My favourite kind of BDSM switching

Picture by the amazing Stuart F Taylor

At my first ever munch about – oooh, a million years ago now – the first question people asked was: “are you a top or a bottom?” As we mingled with a bunch of exceptionally friendly people, dressed in anything from jeans and t-shirt to ropework and pants, everyone wanted to know:

“Top or bottom?”

“Domme or sub?”

What are you?

For want of a better word, we both said ‘switch.’ Having done our research (read: furiously masturbated to a number of blog posts and forum debates) we figured that our ‘whatever we fancy at the time’ attitude probably best fit into that category. Neither of us was a particularly dominant person, nor were either of us comfortable being cast in the role of submissive, nervous that it would prevent us from having the same kind of playful back-and-forth that was a staple of our usual nights out.

Kinda silly, really, but we were young, and hadn’t a sodding clue what we were doing.

What does ‘switch’ mean?

Still, to anyone who is new to BDSM, and reading this blog with a combination of excitement and trepidation as they prepare to plunge into some kinky stuff, you’ll be delighted to know that I understand about as much about kink now as I did ten years ago. i.e. fuck all. I’m still bumbling my way through life, and I feel incredibly out of my depth when having conversations with kinky friends about the clubs they go to, and the scenes they play.

The thing that gets me most nervous – now as then – is the definition of the term ‘switch.’ When I said ‘oh yeah, I’m switch’ it wouldn’t always put people off pressing the question. A few people asked me ‘yeah, but what are you tonight?’ as if a sexual mood is something you choose to put on like a winter or summer coat: once you’re out in it, you can’t swap round. I think a few of them expected me to declare that ‘tonight, I’m going to be… dominant!’ before brandishing a whip and putting on my scary Domme mask ready for some action.

I don’t know if things are the same these days – it’s been a fair while since I went to a munch, or participated in anything that can be described as the ‘kink scene.’ I get the impression, from other people, that there’s much more understanding of fluidity and exploration now than there was in that small club where I first donned a corset and mumbled my way through questions about paddles and canes. And I’m incredibly glad of that. While I’m sure there are some people who like to play roles – to decide that for a whole evening they’ll indulge their dominant or submissive side exclusively – for less decisive, wing-and-a-prayer people like me, switch means something a little different.

My favourite kind of BDSM switching

If I’ve been bad then so have you. If you’re beating me with a leather strap, and I’m curled into a tight ball, holding my muscles tense to feel the burn of pain, then sometimes I want a shot at revenge. Not a careful, considered kind of revenge as, two nights later, I remind you of your cruelty and tie your ankles tight to the bedposts, pushing thick buttplugs into you while I recite what you’ve done wrong. No: sometimes I want instant revenge. Back-and-forth.

While you’re looming over me, your hands curved tight around my throat, I want to fight back: to struggle and spit in your face. I want to wriggle out of your grip, flip you over and pin you down. I want to bite your neck and tell you how bad you are, mere seconds after I’ve told you I’m sorry.

Switching for me isn’t always a considered decision based on mood: it’s a flash, a change, and one tiny movement in the scales that tips them in my direction. Like when I’ve got your wrists clamped to the bedposts in quick-release canvas cuffs, and I tease you with a smug smirk until your cock’s hard and leaking. And I slap you playfully, put nipple clamps on you, and stroke your dick until your eyes are narrowed with angry desire. Until you’re straining to pull your hands away so you can grab me and fuck me back into that submissive mood.

Switching, for me, is that moment when I release the cuffs – that instant flash and the transfer of power. Like a match – a game – knowing that the person who has the power won’t have it for long until they’re throwing it back to you. The glint in your eyes when you take it away from me, and the gutwrenching arousal when you pass it straight back.

I like to switch purely because I don’t have to decide. I don’t always want to choose a role and stay in it: I want to compete for it.

Like a fight that we both win.

11 Comments

  • My husband and I answered “switch” when we first entered the community, and we still identify with it for the very reason you stated.

  • Codex says:

    the word ‘fight’ really chimes with me. Not because it feels like we fight during but because it should feel like Iv been through a playful fight by the end. Usually at some point it reaches a point where we both want to cum so much power play is out the window and we are grinding against each other with such feral enthusiasm and naked aggression it’s a wonder neither of us has been seriously hurt.

    I still claim I win every round though

  • Exquisite Catastrophe says:

    While the fighty thing is something that really strikes a chord, I don’t think that in itself is enough for me to identify as switch. I’m generally confused and panicky when I’m cast in a dominant role, so I don’t think it’d be a fair representation of my tastes.

    That said, I am a fucking badass submissive. I don’t get much joy from instantly following orders and doing exactly what I’m told. If someone wants to dominate me, they have to be willing to fight for that privilege. I will talk back, struggle and fight until I decide my guy has earned control over me. Winning the fight is never a prospect, but I wouldn’t have as much fun if we didn’t do that dance. The sexy thing for me is knowing that someone is so desperate to dominate me that they’re willing to battle through whatever aggression and insolence I throw their way. In terms of fantasy archetypes, I’m definitely more defeated warrior princess than pitiful worm. This can cause consternation with people who hear “submissive” and expect a more well behaved participant. Luckily my current partner appreciates the nuanced nature of the term and is prepared to indulge my rebellious nature :-)

  • Serocco says:

    I normally prefer her to be on top, but switching is… like a duel for supremacy. ;)

  • Jo says:

    Me, to non-kinky friends: “I used to work as a pro-switch.”
    Said friends: Blank stare.
    Me: “I worked as a dominatrix, but also subbed, sometimes in the same session.”
    Friends: “Subbed?”
    Me: “Erm – I was submissive.”
    Friends: “Oh. So you, like, beat people with whips and chains and stuff?”
    Me, before entering into what’s bound to be a very long conversation that I never get sick of and actually *really* love / find a deep, satisfying joy in: Sigh.
    (Sometimes I wish the phrase “whips and chains” would be stricken from public use. Why doesn’t anyone ever say “floggers and anal plugs” or “violet wands and cock cages”?)

    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha – I fear if we replaced ‘whips and chains’ with ‘violet wands and cock cages’ there’d be a hell of a lot more questions to answer. Even a few relatively kinky friends I have are not 100% clear on what a violet wand is. I actually haven’t seen them on sale much recently – has there been some sort of ban?

      • Jo says:

        I live in South Korea, where *pornography* is banned! Definitely no violet wands on sale here. There are sex toy shops, but a lot of the stuff they sell looks like it was imported via black market from 1984 Soviet Russia.

  • Claire says:

    That post resonates :-)

    Mistress and I are both switches – with her usually dominant or verging on it. Although for her its is very much mood driven, and my submissiveness feeds off her need to control.

    Both of us feeling dominant at the same time has led to some “interesting” playtime, to say the least. And its not often we both feel submissive, but when we do the sex is almost as intense in a sensual way.

    I cant say Im a particularly well behaved sub either :-)

  • Funloving Girl says:

    We like to switch too although when we go out to BDSM clubs I’m always more comfortable as subbie. Both roles can be hugely fun and satisfying and IMO some people take the rules all a bit too seriously… We also always allow the sub to come when we play, even if s/he has to work for the privilege or cope with denials first. Both horny, impatient people…!

  • Excellent again GOTN . . . and again mirrors my own thoughts, and experiences, . . . do you have ESP as well? LOL!!!
    Needless to say, I enjoy being “both” as well, although I’m different to Funloving Girl in that when we go out to clubs to play, I prefer being the domme. I just feel more comfortable in that role. But behind closed doors it depends on my mood, and my company, at the time!
    Xxx – K

  • Symka says:

    Ah, switching, fun topic. It means something different to everyone. For myself, I’ve certainly had some fun switch fights, but in general I don’t tend to switch with the same partner; the D/s dynamic is very much dependent on who I’m with and our particular connection. Some people bring out my domiance while with others, submission is more natural. It’s a very rare person who can elicit both.

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