Female, 19, Upstate New York
According to just about every pre-college advice manual, floorcest is a bad idea. “Don’t do it!” the guidebooks say, in large fluorescent letters, usually accompanied by some anecdote about a living-scenario-gone-awkward. I had never tempted collegiate lore before, but when Toby pursued me the first week into sophomore year, I let him. He was my hallmate, and would linger by my doorway, seducing me with his words and the glint of his eyes and the delightful weirdness of our conversations. We would talk until four in the morning, before closing our doors in unison. Once, he serenaded me on the quad with Death Cab for Cutie songs and his guitar. I should have known better.
But I was one of those awkward, 'never even touched a boy in high school' types. I entered my East Coast liberal arts school seriously lacking in the self-esteem department. Quite frankly, I'd take whatever I could get. I was inexperienced and didn't know how to flirt and still guarded kisses, because they were so few and far between. By the time I entered sophomore year, I had no expectation that I would ever get some P in my V. My school has a saying about its men: "Gay until proven straight!" So falling into Toby was a surprise, and I relished every moment of it.
We hooked up for a consistent month before he told me, when I was drunk and angry, that he didn’t think our whatever would be a good idea anymore. “Because we’re neighbors,” he said. I swallowed the news, but our sheer proximity meant that things weren’t over, and wouldn’t be over. Our doors faced each other perfectly; there was no ignoring one another. And so, three months later, we resumed hooking up, sans promise of a relationship. My want, want, want overpowered any rationality telling me to reject the dry humping, the hand jobs, the naked cuddling that populated our neighbors-with-benefits. I had never wanted someone so badly in my life. In retrospect, the sex was inevitable.
The night it happened, of course there was a party and of course I got drunk and of course I texted him. Toby was waiting for me, door open, when I returned. He put down the guitar he was fiddling with, and migrated to my room. Sitting on my tiny, twin-sized bed, we talked about my problems with the guy I was casually dating. He was one of those good pre-med — but utterly boring —types I’d picked specifically to take my mind off the boy I was discussing these problems with. “Well, you can’t deny we have chemistry,” Toby said. And I couldn’t. So when his hand grazed over my stomach, I could tell where we were going, and it was somewhere I wanted to be, with him.
He knew I was a virgin. We had tried having sex once before, but the mechanics didn’t quite work out. Even this time, it took a lot of trying (and a lot of lube) but he was persistent. "It would help if you helped me," he said.
"It would help if I knew what I was doing," I said.
Eventually, no fanfare, we got the angles right, and he entered me. It hurt initially, with the steady repetition of poking a fleshy wound again and again. But I bore through the irritation. At one point, we heard my next door neighbor's loud, League of Legends-playing guffaw, and the two of us broke out laughing, him still inside me. "I wonder if Austin can hear us having sex," he said.
I pulled Toby down to kiss me. "He's gaming. I don't think so."
Over time, I found myself making the types of sex sounds I always imagined I’d make — my body grunting and everything not entirely unpleasant — but I could not bring myself to move along with him. I felt sore. Through my post-whiskey haze, I couldn’t tell why he stopped pounding into me. I think he got tired, and I was also tired, and eventually it just seemed like too much. Neither of us came. He rolled off me, and we lay together in silence for a few minutes.
Once finished and dressed, I stared out my open window, hoping that lingering would induce him to do the same. While I knew that Toby would never be my boyfriend, I wanted him with such an intoxicating fervor that I greedily consumed his presence, in whatever capacity. “You smell like sex,” he whispered into my neck, wrapping his arms around me from behind. The warmth of his body and the cotton of his sweatshirt cut the chilly air. It was an intimate gesture — but still, just a gesture. We quickly untangled. He walked the four feet separating his room from mine, and I shut the door.
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