When I was about sixteen I took a girl from my class to the zoo. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. 

Knowing that I was a dom was making it difficult for me, at the time, to be assertive with girls I wanted. I was careful not to do things without consent, and yet a lot of the things that boys do to get a warm, bare breast into their hand have nothing to do with discussion, negotiation or consent.

But if I did apply the sort of pressure that other boys in my year applied, I might expose my sexual interest in giving commands and expecting and exacting obedience. My bdsm desires were still my deepest and darkest secret, so I was careful.

From a sixteen year old girl’s point of view I was a little too careful. Still, she’d agreed to come to the zoo with me.

We had to walk a long way from the carpark, and we were talking. For some reason, she told me that she’d torn the panties she was wearing that afternoon, but that fortunately she’d been able to repair them with a stapler.

I’m not sure what I should have said to that, but it was headily intimate, sexual information to my sixteen-year-old self. What I said was that there must, therefore, be little staple-shaped marks on her bum, and I bet they looked … I stopped. I’d been about to say “sexy”, but that seemed a little too explicit. I considered other options, like “pink”, “hot”, “beautiful”. I settled for “interesting”, coward that I was.

As it happens, it wasn’t the right thing to say. She didn’t approve of my interest in her mild, pink abrasions. She never did become my girlfriend. 

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