He said he’d be right back, and followed up with a kiss that didn’t exactly make me amped about his return. My 4-a.m. drunken eyes watched his naked back and ass slip through the bedroom door, and this, I knew, was my chance to get covered.
I hurtled across the bed and shimmied my way back into the leather leggings I had ridiculously donned for a night on the town. I decided this was the best plan of action to appear ready-to-leave-ASAP-bye after his naked bathroom trip. The evolution from the bar to the bedroom had been kind of exciting, sure, but I was ready to get home.
This was by no means familiar territory.
I felt vulnerable and suddenly awkward when he returned, casually perched on the bed after our anticlimatic hook-up—my first real one-night stand.
“You’re nervous,” he ventured, laughing at my quick change into clothing. “You don’t do this a lot, do you?”
I dodged his questions and he relented; though, to my surprise, Carl from Kansas, Carl the budding comedy writer, told me something I’d never heard before.
“It seems like you’ve never had sex that you’ve really enjoyed before.”
Whoaaaa, sir. Excuse me?! Be a bit more bold, please. Still, I was curious about why in the world this stranger had picked up on that, because a part of me knew it was true.
He explained that there was a moment during sex when my face and body dissolved into complete satisfaction, picking up on the fact that this was a new experience for me. When it actually felt good, I seemed unaccustomed to it.
I’d been found out. Carl revealed a secret I never knew I had.
The uncomfortable, eye-opening comment kept me thinking long and hard about my own sexual pleasure in the months since. Am I satisfied after sex? What do I want from sex? Wanda, you think you love sex, but has it been good? Really, really, system-shocking, mind-altering, fantasy-inspiring, up-all-night good?
The answer is no, probably not.
Of course, sex does not fulfill our deepest desires, nor does it hit the spot every time, or sometimes even close to every time. Still, I realize that I’d become victim to a far-too-common practice: quickie sex according to the conditions of a thirsty penis.
By this, I mean minimal foreplay (if any), followed by guy-on-top, jack-rabbit, get-er-done sex. The pants come off, there’s a little pause for good measure, but then the race begins. Just like that.
Already? I’ve thought countless times, mid-frisk. I’d been dreaming of all-over body kisses. 69, maybe. Some slow, sexy teasing. Even just sex that didn’t adhere to our usual missionary routine. But the monotonous motions of conventional sex never changed, probably because I went along with it and faked my own pleasure.
Afterwards, I’d lie next to a perfectly content male who, exhausted in his pleasant post-orgasm state, did not appear to notice that I hadn’t joined them in that satisfaction. Sex ended when he ended.
My compliance, in part, came from my own fears about being an inadequate sexual partner. As a young sex adventurer, I was deeply self-conscious and uncomfortable about my body’s exposure. I was curious about trying new things but also insecure about my own sexuality and full-frontal vulnerability—especially when I was the one controlling our rhythm.
I could never quite gather the right confidence to take the reins and really ride when I was on top. The motions usually felt off, I was worrying about my boobs and things just weren’t feeling that great. My boyfriends seemed to agree, since I usually ended up beneath them soon after.
Instead, I simply rolled with whatever each sex experience threw at me, rather than offering up what I wanted.
Oh, but if I’d known how much I’d been missing. Getting thrown under the bus every time gets old after a while, and gradually, I came to realize through repeated post-sex frustration that things needed to change. I started asking questions when the guys I was hooking up with didn’t. I suggested we switch things up, swallowing my fears to roll into another position.
Though I’m still working on shedding my self-conscious shell during sex (and in the rest of my life), I’m getting better—and, in turn, so is the sex I’m having.
On the eve of an unexpected hook-up with a good friend, I flirted with the idea of something different when things started taking a heated direction. I’d never tried bondage or blindfolding before, but I’d always wondered, so when he asked what I wanted, I told him. Smiling and surprised, he complied to my wishes with a dress tie—and later on, when we moved beyond foreplay, he asked again.
All I wanted, it turns out, was to be on top.
“Dang,” he said, smiling up at me as I moved above him. “You do really like this.”
“Yeah,” I said. “I really, really do.”
Turns out it can feel quite satisfying to take the wheel. And that, my friends, is something that we should all be cumming home about.