Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 33

Atom the Archaeologist

March 2003

As I get back into internet dating, Sarah introduces me to a new website called Friendster. She describes it as a dating profile where you can put in a lot more information about yourself and get matched based on who you know in common, not just physical proximity or age range. Or as she puts it somewhat cynically, it's like creating the trading card version of yourself. I waste hours creating my personal trading card, then trying to see how many people I can link up with. It's strangely addictive, even more so since the system keeps crashing and it sometimes takes hours to log in.
Sarah is also single again since her boyfriend broke up with her. He seems like kind of a cold-hearted jerk to me, and she complains that the sex was terrible because he only wanted to reenact porn scenes by coming on her face. But despite his obvious shortcomings, she's pretty broken up about it and also makes it worse for herself by staying friends with him. He's already dating someone else, but she's still hanging around and talking to him all the time. She goes on the heartbreak diet, and drowns her sorrows in exercise, so as a result she drops two sizes and is the hottest she has ever been. But even though we again spend hours looking at profiles online, she never brings herself to contact anyone.
I, on the other hand, am more serious about finding someone, and even though Friendster is a compelling distraction, it's that still yields up actual dates for me. It's been long enough since my first time around on internet dating that there are some new profiles up, but mostly I see a lot of the same people again, including the hot but clearly an asshole dude who calls himself Tommy Crown. He would never be interested in someone as nerdy as I, but I take some mean-spirited satisfaction in his continued presence on the site. Apparently other women are not that into him either.
I revise my profile to make it really clear I am into BDSM and looking for a sub guy partner. I message a bunch of new guys, but this time around I cut right to the chase. No long email exchanges. We need to establish a real connection first.
Predictably, my inbox is full of messages from guys critiquing my tastes in music and movies as listed on my profile, and/or making stupid jokes about SM. The worst are the one line or even one word messages from guys who have obviously not even read my profile. Those are by far the most numerous.
Messages that have some thoughtful content are rare, but I get one from a guy whose profile is titled "Up and Atom." A Simpsons reference is always a good sign, and his photos are gorgeous. Pretty soon we're meeting for gelato near the Lester State campus. In person, he's even more gorgeous: blue eyes, thick dark blond hair, a boyish face and a deep golden tan. His name is Atom spelled with a t, which I think at first is some Eastern European variant spelling, but I find out later his real name is Adam and he had the spelling legally changed. So yeah, he's kind of a pretentious hipster, but unlike most of the hipsters hanging around Raser City, he's not a slacker or IT drone. He's a real working archaeologist. Right now he's on a dig just outside the city, but he's worked all over the world. Just like Indiana Jones! I can hardly believe someone so cool is interested in me. He's into comic books too, although his favorite title is Green Lantern, which is kind of lame.
I try to impress him by talking big about my experience in the BDSM scene and other erotic adventures, but he only seems to be half listening.
"I masturbate twice a day," I brag.
Atom narrows his eyes at me. "You have too much time on your hands."
"Fuck you! Most guys are dreaming of a girl with a high libido." I'm thinking specifically of Skip, who found my twice daily habit a turn on. In fact, everything about the way I am flirting is just replicating what worked so well on Skip, but Atom doesn't seem impressed.
Despite this somewhat rocky start, Atom asks me out again for dinner, then he invites me back to his apartment. He shares a place with two other guys, and it's exactly as gross and noisy as you would expect. We commiserate about still living like students into our thirties, about not having enough money and waiting for our careers to take off. Apparently freelance archaeology work doesn't pay very well, and he's thinking about going to grad school.
"Believe me, you'll have even less money as a grad student," I warn him. He just laughs.
His roommates are watching TV in the living room, so he suggests going to his bedroom to get a little privacy. As soon as the door closes, he starts kissing me and sticking his hands up under my shirt. I kiss him back, but something is bothering me. After a few more minutes of making out, I stop and pull away.
"I, um, just want to let you know...uh, I'm looking for a real relationship," I say. "Not just something casual." It feels really important that I be upfront about this, but as I deliver this little speech, not only are we halfway to getting naked, but I'm kneeling on the floor directly in front of his crotch. He looks down at me with his legs spread and his eyes heavy, half lidded.
"Yeah, sure," he grunts.
"Ok, good, I mean, I just want to be clear."
He nods. So we have oral sex, then he doesn't call me for a week.
I feel like I majorly fucked that up. What kind of idiot am I? First, his roommates never even bothered to say hello to me, let alone ask my name. They do seem to be inconsiderate assholes, but it seems equally likely that they are not bothering to get to know me because Atom has had a parade of women through the apartment. Second, I told Atom that I want him to be my boyfriend as we were in the middle of having casual sex. Talk about mixed messages. I decide to chalk it up to experience and forget about him.
But then, just when I have completely written him off, Atom calls me and asks me out again. We go out to dinner as if nothing had happened, and I try to keep it casual and light. I drop all mention of wanting a serious relationship, since it's obvious that's not going to happen. If he just wants to be friends with benefits, well, he's super hot and I'm horny as hell. After dinner, we go back to my place.
We sit on my bed, and he pulls his shirt off. Oh, that golden skin. I run my hands over his tight chest and arms. Working on digs has given him the kind of taut muscles most guys need hours in the gym to achieve. He has a huge Celtic cross tattoo on one arm that I think is so cool. I lean down and kiss his neck. He smells of sandalwood. It's intoxicating.
This time, Atom is the one who interrupts us. "Soooooo...." he drawls, sitting up suddenly.
"You said you're into, like, S&M, right?"
"Why, you want to try playing?"
"Maybe," he says in a noncommittal tone, but I see his eyes light up.
"Ok," I say, smiling. I put on my best Mistress voice. "On your knees!"
"I said, on your knees!" I push him over and he gets on his hands and knees on the bed, with his ass in the air. I take out my latex flogger from the drawer under the bed and whack him a few times, just testing out his response. He's going along with it but I can tell he's not a natural masochist. He's humoring me but spanking isn't really turning him on.
I change tactics. Tossing the flogger away, I pull out a length of white nylon rope from the drawer. "I've been practicing," I brag, as I try out one of the techniques I learned in the class with Lulu. Placing his hands together, I wrap the rope around and around his wrists until it's like a thick cuff, then secure the ends. With a firm tug, I pull his arms up above his head and tie him to the bed post.
I kiss him all over while he's tied up, then sit on his face. He's enjoying himself but it still seems like he's holding something back. Like Skip, he can't quite bring himself to say what he really wants right away. After I go down on him and finish him off, I check in with him, since it's his first time with any kind of SM play.
"So what do you think?" I ask, unwrapping his wrists.
"Um, good," he grunts, wincing as he brings his arms down.
"Anything in particular you want to try?"
"I dunno, maybe?"
"Like what exactly?"
"Come on, my mind reading superpowers are on the fritz. You have to tell me."
He rubs his wrists, not meeting my eye. "Do you have one of those, whaddayacallit, a, um, harness?"
"What, like a sex sling? I tried one once and believe me, it's way overrated."
"No, not that! Like a harness you wear." He gestures around his hips.
"Oh, you want me to peg you!" He nods, turning red. It's kind of adorable how I have to drag it out of him. What is it with these dudes always so embarrassed about their kinks? Pegging is so not a big deal.
I actually don't own a harness, but it's something I've always wanted so I go out the next day and buy one from my neighborhood lesbian owned sex positive adult store. The dildo is the big purple one that I've had for years, the same one I used to pop that girl's cherry when I lived in Seoul. Whatever, I've sterilized after every use by boiling it in a pot of water on the stove, and I put a condom on it for good measure.
I call up Atom to let him know I'm fully equipped, and he's over at my place almost immediately. I find it hilarious how I look with the harness on, a giant purple dong curving up from my crotch. Atom gives me a hungry look, so I order him to strip and lay face down on the bed with his ass in the air, while I kneel behind him.
"Tell me if it hurts."
I haven't done anything like this since I was with Buttboy seven years ago, and even then, I made him do the insertion himself. I still have vivid memories of him waddling bowlegged around my apartment shouting about how his butt hurt because he jammed the plug in too hard.
This time I take it very slow and use lots of lube. I place the head of the dildo on his ass crack, rubbing slowly up and down, then nudge gently against his hole. At first he clenches up but after a minute or so, he relaxes and it slides right in. I lean forward and he groans loudly. Slowly, slowly I start rocking back and forth, building up steam until I'm really fucking him hard. The muscles on his gorgeous, golden back ripple as he writhes under me. I put one hand on the small of his back and reach around with the other to grab his cock. He comes in under a minute.
Afterwards, he lays on the bed for a good long time looking a bit dazed. "Wow."
"Yeah, that was hot."
"Can we do that again sometime?"
"Sure, anytime."

At the same time I'm hooking up with Atom the Archaeologist, I'm still hanging around with Skip, occasionally having sex then regretting it because he has a girlfriend. She's granted him the open relationship he always claimed he wanted, and seems happy to play sidekick to his superhero, both things I always insisted he didn't really want.
He's doing better financially as well, now that he's back at work. He moves out of the 1970s era love shack on Outer Reach Beach and gets his own place, a condo in a more central neighborhood. I go to visit his new place once he's settled in.
The condo is nice but kind of soulless, and I can't help teasing him about his design choices, which seem like the kind of calculated, pre-packaged quirkiness you can buy at Target.
"Nice bedspread," I remark, running my fingers over the faux-leather vinyl on the bed. "If you spill something, you can just wipe it up with a sponge!" I think this is very clever, but he just gives me a pained, sour look that says, Why do you have to be such a bitch?
Despite, this, he seems happy to see me, so I hang out for a few hours. We talk about comics and movies, avoiding mention of our current romantic lives. For some inexplicable reason, he pulls out a shoebox of old photos and shows me pictures of his family, of him as a kid. I can't figure out why he's doing this. It's clear to me that we are drifting further and further apart. We still love each other, but my feelings of jealousy over an open relationship have never gone away. Whenever I'm around him, there's always this undercurrent of bitterness and resentment that makes me sarcastic and cranky. As much as I enjoy his company, it's exhausting. So why is he sharing all these intimate details about his life with me when we have almost no intimacy left? Maybe it's just a habit, or maybe he just couldn't think of anything else to talk about.
We make out for a while, but I stop before we go all the way, saying I have to get up early the next day. I leave his apartment feeling like this is finally it. I can't help but think of how perfect he seemed when we first met. How did we come to this? I recall the advice of my poet gardener friend, who said that I was just a rebound for Skip after his divorce. Dammit, he was right.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 34

Brenno the Baritone

April 2003

Rehearsals start up again for the next production of the Raser City Lyric Opera. The opera this time is Rusalka by Dvorak, which is a little obscure, but it's based on fairy tales, and we're singing it in English. All of the women's chorus will be dressed as fairies and rehearsals will be intense as we will have to learn to dance as well as sing. It's only been a few weeks since the last show closed, but I'm so happy to be back singing with my friends again.
After one of the first chorus rehearsals, I'm chatting with my old friend Brenno. I tell him that I'm going to New Orleans for a conference in a few weeks, because I know he grew up there, although his family doesn't live there anymore.
"NOLA!! Hell yeah!" He grins down at me. He's a tall, skinny, excitable guy, at least a foot taller than I am. I've always thought he was cute in a gangly way, with his long blond hair and easy smile, but truthfully we've never been that close. Aside from talking after rehearsals, we've never done anything one on one before.
Impulsively, I say, "You should come with me."
"Ok, yeah! Ecco mi qua!" Brenno has been taking Italian classes in his spare time, because his office is near the Lester State campus. Lately he's been in the habit of shouting out random Italian phrases.
"Really? Are you sure?" I can't quite believe he said yes.
"Sure! It's a long weekend, right? I won't have to miss work, and I've been wanting an excuse to go back for a while. Come on, man, let's do it!"
Two weeks later, I'm on a Friday morning flight to New Orleans with a guy I had only ever thought of as a somewhat distant friend, but who I always kind of liked. There's an awkward moment when we're checking into the hotel. The room is under my name, and the clerk asks if we want a king size bed or two queens. I hadn't even thought about that. I glance at Brenno nervously, but he just smiles, giving no indication of his preference. Surely we're just here as friends, right? I don't want him to think I'm making any assumptions. He seemed pretty clear that he just wanted an excuse to go visit his old haunts. I'm too embarrassed to hash it out with him in front of the hotel staff, so I say quickly, "Two queens."
We drop our bags in the room, then go our separate ways almost immediately. I have to spend all of Friday afternoon and evening at the conference. I still feel like a fraud in my conservative professional clothes, but Brenno cheers me on and I do my best to act like a semi-competent adult and not a socially awkward teenager. Saturday morning Brenno takes me out to a diner to get sausage and grits for breakfast, then it's back to the conference all day while he goes off to meet some old friends.
Finally, after dinner on Saturday, I'm finished with my professional obligations, and Brenno comes back from seeing his friends, cheerful and bouncing with energy as usual. I change into my pajamas in the bathroom, then collapse onto my queen bed with a sigh.
Brenno comes and sits next to me on my bed with a shy kind of smile.
"Um, what are you doing?" I ask.
"What do you think I'm doing?" He leans in and kisses me.
I'm completely stunned, but in a good way. Kissing him feels nice--familiar and exciting at the same time.
"Wait a minute," I say, after kissing him back good and hard so he knows I enjoyed it. "Was this your plan the whole time?"
He just shrugs, grinning and ducking his head. "I dunno, I was hoping you've be interested." I've never seen him act so shy. It's cute.
"But we've been here almost two days already. What were you waiting for?"
"I knew you were nervous about the conference, and I didn't want to throw off your concentration."
"Wow, thank you. That's amazingly considerate."
"But you're finished now, right?"
"Yeah, now I can enjoy myself." I give him a look and he leans in to kiss me again.
Neither of us brought condoms, though, so we have oral sex then spend the night sleeping together in my queen bed. I'm kicking myself for not getting the king.
The next morning we go for a jazz brunch, and I absolutely stuff myself. I can still hardly believe that Brenno is interested in me in that way. I've known him for about three years, and while he was always friendly, he's got a loud, theater kid type of personality--he's friendly with everyone. I never noticed him treating me differently than anyone else.
"So how come you never asked me out before now?" I ask as we move on to our third mimosas.
"You always had a boyfriend," he points out.
I laugh. I guess it's true.
"You could have asked me out," he counters.
"But you always seemed to have a girlfriend." Now it's his turn to laugh. "You're not seeing anyone right now, are you?" I have to check.
"Nope. You?"
"Uh...not really. I mean, nothing serious."
After brunch, we spend the afternoon walking around the French Quarter and end up having chicory coffee and beignets at Café du Monde while Brenno tones down his usual loud persona to tells me some serious shit about growing up in New Orleans. He comes from a well-off, WASPy kind of family. His father's a surgeon. But his stories of high school are surprisingly violent, and several of the kids in his high school died young. The city I grew up in on the East Coast had a lot of mafia but nothing like the kind of casual violence he describes.
The defining event of Brenno's life, I discover, was his idolized older brother's death in a car crash at age nineteen.
"He was drinking so they called it an accident," he says in a low voice. "But I know it was really a kind of suicide. He was depressed, even though he was so cool and popular. And you know, after he died, my parents never talked about it once. Not even once! After the funeral my mother was like, 'Let's put all that behind us.' And that was it! Fuck!"
I don't really have anything to say to that, aside from trying to be supportive. I'm surprised that someone who always seems so cheerful has so much darkness in him.
We do some more sightseeing, and Brenno bounces back to his usual self, gesturing wildly as he shows me around, and bursting into song as we're walking down the street, then shouting "Ecco mi qua!"
"We should do a duet," I suggest, singing the opening notes of the famous drinking song from La Traviata.
"I can't sing that!" he laughs. "Non sono un tenore! Che sono baritono!"
After dinner and a few drinks on Bourbon Street, we bail on the drunken tourist scene and head back to the hotel early, stopping at a drug store on the way to pick up some condoms.
We both turn a bit shy again back in the hotel room. It still feels a little strange to be getting naked with someone who I always thought of as just a friend. Brenno pulls off his shirt to reveal a thin, wiry frame, but with solid muscles.
"Wow," I say admiringly, running my hands over his smooth chest. He laughs nervously.
"I'm getting fat in my old age."
I just snort. He's only thirty-two and he's as lean as marathon runner.
"I have a belly!" he insists, pointing to literally a teaspoon of fat on his lower belly. "That didn't used to be there!"
"I wish my belly was as 'fat' as yours," I joke.
"What are you talking about," he murmurs, suddenly earnest. He buries his face in my neck. I get it; he's too shy to give a real compliment, but I can tell how turned on he is by the way he looks at me.
We have sex in the ordinary, vanilla way. I know he's not into the BDSM scene. I barely even have to ask, but I sort of hint at it anyway. He gives me that wild-eyed, nervous look that vanilla boys get, so I drop the topic quickly. It's sweet, the way we have sex, but there's always something hesitant about the way he touches me, like he can't fully let himself go. When we kiss, his mouth is tense and tight.
The next week, back in Raser City, he invites me to meet him at work in the evening then get dinner, since his office is so close to the Lester State campus. He works as an architect at a small firm. When I arrive, he's the only one still there, so he shows me around the open plan office, all glass and exposed concrete.
"Wow, impressive," I say, eyeing the elaborate paperclip structure festooned over the lamp above his desk.
"Hey, don't be mean!" He actually looks embarrassed.
I hug him around his slender waist. "Aw, don't take it that way. It really is an impressive paperclip sculpture. Definitely a good use of your time."
We both laugh.
It's another amazingly sweet evening: easy talk over dinner, then tender sex back at my place. He doesn't even remark on how shitty and not up to code my apartment is.
"If I say anything I'm legally liable," he says. "I didn't see anything."
I'm starting to think that Brenno has serious relationship potential. He's boringly able-bodied and not into being tied up and spanked, but he's cute and kind and he has the job of the love interest in every romantic comedy ever. We've been friends for years and never run out of things to talk about, and we're both into opera. Why not give it a try?
I run all this past my gardener poet friend as we carpool to the next rehearsal for Rusalka.
"Brenno? The tall nervous guy?" he says.
"Huh, I never thought of him as nervous. He's always so outgoing and loud. He seems very confident to me."
"No way, he's overcompensating. Definitely nervous. He's got some issues."
"Now that you mention it, he does have some family trauma he probably hasn't worked through yet."
"Yeah. Trust me, that guy is not ready for a serious relationship yet."
From there he shifts the conversation back to himself. The old flame he's pined for for twenty-five years is back in Raser City suddenly, and he's hanging out with her again, contemplating starting things up with her. I nod along, half-listening, pondering how I really feel about Brenno and how to tactfully ask him how he feels about me.
I need not have bothered. On Friday evening, Brenno comes over to my place again with big news: he's moving to Italy.
"I just got the official offer from an architectural firm in Milan," he explains, bubbling over with excitement. "How cool is that, man! I sent in my application months ago, but so much time went by, I assumed they threw it in the trash. But no! They called me up, we had an interview over the phone, and they made me an offer on the spot. Sono meravigliato! Sto spostando a Milano!"
I try to share his excitement, stifling my disappointment that he does not seem the slightest bit conflicted about leaving me behind. At least now I have my answer.
"So are you leaving right away?"
"What, are you kidding? No way, these things take time. I haven't even got a visa yet. My start date is the beginning of August."
I can't even bring myself to ask Brenno where we stand in our not-quite relationship. It seems pretty clear--he likes me but not enough to change any major plans. I guess I'm the dumb one for making life plans around guys who have no intention of sticking around. Like moving to a crap apartment for Rollerboy, or applying to a short term instead of year long internship for Skip. And honestly, although I feel great tenderness for Brenno, I'm not head over heels for him. After all, the sex is good but not great and we're not fully compatible in that department. Him leaving now is probably for the best.
On the other hand, it's going to be several months before he leaves. Without really discussing it, we sort of fall into a friends with benefits zone.

May 2003

Atom the Archaeologist continues to show up at random times to ask me out. Every time I think he's disappeared for good, he phones me again out of the blue. This time, when I meet him in the evening at the gelato place next to campus, he's changed his look. He's grown his wiry blond hair out a bit and styled his beard into giant muttonchops. He looks like Hyde from That 70s Show.
Atom explains that this self-styled makeover is just a temporary look for a costume party he's going to next week with some friends. Apparently they are going as 1970s dirtbags. He excitedly tells me in great detail about the costume he has assembled by combing through the Raser City thrift stores, including an oversized belt buckle, bell bottom jeans and a thin leather jacket.
"I tried growing out a mustache, but then I really looked like a child molester," he laughs. "So I decided to stick with just the chops. What do you think?" he asks, raking his fingers through his lush sideburns.
"Um, it's cool?" Honestly, it's not his best look but he's so ridiculously handsome it doesn't really matter; he can somehow pull it off.
We go back to my place and I peg him again, to his delight. Lulu once asked me what I get out of it, fucking him with a fake dick. After all, it's not like I can feel it. But that doesn't matter. It's fun to take the guy's role for a change. Watching him writhe underneath me, offering himself up and making himself vulnerable is hot as hell. Anyway I make sure he goes down on me before we start, so I get mine too.

Rehearsals for Rusalka are grueling. The music is more challenging that anything I've done before, and the director expects the women's chorus to dance at the same time. We're all singers, not dancers, but we do our best, practicing over and over, even working extra in the alley behind the warehouse rehearsal space while the leads do their blocking, our thin ballet slippers scraping on the asphalt.
Brenno drops out of the men's chorus, since he'll be leaving before the performance dates. I'm sad not to see him at rehearsals, but we're still getting together on a semi-regular basis.
William, the super genius marathon runner with the booming bass voice and craggy good looks of a romance novel hero, is back in a lead role again, this time as the villain of the opera. Lulu keeps dropping hints to me that he's single but I still feel too intimidated to do more than awkwardly say hello to him. Also it's painfully obvious that all the other women in the chorus are in love with him as well, and I have no intention of competing for his attention. He can ask any of them out if he wants to; I don't care.
Actually I'm becoming quite close friends with almost all the women in the chorus. The long, taxing rehearsals are forging a bond between us, especially me and Lulu. We often go out for drinks after rehearsal at a bar nearby. In the previous shows, there were several underage teens in the chorus, which limited the group's after hours socializing options. But this time almost all the women are in their twenties and thirties, single or at least with no kids. We're all at kind of the same stage in life, and we start to seem like a real circle of friends. Lulu and I don't keep our BDSM activities secret, and while the others don't share our kinks, they don't judge us for it.
Saturday is one of the few days we don't have rehearsal. Lulu and I have plans to go out to a Sub Rosa event at Lollygag in the evening, so we spend the afternoon hanging out together at her apartment. She lives in a much nicer, more central apartment than I can afford, because her parents own the building. She's working for them in real estate but in her mind it's just temporary until she can figure out what dream to pursue: her mother's (marry a rich Jewish doctor/lawyer), her father's (become a professional opera singer) or her own (???).
We order Chinese food for dinner as we're getting ready, because literally the only things Lulu has in her refrigerator are mustard and a jar of gefilte fish. I tease her for not knowing how to cook, but she doesn't care. It's like the one girly trait she hasn't picked up.
I change into my standard fetish club outfit: my Betty DeLuxe red vinyl pants and matching jacket, with a mesh t shirt and black velvet bra underneath. Lulu criticizes me for wearing my favorite John Fluevog men's shoes instead of heels, for how I put on makeup, for how I style my hair, but I just ignore her. Whenever she starts picking at me for my appearance, I know she's just channeling the way her mother talks to her. I feel sorry for her. It must be exhausting to have a voice like that in your head.
Anyway once we're dressed she lets it go, and we have some fun, waiting for Marty to come pick us up. She looks so hot in her corset and choker. I grab a handful of her straight blond hair at the nape of her neck and tug. She moans and tilts her head back.
Lulu loves to have her hair pulled, and it's so sexy the way it instantly turns her on.
"Oh hey, I almost forgot--look what I got the other day." She opens the drawer of her bedside table and pulls out a leather-wrapped paddle with holes in the shape of hearts. Paddles with holes deliver more of a sting, since you can swing them faster.
"So cute! Wanna try?" I ask.
Instead of replying, she jumps on the bed on all fours, waving her butt suggestively in my face. I whack her a few times while she moans and laughs. Just as we're really getting into it, Marty bangs the door open.
"Hey, ladies! Let's go!" he shouts from the doorway, still holding the door open. The apartment is not that big, and we can be seen from the hallway, but we just continue on, hoping maybe someone will walk by and see us.
"Ok ok, there'll be enough time for that later," Marty orders. "Let's go, I'm double parked!"
We pile into his car and head off to Lollygag. The event is a kind of variety show of BDSM and related acts, and the club is already pretty crowded by the time we get there. We stand near the back of the crowd, watching the contortionists and sword swallowers, the fire breathers and rope dancers. For the last act, a muscley guy covered in tattoos pierces himself with increasing large rods, then sticks hooks through the flesh of his back and suspends himself from wires from the ceiling. It's impressive but also a bit gross, and I'm feeling a little lightheaded by the time it's over.
After the final act, the crowd in front of the stage slowly disperses and the dance music starts up. The last few people near the stage drift away, like the curtain parting on the next act, and suddenly I see him. There's a guy in a manual wheelchair right up near the front of the stage.
He's very tall, or long. What do you say when a guy is sitting down? If he were standing, he'd be at least six and a half feet. He's a little bit slouched in his chair, his legs sticking out at sharp angles. He's very thin, with barely any belly that SCI guys usually have, instead his torso forms a lean curve. His head is a little small compared to the rest of him, and he's wearing little wire-framed glasses and a goatee. All this gives him a slightly insect-like appearance.
I can scarcely believe my luck. I've spent years combing through personal ads, just hoping to come across a cute para guy, and here is one right in front of me, and in a fetish club, no less. I'm not going to let this opportunity pass me by.
I march right up to him and give him my sexiest, most confident grin. The music is too loud for talking, so I just gesture towards the dance floor. He smiles back and follows me, his long skinny arms pumping easily as he pushes.
On the dance floor, I gyrate my hips in time to the music, while he puts his hands on my ass. His arms are so long that even sitting down he can easily reach around me. He squeezes my ass with his big strong hands, and I step so close that my knees are bumping up against his. I thrust my hips at him again, as he runs his hands up my waist, my jacket gaping open. I imagine that everyone in the club is staring at us, the hot girl with the guy in the wheelchair, and it turns me on even more.
After grinding for a while, pretty soon I'm sitting in his lap, straddling him. This is a tricky move that I never quite perfected with Rollerboy, because my legs are short and the wheels get in the way. Also Rollerboy did not have great balance, being a quad in a manual chair with a very low back and no anti-tips. This guy is a para but has a somewhat higher back on his chair and seems more stable. I lean in and kiss him, at the same time grabbing his wrists and yanking down, in a bondage kind of hold, even though I don't have any actual restraints. I'm just letting him know who's in charge. He responds immediately, kissing me harder, his mouth stretching in an excited grin even as he's kissing me.
"Hi," I say in his ear, the first thing I've said so far.
"Hey you." He gives me a kind of goofy, shy grin, showing crooked front teeth. He tells me his name, and asks for mine.
"Call me Mistress," I order.
"Yes Mistress," he answers, grinning even more broadly.
Oh my god, he's a natural submissive. I can tell by the way he responds that he is loving this, not just playing along to humor me. I feel like I've died and gone to heaven.
We make out for what feels like hours. I run my hands through his short, spiky light brown hair, forcing his head back as I kiss him harder. He moans a little.
Out of nowhere, Marty appears at my side.
"Hey!" he shouts over the music, "It's time to go!"
I glance at my watch. It's past midnight. Wow, we really have been making out for hours. My car is back across town at Lulu's apartment, and I don't want to be stranded alone at the club, but there's no way I'm leaving without this guy's phone number.
"Give me a minute!" I shout back. Marty disappears.
"Sorry about that," I say to the hot para guy I'm sitting on. "My friends want to leave." We kiss a few more times, but when I ask for his phone number, he doesn't answer right away.
A minute later, Marty appears again with his serious face on. "Lulu wants to go!"
"Hold on!" I shout back.
"No! Lulu said she wants to go, so we're leaving NOW!"
I ignore him and turn back to hot para guy. "I guess I gotta go now. Come on, give me your number."
"I don't have a pen."
"Me neither, but just tell it to me and I'll put it in my phone."
But he still won't do it. We go back and forth a few more times, with Marty agitating behind him, until he finally relents and gives me his email address. I repeat it a few times to make sure I've got it. It's a simple but unexpectedly cheesy one
I give him one last kiss and follow Marty out the door. Lulu is already waiting for us by his car.
"Hey, are you ok?" I ask her as we pile in.
"Yeah, I'm fine, why?"
"Marty kept saying we had to leave RIGHT THIS MINUTE because of you."
Lulu looks confused, "No, I just said I was tired and ready to go."
I shoot Marty a look in the driver's seat, but he is unapologetic. "What?" he shrugs. "If she said she wants to go, that means now, not in an hour when you get done fucking that guy in the wheelchair."
"I knew you were just being bossy for no good reason,"  I reply.
"I saw you with that guy!" Lulu says excitedly. "He's cute! So did you get his number?"
"Email," I shrug with a little grin.
"Oh my god, that's so awesome! He's perfect for you!"
I lean back in the seat and sigh with happiness. The only thing nicer than unexpectedly running into my para dream guy is being able to share the experience with friends who know I am a devotee.

The next day I tell Sarah the whole story. We're both working part time jobs on campus, her because she got kicked out of the graduate program and me because I'm dragging my feet on finishing my last requirements. We're hanging out at a computer cluster, wasting time as usual. She is less excited than Lulu to hear about the hot para guy.
"That's it, you're getting married now," she says glumly. I know she's feeling unhappy about being single again. She's had a few internet hookups but nothing serious, and she keeps undercutting herself by hanging around with her ex all the time, even though he's seeing someone else now.
I'm too excited to reassure her petty jealousy and competitiveness. Before I can forget his address, I compose a quick email to para dream guy.

This is the Mistress. I order you to meet me for a date next week.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 35

The Mantis, part 1

May 2003

I'm so carried away with the excitement over meeting a hot para guy at a fetish club that I start to believe Sarah's jealous comment that I will marry him. He and I barely exchanged a few words but I allow myself to think that maybe he is my perfect match. As fantasies go, this one is particularly short-lived. A day or so after I email him, he replies:

It was nice to meet you the other day at Lollygag. It was my first time there and I wasn't sure what it would be like. It was a great experience, so thanks. But I can't meet you for a date like you asked because I'm married. I thought you realized since I'm wearing a wedding ring. I was surprised when you asked for my phone number. Sorry, I didn't mean to lead you on.

"Well, that's the end of that," Sarah declares, reading over my shoulder.
I'm just sitting there with my mouth open, little cartoon question marks popping above my head. What the hell? Did he have a wedding ring? I can't remember, but it's not something I have ever been in the habit of looking for. Is that something I'm supposed to be checking? How could this happen? And why did I open this email at work?
I try not to let myself get too upset about it. After all, I hardly know him. I'm still hooking up with Atom the Archaeologist and Brenno the Baritone from time to time. More importantly, I just received my acceptance to the internship program I applied to months ago, the one where I purposely sent in an application for six months rather than a year because I was dating Skip. I'm kicking myself for that now, but it's too late, everything is settled. In October, I'll be moving to Taipei for six months. I'm hardly in a position now to start up a new relationship.
And yet. Even knowing that nothing serious can come of it, I can't forget about this guy. Hot wheelers who are also into BDSM and who are submissive don't come along every day. Without telling Sarah, I craft a reply that leaves the door just a little bit open.

I'm really sorry, I had no idea you're married. I honestly didn't notice a ring. I didn't mean to be rude or make you uncomfortable. I'll leave you alone if that's what you want. But I just have to ask, if you're married, what were you doing in that club by yourself?

Again a few days go by before he responds, but he does write back.

Thanks for understanding. What can I say. I went to that club because I've always been interested in SM but my wife doesn't want to do it with me. I just decided it was time to see what it's really like. I wasn't expecting to meet anyone there. How long have you been in the scene?

The door opens just a crack. We start to email back and forth regularly. I tell him right away that I'm a devotee, because what have I got to lose? He's heard of it before. He's never met one before but he's ok with it. I tell him about the Sub Rosa Society and the events I've been to. I start to put on a playful domme role again with him, signing my emails the Cruel Mistress. He signs his wretched worm. Our exchanges start to heat up.
Finally, I make him an offer: a six-month, no strings, Mistress-slave contract. He comes to my place for kinky play but we don't go on dates or have a romantic relationship. When I leave for my internship, that's it, the contract is finished forever.
He doesn't even hesitate, but makes a date to drive up to my roll-in dungeon the very next day.
I'm super excited, of course. I can't believe I'm actually going to get to see him again. At last my shitty but fully accessible apartment starts to seem worth it. But as it gets closer to his arrival, I start to have second thoughts. What am I doing? At least with K, I could justify my actions because his girlfriend knew everything. She may have hated me, but she agreed to the open relationship. But this, this is definitely cheating. He's sneaking out without telling his wife, and she would be upset if she knew. I can't pretend anymore that I'm not a bad person. The idea of topping him is too intoxicating. I just don't care.
But I do care what my friends think of me, so I decide not to tell anyone, especially not Sarah. This is going to be my dirty little secret.

He shows up on a Friday evening and just rolls right in over the threshold, unhindered by any step.
"Hi," I say awkwardly as he sits in the middle of my living room, smiling up at me nervously. I'm not sure if he's expecting me to get into the domme/sub roleplay right away but I'm feeling too inhibited to get into it from the jump, and anyway good play practices dictate that we discuss all possible scenes and limits in advance.
So I keep it vanilla for the moment. I offer him a seat on the sofa, and watch as he transfers gracefully, easily. I straddle him on the sofa and kiss him hard, just like at the club. It's so sweet. He grabs my butt with his enormous hands.
We kiss like that for a while, then I break it off and grab his left hand, pulling it around in front of my face. 
"Wait, that's not a wedding ring!" I protest. On his ring finger is a huge red signet ring, gold with a big square jewel, or maybe it's glass, I don't know. But it doesn't look anything like a man's wedding band.
"It was my grandpa's, but it's really my wedding ring," he replies, laughing a little.
"Come on, who wears a wedding ring like that? At least I don't feel so dumb now for not getting the hint right away." He just shrugs.
"It's very nice of the Mistress to give this wretched worm a chance anyway even though... you know..." he says, half playfully and half self-consciously.
"Yes, it is!" I lift my chin in the air. "You should be grateful that I deign to see you!" He smirks a little. "But if we're going to play together, you need a better name than slave or worm." I stare at him consideringly, looking him up and down. With his long angular limbs, his smallish head, pointed chin, spiky hair and glasses, he really does look like an insect. "You're not a worm," I say slowly. "You look like a praying mantis."
He puts his arms up and lets his hands dangle, just like a praying mantis. We both laugh. "I'm going to call you The Mantis," I declare, and this pleases him.
"The Mantis is your humble servant, Mistress," he murmurs.
I growl and kiss him hard again, holding his wrists down with my hands and pressing his arms into the couch. He obviously loves it when I restrain him, so I pull his arms up, crossing his wrists above his head. With his arms up, his pecs pop out impressively.
"Wow," I comment admiringly, running my hands over his rock-hard chest and shoulders. "Do you work out?" As soon as I say it, I realize how stupid that is. Of course pushing and transferring all day have given him upper body strength far beyond that of most guys. His arms have to do the work of his legs, so of course they are twice as strong.
"Actually I'm a little out of shape now, 'cause it's not basketball season."
"Oh, you play wheelchair basketball?"
"Yeah, I'm on a team but I'm not that serious. Some guys are like, super intense about it, but I just do it for fun."
"I bet you're good though, with those long arms."
He laughs self-consciously. "Yeah, it helps to be able to palm the ball." He holds out a hand and once again I notice his ridiculously long fingers.
With some difficulty, I remind myself that we are not here for idle chit-chat. This is not a date. But as much as I enjoy the Mistress role, I keep slipping out of it, because I prefer to get to know the person I'm with.
To get things back on track, I turn the conversation back to BDSM. Since he has never done this before, I want to make sure he knows the rules. We establish a safeword (strawberry), and I list the things I'm willing and not willing to do. Skip always balked at this part, saying that he didn't want to script out a scene in advance. "It's not a script," I explain. "Think if it as a menu we can choose from, but certain things are not on the menu today, and some are not on the menu ever."
The Mantis nods eagerly.
"Ok, so tell me what's on the menu for you," I prompt.
He looks up at me over the top of his glasses, his pupils wide. "Anything," he whispers.
I swat him on the shoulder. "Yeah, yeah, very nice but that's not really helpful." I smirk at him. "I order you to tell me what you like."
"Not ok! Yes Mistress!" I swat him lightly again.
"Yes Mistress! Um, more of that..." he squeezes out with great embarrassment.
"What, being ordered around?"
He nods, blushing.
"Being humiliated?"
He nods again, even harder. He says yes to everything that I consider entry-level: restraints, ball gag, blindfold, nipple clamps--the usual.
"Don't worry, I know your ass is delicate," I say. "No spanking, no pegging, ever."
"I can't feel it anyway," he shrugs.
"So you have a complete injury?" He nods.
"What's your injury level?"
"T7. About here," he says, holding his hand near the base of his ribcage.
I've been straddling his lap for this entire conversation, his bony legs shifting back and forth slightly as I squirm around. "Am I too heavy?" I slide onto the couch next to him. I know it's not good to stay in one position for too long.
"Nah, you're fine." He has this kind of flat affect when he's talking that makes me wonder if he's really into me, but I'm starting to get that he's just very shy and nervous. He gives me a tense little smile, but his eyes are full of lust. I suggest moving to the bedroom and he nods eagerly.
I stare openly as he transfers back to his chair, pushes around the corner to the bedroom, then transfers again onto my low double bed.
I can't help but compare him to Rollerboy, the only other SCI guy I have known. I remember Rollerboy saying that transfers are easier for taller people, and I can see now how that's true. His arms are so incredibly long, he can lift his butt easily. Transfers were always hard for Rollerboy, as a quad. Everything had to be positioned exactly right so he could balance, using gravity and momentum to make up for his weak arms. There was always a moment where his butt would hang in the air that made me worry for a split second that he might not make it. But The Mantis makes transfers look almost magically easy, like levitating. He doesn't even place his hands flat, but rests the tips of his fingers on the edge of the bed as he shifts his butt over from his chair effortlessly.
He's wearing a dark blue button down shirt with a pocket that contains his keys and phone, the kinds of things an AB guy would keep in his pants pocket. With a slow grin, he empties the contents onto my bedside table, then removes his wire rimmed glasses and puts them down too. Placing a hand under a bony knee, he lifts up each leg one at a time and shifts them onto the bed. With a growl, I jump on him and push him down, ripping his shirt off to reveal his muscled chest. He's a tall skinny guy, so his muscles are not huge, but his arms and chest are solid as a rock.
Despite all our talk, I'm not ready for a hardcore scene yet, so I just kiss him all over, but roughly. When I nip at his ear, he groans and rolls his eyes back in his head, so I do it some more, then move on to his nipples. That gets an even bigger reaction.
I move down his chest, still kissing, until I get to his upper belly, where the sensation ends. I unzip his pants and tug them down, revealing his underwear.
"Do you ever get hard?" Despite what most guys seem to think, I'm not particularly hung up on the cock, and I don't particularly care if it doesn't work, but I want to check how he feels about it.
"Not really. I mean yes if I really jack it hard but I can't feel it so I usually don't bother."
"Ok cool." I yank his pants off, leaving his underwear on. His legs are pale and very thin, with white tube socks pulled all the way up to his knees. When I pull the socks off, I see that his calves are completely hairless, even though his thighs have the normal amount of hair for a guy.
"Dude, what the hell happened to your leg hair?"
"Oh, I, uh, always wear long socks and I guess it rubbed off." He answers in that flat way again, and I can't tell if it's because he's embarrassed or because he thinks it's no big deal.
"Ok, so why the socks?"
"I don't know, they put socks on me in rehab and I just kept wearing them."
"Yeah, but those were probably compression socks. These are just tube socks." He looks at me blankly. "You don't have to pull your socks up to your knees."
"It's just how I wear them."
There's something kind of sweetly eccentric about his answer, so I let it go. He's entitled to his weird fashion choices. The leg hair thing is so strange though. If I could get rid of my leg hair just by wearing socks, I would be pulling tube socks up to my knees every day. But I've been wearing socks my whole life and I'm still super hairy so maybe it has something to do with being paralyzed. It's a mystery.
I sit at the end of the bed, caressing his hairless legs and moving them around in some gentle stretches while he watches me. There's something so sexy about moving part of his body for him when he can't do it himself. He seems to feel the same way, because we lock eyes as I hold up his foot and give it a playful kiss.
Now he's almost naked, and I still have my clothes on. I stand over him on the bed and pull off my jeans and t shirt like I'm doing a sexy striptease as he watches with his eyes as huge as dinner plates. When I'm down to my bra and panties, I sit down straddling him, and pull his arms so he's sitting up facing me. He unhooks my bra and buries his face in my chest.
After that it's like a blur: he kisses me all over, then goes down on me and makes me come again and again. He comes up for air and we wrestle around for a while, then he goes down again.
Eventually I start to feel a bit tired and sore, so I glance at the clock on the nightstand. I thought it was just a few minutes, but it's been four hours. Usually when I have sex with a guy, we're done when he comes. I've learned to time it so I come first, because when the guy is done, we're both done and it's not worth fighting over. Even Rollerboy was fixated on ejaculating every time, even if it was just a reflex. I've never had sex with a guy where his dick was not at all involved.
I push the hair out of my face and look up at The Mantis, glassy-eyed. "How do you know when you're finished?" I ask.
He gives a little half shrug. "I dunno."
I look at the clock again, just to make sure. "It's past midnight. Don't you have to, um, get home, or something....?"
"Nah, I said I was going to see my friend Dave in the city and stay over." He lives two hours south of Raser City, way way down the coast in the middle of nowhere.
"You stay over with him often?"
"Sometimes. It's not, uh, suspicious."
Aaand now I feel gross again. "Well you can't stay over here."
He ducks his head, rolling off me and casting about for his clothes. "I know. I'm gonna go see Dave."
"Ok." I pull my t-shirt back on and hand him his pants from the floor. "Sorry we didn't do a real scene this time. Maybe next time...?"
"Don't apologize, that was awesome. Yes, next time. If it's ok with you."
It is ok with me.
More than ok. I want to do it right next time. A full scene, hard-core with no holding back. We make a tentative plan for the following week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Devo Diary Chapter 36

The Mantis, part 2

May 2003
I'm not sure why I hesitated to do a full-on SM scene the first time around with The Mantis, even though he clearly wanted to. Maybe partly because it takes effort to be the Cruel Mistress. It's fun to be in charge, but it also means I have to think of everything, plan every move and stay in character. It's easier to just go with the flow--with vanilla sex you don't really have to think. There's also an element of the ridiculous to playing the Mistress. I only feel comfortable doing it when I know the other person, at least a little. I can strut and posture all I like, but if the guy looks bored or laughs, it's all over. Being the domme is not like flipping a switch.
People I meet at the Sub Rosa Society, including Marty, keep telling me that I don't "seem like a domme" whatever that means. I suppose it means I don't dress in leather or crack the whip with everyone I meet. But at work I keep getting told I'm too bossy and overbearing. So which is it? I hate constantly being told that I don't fit some cartoon stereotype of a dominatrix. Only a psychopath would behave like that 24/7 and with random strangers. It makes me feel like I have to prove that I really can be a domme, and the truth is, I think that so far I haven't been very good at it. I keep reverting back to vanilla sex because it's easier.
Well, no more. If I'm really going to do this with The Mantis, I have to do it right. This is my chance to play the dominatrix for real. Also I have to maintain some emotional distance. We're not going on dates, and he's not my boyfriend. I don't intend to waste time pining over him and wishing he were my boyfriend, like I did with K. We're going to have fun and that's that.
It's not long before The Mantis pays another visit to my roll-in dungeon, and this time I'm ready for him.
"Hey," he says as the door shuts behind him.
"Hello Mistress!" I bark at him, snapping my riding crop against my thigh.
His eyes light up. "Hello Mistress! Forgive my rudeness."
"No! Kneel down and kiss my feet!" I'm wearing a flouncy little black and pink floral dress and bare feet. He glances at me, then prepares himself with a little sigh. He takes his feet off the footrest, one at a time, placing them on the floor in front of him, then scoots his butt forward in the chair. Leaning over, he puts one long arm on the floor, then slowly lowers himself down. With his butt on the floor, he leans awkwardly over and kisses my bare foot, then glances up over the top of his wire-rim glasses to check my reaction. His cute, eager-to-please look encourages me to stay in character.
"Did I tell you to stop? More!" I order. He complies, but after a few minutes of dutifully kissing, he tries to caress my leg with one hand snaking up towards my butt.
I smack his shoulder playfully with the crop. "How dare you!"
He ducks his head. "Forgive me, Mistress."
"No! I see you need to be restrained." I pull out a shiny length of the white nylon rope that I recently purchased with Lulu at the gay hardware store. At last I get to practice my rope tying skills for real. Like I learned in oshibari class, I wrap his legs in neat stacked coils of rope from his ankles to his knees then tie it off at the top. He is immobilized, but the rope won't cut into his skin or come loose easily. I let him squirm around on the floor for a while as we both admire my handiwork.
"Um, Mistress?" he asks tentatively.
"I have to pee."
"Very well. But you have to let me watch." He nods. I'm not totally sure how he feels about me watching something so intimate, but what the hell. He's loving the Mistress act so far, I might as well play up the devotee aspect to my heart's content.
I remove the rope, neatly coiling it back up for storage as he transfers back into his chair. I show him to the bathroom, just off the kitchen. Once again, I'm glad I have a fully accessible apartment, with a larger than normal bathroom. He washes his hands, then positions himself in the middle of the room, just in front of the toilet. I hover beside him, staring openly. I'm loving that I can stare at him as much as I want without worrying, because he enjoys being ogled.
He reaches into the backpack slung across the back of his chair, and pulls out a catheter, lube, alcohol wipes and gauze. Then he slouches down in his chair a bit, unzips his pants and pulls out his cock. It's thin but long, even when it's soft. After a brief prep with the alcohol and lube, he slides the catheter in, staring me right in the eye as he does it.
I can't quite read his expression, but it seems to be a weirdly intense mix of embarrassment and excitement. I know humiliation turns him on, but I don't want to push him too far. I'm not sure how he feels about his ordinary daily functions being part of our SM play. He doesn't flinch under my dev stare though; he just stares back even harder, grinning the tiniest bit, like he's putting on a show for me, as the other end of the catheter drains into the toilet.
When he's finished, he removes the catheter, tosses it in the trash and washes his hands.
"Does it please you, Mistress?" he asks, his pupils huge with excitement. I guess watching him cath was not too invasive.
"Hmm, I suppose," I reply with studied indifference, not wanting to give him too much gratification yet. "Now get in the bedroom--that's an order!"
"Yes Mistress," he replies. I walk behind him and watch as he pushes across the kitchen and into the bedroom. He really has his chair set up wrong. The back is too high for a para, and the seat should be angled back a little so his butt is wedged in, helping with better posture. Instead his seat is flat and he slouches, his long torso always slightly stooped and his mantis legs sticking out to the sides. I would never have noticed his bad posture before dating Rollerboy, but now it seems so obvious. I don't say anything to him though. It's one thing to boss him around in the bedroom, quite another to tell him how to live his life.
When he reaches the bedroom, he positions his chair next to the bed, getting ready to transfer, but I order him to stop.
"Did I say you could get in my bed?"
"No Mistress. I'm sorry."
"I'll make you sorry!" It's hard not to laugh but I'm just having so much fun. This NSA arrangement is so freeing. I don't care what he thinks of me--I'm not trying to impress him. Instead I can just be completely myself, give into every urge, no matter how silly.
I slide open the drawer under my bed, which is filled with the gear I have accumulated, some high quality and some improvised. In the high quality category, I have a set of leather cuffs which buckle on and are safer and easier than police handcuffs or rope. I put one cuff on each of The Mantis' wrists and use a D-ring to clip them to the frame of his wheelchair. He pulls feebly against them, looking up at me with big eyes, letting me know he feels restrained.
"Did I say you could look at me?"
"No Mistress." He looks down at his lap in contrition.
"I can tell you still need correction." I pull out a plastic wrapped roll of stretchy gauze, one of a big collection gifted me by Patrick the Fireman. It's strong but soft, sticks to itself but can be reused indefinitely. I rip open the pack and wrap the gauze around his head, covering his eyes. I don't have a proper SM style blindfold but I prefer this anyway. It stays on better, and it's more clinical-looking.
"There, that's better," I say when I've finished bandaging his eyes and tucked in the ends.
"Thank you, Mistress."
"Did I say you could talk?"
"No, Mistress."
I take out a ball gag and shove the red foam ball in his mouth then buckle the black leather strap behind his head.
When I've finished, I take a step back and look at him. With the cuffs, gauze blindfold and ball gag, it looks like a real SM scene, like you might see in porn. But how often is a wheelchair part of the scene? Not often enough, I say.
So I've got The Mantis fully restrained, cuffed to his chair, gagged and blindfolded. Now what? Fun as it is, SM is always work, especially for the top. He just sits there and takes it, but it's up to me to figure out each move, plan what to do, stay in character, and make sure he's enjoying it as much as I am. As with Rollerboy, I'm reminded of how much we rely on a guy's erection to serve as an indication of arousal. If he can't get hard, how do you know he's enjoying it?
I keep up a steady stream of dirty talk to keep tabs on how he's doing. "You like that? You like that? That's right, squirm, so pathetic..."
Fortunately, The Mantis is completely, obviously into everything I'm doing, and the more I humiliate and insult him, the more he loves it.
I lean over him and gently caress his neck, then his ears. He strains against the cuffs, trying to reach my legs with his fingers, but I bat him away.
"Not yet; you don't deserve it."
I reach down and touch his nipples, and he groans loudly through the ball gag, throwing his head back. I do it more, then lean down and run my tongue over one, then the other. I tease him more, kissing and caressing his nipples but not letting him touch or kiss or see me, until I feel like he can't stand it any longer.
I release the ball gag first and let him kiss me, deeply, hungrily. Then I release the cuffs and let him run his hands all over me, over my ass and between my legs. I order him to transfer onto the bed but make him keep the blindfold on as we roll around. I only take it off at the last moment, right before he goes down on me. I come like a freight train while he stares up at me.

Afterwards, as we're lying in bed together, he tells me a little more about himself. He grew up in a small town north of Raser City that is known as the pot capital of the West Coast. He was injured in a car accident when he was fifteen years old, riding with friends in the back of a pickup truck that got rear ended. Car accidents are one of my greatest fears, and I'm horrified to hear that he was conscious the entire time. I always had this morbidly reassuring idea that if the accident was bad enough, you would black out and not remember. But he remembers every detail.
"I was sitting in the back of the pickup with my legs inside a sleeping bag," he says. "Then after we were hit I tried to get up and realized I couldn't move my legs. I was like ooooh that ain't good."
"Did it hurt?"
He looks at me like I'm stupid. "Hell yeah it hurt! But that was nothing compared to after the paramedics got there. They said my lungs were filling up with blood and they had to drain it so they jammed a tube in one side. That was the worst pain I've ever felt. I was like no way are you doing that again on the other side, but the guy was just like, uh huh, get ready. Then he jammed it in again." He points to the scars on either side of his ribcage, divots the size of quarters.
He got a huge insurance payout after the accident, enough to live on for the rest of his life, but he blew through most of it in his twenties, being a fuckup alcoholic. He shows me huge scars on his lower back and the backs of his heels from pressure sores because he didn't take care of himself. He has lots of stupid drunk stories, like the time he rolled off a porch and into some bushes. But in his thirties he finally sobered up and started living like a responsible grown-up. Now he's thirty-nine, going to community college part time and trying to make art on the side, mostly ceramic sculpture. To earn some extra cash, he works part time as a research assistant on projects through his college, but since it's always soft money, that is, funded through grants and not a regular salary, he's always switching gigs when the grant ends. Right now he's working on a project at a minimum security prison to help rehabilitate inmates after release.
I listen to all of this with interest but try to stay distant. He's not my boyfriend. I don't want to make the mistake of projecting my fantasies onto him, and besides, we don't seem to have that much in common apart from our kinks. He doesn't mention anything about his wife, and I don't ask.

The third time The Mantis comes to play, I am now fully ready for him.
"Vile worm!" I bark at him as he rolls in the door. "Despicable insect! You made me wait a whole five minutes for you! How dare you arrive late!" He isn't really late, but he plays along happily.
"Forgive me, Mistress," he says, bowing his head. "Please punish me."
"You'd like that, wouldn't you! No, you're here for my amusement, correct?"
He nods.
"I can't hear you!"
"Yes, Mistress! How may I amuse you?"
"That's better! What would amuse me would be for you to display yourself for me while I take photos." I pull out my digital camera and grin at him.
"Yes, Mistress. What would you like me to do?"
"Show me how you get hard."
He smirks back at me as he rolls to the center of the living room. As usual, he's dressed like an auto mechanic from the 1960s, in dark blue chinos, a dark blue button down shirt, open to show a white ribbed tank top underneath, and heavy steel-toe black boots, to protect his feet.
Locking eyes with me, he lifts one leg then the other off the foot plate onto the floor and slips off his boots, revealing white tube socks pulled up to his knees. Again with those socks!
"Take the socks off too. You look ridiculous."
"Yes, Mistress." He slides them off with one hand as the other hand drifts up to his nipple, playing with it through the thin fabric of his white tank top. He locks eyes with me again, then sets his bare feet on the floor and unzips his pants.
Like the rest of him, his cock is impressively long but thin. So far I've only seen it soft while he was cathing, but even hard it's still the same shape. I take a photo of him rubbing it, and one of my hand on it. The minute I stop touching it, it starts to go soft again.
The truth is I don't really care that much about his cock. This is all just performance. He's said that he doesn't use it for sex, since he can't feel it, and doesn't bother with drugs like Viagra. He was still a virgin when he was injured, so penetration has never been the focus of his adult sex life. I can't speak for him but for my part, I don't miss it at all. It's freeing, actually, to focus on other body parts instead.
I order him to take his pants off, and he does, slowly shimmying the pants from under his butt then lifting one leg at a time to pull them off. I take another photo of him sprawled in his chair, half naked. His thin, weirdly hairless legs lay at odd angles, with his toes pointed and his soft cock flopping to the side.
"Look at those skinny mantis legs," I taunt him as I snap the photo. "You really are a vile insect." He smirks some more, and his hand drifts back up to his nipple.
"Enough messing about, disgusting worm. Get in the bedroom, now!" I follow behind, still carrying my camera, as he pushes the short distance to the bedroom.
This time he does not make a move to transfer to the bed, but waits in his chair for me to give him another order.
I run my hands down his legs, feeling the slack muscles and prominent bones. His feet are pale and thin, the toes all pointed together. I take a close up of his feet hanging off the footrest.
"Your feet don't smell like other people's feet," I remark.
"Um, what?"
"I don't know, it's just a different smell." It's something I noticed with Rollerboy as well. The parts of his body below his injury had a different sweat smell than able bodied people, and The Mantis smells the same. It's not a bad smell, just distinctive. Kind of like rice that's been sitting in water. Wet, kind of mineral-y.
I never said anything to Rollerboy, because I didn't want to make him even more self-conscious than he already was. But I feel like I can say anything to The Mantis, and the more I reveal my dev self, the more he likes it. Sure enough, he's sitting there with his pupils huge and one hand playing with a nipple. I hadn't fully noticed him doing that earlier, but suddenly it all snaps together in my mind.
"Hey, you're masturbating!"
"That thing with your nipple, that's how you masturbate, right?"
"Ha, you caught me." He blushes slightly and ducks his head. "Most people don't even notice."
"What, so you just go around doing that in public?"
"Sure, why not? I see a hot girl and just..." He demonstrates. It really doesn't look like anything, unless you know that people with SCI develop super sensitivity above their injury level.
"Have you ever had a nipple orgasm?"
"No, but I've heard it's possible."
"Mmm, we're going to have to try," I promise. "But first, did I say you could touch yourself?" I slip back into character, and he eagerly follows along.
"No, Mistress."
"I can see you need to be restrained."
"Yes, Mistress."
I pull off his shirt and undershirt, then strap the leather cuffs on him and snap another photo of his hands clasped together in a supplicating pose. At the risk of being boring and repeating myself, I restrain him again the same way as last time, with his wrists bound to the frame of his chair with d-rings, the gauze for a blindfold and the ball gag. I can't help myself--it's just so hot to see him like that. I take a bunch more pictures to preserve the memory for later. I can tell he loves posing for me like this, even if he can't move or look at me.
Once I have taken photos from every angle, I unsnap the d-rings but leave the blindfold and ball gag in place and make him transfer to the bed and lie down. I loop the d-rings around the top slat of the wooden headboard and link them together, so his arms are restrained above his head. I take more photos of myself stepping on his face, of him sprawled out on the bed, keeping up a steady stream of flowery insults.
Now it's time for the real play. I put the camera down and open up the giant drawer of toys under the bed. Among my improvised low-budget gear is a big bag of wooden clothespins, some of which I have tied together with twine into long garlands. I put one clothespin on each nipple, then clip each pin of the garlands around his chest and on the insides of his arms, wherever I can find a good spot above the line of his injury. The thing about clothespins or any other pinching toy like nipple clamps is that they hurt a whole lot more coming off than going on, and the longer you leave them on, the more they hurt after you take them off. Once he's bristling with clothespins, I tease him a bit, toying with them, rubbing his ears, running my fingers around them. Then I grab one end of one of the garlands and yank it off as hard as I can. He squirms around, straining against the cuffs. I do it again with the second garland, and he reacts the same way. I rub my hands over the tiny red welts dotting his skin, but I leave the last two clothespins on his nipples much longer. I take out the ball gag so I can let him kiss me, and spend a lot longer kissing and caressing his sensitive ears, distracting him.
When I finally take the clothespins off his nipples, I do both at once, slowly easing them open. He groans loudly and bucks under me. I take the blindfold and cuffs off, and make him go down on me, which he does with enthusiasm and skill. I come again and again.
Once I'm finished, he flops down with his head next to mine on the pillow.
"Well?" I ask.
"That was amazing. Thank you," he says with a sigh. He's talking more normally now compared to the first time he came over. I realize that flat affect was because he was really nervous and shy around me. It tickles me to think he found me intimidating for real, not just pretend, but it's also nice that he's relaxing a bit finally.
 "But holy shit, when you took those clothespins off, that hurt like hell."
I give an evil little laugh. "Good!"
"No, I mean it really hurt. Maybe nipple clamps would be better, since you can adjust them."
"Aw, sorry."
"It's ok. It was still awesome."
"You can use the safe word if anything is too much."
"I know."
"I don't want you to get dysreflexia or something."
"What's that?"
"Autonomic dysreflexia. You know, high blood pressure if your body is in pain below the line of your injury."
"Never heard of it."
"Oh my god, how do I know more about SCI than you?"
He just laughs. "Forgive my ignorance, Mistress." Ok, I realize that dysreflexia is probably just a quad thing, but still, I'm not letting him off the hook that easily.
"You are ignorant! Did it never even occur to you to do any research on SCI?"
He just shrugs. "Not really."
Seriously, what is with these dudes not knowing about their own conditions? Maybe it's some sort of perverse defense mechanism not to look anything up. I knew more about glaucoma than K did.
 "You should be fucking grateful I even deign to see you! You know SCI isn't even my top dev preference," I declare haughtily.
"I am grateful. So what is your preference?"
"Blind guys."
"Oh yeah? I have a good friend who's blind."
"Oh my god, really? Can you introduce me?"
"Haha, maybe, but he doesn't live in Raser City. He still lives in our hometown. And I think he has a girlfriend."
I roll my eyes. "Ok, never mind then. I'm not meeting someone who lives four hours away."
He laughs. "I'll let you know if he ever comes down for a visit."
To reward him for all the torture he endured, I give his nipples some more love, licking and kissing and gently biting one then the other. He lays back and enjoys it. I really go at it, trying to get him to orgasm, but it doesn't happen
"I'll try again next time," I promise.
"That's ok, I still enjoyed it."
I get out the camera again and take some more photos of his skinny legs and feet, but I still feel like I'm not capturing his devvy appeal. The photos of his feet just look like anyone's knobby pale feet. I do better taking photos of his sinewy arms. He lies on his side, still naked, and flexes one arm. The contrast of his solid bicep with his bony hip, one flaccid leg flopped over the other, that's getting closer to my dev fantasies.
I save the photos to my hard drive, a souvenir of our time together.