And if it can, how do you know when it is?
[ ih-fem-er-uhl ]SHOW IPA
lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory:
the ephemeral joys of childhood.
lasting but one day:
an ephemeral flower.
(Why do you show off so damn much with your million-dollar words, Erica?) I can’t help it. I like them. But you can’t complain if I provide the definition, right?
Note: I’m aware that many of my readers are married to or monogamously involved with their spankers, and don’t play with others. This post is more for those who do play with others, whether or not they have a primary relationship… a situation that can be a lot more confusing. Leave it to me to choose the more complicated route.
According to general societal patterns (you know, those “normal” people), here’s the blueprint: Couples meet, however they meet. They exchange names. They talk, share basic information. In the course of a few hours, a few phone calls, a few dates, whatever, they learn more about one another. Preferences of all kinds. Music/book/movie tastes. Political leanings. Fears. Hopes. Dreams. Failures. The jigsaw puzzle of personality gets filled in, a piece at a time. In the course of this time, there are physical exchanges, often starting with kisses. Then a little more, and a little more, until we have full-on sexual intimacy.
Now we kinksters, we do everything ass backwards (word play intended). Oftentimes, basic vetting aside, we play first and ask questions later. We have physical intimacy first. Instead of that slow burn of growing attracted to one another as we learn more, we burn hot from the get-go, act on chemistry over personal knowledge, invite others into our homes, our beds, our bodies, our playrooms, etc. before we’ve even begun to invite them into our hearts or our day-to-day lives. Oftentimes, that last part doesn’t happen.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s kind of hot. If I wanted to go the traditional route, I would have. I tried it for many years. It’s overrated.
Funny and perfect case in point: When D came over a few weeks ago, we’d met only once, and briefly. Essentially, I brought a strange man into my home, my space. I felt completely okay with that. We played. We had intense and close-up contact. I laid myself out, physically and emotionally. He inflicted both pain and pleasure. He saw me raw and open, exposed.
Afterward, when I was lying on the couch bare-ass naked with him massaging lotion into me, I dreamily turned my head and asked, “What’s your last name?”
He told me. I told him mine. And the massage continued.
I’ve been doing this for so long, this feels perfectly normal. But I know there are tons of people out there who would be shocked at the idea of someone seeing their bare ass (not to mention exposed genitalia) before said someone learns their full, real name.
This is what I call “pseudo-intimacy.” It’s an intimacy quickly forged out of a strong cocktail of physical attraction and a shared desire, a common bond of kink. But is it real intimacy — whatever the hell that is? And if it isn’t, can it become so? When does a play partnership cross over into a real friendship, a relationship of sorts, where people care about one another?
Most of you know the story of how John and I met. I placed an ad; he answered it. We chatted once on the phone. And then we met for coffee. We talked at Starbucks until they closed, then went for a walk. He ended up pulling me over his leg in the alley behind Starbucks and spanking me, until we heard the telltale jingle of a leash and a man appeared, walking his dog (and getting quite the eyeful). We then proceeded to John’s vehicle where he spanked me some more, gave me an orgasm, and he took my panties, claiming I’d have to see him again if I wanted them back.
This is not your typical “first date.” We were both seeing other people at the time.
Cut to the present — on August 30, we’ll be together 23 years. Somehow, that initial pseudo-intimacy became real, blossomed into something much fuller. It can happen.
But it’s complicated. Because of the nature of what we do, it’s easy to confuse pseudo-intimacy for something real. It’s easy to fall for the actions, thinking you’re falling for the person. When in fact you really don’t know them at all.
I remember my very first spanker. Saw him a total of three times, played twice. Paul. I never did learn his last name. But he changed my life. In one afternoon, in the time span of no more than an hour, he put me on a path of no return, opened me to a vast new world to explore and experience. That first spanking meant more to me than losing my virginity did.
At the time, I remember feeling like I’d fallen in love with Paul. But even then, in my haze of hormones and endorphins and wonder, I knew that wasn’t it. Of course I wasn’t in love with him. I was in love with what he gave me. But of course, sometimes, when your emotions get involved, it’s hard to compartmentalize it like that. The boundaries blur. Your mind says one thing, your body says another, and your heart says yet another.
No wonder so many scene relationships go sideways.
I have been thinking back on some of my play partnerships over the years, many of which have been chronicled in my blogs. All the time I’ve been with John, I’ve played with other men, all with his blessing. I am lucky that way. A lot of these partnerships simply faded away, due to various life circumstances. A couple, I really regret losing. Two come to mind that did indeed blossom into real friendship, much more than just the physical act of getting together to play.
Danny Chrighton and I were play partners for over three years. But we were also the best of friends. We didn’t just play. We hung out. We did stuff together. He and John were buddies. Our play chemistry was awesome, but beyond that, our closeness was true. He knew me, and I knew him. There was mutual trust and respect. And the only thing that ended it was distance, when he moved out of state. I loved him. I still do. I miss what we had, to this day, even though I haven’t seen him in years.
Then there was ST. Same deal, we met through an online ad, got together to play. From the beginning, we were consistent; he came over every Monday evening. We hung out and talked after playing. Our play was sometimes edgy, dancing on the boundaries and limits, maybe at times a little scary… because I trusted him. I knew within that he would never really hurt me. And on the flip side, we had our silly times, like when he showed up at my place on Halloween, masked and dressed as “Super Spanko.” I knew all kinds of odds and ends about him; the farming community, population 350, he’d grown up in; the names of all his siblings; how much he adored his dog.
We were friends/play partners for over two years. And… then he met someone. There was a mutual attraction, a couple of dates. He told her about me. She said, “I don’t think I like that.”
And just like that, we were done. The last time we played, I wept. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me too, and he always would. But then I never saw him again.
Does that mean that what we had wasn’t real? Is something real when it can be tossed aside so easily? Or is that simply just another sad fact about the nature of relationships? I don’t know.
I bear him no resentment. I did hear from him briefly once, via email. He’d bought a house. I hope he found happiness. He was a good guy; he deserved it.
I suppose the point of all this rambling is — damn. I’ve been doing this for over twenty-three years, and I still get muddled and mixed up emotionally over what’s real and what’s simply born of the intense, instant intimacy and vulnerability. And if I still get taken in by it, how the hell do scene newbies handle it?? How do they navigate the sea of feelings that can be stirred up when you put yourself into someone else’s hands? When they cut through layers and layers of outer bullshit and go straight to your core? When you gift each other with trust and vulnerability, and then it’s gone as quickly as it came?
In a perfect world, pseudo-intimacy would indeed develop into something more real, and more lasting. We could keep those wonderful feelings and experience them again and again. Where real life wouldn’t take them away. Where no matter what relationships go in and out of each person’s life, the core friendships and caring remain.
Is that too much to ask for? I know some say that I don’t have a right to expect this: that I have a relationship, so I shouldn’t want for this too. Well, guess what. I do anyway. I guess I will never stop yearning for it. Because I know it’s possible. And don’t ask me what the man is getting out of it, if he’s not my primary relationship. I sure hope to hell that all the men who have been my play partners over the years got something out of it.
Because I sure did, and I don’t think we could have connected as deeply if they didn’t.
Anyway. I should be working. But sometimes, I just have to ramble. And hope that it resonates with someone out there. Thoughts, anyone? Your own experiences with this?