BDSM In China

There’s a sub memoir at Kinky.com that’s all about a woman’s kinky experiences in Beijing. I’m always fascinated by cultural differences in kink:

Wei was the first person I talked to in the Chinese BDSM circles. He seemed like a nice, decent guy. So when he asked to meet me in person, I decided it wouldn’t be such a bad idea. In a pretty old-fashioned way, we chose to meet at a park in downtown Beijing. He looked not much different from his pictures – average height, round face. When he smiled, his eyes squeezed, which made him look like an emoji.

We took a stroll in the park, while he told me about his previous relationships and how, as a businessman, he had to drink a lot of alcohol at dinner meetings with his potential clients. He wasn’t particularly handsome, but I guess I liked him. His slightly crude manners and ostensible shrewdness gained from years of switching between sales jobs seemed very attractive to someone like me, whose adult experience was largely limited to university campuses. Before I knew it, he was kissing me as strange men and women brushed against our shoulders on the subway train home.

A few days later I found myself down on my knees, hands tied, with a ball gag in my mouth, looking forward to a three-day “confined training.” That odd term, as Wei used it, meant that although he asked me about my limits beforehand, I was not informed of the specific content of our play sessions. “It’s more exciting that way,” according to him.

I wasn’t thinking.

Looking back, I did almost everything that can put a newbie sub in serious trouble. We didn’t have a safe word (the magical word that one can say to stop the other person from doing whatever they are doing). Being gagged, I couldn’t have said it even if we had. And even though the three-day session held a vague promise to me as if I could push myself to the extreme and then emerge as a brand new person, I should’ve looked more into it and realized that there was no such a thing as “confined training.”

As attitudes toward sex remain conservative in China, there is a general lack of reliable information and education with regards to sex. Wei might well have picked up the idea from some obscure sources or conjured it up himself by watching porn. I don’t blame him. But I might still have emerged out of this experience totally hurt and broken. Like many other Chinese men, Wei’s idea of BDSM flirted disturbingly with misogyny. While he knew on a conscious level that BDSM should be based on safety and consent, he really wanted to punish the female form to his own satisfaction. As he told me later, he initially planned on leaving me tied up in a hotel room for hours while he’d go out with his friends, regardless of whether I’d want it or not (I would have not).

Luckily and serendipitously, we sort of, I guess you could say, fell in love. This was beyond the expectation of either of us. He could’ve been utterly cruel and heartless; I would have stopped all contact with him after those three days. But we bonded as we played, laughed, had sex, and lay in bed in the middle of the night, chatting.

On the night before we were supposed to part ways, I was kneeling on the couch, facing the wall, arms up as instructed. I was sobbing. His previous spankings were so painful I had to gather all my strength to brace myself for the next one. But I heard him step into the bathroom. Moments later he came behind me, and suddenly wrapped me tightly in his arms. The room fell silent.

“I can’t do this anymore,” he said, helplessly.

I turned around and saw not the dominant who had me at his mercy, but a defeated man. I hugged him and patted his head, as if telling him “it’s ok. I don’t blame you.”

He looked up. His eyes were red. The tears on his face were not yet dried.

“I think I should quit. They all say that if you have feelings for your sub, you can’t be a good dom. You become too softhearted.”

“Screw them. We can do whatever we feel right.” That was my answer.

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