It's hard being a guy. There are terrible internal pressures. Strange bio-logical urges. Disturbing voices in the head. When I'm with a woman --- especially when we sleep together for the first time - these feelings rise to a fever pitch. Thoughts pop out like monsters in a fun house. Here they are, in more or less chronological order:
So we've been on a few dates, and tonight is going well. She's looking at me expectantly instead of edging toward the door and mumbling something about being busy for the next few months. That's when I wonder: Will it be tonight? Will it be, like, ever? I'm trying to keep up light, flirtatious banter, but in my head I hear voices. One of them sounds like a suave and self-assured. French, actually. It's saying, "She desires you, mon ami. She really -- how do you say? -- digs you. Be slow with her as you would a fine cheese, and she will be yours." The other voice sounds desperate and squealy -- a lot like I did when I was 13 years old. It cries out, "Please. Please. Please. Just don't screw up now!"
As the talk turns into kissing, and the kissing turns into something
more, I think: She might actually want to have sex with me. Maybe
even right now.
The shock of it throws my brain into reverse. Suddenly, I'm wondering if sex is a good thing after all. What if this woman expects me to marry her tomorrow morning? What if what we're doing is Evil and God smites Me with a lightning bolt that tears through the roof, turning me into a little pile of gray ash? We might be wrong for each other, or we could be moving too fast. Maybe the condom will break. Let me say that again: Maybe the condom will break.
But while I'm thinking this, the rest of my body kicks in. We hold each other. Our caresses grow more insistent, like counterpoints to a dance, like notes in a symphony, like antelopes gamboling about a -- dammit, let's just move on!
Now we have to take our cloths off. But how? Do I ask her to remove
her shirt or just pull that baby off and swig it around my head like we're
in some rodeo? I take it one button at a time. At some point, I hope,
she'll help. Or at least not hose me down with Mace.
Then comes the bra. But it doesn't come easy. In a perfect world, the clasp on this thing would be spin-loaded. I'd brush my hand against it, and -- whoosh -- it would pop off and sail across the room, and I'd look up, all innocent.
Instead, I nuzzle her gently with one hand, while my other hand is struggling with that damn latch like a drunk with the childproof cap on a cough-syrup bottle, and the entire time I can hear the Jeopardy! theme song.
Her clothes are scattered around us. She's in the altogether. And what is an altogether it is! Women worry too much about the way their bodies look. When you watch sex scenes in the movies, it's always two rock-hard, blemish free torsos. In real life, though, what turns me on -- and what turns most men on -- are all the things about a woman's body that are different from all any other body we might be spending time with. The moles, bumps, scars -- these are things she doesn't show to just anyone. Her body is covered with secrets, and I'm fascinated. I take in every detail, because soon she'll put her clothes on again.
As I disrobe, I start thinking I could us a few thousand sit-ups and pec implants and maybe a couple of strategic body waxings. But I look at her with a sheepish grin as if to say, "Well, here it is. There is no stunt double for this scene, so I guess we'll have to make do." I check to see if I've removed my socks, because women seem to hate when you don't. (Question to women: Why?)
As we do all the crazy, sloppy things people do when they make love, I'm
flashing back to every movie sex scene I've ever watched. The actors
were a lot more attractive and coordinated than we seem. I mean, I'm
having fun and I'm trying to make sure she's having fun. But this isn't
9 1/2 weeks; it's more like Debbie Does the Nutty Professor. My inner
neurotic is saying, "Just don't mess this up, or when she talks about
you to her friends, she'll give you a horrible nickname, like Twitchy. Or
My inner neurotic calms down, and I actually begin to feel pretty good.
Things build up to the point, the point that's the , uh, reason
we're doing what we're doing. And then...
The, for the first time that evening, I am calm. The doubts, the condom, the Wrath of God -- they're gone. My EKG reading would be near coma level. I lie thinking, idle. Until...
In the wake of my bliss, I'm gripped with fear. We've done something
that can't be undone. I need time to think. Ought to walk around the
block, get coffee, call a friend. But it's too late for that. What
will become of us? What will become of me? This woman at my side all
warm and content and tender. Meanwhile, a vivid flashback hits me --
of when I was a kid and my friend Clark pointed out a praying mantis
mating with her suitor, then taking his head off with a single chomp.
Suddenly she speaks up, "What are you thinking about?"
"Uh," I say, "nothing. What are you thinking about?" And as we start to talk (I don't tell her about the praying mantis), I relax again. Hey, I don't know everything about this woman, but she seems to have all sorts of quirks that are worth exploring. This could be the start of something really neat.
And that's what always gets me to stay. That and the possibility we could always do this again when we wake up.
The moment is enough for me. I'm holding a beautiful woman. She snuggles closer. Life is good. She's on my arm and it hurts a little, but life is good nonetheless. I mean, actually, my arm is falling asleep, but I don't want to be rude. Still, I could ask her and she'd move. But I don't want to hurt her feelings. I think I love her. Jesus, where did that come from? A moment ago, I was ready to dart out the door. Bibeau, get a grip. My arm, dammit. My arm. What to do? I wonder. And wondering, I fall asleep.