The Casual Panty-Check


He opens the passenger side door for me. I slide in and get myself situated while he shuts the door and gets into the driver side.

(An aside: this door-opening thing: it’s not just gentlemanly, though it is certainly that. And it’s not a “rule” – he says it’s a “preference,” though when I forget and open my door myself, I always feel a little frisson of having done something wrong, even though he doesn’t say that. But there is a subtle power dynamic in it. It makes me feel cared for in what would certainly be the way that an old-school feminist would hate – being treated as something to be taken care of, as something delicate and treasured. Something that places my wellbeing in his large, capable hands, as exhibited by something as mundane as opening the car door for me.)

Once he has settled himself in the driver’s seat, and I in the passenger’s, he reaches over and casually lifts the hem of my skirt, until he can see my panties. Then drops it and continues putting the car in reverse or drive, checking the mirrors, etc. in preparation for driving. “You were saying?” he asks, slanting an amused look my way. But I don’t know what I was saying because my breath has caught and all thinking has been halted by this action. It wasn’t overtly sexual (tho of course it was.) It wasn’t overtly dominating (tho of course it was.) It was – exquisitely, deliciously – a violation of my bodily autonomy.

I am his to look at, when and where he pleases. It doesn’t have to be a scene.  He doesn’t have to say anything. It’s not part of a rule structure. He doesn’t even draw attention to it. It is just him deciding that this is what he is going to do, and by the time I have registered that he is doing it, he has already turned his attention elsewhere.

I am not sure why this affects me as viscerally as it does. It’s hot, of course. And it has the mark of dominance and control, of course. But it is more than that. It is reminder that my body – my self – is his – distilled into this one, small, deliberate, action.

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