THE OTHER NIGHT in a San Francisco dungeon, in a blissful haze brought on by too many orgasms, I looked up at the half-stranger with hir fist half up my cunt and said dreamily, “That’s so nice…”
“Nice?” she snarled, “Did you say I’m nice?” She grabbed my pussy lips, squeezed so hard that waves of shock and pain traveled up and down my body — as I came again, and again. Earlier she had pleased a crowd by hitting me with a leather flogger till I wept, she had run the sharp blade of hir knife over my skin till I trembled, flying on fear and arousal. It must have been the rush of adrenaline and endorphins that made me forget she would consider “nice” to be anything but a compliment.
My vagina is queer, more queer than I am: She walks by two gay men with their poodles and thinks of lifting her skirt so that all four of them can fuck her. My vagina wears a string of pearls to the sex club so that my dyke Daddi can pull up my skirt under the black light and see pearls gleaming ultraviolet against a nest of dark curls. Underneath are folds of brown and purple and pink flesh; deep inside is a creaminess that matches the pearls. For my vagina is femme, and a poet, and an artist who enjoys the synchronicity of color, texture, and arousal. Pearls feel good in the mouth, too, Daddi says.
MY VAGINA LIKES to sit on Daddi’s lap and pretend to be a virgin, though she shed her virginity the first chance she got, freshman orientation week in college, with a boy she never talked to again. She likes to hear Daddi talk about putting hys thick cock in her tiny, tight twat. But really she is wet and ready to suck ten inches of lavender silicone all the way to her cervix, the sweet spot in the back that feels new and beautiful and wide-open, not virginal but personal and transcendent, every time. My vagina likes to be slapped, and pinched, and clamped with wooden clothespins that look innocent as summer laundry, and feel vicious as thumbscrews. My vagina likes to crawl, to be denied, to be forced to beg, to be forced open as if she is the most unwilling cunt in the world.
She doesn’t like the word yoni; in English, it sounds spiritual and soft, new agey, shallow as a henna tattoo.
She prefers cunt, as in wet cunt, nasty cunt, naughty cunt, bad cunt, good cunt, beautiful cunt. Cunt from the Sanskrit word for well, or spring, a deep source: kund, as in kundalini. As in the word for menstrual blood: kundapushpa, flower of the holy well. Red. Violent. The taste of birth and death, of origins.
SHE ALSO LIKES PUSSY, as in sweet pussy, precious pussy, pussy needing to be stroked, whose pussy is it, Daddi’s pussy, yes, give it to me, show me your pussy, open it, spread your pussy wide for me, Yes Syr I will. My cunt will say Yes Daddy and Yes Sir and Yes Ma’am and Mistress and Oh Goddess and Fuck me Oh God Please, but she will not say Mummy and Pappa, nor can she reconcile herself with the languages of repressed childhood. My cunt has never begged to be fucked in Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit.
Maybe in a few years she will be fluent in other languages. Some say she was the first word, the kund from which all other words spring, the deep well from which the first Om rose like an echo of her true name.
Maybe that’s why my cunt can absorb all the suffering of the Kaliyuga, what the Hindus believe is our epoch of confusion, corruption, plagues. My cunt dreams of violation, of rape and prostitution and incest. When I was eight years old I spent hours in bed telling myself the story of Cinderella, how her evil stepsisters tormented her. The prince was supposed to come and rescue her in the end, of course, but my baby vagina enjoyed the torture scenes more. I did not know why I was touching myself as poor Cinderella endured more and more delicious forms of suffering. Most nights, Prince Charming never arrived.
MY CUNT LISTENS to my aunties’ stories about discipline in Indian schools, and she envisions a boarding-school filled with sadistic desi butch and femme teachers who force bad girls to stay after class, pull up their skirts and pull down their panties, and submit them to the discipline of metal rulers and canes.
My cunt is both exhibitionist and voyeur. She fantasizes a world without STDs so that she could have safe anonymous sex all the time. My cunt rides the Muni and thinks of being forced to give a blowjob to the nastiest, smelliest man on the bus. She gets so wet I have to squeeze my legs together and stare out the window and think about Buddhism to keep from soaking through my skirt.
Birth after birth, lifetime upon lifetime of suffering — sometimes I feel I want to pull it all into my body and transform it through my body into pleasure. The mind has no shame, observe the Buddhists. My cunt has no shame, despite everyone’s best efforts, especially my own. Now I am practicing radical acceptance: Every desire can be named, spoken, examined, and — maybe — fulfilled.
BEFORE PLAYING with the edges of these desires, my cunt insists on a lot of negotiation. Vanilla folks don’t understand that S&M begins with talk, sometimes hours and hours of talk: This is what I want, this is what I cannot take; and you? My cunt has definite limits. She takes references. She knows whom she trusts and whom not, in whose hands she will be safe to enter the danger zones.
But the trust also expands, limits soften and shift and melt away. At first my cunt was afraid of knives. Now in the right hands she likes the cool steel blade resting at her throat while a finger, two fingers, a whole hand tunnel their way up inside her corridors. At first she could not imagine a fist resting in her, but now there is nothing she loves more than its slow opening and closing, expanding and contracting, inhaling and exhaling, folding and unfolding, like a heart. Breathing, the rhythm of the present moment. Nirvana is right here, and sometimes we touch it.
My cunt and I, we are learning to move toward the deepest levels of our fear. This is the nature of our lust.
The photographs in this post are taken from a YouTube slide show of images by U.K. photographer Poulomi Desai, collected in the gorgeous, amazing, sex-radical book Red Threads by Parminder Sekhon and Poulomi Desai.