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Dmitri is sexting me a long and elaborate fantasy. It starts, “Had a dream about you.” I catch the first gray bubbles, surfacing on my screen like storm clouds. He’s still typing, so I sit with my phone open, tapping the screen to keep it lit, watching the pulsing ellipsis of his cock swelling somewhere in Brooklyn.

Eventually the typing slows.

“And then you were on your knees.”

“What did I get up to on my knees?”

“I was face-fucking you.”

I’m absently pinching my own nipples as I write back to him, one-handed. I invite him over—“We could do this now, you know.” I’m hungry for his body, but Dmitri begs off, he’s tired from driving all day. I know this well, the empty sext; it’s a way of massaging the ego without having to do the messy work of engaging with someone else’s flesh. I’m certain one of his hands is wrapped around his dick. A few minutes later, he asks for a picture. “I’ll jerk off right now if you send one.” But I’d rather see you, I think.

I send one anyway. I always send pictures.

Everyone’s so fucking busy in New York they don’t have time to do it. Sexting means you don’t have to use your cock, just sling it around in verbiage. The lazier sexters don’t even put forth their fantasies, expecting me to do the work. From the creative ones, though, I love hearing what they’d do to me if they had the chance. That’s why I send photos: there, too, the tiny hiccup of pleasure, the refracted echo of someone’s desire. Who doesn’t love being under the hot red lamp of the jerk-off gaze, consent given?

Dmitri disappears; comes back twenty minutes later with: “Night. Kisses,” and says he’ll see me soon. But how soon, I want to ask. I extort a promise out of him to do everything he described and more. Two days later he’s on my stoop because I always get what I want. I lean down from a step above and kiss him, sweetly. In half an hour we’re in my bed, the fairy lights in my room painting his hair gold. It always seems like it’s been months since I last saw him, which isn’t true; we just talk more than we fuck. He sinks into me, presses my knees against my chest. I stare into his eyes.

“Did you miss this?” I ask.

“Yes,” he sighs.

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