The psychology of reversed roles

Sometimes, you get the most interesting conversations while testing sex beds.

Wolfgang: do you see how it is more sexy [when] you are on this place?
He had just clicked SWAP in the menu. Earlier, my avatar was tied up and his avatar was the dominant one. After the swap, his avatar was tied up and mine was the dominant one.

He thought it was a lot sexier when I dominated him. And that was surprising, coming from a man who has always been dominant. But we have reversed roles for a few months now. Taking a more submissive role was one of the "gifts" that he gave me recently and that he promised to give to me only, forever. It was an easy promise, like my promise that I would never take another dom ever. Being submissive is not his nature at all. And not mine either.

For him, the reversed roles were a way to balance our relationship. I'm still not a domme, but I "take care" of him in our roles. I'm the oldest in my RL family, so it came naturally to me. At the same time, he says that he feels at peace and mellowed out in a less dominant role. It also makes him less likely to "hunt" other partners, although he pursues Opal and my other public alts.

We've been meeting almost everyday for a few hours before I go to work. (Yes, I've been getting up at an ungodly hour to meet him.) And the last few weeks, we've been like rabbits. Only a few months ago, I thought that menopause had caught up with my libido. I was wrong.

So, yesterday, when he noticed the big difference in how he felt, just because he swapped our avatars, I realized that it probably had to do with our reversed roles.

Because FF is not my natural sexual orientation, he understood that I was projecting into his female avatar often. Many heterosexual men have created female avatars because female avatars get sex partners more easily. Then they project into their male partner's avatar. So when his avatar takes on the more passive role, I project into her, not on my own avatar, because I can relate with her passivity better.

I thought he was projecting into my avatar, when I take the more assertive role. But, many times in the past two months or so, he would get a feeling that he never expected and it would amaze him. And I'd say, "Yes! That's exactly how I felt when you ..." and I'd recall a situation we had a long time ago when I was in his shoes.

He is finally understanding why I did certain things, why I made sacrifices for him, why I felt insecure. He was understanding those things from a first-person perspective.

I too have had my own aha! moments when I began to understand how he felt when he dominated me.

Today, we realized that the reversal of roles intensifies our sexual relationship as well, because we essentially experience it "in stereo".

When I first started with stereoscopy, I marveled at how intense the images looked in 3D. Someone in the stereoscopy community responded that it's because our brain gets twice the information — once from the image in the left eye and again from the image in the right eye. Two slightly different 2D images processed by the brain as a single image in 3D.

So, the role reversal is something like that. We naturally relate to the role we are familiar with — the dominant role for him and the passive role for me. But in the process of acting out the reversed roles, we also get the perspective from the opposite side — the passive role for him and the dominant role for me. So each of us actually get the full perspective because we get the view from both roles. Deeply, intimately. In the first person. Like stereoscopy. That's why these experiences have been intense.

Anyway, that's my theory, and he thinks it makes sense. :)

Our relationship continues to evolve. We've become more emotionally and psychologically intimate. We're not the same people that we were the first time. The situation is different, because we are each other's only serious relationship nowadays. And, because of the reversal of roles, we relate differently with each other. Because of the reversal of roles, we understand each other better. From experience, not just from logic.

Tying a posthumous knot

My fifth partnership in all of SL. My third with Wolfgang. Another tie that binds me to him. Another knot.

We decided to do it today, which is exactly five years after I surrendered to him in our first RP. The surrender that felt like a wedding.

We also decided to do it all without logging the pair into SL. It was all done on the website. Our relationship still has landmines, and this pair is one of those landmines. Too risky. Too emotional. And he is fighting to keep us together by avoiding those landmines.

We were logged into our current pair, which was the first pair we partnered. And we went to the "grave site" of the pair we partnered today to do the partnership there. It felt like a wake, like a ceremony for the dead. It was bittersweet. I cried.

Then I thought to bring Alt #6 to "visit" us again. I saw his strong affection for her, his sadness for losing her, how he missed her. At moments like that, he reminds me of my father.

But he was soothed with her presence. Well, more aroused than soothed. Just by her presence, he said. Like Pavlov's dogs, I said. He laughed.

Needless to say, I was late for work. :)

"Filling the Cauldron"

It was March 20, 2011. Almost six years ago.

Ember Farina had given me a tour of the 2011 Fantasy Faire sims which were being built for the event. I was one of the merchants participating. One of the sims took my breath away. Ember told me the builder's name -- Elicio Ember.

That same day, I went to Cerridwen's Cauldron and bought half the store. (Elicio later confirmed that I bought "more than half" the store.) Then, after my shopping spree, I IM'd him, starting with:

[2011-03-20 22:40:52]  Opal Lei: Hello, Elicio.  Will you marry me?  LOL

I was in such awe of his work. And I still am. His products have a certain magical feel about them that you don't see often. It's dark, it's deep, it's complex, it haunts your soul, it speaks to your subconscious, it terrifies your dreams, it charms your intuition, it brings undefined archetypes to the fore.

Today, I heard about his father and his family's predicament from a Fantasy Faire group notice, and I learned more in the Filling the Cauldron site.

So, off I went happily for another shopping spree. :)

Yes, I bought half the store again. :)

Nope, I didn't ask him to marry me this time. :)

(Also see Where's Dim Sum? #42 and #45.)