by Lady Green

From Issue 3.4 - May 1997

Thinking with the Big Head

A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend in the city where I used to live. I ran into another old friend -- a former lover and one of my first bottoms.

At the time I knew him, he was one of those 40-year-old perpetual adolescents, who was still in perpetual wonderment that he was actually allowed to buy beer and fuck women. This is a type of man for whom I have a weakness, and we had a wonderful time together for a while. We played a few times, stayed friends, then drifted apart when I moved to the Bay Area.

However, I'd heard from mutual friends that he wasn't doing well these days -- that what had formerly been a slightly over-the-top social drinking habit had evolved into a serious problem. I'd heard that he had pretty much dropped out of sight; that he was barely maintaining his business as a gardener -- that he'd been known to get halfway through mowing a lawn then wander away in mid-task and not show up again for a few weeks.

When I ran into him, it was immediately apparent that what I'd heard was true. He looked disheveled and unfocused, and our conversation had the slightly tilted quality that conversation takes on with small children, the mentally ill, and the senile.

He was, however, delighted to see me, and eager to re-establish old connections. He wanted to be spanked -- "I've been a bad boy, I need discipline." He wanted corsets and chastity belts. He wanted to be taken to female-top parties, and punished in front of an appreciative crowd.

All this came pouring out in a gush, so heartfelt that I knew that what I was hearing was a plea for control from an individual who knew that his center was not holding, that he needed help keeping things together.

I murmured something noncommittal, told him how nice it was to see him again, and hugged him good-bye. Yet an hour or two later, I was startled to find myself fantasizing about him. Over the next few days, those fantasies became so strong that I was finding it difficult to focus on the world around me. It was like the days before I came out into S/M, when my fantasy life was so much more compelling than my real life that people would have to speak to me over and over again to get my attention.

I daydreamed of taking him on as a full-time child/slave, maintaining discipline, punishing him for infractions, getting him off the sauce. I obsessed, wildly turned on, desperately arguing with myself that it could work. Years of therapy and reams of writing on the topic of appropriate boundaries between fantasy and reality, flew out the window. I was as hormone-plagued as a schoolgirl, and as codependent as a Hollywood heroine.

I'll tell you -- it brought me face-to-face with the deepest roots of my S/M energy, the shadow self that controls and manipulates through simultaneous nurturing and cruelty -- Hell's Mother. And it taught me how fragile the boundary is between the carefully negotiated, well-bounded scenes I do these days and the wild hungry impossible needs that brought me here.

I got over it, I think. I doubt that my friend will ever get it together enough to call me, but if he does, I think I'll be able to tell him that he needs more help than I can give him, and that S/M is not an appropriate place to attempt to cure real-world problems, that trying to do so would have the potential to do serious harm to him and me both. I think.

But while the big head, the one on my neck, is saying those things, the little one between my legs is going to be whining a different story -- "Well, how do you know it wouldn't work? C'mon, you know you want to; you could be so good for him!" That little head is loud, and energetic, and very, very convincing, and without it, I'd have very little fun at all.

Someday maybe I'll live long enough to get the two of them singing in chorus. Do you think so?

Lady Green is the author of "The Sexually Dominant Woman: A Workbook for Nervous Beginners" and "The Compleat Spanker," and (as Catherine A. Liszt) the co-author of "The Bottoming Book," "The Topping Book," and the newly published "The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities." For information send a SASE to Greenery Press at 3739 Balboa Ave. #195, San Francisco, CA 94121, or visit the Grenery Press website.

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Last updated: 31 May 1997