Eric Pride is the devil.
And a prince of tact.
Um. Let me backtrack.
I recently volunteered to help with Eric Pride’s interrogation class. I know nothing about interrogation, but this was not a problem, because I was to be the victim.
The problem was my chiropractor. I told him, truthfully enough, that I had volunteered to act out an interrogation scene, and requested his medical opinion on what the interrogator could safely do to me. After he finished laughing, he answered, much to my dismay, “Tell him you’re made of porcelain and you might break.”
Argh. I had already told Eric Pride that I couldn’t do nudity or sexual contact, that I had limited tolerance for adult language and mindfuck and pain, and that I had no experience whatsoever scening in public.
And now I was supposed to pass on the message that he couldn’t even manhandle the prisoner? Dammit, porcelain inside and out.
I was not reassured when Mr Pride replied concisely that he thought it would be fine, there was nothing super intense or long-lasting, and please to show up twenty minutes before class. Twenty minutes divided by how many demo bottoms? How could that possibly be fine? And maybe not intense by his standards, but for me? I am not by nature imaginative, but on this occasion I outdid myself.
But it was fine. It was amazing. And the credit all belongs to this evil genius.
There is just one thing I’m really glad I did, though. I told him I was terrified.
This was not quite true. I was mostly terrified that I wouldn’t be terrified. I know me. When I miss a plane, I shrug and call the airline. When I get dumped, I smile and give my best wishes. And so forth. I have a long history of shutting down in emotional crisis. This looked like an awfully good time to do it.
And I had a dreadful suspicion it was starting. Because for 36 hours, all I could worry about was whether I could call him “sir” or if he would need me to sound defiant. Stupid worry. If he’d wanted good actors he would have said. So why did my head keep going back there? Argh. Where’s my tail again? Chase, chase.
Enough. With three hours to go, I finally went up to him and confessed my inadequacy. And my incontinence was rewarded. He dropped everything and talked to me till he was late for dinner. This is the single thing I am most grateful for.
He told me exactly what he was planning to do to me. “You’ll be the first demo. The initial phase of interrogation, just questions, no force.” My inner chiropractor cheered.
And more. “I don’t do role-play interrogation. I think the way to get real reactions is to ask for real information. So I’ll ask you about something like your first sexual experience.”
“You mean you’re not going to ask me to take my clothes off – you’re just going to ask me to talk about taking my clothes off?”
“That’s perfect!” I do that every week on this blog, don’t I?
Little did I know.
Buoyed by false confidence, I did an excellent job of not shutting down the fear, if I do say so myself. My heart was pounding audibly when he called me to the front. I’d even stopped worrying what to call him.
Surprise the first: Apparently I’m a giggler. Did you know that elderly people find jokes about death funnier? For 24 hours I was uncontrollable every time mindfucks were mentioned. I have since been offering up contrition for every giggler I’ve ever judged.
Surprise the second: He put me in an even safer seated position than the one I’d been lounging in, then instructed me not to look away from a very specific point in the distance. I thought it was a gift of mercy. I wouldn’t even need to meet anyone’s eyes.
Surprise the third: In ten minutes I was bright red and trembling. Or so I’ve been told. All I knew was that my hands were convulsing in their assigned position, I had disobeyed the order not to drop my gaze about fifty times, and my voice had said “sir” without consulting me.
The man is diabolical.
I’m not denying that he got a lot of help from the fifth column in my head. This website is not called The University of Abject Submission for nothing. As soon as the questions started, my greatest fear was not death by indignity, but disappointing him and the audience with the insignificance of my first sexual experience. I mean, it was nothing. My first boyfriend had backed me gently against a wall and kissed my throat till I was trembling and gasping. It had been one of the most intense experiences of my life, but I was convinced I was boring everyone to tears.
My sexually repressed upbringing has a lot to answer for. According to my eighth-grade Home Economics textbook, it is rude to cross your legs before a superior, so I had respectfully crossed my ankles. How could it be so hard to make myself uncross them and spread my legs, no, wider?
Of course, my ardent desire to fall through the floor did not pass unnoticed. It got worse.
“How did he make you feel?”
“Where was the feeling?”
“Point to it.”
“Was that your thigh?”
“Can you touch it?”
“That’s your ass!”
Laughter. A whole roomful.
No, sir, it’s not my – what you said. But thank you. The humiliation was terrible and wonderful.
Eric Pride never laid a finger on me. He didn’t even raise his voice. I was terribly envious of what the other demo bottoms got – blindfolds, canes and stress positions, not to mention impressive mindfucks. But four days later the memories were still making me blush furiously as I wrote my thank-you letter, and my heart is going pitter-pat even now. Mr Pride, you can be proud.
And I was so happy. Bubbling over. I did ask audience members if I had been boring, and I must say the very specific way they went inarticulate was fairly reassuring. I have literally been walking taller since then. Submission as a confidence-builder, imagine that.
So much for the diabolical genius. I’ll tell you about the tact in a bit. It’s proving very hard to explain.
Update: I finally managed it!