Well, Monster Bruise was not the end of the world.
Ultimately, I took the advice given to me by a thoughtful reader and decided to be nonchalant about it. The important thing was not to make it a bigger deal than it was by rushing to explain and apologize for it, as if it were some sort of huge scarlet letter.
I didn’t bring it up. When he saw it–as, inevitably, he had to–he winced. Yeah, I saw the face. There was a mix of emotion there. I couldn’t tell if he was feeling sorry for my pain, or revulsion, or getting a little reality check about what I do for a living, or what.
“Wow. Someone really got you there,” he said.
“Yup! Don’t worry about it. It looks a lot worse than it feels. It was just some girls at the Studio. We were practicing on each other.”
Yeah, I lied. I admit it (to you anyway, gentle reader). I didn’t want him thinking about a man doing that to me. Even an affable, absurd English barrister I was not sexually attracted to.
Then I changed the subject: “What’d you bring in your bag?”
Nothing like sex to distract a man! Or Miss Margo, for that matter.
The Mathematician was holding a bag from The Apple Store. Inside of that bag was a bag from J. Crew. Inside of that bag was plain black plastic bag from Purple Passion DV8, purveyor of fine fetish attire, bondage hardware, sex toys and implements of torture.
It was his idea to go there, not mine. He’s really taken to bondage for sex, which is perfectly fine by me–as far as I’m concerned, there is no sexual activity which cannot be instantaneously and significantly enhanced if one partner is tied up.
We’ve been using rope. A lot of rope. Being a sailor, he has a shit ton of it lying around his house.
Now, I like rope as much as the next degenerate sex maniac. But there’s so much more!
“What else is there?” he asked.
“I’ll pick up some cuffs and stuff next time I’m in Chelsea.” I have a shit ton of that stuff in suitcases underneath my bed, but I am not going to use the stuff I used with the Surgeon and I sure as hell am not going to use the stuff I use on clients, even if it’s good quality. Maybe some people can use their sex gear with everyone, but I’ve never been able to. It seems rude and icky to me. Like having sex with a guy for the first time and finding a half-empty bottle of in his nightstand (guys: buy new lube when you get a new girl).
“Can’t you get it online?” he asked.
“Yes, but I prefer to buy my gear in person if possible. It’s hard to get a feel for the quality online.”
“Okay. Can I go with you?”
Now, if left to my own devices, I’d just as soon get most of my things from The Leather Man on Christopher Street. But there is no way that I’m taking the Mathematician aka “Dr. Dork #1 Dad” to a hardcore gay sex shop where the staff are tattooed mos wearing leather pants and t-shirts that say “Nasty Pig” on the front. Especially if they recognize me and start chatting me up….”Miss Margo! How’s that electro anal plug working out for you?” Uh-uh, not a good idea…
Babeland just ain’t gonna cut it for me and I hate those sleazy adult bookstores (though I guess “sleazy” is in the eye of the beholder) with cheap “adult novelties” and rubber dongs all over the wall. Gross.
That leaves Purple Passion. Kind of a freaky establishment, but they have good stuff, and thought that I could take the Mathematician there without scarring him for life.
We went on his lunch break. First we had lunch at an Italian place down the street. He was there when I arrived and he stood up when he saw me approach the table. It made my heart do a little flip. He looked so handsome in his nice work clothes. He’s so well-mannered. Any woman would be proud to be meeting him for lunch.
We shared the tuna ravioli. I’d come from class and told him a stuffy story about how I’d walked into the wrong classroom and it was EMPTY and I thought that every student had dropped the class because they hated me.
“It was like a nightmare! I screamed! I really did!”
“Oh my God! What happened?”
“I walked in to the wrong classroom!“
You have to admit, that is pretty hilarious.
Lunch was pleasant but still slightly tense. He’d told me that he’d never been to a sex store with a woman before. And for me, well…yeah, I was having some insecurity.
Hey retard! my mind shrieked. Why don’t you just throw it in his face again that you’re a dominatrix? Babeland! What was wrong with Babeland? Vibrators and hot pink bondage tape! Fuzzy handcuffs! Perky hipster lesbian staff! You’re taking this guy to a fetish store where THEY GIVE YOU A PROFESSIONAL DISCOUNT!
I excused myself to go use the restroom. While I was in there, I remembered that I had barfed in that bathroom on multiple occassions back when my eating disorder was at its worst.
This did not help with my anxiety.
(I can vouch that I did not barf up my tuna ravioli this time. He would have been able to tell.)
I looked at myself in the mirror and put a gentle smile on my face.
He’s paid the bill while I was in the bathroom. I thanked him for the meal.
Then we were off.
(to be continued…)
Well, Monster Bruise was not the end of the world.