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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Implement Aversion

The other night, Poppy posted a poignant blog about losing an implement she loved. Not literally misplacing it, but having it taken from her, because a miserable excuse for a man ruined it for her with an abusive scene. She asked us if we've ever had our feelings change drastically about an implement because of a bad experience.

It got me thinking. Most of us have our "hard limits" when it comes to certain implements. But why? Because they scare us? Because they simply hurt too much? Or is it because we have a negative association with them?

I have to say, I've never had the misfortune of having some asshat ruin a beloved implement for me. But I did have someone turn a soft limit into a hard one.

You all know I prefer leather over wood, but all wooden implements are not created equal. Thicknesses, types of wood, etc. all make for a variety of sensations. But I've never liked those heavy, rectangular paddles, the "frat" style. They thud me down to the bone and they feel horrible to me, with or without holes in them. They don't even make a satisfying sound -- instead of a hearty smack, they land with a dull thunk. When I thought of those paddles, one word came to mind: brutal. And brutality was never something I enjoyed in my spankings. But still, I played with them now and then, at parties and so forth.

About four or five years ago, I met a man from the old SIN board. We did the usual coffee thing, talked, etc., and then he came back to my place to play. I liked his style and his scolding, but toward the end, he was way too touchy-feely and I had to tell him to stop. When we spoke afterward and he wanted to know if I'd like to get together again, I said yes, but he needed to keep the sexual touching out of it. He said he would.

The next time he came over, he had a bag with him, which he handed to me. "I got you a present," he said. The bag was from a local adult toy store. When I looked inside, my heart sank.

He'd bought one of those frat paddles -- it was huge and thick, exactly what I hate. The price tag was still on it, and it wasn't cheap. But wait, there's more. Also in the bag was a Pocket Rocket vibrator. WTF? I barely knew this guy -- what the hell was he doing buying me something that personal?

OK, kids. Here's where I 'fess up and say yes, even with years of experience, we can still screw up. I should have followed my instincts and told him sorry, but I've changed my mind. Take the gifts back, I don't want them, and I don't care to play after all. But I didn't. I felt bad because he'd spent all that money, and I figured the least I could do was to have another scene with him.

It was dreadful. No, he didn't try the wandering fingers thing again. Instead, he just beat the hell out of me with that @#$%ing paddle -- too fast, too hard, too everything. He did stop when I cried. But they weren't the good tears. They were tears of pain and frustration with myself and that sense of betrayal and violation we feel when someone hurts us.

The guy was utterly freaking clueless. After I calmed down a bit and we were talking, he asked, "So, did I give you what you needed?" Wha...?? Needless to say, I was a bit shocked by the question, and I replied, "Well... maybe a little too much."

I didn't say it in a snotty way. But he then reached over, grabbed my hair and snapped, "Are you being smart? Because I'll beat your ass all over again if you are."


Another one of my red flags -- when the spanking is over, it's over. You don't get to be harsh during aftercare. That's the time when you're supposed to be nice.

"No," I said meekly.

The cherry on the sundae was his suggesting that I use the Pocket Rocket he'd given me... in front of him. I declined. "Perhaps I should spank you until you do," he threatened. That did it. "NO," I said, very firmly. "Perhaps you shouldn't."

After he left, I felt sick. I hurt. I was marked. I looked at that effing plank of wood he'd left behind and I wanted it out of my sight. Without overthinking it, I took it down to the Dumpster and chucked it. I suppose I could have given it away... but I didn't want anyone else to suffer from it either. If I'd had a fireplace, I would have burned it.

Oh, and I tossed the Pocket Rocket too. I know, I know. Wasteful. I didn't care. It was all tainted with his ickiness.

After that, frat paddles became a hard limit. Not that it's a great loss, though, because I never really liked them.

I have every confidence that Poppy will move past her aversion, with time and patience and proper treatment from her current, most excellent top. What about others? Do you have a story behind your implement aversion? Do you want to get over it, or does it not matter?


    (and this "toy" is not in the spanking realm, but singletails are also on the hard limits list - cause the aversion to all three ended in one disastrous trip to the emergency room.)

    None of those used to be on the hard limit list, but one night, well into our 8th yr of marital bliss, during play, something set off my 'midlife crisis ex husband/Dom' - and he went on a jealous rampage, and ignored my safeword that I'd NEVER had to use. After the emergency room trip, not long after, came the divorce, and 6 yrs of me going underground and hibernating.. to eventually emerge as a Top. (never to be hurt like that again).

    It took 15 yrs of Topping to regain my self esteem and confidence .. and then finally, I was able to spend the last 3 yrs slowly finding my headspace as my core persona.. 'an alpha bottom'.

    Luckily, I met my Top in Chicago, whom I learned to trust beyond measure. He just seemed to know "when".. I looked ready to revisit my hard limits. He knew that one day I wanted to, I just didn't know when that day would come. He was patient, and never pushed.

    My first experience back with a cane and my Chicago Top, was a wonderful experience.. so good in fact.. he nearly had me orgasm and I was so embarrassed by that .. that I stopped the scene and scared the crap outta him! (he was so concerned that he'd ruined me again.. but then I told him .. "OH NO! Just the opposite!"

    Second time we played with canes... within a minute of playing with them I went cold as an ice cube. My body froze. I knew he loved playing with canes.. I wanted to give him the pleasure of using them.. but in reality.. right then and there.. I prayed he would read my body language and stop. He leaned down to me.. and whispered in my ear.. "Are you okay.. shall we stop?" I said, "I don't know what's wrong.. but I have to stop. I'm sorry." - He said .. "My god! Don't be sorry! I'd never want you to do something that wasn't making you smile and give me your wise ass remarks!"

    There must have been a buzz word.. or something he said.. that for the life of me I cannot remember now.. but the third scene with canes.. was fine again. (sure wish I could remember what triggered my fright.. perhaps one day I will)

    He also showed me the lighter side of singletail whip kisses.. therefore I was able to overcome that hard limit. THICK wooden paddles, of any style I can now tolerate in MUCHO MODERATION (one or two swats only - over jeans) .. but he knows I HATE THUD.. like Erica said.. it hits deep to the bone - and bruises deep, and that turns me off faster than a light switch.

  2. holy crap.. sorry.. that was so damn long.

  3. Zelle -- no need to apologize!

    Gawd, I hate to hear about stories like this. Very sobering, realizing we have sadistic psychos among us. But we learn, we move on, and we redouble our efforts to find the good guys. As you did, and me too.

  4. Hi Erica, WOW that man was TERRIBLE to you i am VERY sorry you had to go through all that what a JERK he was that make's me so ANGRY :-( marking you up so badly, 13 years ago i too was marked with a paddle my bruises were the size of a medium to large coffee cup lid is the bestest way to describe it and i agree with you that it hurt's a lot and they are VERY brutal :-( leather is ok if the person know's how to use it right without making someone bleed from welt's.much love and hug's to you my VERY dear friend XOXO From your naughty girl Jade

  5. Jade -- it's OK, honest. It was a learning experience.

  6. Thanks to both you and Zelle for sharing! What awful experiences.... For me, a wooden hairbrush (or any hairbrush) is pretty much a hard limit, as it reminds me of real "discipline" offered up by my mother during one of her temper tantrums. I'm glad that is part of my long ago past.

  7. Dana -- ugh. I can relate. My mother would have her fits of temper and come flying at me with her hands flapping. I could usually block her and she'd hit my forearms.

    Hmmm... few responses to this. I wonder if I struck a nerve?

  8. I am so grateful that I could have a bit of a (relieved) cry.
    Zelle and Erica (both women who I look up to) both having an experience that shook and altered them.
    I am so, so sorry that either of you experienced this. I am so grateful that you shared it. I felt guilty (still) about what happened. I felt that if I were a better submissive, a better woman, more attractive, more easy, more something secret that I will never know - that it might not have happened.
    But sometimes it does happen and it is not our fault.
    It makes me angry with those people who are brutal, selfish and abusive.
    I will ponder on this for a while, I know it is going to alter me in a good way.
    I would love to have some responses from Tops here. It would be good to hear what they think about this sort of event.
    (I also love the word "asshat" but am unsure if I can carry it off with my English accent.)

    Thank you, Erica. This is so helpful that it almost moves me to an unprompted act of affection - but I remembered myself just in time.

  9. Poppy -- ah, sweetie, I'm so glad to hear from you. And super glad that this helped, even a little.

    It wouldn't have mattered what you did or didn't do. That guy was a sadistic SOB. He screwed with your head and damaged your body, temporarily. But he couldn't touch your beautiful soul. You will continue to heal.

    I too would love to hear from some tops. I'm hoping this blog didn't scare them off, that they're not feeling like we're Anti-Top. Quite the contrary. These occasional idiots just make us appreciate the good guys even more. xox

  10. "These occasional idiots just make us appreciate the good guys even more."

    Truer words have not been spoken! I can't express enough gratitude, for those Tops that have helped me through issues of the past that for all intents and purposes remained traumatic to deal with, UNTIL one of the good guys appeared, and "understood" what baggage I carried around with me. To those few men that have "lightened my load", I will ALWAYS hold them near and dear to my heart, for they have given me my true self back.

    Talk bout having a dilemma over many years .. I have always been an alpha personality. I have always need a much more alpha Top. The catch 22 for many years was that, a stronger alpha Top than myself made me leery that I was about to put myself in harms way if I played with them.

    It truly pains me .. to hear of women with the same (or similar) issues as myself.. that may never have the good fortune to run into a Top that sees the forest through the trees.

  11. Truthfully so far I have not met an implement I haven't loved or at least tolerated.

    I'm sorry you had such an awful session. I can't believe that grown people attempt to manipulate others they supposedly admire, are attracted to, etc. No one who wants to keep his nuts intact would try this with you ever again!

  12. Kelly -- honestly? I don't mess with men like that. They're too angry, and I shrivel up in the face of anger. Would rather just get the hell away from them, as soon as possible!

  13. I used to think I would dislike leather implements, because I was beaten with a belt non-consensually when I was a teen. Then I started experimenting with them, and I had positive experiences and realized that aversion was gone and leather is lots of fun. It's all about the headspace.

    I used to say I had never had a bad scene, but I have had a couple now that just weren't particularly good for me, and it's almost always been because of my headspace at the time and because of that, I've been wary of avoiding playing under those conditions. I've had implements used in ways that I disliked, but I've never had an implement turn to a hard limit for me. I guess I'm lucky :)

  14. I had a man once spank me so long and so hard and so well beyond what my 'limits' were that I blacked out. I was foolish and young and new to it all, so I just rolled with the punches. He didn't use anything that made my hard limit list, though. I AM afraid of trying a whip or anything of the sort, but that is just a fear I have and have never actually experienced it. If I came across someone who I knew could use it well, I suppose I might consider getting over it.
    Aside from those things.. I, like Alex, have been lucky I guess.

  15. Alex -- I'm so glad you were able to get past the bad belt experience, because leather is so delicious! And you are right -- we should always be mindful of our headspace. Sometimes, it's just off. We are mercurial beings.

    She -- passed out?? Good grief! :-(
    I have a feeling that if you knew, liked and trusted someone who was good with it, you'd allow it. But if you don't, that's just fine too.

  16. Great subject, Erica.

    I have an aversion to canes, whips, paddles, and hairbrushes. I think it is most likely because of some of the things I have seen while I have been doing my research into TTWD for the last year.

    As for bad experiences, I had on that was not too terrible, but the person who spanked me many moons ago was a therapist and he used a belt. I had a few spankings from him and during the last one, he did draw a drop of blood. That scared me. It was only 30 swats, but it was enough to make me wonder about what the heck I was wanting.

    I had a very long hiatus from having anyone spank me, though I did spank myself on occasion with with a couple of different rulers I have and a Maori war club (they are flat like a paddle) that I can't find now. It is a hand carved piece I got when I was in Hawaii and I got it because it was a war club. I can say it does make a good paddle. But with me using it on myself, I didn't go overboard.

    I don't think I will ever allow a cane to be used on me. I am into leather. Wood? Forget it. Even leather can be a bit too hard. But I prefer it and also being spanked by hand. All over jeans for various reasons, not the least of which is what happened with the therapist.

  17. Erica,

    I'm so sorry to hear of this horrible experience. I'm feeling embarrassed for my gender as well as my power orientation. I'm grateful that you have the courage and wisdom to talk about it now the way you do here.

    As a Dom/Top I'm thinking that being averse to an implement because of a bad experience is probably going to be pretty rare. However, as I consider the question, I realize there could be various other reason that are, perhaps, more common.

    I've never considered the question of implement aversion, but of course Doms and Tops have limits too. For me, the closest I come to it is actually my favorite implement now - the belt. Although I've used it for play since I came out into the local scene, in the beginning I used it rarely and when I did I was extra careful with it physically and emotionally.

    Now I realize the reason for this is that the belt was used on me and my contemporaries as I was growing up. But it was rarely what refer to as an "organized" event. It was almost always done in anger. No positioning. No talk. Just anger.

    Years later, it's my favorite implement for a number of reasons (the sound of the impact, the way it 'hugs' the skin of the bottom, the way it makes them squeal and suck in breath at a stroke...), not the least of which is my personal victory in dealing with the abuses I experienced and witnessed in my childhood.

    I'm at peace about it now, and that's opened up so much freedom for me.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

    Best Regards,

  18. Bobbie Jo -- canes are not for everyone. As you may recall, I used to be terrified of them. Then I realized that, like everything else, it depends on who's using them.

    Quai -- thank you for joining in! You're the only man and the only top who has. You needn't be embarrassed for your gender; both genders have good and bad. I have heard of some godawful female tops too, believe me!

    Ugh... I can't imagine being beaten with a belt in real anger. I'm sorry you had to endure that.

  19. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I've never dealt with a frat paddle but I certainly find them intimidating. Canes were something that always terrified me, not because of a bad experience, but they just did. A few months ago I finally experienced a cane and have had several good scenes involving them since. I think it certainly comes down to the top more than the implement. It's about how and who is wielding it. I'm fortunate to know a lot of good tops who I really trust and that has led me to try things I never thought I would.

  20. Lea -- canes can definitely be daunting, especially with some of the videos and photos out there. I'm glad you've had such good experiences! :-) Honestly, my bad scenes have been minimal and the wonderful tops I've known far outweigh the occasional asshat.

  21. I am so sorry this happened to you! Asshats are everywhere, and what is it about feeling obliged, even when we have clearly stated upfront what a boundary is and they step over it anyway? Ugh!

    With me, the implement was a thick, leather belt. The very few times my father had spanked me, that is what he used. It terrified me - the association was immense pain and yes, anger. My father was usually pretty angry when he spanked me like that, so his emotion kinda overtook rationale. It was rare, like I said, I can only really recall four times total in my life that he spanked me, and two of those times were with the belt.

    So, at first it was a hard limit for me just due to that association. Gradually, I started allowing it to be used with my trusted partner (now my hubby), under the limits I had imposed.

    Thick straps have now become my favorite! :)


  22. Sarah -- more evidence that the good guys cancel out the bad memories! :-)

  23. And how about that rice paddle, hmmm?

  24. Craig -- AACCCK! I will never forgive C for bringing those damn things to SL!