The night I discovered I could get into a sub head space, I said to the guy who would be the Dom, 'I'm a proud bottom, but I'm not a sub'. Just a few hours later I'd be reviewing this earlier statement. Turns out, I'd never really experienced being one*, or considered the different ways in which you can be subordinate.
On my profile it says I'm 90% Passive, but how do you apply this? I often get messages from guys expecting me to be a sub, but I've never really thought of myself in that way. For me, that number represents me being a (figurative and literal) massive bottom, but for others it's the Dom/sub spectrum. Some would think these things go hand in hand, but as most of us know, that's not always the case.
I'd probably only ever used the term 'power bottom' when referring to myself in jest, but the first time I experienced being a sub I had an epiphany that maybe this had been my modus operandi all along. But let's go back a bit first…
The day of Recon UnSensored, a guy who I'd chatted to the previous year got back in touch. Conveniently, he lived in Vauxhall, not far from where the party was. After many almost happenings, this seemed like a do or die situation, so I said I'd aim to head over to his after I was finished at the party. I could come over for a drink and an in-person conversation, but that was all as I had a train up north the next morning. He was fine with this, so I said I'd be in touch.
The party happened. The party was great. I did my work. I had some drinks. I had some fun. I checked he was still up. He was. I walked over.
[Side note: I hadn't changed out of my foam-soaked cycle gear and jock, so my one-drink-and-gone intentions were…questionable at best].
I arrived at his, and after over a year of buildup, it was a pleasant surprise that he was even hotter in the flesh than in pictures (another blow to my early exit plans). We sat down, drank some wine and started to chat, and I mean REALLY chat. We got into it. For hours. He asked me so many questions and I was an open book. We talked about life and experiences and viewpoints and intentions - including how we both approached fetish and kink. None of this was as a preamble before play; I'd made my peace with it being more of a nice hang out. It was getting late/early and we were both probably too tired anyway. And then I mentioned I'd never truly tried much BDSM.
'Stand up. Get undressed' he said, whilst opening a draw and reaching for a blindfold. 'Put this on'. I did I was told. I motioned to speak, and he silenced me; then I knew my place. And that was pretty much it for conversation for next few hours.
I was stood in my jock in the middle of his living room. Blindfolded and feeling strangely comfortable. I don't always have the best body confidence but getting to know each other through our long conversation had the effect of making me feel at ease. Being blindfolded also felt oddly comforting. I stood there expectantly not fully knowing what was going on. I waited. And I stood. And a growing sense of anticipation started to build in me until I was squirming on the spot. Then he told me to be still and he started to touch.
He started gently running his fingers over my body, pausing irregularly and always moving to a different part so I couldn't anticipate where would be next. The sensation was pleasant, if not a little ticklish. I was grinning nervously and trying to stay in the moment. As he continued, though, my nervousness subsided, and I started to become very much aware of sensation. The pauses started to feel like lifetimes and when he did eventually touch me again a charge ran through me. My body juddered and tingled as he used his hands and other objects to caress my skin.
When he started on my nipples I had a moment of worry, as they've always been relatively insensitive, and I feared he'd be disappointed by my response. But this guy knew what he was doing. He lavished them with attention, working them so hard and for so long that I was shocked by how good it felt.
As the play continued I started to take note more and more of my physical and mental responses. As I stood there, it took everything I had not to reach out and touch him back. I clenched my fists to keep them in place and bit my lip to stop me from kissing him when he was near. It was around then that I had my epiphany: I was used to taking charge; I was used to dictating the play. Not always, but often I was the one who led. Whether being the one to drop to my knees, the one to decide a location, the one to say where and when or the one to present, in many little ways I was often in control – a power bottom, if you will. So, having almost zero control over a situation was insanely exciting and in a weird way liberating. What was gonna happen was gonna happen, and I just had to let everything go and go along with it – it felt intense in the best possible way.
The session continued for a long time more, with him eventually leading me to his bed, all the while blindfolded. I was pretty much putty and gladly received everything he gave me (including having my ass eaten more than it's ever been eaten before by a true master of the artform). Needless to say, I missed that morning train…
In my head, being a sub was something very different to what I experienced that night. My assumption was that it was always about humiliation and degradation, and that wasn't something that truly appealed. What I learned was that it seems to be more about control, power and trust. It doesn't need to be about aggression, but instead can be something intensely gentle. Through this one session I had my eyes opened to some truths I'd never realised about myself, and experienced play in a way that I never had before. I understand to some this experience would read as very minor, but for me it was a big step on my fetish/kink journey. I still don't know if I'd ever fully identify as a sub, but it's nice to know I have subby tendencies in me, and that I can step outside my box and enjoy other types of play.
*Well, actually, as documented in a Fetish Problems (they're written anonymously, but if you go off writing style you can pretty much tell who's who), I'd previously tried my hand at being a phone sub.