Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness by Senta Holland


(*strictly meant for audience above 18 years of age)


Bones. Bones, thousands of bones that people shrunk to, over the centuries. Bones so old that they told a different history from the official one taught in schools. Bones softened into dust and bones hardened into stone. Bones sealed into hundreds of urns.
 I saw them, huge deep ochre and dark yellow bulging urns covering the bones, from high up in the new hotel where I stood, naked, my body pressed into the window.

 My Nai pushed me into the glass as if he wanted to force me through and I would fall and be spewed into the swimming pool. Falling, I would spread out my mantle of ash and rain onto the city and join the ancient kings. My body was pale against the dark sky, soft urn for my living bones. I felt his body against mine, skin warmed in the sun, radiating back into the night like the strong red stone.
 Urns sat in gardens, in streets, next to kitchens and bedrooms. Urns like towers, urns inside towers, urns that were towers.

 I felt the full force of his body, his thin hard legs digging into my softer thighs, and I could hardly breathe, he gave me no space for my lungs to expand, pushed in, in, in, against the glass, I remembered I had read somewhere that glass was really a liquid, so maybe I could be pushed through, in an eternity, or at least in as long as it took for the bones of a king to fall out of changed history.
 When we turned back into the room he lingered and stroked the outer skin of the thick glass.
‘Look,’ he said. ‘Breast prints.’
There they were: two oily lilies.
He took them up in the swirls of his fingertips and ate the traces.

 The biggest sexual organ is the internet
At first it frightened me, I knew the names and the sites that I wanted to look at but I didn’t.
 And if they came up, by mistake, or by misdirection, as such sites do, even for those who really don’t want to find them, I tried not to see them but I did see them. Oh yes.

 I felt the keys under my fingers, soft fingers whose touch conveys so much information. Writing on the keyboard is so sensual. I can write with both my hands, my arms, my shoulders, my whole body.
 I used to play the piano, I could slide into the keys and make them respond but my piano playing was never on the same level as my playing of the internet.

 I remember the first time I had access to the web at home. It was a glorious morning.
Until then I had to go to the internet café and there I wrote some fervent letters to my lovers, but of course I was well protected from the sites that drew me magically and darkly (except in California where you could access alternative lifestyle sites from the public library).
 Maybe it was a good thing that the internet at home came to me late in life because by the time I had the courage to go and look, and the means to follow it up, other women had entered those landscapes of my desire before me and had made them less hostile to us.

 One dark and crisp December night, one of the twelve nights of Christmas in fact, I finally entered one of the dating sites. It was just as well it was on the internet and not in real life because I was so scared that I would never ever have made it past the threshold of a club where others could have seen me.
 But I had my familiar keys, and my muscle memory, and so I entered at my own pace. I dawdled a long time in the lobby, but then, I looked. I looked at some profiles, and I read what the men there were saying, what they had typed into their own keyboards, stroking them with the unique whirls of their own fingertips.
  What touched me and surprised me most was that here, they showed themselves, in a way in which many men never did on the outside, not even in the most intimate encounters.

 Strangely enough I found a great lover within the first few days. My kind of lover. I think of him as my gateway to the life that led me here, here in the tower above the city of kings, here to the core of my dream, and its long, slow, painful and jubilant transformation into my life.

 Deeper into the night
So we are here. Really here for the second time. It’s more than a one off. He really wants to be with me another time.
 The dark city, rich red bricks ripped open, walls gaping with fragmented brick dancers, bulging with the dead so that the towers crumbled, slipped into night. Urns lit up as the city was darkened down.

 I wasn’t so sure yesterday, when I rang his number and heard his uncertain reply to my nervous intimacies. I was lying on my hotel bed, a delicious soreness wrapped around my ass and hips. I didn’t know the place where I was but I had been caught with a hook of hope. A tender red mark ran around my wrist, like an exotic bracelet.
 With great fear of heartbreak I made my fingers press into the very foreign phone. And speak, immediately speak so that I couldn’t hear him say nothing.
 But he did, anyway.
 I was hanging at the end of the rope, and then he caught me again.
‘Who are you?’ he said.
‘I am here,’ I said. ‘I am Senta?’ 

Senta in veils
I am Senta. This is not the name I was given, it is the name I chose when I chose this life.
 I chose to live this life, but I did not choose the dream underneath. The dream has been with me since before I can remember. It has brought me here, and here is the beginning of this story.
 This story is a journey without a map. There are no official signposts, no patterns to follow.
On the contrary, it is a path that almost everyone I knew would have warned me against, or tried to keep me away from, a dangerous deviation from the common path. If they had known I was taking it.
 They didn’t know, because I spent most of my life guarding my dream in the secrecy of my mind. I lived a life behind a shimmering veil of silence.
I had good reason for such secrecy. But I had also good reason for coming out of the shadows: I was driven by my dream.
 Books have been written about people like me. Most of them were written by those who warn against and disapprove and condemn.
Some of them were written by people like me, a few even by women like me. But they don’t tell my story.
 I am Senta. I believe there are many like me, but as yet there are no books that tell our tale, and there is no big narrative to celebrate the mystery of our lives.
So there was no map, and I didn’t know where to go. The only thing I knew was that I shouldn’t be going there at all.

I found a way. This is the map I created, and wrote down for myself.
 It’s not a straightforward path, and it may not lead where you think or even hope it will lead. Coming out of the shadows and following the dream does not lead to automatic happiness. Is it worth it even if conventional (or even unconventional) happiness is not possible? Or not possible for me?
 I don’t know.
It’s not the kind of story where you know.

 I don’t know.
It’s not the kind of story where you know.

 Midnight high over the city of urns
‘I want to fuck your breasts, your beautiful –’ he stopped as soon as he heard himself, as if he mustn’t declare his passion for me. Not even at a moment like this, when he was doing things no one should see and no one did see except me (Ah! But maybe that was the reason?) and although he wasn’t holding himself back in other ways. He grabbed my breasts hard and forced his penis in between them. He pushed my own hands away. He drove himself in slow and hard, pressed my breasts so close together that only sweat could run between them. I felt him move inside the closeness. My breasts, compressed from all sides, hardened up under his grip. They hurt where his fingers dug deep. I imagined round red grooves all around the breasts like wounded pearls.

 His fingers hurt more than his penis. I wished it was the other way round. I wanted to concentrate all my sensations there but the fingers drilled harder for pearls. He looked down at me and laughed and started to move the hard breasts up and down, first together, then in a kind of asymmetric rhythm. He pushed my breast up, up against my collarbone with all his strength. I have never read about this in any books but the pressure of my breast against my heart made me shout with lust and my thighs jumped up to be met. He laughed again, very wild. He was still fucking my breasts, using them to stroke and cushion and create a complex pressure system for the thousands of pleasure points on his penis. He used my breasts and he wouldn’t do anything about my thighs. Every time he pushed up, my clitoris started to pulse. I could hardly bear the distance. I wished and wished and I began to feel the soft white liquid of my desire at the entrance of my vagina. I started to cry with longing and he laughed again. I tried to lift my hips and brush them up against his legs.

 ‘Stop that.’ He took one hand off my breast and slapped me hard in the face.
‘I am sorry, my Nai.’ My hips came down, but I could hardly keep them from rising again. He gripped my breasts even harder. I shouted. He laughed. I heard a deep moan of frustration, lust and pain rush out of my mouth, all mixed together, nothing held back, yielding to my body, my body yielding to his. Wild laughter, wilder screams. There is no such thing as wave and rider. There are so many waves, and we are both riding them together and each riding different ones. My clitoris was so wired, I would have given anything for a touch. Anything but the greater lust of obedience. He saw that in my eyes, I saw it in his. He slapped me again.
 ‘You need that,’ he said, his voice shaking.
I cried. This time I cried, I didn’t stop it. Big blurry tears.
‘Please please please.’
‘Oh no.’
 But then he pushed his full weight down on me, I could feel his hot ass on my stomach, the blood must be roaring through his skin to produce such industrial temperatures. His weight came down on my soft vulnerable body. How I love to feel his weight on top of me. He doesn’t release me, he pushes down into me, full skin on skin contact, harder and heavier, a counterweight to the slow turning of the earth.
 I wish he would drive me down into the earth, deep, deep, down into the earth, his bones would seal me in, until my body turned to dust, until I was the earth, bound by the weight of the atmosphere, packed in by gravity.
 I have wanted that for such a long time.

 Outside in the night, the ancient kings held their breaths, waiting in the shadows of their urns for another, better life.
Slow red dust drifted over the gardens and murderous motorways.
 Up in the glass-walled tower, I went to the bathroom to change into my little latex dress that I had bought one afternoon in Brighton, not the first time I ever considered such a dress, but the first time I actually took it off the rack and took it into the changing room to try. I could hardly open the zip I was trembling so much. I checked and checked that the curtain was fully closed, which was not easy in a small boutique called ‘Black Tantra’ where the friendly assistants would pop in with their twice-pierced tongues.
 It was very difficult to put on. I had to pull it up over my breasts and closing the zip at the back contorted me past my yoga limits. Good thing it was stuck on my hips. But the amazing thing was that I was wearing it, here, right now, and I was looking at myself in the mirror and I saw a woman in a high-collared latex dress, shiny black following her curves, and a lacy veil from her breasts to her hips. I would have to wear this without a bra!
 The woman in the mirror was not me. I knew that with absolute certainty. It wasn’t a metaphor.
 I was not that woman. Maybe it was a woman from my future, although at that point I couldn’t believe it. More like a visitor from another planet.
 But even then I liked her.

 I showed myself to him, with my metal-heeled shoes and my dress. I walked in and I stood and he looked at me. I felt beautiful. I blazed like quicksilver in the night.
‘Hmm,’ he said. He sat and he looked. My body filled up with brilliance. I could have stood there forever. I wanted to be looked at, like this, with this desire, with this nascent lust, I wanted to be this stimulating, satisfying shape forever.
 I showed myself to him, with my metal-heeled shoes and my dress. I walked in and I stood and he looked at me. I felt beautiful. I blazed like quicksilver in the night.
‘Hmm,’ he said. He sat and he looked. My body filled up with brilliance. I could have stood there forever. I wanted to be looked at, like this, with this desire, with this nascent lust, I wanted to be this stimulating, satisfying shape forever.
 ‘But but but,’ was all I could stammer, in my mind, if I was lucky, out loud, to be shouted at, called names, threatened with pathologies.
 For me, a man’s desire is not a given. Not something I can operate from, take for granted, choose from, even play with.

 So in this moment I was standing there, a shape in my Nai’s gaze, I was very aware of how precious it was. He loaded me up with all the ancient attributes of being female.
My body creates desire. My Nai looked at the place where my legs met the edge of my very short dress. He saw my breasts, half tight secret shapes, half uncovered under the lacy bondage. My nipples could feel it, the progression from smooth to rough, soft pearly sweat under rubber skin to where the pattern of the lace imprints itself into the delicate substance of my breast.
 All breasts, all legs, all hidden vulva. All body, woman’s body. All surface, all curves, all shapes.   Shape of desire in man’s eye. Desire that will make him act, make me act.
 Shape to create sex and create life.
 I look at him and I see all that. He looks at me and he sees me and sees more than me. He sees the shape I am and the shape I will be. I take all the power that is in his gaze and let it load me up. It fills every pore and atom of my body. It makes the electrons race. They dance and jump and bump into each other. They’re celebrating life with great abandon.

 There is this theory that the shapes your body assumes in yoga positions are shapes of ancient rituals when men and women would slide into the spirits of animals by assuming their forms. The cobra, the lion, the swan. Some people go even further and say that those shapes are already there, waiting for us in the form of hidden energy. They wait, and spring into life when we enter them. Then, these people say, we don’t just assume the shapes of the cobra, the lion, the swan. We become them.
 Maybe the shape of the woman is one such shape. The shape of the woman that I feel now, painted inside the walls of a cave, on the shell of a turtle. My Nai’s gaze is the catalyst that helps me to find it.
 The way I look back at him, with my eyes, with my mind, with my body, transforms him too. He looks, he gets excited by my shape. He is changed, his body is changed, the composition of the chemicals in his brain is changed, the outward shape of his body is changing. This is how he shows his adoration, his devotion. It’s a kind of tribal dance. It’s the Sunday school of the DNA.
 Personally I think, when I can still think, before I melt away, that the positions we assume in sex are maybe just like the yoga positions. They are there, waiting for us, waiting for us to slip into them and then they take us over.

 Power exchange
 I am looking at him.
 No, he is looking at me. And I am taking it in, the way he looks at me.
 There is promise and thrill in this exchange. And a lot of love and trust. I am strong, I am free, I am wild. Just as he, in everything.
 And I am here by my own choice.
 I take in his energy. I let it go down into my very core.
He can see exactly what is happening. I hold the moment. I am in control. He humbly waits for my decision.
 I choose to surrender.
Slowly, the balance of power between us shifts.
I give myself to him. He takes my power from me.
This is a complex, sophisticated process.
 And it is wonderfully erotic and deeply fulfilling and dizzyingly wild. And it can happen without a word, without touch. Breath by breath.

 I submit. I submit to his domination.
That is what I want. That is what he wants.
I am his submissive. Maybe for a lifetime, maybe just for now.
The tension between us is generating its own charge.
 Submission to him arouses me. This is my true sexuality. Not my social role, not at all, but my sexuality.
 Like many sexual orientations, it needs the right match to thrive.
Looking at each other, we have found it.
I am naked.
He is fully dressed.
 He reaches out towards me.
He could do so many things to me, right now.
My submission calls for them. My vagina is opening her soft red mouth.

 I want to yield and I want him to meet my softness with ruthless force.
I long to be subjected. In my way.
He touches my hair. Follows the long strands down over my shoulder and to the tip of my breasts. I am still.
My hands are bound behind my back.
 Safely, in soft wide leather cuffs.
Securely, I cannot undo them, not that I want to or have ever tried, and I am powerless before my lover.
 My dominant, my Dom.
He touches me, any way he wants.
I hold still. He gives, I receive. And I am in his power.
I don’t know what he is going to do next. And he doesn’t say.
That is another kind of power.
 He tells me to go down on my knees.
My vagina gives a satisfied little tug.
My mind plays with the infinities of erotic subjugation.
I sigh.

 I kneel on the floor, naked. He stands over me, still fully dressed.
‘Look at me,’ he says and slaps me softly in the face. A very light touch, almost a caress but not quite. I understand it perfectly. I should have looked at him without being told. This is part of his discipline. The understanding between us is part of the power exchange. We are very tuned into each other.
 I look up at him.
My perspective has changed. I am much lower down now. This is my new and rightful place. At his feet.
 I am getting dizzy. I am getting closer to the place of powerlessness, to the place of total yielding.
He slides his hand over my hair again but this time he grabs it, hard. All the nerve endings on my head start to scream. I have goose bumps all over my skin. He is making his domination physical.

 I look into his eyes the whole time, although mine are filling with tears. He smiles. My subjection has been forced out into the open.
When he is satisfied, for now, he lets go of my hair and I kneel, hands bound behind my back, head dizzy in more than one way.
My master’s hands wander to his own body.
I am getting very moist. I think I know what is going to happen.
 ‘Watch,’ he says.
I do.
Slowly, very very slowly, my master is taking off his belt.
The sound as he undoes the clasp is humiliatingly, exhilaratingly familiar. I couldn’t stop looking if I tried.
 He draws the belt out. Long, wide, well-worn leather. He slowly runs his hand along its length. I’m going to give up breathing.
He takes a step towards me until he stands so close that his crotch is pressed to my mouth.
I don’t know what he is going to do. Whatever it is, I will submit.
He is my master.
 ‘Down,’ he says quietly.
I understand. I obey.
I bend forward and lower my head until my face touches the floor, right next to his shoes. My bound hands sink into my back and come to rest on my shoulders.

 Power has been exchanged.
He is the owner of my body and my soul.
He will do with me what he wants.
He may use his belt, on my naked, pale round ass, exposed and presented to him. He may turn round and take me from behind. He may play with the deep band of female arousal that goes from my ass to my clitoris, until I forget my name and even that I used to be a simple human.
 Oh – what is this, exactly? Is there a name?
People call it BDSM. Yes it’s a Californian committee term.
I call it my sexuality.
My true sexuality, hidden under transparent veils.

 The round-the-world ticket
I only ever wanted to stay in Bangkok for three nights.
I remember sitting in the travel agents in London, looking at the coloured bands spanning the map of the world, smooth and slightly rounded to fit the curvature of the planet. The bands were the journeys I could take. It was my choice. But there were certain conditions.
I’d found my way around California, New Zealand and Australia and now I was stuck.
‘You’re going to need another stop on your round-the-world ticket,’ said the travel agent. A fingernail traced the coloured band, swerving slightly as if with the vibrations of the flight, predicting turbulence.
I had heard of Bangkok. Of course I had heard of Bangkok. Enough that I didn’t want to go there.
You see I didn’t know it then.
 On the other hand, it did seem to be well connected.
Outside, the snow was falling in thick fairytale flakes.
It mounted up on the pavement, it even covered the street, between cars, it was too abundant, the tyres couldn’t smash it down.
 I thought of my shoes. I was going to be dancing in wet slush before I got home.
‘OK,’ I heard myself say, ‘let’s put in Bangkok.’
‘Yes, I think that’s a sensible choice,’ said the London travel agent. ‘It’s a good place to get to somewhere else.’
 Sensible choice! Ha!
The snow flakes, big as my palm, pressed their spokes against the window. They didn’t look real but they were. All snowflakes are like that, it’s just that usually you can’t see it.

 The back-up date
The smells. The smells were so different. So very strong, so individual, like the soup of seven spices. And the sound. So much sound. So much sound altogether, so many layers: the crickets that never, never stopped, even right in the middle of the city, the cars, the horns, the music. And the people. So many people.

 I was overwhelmed. Just less than twelve hours ago I had been in the Australian desert looking at a sky with stars closer than humans. And all my life, right up to this point, I had always been a little chilly, somewhere deep in my bones. It was not good, but I was used to it.
When I got into Bangkok I felt the heat and my body expanded. Then I entered the jungle. The jungle of buildings. The jungle of smells and sounds.
My mind was flooded. My body was happy. This was her kind of town.

 We had made contact on the internet.
I was by that time quite good at finding, selecting and meeting men. I had found them in London, San Francisco and Sydney.
I had no great hopes for Bangkok, but I made dates. Of course. I always made dates, and apart from him I had a few back-up dates.
 Well, actually, my Nai was the back-up date.
That’s why we met so soon, just hours after I flew in, into the new continent. It was the only way I could fit him into my dating schedule.
 So tired, the top of my neck was a glass fibre skull, I lay down on the strange hotel bed – run down and shabby like many before but filled with a different kind of air.
 The smells were everywhere and I couldn’t decode them.
I could feel the moistness and remembered that the city swam on a vast underground river.
I took out my little golden book that had become quite plump from its journey and I looked at his phone number.
 Part of me kept shouting: ‘I want to sleep! I want to sleep!’, another part was drifting off without speaking, and I kept waking, clutching the little book, staring at the number, looking at the small sturdy clock that was efficiently showing the passing of the new, Bangkok, time.
 It’s always scary, hearing the voice for the first time. It is often so disappointing.
It confronts me with my dreams.
 Today, swimming in the jungle with my eyes closed, it didn’t feel so sharp. How to judge anything? I was in a different world.
 Still, when I heard him, I felt a little amused and I felt a little wary. Now I look back on it I smile how my impressions shifted – from the way he talked on the phone I thought he must be in his fifties. He spoke American with a softness of accent that seemed a little British and that Still, when I heard him, I felt a little amused and I felt a little wary. Now I look back on it I smile how my impressions shifted – from the way he talked on the phone I thought he must be in his fifties. He spoke American with a softness of accent that seemed a little British and that reassured me. He was a man of many nations. He told me that he used to work for a newspaper, so I imagined an older journalist, maybe left over from the Vietnam War, maybe a correspondent who was no longer up to date and chose not to return to the Western life. Drinking gin tonics and relaxing into another rhythm. He talked to me with an old-fashioned American politeness, and he listened to me so that I felt less like a total stranger. Who had just flown in from another continent. Who he was meeting to discuss playing BDSM with.
 But what did I know? I had only been here for a few hours.
 I fought it but I did fall asleep again, just woke up in time to stagger up and put on my lucky red velvet t-shirt. And go out, into the smells and the sounds and meet him. In a place I would have to find without a map.

 Crickets were waving a carpet of silver sound the night we first met.
The night we first met, boats and stars threw lanes of golden light on the river.
They did, they did.
Mosquitoes danced to their deaths.
 Exotic rum circled our blood.
This is not the kind of observation that makes people take you seriously, and so maybe I shouldn’t say it, but it is true. It was that kind of night.
 I walked through the evening crowd, pavements submerged under stalls selling more smells, and many colours, swimming through the reef of people who belonged here. I didn’t, but I did not feel out of place. I just floated along with them. I could see the bar at once, it was quite big, open air, very loud. The sun had already set, at 7 p.m. in the summer, and the mosquitoes were flirting with electricity.
 I did see the bar but I didn’t see him. That is, I did see him but not the man who went with the voice of the afternoon. This was a young man’s bar.
But he saw me.
 Maybe I described myself better to him than he did to me. Maybe I look more like my voice? Or maybe there just weren’t many white women of my age wearing dark red velvet tops moulded over DD breasts around. (In all my time in Bangkok I never saw more than four or six of them, including the two in my mirror.)
 He called. He called my name. ‘Senta. Hi, Senta.’

 I love it when I hear that name, and it means me.
‘Yes, I am here.’
‘Yes, I am Senta.’
Yes, I am Senta. You just created me. Well, I created myself. But you called me. Called my magic like a spirit.
Less than half a day in that strangest of cities and already I was Senta.
Someone had called me by my name.
I recognised the voice.
 It must be him. His voice came out of a slender young man sitting by himself on a bench against the wall, a well-worn backpack by his side. He was wearing a loose white shirt, he was very pale, and he had deep, dark eyes. Later I was told by other women that he was a very attractive man, after the fashion of the day. I have to admit I didn’t see that. All I thought was: he talks so old and looks so young.
 Out of shock I said ‘yes’, and there we sat, next to each other in the evening.
When I think about it, the most wonderful lovers I’ve met never made much of an impact on me with their looks.

 Out of shock I said ‘yes’, and there we sat, next to each other in the evening.
When I think about it, the most wonderful lovers I’ve met never made much of an impact on me with their looks.

 At first I was just sitting there, looking at the young face, listening to the old voice. I decided to drink an orange juice.
He looked at me, his eyes blazing, and he drew me into easy conversation. I later discovered that he was very used to making conversation with first time strangers, even when he was a boy, and that for most of his adolescence he used to show his parents’ post-colonial friends around when they came to Bangkok. So he seemed quite fluent in this situation, making small talk, laughing with me, putting me at ease, welcoming and open, but not too smooth.
 But I could also tell he wasn’t as used to dating as I was.
And that was how it would be: he was the one who lived here, who knew his way around, who had done many things I only dreamed of, and he was the one who was a little shy, and unused to things, and had never done many things that he himself was dreaming of.
He led and I followed, I led and he followed me. Not as easily, not as magically as on that first night, but always a little bit.
 It was the magic of the power loop.

 Looking at him, sitting in his white shirt against the wall, talking about something or other that was the custom in Bangkok, I felt suddenly very happy. This is how it was supposed to be, in other people’s books, mostly men’s, mostly fantasy, flying into a new continent and meet a lover by nightfall. And now it was happening to me.
I was by that time an expert at first dates, and I kept all the precautions. I listened for things that didn’t make sense, I tried to connect his talk about himself and his real life experience as far as I could tell, and I tuned into the feeling between us. I had developed a sensor for the kind of relationship I wanted. I asked him all the right questions, and he gave me all the proper information.
So yes, I listened to the voice of reason, but already I couldn’t hear it so well, maybe because of the night carpet of silvery mosquitoes. Under my bones, my blood was singing.

 We walked over to the restaurant through a temple, no monks, no visible sign of religion except the buildings, but many people strolling around in peace and moonlight, and then we sat, outside, under a wide canopy, straight by the river.
He spoke Thai, of course, ‘I grew up over there,’ he said, waving his arm in a mysterious direction that called up visions of tropical gardens and high society ladies drinking gin tonics in the afternoons. The waiters looked astonished, he didn’t speak their language like a foreigner, but he looked like one.
 He politely answered what must have been very familiar questions and then turned back to me.
‘My mother was away a lot so I learned Thai from the servants. People are confused when I speak, I speak Thai with a local accent.’
 My image of him was changing. He was more relaxed in the semi-darkness, light gliding in from the river, surrounded by a whole table of food to share, exclaiming at the fact that I was vegetarian, ordering fried morning glory for me, asking the waiter to write it down, in Thai.
He looked at me more freely, and more deeply.
 ‘I have something for you’, he said, reaching towards his backpack and opening its top just enough so that his hand could reach in.
He gave me a fragile garland of jasmine. It was smaller than my hand. I smelled its intoxicating scent. I pressed my face into it and then looked up at him.

 This is the way I look up to my Nai.
He looked back, and he didn’t smile. He held his hand out to me and I touched it with jasmine fingers.
Behind him I saw the river and big working boats floating through the night as they had for so many centuries.
It almost felt as if he was a local spirit come to welcome me.
I told him that.
‘No, no, no’, he said.
 But I didn’t believe his denial. I had power too.
We ate, a little. We drank, a special concoction, mixed by the waiter on a separate table with precautionary high rims, more than we ate, but again, not much.
I realised quickly that he was very different from me, and from most of the people I knew. The reason why he was so easy to talk to, and why he knew so much about such different things as photography, Thai princes, internet games and the stock market was that he was rich. Not the kind of rich you get when you work very hard. The kind of rich that allows you to be open and genuine. The kind of rich that comes from your ancestors and makes you a citizen of this world. He bore a well-known name.
 My own ancestors were peasants who were not even citizens of their countries. And, I worked very hard all my life but I was on a tight budget.

 We looked at each other and we talked. We talked.
We talked about sex.
We talked about bondage positions, about impact sensations and the various instruments that we loved and desired.
 We talked about blindfolds, about leather straps and ecstatic altered states.
It is the way of the BDSM people.
Talking like this is our tradition.
I believe it was originally introduced by the name of ‘negotiations’ between people who might become play partners, perhaps for a while, perhaps only casually.
 Negotiations were and are considered necessary to establish the ‘limits’ particularly of the submissive partner, the boundaries of what could happen between them.

 For me, and certainly on this evening with my Nai by the river, it was much more.
It was a way of talking about our identity.
Both our separate individual identities, a much more intimate way of introducing yourself than telling your date a potted personal history, and of course much more to the point.
But even more so we were establishing our common identity.
With every cautious, polite and gentlemanly question we showed each other our most intimate sexual desires and revealed our secret and carefully guarded true nature.
 I saw the look of recognition in his eyes when I told him how much I loved to feel the touch of the bonds holding my wrists so tightly behind my back.
He took his fork and wrapped it round a morning glory stem, coated in garlic sauce, and put it down again. He ran his finger along the old seams of his backpack.
 This was not just a statement about sexual preference, not just a more precise identification of where we stood within the world of BDSM, although it was that too.
 It was finding, against all odds and all experience, someone who shared the dream.
And who might, if all went well, perhaps, possibly, eventually share it with us.
Right now, though, it was all the magic I could take to just see him share my dream, and I his.
 And to talk with each other in the ways of the BDSM people.
I sat there, just as ineffectual with my food as he, raised my glass to my lips and put it down again.
 I closed my eyes experimentally. He might disappear.
That would be the reasonable expectation.
 When I opened them and he was still there I knew that a new age had descended, or perhaps I had been translated into another, unearthly realm.
Transformed into the person I wanted to be.
 He made no assumptions. He never touched me except for that one time with the jasmine garland. He said who he was. And he was who he said. Against all attacks, he had preserved his innocence. In the strangest way, he was like me.
 And, of course, in many other ways, we knew nothing about each other. When I finally said to him, over the roaring of a defective tuk tuk, so that I had to shout in his ear like a public announcer at a sports event, that I would like to have sex with him that very night, I had no idea and maybe not even any intention of anything beyond that.
Through a cascade of sparkles from the roof of the Royal Palace and hundreds of smoking and argumentative tuk tuks and sudden desperate hunger satisfied with deliriously sweet banana goo, and late night fears and confusion we somehow made it, we made it into our first night, in the way of the BDSM people, but even more so in our own way, the first night of Senta with her Nai.
I never bothered with the back-up dates.

 How did I get here? – I was a BDSM hermitThat is a journey longer than my life.
When did it start?
I was lying in my bed.
My whole body cramped with longing. I had tied my ankles together so that I could feel the sweet surge to my vagina.
They say that self-knowledge makes you free.
Maybe. It counteracts the demons inside your soul.
But it also makes you feel your pain more acutely.
All these years I knew who I was.
I didn’t feel guilt, I didn’t feel shame.
I felt this was just me.
But I didn’t know how to make it real except in my own bed and within my own mind and soul.

 I was a BDSM hermit.
Sometimes, most times, I could live with it.
I said to myself: yes, I want to be a Submissive to a Dominant in real life.
But I couldn’t be.
I said to myself: yes, but I’d like to have my own opera house too.
Some dreams are only possible for a fortunate few, a very, very fortunate few.
So then I was lying in my bed, awash with longing.
So much longing it spilled out in tears.
I saw my shadow on the wall and it was all I had.
I did have lovers.
Of course, throughout my long life before I found my Nai, of course I had lovers.
But they were not the lovers I saw in my deepest dreams.
I had sex, but I did not live my true sexuality.
What was it like, in the long, long years before I found a way to meet my Doms? (Yes, I did meet them, on my journey, even before I met my Nai.)
Before I even thought of having the courage of trying to devise a way to go and find them?

 Telling a manLying in his arms, holding him tight and wishing he would hold me tighter, feeling his hand on my naked skin.
My body there, and my mind was dreaming and longing.
I sighed and shivered, but not from my lover’s touch.
Outside I was with him, inside I was with him too, but with a different version of him. Him as the Dom.
 Inside myself, I tried to magnify his tentative stroking of my back so that I could imagine a spanking. When he put his hand between my legs I longed for him to be more forceful. I wanted him to take me completely and shake my whole body. I wanted to look into his eyes and see the joy and triumph of domination.
 Instead I was alone, trying to amplify faint signals on my skin into the huge waves and towering storms that are my true home.
I often felt like a hollow doll.

 Then sometimes, though less and less often as I learned from experience, I would tell him.
How to tell? So difficult. Particularly when what I wanted was still only a desire, a reality inside, the inner life of the doll, stuffed full to bursting but divided from the air by her porcelain shell.
 Now it is easier, now I can start by telling a story from my life. I can hint lightly. I can watch out for signs with so much more knowledge.
 I can also not have sex with vanilla men. At all.
But then?
When I was very young I sort of knew you weren’t supposed to be into BDSM. But at the same time I was so joyfully aware of the full range of my sexuality that it was hard to take that seriously.
I liked to welcome a penis in my vagina. I equally liked to welcome a hard hand on my ass, and a rope forcing my wrists together.
The men I dated then were very young too.
Maybe that was the reason.
Maybe it just was the times. People just emerging from the deadly shadows of enforced respectability.
 But every single time I brought the subject up, stammering, blushing, fearful and hopeful, I got the same reaction.
I was rebuffed, rejected and despised.
The nice boy looked at me and told me I was disgusting, I was sick, I had a mental illness.
I was a pervert. He was not. He was normal.
 I stood there like a witch found out. In my white shift of condemnation. I was lucky I wasn’t burned.
Only thrown out and quarantined from his healthy life. I don’t know what he told others.

 There were a few of him until I shut up. For many, many years.
Before I travelled round the world.
Before I found myself, high above the dark red city of ancient kings, forced naked through the liquid glass by my master, by my Nai.

 My Nai
It was a lovely room.
The style was ‘retro-colonial’ which seemed appropriate for my Nai, with a nice big white bed and dark oriental mirror and furniture. It was quite new, and in the light of the new old lamps a sudden happiness bubbled up inside me. Everything was strange, unknown, never happened before. Everything was here, together. He looked back at me, he had me, I was here. All his.

 My Nai
It was a lovely room.
The style was ‘retro-colonial’ which seemed appropriate for my Nai, with a nice big white bed and dark oriental mirror and furniture. It was quite new, and in the light of the new old lamps a sudden happiness bubbled up inside me. Everything was strange, unknown, never happened before. Everything was here, together. He looked back at me, he had me, I was here. All his.
 I did feel my usual mixture of soft expanding exhilaration (We’re really here! It is really going to happen!) and fear (I don’t know this man, I am a stranger with a stranger in a strange place, what if he kills me?).
It was not an altogether rational fear, because he had told me his real name, and some further details, and I realised that he was quite well known here, and I had taken a few other safety measures like leaving his details on a computer record.
And with him the fear was not so very strong, maybe because I felt that he had a deep sense of having a place in the world, of being himself, of having little to prove, I don’t know. In a way, my Nai is one of the least macho men I have been with, and that is quite curious considering all his conservative opinions and extremely dominant sexuality. Maybe it was also partly because he looked so young, and was so open, and maybe, just the tiniest bit, because he made me feel a little motherly.
On the other hand, the fear is always there, in this life, in the way we BDSM people have to live.
 And of course there still was, there still is, always is, a risk, a possibility that this is the one psychopath who I couldn’t detect, that this is the price I have to pay for my way of life, for daring to be myself, to become myself, for daring to offer myself to a world that may contain my killer (of course this world contains my killer anyway, a microbe, a virus, a weakened blood vessel I carry around within myself night and day).
 I have sometimes, at this point, pulled back. I have also, sometimes, gone on, against my better judgment. I wish I could say I only took the considered risks. I didn’t. I wish I could say I was only bold when it was really worth it. I wasn’t.
 I know I could die this way. I also know that it is very, very unlikely. And I hate the fact that I have to take this risk. I don’t want it. It doesn’t excite me. On the contrary, it makes the first time a little, no, actually a lot less full and enjoyable than it could be. But until I find the one Dom who is the last one I will play with until the end of time or until BDSM becomes acceptable and we all walk the streets tall and free, I will have to continue to take this risk.

 So I looked at my Nai, not my Nai yet in so many words, in fact I didn’t even know the word Nai yet, and what it means, I looked at the bed, the white sheets which might become my burial shroud, and the dark carved wood which might become my coffin, and then I looked at my Nai again. He smiled then said, a little more strongly: ‘Go and take a shower’. He looked very beautiful, and I had a good feeling. But of course you can never ever, ever know.
I took a last look into his eyes, I felt a connection, but I also knew that, ultimately, there is no connection that you can trust, and I looked at the risk and I looked at myself and I gave my soul a little nudge: this moment, if I have to? Am I ready? Yes. I am ready to die.
I am here! I am here! With him! With an intelligent, sensitive, secure male Dom who looks into my eyes to turn my body into spicy banana goo. And now I was going to feel the delirious sweetness.

 He looked around the room and put his bag on a stand. I was getting really curious about that bag. A little old backpack, a bit torn at the edges. He slowly undid the clasp, it was an old clasp and stuck for a moment in rusty hinges. Then he slid both hands in and widened the opening, just enough to take out the first of many treasures. That bag looked so small but it turned out to be a bottomless trove of delights.
 The first thing he took out was a long, long rope of sky blue material. I remembered how he had talked about it over dinner, over his spicy dish and my cooked flowers, with the lights drowning themselves in the river behind him, how he had said that the best material for bondage that he knew were the silk and high-tech fibre ties that he used for flying high in the air with just the support of a little engine, his body harnessed in just such a blue leash. I liked the image of him flying in the air, tied the way I would like to be.
 He laid them out on the white white bed.
Then he ran his fingers down my spine, the first touch.
Less than a day since I arrived here. And I already was at the heart of things.

 My Nai’s desire
I always knew exactly how precious it was.
And how unlikely.
To have found someone whose desires matched my own.
Not in the sense that they were exactly the same, of course not. There were many areas of difficult compromises.
 But in the sense that when we played he was fulfilling his desires just as I was fulfilling mine, by fulfilling mine.
What we played exactly, the exact actions and practices evolved slowly over time.
The first few times were like very tentative sketches. We did a few things straight away that we both loved. We did not do many other things for a long time.
But what was right there, right from the first moment, was the matching of desire.
This was my true sexuality, my true life.
And it was his.
I knew that very soon, before I even touched him. It was like meeting someone who speaks your own, very rare and secret language.

 The curious backpack
The backpack was old. A little torn at the top, where you had to draw a string together to keep it closed, and with rough edges that showed a pinkish colour underneath the black skin.
It was the backpack he carried on the night when I first met him. When he had looked so much like a man who had remained behind from former times.
 The curious backpack
The backpack was old. A little torn at the top, where you had to draw a string together to keep it closed, and with rough edges that showed a pinkish colour underneath the black skin.
It was the backpack he carried on the night when I first met him. When he had looked so much like a man who had remained behind from former times.
 He told me later: ‘I was very surprised, on the first night, when you said you would have sex with me’.
‘But,’ I said, ‘but you had your backpack.’
‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘always keep the doors open.’
It was a lot to carry just for an open door.
And then there were the freshly cut bamboo sticks. He had cut them that day in his garden.
All the objects in the pack had been put carefully together. They were both a snapshot through the layers of that moment in his life and a collection from his whole history in BDSM.
 There were soft scarves, some with a whip or a flogger wrapped inside them, there were laundry clips and suction tubes, there was a heavy collar and a furry blindfold. There was a strong little paddle.
 And – he had an old well-used belt. Yes he did! I shivered with excitement and recognition when I first saw it.
 It was wide, and thick, and softened with usage.
He saw how I looked at it.

 In that moment we passed an invisible threshold.
It was a moment of extraordinary electricity, miles of film footage of possible scenarios raced past our eyes. Then we connected again, very directly, in this moment.

 He picked the belt up and held it in front of me.
I was lying on the bed in the retro-colonial room, looking up at him, half curious, half seductive.
When he showed me the belt, I slipped off the edge of the bed so that I knelt and presented my bottom.
I was already naked.
He was still dressed.
 I looked up at the belt, mesmerised with all the possibilities and meaning. I felt his hand on my head, pushing me towards it. He was a little rougher now, just a little.
I submitted and followed him until my face touched the worn leather.
Then I stuck my tongue out and licked it. I licked it from the end where it was already disintegrating a little, slow wide strokes with my tongue towards the buckle. I trembled with adoration and submission. He caught me by my hair, pulling my head up slowly and powerfully so that I had to lick the entire length of his belt.
 Even through my own shivers I could feel him shake, too, his whole body shook as he held me and held up the belt for me to lick and then kiss.
 It was a moment of great luminosity, come to shine into our shadow lives.
I started to cry and pushed my face into the sheets, still shaking.
Then I felt the cool leather slide onto my back, curling up like a snake. My Nai arranged its coils into perfect positions while my skin yearned for its touch.
 ‘Hold still,’ he said.
As if I could have done anything else!!
He stood and looked at me, for a long time. I carried his belt on my naked back, the instrument of my future pain and humiliation. Strongly desired, by him and by me.
I held my own breath and only heard his. I, a warm living woman, was the image from his dreams.
 It took a long time, in that first session, before I was allowed to feel his belt.
 First, as he always would in the future, he told me I would get spanked by his bare hand. A lover’s hand. He slipped the belt off my back, he wanted me naked and vulnerable all over my body.
I pushed my ass in the air, quiet, quiet, quivering in quiet. This waiting and submission was so sweet.
All the sensors in my skin expanded. It made me exquisitely sensitive. For what was to come.
Even then, he caught me off guard. He didn’t like me to be prepared. He enjoyed that last little edge, where I wasn’t able to give my spanking to him, where he overwhelmed me with it.
He was a true connoisseur of spanking.
Maybe he also waited because he knew he was on the threshold of showing himself, as he really was. The first stroke was incontrovertible proof of his unacceptable and savage desires. Maybe he was assaulted by doubt and fear.
Just like me.
 And as the object of those savage desires he chose me, me of all women. I was there, to receive his beating.
I was witness to his need.

 Then he gave me my first hard slap, across both cheeks with his open palm. It pushed a little shout out of my throat. He gave me the next one deep on my sitting bone and I yelped, and then I laughed and we were no longer afraid.
 It turned into a long-drawn-out, hard, wild, fast, and increasingly painful spanking. My Nai spanked me harder with his hand than many other men with implements. And, even that first time, he was so tuned in to my body, my voice, the slightest changes in my being and responded to them easily and fiercely.
 But all that time while he gave me his hand, hard on my ass and my ass turning hot and sore under his strokes, he placed the belt so that we could both see it, in front of my eyes on a white pillow.
 When I shouted out loudly, when I struggled and jerked with the impact of his open palm, he pushed me down on the bed and held me there and said, just said in his dark slow voice, a voice that had emerged only with his first blow: ‘Look at the belt.’

 Colonial moments
‘I wish I had met you a long long time ago,’ he said.
We were lying on the colonial bed and smiling.
It was really the only thing we could do.
Smiling and smiling again.
I was lying on my front. He had just broken the second bamboo stick on my back.
We were quiet now.
At some point, amongst our laughs and screams, I had heard the voice of an irate Indian business man, giving a long angry speech on the phone. He must have been staying in the next room and I think he was trying to get the management to silence us.
 His voice rose a few times, in futile attempts against our celebration of homecoming. Then it disappeared.
I believe, in the Thai way, he must have just been moved to another room while nobody ever bothered us.
More room for us to smile.
 ‘I wish, I wish,’ he said. ‘I wish I had met you a long time ago. But – but –’
I knew then that there was much more to this than smile.
And there were always so many, so many buts.
 And no amount of smiles can bridge the abyss between our souls.
I shivered under the aircon. Maybe I should prepare to go. Should I pick up my underwear?
Then, turning round to me, he said: ‘I love your body.’
He walked me back to my own hotel in the early morning. I learned that there were always people in the street. Before we parted he kissed my hand and bought me a small paper fan from a hopeful all-night stall.
 It’s very thin cheap paper and meant to last a night. I still have it today.

 In the tower
Darkness had fallen utterly, above the city of ancient kings.
High up in the tower, my Nai was waiting for me.
He had insisted on that journey, on taking me from Bangkok, the city of the present, further up the slow night river to this other, older, more mysterious place, entangled in time and passionate longing for a life of promise after death.
So I came out in my little dress and my steel-heeled shoes and I stood and was looked at.
Was looked at for a long time, while his body changed and his look changed and he started to smile like the snake king.
‘You look like a wicked slut,’ he said.
I smiled. My body shivered.
He rushed towards me and lifted me up, I was carried high in his arms and he threw me on the bed. I thought just for a moment but I’m too heavy for him, but he will drop me, I will crash through his arms. I will sink down and down through the pillows through the bed through the floorboards through the concrete in the basement into the earth itself. But not.
With one hand he held me down, the other he pushed under my dress until he found the top of my knickers. ‘Ah,’ he said with satisfaction, ‘here they are.’
 He held me even more firmly and then he pulled my knickers down over my bottom. They knotted in front and got entangled with my pubic hairs so I tried to push myself up again but he forced me down until my head was almost smothered by the pillows. He ripped the knickers along my legs until they hung halfway between my ass and my knees and then he gave me a good slap. Hard slap. Right in the middle of my ass. The upturned face, the top of the hill, the smooth curve just as big as the imprint of his hand.

 You really get to know a Dom by the way he beats you. Beating styles are just as individual as fucking or kissing or as a unique accent when you speak.
 I love love love love to feel his hand on the crest of my ass. Just resting there. His fingers, his palm, his thumb. I could draw an outline for the blind school. I lie on my face, on my stomach, naked, vulnerable, turned towards him, so tender, so white, so smooth. He holds me down and I can feel his power. The tiny hairs on my back and thighs stand up in slow shared electricity. I know he is going to spank me.

 Suddenly I get nervous. I slurp the air in little puppy breaths. I want to run away in my sheets and knickers.
People say you can’t feel what your senses don’t tell you, so if you can’t see or hear or taste or smell there is no way of getting information, but I don’t know. I felt his hand hovering above my ass. I could feel how he was thinking, waiting, watching me. I waited, too. I waited and the waiting filled the space between us.
His delight and excitement was all his own, just like his voice that changed and sunk down almost an octave deeper into his chest when he got to this point in the session. It was as if he became part of something greater than himself, but still uniquely him. He had a very special way of responding to my responses, with sometimes a little time delay as he adjusted to an unexpected reaction. He loved those moments.
He later said that Doms were the ‘uber subs’, watching and listening for the submissives’ signals all the time, the moans the shouts the little squeaks of delight, the big screams of pain and ecstasy, the faintest echo of terror so they can stop if we need it before we even know.
 How the colour of her skin changes. How she is warm or cold.
How she breathes.

 Right now I breathe hardly at all. I don’t want to disturb the connection. I don’t want to change the dynamics between us through the competing dynamics of my breathing. I don’t want to take the tiniest sliver of my senses away from sensing him.
My body is soft and white and there for him.
 He is there for me.
I expand like some animal deep inside the sea. I get wide and wide and wide to receive him. I know it will come. I know I will feel it. The more sensitive I make myself to him the stronger the impact will be. But I don’t know when. I don’t know exactly where he will strike, and exactly when and exactly how hard.

 I can’t see him, I can’t hear him, I can’t feel his touch, but my whole being is tuned into him. Sometimes I wish this part would last forever. Sometimes I dream of lying there, suspended, for a very long time, not knowing what will come. Knowing what will come.
 The next slap is much harder, and a lot more painful. It is aimed at my hip bone, where I don’t have a lot of tissue. I give a yelp and I get another one, right next to it, it hurts even more, The next slap is much harder, and a lot more painful. It is aimed at my hip bone, where I don’t have a lot of tissue. I give a yelp and I get another one, right next to it, it hurts even more,and another one and another one and another one, each one hard as can be. There is a force field of stung nerve ends around my right hip. And then he starts in earnest, all along my right thigh and up again almost to my waist.
He hits and hits and hits, very fast, I’ve never been spanked like this, so fast, so fast so hard, I’m used to slow strokes, with time in between, time to absorb and time to prepare. Time to enjoy? Time for devotion.
The smacks just come and come and come and, surprising even to me, my body suddenly jumps and tries to escape. There isn’t much room to wriggle out but my body tries anyway. It moves across the sheets, like a sea lion, on its belly, it tries to squiggle away on its elbows, tries to slither and crawl and just get out, out, out, from under the blows.
He stops beating me, startled, he didn’t expect that. He jumps after me, he grabs whatever he can of my body, here an arm and there a foot or a thigh, my body fights and stops and fights and stops again. The fight is breathless and exhilarating. I don’t feel I have to hide my strength.
He gets a better grip. He clamps down over me with his entire body and hauls me back. I slide and chafe against the artistically embroidered bedcover and I roll myself over onto my side and he hauls me in firmly, firmly, and then he traps me under him. Cages my legs with his legs, forces my arms back behind me and rubs himself, still dressed, in thick and rough trousers, against my ass and thighs.
 He rubs up and down on top of the soreness he just created and then stops. Wedges me into the corner of the bed, against the head, so that I can’t move away so easily, less freedom, less space, and now starts beating me again with his hard, strong, wide, painful, open hand.
I press against the headboard to steady myself, and he beats the soft white tissue of my ass. I’m not much of a woman for counting but even if I was I couldn’t count the blows, so fast they follow each other. The strokes land very close together, imprints overlapping, the pain and the heat spread out like a many-fingered leaf over my ass and deeper down where it starts delicious lustful subcutaneous bruises. My ass is hot and hot and hotter. And not so very white any more I think.
 After a while, I don’t know how long a while, and I don’t know how many blows except that the many-fingered leaf imprints of his hands must by now make a pattern of jungles on my skin, I can feel how the topmost layer of my ass gets numb. I still feel the impact of his blows, and I can feel the bruises underneath flowing together like a lake. But the pain has lost some of its After a while, I don’t know how long a while, and I don’t know how many blows except that the many-fingered leaf imprints of his hands must by now make a pattern of jungles on my skin, I can feel how the topmost layer of my ass gets numb. I still feel the impact of his blows, and I can feel the bruises underneath flowing together like a lake. But the pain has lost some of its overwhelming sharpness. Its absence creates space in my awareness for the most exquisite floating in my mind. I believe some people call this place subspace, where the submissives go to fly. If that is true, then I am now Senta the subspace pilot.
I can still feel the blows but now I feel mostly their impact, how they hit me and how their power reverberates through my body, shock waves crossing shock waves and building up high tides. I can feel all the little atoms in my body shake and run around in unexpected directions.
Like an athlete, my Nai puts all his strength, skill and experience behind each blow. He hits me with great control. He chooses the angle, the exact hardness of impact, the timing. He gives me several smacks on exactly the same spot to mark me, he hits me quickly all over my ass and thighs to feel my blood rise hot to the surface.
His whole body is in my service. His arms, his back, his legs to support him, and of course his hands, his wonderful hands. He dedicates his mind to my control and his physical talents to beating me to maximum effect. Of pain, of violent impact, of surrender. To him. To his passion. He arouses my passion, he serves my passion. He expresses his passion on me. On my body. On my soul by driving me so, so forcefully, so harshly, so relentlessly into surrender.
 Now I can take his passion into me. My body is there for only one purpose: to receive his beating. I enter a plateau of pain and passion. I am surrendering to the violent shaking of my body. My body becomes his. His to use, his to beat, his to own and transform.
The inside of my vagina is humming. My lips are aching to be touched. The strokes on my ass wake up all the connecting channels between my sexual organs.
I want, I want, I want, I want, so much to be fucked. Right now. Now, now, now, under the beating. Simultaneously. Beaten and fucked. Fucked and beaten. I want a hard penis in my vagina, I want it to be rammed in and I want to be taken as hard inside as I am beaten.
 My screams change to deeper moans, I can hear the change myself, I’m not controlling it, it just comes out of my body, out of my voice, out of my mouth. I’m not controlling my voice, my master controls it. My master controls me. He plays my whole body like a big drum.
 I feel submission rush through my skin from head to foot. To lie here, dress pushed up, knickers pulled down, on my face, on my stomach, to be pushed into the corner of the bed, to be held down by my Dom. To be spanked. To be beaten. I am getting a beating from my Nai. He dominates me.

 All that matters is his control. I am under his control. He can beat me any way he wants, as hard as he wants, for as long as he wants. I can hate it or I can like it, it makes no difference. I am his property and he beats me on my naked ass.
He works on me, he works for me, he is the master and the magician’s assistant, he sends me where he himself cannot go.
I am so free. I am flying through the night, high above death. Finally, the wild savage physical sensations match the wildness of my inner life.
I am just my wildly vibrating, hugely stimulated, beaten, flying, surrendered body.

 People say
Well.
First of all.
You should not be doing any of this.
You should not be doing any of this.

 But since you are, and our advice can obviously only be given from a considerable distance, from the place where normality reigns, have you thought about how dangerous this is?
Not just physically. Yes yes we know you are taking all the precautions, and yes it is proving perfectly safe and nothing is happening that you don’t want and many things are happening that you do want …
 But since you are, and our advice can obviously only be given from a considerable distance, from the place where normality reigns, have you thought about how dangerous this is?
Not just physically. Yes yes we know you are taking all the precautions, and yes it is proving perfectly safe and nothing is happening that you don’t want and many things are happening that you do want …
 You are so vulnerable.
With your big dream. How do you know his dream is the same dream? And how do you know he really wants to live it? With you? Of all people?

 Don’t trust him.
He will probably never call again. He’s got what he wants.
That’s what these people are like, you know. The perverts. They can’t relate. They use. They are out to hurt you.
Stop.
Stop and leave.
Now.

 It can’t be done
He rolls over and lies there on his back.
He just lies there on his back and I lie over here and I don’t know how he feels.
I’m not even sure how I feel!
But somehow I still feel good. He is vulnerable and he is showing it. Well, he can’t help showing it.

 ‘I can’t do it,’ he says.
‘Maybe you haven’t done this for a long time,’ I say.
‘Apart from the other night,’ he says, still lying on his back, still not looking at me, ‘I haven’t had sex for seven years.’
‘And, I have no discipline.’ (I understand that this is a judgment on his entire life, a judgment made by somebody else on him, something that equals the devastation of impotence. So much for protection by money.)
 This is all said so openly, so directly. I know conventional wisdom says I should not believe him, but I do. (What has conventional wisdom ever done for me?)
I get a glimpse into those seven years. Seven years of waiting, of looking, of writing messages on alt.com, of meeting, if anyone, the wrong people. Also, of course, probably, seven years of reminding himself of other priorities. Of having and developing those other priorities.
And now we are here, in bed, in a hotel room high over Ayuthaya, the town of ancient kings waiting in their urns, and we do things that the seven years dreamed of, long and long and long, and here is a woman who puts on a latex dress for him, and who holds a blue, curved vibrator inside her vagina for him, and who blushes when he tells her that now she will be punished as the vibrator falls out with too much wetness, and who sings with delight as her knickers are ripped off and who screams big screams as he spanks her, a festival of spanking after seven hungry years.
A woman who licks his penis and caresses his ass and puts her fingers in, puts all her four fingers in and strokes his sensitive spots.
A woman with soft, beautiful skin and large breasts that can be so tender that you can feel the path of each vein and so hard that the nipples push into your palm as if they want to pierce it through.
A woman who has a lot of experience and who makes little passing remarks about her previous Doms and lovers and who can come from the lightest touch on her clitoris, or a fingernail drawn not quite sweet and not quite sharp over her delicate vulva lips. And from being spanked. By him. On the right spot.
 A woman who knows jokes about condoms.
A woman who matches so many of his dreams with secret dreams of her own.
Falling out of history, the urns crack open.
And now, after seven years, the moment has finally come and he is impotent.

 How is a relationship defined?By its best bits?
By its worst bits?
Is it defined by how it ends?
Oh, look, here is a tragic story, oh, look, they are happy in the end …
Everything takes on that colour…
But when they lived, when they lived it, they didn’t know.
Only the reader knows.

 I had to leave
I stood in the phone booth at the station. The station and the booth and the phone were outlined in grimy black, we were all in mourning.
Grief is not clean.
 I didn’t know if my coins would work. I had tried before.
I had to leave.
After Ayuthaya, he did not call again. He did not say, my darling little sub and slave princess, can I kiss you and hold you and smack you again until you sing and cry?
He did not say, be with me. He did not say, I’m sorry I have to leave you.
I was on my journey anyway. I had to go.
So I cried, black-rimmed grimy tears, and I rang him from the railway station back in Bangkok, rusty diesel engines sweating out poison fumes into a shrouded afternoon, my suitcase wedged into a decaying steel frame.
I had enough money for a minute.

 He said hello and I said goodbye.
I gave him my number on the island I was going to, again. I didn’t say I was leaving forever, I wasn’t leaving the country, I gave him a chance, a more than even chance to reach me if he wanted to be with me again.
He said yes. I said goodbye.
I had met my Nai. I didn’t know what would happen to me if I stayed.
After so many years, there was someone with the same dreams. But he didn’t know if he wanted to live them, could live them. With me.
 It was more than I could take. I had to leave.

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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