Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Knightfall 13: Take It to the Limit, One More Time

One major thrill of my ever-evolving online relationship with the Monk comes from discovering just how far I'm willing to go in my interactions with him and still observe my real-life boundaries. There were two moments in my last few conversations with him that showed me I still have my limits.

Did I just refer to these roleplaying scenarios as "conversations"? Bad choice of words, since it implies we are equals, and that is completely not the case any longer. No, he's the Master and I'm his humble(d) servant. Anyway, one recent e-mail exchange happened shortly after I'd come home from a miserable day at work, and M's treatment of me resembled my boss's conversational/confrontational style a bit too closely to be in any way erotic. I think I've written here before that I'm intrigued by the parallel, but in this case it just felt like a joke that wasn't funny anymore.

A few days later, during a phone call, he ordered me to "paint" for him--ie, to produce a certain milky white fluid on demand--and to collect it in a container. (I selected one taken from the utility belt I'm no longer allowed to wear, as a reminder of his power over me.) Once I was done, he told me to drink it. Every last drop. On camera.

Something about this instruction backfired; it pushed me out of the fantasy and I just couldn't follow through. (I've never been a swallower.) I took two fingerfulls, which were unpleasant enough, but the thought of pouring the whole mass down my throat disgusted me, and--uncharacteristically--I refused. In both of these cases, something just snapped me right out of the whole Ratman saga and back to another level of reality a few yards to the right of where I'd just been playing.

I should point out that there was another part of the same call that took me by surprise and that I found quite hot: the Monk demanded that I sing while I was painting. I don't know how or if he knew how primally humiliating this particular request would be for me. Much as I love music, I can't sing, I hate the sound of my attempts to do so, and it's a major, major fear of mine to have to sing in public. (In church as a kid, I'd mouth the words to the hymns, or mumble my way through them, and ever since then I've hated those mandatory singalongs so prevalent at certain kinds of concerts.) Even so, I followed orders, and was deeply embarrassed and ashamed by the feelings evoked (in a good way, if there is such a thing). Turns out it's impossible for me to pretend to be a superhero when I'm groaning out the words to a pop song--and thus I was knocked down yet another rung.

So I continue to learn more and more about myself, the self under all the masks: the things I'll do, the things I won't. And that knowledge is what this is all about, isn't it?

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