Let me start off by saying that tonight was great (objectively). I've had a lot of fun experiences and enjoyed myself tremendously. However, not everything is smooth and easy going, and I have a need to express that side of things as well.
Caveat: I'm currently really tired, and probably in a mild domdrop. It's also around 3am, and I need to get up early tomorrow to catch a flight. This blog post will not be well thought out nor properly revised. I'm sorry about that. I might just delete it at some later date, if I wake up tomorrow and find the post too weird.
Late tonight, while talking with Giant, I touched upon a topic that produced a startlingly strong response. The topic itself is irrelevant for this blog post, but his reaction fascinated me. He was adamant that he would NOT do this thing. He gave me some arguments as to why, but when pushed on them basically reverted to "it's a principle" (also known as "because I say so").
Not only did he feel really strongly, but he also quickly grew annoyed at me for asking about it. This was obviously some kind of sore spot, something important to him. But why? What kind of bad memory did I trigger? Was kind of horrors did he imagine that I can do to him? He obviously feared the loss (or potential loss) of control in this situation, yet kept insisting that it wasn't personal (in other words, yet another "because I said so"). He kept saying that he trusted me, that it had nothing to do with me, he still just wouldn't do this thing.
So of course I kept on questioning his conviction! It's what I do: I ask questions, try to make the other person think, to use reason and then to analyze those reasons. This is the same procedure with almost any topic. Whether he changes his mind of not, doesn't matter that much to me. But I feel a need to know what kind of sore spot I just touched. Why such a strong reaction. What's behind all of this?
In the end, I had to let it go. He'd grown too annoyed with me, and I didn't want to ruin things anymore than I already had. So I pulled him down, kissed him deeply, and tried to lighten the mood. It only partially worked, as he was tired and didn't really feel like talking any more at all (or doing anything else for that matter). So I put him to bed, then drove home.
And now I'm left with this really bad feeling in my stomach.
It's probably just a drop, but it's still very uncomfortable. I'm in a mental state right now where I question everything about myself. Everything I do to other people, and the ways I go about doing them:
If I was right to behave as I did with Giant tonight, this means my technique, my philosophy, when talking with my partners, is ok. However, I feel terrible, and he felt terrible, so obviously I did something that wasn't ok.
But if it wasn't ok, then that means that EVERY deep, prodding, questioning conversation I've had with anyone, ever, was wrong. That I shouldn't question as much, shouldn't push, shouldn't make them reason and present their arguments and force them to think things through.
This means I should accept the initial "no" for a permanent answer, and without question, even when that means limiting the experiences of my play partners. Limiting the trust, the potential of trust, that could be built.
I won't force anyone to do something they don't want to do, but I want to help them take informed choices. To help them see the actual options that exist, in stead of reacting out of fear or old habits. That's why I push, after all. I want to get to know them, and for them to get to know themselves, and for us to build trust, communication and connection. And now, I'm not so sure that's the right way to go about it. On the other hand, I know of no other way.
And so I'm left uncertain of myself. Feel like I've done something wrong, and yet convinced that what I did was right. It's confusing, and tiring. It really did fuck up the end of our evening. And for that I'm sorry. No matter the good intentions, I'm still sorry.