Monday, December 26, 2005

Searching for Soul

“Do you believe in the soul, Nate?” I asked.

It was an innocuous enough question. But Nate looked at me curiously, wondering where the train of conversation was going. Since we met a day ago, I had surprised him with my habit of delivering casual non sequiturs with a completely straight face. He quickly surmised that dealing with me required not only his full attention, but a considerable amount of guarded guile as well. Needless to say, he was waiting for the penny to drop in this particular conversation.

I pressed on. “You must believe in the soul. Because you have one. And it’s a good one. You should keep it that way. I don’t say that about a lot of people so you might as well take it as a compliment.”

I, like the ancient Greek philosophers, believed very much in the soul – that intelligible, imperishable part of one’s spirit that wages an epic battle with the flesh. The bearer of such virtues as courage, temperance and justice, it is what makes us human. Without which, we would be craven beasts led only by our basic instincts of survival and the indescribable urge to see the world as one big sperm bank.

Nate had never thought too much about his soul before. A former wild child by his own admission, we had met for the first time the day before in Shanghai and clicked immediately. Within an hour or two we were ribbing each other like old friends.

We also had a lot of respect for each other professionally. Me – for his experience and effortless charm with clients. Him – for my talent and youthful accomplishments.

As the day wore on however, it become more and more apparent that there was an undercurrent of sexual tension between the two of us. It being a professional setting, I was keen to ignore it. However ensconced comfortably in the hotel lounge around midnight, sharing a cigar as well as all manner of scandalous corporate gossip, it was growing increasingly difficult.

“Are you seducing me?” He surprised me by asking all of a sudden.

I laughed and countered: “Are you being seduced?”

“Well I am definitely intrigued. You are probably one of the most remarkable females I have met in the past 2 decades,” he took a long sip of his drink. “If I had met you maybe 10 years ago, I would be fucking the shit out of you right now.”

But he hadn’t met me 10 years ago. Instead, 42, married with two precocious children and a wife as his best friend, Nate was most assuredly losing the battle for his soul and having to cool off by making frequent trips to the bathroom.

“Well, it’s only Day One. And it’s late. Maybe it’s time to say goodnight before we both get ourselves into trouble. I’ll see you in the morning.” I said with a gentle smile, preparing to leave.

We took the lift up to our rooms, each chastely occupying separate corners. The doors opened on the 5th floor. And closed again.

We stared at each other. He cleared his throat awkwardly.

“Well, goodnight then,” he said and swooped in for a goodnight peck on the cheek which turned into a goodnight kiss on the lips which turned into a goodnight grope of my ass. I could feel his erection straining through his trousers as he ground his hips into me. And then, with a loudly uttered curse, he pulled away and fled.

I touched my lips instinctively. They were ripe and swollen with forbidden pleasure. I didn’t know whether to find my encounter with Nate delightfully theatrical or terribly dangerous. All I knew was that somehow sometime someone had to pull the brakes. And my engineering skills were rusty. The lift continued up to my room in quiet contemplation.

I took my time dressing (or undressing, rather) for bed before calling Nate’s room. I decided Act 1 Scene 2 would take place from the relative safety of under the covers.

“It’s you, isn’t it?” he answered gruffly.

I laughed at his discomfort. “That was interesting,” I teased. “Did you intend to do that?”

“Yes…I mean…No. Shit…your lips, your body, the way you carry yourself. You’re a walking composite of all the women I’ve fucked in my past life. You make me remember things I thought I’d forgotten about myself,” he paused. “The thing is, I can’t…I shouldn’t…do this. You’re a colleague. I’m married. And I can’t afford to fuck up my life. This is just completely out of control, isn’t it?”

“Well, it’s nothing that can’t be nipped in the bud at this point,” I said, putting on my best voice of reason. “We’ve got 4 more days stuck working together so let’s take our time. We don't have to make things any more difficult than they are. I'm not about to force myself on you. We can just say goodnight and leave tonight at the door, if you want.”

“I’m half-happy you said that,” he said ruefully. “Even if my other half wants to come down to your room and put my cock into you.”

I laughed. “Well you can. But there are 3 floors, 10 rooms and a huge moral crisis in between to ensure that you don't. And we're only on Day 1. I'll see you at breakfast tomorrow. Goodnight.”

So there we were having breakfast the next day, reasonably more sober - the animalistic instincts of the night trussed up and muffled by our dapper business suits – and attempting a metaphysical discussion over some bacon and eggs.

“Do you have a soul, my Asian seductress?” Nate asked in return.

“Yes I do, but it’s a crap one. You know, souls are rare commodities in Asia. They don’t go down too well with hard-headed pragmatism and rampant materialism.”

“Why do you think I have a soul?”

“Because of last night. Because your soul wouldn’t let you do what your cock wanted to do,” I said matter-of-factly. “That is so much more the exception than the rule here. It’s refreshing. So I’m going to respect that by being really really good over the next few days. You might as well start calling me Saint Sash.”

Last night’s encounter with Nate had indeed given me pause - in a good way. It was surprising. (And if you read this blog regularly, you will know that very little surprises me) It is not easy to stare temptation in the face and walk away with just some spit-swapping.

There is a wide chasm between the guilt-based societies of the West and the shame-based societies of the East. In the West, you’re sorry because you’ve done something horribly wrong and you need to seek forgiveness or you won’t be able to live with yourself. And none of the neighbours will speak to you again. In Asia, you’re sorry because you got caught. And the neighbours are laughing because they’re doing it too, they’ve just got thicker curtains.

Most people who grew up in the West but have lived long enough in Asia know and adhere to the precepts of this paradigm shift. In a way, I can understand the lure of this philosophy. It must be liberating for people to do as they like with complete impunity from their soul.

Who needs a soul anyway – courage, temperance, justice? In Asia, qualities like that just get in the way of getting laid with your wife’s friends from Bible study.

I had almost given up on the whole concept of soul altogether. Singapore as a place is not high on the soul-stakes to begin with. And me being me, I have the tendency to bring out the worst in men – the pre-evolutionary ape, as it were – and sometimes it is easy to forget that an alternative exists.

Or has the ability to resist, as in Nate’s case.

To struggle is to be human. Sometimes I think the worth of a man should be counted in terms of how well he fights to preserve his soul; the battle of wills, the grand game of chess, the should-I-shouldn’t-I.

As opposed to how spectacularly he fails. Because we all do, at some point.

Nate had done well so far. And I had gained a significant amount of respect and affection for this stranger of 18 hours ago. I looked over the breakfast table at him, trying to find the right words to say without sounding patronizing.

I wished I could have told him that I admired him for loving his wife and resisting temptation. I wished I could have told him how protective I felt over his soul and how seriously I took this responsibility. And I wished I could have told him that he made me believe that good, faithful men existed.

But I couldn’t find the right words to break through the barrier of pride and do justice to my own much-diminished soul. So I smiled instead and said nothing.

Monday, December 12, 2005


“Okie, I’m going home now!” I straightened up abruptly and flipped my fingers through my hair, my voice unusually bright.

I avoided my companion’s gaze as I casually initiated the universal pre-departure motions, as one does before leaving any party. There was a degree of ritualistic deliberation to my movements – the looking around for my bag, the checking of the time on my mobile phone, the gathering up of my personal accoutrements, dropping the unused condoms into my purse.

When I was done, I finally looked at Julian. He lay unmoving on the bed, naked with his legs splayed apart and his head propped up against the pillows. His cock still throbbed and glistened with the memory of my freshly-removed mouth. He held it in his hand, almost questioningly, like a teenager being caught out by the physical manifestation of his desire.

I grinned impudently and moved to pull the sheets over him; a mollifying Mother-Earth gesture meant to cover his nakedness and signal the end of the night’s festivities.

He resisted. “No, come here. You can’t just leave me like this.” He kicked at the sheets and pulled at my arm in an attempt to upset my balance and force me back to bed. I wiggled out of his grasp.

“You can have more of me tomorrow,” I playfully admonished, laughing at his discomfiture.

“But I want you now.”

“Well, too bad. We can’t always get what we want, dear. That’s life! Besides, I’ll be seeing you tomorrow, won’t I?” I lowered my voice and ran my tongue up the outer side of his ear, simultaneously brushing my hair against his neck. “Let’s consider tonight as collateral.”

“You would see me tomorrow even if I fucked you tonight.”

“I know. But I want you to really really want me tomorrow. Tonight’s just an appetizer,” I touched the tip of his cock and it pulsed to life. “Hmm…ok here’s a little more just for you,” I licked my lips and ran them down his shaft with excruciating slowness.

I heard him exhale loudly as I pulled away a few minutes later. I adjusted my dress. His eyes slowly opened and he stared intently at me. I stroked his hair in mock-empathy.

“You don’t believe I’m really leaving, do you?”

“Actually, I am afraid…that I do. You are a good tease. I can play along. And I will see you tomorrow.” He paused. “Even though, I’m going to have to finish myself off after you go,” he added ruefully.

I chuckled. It had been a case study in physiognomy to watch Julian’s face run the gamut of emotions. From surprise to dismay to indignation to amusement to disbelief, all in the span of a few minutes. And now exhausted by their earlier exertions, his features seemed to have found respite in their current arrangement – a half-smile of resignation tinged with helpless bewilderment. Only his pupils, large and dark in rings of blue, defiantly registered his sexual arousal.

I looked at him fondly. “Be my guest. You should do it while things are still…fresh,” I ran my fingers sensuously down his thigh before heading for the door.

I know I know, you’ve all heard some Healthy Relationship guru state that imposing a delay on sexual gratification can invigorate an otherwise lackluster sex life. But for a single person with very different sexual needs (I lack consistency, not vigour!), an episode recounted as the one above requires a lot of self-control – not an area I usually excel at – and some amount of misplaced mischief.

It is also however, very effective. So I’m not sure why more single girls don’t use this method to get men hooked and keep them hungry. This is Asia after all, if men wanted a surefire fuck, then they would have paid for it. Instead, they’re on a date on you because ultimately you are free to leave if you want to.

So occasionally you should. Just for fun. Even if you’ve shagged before. An element of surprise always ensures that nobody can take anything for granted.

And surely, there is a sense of empowerment that comes with being a good cocktease. It usually starts with dressing the part. For me, it was a clingy, low-cut black outfit with straps that innocuously fell off the shoulder and revealed more than they should (but not nearly enough). But anything that doesn’t have small furry pom-poms all over the front and makes you look like a 12-year old girl should do the trick.

Then there’s the conversation bit over drinks or dinner. A throaty laugh (best inserted after his jokes), casual physical contact (best inserted after your jokes) and a reasonable amount of sexual innuendo are your best weapons at this stage. Also possibly, a suitable quotable quote just to show that you’re well-read and a person of depth. (In this regard, Oscar Wilde is timeless and very accessible, thanks to Google – don’t worry, the last thing this blog intends to do is force actual literature on you).

Usually the dancing occurs if it is late enough or if one is drunk enough. At this stage, give him a good show. It helps if you actually like dancing, as I do. Caress your body, brush his face with your hair, grind your ass into his lap. It is also permitted to express rampant desire at this point. A simple “God, I want your cock inside me” before moving sinuously out of reach has an admirably uplifting effect.

And then, you’re in bed. Finding a good point to pull the plug is always tricky. Too early and the night becomes a real downer (pun intended). Too late and it’s just too difficult. I have yet to find someone who can pull away in the middle of sex. If you can, you are a machine and you have my undying admiration. (This doesn’t count if you are a. married b. fucking someone you are not attracted to c. extremely drunk or d. never had an orgasm. Factors not mutually exclusive.)

Fellatius interruptus is my preferred method. There’s a certain amount of sexual intimacy and promise that comes with giving head. But it’s nice to actually stop when your jaw gets tired (as opposed to pausing on the pretext of picking hair from your teeth and then carrying on for another hour). Nothing gets between a man and his source of suction, as we say. So it’s usually a good way to ensure another meeting.

If done correctly, the sex when it does happen, is usually explosive. That is, if he doesn’t prematurely ejaculate on your leg. If done incorrectly, then you are left waiting for him to call the next day while he can’t be arsed and would rather have a beer with his mates / hooks up with another girl with a shorter skirt and an even lower-cut top who will most assuredly have sex on the first date / undergoes surgery for an emergency case of blue balls.

With Julian, it was most definitely going to be the former. He fell into the category of “old favourites”. “Old” because we had shagged before and literally, because there is something about a man in his late 30s or early 40s that makes them prefer these casual attachments that I seem to specialize in. And “favourites” because well, I enjoy fucking him. And hanging out with him. We even watched 6 years of Roberto Cavalli retrospectives on TV together, so obviously I don’t just use him for sex.

Also, he had flown into Hong Kong for a round of meetings and didn’t know all that many people save his colleagues, whom he had to maintain a reasonable level of professionalism with. So you see, I had insurance. Of course, the next night Julian and I did finish things to a satisfactory degree. And it was well worth the wait.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Surely, I am being punished for something. I just don’t know what or by whom. Let me explain.

For the past week, I have had my very own pet stalker. He (I’m pretty sure it’s a ‘he’) calls my mobile from an unlisted number in the wee hours of the morning (from 4-7 a.m.) and says nothing when I pick up.

Absolutely nothing.

Even if there was some sort of heavy breathing, I would feel comforted. At least I would know that his stalker intentions were honourable. (And maybe I could record the breath patterns and send it to the CSIs in New York for analysis.) But it’s hard to read the intentions of dead silence. It could be a cry for help. It could be cowardice. It could be loss for words. It could be anything.

The amateur sleuth in me has tried listening hard for distinguishing background noise but to no avail. Not much goes on from 4 to 7 in the morning in Hong Kong, except for the little old men who are just waking up to gum away at their dim sum and read the newspaper. But they don’t make much discernible phone noise as you can imagine.

One of my male friends has offered to pick up the phone for me and answer in his most menacing voice, which would have been a good idea except for the fact he was probably trying to win a free night in my bed.

I’ve even tried outlasting my stalker i.e. picking up and saying nothing in return but it’s a boring game to play when you’re sleepy and I hang up pretty quickly. I mean if there’s anything you can say about this guy, it’s that he’s got commitment. He wakes up at 4 in the morning every night for a whole week to call me – most people would consider that a relationship.

In fact, just for that he deserves his own name on this blog. Let’s call him Whitney - because scary stalkers don’t have names like Whitney.

Sometimes Whitney is unpredictable and will call in the middle of the day. Same modus operandi though. I’m not sure what sort of pleasure he derives from hearing me say a normal hello (the “wanton sex goddess” hellos are reserved for special friends), but obviously he gets off on it. Maybe he needs a specialist. Or a good receptionist.

Anyway, I’m pretty much of the mind that Whitney is someone I know. My Hong Kong mobile number is only 3 months old and has not been previously owned. I’ve only given my number to people I know – and maybe a few people that I would like to get to know. But in the case of the latter, surely they would call and say something – like could we go for a drink or could we shag right now or something.

In particular, I have a hypothesis that Whitney is actually a guy I know called Max. It’s just a hunch and there’s no way to prove it. But if it is Max then at least I can put a face and a cock to my tormenter.

Max was the flavour of October (and maybe early November). I met him on the Mid-level escalators. He was a performance artist and he seduced me with a series of performances that can only be described politely as bizarre. (If you’re nice, I’ll tell you the full story later.) But it piqued my interest and we had a good time shagging our brains out for a few weeks.

Until he started getting really ‘sticky’. Of course Max's wacky sense of ‘sticky’ meant telling his friends loudly at a bar that he wanted sole proprietorship rights to my armpit and giving me a little piece of bunny fur for safekeeping until further notice. And sending me SMSes filled with what he claimed were subliminal messages like “love..”, “trust…”, “blossom…”.

I kid you not. This guy was seriously loopy and after a few weeks, even the sex was past its sell-by date.

Quite fortuitously around the time this was happening, I was due to take a trip for work to Malaysia and I did the predictably cruel thing, I told him I’d call him when I got back and never did. In fact, when I got back to Hong Kong two weeks later, I intentionally missed his calls and ignored his SMSes, most of which said: “miss you…”, “come over…”, “still awake…” anyway. (Of course I was tempted to respond in kind with messages like “freedom…”, “desist…”, “no hope…” but I figured that might open a can of subliminal worms, which is not my idea of fun.)

Yes, I know it’s not a nice thing to do to somebody. And yes, I have dated guys like that and I know how it feels. A part of me feels bad about leaving him hanging. But I confess, not soo bad that I want to call and broach the matter with him like a mature adult.

The trouble with being a Chinese female is that I suck at confrontation, especially with men. I hate disappointing people. I hate scenes. And in general, we Chinese (allusion to stereotype to follow, but bear with me) tend to think that the ‘cruel-to-be-kind’ approach is just well, cruel. If something in life can be negotiated through deft manipulation or with a certain amount of charming disingenuousness then so be it.

I am never actually dishonest with people, it’s just that if I can avoid saying the words: “I don’t want a relationship with you and I’m not interested in shagging you gratuitously any more. So please stop calling” then I will for as long as possible.

Besides most of the time, in the case of flings with finite lifespans, it’s considered good etiquette not to pursue things if one party stops calling. And in all manner of half-baked righteousness, I did stop calling Max and leave other universal Go-Away clues for him to find i.e. being unfailingly too busy to meet up and taking a holiday for an indefinite period of time. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to join the dots.

On a side note: I’d actually be quite happy to be on the receiving end of this as well. I’m not a sucker for punishment and actually I would rather not be sat down in a public place, bought a sympathy lunch and then told frankly that you've grown tired / bored / sick of shagging me. If you must let me down, then at least have the courtesy to ignore me. But I digress.

So back to the original point – I think Whitney might be Max. He would just have the most to gain from calling me up in the middle of the night – like knowing I was alive. And if both are one and the same, I would understand. Really, I would. After all, who am I to throw the first stone? (See my former post
"Loose Ends" for more insights into the criminal mind.)

I know a lot of you are thinking that the anonymous phonecalls are all the more incentive for me to call Max and sort things out. Except that I can’t be sure it’s him. And even if it is him, if he’s a smart stalker, he’ll have to keep up his calling habits to protect his identity. So all I can do is write about this and hope he gets tired of calling sooner or later.

Either way, my phone gets switched to Silent every night. So if you want a last-minute booty call, you’ll have to SMS. And only under those circumstances will messages like “shag tonight…”, “cum…”, “eat pussy…” be counted as acceptable forms of communication.