Flash Fiction: Looking Glass

Side view of a man and woman having sex in a window for Flash Fiction: Glass Houses by Malin James

Image via @A_man_within

They haven’t been dating for all that long. Two dates. Maybe three if coffee counts. Three dates…. Is that dating? It’s hard to tell. Who knows.

Two dates. Maybe three. Some kissing. No sex. But the kissing is good. Really, really good. Quick tongues. Swollen lips. Nails on his neck. Then he says goodnight like he’s closing a door. She stays cautious and light on her feet.

They have their third date (maybe fourth?) on the hottest night of the year. Dinner and drinks. Maybe dancing. They both like dancing. They talk about dancing a lot. It’s a handy metaphor.

Do you dance? Where? What do you like?

Oh, you know…depends on my mood.

She wishes they’d just have sex. Sex is her looking glass. It lets her see who a person is, (or rather who they are with her). It lets her see who she is with them. She wants that view more than she wants to get off. She wants to see if they fit. Normally, it doesn’t matter so much – sex has told her a lot and it’s not always good. But she wants to see with him.

They have dinner and drinks. They talk. A lot. But she can’t stop watching his mouth. Good conversation. Great wine. Killer food. Enjoy the evening for this. She addresses herself in the ladies room but she knows it won’t do any good.

He pays the check (he insists, which is lovely), but dancing is a no. Early morning, he says. Brunch, work-out, weekend routine…. Sure. She has one too. They head off down the street.

The night is brown and murky with a filthy, electrical buzz. The grid is overtaxed and the city’s power is low. No air conditioners. Sluggish fans. People tumble around the street—it’s too hot to be inside.

They’d parked their cars several blocks away in a tall, glass monolith. As they walk, their knuckles brush, comfortable and easy, but he doesn’t take her hand. That would maybe be too much. After awhile, she pulls her phone out of her bag so it has something less awkward to do.

The parking lot is deserted. He hits the button and they wait. The elevator takes ages and their easiness drains away. A thick, gray silence expands and takes its place. It’s not a sexy or promising silence. It’s dense and pre-emptively sad.

Cool sheets, breakfast, dancing, fucking…she imagines these things while the elevator drifts…slow, slow, slow…considering the universe at every floor. For one irrational moment, she wishes they’d never met.

The elevator arrives. It’s steel and glass and disturbingly hot inside. Like a greenhouse, she thinks, which would make them the plants. It’s a weirdly appealing thought. She swipes her hair off her forehead and hits the button for level six.

“I’m on six too,” he says.

She smiles. “That’s good.”

“That’s good” is not what she’d meant to say. She’d meant to say something clever but she’s tired and hot. Her grid is overtaxed too.

Flickering lights. The elevator stops. It jerks and she stumbles. He reaches out – reaches out but doesn’t touch her, as if he’d brace her with the Force.

“Power outage,” he says.

She feels heat coming off him. The nape of her neck is salty and wet, and her cunt is a swollen ache. He’s close. Too close…and not close enough. She’s stupidly wound up and now they’re stuck in a small, glass box.

“Fuck, me,” she mutters.

“Sorry, what,” he says.

She watches his fingers skim over the phone. Blunt tipped. Strong. Decisive.

Fuck it. She wants to see.

“I said, fuck me.”

He looks up. Her cultivated, quippy, clever voice has dropped into her chest. She sounds like a woman again. Not a placeholder or a diplomat. She sounds like the woman she is.

He puts his phone away.

“Hello,” he says.

His teeth catch her bottom lip.

“Hello.”

She leans in and bites him back.

A generator kicks in and the elevator fills with a dim, green glow, but it’s still dark down on the street. People wander around, checking their phones, waiting for the light.

“Someone could see,” he murmurs.

“Yeah,” she says. “I know.”

They lean back into the glass.  If anyone looked up they’d see him lifting her skirt. She smiles and tilts her hips.

“Jesus fucking Christ.”

It’s a breath against her neck. She’s wearing nothing underneath. No knickers. No bra. Just the dress and her favorite heels. Maybe she’d hoped a bit….

Sweat drips between her breasts as he crushes her close. He’s stronger than she thought. Then his hand is on her warm, bare hip and his mouth is hard on hers. Her legs want to spread. She kisses him back and turns to face the street.

The glass is soft beneath her palms. She’s wet, so wet she can barely feel his fingers until they’re deep inside her cunt. Little sighs. Little moans. Her hips begin to thrust. She’s hoping, hoping someone will look up. Then he’s in her, fucking her and she’s fucking him back. Their eyes meet in the glass. Intense, happy…she likes the view. She had a feeling that she would.

Elust #84: Tethers, Lightweights, Apple Thighs & More

Elust 84 header
Photo courtesy of A to sub-Bee

Welcome to Elust #84

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #85 Start with the rules, come back August 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Lightweight
About Those “Apple Thighs”
Why the Hell Haven’t I Rebelled Yet?

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

IDENTITY – hiding the evidence
friday flash–service

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Good In Bed

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

 

Erotic Fiction

Ride
Pubic Disturbance
Colds and Lust
Sex Machine
Chemistry
A Dirty Bathroom Floor
Tether
I’m Sorry I’m So Silent
S’il Vous Plaît
Edge of Morning
Dancin’ (Most) of the Night Away
Airport Arrivals

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

42 Kinds of Casual Sex
Living in Fear – An Essay on Male Entitlement
Pride

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

How To Give A Bare Handed Spanking
Reconciling dominance and love
She’s a Very Kinky Gor

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Run the good race
IUD DIARY #1 (1.5 WEEKS LATER)

Erotic Non-Fiction

We Made A Resolution To Make Love Everyday
The 20 Minute Orgasm
More on cunt, corridors & Schroedinger’s cock
Stoned Birthday Sex
Room with a View
I’m Not Done With Your Throat Yet
It’s a strange path to trust.

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Poly and Pets
mono-poly

Writing about Writing

Why Write Erotic Fiction?
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Flash Fiction: Cut

Black and white nude of a woman with a long braid down her back by Jeanloup Sieff for Flash Fiction: Cut by Malin James

Photograph by Jeanloup Sieff

I wrote this years ago – before I sank my teeth into writing sex. My inner censor, which was kind of a fascist, had been strangely lenient. When I read it back, it felt like proof that I wasn’t the person I wanted to be (at the time, which is to say “normal”…whatever that means).

That was a long time ago. The only thing that makes me uncomfortable now is knowing that my censor was stronger than I’d thought. That’s why I’m posting it unchanged, (ie: unedited). It’s what I wrote when I wrote it and I’d write it again (though hopefully better this time).

Having said that, it may not be for everyone. There’s cutting, knife play and blood so if any of that sounds like a no-go, you may want to give it a pass. If not, thanks for sticking around for a short trip into deep depths of the archives.

“Cut” by (a proto) Malin James

They’ve talked about it. Quite a lot. And they’ve played with knives before – sliced through rope and tape. Her second favorite bra. Edge against skin. Her clit. His cock. Pressure. Implication. Never a cut.

But they’ve talked about it. They’ve talked a lot.

So she asks him one night without thinking. They’ve fucked each other senseless and she’s tucked up against him, lulled by the scent of his skin.

“Would you really let me cut you?”

He’s quiet. She waits. She can be quiet too.

“Yes.”

“You would?”

She raises her head.

“Yes. But don’t fuck around.”

She meets his eyes in the half-light.

“You know I won’t.”

The knife they usually play with is in a drawer by the bed, but she doesn’t get that knife. Instead, she goes to the bathroom. The straight razor is old, perfect and old, made when things were meant to last. It unfolds in her hand like a memory…gnarled hands, lather, a boar bristle brush…. As an object, the razor has touched a lot of skin. Now, it’s going to touch more.

He’s resting on his arms when she comes back in. The razor is folded up, snug as a sleeping bird in her hand.

“Tape?”

“No.”

She straddles him. Then she place both palms flat on the bed.

“Keep your arms there.”

She knows he won’t like it – he’d rather be restrained. But she likes it and he knows it. He nods. He’ll do it for her.

“Thank you,” she murmurs. “Now. Be very still.”

His hands look relaxed but they’re not. She can tell. But he’ll keep them where they are – she knows he will. She has, and will, and would do the same for him. All the while, the razor is waiting in the pocket of her palm.

He stretches out beneath her, all angles and shadows, like a poster for a film. Beautiful, she thinks but doesn’t say. She doesn’t need to say. But her belly is tight as she moves down his body leaving a kiss on every rib.

One. Two. Three. Four… 

She stops and nuzzles his skin. This is where, she thinks. She traces his ribs with her fingertips before pressing her tongue between two. Then, she slowly opens the blade. It settles in her hand like a fine, familiar weight.

Ripples under his skin though his body barely moves. There is no playfulness, no showmanship, no levity in her now. Afterwards she’ll smile and laugh with him, but for now, she’s blanks and calm. For now, she’s holding a razor like a natural part of her hand.

On either side of his body, his fingers flex.

Fuck. Get on with it.

She ignores his impatience and touches the blade to the tender place she’d kissed, waiting for it to breach his skin. And then it does and his skin isn’t skin anymore. It’s the silk and thread and rope.

He flinches and stills, palms flat against the sheets while her steady hand guides the edge along his rib. Once inch…two…and then it’s time to stop. She blinks as her focus widens back out. Then she sits up, resting her cunt against his cock while she folds and locks the blade.

Nothing at first. His skin looks untouched. But then blood wells up, almost black in the darkness, darker than red should be. She looks at him. He looks at her. They’ve talked about this too. Firm nod. She smiles and presses her tongue to the wound.

It tastes like salted metal, like blood should taste, but better because it’s his. But the cut is shallow and there isn’t much blood, so she worries it with her tongue, lapping and pressing and sucking as she does. She’s soaked and sliding over him when she sinks down on his cock.

Her hands clamp over his as he starts to thrust, pinning him with her weight. She sinks all of her weight into him and kisses the wound, as if her kiss will seal it up. Her mouth is red when she starts to come. Red and full of him.

They rest afterward, his hand in her hair. Her lips are red as berries but her teeth are shining white. She smiles against his skin.

“Next time, it’s your turn.”

Sinful Sunday: Selfie

I take selfies for a lot of reasons. I’ve sent them to partners, lovers, friends and family (look, mom! I was here!). I’ve posted some and keep others in a  file that no one will ever see. When I look through the selfies I’ve sent, I remember how I felt at the time – the mad attraction, the contentment, the sense of a start or an end. I remember the impulse that prompted the shot. I remember a shard of time.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 10.32.30 PMDespite the fact that I’m posting it here, I took this last night assuming that I wasn’t going to show it to anyone. I’m preoccupied and tired from not sleeping enough but, for the first time in a couple of weeks, I felt still and relaxed. I just wanted to remember that.

More than one article has asserted that selfies are a form of self-objectification. Inherent in self-objectification is the treatment of your body as an object and, in the case of this photograph, it’s true. I did make my body an object – I made it a memory aid. And given that it is my body to do with as I choose, I’m perfectly fine with that.

To see more Sinful Sunday, click the pretty lips….

Sinful Sunday

On Submission, Strong Women & The High Alpha Male

Black and white of a woman wearing black boots and ball and chain by Ellen von Unswerth for On Submission, Strong Women and The High Alpha by Malin James

Ellen von Unwerth, from Revenge

I had a brief conversation the other day that got me thinking. I’m going to paraphrase chunks of the exchange rather than quote directly (because consent), but I’ll stick as close to the original as I ethically can.

So, here’s the opener:

Hi Malin. As a high-alpha male, I appreciate strong women. Dominant women are a rare challenge. I love your work – it gives me a lot of insight into how strong women tick. 

Given my initial response, the smart thing to do would’ve been to ignore it and move on. Unfortunately, those three sentences annoyed the fuck out of me so I responded with this:

A rare challenge…interesting. Care to unpack that?

Here’s his response:

Sure! For alpha males there’s nothing as exciting as an alpha female. Alpha females handle themselves, which is great (and rare with women in my experience, IMHO), but even more exciting is the challenge I mentioned. When a strong woman breaks and submits to you, that’s the biggest high you can get as a Dom. All women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man and being the only man that an alpha female submits to is a fucking high.

So…setting my visceral response aside, what he’s essentially talking about is a fetish for strong women. That, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Strong women rock in all kinds of ways because there are all kinds of ways in which women are strong. Where it goes wrong for me is in why he appears to fetishize a particular kind of female strength.

He doesn’t love strong women because he thinks strong women are interesting. He doesn’t love strong women because he wants to submit to a worthy Domme. He doesn’t even love strong women because he thinks an alpha female is the only kind of woman who can match his “high alpha” self. He loves strong women because they’re a challenge.

Let me rephrase that. He loves strong women because making a strong woman “break and submit” to him is a challenge.

The attraction isn’t in the woman. It’s in a narcissistic fetish for a certain kind of power. He wants to be the very special, uber-alpha male who breaks an unbreakable woman and makes her submit. He’s not fetishizing her strength, he’s fetishizing the idea of being the only one who can strip her of it.

Needless to say, I’ve got a few issues with this. The first is that it devalues the actual submission of actual female subs (many of whom are fucking bad-asses). The second is that it makes the “strong woman” in question a challenge (ie: a thing to surmount) rather than a person, and any view that reflexively turns a person into something other than a person is pretty much a no-go for me. The third is that this appreciation for strong women is entirely ego driven. Here’s what I mean….

If you work from the stated assumption that “all women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man” (*eye roll*), you get the implication underlying the attraction –  that any guy can make a submissive woman submit because women are, by nature, submissive. It takes a “high alpha male” to break the “rare” dominant woman.

That particular appreciation for female strength has nothing to do with respect or actual, you know, appreciation. It’s a purely reflective thing – the value of her strength is in how brightly it highlights his.

Full disclosure: I have a button here. Though I’m not a Domme, I am naturally dominant with a wide streak of  don’t-tell-me-what-to-fucking-do. I’ve written about how my natural dominance attracted an ex who was, to put it bluntly, a diagnosed sociopath who loved me best when I was needy (“but only for him”) and who wanted to “crush me and break me and make me his”. (Direct quote. Fuck it).

That’s not to say that this gentleman is a sociopath. To be honest, I don’t think he really understood what he was saying. It just rubbed my fur backwards and, once I got over my initial annoyance, I didn’t like how it unpacked.

Essentially, this kind of attraction turns a very specific form of female strength into fetishized commodity while dismissing all the other ways in which women are strong. In other words, it turns female dominance into a kind of drug that makes a certain kind of man feel special. It has nothing to do with the woman or her dynamic with that man. It has to do with the ego boost that comes from fucking her in a particular way.

It also turns the “rare” alpha-female one of two things:

  1. a disposable experience, or
  2. a possession to groom and keep.

Either way, it’s no good. Every woman does not crave submission, and those that do should have autonomy within their submission. Anything else falls back on a cultural mode that normalized a husband’s right to spank his wife for failing to make the perfect pot roast.

In the end, there’s a fundamental difference between spanking Lara Croft and spanking Lara Croft’s alpha female glory to the breaking point. The spanking isn’t the issue – it’s the motives behind it that makes the difference between awesome and toxic. If a dominant woman (or man) trusts you enough to submit to you, even if only for a night, that should speak to the connection and trust between you, not to your prowess as an alpha.

Fetishize power in a partner. Revel in it. Love strong women. Love strong men. Just don’t turn whatever happens into proof of your Domminess. Don’t fetishize the ego boost that comes with “breaking” someone you perceive to be strong. Sex and submission aren’t about how alpha you are. They’re about feeding off each other’s strengths – that’s the real fucking high.

NB: I realized after I posted this that I should clarify some terminology as usage in that conversation got fairly muddy.

“Alpha male” and “alpha female” don’t equate to Dom and Domme (or sadist or top). All alpha means it that someone has what might be called a dominant personality. Some alphas have personalities that are more dominant than others, as do some betas, etc. All dominant people are not alpha, nor are all alphas dominant.

Alpha, dominant and Dom are often equated in casual conversation, which is fine insofar as it goes. It’s just important to acknowledge that a person’s alignment in social hierarchies may differ than their (natural or chosen) position in sexual power dynamics.

As for the term “strong women”, it most definitely does not apply exclusively to dominant women or alpha females. Some of the strongest women I know are subs. Sexual wiring has little, if any, bearing on a woman’s integrity, resilience or strength.

On Validation

Black and white photograph of a woman's back as she looks out of a window, for Validation post by Malin James

Photograph, Malin James

There are things that I’m painfully aware of. One of them is my deep, long-standing need for validation.

It’s gotten worse in the past few years. I’ve always had it but, recently, it’s kept me from taking risks. The need for validation has drawn me away from projects that would further my career because long-term gains haven’t been able to compete with that short-term need.

That impulse has kept me safe in the cocoon of a loving community, which is a comforting alternative after years in the less friendly world of literary fiction, but at something of a cost.

It’s a strange thing. On one level, I give zero fucks what anyone thinks. This is the level I try to live on. But beneath that is the fact that sometimes I give way too many fucks, which is why I can’t say that I don’t need validation for my work. The brutal truth is that I do and the same goes for my worth in relationships.

I grew up having internalized the idea that my primary value was in my face and, even more toxically, that the value of my face was arbitrary because I relied on a choreographer, director or photographer to decide whether or not I was right for a call or a role. It’s a conviction that dogs me even now, and the result is an over-reliance on what other people think.

That need for validation shows up in all kinds of subconscious ways. It’s in how I engage social media and how I blog. It’s in what I write about and when. It’s in whether or not I compromise myself in relationships and for how long. It’s what drives my inner sadist – the one who loves to rake my inner masochist over coals.

The need for validation is natural. We all feel it. But the degree to which I’ve allowed that need to dictate my professional, creative and personal choices disturbs me. The primary reason I stopped acting was because my dependence on external (and arbitrary) validation wore me down. Unfortunately, I’ve created a similar framework for myself by reinforcing a comparable need in my writing and relationships.

I’m ok with wanting a certain amount of validation. Like I said, it’s pretty natural. But I’m not ok with needing it to the point where it compromises my emotional autonomy. Validation is, essentially, a salve – an illusory guarantee that everything is ok. In my case, this is what validation usually looks like:

Yes, your writing matters.

No, you aren’t wasting your time.

Yes, he still wants you.

No, you aren’t a disposable fraud. (This one comes with a nice dose of self-loathing. Self-loathing fucking sucks).

The real problem isn’t wanting validation, it’s misunderstanding what validation does. It’s like ointment on a cut – it’ll soothe the surface, but it doesn’t address the bleeding you can’t see. For me, the internal bleeding is the fact that sometimes I give too many fucks, and that those fucks aren’t even the right fucks to begin with.

What makes validation so addictive is that it acts as a short-term guarantee that everything’s ok. And sure, everything might be okay – for now. But what about the next now? And the next? Pretty soon, validation stops being a relief and becomes part of a feedback loop, one that slowly blows everything out of proportion and gets you stuck on a hook, one where your insecurities take over and drive your behavior.

So, when you put all that together, my need for validation is the subjective measure of worries that are way more existential than concrete:

Is everything okay?

Am I okay in the world? (Or this job, or relationship, etc.)

What the hell does okay even look like? I don’t know but please make it okay….

Those worries aren’t something that should shape your work or relationships because the only thing that can comfort them are guarantees, and the bottom line is that there are no guarantees. There is only the fleeting right now, and no amount of validation can get you off that hook.

It’s a big, ugly, exhausting tangle, but I can’t be a productive writer or a fully present person if I don’t stop chasing false guarantees – guarantees that, for me, define okay as the external validation of my value.

I will always need to feel valued, especially by people I care about and respect. That need is carved into me like grooves on a record. But for all that, the fundamental validation I actually need, the one I’ve been chasing my whole life, is my own.

My need for validation isn’t about the story or the editor or the relationship. It’s about me. And because it’s about me, it places pressure on situations and relationships that shouldn’t have to bear it. That’s why self-possession and emotional sovereignty are so important to me. The weight of that need is, ultimately, my responsibility. It’s up to me to decide (logically, rather than reactively) how many fucks I want to give.

Flash Fiction: Mrs. Fox & Mr. Wolfe

An oil painting by Jack Vettriano of a man and a woman in a bar for Flash Fiction: Speakeasy by Malin James

Drifters by Jack Vettriano

Mrs. Fox was crying again. Mr. Wolfe let her. He always did. Nothing to do but collect her pale tragedy and take her for a drink. That was the thing with Mrs. Fox. She was beautiful when she hurt; when her glossy eyes gleamed black like dark, rainy streets.

Mrs. Fox loved to suffer. She loved it more than cigarettes and sex. She was made to suffer and she sought it out, collected little bits of pain and pinned them to her breast. She wore larger ones like ribbons on her wrists. He’d known her for ages before he’d realized this – that she was happiest when she hurt. He’d spent years trying to save her, but Mrs. Fox couldn’t be saved. She didn’t want to be. So, he let her cry and he bought her gin and tried not to feel like two different men.

Wolfe lit a cigarette and handed her one before lighting one for himself. Everyone assumed they were having an affair. Everyone assumed everything, but they had never even kissed. Wolfe was a good man. Mr. Fox was addicted to morphine and out of the picture, but Mrs. Wolfe was very much around in Scarborough with a brood he barely knew.

He was a good man and he tried to care for them in a solid, steady way. But his mind lived in the city and that’s where his mind stayed when his body got on the train. He always tried, at least.

He and Mrs. Fox had a tacit agreement. It was the contract their friendship was based on and it protected them from the fact that she was a beautiful mess and he was coming undone, inch by gentle inch. She wanted him. He knew that. And he wanted her. But they would never misbehave. Even without husbands and wives and lovers and her glorious need for misery, they would never misbehave. But that isn’t to say they didn’t want to.

Some nights, like this night, when she was sharp and self-deprecating; when their eyes met and they had a conversation in a glance, Wolfe wanted to misbehave. He wanted touch her face and put her fingers in his mouth. He wanted her juniper scented lips in the middle of the street, where anyone could see. He wanted to make her suffer in the most perfect way. He wanted to do it right.

“Have another drink, Mr. Wolfe. Now that I’ve soaked your shoulder with my poor, bruised heart…. I should at least buy your shoulder a drink.”

She was watching him through her lashes, laying out the bait they knew he wouldn’t take. Wolfe’s hand flexed. He imagined her moving beneath him, arching up, hip to hip, legs clamped around his waist. He imagined how fucking her might finally feel like home…. But then, the morning would come and the awful regret. She would need it to be awful. Exquisite and awful, like a penknife to the wrist.

He almost didn’t care.

His legs angled into hers. And hers angled into his. Their agreement strained between them. One night, it would break. One night…or maybe not.

“Mr. Wolfe?”

Wolfe shook his head.

“Not tonight, Mrs. F. I’m going to catch the train.”

Elust #83: London Love, Identity & Many A Sexy Thing

Elust 82 Header Holden and Camille
Photo courtesy of Holden and Camille

Welcome to Elust #83

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #84 Start with the rules, come back July 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

London Crows and London Kisses

I am Her. She is Me.

You Say You Want to Cook for Me

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Unusual Liaison

Community. Respect. Friendship. Fucking.

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Dirty Little Secrets

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

 

Poetry

You Know
O

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

My Bed
Secular Submission
My therapy
from “hard limit” to “want”
We Measure the Nostalgia
The Cure and The Cause

Events

Smut in the 6ix – Porn Conference & Gala

Erotic Fiction

Typing Errors
La Belle Dame
Sex and chocolate
The Imprisoned of HIM-HER-THEM
The Gift
audience
Becca’s Story
Rope and Fixtures
As salty as his cum…
Dominating the Doctor

Erotic Non-Fiction

Teen Sex in Woolly Tights with 60s Beat Music
Dear Sadist: Your Cruelty Is Your Love
A male dom, the straight girl and the bi girl
Owned, Leashed, & Beaten
Jan 2015 Owned & Collared by Mistress Claire
Rinse The Days Filth Away
Power On
Keeping tally

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Formative Kink Epic Fail: “Buck Rogers”

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

If it was easy anyone could do it
What’s a service submissive?
Prescient Words

Writing About Writing

What if aspirational meant something else?

 

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The Love That Destroys You

Fine art nude of a woman sitting in a human sized bird's nest for The Love That Destroys You by Malin James

The Nest by Serena Biagnini

Ages ago, (it was actually just last year, but it feels like ages ago), I wrote the initial draft of this post. A lot has happened since then and my understanding of how love works for me has changed.

So, rather than starting from scratch, I’m inserting commentary into the draft I initially wrote. The italicized bits are me now. Me a year ago is in standard text. It may end up being contradictory, but love is complicated – so complicated that, in the end, it’s fairly simple. If that’s not contradictory, I don’t know what is.

I recently had a conversation about love – specifically, the “love that destroys you”. My initial response (and the one I ultimately hold to) is that, for me, this kind of love can happen once or twice in a lifetime. While some people stay open enough to get destroyed (in a good way) again and again while, for others, the damage incurred makes staying open hard. I fall into the latter camp.

My initial response was impulsive and, quite honestly, defensive. Having been decimated twice, I was trying to distance myself from the possibility that it could happen again. But buried within that anxiety is the fact that, for me, loving means vulnerability, and that’s terrifying because love routinely destroys me, to varying degrees, on any given day. A special kind of super combustible love is not required. 

What is “the love that destroys you”? It’s love on a cellular level – love that hurts in its absence, like a phantom limb. It’s the kind of love that changes you, slowly over time, or all at once. Either way, it alters you. You aren’t the same person you were before you met and loved (and possibly lost) that person.

I do agree with this definition, though I remember thinking purely in terms of romantic or sexual love when I defined it. The truth is that any love can do this to you, from the love you feel for your mother to the friend you can’t live without. It just depends on context and circumstance.

I have loved in that insane, chemically induced, destructive way and, in both cases, I got dismantled and had to rebuild. As a result, I became a more solitary thing. This isn’t to say that I can’t love passionately. I can and do. I just can’t love in that young way anymore. Over the years I’ve developed barriers – the ability to jump in with both feet was burned out of me.

It wasn’t really, it was just safer, at the time, to think so. Loving in any way – sexually, romantically, platonically, maternally – is a fucking risk. There are no guarantees. Guarantees create the illusion of control, but control goes out the window when you make yourself vulnerable. It’s impossible to predict who you’ll love in that cellular way, but regardless of who it is, barriers won’t stop it. You can either shut down and avoid it completely, or accept it and take the risk.

My daughter is the exception to all of this. Loving her destroys me every day because barriers don’t work with her (nor would I want them to). Every time she wraps her hand around my thumb or cries because her “feelings are big”, part of me crumbles and has to rebuild. Loving her is compulsive and holistic. I could never not love her. But there was something in those early experiences that changed me. I can’t seem to stop protecting myself, even (shamefully) sometimes with her.

Which makes me sad, because what I couldn’t consciously see is that nothing in me had fundamentally changed. I was just so used to guarding myself that it felt like a state of being rather than a choice.

The odd thing is that I still feel that crazy love in random pockets. It’s in the way my mom smiled when she bought orange shoes or how my brother limps when he’s tired. I feel an intense pop of love in small, unconscious moments. Those pops get under my heart, and in those moments, my love for them is so huge that it undoes me. But destruction on a grand scale, I suspect I’ll only feel once or twice.

Here’s the thing. Those small destructions, like the orange shoes, are no different than the big destructions, like the attraction that poisons you or the loss of your right to kiss him. Regardless of scale, those feelings reveal, if only for a moment, the true extent of your attachment. Sometimes that awareness is AMAZING. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it guts you. That emotional intensity means vulnerability and loving enough to be vulnerable means loving enough to be hurt. 

I’ve known great love with friends, lovers, partners and family members. But the love that destroys you, that remakes you in some way…that’s happened twice. I’m not saying I couldn’t feel it again, or that others don’t feel it all the time. I just suspect that, for better or worst, I’ve had that experience and won’t have it again.

Comforting at the time, but wrong. While not every love destroys you, the reality is that, barring complete emotional shutdown, how a love affects you is out of your control.

People die. People leave. Feelings change. While not every love destroys you, any love could if you experience it fully, (which isn’t to say that’s the mark of “real” love. All love is real love. It’s just one way that it can go down). A year ago, that scared me too much to contemplate, so I wove a self-image that helped me feel safe:

Sure, I love. I love like a champ, but I can’t get hurt because everything flammable has already been burned.

Like I said, comforting but wrong. If I can love, I can be hurt. That’s just the way it is for me. So, rather than tell myself pretty stories, I can acknowledge my vulnerability and get on with it. It’s not exactly comforting but it’s honest and, at this point, honesty, even painful honesty, is better than the illusion that I won’t get hurt again.

Erotic Fiction: Tether

Black and white photograph of couple walking in the rain for Erotic Fiction: Tether by Malin James

Couple Walking in Venice Rain by Jim McKinniss

She’s walking down the street with her hand in his. She knows it’s there—her brain tells her it is – but she can barely feel it. The thread that connects her body to her mind is as thin as a spider’s web, billowing and fine. She’s tethered but only just.

They walk slowly, enjoying the grayness of the day, the rain. They’re soaked, but there’s no rush to hurry home so they continue hand in hand, meandering over the cobbles. She feels them under her feet, slippery, turtle-like bumps. She feels them from a distance, from centuries away.

They stop in front of a window full of posters for theater and half-off drinks. He brings her fingers to his mouth and nibbles at the tips without really thinking about it. She loves the casual way he puts part of her in his mouth. She knows she does. She knows.

She strains into that knowing, strains so hard that she can almost feel the pressure of his teeth. Almost. She leans into his shoulder, rests her temple on wet wool, inhaling his scent. She loves his scent. She knows she does.

They turn from the window and he says something about drinks. She murmurs something like yes. She’d love drinks. She knows she would. But even though her head is telling her this, even though she trusts it to be true, the emotional response she should be having—warmth, pleasure, arousal, whatever—doesn’t come. She just knows.

From high above her body, she watches them walk on, arm in arm, as the rain muffles the city. She knows her hair is plastered to her head, as sleek and dark as sealskin. She knows her boots are soaked. She knows it the way she knows his jeans are drenched and that his skin will taste like rain. Like her body is his and not her own. The tether is getting thinner.

“What are you thinking about?”

He asks her, light and easy, but there’s a gravity in his tone. She shakes her head.

“Nothing much,” she says, truthfully. “My hair. Your coat. How wet I am.”

The words come out with an effortless, flirty lilt.

“Yeah? How wet are you?”

She knows which wet he means. He means the one she implied. It’s automatic and real and true and not. She doesn’t even know.

“Soaked,” she says. “To the bone.”

And that is true—she’s soaked, and not just her clothes. She’s slick between her legs. She knows she is. She knows. She wishes she could feel it.

He squeezes her arm. More cobbles. Dead leaves. Everything is slick. The rain is getting heavier and the street lamps come on. Flash of lightning, like a silent film. He pulls her into the doorway of a pretty antique shop.

She knows his hands are warm on her cold, cold face. His hands are always warm and she is always very cold. She watches them, from high above. What a pretty couple, she thinks. He sinks his hands into the river of her hair. His tongue is hot in her mouth. Her body responds. She knows it will. Her body always responds.

Her thighs tremble as his fingers slide inside her, as sure as going home. Her hips move against his hand. He feels so good against her –  good and warm, solid as an anchor. She knows he does. Knowing makes her feel. Eventually, it does. Knowing makes her fingers fumble with his belt.

The rain is coming hard now, veiling them but not so well that someone couldn’t see. She feels a flutter in her chest. She feels a flutter in chest and pops the buttons of his fly. She strokes his cock he strokes her, two fingers deep, not so distant as before. She feels her body hum and tuck into his.

“Where are you?”

“I’m here.”

“Stay with me,” he says.

He breathes the “me” more than says it. It travels over her skin, shivering, warming, raveling her in. His cock rubs against her hip as he works her with his hand. She knows what he feels like, buried inside her, knows how he feels at every angle everywhere. She knows and now she needs more.

She sinks her fingers into his soft, damp hair and tugs until she feels an answering pull. She’s watching from very close now. Her breathing gets ragged and he lifts her up and pins her to the wall.  Stone presses into her back; her legs wrap around his waist; her body tilts and then he’s in her. A puzzle piece that fits.

“Where are you?”

“I’m here.”

She feels his eyes and she meets them, and kisses him suddenly, hard.

“Come with me,” she whispers. “Now.”

She groans. The sound is thick with so much feeling that the feeling almost hurts. But she stays in the doorway with him, with her body and his body and the crash of him against her and her deep tidal pull. For now, she doesn’t know anything. For now, she’s anchored tight. For now, she’s tied down close.