Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Hello, kinksters! Long time no talk. Have you missed me? I’ve most certainly missed you.
You’ve heard a lot about BDSM from the mouth of a submissive. A friend of mine has kindly agreed to answer some questions about the Dominant lifestyle, and – though this week’s column is going to be mostly her experiences and thoughts – she’ll be making appearances occasionally from hereon in. Let’s call her Leto – she has a particular affinity for the classics.
Leto and I sat side by side on her couch. I had one leg tucked under me, a notepad balanced on my other knee. She was unapologetic in her posture, stretched out over the cushions with a free hand casually brushing over my leg. One of her bites marked the side of my shoulder. I was about to ask her questions I’d usually be too shy to ask— it wasn’t my place. I chewed on my mouth, getting ready to speak. She smirked.
The first thing I was curious about, talking to Leto, was how she discovered her Dominant side— my submissive side came out when I was a kid in the type of games I liked playing. “I’m just naturally dominant and controlling. One day I used it in a sexual situation and it was like I’d found gold,” she told me. “Do you want more explicit details?” I blushed. I found myself doing that a lot while talking to Leto this way.
I wanted to know what about it appealed to her, specifically. Leto’s response, again, had me blushing. I’ve never understood the appeal of being the Dominant party. For Leto, it was about power. “It’s a rush that nothing else gives me, seeing the effect I can have on someone who is completely at my mercy, and … just the thrill. It’s so raw and intense. It’s primal in a way. At least that’s how it makes me feel. It makes me tingle just thinking about it.” She looked at me pointedly.
I swallowed hard. I knew I was going to regret this interview. Asking Leto questions put me in a position of power and she didn’t like it. Making me squirm was one way to undermine that. “How do you feel out if it’s appropriate to bring out that side of you? Is it something you think about? How do you approach sexual situations with a new partner?” I asked her.
“Yes, it is something I think about. I’m usually not interested in having sex with someone who I think will be boring in bed. But to be safe, I’ll just ask what my partner is comfortable with and things they’ve done in the past. If they haven’t [done BDSM] but are interested in experiencing it, I’ll start off with little things. Maybe being a little more forceful and so on. Giving them just verbal orders without enforcing it physically to see how they react. I make sure my partners know that I’m not at all submissive or a bottom, so that they know what they’re getting into. If they don’t want anything BDSM, that’s fine, but I’m still being on top.”
I smiled. No one in their right mind would ever see Leto as a bottom. And then I cringed, knowing I had to press her further. I wanted to get at both the philosophy and the practice here, but Leto was not going to like answering all these questions.
“How do you feel about punishment and reward?” I asked. I already knew the answer. She grinned. “I love punishment/reward. I like punishing someone who’s bad, and I like rewarding them when they’re good.” She looked at me pointedly. “Bad behavior is doing anything I don’t like or specifically said not to do. Or things that push teasing a little too far. Or things done to make me jealous.” Or too many questions from a sub, I finished in my head.
On furthering questioning, I found out that Leto loved both verbal and physical restraint, but for different reasons. Leto elaborated for me: “Verbal restraint is so easy and so strong. Makes me feel so powerful with such minimal effort. Physical restraints require a little more effort, but it also ensures more control without worry of having to repeat myself.” Worship really does it for her. Leto likes collars, but not pet play. She loves leaving marks. Anything that shows ownership.
Leto’s favorite impact toy is a wooden paddle. Hard. Unforgiving.
I came to the end of my questions and looked up at her. “What’s the end goal of sex?” I asked. She smiled at me. “The goal of sex is to be fully spent, satisfied, and blissful, and wonderfully delirious. As long as I have the control, I’ll enjoy it and I’ll make sure that my partner enjoys it just as much.”
I scratched down her words and looked up at her from under the fringe of my eyelashes, my face pink and my demeanor suddenly different.
“Are you done?” She asked. I nodded in response and closed my notebook around my pen. “Good girl.” She stood up and walked closer to me, wrapped her fingers around my arm. “Come,” she said. And I went.