Is this how they kiss in Minnesota? I thought one evening in May as I stood kissing a stranger on a Manhattan street corner. If so, Minneapolis-St. Paul was highly underrated: I thought I was going to pass out.
It was my second date with Will. We had met at the birthday party I have with Marc every year. Will worked with Marc, and was new to New York. He had close-cropped blond hair and blue eyes and a stutter. Everything about him said Midwesterner! Geek!
At the party we’d sat on Marc’s pouf (a beanbag without the beans) and talked about books and New York City. Will was lanky and wore blue jeans and a soft cotton button down shirt. I really enjoyed our conversation, and he was the first cute guy I’d met at a regular party (non orgy setting) in some time.
I stayed over at Marc’s after the party and the next morning I announced, “I thought Will was cute. What do you rate my chances with him?”
And then a voice said: “Oh, you like him? That’s a good idea!”
It was Louise. “Oh, God!” I said, then I started to laugh.
Louise was a co-worker of Marc’s, and she was staying with Marc for a few weeks. And as I had forgotten she was in the next room, she had overheard my comment. Not only that, she worked in the same lab as Will and saw him every day.
“No, really,” said Louise. “Will’s so nice. You’d be cute together. Would it be OK if I said something to him? I’ll be really subtle.”
I shrugged, still embarrassed at being caught out like that. “Sure,” I said.
And, lo and behold, it wasn’t too subtle, because two days later I got an email from Will, asking me if I’d like to meet for a drink! I said yes, and promptly emailed Louise to find out what she had said. This was just like eighth grade.
Louise demurred: “Really, I was pretty casual. I don’t remember exactly.” But whatever she had said, it didn’t matter: we were going on a date.
On our first date we had drinks and split a quesadilla at a West Side bar (“drapps,” according to The Hookup Handbook – a portmanteau word covering “drinks” and “appetizers” and The Hookup Handbook’s approved first date activity.) The conversation flagged when he mentioned his libertarian tendencies, but we got along and had lots to discuss. But I was not feeling a spark and when it was time to go I was almost relieved.
We walked to the train station together and Will gave me an awkward, close-mouthed kiss.
When he asked me for another date I agreed; I decided the problem was mine. And Louise had made an effort, and he had taken a chance -- a second date was in order, I felt.
On our second date we went to the movies. We were early, and so we walked a few blocks and while I stopped to coo at every dog who trotted past, Will told me about running, which he does four or five times a week, and about California, where he lived until February. During the movie his arm didn’t brush mine, and I neglected to be nervous and nearly forgot that we were on a date. We were just two people, watching a film on a Saturday night.
Afterwards we went across the street to a diner. And there, over our Rueben (him) and grilled cheese (me) I warmed up quite a bit and Will again started looking handsome and, more than that, appealing. I could kiss him! I realized with relief.
At last we left the diner. It was a mild night and we walked slowly towards the subway station. His arm was sort of around my shoulder, and I was teasing him and there were a lot of coy glances and half smiles. And then, somewhere around Park Avenue, Will kissed me.
He kissed me so slowly I thought his mouth would never open. His lips brushed mine, as they are said to do in romance novels. The street was dark and we stood on the corner as his mouth lingered over my lips, hovering there, breathing on me. I thought I was going to pass out.
I mean, it was probably because he was so tall I had to stand on my toes and lean my head back to kiss him – all the blood was rushing to my head and I was feeling dizzy but I thought, Is this how they kiss in Minnesota?! I had been missing out.
I leaned my face against his tight chest, feeling very unsteady what with all the oxygen deprivation. I wound my fingers around his neck and hair and held on while he teased my mouth, kissing and stopping and kissing me some more.
It couldn’t have been that long that we were standing there, but it felt like ages. Then Will said, “Do you want to take the bus back with me? Or a cab,” he added.
I smiled. “A cab, yes,” I said. I would have taken the bus, if it came to that, but all this romance seemed to require something more hedonistic than the crosstown bus.
Will lived in a high rise condo, with a dishwasher and living room furniture and everything. I was impressed. We sat on his couch, kissing and cuddling.
The living room scenario went on for quite a while. The thing is, however flirty I am, I wasn’t going to say “Let’s go to your room.” Partially because it’s his apartment, and partially because despite the come hither approach that comes to me easily with guys I feel are geekier than me, in the end I wanted him to be the one to take charge, which for me at least meant making the move that would get us from his couch to his bedroom.
So for a long while we kissed and slid about on the leather sofa, struggling with our shirts and not to sink into the upholstery. At last Will said, “Want to go to my room?” I nodded.
It felt good to stretch out on his bed – a queen size actual bed with a platform and headboard, a real grown up’s bed – and he loomed over me, smiling. We were both half dressed. We tumbled around, stroking and nibbling, and as I lay in his arms Will noted, “Huh, you’ve got a scratch there, I think I was kind of aggressive with you.”
Be aggressive! I thought. Be very aggressive! I wondered what sex with Will would be like. I thought there might not be much in the way of talking, for some reason, even though our dates had been very chatty. I figured that none of the words that get me so riled up – words like “slut” or “pussy” or “cunt” or “cock”– would be in Will’s vocabulary. I sighed.
Then Will said, “I wasn’t expecting this kind of party.”
“OK,” I said. Then, cause I was confused, I asked: “Did you mean that literally or figuratively?”
“I mean in a practical sense.”
Oh: no condoms. “That’s OK,” I said. “I kind of like the anticipation. We can wait.”
In the morning I woke up very early. On the bedside table next to me were a number of books, mostly on physics or Buddhism. I picked up one on meditation and tried to concentrate.
Will, it occurred to me, was a very nice man, but almost entirely unknown to me. And I – and my recent sexual history -- was likewise unknown to him. Everything that I knew about him seemed foreign: he was new to New York. He had an academic background, now worked in computers and, from his address, apparently made a good living. He was tall and blue eyed. He liked to run. And evidently he meditated, a practice I find incomprehensible (I am not deep). Not only that, but he liked U2. Will was in every way completely unlike me, it seemed. I glanced at him.
After a few minutes Will turned over and smiled at me. “Hey,” he said. We started to kiss. “It’s time for quote unquote breakfast,” Will whispered.
I was really hungry. “OK,” I said. Then, again, I needed clarification: “Oh, wait, did you mean something other than food?”
“I meant you’re breakfast,” Will smiled, running his fingers along the slope of my waist.
“Oh!” I said. “Well, OK then!”
So Will tramped off for supplies while I wondered why a thirty three year old would not actually say the word condom.
When he got back he stripped off and straddled me: “I’ve had enough anticipation for one morning,” he said.
I had not been expecting much, to tell the truth. I guessed it would be very quick since I suspected I was the first girl he’d bedded since moving to New York several months ago. Will had a moderately sized dick, not huge, but nice and well proportioned, just like him. I sucked him a little bit, and he moaned. He bent over me, and as his mouth sucked at my hips and the soft skin of my belly I gasped. I hadn’t expected his mouth to do that to me. He went down on me with a slow, persistent tongue. I sighed, waiting: I wanted him inside me.
He fumbled with the condom. “Ah!” he said, examining it in the light. He was having a hard time getting it over his dick; it wasn’t unrolling.
“Do you have any lube?” I was a little anxious, and could have used some. Will shook his head. So it took a while for him to get his dick in me. At last he relaxed on my chest and I felt his dick, a solid weight, holding steady in my pussy. “Do you like that?” I breathed. “Is that good?”
“Yeah,” he said. “Oh, yeah.”
He rocked against me and smiled and I sighed. He had a gorgeous body, actual six pack abs and broad shoulders and lovely defined biceps and a perfect, firm, egg-shaped ass. Mostly I go for underfed arty types, but Will’s runner’s body was pretty fucking hot, I must say.
Then I got on top of him and started rocking back and forth. “Oh, oh,” Will gasped. He looked at me and started to laugh, his face a rictus.
“What?” I said, pretending not to understand. “Am I tickling you?”
“No,” he gasped, laughing some more: he was coming. Wait! I thought, but it was no good: he came. So I worked his dick a bit more, and I came just as he had finished. Was this a simultaneous orgasm? It was almost simultaneous, at any rate. I had never had an orgasm so close to someone else’s. Did this mean something spiritual? Like, a future? Or just that Will hadn’t had sex in a while?
Will clutched me against his body and smiled at me.
Oh, I don’t know what anything means, I thought, gazing with bewilderment at this strange man’s pleasant, unknown face. “Come on, let’s have breakfast,” I said. “I’m starving.”