I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Some experiences teach me many lessons all at once, others go right over my head and I end up wondering what the point of the lesson even was. I think if I have learned anything over the past couple months I have learned there is more pleasure to be taken simply for pleasure’s sake than any amount of punishment could provide. In my field I spend a lot of time educating parents and educators on the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline being the day to day guidance that leads a person to want to do right and punishment being the negative consequences associated with not meeting a certain set of expectations. There is room for both in a D/s relationship. I am not going to spend a considerable amount of time explaining how I see the difference when I know we all bring our own experiences and reflections to the table.
Richard is not a believer in punishment. It is outside of his way of thinking that I could ever do anything that would require ‘punishment’ from him. He’s not into bratty subs as Ms. Anna explained to me early on in our realtionship. He just expects immediate obedience in all things. He makes me want to please him. There are two million reasons why I like this but I will just share a couple….he has very clear expectations of me. I have communicated to him that I falter when my choices are not clear, when my options are laced with ambiguity. I need black. I need white. Anything in the middle- no thank you. Because our communication is so open he is aware of my needs. As aware of my needs as I am of his expectations of me. They have equal importance and are the basis of this sort of relationship. Usually they flow together quite smoothly. On this day, for whatever the reason- they did not.
I have to admit I am not sure why I feel the need to share this here…this is one of the only things I have considered writing that I am hesitant about. I feel a sense of shame and a deep sense of humiliation that I deserved to be punished the way I was. It’s a hard thing to admit to.
I knew he was upset with me as he pulled the ropes from my body. He wasn’t being gentle at all. There was impatience and irritiability in his eyes and it showed through his hands. I usually like how his eyes and hands connect..when his eyes are hard and flashing so are his hands…when his hands are nurturing and kind…it is mirrored in how he touches me. I like this. At this very second I didn’t. I like to watch two things when we are together (other than the floor)..his eyes and his hands. Both do amazing things to my insides. I found I couldn’t watch either one as he untied me because they both made me feel bad.
I knew I should have never fought him the way I did. I was being stubborn and wasn’t able to get my head in the right place. I have ways to commnicate to him when I am at my limit or just feeling as if I could lose it. I didn’t follow procedure because I had internalized everythng to the point where all I wanted to say was NO. It wasn’t that I was in an incredible amount of pain..I wasn’t. I couldn’t focus…couldn’t get past my own discomfort to meet his needs. I was not a very good submissive.
Richard had already realized my emotional state was not as solid as it should have been. So once he untied me I felt his annoyance drift away as he held me. He rubbed my back and encouraged me to cry..to let it out if I felt I needed to. I don’t cry- not like that anyway. I allowed him to nurture me. I needed that and I felt safe, cared for and very small as he held me and whispered to me that I was OK. I remember his touches across my back and the small circles his hands were making over my skin. His touch calmed me and I regained my focus. With focus comes clarity. And with clarity comes the recognition that I had screwed up. Richard started to talk to me about what went wrong. I could tell he needed to know I was OK before we moved on. His next words suprised me. “I don’t like doing this. I have to punish you, you know.”
Of course I knew. It isn’t as if Richard has given me a zillion insane rules to follow. His expectations are high but simple. Just do as I am told. He has given me the tools to communicate to him if I am in trouble, he expects me to use them. He doesn’t expect me to struggle and tell him no.
“I know.” I said my voice small. I knew Richard was way too smart to punish his little masochist with anything resembling pain. I could also tell by his voice he already knew what he was going to do to me. It unnerved me and I felt flushed with anticipation as I half sat up and looked into his face. “What are you going to do to me?”
Across the room from the bed was a large, heavy wooden cabinet. It looked like a closet, was as large as a closet and had two full length doors. He pushed my hair off of my forehead and gave me a half smile. He nodded towards the cabinet. “I want you to go over to the cabinet, open the doors and get inside.”
My heart stopped. A fear of mine is being locked away. I have eroticized this in my head but never when it was tinged with punishment or his disappointment. I truly didn’t want to go to the closet. I couldn’t imagone anything worse than being separated from him right now when I felt so vulnerable and small.
“Really.” I questioned hoping he would break a smile, hug me and say he was kidding. Richard isn’t like that though. He was really going to lock me away from him, he was really going to make me sit in a dark cold lonely closet. It was the hardest walk I had ever taken. I opened the door and peered inside. It was dark and the wood looked shiny and cold. I was brave enough to ask for a pillow…after all I had just been caned less than an hour before. He granted my request and handed it to me. I put the pillow down on the floor of the cabinet and stepped inside. I am barely an inch over five feet tall so I could have stood in the cabinet without a problem but it felt natural for me to sit. I sat down and wrapped my arms around my knees and rested my chin on my knees. The cabinet was designed to only be closed from the outside so Richard got up and closed the door. Before he did he knelt in front of me and looked me in the eye. “Think about ‘No’ while you are in here.”
He shut the door and my first thought was of how dark it was. How it felt like a small lonely world -where all the nurturing that I had felt a few minutes ago was unallowed. I was cold and felt frightened- I am not sure of what but I did. I felt hot tears collect in my eyes. I felt humiliated and shamed that I was there, that I was being punished for letting him down. I hated the feeling. I hated that I hadn’t met his expectations to the point where he felt the need to punish me. I felt humbled and deserted. In my mind the minutes ticked by. I felt like I was in the cabinet for a very long time.
Finally I heard his voice through the wood. “You can come out now.” When I stood up and pushed the door open he was leaning on the bed with pillows behind his back. i found I couldn’t quite meet his eye. He threw the covers back and motioned for me to come lay beside him. I scrambled across the bed and snuggled against his warmth. I whispered how sorry I was and he told me it was over. He held me like that for a long, long time.