Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Atypical, Eh?

I had my biopsy. First I had to give a urine sample, then I waited forty minutes before I was shown into the exam room.

The nurse was a nice woman from Trinidad or Jamaica, I think, and she explained to me that there were six levels of Pap smear “atypicality,” and mine had been the most mild. This was a huge relief, and I wish Christine had mentioned it over the phone to me last night. The woman added that the exam would take about 15 minutes and, when I asked why a “full STD panel” meant a test for gonorrhea and Chlamydia only, she explained that all other STIs (except for syphilis and HIV, which are tested separately) would have been detected in the Pap. Ah. So: I did not give Jeremy any STI whatsoever. Thank God for that, at least.

“How come you took a urine sample?” I am always interested in learning new things.

“To see if you were pregnant.”

“Oh God!”

The woman smiled: “It was negative.” I knew that, but still. “You’d be surprised at how many women come in here and don't know they're pregnant. So we test them first, to make sure.”

Eventually Dr. Smith came in. I spread my legs in the stirrups and tried to relax. This is next to impossible, but I only flinched moderately when Dr. Smith clamped the speculum into place. Then she took some swabs. “This part coming up is the worst,” she said cheerfully. “It might feel like bad menstrual cramps.” I couldn’t see what she was doing, but, yes, I could feel a twinge in my lower abdomen. It’s just like having Daniel’s dick inside you, I told myself, but it wasn’t. This was an instrument: it was long and thin and it was scraping me. Urgh.

“That’s it,” said Dr. Smith.

“That’s all?” I said. It hadn’t been 15 minutes.

It turned out I would have to lie on my back for a few more minutes. “For the next forty eight hours, don’t put anything up there,” the doctor lectured. “No tampons, no baths. No sex.”

What?” I had plans with Daniel! “For how long?”

“Forty right hours,” she repeated. Damn.

Then Dr. Smith left and the nice medical assistant kept me company while I lay flat on my back, waiting until I could get dressed.

“There’s a fifty percent chance that they won’t see anything at all,” she confided, in which case I was just to have another Pap smear (that would be three in five weeks or something) and then just wait for my next one. There could have been the atypical cell growth, said the medical technician, if I had had sex the night before...

“Really?” I asked. “Cause I have a lot of sex,” I said helpfully. I thought back, trying to remember what I’d done the night before the “full STD panel” two weeks ago.

But later I checked my date book and there’d been no sex. But I feel much calmer now and feel fairly confident that I'm fine.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Extremely Bothered and Somewhat Bewildered

I finally saw my therapist Caroline and got to relieve myself by talking about Jeremy instead of merely thinking about him all day long. “What should I do?” I asked, because I really don’t make any difficult decisions without her. I’m one of those people who are dependent on their therapists, it seems. It could be worse, though; I could be dependent on drugs. Oh wait: I am. Nevermind.

“I think you should call him,” said Caroline. After all, she pointed out, couldn’t I call and let him know STI the test results? He might still think I had infected him.

I groaned. “No, I want him to call me.”

After a full forty five minutes of discussion, we agreed that I would wait until next Friday, and if I had hadn’t heard from him by then, I would send him an email and dump him on the grounds of not contacting me for three weeks; though arguably I would be this time have effectively been dumped by him. “I don’t want to get in touch now,” I said. I wanted to hold onto the last shred of my dignity with Jeremy. Ever since Christmas I’ve always been the one to initiate contact, and I’ve always been the one to suggest we get together. Caroline suggested he wasn’t contacting me because he thought I wasn’t interested in getting serious with him: “I’d like to think that, too,” I admitted. “But, really, if he liked me, he wouldn’t wait this long to get in touch. I’m going to wait until next Friday. That way at least I’ll have the moral high ground,” I grimaced.

“I just don’t want it to be like with Michael,” I added. When we were dating, I always called Michael, and I always asked if he wanted to do something. I convinced myself that it was just ‘cause he’s a boy, but it was actually that he didn’t really want to be with me. I never want to do that again, kidding myself and excusing a guy’s behavior instead of recognizing the truth, and demanding what I think is proper and respectful behavior from a guy I’m sleeping with. Like, you know, not waiting two weeks (on Saturday it will be two weeks) to get in touch.

So I walked downtown and when I got home I composed an email to Jeremy and then decided that I would not think about it until next Friday, when it will have been three weeks since we saw The Children of Men and I will have the right to be angry instead of just hurt and bewildered. So when I think about him, I keep on reminding myself that I’m not going to worry about it just now.

Anyway, if he hasn’t gotten in touch with me by next Friday, then Jeremy deserves to be dumped and he isn’t the man I’ve built all these fantasies about – namely, he’s not a nice person. Because it’s rude not to contact the person you had sex with for three weeks. This isn’t high school; he could tell me he doesn’t want to see me. Jerk.

When I went to the doctor after Jeremy told me he had been diagnosed with “bacteria” I was given a “full STD panel,” which is a misnomer since it checks for Chlamydia and gonorrhea only. I also had blood drawn for an HIV antibody test.

They told me results would be available in a week, so in a week I called. This was, coincidentally, the morning after The Big Threesome. I called from Jefferson’s apartment. “Your results aren’t in yet,” said the voice on the other line.

“But I was told they’d be ready in a week,” I whined.

“No, it takes a week to ten working days for the results to come in,” said the woman, who was clearly used to defending the “ready in a week” claims against anxious patients’ complaints. “Don’t worry, if anything’s wrong, we’ll call you,” she added, menacingly.

That was nine days ago. I was going to call on Monday, but I was temping and was afraid that if I did have an STI, I would be too upset to work properly. I temped yesterday too. And today I left my cell phone at home. But I was confident that nothing was wrong, since, as the woman on the phone had told me, they would call if there was a problem.

Tonight I got a phone call. I didn’t recognize the number that appeared on my phone. “Hello?”

“Hi, this is Christine,” said a voice, and I thought, It’s the woman from the doctor’s office. It was a woman with a medical voice; I just knew. “From Dr. Smith’s office,” she added.

Oh, God. “Yes?” I said in a very small voice.

“We got the results of your Pap smear; it looks like you have atypical cell change.”

“Oh?” Well, not gonorrhea, anyway. The blood was beating in my brain. “What does that mean?” Did I have atypical cell change because I was a slut?

“Now, you don’t have cancer, and this doesn’t mean you can’t have children,” Christine said, and I gathered this was her usual spiel. Then she added that I was not to worry. I hadn’t even thought about cancer or sterility until she mentioned it, but of course I was going to worry now. Then Christine said that I might have HPV. Oh, great: a precursor to cervical cancer. “We’d like to run a biopsy,” she added.

“When can I come in?”

“There’s an opening tomorrow,” said Christine. “Since you sound like you’re about to cry, do you want it?”

I swallowed. “Yes, thanks.” Had I done this to myself with all this sex? “Is this atypical cell growth sexually transmitted? Do I have anything?”

“You tested negative for Chlamydia and gonorrhea,” said the woman. “Now, don’t forget to eat. Lots of women come in here for a test thinking they weren’t supposed to eat, and then they get sick. Be sure to eat something.”

“Oh, I’ll certainly do that,” I said heartily, making an effort not to sound like someone on the verge of tears. I had a Pap smear eight months ago. If Jeremy hadn’t felt some “discomfort,” I wouldn’t have gone for another four months and my atypical cell growth could have become a tumor. Even though I’m feeling hurt and angry that he hasn’t been in touch, perhaps I should thank him.

“If you’ve ever had really bad cramps, you might want to take some ibuprofen about an hour before the biopsy.”

“OK,” I said, wondering how many I could take.

I hung at the phone and stared at nothing. Never in all the time since I’d gotten the Pap smear 16 days ago had it occurred to me that there might be something wrong me that wasn’t an STI. There’s no history of cancer in my family. Of course, I probably don’t have cancer. But I’m very disturbed.

I eventually called Marc, I wanted to tell someone. I’m going to tell Caroline and maybe Daniel, and that’s it. I won’t mention it to my mother unless the biopsy shows I’m all clear. If I do need to have surgery, I can just picture her response: “Oh Lily,” she’ll sigh. “How are you going to pay for that?”

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: Anxiety-Inducing and Dull

[Warning: this entry consists of obsessive romantic ruminations and is probably of interest to me only.]

I am having serious angst over Jeremy. I have not heard from him in almost two weeks. Not surprised, but still. I’ve been thinking about exactly what to say to him for several days now, to indicate that a) I like him a lot b) I’d like to see him more frequently c) does, he uh, think about me like that, as if we might date seriously, or at least more seriously? Because if not, then d) we’re through, since I don’t want to get attached to someone who isn’t that interested in me.

This is the exact same thing that happened with Daniel! I am such a drama queen. When I calmed down about Daniel and accepted our affectionate but no future relationship, things became much better, and now I’m pretty confident of him. But then Jeremy crept into my brain and I can’t stop thinking about him. On Friday I thought, rather melodramatically, He’s bewitched me, ‘cause I can’t think about anything else. Then I realized that I was being obsessive because for the past two weeks I’ve been really lax about taking my meds. Obsessive thoughts (hmm, that makes me sound completely unhinged, like a crazy lady wandering around midtown in a nightgown and fuzzy pink slippers) – mostly along the lines of, Why doesn’t he like me? And running all the way to Oh God, maybe he likes me so much that he’s afraid he’ll get hurt! fill my head, making it difficult for me to refrain from checking my email every 25 minutes, that kind of thing. So I’m being more vigilant about my antidepressants, and maybe that will help.

Here’s the crux of the matter: the last time I saw Jeremy, I said, feebly, “Next time, you get in touch with me.” That was one week and four days ago. If he was interested in me on a more serious level, I should have heard from him by now. I’m not surprised, because ever since Christmas I’ve had to do the contacting and suggesting we get together. He’s never turned me down, but still. Would you turn down an easy shag? Which is what I am, certainly. Among other things.

Ever since he said he was ready to settle down (My friend Dinah says that the fact he said this to me means he wants to settle down with someone else), I’ve been entertaining these bourgeois and very tempting domestic fantasies of me and Jeremy in a Pottery Barn interior, with dim lighting and cozy, slow sex and conversations about vacations in Spain. I don’t think I’m ready to settle down, but… can’t. stop. thinking. about. Jeremy. Maybe it’s because since Christmas he has shown less interest in me, and now I want him all the more?

I never thought I was one of those people who only desires what she can’t have, a girl who perversely likes mean boys and the like. I don’t like mean boys, actually. Although a boy who is crap about getting in touch and doesn’t take my hand at the movie theater isn’t all that nice, I s’pose. Daniel is by far the nicer. For instance, last night I couldn’t sleep and, figuring Daniel would be up, went online. When I saw that he wasn’t on IM I emailed him, saying I’d missed him (I am making a concerted effort to be a little more forthcoming about my feelings, though not THAT forthcoming, like revealing this blog or how when we’re fucking my brain sings IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou... ahem) and a few minutes later Daniel IMed me. See, he’s lovely. That being said, during our 40 minute IM session he did comment about the possibility of a booty call with one of my friends, who lives in his apartment building, ‘til I scotched that idea by explaining that she’s gay…. Anyway, there’s Daniel, who signs in to IM to talk to me moments after I email him and tells me how gorgeous I am and grips my hand during the scary parts of movies (I was right about that – the day after I saw The Children of Men with Jeremy I saw Pan’s Labyrinth with Daniel. As soon as things started to get scary and gross, Daniel clutched my hand). Also Daniel says, awkwardly and sincerely, “You’re very dear to me,” and then there’s Jeremy, who lightly brushed my knee once during the movie and doesn’t email or call or tell me I’m pretty, and it’s Jeremy that’s on my mind. On the other hand, I’ve (I hope) come to terms with the fact that Daniel and I have no future together and can’t really think about it anymore, while the promise of domestic bliss with a solvent architect who is probably smarter than me or at least always a good conversationalist has been gathering great appeal. Anyway, Jeremy, it seems, is either not as nice as Daniel or not as interested in me. This is what’s driving my current angst, that knowledge. Because, if he really did like me and want to see me, he wouldn’t wait at least a week and a half before contacting me.

I’ve been practicing all sorts of speeches to Jeremy. Most run along the lines of, “Look, I like you a lot, but I don’t think you feel the same way about me, so I’d better break this off,” – a preemptive strike and an echo of my planned break-up speech to Daniel. Then at last it occurred to me that I could simply say, “Hey, I really like you and would like to see your more frequently – maybe once or twice a week. How do you feel about that?” Apparently this is not melodramatic enough for me. But really the problem is that if I ask Jeremy whether he would like to get together more frequently, or be more serious, he has the option to say no. Whereas if I say, “I think I’d better end this,” he can object, or he can acquiesce without a murmur, but he can’t actually reject me. Luckily I have an appointment with Caroline tomorrow to get her opinion, since Marc, whom I often turn to as Boy Expert, is worse than useless, even if he is a Boy (his advice: “Play it cool.” If only.) I have a feeling she’ll plump for the straightforward option, and suggest I just tell him I want to see him more. I mean, therapy’s all about honesty and not playing games, unfortunately. But then what if Jeremy says, “OK, let’s get serious, but I want you to stop seeing other people,”? He would have a point, but I don’t want to stop sleeping with Daniel or Jefferson and I want to attend Jefferson’s orgies (purely as an observer, like a UN official at elections in newly democratic countries). Gah!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What I Mean by Platonic

On Monday, the morning after The Threesome, I emailed Daniel a brief note, just to say thanks again. When I got home that afternoon there was an email from him: was I free tonight?

It was unlike him. Maybe he felt uncomfortable about last night. But of course I was free.

That night I went over to his place and in his room I settled into the crook of his arm, breathing in the lovely Daniel scent of him. After a moment, he said, hesitantly, “You’re very dear to me.”

Which is the kind of thing that makes my heart catch. “You’re very dear to me, too,” I mumbled. It was a perfect thing to say. It's not You’re hot, though I appreciate that, too. But I mumbled, “You’re very dear to me, too,” because what I wanted to say was, “I love you.” And now I’m not even afraid, and I don’t care if he knows. I just don’t want to scare him off. And, oh, OK, I want him to say it first. You’re very dear to me. I squeezed myself closer to Daniel, and kissed his neck.

I knew there was something else coming, though. “It was nice, last night,” he said. “You know, I wasn’t jealous or anything, seeing you with Jefferson.”

I was surprised; it never would have occurred to me that Daniel would have been jealous, not at all. He loves hearing about my dates with Jefferson. “I wasn’t jealous, either,” I smiled, picturing his face, with Jefferson on top of him, Daniel’s open mouth straining toward Jefferson on Jefferson’s bed… “It was hot,” I grinned at him.

“I was glad I could do that for you,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have done it with anyone else,” I said, and we smiled at one another in our smug little love-fest. It’s true, though, there’s no one else I would have trusted to ask. Of course, it’s not like the pool of applicants was so large. But still. He wrapped his arms around me tighter, and I cuddled up closer. “Darling,” I said experimentally, smiling, to take the danger out of saying a word so closely aligned with soap-operatic declarations of eternal devotion. I love the word darling, so much better than honey, or love or sweetheart or even baby, which I also find pretty thrilling. “Darling,” I whispered, again, because the very word darling just seems so extravagant and flush with promise and, yes, passion. Darling darling darling.

“There’s just one other thing,” he began.

“Yes…” I smiled.

“Last night… When Jefferson hit you…”

“Oh!” I said. I’d forgotten all about that; that quick slap, my fervent, “No!”

“I mean, it just worried me, because--”

“Oh, sweetheart,” I said; the word just came out. “Daniel.” I kissed him. “It’s OK, really. Jefferson’s really dominant, you know?” I snickered, thinking about how Jefferson had gotten Daniel just where he wanted him, and also how Jefferson looks so non-dominant, all nice Southern manners and formality. “I mean, we kind of argue about it, I seem to fight him about everything,” I said ruefully. “We’re constantly negotiating that kind of thing,” I went on. “But seriously, you don’t have to worry…”

“Are you sure? I--”

“No, Daniel, it’s OK.” I rubbed my cheek against his shoulder. “I really appreciate your concern. Jefferson’s really bossy, isn’t he?” And we both giggled.

And it was my turn to say, hesitantly, “I’m so lucky to have met you.”

“Aw,” he said, embarrassed.

We slid out of our clothes. I felt this fantastic tenderness and longing, I wished I could climb inside his skin. I went down on him, and he on me, but not without saying, “You smell lovely,” which I think was a reference to last night, when I’d said I was afraid I’d smell or taste funny. But the thing that touched me was that he said “lovely.” I say “lovely”; it’s more of a British thing. He had picked up my turn of phrase.

Soon enough, as usual, I was riding him. I bounced up and down on his cock while he squeezed my tits, and then I lay flat against him, arching myself around him, my mouth against his neck.

And then Daniel breathed, “It doesn’t feel like this with anyone else.”

I whispered back, “I know, it doesn’t.”

I love you I love you I love you: the words sang through my skin, out of my pores, and maybe he felt it too. I wanted to devour him, or just cry, I felt such tenderness for him. And, I don’t know, even though Daniel and I haven’t got a future, my feelings for him are so overwhelmingly positive, and I feel so grateful to him, and I feel so lucky to know him that it feels almost beyond love and into a strange platonic adoration. Well, not platonic in that sense. I mean platonic in that it feels almost ideal. That is, I not only love him, but I’m happy that I love him, despite the fact that I have a crush on Jeremy and fantasize about him, and that Daniel has sex with Robin and a crush on Big Chested, Red Haired Girl. Like, oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to bother me so much anymore, even though I am generally quite a jealous and insecure person. Like I’m just happy to know and fuck and play dumb card games with Daniel, because he’s not only nice and fun and sexy but he genuinely cares for me, too. I don’t know why this surprises me. He really is all that.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Take the Plunge!

I sat on the lowest step of the stairs leading up to my apartment, glumly contemplating a row of shoes. Should I wear my black heels or my other black heels to my first threesome?

The first pair of shoes were sling backs, with a lower heel, and spangles sticking to the velvet fabric. The other pair were my workday black heels: round toes, straps, a sort of wing tip cut out design decorating the sides. The whole threesome thing had been Jefferson’s idea, of course. The first pair were party shoes. We were due at Jefferson’s place at 8:00; it was just before 6:00 now. The second pair, with their round toes, seemed to announce my innocence of these matters. They said: I’ve never had a threesome! Look – I’m wearing Mary Janes! I put on the second pair.

Come to think of it, I needed chocolate too, my all-purpose panacea. Of late I’d been sticking to the high quality, 60% plus cacao dark chocolate, the kind that’s supposed to confer health benefits, or at least make the eater feel less guilty about eating chocolate. But not tonight. Tonight I was going straight to the source: Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. I bought two bars, and immediately opened one.

Like I said, it was all Jefferson’s fault. I’d been sitting at my desk on Friday, wondering why I hadn’t heard from Jeremy, when I got an email from Jefferson.

Since you don’t think blowjobs “count” as sex, shall I arrange for you to blow a
boy of my choosing?

I’d been booked for Jefferson’s birthday sextravaganza, and our appointment was for the coming Sunday, but I had thought it would be just the two of us, plus his arsenal of whips and lubricants. Oh, God.

I equivocated. The idea of a threesome frightened me, but then what’s the point of living dangerously if you’re not a little bit frightened? And then I thought, It would blog well. (The siren cry of a blog writer's ego) I thought of my readers (all 12 or so), who would surely appreciate this. And then I thought: Wait, I don’t want my readers to think I’m a slut!

But you are a slut, I reminded myself. And while I fretted it occurred to me that if I did this without being totally enthusiastic, then I was a slut in the bad sense, whereas if I entered into the blowing of strangers with great spirit, I was just living dangerously. Could I get into the right frame of mind?

At last I responded:

I trust you, but I don’t know where your friends’ dicks have been. Like I said, I don’t want to dampen the air of sexual abandon, but I’m not ready to blow a guy with an unknown sexual history. I hope you understand.

Besides, what if he’s ugly?

Unless it was The Boy in the Bathtub (that’s a good title for a book). In which case, yes.

Who is The Boy in the Bathtub? Well may you ask.
This is he. I’ve never met him. But a) he’s cute and b) he’s the only one of Jefferson’s friends I have ever seen a photo of. That is, I could confirm that he was cute. The others I only know by reputation. And their reputations are intimidating. Also, I liked Jefferson’s description of the boy.

Anyway, it was time to leave, and I went off to meet Jeremy.

The next day, I met up with Daniel. When we were lying in my bed, I told him about Jefferson’s proposition. “I would do it,” Daniel offered casually. “If you were nervous of doing it with a stranger.”

“Well,” I said, “I don’t know if I’m going to do it or what.” I hadn’t heard back from Jefferson at this point, and generally he’s a pretty speedy emailer (one of the many, many things I appreciate about him). I wondered if he might have been annoyed at the way I was edging away from the whole scenario. Perhaps he’d found someone else willing to take him up on this. Very likely.

But the more I thought about it, the more I came to like the idea of bringing Daniel into the picture. After all, I trusted him, and I knew exactly where his dick had been. And I already knew he was cute. That night, as I still had not heard from Jefferson, I emailed him again, saying that if he was still game, I would do it if I could bring Daniel.

Jefferson called me the following afternoon, in the midst of my nervous IM to Daniel, asking if he’d be willing to join me chez Jefferson. “So you want me to cancel The Boy in the bathtub?” Jefferson asked.

“Oooh.” I sat down on my bed. “You got The Boy in the Bathtub?”

“Lily, this is what I do,” Jefferson said modestly. “I make these things happen.”

The Boy in the Bathtub! “Well…you see… I just…Now I feel bad about the boy in the bathtub!” Had I lost my chance with him forever? Damn my scruples!

“We’ll do that another time,” Jefferson promised. “So, Daniel.”

“Yeah, it’s just, I trust him, and…”

“Bring Daniel.”

“That’s OK?”

“I think it’s kinky,” said Jefferson, “You bringing Daniel.”

“You do?” Was it kinky? How could it be kinky for me to want to feel safe at My First Threesome?

Kinky or not, Daniel and Jefferson and I had agreed, and now it was time for me to prime myself for the kinkiest thing I had ever done, even though it wasn’t the kinkiest thing either of them had done. Not by far. Gloomily, I ate my chocolate.


Daniel and I clasped hands as we walked down the hall to Jefferson’s apartment. Daniel, a veteran of one or two threesomes, was perfectly calm. I was not. Also, I suspected that Jefferson would make a move on Daniel, and I wasn’t sure how to bring this up. Would this freak Daniel out? He didn’t have that much experience with guys… maybe he’d be better off in blissful ignorance, until Jefferson attacked.

Jefferson opened the door, and I was pleased to note that he was wearing shorts. Usually he just wears pajama bottoms, which I suppose is his version of Hugh Hefner’s smoking jacket, though not quite as tactile or as sophisticated, I must say. “Happy birthday!” I handed Jefferson his present, and kissed him, and introduced Daniel. They shook hands and eyed one another.

We all seated ourselves on the sofa, with me between the two of them. Oh, God.

“You’re wearing jeans,” Jefferson noted. “Is this the first time I’ve ever seen you in jeans?” He lifted my legs and put them in his lap.

“Maybe,” I said. I don’t wear them often.

“And you’re wearing stockings with jeans...” Jefferson stroked my black nylon toes. “Do you always do that?”

“Oh, the stockings,” I said. “No, they’re part of the outfit.” I paused, to raise suitable interest. “They’re thigh-highs. I figured it was your birthday, I wanted to go all out.”


“Yeah, and I’m wearing a thong too. In honor of the occasion. And a matching bra,” I added proudly. I don’t own many matching undergarments.

“Well, let’s see!” Jefferson sounded positively enthusiastic.

I wriggled out of my jeans, and promptly sat back down on the sofa.

Jefferson tsked. “Come on. Go stand over there,” he pointed, “So we can get a look.”

Gah! Grumbling, I put my heels back on (to give the illusion of slightly longer and leaner legs) and traipsed over to the light, so that Jefferson and Daniel could get the full effect.


This was embarrassing. I was wearing a thong, after all. I covered my face with my hands and closed my eyes. I wasn’t just on display to Jefferson; it was a full on audience. Jesus!

“We’re not looking at you face,” Jefferson said in his sassiest Southern bitch voice. I rolled my eyes at him and grimaced, but as my eyes were still closed he may not have noticed this.

“Turn around,” Jefferson commanded.

Note to self, I thought, as I obeyed: Lose 15 pounds. My ass doesn’t bother me much, but that’s probably ’cause I don’t often get to see it. Whenever I do, I am reminded that a little exercise couldn’t hurt. And this thong was really small. It really couldn’t flatter my slightly dimpled ass, certainly not when combined with my too-big thighs. At least I had the thigh highs and heels.

“That’s a very small amount of fabric,” Jefferson commented.

When I judged there’d been enough show and tell, I traipsed back to the sofa. “What about the bra?” Daniel piped in.

Oh, what the hell. I took off my top.


“It’s nice, isn’t it?” I glanced down at the matching pink bra with brown trim. At least my breasts were respectable. I settled back on the couch, while Jefferson disappeared into the kitchen for more alcohol. Daniel settled an arm around me.

Jefferson showed us the birthday cards from his kids, and then somehow we got to talking about comic books; about Gotham City and Metropolis and how Spiderman was actually set in New York City. I looked at Jefferson and thought, He really knows what he’s doing. It was like he knew just what to say to animate and relax Daniel.

“Can we see you with your shirt off?” Jefferson asked Daniel. Daniel obliged.

Then I cajoled Daniel into telling Jefferson the story of his gay and threesome experiences. Which got Jefferson onto teasing me about my lack of experience thereof.

“I don’t know,” I said, “I just don’t think I’d want to go down on a woman.”

“Are you saying you don’t think you’d like the taste?” asked Jefferson.

“...Yes.” Was this anti-feminist?

“So you think your own taste is bad?” he said, making a not illogical leap.


“What do you think you taste like?”

“I don’t know!…”

Meanwhile Daniel had slid his fingers inside my underwear. Jefferson leaned closer. “I like this,” he said, reaching out to touch the pink fabric. “What do you call that?”

“I think that’s ruching.” (It was a kind of gathered fold).

“Very nice.” My bra came off, and he bent to suck my right nipple. Daniel sucked my left. I giggled.

After a moment or two Jefferson announced, “Lily, would you mind leaving me alone with Daniel for a minute?”

“What, really?”

“Yes, really.”

I glanced at Daniel; he nodded. “OK.” I stood up.

“Go into the bedroom,” Jefferson added.

This was the beginning of Act II, right? The action. “OK, OK.” I padded down the hall in my stockings and thong.

In Jefferson’s bedroom, as usual, I studied the bookshelves. At last they both came in. “Lily,” said Jefferson, “I want to make out with Daniel for a while. Is that OK with you?”

Now, even though I had suspected Jefferson would be all over Daniel, for some reason that hadn’t been on my mind when I traipsed down the hall. Aha! I glanced at Daniel. “Is that OK with you?”

Daniel indicated that it was, indeed, quite OK.

“Let me get my specs,” I said. I had taken off my glasses and put them on one of Jefferson’s nightstands. I wanted to see this properly.

I settled into the armchair next to the bed. Daniel got onto the bed and Jefferson slid on top of him. They kissed.

I leaned forward to see Daniel’s face. His eyes were closed, and his mouth strained towards Jefferson’s when Jefferson teased him by pulling away. Jefferson ran a hand over Daniel’s groin. I moved forward a bit more. I was literally on the edge of my seat.

Jefferson helped Daniel out of his pants and soon had his mouth wrapped around Daniel’s cock. Oooh. Then they switched, and I watched Daniel bury his face between Jefferson’s legs.

“Now come here,” Jefferson said to me. They lay next to one another, looking smug. I grinned and bent my head over Daniel’s cock, then Jefferson’s; just briefly, but the situation seemed to require that kind of acknowledgement.

“Daniel, you suck my cock, and Lily, you sit on my face,” Jefferson directed. This time, I watched close up as once again Daniel obediently bent over Jefferson’s cock and began working him over. After a particularly long suck, he boasted, “I don’t have much of a gag reflex.” I settled on top of Jefferson’s face and as he licked me I watched Daniel’s head bob up and down. Finally I motioned to Daniel so I could get him in my mouth, a sort of three-way suck off. The sensation was overwhelming. Not like Oh my God this is the hottest thing ever, but overwhelming in the sense of a real sensory overload: cock in my mouth and tongue and boy smell everywhere, it was like my skin and senses were being bombarded. But otherwise I must say I felt pretty comfortable, all things considered.

Here’s what I really wanted, and I don’t know why I just didn’t demand it. I wanted to be on all fours, with Jefferson fucking me from behind while I sucked Daniel off. Or possibly riding Jefferson (which I’ve never done. Once I asked, ‘Can I ride you?’ purely as a courtesy and he said, ‘No,’! Who says No?! I guess it was the dominant thing...) while he sucked my nipples and I sucked Daniel. Anyway, I’ve been fantasizing about the former position ever since I read a short story in which it happens. But I didn’t say it; maybe I was waiting for Jefferson to tell me to do it. Which was dumb.

“Lily, I want to see you fuck Daniel,” said Jefferson at last. I smiled, because I always like to fuck Daniel. Daniel settled back on the pillows and I climbed over him, and licked and sucked him for a bit. He was nervous; after all, we usually don’t have sex in front of an audience. I smiled and stroked him and was so glad I didn’t have to be the one worrying about my erection. Jefferson sat in the chair, which began to take on a new significance for me: that armchair was dirty: a voyeur’s chair!

After a minute or so Daniel was ready, and I slid on top of him. “Daniel,” I said, “Daniel.” I rocked back and forth, and I wasn’t at all embarrassed. “Jesus, Daniel,” I went on, as my legs started to shake. “Look at me. I get on top of you and already I’m practically coming.” We kissed, and I let my hair fall around my face to cover him. I felt very protective of him now.

I came pretty quickly. Daniel didn’t at all, but after a nice effort, he tugged off the condom and collapsed.

“That was really sweet and sexy and hot,” Jefferson said. I smiled at them both, because “sweet” is not usually a word to describe having sex in front of someone, but at the same time I felt very tenderly towards Daniel, who is, of course, Sweetheart Daniel.

Then Jefferson came and flopped on top of me; I started to giggle. I was sandwiched between two naked men, and, again, this was a sensation that was totally unfamiliar; my skin was covered from all sides. Jefferson laughed, and then Daniel did, too.

Then Jefferson tugged me to the edge of the bed and assumed the position I’m beginning to think of as the Jefferson Special, tugging my legs up around his neck and fucking me while he stands. As he fucked me I heard “Oh!”s and groans coming out of my mouth. I watched Jefferson’s face, and I was dimly aware of Daniel, sitting quietly in the chair.

“Your turn,” Jefferson rasped, and moved aside so that Daniel could assume the same position, with the exact same girl: me.

Oh, this I liked. It wasn’t the physical sensation so much as the knowledge that I was being fucked in turn by each of them. I liked it; I liked being this fuck object that two men could casually share.

Then Jefferson took over again and as he fucked me I caught a glimpse of my legs, sticking straight up around Jefferson’s body. My legs didn’t look half bad from this angle, I realized. My thighs looked more proportionate, anyway.

Suddenly Jefferson slapped my ass, hard. “No!” I cried, because it hurt. He didn’t hit me again, but kept on pumping his cock into me with a steady rhythm.

At last he pulled out with a sigh. I think Jefferson’s only come once with me. I really feel like I’ve failed if I can’t coax an orgasm out of a man; I love seeing that release of tension, that blissful collapse of sinew and muscle. I’d really like to make Jefferson come more often.

It was late now, after midnight. “I’d better go,” said Daniel. He had to go all the way back home, and get up early. Jefferson offered to have him stay, but Daniel declined.

I followed Daniel to the door. “Are you OK?” I asked. I had expected to be the scared one, but now I was worrying about him.

“Yeah,” Daniel smiled. He looked so cute and good. “I’m glad I could do that for you.”

“I wouldn’t have done it without you.” He looked embarrassed but pleased. Didn’t he know how much I trusted him?

When Daniel left Jefferson asked if I was hungry. “I can’t believe I’ve never cooked for you,” he said.

“I am hungry, but if I eat now, I’m going to be tired.”

“That’s OK.” Jefferson started retrieving food from the fridge.

“I mean, I’m going to fall asleep,” I clarified.

“That’s OK,” Jefferson repeated. “We can fuck in the morning.”


In the morning I went to work as part of Jefferson’s campaign for 44 blow jobs. I sucked him for so long, my lips were numb. Really! But no dice: “You’re in it for the long haul,” Jefferson informed me.

Oh, God. (Wo)manfully I went back to my task, back and forth over his dick, sucking and licking. I gagged on his dick, and swallowed saliva, and licked and sucked some more.

At long last Jefferson jerked and groaned. Had he come? He hadn't ejaculated.

“You came?” I hadn’t known that Jefferson could come like this.

“Oh, I came,” he assured me. “It’s not that common for me, this way, but I came.”

I was sort of afraid he had faked it because he was getting bored with my cock sucking. Truth be told, my mouth was exhausted. I smiled at him: "You're my favorite pervert," I cooed.

Finally we clambered into our clothes and headed for the restaurant I had tried to go to with Jeremy. To my great delight, we were seated right away. Jefferson and I grinned at one another over our coffees and biscuits and sugar cured bacon (Oh God, it’s so delicious, like bacon ice cream; I don’t even like bacon and I swoon over this stuff….). He could name all the songs that came on, which I appreciated.

When we left I said, hesitantly, “You know, I don’t fight you about everything you ask me to do on principle.” I meant all the hedging about the threesome, my adaptation of the invite and my telling him “No!” when he’d hit me last night. “I’m not saying no as a tease.”

“I know,” Jefferson said.

“It’s not that I object to fucking your friends,” I went on, “It’s just that this is new for me and I have to negotiate my comfort level.” I meant: I had to maintain some autonomy, or at least the illusion of autonomy with Jefferson, even if what I really wanted was to be told what to do; that is, not have any autonomy. “I don’t mean to jerk you around and hedge so much, but I want to go slow.”

“I know.” Jefferson said again, and smiled at me. I smiled back. And we walked together to the train station in the cold, talking about nothing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Be Mine

For me, Valentine's Day is generally a triumph of hope over experience. When I'm single (most of the time) I pay lip service to hating the idea of commercialized romance, but secretly I want a Valentine, preferably a cute one. When I'm in a relationship, the sense of relief that comes from having someone you know will buy you a corny card is overlaid with the uneasy feeling that everyone else is really much more romantic than your and your sweetheart.

Right now I think it's nice to have someone to buy a Valentine Day's card for, but otherwise I'm lukewarm. I don't know if this is a result of my maturation or just increasing cynicism. Either way, it suits me.

But despite all that, I do want to say Happy Valentine's Day, because this is my blog and what the hell. So Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and especially to greenlacewing, of authentic experience, and waveman, both of whom leave such thoughtful and kind comments here.

And remember: tomorrow, as Billy Bragg tells us, "Valentine's Day is over. It's OVER..."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sex, and a Revelation of Sorts

So, after all the angst, I was meeting Jeremy, and we were going to the movies. I was in a state where everything a boy says is fraught with meaning. For instance: did Jeremy suggest a movie because he doesn’t want to sleep with me? Or perhaps he suggested a movie because he likes me so much that he wants to spend quality non-sex time with me? I suspect the answer is he suggested the movie because he wanted to see The Children of Men and I wanted to get together, but then there was no subtext to agonize over.

I headed downtown. I bought two tickets and, because I’d been worried about the tickets selling out—we were seeing a independent, well-received film on a Friday night in the East Village, after all— I now had 45 minutes to spare.

I shuffled against the cold to St. Mark’s Bookshop, where I tried to surreptitiously study The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Oral Sex. It was on the counter in front of the register, for God’s sake. I checked the index for deep throating, but there was no definition.

I timed myself so I would not be too early, and when I got to the theatre, Jeremy was inside, leaning against the lobby wall. He’d cut his hair; he didn’t look so much like a schoolboy anymore. We kissed awkwardly, ’cause I was still wondering if we were going to the movies because he didn’t want to sleep with me, etc., etc.

While we waited on line to be let into the theatre he said he had to work the following day. “Oh, that’s too bad,” I commiserated, thinking, Does he really have to work, or just he just want to make sure I don’t stick around? Looking for hidden meanings in desultory conversation can be habit forming. Not to mention stupid.

We sat in the theater and chatted a bit. There was a little familiarity, but no affection. When the movie started he briefly ran his hand up my shin and gave it a squeeze, before returning his arm to the romance-free neutral zone of the armrest. I spent the rest of the movie wishing he’d take my hand, and wondering if his not doing it was meaningful, and thinking that if I had been at the movies with Daniel (we were going the following day) Daniel would undoubtedly clasp my hand…

When it was over we walked out into the bitter cold. Jeremy said, “So you feel like coming back to my place and ordering a pizza or something?”

Did he think I might refuse? “Sure,” I said. And, with his three speed between us, we walked back to his apartment.

Up in his warm apartment we kissed and hugged, briefly. I was completely nonplussed but couldn’t for the life of me think of the right thing to say about how I felt. We ordered food and then started talking about baseball.

I don’t know what it is but just listening to Jeremy talk turns me on. He is really, really bright and never boring. We were discussing the dullness of baseball and Jeremy observed that the interesting thing about baseball was something about how when each player got up to bat, it was a different game, and every second was a new game (or something along those lines) … “Quantum sport,” he concluded.

I got up, leaned over and kissed him on the mouth. “That was hot,” I grinned. “Quantum sport.”

“Yeah, it was?” He smiled uncertainly.

“Uh huh.”

The food arrived and I was hungry but I didn’t get a chance to eat because Jeremy pushed me back onto his bed. We tugged off our clothes and as my tights came off I said, “I shaved my legs in the bathroom at work today.” Jeremy smiled. "On your behalf," I added. I don't know why I told him that.

I was straddling him when he rasped, “I want to fuck you.” I don’t know if I’d ever heard him say that before.

“Yeah?” I paused, as if mulling it over. “Well, OK.”

He unrolled the condom and when I sank onto his dick we sighed in unison. I slid back and forth on top of him, staring at him, my legs shaking.

“Open your eyes,” I murmured, “I want to look at your face…” He obeyed, but his eyed were heavy-lidded, and I felt like I couldn’t see them.

“Do you like that?”

“Yeah, I like my dick in your pussy,” he said. I couldn’t recall him ever saying pussy before, either. He’s quiet in bed, come to think of it.

When I came and we turned over so he could fuck me I thought, This is bad. I am vulnerable. I stared at his living room cum bedroom, with its low Ikea furniture and no books (they’re all in storage) and thought, I want to fall in love with him. And perhaps with me the desire and the act are one and the same; I don’t know. All I know is that as he was fucking me hard, with his face pressed against my neck, I was scared.

Then I had a brainstorm: a voice in my head said This is your gift! Your vulnerability is your gift! And it was corny and New Age-y but it made me feel a little better, even though I didn’t know what it meant.

Afterwards we sat on his ugly modern couch and ate our Burmese food and I made jokes about an appetizer called The Golden Triangle (“Full of tasty heroin!”). We sat close together and I leaned up against him.

By the time we were done it was pretty late and we climbed into bed. Jeremy turned off the light and soon we were watching TV in the dark, just like regular couples do before they go to sleep. I was thinking that my eyesight is getting really bad, I was kind of squinting my left eye in order to get a clear picture – when I felt Jeremy’s hand slide between my thighs.


In the morning I read and waited for him to wake up. When he did, and we were lolling about, I exclaimed, “Your eyes aren’t hazel, they’re gray.”

Ever since the first time we’d slept together, I’d been wondering about Jeremy’s eyes. When I first woke up next to him that morning a few weeks ago, I was fascinated by his body; everything was new to me and strange. His eyes especially so, cause I couldn’t recognize them as a particular color. They weren’t quite brown, and they looked sort of blue around the edges, but I just couldn’t tell. In the end I’d gone back and looked at his online profile to see what he called the eye color: hazel.

“Grey?” said Jeremy. “I didn’t know anyone had grey eyes.”

“Well, it’s mostly in romance novels,” I said, “Like when the authors have run out of blue- and green-eyed heroines. Oh, and Anne of Green Gables has grey eyes.” Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite books when I was a kid.

We had sex again and while I rode him his thumb snaked up my ass. This was the second or third time he’d done that. When he first did it I was sure he had at least two fingers there, it just felt so big, but apparently not. I kind of like it— one time, I was amazed to hear “Oh!s” coming out of my mouth as he massaged me, though I’ve never come that way— but mostly it just feels like this tremendous pressure. It’s not exactly painful, but “not exactly painful” isn’t really a ringing endorsement. I expect I could get to enjoy it, though.

At last we got dressed. We were planning to go to a very, very delicious restaurant that serves Southern food. The last time we’d tried to get in, the wait had been about an hour. (“Hipsters,” Jeremy frowned). But it was earlier this time, and perhaps the neighborhood’s residents would still be recovering from their coke binges and whatnot. I said as much to Jeremy.

“Hipsters,” said Jeremy again.

I clued him in: “Jeremy, you’re a hipster.”

“No I’m not! I’m too old.”

“Yes you are,” I said, confident in my knowledge. “Look, you’re wearing blue jeans and those black framed glasses and you’re an architect, which is almost like being a graphic designer which is the hipster occupation and you listen to Yo la Tengo…”

“Yo la Tengo?” Jeremy was critical: “I think Yo la Tengo is too old to be a hipster band. I think the kids are listening to Franz Ferdinand these days.”

I giggled: the kids. Franz Ferdinand. “But last night you said that The White Stripes were your favorite band in the last five years …Anyway, I like hipsters. What do you have against them anyway?”

“Nothing. They’re like Jews; I just don’t like a lot of them around.”

“Jeremy, you are Jewish.”

There was a pause. “I guess I just made your argument for you,” he admitted after a moment.

So we went over to the restaurant again but it was, if possible, even more crowded than it had been the last time we’d attempted to get a table. So we went across the street to an Italian sandwich shop where they sell piadas, which are like panini (“Remember when there were no grilled sandwiches in New York?” I reminisced. “Back in 2002?”) but made with flat tortillas, not bread. Jeremy ordered a six shot decaf, which I found very amusing, but, as he explained, he wanted the taste of a strong coffee but not all the caffeine.

I wanted to go back to his place and spend the day in his bed, but I was meeting Daniel later. We crossed the street and stood facing one another. We kissed.

Then we kissed again, and again, and he made a move to go. I tapped him on the chest, and paused. He looked at me.

“Next time,” I blurted, “You get in touch with me, OK?”

He smiled: “OK.” Then he kissed again and left.

But on the way to the train station it occurred to me that it was very possible that my statement might be misinterpreted. Because when I said, “Next time, you get in touch with me,” what I meant was, “Get in touch with me sooner. I want to see you more often.” What if Jeremy’s not a mind reader?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Waiting Game

Patience is not my strong suit. It is not, in fact, any suit of mine at all. I decided that, if I hadn't heard from Jeremy by Wednesday, a week after his email, I'd send him a brief note. Which, assuming I am clean, would read as follows:

Hi Jeremy,
I just wanted to let you know that all my tests came back clear. I just didn’t want
you to think I’d given you something.

I get the distinct impression you’ve dropped me. That’s OK, though obviously
disappointing for me, since I like you. What is not so OK is that you haven’t
actually told me this. I can take a hint, but it’s far preferable that you actually
communicate your feelings to me. It’s a much kinder way to end things.

It was sort of pointed, but we'd had five dates, and three of those were marathon sex sessions, complete with cuddling, boozy dinners and whatnot. I think that if you have sex with someone, even if that someone is a self-declared slut, you ought to end it with her in person. Or at the very least end it. By, you know, email or something.

But, like I said, patience is not really something I excel at. So this morning I emailed him and merely asked if he wanted to get together.

I emailed him at around 9:30. It's now 2:21, and I haven't heard back. I know, that's not very long in the scheme of things, but considering the context -- he never responded to the email I sent him over a week ago, in the past when I've heard from him in the affirmative it's usually within an hour or two and, oh yeah, I might have given him an STI -- well, I think the odds are against me here.

I'm so disappointed.

Of course, this is a lesson to me: don't develop elaborate domestic fantasies about men you don't know very well, even if they appear to be nice Jewish boys who have their own apartments and want serious relationships. Oops, too late. But the thing is, any guy who doesn't at least write to tell me he's breaking it off is not actually a nice boy, Jewish or otherwise, and is therefore not worthy of my bourgeois dreams of marital bliss. Unfortunately, this sort of knowledge is not intuitive on my part, and usually takes a while—like, months!—to sink into my brain. In the meanwhile, there'll be a lot of Why doesn't he like me? and I'm not attractive. And, oh, I hate this sort of lesson! I want my lessons to be benign and pleasantly surprising! Grr.

Five minutes later…

The minute I wrote that last entry I checked my inbox. My face went hot when I saw there was an email from Jeremy: Did I want to see a movie?

Maybe I overreact in order to prepare myself for rejection, so that way if it comes I don't feel so bad.

But. I have to have a very delicate chat with him. Namely: I don't mean to be pushy, but I don't hear from you. If you do want to see me, you should be contacting, me, too. Of course, I s’pose it’s a double standard since I'm the girl who never emails Daniel!

I am so relieved. And ashamed of how happy I am to have heard from him.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

And Yet

I got an email from Jeremy:

“ok- so the story is there’s some bacteria- not alot…. they said that if you don’t have symptoms it’s nothing you should be concerned about...”

I wrote back to say that I a) hoped he was feeling OK b) would be seeing a doctor shortly.

I’m never going to hear from him again am I?

What does it mean to be diagnosed with bacteria? Like, what kind of bacteria? A STI kind of bacteria, or a less meaningful kind?

I’ve been thinking about Jeremy all day long. I never thought I was the kind of person who only wants men who don't pursue her, but I’m doing a good imitation right now. And, come to think of it, he spelled “a lot” as “alot” -- usually grounds for dismissal in my book, and yet it doesn’t even bother me!

Everything with Daniel is going swimmingly, I’m quite confident that we have a good, albeit strange, relationship. And with Jeremy, the sex isn’t as fantastic and he’s not nearly as lovely and sweet. And yet. And yet I can’t stop thinking about Jeremy, and how much I want to hear from him, and how I want him to fall in love with me. I’ve got more problems than I thought.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Agony (Panic) and the Ecstasy (Um, Sex)

On Saturday night I went over to Jeremy’s. I hadn’t seen him since Christmas.

There he was, as I’d remembered him, in loose jeans and a sweater, his thick hair in his eyes with those black framed glasses I find so inexplicably alluring. We embraced, and kissed, standing in his unfinished kitchen.

“I’ve been thinking about you,” I wanted to say, but didn’t quite have the nerve. Instead I buried my mouth in his neck, and breathed him in.

His bedroom/living room (really the only inhabitable room in his apartment) is set up so that the big low Ikea bed is right by the doorway. I wondered if we were headed further in to the couch, or what. But right by his bed, I stopped still, and then he sat on the low edge of the bed.

I sank down next to him. Soon we had toppled over.
“That was smooth,” I said, smiling.

He lay on top of me, both of us fully clothed. My legs were hanging off the bed. He moved them so he was right on top of me. “I don’t want to put my dirty boots on your nice clean bed,” I explained. I had worn my knee high black leather boots (square toes and a perfect stacked heel, I think stiletto heels on boots are tacky) for the occasion; I thought Jeremy might like to see them, or me in them.

“I don’t really care,” he said, smiling, and commenced kissing me again.

Slowly we undressed, grinning and one another and making out in his big room with all the low-to-the-ground furniture and ceiling-high windows.

When we were naked he lay facing me, slipping his fingers all over my clit. I was really wet. “I should tell you,” Jeremy began.

My body went hot. Oh God, he’s met someone else.

“I’ve been feeling...,” Jeremy began. Oh, he feels jealous! He wants us to be exclusive! “…Some discomfort...” Discomfort? Like, jealousy? “So I went to the doctor,” Oh. OhmyG-

“Oh my God. Are you OK? Did I give you something? Do you have something? Oh, my God,” I clasped my hand over my mouth.

He covered me with his body and leaned close to me. “It’s nothing. It’s nothing, OK?” He kissed me. “The doctor doesn’t think it’s anything. I just wanted to tell you.”

“OK,” I said. His fingers were still sliding inside me. “What did the doctor say?” I asked.

“He said it was probably nothing.”

“Oh, my God. I am so sorry.”

“It’s nothing, really.” And he started kissing and stroking me again. I was still wet, but I was not exactly feeling relaxed. He was still planning to sleep with me, if his fingers were any indication. Wasn’t he worried that I might be unhealthy, dirty? Of course, it was moot now, as if I did have anything he was already infected...

Terror and shame were my chief feelings. Mostly shame. I have always taken pride in my carefulness—I never, ever have sex without a condom, though I must admit I’m pretty cavalier about oral sex—sorry, but what’s the point of oral sex with a condom? I almost never swallow... does that matter? Anyway, I’ve always been smug about asking my awkward questions (“Have you ever had a burning sensation when you pee? How many partners have you had?”), just as instructed by the more liberal women’s magazines (thank you, ivillage!), thinking that, because I was willing to embarrass myself, I was somehow exempt.

I’d always said to myself that if I did ever catch a STD, sorry, a STI, they’re sexually transmitted infections now--I’d just be grateful I hadn’t contracted HIV. Not that I think that’s very likely, but just because compared to HIV, everything else seems relatively harmless. Of course I know STIs can cause tons of problems, including chronic illnesses and sterility, but I figured that with regular checkups and vigilant condom usage, I would be fine.

“Oh!” I said suddenly. Jeremy met my eyes. “It would be me?” Maybe I wasn’t a diseased slut. On the other hand, I didn’t like the thought of him sleeping with anyone else.

His mouth twisted upward: “Yeah.”


Maybe I should just go home. I stared at the high ceiling as Jeremy nuzzled my neck. How could he bear to fuck me?

Oh, stop it, I told myself. If you gave him anything, the damage is done, another round can’t hurt. And you’re hardly a walking plague victim.

I went back and forth in my head in this way for a good fifteen minutes, while Jeremy and I fooled around. Mostly I was just surprised at how ashamed I felt, as if carelessness or accident had made me morally questionable. Despite my best efforts, perhaps I really am Victorian when it comes to sex! That is, maybe I do think that sexually transmitted infections are a sign of moral decay rather than just ill luck or carelessness. In myself, anyway. I’ve lectured Jenny so much, feeling so smug that at least I never neglect birth control or condoms, but what if I’ve got something?

I reminded myself that that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it now, and finally it occurred to me that panicking wouldn’t help. Oh, right. I squared my jaw (figuratively) and determined to give Jeremy a really good fuck. One that he would remember when considering whether he would want to see a potentially disease-ridden slut ever again.

He slid inside me and rocked towards me, our faces pressed close together, beaming at one another. He came quickly, with a sigh and a long shudder.

I loved seeing him come, and collapse on top of me. We lay there, cuddling companionably. I stroked his arm.

“So what have you been up to?” I asked. He hadn’t been available the previous evening, and I’d wondered if he’d had another date. As it turned out, he’d been to a gallery opening instead. Aha!

“Are you hungry?” he asked.


“Do you want to go out, or order in? We could rent a movie...” Jeremy mentioned some Russian director, and added that he was “really good, but boring.”

I wheezed with laughter. “That’s quite an endorsement. Why would I want to see a boring movie? And how can you be really good and boring?” I mean, aren’t the two mutually exclusive?

“Well..,” Jeremy considered. “That’s not what I meant... Sometimes I like movies that you have to pay attention to, that require some concentration...”

“Jeremy,” I said, enlightened, “You’re an intellectual.”

He folded his face into the pillow and snorted.

“So you want to rent a boring movie?” I went on. “Well, that’s OK; we’d probably start fooling around, and if it's boring we won’t be missing much.”

“No, I don’t want to rent [whatever the director’s name was]; I would feel guilty,” Jeremy explained. “If we’re going to fool around, I’d rather rent… something like what’s that Will Ferrell... Ricky”

Talladega Nights,” I supplied.

Talladega Nights,” he continued. “So if we did start fooling around I wouldn’t feel guilty.”

“Jeremy, you just want to rent Talladega Nights, don’t you?”

In the end we decided to go to dinner. I didn’t want to get out of his bed, though, and I lay there face down, luxuriating in his pillows. “Come on, young lady,” Jeremy said, and hauled himself up, only to lie back down on top of me. His weight felt so good. Young lady: that kills me. Jeremy is all of five years older than I am, and anyway I’m 33. I sort of like it.

We went to a restaurant a few blocks from his place and split a bottle of wine. I was definitely feeling the warm, dreamy vibes you often get at the beginning of a relationship. There we were, in a cramped Italian restaurant, with an exposed brick wall. I don’t know why, but to me an exposed brick wall is shorthand for dimmed lighting, wine rather than cocktails, and decent conversation. And actually, with Jeremy, so far it’s been exactly that. Somehow we started talking about sense of smell.

“I used to date this guy, Lee,” I said. “And, you know, he was really a lovely guy, definitely my best boyfriend ever, but to me he just smelled wrong.” This is absolutely true. At first I thought it was the soap—Lee used Irish Spring, which I find a bit overpowering, but that wasn’t it. And anyway last week I had told this to Daniel, by way of rhapsodizing about how good his neck smelled. (It does, it smells really good) and Daniel told me he’d used Irish Spring that morning. So it’s hormones or pheromones or whatever.

“You smell really good,” I burbled, and stared at my plate. We were about finished with our bottle, and I suspect I’d had more than my share.

“Are you embarrassed?” He asked, seeing me duck my head.

“A little.”

“You don’t have to be embarrassed!”

“Embarrassment is my default state,” I explained. But I think I was lying! Or rather, I’m so used to being embarrassed that it hardly bothers me. And you know, for all my loathing of coyness, perhaps I’m coy—feigning embarrassment when I’m really not. Huh, I hope not, since being coy is pretty high on my list of sins.

So we went back to his and fucked again. And again. In the dark I whispered, “Do you like that?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“I love it, how you say ‘Yeah, I do instead of just ‘Yeah,’” I said. He smiled.

I woke up at about 4:00am, terrified that I had gonorrhea. I don’t know why gonorrhea, it just sounds so awful, much worse than syphilis, for instance. Though the word Chlamydia is also pretty off-putting, too. I could not get back to sleep. I curled myself around Jeremy, but he is a restless sleeper and kept tossing. It took so long to get light, and I whiled away the hours imagining our wedding and what his face would look like after the birth of our first genius baby, that kind of thing. I thought about how serious and awkward he would look in one of the black satin yarmulkes kept on hand at synagogues, how he might cry a bit when holding his very own newborn liberal.

Gawd, I’m sick. A few weeks ago I was ready to break up with Daniel ’cause I liked him too much, and here I was fantasizing about my future with Jeremy. I really shouldn’t be let out of the house. I’m a danger to myself. I like Jeremy (“I like you tons,” I’d confessed to him over dinner), but I’m in love with the idea of being with him. He’s the kind of guy I’ve always imagined I would end up with -- sort of geeky and cute and knowledgeable and great to talk to and lefty and (um) a non-religious Jew. And he’s a grown up! Maybe this is my future, I thought. It could all be so easy. I could slip into his cool East Side apartment and life and we’d go visit his parents and buy dishes.

My domestic fantasies are perhaps even more dangerous than my romantic ones.

Jeremy woke up briefly at seven, and then at nine, and when we fucked again at last I came, rocking on top of him. I think part of the problem is that in order to come, I like to flex my legs and point my feet and a certain angle. With Daniel, I can have my legs just so far apart. With Jeremy, his legs are splayed wider, and I don’t have that fulcrum that allows me to rock on top of him in the way best assured to make me come.

Then Jeremy got on top of me and with a sigh, his face creased into a bleary smile, he lifted my leg around his neck. Then, again, he slammed into me. I was grinning like a maniac.

He fell asleep again but at last he woke up at noon and we went out and bought food. After we ate our chic Italian sandwiches I lay sprawled on his bed, waiting for him to join me. Which he did, after checking out some boring film directors online.

Eventually, again, all our clothes came off (five times in less than 24 hours, I think that’s my record. Whoo-hoo). I was flat on my back as he pumped into me. “Jeremy. Jeremy,” I said. Sort of passionately but it’s more like I just wanted to keep saying his name, Like I’m just enjoying him so much. Which I was.

Afterwards he lay on his back and I lay on my right side, resting my head on his chest. “Ah, this is my favorite position,” I sighed. His chest made a good pillow. Plus, as I’ve said, he smelled great.

The light was fading outside, leaving us in a dreamy violet gloom. “I’m going now,” I added, but I didn’t move at all.