How can you have sex after surviving the trauma of sexual violence?

Some road-tested ideas. From one survivor to another yo!

Take your time. Start to learn your triggers. What are they? Do they change with anything? Are there times when you’re more trigger-able than not?

Explore with yourself. Have your turn-ons changed? What feels good? How do you feel initiating sex with yourself? What doesn’t feel good?

Chat with your partner. What would you like them to do for you? How would you like them to support you? Recognize that your desire might change, your interest in sex might be raging or sporadic, you might not be able to say or plan anything with certainty. And that’s okay.

Flashbacks could be a possibility. Safety plan with your partner around this. What are the signs that you’re numbing, detaching, or re-living trauma? What do you need your partner to do? How do you want to calm and ground? What do you need after? Flashbacks can lessen over time, but in the moment feel terrifying and very real for many survivors.

Take the pressure off. What are safe ways of connecting intimately? Are there alternatives that calm you, rather than trigger you? What is your body telling you?

You get to set the pace. You get to say no and yes as often as you want. You get to change your mind. You’re entitled to hot, gratifying sex after trauma, when and where and how you want it!

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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.”)

Ten expert tips on how to rock your long distance relationship

So, I met a man. I’m going to call him The Wolf.

December 2012, in Toronto. I went, on my own, to a club to dance. (This isn’t unusual. I love going out dancing on my own. No wall-hugging friends, no yelled conversation, no clammy men. The best). He checked my ID, said “Oh, a kiwi”, and gave me a ridiculously sexy smile. I danced provocatively in front of him the entire night, and at 4am he invited me out for a Denny’s dawn breakfast.

This started 10 days of the most incredible dating of my life. This man…and the sex…oh my gasp.

And then, because I have a killer work ethic and a ‘Grand Plan’, I hopped on a plane and flew back to Auckland, New Zealand, where I had a job waiting.

Although it was unplanned, it just sort of started. Toronto/Auckland Long Distance. And I’m talking STRICT long distance, none of this, “let’s meet in Hawaii and spend a weekend together” shit. Brutal. Admittedly, I’m only at the end of month 9 at the moment, but we’re both so stubborn I feel that we’re going to make it to 12.

So, I’m officially calling myself a LDR (long distance relationship yo!) expert, and here are my expert tips referencing personal experience.

An excellent LDR photo. My family cat and my ass.

An excellent LDR photo. My family cat and my ass.

1) Sexual chemistry. The person you’re doing a LDR with has to be the sexiest, hottest thing on the planet. You need to be able to masturbate to them. Repeatedly. You know you’re onto something good if just hearing their voice, seeing their photo or talking with them on Skype makes you wet/hard.

2) Excellent dirty talk. You can develop these skills pretty quickly, but it helps if you’re already comfortable sexting, writing your own erotic fiction and describing what you’re doing to yourself while using a sexy voice. Good words to use are: moan, thrust, cock, dripping wet. The upside is that you learn exactly what turns your partner on, because after a couple of months of no sex, having a sexy discussion is pretty fucking awesome. (And then you can masturbate about it later. Win.)

3) Celibacy and monogamy. Okay, I know some of you will be like, “well, duh?” But I came to this through a circuitous route. In the months prior to meeting The Wolf, I was very happily dabbling in polyamory. Even to the point where I had declared ONE DAY before I met him, that “I was not interested in a traditional, monogamous relationship. Ever”. (Oh fate, you tricky thing).

It was late January when he put it to me. Choose him, or choose to be poly. He was only interested in monogamy, and he was only interested in me. This level of commitment took me by surprise (no, actually, it scared the crap out of me). I was tempted to negotiate a sort of middle ground- like, still keep in touch, but sleep with other people- but I sat myself down and had a stern look at where my fear was coming from. In the end, I figured out that although the commitment was making me nervous, there was definitely excitement there too. On top of that, we’re talking about the sexiest man on the planet, and my pussy was voting for him.

So, if this is you, chose monogamy. Commit to each other early on, and outline exactly what monogamy means for you.

4) An end date. Crucial. I am landing in Toronto on 29th December 2013, at 11:30pm. This date is tattooed on the inside of my eyes. It’s circled in every diary I own. Open-ended is way too painful. Set the date, and stick to it like a mother-fucker.

5) Perspective. My mantra is ‘acceptance and impermanence’. Nowhere has this served me better than in a LDR. I accept that we will both go through periods of ambivalence, where we wonder why we’re doing this. I accept that, for lack of physical contact, I will replay our conversations, line by line, until I interpret a meaning that was never there. I accept that subtle emotion will be lost in text, email and even Skype.

And, this is the hardest of all, I accept that a 12 month LDR is not a guarantee we will work as a couple when I get to Toronto. The best we can say: we shall see. No, this is not comforting on those nights when I just want a fuck and a cuddle. Yes, holding this perspective does keep me sane.

Take a deep breath. Accept that…one day of crippling insecurity will pass. A week of doubt will pass. Three more months will pass. One year will seem like a blip in the span of your life. This is all so impermanent. You’ll be just fine.

6) Communicate like a BOSS. This one is quite simple. Be honest, be congruent and reflect on how your communication develops. We spent the first 3 months sharing our opinions: childhood, families, food, music, sex, religion, fitness, gender roles, careers, future plans, social habits. It was full on. And pretty dicey at times! (I wonder if this would be easier for established couples?)

We spent the next 2 months trying to negotiate the weirdest stuff, which at the time seemed crucially important. Like, for example, IF we ended up together, would we have guns in our house? Or, would I take his last name IF we got married? (It makes me laugh writing this, that we always put the IF in there, as if that would soften the fact that we were already talking about marriage?)

As ridiculous as these discussions (and yes, sometimes they were laptop-lid slamming) seem, I think they were important for a) establishing boundaries and individual identity and b) learning how to disagree. I think we were symbolically marking our territory.

Now we’re at a calm, mature, holding-on stage. We’re not as rose-tinted as we were at the beginning, and we’re not as emotional as we were in the middle. We’ve compromised and softened. We talk about our feelings openly, pragmatically. We share the best of ourselves. We say we love each other. We count the days.

7) Embrace ALL the technology. Get a smart phone. Use Snapchat and WhatsApp. Diversify: email, text, share photos, make videos, Skype, write letters, talk on the phone.

Although I had to move past my “Snapchat is just for horny teenagers” snobbery, I can honestly say it has saved our relationship. There was a stage where things were feeling a bit too raw for Seriously Dedicated Skyping, so we sent pictures. Of ourselves, of our lives, our family and pets and office and car and favourite view and sunsets and food and grocery shopping and latest tattoos.

Other sexy technology things I’ve done? Strip and masturbate to music, film the whole thing, send it for Valentines Day. Leave naked dancing Skype video messages. Put on red lipstick and film myself enthusiastically sucking my fingers pretending they’re his cock. Delicious.

8) Be stubborn. At the beginning, figure out why you’re doing this, and what you’re going to get out of it. Don’t rely on your partner to provide the why, find it within yourself. Because it’s going to get hard, and you’ll need to stubbornly stick to your reason, stick to your commitment, even though it might seem illogical.

9) Love the fuck out of yourself. You need to have your self-care down. Can you give yourself what you need when you’re feeling lonely, insecure, angry, or scared? Is your self-worth high enough that you can say you’re definitely worth this level of commitment from your partner? Do you have the strength to trust their word? Are you secure in your attachment? And if the worst case scenario happens, can you pick up your own pieces and rebuild yourself?

I had a good base in some of this stuff, and the rest I had to learn pretty quickly. It’s hard work. (Across the top of my mirror, I’ve written “You are so definitely worth it”. It helps.) The upside to doing this work is powerful. For the first time in my life, I can look in the mirror and unblinkingly say that I love and accept myself.

Relish masturbation. In the last three months, masturbation has gone from something I’d quickly bang off to the most intense orgasms of my life. What’s changed? For the first time ever, I’m focusing solely on my own pleasure, slowly building up arousal through touch, rather than relying on porn or erotic fiction. I take about half an hour to masturbate, I indulge every weekend, and I tease myself, getting close and then pausing, relaxing and feeling my sexual energy build. It’s incredibly satisfying, and I feel such gratitude for being able to receive so much pleasure from my own body.

10) Be proud. Tell people. Own this. It’s hard, and it takes skill. Give yourself respect and credit for trying. This is clichéd, but let yourself dream. Dream about what it will be like when you see your partner, in the flesh. What will the first minute, hour, night be like? How might you evolve? What’s your ultimate fantasy? You don’t need to share this, keep it inside yourself, to fuel those daydreams during boring work meetings, car trips, quiet Sunday afternoons and nights when your bed just feels too empty.

You’ve got this. You can do it. It can work.

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.

These violent delights.

He has big features. He once said that to me, over a dazed breakfast. “I have big features. I have big hands, and big feet, and big facial features. People have told me that before.” He was right. His hands could fit (almost) all the way around my

throat.

He is a chef. (Was? I haven’t had any contact with him for over 8 months). He worked as aggressively as he fucked, by the sounds of it. Keeping his staff in line with verbal backhands, rewarding with a dirty joke, drinks and a joint.

You have to know what he looked like. He was stocky, formidably strong, with a chest you could punch and kick and your fist would meet flesh and warm, solid muscle. You’d be cringing, because the look in his face was

“You’re going to fucking get it now”

But, I don’t want to give the impression that he was a ranting, angry guy. He was sharpened as delicately as one of his knives. His aggressiveness was always under the surface, and if, like me, you were sensitive to picking that kind of stuff up then you could definitely notice it. The potential for him to fuck you up was very real, very present. But, he was also hilarious. God, he would make me laugh! He spent a lot of time thinking, wrote affirmations to himself on his bathroom mirror, had 2 tiny fluffy dogs, worked out, smoked weed, socialized, travelled, had girlfriends. We went to a party together, dropped some MDMA and danced and laughed and tried to pick up women.

We brought out the darkest in each other.

He made me bleed, by holding my jaw open and fucking my mouth so hard that my teeth cut a long, thin slice into my upper lip. He slapped me until he bruised my cheek and jawbone, which clicked for weeks. (By chance, a friend of mine who was an osteopath did some work on me, and after running his fingers down the sides of my face exclaimed, ‘huh, you’re a bit out of line’, and jolted my jaw back into place). He bit me so hard that I screamed “Red” (the only time) and  the bruise, the size of my closed fist, purpled my thigh for close to a month. He would work his fingers inside me until I would

bleed

and then go harder. While I’d be screaming in pain and

ecstasy.

Now, 8 months later, in therapy. I start making the link between

the prevalence of self-harming tendencies that she began acting on in her teenage years, and

asking this man to fuck me til I cry.

One night with the mohawk. A ridiculously sexy evening.

The BEST sex toy ever. Holy Fuck. Just looking at this photo makes me wet.

The BEST sex toy ever: Njoy Pure Wand. Holy Fuck. Just looking at this photo makes me wet.

Prolonged eye contact over sushi. Dark chocolate iris, steady, quietly self-confident gaze. I’m loud, bubbly, laughing- at myself, at my jokes, at my life. Nerves. He makes me nervous!

Our server, crinkly smile, “How about yam tempura?”

Oh no, I answer, too quickly. “I’m not in a yammy mood today”. Oh god, what am I saying? Where did that come from? He laughs, genuinely, making eye contact again and then looking down, shaking his head a little, smiling to himself. Fucking gorgeous. I’m grateful that he doesn’t think I’m being a total tool. Thankfully, the waitress laughs too, and moves on.

He orders for me. I steal glances at his chest, arms, shoulders, neck while he does so.

I make an effort to observe silence between us. I don’t have to fill the space with conversation. It’s ok.

And it is. We chat over dinner, easily. Laughing often, it surprises me how easy it is. He interests me, and I ask him questions about his family, background, work, kink. He does the same to me, and I enjoy telling him, divulging pieces of myself to him, morsel by morsel. I like opening, letting him in. I trust him.

Later. He’s restrained me to his bed, naked, blindfolded. He’s still clothed, and I wriggle in sexy vulnerability. I want him to have me, my body, my eroticism, my hunger. It’s for him. He teases me, slowly, deliberately, so so quietly. I thrust my hips up to meet the hard point of something that stops just…just…above my clit. I gasp, groan, thrusting into thin air. I feel his breath and lunge up for a kiss, pulling against the restraints. He rewards me with a brush of lips. Fuck.

Ice cold, tingling lube on my nipples and clit. He leaves it there, it’s pleasantly uncomfortable. It increases my need for his tongue, finger, cock (Oh! Please!) to warm me up. Shock! An ice cold, ICE cold something slides up and down, between my clit and vagina. Oh god! I want to be touched there so, so badly, but not with something this painfully freezing! I squirm, twisting my body in the restraints, trying to squiggle of out reach of this fucking cold THING. He pins my knees apart, rests his weight on my hips, and slowly strokes up and down, up and down. It hurts and I whimper pathetically, tossing my blindfolded head from side to side.

It stops. He quickly gets off me and I think I hear him walk away. The sound of water running. Then silence. Then…the same hard smooth object, but this time it’s deliciously warm. My body responds instantly, spreading my knees as wide as they can go I thrust up and into it, moaning loudly, rubbing my clit up and down it’s spa-pool-warmth. He pauses at the entrance to my vagina. Then, I feel pressure, width (oh god, and it’s big! Bigger than I thought!), and he pushes it inside me. Fuck. Head spinning, hips thrusting, pussy juicing, back arching, I grind and fuck onto this warm metal ball, pressing hard on my gspot. Gasping, breathing quickly, hands clenching, working my hips, all I can feel and think is my approaching orgasm.

Can you come for me? The confidence, and quiet command in his voice almost tips me over right then.

Yes! Please! I’m almost incoherent.

Then give it to me! Fucking come, right now! I oblige, wave after wave of pleasure pulsating out from the point of gspot ball connect. Fuck, it’s good. And hard. Liquid fills me, with every contraction and I can feel it squeezing out, warm on my pussy lips and ass. And still I’m coming, driven by his horny growls “Oh yes baby, good girl, just like that, give it to me, oh good girl.” I bask in his pleasure, my pussy gives one final contraction, and I continue grinding and thrusting, wanting to give him more, but unable, for now.

Monogamy, celibacy and long-distance submission

We locked eyes in a freezing city, and spent 10 days hungrily exploring.

He opens me like no-one else.

“I’m going to fuck you now. You know your safe word. If you call orange I’ll stop what I’m doing and fuck you like I usually do. But use this carefully, because you can only use it once. If you say red I will stop everything immediately.”

Eyes wide, watching him. Wary, but trusting. He pushes inside me, gently, confidently, swiftly. Gasping, clinging to each other, my body molds his. I burrow my face in his neck, squeezing my eyes shut in the slow intensity of it all.

I wrap my legs around his back, arch my pelvis towards his, invite him into me. I feel greedy for his cock, and urge him deeper with my legs. He quietly instructs me not to move, and holds me possessively, hungrily, firm hands gripping, handling, manipulating. Dark brown eyes staring right into me, noses touching, lips bumping, breath quietly mixing. I am remarkably present, oblivious to anything outside our bubble of touch, taste, sound and sight.

“Tell me you love me.” My throat constricts, heart beats fast. The transition from dreamy pleasure to alert fear is instant and threatens to overwhelm me. I’m scared at how close his eyes are, how vulnerable I am. I want to sink into the car seat and disappear, shy out of his grasp, away from his stare, out of his enveloping arms. I start to panic, contemplate my safeword, try to push his arms away from my sides (impossible). He doesn’t let me, he traps me, he holds me, he forces me to relax. And I do, I return his gaze, muscles softening, quiet quick breaths. I submit to him with a sigh of relief, sadness, acceptance and love.

“Babe, I’ve got you. It’s ok.” I’m suddenly close to tears. He’s got me. I don’t have to survive on my own. I can relax. He’s got me. No-one has ‘had’ me in a long, long time. I am so moved, so grateful to this man. He thrusts into me, impossibly deeply, and I feel my entire body offer myself to him. I am his. And I cannot remember the last time I felt this safe.

Laughing, teasing, curling my fingers around his bicep, questioning, questioning, questioning.

Do you read?

Why did you decide to renounce religion?

What’s your ultimate sexual fantasy?

What do you look for in a partner?

What scares you about marriage?

What was your childhood like?

Top three most attractive body parts?

Do you enjoy your job?

Does semen have protein in it?

Do you want children?

What is your relationship like with your Dad?

What kind of wedding do you imagine for yourself?

What music do you listen to?

Who is your best friend?

Our difference fosters mutual fascination. We’re so far apart, but are growing closer together with noticeable speed. We delight in finding each other, basking in the other’s company, appreciative gazes, loosely locked fingers, forehead kisses.

His body is magnificent. Lean, muscular, a finely tuned machine. I greedily stroke the planes of muscle and skin, tracing his beautiful tattoos. In bed I wriggle my back into his chest, grinding my ass into the big-spoon curve of his crotch, getting teenage butterflies at how well we fit. At how small I am compared to him. At how my soft femininity is so complimentary. God. He’s so sexy.

I enjoy being led, being second in command. I try on this new coat of submission with a shy inquisitiveness. What would it feel like? It surprises me how good it feels, how natural and easy. How happy it makes me! How much trust I put in him immediately. He’s got me. I smile, relax and bask in this new role, and feel myself open towards him, grateful that he has enabled me to do this. I needed to open. He made it safe.

After a year of polyamorous ethical sluttiness I chose monogamy. For a man I had only spent 10 days with. And then, I flew to live in another hemisphere, with a frustratingly inconvinient time difference. Crazy? Yup.

We’ve been apart for 5 months. We have 4 more to go. At times it feels almost too easy, and then others it’s impossibly hard.

However, I am without a doubt that this is what I’m meant to be doing, because simply, in my world, nothing ever goes wrong.