Préliminaires

There’s something very exciting but deeply unsexy about being able to say: ‘You’ve bruised my mons pubis.’

It’s difficult to see due to the tuft of pubic hair I keep there so as not to completely infantalise myself, but it’s tender to the touch and I imagine deep aubergine and sickly green blooming beneath the wiry curls.

I didn’t tell him he’d injured me, however softly. I wear the bruise like I wear my new-found sexuality: secretly, but proud.

I met Flint on Tinder. I clicked the little ‘tick’ button because he had kind eyes and his bio said he was a pro-feminist lefty. I didn’t know that, about four months later, I’d have him on his hands and knees on my bed while I – dressed in corsetted leather – whipped him with a red lizard-print crop. When we matched, I hadn’t had sex for two years, despite having just come out of a very long-term relationship.

I pull aside the pubic hair with both hands and prod with my right index finger. Feeling the burst capillaries and blood trapped beneath my skin’s surface brings about a flare of pleasurable pain. I see myself as a sunflower turning languidly but irremediably towards the sprigs of gold that sneak in through the blinds. He is not a natural sub; I am not a natural dom. I know what’s coming to me, and when I shiver it’s not because I’m cold under these thin sheets.

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