Powerful Enough to Submit Again

I’ve been watching the bruise on my leg bloom and change colour for days. It’s the work of a dog, not a sadist, but it reminds me of sexier times when there was a parade of marks so abundant that I took them for granted: all those stamps of ownership, of memory, of excess are almost forgotten now.

Almost.

My last dominant was a bruise that bloomed and changed colour for years. I’ve pressed on it every now and then to see if it still hurts. It doesn’t. I have successfully recovered, and these days, I feel something—some kind of root or limb—is missing. I’m not quite myself without my kink life.

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When I left the dominant before him, I used to keep all his protocols and rules. Not following them made me feel crippled, so I wore the sheer dresses and the ben wah balls. So I kept a strict diet of chastity. So I wrote him letters he’d never see.

Vanilla relationships never left such a hopeless gasp behind them. There was grief, but not this godawful feeling that something was missing. It makes sense, I suppose, because finding BDSM felt like finding the missing part of my body. Kink made me walk with my shoulders back and my spine stretched high. It covered the world in a gossamer haze that made everything seem like magic.

Two years ago, I had to decide whether to emerge from my last relationship scarred and hardened or new and pliable. I chose the latter, so I said no to the sadist with the gift for comedy and the one with the sensitive touch. Choosing them would have required me to take the quick, ineffectual shortcut to healing. I wanted more for myself, so here I am, studying this bruise.

I miss having BDSM on tap—the secret pain on the back of my throat and thighs; the daily rules; the constant adventures. Still, I’m a better person than I was three years ago: Less fickle and more at peace. This is quite a different picture than you’d have found if after my last breakup. The very earth on the Planet of Me was razed and black. I felt as though my skin had been burned off all the way down to the tendons.

This is how a BDSM romance ends: all in tatters and blood. What else can you expect when you’re giving up your very soul to submission? D/s becomes the backbone of your life when you’re a sub, so taking the dynamic away is like collapsing inward, all folds and flesh.

But then the day ends. The nights pass. On go the years. You build a new spine; a strong and softer you. You become powerful—just powerful enough to submit again.

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