I’ve always believed in connection when it comes to my relationship, sexual and kinky interests. But sometimes it doesn’t happen right away.
It wasn’t when he tied my cuffed wrists to each side of the St. Andrew’s cross with wine-colored rope. It wasn’t when he slid my tube dress down my body and onto the floor to expose my pale, unmarked skin. It wasn’t when he felt my back with his hands, when my breathing started quickening in expectation of the beating to come. It wasn’t when the flogger hit my shoulders or ass, or when he swung his newly-acquired cane on my already painful bottom.
Our first playdate fiasco was a perfect storm of triggered emotions, hormones and mood swing. We’d met about two weeks earlier at a munch. His handsome profile and salt-and-pepper hair caught my attention. He had a nice smile, and an energy I felt I could connect to. Despite E. being there, I tried to make conversation with him.
Honestly, even that first evening, it didn’t work very well. I fell silent, unable to find something to talk about. He didn’t offer much either. I moved away, more interested in staying close to E. than anyone else, really. My moments of intimacy with E. had been escaping my grasp as winter went on, making every moment with him a precious treasure. When he’s in the room, I have trouble focusing on anyone—or anything—else.
I found out his Fetlife alias and friended him. A few messages, most of them flirty, made me feel like there could be something there. We planned a walk.
Issues with E. had been coming to the surface with increasing insistence throughout the winter. My frustration with our lack of ability to pursue our relationship was bubbling up, and I was always happy to find a sympathetic ear to unload my disappointment at the constant emotional tug-of-war. As we walked along the harbour front on an unusually warm and sunny April evening, C. listened, without judging. We found common love in Star Wars (he HAD watched the latest Rebels episode) and he told me about himself, his past, his children. I talked way too much, as I am wont to do.
The next week, we went on a casual dinner-and-drinks date at the pub down my street. I can’t say it was the best date I ever had, but it was nice. He, again, listened. I tried to listen, too. I invited him over to my apartment after, but he politely declined. I suggested that I might be amenable to play at the next kink party, which was happening the following Saturday. E. was out of town for two weeks and wouldn’t come to said party.
I showed up early, and he was already there. I was feeling strange—a mix of annoyed and expectant, of “couldn’t give a fuck” and sad that I wouldn’t get to hang out with my usual crowd of E., D., and a few other friends. I knew I had half-planned some play with C., but somehow it didn’t feel real. I went to the party alone, knowing that S. would show up later.
To be honest, with hindsight, C. seemed genuinely happy to see me. But a strong mood swing and hormonal influences made me feel like there was something creepy underneath. I felt uneasy, unable to settle into the mindset of play. I was mostly upset I wouldn’t get to see E. at all. I drank.
And then, as I was trying to conjure up some conversational skills to connect to C., he (completely unknowingly) grabbed my hand and touched it in a way that triggered some old and very rape-y memories (a story for another day). I instantly felt turned off, absolutely cold, and very unwilling to play at all, let alone with him.
I went to sit with acquaintances somewhere else, and waited for S. to come. His presence soothed me, and we left the party almost right away. He walked me home, we watched Archer, and I sent him away. I spent the next week staying away from any social interactions.
I wrote a message to C. the following day explaining my reaction and trying to justify my behaviour. I know that I didn’t have to, but I felt like he at least deserved some kind of clarification. He had done nothing wrong. He graciously apologized despite being blameless.
Fast forward two weeks. E. has been back in town for about ten days. Things happened, emotions ran their course, and I found myself having to break up with him on the day of another party, which I knew C. was attending as well. Being the pain junkie that I am, I texted C. and asked for a scene. He accepted.
I went to this second party in a totally different frame of mind. I felt free, light, open. Despite my sadness at having to break up with E., it felt a bit like the freedom I had when I did the same with M.: that it was the right thing to do, and that I had nothing to feel guilty about. That I was free to do what brings me happiness and peace.
I felt different. My energy was different. I was smiling. I was open. I was unburdened by unmet desires. I wasn’t expecting someone who wouldn’t come. I was present. C. was there, and we talked with much more openness and freedom than we had before.
When the station I wanted (the St. Andrew’s cross) became free later that evening, I eagerly offered myself. I gave him my white-and-black leather cuffs; he buckled them around my wrists. I gave him my favourite flogger. I took off my shoes and let him walk me to the cross.
With rope, he tied the cuffs to the sides of the cross. I’m very short, so he needed to use the side notches. And only when I was securely restrained did he slip my (thankfully strapless) dress down my body.
There followed a bit of impact play. Blessed pain, making me wet and bringing up all my pent up stress and emotions to the surface, purging them. And when I was properly warmed up and beaten, he walked back to his bag, and came back with something cold that he pressed against my throat.
I must admit that without my glasses, I couldn’t see much. A glint of steel. A curved blade. My head tilted back as far as it could go. My breathing quickened, became more shallow. The cutting edge pressed against my delicate skin. I was scared-but-not-scared.
He leaned in, whispered in my ear: “Breathe. Breathe. Good girl.” His body pressed against mine, pushed me into the cross.
A switch flipped.
The man I had found a bit creepy, difficult to connect with, but still somehow attractive, was now holding a knife blade against my neck. And I trusted him with it. I wanted him to show me how vulnerable I was in that moment. How dependent. How open and trusting.
How turned on.
When later he asked me when I thought the connection happened, I singled out this moment as the one. This is when our energies found their link, and finally bound together.
This is when I realized: “I could play with him again. I want to play with him again. I want him to touch me and kiss me and fuck me and hurt me.” The cold metal blade held against my throat, I found my way back to connection after months of wondering if I’d ever find something close to what I had with E. At the point of the knife running down my back, the puzzle pieces finally snapped together.
He was okay. He was actually good. He was honourable and respectful and wonderfully sadistic. He was honoured to play with me, despite how suddenly I had turned him away two weeks earlier.
I was okay. I was actually good. I was taking care of myself and my needs and choosing the truthful and rightful path by breaking up with E. I was happy and free from the worry of a constant will-they-won’t-they relationship that was ultimately out of my control.
And in this moment, I realized that if there’s one thing that I would NEVER do again after M., it is to leave the control of my happiness in someone else’s hands.
Sometimes, you gotta beat a girl to move things along.