Links & Hijinks: Leather, Smoke, & Buttholes

• When it comes to sex, you’re doing great.

• “Uptalk” – the classically millennial practice of ending sentences in a tone that suggests you’re asking a question – may actually have a conversational purpose.

• A couple big pieces about Pornhub user data: “Pornhub is the Kinsey Report of Our Time” (what a bold and fascinating claim!) and “What We Learned About Sexual Desire From 10 Years of Pornhub User Data.” God, I love this shit. #SexNerdLyfe

• More sex science: a Canadian researcher is trying to build a better female orgasm by studying what turns women on.

• Advice for a woman whose 49-year-old boyfriend has never performed oral sex before, but wants to.

Media images of sex and relationships shape the way we understand these things, and the way we pursue them. So we should pick our media influences carefully, if we can.

• The “French girl” as a style icon is a notion with a long and interesting history.

• “Who cares what straight people think?” asks the delightful Brandon Taylor about writing queer narratives.

• Clementine Morrigan explains how to accept emotional labor ethically. Important stuff!

• Could adding kink to your morning routine make it more enjoyable?

• Here’s how Tinder helps people come to terms with their bisexuality.

• Suz has some excellent advice on going to a sex club for the first time.

• Of potential interest to leather kinksters: the ladies of The Dry Down wrote about their favorite leather fragrances. (I am enamored with Leatherstock, ideally worn in combination with something girly like Demeter Raspberry or Tobacco Vanille.)

• Gotta love a tender, romantic story that includes repeated usage of the phrase “cum dump.”

• My friend Caitlin unpacked their smoking fetish. I find it so interesting that they have a negative physical reaction to smoking (as do I, as an asthmatic) but fetishize it nonetheless.

• When you write about sex for a living, you inevitably get flooded with messages from dudes who take your career choice as a personal invitation to be creepy. Sex columnist Maria Yagoda wrote about some of the “bizarre, horny messages” she’s received over the years.

• Is missionary secretly the kinkiest sex position?

• On learning to enjoy receiving cunnilingus after finding it stressful and embarrassing for years.

• Here’s a basic primer on consent in BDSM.

• Is Instagram the new “little black book”?

A new study found that drinks dates have better outcomes than dinner dates do, in terms of leading to a second date. Sam Dilling explains why drinks have replaced dinner as the go-to first-date activity.

• Here’s a video about why it’s probably silly to worry that you’re “bad in bed.”

• I loved this piece about women who write about the men they date/fuck/desire, and the nuances and ethics of doing that.

• A cultural history of autofellatio. My favorite thing about this article is the 14th-century statue of the Archbishop of Cologne blowing himself. Who the fuck authorized that?! And how can I be their friend?!

• Are people always interrupting you? (Spoiler alert: this is far likelier to happen, statistically, if you are a woman talking to a man.) Here are some tips for dealing with chronic interrupters.

Writing advice that is also good sex advice. I howled with laughter over this one.

• Eight women helped John McDermott craft the perfect Tinder profile. I agree with lots of the advice therein. “Every time a dude has group photos, he’s always the least hot guy in the group. So I’d steer clear, honestly.” “Take a shower and change your sheets, but also mentally prepare for going home alone. Either way, you’ll have clean sheets!” “Do your best to come up with a conversation starter that will, y’know, actually start a conversation.”

• Holly tried a new kinky dating app and it was terrible. (Where are all the good kinksters hiding?!)

• Speaking of good kinksters… Here are 8 ways to tell if your new dominant partner is consent-conscious and respects boundaries.

• Here’s what a 12-year-old boy genetically predisposed to friendliness can teach you about making good small talk.

• This article about non-monogamy made me burst into tears in public when I read it, soooo… yeah. Feelz!

Why aren’t female orgasms depicted in movies often enough or diversely enough? (That cunnilingus scene in Blue Valentine sure is fantastic, though…)

• Epiphora reveals the secret truth about sex toy reviewing. This post is so real!!

• I love the way internet culture shifts our use of language. Here’s a piece on the tilde as a sarcasm indicator. ‘Cause linguistics are ~ever-evolving~!

• On insecurities, attraction, and buttholes. “If we have been wildly turned on by you, then we have been wildly turned on by your butthole. If we have loved you, then we have loved your butthole. If we have married you, then by God, we have married your butthole.” (Apparently MEL faced a lot of backlash for this piece and I’m not sure why; I think it’s lovely!)

• A Glamour reporter interviewed a doctor, an astrophysicist, and NASA (!) about what it’s like to have sex in space. Amazing.

• “Psychological halloweenism” – the practice of imagining you’re someone else – can make you more creative.

• Two data-based revelations from the OkCupid blog: weed helps you get off and kink is becoming more popular.

It’s Different With You

The first time anyone slapped my face, it was because I asked for it, and it was an experiment.

He was an ostensibly vanilla man I’d met an hour earlier, at a sex club. His posh British accent and shy befuddlement set me immediately at ease: this man was no threat to me. He could fuck me, maybe, but he could not fuck me up.

Face-slapping had been on my mind lately. I had no idea if I’d like it. I liked certain types of pain, but getting hit across the face seemed like it’d be uniquely disorienting and extra risky, physically and emotionally.

Normally I like to try new kink things with a safe, trusted, established partner. But I had no such partners available to me. It had been a while since I had. That was starting to feel disheartening. I tried not to think about it too much.

So when this nice English boy had his fingers deep inside me and his lips on my lips, I leaned back and said, “Can you do me a favor? Can you slap me across the face?” His expression, then, was shock muffled by politeness. “Not too hard,” I clarified. “Like, a 4 out of 10.”

To his immense credit, he did not balk. He was vanilla as fuck (or so I assumed from how he later repeated the phrase “good girl” at me like it was a magic arousal spell in and of itself), but he was nonetheless willing to do this for me. Good boy, I thought, as he wound up his batting arm.

The slap landed. It hurt. It shook me. But it did not turn me on.

Huh, I thought. Guess I’m not into that. We did not speak of it again, he did not attempt it again, and the evening progressed in an otherwise vanilla but quite enjoyable way. And that was that. Or so I thought.

The first time you slapped my face, I had also asked for it. But it felt entirely different.

We’d been dating for a few weeks, and having kinky sex in massive quantities. All traces of vanilla had been flushed from my system, it seemed. I thought about going on Tinder dates with other boys, letting them put their hands on me gently and fuck me in entirely standard ways, and the whole idea just bored me to death. Sex with you felt exciting not only because you were rough with me, but also because I trusted you to be rough with me. I wanted to show you how much I could take. I wanted to be good for you. I cared.

We hadn’t talked about it yet, but I felt strongly enough to bring it up nonetheless: “I think I’d like you to slap my face.” You got that devious domly smile on your face I like so much, the one that means you’ve got some mean tricks up your sleeve and I’m gonna like ’em. “I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it, but I want to try,” I added. You nodded and I saw you file this info away for later.

Later came. Long minutes into hard makeouts, you climbed on top of me, straddling my thighs in bed, and grabbed my hair by the root in one hand. “I’m gonna slap you across the face now,” you muttered against my mouth, and I nodded.

My eyes are normally closed during sex; it’s how I process sensations best, and one way I manage my sexual anxiety. But the moment stretched out and I wanted to see. I opened my eyes just in time to see your hand cocked back, ready to strike. A split-second elapsed and you hit me, hard but not so hard it scared me. I felt jolted. Grounded.

My eyes had fallen closed, and after a moment, I opened them again. I did a thing I almost never do during sex: I looked up at you – coyly, through my lashes – and smiled.

You smiled back, and then you hit me again.

Some vanilla people can talk all day long about how romantic their sex can be, how intimate, connective, sweet and life-affirming. That’s fine. I’m glad they experience it that way. But kink can be those things, too. That moment where I’m smiling up at you, knowing you’re about to hurt me, and then you go ahead and do it? That’s the safest and the sweetest. I feel romantic toward you when we’re cuddling or kissing or holding hands in public; I feel it even moreso when you’ve got me pinned and you’re about to leave a handprint on my cheek.

The first time anyone fucked my mouth, it was an accident and I hated it.

He was a submissive boy – which, fine, whatever. Banging other subs isn’t my favorite, but I can deal with it, if it’s only an occasional thing. Submissive guys can still enjoy receiving BJs, after all, so at least there’s some overlap between our tastes.

Reclined on a soft hotel bed, he moaned and mewled as I bobbed up and down on him. I was doing a great job and I knew it. If this was the only fun thing we could do together, I’d be okay with that. It was pretty stellar, as far as BJs go.

But then he started thrusting into my mouth, and I froze.

My gag reflex is off the charts. I have, more than once, accidentally thrown up from scrubbing a toothbrush too far back on my tongue. I like BJs where the recipient is lying on their back, in part because it gives me optimum control over the depth of the dick. When I lose that sense of control, sometimes I gag. Sometimes I panic.

I tried to be chill about it. But after a few minutes, I could not. “Hey, can you stop that?” I mumbled during a pause, pressing my hand against his hipbone to still him. “You’re gagging me.”

“Oh. Sorry,” he said. “I’ll try to stop.” He tried. He didn’t really succeed. I get it; sometimes thrusting isn’t entirely voluntary. But I spent the rest of that BJ trying to get it done, instead of enjoying it for what it was. My throat didn’t trust him anymore.

The first time you fucked my mouth, it was highly negotiated, and I was ready.

A few days previous, I’d mentioned – in one of our many chats about desires and boundaries – that my skittish throat was a frequent buzzkill for me. “It’s why I don’t really like choking or face-fucking,” I said, “even though I’m totally obsessed with deepthroat porn and find it so hot.”

The conversation meandered in a different direction, but a few minutes later, there was a lull, and you mused, with a soft smile: “So no face-fucking, hey?”

The way you say “hey” instead of the more familiar-to-me Canadian “eh” is somehow so endearing to me; it sneaks into your dirty-talk when I fantasize about you, a signature feature of your vernacular that puts an instant smile on my face. With anyone else, I probably would’ve just said, “Yep, no face-fucking,” and moved on. But you – your pressureless demeanor, your easy handsomeness, and that gentle little prod of a “hey” – gave me pause.

I meeeeean,” I began, in that way I begin sentences when I know I can be swayed. “I haven’t liked it with previous partners. Maybe I’d like it with you.” You grinned. I grinned back.

Later, after embroiling me in subspace in all the pervy ways I like best, you arranged me on the bed so my head hung off the edge. You placed my hand on your warm upper arm and said, “I want you to tap my arm if you want me to stop, okay?” And then you slowly slid your cock into my throat.

There was an ease to it I had never experienced with this act before, an instant and eager facility. I could feel myself getting wet as I thought about you using my mouth, fucking all my holes like I was your personal sex toy.

At some point, I started to gag, and tapped your arm. You stopped immediately, made sure I was okay. But I wasn’t scared or shaken. I was smiling. I wanted more.

The first time anyone choked me, I was fucking furious.

“I told you I don’t want to be choked,” I practically shouted. His hand had snuck onto my neck too many times. He knew what was up. This was the last straw.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” he babbled. “My other partners all like being choked. I keep forgetting that you don’t.”

I rolled my eyes. He had used this excuse more than once before. I had no idea whether to believe it. It did seem that his memory was genuinely bad – he’d often tell me a story he’d already told me, or stare at me blankly when I referenced an anecdote I’d relayed the week previous – but it also seemed like a half-assed attempt to eschew my boundaries.

He was the first polyamorous person I’d been involved with, and the whole situation made me doubt that poly was right for me. If mixing up your partners’ sexual preferences was an occupational hazard of poly, could I ever really trust a partner? Could I ever truly enjoy myself, knowing someone could badly fuck up at any moment?

Months after I stopped seeing him, I talked to another former partner of his. She told me he was always “forgetting” her boundaries, too. Maybe that’s not a thing poly people do, I thought; maybe it’s just a thing abusive shitheads do.

The first time you choked me, we had – again – talked about how I’d never liked it before, but thought I might like it with you. You tend to have that effect on me.

“I’m going to put my hand on your throat,” you told me, your face so so close to mine, “but I’m not going to choke you.” You were true to your word. It didn’t scare me. Instead, weirdly, I felt safe.

“When you go home tonight,” you continued, “I want you to masturbate thinking about my hand on your throat. I want you to think about how small and defenseless it makes you feel – and how happy it makes me.” When I relayed this episode to my journal later, I wrote, Damn, he’s good. And indeed, I jerked off thinking about what you’d told me to think about. And it made me really fucking wet.

The first time you actually put pressure on my throat, I squeezed my eyelids shut from the intensity of the sensation. It didn’t feel bad, it was just… a lot. “Open your eyes. Look at me,” you commanded sternly, calling me back to earth. I did as you’d asked. “Hey. It’s okay. You’re okay.” And I knew you were right, and I was safe.

You released the pressure slowly, and I wanted to cry. Never knew I could feel like this, I thought, a love song from Moulin Rouge echoing in my brain. It was a strange thought to have immediately after being choked, maybe, but it was what came to mind.

See? Kink can totally be romantic.

5 Ways I Flirt As a Submissive

1. Unprompted service. Three weeks ago, we went out to lunch and you ordered a Mill Street lager. Tonight, I show up for our scheduled fuckdate at your house, carrying a six-pack of Mill Street lagers. If you were a vanilla boy, maybe you’d seem surprised, or embarrassed that you didn’t get me anything in return. But you’re a dom perv who gets off on my diligent service, so you just take the beers from me, put them in the fridge, and say, “That was very good of you.” I quiver in my boots.


Halfway through explaining to a customer how a particular vibrator works, you accidentally drop its instruction manual on the sex shop’s tile floor. Without speaking, interrupting your pitch, or even giving it any thought, I kneel down and scoop up the booklet from under the toy counter where it fell. “Oh, you don’t have to –” you start, but then I hand it to you from a kneeling position before you, we lock eyes, you set your jaw, and you murmur with a small smile, “Thanks.”


2. Complimenting your dominant qualities. “Time to sweep and mop,” you bark, when there’s an hour left til closing time. Then your tone softens: “Sorry, that was bossy. Time to sweep and mop, please.

En route to the supply closet to grab the broom, I retort over my shoulder, “It’s okay; I like it when you’re bossy.” I hear the pause as you process this, and then you reply, “I’m not sure how to take that…” I grin. And then I get to sweepin’.


Your cat is being an asshole: scratching at the door, yowling incessantly, fucking shit up. You say his name sharply, in the tone of a dad who’s just walked in on his kid drinking chocolate milk straight from the carton.

“I’m really weirdly into it when you get dom-y with the cat,” I enthuse swoonily. Your eyes slide over to me and narrow in mild confusion. “Yeah?” you say, and I nod, wishing you’d speak to me sometime with the sternness you reserve for misbehaving calicos.


3. Alluding to past experiences. At her request, you hit our friend with a leather riding crop so she can see what it feels like. “Wow! I’m surprised that didn’t leave a bruise,” she says, minutes later, as she examines the spot in a mirror. “Crops don’t usually bruise that much,” you and I both start to say, in different words but echoing the same sentiment. Our eyes meet. I feel a hot pop of recognition – the electric familiarity that clicks into gear when kinksters spot fellow kinksters. Oh, hello.


My friend finishes our lengthy spanking session, and I push myself up off the sex club’s gorgeous leather spanking bench, freshly and darkly bruised. “How was that?” you ask. “A good warm-up?” It’s a joke, but it’s also a challenge, a barometer, a test.

“I’ve had worse,” I reply with a saucy shrug. And then I take the paddle my friend was hitting me with and place it in your hands. I don’t know what you’ll do with it, if anything, but I’m curious to find out.


4. Honorifics. We hug goodbye outside the diner after a cozy breakfast. “Be good,” you tell me as we part ways. I shout back, “Yes, sir!” and watch the bemused smile bloom on your face.


We’re at a party, and I make a dumb joke that doesn’t land quite right. Someone calls me an awkward turtle, and I shake my head and inform them, “I’m not a turtle. I am an awkward bunny.

You look at me with cool appraisal and say, “A bunny, huh? Yeah, I can see that.”

How did you know that “bunny” is one of my kink honorifics, despite the totally vanilla nature of the conversation in which it appeared? I have no idea. You have sub-dar, apparently. And it’s working. I attempt to swallow the sudden dry lump in my throat, and reiterate: “Yeah. I’m a bunny.”


5. “Is that an order?” We tread water in the heated pool under the stars. “Is the deep end really deep?” I ask conversationally, and you say, “Nah. You could definitely swim to the end and back, no problem.”

I bite my lip. “Are you telling me to do that?”

“No,” you say immediately, “you don’t have to,” and I exhale the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. I do it anyway, like it’s a dare from the dom you unfortunately aren’t.


Plotting a threesome via text, I mention that multiple orgasms aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse. “What if you took a break from masturbating for a few days beforehand?” you posit. “Maybe we could get 3 out of ya ;)”

I pause, stare at my phone screen, try to breathe. And then I type a phrase so loaded for me, I’m almost scared to make it real by committing it to text. “Is that an order? ;)”

There is a minute of silence during which I become convinced I have scared you away forever by wanting too much from you, climbing too high on the kink ladder while you’re still meandering through the vanilla wilds below. But then your reply comes back: “That is an order. Are you gonna be a good girl and wait a few days for my cock?”

I scream at my phone, throw it across the room, and cover my face with my hands. I am going to be such a good girl for you, sir.

Monthly Faves: Vibrations, Vibrato, & Varvatos

Woof. I had a lot of sex this month. Like, a lot. I have a new partner and he is an insatiable perv comme moi, so, y’know, lots and lots of fucking. I hope this trend continues all summer, because frankly, my vagina deserves it. Here are some of the things I enjoyed most in May…

Sex toys

• Full review coming soon: I am loooving my new-ish Swan Wand. Two rumbly motors in an ergonomically-shaped, hot pink beauty of a toy. Très bien!

• Like I told you on Monday, I’m really digging my Sportsheets under-the-bed restraints lately. Nothin’ quite like getting securely immobilized during sex at a moment’s notice. *swoon*

• My boyf rescued an old telephone table and we repurposed it as a spanking bench, obviously. I love the resourcefulness of kinksters.

Fantasy fodder

• Here’s some exciting news: it’s been almost two years since I first realized Daddy Dom/little girl dynamics turn me on, and now I’m dating someone who is into that dynamic too, and I am FEELING SOME WAYS about it. Let’s just say that the “fantasy fodder” column of my orgasm spreadsheet is even more rife with instances of “princess” and “little one” and “good girl” than usual lately.

• In exploring kink stuff with my new boyf, I’ve noticed that a lot of the kink activities I previously thought I didn’t like, I actually just didn’t like with previous partners. Many of the doms I’ve banged before have turned out to be assholes – or, in some cases, abusive assholes – which obviously colored my perception of the things we did together. With my new darlin’, there are some things I’ve always thought I’d hate forever, like being choked, facefucked, and slapped across the face, that actually feel fine (and even hot) because I’m doing them with someone I care about and trust. Kink is fascinating!

• As I’ve told you before, getting fisted is one of my major sexual goals. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted my First Fister to be a dominant person I feel emotionally connected to, who ideally has small hands, and I finally feel like that person has actually come along. This month, me and my beau went for coffee with my friend Taylor to talk fisting logistics (lofistics?!) since Taylor is a fisting expert of sorts. We learned a lot, and now I can’t stop thinking about my bossy boyfriend wearing a black nitrile glove, three knuckles deep inside me, telling me sternly to take a little more for him…

Sexcetera

• Some of my work elsewhere this month: I tried the teddy bear vibrator for Glamour (spoiler alert: I did not like it). I detailed the best and worst parts of being a sex toy reviewer for Daily Xtra. I wrote about realistic dildos, friendships with benefits, and iconic sex toys for Ignite, and powerful vibrators for Peepshow. I had some feelings about my favorite boy band and how they relate to pleasure under patriarchy. On our podcast, Bex and I discussed the porn festival, aftercaresexual astrology, and kissing, and we interviewed my mom.

• In May, I had 25 orgasms, an uncommonly high (for me) 64% of which were from a partner, with the other 36% being from masturbation. I wasn’t too keen on solo sex this month, in part because I’m so hyped on my new partner and in part because I’ve been intermittently depressed and have therefore lacked the libido and motivation to masturbate as often as I otherwise might.

Femme stuff

• I had so much sex this month that I didn’t spend much time wearing clothes, honestly. But MeUndies are still doin’ me right. They make a real good backdrop for spanking bruises.

• Gawd, I love Yo Sox. They have a brick-and-mortar shop here in Toronto the very sight of which fills me with glee. Ever wanted to adorn your feet with unicorns, hearts, or whales? I certainly fucking have. And now I can. Eee!

• I’ve been catching up on The Dry Down and, as always, it’s making me want to buy/try new perfume samples. Right now I’m really into dark, smoky, “masculine” scents with notes like sandalwood, balsam, and rum. (État Libre d’Orange’s “True Lust” and John Varvatos’ self-titled fragrance are two current faves.) I also like layering leather cologne over whatever I wear, for an extra kinky kick.

Little things

Nathan Stocker’s vibrato fingers and rock-star hair. The way my beau always smells like sandalwood and the scent lingers on my bed/hair/skin after he leaves. Taking friends lube-shopping. Being productivity-dommed. Cuddling with a chill-as-fuck cat. “Apparently I’m a genius!” Sunny park hangz with my darling. Talking about fisting while sipping mint tea in a crowded café. Snapbacks as a way of accessing my tomboy side. That time a barista gave me a spanking so thorough that he bruised his hand and told me he would think of me every time he tamped a shot of espresso until the bruise healed (hnnng). Receiving a “Still thinking about that BJ” text the morning after a hookup. Playing Scrabble with people who are better than me at Scrabble. Honey liqueur. Nutella donuts. Vegan mac and cheese. Tinder boys with good winks. “Dad Squad” jokes at the Victoria Day fireworks with Max. A punny dinner with porn pals. Vanilla cold brew. Good editors.

Are You My Daddy?

“If we have sex – not necessarily tonight, or ever, but if we do – what should I know about you to make sure you have a good time?”

He’s asking me this question in the fluorescently-lit, 24-hour McDonald’s near Comedy Bar, and somehow that doesn’t make it any less romantic.

“Hmm,” I begin, gnawing on a French fry. “I like toys. I like being spanked. I have a burgeoning Daddy Dom/little girl kink. Everything else, I think you’ll figure out on your own.”

He nods solemnly, taking this in. He has a mind like a computer, and he’s just created a folder entitled “How to Make Kate Come.” I see it in his thoughtful, analytic eyes. McDonald’s is heated on this chilly March night, but a shiver goes through me nonetheless.

Later, he’ll be three knuckles deep inside me, fingertips cresting along the spot that makes me come. “That’s your sweet spot, huh, babygirl?” he intones. “You’re getting so wet for Daddy…” And, yeah, that does the fucking trick. Stars explode behind my eyes and I lose sight of the world for a few moments, lost in my littleness.

But post-orgasmic doubt sets in, as it is wont to do. “I’m pretty good at knowing what people want to hear,” he tells me when I compliment his dirty-talk prowess, and poof: there goes my boner. He can’t be my Daddy if he’s only stepping into the role for my benefit. It’s like dancing with someone who’s too cool to really get into it, and keeps pulling “ironic” faces and making fun of the music. You can’t relax into goofy wild weirdness around someone who’s there reminding you how weird it all is, however implicitly. You need them to get lost in the weirdness with you, so you can get out of your head and just be deliciously in your body together.

He didn’t want to dance with me. He kept mocking the music. He kept telling me “what I wanted to hear.” He was not my Daddy.

Wading into poly for the first time, I quickly discovered: it’s smart to talk to your partners’ partners, if they’re cool with that. You learn so much.

“He’s super GGG and so kink-minded,” my metamour said, moonily. “Some guys get so weirded out when you ask them to hit you or choke you, but he always does it when I want him to.” I could practically see the hearts in her eyes. As sweet as she was on this dude, I wasn’t quite sold on him. Something felt… off.

I mentioned my DD/lg feelings mid-sext one day, and then all the right keywords started popping up in his dirty-talk, like a social media algorithm that knows what you’ve shopped for online and reminds you of your history every day thereafter. “Does my little girl need a spanking?” he queried coolly from across the couch when I was depressed one afternoon.

I nodded, but his comment activated a sad sensation I knew well: performative kink. It is categorically different from actual kink. It’s the difference between “Yeah, sure, I’ll play a submissive role for you, I guess,” and “You are utterly in control of me.” Just as you can’t choose whether you’ll fall in love with someone, you can’t choose whether you’ll feel subby to someone – and I felt neither of those things toward this boy. But I could pretend. And I did.

His filthy monologues, at least, were on-point. Midway through our second fuck of the day, he murmured to me in his darkened bedroom, “I want you to come all over Daddy’s cock like you did earlier.” My vagina responded readily, but it was almost perfunctory: yeah, you said The Thing, so I guess I’ll do The Thing. But it wasn’t quite what I had imagined that Thing would feel like. A hollowness followed that dutiful orgasm: I was someone’s little girl, surely, but not his. He was not my Daddy.

My new beau texts me from a party. A couple in his sightline has what he perceives as an overt DD/lg dynamic, and he is, as he puts it, “having some FEELINGS.”

I text back: “Like, ‘wanting me to call you Daddy’ feelings? ‘Cause, like, same.”

We’ve only talked about this in generalities so far, but his reply tells me everything I need to know. “Fuck. Yes.”

I have no idea what I’m doing. I type a sentence which feels like it should live only within the hazy universe of sexting, and can’t possibly bleed into real life – and yet, here I am, saying it to a real-life partner, albeit in a text. “Excited to come fuck your little girl this weekend?”

There is barely a pause before his response comes back: “Yes, little one, Daddy is very excited to fuck you this weekend.”

The weekend comes. We are hyper-communicative kink nerds, thank god, and lie in bed talking about our Feelings before we delve into sex. “I liked it when we were texting, but I don’t know if I’ll like it in real life,” he carefully confesses. Noticing the confusion on my face, he clarifies: “You know… That word I can’t say.”

I laugh, because I don’t think I can say it either. It feels silly, saccharine, embarrassing, vulnerable. It feels like admitting to something I am absolutely not supposed to want, even though we’ve both admitted we want it, and we both know better than to kink-shame. It’s all well and good to believe other people have a right to their safe and consensual kinks, whatever those may be; it is another thing entirely to accept that you have a right to like what you like. That you are not broken or weird or sick for wanting the things you urgently want.

He kisses me, and it’s like this word we cannot say is silently fuelling our lust; it’s the whirr in my ears, the rat-tat of my heart. I say it a thousand different ways in my mind. I beam it at him while he claws at my skin, spanks my ass red, beats me with a cane. The word resides in my grimaces and in his smirks. It’s an unspoken parenthetical in every sentence we spit.

He lifts his head from where it ended up, between my thighs, and says with the steady calm that turns me to mush: “I’m going to make you come now.” And then he slides two fingers deep inside me, and hands me my Tango, and does what he has promised.

The sounds in the room, as I’m coming down from my orgasm, are a mellow chorus of mewls and whimpers and “Mm-hmm, that’s right” and “You are such a good girl.” I scrunch my fists in the sheets to gather my strength and my resolve, and then I look down at him and say, “Come here. I want to tell you something.”

As he crawls up my body, I wonder if he thinks I’m going to say “I love you.” It’s way too early for that. And also, what I’m about to say feels even bigger, trickier, riskier.

I pull him toward me and purr in his ear, “Daddy, you made your little girl come so hard.”

I feel his cock stiffen and stir against my leg, and he groans like it’s involuntary. Like I pulled the sound from deep within his body. “You want Daddy to fuck you now?” he asks, soft, so soft. I hear how hard he works to push the word past his lips, to force it out while his self-shaming superego tries to tamp it down. I moan my approval like watering a plant I hope will grow strong. And then he fucks me until I am even less than a little girl: a puddle, a cloud, a sweetly sighing mirage.

He strokes my hair in the afterglow, and comments thoughtfully: “I think what freaks me out about that word is how much I like it.”

I laugh. Yup. That. “I know what you mean. It’s like, ‘You can’t say that! That’s The Thing!'” The Thing that catches my breath and halts my words. The Thing that darkens my panties with want. The Thing that flips some secret switch in my brain from “off” to “on.” You know. The Thing.

He smiles, and pulls me tighter against him. “You are such a sweet little girl,” he breathes contentedly, and I know that he is right – and that he is my Daddy.