On the Outside Looking in with a Fist Full of Rope

By Van Darkholme

In the carnival of life, my genetic coin toss started off very promising. It landed solidly on a silver platter, bounced off onto another, but equally opulent, platter. Then, unfortunately, it slowly rolled off into the dark crevices.

To put it mildly, we weren’t middle class. Visions of the entire family loaded up in our old Buick station wagon for a 45-minute ride to McDonalds, Merle Haggard was blasting on the radio as I was watching Route 66 dashing by through the rusty holes of the Buick floor, and my stepfather’s unfiltered Camel cigarette smoke beat against the wind but never quite escaped the vehicle… and has never quite escaped me to this day.

It’s funny that a small isolated town surrounded by cornfields was so obsessed with class.

School was hell. I was trying to fit in but it was hard without the right clothes, the right car, and the right house. The ones labeled with Izods and Calvin Kleins stuck together, Fruit of the Looms and Wranglers were scattered about in their own individual self-loathing hell. Johnny was a handsome football player, and his father was the town banker. His coin landed squarely on the glistering gold plate. He was always smiling driving through town in his red vintage Mustang convertible.  It was so cliché but it’s true: his girlfriend was a beautiful blond cheerleader, Debbie.  I think their coins landed on the same plate.

The cruel gods went even further by injecting me with a massive amount of testosterone in my teens, and the results were acne and erections. I even got acne on my erection… but that didn’t stop me from doing something about it. An unexpected mirage appeared through my cracked windshield. I caught a glimpse of Johnny’s Mustang dancing in the heat on the side of a quiet country road. The hood was open and all I could see was his ass in tight blue jeans.

I pulled up in my old man’s truck. “Need some help, Johnny?”

Even in hot, bucolic surroundings, Johnny always seemed as if he was just freshly showered and there was never a wrinkle on his clothes. He turned around and seemed disappointed to see me.

“Naw, it’s just a fan belt, ” he said. Then he dove back under the hood of his car. My desire for him was like a distant train. Without any warning, it came barreling right at me fast and loud.  My heart was about to jump out of my chest as I grabbed a coil of cotton clothesline on the truck seat and headed straight for him. Sure, sports gave him a fantastic physique and plenty of strength — but it’s nowhere compared to my years of working on the farm and wrangling beasts of burden. I dragged him to the middle of the cornfield and made a nice clearing with my muddy boots. His torso was bound tight but I managed to rip off the top of his shirt to expose his hard pecs. I shoved the fabric deep into his mouth. His eyes jabbed at me with fear and anger so I pulled out a wad of hankie from my Wranglers and made his world black. He thrashed his legs about like an animal.  I punched him a couple of times to settle him down.

Off came Johnny’s the designer jeans. They felt nice and warm. I was puzzled…besides the label, his jeans didn’t look anymore different than mine and yet it made all the difference at school. I decided I’d better tie his ankles.  I sat on a pile of jagged corn leaves and watched his partially naked body. I told myself to remember every inch of his body: his golden brown hair, the sculpted ridge of his nose, his pale pink nipples punctuating his meaty pecs, the dark curly patch of hair just right above the band of his tightie whiteys, the thick muscular striation down his thigh, and his perfectly manicured toes.  Time passed. His breathing and mine subsided. For some reason, I looked around to be sure that we were really alone.  I slowly reached out and brushed my hand against his crotch. His face turned toward the ground and he made a soft moan. His huge cock pushed out against the white cotton fabric. For the first time in my life, I came face to face with everything I dreamt of and everything that I was not. And, it responded.

It would have been stupid for me to think that Johnny and I would ever have any sort of sexual interaction. The material for my masturbation fantasy was more credible if I took him against his will. Again, it was just a fantasy. I visited that dusty road –  mornings, nights and every chance I got.  I saw him at school and he had no idea what’s in my head…He kept on smiling and continued with his charmed life.

I left town the day following my high school graduation. I did not waste any time. Perhaps there was hope in the big cities like Los Angeles. After several menial jobs, I was dismayed to find that LA was just a mega-version of my hometown. I was so young and so naive. One hot and smoggy afternoon, I took refuge in a small bookstore. I saw a painting of a man in rope bondage by Goh Mishima and something very familiar struck me deep down to my core. I was amazed that bondage was presented as art. There were some weird electrical connections in my brain and I grew on to associate bondage with money. At that moment, I decided to tie up men as a part time job.

Soon, I was a busboy by day and by night I was in total control of some Hollywood executive. It wasn’t long before I quit my day job. For the first time in my life, power was handed to me on a plate and I loved it.

“Hi Steve, how are you? Please come in.” I smiled to a nervous stranger at my door. “Go in my bedroom, take off your clothes and wait.”

In my darkened bedroom, Steve had a raging hard-on even before I laid my hands on him. I tied him up tightly and secured him to my bedposts.  Again, I preferred my subject blindfolded. A mélange of power, adrenaline and sexual impulses came over me. He was processing powerlessness and fear into carnal energy. I whispered into his ear, “I got you all tied up and I’m going to play with you all night long.” Steve whimpered, “Yes, Sir. I’m all yours.” I punched his chest and tugged hard on his balls, “What makes you think I want you?” He cried out in pain, “Oh God, I’m sorry Sir. That was presumptuous of me.”

Steve was experiencing sex in its purest form. The rope pressing down on his flesh constantly reminded him of his body and its physical sensation. His vision was impaired and his other senses kicked in.  Being bound, nothing was required of him. No thinking about the next sexual move. No gauging the other partner for any sort of physical or emotional connection. No time to be self-conscious about his body or his being because he was reduced to a powerless bound object. Steve’s humanity was pushed aside for a moment: just enough time for him to feel the sensation on his cock and in his mouth and perhaps other parts of his body, without any other distractions. In the self-absorbed culture of Los Angeles, the only kinky taboo left for Steve was to offer himself completely to someone like me on the fringe of society. Yet, afterwards, he jumped into his shiny Lexus and safely returned to his home… to his life.

“Hi Dave, how are you? Long time no see. Please come in.” I looked at a young handsome man in a business suit. “Hi Van, I tried to call you several times when I was in town but no luck.” We both walked into my bedroom. “I’m sorry, I was in Paris for a month.” Dave knew where to hang his clothes as I offered him a beverage. After a quick formality, he reached out and hugged me. “Gosh, I missed you so much, Van.” After four years, I was still taken aback when I received the same warm greeting from Dave. He liked to get tied up with hemp ropes. He loved the smell of leather. He liked to give up control and be totally helpless. He enjoyed receiving oral sex but nothing further than that. I enjoyed watching him as I stroked and teased him. He begged. He pleaded. He cursed. His arms tugged hard against the tight ropes as he let out a raw primal scream.   He exploded.

As always, he quickly jumped in the shower and then put himself back together as we made small talk. I picked up the towels, “How’s your wife and kids?”   He brushed his hair, “Oh, they are great. We just took the little one to Disneyland for the first time. Hey, I’ll be back in July. Will you be in town?” I was walking him to the door, “Gee, so far I have no plans, so I should be here.” He reached out and kissed me. Dave seamlessly vanished into the muggy Los Angeles rush hour.

It was quite ironic. I spent my teen years masturbating to fantasies of tying up Johnny and in my adult life the Johnnys of the world came to me to get tied up. I knew why I had the desire to tie them up: to temporarily possess things I wanted but never had. When I looked at these men tied up in front of me, it was more than a body. It was a product of regular dental visits, a full college education, Norman Rockwell Christmases, and a nurturing family life. My ropes became symbolic ribbons presenting me with these gifts for an instant in time.  In spite of all the elements of a privileged life, Johnnys visited the likes of me in the seedy, dark gay ghetto. They engaged in debauchery — but in a way, it was against their will because they were powerless in bondage. My powerful hemp ropes glowed with the dim ember of societal constraint.

There are many different dynamics in bondage. The above reflects a portion of my bondage play. I was young and I needed the money…(smile), I wouldn’t change a thing. The insights, knowledge and practice I got from this early period have served me well.  I realize that we all couldn’t fit on the gold plate and I’m fine with that. I used what I had in the best way that I knew how.  Being on the outside looking in sometimes has it’s advantages.

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