sex

Halfsies

Depending on one’s approach to quantifying sexual escapades, Quentin may or may not have made the count. It was fun, grimy, hot, but affected by too much vino and, thus, abandoned mid thrust.

If my sweet Belgian lover can no longer be considered such, I am forced to question the legitimacy of two other sordid affairs. If I’m down three, do I regain some semblance of purity, losing the heavy chains of slutdom as I earn a second chance to piously rededicate myself to all things clean and untarnished by the sweaty meeting of bodies in the dark?

I don’t think so. I won’t forsake Quentin and his halfsy predecessors, Jon and Stilwell. Honestly, I don’t want to forget about the grungy chateau fuck, or Jon’s struggle to stay hard, or even the mortifying night Stilwell declared self-punishment.

I’m counting total P-in-V number here. It wouldn’t be fair to consider only the men who have “finished.” Should I only count the number of times I’ve tasted that victory as well?—cuz believe you me sista, I’d be way down. Sometimes it refuses to happen for a woman; a jab the wrong way, the cat’s sudden meow, a truck hurtling over the road: the slightest interruption and the game is called in forfeit. Nah, I don’t care if the guys I’ve tousled with have released their sperm into the harsh, sterile world of discarded latex or not.

This is a woman’s world, and I’m keeping tally of the halfsies.

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one-night stand

Quentin

Just before the sun rose, the DJ called it quits and the last six of us were stranded on an empty dance floor. The silence was abrupt, and my heart faltered for only a second as I longed for a longer night. Our bones and nerves now synchronized, we, without discussion, began rolling out sleeping bags and taking off dress shirts; but before turning in, Quentin, my cousin Clement, and I escaped for one last cigarette, clinging to the evening for just a moment more.

The three of us were drunk, happy, and tied together as if by spiderwebs, invisibly, but felt in an odd lingering kind of way. Clement and I bullshitted about smoking weed and getting high, and we laughed like estranged cousins would upon being reunited. Homey and content; this was a sense of family I had never known; but it, too, was cut short when the sun made its first hazy appearance over the horizon. Clement evaporated into the early dawn, and it was Quentin and I left to ourselves.

His words were full of what he said he couldn’t do, but his hands contradicted him. And then his lips, and mine.

The memories come back only in quick flashes, like a kid flipping a light switch up and down, blacking out sections of the scene and illuminating others.

Quentin took a condom from the pocket of Sergio’s abandoned jacket—one betrayal layered on top of another.

Cut to the bathroom, pushed up onto the sink. Buckles came undone, groping. Move to the stall, opening button after button. Lips on chests, hands on backs. Kissing necks. Stumbling.

On the floor. Against the wall. The tattoo on his rib cage: a broken horizontal line. I laughed and told him again it was stupid. He said he loved my piercings.

My fingers in his hair, on his neck, his ears. His tongue on my nipple, stomach, hip. We kissed and my mouth followed his body down. “I love the U.S.,” he said. “Shut up,” I told him. He said it again: “I love the U.S.” I was laughing inside.

“Damnit,” he let out, “damn wine.” It wasn’t going to work tonight. “Damn red wine.” His Belgian–French accent was cute, almost a child-like lisp escaping from between his teeth, and his smug hipster unapproachability faded. I smiled. I didn’t care. “Damnit.” He gave up.

Quentin was number ten.

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freedom

barefoot

Just days before making our way to Paris, Elizabeth and I were soaking up the fantasy world that was southern France: glasses of red wine that never emptied, fresh loaves of bread the size of three, maybe four, human heads, vineyards spanning the entire expanse of the horizon. The troupe taking part in this wild dream was equally enchanting, and though diverse, combined to create the most alluring and sublime dynamics.

Converging from around the world to celebrate the union of husband and wife was not only the groom’s vivacious familial ties from Mailotte and the bride’s French extensions. Elizabeth and I represented America, and there was also Naoko from Japan, Sergio from Spain, Thomas from Switzerland, and Quentin from Belgium.

The latter, invited to the wedding as both friend and photographer, maintained the most elegantly quaffed hair and the nonchalant, confident attitude of a European model. He was a highly attractive 24-year-old whose gait and overall demeanor invited admiration and yet reminded others of their own inadequacy. I was immediately drawn to this siren of a man, but knew, of course, that an innocent flirtation was all that could transpire between us. Both his aloofness and rumors of a girlfriend reinforced this reality.

At the other end of the spectrum was Sergio, the good-hearted Spanish boy juggling oranges and playing soccer in the yard, so welcoming and full of life. He was friend to both the bride and the fashionably unapproachable boy from Belgium. Sergio and I got on immediately and, at the wedding, proved the most aptly suited dance partners.

We spent hours hand in hand, me barefoot with Sergio’s tie around my neck, allowing the DJ’s music to consume our souls. As he spun me, the wine in my glass flew out and onto the wooden chateau floor, merging with the puddles already forming there. Men’s white dress shirts became pink and women’s bare feet turned brown. We drank together and smoked celebratory vanilla-flavored cigarettes. Everyone slurred their English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese, and we laughed together.

As the drinking progressed, Quentin warned me against dancing with him, flirting with him—he would do something he shouldn’t. I did it anyway, sassy and uncaring, testing his endurance. Then, I kissed Sergio outside of the tent that held cocktail hour, and he told me how to wanted me. I laughed and let him continue kissing my neck, but I was thinking of his friend—a goal I now realized was not quite unattainable.

I was in ecstasy, barefoot, dancing with complete abandon, with newly made friends whom had already secured places in my heart. Beige feet becoming red feet, becoming dirt-grey in muck that would cling to my toes for days. All of us, our bodies like bumper cars colliding together and our voices intermingling in a loud cacophony of drunken bliss. Emotions heightening only toward joy and physical desire trumping boundaries of “shouldn’t,” “can’t,” and “won’t.”

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freedom

a night in Paris

At the height of my moral insecurities is when they evaporated. It happened one night in September while sitting at a cafe across from the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Elizabeth and I were deep in conversation regarding sex, relationships, and the follies of the French wedding we attended a few days earlier. Perhaps it was the licentiousness of the Pigalle district, lined with shops selling novel sex toys and flavored condoms, as well as clubs pimping scandalous services to wanton men on the street, that swayed my opinion. If not, it was Elizabeth’s judgement-free you-do-you kind of attitude. Also, it didn’t hurt that the two of us were on our own in a foreign country, filled with a sense of possibility and the hope that life in the future could always feel this free.

Glass of red in hand, looking out to the infamous windmill and red lights just 200 feet away—ah, sigh. It was chilling that this was one possible way of existence. Here I was; what else lay out there, and why wasn’t I doing it? Feeling both inspired and powerless, I drank my wine and fell deep into philosophizing and reminiscing with my friend across the table.

Letting go of the negative ideology so recently pinned to me, I reflected on the past few months. I was finding my way and feeling out the men I took into my life. Understanding other people is how I’ve come to better understand myself; it’s given me my sense of worth, of individuality and independence.

My guilt was gone and I could celebrate my recent Belgian exploit—an indicator of absolute freedom, life, and joy, not a misguided sexual mishap. Call it what you will, but I had never been more sure of myself, security I had lost while in the rabbit hole of a rabid ex-boyfriend.

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hook-ups

Tasos

This September I fucked a 24-year-old Belgian in the bathroom of a chateau in southern France. This was after I made out with his Spanish friend (four years my junior) leaning against an old wooden barrel near the vineyard.

But you have to know about Tasos first. The reason for this is that the Belgian had a girlfriend, and when I hooked up with Tasos, I also had a boyfriend.

I didn’t sleep with Tasos, but I made out with him viciously on the dance floor in Mykonos, Greece, and it was always a story I planned on taking to the grave with me. I think it happened at a bar called the Scandinavian, but I could be wrong. This was the summer of 2011.

My sister and I were out that night, finally freed from our parents after a long five days or so, and we were getting shitfaced. We began the night hopping from bar to bar, taking advantage of the free drink vouchers that were distributed outside almost every establishment. By the time we arrived at the Scadinavian? we had already had the time of our lives and enough alcohol to hold us over until the following summer.

Flirting with the absolutely beautiful probably-a-model bartender proved uneventful when my sister realized (much too late) that he didn’t speak English. However, she was able to order us a version of Soco and lime, which ended up being lemon, after gesturing toward the liquor bottles and garnishes.

We were then involved in a lengthy conversation with a round German man. He was nothing more than a blur to me, and I recall having great difficulty in maintaining an exchange. I couldn’t process his accented words nor could I create my own, so we slipped away.

We found ourselves tearing up the dance floor, two wasted white girls whose only concern in life was not spilling the beers we held. At some point, my sister threw herself onto an actual-model Grecian, who spoke even less English than the bartender. Regardless, they hit it off and became immediate Facebook friends—not a sarcastic metaphor; they’re still Facebook friends.

Soon after, I was greeted by the model’s friend, a rounded-faced Athenian with a body as solid as that rock guy from Fantastic Four. We danced, my hands all over his chest, and when he kissed me, I kissed back. I had never done this kind of thing before, hook up with some rando in a bar. I had a boyfriend, I know—but this didn’t mean anything, and I liked it.

All I wanted to do was keep kissing and grinding up against this stranger to the beat of American jams in this Mediterranean club. “American girls are so sassy,” he kept saying to me, and I loved it. I was that fun, badass New Yorker this guy had only ever been told about, but still, his fascination was funny. I remember thinking how I wouldn’t mind fucking him in the bathroom—what? Who was I? I didn’t do those things. I had a boyfriend for goodness sake.

That night the guilt got to me and I cried myself to sleep over the toilet in our hotel room, a drunk drunk knotted-hair mess. I woke up on the tile floor wrapped in a white down comforter. I was nothing but a lump of regret. “Did you sleep in the bathroom?,” my sister asked me the next morning. Okay, fine, judge me.

I ignored Tasos’ friend request a few days later, and swore to myself no one would ever hear this story. My sister, however, told me she was proud: “You’ve never kissed a guy in a bar like that. It’s fun, right?”

Two years later, I’m obviously not plagued by the same sense of shame, and thanks to the new Facebook app update, I’ve been able to view the friend requests I’ve left pending over the years. Among them were a cute brunette girl I don’t think I’ve ever met, an ex-boyfriend that just had a baby, and Tasos. Just a few weeks ago I accepted the friendships of both Tasos and the baby-daddy. I really don’t know that brunette bitch.

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Friendship

Alaska

My mouth was attacked this weekend by an ice storm of Alaskan tongue. Okay, that doesn’t make any sense without some context.

Alaska. It’s a state yes, but it’s also the name of our dear friend Corey, because like Buffalo, he hails from somewhere other than our immediate area. References to huskies and bobsleds should now be clear.

It wasn’t the first time I’d been make-out ravaged like a freezing Eskimo closing her eyes just waiting for the blizzard to pass. The first time occurred a few moths ago when Alaska had long hair and the intrigue that any Alaskan native would bring to a crowd of drunk New Yorkers. I suppose my curiosity for his hometown was mistaken as flirtation and, thus, the flopping tongue in my mouth should not have come as such a surprise. I should have also been more firm in my disinterest, rather than maintaining a sarcastic, and perhaps ambiguous, air. Afterall, he did ask me if he could kiss me. Instead of giving a straight-up “hell no,” I responded with, “Are you really asking me that question?” He took that as “yes.”

Before I knew what was happening, I was on my tiptoes, pressed against the shiny blue skin of a sperm whale, with hands groping at my ass. The entire experience was so vile that it still comes back to me at times in waves of nausea. I will never be able to stop feeling that tongue uncomfortably thrusted into the orifice in my face I thought was a mouth but turned out to be an ice hole through which one must desperately spear dinner or starve. Needless to say, as soon as I could, I wrenched myself free of his hook and fled.

I know it’s harsh, but the trauma was real. It must have been equally unsettling for Alaska, in some respect, because immediately after, he threw up in a glass at the bar. This has come to be known as “the perfect pint,” just enough to fill a beer glass and no more. The accuracy with which this maneuver was executed still amazes all who witnessed it that night. It has little to do with my molestation, but really, a perfect pint—take a minute to appreciate that.

Following what will now be known as “The Great Alaskan Disaster of 2013,” I kept my distance from the culprit of said disaster. This lasted a little while, but after gradually becoming reacquainted with one another, all awkward hardships were overcome. What resulted was a great friendship as Alaska was taken into the fold of our New York band.

A true asset to our group of friends, Alaska is intelligent, wittily cynical, and incredibly open minded. He’s everything I could ask for in a friend, and to be honest, if I were attracted to him, there could be dating potential. However, even with a cropped head of hair, he just doesn’t do it for me. Could I ever recover from the trauma of The Great Alaskan Disaster anyway? It isn’t likely—some things just stick with you.

Regardless, I thought I was in the clear. Six months of darkness had crept away, making way for brand-new days of sunlight, and as it is with all good things, you never imagine them ending. This past Saturday good shit ended, the sun exploded, and the black black heavens of hell returned.

Alaska broke the bounds of friendship. Once again there was a family of seals scuttling around my mouth, and I was subjected to aggressive manhandling and overall discomfort. The force with which he repeatedly hurtled toward me was startling, and Thursday, five days later, my lip is still pulsating with the pain of a walrus bite.

If Alaska calls, I’ll be hibernating for the winter. There are still some things sluts won’t do.

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one-night stand

Sex Buffalo

In terms of personality, Buff is what my best friend and I call “vanilla.” Sure, you like vanilla, but so does everyone else. It’s standard, generic, and it gets old fast. When it comes down to it, Buffalo had little talent for thought-provoking exchange, whether these thoughts be philosophical or sexual in nature (I’ve attempted to elicit both). However, as a sexual deviant, Buff was state of the art.

Uninhibited and bold, he took full control, and I, curious to discover the tricks tucked up his sleeve, decided to go with it. While the details are fuzzy—common consequence of 13 blueberry vodka sprites—I do recall being impressed by his flair for foreplay. This was an integral aspect of sex I had heretofore been deprived of (product of a selfish ex-boyfriend I’d been attached to for three years too many).

Buffalo was fervent, energetic, and embracing. Maybe it wasn’t love that drove us together, but it didn’t feel like a conquest on either end. I was a free spirit, floating along, exploring whatever it was that crossed my path. If this sense of freedom came only because I hadn’t yet known what it was like to feel used, I won’t ever be sure, but I felt alive.┬áThis thing was fun, and I didn’t care that Buff and I were only bodies to one another.

A friend of mine once told me that one-nighters left him feeling empty—only a means to an end. It wasn’t this way for me; Buff showed me what it was like to just be. Wrapped under a blanket and sharing a pillow, we were pressed against one another, skin, hair, fingertips. Beyond the bounds of judgement, Buffalo and me, me and Buffalo.

It was the sex of my life, and it earned this upstater the upgraded title of Sex Buffalo. He was a beast of another kind, and though perhaps a little lackluster in ordinary life, was unsurpassed in the life that transpired topless, pantless, sweating, racing hearts bumping racing hearts. Having been engulfed by serious relationships since the debut of my sex life, an event occurring seven years prior, I hadn’t experienced this ever before. The person I was had suddenly changed.

It’s worth noting that, to date, Buffalo is the only guy to have ever headed for the backdoor without asking first—a daring move fueled by moxie that has not gone unappreciated. But as House Rule #17 states, “Always announce you’ve done anal, but don’t keep talking about it.” So that’s that.

Buffalo was number five.

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