Sunday, June 24, 2012

Harder Than It Looks

By Lisabet Sarai

To G. 

Again. He doesn't even bother to verbalize the command, merely gestures, palm up, signaling me to repeat the move, for what must surely be the fiftieth time.

My fatigued quadriceps scream in protest as I roll from a kneel back onto the balls of my feet, then rise to stand before him. My calves quiver, threatening to cramp. I inhale and release the air in a long, slow stream, willing the tension away as I've been taught. The pain ebbs a bit.

There's a puddle of sweat at the small of my back, where I hold my hands clasped, pretending I'm bound. Skin adheres to sticky skin, under my arms, under my breasts. My hair is a limp mess, plastered to my forehead.

I keep my eyes down, focused on my bare feet, looking, I hope, respectful and demure. His eyes rake over my naked body, noting every defect in my posture and demeanor. I straighten my spine and elevate my rib cage, to present my eager breasts.

“Better,” he says, in that deep, rich voice that feels so much like a caress. “Except for that wobble near the end. Keep your abdominals tucked, to help you balance. Imagine that you're about to be suspended, that the rope is pulling you up, up, irresistible. You don't need to do anything at all. Let go and let the energy draw you upwards.”

I cast a sidelong glance at Sylvie and Gloria, comfortably shackled on the sofa to my left. How I envy their effortless grace! But the simple, lovely ease in their movements is all illusion – the product of long hours of training. Those of us who crave discipline love to fantasize about being natural submissives – just waiting for our fated master to recognize us and make our perverse imaginings real. In truth, there's nothing natural about being a slave. Every gesture and pose must be learned.

Still, I suppose some of us may have more aptitude than others. At this point, exhausted and frustrated, I feel like the class dunce.

“Down,” he orders. I think of water – fluid, yielding – as I lower myself once more to my knees. Every muscle hurts. This time I manage to avoid stumbling. Back arched, taut nipples offered to tempt his fingers, I let out the breath I've been holding. The scent of my pussy wafts out from between my spread thighs. I'm amazed to realize that I find even this agonizing repetition arousing, when he's the one controlling it.

He circles my kneeling form. I bow my head, awaiting his verdict. How I crave even the smallest nugget of his praise! He's close enough to touch, but of course I resist that temptation. Instead, I watch the way he taps his riding crop against his leg. Is he pleased? Annoyed? I know he won't strike me with the crop, no matter how much I might want that fiery kiss. No, he understands the perversity that motivates a sub like me; I might perform less well, simply to invite his punishment.

“Again,” he says. “You're trying too hard, Lisa. Let the movement flow from the inside out. Imagine the slave you'd like to be. See yourself yielding to me, and let your body follow that image.”

I drag myself back to my feet, then, at his nod, sink to the floor once more. I'm almost too tired to care. My limbs tremble. I can hardly command them to move. He's so perceptive; can't he see that I'm close to the breaking point?


We repeat the exercise another half dozen times. I am desperate simply to get through this trial, more difficult to bear in its way than the tightest shibari, the hardest caning. Why doesn't he stop? I'm getting worse, not better.

“Again.” The same instruction, but I think, this time, that I detect a hint of sympathy in his tone. He sees what this costs, what he's asking from me – but he doesn't hold back. “Up now. Again.”

Suddenly the truth breaks through my fog of fatigue, like afternoon sun slicing through thunderheads. This isn't about the way I move, kneel, hold myself. He's not just training my body so that I won't disgrace him when he takes his slaves out to play in public.

No, this is itself as much a surrender as opening my mouth to his cock, my ass to his fist, my mind to the products of his obscene imagination. Stand, kneel, stand, kneel – I've honored him with my devotion, promised my obedience, and now he's showing me what that means. I must trust him in all things, comply with all orders, no matter how banal or unerotic they may seem.

He's testing me. He doesn't care how clumsy I am. As long as I honestly try to obey, I'm passing the test.

New energy ripples through my weary body. It crackles up my spine, raising me to my feet in one swift, fluid motion. I feel as though it would take very little for me to rise further, soaring and wheeling above my master and my fellow slaves, while they gazed up in wonder.

“Perfect.” He draws his fingers through my tangled locks then cradles my cheek with his palm. Unutterable joy swells my chest. “I knew you could do it, Lisa. I'll be proud to have you wearing my collar this weekend.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“I think you deserve a reward for all your hard work. Maybe I'll have Gloria fuck you with her strap-on, while you eat Sylvie's cunt. And I'll whip all three of you.”

“Whatever you like, sir,” I reply, trying to keep the excitement out of my voice though I know he can smell my fresh-flowing juices. Sometimes he takes cruel delight in arousing, then denying us.

“But first - let's practice the move a few times more.”

I crumble to my knees, grateful, horny, ready to give him my last ounce of strength - if that's what he requires.


  1. Wow. This got to me. I think I read it at just the right moment, because its Sunday morning and the house is asleep and I'm reading your Bangkok Noir novel, so i really feel the sound of your writing. Right now i'm just at the part where ajarn is going to the hotel to meet the detctive.

    BDSM is still such a mystery to me because it seems so foreign to my nature, that it makes me wonder if its not as foreign to my nature as i might think. Maybe its just a forbidden door instead. When I read these passages it makes me wonder about myself.


  2. Hi, Garce,

    Does the story make you uncomfortable?

    Is there a component of pleasure in that discomfort?

    Even people actively involved with BDSM can have an ambivalent attitude toward what they're doing. You ask yourself, "Do I really want this? Why am I doing this? What ever possessed me to agree to this?"

    At the same time, you can't resist. You want the experience - both the physical sensations and the closeness.

    It IS a mystery.


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