The Kinky Mormon Pause, pt. 2

“What about the bottom?” DoNotGoGently asked me shortly after she read my post about The Mormon Pause. I’ll wait while you click the link and catch up on the reading…

OK, back? As you can see, she’s absolutely right. I didn’t mention a thing about the bottom’s point of view. Sure, it’s all well and good for the top to sit there and wait for the next thing to happen, to “allow” the space to open and present the right action, but what about the Bottom? Are they supposed to just sit there and do nothing.

Well, yes. And no.

In my opinion, the first part is a yes. They are supposed to “just sit there.” Or lay there, or writhe there, or dance there or hop there or dangle there…you know what I mean. However, they are far from doing “nothing.” In fact, I would argue that their task is far harder than the Top’s.

I view the “Kinky Mormon Pause” for Bottom’s as being Present. No, I’m not trying to go all “slashcappy” here, I capitalized that P because it does need differentiation. I have a friend who earned a Master’s of Fine Arts with a final dissertation on the ability to be “Present”, so it’s a pretty big deal. It involves being able to let go of anticipation. It means being able to open up to whatever comes next, to give up any semblance of control and simply accept whatever happens.

Yep, this is the Girl that was Terrified of Needle Play

This does not look like a sack of meat. Not reacting to a stimulus or emotion is another form of control, after all. Being present means letting yourself feel and express your reaction to whatever happens next, and then letting it go, ready for the next thing. In some that is a peaceful glazed look. In others that is a scream and a frenetic thrashing against the ropes. In some it’s a wave of orgasm, in others it’s a desperate, hopeless torrent of tears.

In every case, when it comes from that Present place, I find it amazingly beautiful. I am in awe of the bottoms I know who can go there, whether I’m playing with them or not.

It’s hard not to let the mind go wild. In fact, it’s so hard that it’s a common technique used by tops. “Just stand there and run the rope through your fingers speculatively,” I teach, “let the bottom’s mind do the work. Odds are, whatever they’re imagining is probably much worse than what you’re actually planning.*” It’s a time-honored technique in interrogation. “Go and get me three hamsters, a spool of copper wire, and a jar of peanut butter!” barks the interrogator to the subordinate, and then just looks at the prisoner with a semi-pitying smile, letting the implications sink in. After a moment: “And don’t forget the Coleman stove!”

If the prisoner/bottom is able to be “Present”, this technique won’t work. And that’s ok; it provides an entirely different canvas of the body and mind for the Top to work with, arguably a higher level of connection and sensation.

How do you cultivate this? Good question. The obvious answer is “zen meditation” but then people start getting all “cultural appropriation”-this and “woo-woo” that. Plus, having been a zen practitioner for over two decades, I can’t pretend I’m not biased towards it. I suspect that letting yourself fall into music might be a technique, or listening to a painting. Or dancing about architecture. Whatever the technique, I know it takes practice, because even after the aforementioned two decades, I only occasionally manage it.

But oh, how I long for it. That ineffable moment. And on someone else? It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

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