Well, maybe I've lead too sheltered a life, but I had never heard of BDSM or Domme or any of several related terms I soon began hearing mentioned, such as D/s, sub, and Dom. Actually, my life hasn't been all that sheltered — I quit school at 16 and went to work for a Ralph's Grocery in Hollywood. I also left my mom's apartment and got one of my own, since we weren't getting along too well.
I guess I was always too busy trying to earn a living to get into the kinds of mischief some of my peers got into.
Nor did getting into any weird "alternate life styles" appeal to me. I guess you could say I've always been a pretty square "establishment" kind of guy. Thus, these BDSM situations I began hearing about came as quite a shock – although I developed some close friendships with some people who were very much into them.
Most of what I learned came from Zeena, a 40-something who had been a chorus line dancer in Broadway shows for much of her adult life. There was an edge to her poetry that caught my attention and aroused my curiosity. So we got to commenting on each other's poems and soon were telling each other something about ourselves. She told me her husband was about 30 years older than she, and that they owned a "Bohemian-type" coffee house in New York City, where he "held court" every night, reciting poetry he had written and inviting others to read theirs.
Zeena preferred posting hers on the AOL Boards.
More about Zeena later, but it was she who explained that BDSM means Bondage, Discipline, and Sado-Masochism. She went on to explain that D/s is symbolic of a Dominant who is the master (or mistress) of a subordinate (or slave). She further explained that a male Dominant is called a Dom, while his female counterpart is called a Domme or a Dominatrix.
If you're interested in this sort of thing, type the terms into Google and you'll find hundreds (if not thousands) of web sites on the subject. I was frankly stunned that so many people seemed to be into this, and that a number of our writers were among them.
Personally, the idea being handcuffed to a wall while someone flails me with a leather whip held no appeal, nor could I see myself inflicting pain on some other person bound in chains. I also learned that Zeena had a 16-year-old daughter who was equally enthused about BDSM. Her favorite tool for inflicting pain was a surgical stapling gun. More about them later. I had met a number of other intriguing women before finding Zeena and her daughter.
The first was Nora, who had said some nice things about my poems, whereupon I started reading hers and was impressed by their provocative sexual overtones. Over time we got to be pretty good friends, but then something went wrong and she decided she was going to "embarrass me off the boards" by telling everyone about the "horrible things I had done." More about that later.
Here's how Nora and I first met:
As mentioned, some of the poems were rather erotic, and the board staffers were quite liberal in what they allowed, as long as it was tastefully written and not blatantly vulgar or too graphic.
Since I was a newcomer, I decided to post a little ditty I had first heard as a teenager — and then wrote a disclaimer to go with it...
I like the girls who do —
I like the girls who don't.
I hate the girls who say they will
And then decide they won't.
But the girl who is the best of all
(And I'm sure you'll say I'm right)
Is the one who says "I never have -
But just for you — I might."
I know, I know - it's shallow and chauvinistic — no need to write.
Well, much to my surprise, several lady poets replied to the post with a complaint — not about the poem, but about the disclaimer, which they said was totally unnecessary. Here's what Nora wrote:
No apology needed. That poem was great!
I just started
posting and I've already put my foot in my mouth.
Well, putting her foot in her mouth turned out to be a whole other interesting story — more about my adventures with Nora soon...