Monday, January 31, 2011


“It’s been quite a while since I’ve been topped…”

Her voice comes soft, breathless, so close to my ear. I have my hips squarely between the inside of her thighs, legs spread open, pushing her up into my headboard, two fingers inside her cunt, so tight I can barely move them. I have long ago lost count of how many times she had come, if I was ever keeping track at all. We are almost still; I’m catching my breath, enjoying the heat between our bodies, barely stroking her g-spot.

I moan deep, almost guttural, the sound I make when puzzling through my thoughts. “I don’t quite see it that way.” I try the word on for size, hesitantly. “Topping...”

“Tell me more about that.”

My thoughts race. It’s a word that didn't enter my vocabulary until I moved to New Orleans, a foreign concept I had equated up until that point only with gay men. I hadn’t come of age in a lesbian culture – I didn’t grow up in the bars, didn’t grow up with elders, didn’t become initiated into an established community. This was new for me, to meet women who identified as tops and bottoms. I had always experienced queer sex as fluid, without roles. It didn’t help that my introduction to the terms, the idea, was not born out of sex-positivity or identity. Instead, these words came to me encased in the crude language of competition and pride, masculinity and femininity, where “to top” was a status of pride and strength, and “to bottom” was an act of submission, a put down, a source of embarrassment and shame. I rejected the terms, outright and immediately, because I didn’t like what that binary implied. Not until I met people who embraced those identities and actions as a source of equal strength, as a yin and yang, did I begin to accept where those words, those identities, could fit.

I try hard to pull myself out of my head, back to the moment, before I get lost and leave her underneath me, waiting.

“I don’t know. I…” I stumble for words, for a way to express what the hell I was trying to say. I find myself burying my head in her neck. “It’s not about putting you down, or asking you to submit. It’s not about…power? Hm. Don’t get me wrong, the power is great. It’s a trip to be in this position, and I enjoy the hell out of it. But… it’s about my wanting to please you. It’s about letting go. It’s born out of a place of deep respect, because I know how hard it is to just let go. But I don’t see it as dominating you, I see it as playing with you, fucking with you.”

It’s a nightmare to navigate those emotional barriers, at times. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to leave control, to leave fear, to leave my own socialization and understanding of gender roles, of strength and weakness, at the bedroom door. I like to dominate, and I like to submit, but, for me, the latter takes significantly more emotional work. To lay out my body, my strength, and let her take me for everything I am worth requires a lot of trust.  To dominate comes almost as a default. Control is heady, easy, disconnected. But I want to approach her differently. I wanted to connect in, to work through this process with her as I work through it myself. I want to give, I want to enjoy receiving, and I want respect and consent and pleasure to guide us instead of letting our own fears and preconceptions hold us back.

I still struggle with my words. I don’t feel like I conveyed what I wanted to say, only touched the tip of the iceberg. Of course, power and submission and domination is a part of this. But those words, outside the context of kink circles, tend to imply strength and weakness, oppression and victimization. I come from a sociology background, so for me, these are buzzwords into analyzing social stratification, hierarchies, and social capital. But I’m in bed, and here, these words imply something different – consent, agency, respect. Asking for what I want, and getting it from someone who earnestly wants to give it... who might even give it to me by denying it, by not allowing me to ask.

“I trust you,” she whispers.

I skip a beat, mentally, emotionally, physically. I lay my head down on her chest, for just a moment, listening to the pacing of her heartbeat, taking in every inch of her body. And then I begin to rock her, slowly, pulling her hips deeper into mine. I love to listen, to pay attention to the very subtle ways her body responds. To feel each contraction of her cunt, to hear each breath, to feel the heat spread slowly across her skin. She reaches up, curling her body tighter around me. With my left hand, I push her back down, deep into the bed, kneeding my other hand deeper and harder into her. She moans, half in mock protest and half in genuine pleasure. I have her pinned to the bed now, arms spread across the pillows.

“Relax, and just let me fuck you.” She takes a long breath, arches her back one last time, and sinks deeper and deeper into me, into the bed, until I can feel her focusing on nothing but herself. 

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