Once upon a time (two months ago), I met John at a conference. When I laid eyes on him, both my brain and cooch simultaneously went “homina homina.” If he’d suggested hooking-up, I would have grabbed his hand, pulled him into a restroom stall, and insisted his boy parts make squishy noises with my girl parts. Instead, I had to use every feminine wile in my disposal to lure him into my bedroom. When I finally did, there I was, fondling him through his jeans, ready to kick off my soaked panties, when he said:
“Let’s have sex when we know each other better.”
Ha, very funny. “We know each other well enough,” I responded.
“Really?” he said, “Then what’s my middle name? If you can guess it in three tries, we’ll have sex.”
Eh, Rick? Wrong. Nate? No. Steve? Sayonara.
“So why would you want to have sex with me if you don’t even know my basic info?” he asked. (Honest answer: “Horniness moves in mysterious ways.”) But now I do know John’s middle name, and where he was born, and his favorite childhood movie. I’ve met his sister, and my toothbrush lies next to his in the bathroom.
And still he refuses to have sex with me.
Many chicks would call John the model of a true gentleman. These are the exact words he said to me: “When we have sex, it’ll really mean something. It’ll be worth it to wait, I promise.”
Yeah, I get it. There have been times when I’ve considered wearing a chastity belt. And I’ve had my fair share of Banana Republic sex: not totally casual, but not exactly couture, either. What John offers me is emotional couture — the sort of dreamy stuff that makes a lot of girls breathe hard. And yet here I am, obsessed with the other kind of breathing hard. He merely smiles and says, “Now you know how it feels to be on the other side.”
So, to all the boys whom I’ve given the “wouldn’t it be fun to do the 40-Year-Old Virgin twenty-dates-with-no-sex thing?” — I apologize. I didn’t realize the cruelty of the exercise. And to all the boys whom I’ve used as “dicks in a glass case,” I beg forgiveness. Through my suffering, I’ve developed compassion for the intentionally cock-blocked male. Play on, playas.
Now some of you are probably thinking, What team is he batting for? But I can tell you, John is one-hundred-percent about the ladies. When he watches the video to Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction”, he gets those glazed eyes that only straight boys get. Nor is he a promise-ring wearer or some anachronistic prude.
I know because the other night, I was wearing my infamously short “hey, you forgot your pants” dress, sans panties (they disappeared at a party — long story). John appreciated that dress enough to pull me onto his lap and kiss me with his soft, soft tongue. Later he bent me over a railing on a quiet New-York city street, lifting up my dress, and touching me…with his hands.
And I’ve spent nights in his bed, writhing in all my naked glory, begging, “Don’t you want to just put it in me, just for a bit? Please, please, please?” But no. Do you know how frustrating that is?! My most potent weapon (partial undress/copious amounts of exposed skin/”me so horny” warbling) doesn’t work on this boy.
Then again, the non-sex we’re having is the most delicious erotic activity I’ve ever experienced. And I know it’s building to even more.
“You know when you’re totally starving?” he said, “And then, just when you can’t take the hunger anymore…”
“You go to a buffet and gorge,” I said.
“…and everything is that much more delicious. That’s how it’ll be when I’m finally in you,” he said.
He basically dared me to have the most awesome sex of my life. Sneaky bugger. Even so, my female ego is having a tough time accepting it. After all, how many of us women use our sex appeal as validation? I’ll raise my hand first, if that’ll make the rest of you comfy. Most women, especially those who are considered even the slightest bit attractive, have a lot invested in being able to get sex whenever and with whomever they want. It’s like society affirming for us, “Yes, you’re hot. Look, all the boys who want to fuck you! And because you’re hot, you’re important. You exist. You’re not some invisible nobody who will be forgotten and left behind on an iceberg.” Pussy power can feel like my key to survival. It’s ingrained in my female DNA.
“Why is it so easy for you to keep out of my pussy?” I asked him.
“Who says it’s easy?” he answered. His hard-on nodded in agreement. “I respect you. I really want this to be special. So I make myself have self-control.” Shit.
Most of my relationships have had their Kodak moments underneath a plaster ceiling and kicked-off sheets, but John and I have had ours under a canopy of stars and blinking plane lights. Instead of between-the-sheets time, we spend hours taking epic night walks through New York city. Rather than being joined at the loins, he and I are joined at the hip, shuffling down Third Avenue like Siamese twins.
We’re not getting drunk at some loud dive bar, using alcohol as an emotional lubricant. Instead we walk — and talk. It’s scary, revealing all the dark, moist, moldy parts of my soul. Why can’t we use sex to provide the insta-bond? Why do I have to reveal the wizard behind the curtain?
And yet it’s happening. I actually have to use this thing called “personality.” All the emotional laziness has been un-fucked out of me. Last week, he turned to me and said, “If we’re going to move this thing forward, we need to get to know each other better — and cut back on the physical stuff.”
After my pussy screamed “noooo!” — I realized that what we resist, persists. Therefore, I went out and bought All About Us. I plan on filling it out with him with clinical sobriety. Tomorrow, I’m going to help him unpack in his new apartment, with nary a seductive glance thrown his way. I will embrace the non-sex. I will revel in the non-sex. I will BE the non-sex.
Exiled from my comfort zone, strange things are happening. Just as a boy will take a girl out to restaurant to impress her knickers off, I find myself turning to Google, looking for recipes. Yes, I’ve cooked for him, and I will continue to cook for him. Thing is, Nigella Lawson I am not. I don’t even know how to crack an egg without getting the shells all over the damn place. Isn’t that why I live in Chinatown and eat out every meal? But for some of that sweet sweet loving, a girl will do things that scare her, like turn on a gas stove range. I made him kimchee jigae. He asked for seconds.
When John and I first started going out, he told me he wasn’t sure when we’d have sex — or even if we’d have sex. But a few days ago, while we lay in a puddle of morning sunlight, he said, “It’ll be nice to have sex on my birthday.” Basically, he’s telling me that on October 13, the trial period will be over, and it’s possible that he will be the last boy I ever kiss. Sure, I might be getting a little ahead of myself, but when I put it that way, I think I might actually be able to hold out.
This article originally appeared in Nerve’s True Stories.