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Bruises & Badges

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Thought I’d take a little time out to talk about marks after a corporal scene or session (punishment or not).  I was recently (and not so recently) “anonymously” questioned on my mental status because I am able – and more importantly – willing – to wear stripes or bruises across my ass and thighs after a “spanking,” or what some insist on calling “beating.”  It’s entirely too subjective a series of terms to define “spanking,” “beating” and everything in between.  So I won’t.  You may call it what you like and I won’t try to stop you, but I will remind you that the implications of “beating,” don’t necessarily imply abuse.  I will also remind myself, that they occasionally do.

I happen to be of the breed that does not mind marks, at the very least… and who will wear them with pride, at best.  I may be slightly crazy but it’s not because I can live with myself after allowing someone  the privilege of leaving their imprint on my body.  The one who accused me of defiling myself as evidenced by some intense imagery he saw (of which he shouldn’t be looking at) is a person who walks around every single day symbolically marking himself and everyone around him with his words and actions.  I am no stranger to his destruction, yet he judges me over a form of self-expression that is intimately healing (to me).  He has not even the courage to identify himself, but make no mistake – I know who he is.   His marks are scars, a psychological kaleidoscope of ugly broken glass etched into the depths of my being… from childhood.  I couldn’t choose then.  But I can choose now.  That is empowering.

I hope it is empowering for others who choose to play heavy and allow themselves the equal privilege they afford their partner: to be marked, and to mark.  I understand that some players/clients/submissives/slaves are adverse to the very idea of bruises, welts and even scarlet-toned skin.  Some of us just don’t like to see the evidence left behind.  Psychologically there are many reasons to explain this, which need not be addressed here.  Physically (typically), marks tend to imply (and this would be correct) that physical pain might be present long after the session ends.  Some of us prefer momentary pain and others moments of pain that proceed the immediate experience.  I fall into the latter category and often venerate marks. 

What does this mean?  Simply: It validates my pain in a way I can’t succeed in doing for myself emotionally.  I need to feel pain, just as some need to inflict it.  If I do not experience pain in this way, it comes out in self-destructive ways that make me no better than what I have been accused of.  There is no pride, no sense, no true relief from using maladaptive “coping” mechanisms to make the pain stop.  What else can I do when I am rational?  I seek the pain that I am in limited control of.  I give over my consent with the faith that the one I give it to will treat it with respect and not entitlement, as it takes a great amount of trust to place your physical and psychological well-being in the hands of one wielding implements to strike you with that would scare the ever-living-crap out of “normal” people.  Yes, these implements often leave tangible impressions on vulnerable flesh, even conditioned or seasoned flesh.  I do not enjoy to have them because they are evidence of abuse.  Rather, they are evidence of what should be a mutually symbolic experience and under favorable conditions, I find them a comfort.  Even when they result from a punishment, and perhaps especially so, I find them a comfort.  And I can more easily identify with the pain should I need to draw upon the experience again when there is something tangible to remind me.

I have always found it the case that when marks exist, I am *always* suffering until they fade (even if I’m not).  I have experienced sessions that were very heavy that barely bruised me (you can ask Ms. Dana Kane& Ms. Mona Rogers) and I probably should have felt a great deal of lingering pain due to the impact itself.  It was no light scene and I could barely react until Mistress Mona’s dragon-tail whip seared into my flesh after every other implement had failed leaving them slightly dumbfounded.  I finally collapsed into sobs on the second stroke.  I would have done it on the first but the pain had stunned me to silence and I couldn’t let out the scream to signal to Mistress Mona that I had, indeed, felt it.

 I was left with no marks after what was at least an hour of continuous striking.  The pain did not linger.  Yet I have had sessions of only a fraction of that intensity and marked for one reason or another (various factors affect whether or not I will develop a welt or a bruise <or multiples> during play) and I felt the pain for as long as I saw the mark.  There is definitely a mental correlation that exists in my case and if you’ve read this far you can probably guess as to why.  So to me marks are meaningful and I prefer them,  most of the time.  I have spoken to others who are very much into spanking, but equally deterred by anything other than a slightly enduring handprint.  And that’s okay.  Neither of us are better or worse for our personal preferences, and some have preferences they are forced to ignore.

 Some can’t be marked for practical concerns, such as if they have partners who are unaware they are have having their needs met elsewhere (and if that’s the case, then partners who are also probably unaware that these needs exist, in general).  That’s for another blog entry.  As for me,  I’ve never had any practical concerns for marks because I was not involved in relationships where I had to hide things, and mostly all of my marks had always been confined to my bottom and the very top of the thighs and were/are easily concealed by clothing. 

The single time I had an issue with marks was when I was performing with Isabella Sinclaire at a fetish event and she had seduced me into allowing myself to be single-tailed on my back.  Although not  really my particular area of interest, that woman could probably seduce almost anyone into almost anything.  I was highly anxious as I was unsure of my tolerance and didn’t want to end up making a spectacle of the whole thing and embarrassing either one of us.  Long story short: It’s still not my thing, but it turned out to be an extremely erotic experience that is one of my fondest memories. 

Point here being: I was marked, and severely.  It was evident to any person with half a brain that I had been whipped.  Luckily for me, in high school (had there been such a category) I would have been voted for as: “least likely to ever in life engage in anything even remotely abnormal, especially BDSM.”  So while nobody believed I got scratched up by my “friend’s” crazy feline in my sleep, they couldn’t understand what had happened to me.  And of all the possible options in their minds – I am sure being whipped while half naked at a public fetish event by a monstrously beautiful dominatrix was not one of them.   No, I didn’t go flaunting this on purpose, well maybe I did a little.  I had to go to a water park the next day and could not get out of the event.  There was only so much hiding I could do, and eventually I got a secret thrill out of the silently curious expressions of the people in line behind me.  That was the only time I was really concerned about marks, until I was not concerned because it became exciting.  But still, I never made a habit of flaunting my bruises to anyone but me.  With Isabella, it was a performance.  It was not an emotionally charged experience (although I had many with her).  This was for public display and so I had no psychological connection to the marks other than feeling the burning sensation on my back every now and then and wondering how the hell I endured that. 

That became a sense of pride, and I don’t care if that sounds “warped” to anyone or if you think my thinking or judgment is flawed.  At least I’m not priding myself on things that make me an asshole like some people I know and am judged by (I won’t mention names despite the passive-aggressive urge, but luckily I don’t have to because they will know who they are). 

So yes, for me – Bruises are Badges.  And if you don’t like it, well… I’m pretty sure you know what you can do.

One Response to “Bruises & Badges”

  1. Jason says:

    Quite an interesting post. I would love to hear more about your back whipping. It has always been a subject of fascination for me, that likely started in Catholic school- all of depictions of Jesus’ scourging. As I got older, I became fascinated by seeing/imagining women being whipped by other women. The book “Rack, Rope, and Red Hot Pincers” has some intriguing descriptions of women being punished by the lash. Interesting stuff.
    I found the poem you posted in the other section to be quite good.

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