Four men/ 2. Unashamedly

Without wanting to sound like a complete hippy, there’s something about his energy that I hugely enjoy. I like the combination of the Northern accent (redolent to my ignorant Southern ears of hard masculine labour, callouses and soot and a very erotic sort of directness) and an acrobat’s grace. He makes me think of those illustrations of olde- timey circus weightlifters; slight, in a stripey shirt, with an extravagant moustache, lifting a barbell insouciantly over his head.

We meet at a dinner party held in a suburban semi- detached, archetypally bland and identikit from the outside but on the inside stuffed to the gills with books about the occult, stuffed animals, velvet cushions, vintage furniture, Serge Gainsbourg and Soft Cell on the stereo. We have sat in an oven- cosy kitchen and eaten a post- Christmas meal of roasted root vegetables, rich cheesy sauces, glossy gravy, relaxed in the unarticulated understanding that everyone in the room is either a swinger or a kinkster and that normal rules of social awkwardness are therefore irrelevant.

My then- Master is in another room with his other partner, examining the contents of our hostess’ overflowing dressing up box. I have myself been dressed up, and am wearing a red velvet shoulder cape over my 1960s print party frock, and a tiny Top Hat at a jaunty angle. I walk into the living room, and see him sitting on a chair, close to the door. He looks me up and down, admires my fripperies, and with a smile and a flick of the wrist he beckons me onto his knee.┬áHis shirt is a bright paisley print and he smells sweet and spicy, with a slight and pleasant base note of sweat.

I twist to look at him. I want to kiss him, but am not sure if I should. Sir and I have not negotiated any kind of permission dynamic, but it feels weird to kiss another man, with him in the same building, without asking. I try and explain as much, but the words don’t come out properly, and I feel gawky, childish, unsophisticated. I hop off his knee and find Sir. He is cuddling downstairs on a sofa with his other sweetie, and I slide in next to him on his other side. There is room for all three of us, but it still feels too crowded. I don’t know how this works. I don’t know what the rules are.

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11 months later and I am once more unowned. I am at a fetish night held in a swinger’s club, with our hostess and her husband. It’s a converted pub, with pool table, bowls of snacks, and a well- stocked, black- walled dungeon. I am wearing not very much- highwaisted knickers, a black strapless bra, stockings and suspenders. My hair is large, my lips scarlet, and, I hope, my eyes are shining.

It is strange being at an event as a single woman, and sometimes I feel unmoored. I came to an event here last month, and a strange man tied my arms to the leg of a table with pink rope from B and Q, making sure not to spill my half- pint glass of Diet Coke as he worked. Later that evening I was taken downstairs by a group of generally Toppy people and bent over a spanking bench so that a man and a woman could first take turns swinging at my bare arse with matching carpetbeaters. Each impact made a fractured creaky noise, like sitting on a wicker armchair. One man spanked me, another hit me with the leather hitty thing the Adorable Sadist made for me, marvelling at the sound it made as it slapped against my flesh, the crack echoing around the dark cold walls and the sting spread across my skin.

The strange man’s partner was locked in a cage opposite the bench while this happened, and tells me afterwards that she enjoyed watching from her position on all fours, seeing my buttocks slowly bloom pink and then red. I enjoyed the thought of her watching. Later still, in the last hour before closing time, I lay topless on a bed in a room with mirrored walls as the strange man- not that strange, just a very polite pervert- aimed a purple suede flogger at my tits and cunt. I watched myself in the mirror, and was watched by others, sitting on the bed with their legs entwined, their feet close to my head, arms wrapped around each other. It was hometime and it stung and it was good and I wanted more, more pain, more giggling, more careless exposure. I so often want more of everything.

On my way home I think, this stuff doesn’t need to happen drenched in love. Sometimes it can just be fun.

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My friend from the dinner party is here. We greet each other and hug. He notices that I have two heart- shaped plastic clips with me; evil fucking little things, with a tight jaw and serrated teeth. I carry them everywhere on occasions like these for the entertainment of the sadistically minded. He unclips them from my bra, and tests the springs experimentally.

May I? he asks, and I nod and smile, scoop my breasts out of their cups. He holds each fat nipple between a thumb and fingertip and gently closes the jaws around my flesh. I wince with glee and he laughs, cups my breasts in his palms. I’ve been waiting to play with these for months, he says, as he tugs at the pegs until my knees buckle a little. We kiss, mouths wide open, noses bumping, my pegged tits stinging as he pulls me close to him and presses against me.

This is not an especially erotic setting. It’s a converted pub kitchen, brightly- lit, with a fridge and a wall of metal lockers. There is a door to the outside balcony where people are smoking, and as he pushes me up against the lockers with a clang the door opens and a blast of cold air rushes into the room. Still, as he falls to his knees and pulls my knickers to one side, kisses and licks hard and fast and thoughtful, I feel something unlock inside me. I close my eyes and lean into his mouth; it’s been such a long time since someone went down on me, and I’m starving for it, for breath between my legs, for the joy of being tasted.

I open my eyes, and two men are standing either side of him, strangers, their cocks in their hands, each of them fondling one of my breasts. I stutter for them to stop- I’ve not consented to this, and as they slink off he stands and asks if I’m okay. I’m fine, just annoyed, and we kiss until I’m comfortable again.

He is wearing a skirt, suspenders and stockings- it’s not something I have ever been too into, personally, but I’ll acknowledge that it does at least provide easy access. I reach into the silky confines of his underwear and pull out his cock. Without a word I bend my knees so I’m squatting, wedged between his legs and resting my back against the locker doors. I look up at him and grin. He looks down, with eyebrows raised.

And then he is in my mouth and I am voracious. My tits hurt and I suck. There is the smell of cigarette smoke. I grab hold of his thigh. The weight of him on my tongue. A stretch where jawbones meet. I rest and lick and then the hunger, gagging, my head thrown back so I can laugh and then suck. He calls his girlfriend over and she is behind him and I am sucking and a palm meets buttock smack smack smack and I suck. She squats and we smile at each other round his hip.

He tells me he will come, once twice, a warning, a congratulation. I move my head back and wait as his fist moves, my mouth open like a baby bird. It’s hot on my chin, splashes across my collarbone, the fleshy crease where breast meets upper arm. He leans, rests on the locker, and I stand up. He kisses himself off my face and I taste him on our lips as we kiss, bland and distinct at the same time. He breathes into my ear: you’re amazing. I was only half trying to be amazing. Mostly I was just hungry.

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We clean up and sit on a sofa and hug. He melts away. I get dressed and sit on a sofa, legs crossed at the ankle, and think, gather. I look deep inside for any vestige of shame, knowing there won’t be any. For so many years I pretended I wasn’t hungry, pretended not to be who I am. Eating without tasting, drinking without every being parched. Years without touch, years spent in darkened rooms, dancing alone, hugging myself while I very slowly knit all the fractures and soothed all the sores. All that time invisible and then now, here, completely seen. On a sofa, in a converted pub in an industrial estate, shivering in the breeze as the door opens and people come in from the outside. No shame, and no hunger. I look in the mirror, on the wall, and there I am.

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