For years, face slapping was always rather hot to me. Not so much the pain itself, but more the social connotations of it and the helplessness aspect. Doing this to someone is essentially saying, “I’m doing something to you that’s very insulting, and you can’t do a thing about it!” The appeal is similar to that of face-spitting, though the latter is far more powerful to me as a tool of humiliation.
But slowly, face slapping had been becoming more of a negative experience with me. I noticed this just starting to happen 4 or 5 years ago in my last relationship. It was a very slow fade. I remember having a really hot face slapping scene with my last partner that went really well. Yet over time, something started to change and I’m not sure why. So I mentioned this to T a while back, and we agreed to try to reclaim face slapping. We started a scene that was nothing but face slapping. I ended up safewording after a couple minutes. It put me in a reeeeeeally bad headspace. I got pissed. I wasn’t pissed at her since I knew her intentions were good, so there was no real direction for my rage. It took me a few minutes to calm down. I couldn’t even stay still and ended up pacing around until I got my head back together.
So I’ve added slapping to my limits list for casual play partners. T is the only one who has that option. It’s just not something I’m willing to do for anyone but her at this point.
After giving it a few months and thinking about it, I realized a couple things that may have been part of the problem. One is that there was no real recovery time between each slap. Maybe five seconds at most. For a lot of play involving pain, I need a bit more than that in order to process the pain; otherwise it becomes too much. (As an aside, more recovery time also adds to the casual confidence and the “toying with the sub” vibe.) The other part of it is that on many other occasions when face slapping has happened during a scene, it was very sudden and unexpected. It took me off guard and pulled me somewhat out of the scene mentally almost every time. So those two things may be part of the key to making this work. It’s something I’m willing to experiment with more (not right away as I’m recovering from an unrelated concussion) but I’m not super eager to. I would like to reclaim the eroticism of slapping, but I also worry about a repeat of last time. If we want that to happen, we’ll just have to push past that concern and give it a go.