Omakase, my general idea of a session

The word omakase comes from makaseru and embodies the idea of entrusting your well-being to another.

There are sushi bars where the chef chooses your food. I have experienced this many times. You have a casual conversation after which the sushi master makes his selection for you. Depending on how well he knows you and how experienced you are, his selection will always be different. In between he will always make sure how you are feeling, whether it should be slower or faster, fuller/ lighter, hotter/mild, hot or cold. He will also invariably notice when your hunger is stilled and you have reached that wonderful state where you are happy and have eaten your fill, so that you are full of energy without having a full belly. It’s the concept of omakase, which means „I leave it up to you.“ For me, this concept has a lot of parallels with my inner view of bondage .

Unlike the western concept of consent, which presupposes that you know what is going to happen in a session (e.g. you can only consent to something where you know what it is), trust presupposes exactly the opposite. Trust is based on the unknown. We don’t trust a sushi chef to bring us what we have beforehand agreed to. We trust him to choose for us – without our knowledge – something specific that he thinks will be best for us. His knowledge and his gift to find out what is appropriate for us in this situation are what guide him. It fills him with joy when it works particularly well and begins to resonate with me.

Trust, unlike consent, is also relational. It is built over time. It has degree and granularity. It evolves. It is fragile and requires nurturing and patience. All things the western mind has trouble with. Relationships of trust are never black and white.

On the other hand, consent is binary. You either have it or you don’t. It can be given or withdrawn at any time for any reason or no reason at all with a word or a clear gesture. It is quick, clear, simple and direct. It removes the nebulous human element (or at least claims to) and replaces it with logical, legalistic simplicity. Ropes don’t lie, a very experienced woman once told me.

The western need for consent and our (constant) discussion about it is born out of a more fundamental issue: we don’t trust each other very much.

One of the most beautiful things about bondage is that – from the first moment on – the session starts with trust. I feel that we are both here now. My partner has entrusted me with his well-being. It feels mutually sacred and fragile. I know that the relationship between my bunny and myself will be a different one after the session has ended – hopefully for the better. During and for some time after the session, all reactions and expressions (pain/sadness/crying/ moaning/suffering/enjoying) are allowed and desired by both. Nothing should be held back any longer.

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