Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Orgies for Dummies!

What do you wear to an orgy? When I inquired, Jefferson had gone right for the punch line I’d fed him: “Wear something that will look good on my floor.” Hmm.

I assumed that clothes are superfluous at these affairs, but I wasn’t planning on getting naked. At least not very. As I had told Jefferson, and myself, I was going as an observer only. Or, less politely, and more lasciviously, a voyeur.

It just seemed like the logical next step in my brave new world of Living Somewhat Dangerously. I had to go.

Accordingly, I turned up at Jefferson’s one Tuesday night, fashionably late at 8:30.
Outside his door, I could hear voices. Talking, not grunting. “Hi!” Jefferson greeted me. I sloped inside, feeling awkward in my maternal quilted coat and galoshes. I caught a glimpse of his guests: they were all women!

What kind of orgy was this? I had been worried that I’d be the only woman, but instead it was a veritable girl-fest! There were three girls in the living room, all younger than me, and cute. Jefferson introduced me to Avah, and an elegant brunette, and did not introduce me to a remarkably pretty girl whose name, I later learned, was Cody. She had long, straight black hair -- dyed, I thought-- and had a kind of fragile, Suicide Girl quality. I’d kind of like to look like that.

Right, alcohol! I helped myself to a Smirnoff Ice (a girly drink, certainly) from the fridge, and comforted myself by staring at photo’s of Jefferson’s kids, whose faces I had seen grinning at me on several other occasions. He had some new ones of Lillie; that girl is going to be a heartbreaker. Fortified, I sidled back into the living room, but the chairs were all taken, so I seated myself in the dining alcove, feeling wallflower-like.

In the meantime a couple had arrived, or possibly appeared from one of the bedrooms. She, Emma, wore a leather collar around her neck, and he was a plump, red haired specimen who introduced himself as Adam. I don’t want to hook up with him! I thought fearfully. Adam moved towards me and began a conversation with another guy (I don’t want to hook up with him, either! I thought). They were both polite and friendly, though, and we all chatted for a moment.

All the women were cute and none of the men interested me. And everyone was dressed. This was not looking very promising. Jefferson ambled over and pointed to a large, overalled woman sitting on the edge of the couch. “That’s Lolita,” he said.

“Really?” Of course it was; I should have recognized the short red curls. I had seen Lolita’s blog, and her photo. In her photo, she is grinning, but here, her face was polite, and closed.

When I went to the kitchen for a second drink, more people arrived. I was relieved to see a tall, skinny fellow arrive in the company of a pretty girl with a pageboy. Now he was my type.

People were getting a little closer, chatting and laughing in groups. I moved towards a group of girls on the sofa, and positioned myself near them.

Oooh, that tall guy was cute! Usually at parties I spy out the guy I’m most attracted to, and spend the rest of the night plotting to get close enough to him to strike up a conversation and then being disappointed because he’s either really dull or unfriendly or just interested in someone much hotter than me. But here, at an orgy, the economics of popularity and desire don’t have to come into play: you can do everyone. In fact, it might be impolite not to. “Sorry, I’m not interested,” seems pretty hurtful if quantity is the goal, as I expect it should be at an orgy. At an orgy, being picky and having tastes (like, say, for tall, skinny guys) seems like prejudice rather than personal preference.

I went over to talk to Lolita: I am always much more comfortable around women than men. Or rather, I’m quite comfortable being flirty around men, but I am very wary of being rejected and feel safer in the company of women, and more like I can tell myself that this is just a regular get together, without sexual overtones. Of course, this probably isn’t the case when most of the other women there are bi, but I’d just ignore that fact for the time being.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m Lily.”

“I’m Lolita.”

“I know, I’ve seen your blog.” We talked for a few minutes, and the conversation around us grew more animated. I watched as Adam slipped a strange nail-like attachment across his fingers and slip these pointed claws across his girlfriend’s neck. “Ah,” Emma shivered.

“They’re camel bone,” I heard Adam explain to the Tall Cute One and his girlfriend. He demonstrated the claws on the Tall Cute One’s girlfriend, who was called Kit. I edged a little closer to this conversation. Adam looked at me. “Want to give me your arm?”

I pushed up the sleeves of my waist-tie sweater and waited as Adam ran the nails down my arm. It doesn’t scratch at all! I thought, a little disappointed. It was the lightest, most whispery touch. Did I want it to scratch? That was an idea.

Jefferson appeared, shirtless. “Mmmark is here!” he crowed. “Mmmark is a catalyst [for the orgy]. Because he’s so hot!” I turned to see the new arrival, the catalyst. Oh, my God, Jefferson was right: Mark was hot. Really cute, in a wholesome Chris O’Donnell way, but with the nice urban polish of a little hair gel and proper clothes. “Or maybe he’s the catalyst because he’s usually late,” Jefferson amended.

We sat on the sofa and he pointed to the Tall Cute One: “Last time, his girlfriend fucked him with a strap on; you should hear it when a straight guy moans like that.”

People began moving into groups and disappearing down the hall. But I wasn’t ready to venture down that road (literally), so I hovered in the living room, talking to the few others who were hanging back. One of the women was called Callie; she had brought sugar cookies, which I thought was a homey touch.

I ended up on the couch with the Tall Cute One, whose name was Jed, his girlfriend Kit, and Adam and Emma. I sat next to Emma, with Adam looming over us in an armchair. I wanted to get a bit closer to Jed.

All of a sudden we heard cries: “Oooh! Oooh! Ahh!” followed by a silence, and then more moaning.

“Avah,” detected Jed. We all giggled. She had sounded very ... involved. After a moment Lolita appeared, looking disheveled. “Who wants to fuck a tied-up girl?” she asked. Her overalls were unbuttoned, revealing a black bra. None of us took her up on the offer, so after a moment Lolita disappeared again.

Jed and Kit discussed how she had fucked him with the strap on; this time, Jed, revealed, he had brought a variety of props to facilitate all sorts of fucking. Emily and Kit and Jed entered into an animated discussion of dildos and strap ons of various makes. I really didn’t understand the mechanics of the toys; I’ve never used one. But I nodded, like it all made perfect sense to me.

And then Emma said something about a kind of virtual reality, about this fantasy of not watching but being nineteen year old girl in a shower, for instance. We all considered the possibilities.

“That’s hot,” I blurted out finally. “I mean, I’m straight and that turns me on.” I shifted a little on the couch.

“Wait,” said Adam, “You were showing a nice length of thigh there.” He reached out. “Can I? I have a consent fetish,” he added.

“No, that’s fine. I’m glad you have a consent fetish.” My body wasn’t being very welcoming to him, I realized. I mean, he was perfectly nice, but I wasn’t interested in getting it on with him. I tried to make my body language a little more welcoming.

“Wait,” echoed Kit after a minute. “You’re straight?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Well, as far as I know. I’ve never hooked up with a woman.”

Both Emma and Kit (and Jed and Adam) looked suitably impressed at the diversity of the populace on the couch: a straight girl!

Emma said, “So what would you do if...” she lightly stroked my arm.

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I mean, I don’t want to offend anyone, so I’d probably go along with it.” I was kidding. I think.

“So we could just do anything and you wouldn’t protest?” Adam asked.

“Well... no... I mean...”

“So we could tie you up and you wouldn’t protest?” Kit asked. She had a calculating look in her eye.

“Or else I would run,” I amended, truthfully.

“You could always say, ‘No thanks, I’m just not comfortable,’” Emma pointed out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I mean, I wouldn’t want to offend anyone.” Like I said, I think I was kidding. But I didn’t know.

Then Adam and Emma chimed in, saying how great it was that you could always say you weren’t comfortable, and nobody would think any the less of you, and, in fact, it made everyone closer. “Because you’re laughing at the moron who doesn’t feel comfortable,” I pointed out.

Then Jed appeared next to me. “I want to sit next to you,” he said. This was such a relief, to be next to someone I actively wanted to touch. I mean, Adam and Emily were very nice, and Kit was gorgeous, but it was Jed I was attracted to. He put an arm around me. Very slowly I ran my fingers down the length of his torso.

“You have a really light touch,” he said.

“Do you want it harder?” I always like to please.

“No, I like it.” I leaned in a bit, to catch his scent. I put my mouth against the soft skin of his upper arm. “Ah,” he said, “You got my sweet spot.” He slid his fingers along my arm.

“Me, too,” I said. Having my upper arms touched makes me feel what Nicole Kidman in the film Flirting calls “shivery delicious,” which about sums it up perfectly.

We started to kiss. I very, very rarely go to a party and manage to hook up with the guy I have my eye on. Score! I wrapped my mouth around his.

We broke apart. The layout of bodies had shifted and now Kit, not Emily, was sitting next to me. “I asked her here,” said Jed. “Is that OK?”

“Well, she’s your girlfriend,” I said. “So, I would think so!”

“Oh, we’re not dating anymore,” Kit offered.

“We just have sex sometimes,” Jed added, and leaned forward to kiss her.

She giggled: “Sometimes, we’re closer than others.”

“Should we go into one of the bedrooms?” someone asked.

“I think so,” piped up a man whose name I hadn’t gotten. He’d been sitting on the coffee table, watching us.

So we all trooped down the hall. Jefferson’s room was a mash of people. The room was dark and everyone was mostly or totally naked. The word writhing came to mind. I had never seen anything like this in real life.

I had to pee. While I was waiting for the bathroom a girl from the bedroom looked at me, just standing there, and laughed to see me loitering in the hall. “I’m just waiting for the bathroom,” I explained, anxious not to seem as awkward as I felt.

When I got to the bedroom everyone was standing very close together, as in a football huddle. A woman on the bed was moaning. The room was dark but for a few candles and I couldn’t see very much. I joined the huddle near the bed. Everyone was in various stages of undress, except me, so I took off my shirt. Jed was standing opposite me, and without further ado, we started to kiss. I tugged off my tights, and then my skirt. He pushed me back towards the bed, which had just been partially vacated by the moaning girl and her partner.

“Ah!” I cried. The bed felt ... damp.

I turned around to look. There was the wet spot the size of a basketball on the dark red sheets. “Oh, my God!” I said. Gah!

“Hold on,” said Jed. He slid a pillow across the damp patch and slung me onto my back; much better. He leaned over me and I wrapped my legs around him.

Meanwhile a hand slunk around to my crotch; I turned to see Adam’s face behind me. He rubbed at my groin. Could I ignore him politely?

“Do you want to go down on me?” Jed asked after a few minutes of enthusiastic kissing.

“That means you want me to go down on you,” I said, grinning. “OK.” And I bent down and positioned my mouth around this stranger’s dick, and gave him a nice, long lick.

It felt not at all weird to be sucking a stranger’s cock in a room full of naked bodies. It was just sort of fun. “Ahhh!” said Jed. “God! That’s good.”

I beamed at him. “Well, I’m glad you appreciate it.” Then I went back to work, and concentrated on taking in as much of him as I could. I gagged a bit.

Jed seemed really excited and pleased, which thrilled me. He stood up on the floor and I slid off the bed and I got on my knees in front of him. I was really enjoying myself now. “Can I fuck you?” he asked after a few minutes.

“Well, yeah,” I said. “But...” I paused. “Do you think we could do this in private? I don’t think I can bring myself to fuck in front of an audience just yet.”

“Yeah, sure!” Jed raced out of the room; I followed. The other bedroom was likewise occupied; I could see a couple crunched together on a twin bed; she was moaning.

Jefferson appeared. “Hi!” He beamed at us.

“She wants someplace private,” Jed explained. He picked me up and wrapped my legs around his waist. “You’re really hot,” he said.

I mean, it doesn’t take a lot to get me into bed. Just tell me I’m hot. That ought to do it.

Jefferson nuzzled up close to me. “That bed’s free,” he offered-- the faceless couple had disappeared.

“Ah,” I said. There were other people in the second bedroom.

“Can I take a rain check?” asked Jed. “Were not going to find a place.”

“Sure,” I said. Had I engineered this to maximize the possibility of seeing him again? Or was I really nonplussed at the thought of fucking in front of a group? Granted, I would hardly be the only person in that situation, but come on! It was my first orgy. I could take my time, couldn’t I?

We went back into the bedroom, and soon Jed was swallowed up by the group of bodies. I sipped my whiskey. Hot!Mark joined me. “Hi!” I said. Or maybe there was a little more discussion, but then, soon enough, we were making out. Wow.

“Hi Lily!” Jefferson shouted, interrupting the murmur of bodies. “Having fun?” He rubbed up close to me. “Shuddup,” I muttered, giggling. I shoved him back onto the bed. He pushed me back up. Again, I was hoisted up and my legs were once again wrapped around a torso (Hot!Mark’s) while Jefferson held me up from behind.

I kissed Hot!Mark, then Jefferson, then watched as Jefferson and Hot!Mark made out. That was actually very!Hot.

“I’d really like to go down on you,” Hot!Mark said when Jefferson had been dragged off again. I was still wearing my underwear. Thank God I shaved my legs. I almost hadn’t even bothered, so sure I was not going to pull.

“I just went on the pill again, and I’m having spotting,” I explained. The fact was, I’d been wearing a panty liner all day, which is just remarkably unsexy. I’d taken it out when I’d gone to the bathroom, but if I took off my underwear it might show evidence of bleeding. Urgh. And I didn’t want Hot!Mark to slip his tongue into me and grimace at the taste.

“OK,” he said, sounding disappointed. I looked down. Fuck it: I slid onto my knees and took his dick in my mouth. Just for a bit. I was surprising myself this evening, that was for sure.

Behind us, the bed was crowded with bodies. One woman (I wasn’t sure who) was on her knees, bring fucked from behind from a man who pumped her and slapped her ass. She groaned in time to his hand. She was surrounded by people. As she was being fucked Adam intoned: “Now, now,” as though urging her to come. And there was Jefferson, slipping his dick into her mouth. A plump girl in a bustier and thigh highs was stroking a breast. Jefferson leaned over and took her face in his hands, kissing her. I swallowed.

“Want to go into the other room?” asked Hot!Mark.

Actually I wanted to ogle a little more, but, nodding, I followed him into the living room. Which was occupied by a couple fucking on the couch. I covered my lips with my fingers and tiptoed into the kitchen, where no one was having sex at all.

“Wow,” I said. I sipped more of my whiskey and blinked at Hot!Mark. “I’ve never actually given two blow jobs in the space of twenty minutes before.”

HotMark! smiled modestly: “I have,” he said. I giggled. “Your underwear is cute,” he added, stroking the waistband.

I was wearing printed cotton bikinis. “Thanks. So.” I paused. “What do you do?” We talked a bit about our work, before being joined by Jefferson and Cody, who, I gathered, had been the girl on the couch. Naked, she was gorgeous, and she had red scars criss-crossing a patch of pale skin near her waist. I tried not to stare, but I couldn’t keep my eyes off those markings, that proud evidence of being fucked and whipped or caned or whatever. Cody nuzzled Jefferson. Politely, I looked away.

I glanced at my watch. It was already 11:30; I had told Marc I’d be at his place around 11:00. I wasn’t having sex tonight, and I’d managed to hook up with the two guys I found most attractive, without a great deal of effort on my part! Oh, how I loved Jefferson for this.

Hot!Mark helped me search for my clothes, and when I was finally dressed he asked if I would take his number.

“Let me give you my email,” I said, because I loathe talking on the phone. “I won’t call, I’m awful on the phone.”

So I tried to write down my email address with a marker on a paper towel. Jed entered the kitchen. “Let me give you my email address,” I said to him, too. The ink was bleeding on the towel; this was ridiculous. At last Hot!Mark tore off a strip of paper from his card, and I found a scrap of paper for Jed. “Well,” I said, “I enjoyed going down on you both.”

Christ. I just say the dumbest things. It’s like I think, What would be the stupidest thing I could say?, and then, because it strikes me as funny, I go ahead and say it. “OK, that was a dumb thing to say,” I added after a moment. ”I’m going now.”

On that note, I raced out the door. I enjoyed going down on you both! Christ!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

All is Revealed!

NB: This took place about six weeks ago.

I went to Daniel’s. I read while he played World of Warcraft (!) for a bit, and then he joined me on the bed. We cuddled up close, with my head on his chest.

Then Daniel told me he’d been out with a new girl the other night, and that he was going out with her the following Wednesday (Valentine’s Day!) and then on Friday, too, which was her birthday. “She didn’t have anything planned,” Daniel explained, “So I said, ‘We should do something since it’s your birthday…’”

“Wow,” I said, not sure how I felt about this. “This sounds sort of serious… do you think she’s going to be your girlfriend?” On one hand, I know perfectly well that Daniel and I have no future together, and I hope I don’t begrudge him any happiness. But still: that he had found someone he wanted to be romantic and Valentine’s Day-like with … I was envious.

“Well… it’s early days yet,” Daniel said, rather coyly. “I mean, we’ve been out twice and all I’ve gotten is one good night kiss…” Meaning: this girl wasn’t a slut like me, and therefore girlfriend material? Hmmph. “I don’t know,” Daniel went on. “But she’s interested in the same things I’m interested in; she’s bi, and she’s into video games and she’s been in threesomes…”

“Wow,” I said again. I didn’t know what else to say. Does she not want children, too? I wanted to ask.

I was curled up next to him, when Daniel said, “I want to talk to you about something.” Uh oh. Daniel hesitated, and turned so that we were facing each other. “Wendy thinks you might want more from me, that you might want a serious relationship.”

Wendy is one of Daniel’s roommates. I looked up at him: “Wendy thinks that, eh?”

“Do you?” He looked very anxious.

Did that mean Daniel wanted a relationship with me, and wanted confirmation before declaring his love for me? Ah, probably not. “Well, yes and no.” I sat up. “I mean, Daniel, I’m … very fond of you,” I floundered. “But I know that a relationship is something that you can’t give to me…. I know we want different things.” Meaning me: children. Him: vasectomy.

“Because,” Daniel swallowed, “I don’t want to hurt you. I just. You know.” I nodded, to encourage him to go on. “I don’t want to hurt you, but Wendy thinks… she thinks you might want more from me. I mean, with Robin, we knew right from the start that we were just going to be friends. But with you it’s different, and I don’t want to hurt you.”

It was so strange: for a while I had longed to hear that, that he felt more strongly about me than he did about Robin. Sadly, it was moot now. “Wait a second,” I said. I hopped off the bed and took a gift bag out of my bag. “I got you a Valentine’s present. The card kind of explains things.”

“Oh, you didn’t have to get me anything!” Daniel looked wretched. “I meant to get you something…”

“It’s OK!” I meant it.

He pulled out the gifts: a packet of Magnums and a small bottle of KY Silk. I leered at him. He smirked, and opened the card. This is what it said:

Dear Daniel:
I am so glad I met you! Ever since Oct. 21 (a very lucky day for me) seeing you has been one of the highlights of my week
[I struggled over that. It should really have been ‘the highlight of my week,’ but I didn’t want to go overboard. I mean, he -- and Wendy too, apparently -- were already worried about my level of involvement and when you added that to the damning fact of a V-Day gift, well…].
I so enjoy talking and fucking and just hanging out with you. Like you said, you’re very dear to me, and I’m so glad you’re my friend (among other things. Ahem!)
Much Love,

“Aww…” said Daniel, looking miserable. “Before you got here I was IMing with my ex, and… she’s not over me, and I don’t want to hurt her, but I can’t stop seeing her without being really mean to her, and I don’t want to do that….” His eyes were irritated; he rubbed them.

Oh: they were tears. “Daniel, don’t cry!” I put my arms around him. “Daniel, please don’t be upset.”

“It’s just sad,” he wiped his eyes. “I’m sorry, I’m such a crybaby,” he laughed and wiped his eyes again. I’d never seen him cry. “I just don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to sound egotistical,” he added.

“Daniel, listen,” I said, then stopped. “Look.” I paused again. “Look, I don’t care if you know or anything, I just don’t want to freak you out. But I love you. I think you’re wonderful and gorgeous and lovely and I love you. But I know we want different things, I know you can’t give me what I want.”

“I love you, too,” Daniel sniffled.

Well, thank God for that, at least. I thought for a minute: “I think I came to terms with it a few months ago. For a while I was really, really jealous… when I found out you were taking Robin to Atlantic City, I was beside myself….” I reminisced; it all seemed so long ago now. “That night we went to the Flatiron the second time, I was going to break up with you.”

“You were?”

“Yeah,” I grimaced at the memory, “But then I got over it. And I think that in a way it’s been really good for me, getting to know you and having a relationship with you, all the while knowing that it wasn’t permanent or monogamous, but still being able to have strong and tender feelings for you: I think it’s been really good for me…” I faltered.

“It’s just…” Daniel stretched, and looked glum again. “I was talking to a friend of mine and she’s getting engaged, and I just thought….”

I cocked my head to indicate: What? He went on: “I just started to think: is there something wrong with me? I mean, I start dating women, and then within a few months I feel restless and I want to break up and I just don’t know if I’m ever going to…”

He was worried that he couldn’t have a serious relationship; I would never have guessed. “Daniel,” I touched his arm. “I know of no one more capable of having a healthy, loving, long-term relationship. You are infinitely capable. You’re great, and I know you’ll have a happy relationship with someone.” How did I end up comforting him? I mean, I certainly believed it all, but still. I wiped away a tear from his cheek.

“It’s just that for the past six months I’ve just been dating and there’s been no commitments but…”

But now he wanted to date someone seriously. I understand that: it was what I’d been thinking about recently. With Jeremy, although that hadn’t been too successful. The timing, both of us wanting more, was a strange coincidence. I think.

“And when I see my ex it’s such a mess, and I don’t want to hurt you either; you’ve been nothing but good to me,” he continued. And now I felt a bit like crying too. “I want us to stay friends,” said Daniel. “I know you’ll be a great mom,” he went on, and I felt a wave of tender regret, because he said the word mom so sweetly, “And I’ll want to meet your kids. And you’ll be really hot, and be a MILF…”

Oh, Daniel. I sniffled, and smiled and wrapped myself up close to Daniel. I wiped away a few tears myself, and almost wished we could stay like this always.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sex as Therapy Yields Promising Results!

I feel much better since I’ve fucked someone else.

I know, I know: drama queen. But I don’t feel quite so terribly awful about
Jeremy now that I can moon about Evan. Does that make me one of those women whose entire self esteem rests on whether or not men are prepared to sleep with her? I guess this would be a change from the olden days, when my self esteem rested on whether men were prepared to go on a date with me. Or am I a nymphomaniac? More likely just a shallow hedonist who finds sex a welcome distraction from obsessively mourning imaginary relationships…

Evan and I met at a crowded, brightly lit place on the East Side. It seemed very noisy, but the waiter led us to a fairly quiet and secluded table in the back corner of the room.

“So how have you been?” I said.

“Really, really busy,” said Evan. As it turned out, he’d received a big and surprising promotion, which I congratulated him on. “And you?”

“Actually...” I paused. “It was a pretty bad week, actually. But it’s over now.”

“What happened?”

Oh, I got dumped and had hysterics for four days straight. That ought to go over well. “Bad news and stupid and annoying things,” I hedged, thinking of how poorly I had taken to my new temp assignment, and how much I was dreading returning to the office on Monday.

“Like what?”

“Ah, it’s not really appropriate for me to discuss,” I said airily. I didn’t want to treat Evan as a psychotherapist, which doesn’t seem like good date behavior; also, I didn’t want him to think I was trying to use him as a psychotherapist.

We each ordered a glass of wine, and then Evan blurted out, “Are you pregnant?”

“What?! No, I’m not pregnant.” I smiled, bemused. Or maybe he thought I had a STI! “I’m totally healthy,” I added, just in case. And I explained, “I was just really wary of talking to you like a psychotherapist.” I said, “You know, like how
the other night you told me that every woman you date tells you all about her therapist and what meds they’re on. I didn’t want to do that.... What happened was, I was seeing someone, and it ended really badly.” Well, objectively it only ended really badly for me, but whatever.


“I’m not pregnant,” I repeated. Which was one thing, anyway. “I mean, I would have told you if I was.” Imagine that, we’re dating for two months:
Oh, by the way, I’m pregnant!

“I wouldn’t expect you to,” said Evan sententiously, “I mean, that’s something between a woman and her doctor.”

Well, right. I mean, if I’d been pregnant and planned to have an abortion. Right. A distinct pall hung over the air now. OK.


But eventually our conversation got back on track and Evan asked me a bit about my writing; I told him about the novel I’m working on. He expressed concern at being nosy, but, I assured him, “I think I can speak for most aspiring writers when I say I love talking about my work. I’m just afraid of boring you.”

“Do you have a blog?” he asked.

I froze. “Why do you ask that?” Which was a dumb thing to say. It was defensive, whereas I should have just said No. Or Yes, for that matter. But I didn’t want to lie.

“I don’t know,” said Evan. “You know, you’re a writer, it seems like most writers have blogs these days.”

I paused. “I do have a blog,” I said finally. “But I can’t give you the link,” I added wretchedly. “The blog isn’t... it’s not... it’s ... graphic,” I finished.

“Your blog is about your sex life? You have a sex blog?” Was it my imagination, or did Evan look decidedly impressed?

“Um, yeah. I mean, I write about dating and stuff, too, but there’s a lot of sex in it.” When I’m lucky, I added silently. “I know, it’s sort of hypocritical,” I went on, “I’m perfectly prepared to share my sex life with however many strangers come across my blog, but I’d rather people I know not see it. Most people I know don’t know about it,” I added, “Even my close friends.” This is true. A grand total of seven (well eight, now, with Evan, know of this blog; five people actually know the address, and two of those are my therapist and my psychiatrist).

“No,” said Evan thoughtfully, “I think it makes perfect sense.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, it feels much safer that way. I don’t think it’s hypocritical at all. I think it’s really great,” he added. “How you’re very up front about liking sex and writing about it...”

“Really?” I asked. He nodded. “Cool.” That was a relief. “I think I’d like another drink,” I said. This conversation had been pretty draining.

“Yeah, you look like you could use one,” said Evan. Oh I did, did I?

“So, does it feel weird,” he asked, “When you’re having sex, do you find yourself thinking about the blog, and how you’ll write about it?”

“Well, yes and no,” I said. “On one hand, I notice things-- I thought of
Jordan, from whom I had felt so detached-- “Because some things you can’t help but notice, especially when you’re sleeping with someone new. Because, you know, sex is weird and funny and strange.” I paused, “But I do also feel caught up and sometimes overwhelmed by sensation... I don’t know.”

“Maybe I just have boring sex,” said Evan. “I don’t think I’d have anything to write about.”

“Well I’m a writer,” I pointed out, “I mean, that’s my job, to find the story.”

“So, will you write about this?”

“Um, yeah.”

We were both working on our second drinks; it was after 11:00. I hadn’t had much to eat and was feeling a little buzzed. This was not a bad sensation; especially as I was enjoying our conversation. At one point, while explaining something, my hand brushed his. This was, in fact, entirely accidental.

“You brushed my hand,” Evan smiled.

“Yeah. I wasn’t being coy,” I added. Since my great fear is coyness. My hand lay close to his on the table, but we were no longer touching.

“So I could brush my hand against yours now,” he said.


“But then that would be awkward and I’ve ruined the moment by dissecting it,” said Evan.

Was this his MO with all the girls he met? A psych-out based on purported awkwardness? That’s how I do things: he was stealing my lines!

“Wait,” I said after a moment. I shifted my leg until my foot was resting against his ankle. “How’s that?”

He smiled at me. “You’re really cute,” he said.

** *

We compared depressive episodes – surely this isn’t standard second date conversation?—and Evan said, “Oh, I could tell you were on more than one antidepressant.”

“You could?” I was horrified: “Do I come across as that unstable?”

“Oh no,” Evan hastened to reassure me: “I mean, I’ve got a specialized knowledge, you know.” Well, I suppose.

“How could you tell?”

“Just the way you talked about medication; I don’t know. I’ve been on antidepressants, too.” This was followed by a round up of the drugs we had tried (“You were on Trazodone? Me, too!”) This was very interesting but kind of confirmed my suspicions that Evan was not the most happy-go-lucky of men. I myself am not the most carefree of women, but on dates I do take pains to appear reasonably cheerful.

Then our conversation wended its way back to the heart of things: “So with sex,” he said, “Do you worry about diseases?”

“Oh, I’m paranoid,” I said. “I have this
list of questions that I ask.”

“What, you carry them with you?” he started to laugh.

“Well, not all the time!” Not tonight, certainly. After he had jerked away from my chaste kiss on Monday night I hadn’t thought he’d be so keen to get his clothes off with me.

“So what are the questions?”

I recited as many as I could remember. “I could print them out for you,” I offered.

“That’s OK!” he laughed.

“I’m going to ask you,” I said, then turned my head away: I had just told him I was going to sleep with him.

“What?” he asked.

“I mean,” I said, looking at the table, “I’m going to ask you the questions.”


At long last he leaned across the table and kissed me, and I stretched my arm out to stroke his hand, and touch his neck. We kissed some more, and gazed at one another smugly.

I was on my third glass, and Evan his second. But it was 1:00 am and the cafe was closing. And we’d been getting on so well! “We can make out when we get outside,” I suggested as I struggled into my coat.

Outside we did just that; it was pretty cold. I snuggled up close to him. “I could kiss you for hours,” I hinted.

“You could come over to my place,” said Evan, who clearly is good at hints.

Ha! “OK,” I said.

“We don’t have to have sex,” he added.

“OK,” I said again; honestly, I didn’t feel that strongly either way. If he wanted to wait, that was good, cause I could see the pleasure in anticipation here. On the other hand..

We took a cab back to his place. I feel the backseat of a cab is a natural place for a drunken make out session, but I wasn’t really drunk enough to enter into it with abandon, and it appeared that Evan was not really drunk at all. So I settled for sitting close to him and kissing once or twice. We got out of the cab and I followed Evan into a deli.

“I’ll just stand right here,” I said, and stationed myself in front of a copy of Us Weekly while Evan went to purchase condoms (I assumed). When he was done we walked around the corner to his building, which was a modern high rise with a doorman.

Evan lives with two fellow psychotherapists, two older women. The thought of them seeing me padding around the apartment in a t shirt and bare feet filled me with horror.

“They won’t hear anything,” Evan reassured me. Nonetheless, we went very quietly to his bedroom, which was off the kitchen.

It was a fairly small room, in the center of which was a bed was covered by several thin quilts. I sat on the bed and we started to kiss. “Let’s take these off,” he said, pointing at my boots. I unzipped them: “Oh, God, I didn’t shave my legs,” I cried. As I unrolled my tights another thought hit me: “And I’m not wearing nice underwear, either!”

Evan tumbled onto the bed beside me. We started to kiss. He took off his shirt. I had seen very little of him; I wanted to get a better idea of his body. My fingers traced his fine, hairless torso. He was squarer than
Daniel, thinner than Jeremy, firmer than Jefferson, taller than Simon.

“Listen, are you sure you’re not too drunk?”

“I’m not drunk at all,” I promised. “Really.”

“OK, I wanted to check.” And he slid on top of me, covering my body with his. We made out for awhile, my mouth seeking his skin in the dark. He whispered: “I want to make love with you.”

“That’s really nice,” I whispered back. “I like that. I don’t hear that very often.” I don’t mean like, Oh, woe is me, no one ever wants to make love with (or to) me, I’m only available for fucking or sex. I mean, make love, that’s not a phrase you hear a lot. Even when I’ve been in serious relationships with people I actually loved, that wasn’t a term we used, really. The phrase is loaded, not just with emotion, but with the potential for embarrassment; it’s redolent of soap operas and a lack of irony. But to hear Evan say that-- well! Perhaps I was projecting, but I think it takes a good deal of bravery to tell a stranger you want to make love with them, and not just fuck them. And even if this is just how he gets unwary women into bed, well, it’s pretty effective. I want to make love with you. I liked that very much.

SIDEBAR. There’s only one other time a man has said that to me. It was about four years ago. I was dating a Dutch guy named Jonas. And on our third date, (we had yet to have sex, this was prior to my career as a round heeled woman) we were fooling around on his bed and he whispered, “Want to make love?” and I sort of swooned. Did he say that because he was Dutch, and didn’t recognize how loaded a phrase it is? Or did he say it cause he’s Dutch and was a sensitive welfare state liberal guy? We didn’t have sex until a few days later, and then immediately following that, he called to tell me he could no longer see me as he was still in love with his married ex-girlfriend. I behaved much as I did over Jeremy. To wit: hysterical crying fits. Not to mention swallowing a handful of Ativan in a fit of pique. (“You were on Ativan?” Evan had been impressed when I’d listed the anti-anxiety meds among my list of pharmaceuticals: “Did you like it?”) Ahem. SIDEBAR ENDS.

I ran my fingers down along the length of Evan’s body, trying to get a good look at his dick, hiding under the covers. He slipped his fingers along my clit. I sighed. After a while he reached over and pulled on a condom. “Can I ride you?” He nodded. I slid on top of him.

I looked down at him and sighed, smiling. He looked really, really gorgeous. “What name were you going to call me in the blog?” he asked.

“I was thinking Kenneth.”

“That’s my brother’s name.”


I fit him inside me, and held his gaze as I started to ride him. “Is that good?”

“Yeah.” He clutched my tits. “Oh, God, yeah.”

I fucked him for a while. “Can you hold my hips?” I whispered, and he obliged, putting the pressure of his hands against me while I rode him.

It felt really good but I didn’t come, though I was close, and at last I slipped off him and he climbed into me. It felt really secret and cocoon-like under his covers.

At last we fell asleep and I slept soundly, which I generally don’t do in a stranger’s bed. In the morning we cuddled, and I shielded myself from the sun spilling in through the blinds. He had to go to work, so we were on borrowed time. “Listen,” I said, leaning over him: “Do you think you could get inside me again or do we not have enough time?” I really wanted him inside me.

“I think I can manage it,” Evan said, hiding a smile, like he was pleased despite himself. Again I rode him and he hung onto my hips, pressing down as I rode him, but again I couldn’t come. Then he turned me over and slid one leg up so it rested on his neck as he twisted himself inside me from behind, with me on my side. This was done in what I thought of as a rather expert way, like it was a position he was very familiar with. As I guess he was. “Oooh,” I said, and my voice seemed to come from far away.

But then it really was time to get up. Evan took a shower while I read one of his textbooks. At last we took a cab to his office. This time we were both sober and it was daylight, so there would be no drunken making out, so I contented myself with a brief, close-mouthed kiss as we settled into the backseat. “I have to say goodbye here,” Evan explained as the cab drew up to his office. “In case one of my patients is waiting on the corner.” We kissed again, chastely. His lips were soft; his whole face was soft, sort of bleary and pleased. We exited the cab together and I gave him an awkward wave as we turned to go our separate ways. If a wave can linger, that wave did.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

This is a Low

I don’t think I’ve felt this wrecked by a guy since 2003. Even when I was fretting so theatrically about Daniel, I never felt rejected, and my tears were slight and possibly the result of too much to drink. The problem with Daniel was that I was jealous, and morose about the fact that we had no future together. But with Jeremy, it’s worse: there’s no one to be jealous of, which means he just doesn’t like me, and there’s no reason we can’t have a future together, except that he doesn’t want one. That plays right into all my longstanding fears about my desirability.

I am so angry with Jeremy for not responding to my email, and angry with myself for having expectations and for feeling so disappointed and rejected, and just miserable in every sense of the word. Yesterday I started a new temp assignment, and when I went to the bathroom I wept for a good ten minutes, and the tears washed off my makeup and my eyes were swollen for the rest of the day. In fact they still are, ’cause I’m still crying off and on. I have a terrible cold and I’m afraid this is going to become a full blown depressive episode and I won’t be able to work and I’ll have no money and will never get a real job and will never stop thinking that if only Jeremy liked me, everything would be OK.

I still cannot get over the fact that he didn’t respond to my email. What kind of person does that? I made it so bloody easy for him! All he had to do was say, “Sorry, Lily, I’m not interested.” That was it. He didn’t have to meet me, or to disabuse me of any fantasies, or even to pick up the goddamn phone. I gave him such an easy out. But he couldn’t even be bothered to give me that courtesy. I wasn’t even worth that to him. But instead of hating him I loathe myself for not being the person that Jeremy wants to date, or even to be polite to. What kind of person dates someone for six weeks and then disappears without even an email? Well, a lot of people, actually, but I never thought I would fall for one of them! And at the back of my mind is the knowledge that he probably doesn’t treat everyone this way; he has had other relationships and must, after 38 years on this planet, have some sort of idea of etiquette. It’s just that I’m so unbearable that his usual gallantry is overwhelmed, and he has to pretend I don’t exist. And then I have stupid, stupid thoughts like, What if he was the right person for me, only he doesn’t know it? Ah. I’m crying again.

And then there’re the fantasies: for instance, Daniel, seeing how miserable I am, finds out Jeremy’s name and address and, unbeknownst to me, seeks him out and beats him up. “How could you hurt Lily?” he demands. Jeremy struggles to his knees on the pavement outside his apartment building, impressed by Daniel’s devotion to me, not to mention the fact that my defender is much hotter than he is. “She’s the loveliest, sexiest girl you’ll ever meet!” Daniel cries passionately. “Don’t you think she deserves an explanation for your appalling behavior?!” And then Jeremy, bloodied but enlightened, will be brought to his senses and declare himself totally in love with me. That’s the best one. The others are more like actual possible outcomes of seeing Jeremy, and could more accurately be described as nightmares: I ring Jeremy’s doorbell and demand an explanation. Jeremy, upon realizing who’s standing on his stoop, calls the cops. Then I start crying hysterically, the cops shake their head, and Jeremy never once ventures out of his apartment. If only this wouldn’t make me a stalker, I might do it (the demanding the explanation part, hopefully not the hysterical crying part). But it means I would forfeit whatever dignity I have left at this point, and might be arrested to boot. Or perhaps I run into Jeremy on the street and block his way until he tells me why the hell he couldn’t even reject me properly. Jeremy, flustered, says it’s because he thought I wasn’t interested in a serious relationship. I tell him, “All right! Let’s have a serious relationship! I’m all yours!” and then Jeremy panics and I am forced to see that that isn’t the reason at all, he didn’t cut himself off from me because I’m so wonderful, but because he just finds me boring or stupid or unappealing or all three. That scenario would require me running into him on the street, however, which is not too likely, unless I were to station myself on his block. And again, if the idea weren’t totally transparent and stalker-y, I might do it. Obviously the Daniel version is my favorite. Of course, as unhappy as I am, I hope I will not actually spill my guts to Daniel about this, since that would be pretty impolite, to whine about romantic misery regarding Jeremy to someone else I’m sleeping with. So I’m stuck.

I’m at the horrible point where I’m wishing it were three or four weeks ago, that I could have one more night to sort things out with Jeremy. I’m thinking about our time together over and over, when he said this or I said that, and how he looked when he fucked me… thinking how na├»ve I was, not to realize how lucky I was to have met him… yesterday at my horrible new temp job I was filing, and the very sight of the words “New Jersey” on a folder gave me a pang, because Jeremy grew up there.

And at the back of my head is the faint hope that Jeremy is out of town and hasn’t seen my email. I could find this out easily enough by looking at his online profile and seeing when he was last online. But I won’t, because I already know the answer.

At last my therapist Caroline returned my call, just as I had about stopped crying for what seems like the seventh time in three days.

“Listen to yourself,” she chided, after I’d told her how Jeremy had not even responded to my email, and how insulted and hurt I was that he couldn’t even be bothered to write to me. (By the time I got through my recitation I had, of course, started weeping once more). “Do you really think he didn’t write you back because you’re not worth a response?” said Caroline. “That he has so much contempt for you? That’s ridiculous. Don’t you think he might feel ambivalent?”

Well… “But it doesn’t matter if he’s ambivalent if he’s not going to write me back!” I wailed.

Caroline said that my response to this whole affair suggests that what I really want is to have a serious relationship again, as evidenced by my spark of interest in Jeremy when he said he was interested in marriage, etc. I think my response suggests that I am a glutton for rejection. “I know this is hard,” Caroline said. “But you’re going to have to let this be the end, even without the closure you want from his response.”

I am in big favor of closure. In fact, I need it. Otherwise I can't let things go (no kidding!) and my obsessive thoughts (an example of which is this post, ahem) can inch into overdrive. It's very boring. “But I don’t want to let this be the end,” I whined. “I want him to get in touch with me! Oh God!” And I burst into tears. Again.

But then I decided that I will pretend that Jeremy is going to write me. He is going to send me a brief, polite email, one that will explain his feelings. And until his desertion completely sinks in, I will pretend that he’s going to get in touch at any moment, that he’s thinking about me and wants to tell me things. This is contrary to my entire philosophy, which is that it’s best to just expect the worst, but if it keeps me from collapsing in tears on the phone, I might give it a go anyway.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Do My Neuroses Look Attractive on This Date?

Last night I had a date with Evan. We sat at the counter at the tapas bar I favor. “So what do you do?” I asked.

“I’m a psychotherapist,” he said.

Oh, God! “No kidding,” I said weakly, thinking, Don’t say anything crazy!

He smiled wryly, “That’s what every woman I’ve dated says: ‘No kidding.’ And then they all tell me about their therapists, and what medications they’re on.”

“Ha,” I said. “Well, I’d like to preserve some mystery, so I’ll save that for later.” I take a lot of meds. I didn’t want to scare him off.

Funny, for a psychotherapist he didn’t seem like the most well adjusted of dates; he seemed sort of glum and expecting the worst. Not with me, but with dating in general. We had the usual discussion about Internet dates – how long have you been doing it, what’s your worst date, etc. And then he said, “How many times have you had this meta date discussion?”

“Oh,” I said, surprised, “Well, I guess on most dates.”

We discussed what I guess I’ll term dating theory. I think the problem with dating in general is that we go into each date expecting that we should meet the person of our dreams; alternatively, we expect it to be awful. Either way, we’re setting ourselves up. “I hate the idea of a soul mate,” I said, but at the same time I was thinking about Jeremy. Not that he’s my soul mate, but that he could have been one of them, only he didn’t seem to think so, and how had I managed to be that misled... “I think we have this idea that there’s one perfect person out there for us, and dating strangers you meet online kind of encourages this idea of destiny, because they’re people you’ll never otherwise meet.

“My friend says don’t be cool,” Evan said, apropos of our discussion of proper self-presentation on dates. “She says you shouldn’t try to be cool – like you’re not interested, like it doesn’t matter.”

“I agree!” I said. “It takes a certain kind of strength to be willing to appear vulnerable, and that is strength, to admit to liking someone…”

Then I said I liked beta males.

“So I’m a beta male?” said Evan. He sounded depressed at the idea.

“Well, yeah, I never date alpha males,” I said. It’s true. I far prefer shy, nice, mild-mannered men.

We were at the same place I went to on my second date with Jeremy—clearly I was determined to mine my misery for all it was worth, but unlike that time, Evan and I did not start making out at the subway station on the escalator down to the platform. Instead we walked along the platform, and when my train came we embraced very awkwardly and I planted a close mouthed kiss on the corner of my mouth. Very smooth. Not. He stammered, “Well, I’d like to see-see you again… you could email me.”

“Or you could email me,” I said encouragingly.

We waved and I got on the train. I had had two glasses of wine and was feeling OK. I hoped there would be an email for me from Jeremy at home, although I was feeling relaxed enough to not even need to check my email! Oh, if only I could still feel that way when I got home...

But eventually I got home, and I immediately turned on the computer. Please God, I said, just in case anyone was listening, Just let him have emailed me, that’s all I’m asking for now, OK?
He hadn’t emailed me. I started to cry.

I don’t think I’ve cried like that in some time. Maybe not since 2003 when I was hysterical about Jonas. I lay down on my bed and sobbed; I pounded my fists into my pillow; I howled, softly.

It was just the cruelty of it: he couldn’t even put my mind at rest. This was how much Jeremy thinks of me: he couldn’t even be bothered to respond to my email. My pathetic, polite, gentle email that asked only if he was dropping me. Because this was it. If he couldn’t bring himself to respond to my email quickly, he wasn’t going to do it. I know it now and I knew it last night, which was why I spent so much time yesterday evening checking my phone for messages and worrying about my email. Maybe Jeremy had originally planned on emailing me, but probably by the time he saw my email, was surprised I was still hanging around, and quickly deleted the whole thing, so he could safely forget about me.

This made me so angry. That was what I meant to him – not even enough to warrant a polite fuck off. I wailed. My room was steaming hot, it was almost midnight and I hadn’t wept like this in years. I was so angry and so hurt and it was like I had gone back in time, and once again I was this incredibly unlucky girl who could never get a break, romantically. For those minutes, it was like the more recent past year hadn’t happened, and I was the doomed loveless girl I was a few years ago. I was the same moron who’d fantasized about Jonas; who’d thought—falsely—that she was attractive, who was stupid to think that someone cool and smart and nice could possibly love her, or at least like and respect her enough to respond to her goddamned email.

Anyway that was last night. This morning, there was a nice email from Evan. Asking if I’d like to get together again. I said sure. There was, of course, no email at all from Jeremy. How could I have not have realized that he was the kind of person who wouldn’t respond to my email? How did I miss that fact? I guess the fear is that in reality Jeremy is not a guy to behave so badly, but I’m so awful that he simply can’t bear the thought of any further contact with me.

And then I started thinking about where I’d gone wrong: what if I hadn’t told Jeremy I wasn’t monogamous? What if two or three weeks ago I’d told him I would date him exclusively? Or what if I hadn’t said, “I like you tons,” drunkenly, on that night after he returned from Florida? On that first night I stayed at his place he said, “I kind of wish you were five years older…” did he change his mind so quickly? I guess that was something he said and forgot, while I took it to heart. Maybe he’s completely forgotten that conversation. Perhaps for him the most meaningful moment we ever had was when we discovered a mutual love of The Cars and compared our favorite songs (me: “Magic”; him: “You Might Think”). In a way it’s more flattering to think that if only I had let him know I was really interested earlier, this could have all been OK. But that’s not the case, really. I mean, his behavior suggests that sometime around Christmas he decided he didn’t really care what happened, but by that time, it was too late for me.

Anyway, there’s nothing to do about it now, except hope that soon I’ll stop compulsively checking my email and hoping against hope for him to get in touch. Unfortunately it will probably take a while. Apparently the formula is supposed to be that it takes you half the time of the relationship to get over it. For me, this is usually reversed: it usually takes me twice as long as the relationship lasted to recover, particularly if it’s a fairly short one. I saw Jeremy for about six weeks, not counting these last two weeks. So I should probably be sufficiently recovered in about three months. This strikes me as ridiculous. But that’s me. Totally, stupidly, terminally ridiculous.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Upside to Pessimism

Generally I think that being optimistic is asking for it. Why build your hopes up? I’m trying to be philosophical about the situation with Jeremy, which I’m thinking about constantly. Or possibly nonstop. Seriously obsessive thoughts, very bad.

OK, OK – this isn’t the end of the world. This went much further than my fling with Jonas and I’m not going to collapse like I did in 2003. I must have improved somewhat. I have improved somewhat; I am more adult. I must be.

I will try not to build up crazy fantasies about men I sleep with. My imagination has filled in all the blanks in Jeremy’s personality and I’ve made him into my perfect man. But he isn’t; there isn’t one, and I will meet lots more wonderful, sexy men, only I will not think about the future. I keep saying to myself, You’re going to be fine, but I can’t stop thinking about Jeremy long enough to concentrate on the pep talk.

I wish I could take something to stop my obsessive thoughts. Or, alternatively, I wish I wasn’t such a mess… the latter, preferably. At least I don’t think Jeremy’s rejection is an indication of serious personality flaws or hideousness on my part. Not much, anyway. I just feel needy, like I need for him to call me and tell me straight up that we’re through.

I have a date tonight with someone named Evan, and he should be here in five minutes. I’ve really got to enjoy myself tonight or be prepared to try for an hour or so; please let me think about something other than Jeremy. And please, let me come home to an email from him. I won’t even ask that it say Yes, I want to see you. Just an answer should do it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Same Old Story

It has now been two weeks and one day since I saw Jeremy. I feel very rejected and unhappy about this, but I’m sublimating it under a layer of righteous indignation. After all, it isn’t polite: we’ve been seeing (were seeing) one another since early December. He shouldn’t not email for two weeks. None of it makes sense, since the last time I saw him everything was great. And then it occurred to me that perhaps he decided he didn’t want to see me when he was in Florida over Christmas, and since then he’s just been seeing me ‘cause I’ve been contacting him. Then his behavior makes perfect sense. Have I been kidding myself for over a month now? The thought is painful, but I’m trying to ignore it in favor of being angry with him for not telling me he wasn’t interested. Maybe I will actually tell him this next weekend.

When I saw Caroline on Thursday we decided I was not going to think about it at all for the next week. That hasn’t really worked.

You know what the worst part is? For the next month, every time the phone rings or I open my email I’m going to hope against hope that he’s contacting me, and every time it isn’t him, I will continue to feel the disappointment I didn’t think I had any more of.