Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Dear Mistress Matisse,
In your blog, you only talk about how nice your clients are and what a good time you have with them. Isn't this a bit unrealistic? I'm a dancer, and I get a lot of asshole customers at my job. Surely you have clients you dislike, or who do things that annoy you?

Not for more than one session, I don't. I've danced myself, so I do know what that's like, and I agree, there's a pretty high asshole ratio there. But it's a whole different situation for me. I can pick and choose who I'm going to see, and I'm good at sussing out who I'd like and enjoy playing with over the phone.

However, there is one type of client who, in the past, has annoyed me – and in one case, seriously pissed me off. It took me longer to learn how to spot them early on. That's because what they do is more subtle - they aren't dangerous or blatantly disrespectful, they don't disobey the rules, or try to get me to do things I don't wish to do. But I hate dealing with them - so I won't. They are the guys I call Mr. Defensive. I've learned not to waste my time with clients like this. It's not that I've met that many of them - just a few, really. But having even one in the regular roster is too many.

Mr. Defensive's problem is that he's deeply conflicted about what he's doing. Getting off on being submissive doesn't fit his image of himself, and he's unable to let go of that and just say, "What the fuck – I don't know why, but it makes my dick hard, so I'm just going to do it and enjoy it. It's got nothing to do with who I am in the rest of my life. It's just for fun." Mr. Defensive hates himself for his desires. He brings all that self-hatred into the dungeon with him, projects his negative attitudes about what we're doing onto me, and then spends the entire session responding to them. He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself at all, he doesn't believe that I like what I do, and after the session is over I can feel him trying to psychologically distance himself from what he's just done as fast as he can. Usually he'll do that by making disparaging remarks about what freaky weirdoes my other clients must be. The subtext clearly being "I'm not one of those people". It's the kind of energy that makes me close the door behind someone and say to myself, "Thank you God that's over."

I'm always amazed when Mr. Defensives call me back for another session, because it's so clear to me that it's just not working. But they usually do. The urge is all the stronger for them trying to forbid it to themselves.

Ultimate Mr. Defensive moment: there was a client I'd been seeing for a year or so. He was so extremely defensive that it was impossible to have any kind of connection with him. (It was only barely possible to have a conversation with him.) But he kept calling, and I kept doggedly trying to create a scene with him that I, at least, could feel good about. I'm rather stubborn that way – too much so, really.

So I'd been working extra hard, trying to find the button to push in this guy that would let him have the experience he seemed to saying he wanted. I tried every toy, every type of sensation, every role play I could think of – and that's a lot. It never worked, and every time he left I swore I wouldn't book with him again. But a few weeks would go by, and he'd call, and I'd mentally vacillate for a minute and give in. He's not a bad guy – maybe he just needs more time to trust me before he can really let go. I'll give him another chance. Soft-hearted? Maybe – but I also just hate to lose, and admitting I couldn't really get this man to embrace the experience I felt he wanted felt like losing.

I was about three-fourths of the way through a session with the Mr. Defensive in question. I had him tied down to my bondage table on his back, and I was preparing to do some electrical play with him. He looked up at me and said, "Can I ask you a question?" This was a common ploy of this guy – he would try to try to regain some sense of control by asking me questions like, "Why do you think you like doing this?" It was his way of sabotaging the mood and the flow of the scene, and an attempt to put me on the defensive by making me explain myself. Usually I would say, "Let's talk about it later," and just go on with what I was doing.

But that day he said, "So, why do you think you hate men so much?"

I stood there and stared at him for a moment, and then I turned around and walked out of the room. I was so angry that for a moment, I could hardly see. Why do you hate men so much? This, when I've been knocking myself out trying to make something happen for this asshole, this is what he gives back to me? I pour my positive energy into these sessions with him, try to give him an experience that's good for him even though he's resisting it all the way, and he has the nerve to tell me I hate men? How dare he? How dare he! Fuck, I should show him what a scene with someone who hates men would look like. It was the only time in my career when I was really tempted, just for a second, to hurt someone in a non-consensual way.

I sat on the couch in my reception room and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Don't let him get to you, I told myself. Don't let him dump his shit on you. Get your boundaries up, girl. What he says, what he thinks – it's got nothing to do with you, and you know it. It's all about the bullshit in his head. Breathe, and let it go.

Through the curtains into the playroom, I could hear him breathing and stirring restlessly on the table. "Mistress?" he called out.
"Don't talk."
Now, the question was: untie him and kick him out immediately – or finish the session? My first impulse was to throw him out, pronto. Then I thought, But then he wins. He's trying to get control by making me lose my cool. He's trying to make himself feel powerful by emotionally manipulating me. I'm not going to let him make me react like that.

A few more deep breaths, and I walked back into the dungeon. "The Mistress has decided she doesn't like you talking," I announced. "So we'll just fix that right now." I took a large gag and put it into his mouth, and then I went on with the rest of the session I'd planned. I got him out the door without any conversation afterwards. And the next time he called, I refused to book with him.

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