“Here, I wanted to show you this.” He gives me a cane made of transparent plastic with a metal handle. It’s light and very supple. I give my arm a light smack, it stings slightly.
“Oh, nice!” I beam.
“You could try it,” he says.
“Maybe, but who could I try it on?” My eyes go through the room full of people who talks and laughs. We are at a party, a party I have been looking forward to for over a week. The only thing that’s missing here is my date, she couldn’t come.
“You could try it on me.”
The voice belongs to a man I already have scratched and pinched quite a bit. I used his back as a scratching board. It was my first time trying anything like that, ever. It was fun to scratch, but I liked to pinch him even more. To find the nerve on the inside of his upper arm, catch it between my thumb nail and index finger, press hard and twist, either slow or fast. His grimaces and sounds were hilarious.
“Are you sure?”
I already know the answer, but I have to ask. The scratching and pinching was kind of natural for me, hitting someone with a cane does not come effortlessly to me, not by a long shot. I decide to try it anyway. It’s a safe enough setting for me to dare it. I have talked to him several times, the guy who owns the cane is a friend and shows me how to hold and use the cane, and we are hardly alone since we are still in the main room of the party.
We start off using a number system. One is weak and ten is, if not Red – then too close for comfort. After several light blows I get a three but don’t seem to get any higher. The cane owner gives me a tip on how to hold it and how to land it to make it stingier.
More threes follow and a woman asks to try a couple of times. The masochist readily agrees and she gives him some swipes and gets seven and eight without any trouble at all.
“You should try to reach that number, or more,” she says with a smile and gives the cane back to me.
I continue to hit him and slowly I get four, five and six. It might have something to do with the fact that his skin is now red, purple and blue and quite swollen. Unwillingly he gives me a seven, but I have decided I want an eight, so I continue to whack him.
“Just hit him harder,” someone says. “Bend your arm backwards a bit to get more force.”
“I don’t want to put someone’s eye out,” I answer.
People push their chairs farther away when I look around.
“What about his eyes?” I nod at the masochist.
The guy who owns the cane covers the masochist’s eyes and I bend my arm a bit farther back to try and give him a proper whack.
“Seven and a half.”
“Seven and a half.”
“Seven point seven.”
I let the hand that holds the cane hang down and set the other hand on my hip.
“Now you are just being difficult,” I stated. “I want whole numbers, thank you very much.”
“He is provoking you,” someone in the crowd says.
“I got that,” I say with a smile. “Whole numbers now.”
“Okey, okey!” The masochist says.
He almost screams the word. His skin is now even more swollen and full of different colors that aren’t natural skin color at all.
I feel a smile stretch over my face.
“Yay!” I say happily and clap my hands together.
Applause fills the room.
I give the cane back to the owner with thanks and the masochist and I talk for a little while. I let my fingertips stroke over the puffy and beaten skin and worry a bit that I did something wrong. It was the first time that I ever hit someone and I’m a worrier at heart. He ensures me that everything is alright.
“May I use my nails on that skin now?” I ask.
I set my long nails down where the skin has the most color and try to dig them under his skin before I twist a bit this way and a bit that way. He grimaces and gives small sounds. I dig a little harder and his mouth opens a bit. I stop and let go off the skin.
We talk a bit more and he suddenly says:
“I have been planning to get you to hit me for weeks.”
“I kind of knew.”
I’m not usually any good at taking hints, but the hints he had been giving me was anything but subtle. Not that he had been pestering me or anything of the kind. He just made it very clear the he would be delighted if I wanted to beat on him sometime.
Later that evening I talk to my new newbie friend (NN from here on) about it and she tells me two things that I didn’t realize, or at least didn’t think about.
One, we had quite an audience while I did my best to make him say eight. I knew that, on some level, since we were in the main room where most of the people were. But I didn’t really think about it or that it meant that there was an audience. They could be talking with each other for all I knew, or cared, right then. I don’t think of myself as an exhibitionist, but maybe I have to reconsider, at least in some situations.
Two, while I did smile and grin a lot, my face was often completely slack because I concentrated so hard on hitting him (and scratching and pinching him earlier). There is no doubt that I was very, very focused while I whacked him with the cane, but I didn’t realize exactly how focused before later. I believe that it was a good thing.
When I went home that night I was happy and a little unsure about myself. I had hit another human, several times. He had asked for it, literally, but still … I had hit another human so there were marks, and a lot of them. I fell asleep still feeling a little guilty because of what I had done.
The day after the party the masochist sent me a message about the night before and thanked me for hitting him. He did say thank you several times at the party, but I didn’t really hear him because I questioned myself and what I had done, and had liked doing. This time I let myself understand the thank you. We wrote a bit back and forth. I asked how he felt and if everything was alright and he assured me that he was more than fine and completely functional.
I told him that I had been feeling guilty and he said I had no reason to and begged me not to feel guilty before he admitted that he felt a bit guilty too. His guilt was about making a show out of the beating when he had the impression that I wasn’t an exhibitionist at all. I told him that his thanks had helped me get past the guilt and that he didn’t need to worry about the fact that people had been watching, I hadn’t noticed and it didn’t bother me after the fact either. We concluded that the “aftercare chat” had helped us both get over the doubts and self-reproach.
I don’t feel guilty now. Now it’s more like a little part of me thinks that I should feel guilty, even if I don’t. Or maybe because of exactly that – I feel guilty for not feeling guilty.
No one said it has to make sense.
The next time I give someone pain, I want it to be my date. We have been talking about it a couple of times. The number system seemed to work pretty well, maybe we could try that, but any kind of communication would work so long there is communication all the way.
I haven’t tried biting yet and I really want to bite her …