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SPEAKING OF FOLLOWING ORDERS

"Yes, Sir!" It's many a gay guy's hottest fantasy - following the orders of another man. Maybe someone stronger, bigger, older, meaner, certainly someone more "dominant." Even men who aren't really into kink often want to at least try an obedience scene. The opposite - finding a submissive bottom to boss around - is popular fantasy-fare, too.
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But, as Mr. Top puts it, "I really think more men want to be told what to do than to do the telling. When it comes to sex, lots of people just want to give up control for a while." Since we're talking about adult consensual sex play, the submission of one man to another is pretty much a matter of "let's pretend"; when a top goes beyond what a bottom is prepared to do, it all comes to an end, or at least takes a detour. When a bottom says, "I'll do anything you tell me to," he usually means, "I'll do whatever you tell me to do as long as I'm willing to do it."

Does that mean that obedience scenes are a meaningless sham? Not at all. Obedience scenes provide very real dick-hardening thrills. Everybody is, in some way or other, ambivalent about their sexual desires, and queer men, dealing with the crap society has laid on us, are more so. A well-performed obedience scene gives the bottom an opportunity to surrender control - in a safe and supportive context - and do whatever the hell he really wants to do. Though it may seem to be about submission, it's also about permission. And since dominance/submission play calls up very real aspects of the players' personalities, the line between role-playing and reality often becomes a bit blurred.

The same script may not work for everyone. Telling a bottom to strip down, bend over, and show off his hole may thrillingly test one guy's limits of shamelessness, while another may do it without giving it a second thought. One top may love bottom guys who obey eagerly and without question, while another may crave bottoms who express ambivalence, only obeying his commands after an at-least-plausible show of reluctance.

There are also "resistance scenes," in which a bottom pretends to be a disobedient brat, behaviour that calls for discipline or a show of toppish strength. While this is catnip for some dominants, others find it tiresomely annoying. Good bottoms may try out saying "No," but they’ll continue in their wayward ways only after they can see from their "master's" responses that it's okay with Mr. Sir. These scenes are, after all, supposed to be about giving a top what he wants.

The best tops know, from instinct and experience, how to lead a bottom onward, step by step, command by firm, detailed command, taking him to his limits and maybe just a step beyond. Says Mr. Top, "The dominant sets up the situation and directs it to its climax. He just has to make sure the other guy is willing and able to play his part."

Good bottoms do more than just go through the motions; they take a leap of faith. It can be a real challenge to trust a top - especially one you've just met - to turn you into a naked, emotionally vulnerable animal under his control.

The best obedience play is a lust-filled, intricate test of wills. Giving and following orders can be a sudden improvisation in an otherwise vanilla fuck, like the cliched porn-video command "Suck that cock!" Or it can be the meat of a prenegotiated, hours-long scene. But any way you play it, the following orders game can be a pathway to pleasure. Yes, Sir, it can.

Simon Sheppard

Meet the man behind this column. Click here for an interview with Simon and news about his newest collection of gay erotic stories

Simon is the co-editor of Rough Stuff: Tales of Gay Men, Sex, and Power (Alyson Books) available from Amazon at £7.99. You can e-mail him here at OutUK or direct.

 

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