Today is, almost to the day, the one-year anniversary of the first time W and I met. And what a year it’s been! I started this blog soon after that auspicious beginning, and have chronicled our relationship and many of the things we have done in that time, right here. I never posted on the first play date we had, though. At the time, it was so new and scary, I couldn’t even bring myself to write it out here. What if my friends saw? What would they think of how it had all come about? They’d tell me I was crazy.
It wasn’t that I was new to the lifestyle, not at all. But I had never simply given up control to anyone else the way I had, almost immediately, with W. It just felt right. Even as my logical mind said, “go slow, be cautious,” this other part of me responded instinctively to him, and I have never once regretted that choice.
That first meet, I was properly safety-minded. We met at a restaurant; I had a friend with me. He was a perfect gentleman, and we talked and laughed and all those things that had drawn me to him via email were borne out in person. It was all safe, sane and consensual…well, except when my friend left me there alone with him to conclude our date and he and I went out into the dark, empty parking lot. And then things got interesting, and all those other things that had drawn me to him in his emails, that hint of danger, that glimpse of the dark edges that lived in him and in me, well, those were borne out too.
In trying to figure out when exactly our actual anniversary date was, I ran across an early exchange of emails. Before I share the details of our first play date, I want to share parts of one of those first email exchanges, give you an idea of what I mean by all that above.
I show up, and he does things to me.There are all those things people talk about: negotiations, “safe sane consensual,” safecalls and safewords and even consent, and really, they mean nothing. I show up, and he does things to me.I don’t ask what he’s going to do. We don’t talk about what’s okay and what’s not. I don’t say this or that is a “hard limit,” in fact we never had a conversation about limits. There is no safeword, there aren’t any negotiations. If I don’t like what happens to me, I suppose I won’t go back.
Or maybe I will anyway.
It began like this. One day I came to his house. It’s an old house, in a “recovering” part of the city, a house where screams might not seem that out of place. He invites me in. There is a moment, as I stand on his porch, when I hesitate. I don’t know this man. No one knows I am here. All I know is that he wants to tie me up and do things to me, things that will probably hurt me, possibly degrade me, and maybe, if I am very, very lucky, transform me.
He doesn’t know it is transformation that I seek. Or perhaps he does. Perhaps, like me, he seeks transformation as well.
I step inside. It’s possible that I thought there might be more “conventional” conversation once I was inside. We would talk about what we liked and didn’t like, what he wanted to do to me, what I would allow and not allow, maybe throw that “red, yellow, green” thing in there. Maybe I would have some sense of “choice,” even though we would both know that I had none. There are conventions to be observed, after all.
None of those things happened. He knew and I knew I made my choice when I walked through the door, and that was the only choice or consent there would be.
I remember him standing behind me, his hands on my neck, light and firm, and then he was shoving a ball gag in my mouth and tightening the strap around my head. It was that simple. No more talking (had there been any?) no more choice. He put handcuffs on my wrists and he put a thick, heavy chain around my neck, locked it, and chained me to a bolt in the floor.
And then he left me there, without a word (except, maybe, “Don’t go anywhere,” with a kind of quirk to his mouth that I have come to know well.)
I had a pillow to sit on. I thought about myself as a dog, and wondered if that would be my role. I didn’t want to be a dog. I wanted to be beaten and fucked.
Handcuffs…they are cold and hard and though they are circular and appear smooth, they have edges, and no matter how you try to keep your hands still they grind against the delicate bones in your wrists, not softly, not gliding, but unforgiving, causing bruises to bloom beneath the skin and raw spots to open before you know it. I looked down at them, hanging heavy on my wrists, felt the links in the chain heavy and implacable around my neck, and felt my first fissure of true uncertainty. I was afraid of a man that liked something so cold, so unnatural, so—ugly. Because they are. Not beautiful, elegant, sensuous, in spite of their silver color, their smooth appearance. These are meant to hold you and humble you and make you feel helpless and small, and they did.
He came back with a camera. I knew he “might” want to take pictures, he had said so, and I had seen pictures of other women he had tortured, though they had scared me so I had only glanced at them and then away, like looking at the blinding glare of a blowtorch out of the sides of your eyes…you have to look because you can’t not look, even knowing the consequences. There were ropes on my wrists then, and then there was a hood over my head. I think there is part of me that has blanked out the hood…the feeling of it going over my head, the realization that it WAS going over my head, executioner-style. And then…the stairs…endless rickety downward stairs, his hands on my arms, helping me to negotiate down them blind, with my hands tied and a ballgag in my mouth and my head in a hood and my breath coming hard because suddenly I am so damn afraid…afraid of him, afraid of the stairs (terrified of the stairs, memories of that hard “accidental” shove backwards, of falling and not being able to stop, hands scrabbling against the wall and) and then I am down on the ground and it must be the basement and of course I think of women killed in basements and I laugh at myself, though the fear is there on the edge of thought. (“But how could he hurt me again, use me again, if he kills me?” I think, and am content with that logic, because I know he wants me, I know he wants to use me and tie me up and hurt me and fuck me, and so I am, absurdly, “safe.”)
And besides, I’ve seen pictures of women he has tortured, and I know what I really need to fear is pain. Because here is the truth: I don’t like pain. You will think this is a lie, when you see more, when you get to know me, when you see what I have allowed to be done to me, what I return for and ask for, simply by being there, again and again. You will think I must love pain, but you will be wrong. I hate it and fear it. I cry and I cringe and I whimper and…eventually, I beg. Sometimes…I beg for more. But that is for later, when you have gotten to know me better, when you really truly want to know more.
So yes, I was afraid, though not properly of the right things (like being in some stranger’s basement, bound and gagged, unable to defend myself.) I was afraid of being hurt. Now, though, I am more afraid, because I know what he can do, and he knows what I can do, and he knows me well enough to know how and when to push me, even when I don’t know myself. And he knows that I will keep coming back, even if he does push me.
Maybe what I am most afraid of is myself, and that I will keep coming back.