The party was over an hour away. I had been to this one before, great people, low pressure, usually a really fun night out. The party had a comic book super hero theme, something I had nothing appropriate to wear whatsoever. So I gave myself some additional time to locate and purchase some fun clothing. Some Batman themed pajama pants and a Batman t-shirt and I was in business, well at least I will be comfortable.
Arriving at a party is always interesting, if a little stressful. I get a little nervous before show time. I frequently take about 30 seconds of visualization in the car to program my behavior, “OK, this is what you are going to do… be positive, be confident, and reach out to people.” Then comes the inevitable scan around the room to see if anyone familiar is around. There were a few people I recognized, quite a few I didn’t. One of the men called out, “Hey, Salmon how’s it going?” This was one of the first times I have been recognized at a party by my blogging name. It was a little strange, as I use my real first name at most parties, The Salmon has been more of an online persona, till now.
I gave the hostess her gift, white chocolate and macadamia nut coffee, and her husband the “donation.” I was surprised to see a new person (to me anyway, I am not quite a regular at this party) dressed in full Wonder Woman costume with silver cuffs and tall red boots. She looked great, more than great. She had large brown intelligent eyes, and she was not afraid to look directly into mine. I introduced myself and we started talking. It turns out we had many things in common, we were both free thinkers and nerdy, and that’s when she told me, “I am a cancer survivor.” Really?
Her costume was a red bodice with gold WW adorning her chest, bare shoulders, and a fair amount of flesh showing down her back. A blue skirt, rather short, showed off lovely legs. Unless it was a Hollywood grade wig, she had her natural hair, bound in a fabric WW crown. She did have a minor blemish on her upper right breast (that I could see). I didn’t want to be rude or misunderstood, but I was tempted to ask, “Where, on your big toe?” I do realize a cancer joke is in bad taste. My mother is a cancer survivor but sometimes questionable humor is my first line of defense.
She told me she had a double mastectomy, after radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The doctors then used implants along with muscle and flesh from her back to rebuild both of her breasts. We talked some more, I could tell this subject was touchy. She was still confident, but I thought I could see in her eyes, she was testing me, and perhaps testing reactions to her changed body. She asked if I would be ok seeing her scars on her back. I nodded, and she lowered the bodice only a bit. And there, were two angular scars, healing rather nicely I thought, chevrons on the sides of her lower back, almost racing stripes. I asked if it was ok to touch them and she assented. Her back felt like smooth skin, very slightly raised where the marks were. I told her I thought she was healing well, she smiled, a very nice smile and we talked a bit more, about her treatment, about life. Rather than be creepy and hang on her all night (which would have been really easy for me…see I can be taught) I mingled around the party making small talk and showing off my Njoy11. (Thank you Cooper… what a great conversation piece!)
She and her boyfriend broke out some of their toys as well. She was demonstrating vampire gloves to some of the partygoers. This was new to me. For those of you not into BDSM, vampire gloves are simply leather gloves, except the palms have little metal spikes. Depending on the bite, they may or may not break skin, and are used to stimulate the nerves in the skin without doing (too much) damage. The woman in front of me shuddered (in a good way) after having them dragged over her skin. I asked if I could please have a demonstration, and lost my t-shirt. (no… I mean I really lost it, I could not find it when the party was over) She very gently, like a butterfly’s kiss, dragged the spikes over my forearm and back. I recalled a line from A Clockwork Orange “and I felt all the malenky little hairs on my plott standing endwise and the shivers crawling up like slow malenky lizards and then down again.” It felt very, very cool!
It was then, or close to then, that a friend (or acquaintance, I still don’t quite know how well they knew each other) arrived late to the party. He was younger…ok rather younger than me, (more) outgoing, friendly(er) and the two of them started chatting away…
I drifted away with butterflies in my stomach; maybe because I thought there was a connection between the two. Maybe I lost confidence at that moment, and readied myself to yield the floor. I thought she was terrific, and I felt a little sad, like I let her get away. There was talk of a massage in the bedroom and as the two of them walked past, she very gently touched my bare back with her hand, another butterfly’s kiss, and I was caught. What’s funny is we then sat on the bed, chatting away some more. (I tell people I am not a great talker, yet I seem to spend an awful lot of what might otherwise be sexy time talking to my partners. I am a little odd.) We spoke more about her cancer, about how the reconstruction is much more painful when rebuilding the breasts (you have to stretch the new skin out…Yikes!) than removing them. In many, many ways the cure is more difficult than the disease. She said to me “You are the first person, other than my family and doctors, who will see my new breasts after surgery. Are you ok?” I said I was. Once again, I didn’t know what to expect. In my adventures so far I have seen all kinds of breasts, large ones, small ones almost nonexistent ones. Large nipples, small nipples, double nipples…she lowered her top and her eyes searched mine looking for… disgust? Horror? Walls of defense mechanisms shielding myself from a creature?
There were scars over the top ridge and underneath, asymmetrical in size and shape. The skin and muscle tissue from her back was stretched around the front curves of her breasts where nipples would be, but were now smooth flesh. Her transplanted skin was pale, lighter in color than the skin it was bonded to, and the shape of the graft was a little different from one to the other. I looked into her eyes and smiled, accepting her totally as she was. Relieved, she relaxed a little and even remembered to breathe. I asked if I could touch them and she nodded, maybe a little hopefully. The scars here were more noticeable by touch than the ones on her back, or maybe I was giving them a little more attention. I ran my hands over her breasts feeling smooth skin where the nipple would be. She explained the nerves in the new skin weren’t as sensitive as in the original tissue. This means her breasts feel wired almost backwards. Instead of being most sensitive in the center and radiating outwards in lessening zones of sensory response, the centers were almost numb, but feeling became greater as you reached the outer contours. I gently ran my hands over her and she told me how much sensation she felt. I squeezed (gently at first and then a little harder once I knew I wouldn’t break her). Don’t ask me where her friend went during all this; she was completely the center of my attention. But soon, before long, other men entered the room and they too started touching her, rubbing her breasts, arms and legs.
She lay on the bed and her friend (remember him?) went to work massaging her torso while I worked on her feet. I stretched her hamstrings and rubbed her arches. She groaned and confessed she loved having her feet touched. Well in that case… (Pardon me citizen, but can I be of assistance? This was a superhero theme after all…)We continued to work on her, switching top and bottom, while he worked on her feet and legs I set to kissing her shoulders and the nape of her neck, softly breathing into her hair. I whispered into her ear “I am a wordsmith, and I think your breasts are nice.” Nice? Nice? All the words in the English language and the best I can come up with is nice? Some wordsmith.
Her boyfriend came over, I removed her panties, and the three of us caressed and rubbed, kissed and stroked her. Her boyfriend went down on her, and she came. But I was happy kissing her lips and neck over and over again. I didn’t want anything more or anything else at this perfect moment in time.
I sometimes talk about playing jazz on other people’s bodies. I love jazz, I even have some understanding of how it works, but I can only play it when I am totally in the moment, as it should be. Those times are few and far between, either because I am observing, or critiquing myself, or living in a third party perspective. (I could write several blogs about this, so hang with me). But when playing jazz for real, or sexual playing this time, in this immediate moment, I was in the first person, moving as she moved, with modes and keys ramping up and down together, theme and variation. Lovely.
Part of me wanted more, but a voice within me told me to wait, to enjoy and revel in what we had before us. This is better, more important, more immediate than anything you might think you would want to move on towards. We descended from our mutual heights, and basked for a while in afterglow. She thanked me for a wonderful evening. She had responsibilities to attend to in the morning (This party tends to start and end late) and frankly so did I. I watched her get dressed, and she gave me contact info to send her my Swingset blogs and some other info we had spoken about. I wondered if I would ever see her again.
During the long drive back home, I asked myself why I didn’t press on, and I answered, “Because this is not all about putting your dick into people.” (I frequently have these little dialogues, especially after a long drive home after a play party.)There were some good reasons; we hadn’t had the talk about boundaries, STI’s, or anything resembling the elevator speech. Most importantly, I felt I did exactly what felt right at the time. I didn’t press on, because it wasn’t the right time or place to press on. I am now beginning to read people, and understand myself, and I am more trusting in the voice inside me which says this is the direction to go now.
After I arrived home, but before crawling into bed, I sent her the info and received a reply the following day. This was her first time meeting a new partner and playing since her last surgery. She was not feeling nearly as confident in her own skin as she had before the cancer, but she found exactly what she needed that night. Within minutes of opening up her new body, she had appreciative men gathered, affirming her, uplifting her.
How lucky we are that our paths crossed as they had. We continue to talk, and she will be continuing her treatments and more surgeries to reconstruct her body. Her experience reminded me of something I had forgotten long ago. That many of the “challenges” we face change us, sometimes profoundly. But they are not the end. And life changing, body changing events do not make us unloved or unlovable, (or unlustable)we just need to be as we are, and let those attracted come.
“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a Butterfly”