Not an Odalisque

Black and Blue

with 3 comments

I type this with aching arms. You’d know that, if you could see me, because I have mottled bruises on each upper arm. I look like a soft fruit that’s been dropped and retrieved.

I like marks. When tops have offered post-beating arnica applications, I have refused on the basis that I’d like to preserve the bruising. It isn’t a purely aesthetic decision; I like to think that marks justify the wriggling and screaming that went on while the pain was being inflicted. Sometimes marks risk betraying my predilections to the world, of course. A few months ago, freshly caned, I went dancing in a swirly dress. A partner said to me, “your outfit is very…aerodynamic.”

“Is that another way of saying it lifts when I twirl?” I asked.

“Well, maybe you should get your mother to buy you some big knickers.” He said.

I considered saying, “I don’t think I want knickers from beyond the grave,” but that seemed inappropriate. I conducted a mental review of that evening’s knickers and decided they provided sufficient coverage and laciness. And then I remembered the six livid stripes across my bottom, and my face went as red as the weals.I didn’t come up with a good comeback. I asked my next partner whether my dress was too revealing, though, and he was reassuring. I decided I was probably being wound up. Then I was thrown into a drop, and felt my skirt catch, high, on the arms that caught me. The thought that staid Stockport was seeing my cane marks left me slightly off balance all evening. The next day I bought some very big frilly knickers, which keep me safe from exposure as long as no one marks my thighs.

I didn’t even think of hiding the more innocent-looking bruises on my arms I displayed them without a thought at my grandparent’s wedding anniversary and no one made a comment. I took my cardigan off in class and no one said a thing. I went out dancing, though, and every partner seemed strangely interested. “What happened?” “Did someone grab you too hard?” “Are those love bites?” (I think that man thought he was funny) “Everyone is talking about you, asking how you got those bruises.” Now, unlike cane stripes, a bruise on the arm has many non-kinky explanations. The problem is, none of those explanations were true. The truth is, my lover punched me. Repeatedly. That didn’t seem to be the thing to say.

I tried to wriggle out of commenting as much as I could. As I was mumbling a response, one man said, “That looks like a punch to me.”

“Hmm,” I said.

I’m not ashamed of my kinkiness. I don’t find it necessary to sneak about and tell lies. At the same time, there’s no need to involve people who haven’t consented in something they don’t much like, by constantly displaying it (I wish others would apply this logic to penises and football). I don’t own any long sleeved dancing dresses, and my bruises have been topped up with a few extra punches since last week.

Fellow kinksters, how do you deal with visible bruises? Do you wear them proudly, announce their origins and enjoy the shocked looks? Vanilla readers (I assume there must be some) are you offended by bruising? Would you call the police if I told you my lover had punched me? And can any of you lend me a long-sleeved dress?


Written by Not an Odalisque

April 6, 2011 at 12:30 am

3 Responses

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  1. I can answer your question to ‘vanillas’ although I don’t like the binary between ‘vanilla and kinky’ as I have said: of course nobody would call the police. People are reluctant to call the police even if they hear you screaming through the walls in the middle of the night or you tell them your partner is beating you non-consensually. when it comes to violence in relationships we all carry the shame.

    As a ‘kinky’ person I find it harder to answer the question. I think your answer can change dependent on who you are with, who is asking and what your mood is. I think if someone asked me directly I’d answer honestly. Or jokily – ‘a sex accident’ ‘ these things happen in passionate love-making’ etc. I wouldn’t want to leave it hanging that maybe I was being hit without my consent. But that is because I have been in such a relationship and found it so hard to tell people the truth then.

    Quiet Riot Girl

    April 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

  2. I like to think of myself as a neapolitan as regards this sort of thing. Kinky through and through but not experienced enough to out and out say so.

    That being said, I’m glad you enjoy your bruises! I have always wondered what we would look like as people if we wore the pains of our heart the way we wear our scars and bruises. That these represent to you a seeming sort of badge of a good time it would only make sense that you would hold onto them for as long as possible. The way we cling to a memory perhaps.

    Maybe I am overthinking things as usual though.

    To QRG I have this:

    If I were to see someone with bruises I would ask if everything was okay DEPENDING on how well I knew them. If I were to see someone on the street passing by I would not go run after them to ask. If they were someone I had some form of rapport with, a teller or server at a restaurant however, the situation would be different though I would always bring it up in a light hearted way to avoid putting my audience on edge. I would not immediately call the police because as our dear writer has expressed there are a good many reasons to get a bruise. There are rarely good reasons to smack someone around though (here and defense being the only two exceptions as far as I am concerned) and for that reason I would feel forced to ask if the individual was okay. I would not assume the worst. I would not assume that they were a “victim” any more than I would imagine the brute that committed such an act was a man. That being said, were the person I was asking to suggest that they were subject to a violent situation I would immediaty offer any and all assistance I could. I would offer all of my resources for their benefit but not without finding out how comfortable they are with further involvement of others first. I do not know if this is the right way to handle a matter such as this but I have no doubt that you will tell me if it is and if it is not I hope that you will direct me to the right resources so that I can better assist those in this situation.

    As always Notanodalisque you have done an impeccable job! Bravo!

    a fan

    April 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

  3. Personally, I avoid visible bruises. I have had incredibly well-marked arms during the winter months, but we avoid marking my arms when it’s warmer. I don’t want to deal with questions, and I don’t ever want anyone to doubt that my man takes good care of me and would never harm me. The fact that his character could be called into question by my bruises is enough to completely eliminate any possibility of me sporting them in front of people. Also, having visible bruises could be distracting for my students and would be a poor example for those students that are actually living in abusive relationships.


    April 7, 2011 at 4:58 pm

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