Sunday, October 04, 2009

My life as a bottom, Part 2: Cast of characters

As I said in Part 1 of this post, the basic structure of my defeat at the hands of a villain is always more or less the same, and the specifics--when they are worth talking about at all--are generally pretty different. So who are the men who have broken the Bat? I've already said plenty about the one I call "the Monk," so let's meet a few of those who have arrived in his wake, over the last 4 or 5 years, in roughly ascending order of intensity ... (Some of these aliases are the ones we really use, and others are modified, just to throw you off. My aim here is not to betray any confidences, only to shed light on a larger phenomenon from my own perspective.)

a. Catch and Release: This is a handy grab-bag of villains who have managed to ensnare Batman over the years, had their way with me, and then disappeared. Here we find several rogue cops, an amoral ex-superhero, and a semi-literate wrestling fanatic whose mistyped/incoherent instructions, utter disregard for the laws of physics, and vast vocabulary of obscure (to me, at least) wrestling holds are notorious amongst my crimefighting colleagues and me. These tend to be situations that are not ideal for one reason or another, which is often clear from the get-go, but eventually I end up giving in to them anyway, usually when a better match is simply not on the horizon for a long time. While these scenarios don't hold much longterm interest for me (or for the other player, needless to say), there is still something grimly erotic about Batman sinking so low that he is bested by someone he clearly feels superior to.

b. Turnabout is fair play: In a couple of cases, I have started out dominating opponents, only to have them turn the tables on me in a fairly decisive way. Also in this category, I suppose, would be two villains who made pretty fast work of me, only to cave in when I managed to escape their clutches, each soon turning into a total submissive himself. This table-turning scenario enables me to enjoy the best of both worlds: the power of being in charge, and the thrill of losing my grip. There's also the fact that men who have subbed (to me, or anyone else, for that matter) often have unique insight into how to play both roles, and they tend to know just how to twist the knife when they seek revenge. On the other hand, having an adversary who enjoys bottoming himself always holds out the hope that Batman will rise again.

c. Officer Daddy: Technically a member of category b, this rogue cop (what can I say? Good Guy Gone Bad is a motif that turns me on) currently enjoys a fascinating relationship with me. We sparred for months, I won, and then--in a move that surprised even me--I found myself turning myself over to him, relinquishing the reins. I'm not sure he particularly wanted this exchange of power, but he's certainly risen to the opportunity. A turning point, after I started fighting back again, came when he pointed out that he hadn't overpowered me (the usual scenario) but that I was the one who had surrendered. As a result, our storyline is the most consensual one of all of these--all the more so because he enjoys scenes in which I'm the "active" one (to use that genteel distinction for who bones whom) and he's the "passive" one. He prefers his "bois" to be manly and strong, and that makes for an appealing, fairly unique, setup to me. The perpetual problem I run into, though, is the moment in a scene with him when I want to just completely take charge, which is no longer my allowed role. There's a powerful degree of tenderness in our interactions; he's the best Daddy I know (although, as is often the case, I am at least 5 or 6 years older than him). This one is about balance, I think--within myself, and in my dealings with him.

d. Mr. S: Relatively new to me, this handsome guy has a terrific feel for how to satisfy my hunger for humiliation. That's a side of myself I'm not entirely comfortable with, but one that (for that very reason?) excites me a great deal. Consequently, I allow myself to try things with him that wouldn't normally appeal to me, precisely because they don't appeal. I absolutely love having my limits pushed and boundaries tested by a roleplayer I trust--although at the moment I think we are negotiating what I am willing to do and what I'm not, when it comes to following orders for offline activity. (Wearing chastity devices to work for a week as a lesson in obedience = mildly hot. Wearing them on a private weekend with the Hub = not so much.) Another interesting aspect of this case is the fact that Mr. S, who I imagine can be as much a bottom as a top depending on whom he's with, tells me he's learning more about how to assume the dom role through his encounters with me. I am more than happy to be his guinea pig at the moment.

e. Machette: That's my own, misspelled pet name for a longtime villain who wears no costume and adopts no rigid persona. We've been playing for at least 3 years now, in a storyline that has taken many zigs and zags. Early on, he was a more traditional comic-book-style nemesis, but he felt disappointed that I never seemed to allow myself (in character) to "enjoy" our scenes (which, I've always maintained, would be totally out of character for a Batman in the clutches of a foe). He wanted to connect with the "real" me, the one who has a regular name, holds a regular job, and does not wear a mask, and it took at least a year before I chose to let down my guard that much around him. (Those kinds of revelations are not generally part of my online life as "Batfan60"--I figure the internet, or at least this part of it, is for fantasy, not reality, and it always seems a little pedestrian to drop the bat-persona; I get to play the "real" me all day long in public, after all.) This led to a fairly long period when the artifice of Batman/villain fell away and we interacted as two ordinary guys saying hello now and then (which normally bores the crap out of me with most online acquaintances, I must say). I even--voluntarily!--lifted the mask once or twice, an unheard-of development and erotic in its own way. With the recent emergence of the Recon superhero chatroom, we're (mostly) back to being adversaries again, though the only kind of scene he seems interested in doing with me at this stage is one in which other people are involved, either as his accomplices, my compatriots, or voyeuristic bystanders (innocent or otherwise). That's okay by me, because we're pretty much on the same wavelength in terms of scenarios for Batman's interactions in public. (For a while, he delighted in demonstrating his mastery over me by forcing me to recite the "I'm a little teapot" song to onlookers, which I admit I found an appealing form of ridicule.)

f. Lycra Lord: Hmmm, how do I neatly summarize a "coexistence" (as we began calling it early on, when we realized the uncanny number of things we had in common) that has become every bit as charged and complicated as the Monk saga? I have only myself to blame for not writing about each twist and turn here as they happened over the last two years, but I think that was the result of my preferring to simply live through the experience for a change instead of retelling and analyzing it here in real time. Very long story very short, what began as a typical (if particularly hot) hero/villain scenario soon took a number of turns for the surreal as we unmasked each other (verbally and then in more literal ways) and learned we work in more or less the same field, have various non-lycra-related interests in common, live a county away from each other, have longterm relationships that started around the same time, had parents who each had the same medical procedure on the same day, and--the capper--even share the same birthday. I used to think there was a novel in this, but the coincidences are so many and so far-fetched no one would buy them. As you can surely imagine, the coexistence far surpasses my usual level of roleplay interaction; safe to think of it as an actual friendship, complete with a work dimension for both of us--and yet there remains, at its core, an element of top/bottom dynamic, all the richer because I have to admit it's not just "Batman" he's affected but the honest-to-god real me underneath and aside from the role. LL is the person who introduced me to the term "edgeplay," and that concept is the best possible way to explain the dynamic between us (other than simply liking each other and liking to flirt with each other, if you want to get pedestrian about it again). Both in specific fantasy scenes and in the sheer outrageousness of our coexistence, I have gone to the outer limit--the edge--of where I can take online roleplay and remain a (very) happily married man. I have always had a very solid rule against actual physical contact with any of my make-believe friends, and yet there I was, a year and a half ago now, in my car, driving 45 minutes to meet him. There was a work-related (or, more accurately, work-enabled) reason to do so, and no lines were crossed--but still, I was wearing what he had "ordered" me to wear, and I had one of the most intense J/O sessions of my life with him when I got home that night. (I also felt obliged to tell the Hub about it a few days later, and his response confirmed that I have got a very special spouse indeed.) The vast majority of our conversations are PG-13 these days, but there is no getting around the erotic charge of spending time with someone who has such unprecedented access to (and, it's safe to say, understanding of/appreciation for) both my inner fantasies and my outer fa├žade.

So that's the lineup. As for what it all means, stay tuned: same bat-time, same bat-channel.