“Good-looking wealthy couple, both bi, seek female slave to join happy open marriage on a trial basis. London House with dungeon, country cottage and regular first-class travel for successful applicant. Interests include all known forms of S&M, water sports, anal worship. Both partners switch and are willing to experiment. Limits always respected but candidates willing to push through pain barriers will be rewarded beyond their wildest dreams.”
“Did we miss anything out?” said Amanda Wood, a Junoesque brunette whose close-cropped hairstyle highlighted her beguiling green eyes and full lips.
“Not much,” said John, who was anything but beautiful, with his craggy face and hair shaved almost to the bone. There were some intriguing scars marking his bullet-shaped head but it was his cold blue eyes which most people remembered, sometimes before shaking their heads to banish the memory. He seemed to have seen too much for his own peace of mind and that was often as much as people needed to know.
“You make us sound like a couple of perverts, if you ask me,” he said, almost smiling for once. “And it doesn’t really say what we look like.”
“Don’t want to frighten anyone off,” said Amanda. “Do we?”
John looked at his long-standing partner, the person he sometimes called the love of his life and sometimes called all the names under the sun. He scowled and narrowed his eyes but she had known him too long to be troubled by his fierce expression. She poked the tip of her tongue out of her mouth and smiled. His face didn’t soften but he was nonetheless thankful that he could still feel his cold heart melt.
From the erotic journal of John and Amanda:
What Amanda Wood thinks John Palmer looks like
It doesn’t matter. Standard bloke, I suppose, but taller than most. He has all his hair but shaves it brutally anyway. His face is full of character – piercing eyes and full lips that always seem ready to twitch into a sardonic smile. The point of him is power. Life force. Zest. Vigor. A certain devil-may-care insouciance. And humor, although he is so deadpan you can hardly tell when he’s joking. Always that steely glint in his eye. Who cares if he’s no pin-up? Attraction is all about chemicals and the way you think their personality might complement yours. And knowing that he looks after himself and that he could look after me, if necessary. I don’t want a hurt little boy looking for reassurance, I want a man. And I’ve got one.
I wanted him to fuck me, the first time I saw him in action in the gym. He was obviously more interested in getting fit than preening himself in front of the mirror. He had solid muscle but he wasn’t ripped or cut like the bum-boys who usually feature in any magazine article about fitness centers.
It doesn’t take very long for any S&M enthusiast to talk about bums and we might as well discuss John’s as it’s just about perfect. It’s tight and taut, no hair. His face is rugged, to put it mildly, but I prefer that to your average olive-skinned Adonis.
He trains to win, whether it’s running, chess or tiddlywinks. There’s a cruel streak in there, too, but that’s fine by me. I don’t want a house-trained moggy with fleas and no claws. I want a lion. Someone who is going to scratch. And yet someone secure enough to submit to me without turning into one of the dickless wonders who crawl round the floor at fetish clubs. There are times I want to push him past his limits and for that I want a strong man. A real man. Which is what I’ve got.
What John Palmer thinks Amanda Wood looks like
Gorgeous. But wounded, too. Haunted eyes that betray the same nervy intelligence that Gillian Anderson has used to captivate most of the planet’s male occupants. (Although I can never sit through the increasingly inane and implausible X-Files.) Now Amanda is going to rip my heart out and eat it in front of me because I have transgressed the first commandment. Thou shalt not mention any women other than me. Thou shalt also not even acknowledge or be aware of their existence. And if thou dost, there shall not be enough flowers and triple-goo ice cream in the whole world to make up for it. But she need have no fear of any mortal woman. To look at Amanda is to be captivated by her green eyes, which seem to hint at some Asiatic ancestors – pulp novelists usually refer to “almond-shaped eyes” at this point, and I don’t seem to come up with anything better, so it will have to stand.
It is one of life’s little ironies that she has breasts large enough to make the average doltish male deliriously happy but my own obsession is with bottoms. While I never tire of rubbing my face into her soft, bouncing breasts and teasing her nipples with my tongue, my attention will probably be more fixed on her bottom and its globes of endlessly squeezable and kiss able flesh. Our lovemaking often starts with one of my hands stroking her moist vulva while I gratefully kiss and nibble at the deep, majestic divide of her bottom. Perhaps I haven’t said much about what Amanda looks like but the only thing that needs to be known is that her eyes seem endlessly deep, endlessly understanding. She doesn’t like her snub nose or the cute gap in her front teeth but it’s hard to find anyone who actually likes what they look like these days. I was certainly never interested in the brain-dead model types that are on the cover of every men’s magazine. I don’t like football, expensive cars or fighting either; I sometimes wonder if I am really a man at all, by the current media definition. Anyway, Amanda certainly needs to have no fear from any of the women we occasionally invite to join us, but open marriages are hard work – perhaps even harder to sustain than the conventional model.
And here Amanda has scrawled, “Tell me about it.”
By the time their advert was published they had just returned from a late summer holiday in Syracuse, Sicily, where they had taken a house near the sea. They had planned to spend the sparkling, starry nights invoking Pan, the god of sex and wine. They could recover on the beach the next day; watching the fishing boats bobbing up and down on the warm Mediterranean. But it had been anything but idyllic. They had spent most of their time arguing, while teenage psychopaths screeched around the tiny streets on their mopeds. It was even a relief to return to the grey skies of London and their house in Hampstead. From here they could at least look down on the people trapped in the center of the city while they poured themselves another glass of something expensive and planned their next elegant debauch.
It was that hour of the day where they really had to decide to do something or they were lost, but they were still idling over a late breakfast on the terrace. There had been more tension between them ever since they had arranged to meet one of the women who had replied to their advert.
“Have you noticed that couples in pornography never argue?” said Amanda, leafing through the contact mag where they had placed their ad.
John almost smiled. He was still angry, for reasons that are rarely mentioned in fantasy fiction of any kind; close proximity to a long-standing partner, the personal habits and little behavioral tics that tend to grate as you enter your second decade of cohabitation.
“That’s because erotic fiction describes an ideal world that doesn’t exist,” said John, trying not to sound too wistful. After all, he had been lucky to find a woman like Amanda. She was beautiful, infinitely wise, even capable of sustaining an open marriage with a minimum of plate-throwing and screaming. Although their relationship was presently mired in something best not analyzed too closely, at least they both still thought they were better off together than apart.