Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

A date that took some beating
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The Independent Online

From David's shy, affectionate nature, I'd expected that ordinary vanilla sex - not BDSM - might be on the menu. But on our second date, I teasingly bit his ear when we kissed in the taxi, and it quickly became clear that the more I clamped down, the more excited he got. By the time we made it back to my flat, he was begging me break out the bullwhip. So I ended up going upstairs alone.

As I'm really a submissive at heart, I've always found dominating a partner a bit difficult. A couple of years ago, I had a boyfriend who asked me to use nipple clamps on him. I was so panicked about hurting him that I couldn't really relax. Instead he asked me to spank him, but we were pretty drunk and I ended up using the only implement I could find - a kitchen spatula. It wasn't exactly 9 1/2 Weeks.

Guys usually ask to spank me, which is why I've spent more than one evening donning "naughty schoolgirl" kit. Though it's always fun at the time, I would pick a tongue-lashing over a riding-crop-lashing any day.

Still, I'm intrigued by the prospect of unleashing my dormant dominatrix. So I decided to go shopping for spanking accessories. The salesgirl showed me an acrylic ruler that promised "more bite than bark for a stinging spanking", and a rubber tassel-whip. A bit daunted, I decided to stick with the wooden paddle I had unearthed from an unused "Spank Me Santa" kit someone sent me last Christmas. "You may also want some aloe vera gel, in case you break skin," she told me. Not for the first time, I wondered what I was getting myself into.

I was so far outside my comfort zone that I decided to role-play with a different persona to make the transition easier. David was a public-school boy, so I became the stern headmistress disciplining an unruly pupil. We met on the top floor of a bar with a panoramic view of the city, and I wore a black power suit rather than my usual jeans and sexy top. He could barely contain himself as he paid the cheque, but I would not let him touch me - yet.

Back at the flat, I tried not to giggle as I put a 38-year-old professional over my knee. I started out gently, and began to administer some discipline. At first, I kept nervously asking: "Harder? Faster?" I kept repeating the spanking mantra with a Jedi-mindset intensity: "Build-up is essential. Starting out too rough right away can quickly wear out your bottom."

He started to writhe and redden, so I picked up the pace - and the paddle. I realised how thrilling it was to find the key to his sexuality that made him lose all inhibition. As it was his 38th birthday, I made him count down from 38. "But if you miss one, I'll have to start all over," I warned. He slipped up twice - on purpose.

In the end, I relished the feeling of being completely in control. So when he asks me if I would mind caning him next time, I tell him I'm game. In fact, I'm rather enjoying my dalliance as a dominatrix. Maybe next time I can order him to clean my flat afterwards.

c.townsend@independent.co.uk

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