By Greg Mahr
“What do you like?”
He imagined everyone in the coffee shop was staring at him. He blushed. He stuttered. Not because of some perverse fantasy that he couldn’t share, but because he didn’t know. He really didn’t know. That was the whole point. He wanted someone to show him, teach him, order him around.
Her question came ten minutes into their first date, which was, according to protocol, for coffee. She called herself Leah—Miss Leah. She was beautiful, fairy tale beautiful, leave-your-wife-quit-your-job-forget-about-your-kids beautiful.
Leah talked a lot, like she had had too much coffee too many times. He liked that. It made her less scary, though she was a dominatrix. “I like to talk,” she explained. “It makes men comfortable. Men are so embarrassed about their dark little secrets,” she giggled.
Leah’s website emphasized that she wouldn’t have sex. “If you want a happy ending, find someone else.” He didn’t know if that was true or not, she may have just been careful about the law and what she put in print, but he liked it. He didn’t want to have sex, he wanted to want to have sex. Somewhere, after all the bad love and betrayal, he had lost that. Who better to help than a professional?
He had decided that love was fake; he wanted something real. Leah was real. Of course, he paid for it, which made it fake. But all the cards were on the table. The fact that they both knew it was fake made it real. Life was a dream, anyway, why it shouldn’t be a pleasant one instead of a nightmare?
“What don’t you like?”
“I don’t like being tied up, maybe my arms, but just my arms, not my legs.”
At their first private meeting, she tied him up, right off, spread eagle. She knew that’s just what he wanted.
The website said that her dungeon was in a nice, safe location “downtown.” Her email led him to an abandoned storefront, miles from downtown, with a parking lot made “safe” by a ten-foot barbed wire fence. He was terrified, but not of Leah and her crop. He could see the G-men waiting inside, and the headlines, “Prominent Lawyer Arrested in FBI Sting.”
He wasn’t arrested or beaten up and robbed by Leah’s pimp. He had fun. He liked Leah and her chatter. He liked to obey, and yes, it was fun to be tied up. And Leah looked great covered in just enough black to be legal.
Now it was the second time. He was calm and relaxed. Maybe he could submit, let go, play, feel alive again. Leah slipped from ‘let’s gets relaxed’ chatter into domme chatter. She scolded, she criticized. She started her favorite game: teasing and denial. She flashed skin for a moment, just the briefest moment. “I know you want me, but you can never have me. You could have hired an escort for less money and be having sex right now. But you didn’t.”
Why was he paying someone not to have sex with him, and tease him about it? He could find lots of people to not have sex with him, and for free. Where was someone that might really love him?
Storm clouds gathered in his mind. Leah was approaching that door, that secret door that he never opened. “Don’t you want to touch this breast, this perfect breast. You can’t, you never will.” He struggled against the restraints, desperate to touch her. She was there, at the door to that cellar where he locked all the loneliness and longing that he could never face. She had cut through the barbed wire, the ten-foot fence, and gotten into the room where he hid. She was starting to open the deadbolt to the cellar.
How did she get there, how did she know? She was right. He would never find anyone, never know love. No one had ever really loved him, and no one would, ever. His life was a failure.
He survived the first wave of the storm by focusing on those thighs and those barely covered breasts. The next wave was too much; the cellar door was open. All the sadness and longing crashed in on him; he remembered his cowardice, his utter solitude. He had tried to love and failed so many times. No one would ever love him. He turned away, blinking back tears.
Leah noticed. “You ok, dearie?” He pretended to be ok, wanted to be ok, but it was no good. Sorrow had joined the two of them in the dungeon. Leah seemed to lose interest in her riding crop. He thought of her, so young and beautiful, imagined her road to this storefront dungeon, the hours she spent feigning interest in sweaty, naked old men. He was ashamed. He thought of his son, about Leah’s age, and how hard he had worked to protect him. Why had no one protected Leah?
Leah stroked his shoulder and felt the sorrow slowly pass out of him. She had been at this a while, understood men. They paid for a bit of skin but wanted a bit of her. “What’s the matter, babes? You know, it’s ok to be sad sometimes. You’re sweet; most men are creeps.”
She sat beside him on a stool. “They think they are entitled to anything. No one understands how tough this kind of work is. I mean, just last week…” She left the sentence unfinished. Sharing was best in tiny doses.
Time was up. Leah gathered the envelope he had left by the door and quickly tallied the 50s. She paused, looked at him, opened a hidden cupboard, and offered him water and a snack. She took a few sips herself, turned off the lights in the dungeon, and opened the door. The sunlight startled them both. She straightened the seams of her stockings, then hit the remote that opened the gate in the barbed wire fence.