CONTENT WARNING: this post describes an abusive, violent relationship, which may be traumatic for you to read. If domestic violence, consent violation, gaslighting or alcoholism are subjects that you cannot safely read about then please back out now. Always take care of yourselves and each other.
I don’t want to be a downer when others are sharing their delicious kinky fun stories so I’m not linking this post to KOTW, but it has been fermenting for some time and it’s been helpful to me to finally write it. As I have heard many in the community say, discussions of risk, bad experiences, and problems are just as important to our safety and happiness as those of good and enjoyable practice. It is in that spirit I share this with you.
I used to love the idea of being slapped in the face during a sexual encounter. It featured in many of my teenage wank-fantasies, to the point where sometimes I’d slap my own face while indulging.
Most of my sexual partners in my teens and early twenties were casual, short-term vanilla encounters, as I didn’t have the confidence or the vocabulary to find fellow kinksters to play with (there was also much less internet back then). So my face slapping fantasies remained just that – sticky-fingered daydreams which often made me feel guiltily perverted and doubting of my self-worth.
Fast-forward to my late 20s when I met the man who later became my husband (then later still, my ex-husband). He was a dominant sadist who knew what he liked – but lacked the insight or inclination to communicate honestly about it or adhere to boundaries. At first our association was a whirlwind of kinky fun in which I participated enthusiastically – although dangerously, having not discussed or established limits; setting a precedent for doing what I was told without demur. That became significant later on.
He liked to slap my face while he was fucking me, and while I was deeply immersed in newbie sub-frenzy, this was fine, hot even. Eventually though, his selfishness, his alcoholism, his control-freakery clashed with my wilful nature and undeveloped need for independence until the relationship between us had become toxic. We were living together as neither of us had financial resources to live alone, and because as far as he was concerned, finding a ‘happy ever after’ was simply a matter of declaring it to be so. When he had rough, sadistic sex with me without my consent one evening as ‘punishment’ for spending too much money (in fact, the temp agency had simply forgotten to process my wages that month), a small seed of hatred was planted in me. I didn’t have enough self-confidence or sense of self-integrity to walk out on him, in fact I stayed with him for another four years after that. Looking back, I eventually realised that what he had done was rape – no matter how angry he was at how broke we were, no matter how mollifying he found inflicting pain and suffering on me to be; he had told me that I had no choice but to accept that he was going to fuck me and hurt me, that I didn’t even have a say in the matter, and he had held me down when I cried and struggled to get away. We didn’t have a safeword (which is stupid; ALWAYS have a safeword!) but even if we did, I don’t think he would have respected it that night.
Anyway, after that, sex with him was tinged by an undercurrent of darkness that I couldn’t reconcile with my submissive desires. His fucking me felt more like an expression of contempt and degradation than a mutual exchange of kinky fun; although he also choked me, dragged me upstairs by the hair, beat me and humiliated me, the face slapping was the one thing that felt more like real abuse than consensual kink. Every time his hand connected with my cheek, I hated him a little more, felt a little more powerless and became more ashamed of my sexuality, which was making me crave dominance yet brought me only sadness and fear.
The emotional abuse he put me through when I declined his attentions (sulking, recriminations, the cold shoulder, tirades of criticism, heavy drinking) meant that it was always easier just to grit my teeth and acquiesce than to stand my ground. That often, his rough treatment of me caused me to orgasm further confused me and prevented me from understanding how unhealthy the relationship was.
I left him eventually.
Fast forward another ten years and with the help of friends, therapy and respectful partners, I have reclaimed my sexuality and strength. In studying the BDSM lifestyle, I have learned about negotiation, consent, red flags, risk management, and my own integrity. I’ve unpicked my submissiveness from my emotional insecurity and nurtured one while mostly keeping the other at bay.
And so it was that with a recent partner, when he raised the possibility of face slapping, I said a firm “No. I don’t like that”, because even the thought of it these days still brings back memories and feelings of resentment, degradation and fear. He, being one of the Good Guys, understood and respected this limit, and we had a very enjoyable session with lots of other fun kinky fuckery. I was quietly proud that I have learned how to assert my boundaries and glad that I had evidently become able to choose partners rather than abusers.
So that’s why face slapping – once a titillating delight to me – has now become a hard limit. It reminds me of how unhappy I once was and how much better my life is now.
Thank you for reading.