Posts Tagged ‘d/s’
As I’ve been exploring deeper into power theory, like D/s and M/s, and as I’ve been trying to understand how my relationship with Kristen went wrong and in what ways power played into that, I’ve been thinking more and more about responsibility.
I’ve been meditating on the basics: What is it? How does it work? How does one “take responsibility”? What kind of responsibilities does one have—as a partner, as a lover, as a Daddy, as a dominant, as a friend? How does responsibility shift and changes when circumstances are not ideal, such as when someone is grieving (you know, hypothetically)?
Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny, whose books on M/s I have been recently devouring and whose theories I astutely agree with, mention in one of their books that a dominant’s hunger for responsibility must be equal to or greater than their hunger and lust for power. That resonated deeply with me, so I have been chewing on how to act from a responsible place, how to behave responsibly, how to hunger for responsibility, how to be responsible with my power.
We commonly use “responsibility” to mean our obligations—the things we have agreed to do, or the things other people have put on us to do that we may or may not have agreed to—and how we cope with those obligations. It is my responsibility as a cat owner to make sure my cat is fed, for example.
But when it comes to interpersonal relationships, what our responsibilities are vary greatly from person to person, and from culture to culture. My responsibilities to my parents might mean, to me, calling them on their birthdays and going to visit once a year, but to another person, their responsibilities to their parents might be visiting them every day, or might be sending one holiday card annually. Same with lovers and partners: I might think my responsibility is to respond to texts or emails from lovers is to respond when I can get to it, but my lover might think it rude and irresponsible of me not to reply right away (especially when now, with iMessage, you can see when your texts have been read). I suspect some of the expectations in relationships are built on our love languages (quality time, acts of service, gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation).
The expectations we place upon responsibilities of those around us are often unspoken and unconscious, and therefore difficult to make clear. Making those clear is a key piece of good communication, I believe.
But that’s just one piece. We also use the word “responsibility” to talk about one’s behavior in any given situation, such as, “They’re not being very responsible,” or, “they’re not acting very responsibly.”
I started breaking down the word responsibility into its two parts: response and ability. Response-ability. And that led me to my first conclusion about it: responsibility is your ability to respond to any given situation. But how does one “respond”?
Most of the time, I think we are reacting, not responding. Reacting is the knee-jerk impulse our combination of body, mind, experiences, emotions, and self tells us to have. We get an email from a boss with some critique, we feel insulted. Our lover asks something taxing of us, we feel put out. Not everybody has the same reaction, of course—depending on our unique histories, unique bodies, unique patternings, we react in different ways; many of us have different reactions to the same emotions, too. Some people feel insulted and fight back, some people feel insulted and become paralyzed, some people feel insulted and run away.
I think that responsibility is your ability to take the reaction you have, process it through your thoughtful higher self who wants the best for everyone involved and can see many perspectives, and choose your response and your next actions intentionally.
Let me put that another way. My ability to respond well to a situation, to be responsible in my role or job or relationship, depends upon my ability to notice my knee-jerk reaction and use that as one piece of the data that I gather before I decide what to do next. Other pieces of data you could use as you analyze the situation include:
- What would the high wise imaginary counsel inside your head, made up of all of your mentors and favorite people, advise you to do?
- What would your counsel of very favorite people advise you to do? (Perhaps you should call them to ask?)
- What would the best possible outcome for all people be?
- What would you say if you were really telling the truth about this situation?
- How do your ethics ascribe you to behave?
- What would yourself in ten years say about this situation?
- How do your spiritual or religious beliefs guide you in this quandary?
- Where are the places where your ego, pride, or stoicism are getting in the way?
- Where can you use your great strength to be more vulnerable in this situation?
- Where do you feel this pain, sorrow, longing, anger, or frustration in your body?
- What does your bodywork or therapy point you toward?
I’ve been chewing on this difference, between reaction and response-ability, for at least a year now, trying to figure out how to be sure I am exploring what it means to be responsible with the privilege and power that I hold. Because, as the cliche saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and as I’ve been seeking more and more great power, I want to make sure I have the great responsibility part down as well. I don’t think “responsibility” dictates a code of behavior specifically so much as it dictates an intentional response, and that is a comfort to me, as I try to continue to sort our my own wounds, heal my own heartache, and continue to pursue my lust for power.
Today is my day on the Carrie’s Story blog tour. I devoured this book in the beginning of March as some escapist fiction, hoping for something easy to read that was easy enough to digest without a lot of deep thinking. And while it is easy to read and easy to digest, it isn’t without it’s deep thoughts. Carrie has very little experience with kink and submission at the beginning of the book, but by the end she is an auctioned slave, having gone through trainings from her (temporary) master and trainings from the Madame of the slave auction herself.
I love the little moments where Carrie submits, not because she is comfortable being taken by this person or that person, but because she trusts the woman who created the entire system. And by submitting to the system, she is submitting to that woman in particular. It’s a beautiful explanation of how M/s is larger than D/s, and how M/s is not about individual interactions.
I’ve been more and more interested in M/s theory lately. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about how D/s and M/s are different, and I’d love to write about that more soon here—mostly I’m still chewing on the differences and formulating thoughts. I’ve read through Raven Kaldera and Joshua Tenpenny’s book, Dear Raven and Joshua: Questions and Answers About Master/Slave Relationships, which is amazing and which I may turn around and re-read from the beginning right away. It’s long and detailed, well-organized and easy to read in a Q&A format. Unfortunately (and fortunately) it’s been teaching me a ton of things that I’ve been doing wrong … but I’ll leave that thought for the moment and share you some more details about Carrie’s Story. I highly recommend the read.
Excerpt from Carrie’s Story
Day one had begun with the very chic fortyish woman holding me tightly by the nipple and telling me, “We will all want to use you during these trials, but first, we will want to know how obedient you are, how much self-discipline you have. You are accustomed to being in restraints?”
“Yes, Madame Roget,” I said.
They all laughed a little at this, and she told me that they didn’t believe in that sort of thing for these trials. “We would not mar the woodwork of this pretty room with any of those little hooks and eyes, I think you call them. You will do everything we command, and you will be beaten, and bear it beautifully, without any collars or cuffs, without being tied or held in any way.”
I gulped. “Yes, Madame Roget,” I agreed, though I was terrified at the thought of not being tied down while being beaten. Too bad we couldn’t rig up something using all the hardware hanging off the jacket of her Chanel suit.
Quel jour. I had no idea if I could really do it, and I wasn’t perfect by any means. Twice, that I can remember, and maybe more times than that, my hands flew up to my breasts to protect them. This was at least one of the “technical” things Jonathan hadn’t thought of. He, of course, loved to think of crafty ways to embed hooks and eyes all over his house and so, stupidly, hadn’t realized that the rest of the world might not. I think what got me through it was that I was so pissed at him for not considering that this might happen, and so determined to best the situation in spite of him. Thanks a lot, coach, I remember thinking, seeing him out of the corner of my eye, over there on his delicate little chair. I thought of that creep who brought those terrified little four-foot-eight-inch American gymnasts to the Olympics, to be entirely outclassed by the Russians and Romanians.
That day ended very abruptly, or at least I thought so. I was on my knees in the center of the room, having just thanked the board, one by one, and very sweetly and clearly, though in a bit of a choked voice, for a brisk beating they’d just administered to my breasts and thighs. (Oh, and in French—we switched to French for the afternoons.) And, no, they didn’t hold up any cards with little numbers on them to rate my performance. They hardly acknowledged me at all, in fact, but Madame Roget turned to Jonathan and curtly said, “Bring her around tomorrow at ten, and we’ll continue.”
“Thank you, Madame,” Jonathan replied, getting to his feet and hurrying to help me up. “I will. Thank you all.” He spoke like the well-brought-up little boy he must have been once. And I realized that part of the entertainment, for him, and maybe for me as well, was that he was on trial too.
When we got back to the hotel room, he grabbed me, and, very uncharacteristically, pushed me onto the bed practically into a backward somersault, pulled up my skirt, and started fucking me. My shoes went flying, and I felt a garter unsnap painfully against my thigh. Against my cunt, my belly, my legs, I felt his pants zipper and a million buttons and buckles digging into me. It was silly, clumsy, uncomfortable, but I understood. It was what I needed, too. The long, horny, ritualistic day of trials, subtleties, pain, performing, and politesse had gotten to both of us, and what we both wanted was mindless, exhausting, low-tech vanilla fucking. In and out. Bang bang bang. Friction. I closed my eyes and came a lot, moving however I pleased and making lots of noise and trying to forget that there were such things as rules or form or sensibility.
Still, you don’t forget a year of slave training just like that, so a long while after, when I had recovered enough, I crawled to the foot of the bed and knelt there at attention (although I was unsure what to do about the skirt that was still up around my waist and the stockings down around my ankles). Jonathan looked at me for a while. Then he frowned, sighed, and finally said, “Oh hell, Carrie, I don’t think I can maintain any rules tonight, not after watching those pros do it all day. Let’s just take showers and zone out. Are you hungry? Want to do room service?”
Which was how we passed the next three evenings. We’d come back from the trials, pull off our clothes, fuck real hard, and then eat. During some break in the second day trials, Jonathan had gone out, found an English-language bookstore, and scooped up a shopping bag full of mysteries and sci fi. We weren’t following rules anymore, which meant we could say anything we wanted. But we were afraid of saying wrong or embarrassing things to each other. At least I was. So the books kept us busy during those weird, wired, exhausted, polite, and oddly companionable evenings. We’d dive into them, every so often one or the other of us finishing one, maybe briefly recommending it, or tossing it across the room, proclaiming it a “turkey, guessed it halfway through, don’t bother.”
On the fourth evening, the rock ’n’ roll/cyberpunk story I was racing through reminded me of thrash music and I thought of my Primus T-shirt, packed up with my stuff at Stuart’s. I decided that if I passed the trials I’d tell Jonathan he could have it as a good-bye present. Thanks for the memo- ries, I guess, and for the strange intimacy, even if we’d only had about four real conversations in the space of a year and a half. Good-bye, and thanks, also, for finding me a job that was not just a job but an adventure. So long, accomplice, collaborator, coconspirator.
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Jonathan went to get it. There were two European guys in suits and short squared-off haircuts, looking like the cops in La Femme Nikita. They were from the auction committee, though, and they were here to tell us—well, Jonathan, really—that I’d passed the trials. I could hear that much anyway, though the one of them who was doing the talking, the only one who knew English I think, was speaking very softly. I heard Jonathan tell him, “I’ll fax them the papers within an hour. And I’ll get her for you now.”
I hadn’t known they came for you in the middle of the night. And I don’t know if Jonathan had either. He walked over to me—I was sprawled on the bed in a hotel bathrobe and a pair of his socks—and pulled me to my feet. “You’re in,” he said, “and you’re not allowed to speak anymore.” So much for the T-shirt idea. Or for even a so long. “Take off your clothes,” he continued in an expressionless voice. “You’ll go with these gentlemen.”
They were standing by the door watching without much interest. I felt a little sorry for them; this had to be the dullest master/slave scene they’d ever barged in on. I pulled off the socks and robe, folded my glasses on top of the open book, and walked over to them. They produced a pair of high heels and a trench coat and helped me into them. Then, silently, they hustled me out of the room and shut the door behind them.
* * *
From Cleis Press:
Carrie’s Story is regarded as one of the finest erotic novels ever written—smart, devastatingly sexy, and, at times, shocking. In this new era of “BDSM romance,” à la Fifty Shades of Grey, the whips and cuffs are out of the closet and “château porn” has given way to mommy porn. Carrie’s Story remains at the head of the class. Imagine The Story of O starring a Berkeley Ph.D. in comparative literature who moonlights as a bike messenger, has a penchant for irony, and loves self-analysis as much as anal pleasures. Set in both San Francisco and the more château-friendly Napa Valley, Weatherfield’s deliciously decadent novel takes you on a sexually-explicit journey into a netherworld of slave auctions, training regimes, and enticing “ponies” (people) preening for dressage competitions. Desire runs rampant in this story of uncompromising mastery and irrevocable submission.
Molly Weatherfield, the pen name of Pam Rosenthal, is also the author of Safe Word, the sequel to Carrie’s Story. A prolific romance and erotica writer, she has penned many sexy, literate, historical novels. She lives in San Francisco. You can find Molly on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MollyWeatherfield and on Twitter at @PamRosenthal (https://twitter.com/PamRosenthal).
Blog Tour Schedule
March 24 - Shanna Germain
March 25 - Lelaine
March 26 - Alison Tyler
March 27 – Romance After Dark
March 28 - Romance Junkies and Amos Lassen
March 29 - Sinclair Sexsmith
April 1 - Rachel Kramer Bussel
April 2 - Kissin Blue Karen
April 3 - Dana Wright
April 4 - Erin O’Riodan
April 5 - Lindsay Avalon
April 6 - Laura Antoniou
April 7 - DL King
I’ll be reading some erotica on Thursday night in the East Village with the Best! Lesbian! Erotica! reading at Drunken! Careening! Writers! that BLE series editor Kathleen Warnock runs.
And! Also! I’m still on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia, and Lee Harrington is teaching an amazing D/s class on Friday night at the GBLT Center. I’ll be running the workshop that night, doing the announcements and getting everyone settled to pay attention to Lee’s brilliance, and taking a lot of notes about D/s. I’ve been thinking a LOT about D/s lately, about protocols and rituals and rules and punishments … still thinking about ways to write about all the things I’ve been learning.
Meanwhile, here’s the details on the events in New York City Thursday and Friday.
Best Lesbian Erotica @ Drunken! Careening! Writers!
85 E. 4th St.
Rebecca Lynne Fullan
…and special surprise guests!
with your hostess, Kathleen Warnock
copies of BLE ’13 will be available for sale
Our “special surprise guests” will be Sinclair Sexsmith and Lea DeLaria (eds of the last 2 editions), and they will be reading from their work!
Rebecca Lynne Fullan is a writer of various stripes, most of them human. She lives, writes, reads, and learns in New York City. This story is for her girlfriend, Charlotte, and written with special gratitude to the BMVCOE, who know about magic. Come visit her here: rebeccalynnefullan.wordpress.com.
Sid March is the disastrously queer daughter of Neptune, a gifted escape artist, and an excellent party planner. A nomadic being with half a dozen hometowns, Sid writes obsessively when no one is watching as a way to tame her insatiable Wanderlust.
Best Lesbian Erotica is published by Cleis Press, the largest independent queer publishing company in the United States. Kathleen Warnock is the series editor, and Jewelle Gomez selected and introduced this year’s collection.
Drunken! Careening! Writers! is a reading series based on the proposition that all readings should be by: 1) Good Writers; 2) Who read their work well; 3) Something in it makes people laugh (nervous laughter counts). And 15 minutes tops.
Lesbian Sex Mafia presents Beyond Bowed Heads: Rituals for Dominance and Submission with Lee Harrington
Rituals are a key part of any D/s relationship, whether we acknowledge them or not. From casual kisses as the door to formal slave poses, ritual objects such as collars to slave contracts, the BDSM world is rife with concepts of ritual- but what is a ritual? What are the levels of ritualistic interaction we have between one another? Let’s look at rituals for day to day life (including how to get out of work or parent space), sacred time, intense connection, erotic play, solidifying relationships, changes within our relationships, and the taboo subject of the devastating loss of a relationship or its natural end. From terminology to developing your own code of ethical interaction, this class covers a bevy of styles and types of interpersonal reactions.
Where: The LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), New York, NY
Date/Time: Friday December 21, 2012, 8:00-10:00 PM. Our annual workshop at which all genders are welcome.
Cost: LSM Members: $5/Non Members: $10
About Lee Harrington
Lee Harrington is an internationally known spiritual and erotic educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist and award-winning author and editor on human sexuality and sacred experience. He is a nice guy with a disarmingly down to earth approach to the fact that we are each beautifully complex ecosystems, and we deserve to examine the human experience from that lens. He’s been traveling the globe (from Seattle to Sydney, Berlin to Boston), teaching and talking about sexuality, psychology, faith, desire and more, and has no intention to stop any time soon. He has been an academic and an adult film performer, a world class sexual adventurer, an outspoken philosopher, is a kink/bondage expert, and has been blogging about sex and spirituality since 1998.
His books include “Playing Well With Others: Your Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Negotiating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities” (with Mollena Williams), “Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond,” “Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé,” the “Toybag Guide to Age Play,” and “Shed Skins: Journeying in Self-Portraits.” He has also worked as an anthology editor on such projects as “Rope, Bondage, and Power” and “Spirit of Desire: Personal Explorations of Sacred Kink,” while contributing actively to other anthologies, magazines, blogs and collaborations internationally. Check out the trouble Lee has been getting into, as well as his regular podcast, tour schedule, free essays, videos and more over at www.PassionAndSoul.com.
1. What insight about open relationships do you wish you had when you started?
I wish I had understood that relationships can take different courses than the traditional one. I struggled at first with how to navigate levels of intimacy and involvement because I was used to things always tending toward more enmeshment. Being a secondary was a completely new feeling for me, for example. I still seek deeper, more lasting relationships with my partners, but so far I’ve found that each relationship has to develop on it’s own path. Surprise surprise, not everyone wants to be married. And even more surprising, I don’t always want to be either.
The other thing I wish I understood more deeply was the “locus of control” concept when it came to boundaries. The difference between “I want you to do the dishes” and “I want the dishes done” is vast, and delicate, and understanding the difference has helped me through a LOT of difficult moments in poly.
2. What has been the hardest thing about opening your relationship, and how have you overcome that?
By far the hardest thing about opening my marriage has been navigating that while also dealing with my partner’s depression. We still struggle with that, sometimes on a daily basis. It is difficult to know what is a “real issue” and what was coming from the depressed place at times, for myself and for my partner. I’m a pleaser by nature, so I had to learn that not every problem can be fixed or even NEEDS to be fixed. I’ve also had to learn that just because someone is temporarily unhappy, that doesn’t mean I should change my plans or feel guilty for being happy myself. I had to learn to separate my partner’s happiness from my own. That remains the biggest challenge I face, both in poly and in life.
I would say the main thing that helps us through the upheaval of depression is our D/s dynamic. I act as anchor in a very stormy sea, and that helps us both stay on course. We have daily rituals, for example, that are said no matter how hurt/upset we are. Keeping my boundaries firm and clear also helps, as well as getting a LOT of down time and support. Also being sure that when things are good, we make the most of it. When a foundation gets rocked, it can always be rebuilt but I had to learn to let go of resentments and hurts and just enjoy the partner I have when I can.
3. What has been the best thing about your open relationship?
I would say the best thing is the ability to truly open up to love the way I think I was always supposed to, but didn’t understand how. I always joke that I could fall in love with a lamppost. I love people. I spent a good quantity of time in life being used, my good nature and willingness to be there for others are easy to exploit. Well, they used to be, anyway. Being in an open relationship means I can integrate my natural tendency toward loving relationships into my life without hesitation. I am safe to explore whatever avenue may appear, rather than artificially limiting myself because of convention or societal expectation. At this point I have a network of wonderful, intelligent, loving people that I can count on to treat me with respect and love me as much as I love them.
Right along side that, I have learned how to navigate many relationships with better boundaries and respect for myself in place in a way I might never have if I’d stayed monogamous. I feel I’ve gained a few levels in the game of life since poly, and I feel more confident, self-assured and grounded than ever before.
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that none of that good stuff would be possible without the support of my partners and dear friends who are the backbone of everything I’ve become in the last few years, and I’m so grateful for each of them.
And also that you’re a fantastic writer, and your journal entries have also been a wonderful way to access community for me, so thank you so much :D
There have been so many things going on with Kristen for the last few months, and I’ve been doing so much traveling, that I haven’t quite had the time or focus to put this up, but I’ve meant to since September.
In September, Rife and I celebrated one year together.
Clockwise from top: Picking raspberries near Summer Camp in September; surviving the Fusion hurricane at Ramblewood in the barn; playing guitar in the hammock at Summer Camp; looking at jacaranda flowers in LA in May; one of the first shots he sent me in January of this year when I told him I took boxing lessons.
We now have a formal contract about our D/s and power dynamics, and I’ve been really enjoying how that has pushed me as a Dominant to keep exploring, to get in touch with what I want, what would feel good for me, what I may need at any given moment, which, as much as it may seem like being the top or dom or daddy forces me to be in touch with that, it’s really easy for me to get caught up in being more of a service top, doing things for the other person, doing things I know they like, focusing on them and their pleasure. Especially because I still identify pretty strongly as stone.
He and I have seen each other almost a dozen times in the last year—our visit for our anniversary at Summer Camp in September was #10, and this visit in Houston is #11. Things keep deepening in beautiful ways, and he and Kristen are friends and metamours, and I feel incredibly lucky and blessed. He’s added so much to my life and sense of self and my style of topping and dominanting, and he’s so much fun to play with, so easy to be around.
As much as it is incredibly difficult to be in an open relationship, I don’t know if I could close it again and be monogamous—at least, not at this point in my life—and I’m so grateful to be exploring with both Kristen and Rife. This summer and fall have been incredibly difficult for me emotionally, and they have both been so important as I’m trying to navigate these surges of emotions and difficult readjustments in my family of origin. I’m trying to keep bringing my love and compassion back to Kristen, too, as she keeps deepening and exploring with other people. I’m so grateful to have survived this past year, to have learned all that I’ve learned, to be moving through it deeper.
And I’m so grateful to have this sexy leatherboy submissive creature who does things like bend a coat hanger into a long U shape or strip the thorns off of a branch and then put them into my hands and say, “please.”
Happy anniversary, my sweet boy. I’m very excited to see what our second year will bring.
Have you ever been to the Submit play party? It’s a women and trans only play party monthly in Brooklyn at an undisclosed dungeon which has all sorts of great equipment, from cages to saint andrews crosses to a medical table to saw horses. There’s a social room and a bootblacking station and lots of gender-neutral bathrooms nooks and crannies if you want a little privacy and a swing and condoms and lube in every room.
I don’t go monthly, but I go often, and Kristen and I have had many great scenes there in the past (almost) four years we’ve been together. Red, the butch who runs it, is a good friend of mine and I love how they keep the space warm, welcoming, and monitored.
This week, Red asked if Kristen and I would do the demo. Usually there’s some sort of demo at 12:30am (last time we went there was a cutting demo, which was beautiful), and this time, we’ll be doing Power Blow Jobs. I don’t have a formal description for the demo, which will only be 20-30 minutes long, and more about a demonstration than about a formal class on technique, though we’ll both be piping in to talk about what we’re doing and give some tips. Or at least I will, Kristen will probably have her mouth full. Just kidding—her perspective is really valuable here and I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say, actually, since often I’m the one talking about my experience.
It’s also been fun to, ahem, practice this week, leading up to it.
Women & trans folks only
September 29th, Saturday, 10 – 3 am (doors close at 2 am)
$15 bucks before midnight, $20 after
RSVP on Fetlife & pre-cruise who’ll be there
for exact location call 718.789.4053 or email Red@submitparty.com
So hey, maybe we’ll see you there?
Do y’all remember the Sugarbutch Star stories? It was a series where readers sent in a scenario and I wrote up the story. This is the last of the 5 stories from the 2008 “contest,” the others being Eileen, Matt, Green-Eyed Girl, and Maze. This story idea comes from blkndblue.
Warning: This story is long, about 18 pages. Click the “read more” at the end to read the final scene (it’s worth it, promise). I figure it’s a good way to kick off a (happy, sexy) new year.
Thanks to Dacia & BB Rydell for help with edits!
Sugarbutch Star: blckndblue
THE PINK DRESS
Emily emerges from the dressing room slowly, suddenly shy, though I’ve seen her naked in dozens of compromised positions. She fidgets with the dress, her hair, sucks in her stomach, but her eyes are lit up and she’s biting back a playful smile. She wants to wear this dress. Her inner three-year-old princess is aflame. “What do you think?” Emily asks; but the question isn’t really about my preference. She wants me to want it so she has permission to wear it. Then she doesn’t have to want it for herself; she is absolved of her own desires. I want to her to have permission to want anything on her body that she is drawn to, regardless of its gendered implications.
I finger the skirt of the baby pink dress, its satin fabric, abundant for its near-full skirt. She looks amazing in the plunging neckline in a gentle scoop, which shows off her round breasts generously. Sleeveless, it gathers at the waist where a thick white band wraps around, tying in a ribbon at the back. It could have been a bridesmaid’s dress, or a prom dress, or maybe someone’s fancy party dress. She’s been eyeing this dress in the window display, and today was the day it came down. She asked them to set it aside for her.
“So?” She is trying so hard to be patient. The words come out in a rush. “Do you like it?”
I come up behind her as she looks in the full-length mirror barely visible behind racks of gently used clothes. I wrap my arm around her waist, pull her gently back to me as she sighs, then smooths the skirt down.
“I think it’s perfect,” I say, my lips next to her ear. “No question.”
“Really?” She’s not sure I mean it, but she wants me to. “But it’s so … femme.”
“Yeah, it is,” I say.
“But, I’m not femme!” She argues.
“What do you mean? Of course you are,” I say.
“No, I mean …” she struggles for the words. “I’m not high femme. I hate that term. I almost always wear jeans and tee shirts.” We’ve been dating for on and off for a few years. We both have primary partners, but we make time to play and go on dates. When she dresses up, she adds heels and lipstick, rarely anything more. She has some impressive lingerie, but seldom wears dresses. She wears power suits for her professional office work, where she has to keep control and is in charge of a dozen people’s activities on a daily basis. She spends a lot of time looking put together, climbing the corporate ladder, and fighting the male privilege in her office, and she’d rather kick around in something comfortable and durable when she has the option.
“I know that’s what you prefer, and it’s perfect—your ass looks great in jeans,” I counter. “Look, you’re twice the femme most self-identified high femmes are. You’re at home in your body, awake in your skin, not judgmental about your own waistline or anyone else’s. And you have your circle of femme friends without gossip or backstabbing. If that’s not high femme, I don’t know what is.”
“Yeah, but you have to say that.”
“And I want to. I know the dress is a stretch … but it’s amazing on you. It looks like it was made for you. Doesn’t it?” I ask the passing sales girl. “Doesn’t it look like it was made for her?”
“It is, like, so cut perfectly for your body,” the girl, probably barely twenty, replies. “It makes your curves look even more curvy. It’s practically, like, perfect.”
“Yeah. Perfect,” I echo, and Emily grins at herself in the mirror.
“It is, isn’t it. Yeah. Okay,” she kisses my cheek and zips back into the dressing room, and buys the dress.
The date is my idea, and a surprise. I enlist her friend Sam, a gay boy also known as Serena, who does a fierce drag queen act and has every feminizing, over-the-top accessory one would need. We’ve been out drinking and galavanting dozens of nights in the past few years. Sometimes Emily and I go see him perform. Last time, he did a Judy Garland number with an incredible outfit from the forties that made him look like a black and white movie star.
“I could never do that,” Emily must’ve whispered to me five times that night, but the spark in her eyes told me that she wanted to. I knew Sam would love to see Emily all dressed up.
And tonight, with this pink dress, he’s going to help. I enlist Sam because Emily doesn’t have the femme things I need, and I can’t afford to buy them all. I meet Sam around the corner and pick up the fluffy underskirt that’s used to puff out full skirts, called a crinoline.
I knock on Emily’s door, and she throws it open. “I’m here to pick up the dress,” I say, after kissing her hello. She fetches it from her bedroom, still in the thrift store’s lavender-colored paper bag with their logo on it, and hands it to me across the threshold.
“Thank you. Now, you remember what I told you? What’s the plan?”
“First, I’m getting my nails done across the street. Then I’m going to go to Sam’s at 5pm to get my hair and makeup done. Then I’ll come meet you at your place, and bring the bra and panties.” I know she doesn’t wear the white bra and panty set with the lace trim often. I like that she saves it for me.
“What time, at my apartment?”
“Good. Perfect. Don’t be late,” I add. As if she would be. She shifts her weight from foot to foot very slightly and I can see her ears beginning to flush pink.
I tuck the box with the crinoline under the arm that holds her dress in a shopping bag and draw her to me with the other, smiling as our faces get closer, drinking in her skin and hair and the sweet way her body fits.
“I won’t. I promise.”
“Good girl,” I say, and kiss her.
At seven twenty-eight, she knocks on my apartment door. I greet her with more kisses and lead her into the bedroom before she sets her purse down. Some of the things are laid out on the bed: the crinoline skirt, white thigh-high stockings, a white garter belt, and her new pink dress, which I had dry cleaned and pressed just this morning. I see her hand flicker slightly as she reaches out and touch the dress, then pulls it back and makes a fist.
“Are you ready for tonight?” I take a seat in the small armchair in the corner of my bedroom and I take a sip of the glass of water I’d poured just before she arrived, with extra ice so she can hear the clink of it in the glass. She nods. I notice Emily picks at her nails, then stop when she realizes she is probably chipping her nail polish. She must be nervous. The icy liquid is cool in my mouth and I feel it run down my throat. Her chestnut hair is mostly a silhouetted shadow, but I can see it is piled on top of her hair in spirals and curls in a way that is much more complicated than she would usually entertain. It reveals the curve of her neck, which swoops into her collarbone and, later, will lead right to her cleavage.
“Did Sam send you with jewelry?” I ask.
“Get it out, and put it on the top of the dresser.” I cleared it in anticipation. She goes to her bag, removes a couple small boxes and a tiny clutch purse, then arranges it all so each are neat and not touching, then goes back to standing, shifting her weight from foot to foot and looking around the room.
“Take off your clothes,” I say. “Slowly. Fold each piece and put them on the bed.” She starts with her v-neck grey fitted girly tee shirt, quickly pulling it over her head. “I said slowly,” I say, and she pauses, moves a little slower. She folds the thin fabric easily and places it on the bed, then steps out of her low, simple black flats. She’s not wearing a bra; she often doesn’t, not encouraging the curve of her breasts to be shown off. Her bare skin glows in the lamplight. She pulls down her tight blue jeans and steps out of them, folding them a little thoughtlessly, but I don’t tell her to slow down again. She slides her plain black cotton underwear down over her legs and adds it to the pile. She fingers the worn grey tee shirt and looks at it longingly, then glances at the lingerie laid out on the bed and moves her hand to touch it, smiling as her fingertips make contact, her face relaxing.
She stands again, naked this time, crosses her arms in front of herself, then drops her arms and holds one wrist with her hand. After a moment she straightens up, and clasps her hands behind her back like she is presenting herself to me, a blank canvas. She shifts her weight from foot to foot, drops her hip, but tries to stay still. She bites her lip.
“Very nice,” I murmur from my corner. I uncross and recross my legs, ankle to knee, and pick up the cane from next to my chair. I can see her nipples, even in the shadows, hard and dark. “Get the bra and panties out of your bag, lay them on the bed.” She does. “Now, get dressed. Start with the garter belt.” She takes a breath and turns to the bed, picking it up and sliding it up her legs, securing it in place.
“Now the stockings,” I say. “And the bra. Leave the panties off, for now.” She dresses quickly, fumbling a little with the clasps and the delicate fabric, sitting on the side of the bed to fasten the stockings to the lace. “Now the petticoat.” She looks at me a little questioning, then realizes I mean the white crinoline skirt, and pulls it in a flourish from the bed to step into it.
“The dress,” I say. She pulls it over her head, evens it over the petticoat, and does her best to tie the white bow behind her back. With the extra layers of under the skirt, the pink dress is even more stunning than it was in the store. “And the jewelry,” I say, as she admires herself in the mirror hanging over the dresser. She takes a step closer and puts small two-stone droplet earrings in; they’re delicate, just an inch or so long, hanging just enough to move when she does and sparkle when the light hits them. She reaches for the matching necklace and raises her elbows to buckle the clasp behind her neck. Her fingers tremble and it takes her three tries to hook it correctly.
Emily steps back and looks at her reflection, buzzing, hardly containing the thrill of happiness at her own reflection. Her smile is as big as I’ve ever seen it. She turns her head, then shakes it to see the sparkle of the earrings, tilts her chin down to see her fancy hair-do, fluffs the skirt out to the side, and finally twirls, watching the dress in the mirror and laughing, giddy.
“Come here,” I say. She turns her head to me and takes short, quick steps across the room to where I am sitting next to the window in her stockinged feet. She notices the cane I have been stroking.
“Is that for me?” she asks.
“It’s for your ass. For later.” I set it on the table with my glass and reach out for her waist, pull her on to my lap. “Very nice,” I say, stroking the skin on her arm, the the slick fabric of the top of the dress, brushing my fingers against her breasts and nipples. I offer my mouth for a kiss and she wraps her arms around my neck, opening her mouth, gently kissing back. “You look gorgeous.”
“You really think so?” she bats her eyelashes. She looks like a sunrise, peeking over the horizon, breaking the dark, reaching up into the sky. She still looks like herself—just polished up a little, enhanced, prettied.
“Really. Very much.” We kiss again and I get lost in her lips, her tongue, the way her hands grasp gently at my neck and shoulders. I let my hands trace her stockings, wander up under the many layers under her dress. “Do you like the crinoline?” I ask.
“Oh yes,” she breathes. “Is that what Sam gave you?”
“Yes. On loan.”
“It’s so … pretty.”
“You’re pretty, sweetheart.”
She smiles shyly, kisses me again.
“Did you like getting your nails done, and your hair and make-up done?”
“Yes! It was really fun. More than I thought it would be. I thought it would be weird but it makes me feel fancy. And important. And … ” she lowers her voice, her eyes a little and brings her hands up to straighten my tie, pinch my collar between her fingers. “And I knew I was doing it for you. That you would like it.”
“Mmm. And you did a very good job getting all ready for me.” I find the patch of skin at the top of her stockings, her sweet smooth inner thigh, and rest my hand there gently.
“I like doing what you say.” It lets her mind rest, she’s explained to me, and is a relief to trust enough to follow orders instead of second guessing and being in charge of everything.
“I know. And I have a few more things to do before we go to dinner. Are you ready?”
“Yes.” I toss her a questioning look and she corrects herself. “Yes, sir.”
“Good.” I take a breath. “I’m going to warm you up for the evening. I want to give you something that will serve as a reminder that this body—” I shift my hand quickly and palm her pussy, making her gasp, then quickly attempt to maintain her composure and keep her eyes open, looking at me, “—this pretty little body of yours is mine to play with tonight.”
She nods, quick, tiny movements of her head, and her eyes flicker with a hint of nervousness.
“Are you worried?”
“No, sir. I know you will take good care of me.”
“That’s right. Good.” I move my hand away and she breathes in, her thighs quiver. I lean in to kiss her again, bring my hands to her waist and then up to cup her chin, neck, the back of her head, careful not to mess up her hair. She relaxes, her mouth softens. She tastes like cream.
“Get up and bend over my lap. I’m going to make some marks on your ass before we go out.”
She delicately places herself over me with more care than usual, though we’ve been in this position many times. She doesn’t want to muss herself. This chair is perfect for over-the-knee spankings, with wide, low arm rests. Her stockinged tiptoes just barely reach the floor. She arches her back automatically, presenting her ass and slit to my right hand.
I caress her neck and shift my arm to cradle her collarbone and begin peeling up the layers of her pretty pink dress and petticoat. The peach of her ass is perfectly framed by her stockings and garter belt, the layers pushed up to her hips. Softly, I bring my hand to her thighs and ass and begin caressing.
“So nice,” I murmur into her ear. I start with some rapid tap-tap-taps with my fingers tight together on the sweet spots on her ass, the ones that make the flesh shake and that makes her muscles relax. She sighs, keeps breathing, keeps filling her lungs and breathing into the increasing sensation. She’s done enough yoga, we’ve played with enough sensation play—she knows how to open.
I keep going with light taps and occasional full-handed gentle swats until I can see a pink flush starting, just a hint. She loves being hit; she snuggles down into it as if I was reading her a bedtime story. I increase my swing, raising my arm higher, and give her a few open-palmed, but not too hard yet. Her skin is fair and it is easy to leave long-lasting marks, easy to bruise and break capillaries on the surface of her skin.
Which is exactly what I want.
I continue, warming up her ass until it is bright and hot, flushed and red, beginning to show some darker parts where it will be easy to leave marks. She moans, sinking into me, humming with pleasure. When we are both warm, when my shoulder feels like it is loose and liquid and easy, I raise my arm high and let fly a few hard wallops, pausing in between, but just for a moment, to let her react. Her body shudders and I feel her tense, then relax, over my lap. I can feel the impact of my hand through her and onto my thighs, can feel her growing heat and intensity. I let my hand down again, and again, allowing gravity to pull me, sucking up the power she’s handing over while I have her upturned and stunned, ready to take more.
I lean down so my mouth is by her ear again. “You are doing so well. Your ass is nice and red and starting to bruise. I’m going to get my cane out now.”
She manages to move her neck slightly, twists her head and looks up at me, and nods just a little. I grip the cane from the side table and it feels hard, solid in my hand. It slices through the air with a hiss and I love the way it extends my arm. The last time we used the cane, she told me every time she sat down, she thought about what I’d done and how I’d used her. That it made her wet to have to act like she could sit normally, when really it was excruciatingly painful. That’s how I want it to be tonight. Something to take away from the terror of being so femme, over the top femme, in public. Something to distract her.
The first hit with the cane is a little off, and not too hard. She gasps but does not squirm. The second is two centimeters toward her thighs and harder. Immediately a light stripe appears. She jumps a little and lets one arm drop, grabbing on to my pant leg, as she lets out her breath in a long thin stream through her teeth. The third, quicker now, is at a different angle, crossing the first two. She sucks air back in and lets out a laugh, bubbling like champagne, thrilling and tickling my nose. Good. She’s warm, dropping into that blurry area past the sharp pain and into sensation.
The next dozen or so are more rapid, in succession, some lighter and some fiercely hard and biting. She takes it well. She gasps and begins squirming, but not away, not off of my lap, just to wriggle and shake off some of the building energy. I fall into a pattern of hard-hard-quick-quick-soft-caress where my eyes glaze and my cock hardens. I can see her slit becoming wet, swollen, as pink as her sweet round ass cheeks.
The striping is beautiful, thin welts rising on bull’s eye circles where my hands bruised her first. I can already see some small places where my handiwork reveals itself.
I lean low against her ear again. “It’s going to hurt for a while when you sit,” I say, as a slide the cane away and bring my hand to her singed bottom. It is so tender and sensitive, like stretched skin over the frame of a drum, reverberating with every touch.
She moans. “Thank you, sir.”
I bring her up onto my lap again to hold her for a minute, her ass already uncomfortable. Sitting at the restaurant is going to be excruciating. I stroke her hair and neck, offer her some water and she takes it. She snuggles against my chest, lets me sooth her, then rocks a little on my lap and I realize she is searching for my cock.
“Looking for something?” I ask.
She falters, remembers herself. “No, sir.”
She nods, tries not to look disappointed.
“I have one more thing for you before we leave. Ready?”
She nods again, brings one hand up to her mouth to bite one finger, a childish gesture of nervousness.
I almost laugh. “Nothing bad, sweet girl. This is a present. A surprise.”
Her eyes light up as she slips off my lap. I go over to the closet where I stashed the bag, then sit on the bed, patting the bedspread next to me. She shuffles slowly over the thin carpet in her stockings, smoothing out the skirt of her dress and walking slowly because her legs are still weak from being bent over my lap and beaten. She brings her hands behind her, to touch her ass, as she walks, and I can tell the muscles are already sore.
I hand her the bag. She gives me a shy smile and pulls the shoe box out of the plain white shopping bag. Her eyes widen. She realizes she only brought the flat black shoes she came in.
“Oh!” She exclaims when she opens the box. They took me a few days to find: the exact pink shade as the dress, with a small strap over the arch of her foot, delicate white trim, and a tall, thin four inch heel. She pulls them both out and pushes the wrapping aside on the bed, holds them flat in her hands, grinning. “May I?”
I slip off the bed to kneel in front of her, holding my hand out. She blushes—adorable—and hands the shoes to me, offers me her foot so I can slide them on, one at a time.
She laughs, and twirls. “I feel like these are fancy shoes from my fairy godmother, and I’m Cinderella!”
“You look amazing,” I say, standing up, and offer my hands to help her stand. It may take a minute to get used to them. I take her in my arms again and she melts into me, offering her mouth for more kisses.
When I pull away I take the delicate white panties still laid out on the bed and offer them to her. “Put these on, we wouldn’t want you getting your dress any more wet than it already is. Freshen up your lipstick and let’s go to dinner. Are you hungry?” Her lipstick is smeared from kissing me, and she hasn’t noticed. It’s probably on my mouth. I quickly wipe my mouth in the bathroom mirror and when I come back in, she’s sitting on the bed to step into her panties, pulling them up over her shoes and stockings, leaving them on the outside, so they can be the first thing that comes off later. She stands and picks up the tiny clutch purse she laid out on the dresser, checking her make-up in the dresser mirror. I slide my suit coat over my shoulders, watching her twist the lipstick up and pucker her lips. She would never do these things on her own, but she is flushed and giddy and thrilled, ready to go.