I got an email lately, from a woman who told me I wasn’t allowed to publish her note. She told me all about her relationship with a man who repeatedly hurt her emotionally and displayed disrespect for their relationship, and she wanted my advice.
I gave her the short answer: he’s broken, you can’t fix him, dump him. As I typed that reply to her, I winced, because my left hand was sore. I’ve got a whip-weal across the backs of my fingers, half a dozen thin red lines of slightly raised flesh. It’ll be fine tomorrow, but right now, it’s still tender.
How’d that happen? Well, I had my hand on someone’s ass while I was beating it, quite viciously, with a thin little rubber whip. And I missed my target and hit my own hand. My aim with a whip is almost always very accurate – good eyesight and a lot of practice will get you that. But occasionally, even I get off-center.
(Why did I have my hand there at all? To keep an ass-toy from popping out.)
It was pretty painful, but I bit my lip and didn’t yelp, and just kept the scene going. That’s what you do.
But it reminded me of a fundamental truth: some rules are the same for everyone. Whips hurt, whether you’re the top or the bottom. Emotional wounds hurt, too, no matter who you are. You can be a Gorean master, or a smart-ass masochist, or an old-school Mistress. But all those roles, and those aspects of who we are, mean nothing when it comes to basic ethics and integrity. The rules are the same there. Being kinky never exempts you from that. I personally think that sexual outlaws should make doubly sure that our honor and integrity is in place, because the world would have us think that we forfeit that when we pick up – or bend over for – the whip.
So if you write to me, you can tell me all about what you and your partner do in the playroom, and what you call yourselves and your relationship, but many times, that’s all just smoke obscuring the main issue. Step back from all that and ask yourself – what’s really happening here? Is it okay with me? If not, then ask for it to stop. If it doesn’t, pack up your toys and leave.