Victoria is a writer and researcher on sexual ethics. She writes both philosophy and fiction and is intent on combining the two. She is also interested in ethics and sex generally, but particularly women's desire and identity, reconceptualising consent, sexbotics and making philosophy sexier. Her book Fucking Law: the search for her sexual ethics is out in June 2019 for Zero Books.
The thing that constantly challenged Lily throughout her life was whether it is possible to love more than one person at a time. The law told her that it was not. So did everyone else. As she walked through the night in London’s East End from the tube to meet the man that would surely become her new lover, she wrestled with this very question: maybe it was a question of ethics, not law. She looked down as she walked, as she always did, thinking furiously. She thought back to the first time she met Benjamin, which was at the pub around the corner from the University where she worked. She was there to celebrate, since she had just got a promotion, and all her friends had come. Benjamin was a friend of another friend, a Professor, and when they were introduced she felt her hand tremble when their hands touched on their first greeting. An overly formal greeting for sure and she promised herself that would never happen again. Benjamin was with a girl, a beautiful girl, with the most amazing tumbling black hair she had ever seen. She seemed shy, looking down slightly to the left when they met, and her gaze did not meet with Lily’s. She recognised something of herself in her. Lily kissed her cheek – her resolve to abandon the formal greetings clearly translating into action very quickly. Lily passed her a glass of wine, and she was overcome with a desire to hold her in her arms, to find out what made such a beautiful woman so shy. How come she could not be full of confidence and joy, beside a man like Benjamin. He was tall, with big brown eyes, and then the second thing you would notice on meeting him, was his hands, long, thin and graceful, almost separate beings entirely from him, with a life of their own. Life of their own indeed, since the silver ring on his wedding-ring finger did not so much constrain them. Lily already knew for sure that he was not married to the beautiful black-haired shy girl. Perhaps this was the reason for her shyness, to know that their fucking in the hotel around the corner was illicit and she did not feel entitled to meet people with Benjamin, for that is the domain of a wife. Perhaps. Lily was busy for the evening, she was talking to her friends, drinking wine, getting drunk, hugging every person she could. When the time came to say good bye to Benjamin, who was clearly taking his beautiful woman for dinner somewhere, she wasted no time in kissing his cheek, perhaps a little too close to his mouth. Lily got close to him, holding his right hand to balance herself as she stood on tiptoes. That brush of his stubble was a sensation she would not forget. She spent months recalling it, imagining it in different places on her body, the most sensitive places. After Benjamin left with his woman, Lily went outside with her friends to smoke, and to the right, she saw them. Benjamin stood behind her looking toward the tube station, probably thinking about where to go, and while he did so, he had his hand on her upper arm, stroking it lightly. They looked like lovers, against the wind, against the world. Lily wanted to be her, more than anything in the world.
Within two weeks, Lily was sending Benjamin messages online, and within a month, they had agreed that Benjamin would come to London (from France) to see her. What for, was rather obvious, though it was never said. But then it was a week before he was due to come, and he said that it was obvious that they were going to fuck. Him saying that word to her, was like he pressed a button somewhere in her body, turning her hunger up to a point where it was impossible to bear it. Benjamin was the kind of man that she never fucked, in fact she hadn’t met a man like him. Benjamin was from another planet, too much, almost. Too handsome, too clever, too dangerous, just too too much. The thought of seeing him naked sent her over the edge – is that even allowed? Fuck, no, said the law! Is she not going to die the moment she sees his cock? Forget that, what is going to happen when they kiss? And yet, here she was, walking from the tube to a cocktail bar. Its funny, she never thought of him as married, refused even to believe it, as she walked. She was determined that this time, the man would not be fucking married. Why couldn’t she bear it? She initially thought it might be a loss. A loss of a possibility of freshness on meeting, without deception and without the old tired narratives which made her the whore, the other woman, the bit on the side, every time. No, it was more than that. She had to deal with the prospect that perhaps the reason she fell for him was in part due to him being married. Something about her, and something about him, that clicked. What she didn’t realise at this time, was that this is not quite the trap it appears to be. That actually, the philosophers and the psychoanalysts, they had actually got it wrong. Even the women who judged her. Even the men who had mistresses too. The law, had got it wrong. Some lawyers might have been philosophers and doctors too. Not every woman is the same, and not every married man is the same. Last time she looked, women could be married too.
The bar was dark, underground. Lily had to say Benjamin’s name to the host, and she took delight in it, and the host said ‘the gentleman is here’. How marvellous, she thought! The gentleman. She doubts it very much! How funny she thought, that the host would be saying that, assuming that she, a ‘lady’ she supposed, in her very short whore skirt, was here to meet a ‘gentleman’ for some light conversation, perhaps! How quaint! Yet, she was sure that the host knew, that both of them would be fucking each other’s brains out by the end of the evening – one only had to look at both of them in the eye. She tottered down the stairs, unsteady, quickly breathing, and stood, flustered at the foot of the stairs. She was in a room, wood panelled, with little tables and soft lighting, the sound of moderate chatter around her. She looked to her left, to see Benjamin, whose long body was folded, yet louche, he was looking down at his phone. He looked up and saw Lily – his huge brown eyes, caught her square in the face, the gaze going through her eyes and penetrating out to the back of her head, no doubt hitting the wall behind. He unfolded himself, and stood, she walked towards him – she couldn’t look! If she looked, she would probably dissolve or something. Her body was shaking, tiny quivers all over her, as he urgently kissed her. They stood, kissing, in the middle of this bar, everyone sitting around on their low seats, no doubt trying to ignore this audacious display. The kiss was hot, wet, full of promise, yet somehow distant – like their saliva mixed, but it was too full of oil to properly coagulate. She felt that her lips were trembling, the kiss was so full of everything, it could barely contain itself. Lily climbed over a bag and they sat opposite one another and continued the kissing, as he reached up her leg and into her knickers, his other hand inside her shirt, there was not enough room for everything – she felt stares upon her from every direction. They might as well have been fucking in the bar! Words exchanged – but she felt awkward and shy, she wanted to know him immediately, she wanted the closeness, but couldn’t get close. The urgency to get to bed, was to get inside him, past the show and get started on finding out what really brought them together. The blankest canvas was before her – ready to receive the first brush strokes, for her new soul child.
They did have a drink together. Hers came in a sea shell. She felt like she was looking down into her own vulva, somehow turned inside out. On the table before her, was the smoothest shell, with velveteen lips. Some kind of liquid glistened on the shell, and even that reflected back at her, with an image of her own juice, currently sticky between her thighs. She stared and she was lost, the hole that was barely perceptible below, gave an impression of being vast and cavernous – with walls too slippery to cling to. She saw that he was staring at her, with his own drink in hand, of course presented in a glass that he would actually be able to drink out of with trembling hands – no such luck for Lily! She tried to lift the shell and already she felt like she was going to drop it. She was no mermaid. Labia like fins, for sure, a smell of salt and sperm, yes, but she didn’t know how to drink from a shell. A bizarre thought slipped into her mind, of how, with the shell, it looked like her and Benjamin were engaged in some kind of threesome. The shell between them, both of them looking down at it, scrutinising its folds, trying to get at the liquid within. Complicit, together, they would work out how to drink from it, how to make it shed its juices for their viewing pleasure, and for their sexual gratification. She thought how she would like to watch his cock push open a pair of fin-like soft and tightly closed lips, like those of the shell. To see the pleasure in his face, his cock grabbed by a tight slit, easing inside. She would like to watch as closely as she was now. She wanted the detail. She wanted to smell it and she wanted him to tell her how good it felt as he did it. She wanted the lips to belong to a woman much different to her – she didn’t know why. It wasn’t the wife, no, that would be somehow disrespectful to this woman she had no idea who she was. No, someone else. Someone with soft skin, dark skin, a perfect little bouncy cunt, begging for a dick inside it. Her legs spread and his cock twitching. The fantasy was quick, fleeting, unreal, of course she would not want to see it, but she would like him to indulge her fantasy, without really wanting it. She wanted to play, but she wanted to feel steady so she could, without him hurting her. At the current moment, she thought he would hurt her – she felt no such safety. Let’s get out of here, he said, after their tongues and legs and hands have been entwined for the pleasure of the whole bar. They walked to the hotel, and inside they kissed more, in a room that reminded her, unfortunately, of a brothel. Benjamin was much shyer than Lily thought he would be, and his touch was far gentler, and his smell more complex and delicate.
After they had fucked, she lay in his arms. They did not speak much at all, but there was a moment. A moment where Lily made an important decision. Lily saw that Benjamin had taken off his ring, while they were fucking. He had placed it on the bedside table. She stared at it. On the tip of her tongue, were simple words: “what is this, who misses you back in France?”. Something like that. Something that would have simply brought it all out fast and with minimal pain. Instead, she said nothing. She couldn’t do it. Maybe, she wanted to preserve something, fool herself a while. Maybe she would not see him again, anyway. What would he want her for, anyway? She just drank in everything of him, and soon they were talking and laughing together and utterly despite her expectations, and herself, and her shyness, and how in awe of him Lily was, she felt somehow completely comfortable in his company.
They had sushi in the hotel bar at 1am, and in the early hours of the morning, while they were half asleep, he wrapped a long arm around her, his erection pressing against her. Intimacy, at its finest and most sexy, she felt. Also, the most painful as she thought of how easy it is to do, when one shares their bed with a wife, for instance. She made a vow to herself, that she would never take such a thing for granted. This kind of intimacy, secret, private, theirs, was something she would always treasure with her lovers. When she was a wife, if she was a wife, she would never ever let this kind of moment be banal – she would feel it, squeeze it, smell and taste and love it, for all she was worth. Like her life depended on it.
After Lily and Benjamin had slept a while, the morning was properly here. The light of the morning was certain enough for it to be at least 11am. Benjamin sat up in bed, his back to the window, his brown eyes on Lily, who way lying flat in the bed still. He was sat, with his knees pulled towards him, with his arms loosely around them. Lily looked at him, and thought it rather audacious of the universe to make such a thing. What was she supposed to do with it? She chose to jump on it, to squeeze it, and kiss it in the most ridiculous almost childish animal way. Lily sniffed his neck – delicious cocktail of little microscopic morsels of sperm, pussy juice, pheromones, cotton, sweat – him, his smell, the smell of his flesh, his part of their soul child, the part she craved, the part that she wanted to squeeze too tightly and consume and keep in her womb – the part that made her pussy immediately lubricate. She lay, breathing at his neck, as he talked softly, about fucking outside. Fucking among trees, and as she reached for his cock, she found it already erect. He was kind of sweetly embarrassed by it, laughingly telling it, in French, to “lay down”. Lily removed the covers and brought her head level with his cock, and admired it in the morning light. Hard, straight, thick – always with that look of desperate persistent playfulness, and uncontrollable need for pleasure and lust for fucking, so persistent, that it would have no qualms with humiliating its owner by betraying its owner’s filthy dirty thoughts, and straying gaze onto bulging wobbling breasts, the smell of a cunt, the bounce of a bottom, of all kinds of women, women they were not even supposed to desire. The thought made her pussy wet, despite herself. She looked more closely even, getting closer to his cock, so close, he twitched, wanting her tongue, which she was presently holding back. How many cunts this prick has been used to pleasure, and yet there is not a speck of evidence to suggest it. How many pussies, hands, tongues, yet there is nothing to say – no wear and tear, no trace of any apart from her own. How strange it is that human beings can get past this unbearable, yet arousing truth – forever tied to the laws of our universe – even our fucking pussies and cocks and arseholes, are tied to time and space. Now, she saw a faint whitish coating on Benjamin’s cock – a dried mixture of sperm and pussy juice, betrayed by the morning light and her close gaze. She touched the tip of her tongue on a pleasing clump of it, which was clinging to the edge of one of the folds that met the smooth plump nub of his glans. She drew it into her mouth and the salty taste sent a little twist of pleasure to her clitoris. She hungrily licked the others, salivating, not getting nearly enough. There were more stuck in his public hair, she ate those too. When his dick was clean, Lily licked Benjamin’s prick, tickling the little sensitive bit where she found the first sperm-pussy-juice nugget. He was breathing heavily, some pleasing little groans, she could tell he felt it through his whole body, the pleasure and the need to spunk somewhere. The physically loaded, physically backed, actual material need – like we all need to shit, Lily had always been fascinated by an accumulation of matter that meant men needed to spunk, to orgasm. Not only wanted, but needed. Reinforced by the laws of physics, no less! Filthy incredible creatures. She hungrily got on top of him, slipping her cunt over his dick, fucking him hard in a frenzy, he lay there, she lowered her head to watch the pleasure in his face closely. That form that was so magically perfect, in pleasure, for her, was dumbfounding and almost too distracting. She nestled her nose in his beard, where she could smell traces of his morning spit and breath, and traces of her pussy, from when he was licking her out the night before. She felt the pace quicken, his hips pumping at her cunt faster, the thickening of his prick inside her, his balls tightening, his touch on her arse, his hands gripping – those hands – the other bodies in their bed, their grace and their beauty – unbelievable that they could let themselves fall into a state of orgasm, and yet. She wanted to see his eyes for this one – as he began to shout – a manly shout of grunting pleasure, she looked right into his eyes, and yes, she saw it – right deep in the black – the moment, the precise moment, where the unbearable, and the irresistible, were combined to a point of erasure. A moment, just a nanosecond, without judgment, outside the grip of the law. Not that orgasms were rare, it’s just that Lily was frustrated we never bothered to understand what they meant for the laws of the universe, or we never used them as an opportunity to understand ourselves. Always so embarrassed to talk about fucking. What a nonsense. As they quietly came back to earth (always a bad idea) she began to get sad – that she would have to leave their night jar – that chamber of her heart. She never wanted it to go, she never wanted Benjamin to leave it, and she wanted more, since that blank canvas – and she looked at it closely to find there were indeed brush strokes. She did not expect it, since she did not expect Benjamin to be fatherly in the least, nor did she know (since she had been told that only men can feel like this – it was a law of the universe, so she had been repeatedly told) that she might see more than one person as parent to her child.