This Is the Bondage One

You can listen to me read this story: https://anchor.fm/lanning-lee/episodes/This-Is-the-Bondage-One-esm9oh

* * * * *

I said it was aiming for a legendary spot in that lifestyle.  An admirable retirement goal.  But once she got a load of what it was about, she told me she thought it was really trying to attain not a spot, but a stain. Good one.

Reputation, for me, is all it’s cracked up to be.  At least for me, when it comes to women.  I want them to think I’m, well, a straight arrow, squeaky clean.  A real nice, wholesome fellow. One of the good guys. I’m still single, by the way.

But then I imagine the situation where, after everything in the relationship goes stale, routine, old hat, you know, then I wonder how letting that hidden side of me slip would . . . Hmmm.  What would that story be?

It all began when I took a trip with my sister to Amsterdam two years ago.  The Rijksmuseum was spectacular.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum as well, although I was a little bummed out to find, at the end of that serpentine chronological tour through Van Gogh’s work, that there was no “Starry Night.”  Wouldn’t you know it, it’s hung in the MoMa in New York City.  I threw a few extra Euros into the collection box at the end in hopes of helping them buy it.

That’s me.  I’m a giving kind of guy, and believe that everything should hang in its rightful place.  Part of the straight arrow me, for the ladies.

Anyway, one thing almost everybody seems to have to do, and for plenty of them it’s what they want to do – and when you see them drooling, you wonder if it’s something they have to do or die – that one thing is walk along gawking at the women on display in the windows, the ones for hire.  If they aren’t completely naked, they’re close.

To me, it’s disgusting on two counts.  One, I don’t think women should have to make a living selling themselves like that, and two, I don’t think women should ever be looked at as pieces of purchasable meat.  And this isn’t just men staring.  There are women doing this as well.  And they bring their kids, for God’s sake.  Talk about a lousy education.  I mean they’re bringing up their children to act the same way as them toward women.  It’s horrible.

So my sister and I are strolling along this repulsive tourist attraction row, when all of a sudden she and I spot a store, located below the women on display.  It’s a sex shop.  I say to my sister that I’d like to check it out.  She does not.

Down I dive.  The word “shop” does not do this extensive array of sex-oriented merchandise justice.  It’s a veritable supermarket, emphasis on the word “super.”

Now I’ve written about this before, but I’ll mention it again.  There are these two maybe 16-year-old girls.  As the three of us stand looking at the wondrous variety of handcuffs, one of them says to the other, “I think we should get P one of these.”  P is a male.  I’ll guess he’s a good friend about their age.

The other heartily agrees.  I’m sort of looking at the feathered cuff row.  They like those as well and choose a pink one.  We go our separate ways.

But not for long.  Handcuffs are far, far from the only bondage-related merchandise available.  I have drifted down toward the how-to manual section.  The girls come this way as well.

“Oh,” says one, “we should definitely get P one of these manuals.”

“Totally,” the other says.

And they do.  I think about P, wonder why I don’t have friends like this.

I flip through a couple of the manuals.  The pictures are interesting, if you like that kind of thing.  I’d not tried any of this before.  I choose one of the manuals.  You know, just to check it out at my leisure.  For research purposes.  My writing and all.

This manual I do purchase, decline the bag, and shove it down the front of my pants as I head up the stairway to rejoin my sister.

“How was it?” she asks.

“You know you’re getting old,” I say, “when nothing in a store like that interests you.”

We laugh.  I am old.  But I lie.  I am indeed interested in something.  And I have that something in my pants, sneak it into my suitcase that night, eventually fly it back to Hawai‘i with me.

Thus I begin my research journey, my delving deep into the how-tos of bondage.  I find this information leads me to wish to go more in depth.  Online I find more e-stores than you would believe.  In sum total they put that supermarket in Amsterdam to shame.  As an example, Adulttoymegastore.  The name is no hollow, baseless boast, believe me.

I decide to buy a little something.  For further research purposes.  I choose handcuffs – in the business they’re called “wrist restraints” to class them up – so I choose them because I really had been attracted to the feathered ones back in Amsterdam.  I buy leather ones.

The packaging is discreet, as promised.  I notice that the actual name of the company does show up on my charge card bill, but what the heck.  Who cares what an old guy like me is buying?  I’m not a politician or a priest.

I like the wrist restraints.  When I have them on, I imagine I am Houdini attempting to set myself free before I die.  I time myself.  I think I could get good at this.  Now I want something else.

Okay, how about  . . . yes, next up has got to be the nipple clamps.  I do not try these on myself.  In the flesh they look more painful than they did on the Web.  They are, however, a cool work of art, and most likely a good conversation starter.

I’m not into whips, but I can’t resist adding a “scandal flogger” to my burgeoning collection.  I run the cool leather strands over my hand.  An interesting sensation.  Tickles a bit. The idea crosses my mind of whipping myself some, but after much internal debate, I ultimately resist the temptation.

I have read in the manual that while a breathable ball gag is moving a little toward the extreme, a good leash and collar are basic necessities.  I buy myself a set.  I like the studded collar very much.

Now I’ve looked at these items in the all-together, that whole picture way, laid out there on my bed, and I think I’m ready to . . . to what?  Well, to write, as I now recall.  Remember, this has all been research.

An acquaintance of mine and I have socially distanced coffee on my lānai.  We are old friends, take off our masks.  I tell her about my writing research collection.  She laughs.  So do I.

I tell her my character has arrived at the decision that he would like to put his research into practice, find someone whom he can start out talking it all over with first, create the important safe word, explore slowly, keep it simple initially as they ease their way into this brave new world.  Insanely, his goal in retirement has become one where he rises to the top spot of the bondage society here in Hawai‘i.

This is when my friend makes the wry comment about my character wishing to achieve not a spot but a stain.  It’s a good line.  It’s worth referring to at least twice in my story.

So my character, I continue telling my friend, is now bent on finding the perfect partner with whom to begin this rise to fame.  He turns with renewed enthusiasm to those OK Cupid, eHarmony, and Match.com accounts, accounts with which he had become bored to proverbial tears, had been throwing his pension away upon.

Now he rewrites his profile, is quite forthright about what he is looking for, is pleasantly surprised that none of the sites ask him to tone down what he has written.

And he waits.

Sadly, no one has responded yet.

“Would anyone?” my friends asks.

I don’t know.  Would I?  The clock is counting down, and my character is still waiting.

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