After I came he held onto me and even when I shifted, thinking that maybe it was time to get up and go, he pressed his arms tighter around, tightened his legs around my middle. My chest pressed against his, his hands stroking my back, and the occasional kiss from him, on my shoulders, on my cheek, lightly, not a peck, not a proper kiss. He kissed – even when he did agree to kiss on the mouth – like a good father might kiss his child. Chaste and gentle.
Kissing is a deal-breaker for me. If you don’t kiss, we won’t get on. On the rare occasion, I stay, and this was one of those rare occasions. Shiv wouldn’t kiss. And yet… there was something that kept me there, first in the small cubicle, then later in a larger cubicle, one with a raised platform, a kind of bed, big enough for us to lie next to each other, which we did, my nose close to the sweet smell of his armpit.
He was the most beautiful man at the sauna today. Tall and slim and smooth. I’d only just got there, had gone upstairs to cruise the cubicles a bit before heading for the sauna and steam room, and a shower. That was my ritual way of arriving. But I met Shiv before I’d even showered. We passed each other a couple of times and then he went into a cubicle and I followed.
His nipples were what I touched first. Based on his nipples, he was the man I wanted to be with. You don’t often come across nipples like that, thick and fleshy on a flat chest. They were nipples made for sucking. His chest was soft around his nipples and it was possible to take a mouthful of flesh between my lips and suck. And while I sucked he stroked my back and my arms and at some point said something like, you’re so strong.
You know, there was something about the way he touched me that was more than kissing. I know it’s fucked-up when I guy won’t kiss, but there is a way to touch that can make you feel connected, connected in the way that kissing, good kissing, can make you feel. It’s funny, I know there’s a deep self-loathing in a man who will not kiss, and Shiv confirmed this in our conversation later, when we lay together in the bigger cubicle after I came, and yet his touch was loving, and his manner was kind and gentle and when we talked he was open and attentive.
I’ve always rejected the whole “type” thing. I’m into all sorts of guys, is my usual response. But there is no greater feeling for me than standing next to someone who is my height and who is slim and smooth. The sensation is more than physical, it’s primal and it’s transcendent. The way I fit together with tall skinny guys, the way I hold them, my arm all the way around the curve of their back. No other “type” excites me in that way. And the thrill of holding someone like that doesn’t depend on being naked or fucking. Maybe it’s narcissism. Maybe it’s the electrical charge of holding someone who is the kind of person, the kind of body I have always wanted to be. It’s archetypal.
Besides the kissing, Shiv gave himself so completely to the sex, to being together, to my body, to my cock inside him. He was open, like every orifice of his was susceptible and hungry – except the mouth; yes, not the mouth! – but I licked his neck and up along his neck and to his ear and I sucked on his earlobe and put my tongue in his ear and I licked and made vibrating sounds and he made that sound people make, that surrendering sound, that amazing whimpering sound, that sound that lets you know that what you are doing is right, and you must not stop, not yet.
I put a finger into one of his nostrils. I pushed his head back with my palm and kept sucking on his ear and gently inserted a finger into his nose and it was so open, his nose, and he let me, let me finger-fuck his nostril and it was the kind of nostril that was lovely to finger fuck.
This other man I know, a man who loves the way I treat his nostrils, the way I fuck them with my fingers and with my tongue and he makes that noise, too, he, too, is Indian. Part Indian. He, too, has been flung by the caprices of history to another part of the world, an island off the coast of South America.
And Shiv is so light, weightless, tall and slender and sleek and agile and surrendering; he lets me know he wants to be picked up, that he wants to cling to me and have his legs around my middle and for me to keep licking his neck and his ear and his face and to play with his arsehole and to whisper the things I love to whisper in the ear of a man I’m about to fuck. With him I don’t hold back. There is something about his touch, the surety of it, the touch that is not tentative, his letting me know that I am the one he wants to touch and there is nothing about me that he does not like. And even when he refuses to kiss, turning his head just a fraction to the side, it does not feel like a rejection. I don’t take it personally – this coming from me: a man who takes everything personally.
So we fucked. The first time just with spit and a condom. The second time with lube.
But really it was the touch. And the details of our conversation. I like conversation. I like how you can know so much about another person in less than an hour. Something so intimate. To touch and be touched like only lovers do, lovers who have known each other and loved each other for a long time, who are still a joy and a wonder to each other.
He is from India, but he moved to Belgium as a child. He grew up in a small village not far from Antwerp. We speak Flemish and Afrikaans to each other. He has a wife. He wants kids. Of course he wants kids. Don’t you want kids? He has a shop on East London that sells Indian sweets. All his family are still in Belgium; it’s just him and his wife here in London. Kissing disgusts him.
“It’s dirty,” he says.
“Dirty?” I say. “Ag, that’s Hindu nonsense, man,” I say.
He laughs, pleased.
“You don’t think it’s dirty?” he says.
“Kiss my dirty mouth,” I say. “Think of it as a vegetable.”
He laughs again, his hands still stroking me, his leg over mine, his side pressed against my side.
“And fucking?” I say. “Isn’t that dirty.”
“It’s all dirty,” he says.
But he likes the closeness and the touch. The skin is not dirty to him, and affection, and intimacy. And yet, what is more intimate than the kiss? He did kiss me, a few times, softly, on the mouth, his lips closed, not tightly – but closed.
“Did you miss me?” I said, when we hooked up the second time today, about thirty minutes after we’d fucked for the first time, and then I’d gone for a shower, and to sit in the steam room for a bit.
“Sh,” he said. “You can’t say things like that here.”
“But did you?” I said. “Because I missed you.”