Guest blog: You choose your people

Image by the awesome Stuart F Taylor

When I saw the fabulous Emilia Romero pop back up on social media after an absence (follow her on Mastodon here!), I was over the moon, and then even more excited when she pitched me this beautiful, vulnerable guest blog. She’s written here before about kink, camming, and what happens when you discover Doxy, and her writing is always so stunningly heartfelt. Today’s post is an exploration of friendship and trust, via the medium of a good friend she met at a survivors’ support group (so note, there will be brief but non-detailed references to rape and sexual assault). It’s so wonderful to have you back, Emilia.

You choose your people

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into a survivors’ support group – or ‘Rape Club’, as the women there laughingly called it. I had been in therapy for three years. I’d talked and cried and raged. I was doing better, no doubt. But life still often felt like hard work. I felt like hard work. I had isolated myself, fearful I was toxic, despairing of my self-imposed loneliness. I needed people who understood. I craved that connection. I had resisted visiting a group for ages. I was scared, and maybe a little too comfortable with staying at home and keeping myself, and others, safe. But finally, I left my house and went.

The first thing I realised is that there’s no small talk at Rape Club. No “and what do you do?”, it’s straight in with talking about why you’re scared of falling asleep and the deep-seated belief that you’re too broken to be loved.

I hadn’t planned to talk at my first meeting. I thought I’d stay quiet and listen. And I did stay quiet for a while. But then I started talking. I talked and cried. I sobbed. One of the other women – a stranger I had met just thirty minutes before – left her seat, knelt at my feet and held my hands in hers. I told my story and I felt heard and understood.

Every person in that room had a story about the bad thing that someone had done to them. The thing that had changed them forever. The thing that had meant they didn’t trust any more. The thing that meant they needed support and reassurance and they never felt safe.

But this isn’t a piece about the bad things that happened. This isn’t a piece about the people who did those bad things, the people who committed those crimes. They can write their own pieces, though I doubt they ever will.

I cried and talked about my own bad thing and at the end of that first session, one of the other members of Rape Club came over to me.

“We have a lot in common,” she said. “Do you fancy a coffee at the weekend?”

That was the start of my friendship with Sarah. I asked if I could write about her and she said yes. But she told me I had to use her real name.

“I have nothing to hide,” she said. “But it’s okay that you do. I get it.”

We met for that first coffee and another coffee after that. We went for walks and did witchy burnings in her garden. We loved a witchy burning, writing fears and burdens on a piece of paper, then letting it go in the flames. Sometimes, it was just the two of us, sometimes we were joined by other women from the group. I told her my secrets and she told me hers. I cried on her sofa and laughed in her kitchen. I sent her screenshots of text messages I regretted and she told me she was going to take my phone off me and throw it into a lake.

One night, she took my face in her hands and said, in her beautiful Dublin accent:

“We got caught up with cunts, Emilia. And they will always be cunts. But you and me? We are magnificent. We are totally fucking magnificent.”

Later that night, she wiped an eyelash off my cheek and told me to make a wish. Before I could though:

“Fuck, I’ve dropped it. Let’s do shots.”

We talked about everything.

One night, we were talking about BDSM. Not for the first time. We talked a lot about sex and consent and love. Sarah had told me that she’d been to local munches and had a D/s dynamic with her partner. I had told her, tearfully, that I’d love to sub again. That I couldn’t imagine it happening. The idea of being that open and vulnerable again seemed like a dream to me.

I missed it, I really missed it. I had discovered a hot and exciting side to myself that I adored. But I just didn’t feel like I would trust anyone again the way I had trusted my friend N. Sarah and I talked about it over and over. She offered to go to munches with me or introduce me to friends she considered safe. I kept saying no. I just wasn’t brave enough to let go.

We’d talked about it a lot. On that night though, Sarah looked at me and said:

“Emilia, do you trust me?”

I did. I do.


That’s why I’m here now, in Sarah’s bedroom, standing naked on a chair.

We’ve set a timer for ten minutes. I asked for it. I want to ease myself into this again and it helps to know it’s contained in time. I have a safe word to use. I feel really nervous.

“Turn round,’ says Sarah. “I’m going to hurt you now.”

The first time the paddle lands on my arse, it’s gentle. More of a spank than a blow. I feel it though. It’s the first time I’ve let anyone hit me in over a year. When you have your consent taken away, it isn’t easy to surrender. You choose your people carefully.

The next strike is harder. The rubber stings and my skin dances with the impact. There’s another, even harder, and I wince. Then another and I realise how wet I am. I’m bracing myself and taking deep breaths and I’m in pain and I can feel the dampness in my cunt. I haven’t let myself go in such a long time. I haven’t unfurled or unfolded or given myself over to anyone for so long and I feel turned on and I’m hurting and I want to cry and I want to laugh and I feel so alive. I feel so fucking alive.

Sarah makes me count as the blows land. At twenty, I say the safe word and she stops.

“Are you okay, darling?” she asks. “You did really well.”

I tell her that I’m so okay. I haven’t felt this okay in ages. I’m just a bit out of practice at pain. At trust. It’s been a while.

“You did great,” she says. “Now lie back. Spread your legs. Let me see that pussy.”

I lie back on her bed. Sarah’s pillows smell of her shampoo. They smell of her.

I feel her fingers inside my cunt and a slow pressure on my clit. My arse is burning from the paddle and I press it into the duvet as I writhe against her hand. It all feels exquisite, the pain and her hand and my cunt and the wetness and I’m close, so close to coming and I’m lost and happy and I have never had a friend like this and-

The alarm goes off.

Sarah takes her fingers out and bops me on the nose.

“Time’s up! Look at your grumpy face,” she says. “That timer was your idea, Emilia Romero.”

She kisses me on the lips.

“Thank you for trusting me, you gorgeous woman. Maybe you can trust me for longer next time.”

I’m laughing, even as I call her an evil twat.


I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into a survivors’ support group. I had no idea how it would be. I had no idea what I would find. I found friendship, I found support, I found a group of amazing women who are affected and changed but not broken.

I found Sarah.

This isn’t a piece about the bad things that happened. This isn’t a piece about the people who did those bad things.

This is a piece about trust. It’s a piece about hope and magic. It’s a piece about lust and strength and pain and fear and safety.

This is a piece about love.



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