More Thoughts On Projecting And Roleplay
[This is a follow up on the previous post.]
So, when I think about how I am in this, I end up with several questions. First, I wonder if roleplay is the right word for what I mean. Because, it and the ‘pretending to be someone else in particular’ roleplay are different enough that I’m not sure they should be sharing a word. But I don’t actually know a better word, and that’s what seems the closest. And anyway, when I do put on a specific person, it feels about the same way to me, so I’m not sure exactly where the line is.
The other thing this leads me to is, do any other people do what I do/experience things like I do? And, in order to properly think about that question, I first had to think of something else I do. My kind of roleplay is the only time I put on someone I’m not. But, it’s not the only time I put on someone. Quite frequently, I, in a rather similar way, put on aspects of myself.
When I stop at a bagel place for lunch, and the cashier asks me if I want anything else, I say ‘no thank you, I’m good’, and I’m using a very specific voice and demeanor, and I might be thinking about work or the news or people or anything, but outside I’m all the same. When store employees ask me if I’m finding everything fine, inside I’m having my anxiousness and wishing they would leave me alone, but I get that same voice and demeanor, and say that I’m good and I’m finding everything OK and thank you very much. And, that’s an aspect of me, interacting-with-helpful-people!me if I had to name her, and I’m putting her on, projecting her out, not like dropping into it but like sculpting a clay castle on my hand and then turning it around so no one can see it, because they see the other side of my hand. Actions and reactions. And I’ve got me’s that draw more on real!me (good-student!me is like this), and me’s that I like being (responsible-good-citizen!me is a reason I happen to really like airports, including security), and sometimes the boundaries kind of blur, but I know the feeling, and it’s not quite like my roleplay feeling, but I think it has things in common.
And then I’ve got mind-states, which are all real!me and not aspects, but share the bit where I feel and function differently – when I’m immersed in work, the steady-focus-with-intensity that service topping something is for me, etc. And then the lines blur again, really badly, with that and mood, and that and situation, and that and other things, and I’m not sure.
And there’s another inbetween. The one time I did ageplay, it almost felt like a cross between the two things. I projected (though the projection felt a bit different, and none of the other metaphors feel like they quite apply), and I wasn’t an aspect of me, but it felt more like I drew the character out of myself than quite like I made her. (Now, as I talked about here, the group dynamic of ageplay is rather different, so that might have also influenced things. But either way, the feeling was what it was).
And, this brings me back to the question of, how does all this work for other people. And of course, given that I’m me and not them, I can’t actually know. But I can try to think of things, at least.
Some people, people in certain kinds of power exchange relationships, don’t have my problem to begin with, because real!them can and does do the things they want to do. Some people are into the physical side of the interaction, and therefore what real!them does is fine with them. And then after this I’m not sure.
I think, from what I’ve heard, that for some people it is like my aspects-of-me – they have aspects of them that can react like what they’re looking for. And I think, from what I’ve heard, that some people share my ageplay experience of pulling something out of yourself. And I think some people have other things, also sharing some similarities with all of this, but not quite any of the things I have. (In a story I read once, a couple who spends their weekends in a D/s dynamic have an in-dynamic moment where he tells her he’s disappointed in her. And I read this and I thought, this is interesting, because he’s not being the-rest-of-the-time!him, who would ask her what happened and they’d discuss it and figure things out. But it’s not like it is for me in roleplay either, because here and now, he means it, and it’s true, and it’s true for both of them. And in the story a lot of attention is paid to how their ‘on’ and ‘off’ times feel different for them, on both sides. And it seems that the best way I could describe that is this is drawing up or immersing yourself in different parts/states/beings, all of which are you).
And this is kind of a rambly blog post, given that I’m not sure if I can quite put my finger on what I’m talking about. Does anyone have any ideas?