In most ways I had a lovely weekend, but between Friday and Sunday there was something nagging at me, a constant undertow of anxiety. Every so often the thought would surface in my conscious mind, and I would be briefly paralysed by a sick dread as I remembered that the tawse on the hands was currently scoring second in my poll.
This wasn't a pleasurable fear. This was a genuine horror. I knew, without doubt, that undergoing ten or more strokes of the tawse - even a small, light tawse - on the hands would be a truly awful experience. Not the kind of awful that is secretly lovely. The kind of awful that normally I go to any length to avoid. The real suffering of a genuine punishment, and an undeserved one at that. The prospect filled me with the kind of horror normally reserved for those facing dental surgery without anaesthetic.
We play games with consent and non-consent in this kink, with pleas and nos, with resistance and fear. Believe me, I am nervous as hell about the ten cold strokes with a senior cane that I am facing now, and the fifteen strokes with a stiff, heavy tawse that will follow them. But that nervousness is accompanied by a secret anticipation of the euphoria that will follow. It is a challenge which, I feel, I am up to, and I am already looking forward to the feeling of triumph when I prove myself worthy.
But fifteen on the hands? No. No, no, no. Not for play. Not for fun. Not when I haven't done anything wrong.
Why did I offer the option on the poll, then, if it was something that I so sincerely did not want? Well might you ask: the same question has been going round my own head since Friday.
The conclusion which I've been toying with all weekend, and which I am now more confident in declaring, is that it was about submission and it was about trust. In opening myself to requests from the floor, I was simply gathering data; but in then offering you the choice of those requests, without censorship from me, I was making a sincere gesture of submission to the collective will of my readers. Had I simply deleted the hand-tawsing option from the poll I would, in effect, have retained control over my punishment. Not complete control, certainly, as the number of strokes remained in your hands and the manner of their delivery in my Dom's, but I would have been givng the virtual equivalent of a safeword.
I don't safeword often. I have them, of course, and I have used them once or twice, but only once or twice over seven or eight years. I feel that safewording disrupts the tension and mood of a scene, and if at all possible I prefer to register my displeasure within the D/s dynamic. How much resistance I am allowed to express depends on the Dom and the scene, but usually I am allowed my voice, and my Dom will then choose whether or not to listen to it.
Although I wasn't aware of doing so at the time, I dealt with the poll in the same way. I expressed my reluctance for a certain option, but ultimately, I did not veto it. Instead, I submitted to your will and trusted that you would listen to my fears, and not choose an option that would be ultimately damaging.
My submission to my Doms is, at its best, so secure because of how much I trust them. I'm fallible and young and learning, all relationships are imperfect, and of course we don't achieve absolute trust all the time. But when we click, when we're in that gorgeous space of absolute unity of will, mine to theirs, it is because I know that their will is, ultimately, the best option. They may test me, they may challenge me, but they will not harm me. And I know how much joy I get from obedience. It's a more elaborate version of the oldest test of trust. I close my eyes, fall backwards, and in those moments of freefall I know the bliss of feeling truly weightless, safe in the knowledge that they will catch me before I land.
In including the first option on the poll, I was making the same leap of trust. I tried to communicate the consequences of choosing it, as I saw them, but at the same time I would rather include it in the poll than undermine the authority I had offered you by censoring it. Doing so, even though I didn't realise it at the time, showed my trust that you would choose the responsible option. It was a risk. I was submitting to a virtual collective mostly consisting of people I don't know, distanced from me by hundreds of miles, and mob morality is famously unreliable. So I was prepared for the worst: I had planned how it would go if you chose that option, who I would ask to deliver the strokes. It would be gruelling and horrible and emotional, and the resulting video would be edgy and powerful, and afterwards there would be a pleasure in having filmed something so raw. The extremes of my suffering would have been my gift to you, who had asked for it, and once I'd recovered I would have felt proud of myself for enduring it.
But you didn't choose that option. You knew that that experience, intense as it would have been, was not the best experience for this time. You knew that, given my newness to hand punishment, such a harsh introduction would not have been appropriate. You repaid my trust.
My happiness about the results of my blogiversary experiment is not only pleasure in being able to help my friends at Northern Spanking, or glee at the banter and camaraderie that surrounded the game. It was also a turning point in my relationship with you, the readers of this blog. I took a leap of faith and you caught me. I submitted to your will, and you answered my submission my making a responsible choice. This probably sounds over the top given that half of you are strangers, but within the strange confines of this virtual, collective, relationship, I do feel that something important has occurred. I took a risk that could be described as brave or foolhardy without really knowing why, and you proved yourselves, in this small instance, to be sympathetic and trustworthy human beings. There's a kind of intimacy in that, small but real nonetheless, and after experiencing it I feel more invested in this blog than every before.
Happy blogiversary to me :) In true hobbit style, this blog will give all of you a present in honour of its birthday. You've earned it. xx
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