Originally posted in March 2010.
You would think, wouldn’t you, that after spending the weekend in various states of tearfulness, we’d gone on to have a thoroughly rubbish seduction? Or, indeed, that we would skip the seduction altogether in favour of a gentler pursuit – a game of cards, say, or the welcome oblivion of the TV. Oh no. We are not so easily phased in this household. We march on.
After the lunchtime dramas, we are walking back to the car. We had planned to visit another sex shop on the way back, one I’d heard was a bit more female-friendly, but I suggest to Herbert that he might not be up for this now. He looks appalled.
‘Oh no. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t go. I was thinking we could get one of those remote control vibrators, like in Shortbus. And I quite fancy a sex board-game.’
This from a man who’s worried about losing his desire. I suspect the remote control vibrator doesn’t exist in real life, but I’m delighted that he’s willing to, erm, plough on. ‘I’d be quite interested in one of those posh vibrators,’ I say. ‘You know, the ones that are small and lovely to look at, that you can use in lots of different ways.’
H almost pauses in the street. ‘I’d love to be able to watch you masturbate,’ he says. ‘You’ve never really let me look.’
This is only half true – I spontaneously masturbated for H when we were first together and he was offended. He thought I was doing it because he wasn’t satisfying me enough. I never tried again. I am, however, too nice to point this out right now. The muscle that turns my other cheek is admittedly under-used, but I manage to locate it. ‘Okay, sure.’
I work from home, so I masturbate quite a lot. It passes the time, and keeps me from lurking on Twitter too much. It is quite the best remedy for a headache I know; it makes migraines positively erotic. I worked out how to do it when I was about five, and have continued pretty much enthusiastically ever since. In fact, when I first started having sex, I thought I couldn’t orgasm for quite a while until I realised it was the same thing I’d been doing for years. Oh, I thought. That’s what ‘orgasm’ means.
All by myself, I developed a very specific technique, which I stick to more or less faithfully. I might sometimes make time for a more involved session, but mainly I lie on my stomach to masturbate. Incidentally, I was pleased to see Maggie Gyllenhaal do this in Secretary, too. I orgasm quicker that way, and the sensations are more intense – perhaps something about the weight of my hips on my hands? Either way, masturbation, for me, largely involves touching my vulva and the top of my clitoris. I never stray into my vagina unless in need of a little moisture, because there’s no point. I can reach perfectly satisfying orgasms this way, usually fully clothed.
That makes it sound really boring and mechanical, and in a way it is. The physical act of masturbation, for me, isn’t the thing; it’s the opportunity to fantasise that comes with it – a subject we will no doubt stray into at a later date.
Back in the present, my particular technique is problematic for putting on a show for H. I wonder if I should let him watch me masturbate in my usual way, or go for something a little more revealing. On reflection, this is a no-brainer. My way is still pretty much private and would be over very quickly; I need to go for a bit more display.
We are still tackling our list of videos from Seduction #9, so we put on Belle de Jour when we get home. The acting is awful, which I suggest to H might be reassuring in terms of it featuring plenty of sex. After a slow start, Belle joins a brothel in order to liberate herself from her frigidity towards her husband. It’s pretty unenlightened stuff – it turns out that Belle just needs to be treated a bit rough to understand her own submissive desires. It’s hard not to conclude that it was written by a man.
However, I do find Belle’s conflict between wanting sex and fearing it quite erotic, and the uncertainty of what each new client might bring could work for me. H, I quickly realise, is bored. There’s just not enough sex in it for his liking. I need to ratchet up the interest a little.
‘That’s like the underwear I bought last week,’ I say to him, pointing at one of the on-screen prostitutes elegantly draping herself around the room. ‘Shall I go and put it on?’
‘Okay,’ he shrugs. Sexy underwear has little effect on H, who is usually more concerned with removing it than looking at it. It has a greater effect on me. Looking the part helps me to feel the part. I have always been a ‘matching bra and knickers’ girl in any case. You never know when you might get run over by that bus.
This new undergarment, though, is likely to have an effect. For starters, it is deliciously retro, which is H’s preferred aesthetic. Secondly, it is crotchless. I have tried to find a picture for you on the H&M website but to no avail, so I shall describe it: it is a sort of minidress-come-1950s girdle, with underwired cups and suspenders, in bubblegum pink with black frills. Silly enough to be fun, but quite sexy in a burlesque way, too. I run upstairs to squeeze my way into it, and attach some nice red-seamed stockings from Topshop. I saunter downstairs.
‘What do you think?’
He looks up, smirks. ‘Nice.’
I lay against the opposite end of the sofa to him, and open my legs. He shifts round to give me his full attention. It’s quite hard to get started, actually. I feel like I’ve forgotten how to do it. I’m self-conscious, but only because I’m suddenly aware that I’m giving a lesson here. I need to lead by example, but it doesn’t quite feel right. Irritatingly, Herbert’s attention is drifting between me and the TV.
I make a decision. I need to actually masturbate, rather than do it for Herbert’s entertainment. This is all about me. I take off my glasses, and close my eyes. I let my legs straighten and my stomach muscles tense. I lick my lips, breathe a little heavier. When I next open my eyes, H has forgotten about what’s happening on the telly. He’s watching me intently, his face drawn close to me. I ignore him again, fall back into my own little world. It’s trickier doing this lying on my back, but I’m getting there slowly. It takes a little more concentration than usual. H begins to stroke my thighs and then to kiss them, and this fills me with desire, the sight of him holding back from touching me when he’s clearly desperate to. Eventually, I can bear it no more, and I push his face towards my vagina, an offer he gratefully accepts.
I have one of the best orgasms I’ve had in ages – a real screamer – and I immediately get up and return the favour, letting him come in my mouth, which, believe me, is a rare honour even in the new world order. He is bigger and harder than I’ve seen him in a long time.
Even after this, I still have unspent desire. I pull him on top of me so that I can rub his penis between my legs until it’s erect again, and then we have the penetrative sex that I couldn’t bear the thought of yesterday, but which I’m now desperate for. He whispers in my ear, ‘carry on touching yourself,’ so I climb on top of him so that he can get a better view. I have another surging orgasm before he’s even gathered his thoughts.
‘Good,’ he says, ‘my turn. I’ll masturbate while you lick my nipples.’
As ever, I’m happy to oblige.