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Flogging Flogging

It is more than what it is.

It seems a very simple thing, a physical transaction. The arm moves and the falls strike the skin. The leather or suede or whatever material they are made from patters in a tiny storm and draw themselves along the body, leaving their evidence as they travel. Slide off and the arm pulls them back. Then through the air to strike again.

It seems almost as nothing. Simplicity itself.

It can be, of course. But it can be more.

It can be transcendent. It can be meditative.

Which sounds like nonsense, until you experience it.

When I began, it was all I could do to, with minimal competence, to land the falls on the beautiful expanse of skin before me. All I could do to accomplish what is so simple. And so, the raw, physical act was all there could be.

But somewhere it became more, much more. One day it was different.

It is something in the rhythm, perhaps. Or maybe more.

Because, for me, and those I have shared it with, it creates a place in isolation. A universe in itself for the two locked in the act. The arm swings and that is the least of it. And all of it.

I choose the place where it strikes. How hard or soft. How long it lingers before it is pulled away. I choose the sensation that it will produce, the experience.

And, in that, and in the timekeeping of the strokes, and in the shared time and space and the sight and the sound, I connect.

All of myself is focused on the experience, and on the sensation, what is given to the person I am with. There is no world outside the space of two that we form. All of me is consumed by the act of creating the experience, and there is nothing else.

And from the ones who receive, I have reports of just the same. As I focus on the action, and the world vanishes, they focus on the rain of pain and pleasure and emotion that comes and goes in waves. We meet at the ends of the falls and we are joined.

I do not know why. Why flogging, and not something else? Maybe it is personal. But if it is, the charge of it spans the space and reaches the one who receives. Because it is, though personal, also communion.

I write these words, and they seem foolish. They seem unable to capture the fragile thing within what seems a brutal act. Maybe it cannot be captured. I don't know. It seems beyond my usually overabundant words.

Maybe that is because the act is wordless and the place and the calm and the space and the people thus joined are all in an unspoken, unnamed, almost unconscious world.

The arm swings and the falls connect. Again and again, uncountable times, which I always count.

Maybe it's just me. But I seem to be able to share it. And what I share feels like so much more than what it appears to be.


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