Rape in the real world is not at all an erotic experience but on IRC it is a metaphor for power exchange, ur-D/s, as stylized as a flower arrangement. It starts off angry and violent but always ends with the female being wildly aroused and falling in love with the rapist. It is rather sweet. What I come to believe is that power exchange, the voluntary transfer of control from one person to another, is a universal sexual theme that exists in every erotic moment. It is the driving force in my rape fantasies and in all the other fetishes I experiment with, as well as in regular BDSM. It exists in vanilla sex, even if just as an undercurrent or covert impulse. Sometimes power exchange is the primary focus for people, but other times it is peripheral to the point of vanishing. For me, power exchange is central. I do not find sex without power exchange, whether explicit or metaphoric, to be any more exciting than eating a biscuit. I don’t need to be tied up, I don’t need to be whipped, I don’t need any of the standard accouterments of D/s play. I like them, but I don’t need them. My fundamental need is to relinquish power. This is what I discover about myself on IRC.
My time on IRC is really the story of my on-again, off-again relationship with Volker. I first meet him after I have been experimenting in D/s rooms for three months and gone through dozens of masters. He is a middle-aged German computer geek and writer, married with children, not particularly prepossessing physically but with a sense of humor and proportion, a wicked imagination, and an impressive command of English. We are amazingly compatible. The thing about being a submissive is that you can become compatible even if you don’t start out that way. You get imprinted.
On our first go-around, I am with Volker for about nine months. I meet him in July 1996 in a watered-down Gor channel called #Bondage and get collared by him three days later. At that time, his nickname is MikeMstr, and mine is still ahlira.
Volker is a busy man and I often have to hang out on the computer for hours before he is able to come online to be with me. I don’t mind. I like the idea of being always available to him. I have girlfriends on IRC who are in similar situations, and it is fun to chat and compare notes while we wait for our masters. My best friend online is nicknamed Nora, the submissive of a Dutchman who like Volker is married with children. When that relationship ends, she falls in love with a different dominant from Amsterdam who is single, as is she. They have a very hot and heavy romance online and eventually she moves to the Netherlands to be with him. I am only able to talk to her sporadically after that because she is so busy helping her master with his business. One day I have the chance to ask her how it feels to be involved in real life D/s as opposed to cyber. She tells me they are so busy just trying to make a living that they are lucky if they have any sex, much less kinky sex.
Volker and I never run out of things to say to one another. Even though I lie about my age, I am able to tell him the truth about everything else, I just leave out two decades worth of history. He knows about Karl. And Karl knows about Volker, but not because I say much. I tell Karl that I am fooling around with D/s, but not the details. I think what I am doing is my secret and I keep it close. I do not want to dilute the experience by dragging it into the light for other people to dissect.
I miss noticing how suspicious Karl becomes. Without me knowing, he hires a detective agency to spy on my computer and record my conversations with Volker. Printouts go to Karl. Karl is shocked, jealous, furious, terrified, repelled. Never in his wildest imagination did he conceive of the kind of sexual sadism that Volker and I enjoy. It isn’t his fantasy. It is entirely my fantasy. You can do things on IRC that would be awful to do in real life. On IRC its just wholesome fun.
I don’t care what he thinks about my sexuality, never for a moment do I feel the need to edit my fantasies or censor myself. I believe I am entitled to this and more, I am certain what I am doing is as valid as what Karl feels is erotic or the world accepts as legitimate sex.
But of course my time with Volker and the intensity with which I pursue my fantasies with him has a disastrous impact on my real life. D/s takes center stage and first place, and my law practice, my family, everything else, comes a distant second. I have trouble focusing on Karl. I look at clients through glazed eyes, and struggle to keep up with mundane but important tasks like billing. It is too much to hope that nobody notices.
What happens after the detective agency sends Karl the transcripts of my interactions with Volker, is that Karl freaks out. He lays down an ultimatum, I must give up the internet. He contacts divorce lawyers. No divorce lawyers within a 50-mile radius of Randolph will talk to him, as soon as they find out he is married to me, they apologize and send him along to the next prospect. He calls farther and farther afield, with no luck. Finally, someone recommends he try a Burlington lawyer who has never had contact with me and she agrees to represent him if he needs her.
When Karl gives me an ultimatum, at first I don’t believe he means it. I want both Karl and Volker and fail to understand why I can’t continue just the way I have been. My relationship with Karl is not in jeopardy, in my opinion. Leaving Karl for Volker isn’t an option, even meeting Volker in person is not in the plan. But neither is giving him up and turning my back on everything I have discovered about myself. For the first time in my life, sex is a delight, not a chore, not a weapon, not a bribe.