I’ve been writing on sexuality and relationships for, umm, a long time, so it’s funny for me to run into a concept that I haven’t thought about. That is why is was great to have some feedback on my last post, in which I was thinking about what I mean by “mean” with regard to kinky treatment from Mrs. Edge.
While I had some good conversations here and with other people around the internet, the best insight — that is, the comment that best helped to clarify things in my own mind — came from Ferns who wrote:
Mostly when men say that to me, they mean, “Forget about what I want, do whatever *you* want, ESPECIALLY if it involves you being selfish, and overtly and clearly not caring what I want.”
And that’s about as concise as you can get. My response, after I thought it out was this:
Good insight, Ms Ferns, and I think that you’ve helped to clarify what’s going on in my head. I really don’t want to be humiliated. I don’t want to be called ugly, stupid, or be belittled. I don’t kink on it, it’s not exciting, and in the past I have not processed it well afterward.
But I do enjoy when Mrs. Edge grabs me for a quick, errmm, oral stress relief :koff: and sends me on my way, or we have an impromptu make-out session in the kitchen, and then she pushes me right back to making dinner. That’s not overtly “mean” in the sense that it’s not cruel or humiliating, but it is “selfish” on her part. IOW, I derive some pleasure from it, but the action is clearly not about my pleasure at all.
There’s an extension of this when she intentionally makes me aroused by physically teasing me, and then says “Okay, that’s all,” and goes off onto other things. It’s not necessarily arousing to her, but she enjoys the power to make me squirm a little, especially knowing that later I’ll probably be exceptionally attentive.
I think that this reflects the mindset of a lot of people who are more vanilla than kinked. There is a connotation to the word “mean” that carries an element of cruelty or arbitrariness, and to me, that’s a form of humiliation. Saying “I’m not going to let you come tonight because you haven’t been affectionate enough this week,” is one thing. Saying “I’m not letting you come tonight because I’m in a pissy mood because I spilled my coffee at work today,” is totally random and impersonal. I guess that’s okay if the two of you understand that this is part of your play, but again, the element of arbitrary and randomness just does not work for me.
And yes, I love to daydream about cruel, heartless, whip-wielding, icy-cool, leather-clad Dommes, but I’m aware that they are just fantasy, and that in real life they wouldn’t be very much fun. In real life, I want a partner who is connected and intimate. So, perhaps we need another word besides “mean” to express this kind of desire. Any suggestions?
And to illustrate a little bit of meanness that’s not overly mean: