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Authors: Krissy Kneen


BOOK: Affection
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Table of Contents
Richard tied me to a pole because I asked him to. He used duct tape and he secured my wrists with it. The mattress was within reach but only close enough to rest my head on. He tied a sock around my face; I could still see if I opened my eyes and squinted. The floor was concrete and I felt the chill bite of it in my knees. He had tied my hands low, and I could stand but not straighten. Kneeling was best, my head resting on the pillow of my bound palms. My back arched up, my bottom raised. I knew where this was leading.
There was something strangely domestic about the morning. He filled the sink and I could hear the clatter of plates in the soapy water. Upstairs a similar scene was in progress, our landlady washing her own dishes, a domestic parallel minus the girl tied to the pole in the middle of the room.
I imagined that he would look up from the dishes and watch me. I wondered if I looked ridiculous in submission, if he was grinning with the humor of it all. Perhaps he watched impassively, clocking the time by the fading heat of the water. I heard him empty the sink and fill it again. Time passing. The slow drip of dishes drying. The television upstairs chattering about nothing to no one.
My skin became my eyes. I felt the fingers growing out of my back, wriggling like an anemone, my tentacles of awareness picking out small changes in the breeze and temperature. If someone had photographed me like this there would have been a hazy outline. Kirlian photography would have captured the little bubble of awareness that enveloped me. I thought about the boy upstairs, Richard's previous lover. The boy upstairs watching football on television as his mother did the dishes, and in the downstairs parallel universe my lover—his ex-lover—and me, tied to the pole.
I grew restless. I wanted to call him over to me. I wanted his hands and his body and some relief from this stretching out of my skin. I imagine that he spent an age over the drying because he wanted me to enjoy my time of longing, but I am not sure I enjoyed the long minutes of waiting. When he came to me finally, I could have ripped the duct tape off the pole and finished in a second but I did nothing. Said nothing.
He examined me. I felt his hands still dripping with dishwashing liquid, lifting, pulling, separating. Of course I knew how this would
end, but still there was the little shivery thrill as he traced the ridge of bone arcing down from the center of my back, slipping his finger over, but not into, my anus, and hooking it into my vagina, testing the viscosity there.
I thought of dissection tables, dead things tied down, paws and legs splayed, bellies exposed to the glare of fluorescent light. The fact that this aroused me was perhaps a problem. The erotic appeal of the medical experiment had become a recurring theme.
It was the idea of him watching me like that, the openness, the vulnerability. There was no question that he would penetrate me eventually, but he took his time. The joy is not knowing exactly when, and exactly where. The joy is the anticipation. A moment of breath on the skin, a sense of exposure, a vulnerability. Someone watching or not watching; never knowing which. I remember the hot cold of the afternoon and the disappointment of the inevitable ending. The sound of his ex-boyfriend turning off the television at the moment of his orgasm, a sudden silence and the slight, pleasurable pain of his withdrawal. The normalcy of a Sunday morning creeping into afternoon.
I will always remember this, perhaps. I remember it now.
And that was just the sex part.
Brisbane 2008
“Sex addict?” I laugh. “I'm not a sex addict.”
Katherine raises an eyebrow. I have known her since I was eighteen. She is the friend who has stuck by me longest. I look at her gorgeous luminous face and I wonder why we have never slept together, not once in all these years. She sips at her coffee and watches me and I feel myself unpicked ; and when I am seamless there is nothing left of me but sex. I have been pathologized.
I picture an ape, furiously masturbating in its enclosure; I can feel the ugly monkey suit itching against my skin and for a brief moment I am repelled and also aroused by the image. I am used to this sudden rush of desire, the narcotic effect of the idea of sex, a prickly spread of it like ecstasy trickling through my body.
I am made of sex, I feed on the thought of it. I call myself Queer
because there is no other word I know to describe this state of being indiscriminately sexual. Now Katherine has made new words for me to worry over. Sex addict. An addiction.
I would like to tell her that I'm not addicted, that I could stop any time. It would be a joke and it would also be untrue.
A young Asian man walks into the café and I glance at him and register his feminine beauty. Again the rush of pleasure. That comforting settling low in my belly. There was a time when I would have made some kind of contact with this man, slipped over to his table, engaged in some light flirtation; heavier if he responded. There was a time when we might have ended up in bed together.
“If I am an addict then I have got it under control.”
“How many times a day do you think about sex?”
Almost constantly.
“How often do you masturbate? ”
I sigh. She knows that I can never stay alone in the house if I am to get any work done at all. She knows that I struggle not to look up pornography on the Internet. She knows me almost as well as I know myself.
“Heaps of people think about sex as much as I do. Men. I am just a man trapped inside a woman's body.” A throwaway line, and she laughs.
BOOK: Affection
4.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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