Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Intimacy, Aftercare, and Compartmentalization

I have been active in the local scene for roughly 7 years now. I've bottomed and topped. I've been in relationships. A few, anyway. However, typically I've not really bottomed for one of my owners at a party. So, all my play partners at parties have been platonic friendships.

I had to learn years ago to separate masochism from sex. I had a couple partners who only allowed me to play with women, and, being straight, this made it easy to compartmentalize masochism and sex as separate. They're still better together, but I can easily separate the two when necessary.

Aftercare in these situations usually just looks like a quick hug and maybe getting handed a water, and then wandering off. Things like cuddling and such don't really happen. Now, I'm definitely a cuddler. I enjoy that form of intimacy after playing, but it's really only something I've done with my owners. Because in private, the sequence is usually, play-sex-cuddles. That's not a feasible sequence of events for me at a party, especially with play partners.

I have OCD and a decent dose of physical paranoia. Being in the community has helped A LOOOOT with this issue. I no longer have a panic attack when acquaintances hug me, but many forms of what might be considered casual touch are extremely intimate for me. Voluntary physical affection is a huge sign of trust from me and I often express attraction through casual touching, as I generally avoid touching people altogether.

Because of this, cuddling is a rather intimate action for me. And while I would enjoy cuddles and pets after a scene, I wouldn't wish to obligate someone to a degree of intimacy we do not share. And I may not feel comfortable with what I see as very intimate acts either.

Being straight and monogamous has a lot to do with this as well. Most of my play partners have been women, and all of my platonic play partners (at least on the top side), regardless of gender, have been poly. I'm very careful about what degrees of intimacy I allow/request. I don't want to infringe on their relationships and I don't want to compromise my personal convictions.

I think I've confused the occasional top with my lack of need for aftercare. I can't really say I've subspaced more than a couple times in my life, so I don't really enter an altered state when I play. I go deeper with romantic partners because of the emotional connection and the sexual elements, but then I usually get what one might call "aftercare" because those are private situations.

Without that emotional and physical vulnerability, I either can't space or subconsciously won't allow myself to so I don't put myself or someone else in an awkward position. And, I'm sure it's only awkward in my brain, as those I've played with tend to be very affectionate people, but I've always been excruciatingly careful about allowing myself to be vulnerable around others.

In most situations, it's simply something I don't need, or at the very least, have divested myself of the need for it in platonic scening situations. Obviously, more intimate relationships have more of an emotional impact for me, so those can be a bit more complicated depending how deep down the rabbit hole we go.