“I’ll just have to be a better benchmark,” he said to me, and I’ll never forget how he said it. Matter-of-fact, unshakable, as if he just-knew his love would be enough to conquer everything.

I took his virginity with no reverence, and he gave it to me guiltlessly. I was awestruck by this person who gave sex a large measure of respect, without outright telling me how ‘bad’ a thing it was. He had no experience and all the experience I had was with selfish partners who had even less experience than I did. Now I had a lover, and no idea what to do.

Points for enthusiasm?

I know I loved him like I’d never loved anything before, and he loved me back. We functioned on a crippled form of sexual communication — my telling things was stifled and he only responded to the messages he received. I’d doublethink my desires. ‘I shouldn’t [ask for something different] because it’ll [insert reason I made up].’ I had absorbed that women’s-magazine bullshit about pleasing your man producing a perfect relationship. I was castrating our sex life, and he was none the wiser. I thought it was normal. He didn’t know any better.

We talked about all kinds of ideas that came into our heads; we really were two peas in a pod. He professed to love me so much that he would do anything — anything — for me. He came out and said outright that if there were someone I wanted besides him, we’d talk about it. I agreed, not fully understanding. It wasn’t until in thinking about it later that I fully realized the gravity of the situation — a man who was offering to fulfill my every basic desire, and this included in the sack!

He knew I’d had relationships with women, but in his matter-of-fact way he said he didn’t care one way or another because he loved me how I was. I told him I thought I was bisexual — he said he knew I wasn’t going to run off with a girl and get married and leave him, so I could have all the girls I wanted.

This man surprised me at every turn. I was a girl who trolled the internet learning about sex the hard way — filtering out the meaningful facts from the mythical bullshit. I trolled four sexual health forums for close to two years, mostly answering questions, but learning amazing amounts as I went. This sex business was really controversial within everybody’s head … maybe I wasn’t alone in not understanding my sexuality.

I consumed pornography at breakneck pace and masturbated as appropriate. The day I figured out how to give myself an orgasm was a red-letter day and I’ve worked hard at having them often, ever since. I was consuming written erotica in genres considered out-of-the-mainstream — specifically bisexual and orgiastic pornography. I dug out my rape fantasies from childhood and young adulthood and watched rape-fantasy pornography. I didn’t breathe a word of this to my boyfriend.

One day, I was at his house, sitting at his desk, playing on his computer. We were getting ready to go out, and I was surfing his internet history. I came across a porn site he’d used, and followed some of the links he’d followed, interested in what turned him on. I named a category in a light voice, laughing, pretending mischief in searching through his sexual desires.

I was unprepared for his reaction, though in hindsight it should have been expected. I was pounced, nearly knocked off his chair bodily with the force he used to grab the mouse from me and close the browser.

Our eyes met and I could taste his fear, hear it in the quivering anger in his voice. I don’t remember the specific words in the conversation, but I remember him feeling as if his privacy had been invaded because the girl having sex with him wanted to know what turned him on when she wasn’t there.

I think that’s when I realized that what we’d come to was effectively a sexual crisis. He wanted things I hadn’t considered, and I wanted things he’d never thought of. We were both too terrified of alienating the other person to ask each other, and this was the way our society intended for us to develop sexually. So I grabbed him, and we got in the car, and drove.

We talked deep into the night. At first it was fear and anger and privacy issues, but eventually the walls came down, and the truth came out. I’m afraid to ask you for this because I’m afraid I’ll gross you out. I’m afraid to ask you for this because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m weird. I’m afraid, so afraid.

It opened a dialogue, and the floodgates opened. I want to try this, this, this, this. Let’s try this, this, this. I think this, this would be fun.

He asked me if I would consider letting him play with my ass during sex, confessing that anal turned him on a lot. In fact, it was the anal category that had caused his panic in the first place.

I was so, so hurt that he’d not want to discuss something sexual with me. I felt hurt and rejected and like maybe the reason he didn’t ask me about it was because he didn’t want to do sexual things with me in that way. In reality, it was nothing like that at all… and in reality, I was doing the same thing to him.

We went to the sex-toy trade show the week after, and walked hand-in-hand, in public, browsing for buttplugs. It’s one of the happiest memories of my life, the memory of starting to get over one of the things that made me hate myself — my large sexual appetite, my deviant tendencies… that which sets me apart. Apart became, suddenly, a desirable trait — a trait that brought my soon-to-be-Master and I together.