Monday, February 29, 2016

Stash

By Lisabet Sarai

She should throw them away. After all, she’s married now, and a mother twice over. It’s crazy —unhealthy, even—to hold on to those tattered remnants of her past. If Ben ever found them, she knows he’d be deeply hurt.

Not that there are secrets between them, not really. She’s told Ben about her all-too-brief exploration of her submissive nature, at least in general terms. He doesn’t want to know more. The notion that she ever enjoyed being beaten or bound or “forced” into lewd actions makes him terribly uncomfortable. To be faced with evidence of her joyful depravity would not only disgust him, but also make him feel inadequate. Even after a dozen years together, her husband worries that he’s too vanilla to satisfy her. The nugget of truth in that worry is her private shame.

So she hides the letters between the pages of the New Testament her born-again mother gave her as a gift so many years before. Atheist that he is, Ben won’t touch that volume. She tells herself she’s protecting him from pain. The irony of this strategy isn’t lost on her. She remembers her mother’s shrill voice, naming her as “spawn of the Devil” because of her sexual adventures—the ones Mom somehow found out about, that didn’t include any kink.

Those well-worn epistles wait for her, stashed among St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Romans. She might not take them out for weeks, but she’s always aware of their existence, a sweet temptation calling to her from the bookshelf. Just a quick look. What harm could it do?

She works from home, transcribing medical records for an insurance company. It’s deadly dull, but pays pretty well. She can make her own schedule, and be there when the boys return from school. Mornings, though, after the kids are on the bus and Ben has left for the office—those are the hardest times. She strikes bargains with her conscience. Three more cases, then she’ll take ten minutes. Reread one letter, or at most two.

An hour later she finds herself on the floor, surrounded by dog-eared envelopes and sheets of paper dense with his firm script, her eyes and her sex both moist.

At this point, she doesn’t really read the letters so much as caress them. She knows every word by heart. Still, some of them leap from the page, echoing in that rich, dark voice he employed with such skill.

Flog.

Fuck.

Open.

Mine.

He’d used these letters to seduce her, months before they’d even touched. Somehow he knew—he always knew—what she craved. After he’d dropped out of grad school and moved across the country, she’d been the first to write, a chatty, chummy letter with only the barest hint of flirtation. How had they progressed to discussing spanking, hot wax and nipple clamps? Had she been seeking that all along?

After their first incandescent encounters, the correspondence had continued, bridging the miles between them, more thrilling and raw than ever.

It never occurred to me that you’d refuse anything I asked.

The letters rekindle that wondrous, terrifying yearning. Once again she’s the innocent, eager creature he’d somehow recognized, pliant and brave, hungry to taste his power. He’d shaped her sexual self like some sculptor of the flesh. Malleable, he’d called her. Back then, his mocking superiority annoyed her slightly. Now it makes her proud. She misses that woman, wonders if any trace of her still exists.

After all these years, she doesn’t really remember the physical pleasure, but she can summon the breathless excitement of surrender simply by opening an envelope, without reading a single line. She’s never been more alive than when she lay beneath him or knelt before him, ready to accept whatever he felt inclined to bestow. That was reality, sparking into existence once again as she scans the pages. It’s her current existence, full of mundane domestic joys and ordinary comforts, that feels like a dream.

He’s married as well at this point, to a kinky girl a dozen years younger whom he met at a munch. They exchange vanilla birthday and Christmas cards, two old friends with a secret history. She’s glad he’s not her husband. He’s critical and difficult, a perfectionist. She’s not sure she could give him what he needs now. But she did, back then. She never doubts that.

With a sigh, she slips the brittle pages back into their envelopes. A few are torn already. How many years will it be before they finally crumble to dust? Will she still be re-reading his words, re-living their past connection, when she’s a grandmother? It’s possible. She’s not ready to relinquish the letters yet, though her lack of total honesty gnaws at her. They are all that remains of the gloriously liberated, utterly devoted slave she once was.

11 comments:

  1. What a lovely flowing groove, Lisabet. Sets a sweet nostalgic mood. Thanks for that.

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    1. Thank YOU!

      There's a mix of truth and imagination here. Wonder how easy it is to see which is which.

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  2. This is a lovely twist on the old-fashioned love letters hidden away (with perhaps a sprinkling of dried rose petals between them.) Even more romantic to our relatively modern sensibilities.

    Your posts on submission and spirituality always make me examine my own confusion on the subject, never with any resolution. Does being submissive require a sense of inferiority in the face of another person's acknowledged superiority? I've known a few people with a powerful aura of authority (in one case grown into after I'd already known her for a while) but, since I was late to investigating kink and everyone I met was significantly younger than I was, it never felt right to accept any of them as authority figures. I also had the opportunity to see the strain being dominant sometimes caused. I dunno. I don't admit to being too old to learn new tricks, but I do accept the fact that there are plenty of things I'll never know.

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    1. I think there are as many answers to your questions, Sacchi, as there are people into kink. For me, there is/was never any sense of inferiority. On the contrary, my D/s relationship left me feeling very special--chosen, annointed, cherished.

      From what I can see, it is possible to be attracted to kinky activities without experiencing the deep emotional connections that characterized my own initiation into BDSM. So you might like to play with being spanked, without really having strong submissive tendencies.

      I also find it interesting that you use the word "authority" here. That's not a concept I normally associate with D/s--aside from the authority that comes from the Dom's strong intuitions about the sub's needs.

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  3. There is so much autobiography here. If I ever had a chance to visit your place I would be looking around for your Bible to see what's tucked away in it in real life.

    I think of all the art forms language arts are the most purely autobiographical. You can look at a painting or photograph and know nothing about the person who made it. But a poem or a short story or essay you have to walk away with a sense of the inner world of the person who wrote it.

    Garce

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    1. But twisted autobiography, Garce. In the real world, I discarded those letters a decade ago, largely for the reasons obvious in this piece of flash semi-fiction.

      And yes, I sometimes regret that action now. At the time I decided it was a bad idea to remain so fixated on the irretrievable past.

      Then I mine that past here at the Grip, month after month...

      (The Bible is a true bit though. It's in a box, not on my bookshelves, however.)

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  4. Lisabet, this is uncanny. I went through a similar process after I first agreed to be in a committed relationship with my sweetie (now my spouse) in 1989. My past history as a call girl was not long behind me, and I was still trying to get rid of a persistent regular, who didn't want to stop seeing me. I had several sets of matching lingerie (bra, panties, garter belt) and stockings in various colours and patterns, plus a few pairs of 4-inch heels. My johns liked all this stuff, but I could never really be sure who I bought it for, them or me. (I also had presents, esp. from one of my regulars.) My sweetie was very uncomfortable with my past, and I wondered where I could wear seamed stockings, garter belts, & heels if I wasn't "working" -- in my new role as an English instructor? With regret, I gave all that stuff away. I felt somewhat like a novice in a convent, giving up my sinful former life.

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    1. I think this would be a great start for a story, Jean.

      I still have a black satin corset I bought primarily to entertain my Master. I've only worn it once or maybe twice. Now it's stuffed in a drawer, along with the other slutty stuff I used to love wearing.

      Can't quite imagine putting it on now that I'm over sixty. Seems a bit ridiculous.

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  5. This is beautifully written, Lisabet, and it did make me wonder about the lines between reality and fantasy.

    For me, though, the idea of a submissive being malleable sends a not-good shiver down my spine. I know it's a fantasy people like, but my own abusive-kink experience rings too deeply with that. And then to see at the end that the dom is described as critical and difficult, a perfectionist… And the fantasy that he just knows what the sub needs without asking, that he selects her. All that stuff reads sinister to me in light of my experience—and that's why I can't read 90% of BDSM romance. Without that history of abuse, though, I could see myself finding it romantic and compelling.

    That said, I totally have a stash of my own—some old love letters and photos.

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    1. Hi, Annabeth,

      I was definitely curious about your reaction to this piece.

      Yeah, these are all the favorite fantasies - to be chosen by the Dom because you're "special", a "natural submissive". To have a dominant with such perfect intuition that he knows what you need and want before you do.

      The funny thing is that I had never read any BDSM erotic romance, in fact, no BDSM fiction at all, until this relationship. So where did those fantasies come from? It's a mystery.

      I don't mean to portray him as abusive or exploitative. He isn't/wasn't like that at all. His calling me "malleable" was a sort of joke between us. He liked to tease me, implying that all the magic I felt, the power that flowed between us, was just my imagination. Playing the devil's advocate.

      However, in truth, I believe (from things he's said) that he felt it too.

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    2. And -- is re-reading your stash a guilty pleasure?

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