At the dungeon party, I watched a daddy restrain his boy on a cross. The boy had on a leather hood with bits that could be removed, but his eyes were covered. The daddy began working him with a flogger, slowly. He struck along the edges of the boy’s back but soon built momentum, hitting harder, meticulously, the sound slicing through the air. When he hit too hard the boy flinched, throwing his head back. The daddy stopped and kissed the wound. His lips moved to the boy’s ear and he whispered something while caressing the boy’s back with the palm of his hand. I could almost feel his touch on my skin, that’s how heartfelt it was. After a few moments he continued flogging, hitting harder, but the boy didn’t flinch this time; he was being guided to new heights. When he reached the next plateau, though, the boy curled his back. The daddy stopped completely and embraced him for a few moments as if he was protecting him from the world. The narrative captivated me: this was a boy’s journey through pain and acceptance, led by desire. In a world full of misfortunes he was trying to find his place, or at least that’s what I’d like to think.
When his daddy let him free, the boy wrapped his arms around his neck and grabbed on for dear life. His daddy finally removed the cover from the boy’s eyes and kissed him, leading the boy out of the darkness with his lips.
As I watched them I was reminded of my relationship with DH before he and I stopped talking on a daily basis. He was the first real daddy I’d been with, and he introduced me to BDSM at a time when I was losing faith in traditional conventions. He became my sexual mentor, offering an alternative way of thinking about life, and brought out the real me buried deep inside. I struggled with his teachings at first and demanded a semblance of normalcy to balance what happened when we were alone together, when I often felt that we were getting carried away. When it was time for me to find my own way, I used his teachings as a map. It was scary in a very different way, but he remained in the background to guide me whenever I needed his help. That was the connection that we shared.
I’ve come to the conclusion that what matters most in life is the connection we share with the people we encounter, whether sexually and intellectually. The human experience is solitary by design, but those moments when we connect, whether it’s for a few seconds in the back row of a gay cinema, several minutes in the backroom of the leather bar or several hours sipping beers at a dungeon party, keep us from feeling completely alone.
When I find myself exploring a dungeon party on a Sunday afternoon, I know why I’m there. I’m on a journey searching for those connections that help me place myself in this strange, strange world.