October 5, 2003 EhBC Online Discussion

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<ModBot> Welcome to or regular Sunday night discussion. Please refrain from sending "hi" and "bye" messages until after 10 pm. Also note that the discussion is being logged. If you wish to remain anonymous, you should change your nick. Tonight's discussion topic is "Reading Your Partner During a Scene". The discussion is unmoderated. Enjoy!
<`abi> like a dance
<LadyNichola> <- Backfilling jen... talking about aftercare for the Dominant..
<jen{SE}> ahhh, Thank You Madame
<LadyNichola> shoulder rubs after throwing a rotator cuff etc.
<LadyNichola> lol
<candie[G]> hrmm, he'd have to be able to wake me up first, I completely pass out
<jen{SE}> MSM cream for the arthitis in the wrist
* Gaston grins. She usually curls up into a fetal position.
<LadyNichola> Off topic now, I suppose..
<jen{SE}> hmm, on topic then, how do the Dominants in the room read their partener in a scene?
* jen{SE} scowls at my typing
<LadyNichola> use _both_ hands jen
<jen{SE}> *smiles*, have tea in one hand Madame
<LadyNichola> Achilles-you're a pretty good "reader" how do you go about it?
<Achilles{tr}> I have a certain advantage with My scenes with abi having had her to My side for 3 years.
<LadyNichola> true enough.
<Achilles{tr}> I would say that I read her reactions to what is happening and use that information to decide where I want to take the scene.
<jen{SE}> maybe an advantage but also maybe key to reading a partner is knowing the partner?
<MasterGuny> it is one of the reasons I don't play casually...not being able to read someone I don't know
<motoki> makes sense to me, jen
<Achilles{tr}> It is a combination of breating, movements, muscle tension, body reactions and such.
<LadyNichola> but partners "lie"... not deliberately... but they can mislead...
<delyssa> how so, LadyNichola?
<Achilles{tr}> In the few casual scenes I have ben involved in, I have been able to 'read' partners at a basic level but not as well as I could abi.
<LadyNichola> put at it's simplest (and I think Achilles would agree) - Some of the body language says "slow down"
<Gaston> So it took you a while to learn to read her, Achilles{tr}?
<LadyNichola> but other clues say... "push me harder"
* delyssa nods
* `abi chuckles..well, I'm not exactly a talking book Gaston ;)
<jen{SE}> can the submissive/bottom help the Dominant read them?
<LadyNichola> tough one jen...
<MasterGuny> I start with a easy play session and build on that till I know the person
<Gaston> what if the submissive is hard to read? candie[G] says "ow" a lot, and it can either be a Good Thing (tm) or a Bad Thing (tm)
<LadyNichola> because it's a skinny line between giving feedback... and directing.
<Achilles{tr}> I would agree that a casual observer would read that abi is at her limit of endurance where I can tell she is not... this is likely My having learned to read past those false signals You speak of LadyNichola.
<motoki> how easy, MasterGuny?
<MasterGuny> I have a technique I use on the spanking bench that works well till they are in sub space
<MasterGuny> gentle flogging lil paddling...just to pink up the bottom
* starla{TDM} listens
<jen{SE}> How does one read a bottom who is not responsive in a scene, i have seen some who do not move or twitch....
<LadyNichola> (Reads them the riot act)
<MasterGuny> Ted taught me one for a spanking bench which is ancles crossed means red..once they understand that watching the ancles becomes a very good indicator
<`abi> lol
<jen{SE}> *lol*
<LadyNichola> stoic and unresponsive submissives are dull to play with and a danger to themselves
<MasterGuny> the only one that I have known to be like that jen{SE} was under the assumption that she was not to move
* motoki listens
* delyssa can't imagine not being responsive.
<Achilles{tr}> Nobody is truly unresponsive. It can require that they be prompted or shaken out of their passivity. Talking to them or doing something totally outside of where you've been. Example: Flogging is not getting a response. Try some ice. make them do multiplcation tables. Whisper a bad joke to them.
<jen{SE}> ahh, MasterGuny which brings me to another point that causes me to ponder, Dominants preference to bottom's behavior in a scene...
<LadyNichola> I generally whisper in their ear that "silence is a form of consent"..
* Gaston grins.
<Achilles{tr}> ...and ow is not a safeword.
<motoki> lol
<jen{SE}> that should do it Madame
* `abi can attest that it is impossible to stand still and do multiplication tables
<LadyNichola> nodding to Achilles
<MasterGuny> but some will go unresponsive once into sub space
* jen{SE} needs to move my fingers and toes if i'm going to do multiplication tables, they are why i started working with computers
<LadyNichola> Body temperature is an interesting indicator...
<Achilles{tr}> subspace can mean different things but I have never experienced anyone who was allowed to get so far away from what was going on at My hands that they could not communicate effectively to Me.
<candie[G]> I've never really needed to use my safe word, if I say OW loud enough, Gaston stops.
<LadyNichola> earlobes, fingertips, cheeks...
<Gaston> and even if she says it not-so-loudly, I stop to make sure it's a good-ow.
<motoki> i can see how this would be very difficult as a new sub to the scene
<LadyNichola> but of that whole "fight or flight" response
<MasterGuny> just had a case recently at a party were that happened..she was so fuddled she did not know her own name
<LadyNichola> correction: part of "fight or flight"
<MasterGuny> my X was like that she was gone for several minutes after the climax to her play
<delyssa> isn't the temperature of the fingers/hands also indicative of circulation?
<LadyNichola> not soley, delyssa
<jen{SE}> not if you always have cold hands delyssa
<motoki> and of ambient temperature
<LadyNichola> also... it's an autonomic response to threat.
<LadyNichola> blood retreats from the extremeties as a defence mechanism
<LadyNichola> so you can also tell by the color of the skin
<motoki> but that can be good or bad - fear to the point of it being unhealthy, vs. "good" anxiety
<delyssa> concentrating blood/circulation around necessary organs, correct?
<LadyNichola> yes delyssa
<MasterGuny> in her case she did not want to be touched or anything just left to be alone till she came out of her blackout
<LadyNichola> and reducing bleeding in the event of a cut
* delyssa nods
<LadyNichola> one way of reading that they are on the edge is to keep them bouncing back and forth between pale/flushed
<Achilles{tr}> There are certainly degrees of ability to read. The higher the 'level' of the scene, the greater the level of ability to read your partner which is required to allow the scene to proceed safely and achieve what is intended.
<jen{SE}> i actually find it quite interesting to watch the different styles/reactions the submissives have in scenes
<MasterGuny> absolutely Achilles{tr}
<delyssa> I'm looking forward to the next Dal. My hope is that I won't be as stunned by the entire experience and can actually pay closer attention to different types of scenes, etc.
<jen{SE}> and sometimes even more fun to watch the reactions of the Dominants when they do not know the partner *lol*
<Achilles{tr}> If I were to feel that abi (or anyone I were scening with) had truly become unresponsive such that I could read no reaction then I would assume a medical/mental/emotional emergency and call the scene. A Dom's red if you like.
<MasterGuny> thats a very scary thought jen{SE}
<Achilles{tr}> My toys are nice, the scene is fun, the marks are sexy. My partner's safety is paramount. If I cannot measure her reactions and judge how the scene is progressing then I am irresponsible and unsafe to proceed.
<jen{SE}> Most who play to an extreme level know each other very well MasterGuny so i am not including them in the above comment
<MasterGuny> to me that puts that Dom in a bad light to be caught like that
<LadyNichola> I hear you MasterGuny, but then... it's easy not to be "caught out"
<LadyNichola> just play well within your comfort level
<Achilles{tr}> It is a great part of the esperience, learning to judge where the scene is at, where it is going and whether she is ready to go there. It is not restricted to one scene either. How she reacts tot his scene or the last scenes we have shared will affect where I feel she is ready to go next time. it is a long progression of scenes. Not a single scene considered only within its own context.
<MasterGuny> Generally jen{SE} but as of late there has been a tendancy for those to play casually to be pushing that envelope on extreme play
<LadyNichola> Personally, I think it's a good measure of character as to how one reacts to adversity.
<jen{SE}> agrees with Achilles{tr} it is a learning experience
<MasterGuny> that is one of the things that recently caused a club to be closed
* motoki listens with great interset
<Achilles{tr}> LadyNichola and I and others have all experienced the 'pleasure' of being called on scenes by DM's who simply could not read Our partners as well as We could. In the light of their limitations to read, they are reacting properly. They are protecting the safety of those involved. It does make it difficult to raise the bar on scenes though.
<LadyNichola> Also agrees with Achilles that it's highly contextual
<LadyNichola> and REALLY agrees on that last point
<MasterGuny> should that bar be raised publically though Achilles{tr} or should it be left to be done in private?
<Achilles{tr}> Provate play is the only way in those cases.
<Achilles{tr}> -o +i
<Achilles{tr}> I agree MasterGuny. It is not suitable to play to such an extreme level in public. It is a limiation but one I understand and agree with. Well, there have been some DM's who cut it a little lower than I thought was appropriate but hey... I was excited. <grins>
<jen{SE}> but where has the extreme bar come to rest?
<`abi> on my ass I think
<jen{SE}> *lol*
<motoki> lol
<LadyNichola> LOL...
* candie[G] laughs
<MasterGuny> there are those that disagree with that they think that anything should go at a public party only those involved should be in control..I personally disagree with that
<LadyNichola> Not sure I know anyone would dispute the need for safety at a public event.
<LadyNichola> But (since the topic is "reading")
<MasterGuny> at this point it hasn't in the case of the closed venue they took a big step back
<jen{SE}> i think consideration should be given to the participants, if i were to see Achilles{tr} and abi play i would have no concerns about the level of the play, knowing they are both very experienced
<delyssa> Aren't there matters of public safety involved in public scenes that wouldn't be an issue for people in private (blood spray, for example).
<Achilles{tr}> It rests with the DM's jen{SE}. Different times We get different DM's. So far the best solution I have found is to ask more experienced DM's to watch U/us and they know they can trust Us. It is unrealistic to ask someone wearing a DM's badge who has never seen U/us scene to trust that some of what I do is safe. It doesn't look safe unless you know Me and abi. know what W/we can share.
<LadyNichola> A big part of the DM's reading... is reading the Dominant
<LadyNichola> and how in control She is.
<MasterGuny> but that is because you can read her through your experiances with her
<jen{SE}> agrees totally Achilles{tr} and LadyNichola
<LadyNichola> Perhaps more than that MasterG...
<MasterGuny> the statement that shakes me is jen{SE} with scocked Doms..that could and has lead to at least one tragic case
<Achilles{tr}> I have experienced times in scenes when I have backed off and then when discussing later found that I had misread... that she had been wanting and able to handle more. On the other hand, I do not believe I have ever stepped beyond the line. I guess that means I 'read' her conservatively but I still read her very well.
<motoki> what tragedy?
<delyssa> Erring on the side of caution is good though, right Achilles{tr}?
<MasterGuny> venue closed and charges were looking to be laid
<LadyNichola> In public, it's vital...
<Achilles{tr}> I believe it is delyssa. Besides, I will know next time to read that correctly and proceed if I feel it is suitable. I learn more and more each scene.
<jen{SE}> it is the reverse of the warnings on most tv shows,, please try this at home "first" *lol*
<LadyNichola> Achilles, I find that watching the neck is very helpful... have you found that too?
<cynful_cynthia> I think that is why Master starts of with a lighter touch then increases pain so he can get a better reading on my reaction, however I think there is a strong advantage with us playing together for 11 years....I feel I can trust him most because he knows me so well
* `abi checks...yep .. still attached
<Achilles{tr}> I find the way she holds her head and the way she braces her shoulders are important LadyNichola. Perhaps that is what You are referring to? I don't want to specify what I see and how I read it though. Don't want her to start manipulating the signals on Me. <grins>
<LadyNichola> Tough to manipulate the carotid artery Achilles
<[ravna]FW> hello
<LadyNichola> *wink*
<`abi> my, my LadyNichola ... are you suggesting that I have bulging carotids?
<cynful_cynthia> *giggle*
<LadyNichola> but one can see if they are clenching their jaw, swallowing, breathing shallowly...
<LadyNichola> a lot of info around the neck...
<MasterGuny> I watch the movement of the body the noises being made and up to about 3/4 through I ask the sub how she is quite often then after that point I consentrate soley on body language
* jen{SE} makes note to carry elastics to give to long haired submissives
<MasterGuny> can't see that with long hair and face into a bench or cross LadyNichola
<LadyNichola> Nodding at MG, body language is a far more reliable source of information.
<Achilles{tr}> A common signal I notice on the play floor is the positioning of the arms. If the girl is facing a whipping post, for example, and spreads her arms wide right after a stroke (say, a whip) then slowly presses them forward again that is often an indication of how long it takes her to absorb that stroke. Strikign again before she has relaxed her arms causes a "doubling" of the stroke and can raise the intensity quickly. letting her relax betw
<Achilles{tr}> Often accompanied by fast, shallow breathing pattern.
<LadyNichola> I agree with you Achilles...
<LadyNichola> and on that "doubling" point - I think we both agree that it's a good idea to keep them off balance
<jen{SE}> my understanding is as well as for protocal reasons, that is one of the reasons behind counting canes strokes
<LadyNichola> so that they are communicating unconsciously
<LadyNichola> and not "directing"
<Achilles{tr}> Definitely LadyNichola. If you let them get into too much of a rhythm, they start to understand how they are being read and will manipulate the signals. Hold their arms wide longer or close tem more quickly. Never rely on only one signal.
<LadyNichola> bravo Achilles
<`abi> hmmm ... 'balance' ... I beleive you find that right beside 'fair' in the book of words Tops don't use
<motoki> lol
* motoki doesn't say anything
<_dove> lol
* Achilles{tr} grins
<jen{SE}> *lol* or count slower
* `abi winks at motoki
<LadyNichola> abi... you have such a western notion of balance
* motoki takes notes
<MasterGuny> subs don't set the pace of the count jen{SE} they just count
<LadyNichola> balance can (paradoxically) be asymmetric
<`abi> lolol...I'm crushed LadyNichola... I thought I was the perfect taoist ;)
<LadyNichola> equal opposition grasshopper
<motoki> how do subs read their Doms, though ... i'm asking especially from a relative "newbie" point of view
<motoki> i can imagine that my first scenes will be mostly "what do i do next" feelings? also awkwardness
<MasterGuny> read in what sense motoki?
<Achilles{tr}> Balance is more than physical, emotional or mental... it is a flow. It is keeping that flow going in the right direction but pushing it in and out of line to keep them from knowing how to control it for themselves. It is like putting a rock into a stream of water to split the stream and cause it to bend one way. The flow is broken but guided.
<LadyNichola> Fabulous question motoki... and much more interesting than all this technical nonsense
<motoki> as iin "what does He/She expect of me next"
<Achilles{tr}> Christ... I'm going to start writing fortune cookies.
<motoki> "am i responding as wished"
<MasterGuny> reactions to stimuli
<delyssa> that would need a very big fortune cookie, Achilles{tr}
<motoki> "am i ok?"
<MasterGuny> don't think about how just do it
<motoki> easier said than done
<LadyNichola> (Nah Achilles... go with it... If you can get past the metaphor... you've answered motoki's question)
<cynful_cynthia> I feel if I try to *guess* at what he wants I could be Topping from the bottom so I wait for him to tell me what he wants or moves me to where he wants
<motoki> i'm not asking for fortune telling!
<`abi> so, you are worried about responding in an appropriate way motoki?
<MasterGuny> if you are thinking all that you are actually interefere with what is trying to be done..your mind is not were it should be
<motoki> hmm - sort of, not quite
<delyssa> motoki... I know how you feel a bit, not wanting to say/do something when you're a complete newbie that will make you look utterly clueless, but I'm learning that I simply need to be honest in my reactions and that's all that's required.
* motoki nods to delyssa
<Achilles{tr}> motoki... in your first scene with someone I would say that neither of you really knows what is possible nor what is wanted aside from some very basic "want to scene" things. It is a learnign experience for you both and the more honest both can be the more effective it is and the better it will be.
<LadyNichola> Be the stream...
<[ravna]FW> watching the Dom ...... do as your told.... do the best you can...... he will either move on to the next of His wishes..... or give you a look fix what ever he thinks needs changed....... just go w the flow....... follow His leads
* _dove agrees with delyssa
<cynful_cynthia> nothing wrong with getting a swat, smack or whatever for correction
<Achilles{tr}> Easy to say.. can be tough to do if you are trying to analyze the crap out of it.
<LadyNichola> Hey, I have a whacky idea...
<motoki> the best remedy to this quandary, i think, is to think less and do more
<motoki> (easier said than done for me)
<LadyNichola> Why not ask the Domme?
* Achilles{tr} smiles
<[ravna]FW> lol analyze ....= making work out of somthing simple
<`abi> not necessarily motoki .. I think that alot of us have the need to analyze and understand
<LadyNichola> The point is abi... that Dominants spend a lot of energy in being unpredictable.
<Achilles{tr}> Think less.. enjoy more. Sense. Feel. React without thought. Be honest about how it makes you feel even if you are not sure of it in your mind... your body will give surprisingly accurate information if they are watching for it.
* delyssa still struggles with what her body is telling her vs. her mind.
<Achilles{tr}> These cookies will need a very small font.
<_dove> lol
<LadyNichola> (Jeez, going to have to put together a macro that says "agrees with Achilles")
<LadyNichola> The interesting thing is, motoki, is that the question you ask is both important and rarerly asked.
<Achilles{tr}> Besides... you can analyze and ponder and disucss it later. I WANT and NEED to understand abi's feelings afterwards and we talk a LOT about scenes. Communication does not end when you come off the cross.
<[ravna]FW> I think a point needs to be made here that if the Dom sub have a 'fit' all else will fall in to place
<motoki> so when you folks were first starting to venture into D/s life, you just felt and explored and didn't wonder about it?
<`abi> but, while we might learn to be expect a Top to be unpredictable ... it is less easy to be comfortable with being unpredictable ourselves (as bottoms)
* jen{SE} still wonders
<[ravna]FW> the talk never ends
<`abi> I am the furthest outside my comfort zone when I can no longer predict my responses
<delyssa> I can only speak for myself, motoki... but for me, I tend to analyze much of it to death, and that's been both a good thing and a bad thing in my case.
<motoki> me 2
<jen{SE}> but still explores and feels
<cynful_cynthia> I started at 17, I thought everyone was like myself and my first Master, I learned about vanilla much, much later in life
<LadyNichola> W/we're still here arent we?
<LadyNichola> And still learning
<MasterGuny> never stop learning
<Achilles{tr}> Oh hell no motoki. I had to deal with all SORTS of thoughts. Am I abusing women? Am I harming My partner? Is this Love or some sort of mysoginistic thrill? But I didn't do that thinking while I had someone on a cross and in My care. By the time i got there I had decided I wanted to be there and so did she. The pondering continues. The struggles are forever. The learning... man that just goes on and on.
<cynful_cynthia> yes so true 27 years here and still learning
* motoki nods
<motoki> that is what i imagine it will be like for me
<`abi> yes, turning around midscene and saying " could you just explain to me *why* you hit me so hard?" isn't adviseable
<motoki> rotfl
<candie[G]> lol
<LadyNichola> Have had that happen
* motoki jots that down in the "don't do this" column
<LadyNichola> go ahead and do it motoki...
<[ravna]FW> lol whyyy???
<motoki> i think that once i give myself permission to just go with it, and not feel all my inhibitions jump in the way..
<motoki> i'll be off to the proverbial races
<LadyNichola> just don't be surprised if the Dominant whacks you harder
<motoki> lol LadyNichola
<_dove> motoki> you're right, it takes time but that's what has to happen, imo
<Achilles{tr}> But reading your partner is more than physical reactions and breathing and all of that. It is also about talking later and finding out what they felt. Getting past the barriers of what they feel they should have felt (Oh Master I felt so completely OWNED when You hit Me on the back of My knees with that cane) to what is truly felt (That hurt way beyond My limits and it's unsafe and I Love You but I can't endure that) which can be hard to h
<LadyNichola> The toughest thing to read is not the physical stuff...
<LadyNichola> it's the psychic stuff
<Achilles{tr}> I've heard it called storming the Bastille.
* `abi smiles
<motoki> yes, i think i'd be in danger of wanting to say what i think they want to hear, rather than the truth if it seems that it will dampen things - i say that knowing full well that the truth is always better, just being honest
<ModBot> There are only about five minutes left in the formal part of tonight's discussion. Does anyone have any last-minute thoughts on the subject?
<cynful_cynthia> Good Point LadyNichola
<_dove> The truth can keep you safe motoki
* motoki nods
<LadyNichola> <- personally I find reading the psychic stuff the most interesting.
<delyssa> psychic vs. psychological, LadyNichola?
* motoki is most intrigued by the psychic stuff
<[ravna]FW> truth is the only way if you are owned........ anything else is hipocrasy
<LadyNichola> yes... I use the term advisedly
<Achilles{tr}> Exactly so motoki and that's what I mean. Reading your partner (the topic tonight) is more than just the scene or what they say to You up front. it is learning to read past their good intentions and wishes. It is getting to the truth so you can take them further.
<motoki> yes - it's not like anyone sits there wanting to deceive through "white lies" - it's a matter of ever deepening trust within the r/ship, is it not?
<`abi> and also learning to trust yourself motoki
<_dove> amen abi
<LadyNichola> jen... still didnt get into "touchless touch" eh?
* motoki is having trouble seeing the screen - her parrot keeps flying by
<jen{SE}> pardon LadyNichola?
<Achilles{tr}> Hopefully so. Helps in the readign and in so many other things. Do I decide where to take the progression of O/our relationship in a vacuum? No, I need to know where she wants to go. I may not give her a vote but i will take her wishes under advisement.
* `abi wonders how long it will take motoki's birds to learn to say "Red, Red!!!"
<motoki> lol
<LadyNichola> one more version of "reading"
<motoki> probably about as long as it took them to learn "got your pooper" (1 week)
<LadyNichola> feeling someone without actually touching them.
<`abi> lol
<LadyNichola> and vice versa
<jen{SE}> yes, i do understand the touchless touch, SomeOne wise showed me
<Achilles{tr}> Don't forget too all... it is not just Us reading the bottoms.. ther is two way communication. It goes both ways.
<ModBot> Well, that's it for the formal part of the discussion. The discussion log is now closed. It should be processed and uploaded to the www.ehbc.ca website soon. Please feel free to continue chatting informallly. Have a good night, everyone!
<ModBot> Thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion.
<`abi> I especially like reading the naughty bits ;)