Rhonda Perky shares her quirk for intimate role-play
Ever been stuck on a train late at night, possibly tipsy, definitely bored, when you find yourself watching the other passengers and wondering who they are and how they live?
I have a thing for people watching. I like to imagine where people live, what they do for a living, what their relationships are like. Does he call her ‘princess’ in private and then put her down in front of his friends? Does she whisper sweet nothings down the phone to him while her lesbian lover sucks on her toes?
I have spent entire evenings making up secret lives for people, but sometimes I like to mix things up. I set myself little challenges, asking specific questions, like ‘Is he more into her than she is into him?’, or ‘What did he/she want to be when they grew up (and what are they now)?’ One of my favourites is, ‘Is he/she Dominant or Submissive?’ (Just to clarify, I don’t mean whether they are likely to wield the whiteboard marker at a meeting, but whether they prefer to tie their partner up, or be tied down.)
At first I thought it would be obvious. Watching someone’s body language, the way they hold themselves, the way they interact with their friends, but talking to people over the years, I’ve found more often than not, the roles people play in the boudoir are the reverse of those they play in life. This isn’t always true, of course, but when you consider the following couple: the meek and mild-mannered five-foot-nothing office wife and her six-foot-four-boardroom-eating husband, chances are when the lights go out (and the candles go on), she’s the one wearing PVC and holding a strap, while he’s chained to the bed sporting nipple clamps.
So to play this game, I need to look for the subtle clues, the way that Little Miss Pretty-in-Pink bites her lower lip, how Mr Suit-n-Tie’s eyes always wander to the girl (or boy) wearing the too-tight Lee jeans.
Once I think I’ve nailed it, the next step is to rate each person’s preference on a scale of Always- to Never-on-Top (yes, train trips from the city to Boganburbia really do take that long). Most people are willing to mix things up a bit, but this isn’t about a person’s flexibility or willingness to please, it’s stripping all of that back to identify their true inclination — their instinct, if you like. An individual might be happy to hold the whip for their partner’s sake but not really be that into it. I would categorise this type of person as 80% Submissive, 20% Dominant.
So what happens if someone is not necessarily Dominant or Submissive, but acts out a role to please their partner? A mismatch in the Dom/Sub Scale can very quickly turn Heat-of-New-Passion Sex into Married Sex. Both partners aim to find the middle ground that satisfies them both, but neither ends up particularly satisfied. This was my experience for years, partnered with a fellow Sub. Not that I realised this at the time. It took my subsequent partner, a definite Dom (I would say 90% +), for me to realise what I’d been missing out on by not having a good Dom/Sub balance.
I also came to realise how much of my enjoyment starts and ends with imagination. It wasn’t about what was taking place physically, but what was being triggered inside my mind. It was my partner’s Dominant attitude, rather than his actions, that blew me away.
Of course, being compatible in the boudoir doesn’t mean you’ll be compatible in life, too. That partnership ended, and so I went on to other lovers, but this time, aware of my needs in all spheres of the relationship.
At best, spotting a mismatch among your fellow passengers will lead to another round of ‘What is this life like behind the curtains?’ which will take you at least into Zone 2 of your Metro Card as you continue stopping all stations.
And in the meantime, you might want to slip them a card for ‘Collarme.com‘, which claims to be ‘the largest BDSM community on the Planet.’ Not that this will help if they’re into the role-play of Dom/Sub, without its extroverted expression, the physicality of BDSM. In this case they’d be better off playing the Dom/Sub Spotter game themselves. Not only will it flesh out those tedious train rides home, but they’ll be well-practiced at spotting a compatible inner imaginative spark in Mr or Ms Next.