“Hold your arms out straight. Good. Now don’t let them drop.”

Somehow, a right swipe on Tinder over the holiday season had led to this: kneeling naked in a hotel room a couple hundred miles from home, silver clamps dangling from my nipples, a childhood favorite book in my trembling hands, next to a man who feigned indifference to my plight and only looked away from his video game to make sure my arms were staying level.

Though we’d been texting daily for months, we’d only hooked up once prior to this – a frenzied couple of hours during his brief visit home to his family, where we had fantastic (but relatively vanilla) sex. We’d talked about our mutual kinks a lot, both in sexts and casual conversation, but we didn’t delve too deeply into it during our first in-person encounter.

This time, though, things were different.

“What’s your favorite book in the Redwall series?” he asked in a text one day. We’d discussed a shared nostalgic fondness for the Brian Jacques novels before, so at first I didn’t even think the answer might be used for devious purposes. I told him, and that was that.

Then, a week or so later, he mentioned that he’d ordered a hardback copy of the book, and that was when it clicked for me that he had plans to use it – my best guess was for spanking purposes, which suited my slutty bookworm self just fine.

A few days before our scheduled hotel tryst in a city roughly halfway between our respective homes, he said that he had an idea for some mild mental torture, but wasn’t sure if it would be too mean. It was a valid concern, as I can be extremely emotionally sensitive at times, but I replied that so long as it didn’t violate any of the limits we’d previously discussed, I was game to try. (Plus, I could always call yellow or red if needed.) I don’t know why, but I didn’t connect this impending torture with the book he’d purchased.

I should have.

So again, there I was, on my knees with my arms outstretched, the hardcover copy of The Pearls of Lutra feeling heavier by the second. Despite my best efforts, my arms drooped one too many times, and he stood up and walked over in front of me.

“This is clearly too much for you to handle,” he said, taking the book out of my hands. I let out an involuntary sigh of relief as the weight was lifted from my tired arms, but my reprieve was short-lived. He disappeared from my view as he walked behind me, and then, there was the sound. An unmistakable, gut-wrenching sound.

The sound of pages being ripped from a book.

“There.” He reappeared and placed the book back in my hands while I just stared at him, completely at a loss for words. “Let’s see if that’s light enough for you now.”

I knelt there, utterly dazed, for a few more seconds, and then a deep sense of purpose overwhelmed me. I would not let the book drop again.

My brain was at war with itself. The book lover and librarian in me was appalled, and more than a little bit angry. Meanwhile, the rational part of my brain knew that it was only a book, and one he had purchased himself, no less; he was free to destroy it if he wanted to. The submissive slut part of me, however, was very turned on in a way that both confused and shamed me.

But all of that was drowned out by my desire to do what I was told, to not just complete the task that he had set for me but to do it flawlessly. My arms shook, my eyes stung with tears, my breathing quickened. Any slight movement jostled the clamps and sent a jolt of pleasure-pain straight from my nipples to my cunt, making my arms tremble even more.

I don’t know how much time elapsed. It could have been one minute; it could have been twenty. By this point, I was so deep in my submissive headspace that I only cared about getting from one second to the next. And still he played on, giving me no indication either way of how I was doing – betraying no hints of whether or not he would further destroy the book.

Finally, finally, just when I was beginning to think I wouldn’t be able to continue, he stood up again. I braced myself as he walked over, unsure of his intentions. Had I been good? Did I succeed? Or was he going to rip out even more pages, possibly making me watch him do it this time?

“Good girl,” he said softly as he lifted the book from my hands. Tears sprang to my eyes again as the praise, coupled with immense relief, washed over me. He went back to the bed and motioned that I was to follow. I stood slowly, my knees aching, and crawled up onto the bed beside him, resting my head on his lap, where I stayed for quite some time. I eased the clamps off, both wincing at and reveling in the pain, and eventually my breathing slowed and my submissive brain haze cleared.

“I can’t believe you actually did that.”

“I did say I was going to torture you. I’ll admit, I took a gamble, but thankfully it paid off.”

I must have given him a quizzical look, because then he revealed the most diabolical piece of his plan: I hadn’t been able to tell how many pages he’d ripped based on the sound, but it was one. Only one: that singular blank page at the beginning of the book. After all my struggle and anguish, there was no harm done to it after all, not really.

I’d unknowingly had one shot to make it through the ordeal with the book’s contents unscathed, and I succeeded, though just barely. I have no doubt that he would have kept going if I’d failed.

That knowledge should have been infuriating; instead, it somehow made the scene that much hotter.

A couple of weeks later, I was aimlessly browsing in a local used bookstore, and I found myself in the fantasy section. I blushed as I arrived at the Redwall shelf, and I snapped a photo of the store’s collection and sent it to him.

“You know, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at these books the same way ever again.”

“Good.”