Passing the time in a coffee shop can lead to a business arrangement. Mobile phones and vibrators required…
“I’m playing a game with myself,” Stef explained. “I look at people as they come in and guess what their underwear’s like. Of course I don’t very often get to find out, but it helps pass the time.”
We were drinking skinny lattes in an upmarket coffee shop, a converted bank in the city centre. Around us were businessmen in flashy four-button silk-lined suits, solicitors taking a break from the magistrates’ court round the corner, ladies who lunch (after retail therapy) and some bright young things from the art college for whom a skinny latte would be the most expensive thing they’d buy all week. Stef was one of the latter, so it was just as well I was not only meeting her but picking up the tab.
“I suppose,” I mused, “it’s a kind of thought experiment. Even if you don’t know what underwear people are really wearing, you’ve made a judgment based on what they look like, how they dress, how they act, and made a leap of imagination about what they’re like underneath their public appearance. Are you imagining their hidden desires, or yours?”
“Probably both. Mostly I’m just thinking smart suit equals white CK boxer briefs, designer dress equals La Senza natural colored thong, briefs or French knickers depending on, erm, body mass index. But sometimes you get surprises. See the lawyerly type three tables along?”
I looked round casually. Smart suit, tight collar, sober tie, in reasonably good shape for someone in their mid-fifties. Probably a regular user of hair dye, because his carefully styled cut was jet black.
“I’d lay money on him wearing a full set of feminine intimates. Lacy teddy, stockings and suspenders. See how he sits so his trousers don’t ride up past the top of his socks? A lot of men like that, when they sit, you get to see a couple of inches of masculine hairy shin. But he doesn’t want to flash his pink stockings. He just gets off on the fact that he can wear that stuff in public and not be spotted.”
I nodded thoughtfully. “What about the guy in jeans at the head of the queue?” Twenties, in ripped denim and a white T-shirt so bright it sparkled under the lights when he flexed his pecs. A dozen rings in the ear I could see, a labret stud just under his lower lip.
“I’d say he’s the kind of gay who should be wearing something like a silver glitter posing pouch, except he puts more thought into who he can get his dick into than what underwear he keeps it in. Yesterday’s Y-fronts, turned inside out?”
I pondered this. “If you’re trying to profile people, I suppose the theory behind it has to be that some people just wear whatever comes out of the drawer first, and others care about what they wear because it has some private meaning, some feelgood factor, either to them or because they have a partner who’s going to see it. And the underwear style’s going to reflect something about their sexuality, whether it’s dominant, masochistic, kittenish, conventional…”
“So today you’re wearing the leather thong with the studs on the inside?”
I laughed. We’re both perverts and we know it, although that particular item was a running joke. I have never possessed such an item. The studs were on the outside.
Then her phone beeped. She consulted the screen, frowned, texted a message in rapid little clicks with long nails. Smiled brightly at me.
“Enough theory. Just play the game.”
I looked around the room. One of the retail therapy women was moving away from the counter. Bottle-blonde shoulder-length hair that made her look younger than the lines in her face said she was. Unconventionally for that crowd she was wearing leather trousers and long boots, a military-cut short jacket. One of her bags had a designer logo on it. The other was plain black plastic. She sat down carefully, leaned forward slightly rather than relaxing against the back of the chair.
I described her; Stef’s turn to look round casually and scope out my subject.
“Does a butt plug count as underwear?” I asked.
Stef had her cup raised to her lips. Trying not to laugh made her almost spill her drink.
Her phone beeped again. A frown, then a smile. “Can you lend me ten? I have to do a quick bit of shopping. It’ll only take a minute, you can get me another latte while I’m gone.”
I opened my wallet, passed over the note. Watched long legs in stripy back-and-purple over-the-knee goth socks walk out of the café, flashing thighs under the short tartan skirt. I did say she was an art student.
Stef returned, but needed the restroom. Her coffee was lukewarm by the time she came back to the table. And she’d lost interest in the game, because her mobile was going off every thirty seconds. And then she went to the toilet again.
I sighed, extracted a book from my shoulder-bag, settled down to read splatterpunk fiction. I’d found it earlier that day in a charity store. I’d reached page 21 by the time Stef returned, finally, from the ladies’ room. She looked slightly flushed.
“No thanks. I fancy one of the blueberry muffins they have here though.”
“I just wondered. Cold weather, short skirt, many toilet trips, you know…”
“All will be revealed.”
I couldn’t repress a snigger. When I’d finished sniggering I bought the muffins, because I have a soft spot for Stef. And because I fancied one myself.
The lawyer type, the one Stef thought was wearing a teddy and stockings under his suit, finished his drink and stuffed paperwork into his briefcase. As he came past us to the entrance, he nodded to Stef. She had something in her fist, reached out and gave it to him. He took it with one hand, and with the other placed a twenty note on the table. He raised a trouser leg just enough to show she’d been right about his choice of intimate garments. They both giggled. He walked out of the door without looking back.
“Explanation?” I prompted.
She took a breath. “We were playing with our mobiles last night, taking raunchy pictures. And swapping them, using the Bluetooth function. So I just forgot to turn Bluetooth off and all the files were set to ‘discoverable.’ He spotted the phone, spotted them, and texted me.”
She had the grace to blush. “And I’m wearing a little vibrating egg that’s phone-activated. It goes off when the phone bleeps.”
I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “There’s more, isn’t there?”
She shrugged. “He showed me some of his pics. Then he asked if he could buy my panties. The only problem was, I wasn’t wearing any. I had to nip out and buy some.”
I raised an eyebrow. “I know it’s big in Japan, the used panty thing. You can even buy them from vending machines. But here?”
She sniggered. “There’s a definite trend. That’s why I haven’t got any panties at the moment. I’ve sold them all online.”
“Do I get the ten back?”
Stef thought. “He left a twenty note so I can’t give you change. But you could treat it as an investment.”
“Terms and conditions?” I enquired.
Stef finished her latte, put the last crumbs of muffin in her mouth. She always looks strangely hot when she puts things in her mouth and licks her lips.
“Buy me a dozen more pairs of panties. Then we’ll go back to your place and you can stipulate my ass off, with changes of underwear between each clause.”
Stef’s an entertaining person to do business with.
I might have been sitting next to her, but I texted my reply. She was still wearing the vibrator, and her face flushed.
The pic used in this post was supplied by a friend of ours, Jon Wilson. His website isn’t online at the moment but if you like his pic and are interested in buying prints of his work we can put you in touch with him. Use the contact form on our ‘About’ page.