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about that phobia…

I was going through the archives, wanting to revisit some specific moments from last year, when I reread this post, entitled “childhood phobias”.  I suppose it is a testament to how long it’s taken me to process Max breaking through my needle phobia that I’ve not yet written about it – here, at least – since it happened in April.

My SEAF weekend visit to Seattle at the end of April was intense in many ways.  Of those days, Saturday and Monday were particularly memorable.  But Saturday is what this post is about.  It was a full and eventful day: a late morning brunch with new friends, a surprisingly stressful shopping trip, a short break for dinner and some chores before heading out to SEAF again, and then, there was the rest of the night.  The post-SEAF evening found me tied by my hair to a tree branch outside Max’s house, in frigid Seattle April weather.

Before long, I was inside the house, on my back, my hands tied behind me, already buzzed and high and not at all expecting to hear the popping of a container lid as Max said softly, “It’s time to poke some holes in you.”

And because I was already soaking in endorphins, it took a moment for the impact of that statement to fully hit me.  By then, Max was already sitting on top of me, taking needles out of a little black box (an evil black box), and before I had time to exhale the breath I didn’t know I was holding in, he was sliding needle after needle into my chest.  I would have screamed – from feeling that first pinprick of pain, then the needle sliding sickeningly against skin and flesh, and the second stab of the needle coming back out – except I was afraid to move my chest.

By the time Max was done, there were seven needles in my flesh, and I was utterly gone.  My eyelids felt like stone, and I was breathing short, shallow breaths.  I could barely think past the high, much less speak.

And removing the needles was just as heady and intense.  I could feel how the needle dragged across my flesh as it slid out.  Max counted each as he pulled them out swiftly and methodically, dropping them into the sharps container nearby.

And then it was over.

Afterwards, in talking with others about this scene, I was asked frequently if I enjoyed it.  And I’d hesitate, finding it difficult to give a short response.  I don’t know how well I responded to that question for the first week after it happened, but now, what I would answer with is this:

I can’t tell if I enjoyed the needles specifically, it having been my first piercing and a built-up phobia.  But then, this was not about enjoyment.  It was about giving someone a part of me that was very hard for me to give.  It was about trusting someone enough to let them take control.  It was about the intention of the act, and knowing the pleasure he took from it.

Taking all of that into consideration, then, I can say that I enjoy the aftereffects of the piercing.  It was a powerful experience, and one that brought me closer to Max.  In the earlier post on phobias, I wrote: “For something like this, I’m sure it will take a much longer-term relationship: of building closeness, trust, and intimacy over time.”

It is pretty thrilling to realize that I have been able to build up that level of closeness, trust, and intimacy with someone.  And, well, it is pretty spectacular that that someone is Max.

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