I stood still.
I was scared. I can't remember being that scared in a long time. At first I was just standing, not a long time. At first I was just standing, not leaning against anything, not touching anything, just standing in space. I felt no awarenessof other people, no awareness of anything besides the whip-I didn't even consciously feel aware of Charles, there was just the whip-just the end of the whip and me. I felt calm and terrified in the same moment and nothing felt more important than not moving. The whip cracked near me, but not on me, and I thought if I moved, and that whip hit me wrong,I'd die. Usually I'm afraid of loud noises, but the whip cracking didn't make me jump. Once I noticed it made other people jump. The fear of moving far outweighed my fear of loud noises. I found a calm center inside my own mind.
When we moved from the middle of the room over to the St. Andrew's cross,I felt so high, that people weren't people, they were just obstacles to maneuver around. Now I had something to lean against, but nothing held me in place except my own fear. I used everything I knew about battling my own fear. I kept breathing easy and sweet.When I'm playing, and I'm scared I often picture this small brook running through a forest. The moving water lets the pain float outof me. I've pictured this place so often, that the sense of the place comes to me now, without even having to picture it. I just trust. I trusted Charles, this was only the second time we had played together, but he knew right where my edges were. The communication was clearer than words could ever be.
I learned some things that first time. I learned that even things that I haven't fantasized about can bring me great pleasure. I learned,and relearned, that it is not the instrument that should be feared or not feared, but the top. In good hands, and I was certainly in the best of hands, the choice of instruments isn't relevant. Anything that Charles chooses can cause lots of pain or no pain, as he chooses, and the signal whip is no different. The signalwhip can touch me lightly or cut me. It has a wide range of touches.
That first time I was so focused on my own fear, that I had no sense of the signal whip.
The second time I was aware of a spirit-a personality to the whip. There was a third entity that wasn't Charles or I- a playful spirit. I actually turned me head and stuck out my tongue; she was licking and teasing, with fire and sweetness like the world's best mole sauce. I never expected a playful nature, I never thought there was sweetness in single tail, four foot long whip. I knew it was Charles controlling that whip, but maybe because he was further away or something, I felt this communion with the whip, that I don't feel with other toys. It seemed that we were talking to each other.
I could see how a person could end up bleeding a lot from a signal whip, other things like canes, floggers accumulate pain, but the pain from the signal whip seems to only exist in that split second. I think that if a person safeworded in a signal whip scene it would be from the _fear_ of the next stroke, not the pain, or maybe a fear of blood. Except, it _does_ hurt a lot, but only for such a short second. Canes, paddles, floggers can all bruise deep,and even after the stroke is over, the pain is still there, but for me the all the pain of the signal whip happens in a split second. A trail of liquid fire that runs over my body and then leaves. The marks from the signal whip last several weeks on my body.
Last night I felt the signal whip crack against my body. It hurt more, but my fear was less. The whip felt like a snake that could run in a line down my body. I think some of the signal whip is sizzle and flash, I'm not sure that other people know which strokes hurt. The majority of loud cracks don't touch me at all, but make others around us jump. I know that Charles can feel just how much of the whip hits my body, and just how intense the stroke is. The whip is like a conduit of communication.