One of the things I dislike about the popular conception of sex and kink is that it is “simple“. There is this idea that if something has to do with the “baser” desires it is somehow less complex, less worthy of attention. This in spite of the fact that the word “vagina” can send grown men into fits of apoplectic legislative rage or cause parents to question the competence of an experienced and popular teacher. If that one word – only one facet of the entirety of human sexuality – is that dangerous and powerful, how can it be also considered simple?
The answer is, of course, that it’s not. The field of sexuality is like an onion, layered and tearful and sweet and bitter all at once. The motivations for sex are complex; the motivations for bondage, also. I have dedicated thousands of words, by pen, keyboard, and voice, to exploring these concepts in academic, artistic, and titillating ways. I don’t think I’ve really scratched the surface, to be honest. I occasionally stumble on a truth here or there, but really I simply discover more that I didn’t know about the subject in general, as well as my own limitations for expressing myself as a writer.
Which is why I am so amazed by the story “Deep Throat, Deep Love” by Kristina Lloyd, which the inestimable Alison Tyler asked me to review as part of the Sudden Sex Book Tour. There are 69 stories in this book (of course) so you would think of these as “quickies”. It’s difficult to imagine that you can explore the deeper aspects of sexual psychology, of desire, of the complications of being equal partners craving the experience of the unequal. Yet Ms. Lloyd pulls it off beautifully in the space of about four pages.
This is a story that is like a bite of single-origin dark chocolate followed by a sip of 24-year Laphroaig followed by a puff of a Liga Privada T52 smoked a third of the way through. There is a richness to her writing, a series of layers from the high-minded use of floral seasons to illustrate time passing to the simple visceral slurping sound of a woman wanting her lover’s cock deeper:
At the final push, my throat opened like a tiny gate and I held him inside me. With my gag reflex subdued, I was also subdued, at ease and wide open to him, connected and silenced.
It’s a bondage story, sure, but it’s also a love story between people with baggage. It’s also a story of personal realization and acceptance. It’s also an exposition of the fact that blow jobs are not just for men to “lie back and be thankful”, but a means of connection, devotion, service and yes, deep, abiding love.
It’s also, if I may don my writer’s hat for a moment, disgustingly clever and graceful, like watching Baryshnikov dance to Sinatra. I kept interrupting the flow of my reading to think Damn, she’s good. She even manages to work in a bit of Shakespeare:
Being your slave, what should I do but
tend upon the hours and times of your desire?
Forget what I said about the chocolate and the whiskey and the cigarette. This story is layered like the richness of that kiss from your lover that you remember to pay attention to, that you manage to lose yourself in. You come out of it with a start to find that time is told by numbers now, not flowers. You have no idea what the lovers look like, but can picture her tears and his fingers in high-definition. And while you can’t quite remember when it started, your naughty bits are tingling and awake, looking for the deeper layers of love.
Well played, Ms. Lloyd. Well played, indeed.