I’ll never forget my first public scene with Justin. It was on a busy night at the dungeon. A play party.
“What would you like to do?” he asked me.
I clammed up. “I don’t know,” I said.
“Page,” he said in that voice. His Dom voice, the way he says something when it’s an order. “Pick something.”
I felt blood rush into my ears. A frequent visitor to this club, I’d been watching people play for months. But my previous Dom had mostly preferred to play in private. And I was overwhelmed by the variety of options here. I could be standing, sitting, lying down. There were floggers, canes, paddles.
But there was also something else here, the biggest factor of all: There was an audience.
I was so new to it all. I had no idea how I’d react. How I’d take the pain. Or if I even would. I could have to safe word out immediately. And in front of all these people.
So I decided to stick with play we’d already done at home. Something I knew I could take.
“How about spanking?”
Justin nodded. There was a bench in one of the large rooms that would be perfect.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said, excited.
But Justin wasn’t going to let me off the hook so easily. There were a ton of people in the space, sure, but the play party had just begun. No one was really doing scenes yet. In fact, most of the people were milling about in the wings, the social areas. Chatting, having refreshments.
If I went and had my scene now, no one would be watching. And Justin told me in no uncertain terms that this would not do.
I wasn’t just going to quietly have a scene while people caught up with one another in other rooms. No, Justin ordered me to round up an audience.
And so I walked around the dungeon asking people I barely knew (and some not at all), “Would you like to watch me get spanked?”
Sometimes the answer was an enthusiastic yes. Many times people seemed a little confused by the question. One woman in a nun’s habit replied, “Well, that sounds okay, but honestly I’d rather spank you myself.”
My cheeks burned with embarrassment. I felt like my legs might give out.
But when I returned to the bench, I had drawn a large crowd. Honestly, I don’t remember the scene itself terribly much — other than what I know about Justin’s spanking abilities in general. That he has an almost otherworldly strength. It’s like being attacked by an angry giant. And when he spanks you, he plays your pain like an instrument, moving his hand in a way that ensures max hand-to-skin reverberation as he pulls back to hit you again.
But what I do remember very well is the conversation we had afterwards.
How amazed he was that I walked up to all those people I didn’t know and asked them that same question. “That took a lot of courage,” he said, “I just ordered you to do something that I couldn’t do.”
And as he cuddled me, I beamed with a sort of pride that warmed us both.
I’d always been ferocious when it came to protecting my friends. People close to me.
But when it came to protecting myself, it was a no go: You could walk all over me.
But I could do it for Justin.
It had started back when we were just friends. When I heard mutual “friends” saying things about him that I knew weren’t true, I’d stuck up for him then. Told them that they were mistaken and telling themselves unhelpful stories about Justin.
It continued when we got together. I would do anything to take care of him, to protect him. I had a respect for him that went well beyond the rest of what we were. That existed even outside of the sex, the affection, the romantic love.
I’m not a particularly loyal person nor one who trusts others easily, but Justin somehow had my complete confidence. It was easy to submit to him. Natural.
And what did he do when he got that trust?
He ordered me to take care of myself. To do all the things I’d ruled out as too difficult. The things I was afraid of attempting.
And in submitting to him, I developed a kind of courage I never knew I had. Because I could do things for him that I was too afraid normally to do. Just like that first night at the dungeon.
He insisted that I work out my issues in therapy. So I called a counselor and untied the knots in my psyche.
He told me to face my creditors and get on a payment plan. So I called them up and fixed my finances.
He ordered me to go back to school and finish my degree. So I did, graduating as a double major and being nominated for valedictorian.
When I got a job, he encouraged me as I got a promotion and became a manager.
And it’s because of him that I was able to work up the courage to write publicly after years of telling myself that I wasn’t good enough of a writer and that nobody really wanted to read what I had to say.
Maybe it’s not the first thing most people think of when they think of BDSM, but no matter what happens now, submitting to Justin has given me a huge gift. He showed me the courage within myself. Taught me my own value. And that’s not something you soon forget.