Monday, March 26, 2018

Promises, Promises -- #bdsm #promises #soulmate

Red Ribbon

By Lisabet Sarai
 
I was sure he was the One. But then I’ve felt the same about so many others—my serial soul mates.

Let me back up. I’ve written many times here about my initiation into BDSM, about how profoundly it changed my view of myself and the world. I may have given you the impression that my relationship with my Master was all about sex. That’s not at all true. What made the experience so thrilling was not the physical pleasure (or the pain), but rather the sense of connection and utter trust. G taught me the exquisite joy of total surrender. He coaxed me to open myself to him, mind and body. When I did, I reaped exquisite rewards.

My love for him was profound, though at the time I believed he saw me only as his plaything. I didn’t know him nearly as well as he seemed to know me. I see now that he loved me, too, in his own way, though he never told explicitly used the words. Now I understand him much better, almost forty years after that first incandescent fuck that demonstrated his power. He’s sentimental, vulnerable, an incurable romantic, despite his sometimes rude or mocking ways. I was just blind.

So I thought it was arrogant possessiveness, not love, when he asked for my promise. He wanted me to guarantee that if I thought I’d found someone else, I’d come to see him first so he could win me back. I willingly gave my word. I didn’t want anyone else anyway. Though he and I lived four hundred miles apart, me in southern California, he in the north, we visited as often as we could. He was my Master. The relationship wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t imagine wanting to sever our ties.

Then I met M. I was susceptible, alone in the city, working at my challenging first job as a professional, trying to adjust to living in a culture radically different from my New England upbringing. M was sitting on the steps of his building a few blocks from my apartment. He gave me a crooked grin, invited me out to dinner, gave me a ride in his sports car, got me high, fucked me with a single-minded intensity in which I should have recognized echoes of my Master, but didn’t. I was dazzled, suddenly in love. M took me over, both physically and emotionally. We fit, physically, and we seemed to share a kind of telepathic communication, especially when we were in bed together.

For more than a month we spent every night and every weekend together. He told me he loved me. I was head over heels, sure he was the One, thinking (bizarre as it sounds now) about marriage.

Still, there was that promise I’d made to G. If I was about to become monogamous with M, I owed it to my Master to tell him personally. I flew up to San Francisco, as I had so many times before, though instead of the usual excitement I felt dread. What would G say? What would he do?

I imagined him grabbing me, throwing me on the bed, screwing me as hard as he could—reminding me that he owned me. Those images reawakened my excitement. He was my Master. He would reclaim me. I was his. Away from M, the influence of my new lover faded. Nervous, conflicted, I hoped that G would help me make up my mind.

Instead, he cried.

Have I told this story before? How helpless I felt in the face of his abdicating his authority over me? How silly I felt for keeping that promise? Not to mention disappointed, even betrayed? He was my Master. He was supposed to be strong.

That was one of the worst weekends in my life. G was sullen, nasty, self-pitying. I can’t remember if we had sex, but if we did, it didn’t fix things.

I returned to my new home, my job, my new lover.

Three weeks later M disappeared for the weekend. Unable to contact him, I was frantic. Remember, we’d been spending almost all our free time together. I worried that he’d been in an accident, that he was ill somewhere, even that he’d been kidnapped. I didn’t know what to do.

Monday morning I found out he’d been in Las Vegas, marrying his former girlfriend. I grieved. At the same time, I cursed myself for being such a fool.

That wasn’t the end of my relationship with my Master, of course. Even now, we still call one another “lover”. We communicate by email, talk by phone occasionally, meet every half decade or so if we can. Still, I think my reckless decision to tell him I’d found someone else damaged us in some fundamental way. Or perhaps the sight of him in tears at the thought of losing me undermined his authority as my Master.

I sometimes wonder—fantasize, actually—what would have happened if he’d been more forceful. If he’d claimed me as he’d hinted he would, when I showed up at his door. Would we still be together? Would I have been able to give him the devotion he needed, over the long term? Would we still be playing kinky games, even though we’re both senior citizens?

I’ll never know. I kept my promise. What would have happened if he’d kept his?


8 comments:

  1. I've always been leery of making promises. We don't have a crystal ball, but we can certainly understand that a promise made is likely to be broken at some time or other. Unforeseen forces will undoubtedly come into play. Why make the promise in the first place? As if somebody just getting married knows what the future holds. If something as ubiquitous as marriage can't convince human beings of a commitment lasting forever, why a simple promise?

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    1. You're certainly right, promises can be perilous.

      When you're deeply involved emotionally, though, you WANT to make promises. You want to believe in forever.

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  2. We know, in theory, to be careful what we wish for, but we may be even worse at being careful what we promise. Promises that involve a fairly distant future seem easy to make, but when that future becomes now, the promise can be impossible to keep.

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    1. All too easy to make a promise, actually. Especially in the heat of the moment.

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  3. I remember reading a version of this story before, Lisabet, and it's heartbreaking. Both you and your Master were deeply hurt by M, who apparently got away scot-free (unless some kind of karma got him later, which I hope). I'm always moved that your Master showed you his feelings. I wouldn't consider it weakness.

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    1. Yeah, I've been here so long (9 years at the Grip) that I'm starting to repeat myself!

      Actually, I was angry at M so much as stunned. I knew he had a history with this other woman.

      Fortunately this is one of the only relationships I've had that ended really painfully.

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  4. For many years I had a special promise with a lover: if either of us needed the other, we'd throw out anyone already in the room, to accommodate each other. It went back to our college days. It was good sex, but not set-the-world-on-fire sex. But he had a roving eye and so did I. The few times we were in public together, I realized that even when he was with me, he was still scoping out the other choices. So when I met my husband, and he called me, I told him he could come over one last time. Once he got there, I explained that briefly, I had almost convinced myself I was in love with him. Of course, he'd gone and gotten married in the meantime. I came to my senses, eventually, and didn't want to ever see him again. I wasn't about to continue to pine for someone who only thought about me when the others he'd hit on all said no. He was shocked, hurt, and said with wonder that it had never occurred to him that I had any feelings for him other than an itch that needed scratching. And that he was sad that our promise was going to be broken, once and for all. But it was, and I did it.

    Then I promised to love my husband, in front of a judge, God and our families. That's a promise I still enjoy keeping. Live and learn, right?

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    1. Hi, Fiona!

      That sort of promise seems very romantic at the time. Only later does it turn out to be impractical!

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