Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Barak Broke My Brain and I'm Still Standing

I went to 2013 Twisted Tryst South, also known as simply "camp", knowing I was going to scene with Barak, and terrified. The details of why are in my previous post "Tryst Terror".

Barak and I had communicated boundaries, expectations, and my evolving understanding of why I said yes to the scene over the four months prior to Tryst, and he reviewed my boundary summarization right before our scene Friday evening.

But before that, Thursday night when they arrived, Barak and his lovely wife Brat_Sheba and my husband and I had shared hugs and introductions and a lovely nerve-rattling moment of Sheba offering to give Barak ideas of how else to make me dizzy, to which I responded something like "you are not good people!" But then more honestly, I said with my voice starting to tremble "I don't know if it's possible for me to take this thing that has been so scary and devastating and find some way to let some aspect of it be sexy, but it's worth a shot" and Barak held me for a moment with his eyes and said "It is".

I went to sleep Thursday night sick from the road motion, in mild shock and denial that I was actually camping, and pleasantly surprised that I had been able to help a bit with setup. But not less terrified.

Friday afternoon, crossing camp between classes, Barak ... fucked with me. He hugged me, then started happily pushing and poking and holding me, his hands in my hair, on my shoulders, my hips, my neck. He held my head with his fist in my hair, and got close enough I could feel his breath and his desire to kiss me, but he didn't kiss me. He may have said something, too, I'm sure he did, but it was lost in my disorientation. I knew he was watching my responses, building a muscle vocabulary between us, seeing how much balance I had as a starting point. But also, just as importantly, he was ~deeply enjoying~ doing so. I could feel him leaning into me, pulling me to him, wrapping around me, and I could see his grin and feel his eyes appreciating me even as they were assessing me.

Predator, meet your willing prey...

I didn't know at the time how else to put it, those three minutes passing at camp, other than "he just ... kinda ... fucked with me" until I went to their class "The Art of Drive-By Domming" about building and maintaining energy between negotiated partners by enjoying tiny brief mini-scenes on a rolling basis. There in class, I realized he had "drive-by dommed" me. Neat.

I had scattered conversations with my friends from home and others who had read my terror note on Fet about the scene coming up. As I articulated different aspects with different people, I started pulling together understandings, flashes of insight.

Much of my correspondence with Barak before camp had the feeling of "no, no, no, I don't think you understand, this isn't sexy at all. This is devastating and terrible and I will feel bad for days afterward, maybe incapacitatingly so" and he kept responding with grins and the word "lovely" and telling me it made him salivate and made his cock twitch.

Which made me call him unkind names.

Which seemed to amuse him.

This pattern both did and did not help me.

It often made it more difficult to breathe.

Then at the drive-by domming class, I saw him make other people dizzy and disoriented, heard him say how much he enjoyed knowing he had made someone physically weak in the knees, and I was able to feel the connection with his demo partners in class. And I could see similarities to what he was going to do to me. And then finally, oh! I could feel the possibility that our scene could be a powerful exchange of control and trust to someone who loves the willing exchange of control and trust, and I was able to catch a glimpse as to why that might be sexy for him.

Also, it helped that a few people new to the story said "yeah, that's kinda hot" or grinned when I said about Barak, "What kind of a monster jerk face are you for wanting to do this to someone?"

At some point someone said "Nah, I'm a ~good~ person who enjoys doing ~bad~ things to people who ~like~ it".

Oh. Well. Sure. When you put it like that. Now it's blindingly obvious.

I had told Barak, repeatedly, in our emails, that I needed to believe that he wanted this, and it would help if he wanted me, as well, that it would calm me if he kissed me or let me feel that he was hard. And that sexual energy would help me stay up longer.

So throughout Friday, my perspective shifted subtly from "my vertigo is a destructive force to be avoided when possible and I'm doing my best to live despite it" to "my vertigo is a part of me that maybe has the potential to be enjoyed, and although I'd certainly rather not have vertigo, as long as it's here, I might as well allow it to give sexy shivers to a very responsible sadist who enjoys disorienting people." It was a tentative shift, but it shifted.

As starting time drew near, I purposefully isolated myself where I could see Barak approach.

He walked up with a grin, holding my gaze as soon as he was in sight, with power and purpose and calm emanating off each step. It's hard to be too terribly anxious or distrustful with that much dead fucking sexy heading your way, y'know?

He told me he had re-read my summarization; we discussed choking and tap-out signals, whether or not I needed my glasses, visual testing for nystagmus (an involuntary rapid eye movement that happens with drunk and dizzy people), and setup logistics. It was comforting to hear him toss out medical terms.

I had said I wouldn't be able to start until I had seen in his eyes that he "got it" and I did see that he was taking it seriously, that his whole mind was engaged, and that he was focused on reading me. But I had big questions in my head I needed answered in person before we started: Do you understand why this is so real-world scary for me? What do you get out of this? Why do you want to do this to me?

I was about to draw my "okay let's do this" breath to ask those final questions when he drew his "okay let's do this" breath and said to me, as near as I can remember, something like this:

"I understand that you will be feeling the effects of this scene in your body for days, and feeling the effects emotionally even longer. I know this illness has been damaging to you. To do this, to play with your vertigo like we are about to do, this takes an extraordinary amount of trust, and I am honored that you feel enough trust with me to ask me to do this with you.

I want you to know: I take that trust and responsibility seriously. This isn't something I have a chance to do often, if ever. This is a big deal. This is edge play for me."

I felt it, the truth of it from him, the hunger for it from him. And I was floored. And humbled. And held. And honored. And seen.

And then, before I could let him know that he had just fried my last resistors, he continued:

"But even if we weren't going to play this way, I also need you to understand that I find you incredibly sexy. Your body has everything that turns me on. You have a beautiful face. And the way you move is amazingly attractive. Even if we weren't doing edge play, I would still want to make your legs weak by playing with you."

My mouth dropped open and I laughed, too stunned to tell him he had answered my Big Questions perfectly, too happy to be the object of his desires like that, and too busy watching his eyes light up because he could see that I believed him.

He reached for the back of my neck and pulled me to him for a truly wondrous first kiss, pulling me onto his lap to grind me onto his thigh while we made out. I was in heaven.

Until we heard a crazy cracking noise, and I felt his gaze break off me, and I turned around, leaning against his chest, to see someone cracking a giant whip ... that was on fire. "Well, that's something you don't see every day" I said, hoping he would understand that I didn't all begrudge the focus shift. I mean, honestly. Bullwhip. On. Fire. "No, you don't" he laughed and we watched together for a few moments, lost in the beauty and brutality of it.

When he pulled me back to him to kiss me again, it cracked crazy behind me again and he broke and said "oh wow" and I realized there was a brand new bonfire there next to him where there had not been a bonfire a moment ago. "He just lit that bonfire with the whip." Oh, Tryst, how we love you.

Since we were well and truly distracted now, we moved ahead with next-step logistics: I'd choose a play space with a suspension point, he'd get his rope bag, I'd gather my husband and The Gang who wanted to watch, and we'd reconvene. About the time I realized I wanted to go to the bathroom beforehand, I also realized that Barak had joined the fire whip guys to take a turn or two, and we nodded our mutual "oh hey it's gonna take an extra minute"s to each other across the field.

SB, one of the organizers, whose class on the energy and psychology of BDSM I had attended where she talked about kinksters with hunter instincts and shorter attention spans predisposed to seek adrenaline rushes (of which there are lots), wandered by and asked if I'd seen the bonfire get whip-lit, crackling with her own happiness as she asked. I explained the situation, and her closeness with Barak was obvious to me in her responses. We stood together watching him throw the fire whip with childlike wonder and glee, and I said "As distracting shiny squirrels go, a whip on fire is a big damn sexy shiny squirrel. Ya gotta admit that. Anybody who would keep him from going and throwing that..." and SB completed my thought with a sigh, "... is an asshole." And we nodded together, lost in the memories of lovers we had both had who had wandered off from us and followed their bliss, and how it was wonderful and heartbreaking and annoying and yet how much awesome fuel they provide when you finally occupy the totality of their gaze again.

I think of it now as the calm before the storm, when Barak gathered his wind through the fire.

And then we rolled. Chairs got in place, my husband's submissive agreed to keep track of my stuff, SB got us barrier gloves in the right size, Barak returned with his rope bag and started rigging the tie off and release hardware, The Gang assembled, I gave hugs, I finished my caffeinated vitamin water...

And I took a "let's do this" breath and walked over to my husband.

We had realized in the week leading up to Tryst that Barak wasn't just playing with me, but also with him. Throughout our ten years together, we've had a few moments where we have held each other with all our focus, and then walked through a doorway fully intending to change our lives, hopefully for the better. It only took the briefest of glances to know we were about to have another one of those moments.

In that instant, Barak was merely one part of the ongoing answer to my husband's four years of heartfelt prayers of "make this better for her, somehow, please". I'm sure we said something, but I never remember what we say in those moments.

Then I walked away from him, feeling carried by his love and support, the love and support of The Gang who had gathered there, and the love and support of my sister and The Gang back home and ex-callers and blog readers who couldn't be there but who were holding their breath wanting the best for me nonetheless.

The play space we chose was a big square suspension brace that looked like it held lights for an outdoor music performance: a silver upside down U of industrial sturdiness set on a tarp which defined our play space on the ground. It looked like a stage atop a hill. Barak had rigged a tie point well above his head, out of my reach.

I took a final "let's do this" breath as I watched him do the same. We both grinned. I stepped onto the tarp.

He asked me if I wanted the chest harness comfortable or uncomfortable as he was peeling my clothing off me. "I ... uuuh ... I don't ... I dunno" He grinned. I had clearly just chosen uncomfortable.

I asked about my shoes, on or off, and he answered "yes" which was totally fair since I hadn't chosen a harness. I peeled them off, and glasses too eventually, until I was completely naked except for a plastic version of my wedding ring that I didn't mind if I lost.

He chose a slightly scratchy rope and bound my chest tight, with one line of rope above my breasts and one line of rope below them, and I couldn't watch him rigging to see what connected the lines, but I had scratches between my breasts afterward. Something on my back secured to the rigging overhead, as if I were on a short leash. We had discussed the setup, me having a safety rope so if my legs went out, my chest harness would catch me, but neither the harness nor the leash would restrict my basic movement. Clever.

As I was getting tied and Barak's focus was on weight-bearing mechanics, The Gang made some joke resulting in one member moving her chair away in a mock pout. "Hey, no pouting during my scene!" I yelled at her, and she yelled back "you just pay attention to the bad man, there, missy!" and everybody laughed.

I assured Barak that he would have my full attention once I was rigged and he chortled and said low under his breath, threateningly, "oh, I know". I blinked hard. And blushed.

He finished rigging me, and asked me to lower my weight down until the chest harness took it all, and it did, and I was a ball hanging on a leash for a moment - an unpleasantly scratchy ball with rope biting into my ribs and armpit fat while Barak pushed my shoulders to test more force, but I was safe. I stood back up.

He stood in front of me, and I started to mumble incoherently about how my husband starts scenes with a question and Barak grinned, pulling me toward him out toward the edge of my leash, until I managed to say "Barak" and he paused. "Angela" he replied. "Will you please do this thing with me, and incapacitate me for the next few days?" I saw his heart fill. He resumed tugging me to him while he stepped backward until I was stretched to the edge of my leash and the rope was biting into my chest and it was getting a little tough to breathe. "Yes, Angela, I will."

And he let go with a push, and I sprung back, stumbling into my footing, yelping and grinning, and we were on.

Between that and my third orgasm, it gets blurry.

I have dozens of sensory memories, but the sequence is impossible to reconstruct. I think now that I was standing for about 20-30 minutes, but it felt like much much, much longer.

He stretch-tugged me to the end of my leash again until I gasped for air, and he said "I'll start gentle" a few times as he hurt me until I finally said "you're lying to me, you jerk face" which made him laugh.

He kissed me often, possessively sometimes, brutally others, reassuringly once or twice, holding me on tiptoes by a fist in my hair, or leaning me backward so far my leash was holding some of my weight, or pulling me close, or shoving me away.

He spun me, pushed me, showed up where I didn't expect him to be, made my head go where I didn't expect it to be. It felt like he was tripping me, fucking with my feet, but I intellectually think he never did, that instead he "fucked with my feet" by moving my upper body in ways that made my feet feel confused.

I would feel myself suddenly still, and open my eyes to the rig and the sky and the sensation of his thumb digging into some pressure point as I could barely see him in my peripheral vision. His eyes never left me.

I grabbed for him sometimes, to pull him closer, holding myself up on his strength, wrapping my arms and a leg around him, begging him with my body to be inside me, impaling myself on what Sheba gave words to the next day as "just because I don't have a physical cock doesn't mean I can't fuck you with my energetic cock" and yes, that's exactly what I was fucking when I was crawling up him like that, his energetic cock.

He hurt me, slapping my flesh, including a few open-hand-full-swing-back blows to my breasts that made them feel like tits, like flesh hanging off me, instead of personal symbols of feminine power and beauty. The slaps were shocking and stunning and almost always followed by a shove.

His thumbs and knuckles and fingertips kept driving into my hips and breasts and ribs and thighs and shoulders, causing me to squeal and growl and flinch away and buck toward and curse. At one point, he was behind me, grabbing my hips but digging his fingertips in toward my groin, causing ongoing bursts of pain, and he growled into my ear, "press your ass back against my cock, dammit" and when I did, he shoved me over into my chest harness and slammed his body against me.

"Can you feel how hard I am?" he asked over and over with my hand suddenly against his pants, a bulge so sturdy I could trace the lines of it, feel the underside of it at times, almost wrap my hand around it, so I did, stroking and tracing and encouraging and welcoming and wanting it. It calmed me. It gave me strength. Even though I haven't seen his cock undressed, I'm a big fan of it.

He would go away, leaving me panting and catching some steadiness, followed by the sounds those black nitrile medical barrier gloves make: that squeaking stretch, that sudden snap, and then he would touch my soaking wet pussy, at first purposefully over-stimulating my clit to get me to back away from him into the leash so I was stretching and hurting myself to get away from him, then later pressing fingers inside me until I was pressing back against him, repositioning the angle for my pleasure, growing that wave.

Before he made me climax the first time, he backed off me several times, feeling me rise then leaving me suddenly, with a squeaky snap to let me know the glove was off and he was done. The first time caused in me a laugh and a declaration "that's just rude". The second was more of a growl, with some cursing. The third was me lunging at him against my leash, desperate to get him back.

I yelled at him a lot. I called him a fucker, a jerk face, a sonofabitch, an asshole. I shoved him away from me, kicked at him, hip-checked him, body slammed him, pressed my elbow into his gut.

I bit at him, not to hurt him, but to warn him, I think sometimes, or to have yet another point to steady myself against the tipping onslaughts. I clenched his shirt between gritted teeth in pain or struggle or pleasure, or all three mixed.

Or maybe I bit his shirt to taste his sweat, to have pride that I was making him fucking work for it dammit. I did, too. I made him work hard.

I laughed a lot. So did he. He taunted me, poked at me, surprised me, and I let myself be amused, startled, annoyed, flattered, full of lust. I relaxed back against his chest and pulled him into me by his pants. I remember the texture of the fabric so clearly.

I didn't want to see a crowd, didn't want to open my eyes if I was at an angle where I thought I might see them, because it wasn't about them or for them and I sure as hell didn't need to process anybody's emotions but mine. But sometimes sympathetic laughter or "ooooo"s would come from places where I didn't think people were, and it made me happy.

I didn't need to look at The Gang who knew the story behind the scene. I could feel them just fine without sight, holding their breath, holding my husband.

I tried not think of how hard it must be for him to be watching me. I told him he didn't have to, before camp, that he didn't have to watch. Maybe that's what I said in our moment, "I know this is hard for you, but I'm so grateful you chose to be here". If that isn't what I said, it's what I should have said.

I saw my feet a lot. I would look at them to steady myself sometimes, I think. Or maybe then I just wouldn't see the crowd. But also I found myself suddenly facing my feet with the chest harness biting into my skin far more often than I expected to. I realized days later it could have been partially because Barak likes the way my ass looks when I'm bent over.

I remember once when he was messing with my sense of location, poking and slapping and yanking me around, and I felt a sudden window to plant my feet, BOOM. Solid. In almost a squat, like a runner catching breath after a jog. And his next poke or prod or push just sank into me with no effect, and I thought "gotcha you fucker!" and I momentarily relished my victory. It's possible I gloated. I'm sure my expression gloated.

I realized later that every time I got my solid like that for a moment, he would pause. And let me gather. One breath, probably, maybe two. And then get back to fucking with my feet.

He made me come, standing on my feet, balancing against him at unstable angles, with my head snapped back, or suddenly slammed bent over my harness. I didn't know if he would let me finish or stop abruptly and spin me off. He would growl into me or pull me to him with a "yes" or suddenly smack my ass to hear me yelp.

I said only two things of any significance, and those were the two moments I will remember most clearly.

"I don't wanna crash yet." I was having. so. much. fucking. fun. I felt beautiful and sexy and amusing and captivating and wonderful and strong and delightful, and I felt it creeping up on me, the inevitable vertigo crash. I denied it first, then fought it, found my balance, gathered energy from The Gang, shoved Barak off me, but I wasn't winning. It was growing up my back like a heavy warm blanket, and I could feel my legs buckling, my knees weakening, my sense of things getting dimmer. I said it quietly at first, where probably even he couldn't hear. "No. Please. Don't. I don't wanna crash yet."

Then it welled up inside me, the words, and I felt them, every time I've ever wanted to say those words, but I didn't because it is too fucking heartbreaking to hear someone you love say that to you when there is nothing you can do to help. Car rides. Plane rides. Parties. Movies. Crowds. Life.

"I don't WANNA crash yet." I said it louder, spit it through my teeth, and he heard. I started crying, a sputtering, choking cry. He gave me a breath to pause, to feel it, to let it well up inside me stronger, then fucked with me to topple me back. I can't imagine the strength of will in that shove, because I know he heard me, I know he felt me, and I know he believed me.

"No! NO! I don't wanna crash yet dammit! I don't!" I said it loud enough for others to hear now, as he kept coming into me, toppling me, and I heard the stifled sobs from The Gang.

"NoooOOOOO!" I yelled at him, and I flung my body against the ropes and wailed at him with everything I had, "FUCK. YOU. I DON'T WANT THIS. I DON'T WANT TO CRASH YET. FUCK YOU!"

And as the ball of fuckyou spilled out of me, he crashed into me and wrapped himself around me and growled at me, "More - give me more, dammit" and forced a kiss onto me and shoved his cock against my hand again and I could feel the pulsing through the thick canvas. I couldn't shove him away, so I found my feet and I pushed against him while sucking his tongue into my mouth and absorbed all the rock steady he was feeding me.

I had my feet again. For now. I had them.

And I had a new thought.

"Fuck you, I'm still standing" I gasped as he broke from me, trembling, weak in the knees, struggling for air, feeling the blanket inside me weighing me down.

"Fuck you! I'm still standing!" He came at me again and I slammed him away. "Fuck you. FUCK you! I'm still standing!" And just as surely as I had been yelling out my fears the moment before, I raised my volume, not caring who I interrupted, declaring my momentary victory. He spun me, stinging, hard, brutal.

"FUCK! YOU! I'M! STILL! STANDING!!" And he crashed back into me suddenly gloved again, filling me with pleasure and lust and growling into me "Yes. More. Give me more." The orgasm was wrenched from my guts as I shoved against him, growling.

After I came, he shook me with what felt like a slap and said "I need more! Focus! Breathe!" And smothered me facing him, repeating over and over "More. Focus. Breathe. C'mon, I need more. Focus. Breathe. Give me more. More. More. Breathe. Focus." And I let him hypnotize me into steadiness again, before he shoved me away with a lip-licking grin and a nonchalant "good".

But after the third orgasm, my knees buckled. He steadied me for a few moments, then released me and backed away. I felt the muscles going weak, and I thought "I could call it. This could be it. I could go down now, safeword out, say I'm done, and I'll still spin for days. Nobody would blame me. Everyone would still be happy for me. I could just let go." My body was begging me, screaming at me, to stop.

But I couldn't come this far for that. I paused against the aching harness, my legs locked apart, arms straining to hold my chest off my thighs, multiple muscles shaking.

I pushed. To stand. I could neither think nor say the words "fuck you, I'm still standing" but at least I could do it. I reached above my head for my leash to support more weight with one arm and pulled up on Barak with the other. He released a breath he had been holding, proud of me, I could feel it. The Gang and the crowd released the same breath, and Barak pulled me toward him by my shoulders, slowly, steadily, back to the end of my leash again, just like when we started, holding me there, bruising against the rope, until I either grinned or cursed at him, and then he let me go, stumbling, into another round.

It didn't last long. The outcome was clear and inevitable; I was going down. But not without another fight. He tussled me until I was almost spontaneously buckling, then he snapped on another glove, pressed his face against mine, looked into what I can only imagine were glassy, unfocused eyes, and said, "all that matters here is that your cunt is wet. And my cock is hard." He slid his fingers inside me easily, put my hand against his cock, and he wasn't lying on either account. "Your wet cunt. My hard cock. That's all that matters." I gasped against him, bracing my forehead on his chest, as he chanted to me "your wet cunt, my hard cock, your wet cunt, my hard cock ... wet cunt, hard cock, wet cunt, hard cock ... wet cunt, wet cunt, wet cunt" while shove-curling his fingers deep inside me, my clit resting the weight of my torso on the heel of his hand, and when it welled up inside me, I could feel the vertigo crash behind it, or in front of it, mixed into it, and I knew I was down.

But wow. What a way to go.

He got me off the rig safely, until I was lying on the ground. I opened my eyes and I could barely focus. "I can't see you" I said and he asked me to repeat that. "No, wait, I mean, I can't figure out how to look at you, because my eyes" He was so swirly and jumpy, kneeling over me, and I started mumbling "I don't have it anymore. I can't focus it away. I can't focus it away anymore. I'm sorry. I don't have enough" and he caressed my body tenderly, letting me mumble, letting me feel, and then reached for another glove, and said "you don't have to focus it away".

I know I laughed weakly, my arms protesting like noodles "no no no I don't, I can't come again, I don't have it." But he grinned at me, kissed me, slid my legs apart, pressed his chest into mine, and toyed with my guts while I spun inside my head, murmuring to me to let it all go, dig deep, give him just one more, let it come.

I remember my back arching when I climaxed that last time, as if it had a will of its own, my hands grabbing helplessly for something to hold onto, feeling him ripping it out of me, letting it rip through me, feeling my muscles shred and my will disintegrate.

And then. I was done.

He poked me, pushed me, kissed me, held my face to look at him, and no muscles responded. I tried, they just... Didn't. He said later my eyes were crossing. I tried to answer his questions when I could understand them, but moans were the best I could do.

He kissed me, and I felt a mint slide into my mouth, and his hands turned into business, snapping off the last glove, which sprayed my own pussy juices into my face. I attempted to tell him he had just splashed me with my own cum, but I'm not sure I succeeded.

"When... " I said, with all the force I could muster. "When..." He mirrored back, hearing that I was trying to say something important.

"When we're done..." I said. "Yes we're done" he replied.

"Could you call him over ... So I can say I'm ok?" He petted my hair, and I felt his gaze turn away for the first time since I stepped onto the tarp.

I heard voices, which later my husband said was Barak offering him a mint, probably as a way to assess how steady he was, and a way to welcome him into our space, and maybe to help him ground. He declined the mint and knelt down beside me, holding my hand.

"I'm okay" I said, in my strongest voice, which I'm quite certain sounded pitiful. "I know" he said, through tears. "You're so strong and you fought so hard and you're so much more than okay. You're my strong little mad thing on a leash." and we all laughed.

Somehow, although I attempted to talk them out of it with "just let me sit here for hour and I'll be okay to ride a taxi (golf cart) back to the tent", they decided to strap me to a medical back board. Since I could barely even roll over onto the board, perhaps it was a wise choice.

Regardless, the back board taxi ride was cool as hell - I got strapped in, lifted into the golf cart propped up like a dead pope on display, held in place by Barak behind me and my husband walking beside me on the side, and I rode that way at walking speed through the main drag of camp, with The Gang following behind like a devastatingly sexy Swiss Guard. I was told people stared in confusion, but since we were all joking and laughing, I don't think anyone was worried.

Back at the tent, they stood me up, unwrapped me, and guided me wedged between two gorgeous strong men, who bore almost all my weight, to a reclining chair facing into the woods, where I could be alone in quiet.

Well, except for everyone who loved me hovering around, worried. "I'm good. I'll be fine" I assured them once my water and applesauce were in place.

I said goodbyes and thank yous to Barak, who later told me he went and slept for an hour and a half. I declared that since I had done a scene so intense that I needed to be carried away from it strapped to a stretcher, I was "totally fucking metal" and threw ridiculously weak horns. I asked if anybody needed to process with me, and they all laughed and said together "tomorrow" as they trickled away, so I assume it was a feeble-sounding offer.

My husband came back a few times to check on me, telling me he was proud of my bravery and strength. I reached for him, serious, nodding, and said "I learned it from watching you" which made him laugh from the bottom of his belly, pat me on the head, tell me g'night, and walk away, shaking his head in faux exasperation that I had mocked him, but reassured.

I dozed in and out, with crazy vivid vertigo-coma dreams, until it got darker and colder and I had to pee. I knew someone would check on me soon, but I thought I'd try, so I leaned forward to un-recline my chair, grabbed my walking stick, and pulled up. I was wobbly, but I was up.

I stepped onto the tarp no later than 8:10. I was passed out in my chair by 9:30. And at 11:20, I was standing, dammit.

The bathroom was halfway to the dungeon, so I went there after I peed out of sheer orneriness. My husband's submissive was at the dungeon, freshly finished from giggle-wrestling the third sexiest man at camp (behind my husband and Barak), and she was covered in bruises and red spots, and astonished to see me up.

"Whaaaaatcha doin?" She asked with no small amount of alarm. "Standing, gawddammit" I answered belligerently. We bantered until I realized her play date had no context for my loopiness, so I drunkenly told him the story, including excessively pointing at him for emphasis. When I said "so Barak broke my brain for a few days" he responded "that's kinda hot" and I shot back "what the fuck is wrong with you people?" I also flipped him off, although now I'm not sure why. I also head-butted her on her freshly bruised nipples like an old goat annoyed by something but too tired to properly slam into it. I was amused by myself.

But I needed to lie back down. I had witnesses at least. I hadn't seen Barak, but he would hear about it.

Saturday, I needed to be talked down from feeling like my confusion and incoherence would ruin camp for everyone else. I had been expecting to be down for the count, but I could still stand, so therefore my body wanted to be around people, build new memories, not miss out. Barak and Sheba and Sheba's energy circle and my husband and my husband's submissive all finally helped me piece it together that although Barak broke my brain, I would not break camp by wandering around in a haze. I was not that damn important.

After the bonfire, I did a solo scene I called "I'm Still Standing Dammit", in which I literally wandered through camp, chatting with folks, then drifting off when the words got confusing, absorbing what I could, but the whole time thinking "I'm still standing, dammit. So there". I was up until almost 1 am.

In my tent, I tried to zip my sleeping bag for 20 minutes before I gave up and creatively arranged a blanket. In the morning, I realized I hadn't pulled down the sliding part of the zipper: I had literally forgotten how zippers worked. That made me feel better that even though I was standing, my claim of being incapacitated was valid after all.

Although Barak and I after-care touched-base a few times Saturday and Sunday, the one I needed the most was when I asked for reassurances: Are you happy we played? Yes. Is there any part of you that wants to fuck me? It's all I can do not to bend you over this picnic table and fuck you senseless right now. Awwwww. Thanks.

But the aftercare drive-by which meant the most ended with me thanking him for changing my life for the better. "We do that every time we touch, don't we?" he asked. "Yes, but, I'll remember this one." It caused a good grin on him.

After camp was over and we were back home in our favorite celebratory restaurant at dinner, it took three people to formulate the thought "Fry .... from .... Futurama" (I got the "from"), and I let myself believe that maybe my crash wasn't all that much worse than other people's event drop after all. I figured I would probably know how zippers and math and decisions worked again around Wednesday or Thursday. That's probably not all that bad.

And I thought of the third sexiest man at camp, and wondered idly maybe whether he would want to giggle-wrestle me into a broken brain if we are both at camp again next year.

And there. There it was. The change we hoped would happen, although we didn't know exactly what it would look like: me accepting my vertigo into my sexy.

I smiled to myself, too incoherent to explain why. But I knew. I understood. I believed: we did it. It worked. We did it.

I said a thank you prayer for husband and Barak and Sheba and The Whole Gang and for my strength, which, as Barak said after the fact, but my husband had understood as it was occurring: my strength was the part of me Barak was playing with all along.

Bless you Barak, you unimaginably competent and sexy beast of a sadist. Thank you for helping me see myself.

As it turns out, I'm standing.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tryst Terror

(Note: I published this on FetLife on my PlaySmart profile at the end of May. The camp being discussed was in early June. I'll publish how it turned out, too) 

I'm terrified of going to Twisted Tryst South - leaving a week from tomorrow! Holy crap! But I'm an emotional exhibitionist, so I'm hoping that by sharing my terror, I'll get a better handle on it. Or at least be able to ask for help. Or maybe just not feel the need to hide it. 

My husband went to Tryst last summer, and had an amazing time. I did not go. Because... 

I came down with my mysterious neurological vertigo suddenly after a weekend of camping in March 2009. We spent the weekend lodge-and-tent camping in the Texas hill country, complete with tiny birds pooping on our tents, me falling out of my hammock, and us swimming in a river that was too murky to see the bottom with who knows what kinds if bacteria getting in my ears. Sunday evening after we got home and rinsed everything, as I laid down to sleep, I got suddenly ferociously dizzy, and I have literally never stopped feeling dizzy since. 

My vertigo cost me my job, my career as an IT Manager, our house in Austin, and countless movies and TV shows and live music shows and orgasms and... and... and... There is no part of my life which hasn't been affected. 

Since then, I have said many times "even though I'm 99% sure my vertigo wasn't caused by camping, I will never go camping again."

Then after my husband had such a great time at Tryst last year, I heard myself still saying "never", and I don't like saying "never", and I don't want to be someone who chooses my actions out of fear. So it quietly bugged me, and I quietly wondered if I would, in fact, choose instead to go, just to face my fear. 

Then in February, I exchanged a few flirty emails with someone who I have good reason to trust isn't a destructive sociopath, and found out he was going to Tryst South. I told him my story, explained my vertigo (bottoming in play makes me dizzy) and my camping fear, and expected him to respond with something along the lines of "that sounds hard, good luck with that", and to himself to roll his eyes and think "whatever, ya whiny hypochondriac!"

Instead, his response was astonishing: his reply was along the lines of "I love psychological and physiological play, and pushing people to the edge of their bodies where they are no longer consciously in control of their responses. That sounds sexy to me, and if you'll let me, I'd love to play with you in that space." 

/blink /blink /blink 


It was a total mind-fuck for me, for someone to find this thing that I hated and feared about myself, and have someone say he found it sexy. And not some crazy psycho, but someone responsible and sexy as fucking hell, who genuinely enjoys pushing physiological boundaries like that. It was ... Astonishing.

My husband could never play with my vertigo like that. Of course not. Everything it has cost me, it has cost him too. It is way too loaded for him to find anything sexy about it.  

But I read him the response, and we both cried at how redemptive it seemed, and I asked him if I went to Tryst, could I be uncharacteristically clingy and needy and possessive of his prioritization at camp? (Usually at events, we do our own things in an egalitarian way, and neither of us is higher priority)

He said yes, he would be there for me to lean on anytime I wish.

So I wrote the sexy sadist back back and said essentially "this is the least sexy, most actually scary thing I can imagine, but I believe it will be okay doing it with you, so yeah, I'll come to Tryst and we'll play with my vertigo."

And then I almost threw up. Isn't what always happens when you make the right choice? /grin

A few weeks later, someone asked what I was most looking forward to about camp. I told her the story, and said "the thing I'm most looking forward to about tryst is arriving, knowing that I'm doing a thing that is so brave that I can't believe it's me doing it, being proud of myself for just getting there. Everything else is gravy."

I assume that what will most likely  happen is that I'll freak out on the way there, then again for an hour after I arrive, then I'll have it all out of my system, and tell the hubby to quit hovering over me like a creeper and go have fun.

Then I'll almost certainly do what I do best at kinky events: run around brain-drunk and loopy without inhibitions and try to smooch all the presenters and everyone else I find attractive. Bottom with the sexy sadist, followed by a long damn recovery nap. Co-top a few sexy masochistic women with their Doms guiding me in the scenes. Offer to let a lot of people grab my boobs. Try to get men with non-American accents to whisper filthy ideas in my ear. 

Y'know, me stuff. Like I do. 

But if you're there at camp, and I seem withdrawn, or confused, or generally look like I'm in deep sub space constantly, this is why. 

Please feel free to tell me you think I'm brave (but only if it's true!), and offer me a hug. That would be great. 

(I got lots of hugs on FetLife for this writing. Everyone was very sweet. And several people sought me out at camp for a hug, too)