Question (Tell Me What You Think About Me)

Here’s a question: if you are the one who was wronged, is offering the olive branch a fatal sign of weakness or a symbol of your all enduring good as a person? Lets face it, in one way or another, in a variety of circumstances, we have all been hurt. Our pasts, our experience in matters of the heart decide on our course of action; whether its smile and carry on or lose your shit and take a flamethrower to their belongings. Personally, I’m a stone cold Ice Queen. If you wrong me, we are done. I won’t tell you, but I will stop calling, texting, speaking to you, referencing you in conversation among mutual friends. I make it so the source of my pain no longer exists. In private the hurt radiates through every cell, forcing that unconscious shudder when you watch that TV show they introduced you to or when you hear a song that reminds you of them. So for months and months you force them out of your mind, hoping that your actions hurt them, hoping they notice your absence, knowing that they don’t. Avoiding eye contact with them when you meet in the street, acting like you don’t hear their name mentioned among friends, until finally it doesn’t feel like an effort any more. The hole they blasted in your chest filled with distractions. Your stomach no longer unsettled by the sight of their car parked in the street. You are healed.

I thought I was. I spent fourteen months ignoring, icing out, distracting and finally, when it had worked, when I was numb and painless I spent five hours with him and his family and everything thawed out again. Months of work melted away in hours as I settled back into his company with ease. Everything I had forgotten, everything I had learnt, everything I had promised myself evaporated for a few hours in his presence and its looking like a temperate summer on the horizon. The day before, for the first time in over a year I had no choice but to walk by him on my way to the station. I felt good, I was dressed to go bar hopping and two months back at the gym was showing in the smile on my face. My palms weren’t sweaty, my heart wasn’t pounding and I didn’t feel like puking. Quick “Hi, how are you, what’s new”, and I made my excuses and breezed away to catch my train, and didn’t think much more of it. The following afternoon I was invited over, as I often am by my glorious neighbors who make me feel like one of the family, and there he was. Standing in the kitchen where we first met.

I wanted it to be tense. I wanted there to be an atmosphere and for one of us to leave. I wanted to hate every second of being in the same house as him. I didn’t.  My heart didn’t lurch with each second of eye contact, my thighs didn’t froth when we hugged goodbye, but being settled somewhere between ice and fire was comfortable. Normal. Nice. Shit. My friends are wincing as they read this. I can virtually feel their hands on my head shaking it and shouting “NO BABE NO”.  Relax. I have learnt my lesson, nothing that hurt that bad for that long can ever bring me any real joy. But here I sit in the olive tree, keeping the branches to myself, but leaving space for one more.

Kitty’s Adventures at Torture Garden

Fucked It Fans, my apologies for the wait. I’ve been busy doing life things, changing careers really soaks up your time, especially when you’d been just sitting at a desk for a year! BUT the wait is over. I did a fun thing.

Wandering around in a corset, frilly knickers and a pair of heels is something I have always wanted to do. Something which I wholeheartedly imagined would happen within the bonds of a relationship(HA!) , not within the leather bonds of some sort of modern take on a  Berkley Horse (google it) while a crowd of twenty strangers clad in latex offer up words of sexually charged encouragement. But that’s what happens when you buy tickets to a Fetish Night called Torture Garden. In my quest to rid my mind of past conquests and focus on a more egocentric future, I took up a friend’s invitation to be spanked, and it was fucking brilliant.

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Arriving at Electrowerks, I was pleased to watch a group of seven or eight swaying men clutching bags emblazoned with the words “Fancy Dress Shop” being turned away by a plump girl wearing a latex pencil skirt and nipple tassels with the words “This is not a fancy dress party”. Having spent an hour or so frantically squeezing myself into lingerie in the fairly public changing areas of Camden Market, I was armed with a cream corset and was taking no prisoners. This is one thing the patrons of TG don’t fuck with. You follow the dress code. Leather penis pouches, bridles, duct tape and nothing at all are accepted, but you turn up with anything polyester, you’re gone. Inside, the balmy lighting and soft thud of familiar house music created an atmosphere of possibility, a tranquil oasis of sexual opportunity where to be present was to obtain a unique worldliness, unknown to the “Vanillas” drunkenly roaming the streets beyond. The eyes that watched us enter and pass by followed us without scorn, without a hint of haughty derision, but rather a knowing look that told us, “Welcome to the fun house”.

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The first thing I noticed, besides all the latex, leather and PVC was the diversity in the place. Three floors filled with every kind of person you can imagine. Curvy, emaciated, bald, old, young, gay, straight and everything in between I met a woman dressed in full PVC gimp complete with pigtails who claimed to be in her sixties! Damn Mama! And the energy in the place was electric, everyone talking and laughing, “what are you into”, “have you ever…”. And when my corset started slipping, I literally had five people offer to help! There was very much a “We welcome you with open arms for being brave enough to try this” vibe going on. And I’ve got to say, since my trip amongst the whips and chains and restrictive outfits, I have looked upon the world in a different, slightly pervier light. I now look at my neighbors and colleagues and think, whats your thing? What do you like? It was truly a trip out of reality, I was Alice, I’d fallen down the Rabbit Hole and now the Mad Hatter was Fingering the Red Queen in the corner while she spanked the Cheshire Cat. Also, and I’ll be totally candid here for a change (ha), I really thought that the night would be filled with weirdos and perverts, people rubbing their erection against you without so much as a “How do you do”. But there was a polite humanism that ran through the night, a respect that radiated out of every person there, dick in hand or not, and I felt genuinely safe.

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One of the most revealing conversations I had all night was with a man who had come out in drag for the first time. Something which I have always had an enormous respect for is the idea that a man, after months, maybe even years of pleading with himself, finally finds the courage to go out in a dress for the first time. That takes some balls. George (the draglet) was wearing full female garb complete with false eyelashes and heels, but forewent the wig, saying he thought it would have been too much. His girlfriend had wanted to be there that night to support him, but had a thesis on the normalisation of recreational drugs for her MA in criminology due. Amazing.  Some of my most amazing sights of the night included a couple dressed as a pair of Lindt Bunnies (complete with full gold bodypaint) a six-foot bald black dude wearing 7 inch stilettos ON COBBLES and two men wearing feather headdresses and dressed in leather harnesses with special penis holders, for their special penises. Amazing. It’s incredible how quickly you lose your inhibitions when everyone around you is either naked or getting that way.

My one bad memory is speaking to a middle-aged couple, the lady wearing a corset that made it look like she was smuggling two bald guys into the joint, the man wearing leather trousers holding a lead that was attached to his companion via the medium or a leather collar. They joined me at the bar and struck up a conversation regarding my headpiece (a bespoke piece by Twinks Burnett) and bought me a huge rum and coke. We were happily nattering away about how our evening was going, had I caught the self-bondage show (yes, I had, it was ridiculous) had they been to the medical themed room with all the creepy amputee mannequins watching people wank each other off (oh, there was lots of that). The woman laughed and, though I was standing half a foot away, I caught the strong smell of what I can only describe as ‘Cock Breath’. Such a lovely couple too.

At the core of it, TG is a place to be accepted, stripped (literally in some cases) of your outer shell there is nowhere to hide. No one to pretend to be anything else to. You don’t have to suck in your gut or wear enough makeup to make a drag queen blush (except if you actually are a drag queen obvy) It’s a place to be open and completely honest about yourself. It’s hard to lie when you’re standing half-naked in a room full of people who have literally just watched your ass get smacked with a flail. Somewhere in the cacophony of sound, made up of the slap of leather against skin and bamboo against skin and skin against skin, was a low rumble. A vibrating excitement which reverberated off of every body in the room, filling our minds with visions of the last days of Rome. Here there was no judgement, there were no ‘players’ no ‘sluts’, just people openly and honestly engaging in adult playtime, the likes of which I’ve never experienced before or since. As I wondered around the dimly lit rooms of London’s Premiere Playground with my modelesque friend, all 13 stone of me felt sexy, not because everyone was staring at me, but because no one was. There I was thinking how brave I was being, how brash, how incredibly daring. It turns out you don’t have to be confident in your body to go out in a corset, frilly knickers and heels; that’s how you gain confidence in the first place.

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