I’d gone easy on Ben the next day, keeping it simple, with only three rules for him to remember. Rule one – that he would obey me, without question, rule two – that he would keep quiet and not speak to me without being spoken to and rule 3) that he was not to cum until I expressly gave him permission to do so. It would be hard for him, in both senses of the word, but I had faith in him.
On Wednesday morning, our group woke early to catch tuk tuks to the sunrise over Angkor Wat – the oldest and largest temple complex in the world, originally built for the Hindu god Vishnu. That morning, we all filed into the reception area at 4:30am.
Ben was already there as we filed in. He looked up at me and smiled. I didn’t return the gesture. Penelope, Kim, the Aussie and I all sat down on the bench opposite Ben. Bruno chose not to sit next to us, standing in the corner, staring vacantly into the space he seemed to permanently reside in.
“You must have gotten up early, Ben,” Penelope smiled, the woes of her massage violation and distrust of men obviously behind her now, “How long have you been here?”
“Half an hour. I thought they said to be here at four.”
“Oh no! Four thirty!” Penelope chirped, “You came so early!”
“I imagine Ben often comes early, don’t you Ben?”
The Aussie cackled. Ben flushed, looked up at me, open mouthed, then to the Aussie, then back to me. I gave him a sharp glance and he lowered his eyes, saying nothing.
The tuk tuk drivers arrived and we all filed in. Boring Bruno got in with Penelope and the Aussie. I can only imagine the delights of that conversation. Kim and I clambered in on one side of our tuk tuk, leaving the opposite bench free for Ben to sit down on.
The leather seats were warm to sit on. Tropical heat hung in the air, even at these early hours. Frogs croaked under the full moon and countless, stars shone out like diamonds scattered over black satin.
Kim said she was hungry, and as it so happened I had packed some bananas, knowing we wouldn’t have time for breakfast before we left. I split one off the bunch and gave it to her, then took another one and began to peel it. Ben licked his lips.
“You should eat one too, Ben. It’s going to be a long day.”
Ben reached out hesitantly towards the bunch. I shook my head, broke a banana off and slowly peeled it, while looking into his eyes with the most filthy glance I could muster. I saw him swallow. The tuk tuk rattled down the narrow roads, among early morning traders, stacking boxes under colourful blinking LED covered stalls. I held the half peeled banana out to his mouth.
With every large stone in the road that the wheels of the tuk tuk found, the vehicle bounced. I smiled in amusement as Ben struggled to do as he was told, the tip of the banana glancing his nose and dancing around his stupidly opened mouth: banana fellatio. It was a little arousing to watch.
Just as his lips got around the end of it, I withdrew it and turned to Kim. Ben’s teeth snapped shut on nothing.
“I’m curious. You told me you broke up with your boyfriend before you went travelling, that’s too bad, but I’m curious as to the kind of guy you like.”
Ben had his eyes on the banana in my hand. If he could only grab it, but I know he knew better than that.
“Uh… I like uh… kind guys. And smart – they have to be smart, because I don’t like stupid guy. And, maybe they are a bit – like they make me hungry, you know? Haha. I kind of like artists too…”
I smiled and looked disparagingly over to Ben, who was still eying the banana I was toying with in my hand, teasingly near my lap.
“It’s a shame there’s no one like that where we’re staying, huh?”
Kim and I laughed as Ben’s shoulders hunched. I held out the banana to him, but he was refusing to play the game. That wouldn’t do, so while Kim was distracted, looking out at the increasing lights of Siem Reap proper, I gave Ben a kick to the shin with my hiking boot. He cried out in pain then caught my eyes and leaned forward obediently to the banana.
Kim eyed Ben and I with amusement.
“Are you guys…?”
I threw back my head and laughed so loud our tuk tuk driver craned his neck around to see what was going on. I could see the illuminated roof of the grand ticket offices a short way away.
“Oh my god Kimmy, no! God no! Can you imagine someone like me with… with Ben? Even I wouldn’t stoop that low. That really would be scraping the bottom of the barrel, wouldn’t it Ben?”
Ben nodded, trying unconvincingly to laugh as Kim grinned. He leant forward to take a bite of the banana I was still holding out, but as the tuk tuk stopped suddenly in the parking lot, he missed the bite again.
“Oh stop playing with it, Ben. Good grief!”
He took his bags and went to get up.
“Ladies first Ben. Always.”
He sat down as Kim and I threw on our day packs and headed out of the tuk tuk. I threw the banana into his lap and told him to get us coffee and pastries from the café in the atrium. There were people everywhere. Tourists from all over the world in large crowds at every ticket window, and a line of forty or so people outside the café, the only fresh java at this time of the morning for miles around.
Kim and I had a good chat while we snaked slowly through the admittance line for day passes. We were almost at the front when Ben came along with the tray of coffees and pastries. I took Kim’s and passed it to her, then took the my coffee and pastry, as well as the items Ben had got for himself. He looked relieved and went to climb under the railing to join us in the queue.
“No Ben. What are you doing? Look at all the people behind us. You can’t just barge in! Everyone’s been waiting here for a long time. Wait your turn.”
“Katia…” Kim said, touching my arm.
“No, Kim. He can wait. I read that queue jumping is very rude in Cambodia – I’m just trying to help him.”
Kim seemed to accept this dubious explanation. I glared at Ben and pointed to the back of the queue. It was even longer than it had been when we first arrived. Ben shuffled off quickly to the back of the line. Kim and I got our day passes. As Kim headed back to the tuk tuk, I stood against a pillar close to the line up, catching Ben’s eyes as I sensually enjoyed every sip and bite of the refreshments he’d bought. His coffee and pastry lay by my feet.
“Try to hurry up would you?” I barked at Ben, “Our driver is waiting.”
I watched his face fall as I took his coffee and pastry and dumped it into the trash can. Then I turned on my heel and sauntered out to Kim and the waiting tuk tuk.
Angkor Wat at sunrise is like nothing else. We sat around the gazing pool with hundreds of other tourists, all snapping photos. Because Ben was carrying both of our bags, Kim and I got to crouch down right at the front of the crowd, for the best view. Slowly pinks and oranges seeped into the morning sky, like paint into dark brush water. The orange sun rose slowly above the old stone turrets and the birds sang. Behind us, a hot air balloon sat stationary in the sky, some ways behind Ben, who kept stumbling, trying to balance under the weight of our packs, harassed by the hustle of twenty Khmer women and children all trying to hawk their souvenirs.
The temple itself was amazing. Kim and I ran our fingers down the carvings of the Hindu stories, feeling the power from old stones that bridged the gap between the mundane and divine worlds. Periodically Ben would slump down like an exhausted mule, to catch his breath and I would bark at him to get up, otherwise we’d leave him behind.
I am not completely heartless. I realize the perils of the Cambodian sun and only meant to teach Ben a lesson, not kill him. So one hour into our temple tour, I took back our bags from him, but not before sending him off to get me some souvenirs: a few Khmer silk scarves in various colours. Cambodian silk is second only to their silver. I have a bit of a penchant for silk, and besides – I had plans for it later, which involved a certain little project of mine.
By midday, our group was templed out. We came back to the resort for some refreshments and a few hours rest before heading out to the restaurants and bars on Pub Street later.
As Ben went to go to his room, I took him by the arm gently.
“Oh no. I’m not finished with you. Take a shower, you stink. Use soap. Then come to my apartment. Number 7. Hurry.”
While he was preparing himself, I went back to my place and lay out a red scarf on the bed. I pulled out the toy bag and began to take inventory.
Handcuffs? Check. Nipple clamps. Weights. Plugs. Lube – of course. Padlocks, keys, vinyl gloves, chastity cage. I lifted out the strap on, but I wasn’t really feeling it today. I laid it out of the scarf in any case.
There was a knock on the door.
“Come in, it’s open.”
Ben came in with a nervous smile and shut the door behind him. I walked over to him, embracing him for a moment, but being sure he was facing the collection of toys on the bed. As he held me, I stroked the small of his back through his T-shirt and pressed myself into his groin.
“Are you ready?” I whispered, stroking his ear.
A moment later, he stiffened, and broke the embrace, his countenance terrified.
“Um… Katia… I mean Mistress… uh… you’re not going to make me… I mean, I want to tell you, I’m not having anything in my bum, OK? That… that is not happening, OK?”
“Do I have to repeat myself?”
Obediently he peeled off his shirt, his shorts and his socks. He hesitated on removing his underwear, so I ripped them off him myself, tearing them a little and taking a few public hairs captive in the process. He gasped as if to protest.
“I make it simple for you, Ben, but you don’t listen. . I told you the other day not to displease me, but you obviously have a short memory. So I’m going to help you with that. How old are you, Ben?”
“Old enough to know better. Alright, good. Now, bend over and touch your toes. I will be right back.”
Ben complied. I walked into the bathroom, picked up my hard bristled brush and carried it back to where Ben was bowed, balls dangling vulnerably below his clenched bottom.
“I want you to relax, Ben. The more you resist, the more this will hurt. I’m going to strike you 27 times, one for each miserable year of your mediocre life so far. You are going to count each strike aloud. You may cry out, but you may not move. If you move, we will start again, from the beginning. Do you understand?”
I turned the bristled side of the brush to his bottom, then reeled back and smacked him with all the force I could muster.
“No Ben. I told you to count. That was one. Now we start again. Unclench those cheeks. Relax.”
I wound back again.
“Ow… ouch… TWO!”
Smack! This time the hairbrush caught his sack. He cried out in pain and crumpled to the floor.
“Oopsie daisy, did I miss? I’ll try to be more careful from now on, OK Ben? But I did tell you not to move, so now I’m afraid I have no choice but to start again.”
It took quite a while, but we got there in the end. 27 strikes. I went a little easier on him for the last fifteen, because he had tears running down his cheeks. At the end, I dropped the brush to the floor and cradled his head in my hands, stroking his hair and enjoying the sight of my artistry branded red hot and angry on his bottom.
“Good boy, Ben, I think you are learning.”
I felt Ben sigh into my hands, his body relaxing in this moment between torment, allowing me to caress him, to soothe him and bring him back from the brink.
“I hear from Penelope that you’re leaving for Bangkok tomorrow night.”
“Do tell me where you’re staying and for how long, because as it happens I’m headed there in a few days myself. And before you go, I have a present for you. Stand up.”
Ben shot me a panicked look. But as coy as he could try to play it, the little pervert’s hard-on was clear as day.
I snapped on a pair of vinyl gloves, squirted some lube onto them and unlocked the hinged cock cage, kneeling in front of Ben, examining his cock critically, as one might with a troublesome faucet.
Penises have always amused me. As a young woman, I sometimes reflected that every man I met – no matter how successful or formidable they seemed – had one of these ridiculous looking things in their pants, waiting to spring up at something stupidly simple and spew up its contents. Ben’s was bobbing up and down like one of those sprung door catchers – almost pleading for release. Also inconveniently now far too unweilding to go in the cage. I sighed and looked at the clock. The group was heading into town in half an hour. This would have to wait.
“Ugh. Ben, this is not going to work. You’ve gotten yourself far too excited. So, here’s what we will do. You are going to go to my bathroom, kneel down beside the towel rail and wait for me.”
Ben went to pick up his pile of clothes.
“No, Ben. No clothes. And if you need the bathroom, you better use it now.”
As Ben went to empty his tanks, I fetched the handcuffs and the ring gag and burst in on him at the end of his stream. He looked at me, horrified.
“Oh hurry up and shake it off. Good. Now kneel.”
So Ben knelt and I took the handcuffs and fastened him by his wrists to the towel rail.
“Straighten your back. That’s better.”
“My knees hurt.”
“Open your mouth.”
“But my knees…”
I fastened the ring gag around his head, buckling it tight, but not too tight.
“That’s better isn’t it, Ben? Sometimes it takes something more uncomfortable to take your mind off a different discomfort. You can choose what to focus on. I’m going to get ready to go out now.”
Slowly I unbuttoned my shirt, revealing my red lace bra and the breasts that spilled over them. Watching Ben’s eyes as I continued downwards, past my belly button, then completely released, dropping the shirt to the floor in front of Ben. A bead of drool that was suspended from the front of his gag dripped to the floor. I unfastened my bra fastenings one by one, slipping each strap down. Ben watched intently, his eyes locked on what my fingers were doing.
“You little deviant! You do not look at me unless I tell you to, understand?”
“Mmmghmmm…. Mmm…” he drooled, apologetically.
He lowered his eyes and I took off the rest of my clothes and threw them at him, except my underpants. Those I placed over his head, mostly covering his eyes.
“Red is your colour, Ben. I had no idea!”
Ben tried to smile, but slurped loudly instead, more drool pooling on the floor in front of him.
I stepped into the shower, smiling at this man slave of mine, cowered ridiculously by the towel rail with my underpants on his head. The rhythmic jets of water felt delightful and – as luck would have it – the shower head was extendable. All of this work had been a little arousing for me, so I took the opportunity before getting dressed to pleasure myself with my jets of the five star resort’s shower. As I moaned with increasing pleasure, throbbing in intensity in response to every drop of water, I watched Ben’s jaw clench and his head turn around, trying to see, but unable to get a good picture through the fabric.
“If you cum, Ben, there will be trouble…”
Pleasure pulsed through me like lightning as I came, placing the shower back in its holster and leaning against the tiles to compose myself. Ben was grunting softly on the tiles, rocking his body forwards and backwards, but he hadn’t cum. Good boy. I turned off the taps, and wrapped myself in a towel, then hurried to get dressed. I’d probably take my time, savour the food and enjoy a few drinks on Pub street with the crew before coming back to Ben, who would – of course – be waiting for me.
Later that evening, Kim and I were going through our luggage together, seeing if we could thin it out. Pulling out my evening wear, a long black dress with slits up at the sides and a plunging neckline, my toy bag fell out. I had clumsily forgot to zip it before packing it and as it rolled onto the floor, so did all of its erotic cargo.
Kim, trying to help, went to pick up one of the butt plugs. Purple, with a jewelled end. One of my favourites.
“Hey, what’s this?”
“Ah… don’t touch that.”
She recoiled. I picked it up. I always sanitize toys between uses – cleanliness is next to goddess-ness after all – but I didn’t want to scare her. Kim points to the head of the double ended dildo now, that is peeking cheekily out of the bag opening.
“Oh my god, what is that? It looks like a… like a…”
Well the cat (or dildo) was out of the bag now. So, with that, I began to try to explain to this innocent little thing from Malaysia, the various tools in my bag and their uses. Her eyes widened when I explained the plug.
“It goes where?”
“Some people like it.”
“But why? Doesn’t it hurt?”
“Mmm. Hopefully. Possibly at first.”
Kim looked at me with confusion, then amusement.
“You are a funny lady, Katia.”
I smiled indulgently at her. Time to put the toys away and change the subject. At that exact moment, Penelope – Thai tasselled skirt flaring out behind her – threw open the door and ran in crying. She smelled of coconut oil and her eyes were wild.
“I just went for a massage in town… and… and…”
“Penelope!” I said, stepping forward to help. “Whatever is the matter?”
As I stepped forward, one of my toys fell from the bag I was trying to zip. Penelope looked down at the mid sized, flesh coloured plug on her foot, shrieked and ran outside again, wailing louder. I looked at Kim in confusion. She shrugged.
Later, I heard through Kim that Penelope had apparently had a bit of a misunderstanding with a Khmer masseuse. Khmer massage – along with Thai massage – is known to be quite an intimate experience. But there are also two types of massage place: the ones that relax you and provide muscular and skeletal relief, and the ones that provide – for want of a better phrase – happy endings. Penelope, being Penelope, had stumbled into entirely the wrong kind of establishment and their attempts to give her a happy ending had very unhappy results.
She sat quietly at dinner, legs tightly crossed. I tied to engage her in conversation, but as the resort’s in-house sexual deviant, I was apparently only adding to her trauma and she refused to look at me.
Then along came Ben, with his tray of food.
“Penelope! Babe! What’s up? Time of the month?”
Ugh. Penelope winced. Now that was the last thing she needed right now.
I patted the seat beside me, glaring at Ben.
“You. Come. Sit.”
Ben stiffened, grinned, then did as he was told.
In the vast expanse of farms and stilt houses around the resort property, the heavy pound of Khmer music was playing. It would be Khmer new year in a week and the festivities were starting early. There was something incredibly pleasant about sitting by an open window, feeling the wood frame and chairs vibrate with every over amplified beat. In addition, the thrum of a thousand crickets in the garden outside and the intermingled incense from the Buddha shrine combined in the humid evening air in a way that was deeply sensual.
I excused myself from the dining hall early to scour the garden a final time. I found myself a fallen bamboo cane of the right size, then wandered to the apartment where Ben was staying and found – to my delight – a Kapok tree: it’s bark, a mosaic of merciless thorns. I pressed my body gentle against them, feeling each little point press threateningly against my skin. Yes, this would do nicely.
I waited there a while. The others left the dining hall and filed past me first. Bruno shot me a suspicious look, while the Aussie winked at me:
“You look like you’re up to no good.”
I grinned back at her and watched the group leave. No Ben. He was probably still eating. I imagined the others had grown tired of his inane prattle and rushed their meals to escape him.
Finally Ben came around the corner. He looked surprised to see me. I nodded to him and allowed him to walk a few more steps until he was between the Kapok tree and I.
He looked at the bamboo cane in my hand.
“Katia! What are you doing here? And what’s that stick for? Were you planning on beating me with it?”
I shot him a wicked smile, lifting the cane and placing it to the side of his neck.
Ben shifted uncomfortably, accidentally brushing the thorns on the trunk behind him. He winced in pain.
“I imagine you usually beat yourself. It might make for a nice change, mmm?”
“Uh…” he leaned back, as if to get away, but caught the thorns again. He could have moved away on either side, there was space, but his feet didn’t move. Presumably they knew something his fearful mind did not.
I started to trace the cane gently around his neck, then deliberately slowly, down the length of his chest, his sternum, his belly and down to his belt line. Then below. He spasmed a little.
“What’s wrong? Am I making you nervous?”
He gulped. Sweat was beading on his forehead. He licked his lips and took a deep breath, attempting to compose himself.
“N…no. It just… it’s just that it tickles a little.”
“Mmm. Tickles? I imagine it’s doing a whole lot more than that, Ben. At least, that’s what your other head is telling me.”
Ben looked down at the obvious bulge in his chinos, covering it reflexively with his hands, like Adam in the Garden of Eden perhaps, when realizing his nakedness. In a sense, he was naked. I saw right through his coyness and attempts at bravado, to the slobbering, desperate man inside. A slave to his desires, and soon, yes, to me too.
What an uncomfortable position to be in. Poor thing.
“No need to be shy, Ben. You think it’s the first time I’ve seen an erection?”
I smacked his hands away with the bamboo cane.
“Hold this for me, would you?” I said, placing the bamboo cane between his teeth. He held it obligingly, his eyes widening. “There’s a dear. Now let’s see what we have here.”
I knelt down in front of him, placing a hand on both of his hips firmly.
“There now. See? Do I look scared? It’s hardly threatening, Ben: you don’t need to protect me from it. I’ve seen bigger. Much bigger than this… attempt.”
Ben’s shoulders slumped and for a moment he looked like a little boy lost. I gently began massaging the side of his hips, then kneading forwards towards his groin, stopping short of the strained fabric there.
“Yes, relax. That’s it. There. Now, you don’t need to look so afraid. Well, perhaps it’s wise, but you’re not going anywhere, are you?”
Ben shook his head, wincing as in a moment of relaxing his back caught the barbs of the Kapok.
“And you want to please me, don’t you?”
Ben nodded slowly. He looked wonderfully ridiculous, standing there helpless, cane between his teeth like an obedient puppy, awaiting my next instruction.
I increased the speed and intensity of my massage, still avoiding the intimate area. So much of this work is the energy from potentiality. Sex is a release – it’s fast and furious and then its gone. Where there is tension, where there is potential, there is creativity and hunger. This is my preferred arena to work from, in all areas of my life, but especially in my work. Ben was moaning softly now, edging his erection towards my hands, but my hands always moving away from it, continuing to massage.
“I wonder what you thought when you saw me here, standing outside of your room. I look quite appealing, don’t I Ben? This black dress glides over my contours like poured wax and – ah – I caught you. You like breasts, don’t you Ben? It’s alright. You can look. They are very nice aren’t they? I bet you must have imagined what it would be like to hold them…”
I paused, watching his jaw clench over the bamboo.
“Perhaps to place one in your mouth… suckle on it. Mmm? Feel its softness giving to your tongue as you lapped on it.”
He was beginning to drool.
“And perhaps as you did that, to have me sitting over you as you did that, sitting on that little mound of yours and squirming on top of it.”
Ben’s mouth gaped open, the cane falling out. I gave a sigh of exasperation, stopped the massage, picked it up not bothering to dust it off and shoved it forcefully back between his teeth.
“No Ben. I didn’t tell you to drop it.”
He mumbled something that sounded vaguely like an apology, but there was too much saliva to make sense of it.
I knelt back down again, switching from the previous massage to just running my hands softly down his thighs. Ignoring his now more desperate attempts to thrust his boner into my hands.
“Settle! Just listen Ben, I am telling you a story. Please don’t be rude or I will be forced to take that cane from your teeth and impress my disappointment onto your buttocks. Understand?”
He nodded. He was moaning louder now, his breathing coming out in hard rasps. Anyone could hear. The thought crossed my mind that we may both get into a bit of trouble for these shenanigans, but this would only take a few moments more. He was close.
“Those images I just gave you. They caught your imagination didn’t they?”
I stood up, brushing the red dirt from the front of my dress and starting to walk away. I heard Ben let out a gasp, I heard the sound of the cane dropping to the floor. I turned to see his body spasm helplessly for a moment or two in front of the tree.
“Ben… did you just?”
Ben looked up at me, ashamed.
“Oh dear. Did I tell you to do that?”
Ben shook his head.
“N.. no… Mistress…”
His chinos had a growing darkness on their front now.
“I have to say Ben, I am really quite disappointed. I was simply trying to reassure you, to tell you a story, and you do – this.”
Ben looked at me, vainly trying to brush off the stain with one of his hands.
“You’re really quite pathetic. I would imagine there are wild horses with more self control than you.”
I raised my eyebrow and glared at him. He cowed.
“I’m sorry, Mistress.”
I sighed, picked up the cane and dusted it off.
“Apology considered. Really Ben, as embarrassing as this whole thing is for you, you could consider yourself quite fortunate. I have the tools to teach you to overcome that undisciplined nature of yours and shape you into something far more… pleasing. It would of course be quite a lot of work for me, and I am supposed to be on vacation but…”
I ran the tip of the bamboo through my hair, brushing my bangs out of my eyes and looking Ben up and down.
“If you really want my assistance, I suppose you could ask very nicely and I might consider it…”
Ben paused for a moment, then knelt down before me.
“Yes… please Mistress. Please help me. I want to please you.”
I smiled. He looked a lot more fetching down in the dirt, than he had all day. I placed a wedged shoe on top of his back for a moment and rocked forward on it, pressing him down a little more. He spluttered a little, then looked up at me with a placating smile.
“Request accepted, Ben. Alright, your work starts tomorrow. Better get some rest – you will need it.”
Ben got up slowly, watching me conscientiously as a student might gaze at a teacher at the start of an important lesson. He jangled his key chain in his hand, flustered, and placed the key in the door.
“Oh and Ben?”
“You’d better change those pants, unless you want to advertise to the world what a pathetic little thing you were tonight..”
Ben disappeared into his room. I yawned and stretched my arms. To sleep now, perchance to dream, of a tailored set list of discomfort and frustration for my new project.
All work and no play does make a person dull. And in my work, I need to always have an edge, or many, preferably sharp, pointed or at the very least, hard.
So I’m travelling to South East Asia for research, and of course a little respite. First stop, Cambodia, a little resort just outside of Seam Reap. Then Thailand – that heady mix of dirt, excitement, and mystery that I’ve always found so intoxicating a prospect.
Siem Reap is a harsh Mistress in herself. The heat is hard to explain, inescapable, it invades every pore and the only way to survive it is to surrender to it. My dewy skin breathes in temporary relief as the tuk tuk turns and the mildest hint of a breeze ripples through my cotton shirt, over my bare décolletage, sensually brushing bare skin and bringing me to life in a way I haven’t felt in a long while.
The road is an ordered chaos of interweaving tuk tuks, mopeds and cattle. The smell is a heady mix of boiling refuse and floral fragrance from the vegetation of the fields and forests beyond.
I contemplate being a stranger in a foreign land must be somewhat similar to how my submissives feel at times. At the mercy of many things that are beyond their control, trusting that things will work out because they have to, yet knowing around every turn is something that may just push them completely out of their comfort zone, at best, or completely destroy them, at worse.
No, I’ve never destroyed any of my submissives. There seems little point going to all the trouble I do for them to simply have them fall apart at the end. Yet I aways try to impress the possibility that I might have this unspoken destructive power, when I learn their fears and subject them to them in small, arousing doses. They don’t understand, in those moments of vulnerability and terror, that I never mean them any harm – I am simply showing them a new way. A way to transcend those dull fears and limiting beleifs that stop them living to their full potential. I am the inner city paint store to the suburban artist – come to me and I’ll show you shades and tones that you’d never known before. Especially red. I do like red. And purple. Even blue.
Opposite me in the tuk tuk, Kim sits quietly, hugging her backpack to her as if to protect herself from the world. We’re staying at the same resort, and while waiting for our driver she confided in me that this was her trip to find herself, after quitting a well paid but unsatisfactory job. She talked to me about her upbringing in Malaysia and the “Asian work ethic”, which I found very interesting. But the part where my ears really pricked up was when she spoke of physical discipline in the school system.
“When we were bad, to punish us, they used bamboo,” she said, obviously somewhat pained by the memory. “We were given a choice, thick bamboo, or many thin bamboos tied together.”
“Which did you choose?” I asked her.
“The thick one. It looks bigger, but it hurts less. The smaller ones tied together were sharp. They really sting.”
Bamboo. I take a mental note.
“How about you?” She asked, “What do you do?”
I raised my eyebrow at the girl sitting in front of me, some ten years younger than me and full of childish curiosity. Should I tell her what I do? The toys I have and where they go?
“I’m… not sure I should tell you.”
She leaned forward a little, eye widening.
“Oh. You do something bad? You mafia or something?”
She laughed at her own joke. I sighed and shook my head. How to explain? Do they have kink in Malaysia? Did she have a boyfriend? If so, that might make it easier. Kimmy, sometimes when two people love each other very much, they tie each other up and put things up their asses? No. No, and anyway, love has nothing to do with this business of mine. Affection? Yes. Friendship? Sure. Trust? Absolutely. It was not love, beyond that I love my work and the submissives seem to love theirs.
“Have you ever heard of Mistresses?”
Kim looked lost in thought a moment, then frowned a little.
“You mean, like the other woman?”
“No. Different kind of Mistress. It’s about… being a person of power for another person to reliquish their power to. How to explain? Ok. When someone submits to me, to my whims and caprices, I can take them past their stale day to day reality and into a whole new world of strengths and possibilities. It’s a creative process of sorts.”
“Like a life coach?”
“Uh. Yeah, sure. Like a life coach.”
“You could teach me! Be my coach, I need one.”
I smile back awkwardly. We enjoy a minute or so of uncomfortable silence until our tuk tuk rattles loudly down the stone drive of the resort.
Lush green canopy and a myriad of flowers and fragrance greets us at the gates. I learn that there are seven others here, mainly females in their late twenties. Two men. One, a German called Bruno who looks very dull. The other a cocksure English man in his late twenties called Ben, who made me bristle (not in a good way) when he introduced himself to me in the manner of a drooling, undisciplined puppy. I pondered he might be a good subject to bring to heel.
Bags unpacked, Kim and I slipped into our bikinis and headed to the pool. The smouldering tiles surrounding it threatened to brand bottoms that lingered there too long, so we slipped slowly into the cool blue water, letting it cool our overheating skin. An English girl named Penelope was there, on a gap year, writing a segment on “following your bliss”
I suppose bliss is alright, but I’ve always found pain to be a better teacher. Perhaps that explained why she hadn’t learnt much. There was an Aussie girl there too, lean, angular and as intimidating in nature as the vast hot expanse she travelled from. Of course, I liked her immediately.
We were rudely awakened from our blissful soaking by a large blur of pale skin and red trunks whizzing over our heads and landing with a great splash in the pool.
He came up, spitting water, like some kind of lecherous Orca.
“Ladies.” He said with a wink, then sidled up next to Kim. “Your first time here in Cambodia?”
He was leering at her chest. Practically drooling. No subtlety. He asked the question directly to her breasts.
Kim shot me a worried look. Help me. Ben was obviously blissfully unaware of how much of a cretin he appeared at that point in time. It came to me at that point that I’d have to teach him. Holiday schmoliday. This had every potential of becoming a very satisfying project indeed.
“Ben, is it?” I said.
He looked a little scared as I addressed him. Good. He nodded.
“You look like a physical guy, Ben.” His head perked up, rooster-like, obviously pleased with himself. This was disappointingly easy.
I lifted my leg out of the water,, being careful to brush the inside of his thigh with my big toe before presenting him with one of my black manicured feet. He tensed a little as I brushed that soft and vulnerable spot. His eyes betrayed in that moment all of the sad little fantasies such men have about women… before they meet me.
“My feet are an absolute wreck after all of this travelling.” I drawled, lifting my other foot out of the water. “I’d so appreciate a pair of big… strong… hands…”
I didn’t need to continue. He was already pressing and rubbing my feet with all of the hopeful obedience of a submissive.
I moaned sensually. I really couldn’t care less about the foot rub. I’m not a foot person. But this was all part of the game.
He stopped for a moment, looking at me with that stupid smile on his face. Probably thought he was going to get lucky later.
Oh, he had no idea.
I returned his gaze, unsmiling, and with solemn intensity. He gulped and turned away.
“Well,” I said, pushing my foot into his hand. “Carry on.”
He did as he was asked. Kim looked at me, puzzled. I shot her a wink. Penelope was giggling. Silly girl.
I looked around the lush garden. Many exotic plants, abuzz with butterflies and birds.
And there, between the bathrooms and the change rooms, exactly what I was looking for.
Bamboo. Canes of it dancing in the slow afternoon breeze.
I lay back, Ben kneading my feet as I plotted the ways in which I could knead him into a better specimen of man.
It was going to be a wonderful vacation. I could feel it.
Do you know that feeling? You know, when you can’t swallow fast enough and it starts to dribble down your chin? I should tell you what happened the other day.
I know you were probably wondering what happened to me last week. Well, yada yada yada, and I end up having my stomach pumped at the local hospital. Perhaps I should explain a little better.
The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”
Whenever I tell this to people, they respond with dramatic incredulity. That can’t be right! Well, it certainly doesn’t feel right. It feels as if heterosexuality has always “just been there.”
A few years ago, there began circulating a “man on the street” video, in which the creator asked people if they thought homosexuals were born with their sexual orientations. Responses were varied, with most saying something like, “It’s a combination of nature and nurture.” The interviewer then asked a follow-up question, which was crucial to the experiment: “When did you choose to be straight?” Most were taken back, confessing, rather sheepishly, never to have thought about it. Feeling that their prejudices had been exposed, they ended up swiftly conceding the videographer’s obvious point: gay people were born gay just like straight people were born straight.
The video’s takeaway seemed to suggest that all of our sexualities are “just there”; that we don’t need an explanation for homosexuality just as we don’t need one for heterosexuality. It seems not to have occurred to those who made the video, or the millions who shared it, that we actually need an explanation for both.
There’s been a lot of good work, both scholarly and popular, on the social construction of homosexual desire and identity. As a result, few would bat an eye when there’s talk of “the rise of the homosexual” – indeed, most of us have learned that homosexual identity did come into existence at a specific point in human history. What we’re not taught, though, is that a similar phenomenon brought heterosexuality into its existence.
There are many reasons for this educational omission, including religious bias and other types of homophobia. But the biggest reason we don’t interrogate heterosexuality’s origins is probably because it seems so, well, natural. Normal. No need to question something that’s “just there.”
But heterosexuality has not always “just been there.” And there’s no reason to imagine it will always be.
When heterosexuality was abnormal
The first rebuttal to the claim that heterosexuality was invented usually involves an appeal to reproduction: it seems obvious that different-genital intercourse has existed for as long as humans have been around – indeed, we wouldn’t have survived this long without it. But this rebuttal assumes that heterosexuality is the same thing as reproductive intercourse. It isn’t.
“Sex has no history,” writes queer theorist David Halperin at the University of Michigan, because it’s “grounded in the functioning of the body.” Sexuality, on the other hand, precisely because it’s a “cultural production,” does have a history. In other words, while sex is something that appears hardwired into most species, the naming and categorising of those acts, and those who practise those acts, is a historical phenomenon, and can and should be studied as such.
Or put another way: there have always been sexual instincts throughout the animal world (sex). But at a specific point on in time, humans attached meaning to these instincts (sexuality). When humans talk about heterosexuality, we’re talking about the second thing.
Hanne Blank offers a helpful way into this discussion in her book Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality with an analogy from natural history. In 2007, the International Institute for Species Exploration listed the fish Electrolux addisoni as one of the year’s “top 10 new species.” But of course, the species didn’t suddenly spring into existence 10 years ago – that’s just when it was discovered and scientifically named. As Blank concludes: “Written documentation of a particular kind, by an authority figure of a particular kind, was what turned Electrolux from a thing that just was … into a thing that was known.”
Something remarkably similar happened with heterosexuals, who, at the end of the 19th Century, went from merely being there to being known. “Prior to 1868, there were no heterosexuals,” writes Blank. Neither were there homosexuals. It hadn’t yet occurred to humans that they might be “differentiated from one another by the kinds of love or sexual desire they experienced.” Sexual behaviours, of course, were identified and catalogued, and often times, forbidden. But the emphasis was always on the act, not the agent.
So what changed? Language.
In the late 1860s, Hungarian journalist Karl Maria Kertbeny coined four terms to describe sexual experiences: heterosexual, homosexual, and two now forgotten terms to describe masturbation and bestiality; namely, monosexual and heterogenit. Kertbeny used the term “heterosexual” a decade later when he was asked to write a book chapter arguing for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The editor, Gustav Jager, decided not to publish it, but he ended up using Kertbeny’s novel term in a book he later published in 1880.
The next time the word was published was in 1889, when Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing included the word in Psychopathia Sexualis, a catalogue of sexual disorders. But in almost 500 pages, the word “heterosexual” is used only 24 times, and isn’t even indexed. That’s because Krafft-Ebing is more interested in “contrary sexual instinct” (“perversions”) than “sexual instinct,” the latter being for him the “normal” sexual desire of humans.
“Normal” is a loaded word, of course, and it has been misused throughout history. Hierarchical ordering leading to slavery was at one time accepted as normal, as was a geocentric cosmology. It was only by questioning the foundations of the consensus view that “normal” phenomena were dethroned from their privileged positions.
The emphasis on procreation comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism
For Krafft-Ebing, normal sexual desire was situated within a larger context of procreative utility, an idea that was in keeping with the dominant sexual theories of the West. In the Western world, long before sex acts were separated into the categories hetero/homo, there was a different ruling binary: procreative or non-procreative. The Bible, for instance, condemns homosexual intercourse for the same reason it condemns masturbation: because life-bearing seed is spilled in the act. While this ethic was largely taught, maintained, and enforced by the Catholic Church and later Christian offshoots, it’s important to note that the ethic comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism.
As Catholic ethicist Margaret Farley points out, Stoics “held strong views on the power of the human will to regulate emotion and on the desirability of such regulation for the sake of inner peace”. Musonius Rufus, for example, argued in On Sexual Indulgence that individuals must protect themselves against self-indulgence, including sexual excess. To curb this sexual indulgence, notes theologian Todd Salzman, Rufus and other Stoics tried to situate it “in a larger context of human meaning” – arguing that sex could only be moral in the pursuit of procreation. Early Christian theologians took up this conjugal-reproductive ethic, and by the time of Augustine, reproductive sex was the only normal sex.
While Krafft-Ebing takes this procreative sexual ethic for granted, he does open it up in a major way. “In sexual love the real purpose of the instinct, the propagation of the species, does not enter into consciousness,” he writes.
In other words, sexual instinct contains something like a hard-wired reproductive aim – an aim that is present even if those engaged in ‘normal’ sex aren’t aware of it. Jonathan Ned Katz, in The Invention of Heterosexuality, notes the impact of Krafft-Ebing’s move. “Placing the reproductive aside in the unconscious, Krafft-Ebing created a small, obscure space in which a new pleasure norm began to grow.”
The importance of this shift – from reproductive instinct to erotic desire – can’t be overstated, as it’s crucial to modern notions of sexuality. When most people today think of heterosexuality, they might think of something like this: Billy understands from a very young age he is erotically attracted to girls. One day he focuses that erotic energy on Suzy, and he woos her. The pair fall in love, and give physical sexual expression to their erotic desire. And they live happily ever after.
Without Krafft-Ebing’s work, this narrative might not have ever become thought of as “normal.” There is no mention, however implicit, of procreation. Defining normal sexual instinct according to erotic desire was a fundamental revolution in thinking about sex. Krafft-Ebing’s work laid the groundwork for the cultural shift that happened between the 1923 definition of heterosexuality as “morbid” and its 1934 definition as “normal.”
Sex and the city
Ideas and words are often products of their time. That is certainly true of heterosexuality, which was borne out of a time when American life was becoming more regularised. As Blank argues, the invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class.
The invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class
In the late 19th Century, populations in European and North American cities began to explode. By 1900, for example, New York City had 3.4 million residents – 56 times its population just a century earlier. As people moved to urban centres, they brought their sexual perversions – prostitution, same-sex eroticism – with them. Or so it seemed. “By comparison to rural towns and villages,” Blank writes, “the cities seemed like hotbeds of sexual misconduct and excess.” When city populations were smaller, says Blank, it was easier to control such behaviour, just as it was easier to control when it took place in smaller, rural areas where neighbourly familiarity was a norm. Small-town gossip can be a profound motivator.
Because the increasing public awareness of these sexual practices paralleled the influx of lower classes into cities, “urban sexual misconduct was typically, if inaccurately, blamed” on the working class and poor, says Blank. It was important for an emerging middle class to differentiate itself from such excess. The bourgeois family needed a way to protect its members “from aristocratic decadence on the one side and the horrors of the teeming city on the other”. This required “systematic, reproducible, universally applicable systems for social management that could be implemented on a large scale”.
In the past, these systems could be based on religion, but “the new secular state required secular justification for its laws,” says Blank. Enter sex experts like Krafft-Ebing, who wrote in the introduction to his first edition of Psychopathia that his work was designed “to reduce [humans] to their lawful conditions.” Indeed, continues the preface, the present study “exercises a beneficent influence upon legislation and jurisprudence”.
Krafft-Ebing’s work chronicling sexual irregularity made it clear that the growing middle class could no longer treat deviation from normal (hetero) sexuality merely as sin, but as moral degeneracy – one of the worst labels a person could acquire. “Call a man a ‘cad’ and you’ve settled his social status,” wrote Williams James in 1895. “Call him a ‘degenerate’ and you’ve grouped him with the most loathsome specimens of the human race.” As Blank points out, sexual degeneracy became a yardstick to determine a person’s measure.
Degeneracy, after all, was the reverse process of social Darwinism. If procreative sex was critical to the continuous evolution of the species, deviating from that norm was a threat to the entire social fabric. Luckily, such deviation could be reversed, if it was caught early enough, thought the experts.
The formation of “sexual inversion” occurred, for Krafft-Ebing, through several stages, and was curable in the first. Through his work, writes Ralph M Leck, author of Vita Sexualis, “Krafft-Ebing sent out a clarion call against degeneracy and perversion. All civic-minded people must take their turn on the social watch tower.” And this was certainly a question of civics: most colonial personnel came from the middle class, which was large and growing.
Though some non-professionals were familiar with Krafft-Ebing’s work, it was Freud who gave the public scientific ways to think about sexuality. While it’s difficult to reduce the doctor’s theories to a few sentences, his most enduring legacy is his psychosexual theory of development, which held that children develop their own sexualities via an elaborate psychological parental dance.
For Freud, heterosexuals weren’t born this way, but made this way. As Katz points out, heterosexuality for Freud was an achievement; those who attained it successfully navigated their childhood development without being thrown off the straight and narrow.
And yet, as Katz notes, it takes an enormous imagination to frame this navigation in terms of normality:
According to Freud, the normal road to heterosexual normality is paved with the incestuous lust of boy and girl for parent of the other sex, with boy’s and girl’s desire to murder their same-sex parent-rival, and their wish to exterminate any little sibling-rivals. The road to heterosexuality is paved with blood-lusts… The invention of the heterosexual, in Freud’s vision, is a deeply disturbed production.
That such an Oedipal vision endured for so long as the explanation for normal sexuality is “one more grand irony of heterosexual history,” he says.
Still, Freud’s explanation seemed to satisfy the majority of the public, who, continuing their obsession with standardising every aspect of life, happily accepted the new science of normal. Such attitudes found further scientific justification in the work of Alfred Kinsey, whose landmark 1948 study Sexual Behavior in the Human Male sought to rate the sexuality of men on a scale of zero (exclusively heterosexual) to six (exclusively homosexual). His findings led him to conclude that a large, if not majority, “portion of the male population has at least some homosexual experience between adolescence and old age”. While Kinsey’s study did open up the categories homo/hetero to allow for a certain sexual continuum, it also “emphatically reaffirmed the idea of a sexuality divided between” the two poles, as Katz notes.
The future of heterosexuality
And those categories have lingered to this day. “No one knows exactly why heterosexuals and homosexuals ought to be different,” wrote Wendell Ricketts, author of the 1984 study Biological Research on Homosexuality. The best answer we’ve got is something of a tautology: “heterosexuals and homosexuals are considered different because they can be divided into two groups on the basis of the belief that they can be divided into two groups.”
Though the hetero/homo divide seems like an eternal, indestructible fact of nature, it simply isn’t. It’s merely one recent grammar humans have invented to talk about what sex means to us.
Heterosexuality, argues Katz, “is invented within discourse as that which is outside discourse. It’s manufactured in a particular discourse as that which is universal… as that which is outside time.” That is, it’s a construction, but it pretends it isn’t. As any French philosopher or child with a Lego set will tell you, anything that’s been constructed can be deconstructed, as well. If heterosexuality didn’t exist in the past, then it doesn’t need to exist in the future.
I was recently caught off guard by Jane Ward, author of Not Gay, who, during an interview for a piece I wrote on sexual orientation, asked me to think about the future of sexuality. “What would it mean to think about people’s capacity to cultivate their own sexual desires, in the same way we might cultivate a taste for food?” Though some might be wary of allowing for the possibility of sexual fluidity, it’s important to realise that various Born This Way arguments aren’t accepted by the most recent science. Researchers aren’t sure what “causes” homosexuality, and they certainly reject any theories that posit a simple origin, such as a “gay gene.” It’s my opinion that sexual desires, like all our desires, shift and re-orient throughout our lives, and that as they do, they often suggest to us new identities. If this is true, then Ward’s suggestion that we can cultivate sexual preferences seems fitting. (For more of the scientific evidence behind this argument, read BBC Future’s ‘I am gay – but I wasn’t born this way’.)
Beyond Ward’s question is a subtle challenge: If we’re uncomfortable with considering whether and how much power we have over our sexualities, why might that be? Similarly, why might we be uncomfortable with challenging the belief that homosexuality, and by extension heterosexuality, are eternal truths of nature?
In an interview with the journalist Richard Goldstein, the novelist and playwright James Baldwin admitted to having good and bad fantasies of the future. One of the good ones was that “No one will have to call themselves gay,” a term Baldwin admits to having no patience for. “It answers a false argument, a false accusation.”
Which is what?
“Which is that you have no right to be here, that you have to prove your right to be here. I’m saying I have nothing to prove. The world also belongs to me.”
Fewer than half British 18-24 year-olds identify as being 100% heterosexual
Once upon a time, heterosexuality was necessary because modern humans needed to prove who they were and why they were, and they needed to defend their right to be where they were. As time wears on, though, that label seems to actually limit the myriad ways we humans understand our desires and loves and fears. Perhaps that is one reason a recent UK poll found that fewer than half of those aged 18-24 identify as “100% heterosexual.” That isn’t to suggest a majority of those young respondents regularly practise bisexuality or homosexuality; rather it shows that they don’t seem to have the same need for the word “heterosexual” as their 20th-Century forebears.
Debates about sexual orientation have tended to focus on a badly defined concept of “nature.” Because different sex intercourse generally results in the propagation of the species, we award it a special moral status. But “nature” doesn’t reveal to us our moral obligations – we are responsible for determining those, even when we aren’t aware we’re doing so. To leap from an observation of how nature is to a prescription of nature ought to be is, as philosopher David Hume noted, to commit a logical fallacy.
Why judge what is natural and ethical to a human being by his or her animal nature? Many of the things human beings value, such as medicine and art, are egregiously unnatural. At the same time, humans detest many things that actually are eminently natural, like disease and death. If we consider some naturally occurring phenomena ethical and others unethical, that means our minds (the things looking) are determining what to make of nature (the things being looked at). Nature doesn’t exist somewhere “out there,” independently of us – we’re always already interpreting it from the inside.
Until this point in our Earth’s history, the human species has been furthered by different-sex reproductive intercourse. About a century ago, we attached specific meanings to this kind of intercourse, partly because we wanted to encourage it. But our world is very different now than what it was. Technologies like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are only improving. In 2013, more than 63,000 babies were conceived via IVF. In fact, more than five million children have been born through assisted reproductive technologies. Granted, this number still keeps such reproduction in the slim minority, but all technological advances start out with the numbers against them.
Socially, too, heterosexuality is losing its “high ground,” as it were. If there was a time when homosexual indiscretions were the scandals du jour, we’ve since moved on to another world, one riddled with the heterosexual affairs of politicians and celebrities, complete with pictures, text messages, and more than a few video tapes. Popular culture is replete with images of dysfunctional straight relationships and marriages. Further, between 1960 and 1980, Katz notes, the divorce rate rose 90%. And while it’s dropped considerably over the past three decades, it hasn’t recovered so much that anyone can claim “relationship instability” is something exclusive to homosexuality, as Katz shrewdly notes.
The line between heterosexuality and homosexuality isn’t just blurry, as some take Kinsey’s research to imply – it’s an invention, a myth, and an outdated one. Men and women will continue to have different-genital sex with each other until the human species is no more. But heterosexuality – as a social marker, as a way of life, as an identity – may well die out long before then.
Brandon Ambrosino has written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Politico, Economist, and other publications. He lives in Delaware, and is a graduate student in theology at Villanova University.
If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.
My aunt Pearl always used to say that you don’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. I remember the words echoing in my ears as they carted her off to rehab yet again, for her gambling addiction.
She was not only a serial gambler, but also a serial trophy wife. Her habit allowed her to work her way through the fortunes of six husbands, some of whom died in what can only be described as mysterious circumstances. Fortunately the standards of police investigation in Northern Rhodesia at the time were not quite up to the standards of CSI tv shows today. One went riding on his ranch, and was never seen again. Another choked to death in a tragic sausage eating competition (no surprises there), and another had a mysterious heart attack while taking his daily exercise. No one would think playing bowls could be so strenuous.
Needless to say, Aunt Pearl died a very wealthy woman. When asked where her wealth had come from she would often reply that one of her husbands had been involved in the ‘underground’ doing secret work during the war in London. This seemed very cryptic, and it’s certainly true that she did generally marry older men, much more frail than herself. One had indeed been in London during the war, though he worked on The Underground, driving a train. It was he who won the lottery and was the basis of her fortune.
You doubtless wonder why I am sharing these intimate details. Well, I am still sunning myself on the beach here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A flat tummy is good, as far as it goes. A bronzed one is even better. I’ve been getting some help from Juan the masseur, who has helped in so many ways. He’s rubbed all manner of things on my body to improve my tone.
My presence here is due in part to my cashing in a few stocks and investments. I always make a point to have a small portfolio of shares; as Aunt Pearl said, ‘you don’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket’, after all. I am not suggesting you take investment advice from a crossdressing femme like me, but this market feels right for an adjustment. I can’t help thinking it’s about to slide for a while. Best revisit those precious metal stocks. They look a lot more secure than most right now.
I have been learning some useful Spanish phrases, which I will list for you at the foot of this message. Juan is very talented, a master of tongues. He said to me just the other day that he envied my good luck on the market.
“If I stand close to you, perhaps some of that good luck will rub off on me!” He said with a laugh.
I smiled at him, looking at the rather obvious bulge in his speedo, and replied that if he stood much closer it would be more than just my good luck that would rub off on him.
Have a wonderful week, and remember – “Accept yourself as you are, and create yourself as you wish.”