CHAPTER 1a: CONDITIONING
I’m pretty sure if you had known me you would be wondering (if not in shock) what I am doing here. ‘Here’ is the office of the CEO of the large company my husband, Gerald, works for. ‘Doing’… well… I am naked, on my knees in front of the CEO who is sagged back in his desk chair. His slacks are loosened and open, his cock (bigger than Gerald’s who I always had the impression of being average) is hard in my hand and inside my lips. I alternate between licking the length of it, taking it as deep into my mouth as I can while avoiding the impulse to gag, and sucking the head like it is a lollipop.
I don’t even work for this man or the company. Gerald does. Until recently Gerald had never been in this corporate building much less this office. This man wouldn’t normally know who Gerald was. This man, whose cock I am slobbering over greedily, runs an international company from this office. Gerald is a welder, skilled and respected I am told, but a welder many layers in the organization below this office.
Besides, I am unskilled in sucking cock. Heck, the word, cock… I never used that word before. Now I am not only thinking of it like that but devouring it eagerly. An almost stranger’s cock. Only days ago was I even introduced to him and that had been only after Gerald had left for his assignment.
I think I should start over. What I am doing is evident… mmmm, yes… very evident. Sucking cock. Sorry… this is all so new to me. This eagerness to please a man, wanting to demonstrate and prove that new desire and eagerness that has sprung from me. What needs to be explained is HOW I ended up naked, on my knees, sucking the CEO’s cock in his office… in the middle of the afternoon. There are parts of the ‘how’ that are fuzzy in my mind, but I need to go back a few weeks.
* * * *
“India?” Gerald has been offered a wonderful opportunity. That’s the way he puts it to me, a wonderful opportunity and honor. The company, Trinity Enterprises, is opening a new state-of-the-art facility in India to serve an exploding market in that general region of the world. From that new location, they will be able to tap into new markets there and Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. But the most exciting part, for him, is that the company came to him to establish the ‘Trinity Way’. He’s more excited than I think I had ever seen him. He says he has been in meetings for several weeks and it is a marvelous opportunity for him. I look at him dumbfounded but still not challenging, “Weeks? This is the first you’ve mentioned it.”
He touches my hand as we sit across from each other at the kitchen table. “I know. I’m sorry. They thought it best, though. They wanted us to understand everything about what was happening. Honey, this is like a dream for me. Now I know the company respects what I do. I’m not just a cog in the machine. I’m an important part of what happens.”
I can’t help but wonder, though. India? We’ll be separated by half the globe. Who am I to question, though. It’s obvious Gerald is responding to the company the way he does… blind faith and obedience. That’s also my impulse to respond to Gerald’s announcement. They say good relationships often have a catalyst of opposites. One can tone down the other or one can ignite the other; when one can be prone to just accept something, the other might question it; or, when one is content with status-quo, the other might stimulate discovery and exploration. Gerald and I are two peas in the pod, though. We have complacently muddled through life complying with the company, our parents, our friends, and social norms in general. But… India is so far…
I’m almost too afraid to ask the question that is nagging at me, but I do. “For how long?”
“A couple of years probably.”
My mouth drops and my tongue and lips are forming a response to the casual way he drops ‘a couple years’. But nothing comes out. I close my mouth to shut off anything negative. I can see it in his face. His eyes are sparkling. What strikes me is this might be the most excited I have EVER seen him. EVER.
Then, his eyes shift back to me from wherever they had been looking. Probably India. “Don’t worry, though, honey. The company is going to take care of you while I am gone. They have plans. I’ve sat down with them and they have plans. They have these tests or interviews or surveys or something. Anyway, they’ll be finding out what you need or want to help you be active, cared for, involved with others. They’ll take care of the house expenses, everything. Plus, I’ll be getting a huge bonus and increased compensation.” His focus on me becomes sincere, “They are doing this just for you, honey. The other guys going are single, but they are setting up this support just for you.”
I’m not one to question, but… couldn’t the company have found just one more single guy? I see Gerald’s excitement, though. His being excited, happy, is all I need, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
* * * *
We’re sitting in the lobby of the Trinity Enterprises Corporate Building. Even Gerald has never been here before. The main plant, the first Trinity plant, is located 25 miles away where it is still surrounded by farm fields. The corporate offices were moved out of that facility years ago as the corporation grew and went international. They needed offices that would show better to customers and more convenient to the airport. The building is impressive. Made of glass and steel it rises 5 stories in an office park dominated by Trinity with a line of flag poles along both sides of the parking lot walkway with a flag of each state and country with a Trinity plant or office. At the front door to the building are three flag poles: the center and tallest flies the USA flag; the one on the right flies the Trinity Enterprise symbol; and, the last one is for the flag of any visiting dignitary. As we entered, that flag was India’s. Not that anybody from India was visiting but to show respect for the sacrifice of the men going to India.
I am the only woman besides the receptionist behind her shiny curved counter in the center of the lobby. The lobby rises 3 stories with glass on the outside and 2 balconies overlooking us. A stairway winds up one side and a bank of elevators are behind the receptionist. Luggage is jammed in the lobby. If there isn’t someone standing, the floor seems occupied by luggage. Each man is allowed three large cases. We just heard from the Vice President of International Operations who is here from his European office to thank and send off the men. A large bus pulls up to the front entry. I hug Gerald. This seems to have happened so fast, but I know it has been several weeks for Gerald. I follow the men outside and watch as Gerald climbs the steps of the bus. When he turns, I am waving with a smile that is happier than I feel. I blow him a kiss and he returns it.
I stand outside at the building entrance watching the bus turn out of the parking lot, then turn again at the intersection before it disappears behind the other buildings. I suddenly sense how quiet it is. I am standing outside by myself. The executives and managers who were in attendance to see off this group of men quickly returned to their offices and other matters. For them, this part of their day is done and they will turn their attention to the next thing on their agendas.
Then, I hear, “Mrs. Samson?” I turn to the voice behind me. Standing just outside the doors is a woman about my age, maybe 35 years old, a bit overweight for her 5’6″ frame. Her auburn hair is stylishly cut to her shoulders. She is smartly dressed in a professional charcoal-colored dress, white blouse, and fitted jacket. She is wearing modest height heels like mine. She steps forward with her right hand extended. “Hi, Mrs. Samson. My name is Sarah Thomas. I am the Executive Assistant. Mr. Baldwin was hoping to have a word with you.”
I look at her dumbfounded. “Mr. Baldwin… the CEO, Mr. Baldwin?” The woman, Sarah Thomas, smiles and nods, amused by my response. I understand her bemusement. She might be used to dealing with the CEO but I am not. Gerald hasn’t ever met him.
She places her hand lightly on my elbow and guides me back to the entrance door. “Yes, that Mr. Baldwin.” She hands me a Guest Badge that I see is marked “Fifth Floor/Executive” boldly on it. She explains that everyone must have a security badge to leave the lobby area. I then see her remove a badge attached to the waistband of her skirt, pass it before a dark screen at the elevator that flashes green. Inside the elevator, she passes it over another dark screen and presses the ‘5’ button. She explains that the 5th floor is restricted to Legal and the Executive Offices. On the 5th floor, she turns right and I follow but I also glance to the left where I see a sign indicating the Legal group on glass doors and cubicles of people inside. I turn my attention to the right in time to see Sarah Thomas again passing her badge before another dark screen that flashes green at the tall, imposing, dark mahogany doors. From the outside, there is no glass exposing what is inside.
She holds the massive floor-to-ceiling door open for me. Unfamiliar with large corporate offices in general and senior executive offices in particular, I am overwhelmed by the opulence of what is opened to me. To the right is an elegant sitting area with a dark leather sofa and two chairs around a mahogany and glass coffee table. Down the right side are doorways to spacious offices. At the end is a glass-enclosed conference room with a large table and many chairs. On the left side is an open door to what appears to be a small office (perhaps for visitors to use) and two more doorways matching those on the right. In the center is a tasteful cubicle matching the rest of the area with mahogany and glass walls. There are no nameplates on the cubicle or the office doors. If you are in this part of the building, you are escorted and you know who you are meeting. This is not an area where someone would be wandering around to find who they are looking for.
She leads me to the back office on the left side. A distinguished man in the office we pass looks up and smiles warmly. Sarah raps on the door frame of the next office. The man inside behind a massive, dark wood desk rises and a smile forms immediately on his face. His smile doesn’t look fake or forced, but warm and inviting. Sarah introduces us to each other. The man, Mr. Baldwin, the CEO, the top man of all this, takes my hand in shaking it but holds it warmly between his two. He moves his hands to lightly touch my elbow while the other extends toward a sitting area at the back of his office opposite his desk to another leather couch in front of another wood and glass coffee table flanked by leather chairs.
As I sit on one end of the sofa, he sits on the other. Both of us are turned slightly toward each other. Sarah takes a chair. There is something about this man that makes an immediate impact on me. I have never been in the presence of someone with this much power and control of so much and I should probably be intimidated, if not scared, but there is something else about him that has me at ease as if I feel his power and presence is something I can rely on, something I can trust. It is a strange feeling when having just met him, especially when it was his people who sent Gerald halfway around the world away from me. It is such a strange feeling that I am momentarily unaware of what he has been saying until I snap to.
“… the reason you are very important to us for the sacrifice you and Gerald are giving for the company. So, as I said, we intend to do what we can to not only take good care of Gerald while he is there for the company and reward his efforts but we intend to take good care of you, too. As we understand it, you and Gerald have been together since school, Gerald has dedicated himself to his work and rarely even taken vacations away. This separation could be very difficult for you to be left behind alone. Gerald will have his work and the other men around him. He will be exposed to a new culture and people with the opportunity to witness, explore, and sample. You… well, you are left with your normal, routine, everyday life. That’s where we think we can help you.”
I hadn’t realized until he glances again at Sarah that he had again been holding my hand, the thumb of his hand lightly caressing the top. It is then that he lightly squeezes my hand and gives me another of those disarmingly sincere smiles. He rises and moves to his desk where he picks up a manila folder.
My eyes shift from this impressive man, though, when Sarah begins talking. “We don’t want to leave you behind in the process, Karen. We believe many factors can play into how well our people perform and one of them is the feeling that while they are doing their jobs that their home is secure. Providing good salaries and benefits goes a long way to providing that sense normally. In this case, however, we think more can be provided. Your husband is the only married man on the team.”
Mr. Baldwin adds as he sits back down on the sofa, “But we wanted to have him on the team.”
Sarah nods. “So we explained to him our interest in working with you.”
I smile. I remember Gerald mentioning something about that and I offer that to them. Sarah smiles and nods.
“I’m glad he mentioned that to you. In that effort, we suggested a personality/interest type test to assist us, which he agreed to take. It was very insightful. We knew the kind of man he was in his job and it confirmed what we believed and also gave us insights into his relationship with you and the home.” She glanced at Mr. Baldwin who I noticed giving a nod. “So, we asked for his permission to give one to you.” I shrugged. If Gerald took it and thought it okay, why not? She smiled. “We already gave it to you.” I looked startled. I shook my head. I was never given anything like that. “He permitted us to put the link in front of you through an email. There are a lot of them out there and they are fun to see what kind of animal you might be, etc.” I nod. “Do you remember one that took you through many pages and questions and went into a lot of detail?”
My mouth opened and my eyes dropped to the floor. I do remember. The questions led me down a path where I became increasingly open and honest about myself. I was curious what it might conclude. The questions were intriguing. Those little surveys on Facebook are fun when they end up comparing you to some famous person of history. This was different, though. It was much longer. The general questions it started with soon had me opening up more and more with the questions delving into how I react to situations, what I enjoyed, what brought me pleasure, and how supportive and attentive to my needs my partner was. As I sat there remembering, I became flushed and warm. I had been stunned by the analysis of the results: a basic personality intrigued by new experiences; a strong desire for physical pleasure; a strongly compliant personality; and, possible deep frustration due to a similarly compliant partner unable to help with her needs. They have seen that?
“Mrs. Samson? Karen?”
I was staring at the coffee tabletop. It was Mr. Baldwin’s voice. My eyes shifted from the table to his fingers lightly, reassuringly stroking my bare forearm with my hands clutched together in my lap. I didn’t remove his hand or move my arm away. Without much consideration of the fingers, I watched them trace along my forearm to the crease of my elbow as they moved up along my bicep and back down to my forearm. It felt so delicate, comforting, and attentive.
I look up into his face. I blush deeply when I realize I have missed something while lost in my thoughts. “I’m… I’m sorry, sir. What?”
He smiled and gave me a little hug. I felt my body relaxing into him. He was so confident and self-assured. But it was only the briefest of moments. “There is nothing to be sorry about. This must be a difficult time and we understand that and we want to help. We know we can help.” He touched my chin with his fingertips and lifted my face, my eyes becoming lost in his. His eyes were bright blue, intense blue eyes that seemed to draw me into them. I blushed to a deep level as I felt the reaction of his touch, his proximity, and his eyes. “Sarah is going to help you. It’s the least we can do for all you are sacrificing for the company. You are suddenly going to be alone, unsupported, emotionally adrift. We think we can help you find some purpose, some structure, and we can provide some guidance, direction, and control for you.” I suddenly realized how strong my smile had become as he offered this to me. His fingers again stroking my forearm but now moving to my wrist and hand in my lap, one of his fingertips grazing my thigh, innocently, it felt. “Would you like that? Will you let us help you? Would you like some structure in your life? Would it help to have some direction and control given to you? This is a time when you could be benefited from a transitional shift with the right assistance and direction.”
I found I was sitting straighter. I wasn’t leaning back on the sofa. My back was straight. His touch, his eyes, his voice seemed to give me strength. A time of transition. Someone to guide me, direct me, put some control into my life? Did I want that? That was why that online survey identified my frustration… I’ve never had that. I smile shyly at him, this strong, confident man who wanted to help.
“Yes, sir… I do want that.”
He smiled. His eyes probed into mine. I had no idea what was in that probing look but I felt different, released somehow. Then it broke. He shifted his gaze and body. He was no longer in contact with me. His thigh that had been touching mine, his fingers on my arm, they were gone and it felt like a void.
Sarah took over, again. With her voice, my attention shifted to her and Mr. Baldwin stood to move behind Sarah. His presence behind her reinforced everything she said. It was as if some of his authority and power (or something) was transferred to her. This was Wednesday and she asked if I could be back at 10:00 Friday morning to begin the process. I eagerly said I would be here. She said she was hopeful about what they could provide but that initial session would uncover the next steps.
* * * *
“How do you think it went?” Sarah Thomas had returned from escorting me out of the building and returned to her boss’s office doorway. She entered and took a visitor’s chair in front of his desk. “Is this going to work? Maybe more to the point, should I feel bad about setting this in motion?”
“Your own words: success comes from taking opportunities provided.” He looked at her. That wasn’t an answer. It might only be an excuse for another action in a long line of aggressive actions taken to achieve success and wealth. She recognized the look and formed a better response. Though a much-glorified secretary, her long association with him had allowed her a relative amount of wealth and security. “The protocol we’re using isn’t a hypnosis process to make her quack like a duck. This isn’t planting a seed in her mind. It’s more that we’re bringing her dormant, unrealized self to her consciousness and removing some of the barriers and inhibitions that family and society have put in place to block what is already who she is but keeps her from accepting it.” She met his eyes and saw the man he was: dominant, controlling, confident. She also saw what she was very aware of: he was eagerly on board with what was planned for Karen Samson but it fell to Sarah to implement it. Sarah Thomas was not Karen Samson. Sarah was strong in her own way, just never educated enough to go much further in the business world. Attaching herself to James Baldwin was a gamble but it proved effective. Along the way, she too found herself in what could have been sexual harassment situations with him but enduring them had solidified her position with him. Being married, she eventually had to confess to her husband what had happened. Initially hurt, they got past it. Being a mid-level manager at a separate, less successful company, the money and benefits Sarah brought to the marriage seemed to make up for it. She sometimes wondered if the weight she gained, now a bit overweight was an unconscious effort at dissuading any advances. All that was behind her and had been for a while.
“As far as the question of will this work… I am sure you felt her response to you because I could certainly see it.”
He nodded. Her response had been significant. He half felt he could have pushed the issue right there but then there would be guilt and remorse for her later. This would be better. “So, you’ll begin the protocol on Friday?”
Sarah smiled. After working so closely with him for these years, she could read him. He was fighting the impulse to jump ahead. He understood the need to follow the process even if he was tempted to demand faster results. They had a process prepared, what was called ‘the protocol’ by the consultant they had hired after seeing Karen’s survey results.
“Yes. Friday will be the beginning. Then, I am sure she will be agreeable to continuing with sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the next two weeks.” She reviewed the process… again. Friday morning would be a similar survey but it would dig a little deeper, probe more detail. While she would be occupying her with lunch, the results would be compiled and salient responses programmed as subliminal reinforcing messages and suggestions hidden in ambient music that will be provided to Karen with special noise-canceling headphones. She’ll be innocently encouraged to use the headphones at home when not otherwise distracted to help her avoid periods that might turn lonely. Subsequent visits will continue the process. She may not understand why the surveys continue but she won’t object. The music will be replaced with new messages each time and each time she will be presented with a new example of the company’s concern for her: a lawn service to take mowing and treatments from her concern; a gym membership and introductory personal training sessions; moving to an allowance for basics to alleviate money concerns. These awards will also mask the feeling of euphoria and eagerness to please. Because they are already elements of her being that have been buried and dormant, unrealized by her equally compliant husband, she’ll likely only feel a sense of actualization and fulfillment.
Patience. All he needed was patience.
* * * *
I was tentative about returning to the Trinity building Friday morning. What was it they could do for me? I had spent a lot of time remembering that survey I had completed online. The survey they knew about. I had expressed loneliness in my answers. Answers I had given not after Gerald had left but before, well before. Not having Gerald around now might compound that feeling of loneliness but it wasn’t the real source. The real source was us. Gerald and me. The types of people we were and what that made us when combined. How do you feel loneliness when you are with someone? I had expressed frustration, too. Maybe more frustration than loneliness. In a way, I decided, the frustration was an outcome of the loneliness. I felt alone because I didn’t feel supported, encouraged, challenged, or desired. Could I really blame it all on Gerald? I probably shouldn’t. As it turned out, he wasn’t much different than me in personality but he got his direction, support, and encouragement at work. It wasn’t within him to give it to me, though. It wasn’t within him to step outside of himself for at least moments to give me new experiences, to ASK me what I wanted.
So, how could Trinity Enterprises possibly give me something my husband couldn’t?
I had committed to Sarah, though. And to Mr. Baldwin. Yes, Mr. Baldwin. What a powerful, strong man. I wondered if I would see him, again.
I passed through the main entrance doors and… froze in place, the revolving door almost hitting me as it continued to turn. There standing by the reception desk was Sarah Thomas. She had a Visitor security badge ready for me and a big, welcoming smile on her face. In thinking about that survey, my issues were far more than being without Gerald but maybe, just maybe, their concern, their caring, might indeed make some difference.
Sarah settled me in the extra office of the Executive Suite. I noticed Mr. Baldwin’s office door was closed. A man like him must have important meetings and phone calls constantly. She set me up at a laptop computer at the desk. She turned the light low and provided a pitcher of ice water and a glass. A real glass-glass. It might have been crystal for all I knew. It was 10:15.
About 10 minutes into the questions, I saw the question I had been thinking about myself.
‘Do you think you have a tendency to want someone to make decisions for you?’
Yes, I answered.
Then, ‘Would you be embarrassed to admit to others or yourself that you desire someone to make decisions for you?’
My finger hung over the key that would mark ‘yes’. Unless I am honest in my answers, I thought to myself, all of this could be a waste of time. I pressed the key… Yes.
‘Do you feel you lack the confidence to make decisions for yourself and others?’
‘Have you wished you had someone strong and supportive to help you with choices and options?’
Yes. God knows Gerald couldn’t.
‘Have you wished you had a strong man to direct and guide you?’
Yes. Is it getting hot in here or…?
It went on like that. Once it started with my insecurity, my lack of confidence, my need for strength and direction in my life, it continued. Slowly, it showed me the logic, the reality of my condition in life, how I have always lived and I began seeing where my strong feelings of loneliness came from and the frustration I came to know but never understood. Never understood until now.
A knock on the door and Sarah cracked the door open and peeked in. I smiled up at her. She held a box in her hand. She called them noise-canceling headphones. She said they were programmed with soothing ambient music. Very restful. Calming. She wanted me to spend 10 minutes in quiet so the survey didn’t become too stressful. Stressful answers, she said, would be counterproductive.
As I left, Sarah said she would be in touch. I wasn’t expecting it to be the next day on Saturday. She called Saturday afternoon apologizing if she was intruding. Heaven, no, I told her honestly. She explained that her husband was playing golf and she was reviewing the file. I have a file apparently. She had often mentioned how seriously Mr. Baldwin considered helping me. I found myself smiling while talking to her. She said she was excited about the survey results and was wondering if I was using the headphones. I assured her I was and that I did, indeed, find it very soothing and relaxing. I told her I felt the relaxation deep down and that was odd but nice. She asked me to come in Monday at the same time and to not forget the headphones. I didn’t even have to think about it. I assured her I would be there. I thanked her profusely.
Then, she said something that clutched my heart, emotions rising within me. “Thank you, Karen, because I enjoy being with you, too. But this is Mr. Baldwin who is driving this.”
Mr. Baldwin. Of course. Such a strong and decisive man, in control and committed. I feel so fortunate to have a man like that on my side. The memory of how Gerald’s inability to give me that flashed through me but was quickly overridden by the image of Mr. Baldwin sitting next to me on the sofa, his fingers lightly touching my arm, his voice calm but also firm and commanding, his attention fully on me, caring and confident. After the phone call, I put the headphones back on.
Monday was similar. The same small office, the same laptop, the same process of questions (always answering with YES), and the same breaks with the headphones with some new music. This was repeated Wednesday and Friday. The same happened the following week. Each day I was happy to go in to meet with Sarah but each day I went in I hoped to see Mr. Baldwin, again. I was disappointed to hear that he was to be out of town on business on the second week. But, each day I went in turned from being ‘happy’ to go into ‘excited’. Each session motivated me and clarified who I was and what I needed to be happy and content, to feel fulfilled and whole. Each session provided me with new music for the headphones that seemed to ease my feeling deeper and deeper into my psyche and self-awareness. The survey questions evolved over the sessions. They delved deeper and deeper into my psyche, my latent needs, and my desire to be led and to please.
‘Have you always desired a strong man who could provide for you, lead you, guide you, and make decisions for you?’
‘Have you lacked the confidence to accept the attention of such men?’
‘If you were with such a man who would take care of your needs, guide you in new things, help you experience new things, would you want to please him and do everything you can to show your appreciation?’
YES. Oh, God, yes.
The question eventually led to the decisive impression. The impression that triggered everything for me.
‘A person who lacks the confidence to make decisions and wants someone strong to guide them, lead them, decide actions for them in their life is called submissive. Do you think you are a submissive who has always yearned for a strong man to guide you?’
I sat back and stared at the question. I have been so conflicted over my feelings, so embarrassed by the wish that a decision would be made, by someone, anyone, throughout my life. This was why. Why hadn’t I seen this before? Because I have been in a relationship where there were two of us. The source of my loneliness. The source of my frustration. My finger hit the key so hard, I flinched. YES!
The questions continued to progress, evolve, seeming to lead me deeper in self-awareness. A new awareness that might have been shocking if it didn’t seem so obvious in reflection. New days in the small office in front of the laptop intermixed with time with the headphones that turned into major periods with them at home (it was so calming, so affirming strangely) led me deeper into me.
‘Since you are submissive by nature, do you find yourself attracted to the idea of a strong man to lead you?’
‘Since you are submissive by nature and yearn for a strong man to lead and control you, do you desire to obey him in whatever way he wants?’
YES. Oh, God, yes, please.
‘A submissive finds serving a strong man to be a very pleasurable experience. Do you desire the pleasurable experience of serving and pleasing such a man?’
On and on. Each session. Each new time with the headphones. I eagerly awaited each new session in the small office, each new time in the Executive Suite hoping for a glimpse of Mr. Baldwin who I knew to be such a strong and controlling man, and each new time with the headphones that seemed to bring its own comforting thrill.
‘Since you desire to serve and please such a man, pleasing him would involve dressing accordingly. Such men would be pleased by dressing sexy, wearing tight, revealing clothes, high heels, and stockings, don’t you think?’
YES. I pressed my thighs together.
‘Wearing sexy, revealing clothes is exciting for you because the man is pleased and you want to please the man, don’t you?’
‘In fact, when such a man looks at you with arousal and compliments you, even crudely, it arouses you. The more attention you can entice the more aroused you would become, wouldn’t you?’
YES. I am sure I would.