On my way to Tilda’s, I considered whether this was a second date, and, if so, did it count as sleeping with someone on the second date if said date took place at an orgy?
See, in order to get over Dean, I had to start dating. Ashley had told me that she’d grasped the nettle and told all her friends she was interested in being set up, so I thought I’d do the same. I asked Jefferson if he knew of anyone suitable. It did strike me as funny that I thought the self-described pervert who’d orchestrated the majority of my risqué activities since 2006 would know anyone “suitable,” but I trust Jefferson.
Jefferson came up with the goods fast. He emailed me, “I traded notes with your new boyfriend and he’s glad to hear I recommend you to one another. So let me tell you a little about him. Byron is a 30-something Brit with a good job. He’s a lovely, personable, entertaining fellow and he's one of my favorite drinking buddies of late (Cabernet). …. Here’s a pic. Cute, right?” He added that Byron would be at the party Tilda was hosting on Friday. As would I.
Byron and I corresponded and agreed to meet for a drink the day before the party. Then I approached Jefferson with a sensitive question: “Is he bald?” I asked. “I'm wondering, cause he’s wearing a hat in the photo. Also, how tall do you think he is? Just curious....” (for just curious read: I hope he’s tall).
Jefferson was quick to assure me that Byron did have a full head of hair. He went on, “And he’s taller than me — I guess six foot? I don’t meant to make him sound perfect, so let me come up with a flaw . . . oh, he cares too much.”
When I met Byron on the Thursday night, I was relieved to recognize him at once—he looked just like his photo (I have a hard time recognizing people. For instance in December I went to Marc’s office’s Christmas party and, according to Marc, I “totally blanked” Will. I hadn’t recognized him at all, and we’d been fairly familiar with one another not so long ago. On the other hand, I always remember people’s middle names.)
Byron and I sat at a table near the window, and I ordered a ginger ale. I’d felt mildly nauseated all day. I’d been afraid I was coming down with a stomach flu, but eventually I twigged—I was nervous. Duh.
Byron had sandy hair, blue eyes, and a large, broad nose. He was my age, and from the north of England. I liked his voice a lot; I think a Northern accent is sort of rounder than a Southern one. I sipped my ginger ale. We talked about our common friend, and his blog, and then Byron asked, “Do you have a blog?”
“Hnnnnnnnnugh,” I said. “Well, I do,” I admitted finally. “But I’d rather not give you the address.” Dean had always had access to my blog, and I’d (mostly) censored what I wrote about him because of it. I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted at least the possibility of normal dating, whereby one person’s most intimate (and hopefully amusingly written) thoughts and feelings are not available online. I never would have been able to say what I did about Sweetheart Daniel if he had known about my blog, for instance.
“That’s OK!” Byron said. He smiled. He had a wide, sweet smile, and I relaxed a little.
“Do you have a blog?” I asked. Yes, he did. “I won’t ask you for the address.”
“I think that’s kind of nice, actually, you not wanting me to see your blog.” He did? Well, OK.
I eventually had a few glasses of wine, and when we parted outside the restaurant we kissed. It was open-mouthed, with a hint of tongue, but not quite a full-on make-out session.
And now, less than 24 hours later, we would be meeting again, only this time we’d be at a party held expressly for the purpose of having sex.
At Tilda’s I was met by a man I took to be Tilda’s boyfriend, but who I later discovered was the servant boy for the night. It was his job to fetch us drinks and attend to our needs, as it were.
In her apartment I was greeted by Tilda, wearing a fifties-style dress (very cute), and Jefferson, resplendent in shiny black pants: “PVC,” he explained. “Where else does a respectable father of four get to wear such togs?”
It was early and there weren’t many people here. I saw Marla, who figuratively and literally sparkled (she was wearing lots of shiny things) with her new boyfriend. I met Miss Molly Ren. I was suddenly starving and scarfed a lot of cheese and crackers. While I was stuffing my face, Byron arrived.
We greeted one another and drifted off into a group of people standing near the refrigerator. I was introduced to Toby and Lisa. Lisa was a little taller than me and looked distinctly underwhelmed by this gathering, while Toby looked like he’d just smoked a lot of weed. I (stealthily) positioned myself near Byron. Once I switched from Diet Coke to alcohol, I felt a little bolder. A tall fellow all in white wandered in, and it took me a minute to realize it was Jed (his short hair still surprised me). He came to greet me and we hugged. “Do you want to go into the other room?” he asked, sotto voce, as I poured myself a glass of wine.
“I’m kind of showing Byron around,” I explained, euphemistically.
Then the lights dimmed, and people started undressing. I remembered how, when Jefferson hosted orgies, on Mmmark’s arrival he’d say, “Oh look, Mmmark’s here! He’s the catalyst for the orgy, because he’s so hot.” Then he would add, “Or because he’s late.” But Mmmark wasn’t here tonight. Byron and I were leaning against the refrigerator, and I wondered if he was ever going to kiss me. I looked at him from under my lashes (the flirtiest thing I consciously do), giving him my best come hither glance.
Byron noticed: “You have very expressive eyes,” he said.
Yeah, and they’re saying kiss me. But eventually he did, so I could stop being nervous and anticipatory and start being relaxed and anticipatory. By this time people were in various states of undress—I spied Jefferson in the other room, naked (natch). Byron and I made out, my back against the refrigerator. He slipped his hand beneath my shirt and, after several attempts, managed to unhook my bra. I liked his awkwardness. “Ah,” said Toby, who, I realized, had been standing nearby with several other observers, “At last. We were taking bets on when you would get that off.”
I folded my arms across my breasts. Partially because I was embarrassed, and partially because I felt that being modest at an orgy is my shtick, my way of differentiating myself. Not that it’s not real; I am uncomfortable flashing my tits at a roomful of people who I’ve just met. And so when Toby asked to see my breasts, I demurred. I wondered: Is this modesty or marketing?
Byron and I kissed for a while, and then we made our way to the next room, where Toby and Jed were whipping Lisa’s ass (literally). She was bent over, her face to the corner, naked but for striped boy shorts. “Now put your legs together,” Jed commanded in a pleasant, paternal voice. He raised the whip. I swallowed hard.
But very shortly thereafter Jed ambled over and I wound up on the sofa with both Byron and Jed. Why hadn’t I thought of that? It was if the three of us synchronized our watches or exchanged sonic Yeses. Because without really looking at one another, I kissed Jed, and my jeans came off (I had finally uncovered my breasts). Then Byron slid his mouth down my belly. He looked up at me briefly before dipping his tongue against my clit. I couldn’t help it: I moaned.
It was agreed that we could “stretch out” (or, you know, have a threesome) in the back room, so we trooped across the apartment and settled on a futon, with Byron on my right and Jed on my left. Jefferson was on the bed next to us, with someone’s bare limbs wrapped around his back. I was fizzy with drink and enjoying myself immensely, with Byron’s tongue gently probing my clit and labia. My hips swayed towards his mouth, while I sucked Jed’s dick enthusiastically. I was dimly aware that other people were in the room, but I concentrated on Jed, while he murmured all the dirty words I love to hear. He came all over my tits, and I lay there dazed as he stroked a cloth over my chest, cleaning me up. I curled up against Byron, peaceful as a cat.
When it was time to get up I realized that there were six other people in the room, of whom at least three had been watching us with some interest. I found myself back in naïf mode, and I blinked and said, “Christ.” I ran my hands through my sweat-stung hair. “Ah.”
Now it was late and, as I’d successfully hooked up, my mission was officially complete. I could go home and go to sleep. However, I wanted to go home with Byron, but I couldn’t bring myself to say, “So, um, I was wondering, um, if…” Luckily Byron just called a car and took my arm, and he and Jed and I got into a cab together! But that was only because Jed and Byron live near one another. The cab dropped Jed off first.
When we got to Byron’s he opened the front door, “Oh my God, it’s so messy,” he said, sounding sincerely mortified. It didn’t look messy to me, though admittedly I would hardly know if it was; my housekeeping is casual at best. We went into his bedroom.
Alone, I could concentrate on his body. I hadn’t seen much of him, since I’d been occupied with Jed during our recent futon engagement. Byron had a warm, soapy smell, long limbs, and a lovely splay of freckles across his shoulders and back. He was uncircumcised, like most European men. I lay down on the flannel sheets, and when he pulled out Trojan Magnums I rejoiced.
He felt good inside me though I was too tired to get on top or indeed do anything the least bit strenuous. Byron, on the other hand, seemed prepared to keep going for some time. After a while he pulled out, and stroked my arm and kissed my nipples. I listened to his lovely (he pronounced it luvflee) northern voice. Did I want a glass of water? Something to eat? Was it too warm?
Then he got inside me again and broke out in a sweat all over—even his scalp was damp as I clutched his head close when he came.
In the morning we moved from the bed to the sofa, where I did climb on top to fuck him. I like this position very much—I have control, but there’s so much more upper body contact. I came quickly, my legs shaking furiously. I thought it was clear I had come, but Byron asked, “Are you cold?”
“No one’s cold like that!”
We went back to his bed where we fucked some more, then into his lavish bathroom where we soaked in the hot tub-sized tub. He leaned back and I slumped next to him, my hair curling damply from the hot water. I lay there placidly, as if I usually spent my Saturday mornings lounging in a stranger’s oversized bathtub. I recognized this feeling: It was identical to a carbohydrate coma, a very pleasant state.
Then we went to brunch and when he drove me home the conversation wandered around the subject of relationships. “And what are you looking for?” He asked as we neared my apartment building.
“Well,” I said. What I wanted was not really the kind of thing you’re supposed to talk about on the first (or second) date, even if that date did involve sex and brunch. But fuck it, I wasn’t ashamed: “I’m ready for a serious relationship,” I said. “I’m 35, and I want to be committed to someone. I’m monogamous by nature.” True, though there’s not much evidence of that in this blog. I thought, briefly, of Dean: “I’d like to get married, and I want to have children, too, though not for a few years. Three or four years,” I concluded. Awkwardly.
“That makes sense,” he said, mildly, and pulled onto my street. We kissed goodbye several times, smiling at one another like sex-drugged accomplices. Then I trudged up the stairs to my apartment, where I took off all my clothes and climbed into bed. The last 18 hours had been eventful, and I needed to get some rest.