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 “spanking”

The ephemeral nature of kink intimacy: Can it be real?

And if it can, how do you know when it is?

ephemeral

[ ih-fem-er-uhl ]SHOW IPA

adjective

lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory:

the ephemeral joys of childhood.

 

lasting but one day:
an ephemeral flower.

 

(Why do you show off so damn much with your million-dollar words, Erica?) I can’t help it. I like them. But you can’t complain if I provide the definition, right?

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Note: I’m aware that many of my readers are married to or monogamously involved with their spankers, and don’t play with others. This post is more for those who do play with others, whether or not they have a primary relationship… a situation that can be a lot more confusing. Leave it to me to choose the more complicated route.

According to general societal patterns (you know, those “normal” people), here’s the blueprint: Couples meet, however they meet. They exchange names. They talk, share basic information. In the course of a few hours, a few phone calls, a few dates, whatever, they learn more about one another. Preferences of all kinds. Music/book/movie tastes. Political leanings. Fears. Hopes. Dreams. Failures. The jigsaw puzzle of personality gets filled in, a piece at a time. In the course of this time, there are physical exchanges, often starting with kisses. Then a little more, and a little more, until we have full-on sexual intimacy.

Now we kinksters, we do everything ass backwards (word play intended). Oftentimes, basic vetting aside, we play first and ask questions later. We have physical intimacy first. Instead of that slow burn of growing attracted to one another as we learn more, we burn hot from the get-go, act on chemistry over personal knowledge, invite others into our homes, our beds, our bodies, our playrooms, etc. before we’ve even begun to invite them into our hearts or our day-to-day lives. Oftentimes, that last part doesn’t happen.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s kind of hot. If I wanted to go the traditional route, I would have. I tried it for many years. It’s overrated.

Funny and perfect case in point: When D came over a few weeks ago, we’d met only once, and briefly. Essentially, I brought a strange man into my home, my space. I felt completely okay with that. We played. We had intense and close-up contact. I laid myself out, physically and emotionally. He inflicted both pain and pleasure. He saw me raw and open, exposed.

Afterward, when I was lying on the couch bare-ass naked with him massaging lotion into me, I dreamily turned my head and asked, “What’s your last name?”

He told me. I told him mine. And the massage continued.

I’ve been doing this for so long, this feels perfectly normal. But I know there are tons of people out there who would be shocked at the idea of someone seeing their bare ass (not to mention exposed genitalia) before said someone learns their full, real name.

This is what I call “pseudo-intimacy.” It’s an intimacy quickly forged out of a strong cocktail of physical attraction and a shared desire, a common bond of kink. But is it real intimacy — whatever the hell that is? And if it isn’t, can it become so? When does a play partnership cross over into a real friendship, a relationship of sorts, where people care about one another?

Most of you know the story of how John and I met. I placed an ad; he answered it. We chatted once on the phone. And then we met for coffee. We talked at Starbucks until they closed, then went for a walk. He ended up pulling me over his leg in the alley behind Starbucks and spanking me, until we heard the telltale jingle of a leash and a man appeared, walking his dog (and getting quite the eyeful). We then proceeded to John’s vehicle where he spanked me some more, gave me an orgasm, and he took my panties, claiming I’d have to see him again if I wanted them back.

This is not your typical “first date.” We were both seeing other people at the time.

Cut to the present — on August 30, we’ll be together 23 years. Somehow, that initial pseudo-intimacy became real, blossomed into something much fuller. It can happen.

But it’s complicated. Because of the nature of what we do, it’s easy to confuse pseudo-intimacy for something real. It’s easy to fall for the actions, thinking you’re falling for the person. When in fact you really don’t know them at all.

I remember my very first spanker. Saw him a total of three times, played twice. Paul. I never did learn his last name. But he changed my life. In one afternoon, in the time span of no more than an hour, he put me on a path of no return, opened me to a vast new world to explore and experience. That first spanking meant more to me than losing my virginity did.

At the time, I remember feeling like I’d fallen in love with Paul. But even then, in my haze of hormones and endorphins and wonder, I knew that wasn’t it. Of course I wasn’t in love with him. I was in love with what he gave me. But of course, sometimes, when your emotions get involved, it’s hard to compartmentalize it like that. The boundaries blur. Your mind says one thing, your body says another, and your heart says yet another.

No wonder so many scene relationships go sideways.

I have been thinking back on some of my play partnerships over the years, many of which have been chronicled in my blogs. All the time I’ve been with John, I’ve played with other men, all with his blessing. I am lucky that way. A lot of these partnerships simply faded away, due to various life circumstances. A couple, I really regret losing. Two come to mind that did indeed blossom into real friendship, much more than just the physical act of getting together to play.

Danny Chrighton and I were play partners for over three years. But we were also the best of friends. We didn’t just play. We hung out. We did stuff together. He and John were buddies. Our play chemistry was awesome, but beyond that, our closeness was true. He knew me, and I knew him. There was mutual trust and respect. And the only thing that ended it was distance, when he moved out of state. I loved him. I still do. I miss what we had, to this day, even though I haven’t seen him in years.

Then there was ST. Same deal, we met through an online ad, got together to play. From the beginning, we were consistent; he came over every Monday evening. We hung out and talked after playing. Our play was sometimes edgy, dancing on the boundaries and limits, maybe at times a little scary… because I trusted him. I knew within that he would never really hurt me. And on the flip side, we had our silly times, like when he showed up at my place on Halloween, masked and dressed as “Super Spanko.” I knew all kinds of odds and ends about him; the farming community, population 350, he’d grown up in; the names of all his siblings; how much he adored his dog.

We were friends/play partners for over two years. And… then he met someone. There was a mutual attraction, a couple of dates. He told her about me. She said, “I don’t think I like that.”

And just like that, we were done. The last time we played, I wept. I told him I loved him. He said he loved me too, and he always would. But then I never saw him again.

Does that mean that what we had wasn’t real? Is something real when it can be tossed aside so easily? Or is that simply just another sad fact about the nature of relationships? I don’t know.

I bear him no resentment. I did hear from him briefly once, via email. He’d bought a house. I hope he found happiness. He was a good guy; he deserved it.

I suppose the point of all this rambling is — damn. I’ve been doing this for over twenty-three years, and I still get muddled and mixed up emotionally over what’s real and what’s simply born of the intense, instant intimacy and vulnerability. And if I still get taken in by it, how the hell do scene newbies handle it?? How do they navigate the sea of feelings that can be stirred up when you put yourself into someone else’s hands? When they cut through layers and layers of outer bullshit and go straight to your core? When you gift each other with trust and vulnerability, and then it’s gone as quickly as it came?

In a perfect world, pseudo-intimacy would indeed develop into something more real, and more lasting. We could keep those wonderful feelings and experience them again and again. Where real life wouldn’t take them away. Where no matter what relationships go in and out of each person’s life, the core friendships and caring remain.

Is that too much to ask for? I know some say that I don’t have a right to expect this: that I have a relationship, so I shouldn’t want for this too. Well, guess what. I do anyway. I guess I will never stop yearning for it. Because I know it’s possible. And don’t ask me what the man is getting out of it, if he’s not my primary relationship. I sure hope to hell that all the men who have been my play partners over the years got something out of it.

Because I sure did, and I don’t think we could have connected as deeply if they didn’t.

Anyway. I should be working. But sometimes, I just have to ramble. And hope that it resonates with someone out there. Thoughts, anyone? Your own experiences with this?

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. ♥

Good things DO come to those who wait

And thank you to a dear friend who just told me that and gave me my blog title. ♥

The waiting ended up delivering; I heard from both B and D on Tuesday morning. First, I am in possession of a flight reservation up north next Wednesday to see B. Now that all the travel unknowns are knowns (yeah, I know that’s not a word, too bad), I know I will still have butterflies, but more of the good kind, as opposed to the “how many different ways can I eff this up” kind.

But that will be a story for next week. Yesterday, I played with D for the first time.

He emailed me on Tuesday morning and asked if I could play Thursday at around five. I had some things planned, but I was able to shift stuff around and I told him yes. We exchanged some more emails — he said maybe you can pick out some implements you like and put them out on the side for me to use after I warm you up. I replied that I could, but maybe I could just leave them where they are and if he wanted them, he could get them himself. 😛 Testing the waters, you know. I still wasn’t quite sure how he feels about playful bratting; I thought perhaps he liked it, but you never know until you actually do play. He also mentioned that he’d seen some of my video pictures where I was wearing garters and stocking, and if I was comfortable doing so, would I wear some for him. That was an easy enough request, one I was happy to do. My final note to him on Tuesday evening was “*sigh* Is it Thursday yet?”

The next day (Wednesday) I was climbing the freaking walls. I had set aside the whole day to just stay home and get stuff done; laundry, some cleaning, and lots of work. But the whole damn time I was squirming in my computer chair, with this endless litany in my head… Why isn’t it Thursday. Why isn’t it Thursday. And in the midst of this, an email popped in from him, one line:

Don’t worry, Thursday is approaching fast. I shall see you soon.

OMFG. What timing. How did he know??

Yesterday arrived. I got up early, had breakfast and did a couple of hours of work. Or I tried to, at least. He was torturing me, sending me a picture of a ruler from his desk. He said that rules — and wills — are meant to be broken. I sent back that so are ruleRs, and I was notorious for breaking things, sending a pic of me with a snapped cane.

Around noon, I gave up on work and took a break to do a workout, which I would have done anyway, but I really needed it now. By the time I was done with that and had showered, it was 2:00, so I still had time to do some work before I got ready.

My friend J was texting me to tease me a bit; at 4:00, I get “Only one hour to go!” I texted back: “Do you know how hard it is to put on makeup when your hands are shaking??” It’s true. I thought I was going to put my damn eye out.

By 4:30, I was nearly ready, and I was too wound up to work, so I went to catch up with Words With Friends. When I pulled up my move, I saw my letters were E B E T H R A. I don’t believe in messages, but if I did, this surely was one. My mind instantly rearranged the letters, and I got this:

breathe

A good reminder, no? (I was able to play the word, too, tacking the second E onto the T in TALE.)

And speaking of shaking hands, I had forgotten how incredibly difficult it is to hook garters onto stockings. It occurred to me I never do this by myself — I don’t wear garters unless I’m on a shoot or all dressed up at a party, and in those cases, there’s always John or someone else around to hook them for me. So I wrestled and fumbled and cussed mightily, but finally got the damn things situated in ten minutes. Just in time, too. Once again, he was on time, texting me. My apartment is security and rather than have him fussing with the intercom, I told him I’d come down and let him in.

He brought me chocolate. Two kinds. Both milk, my favorite. I don’t know how he knew; I hadn’t told him which kind, only that I loved chocolate. ♥ I know a lot of bottoms get gifts from tops, but I never expect them, and I’m always so tickled when I get a surprise like that, much like when B showed up with that espresso pot for me.

He was still in a coat and tie from work, so I took his jacket and went to hang it up, but he stopped me for a second, and then pulled that same ruler out of the pocket. Uh oh. By the way, I had kinda sorta done what he requested. I did select four implements — but I didn’t lay them out on a table. I put them where they belonged — in the trash can by my desk. 🙂

We didn’t spend too much time with preliminaries. He stood up, taking off his tie, and proceeded to unbutton his cuffs and roll up his sleeves. Slowly. Deliberately. I damn near died right there. “I hear you’re having a problem focusing,” he said. He sat down, and over his lap I went.

First times are always a little strange, in that we don’t know each other, he doesn’t know how much I can take, I don’t know what will spur him, he doesn’t know my body language and my various “tells,” etc. As one would expect, he started out very lightly. I have no issue with that; erring on the side of caution is better than jumping right in and tearing someone’s ass apart from the get-go. He picked up the ruler after a while with his hand — and after a few swats, the thing broke. No lie. The metal guide thingie running along the edge flew out, he said. “I told you I break stuff!” I cried, laughing hysterically. Time to get serious here.

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Next, he had me lean over my desk so he’d have more swinging range, and explored the trash can’s implement contents. At first he was light with them, but then I put my hand on my mouse like I was going to open something and said, “Do you mind if I do some work while you’re busy back there?” Yeahhh… I think that did it.

He moved me around a bit, had me on all fours on my couch, kneeling at his feet while he sat in my recliner — and then he settled into a dining room chair, picked up my heart-shaped wooden paddle, the one that had been made for me years ago, and said, “Come over my knee.” The remainder of the scene took place there, and things ramped up exponentially.

You guys know when I am really starting to feel it, I can’t keep my feet still. Both my shoes flew off. He was a little concerned with how red I was turning. We took a brief time-out and he asked if I was sure I shouldn’t go look at it. No, I said. I’m okay. I get really red, and then it fades. I appreciated that he cared, and I took a chance then. I know some would say this is topping from the bottom (I hate that expression), but I thought it was more like giving someone new to me a bit of guidance. So I quietly said, “You can go harder and faster if you want to.”

He did.

His hand wandered up my neck and his fingers went into my hair… and then his fist tightened. The paddle was coming down faster. And then it slipped out of his hand and landed on the floor out of his reach, but within mine. “Would you hand that to me, please?” he asked.

Taking the chance to catch my breath, I gasped out, “Give me one good reason why I should do that.” He laughed, and answered, “So I can continue your spanking.” In reply to that, I picked up the paddle… and tossed it a few feet away.

Again, I was taking a chance. Some tops don’t like that kind of playfulness. But he responded well, powering down again with his hand. Next break, he said, “I guess I’m going to have to go get that paddle.” I was already in transition, so I murmured, “I’ll get it for you.” And I did.

We were nearing the end. My legs were trembling, my feet were twisting together, I had my hand clamped over my mouth to muffle my reactions. I suddenly reached a point of breaking, and I blurted, “Oh my God, D, please, please, PLEASE!”

He stopped. Right in time. More would have been too much. He went exactly where I needed him to go.

I slumped to the floor, and he gathered me up into his arms, where I clung to him and trembled all over until he pulled me up and guided me to the couch. There, he soothed me, caressed me, whispered to me. “You let go of all the bad stuff, didn’t you,” he murmured. Oh, yes.

After I’d calmed down a bit, he asked for some lotion, and had me stretch out on the couch so he could massage my butt and lower back. I felt very comfortable stripping off my dress, and that massage was heaven, so comforting.

“Would you like some pictures, so people can see how red your butt is?” he asked. My first thought was, “It’ll be faded by now,” but I said sure. Yeahhhhh… turns out I was quite mistaken.

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I was really surprised. And very pleased. “Remember — you asked for it!” he reminded me. I assured him I most certainly did, and I don’t regret a single swat of it. I needed that. I needed that so, so badly.

I put my dress back on, and we relaxed for a bit, eating some of the chocolate he’d brought, talking, and then he had to go. It was 7:15. I sent him off with warm hugs and thank you’s, texted John to let him know I was okay, straightened up the living room and took a shower. The rest of the night was floaty, spacey, in that surreal place. I did a little more work, answered email, and crashed in front of the TV. I was ravenously hungry and food tasted so good. And more chocolate.

This morning, I woke up to find a very sweet follow-up email, checking in on me, sharing his thoughts about our scene. I especially liked the sentence, “I thought this was a nice start.” The word “start” implies that there is going to be more, yes?

I don’t know what will happen and how we’ll work it. He lives close, but works far. He works two jobs. And I’m unavailable on weekends. So it might be challenging. But I am hoping he wants to play more as much as I do.

In a strange place today, emotionally. Still kind of floaty, but more focused. Very, very sore, but happily so. And feeling a bit of disbelief and unfamiliarity with the sense of well-being. I feel like I’ve been waiting for it for so long. What with the issues from last year, plus my shoulder and my back giving me trouble, I didn’t think I could ever feel really happy, really blissful again. I thought the two times with B were a fluke. Even yesterday, there was a niggling little part of my brain telling me that D might cancel. There’s always going to be that glass-half-empty side to my psyche, I’m afraid. I get something good and then wonder when it will go away, and how.  Enough of that for now, dammit. At this moment in time, I feel good. Some doors have closed, but finally, it seems windows are opening. John always says, “Stay in the day.” Hard to do sometimes, but he’s right. This day is all we have.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

The waiting…

…is the hardest part, as the old song goes. I am in that pre-play mode, edgy, restless, uncertain about details but with plans in place (sort of), and I’m jumping out of my skin. The urge to play is very strong these days, and when it’s so close I can practically feel it, it’s very hard to concentrate on things. You know, like work.

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First, regarding B, he has invited me back up north to play, during the week of July 22. I suggested Wednesday-Thursday, like we did last time, which would be the 24-25. He said he will look into flights and so forth. I have not heard back with a confirmation, but I am assuming (hoping!) it’s going to be a done deal. Another quickie adventure! This time, I think it will be a lot easier and less nerve-racking, as I know what to expect, the right train to get on, the ins and outs of the airport, where to find the cheapo parking, how to get an Uber, etc. Oh, and B has promised me a “special non-punishment caning” when I visit. Hmmm. I am eager to experience this — I think I have before, but it’s been a long time. The cane can actually be quite sensual when it’s used lightly, rhythmically. However, I’ve also been promised another strapping, so there will be all sorts of feels. And to that I say, bring it! 😀 I look forward to seeing him again.

And second, I had a coffee date last week. I had mentioned a local man contacted me on Alt.com and his message was actually articulate, respectful and friendly, and he attached a photo with no dick in sight. I replied, and after a few messages, we moved to email and exchanged various bits of stories and information. He is a switch, very much into spanking, sounds like he’s had a fair amount of experience. After about a week of emails, he suggested we meet for coffee, and suggested last Friday morning. Despite living not far from me, he works two jobs and has a very busy schedule, so I had to be flexible, although Fridays are tough for me because I’m busy wrapping up work and getting ready to head for John’s. So we agreed on Friday.

Then, last Tuesday, I had no work. This always gets me a bit edgy and I was trying to come up with things besides a workout that I could do with the free time. D had just confirmed our Friday coffee, and I casually wrote back that I wished it could be today, since I’m at loose ends with no work. He then came back with the suggestion that he could leave work early and meet me later at 5:00 that day, if I liked. Yes, please! I was at the gym when I got that message, but I was almost done and it was about 2:30, so I had enough time to finish up, go home, shower and change, and get myself to the meeting place at 4:50, where I got a coffee and sat to wait.

He showed up at 4:57 (prompt! That’s a huge plus with me). And since he was coming from work, he was in a suit and tie. I know I’ve talked about this before, but there is always that “Mystery Date” moment — (Christ, I’m dating myself) — “Will he be a dream? (ahhh…) “Or a dud?” (uggghhh…) I mean, you exchange pictures online, but you never know until you see each other up close and personal. I think we both had an “ahhh” moment, if I could judge by the look on his face. So, first hurdle overcome. Whew.

He got his coffee and suggested we sit outside, since it was nice out and no one else was out there, and I said sure. The next hour flew by, while we talked about a lot of different things. The conversation was easy, friendly, no awkwardness. And I knew I was in trouble when I couldn’t stop looking at his hands. Large hands, with blunt-tipped fingers. I imagined him removing the suit jacket, unbuttoning the cuffs of his crisp white shirt and rolling up his sleeves. Slowly. Fixing a stare on me the whole time.

Breathe, Erica.

When we said goodbye, he said he would contact me soon with the some ideas of when we might arrange some time to play, and gave me a hug. We had exchanged phone numbers. But of course, I’ve had these meetings before where I don’t hear a word afterward. I figured now all I could do was wait and see.

The next morning, I got a sweet follow-up email from him. Said it was nice to finally meet, that he enjoyed talking with me… and that he had wanted to ask during our visit if we could go back to my place and play, but he wasn’t sure of the etiquette. But we’d have to do it soon.

Well.

I wrote back that I’d enjoyed meeting him as well, and my only problem today was that I was having trouble focusing on work for some reason.

He wrote back with this:

Well, we will have to schedule something soon so that we can get you re-focused. I wouldn’t want you neglecting your work. That would be very naughty, & I love to punish naughty girls. 

Okay, scrape me off the walls and the ceiling now…

Later that day, he sent another message, asking if by any chance I was free the next day (Thursday), because he might be able to swing something at noon — hopefully his arm. Oh, crap. Of course, I would have a hair appointment at noon! And my hairdresser is always booked way in advance, so there was no postponing it. (sigh) Sooo… in the interim, I sent him a couple of my fiction stories, since he said he liked reading about my adventures.

And then Friday, he wrote back with feedback to the stories. He liked them. Talked a bit more about some of his experiences. And then ended with this:

We will have to find some time soon. By Monday hopefully I will know if there is a day next week we can play. I can hardly wait to feel that sexy bottom of yours warm up under my hand.

Holy freaking mother of God. How in ever-loving hell was I supposed to concentrate on work now?? Somehow, I did get my work done and sent before I had to pack it in to go to John’s. And then it was time to table everything for the weekend.

So… now it’s Monday, and the wait continues. The uncertainty lingers. The flight for B is not yet reserved. The play date with D is yet to be determined. And so I wait, and wait, and wait… and wonder what’s ahead. Wondering if it’s finally my time, after a really long-ass bleak year, for the most part. Hardly daring to think that maybe my luck is swinging in a different direction, if there will be more good times, people to count on, interact with and enjoy. Or will it all get jerked away again, because that’s how life seems to go? Because there’s still a part of me that doesn’t believe I get to keep good things? That the tastes of them that I’ve received recently are just flukes?

Fuck that.

I. Deserve. Good. Things. And good people. So, deep breaths. And patience.

Stay tuned…

The Vicious Circle

Yeah, I can hear you guys out there. “It’s vicious CYCLE, Erica!” Both are acceptable; both are a circular, cyclical course of events that go around and around, each part perpetuating the next. Why do I prefer “circle”? Because technically, that version of the saying came first.

Anyway… where was I? Oh, yeah. What’s the vicious circle of a kinky depressive? When you’re deep in the abyss, your spanko desires take a hike. It’s like that part of you has gone into indefinite hibernation. I have experienced this, so I know it’s real. But then, as all depressions will do eventually, the fog lifts, some color comes back into the world, and you find yourself waking up in the morning without the first thought in your mind being, “Oh, fuck, I’m still alive.” So far, so good. And as you start feeling like you’re coming back to life, what kicks back into gear with a vengeance?

Uh huh. Your kinky desires. In my case, the intense, undeniable desire to be spanked. And it comes back almost angrily, as if it’s saying, “Really? You thought I was gone? Well, feel this.”

And then you remember you don’t have a regular play partner. And you feel frustrated. And then, if it goes on too long, that frustration burrows, you feel unattractive, and then guess what… you feel depressed. Vicious circle.

I guess the maddening restlessness and itch is preferable to the gray pall, because at least with the former, I feel alive. But it is challenging, to say the least. First world problems, I know. I am grateful to be feeling a bit better. However, having my needs reawakened and then unfulfilled is not good for my psyche either.

It’s during times like these that I am reacquainted with the ickiness of the kink ad sites and how frustrating and unsatisfying they can be. Yeah, you get the occasional diamond in the endless heaps of coal. I met B through one of these sites. But overall, the replies I’ve been getting are little more than CHoS fodder.

For example: one man on Alt.com sent me a message, and right out of the gate, tells me how much he loves masturbating to spanking videos. TMI, dude. I don’t answer. Over the next month, the same man continues to message me, a total of twenty times. TWENTY.

“Aren’t you going to give me a chance to spank your ass?”
“You won’t be disappointed!”
“When are you going to stop teasing me and let me spank your bare ass?”
“Well???”

Good grief. I’m not teasing you, jackass. I’m simply ignoring you. He attached pictures, too. Not dick pics, thank goodness. But one of his playroom table, which is strewn with implements along with butt plugs and dildos. No, thank you. And he repeatedly sends the same picture of himself, wrapping his mouth around a very large ice cream cone. Is this supposed to be provocative? Again, no, thank you. Part of me wanted to answer just once and say “For god’s sake, I’m not interested, give it up!” But I figured that would just encourage him.

Then you get the guys who can’t communicate. I got three messages in three days from the same man; they were as follows:

“Hello.”
“Beautiful.”
“Hello beautiful.”

No, it’s not rude or crude, but come on. Say something.

Best (?) of all, I am reminded of how many BDSMers out there simply don’t get the spanking fetish, and let me know that if they give me a spanking, they will want something sexual in return. The attitude is “So what’s in it for me?”

Makes me think of the guy on FetLife years ago, a real Uber-Dom type, who wrote to me and said that he thought bottoms who take a spanking from a man and then don’t offer at least a blowjob as a reward are “selfish and revolting.” Honey, don’t do me any favors. If you don’t get anything out of spanking, then don’t do it.

I even put this question to Twitter last week: “Tops, what do you get out of spanking? Do you feel fulfilled and happy even if it doesn’t include sex?” Some of the answers I got were so gratifying, so lovely. Of course, none of these men are local. (sigh) But it’s good to know that some really do get it.

So I keep trying, and hoping. Last week, I actually got a message from a man who is local, can string more than two or three words together at a time, didn’t send me any dick pics, and seems to get the spanking fetish. Oh, and instead of insisting we meet immediately, it was his suggestion that we get to know one another via email for a bit. All good. But you’ll forgive me if I don’t get my hopes up too high. We have yet to meet, so I will keep my head until I see this person in the flesh, talk to him and know he’s real. So far, he’s said some yummy things. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, a word to my female friends and readers out there: If you have a good top in your life, cherish him. Don’t take him for granted. Value his time. Sometimes, I think we forget that our beloved tops are people too, that they have needs and moods and insecurities, that they like to feel special. They are a lot more than simply figures there to service us and make us feel good, give us release, etc. With all the wannabes and jerkoffs out there, a good top is worth his weight in gold. Treat him as such. ♥

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.

DSC00009

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.

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