Dressed in baggy clothes, backs laden with large knap sacks they looked ordinary from behind. Her knap sack the smaller of the two his covered with a yellow plastic tarp. They walked closely together. Her electric pink hair stood out against the mundane color of the subway station. As I made my way to the middle of the platform I passed them. They walked up and stood directed in front of me.
She was strapped to a leash harnessed to the dog collar around her neck. She stood a quarter of an arm’s length from him, facing him. He jesters with his fist and tugs on the leash ordering her to stay put. She smiles a smile of seeming discomfort and apprehension, emotions that conveyed to the observer her surrender and obedience. His face a mask of seriousness he pulls the leash closer to him forcing her even closer relenting only when she submits to his will. I cringe inwardly as I see that he was relishing his power. He smiles a self-satisfyingly smile and loosens his rigid hold on the leach allowing it to flow its full-length letting her know he is pleased with her obedience. He holds firmly to the end.
Happy that she is permitted some space she moves away about an arm’s length from him but he yanks her back forcefully shortening the leash around his fist. He fashions the leash like a belt and slaps her across the face a couple of times while issuing verbal warnings. “Come here, behave, stay here” he growls menacingly between gritted teeth. She is propelled forward by the unexpected jolt, she stumbles forward head bowed. She apologizes prefusiously in a pleading tone, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She put out her tongue letting it hang loosely from her mouth as she begins to pant while making hmmm, hmmm, hmmm sounds in the back of her throat much like a dog when it is crying.
I watched in fascinating horror transfixed by the master and slave display barely managing to control myself. I had to keep a strong hold on my emotions in order to stop myself from walking up to her and asking if this is what she wants for her life. The power and submission interaction was tangibly potent. She, based on her behavioural interaction with him was clearly the submissive, the dog – the “slave” and he the superior, the “master”. They stood directly in front of me as I waited for the train. I was disturbed by what I was witnessing not because I was new to some of the nuances of the S&M (Sadism & masochism i.e. Sadomasochism or BDSM i.e. Bondage & Discipline) lifestyle but by the seemingly young age of the girl really bothered me. I was taken aback. She looked no more than eighteen and that is a conservative guess on my part. In truth she looked closer to seventeen or younger. Had it been two consenting adults and not such an age differential in terms of the power/authority dynamic I may not have had such an issue with it but then again I don’t know that she didn’t consent. This is the mental debate that took place in my mind as observed the couple.
The train arrived and everyone filed in. In the train car all eyes turned to the young woman with electric pink hair as she was being pulled by a leash. He yanked her toward the him forbidding her to sit at a seat of her choice as he firmly directed her to where he wanted her to sit and growled, “Sit”. The women on the train were especially shocked; one woman had to compose her face into a neutral mask but couldn’t tare her eyes away as the young girl meekly too her designated seat with her eyes down cast and head bowed. The men simply steered on incredulously fascination. Her master smiles victoriously straightening his back in a proud posture of accomplishment. I looked at her thinking she is so young and he is definitely older. Is she really consenting to this treatment?
As I observed them a flurry of thoughts kept invading my mind, followed rapidly by questions like, ‘I wonder how long it took him to groom her, was she even aware of the psychological violation, was he grooming her, did he groom her, if he did in fact groom her where and when did he get his window of opportunity, where was her parents, did she seek around and the parents were unaware of her activities, does she secretly want to get away but feels trapped, helpless and worthless?’ I bombarded myself with endless questions which I then debated. ‘No young girl in my experience decides on her own free will that she will be someone’s slave, she would willingly consent to being displayed like a lab rat or monkey and commanded about publicly like a dog, no young girl aspires to be a enslaved, to someone’s garbage dump, you certainly don’t here little girls on the playground singing, “when I grow up I want to be a slave, I want to be harnessed, I want to be lead around like a dog and slapped when I am bad.” I was driving myself crazy.
I could very well have been over thinking the situation as the young woman could be over twenty-one (though I doubt it) and enjoys her subservient role in the relationship as much as her partner seems to enjoy is superior designation. Let’s face it life is seldom black and white and things are not always what they seem. As I watched as the couple leave the train the young girl trailing behind on her leash and controlled like a subhuman one question plagued me, ‘is that what she thinks love is?’
It is said that love has no bounds; I don’t know that I agree completely with that theory because I think that there is value in having healthy boundaries because life without it can be dangerous. The way we love and define love differs vastly across the globe as well as from household to household. Love on its own is simple, nourishing, empowering, satisfying add the human emotion and it becomes multifaceted as its definition flows into many streams and valleys, how we see it, name it and think of it is most certainly influenced by our traditions, culture, ethos and experiences. Was this love I witnessed, from my way of thinking I say no. What do you say?
- How do you define love?
- What is love?
- Is love giving up your identity?
- Is love losing yourself in someone else and being submissive to there every whim?
- What would you give up for love?
- How much will you give up for love?
- Do you have boundaries when it comes to love?
Men and women have forsaken their families for love, children turn against their parents, husbands and wives have destroyed their marriages for the external relationships they feel has more love than their union. Men have killed for it, women have died for it. How far would you go for love, would you destroy everything and everyone in your path for it or do you have a line (boundary) you wouldn’t cross not even for love.