Monday, March 15, 2010

Naked Heart: My Introduction to BDSM

Give me your body.

Give me your mind.

Open your heart.

Pull down the blind...

My head encased in fat 1970's era headphones, I hear only the music, but I understand that he is speaking to me through the lyrics. He's behind me, towering over me, his big hands resting on my bare shoulders as I listen to the album he has brought me as a gift, a British group called 10cc. I feel my heart pounding in my chest, in time with the bass. I don't know what he'll do next. The uncertainty is disturbing and thrilling.

His fingers trace a path along my upper arms, light, teasing, raising goosebumps. Then they lock onto my nipples. I gasp as he pinches hard, then twists. I remember what he told me about clamps. What he promised. He knows what I'm thinking—I'm sure it is just what he intends. I imagine his smile, behind me, full of gentle mockery.

I'm soaked and trembling. I am mortified by my own desires, desires I hardly knew I had until he exposed them and showed me who I really was.

His slut. His slave. We both know it, know that I'll do anything he asks. I trust him not to ask for more than I can bear to give.

I was twenty five. He was a year younger, but with knowledge born of years of study plus the experience of two other kinky relationships. He told me that he had had S&M fantasies for as long as he could remember. And me? I was a total innocent—not sexually, but as far as BDSM was concerned.

Did he somehow recognize my latent submissiveness? Or was he initially just attracted by my ripe body and raging hormones, only later starting to wonder if my fantasies were the complement to his? He was my classmate in grad school. We used to flirt, but I never took him seriously. Then he left the university for a job on the far coast, and we began to write.

Postal seduction. Asking me how I felt about spanking. Sharing his desire to tie me up. Discoursing on homemade whips and the efficacy of birch switches. I pretended lightness, laughed off his outrageous suggestions, but they left their mark on my psyche.

He would call me late at night and tell me his plans for me, his intuitions about what I wanted. Did he plant my fantasies or simply lay them bare? He claimed that he was meant to master me, to open my eyes to my own perversity. Arrogant and charming by turns, he wooed me, instinctively pressing all the right buttons—buttons I didn't know were ever there. Finally, he invited me to come visit him over Thanksgiving.

Never having even touched him in a sexual way—rash, crazy, my inflamed imagination totally trumping my rational self—I agreed.

It was the best decision I ever made.

The first night, we had vanilla sex. The next night we tumbled together into a well of dark fantasy. He led me through a magic door into a world of intense sensation and raw emotion, power and surrender, trust and communion. Looking back, thirty years later, I'm still astonished by that sudden connection—so real and so true despite the fact that we were practically strangers.

He changed me forever.

Our lives ran in different tracts. We lived thousands of miles apart. I had other lovers, though he had a way of slipping into my head when I was in their arms, reminding me to whom I really belonged. When we managed to meet, our days together were a frenzy of kinky experimentation: leather belts, bungee cords, ping pong paddles, hot wax. Ultimately, though, it wasn't the physical sensations that bound me to him. It was the sense that he saw me as I was, as deviant and sluttish as he himself, and didn't condemn me. No, he liked what he saw. I could be truly naked with him; he would not condemn me. From the very first, I trusted him with my body and my fantasies. Eager to please him, I exulted when he shared his own and allowed me to fulfill them.

Our relationship wasn't easy. We were both too young to realize the value of what we had, I now believe, or to nurture it the way it deserved. Misunderstandings, recriminations—we drifted apart, and three years after our initial incandescent coupling, I married someone else.

Yet all these years later, we are still in touch, and I still consider him my master, though he would laugh bitterly at the epithet.

Lisabet Sarai the writer would not exist if it were not for him. My erotic writings began with the fantasies I sent him. Raw Silk, my first novel, is a fictionalized account of my own initiation into dominance and submission. I even borrowed some of the dialogue from his letters. From the perspective of craft, Raw Silk is nowhere near my best work. But anyone who reads it is touched by its emotional intensity.

I have tried to branch out, to explore other paths through the tangled forest of erotica. Still, dominance and submission, power and surrender, remain the themes that fascinate me the most. Sometimes I feel as though I'm writing the same scene over and over. My readers will certainly be bored. Not me, though. I'm breathless and wet as I relive those magic encounters of my youth.

[I recently posted this entry at my group blog, Oh Get A Grip. However, I wanted to share it with my readers who don't tend to visit OGG. I would dearly love to know your thoughts. -- Lisabet]

2 comments:

  1. Lisabet,

    Yours is the first blog I've written a comment on apart from a 'great video' or 'Congratulations!' remark. Through the MFRW link I arrived at this page and must say that reading your entry is a wonderful way to begin a day! Since having my first book published six years ago I've written primarily historical romances with a couple time travels and contemporaries tucked in between. But erotica tales has been a favorite read of mine since forever. They have taught me that I'm far from the only person with dark cravings that deviate from what I think of as white bread with the crusts cut off bedroom play. Tired of wishing I could write what I so enjoy reading, I dove into writing my first erotic romance last year. Working on it felt both awkward and secure. I was finally trying something I'd wanted to for so long but was standing on sandy ground. If I had experienced what you did thirty years ago I'd would have had more solid foundation for what I wanted to say. Relying on memories of agressive or creative lovers are not a fair comparison to what you had.
    I began writing this thinking I'm not certain why I'm replying yet now realize that is not truthful. I feel a bit envious of your experiences. Book research can in no way replace the hands on research. You not only lived it, you write it and I so admire that.
    Polly/Isabel Mere

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  2. Dear Isabel,

    Thank you so much for sharing your personal path to writing erotica. I don't necessarily think that you need to experience something like this in order to write about it. Seriously, write your passions, whether imagined or real.

    And do please come back and visit again.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

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