Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Knightfall 2: Who Rules the (K)night?

One night, as I gazed up into a webcam at a man somewhere who could see me but not be seen by me, the Monk began referring to my (bat)Cave as a Cage. And a new scenario began: I was his virtual prisoner, dutifully reporting to him every night, sometimes masked, sometimes not (what did it matter anymore?), eagerly anticipating another encounter.

During some of these sessions, or more often after they were officially over for the evening, we shared our own perspectives on the Batman myth. Here was a man who took his fantasy role as Villain as seriously as I take mine as Hero. I'd boast (as heroes do) that he'd never win in the end, that I would never be defeated, and he'd reply (as villains do) that I was dead wrong. He pointed out once that heroes can always be undone because they must adhere to a moral code, and all a good villain--who is bound by no such thing--has to do is to subvert that code and force his opponent into an impossible situation. (Sort of like what I recently heard described as Karl Rove's strategy as architect of Bush's campaigns: don't just attack an opponent's weaknesses, but find a way to exploit and attack his strengths, too.)

I told The Monk my theory that Batman is really a Bottom at heart, because why else would he keep getting himself into one deathtrap after another? I've long suspected that the Caped Crusader's true motive is not to avenge the death of his parents, but to punish himself for allowing it to happen in the first place (the typical "logic" of a child who encounters destructive forces he doesn't understand and can't control).

I've never been comfortable with that age-old dichotomy of Top/Bottom (or Butch/Femme, etc) in the first place; I firmly believe that people are way more complicated than such simple oppositions would suggest. Sure, you can prefer being the fuck-er or the fuck-ee, but I refuse to see those as inflexible, life-defining categories. I do tend to feel Bottom-y 90% of the time, but I have my Top days now and then, and to be honest, neither role totally suits what I really do in bed anyway.

But maybe my claims of versatility are just an evasion, since, as a close friend of mine pointed out two decades ago, there's a real taboo against declaring yourself a Bottom, as if you're surrendering an essential part of your masculinity. (And yes, gay men tend to buy into myths of masculine identity every bit as much as straight men do.)

In any case, The Monk insists he's a born Top, and I'll be damned if he isn't right. More than anyone else I know, he seems to embody the essence of the role, creating inescapable traps for me, learning what turns me on and then using it to lure me into further traps, and so on.

And I love it, which explains why, night after night, I've been reporting to my unseen opponent and allowing him to peel away at my defenses (and my various identities) with delicious skill. Sometimes I'd feel like succumbing, sometimes I'd feel like fighting back. In my role as Batman, I'm basically obliged to resist, of course, and that inner tension was driving me nuts. One night I resisted one of his demands, and to "punish" me he forbade me from cumming until he gave me his permission.

Now, it's human nature that the minute you're told you can't do something, it's the only thing you want to do. The next 24 hours were sheer hell, as I walked around Gotham with the biggest permanent boner I've had since I was a horny teenager nearly 30 years ago. I've read about these kinds of games before, but I'd never played them, and I'm here to tell you that it was an amazingly intense experience. Hardly pleasant, but eye-opening to say the least. (I hoped the eyes of my coworkers weren't directed to the bulge in my pants, and my job seemed next to impossible to contentrate on.) At one point I was hurting so much I could barely walk. My lives as Batman and Bruce Wayne were intersecting with painful passion, and that thought turned me on even more. (Hmm, that metaphor of "turning on" gives me a good way to explain this: it's like I had a lamp that was turned on even when I wanted/needed it off, and its light kept shining in my eyes, blinding me.)

And, as chance would have it, when our next rendezvous neared and I was about to be granted freedom at last, I ran into a pretty major snag. Two, to be precise: another virtual villain I'd been wanting to combat was suddenly available for the first time in weeks (that is, he IM'd me to say he'd be online that night), and the Hub told me he was coming home from work early, and suggested we plan on a little duo Batplay.

Holy cliffhangers!

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