Hello all, I have a bit of an issue with different experience levels when it comes to sm play. I found someone 2-3 months ago (she's a sadist top; I'm a sadomasochistic switch) and we quickly developed a strong connection, both in bdsm interests and general vanilla outlook, personality and so on. We both share an interest in cutting & blood play, it's something I have tried before on a mild level, but she is a lot more experienced in it than I am. She has also admitted that it's pretty much a 'need' for her...kind of in the same way that pain is a need for a masochist, or control for a dom etc. Now...since I always had a fascination with this, part of me is feeling great that I finally found someone I really connect with, who shares this interest. I figured we could just start at my current limits, then slowly build up and expand them over time. She in principle agreed, however she immediately admitted that sometimes she finds it hard to fully control herself at the sight of blood, and she normally refuses to do those scenes with inexperienced people for just that reason. I.e. usually she wants to be absolutely sure whoever she plays with is fine with a certain minimum level of intensity in the scene, otherwise it is just too frustrating for her. The metaphor she used was imagine a guy is having sex with a woman, then part way through just as he is starting to feel an orgasm about to come along, she says stop and wants him to get off That's how she feels if someone wants to stop just after the first cut or two, which she says happens surprisingly often. So - on the one hand, she has been totally honest about her nature and tendencies. Also, it's hard to judge that kind of thing as the bottom, if someone is cutting your back for example, you can't see exactly what is happening. She does know my current limits and has a good idea of my tolerance for pushing them. In pretty much every other area of kink, we seem to match great. But...I am a little queasy at the thought of someone who might have some difficulty, no matter how mild, in holding back or backing off when needed. It's more difficult because I am really into her, I feel like my judgement might be a bit clouded by the desire to make this work - I've been doing bdsm activities for 15+ years now, and have not met someone who I 'click' with in the way I do with this woman. So I am really loathe to just back off and forget the whole thing, in fact I am pretty sure I can't just forget her and move on. I'd really appreciate some impartial advice on how to handle this. Is there a good way to compromise here in this situation? Or do you think I am just losing objectivity because of my feelings, and would be foolhardy to go further? I have asked around to find out her reputation in the local scene, general consensus is that she is pretty hardcore, but 'what you see is what you get', and there were no questions raised about her honesty. Ironically, my normal problem in sm relationships is that the women are not hardcore enough for me...so part of me thinks if I really want to find something satisfying, I will just have to accept a certain level of risk as going with the territory. Any thoughts?