"Have you ever tried anything….erotic?” I asked him as I prepared eggs benedict in the kitchen. Paul looked up from his iPad — totally perplexed. It was as if I had just asked him how to multiply two really big numbers in his head.
“What do you mean?”
“You know…like role playing, handcuffs, blindfolds? Stuff like that?”
“Not really. No.”
“Ever wanted to?”
He laughed — nervously.
- - -
We met at a work dinner two years ago. That night, he walked me home, and within three weeks Paul and I were planning a weekend getaway together. It all happened so fast.
We were in our mid-forties, both had been married and divorced, neither of us had children, and we shared a disdain for dating in Manhattan.
The sex was good right from the beginning. We were playful, trusting, and fairly vocal about what we enjoyed.
Two years later, I didn’t think we were missing out on much. Until one night, I went to dinner with my friend, Rachel, who told me that her husband came home a few nights earlier with handcuffs, and things got wild.
I got so turned on.
- - -
I’d never fantasized about things like handcuffs before. The idea of being restrained never really did it for me. But after my conversation with Rachel, for seven straight nights, all I could think about was, “What would it be like if Paul put handcuffs on me?”
I would wake up, wander to the shower, and stand there beneath warm water wondering what had gotten into me. Am I kinky? I thought. Is there an undiscovered part of me that’s dying to jump into whips and chains and leather and all that jazz?
I also realized that Paul and I had never even discussed things like erotica or fetishes before. Was he as seemingly disinterested as me? Was he afraid to try? Did he think I wasn’t freaky enough? I started to panic about the quality of our communication.
- - -
Finally, on a Saturday morning over breakfast, I worked up the courage to see if Paul wanted to play.
“Have you ever tried anything erotic?”
We moved the conversation from the kitchen to the couch, where over eggs and bacon, we talked about why we never talked about this before.
For him, he felt like being raised by a single mother and having two younger sisters shaped his relationship to women. “I’ve never thought of dominating a woman in that way,” he said. “It just never existed in my world.”
And that’s exactly how I felt. It never existed in my world. My ex-husband was the most boring lover ever. Paul felt similarly about his ex.
We decided to give it a go.
But where do we get handcuffs?
- - -
Two days later, the package was sitting at my front door when I got home from my client’s office. I ran inside and ripped it open. I took a photo and texted it to him.
He wrote back, “In meeting.”
I couldn’t wait. I tried them on alone. As soon as I had them both on, my cell phone rang. It was my mother.
[Pro-Tip: when fully handcuffed and on a call, only use speaker phone; holding an iPhone to your face is far too challenging.]
- - -
Paul’s meeting turned into a dinner, but he said he would be home no later than 10pm. I cleaned up the apartment, caught up on some emails, and prepared myself a small dinner. Then, I poured myself a glass of red wine, lit a few candles, put on a sexy Soundcloud playlist, and laid down in bed waiting for Paul to arrive. The handcuffs were on the nightstand beside me.
My mind was racing with what might happen. Will he handcuff me to the bedpost like Rachel’s husband did to her? Will he want me to put the handcuffs on him? Will it be awkward and uncomfortable? Are we going to have some sort of erotic breakthrough together?
At 9:45pm, he texted. “Running later than I thought. Home by 10:30pm. Fingers crossed.”
I poured myself a second glass of wine.
- - -
I woke up at 6:30am. Paul was sleeping beside me. Our cold feet were touching each others beneath the comforter. As I tried to turn over, I felt a tight sensation around my left wrist; something pulling on my arm. I looked beneath the covers, and laughed out loud.
Paul had handcuffed us together.
I woke him up with kisses, and that morning, we made love while chained together.
It was amazing and erotic and just what we needed.
It turns out that handcuffs aren’t just for restraint. They can also be for connection. Like most things, it’s all about how you use them and with who.