(Note - This post is a rather rambling, meandering babble about my headspaces and relationship and the inner workings of my head, written mostly to talk things out for myself. I make no guarantees as to the coherence or usefulness of anything you may read. I can't even guarantee it will be interesting.)
We like to dabble in our play. A little bit of this today, a little of that tomorrow, a dash of this in both... it keeps things interesting, and no two romps between the sheets are quite alike. That's the way we usually approach bondage and impact play. It's generally just another tool in the arsenal, another toy, another fun thing to do when the mood strikes us. We're both switches, so role is another thing that changes on a whim. He'll cuff me for sex one day, and sex will otherwise be business as usual... I just can't, you know, move much. A few days later, I'll give him a good paddling with his blowjob, but the cuffs will stay in their drawer. The same goes for any toy we love.
Doing an actual scene is very rare for us. In fact, there are only three encounters that I would actually call a BDSM scene. All three times, I've been the dominant one, mostly because I've got the imagination to keep things going. He's tried, but he runs out of ideas after a few minutes. (this isn't just restricted to BDSM; complete improvisation and making it up as he goes along during sex just isn't his strong suit) So, all of the romps that have turned into full scenes have been under my direction.
And every time, I've ended up high as a kite for hours after.
At other times, I've nosed at the edges of what I've heard called "subspace". From what I've seen, it's an amazing place for the mind to get into. This... domspace, for lack of a better word, is, too. I swear, I think I'm the more affected of the two of this. When we're done and cuddling, I'm the one who needs the aftercare. I'm the one who's more blissed-out and incoherent, though I might have been totally with it thirty seconds before the final orgasms. There's a joy, a gratitude, a love, an awe about it that just bowls me over and knocks me flat.
It's strange to me that he never seems to get there. Often, his switch leans heavily towards the submissive side of the equation. I would have thought he'd end up there first, that he'd be the one teaching me the joys of flying. Me? I really, really like both sides of the equation. My dabbling has let me dip my mind into the fringes of the headspace of both sides, and I've found both to be sweet in very different ways. I couldn't choose a favorite.
Perhaps pain means something different for me. I've always been an odd duck when it comes to pain. There are certain sensations that I am told are supposed to be painful that I've always found to be more... refreshing, for lack of a better word. As a child, I would sometimes gently scratch the skin on my arms so I could watch with curiosity the changes that bloomed across my paper-pale skin - the light trails behind the nails that quickly faded to red, then the slow reddening of the surrounding skin as the trails went pale again and rose slightly from the arm. It was never hard enough to hurt, it just felt cool, like a crisp autumn day. Occasionally, out of curiosity, I'd scratch just hard enough for a tiny hint of pain to mix with the coldness. I'd mentally "watch" the sensations unfold and change inside of me over the seconds, minutes. Controlled surface pain was something to be watched, studied, observed, not feared.
(Me? Scientist much? Maybe just a tad.)
On the other hand, uncontrolled or deep pain? Has always bugged the shit out of me. Headaches, joint pain, menstrual cramps? Fuck that shit, give me some Tylenol! Bring on the Aleve! The good lord gave us pain medications for a reason, glory alleluia! Years of back pain? Shredded me inside and out. Is it any wonder I've ended up a fan of stingy toys instead of thuddy ones? Anything that too closely resembles the deep pain I live with is a turn off.
To meander back to what I was talking about before: when I'm on the bottom for impact play, I get completely caught up in observing the sensations. I always ask him to go slowly, so I can "watch" each blow "develop" under my skin. I want to feel every nuance of the changing sensations, to see and know the whole thing, to see how each one is different from the next. It becomes a form of meditation, actually. Instead of a prayer or mantra or focus object, the sensations of the flogger or paddle become my focus. The few times he's continued steadily long enough, I've started going into a kind of trance, completely enthralled by the sensations, painful or otherwise.
I guess for me the difference is that when I'm the sub, I bliss out while we play, but when I'm the dominant, I bliss out when we're done. I'm not sure why. But I've never, ever seen him bliss out in either role. It confuses me a bit, and makes me curious, but it doesn't mean that we don't have a hell of a lot of fun. The scientist in me just always wonders about the hows and whys of everything.