Anna’s Story: The Importance of Staying Safe

By on July 6, 2012

Many Skin Two readers are well used to expressing and enjoying their BDSM sexuality, whether it involves whips and chains, rubber, bondage, roleplay, whatever. It goes without saying that we always keep safety in mind. You wouldn’t let some total stranger you met in a club take you home and tie you up, would you? Not unless you arranged a safe call with a reliable friend. You’d have to be nuts to take a risk like that; it’s basic common sense. 

And yet, even the most experienced among us can make an error of judgement. Newcomers to the fetish scene often comment that it’s a remarkably safe, non-sexist and non-aggressive space. But that’s not only because we’re nice people, it’s also because we take care. Anna is a confident, intelligent and sensible woman who enjoys playing the submissive role. Yet even she can, once in a while, forget to play safe, as she told me recently in this email…

This is a true account of an event that took place in my life almost two years ago. Until now I have not felt able to speak openly about it, partly because I didn’t want to relive the memory and partly because it makes me look so foolish. But if something good is to come of this experience I have to write about it to serve as a warning to anyone out there who may be about to act as irresponsibly as I did.

I will not be naming the person involved, or blaming him. I now see it as a scene that went badly wrong due to no communication and I take equal responsibility for it as I put myself into the situation.

It was the summer of 2010, I was going through a difficult time, having just separated from my dom who, I thought at the time was my soul mate, so my head was in a very bad place.

I went to a local club with close friends. I had no intention of meeting anyone, but in walked this really good looking guy; I couldn’t believe it when he made a beeline for me and then went on to say he had read my profile on a BDSM site and saw I was going to the club, so came along for the sole purpose of meeting me. Well you can imagine, I felt so flattered. We spent the evening together and played a little, he seemed utterly charming and very caring. We swapped numbers and stayed in touch, speaking on the phone and texting over the coming days, he wanted to see me again and suggested I went over to his place. I agreed – and that is where it all went badly wrong.

I ignored every single safety rule out there. I did not know his full name, I did not tell anyone where I was going, I did not tell anyone I was meeting him, I did not set up a safe call and I did not ask for a safe word. (Although I don’t think a safe word would have made a difference.)

Driving to his, I did feel nervous and almost turned round. I wish I had now – but I like feeling that edge and reasoned to myself that I had already met him, met him in company, people knew who he was, he wasn’t really a complete stranger, we had played already at the club and it was good, so I settled down and drove for just over an hour to get to his.

I found the address, parked my car, nervously walked to his front door and knocked. He answered and I have to say that although, yes very handsome, he looked different, seemed a bit anxious. Nerves, I thought.

We exchanged pleasantries, then he took my arms and put them behind my back. Before I had time to even think, he had placed them in cuffs and locked them. He whispered in my ear “This is all about testing your limits.” I felt a bit uncomfortable at this point, but told myself it would be fine, I have done some extreme play before and can take most things, so it will be OK.

He led me upstairs and pushed me into the bedroom, then put a hood over my head. At this point, I felt even more anxious; hoods are a hard limit, as I get claustrophobic. But again I thought “Calm down, it will be fine.”

Then he started to get very rough with me, pushing me over on to the bed, ordering me around, attaching pegs to me and beating me with implements. No big deal really, I’ve had all of that before, but….. The intent seemed very different, and I became quite fearful.

Then all went quiet. Suddenly I realised he was putting something else over my head. OMG! I could hear the rustling so knew immediately it was a plastic bag.

At this point I fell apart, totally freaked out, screamed for him to remove it… However, he had also put some music on and turned it up loud, obviously now to muffle my screaming. He told me to “shut the fuck up” Apparently at this point – according to him – I was hyperventilating. I think at this point he removed the bag and pushed me down on to the bed. All I can remember was being absolutely terrified.

He left the room, turned the music down and it went quiet for a while, I still had the hood on and was still restrained. I waited. All I had were my thoughts. What have I done? How do I get out of here?

Then the music suddenly blared out again and he was back. (It was like a scene from The Silence of the Lambs.) I honestly cannot remember what he did next. I do remember when he went to put the bag back on my head I started screaming, begging, pleading with him to stop. His response was “If you don’t shut the fuck up and stop whinging, your kids will not have a Mother in the morning.”

He squeezed my neck so tightly with his arm, he made me lost consciousness three times. He didn’t choke me – it was the pressure that made me pass out. He was then going to put me into a bath of cold water. Thankfully my survival instincts saved me from that, because at that point I truly think I would have had a heart attack.

So from then on I went silent, did everything he told me to do, thinking all the while, I have to get out of this alive, what will happen to my children? How irresponsible had I been???

I decided that it was obvious that he was getting off sexually on my fear, so I thought, if I get him off sexually, hopefully it will all stop. So that’s what I did, begged him to let me release him. That seemed to work, he then released me.

Stupid thing is, and I honestly do not know why, but I didn’t leave immediately. I sat and chatted to him. I remember thinking in my head if I get up and try to leave he will try and stop me and it will start over again. I was incapable of rational thought.

Eventually though, I did pluck up the courage to say I had to go. Thankfully, my fears didn’t come true and he let me leave.

Two years on and I rarely get flashbacks now. I couldn’t talk about it openly before, because it brought the vivid memory back and I felt so stupid. I always wanted to though, if only to warn others to take what we do seriously, and not to take the risks I took, not to get complacent like I did.

I had played lots and had some great experiences, I always advised people about how to stay safe. I knew it all, yet I broke every rule there was and almost paid the ultimate price.

I really don’t blame him now. I did initially – yes, he was wrong, yes he should have stopped, but I didn’t have a safe word, so how did he really know that in this instance no actually meant no, and I drove there of my own free will.

So please everyone, take heed and stay safe.

Make sure you have his personal details before going to his home.

Make sure someone knows exactly where you are going and when you’re leaving.

Make sure you arrange a safety call.

If you have an doubts or second thoughts, listen to them.

If you are a BDSM beginner, or even an experienced player, do remember Anna’s story. Until you know a person throughly, always tell a friend where you will will be, call them before you start to play and call them after you have left. If you’re playing for some time, call them at intervals in between. If your dom does not agree to this, find another dom.

Anna blames herself for not taking care on that occasion. That’s her call, but I’d say that dom is little short of a rapist. If you’re a dominant, male or female, your first duty is to protect and serve your sub.

Tim Woodward

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