"What do you feel like tonight then?" Mannequin is a little poorly with a cold, half curled up on top of me at a quiet gathering of The Ladies Who. She squirms a bit in my lap and brings her face close to mine: "pain"
That's it. The one word. That's all I need. My eyes probably glinted with greed and pleasure. I know what it is to want pain, to have something inside that needs to come out through your skin, the kind of frustrated charge that builds up. But is that the same as what she gets when she needs pain? I'm not sure. I know from conversations that I can hit her harder than I have been, she's got a small frame and little body fat so I've been erring on the side of caution, but I know I need to get over that.
I strip her down slowly, tie her to the St Andrew's cross. I start to pat the backs of her legs, bottom and shoulders. Light touches, but firm, then building up. As I hit harder, I concentrate on her bottom, cupping a little so I'm hitting the "sweet spot" just where the curve meets the top of the thighs. More and more I'm relying on my hands to deliver pain, I have better control of both my impact and of measuring the response. Also hands can get places that tools can't. Fingers pinch and dig in between muscles to grip, pull and grind something half way between a deep tissue massage and a bruising thrust. There is a freedom in hands and a lustfulness of simply clutching flesh.
After a while, I position the Sybian underneath her spread legs and sit her down on it, turning both the vibration and rotation on mid-way, then continue to spank her. As I build the blows to a peak she moans and then starts to scream, I stop for a few seconds then start again. I switch to a long crop to give a contrast, striking both against her breasts and bottom.
The screams are hot. I love her screams and I feel myself get wet as I hit her as she cried out. But they also concern me. I'm not sure whether I'm reading the screams correctly - are they a warning signal or a signal that the "right" level of pain has been reached? We haven't done much with pain before and I'd rather give less good play than too much bad play.
I've reached the dominant pain barrier. This is the point that exists for the person delivering the blows, when giving pain becomes difficult. My empathy is counting against me, as is my own memory of submission. I realise that what I was aiming for was a less extreme version of my own experiences with the balance of pain and fucking machines. But why did I feel the need to tone it down? After all, I enjoyed those extreme experiences: they were hard going but they were also powerful and wonderful.
I am letting my view of her as "delicate" become a barrier to delivering SM. This attitude works very well for dominance - I am the strong one who is protecting, authoritative and in control. A curator of a beautiful porcelain object. Look, but don't touch, I want to tell others, and the warning is holding true for me as well. Ultimately, I have a very contrary set of impulses. I want to hurt her. But I don't want to hurt her hurt her. I care for her and she is "mine" to look after, which means not breaking her. I am perhaps stopping too soon and being too gentle. It's not a moral barrier. I don't feel bad for hitting her, or as if I am a bad person for wanting to hit her, that at least is one quandry I haven't faced yet, the much talked about "dominant guilt." For me, it's judging the exact quality and quantity of pain to give her.
We haven't had a big discussion yet so it might well be that what I did give her was enough, was the right amount: I hope so. It might also be that there is a need for me to put myself through the pain barrier: to push her to the breaking point and to dry her tears afterwards, wrap her up in a blanket and fuck her.