Later that evening, Kim and I were going through our luggage together, seeing if we could thin it out. Pulling out my evening wear, a long black dress with slits up at the sides and a plunging neckline, my toy bag fell out. I had clumsily forgot to zip it before packing it and as it rolled onto the floor, so did all of its erotic cargo.
Kim, trying to help, went to pick up one of the butt plugs. Purple, with a jewelled end. One of my favourites.
“Hey, what’s this?”
“Ah… don’t touch that.”
She recoiled. I picked it up. I always sanitize toys between uses – cleanliness is next to goddess-ness after all – but I didn’t want to scare her. Kim points to the head of the double ended dildo now, that is peeking cheekily out of the bag opening.
“Oh my god, what is that? It looks like a… like a…”
Well the cat (or dildo) was out of the bag now. So, with that, I began to try to explain to this innocent little thing from Malaysia, the various tools in my bag and their uses. Her eyes widened when I explained the plug.
“It goes where?”
“Some people like it.”
“But why? Doesn’t it hurt?”
“Mmm. Hopefully. Possibly at first.”
Kim looked at me with confusion, then amusement.
“You are a funny lady, Katia.”
I smiled indulgently at her. Time to put the toys away and change the subject. At that exact moment, Penelope – Thai tasselled skirt flaring out behind her – threw open the door and ran in crying. She smelled of coconut oil and her eyes were wild.
“I just went for a massage in town… and… and…”
“Penelope!” I said, stepping forward to help. “Whatever is the matter?”
As I stepped forward, one of my toys fell from the bag I was trying to zip. Penelope looked down at the mid sized, flesh coloured plug on her foot, shrieked and ran outside again, wailing louder. I looked at Kim in confusion. She shrugged.
Later, I heard through Kim that Penelope had apparently had a bit of a misunderstanding with a Khmer masseuse. Khmer massage – along with Thai massage – is known to be quite an intimate experience. But there are also two types of massage place: the ones that relax you and provide muscular and skeletal relief, and the ones that provide – for want of a better phrase – happy endings. Penelope, being Penelope, had stumbled into entirely the wrong kind of establishment and their attempts to give her a happy ending had very unhappy results.
She sat quietly at dinner, legs tightly crossed. I tied to engage her in conversation, but as the resort’s in-house sexual deviant, I was apparently only adding to her trauma and she refused to look at me.
Then along came Ben, with his tray of food.
“Penelope! Babe! What’s up? Time of the month?”
Ugh. Penelope winced. Now that was the last thing she needed right now.
I patted the seat beside me, glaring at Ben.
“You. Come. Sit.”
Ben stiffened, grinned, then did as he was told.
In the vast expanse of farms and stilt houses around the resort property, the heavy pound of Khmer music was playing. It would be Khmer new year in a week and the festivities were starting early. There was something incredibly pleasant about sitting by an open window, feeling the wood frame and chairs vibrate with every over amplified beat. In addition, the thrum of a thousand crickets in the garden outside and the intermingled incense from the Buddha shrine combined in the humid evening air in a way that was deeply sensual.
I excused myself from the dining hall early to scour the garden a final time. I found myself a fallen bamboo cane of the right size, then wandered to the apartment where Ben was staying and found – to my delight – a Kapok tree: it’s bark, a mosaic of merciless thorns. I pressed my body gentle against them, feeling each little point press threateningly against my skin. Yes, this would do nicely.
I waited there a while. The others left the dining hall and filed past me first. Bruno shot me a suspicious look, while the Aussie winked at me:
“You look like you’re up to no good.”
I grinned back at her and watched the group leave. No Ben. He was probably still eating. I imagined the others had grown tired of his inane prattle and rushed their meals to escape him.
Finally Ben came around the corner. He looked surprised to see me. I nodded to him and allowed him to walk a few more steps until he was between the Kapok tree and I.
He looked at the bamboo cane in my hand.
“Katia! What are you doing here? And what’s that stick for? Were you planning on beating me with it?”
I shot him a wicked smile, lifting the cane and placing it to the side of his neck.
Ben shifted uncomfortably, accidentally brushing the thorns on the trunk behind him. He winced in pain.
“I imagine you usually beat yourself. It might make for a nice change, mmm?”
“Uh…” he leaned back, as if to get away, but caught the thorns again. He could have moved away on either side, there was space, but his feet didn’t move. Presumably they knew something his fearful mind did not.
I started to trace the cane gently around his neck, then deliberately slowly, down the length of his chest, his sternum, his belly and down to his belt line. Then below. He spasmed a little.
“What’s wrong? Am I making you nervous?”
He gulped. Sweat was beading on his forehead. He licked his lips and took a deep breath, attempting to compose himself.
“N…no. It just… it’s just that it tickles a little.”
“Mmm. Tickles? I imagine it’s doing a whole lot more than that, Ben. At least, that’s what your other head is telling me.”
Ben looked down at the obvious bulge in his chinos, covering it reflexively with his hands, like Adam in the Garden of Eden perhaps, when realizing his nakedness. In a sense, he was naked. I saw right through his coyness and attempts at bravado, to the slobbering, desperate man inside. A slave to his desires, and soon, yes, to me too.
What an uncomfortable position to be in. Poor thing.
“No need to be shy, Ben. You think it’s the first time I’ve seen an erection?”
I smacked his hands away with the bamboo cane.
“Hold this for me, would you?” I said, placing the bamboo cane between his teeth. He held it obligingly, his eyes widening. “There’s a dear. Now let’s see what we have here.”
I knelt down in front of him, placing a hand on both of his hips firmly.
“There now. See? Do I look scared? It’s hardly threatening, Ben: you don’t need to protect me from it. I’ve seen bigger. Much bigger than this… attempt.”
Ben’s shoulders slumped and for a moment he looked like a little boy lost. I gently began massaging the side of his hips, then kneading forwards towards his groin, stopping short of the strained fabric there.
“Yes, relax. That’s it. There. Now, you don’t need to look so afraid. Well, perhaps it’s wise, but you’re not going anywhere, are you?”
Ben shook his head, wincing as in a moment of relaxing his back caught the barbs of the Kapok.
“And you want to please me, don’t you?”
Ben nodded slowly. He looked wonderfully ridiculous, standing there helpless, cane between his teeth like an obedient puppy, awaiting my next instruction.
I increased the speed and intensity of my massage, still avoiding the intimate area. So much of this work is the energy from potentiality. Sex is a release – it’s fast and furious and then its gone. Where there is tension, where there is potential, there is creativity and hunger. This is my preferred arena to work from, in all areas of my life, but especially in my work. Ben was moaning softly now, edging his erection towards my hands, but my hands always moving away from it, continuing to massage.
“I wonder what you thought when you saw me here, standing outside of your room. I look quite appealing, don’t I Ben? This black dress glides over my contours like poured wax and – ah – I caught you. You like breasts, don’t you Ben? It’s alright. You can look. They are very nice aren’t they? I bet you must have imagined what it would be like to hold them…”
I paused, watching his jaw clench over the bamboo.
“Perhaps to place one in your mouth… suckle on it. Mmm? Feel its softness giving to your tongue as you lapped on it.”
He was beginning to drool.
“And perhaps as you did that, to have me sitting over you as you did that, sitting on that little mound of yours and squirming on top of it.”
Ben’s mouth gaped open, the cane falling out. I gave a sigh of exasperation, stopped the massage, picked it up not bothering to dust it off and shoved it forcefully back between his teeth.
“No Ben. I didn’t tell you to drop it.”
He mumbled something that sounded vaguely like an apology, but there was too much saliva to make sense of it.
I knelt back down again, switching from the previous massage to just running my hands softly down his thighs. Ignoring his now more desperate attempts to thrust his boner into my hands.
“Settle! Just listen Ben, I am telling you a story. Please don’t be rude or I will be forced to take that cane from your teeth and impress my disappointment onto your buttocks. Understand?”
He nodded. He was moaning louder now, his breathing coming out in hard rasps. Anyone could hear. The thought crossed my mind that we may both get into a bit of trouble for these shenanigans, but this would only take a few moments more. He was close.
“Those images I just gave you. They caught your imagination didn’t they?”
I stood up, brushing the red dirt from the front of my dress and starting to walk away. I heard Ben let out a gasp, I heard the sound of the cane dropping to the floor. I turned to see his body spasm helplessly for a moment or two in front of the tree.
“Ben… did you just?”
Ben looked up at me, ashamed.
“Oh dear. Did I tell you to do that?”
Ben shook his head.
“N.. no… Mistress…”
His chinos had a growing darkness on their front now.
“I have to say Ben, I am really quite disappointed. I was simply trying to reassure you, to tell you a story, and you do – this.”
Ben looked at me, vainly trying to brush off the stain with one of his hands.
“You’re really quite pathetic. I would imagine there are wild horses with more self control than you.”
I raised my eyebrow and glared at him. He cowed.
“I’m sorry, Mistress.”
I sighed, picked up the cane and dusted it off.
“Apology considered. Really Ben, as embarrassing as this whole thing is for you, you could consider yourself quite fortunate. I have the tools to teach you to overcome that undisciplined nature of yours and shape you into something far more… pleasing. It would of course be quite a lot of work for me, and I am supposed to be on vacation but…”
I ran the tip of the bamboo through my hair, brushing my bangs out of my eyes and looking Ben up and down.
“If you really want my assistance, I suppose you could ask very nicely and I might consider it…”
Ben paused for a moment, then knelt down before me.
“Yes… please Mistress. Please help me. I want to please you.”
I smiled. He looked a lot more fetching down in the dirt, than he had all day. I placed a wedged shoe on top of his back for a moment and rocked forward on it, pressing him down a little more. He spluttered a little, then looked up at me with a placating smile.
“Request accepted, Ben. Alright, your work starts tomorrow. Better get some rest – you will need it.”
Ben got up slowly, watching me conscientiously as a student might gaze at a teacher at the start of an important lesson. He jangled his key chain in his hand, flustered, and placed the key in the door.
“Oh and Ben?”
“You’d better change those pants, unless you want to advertise to the world what a pathetic little thing you were tonight..”
Ben disappeared into his room. I yawned and stretched my arms. To sleep now, perchance to dream, of a tailored set list of discomfort and frustration for my new project.
All work and no play does make a person dull. And in my work, I need to always have an edge, or many, preferably sharp, pointed or at the very least, hard.
So I’m travelling to South East Asia for research, and of course a little respite. First stop, Cambodia, a little resort just outside of Seam Reap. Then Thailand – that heady mix of dirt, excitement, and mystery that I’ve always found so intoxicating a prospect.
Siem Reap is a harsh Mistress in herself. The heat is hard to explain, inescapable, it invades every pore and the only way to survive it is to surrender to it. My dewy skin breathes in temporary relief as the tuk tuk turns and the mildest hint of a breeze ripples through my cotton shirt, over my bare décolletage, sensually brushing bare skin and bringing me to life in a way I haven’t felt in a long while.
The road is an ordered chaos of interweaving tuk tuks, mopeds and cattle. The smell is a heady mix of boiling refuse and floral fragrance from the vegetation of the fields and forests beyond.
I contemplate being a stranger in a foreign land must be somewhat similar to how my submissives feel at times. At the mercy of many things that are beyond their control, trusting that things will work out because they have to, yet knowing around every turn is something that may just push them completely out of their comfort zone, at best, or completely destroy them, at worse.
No, I’ve never destroyed any of my submissives. There seems little point going to all the trouble I do for them to simply have them fall apart at the end. Yet I aways try to impress the possibility that I might have this unspoken destructive power, when I learn their fears and subject them to them in small, arousing doses. They don’t understand, in those moments of vulnerability and terror, that I never mean them any harm – I am simply showing them a new way. A way to transcend those dull fears and limiting beleifs that stop them living to their full potential. I am the inner city paint store to the suburban artist – come to me and I’ll show you shades and tones that you’d never known before. Especially red. I do like red. And purple. Even blue.
Opposite me in the tuk tuk, Kim sits quietly, hugging her backpack to her as if to protect herself from the world. We’re staying at the same resort, and while waiting for our driver she confided in me that this was her trip to find herself, after quitting a well paid but unsatisfactory job. She talked to me about her upbringing in Malaysia and the “Asian work ethic”, which I found very interesting. But the part where my ears really pricked up was when she spoke of physical discipline in the school system.
“When we were bad, to punish us, they used bamboo,” she said, obviously somewhat pained by the memory. “We were given a choice, thick bamboo, or many thin bamboos tied together.”
“Which did you choose?” I asked her.
“The thick one. It looks bigger, but it hurts less. The smaller ones tied together were sharp. They really sting.”
Bamboo. I take a mental note.
“How about you?” She asked, “What do you do?”
I raised my eyebrow at the girl sitting in front of me, some ten years younger than me and full of childish curiosity. Should I tell her what I do? The toys I have and where they go?
“I’m… not sure I should tell you.”
She leaned forward a little, eye widening.
“Oh. You do something bad? You mafia or something?”
She laughed at her own joke. I sighed and shook my head. How to explain? Do they have kink in Malaysia? Did she have a boyfriend? If so, that might make it easier. Kimmy, sometimes when two people love each other very much, they tie each other up and put things up their asses? No. No, and anyway, love has nothing to do with this business of mine. Affection? Yes. Friendship? Sure. Trust? Absolutely. It was not love, beyond that I love my work and the submissives seem to love theirs.
“Have you ever heard of Mistresses?”
Kim looked lost in thought a moment, then frowned a little.
“You mean, like the other woman?”
“No. Different kind of Mistress. It’s about… being a person of power for another person to reliquish their power to. How to explain? Ok. When someone submits to me, to my whims and caprices, I can take them past their stale day to day reality and into a whole new world of strengths and possibilities. It’s a creative process of sorts.”
“Like a life coach?”
“Uh. Yeah, sure. Like a life coach.”
“You could teach me! Be my coach, I need one.”
I smile back awkwardly. We enjoy a minute or so of uncomfortable silence until our tuk tuk rattles loudly down the stone drive of the resort.
Lush green canopy and a myriad of flowers and fragrance greets us at the gates. I learn that there are seven others here, mainly females in their late twenties. Two men. One, a German called Bruno who looks very dull. The other a cocksure English man in his late twenties called Ben, who made me bristle (not in a good way) when he introduced himself to me in the manner of a drooling, undisciplined puppy. I pondered he might be a good subject to bring to heel.
Bags unpacked, Kim and I slipped into our bikinis and headed to the pool. The smouldering tiles surrounding it threatened to brand bottoms that lingered there too long, so we slipped slowly into the cool blue water, letting it cool our overheating skin. An English girl named Penelope was there, on a gap year, writing a segment on “following your bliss”
I suppose bliss is alright, but I’ve always found pain to be a better teacher. Perhaps that explained why she hadn’t learnt much. There was an Aussie girl there too, lean, angular and as intimidating in nature as the vast hot expanse she travelled from. Of course, I liked her immediately.
We were rudely awakened from our blissful soaking by a large blur of pale skin and red trunks whizzing over our heads and landing with a great splash in the pool.
He came up, spitting water, like some kind of lecherous Orca.
“Ladies.” He said with a wink, then sidled up next to Kim. “Your first time here in Cambodia?”
He was leering at her chest. Practically drooling. No subtlety. He asked the question directly to her breasts.
Kim shot me a worried look. Help me. Ben was obviously blissfully unaware of how much of a cretin he appeared at that point in time. It came to me at that point that I’d have to teach him. Holiday schmoliday. This had every potential of becoming a very satisfying project indeed.
“Ben, is it?” I said.
He looked a little scared as I addressed him. Good. He nodded.
“You look like a physical guy, Ben.” His head perked up, rooster-like, obviously pleased with himself. This was disappointingly easy.
I lifted my leg out of the water,, being careful to brush the inside of his thigh with my big toe before presenting him with one of my black manicured feet. He tensed a little as I brushed that soft and vulnerable spot. His eyes betrayed in that moment all of the sad little fantasies such men have about women… before they meet me.
“My feet are an absolute wreck after all of this travelling.” I drawled, lifting my other foot out of the water. “I’d so appreciate a pair of big… strong… hands…”
I didn’t need to continue. He was already pressing and rubbing my feet with all of the hopeful obedience of a submissive.
I moaned sensually. I really couldn’t care less about the foot rub. I’m not a foot person. But this was all part of the game.
He stopped for a moment, looking at me with that stupid smile on his face. Probably thought he was going to get lucky later.
Oh, he had no idea.
I returned his gaze, unsmiling, and with solemn intensity. He gulped and turned away.
“Well,” I said, pushing my foot into his hand. “Carry on.”
He did as he was asked. Kim looked at me, puzzled. I shot her a wink. Penelope was giggling. Silly girl.
I looked around the lush garden. Many exotic plants, abuzz with butterflies and birds.
And there, between the bathrooms and the change rooms, exactly what I was looking for.
Bamboo. Canes of it dancing in the slow afternoon breeze.
I lay back, Ben kneading my feet as I plotted the ways in which I could knead him into a better specimen of man.
It was going to be a wonderful vacation. I could feel it.