It had reached a point where I blushed any time anyone said Sarah's name, and I was pining for her the way I had pined for Charles in the Fall of 2000. (I didn't go into that part of that time in the posts where I covered it, because it wasn't all that hot: single girl plays with herself every night fantasizing about the same guy's cock in her ass. Really if I'd tried to describe it it would have been like an eroge game where you choose the girl, the positions, and the backdrop, but with only one girl (me) and one position (one that's frustratingly absent from eroge, actually, but doggy-style substitutes pretty well) and maybe four or five backdrops (hotel room, classroom, library, train, apartment).)
That was the way I was fantasizing about Sarah, though, even when Charles was inside me. Not, I thought, a good sign. Thank God I could confess to him, though!
"Should I command you to tell her?" Charles asked one night.
"Is that a cold No or a hot No?" (That's our code for that oh-so-tricky "Does "no" mean No?" business.)
"Cold. . . I think. Let me get back to you."
Later that night I requested the spanking whose details you'll find in the italics at the end of Emily's Naughty Classmate. The next day I "found" my great-great-grandmother's narrative, which begins in Emily, Victorian Bride (forthcoming, soon!). I quickly became obsessed with that instead of Sarah, and I stopped blushing, and Sarah and I could go shopping in New York again without me getting wet whenever we passed Victoria's Secret.
Here's why, as far as I can tell: it was the training thing.
Training, in several aspects, is a strangely essential part of BDSM. "Strangely," because, I suppose, I associate my kink above all with punishment, and most of all in the humiliation involved, for the possibly best example, in having one's panties pulled down for a spanking. And although training regimes often involve punishment, I associate real training regimes not with punishment but with a drive to improve the self and to undertake tasks that will accomplish that improvement.
Of course, that's the progressive in me talking, and it shows that I've dissociated learning from the institutions of education, in a way that would have been completely alien to everyone living just fifty years ago, and remains alien to many people even today.
But BDSM is nothing if not atavistic and nostalgic: the violation of innocence is its stock in trade, and the reason we love it so is that it returns our innocence to us so that it can be re-violated. A glance through The Pearl shows that although we look to Victorian times for our inspiration for classic BDSM practices, the Victorians themselves looked to earlier times: we all want to go back to a time when there was more innocence around.
That is, we want to be trained, because training is the progressive removal of innocence and its replacement with experience. Traditionally, this transformation occurs within a power-structure; what was holding me back from these insights was precisely that I no longer see power-structures as conducive to learning, and so I didn't see that training in the old sense--training in the schoolroom, with the cane hanging on the wall--was an expression of the power-exchange that lies at the root of BDSM.
Why did I fantasize Sarah in a schoolroom with Charles as our headmaster (Emily's Naughty Classmate and Emily's Sister-Wife have this material)? Because I craved what I call the "training constellation." What I had been missing was precisely the part of training that I had learned to dissociate from training--the nostalgic, atavistic, old-fashioned part: the standing in the corner with your skirt pinned up and your panties down to "learn a lesson" part.
It didn't have anything to do with really learning, was the thing: learning was a metaphor for the metaphor of BDSM power-exchange. So my love for Sarah was, I think, my psyche trying to find a way to get the progressive violation of innocence going, under circumstances where I was beginning to think there wasn't anywhere for Charles and me to go from where we were.
My great-great-grandmother Emily Orn solved that for me, when I sent her to a place called Smith's, my own BDSM version of L’Escole des Filles. She was in training, there, and suddenly, in my own Smith's in Greenwich, so was I.