[<- continued from Cuffs and Clamps]
My evening with Nicholas left me thoroughly confused and in a jumbled state of emotions. I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t recall ever feeling so much pain as when he took those clamps off me, but while intense it was short-lived. I also couldn’t recall ever feeling so much pure ecstatic bliss as when he brought me to orgasm. Maybe it was the extreme difference between the two that made the one all the sweeter? I didn’t know. Truth be told, the pain did not last long, except perhaps as a dull ache, and it absolutely did hyper-sensitize me to everything else. I got wet from nothing but spanking, which really confused me. The thought of being nipple-clamped again filled me with dread, and yet, at the same time, I found myself thinking about it at odd times, mentally recapturing the feeling of those implacable jaws, the heat and rush and, oh my… I had to catch myself from fondling my own nipples in public, as the urge to touch them could be overwhelming at times.
Was something wrong with me that I seemed to get off on being tied down and physically abused? I knew what Melody would say; her views on this matter were quite clear. Ashley was a little different. Ashley went with me that first time, and I knew she had been back on her own since. I really needed to talk with her about it. Still, though, as someone caught up in the midst of it herself, I couldn’t be certain hers would be the most objective viewpoint. Did I need to see a psychiatrist? Did I perhaps need counseling? I worried that I might be going off the deep end.
I did a lot of reading on the Internet about BDSM, dominance and submission, erotic spanking, and so on. For something that seemed like it shouldn’t be all that attractive, there certainly were plenty of people who enjoyed it. I found a long history of literature on the subject, going back centuries, so it wasn’t just some modern fad, either. Before the 20th century, however, it seemed like something that could get one labeled as a deviant and thrown in prison at best, so for much of history it was a dangerous thrill to seek. Unless you were a despotic Roman emperor named Caligula, of course.
The Internet age, however, seems to have been what really brought it all out of the closet. For one thing, people were becoming more accepting of non-standard sexual preferences in general. Witness the recent legalization of same-sex marriage. But more than the progression of public opinion, it seemed that simply having easier access to knowledge on the subject allowed people to learn. Online communities allowed those with similar interests to find each other in a safe manner, something that had not been easily possible to do just a decade or so earlier.
Online chatting was one thing; actually meeting these people was another. Apparently clubs for like-minded people had existed for a long time, but they were few and far between and necessarily not much publicized. They operated mostly underground, and only by word of mouth could you learn about them, or maybe from the back pages of alternative magazines. Which meant, of course, that if you didn’t already know others who were into this stuff, then you had a hard time meeting others who were into this stuff, so you were stuck. The clubs still seemed to keep a mostly low profile these days, and there still weren’t very many of them, but now they had websites, and so with a little research it was possible to locate them and find out what would be required to visit.
Still, not every city had a club like the C-Spot, so apparently it was simply lucky that I lived in Seattle where such a club existed and opened its doors to those seeking knowledge. This turned out to be a huge benefit, as while I still had doubts about my proclivities, the club provided a safe environment in which to learn and explore. I took comfort in the rules and regulations there, and while it would be embarrassing to, um, have sex, for instance, in front of other people, it would at least mean that nothing truly bad could happen. Hmm. Yeah, I wasn’t sure I was ready for public sex. Public spanking, maybe, but knowing Master Nicholas that would also involve public nudity, and I still wasn’t too sure about that.
Master Nicholas had undressed me, tied me, spanked me, and brought me to orgasm in a room with no one else present. In hindsight, I wasn’t certain this had been the smartest move on my part, but I did feel that I could trust him. I guess that was another aspect of the club; long-established members had a reputation of trustworthiness within the community, so I guess it was a little like buying something on eBay. People were unlikely to do things that would hurt their reputation, as they would then find it difficult to find willing partners. So maybe it wasn’t such a stupid thing to have gone off in a private room with Master Nicholas.
Not that it was really that private. It was a smaller room, true, with a closed door, but that door was not locked. In theory, anyone could have walked in on us at any time. There were a number of such rooms in the building, I found out, for members to seek a small modicum of privacy while still being within the club.
I found myself thinking about when the tables were turned, as well. There was no doubt it was hot as hell to have a man bent over the spanking horse with his pants down around his knees, but it didn’t really go as I had expected. For one thing, my hand really hurt afterwards, whereas Nicholas didn’t seem to even notice. Clearly, I was doing something wrong. Was it just that my hand was too small, or my arm too weak? Maybe I needed to use a paddle instead. That seemed like it would work. Something to explore.
Ok, so what was it that I really preferred? Paddling, or to be paddled? Frankly, both left me hot, but I needed to figure out which was really me. Was I a Domme or a sub?
Mistress Catherine, the owner, was clearly a Domme. She pretty much defined the role of female dominant, at least in my inexperienced mind. Frankly, she scared me a little. What was it about her that I found so interesting?
I thought hard, and I couldn’t recall if I had seen any other female Dommes. Surely there had been some, but my eyes had been so star-filled with Master Nicholas that I probably just didn’t notice. I noticed the men, though. And I noticed the female subs. So, I wasn’t sure. Maybe there just weren’t many women who could be dominant. I know there had been at least one male submissive, because he had been chained at Mistress Catherine’s feet that first night, but again, I wasn’t sure I had seen many others. Mistress Catherine also had a female sub. Did that mean that one had to be a lesbian to be a Domme? That didn’t seem right, but in my limited experience it seemed like at least being bisexual would help.
Well, wait. I didn’t actually see Mistress Catherine having sex with anyone. Actually, I hadn’t seen anyone have actual sex in the club so far, in the sense of somebody penetrating someone else. Well, there I went with my heterosexual stereotypes again. What made me think that penetration was required for sex to occur? I knew firsthand that one could have an incredibly intense orgasm without any conventional sexual penetration having occurred at all. But, still, there was a lot of touching involved. Master Nicholas definitely had his hands on me, even if I never felt his cock at any point. His fingers were definitely intimate with me, squeezing not just my nipples but my clitoris. So, yeah, maybe we did have sex. Or was that assisted masturbation? No, it wasn’t that; that would imply that I had been responsible for my orgasm in some more active way, and in my state of restraint at the time I was pretty much an observer to what was being done to my body.
So, I guess we did have sex. Sort of.
But was domination and submission about the sex? I mean, I guess sex could be a big part of it, but I felt like there might be more to it than that. From my reading, I knew that some people lived this lifestyle 24/7, and yet they couldn’t be having sex 24/7. They slept, they cooked and ate food, they had jobs, they had other hobbies and interests, they went to parties. In other words, they were still people, still human beings, not just one-sided sex machines. So what did it mean to be submissive, to be dominated, all day, every day?
This was a question I had absolutely no answer to.
Oh, shit. I knew that voice. I looked up from my laptop.
I was sitting in the Tully’s on Nickerson, having just come out of a Pilates lesson and enjoying a matcha green tea latte while writing down my confused thoughts. Usually I was pretty safe here, with only the ladies from the Pilates studio to know me who might come in, and they didn’t know me beyond our shared exercise experience.
“I’ve been meaning to call you.” He sat down in one of the chairs near me. “I feel pretty bad about the way we parted.”
Oh great, just what I needed, for him to bring that embarrassing experience up while in a public place. I blushed, and tried to cover it by sipping my latte.
“You see, it just all took me by surprise, is all. I mean, I didn’t expect it. I had no idea you were into that kind of thing.”
“Paul, I really don’t want to talk about it.”
“Listen, Olivia, maybe we could try again? If you like being tied up and stuff, well, I could get into that.”
Did he really just say that out loud, in a coffee shop filled with other patrons? I looked around, nervous and embarrassed, but no one seemed to be paying any attention to us, thank God.
“Paul, really, this isn’t the time or place.”
“Come on, Olivia, give me another chance.”
He took my hand in his, and it took all my willpower not to yank it back. To think, I invited this guy into my home, I cuffed myself to the bed, and… My god, I didn’t even know about safewords at the time, and for sure, Paul didn’t. I thought about everything Master Nicholas had said, about how a dominant took pleasure in caring for his sub, how he saw to her needs above his own, and how she was ultimately always in control.
“Paul, do you even know what a safeword is?”
“A safe what?”
“What about aftercare?”
“I don’t know what you mean. Listen, baby, I just didn’t know, that’s all. I can take great care of you.”
“Like you took great care of me the last time?” My voice was starting to rise. Why did he aggravate me so?
“Hey, it’s not like I hurt you or anything.”
“No, you just crushed my ego, embarrassed the hell out of me, made me out to be some kind of deviant, and then you ran out and left me there, locked up and alone without the key!”
Ok, others in the shop had definitely noticed us now. I took a deep breath, yanked my hand out of his grip, and shut the laptop.
“What if there had been a fire, Paul? Or some other emergency? But you know what? I don’t even care. What gets me the most is how you belittled me, made me feel so small, so, so dirty, and all I wanted was to open up and see if there was something we could do together that would bring us closer. Well, it did bring me closer to something, and that’s realizing that I don’t want you, Paul, and frankly, I don’t think you want me, either.”
I stood up, shoved my laptop into its bag and slung it over my shoulder. He just sat there, white-faced, glancing around at everyone who had dropped their own conversations to listen to us.
“I wish you the best, Paul, I really do. I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for. You just aren’t going to find it with me.”
I walked out.
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