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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tops, it's Okay to say No

Let's start off with a brief example, shall we? (This is a pretty made up example, but various situations similar to this occur all the time)

New bottom: I want to be suspended! Please suspend me?
Me: Okay...what's your experience with rope?
New bottom: Never been tied up before.
Me: Hmmm, well, I don't think I'm going to suspend you then. How about we do some floor work?
New bottom: I really want to be suspended, though, it looks so fun!
Me: ...Sorry, I won't do it.
New bottom: Fine, I'll find someone else that will.

This is an extreme example of Tops getting pressured. Everyone always goes into extreme detail on how bottoms need to negotiate their asses off and to never feel like they need to do what the Top wants, unless it's something they also want to do. Well, Tops, the same is true for you! You also have a right to decide what you are okay and not okay doing. Just because a bottom is adamant on what they want doesn't mean you have to do it.

Let's look at the original example again. I'm sure the bottom is hell bent and truly wants to be suspended, but I just don't feel comfortable doing it. Why? Do I not trust my suspension skills? Do I not trust the bottom? What gives?

I am a competent rigger (at least in my own mind, it's really up to the rest of the community to decide that), but more than that, I have common sense. New bottom (abbreviated NB from this point on) hasn't even crawled yet and wants to fly. This sets my spidey sense off. NB, why not even see if you like being tied up? How do you know you'll enjoy a suspension if you've never touched rope before? If you've never experienced any type of rope, how do you know what's a good pain? A bad hurt? Weird pressure?

The last thing I want to do is put you up and have you realize you don't really like rope or that it would hurt a lot more than you realize. Having you panic and thrash around, demanding to be put down psychologically and physically can hurt you badly. Harm you even. And, at the chance of sounding really selfish, but what about me? It definitely hurts me psychologically to think I could have really done some non-consensual damage to you. Not to mention that it does spread around the community like wildfire that there's a chance that I'm not a RACK or SSC player. Damaging all around.

There's a good chance that if someone gets injured, a lot of the blame is going to hit the Top and not the bottom, even if it was the bottom's idea.

So I say no and if you don't like it, too bad. I would rather play light or not play at all than run the risk of doing something irreversible. I can always do more next time, I can't really undo some damage if I go too far the first time.

Sometimes people don't really know what they are asking for and, as a Top, it's our job to let them know it's just not feasible to do. Yes, the bottom has every right to ask, but you have every right to say no. and it doesn't even have to be for safety reasons to say no. You can just say no because you don't feel like it, you can say no because it's a hard limit, you can say no because you only do specific things with specific people, you can say no because the environment isn't suitable, you can say no because you're not in the right headspace for it, you can say no because there isn't time. Basically, any reason a bottom can give you say no, you can use, as well.

When I think about it, we (Daddy and I) say no more than we say yes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But please, say no instead of being wishy-washy. "uhmmms..." and "errrrrs..." don't look any better and it gives the false hope that you may just do what the bottom requests, even if it's something you don't want to do

Stand your ground, just say, "No." :)

1 comment:

  1. Excellent!!!

    Thanks for saying this so clearly and articulately. It is really important.

    P xx