I glance down at the slip of paper in my hand once more, but it’s not necessary. This is the place. Sensations Club. A non-descript red brick building with no sign. It has the appearance of being unoccupied, but I imagine the owners did that on purpose. Can’t have the ultra-conservative poles-up-their-ass people in this town freaking out about a BDSM club, right here on Main Street, after all.
Now the only question is, what the hell do I tell them once I go inside? Will they know why I’m here? I’m twenty-eight years old, with a degree in business administration, and I’m still afraid of being judged by strangers. Pathetic.
Inside, the building smells like vanilla and peppermint. Not at all what I was expecting. I imagined the scents of leather and sweat, based on the videos I was required to watch before coming here this afternoon. In addition to the training videos, I was given a reading list of articles that rivaled any I’d seen on a university syllabus.
But now, as I glance around for an indication of where I’m to go next, I’m grateful for the extensive education beforehand. No way could I have walked here, let alone stepped inside, without it.
Intellectually, I understand the dynamics of BDSM. I’m able to talk about limits, consent, and safety. This afternoon and evening, if all goes as planned, I will step beyond reading about play, asking questions, and watching instructional videos. Finally, I will experience impact play firsthand for the very first time. The excitement overwhelms me for a second or two. I’m both a bit afraid, and so turned on that my pussy is soaked.
I spot the sign that leads me to reception. It was there all along, big and bold. Time to calm down before I make an ass of myself. The welcome area is nothing more than a tiny room with both a fan and radio running. There’s a glass partition in the door, with one of those holes to speak into, like they used to have at banks.
The space beyond the door is cluttered with a filing cabinet, a desk that might have been brand new in 1952, and piles of paper on chairs. I’m not hopeful as I smile at the woman who glances up from one of the stacks of paper on the desk.
“Hi there.” Her voice is cheerful and soothing. Maybe this will be okay? “What can I do for you?”
“I’m here to see…” No clue. “I mean, I’m…” My usual embarrassed, idiotic self has returned. I clear my throat. “My name is Chelsea Anderson.”
“Oh! Awesome. You’re one of our survey participants. Welcome.” The woman pushes a buzzer under the desk and the door unlocks. “Come on in. I have paperwork for you to sign before I take you into the club.”
“I filled out a bunch already.” I step inside the tiny room. “Should I lock this door again?”
“Yes, please.” The woman moves a pile of paper off one chair and places it on top of the filing cabinet. “Have a seat.” She sticks out her hand. “I’m Daphne Morris.” After I shake her hand, Daphne sits again and types away for a few seconds. She clicks a key, causing the printer next to her to roar to life. The noise makes me jump a bit.
“Don’t worry,” she says, her voice gentle. “Everyone gets a bit nervous here their first time. By the end of the night, you’ll feel like you’ve always been part of us.”
“Thanks.” I doubt her prediction will come true, but it would be rude to say so. “Why do I have to fill out more paperwork?” I’ve done a mountain of it already.
“Just a few more things. We can’t be too careful. May I see your driver’s license, please?”
“Oh, sure.” After I dig it out, she checks off boxes on the papers, and then hands them to me, along with a pen and my license.
“Please read the consent and the overview of the survey. If you agree with everything, sign both sheets.”
“Will I have to do this each time I come here?”
“That will depend on whether Slade requests you come back for further participation.”
Just hearing the name of the Dom who will be administering the physical aspect of this survey sends a shiver down my spine. Slade Taylor. It’s an imposing name. I read the words on the pages, but they are already familiar. Mr. Taylor co-owns this club with two other Doms, and several other Doms work here under a partnership agreement with the three.
The Doms are conducting a series of experiments, although they call them surveys. Their aim is to determine exactly how much impact play women or men new to this can take, what they like or don’t like, and all kinds of other criteria my brain cannot process at the moment. The entire thing is spelled out quite thoroughly in multiple forms I’ve already seen.
When I first read about this, I laughed. But after I asked a few members of an online group who live this lifestyle whether they had heard of it, they told me it was legit. Of course, I was intrigued. If I’m being honest with myself, once I learned it wasn’t bullshit, there was never any doubt I’d sign up to participate. Not with the secret fantasies I’d had most of my life.
“Do you have any questions about the consent, or the purpose of the survey itself?”
“No.” Like I said, I’ve read all this before, more than once. After I sign the papers, Daphne places them on top of another pile and stands.
“Are you ready to meet Slade?”
“Yes.” As ready as I’ll ever be.
She leads me through another locked door on the opposite side of the room. As it closes behind us, I inhale the scents of leather, vanilla, and coconut in the new space. The only sound is soft conversation, although I can’t see the people speaking. Again, not at all what I expected.
“It’s still pretty early for our regulars. This place will be packed later.”
As we walk through the main play area, which is lit up more than I had imagined it would be, I scan the implements that I’ve only seen in pictures or videos so far. Three St. Andrew’s crosses, several variations of benches, an actual cage with too many attachments to count, and a few things I have no names for. One entire wall is covered with floggers, whips, paddles, straps, clips, and bondage implements.
I’m forced to glance away from the wall when I nearly collide with a spanking bench. Heat spreads up my neck and face. I am now so wet that I imagine my panties are ruined. But as we approach yet another door, the doubt creeps in, fast and furious. What if Slade wants no part of this once he sees me?
We had to submit full body shots—while clad only in underwear—and face shots as part of the application process. I was told this was for identification purposes, as well as to determine if we had any physical needs the Doms should be aware of. So, it’s not like Slade has no clue I’m a size sixteen.
But what if he’s disgusted by me in person? I can’t do this.
Daphne unlocks the door and we ascend carpeted stairs. The stairwell is lit by soft lamps, giving it an old-fashioned ambiance, like a scene you might read in a Victorian erotic novel. I swallow hard. It’s never too late to change my mind. That’s one of the key points of consent that was drilled into our heads. I can withdraw my consent at any time.
So can he.
At the top of the stairs is a hallway, similarly lit and carpeted. It’s so quiet up here. Can they hear the play below when it’s in full swing? Who and what is in all these rooms? We must have passed half a dozen doors by now.
“Here we are.” Daphne knocks, waiting until a male voice calls to come in before opening the door. As I pass next to her, she leans close and whispers, “Deep breaths. He’s very nice. You’ll like him.”
If I can see him. The room is so dim that at first, I’m not able to make out a damn thing.
“Stay here a second,” says Daphne. Not a problem, since I’m certain if I try to cross the room before my eyes adjust, I’ll trip over my feet and fall on my fat face.
Daphne hands the papers to a man whose shape is barely discernible. Of course he’s tall. No doubt he’s muscular and fucking gorgeous, too. My worst nightmare has just come true. Every damn boy I liked from grade school onward looked me up and down like they were eyeing a hippo at the zoo. This one will, too, even if he’s ugly.
Which he isn’t. I’m certain of it. Even so, this is a huge mistake. I should simply leave right now. Fuck the paperwork. I’m withdrawing my consent by walking out the door.
“Well, Chelsea, please come in.” His voice stops my thoughts cold.
Daphne sweeps past me, winking. “Have fun.”
The door closes behind me and I’m blind. There’s nothing except darkness, until I hear a click because he’s lit a lamp. It bathes the room in soft, red light, which is appropriate considering the furniture in here. Deep, rich, leather, and screaming of bondage scenes. Holy shit. It’s actually difficult to take a full breath.
“You’re safe, Chelsea.” That voice! God in heaven, it’s so smooth and confident. It conjures up visions of naked, sweaty bodies, writhing in passion. Not that I’d know what that’s like. My past sexual experiences are not only mediocre, but unsatisfying as hell.
“You’re all right. Come closer, please.”
“Sh-should I leave my bag here?” Great. Now I’m stuttering.
“You may place it on the chair to your left.”
There’s a chair to my left? I glance over, and there it is. A Victorian one yet, complete with tufted velvet. Red, of course. I have to stifle a laugh as I place the bag on it.
“Would you please share the joke?” His voice is filled with teasing humor, and I’m a little in love already. There is nothing sexier in the world than a man who understands how to laugh.
“Everything in here is so … so red. And old-looking.”
“Except for the bondage furniture, of course.”
“Yes. Except for that.”
“Are you afraid, Chelsea?” The genuine concern in his tone sends guilt washing over me.
“No.” Fear is the last thing I feel.
“Tell me what’s going through your head right now.”
No way. “I’m afraid of appearing foolish.” It’s not a lie, but neither is it the complete truth.
“Not possible.” He rises and walks toward me. Have I fucked up already? He asked me to walk over to him. I should move, but my feet are glued to the carpet and my legs are as heavy as lead. My fat legs, that once he gets a good look at, will make all this angst I’ve worked myself into a moot point.
Not only is he tall, but he’s wearing only leather pants. Oh. Holy. Jesus. Muscles like I’ve never seen in person adorn his arms and torso. He has a six pack, for the love of God. Close-cropped dark hair, dancing dark eyes, he needs a shave, and he’s barefoot. I’m actually dizzy. I have never seen such a beautiful man up close and personal in my entire life.
“Well, now.” That dark, penetrating gaze, filled with humor and admiration, roams over my face. “You’re even prettier than your picture.”
I can’t help it. I laugh out loud. No one has ever called me pretty.
The gaze darkens, but I merely shake my head. “You are so out of my league it’s ridiculous. I’ve made a mistake.”
“If you leave, I will understand, but please don’t do it for the wrong reasons.”
“What are the wrong reasons? Because I’m fat and ugly, and you’re the most perfect creature I’ve ever laid eyes on?”
A wide smile reveals slightly crooked teeth, and I’m so happy that I want to cry. He is human, after all. “I can see I have my work cut out for me.”
“Meaning it’s not only my intention to introduce you to impact play and determine how much you can take, but by morning, I will have you believing that you are a beautiful, sexy woman.”
“If you can accomplish that, you must be a miracle worker.”
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