"I must be crazy," Elise thought fleetingly as she jabbed the needle into her left breast, two inches below the nipple.
It hurt, but not as badly as the needle already buried in her right breast. That one was still stinging, sending a thrill through her that left her gasping. She had hoped that the one in her left breast would balance the pain. Pulling her breast up by the nipple, she withdrew the needle, blessed it in the smoke of the incense, and then stabbed again. This time, she hit the nerve she hoped for, and her body tensed as the pain whipped through her. Her body sagged and her eyes closed tightly, forcing out a tear that trickled down her cheek. The pain passed, and she opened her eyes and beheld her reflection in the full-length mirror in her bedroom.
She was kneeling on a sheepskin rug on the floor front of the mirror. The incense burner was between her and the mirror, sending its plume of sweet smoke upward. She was totally naked. She saw the needles protruding from her breasts, and also the pair that she had stuck through the outer lips of her bare vulva. Four needles in all. Eleven to go.
Those eleven identical needles were resting on a length of sterile gauze, lined up in a neat row next to her, just removed from their sterile packaging. Each one was two inches long and very thick, with a green plastic base. She had unsheathed them after she had disinfected the skin they would pierce with alcohol wipes. She always liked that part, feeling the cooling alcohol on her vulva and her breasts.
The image in the mirror was a woman of thirty, her hair long and blonde, her lips full and inviting, her figure trim and thin to the point where her breasts, although of normal size, seemed a shade too large for her frame. They had begun to sag a little; about a year ago, she failed the pencil test, but felt no regret about that. The nipples and areolas were a dark pink. Her cunt was bald and wet. If a man had seen her as she knelt there, he would have been aroused at the sight of her nude body. His penis would have swelled and hardened. He would have dreamed of slipping that penis into the cleft of her cunt as he played with those soft breasts, of pumping his semen into her womb. Such thoughts did not arouse her, though. Nothing aroused her but the needles.
She had tried to climax with men. And with women, too. The feeling of a penis or a finger gliding into her was pleasurable, but not arousing. Nothing helped. Nothing stirred her to orgasm but pain.
Over the years, she had perfected the ritual that would bring her to what she hoped would be a shattering climax. Tonight, she would perform it without deviation. First, she would strip naked and shower, shaving off her pubic hair to expose the soft folds of her labia. Then she would place the sheepskin in front of the mirror, and line up the fifteen needles in their packages next to it on the left, and the box of alcohol wipes on the right. She would turn the lights down low, light a dozen large candles, and place them in a circle around her. Next she'd light a large cone of incense to perfume the air and sanctify the instruments of her torture. Then a glass of wine and a few tokes off a joint.
When the effects of the wine and the pot seeped over her, she would dangle her breasts over the burning incense to perfume them, letting them swing in the smoke. Then she would put the incense burner on the floor in front of the mirror and squat over it, parting the lips so that her pussy would be similarly perfumed. In this way, she would consecrate the female parts of her body to the ritual she performed.
She was not a believer in any gods but the gods of her private pain, but her strict Catholic upbringing, with its memories of priests swinging the censers as they proceeded down the aisles of the church, suggested that these new gods of hers might appreciate the gesture as well. Her childhood church had been filled with images of tortured people -- Jesus being flogged by Pilate's soldiers, Saint Sebastian with blood streaming from a hundred arrow wounds, and the large cross over the altar, showing a life-size Jesus with blood flowing from his hands and feet and side in loving detail. The nuns had taught her that in the Middle Ages, pious people whipped themselves to ecstasy in the firm belief that God approved of pain, particularly when it was self-administered. At the time, she thought that was strange. Not now.
In college, she took a course in medieval art and came across a picture of a woman being martyred. The woman's face was transfigured into a mask of ecstatic agony as her breasts, seized by red-hot tongs and stretched out from her chest, were being sliced away by a swordsman. It was when she saw that image that she recalled the lessons of her childhood and felt the stirrings of wetness between her legs and a tightening of her brassiere, as if her own breasts were swelling in response to the prospect of pain. She closed the book quickly and thrust it away, but the image stayed with her, and for days she could think of nothing else. That was ten years ago. But it was that picture that would shortly guide her down the path of pain. Now nothing remained of that Catholic schoolgirl but the incense, the love of ritual, and the sanctifying pain.
She re-experienced that sensation of sexual frisson as she started the ritual that evening. She knelt on the sheepskin rug and lifted a breast to her nose, inhaling the pungent scent of the incense on her turgid nipple. Her pussy was already wet with anticipation. She squeezed her clitoral hood, feeling the bud underneath it begin to engorge. "Be ready, my darling pearl," she prayed to it. "If I'm strong enough tonight, you will have your moment."
Then she opened the box of wipes and cleaned her left breast slowly and carefully, taking special care with the nipple. She repeated the process with her right breast. The evaporating alcohol cooled her teats, stiffening them. She smiled and pinched them. Then she disinfected her vulva with the same care, taking extra time with her clitoris, which responded to the coolness of the alcohol the way her nipples did. She pushed it back and forth, feeling it swell and harden. She pinched it hard, and felt a twinge of pain, and smiled. My darling pearl is very sensitive tonight, she thought. Tonight will be a good night.
Then she unwrapped the needles, one by one, and laid them on the sterile gauze she had unrolled for the purpose. And then she was ready.
She picked up the first needle with her left hand and passed it through the smoke of the incense, consecrating it. With her right hand, she pulled on one of her outer cunt lips until it stretched about an inch. And then she stabbed.
As the needle pierced her labia, her eyes widened and she gasped. Her world shrank, focused on the pain in her cunt lip, forcing thoughts away of everything else. It was always like this. The pain itself was not very great, but she knew that it heralded excruciating pains yet to come, a promise of agonies yet to be savored. She shivered at the thought. As the needle pierced the delicate skin and protruded through the outside layer, it brought with it a drop of blood. That was good, she thought. The gods would approve. They liked blood.
She took another needle and pierced her other cunt lip the same way. This one's pain was different. Not as sharp and quick-lived, but duller and lasting longer. It throbbed with her heartbeat. She was reminded once again of the many ways that pain could manifest itself. That was always part of the ritual's charm, that it could be counted on to surprise her. Would tonight bring her the ultimate pain she was seeking, the pain that would overwhelm her and transport her to bliss? It had often done that before, but it was never a sure thing.
She knelt there for a moment, regarding her image in the mirror with satisfaction. The two needles were perfectly symmetrical, their points glinting in the candlelight. The only difference was the single drop of blood at the point of the first needle's exit.
"Now for my tits," she said in a low voice. She grasped her right nipple and lifted her breast with it, pulling the underside of it into view. This is going to hurt, she thought. It always did. She bit her lip, picked up a needle, consecrated it with the incense, and used its two-inch length to carefully mark off that distance from the base of the nipple to the spot below it, a spot that she knew was extraordinarily sensitive to pain. She situated the point of the needle at that spot. She took a deep breath, and then plunged the needle into her breast until its full length was buried in her flesh.
The pain was electrifying. It shot through her breast from its base right up to her nipple. She cried out loud and let go of the nipple; the breast flopped down and bounced slightly, with each wave setting off a new twinge of pain. A droplet of red welled up at the base of the needle as her blood filled the hollow needle. It dropped off the needle and splashed onto her leg. Another followed it, and then the flow stopped.
She paused then, breathing heavily, regaining her composure. She'd been startled by the intensity of the pain this time. Were her breasts more sensitive than usual? Perhaps it was because of her period, which would start in the next day or two. If she continued with the ritual, would the pain be too great to endure? The thought of calling it off flickered through her mind. "I must be crazy," she thought. "Surely this couldn't be good for me."
But somehow her left hand reached for another needle as if it had a will of its own. She picked up the needle and passed it through the smoke. Her right fingers grasped her left nipple and pulled it upward. Then the needle went slowly into the breast. The pain wasn't as great this time; somehow, she had missed most of the nerves. That won't do, she said. So she withdrew the needle, consecrated it again, and re-inserted it a millimeter away from its first spot. That did the trick. The pain seemed to practically bounce off her ribs, back into the nipple, again and again. Again, a drop of blood flowed into the needle and dripped onto her leg.
Four needles in all. Eleven to go.
The next six needles went into her breasts as well, so that each nipple had four needles spaced equally apart around it, each needle buried to its base and oozing blood. She took her time, holding each one in the smoke for the proper amount of time and savoring the pain of each one as it pierced her breast. She knew from experience that the pain wouldn't be as great, since only the area below the nipple seemed to be more sensitive than the rest of her tit's soft flesh. Maybe she would coat the needles with salt next time, to increase the sting. But would that make them less sterile? She didn't know. She'd have to research that.
And then it was time for the nipples themselves. They were stiff and waiting. She lifted her left breast and positioned the consecrated needle right at the tip of her nipple. She didn't look at the needle directly. Instead, she made eye contact with her image in the mirror. She loved to see how her face contorted as the pain of her pierced nipple coursed through her body. She stabbed her nipple with the needle and pushed its entire length slowly into her breast, down to the green plastic base. Down it plunged, through the sensitive milk ducts, almost to the rib.