And what should I wear?
D: You will leave your clothes by the door. You may choose undergarments to wear if you wish.
"God, that was a good one, wasn't it?" We’re gearing down after an especially grueling practice. "Yeah," I agree, laughing with exhaustion. I haven’t been playing roller derby very long, but I already know I’m going to stick with it. While the skating is fine, it’s the hitting that keeps me coming back. There’s something about being slammed into, knocked over, then pulling myself up off the floor over and over again. The resilience it requires is addicting.
I pack up my gear and skates and run to the bathroom to change, so no one will see the lacy bra I’m putting on under my sweatshirt. I hope D knew what he was doing, asking me to come over after practice without a shower. He had given me options, one of which included showering, but he told me which option he preferred, and I knew it would be a stupid move to pick anything else. At least I had a twenty minute drive to cool off.
Unfortunately, having a twenty minute drive also meant I had time to second guess myself. What was I thinking? Too late now, I already agreed, I have to follow through. I turn the music up and roll the window down.
I had met others online before, but most were uninteresting and unattractive, so I had tried not to get my hopes up for my first meeting with D. That proved difficult though, because his banter was so engaging. When he told me he’d been a Dom with previous partners, I admitted enjoying some rough play and that I was interested in delving into that more. D suggested we meet in a sex shop as a fun little introduction to each other. I was worried I would feel pressure in such a scenario, and said as much. What if we don’t like each other? I posed. Then we go our separate ways, no questions asked. I need to get something at the store anyway. D made it sound so simple.
We’d agreed to introduce ourselves in the parking lot. D stepped out of his car; dark dress pants, royal blue dress shirt, and the most luscious black skin I’d ever seen. I could hardly breathe as he strode toward me. We shook hands as though this was the most common of meetings. He was powerful, anyone could see that, but there was a command in his eyes and voice that alluded to a much deeper strength.
Inside the sex shop, D whispered, I have an idea. He approached an employee, who led us to the remote control vibrators section. Would I be willing to wear one? In public?
I park the car in front of his house and pull out the flask I've tucked in my purse. One shot won't do anything, but I need the placebo effect. I glance at the clock: 10:58. Shit. I get out of the car and triple check the address, then I open the front door and step inside. I can see the light from the TV in the living room, but the volume is low and I can't hear anything else. I set down my purse and quietly take off my clothes. I decided against underwear, but I have the lacy bra on and something he wouldn't expect: knee high socks. I smile, then remember my mission.
Am I really prepared for this? Playing rough with a boyfriend a few times is hardly the same as toying with domination. What am I looking for? Do I want to be hurt? Is it pain I want to experience or something more cerebral? What if he is too intense for me? What if I am a disappointment? I take a deep breath and lower myself to all fours, then begin to crawl up the stairs.
D told me stories of past partners and scenarios. The seriousness with which he commanded himself and his lovers intimidated me. It wasn’t a game, it was a role. Not a character he played, but a responsibility he chose to accept. I was drawn to his confidence, his honesty, his experience, his knowledge. His respect for me. How was it possible that this person, practically a stranger, who was asking permission to cause me physical harm, seemed to respect me more than anyone I’d ever met? I’d had men try to seduce me, offer to do crazy things for me, and yet this one, calmly asking about my pain tolerance and interest in being spanked, made me feel like a queen. Being asked to crawl across the floor to him felt like a privilege.
You look like an idiot. No, don't think like that! I argue with my inner embarrassment. But then my mind is quiet. I see him, sitting on the couch as planned. He’s wearing sweatpants and no shirt, his dark skin seems to be glowing in the flickering light. Did I forget how radiant he is?
His eyes are wide and light up as they lock onto mine. I crave his requests, I’m terrified and excited to follow his orders. His presence, although daunting, makes me feel free, safe, and protected somehow. He drinks in every inch of my body. He does not smile, but I can feel his approval. I reach the couch in silence and begin to kiss his stomach as I pull down his pants. He is already hard as I wrap my mouth around the tip of his penis. We both moan softly as I rediscover the taste of his skin in my mouth. Further and further in, I feel the early drips coat my throat. He lets me prove myself to him, show him I’m here to work for him, to earn the right to his body.
He stands up and grips my short hair, pulling me to my feet. He wraps his arms around my nearly naked body and kisses me. "Mmmm," he exhales as our lips and tongues meet. He takes off my bra so his hands can explore me. "You are such a beautiful woman." He speaks each word deliberately, predicting how I will tremble and sink deeper into his embrace, like I want our bodies closer than is even possible. "Come." He leads me to the bedroom.
"Assume the position," D says. My heartbeat accelerates as I bend over the bed, my mind fumbling, trying to prepare. "What time did you get here?" He demands. I hesitate. "What time did you get here?" D repeats, slower and more carefully.
"10:58?" I know I can't lie.
"Good girl. I do not tolerate dishonesty." He assesses my placement, then chuckles and leans down to kiss my head. "I like the socks."
"Oh good, I was hoping you would." They say BAD ASS and have arrows pointing up. I knew D would appreciate them, and it gives me a little comfort to find humor in the situation.
"I am pleased. You may have minus ten spanks."
"Oh, thank you!" I feel a rush of pride at pleasing him, though at this moment the difference between forty-eight and fifty-eight seems imperceptible.
"Now. You will count. Out loud."
Oh god. "What if I forget and lose my place?"
"Then we will start over."
"Oh no. Please..." I begin, and then stop myself. "Yes, Sir." I feel the first sting as his hand connects with my bottom. "One."
"Forty-six." I can't think clearly enough to encourage myself on having made it this far. I am shaking from the pain. Pain? Is that what this is? Am I raw from being beaten, or has my flesh become numb? I am teetering on the edge of feeling everything, and nothing.
"Forty-seven." I can barely choke out the words. I can’t take any more. I am about to cry. Or maybe laugh? I can’t quite tell.
"Forty-eight." Relief floods over me as I realize we’re finished. I feel a sudden sense of accomplishment, a rush of power. That feeling of resilience that I love. Liberation. And then my body is overtaken with a need I know he is about to satisfy.
D flips me over onto my back and holds me there as I pant. "Are you ready? Have I made you wait long enough?" So much emotion has been poured out, intimacy hangs in the air, and yet this will be our first time.
“Yes. Please!" I gasp. "Please, what?" D enjoys watching me writhe in anticipation. "Please fuck me." He pushes himself deep inside me and I cry out, overwhelmed and consumed by him.
"Come here." He pulls me closer so I am cradled in the nook of his arm.
"Are you okay?"
"Let's talk." D’s voice is calm, his body warm and soothing.
"There's a thin line between pain and pleasure. I want to explore that with you. I want to push you to your limit and then push more. You're capable of more than you can imagine, I want to show you that, I want to train you. Do you understand?"
"Yes." I answer quietly.
"Do you want that?" I nod, frightened but certain. I trust him more than anyone.
"You have given me a great gift, I hope you understand that. You have given me power over your body, because you have deemed me worthy. I will try to always be worthy, but if I lose your trust you will take that gift away. And so I have power, but you are the one in control. Don't ever forget that, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You are the one in control."
I finally begin to grasp the tender balance of this act. There is nothing simple about these roles. There is no violence or harm in what we have done or will do, only love and healing. It is not about the satisfaction of one person, or who is in charge. It is a journey of expansion and connection. Feeling everything and nothing, together. Equality.
D moves so he can see my face, the vulnerability in my eyes, the understanding we now share. I nod slowly as he says "Thank you."
Image: Hilary Rhoda by Bruno Staub for Vamp #3