Actually, I think we can pinpoint it down to one crucial instant.
We were out, in public. Like 'normal' people (as if you can tell who's normal and who isn't just by looking!). I wasn't collared, or wearing special/specific/particular clothes/jewellery/make-up. No cuffs, no special instructions, no rules. Nothing. I therefore, fairly understandably I think, assumed I was out with my boyfriend, and not my Master.
Right up until I ruffled his hair. Okay, so he'd already asked me not to do that, but that was several hours previously when we were still at home, and I'd forgotten. And it's not like I never do it, I do it all the time, and this was the first time he's minded But I did, I ruffled his hair after he'd asked me not to, and he swung round into the next side street, then into an alleyway, and started pulling my skirt up.
"Whoa, hey, hang on a minute, hey, wait!!" I had to use both hands and a fair amount of agility and speed to keep myself out of his way and my skirt where it should be - covering my bottom.
This went on for a while and I was getting a bit upset. I mean, like I said, I ruffle his hair all the time, it was only today he'd said he didn't want me to, and anyway surely it wasn't that big a deal, and anyway, surely I was out with my boyfriend and not my Master and whoa again and whoa some more and couldn't we just talk about this??
Nothing doing, he's stronger than me and just a fraction faster, so eventually I wound up caught. That didn't stop me fighting, though, and he had so much difficulty just keeping hold of me that my skirt still stayed down. Eventually he stopped tussling with me, and I stopped tussling with him. We looked at each other. Truce. I was still trapped in his arms, though, I was definitely still at a disadvantage.
"I asked you not to ruffle my hair today." His tone was reasonable but slightly stern, and despite my earlier protests about us not being in that mindset on this outing, I felt my body start to respond to his voice and proximity. I love his voice. And I love that he's strong enough to hold me in place not matter how much I fight. Even if it is occasionally somewhat inconvenient. "And I've been with you long enough to know you're always in 'that mindset'," he continued, blithely picking my arguments to shreds, "or at the least not far from it. Admit it, you're getting wet, aren't you?"
I wriggled a bit, feeling my face flush, and his arms tightened fractionally in warning. "Nooooo..." My denial wasn't vigorous as it'd sounded in my head.
One of his hands crept down my skirt, cupping a buttock. "I know you are, even if you're denying it. And I think you need a lesson." The hand gathered a bunch of material.
I grabbed at his hand while twisting out of his reach. "No way! We're in public in the middle of the day! Anyone could walk past! No fucking way!"
He tsked. "Language, Caro." His warm voice reached out to wrap around me.
I glared at him. "You can use that voice all you like, you're not distracting me in the least, and you are not spanking me here and now! Not!" And I stamped my foot for emphasis.
Except that, of course, he did - eventually. After pinning me up against the wall with one arm behind my neck and one hand brushing gently against my cheek, spending forever tucking my skirt very thoroughly into the waistband with the other, and then yanking my panties down. Taunting me the whole time.
"You could safeword. What's the matter, Caro? You have a safeword. Why don't you use your safeword, Caro? If you're so against this? Why don't you tell me, 'No, actually, Zee, actually no'? Why don't you say 'red light'? Why aren't you spelling out for me that You Do Not Consent to this? You know I'd stop if you did, I'd stop if you said 'red light'. Why aren't you saying anything, Caro?"
I wasn't saying anything because a breeze was wafting over my bottom, which never happens through skirts, and his fingers was teasing along the elastic of my knickers, letting me know he was about to take them down and then there'd be nothing between my nakedness and the rest of the world.
And then they were gone so fast I could feel the elastic biting into my pubic mound at the front from where it'd got left behind and pulled as the back part bit into the tops of my thighs from being over-stretched and oh god this was worse than being naked. My eyes were already closed, but I tried to bury my face into the wall. Unfortunately 100-odd year old brickwork isn't really made for that. Ow.
He spanked me. Not much, only six, but hard, very hard, and slow (well, not at top speed and therefore far too slowly for me!) and as ashamed as I felt, it seemed to take forever. I was terrified that someone was going to hear and come and investigate.
He stopped and stepped away from me, left hand still on the back of my neck holding me against the wall.. That felt even worse, even more exposed without him right next to me.
"Are you sorry?"
"Yessir," I muttered, eyes shut tight, in agonies of embarrassment.
"Will you touch my hair again today without permission?"
One hand gently stroked a pink, glowing buttock. "Am I the meanest boyfriend ever?"
Pause. Long pause. Temping. Oh, how tempting! But I was still half-naked, he was still in control, and, as he'd pointed out earlier, for all my eloquence I hadn't used any of the words that would've let him know I was seriously objecting. So I'd have no grounds for sulking, and I really didn't want to know what he'd give me for that.
"Nosir." Half way between submissive and sullen. Incongruent. He already knew that anyway.
He released me then, drew my panties back up a lot more gently than they'd gone south, smoothed my skirt down with pleasing thoroughness and took me in his arms. I wiped away the tears that had gathered behind my eyelids, and he kissed my forehead and stoked my bottom. "Good girl."
I blushed and tucked my head under his chin. A spot that represents safety, and also means I don't have to look at him.
Eventually we walked on, and I was good and obedient and full of blushes for the rest of the day. I think he liked that too much.
The crucial instant was when he taunted me with my safeword, and I didn't use it. We didn't talk about it but I did blog about it and he reads my blog, so I guess that counts as communication of a sort. I tried to sort out the feelings and wound up fairly ambivalent about the whole thing, but acknowledging that it had been very (very very very) hot, and that I did trust him not to abuse that kind of power. Mostly. Whilst still being completely terrified and mortified by the whole concept.
I should've known better than to give him the ammunition.
Since then there've been a lot more scenarios like that, only without any reference being made to my 'get out of jail free' cards, as I sometimes call my safeword. For example, last night he declared he was going to shave my pussy, I disagreed, and yet here I am, pussy now as naked as it hasn't been for many a year. I dread it growing back, everyone - but everyone - says it itches like hell.
But the worst bit was, I was all tied up to the bed, pussy hair covered in shaving foam, still pleading with him not to do this, still trying every verbal trick and persuasive tactic I knew to beg off, and he didn't say a word - just looked at me. And I realised he was waiting for me to safeword, to withdraw consent, to let him know I really didn't want this - and instead I found myself falling silent and dropping my gaze. And now I have a bald pussy.
Last week he told me I'd be spanked for five minutes straight, before bed. I begged and pleaded and cried and struggled and kicked and shrieked and cried some more - he'd told me at the start that unless I said the words "no, ACTUALLY stop", he wasn't going to.
I said many things, and in fact I said some of those very words, but not together and in the right order, and so I wound up being spanked for five minutes straight, as promised. I think I cried for a lot longer though, while he stroked my hair and my back and my poor, abused bottom.
And now, here we are, at least we're at a fetish event (a market) this afternoon, even if it is still far too public for my preferences, and my hairless pussy and my instructions to wear crotchless tights and no knickers under my skirt are suddenly made clear, as he pretends to be interested in the dungeon furniture for sale up on the stage. As if we could afford something like this beauty! I can appreciate the craftsmanship particularly well, I feel, since I'm comfortable but immobile across its top, and my nose is pressed right down into the leather. And he's just lifted my skirt. And he leaves me like that, bare - and soaking wet- pussy on display to the whole market, his hand resting oh-so-casually on my back with my skirt trapped beneath it (neatly spread across my back), whilst he talks logistics with the stall owner. Who's oggling for all he's worth, if the pauses in his speech are anything to go by.
He'd looked down at me, meeting my eyes, with his hand on the hem of my skirt, just before he'd lifted it. Looked at me intently, then cocked an eyebrow. I hadn't said anything, just buried my face in the soft, comforting, inviting leather under my head and shut my eyes tight.
And so now here I am, face cheeks burning with humiliation and rear cheeks apparently about to burn as well (I'd wondered why he'd thought we'd needed a new paddle), contemplating my 'interesting' life.
I always knew traffic lights were important, but in this part of my life it seems that all the lights are green.