I have always been strangely fascinated with fingernails. From the very beginning, my first erotic memories were of my mother clipping my nails as a young child. I remember being brought to a state of almost unbearable ecstasy as I heard the click of the clipper clipping. Feeling the smooth, rounded edges after each satisfying finale. I wanted nothing more than to rub that freshly created crease that rested between my fingernail and the newly exposed skin. I would rub it on everything, from silk stockings to wood; I remember my eyes rolling to the back of my head as I pulled the first lodged splinter out from underneath my fingernail.

Around this time, between eight and nine, I associated my pleasure with this type of pain. I would sharpen my pencils until they were pointier than the knives in my kitchen. While my teachers dribbled on about math and science, I was in the back of the class drooling, my knees twitching and my crotch watering as I stuck the pencil into those smooth creases repeatedly.

By the time I was 15, I had withdrawn from the use of toys, mainly the clipper and nail file, as I found that my teeth could create a deeper orifice in my nail at a more incredible speed than any tool I had in my box of secrets which I kept under my bed. Around that age was when I bit, for the first delightful time, so deep into my nail that nothing but a plume of purpled red blood exploded outwards as I tore the nail away with my teeth. As I did so, a white explosion vacated my body from between legs like syrupy fireworks.

When I finally finished high school, my nails had permanently fixated themselves in a crystal-clear semi-circle and only ever healed halfway up the length of the tip of my fingers. I had to wear bandages on every single nail to keep the red mess of flesh from oozing out constantly. It was almost a living erection for me as I strode down the halls scratching at the red-stained bandages, dreaming of the moment I could finally get home and lay in bed with my kimono and vibrators and wreak havoc on the nails that screamed to be violated.

When I was 24, I got a job ideally suited for a person of my chronic disposition. By this time, my nails only covered a quarter of their usual area and had started healing at a slower pace. I wore latex gloves that covered my wounds and got to stare at nails all day long, combing and cleaning and trimming and sanding them until all the women I encountered were almost as fascinated with their nails as I was with mine. But of course, they were never as satisfied as I was with them, and sometimes when a client was not as happy as I was with the job I had done, I wanted to stick something sharp underneath them and rip them off and wear them as my own. I woke up all the way wet most nights with this very dream.

On my 27th birthday after work, as I stepped through my apartment door and went to strip my gloves off my hands finally, I was filled with a new sensation unlike any I had experienced before as I tugged at the tips of my gloves to remove them. Noticing that they were oddly attached to my fingers, and more specifically, had become firm and stiff, especially near the tips. It was when I went to pull the second time, listening to the audible noise of my flesh popping strand by hardened strand, that I realized the unique adhesive had somehow found its way into a hole in my gloves. As I sat there tugging at my fingers, I slowly fell to the floor in eye-rolling exhaustion, having once again captured something like that sensation I longed for from my youth.

By the time I was 30, after a few wet years of experimenting with nail cement, I had started seeing many specialists about how to speed up my fingernail healing process, as most of them now no longer grew back and only the fleshy mass now remained. The doctors said there was no way to repair this type of damage. I no longer could experience any pleasure from the nails that no longer came, which ultimately caused the remaining nails to dwindle to stubs in the endless dread of the two years that followed. Until finally, one Friday evening surrounded by candlelight, as I rubbed my electric metal nail sharpener along the last protruding nail until I passed out covered in red magma and white syrup for the final time.

The very next day, when I awoke in my fishnet stockings and red-soaked sheets, I was crushed under the realization as I went to rub the wounds of my nails habitually and felt nothing, not sex nor pain, that finally, the day had come, the end of my happiness. Falling under the weight of sheets for months until the day my landlord came with a notice of eviction. I had to figure out something to pay the rent, and as I sat there, with mascara falling down my cheeks in streams not even Moses could part, I had an epiphany as I stared at my black box of secrets.

The next day, after I cleaned up my apartment to an almost professional establishment’s status and wrapped and covered the scar tissue-covered stubs that were now my fingers, I answered the phone to buzz in my first client, who responded to my personal ad on a local listing website. She came through the door with nails so horrendously rejected that the sight of them made me want to jump back under the sheets and stay there until I turned back into the dust of this Earth. However, I needed the $75 and needed eight more of her to come through the door to keep a roof above my head and the fingers of rotten older men out of me. So, I did the job, I did the job so well that in her eyes I could see that familiar sexual ecstasy as she stared at her new nails, and all the while, all I could think was how she didn’t deserve such nails. She paid me. Within nine days through her alone, I made all the money I needed to pay rent and buy food. I received so many clients and my time was so full that I had hardly any time to even think about how much I longed for the pleasure I was missing. From the years when I was 32 to 35, I had all but beaten my depression and my need to be satisfied through pain. I even fell in love with a woman named Sam, finding pleasure in some of the more typical ways, although a longing always remained.

Around the age of 36, I had slowly been sexually withdrawing from Sam, and she would argue that she always felt like she was never enough from the start. Which was true; she had been force-fed a lie from my mouth to her lips ever since I first spent the night with her. The lie that her carnal proclivity was all I needed and nothing else. This is a familiar lie, I feel, for most people. By the time the snow started to fill the streets, Sam’s belongings had all but been vacated. Shortly after this, the depression returned. I turned this time to drinking, and instead of being crushed under the weight of my own sheets, I was crushed under the weight of men’s bodies as I took more of them home each week. The business started to float somewhere in the sea of bottles which amassed in the corners of my apartment until the phone stopped ringing.

Now at the age of 39, after having been evicted twice, I find myself roaming the streets at night, stumbling my way to the usual corner, which brings me enough money to fund my drinking solution, when an old Camaro rolls up with its windows down and inside is an older woman. Within a few minutes, she has me bent over the seat, playing with my dangling parts from behind, and as she is having her way with my body, I can’t help but notice her nails. How strangely perfect they are, how rounded and soft and complete they appear to be. I stiffen at the thought of having them in my mouth, pushing my head down towards them until, finally, her body spasming and her voice cracking as my teeth grind her perfect nails between them. I am once again filled with that same sensation I had the very first time that splinter found its way inside the opening of my favorite body part. The woman tries to shove me away, but I keep on chewing, chewing until my mouth is wetter than my thighs are, finally putting my whole hand in her mouth and down her throat to silence her screams until her breasts no longer rise. I stare at her nails for what feels like endless orgasmic hours, and one by one, I salivate as I slowly peel them off her undeserving body.