Erica Scott: Life, Love and Spanking

Ruminations, opinionated observations, darkly humorous blathering and the occasional rant from an outspoken spanko and unapologetic attention wh–, um, hog.

Archive for the category “canes”

Back home, full circle: 50 Freaks 2020

I figured since my last post featured a photo of the view from the car on the way to Vegas, I’d post a pic of the view on the way home for this one. No clouds this time, but look at the snow!

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I used to post these reports in multiple entries, one for each day of the party, but I stopped doing that and now it’s easier to simply write one loooooooong post. So settle in and get comfortable.

What a party. So many thoughts and feelings. So many laughs. So many hugs. And yes, soooo much play. 🙂 I played with nine different men, four of them more than once. Not too shabby after a year off from play parties!

Before I get into the day to day, I wanted to say a few things about my experience overall. The welcomes I received were unbelievably gratifying — so many hugs, so many utterances of “I’m so glad to see you,” “I missed you,” “Glad you’re back.” No one asked me about what happened (many of them knew, as these things tend to get around), and the particular name was never mentioned in my presence. (John said a few people talked with him about it, but every time was with nothing but concern for my well-being.) I was able to relax back into things without feeling anxiety and paranoia over what people were thinking, if they were thinking anything, because I simply didn’t care. It’s done. And I didn’t regret coming back for a single minute. It was time.

The party was quite large and I think I knew only about half the people, maybe two thirds. It didn’t matter. The people who mattered to me were there, and I got to see them, talk to them, have meals with them, hug them. I focused on what was, not what had been or what wasn’t. I decided I was going to go with whatever the flow brought my way and let go of my need to predict/control everything.

And I had a fan-freaking-tastic time. ♥

So without further ado, here come the highlights.

Thursday: The drive passed without event. Of course, you’re thinking, why wouldn’t it? (sigh) Not with my brain. Y’all know what I go through beforehand with all the fretting about worst-case scenarios. But we made it, and in good time too.

The past couple of months, I had been bantering with Zack on Twitter. He was fairly new to the scene, coming to his first national party, and already had a long list of indiscretions I’d committed (including “breathing with attitude” — I kid you not), so I was looking forward to meeting him. He was coming from Kansas City (oh, that’s in Missouri, not the Great State of Kansas, FYI) and was sharing a room with Abby and “Jaibug,” so I texted him as soon as we settled in, and we dropped in to meet him and to see Abby again (Jai wasn’t there yet). It was mid-afternoon and we were tired and grubby from the drive, so we didn’t stay long, but of course Abby got spanked while we were there. She took it in stride and she and I tossed a stuffed penguin back and forth during the whole thing. 😀 Yes, it was going to be a fun weekend.

Thursday night is a blur of greetings and hugs. I don’t remember much about that evening, except that a quickie fun warm-up scene with Zack was my first (of many; I think he and I must have played about five-six times?). And before I get into more details, I have to stop and say that as fun as Zack is online, he’s even more delightful in person. Oh, and hugs-wise, of special note was getting tackle-hugged by Sarah Rocks. I do love that woman! She doesn’t just hug you — she hurls her whole body at you. One of the most infectiously happy people I know. 🙂

Then just before midnight, “InspectHerHide” Michael showed up with his lovely wife “Ellie_3.” I love these two people so much; Michael has been a highlight of my play parties for many years now, and the addition of his adorable bride has made it even better. As I passed through the crowded room, looking for him, several people stopped me. “Did Michael find you?” “Michael’s looking for you!” Finally I saw him across the room talking to someone, and I sneaked up behind him and kissed his neck. Oh, I’d missed those Michael hugs! And of course, immediately after the long hug, he took me by the hand and pulled me into the bedroom, where we had our usual raucous first scene of the weekend. Without belaboring the past year overly much, I just have to mention that Michael, during my disappearance, never stopped checking in with me with sweet, supportive texts. And when I finally told him, months after the fact, what had happened and expressed my deep fear that no one would believe me, he said the three kindest words he could: “I believe you.” Like I said, I love this man. ♥ After the amazingly-intense-for-a-Thursday-night spanking, I curled up into him and we stayed on the bed for a long time afterward, just holding each other close and talking, catching up. It was delicious.

So, so good to see Joe (DrLectr) again, and to meet his girlfriend P. As always, there were plenty of snacks and beverages, and pizza late that night (you really never have to go out to dinner during a Freaks weekend, but people do anyway). I don’t remember how late we stayed that first night; I know that when we did go, the party was in full swing, but we had three more nights to go, so we headed relatively early. (That means before three a.m.)

Friday: Okay, you guys know me and my routine(s). At parties, when I’m not playing or talking, I’m sleeping. I hate mornings. I don’t care who is doing what during the morning hours; they can do it without me. I stay up half the night and then in the morning, while John goes to the gym, I sleep and sleep until he wakes me up around 11-11:30. Then I drag myself out of bed, grumbling, shower and dress, and head out for the first meal of the day.

Yeah. Zack, Abby and Jai blew that all to hell. :-Þ

Zack, a morning person and an avid exerciser, had cheerfully announced that he was going to get up at 6:00 a.m. to work out. He wanted to know who would join him. I said, “Oh, honey… you’ve never been to one of these parties. People are just going to bed at 6:00 a.m. You try to get anyone up at that hour and you’ll have a mutiny on your hands.” Abby was more succinct; she told him she’d kill him if he woke her before 10. So he let go of that idea, and John joined him in the gym around 9:00.

As per our usual routine, John came back to the room around 11, stripped off his gym clothes and crawled into bed with me to wake me up. I’d barely opened my eyes when there was a very loud Knock knock knock! at our hotel door. What the… John threw his clothes back on and went to see who was there — it was Zack, Abby and Jai, who came in and Jai and Abby threw themselves onto the bed with sputtering, spluttering me, as I pulled the covers over my head and swore profusely. Of course, they all laughed at me, and Zack took pictures of me hiding in the bed, so I finally had to bite the bullet and get up (at least I had PJs on!). They wanted to go to lunch, so I pleaded with them to wait so I could shower first.

While I went about my ablutions, John just had to get a picture:

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I finally got myself pulled together and we went downstairs to eat. They have a shop that’s a bagel/breakfast shop at one end and a Subway at the other, so it’s got something for everyone and we pushed a couple of tables together so the five of us could sit and eat, and chat.

Friday afternoon didn’t have any activities we planned to attend, and on Friday evening, a group of people were going to the Cosmopolitan for a show, so it was going to be a low-key early afternoon and evening. I figured we’d just chill, sleep a bit while we could, then I’d wash my hair and get ready for the evening. But I’d no sooner slept for about a half-hour than guess who came knocking at the door again?? All right, you guys… I give. Clearly, this weekend was not going to be like my usual weekends, and I could either be a pill and a killjoy, or I could just go with it and forfeit some of my sleep. I chose to go with the latter, and I have no regrets. 🙂

After showering and doing my hair and makeup, we headed to 960 for the vendor fair. My dear long-time friend Andy (the photographer who took that long-ago picture of me in front of the mirror) was selling his canes, so I did a brief demo with him.

Shenanigans ensued as the evening progressed. At one point, I was sitting on the couch and Abby came bounding in, scampered up to me and said, “Wanna have some fun?” She then pulled a roll of duct tape out of her purse and said, “Zack’s in the room; let’s duct tape the door shut.” Sounded like fun to me!

However, I guess we made too much noise in the hallway. We were trying to stifle our giggles, but it was impossible to mask the loud ripping sound the tape made. So, we’d barely gotten one strip around the top and side of the doorway when Zack opened the door and tore the tape, and just stood there, smiling down at the two of us crouched on the carpet. Busted… He had to make a phone call, but promised he’d deal with us later.

And of course, he did. Abby first, and then me. Neither of us took him seriously, though. In fact, while I was OTK, I untied his shoelaces. And then Abby tied the laces from each shoe into a knot, binding his feet together. 😀

I was delighted to see that my friend Brandon was at this party — I hadn’t seen him for a couple of years, but we go back twelve years (geez, where does time go??). Sometime mid-evening, he sat in front of me and announced, “I’m going to spank you!” “Oh, yeah?” I said. “You and who else?” “Me and this!” he replied, holding up his right hand. Oh well, when you put it that way… We went into the bedroom, where we saw Zack and Abby on one side of the bed, so we took the other side. The four of us had a fun scene, all playing off one another. Check out Abby and me — do we look like trouble, or what?

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Zack also took a minute or so of video of the four of us and our silliness on the bed. He posted it on Twitter. It’s been well received, gotten 71 likes so far.

Brandon then had me get up and lie on the bed, and he gave me a strapping with his belt. I had forgotten just how good he is with that thing. Yummmmyyyy. Thank you, B.

Things are blurry as far as what happened when, but later that night, several of us were on one of the beds (me, John, Zack, Abby, and the Infamous Kat) when Roy came in. Ah, Roy. What do I say about Roy. I’ve known him for what, about five years now? Maybe six? We play a couple of times at every party. And we have this Thing, this chemistry, this crazy attraction for one another. Soooo… we flirt, we banter, we dance on the lines without quite crossing them. And dammit, it’s fuuuuuuun. And sexy. And harmless. John laughs about it, bless his non-possessive heart.

Anyway, he sat on the bed and started playing with my bare feet. He’d just gotten there that evening, so we hadn’t played yet — and then he said, “We need to play.” No argument from me there! “Big bathroom? Our spot?” he asked. Yup, we have a “spot.” Some of you might remember, that happened one party a few years ago when there was absolutely no place to play and we ended up going into the larger bathroom and he sat on the padded vanity seat. We’ve gone there ever since. Even got this picture two years ago.

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We settled into our spot and started our scene. Oh, my. It went on for a long time. Roy is one of a handful of tops I know who can do pretty much anything and it’s okay with me. I feel like a hypocrite sometimes, because I bitch and moan and preach about tops doing things I don’t like, and yet Roy can do them and I have zero complaint. What can I say… that’s just the way it is. So when he began slapping along my inner thighs and down the backs of my legs, I didn’t protest. Well, until it hurt, then I winced. And then he said, “I’m sorry, baby–” and I completely forget how he ended that. “I’m sorry, baby, but you know you need this.” “I’m sorry, baby, but you know I have to do this.” Something like that. All I heard were the first three words and the rest blurred as I dissolved into girl goo. 🙂

People commented later about the marks on my thighs. My answer? “It’s Roy. Roy can do whatever he wants.” I’m so bad…

You know, after that, I don’t remember much, so I’ll end Friday night on that note. I think we left the party around 3:00. Oh, wait — we did have cake for the amazing Madame Samantha’s birthday at 11:30.

Saturday: This time, our morning trio of visitors didn’t come as a shock to my system. By now, I was laughing about it. They hung out while I showered and dressed, and then of course one thing led to another and I ended up getting a “good morning” spanking from Zack.

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Isn’t he cute?? And yes, that’s Roy’s handiwork on my thighs.

After lunch, John and I had some time to ourselves before the “Service Spa” event. Joe started doing this a few years ago; it’s like a mini-spa for the female bottoms, with massage tables set up, chocolates, champagne, and pampering. Each table was doing something different, and a couple of men (Zack and Michael) sat off to the side, brushing hair. Andy was there doing rhythmic sensual caning, which I love, so I got on his table and blissed out while he used two canes in a gentle tapping rhythm that was stimulating and had just a teeny sting to it but didn’t hurt. So many people are afraid of canes, but they have no idea how many different ways they can be used. And really, a cane is only as scary as the person holding it. Implements aren’t ever the culprits in a bad scene, I don’t think — it’s the bad tops wielding them.

Roy showed up about forty-five minutes into it — another one of our Things is that he always gives me a massage. I sat at his feet on the carpet and zoned out while he massaged my neck and shoulders, my scalp. Jeeezus, that man’s hands… (Side note: I know Zack also gave me a massage at some point during the weekend, and he’s really good at it also, but I can’t remember which night it was! Everything kind of runs together in my mind as far as sequence goes.) I was thoroughly relaxed after all this and then hung out on the couch talking until it was time to head off and get ready for dinner.

Steak house time again! Every year, Joe books us the small, cozy banquet room at the hotel steak house, and we get a group of fifteen. There’s usually a sign-up sheet for it, but this year there wasn’t for some reason, so there was some confusion and more people wanting to go than the room could handle, but it ended up okay. I showered and dressed up, and when we got to the restaurant, John and I ended sitting right near Joe and P, which was lovely. The group overall was great — Djinn was there, Peaches, Zack and Abby, Jai, and some others I didn’t know, but we all had laughs and wonderful food. I had a glass of Moscato that was delicious, and John and I both got the salmon and split a side of grilled asparagus.

Later that night, there was a birthday party for Dirk — Dirk and Roslyn have been in the scene forever and Joe adores them. It was such fun — the theme was the Roaring ’20s, and several people were in costume. There were colored lights and music and some dancing, and a whole lot of alcohol (the place was turned into a speakeasy and people were walking around the room passing out Moscow Mules and other mixed drinks, plus champagne). I had a glass and a half, and that on top of the Moscato got me a bit tipsy. Oh, and Moscow Mules are delicious — who knew?

Michael and Ellie were leaving early Sunday morning, so of course I had to have one more scene with Michael before they left. This one was shorter than Thursday’s, but every bit as enjoyable. I also played with a gentleman I’d just met named Andy — he was very tall and polite and had a delightful accent. I think (?) he was born in Germany, but had lived in Sweden and other places as well. After we played and I was sitting in his lap, he did something I loved — he stood up with me in his arms and spun me around before putting me down. 🙂 I giggled like crazy; it was unexpected and sweet.

The rest of the night is the usual blur of cacophony and bodies and watching people play. John and I discovered this time that it was good to take mini-breaks now and then when the noise and the crush got to be too much. Just a few minutes away would refresh us and then we could re-join the party. But we still can’t do the all-nighters so many others do, so we called it a night around 3:00-3:30 once again.

Sunday: Abby was flying home that morning, so she had asked if she could come by our room to say goodbye. Of course I said yes. So the three of them stopped by around 11:00, and we all hung out for a while, talking, before we had to send Abby on her way. Zack and Jai left, saying they’d be back, and I had assumed they were taking her to the airport, so John and I decided to shower. John was in the shower, I was naked with a towel wrapped around my hair… and there was a knock at the door! Whaaaa?? I snatched up a second towel to wrap around myself and went to answer it — turns out Zack and Jai didn’t drive Abby anywhere, they just put her in an Uber! And of course John chose that moment to come out of the bathroom, holding a washcloth over his privates (damn, I wish we’d gotten a picture of that!). I then went in to shower, with all this teasing going on in the background of how they were going to come into the bathroom and watch (they didn’t).

We went to Subway again, and this time were joined by Mir, Tall&Strict and Sean. It was a nice long lunch with several sub-conversations going on, and Zack had Abby on his phone on FaceTime so we could all say goodbye to her again before her plane took off.

Sunday early afternoon at these parties usually has the wonderful staple of Strict Dave’s Punishment Court. But sadly, Dave and Stacy had to cancel unexpectedly, and so Joe, with the help of Crashdance, RBH and others, put together a series of spanko games with teams and participants. We got there late and missed the first half of it, but got to see the games of Trivial Pursuit, Family Feud and Pyramid. Pyramid was especially funny, because it was all spanking terms. “Young Lady.” “Six of the Best.” “Bare Bottom,” etc. I wished I had gotten in on the game — I knew almost all the movie/TV/video trivia.

After the games ended, a bunch of us stayed in the room hanging out, and John and I met this delightful couple, M and B, who live in L.A. and have a small group that has munches and little parties periodically. As it turned out, I had watched B scening the night before, and was mesmerized by his scolding technique. He kept a running commentary going, his voice calm and even, with no sign of any rote phrases or trite drivel — damn, it was hot! I told him so. We chatted them up a bit and then watched a fun scene with RBH strapping the two of them plus Chloe for some prank that involved quinoa (you had to be there). While this was going on, I found a giant blow-up bat that was labeled, appropriately, “Super Bat,” and thought it would be a fun idea to bop Zack in the head with it. Repeatedly. Until he decided to address it. 😀

However, our scene was cut short when he noticed the skin on my sit spots was a bit thrashed and dry, and in dire need of some lotion. He was concerned that if he continued, my skin would break. (It probably wouldn’t, but I fully commend and respect a conscientious top.) So, plan B — I dashed back to our room to get lotion, and he spent some time massaging some into my poor beleaguered butt.

Then we took a selfie. I am sleepy-faced and have zero makeup on, and I don’t care — I really like this picture. 🙂

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Zack had to leave at 5:00 for his flight home and he’d checked out of his room, so he put his stuff with ours and hung out in our room that afternoon. Back story: in our weeks of banter, he’d often mentioned how hot he thought it would be to throw a spankee over his shoulder and carry her off to her fate. Having experienced that myself, I agreed, it was indeed hot, and I told him he was welcome to try that with me if he’d like to. And soooo… we did it. He picked me up like I was a sack of feathers, put me over his shoulder and carried me up and down the hall. And of course, we had to get a picture… (John took this one):

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When Zack left, John and I decided to sleep for a while, so we’d be fresh for the Sunday final blowout. Usually on Sunday nights, our thing is to go to the Oyster House restaurant in the hotel for dinner, but we decided to pass on that, since the party suite was having pizza again. I almost never eat pizza — it’s the only thing with cheese that I actually like — but a slice of it sure tastes good in the midst of all this activity. (I always want a second piece, but I have to refrain because I know it will make me sick to my stomach.) So, after packing some of our stuff and getting ready, we headed to 960 somewhere around 10-ish. Things weren’t quite hopping yet, but by 11, it was mobbed.

B came and asked if I’d like to play, and I said yes, I’d love to. We’d just met, but as I mentioned, I had watched him play and really liked his style. He likes role-play, and at a party, I’m game for it. But when we got to the bedroom and he stood before me, taking my hands and saying, “So, I heard from your school today,” I couldn’t help it — I burst out laughing. Then I said, “School?? Do you know how old I am? Pick something else!” He laughed, and then swung right into something about breaking curfew. (Which was equally preposterous, but I decided to go with it.) We had fun; he used his hand and belt (he checked in with me beforehand, asking about limits and preferences), and as I’d seen him do, he kept up a running commentary through the scene, allowing me to interact with him and banter. He was testing the waters, checking how I was by asking “Are you sorry yet?” I knew this was his way of saying, “Have you had enough of should I go on?”, so I said, “Yes… sorry-not-sorry!” Ruh roh… wrong answer! After another few flurries, he asked again if I was sorry, and this time I said, “Yessir!” 😀 It was a perfect little scene.

We spent some time chatting with Kat and her hubby, and with Mir. I went off to get a caning from Andy M, which was great fun. I love his precision with canes; I always know I’m in good, safe hands with him. Oh, and of course I had to have a second scene with Roy. We tried to grab our bathroom spot, but this time, the bathroom was occupied with two girls in a bubble bath and several others standing around talking with them. So we nabbed a spot on one of the beds. During aftercare, he said, kind of out of nowhere, “I don’t like it when you go missing. I don’t even know what happened, I just know it was some bad shit. But I’m so glad you’re back.” Little things like this really made my weekend. ♥

Did I mention that the pizza was supposed to arrive at 11 and it didn’t get there until 12:15? By then, I was ravenously hungry and lightheaded, not having eaten since lunchtime (aside from a few peanuts in our room), so it seemed like the best thing I’d ever tasted.

Of course, no party is complete without a Florentine flogging from Fineous (gotta love alliteration, right?). He and I have played on Sunday nights for… well, ever. If I don’t find him, he finds me. It’s our Thing. He had a massage table this time, so I stripped down to just panties and stretched out for my sensuous treat. Nobody flogs like Fineous — it’s indescribable, and so very relaxing. Perfect for winding down a party weekend.

After I somehow managed to stand up and put my clothes back on, I drifted over and found John talking with Mir and T&S. The conversation was animated, and as I got closer, I became aware that the subject was politics. Noooooooo. Not now. No. Please. T&S was ranting about you-know-who, and although I agree with him, I just couldn’t bear to listen to this now, not when I was so blissed out. So I groaned, “Mercy!” He kept going, so I said it again, louder. He still kept going! Then John said, “Hey, didn’t you hear her? She just safe-worded twice!” T&S laughed then and said, “Okay, okay, I’ll stop.” Yeahhh… don’t be killing my buzz, dude.

It was getting late, and I assumed that the flogging was going to be my last scene. I had hoped to play with Joe, but he was so busy and I knew the chances of that happening were slim. So I curled up next to John on the couch and prepared to just hang out there and chill until we decided to leave.

I assumed incorrectly. 🙂 As I hunkered down with John, I looked up to see none other than Paul Kennedy. I had not seen Alex and Paul for a long time (missed them both hugely!), and I think the last time Paul and I played was when I shot for Northern in 2018 — I’ve always loved playing with him. Well, looked like it was about to happen again; he didn’t say a word, merely stepped up to me and took my hand. Nice.

He had a short, thin cane with him (uh oh), and we went and found a spot on one of the beds, where he took me OTK and gave me a long, deliciously hard hand spanking. By the end of it, I was moaning into the bedspread, but when he let me up, he just smiled and said, “We’re not done.” And he had me bend over the side of the bed.

I know Paul is an expert caner, but I have never been caned by him before. Oh. My. GOD. He had a technique I have never experienced before, not in all these years. In general, I’ve had cane strokes delivered one at a time, with pauses in between to absorb them. Sometimes the top will do a bit of tap-tap-tap with the cane before the major stroke, just to get the positioning right. Paul did the tap-tap-tap as per usual… but after a while, the single hard strokes became double strokes. And then triple. And finally, quadruple. Each stroke would be in a slightly different spot, not all on top of each other (thank god!!), but have two, three and four hard slices in a row was mind-blowing. Oh… and did I mention he caned my upper thighs as well?

Holy crap.

This was definitely a Sunday night finale scene. It was hard. It challenged me. And I was in the best of hands.

When he pulled me up, I was speechless. I was breathless. My mouth was hanging open, but no sounds came out, just strangled gasps. He then laid a finger over my lips, pulled me into his side, wrapped his arms around me and said, “Shhhh… I’ve got you. I’ve got you.”

Sweetest of words.

It took me a while to come back down to Earth, and Paul let me take my time. Then after I pulled myself back together, he led me back out and took me to John, leaning over and kissing the top of my head before making his exit. Thank you, Paul. ♥

Wouldn’t you know it… as I stood there, my legs like butter, my entire lower half feeling like it was on fire, that’s when Joe came over and wanted to play! Ah, Joe, you know I love you, and I adore playing with you, but there was no way. I told him so, and asked if he would give me some lotion aftercare instead. He took me to a table, got some lotion, and whistled when he took a look at me. I think he understood why I couldn’t play with him! After lotioning me, he took some pictures. Here I am, in all my caned glory:

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The redness had faded, even in just that few minutes. But this is a pretty good representation. Stick a fork in me; I was done.

We lingered a bit more, but at 3:30, even though the party was still in full swing with no signs of dwindling, we knew it was time to go. So we said our last good nights and headed back to our room, where we staggered into bed at 4:00, sleeping for three hours and getting up at 7:00 to shower, pack up the rest of our stuff and check out. I was so tired, I was practically delirious, but I just went into automaton mode and did what needed to be done. We made good time, and after getting coffee for the road, we were in the car by 8:00.

Right about now, it’s time for another back story — long ago, my second spanker ever, a southern gentleman, had a very sexy southern drawl, and during/after play, he was fond of saying, “How’s your butt, baby?” I told John about this, and he’s been saying it to me all these years as a joke.

Anyway… we’re in the car driving away, and a text comes in from Zack. I read it, and laughed so hard I nearly cried.

“Hey Erica! I think you are probably under way now and I’ve got something I need to ask you… How’s your butt, baby?”

I said, “John put you up to that!” and he answered, “I have no idea what you’re talking about!” (Also a John phrase.) Well played, guys. 😀

The drive home was uneventful. We stopped in Barstow and had double-scoop ice cream cones for breakfast, because vacation. As always, the ride was filled with post-party chitchat, analysis of scenes, recollections of conversations. And yes, with me squirming in the seat and sitting with my feet up on the dash to take the pressure off my butt. Been a while since I’d been that sore. And I loved it.

Would you believe it’s taken me three days to write this thing?? No rest for this girl — I unpacked and settled in on Monday and took that night off, catching up with people, but Tuesday it was back to work. Reality hits hard after these weekends, but I haven’t felt droppy, just tired and a little overwhelmed with stuff to do. Speaking of which, I need to get back to work and do a ton of laundry. However, last but not least…

Thanks to so many people for contributing to my beautiful weekend. I really do feel like I came full circle and I’m back where I belong. Not in the same place I was before, but still a good one. I have a stronger sense of who my friends are, and I am deeply grateful for them. But more than anyone else, as always, I must thank my beloved, the man who is always with me, who has seen me through everything, who rejoices and mourns with me, who supports me, who has never left me. I love you with all my heart, John. ♥

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Thank you for reading! (Oh, for those who may be wondering — the cane stripes on my thighs have morphed into beautiful bruises, and my sit spots still look a bit mottled. However, my butt is pristine once again. I still got it. :-D)

EDIT: There are so many more people I encountered this party that I didn’t mention here, and I’m sorry. But if I were to mention everyone and everything, I’d be writing this post until Labor Day. Still, for those who shared a hug with me, a few minutes of conversation, thank you. Every one of you was part of my experience. Just a few, in no particular order: Pharaoh, Sha and your beautiful girls; Katerina; KentuckyGirl; Alex Reynolds; Brad; Djinn; Keagan; Gary; SweetEnticement; James and Korey; NaughtyMichael. and probably others I’m forgetting and please forgive me… thank you all! ♥

Mini travel adventure #2

Yes, another trip up north is behind me (play on words intended). B was once again the consummate host. Oh, and the travel portions went much more smoothly this time.

That morning, B texted me to ask if I was all set, and said I mustn’t forget these important items. He then went on to list everything from bug spray to area maps to chocolate to bandages to spare batteries. I laughed and said I wasn’t going into a war zone. After he added camouflage jacket, I joked, “Why, so I can hide from you? That would defeat the purpose of this visit, silly silly man.”

To which I received, “Did you just call me a silly man, you naughty young lady?”

Very honestly, I replied, “No, sir. I called you a silly silly man.”

Remember this. We’ll return to it later.

Anyway… guess what? I found the freaking Economy lot! Well, reasonably economy — $12 max per day instead of $23. You have to take a shuttle to the terminals from there, but they run every few minutes. Once I arrived at the United terminal, I knew the drill. Had a brief moment of “WTF??” when going through TSA — I heard one of the agents call out, “Take the woman in black next, and pat her down.” I was in a black top — the woman ahead of me was in white. Me?? What the hell for? But it turned out to be nothing — all the agent did after I passed through was feel around on the top of my head, because I had a portion of my hair clipped up. Whew.

I had an hour and a half to spare, so I bought a four-dollar bottle of water and settled down in a corner to read and catch up online. Everything else from that point on in the trip went without a hitch — flight, getting the Uber, waiting for B at the coffee place. One thing that baffled me — I took the Uber at nearly the exact same time, within about fifteen minutes, that I did last month. So why did it cost $75 this time instead of $63? The driver was very nice, but he was a lousy driver, really herky-jerky on the gas pedal and brake. I wanted to give him four stars instead of five, but when you do that, instead of a place to comment, you get this popup that reads “OK, but there was a problem” and then a list of things to check off. I didn’t have the heart to do that, so I gave him five stars anyway. What the hell. It’s a crap job.

After B came to get me and we went to his apartment, we went straight upstairs so I could drop off my bag. Once in the room, he told me that he’d been soaking all his canes so they’d be nice and flexible. He then proceeded to pluck every one of them (he has several) out of the holder near the dresser, flexing and swishing each one, announcing their differences, then laying each one out on the bed. (Where is he going with this, I wondered.) He continued to muse about how painful these canes would be, and how a person who found themselves traveling to experience them might be in for some really harsh corporal punishment. And how said person surely wouldn’t be foolish enough to provoke the owner of the canes, should this event come to pass. That wouldn’t be very smart, would it? “You might even say,” he added, looking me in the eye, “that it would be very silly of them.”

Oh, fuck me. Now I knew where he was going with this. I’d barely been there five minutes and I received a brief introduction to, I forget, all of them? over my jeans. Oh, and a carpet beater and a cane bundle. Welcome, Erica. But that was just a taste.

There was a brief break to go back downstairs, have something to drink, chat about dinner, etc., but soon it was time for my real caning.

Check this out — merely a part of his arsenal of implements. Or as B called it, his “arse-anal.” And no, he didn’t hit me with those @#$%ing brushes. Or the lint roller.

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The full caning took place sans jeans. He cheerfully announced each different cane, telling me how it was going to feel, and said he was giving me twelve of each. Indeed, they all had a slightly different feel — some were whippier, others thuddier. But they all hurt. I didn’t have to count this time, thank whatever non-religious guardian watches over atheists. It was all I could do to keep absorbing the strokes. Especially since he finished with all eight implements, and repeated the cycle with three of them. So yes, kids, that’s eleven sets of twelve. One hundred thirty two strokes. Ow.

He kept a smooth running commentary throughout, alternately teasing and then being a bit scold-y (“None of your attitude. Do you hear me?”). Best quote of the entire visit? At one point after an especially hard cane stroke, I mumbled into the pillow, “Oh, fuuuuuck.” To which he snapped, “Don’t fucking say ‘fuck‘ when you’re being punished!” I think I was too busy laughing after that to cuss. When I was fussing a bit, he said, “Come now. You’re not going to be caned again for about another month. We have to make this count.” (Ooooh… does that mean there will be an August visit? Wouldn’t that be a lovely way to take my mind off not going to Shadow Lane…)

He insisted I smile big for the camera. (groan) Heaven forbid I look pained! No, I am SuperAss, tough as nails, impervious to pain! Will you look at all those? And yes, one of them is a stick from a tree. Carefully stripped down, but yeah, it’s a piece of a tree. He said that’s what a switching in the woods would feel like. No wonder I hate the damned outdoors.

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We then went downstairs and he invited me to pull out a stool near the kitchen so I could watch him cook dinner. He was preparing an omelet for us, and I have to say it was most impressive, watching him methodically chopping tomatoes, onions and mushrooms, blending eggs and milk, sauteing the vegetables in one pan and cooking the eggs in another, going back and forth between the two. When he was done, he had a beautiful golden brown omelet folded over the vegetable filling, which he cut in two and plated, along with toasted sourdough bread. Perfection. There were other treats — smoked salmon sushi rolls, and for dessert, these lovely little cakes with creamy raspberry filling from Trader Joe’s, fresh blackberries… and chocolate bark with almonds. Later, there was champagne. Moet Chandon, no less. I felt extremely pampered and happily full.

Nice setup, yes? Too bad he had to stick one of the canes in this otherwise beautiful image.

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B kept records playing — first Springsteen, then U2, and then onto classical with Bach cello concertos. For the next portion of our story, I need to digress for a bit.

B is, by his own admission, shall we say, blunt? He says what he’s thinking and doesn’t sugarcoat it. If he thinks you’re wrong, he’ll tell you straight out. If you try any sort of BS on him, he calls you on it immediately. However, he’s also very tongue-in-cheek about it. Last time I was there, I remember him remarking, “I’ve finally reached the age where I’m allowed to be a cranky old man.” I laughed and said, “But I bet you were a cranky old man in your thirties, right?” to which he admitted yes. Hey, I can relate. I was already a cranky old lady when I was a child, for Christ’s sake.

Cut to the present. We were kind of in a post-meal haze, sitting on the couch and listening to beautiful music, and I had my back to his side, lying in the crook of his arm. When the album side ended, he didn’t move, so I think he had dozed off. I started to sit up, and his arm tightened and he said, “What?” “The record’s over,” I said, “and I’m just getting a drink of water.” I sat up, he got up to put something else on, then came back and sat on my right. I was still feeling a bit lazy, so I picked up a cushion and placed it on his left thigh, planning to stretch out and put my head on it. But before I could, he snatched it away and tossed the cushion to his right. Well! I huffed at him, and then opened up my big yap and blurted, “You are a cranky old man!”

I figured since he’d called himself that first, it was okay. I figured that since I’m several years older than he is, that kind of makes a mockery of my calling him old and it wasn’t to be taken seriously.

I was mistaken.

He got up. Moved to the blinds and lowered them. “What did you say?” He then retrieved a small rectangular package from somewhere, I didn’t see where, and started opening it — I could see he was unwrapping a formidable-looking hairbrush. Oh, shit.

He sat back down and no time was wasted. “Stand up. Take down your pants.”

Can I interject something here? Y’all know how I feel about hairbrushes. They feel awful in the best of circumstances. But a hard hair-brushing after 132 cane strokes? You feel like your ass is being torched. I squirmed and thrashed my feet around, but he held fast.

Stopping briefly, he said, “Who’s a cranky old man?”
“Not you!” I hollered, but he still started up again.

“Who’s a cranky old man?” he asked again at the next pause. Again, I yelled, “Not you! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”

It was a quick, intense, unexpected scene, one that left me breathless and shaky, but in a good way. I’d pushed. He pushed back. That’s how it works… and it’s damned hot when it does. He told me to sit on the couch, but didn’t let me pull my jeans back up, so they pooled around my feet.

“You deserved that, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sir.”
“You’re not going to call me that again, are you?”
“No, sir.”
“What happens to bad girls when they’re sassy and bratty?”
“They get punished, sir.”

Wow. I was rather floaty and dazed after that, and feeling amazingly relaxed. Then he opened the champagne, put on Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, and we settled down to listen. As it was getting later, and I was drifting along quietly on my second glass of champagne, B shifted, stretched out and put his head in my lap, and closed his eyes, going to sleep. We sat there like that until the record was over.

Remember I mentioned that B has incredibly gorgeous blue eyes? He also has the softest, loveliest head of hair. 🙂

And then it was 11:30 and time for bed. We said good night, I took a shower and got into bed, reading for a while and then going to sleep. I had to be up at 7:00, and I guess my internal clock was working, because I woke up at 6:58. After washing up and getting dressed, making the bed and packing up my things, I wandered downstairs, where B was puttering in the kitchen, making coffee. Again, I sat at the bar to watch and talk to him.

“Did you sleep?”
“I did!”
“How’s your bottom?”
“It’s a bit tender this morning.”
“Is it marked?”
“I don’t know, I couldn’t tell.”
“What color is it?”
“Pink. There are two pink bullseyes.”
“What shade of pink?”

You guys may have heard me mention a hundred or so times that I’m not a morning person, and I simply couldn’t come up with all these details with morning brain. So I laughed, and sweetly said, “Would you like to take a look and see for yourself?” He then gave me The Look and said it sounded like I still had some sass in me, and handed me a shot of espresso, which was most welcome. He made a second one for me, and while I was drinking it, we talked about breakfast and when we had to leave, which was by 8:50. He then asked me what time it was. I looked at my watch. “It’s 7:30.”

“Right,” he said, stepping out of the kitchen and crooking a finger at me. Uh oh. Taking my wrist, he pulled me back up the stairs, and had me assume the position on the bed, announcing that I was going to be tawsed.

It was a different tawse this time, not the one that he’d brought to my place that first time. It looked well aged and thick. Ominous.

“These are going to be painful,” he informed me. (Really??) “I’m giving you twelve. After that, I will ask if you want twelve more. Are you ready?” I was. Well, as ready as I could ever be.

Oh my god, those tawse strokes hurt, especially after all the percussive activity from the night before. After the twelfth stroke, he paused. “Would you like twelve more?” he asked.

I could not answer, just went, “Ah… uh…” Part of my brain was screaming, “OMFG, no!” But another part was prodding, “Don’t be a wimp, Erica. You’re so tough, remember?” Ugh ugh ugh. “I need an answer from you,” he reminded me. I took a deep breath and blathered out, “Yespleasesir.”

Twelve more. I was hollering and pounding the bed with these. Afterward, he told me to get up and go look in the mirror, which I did. Then, a minute or two later, “Back down. I’m going to give you six more.”

That final push. That edge. Dancing right up to the limit of what I could take. And I took them. Sweet. Good teamwork.

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I did not cry this time around, but I trembled and breathed hard, and he held me close, letting me calm. After I did, I realized something. Well, besides the fact that I was well caned and brushed and tawsed and thoroughly taken care of — I was hungry. So we went back downstairs and he made us some toast, which he put out with jam (he remembered I don’t care for butter), some more berries and some orange juice. He asked if I’d like more coffee, but I noticed my foot was already tapping a bit after two shots of strong espresso, so I declined.

And then it was time to go. All good things must come to an end. He drove me to the train station, and we had a lively discussion on the way about his theory that everyone should be into spanking, because what else was the bottom created for, really, and if people would just get over their preconceived notions about it and try it, they’d realize what they’re missing. Unlike me, B is remarkably energetic in the morning — I feebly tried to counter with how I thought people had to be wired for it, that not everyone likes pain and so forth, but I quickly gave that up. Besides, we’d arrived, and I had to leave. (sigh)

The trip home went like clockwork. Caught the train, got the BART on time, knew where to go once I reached SFO, and had a half hour to spare. We got back to Burbank just before 1:30, I got the shuttle back to my car, and was home by 2:00. I unpacked and then tried to do some work — I managed about one hour before I said “forget this” and went to take a nap. After that, I was refreshed and was able to crank out a fair amount, in between tweeting about my trip and answering texts.

Today, I’m pleasantly sore, lightly marked, and still a bit tired, but I was able to finish all my work for the week and even had time left over to write this — I didn’t think I’d be able to do so until Sunday, but I always prefer to do it as soon as possible while things are fresh in my mind. So… adventures done for now. Back to reality. I will most likely be droppy, but that will be postponed until I come home from John’s, where I’m headed shortly. On Wednesday morning, having some quiet time before I left, I found myself a bit teary. I tweeted about it, about how I am caught between trying to look ahead and looking back at what I no longer have. I’m trying to look at the open windows, not the closed doors. It’s… challenging. I have no doubt that I will still have down days and tears. But hopefully, the new riches will continue. Because you know what? I damn well deserve them.

Have a great weekend, y’all. And B, sir, thank you so very much, once again, for everything. ♥

My (very brief but action-packed) adventure

Bob Hope Airport Is Dedicated

Yes, I was on a plane for the first time since 2012. The flight was less than an hour, but still. Oh, and I took an Uber for the first time. And BART. For a woman who almost never goes anywhere, this was monumental. Even more monumental — the trip was to Northern CA to play with B. A 24-hour whirlwind, and a comedy of errors regarding the travel portions. But all so very worth it.

Oh, and while the trip was short, this post is long. Buckle up and get a beverage.

It started with him getting a new strap. He had asked for my opinion when ordering a new one, and had sent me some pictures of his possible choices. (They all looked pretty damn terrifying.) A couple of days later, I received this picture from him:

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Oh. My. I commented that it was scary looking, and he replied it was especially scary for me, knowing I was going to receive corporal punishment on my bare bottom with it soon. :-O  Say what, now?

At first B suggested coming to me again, but I told him the Saturday plans weren’t really fair to John. However — how about if I went to him, on a weekday, and played at his place? (This was John’s idea.) He liked that, and said he had a full spare bedroom/bathroom suite I could stay in. He even offered me some of his unused miles. 🙂

B was great; he took care of everything, booking the flight for me, even getting me an aisle seat with extra legroom, which I really appreciated, since the tight confines of planes make me feel claustrophobic. He told me how to set up Uber (I’d never used it before) and told me it would be about an hour ride from the airport to his place. Once there, I was to go to a food court area downtown right near his building and wait for him to get off work, maybe another hour or so. Simple, right? Then I’d fly home the next morning, after he dropped me off at the train station and I took the train to BART and then BART to SFO. All seemed quite doable, even for this nervous person who isn’t travel savvy.

I’d looked up Burbank Airport and saw they had economy lots with cheaper parking (the regular lots were $23 per day; the cheap lots $12). My first glitch? Pulled into the airport, drove round and round and got caught up in the swirl of cars, and the economy lots were nowhere in sight. I stopped to ask, and was told, “Oh, you have to exit the airport and then go to blah blah.” Okay, so I tried to leave, and as I drove around, I came to a split in the road with signage, but neither direction said “Exit.” I had a 50/50 chance, so I took one and of course it was wrong and I ended up in the rental car return lot. I had to ask again, and the guy gave me another set of convoluted directions. By now I was freaking out, and did I mention we were having a heat wave and the temperature was triple digits? So as I drove out of that lot, the first thing I saw was a full-price parking lot and I said screw it, saving a few bucks isn’t worth my sanity. So I parked… and then I had to ask yet another person how to find the United terminal (go up that escalator, take the walkway, go across the street, blah blah). But I made it in plenty of time and was at my gate by 12:40 for a 2:00 flight.

When I got to SFO, I looked for the area B told me about where there are Uber pickups, but couldn’t find it, and when I asked, they said, “Oh, we changed that up completely just last week. You have to go to blah blah blah…” Finally found that place, ordered my Uber, and he showed up within 10 minutes. Really nice guy, good driver — we did hit traffic so it took longer than expected, but he turned up the A/C when I asked him to. (I gave him a 20% cash tip; he was quite effusive with his thanks.) Got to the place where B had told me to go, walked in… and discovered it was fully open, no A/C whatsoever, and apparently Northern CA was no cooler than Southern CA. It was like a blast furnace in there. I didn’t like the idea of B picking me up here after I’d sat in this heat for an hour and was sweaty and grubby, but I figured oh well, just go with it.

B came within an hour and we walked to his building, a ginormous high-rise. His apartment was charming — two levels, roomy, big bedrooms and bathrooms. He showed me my room, and the first thing I wanted was a glass of ice water, which he provided. It was about 6:30, and he mentioned dinner. I noticed he’d bought two bags of groceries. “Do you have any dietary restrictions?” he asked. (Uh… yeah, kids, you know what kind of an eater I am.) I said, “Well, I don’t eat red meat”… and the first thing he pulled out of the bag was a huge steak. Oops. Next to come out? A salami and some cheese. Guess what? I don’t eat those either. At this point I was ready to go crawl into a closet, but then things turned around and everything he took out after that — eggs, a fresh sourdough loaf, tomatoes, raspberries — all appealed. “Fried eggs it is,” he announced, “but after you’ve been thoroughly punished. Not good doing that on a full stomach, is it?” I couldn’t agree more. (A side note: the dude on FetLife who always pushes for his stupid buffet munches when we’re all at the Shadow Lane party at the Suncoast irks the hell out of me. Who on earth wants to play after consuming a Las Vegas buffet?? I forecast a lot of ruined shoes with that gluttonous nonsense.)

B is quite the audiophile, with a great deal of high-end stereo equipment and a large selection of record albums. He knew my favorite band, so he put on “Sgt. Pepper” and we sat on the couch for a snack — salami and cheese for him, while I nibbled on some of the raspberries. The acoustics of his music system were marvelous; I could hear every individual instrument.

As you guys might remember, in my last blog about playing with B, I said something like “What is it with UK men and canes?” After the album concluded, B said, “Speaking of Beatles, where is Abbey Road?”
“Um… England?”
“What city?” I shrugged. I am geographically challenged. (Where is he going with this?)
“London. Which is in England, correct. And is England part of a larger area?”
“The United Kingdom.”
“Yes. And where am I from?”
“Ireland.”
“And is Ireland part of the UK?”
“Uh… some of it is?”
“Am I from that part?” Uh…

Apparently, he isn’t from the UK. And, as he announced when he firmly took hold of my hand, sat down and pulled me across his lap, saying that the Republic of Ireland is part of the UK is like saying Texas is part of Mexico.

“Well, that’s not so far-fetched!” I protested. “Haven’t you heard of Tex-Mex cuisine?”

I thought that was pretty clever, given it was quick thinking under duress. He wasn’t impressed.

Right off the bat with the small strap. He wasn’t using it very hard, but of course, it stung like a bitch as he hadn’t used his hand first. He gave me sets of ten (I forget how many), and then paused while I caught my breath.

“I’ll bet you’re really, really, really surprised how painful this little strap is,” he mused.
“Yeah,” I gasped, “especially without a warm-up!”
He laughed. “That was the warm-up.”

Oh, fuck me.

After a few minutes of that, after which he pronounced me “a redder shade of crimson,” we went upstairs to where I’d be sleeping (which also happened to be his discipline room) and he had me kneel in a chair at the foot of the bed and then lay my torso on the bed. He had three canes, which he informed me had been soaking in linseed oil. Oh, yippee. I guess I wasn’t about to break any of these suckers.

The scene is a blur. At one point he moved me off the chair and fully onto the bed, with pillows under my hips. I seem to recall the final count was seven sets of twelve, which is eighty-four. Every last one of them spot on. Some harder. Some a bit lighter, but faster. All intense. I had to count every one. And call him “sir.”

(Weird how I’ve mellowed about that word. I used to hate it and refuse to say it. I thought it was too subby. Now, with the right person, it slips out a lot more easily.)

We took a break for some pictures. This one is B’s favorite.

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This one is mine. Yes, I’m biting my lip. You would have too.

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Afterward, I came down from my high while B gave me some deep tissue massage. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I had surprisingly little soreness in the next couple of days.

Vaguely, I wondered what happened to the strap he’d bought. I think I even asked him about it. But it didn’t make an appearance, and I forgot about it.

He made me a perfect over-easy fried egg on sourdough bread, with sliced tomatoes. After dinner, we moved to the couch, where he put out the raspberries and some nougat with roasted almonds and whole berries that was to die for. “Right,” he said, “how about some champagne to go with the raspberries?”

I couldn’t help myself — you guys know how much I love champagne — I clapped my  hands like a little kid. “Yes, please!” After opening a bottle, pouring us some and putting several raspberries into our glasses, he suggested we go outside to his building’s courtyard, since it was much cooler by now. I had two glasses and was rather tipsy by the time we went out there. It was a beautiful night, quiet, and there was an outdoor enclosed fireplace (not needed in this heat, but it was pretty). We relaxed, finished our champagne, talked. He showed me around — there was a gym, a huge pool, barbecues, all sorts of neat stuff.

Earlier he had asked what I liked in classical music. I like a great deal of it, so I shrugged, not knowing what to choose. “Beethoven, for example?” “What, specifically?” I thought about it and said, “Everyone’s favorite Beethoven symphony is the ninth. I’m a contrarian; mine is the seventh.” So when we went back inside, he put on Beethoven’s seventh symphony for me.

I was blissed out. Comfortably full, mildly buzzed, pleasantly sore, and listening to beautiful music that sounded like I was in a concert hall. What more could I want? So while he was doing whatever he was doing in the kitchen (cleaning up, I figured), I curled up on the couch, rested my head on a pillow, and just let the music wash over me. It was getting late, so I figured bedtime was soon.

At the end of the third movement, B came back in, went to the turntable and lifted the needle. “The last movement will have to wait until morning,” he said, then he crossed to the couch and held out his hand to me. I smiled and got up. “Time for bed?” I asked.

“No,” he replied. “It’s time for you to be punished… again.”

Um… whaaaat? It didn’t register with my foggy brain at first, but I quickly had to switch gears as he pulled me up the stairs at a brisk clip. He hustled me back into the bedroom. “Back over the bed. Now.” I scurried into position, only to have him tell me I’d neglected to take my pants down. Oh dear.

Yeah, it was strap time.

Standing behind me, he said, “Your cane lines have already disappeared. We can’t have that. Give me a number.” Had this been the beginning of the night, I probably would have answered something like, “Are negative numbers acceptable?” Or perhaps, “One.” But at this late hour, already semi-spacey from the earlier scene, faced with this suddenly stern top, I knew better. “Twenty-four,” I said.

I could feel the pause; I think he was a bit nonplussed by my giving him a legitimate number. “That’s a good number,” he said. “Okay, twenty-four. These are going to hurt.”

Again… had it been earlier, or at a party, I may have come back with, “Really? Funny, I was expecting them to tickle.” But I’m really not that foolish. Besides, I kinda wanted them to hurt. 😉

Holy crap, did they. Somehow, I counted out twenty-four hard strokes. None of them wrapped. None went too high or too low. And when the count was done…

“Would you like twelve more?”
“Yes, please.”

I was in the zone, feeling it down into my bones. Bring it. More. Please, more. No more. Yes more. I don’t know anymore. Please.

After thirty-six, he pulled me up into his arms and held me. I buried my face in his shirt; I was shaking and sniveling, in that sort of pre-cry mode I get into, and he asked if I was crying. I shook my head. “No.”

“You can cry if you want to,” he said, then added, “It’s your party.” Which made me giggle. (Only people past A Certain Age will get that reference.) But I just wasn’t quite there. I joked about not wanting to get makeup on his shirt.

A couple of minutes later, after my breathing had leveled off, he pulled back. “I’m giving you twelve more,” he said. I was surprised, and yet I wasn’t. When I got back into position, he added, “And I want you to let it all go this time. If you don’t, I will keep going.”

Which sounds harsh. But it was exactly the push I needed. There are always tears hovering beneath the surface inside me… I guess he sensed that. I made it through the twelve, broke down and wept. He took me back into his arms, and that was really the end this time. I was done.

After I’d calmed down, he had me go look in the mirror. Damn. I wish we’d taken a picture then — solid red. “Feel it,” he said. I did. Ah, hello, leather butt. I’ve missed you.

“Streaky mascara and a welted bottom — you’re ready for bed,” he smiled. Well, not quite. After he said good night and went to his room, I took a shower. No way was I going to put my sweaty body and my semi-melted face on his clean linens.

Can I just say the bathroom was like a four-star hotel? Separate walk-in shower. Oversize bathtub — oh, would I love to take a bubble bath in that. I mean, what’s it like to soak in a tub where your legs fit without bending them, or your feet sticking out? I either have cold feet or cold knees.

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Everything was clean and sparkling and new looking. Plus, there was soap, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion — everything a guest could want. That shower felt heavenly and I got into bed around midnight feeling refreshed.

I woke up at 7:00 the next morning, got up and dressed, and wandered downstairs where B was in the kitchen, making espresso. He’d put out more sliced tomatoes, was toasting bread, brought out jam and poured some orange juice and espresso for me. We sat and ate while Mozart played. (I never did get my last movement of Beethoven’s seventh. Oh well.)

“If you don’t eat all your tomatoes, I’m going to spank you,” he announced. Now really, was that necessary? Of course I was going to finish them; I love tomatoes. Apparently wasting food is a punishable sin in Ireland. No argument from me, as I’m a plate cleaner and always have been. But I couldn’t help notice that when he left the table to get ready to go, what did he leave on his plate? Tomatoes! I commented on this, to which he said he could always eat them later, as he lives here, but I have to finish mine because I’m leaving.

(Tops have an answer for everything, don’t they?)

B drove me to the CalTrain station, after giving me detailed instructions on getting the train to BART, and then taking that to SFO. We said goodbye… damn, it went by too quickly! (sigh)

And thus began Part Two of my travel hysteria. I did manage to buy the train ticket and get on the right train, and after about an hour, I got off at Millbrae at BART, which I had never been to before. I asked a guy in a booth where to go for the subway to SFO, and he pointed behind me and said, “It’s this one right here, just scan your ticket and the gate will open.” I did, and then stood by the subway train I thought I was supposed to get on. When it came time to board, I don’t know what possessed me, but I’m sure as hell glad it did — I turned back to the guy and said, “So this will take me to the airport?”

He looked shocked. “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t hear you say airport! No, you have to go to Platform 2, which is blah blah blah…” Not nearby. I ran to where he told me to go and saw nothing; no train. Just a schedule that read the SFO train runs every half hour. The one I was supposed to catch was at 10:31… and it was 10:33. Oh, crap.

Now what? B had told me that if I missed the train, I should take an Uber to the airport. But when I tried to leave and went the wrong way and tried to exit through an entry, I got so flustered, a guy who worked there came over to ask if I needed help. I said I needed to get to SFO for a noon flight. He said, “The next train is at 11:01, and it will take you three minutes to get to SFO. You’ll be fine.” So, willing myself to stay calm, I waited until the 11:01 train and boarded; I was the only one on it! The guy was right; it took three minutes and I was at SFO. But of course, I had no idea where I was going; where the hell was the United terminal? I ended up asking three different people because I couldn’t find the damn area. I was quite literally running… finally made it to TSA at 11:25. The line was long, and then we all had to move to another line because the conveyor belt jammed. ARRGGHHHH! Got through that, checking my boarding pass for the millionth time… Gate 71A. I quickly bought a very expensive bottle of water and went to 71A.

My pass said boarding was going to start at 11:40, but that time came and there was no boarding announcement. I felt uneasy. I checked the pass yet again; 71A. But still, no boarding. I went to the United website, found my info, and then saw a link: “Check here for flight updates.” So I clicked it. Sure enough… “Flight blah blah to Burbank is on time, boarding at Gate 79.”

Gate 79????????????????? What happened to 71A?

How far could 79 be from 71A, I thought. As it turns out, pretty damn far. More running. More panic. Aaaaaaand I got to Gate 79 at 11:52. Did I mention my flight was at 12:05? I just made it.

Got on the plane, found my seat. Collapsed in it and took a deep breath. I made it. All was well. All disasters averted. And then as the plane started taxiing, a toddler two rows ahead let out a scream that could break glass. Not just on the plane, but in all 50 states.

I heard Mom chatter nervously, “Oh no no no, we’re not doing that!” Kid had other ideas and screamed again. That warm sensation I felt running down the sides of my neck was my eardrums melting. I thought, if I have to listen to an hour of this, I will lose what’s left of my mind. Fortunately, he quieted down and didn’t scream again. Holy Christ, how can such a tiny person have such a set of lungs??

Home at last! Headed out and on my way back to the parking lot, I found an Express Pay machine, so I figured this is where I pay for my parking ticket. Tried to scan it — it wouldn’t scan. Tried again. Still nothing. What now? I went inside a building marked “Cashier” where a very nice woman greeted me with “Hello, sunshine, how are ya?” (Sunshine? ME??) I told her my parking ticket wouldn’t scan, and she looked at it and said, “Well, honey, that’s because you’re in the wrong place.”

Of course I was.

“Go out that door, go down that walkway, walk all the way down to the signal, cross the street, and you’ll be at your lot. You pay on your way out.” She even walked outside with me and pointed me in the right direction. By then, all I could do was laugh. God, I’m such a dork. But you’ll be happy to know I got out of the parking lot (for $36, thank you very much) and made it home in one piece. I texted both B and John to let them know I’d arrived safely. And then I crashed for a nap.

So… are you wondering if, after eighty-four cane strokes and forty-eight strap strokes, I had any marks? Barely. I took this picture on Friday.

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Microscopic. Plenty sore, though, which I always enjoy. However, not quite as sore as the first time B and I played. I have no idea why. Maybe because it had only been a couple of weeks, versus six months before his first visit.

Life felt very mundane on Friday after twenty-four hours of planes, trains and automobiles; canes and straps; and champagne and raspberries. But all good things and fun times must come to an end.

B (’cause I know you’re reading this) — thank you. For being such a wonderful host, and a caring, conscientious top with whom I felt very safe. For welcoming me into your home and making me feel special. For the intensely delicious play experience. You are one of the good ones. ♥

It was really nice to be able to forget about everything for a couple of days. Somehow, I need to make that happen more often.

Yeah, still here…

I’m like that little floppy-eared bastard with the drum… I just keep going and going.

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So what’s been going on? This is another long one, kids. But there’s something fun at the end, if you want to slog through. Or just fast-forward. Up to you.

The past few months, I’ve been dealing with two separate issues. One you already know about; a bad bout of depression that was triggered by something that happened at the end of last year and then decided it wasn’t going to go away. And two, I started having shoulder pain a few months ago. At first I thought I just pulled something or another at the gym, so I worked around it, saw the chiropractor, iced it. But that didn’t go away either. Then it started hurting when I wasn’t even moving it. When it started impacting my sleep (damn near every position except on my back hurt), I knew I’d have to do something about it. And I was sick to death of feeling like death every day, too.

So at the end of March, I started making appointments. First, my regular doc to look at my shoulder, and second, with my HMO’s therapy department to 1. see if my meds need tweaking and 2. try to find a new therapist, as the one I had for over twenty-five years retired two years ago.

Going through the questions and interviews and appointments for therapy are so much fun, especially the tests they have you take, asking you to rate various thoughts and feelings and situations 1 through 5 (1 = Never, 5 = All the time). “How often do you have thoughts of hurting yourself?” “Do you use recreational drugs?” “Do you drink?” “Do you have trouble sleeping?” “Do you feel useless, guilty, unloved, hopeless, blah blah blah?” And then you have an appointment with a psychiatrist to assess your needs — said psychiatrist essentially asks you the same questions again. Because I am my father’s daughter, I couldn’t resist a bit of dark humor.

Doctor: Have you ever tried to commit suicide?
Me: Yeah, when I was nineteen.
Doctor: How?
Me: It was pretty lame; I blew out the pilot lights on the stove and in the heater, turned everything up full blast, closed the windows, and went to sleep. But I woke up.
Doctor: And are you thinking about doing that now?
Me: No, my apartment is all electric now.

What can I say. I saw her trying to hide a laugh. I mean, I get why they have to ask all this stuff. They want to make sure you’re not going to leave the appointment and then go jump in front of a bus. But still… enough. If I haven’t offed myself by now, it ain’t happening.

Anyway, after that, she decided not to switch my meds to something else, just to up the existing a bit, and also suggested I try exercising a little more and to start taking melatonin at night for better sleep quality. And then she referred me to a therapist, who I heard from shortly thereafter.

I’ve had two appointments with her so far and I like her. The first hour, I gave her an overall intro of my younger life: alcoholic dad, hypercritical mom, brother dying, the revolving door of stepmothers, eating disorders and depression, and other general suckage. The second appointment, I told her about Erica Scott and that part of my life. I didn’t get overly detailed, but I needed her to know about the scene, since so much of my current depression is around that. It took all the nerve I had, but I felt better afterward. So I’ll be seeing her regularly. Best part — the copay is only $15.

As for my shoulder, that’s been a lot more challenging. First my doc took an X-ray, found nothing, and suggested I simply stop exercising my upper body until this goes away… in six months or so. Not happening. I’m no doctor, but one thing I do know is you do not stop moving a body part just because it’s injured. You work around it, strengthen the area, keep things moving and flexible. So I asked the doc to refer me to the physical therapy department (after she turned down my request for an MRI). Long story short, I have a vague catch-all term for what’s happening: “Shoulder impingement syndrome.” I’ve had to adjust my workouts, my sleeping position, and the PT has been giving me exercises to do at home, adding another couple every time I see her. I’m up to eight exercises in the series, which take about twenty minutes to a half-hour, and I have to do them twice a day. And that’s on top of regular workouts. Oh, and ice, heat, and Advil/Aleve as needed.

Having shoulder pain is, well, a pain. Never take for granted simple things like pulling a shirt over your head without wanting to scream and cuss. But I’m working on it. You can’t say I’m not being proactive through all this crap.

I’ve been on the new dose of meds for about six weeks now. I do feel a bit better. Through all this, I’ve been highly functional. I got up every morning, got dressed, worked, did what needed doing. But I cried every day, and every night, my last thought before going to sleep was “Please let me die.” That hasn’t been happening for a while. So, progress. And along with a better mood came… guess what. Yeah, you got it. A renewed desire to play.

I had deactivated FetLife, and had no desire to go back on there, because there is someone I don’t want to encounter. So I reactivated some old ads on *shudder* Alt.com and SpankingPersonalAds.com. Yeah, I know. I was opening myself up to CHoS entries once again… and they delivered. Good grief. The very first reply I got after rejoining Alt was a dick pic accompanied with the message, “Want your ass, bitch!” However, there are occasional diamonds in heaps of coal, so I soldiered on. Had a couple of coffee dates; nice men, but just not a fit. One flat-out said he couldn’t imagine giving a woman a spanking and then not having sex afterward. “Guess I’d go jerk off,” he said. Charming.

Then I heard from B, an Irish gentleman who lives in Northern California. I liked how he wrote, I really liked his picture, and we started sending long messages, taking it from the kink site to email. Then he suggested we talk on the phone. I’m not a phone person, as you all know, but I was curious. So he called me one evening at a predetermined time, and we chatted for about two hours. He mentioned that he’d decided when he turned 50 (he’s 51) that he was going to travel to meet people and play, and he asked what my availability was. I said I spend Friday evening through Sunday at John’s, but Monday through Thursday I was home and my time was flexible. He said, “Well, that’s a problem. I work Monday through Friday.”

Well, crap. There goes that, I thought.

Until next day, when he texted me to say he’d enjoyed our conversation, mentioning that he gets chatty when he’s had a glass of wine. I texted back that I enjoyed it too, and I didn’t even have any wine.

He then wrote back that he was going to have to punish me for letting an Irishman drink alone.

Jesus Freaking Christ on a cracker. I was reading this in the locker room at the gym and damn near had a spontaneous orgasm. I answered that I failed to see the logic in this.

His reply: “Just Google ‘Irish stereotypes drinking’ and you will see how punishable this infraction is.” Ye Gods. We bantered a bit back and forth until I finally said that I was at the gym and if he didn’t stop talking like this, I was going to drop a weight on my foot.

Two days later, he texted again and asked what was the closest airport to me, and I said Burbank. He said he could fly out on a Friday night and we could play, and he’d fly home the next day.

Oh, my.

I told him I’d have to talk with John about this, because it would impact my time with him and I make a point of trying not to do that, so I’d get back to him. John’s reaction? “Life is short. Try it once.”

I love this man. ♥

So we planned it for the weekend of May 11. One snag — it turned out he was arriving around 11 p.m., so we’d need to play Saturday. Argh… I had planned to meet him Friday night, play, then head on to John’s. Now it was looking like I wasn’t getting to John’s until sometime Saturday afternoon. But I was all in, and that was that. And for once, the stars aligned; as it happened, John had a crew scheduled Saturday morning to cut down a tree in his back yard, and they were going to be chain-sawing and jack-hammering all morning. So it was just as well that I not be there.

I asked B if he could please come early Saturday morning, say around 9:00. We settled on 9:15. In the meantime, he’d friended me on Facebook, so I could read all about him. I had a full name, a number, an email. He said he could provide references; just the fact that he offered that meant (to me) that I didn’t need them. I was ready. Oh, and did I mention I was nervous AF? It had been six months. And did I also mention this guy is very big on caning? What the hell kind of tolerance was I going to have after such a long hiatus?

B didn’t like the idea of playing in his hotel, so he was coming to my apartment. Bright and early, he showed up. Even more handsome than his pictures, with that accent and the most beautiful blue eyes… oh, Christ, was I ready.

He’d brought his suitcase with him, having checked out of his hotel, and as he settled in, he unzipped one compartment and pulled out four canes, an implement that looked like a whole bunch of skinny canes bundled together, two tawses, and one short strap. Easy, Erica. Don’t panic. You’ve got this. Bionic Butt, remember? It’s like riding a bike. Oh, wait… I never learned how to ride a bike. Fuck. When he showed me the tawse, he explained it was a Scottish Lochgelly tawse, and it looked like one mean mofo — two tongues and very thick. He then added, “We probably won’t be using this.” Probably thought it was a bit too harsh for a first session. I certainly didn’t argue.

Mercifully, he did give me a brief warm-up OTK with his hand and the short leather strap, over my jeans. But all too quickly, it was done, and he had me get back up while he searched for the best place to bend me over for caning. The ottoman was too low, the armchair had no swinging room — but my bed was just right.

What is it about UK men and the cane? I have been caned many times by many tops, but no one seems to have the prowess and precision quite like UK tops. B was no exception. He was very methodical in his corporal punishment delivery — I had to count every stroke, I had to say “sir” with each one, and he was measured and even and focused. I’ve often said that a lot of people are afraid of the cane, but they shouldn’t be; the cane is only as bad as the person wielding it, like any other implement. In the right hands, in conscientious hands, it is intense, it hurts, but it’s a good hurt. It’s deep and it’s lingering and it’s…. mmmmmnggghhh. Yeah, that’s the word for it.

He gave me sets of twelve, and occasionally sets of twenty-four. I lost count of how many there were. He used that cane bundle too. We took breaks periodically, his decision. Here I am somewhere in the middle of it all.

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Look how spot on those cane strokes are. And yet, I felt all of those implements on my back, plus one more cane not in the picture.

You would think that after six months of no play, of practically re-virginized skin, this would have been enough, yes? You’d be wrong.

He stopped when he thought I’d had enough. He was gauging my skin and my color. And because we had just met and he didn’t know the full scope of my tolerance, he exercised caution. I knew all that and appreciated every bit of it. But…

I still wanted more.

So when we got up, went back into the living room and sat on the couch to talk, I told him so. I said it wasn’t a criticism; I just liked to be pushed a bit. And because I haven’t played for so long, I’m feeling insatiable. He didn’t answer that, and changed the subject. I figured okay, this was great, we had a good intense scene and I got to dip my toes back in the water.

Until about ten minutes later when he suddenly stood up, picked up the tawse, and said, “Back in the bedroom.”

Uh oh.

Once there, he said, “I’m going to give you twelve. After that, I will ask you if you want twelve more. You will not want them.” I still had my jeans on; how bad could it be?

Oh, crap. That tawse is one mean son of a bitch. It packed a wallop, even over denim. I felt a bit shaky after the twelve were done.

“Do you want twelve more?” he asked.

“Yes, please,” I replied.

The next twelve were harder, and I was barely able to keep count by the end. He told me to stand, and I did, on shaky legs. “Wow,” I murmured, looking at the wicked thing in his hands. “That was intense. I can’t even imagine how that feels on bare skin.”

He just looked at me, not putting the tawse down. “Want more?” I hesitated. “How about six.” “OK.” “Pants down.”

Oh, shit.

Took down my jeans, and he gave me six hard ones. And then, he gave me six more. I took thirty-six with that beastly thing.

And I felt so. Damn. Good. I haven’t lost it. I’ve still got it. Now I was done.

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Notice the absence of something? Like, I don’t know… wrapping? Unevenness? Perfect balance and distribution. I was impressed.

It was now almost 12:30, so we started to pull our things together. I had already put my weekend suitcase in the car, so all we had to do was gather all his stuff and then I was driving him to the rental car place near the Burbank airport (which was on the way to John’s), so he could drive into Orange County to a shop he wanted to visit there, and then he would fly home from LAX. As he was getting ready, I glanced at my bar top and saw a box that hadn’t been there before. “Is this yours?” I asked. “No,” he said, “it’s yours. It’s a gift.” It was a stove-top espresso pot! In one of our earlier conversations, he had asked me, apropos of nothing, if I liked coffee, and I told him I did. I thought, okay, maybe he’ll bring coffee when he comes over, but then he didn’t, and I forgot about it. Wow. I did not expect a present, and I was really tickled. Thank you, sir, for everything.

I have to admit, what happened last year made me seriously question my judgment in people, my instincts about who is good and who isn’t. But even someone who’s usually pretty accurate about sussing people out could be thoroughly taken in by someone who was so charming and convincing. My instincts are not flawed; they’re just not perfect every time. This time, they were spot on.

I wasn’t sore that evening, which was strangely disappointing. But when I woke up Sunday morning and sat up… holy hell. My butt felt like it had been hit by a bus. Repeatedly. I was sore, deep into the tissues and muscles, but not a mark on me. I think that might have been due to B kneading out the cane strokes in between sets. He asked me which I preferred: having the massage, or having marks. Naturally, I said I like both. I felt the soreness for two days and relished it.

So. Project Erica Taking Her Power Back. Getting my life back, my spirits back, my kink mojo and confidence back. And finding new ways to indulge it, because I can’t go back to the way things were. There’s too much mistrust and pain. Eventually, I will write more about this. I still won’t name names. But I think it’s time to talk about it; I just have to figure out how. Meanwhile… please hold a good thought for me. Healing thoughts for my shoulder and my psyche. And for God’s sake, wish me a local play partner!

And finally, a side note: RIP, Tardar Sauce (yes, that’s how they spelled it), AKA Grumpy Cat. The iconic kitty has passed away at age 7. I mention this because she was my spirit animal, and I related to so many of the memes. But I will always have my little desk mascot.

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As always, thanks for reading.

Thoughts on the Cane, Part 2

So after that extensive discussion on the cane last week (and thank you all for the wonderful feedback), guess what New Guy brought with him this evening??

I suppose I should have seen that coming.

I was in trouble from the outset, tonight. Do any of you who play often notice that sometimes, for reasons unknown, your tolerance is through the roof and other times, it’s practically nonexistent? Tonight was the latter, for me. Everything hurt hurt HURT; things he uses every week that I can usually absorb. Even his hand hurt. Oh yeah, I was screwed. Because I still couldn’t stop sassing him.

But really, how could I not? I mean, again with the damn questions! “Just once,” I snapped, “just once I’d love to hear you ask a question where you don’t already know the answer!” He didn’t approve of that remark. How did I know that? Guess.

I had to fight hard not to scream, and I kicked so fiercely, he accidentally clouted my foot with something. “That’ll teach you to keep your feet down!” he said. Ow. He was right about that. It is my humble opinion that bastinado sucks all to hell.

He had two canes — a thin whippy one and a thicker bamboo one. UGH! I hated that effing bamboo one — it felt like being hit with a broom handle! Of course, he probably wouldn’t have used that one… except I broke the thinner one. 😀  Tsk tsk.

Stupid me, I’d told him I had a cane as well, so he made me go fetch it out of the closet. After plenty of strap and tawse, that is. After my bum was so on fire, I thought I’d set off the smoke alarm.

My finale was 20 cane strokes. I was just about ready to lose it, and I begged him after stroke three, “Please, not so fast, please…” I guess some would say that’s topping from the bottom. Well, screw them. Let them take the damn caning and see how they feel about it. Anyway, good and compassionate top that New Guy is, he did slow down a bit, so I could catch my breath in between. Did I want him to slow down? Yes. Did I want him to stop? No.

Stroke 16 was low — I think I must have said something or another that was sassy, I don’t remember. I smashed my face into the pillow and screamed. Then came stroke 17… and I heard him laugh. “Well, you broke this one too.”

(No worries. It’s just what’s called tramlines… and two hours later, they’ve faded. No blood.)

I’d broken two canes in one session. I’ve never done that before. But I didn’t get to crow about it just yet. He gave me the final three cuts with that godawful bamboo cane (the only cane left!) and I started to cry.

The good kind of crying, though. The releasing kind. Oh, it hurt… but clearly, I needed the tears, even though I hadn’t known it. But he knew.

Don’t you worry about me. Shortly thereafter, once I’d calmed down, then it was time to crow.

In fact, I was downright hysterical.

Of course, the night was still fairly young, and we had time afterward to relax a bit. He sat on the couch and I curled up on my side and put my head in his lap. Nice, right? Cozy? But he couldn’t leave well enough alone. Kept reaching out and idly swatting the one cheek he could reach. When I protested, he said, “Oh, does it hurt when I do that?”

I replied by smacking him up the back of his head and repeating, “Does it hurt when I do that?”

Round Two. So unfair.

Then he kept poking his finger onto the one low cane stripe. I responded by poking my finger into his stomach. He didn’t like that, either. Sheesh! He started it!

I really don’t know why I’m so damn fond of this man. But I am. For many reasons… not the least being that he’s a very good sport. 🙂

This session ought to hold me for a while. At least a couple of days…

Thoughts on the cane

Who has experienced it? Who likes it, hates it, fears it? Who hasn’t experienced it and thinks it’s most likely the most horrible implement on earth?

The cane is a fascinating and often misunderstood implement. For some, its mention invokes images of the cane’s potential brutality as showcased in Lupus/Rigid East videos, the harsh punishments in Singapore, or the painful corrections English schoolchildren have endured. But there are two things to remember about canes: 1) they are not all created equal. Like paddles and straps, they come in many different thicknesses and materials; and 2) canes are as harsh, sensual or anything in between as the individuals who wield them.

When I first got into TTWD (This Thing We Do, in case you haven’t heard that abbreviation), canes terrified me. I’d seen the icky pictures and heard about how painful and punitive they were, and there was no appeal whatsoever. John, however, was experienced with them and after we’d been together a few months, he was able to convince me to let him try one on me.

We were in a friend’s dungeon and I had my hands wrapped around a suspension bar over my head. I was well warmed up and I knew John wouldn’t hurt me, but I was scared out of my mind. Still, my curiosity overrode the fear and I consented.

John knew all about proper technique — about spacing the strokes, about waiting an extra few seconds to let the waves of pain settle in before applying the next stroke. And it was only six. But afterward, I burst into tears. When he tried to get me to let go of the suspension bar, he discovered that my hands were gripping it so tightly, he had to peel my fingers off one by one. Finally he got me down and took me into his lap, holding me close. I don’t know why I came so completely unglued; I guess I was even more afraid than I’d thought.

How far I’ve come.

A cane doesn’t have to cause horrible bruising, and it most definitely does not have to break skin. Used judiciously and with proper technique, it can impart pretty pink stripes in an even design.

It also can be used in a very sensual way, with a rapid tap-tap-tapping motion that warms and stings and stimulates. Throwing in a hard strike now and then when least expected adds the element of mindf***.

I’ve been lucky enough to play with some of the best caners, including Keith Jones. I would trust that man with anything in his hands, and he’s brilliant with a cane. I have many fond memories, including one time when he had me biting on a leather paddle so I wouldn’t scream. (gasp) I had marks for eight days after that scene. Ah, the good old days.

Canes are especially fun when you break them.

The more breakage, the better.

Of course, after you break them, you do have to face the wrath of the top who doesn’t like losing his toys. But it’s worth it. 🙂 Well, except when their backup cane is made of carbon fiber, as Craig’s was. Holy crap, how I hated that thing!!! Unbreakable, too. Pure evil.

I suppose in a true punishment, there is no warmup and the cane is applied directly to cold skin. I experienced that once. Never again. How anyone can do that to children is beyond me… but we won’t go there.

There is definitely a unique sensation with a cane. Unlike any other implement I can think of, the cane imparts a sort of double pain. First, you feel the sting of it striking the skin. Then, a second or two later, you feel a deeper pain penetrating the muscle. That’s why caning too quickly or striking the same spot over and over is excruciating. Giving the bottom a second or two to catch their breath between strokes is a bit of kindness within the sadism. 🙂

Overall… in the right hands, canes can be painfully delicious. And in the wrong ones, they can be pure torture. Pretty much like anything else.

Your thoughts? Experiences?

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