It was a while back - when I was just starting out as a journalist. I was a student, and I was mostly reviewing gigs. I was also considerably more bohemian then than I am now. How bohemian? Well, here's a picture:
Yeah, jew-fro, and handlebar moustache running into victorian mutton chop sideburns. Ladies, I'm sure you'll agree, I was a catch.
Anyway, I used to go to a great many gigs and festivals and things,and at one of these gigs, I bumped into a pretty lady. She was called Amy, and she was also very Bohemian. Piercings, ear tunnels, tattoos, dyed black hair with pink bangs. We met, we had a few drinks, had a laugh, and then, awkward 23 year old me decided I should ask her out to dinner. I probably *should* have just snogged her that night, because that's what she probably wanted, but I'll be honest, I'm not exactly the devil-may-care sexual chainsaw my exquisite moustache might otherwise suggest.
Amy thought this was hilarious - so, a week later, we go out to dinner at a really nice restaurant in Bath; in fact, while we're at the restaurant she admits no-one had ever asked her out on a date before. We laughed at each other's jokes, enjoyed each other's company. I found out she was an artist. She found out writing was a sideline for me, and I was a law student, doing my bar exams. There was, it's fair to say, a spark. This was of course, a simpler time, when internet dating wasn't even really a thing. I suppose at this point you are thinking "Where's the horror, Willard? This all sounds quite nice".
Well, the horror came after the date proper. As we walked out of the restaurant, she turned to me and said, "So... would you like to come back to my place?". I'm not going to deny it, I was very, very happy indeed that she made the offer, and thus casually shrugged and said "Yeah, ok". We walked back to her place - she has a room in a big old converted ten bedroom house. We get into the kitchen, on the ground floor. Totally normal - throw rugs on the sofa, movie posters on the walls. We chat for a few more minutes, then have a bit of a pash on the sofa before she says "Let's go upstairs to my room".
This was when it started to get weird. She lived right at the very top of the stairs, about five floors up. Her room was in the attic. As I walk in, I notice two things - one, it is supernaturally clean, ordered and tidy, and two, everything is white. Everything. White walls. White floors. White desk. White chair. White lamp. White duvet. White bedhead. White wardrobes. Huge white 4'x4'x4' cube in the middle of the room. Aside from the whiteness, there are two items which are not white.
These are the huge 6 foot long stylised knife sticking out of the weird white cube, like some kind of kitchen-sink version of King Arthur, and the 5 or 6 metallic magnetic strips running over the white bed. They are the kind of magnetic strips really professional chefs use to keep their knives on. And they are covered in a vast array of big, shiny sharp knives.
It was fair to say, I was pretty shocked by this - it instantly registered as totally weird - but here's the crucial part - I was also a 23 year old bloke who thought he might be about to have sex. Even if she had her mother's skeleton in a rocking chair, I probably would have made 100% sure she wasn't a serial killer before carrying on. So, I ask about all the er, sharp things. She replies, with a slightly crazy glint in her eye, "Oh these are artworks. I work mostly in the medium of knives." Oh! That totally explained it! IT WAS ART! I knew she was an artist, and thus the massive psycho blade collection was totally cool. I was so relieved I burbled about Marcel Duchamp for about a minute
before we started to kiss again.
So, anyway, to cut a long story short, we're on her bed, in the midst of the physical act of love, and mid-way through she reaches over my head, and pulls down the biggest, sharpest knife I've ever seen. I scream in the manner of a cheerleader about to be murdered by a hook handed psychopath, cringe, and bellow "Don't KILL MEEEEE!".
She looks at me, baffled and says, "Oh, this isn't for you...it's for me. I'm getting close...and I'd really like you to hold a knife to my throat, I really like it." I look panicked - fair to say, the threat of stabbing death was quite a passion killer. She adds grumpily "Don't worry, you can use the blunt side", as though that was a huge concession. This was too much for me, and I just admit the knife has weirded me out, make my excuses & leave.
Amy, it's fair to say, is not impressed. She talks to mutual friends, tells the story, and it falls to them
to tell her that yes, pulling a knife during sex IS weird. To which she replies, "well, no other bloke has ever complained", bringing to mind the idea that plenty of blokes she'd met in bars were just like "Knife? Ok luv, cool