The Pleasure’s All Mine
The Memoir of a Professional Submissive
“WE’LL START TODAY’S
demonstration with a few basic principles about mummification.”
The little man spoke confidently to the audience from a small, mostly bare stage. I felt my face redden as I listened, even though I had no idea what mummification actually meant.
Thank God they turned the lights down first,
bad enough to feel like the squarest person in here, without being caught blushing for no reason.
I’d tried to talk myself out of coming to this anonymous-looking movie theater in the Valley all morning. I’d never been around a big group of kinky people like this before, nor had it ever been a particular life-goal of mine. But I had been trying to meet another suitable man ever since breaking up with my first sexually dominant partner several months earlier. I could not stand one more blind date from the Internet with one more “SexyMasterforYou” who turned out to be someone else’s straying, dorky husband. It seemed like the only logical choice was to get out of the house and mingle with other sadomasochists in their natural habitat — North Hollywood.
I’d done an online search for kink support groups and had found the Web site for Threshold, the group that was putting on this mummification certification class, or whatever the hell was going on here. Threshold, I’d learned, had been around for ten years or so, throwing regular parties that were the equivalent of singles mixers for bondage-and-discipline types, and their new-member orientation meetings were held on Sunday afternoons. This would give me plenty of time to scope out the scene and still get to bed early that night. I had to be up at the crack of dawn for my executive secretary job during the week.
I’d been a glorified receptionist for almost two years, and did not expect to meet a kinky soul mate at the conservative nonprofit agency where I worked. I didn’t go to church or belong to a gym either, nor was I masochistic enough to sign up for swing dancing lessons at the local community college. In short, I rarely met anyone to date at all, let alone someone who shared my sexual interests. I worried that I might have lost my one chance when I broke things off with the only kinky boyfriend I’d ever had. Hoping I might be wrong about that, I’d made the drive out to the Threshold event and seated myself toward the back of the medium-sized movie theater.
From the tone of his voice, I thought the man with the microphone was smirking, but it was hard to see his expression clearly due to his handlebar mustache. “Although this kind of activity is somewhat labor-intensive, you can make it easier on yourself by having your slave do most of the prep work the night before,” he continued. I listened with increasing confusion as he described a process of cutting up sheets and mixing cornstarch and water to make the necessary supplies for turning one’s sexual slave into a mummy.
Labor-intensive? That didn’t sound very exciting to me. Where was the deep-voiced, slightly imposing older man asking for shy but pent-up female volunteers from the audience for God knows what kind of twisted pleasures on the stage in front of us? Where was the bondage, the discipline, the sadomasochism, for Pete’s sake — the “BDSM” mentioned on the Threshold Web site?
I looked around to see if I was the only puzzled member of the audience and noticed a man who bore a striking resemblance to “T,” the dominant man I had recently stopped seeing. My throat tightened and I looked away — could it be…? No. I stole another glance and saw that he was, in fact, a stranger. The hair was similar — a full head of it, brown, parted in the middle, and trimmed to above the ears — and the profile showed the same strong chin and straight nose. But the man in the theater was clearly taller than T, which was apparent even while he was seated. When I wore four-inch heels, T and I stood almost eye to eye. He had always
bigger to me than he really had been.
I shook my head and forced my attention back to the boring presentation. The man with the microphone had set it down and was dipping small pieces of cloth into a bucket filled with white goo. Another fellow was lying still and quiet on what looked like a hospital gurney in the center of the stage, in pre-mummy nakedness.
“Who wants to give it a try?” The lecturer beckoned the audience to join him on the stage, either as an additional mummy or as a mummifier. About a dozen men and women got up to join him.
I sunk a little lower in my chair, trying to face the undeniable fact that I’d been uncomfortable here since I’d arrived. Most of my fellow audience members had trickled into the theater in couples consisting of one obviously dominant and one obviously submissive person. Many men and women had a length of slim chain between them, as one held the end of a leash that led to a collar the other was wearing. There seemed to be an almost equal amount of dominant men and dominant women among them, and an equal amount of gestures between them that made me cringe.
Before the demonstration started, a man a couple of rows in front of me had whined softly at the woman who still held onto his leash, even though they were seated.
“But I just got comfortable,” he fake-pleaded, rolling his eyes in exaggerated disgruntlement. “Ouch!” he yelped, as the woman pinched his ample waist.
“You still too comfortable to get up and get me that water like I told you?”
The man scowled as he rose from his chair, and the woman giggled, as did the couple seated next to them. I had encountered a similar mentality on the online bulletin boards I’d visited in recent months, looking for clues from other women who identified themselves as being submissive, as well as the dominant men who flocked to them. It seemed to me that being submissive, to some people, indicated a willingness, if not an outright desire, to be treated like a bratty child. I didn’t even like the way most people treated real-life bratty children. I certainly didn’t want to fuck someone who thought foot-stamping and swift retaliation were suitable acts of foreplay.
If I was going to let somebody boss me around, especially in public, I’d want them to be doing things that relaxed and excited me, not put me on guard. Maybe a deep voice ordering me quietly to do things, tugging gently but insistently at the hem of my shirt or zipper of my jeans, warm hands touching me wherever they wanted to — stand here, take this off, bend over, don’t make a sound, spread yourself for me, hold this inside you, not with your hands.
Of course it would have made me painfully envious if I’d seen anything like that in the theater, but I’d have taken an excruciating blast of jealousy any day over what I actually encountered. After the pinchy pair, I’d seen another couple impersonate some regular old domestic violence down near the stage toward the bottom row of seats. The man ordered the submissive woman he was with to take her blouse off (nudity was allowed), and I could see from her face that she clearly hadn’t heard him. If I could see it, I didn’t get why he couldn’t see it, or if he had, why he’d still yelled in her face and yanked her shirt up over her head as if she’d insulted him somehow with the delay. She looked genuinely sorry, at any rate, and I felt my heart sink, for her and for me. Was I crazy to think I might ever find a sexually dominant partner who’d be nice to me?
Suddenly I felt a nudge on my right shoulder. An older man, perhaps in his sixties, was grinning at me from a couple of seats away.
“You should go down there,” he urged, pointing to the stage.
I looked at him, surprised. I could tell that he meant to be jokingly friendly, but it aggravated me. It would never occur to me to poke a stranger and tell him what he should or shouldn’t do, whether I knew he was into sexual submission or not. I resented that he had taken me for someone who was open to receiving orders just from the look of me.
“That’s not really my thing,” I said politely and shook my head, hoping to discourage further interaction.
“Well, what is your thing, missy?”
A lame attempt to make flirty small talk was one thing; calling me
was another. I wanted to tell him my thing was being left alone. And then I thought,
I don’t have it in me to be bitchy to an old man right now. Fuck!
I was just so deflated from the whole experience.
“Um.” I rolled my eyes around the room, pretending to consider his question. “You know, I’m still sort of new, and I just came here to watch.”
I offered another tight smile and heard a man’s voice cut across the rows above us.
“Leave her alone, Richard, ya pervert.”
The old guy next to me and the man who’d yelled at him chuckled warmly at each other. I turned around to see if I could get a look at the owner of the slightly scratchy, Midwestern-sounding voice.
A man with graying blond hair was smiling at me. He looked to be in his early forties — a dozen or so years older than me — and his pleasant face was almost cute, I thought. I turned back to the demonstration below, grateful to be out of the conversation with old Richard.
“We’re not always this boring,” a whispering voice came close to my left ear. I turned around, startled. The man who had teased Richard into leaving me alone had moved down a row, and was sitting directly behind me.
“It’s…” I didn’t want to bash the mummy act, but by now I just didn’t have the energy to come up with a good lie. Before I could make a stab at diplomacy, he interrupted me with a wave of his hand.
“It takes forever, it’s not that sexy-looking, there’s not even any pain involved — you don’t have to say it, I know it’s boring. I just don’t want you to be scared off from joining. Some of us are a lot livelier than this, especially at the parties.”
I laughed, relaxing a little. Maybe this group wasn’t so bad after all; maybe I was still a little defensive in the aftermath of T. The guy behind me seemed easy enough to talk to. And there was something else as well —
there’s not even any pain involved.
The words had caused a little chill to run through me.
It had been so long since I’d experienced any kind of pain that felt good. I wondered if this man was skilled at making it feel like something I’d want more of.
“I’m not scared off,” I said, and turned around in my seat so I could get a better look. He had blue eyes that crinkled into slivers when he grinned, which he seemed to be doing every time I glanced his way.
“My name’s Clark.” He reached across the back of my seat and I shifted to shake his hand. He gave me a firm and gentle squeeze before settling back into his chair.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Joan.”
“So, you going to join? You can come to our next party if you do — it’s in a couple of weeks.”
“I don’t know really. I’ve never been to a party like that and I’m not sure I’m ready, honestly.” Everything I had done with T had been just the two of us in hotel rooms, and I had been self-conscious enough even then.
“You ever played before, or is this all new to you?”
“Both, I guess. I had a, um, Master” — I still felt weird using the term, but wasn’t sure what else to call him — “for about a year and a half, and we did a lot of things together. That ended a few months ago. But I still feel pretty new.”
“I’d be happy to help you change that, if you like.” It came out more like a half-joking offer of assistance than a smarmy come-on, which made me laugh.
“Thank you, but I’m probably not ready to play publicly,” I began. He cut me off.
“I didn’t mean just at the party. I meant if you’re comfortable coming to my place or having me over, I’d love to play with you.”
“How do you know that you’d love to play with me?” I asked, feeling slightly suspicious for the first time.
“I know that you’re polite. I know that you’re genuinely submissive.” He looked at me seriously.
I didn’t want to badger him, but I wanted to know why he was so sure of the latter assessment. Was it just because I’d mentioned having a previous dominant partner? How did he know we hadn’t broken up because I
genuinely submissive, whatever that even meant?
“I know that you’re cute—” He crinkled his eyes at me again. “—and I think I’d be a good person for you to play with. You have a lot of anxiety, and we’ve already established that I’m safe and experienced.”
“It’s true that I don’t get a creepy vibe from you, but just because you haven’t attacked me here in public doesn’t necessarily prove anything.”
Clark laughed without a trace of defensiveness. I knew for sure that I liked him then.
“I have to go, but here’s my number.” I bent to grab a pen out of my purse. I was afraid if I stayed any longer, I’d end up following Clark home that very day in a rush to finally get some physical relief. “I’m pretty busy through the week, but maybe we could talk sometime next weekend?”