Jan 26 2018, anon via PM, posted with permission of author.
This is going to be kind of long because I don’t know how to stop writing once I get started. This was so hard for me to write. Trigger warning for detailed accounts of physical and verbal abuse, suicide mention, child sexual abuse mention, rape mention.
I don’t even know where to begin. I was Jeff Mach’s girlfriend, and slave, for about seven months. I have severe depression and early-onset (possibly trauma-induced) memory problems, so a good amount of my life is a blur, but I’ve tried very hard to remember what I can. Some things can’t be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.
Jeff and I met in 2011 at a party, one of the fun kinky parties I’d been going to regularly around that time. I was 22 and starting to discover my sexually submissive side, making lots of new kinky friends and hoping to find That Special Someone who would teach me about kink and take care of me like a “good dom" does. I met two men that night, Jeff and Jim (name has been changed). Jeff, who was in his mid-30s at the time, saw me in my pink PVC schoolgirl skirt and knee socks and decided to open with a groan-inducing joke, as was often his move with the ladies:
Descartes walks into a bar.
Bartender says “Scotch on the rocks?”
Descartes says “I think not” and vanishes.
I wasn’t sure at the time that it was Descartes who had said “I think therefore I am,” and so I wasn’t sure if that’s what it was referring to, and I’m generally quite afraid of being wrong so I just said I didn’t get it. He must have been charmed, whether by my perceived ignorance or my pigtails I’m not sure, because he contacted me after the party to ask if I wanted to come to his house for a playdate.
I was living in Brooklyn with roommates then, having recently moved out of my parents’ house for the first time. I knew he was a Big Important Guy in the scene and was flattered by his attention, so despite my lack of attraction to him I took the subway to the Port Authority and boarded a bus to New Jersey. I was always down to get beaten up by someone, regardless of how attractive they were, and I felt special that he had noticed me. Our first scene was tame enough, we negotiated a good amount before and then he hit me for a while with some kind of implement, I don’t remember what it was. He told me he didn’t use safewords because he listened and understood when to stop, which seemed fine to me at the time: he was more experienced than I was and knew a lot better. The scene was fun and he was respectful, and at the end when I was coming down, we hugged. He told me that he had Asperger’s, that social interaction didn’t come naturally to him and that hugs and handshakes and the like were learned behavior, which little did I know would end up setting the tone for our whole relationship.
He was in two primary relationships at the time, one of which he told me was in jeopardy. He made it clear he was not in a position to add another partner to his rotation. Despite this, he continued to invite me for playdates and foster intimacy between us. He presented himself as an expert in BDSM, an experienced teacher who longed to mold submissive minds and send them out into the kink world for bigger and better things. I was working my first adult job, living away from my parents, and just realizing how difficult and stressful adult life is under the horrors of late-stage capitalism. The depression I’d battled since I was eight was creeping back up, increasing my stress and anxiety. The idea of a relationship where the other person is completely in charge, takes care of me, and tells me what to do was incredibly appealing to me. I fell hard and fast for the man who offered me those things. The idea of settling down with someone who could support me, allow me to quit my job and live with them full-time and worry about nothing other than making them happy was incredibly appealing to me. He led me to believe we could get to that point, despite his strained relationship with Leo (name has been changed).
As we were getting closer and closer, Leo became a bigger and bigger problem. Jeff insisted that he couldn’t wear condoms because he couldn’t feel anything with one on (I don’t know if this is true), so he was “penetration bonded” with Leo and his husband and he was unable to have intercourse with anyone else. This was different than being fluid-bonded apparently because I was still able to eventually give him oral sex, after a few months of discussion with Leo who I was told was very concerned about everything we did together. The fact that Leo was so worried about our relationship, so threatened by me, made me suspicious of him. It never occurred to me to be suspicious of Jeff, never made me wonder how he had treated Leo to push him to worry like that about us. I figured any misunderstanding was likely to do with Jeff’s inability to read social situations. I didn’t feel great about Leo at the time and blamed him for “keeping us apart,” something I regret deeply. All of our in-person interactions were pleasant and he seemed like a great guy, and I was confused by what seemed like two wildly different versions of the same person: the one I knew and the one Jeff told me about. Again, I questioned Leo and not Jeff.
Though we couldn’t have “real sex,” as I thought of it at the time, we still managed to get very close, falling in love pretty quickly. I had never fallen for anyone the way I fell for him, and it was intoxicating. Despite my initial lack of attraction to him, there was something about him I couldn’t put my finger on, something that drew me to him. I let him beat me for as long as he wanted, I let him talk down to me and tell me how small I was, I let him prioritize his other relationships over ours. I washed his dishes, I cleaned his refrigerator, I sat curled under his desk kissing his feet for an hour at a time while he answered emails. I let him show me off to his friends, let him insinuate that he would lend me out to them, let them touch me if he asked me to. I worked for hours volunteering for his events without compensation, as “service” to him. I would have done anything for him, and he knew it. He joked about how we didn’t have a safeword, which I thought was hardcore and fun at the time. Again, I assumed he knew better and would know when to stop. He might not understand social interaction but he was really smart and had taught himself a lot.
One day he asked me what I thought of “consensual non-consent,” wherein the bottom gives up their safeword and right to protest in a scene and lets the top do whatever they want. I was wary but didn’t want to disappoint him, so I agreed to try it. He beat me with a piece of metal pipe for longer than I’d ever been beaten, I cried and fought and begged him to stop but he just kept going. Eventually I stopped fighting, gave up and let him pulverize me until his arm got tired. Afterwards I felt numb and he held me, told me how well I’d done and how proud he was of me. He said he’d never hit anyone so hard in his life and I started to feel better. I was proud of myself, even took a picture of the marks to share with my friends, who were all very impressed (they were unaware of exactly how I’d gotten them). I kept telling myself it was okay, that he had known I could handle more than I thought I could and he kept going because he believed in me. I feel sick thinking about it now.
He pushed one of my hard limits once, something I objected to on many different grounds including personal safety. I told him it was a hard limit and he still pressured me to try it. I couldn’t do it, but I got close and he told me he was proud of me for trying. I remember being thankful he didn’t force me, like he was being so sweet by not grabbing me and making me do it. Another time he asked me about a different activity and I told him it was a soft limit, and he said “We’re doing it right now,” and we did it not a minute after he brought it up. He told me I was really growing as a submissive (I remember him saying “If you don’t push limits, how do you measure growth?”), and I was proud of myself for venturing outside of my comfort zone so many times.
During all of this we drove around together, I went to his events, we met each other’s families. We drove by a restaurant one time and he said “Yeah, I’m not allowed in there anymore.” We would see someone at an event and he would tell me “She might be awkward around me, we had a misunderstanding once.” He would tell me about various former business partners/employees and how they had screwed him over, left over misunderstandings, or simply “had a falling out” with him. “He sure does get into some wacky situations!” I would think. “How awful and ableist of these people to not understand how Asperger’s works!” I told myself. “Nobody gets him like I do!” He would make an inappropriate comment to someone and I would think the same things. He made himself out to be this bumbling and awkward guy around attractive people (mostly women), and I excused a lot of his behavior that way. We once heard some guy who was also bearded and portly talk about how looking like Santa Claus is how he disarms the ladies, and he said something like “Hey, that’s my move!” I thought it was funny at the time. I’m only now learning just how far he took that tactic, how many people he made uncomfortable at best.
This is something I’m incredibly embarrassed about and not necessarily something I support now, but I feel I need to mention it because of the allegations of misconduct with underage girls. One of the things I was interested in at the time was ageplay, wherein one regresses to a younger state during sex and/or play. It was appealing to me for the reasons I’ve listed above, namely the stresses of growing up. Part of why I mostly don’t support it now is that it is incredibly rare that it’s done in a healthy way, and that the people involved are doing it for the right reasons. Without going into detail, the way Jeff approached it was not healthy and hearing this new information about underage girls leads me to believe that he was not doing it for the right reasons. He made it seem like I introduced him to it while also claiming to have experience with it, much like the way he presented himself as both an incompetent bumbler and a suave genius. I regret doing a lot of the things that we did not only because of their effect on me, but the things I’m learning about him now.
Throughout the time we were dating, I was also dating Jim, the guy I’d met at the same party from the beginning of this story. I regret not giving him the attention he deserved during that time, obsessed as I was with Jeff. Jim was also interested in kink and wanted us to be in a D/s relationship, something I wasn’t as interested in doing with him but I thought I might as well try. He ended up going to Jeff for advice, and Jeff once again presented himself as a teacher, taking Jim under his wing. I don’t remember what they talked about, except that Jim felt kind of skeeved out by the whole ordeal. He told me at the time that it just didn’t work out, and I didn’t question it. I’ve since learned that Jeff has done this before, dated a girl and tried to mentor her other boyfriend to be a “better dom.” He told me about his own mentor and how he was kind of a creep but “still had some valuable insights.” When he introduced me to this man I felt a little wiggly, and later Jeff told me that he had taken Jeff aside after meeting me and told him “Good eye.” I was flattered by that in the moment, brushing off that increasing wiggly feeling. I never got much male attention growing up and the fact that men were interested in me finally was nice. It was really how I became interested in Jeff in the first place.
As our relationship went on, I became more and more triggered by mentions of sex, due to the way he handled the sexual part of our relationship. I had been raped before, and used for sex, and was uncomfortable with it when we started seeing each other. As I started to fall for him, I became more interested in having sex with him, I’m sure partly because it was something we weren’t allowed to do. He made it seem like it was a huge step, something spiritual and important, a way for two people who were truly in love to show each other how they felt. Because of his condom problem and penetration bond with his other partners, I was never allowed to know him in that way, and it hurt so badly. I thought that having sex with someone I truly loved, who I thought truly loved me, would help me get over my issues with sex. A few times I told him something along those lines, then he’d get upset because he “couldn’t give [me] what [I] wanted,” and I’d end up comforting him. I started to get more upset about it, and I told him sex was triggering for me. That was when he started bringing it up: he’d make more jokes about sex with other people in front of me, he’d tell me about his previous sexual encounters, he’d bug me about mine. I reminded him that sex talk was upsetting for me, and he pretended to listen. Once we were making out and he said to me “I want to fuck you so badly I could die.” He didn’t understand why I broke down crying. I thought that sex was this big huge thing I couldn’t do for him, that he was never going to be truly satisfied with me.
The stress of our relationship, plus the stress of my increasingly horrendous job, eventually landed me in the psych ward. I was suicidal, consumed by anxiety and depression. Before visiting me there, he said he wanted to bring me some books and asked me what kind of books to bring. “I guess an assortment, anything funny is good.” He told me he had a big book with a bunch of BDSM stories in it and asked jokingly if he should bring that. “Oh yeah, definitely bring that!” I joked back. We spoke in sarcasm a lot of the time, and I knew he understood me. I didn’t want the people at the hospital to know about that part of my life, it was generally something I kept private and I didn’t want to open that whole can of worms with people who were treating my mental health. He came to visit and brought me a big stack of books, among which was a huge black one with handcuffs on the cover. “Well, you told me to bring it!” he said. He didn’t understand why I was upset. I had to deal with some weird looks when people saw it, but thankfully nobody pressed the issue. Many of the books he gave me had lots of sex in them, and they were some of his favorites so I know he knew what was in them. One of the little things that added up.
Once we were at his place and ordered some food. I had ordered a chicken parmesan hero, one of my old favorites. When I bit into it I was confused by the texture, and realized after a few bites that they had given me shrimp parm by mistake, something I hadn’t even known existed. I was kind of grossed out and made that known, and we had a bit of a laugh about it. I don’t remember whether I ate it or not. Next time we ordered food, I asked him to order me a chicken parm hero again. When I bit into it I realized that it was shrimp this time too. “Oh my god they did it again!” I said. “Haha no that was me, I ordered it!” he said. He thought it was hilarious. I know this isn’t the biggest deal but there were a lot of little things like that, things that made me feel weird around him.
Another time, we were in a restaurant after an event with a pretty big group of people. I don’t remember why, but I was in a bad mood and he could tell. He told me he had an idea to cheer me up; that I should go to the bathroom and bring him back my underwear. I told him this would not make me feel better, that I wasn’t feeling very clean and wouldn’t feel comfortable walking around without any underwear. “Come on, it’ll be fun!” he said. “I really don’t want to, I’m not in the mood” I said back. He insisted, and because I didn’t want to disappoint him or make a scene, I complied. He took my underwear, lifted it over his head, and proceeded to kind of auction them off. I was mortified, and at least a few of the people at the table could see it. He ended up giving them to a girl who took pity on me and sneaked them back to me under the table. I thanked her quietly, hoping he wouldn’t overhear. It didn’t cheer me up.
We had, as you can likely imagine, a tumultuous breakup. I was finally starting to discover that he was abusive, and I called him out on it. He made himself out to be this sad, put-upon man who had no idea what he was doing. He turned my words back on me and made me sound unreasonable. I told him about how he wouldn’t stop bringing up triggering things, and he wrote back that I never made it clear to him what was triggering and what wasn’t (that part was over email). I yelled a lot about how he never really loved me, how Leo was destroying our relationship (again, Leo, I’m so sorry), how I was going to be traumatized from this. Up until just a few days ago I’ve worried he was never abusive, that I was making it up, that I was too hard on him during the breakup. It’s taken me a lot of time and therapy to believe that my feelings were correct and valid.
Over the years, I’ve checked his social media a few times because I hate myself. I saw that he was dating another girl, I wanted to reach out to her but I was too scared. I was still unsure I had anything to warn her about, unsure that she would listen even if I did: I know I wouldn’t have listened to someone else when I was dating him. A few other people over the years told me about messed up things he’d done, I was upset but not surprised. I still believed I was overreacting and that he couldn’t have possibly been as bad as I feared. A friend took a picture of me last Halloween, making a weird face. I looked at the photo and was briefly struck by panic, seeing on my face an expression I’d seen on his many times. I’ve been hesitant to sleep with people, often dissociating during the act. Mentions of steampunk or shrimp or Santa Claus make me sick to my stomach, as innocent as those things seem.
I’ve never said anything publicly because I was worried it might reflect poorly on me, I didn’t want to tarnish his name because of things I weren’t sure were as severe as I remembered them, I didn’t want to be harassed, I didn’t want to hurt anyone else. But everything I’ve been seeing over the past few days has horrified and sickened me, and I can’t be silent anymore. It’s been hard to read about all of the people he’s hurt, but I’m glad people are speaking out. I’m glad people are finally seeing him for what he is, and I’m glad to have reconnected with some people I hadn’t talked to in a long time. I know people have tried to expose him before and it hasn’t worked, but I feel like this time might be the one. I’m hopeful for the first time in a long time.