Failure: a (true) love story

I didn’t call red, but the scene was definitely over. I curled into a fetal ball and cried, and I pretended not to hear my Dom’s instructions to clean up myself and our toys. That would really mean it was done.

I’m fine now. I said, sniffling.He shook his head and smiled. You’re so pathetic.The way he spoke to me and moved to collect me from my puddle of self pity told me that he was satisfied, even if I was not. Actually, probably even more so because I was not. I failed, and it hurt me. I felt broken. I should not have been surprised that my pain turned my sadistic partner on.We were doing a pretty routine medical procedure scene: half play, half legitimate therapy for the aches and pains I feel from throwing myself daily at metal stripper poles and wooden floors. When I’m not playing hard, I take it upon myself to beat my body thoroughly with strenuous physical activity. Everything about our scene that night was objectively familiar, from the rituals we performed to prepare ourselves and our playspace, to the implements he selected from our well stocked Husky tool box. I could not explain why I felt so unsettled, but the short gasps of breath that I could manage as we played did little to reconcile me. As things got more intense and less familiar, I panicked. I begged for a minute to catch my breath. He declined.

I trust my partner completely, and to react as if I didn’t felt shameful. I felt like my own audience, sitting in a movie theater, yelling at the screen and telling myself to stop being such a fucking pussy. I watched in horror as he chased me around the room. Was that really me freaking out? ME? He finally pinned me down with his feet, a huge grin on his face that I’ll never forget. His eyes were practically glowing. It was so fucking hot, but that didn’t stop me from struggling free again. In animal-like desperation, I started licking myself all over. If he wanted to prick me with needles now, he’d (presumably) have to clean me off again with rubbing alcohol. That’s what I expected him to do, I wanted him to hit my reset button. I couldn’t believe my ears when he told me we were done.

I reminisce on this scene, and wonder at the unexpected landmines the hypodermic needles prodded in my flesh. In that moment my body and mind were so strange to each other. I fixate on and savor the swell of anxiety that rose in my chest, and locate the moment that it spilled over and I lost control. His face is my most precise memory, because in that moment I felt echos of every time he had ever scared me.

In that moment and every moment like it I know I’m in love with him.

Tears of fear turned to bitterness. Falling short of my expectations felt so much worse than spilling blood. My partner spoke to me in a soothing voice, calling me by my favorite pet names—his dumb thing, his silly and pathetic thing—and told me how amazing it was to see the wild look in my eyes. I needed to sulk, but it felt good in a weird way to be petulant. I liked being told to clean up. Even though the scene was over, I needed to stay in that small and submissive headspace a little longer. Long enough to knows that I wasn’t a bad sub, and that I wouldn’t be rejected for not taking everything.

If the goal of a submissive is to please her Dominant, I did just that. The idea of a “good submissive” that tortured me was my own ideal, not his. What use was that fantasy if it didn’t align with what was actually turning my partner on? After more self indulgent, self pitying sniffles, but I let go of my ego. It felt sexy to have fucked up. My partner held me, told me how hot it was, asked me to lick myself again like I had during our scene, and continued to be turned on by this days later. And I did, too.

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