All work and no play does make a person dull. And in my work, I need to always have an edge, or many, preferably sharp, pointed or at the very least, hard.
So I’m travelling to South East Asia for research, and of course a little respite. First stop, Cambodia, a little resort just outside of Seam Reap. Then Thailand – that heady mix of dirt, excitement, and mystery that I’ve always found so intoxicating a prospect.
Siem Reap is a harsh Mistress in herself. The heat is hard to explain, inescapable, it invades every pore and the only way to survive it is to surrender to it. My dewy skin breathes in temporary relief as the tuk tuk turns and the mildest hint of a breeze ripples through my cotton shirt, over my bare décolletage, sensually brushing bare skin and bringing me to life in a way I haven’t felt in a long while.
The road is an ordered chaos of interweaving tuk tuks, mopeds and cattle. The smell is a heady mix of boiling refuse and floral fragrance from the vegetation of the fields and forests beyond.
I contemplate being a stranger in a foreign land must be somewhat similar to how my submissives feel at times. At the mercy of many things that are beyond their control, trusting that things will work out because they have to, yet knowing around every turn is something that may just push them completely out of their comfort zone, at best, or completely destroy them, at worse.
No, I’ve never destroyed any of my submissives. There seems little point going to all the trouble I do for them to simply have them fall apart at the end. Yet I aways try to impress the possibility that I might have this unspoken destructive power, when I learn their fears and subject them to them in small, arousing doses. They don’t understand, in those moments of vulnerability and terror, that I never mean them any harm – I am simply showing them a new way. A way to transcend those dull fears and limiting beleifs that stop them living to their full potential. I am the inner city paint store to the suburban artist – come to me and I’ll show you shades and tones that you’d never known before. Especially red. I do like red. And purple. Even blue.
Opposite me in the tuk tuk, Kim sits quietly, hugging her backpack to her as if to protect herself from the world. We’re staying at the same resort, and while waiting for our driver she confided in me that this was her trip to find herself, after quitting a well paid but unsatisfactory job. She talked to me about her upbringing in Malaysia and the “Asian work ethic”, which I found very interesting. But the part where my ears really pricked up was when she spoke of physical discipline in the school system.
“When we were bad, to punish us, they used bamboo,” she said, obviously somewhat pained by the memory. “We were given a choice, thick bamboo, or many thin bamboos tied together.”
“Which did you choose?” I asked her.
“The thick one. It looks bigger, but it hurts less. The smaller ones tied together were sharp. They really sting.”
Bamboo. I take a mental note.
“How about you?” She asked, “What do you do?”
I raised my eyebrow at the girl sitting in front of me, some ten years younger than me and full of childish curiosity. Should I tell her what I do? The toys I have and where they go?
“I’m… not sure I should tell you.”
She leaned forward a little, eye widening.
“Oh. You do something bad? You mafia or something?”
She laughed at her own joke. I sighed and shook my head. How to explain? Do they have kink in Malaysia? Did she have a boyfriend? If so, that might make it easier. Kimmy, sometimes when two people love each other very much, they tie each other up and put things up their asses? No. No, and anyway, love has nothing to do with this business of mine. Affection? Yes. Friendship? Sure. Trust? Absolutely. It was not love, beyond that I love my work and the submissives seem to love theirs.
“Have you ever heard of Mistresses?”
Kim looked lost in thought a moment, then frowned a little.
“You mean, like the other woman?”
“No. Different kind of Mistress. It’s about… being a person of power for another person to reliquish their power to. How to explain? Ok. When someone submits to me, to my whims and caprices, I can take them past their stale day to day reality and into a whole new world of strengths and possibilities. It’s a creative process of sorts.”
“Like a life coach?”
“Uh. Yeah, sure. Like a life coach.”
“You could teach me! Be my coach, I need one.”
I smile back awkwardly. We enjoy a minute or so of uncomfortable silence until our tuk tuk rattles loudly down the stone drive of the resort.
Lush green canopy and a myriad of flowers and fragrance greets us at the gates. I learn that there are seven others here, mainly females in their late twenties. Two men. One, a German called Bruno who looks very dull. The other a cocksure English man in his late twenties called Ben, who made me bristle (not in a good way) when he introduced himself to me in the manner of a drooling, undisciplined puppy. I pondered he might be a good subject to bring to heel.
Bags unpacked, Kim and I slipped into our bikinis and headed to the pool. The smouldering tiles surrounding it threatened to brand bottoms that lingered there too long, so we slipped slowly into the cool blue water, letting it cool our overheating skin. An English girl named Penelope was there, on a gap year, writing a segment on “following your bliss”
I suppose bliss is alright, but I’ve always found pain to be a better teacher. Perhaps that explained why she hadn’t learnt much. There was an Aussie girl there too, lean, angular and as intimidating in nature as the vast hot expanse she travelled from. Of course, I liked her immediately.
We were rudely awakened from our blissful soaking by a large blur of pale skin and red trunks whizzing over our heads and landing with a great splash in the pool.
He came up, spitting water, like some kind of lecherous Orca.
“Ladies.” He said with a wink, then sidled up next to Kim. “Your first time here in Cambodia?”
He was leering at her chest. Practically drooling. No subtlety. He asked the question directly to her breasts.
Kim shot me a worried look. Help me. Ben was obviously blissfully unaware of how much of a cretin he appeared at that point in time. It came to me at that point that I’d have to teach him. Holiday schmoliday. This had every potential of becoming a very satisfying project indeed.
“Ben, is it?” I said.
He looked a little scared as I addressed him. Good. He nodded.
“You look like a physical guy, Ben.” His head perked up, rooster-like, obviously pleased with himself. This was disappointingly easy.
I lifted my leg out of the water,, being careful to brush the inside of his thigh with my big toe before presenting him with one of my black manicured feet. He tensed a little as I brushed that soft and vulnerable spot. His eyes betrayed in that moment all of the sad little fantasies such men have about women… before they meet me.
“My feet are an absolute wreck after all of this travelling.” I drawled, lifting my other foot out of the water. “I’d so appreciate a pair of big… strong… hands…”
I didn’t need to continue. He was already pressing and rubbing my feet with all of the hopeful obedience of a submissive.
I moaned sensually. I really couldn’t care less about the foot rub. I’m not a foot person. But this was all part of the game.
He stopped for a moment, looking at me with that stupid smile on his face. Probably thought he was going to get lucky later.
Oh, he had no idea.
I returned his gaze, unsmiling, and with solemn intensity. He gulped and turned away.
“Well,” I said, pushing my foot into his hand. “Carry on.”
He did as he was asked. Kim looked at me, puzzled. I shot her a wink. Penelope was giggling. Silly girl.
I looked around the lush garden. Many exotic plants, abuzz with butterflies and birds.
And there, between the bathrooms and the change rooms, exactly what I was looking for.
Bamboo. Canes of it dancing in the slow afternoon breeze.
I lay back, Ben kneading my feet as I plotted the ways in which I could knead him into a better specimen of man.
It was going to be a wonderful vacation. I could feel it.