Identity Politics

That is my last journal entry.  Then all clueless I run into Volker again.  He now has a different nickname, STrainer.  He recognizes me but I do not recognize him, he tells me he is Danish, not German, and sends me a photograph which mostly shows the back of a male head, says he doesn’t have a better one available. I remember remarking to someone that the men I am attracted to seem to have a lot in common, that’s all I think it is, that he and my old master share similar interests and style.

When I meet him this second time, he is involved with another submissive, Jane, a fortyish social worker, mother and wife from Australia.  She has to get up at 2:00 a.m. every night to be with him because of the time differential.  STrainer collars both of us, but I am #1 girl.

At first, Karl is tolerant of the relationship, which seems less intense and time-consuming than my previous ones. The pressure on him lightens because I  have an outlet for my submissiveness which doesn’t need much participation from him. At the same time, he reaps the benefits of my heightened eroticism, I go online and get fired up by STrainer, then fuck him.  Karl isn’t complaining.

Unfortunately this delicate equilibrium does not last.  Volker eventually confesses who he really is, I realize I am still in love with him, Karl recoils in horror, and I find myself again torn between my online life and the rest of everything.We do have more perspective now. I  know I have to keep my emotions leashed or lose Karl, perhaps this time for good.  Volker is very upset that he almost destroyed my marriage the last time we were together. And, Karl and I have progressed beyond the vanilla stage, at least theoretically, and are going through the motions of a D/s relationship.  For a while it seems like we might be able to make it work.  Volker defers to Karl, Karl puts up with Volker’s presence in my life, and I, I anxiously negotiate between the two of them.

Inevitably there comes a time when it all ends, but not with a bang the way it did before. It ends because one day Karl tells me that he can’t reconcile himself to my relationship with Volker any more, he is insecure and miserable.  And I think about what Karl  is saying, and how he feels and how hard he tries, and how  much I love him, and I weigh that against my obsession with Volker.  I write Volker a letter and say goodbye.  I never speak to him again.

Karl knows what this renunciation costs me, I am numb with sadness. He devotes himself to distracting me. We go on long car trips.  I develop hobbies, collecting buttons, selling books on ebay.  Most important, Karl and I plunge into the community of real life D/s. Who would think that Vermont is a hotbed of kinky sex?  We start off by attending the huge Fetish Fair in Boston which seems to us like a fairly anonymous way to get started. A fetish fair is a bdsm flea market and workshop weekend attracting hoards of people who come to see and be seen and buy new toys.  This is the first time, believe it or not, that I ever meet a dominant or submissive in the flesh since every bit of my previous experience has been online.

What I discover is that while on the computer every female  is beautiful and young and every male has a ten-inch penis, the people at the fair could be your next door neighbor if your next door neighbor wears a spiked collar and ball gag. They are young, old, fat, skinny, pretty, homely, quiet, flamboyant. It is extraordinarily reassuring and Karl and I fit right in.  We buy lots of equipment and paraphernalia, whips and leather gear and corsets and dildos and more.  We shop till we drop. Karl may find it difficult to swallow the philosophy of D/s, but he has no trouble with its tools.

Over the next few years we become an integral part of the local bdsm community. We attend parties in Vermont and New Hampshire and even farther afield and have a terrific time.  Karl is theatrical enough to really get into the spirit of his role of dominant.  Dressed in leather pants, black boots and a black shirt, with a hand-crafted whip curled at his belt,  he looks like a poster boy for D/s, a submissive’s dream.  And I love every minute.   Even if the structure of D/s at home is a bit flimsy, the strain is not apparent when we are with others.

I discard the parts of my internet education that do not transfer well to real life.  One of the main differences between cyber whippings and real whippings is that cyber whippings don’t hurt.  You can take an awful lot of punishment on the computer.  Real life requires more judicious behavior.  Also, I have the advantage of trusting Karl completely and Karl is almost too careful with me. He never quite accepts that under the right circumstances, pain is erotic and feels good.

The anguish of losing Volker fades.  It’s amazing that something so painful goes away. You always hear that time heals, I guess it’s a genetic survival characteristic.  I can think about Volker without a pang,  like a turned page.  Once, about a year after I left him, he emails me, he says he misses me.  He says he understands that I needed to go, but that he wants me to write and tell him how I am doing.  I delete the letter.  I really don’t trust myself to do anything else, even now.

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Tuesday, March 11

This has been a terrible morning online.  My latest master Kandor isn’t anywhere, nor have I found any of my sisters either last night or this morning.  The channel appears to be dead and there are no messages or email for me from him.  What could have happened?  I am afraid to change my nick and start from scratch, if he should suddenly appear, but how long can I wait?  Is he in hiding?  I wish I knew what was going on. 

 And is this all foolishness?  Probably.  I’m not even sure why I care, and why I do this.  Is it just a liking for more excitement than real life will ever provide?  Certainly, being a real life slave is much more exciting than having a vanilla life style.  I wonder what exactly it would take for me to lose interest in IRC.  I just don’t think it is a reflection on my commitment to Karl, though.  I think it is more a commentary on me.

I spoke to Karl about having a renewal of vows ceremony.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful!  Too bad that we couldn’t invite anyone or even have anyone to officiate.  But it would be meaningful to me to be on my knees and swear devotion to him and to have him publicly declare his ownership of me.  To collar me, before the world.  I have a poorly repressed desire for everyone to know how happy I am to be owned.


Still no sign of Kandor, except for a short message, “Look for me on S&S” so I looked there to no avail.  At least I know he is alive and online, even when I am not.

Today is my day with Peggy, after having missed last week.  I am looking forward to seeing her.  After all, she is one of our two potential guests at the ceremony.  It’s a sad commentary when you can only invite your respective therapists!


All is right with the world.  Kandor is back.  Karl talked to him the other night, with limited success although many good intentions.  Kandor took offense at Karl’s statement that I was easily bored.  I suppose he took it as a commentary on him or criticism or something.  Kandor was really pissy to me the next morning, and of course I responded by being even worse.  So  I got kicked from the channel.  Had to crawl back, groveling.


Such a lovely day today.  Karl and I did absolutely nothing productive, or at least I did nothing.  He did almost nothing, which is the best one can expect from such a workaholic.  I slept late, till 4:30, and went online as usual.  Karl let me go online throughout the day, and I must say, it is really fun.  The relationship with Kandor is interesting, but very low pressure in the sense that it does not seem to engage me emotionally, but remains entertaining.   I did have a nice long chat with Nora, who will always be my best friend on IRC.   It is great that she is coping with the schizophrenia of IRC/real life so well or at least so much better than I was able to cope. Where would I be if he had not been willing to become a “co-dependent?”.  Up shit creek, that’s where.   There has not been one moment since I discovered the potentiality of d/s that I have had a doubt of its rightness for me.  Not one doubt.  I have slid into submissiveness with nary a backwards look.  Amazingly enough, in my heart I believe that Karl was just as natural a Dom as I am a submissive.   I hope this is not self-delusion.

Still thinking and dreaming about a collaring ceremony.  Still can’t conceive of any way to pull it off without scandalizing everyone, even those who are open-minded and prepared for the worst.  You forget just how bizarre most people would think the things we do are, even the power exchange parts which are the least sexual.  And to think of their faces if I kneeled at Karl’s feet and kissed them!  I think if we have a ceremony, it has to be the day before we permanently move to the Bahamas.  How I wish, though, that there were at least some friends who could understand and even appreciate what we have now.  Perhaps there are but we are all too timid to even broach the subject. 

 I  was thinking about pain.  For a long time, I needed a lot of pain.  It was the only thing that kept me at all centered.  Every few days, it seemed, I would start to go off the deep end and a beating would bring me back.  As I grow more stable, I seem to need the pain less, and Karl must sense that, for he is using the crop less than he did before.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I sort of don’t want to get out of practice.  If I don’t get the crop for a while, my tolerance really goes down.  And I love, truly love, that place where pain doesn’t hurt, where it is pure pleasure.  I want subspace along with the rest of the girls.  I want to be driven to that place by pain. 

And humiliation.  We are doing less of that too, and whether it is because there is no time, or because Karl doesn’t really like it, or because we don’t need it anymore, I just don’t know.  My feeling is that I will not go deeper without more humiliation, and I know there is much deeper that I can go.  I don’t want to put pressure on Karl, though.  It is becoming important to me that he take the lead now.  That we start on his agenda.  That he begin to take me places.  Of course, I can keep giving suggestions, trying not to top from the bottom, but I am going to wait this time, and see what he does.  He is perfectly capable of controlling the scene.  All he needs is time to digest everything and confidence in his abilities.  I just don’t want to see us in a rut, standing still at the point we are currently at.  There is much, much more that we can do, and really need to do.  I’m not talking about specific acts, but more we need to do in terms of dominance and submission.  I am pretty sure Karl recognizes that, but it’s easy to forget how new he really is to the scene, and without IRC to hasten the pace.  My experiences online have been the equivalent of years of real life, I believe.  While real life is not identical with cyber, and is much more complex and rich, cyber enabled me to develop a model for where I want to be.  And to explore the world of submissiveness.  I would never, ever have gotten to where I am without it.

I think, for me, the question really boils down to control.  Always control.  I need more.   I think the level of control by Karl is not stable.   It is a far cry from “play” but not yet Total Power Exchange.  I think the current level is fine for now, but will not withstand serious trouble.  And of course, it is not completely satisfying to me.  Is it what I still seek on IRC?  When I speak of needing more control, I am not even positive what I’m talking about.  Do I mean that I want Karl to deprive me of more things?  Choose my clothes?  Order me around?  I think it goes deeper than that.  He needs to break down barriers, get inside my head.  How does he do that?  I don’t really know. 

So is this why I want an online master?  To bring the overall control level up?  It makes me laugh to think that one could do that, get additional control, like adding a tablespoon of butter to the olive oil.  But what attracts me to Kandor is this:   he is stern, takes no bullshit, is cool, controls me sexually online; what turns me off about him is his occasional neediness, his willingness to be topped by a slave, and his spelling.  I like the fact that Kandor made a bet with me as the stake; I like his unpredictability; and of course, I appreciate his teachings.  And, he doesn’t give a lot of homework.

Will there come a day when I don’t want to be online?  Just don’t have the answer to that.   I like best to do this with Karl.  But because that’s not possible in the real world, I seek out cyber where it is possible. 

The short answer to why I am with Kandor is this:   it has been sufficient to take my thoughts away from the past.  It entertains me.  It’s a terrific distraction.  Long after I stopped seeing Volker, I found it difficult to stop thinking about him.  That was the single biggest problem I experienced, and the obsessiveness did not seem to be getting better.  It may even have been growing.  Since I found Gor again and Kandor, though, that burden has been almost entirely lifted.  I no longer dwell on Volker, although I think about him sometimes.  He feels far, far removed from me.  The memories are very remote.  I feel saved, and I am grateful to Kandor for that.  

Sunday evening

Well, lo and behold, I am now in the pissiest mood I have been in a long time.  Karl confirmed to me what I felt, that he is in a holding pattern trying to catch his breath as a dominant.  While I understand that, intellectually, and even felt all right about it as he was telling me, it has been gnawing at me ever since and making me feel unpleasant.  Then, we were going to work together at the computer.  He would read my journal and we would look for some of his secret files which he would then reveal to me.  He read my journal, but then couldn’t figure out his password, and got distracted erasing unnecessary files which took forever and was completely boring.  Then, when I wanted to go back online, he said “no”.  So, I had to sit in the living room and read the newspaper.   I feel sullen and miserable.  If he doesn’t want to master me, at least temporarily, why can’t I go online and be mastered.  Or at least entertained.  Why is it such an effort for Karl to be my master?  Is it so unnatural that he must work and struggle to do it?  Am I forcing him into a mold that is uncomfortable?  Or am I unrealistic about what masters are?  Do I imagine some extraterrestrial master who is never tired or weak, the kind you see on IRC for an hour a day?   Someone  once said to me that you couldn’t expect a real dom to chase you around the house with a whip all the time.  I certainly don’t expect that but isn’t there some level of control, some masterliness, that one would expect ALL the time from a master?  Jeesh.  I just don’t know. 

Kandor certainly does not appear any more consistent than Karl.   If anything, less so.  I was certainly not impressed by his confession that he subbed for one of his slaves in private for months, although it was honest of him to tell me.  Honesty can certainly be an overrated virtue.  But of course, I don’t have to live with Kandor, and if I really got tired of him, or disgusted with him, I could walk away with few regrets.  With Karl, on the other hand, it is do or die.  All my eggs are in one basket, and if he won’t or can’t master me, I have no alternative.     I really wish Kandor scened better.  It is adequate, especially with me feeling as horny as I do now, but a far cry from what I felt with Volker.  And the sexual component with Volker  had nothing to do with my emotions.  It was strictly that we were on the same wavelength and that he could write descriptively.  With Kandor, it all happens in the wink of an eye.  I hope that at least he is satisfied.  It is a real mystery to me what men do on the other end of IRC.  To this day I have no idea if Volker  masturbated when he was online or saved it up for sex with his wife.  Many men, I think, do jerk off online.  Nora told me that Swan does and I believe that it is more common than not.  But as for the intense relationships that I have had, it remains an unknown.

Well, perhaps I have written myself into a slightly better mood.   When things turn even a little sour it is disorienting.  I can see myself getting un-subbie, resentful, critical.  Oh dear diary, please be patient with me!

Monday March 17 evening

Well, this was an eventful evening.  I got home from work and told Karl all about how I felt.  He knew much of it from reading my journal.  We talked about how I was unhappy, and how I wanted to fuck my brains out online, so I took a shot at it.  Unfortunately, it just didn’t work.  Either I don’t have the patience anymore or something.  I had a mildly interesting chat with someone and the mildly interesting became mildly boring, became see you, fellow.  So, I went to see Kandor and was so unpleasant that Kandor offered to release me.  Which was what I thought I wanted, but when he offered, was totally unable to accept.  I literally have to be driven to do something like that.

At any rate, I told Kandor that between him being cautious and Karl taking a break from Mastering, I was feeling crazy and frustrated.  I am not sure if he understood, but he seemed to.  Kandor said he would treat me as any other slave, which is what I want, I suppose.  Of course, this doesn’t solve any of my other problems with him, such as our sexual incompatibility, if that is what it is, or his lack of sexual imagination, if that is what it is.

Tuesday am.

Ahhh, the first cup of coffee of the day and the first cigarette or shall I say it, butt of the day.  This whole last week has been really awful for me.  It bothers me very much that Karl can turn off his masterhood.  It makes me wonder and wonder what drives it, whether it is just an act, or whether it emanates from a deep need in him, as my submissiveness flows from me.  I don’t mean “act” in a derogatory sense, but only in the sense that I wonder if it is a NEED at all, or just a role that he can assume or doff for a period.  Of course, I want it to be a need, so that I know it is genuine. 


Karl is my master and all is well with the world.  A good experiment of sorts, I suppose.  What will happen to Karen if she is not mastered for a period of time.  Maybe this is all a game and she will not even notice.  NOT.   When he does not master me, I fall apart.  Or, I suppose one could say, I revert to my former state of being, unhappy, cynical, critical, paranoid.  Maybe he needed a break, maybe it was a test, maybe both.  Whatever it was, I am glad it is over.  I hate feeling the way I did this morning and for the last few days.  Today, I glow again.  IF YOU READ THIS, THIS IS NOT A GAME!  

Wednesday a.m.

I woke up too early this morning and can’t go online yet.

I am bringing Peggy some D/s books today, after having promised to do so for several weeks and forgotten.  Screw the Roses is a good one, I think, because it’s light reading and has lots of pictures.  The tone is obnoxious, though, especially the authors’ attitude toward lifestyle D/s.  I don’t know what they think lifestyle is.  Do they believe it only exists if the slave sits by the threshold all day in chains, waiting to be used?  Is that the common definition?  There have got to be people all over the world like Karl and me, creating lifestyle D/s for themselves, seeing how to fit a Master/slave relationship into all their real world concerns like jobs, children and vanilla environments.  And if we can do that, with as little support from the outside as we have had, then there must be many, many more like us.

Friday afternoon

I am very remiss writing in this journal, and events are unfolding faster than I can keep up with them in my head, much less on paper.  Last night, I got to thinking, and realized that I was terminally bored with Kandor.  It was really precipitated by his response to an email of mine.  He not only can’t spell, he writes worse than Karl’s students, which is saying a lot.  And of course, there are all those other problems which don’t bear repeating.  I talked it over with Karl, and he agreed that I should ask for release so I went online fairly late, and in about five minutes the dirty deed was done.  Kandor was extremely nice about it, and asked me to keep in touch with him by mail.   Because of the lateness of the hour, and because it didn’t seem quite appropriate to go cruising so soon after being released, I went offline, and didn’t get back on until this morning.  I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and wasn’t able to get back to sleep.  Karl agreed that I could get up earlier than usual and go online, but only for my usual two hours.

And who do you suppose I saw. Chariz.  It was quite, quite wonderful to see him.   He is the only master whom I can talk to with ease, and who can raise me five every time.  Jack was always available for me to blither at, but never was much for response.  Chariz, on the other hand, leads the conversation down the paths he chooses, and is a joy to listen to.  Although I remember getting weary of his poeticisms in the past.  Perhaps it was because of the situation.

For your benefit, dear diary, Chariz was my master for four days during the fall of 1996.  He was the dominant who lured me away from Volker and  who I then left to return to Volker.  He is in his 40’s, a Rumanian Jew with an accent he describes as continental, a “business consultant,” whatever that is, and a married man with teenage children.  He lives somewhere in the Midwest.   And that is basically the sum total of my knowledge of Chariz, the man.

Chariz the master is another story.  I know him much better.  He is into neither pain nor humiliation in and of themselves.  He uses them only to demonstrate and nurture submission.  Chariz rarely uses bindings.  He prefers to ask his slave to hold still for him.  Not to cry out.  Not to moan.  To take what he will give, the  pain of the whip, of the hand, without flinching.  This morning, he held me by the hair immobile, my eyes locked on his face.  When I moved slightly, he slapped me hard.  I kissed his hand.

Chariz can arouse me more with two lines than Kandor could with a whole scene.  I don’t know whether it is because we are compatible, or because he is keenly aware of my sexual trigger points, or whether he has created these desires in me.  My short relationship with Chariz was very important.  For the first time, I realized that Volker was not the only person who could excite me, and that there were other paths than sadism.  Now that I am past my relationship with Volker, it is evident to me that I am at least as excited by Chariz’s approach as I was by his, and not so scared.

Of course, the question I am asking myself is whether it will be possible to have a continuing relationship with Chariz.  We talked about it theoretically this morning.  Given Chariz’s need to control, to push, it seems hard to believe it would work.  The first day he collared me, he gave me multiple instructions regarding real life matters.  Nothing that interfered with the orderly conduct of business, but nevertheless, things which were intended to keep him in my mind when I was not online.  For instance, he had me purchase clip-on earrings, and place one on my nipple for the entire day, switching right and left nipples every so often.  I would like you to know, dear diary, that it is almost impossible to even FIND clip-on earrings in this day and age.  He also requested that I buy heart-shaped jewelry (my nick as his slave was coeur) and wear it every day. 

I would accept his collar again in a minute.  But the parameters of his control will have to be understood in advance.  I can’t be in the position of fighting or negotiating continually.  It would be the same problem I had with Kandor, only far, far worse, because Chariz is so much cannier.  But Chariz is right.   If he has nothing of me that cannot be taken away by Karl, what do I have to give him?  As Kandor said, what is in it for him? 

As for me, I just love the feeling of drowning in masters, swimming in a sea of submission.  They all meld together, and at least in my mind, no conflict exists.  In reality of course, dominants are so competitive that they would find areas of conflict about whether I should wear grey tights or blue ones, short skirts or calf-length.

I think I am very greedy.  It was delicious to be excited by Chariz online, and go upstairs and be excited by Karl in bed.  Why can’t they just see it that way? 

Sunday morning

What happened to Saturday?  I spent the day on the computer, in the morning talking to Chariz, in the afternoon talking to various and sundry.  It was almost like old days, in the length of time I was able to stay on, because Karl took the kids skiing.  I was supposed to have gone, but between a sore foot and a sore hip, was allowed to stay home instead.  It was a good thing, too, because I was able to talk to Chariz for long enough for it to become clear that he was not for me.  Not then, and not now.  We talked for four hours.  It took Karl almost an hour just to read the log.   I realized that Chariz wanted someone like I used to be.  He wants to control absolutely.

Realizing that Chariz was not going to be my master was a relief in several ways, especially after the four-hour marathon. But it made me sad too, because I still don’t know what I am doing online.  Chariz was quite manipulative during our discussions, mainly about Karl, and between being tired, feeling guilty for having been inadequate with Karl Saturday morning, feeling weasely for having been online all day, etc., I have been in better spirits. 

It is just amazing how many people have opinions on lifestyle D/s who haven’t got a clue as to what it really is and how it works.  Not that Karl and I are experts, but at least we are here in the trenches.  While I was talking to Chariz, he seemed so knowledgeable, so masterly, so smooth in his interpretation of natural masterhood.  He was gently, ever so gently, critical of Karl’s techniques.  Of course, even at the time I understood what he was doing, how he was probing for weaknesses that would allow him to take control.  But what I didn’t really understand, until Karl pointed it out, was how really unsuitable he was to make judgments about our progress.  What people experience online and through the phone, the episodic master/slave relationship that develops in this way, is just not analogous to a full-time relationship.  Having been through both, I can tell you that a long distance relationship is easy, and almost entirely “fun.”  There are few, if any, distractions.  After all, what are we talking about?  At the most, realistically, a few hours a day, and I doubt that many couples can manage even that.  That is not to say that the intensity of the emotions developed online is not great or greater than that developed in real life, but it is a hothouse.  It is D/s under glass, with gro-lites.  You can get really, really big plants that way, and gorgeous flowers, but many will not withstand the transition to the outside.  The cold breezes of reality, as it were.  

The central issue in my life is my submission to Karl.  What is it, how can I nurture and intensify it, how can I even hold onto it when things get tough?  My discussion with Chariz was not productive in part because he and I were really talking about different things when we talked about submission.  Perhaps masters just can’t discuss it, because they don’t feel it.  Chariz talked about submission as if it were a string of behaviors:  .you obey, are loyal, etc.  But to me, submission is entirely a state of mind.  And the state of mind produces the behaviors.  They flow naturally from it.  When I say that I am not feeling submissive, I don’t necessarily mean that I have done something wrong or been disobedient.  I mean that my heart is not calm, that the serenity of submission has temporarily been lost.  When I am feeling submissive, it is like being in a meditative state.  I feel integrated and happy.  Everything I do, from kneeling at Karl’s feet to washing the dishes to going to work and being a lawyer, seems merely the outward expression of inward peace.  It’s fantastic.  I wonder if there is some analogous feeling that masters have when they are feeling masterful.

Sunday evening

Karl is being awfully understanding about all my convolutions online, and awfully patient.  In the long run, I hope that my trials and tribulations in cyber will prove helpful to us.  Without that, we would certainly live a very hermetic existence.  Not that we couldn’t grow and change ourselves, of course, but the things that happen on IRC do precipitate discussion and reflection.  Karl read all of Chariz’s meanderings, and gave them a lot of thought.  He does that with many of the logs of my conversations, so in fact getting as much out of my experiences as I do.  For me, that is the primary reason to log now, not because I need to be checked up on.

Tuesday, March 25 evening

My feelings to Karl are maintaining a steady high.  I feel submissive pretty much all the time, and with very little in the way of outside stimuli.  No beatings for a while, no humiliation for a very long time, really nothing much more than kissing his feet and giving blowjobs.  Practically a vanilla relationship.  But it does seem as if we are not so dependent upon all the bells and whistles of D/s anymore.  As if the domination and submission have started to really sink in, into us, no longer a veneer or activity, much more a state of being that we share.  Certainly, the very thought of losing Karl is more than I can bear.  For some reason, as I was driving to court today I recollected my feelings when Karl first told me he was going to leave me.  It was an illumination of how precious the relationship is to me, especially now.   The prospect of what would happen to me without him is  horrendous; I literally and actually do not know how I could survive. 

I do wish we had more time to experiment and play, though.  We lead such busy lives, and most everything appears to be a priority, compared to our private hours together.  When you count them all up, we have only an hour or so in the morning, and an hour or so at night, out of the whole day, when we can be alone and talk.  And if we talk, then there is little time left over for anything else.  Talking is so important, I don’t want leave that for the last.  But I want everything else, too.

Thursday morning

Not much to say.  Feeling slightly disgruntled – not spending as much time with Karl as I’d like, not spending as much time online as I want.

Friday, March 28. 3:30 a.m.

Sometimes I wonder how much Karl really wants to control me.  Or did Chariz just fill me with doubts?  I don’t think so, although it is probably not healthy for me to listen to someone denigrating Karl’s masterliness for four hours straight.  Honestly, I would have to admit that I have had my own doubts from time to time, because of the way we began this great adventure.  Most of the time any doubts are fairly well resolved, but sometimes they grow stronger.  Right now, I feel pretty shaky.  Karl got annoyed at me last night for not getting offline on my own; I tried to explain to him that I was unable to get off myself, that he needed to tell me to get off or give me a time.  It was like he was hearing this for the very first time, like he hadn’t understood this before.  And yet, we have tripped over this problem on many, many occasions, and it is really basic to who we both are, or at least to who I want us both to be.  It is like Karl still expects me to be self-regulating, to show restraint and reason, rather than just obey him.  Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with those expectations, but they are vanilla expectations.  Number 1, I can’t do it, and number 2, I don’t want to do it.  But it frightens me that Karl still expects it, after all we have been through.  And then, when it was 9:00 p.m., Karl started off to bed, and I was on the computer again.  I asked if I should go offline, and Karl asked me what I wanted to do, as if that mattered.  I don’t think he really ever told me to go offline, but I did anyway, and went upstairs.  Karl acted a little as if he was hurt that I didn’t rush offline to be with him in bed.

I am not sure if I am explaining this very intelligibly.  But there is something to the position that masterliness has got to be internal, has got to flow naturally from who a person is, just as submissiveness has to flow naturally.  If it is just a series of actions, all of which have to be thought out, planned out, acted out, performed, as it were, it would be utterly impossible to do consistently, as a lifestyle.  Impossible, and exhausting.  It would be like being on stage 24 hours a day, in the most demanding role conceivable.  But, I guess, that is what I am afraid Karl is attempting to do, at least when my doubts threaten to overcome me. 

The best that I can put it is that I want Karl to control me with a firm but gentle hand.  He does that much of the time.  But at other times, we run into what I see as vanilla expectations, and I don’t know if they are a product of his weariness in general or his weariness of domination.   I wish so much that this had all been his idea, that he was the one who was driven into this lifestyle by his needs and fantasies, and that I didn’t sometimes believe that he was just responding to me and my needs.

On the other hand, of course, is the fact that I know Karl is controlling, and that he does seem to be pleased by my submissiveness.   But is being controlling the same as being a master?  And is being aroused by me as a slave just a meaningless subset of being aroused by me as a female?  Gee, I dunno.

Tuesday, April 1

Happy April Fool’s Day!  I haven’t looked back to see when my last entry is, but it’s been awhile.  Nothing very eventful has occurred in any of the facets of my life.  I  feel a little like I am in a holding pattern, though, with Karl in particular.  I wish he would get over digesting and start controlling.  That was a joke.  I am feeling very fervent these days about IRC.  It is hard for me not to spend more and more time online, searching for the perfect fuck.  Or perfect combination of fucks, if I can’t find it all in one dominant.  Believe me, this is a frustrating search, although the process is fun.  On Sunday, I played online a lot, and got extremely aroused in the process.  No one master was especially memorable, but the combination was very nice.

Sometimes, I wish that I could scenes with Volker again, forget the emotional baggage, the collar, the ownership, the pain.  Just play.  And see if it remains as magical as I remember it. 

Wednesday, April 2

A very nice day today.  And a very self-indulgent day too.  I spent two hours online this morning being unfaithful to my new online master.  Boy, this was the shortest-lived relationship yet.  I no sooner accepted the collar than I regretted it.   From 5:00 a.m. yesterday to 6:00 a.m. I swung 180 degrees around, and by the time I said goodbye, was bored and trying to figure out how to get released.  Of course, it’s my inclination to just disappear, but Karl insists that I ask for release tomorrow morning.  I am sure it won’t be unpleasant, and in fact he probably won’t care, but the thought of confrontation isn’t attractive.   

So this morning, instead of having my confrontation, I skipped over to another channel and had a wonderful time with a dominant,  basically being walked around on a leash for two hours.  It may not sound like much, but it was just what I needed.  I haven’t had any humiliation forever, it seems, neither real life nor cyber.  Cyber can really make up for much in real life.  Lately, Karl has seemed so distracted that it almost seems that domming me is just another burden that he has to shoulder.  If I didn’t have cyber to supplement what I have with him during these lean times, I am not sure I could cope so well.  As it is, I feel able to function, and able to maintain a level of submissiveness that feels comfortable, even if not challenging.

Thursday a.m.

Yesterday, Peggy wanted to know in what ways I thought I had changed since discovering D/s.  I feel like I have changed a lot.  Central, of course, it my sexuality, libido, whatever you want to call it.  I remember distinctly that I didn’t used to get horny before, or at least not more than twice a year.  Sex was just not part of my life, at least not sex that appeared to be acceptable to anyone else, including Karl.  I remember the struggles we had over the years about bondage.  Being tied up was, of course, the only way I could get off.  I didn’t understand that in myself, but my instinct for survival at least allowed me to tell Karl that and to push for it as much as possible.  And Karl was, naturally, very confused about bondage.   The worst part of it was when he started making me feel guilty and selfish about wanting to be bound.

Looking back, it seems incredible that I could go for so long wanting to be submissive, go for so long missing the whole essence of who I am.  And when I am feeling low, it’s those years of missed opportunities that really bum me out.  Bitter does not even begin to describe how I feel.  Yet, many people, perhaps even most, don’t ever reach the point that I am at now, and I should just feel lucky that I did get enlightened and that my most critical relationship was not only preserved but enriched.

Monday a.m.

Guess this was the lost weekend.  Obviously, I haven’t written in my journal for a few days, and am not sure why.  Nothing and a lot has happened, as usual.  My life is like the classic Seinfeld episode.  There’s no plot, really, but it’s very amusing.  Did I mention I talked to Jack on the telephone?  It was wonderful to talk to him again, after so many months.  He is a much better conversationalist than writer, at least on IRC, and his voice is the ultimate in mellifluousness.  He is still Jack, with a string of subs, none of whom ever quite work out.  He gave me good advice, basically to chill out and give Karl time to unstress.  Although, he is worried, because he knows me so well, and is convinced that I cannot be happy with someone who is domming me only because it is what I want.  At any rate, it was as usual good for me to talk to him, and made me feel better about everything too.

In fact, I had my first scene with Jack since I first met him.  He is much improved, although to enjoy it with him I really have to suspend disbelief, knowing as I do that he doesn’t get off on cyber at all, and even if he did, probably wouldn’t get off on what he did with me.  Unless, of course, that has changed.  When I met him, he was not into pain a bit.  I suspect that is still true, but he covers it better than he used to.

It was a little odd scening with him, a tad like doing it with a brother or something.  But a good reminder to me that the essence of all these relationships, even with Jack, is sexual. 

Friday morning

It’s been a fairly uneventful week, and as you can see, I have begrudged the time it would take to write in my journal.  It’s nice seeing Jack regularly again.

Karl is starting to realize how pervasive I need his control to be, but it is so slow.  I don’t know if he knows how hard it is for me to see him struggle with this.  I swing between thinking it’s okay for him to feel his way through the morass, and wanting to throw up my hands and accept whatever he can do on his own.  It’s like the other morning.  Really every day.  But the other morning, he took control of my orgasm and refused to let me come.  I relished that, even though it made me wild.  We were downstairs, and had to go get dressed and I thought, “He should now want me to crawl upstairs on my hands and knees.”  It’s what I felt like doing.  But I didn’t say anything, and he apparently didn’t think of it, and so I just walked upstairs.   Anyhow, its frustrating, and I feel like it’s just never going to happen because it’s NOT THERE.  If he doesn’t get a thrill out of making me crawl, he doesn’t, and that’s that, I guess.  Grrrrrr!

Tuesday, April 15

It was a funny weekend.  Saturday was cold and bad.   Bad in the sense that I was bored and ornery.  Karl was kind enough to leave me home all day while he did things and it was very bad for me.  We talked about it and I finally think he understands that control means he has to make me do things I don’t want to do sometimes.  At least on Sunday he had no difficulty at all in keeping me going.  We spent the whole day together, pretty much, and I felt wonderful and submissive, even sweeping the garage floor.  Its not just “fun” things that turn me on, it’s obeying in general. 

There was another reason I spent most of the day outdoors on Sunday.  PaladinK asked me to accept his collar.  I was wrong, but I changed my personal info without asking Karl first, but did tell PK that I had to ask Karl about wearing a collar.  Jack, of course, thinks it’s a bad idea, but he doesn’t really understand where I am at these days.  I think he is grateful to not be responsible for the decision; he told me just to do whatever Karl said.  Anyway, Karl said that before he would decide about Paladin, I had to find IslandMan and ask for release.  Darn!  I hoped never to have to see him again.   I spent all my online time Monday morning waiting for him to no avail.  I did have a chance to see Chariz again and listened to his tale of woe.  For which I was not much in the mood.  I finally went on Dalnet  and asked the op there if he had seen IM recently, but the op said no.  So Karl has relented, and basically left the decision about Paladin up to me.   I guess I really don’t want to be collared by him, after all.  But I am also very nervous about telling him that.  These doms don’t take rejection very well.  But Paladin is too young again, like Kandor, and will bore me.   I think, even for this sort of amusing side light to my real life, I need someone with more substance.

April 23

I have let an awfully long time go without writing.  I haven’t felt like it, and have been busy besides.  Paladin asked me to accept a collar; PaleHorse asked me the same thing.  And what on earth snuck up on me?  None of them.  I met a guy named Sam, who is the first person who has disturbed me since Volker.  Or am I making too much out of this?  I can’t decide.  Part of the problem is Karl, who has reacted strongly to Sam in the sense of seeing him as a threat.  All I know is that I have very little interest in playing with anyone else at this point and am restless and bored if Sam is not around.  Of course, this whole thing is only a few days old.  The speed of IRC is amazing, sometimes.   Now I don’t even feel like seeing Sam because I don’t know what I want to say to him.  Oh shit.

April 25

I almost called Sam yesterday from work.  He has an 800 number.  Karl specifically told me not to get the number, but I did anyway, and erased the part of the log that contained that conversation.  I felt very excited, but it wasn’t like it was before, just pure, unadulterated excitement.  It was accompanied by a very bad feeling in my stomach, the first time I’ve felt that in a long time.   I think it’s a guilty conscience.  Anyhow, I sat in the office and couldn’t call and couldn’t decide definitively NOT to call.  I thought about how much fun it would be to have Sam play with me, and then I thought about how Karl would find out and how angry he would be and how he might not forgive me this time.  I finally called Jack instead, knowing exactly how he would respond.  Jack had me tear up Sam’s phone number.  Jack thinks Karl is much too lenient with me; he offered to give Karl suggestions on punishments, and told me that I wouldn’t like any of them.  Is punishment really what I need to behave?  

May 1

It seems like I never have time for this journal.  But it’s just that when I am free to sit at the computer, what I want to do is go online, rather than write.  The time I have these days is so limited.  A few hours during the week, at the most.  These morning hours are really the only uninterrupted time I have, and in my usual short-sighted way, I want to spend them having fun.

In the meantime, the biggest news is my relationship, if you can call it that, with Sam.  He is the first person in a long time who can really arouse me.  When you find someone like that it feels miraculous, especially when you’ve been playing around for a long time with very little to show for it.  I never really realized how big a part compatibility plays in the match ups online.  I took it for granted with Volker, never realizing that it was sheer luck that brought us together.  Sam is not much like Volker, even.   But he has an instinctive way of doing the right thing, saying the right words.  I feel like this whole thing is much more in perspective for me than when I was with Volker.  Although Karl is, I do believe, still afraid I will go overboard, it doesn’t seem likely to me.  Left to my own devices I think I might get more involved, but I just can’t see myself getting lost again.  I am so different from the person I was last July, or even November.  What I really want to do is have fun online, and it is very fun to get incredibly aroused.

The question really seems to be:   how can I maintain my intimacy with Karl and at the same time be happy online.  I am convinced that my online playing is good for Karl and me in lots of ways.   One, It provides a catalyst that we wouldn’t have otherwise and enough stimulation so that Karl and I constantly are forced to reexamine our roles and relationship, and change.  Without the outside influence of IRC, I think those changes would be much slower, and we would be much more inclined to stay in our respective ruts, not even realizing there was more to do and experience.

Two, I think I need the additional attention and eroticism.  IRC is very intense, and on a good day I can cram a lot of stuff into a few hours.  Real life, however good, doesn’t provide the quantity of control that I seem to need.  Karl is definitely moving toward greater and greater mastery of me, but there is only so much time during the week, and so much control that he is prepared to exercise at this point.
















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I am Crushed

When Karl talks about divorce I am terrified that I will not be able to change his mind, that nothing I say to him will make him stay, I have pushed him too far.  So I cry, and plead, and say I will do anything, I will give up this other man, I will never talk to him again, I will change, I will repent, I will be a different person, a better person.  I have no pride.  I can only wrench out  promise after promise until he finally relents and says he will postpone leaving, put me on probation, take it one day at a time, and for his part, he will try to fill the void so that I can live without the other man.  It is a reprieve.  My face is wet, my nose is running, I am sodden and shaking with the aftermath of disaster so narrowly avoided.  I am hardly a human anymore, I am hollowed out with grief and fear.

One of the first things Karl does is talk to Carolyn and tell her what I have been up to.  At the time, I  practice law with her.  We  opened our firm when I left my old one in 1986 and  she left her associate position and joined me.  By the time ten years later when I discover the internet, we own an old Victorian house downtown, have two secretaries and a paralegal and  a thriving practice.  We complement each other. Carolyn concentrates on real estate and probate, areas of law that hold little interest for me.  She is outgoing and likes to be on committees, joins Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce and is active in the church.  People know her name.

I don’t join any organizations. I practice only litigation, personal injury and family law.  From a business point of view, real estate, probate and family law provide reliable, steady income.  You get paid by the hour or the job.  If you work for five hours, you get paid for five hours, but there aren’t any windfalls. In personal injury work you can make enormous and disproportionate profits because your fee is a percentage of the amount you recover for the client.  If you don’t get any money for your client, you don’t get anything either, but that is rare.  Usually, depending on the kind of case it is, you can settle a personal injury claim for anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000.

Personal injury work is my specialty. Consequently, year after year I bring in much more money than Carolyn does.  I never begrudge her fifty percent share of the income.  I don’t work any harder than she does, and some of the clients that come to me are as a result of her public relations work in the community. But we both know our financial success is a direct result of my efforts.

Carolyn has always believed that Karl is too good for me and that I don’t treat him right.  His confidences to her  only confirm that belief.  The two of them commiserate about my shortcomings, my lapses at work, my selfishness, my laziness, my arrogance.  They  agree that I need to be reined in and brought to my senses.

Karl, in consultation with Carolyn, creates a regimen for me with a written list of requirements for me to fulfill.  I have to go into work at 8:00 a.m. and can’t leave until 4:00 p.m.  I have to change my own light bulbs.  I have to be good.

I am so bereft and in pain that I accept all his rules without question.

Carolyn proves she is no friend of mine.  During my worst period, when Karl is threatening divorce and I am clinging desperately to the status quo, I go to her.  I am in as bad shape as I have ever been.  I need support from someone.  I beg her to listen, and she turns her back.  Literally turns away from me and refuses to talk.  It was as if I had betrayed her, not only Karl.  She is scornful, outraged, icy cold.

Once, after things settle down, Carolyn compliments me on having changed.  She says patronizingly, “You know, I didn’t really believe that you could, but you convinced me.”  I nod and smile gratefully, I am still too stupid to get mad.  Anger only slowly creeps up on me.  When our partnership is starting to break up, I finally tell Carolyn that I feel she abandoned me emotionally when the chips were down.  Her response is “Oh, I thought I was the  injured party!”  She apologizes, but I still don’t think she understands what I am talking about.

Anyway, in response to Karl’s ultimatum I turn off the computer, knuckle down, follow Karl’s instructions to the letter. I finally realize that I am not going to find unconditional love in this lifetime,  perhaps there is no such thing.  It seems that there is always a condition. Also, I lose my need to have an opinion about everything.   I don’t have to squelch my opinions, I just find that unless it is something that actually affects me, I don’t care.

I go back to work and start making money again.  Karl pretends to be my master, and I pretend that I am happy.  We both pretend that the kind of control Karl is exerting on my life is erotic.  It is not.  My model for a master is Volker, and Karl shares none of his sexual interests.   Karl’s heart is not into what he is doing, and regardless of how he playacts, he can convince neither of us.

Eventually, Karl lets me go back onto the computer although he is  in conflict about this decision.  He is afraid I will get carried away again.  On the other hand, he hates  to see me unhappy, and feels more and more  inadequate.  On the spur of the moment, he recklessly promised to be my master, and it has become clear that he cannot succeed.  He doesn’t want to and cannot meet my needs, certainly not when he is expected to fill the shoes of a phantom German sadist who doesn’t have to worry about anything but the erotic side of my life.

That’s what he blames it on.

I go back to D/s cybersex in a more restrained way.   I  take a new nickname, spend time in different rooms and with different masters.  For a few months, I keep a journal about my experiences and thoughts online.  We conceive of it as a way for Karl to monitor my activities and  gain insight into my feelings. I think it gives a fairly accurate picture of my state of mind during this period, with all my conflicts about submission, my struggles with Karl’s domination or lack thereof, and the interweaving of cyber and real life.

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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.

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Dog Years on the Internet

When I look back at my first day in that IRC channel, I’m embarrassed at my nativity. I stumble into the supposedly medieval Tavern and type hello all cheerful. Nobody says hello back, which is a little strange. Then, as I sit eyes fixed on the computer screen, mesmerized, I read a blow by blow description of a sexual encounter in which a submissive woman is tied up, fondled and eventually forced to reach orgasm.  Some of the language used sounds like a bad romance novel, but overall the impact on me is devastatingly erotic, I am sweating with arousal.

Believe it or not, within a few hours I become a slave at the Tavern. The seductive call of BDSM is impossible to resist, I’m seeing every sexual fantasy I ever had played out on the computer.  My new owner names me “elira” and places a cyber collar on my cyber neck, with his initial on it.   Wearing a collar is a tradition in the D/s world and is demonstrated by placing parentheses after a nickname, i.e. elira(BJ). Collaring is somewhat like marriage because it involves a commitment and a ceremony but is rare in real life where even the most fervent dominants and submissives tend to enter into traditional relationships. It is very common on IRC.  After all, if it doesn’t work out, it’s easy enough to delete the parentheses, change your name, and move along.  Wearing a collar, with its connotations of ownership and dehumanization, makes me excruciatingly hot.

Many  people have gone through  instantaneous conversion, an awakening, a bolt of religious enlightenment.  They probably would agree with me that after that moment, nothing is the same.  For me, certainly, nothing is ever again the same.

I have hardly any transition time, I am just an overripe fruit waiting to fall from the tree.  All it takes is a shake in the right direction. And internet time runs on dog years.  It goes about seven times faster than life outside, I think as a result of the intensity of communication over the computer.  Regular life is full of distractions, but computer life is focused.

So,  I scour the internet for information, not only about Gor but about all of D/s, find obscure web sites, read treatises, talk to people online and ask a thousand questions.    Everything is there, all the background, all the facts about domination and submission, laid out in easy to understand terms.  Mutual consent is what distinguishes D/s from abuse and assault, just as consent distinguishes sex from rape, I learn. Context is what determines whether or not pain is experienced as pleasurable.  Going to the dentist isn’t erotic but flogging can be.   Some people see D/s as their sexual orientation, while others just view it as a chosen sexual practice. D/s does not have to include sexual contact. Individuals who are submissive with their partner in a BDSM scene may not necessarily be submissive in other aspects of their lives.  D/s can encompass physical and psychological interactions.

My head is spinning with information. All I want is to talk D/s, be D/s, act out D/s, 24 hours a day.

Gor is fun for a while.  The rules at the Tavern are strict and elaborate.  Women are not allowed to look directly at a master, nor speak without being spoken to.  They cannot refer to themselves in the first person.  They have to memorize a variety of postures, everything from how to kneel when serving food and drink to how to stand properly when sold to the highest bidder at a slave auction.  Serving wine or beer had to be performed in a certain, colorful way. Punishment is the consequence of misbehavior or mistake.  Runaway or disobedient slaves are whipped or killed.

Underlying every interaction is the principle that a female slave has no volition or identity.  She is owned as chattel, subject to her master’s whim, bought and sold, traded or wagered or given away.  Typically, she is fit only for menial or sexual tasks.  Slaves are highly valued for their sexual responsiveness, but even the most desirable slave is worthless compared to a free person.

Gor philosophy is almost pure fantasy impossible to replicate, even emotionally, in the real world, but on IRC it works magic.

Right from the beginning, what I experience on the computer does more than just provide me with entertainment.  It invades every aspect of my life.  Few men on the internet are satisfied with only pretend interaction and fantasy role-playing.  Most demand real life compliance with any number of directions and orders.  Of course, they have no way of insuring that the other person is actually doing any of the things they’ve ordered, but there are ways around that.  Typically, you have to submit detailed reports on your activities or even photographs.

I never have a problem doing everything I am told.  I love getting ordered around, even micromanaged if I have the leeway.  There are relationships like that, not necessarily Gorean, where a submissive can’t eat or go to the bathroom or have an orgasm without permission, all her clothes are chosen for her, she really can’t make any decision at all, even the most mundane one.  That appeals to a lot of people in theory, but is not very practical because it’s so much work for the managing partner.  After a while, the dominant gets exhausted and says, “Just wear whatever you want.”

After my collaring at the Tavern, I spend every free moment at the computer, drinking coffee and avoiding conversation with Karl.  Laundry and housework are left undone while my days and evenings are spent staring at the screen and typing, learning how to serve the various masters with food, drink and sex.  Sometimes, I have private sessions with my master, where he instructs me on the finer points of submission and slavery, a la Gor.  These private chats prove to be my undoing as his collared slave.  Not only does he have no perceptible sense of humor, he gives out too much homework and not enough sex.  As much as I enjoy ritual, all I really want to do is explore my newfound sexuality.

Juggling my real life responsibilities, my time on the internet, and homework too, proves impossible.  And I am restless. After four days of slavery, I go to my master and say I am unhappy.  He spends about an hour trying to persuade me to stay, and I agree to think it over.  Then he gives me more homework and dismisses me.  I never return. Next day, I change my nickname to “ahlira” to make it difficult to be found, upload to a different IRC community, and begin my serious exploration into BDSM.

This is probably the time to mention that my persona on IRC is inaccurate.  By about 20 years.  From the beginning, I pretend to be a woman two decades younger than my real age.  Lying about my age  has its good points and its bad ones.  One advantage is that it makes it impossible for me to meet anyone in real life that I become acquainted with on IRC.  This constraint is handy in protecting me from my own  headstrong impulses.  Second, it is fun to be younger.  It softens the anger I feel about missing out on the D/s experience when I was really 30.  Third, I am a pretty smart and articulate 50 year old and an even more impressive 30 year old.  I wow people.  The bad part is that it is unpleasant to lie, especially when you develop a close relationship with someone.  You just want to come right out and tell the truth all the time.  You feel so close, you are sure that they wouldn’t mind you being 50.  But, even if they didn’t mind the age part, they would be upset about the lie.  If you are like me, you never quite muster the courage to confess.

At any rate, when I leave the Tavern, I begin an intense, exciting and tumultuous journey through other flavors of BDSM.  I cram eons of experience into the next few months and change collars constantly.  Aside from middle of the road domination and submission, traditional bondage and discipline, there is an amazing breadth of odd and  interesting fetishes to learn about, people who like to pee or be peed on, people with size fetishes, one devoted to “shrinking women”, where all the girls are zapped by a special ray gun and miniaturized, then sexually enslaved by normal sized masters,  foot worshipers, men who like women either completely bald or hairy all over, people who like to train girls like puppies or keep them in diapers, gangbangers, pretend doctors tormenting pretend gynecological  patients, men who like to watch girls being fucked by horses or dogs, you name it, there is someone who is turned on by it.  Not everything appeals to me of course, but it is liberating and fun to experiment with most of them.  I begin to see each of the fetishes as metaphor for power exchange.  Like rape, for instance. My own earliest BDSM fantasies are about rape, and for years I masturbate to make-believe scenarios of being raped.

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In some ways, it’s lucky that I have the ability to find fulfillment in internet sex.  Playing online is safer than meeting strangers in a dark alley, I say to myself. Words are a sterile outlet and the potential for damage is limited, I think. I didn’t anticipate the internet’s  emotional power. Although you can’t get a sexually transmitted disease from the computer, you can love and hate and feel passion with just as much transforming energy as if you were on the street. The line between words and reality is not so clear cut.

Online D/s, like D/s in the real world,  is not  monolithic.  Hundreds of different approaches and bents exist, an endless variety of fetishes and special interests and weird predilections.  The advantage to the computer is that you can find them all in one place, you don’t have to travel to Arkansas to meet the person who shares your particular desire.  I didn’t have to fly to Munich to meet Volker.

Think of IRC as a street lined with ten or twenty tall skyscrapers.  Each building, really a “net”, has hundreds or  thousands of rooms or “channels”, filled with people.  Some rooms have only one person in them and others are auditorium size and bursting with hundreds.  Each building, and indeed all the buildings, share a few basic elements.  You can choose to talk to everyone in the room  at once, or you can whisper in another person’s ear.  Or do both at the same time.  Each room has a name over the door and a topic, to give newcomers an idea of the kind of place it is.  Inside, there’s a list of occupants so you can see at a glance who is home that day.  Nobody uses their real name, but their nicknames tell you something about them.   You can visit multiple rooms and have multiple conversations simultaneously. Confusing, and it can mix you up, but possible in  IRC world.

Anyone can create an IRC room with a few strokes on a computer keyboard.  Once you have founded a room, you choose among your friends for people to run it.  Those people are called ops, and they have the power to kick rowdy visitors out, make rules for the room and enforce them, and generally keep order among the inhabitants.

You can, if you are not sure which room you want to visit, get a list of all the channels in a particular net along with the number of people inside.   It’s a very long list, more than 10,000 on some nets.  As I said, each room has a name, and the name indicates a theme.  Bandung has the most people in it, almost 900.  Almost every Asian country and city is represented by multiple crowded rooms.  Sweden has 60 people visiting, Gay Penang has 54.  A Christian room has 50 members.  Soccer and football rooms have 40 each.  At 6:00 a.m. today, cybersex has 41 people inside, Sydneycafe has 31.  My old room has 45 people inside.    There are probably 150 different D/s rooms in the IRC net I spent the most time in,  all geared to appeal to a  slightly different but overlapping segment of the kinky population.

When the internet first comes to my town, IRC is one of the programs the local  access provider installs on my machine.  It is easy to connect.  The first room I visit is called Over 50.  I am over 50 and have a good time chatting with folks  from all across the country.  Nothing serious, just fun drinking my morning coffee and talking.  I even have lunch with some other Vermonters I met  and Karl and I eat a lobster dinner with a nice lady and her daughter when we visit Maine.

After awhile, I explore further.  I wander looking into various rooms, staying a few minutes and moving on.  Raunchy sex channels are easy to spot, and scare me, so I stay far away from them.  One day, I visit a room called Boar’s Head Tavern which makes me think of a medieval inn.  It isn’t. Followers of the writer, John Norman, have created the room.  Norman is the author of a series of science fiction books about  a fantasy world called Gor, a barbarian society of master and slave.  Men are natural masters and women are born slaves. 

The first Gor book is generic science fiction replete with rocket ships, and contains only  vague descriptions of the social system, but each subsequent book is more elaborate, painting mythical Gor in minute detail, replete with philosophical underpinnings, an invented language, and hot sex scenes.  A cult arises and is made manifest in the IRC universe. I had always been a science fiction afficionado, but never heard of John Norman or read a Gor book.

This is precisely when I get kicked in the head by my epiphany.

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The Thaw

Nothing really changes between Karl and me until 1996, two years later.  That’s when I first connect to the internet and discover a whole world of dominance and submission, sadism and masochist, power exchange and slavery.  Instantly, all my fantasies are within reach.  With brilliant, if belated,  illumination, I finally figure myself out, I finally understand the source of my bizarre desires, I understand the reason  I seem frigid and asexual, suddenly  I can claim an identity and have the words to articulate my needs.

My epiphany is simultaneously angry and joyful.  Angry, because I am middle aged, 52 years old, angry because I have been so stupid for so long, every step of the way I failed to recognize signs that could have pointed me to self-knowledge, my submissive fantasies, affairs with power figures, my strange arousal watching the power exchange in Kiss Me Kate.  I am angry because it literally never occurred to me that there could be  people out there who felt the same way I did about sex.

But at the same time I am joyful, because it is thrilling to finally realize where my sexuality lies. Just talking to people like me is a vindication and a validation, knowing that I am not always the odd woman out or a lone crazed neurotic is joyful.  Who cares if I am part of a strange fringe minority.  The difference between being in a minority and being all alone is enormous.

I don’t react in a very logical or sensitive way to my new knowledge, I don’t stop and think about consequences.  I hurtle headlong in every direction I can find.  As far as I am concerned, my world is transformed and life owes me, owes me big time.  I am in no mood to apologize for anything. I plunge into a sexual maelstrom on the internet that will last for the next three years.

Sex on the internet is the scourge of politicians and the religious right.  For me it is more than pornographic text or dirty pictures, it’s interactive eroticism taking place online, in real time,  intellectual, literary, unbridled sex.  The requirements are simple.  You have to type fast, have a good vocabulary and superior descriptive powers, and want more or different sex than is available from the girl next door or the husband upstairs in bed.  I know all this because I  gather my information first hand, up close and personal.

In the late ’90’s cybersex scening or playing takes place 24 hours a day, seven days a week on an array of sites within the Internet Relay Chat network or IRC, accessible worldwide.  I immerse myself in a subculture within cybersex known as the BDSM or D/s community, standing for Bondage, Domination, Submission and Masochism, and Dominance/submission.

People who scene online are just one part of  internet  D/s.  Many dominants and submissives use a computer to meet others in real life so they can  form relationships, using it like a dating service.  Others aren’t looking for an actual connection, but just want to talk dirty and masturbate.  But people like me can sink deep into the typed word so that it becomes  reality and changes their outer life to match their cyber life.  If you have ever been so immersed in a book that you forget who you are, so intoxicated with words that you become the character, so that you feel you are actually living the story, that’s a little like I feel.  If you can’t or choose not to do that, if there is always a part of you that stands back and is objective, if words just stay words, it’s impossible to explain. I turn out to be the kind of person who can lose herself in words.  And I do, I lose myself and I find myself, I experiment with an abandon that takes my breath away.

The internet provides me with a gigantic playground to explore my sexuality and I plunge in pell-mell and heedless.   My sense of entitlement is overwhelming.   Although Karl is leery of my mad enthusiasm, he hesitates to put up any barriers.  Not that I would notice anyway. I think to myself that whatever arcane desires I am now expressing are ones that he is unwilling to fulfill.  So he watches nervously, and hopes that this interest of mine turns out to be a passing fancy which will fade soon.  He humors me. At first.

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