...which really do need to be written, but, then, this post also Really Needs to Be Written.
Last night, my friend Ceres invited me to go with her to "Temptation Night" at a local club - a goth/fetish night. There would be goth music, dancing, drinks (of course) and a playroom - and this last bit sealed the deal. I've been waiting, for awhile, for a safe set of circumstances under which to start my explorations of BDSM, and this seemed perfect. There wouldn't be anything too intense or too sexual going on - it is a normal club with a playroom, not a dungeon. I would have Ceres by my side, so she'd be watching out for me and could give me references as to the reputation/trustworthiness of folks. Finally, if I got there and discovered that I didn't want to actually *do* anything that night, there'd be no pressure - it would be easy to just watch.
So I went. I put on my scarlet corset, my black pinstripe skirt, my fishnets, high(ish) heels, and a tailored pinstripe jacket. Did my hair Rocky Horror style in two buns. Actually put on makeup, and was ready to go. (I did consider going for a schoolgirl look...but decided that I didn't want the sort/amount of attention that would get me. Not for my first night at a BDSM event, anyway.)
We got to the club at about 11pm. There were lots of people there, but not a lot going on in the way of play. Possibly no one had found the playroom yet - it certainly took us a bit to do so! But, finally we discovered it. The doorway was nearly concealed in a corner, and the room was merely curtained off from the rest of the club. I couldn't bring myself to look, the first time we approached it. So I stood outside the door and read the rules for the room while Ceres went inside to scope it out. She reported to me that there was a bench, a St. Andrew's cross, and a chair - but not much else. After midnight, though, she said, it would probably take off and I'd be able to see some action.
Ceres wanted water, and I wanted a beer, so we meandered over to the bar where I got a Blue Moon (draught) for $2. $2!!! That alone would have made my night a fairly happy one. As we were drinking, Ceres glanced one of the folks she knew from the BDSM community and beckoned him over. We sat chatting until another man, known henceforward as Nemesis because that's how I thought of him all night, joined the first and began chatting with us. Ceres mentioned that I was "a virgin" (to which I said, "I am not! Not in the conventional sense, anyway." She assured me that anyone here would take "virgin" in the correct context.), and here to watch/try new things. Nemesis immediately offered me "some rope," pointing out that it would look wonderful against my corset, and implying that it would be a great pleasure for him to apply said rope. He assured me that it could be merely pretty - or restrictive, and that he had a great deal of experience in this area, and had tied several rope virgins. I immediately felt the wave of "Ooh...giddy!" but wasn't quite sure. I asked if I could have a bit of time to think about it, and find him later, which he said was fine by him. He left us, and I exploded into giggles.
As I reached for my half-drunk beer, I remembered everything I'd ever read about BDSM safety, and how one should not do BDSM while substantially intoxicated. Granted, even at my lightweight status, half a beer wasn't going to impair my judgment, but I was fairly sure now that I wanted to be tied, and perhaps more, in the course of the evening. I consulted Ceres about this, and she confirmed that one beer would probably not hurt me, but that if I planned to be flogged or hit in any way, I should probably start drinking water. We also agreed that it would probably be good if I limited myself to two discrete new experiences tonight - say, being tied up and a flogging. Those were on the top of my list. So, I got a cup of water, and we decided to go find Nemesis.
We found him putting the finishing touches on a woman's rope harness - on the stage, behind the dancers. I watched, fascinated. This was kink, and I was seeing it. This was rope bondage/play, and I was seeing it. After they descended, and the woman went off in another direction, we approached him. "Did you see that?" he asked. "Just the last bit - not the prep work. It was very lovely, though, and...I'd be interested. If you have a moment. When you have a moment." He smiled. "Just give me a few minutes." "Ok, thank you! I'll be in the playroom." The playroom, by this time, was much more active. There was a woman up on the cross, getting flogged. There was a violet wand, and a man using it on another man. There were chair massages being given, and a a signup sheet. There was a rack of tools out - crops, floggers, slappers, and even a bunch of feathers. There was tape of several sorts and a pair of competent-looking scissors laid out on the top of a crate. Ceres signed up for a chair massage, and I gazed at the flogging in process. What would it be like, I wondered, to be bound up to a cross for the express purpose of being hit? I had half expected that BDSM in person would not be as exciting as BDSM in writing/imagination. But it was. The cross, especially, brought up images of holy agony, martyrdom, fanatical monks beating themselves as penance...of all the ordeals that go with and all the ways that pain can play into a visceral, mystical spirituality.
As I was contemplating this, I felt a light touch at my shoulder, and saw that Nemesis had returned and was ready for me. The woman was just coming down off the cross, so we waited till she was clear, and took the space near the cross for our purposes. Nemesis started off by asking if I was claustrophobic, if I'd broken anything in my chest area, etc. He then asked if I wanted something merely pretty, or if I wanted to be restrained. I had thought about this, and told him that although my primary interest in rope is for purposes of restraint, it might be better not to try that my first time. He nodded, and suggested a box harness - a nice blend of pretty and restriction with my arms crossed behind my back. That didn't sound too extreme or too frightening, so I assented. He reminded me that if At Any Point I needed him to stop, he would. I could be cut out of the harness in less than 10 seconds, he assured me - and don't hesitate to ask for it. I nodded, grateful for the attention to safety.
He got out his rope - a lovely blue blend - and began by tying my wrists together. I was concentrating on breathing deeply, noticing how I felt, noting my sensations. I felt the slightest bit of panic when the rope tightened below my breasts, but a breath or two did the trick. The reality that I could not move/use my arms and hands began to come very clear to me. And that was ok. I was in a place of assurance, of peace. I was alright with letting go of the responsibility of using my own hands/arms, and being confident that my needs would be taken care of. He kept talking/chatting to me through the process in an effort to make this merely a tying-up of a rope virgin, rather than any sort of "scene" with serious headspace going on. I was appreciative of this, for while headspace is eventually the goal, I knew that I probably shouldn't be going there on my first night in a playspace. At the same time, though, I wanted to go there. I was almost annoyed by being continually asked to be verbal. I could have easily slid into that fuzzy, warm, non-verbal space that trance or sex put me into.
After he finished, he said something about calling for him or [someone else's name here] if I needed to get out of it. I suppose my face must have gone a bit panicky, because Ceres asked if I needed to come out of it right now. I had not even considered the possibility of walking around the club like that...of being helpless to keep up with my things in a place where I knew almost noone. That, now, was a bit too much. I apologized profusely, but said that I didn't think I could do that right now, in this situation. Nemesis was gracious, and untied me. The freedom to use my arms was...novel. I hadn't been bound for that long, but it was still neat to regain freedom of movement. Verdict: Rope bondage = Yay, and lots.
Directly after this, Ceres was getting up on the cross to get a flogging from one of her good friends in the scene, hereafter known as the Rocky Horror Flogger (RHF). As they were preparing, I began chatting about my rope experience with a guy Ceres had introduced me to earlier. Eventually, a small group formed, and when it came out to the newcomers that I was "trying new things," guy with a fantastic beard asked if I'd ever tried - or would want to try - the violet wand. Now, I've heard great things about this instrument. I know folks who are generally not-kinky who love it. I know kinky folks who love it. But...I had limited myself to two discrete experiences, right? And, well, I really wanted to get flogged for the first time. But...I didn't know if I'd have the opportunity, if there was anyone Ceres trusted to give a flogging gentle enough for me (RHF has a reputation for being rather rough). So I accepted the offer of getting acquainted with the violet wand. The Magician (because a magician has a wand...get it? Hee.) sat me down on the bench, and began explaining the wand to me. The swirly disc-like attachment that he started out with wasn't bad, but could easily be too much. And it wasn't really a sensation that turned me on. When he got out the little metal fingertip/claws, it got better. But, then, I love the sensation of nails or a point being dragged over my skin anyway. And the occasional sharp pain wasn't sexy...it just made me cringe. I felt kinda bad that I didn't enjoy it more - he was really very kind and doing his damndest to make it a good experience. But he didn't seem to take offense, and that's really part of learning, I suppose. Finding out what I don't like as well as what I do like. Verdict: Magician? Yes please! Violet wand? Not so much. Not at this point, at least.
Pretty soon after this, Ceres's beating was done, and we went to wander around and watch the dancers. Goth dancing is awesome. It's cute and hot and funny and overly dramatic. And did I mention the amount of hot boys on the dance floor? Ye-ah. Pretty boys dancing. It doesn't get a whole lot better (ok, it does. But still.). As we were watching, we saw a beautiful (and when I say beautiful, I mean goddamned gorgeous) Asian-looking man with hair nearly down to his ass and a large and lovely flogger at his waist. He was walking past us, and neither Ceres nor I could take our eyes off of him. Oy. Dangerous place, with such lovely boys! Ceres eventually got bored with the dancing, so we decided to go mingle. I popped back into the playroom to check out the waiting list for chair massages, and put my name down. As I was filling out the card, I came to the realization that Goddamned Gorgeous Man (GGM) was standing right beside me. Oh gods.
After I finished filling out the card, he turned to me, and mentioned that he'd seen me being tied up earlier, and asked how I liked it. We fell to chatting about it being my first time, and what the experience was like, and what brought me to BDSM in the first place. And then it was my turn to be massaged. Wow. I've had a few different professional massages in my brief life, and this one wasn't the best. But it was a Far Cry from being the worst, especially for a chair massage. Mm. When I got up from it, I was slightly saddened to see that GGM was no longer in the playroom. Ceres mentioned that he'd been popping in and out while I'd been getting my massage, so he'd probably be back. She also mentioned that her friend, RHF, had said that if I wanted a flogging, he would to his utmost to be gentle. I did some considering, decided that rules were made to be broken, and concluded that I shouldn't pass up the chance for a flogging when it presented itself.
At the moment, RHF was occupied with another girl, helping her into the cuffs, so I had awhile. During her flogging, GGM returned, and we continued chatting. I realized very clearly during this conversation something that had been bothering me all night: I should not expect to be at my most coherent/eloquent (especially with a beeautiful man) when I'm flying high on New Experience/Kinky Endorphins. I may have looked my best, but I'm sure I didn't come off as my normal, intelligent self. I was too busy grinning and searching for adjectives that wouldn't come to my harried brain. After a while, GGM decided to go find his friends - but not before expressing a hope to see me at future events of this nature. Everything from my waist down was begging me to ask him for a demonstration of that flogger of his...but I didn't know him and Ceres didn't either, so I decided that would have to stay in my fantasies for the time being.
RHF finished with the girl, and gestured to me. Here it was. The moment - I was going to be on a cross, getting hit. He fastened me into the cuffs and showed me the flogger he would use, assuring me that he'd start very, very light and check in often. He said I should flash one hand at him for "yellow", and both for "red." I stretched out my arms, grabbed the handles where the chains attached, and breathed. This time, I let myself slip, a little. The first touch of the flogger was whisper-light, more breeze than contact. He built into a rhythm of figure-8 strokes, more contact, but still more breeze. He increased the intensity a bit, and it began to hurt, just a little. He paused, rubbing my back, and asked if I was ok. I said yes, and he continued. The intensity kept building till suddenly there was a pause, and a discrete, distinct single blow on my shoulder, Then on the other shoulder. Then back - five or six times before resuming the figure-8. But oh, those strokes - definitely more contact that air, more thud, more shock, more jolting me out of normal consciousness. During those distinct strokes I could feel myself slipping, slipping into the rhythm, into the pattern. It was not truly painful, yet, but it was powerful. He paused again, checked, and continued. Again, the intensity heightened. This time, I could feel the single strokes pushing my tolerance - not dangerously, but making me aware of the fact that they did, in fact, hurt. When he checked in again, I told him that he was probably at the maximum intensity I could take for tonight. He nodded, and resumed, not going above that intensity. The next time he checked in, I told him I was ready to be done. I could have stayed there longer, but I would have gone farther away than I was ready to go that night. He brought out a fluffy, warm...ball of something, and rubbed my shoulders and arms, gentling and grounding me down. He unfastened me from the cuffs, helped me down, and hugged me. Verdict: Flogging? Yes. And more!!
For the rest of the night (which was not very long), I was buzzing, flying, thrilled. I was encouraged by both the Magician and RHF to attend more of these events, or, due to the unpredictability of scheduling these things, they informed me that they could both be found at the weekly showing of RHPS, hanging out with the cast and crew, and that they both brought their "bag of tricks" with them. Hee.
This was *exactly* what my first experience with the BDSM scene/activities needed to be, for me. Low pressure, lots of support, and good, respectful, safety-conscious people. Wheee!