The Arc of a Love Affair

Here’s how it goes. You meet this man, right. He’s fucking beautiful. Like: chiseled jaw, groomed stubble, lats and pecs and biceps and shoulders and cock and TATTOOS. Sleeves.

And you kiss. Open mouth, confident tongue and his hands, twisted in your hair at the back of your head, pulling in and back, just enough to know that he’s naturally in charge. You melt, and finish in his car, sweaty, with his dog tags slapping your chin as he fucks you with all the sexy propriety of a man who plans to own you one day. Cumming, thighs and ankles wrapped hard around him as he thrusts himself up against your cervix, you reflect for seconds that you have never felt so consumed by one person in such a short period of time. (5 hours, to be exact).

That consummation continued for 10 days. In those days the two of you:
spent a day as loved up tourists at niagara falls
ate a lot of fudge
fucked in the bathroom of a dessert house at 2pm in the afternoon
watched The Hobbit
had Denny’s breakfast twice
fucked in an empty ballroom
met significant others (sister and best friend)
watched Silver Linings Playbook
gave an outstanding example of perfect road head
admired
laughed
talked
and

fell
(hard).

12 and a half months later, I have never anticipated seeing someone as much as I did with him. After a year of emotion, excitement, lust and promise I descended into that freezing, concrete city, applied makeup and perfume with shaking hands in the airport bathrooms after a 22 hour flight and then, wiggling into white lacy thong, I strode out to collect my baggage.

I saw him before he saw me. He was much bigger, broader, muscular than I remembered, wearing a green hoody. He’d snuck through the doors, to MY side of the arrivals. This was unexpected, I thought I still had the wait for my baggage to collect myself and so I saw him, and then pretended that I hadn’t. Out of the corner of my eye I watched him spot me as I glided down the escalator, and aware of his movement, I shuffled myself through the crowd in the opposite direction from him, eyes glued to the baggage carousel. I was aware of him coming closer to me and I felt terrified, heart beating and almost for a moment I wished I was somewhere else. And then he gently pinched my ass, and I turned with surprise in my face, and kissed him, long and deep, and pressed my chest against his and the world disappeared.

I never told him this, that I saw him first and my fear of him approaching me. It wasn’t HIM that I was afraid of…it was the fear of leaping off, of anticipating something and someone so deeply and then when it’s about to happen you panic, afraid that the anticipation was all in vain, that the anticipation is sweeter than reality, that the anticipation is actually the best part. And then you leap, and kiss, and the story you’ve been weaving together is now coming to life and this is sad for a moment, you’ve lost something and you can’t go back from that.

We were so very guarded around each other. I feel that we had the same unspoken agenda: protect ourselves, play it cool. In retrospect, I wanted to protect this….idea, image, dream I had of what he’d be like, what we’d be like together. I almost wanted to keep my eyes half closed and hang on to this vision we’d been weaving..I didn’t feel ready for this vision to suddenly have to be held up to reality.

But then, of course, amongst all this uncertainty was the pure wonder of touching each other, really seeing each other, looking into each other’s eyes and kissing, fucking, joining our bodies together. These opposing emotions created a strange blur over that first week. We didn’t talk much, slept in hotels in awkward angles to each other, overly aware of intruding on space that for the last year, had very much been our own personal bubble. Thinking about those first few hotel days, I feel the sadness, emptiness. It wasn’t like how I imagined. We weren’t like how we had been. This felt so tragic to me, but I was supposed to be happy and delighted and I couldn’t understand my emotions, so I numbed them.

He was distant with me, cold at times, almost as if he was trying to show me that I was superfluous, replaceable. That I wasn’t as important as I thought I was.

I think we tried, over the next 5 months. We had beautiful breakthroughs: lazy, wandering rainy mornings in Kensington market, easy conversation over pizza. Gasping, hungry sex, reaching for each other, consuming each other’s bodies and pleasure with greed and sweaty, grasping limbs. Midnight kisses at The Garrison, my hair covered with snow and icy breath. Purposeful grocery shopping, meals made with love, so many blow jobs, so many. And through all these love moments were tears, circular conversations, changes won and then forgotten, pained conversations and hurt glances that made me want to rip my own heart out. Why was it so hard? Why, when we spent the year planning us, did these plans never come to fruition? How could we not work? Were we best apart, in anticipation, dreaming of our perfect partner who could never exist? Why did we feel so wrong for each other?

I never found the answers to these. Some days I retreated into myself, pointed my finger entirely at him and relieved myself of responsibility. And then, embarrassed by my own righteousness, I’d completely flip the coin: he’s an angel and I’m the one who screwed up. The closer I’d get to trying to Figure It Out, the more wispy and elusive the answers and reasons would become, changing according to my mood, to how successful I felt like I was at creating a new life here, to how angry I was. The coin kept flipping until it didn’t matter anymore.

It’s been 2 months since we last had contact. After we broke up, the final time, I ached for him, on more than half the days I hid under my sheets and cried my pain and fear and anxiety into my pillows, living on cherries and almonds and littering my room with tissues. His trace was still there- a stray hair under my pillow, a thumbprint bruise of his on my inner thigh. My body missed him, and I’d wake from tortuous dreams…his cock grinding into my pelvis, long and hard, pushing into me until my body and mind were totally consumed by him.

But, I rode out this sadness and grief with a bravery that took me by surprise! I romanced myself with introspective solo tips: a pool bar, a beach dance party, a hiking trip, a theatre show. I used to do these things and wish he was with me. Now I do them and I feel a rush of pride and self-love: I am not broken, I am not a failure, I am beautiful and legendary. This emotional fallout is inevitable of any breakup, I’ve been through it before and although I know it well, I’m always shocked at how much love can hurt.

I observe the arc of our romance from this solitude. He is who he is. He is not the fantasy. He is his own, complex person and it doesn’t matter that he can’t be to me what I want him to be, I will always love him for exactly who he is, even when it means he can’t be my partner.

In a month I’m going as far west as I can. I’ll paddle my feet in the pacific ocean- my ocean- and view our relationship from there, as if I’m falling off the western edge of the canadian shield he is so rooted into. It’s ironic, I packed up my life to come here to be attached to this shield with him, I craved this security, I craved his solidity. But now I feel more transient than ever, sliding over the world on my imagined octopus legs. I’m water, he’s rock.

Do I regret it? Yes, in moments of rejection, low self esteem, anxiety and fear all I want to do is run back to Auckland. I feel angry at coming here for plans and dreams that shattered so quickly. But then I don’t, really. I did a crazy thing, I met a stranger, fell quickly in love and moved across the world for him. I took such a risk! And if I didn’t take this, then I would have wondered for the rest of my life, what part of me was left in Toronto, living in his heart.

(Respect to Paul Simon: Hearts and Bones “The arc of a love affair. His hands rolling down her hair.”)

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When anxiety, vulnerability and insecurity got the better of us

I know my sadness was hard for you.
I know that it made you hurt, and all you wanted to see was me smiling and laughing and perfectly, endlessly happy.

I wished I could open my mouth, and the right words would come out, expressing so very eloquently everything I was feeling.

I don’t know how to just talk, sometimes. And it physically hurts, I open my mouth and my mind just goes blank, and my throat gets a huge lump in it and my mouth gets dry and all I can do is give a little smile, and quietly say “yeah”, or something else equally neutral and inoffensive.

So I practice saying things to people in my head, over and over again, I have conversations and I imagine how I would say something and how they could respond, and then how I would respond and back and forth. And it’s funny, because when I have these conversations in real life, people never quite respond the way I imagine and then I can’t figure out how to do my part, and I end up feeling unsatisfied, because there’s still so many words still inside me that I didn’t share.

I got really good at doing this with you, over the year. I felt like we had two relationships. The real one, and then this one in my head, where we had endless conversations. I would talk so freely and expressively, and you would respond with respect and interest.

I’m got sick of imagined conversations.
Instead I craved the solid certainty of our bodies.
The blunt, hungry negotiation of sex.
The simple communication of touch.

Here’s some words inside me that I tried to say to you and couldn’t (in no particular order).

I love you so much I want to wrap my entire body around yours, and never let go. I want to be with you constantly, I’d love to know you so well I don’t have to wonder or have stupid conversations in my head, because I just know what’s going on for you and we can dispense with awkward, tangled words.

I wonder about you a lot. I want to form a better picture of You in Real Life. I’d like to know how you feel about everything in the world and in your life. I think you’re a very private person and I try hard to respect that. I don’t know if me asking lots of questions would annoy you, or if you trust me enough to tell me more about yourself. I always have wanted to know why people are the way they are, and you are no exception.

I can’t quite grasp how you feel about us, about me, and right now, when I’m searching for something concrete and certain in my life, this is challenging to me. And maybe you don’t know how you feel about us. I have lots of thoughts about us, and actually none of them are concrete or certain, beyond what I know right now, which is that I love you and I feel like I can’t get enough of you.

I dream about curling up on your chest, burying my face deep into you until you block out all the world, feeling your arms around me and your heartbeat and thinking of the ocean, the crashing waves, taste of salt, and hair whipping back from my face, heart open and toes digging down under cold wet sand. And knowing that you know me, that you know me so well I can forget having to explain myself, and I can just sink into your knowing and be loved and safe for a while.

In retrospect, I wonder if you had a similar dry lump in your throat? Or maybe your block was deeper? In the end, neither of us could have the conversations we needed to have. And that was that.

An early sexual experience. Age 14.

Reflecting on it later, she isn’t sure how it happened. She remembers talking to one of the boys, and feeling a lot more confident than normal. (Maybe it was the memory of her sun-warmed nipples under her tshirt). She sat next to him, on a log and they shared a beer. They sat in silence mostly, watching the flames, laughing at the poor jokes made by the others. She learnt that he had recently broken up with his girlfriend, he was two years older than her. She heard one of his friends say “rebound”.

Later, back at the hut, her sister and parents had gone to sleep in one of the bunkrooms, so she and Tess lay their sleeping bags out in the other room with the group of teenagers. Part of her longed to go into her parent’s room, snuggle into her sleeping bag, fold up her polarfleece as a pillow and read her book, before blowing out the candle and saying “I love you” to her family.

Later, on the platform of top bunks, all linked up. Tess and her are separated. She’s between ‘her’ guy and the wall. Tess is two different guys away. She doesn’t know what Tess is doing. She hears lots of whispers and laughs. She doesn’t know what to do.

The guy beside her leans in, and she assumes he must be going to kiss her, so she closes her eyes and parts her lips, like she’s seen. He pulls away, shakes his head slightly, but keeps coming at her. She lies still, as his hands explore her under her sleeping bag, over her tshirt and bra. She thinks about what she knows about this: women moan and arch their backs and squeeze their eyes shut. Men conduct, with grunts and say “baby” a lot. (When she was much younger, she thought it was lovely that so many men constantly sang and talked about their babies. “Such caring fathers!”)

She tries a moan. Just quietly, breathy, just enough for him to hear. He likes it, she can tell, because his hand is now travelling down, over the waistband of her shorts and over her thigh. She tries the moan again, and now his hand is between her legs, and then cupping right up there, right up there between her legs, cupping where no one else has ever touched before. Where she has only touched a few times herself,

secretly.

(The first time she did it, she didn’t know what had happened to her, she thought the orgasm that took her body by surprise was ‘having sex’.)

She decides to see how he reacts to a back arch, so she does, but without any sound it comes across like she’s uncomfortable and trying to move away.

(Is she?)

She tries the arch and the moan together, and this really excites him, and she knows this because his hands are now under her shirt, clammy and rough, sliding all over her belly and he can’t decide whether to go up or down. He tries up, and is stopped by her underwire, and this is too hard for him, so he’s going down, way down, underneath her shorts and underneath her panties, and his hands are scratchy and hard and his fingers are in a hurry.

(She’s not. In a hurry. For this. At all.)

Then, his fingers find her and push on her clit so hard she actually does gasp, not like in the movies, but a real gasp, one of shock and pain and bewilderment. And then his fingers keep going down and they push again and now one finger is inside her and it hurts and he’s pushing, his arm is pushing hard on her pelvis and he’s leaning over her, but looking at his hand under her shorts and breathing hard, eyes half closed, face frozen, eyebrows knitted.

(She doesn’t know what to do. So she…)

Arches her back. Movie-moans. Pretends. That she likes this, this violation.

He works his fingers in her for a long time. Any lubrication she had is long gone, and it’s feeling raw. She still continues with the charade, as long as he wants to, because she doesn’t want to make a

fuss.

Eventually, dawn is peeking through the matchbox windows. Like he’s been stung, he rips his fingers from her, she bites her lip to stop crying out, and he finally, finally looks at her. She makes one last grasp at intimacy, leaning forward for a kiss, and he turns his head aside, flops onto his sleeping bag, turns away.

She’s going to be sick. The nausea is quick and rising, and she can’t do it in the hut, she doesn’t want to wake everyone, so she’s climbing over the other sleepers, down the ladder, across the floor, out the door, across the lawn to the bush and then there she is, bent over.

Dry retching in the dawn light.

It’s misty. Mosquitos are still awake and start biting her, and all she can do is stare at her toes and feel a sharp ache, in between her legs, but also deeper than that, much deeper.

Pain.

My mission statement: a yearly check-in

Sunset at Pt Chevalier beach, Auckland, Queen's birthday weekend. Bliss.

Sunset at Pt Chevalier beach, Auckland, Queen’s birthday weekend. Bliss.

I am at my best when…

When I feel I am living true to myself, surrounded by family and friends who know and love me. When I love myself. When I feel proud, and motivated, happy, healthy, stimulated. When I feel general affection without an object. Relaxed, present. When I feel like I have agency- kicking ass and taking names.

I am at my worst when…

I am ignoring/editing/masking parts of myself. When I am too much in my mind, anxious, living in the past or future, obsessive. When I am mean to myself, hard on myself, angry at myself, sad. When I am bored. When I don’t feel like I have any agency to create positive change in my community, in society, even in my own life. When I feel unmotivated.

What do I really love to do at work?

Anything that is creative, fresh, new, stimulating, exciting, challenging. Helping others, working for non-profits. Supportive leadership roles, seeing people grow with my encouragement. ‘Leading from the middle (or behind)’, helping people help themselves. Something active, different, lateral. Designing my own work, my own career. Working in an inspiring team.

What do I really love to do in my personal life?

Be with people! Be social, make new friends, explore different parts of myself with others. Discover myself with my friends and family. Be physical, express with my body, sweat: dance, pole, aerials, yoga, bedroom work outs, hiking, swimming, cycling, kayaking. Playing! Discovering music that connects with me. Challenging myself to learn new skills. Building a richer spiritual life, meditating. Nourishing and respecting my body. Traveling, being out of my comfort zone, going to places where I am a stranger to everyone. Snuggling in bed. Reading a book. Having sex and exploring my sexuality.

My natural talents & gifts are…

Organiser. Smart facilitator. Educator. Self-reflective. Eloquent communicator. Mindful. Compassionate. Empathetic. Imaginative. Inquisitive. Positive. Determined. Focused. Effective negotiator. Calm in a crisis. Self-reliant. Independent.

External: creative writer, expressive performer, talented pianist, flexible and fit, tough and good stamina in physically challenging conditions, comfortable and friendly with wide variety of people and different situations.

 If I had unlimited time & resources & knew I could not fail, what would I choose to do?

I would set up and work at a sex-positive community centre. It would offer individual and couples therapy, sex education classes for teenagers and young people, workshops and seminars for all ages, safe play spaces, events and meetings, a library and resource centre. It would be free or very cheap for people to attend, and would cater to a wide variety of languages and cultures. It would be the space for anyone and everyone who is interested in discovering more about their sexuality.

My life’s journey is…

To love myself. To have an emotionally, physically, sexually and socially fulfilling life. To cultivate a rich personal spirituality. To support others to love their sexuality, and fully embrace it in their life. To help where I can, always. To serve those I love.

What would people say about you on your 80th birthday?

That I don’t let life past me by, that I truly live it, throwing myself at it with imagination and positivity. That I love my partner, family and friends passionately. That I am strong and fierce, caring and loving. That I am fun. Laughing stories about adventure, travel. That I create and support significant positive change in the lives of individuals and communities. That I will die, leaving the world a better place.

What do I consider to be my biggest future contribution to the most important people in my life?

To help them be the best people they can be. To support them to reach their full potential. To selflessly care for them. To make them feel important and very loved.

Are there things I feel I should change or alter, even though I’ve dismissed these thoughts many times? What are they?

Walking the talk. Being honest, having awkward conversations, not glossing over or hiding truth. Opening myself to people, showing vulnerability. Treating my partners with more integrity. Constantly checking my privilege. Being true to myself: not hiding parts of myself that I’m scared to show to people, not saying yes to things because I don’t feel I have the power to say no- create that power!

Imagine you could invite to dinner three people who have influenced you the most. Write their names & the one quality or attribute you admire most in these people.

Clarisse Thorn: she is a young, eloquent, inspiring S&M feminist. She creates her own career, field of study, life opportunities. She is a champion.

Gala Darling: she left everything to pursue her dream, and is rocking it. She lives self-love.

Dorothy Heathcote: she had a vision of alternative education and single-mindedly made it happen, and it was so holistic and healthy and honoured kids as human beings. She was determined.

What are your values? What is most important to you?

Living a life within the rules of karma. Serving others, treating them as good as, or better than you would like to be treated yourself. Reaping the rewards of good karma. Accepting the bad karma, and letting it go.

What are some goals you’d like to achieve this year?

Quit my job. Move to Toronto in September. Find volunteer and paid work in a job that aligns with my life journey: women’s shelter, rape crisis, sex ed, group facilitation, phone counselling. Apply for Masters programmes.

Deepen my relationship with K, and let it find its own parameters. Stay present with him, resist the temptation of future planning. Continue with celibacy until September- do it for self-love. Be brave to explore the cause of my triggers with my therapist.

Find a sense of peace with my sexual identity. Commit to regular focused meditation practice, train my mind to become calmer, quieter.

Perform a pole and/or aerial silks routine. Develop a plan for yoga teacher certification. Continue to find healthy ways to feed myself, to give my body the food it needs.

Meet everyone with the possibility of deep connection and friendship. Have sparkling conversations. Dance and hike as often as possible.

See my parents at least once every month and a half. Focus on the time we have together, appreciate them for who they are and everything they’ve done for me. Ignore their perceived flaws.

What kind of image do you hope to project?

A woman who knows herself, without a doubt. She knows her limitations and weaknesses, she knows her strengths and triumphs. She is dependable, trustworthy. People are drawn to her, she is interesting, engaging, entertaining, fun. She is sparkly. Her motivation and drive inspire those around her. She is calm, incredibly caring. People feel relaxed and comfortable around her. People want to be open with her.

 Is it similar or dissimilar to the image you’re projecting right now?

I’m on track. I need to work more on being more dependable, honest, and strong in my sense of self. I think I’m pretty sparkly already! And I know that people open up to me.

What are your roles in life?

Sister, daughter, friend (social, spiritual, supportive, lover), facilitator, national organiser, employee, educator, performer, volunteer, yogini, writer, traveller, activist, participant, submissive (to K), aerialist in training.

Are you happy with them?

Yes. Very much so.

Apart from: employee.

And I’d like to take ‘national’ away from organiser (this will happen in September), and ‘in training’ away from aerialist (this will happen with time and dedicated practice).

I wrote my first personal mission statement at the beginning of 2012 after reading an inspiring article by the one and only Gala Darling- check it out! She gives great ideas on how to get started with this. I love it.

A year ago today, I was raped.

From the genius hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

Photo from the genius hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com

That look. That’s the one. Undisguised sympathy, horror, shock, pity. The “Oh!…”, then left hanging, mouth still forming the word, silence. Eyes searching me now, both of them, questioning, pity. “Are you..?” “Did you…?” So tentative it hurts me, it makes me want to shake them, to laugh it off, to pretend that I just told them I had the flu or something. To be normal about it. I over compensate: “Well, I am an excellent rape survivor!”

I force a smile, looking everywhere but at them, talking far too loud, cutting through the painful pity with bravado. “I did all the right things, sought help, found counseling, contacted the police. It’s fine, really. I’m fine.” I look at them now, make fleeting eye contact. “I’m fine”. Looking away, wiping sweaty palms, grinning stupidly, looking at ceiling, door, window, floor, STD posters, handbag, back at them quickly, glancing from eyes to eyes. Beseeching: be normal, I’m fine, talk normally, let’s move on, let’s forget about it, I’m fine, I’m fine.

“Is he incarcerated?” Of course they ask that. Of course. I lie. “It’s going through the legal system at the moment.” “Did they catch him?” Fuck. I dodge the question, unable to lie again, but not willing to tell the truth either. “He was my room mate.” Them, again: sympathy, horror, shock, pity. Me, again: glancing everywhere, wiping palms, grinning, nodding my head. It’s fine. I’m fine.

She turns back to her computer. Her colleague, a medical student from the University of San Francisco looks over her shoulder. They are suddenly fixated on that white screen and I have a welcome reprieve. Only for a couple of seconds, and then the questions come thick and fast. I’m pinned.

“Have you been treated and tested for any STDs since the rape?”
“Have you been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B?”
“Have you been tested for HIV?”
“Was your attacker a drug user?”
“Was he an intravenous drug user?”
“Do you know if he was high risk?”
“How many sexual partners have you had in the last 3 months?
“How many of them have been new?”
“Did you use condoms with them?”
“Were any of them intravenous drug users?”
“Did you have anal sex with any of them?
“Did you have oral sex?”
“With all of them?”
“Have you ever had sex with someone you met online?”
“How long ago was that?”
“Did you use a condom?”
“Have you had anonymous sex before, where you wouldn’t be able to contact the person the next day?”
“How many times?”
“When was the most recent?”
“Have you taken any recreational drugs in the last 6 months?”
“Any thing else?”
“Have you ever been pregnant?”
“Are you allergic to any medications?”
Have you..are you..when was..did you..

They leave the room. All of a sudden I’m fighting back tears. Fuck! Why this, why now? I’m fine. I swallow a sob, breathe, force myself to look at my hands. I can’t look at the posters on the walls- syphilis, chlamydia, HIV. Diseased blood, diseased bodies, sickness, infection, viruses spread from person to person, through pleasure, through force. Infecting someone else with your genitals, semen, saliva, blood.

Trigger.

I’m in the emergency ward at Vancouver General Hospital with the sexual assault team- two young nurses and my two support workers from Vancouver Rape Relief. I’m wearing jeans that are too big for me now, an orange cardy, a scarf. Hair tied in a bun, unwashed. I’m numb. They’re doing a forensic rape kit- swabbing my cervix, outside of my vagina, looking for cuts. Documenting bruises on my arms, thighs, chest, neck. I get a paper bag to put my underwear, tights, singlet, dress in.

Trigger.

“He was so full of disgust, disgust at the world and at himself, that he could not weep. He was also disgusted by the murderer. He did not want to regard him as a human being, but only as a victim to be slaughtered. He did not want to see him until the execution, when he would be lain on the cross and the twelve blows crashed down upon him- then he would want to see him, want to see him from up close, and he had had a place reserved for himself in the front row. And when the crowd had wandered off after a few hours, he wanted to climb up onto the bloody scaffold and crouch next to him, keeping watch, by night, by day, for however long he had to, and look into the eyes of this man, the murderer of his daughter, and drop by drop to trickle the disgust within him into those eyes, to pour out his disgust like burning acid over the man in his death agonies- until the beast perished…” (Perfume, Patrick Suskind).

Writing my draft police report. Feeling the anger rise inside me, pure energy, rising up like a shout, a yell, trapped at the start of my throat. Like restless legs, trapped muscles, ringing ears, dizzy head, twitching fingers, cramping feet, nausea rising- physical. Racing, out of the crisis centre, into the quiet, drizzly suburban street. Racing, block by block, walking blindly, drizzle dampening my scarf, my hair, feet and body moving, not fast enough, not exhausting enough, moving moving moving moving. Heart pumping. Hate. So much hate.

Fight. Come. Submit.

Lightening flashing outside, photo bulbs. Half smoked pipe on the window sill and I’ve flung the window wide open, welcoming in the damp, dripping, humid night. Quiet, stoned mind. It drifts and settles on J.

A huge man. A quiet man. Law student, PhD, powerlifter, married, polyamorous, quietly dominant. He wears thick glasses, walks with a very still upper body, has a cheeky smile, is highly, intimidatingly, knowingly intelligent.

We fight. In a hotel room in suburban Vancouver, prearranged, I turn up in a pencil skirt and blouse, no panties, no bra. At his command I kneel on the bed on all fours, he walks around me, observing me like an animal at auction. I’m frowningly obedient, bratty, scratchy. Hands, on me, running over my ass, down my thighs, between my legs. He slaps them apart, and, surveying me, slides his hand between and dips a finger inside my wet pussy. I moan.

He steps back and orders me to strip. I’m now naked, standing in front of him, skin tingling, alert. He’s almost naked, boxers still on and muscles and tattoos leap out at me. He has a hammer and sickle on his shoulder, and the union organizer in me notices this, I warm to this man even more. He’s silent, still, and this makes me nervous. My toes are nudging each other, fidgeting, sweaty palms. I look him in the eyes and through the stillness and silence he taunts me…go on.

I take one step, and then another, and then a faster one and then I’m throwing myself at his chest, strength and adrenaline pulsing into my forearms, clenched hands, fingernails bunched in fists, striking hard muscles and warm skin and I’m angry! He flips me, I’m on my stomach on the bed and he’s forcefully twisting his hand up between my thighs. I’m wet and horny, but my nervousness has gone and I’m pissed, determined, stubborn. I kick wildly, barely missing his head and squirm away from his grip, but he growls, clamping onto my leg, dragging me back towards him with speed and aggression. His spare hand is between my legs again and before I can take a breath he thrusts both deep fingers inside me. The feeling is overwhelmingly good and hot and I scream pleasure and madness into the pillow.

He can’t win this easily.

I writhe out of his grasp again and get off the bed, facing him, crouched with hands in fists, panting, sweaty. He gives me that look and I launch myself at him, this time with a yell, throwing myself across the bed and punching, punching, punching, punching him and I’m raging and storming, adrenaline and anger, and I hit him with all my strength again and again. And when he’s had enough he calmly flips me on my back and thrusts his fingers inside me.

We play this way for a while, each time I attack and he bats me off, and then he starts making me come, over and over, thighs slick with wetness, shining with sweat and tangled hair and smudged mascara and fiery eyes. I orgasm, screaming pleasure and frustration and rage into the mattress, and then kick out at him afterwards, tempting him into another bout. He never speaks, never loses control, he observes me with amusement and interest.

I’m exhausted, and slowing down. I’m lying on my stomach, the sheet bunched in my fists, my chin hanging off the side of the mattress in my attempt to crawl away. Legs are clamped wide open under his thighs and his fingers are working inside me again, and I’m coming hard: muscle-clenching-body-shaking-pussy-spasming-eyes-squeezed-mouth-silent-pleasure hard. It subsides and the pressure on my gspot is too intense and I’m begging: “Please no more please please no more now please”. He pulls out, spanks my ass leaving a wet handprint and walks to the bathroom.

And I’m still. I don’t move, I don’t try to roundhouse kick him in the mouth or elbow jab his ribs. I listen to my breath, short, quick pants as my head hangs over the edge of the mattress. I’m aware of my sweaty, sore, exhausted body, my wet and tingling pussy. My fingers and hands relax. I stare at the sisal carpet and follow the floor to the full length mirror on the wardrobe door just in front of me. I slowly look up until I can see my reflection: crazed hair, legs sprawled wide, cheeks red and makeup smudgy, lips puffy and slightly open. I am a hot mess. My eyes are bright, glazed, watery. I see defeat, exhaustion. I want to cry, and at the same time, I feel such relief, such peace.

I burrow my face into the sheets. My body cries, but no tears come to my eyes.

He is beside me on the bed now, pulling me into him. His fingers are stroking, claiming, owning my body and there is no resistance, I don’t even think about fighting. This man has beaten me and he has won my submission. This feels very good. I shyly nuzzle into the space between bicep and pectoral and tell him this. He chuckles, the first sound I’ve heard him make for hours, and looks at me under his glasses, one eyebrow raised, quizzically.

That look says: Good. That look says: You interest me. That look says: I never doubted that I would have your submission. That look says: Is there any other way?

Screwing Up

An introspective visit to the Necropolis, Habana, Cuba. March 2012.

I have a pretty high opinion of myself. It’s one that I’m proud of, I’ve cultivated it, because I have to be my biggest fan. I have to be my own cheerleader, and lover and look-after-er, because why would I expect anyone else to do that for me if I can’t do it for myself?I think I’m great.

And then. I screw up. I get so focused on “Go Team Me” that I overlook things that perhaps I’m not doing so well. That actually, I’m doing badly at.

These moments are…

sobering

humbling

and ripe for learning.

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