BY BECCA SHAW GLASER
Up close, he wasn’t as cute. He was older and plumper, and anyway, it all just felt so weird. When I first saw his profile earlier in the day I thought, Ooh, he seems like someone who wants a relationship. I was absolutely specifically not looking for a hookup, but as soon as we started typing, it became clear that’s what he was up for. His place turned out to be a bank converted to a condo by the Dean of Architecture. Everything was huge and austere, almost entirely white, with cathedral ceilings. Perfect, I thought.
Oct 5, 6:41pm
How do you feel
driving to meet a stranger,
naked under your skirt
knowing that you may be
seduced and taken and
Conveniently he’d forgotten that I’d told him I would be arriving hungry and could he please feed me. After I reminded him he tossed canned clams and hasty pasta together, smashing garlic cloves with the side of a silver chef’s knife. I hung awkwardly by the granite island.
He had wanted me to wear heels but I didn’t own any. Boots? Yeah, I had tall black boots. He’d asked me to wear something that showed cleavage, and no panties, so I did. While I waited on the hard-backed chair, legs firmly closed, he plied white wine. I said No thanks. I knew I was supposed to uncross my legs so he could get a glimpse, but I didn’t even want to take off my long black coat, keeping it tightly buttoned.
Oct 5, 6:41pm
Wet with anticipation?
When the food was ready we sat at one end of the stark maple table. Half-chewed worms poured from our mouths as we discussed the economy of desire, the poststructuralist concept of sexual exchange—really it’s a handshake, we agreed, a Marxist solidarity. He said In those days they used to think women so lusty the husbands made them wear metal plates when they were away to stop them from fucking half the village. And I hate it now—for men it’s like supposed to be a conquest and the woman’s supposed to be pushing away, keeping her number low. I was impressed by his awareness of gender and sexuality, but I still felt so timid that even sitting next to him on the couch felt scary. Our voices were tinny, floating around under the white cathedral ceilings and getting lost.
When he took off his clothes in the bedroom he was glazed in ginger fir, pale skin flecked with large pink freckles, each candied with a hair, long strands piercing out of his pubis, and I realized I was repulsed. How unfair and fucked up of me, I thought, to be so political in my preferences. He devoured my vulva, he was good at it, it’s a skill, I shut off the top of my head. Looked out the enormous arched window. Can anyone see?
Oct 5, 6:43pm
I’m kind of lost.
He told me his favorite was to be with female CEOS, older women who were used to being in charge, he loved when they became submissive with him, let themselves go. And he loved being the odd-male out with a male-female couple. He liked going to truck rest-stops and having his dick sucked by another dude, most straight-identifying, of course, or sucking other guys’ dicks through those glory holes. I loved hearing the stories. I loved thinking there are younger guys out there who get off on giving older women pleasure, because, I’m getting older. I wished for a world where I could feel safe being so sexually adventurous, not terrified of rape, disease, or being considered a slut.
Oct 5, 6:44pm
Oh. We don’t
have to do this,
He stuck his fist partly in, and I was opening on his cool white sheets under his white down comforter against his vanilla-stained Ikea headboard in his white marble flat but I didn’t want to suck his small pink dick or even kiss his lips which I felt bad about and thankfully he didn’t pressure me at all but I think it was pretty obvious and then when it was clear I couldn’t or wouldn’t cum, Want to watch me? he slid his hand over his penis moving silently until white spurted out. I tried to at least touch him a bit while he was touching himself but the truth is I didn’t really want to.
After the shirt got tucked back into the jeans, after the zipper on the black dress was zipped up again, my still-wet vulva bristling between my thighs, my curly hair tangled, my breasts pulsing with the sensation of stranger-touch, after I shut the door to his white world firmly with a thud behind me, the first thing I wanted to do was see my lover, the lover who can’t be in a real relationship, the lover who gave me permission to try to find one. Not even in my car yet, I dialed, and surprisingly he picked up, said Sure, come over—and it was almost like coming home, to his soft gorgeous body, the body I’m bonded to, he was stretched out on his tiny bed, books and clothes chaotically strewn everywhere, small piles of trash that for some reason he sweeps into a corner and then leaves for weeks, he was watching Baron Munchausen, being uncharacteristically silly. He knew where I’d been. It didn’t bother him. In fact he liked the look of the dress, too, the way it clung to my breasts, pushing them together. I dropped my black shoulder bag and pressed my mouth to his.
Becca Shaw Glaser is the co-editor and author of “Mindful Occupation: Rising Up Without Burning Out.” Her writing has also appeared in Mad in America, Black Clock, H.O.W., Two Serious Ladies, Birdfeast, The Laurel Review, Quaint, and Lemon Hound, among other publications.