I had so much to learn.
During the first year of my divorce, I went through an intense sexual awakening. For the first time in my life, I dared to listen to, and follow, what my body wanted, from dating younger men and attending a sex club, to flying off to different country to meet dashing and exciting new lovers.
But as my metamorphoses continued, so too grew my curiosity around bondage, power fantasy role-playing, and Dominance/submission (D/s). For some reason, scenes from the movie 9 1/2 Weeks kept flashing through my mind: there was just "something" in how Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke connected — how he seemed to "see" her, intuit her, push her beyond her boundaries, and in turn, empower her to know herself more.
That connection spoke to me, though I didn't understand how or why. It wasn't until I began talking to "Sir John the Dom" — a sexual Dominant from the United States — that I even realized that that movie was about D/s.
I had so much to learn.
A D/s relationship, in its truest form, is all about the submissive, John explained to me. It's about her wants, her needs, her fantasies. Some of her desires may be conscious, but others may be locked in her subconscious.
The Dom's job is to build a bond so strong with her that she feels safe enough, connected enough with him, to unleash her creativity and explore her innermost self. Through submission, she actually becomes empowered because she connects with her body, heart and mind in much deeper ways.
"Trust. Honesty. Communication. And Respect," he said firmly. "Remember those four words. Those are the four pillars that a genuine D/s relationship is built upon. And until they are in place with any dom, always meet in a public place and always keep your clothes on... Because there are men out there who use D/s as a way to abuse women — they think the sex is all about them, that they can 'take' whatever they want. A Dom never abuses or 'takes away,' Delaine. He only builds."
After many months of getting to know John, those four pillars gradually grew strong and firm. Our relationship then became more psychological — a battle of the minds. I "tested" him constantly long before we became sexually involved — mouthing off, ignoring him, deliberately trying to arouse him. I wanted to see if I could break his self-control; find a crack in his armor so-to-speak.
But he always remained in control; patient, calm, and sometimes even amused. His goal was to make me learn more about me and MY needs. For that to happen, I had to be the one who went to him.
No doubt, much of what I experienced sexually with John involved my being physically "forced." And my "need" to experience that was scary and weird to me. It seemed dark, twisted, violent. I feared some part me longed to be abused.
But I now realized that my fear was misguided. The sexual and physical control John exerted over me actually empowered me, not stole my power. The sex we'd shared had been the final gateway, a passage through which I was able to learn to trust a man again and to claim the ecstasy and power of my sexual energy as my own.
My "9 1/2 Weeks" with Sir John the Dom forever changed me; our sexual exploration enabled me to become more of Delaine. I became more confident. I was more in tune with my passion and creativity, and saw the value in keeping those channels open.
I had more faith in my body's intuition and no longer quashed it without listening. And most importantly, I felt freer and more capable of expressing my wants and needs — not just in bed, but in life.
Delaine chronicles her erotic experiences with Sir John the Dom, and others, in her memoir, The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom.