I bring my hand down hard on the tender upper part of her inner thigh.

She gasps and tenses. Her whole body shakes as she fights the reflex to slam her knees together.

Then: I watch the spasm pass. I hear the rushing intake of her breath. I see her body relax again, more completely than it had been before. Her knees sink farther apart. Her breath goes lower into her belly. Her face softens.

That, right there, is what I’m after when I hurt her. It isn’t the pain itself that excites me; it’s this moment of surrender.

The purpose of the suffering is to give her the opportunity to both challenge and highlight her obedience to me. Her conscious mind wanted to submit already, but as the hits get harder her lizard brain, her nerves and her muscles all struggle to rebel. I get to watch as she wrestles them down in my name.

In her success, she proves to herself the depth of her surrender, and gets to experience it more intensely than when she’s just walkin’ around doing what I tell her to. Unbound by anything but her own will to submit, she keeps her body open to me until it accepts that it will take whatever treatment I choose to give it, even if it hurts. She feels swallowed up in that deep acceptance, and she exults in it.

When the next blow lands she gasps again, but her knees hardly shake. She’s given in, not just in her head but all the way down to her toes.