Four men: A series

1. Hopefully

We meet in a club, the one with the red- walled room and the strings of fairy lights, the club I have come to think of as kinky Tiffany’s: nothing bad could ever happen to me here. We are queuing for the loo and strike up conversation; he says he is not kinky- except, he tells me 5 minutes later, that he loves watching women pee. I laugh and call him a lying motherfucker as I close the cubicle door behind me, waving him goodbye with a grin. Ladies and Gentlemen, what we have here is a frisson.

He and I spend a large chunk of the rest of the evening together. I tell him I am an exhibitionist- with permission he moves in to reach his arms behind me and pulls my skirt up at the back, revealing my g- string clad arse to the room. You said you’re an exhibitionist, and I just like making people happy, he shrugs, and I nod and laugh, already verging on entranced. Our bellies are touching, and I can already taste his breath.

We kiss, enormously slowly, and retire to a corner of the dungeon, where he removes my bra in order to spend around half an hour touching my breasts. In amongst the thrum of music and conversation and impact noise he plays with my nipples, stroking them with a fond and almost wondering attention, and there is something so magical about the giggly innocence of it all, in a room filled with the swish and smack and yelp of other, more deviant diversions. After 15 minutes of this I am quivering, unsteady on my heels; I keep rocking forward and bumping into him, but he catches me every time and I always land lips first.

We sit upstairs and talk about polyamory, boundaries, Tantra, mindfulness, chemistry, emotional baggage. You’re very at home in your body, he says. It’s very sexy. And rather than say, oh, well, that’s a very recent thing, I’ve had a terrible self- image for decades, and there are things I still really can’t bear, but it’s better than it used to be and I am completely in love with some bits, I just smile, and say thank you, and kiss him. We kiss again and again, our tongues moving at a glacial pace, his fingers moving over and around an inch- square patch of my belly again and again until I want him to fuck me so badly I actually feel sick, a deep, expanding heaviness in my belly and thorax that’s almost completely unfamiliar.

He talks about how he wants to fuck my brains out, goes quiet for a second and then looks up, says he was just imagining how my mouth would feel on his cock. I gasp very quietly at what that does, the effect that has; the simplicity of it, the heft. We could fuck. There’s a bed downstairs- I’ve been fucked on that bed before, I’d happily do it again. But I want to anticipate this. I want to imagine it, roll the pictures around in my brain like rolling a never- shrinking boiled sweet over my tongue, enjoying the flavour.

We exchange numbers, kiss goodbye. There is a universe in which we won’t fuck, he says, but I suspect this isn’t it. I float home, dizzy with lust and surprise and jubilation. We exchange messages on WhatsApp, juggle diaries, book hour- long phone dates. Three months later we’ve still yet to see each other. Sometimes when I touch myself I imagine his smile, remember giggling into his neck, the smooth heat of his skin against mine, and predict how his tongue will feel, moving lazily across my nipples, with forensic precision towards my clit.

There is a universe in which we won’t fuck, one day, a universe where it matters how long it takes for that to come to pass. This isn’t it.

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