For the first time, after years, we shared our holy ritual of Church with another.
The lights were soft and pink, there was a dreamy, electric excitement in the air. Tristan asked M and I to sit beside each other on the floor and engage in some guided, mindful, deep breathing. I had a hard time not smiling as I felt my giddiness bubbling up over Tristan leading us in the exercise together. I was so grateful to be sharing something that meant so much to me with someone I care so much about.
Tristan sent M to sit comfortably on the other side of the room and I didn’t see him again until aftercare.
I was blindfolded and instructed to bend over the couch, my knees resting on a pile of soft blankets on the floor, my backside facing our… congregation?
When we first began, I was very aware of M’s presence in the room. I felt exposed and a little embarrassed when Tristan pulled my panties down almost immediately. Sometimes he takes it slower, not removing them until he’s touched, soothed and brought me to him, to our place — present. This time was different. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t go gentle or give me extra time to adjust to the new situation.
It took me longer than usual to get into the moment, to settle into my space. The combination of it having been a while since we’d had our last formal Church session and the fact that my bits were completely exposed to the man in the corner who’d just confessed his love for me hours ago.
That flavor of vulnerability was new for Church. It’s always just been Tristan and I, and while he makes me feel exposed and vulnerable, there’s a certain feeling of safety and comfort in being exposed to your Dom who’s loved and cared for you for years, and who’s held your hand through unmedicated childbirth. He’s seen me at my lowest and my highest, my strongest and most vulnerable, accepting and loving me through both. The man in the corner was a new lover. A shiny new love, a new relationship. One that hadn’t been tested.
I don’t remember how many strikes it took, but it wasn’t long before I forgot M was in the room. All that existed was the searing heat of Tristan’s hand and the leather tails of the flogger meeting my skin. The feelings radiating in waves throughout my body, dampening my pussy. Unconcerned with what I looked like, how I sounded, I wasn’t tending to anyone’s needs or feelings. I was not only allowed, but encouraged to check out, take a mental step back and just feel –— just be.
Once the sensations escalated from mindful to painful, I was on a different plane. I don’t really remember what happened between the spanking/flogging and being made to stand.
I often cry after impact play, it’s an incredibly cathartic release for me, and the tears were flowing quickly underneath the blindfold as Tristan made me stand, turn towards M and pull my dress up, exposing myself. Then he told me to take off my mask and I… couldn’t. For the first time in our years of Church I shook my head ‘no’ and quietly said I needed a minute. I can’t really explain why I couldn’t. It just felt like too much — overwhelming. Tristan gently pulled me to him, hugged me, petted my hair, let me cry for a moment and catch my breath, until I said I was ready.
I stood back up, faced M and removed my blindfold. Tears streamed freely down my face as I looked in his direction, not being able to see anything but a blurry, abstract shape a dozen feet in front of me. My eyes were full of tears and I wasn’t wearing my glasses, I was thankful I couldn’t see the look on his face, but he could surely see mine and I was very aware of that.
I had no idea how he felt about what had just happened. Not being able to see his face meant I couldn’t tell if he was smiling, crying, aroused, horrified like Ivan in the Story of O when he walked in to see O, the woman he thought he loved, chained up, freshly whipped and bleeding. He was disgusted with her delight and euphoria in her masochism. It was possible M could react that way and I was aware of this, but I wasn’t necessarily concerned in the moment.
What did I feel?
Seen. Content. Baptized in love.
Coming back to coherent thoughts, I realized that I’d just exposed my most authentic self to someone else other than Tristan for the first time. It was a powerful moment for me to know I’d just shared something I hold dearest and deepest — a vital part of my life that no one else had ever witnessed.
Tristan invited M to hold me and join in my aftercare, he was kind and gentle as he sat beside me while Tristan gathered me a bowl and a drink. He rubbed my back and kissed my head. Bringing a calm, comforting energy to me. He didn’t ask me if I was okay. He trusted that I was, or at least appeared to – trusted that Tristan hadn’t harmed me, but, given me something that I cherish and crave. Something that brings us closer — allows us to connect on another level. He gave me the space to come back in my own time. I appreciated that a great deal and it felt like he saw me. Like he was trying to understand and know the truest me.
I felt beautiful, strong, and proud of what I’d been through. In front of two men who love me, with two men who love me. It was a life-affirming experience. Which ended up melting seamlessly into another life-affirming experience directly after when I took that love, strength, magic and confidence and let it fuel and guide my first Domming exploration – with an impossibly sexy, strong, tattooed man that visibly quivered under my touch while he was restrained to my bed as Tristan watched. But that’s a story for next time…
Nikki is a photographer, writer, and general creator of things. She writes about mental health, sex, and relationships.