RWA Day Two - Wherein Tiffany Gets Her Ass Kicked
Good morning, Cruel World. It's Day three here at RWA in NYC. Day Two was an odd mix of things. It began with a raging hangover that some misbehaving with my sexy roommate helped dispel. Then a wonderful opening session with Steve Berry, Diana Gabaldon, and Tess Gerritsen answering questions. All three of the speakers were fabulous. But bonus points to Diana Gabaldon for saying "blowjob" in front of 2500 romance writers. There was much applauding. After the opening session, Team Megibow adjourned to her bedroom for an orgy. I mean, for a team meeting. Next year I think we should get Team Megibow t-shirts. That wouldn't be weird at all. #weird
I tried the PAN retreat for about 30 minutes but the hangover and exhaustion had gotten to me so I came back to the bedroom for a nap. Sadly, I was too wired to sleep much so I got in about 15 minutes of dozing before waking up, staring at the ceiling, and stressing.
Why were you stressed, Tiffany? is the question you all are asking. I blame Andrew Shaffer. For those of you who don't know, Andrew Shaffer is a badass here in the RWA world. He's a book reviewer for the Romantic Times, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and a Harper Collins author. His book Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love is fantastic, by the way. You'll read it and feel super comforted to know that the supposedly wisest people who'd ever lived were all jackasses just like you and me. Well, the reason Andrew Shaffer stressed me out was because we were meeting last night for an extended hang-out for absolutely no reason other than we bonded on Twitter because we're both snarksters (is that a word? Probably not. Don't care).
First stop on what I'd call the "Weirdest First Date Ever," was Brooklyn where the lovely Emma Forrest did a reading from her book Your Voice In My Head and took questions. Ms. Forrest is one of actor Colin Ferrell's many ex-girlfriends so I expected someone wild and Irish like him. But no, she was lovely, had a gorgeous accent, a great sense of humor, and seemed delighted when I asked her what her family thought of her writing in great detail about her years suffering from severe mental illness, bulimia, and self-mutilation. Her father apparently read the book and returned it to her with his hundreds of changes--all grammatical. I love British men.
Next stop on the "Weirdest First Date Ever," was 38th Street. I'm not allowed to give out the real address. Why? Because it's home to a dungeon. A real S&M dungeon where a stable of beautiful Dominatrixes work. As the main character in my novel THE SIREN is a NYC Dominatrix (a funny, goofy, sexy, insecure Dominatrix, but a Dominatrix nonetheless), I thought a trip to the real deal would make for both good research. I booked an appointment and Andrew escorted me there.
PAUSE FOR PSA
S&M is not the dark scary thing people who haven't done it think it is. Normal people do it all the time. It's just role-play fun and games that's wicked sexy and a great adrenaline rush. HOWEVER, doing BDSM with strangers is not particularly safe nor recommended. I had Andrew with me who knew where I was and when I would be finished. If and when you choose to play with someone you don't know very well, make sure someone you know and trust knows where you are and who you're with.
So I got buzzed up the floor where I was to meet the Mistress - Mistress Jeanette. I got off the elevator and we introduced ourselves. She wore a leather garter, black stockings, spiked heels, and tons of glorious burlesque make-up to match her Betty Page-esque hair. In other words, she was glorious. She took me to a small dungeon room which looked exactly as you and I imagine and S&M dungeon would look. A large wooden throne sat at one end and had metal loops on it for rope. A dozen different lengths of rope were neatly arrayed along the wall. Floggers, canes, whips, etc, all hung on hooks in precise rows. Small things made me smile in the room. I saw a can of air freshener and a box of baby wipes (wipes - not whips - they do not whip babies...that I know of). The Mistress and I talked for just a moment before she told me she'd leave and let me get undressed. I think this is a testing moment. A stranger tells you to take your clothes off and it's at that moment you know you're in for the real thing. I said fine. Cuz I'm me. She left. I got naked. She came back in and for a few more minutes we discussed what I was looking for. She was thrilled to hear I liked flogging as that's one of her favorite things. Flogging is an art form that requires a great deal of practice to perfect your aim and force. As most of her clients are married men who visit her in secret, she was glad to hear I didn't mind welts or bruises. She told me the house safe word - Mercy - and that she'd ask me "red, yellow, green" just to get a baseline early on in the session. Then she left. Since I'd requested bondage, she told me to put my bra and panties back on. Why? Rope burn is a real possibility during bondage. It's best to have on a layer or two. Then she left.
While waiting for the Mistress to come back, I started some slow heavy breathing. I always go through the same series of emotions when I scene with someone. As soon as I decide to do it or agree to do it, I immediately regret it. I become a bundle of nervous energy. It's all I can think about. But once the scene starts, my heart rate drops, my blood pressure plummets, and everything outside those four walls disappears. The Mistress returned in full Dominant mode and ordered me to a leather covered kneeler, not unlike something you'd find in a Catholic church. With a length of white rope she trussed me up with quick and impressive efficiency. The rope crossed between my breasts, over my shoulders, and bound my hands behind my back. She pushed me over the kneeler, pulled my panties off, and began to decorate me with welts. I'll spare you the gruesome details but needless to say, I was flogged and caned, whipped with a tawse which is a sort of wide leather strap invented to discipline school children in the 18th century. At the end of the session, the Mistress cuffed me to a chair and made sure I got a very happy ending to the scene. Orgasm over, the scene ended, she untied me, and we chatted a few minutes while I got dressed. She asked me where I was from, what I was doing in town. I told her I wrote BDSM erotica and had in fact, created Harlequin's first lead character Dominatrix-heroine. I gave her my card and she promised to look me up. She told me she know a lot of Connecticut housewives who wanted to write what I did. I told her to give them my email address and I show them the ropes.
She escorted me out. I tipped her a Jackson. Andrew waited for me right outside with a look of pure amusement on his face. I gave him the rundown on everything that happened. We grabbed dinner at a little Indian restaurant where I had to sit my sore bruised ass on a wooden bench. I felt happy and calm, almost blissed out. Anyone who has ever done kink knows the feeling. I can only liken it to afterglow but with a little personal triumph thrown in.
Andrew asked me if the experience had been worth the money. I said, "Oh fuck yeah. Just for the bragging rights alone."
Oh, and for these:
Special thanks to Andrew Shaffer for an awesome night of weirdness and general badassery. Buy his incredibly fun book Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love here.