It was a wednesday afternoon. I sat in our favourite restaurant squirming inside as my newly ex-boyfriend (let's call him Mike) stared hopelessly at me. Why had I agreed to meet with him? Though we'd broken up weeks ago, he was still pleading with me to tell him what went wrong. How could I tell him that the main reason I'd ended our relationship, besides the fact that he was boring and lazy, was because he was bad in bed?
As Mike's voice droned on and on about how we had always promised to be honest with each other, my mind went back to my previous relationship. My ex-ex-boyfriend had once asked me as I climbed amorously on top of his lap, "Do you care about me or is this relationship just about sex?"
I was shocked by the question, and in order to avoid a big, unnecessary discussion, I lied as I snuggled my lips in the crook of his beautiful neck. "You know I love you," I whispered seductively. He grabbed me tightly, gave me that look with a sly smile, and we went on to have the best sex. Amazing considering that we'd already enjoyed a week of incredible sex.
Ironically, I'd stayed in that relationship because of the yummy sex. We had nothing else in common. He was a complete sports fanatic, ate loudly and woke up every morning at 5 am. But the moment he'd give me "that look," I knew it was on. When I ended the relationship, I was honest with him and admitted there was only great sex between us, and unfortunately, that just wasn't enough for me.
Though it was not a pretty breakup, he at least had the opportunity to leave with his ego intact, and I had a possible future booty call I could rely on once the dust settled. But honesty in this case could possibly leave my ex emotionally scarred. Was this something I could live with?
It was immediately apparent that sex with Mike would be less then spectacular. I remember looking at the ceiling after the first time we had sex, feeling quite confused. I'd never experienced such ungratifying sex. Upset and angry, I was determined to figure out if this was really bad sex or just that awkward first-time sex we've all experienced. But after a few weeks of exploration, I realized nothing was changing. At first I tried to fake it, but I've never been good at hiding my emotions and soon refused to pretend I was enjoying it. Why should I? I'm too young to settle for a relationship that had already gone south in the sex department.
The satisfied look on his face as he attempted to "satisfy me" had begun to leave me literally biting my tongue to stop myself from telling him off, which would only hurt his feelings. I'd gotten tired of playing drill sergeant in bed: "Go there, touch here, say this, do that." Resentment and pity had quickly taken over, and his inadequacy had changed the way I looked at him. I often found myself staring at him bitterly, cringing at how wrong I had been to assume that he'd be a stallion in the sack. Nine inches -- "what a handful and what a waste," I often huffed under my breath.
It was getting harder and harder to hide my displeasure. One night while out with a group of his friends, I began gossiping with his best friend's new girlfriend, dishing all the inside dirt about our guys. The topic inevitability turned to sex. She excitedly recounted detail by detail how excellent her boyfriend was in numerous departments (if you know what I mean). As she whispered, blushed and winked her way through sexual escapade after escapade, I grew quieter and quieter. "Don't be shy. Tell me the dirt," she insisted after completing her last story, about a bar bathroom and honey.
"It's not quite shyness, it's just...." I feigned a coughing fit and began sipping my rum and coke, desperately thinking of a way to change the subject. "Is he that bad?" she whispered, leaning toward me with huge eyes. And for one brief, liberating moment I felt the urge to scream out a resounding "Yes, yes, he is! He sucks!"
As the thought threatened to erupt from my mouth, I composed myself. I knew I couldn't confess such a sensitive fact to a perfect stranger. She'd most likely tell his best friend the juicy gossip the minute they got into the car, and I knew it would be worse for Mike to hear it from his friend than from me. After we broke up, he would probably never have to see me again, but he'd have to look his friend in the eye for many years to come.
"Bad?" I gulped hard. "No way. He's, uh, great!" She looked at me suspiciously and leaned back in her chair. That was the end of that conversation.
So as I sat there looking into my ex's eyes, eyes that had become impatient and self-righteous as the minutes ticked by, I knew I had to say it.
"Is it that musician you've been hanging around with lately?" he asked bitterly. "Not quite," I responded hesitantly, my mind battling for what to say as my sister's words ("Don't tell him") echoed in my head. But wasn't thinking it just as bad as saying it? We did always agree that honesty was the best policy.
Most importantly, I thought of the next poor girl. Was it fair to her? "You have wonderful qualities," I began as an attempt to ease him into what I was about to say. "Cut the bullshit," he snapped back.
So after trying every way possible not to say it, I turned to him with a sigh of resignation and calmly said, "The sex was bad. I'm sorry." After two minutes (that felt like hours) of complete silence, my ex quietly stood up, folded his jacket in the crook of his arm, nodded a final farewell and marched out. As I sat there a little relieved and a little shocked that I had actually said it, I suddenly remembered that he owed me 100 bucks. As the door slammed, I realized I could kiss that money goodbye.