In flogging an individual, one should select a soft
material at first, such as chamois or deer suede. These are both wildly
sensuous, thuddy, buttery even, but may cause the one being flogged to
turn around halfway and ask if you have started yet. Harder materials
such as cowhide or rubber can be worked up to slowly over time. Most submissives
will take to them over a period of gentle introduction.
It is a good idea to stick to the safest areas first. These are the backs
of the thighs, the buttocks, the shoulder blades. In all these areas there
is ample flesh over strong bone and no internal organs to worry over.
One should avoid the spine and the area over the kidneys.
In flogging it is best to avoid striking the same flesh twice. A good
flogging will result in an all-over reddening of skin and the least amount
of bruising, bruising being the result of being struck repeatedly in the
She never strikes the same place twice, my Mistress. We never turn back,
either. Each time she takes me it is with a little more testing, a little
more pain and work on my part.
If one night it is fear of shame the next it is fear of a different shame.
Each time I am with her, I am following by a slender and unseen thread.
I like it that way. It requires the fundamental faith that she has my
best interest at heart always. To love like this is hard, it denies the
fallibility of the loved, to a certain extent, but not entirely. I do
acknowledge that she may hurt me, unknowing. I do risk disappointment,
what lover does not?
I have said “I am yours.” I have taken my chances. I have never given
up on control before, and this time I have relinquished it as much as
I can. Her fate is my fate.
I go shopping with her on long midwinter afternoons, wrapping her in her
coat and holding her against me for warmth while waiting for buses and
cabs and trains.
I hold her things. I give my honest pinion when she steps from the dressing
rooms of the best stores....always the best. She will slip me a fifty
once every so often and tell me to get myself something. I am always touched
by it. It is nice to let go of feeling ashamed of my status. Here is one
more way in which she holds power. I pick out a shirt that goes with the
darkness of my eyes and my skin, a celery green of the finest wale corduroy,
soft as velvet. She is always, always in awe of my taste.
”Wear that tonight,” she whispers in my ear, hand brushing one buttock
as I stand at the register. “Wear that, the charcoal sports jacket, the
black jeans and black Docs. Wear all that for me.”
I am always lightheaded when it is like this, her voice so close, so buried
in my ear that I can hardly tell if she is speaking to me or if the voice
is one of my own imagining.
She pulls me to her and kisses me, long and ardent in the middle of the
store. Her lips paint mine purple and I don't want to rub away the stain.
We eat in varied restaurants. Always there is a task of some kind for
me, some kind of compromising thing to endure.
One night I must piss in my beer glass and drink that. Another night I
must masturbate for her in the bathroom, lick up my ejaculate and show
it to her, opening my mouth before swallowing it.
I have come to welcome these tasks, odd as that may sound. Her innovation
always delights me, and her ability to bail me out of the strangest situations.
I am in love with her mind. It moves so quickly, dancing all the way.
I dress as she wishes to see me, the celadon shirt, the gray wool jacket,
the black jeans and black boots that cover my ankles. My underwear having
been left up to me I wear a white undershirt and boxers, as generic as
I drink a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee on the way. I give a homeless guy
the change, something I never do. I guess tonight I feel generous and
I arrive after her. I am never supposed to get there first, as she is
to pick out the table. Tonight we are sitting at the window so I know
that we are not going to do anything too outrageous.
There’s a little sitting ritual I have to do, where I must bow at the
waist and then sit. I have gotten very good at pulling it off so that
it appears elegant and not insane.
We sit opposite one another. She is pulling her cloth napkin through her
fingers, making a circle of forefinger and thumb on one hand and plucking
the white napkin through with her other, over and over. She concentrates
on the task as she speaks to me.
”There is a place that I belong to, Sol.”
”I’m not following, Mistress.”
We speak in hushed voices so that I may use her titular. It’s New York
anyway. If anyone notices they wont care.
”Do you remember the play party I met you at?”
”Yes, Madame, it’s not an event I am likely to forget.”
”A lot of that crowd goes here, “ She was saying, nonchalantly, digging
through her purse. It was a silk bag, the color the lightest and iciest
silver of pale purples. Her lipstick nearly matched it.
At last she drew out a business card and held it out to me, framed in
the grasp of two burgundy-painted nails.
I took it from her, lifting my glasses off my nose to peruse the fine
print, reading aloud in a quiet voice.
”La Belle Dame Sans Merci - exclusive, private, unusual fetishes, 40,
000 square feet. " There was a phone number beginning with 212.
”40,000 square feet? Are you sure that isn’t a misprint, Ma’am?”
”Ah, Sol. An artist. Always the first concern is space, dimension and
real estate. It’s a building in Chelsea, sort of. A warehouse, crusty
on the outside, you’d never guess what the inside is like. It’s kind of
in the middle of nothing, untouched by development. Although who knows
how long that will last.”
She was swirling the ice in her water glass with one finger.
I glanced at the card again, smiling.
”Some acronym. La BDSM. Whose poem is that again anyway, La Belle Dame
”I don’t know, pet. Remember, I am a hedgehog and not a fox. Hedgehogs
know everything about one or two things, and foxes know a little of everything.
That’s us. If anything I am a brown-skinned canary for a few
months out of the year. For the rest....”
She scrunched up her nose, thinking.
”Queen Bitch of the World. Here: “
She handed me a large ice cube before I even had a chance to laugh at
”Go to the men’s room and put this up your ass. Hold it till any sharp
edges are melted. Move, before it all melts.”
I looked at it, sitting in my palm, just for the briefest moment. It was
glassy, about the size of a large green olive. I closed my hand over it
and rose without a word, going to the mens’ room and closing a stall door
Under the command, always I hear this.
”Do it if you love me.”
I love her. I love her and I am willing to follow that to its extent.
I drop my pants, my thighs wide across the toilet seat, reaching down
and taking a deep breath.
It’s slippery. I almost lose it at first. My ass refuses it from its coldness
and then it’s gone with a gut wrenching pop.
In a second I have decided this is the most awful sensation I have ever
been subjected to.
I pull up my pants and bolt from the stall.
In the mirror I have a madman’s eyes. They are wide and fearful. My mouth
strained, lips trembling. I know I have to hurry back.
This thing burns. Sears, freezing cold, making my head split, my ass hurt.
There is no word beyond hurt, no descriptor for the frozen biting sting
of it, which I cannot lose, even though I try to press it back out. There
is nothing to do but let it melt, let my frozen hole return to normal.
I walk very shakily to my seat. I look pale, clammy, like someone having
a heart attack. I am hoping no one notices, tugging on my lapels to try
I take my seat, letting my head fall to my hands.
She is smiling a very cruel smile and leans back.
When we leave I know there is a tiny wet spot on my pants. I am happy
they are black and glad for my jacket.
It seems I am to be part of her life in a way I had not been. I have been
to some leather functions, but rarely ones that have led to a lot of constructive
play. A sweaty bear bar called Abyss. A bunch of parties. And, to be perfectly
truthful, rarely have I played in public. It intimidates me. I have trouble
thinking about the Top more than the watchers. My friends have told me
it’s because I’ve never found a Top good enough for me to be playing with,
but I truly doubt that too.
For her I will do it though, without a question I will.
She takes me home with her. It’s a good night for me. She fondles my hair
and sings to me, all the little Baroque necessitivos I don't know from
Purcell and Scarlatti.
She kisses my mouth for what seems like days. I look to her finally, a
prayerful neediness in my eyes. My cock pulses on the floodgates verge.
My lips are dry though she kisses still.
She smiles and touches my chest.
”Sol. Come to bed.”
I follow her. It is not the first time, but it is not common. She knows
better than to let me expect it, or anything, for that matter.
Her room is lush and soft and soft-lit. It has to me the feeling of the
most cloistered of spaces. Holy and still. The bed is high and old and
white covered and inspires me in its grandness to sink to my knees.
I sink to my knees and she lets her robe fall. I sink to my knees and
she steps free of her slippers.
There will never be a day of my life I think, where you do not bring me
to my knees.
I hold the dropped heap of her robe to my lips. I kiss it.
”I’d have a picture of you right now. You have the look of a saint Sol.
How much, dear boy? How much pain?”
”As much as there is love, Madame.”
In the morning the sun hits my bent hip, as I lie on my side, spooned
round her body, so much smaller then mine. My pager is going off.
Leaking sinks and a call from my dealer. The mundane and the dreamt of
both at once.
Brooklyn can be a wonderful place if you know what to look for. I think
the best of everything hides out here, off the convenient grid of the
visitor’s New York. All the best pants I buy at dollar-a-pound, the ones
that look good with my chain wallet hanging off my right hip.
You can bike here without getting killed by cars.
I always see the best things biking around. The way that colors come together
as you move past them. The way that you catch the smallest fragments of
conversation I love the way a red truck in an empty lot looks when you
bike past it. Everything turns into a kind of film, a long tracking shot.
I like to go slowly.
I bike around a number of empty lots as a matter of habit. They are safe
enough, as they are deserted. I consider desertion a merit in these times
of development and rehab and real estate maggots. Desertedness becomes
somehow ethical and pure. Space no longer exists in a way that it can
be experienced by one person alone. There is always someone coming at
you in the opposite direction.
My New York is the one I walk in by myself. Only on the rarest occasions
I find it. It has made me a kind of morning insomniac. I keep the hours
of about four to ten with a mid day nap whenever possible.
That is when I do the grand tour of the deserted lots. Or I revive the
lost art of hitting tar beach. The roof is secluded and I keep a few tomato
plants up there in the summer. You can’t buy decent tomatoes.
In my drawings I will start making a chart of my favorite things. Red
trucks, how many occurring each day on the way to the place I buy my smokes?
How many attractive people each week on the train? How many kids on each
floor of my building? How many non-pigeon birds can I spot between 5 and
7 one Saturday morning?
Yes. I will make a chart, keep a graph, a log. My people have a mathematician's
matrix for a poet’s dreaming inner life. Ask Einstein. Ask the Hasids.
Ask the Hasidim about ecstasy. Ask the Jews about pain.
Sol, says the voice of self critique in my mind, my Father’s voice, always,
Sol, this is not all about armbands and goose stepping? An Irish goyisher
to pull the trigger as you kneel in a lot, empty, like some Bergen-Belsen?
Everyone with him is reduced to a slur. A potential closed off.
Even me. A good son. A nice Jewish boy. The rest is not possible.
I bike faster, till all is a blur as I pass. I would chart that too, If
I could keep up with it.
I know these arguments. I learned them well in school In theory classes,
with serious and lean rich Marxists to tell me I was decadent and frivolous
in my politics. Decadent, read: gay. Frivolous, read: leather.
I was told, well you have a privileged relationship to pain.
This by a middle class WASP woman.
There is, I wanted to say, the matter of my mother’s backhand and her
There is the matter of her cigarette ash.
Why has it always mattered, then, what was thought of me? So? I piss off
my Father. I piss off the Marxists. I piss off the plaque-polishers of
I chew on that thought as I brake my bike, and carry it up the three flights
of stairs home.
My instructions for going with her to her Dungeon, which arrive via e-mail.
Ah the wonders of technology, the delight of being a blue collar bohemian
with a laptop:
Tomorrow night you will meet Me at My apartment. W/we will go together.
Bring a good overcoat, a long one that will cover you well, as I will
not allow you to be seen in street clothing. once W/we arrive. Once there
I will order you to the center of the room and you will doff this coat,
kneel and kiss My feet at My approach. I want no awkwardness as My property
is thus unveiled.
The syntax, the capitalization, dating back, supposedly, to a time when
information would have arrived on good thick paper with a wax imprimatur,
borne by the hand of another servant, perhaps.
The formal correspondence of an Owner and the owned.
i for my I. Me for her me.
The contemporary touch, the one used all the time in email correspondences,
being the W/we. It always makes me smile. If I were the one writing it
would simply be We. The royal We, in which the existence of the slave
is implied without necessarily being acknowledged.
The days go by in sweet tired countdown. I am not permitted to touch my
cock during them. I sleep with my hands under the pillow and wake up hard.
I eat small breakfasts, paint the stairwell and read Rilke. Slow and meditative
Rilke, tender and generous of scope. I enter a kind of spiritual seclusion,
overblown as it seems to speak of one. Like when I touched her
robe to my lips.
I am painting the fifth floor landing now and I am almost done on the
day I have waited for.
I wash carefully and arrive at her house dressed and clean.
She is in a suit. Lavender with lavender high heeled shoes. Suede as soft
as an apricot’s fuzz. Suede like shaven balls. I know, I rub my cheek
over it instead of a kiss, lest I ruin them. Purple leather gloves. The
leash is around my neck before I realize.
I do, without hesitation. I am now naked on the end of the lead kneeling
at her beautiful feet.
She hands me a box.
These are its contents:
Heavy opaque hose. Black buckled shoes with heels. Burgundy velvet pants
that reach my knees. They are tight especially in the crotch. My cock
is streamlined by the fabric and not hidden in any way.
They open at the back with laces, for easy access. A white shirt of soft
Egyptian cotton. Tons of lace at both throat and
cuffs, old elaborate, yellowing lace.
Burgundy velvet vest with gold buttons and toggles. Burgundy velvet waistcoat.
Embroidered with the most stunning beadwork I have ever seen. But subtly,
I look up at her. My eyes are wide and my breath wont turn easily into
words. Before I can thank her she growls.
”Put it on.”
I do, loving every minute, every minute inflection of fabric over skin,
and richness and care. Her care. Her consideration.
”Look at yourself.” She hands me a thick black ribbon for my hair.
My gut swells the vest, impressively. My cock swells the pants. My calves
swell the hose. It is.....beautiful.
I smile and smile back at myself in the mirror. I straighten my glasses
on my nose.
”I’m not one to mix business and pleasure usually, but I have become very
fond of the costumed footmen I sing with.”
Her smile was arch and crooked. In the mirror she was touching her lips
thoughtfully and looking right at my cock.
I tied the ribbon in my hair and with a toss of overcoat a jerk on the
leash and a ride in an indifferent taxi, we were there.
......until next time