I’m spoiled.

Master gives me many wonderful small presents, but one of the best is my nickname, Bunny.  And of course, because he is a writer, he also gives me poetry…..

 

You are the rabbit
On its back
With its feet
Up in the air stomach
Exposed.

I
Am the Wolf
With teeth shining
As it salivates
With hunger.

You love me
At once
Hoping that I will consume you
Terrified
And wanting to run away.

And I
Love you
At once
Wanting to consume you
And keep you safe.

This paradox
This unimaginable
Duality
Is our binary star
The two of us
Circling
Each other.

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What the Fire Does

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I returned to camp this year, after almost two years away. I hadn’t intended to take a break, but then came the wonderful GD2, and new friendships, and new relationships, and a marriage that was dripping away like rain, and so many holes to plug in a bucket that was just constantly overflowing.

I want to write about the fulfilling fun things that I did upon my return to Twisted Tryst this year. I’m going to tell the tale about being kidnapped, hunted and raped in the woods. I’m going to relive the wonderful scene where my inner bully picked on a little boy and pinged him in the head with a jawbreaker. I can’t wait to share with you the fear I felt when MagisterNodi forced me to shave his head or the pride I experienced as I watched a partner overcome an ordeal.

But first I have to tell you what it felt like to come home, because the feeling of being home gave me a safe space to experience all of those things.

You see, I didn’t want to return to Tryst. Camp was a place where my husband Jim and I created a family for ourselves, developing close ties to kindred spirits. It was a place where we had powerful moments, connected moments. It is where I ate ash for him for the first time, taking his passion for cigars, for anything really, deep into my body and consuming it. It is where he helped me conquer my terror of dark waters as he held me under the ripples of the lake until I stopped struggling. Camp is where he taught me to cook over a fire, to drive a car, to huddle together under blankets to make a meager amount of warmth big enough for two.

Camp is where he first began to play intensely with others, showing a quiet interest in stepping outside of our relationship.

Camp is also where I realized that I wanted and needed to experience a different type of love than his.

So yeah, returning to camp, now that I was out of that relationship and into a new one, was difficult. I was scared of so many, many things. Would my family still want me around after the drama? Would I still want to be around? Did people like me for me or for me and Jim? Would I feel sad and empty? Or worse, would I feel nothing?

*******

I found old family, right where I left them. I found new family. But most of all, I found a sense of peace that I didn’t have before this past weekend. When the sun rose over our tent on Thursday, I sat outside in the quiet dawn and realized that I was exactly where I needed to be with the person I needed to be with.

*******

On Saturday night at the fire I laid my head on a good friend’s lap. Aided by a bit of alcohol and the mystery of woo, the words tumbled from my lips. “I miss my husband.”

“I know” she whispered back.

“It is a horrible thing to love someone so much, to have a soulmate, but not to be with them because you know you are happier and healthier elsewhere.”

I finally said it out loud.

I was half horrified and half relieved, and stumbled through apologies and her smiles of understanding. I explained that I just needed to say it. “That’s what camp does, what the fire does” she said.

And out of nowhere, MagisterNodi crouched down in front of me, his hand on my leg, his smiling lips saying a soft “Hello, little one.”

******

It’s been a year — a year without Jim. A solo journey after years of partnered expeditions. It has been a year of change, of loss, of gain, of finding a solid place of belonging, and of finding love. A year of finding home.

Thanks, camp.

L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
You’ve got more than money and sense my friend,
You’ve got heart and you’re going your own way
-Noah and the Whale

A Wise Master Once Said…..

It’s hard, isn’t it little one, when we view people as Gods and they make stupid, human mistakes?  We correct that by not viewing people as infallible.

-12/30/12 as he strips the soaking wet clothes from my body as I huddle in the shower

I can not control what the world does to you, but I can control how you respond to it.

-12/16/12 as he comforts me, pressing my head to his chest with his fist in my hair.

There is no pleasure in hurting you through carelessness.  You’ve had enough of that for a life time.  When I hurt you, I do it deliberately and methodically. Because I plot and plan in detail ways to make your life excruciating, you know you can let go with me.  Just be vulnerable, little girl, and I’ll do the rest.

-12/1/12 before an emotionally devastating scene

Thief

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“What are we doing?” I ask.

“I’m stealing thirty minutes” he says, his voice full and drowsy. “I need to just hold still.”

We are laying on the bed, where he has made me cuddle up beside him, my head tucked on his shoulder, his legs pinning mine to the mattress. He begins to drift off to sleep.

I sigh impatiently and push myself into a sitting position. We haven’t spent any time together today, so those thirty minutes are mine and I do not want to spend them sleeping. “What’s wrong?” he asks and my voice is stilted and hesitant as I reply “I’m lonely. We haven’t spent any time together in awhile.”

Jim warned me about this” he replies. His tone makes it clear he is impatient. “You don’t feel that simply lying beside each other is time spent together.” He gives me a wicked grin as he says “We spent an hour together this morning, so no complaining.”

I nod my head sadly and leave the bed. He rolls over and clutches a pillow as I return to the living room and the warm couch that awaits me.  MN is anything but careless, and I know his lack of reaction isn’t because he doesn’t realize I’m feeling neglected — no, it is worse than that, it is because he doesn’t care how I feel about it at all.  How dare he take my thirty minutes, I think, anger and resentment filling my heart.

*****************

6 hours earlier

“Easy. Don’t be afraid.” He whispers, using a soft voice and touch to soothe me. He has startled me awake, his hand firm on my thigh as he moves me from the protective fetal position I sleep in to one that gives him access to my pussy.

My panties are pulled to the side and a finger enters me, the thick, rough length pushing past dry tissue, stinging as he forces my body to accommodate it, make room for it. I whimper and he pushes harder, his voice growing impatient as he commands me to relax, accept the invasion, find pleasure in the pain.

“MN, don’t hurt me.” I whisper, begging and demanding all at the same time. We’ve had a rough few days, our time taken up by family and work engagements, my emotional masochism on a rampage that makes me overly sensitive and prone to having hurt feelings from every interaction. The emotional ache has left no room for physical pain.

He ignores me. “You like it when daddy touches you” he croons softly.

I know this game. We’ve played it four times this week already, and it is only Tuesday morning. If I don’t play along, it will go badly for me. I can either adopt the role of a little girl being molested by her daddy, a little girl who loves it and is ashamed by it all at the same time, or I can get hit. It is the nature of our relationship – I keep my captor happy and my captor keeps the pain to a minimum.

But it isn’t pain that makes my tone softer and my words more childish, makes my gestures become girlish and young. It is the fear of disappointment. Because this dark role play is the only focused interaction I am getting lately that isn’t full of criticism.

The molestation continues for an hour, MN cajoling and blackmailing, and finally raping, his fantasy little girl, who I’m playing, but who isn’t me. “I am not the role I play,” I think to myself the entire time. I am a vessel for this illusion. By the time the hour is up, I feel completely objectified, hidden within my own body, my personality of no consequence.  This time together was not for me, because I didn’t exist within it.

********

The thirty minutes are up, and MN meanders into the living room. “I’m going to get the boys from the school bus” he says, and laces up his shoes. He is out the door before I can reply.

I still sit on the couch, still resentful and sullen. The half hour hasn’t dulled my feelings. Those thirty minutes that he stole from me are gone. Our morning had been full of sex, his sex, in which my presence only mattered as long as I performed perfectly, a doll taken off the shelf for his amusement. Our afternoon up to this point was spent in the same home, but not together. I’ve been on the couch, using it as a sick bed to fight a persistent flu that I just can’t seem to beat. MN has been in the office, his fingers clicking away as he does research, writes, and converses with friends. I laid down at his feet at one point, curled around the spokes of his chair, seeking attention like a neglected kitten. I received a literal pat on the head for my efforts, and a smile that was full of impatient indulgence, but impatience none the less.

My mind fast forwards to what the busy evening will look like: homework with children; family coming for dinner; cleaning up and doing dishes after the meal; stories for bedtime; and finally his absence from the house for a play date. I realize that there will be no more thirty minutes for me today, and tomorrow will be a 12 hour work day. Any hope I had for his focus on me as a person drips away with the tears that fall of my chin.

He is back home, children in tow. Once he has them settled and doing homework, he leans down to pat me on the head. He sees my tears and impatiently barks “Great, just what I fucking need.” I hide my tears behind the curtain of my hair as I go off to the bedroom to lay down.

*********************

MN wrote about time recently, quoting an oft-used passage from the Bible:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….

Ecclesiastes cautions us to practice prudence and patience, teaches that all things have their place of belonging, and most importantly, espouses that time is a generous and boundless thing.

But what if it isn’t?

In a standard monogamous relationship, you fight about children, money, and sex. In a non-monogamous relationship you fight about time and priority. Which partner gets what time, and how much of that time, and how will that time be spent? Who has priority when time becomes scarce? If you only have an hour to spend in the day, who’s hour is it?

While pondering this I remember MN never said “I’m stealing thirty minutes from you.” He said very clearly “I’m stealing thirty minutes.”

I’m struck by the realization that when he said he was stealing thirty minutes, he didn’t mean he was stealing them from me. He meant he was stealing them from his day – thirty minutes outside of everything he wanted to accomplish today to relax and hold still.

MN is on his play date now, and my heart is heavy and filled with longing as I reflect on the fact that he had extra time to spend tonight, and specifically chose not to spend it with me. He gave it to someone else.

What he has taught me this week is that I don’t own his time, not even thirty minutes of it. It isn’t mine to hoard, to hold on to, to feel resentful over. Simply put, it isn’t mine. I am property, just like his time.

It is easy to teach a person that they don’t own a tangible good — you simply take it away, and the physical act of removing it from their hands is a clear reminder that to the victor go the spoils; but with the things you can’t touch or hold on to, that you don’t have a physical reminder for, it is much more difficult.  It takes a nuanced cruelty to get the point across that a person doesn’t own something they can’t see, can’t feel, can’t materialize.

*** Disclaimer: MN and I are in a consensual Master/slave relationship that is purposefully built on a foundation of healthy emotional masochism and sadism.  We are both fulfilled by his emotional cruelty, which is always thoughtful and deliberate, with an eye towards the overall health of both our relationship and ourselves.

The Space in Between

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Separation
noun \ˌse-pə-ˈrā-shən\
a : a point, line, or means of division
b: an intervening space

As many of you may already know, after a twelve year M/s relationship and a marriage that lasted for more than a decade, Jim and I separated earlier this year. We are now living in different homes, with different people, forging new relationships with others and with each other.

While the term separation clearly defines a space between objects, what it doesn’t convey is what fills that gap between two people. For Jim and I, that gap, as it grew, was filled with a sense of rage and jealousy, a sense of betrayal and abandonment, and a lot of misunderstanding.

You may have seen dramatic behavior between the two of us, caused by all of the miserable things that filled that ever widening gap and our unsuccessful attempt to hold onto each other despite the chasm that was growing.

We hurt, and in hurting, hurt each other, sometimes inadvertently and sometimes on purpose.

The pain of loving each other, of missing each other, has not yet subsided for either of us, and may never do so. We talk about it almost daily, how much we wish things had happened differently. But they didn’t. The lashing out that comes from that pain seems to have blessedly ceased. Jim knows that I will always be here for him, and I know that he will always be there for me. Our love for each other has not changed. Beyond that, we take things one day at a time.

Oh, the things that I have learned….about people, about vulnerability, about trust, about concepts like forever.

Our relationship has changed immensely over the past few months. We have no plans to divorce now or at any time in the future. We also have no plans to reconcile. We see each other on a regular basis and consider each other friends…friends and so much more. But not partners, not lovers, not a couple. I’ve known Jim for more than half of my life and lived, willingly and happily, under his control since shortly after I became an adult. In that regard, I molded myself to be as close to what he wanted as possible, happy and warm in that role. . An M/s relationship is not built in a day, and even when the warmth of that relationship is yanked away, the chains that bind it do not unravel quickly. I could write you novels about the methods and sorrows and difficulties of building and breaking down a sense of slavery.

Not only has my relationship with Jim changed immensely over the past few months, but so has my life.

All these changes have required me to give up the comfort and security of my beloved animals, saying goodbye to the dogs who had become family for me and who I literally spent all day, every day with. I moved out of my home, my place of safety and belonging. The comfort that I felt in the knowledge that I was someone’s someone was suddenly gone. And as I found myself barren of all things I had known, I found exactly what I didn’t know I needed.

In the beginning of this transition I had this idea that I came to Jim twelve years ago, hopeless and empty, and that I left my M/s relationship with him having reverting back to that horrible place. But I’ve been given a place to heal and flourish by a wonderful man who has helped me see all of the good things that I carry with me from my past relationship. He uses methods that are new to me to nourish both my mental well being and my emotional masochism. He has shown me that I have the strength to go on and he has helped me find some invaluable things, like the opportunity to rebuild my self confidence, the ability to recognize that I have supportive friends and family, and the knowledge that self-worth doesn’t come from others, but from within. Would I have come to that place with out his help? Possibly, probably….but it has been wonderful to have a friend and support system on this journey, and being bolstered has certainly sped up the process.

In addition, my life has changed in one major way – through his family, I am a parent now, raising two young boys, and where I used to laze about in the morning I am now busy making lunches, helping tie shoes, and teaching values and life lessons on the way to the bus stop. The student has become the teacher, and I find myself passing on the knowledge that Jim gave me about responsibility, work ethic, maturity, and love.

But although some things have changed, much has stayed the same.

My commitment to my community remains steadfast. Although I may smile less right now (and that is quickly changing), you will still find me volunteering as a director at GD2, both behind the scenes and at the club itself. I’m still incredibly dedicated to creating Locus and providing opportunities for people to express and embrace their sex-positive, kinky selves. BDSM still excites me, forms the basis for my new relationship, and fulfills me.

I’m also still incredibly committed to educating others in the kink community. Through education we find the freedom to be ourselves and the ability to be authentic. Jim and I taught together for more than a decade on a variety of edge play topics, sharing the knowledge we had gathered together, and although he is no longer interested in being an educator, it is still something I am incredibly passionate about and will continue doing. MagisterNodi and I have taught together several times and are excited to share our knowledge with others at our upcoming classes.

Where an old life ends, a new life begins.

Thanks to all of my friends who have graciously given me their support during this difficult time. Many of you have reached out to ask me how I am doing, to let me know you are there, and even when I haven’t been able to respond, you’ve continued to reach out, proving that I am not alone. You can stop asking if I’m ok (I know you won’t and I love you for it!), because I am, and then some.

Name Three Things

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Lately I,
Every time I try to lie down
While my mind just gets away
I can’t even close my eyes now

Between the big fish and ambition and the lovers
Using words as ammunition
Between the wood planks, I’ve been pacing and this
Impossible dream that I’ve been chasing

Oh, God, why you been
Hanging out in that ol’ violin
While I’ve been waiting for you
To pull me through?

Violin – Amos Lee

This afternoon I found myself sitting at my computer, fingers hovering above the keyboard, struggling in vain to pour something out of my soul and onto paper.  I am compelled to purge.  Tonight, my owner MN has a date with another woman during which he will show her a viciousness, a brutality, that he normally reserves for me.  I am struggling with the emotions of envy, of inadequacy, of shame.  After ten minutes of staring at the screen, I contact MN to discuss my frustrations with writing.

“I want to write but feel paralyzed….I just don’t want to delve into one of the meaty topics I have planned.” I whine, incapable of being vulnerable to a blank sheet of paper while feeling this tormented.  “I’m sure you understand.”

“I do understand,” he commiserates. “You want to feel the words flowing without having to make a real mental investment of time.”

“Yes!” I muse to myself that he, an official and degreed wordsmith, understands my struggle well.

“Name three things that I have done in the last week or so that have made you feel both loved and owned,” he commands. “Light enough?”

And it is.

It is light, approachable, fluffy. It should be easy, shouldn’t it, to trill off a list of one of the many things he has done to show me care and mastery?  It should be simple to pluck out one of the plethora of intimate moments we have and speed-write about why it is special.

Maybe I’ll choose the way he sang softly to me as we showered, his hands cupping water and letting it reverently rinse away suds from a body he had just violated.

Or perhaps I will share how he put me to bed gently one evening, then startled me awake in the morning, his fist in my hair, his nose pressed to mine, his voice full of gravel as he whispered “You are what I make you. Nothing more. Nothing less.” He followed that statement up with a violent lack of care for my body that showed me what the term “nothing more” means.

Or should I discuss the time he told me, in precise and intimate detail, how much he was looking forward to shoving his cock in another woman’s mouth, and how my envy and sadness over that possibility made him feel like he couldn’t be himself. Should I describe how his words burrowed into my heart, hollowing it out and creating a shell where I was once a person, while his hands gently probed my vagina, his fingers wringing orgasm after orgasm from my unwilling but oh so thankful body.

Oh, the time for this last one to become reality is here, I lament to myself as my fingers continue to hover, shaking, above the keys.

But it isn’t easy to write those moments out, to describe them in flowery sentences and let them bloom for the world to see. As I struggle with this task I begin to delve into why I’m having such trouble pouring my soul onto paper today.

Is it because I am a private person? I don’t like sharing my intimate emotions with others. But I write regularly, voluntarily exposing my life’s difficulties and joys in print and discussion, so that can’t be it.

Is it because I am having difficulty selecting exactly which moments to share? In choosing one do I devalue the others? I pause on this thought a bit, trying to create some sense of priority out of the many encounters we’ve had recently. But then I decide no, this isn’t it, because my time with MN is one never-ending circle of displays of love and ownership, melding together to form a complete life instead of an existence full of individual moments.

So why is it that this command to name things that have made me feel both loved and owned is so difficult to answer?

I think my reluctance to put pen to paper lies in the fact that I need these moments, these breaths where I feel not the singular emotion of love or ownership, but the combination of the two. In needing this, in craving it, in waiting constantly for it, I worry that I am being pushy. I feel shame that I am too much work. That I am a bother.  I feel inadequate that I need proof of love and ownership instead of simply and gently accepting that they are.  I feel horrible that when I watch him give care and brutality to others, I selfishly want to bottle it up for me, like a favorite scent that you capture in a perfume decanter, uncapping again and again to savor.

A thing, a noun, a car, a piece of property….doesn’t need.

It functions. It exists. It doesn’t beg for those displays of tender cruelty, it doesn’t appreciate being subjugated, it doesn’t need the juxtaposition of brutality mixed with care to survive. But I do need, want, and have to experience all of those things. So in admitting that I value the intersection of both love and ownership, that I crave proof that I am his, am I thus proving that I am not property after all?

The answer to the question is the question itself.

As I pen this, MN is in his office, most likely reaping the rewards of a scene well done as he shoves his cock down another woman’s throat.  I sit on the couch, my face covered in tears of sadness and envy, wrapped in a soft blanket, wishing it were my owner’s arms, his fists pummeling my face instead of his actions pummeling my heart.

This afternoon I found myself sitting at my computer, fingers hovering above the keyboard, struggling in vain to pour something out of my soul and onto paper. I am compelled to purge. Tonight, my owner MN has a date with another woman during which he will show her a viciousness, a brutality, that he normally reserves for me. I am struggling with the emotions of envy, of inadequacy, of shame. After ten minutes of staring at the screen, I contact MN to discuss my frustrations with writing.

“I want to write but feel paralyzed….I just don’t want to delve into one of the meaty topics I have planned.” I whine, incapable of being vulnerable to a blank sheet of paper while feeling this tormented. “I’m sure you understand.”

“I do understand,” he commiserates. “You want to feel the words flowing without having to make a real mental investment of time.”

“Yes!” I muse to myself that he, an official and degreed wordsmith, understands my struggle well.

“Name three things that I have done in the last week or so that have made you feel both loved and owned,” he commands. “Light enough?”

And it is.

It is light, approachable, fluffy. It should be easy, shouldn’t it, to trill off a list of one of the many things he has done to show me care and mastery? It should be simple to pluck out one of the plethora of intimate moments we have and speed-write about why it is special.

Maybe I’ll choose the way he sang softly to me as we showered, his hands cupping water and letting it reverently rinse away suds from a body he had just violated.

Or perhaps I will share how he put me to bed gently one evening, then startled me awake in the morning, his fist in my hair, his nose pressed to mine, his voice full of gravel as he whispered “You are what I make you. Nothing more. Nothing less.” He followed that statement up with a violent lack of care for my body that showed me what the term “nothing more” means.

Or should I discuss the time he told me, in precise and intimate detail, how much he was looking forward to shoving his cock in another woman’s mouth, and how my envy and sadness over that possibility made him feel like he couldn’t be himself? Should I describe how his words burrowed into my heart, hollowing it out and creating a shell where I was once a person, while his hands gently probed my vagina, his fingers wringing orgasm after orgasm from my unwilling but oh so thankful body?

Oh, the time for this last one to become reality is here, I lament to myself as my fingers continue to hover, shaking, above the keys.

But it isn’t easy to write those moments out, to describe them in flowery sentences and let them bloom for the world to see. As I struggle with this task I begin to delve into why I’m having such trouble pouring my soul onto paper today.

Is it because I am a private person? I don’t like sharing my intimate emotions with others. But I write regularly, voluntarily exposing my life’s difficulties and joys in print and discussion, so that can’t be it.

Is it because I am having difficulty selecting exactly which moments to share? In choosing one do I devalue the others? I pause on this thought a bit, trying to create some sense of priority out of the many encounters we’ve had recently. But then I decide no, this isn’t it, because my time with MN is one never-ending circle of displays of love and ownership, melding together to form a complete life instead of an existence full of individual moments.

So why is it that this command to name things that have made me feel both loved and owned is so difficult to answer?

I think my reluctance to put pen to paper lies in the fact that I need these moments, these breaths where I feel not the singular emotion of love or ownership, but the combination of the two. In needing this, in craving it, in waiting constantly for it, I worry that I am being pushy. I feel shame that I am too much work. That I am a bother. I feel inadequate that I need proof of love and ownership instead of simply and gently accepting that they are. I feel horrible that when I watch him give care and brutality to others, I selfishly want to bottle it up for me, like a favorite scent that you capture in a perfume decanter, uncapping again and again to savor.

A thing, a noun, a car, a piece of property….doesn’t need.

It functions. It exists. It doesn’t beg for those displays of tender cruelty, it doesn’t appreciate being subjugated, it doesn’t need the juxtaposition of brutality mixed with care to survive. But I do need, want, and have to experience all of those things. So in admitting that I value the intersection of both love and ownership, that I crave proof that I am his, am I thus proving that I am not property after all?

The answer to the question is the question itself.

As I pen this, MN is in his office, most likely reaping the rewards of a scene well done as he shoves his cock down another woman’s throat. I sit on the couch, my face covered in tears of sadness and envy, wrapped in a soft blanket, wishing it were my owner’s arms, his fists pummeling my face instead of his actions pummeling my heart.

I ponder if, in this moment, I feel loved, if I feel owned…There is something sublime in this microcosm of a minute, where I realize that I, property, don’t want the luxury of feeling anything at all.

Game On

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“What do you like about him?” my friend asks over a bottle of wine. “He isn’t really your type.”

“What’s my type?”

“Stocky in body and personality. A misogynist. A mountain man. That’s not him. He probably voted for Obama.”

I think for a moment and I can’t come up with an adequate and honest response. This relationship is new, the first one I’ve had outside my marriage in a long time, and I’m not sure where I want it to go.

“He destroys you” my friend, who knows me as well as I know myself, says. I nod slowly, lost in my own head.

“I don’t win. That’s what I like about him. You’ve met my husband and seen our relationship, him constantly taking control. I crave that. I can’t be with a man who lets me win.”

My friend takes a sip of wine and asks “Are you starting the battles?”

“I’m starting a mother fucking war.” I nod, admitting to myself that I’ve always known the exact path I want this relationship to take, him proving that he has room for me, wants me, sees me.

We toast to battle strategy.

*******************************************

“I’ll pick you up at 11:10 A.M. I don’t care what you wear. Don’t eat and don’t drink any Diet Coke before then” he barks in my ear.

I whine, bitchy at being denied my equivalent of morning coffee. Without it, I remain groggy for hours. I can tell from his voice that he wants me groggy, wants me off my game, my mouth and reactions a little slower. I didn’t see this one coming, and I berate myself for being ethical and honest as I pour the can of soda I just opened down the drain. He’s handicapped me and I briefly consider calling him a cheater. But then I remember he doesn’t know I’m waging a war and I don’t want to tip him off.

*******************************************

I’m kneeling on his kitchen floor, my knees padded by the rug in front of the dishwasher. My ankles and wrists are encased in leather cuffs, and my forehead is pressed to the hardwood. He lifts my dress and I whimper, sit straight up and push him away. I cringe because I’ve let him see my shameful secret – I can do incredibly physically edgy and emotionally dangerous things but I can’t let him lift my dress and lower my panties. It’s too extreme, too vulnerable, too exposed.

“Do you trust me?” he whispers in my ear, and I slowly nod my head. “Do you understand what I mean when I ask if you trust me?” I do, but I refuse to answer. He holds me down and I start to cry as I realize he knows we’re at war and he is mounting a campaign.

He gives me a reprieve and I sneak off to the bathroom, tearing off my panties and stuffing them in my purse, feeling a sense of victory at stealing his opportunity to make me feel vulnerable.

*******************************************

I’m back on the floor again. I’m quiet. I haven’t said anything in awhile because I’m too groggy to be witty and I don’t want him to see behind the snarky, combative veneer I wear with him. If he can’t see me, he can’t hurt me.

He puts a mixing bowl, eggs, condensed milk, and lime juice in front of me and gives me instructions. He begins to prepare our breakfast while I prepare dessert. I was expecting an intense and challenging scene. He’s taken me by surprise and thrown me off my game by doing this mundane activity with me.

But as I sit there quietly, fortifying my castle walls in my own head, I realize what dish I am making, and I grow sad. It is a dessert for his pair of girls, and he makes it for them often. And then I begin thinking about the idiosyncrasies of language and how he often tells me to go do things with “his girls” or talks to me about what “his girls” did today. His language is filled with the phrase “you and my girls”. I’m always separate from them. And I realize that making dessert for a group that I desperately wish included me is intense and incredibly painful. I wipe tears off my face while his back is turned, so he can’t see them, can’t see a crack in my defenses.

“What are you making?” he asks me. “Dessert for your two girls” I whisper, unable to stop myself, revealing that I’m shaken by the knowledge that he has no room in his life for me. Dumb battle mistake, but I quickly cover it up with a cocky smile, not wanting him to see what spoils go to the victor.

His hand crashes across my face, bruising my lower lip and knocking my head to the side. “Stupid bitch” he says, looking offended and smug all at the same time. Oh, he’s good. He’s seen my weakness, set me up to reveal my fears to him. “You can have some if you’re good” he whispers, and I know he is already at the castle gate when I thought he was miles away.

*******************************************

“Breathe” he commands, and I suck air in greedily, filling up lungs that I’ve been holding still for awhile. He is kneeling behind me, cradling me in his arms while he sexually tortures me, and the dichotomy steals my breath.

We’ve just finished our breakfast, me on my knees beside him, pressed down against a vibrator, hand fed the best omelet I’ve ever had. I don’t mix food and sex, and the past 45 minutes of throbbing pleasure while being denied orgasm has been difficult for me.

I’m crying for him; he’s lecturing me, punishing me for a lack of self control I’d shown earlier in the week. What a pair we make, he the captor and I the willing victim, caught in a brief moment in which I no longer want to win this battle. But my cease fire is fleeting, and I am mentally preparing for battle again.

*******************************************

“On your knees, forehead to the ground.” He places his foot against my ass and shoves me forward, my face mashing into the sisal rug, my knees torn by the rough fibers. I breathe a sigh of relief that the sexual torture is over, only to realize that it has just begun. He is punishing me for starting this battle, for lacking self control, and he lets me know it by constantly berating me about it.

He pushes my dress above my ass again, mirroring the very first position we found ourselves in this morning, where I was vulnerable and afraid, trying to hide it but failing.

I hear his pants unzip and I begin to cry, begging him not to do this. Start as you mean to go on, my mother always says, and I don’t want this relationship that has such potential to be born out of punishment and hatred. “Don’t make our first time having sex hurt” I sob.

“I didn’t” he says, “you did” as he pushes in to me. I’m unprepared for this, dry and scared, and I tell him how much it hurts. “Good” he responds, and keeps pushing into me from behind. I feel skewered, like a bug on a pin under a microscope. I haven’t had a man besides my husband inside me for years, and I am uncertain and scared and embarrassed and in pain. I am hating him for making this experience a painful one, for taking the possibility of a calm, intimate, romantic moment from me. It is my moment. I’ve spent years earning permission from my owner to have it, and this man is destroying it, destroying me. I feel empty. I feel full. I feel shame that I put myself in this position. I feel hatred.

*******************************************

“What is the lesson?” he yells at me as he picks up the pace of his thrusts.

“Fuck you!” I respond and he pushes in harder, tearing at my insides, letting me know he is there. Sex is always painful for me, but he is making it excruciating on purpose.

“What is the lesson?” he whispers and I say “I need to have more control.”

I’m using a word game, fighting it out with him, refusing to let him win. If he wants to teach me self control, I’ll show him exactly what self-control is. I’ll control myself to the point where there is nothing left for him, nothing for him to take, no submission for him to demand, no cracks in my armor for him to exploit. I will show him that I don’t need him to control me, that I can get by without him.

He grabs my hair and yanks my head back, putting me into an awkward position as he continues to ram in to me, hurting my pussy and making me cry. I slow my breathing, relax my body, control myself. He lowers me back to hands and knees, and begins to caress my hip. I’ve won. He is going to start going easy on me because I gave him the right answer and I breathe another sigh of relief.

“That isn’t it,” he says, and I realize that he has gentled not because I gave him what he wanted, but because he realizes that I am inches away from emotionally breaking. He sees me.

And my castle wall crumbles.

“What is the lesson?”

“My control doesn’t matter; yours does,” I whisper, breaking apart.

*******************************************

He shackles my feet together and tells me to clean the kitchen. I tidy up, feeling sad and sorry for myself, knowing in my heart that I am an unworthy adversary. When I’m done, he places the Key lime pie and a Diet Coke in front of me and we sit together quietly, he in a chair and I at his feet. The battle is over, and for a moment I am at peace, but I know that soon I will have to marshal my defenses, repair my walls, and prepare my castle for a cross-country move where he will never be able to find it.