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 “paddle”

Sweet relief

It had been a while, but last Thursday, I got to have a delicious fix. You know, that special cocktail of pain and pleasure and endorphins and firing synapses and all that hot sweetness that we spankos understand. And damn, did I need it.

I hadn’t seen D since our first play time a month ago, and I wanted to very much, but I’m not the one with two jobs and crappy commutes. I knew I had to wait and be patient. In the meantime, things have been crazy stressful this month. John was dealing with a hearing at work concerning his ongoing issues with them (yes, the saga continues), and I think the stress of it weakened him and he got sick with some sort of intestinal bug. All he wanted to do was sleep, and he’d stopped eating. The last time that happened, he ended up in the hospital with a strep infection that nearly killed him, so of course I was in a state of near-panic for days, until he went to the doctor. Sure enough, he’d contracted a secondary bacterial infection and they put him on antibiotics, which helped right away. But between worrying about him, trying to focus on my work, dealing with my feelings about skipping Shadow Lane and why, and the ongoing bad news every freaking day, I was in a state. And working out only goes so far, you know?

Soooooo… on Thursday morning when I heard from D, asking if I was available later that afternoon, I considered it — for about three and a half seconds. You guys know me; I’m all about plans and schedules and spontaneity makes me break out in hives. But damned if I was going to say no to this! I wanted to see him. I wanted to play. I wanted to forget about everything for a couple of hours.

He said he’d know for sure if he could make it by 2:30. So I swung into action, doing two loads of laundry, working, getting a workout in, showering, done with everything by 2:30. I figured if he could make it, I’d cleared away the immediate responsibilities. And if he couldn’t, then I’d just be freed up to do some more work. Win-win. But of course, it was so much better that he confirmed yes. 🙂

He was at my door by 4:15, looking sharp as ever in his business suit. It was nearly 100 degrees outside, and I had the A/C and ceiling fan going full blast, but I knew he’d still be uncomfortably warm so encouraged him to take off his jacket and tie. He’d requested that I put out the “attitude adjustment tools” again; this time, I very sweetly laid them out on the bar instead of putting them in the trash can. I did say that there’s nothing wrong with my attitude, however. We sat on the couch, and he started unbuttoning his cuffs. This time, I had the presence of mind to stop him and take a picture. Because, really, isn’t this one of the hottest fucking sights there is for us bottoms?

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While he was rolling up his sleeves, he was calmly regaling me with some story about why men’s shirts have two buttons side by side on the cuffs. Mind you, normally I enjoy trivia like this, but considering I was glazing over watching those forearms make an appearance, I honestly couldn’t care less at the moment if his cuffs had one button or two, snaps, or freaking safety pins. So I murmured, “Wow, that’s… fascinating.”

“Oooh, condescending! Ohhhkay,” he grinned. I tried to backpedal a bit, saying, “Well, it is interesting… I didn’t know that.” (Pause.) And then I added, “Nor did I care.”

(Just had a memory of Danny from long ago — one of his favorite scold-y phrases. “Oh, Erica. When will you learn??” To which I always answered, “How about never? Does never work for you?” Clearly, I still haven’t learned.)

Our scene was a long one, with multiple parts. We started with me OTK on my couch, with his hand. Moved to me bending over my desk, with his hand and (I think) my leather paddle. Break for a hug with him sitting in my recliner and me on my knees before him, and then he lifted me up and over the arm of the recliner and continued spanking. And finally, just like our first time, he brought me over to the dining room chair and put me back OTK there, picking up my heart-shaped paddle.

He was toppier this time, I noticed. “Come on, stick that butt out. Arch your back, up on those toes.” I may or may not have called him a “fucking taskmaster” at some point. However, whenever I got into the right position, he’d croon, “Just like that. Good girl.” (What is it about the phrases “good girl” and “bad girl” that push so damn many buttons in equal measure?)

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of hot buttons — along with the aforementioned sleeve rolling, is there anything more delicious than a hand that wanders up the back of your neck, fingers slowly crawling, caressing, then swiftly tightening at the base of your skull? Never pulling, just a firm grip that lets you know you’re going nowhere. D has that down as well.

While I was over my desk, he stopped for a moment, saying he wanted to take a picture so that I could see how I was already marking. I appreciated how conscientious he was. He quickly snapped the shot, showed me, and I said, “It’s fine.” “You sure?” “Yes, D. Please don’t stop.” “Oh, don’t worry, I’m not done,” he assured me. Thank goodness.

(Sorry, kids, this picture’s a little rude, even though I’ve doctored it a bit):

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The final scene in the dining room chair was what broke through all the crap. I had felt myself softening and transitioning as we moved through each step, feeling like a knot inside was being gently and persistently worked open. As the pain and intensity escalated and I reached my threshold, I remember thinking, “I need this so much. Thank you. Thank you.” There are few things more sublime than when you reach that pinnacle of vulnerability and you feel like you can just fall and strong hands will catch you. Toward the end, my feet were twisting and flying, my groans were coming right up from my gut, and I was out of my head, off the hamster wheel. My voice broke and the tears began. There wasn’t one bit of tension left in my body.

He took me to the couch and held me, soothing me, and I buried my face and wept. As I started to calm, the usual bit of self-consciousness slipped back. Some women look very pretty when they cry. I’m not one of them. And I can’t help remember what Amber “Pixie” Wells used to say about the dilemma of crying after a scene: “Tears are hot, but snot is not.” Oh, and my mascara wasn’t waterproof. So sexy. But, oh well. He didn’t seem to mind.

After I’d recovered a bit, he gave me another wonderful massage with lotion. I could really get used to this, y’all. Then we chatted for a while, heart rates calming, skin cooling, returning to normal. And well, of course, I couldn’t stay well behaved for very long, could I? I swear, I really never do learn. Sooner or later, I’m always going to revert back to mischief and sass. It usually doesn’t take very long, even after the most intense of scenes. Still, I don’t think D is quite used to me, because he was incredulous.

“You’re being naughty!” he exclaimed. “Yup,” I agreed. And just like that, he went from zero to Top in a heartbeat. His body language, voice, everything changed instantly. “Get over my knee, now,” he commanded.

Uh… what? But… we already had aftercare and everything. But… I’m all lotioned and stuff! But… Yeah. Miss Usually Articulate, all I could do was sputter, “But… but…”

“Don’t ‘but’ me,” he said firmly, pulling me into position. The spanking wasn’t super hard or long, but after all that had gone down earlier, it stung fiercely. When he sat me back up, I sulked, “Well… that was mean!”

(No, it really wasn’t. It was fucking hot. But we don’t have to tell him that, right?) 😀

Shortly thereafter, he had to leave. I was kind of sub-spacey, goofy, and I went to get his suit jacket. Of course, when I handed it to him, I managed to hold it upside down, dumping his wallet and keys and everything else out of his pockets. Ugh. Poetry in motion, that’s me. Finally managed to get the coat back on him, and then I sat down and watched with no doubt what was a dorky, dreamy face while he put his tie and his shoes back on. And then he was off.

I forgot to ask him for more pictures after we were done. So a couple of hours later, I took a picture myself. As you can see, I had faded substantially by then.

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Interestingly, even though we played much harder this time, I wasn’t marked as when we played the first time. By Friday, there was little more than a mild blush on my skin. I was sore, though. Happily so.

The endorphin cocktail remained fizzing in my system the rest of the evening and all the next day. Funny how all the BS goes away for a while. Or maybe it’s still there and I just don’t care.

Thank you, D. Come around and see me again soon, won’t you?

 

 

Did ya miss me?

I haven’t blogged for a little over a month, so I have a lot of catching up to do. Honestly? What with the insanity around the midterms, mass shootings, displays of antisemitism, and lately, the horrendous fires in my state (still burning), I haven’t really felt the kink mojo. It’s hard to be lighthearted and funny and flippant when it feels like everything around you is devolving into a massive sinkhole of shit. This has been me:

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(OK, my boobs aren’t that big. But whatever.)

However, life goes on and I need to remind myself of that. So here I am.

And I got to play again last week, thank you very much! Much needed stress release! Mr. Woodland paid me another visit, last Thursday (you know, after the Thousand Oaks shooting, but before the Woolsey fire exploded). This time he showed up with his toy bag. Uh-oh.

But never fear, the good Mr. W. started me off with a proper warm-up. At some point, this exchange happened:

Him: Do you prefer your underwear up or down?
Me: That’s up to you.

Although it was more like “That’s up to y—,” because I didn’t even have the word “you” out of my mouth when my panties were unceremoniously yanked to my thighs.

“Well, that was an easy decision,” he said. Humph.

Warm-up passed in the blink of an eye, it seemed. “Time for some implements,” he announced. “Get up, please.”

Well, at least he said please.

We moved to my ottoman, and he said, “Set this up the way you want it.” I protested, “Why me? You set it up last time, so you’d have room to swing.” “Fine,” he said, and nudged it a few inches with his foot — which then sent the cushions askew. “Well, now it’s crooked!” I huffed, leaning down to straighten it.

“I have a belt in my hand,” he said. “Is this really a good time to be a smart-ass?” (What better time is there?)

And so the strapping ensued. At a good breaking point, he went to get his bag. “Let’s see what I’ve got for you in this bag of treats,” he grinned.

I sweetly requested a Snickers bar. He didn’t have any.

I then got to meet several of the items in his bag, including a tawse, some sort of leather thing, and a very thin, light wooden paddle. “This is a sting-y little bastard,” he commented about the latter. “Kind of like you?” I commented in return. He sighed. “That wasn’t smart.”

It was worth it, though. 😀

More chit-chat:

Him: Well, that’s about all I can use for now. The rest [of the bag’s contents] is wood.
Me: (sighing) What’s wrong with you?
Him: I like wood!
Me: That’s what she said.

Damn, did we play hard. I could feel the strength he was putting into it, and I was drinking it in like a freaking desert in a rainstorm. I just wanted more, more, and more. Even the tawse. Normally, I’m leery about those suckers. I have had experiences in the past where one of those skinny little tails snaps into nooks and crannies that I really, really don’t want getting snapped — and I damn near go through the ceiling. But then I took a deep breath and remembered.

He knows what he’s doing.

So much so that when he seemed to be wrapping things up, I blurted, “Are you done??”

“You want more?” he asked.

“Um… maybe?”

He laughed. “Be careful what you wish for…”

Holy crap. That last round pushed my endurance, for sure. I quickly realized my error of not tossing a pillow on the carpet before we started. First, because I was scraping my elbows along the carpet as I leaned over the ottoman. Not my choice of pain. And second, because I didn’t have anything to scream into. And sometimes, you know, I just have to scream. So I ended up clamping both hands over my mouth and screaming into my palms. And all the while, I could feel the stress flowing out my pores, out of my limbs, out of my head. Magic. So lovely when I can just put myself into a man’s hands and know I’m safe. As Mr. W. says on his Fet profile, he might hurt, but he doesn’t harm. Knowing that makes such a difference.

He was impressed. “You can take one hell of a spanking, Erica,” he said. Despite the fact that I was limp as a dishrag and so sub-spacey I could barely think, I managed to croak out, “You know, this is all your fault.”

“Really? How’s that?”

“Because,” I squeaked, “if you hadn’t made me wait three weeks for this, I wouldn’t have been so fucking needy!!

I wish I could have seen the look on his face at that. “Ah… well, I think we’ll have to address that next time.” Yeah, you think?

(I was kidding, of course. I am responsible for my own stress management; no one else. But a helping hand — or strap, paddle, etc. — is most welcome.)

And so we wound down. Then, I heard the two words that always melt me into the final oblivion:

“Good girl.” Of all the sweet phrases we love to hear, I think that’s one of the sweetest. Right up there with “That’s my girl.” 🙂

He hung out with me for a while, but had to get going before the traffic got bad (or worse, really, since L.A. traffic is pretty much always bad now). Have no idea what our schedules will bring over the upcoming holiday weeks… but I hope I get to see him again before 2018 is over.

As soon as he was gone, I thought, “Oh, damn! Pictures!” So, since I was still in living color, I grabbed my phone and tried to take a mirror selfie in the bathroom. I’m embarrassed to admit how many attempts it took to get this:

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I still didn’t like it, but all the physical cogitations were making my back and neck ache worse than my butt. So I broke out the old-school digital camera and timer, and tried a different angle in the living room. Unfortunately, the lighting there didn’t show the red very well. But you get the idea.

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I slept well that night. Sadly, the next day brought all new stress when the damned Woolsey fire blew up and I was worried about my stepmother in Thousand Oaks (all turned out well for her, thank goodness — she was without power for a couple of days, but didn’t have to evacuate). But such is life.

What else is going on… oh, yeah. Did I mention that my Twitter account was frozen for a week? “But, Erica,” I can hear you all crying, “what horrible, egregious, terrible thing did you tweet to earn this extreme penalty??” I called Tomi Lahren a bimbo.

(Never heard of Tomi Lahren? All you need to know about her is that she’s the millennial version of Ann Coulter. And if perchance you don’t know who Ann Coulter is — consider yourself fortunate.)

Let’s review. I’ve been insulted on Twitter over everything from my age (“granny porn”) to my body (“a poor man’s Olive Oyl”) to my face (I was likened to the character “Hatchet-face” from the movie Cry-Baby. Google her) to my background (“stupid @#$%ing Hollywood Jew). I’ve been threatened (“I’d love to watch you getting gang-raped”). But my saying “bimbo” is “hateful conduct”?? Yeah, Twitter. Bite me.

So, when my time in Twitter Jail was up, I put on my prison-stripe panties, brought out the trusty digital camera again, and took this, which I posted the day I came back:

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I hash-tagged it #FuckCensorship. 🙂 Interestingly, I did not get reported and penalized for it. Imagine that.

(whew) Anyway. Work continues to be busy, for which I am grateful, not only for the bill paying but for the distraction. Crazy times, y’all.

Final thought — I wish I could hug every single firefighter in California right now. ♥ ♥ ♥

Things that make me see red, in a bad way

This jackass.

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Who might this jackass be, you ask? He is Dwayne A. Stamper, Sr., of Muncie, Indiana. And according to this article (please read; it will infuriate you), he offers up his “services” to parents of misbehaving children. But, he’s quick to add, none over the age of 13, because “they might whoop him.”

I see a Band-Aid on his forehead. I’m fantasizing that one of those older kids snatched that paddle away from him and clobbered him.

I don’t know what horrifies me more: that this is absolutely real, that this cretin is the father of five, or that a lot of people find this funny. It’s bad enough that people spank children. But this guy seems to gleefully revel in it, publicly admitting he does it and actually offering to do it to other people’s kids as well. Who the hell does he think he is??

Seriously, fuck this guy sideways with a 2 x 4.

Apparently, Mr. Stamper believes that “kids should fear their parents a little.” Oh, sure. That’s the way to parent successfully — don’t manage your kids reasonably, just terrorize them with the fear of pain. They’ll be good little children, they’ll toe the line… until they grow up, leave your house of horrors, and act out with all the suppressed rage they’ve accumulated over the years.

Adults engage in spanking consensually. If one grown person hits and hurts another grown person without consent, it’s called assault. And yet a grown person can hit a little person and it’s called “discipline” and “parenting.” Screw that. Stop. Hitting. Children. End of subject. There are ways to avoid raising spoiled monsters without resorting to physical pain.

Yeah, I hear the parents out there. “You don’t have kids! You don’t know!” True, I do not. But I was a child. I know the fear and rage and utter helplessness a child feels when an adult hits them. I know the feelings of betrayal.

Hey, Mr. Stamper? I’d like to stamp on your tiny little man parts. And then take the non-business end of that ginormous paddle you’re wielding and shove it where your Indiana sun don’t shine. Right out there on your street, in front of everyone. See how you like being hurt and humiliated.

Arggggh. Deep breaths. Thank goodness for blogging. I can blow off steam here without finding this POS’s Facebook page and starting World War III with him there, which would change absolutely nothing and just raise my blood pressure to explosive highs.

*rant over* Have a great weekend, y’all.

The more I experience…

…the less I know, it seems. Specifically, about implements.

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The above photo contains but a mere sampling of what’s out there to use on a spanking bottom. I’ve probably felt them all at some point or another. You’d think after 20+ years, I’d be an expert on implements and how they feel. But, aside from some general knowledge, I remain woefully in the dark. Which doesn’t help my ass any.

This post was precipitated by my getting together with an old FetLife friend for coffee last week, someone I haven’t seen in seven years. We chatted it up for a couple of hours and of course the subject of implements came up. He showed me a picture on his phone of his “punishment paddle” and I immediately said that would be a hard limit for me.

I’ve often said I don’t like wood and I prefer leather. However, “wood” is ridiculously general — it doesn’t account for the myriad types, thicknesses, etc. All wooden implements are not created equal. All woods are not created equal. I have heard many times that some are lighter, some are dense, some are quite tolerable and others are practically unbearable. But damned if I know which is which.

I do know that thick, heavy frat-style wooden paddles are a hard limit. When I said nay to my friend’s photo, he asked why. I said it’s just pure pain to me, no pleasure whatsoever, and the pain is BAD. I can’t absorb the impact; it thuds me down to the bone. “Even if it’s lower on the butt? Maybe people are hitting you too high with it,” he suggested. Nope. Even if it’s on the fleshiest part of my sit spots, I feel this horrible, heavy thud deep within my sit bones, and it’s wretched. I’m a tad more willing about other wood, like lighter paddles, hairbrushes and spoons, but even those are hard for me to take. I will take them on video a lot more willingly than in a private scene that’s for mutual pleasure, because they really don’t pleasure me.

So, generally, one would think leather is the ticket for me, right? Not necessarily. Because all leather implements aren’t created equal either, damn them. Thickness comes into play again, as well as wear. A buttery soft, well worn flexible strap feels entirely different from a stiff brand new one. Straps can run the gamut from a sensual snap to sheer agony. And I can’t tell just from looking at them which it’s going to be. I have made godawful mistakes in choosing implements at parties before: sometimes the most innocent looking items can be utter torture. Conversely, sometime the items that look the meanest can be fairly innocuous.

I like leather implements in general. But one of the worst things I ever felt was a double razor strap. Yeah, it was flexible. It was also thick, very heavy and very thuddy. I have made many people laugh by saying it felt like being hit with a side of beef.

And speaking of flexibility — if the give of leather feels so much more acceptable to me, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that other materials with give would also work?

Again, not necessarily.

I recall a scene at a party, many years ago, when I was playing with a top I knew well, and I knew the feel of his implements. He had a strap I loved to hate, and he wielded it with precision and evil intent. After I’d played a prank on him, he put a blindfold on me and then proceeded to strap the bejesus out of me. From the start, it hurt like hell, like nothing I remembered. I screamed and squawked and fussed, and he laughed at me. “What’s wrong?” he taunted. “It’s just my strap! You’ve felt it before! What’s the matter, are you losing your tolerance?” I gritted my teeth and bore it, took all he gave, even though my mind was screaming, “What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I take this? Why is this hurting so much?? Aaaaaaaagh!” Perhaps I was having an off night? A really off night?

It wasn’t until the next day that I found out from his girlfriend that the strap was NOT leather — it was rubber. Hence the blindfold, so I couldn’t see it. Grrrrr. I was marked like crazy, too. Deep bruises.

So now rubber is pretty much a hard limit as well. Although I guess Delrin is a sort of rubber, or similar? I will take a Delrin cane, although they hurt like a bitch.

Even canes don’t all feel the same. If I say in a general statement that canes are OK to use on me, what am I letting myself in for? I’ve never experienced a Singapore-style cane, nor do I want to. But a proper rattan caning, with a thin whippy one, in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing? Intense, but in the right head space, amazing.

I have felt everything, I think. From canes to belts to brushes to carpet beaters to tawses to crops to paddles to whips. I used to pride myself on what I could take. Nowadays, I find my desires changing. I still like to play hard… but only, ONLY if it’s someone whom I know is going to be measured, even, and careful. I no longer have any tolerance for stray shots–too high, too low, wrapping to the sides. I don’t like unevenness in cheekage. These days, I appreciate accurate and skilled players more than ever. The types I can trust with anything in their hands, no matter what it is, and know I’ll be safe and given just the right amount of pain. It’s a rarity, I’m afraid. Tops can be wonderful and kind and sensitive and skillful and many wonderful things, but still not adept with all the toys.

Perhaps now that I’m older, now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I don’t feel like I have to prove myself? (And to whom… to the scene, or to my own self?) I no longer have to show the world that I can get my ass beat all to hell with everything but the weed whacker. Or maybe I just don’t want that much pain and damage anymore? I really don’t know. But it does make me wish I understood the makings, the physics of implements better, so I could make the best choices for my play. Because, like everything else, I want quality over quantity.

But of course, there’s always hands. 🙂

Speaking of everything but the weed whacker — remember this?

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Anyone else find they have been fooled by implements before? Or that something they used to like is no longer acceptable? Vice versa? Has anyone’s tolerance levels changed?

Birthday love for John!

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I wish we didn’t have to work and could be together today, but Friday will be here soon enough. ♥  I am so far behind on everything — I haven’t baked his birthday brownies yet, nor have I bought a card… ack! And it doesn’t help that he’s impossible to buy presents for, because he never wants anything. (So give him a gift card, right? Wrong. He hates gift cards. Sigh.) Oh well. Happiest of birthdays, sweetie! Love you!

In other news, I saw Steve yesterday, first time in a couple of weeks, and he wanted to make sure the spanking was heartfelt. So he used the heart-shaped paddle. (insert massive eye roll here)

And of course, because there is a frustrated artist somewhere in him, he was obsessed with getting a heart-shaped red mark on my butt. Do you think he succeeded? He certainly tried hard enough.

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But really, I’m not complaining. I was happy. See?

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Must get work done — going to dinner with my girls tonight! Happy Hump Day.

A rock feels no pain…

…and an island never cries.

For those unfamiliar, that is the last line of a Simon and Garfunkel classic, “I Am A Rock.” If you don’t know it, Google it, play it. it’s a great song, albeit depressing.

It used to be my anthem. And sometimes, it still returns to me.

Sometimes, I simply get so damn sick of feeling so much. The past few weeks have been fraught with feeling: loss, insecurity, and that old “I’m not enough” tape playing yet again. I have not talked about it here. As the Green Day song “Paranoid” goes: “Do you have the time, to listen to me whine?” No, you don’t. I don’t blame you. I’m sick of hearing me whine too.

Just read this on Twitter today, of all places:

Stop telling people about your problems. 20% don’t care and the other 80% are glad you have them.

Ouch. Even I can’t bring myself to be that cynical. But there is some truth there. In the world of social media where oversharing is all too easy, one can get carried away and talk way too damn much.

Which, of course, is born of feeling too damn much.

Then, in the midst of all this emotional whirlwind (and getting sick on top of it), Steve did something that (these are his own words, not mine) was stupid and bone-headed. In the overall scheme of things, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But it was the final impetus I needed to send me into another frame of mind, one that is shut down. Where I retreat, where I push my feelings down so deep, I lose them temporarily.

It’s a relief. Kind of like I imagine the relief addicts feel when they take that pill, gulp that drink. Oblivion. No more neediness, no more hurt.

I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain…

When Steve arrived yesterday, I was cordial and welcoming, as always. I hugged him, sat on the couch with him, asked him all about his vacation. And we did talk about his faux pas. He fully acknowledged it, he apologized. One thing I’ve always liked about this man: he never says, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” He will come right out and say, “I’m sorry I did that. I was an ass.” We even joked about it. But I was edgy.

In my bubble, I was reserved. Somewhere deep within, my subconscious was telling me to remain stoic, to not feel. To keep myself safe and protected. I had to keep my guard up, or else I’d be vulnerable.

I build walls… a fortress deep and mighty…

Steve knew I wasn’t there. “I want you back,” he said. “I want you to come back to me.”

Silly man. I’m sitting right here. But I knew that wasn’t what he meant.

“I think we both need for you to get over my knee, right now.”

Sure. Whatever. Mechanically, I assumed the position. Without preamble, he pulled my leggings and panties down and began.

I experienced pain differently yesterday. I was aware of it, but I was somehow removed from it. My body processed and absorbed it, but in my mind, it was almost as if it was happening to someone else. I did not have my usual reactions and movements; I was relatively still, and I made little sound.

Don’t feel. Don’t feel.

He asked me questions, making me stay engaged. I answered with monosyllables.

His hand was powerful and painful. But my sole acknowledgments of the pain were my feet twisting together, and my left hand clutching the afghan on the couch. He noticed, and gently untangled my fingers. I then thrust both hands under me, hunkering down.

He spanked hard. He knew he was spanking hard. I knew why. I knew what he wanted; he wanted me to feel. But I couldn’t give him that. He’d stop now and then, to caress, to assess the heat and redness. But then he’d start again. My upper thighs were getting a great deal of attention today, along with my backside.

“My hand hasn’t even begun to get tired,” he remarked after a long while. “I could do this for another hour if I have to.”

Go ahead. Knock yourself out.

But I knew he wouldn’t do that. He’s not a brute.

When he finally stopped and pulled me up into his lap, I was limp. I was sniffling, but not outright weeping. Normally, I will curl into him and wrap my arm around his neck. Today, my arm flopped against his chest.

“I love you, you know,” he said.

This was the part where I say it back. But I didn’t want to, couldn’t bring myself to. No. Don’t feel.

If I never loved, I never would have cried…

He took me into the bedroom, where I put myself over the pillows as he gathered a few implements. I still felt like I was behind a stone wall of sorts, but despite that, the pain was beginning to break through. I am only flesh and blood, not brick.

I touch no one, and no one touches me…

This time, I reacted more, with moans. I felt them coming up from my gut. “I know,” he said. “I know.”

He still asked questions. But now, all I could do was either nod or shake my head. Even the monosyllables were too much effort.

“We’re almost done,” he assured, picking up the heart-shaped paddle. Figured that’s the one that hurts so damn much. I guess anything to do with hearts has a way of doing that.

And wouldn’t you know it, that @#$%ing heart broke through.

My reserve crumbled; I felt it go. And then, without any forethought, I whispered one sentence:

“Please stop hurting me.”

I don’t think I was talking about the paddle at that point. And I really have no idea if I was talking to Steve, or to the universe in general. Please stop hurting me. I’m so tired of hurting.

It didn’t matter. Immediately, I heard the thud of the paddle as it hit my bed. And then he gathered me in his arms once more.

“Please,” he murmured. “Do something. Hold onto me, grab my shirt, anything.”

I did. Once again, as I’ve done so many, many times, I clung to him as if he were a lifeboat in a storm. I balled up his t-shirt in my fists. I wept.

“You’re marked,” he told me. “Don’t be upset when you look and see.”

Nah, I thought. It’ll fade away. It always does.

I was half right. Within a few hours, my bottom was just faintly pink, nothing more. My upper thighs were another story.

I will feel this for the rest of the week. There it is, that damned feeling again.

Sometimes, I really do wish I were a rock, or an island. Life would be so much more manageable.

Hiding in my room, safe within my womb…

But emptier, no doubt. Most of the time, I know the trade-off isn’t worth it.

Most of the time. That small amount of other time, I wish I could shut it all off. Just like my hearing-impaired friend turns off her hearing aids when the noise around her gets to be too much.

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