Underneath the deep.

“Poppers!” I gasped, like a man drowning. She held the bottle to my nose, pinching my nostril and sealing the tape back over my mouth.

“Suck,” she said, her eyes glinting. I glanced over at The Brit. His shirt long gone, he was looking at us with a disinterested curiosity. Secretly, I was glad. Glad that he was watching and glad that he was gay, that my actions were not a show for anyone other than myself. She would not let me keep my thoughts to myself as she crashed into me, into my head and my throat with her hands.

We had spoken about it at length, but I had not expected that we would follow through, nor that she would have such fun riding me and putting on a show. But she ignored me as I cooked, allowed me to eat bloody steak off her plate, the saline meat atop a slice of bread rustic and savage in my throat. I was hungry in mind, body, and spirit. I’m anxious in nature, and while I watched her laugh, my brain was operating faster, compensating for the sluggishness in my arms and feet. As she drank, I imagined the wine spilling down her top. Frustration. When she spoke, I wondered what it would be like if she cried, or worse yet, stiffened with a lack of comfort and performed as though she was paid to do so. At that moment, I wanted to be there, watching myself watch her, time never speeding and the sun never rising. It was safe on the bed, clutching the remains of a sanguine, blood-soaked baguette in my teeth. Almost feral in my separation from the situation, watching civility across the table from my huddle.

That was, of course, the set-up before the fall. Mine onto the bed and my clothes onto the floor, my arms pinned to the bed. She was rougher with an audience, another unexpected bonus of the evening, and soon her hands were across my face and all over my body, using and probing. Of course there was the inevitable disappointment of slight fabrication. One of the true ironies of breaking in a dominant partner who’s found a knack for spanking is that they’re never really in control. The planning, the orchestration, all came from my mind. But what I needed, I received, in every huff and dizzy bang of the poppers and star-struck slap across my cheeks.

After I smoke, there’s a tingle in my throat, a dissonance that dulls the senses and disinterests my palate. It’s like that when we fuck, or rather, after the fact. She asked me what it was like when I had an orgasm. Some think it’s like a wave of sensation, others compare it to divine ascension. It feels like I’m being pushed off a sidewalk, suddenly, the breath taken out of me but knowing in advance, feeling the warmth of palms pressed on my lower back and the pressure, the anticipation before the jolt. There’s always a slight air of malice to it that makes me grin, knowing I’ve been bested if even for a small moment and given of myself to another. At least, that’s what it’s like with her. In honestly, I wish I cared more. I wish I appreciated it with the same vivacity that dumber people do, the kind of puppyish joy that compels them to pledge allegiance to master, mistress, Satan, and Haagan-Dazs in the same unwavering breath. All it does it makes me tired, belabored with the aching satisfaction of having been pushed and gotten back up again, dusted off my bruised knees and grinned up at the sky. You have had me once, it says, and you may have me again, but for now, I am alone and feeling something sharp on the surface. Liking it.

We passed out in a pile on the bed and I felt the same tenderness toward The Brit that I have felt toward him before, the feeling that we can press ourselves closer and closer without that unwavering, nasty tension that comes with fucking or pre-fucking or post-fucking. It’s precious and fleeting to me, knowing that in 72 hours we may or may not drift back apart. And then, my family will arrive and soon, The Charmer, and shortly after, E. People I love and who love me but rarely with the same intensity of sameness as The Brit, knowing with one glance that The Connection has eyes for me and the room is slightly cold and turning off the light in tandem.

The Connection and I are moving in opposite directions. Her toward leaving her iPod plugged into my stereo system, where the Indigo Girls go unplayed in lieu of better music through tinny speakers, toward breakfast in bed and expectations of dates and dinners. I am heading underground, to bathhouses and the retreat into pills and sex, sex and food. Part of me wants to go home. The rest of me wants to analyze and stare at myself, experiment and stretch until something breaks or stops or continues and I remain. My oral fixation amazes me in a clinical fashion. But in that moment, we fuck. It could take an hour or it could take a day. My eyes focus on everything but the deadly power in hers, however false and ephemeral. She holds my hair at the scalp, cradling me close so I can feel her heart beat.

Frogs and Follies…

L’Amphibi looked like a Rainforest Café, were it not for the fact that everyone was nude or draped in damp towels and grunting with the sounds of sex downstairs. The Brit and I were in the 14th, in the middle of the night, and I’d traded my leather jacket for a pink sarong, loosely tied around my breasts, bruised from the previous evening’s encounters with The Connection, trying to avoid the stares of the men around me.

We knew it would be seedy, but we’d asked to be infused with filth, if only for a while, figuring that we’d wash it down with vanilla milkshakes and the brisk November air after the fact. What I’d expected was that we’d go, prowl around for a little while, and that, due to the sheer outnumbering of men to women, I’d inevitably, lazily shack up with a woman while The Brit ran off with a guy or four. What I hadn’t expected was the lascivious creeping of hands up my thighs, glances bouncing off the angles of mirrors. It turns out that many men in Paris are bisexual.

There are aspects to the bathhouse that I want to take with me, impart upon the frigid culture of lesbian young women. The unabashed tackiness of sitting in a pulsating room, naked but for a plastic tumbler of champagne, and the power that comes with knowing you are wanted and denying it. The rooms designated for casual, almost lazy fucking down below, riveted and lit like a funhouse with strange paths and twists to disorient, fascinate. I admire the brashness of asking a stranger if they want to fuck and gallantly bowing out when they (your faithful narrator) decline. Above ground, you’d get slapped in the face. Here, it’s de rigeur.

The Brit got down to business in the steam room. One minute I was sitting with him, thinking that perhaps this wasn’t too different from my health club back home, and the next, he was fondling a muscular young black man and getting sucked off by a large older guy. I watched and smiled, a euphoric passive observer to passion until an older gentleman broke my heated trance. His fingers traced up and down my thigh as he and another man, both bald, grinned from the fading light of the room. I broke off and left.

Upstairs, we sat and toyed with attractive people whose eyes we caught in the mirror. We are partners in crime and decadence and disgust, white kids from the suburbs of summerland whose eyes are bigger than their libido. We toasted to frogs and to the bartender, offering us free glasses of shitty champagne and discretion. The Brit topped a guy while I waited, daring to ask the perky-breasted woman next to me if she wanted to sit down, as they say. “Madame, voulez-vous s’assoir?” in all my clunky formality, had almost crossed my lips when she scooted to the showers with a robotic, but handsome man, departing shortly after. The thrill of the chase in a pre-fabricated jungle.

In the end, we left satisfied, but not hungry, relishing the feeling of clothes on our backs and the mild alcoholic buzz. It’s less somewhere that I want to fuck in than somewhere I want to watch, peeling the layers off the shadows that go, probing the spectres taking solace in the bar and the empty rustle of the plastic fronds. Finding out what lies behind and shutting the door as I walk toward the street.

-C.