Thursday, July 22, 2004

There's a phrase, "an open secret". That means a secret that isn't really secret. Something lots of people know about, but that isn't talked about – or at least, not much.

My open secret? Mistress Matisse is a switch. (What the hell is a switch?)

Lots of people know this about me – all of my friends, a fair number of my clients, and many, many random kinky strangers who've seen me playing with Max at various parties and leather conferences. But I have made only the briefest of references to this fact in my column, and I haven't talked about it here at all, and I have my reasons for that.

It's not that I'm worried about how other SM people will see me. Being a switch is not at all remarkable in the SM community. There are very, very few tops who have never bottomed at all, I've only met about four or five that I know of. (Max is one of them, interestingly enough.) I personally know a number of folks who, while perceived as badass tops by most people, say they would bottom in a second if they met the right person.

But outside the community, being a switch is a bit like being bisexual. The uninformed tend to assume that means your inclinations are split 50/50, and you like one role just as well as the other. Perhaps true for some - definitely not so for me. I don't think of myself as a submissive, and I'm definitely not a slave. Most of the pomp and ceremony of what people call D/s doesn't impress me as a top, and the idea of doing it as a bottom makes me laugh - I don't write my name in lowercase, and I'm not about to call anyone "Master". I have topped literally thousands of people. I can count the number of people I've bottomed to on two hands. That should tell you all you need to know about how I'm wired.

So what I really am is a top with a masochistic streak. My tastes are highly specific, and I'm quite selective about who I'll allow to provide the stimuli that I enjoy. Max happens to be very, very good at giving me what I like – probably because it's what he likes, too. Someone asked a few days ago how we handled being two-tops-in-love. Now you know...

While I'm not very good at the submissive thing, I do try to be polite while Max indulges our mutual kinky tastes. However, the physical stress of our play can strain even my deeply-rooted sense of courtesy, and so I don't always succeed. Fortunately, he seems to find it amusing when I scream curses at him while we play, even if it's in a crowded dungeon, like, say – Thunder in the Mountains. One might even suspect that he enjoys provoking me to such lengths, since he is such a sadistic son-of-a-bitch. (Kiss! Love you, darling!) But his pleasure is based on the fact that he knows I'm enjoying it, too – even if I have an unusual way of showing it.

The main reason I don't publish much writing about this side of my kinkysex life is this: I am generally able to regard with weary patience the emails and phone calls I get from strange people importuning me to be their Mistress. I don't mean the folks seeking professional appointments, I mean the will-you-have-a-relationship-with-me guys. True, I have occasional bursts of irritation. But most of the time, I have some compassion in my heart for such people, and I try not to treat them too roughly.
However, I find myself without any compassion for strangers who send me emails that say things like this:

And that's a relatively good-natured one.

I think the reason why electronic assaults by clueless poltroons who call themselves "Master" annoy me more than the grotesque entreaties of people like the Tampon Guy is this: I know how it should be done. I cannot say with any degree of sincerity that I know the perfect way to approach someone as a bottom. I don't ask strangers to send me used feminine hygiene products, you understand – but I'm guessing that my approach is probably a bit on the blunt side. (My initial offer to Max: "I'll bottom to you if you bottom to me." Once he picked his jaw up off the floor, he took me up on exactly half of that invitation.)

However, when it comes to entrancing and enticing potential submissives, well, my kung fu is the best. It should be, I've spent years polishing it. So when I'm on the receiving end of a really bungled pass, I am possessed by the outraged spirit of Cyrano De Bergerac. "Oh, what you could have said!" These weedy fly-bitten popinjays, these pribbling clumsy clay-brained miscreants – how dare they think they can share the same job title as me? How dare they presume to use the word dominant? Their sin's not accidental, but a trade.

See what I mean? I get all indignant just thinking about it. So you're on notice: if I receive, in the wake of this post, any stupid emails from witless wanna-bees asking to spank me, I will publish them here - including the email address – and I will, of course, rip the author to shreds for the entertainment of everyone. You've been warned.

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