Erica’s friend Lizzy turned up at Erica’s work, with coffee and a cupcake and looking desperate.
“Oh god,” Erica said. “What is it now?”
“I need your help.”
Erica looked at the cupcake. “Yep, I got that.”
“I really do. Could we talk somewhere?”
Lizzy looked around the office, at cubicles and Erica’s co-workers and about twenty people within earshot. “Maybe somewhere else?” she said.
“Come on,” Erica said, and led Lizzy to the toilets.
That should be private enough. They were behind two doors so they’d hear the outside one open a second or two before anyone else walked in.
“Okay,” Erica said. “So what is it?”
“Um, my tupperware party…”
“Your sex party.”
“It’s not a sex party. It’s a charity fundraiser…”
“Where you’re going to sell sex toys.”
Lizzy was getting flustered. The party was tomorrow night, which was probably why. “Not only sell sex toys,” she said, sharply. “There’s other…”
“I’m just giving you shit,” Erica said. “What about the party?”
“I need your help.”
“I helped. Like making the website, printing the coupons…”
“I know, and I’m really, really grateful, but now I desperately need your help. Someone pulled out, with no warning, and I’m just completely stuck…”
“Fine,” Erica said, assuming it was just more design work, or perhaps waitressing or running a counter and selling things on the night. “What do you need?”
“Um,” Lizzy said.
Erica waited. Erica waited, suddenly wondering why they needed to be talking in the bathrooms, and wondering why Lizzy was being so weird about it, too.
“What is it?” Erica said, after a moment. “I’m starting to think maybe I don’t want to after all.”
“No, please… I really need you to.”
“So tell me what it is.”
“I’m completely desperate. I can’t think of anyone else to ask.”
“So tell me…”
“I need someone to be flogged.”
Erica just stood there. Her mouth was open. Her mouth was actually open. She could see it in the mirror.
She closed it, then said, “Um, what?”
“You like that kind of thing…”
“You’ve told me. You like being spanked and stuff.”
“Sometimes,” Erica said. “I suppose. And fuck, with the right person, and when everyone’s in the right mood…”
“So maybe everyone’ll be in the right mood tomorrow night…”
“On a stage?” Erica said, sceptically. “With people watching? I mean, I’m assuming you mean with people watching…?”
Lizzy hesitated, then nodded.
“Yep,” Erica said. “That’s really going to put me in the right mood.”
“Maybe it will?”
“Oh I really don’t think so.”
“Please?” Lizzy said. “I’m desperate. I thought it was organized, and then someone pulled out, and all I need is for someone to get hit with the sex toy whips and things, like as a demonstration…”
“Oh yep, I see. That’s all…”
“You do stuff like this for fun.”
Erica just looked at her.
“Please?” Lizzy said.
“But on a stage. With everyone watching. Like people I know, too?”
“And, what, I’m tied up or something?”
“Of course not. Not unless you want to be…”
“Oh my god,” Erica said. “Just stop talking, please.”
“So by stop talking you mean you will?”
Erica sighed. She stood there, glaring.
“Please?” Lizzy said. “Please please please? I don’t have anyone else.”
Erica waited another moment, mostly to make Lizzy appreciate her. “Fine,” she said. “Okay.”
Lizzy hugged her. “Thank you,” she said. “Thank you so, so much.”
Then she dashed away, leaving Erica wondering what she’d just agreed to.
Lizzy emailed Erica the name and phone number of the person who was going to flog her. Those were Lizzy’s words. Erica looked at the email, not quite believing Lizzy had actually written it down like that.
Erica was still at work. She glanced around, making sure no-one had seen the message over her shoulder, then copied the number into her phone, and went back to the toilets to make the call.
Ruth was the person Erica needed to talk to. Erica rung Ruth and said that Lizzy had asked her to get in touch, about tomorrow night. To find out what Ruth needed her to do, she supposed. Ruth said good, and she was looking forward to it, and that mostly it was just a demonstration, so it didn’t need to get too intense.
“Um,” Erica said. “Okay. How do you mean intense?”
“It’s just to show people. I think so Lizzy can sell toys.”
“Oh yep, I think so,” Erica said. “But what did you mean about intense?”
“How far we go. How far I take you. It doesn’t have to be too real, since we’re just demonstrating games people could play with the toys.”
“Of course,” Erica said, wondering if she should just change her mind. “Yeah, I see.”
There was a silence.
“You don’t know what I mean, do you?” Ruth said, after a moment.
“Um,” Erica said.
“Have you done anything like this before?”
“Um, no,” Erica said. “Not really. I just… Lizzy talked me into it, like right now, half an hour ago, and then asked me to call you. So it’s all happened a bit suddenly, that’s all.”
Ruth seemed to be thinking. “Listen,” she said. “Maybe this isn’t the best idea…”
“No,” Erica said, thinking how disappointed Lizzy would be if Erica got herself rejected as a floggee. “No, I’m into it, I just haven’t done much like this before. But I want to. I just need you to explain stuff as we go.”
“It’s not…” Ruth thought some more. “Things can get intense,” she said. “Even in something like this, where they aren’t meant to. I don’t think that on a stage is really the best place to try something for the first time.”
Erica felt stubborn. She’d been talked into this unexpectedly, and was really only offering herself to help Lizzy and Ruth out. She shouldn’t have to talk anyone into letting her. She was feeling stubborn, and a little patronised, too. She might not be some kind of expert at public whipping, but she’d been slapped and choked and spanked during sex, and was pretty sure she had some idea what to expect tomorrow night.
“I’ll be fine,” she said. “Really.”
“You haven’t before, so you really have no idea whether you’ll be fine or not.”
“So tell me,” Erica said.
“No, I don’t think so. I’m sorry, but this isn’t a good idea. Lizzy and I can work something else out.”
“Please,” Erica said. “I want to.”
Ruth was silent.
“I really do,” Erica said. “I’ll be fine.”
“I’m going to whip you,” Ruth said.
Erica wasn’t sure what to say. “I know.”
“It’s going to hurt.”
“Yep, I know.”
“You haven’t before?”
“Not with a whip, no.”
“But you’ve done something, um…”
“Rough?” Erica said. “Yep. Been hit. Been choked. Been spanked.”
“This is a bit different.”
“I know. I want that.”
Ruth didn’t say anything. She didn’t seem convinced.
“I want someone to flog me,” Erica said. “Someone I don’t know.”
“Okay. Why that you don’t know?”
Erica thought. She was starting to get interested in this, starting to care whether she did it or not. She was also starting to get quite aroused by the whole idea. She liked rough sex, sometimes, and this was going to be pretty rough, and pretty public, and actually quite sexy. It was turning her on thinking about being whipped by a stranger. Being whipped, rather than spanked or pushed around. It was turning her on having to argue about it too, for some reason. The more Ruth tried to talk her out of it, the more Erica wanted to. She decided she’d better just answer, if that was what she needed to do to convince Ruth. Either that, or go and tell Lizzy that Lizzy needed to find someone else.
“So they’ll be rougher, I think,” Erica said. “So I’ll feel more helpless and abused. As if they aren’t going to hold back because we’re friends or whatever.”
“And you’re absolutely certain you want that?”
“Actually, yes,” Erica said.
“Please?” Erica said.
“Can you come and see me tonight?”
“To make sure you’re okay with this, before we go on stage. So we can talk, at least, and perhaps try it out.”
Erica stood there for a moment, looking at herself in the bathroom mirror. “All right,” she said. “When?”
Erica went to Ruth’s house, and they had a meeting. It was a meeting, far more than anything else. They were in Ruth’s lounge, with coffee, and Ruth had a tablet she was taking notes on. It was all strangely polite and normal.
Ruth asked what Erica would like to do. What exactly did she want. Did she want to be whipped or caned or flogged, and how many times, and how hard. Did she want to be called names, or ordered around, or made to crawl? To be restrained, perhaps, tied up or hung up? Or gagged, or blindfolded, or perhaps cuffed and led out onto the stage?
Erica hadn’t really thought about any of the details, other than Ruth whipping her, although she’d been thinking about that a lot, and been excited all afternoon. She decided, quickly. Not being called names or given orders, she said. Nothing degrading, no crawling. Probably just her walking on stage, and being hit, and then walking off again.
Ruth nodded, and wrote something down.
“That’s not my real name, is it?” Erica said, looking at the tablet. “Anywhere on that.”
“It doesn’t have to be.”
“Not my name please. And probably tied up, but not nothing more. No gags and no blindfolds.”
“Of course,” Ruth said.
“Do you do this for a job or something?” Erica said, wondering.
“Just for fun,” Ruth said, then asked where Erica wanted to be hit, and what with.
“Um, my back, presumably,” Erica said. “With a whip. Why?”
“There’s other places. And other things.”
“Oh. Places like what?”
“The soles of your feet. Your thighs. Your tummy. Armpits, arms, your bottom.”
Bottom was oddly innocent in the circumstances, Erica thought. “Um, my back’s fine,” she said.
Ruth nodded and wrote that down. “And a safeword?” she said.
“How about, I’m really fucking serious now, stop stop stop?”
Ruth grinned. “Something less ambiguous might be better. Like pumpkin,.”
Erica shrugged. “That’s fine.”
“So,” Ruth said. “Would you like to try?”
“What? Right now?”
“If you like.”
Erica looked at her, and wondered what she was doing. “Yeah,” she said. “Okay.”
Ruth had a room down the hall with chains and shackles and whips on the wall and a big wooden pole in the middle that was obviously to tie people to. Erica stood there, looking around, and got wet. She got instantly wet, and was surprised at herself. She wanted this, she realized. She wanted to be in this room, having awful things done to her. She didn’t know exactly what, but she wanted to.
It was like finding herself, in a way, she thought. She’d never known somewhere like this room existed, but now she knew, she needed it.
She walked around the room, touching things, stroking them. Ruth had all sorts of thing to hit Erica with, and several things to tie her up with too. There was a large metal ring in the ceiling, obviously to hold someone’s arms, and a wooden table against one wall with cuffs for wrists and ankles.
Erica looked at Ruth. “I want to,” she said. “I really do. But I don’t know how. What do I do?”
“What do you like the look of?”
Erica went and stood under the metal ring, looking upwards, and said, “That.” Then she pointed to a long thin whip on the wall, and actual whip, not some toy. “And that.”
“I’ll show you,” Ruth said.
There was a changing room, which seemed oddly organized to Erica. It was a bathroom next to the whip room, probably the ensuite from when this had been a normal bedroom. Ruth gave Erica a robe to wear. Just like a spa, Erica thought.
“Um,” Erica said, unsure. “How much do I take off?”
“As much as you like.”
“Well, how much do you need me to undress? To, um, get to me?”
“As much as you’re comfortable with. It’s fine. I can manage.”
Erica nodded, and closed the door. She’d almost undressed completely, but changed her mind at the last minute and left her underwear on. She didn’t mind being topless, she decided, that kind of went with having her back whipped, but she didn’t want to be completely naked in front a stranger. Even a stranger who was going to whip her, which didn’t quite make sense.
Now she was thinking about clothes and undressing, she realized she wasn’t sure what she was going to do about tomorrow night. It hadn’t occurred to her until just then that she might need to be naked on the stage. She wasn’t sure, so decided to wait and ask Ruth later. It didn’t seem the most important thing to be thinking about, not right then.
She went back out into the whip room, and took off the robe, and Ruth lifted up her arms and put her wrists into soft velcro cuffs and hooked her onto the ring in the ceiling. Ruth didn’t especially look at Erica’s tits, and Erica was grateful.
Erica stood there, helpless, and nervous.
“I’m just going to hit you,” Ruth said. “Not anything else. Not anything you don’t want to do.”
“Do you remember the safeword?” Ruth said.
Erica nodded again.
“Say it. To make sure.”
“And you’re sure about this,” Ruth said.
“Yep,” Erica said.
Ruth smiled, and went behind her.
Erica waited. Suddenly not being able to see Ruth made her a little nervous.
“That whip you wanted,” Ruth said. “That’s too big for the first time.”
“I’m going to try a smaller crop,” Ruth said. “But we can use the whip later, if you still want to.”
“All right,” Erica said.
“I’m going to hit you now.”
Erica tensed up, not quite sure what to expect, and almost jumped when she felt something touch her shoulderblade. It was only Ruth’s hand, only Ruth stroking her, gently and kindly. Erica sighed a little, oddly relieved, and felt herself relax slightly. Then Ruth’s hand disappeared, and Erica heard a rushing noise of air, and at the same time, a sudden pain across her back. Ruth had hit her. Erica gasped. She hadn’t had time to tense up again. She gasped, and was about to sob, or shriek, or say ow that hurt, or something, but then Ruth’s hand was stroking her again, and for some reason she didn’t want to do any of those things. She just stood there instead, waiting.
“Do you want more?” Ruth said.
“Yep,” Erica said. Her teeth were clenched together.
“That again, or something else?”
“I don’t care,” Erica said, then changed her mind. “Um, not the whip, actually. Not yet. That’s…”
“More than you’re ready for?”
“But this? The crop?”
“Once more?” Ruth said. “Twice?”
Erica thought. About pain, and how a little was sexy, and how much would just be sore. About whether this was sexy because of the room itself, and the whips on the walls, and how much it was sexy because she was being hurt. For a moment, she thought about being hurt, and being made to beg that Ruth stop, and whether she actually wanted that.
“Five more,” Erica said.
Ruth started stroking her back again, gently.
“You don’t need to…” Erica said.
“It’s better like this,” Ruth said, and Erica nodded.
Ruth stroked, then hit Erica again, and then again, almost tenderly. She hit slowly, with pauses between each blow. So Erica had time to feel the last before the next, Erica thought. So she could concentrate on the pain, and also anticipate it. So her back squeezed up, expecting to be hit, which seemed to make her feel it more intensely when the blow finally came.
It hurt. It hurt being hit, and it hurt more after several blows. The pain seemed to build up in her skin, so the last stung more intensely than the first.
Erica felt pain, and something odd as well, something almost like a relief each time Ruth hit her. Relief, and almost pleasure, at the same instant as she felt the sting across her back. Pain and pleasure, Erica thought. It was exciting. It was turning her on. She didn’t know why, but it was.
She wanted this.
Erica realized she was sobbing. She was gasping for air. She hurt, and was aroused, and was wanting this, all at once.
Erica had been counting the blows as Ruth hit her. They got to five, and Ruth stopped, and walked around in front of Erica.
“Are you okay?” Ruth said.
“Make me come,” Erica whispered, even though she was unsure why. “Please?”
Ruth looked at her, then slid her hand into Erica’s underwear, and rubbed on her, rubbing fast. Fingering her expressionlessly, as if she was just doing something practical, something obvious, and not really sex at all. She rubbed, and Erica began to gasp again, the way she’d gasped while she was being hit. She gasped, and leaned on her arms, still tied above her head. She stood there, helpless, her back still stinging, sobbing and moving against Ruth’s hand, fucking Ruth’s hand, already close to coming. Fucking Ruth’s hand, feeling Ruth’s fingers inside her, and feeling the ache of the marks Ruth had left on her back, all at the same time. Erica was excited, and she didn’t understand why. She was excited, and desperate, and needed this in a way she couldn’t understand.
She came, and then just stood there, still tied up, suddenly embarrassed.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m not sure why I asked you to…”
Ruth kissed her and said, “Don’t be.”
“Was that weird?” Erica said, a little surprised to be kissed. She kissed back anyway, and then said, “It was, wasn’t it?”
“Not at all.”
“It kind of was.”
“Nothing you want to do is weird,” Ruth said, and reached up, and untied Erica’s arms.
Erica felt a little odd, a little strange about what they’d just done, but Ruth seemed quite calm about it all. She told Erica to sit down, just to be safe, and then offered Erica lotion for her back, if Erica wanted it. Erica leaned on the wooden table against the wall, and said yes to the lotion, and Ruth put it on for her, gentle again.
Then Erica got dressed, and said she should go. She needed to get away, to have a little time to think. Ruth seemed to understand.
“Thank you,” Erica said, at the door. “That was…” She didn’t know what it was. “Wonderful.”
“And tomorrow night? The party? You’re okay if we do that?”
Erica nodded slowly, thinking. “As long as it isn’t like this. That’s what you said, isn’t it? On the phone? Not as much as this, not as intense?”
“Of course,” Ruth said.
“I get what you meant now,” Erica said. “I don’t want it to be like that in front of other people.”
“But after that,” Erica said. “After tomorrow night, I want to again. If you do. Just you and me, if that’s okay?”
“I’d like that.”
“You’re sure? I’m not too weird? To new to it all?”
Ruth shook her head. “You’re perfect. New is good.”
“I’m glad,” Erica said, and kissed her goodbye, and went home.
Erica’s back stung for an hour, and ached all the next day. There were faint pink stripes on it, she noticed, that didn’t fade until the evening.
She went to Lizzy’s party, and Ruth whipped her on the stage. Erica wore shorts and a running top, and Ruth really only pretended, and it didn’t hurt nearly as much through clothes anyway. All the same, there was still something incredibly sexy about being whipped in front of a hundred people. It was exciting, Erica thought, as she looked out at the crowd, gasping for effect, trying to look helplessly sexy while Ruth hit her. It was a release, she supposed, a perfect way to spend an evening after a boring day at work. It was sexy.
She was aroused as she stood there, looking at the crowd. Mostly because she was thinking about what they could do later on. Afterwards, once they were finished, Erica whispered to Ruth, “Take me back to your place, please?”
“Of course,” Ruth said. “What do you want to do?”
“Anything,” Erica said, wondering if that was wise. “Anything you want. Show me it all.”
Ruth put her on the hook again, and tied her wrists, but this time Erica was naked. This time Ruth used a little whip with lots of strings that somehow stung more and hurt less. This time Ruth swapped between licking Erica out and whipping her back and ass and legs, and Erica sobbed and moaned and begged her not to stop, and it wonderful and terrifying and sexy all at once. It was sex and being hurt, excitement and pain, and Erica didn’t really understand it, except to know she wanted more.
She wanted this, with Ruth, even if she didn’t understand why.