The last few months had not been pleasant for either Sally or Clive – their marriage was disintegrating quickly – nowadays, they hardly spoke nicely to each other anymore.
They were cordial but that was unpleasant compared to how affectionate they had been in the early days of their marriage.
But now, after just three years, they were mistrustful and suspicious of each other – the early intimacy had evaporated.
The deterioration had been fast, so fast it amazed both of them. One moment, they were happy and then…
It began late one fateful night five weeks previously.
They had been seated comfortably on their sofa after watching a film on DVD together.
Sally was in pyjamas and Clive in boxer shorts and T-shirt, and they were channel surfing the television when Clive’s finger paused on the remote and watched a documentary curiously.
The simple and fickle finger of fate guided Clive’s use of the remote that night.
They both watched as a woman dressed in lingerie was beating a grovelling naked man with a stick of some sort.
‘What on earth is this?’ Sally asked, disbelievingly.
‘I don’t know,’ Clive mumbled, eyes glued to the screen, ‘I’ll check the guide.’
‘She’s really hitting the poor blighter with a stick,’ Sally commented, sipping her hot chocolate.
‘It looks like a cane,’ Clive said absently as he flicked through the television guide.
Sally looked at him. ‘Are you an expert?’
‘Ah…no, of course not. It’s just…boarding school…and all of that.
I see,’ Sally said, staring at him thoughtfully before returning to the television, ‘That get up she’s wearing looks extremely uncomfortable.
‘Oh, I don’t know, it looks kind of sexy to me.’
Realising what he had just said, Clive fumbled with the guide.
‘Here it is, a documentary – Women Who Are Paid to Dominate Men. It’s American,’ he added lamely.
‘It would have to be,’ Sally scoffed and then looked at Clive. ‘Do you really think that get up is sexy?’
He shifted uncomfortably.
‘Would you like me to wear something like that?’
Clive looked at Sally’s clear eyes and wondered what the right answer was.
‘Well…if you wanted to…it would be…it would be okay with me…’
He waited for her answer but after studying him for a moment, Sally’s eyes turned back to the television screen.
‘God, she’s really belting him now! Look at those red marks on his wobbly bum!’
‘I’ll turn it off,’ Clive said quickly.
‘No! Leave it on. Why would anyone pay a woman to do that?’
Clive stared at the television in studied silence, hoping against hope his wife would not ask the next question.
It was a futile hope.
‘Would you pay a woman to do that to you?’
‘Ah…well…of course n…’
‘Don’t tell me!’ Sally stared knowingly at her squirming husband. ‘You have! Don’t lie – you know you can’t lie to me.’
Clive wondered desperately how she had guessed!
The only person in the world that knew was his friend Owen. He had become drunk one night and had said something to Owen although they had never spoken of it since.
‘I don’t believe it!’
‘It was a long time ago,’ Clive murmured, ‘before I met you.’ It was a lie and he hoped it would buy him respite.
‘Before you met me? Is that supposed to make me feel better? Sally stared at him. ‘Why would you do that? Did you like it?’
Her eyes dropped to his boxer shorts.
‘Shite! You’re bloody hard! What’s getting you hard – the television or remembering your little spanking time!’
It was a question that, Clive knew, he could not answer safely.
‘I guess that answers my question,’ Sally said sharply, putting her cup down on the coffee table and gesturing at the television where the naked man was now licking the boots of the plump woman who stood over him, ‘you like this!’
Clive stared stupidly at the screen, not brave enough to open his mouth.
‘Do you want me to do this stupid shite to you?’
Clive turned his head and was about to answer truthfully when he saw the expression on his wife’s face.
‘No…of course not…’ he mumbled.
The truth was that Clive had enjoyed submissive fantasies all his life and his one session with a professional dominatrix had been a sweet release. His attraction to Sally was first based on her rather stern and arrogant demeanour and he did harbour secret fantasies of submitting to his wife.
‘Liar!’ Sally said perfunctorily and accurately. ‘You like it! That’s disgusting!’
Without another word, Sally left the room and Clive stared miserably after her.
After a moment he looked down at his hard cock forming a small tent in his boxer shorts and looked back at the television.
When he finally plucked up enough nerve to go to bed, Sally was already asleep and he gratefully slipped under the covers, hoping that everything would be forgotten in the morning.
Over breakfast, Sally suddenly asked, ‘I don’t understand what you get out of it.’
‘What?’ Clive asked warily.
‘The spanking, grovelling,’ Sally said, stirring her tea, ‘it’s so degrading.’
‘Can we forget about it?’ Clive pleaded, buttering toast.
‘Why can’t we talk about it? It’s not often that a wife finds out that her husband likes to be spanked and paid a prostitute to do it to him!’
‘She wasn’t a prostitute!’
Sally stared coldly at him.
‘She was…ah…a dominatrix…’
‘Whatever you call it; you paid her, didn’t you?’
‘Did you orgasm?’
‘What?’ Clive gasped, face becoming red.
‘When this dominatrix or whatever you call her, spanked you, did you come?’
‘I said I didn’t want to talk about it, ‘Clive mumbled, face now bright red.
‘Fine!’ Sally snapped, furiously smearing marmalade over her toast.
A cool atmosphere settled over them and Clive wished that he had never found that documentary channel. He wondered how to broach the subject and ask forgiveness, hoping that life would return to what it had been before that fateful night.
It was difficult as Sally was studiously polite but a wall of ice now appeared to envelope her. He tried to be nice but Sally rebuffed him politely.
After a week, Sally finally announced, ‘this has been rather a shock. To suddenly find out that your husband has a sick attitude to sex…’
‘It’s not sick,’ Clive protested.
‘Will you let me finish!’
Clive wilted under his wife’s cold stare and nodded.
‘I mean, I knew you liked me wearing stocking and stuff and sometimes I did it to please you but to discover you liked to be bossed around and whipped! Well, that’s another matter.’
Her eyes glistened and Clive reached out for her hand but she withdrew it quickly.
‘Sally, darling, there…’
‘I mean, ‘Sally continued, ignoring him, ‘if it was just nylons and sexy lingerie, that wouldn’t be a problem as I can wear that stuff for you but I can’t do that other stuff, I just can’t!’ She turned to face him, a tear rolling down her cheek. ‘I can’t do that stuff to the man I love, I just can’t.’
‘I don’t want that stuff, darling! Truly, I don’t…’
‘Your cock was hard, really hard, Clive, when you saw that documentary and I haven’t seen it that hard for a while. I don’t make you that hard! And that’s the hurtful thing!’
Clive watched helplessly as Sally, now openly crying, dashed from the room.
What am I going to do now, he wondered, how can I get her to forget this?
A few days later, Clive tried a different approach.
‘Darling,’ he said softly, ‘I love you and just want to make you happy. I want us to be happy, don’t you?’
‘Let’s forget about this entire silly thing. You love me, don’t you?’
Sally studied him for a moment.
‘Yes, I loved you, loved the man you were,’ she said and Clive smiled nervously. ‘But, I’ve discovered you’re not the man I thought you were.’
Clive’s smile vanished.
‘I don’t know if we can go on, Clive,’ Sally said softly, ‘I really don’t.’
Stunned, Clive watched her leave for work and, suddenly, he realised this was more serious than he had thought.
She’s going to leave me, his mind racing, she’s going to divorce me!
For the next few weeks, they were virtual strangers even though Clive attempted to engage Sally in conversation but Sally was always polite but short.
Then, on Friday night, Sally said, ‘Clive we have to talk.’
Fighting the sudden dread that filled his body, Clive anxiously nodded and sat down opposite his wife.
‘These past five weeks have been awful…’
‘I know, darling,’ Clive rushed, ‘I hate it…’
‘So do I and I think there’s only one way to go forward…’
‘I agree. Let’s forget about the stupid…’
‘No! That’s not what I meant.’ Sally studied Clive with a serious expression. ‘We have to see someone.’
‘No, I couldn’t stand talking to strangers.’
‘You won’t even give it a try? Fine!’
Sadly, Clive watched Sally storm from the room.
On Saturday morning, Clive was morosely reading the paper while Sally was still in bed and wondered what he was going to do.
‘You said last night that you wouldn’t talk to strangers,’ Sally said without introduction. ‘Would you talk to someone you know?’
‘Someone I know?’ Clive asked.
‘I was thinking of Owen.’
Owen Simons was ten years older than both Sally and Clive, and was a senior research fellow at the university and a psychologist. He had been a friend to both of them since meeting at a party five years previously.
Owen was single and often visited for dinner and was a charming and reliable friend who was seen as the best friend of both Clive and Sally.
‘Owen? You mean Owen Simons?’
‘Who else do you think I mean? Of course, Owen!’ Sally smiled softly at Clive and his heart trembled. ‘He’s a good friend and has our interests at heart, he may be able to be a mediator and find a way out of this for us.’
Clive thought through it quickly.
On one hand he didn’t really want to discuss intimate details with his friend but Owen was very intelligent and perhaps he could find a way out of this mess and help things return to how they were.
Clive sat in Owen’s office and embarrassedly smiled at his friend. Owen had, once told of the plight, insisted that he speak to Sally and Clive individually to gain some real idea of the problem. Owen had an initial discussion with Sally and now he smiled reassuringly at Clive.
‘Sally has explained, Clive,’ he said apologetically, ‘that you have a sexual preference that she has a difficulty coming to terms with.’
‘It’s not a preference!’ Clive protested hotly.
‘Then what is it?’ Owen asked gently.
Clive shifted in his seat.
‘It’s…it’s just a fantasy.’
‘A submissive fantasy?’ Owen smiled again. ‘Don’t worry, Clive, what consenting adults do in their bedrooms is of no concern to me and I do recall you once told me…’
‘Let’s not go into that!’
‘Of course,’ Owen said smoothly. ‘Many couple experiment with role play to add some ginger to their lovemaking. It’s not uncommon.’
‘We haven’t experimented,’ Clive said bitterly, ‘that’s the problem!’
‘So, you do have the submissive fantasy that Sally referred to?’
Silence hung for a moment and then Clive nodded slowly. ‘Yes.’
‘I’m assuming, from what you’ve told me previously that this is not a recent thing but that you always had this fantasy?’ Something about the way Owen asked the question made Clive think he already knew the answer but shrugged it off.
‘I’ve always had it.’
‘There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Clive, many males have a submissive nature.’
‘It’s only a fantasy!’ Clive exploded.
‘Of course it is,’ Owen soothed, ‘but a fantasy that Sally doesn’t wish to be involved with.’
Clive slumped morosely in his chair.
‘That’s the problem. I don’t know why, I mean, I’d do her fantasies no matter what they were because I love her.’
‘Would you, Clive?’ Own asked evenly.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Of course I’m bloody sure!’
‘What if she had a fantasy to completely control you, to go beyond role play?’
‘She wouldn’t,’ Clive dismissed the notion quickly, ‘Sally doesn’t like the kinky stuff. That’s the problem.’
‘But what if she did?’ Owen quietly insisted.
‘Of course I’d go along with her role play.’
Owen studied Clive for a moment and then said with a smile.
‘I may have an answer to your problem.’
Clive looked up eagerly.
‘Have you heard of hypnosis therapy?’ Clive shook his head. ‘I’m rather good at it.’
‘How does it work?’
‘The patient takes a relaxant and then I implant s command deep in the patients’ subconscious. I could do that for Sally if you would like me to?’
Clive stared at Owen and licked his suddenly dry lips.
‘What do you mean?’
‘I could hypnotise Sally to forget about the problems you have had over the past five weeks and to enjoy dominating you.’
You…you could do…that?’
‘I could. I could implant a response that the more Sally dominates you, the more aroused she becomes. Would you like me to do that, Clive?’
Clive stared at Owen.
‘It is illegal and you would be tampering with some one else’s mind. Perhaps you should think about it? Why not come back in a few days when you have given it some thought. I’ll just schedule another session with you both while you think.’
Clive could think of nothing else for the next few days.
He knew it was wrong, knew he was thinking the unthinkable but also wondered what life would be like if Sally followed through on some of his fantasies.
After three days, he returned to Owen.
Owen stared calmly at Clive whose mind raced with possibilities.
It’s just a fantasy, he reasoned, she’d enjoy it and our life would be better.
‘Yes,’ Clive said nervously.
‘So you want me to plant instructions in your wife’s mind that she be more dominant in the bedroom?’
‘Yes,’ Clive said softly.
‘You want to tamper with her mind so you get what you want?’
‘Yes,’ Clive whispered.
‘I thought you’d say that,’ Own said mildly. ‘Cup of tea?’ he asked, teapot in hand and Clive nodded. He pushed the teacup towards Clive and smiled. ‘Drink up and we’ll discuss exactly the command to implant.’
A sense of excitement surged through Clive as he sipped his tea. Finally, he would be able to indulge his fantasy with his wife!
Sleepily, Clive slid the empty cup across the desk and tried to ask Owen why he felt so sleepy but his mouth wouldn’t work. In a moment, Clive’s head was resting on his chest and his eyes were closed.
Owen sat with his fingers steepled together, studying his sleeping friend. He shook his head, his lips pursed as he watched Clive sleep.
‘You were willing to tamper with your wife’s mind. A gorgeous woman like Sally and you wanted to make her into some sort of robot,’ Owen said softly, almost to himself and, as if he was mustering his courage.
‘Can you hear me, Clive?’ Owen asked quietly after a moment.
‘Yes,’ Clive murmured, eyes still closed.
Owen spent a few minutes taking Clive deeper into his mind and then began implanting the command.
‘Clive, you want to submit to Sally, don’t you?’
‘You will submit to her and you will always obey her. Understand?’
‘I will always obey Sally.’
‘Sally likes to dominate you and you like it as well, you want it.’
‘I like Sally dominating me,’ Clive said sleepily.
‘The more Sally dominates you, the more aroused you become. You must always obey Sally. Understand?’
‘Yes,’ Clive murmured, eyes closed.
‘When you aroused or when you achieve orgasm, you will accept what is being said to you or what you’re saying – it will become a permanent fact and your behaviour will be altered permanently. Is that clear, Clive?’
‘Yes, that is clear,’ Clive said in a low monotone, ‘it becomes fact, my behaviour is altered permanently.’
Satisfied that the command was implanted, Owen said, ‘your key words are Sally Takes Control. When anyone says Sally Takes Control, you will return to this hypnotic state. Say the key words.’
‘Sally Takes Control.’
‘Excellent. When you awake, Clive, you will not remember this but you will always follow the commands and you will not remember that you and Sally have been fighting. Now when I count to three…’