Thursday, November 03, 2005

The bites of love

Love bites, hickeys if you prefer, those badges of honour, dishonour and ownership. Who sports them? Hormonal teenagers, chavs, trailer park trash and the brides of Dracula. No one else, right? Wrong!

I’ve seen D (not stalker D!) quite a lot in the past few weeks. H’s a lovely guy, gentle and calm, yet full of complexities, mostly as a result of his largely being in the closet. Despite the gentleness, there’s a lot of passion in him. Passion about life, beliefs and, most obviously, a fiery sexual passion that consumes him like a fire that burns, smoulders and burns again. I love that sort of passion and feed off it greedily, burning with my own passion. Nibbling, biting and sucking are often part of the territory with intense sexual passion but I don’t like pain and I don’t like the visible after-effects of such pain.

There were several times on Friday and Saturday, the weekend before Halloween, when I’d had to tell D to be careful with his teeth and mouth. I’ve had to tell him to calm down before but apart from a few marks that persisted under my clothes for a few days, I’ve not had to contend with marks on my neck that were visible to all. I only noticed them once he’d left on Saturday evening when I was in the shower. There were a few marks, marks that, at a stretch, could have been explained away as a shaving rash. But one of them was so obviously caused by teeth - Dracula would have been proud of such a row of ‘puncture marks’. I was mortified. How cheap and tacky it looked! How embarrassing to be marked in that way!

I put on a high-collared shirt and went to meet friends at the Lord Roberts.

I think that it would have been quickly noticed without my constant twitching at my collar but, before long, A had made a remark about it. And then it was pointed out to H and several others. Despite the utter embarrassment, there was a brief moment when I felt strangely proud of that badge of dishonour. ‘Look at me,’ it said, ‘I’ve just had sex!’ Immediately after that thought, I condemned myself as pathetic. For a moment, at least, it had given me insight into why those pathetic teenagers and dreadful trailer park inhabitants indulge in such tacky behaviour.

A suggested putting toothpaste on it, someone else suggested holding an ice-cold spoon against it. Why such strange remedies should remove what is essentially bruising, I’m not quite sure. Arnica, a proven remedy for reducing the effects of bruising, would probably have been a better remedy. After a few pints I’d forgotten about my hickey and only remembered it the following afternoon by which time it was too late to buy arnica had I wanted to. Amazingly, almost all trace of the teeth marks and swelling had gone.

I went to work on Monday without wearing the tie I’d thought I’d have to wear.


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