Pansexual love and Stranger Sex in 'Life Poems'

Bethany Burgoyne shares her Sassy side, alongside portraits by Justyna Neryng

On a recent trip down to the South coast to visit photographer Justyna Neryng, I felt a familiar sense of excited fear. I was to pose for Justyna, letting her capture me through a surreal yet detailed lens that has become the nature of her style. Inspired by her own years of modelling, and recognising the lack of representation of hairy women, Justyna focuses on shaking up that narrative. Sitting comfortably in my nudity, I found myself reflecting on the journey that has helped me get to this point. In the following three poems, I share with you stories that evolved from trusting strangers and fed into the confidence I carry today. Like my encounter with Justyna, an outcome of creativity (in this case, photographs and poems) is something I treasure; helping me to share more sides of my Sassy story with you.

You can see more of Justyna's incredible portraits on her website here and follow her daily activities on IG @justynaneryng


The first poem, 'Passing On', I wrote about a stranger I had connected with online. We had engaged in months of conversation, slowly untangling our web of desires regarding BDSM, and I felt incredibly safe in their virtual company. Never before had I been so open with another person, both physically and verbally. Yet the fear that they would reject me, or treat me as an object for sexual disposal weighed down in this instance. The last line 'May the shadows define the outline of this magnificent eye' poured from me like a prayer as hope, anxiety, and nerves bubbled in ignorance.

Passing On

You seem to have decided that my face will be replaced

By a mound of new earth

Yet, comparatively,

there is nothing new here

Only past soiled turf,

That’s dipped and picnicked upon,

A lawn of falsity

A meadow of magnets

putting the puppets into space

Rising before dawn

Their angry hooves stampede trodden earthlings

for deep down

Sticking with fake wax

the straps unleash,

May the shadows define the

outline of this MAGNIFICENT EYE

'That Natty In The Grass' is a poem I feel more cautious about sharing. The details of this event take us to Hyde Park, as I made my way to Notting Hill Carnival one year. Heading out solo, and expecting to come home with stories, I hadn't quite predicted what was about to happen. A gentleman, with a somewhat disheveled appearance, started walking next to me. We talked, shared a spliff, and let the unknown fizzle between us. Pausing on route and sitting beneath a tree, he asked me to show him my knickers. I lifted up my skirt and let his eyes wander over my hairy thighs. We ended up spending the day together, dancing to the sound of dub and reggae, fostering an unspoken bond that my skirt lifting seemed to have secured. As the sun went down, we walked back to Hyde Park. I asked if he wanted to make me cum, and obligingly he massaged my pussy with his hands. Darkness took over and we slowly had sex under a tree. Walking back to the station, a little suspicion I'd had throughout the day was confirmed - this fine man was homeless. He asked nothing from me when saying bye; he simply told me how great I looked in my seethrough top and to keep letting my nipples be free. I wrote this poem after that day. I felt content, confused, and ashamed all at the same time; disappointed by how high my sex drive was and whether my love of the experience was in fact a sign I lacked self-worth.

That Natty in the Grass

An ugly coat of fake toenailed skin

Ashed with goldie locks trimming

Bend Over, let's engage in some rimming

A different duty dirties my language for swimming

Eating the arse whole

The lust for stinking

Worn out


fragmented hollow


still pussing

and oozing out your toothless hope

It disguised itself as ‘pained pleasure’

Yet I shat and sat on the soap

Nothing more,

a protection for nesting

That's what your memory holds for me

An offering to my sweet carried ass

A whip to make it last

North of my star to make us dance

Just a memory sitting in cold, cold darkness