Sex, socialism and sanity without safewords
One of the few things I’m sure I know about gut instinct is that it doesn’t originate in the gut, even if that’s where it is sometimes manifested.
Jem has written beautifully about a recent encounter between us, but I maybe need to add my own take on what happened.
The first thing you need to know is that there’s an element of foreplay to what we do before we actually meet. We’ll talk on the phone, and there may well be theatrical elements of scene setting, the planting of ideas or suggestions that shape what we do when we meet.
Given that I am Jem’s dom, and that I have a keen sense of myself as an unreliable narrator, part of that scene setting is an element of misdirection – a playful tweaking of expectations that will be dispelled. It’s a very knowing way of playing that depends upon a bedrock of trust.
Gut instinct doesn’t originate in the gut. It’s a kind of pattern matching, a process of observation that compares what we see with the unknown knowns, the experiences that sit below our eyeline, waiting to trip the unwary.
In this case, from the moment we spoke I knew something was astray. Not seriously astray, but not right.
The thing that matters is not the detail of what was wrong or right, but the fact that I noticed something which I could not even name, but which was sufficient for me to set aside my desire and interests, and to listen more intently.
Jem’s described the details of what happened in her post sufficiently for you to understand what happened. What mattered to me was that everything in my head, my desire, my pleasure, my wishes was set aside from the moment my conscious mind registered that set of unknown knowns.
Call it gut instinct, or call it pattern matching using a set of known unknowns, what matters is not the instinct, but what you do with it. In this case my instincts were right, and I was able to use them to my advantage, to enable my relationship with someone I care about.
All too often we use instinct as an excuse, as if it’s an autonomous force that strips us of our self-will. It’s quite the opposite. It’s a signal that we choose to obey or ignore, an opportunity to make a decision that reflects our priorities and concerns.
Good relationships give you those opportunities to be the best you can be, to exploit your gut instincts. BDSM gives me the chance to be that person, to be more than just that man who enjoys dominance. I am, as I have said before, a lucky man.