Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The way of the gun

“An interrogation, please” , She asked over her cup of mint tea one rainy Seattle afternoon.
“Interrogation scene? Complete with uniforms, stale cigarette smoke and harsh lights in your eyes?”, I respond.
“Will you be the good cop or the bad cop?
“Depends I guess.”
“will there be a gun involved as well?”
“on my person or part of the interrogation?”
“Both, please. Pretty, pretty please”

Ah the taboo allure of the gun. For some this is an insanely erotic turn on, an instant panty wetting source of fantasy. To me they are just a tool. Growing up on a farm and as a hunter I’ve used and handled guns most of my life. Even when I was working to get my sharp shooter certifications and handling one all the time they were still just tools. I fail to see the erotic charge they bring some folks.

However as an actor, I respect the value of a good prop.

Awhile back there was an SM related gun death in the news, the ethics of gun play has been debated in far better forums than this. If you want to debate that, go elsewhere. I would put to you it is not the gun itself that gives the thrill, but rather the idea of the gun. It is not that she thinks I’m going to actually pull the trigger and end her life (if and) when I lean in to menace her during her interrogation scene. Just as she knows in the back of her mind that I’m not really a German officer who has thinks she is a spy for the resistance. No, that’s just a fantasy she wants to play out. When it is all said and done, she puts her clothes on and goes home, safe and sound… save some new,colorful marks and a good story to tell.

So why not use a prop gun?

It is fairly common practice to use dulled blades in a scene, I have reduced a girl to terrified tears while brandishing a prop knife, it’s cutting edge no sharper than a butter knife. So why not a fake gun? A quick google search will net you dozens of sites that sell replicas that look, sound and even smell just like their more lethal counterparts, however permanently incapable of actually firing a shot. Again, I ask it is not the actual gun that sells the fantasy, but rather the idea of it. The cultural taboo, the element of fear that the top has to sell and the bottom has to buy into for the entire scene to work.

As I was processing this posting out in my brain I posed the question to Tambo, her response? “Sweetie, you are an actor. When you are on, you could brandish a wooden spoon and tell them it is a lightsaber and they would believe you” High praise, but I doubt there will be any Darth Vader masks in my future. However the actor in me can’t help but wonder how it would feel to heft the weight of such a prop, an item so steeped in danger and taboo. Could I believably sell my intent to do her harm as I shoved the barrel of a doppelganger colt 45 into her mouth and snarl my demands at her, menace dripping off my lips? Or would the years of gun safety education kick in and override my behavior, causing me to treat this prop with the same cautious respect I do a live weapon?

Of course there is the really big question, at what point to you inform her said gun was in fact a very well made fake? Or at all?

The fascinating thing about BDSM for us is that there is no right answer and what is the “proper” thing to do will shift and change with each circumstance. What is a hard limit, a line never to be crossed for one is common place for others. Acts to some seem so extreme and dangerous that they must never even be discussed are blasé to others. There is no right answer, rather the start of a conversation.