Except for its inconspicuous lock, the door at the end of the short hallway of Miranda's middle-class home looked perfectly ordinary.
But the windowless room beyond the locked door was a sexual Never-Never Land, a fantastic reflection in a kinky Looking Glass. While Miranda watched, amused, the key dangling from her finger, I took one step inside, then another -- and stopped, staring. My heart was racing, my eyes wide. I had never seen anything like it before.
Two walls were mirrored, from the tiled floor to the black- painted ceiling. An incredible array of whips, restraints, gags, and harnesses hung from the peg strips which circled the room at waist height. Pushed into the near corner was a heavy padded sawhorse; the center of the room was dominated by a wooden X-frame solid as an oak and seven feet tall. Both the horse and the frame were dotted with steel eyebolts, some of which sported dangling chains or cuffs. All of it looked well used. None of it, as far as I could tell, was for show.
And in the opposite corner, facing it all like a queen's throne, was a fan-backed rattan chair with thick ruby-red cushions. A black riding crop rested across the seat.
It was a real dungeon, a dominant/submissive playground, tucked into a back room in a perfectly ordinary home. And this surprising wonderland belonged to my friend Miranda -- a woman whose dress and appearance wouldn't raise an eyebrow at a PTL meeting.
Whose usual dress and appearance, anyway. I turned back toward Miranda, my mouth suddenly dry. "This is incredible," I said. What my eyes were saying, I didn't know. But I was looking at her very differently. My mind flashed on a picture of Miranda in black corset on the fan-back chair, contemplating me bound naked on the X-frame. My cock began to swell at the thought.
"You approve, then?" she asked archly, her eyes sparkling. There was a tension between us at that moment of a kind that had never surfaced before. She was at ease, self-amusedly waiting to see what I would do. I was uncomfortable, and tempted to hide behind a wisecrack. But for some reason I just swallowed, nodded, and said quietly, "Yeah."
Her next question cut to the heart of the tension. "Do you want to try it?"
I couldn't look away from her. "Yes. I -- I do."
She looked at me questioningly, as though I had said something wrong.
"Yes, Mistress," I amended, suddenly realizing why she was waiting. She smiled then, a pleased smile. "Then go back to the living room, slave Alan, and take off all your clothes. Kneel in the middle of the floor, and wait there until I come for you. I have a few things to get ready."
I undressed, heart pounding, still not quite believing what was happening.
What was I getting into? How much could I trust her? Though I'd known Miranda for more than two years, we lived in cities five hundred miles apart. We had met at an education conference in Raleigh -- she was a testing specialist at a private college, I was a placement counselor at a large university. We ended up spending several hours together that weekend, in lecture sessions and on a mass expedition for Chinese food. She smoothly and firmly squelched my attempts to flirt with her, but even so, I had a wonderful time in her company.
When we ran into each other at another conference later that year, it was like finding a friend in a mob of strangers. We had dinner together again (only five at the table this time) and sat up late in the hotel bar on the last night, telling stories and laughing. I wrote her a few letters over the next year, and she called me a few times. But the tone was always friends-keeping-in- touch. There was no hint or thought of romance. Miranda seemed to be on a different wavelength, as though she didn't play that game at all. I confess I couldn't quite figure her out, even though I enjoyed her a great deal.
Then came the week-long counseling workshop in her home city, my wonder-if-we-could-get-together call, her invitation to a casual dinner at her house, and the free-ranging conversation that kept coming back to sex.
Somehow I had found myself telling her more about my past and my preferences than most of my lovers ever knew, and much more than Miranda was telling me. Eventually I got to my interest in what I knowingly called "D&S," and how it was a shame that so few women seemed to understand about the exchange of power and how much fun it could be. I was pretending a familiarity I didn't have, and Miranda must have known it, but she let me blather on for a time before calling my bluff by taking me down the hall. And now here I was, kneeling naked in her living room with a throbbing hard-on, staring my fantasy in the face. I knew what most of the toys hanging in the dungeon were for. But my knowledge was almost entirely academic, drawn from books like Exit to Eden and a sampling of fem-dom porn. The games I'd played with lovers past had been strictly amateur. Miranda was the real article, and that scared me as much as it excited me.
Maybe it scared me because it excited me. Or excited me because it scared me. I didn't know how to tell the difference.
Minutes dragged past, and my knees and ankles began to complain about the position I had assumed. Then I heard a door open, and the click of heels in the hallway. I turned to look, and found my hostess transformed into a stunning Mistress.
Her mane of wavy auburn hair was set off now by a studded black choker. Her ample breasts seemed barely confined in a leather halter laced only to the lower curves of her cleavage. She wore fingerless elbow-length gloves and gleaming studded wristlets. In her right hand was the crop, in the left a collar. Her hips were sheathed in a tight leather wrap-skirt which bared her beautiful thighs. Her stockings were black and sheer, her shoes spike-heeled with ankle straps.
She was, in a word, gorgeous. My erection, which had flagged a bit as I waited, stirred to new life. She noted, and smiled wickedly. "Nice," she said, looking directly at my cock. "I can have fun with that."
I found my voice. "You look fantastic, Mistress Miranda. Incredibly sexy."
"Did I give you permission to look at me, slave?"
My breath caught. "No, Mistress," I said, and lowered my eyes. Miranda laughed. "I want you to look at me. I want you to want me. You can't have me, of course. But wanting is good."
She ordered me to crawl to her. Then, standing over me, she said in a low voice that chilled me, "I'm going to take you to that place you've been wanting to go. I'm going to teach you what your body can feel. I'm going to play with you, and punish you, and use you for my pleasure. I want more than your obedience. I want your surrender. Do you understand?"
I said I did, hoping I did. She made me kiss her shoes and her crop, and then placed the plain, heavy collar on my neck and locked it in place. Pulling me up by the collar, she whispered a "safe word" in my ear -- which I silently vowed not to use. Then she pushed me back down to hands and knees and led me to her dungeon.
Miranda was in no hurry. She kept me kneeling before her chair, my legs spread wide and my wrists cuffed and locked together behind my back, while she asked me pointed questions about my experience and my fantasies.
All the while, she kept touching me, teasingly. She toed my balls with the point of her shoe, tapped my cock with the tip of her crop, scraped and plucked my nipples with her nails. Once she let me suck her middle finger, which I did eagerly. I wanted to make her feel good, and that was the first chance she'd given me. When she'd learned everything she wanted, she rose and led me to the X-frame. My cuffed wrists were unhooked from each other, then fastened high on the wooden crosspieces.
Miranda selected a second, larger pair of cuffs from the wall, and soon my legs were spread wide, my ankles locked to the foot of the frame. I had never felt so sexually vulnerable. I was facing out and leaning back, completely helpless, completely exposed, my cock hard as an eighteen-year-old's and already dripping from the tip. "I can see I'm going to have to do something about this," Miranda said, seizing my cock by the root. "You've obviously been thinking about fucking me. You'd like that, wouldn't you?" I told the truth. "Yes, Mistress."
She slapped the head of my cock smartly with her free hand, making me gasp. "Forget it. You'll be lucky if I fuck you." Letting go of my cock, she walked to her collection of sexual toys, and returned with a small harness with several straps. "This should keep this greedy little cock under control."
A few moments later, my proud shaft was encased in a tight leather sheath that exposed only the head. One strap went around the root where she had grabbed me. Another went around my scrotum, while a third separated the balls. It felt as though my entire manhood was being squeezed in a fist. My cock throbbed, reddened. Already, I desperately wanted to come.
But Miranda had other plans. Her next choice was a length of rope with dozens of spring clothespins clamped to it. She gave me one end of the rope to hold between my teeth, and then began to decorate my body with the wooden clamps. She started with one on either side of each nipple, pinching the skin with her fingers to give the clip a good bite. Then she placed a clothespin directly on my left nipple, and I moaned -- and dropped the rope I was holding for her.
"I'm going to add to your whipping for that," she said as she gave me back the end of the rope and resumed her project. The other nipple was next, then the underside of my arms, the inside of my thighs, and, finally, my cock. First, she tugged out enough skin to attach one of the little biting monsters to each side of my already harnessed scrotum. I almost bit through the rope. Then she started on the engorged head of my cock, placing one, two, four, seven clothespins in a semi-circle on the narrow, sensitive ridge.
Taking the rope from me, she stepped back to admire her handiwork. "Look at yourself, in the mirror," she said.
I saw a naked man in complete submission, his limbs spread- eagled and restrained, his throbbing cock tormented. I felt like I was tripping. The tension in my body was incredible. My blood was on fire. It was as though she was touching me in a hundred places at once, and every one of them was making me crazy with desire. My eyes closed, and I slipped down into the sea of sensation, leaving thought behind.
Suddenly I jumped, writhing, as an electric jolt coursed through me. My right nipple was suddenly burning. What was happening? I opened my eyes to find that Miranda had folded the length of rope twice over and was using it to strike the clothespins from my body. Her aim was true, and every time she knocked one free, thousands of nerve endings which had been temporarily overloaded suddenly came back to life shouting protests.
The last to go were the seven pins on the head of my cock. By the time the last dropped to the floor, I was quivering and hanging limply in my cuffs. Miranda stepped close and ran her fingertips grazingly over my skin, the touch making me jump. Then her hand closed around my sheathed cock, and her thumb rubbed the wetness oozing from the tip all over the head.
"You took that well," she said softly. "Maybe you'll get lucky after all. But first, I owe you a whipping."
Miranda released me only long enough to turn me around, toward the frame, so my back and bottom were exposed. I watched in the mirror as she selected a short, many-stranded whip, then moved behind me. She started with light strokes that barely warmed the skin, leather kisses on my thighs and ass. The strokes came faster and harder, until it felt like my skin was glowing. I stopped watching. I stopped thinking.
Then Miranda traded the short whip for a long, stiff leather paddle. The first blow from it lifted me off my heels and made me cry out in surprise. She gave me little time to recover, applying the paddle vigorously across both cheeks and the backs of my thighs. The weight of the paddle and the strength of her arm carried the shock of each explosion through my whole body. I moaned, grunted, and fought against my chains.
But the incredible thing was that it didn't hurt. I was past that. It was a wake-up call to my senses, a charge of pure sexual energy. All I was was what I was feeling, and all I was feeling was wave after wave of delicious intensity. I was flying.
After a time I couldn't measure, Miranda stepped up close behind me, caressed my hot ass and said in a half-whisper, "Now, the punishment I promised you."
There was a long moment to wonder. Then I heard the whistle as it cut the air, and I knew -- it was the crop. And when it landed, it felt like I was being sliced open, a line of fire burning into my ass cheeks. My body went rigid, and when the crop fell a second time I couldn't hold it all in any more, and screamed. Twice more the crop came down, and then Miranda drew close again, her body brushing against me as she traced the scarlet, swollen marks the crop had left.
She moved away again, leaving me to hang there on the wooden frame, breathless, shoulders aching, all resistance gone, glowing inside and out. Time dilated, stopped. The next touch was a hand spreading my ass cheeks, and another hand smearing my opening with a slippery gel, pushing a lubricated finger inside me.
"Now the reward you've been hoping for," she said softly.
I raised my head and looked sideways at the mirror, and saw that Miranda had shed her leather skirt. She was wearing a harness that was like a leather G-string, and jutting out from it was a long black dildo. I watched as she moved in behind me, guided the head to my asshole, and pushed it up inside me.
It was blissful, humiliating, erotic. I was impaled, stretched, violated. Miranda was fucking my ass, claiming possession of me, and all I wanted to do was open to her and give her whatever she wanted to take. And then she reached around my waist and loosed the straps on my harness, freeing my cock from its leather prison. She began to masturbate me, stroking my cock in rhythm with her reaming of my ass.
With everything that had gone before, I was on the edge, and had been for some time. Before long, my gasps and moans betrayed my approaching orgasm. Miranda took that cue to bury the dildo deep inside me, tighten her grip, and stroke my cock furiously. After a long few seconds, I went over the edge, crying out and writhing as my cock spurted long jets of come into the air.
Miranda took a Polaroid photo of me before she freed me, and then allowed me to shoot one of her before she changed. I took that photo, my memories, and the four crisscrossing red stripes from the riding crop home with me on the plane. I don't know when I'll next see my friend, or if she'll ever favor me that way again. But one thing is certain -- I'll never again think I know someone if I haven't seen what they keep, and who they are, behind locked doors.