In which the A-Frame loses a victim
I’ve studied gambling enough to know that the people of Utah have it right, give or take a quibble here and a fly speck there. The conventionally religious believe that gambling leads to damnation. Well, I’ve watched people gamble, and the only part I don’t buy is the delay. Those people were suffering the torments of hell right then and there, and most of them would carry away enough misery to last well beyond next time.
I would no more gamble than drink, and though I’m not a Moslem, I find it simultaneously amusing and reassuring that both sins are forbidden by the selfsame verse of the Qu’rān.
True, I made a bet with Bart to see who would be whose slave for the evening, and yes, all my control games involve betting of a sort, but that’s not gambling.
Gambling is the world’s most pernicious addiction. A heroin addict knows that his fix won’t last; he’ll eventually need another, then another. Even though he says he can quit any time, he understands that the only way out is through withdrawal. A compulsive gambler knows no such thing. One big win can fix everything, make him well for good. He’s had a big win before and he’ll have a big win again. He’s due. He knows the game better. He’s figured it all out. His luck is changing. With a positive attitude like that, there’s no escape—not even through withdrawal.
On the other hand, there’s one thing about compulsive gambling that makes it amenable to my techniques where the chemical addictions aren’t. No detox. True, many gamblers are also drunkards; but most have only the one addiction, and they’re ready to be saved as soon as they hit bottom—even a relatively high bottom. Indeed I was thinking of the compulsive gambler when I wrote that peculiar parenthetic clause in my essay on trustworthiness: “If he distrusts you, he certainly won’t let you tie him up (unless he’s in a suicidal depression).…”
Why would he distrust you? The most likely reason is that your relationship has become an adversarial one. Perhaps you’ve been persecuting him about his gambling—a pattern you fell into long before you read this book. It’s a natural reaction to an intolerable situation. You’re as trustworthy as anyone—moreso than many—but he remembers your quarrels, knows how badly he’s hurt you, and expects you to hold a grudge. When he’s just lost everything and he’s thinking of killing himself, he doesn’t need to trust you. He’ll do what you say.
Suicidal depressions are common to all addicts. It’s part of hitting bottom. But if your husband is addicted to a chemical, you can’t take proper advantage of a depression when it hits. Your femininity has no power over him until he’s detoxified, and by then he’s less depressed. There’s also the problem of his defiance. If he feels spiteful enough to resume the downward spiral, he can do it easily. He may have no savings and no job, but he can scrape together the price of three strong doses of his favorite poison, and down he goes. A gambler needs money, or at least credit. Without a stake, he can’t gamble. When he’s just hit bottom, when he’s depressed and remorseful, and especially when you’ve just taken charge of his sexuality, you can easily get control of any money and credit he has left, then dole it out in such small portions that he can’t gather a stake. If this sounds extreme, you aren’t married to a compulsive gambler. If you are married to a compulsive gambler, you’re probably wondering what money and credit I’m talking about, because they dried up long ago.
Unfortunately you can’t stop a compulsive gambler until he’s done himself (and you) enough damage so that he becomes genuinely depressed and remorseful. As long as he can take his losses in stride, even if he’s upset, you can’t stop him, not even by taking control of his sexuality. The addiction is just too powerful. That doesn’t mean my techniques have no value. You can stop him at the highest bottom he hits—a tremendous improvement over the alternative. If you don’t stop him at your first opportunity (or your next, if that’s where I’ve found you), he’ll adapt to his new circumstances and keep going, probably by borrowing money he can’t repay. Soon he’ll hit an even lower bottom, then a lower one still, dragging you down with him the whole way.
People in other states are often surprised to hear about the legal card casinos of California. We had them even during the twenty-one years that gambling was outlawed in Nevada. Back then, the only games offered were draw poker, panguingue and bridge. Recently other forms of poker have been added, as well as the various Asian games, so called because most of the people who play them are of Oriental descent.
It’s one of the Asian games, pai-gow poker, that’s the villain of our story. Despite its name, pai-gow poker isn’t poker and involves none of the deception and aggression on which that game is based; it’s a game of chance that involves only a minimal degree of skill. That is, it’s possible to play so badly as to ensure a loss, but in practice all players quickly learn the optimum strategy and play accordingly, so the outcome is governed entirely by luck.
There are two factors that work against the player. One is the house collection. The casino charges the player a fee for each hand played, and the cost adds up. The other factor hits the more clever player especially hard. Because of a peculiarity of California law, the game is banked by the players rather than the house; each player in turn is given the opportunity to act as banker. The rules give the banker a small advantage over the other players; indeed the game’s only real potential for profit lies in making big bets when acting as banker. Of course a big bet can always be lost, and a player who repeatedly bets big, even if only when banking, risks gambler’s ruin—the loss of his entire stake. A gambler who bets a thousand dollars at a one percent advantage wins ten dollars—in theory. In practice, the result depends on chance and on the rules of the game, but it will almost always be more extreme than a ten dollar win. At pai-gow poker, it could be anything from a thousand dollar loss to a sixty-three thousand dollar gain. A gambler who bets a thousand dollars at a one percent advantage, and does it a thousand times, makes ten thousand dollars—again in theory. An addict who tries this with a two-thousand-dollar bankroll loses it all. Invariably. The mathematician’s explanation is that any other result is more than three standard deviations from the mean, and since the universe of possibility is contained within three standard deviations of the mean, a win is impossible. Another explanation is that Satan’s top priority is recruitment, so only beginners win; the compulsive gambler is already committed to sin, so he lives the miserable life he deserves while his money ensnares the next generation of reprobates. There are other explanations as well, equally valid.
It might be that Cindy deserved the misery that Darryl’s addiction caused her. She was a poker dealer at the A-Frame, so she was on the Devil’s staff, but she was also a friend and she didn’t seem to deserve it. Then again, I didn’t see her while it was happening, so I don’t know. I’d made her acquaintance years earlier, when she took an interest in aikido. At the time, she told me about her boyfriend, Rubin, and particularly about some puzzling things he sometimes said and did. It sounded like he had fantasies of being sexually dominated and was trying to hint at what he needed, so I spelled it out for her in detail, explaining every technique I knew, figuring I’d eventually hit on one that struck her so exciting, or so foolproof, or so mild that she’d try it. She was obviously fascinated, but she also seemed to believe, dogmatically, that any man who wanted such things done to him wasn’t for her. After a while, Rubin drifted away. Her next relationship left no time for aikido, and Cindy stopped coming around, so I didn’t hear about Darryl when she met him, nor when she married him, but she called me almost a year after she enslaved him and we spent several hours together, during which she told me their story as it had developed to that point.
Darryl was an aircraft mechanic. When Cindy met him, she was working as a secretary, but an economic downturn vaporized her position, and an uncle helped her get a job at the A-Frame, dealing poker on the graveyard shift. The hours took some getting used to and the wages were minimal, but the tips were good and she wound up earning considerably more than she had as a secretary. To simplify the logistics of their daily life, Darryl arranged to work a compatible shift—three hours earlier than hers.
Cindy would go to work by bus or catch a ride with a coworker, and Darryl would pick her up at the end of her shift. Usually they’d have dinner right there at the A-Frame (it was one of the few places a good dinner could be had in the morning); then they’d drive home, doing their shopping and other errands on the way. Darryl was never late, but Cindy sometimes had to wait for him because she’d been dismissed early for lack of players. Darryl noticed this and, ever thoughtful, started arriving early. If Cindy was still working, he’d play pai-gow poker until she finished.
He played for small stakes and almost always lost. He soon realized that, on average, his loss was accounted for by the house collection and the tips he gave the dealers. He decided that if he was going to pay the collection, he ought to get his money’s worth, so he increased his bets. Since he was playing for real money, he started studying the game. This gave him an illusion of competence and convinced him that he ought to bank as often as possible, betting as much as he could afford or more.
He had a couple of big wins and he was hooked. Cindy, telling me the story, commented that what made the big wins possible was that Darryl was still able to walk away from the table when her shift ended. A couple of months later, he couldn’t. After a profitable hand, he’d want to play his rush; it was sure to continue. When losing, he’d want to recover. He could leave only when he was about even and Cindy was standing over him, or when he was broke. If he was losing and Cindy was waiting for him, he’d leave when he’d gambled away all his cash, then all of hers. If she left, it was worse; he’d hit the ATM for their daily limit and max out their credit cards. Credit card advances quickly emptied their savings account, then devoured all the equity they had in their house.
Darryl started playing marathon sessions, failing to show up for work. Cindy would leave him at the A-Frame, then come in for her next shift, three hours after he was due at the airport, and he’d still be playing.
They lost their house and had to sell their furniture and one of their cars for a pittance. They had nothing in the bank, no credit, huge debts. Using the proceeds of the sale of the furniture and car, Cindy put a deposit on the cheapest apartment she could find, in a neighborhood even worse than the one Rick chose for his drug business. They couldn’t get a telephone. Darryl, remorseful, promised not to gamble anymore; he promised not to show up at the A-Frame early, even if he had no money.
His resolve held less than a month and he was at it again. His third session was another marathon. So was his fourth, and it cost him his job. Back to remorse! Back on the wagon! At Cindy’s insistence, he promised to stay away from the A-Frame completely.
He got another job, this one on the day shift. He would have no excuse to break his promise. In less than a month, he did anyway. He came in after work, while Cindy wasn’t there, ostensibly to cash his paycheck, and stayed to gamble. He did well. It took four marathon sessions, spread over eleven days, to empty his pockets. When it was over and he returned to the airport, he was fired.
That was when Cindy decided to take action.
But wait! I’ve left out too much. I haven’t told you anything about the sexual aspect of their relationship, and that’s what this book is about. I’ve reduced Cindy and Darryl to an economic entity with a gambling problem. I haven’t even told you how long they were married, or how long Darryl’s decline took. (He gambled twenty months before he started losing precipitously.) I probably would have left out even more, but there isn’t much more to tell. Cindy and Darryl had little in common except that they lusted after one another, fell in love soon after they met, and maintained their lust despite six years of very ordinary marriage and one year of high melodrama.
Like most compulsive gamblers, Darryl had always been charming, confident and sincere. After the fever hit, he was sincere in his confidence when gambling and sincere in his remorse each time he hit a new bottom. He was charming enough so that when he couldn’t leave his game at the end of Cindy’s shift, he never seemed annoyed with her for wanting him to, and always managed to keep her from becoming annoyed that he stayed. Rough as their life got, Cindy had never stopped loving him.
Sex had always been good, except for one little problem. The first few times they fucked, Cindy was disturbed by the haste with which Darryl pulled out when he came. She needed him to stay longer and felt rejected. Had she not been so in love, she might have stopped seeing him. It was a difficult subject to bring up for discussion, especially so early in their relationship, but there seemed to be no alternative, so she asked him about it. He told her that once he came, his cock became too sensitive to leave inside her. She recognized the phenomenon from my description and felt relieved. She accepted him as he was, adapted, married him. Since she understood the reason for his behavior, it caused no further difficulty.
Then, eight years later, he hit that big bottom and dragged himself home to her. He told her what had happened. He was remorseful. He was depressed. He offered to kill himself. He said it might make them both feel better. He promised to quit for good. He talked some more about killing himself, pointing out that it was a way to make sure he quit for good.
Cindy fetched a length of clothesline and tied his wrists together in front of him. She took off his boots. She took off his pants. She took off his undershorts. She took him over her knee and spanked him. Hard. More strokes than she could count. His bottom turned red. His cock stiffened against her thigh. He cried. He screamed. He broke down in sobs. When she found herself worrying how long he might take to recover, she stopped.
“Time to get up!” she said.
He didn’t move. She stood up and pulled him to his feet, forcing him to stand in front of her with tears streaming down his face and his cock sticking straight out in front of him, dripping. She sat down again, wrapped one hand around his cock, reached between his legs from behind and took his balls in the other.
“Instead of killing yourself, this is going to be my hostage to make sure you quit. You’re going to be my slave and do everything I say, or things will get even worse than today. You understand?”
He nodded and sobbed out a yes.
She got some more clothesline and led him to the chest of drawers that held most of their clothes. She fastened the clothesline to the figure-eight between his wrists, then had him kneel on the floor and tied him to a leg of the chest, leaving about a foot of slack. She dragged their mattress into position nearby and had him lie on his back, his arms pulled alongside his head.
She squatted over his cock and impaled herself.
“You know, this is the last time you’re going to feel the inside of my pussy for a whole year! And if you make even one bet, it’ll be at least two years—maybe more—if I stick around at all.”
“Please don’t leave me, Cindy.”
“Then do exactly what I say, and don’t make one bet. Okay?”
“I quit. I really quit. Please believe me?”
“Believe you? I’ll see whether you quit! Be happy that I’m willing to do that!”
“Okay, I understand.”
“A whole year! But you might be just as happy, ’cause this time you’re not going to be able to pull out when you’re done. I’m going to keep fucking you until I’ve had enough, and it’s going to be just like another spanking, except it doesn’t start until you come, so you’re going to try not to, and you’re going to find out I can make you come even easier than I can make you cry.”
She started moving and he came in half a dozen strokes. He squirmed, trying to pull out. He started crying again. He squirmed some more. Then Cindy’s orgasm overtook her and she couldn’t quite make out what he was doing, except that she heard a mixture of howling and whimpering, and she still had a delicious grip on his cock. She knew she did a job on him, the way her hips jerked and her pussy throbbed. It was the most intense orgasm she’d ever had, and she almost decided to keep going for two or three, but she took pity and stopped, though she still didn’t climb off.
Darryl was still crying. Every couple of seconds she could feel his cock twitch weakly in her pussy.
“Think you’ve had enough fucking to last a year?” she teased.
He made an inarticulate noise.
“If you don’t, I’ve still got another come in me. I could go for it.”
“No. Stop. It’s enough.”
She climbed off his cock and sat on his chest, letting his shirt absorb their mingled secretions.
“It may be hard to believe right now, but you’re going to get horny at least a hundred times during the next year, so before I untie you I’m going to tell you how we’re going to deal with it. Ready?”
“Please, Cindy. I love you.”
“I know. It must be so embarrassing, having to love me now, but that’s what you get for making such a mess of everything. Are you ready for what I’m going to tell you?”
“First, you never go off alone and play with yourself. You understand that?”
“Good! ’Cause if you come when I’m not with you, you’ll be punished even worse than today. That doesn’t mean you never have to play with yourself; I might make you do it while I watch. You understand that?”
“What I want you to do is, when you get horny enough so you really need a come, and you’re willing to do whatever I say to get it, you take off all your clothes, you bring me these pieces of rope—we’ll keep them under the mattress—you bring me these pieces of rope and you tell me, ‘I need a come.’ Okay?”
“I might tell you no, and you can try again tomorrow; or I might say you have to let me watch you play with yourself; or I might tie you up and do something really nice for you. I might even get carried away like today and not want to stop. But whatever I decide, once you tell me you need it, you have to go along with it; you can’t change your mind because you wanted something different. Understand?”
“And I’m going to take care of all our money. If we ever get back to where we can put some in the bank, it’s going to be in my name. I’ll try to see that you have enough in your pocket to get you through the day, once I have some, but you’re never going to be able to go on another binge, even if we stay together the rest of our lives. Are you prepared to accept that?”
“I told you, I’m quitting for good.”
“Yes, in the past year, you’ve told me that at least five times. It’s easy to quit when there’s no money, but someday you’ll find another job and we might have rent money on the twenty-ninth and… So much for quitting!—at least that’s the way it’s always been in the past. So this time, quitting isn’t enough. You’re going to have to let me take care of all the money, even what you make. If you can’t go with that, I can’t stay with you. I need a clear answer, right now.”
“Okay, you take care of the money.”
“Good! Don’t worry. If you’ve really quit, everything will work out for us.”
She got up and untied him. He took off his shirt and lay down again. She lay down with him and they cuddled themselves to sleep. He was still asleep when she got up and went to work. She left him twenty dollars of her previous day’s tips so he could eat and look for a job.
Gradually they started rebuilding. No one would hire Darryl to work on airplanes, but he found a job working on cars at a service station in the neighborhood. He wasn’t the sort of expert one finds at a dealership, but neither was the other grease monkey at the shop, or their boss either. The pay wasn’t what he’d been getting, but it was certainly more than he’d been keeping. Between them, Cindy and Darryl must have had the highest income on their block, as well as the biggest cumulative debt.
Before Darryl’s first payday rolled around, Cindy scraped together a hundred dollars in tips and opened a checking account in her own name, with Darryl as trust beneficiary in case she died. When he was paid, she had him endorse the check and give it to her so she could deposit it. Every day she made sure he had a few dollars to live on, taking care that he never accumulated enough to tempt him.
Over time it worked. They earned money, Darryl didn’t gamble, their expenses were low, and they made payments on their debts. By the time Cindy called me, they were dug halfway out. Cindy was starting to fantasize about a better neighborhood, but she intended to save a few thousand dollars before moving because she understood that it would be years and years before anyone was willing to extend them credit. Did she want credit? With Darryl around, it still scared her.
Underlying their escape from hell was their new sexual relationship. During the first few days after Cindy’s takeover, Darryl made several attempts to seduce her. Each time, she rebuffed him. It was almost a week before he gave up, took off his clothes, brought her the clothesline and, with obvious embarrassment, recited the formula.
“I need a come.”
“You must, by now!”
She told him that for a start, he could make love to her with his mouth. She undressed and lay down, and he went at it, trying the same stunt Steve had tried on me all those years before. She blocked his way and scolded him.
“That’s a no!”
He looked at her with a mixture of frustration, remorse and fear.
“Go back to what you were doing.”
He did, and kept at it until he knew she’d had enough. He stopped and held her. They rested.
“Now, for you!” she said, gathering up the clothesline.
She tied his hands behind his back and had him lie on them. As an afterthought, she ran the other length of clothesline under the mattress and tied one end to each of his ankles, forcing them about thirty inches apart to be sure that he couldn’t get his cock out of her reach. She knew the knots would tighten if pulled, but she’d be untying them soon, so she didn’t expect any damage.
“You shouldn’t have lunged at me. You’re going to have to be punished.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Well, I was going to play with you till you came, but now I’m going to play with you a little longer.”
She could see that the idea frightened and embarrassed him. She glanced at the clock and began sliding her hands up and down over the head of his cock, allowing them to be lubricated by the fluid oozing out the tip. There was plenty, and it didn’t have a chance to dry. Less than twenty seconds went by before his cock stiffened in the first stage of orgasm.
“You’re going to get it now!”
She kept an eye on the clock. Eight seconds after the first spurt, he started squirming and whimpering; at twelve he began a serious effort to pull away, twisting and bending his body as far as he could. Cindy had to wrap one hand around his cock and use the other to push his upper body down against the bed. At eighteen seconds he begged her to stop, still whimpering, still making desultory efforts to pull away; at twenty-four he relaxed, giving up on everything but the pained expression and the whimpering, still unable to stop the little spasms of his cock in Cindy’s hand. Twenty-nine seconds after the first spurt, he started to cry. Four seconds later, Cindy let go.
Twenty-five seconds, she reckoned, that’s what he can take.
She kissed him lightly, then untied him and held him.
“Feel better now?”
That night, Cindy approached one of her fellow dealers, who had once said, half jokingly, that she and her husband sometimes used a Polaroid camera to take snapshots of their lovemaking. She asked if she might borrow the camera and a tripod for the same purpose.
“Sure!” she said with a big smile. “I’ll bring them in tomorrow. I like your honesty.”
“I’ve heard some fantastic explanations of why people wanted to put that camera on a tripod, but there’s only one, really.”
The next day, Cindy indulged in an extravagance. She put a hook in the ceiling and hung a potted plant from it. While she was in the hardware store, she bought another clothesline.
The following day, she had possession of the camera, the tripod and a remote plunger that her friend had thoughtfully included. She also had an explanation of how to buy film, and instructions on what to do with it all. She experimented while Darryl was out, then hid everything away and waited.
The next time Darryl came begging relief, she tied his wrists in front of him, then lay down as she had the first time and told him to eat her. She expected him to think his wrists had been tied to prevent him from making another attempt to fuck her, but actually she was trying to make it impossible to draw future inferences based on whether his wrists were tied, or where. Sooner or later she’d have to spank him again, and she didn’t want him to panic and resist when she started tying his wrists in front.
When his mouth had satisfied her, she fastened his wrists to the hook in the ceiling. She didn’t expect him to be flattered by her desire to photograph him, so she tied a length of clothesline to each ankle and anchored one to the chest of drawers, the other to the commode in the bathroom, so his feet were pulled apart and he couldn’t turn away when she snapped the shutter. When he was thoroughly immobilized, she set up the camera so that it was focused on his cock.
Cindy answered as innocently and affectionately as she could, saying she wanted a snapshot of his cock doing its thing; it would be a nice memento for a wife to have. It was the truth, too, or close to it. Of course, she also wanted to embarrass him, and she wanted him to worry that such a picture existed, but she didn’t intend to use it for anything but her own enjoyment. Darryl continued to object, so she said, “Okay, just don’t turn on, and I won’t be able to get the picture I want.”
When she had everything set up, she put her arms around him and kissed him until he was hard again. Then she backed away, pushed the plunger, and performed the other ministrations that the machinery required. When the picture was developed, she showed it to Darryl, then set it down and kissed him again. She got a chair, sat next to him, and went to work on his cock, stimulating it until he was just over the edge.
“Let’s see if I can catch the first spurt,” she said, simultaneously taking hold of the plunger, standing up, and pushing the chair away.
He gasped, looking at her with an expression that combined shame, panic and orgasm. Then his cock started pumping and she did her best to time the shot.
“What a memory this’ll be!” she said, savoring his embarrassment as he continued to ejaculate.
When it was over, she turned her attention to the camera and set the picture to developing. Then she snapped one more and went through the procedure again.
The second shot was a little blurry, but it was good enough, considering that she knew what it was. The third was clear and showed Darryl’s cock, still engorged, pointing downward and dripping come. She showed them to him and he asked what she was going to do with them.
“Hide them. Look at them when you’re not around. I’m a sexual being and I love you.”
She hid them, using running water to muffle the sounds and slamming more drawers and cabinets than necessary. Then she released Darryl. He asked where the pictures were and started looking for them. Considering how sparsely appointed the apartment was, it was a wonder he didn’t find them right away. Cindy quickly put a stop to the search, warning him that if he continued, she’d have to spank him again.
He asked where she got the camera and she told him. He asked whether she’d let him take pictures of her and she said yes. He used up the rest of the film and she cooperated fully, even spreading her legs for a couple of shots of her pussy. She knew he’d only use them to inflame his lust, and that would make him all the more tractable.
Two days later he asked for another come. She had him eat her, tied his hands behind his back, and tied his ankles around the mattress.
“I’m going to give you some incentive to learn not to come so fast when I play with you, okay?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“I didn’t think so. How are you going to mistreat me this time?”
“I’m going to play with you till you come. If it takes ten minutes or more, I’ll stop as soon as you say. If it takes less, I’ll keep playing with you for twenty-five seconds, starting from the first spurt.”
“Cindy, why do you want to torture me?”
“It’ll be good for you. Besides, last time I kept it up for thirty-three seconds and you’re still alive, so I know you can take it.”
He came in less than two minutes and she put him through it, teasing him as she did. He squirmed and whimpered, but he didn’t try to get up and he didn’t cry. He seemed more stoical, knowing he wouldn’t have to endure quite as much torture as he had previously.
Darryl presented himself to Cindy again two days later, his cock partially hard. She conjectured that he must have found her control game quite a turn-on. Unfortunately she had her period and felt squeamish about having him eat her. She considered repeating the control game anyway, but decided she wanted to watch him masturbate, partly because she was curious and partly because she wanted to subject him to the embarrassment.
She told him to lie on the bed, then sat next to him and told him to play with himself.
“You’re not allowed to refuse, you know.”
“Cindy, please. You’re taking this too far.”
He offered no resistance when she tied his wrists in front of him. She helped him to his feet, led him to her chair, sat down, took him across her knee and, ignoring his protests, spanked him just as severely as that first day. It had the same effect: his cock stiffened and lubricated, and he cried like a little boy. She stood him up and tied his wrists to the overhead hook. Then she took a couple of clothespins and clamped one on each nipple. He screamed as each one closed, then went back to whimpering and sobbing. She positioned her chair nearby and sat looking at him. Tears ran down his cheeks and lubricant spilled out of his cock in a slow but steady stream. It flowed down the undersurface, continued down the scrotum, then dripped to the floor. She could imagine how congested he must be, how explosively he would erupt at just a little direct stimulation.
“Even this isn’t going too far. You’re my sex slave now, and you do what I tell you or you’ll be punished something terrible. Besides the spanking and the clothespins, you’ll have to let me watch you play with yourself at least twice more after today, before I even think about playing with you again, and that’s if you take back your refusal right now. If you wait a few more minutes, what you get is a few more minutes of the clothespins, and you might be playing with yourself five or ten or twenty times. Are you ready to do what I tell you?”
She removed the clothespins, unhooked him, led him back to the bed, had him lie down, untied his wrists. His cock was still hard.
He looked at her pleadingly, wrapped his hand around his cock, slid it up and down three times, and started sobbing again as he splattered the pillow, his shoulder his chest—all with the first spurt. He stopped moving his hand and just lay there, crying, holding his cock, looking up at Cindy, pumping his sperm out onto his chest and tummy.
“Big come! Embarrassing!”
“What’s really embarrassing is having to love you for doing this to me.”
“Mm-hm!” she teased, savoring the rush of love brought on by his confession.
And she wondered. What had made him say that? Was it a move to get her to be more lenient? Or alternatively, had he wanted to be spanked? Was it an honest readout of his feelings, made possible by the stripping away of his defenses? Some combination? Did he himself know? Perhaps, over time, she’d figure it out. For now, she could just enjoy.
She was surprised when he asked for another come two days later. She expected that since he knew she would make him masturbate, he would try to wait—maybe even masturbate in secret until she asked why he’d lost interest in sex. No matter. She went into the bathroom, hid the tampon string in her vagina, and made sure she was as fresh as possible. Then she came out, tied his hands in front just to mystify him, and had him eat her. When she’d had enough, she untied him and told him to play with himself. This time he didn’t argue. He didn’t argue the next time either, and she found herself puzzling over what she’d do with him the time after that.
She was still puzzling two days later when he again brought her the clothesline and recited the formula. She did what felt right. First she tied his hands in front and had him eat her. Then she tied him to a leg of the chest of drawers, moved the mattress, laid him down with his hands pulled back over his head, and tied his ankles apart. When everything was secure, she told him they were going to play ten twenty-five—the game whose rules she’d already established. He had to resist her stimulation for ten minutes or she’d keep rubbing his cock for twenty-five seconds after he came.
It took less than two minutes to bring him off.
Two days later they did the same thing, and again he came in less than two minutes.
Cindy found herself puzzling less, increasingly sure of what she was doing. She understood intuitively that she had to keep making Darryl play control games, and he had to keep losing. In some way—some way so grotesque that it discouraged scrutiny—control games met the same need within his psyche that gambling had satisfied previously. Where pai-gow poker had extracted Darryl’s money, Cindy was extracting his tears, sexual lubricant and sperm. Instead of suffering the pain of losing at the tables, he was suffering the pain of Cindy’s tortures. Somehow it was the same to him. And embarrassment accompanied loss and pain in both contexts.
Her understanding reassured her. She liked the idea that with this new style of lovemaking, she could keep Darryl safe forever. But at the same time, it gave her the willies; something about it just seemed so unwholesome.
She tried turning it around—looking at the parallels from the other side. Maybe Darryl had always wanted her to do this, and he’d turned to gambling as a substitute—perhaps even a poor substitute. That was less disturbing. It seemed more likely, too, because sex is natural and gambling is artificial, and it was fitting that the artificial should be the poor substitute for the natural. Besides, Darryl was thriving on her tortures; despite their difficult circumstances, he seemed more relaxed than he’d been in years. Had he first been attracted to her because he saw her potential as a dominatrix? Had I been right about Rubin? Had all her lovers known something about her that she herself was just now learning? She had to admit she relished her new role; it seemed to fit her perfectly. And she’d gone far beyond the recommendations she’d got from me, even though she once regarded my techniques as extreme.
Darryl continued to ask for relief every other day, and each time, for almost a month, Cindy played ten twenty-five with him. The longest it ever took to make him come was two minutes and thirty-four seconds. Once, he brought her the magic clothesline two days in a row, and she thought he might win because he was less horny, so she was tempted to do something different. But his cock was engorged as usual, so she played the same game. It took a minute and fifty-eight seconds to make him come.
After her next period, with a month’s experience as a benchmark, Cindy came up with something new. When Darryl asked for a come, she started out as usual and tied him in place.
“Miss feeling your cock in my pussy yet?”
“Yes, of course I do.”
“Want a chance to fuck me?”
“What’s the catch?”
“New game. It’s called five fifty. You keep from coming for just five minutes and I untie you and let you fuck me; otherwise I keep rubbing your cock for fifty seconds.”
He looked dazed.
“If you don’t want to take the chance, we can play ten twenty-five. You don’t get to fuck me that way, and it’s twice as hard to win, but at least you know you can take the torture.”
“I’ll play five fifty.”
“Okay,” she said, looking at the clock.
She started rubbing his cock.
“You’ll be sorry,” she said as she milked him. “You’re going to come so fast, it’d be embarrassing even if you weren’t losing the chance to fuck me. You know, I wonder… Are you going to cry again like that other time I kept going longer than the twenty-five?”
And he came. It had taken fifteen seconds.
“Ooh, yeah! Give it up, Darryl! Show me how much you love me!”
Eight seconds. He started squirming, trying to pull away.
“Please! Don’t do it!”
“You know the rules! Thirty-eight more seconds!”
She milked him mercilessly. He did wind up crying again.
“Embarrassing!” she said when she finally stopped. “And I bet you love me, too.”
“I do love you. Cindy, what are you doing to me?”
“Just what you need me to.”
Darryl started bringing Cindy the ropes more often—about five times a week—and almost always, even after only seventeen hours’ rest, his cock was sticking straight out instead of being only slightly engorged. She always gave him a choice between playing ten twenty-five and five fifty, and he always chose five fifty. It was a much more exciting game, and he never lasted even two minutes. One Thursday he tried to cheat by masturbating in secret, but Cindy could tell what he’d done by the relaxed state of his cock.
“You’ll have to wait until Sunday,” she said.
“I told you I might tell you, you have to wait. You have to wait. Try again Sunday.”
He didn’t try to cheat anymore.
After two months of five fifty, just before Cindy got her period, she invented an even more extreme game that she called three fifty. The rules were the same as for five fifty, but Darryl had to hold back his orgasm for only three minutes. On the other hand, if he lost, she’d tie his hands and spank him before he was allowed to come again, and she’d choose the time of the spanking. Besides that, after being spanked, he’d have to let her watch him masturbate, but he could decide when.
He wanted to play it.
It was like the first time he played five fifty; he came in only fifteen seconds.
Cindy let three days go by before delivering the spanking. Then she told Darryl it was time, had him undress, and tied his hands in front of him. He was scared, breathing hard, not turned on at all. She tied him to the leg of the chest of drawers, moved the mattress, and put him in his usual position for their control games. He hadn’t been expecting that, and it scared him even more. She sat next to him.
“What are you doing?” he asked for about the fifth time.
“I want to get you really turned on before I spank you, and this is a good place to do it.” She leered at his cock. “Then again, maybe I won’t be able to, and you’ll get out of being spanked.”
She knew he expected her to use her hands—probably even felt safe as long as she didn’t—but she just stared and teased. In less than a minute he was hard; a couple more and he was lubricating—his usual slow stream.
“You’re dripping. I guess that’s turned on enough. It looks like I’ll be spanking you after all.”
She untied the tether and led him to her chair, sat down, pulled him over her knee and got into it.
He yelped with each stroke. His bottom turned red. He started crying. A few swats after the tears began, she felt him ejaculate on her thigh.
She jumped up and pulled him along with her so she could watch the last few spasms of his cock.
“Shame, shame! You came from being spanked!”
He hung his head, still crying.
“You’ll still have to play with yourself, but I don’t think it’ll be today.”
Cindy added three fifty to her list of choices, but only when she was about to get her period. Darryl always chose it over the other two games and always lost. Between times, he continued to choose five fifty over ten twenty-five and lost at that.
The reason she called me was that she was worried she had a tiger by the tail. Darryl’s year was up in five weeks—close enough to dilute the credibility of their games. She was afraid that if they resumed a normal sex life, she would no longer be meeting his need and he’d start gambling again. On the other hand, she wanted to get back to fucking. She missed it.
She had a problem with the spankings too. At first they vented her anger over the mess Darryl had made of her life, but over the months, she’d developed doubts. They made her feel bad about herself. Still she liked the control games; she liked torturing Darryl’s cock after he came; she even admitted that it was a thrill to make him come by spanking him.
“Well,” I began, “it’s obvious that he needs the control games, and it seems the only prize that really suits him is a fuck that ends just before it becomes uncomfortable.”
“But you could continue meeting his needs without depriving yourself of fucking. You could play a game just like your ten twenty-five, except that you fuck him. If he lasts yo many minutes, you climb off him eight seconds after he lets loose; if he comes sooner, you keep going longer, like that first time you tied him up. If he wins, you can even let him get on top next time—he’ll probably never win anyway.”
“You might need a way of choosing among the control games, or just a way of deciding when to fuck; but you’re so inventive, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. Then again, you can be completely arbitrary too—just do what you like, day by day.”
While she was reflecting, another thought struck me.
“You know, I’m really impressed with that ritual you invented—having him take off his clothes and bring you the clothesline. Besides embarrassing him and letting you gauge his arousal, it’s a perfect metaphor for walking into a card club and joining a game, especially if his goal is losing.”
“I know. I thought of that a few weeks after I invented it, and I’ve been trying to figure out ever since whether it was just a lucky coincidence or did I start out understanding more than I was willing to admit?”
“Either way, I’m sure you and Darryl are doing what’s right for you.”
“I guess so. What about the spankings?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never spanked anyone myself, and I don’t know how common Darryl’s reaction is. I don’t know how your spankings fit into Darryl’s scheme of things either. Does he want you to continue? Does he want you to stop? Does he need you to continue? I would guess that you ought to go on spanking him, but only as a punishment. I would also guess that when you do spank him, you ought to go on teasing him about how he can’t help but sexualize it. But I could be very wrong.”
“What I’m afraid of is that if I stop playing three fifty, he’ll take his paycheck directly to the A-Frame again, and get back into that whole thing.”
“Like I say, I don’t know where the spankings fit. That might happen, but it probably won’t. If you’ve got him playing control games five times a week, that should meet his needs even if the games aren’t really extreme. Can you arrange your finances so you can afford to take the risk one time?”
“And then refuse to fuck him for another year?”
“Back to the old drawing board!”
We sat a few seconds in silence before she spoke again.
“It isn’t really very likely, is it?”
“I don’t know him, but I don’t think so.”
I waited a while longer to see if she’d say anything else; then I told her I was interested in hearing how things turned out. I asked whether I might get in touch with her after a few months, and she said it would be okay, so we discussed the logistics. We agreed that I’d call information and ask for her number, and if she had a phone by then, I’d call her. Otherwise, I’d look for her at the A-Frame and try to catch her on break or at the end of her shift.
Seven months went by before I tracked her down at the A-Frame on a Sunday morning before dawn. We made a date for brunch at my place the following week when she got off work. I was a bit worried about the implications of her not yet having a telephone, but it turned out she did, and she gave me the number in case I needed to change our plans; she had decided to get an unlisted number after hearing the stories of other dealers who had received unpleasant calls from players irate about losing.
The following Sunday she arrived on schedule and we built sandwiches out of an assortment of fixings I’d picked up the day before. I asked her how things were going with Darryl, and she gave me a detailed account.
He still wasn’t gambling, and he was back at the airport, working the day shift.
To celebrate his first year of recovery, Cindy had bought a bed. Nothing fancy—no headboard—but a new mattress, springs and frame. It was a tremendous improvement over the old slab of foam they’d inherited from her cousin when they moved.
When she’d put the sheet on it, she turned to Darryl, and asked, “Want to fuck?”
“You silver-tongued devil! You talked me into it!”
“You’ll have to let me tie you down.”
“Why?—if we’re agreed on what we’re going to do anyway…”
“I like it. Besides, I never said I’d stop tying you up, just that I’d go back to fucking you. I don’t even think I want to give up the ritual of you getting naked and bringing me the ropes when you want to come. Or the part about having to accept whatever I decide; I might not want to fuck you every time. The only difference now is that when I feel like it, we can fuck.”
“Okay, you’ve got the pussy.”
“That’s right! Looking forward to feeling it from the inside again?”
“Yeah,” he said in a gentler tone.
He took her in his arms and kissed her. Soon she could feel the straining of his cock.
She pushed him away lightly.
“Come on! Get your clothes off!”
He did. She did. She tied him down properly, with his arms out to the sides.
She lay on top of him, kissed him until they were both mad with lust, then guided his cock into her pussy and lowered herself all the way.
“Like the way that feels?”
“O God, yes!”
“Know what I’m going to do?”
“I’m going to come twice before I let you go.”
“I can’t last that long. You’re too much of a turn-on.”
“That’s okay; I’ll do all the work. All you have to do is lie here. I know it’ll be uncomfortable after you come, but you do have a choice; if you wait till I’m done coming the second time, I’ll stop when you need me to.”
“You’re planning to torture me every time we make love, aren’t you?”
“Even when our hair is all white. Isn’t it great?—having a wife who turns you on so much, you have to come even though you know you’re going to be tortured?”
“Well, yeah! But that doesn’t mean you have to actually torture me.”
“You’d miss it if I stopped, and even if you wouldn’t, I would. This is fun!”
She started thrusting her hips, abandoning herself to the sensations, watching Darryl watch her, watching his increasing excitement as she fucked him. They came together and she kept going, taking care to stay low enough to keep him from pulling out.
“Uh-uh. Remember, I got the pussy. I don’t get tired.”
Soon he was crying, and then she came again. Her pussy went into spasms, her hips jerked—and every time she moved, Darryl reacted as though her hand had just smacked his bottom.
When it was over, she lay down on him, one elbow on either side. His cock still couldn’t stop twitching.
“Welcome back, sexy man!”
With a mighty heave, he pulled out of her.
“Had enough for another year?”
“Good! I’m looking forward to doing that again.”
When Darryl had regained his composure, he asked, “Can’t we make love sometimes without you torturing me?”
“Maybe. Maybe I’ll invent another game, where you can win a chance to get on top.
Darryl didn’t believe that Cindy was still going to insist on the ritual, so when he got horny again, he tried to seduce her. She told him she meant what she’d said, so with an exaggerated display of weariness, he stood up, fetched the clothesline, and recited the formula. She tied him in place.
“You want me to fuck you?”
“Yes, but I don’t want you to torture me.”
“I’ll tell you what. As soon as we’ve both come, I’ll stop moving. That way, if you wait for me, you’ll only get tortured a little.”
“Do I get a choice?”
“Do you want me to torture you more?”
“Do you want me not to fuck you?”
“Of course I want to fuck!”
“Well, those are the choices.”
She lay on him, kissed him, gave him her breasts to suck, straddled his face and had him lick her pussy. She was almost ready to come when she finally guided his cock into her, and she fucked him hard and fast. They came together in about half a minute, and when it was over she stopped moving.
He kept making little gasping noises timed to the twitching of his cock, and she maintained enough downward pressure so he couldn’t pull out. She was doing just what she’d said—torturing him, but only a little. He wasn’t nearly so distressed as when she kept moving.
“Yeh,” he panted.
She uncoupled from him with a sudden lurch and lay cuddled up to him. They talked a while—about how much they loved one another, how good it felt to be fitted together again—then she untied him.
Two days later he needed more, and they repeated the ritual of the ropes.
“Remember I said I might invent a game where you could win the chance to be on top?”
“You want to hear the rules?”
“I fuck you, and if you stay inside me—without telling me to stop, or hurry up, or anything like that—till after I come, then next time I let you get on top without the ropes. If you come before me, I keep going until I come too, and if you say any of those things, then you don’t get to be on top next time. If you pull out of me, that’s cheating, and you don’t get to come again till I’ve spanked you.”
“What are the other choices?”
You mean right now? If you don’t want to play the game?”
“I fuck you like last time, and you don’t get to be on top next time even if you would have won. You probably don’t get spanked either, even if you manage to pull out.”
He decided to try the game.
She lay on him and kissed him until he was dripping, then straddled his cock and put it in. She fucked him with long, slow strokes, and he came in less than two minutes. She kept going while he squirmed, panted, sobbed, whimpered, and finally begged her to stop.
“Uh-huh! As soon as I come.”
She let herself go, and she came in another half minute, getting off on Darryl’s agonized noises and tortured look. She relaxed.
She felt him make a slow but forcible attempt to lift his bottom off the bed, as he had after their first fuck of the year, but this time she knew his plan. If he could get a couple of inches of empty space under him, he would drop down suddenly and free his cock. She resisted and tightened her vaginal muscles.
His cock twitched and he made a pained noise.
“You want me to let you go? Is that it?”
She pulled away quickly, then cuddled him.
“You didn’t win, but I’ll let you try again. We’ll call that our fucking game. Maybe you’ll like it as much as five fifty.”
She did, then lay down with him. They cuddled and talked. He confessed his embarrassment. She told him she knew. She told him he’d be embarrassed every time he tried to control himself, because he’d never be able to, and she’d always know. He told her he loved her. She told him she loved him too.
Since then, their lovemaking had consisted almost entirely of fucking. They played that game, by Darryl’s choice, about a third of the time, and he always lost. The times they didn’t play, Cindy almost always came at the same time as Darryl, or nearly so, and she held on to Darryl’s cock for about half a minute afterward.
Cindy and I marveled at it all. The fucking game wasn’t a game; it was a ritual. Cindy had it rigged so Darryl could never win. When they played, she kept herself from coming until he gave up. When they weren’t playing, she relaxed and responded naturally. The pattern was so obvious, Darryl had to understand what was happening, but he chose to play anyway.
There could be no doubt that Cindy had been right about the nature of Darryl’s sexual needs, and about his having met those needs by gambling and losing. Now he had the fucking game, and he could play it exactly as often as he needed to keep him on the straight and narrow. Cindy wasn’t even really controlling the sexual aspect of the relationship—though she could, anytime it became necessary. With things going well, all she was doing was creating a context in which Darryl could get what he needed, and get it in its natural form. He would never again have to indulge in that hideous parody that had brought them to the brink of ruin. She wished she’d figured it out sooner.
To Chapter 20
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