Barak Article

The Fallacy of Self-Doubt
circa 2006

Let’s be frank with each other for a moment. I would imagine that I am not the only one who occasionally feels this way, so I will stand up and bring it into attention. What am I talking about? Which way, you ask? Let me ‘splain. No, let me sum up. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die! ... No wait, that is not what I meant. What I do mean is that there are some times within the scene that I have felt a bit apprehensive, ok; I will admit it, downright nervous at playing with someone. Especially when I place value on my perception of experience or time frame comparisons.

While this is mainly an issue of self-confidence and assuredness, it still comes up occasionally. For example, it came up this past weekend at the play party we attended in Chicago. I was sitting and chatting with a leather “celebrity.” Now this particular celebrity did not refer to herself as a “celebrity,” nor did she attempt to create any power differentials between us. However, to my knowledge, she has been in the lifestyle over 30 years and is a well known authority, who has written many books, etc, etc. So we were talking, person to person, about her next class. She mentioned that she didn’t know many people at this event, and she needed a demo Top.

Well before I could stop myself, I blurted, “I would be glad to Top you.” I immediately looked around to see who had said that! Turns out, I was the one who flexed my legs, and jammed my foot so far down my throat that there was no way to get it out. She grinned and said, “are you sure? I am a very heavy bottom, and for this class, I want you to really beat the hell out of me.” It was my one chance to cut and run. I must have blanched a little when I realized what I had gotten myself into, and she was offering to let me off the hook. The Edge Playing Domly Dom in me just couldn’t let this opportunity pass by (as this was a huge edge for me, but don’t tell anyone) – that and the fact it wouldn’t be very Domly of me to shy away.

I swelled my chest slightly, hopefully I was the only one who noticed, and matter of factly informed her that I would be glad to be a Service Top for a moment with her. We began negotiating, and took a moment to determine what kind of scene we would be doing. It was fairly straight forward; she thought the best way to get her into space was with canes. Hmmm, I was surely grinning at that point. We spoke about any physical limitations; she shared hers, and then covered the basics, warm-up, scene, aftercare, etc. We set the time, then shook, kissed on it; wrapped it all up and then parted.

Now my Lovely Brat was there the whole time, and as we were walking away, I am sure she felt my whole body humming with nervous energy. She turned to me and said, “Are you ok?” I laughed and told the truth, “I am not sure, but I can tell you I am a little apprehensive about playing with her tomorrow.” (Ok, so apprehensive may not be the word, but trepidation doesn’t cover it and terrified doesn’t really suit a Domly Dom like me.) The thought of our impending scene would occasionally permeate my consciousness, and bring a moment of angst. Finally, I just informed myself to let it go, and ordered my mental itty bitty shitty committee to “shut the fuck up.”

The next day rolled around, and I got to the class early. I set up some of my more intense gear, and then waited. She came in about 10 min early, and we touched base. She had brought some of her toys, and checked out some of mine. My nervousness dropped away for a few moments, that is until the classroom started filling. The room monitor had to send out 3 times for more chairs, and we had started with 50! When she finally just said, this room can’t hold anymore, close the class, I looked back. It was standing room only, and there had to be well over 100 people crowded in the room, including many other “celebs.”

As you can imagine, my “concern” was running wild. She began to present the class and then went through the basics. Although I didn’t hear all of it, I did pay attention and thought I caught some hints from her. Finally it was time. She directly addressed me, introduced me to the class, and then we began. I really hadn’t planned at all, but that was fine, we walked through the first few moments. I purposely took time to breathe, slow myself down, and relax as I tied her to the cross. From there the energy of the scene increased, ebbed and flowed great! We played heavily for a while, then checked in with the crowd, and realized it was time to bring it to an end. I brought her off the cross, held her, and addressed the crowd. We got a huge round of applause, then she went back to loosely wrap up the class.

After class, we spent a little time decompressing and debriefing the scene. She was very complimentary, as was I, and we both agreed that it was a very good scene. We left it that hopefully we would get to play another time in the near future. I gathered my gear, brimming with Top Space energy, and went back to our room. Going back over the scene, I could see that the entire build up of anxiety and BS was just that – a little self doubt gone wild!

Later that eve, various people commented on how hot that scene was, or thought we had been playing together for years. When all was said and done, there was no “celebrity” status; the truth of it was she was just another leather player, like me. We were two people trying to play together to achieve a bond, a connection. It wasn’t about egos, or who was huge in the scene and where. It was about fun, heat, sexual/sensual energy, altered states, and endorphin rushes.

The point is that we are not all of the same experiential level within the scene. Some people are fast learners and some aren’t. Some people purport to have been in the scene for years and years, does that mean they are doing it “right?” No. It may mean that they have been doing the same thing over and over, right or not is for them to decide. Just as what is “right” for us, is our decision. There is no sense in getting wrapped up to almost passing out with the itty bitty shitty committee in your head. Regardless of who you are playing with, just go for who you are, and what you want. If that is not what they want, Fuck em! They can find someone else to play with. When you are honestly expressing yourself through your needs, wants and desires, the people you play with will feel that, and respond in kind. That will make whatever scene you do a hot and juicy one!


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