For a long time I imagined I’d end up a job which required a white lab coat. Partly because I hate deciding what to wear to work in the morning, but mostly because I wanted to be one of those people who discovers things. Which is probably why last year I got so jazzed about Masters of Sex, the show set during a time when everyone is all GOO about sexy stuff and not really interested in female health because it’s the 50s and because most doctors are men and because penis trumps vagina. It focuses on the pioneers in the science of human sexuality, and the lengths they had to go to for women to understand and take control of their bodies and actually be seen as people for the first time in their lives. Also, Allison Janney is in it. Continue reading
Part I: I Wish You Would Call Me
I am feverish in my apartment. Getting myself off with one hand and holding a cup of Fantastic noodles in the other. I’m not sure what “Oriental” is supposed to taste like but it is not the taste you want in your mouth when you finally squirt during the opening sequence of Today Tonight. Continue reading
I’ve been thinking about you a lot. I’ve decided to delete the history of us on Facebook. Before I unfriended you the other night, I went to your profile and clicked the ‘see friendship’ button. It told me that we became Facebook friends on a Sunday in March 2011. Continue reading
The lady recrosses her legs and stubs out her cigarette.
“Alright, boys,” she says. “You can come in now.” The “boys” are a surly painter and a uni student, neighbours from opposite sides of her apartment. The painter lives with his wife across the hall. The kid studies history.
The room is full of half-packed boxes and she’s got g-strings artistically placed on the furniture. There’s one strung over the back of the suede couch. Another is positioned on the coffee table. The boys pretend not to see them. They stand in her doorjamb, pensive. The kid doesn’t know what to do with his hands.
And seriously, that’s okay. This isn’t a trap. Male sexuality is a complex, personal and individual thing; why do we keep—implicitly, explicitly and profoundly counterproductively—pretending otherwise? Turn on the telly, or the pages of Cosmo, and it’s constantly reinforced that girls are complicated, intricate labyrinths, and boys are a well-lit corridor, always geared to go. (In this metaphor feel free to consider the minotaur a benevolent creature of multiple orgasms.)
Not that I wanna speak for bros on this matter. Instead, let’s just recognise that people who aren’t jerks are far more interested in whether everyone is having fun than if your private is standing to attention. Yes, the two often go hand in hand. But sometimes, just because you’re a dude and you’ve got an enthusiastically consenting adult playtime buddy doesn’t mean you’re DTF and can everyone just be chill about that please.
She watched Jake slip the bolt cutters from his backpack and place the parrot-like beak on the chain. He squeezed the handles gently. The metal made a soft schink and he threw the cutters to the side, already busy pulling the chain off the bike. She wanted him to throw the chain on the grass and then her down on top of it, so he could fuck her as the grass tickled her ears and the cold links of metal left marks down her back. Then she could get up and leave him, take the bike and ride down the hill naked, hair streaming behind her. There was something desperate and wrong with what they were doing, and she wanted him, there in the dark, by the side of the road.
You may not remember me. In fact I am quite sure you don’t, so I will fill you in on the details of our meeting. It was 2004. I was a fifteen year old boy from the country, and you were a fifteen year old girl from the roughest parts of Ipswich, and you could drink more than anyone I have met. My best friend invited me over for the weekend and dragged me to a stoner basement for an underage party with all of his Ipswich friends that only knew me as “Spanish” even though I do not have Spanish heritage or look in any way Mediterranean. You approached me when I arrived and you were the first girl who ever tried to have sex with me.
Tobias is a Minotaur, whose bed you just woke up in. He is shorter, actually, than might be anticipated, with legs that are suddenly hairy at the shin, just above the hoof. At the moment he is in the kitchenette. He has put his jeans on and his t-shirt. He is making tea. You lie on your front, the sheets kicked to the bed’s end. You are yet to put your jeans on, yet to find your t-shirt somewhere under the thrown-off doona. This morning as you shivered through the first stages of a hangover, Tobias spooned you.
And now, atop his linens, you are thinking on your next move. Thinking of the caterpillar footstep of blood in your head vein. And trying to remember the previous night’s undressing. Who took what off who, and in what order? How quickly?
I wouldn’t say I’m resigned to this fate. I chose it out of a line up of Married With Children, Happily Dating, Casual Open Relationship and Bitterly Divorced.
I’m not averse to The Relationship; in fact I’m considerably more open to it than to consuming ricotta at any given time. Growing old with someone sounds nice, in as much as changing adult diapers, putting in false teeth and crossing Abbey Road with a Zimmer frame might be nice experiences to share with a significant other. But I’d rather do it alone. Or as alone as possible.
She pauses in the hallway. She stops. I glance over my shoulder. She has seen someone, perhaps someone standing in the other room. Behind me there is a party in its last sordid throes. A death rattle of celebration, someone’s shoes cast adrift on a wine-stained carpet, pâté on the furniture, the final gurgle of wine in the bottom of a cheap cask. I am a little drunk but not so much so that I might think that this woman is looking at me. She has been incendiary. She started with laughter, short and bright as fireworks. This at the beginning of the evening. It was impossible not to notice her. She had arrived with a young biology student who seemed disinterested in her. He flopped into a couch with his bottle of vodka cradled in his lap and proceeded to drink it with steady diligence. But now the biology student is asleep. His position has barely changed, the bottle still propped up in his lap, his cup resting on the arm of the couch, his head tipped back and his lips slightly parted. I am not sure if they were together or just sharing a lift as a matter of convenience. There is no one behind me. She is looking at me.