Last week Tom and I were idly discussing ideas to celebrate my birthday. I mentioned that I was hoping for a birthday caning; we've both been incredibly busy with work since the move, and a play session was long overdue. To my relief, he said he'd been thinking along similar lines.
"Have you bought me a present?" I asked, both bashful and hopeful. Money's tight at the moment and I forgot Tom's present earlier this year, so I wasn't going to throw a tantrum if he hadn't organised anything. My fears were put to rest by a flashing grin from him.
"Yes. Although I didn't buy it, I acquired it. And I haven't oiled it yet."
Mysteries heaped upon mysteries! I decided to not test my deductive skills on his puzzle, and look forward to my surprise.
The mystery was almost revealed last night, as we were getting ready to play. Tom was making Unknown Preparations in his room, and I was taking the opportunity to tidy up mine a bit. On my way to the bathroom I glanced through his open door and saw him feeding implements into the long leather swordbag he uses to organise toys. He noticed me looking. "Well, that's torn that one," I heard him mutter after I'd passed.
I mulled on this for a moment. We'd already agreed there would be Play, and probably a Birthday Caning. The sight of Tom packing toys, including canes, was no surprise to me. I realised there must have been something specific he wanted me to not see - an unexpected implement, perhaps. His martinet? He likes it and we don't use it much .... was he going to make me play a guessing game later? On my way back I called through the open door (without looking) and reassured him that the surprise hadn't been ruined.
"Do you want me to get changed?" I asked
"That's entirely up to you, love."
More mulling. This means: 1) He isn't planning anything particularly elaborate or formal, 2) This is going to be a consensual, erotic play session rather than challenging D/s, and 3) He doesn't have a particular fantasy he wants me to perform for him. Fair enough. We've not played much lately and relaxed is probably the way forward. Nonetheless, I decided I wanted some help getting in the mood, and swapped my combats and t-shirt for a black satin nightie which barely skims my thighs. I kept my black knickers on, though, in deference to the spanko aesthetic that wants layers to peel away (and, to be fair, to my out-of-practice bottom).
The nightie helped diminish the body self-consciousness I've been feeling lately, and also put me into that slinky, confident, grown-up "I want this" mood which is an easy way to approach my masochism when I'm feeling nervous. The collar also helped: since we moved Tom's brought out the slim black velvet collar I made a year or so ago, less uncomfortable and unwieldy than the leather one, which presses against my windpipe and is really inconvenient when giving oral sex. This one is elegant, comfortable, and I'm looking forward to slowly imbuing it with significance, until I can slip into my subby headspace just by putting it on.
I went over his knee willingly and he started lightly, spanking the bare skin below my knickers and gradually warming me up. It was so light at first I found myself holding my breath, and then it was just yummy: tingly and stingy, each little impact eliciting a brief sweet ache in my gluts. I wriggled with delight, and I'm pretty sure it was obvious I was enjoying myself from the noises I was making.
He stepped up the pace. I pushed against the smacks, trying to struggle prettily, well aware of how out of practice and wimpy I was feeling. I found it easier to deal with the pain if I envisaged the spanking as if I was watching it. It sounds really weird, fantasising about a spanking as you're being spanked, but when you're fantasising a spanking is the hottest thing in the world, and when you're being spanked it just hurts, and so combining the two kind of makes sense. I sneaked a peek over my shoulder at his hand coming down on my bare ass and that, too, made it easier to take.
When he got harder still, and sped up so his hand was landing again and again without pause, all my strategies flew out of my head. It really hurt! I found myself wriggling and whining, trying not to scream my head off, all too aware of the open window. So much for maintaining my dignity. I think there was a certain amount of involuntary pleading before he finally let me up, and when he did I was surprised to discover that I was sulking.
"I was enjoying that until you went too hard!" I pouted. He, quite rightly, ignored this moment of out-of-character bratting, gave me a rub and told me to arrange pillows in the bed for my birthday beating.
By the time I was arranged arse up, knickers pulled down to my knees and nightie tucked up around my waist, I was resolved to take what was coming to me. My sore bottom had faded to a pleasant warmth, and I was aware that despite my protests my cunt was hot and wet.
It was in that position that my surprise was revealed. "26 strokes, was it?" Tom asked casually, showing me his new toy:
He told me how he'd found it in the basement of our new house, and showed it to me with delight. I couldn't deny it was beautiful. An original vintage razor strop, left in a dusty corner by some previous owners. The embossed wording is barely legible (something about Genuine Shell Horse?) and the scrapes on the leather showed clear signs of use (I guess he didn't get round to oiling it); it is a truly unique item, and we both enjoyed the idea of the house itself making us this unexpectedly suitable gift. But mostly, all my sulky brain could think was: 26 strokes with a razor strop? That's my birthday present?
It wasn't until Tom had nipped to his room for a screwdriver so he could remove the metal link at the "business" end of the strop that I put two and two together, and realised the strokes weren't just my present, the strop itself was a gift. He'd been showing me my new toy, not his! I suddenly felt like an ungrateful wretch for not realising immediately, but fortunately I was already due the kind of strapping which would easily deal with that kind of guilt.
So, somewhat mollified but still racked with nerves, I bent over for a taste of the new strop, bracing myself for a session which I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to take.
Of course, Tom is not an irresponsible sadist, and he knew as well as I did how out of practice I was. So he started gently, letting me get a feel for the sensation and weight of the leather. As I got over my panic and adjusted to the pace he was setting, he increased the strength of the strokes. I didn't take it easily, grimacing at every stroke in my efforts to process the pain. Looking back, it was very well delivered; even at the time, I appreciated the accuracy with which he pitched the strokes, never so hard or fast it freaked me out, but enough to give me something to chew on, as it were, and to leave me satisfied. My only concern was that the strop was very weighted towards the tip, and after the third stroke in a row landed at the top of my right thigh, I started to worry about bruising. (He graciously allowed me to interrupt my whipping to tell him this; I was being unusually mouthy last night.)
It's a gorgeous implement - warm, without the same sting as a split-tailed tawse, but with a real percussive punch in the tip which could provide serious impact if used at force. By the end my sulks had dissipated enough that I even told him I'd liked it. He grinned. "Happy birthday."
I wasn't particularly surprised when he got another implement out and announced that I would be getting another 26. I complained, of course - I'm 26, not 52! - but wasn't completely wiped out yet, although I doubted I could make it through another two sets if he decided to round it up to three. The second implement was some kind of cane, and from past experience it seemed likely that he'd use a middle range one now and one of the serious ones next -
- the first canestroke shattered my thoughts, landing low on my bottom with an impact I could feel all through my hips. I cried out, remembered I needed to count, and with difficulty asked if I needed to count from 27 or 1. The next two felt just as hard, and I realised I was freaking out. This caning was way more heavy than I'd expected; the wood felt incredibly dense all along the burning line where it landed, as if several pounds of weight were condensing in that one fierce stripe. My panic must have shown in my reactions, because he paused and asked if I was okay. I'm afraid I didn't respond very submissively. I complained that I felt very bruisable, and the cane felt very heavy, and I hadn't played much lately ...
He took my concerns on board, and the next few were much easier to take. I wavered between feeling like a coward and being glad he'd listened to me. But my subby mood was lost; every time a stroke felt "too much" I responded with annoyance, and by the time I'd taken 26 strokes, even relatively gentle ones, I was thoroughly put out. His second "happy birthday" fell on profoundly ungrateful ears.
I stayed in position for a few minutes after it was over, trying to process my mood. Tom settled down beside me and offered strokings or a cuddle, but I needed to work out what was going on in my head and get over myself. I was furious with myself for slipping out of sub mode, especially when wearing my collar; rejecting the symbol in that way sets up negative reinforcement and makes it less powerful. My pride was hurt that I'd needed to ask for him to go easy on me, and I was bewildered that I hadn't enjoyed the caning as much as I'd hoped.
Eventually I cooled off, the throbbing in my bottom subsided to a pleasant buzz, and I apologised for my wobble interrupting the scene, and offered to continue if he wanted. He said he'd intended to stop after the cane (which, it turned out, was his Master cane, 12mm of dense unsmoked dragon), and tried to reassure me I hadn't wiggled out of anything he'd planned for me. I persisted, though: I think I kind of wanted to write over my unwanted reactions to the caning; get it "right" next time, achieve the intimacy and connection I was looking for. I asked for a "warm down" and hoped he'd understand what I was after.
I rejected the hairbrush and the riding crop before accepting the idea of the switch. I thought that sounded about right. I was well aware that this wasn't how a submissive behaves in scene, and I was a bit disappointed with myself for being so inflexible, but hey, at least we were talking it through.
Grateful that he was pandering to my weird mood, and determined to make things better between us, I threw myself passionately into the switching. I knelt up at the head of the bed with my elbows resting on the headboard, back arched, thighs spread, bottom out. It was everything I needed: light, playful, and hot hot hot. I felt beautiful and his again by the time my final whipping stopped, and I was soaking wet. I wanted his cock in me, and after some breathtaking preliminaries, I got exactly what I wanted. By the time he whispered a final "happy birthday" into my ear, we were both drenched with sweat, and I was happy and sated.
I suspect it'll take a little time before I'm able to be as flexible as we'd both like in scene. D/s should be about obedience, not a set-piece tailored to my expectations. I'm extremely grateful to Tom for his caution and patience in not pushing me faster than I can go. I have a huge amount of respect for his motivation in wanting to ease me back into our D/s relationship gently. But at the same time, I am hungry for the feelings 'true' submissiveness provides, and frustrated with myself for not having it to offer on tap. I want to relearn it, to let go enough that I can give him what he wants and enjoy the sense of release surrender brings, without being hung up on what I want and inadvertently topping from the bottom.
I'm aware of the irony in these noble submissive intentions still being couched in the language of I want.
This morning, of course, my bottom was unmarked despite my fears during the caning last night. I guess, at the moment, my body can take more than my head can. We've agreed that this clearly indicates that harder canings are needed. But, as Tom keeps telling me, there's no harm in being patient.
Keep reading »