25 July 2002
If one were to look for a single convincing piece of evidence that things were not all they could be, perhaps the fact would stand out that, with her boyfriend's penis in her mouth and new pants bought only yesterday cinching her waist, her uppermost concern is the inevitable stippling of her knees as a result of the coarse fibres of the living room carpet. She tries to move herself gently toward the comparative safety of the fake sheepskin rug, but nothing doing.
Knees are something she has had to get used to in the past five months. Her previous boyfriend, who was called John and played the guitar badly, preferred to lie back and take it, leaving issues of speed and suction to her.
At the time it seemed to be a little lazy, perhaps even selfish, but it would have been a bracing novelty now. This boyfriend, whose name is also John but who does not play the guitar at all, insists on either standing as she kneels before him (which leads to sore hamstrings for both of them, unless there is somewhere to lean, his knees slightly bent), or kneeling with her on all fours in front of him, which position she finds herself in now. If she descends on him as he lies on his back, then by a series of small movements and impressive uses of momentum he levers himself into first a sitting, then a squatting, and finally a kneeling position.
Her next boyfriend will favour lying on his left side and stroking her hair with his right hand. This will seem restful and affectionate, and give her a conviction that he likes her far more than he actually does.
She imagines the current setup as obvious and pornographic, and vaguely suggestive that she is valuable as a functional component rather than for any personal quality. A hint of resentment calcifies as an overenthusiastic canting of his hips brings tears to her eyes and a brief sense that she is drowning. Resisting the urge to bite down, she realises that with her eyes closed she cannot picture his face.
The pants, new or not, are not helping. On his urging, she had laid in a small stock of black thongs. That evening, while looking for something to read in his cramped flat as he went to collect food on his lovingly-preserved Lambretta, she had found, used casually as a bookmark in a William Gibson novel, a Polaroid taken from a precipitous angle a picture of his last girlfriend, whose name was Elizabeth and was identifiable by a tattoo of a rose on her right shoulder, with her mouth on the photographer's cock and her loins wrapped in a pair of suspiciously familiar thong-style knickers. Still, new pants are new pants, although she favours white cotton with a sensible surface area, and maintains that a little concealment is very sexy.
This pair is slightly too tight and the backstrap or thong or whatever you call it is rubbing. The effect is less than erotic.
There is a slight slick over the top of the head, taking her mind away from the familiar taste of blood beneath a thin layer of tissue, like the moment before a nosebleed. She does not and has never used condoms for oral sex, despite a rigorous adherence to safer sex elsewhere. The taste of nonoxynol-9 the one time she tried was like nothing on earth, and flavoured condoms as a concept made her think so strongly of vending machines and men's urinals, fag-ends and detergent cakes that the very thought makes her retch. She has never tasted or indeed seen one.
She imagines this attitude is pretty much the norm, but has rarely ventured to discuss it with her peers, for fear that she may be wrong, and her habits considered filthy or irredeemably decadent. The one time she did try, near the end of a drunken night with one of her fellow secretaries, she was horrified to discover that the girl, barely eighteen years old, covered everything in latex when both giving and receiving.
Thankfully, her self-disgust was relieved when her interlocutor very obviously threw up into her own mouth and swallowed it back down again, reaching too quickly for her vodka and tonic with a brief, strangulated hiccup.
Idly running her tongue across the fraenulum, she thinks about work, and how many others in her office of twenty-six people do this. Have ever done this. Are doing this right now.
The thought of Steve, the muscular Australian meathead in technical support, nursing at another man's groin makes her stomach tighten and a brief tremor runs through her lips. Mistaking it for swelling ardour, he cants his hips in just the wrong way again.
That's enough for her. She starts to put her back into it, and it isn't long before he reciprocates with the traditional preorgasmic obscenities. His cock twitches in her mouth like a frog's leg in plaster. She turns away with a popping noise, and leaves him and the carpet to it.