Kaliyuga Yoni

This monologue was originally written and performed as part of Yoni Ki Baat, an ensemble show inspired by Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues and produced by the South Asian Sisters collective.

Photo by Poulomi Desai / Red Threads

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.

The Virgin

ADELAIDE WAS my first white woman. She was ten years younger than me and fat and one of those rare Smithies who actually stayed a lesbian after graduation. She wanted to be taught, and I told her I wasn’t a teacher and didn’t know shit.

But maybe I knew more than her because I’d been fucked well, and she never had. She’d only dated “toasters,” straight girls who were willing to be turned; if you did enough of them, the joke was, you’d win a toaster oven. Adelaide had enough for several toaster ovens. She told me about her first girlfriend, who let Adelaide do everything to her, for two years. “I only asked her for one thing, ever,” Adelaide told me, “and she couldn’t do it.” Adelaide wanted to be bitten, but the girlfriend had a rare disease that caused fragile teeth; she was afraid of breaking them.

Before I actually slept with Adelaide I thought of bruising her, her skin was so creamy and expansive, there were acres of it in which to make satisfying marks, patterns, crop circles. I wanted to spank her huge ass and see if my small brown hand could make any kind of impact.

After a couple of casual dates—an art film, museum, pizza—I invited her over for dinner. She told me to save some chopping and stirring for her. “That’s not how it works,” I said. I like being in charge in my kitchen. I made my Sexy Fig & Beet Salad, fish stew, lemon rice. Instead of flowers she brought me a bouquet of poems about flowers, and we read them to each other, sitting close together leaning back on a huge pillow on my living room floor. Outside, fog and the full moon made the pines mysterious, as if they or we were fading in and out of the world. I ran my fingers along her neck at the edge of her short hair and watched her cleavage turn pink, then deep red. There was ice cream for dessert but we never got to that.

IN BED SHE TOLD ME she wanted to be seduced, and I said it might be a bit late for that but I’d try. I lit a candle and made her take off her clothes. She was on her period. “I’m not squeamish,” I said, then laid a towel over the sheets and had her lie down naked on it. I pushed her legs apart, then wider. I wanted to be violent but I took her nipple in my mouth and sucked it gently, then the other, and then I couldn’t help myself and started slowly biting her all over, lips and tongue and teeth. She was clean and smooth and strange-tasting; my Daddy told me later, “Virgins just taste different.”

After I had bitten and kissed my way down her breasts, her stomach, her thighs, I asked softly, “Can I put on a glove and touch you?”

“O yes,” she said, “you have one?”

“Of course. What kind of seducer would I be otherwise?”

In the dark I found a glove in my toybox and put it on. I wanted to be quick and smooth, but I realized I didn’t have to hurry, remembering the sweetness of the times I’d waited with my legs spread for my lover to touch me. Once the fucking was inevitable, the waiting could be beautiful, when time slowed down time and the intensity of one’s own longing came into sharp focus.

When I climbed back in bed, leaning on one elbow down by her waist, Adelaide’s body was warm and her breathing ragged. I kissed her just above her crispy light-brown pubic hair, then I touched her between the legs, learning the shape of her vulva, letting her moans guide my fingers to her clit.

SHE WAS ALREADY WET so I slipped my longest finger down between her lips. “Is this OK?”

“Yes,” she said, “I’ll tell you if it’s not, OK?”

I pushed inside. Her pussy was tight.

“How does it feel?”

“Good,” she moaned.

“My nails aren’t hurting you?”

“No.”

I wanted to go further, to add another finger, but her tightness scared me. “Good like just right, or good like you want more?”

“Mmmm,” she said. She thought for a moment. “More.”

I pulled out enough to put a second finger in, and then I could tell that was all she could take. I wriggled around, trying to figure out how my thumb could reach her clit. Erotica writers always make it sound easy, and maybe it is once you’ve gotten the hang of it, but I’d always been on the other end where everything felt good, where you didn’t have to think about the anatomy and geometry of the hand. Finally I figured out how to lift my wrist so I could reach both her clit and her g-spot, and when I started rocking my hand in just the right way, finding a rhythm that gave her plenty of stimulation in both places, it wasn’t long before she came, sighing and moaning and breathing hard and then breathing slow and deep and airy. I climbed up, feeling like I’d reached a mountaintop myself, peeled the glove off, put my arms around her.

SHE LIKED TO BE BITTEN and scratched, she told me, but not spanked. She wanted to fuck in a library. She wanted to be tied up, but not hurt, not humiliated.

I told her I wanted to fuck her with a dildo. I strapped it on, feeling the strangeness of the straps and buckles on my hips. I’d inherited the harness in my last breakup; my ex had worn it, but I never had. Wearing the penis made me feel like an adolescent boy, and I was suddenly hopping with energy. I tried getting on top of her, then turned her over and tried taking her on all fours, tried for a while, using lube. But even the small dildo was too big for her; something for another day.

“I don’t know why I’m so tight,” she complained.

“Because you’re a virgin, sweetie.”

“Oh!” she laughed. “Oh yeah.”

I love the kind of woman who has never been touched by a man. Perhaps I wish I could say that for myself, although I don’t regret anything in my past. The next best thing is to be in the vicinity of the inviolate, to be with a body which is only ours, the only real territory of the lesbian nation.

I WENT DOWN ON HER through a dam and then made her come with my hand again, and then she asked me fuzzily if I wanted her to do anything before falling asleep with my arms around her, and I thought, Three – I made her come three times. Three.

Pretty good for a bottom.

Then I got up to blow out the candle, turn out the living room lights, pee. I was surprised I didn’t feel like coming—and I am a woman who likes to come—but I was suddenly ravenous. I ate an apple and a bagel that was about to go stale, drank some water, checked my email, not wanting to go back to bed with her; I wanted to be alone.Part of me enjoyed the conquest so much I never wanted to see her again; I wished I were heartless enough to make her a notch on my belt, and I ran down the list of other women I could seduce; there were two on the way. I hoped Adelaide wasn’t going to fall in love with me. We’d been clear up front, but I knew how quickly my own feelings changed when I’d had great sex. I didn’t think my own performance was anything remarkable, but to Adelaide it was, and that was what counted. She hadn’t had any orgasms with other people, so three was a lot. Me, I was used to having a million.

Finally at 4:30 I went back to bed and slept, exhausted. At 7 we got up, even though it was Sunday morning; I had warned her the night before that I had a meeting.

“What kind of meeting?” she asked.

“Just a meeting, sweetie,” I said, “but I’ll drop you off at home.”

In the morning I could see she wanted me to fuck her some more, but I was tired, and the thrill of the night before had gone. At her suggestion we took a shower together. I made her breakfast, sausage and eggs, raspberries, and I let her slice two kiwi fruit.

Then I drove her home, rushed back to my place, put the towels in the washing machine and changed the sheets.

At 9 a.m. Daddy came to punish me for being a bad girl.