Not an Odalisque

Posts Tagged ‘role play

Is This For Real?: Play, Punishment, and Some Guilty Confessions

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When I first thought of exploring kink, role play put me off. That was before I discovered adult babies or fleshhook suspension, when the absurdity of grown women pretending to be schoolgirls had more force. The sense of silliness hasn’t gone away, but I’m familiar enough with it that I no longer flinch when I glimpse my pelerine socks. I’ve learned to appreciate role play; I like the freedom to be innocent, confused, violated and weak, without the responsibility of knowledge, strength, coping with the world or at least making a valiant attempt to look like I am. I also like punishments for real transgressions, which confusingly meld the weakness I’m allowed in play, with the responsibilities of life. Well, I like them sometimes.

I can’t remember by first punishment for a real transgression, but I’d wager it was for lateness. I don’t have a close relationship with time, my experience of it doesn’t seem to relate directly that of the people or clocks around me, and it is hard to take seriously the pronouncements of something so changeable. I rarely spot the minute we’re meant to leave as it potters by, while HH feels its passing with some keenness, I think. An invisible minute, here or there, at one stoke each, left me with pretty stripes on the fronts of my thighs. Administering them made us even later.

The first memorable crime for which I was punished was forgetting to have my car MOTed and taxed. It was a small oversight, and one I rectified as soon as I noticed it, albeit months later than technically required. I was overjoyed to realise I’d got away with it without stern talks, fines or prison sentences. HH wasn’t quite as joyous as I was. He thought my carelessness should be punished with twelve strokes, implement unspecified. There was talk of the paddle.

I hate the paddle. Nothing that inflicts pain gives me warm fuzzy feelings, but some inspire more fear than others. Straps and tawses are almost in the ‘like’ column. Canes have their special place, as they leave such lovely marks. Paddles don’t. Paddles don’t even get classified because I’m too busy squealing. My ability to manage twelve hard paddle strokes was uncertain, and before I even arrived, I accrued another thirteen for failing to make travel arrangements in advance. I knew this had caused inconvenience and felt suitably guilty, but also confused, as my bad relationship with time makes such arrangements difficult and dangerous. I trod a difficult line between remorse and defensiveness.

Twenty-five strokes? Twenty-five of anything, in one go, was beyond me; I’m a self-confessed wimp. With Emma Jane’s admonishments to take limits seriously ringing in my ears, I resolved to clarify his intentions, and make a dignified refusal if it sounded like too much. I attempted that conversation three times. Every time I felt my tone sliding into petulance and wheedling. I wanted to talk like a grown up, but the more frustrated I got, the more childish I sounded, and his tone remained eminently reasonable.

He’d start with the twelve MOT strokes and decide whether to administer the rest directly after that, or the next day. I was terrified. So terrified that when I was offered a warm-up spanking it was beyond my capacity to make a decision, which meant that I went without. I was bent over and told to count. It was difficult. The first three or four went by quickly, but then he swapped to another cane and the pain of each stroke made me shriek. I didn’t just cry, I sobbed and screamed. The only thing that kept me in place was the fact that the half-way mark (a red, livid welt) was behind me. Surely I could hold out until the end? It was a close thing. I mixed up ten and eleven, gasping out the right number after a frenzied scrabble through my mind. I didn’t manage an ounce of bravery. When the twelfth stroke fell I cried harder, in pain and relief. It was over. HH turned away and picked up a paddle. I jumped up. I just couldn’t take any more.

The next day, I found myself in the same position, already sore. Thirteen strokes were promised. He picked up the paddle and brought it down with one loud crack. I don’t remember a scream, I remember a howl. Time stretched as my bottom burned. I thought ‘twelve more’ and I knew I couldn’t do it. Not that much pain, with the end so far away. I willed myself to stay still; it was impossible. I stood up, I said no. One stroke and I said no. Then I cried, because it hurt, and because I’d let myself down. I sobbed and apologised and could hardly believe I’d been such a disappointment. Did I get away scott-free? It didn’t feel like it.

Then there was something else I didn’t quite get away with.

Emma Jane tweeted about “silence and tears” in a scene. I visualised her being chastised for stumbling over a line in Byron’s ‘When We Two Parted’. Well, fantasised, maybe. Yes, it’s strange, but look me in the eye and tell me you’ve never dreamt up anything naughtier than poetry and hand tawsings. I recited the poem quietly to myself, then found the book. I’d got a couple of words wrong in the second half, but close enough. Then I tweeted to the world that I’d have a glow of smugness if she’d been beaten for not knowing a poem I have off by heart. I wish I’d enjoyed my smugness more.
The next time I saw HH, we played a school scene. I did quite well, I thought, at handwriting, and passably in a spelling test, considering the obscure words and HH’s novel pronunciation of ‘quassia’. Then, unexpectedly, he asked me to recite the poem. My mind went blank. I couldn’t remember the first line; I couldn’t even remember the title. He was waiting for me to start. I remembered myself at school, in my tartan skirt and white blouse, reciting it on National Poetry Day,* and my teacher praising me afterwards, saying how nice it was to hear a poem from memory, rather than a book. I told myself I could manage the first two verses. I did. Then I stopped. I asked him if he knew the next line, restarted, halted, then guessed at the rhymes for the rest of the verse. I knew it was no good. I’d need to start again at the beginning to have a chance. And there he was, looking at me disapprovingly. I wished I hadn’t said I knew it.

I was bent over the table for punishment. I can’t even remember, now, what he used. I know it hurt. It hurt more than the strapping I’d screamed and wriggled through minutes before, yet I was still, I was muted. I deserved all of it and more. I watched a tear drop from the tip of my nose onto the wood of the table. I could hardly look at him when he let me stand up. I wanted to be out of his sight. If I was a real schoolgirl I’d have been out of the classroom at the moment of dismissal and through the school gates seconds later, vowing never to be back. But it was a scene, so instead I got hugs.

The fact that I cried for another half-hour because a few people, only one of whom I’ve met, caught me out claiming to know a poem I was unable to recite in moments of panic, may tell you more about my self-esteem than anything else. It worked in scene because I knew I was in wrong. It carried on working out of scene because I was still in the wrong. And in an unnerving turn of events I found myself doing the same thing the heroine of my novel did three chapters ago: saying a poem twice through, to prove that I know it when I’m alone in the dark, even if I can’t say it aloud mid-scene. If my life is going to imitate my art, I’d better think up a happy ending.
I like real life in scenes, but not too much. I’ve never felt the catharsis others speak of, only a sense that it’s right I should be punished, but not enough to suffer so little. That train of thought goes to a worrying destination, though. It seems to be that at some point submission becomes a way of opting out of your life. I’ll happily play at punishment, and even play at doing what I’m told, but to give someone else the right to punish in earnest implies an abdication of responsibility. I’m seduced by the idea that someone else could make the decisions and find the strength for both of us to carry them out, but suspect it would be less than living. I’d hate to think that I only did the right thing, or the thing that was right for me, because someone else made me. I think I’m better than that.**

I like to think there’s a middle ground between punishment and play. Goading HH, just before my departure, that I got away with multiple instances of lateness, until he pulls over and spanks me, is as close to play as it is to punishment. It also taught me that even leaving on time has its perils. I can be a fictional person punished for transgressions similar but not identical to mine. Dreaming up a scene recently I helped HH think of reasons a professor might cane his student by enumerating my crimes of the last term: missing classes, ignoring reading, hogging library books. Nothing was deemed naughty enough, so I went further back and told him about creative referencing in my undergraduate essays. He lit on this as a terrible transgression. I felt thoroughly chastened by the time he’d read to me from the course handbook and applied six strokes of the cane. I’ve been a bit less blasé since, so if anyone can find that paper on Millbank prison I read and can’t retrieve, let me know. Otherwise I’m thinking ‘Geometries of Desire: Lesbian Angles on the Panoptican’.

I’m learning where the line is for me, so I can light a scene with the spark real life lends to play without allowing it to get out of control. I’d love to know much reality others let into their play.

And the poem? I wouldn’t want to make any rash claims, but I think I’ll always remember these words:

“They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.”

*This recitation took place in the corridor known as ‘tramlines’. How it got that name, I cannot tell.

**I should add that I recognise there are a huge range of dynamics under the umbrella of D/s, and I don’t assume that others are like me, so I don’t want to criticise anyone in a D/s relationship. Apart from subs who want their doms to stop them smoking. I’m irrationally annoyed by them.

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Written by Not an Odalisque

May 21, 2011 at 6:26 pm

What I Did In My Bank Holiday, Part Two: Fear, Pain, Hugs.

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Marianne tried for nonchalance as she entered the room. She’d got through dinner without giving the game away, and all the time Mr. Hartley was with her, he wasn’t in the library. That had to be a good thing.

Then she saw his expression.

She halted in the doorway. Mr. Hartley was immediately impatient: “Come in, come in!” She closed the door carefully, as it bought her a little time. She knew what he was going to ask before he began. The inky book lay on the sideboard. The accident, she thought, wasn’t that serious; it was only a very thin book, after all. The problem was that it had been in a locked cabinet, and that the key to the cabinet had been in his private desk drawer. And possibly that the cabinet contained not only “unsuitable” books that he’d confiscated from her, but his own volumes of rather surprising narratives and illustrations. Not unsuitable for him presumably! She hadn’t had enough time to think of an explanation which didn’t necessitate admitting that she’d been rummaging around in places where she shouldn’t be. Not that she was even meant to be here, of course. It really shouldn’t matter at all, but she’d been surprised to learn, since the day of her evacuation, that Mr. Hartley thought himself entitled to mete out much more than stern words.

I was going to be punished.

“Come here,” he said, “and raise your skirt.”

I put my hands on the sides of my thighs and raised my hem an inch. Then I let it drop again. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t face the humiliation. I looked at him sitting, clothed from neck to ankle, and felt exposed in my summer dress. I didn’t want him to see any more.

“Shall I do it for you?”

I didn’t answer. I closed my eyes as I felt his hands lifting the fabric. It didn’t help, I was still present.

“Now, bend over …Put your hands on the floor.”

I looked at him. It didn’t take much to take me to the verge of pleading. If he did feel any pity, though, it didn’t show. I think I may actually have given a little groan as I lowered myself over his lap. I was aware of every inch—finger, arm, leg, toe—arching over the floor. That is, until he had finished positioning me and placed his hands at the side-seams of my panties.

“These had better come off.”

I wriggled around and looked at him, mumbling an inarticulate protest. Then, remembering that they provided more frill than coverage, said “I’m sure it’s not necessary.”

“That,” he replied, “is not the point.”

I felt my face redden as he slipped my panties down my legs. Staring at the carpet, willing myself to keep still as I felt his hands on my buttocks, I had a brief spark of insight into how ridiculous the whole situation was. Utterly silly, in fact. I didn’t get much time to meditate on that.

The first time HH brought his hand down it wasn’t too bad; I was glad the wait was over. After he’d smacked me again, and again, and again, though, I began to change my mind. There wasn’t enough time between blows for me to cognize and file the pain, each slap was adding another layer. One more, this one, or the next, would be more than I could take.

I couldn’t stay still any more. It wasn’t a choice; I squirmed out of HH’s grasp and knelt at his side. I clutched his knee and, in my best voice of contrition, apologised for ruining his book. He told me to get back into position.

Very slowly, I stretched myself out again. He resumed at a measured pace, but the pain soon began to build. I really was sorry for ruining the book. That one, stupid book that spoiled everything. I was sorry that he’d formed a bad opinion of me. Sorry I’d lost the one person I had out here, the one fixed point since I’d left. Now there was this. I didn’t understand the rules any more, and I was so far from home.

I burst into tears. I don’t know precisely how I got there, but I ended up in HH’s arms, crying into his shirt and mumbling, “I’m so far from home.”

He was very comforting. He asked me if I had learned my lesson. I assured him that I had. I wouldn’t do anything like that again. I felt safe, and warm, and so very glad that it was over. So I really don’t know what possessed me, when he reminded me, “I told you that you would be punished if you disobeyed me,” to reply, “well, you didn’t specify that that bookcase was out of bounds.” Straight away, I was over his knee again. I wish I could tell you that I learned to bite my tongue.

Over the weekend Marianne learned who Mr. Hartley really is. She discovered that every unreasonable demand she agreed to brought another one onto the horizon. She discovered that a moment of hesitation or resistance brought down the hand, the strap, the hairbrush or the slipper. It was a heady experience.

Poor, innocent HH also made some discoveries. The most troublesome is probably this: I’m a cuddle slut. There are few sensations better than an excellent hug. I don’t mean one of those perfunctory one-armed brushes, but a whole body clasp, with my head resting on your shoulder and my body pressed into your side. I’ll do a lot for a good cuddle. I’ll ply you with spirits, listen to tales of your childhood trauma, and for a particularly skilled cuddler I’ll probably perform sexual services as long as they don’t take too long. Would I take a spanking for the sake of the hugs? Well, I haven’t yet.

Poor HH. He took me upstairs to administer some post-spanking hugs and didn’t escape until dinner time. Before bed he told me that Mr. Hartley would wake me in the morning. My anxiety began to build, and so it began again—the fear, the pain, the hugs—a repetitive cycle which span me around for the rest of the weekend.

Written by Not an Odalisque

September 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm

What I Did In My Bank Holiday, Part One: Anticipation.

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I write this sitting on a very sore bottom.*I went away for the Bank Holiday weekend. Like most people, I sat in traffic jams and swore at caravans, unlike most, I was spanked.

I went to visit HH. Well, partly to visit HH, and partly to see his house, which he describes as “a CP fairyland.” When internet users try to show off about their collections of kinky paraphernalia, posting pictures of items spread on carpets and duvets, they strike me as paltry and self-indulgent, but a whole house? That has promise.

I was fairly worried before I set off. I’ve had more kinky experiences than some, but my knowledge is very limited, nonetheless. Mostly, I’ve found myself reassuring self-identified non-kinky people as they “experiment”. It’s not that I don’t like being tied up and lightly swatted by someone who is constantly asking if what they’re doing is ok, but it’s hardly the stuff thrilling nightmares are made of. I wanted something more. I wanted someone with an authoritative presence and a hard hand. At the very least, someone who knew what they were doing, and were sure they wanted to do it. HH checked the boxes, but he clinched it with his stories. He suggested role-play scenarios which really got to me, terrifying, exciting narratives which made it difficult for me to meet his eye.

Stories are one thing, being beaten is another. There is one major obstacle to spanking me. I don’t like pain. I really, really, don’t like pain. I’m never brave about it. I screech and cry and look around for sympathy. So I was sure that I would be a disappointment to an experienced player. At worst, I would have to call a halt early on, admit to my incredible wussiness and ruin the whole weekend. Perhaps he would spend the whole time thinking that this was a pale shadow of what he really wanted, but, unable to tell me to go away, administer the odd pat at regular intervals until it was time for me to leave.

There wasn’t much I could do about that, so I channelled my anxiety into other things. What should I take as a ‘thank you for having me’ present? Is the present I’ve chosen adequate? Can I think of a pretty way of packaging it? (it wasn’t, and I didn’t). Am I going to end up in a state of undress, which is important because I don’t have three days worth of matching underwear? Should I, therefore, buy some matching underwear just in case? Will he serve instant coffee? Should I put the cafetiere in the car in case he does, or trust in his self-declared snobbishness? How would I introduce the cafetiere if he does get the Nescafe out? Do I have any suitable clothing for the scenes we’ve talked about? What did they wear in the 1940s, anyway? Will he think very badly of me and my lack of authenticity?

I could go on.

I hate to be a disappointment, and I was sure I was going to be. It was my only certainty about the weekend. When I arrived, late, dishevelled, and rather tired, I didn’t know what was coming next. Then something wonderful happened: he made a cafetiere of coffee.

Of all the scenarios we had spoken of the first time we met, one had stuck in my mind. He speculated on the fate of an evacuee, finding herself in the home of an influential man in a remote village, unable to escape whatever he has in store for her. I don’t know why that one stayed with me, but two nights later I was awake in the early hours of the morning jotting down notes about plot and character. A few days after that I had five thousand words of first draft, a heroine called Marianne, cast of minor characters and a difficult scene approaching in which I would have to describe something I’d never experienced. How was a novice like me to write a spanking scene?

I’d emailed HH a short plot summary. His role-play scenario had been hijacked and was now being driven not only by my perverse mind, but the literary influences of Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier and Sarah Waters. I really didn’t know what he would make of it, and there was no way I was going to poke my head over the parapet and lose the protection of literature as an excuse for my less savoury thoughts. So what he was expecting, I did not know.

I successfully avoided the subject for some time. There was coffee to be drunk, lunch to eat, historic buildings to look at, and you’d be surprised how much time can be spent enquiring into the correct operation of a shower or the organisation of a library. Eventually, though, the topic loomed large and I succumbed.

He declared that we would perform the first punishment scene from my plot, with some adjustments. A variation on the Bluebeard tale, but with books instead of dead wives and a good, hard spanking rather than decapitation. He provided a costume: a dress a size too small, made of thin fabric, with short sleeves, so that I felt rather exposed and shivery. Then I was left, alone, without the protective worries about presents or outfits to shield me.

When I went downstairs, I was going to be spanked. He was preparing to do exactly that, as I paced my room. I eyed the wooden hairbrush on the dressing table with unease. I stopped at the window and tried to draw in some air, but standing still was too difficult. I’d signed up for this; he was going to hurt me. He wanted to hurt me. Worse than that, he was probably going to pull me over his knee and feel me precariously squirming on his lap, staring at the carpet, while he had an embarrassingly clear view of my bottom. I couldn’t imagine coming out of that with much dignity. Mostly, though, I was terrified about the pain. Why on earth had I agreed to this? Was it too late to put it off for a day, an hour or just five minutes? Too late to call it off?

From downstairs I heard him call my name. In an even tone he said, “Would you come here, please?” I descended and stopped, just outside the door. I stood there in silence. Then an evacuee called Marianne opened the door and stepped inside the room.

*Well, not very sore, since it’s been a couple of days, but I’ve wanted to write that line ever since I read ‘I Capture the Castle’ and I’m not going to let the facts get in the way.

Written by Not an Odalisque

September 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm