Travel days, especially between countries, lean toward being epic. I’d had a poor sleep, an early morning, a bus ride to the airport almost as long as the flight that followed, a couple more (short) bus rides, capped off with another flight for me — but not my luggage.

By the time I got home I had been awake for almost 24 hours, broken up by a little bit of fitful dozing on the first bus ride and the last flight. Yet surprisingly, when I got home I had a bit of a second wind.

That was it; I was having a bath. A soak and scrub couldn’t wait until morning. Once the water ceased to be scalding, Wolf came into the bathroom and settled himself on the floor beside the tub. He lifted my arm, slid the slick bar of soap along it, rubbing bubbles into my skin. He slowly, gently washed and stroked my limbs and front. No words were necessary. I turned over, my belly pressed against the bottom of the tub, so he could wash my back. He stroked my ass and cunt then had me stand facing and leaning against the wall while he explored and touched and licked a little. When he was done, he left me to finish my bath and I could feel the wetness that wasn’t water. I thoroughly shaved and scrubbed and got sparkling clean. My trip felt completely behind me.

Wolf was reading in bed, waiting for me. After I towelled off, I cuddled with him, straddling his legs with my head near his hip and my legs folded under me, like a frog. After a few minutes, he got me to turn around so I was still straddling, but with my forehead resting on the bed near his ankles. He admired my ass, then began to stroke me and put his finger inside me. He used some lube because I wasn’t particularly wet, but my vagina was still irritated from (I assume) the tropical heat and it immediately started to sting. I had to jump up to wash it off. I wasn’t aroused and I felt rushed. It threw off my mood.

When I returned, we cuddled again, spooning. Wolf began to pinch my nipples, which he knows can get a good reaction but the pattern was predictable and it was starting to irritate me. The novel sensations I had recently experienced with Gawan were fresh in my mind, and that gave me some knowledge that I could share. Oh, but how awkward would that be? My only other options were to make him stop or to endure it and sacrifice my mood. To what end? I chose pleasure.

I asked Wolf if he would experiment some, try different levels of intensity, try rolling my nipples slowly between his fingers, pulling, twisting, try sucking on them and not gently. He said he would try. I was still a little irritable and yet within moments he had me groaning and writhing and wet. Oh yes. That was good.

I suppose he was concentrating on his task, and although he gave me a couple of kisses, it didn’t satisfy my desire to make out.

“Kiss me,” I breathed.

In a low voice, he responded, “Don’t tell me what to do…”

“Yes, sir.”

He asked me what I would like to do next, and he would consider my request. “I think I’d like you to finger-fuck me while I use the vibe.” And so it went. The Hitachi was still in my luggage, which hadn’t made it onto the flight back and so was in airport limbo somewhere; the only option was try the rechargeable vibe (which had been neither used nor charged for a couple of weeks) and hope that it had a bit of charge left in it.

He slid his fingers into me and began to work my g-spot in just the right way. I let him drive me into an intense state of need before switching on the vibe. It worked, hurrah! After just a few moments, my hips were already moving involuntarily. I moaned, I gasped, I cried out and keened as the orgasm took me and shook me. My keening turned into tearful and howling sobs as I crested. I was utterly spent, with tears pooling in my ears.

I’m home.

Gawan: Intro to Flogging

As promised, Gawan brought a flogger with him. With black suede falls about 3/8″ wide, black suede covering the handle, and silver hardware, it looked entirely BDSM-y. Surprisingly so, in fact. He’s no slave to tradition (sometimes even actively subverting it), so any color would have been possible. Now, hot pink would be highly improbable, but it wouldn’t have come as a total shock. On the other hand, he recognizes the power of symbols, especially if they tend to increase hotness: if a black flogger contributes to the mood, then that’s all to the good. But I’m guessing that his primary reason for choosing this flogger has more to do with function and feel. Hell, it could be his travel flogger for all I know.

I’m not sure whether it was day or evening, but I have a recollection of the warm and intimate glow of the bedside lamps. Our room was decorated in warm tones: mango and blush on the walls, bedspreads of cinnabar and gold. The room was not cool — the air conditioner was barely up to the task at any time of day.

I was nude, face down on the rumpled white sheets, hips elevated with two pillows, when he gave me a safe word. It wasn’t the standard “red”, or any other safe word that I’d heard before. I repeated it to myself a few times to make sure I’d remember it, especially since it was novel and my mind would soon be elsewhere. It sounded a bit silly, the sort of thing that, if I found myself under enough strain to need it, the mere saying of it would break the spell of seriousness and lighten the mood at least a little.

I’d never had a proper safe word before. Explicitly being given special means to stop meant that we were — that I was — officially starting. This was, at least in some sense of the word, real.

He began slowly, caressing my back with the falls of the flogger. That was… good. Delicious, even. I sighed my enjoyment. Then he began to rain light blows on me. It was heavy enough that it must have started to color my skin, but it still felt pleasant.

After this point, my recollection is hazy at best. I could have been a more objective observer if I had clung to ordinary awareness, but that would have sacrificed some of the fullness of the sensation. Objectivity be damned, I wanted to feel. So I let go.

And I could have reconstructed it if I’d revisited the experience soon after we finished, but it didn’t seem all that noteworthy at the time. It wasn’t until much later, when Gawan told me that I seemed to have dropped to somewhere near subspace, that I tried to fill in the gap.

So, what happened? The blows must have become heavier, no longer pleasant as such but not actively unpleasant. I would have been focusing on managing the sensation the way I do with a deep tissue massage, which feels uncomfortable yet satisfying because I know it’s helping. In those moments when a knotted muscle is being probed with, say, an elbow, I’m entirely focused on the treatment, breathing deliberately through it and making an effort to relax into it because if my attention wanders, it hurts more. I could never doze off during a treatment — in fact, I feel very alert — and yet afterwards I can barely remember what was done. I think this must be what was happening during the flogging.

The details return when it got heavier. Occasionally he threw in a sharper blow. Those stung. I flinched. I gasped. But I never felt like I was getting close to calling a halt.

He went on for some time — how long, I have no idea — but as far as I was concerned it was over too soon. When he was done, he casually put the flogger down. On the bed. In front of my face. I knew the placement was entirely deliberate, and I did my best to hide my smile.

Nothing he had thrown at me had felt terribly challenging. I hadn’t needed the safe word, nor had I expected to. I had been confident that he would have a fair sense of how far to go the first time and to be able to read my reactions, and he worked comfortably within my limits, despite the fact that I didn’t even know where those limits were.

Later he said all my reactions showed that I enjoyed it. That surprised me. All of them? Sure, the caresses and the light blows were clearly well received, but what about the focus and the flinching? I wouldn’t have described that as much of a demonstration of enjoyment. So either he misunderstood my body language (which seems quite unlikely), or he knows something that I don’t. Maybe I should ask.

They say that you should leave the recipient wanting more. If that’s true, then mission accomplished.

Gawan: hands and mouth

We were lying on the bed, clothed, kissing. Gawan’s hand reached down, only one possible destination. I stopped him: “I’m not ready for that yet.” And he abandoned the quest.

Later in the day, from much the same starting point, he shifted down the bed and put his hands on my hips, the tips of his fingers curling inside the waistband of my snug, yoga-pant style shorts. The gesture was a question in the form of a statement. This time, my answer was wordless too: I lifted my hips, allowing him to tug down my shorts and underwear. As far as I was aware, the only thing that had changed was the passage of time. Perhaps that was all I needed.

He settled himself between my thighs and leisurely began to explore me with his tongue. Licking and sucking contentedly, he occasionally gave a deep hum of appreciation, savoring me.

Occasionally, he would punctuate his attentions by slowly and very deliberately biting that fleshy spot at the top of my inner thigh — first on the right, then on the left — just to the point where I’d suck air through my teeth or gasp a little as it started to register as painful. In those moments, leading me to the edge of pain seemed to be his goal.

He left me in no doubt that he was happy to be where he was. And a good thing, too.

I don’t come easily. For a long time, oral sex was the only way a partner could get me off, and even then it was never all that reliable. Buying a vibrator (first a We-Vibe Touch, then a Hitachi Magic Wand) has changed my sex life rather significantly for the better. A vibe offers consistency, so once I figure out what works, I can replicate it. Also, it’s a lot easier to find what works when I’m both experiencing and controlling the sensation, rather than trying to give directions when I can’t explain, or don’t know, what I want.

Gawan subscribes to a sort of chivalry that includes the premise that, on the matter of orgasms, it’s ladies first. I had brought the Hitachi*, but his sexual pride eschews electric methods: he much prefers “acoustic”. And to a certain extent, I can see his point: especially when you’re establishing a new connection, mediating the experience with a tool creates a bit of distance and might feel impersonal. Anyway, I wasn’t surprised when we didn’t get there on the first try — he’s a new lover, and we weren’t using the technique that works most reliably for me.

In addition to his oral skills, he also paid attention to my nipples in a broadly experimental way. He rolled them slowly between his fingers, pulled, and twisted them until I groaned. He pinched, trying different levels of intensity until I gasped. He sucked on them lavishly. He grazed them with his teeth and bit gently, but discovered that the sharpness was too much for me.

Fortunately, he is a fan of cunnilingus. He had set himself a task, and he returned to it with enthusiasm. He managed to get me right up to the edge many times, so he got to hear a sampling of my range of appreciative warbles.

The man’s tongue has incredible stamina, and while he took a couple of well-deserved breaks, I never actually sensed him tire during all that time. After a tremendous amount of work on his part (and a tremendous amount of wishing myself over the edge), Gawan finally got me off. As we were later to discover, he had in fact licked me a bit raw.

At another time, despite the fact that I don’t get off on being watched, I decided to be brave and demonstrated how I use the Hitachi to give myself an orgasm in about 5 or 10 minutes. He didn’t have a role in the process and we weren’t really connecting, so the result was more awkwardness than shared intimacy in that moment.

*Note to self: The Touch, which I guess would be considered a bullet vibe, would have been the better choice to bring on the trip. It’s purple and curvy, with a wider handle end and a narrower business end. It has been described as looking like a potato, but I think it’s more like a meaty thumb. Odd as it looks, it’s still reasonably subtle. The Hitachi is good at getting the job done, but it’s huge in comparison — about as long as my arm from elbow to fist — and looks like a cartoonish karaoke microphone. Subtle it is not. Mostly I think I succumbed to the temptation posed by having lots of room in my bag.

I noticed without paying attention

By all rights, neither of us should have been particularly interested in sex. My period was coming to an end but its conclusion hadn’t yet been announced by the sudden flaring of horniness that I’ve come to expect in recent months. As for him, that problem with the valve in his heart had spooked him (the thought of popping one’s aorta will do that, no matter how unlikely the eventuality) but he was getting over the nauseous novelty of it and had started applying a more realistic yardstick: he needed to keep his pulse low enough not to incite the fluttering of heavy moth wings in his chest.

We’d both had emotional ups and downs; his vague promise of playtime in the evening turned into “I’m not really in the mood anymore”. Promises, or even suggestions, create expectations and I’d had too many let-downs.

Fuck it. Start over, tabula rasa. Let’s just be close and see what, if anything, happens.

In the mellow lamplight we both warmed a little. I stroked his cock through his underwear. Then the underwear was removed, he reclined, and I leaned across his lap, propped on my left elbow. I stroked him some more. I noticed without paying attention to the purple and yellow bruises on his right groin and upper thigh, at the site of the puncture for the angiogram and a few inches below. Bruises can come out in unpredictable ways as gravity draws the blood down within the body before it surfaces again and leaves angry stains.

I leaned forward, licked the slick drop of dew from the tip of his cock. Holding him at the best angle, I lightly touched the tip of my tongue to his frenulum, stroking delicately up and down. I ran the tip of my tongue around the corona, first this side then that side, listening to his breath.

When I took his glans into my mouth, sucking gently, I felt the smoothness of his skin against my tongue and lips, heard him suck air through his teeth, and watched how, when I withdrew, the base of his cock clenched. I noticed without paying attention to the patch on the right side of his cock where the hair was shaved. A clench must feel good, so I kept up the light sucking, focused on eliciting this one small reaction.

He decided to masturbate to his finish. I noticed without paying attention to the clear-and-red plastic ID bands encircling both of his wrists. I knew they each bore his name, age, gender, a bar code, and numbers whose significance I could not divine. The bands that he had slid up his arms as high as they’d go so they wouldn’t move and draw any more of his attention. The bands that he concealed with a long-sleeved shirt, despite the late summer heat, whenever he left the house. The bands that serve as a constant reminder, like a thread tied around one’s finger (does anyone do that anymore? did anyone ever do that?) that he has major surgery coming up. Don’t forget, now!

His head was against the wall, upper torso supported by my dense pillow. I reclined in the opposite direction, our left sides together: my knees were together just above his cock, my left knee bent so that my lower leg touched the bed, my right leg straight across his chest. When he stroked himself to his climax, his come crisscrossed and warmed my leg. I noticed without paying attention to his heartbeat.

that was intense

I’d had my bath and it was time to play.

While I was lying on my side, he gave me a few thoroughly intimate and intimately thorough licks, then he arranged me on my back for some more of the same. “Don’t move,” he ordered, and went to retrieve the lube.

He started working my ass with his index finger, calmly and methodically, in and out, in and out. It doesn’t feel good on its own exactly, but it seems add a spice to the dish — like adding a pinch of salt to dessert in order to intensify the sweetness. Then, keeping that finger still, he started manipulating my g-spot with his other hand. Then both, alternating to avoid sensation overload.

Lying prone with my knees up and my arms above my head in surrender, I was intent and breathing heavily. An awareness of something being a bit off started to permeate my slightly altered consciousness, and I paused  the action to take stock. My upper lip was tingling. My right hand, which was gripping my vibe, was tingling too, though my left wasn’t. He saw my torso quickly flush, originating at my upper chest and rapidly spreading down to my hips, and he feared some kind of sudden and odd allergic reaction. We waited until the symptoms (of hyperventilation, as it turns out) dissipated.

He resumed his attentive ministrations, alternately working on my ass and my cunt. That was oh so good, and I moaned my little moans, but it wasn’t enough to get me off on its own. So I introduced the vibe, ever so lightly on my clit.

Almost immediately, I started to crest. Each wave hit just the right spot; it felt almost unbearably good and I clenched everything and quickly felt like I was close to coming. No stealthy lead-up, this. It was a sudden alarm and I could imagine I heard klaxons. After only 5 ‘waves’ or so (was that 30 seconds, maybe a minute?), it heaved me — reeling — from the point of intensity and over the edge.

I instantly burst into tears, howling. Eventually it was like a switch had been flipped and I suddenly started giggling uncontrollably. I felt a little out of my head, a little high. There was no space between sobbing and giggling, I just bounced from one to the other. At one point mid-way through, my teeth were chattering. I eventually came back to myself after 20 minutes or more. It was a hell of a thing, the most intense orgasm I’ve had to date, and the previous record was set about 9 or 10 months ago.

All this on the summer solstice, the shortest night of the year. I’d be delighted to celebrate every solstice in this debauched and pagan-ish way.