Mastering Submission Ch. 02bysdbnnc©
In the manner of Gregory Maguire, who provided us with a version of the childhood standard The Wizard of Oz through the eyes of the "wicked" witch, I have re-written my favorite BDSM story, Both Master and Slave written by Martin Sharpe (published in 2001 by Silver Moon Books in Great Britain), from the point of view of the submissive, rather than the Master, who was Mr. Sharpe's narrator. I hope that fans of the original book will accept my version for the tribute that it is meant to be.
The following Thursday evening, almost against my will, I drove my aging yellow Renault 5 into the neighborhood where the address on the business card was located. Approaching from the east, I drove past the building, noticing the butcher's shop and dry cleaner's on either side of a nondescript doorway. Just past the building, I turned left to go around the block before parking my car just across the street from the door, in front of a second hand shop.
Nerves were making me shake so that checking the time on my watch was more difficult than it should have been. I had parked at ten minutes to seven, the hour at which I was to arrive. After a bit of deep breathing, and sternly reminding myself of the financial circumstances that brought me to this point, I got out of the car. I straightened my skirt, and then squared my shoulders for the short walk across the street. I got as far as the threshold of the door, looking up to confirm that this was the correct address. At that point, my nerve failed me, and I went back to sit in the car again. The minutes ticked past, my mind counting them off by repeating, "You're not to be late."
I screwed my courage back up, exited the car, and crossed the street, knowing that there was no way not to be late, but determined to make this effort to save myself. Standing there in my dark suit, freshly washed hair shining, and face lightly made-up, I hardly had time to catch my breath from dashing across the road before the door opened in response to my timid knock. He opened the door wearing faded black 501s, a black T-shirt, and combat boots, making my fears of being met by a stranger in black leathers seem absurd.
"Hi there," I said, with a shy smile.
"You're late," he barked.
"Yes. I'm sorry. I - "
"I don't want to hear your excuses," he interrupted. "Get inside, take off all your clothes and prepare to be beaten."
I felt the fear flooding through me, and the colour leaving my face, and asked, "Can we talk for a few minutes? There's a pub on the corner. Can I buy you a drink?"
Without another word, he stepped out, closed the door behind him, and walked swiftly to the pub. As we reached the bar, he said, over his shoulder, "I expect you want a white wine spritzer."
"How clever of you to know that," I replied.
"You won't get it though," he rejoined, turning to the bar. "Barman, a double Scotch and a mineral water; she's paying."
Whilst I fumbled with my purse to get the money for the drink, I watched him find a quiet corner and sit down. I carried his drink to the table, and put the whisky in front of him. He ignored it.
"Thanks for agreeing to just talk," I said.
"Relax," he replied. "There's no pressure. You're a beautiful, intelligent woman, and it's a privilege to be sitting in the same pub with you, whether this leads anywhere or not."
Given the way things had started off, I was pleasantly surprised by this speech. "That's nice," I said, smiling. "This whole thing is a bit daunting for me. Would it be all right if we just had straight sex - at least in the beginning?"
"Absolutely not," he quietly replied.
"Is that because you can't?" I asked. "I mean, I've heard some men are impotent if there aren't whips all over the place, or rubber boots or something."
"No," he said with a smile. "I like ordinary sex now and again. Foreplay. Missionary position. All that stuff. But I'm definitely a master: I know from bitter experience that if I'm with a woman who only likes it straight, then sooner or later I'm going to start fantasizing about whips and gags, and before long I'm making love to one woman and thinking about someone else, which is bad for both of us. Besides, if you enjoy straight sex you'll get more actual bonking out of me if you let me spank you. There's nothing like the sight of whip marks to make a tired tummy truncheon stand too attention. So it's the full treatment, I'm afraid."
"How about if we take things slowly," I asked. "We could just talk now, and arrange to have another date in a week's time."
"If you think you won't get cold feet again, you're fooling yourself," he replied. "You're not a virgin, at least I assume you're not - "
"No," I said.
"Then it's time to grow up or go home," he said.
"I don't want to go home," I quietly replied. "I want to earn the money to get myself out of the financial hole I'm in. If that means being beaten, then I want to be beaten. But I want it to happen at my own pace."
"You can set your own pace, within reason," he responded. "We'll talk here and now, in this pub, but you must make up your mind before closing time. That gives you more than three hours to think things through, but if you turn me down tonight then it's 'No' forever -- fair enough?"
"That seems reasonable," I said in relief. "What happens if I don't like it, if your demands are too much for me to take?"
"That's what tonight is about," he replied. "You sample a little slavery, and decide if you can stand a year of it."
"And then you'll give me thirty thousand dollars?" I wanted to be absolutely clear about the money, since that was my motivation in this extraordinary transaction.
"After a year, yes," he replied.
"What do I get for just tonight? If I don't want to go any further I mean," I asked, feeling petty and grasping, but needing to know.
"Whatever you think is fair," he said.
"I don't want anything at all," I said after a bit of thought. The fact that he was willing to negotiate with me about this seemed to settle me somehow.
"Having my debts settled is one thing, but I don't want to make a couple of hundred pounds from an evening's prostitution," I explained.
He just nodded, but I felt his approving gaze, and was surprised at how good it felt to know he was pleased with my decision and analysis.
"All this is a bit hard for me to take in all at once," I said. "I've always thought of myself as strong. I tend to be in control of the situations I find myself in."
"Most sex slaves are," he replied. "Ask any professional dominatrix. Her clients are likely to be politicians, judges, even bishops. The more consistent and controlling you have to be during the working day, the more likely it is that you'll want to explore your softer side after hours."
"That's an interesting point of view," I said thoughtfully.
He went on, "It works the other way, too: people who live hard lives need pampering at the evenings and weekends. At the height of the siege, the starving citizens of Stalingrad set aside land that could have been used to grow cabbages or potatoes for flowers. Do you have any questions?"
"Yes; lots of them," I said, frowning in concentration. Then I said, "I can't actually think of any questions right at the moment, not as such."
"I've got a few," he said, which surprised me a bit. "What about your history? Have you ever been hit by a lover?"
Anxiously, I replied, "A boyfriend punched me in the face once, and gave me a black eye."
"You're a brave woman," he said.
"Brave?" I replied.
"And intelligent," he went on. "Smart enough to realize there's a difference between a brute who punches women, and a master who knows how to kiss a slave with a whip or a paddle."
I was trying to take all that in when he took both my hands in his, and assured me, "I'll never hit you in anger, never without your permission, and always with respect."
"I believe you," I said, being perfectly honest.
"Have you ever fantasized about being beaten?" he asked.
"I've been, well, curious," I admitted. "Over the last few days it's been hard to think about anything else."
"If you decide to come home with me," he asked, "how far will you be prepared to go tonight? Are you prepared to have penetrative sex?"
"Yes. Yes, I suppose so. As long as it's with a condom. I'm a great believer in safe sex," I replied, thinking about the facts of what I was doing rather than the emotions that were churning inside me.
"Masters and slaves are never careless about things like that," he said. "How about blow jobs?"
"That would have to be with a condom too, but I don't think I could stand the taste of rubber," I responded.
"Have you ever used a flavoured condom? Mint or strawberry?" he asked.
"No," I said, bewildered that such things existed.
"You should. Not tonight, though," he said with a grin. "How about spanking?"
"I'm a bit nervous about that," I said with a nervous giggle. "Is there some way for me to control the, well, the intensity?"
"Absolutely; I will hit you as hard as you can stand, and no harder," he said. "What's more, you will be able to stop any time you like."
"How does that work, exactly?" I inquired.
"At the moment, I'm asking the questions," he went on. "How about anal?"
"Anal?" I was completely bewildered now.
"Buggery; sodomy-- my spitting sausage in your tradesman's entrance," he rejoined.
Blushing, I asked yet another question, "You enjoy being vulgar, don't you?"
"You're an English language scholar - you know language is a powerful tool. That power is even greater when its vulgar language used on someone who hates it," he replied with utter seriousness. "Come on, answer my question."
"I've never actually made love that way. Is that what you like? Is it important to you?" I managed to ask.
"I can live without it," he said. "But I had a girlfriend once who loved to take it up the bum, and that made it wonderful. I'm prepared to put that on hold for the time being. How about bondage?"
"I don't think I could let you do that. I hardly know you," I replied.
"You don't trust me, you mean," he said. "Good for you."
"You don't mind?" I asked with surprise.
He shook his head, saying "Shows you're smart. Sex is dangerous, and here are a lot of loonies about. That reminds me, does anyone know where you are tonight?"
"No," I said, feeling things were getting past me again. "Should they?"
"I think so," he responded. "If things go well between us, you're going to trust me more than you've ever trusted a man before; right now, I'm just an acquaintance, a friend of Bob's. I'm sure there's a phone right in your bag; call someone and give her my address. You don't have to mention that you're going to get your arse whipped, just say you're going to the flat of a man you don't know very well and you want to be extra careful."
"I'll seem silly," I said.
"You'll seem and will be being sensible. Do it," he insisted.
I could feel him watching me as I got up to walk to outside the bar, standing just outside, in front of the window. I could see that he was watching me closely as I used my mobile to ring up a friend with whom I made plans for breakfast the next day. Of course, I made the whole thing sound like a typical online dating situation, and described him generally, as well as giving out his address, making sure my friend had my mobile number.
When I rejoined him at the table, I thought it was time to pose some questions of my own. I started by asking, "What is it like from your point of view, being the one doing the hitting."
"It's easy to hit people," he replied. "What's hard is making it delightful, and absolutely safe. For instance, you have to know what time of day is best for a spanking."
Whatever I had anticipated hearing, this was not it. "The time of day," I asked. "What has that got to do with it?"
He began by saying, "Pain is more intense in the morning. It is vital that I know where to land my strokes. A careless blow can damage an internal organ or break the skin where it stretches over a bone."
"Now you're scaring me," I declared.
"Scared is good," he surprised me by saying. "What you're deciding on, sitting here in this pub, is whether or not to start one of the most exciting journeys a human being can take. They say the world has been explored and there are no great adventures anymore, but the pilgrimage to the edge of your own endurance will always be there, if you're brave enough to take it. However, you've got to be careful. It's like getting into the car you normally use for shopping, and driving it out into the wilderness. You're going to need snow tyres, a shovel, a blanket, a mobile phone, a torch and a bottle of fresh water, but you'll be having an experience that's infinitely more exciting than a trip to the supermarket. It also helps to have a guide. Fortunately, I know my way around the territory; you'll only have to remember one thing."
"And that is," I asked.
"A word," he replied.
"What word," I asked.
"One is essential, three more for fun," he explained. "The main one is called your 'safe word,' and it's something every submissive has to decide for herself. If I know your safe word, you can beg for mercy, and I'll know you don't mean it, but when you really do want it to stop then it stops, bang, just like that."
"Brilliant," I said. "How do I choose which word to use?"
He explained, "It has to be something you'll never forget, but which you'll normally never mention aloud, maybe the name of a place you've been to and didn't like very much or a type of food you don't like."
"Parsnips," I said. "I think parsnips are revolting."
"Parsnips it is," he said with a smile.
"What are the other words?" I asked, trying to take it all in.
"They're for fine tuning," he said. "I prefer the colours of traffic lights: green means go; yellow means OK, but not any harder; and red means don't stop altogether, but lighten up a bit. On the other hand, 'parsnips' means stop at once, get my clothes, call me a taxi, this is too much, I no longer need thirty thousand dollars."
"And you've tried this system with other - " I began.
"Slaves," he said, finishing my sentence before I could form the word. "Yes, I've had several slaves."
"I didn't realize this sort of thing could be so complicated," I said.
"It only seems complicated because it's new to you," he insisted reassuringly. "After a few times it will seem as natural as breathing. What else do you want to know?"
"Tell me about yourself," I asked. "You already know I'm a lecturer. What do you do for a living?"
"There's not much to tell," he began. "I have no special talents or qualifications, but I'm smart. I own a design studio. I have a small independent record label, and I have shares in a commercial radio station. You have a career; what I have is a string of different ways of making money, to fund my life's work."
I looked at him, surprised, and asked, "What's your life's work?"
"Looking for a woman like you and beating the crap out of her," he flatly stated. "It's my calling, and I'm good at it."
"You sound ruthless," I replied.
"I am totally ruthless in real life," he agreed. "I've taken competitors to court; I can beat down the other guy's price and drive my own price sky high."
"But if I accept your contract, and then something went wrong and I decided to leave you, how ruthless would you be then?" I asked.
He laughed. "I'm totally harmless to my lovers and ex-lovers," he said. "Business is a game where breaking the rules is half the fun, but adventurous sex has strict rules, and love is sacred. If you become my slave, you can walk out at a second's notice; all I ask is that you tell me why you want to go. When a slave breaks off a relationship, or even just puts a stop to a scene on one particular evening, she has to give reasons. That way a master becomes better, for her or for the next slave. That's why you're in such good hands tonight. In the private world of sex, I have learned how to be truly dominant, even if you're my superior in the real world."
"I am not your superior," I began.
"Yes, you are," he insisted. "By the end of our year together, I'll have taught you everything I know about sadomasochism. How long would it take you to teach me everything you know about Shakespearean poetry?"
"That's different," I said.
"No, it's not," he replied. "Knowledge is knowledge."
"And practical lessons are best," I said without thinking.
He pounced, "You greedy slut, you're gagging for it, aren't you? You drag me over to this boozer, pretending to be the blushing maiden, when deep down you just can't wait to taste the lash. I bet you're getting wet just sitting there thinking about what it will be like to take a beating from me. Choosing to wear that dark skirt was smart -- there'll be a damp stain on the back when you stand up."
I looked round anxiously, and whispered, "Don't talk like that." But even as I said the words, I had to acknowledge to myself that he was right about how sexually excited I was becoming, how wet my panties were, and how I hadn't even given a thought to what a wet stain on the back of my skirt would tell anyone walking behind me.
Undeterred, if not encouraged, he went on, "I shall talk to you any way I like. I shall call you bitch, slag, worthless little slut, sex object, boy toy or brain-dead whore, and you will accept my words as compliments and thank me for saying them."
My eyes and voice were pleading now, "Please. Not in public."
"Then I'll have to take you to a place where I can tell you exactly what you are at the top of my voice," he responded.
Pulling myself together, I glanced at my watch and said, "Not yet. Not until I've made up my mind. It's a strange experience discussing wild, intimate things in such a calm manner in a pub full of people." I shook my head slowly, as if trying to jostle all this new information into place so I could evaluate it.
"Information is crucial: some slaves only like humiliation, others only want to be hurt. Some slaves like a lot of pain, others can only stand a little," he explained. "A master has to know in advance, not leave things to spoil the atmosphere when it really matters. It's a slave's right to choose how far to go, but if you want your thirty grand, you'll have the whole experience. Besides, anything less is like going to a famous restaurant and only eating pudding."
I understood the basic premise he was putting forward, but I still couldn't jump into everything at once. I asked, "For tonight, can we stick to a little gentle spanking, followed by vaginal penetration with you wearing a condom?"
"And humiliation? Tender humiliation?" he asked.
"I suppose so," I replied. "I can't believe I'm agreeing to this, that I'm hearing myself say these words out loud." I paused, and once again sought his reassurance, "And if I do all this, you'll really pay me all that money?"
He nodded, and then said, "If you're obedient and respectful, and if you can stand the treatment I dish out, then I'll pay your installments every month for a year; at the end of that time I'll pay the balance of your debt to a maximum of thirty thousand dollars."
I looked down at my hands for a long, long time, and then said very softly, "I accept."
"That's settled then," he briskly replied. "You can get me to lighten up any time by saying 'red;' you can go home at any time, just by saying the word 'parsnips.' But if you come to my flat you will be forced to grovel, you will be gently insulted and hit. You will have sex: it will be safe sex, but sex will definitely take place. There's no point pretending that you're dropping by to admire my etchings."
It was a reflection of the amount of trust I already had in him that I actually could chuckle in response, and ask, "Have you actually got any etchings?"