Talking About Bondage

I just stumbled over one of the first non-pornified (albeit still fictional) discussions of bondage that I ever encountered in my life. It’s from a science fiction novel called Mindkiller, written by Spider Robinson back in 1983:

“Norman?” she began, and from the tone in her voice he knew at least in general where she was going, and started to protest his fatigue, but she kept on talking, saying, “Do you have any unfulfilled fantasies?” Fatigue gone. “Uh . . . sexual fantasies, you mean?”

“Chicken. Come on, be honest. Aren’t there any secret wishes I can make come true for you?” Her hand found him, began working gently.

“Well . . .”

“Come on, you’re stalling, trying to think of something else plausible to ask me for, in place of whatever you first thought of.”

Even Lois had not pushed all his buttons. He made his decision. “How do you feel about being tied up?” Even in the semidarkness he could tell she was frowning; her hand stopped.

“Further than you wanted to go?” he asked after a while.

“You know,” she said slowly, “I’m not sure.” She lit another cigarette, cupping it so that all the light was reflected down away from her face. “I had a friend, once. She and her husband were into master-slave stuff, I mean they were incredible. She wore a collar around her neck, had whip scars, and I swear to God she was as proud and happy as hell. I thought it was sick.”

“Jesus,” he said, “so do I.”

“I used to ask her how she could stand to be degraded like that. She said it was like the ultimate proof of her love for him. I asked her if he ever proved his love, and she said it didn’t work that way, that she gave him what he needed and he gave her what she needed.”

“Christ on a skateboard. They still together?”

“Of course not. After a while she had no more proofs to give him, so he dumped her. I haven’t seen either of ’em in years.”

“Uh . . . that’s considerably stronger than what I had in mind. I don’t think I’d go for bullwhips and pain and abuse.”

It was light enough now to see her grin as her hand squeezed. “But hearing about it got you hard, didn’t it?”

He could not deny it.

“I’ll tell you something. I think she was off the wall, I mean industrial-strength crazy . . . but once in a long while I think about it and I get wet myself. Isn’t that sick?”

“First tell me what ‘sick’ means when applied to a normal condition. Nobody leaves the TV for a snack during the rape scene. That does not necessarily mean that anybody wants a rape for Christmas.” He took another cigarette himself, and she lit it for him with hers. “Look, my subconscious is as screwed up as anyone’s. Just from the little I’ve told you about Lois and me, you must be able to see that there’s probably a lot of hostility towards women buried in me right now, certainly towards one woman. But—well, I don’t know if this will make any sense or not, but a fantasy is not necessarily a wish.”

“All right, then,” she said, and began gently stroking his penis. “Tell me about your wishes.” He could make out her features now, and she was looking him square in the eye. He could not look away. Involuntarily his back began to arch, his buttocks to clench.

“I would like to tie you down to this bed,” he said thickly, “and tease, tantalize, and otherwise titillate your fair young body until you scream for mercy. The only kind of pain I have in mind—beyond the occasional pinch or scratch we’ve already tried—is the sweet agony of wanting to come so badly you can’t see straight or remember your name.”

Her busy hand paused, and she grinned suddenly. “That does sound more interesting than scrambled eggs and coffee. I just don’t know if I understand the tying-up part.” He disposed of his cigarette and she followed suit. “Well, partly it’s the symbolic trust, of course, which is fairly heady stuff. But most of it is a sheerly muscular thing. I mean, sex is a process of allowing tension to build to a peak and then release, right?”

“When you’re doing it right.”

“All right—but ordinarily there’s a certain point beyond which your subconscious will not let you build that tension—because if you did, the sheer intensity of the climax would break your partner’s back, or nose, or whatever. But when you’re restrained, you can exert total effort safely. Every muscle in your body can turn into steel cable, and it’s okay.”

She was looking thoughtful. “You sound as if you’ve had it done to you.”

“Once, a long time ago. A woman I lived with.”

“You enjoyed it?”

“Very much.”

“How come only that once, then?”

“She didn’t want to talk about it afterward. I think she was deeply disturbed by how much she enjoyed it. Which was her privilege; I didn’t push it.”

“But you’d try it again?”

“Well, I have to admit that these days it’s not what I’d call one of my premier urges. I guess I just feel like I’ve had my fill of being helpless, this last year. But if you wanted to, I guess I could get behind it.”

“Another time, perhaps,” she said softly, and lay down spread-eagled on her back. “Right now I’m yours on toast. Bring on your ropes.”

He used neckties, and was careful about circulation.

“Norman,” she said as he was securing the last knot, “can you see my handbag?”

“Sure, what do you need?”

“In the inside compartment there’s a vibrator.”

“Oh.” He fetched it, stopped on the way back to the bed. “You know, this is a hell of a first date.” All the tension blew away in their shared laughter.

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3 comments on “Talking About Bondage”:

Kelly commented on October 18th, 2009 at 6:35 pm:

Aw, that was really sweet. And a nice, gentle way of explaining bondage that wouldn’t scare someone off. Thanks for posting it!

Midnight Pain commented on October 19th, 2009 at 10:28 pm:

Didn’t her momma ever tell her, never let a guy tie you up on the first date?

I like how instead of condoms in her purse, it’s a vibrator. That’s a whole ‘nother level of ‘be prepared’.

Gilgamekk commented on October 20th, 2009 at 5:33 am:

That’s fabulous — how come I didn’t remember that passage?

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