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Two Switching Related Questions

swan, back in October 2008, looked back wistfully to recall earlier days in our relationship when I used to switch with her -- giving her the opportunity to Top me, and for me to experience, first hand, the joys and challenges of bottoming. This was her post: Switching-Memories. I recall feeling slightly saddened that her desires for this aspect of our former play were unrequited, but too, I had no energy or interest at that point for me to be anything but Master, and Top in SM play/interaction between us, whether as a form of sensual eroticism, or should the rare occasion arise where serious corporal discipline might ensue. I told her I was sorry for her longing, but did nothing to satisfy it either.

Fast forward to this past July. I'd lost my job.......... or more accurately, my career, a month earlier. Fortunately, I am in a position to turn my unemployment into an unexpected, defacto retirement, which while it is earlier than I had planned, is economically feasible with some frugality. The truth is I'm enjoying my permanent vacation and amazed that I get a weekly check, while not busting my butt as I did for 35 years in my professional career, and in many schlep jobs for a decade before that, while working my way through college and graduate school. Suddenly, amidst a wide variety of cascading emotions I was experiencing, I had this feeling, fleeting at first, and then ever more prominent, that I wanted to bottom again for the first time in about five or six years. I have questioned over and over again why this came to be. I didn't want to bottom exclusively...........far from that. I didn't even want to bottom most of the time. I did find myself feeling though an attraction, an itch, to be a bottom partner with my two, not a Top exclusively as I have for the past half dozen years.

The only hypothesis I have, and it is purely hypothetical (I have no evidence to validate it or invalidate it), is that perhaps, losing my job has made me more open to sharing the power exchange in a more egalitarian sense. In my work, I was a corporate CEO of a medium-sized nonprofit advocacy organization. I had 17 staff all of whom directly or indirectly reported to me. I called the shots along with my Board (my board that eventually became so tired of my calling the shots they chose to help me out the door:) I was heavily involved in leading statewide public policy campaigns that required strength, leadership, and huge competitiveness. I was Dominant. Perhaps now that my life does not require me to be nearly so "in control," maybe I am able to relax enough to be able to try both ends of the power exchange continuum.

Many of you have read here for some time, and you know that we share about ourselves and our innermost struggles and our joys about as openly as you'll find in our blog community. Many of you have provided me feedback and insight as well as support that has been invaluable over the past few weeks as we have struggled through my evolution to alcohol cessation due to the effects my gastric bypass surgery on my alcohol metabolism and tolerance (fifteen days abstinent today:) If you have any thoughts about what might have caused me to evolve so suddenly to switch once again, I'd appreciate your taking the time to share them.

There has been another issue that has come to the fore as we have implemented switching as an aspect of our play, and even more as our switching actually led to using sincere and even quite severe corporal punishment as an adjunct to support me in reaching behavior goals surrounding my drinking. When I used to switch, I was generally quite stoic about being spanked. Now admittedly in those days we were generally not using corporal punishment but rather sensual erotically focused SM play. There was a period of time in late 1999 when t spanked me disciplinarily as an adjunct to my achieving smoking cessation goals, and that was effective and helpful, but we had not directed corporal discipline toward me since then.

Even then, while I would find spankings anxiety provoking and motivational, as a form of aversive control and deterrence, I was relatively stoic.

Suddenly I am way sensitive to spanking pain. It seems that implements that we used back then, that I used to take quite readily in stride, now really make me become very reactive.

Swan and I were talking about this on IM yesterday. I was telling her about getting my quarterly cortisone shots in my arthritic shoulder and knee that morning from a physician assistant named Stephen:

swan: how are You? Did you get your shots? Tom: I'm fine: all X-rayed and shot up swan: good hopefully that will help soon Tom: Stephen gave me photo-copies of my shoulder and knee He said I should frame them:) Says they are two of the sorriest joints in medical history can't imagined I am managing to power walk on my knee LOL swan: that's because he is "Stephen" Tom: gave him my standard," I still don't know how to levitate." he said it must be very painful and I must be tough DUH!!!!!!!!!!!! He thinks I need him to tell me how much my knee hurts idiot!, If I have such awesome pain tolerance, how come I've become such a spanking pain weenie:) I'm about like an eight year old little boy getting his butt spanked swan: your KNEE is tough
have I put all my toughness into my knee and
shoulder ? none left over for my butt:) swan: that's exactly it left for the skinny rump Tom: plus too, I benefit at times from the pain in my butt no value to the pain in my knee & shoulder swan: this is true and no emotional content Tom: what we did two weeks ago yesterday was excruciating agony..........and helped me lots... none of that in my joints.......

These excerpts of yesterday morning's chat point to one hypothesis we have. I have continual and chronic pain in my right shoulder and my left knee. Both will be replaced: the shoulder in summer 2011, and the knee in summer 2012. I am realizing today, as my steroid shots are beginning to take hold and I am getting relief, how great a toll that constant pain takes on me. Could it be that one has a finite amount of pain tolerance, and that if one uses it up in one part of his anatomy, there is less to share in terms of tolerance for other pain experiences?

The other hypothesis we have is that my ass is significantly changed. Before my surgery, at 320 pounds, my waist was 54 inches. I had a large, wide, very well-padded, and in terms of a spanking target, quite spacious butt. Now at 160 pounds, with a 32 inch waist, I have this quite skinny, little, not very padded butt. I can't tell you how often I sit on a bench or chair that I was quite comfortable on before, feeling quite "well padded," and now I feel the bottom of my pelvis sitting directly on a very hard surface that is uncomfortable and, at times even, a bit painful.

The Domme who originally undertook to train me in the technical aspects of BDSM play many many years ago was a registered nurse. She had a slave who was a dwarf. She used to explain to me that she had to be very gentle with her in spanking, etc. in that she experienced pain from impact play way more intensely than did "normal" people. She explained that we all had the same number of pain receptors and that the larger our girth, the fewer there were per area, say per square inch or whatever measure. Thus, a large wide bottom experienced spanking less painfully that a smaller and less padded bottom. I at the time wondered if that was a valid explanation. I now find myself going back over those conversations wondering if I now have a more dense concentration of pain receptors in my ass, due to my new smaller size, and if that explains how "wimpy" I am, when I am spanked.

The only other thought I've had is simple aging. When I quit bottoming last I was about 55. Now I am 61. Perhaps old guys just get tactilely quite sensitive.

I will say that this "new sensitivity" I've developed certainly ratcheted up the impact of the disciplinary experience I had two weeks ago. Believe me that morning's whipping, what with my new much lower pain tolerance, communicated a message that was compelling beyond belief and that had a true deterrent effect.

Again, should any of you have any sort of experience with this or a similar phenomenon, or have some other hypotheses as to why I might be reacting this way, I'd very much appreciate hearing from you, as I/we always appreciate it when any of you provide us input or reactions.

All the best,


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined..


  1. Well - judging by the number of comments, I guess you've stumped all of us on this one! LOL.

    It's probably a little bit of everything you mentioned. I certainly don't have a clue, but I find it very intresting reading:)


  2. jojo it is good to hear from you, even with your having no more explanation for all this than we do.

    I have been trying to determine what, if anything, the thuderous silence this post has elicited indicates, after a period of my posts receiving so many comments.

    Perhaps it is just no one knows what the heck to say about this.

    Thank you for getting back. It is good to hear from you.

    All the best,


    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.


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