Part of the Switch BDSM Anthology; available individually in November 2012
Author: Lauren Gallagher (anthology includes Desiree Holt, Lisabet Sarai, Elizabeth Coldwell, Wendi Zwaduk, Amy Valenti)
“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.” —Anais Nin
Telling the Rickmans we’re kinky has to be the biggest move my husband and I have ever made.
You would think a couple who’ve been swingers for the last ten years or so would be cool with something like this. Most people we’ve encountered in the lifestyle are open-minded. Even if they don’t share someone else’s kink or quirk, they don’t judge. And Chris and Janet, while probably a little naïve for people who’ve been swinging as long as they have, have never struck me as prudish—by conventional or swinger lifestyle standards. You would think they could grasp the fact that I like Ian to beat my back raw, or that he likes to make me beg for my orgasms.
You would be wrong.
They didn’t outright call us sick freaks, and they didn’t throw us out, but the wrinkled noses and wide, horrified eyes said it all. We changed the subject, but the damage was done. None of us suggested going up to their bedroom like we’d all planned to do tonight, and they didn’t try to stop us when we bowed out early.
“I can’t believe Janet said those things to you.” Ian’s knuckles are white on top of the steering wheel, but the car stays straight and at a reasonable speed. At least he’s not prone to road rage, though tonight I wouldn’t put it past him. It’s been years since I’ve seen him this pissed off.
“I can’t believe what either of them said.” I stare out of the windshield, absently thumbing the shoulder strap on my seatbelt. “You know, I half expected them to say they were into kink. Blew my mind that they’re so…” I trail off, shaking my head.
“I know,” he mutters. “God, they’re just…argh.” He smacks the wheel with his palm and, when I jump, he rests his hand gently on my knee. “Sorry, babe. Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“It’s all right. Just wound up, I guess.”
“Yeah, me too.”
Wound up doesn’t begin to describe it. Of course, not everyone is into the things we are, but we thought we could be open with Janet and Chris. In fact, it bugged both of us for a long time that we were keeping this from them. It’s uncomfortable to feel as though we can’t share something about our sex life with two people who have, themselves, been a huge part of our sex life for so long.
We’ve all been friends for almost half a decade, ever since the night we met them at a swinger party. Janet and I have been intimate with each other’s husband more times than I can count, and we’ve even done a little experimenting together. She’s like a best friend, a fuck buddy, a confidante…yet I never knew she was so adamantly against kink. We simply never talked about anything beyond occasionally playing with handcuffs or doing some light spanking. I guess I should have known, since she thought those were incredibly naughty, but I just didn’t have a clue she’d be so hostile about this.
Not until tonight when we broached the subject, which we did partly because we felt weird not telling them and partly because we secretly hoped they’d be willing to join us.
“You let him beat you?” she’d squeaked, her eyes wide with horror. “Bridget, why? Why would you let him do such a thing to you?”
Chris had turned to Ian then, and said, “What kind of man hits his wife? Would you let her beat you up?”
And neither of us had had a response. Maybe we were both just too stunned that our allegedly open-minded friends had responded this way. Maybe we simply had no answer. We’d changed the subject but the atmosphere had remained awkward, and our polite, hurried escape couldn’t have happened fast enough.
“You okay?” Ian asks, patting my leg gently.
“Yeah.” I rest my hand on top of his. “Think they’ll still want to talk to us after this?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure I want to be around people who are going to wrinkle their noses at us, though.”
Ian’s quiet for a moment. “Maybe they have a point.”