On the morning after another depressing Tory election win, I am reminded of a past encounter with a member of that tribe’s upper echelons…
I’ve chosen a seat at the very back of the pub, a corner seat behind a small coffee table where I can hide behind the Tom Clancy novel I’m reading for the eighth time, and flick an occasional eye at the door, just in case someone interesting comes in.
Someone does. He’s blonde and stocky, on the edge of plump; with floppy side-parted hair and expensive clothes. If it weren’t for the strong jaw and sharp cheekbones, his features would be cherubic; as it is, he wears just enough arrogance in his uplifted chin and upright posture to draw my appraising glance. I pretend to be contemplating the doorway while in my peripheral vision, he orders a pint of lager and surveys the near-empty pub, choosing a seat close enough to me to invite interaction yet not so close as to be discomfiting.
Briefcase down, coat shrugged off and laid carefully on the leather bench beside him, he shakes out a broadsheet newspaper and studies the dense text intently.
His hands are soft and small, a signet ring on his well-manicured little finger. Everything but his face screams ‘middle-aged City gent’; from his upright carriage as he approached his table to the beautifully-cut pin-striped suit that is draped forgivingly across his broad shoulders and sturdy thighs. Ancient eyes in a smooth schoolboy’s face.
His opening line is a complimentary remark on how well my glasses suit the shape of my face, delivered in the kind of cut-glass upper-class English tones that simultaneously stir my inner anxious-middle-class-liberal to resentment, and cause the rest of me to speculate on how gloriously hot he’d sound saying something like “kneel for me, there’s a good girl. Now close your eyes and open your mouth”.
He’s definitely flirting. Hating myself for it, I consciously model my tones towards the BBC-speak with which I was raised but which I since reserve only for the telephone, complaining to customer service, or arguing with my mother. My usual south London-tinged vowels polish themselves to a shine as I discuss favourite crime fiction with the young man at the next table. We exchange names – or rather on my part, a nickname close enough to my real name for plausible deniability. His name is James*, he’s a financial journalist for a prominent Establishment publication and at 23, only a year older than myself.
Now, I’m torn. Yes, he’s cute; intelligent, witty and self-assured. He’s clearly into me and isn’t waving any obvious red flags. Do I roll with it, see where it takes us? Or do I draw a protective magic circle around myself and drop an imaginary boyfriend into the conversation?
He didn’t choose to be born to wealthy parents, to board at Eton, or to saunter into a life of privilege and plenty. Within the bubble of his ruling-class worldview is a set of values that ignites my self-righteous Angry Socialist side, that ranting, squinting harridan whose passion comes as much from envy as it does from conscience.
Poor people are poor because they don’t work hard enough to get rich, he says. Equality rights are causing a lowering of standards as tokenism prevails. Council estates are populated by single teenage mums whose babies are a meal ticket to State support. He genuinely believes these ideas, because it’s all he’s ever been shown or taught. I want to convert him to left-wing thinking, I want to put him in a tough estate in Hackney and laugh as he struggles to cope with reality on the other side of the tracks. I want him to fuck me like I’m one of his peasant tenants, coveted chattel, all submission and gratitude to his air of ingrained authority.
He invites me over to his flat after work. Lust drowns out reason. It’s a date. I’m pleased, excited, and furious that he can own a whole goddamn flat in Highgate, when I could barely afford a bedsit in Catford.
Nonetheless, I’m intrigued. I’ve never been to a really wealthy English person’s home before. Gold doorknobs and marble in the bathroom? Chandeliers?
I’m greeted at his nondescript front door by James in civvies (neatly-pressed jeans and a soft cotton shirt) bearing a crystal flute of champagne. The flat is spotless (of course he has a cleaner) but expensively banal in aesthetic. He seems nervous, keen to emphasise the long hours he works, how tough journalism is, how hard he’s always worked. That he’s not some spoiled dilettante, but a serious and responsible member of society – albeit one with a whacking great trust fund.
I curb my class envy and ask him about the alien world of Eton. He patiently explains the complex code of patterned socks that signals affiliation and status within the institution, then segues into tales of covert – and otherwise – boy-on-boy action after lights out. We talk gleefully about same-sex sex over several more glasses of what I assume is good champagne. It tastes good to me, but then so does M&S’s own brand, so what do I know?
A shared spliff brings us close enough for some exploratory snogging. He’s politer than I expect him to be, carefully checking my consent before progressing from gently cupping my tits to lapping at the nipples, asking for permission to unzip my trousers and slide a finger into my damp knickers. His kisses are soft and affectionate, with none of the grab-and-claim entitlement I was half-hoping for. He treats my body with a reverence I’ve never encountered, handling me as though I am a first edition of Wordsworth, or a Fabergé egg. It’s sweet and I like him the more for it, but it just doesn’t ring my bells. I chide myself silently; he’s being nice goddammit, do I really prefer to be treated with selfishness and crudity?
In the back of my mind, I struggle to fit the pieces together. Will he think less of me if I tell him that I yearn to be fucked hard and well-used; has his background of nannies and boarding school instilled the belief that nice girls don’t really enjoy sex, that solicitude is the rightful redress for the indignity of being taken? Or is this just how he, an individual human being, likes it; gentle and slow? Am I judging him unfairly based on my own prejudices? “Harder” I plead, “hold me tighter”, and wriggle but he touches me as though I’m an valuable antique china doll given to him as an heirloom, ornamental and delicate. My frustration builds.
Not until we’re naked upon his enormous four-poster bed, myself on hands and knees, him kneeling at my rear, does he allow himself to unleash the urgent, animal passion I was aching for. His fingers dig into the soft flesh of my hips as he hauls me back onto him, slamming his dick into me with an edge of violence that floods my cunt and makes wet, smacking noises when he pulls away to line up the next thrust. I claw at the sheets, head down, arse up, gasping encouragement and approval into the 1000-thread-count Egyptian cotton.
I decline to ride him, it’s not a position I’m comfortable in, so instead I crouch before him and bury his straining dick deep in the back of my throat until I sense the penultimate twitch heralding the arrival of his orgasm. Leaning back, he grips himself tightly and splashes his hot spunk across my upturned face with a groan and a shudder. It’s a fleeting glimpse of the degradation I crave, but still…not enough.
“Let me get you a towel” he offers, once his breathing has slowed. His touch is tender, dabbing at my face with gentle strokes. I feel like a fraud accepting his ministrations, I haven’t earned this comfort and care, I don’t need it and I’m unsure how to respond. It seems churlish to bat away his ‘fragile; precious flower’ routine, but I’m not a delicate flower, I’m a kinky, dirty, bad-girl bitch in heat, and I have too large a chip on my shoulder to be brushed off with such a light touch.
In the morning, I‘m almost relieved to argue with him about social welfare, it gives me an excuse to flounce off muttering about cold-hearted Tory bastards, and dodge his calls the day after. But in truth, what I ran from was the maze of contradictions I found within myself that night, and the fear that I would inevitably disappoint him – whether by my politics, my comparatively lowly social status or my sexual preferences. Better to do so early, and on my own terms, I thought.
I still have a Thing for men with posh accents though.
*name changed for confidentiality