The first email Penny sent me was entitled "dates and palms". I don't know quite where to start, she wrote, except to say that palmadas is Spanish for 'spanks', and unlike with our friend the tree who grows the palm before the date, in our case it's the date that comes before the palmadas. I was already captivated by her, but I think being asked out in the form of a kinky, witty multilingual pun would have won my heart regardless.
I only speak a few words of Spanish - I can just about order things in restaurants but I've only spent one week in the country. My other languages are similarly slim - the vestiges of GCSE French, as much Italian as I picked up during a week there with a phrasebook. I have some reading/writing ability with ancient languages but nothing conversational. So to say I have a "language kink" would be disingenuous - I've studied them a certain amount, but always been terribly lazy with them. Having said that, although talent and ability are generally sexy, I find fluency in foreign languages particularly hot.
When Penny sent that email, we had already been circling each other at group gatherings for a few weeks. (By 'circling' I mean talking passionately, flirting outrageously and then breaking off with an abashed, amused glance at each other, remarking that perhaps we should continue this line of conversation in private so as not to annoy everyone else in the room. There may or may not have been some end-of-night kisses thrown into the mix.) But we're both busy, poly people with existing partners and lots of demands on our time, so it took us a while to get round to meeting up. It was quite a big deal for me, and I didn't want to rush things. I've been lucky in finding a number of beautiful, interesting women to bed over the years, but until Penny, there was little crossover between my bisexuality and my submission.
We finally managed to get together in January this year. It was a funny sort of evening - it had already been postponed several times, and we both nearly cancelled on the day due to tiredness and too much work. Eventually I arrived some time after 9pm, and we spent several hours talking over the delicious food she'd prepared, discovering a seemingly limitless number of things we wanted to say to one another.
Eventually, slightly giddy with tiredness and wine and anticipation, we led each other upstairs and into her incredibly cold bedroom. I huddled under the satin eiderdown, chattering bright-eyed as she showed me the contents of her toybox (rope, wrist cuffs, lube, a strap-on harness and two cocks of different sizes) and I unpacked the few toys I'd brought onto the bed, including my black two-tailed tawse. We were both nervous - she has as little experience topping women as I do subbing to them - and there were a few awkward moments where I wasn't sure if anything was going to happen. In the end I can't remember who made the first move. I remember grabbing her smilingly as she stood close to the bed, wrapping my legs gently around her hips and leaning upwards for a kiss, but I'm not sure if that came first or later.
My nerves made me giggly and over-talkative as she instructed me to lie on my front, and started to smack my upturned bottom. My hands and feet were frozen - I tucked them under the eiderdown and concentrated on my quickly-warming bottom. Her hands were smallish and soft, and she spanked me with both of them, experimenting and stroking and telling me all the while how beautiful I was. (I wanted to respond in kind, but just then didn't quite seem the time.) Later she stood me against the wall, wearing only my hold-up stockings, back arched and palms pressed flat against the wall above my head. She had my tawse in her hand, which she flicked again and again against the strip of thigh above my stocking-tops. The sensations were wicked, teasing, unbearably erotic. I wanted her to whip me harder and longer and faster; and I wanted her to turn me around and press me to the wall with a violent kiss, my lips smearing against hers; and I wanted her mouth at my cunt, or mine at hers, I didn't care.
We made love until the small hours of the morning, and then we sat up and talked some more, tucked under the pink satin eiderdown, drinking homemade sloe gin like lesbians in a 1930s film. When we made our giggling way downstairs sometime after 2am to refill our glasses she kissed me, halfway down the stairs, with such intensity that we tangled there for long minutes - until she ordered me to turn over and spanked me, kneeling there on the stairs, her thigh pinning mine to the step and the smacks echoing in the empty house.
I barely snatched a few hours sleep before a laborious commute to work the next day in the freshly frozen snow. It was an unreal, utterly delicious evening, and I very much hoped it wouldn't be our last.
We kept in touch online, neither of us finding the time to write as much as we would like, and a few weeks later I saw her one night at the pub. She walked me home, and, somewhat tipsily, I said what I'd been meaning to say by email: how much I'd enjoyed our play, how tantalising it had been; asking nervously if she would be interested in playing harder. "Longer, yes," she answered, "but I'm not sure I can hit you much harder." Privately, I doubted this, but I didn't want to pressure her - this negotiation was still so new and precious, and neither of us had done anything quite like this before. I didn't want to scare her off by insisting on extreme severity, but I could feel my appetite for being hurt by her intensifying every time we spoke, and I wondered if it would be easily satisfied.
Our negotiation continued by email. I had already expressed wariness at her fantasies which centred around play-punishments; punishment, for me, is either real (and embedded in a secure, trusting power exchange where I have explicity given a person permission to hold me to account in certain areas of my life) or better suited to acting or roleplay. When she asked whether a "fearsome Wodehousian aunt" would make an appealing Domme persona, I replied:
It's a very hot fantasy (c.f. Matrons, Cooks, tweed-clad butch Edwardian chaffeuses [I absolutely adored Wendy Albiston as Baines in the BBC Turn of the Screw) but I think between us that would work best if we were acting/roleplaying? Your presence is very cheering, and if we're being ourselves I think I'd prefer not to have to pretend you were horrible. ;)
When I daydream about you you tend to be inhabiting a governess/lover persona ... doing horrible things to me, pushing my limits, but all with a purring, encouraging sort of attitude - not quite nurturing, but almost. Helping me do my best to please you at the same time as challenging me to endure more, because you want to watch me struggle to be brave. I find the combination of physical nastiness with emotional niceness easier out of character, but I like roleplay BECAUSE it creates a safe space with which to explore the emotionally nasty scenes which are so very hot.
The next time we met up she took me at my word. It was me that suggested she should take me upstairs, but once we were in my small bedroom, surrounded by the Indian fabrics and glowing fairylights adorning the walls, she took quiet control, instructing me to remove my top and kneel for her. She stood on the bed in front of me, seeming impossibly tall and wide-hipped, her eyes drinking me in. I felt myself blushing as I surrendered to her gaze.
When she spanked me, facedown again on the bed, I responded with pure, uncomplicated arousal. Even the sharpest strokes failed to impact on the serenity and certainty of my enjoyment. Part of me wondered what I was doing wrong - where was the edge, the pain, the fear that I am so used to overcoming? - but most of me basked in the delicious sensations of palm kissing flesh. When she straddled my waist, facing my feet, the heavy softness of her thighs pinning me to the bed and the heat radiating from her cunt made my head spin as much as the rapid, double-handed tattoo she beat on my arse.
She tried out my Mason & Pearson - surely there is no implement more erotic in the hands of an elegant woman - and asked after my black tawse, which I regretfully told her must still be in Tom's toybag after our outing to Subversion. In its stead I felt the cool press of my smooth wooden ruler. "Now, minx," she murmured, "I'm going to give you ten, and you're to count them for me. In -" and here she named a language I studied at university, but which has rusted almost beyond repair. I may have yelped with surprise.
"Oh! Er - I really don't think I can do that - I'm sorry, ma'am..." I could feel my cheeks flushing with scholarly embarrassment, aware of her skill with languages and remembering that first email, punning so fluently in Spanish. At the same time, part of my mind flashed back to the hand-cropping last year which so successfully taught me 1-6 in German ...
"Fine." I could sense her amusement. "In French, then." And the first stroke landed.
I gabbled my way through the ten strokes. I can barely remember the pain: the burning shame I felt has entirely overlaid it in my memory. I was blushingly conscious of my poor accent, the awkwardness of my mercis (although she'd explicitly vetoed Madame). My French has gone unused for years, and in the heat of the moment I hesitated more than I should; after huit I got completely stuck, both sets of cheeks flaming and mind appallingly blank. She supplied the next two for me, reinforcing each word with a stinging smack of the ruler, and then made me keep going to douze, which I'm afraid I couldn't remember either. After each one I felt a rush of embarrassed recognition - oh god yes of course - but when put on the spot my memory failed me. It was awful and lovely and deliciously intense.
Later she realised a long-held fantasy of mine by turning me over her knee as she sat up against the wall (my flat has limited OTK options due to lack of suitable chairs, or a bed which is high enough off the floor). Inbetween smacks she smoothed and stroked my bottom and thighs with her soft palms. I was lip-bitingly aware of her warm, naked skin pressing against me, her thighs under my tummy and her ample bosom smooshed deliciously against my back. When she started to spank me with my oval, light wooden paddle I thought I might die of pleasure. I whimpered and moaned, helpless with lust, and as she increased the pace I was aware that rather than shying away from the harder strokes, I was relaxing more deeply into the sensations. My body was feeding on the pain, devouring it. I felt like she could continue paddling me for ever and I could never get enough.
Afterwards, drinking pear cider and laughingly showing her some of my spanking porn collection, she confessed that she'd almost been on autopilot during that spanking. "Does that sound bad? I mean that I was so absorbed in it, the repetition was somehow lulling..." I knew what she meant. It had felt lovely, but there's an emotional edge I'm looking for in CP scenes, a narrative curve which had been there during the embarrassing counting to ten exercise, but less so when it was just spanking for spanking's sake.
I found myself thinking about this a lot after she left the next day. I had asked her to be encouraging, and while she was spanking me she had murmured something like "be brave for me, I know you can take this" - but it had felt slightly odd to hear. Not that the spanking hadn't been firm - I don't think I've ever been spanked so thoroughly with that paddle - but because, for some reason, I didn't need encouragement. I wondered if by asking her to be nurturing I had been going in the wrong direction. She had previously suggested finding reasons to punish me, being terribly strict or shouty, and I had demurred. But perhaps those modes would give me the edge I was looking for?
This whole thought process was complicated by the nagging suspicion that I shouldn't be the one deciding such things - negotiation is all very well and at a purely practical level I do have more experience, but I'm beginning to discover that most of my experience submitting to men, and playing on camera, is irrelevant to the new and exciting world she and I are exploring together. I can't tell how I'm going to react to her, so her input is at least as valuable as mine, and I'm starting to reconsider several of the things I warned her off initially. Sure, they may not have worked well for me in the past, but I'm discovering that playing with Penny works by no rules I'm familiar with; my prior preferences and boundaries don't necessarily apply.
The mini-scene with the French was utterly exhilirating. Using CP as a learning method has always appealed to me - it was a feature of my first relationship with Tom as an undergraduate, and he and I fantasised about me playing a La Maupin sort of role, with him teaching me French and fencing and how to cheat at cards. I love the student/apprentice model of submission, I love learning new things, and CP works astonishingly well for me as a learning tool. (I think I also have a "being tested on things while being punished" kink, as exemplified by this incredibly hot school scene.)
I expressed it to her in email as follows: Humiliation isn't normally my thing, but humility is lovely. I think being tested on things I should bloody well know is the latter, whereas being tested on things (or criticised for) things I couldn't possibly be expected to know is the former. While I love languages, I'm well aware how lazy a student of them I've been; criticism feels decidedly deserved. Her superior skill in languages is extremely hot, and when she puns or calls me pet names in Spanish or Gaelic I feel simultaneously flattered, delighted, and squirmily humbled by not being able to respond in kind.
As we were settling down to sleep in the early hours of last Sunday morning, she rolled over and sleepily informed me, "by the way - the French for six is six. You said seis, which is Spanish."
"Oh," I replied. And with that she curled up again, leaving me blushing anew in the dark.
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