“Fuck, fuck, fuck. My stockings are falling,” declared the woman wearing seven-inch platform heels and enough fake hair to comfortably nest dozens of baby birds. Her false eyelashes threatened to abandon her face and the same birds would have loved her impressively arched blue eyeliner and shadow, as it was reminiscent of the blue daytime sky.
She couldn’t adjust her hose, because the ropes holding her to the iron St. Andrew’s cross barred free movement, but she could wiggle around and look helpless — to the satisfaction of her dominant. He was behind her, a lopsided smirk above a body clad in black pleather, flicking a small rubber whip at her ass. “Nasty slut,” he would occasionally whisper up the curves of her hips and past the channels of her back.
Curled into the fetal position, on a couch opposite their scene, I looked down at my own outfit. My stockings didn’t have any runs and were holding up fairly well, but I was far from classy: my filthy black boots were held together by safety pins, my nipple tape was peeling off and I had chewed off my bright red lipstick hours before.
Stopping for a moment, he traced her contours with the handle of the whip. Instead of pulling away, she arched back towards towards him and the blunted torment.
Nerves. Spinal cord. Brain. The path that pain takes seems simple. Yet, even on this fairly straightforward journey, endorphins, natural opioids, are triggered in order to help our bodies handle trauma. Just like the synthetic drugs prized by so many narcotic abusers, natural chemicals induce a hangover once the high has ended.
While my own high, brought on by a wooden paddle and some well-placed electrodes, was starting its downward journey, the other play party invitees were just beginning to feel the euphoria that often accompanies such extreme passions as pain, fear, lust, anger and jealousy.
Around the room, people engaged in kink scenes that, intentionally or not, harmonized with the beat of the dark industrial music that was playing over wall-mounted speakers. One older man was using a cane, a tiny piece of bamboo resembling a wand, to rhythmically slap the two college-age girls whom he had balanced on his lap. They screamed and cried, but when he stopped they kissed his lined cheeks, begging for more.
Slaves and servants, clad in chains and collars but little else, wove around undulating bodies and handed out drinks. They would periodically stop to pour water into dog bowls on the floor for pets, the few adorable fur and ear wearing players who meowed or barked with gratitude.
A gorgeous dominatrix, in the corner of the dungeon, stood over two younger men who looked as though they were bowing, but upon closer examination turned out to be licking and sucking each of her bare toes. Every minute or so, she would gently kick one of them in the face and remind them to clean her “nasty feet” more to her exacting standards.
Swaying bodies, anchored to the ceiling by a huge amount of intricately knotted rope, would every so often stretch, yawn or look over at me and smile — half-awake.
Even amidst all these lures, my gaze kept falling back on the couple in front of me. Crying had turned her mascara into two black rivers, and the underarms of his black shirt were soaked with sweat. Their clothes had fled: he had taken off his huge trench coat, and she was stripped down to a pair of blue panties. But they still kept scening, surges of dopamine released in response to their every sensation.
When I first arrived at the front door of the non-descript San Franciscan building, I was all giggles and fresh make-up, full of adrenaline and energy drinks. Finally burned out, sitting on a couch that had probably been soaked with all sorts of bodily fluids during its lifetime as a piece of dungeon furniture, I sat and watched. A voyeur lost in a sea of exhibisionism.
KATELYN RINGROSE at firstname.lastname@example.org would like to invite you to a party — one celebrating the Earth. Whole Earth festivities will be occurring on May 10, 11, and 12.