Posted June 28, 2016on:
Back to 2010 again, and the closure of Black Lace had forced me to gambol in some fresh woods and pastures new. One of the most fertile of these was Cleis Press, the veteran San Francisco-based indie publishing house behind one of my favourite contemporary erotic books, Carrie’s Story.
My story Sunday In The Study was the first of many to be accepted by one of the biggest names in the business, Rachel Kramer Bussel. It appeared in her male dom/female sub collection Please, Sir – and I can tell you, I was absolutely thrilled to bits when I got my acceptance. I felt like I’d broken America, hahaha. Well, it was a nice feeling while it lasted…
The book is an excellent hot read on one of my favourite themes and includes stories by Shanna Germain, Elizabeth Coldwell, Sommer Marsden, Mercy Loomis, Tess Danesi, Heidi Champa, Emerald, Yolanda West, Isabelle Grey, Remittance Girl, Evan Mora, Doug Harrison, Alison Tyler, Aimee Pearl, Kissa Starling, Charlotte Stein, Ariel Graham, Lisabet Sarai, Salome Wilde, Donna George Storey and Rachel Kramer Bussel.
And I love the coy look on the cover model’s face.
Here’s the opening of my story:
I never know how long he will make me wait.
Never less than five minutes, usually between ten and twenty, and on one unfondly recalled occasion I was standing hands-on-head listening to the steady tick of the grandfather clock behind me for over an hour.
This, he says, is Reflection Time. I am to spend it thinking through any of the week’s tribulations or missed opportunities, and considering how I will account for them. That is the theory, although in practice these tense minutes lend themselves to speculation. How many? How long? What will he use? Will I be able to sit at the family dinner afterwards?
Later I will find myself in reflective mode once more, but this time I will be facing a corner, holding my hands clasped in the small of my back, above my bare and throbbing bottom. This is Recovery Time, and usually lasts half an hour – long enough for tears to dry and sins to be absolved before we move into the final stage of the process – forgiveness and reconnection.
You will gather from all of this that Sinclair and I are lovers of ritual. What holds us together is something more than our mutual kink, our undeniable attraction and all the usual romantic folderol. It is our need for this Sunday to be like every other Sunday in essence, even if certain elements are allowed to vary. It is my need for correction and his for control. When we were younger, my Sundays were spent in church, while he captained the school cricket team. As adults, we have exchanged these rituals for their deviant counterpart. He dominates, as he did his ten bowlers and batsmen; I submit, as I did to the God I worshipped. But this time there is nothing unpredictable, nothing unknowable, nothing to fear. It is all so much more satisfying.
Tick…perhaps the strap…tock…I hope not the cane…tick…but then again…tock…I like the cane…tick…I must be insane…tock.
The door opens.
I know the drill. I remove my hands from my head and lower my eyes, letting them drift over the familiar pattern of the Persian runner, through the doorway and across the highly polished oak floorboards. My feet follow their gaze until they are stopped by the obstacle of his desk.
I love his desk. It is so antique it even has an inkwell. When I am bending over it, I can see my face in the mirror shine, though I tend to screw my eyes shut rather than watch my contorted expressions. Rarely, he requires me to keep them open – for instance, on the day that he invited his dominatrix friend to watch and take notes. I had to look her in the eye through twenty four strokes of the tawse, an almost impossible task, though I am proud to say I managed it to their satisfaction.
He walks, always in a slow, stately fashion, from the door to the desk. He stands on the other side of it, looking down at me with his more-in-sorrow-than-anger face for a moment.
‘Well, Beth, here we are again,’ he says. ‘I wonder if the day will come when I do not have to waste my Sunday morning taking you to task over imperfections of behaviour.’ We both know it will not. ‘No answer to that, hmm? Well, it does seem a very distant prospect to me as well. Now then.’
He seats himself and pulls over a large book, a leatherbound ledger. Large as it is, after two years it is already half-filled with page after page of copperplate script, remembrances of crimes past and their associated sentences. He opens it, flipping the leaves to where the ribbon bookmark lies across a blank expanse.
Not blank for long though, for soon a fountain pen is slanted between his elegant fingers, dipped in the inkwell and put to the page. As he writes, he talks, his murmur following the looping progress of the pen.
‘Sunday June 18th,’ he says, then he holds the pen in suspended animation and looks at me. ‘What should I write, do you think? Any ideas?’