The best part of getting to know a new lover is the point where you feel comfortable with the no-holds-barred Q&A. How many? Tell me about the best? The worst? The teacher? The boss? The babysitter?
Talking about sex confidently and honestly is often a bigger turn-on than perfectly positioned breasts or the right soft lighting.
More often than not, I end up with serial monogamists. I'm always the one with the bigger collection of graphic and noteworthy tales from the time before they arrived on the scene. Retelling can be excellent foreplay - physical descriptions, the breathier the better.
This time around, though, my new girlfriend matches me one for one with dirty nostalgia. I'm left thumbing frantically through my mental Rolodex for the dirtiest deed ever.
We're lying in bed languidly during our honeymoon stage, she smoking, I rehydrating and paying brief attention to the affection-starved cat. She asks, "Have you ever had sex with a complete stranger?" with a satisfied smirk that betrays that she has and hopes to one-up me.
I instantly recall a one-night stand I'd almost forgotten, the memory so blurry I think perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.
I was 21. Scarves were skirts, lingerie slips were dresses and makeshift tank tops were bras. I bought a Greyhound bus pass and was travelling through the States, my tan lines as sharp as tattoos, perpetual crescents of dirt under my nails, combat boots scuffed and worn. I was penning songs of heartbreak on truck stop napkins and talking to anyone who'd listen about the bitch back home who had cheated on me. By the time my bitterness abated, I was crossing into the Southern states, overwhelmed by a sudden urge to fuck anything that moved.
At first it was for the satisfaction of writing smug postcards home to the ex. Then it felt primordial.
After several surreptitious jerk-off sessions underneath a coat strewn across my lap ( you must be skilled at reaching orgasm to do it with a bored facial expression ), I scanned the overnight bus travellers for potential gropers. No luck. The choice was decidedly heterosexual and definitely unwashed, underage or senior. I gave up on the random rural butch fantasy and fell asleep.
At 2 am in Kentucky, my possibility boarded the bus.
A tall, lanky indie rock boy, scruffy brown hair, tiny pins on his jean jacket and a 7 Year Bitch patch sewn onto his army bag. He sat across the aisle from me and took a copy of the latest issue of Bust, with Courtney Love on the cover, and a paperback copy of Perfume out of his bag. He was as easy to decode as Lloyd Dobler, and he would be mine.
"So you just jumped him? Like that? Even though he was a boy on a bus and you didn't know him?"
"He was definitely harmless." My girlfriend's eyes narrowed, not sure what to do about the news that my hot affair on a bus had a penis. She paused and decided it definitely turned her on more.
"Okay, so I chatted him up about the magazine. He was shy - you know, the type who's had a feminist girlfriend. I asked him where he was going, and he said the Southern Girls Convention. Turned out we knew some of the same people who wrote zines from Austin - you know, small world."
My girlfriend's eyes were glazing over. "The sex."
"Okay, so I was being flirty and stuff," I slip my hand under the covers to keep her with me.
"... and asked if he had a girlfriend, and he said he'd just been dumped. So we bonded over having just been dumped, which is, like, perfect fodder to get together, right?"
"Uh huh." She closes her eyes.
"So I just sort of tested things out, put my hand on his knee. You know, he was the kind of boy you had to make the first move with or it would be first base forever, and we only had about three hours. We started kissing for a while, and then we both got a little self-conscious, cuz it was public."
"So I asked him if he was cold - you know, with a wink - and put a jacket over his lap, unzipped him, put my hand around his cock and started jerking him off."
"I did," I said smugly, jerking her off slowly, keeping her eyes on mine.
"Yeah, he was so quick. It was like he couldn't believe it was happening, he just kept looking up at me like a little puppy. Then I looked back and realized the three-seater in the back was empty. So we went back there and he went down on me for the next two hours. Thank god for those little skirts."
"Did you fuck?"
"He wasn't bad. He needed some direction, but you know, it was slim pickings."
She looks up at me like "I thought you told me you fucked a stranger ."
"Oh," I say, realizing what she wants and that I have to win this game. "We definitely fucked, hard, outside in the parking lot, from behind."
She moans, coming fast. It works. A little bit of embellishment always wins.
Over post-coital smokes and water, she mimes handing me the winner's crown.