I'm on my knees, part curled into a ball. I'm naked and my wrists are cabled-tied together. I can feel the plastic scratch and bite every time I attempt to move my hands, the skin there is flushed red with an exposed rawness to it. I feel fragile, physically and mentally, I'm slightly tired from the pain, and going through pain is tiring: all the little jerks and spasms of muscles, the responses to it. I am not quite part of the world: I was certainly moving on auto-pilot as I settled back into position on the floor, as instructed, and my awareness is limited to my instructions. I can hear Shuttered Lens speak commands as clearly as the background noise of the room is muffled and far away. I exist in my skin, and only in my skin, feeling a bit like a puppet jerked on strings both real and verbal.
The world is coming back into focus in dribs and drabs as my brain pulls itself back from wherever it goes whilst my body is being abused. The two slowly melt back together and I watch as pegs are clipped onto The Photographer's penis and scrotum, he wriggles a little and gasps. I wince, imagining what that might feel like. Shuttered Lens attaches thin cord to his nipple piercings, then a metal clip and some safety scissors for weight. He holds them in his hand, as if to drop them, and I wince again. He notices and hands them to me to hold.
"Drop them." I can't. Mutely I shake my head, I can't really speak either, and neither do I want to. After a few moments, he pulls out a flogger, thick black leather cords with knots in the end. A part of me thrills to this, instantly understanding if I don't hurt him then I will be hurt in his stead and the part of me that loves him, that seeks to protect him, wells up. There is strength in my submission, and here I have been given an opportunity to express it, for which I am also grateful. All these thoughts flutter past within a second or so before the first stroke lands. It is sharp, biting and causes a little flash of white around the edges of my vision.
"Drop it." I can't, but I also can't bring myself to say "No" to him, because that feels rude, a criticism of what he is doing, when in fact everything he is doing is perfectly right, and I accept it. I just clutch the scissors and look at him, shaking slightly. He hits me again, and as always it's the second and ensuing ones that hurt most because they prove that the first was neither accident nor chance. The blows will keep coming and keep hurting, that is what they are for. I feel floaty, "high" isn't the right word, although there is a wash of endorphins and crying out to the edge where the tears might become laughter. Not because it's funny, the pain is emphatically not funny, but because I'm making direct reactions to what is happening within me, without social context or intellectual contribution. There's an abandon to it, almost like hysteria at my situation.
It doesn't take long, both the pain and the weight of expectation are too much and I drop the scissors after the third or so blow. I curl up, ashamed of myself, after a while, I feel able to raise my head and whisper "sorry" to The Photographer, but he's smiling, not a grimace through pain, but a genuine smile. I smile back.
"There," says Shuttered Lens "that wasn't so bad was it?" It was, and of course it was also a superb headfuck, even now I'm kicking myself for wondering if I could have taken more blows, although at the time I knew I could not. Talking to The Photographer afterwards and noting the power disparity in the paired games, where both of us were put in positions to hurt the other. Even though he was in a submissive position, he was still my master, and I still did not want to hurt him, whereas he had no compunction about causing me pain, especially in situations where it was inevitable. We play the games according to our different rules, each for our own goals and desires.