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I Had My First Orgasm As A Dominatrix At A BDSM Parlor: BUST True Story

dungeon.jpgIllustration by Tianhua Mao
YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST


Deep in the heart of an urban BDSM parlor, a young dominatrix has a life-changing experience thanks to a dungeon, a turtle, and a magic wand

Walking Through Manhattan's Herald Square, the average civilian would never suspect that above a dollar-a-slice pizzeria is a suite of dimly lit rooms outfitted with bondage wheels, wooden crosses, whips, chains, and medical paraphernalia. It was in this modest BDSM dungeon last summer that I experienced many firsts. It was the site of my first experience with sex work (even though, to stay on the right side of the law, we didn’t actually have sex with our clients). It was the place where I first tried to develop my dominatrix alter ego, “Zoe.” And surprisingly, it was the place where I experienced my very first orgasm, at age 24.

Sometimes people ask me why someone would pay to visit a dungeon like the one where I worked—where there are imitated sex acts, but no penetration or skin-to-fluid contact—instead of just getting a spanking from a partner or hiring a full-service prostitute. The answer is that not every wife, husband, or even working girl will happily pick up a paddle to play the role of angry schoolteacher (or whatever) like doms do in a dungeon. In this exploratory, open-ended world of velvet, latex, and thick eyeliner teetering on the very tip of legality, the fantasy life of the client is center stage, instead of the sex act itself.

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Business was slow that summer, the heat driving most of our clientele out of town. On many afternoons, the other doms and I spent our shifts chain smoking in the hoodies we wore over our short leather or latex outfits. Above us on the wall were paper signs scribbled in broken English—“LATE YOU OWE FIFTY DOLLAR,” “IF SICK MUST DOCTORS NOTE.” We watched the smoke spiral above us in the windowless break room and talked shit about the few male submissives who came by despite the deadening heat. On the rare occasion when our manager would shout from her office to “get fucking ready right fucking now,” we’d jump up and rush to the mirrors to re-apply our mascara.

“ZOEEEEEEEE!” the manager called out toward the end of one particularly uninspiring gray day. I sprung to attention and scurried to her office upon hearing my work name. “Yes?” I tried to waddle as gracefully as possible in my seven-inch platform heels, almost tripping across the oriental rugs that ornamented the lobby. “Hold on,” she commanded in her thick Israeli accent, reaching to answer her ringing phone. Monitoring the panorama of security screens mounted above her computer, she barked into the receiver. “What? What do you want Ronnie? No. No. She is NOT in today.” Visible on the top left screen was a frail-looking old man pacing nervously back and forth on our front step. “That’s Robert,” the manager said to me, wrapping the black curlicue of her telephone cord around her long, acrylic fingernail. “He wants to meet with you in the blue room.” I shifted my weight, but before I could open my mouth to say, “OK,” she flung the receiver down and shouted at me to “Go get ready!”

I walked back into the staff lounge, not quite sure how to prepare. “I have a session with this guy Robert,” I nervously offered into the silent room of women grooming themselves. I was new to the highly competitive environment of the dungeon, new to the world of BDSM, and struggling to come off as a pro even though I’d only been doing this kind of work for a month and a half. What I hadn’t told my co-workers was that I was in the process of paying off some debt I’d accrued over the course of an abusive relationship and was looking for the fabled quick money of the sex industry, but without having to put any strange p in my v. The job still had me wigged out, since I never knew what to expect once I was alone with a new client, but no one had time to respond to the anxiety in my voice—they were busy applying cosmetics like war paint. Elbows and forearms collided at the vanity tables and top-40 songs about cars and money blared in the background as women exchanged territorial glares whenever makeup bags consumed too much valuable real estate. Everyone was competing to be chosen for the next session of the day.

“Wait…Robert? Like, Turtle Robert?” creaked the hoarse voice of what appeared to be a very hung over and despondent dominatrix who had been lying on the wooden floor, silently scrolling through her Instagram feed.

Someone chuckled from the far corner of the room. “Oh man. I like Turtle Robert. What a trip.”

I packed a plastic caddy with wet wipes, hand sanitizer, paddles, and a timer that indicated the beginning and end of my one-hour session.

“I mean, he’s cute for an old guy,” the first dom continued. “And sweet. Whatever. You guys will have a good time.” Her affirmation was vague but positive. I felt my heart beating faster as I re-adjusted the straps on my shoes and tugged at my fetish outfit—a faux latex dress decorated with metal studs and mesh paneling. Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” came on the radio, and my co-workers started dancing and pretending to throw money at each other to amuse themselves. I packed a plastic caddy with wet wipes, hand sanitizer, paddles, and a timer that indicated the beginning and end of my one-hour session.

Then I walked down the hall and knocked on the wooden door to the blue room where my client was waiting. The door swung open to reveal the bespectacled little man I’d seen on the doorstep. Now that he was up close, I immediately understood how he’d earned his dungeon moniker. His tiny little glasses and the slow manner in which he reached his soft, wrinkled hand out to shake mine instantly reminded me of Cecil Turtle from the Looney Toonscartoons. He shuffled slowly past the gaudy suit of armor decorating the corner of the small, bedroom-sized space and grabbed a briefcase. Then he unscrewed a small bottle of Aveeno lotion and patted the bondage bench next to him. “Sit down, Zoe,” he said with a weak, age-flattened smile.

I complied and asked him about his day. He told me he lived in New Jersey and that he liked the distance from the city—it helped him relax. I watched his body language shift as we jumped between conversation topics, trying to get a sense of what sort of client he might be. He told me about how he played the oboe and had just returned from a classical music convention in Vermont. I asked what kind of session he was looking for today.

“I’d like for you to be submissive, for at least part of the session, and we’ll play with restraints and some toys,” he replied matter-of-factly. That’s when he pulled the foot-long Hitachi Magic Wand vibrator from his briefcase. I stared at the wand’s bulbous, rubber head and wondered what it would feel like as he scrolled through his phone to select a play list of Baroque classical music.

Robert leaned over and began kissing me and removing my clothes. Once I was naked, he suggested I lie down on the pleather bondage table, so I did, stretching until my toes grazed the brass eyelets of the baseboard. He took off his shirt and I could feel the loose skin of his torso graze my legs as he grabbed my ankles and neatly fastened them to the table inside black canvas cuffs. Then he applied the lotion to his hands and started massaging my tired muscles.

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I meditated on the concept of the huge Magic Wand touching me, and my curiosity mixed with a less-sexy emotion—shame. Though in my mid-20s and making a living doing light sex work, I still really had no idea how to map my body’s pleasure centers. Growing up, my mom never spoke to me about my body or sexuality—she even hid her tampons from me. I tried masturbating a few times, but I wasn’t even sure if I could have an orgasm, so when it didn’t feel good right away, I gave up. The men I’d dated in the small punk town where I came of age before moving to New York never seemed very interested in helping me achieve an orgasm, either. And the few women I’d fooled around with were only interested in me for the duration of their drunken stupors. Since taking the job at the dungeon, I hadn’t done much sensual exploring in my off hours, either—to be honest, after eight hours in a dungeon, the last thing on my mind was sex, so there wasn’t a lot of real eroticism going on in my life at all.

I thought about all of this, silently speculating about whether or not I’d actually ever experienced an orgasm, wondering how I’d know if I had or not, when my thoughts were interrupted by Turtle Robert. He started droning on about the differences between cantatas and oratorios while pinching my nipples. I closed my eyes and listened to the flutter of violins in the background. Whatever happens, happens, I told myself. I exhaled, sensing that I was safe with this gentle little man. He tucked my hair, matted with hairspray, behind my ear.

Then somewhere, amid the sounds of woodwinds and strings, came a buzzing sound. The hum came closer and closer, and then the vibrating head of the Magic Wand finally grazed my labia, then skirted down to my perineum. I could feel my client getting excited, his hardening dick grazing my side as the music’s tempo picked up and I submitted to all the sensations the Hitachi elicited as it made its way through my vaginal landscape.

Turtle Robert adjusted his bifocals and sighed before tightening the cuffs on my feet. I heard him giggle to himself with boyish indulgence as he pressed the handle of the Wand into my hand so I could take care of myself while he began to masturbate. Seconds felt like hours. An overwhelming tingle frosted my nether regions as I maneuvered the Wand back and forth. My thighs quivered as I got lost in my own pleasure. The sensations were totally over the top, like nothing I had ever experienced before. Ignoring Turtle Robert, I rode the waves of pleasure until I felt my whole body pulsate. And then, like a faucet being turned on inside of me, I felt a gush of warm pleasure bloom throughout my small frame. I had just had my first orgasm.

Though in my mid-20s and making a living doing light sex work, I still really had no idea how to map my body’s pleasure centers.

I opened my eyes to find Turtle Robert groping around the dimly lit room with cum-soaked hands in search of a towel. I reached to remove the cuffs, but hesitated, remembering that I was the submissive and should wait for his lead. “Well, it seems that you really enjoyed that…mistress,” Turtle Robert said with a smirk.

I cringed a little, trying to think of this person as endearing, rather than as a desperate and slightly creepy old man. “Yeah,” I replied. “I guess I really needed that,” I said casually, exhaling into the shiny pleather surface of the bondage table. I was trying hard to play it cool. I didn’t want to admit that this was the first time I’d had an orgasm and was feeling vulnerable experiencing that in a business context. I also wasn’t sure how my conflicted feelings would play out, so I just kept my mouth shut. I studied the navy sponge paint texturing the walls and gazed at the haphazardly assembled suit of armor in the corner. Turtle Robert started telling me about his childhood in New Jersey and learning to play the oboe. I was thankful for his self-reliance, as it permitted me to nod off into a distant repartee of “uh-huh”s and “yeah, cool”s.

When the timer indicated our hour was up, I was thankful—I wasn’t sure how much more encyclopedic knowledge of the Baroque era I could absorb. Turtle Robert and I met several more times throughout the course of the summer and he became my favorite client because his sessions were always predictable, safe, and fun. But our time together was never as explosive as that first surprising session, and nothing about Robert made me want to stay at the dungeon past that season. (The job ended up being a lot of work hours for very little money, especially after our supervisors took a huge cut of our earnings.)

Looking back on that strange time of my life, however, I’m deeply thankful to the dungeon for providing me with a long overdue opportunity to explore my own pleasure and desires. I didn’t buy a Hitachi immediately after meeting Turtle Robert, but over time my vibrator collection has definitely grown to be varied and expansive. I’ve also had better sex with partners since my time in the dungeon, but more importantly, I’ve become more interested and invested in my own sexuality. My time with Turtle Robert revealed to me just how alienated I had always been from my own pleasure. Thanks to him, I now finally know what I’m looking for.

--

By Anonymous 
Illustration By Tianhua Mao

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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