On Size Kink and Being a Short Domme

On Size Kink

I’ve never dommed anyone smaller than me.

Part of this is just statistics. In a world of humans, I am on one end of the bell curve. (At least, the bell curve for the United States.) Part of this is that at this point in my life, I really haven’t dommed that many people. It’s partially a numbers thing. But it is a thing.

Like many kinky humans, I have a bit of a size kink. It’s not as big of a kink for me as it is for some of my friends, but I’d be lying if I said it’s not there. “Big human overpowers small human” feeds right into my love of power exchange. I also love feeling small in comparison to my dom, something which often gives me heckin little feels.

And yet, here I am, shorter than most people I know, carrying around some domly impulses. Maybe I had to find a way to fit those two things together so that my brain didn’t explode from the contradiction.

The way I found is sort of an inverse size kink. Sure, the bigger person in traditional size kink has the physical power to pick up their sub and throw them down. I’m not saying I’d say no to that, from either perspective. But it’s also an incredible rush to know that someone could pick me up and throw me off them if they wanted to, and instead, I am in complete control.

I am in love with willful surrender. I am enamored by submission as a deliberate choice. I am thrilled by the idea that this person wants to be mine and wants to be controlled. There’s also a sort of perverted psychological aspect to it. When the dynamic is strong enough, it no longer matters who could beat who in a wrestling match. They have given me such psychological power over them that their physical strength is no longer of any consequence.

Maybe this is just a rationalization, a way of dealing with the contradictory notions that I love big doms and yet am a small dom. But hey, it really does it for me. I like being tiny and yet completely, utterly in charge of people who are supposed to be more powerful than me. Especially big dudes.

One of my exes was a wonderful person who was also a switch like me, and happened to be quite a lot taller than me. When he was feeling little, he would crawl into my lap and remind me for all the world of a big dog like a German Shepard who still wants to be a lap dog and love on you. It was the sweetest thing. He couldn’t get all the way into my lap. When I was the big spoon, my head rested somewhere around his shoulder blades. But I could still make him feel small, and held, and protected.

Being a short woman, I’m not most people’s idea of a powerful and domly body type. I could try to get around that. I could try to feed into my size kink by searching for people smaller than me. (There aren’t a ton of them, but they do exist.) Instead, I want to embrace it. I want to run at it full throttle and shove it in people’s faces and laugh at how wrong they are. I love the inversion of it. I love turning all expectations on their head. I love domming people who are bigger than me.


My (Fictional) Type

my fictional type

In real life, I don’t think I have too much of a type. I love nerds. I love people who are crazy passionate about stuff, especially when we share the same crazy passions. Other than that, there aren’t really any patterns. This is not the case for my favorite fictional characters: all the characters I have crushes on are pretty much the same.

I love flawed characters. I love the long redemption arc, the struggle towards true change. I love the bad boy who chooses good in the end. I love the character that is selfish and violent, that makes poor choices.

My favorite characters do all the wrong things for all the right reasons. They take the ugly, messy solution that all the more righteous characters are trying to find a way to avoid. They’re not afraid to cut the knot in half with their sword and damn the consequences. My favorite characters aren’t afraid to be the bad guy in order to save our heroes. They will do whatever has to be done in the name of love. They will commit mass murder for the sake of their loved ones. They will make a deal with the devil to protect their family, whether that family is blood-related or not.

My fictional type falls in love with goodness. They are on the outside looking in, because they can’t help but be captivated by true goodness. They long for the goodness in their love interest that they cannot find in themselves. Through striving to do good for this person, they truly change their own hearts. In the end, they will die for their love.

They are the skeptic drunkard who rise for the revolution after all. They are Grantaire standing to die with Enjolras, saying “Long live the revolution!” and more importantly, asking “If you will permit it?”

They are the traumatized survivor of the Holocaust who can no longer trust in the goodness of the other. They are the leader whose love for their friend cannot stop them from doing what they think they have to do to save that friend. They are Magneto declaring that humans and mutants can never live in peace, and that Charles Xavier is a fool. They are Magneto saying “Goodbye, old friend.”

They are the fallen prince stumbling his way towards the light, failing and backtracking and eventually succeeding. They are Zuko desperately vying for his father’s approval. More than that, they are Zuko telling his father that he no longer needs it, telling his father that he is betraying him and leaving to follow his own path. They are Zuko at his coronation, getting the thing he’s always wanted, deferring the credit to others.

They are the vicious vampire who loves being a vampire. They are the broken and fallen brother. They are Damon returning a necklace to Elena even though it is a symbol of her love for his brother, a love which he believes he can never deserve.

They are a demon tormented by a soul, a soul and a torment that they chose in order to be worthy of the only thing they’ve ever been sure of. They are Spike saving Sunnydale, grinning through the pain and saying “I wanna see how it ends.”

They are Jaime Lannister saving Brienne from the bear pit and burning Cersei’s letter. They are Cesare Borgia stabbing his brother, giving in to temptation, and saving Rome through deceit. They are Klaus Mikaelson mourning his child and damning his own narcissism.

I love flaws and pain and redemption. I love broken characters who redeem themselves in the end. I have a fucking type.


Twin Tail Creations Mocha Review


The lovely Mocha the Dragon from Twin Tail Creations was a birthday present to myself. It’s my second knotted dildo! TTC is a rad fantasy toy company that originally caught my eye with their unique Avian design, but then I fell in love with this knotted beauty in fabulous nebula coloration, and I just had to have it. I admit, I am swayed by pretty silicone!

I got Mocha in size Mini and Medium firmness. There are three bigger sizes, but Mini was the only one I knew I could conquer. The thing with knotted toys, is that in order to get the knot inside of you, you have to be able to take not just the girth of the knot, but also the whole length of the toy. This can make ordering larger sizes a bit tricky for short-vagina’d folks like me, especially when the knot is at the very bottom! As for firmness, TTC’s medium is pretty comparable to toys like the Vamp Super Soft from Tantus’ Super Soft line: rather squishy, with some resistance, not floppy. The Mocha has lovely scale detailing on the base and a bumpy ridge going down on one side of the shaft. I fully appreciate the dragon aesthetic. Sadly, my vagina is not very texture sensitive and I can’t feel the bumps in use.


I am slowly delving farther and farther into the world of knotted dildos, and so far, I think they’re pretty great. It’s a fairly similar sensation to popping in a bulbous head, but a little bit different because there’s already something inside of you.

The tapered head and gently sloped knot make this toy pretty easy to insert. I suspect that a much more dramatic knot would be a real challenge for me. As it is, I get a bit of a pop and a nice sense of fullness without a great deal of effort, which is lovely. (I kinda want to try a more challenging knot, but that’s a post for another day!) The Mocha is pretty easy to leave in because there’s enough space below the knot for me to get the knot past my pubic bone. That way, my vaginal opening can relax around the smaller part at the bottom, instead of trying to contend with a big knot.

As with other toys that have a knot or bulbous head, I find it difficult to thrust much with the Mocha and prefer to mostly leave it in there, clench around it, and come on it.  I really like the sensation of orgasm around a knot because it makes the muscle contractions feel so much more intense. It sort of concentrates them in one area. It also prevents my vagina from pushing the whole toy out during orgasm, which has been known to happen when a toy has the same girth all the way down!


Mocha was a lovely second step into the world of knots. It’s a beautiful and refreshingly new take on a fantasy knotted dildo, and was clearly designed with the comfort of vaginas everywhere in mind. I highly recommend Mocha if you like knotted dildos that aren’t too extreme, or if you’re curious to see what this whole knot thing is about and try one out for the first time.

You can find Mocha the Dragon and other great fantasy toys at Twin Tail Creations!

On Maybe Having a Shoe Fetish


I swear to god I don’t have a shoe fetish. At least, I thought I didn’t. You see, I’ve never been much of a shoe person. I have an aesthetic appreciation for them, sure, but I’ve never been one to collect as many shoes as possible, and that appreciation has never been erotically charged. I guess it’s partially because shoes are connected to feet. Feet are decidedly neutral for me- they don’t usually squick me out but I also don’t particularly want them in my sex life. And I have very strong feelings that feet should not go anywhere near my mouth.

Except, on my second date with the lovely woman I am currently dating, a thing happened. We were hanging out with some friends, drinking a bit, and we decided to play strip poker. My girlfriend was wearing a pair of gorgeous thigh high suede boots with stiletto heels. Due to the nature of the game, she eventually had to take them off and she asked for my assistance. My drunken ass dropped to the ground immediately and reverently unzipped them. Now that was erotically charged.

More recently, my boyfriend stayed over way too late- until 4am. We were trying to convince each other that he ought to leave, instead of continuing to cuddle, and he said “I really ought to put my shoes on and get going.” I paused for a second. “Would you like some help with that?” I replied. He gave me a look before saying “Yes.” I went and fetched his shoes from the other side of the room and kneeled in front of where he’s sitting. I blushed and hid my head in his lap because the whole thing is just a little embarrassing.

Then he told me that he did need to leave, and if he didn’t know better he’d think I was trying to keep him longer. I responded “I’m not trying to find an excuse to keep you, I just really do like serving you.” Then he smiled and told me “The job’s not done, little girl.” Carefully, gently, I rolled his sock onto his foot. Softly, he said “Now the other one.” I place his socks, then his shoes, onto his feet one by one. Just like with an actual little girl who wants to help, the whole process is much slower than if he had just done it himself. Having completed my task, I looked up at him from my place on the floor, smiling. He looked away and said “I have some feelings about that.” So do I.

Since that happened, my boyfriend and I have talked about it a little bit. He told me that he should make me lace up his leather boots sometime. And yes, absolutely yes, I want to do that. He also suggested I polish his boots, and then later said I should polish them with my tongue. I melted inside, because I’d been daydreaming about licking his boots but I didn’t want to be too weird. I also want to actually polish his boots- get shoe polish and a rag and make sure I get them bright and shiny and beautiful. I would be meticulous and careful and my Daddy would watch me from up above and tell me what a good job I’m doing.

I think polishing might be exactly the kind of repetitive physical motion that puts me into a meditative state, like sewing or kneading dough or giving a blowjob. My brain finds things like that very soothing, and the repetition combined with attention to detail just quiets my mind. I can just see myself getting so absorbed in that task that the whole world melts away, leaving only me, my Daddy, and the task that he’s set for me.

It’s interesting to me that I knew about bootblacking as a fetish before this, but I had never seriously considered it. I didn’t think it applied to me. It’s fascinating to me how my feelings about a kink or sex thing can change so dramatically once it’s reframed. Context is everything, and in a service context, suddenly the idea of licking someone’s shoes sounds very appealing to me. I’m going to take this as my occasional reminder from the universe that sexuality is fluid, and sometimes, you just gotta roll with suddenly developing a shoe fetish you never thought you’d have.

On Submission and Shame

submission and shame

I believe firmly in sex-positivity. I know that your sexuality is okay, and that you should do whatever you want as long as everyone is consenting and you aren’t causing any true harm. I know that your kink is okay.

I believe in bodily autonomy, and that people should do precisely what they want with their own bodies, including their sex organs. As long as the above conditions are met, whatever you want to do in your sex life is good and fine and your business. You should do what makes you happy.

I believe that willful submission is an act of autonomy. It is an exercise in independence and strength. Actively choosing to cede control to another person is a show of power. It is strong, and it is powerful. It is not passivity. I know that it is okay to want to submit to someone.

So why am I still so goddamned ashamed of myself?

I’m a kinky person. I’m also a switch, I like both dominating and submitting. I like all sorts of weird shit that I find difficult to explain to people who don’t share my kinks. Usually, I’m completely cool with that. I’m allowed to hate cottage cheese, and you’re allowed to love cottage cheese. We may never understand each other, but we are both completely valid and fine. The same rule applies to kinks, and sex acts more generally.

Power exchange is really core to my sexuality. Some of the things I like doing, I enjoy less for their own sake and more for their ability to facilitate power exchange. Pretty much everything I’m into is in some way related to power. The only things that make me feel deeply ashamed, that make me feel guilty and wrong, all have to do with submission. Things like wanting to serve, to be owned, to be used. A part of me still feels like this is wrong and I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s because I’m so scared of being dependent on another person. I have pretty severe trust issues, and I never want to be in a situation where I have to depend on another human for money, shelter, or emotional stability.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been taught that I have to be strong. I’m supposed to be enough for myself, I’m supposed to be able to face the world alone. I’m supposed to be able to take whatever is thrown at me and keep on kicking. I don’t want to feel like I have to lean on someone in order to be okay. Since my kinks focus so heavily on caretaking, there’s a huge conflict there.

I think this is one of those situations where it’s easier to be kind to others than it is to be kind to yourself.

I believe in those things I said at the beginning. I believe in sex-positivity, and bodily autonomy, and that there is power and beauty in willful submission. I know that when friends come to me scared that they are wrong or broken, I tell them that their kink is okay. I believe that too.

If I was a friend of mine, I would tell them that their desires are just fine. I would tell them that the roles we enact in kink scenes don’t have to translate to the rest of our lives if we don’t want them too. I would tell them that we can want one thing in our kink lives and a different thing in our daily lives, for balance. I would tell them that no human gets through this world by themselves, and it’s okay to need to lean on each other sometimes.

I hope that someday I believe me.

Tails and Portholes Abyssal King Review

abyssal king 3

Sometimes I get to take people on tours of my toy collection. I love getting to talk about my favorites, explain why I like them so much, and just get really excited about a thing I really like. The past three times I’ve done this, the person in question has picked up the Abyssal King, looked at it, and asked “What is this supposed to be?” Last time, I shrugged and said “Interesting.”

The toy that has confused so many friends of mine is the mini size of the Abyssal King, made by Tails and Portholes, a dildo maker on Etsy. It’s definitely an unusual design, which is why I was so excited to try it. It looks almost like the spine or ribs of some creepy, bony creature, which is just a tad macabre in a way that I find very aesthetically pleasing.

abyssal king 2

This is a pretty short, fat dildo. Above, you can see it next to the Tantus Echo, another toy with lots of ridges. The Echo is taller, thinner, has fewer and deeper ridges, and is much firmer than the Abyssal King. (Keep in mind that I do have the Mini size in Soft firmness, and a Medium and Large size both exist, as does a Firm firmness.) The Mini Abyssal King is 4.5″ long with a 5.5″ circumference, for reference. I love getting surprise colors from indie shops, and this one turned out so pretty! It’s a rich blue and gold that seems rather fitting for a king of the deep seas.

One of my favorite things about fantasy toys is that you get to try out weird new shapes. This is certainly an odd one! Tails and Portholes has a bunch of weird heads on their toys, and I’m into it. The shape took some getting used to, as it’s sort of wide and curves  all the way around. The best comparison I have for the shape is a pear, which is frankly kinda weird. Just know that instead of having a traditionally phallic shaft, it’s much fatter and rounder. The girth is pretty well within my comfort zone, but the shape and ridges made it a bit trickier for me to insert sometimes. Once in there, I did appreciate the extra sensation of fullness from having it be kinda wide on the sides. The short length didn’t bother me because I have a pretty short vagina even on a good day. It is something to keep in mind, cause your mileage may vary.

I prefer to use the Abyssal King with the ridges facing the front of my vagina. You may remember that I’m a fan of ridges for G-spot action, and the Abyssal King can definitely deliver. In the softer silicone, it’s less of an intense digging in and more of a “oh hey, focused pressure, that feels nice.” I tend to thrust the Abyssal King a lot in order to get that sensation, and I was able to do that fairly easily by holding onto the base.

abyssal king 1

You would probably like the Abyssal King if you like short wide toys, ridges, unusually un-phallic shapes, unique designs that are reminiscent of deep sea creatures, beautifully colored silicone, and supporting rad small businesses.

If you want to pick up a mini Abyssal King of your own, you can find one at Tails and Portholes’ Etsy store here!

The Abyssal King was sent to me free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. Thank you, Tails and Portholes!

On (Not) Being Femme Enough


I bought a new lipstick today. I spent about two hours in the drugstore, looking at different displays and trying the testers on my arm. My arm was covered in little dots of color by the time I was done. I wanted to do something for me, something to make me happy. I had a lot of fun, and I walked away with a beautiful new red matte that I’m really happy with. As I type this, I’m wearing it and I love it. I feel pretty and painted and femme. And I have some feelings about that.

I’ve always felt drawn to the word femme, but I’ve never known whether or not I can claim it. In general, I love labels and love having words to describe myself. I love that “femme” is a word made by and for queer women, that dates back to the butches and femmes of the 60s. I love that femme is queer. I love that anyone of any gender can be femme. I love the queering of femininity, I love the unique and creative expressions that happen when queer meets feminine. It’s not like traditional mainstream femininity, it’s weirder, bolder, twisted. I love the reclaiming of femininity, the refusal to bow to the patriarchy’s hatred of it. I love queer femmes.

The thing is, most days I’m not femme. I wear jeans and a t-shirt, sneakers, no makeup, no jewelry. The only truly femme thing about my appearance is my long hair, and even that I always wear tied up so that it’s out of my way. Most of the time, I feel too practical to be femme. My current job requires a decent amount of manual labor, which make skirts or dresses rather impossible. I’d rather wear jeans with a belt than have to suffer from chub rub. I have to get up early, so I choose to sleep more and eat breakfast instead of do my makeup. I find that jewelry gets in the way of typing or baking or studying or lifting heavy boxes, so I don’t wear it. Performing femininity often feels like something that requires time and energy from me and doesn’t give me a payoff other than making daily tasks slightly more annoying. I’m also not especially butch- I don’t have a rad queer short haircut or a closet full of men’s clothing or a single pair of Doc Martens. My everyday style is comfortable, casual, and gender neutral.

But sometimes, I have days like today. I’ll have a day where I put makeup on for no other reason than I feel like it and it makes me happy. I love an excuse to go all out and get dolled up, especially in my wildly impractical goth regalia. I’ll wear dresses to go out dancing because I like the way they swish and twirl. I get excited when I have an occasion to literally let my hair down- I keep it this long because I think it’s gorgeous and I’m so proud of it.

So what does that make me? I feel like a femme with a femme-incompatible lifestyle, except on rare and glorious occasions. Maybe I’m just a lazy femme. But all I hear from the femmes in my life is that being feminine, to them, makes them feel alive and energized and happy. How can I be a proper femme if I find doing makeup every single day to be tedious and unnecessary? I’d rather only do it when I have time to play with it and have fun. The rest of the time, I’d rather be able to rub my eyes. I’d really like to have a strong gender expression. I’ve always loved high femmes and hard butches, for their commitment to a personal aesthetic and intense personal expression. But it’s so much easier and low-maintenance to just throw on a comfortable t-shirt.

When it comes to clothing and expression, I am a firm believer that there’s no reason to do anything unless it makes you happy. (Workplace dress codes aside, of course.) I’m going to keep wearing my comfy everyday clothes and having random, infrequent femme days. But boy, it sure would be nice to fit neatly into a box for once.




The Daddy Diaries: Getting Into Headspaces

words and toys 1

One of my very favorite things about kink is the intense, wonderful headspaces that it can create: things like subspace, little space, top space. These spaces involve being in an altered state of consciousness, and for me that can sometimes be very intense. Today I wanted to talk a bit about how I get into my headspaces, and what kind of things help me really access that mental state.

First up: dirty talk. Dirty talk has always been one of my favorite things. It only makes sense, I suppose, I’ve always been a reader and a person who loves words and stories and written smut is my absolute favorite type of porn. One of my previous partners and I were both huge fans of dirty talk and ageplay. When either of us were feeling little, we would change our dirty talk accordingly so that it fit with our headspaces. I don’t typically use a lot of euphemisms in normal conversation. We’re all adults here, and there’s no reason to avoid the word “vulva” or the phrase “anal sex.” But for a person in little space, it can be really difficult or feel really wrong to use adult words. While euphemisms are entirely inappropriate in certain contexts, like sex ed, they can also really help me get into and stay in my little space. So sex  becomes “playtime,””dirty talk” becomes “bedtime stories.”  When I’m feeling really little, it’s hard to ask for what I want, in addition to not wanting to say things that are out of character for my little girl persona. What does feel in persona is asking my Daddy for a bedtime story and talking about how I want to play.

Headspaces are strange, bizarre things, and sometimes weird shit is required to get into them. One time, I was late to a sex date because I got into my pastel little girl dress, realized my impressively hairy legs clashed terribly with the persona I was trying to inhabit, and proceeded to shave my legs while perched on top of the bathroom sink. I hardly ever shave my legs, because usually having leg hair doesn’t bother me in the slightest. As I was trying to get into character, though? It created a huge amount of cognitive dissonance and I just had to get rid of it. I’ve found that the easiest thing to do in these situations is just roll with it, and do what makes me feel most comfortable in my persona. Even if it involves shaving one’s legs into a bathroom sink.

In my personal experience, there’s one thing that influences my headspace above all others. The thing that’s most likely to get me into (or shake me out of) a headspace is the way my partner is acting. If someone is acting like my caregiver, chances are I’ll drop into little space like a stone. If someone is being sweet and little, especially if they’re being a bit bratty, hi, hello, here comes mama. Treat me like a normal adult, have regular adult conversations, and I’m going to stay in regular adult headspace.

As with the rest of kink, figuring out my headspaces and what works for me has been a bit of an adventure and a lot of trial and error. I’m still figuring out exactly how all of my headspaces feel, and what kind of things can enhance them. In this as in most things, I’m in the middle of my experience, not at the end.

What kind of headspaces have you experienced? What helps you stay in them?

This is the fourth installment in The Daddy Diaries, a miniseries on Daddy/Mommy kink, ageplay, my kink roles, and what they mean to me.

The Butters Lube Review

butters lube

This lube is one of the best things that’s ever happened to my ass. Seriously, I have never had such a happy butt. A little backstory: The Butters Lube is an oil-based lube that’s handmade by Jerome Stuart Nichols out of all-natural all-body-safe ingredients. (A full list of ingredients can be found through the above link.) I first heard about this lube on JoEllen Notte’s JoEllen’s 2016 Favorite Things! list, and I immediately ordered a jar. I’d been looking for a better anal lube for a while, and based on JoEllen’s description and glowing praise, I knew I had to try it.

I’ve known for a while that I prefer thicker lubes with more cushioning for butt stuff. That’s why I like Sliquid Sassy, which is thick for a water-based lube, and which was designed that way specifically to help with butt stuff. However, even thick water based lubes don’t always feel like enough for my butt, especially when I’m doing long sessions or trying to take big toys. Water based lube can sometimes feel like it just disappears into my ass, leaving me feeling chafed and uncomfortable. This isn’t too surprising, considering that human bodies love water and will soak it right up.

Oil based lubes do not have this problem. You see how it leaves a good layer of lube on the butt plug? It also does that inside my ass. Anal tissue is super delicate and prone to tearing, and this lube creates a lovely layer of softness in between my butt and whatever I’m putting inside of it. Oil also sticks around a lot longer than something water-based. This does mean that I have to make sure to wash all of the oil off of my ass later, but it’s totally worth it.

butters on little flirt.jpg

Consistency wise, The Butters feels a lot like a very thick lotion or body cream, such as shea butter. As can be seen in the picture above, The Butters Lube has a thick, creamy consistency. It can’t drip off of toys, at least not at room temperature. When it is inside one’s anus, the body heat does melt it, so it does get thinner and turns into more of an oil than a cream. It’s like moisturizing cream for my ass. Incidentally, it can totally be used as moisturizing cream, and has several other exciting off label uses, but I’m just in love with it as an anal lube. I like this texture much better than silicone lube, which feels thin, warm, and oily to me in a very unpleasant way. Additionally, while silicone lube is also long-lasting, it can’t be used with silicone toys. That rules out more than half my butt plugs. The Butters Lube is safe with all nonporous materials, including silicone, metal, and glass, which means I don’t have to worry about toy damage or not being able to use the butt toy I want. It also does not have a strong taste or smell, which is lovely in case you wanted to get your mouth involved.

On the vulva, it is not for me. I have a strong preference for lubes that feel closer to my own natural lubrication when I’m using them vaginally.  The same thick, creamy, oily, stays-around-forever texture that I adore anally just feels like it clashes with my thinner natural lubricant. The Butters feels heavy and strange to my vagina, although plenty of other vulva owners swear by it. As always, to each their own.

This lube is super inexpensive. It’s astonishing. You can’t get this much good quality lube for such little money anywhere else. (Good quality, not shitty drugstore stuff that will give you yeast infections.) I’m always a fan of supporting small businesses, and I love it when they make it easy by creating A+ high quality products for fair prices. If you find yourself in need of an oil-based lube, if you’ve ever found water based lube too thin and easily disappearing, or if you just want to try something new from a rad company, do yourself a favor and get some of this lube.

Thoughts on Pain

paddle flogger

I have a memory from when I was younger that’s always stuck out to me. I was playing with someone and they said “that hurt!” I don’t remember who it was or what I did that hurt them. What I do remember is that I said “no it didn’t!” and what I meant was that it didn’t hurt me. Little kids are like that, they don’t understand that other people have minds and that they have different perspectives. That’s normal, and I grew out of it, which is also normal. Yet I’ve continued to be fascinated by this aspect of pain. I can cause you pain, and not be able to tell, because I can’t feel it.

I don’t know why I’m so intrigued by not being able to experience others’ pain, but it’s always felt like an enormous design flaw to me. When I am consenually causing my partners pain, I can never be exactly sure of how painful it is, how much they can take. I ask them, of course, and check in, and make sure everything stays firmly in the realm of good pain. But still, a session that from my perspective only involves hand motions can be full of pain for my partner. That disparity is bewildering to me. I’ve never considered myself a sadist or a masochist because for me the goal isn’t pain, it’s power exchange, and sometimes pain can be used to facilitate that. Now I’m wondering, though, what it is about pain that captures my attention so strongly.

There’s an amazing quote from The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry: “To have great pain is to have certainty; to hear that another person has pain is to have doubt.” Our own pain is so overwhelming, so sharply, inescapably real, but the pain of others remains out of our reach, out of our experience. I wonder how different the world would be if we could really truly feel the pain of others, instead of struggling to explain pain with the imperfect tool of language.

When I am giving pain or receiving pain, I am playing with that doubt and certainty. You can never truly escape those things, but you can walk right up to the edge of it. I can see my partner whine with pain while I myself remain unhurt, and know that we can never bridge that gap. There’s a distance there, but also a closeness. There’s an intimacy in this sharing of pain, in trying to get close enough to taste it while knowing that we’ll never be able to.

I don’t know if I’m a sadist, but I do love this aspect of causing pain.