We’re always online, our respective divorces have left us sleepless and unanchored.

Blue tells me I should come over. He says we’ll just hold each other as long as we need to, nothing more. He says he once drove across two provinces just for a hug. We found each other on a dating site. I’m not as wary as I should be about people on the internet. I google the directions then tell the ex I’m leaving for awhile so he needs to walk the dog. He’s on the phone with his new girlfriend again, so he makes some generic gesture that could either mean “I heard you” or “go away and fuck off.” I’m stuck living with him until I can afford my own place.

I drive to an unfamiliar suburb where the houses all have wide perfect green lawns. I follow the map to a condo community that sports a fake nautical theme, even though it’s fifty miles to the nearest lake. I find the right condo and knock on the door. Blue is pale and gaunt, all angles and edges, different from his online photo. He says that divorce will do that to you. I know that because I’m all angles and edges now too. We sit on the front steps of the condo and nervously pass a cigarette back and forth, careful to avoid touching hands.

We know a lot about each other, but there is an awkwardness between us here in the physical world. We both try to go through the front door at the same time, bumping shoulders.  He makes me a cup of peppermint green tea and we sit at a little cluttered kitchen table. He talks very fast and flips over tarot cards, avoiding eye contact. I look around at the spare furnishings left in the condo. Boxes are stacked in the corner, most of the floor is covered in paint speckled plastic sheets. It’s his grandmother’s condo, he had already explained to me, she fell and had to go to a nursing home, so he’s renovating it to sell. Continue reading

“Ugh, no,” I tell Jay as I push his head away.

“I’m having my period.”  His eyes brighten, he gets up, then returns with a towel. I lift my ass up to let him slide the towel underneath me. “Go easy,” I say,  I’m a bit crampy.” Jay smiles, says that he has no intention of fucking me.

Jay twists his long mop of curls into a ponytail, sets his glasses on the nightstand. The spiral brands adorning his arms shimmer faintly in the sunlight. He pats the bed, motioning for me to scoot down. As he slides my panties down over my thighs, I hesitate.

“Are you really? It’s…I mean… it’s so…” I stutter. Jay nods, spreading my thighs wide open. “Kiss me first,” I say. “I’m not sure I can kiss you after.” Jay nibbles my bottom lip. “Shhhh,” he whispers, “stop worrying so much.” Continue reading

I’m tied to the bed, but somehow this isn’t about sex.

I’m in the middle of a bad divorce. No one has ever told me that it’s okay to be kinky. Up until now, I was lucky to have my wrists inexpertly bound together once every few years. I have a single porn magazine that I keep hidden. I have never owned a sex toy. I can’t even fathom a world where people really get to fuck like that.

I meet Jay. He looks like he just stepped out of a story book forest-long dreads, tattoos, a skirt. Spiral brands shimmer and shift on his skin. He writes, works with wood and leather.  We spend hours reading out loud to each other. I call him Mama Bear, he likes to nurture- cooks me spicy food, makes sure I eat my vegetables.

We talk about everything. I shamefully tell him my fantasies. I can’t even look at him. He opens a drawer, shows me restraints, dildos, whips, knives. Jay tells me that I’m not a freak, well, not a bad freak. Patiently, he answers my million questions. We spend long summer afternoons in bed, napping, talking, then finally fucking. I’m still shy about asking for what I want most. It still seems extreme and deviant. I’m scared, but I ask him anyway.  My heart pounds, will he laugh at me?

Taking a length of soft rope, Jay instructs me to lift up my legs. He winds the ropes over and under. It takes a very long time. I’m on my back, but in the fetal position. He tucks the last end under and steps back. I’m so peaceful, so happy, I can’t even speak. Kneeling next to the bed, he touches my face. “Your eyes, wow!” he whispers reverently, “You should see yourself, you’re so beautiful, you’re glowing.” We don’t fuck. This isn’t about sex anymore. Jay carefully curls his body around mine, stokes my hair, tells me I’m so beautiful. I fall asleep, bound and content. This is my new religion.