The interview: wavelength, sub mindset, fantasies, expectations and trust

Protocols, a starting point for building up the own language
May 6, 2019
Switching: being a Master and a slave
November 12, 2019
Reading time: 11 minutes

I got off the tram at the last stop, pulling the heavy suitcase where I had packed my leather outfit and quite a lot of toys: clamps, clothespins, floggers and a crop, pumps, ropes, the electro kit, fisting stuff… A bit of everything that would have caused panic in the tram if the suitcase zip would have failed to keep the pressure inside.

Many times when I had been pulling all the stuff across the city for a session, an inner voice would tell me “Wolf, you’re carrying this fucking weight for nothing“. Sometimes the suitcase had crossed the city to come back untouched as it left home: a no-show, a cancellation, different expectations, or even overwhelming fear.

If something I have ended accepting is that carrying all toys to a first date tends to have a negative counter-effect: most of the time it either intimidates or overwhelms. There is not yet trust built, and that image of the suitcase opening with all those torture instruments could make the sub react in a different way than expected, even if trying to explain in advance that I just wanted to have all the toys close in case they would be needed.

But here I was, going for a beer close to boy’s place, carrying all stuff instead of following my rule of making a pre-scene meeting at a pub or a coffee shop in the city centre. I like to call the pre-scene meeting ‘the interview’. And I find it necessary, as it helps not having to interrupt the atmosphere during a session for things that can be discussed and agreed before.

But I felt this time it was worth carrying the stuff and making an exception. I had a good vibe – from the chat I felt we were in the same wavelength, the first thing I want to get before playing with someone, and this made me decide to follow my instinct and make the effort.

The wavelength

The first chat had started in the dating app and moved into Whatsapp very quick, as the boy had managed to attract my attention. Instead of the ‘Looking for now?‘ or ‘I want to be fisted‘, it had started as a nice conversation about the journey through BDSM lifestyle, and particularly M/s.

Many people don’t write much through dating applications, and for this reason the first sentences tend to capture what most matters to someone, as usually people don’t engage in long conversations and want to know if they can get quickly what they want.

The kinky scene is very varied, and while there is a kinkster there for everyone as a perfect match, not everyone is in M/s play dynamics, and people might be looking for things that might be touching my red lines. For this reason, the thing I want to confirm during the chat even before the pre-scene meeting is the wavelength: the type of play/fetishism, and if any of the ‘requisites’ of one side touches the red lines of the other.

A few things that might fall in this category can be relationship needs at the long-term, discrete vs openness, monogamy vs polygamy, safer-sex preferences, consensual framework preference (SSC, RACK,…), drug use…

Sometimes I might have wanted to play with someone because was turning me very much, and I might have been flexible. I now believe that flexibility on red lines hasn’t worked well in too many occasions. In the beginning one side my accept the limits of the other side, but as the story grows and plays come one after the other, pressure will mostly appear at some stage.

Each time a fantasy is made, a more intense/hard/edgy one will start taking form in kinksters’ minds… and red lines might end up staying in the middle preventing that fantasy from happening. Eventually this will probably bring disappointment for the different expectations.

Of course views might change, and yesterday’s red line might be blurry or not even there anymore, but this must come from oneself and not from the pressure of someone else. 

And people can really change in a matter of one year, so I’ve learned to be mindful when revisiting people, as the flexibility and the red lines from two years ago might have differed significantly, and new suggestions or even pressure could arise during a scene.

The pre-chat and “the interview” process grants trust and knowledge of each person for a certain time, and shouldn’t be granted as valid for ever. For this, I advise of revisiting those conversations before playing again with someone after a long period of time.

Fantasies

The second aspect I want to know is if the guy already made fantasies that must be fulfilled.

Some people tend to put a plan in front of you like a fast-food menu, just that instead of a burger with extra cheese and diet coke, it’s more about some restraints but of leather type, with a gag and no extra pain, but maybe a bit, but not in the nipples. I grin when this happens as my first thought tends to be “Yes Sir, I will be the slave delivering your menu right in 5 minutes“.

At this stage I start the negotiation, and I try to assess how open is the sub to accept what I enjoy as well, taking back control of the situation. “I enjoy flogging and I can make it progressive to explore your limits, are you good to allow me to explore?“. Depending on how the response turns, I can see if the boy is open to explore, how much trust I have earned, or even if I’m in front of a power bottom looking for a Dom to serve the fantasies. 

Don’t get me wrong – I want to know about fantasies, as they will serve as the baseline to keep the excitement and arousal on the other side. I usually try to get to know the 3-5 things that the boy most wants to get, bringing in the suitcase the stuff to make them happen, but only including a pair of them in a session as the “main course”.

Building scenes requires energy and good focus, so a pair of big plays is usually enough to make a sub happy, and as Dom this allows me not to end up feeling drained and exhausted. And it’s good to keep some aces up the sleeve for another day.

Sub mindset

At this stage during the conversation, after talking about fantasies, I can have a pretty good idea of what type of sub I’m talking with, aspect that for me is very important after confirming the wavelength. Where is the sub right now in his journey?

The sub might be playing in any of the 8 sub mindsets, with some of them being the ones I personally enjoy as a Dom to play with, while the rest of them just don’t allow me to connect in the way I like.

For this reason, during the conversation, besides knowing more about fantasies, expectations and limits, I challenge a bit the person and see the reactions, to assess the mindset. How easy is giving the control when I command? What happens if I anticipate that he will not get something? How intimidated feels if I stare at the eyes for a long time? Is he cocky or bratty if I make a mistake?

Through phone chats you can get a bit of it, but when it’s really more effective is at the beer/coffee time, in person, in a relaxed way and not serious about Dom and sub roles, even laughing a bit. Laughing and being a bit naughty helps me release tension and connect as equals at this stage. But I also challenge fantasies, expectations and any plans that might be already there.

The reactions help me understand if the guy is a submissive boy accepting whatever I say, a pushy bottom accepting but still begging for some plays, a brat challenging my authority, or a power bottom firm on what he wants from the session.

Usually if I sense a cocky attitude, during the chat or interview I might tell that, as Master, it’s me to decide what they will get and when, and that first they must please me before getting any reward. If you are being effective, brats and pushy bottoms tend to accept (and say the last word usually), while gimps might make their undies wet. But power bottoms tend to be disappointed and even show aggressiveness, as they don’t accept negotiation.

Also the vocabulary can reveal a lot about what level of self-esteem the person has, and in which of the 2 plains that person tends to play. This is more difficult to sense from the pre-scene, and usually requires the first session (or even a few of them).

Also I might find that the guy is not a sub in the sense of M/s. It’s possible that you find people that just are kinksters getting the rush from the outfit and atmosphere, or being driven into a rope-space as an internal trip with no “bidirectional” energy, removing power-exchange dynamics. For these situations, I just adjust my expectations and build a scene that includes plays that are not about power-exchange dynamics, like ass play and fisting, which I also enjoy.

At this stage of the conversation my cock was pulsing and I could feel my undies wet. I really wanted to play with that boy, as I felt very connected and he revealed surprisingly with a very similar mindset to mine. I could even relate so much to his life experiences, so close to mine in many ways, including fantasies, favourite plays and things that would like to be tried.

He had laughed at me at a mistake and I used it to intimidate him, saying that he would pay for this and learn the difference between a reward and a punishment. His sudden excitement at the word punishment allowed me to start sensing that I was in front of a masochist. Whoof!

I was feeling the energy kicking me back when putting him verbally in a sub place there in that vanilla context, sitting on a table while drinking coffee. I realised how effective could turn verbal play with him, and I sensed the brat side there to be tamed and tortured, which he couldn’t totally hide due to the excitement. Still he was controlling himself and being a sub not to fail the test, to conquest that play that could happen.

And I was enjoying it so much. Some subs forget that the Dom needs to get the energy from the power-exchange, and that we are not there just to fulfil their fantasies and wishes, but also ours.

At this stage the foundations were set, so I asked the important question before moving to the last 2 aspects to discuss. “So, do you feel like playing with me today? Do you want me to use and abuse you within the limits?

He did want, and so did I. So I had to discuss the last topics, related to the session that was going to happen. First, to know what were the expectations, and hear them from his mouth.

Expectations

Even best sessions can leave a bad taste at the end if there were unreal and non-discussed expectations. You can plan the best plays, but if the other person had something in the head that at the end is not fulfilled, thoughts the day after will include a ‘but’. “I loved spanking/flogging/ropes/fisting, but I didn’t get…

I tend to be very direct. “So, what do you expect from today? What do you want to happen?

Sometimes the conversation about fantasies starts, and I must redirect it into what fantasies are expected to happen in this first session. It’s then when I get the real wishes for the day, which I then confirm if they will happen or not, and if they happen, I make sure it’s clear that they will happen in the way I want, where and when I decide. I must make sure the sub is not lost in fantasies but that is in reality, that touches ground… and under my boot, and my rules.

Joseph W. Bean discusses in his book Flogging what is the job one for a top: seducing consent. This is an ongoing task, based on seduction. As I see it, this not just includes attraction, the type of play, the technique and intensity, but also the expectations. If the sub believes that I’m going to deliver a certain type of play in a certain way and then I don’t meet those expectations, the play will go miserably down.

This is why I find at this stage very important to listen to the subtleties in words, and if unsure, I directly ask to the sub. I tend to use those direct-type questions with an interrogatory attitude to start introducing the M/s dynamics in this last part of the interview, expecting to increase arousal while getting key information that can help me adapt aspects of the session to meet some expectations and desires, but also as said to put the sub into the reality of the dusty ground under my boot. Those subtleties in the words are important to me, in order to start thinking of the scene.

As an example, imagine the guy loves restraints but indeed starts telling you with a grin and sparkling eyes that he tries to release himself from them.

Many bondage lovers are looking for total surrender and sometimes have a bratty attitude to push the gas, but they tend to be collaborative and don’t challenge the effectiveness of the restraints. However, some enjoy keeping dominance while having being tied, like those film heroes captured by the enemy, trying to get rid of the restraints.

Those guys tend to look for experienced riggers, that know well the technique to keep the restraints and ropes well in place preventing them from escaping, and at the same time the technique is good enough to allow the struggling they will put to test the effectiveness without causing harm. They play in a specific subspace for which I must be ready, and even they might be touching the consensual non-consent, which involves special safe-word mechanisms and play dynamics.

If this is the case, I must make sure I have the proper focus, tools and willingness to go for such play, which will be much more demanding, so it’s important to be clear and confirm to the sub if I’m ready to go for this type of play or not, giving him the option to withdraw if this is a requirement for a fulfilling session for him.

Trust

After the coffees were paid, we started walking to his place, 5 minutes away. He offered to carry the suitcase. “Thank you boy, that’s very considerate of you. But it’s fine, next time you will

If there were going to be more plays, I would be adding those services once earned, but slowly. Anything related to serving a Master should be meaningful, as rewards coming from earned trust and part of the M/s relationship build process. They cannot be given free, if I want them to be valuable.

I use them as milestones, granting them in a progression, for example: boots can now be kissed, head can now lean on crotch, beers can be served, toys can be packed in suitcase after a play, suitcase can now be carried,… at some point the slave will serve as a table, dress Master, brush the boots,… And depending on the fantasies and the favourite plays, those activities can be conditioned to pleasure, having them done with things that bring arousal depending on the sub preference, like ropes on, or a gag, or tit clamps, a plug… whatever makes the sub happier, so service becomes part of the reward in the punishment/reward conditioning, and even included in the M/s protocol.

However, at this stage it’s me the one to earn trust from the sub, through discussing safety mechanisms and being mindful of play aftercare. The aftercare, besides being necessary at the end of any BDSM scene, it’s key in building trust as well. Kinksters need cuddles too, and subs base part of the happiness and sexual arousal to Master’s happiness, so ‘Sir is pleased, slave’ is a good way of showing gratitude to a good slave when he’s still landing.

But right now, 5 minutes far from the beginning of our first session, I focused on the last aspect to discuss: safety framework and safe-words.

It’s the first time and I don’t know your limits, so I will explore gradually. I need your help and feedback to make sure I’m not going to fast nor too slow. I don’t want to harm you, neither bore you, so the safety mechanism is important and you must use it, and I will respect and react accordingly”.

We adopted the following safety system in advance:

  • Not to break the atmosphere, we’ll try to avoid using words when possible, using a system that is also compatible with muzzles/gags
  • If the hands are free enough and can slap a surface, slow rhythmic slapping replaces ‘yellow’, meaning slow down/I’m starting to reach the limit there; quick rhythmic slapping means ‘red’, which is a stop of this play; if the quick slapping persists it means an immediate stop of the scene, a full stop
  • If the hands are not free or the slapping cannot be heard or seen, rhythmic loud sounds (‘Mmmmh!’) are used; usually the immediate stop of a scene, a full stop, comes through this method than slapping, as it’s easier to notice
  • A full play stop meaning something wrong is happening, emotional  or physical, can always be triggered by using the real names
  • In all circumstances, if there is a gag, the first thing to have removed is the gag and the sub must communicate without fear what is happening

After agreeing this framework, I also made sure that the boy had someone that knew who I was and my phone number (an open-minded friend or if possible a friend in the kinky scene). Subs are giving not just control but also putting their safety in other people’s hands. Doms face a risk as well, so I think both sides must have someone that knows the exact address, and contact details of the other person. Even if the gathering has happened in a bar or nightclub, it’s a good practice to make sure that any place we are going, it’s clearly passed to my “safety contact”.

I also feel more relieved if the person or persons that are aware of the encounter, have a set of keys. I don’t expect to get a heart attack, but just in case, let’s make sure no one experiences what Jessie Burlingame goes through in Stephen King’s “Gerald’s Game”. So I asked about it, and I got confirmed that there was someone aware (and probably expecting a call or message at some point), and keys to rescue us in case something would go wrong.

And we arrived to his flat, and the scene started from the moment that the door closed. It was one of those times when I haven’t regretted of packing all the stuff and carrying the suitcase across the city, a great session where I used much of the stuff that I had packed.

Now, 3 months since then, we continue playing and exploring each other as Sir and slave.

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