In my book Pushing Limits, my hero’s story involved having recently been in a full time same-sex D/s relationship as a submissive. I was pleased with myself for writing about a Master who wasn’t straight out of the alpha male cookie cutter machine, and my editor wanted me to curb my enthusiasm a little. The essential parts of that still remain in the book, with a little less emphasis, and part of what lets Samantha get past her reluctance to submit to Arthur is knowing that he’s been there, done that -- from both sides.
I saw a picture that brought this back to me recently. It was a picture of a guy, tied up, submerged in water, just his face poking out really. Just floating there. Unable to move. Completely at the mercy of the person who was ordering him to float in the pool. Intense scene, right? Maybe too intense for some? No real domly dom would let someone do that to him? Except it wasn’t a scene, exactly, it was a picture of Navy SEAL training. They call it military service for a reason. Even the highest officers are ultimately expected to submit to an elected civilian. I don’t think it takes one little bit away from their manliness, either. Special Forces guys have been popular romance alpha male heroes for a long time.
From a safety point of view, at least a limited kind of switching makes sense. A dom should know what it feels like when the ropes are too tight. They should know the pain curve of clamps. They should know exactly what you mean when you say that flogger thuds, and that other flogger stings -- and they shouldn’t have to have their sub tell them which flogger is which. A dom who knows is sexy. A dom who doesn’t, not so much. And if you’re a dom doesn’t want to find out, well -- let me just add that to the list Annabel posted of “You might be a domling.”
Getting tied up and flogged doesn’t make a dom a switch, of course. So what about doms who really do enjoy it both ways? Maybe I’m strange, but I find that sexy too. It opens up some extra possibilities for kinky play, obviously. But getting back to great dom traits, and how experience is sexier than ignorance, a top that knows what ropes and floggers feel like is a good start, but I think a top that knows what being in subspace is like can be even better.
It’s not for everyone. Not all doms are built that way. Not all subs want to deal with the possibility that they might end up on the other side of the flogger, either. I had a friend who was seduced into a relationship by a “Dom” who wanted to switch places and be a 24/7 sub after they’d been going out for a few weeks -- and that was probably what he intended all along. Deception is definitely not sexy. But I do think there’s room for a few more sexy switches in books. What do you think? Switches -- turn-ons, or turn-offs?