Bottoms Up: About Last Night

1. Your Hands

We met at a bar. I’d gone alone, which was rare, but I really needed a drink and hate having alcohol in the house and none of my friends could come with me. It was still pretty early in the evening when I noticed you and you smiled. I didn’t want to stare, and so every time I glanced over at you, I looked at your hands to make it seem like I was looking past you. Your brown skin was so smooth, and you had chipped glitter polish on your nails. When we finally touched, you skin was so soft it was almost alarming; as if you’d never worked a day in your life. But when you grabbed my wrist as we left, your grip was firm. When you grabbed my face before slapping me, I realized that something — someone — could be both soft and strong.

2. A Flogger

Once we made it to your place, you used a flogger to warm me up. You gently let the tails drag over my exposed skin. The leather was worn and soft and I couldn’t help squirming and laughing because it tickled. You stood at the foot of the bed and alternated between flogging and tickling; I let the variety of sensations overcome me. One minute it was sharp, stingy and hot; the next a cooling balm on my aggravated skin. I teased you and asked if you were ever actually going to put some force into that thing. My entire body came alive as I got more than I anticipated. You tore into me until my entire body was pulsating in the aftermath.

3. The Plunge Paddle

You laid me over your lap and scissored a leg over my legs, pinning me. For a few minutes, you wailed on me with a silicone paddle. The slaps were stingy, but I felt them throughout my body. As you hit me, I started to get goosebumps in anticipation, which made each slap all the more effective. After a while, when my ass was more than warmed, you started using those words that made me feel hot inside. “Good boi,” you told me. “You’re taking this so well, let me give you a treat,” and before I knew it, the other end of the paddle was plunged deep inside of me, giving me a physical reminder of just how hot this was making me. I was blissed out after that. I could never be too sure what would come next — pain or penetration — and I stopped trying to know. I let myself just be, and it was glorious.

4. A Silicone Ball Gag

I guess I had a lot of opinions that night because you told me that I was especially chatty. I told you it was because you weren’t giving me anything to keep my mouth busy. I told you if you wanted me to be quiet, you’d have to actually work for it, or do something to shut me up. You told me to close my eyes and open my mouth. I felt your fingers in my mouth, but before I got too excited you replaced them with something silicone and sterile. When I tried to protest, I realized I couldn’t and opened my eyes in indignation. “Do you ever follow directions?” you asked.

5. Your Belt

I protested to your insinuation that I didn’t follow directions as best as I could while gagged. You unbuckled your belt, and I watched hungrily, hoping that I’d get a chance to be inside of your pants soon. Watching you take off your belt was almost as much of a turn on as it was to feel it against my skin. Getting the belt always takes a lot out of me. It’s harsh and never ceases to grab all of my attention. I focused on breathing and feeling all the sensations that came with pain: the immediate sharpness, the tingling immediately after, the warmth that spread throughout my body as I waited for the next blow. The belt always takes me somewhere higher. It was more intense than my usual play and It made me focus on me and you and us.

6. Your Hands

You touched all my sore spots, sometimes gently, sometimes grabbing my flesh, causing me to hiss as the pain renewed itself. Your unbelievably soft hands stroked my face while you whispered congratulatory words in my ear. Your hands, which just a little while earlier had wielded instruments to cause me pain, were now as gentle as ever. As we lay together, I held onto one of them and traced your palm lines. I turned your hand over and played with the soft brown skin. Your glitter nail polish sparkled in the low lamplight of the room. Soft and strong, indeed.

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Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 330 articles for us.


  1. I always enjoy your column but I’m not sure I can express how wonderful this particular piece was to read. thx.

  2. Alaina, This is so hot and I’ve taken notes. Thanks so much for your writing. I’ve been trying out some new things in a new kind of relationship for me, and your essays have legit been very helpful in giving me words to tell my partner and even to discover what is possible, in order to decide what I want. Can’t wait to discuss this week’s column with my partner. Just thanks I guess.

  3. Beautiful article. Alaina, what method do you tend to use to communicate consent (or lack thereof) when playing with something like a ball gag?

  4. Somehow I managed to miss this article when it came out, but dear queer goddesses above, YES.

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