One of the highlights of the Erotic Authors Association Conference in Las Vegas this September was meeting Emerald and being totally enthralled by her beautiful bondage story, With Random Precision. I’m very excited that Emerald has agreed to be my guest and tell us the story behind With Random Precision. Welcome, Emerald!
“With Random Precision” is titled after a lyric in the Pink Floyd song “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” The song plays a central role in the story, which seems fitting since it is published in the Love Notes: A Music & Sex Anthology, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and published by Ravenous Romance. Even before I ever saw the call for Love Notes, though, the music in “With Random Precision” was deeply connected to the story.
Virtually the entire bondage scene in “With Random Precision,” as well as the reference the Pink Floyd music therein, is autobiographical. I was tied up quite intricately several years ago by a friend of mine who has studied and practiced bondage extensively. In a way he was practicing on me, but we’d also both agreed I might find the experience interesting. I did—so much so that even as it was happening, I knew I wanted to write about it.
So much about the experience was noticeable—the silence in the room, his intense concentration, how strange being touched by rope felt, the absence of being touched by someone else’s flesh. Things like how striking it began to feel on the occasions his skin did connect with mine jumped out at me, and some of what is in the story started writing itself in my head as I stood there while he wound yards of purple rope around me in silence.
Where the autobiography stops, perhaps ironically, is in the indescribable experience the narrator, Amber, has as a result of being bound. What was not there for me when I was tied up that night was sexual attraction between myself and the person tying me up. We were friends, but the experience for me wasn’t a sexual one.
I felt all the other things the narrator describes in the scene—the silence, the intensity, the uncertainty, and definitely the apprehension when the moment of finally realizing she is bound hits home. Where the actual sexual attraction wasn’t there, there seemed (still seems) a part of me that inexplicably knew the potential that scenario held had the addition of attraction, that unique intensity enmeshed with a desire for intimacy and a mysterious and unquestionable trust, been there. Even at the time, that vague understanding captured my attention. Later, as I wrote the story, it came forth via my imagination.
There was also the music. The description in the story is quite how it was—it was quiet, and all of a sudden I noticed it, and it captured my attention. The degree to which it seemed to perfectly fit the atmosphere seemed extraordinary, and I was intrigued when he told me it was Pink Floyd. I was almost entirely unfamiliar with them at the time.
To digress slightly, I met my partner a few months later. Pink Floyd is his favorite band, and when he mentioned them to me, I found the timing striking. I said I had only recently been properly introduced to them (beyond the radio play of “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. II” and “Money”). My partner continued that introduction with impressive thoroughness, and Pink Floyd is now one of my favorite bands too. Everything the narrator in “With Random Precision” indicates about how she feels about the band is autobiographical.
When I started to write the story, shortly after the bondage experience had occurred, it didn’t seem hard to recall how it had felt to stand there, how quiet the room was, what the rope pattern looked like, how I had felt being tied up. It wasn’t hard either to remember what had occurred to me about what might have happened if the person tying me had been someone I felt that attraction to, to whom I knew I wanted to surrender what I vaguely—even unconsciously—could feel was there to be surrendered.
I wrote all that. I didn’t have to think about it much—it was all right there and came out as my fingers typed. When it came time to actually go further than where the bondage scene ends, to show what happens between Amber and Max, I grew continually stuck. I tried writing that interaction countless times, with it feeling dissonant each time.
Finally, I realized I simply didn’t get to know. Not only does the reader not see what actually transpired that night, I myself as the author do not know. The interaction is a mystery.
As is what the experience might have been like for me under other circumstances.
When I finally let go of trying to create what happened between Amber and Max that night, the final scene of the story, the present-day one that Amber narrates, came about as effortlessly as the first part of the story had. That scene, to me, expresses the understanding in me of the potential of what that experience could have been had something more been there. How it could have—perhaps inevitably would have with the characters that came forth in the story—added up to an unequivocal, irrevocable surrender unlike anything I (and she) had before experienced. The understanding, as the scene, is indirect—it was not seen by the reader, and for me it was not experienced directly. But some awareness of it was, and still is, in me—even if not (yet…) consciously.
“With Random Precision” remains one of my favorite stories I’ve written. I don’t know exactly how to describe why, but it has always felt very close to me. It brings a number of things together—autobiographical experience, speculation of a potential by which I feel deeply intrigued, the opportunity to offer homage to a musical artist that moves me greatly, and the manifestation of something I feel or recognize only on a level beyond my ordinary consciousness. Thank you so much, K D, for inviting me to talk about it here today. It’s been really a pleasure!
Our favorite music inspires us to move, dance and, yes, get busy in more intimate ways. Love Notes celebrates dancing queens, rock stars, groupies, anthems and more as the characters stroke each other to the sounds that make them soar. One woman masturbates to her favorite song while a stripper slinks her way into a man’s life. From Madonna to Shania Twain to Led Zeppelin and beyond, they channel their favorite music to make love to.
Love Notes celebrates the erotic power of music to move us, whether it’s listening to a lover rock out, fantasizing about your rock star crush, or making the sweetest and sexiest of music together. Singers, sirens and dancing queens get busy to a sex soundtrack ranging from heavy metal to classical and beyond. Get ready to get serenaded, seduced, and smitten with Love Notes.
With the final silent, firm tug Max gave the rope that secured me to the ottoman, I realized the precariousness of my position. I had known at the beginning that this was a significant undertaking for me. But the full realization didn’t materialize until parts of my body, parts I was used to being able to move at will, were bound in place—and the corresponding understanding that he was now in control of that part of my existence.
I couldn’t move. I was, quite literally, bound. I thought about what would happen if I suddenly couldn’t breathe, if the claustrophobia of my youth returned, smothering me and taking my oxygen as I lay there unable to do anything to save myself. I thought of demanding that the rope be cut, screaming at Max to get the binding off me as quickly as possible. Would he do it? I wouldn’t be asking—I would be desperate, drowning, screaming inside with not only desperation but the revulsion of knowing that I was utterly, completely dependent on him. That he could choose to disregard me if he wanted to. To not take me seriously. Even as it flitted through my consciousness, the liquid hatred of the idea rose inside me and started to course through my body. My eyes were closed, but the darkness I was seeing was more than physical—I believe I would have seen it just as much had they been open, staring at the candlelit white ceiling of Max’s living room.
He touched me. My eyes flew open. Max was not looking at me. Rather, he was examining the twists of rope at my left hip, his fingers resting softly on my left thigh. The contact had brought me from darkness to the surface like a flash of lightning. I inhaled deeply.
“That’s better,” he murmured in a tone as soft as the pressure of his fingers on my thigh. “You okay now?” Still he did not look at me. His attention stayed on the purple silk strands around my hips and up across my abdomen, as though there were some imperfection there he was fixing. And I wondered how he had known.
Max shifted his hand. I felt the knot I had noticed earlier move slightly against my clit. The jolt of arousal that flooded through me stunned me as much with its intensity as with its unexpectedness. I looked at Max, who met my gaze and knew what he saw there.
He smiled. “It’s not about fucking tonight, Amber. Don’t you know that by now? You think that’s what you want, but what you want is so much more.” His voice was quiet, a contrast to the newfound desire pulsing through me that didn’t feel quiet. Confusion gripped me, twisting my inside with a movement my physical body wasn’t at liberty to reflect.
Max stood and walked until he was no longer in my field of vision. I heard him kneel behind the top of my head, and his warmth reached me before he did as he slid one hand through my hair against my scalp and the other gently around my throat from behind. His lips touched my ear as he whispered into it. The sensation jolted through me like a gunshot, starkly contrasting with the barely existent contact of his flesh to mine. What was he doing to me?
“Let go. Let go, Amber. Do you hear me?” His voice ran like liquid silk, its gentle seamlessness giving no hint of the boulder-like intimidation of the order as my mind perceived it. The voice was gentle, lulling, leading where it wanted to take me, knowing that was a place I wasn’t sure I had ever been. So much so that I didn’t know where it was or how to find it. The fierce resistance inside me reappeared, surging furiously and searing my senses. A snowy fuzziness filled my vision. An acidic sour seeped into my mouth as I raged against this position he had me in.
And somewhere even deeper, I saw that I was really in a battle against myself.
The voice knew that too. The grip on my throat tightened ever so slightly. The heat of his breath coursed through me via my ear:
“I know you don’t know how, Amber. That’s what I’m here for.”
Emerald is an erotic fiction author and general advocate for human sexuality as informed by her deep appreciation of the beauty, value, and intrinsic nature of sexuality and its holistic relation to life. She holds a particular interest in the connection between sex and spirituality and deeply reveres sexuality’s inherent sacredness. Her erotic fiction has been published in anthologies edited by Violet Blue, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and Kristina Wright, among others, as well as at various erotic websites. She is an advocate for sexual freedom, reproductive choice, and sex worker rights and blogs about these and other topics at her (NSFW) website, The Green Light District: http://www.thegreenlightdistrict.org.