Not an Odalisque

Into the Woods

with 6 comments

At the end of my last post I was setting out to Club Lash with a red cape and a basket of cakes for Grandmother. Conscious of my lack of social graces and with a feeling of alienation from the fetish community, I had precisely the attitude necessary to making new friends. I cycled to the venue, wondering why these events are always in the middle of the night. There is a symbolic value in pursuing your deviant desires in a dark dungeon during the Witching Hour, but some of us are ready for cocoa and stories by that time. It was a decidedly sleepy Not an Odalisque who sipped espresso as she applied her makeup, and an apprehensive one who descended the stairs into Lash.

I was immediately identified. “It’s Little Red Riding Hood! You’re in the right place.” I rewarded the speaker, a furry person with horns, with one of the cakes I’d brought for Grandmother, in the hope of prolonging friendliness. Inside, I stood between the bar and dance floor and looked around at people in huddles, here a gaggle of women in corsets, there a glowering of men in black. None of them appeared approachable. Suddenly, I found myself in a flock of people in wigs, rubber and platforms. I was obviously in the way, and I desperately wanted not to be. Spurred by the desire to be out of the way, I picked a dark corner and asked a man if I could share his sofa.

I made a fair stab at small talk until my sofa-mate was called to kneel at the feet of a Domme, then took Tennyson from my wicker basket and read Mariana. After each stanza I self-consciously glanced up at people engaged in their own conversations. Eventually someone asked what I was reading, and I traded cupcakes for conversation. I found myself joined on the sofa by a man in a zentai suit—well, most of a zentai suit; a hoodless zentai suit, allowing me to see his earnest expression—and after a few minutes he asked if I was looking for play. I said I wasn’t, offering clichés about meaningfulness and trust as justification. We made our mutual escapes from one another when I pretended I needed the bathroom. Or so I thought. Half an hour later, as I was watching one acquaintance beat another with a paddle, he appeared at my shoulder. I was saved from replying to his enquiry as to which is the hottest scene I’ve played by the approach of a woman with a tight white corset and a feather in her hair. “I’d like to see you tied to one of those,” she said, gesturing at the crosses and benches festooned with rope in the play area. There was a pause.

“Oh, thank you, I think,” I stammered. I looked pleadingly at her for a conversational pointer, but she just smiled and swayed away, leaving me with the zentai man. I distractedly answered his questions, thinking of the woman thinking of me, and I must have seemed particularly dense when unable to visualise his ‘dressage whip’, even after extensive description. It was to show me what he meant that he produced a holdall stuffed with rope, handcuffs, uniforms, a broken cane and a battered boater. The whip was…a whip, but his exhibition provided several minutes of conversation during which I didn’t have to wrack my brains for topics or answer difficult questions. The boater was exciting. It suited me well; I’m sure of that because I scampered off to look in the mirror as soon as I had it on my head. I carried, for no particular reason, the broken cane.

Beside me in the mirror was the sofa-man. “Oh, please,” he said, looking at the cane. I wondered what it would be like; I imagine inflicting pain would bring a delicious sensation of power. So I said I’d have a go. I can’t pretend I found the sight of him, bending over, particularly enticing,* but I pressed on. I brought the cane down to no effect. I tried again, feeling foolish,

“I’m no good. I don’t know what I’m doing.” He straightened, and caught the eye of a woman glossing her lips in the mirror. She, he said, was an expert, and he invited her to instruct me. She brought the cane down, ineffectually. She swung it though the air, and brought it down hard, but neither it, nor the man, made a sound. Then she removed a shard of wood from her hand and said, “it’s not you. This is useless.” I took its remains back to the man in the zentai suit.

He looked at the boater and said he’d brought a uniform, too. I’m not always up for kink, but it’s a rare day that I don’t want to dress up. He produced a navy blazer, a white blouse and a short navy skirt. I put the blouse and blazer on over my slip and went to see how I looked; quite fetching, I thought. Although blue isn’t my colour, it was balanced by the joy of arranging the boater at a jaunty angle. He pressed the skirt into my hands, and so I found myself fully kitted out as a schoolgirl. I looked slightly incongruous, surrounded by people in corsets and rubber.

I have a reputation, among my friends, for getting myself into sticky situations. It may surprise you, but not them, that I didn’t even think, adjusting the angle of my hat, of play. I was fully focussed on my narcissistic endeavour. It was with mild surprise, therefore, that I heard the man in the zentai suit address me as Head Girl, and ask why I’d been sent to his office. By that juncture it seemed it would be rather rude to refuse. It was hard to take him seriously, even when he wasn’t inventing details of my imagined transgressions mid-sentence. A submissive headspace clearly wasn’t coming, so I embraced defiance. In real life, I went to a school so soft they didn’t give detentions, and the level of impertinence I displayed would have got me in trouble even there. He didn’t seem to notice my disrespect. The scene stumbled towards a spanking, and I stretched over his lycraed knees. As he administered a few light taps, I rested my chin on my hand and brought to my face a look of supreme unconcernedness and insolence. It was wasted on the wall in front of me.

Not my best work. I was rolling my eyes through a talk about repentance when a woman interrupted to say, “your persistence paid off, then!” to the zentai man. I felt cheap. I took off the uniform and left him to chat. Rounding a pillar, I nearly trod on the fingers of the man I’d failed to cane, now stripped to his underpants and laying on the sticky floor, where two women rested the spikes of their heels on his chest. Looking down, I realised it was too late to prevent an unfortunate view up my slip. I apologised (whether for possibly flashing my knickers or nearly crushing his fingers I am uncertain).

“Never apologise!” he said. He gave me a pleading look and glanced at my feet. Twice. “You don’t know where they’ve been!” I said, shrilly, as he kissed my nearest shoe. I watched with some detachment as he licked them, then removed a piece of fluff from his tongue. “I told you I didn’t know where they’d been,” I said, apologetically, and walked away, trying not to think of the damp floor in the restroom.

It was a strange night: fragmented, odd, lacking in narrative drive. I can only hope that I learned some lessons. I confirmed that cake is an excellent inducement to conversation. I learned that I’m as bad at saying ‘no’ in the kinky world as the vanilla one. I didn’t go intending to play. I didn’t particularly want to play and I said so, but when it began I felt it would be impolite to stop. It wasn’t unpleasant, but given the things that go on in some corners of clubs, perhaps the ability to refuse would be a useful one. The most important discovery of the night, however, was this: I want a boater, and a blazer, and a slightly-too-short schoolgirl skirt. Or possibly a gymslip; all the girls in books have gymslips. But absolutely, definitely, a boater. And some one stern to tell me off while I’m wearing it. That would be even better than a big, bad wolf.

*That isn’t to say he’s an unenticing man, just that, predictably, I don’t find caning other people hot.

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Written by Not an Odalisque

December 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

6 Responses

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  1. I can give you some boater and gymslip sources. My boater is pretty lovely (though too large) and came from John Lewis. My black gymslip came from a seller on eBay who gets adult-sized black wool ones from South Africa.

    As for saying “no” gracefully in social scene situations, especially when I’m alone, I can’t give any advice as I still have a hard time doing it. As to cake, I believe that like Red Riding Hood and school girls, it’s always welcome.

    Mija

    December 13, 2010 at 11:17 pm

  2. You did say no and that man should have respected that and not tried it on a second time.

    Alyss

    December 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    • He wasn’t exactly forceful. He even interrupted things to give me a safe word.

      Not an Odalisque

      December 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm

      • I’m sure he wasn’t but you also should never have been in the situation where you felt it was rude to stop as you’d already said you didn’t want to play. Sometimes being polite should come second to your actual wishes.

        Alyss

        December 14, 2010 at 8:41 am

  3. Kink clubs are strange places to go on your own. Next time I’d advised finding a companion to travel with, even if they aren’t a play partner – it’s good to arrive with and talk to. You’re very brave setting off into the unknown on your own like that, I couldn’t do it.

    Learning to say “no” is just as hard in each new situation as it was in previous ones. I thought when I learned to say no to sex I didn’t want that I’d nailed it, but just the other week I found myself over the knee of someone I didn’t particularly want to be spanked by, simply because the conversation flowed that way and I didn’t think fast enough to find a polite way to turn him down in front of everyone. It wasn’t unpleasant – much less distressing than unwanted sex – but it was awkward and embarrassing, fairly pointless – I was so emotionally disengaged that I zoned out of the sensations completely – and I felt like a fool for not being more assertive.

    So, you’re not alone. It’s tricky. Well done for going, though, and I’m glad the experience wasn’t entirely wasted.

    Let me know if you want a clubbing buddy in London sometime, but I’m afraid I don’t go out in many other cities 🙂

    Pandora

    December 14, 2010 at 2:59 am

  4. It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to say “no.” I do think we should all learn, though, because, as Pandora says, it’s awkward, embarrassing and pointless.

    I took a friend the first time I went to a fetish club. I had a pleasant evening then spent the next 48 hours trying to undo the damage I’d done to her relationship by taking her along. It wasn’t good. I make an effort to push myself into going to things alone, because I don’t want to rely on other people to allow me to do the things I want to do. I haven’t lived in the same city for more than a year since I left university; not knowing people, I’ve just had to get on with things.

    Pandora, I’ll remember you if I’m ever going out in London. Mija, thanks for the info. I’d feel a bit absurd actually making the purchase (I think I need to line up the stern person first), but I sense, more and more, that a boater and a bottle green gymslip would be happy additions to my wardrobe.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    N

    Not an Odalisque

    December 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm


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