Her eyes still sparkle as she looks at my face adoringly, cradling it gently. We are no longer together; we’re just friends now. She doesn’t tie me up or spank me any longer. However, she and I still care for each other deeply. We’re sisters in pain and love.
I feel transported to when I was 16, to a time I was young, didn’t know who I was, but was in love. I didn’t even know how to kiss then. Back then, I didn’t know anything about love, sex, or relationships. Heck, I didn’t even know much about myself, except that I wanted to make everyone happy.
I wanted to study well to please my teachers. I wanted to eventually marry a guy my parents would choose, have a career so I could contribute to the family income. I wanted to make my eventual in-laws happy and content too. I didn’t understand my own need to make everyone happy.
Fast forward six years: I had already broken up from my first asexual relationship with a guy whose possessiveness I used to be smitten with. I had moved to Delhi; this was almost a culture shock for me. I still didn’t know myself well enough. However, I did know that I was a sloppy kisser, a sensitive person and as confused as always.
This is when I discovered ‘it’. ‘It’ being BDSM. When a colleague first introduced me to porn and I discovered a kink site, I was amazed. I was surprised, shocked, horrified, disgusted and extremely intrigued, all at the same time.
Come to think of it now, I think I was open to the idea only because my friend was an older woman. I suspect if I wouldn’t be equally embracing of the idea of watching porn if a guy had first suggested it. Sisters before misters, you see.
Little did I know that this concept called BDSM would help me discover myself for the next decade — and longer. I hadn’t realised that it could be so sensual, pleasurable and relaxing, unlike what most porn videos showed.
For a long time, I wondered. Are there others who practice BDSM in India? Are they abusive? Are they all sadists? What do they do in their real lives? Could there be others like me? Seemingly normal, accomplished people who have good jobs, a decent social life and an image to live up to? On the side, porn flicks didn’t do much for me any longer, neither the ‘soft’ ones that friends and colleagues now recommended, nor the hardcore stuff that I surfed through.
I felt unfulfilled. But what did I even know of BDSM? Was it just in my head? Was I only being a rebel? If not, then why couldn’t I successfully reach a high that my body craved for? What were all these fantasies about? Were they always to remain fantasies?
The less I watched porn, the more I read about BDSM, the more I yearned to explore, the more I wanted to try things out. However, I didn’t know where to find a partner. I didn’t know who to trust. I didn’t want to be judged or considered a ‘freak’. I didn’t feel safe.
And then, *he* happened. Let’s call him S. S and I met online. S and I chatted and talked for long hours. S understood what I wanted. He also introduced me to some other people who were into BDSM. And suddenly, I had friends! Friends that understood my desires and did not judge me. Friends who encouraged me to read, discuss and experiment when I was ready. Even a decade later, some of these friends have stayed with me through thick and thin. They are my extended family and a very strong support system.
With friends watching over me, I finally found the courage to experiment. My initial experiments were with some seasoned people. People who were considered safe, respectful of boundaries, kind and compassionate.
It was after I met ‘A’ that I explored more. A and I were friends for five years before she asked me to experiment with her. I felt safe with her. I trusted her. In fact, I moved past several blocks during the time when we experimented together. She took me places, places I never thought existed. She took me through sensations: high, ecstasy, pleasure, relief, catharsis, joy, contentment and so much more.
Eventually, life happened and both of us moved on. But I had managed to find a sister I never actually had. She still cradles my face the same way whenever we meet. She taught me so much about myself through BDSM.
Bondage taught me that I could trust. Discipline taught me to slow down and tread with caution. Domination taught me responsibility and submission – how to let go. Sadomasochism and pain taught me that there’s always pleasure and light at the end of the tunnel.
I learned that as long as you experiment with caution and with someone you trust, there’s always going to be pleasure.