Fascination

She can’t explain her fascination with it.

She thought she’d psyched herself up for this, thought she knew what she was getting back into, but the first time she has a drink with him after the event, the silver band on his finger is like being punched in the stomach.

She’d known she’d have to give up sleepovers, impromptu dates, late night phone calls. She hadn’t considered that she’d have to give up looking at his hands.

She watches him lift his pint to his mouth, scratch his face, twirl a coaster between his fingers.

Any minute now, he’ll notice her staring.

In her bedroom, she can’t bear it. ‘Can you just –’ She stops. She doesn’t know what to ask him for. She can’t ask him to take it off, after all, although she knows that characters in novels do that sometimes, when they’re cheating.

He’s not cheating. He’s not cheating, and that is the problem.

‘Can I just…?’

‘It doesn’t matter.’

‘Sure?’

‘Sure.’

The sex is as good as it always was. Marriage hasn’t changed his thick cock, the aftershave he wears, the way he kisses.

And then she has an idea.

‘Put your fingers in my mouth,’ she says. This is not new. She has always liked this.

When his fingers are in her mouth, she can’t look at them. That helps, a bit. A bit, bit not enough.

‘Deeper?’ she asks. She wonders if his whole fist could fit in her mouth.

His eyebrow arches. She’s never asked for this before. But he pushes his fingers deeper, so deep she gags on them. Her tongue slides over the metal.

He knows what she’s thinking, she’s sure. Perhaps one day they’ll talk about it, about the fact that this is hard for her. Not today, though. Today there is only the taste of metal and her own voice in her head.

 

Encouraging

She thinks of it as a revenge fuck. Revenge for twelve years of PE lessons, revenge for the humiliation, the shame, the anxiety. The plan, as soon as he tells her, still while they’re chatting on Tinder, that he’s a PE teacher, is to undo all that pain in a single hook up.

The idea of having a PE teacher tell her that she’s good at something – and he will, she knows, because she’s excellent at sucking dick, makes her not only wet but so giddy with the ridiculousness of it all that she’s almost hysterical in the days before they meet.

Yes, she imagines him saying, like that, that’s amazing, oh christ. She imagines him saying encouraging things – Please and I want to come on your tits and Aren’t you a good girl?

But it is not like that. After all, he’s a PE teacher. He’s incapable of being like that.

Oh sure, he likes the way she sucks his cock – otherwise his eyes wouldn’t be rolling back in his head, his mouth wouldn’t be open on a low groan – but making her feel good about herself? It’s just not what PE teachers do, is it?

The thing is, she’s older now, and she likes that he’s awful, so she goes back for more, week after week. And then one day she makes a joke about how he’s so sadistic he’d probably like to see her do the fucking bleep test, wouldn’t he, and he says that they could do that, actually, except, instead of running, she would deep throat him and not come up for air between the bleeps?

It’s a revenge fuck, but not how she imagined it. It’s a revenge fuck, but the shame and humiliation are still there. It’s just that … this time, she likes them.

 

 

 

Doily

When Susie thinks about the summer she lost her virginity, what she remembers most is the daily array of tiny cakes and pastries on intricate, lacy doilies, and how she loved the feminine ritual of tea-time just as much as she always had. It’s just that it seemed so weirdly at odds now with the things she spent all day doing with Tom, who was two years older than her and lived four doors down.

In the previous summers when she stayed with her grandmother, she had never really noticed Tom, or, perhaps, it was that he had never really noticed her. But this summer, they have noticed each other and from noticing each other, things have escalated. Fast.

She’s free to do what she wants all day, as long as she’s back for meal times, so she heads to Tom’s shortly after breakfast and they hang out in his bedroom until just before 12, when she has to excuse herself for lunch. Between 2 and 6, while her grandmother naps and cleans the house, she doesn’t know that, four doors down, Susie is allowing Tom not just to fondle her tits, but also to put his fingers inside her for the first time.

She and Tom have been spending every day together for almost two weeks when he asks if she wants to fuck, and she tells him yes, she really wants to. Afterwards, they fall asleep together and she almost misses teatime. She aches when she unfurls herself from his single bed, but the ache is a good ache, it reminds her that she and Tom have a secret that no-one else knows about.

She toys with the edge of one of the lacy doilies as she eats her scone, and her grandma, noticing, says, ‘They remind me of the veil I got married in, those doilies. You’ll wear one too, no doubt, when you meet a nice boy.’

Susie has no interest in meeting a nice boy. She doesn’t say that, though, instead she focuses on a blob of raspberry jam that has fallen onto the doily. It makes her think of her own white, lace underwear, which, when she went to the toilet, was stained with several spots of blood.

It makes her want all over again. She leaves half her scone unfinished on the plate and is back in Tom’s bed less than half an hour after she left it.

Clandestine

She is cheating, he’s sure of it. Or about to cheat, perhaps, because he she hasn’t yet started coming home late or showering more often, or anything like that. It’s just that sometimes, in the middle of the night, he wakes up and she’s not asleep beside him. And it figures that she would creep downstairs to text a lover, because, with a husband and two children, when else would she find the time to do it?

The irony of it all is that they have more sex now than they’ve had in ages, although he’s read that that can happen, with affairs – that it increases desire generally, or something. Sometimes, he wakes to her kissing her way down his body and taking his cock in her mouth. When she kisses him, afterwards, her lips taste slightly sweet, in an unfamiliar way – not unpleasant, just different.

And so, he tries to put his fears that she’s being unfaithful to one side. He tries to focus on the fact that she seems happy, that he’s getting his dick sucked all the fucking time. But in the end, its no good, because he knows that things won’t continue as they are; that eventually the affair will escalate, and she’ll come home smelling of another man, and perhaps she’ll even want a divorce. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

So when he next wakes and her side of the bed is empty, he tiptoes down the stairs, wanting, but also not wanting, to catch her in the act, messaging, or whispering on the phone, or whatever it is that she and her lover do in these silent, pre-dawn hours.

The living room is still dark. So too is her study. Which leaves the kitchen. He creeps round the corner, expecting to see her sat at the breakfast bar, face lit by the blue light of her phone. But she isn’t holding her phone. The only thing she’s holding is a family sized bag of Mini Eggs.

Blancmange

If she could safeword her way out of choosing a safeword, she would. She has a thing about words, about giving them too much weight – has never found it easy to name pets, pub quiz teams or characters in stories – and she cannot imagine any word that she could blurt out with no context and not feel a complete idiot for saying.

‘Let’s go with ‘Stop’ then,’ he says. ‘It’s not ideal, but if you’d rather keep things straightforward…’

But she rolls ‘Stop’ around in her mouth for a bit, silently, imagines saying it, and it loses all meaning, the way you can suck the colour off a Smartie or look too hard at the word ‘When,’ until it no longer looks like a real word at all.

No. ‘Stop’ is not the one.

In a way, she feels like having a safeword at all is like public speaking – she never wants to say anything that brings the focus directly onto her – and yet here she is having to choose a word that will literally have the power to change the whole course of events.

‘Red’ is another option it would be sensible to go with, but it feels too movie like, too Fifty Shades of Grey. Perhaps she could use ‘grey,’ instead? But she knows better than to pick a word based on her own batshit sense of what might be funny the first time she uses it. And although ‘red’ is not something she feels drawn to, it is closer.

She knows that people use ‘red’ because it carries the meaning of ‘stop’ in more every day, prosaic contexts. And yet, red is the colour that comes to mind when she thinks of kind – skin inflamed by flogging, by whipping, by shame.

But she is not there yet. She has not yet ventured into anything that turns her skin scarlet, hasn’t chosen to be humiliated to the point that it makes her blush.

No, the colour she most associates with her own kinks is pink. Her face flushed with excited, her nipples rock hard and rose-coloured. And then, afterwards, the sense of being limp, boneless, pleasantly weak and wobbly. That is how she finally settles on it.

Blancmange.

Acrobat

He is the first man she has not been tempted to fuck long before the third date. She fancies him, yes, and – unlike lots of other guys she’s been with in the past – she’s not concerned that he’ll turn out to be bad in bed.

No – the problem is her.

She’s not seen him perform – perhaps that too is part of the problem – but all she can imagine is him swinging from things, hanging upside down, and well, if he can do those things, doesn’t it figure that he’ll also want to do them in bed?

She, meanwhile, is definitely not cut out for swinging from anything, be it circus equipment or chandeliers. She’s not built for it physically – she’s all tits and other curves – and even if she was, she’s lacking the confidence, too.

Opposites attract, she tries to tell herself – so what if the most energetic thing she’s ever attempted is the first week of Couch to 5K. So what if she’s scared of heights? It’ll be fine.

And yet, when they do go out for date three, she’s worked herself up so much she can barely eat.

‘You ok? ‘ he asks, as she pushes risotto around the bowl.

She could just tell him. She could be brave. But telling him feels like swinging from a metaphorical chandelier anyway.

‘I’m good,’ she says. ‘Just not very hungry.’ And then she drinks three more glasses of wine.

Back at his, the drink has numbed her nerves somewhat. She can do this.

She takes off her clothes, lies on his bed.

And he fucks her.

It’s the most vanilla sex she’s ever had.

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Zoe

Zoe loves Christmas, and being a mum has only given her reason to love it even more. It’s difficult to say who is more excited, her or daughter, but Zoe would argue it has to be her, because while her daughter is mainly looking forward to what she’ll get from Santa, Zoe has the excitement of both getting stuff from Santa but also being Santa and knowing that she is actually the one responsible for her daughter’s delight.

That said, Christmas is not the only reason for her excitement, because Zoe also has a new(ish) boyfriend. If it feels like he’s newer than he is, it’s because she’s only just introduced him to her daughter and, as a result, he’s started staying over, which is life-changing – if you’d told Zoe when she was a teenager that sex at thirty-two could involve just as much sneaking around as sex at fifteen, she’d never have believed you.

The boyfriend, Nick, is also the reason why she’ll be getting stuff from Santa for the first time in years – it was Nick himself who suggested they do stockings for one another, and Zoe found herself falling for him even harder.

And so, at 3pm on Christmas eve, she sits in the kitchen wrapping presents for the two most important people in her life – her daughter, who’s at her dad’s, and her boyfriend, who’ll be over when he finishes work. Her wrapping is exquisite – there’s a whole colour scheme and she’s spent the best part of a week’s salary on ribbon.

When her daughter is dropped off later that evening, she and Zoe put out a Sherry for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer. ‘Where will Santa leave my presents, mummy?’

‘He puts them at the end of your bed, darling – that way when you wake up, you’ll know straight away that he’s been.’

Nick, meanwhile, gets two stockings (three if you want to be precise) – the one she’s stuffed for him, and the ones she’s wearing. It’s the early hours of Christmas day before they’re sated and she drifts off in his arms.

She wakes to the sound of her daughter’s tears. ‘Mummy, Santa hasn’t been!’

Fuck.

The temptation of cock has stolen Christmas.

Yasmin

Yasmin sends Ben a letter when it’s all over, to let him know that, although she adored him, there are really no hard feelings on her part.

She uses her best notepaper, the thick, cream stuff her grandma bought her years ago, and a decent gel pen, not some cracked old biro she’s found at the back of a drawer.

She writes the words she knows she should, not the words she wants to. She says that she loved the time they’ve spent together, that he’s taught her more than he could ever know, that she understands why they had to stop

She doesn’t understand at all.

What she wants to say is that she misses being curled up on the sofa with him, watching Netflix, that she misses his thick fingers in her cunt and his thick cock in her mouth. What she really wants to say is that she wants him to take her back.

She needs to walk away from the letter for a bit, she decides, needs to clear her head or at least turn her sadness into an emotion she can deal with more easily.

A stamp. She’ll need a stamp. She’ll walk to the post office to buy one – it’s drizzly and miserable outside, but it’ll calm her, soothe her anxious thoughts, perhaps.

At least, that’s the idea. But in the post office, queuing for her stamps, she spots something and has a better idea.

When Ben opens her letter, he’s just hoovered. Just hoovered – and he doesn’t do it often – and now there is glitter everywhere. All colours and sizes of it – large flakes and tiny crystals, foiled pink love hearts, for fuck’s sake. If she wanted him to know that the feelings she describes in the letter are just a cover for her anger, she’s succeeded – two years later, engaged to someone else, he’s still finding bits of the stuff all over the place.

Xandra

Every time Xandra drives past that lay-by, she wants to stop. Instead, she forces herself to carry on home, back to the safety of her living room, back to the warmth and the softness and the ability to close the curtains, fire up the laptop and google pictures of lorry cabs so she can better imagine what it would be like to be fucked inside one.

She doesn’t know quite what it is about lorry drivers. Or maybe it’s not even the drivers, maybe it’s just what they represent. Just thinking about parking her little Ford Fiesta in that lay-by amongst all those massive trucks and getting out to pee in the tired-looking concrete loo block makes her feel an equal mix of scared and turned on. It taps into so many things – exhibitionism, because the main road is so near, but also taboo – the sense that she’d have strayed somewhere she really shouldn’t be.

And so she dares herself, one winter afternoon, to stop on the way home from work. As her car slows to a halt, she’s thinking about all the women’s magazines she’s read over the years that warn of the dangers of trying to make your fantasies – even ones much more every day than hers – reality.

There’s nobody around, although there are several lorries parked up. She decides to check out the loo block – at least in there she’ll be able to indulge in some of her darker fantasies – of her cheek pushed up against the concrete as a short, muscular guy with a shaved head ploughs into her roughly from behind.

But as she opens the door of the block, she doesn’t expect to be confronted with the rear view of a guy at the urinal.

‘Oh christ,’ she says. ‘Sorry!’

And clearly, it isn’t often they encounter women around here because at the sound of her voice, the guy jerks and pees straight up the wall.m

Wendy

Wendy has a kink that her husband doesn’t share. She had thought, when she married him, that she could leave it behind her, but now, six years on, she knows that the longing for it will never leave her, and she’s not sure how much longer she can resist the urge to satisfy it.

She fantasises about it all the time now – when he’s between her legs, licking her cunt, when he unzips in the kitchen, bends her over the table and takes her from behind, even when she’s alone and just folding clean laundry. No matter how hard she tries to force herself to think about other things, her mind always ends up wandering back that.

When he goes away on business, she cracks. She wakes early and knows that today will be the day. She dresses in her favourite outfit, takes her time over her make up, makes herself come while she waits for the kettle to boil. And then she gets the bus into town.

The department store has what she’s looking for, she knows that already – she goes there sometimes to stroke them longingly, to feel the cool metal buttons between her fingers. They have his size, the dark denim that he prefers. Everything that she’s wanted is within her reach now.

‘Can I help you madam? What kind of thing does your husband like?’

She blushes, in spite of herself. ‘Oh no, no, I’m fine, thank you.’

Only one part of her plan remains. When that is done, she pours herself a large glass of wine, and runs a bath. Her husband is due back that evening, but she’ll have to wait until the following morning for her fantasy to play out in full. The bit where he opens his wardrobe and, seeing three brand new pairs of button fly jeans, asks ‘Where are my old ones?’

‘The ones with the zip?’ she’ll ask, sweet as anything. ‘I cut them up.’