tying her hands together; nothing elaborate I have to remind myself. My mind shivered, but I could not let her see, instead I smirked keeping control.
After over a week’s aftercare being done in one shot that same day, I agreed to play on one condition: we kept it light.
If you want me to dom, then submit. You have to be willing to give up that control… and as I moved her head, turning it however I would, I saw surrender in her eyes and I thought “I love her.” So, I leaned in and bit her hard, digging deep into her muscle, her traps, loving the feel of her between my teeth, of her tensing, then slowly relaxing into me, submitting. I pull back and look at the mark before slowly licking around those enticing indentations…
I had her pinned down, ropes laying across her chest held by my hands, enough pressure for her to know there was no point in fighting me. Black rope, blue sheets, white skin, light from the windows reflected into an ambient glow by the white walls, she glowed under the rope. I pulled back to watch, pinning her down with the rope pressed into her skin. Keep it light, just some rope, just some power, add a dash of teeth…
Curled around her after, aftercare was no issue this time. We had talked about the last two times, finally talked, and she was trusting me again. Wrapped around her, I let go. I let myself open up in return. It wasn’t make up sex from the night before, it wasn’t “just” anything, because no matter how “light” it seemed it reached both of us as we needed it too. I don’t know quite what opened up for me the last few times… but I want to keep finding out.
I don’t remember how I got the scar on my back. It is apparently a nice, slightly curved white line on my back, acquired sometime in the last few years. C noticed it about a year ago, and we then had a delightful conversation where she denied being the one to leave it, but I really cannot believe it was anyone else…
Since high school, I’ve frequently had rather large hickies on my neck. After breakups especially, the marks on my neck would garner lots of questions. I’m easy to mark. Only one person has ever managed to avoid marking my neck, and ironically that was unintentional. As much as S does leave marks on my neck, she tends not to leave them other places. That isn’t as true the other way around.
The jersey sheets are soft under my bare body, and sit facing S, her back to me. Her hands rest behind her at her ass, tied together at the wrist. Her hands rested right in front of my clit and would sometimes brush against me lightly. I was so turned on, so wet. She told me she was more submissive. She asked to be tied up, and at some point I slid into that place in my head, at some point I started to enter my dominant mode that night in a way that I hadn’t in months. It wasn’t that I wanted to top her, that I wanted control, it wasn’t want. It was simply there.
Her back had red lines from my nails. I drew them across again, both hands scratching at her back from top to bottom, side to side, crossing, sometimes a straight pattern, sometimes serpentine. Over and again, I scratched her back until the lines faded into a sea of red, texturized skin. My nails ran across her arms, her legs, her inner thighs, up her chest and to her neck. I wondered how much would be visible the next day. I wanted those marks to show when she wore her swimsuit the next day at the pool. My nails would return, again, to her back, feel the heat coming off of it. Sometimes I’d let my hands just gently run across her back, a soothing motion in contrast with my frequently quick scratches.
Her fingers would sometimes graze my inner lips, but never with confidence. I relished the hesitation. Each time my nails dragged across her skin, I could feel her skin resist, and occasionally break open to the next layer. My nails I know, know how to draw blood, avoid blood, know how to scrap, how to claw. My nails I know, it was her reactions I was learning. Her sighs, her quick intakes of breath, I’m learning her reactions. Each swipe of my nails across her skin, I controlled my actions and reveled in her responses, even in her silence.
She is a first. I have drawn my nails and painted red, raised lines all over backs before, but never did I scratch an entire back into a canvas of red skin. I have drawn blood before, but never felt a sense of control over my nails like that moment. I knew the instrument, I knew the recipient, and I knew my mind. More than anything S is the first to bring out the desire, almost a craving, to mark. I want to mark her.
So that the next day when she put on her swimsuit, there would be evidence of my nails for any to see.
Marking isn’t about ownership to me. It is about the power to leave the mark at all, about the reminder later of the moment, it is about the knowledge that the marks are there to see. Even when the marks are hidden under clothing, they is the potential for them to be revealed.
It wasn’t what S wanted that night, not really, and I knew that. But we need to find our own ways of playing with power with each other. I need to be comfortable, sure of myself, in what I’m doing to her in order to dom. So the first time I wield her cane or flogger, I am not sure. I need time to get used to a flogger, especially one of a very different weight than I’m used to. I need time to learn how to use a cane. So the first time, I’m not going to get into the right mindset. But my nails, I know my nails, and their effects on skin. We need to talk more, need to work with D/s, need to find our way into power play for ourselves. I need to learn how to get into my head without having to really know my tools, because I want to learn those tools.
Days later my fingers trace the raised marks, and again even about a week later. I smile and kiss her. I have to restrain myself, not drag my nails across her upper back, not down her spine, or tracing her shoulder blades, to make sure I don’t break open the healing, red lines. Days later I trace the raised marks and smile.
I don’t remember the first time I thought “Hey, I might be trans.” I don’t remember any specific moment where things just “clicked.” I remember the night I figured out I like women, and it was within a month or two after that night that I figured out I was trans. But I don’t remember that first time things started to fall into place.
I remember the first time I got called dyke in elementary school, for being socially awkward and gender-nonconforming for the little ten year olds we were. I didn’t know hwo to react, because it was obviously an insult but I did not understand either why it was insulting or what made me a “dyke.” I remember the first time some scared little kid came up to me and asked, “Are you a boy or a girl?” and it was one of the most interesting conversations on gender I have ever had, and I almost blew up at him.
There are some things that no matter what, I will never forget. Some firsts that with exception of severe brain damage, I am going to remember for the rest of my life.
I remember the first time I played with rope. No clue as to the date, but it was spring. I took the SAT that day, walked outside and their she was, waiting. The sun was shining, but we did not see it on the far side of the blackout curtains. We were broke, so we played with clothespins and pocket knives. She pulled out some cotton rope, from home depot, and looked around the room. One rocking chair with no good tie offs. One bed with a solid headboard, and no bars… There was no place to tie down as we wanted. So I threw on clothes and grabbed a chair from my brother’s room… The first time I was tied up it was in my brother’s chair, and it was spring.
She put my hands behind me, behind the back of the chair, looped the rope around my hands, and tied it off. Badly. They were loose, and the knot did not stay, but before I could contemplate untying myself, she had bit my neck and her nails dragged down my inner thigh. I moaned in pain, my face splitting into a wide grin. She chuckled, and set the clothespins on my nipples. She leaned in to kiss me as she set the clothespins on, and I half-screamed into her mouth. She went down on me, sucking on my clit, telling me I was such a hot boi, her boy. I never came. That wasn’t the point…
It was the first time I played with rope, and by the end I had slid out of my bonds by accident. It was spring, and for the first time, I wasn’t a girl to the other person. The first time I played with rope was the first time I ever played as me.
It was a strange night, and a rather strange party. My housemates, some friends, and I all in a circle playing spin the bottle, and damn was I drunk. Running around in my binder with my shirt off is pretty much the definition of “bombed” for me. Playing spin the bottle is as well. Except it wasn’t a bottle, it was a cell phone, because we were drinking hard liquor and mixers that night. Except it wasn’t just housemates and some friends, it was also some people who I didn’t even know…
Attraction is a funny thing.
So there the group of us were, playing spin the bottle with a cell phone, and at some point I ended up on the other side of the circle than expected, and next to one of those people I didn’t know. Wearing no shirt, just my binder. We flirt, but those details are lost to time. What is clear is the scraping nails across arms, our quiet way of saying we each wanted more; more pain, more action, more passion, more than making out. Our nails blazed red trails, even when just sitting there, waiting for our turn in the game. Her arms were red, her friend noticed. Somehow, he missed that it was me.
That drunken night did more for my confidence than most of my relationships…
Sitting in my living room, just her, my housemate, and myself, we cheer as a hookup pair finally leaves the bathroom and the housemate walks the other to the door and bids her a goodnight, and returns upstairs. The three of us remain, and sit there, my housemate and I in a silent contest. Who gets the one-night stand? Who gets the out of town guest? It never occurred to us to have a threesome. It never occurred to us to speak up, to question, just remain silent, until my housemate declares this to be too awkward and returns to her room, and I go to mine, but I am not alone.
She tops me, a rare occurrence. She takes the lead, takes the control, and has my pants off quick. She has me pinned, has me taking… but she’s the one with the back laced with nails dragging, fiery lines crossing her back, while my back remains clear, as I am bound. She has my pants off, her warm wet breath tracing up and down my thighs, her tongue flicks across my clit, and my binder remains on. She doesn’t want reciprocation, she just wants to get me off, and she leaves my binder on. I didn’t really understand why, but with an attractive person going down on me while I was drunk, I wasn’t in much of a position to process the issue.
She was good, and it was hot.
Only later did it occur to me that she left my binder on out of respect. Respect for my identity, respect for not being a woman, respect that I might well not want someone to play with my chest. It was a first. She had my pants off, and I was still not a woman in her eyes. Maybe it was because she had gender discrepancies of her own. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted her to touch my chest, but that she didn’t lead me to new thoughts, new realizations. More than anything, it lead me to new confidence of having that chest at all.