Love & Sex

True Stories: Sealing the Deal

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Nerve readers thought my boyfriend was crazy to wait. Were they right?

Last night, when I was half-asleep, John asked if I was too tired for sex. Of course not. I immediately took off my T-shirt. "Do you want me on my stomach or on my back?" He said either was fine, so I went on my stomach, softly whimpering as he fucked me, hard, till my hair resembled a gnarly bird's nest. Fucked me so relentlessly that I walked to the kitchen afterwards like a saddle-sore cowboy. It was the third time that day we fucked. Or maybe the fourth? Who knows. He and I have so much sex that I've given up recording the instances on my Google calendar. (What, am I the only person who does this?) Our current sex life is so awesome that I can't think of a less cliché word than "awesome" to describe it. But it wasn't always this way.



Last October, I told John I was writing a Nerve piece about our sex life.

"But we don't have a sex life," he said.

"It makes me uncomfortable that you assume that you're my girlfriend," he said.

"Exactly. It's about how you want to get to know me before you schtupp me." And then I stopped talking and gave him a blowjob.

I emailed him a copy of "He Wants to Wait" just before it was published. The plan was: he reads it, loves it, and then we have passionate sex on the kitchen table. Instead, John called me as I was walking through Union Square. Ambulances were shrieking around me, so I had to stick a finger in my ear to hear him.

"It makes me uncomfortable that you assume that you're my girlfriend," he said.

I was real cool about it. No crying or drunk dials later that night. Because a cool girlfriend doesn't freak out in public. Maybe she writes an emo-tweet or two, but doesn't admit to perusing He's Just Not That Into You on the floor at Barnes & Nobles. Or to obsessing over skeptical comments from Nerve readers, like:

"You've already built this up so much in your head, I hope it somewhat lives up to it."

"You're not earning interest on this savings plan. Also, buy a vibrator."

"This relationship will end disastrously. Run, girl, run!"

My sang-froid worked, to a degree. Two days later, John called me back into his bed, spread my legs and desperately rubbed up against me. "You're like a drug to me," he gasped, "I can't function without this daily fix."

His declaration should have buoyed me. But even small amounts of doubt are deadly to a canary heart like mine. I needed an unequivocal gesture. "Please, please, fuck me."

He didn't.

I wish I could say that the first time we had sex, the heavens parted and angelic choirs sang in jubilation. Instead, I vaguely remember being on my back, him being between my legs, and some thrusting. I know it happened, because I marked it down on my Google Calendar, but not much else. So, I got my man. He fucked me. More than once. Technically, I won.

I should have been thrilled. But instead, I felt like the ground was shaking underneath me. My need for sex had evolved into something grander. I wanted to take a fistful of his shirt and shake him: Why won't you say I'm your girl? Tell me I'm your girl. Tell me!

I got my man. Technically, I won.

Semen is dangerous — it's an acid that burns off all your protective emotional skin. And then even the slightest indifference stings. "Why did you fuck me?" I asked. "You first said you didn't like how I acted like your girlfriend. And then you fuck me."

Tell me I'm your girl. Please. Please…

He answered: "I thought it would make you happy."

I looked at the dark window, staring at the ghost of my reflection, and suddenly felt very tired.



The next day, I ended the relationship… in my head, because I'm too conflict-avoidant to tell guys directly that it's over. But, in my own mind, I was done. At work, I sat at my cubicle, expecting to squeeze out a tear. I didn't. Instead, I thought about my lunch break. Maybe I'd meet my true love by the bread pudding at Whole Foods. Which totally worried me; how could I move on so fast?

Was I experiencing delayed grief? I looked up the Kubler-Ross model on Wikipedia and decided that I had very efficiently arrived at "acceptance." No worries. I patted myself on the back. But deep down, I knew it wasn't acceptance. Instead, I was experiencing relief that I could go back to the celibate life I'd enjoyed a mere year before.



A week later, I was walking home after a night of karaoke. Drizzle covered my coat in tiny liquid diamonds.

John called.

He wanted to know how I was. "I could really tell you weren't here this week. I missed you." It was the closest he had ever come to saying I was his girl. So when he asked to see me, I agreed to go to his apartment the next day.

He met me at the door, holding a glass of apple liqueur. Without a word, he took my hand and sat me down at the edge of the bed. He started, "I was talking to a friend…" Oh, shit. People only use the "friend" opening when they need a front to reveal stuff that smashes your soul into a gazillion pieces that can never be put back together again.

I grabbed the drink from his hand and downed it in one gulp. "That was three shots!" he said, and then looked down at his empty palms, turning them up towards the ceiling. I saw the liquor bottle on the nightstand. Would it be rude if I chugged the rest of it? I poured myself a little more and was about to take another shot.

"You're my girlfriend," he blurted out. Pause. "Would you like to have sex now?"

I downed the shot. "Okay. Can I use the bathroom first?"



We both took off our clothes and crawled under the bedcovers like shy puppies. He got on top of me, back in that good old missionary position, and kissed me as he slipped inside. "Are you my woman?"

"Yes." I kissed him back.  


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