This is the first in a three-part series.
Bottoms, have you ever been disappointed after kinky play?
Have you ever not asked someone to play, or said no because you were too nervous about how it might go?
Have you hesitated to end a scene or asked for an adjustment because of how it might look?
If any of those scenarios resonates with you, you’re not alone! Many of us “bottoms” (in kinky scene play, a bottom is usually the person who receives the actions/commands of their partner or allows their partner to direct the action of the scene) often engage play then realize that the experience we’re having is very different from the experience we expected. We might not end the scene or tell our partner we didn’t enjoy the experience. We may not even fully understand why we didn’t enjoy it. Some of us have gone through years of unfulfilling kinky play because we don’t understand and feel comfortable communicating what it is we’re truly seeking.
Beyond the challenges of kinky self-discovery, we often have to overcome other barriers. Many of us have internalized kink culture’s expectations of how “good” bottoms and tops should appear. For example, “topping from the bottom” is supposed to be avoided at all costs. We don’t want to appear bratty or bossy or needy. The fear of being rejected can keep us from voicing fantasies, boundaries, and guidance with partner(s). Many of us have had partners who took feedback as insulting or threatening. In some circles, the images of “dominant = infallible” and “submissive = weak” are still the norm. These ideas can be detrimental to all parties’ mutual gratification and even personal safety.
In order to find satisfaction in scene play, we must find the courage to challenge these ideas. We must choose partners who delight in our fulfillment as much as their own (they ARE out there).
When bottoms can discover and give voice to desires and limitations, new worlds of creativity and freedom in kinky play can open to us and our partners.
How to Prepare for a Scene
Connecting with ourselves isn’t always easy, especially if we feel pressure to conform. Following are a few ideas for visualizing how play can be the most joyous for us.
- Consider how you feel now, and how you’d like to feel when the scene is finished. Think of specific states of mind or body you’re seeking. Maybe you want to feel loved? Strong? Objectified? Spent? Exhausted? Close your eyes and tune into your body to get a sense of what might feel good. Even if it’s “bad.”
- Consider why you’re seeking that particular set of feelings. Perhaps the feeling you’re after is to be loved, but it’s coming from a place of feeling disconnected from your partner. Or perhaps there’s been a lot of stress and you’re looking for some type of catharsis by exhaustion. These details can inform play activities and make them even more effective.
- Support desired outcomes by listing specific activities you find fun and interesting. Try listing out 3-4 activities for each state of mind or body. For example, you might want a scene that makes you feel useful. If you are able to outline a few activities – e.g., serving beverages, cleaning or laying out toys, carrying your partners’ bags, to name – this will assist your partner in collaborating with you in a way that scratches the itch to feel useful, rather than unintentionally skirting that need and leaving you unfulfilled. Be curious about your thoughts! Maybe the imagined activities are unusual. Before you dismiss them remember that sometimes those ideas can lead to the most interesting and memorable experiences…
We are human, and our scene play will never be perfect, but:
We increase our probability of successful scenes when we figure out what we want and need.
Engaging in self-discovery is an act of great personal power and vulnerability, and we need to give ourselves time and solitude and a great deal of self-compassion. It will be worth it, because trusting ourselves to know our needs is the most important step on the path to awesome kinking!