… what I’ve done.

In the darkness of the cavernous room, the smell of fresh paint and new leather took my very active and somewhat secret sex life to a new level of pursuit. And what started out as an innocent goof late one Friday night over drinks with a friend turned into contributing to the design of a perfect sex club. Here in this world of night where the daylight of reality never comes, and you can, without opening yourself up to yet another bad blind date and disappointing one night stand you get to live out dark fantasies of pleasure.

4-mnths later, I was at the opening to this invitation only meat-market where inhibitions are left at the door in the discreet suburbs north of Sandton but way before Fourways. Not my first time to something like this, it was my first time in what was described on the invitation as an ‘upmarket venue where strangers can meet’ and ‘be comfortable with no strings expectations’. A sex club by any other name is still a place where married men, committed men or men in denial frequent to get their rocks off before heading home to their real world of respectability and restraint.

And as I turned the corner trying to get through the crowded passageway without being groped I saw him. My ex standing there talking to some whip-thin queen wearing baggy jeans and a grin that unnerved me. Even though it has been almost 2 years since we parted ways, and I can pretty confidently say that I’m over him, every now and again I go somewhere, meet someone, or see something and I am reminded of him. I am haunted not by the way that he treated me by cheating but by the way that I tarnished his memory afterwards.

In the past few weeks as I’ve had to strip away layers of pretence that have built up over time and with people I’ve come to realise that turning 30-yrs old was a good thing. The angst of my twenties has been replaced by a sense of growth or maturity if you will that leaves me comfortable with who I am and where I’m going. And the mistakes of my past that I can learn from and not be bound to repeat the same relationship mistakes over and over again. It was the memory of hope rather than the man that made my chest tighten.

As I turned away from them and walked as quickly as I could, I felt the bile rising up in my throat and I realised that it was my fault entirely. For some reason I just couldn’t let go even though I had let him go. It was then that I realised that I was in an S&M relationship with the Squirrel. Sometime later I plucked up the courage to venture back to that particular area and in the darkness of the place I saw this young boy strapped into a sling and being fucked by the Squirrel amongst other men in a group.

But this pain was something different. I remember the pleasure of being in love with him rather than the pleasure his sex gave. In love-relationships there is a fine line between pleasure and pain. In fact it is a common belief that a relationship without pain is one not worth having. To some pain implies growth but how do we know when the growing pains stop and the pain pains take over? Are we masochists or optimists if we continue to walk that fine line? When it comes to relationships how do you know when enough is enough?

I think that when you get to the point that you’re asking the question you might have reached or passed it even. At that point you have to look beyond what you feel and more what you know. What I do know is that even though I’ve moved on … he is a part of me like the memories of a certain teacher telling me I wouldn’t amount to much in life. That stranger that you met at a friends’ place that you wanted in your heart but no matter how hard you tried you somehow fell short of your expectations. Or making a relationship work that shouldn’t have been started in the first place when your head was screaming ‘No!’ but your heart was crying ‘Yes!’

The city can become such a lonely place when you’re single, but when you have friends to fall back on, you realise that having
that someone special in your life is great but sometimes they come with too high a price.

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