No Pain, No Gain?
Glo's writer explores the world of BDSM. Find out what she discovers about slaves, sexuality and herself.
- Berit Myrekrok/Getty Images
With a sharp flick of her wrist, Miss Cybill brandishes the whip. Crack! "You want it to nip at the slave," she says, "not flay his skin." There's another crack as the long tail of the whip snaps through the air. I quickly realize that wielding a six-foot leather whip requires excellent aim and depth perception—you need to know exactly where you're going to hit, and where you aren't.
"Corporal punishment is hard," Miss Cybill says. "Tendonitis is a hazard of the business."
The business is BDSM (Bondage/discipline; Dominance/submission; Sadism/masochism). Miss Cybill is one of the women working tonight at The Den of Iniquity, where I've come to learn more about her…calling. Miss Cybill hands me the whip. "Now you try," she says.
I pose exactly as she had and flick my wrist. The whip unfurls, falling limply to the floor without a sound.
"More like this," Miss Cybil says, straightening my right arm, pushing my shoulder up and back. "Extend your arm—aim."
The whip emits a faint popping sound as the tip twitches in the air, rather than cracking. "See?" she says, pleased. "Now practice for days and days and days."
Nearby, Ms. Elena is watching. "Try whipping someone for just an hour," she says. "It's exhausting."
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