Monday, November 25, 2013

The Girl Whisperer

I was just going to write about how I'm masturbating a lot. I sent a rough draft to my friend Sadie.
“What's up with Gaffer Guy?” She asked. “You're not having sex anymore?”
I realized I had skipped over this little detail. That I wasn't much interested in talking about it. It's more of the same, except that now we're not even having sex. At all. And even I'm getting bored of the charade.

Our last 3 exchanges, initiated by him:

8 days ago, GG invited me to a party at his house that I had zero intention of attending. At 11:30pm, my phone buzzed.
GG: “Where you at fucker?”
Me: “Hi fucker!”
GG: “So I guess you ain't coming. Word up.”
Me: “You having fun?”
GG: “Yeah. All 40 of us are.”
Me: “40 of you?! Whatcha doin texting me??”
Felt really good about this response. He promptly followed with this:
GG: “Because I've got 3 horny single guys you can hook up with.”

4 days ago:
GG: “I want a goddamn beer.”
Me: “So order one.”
GG: “Yeah. I am.”
Me: emoticon thumbs up!
GG: “I'm gonna order 2 and hope someone I know shows up and pays!”
Me: “Good luck with that!”
VERY proud of myself for not getting dressed, putting on makeup, going to meet him, and spending the night trying to get him to fuck me.

3 days ago, I saw him hanging out with a new girl at an unrelated event. I was with another guy (my most recent potential sex friend whom I have only made out with thus far), and not that interested in playing across-the-room eye games with GG. I left before him, drove home, put on my Pjs, and just as I was removing my makeup, I received a call.
GG: “Where you at?”
Me: “Home.”
GG: “I'm going to get a couple beers. You can come or not, I don't care either way.”
Me: “Okay...?”
He mumbled some other nonsense and hung up. I put my phone down and wiped the makeup off my eyes.

So, that's what's been happening. Sometimes he comes by my work and we have tea time in the afternoon, and we don't talk about anything of substance or what's going on between us. We act as though we haven't spoken or texted since the last time we had tea time. It's better this way – we don't fight as much. Sometimes I enjoy his company in these platonic meetings because he drinks tea instead of beer and he's less of a dick. Sometimes I wonder what I'm doing there – what do I want out of this? The other day, we laughed as we watched a tiny little snail make its way across the concrete between us. I took a photo with his finger for scale.

So, I guess GG and I are “just friends” now. And I've decided to stop sleeping with my ex, and also still just flirting with my new potential sex friend (he's got a very busy schedule and – ahem – a teenage son). So, I'm not getting much action. And I masturbate a lot.

I've heard of this phenomenon whereby some people – albeit usually teenage boys and middle aged men - masturbate too often and end up losing interest in the real thing. I mean, if I can get myself off quickly and efficiently in under 5 minutes, why go through the whole rigamarole of actually having sex with another person – which often requires work to organize in the first place, potentially takes over 30 minutes of my time, and might very likely end in no orgasms for me and a very sticky bottom...  Why not skip all the beating around the bush?

And, to be quite honest, my pearl rabbit is better at sex than a lot of the guys I've slept with in the last couple years. A LOT better. An evening spent with my rabbit and a nice James Deen flick is an evening well spent in my book.

The other night, I was in the midst of a steamy little carseat make-out session with my new potential sex friend (the one with the kid – I will call him DILF), when he had to leave to go pick up his son at baby mama's house. So, there I was – all hot and bothered with nowhere to go. I resisted the relentless temptation to hunt down GG, or the nagging thought that my ex is readily available and very effective at getting me off – but rather than crawl down either of those equally complicated rabbit holes, I decided instead to crawl into bed with my rabbit.

When I'm with my rabbit, I have to try not to come. This is something that I don't recall ever having from sex. I don't know about most women, but for me having an orgasm from sex usually takes a lot of concentration and is not something that simply overcomes me uncontrollably. I wish it would. With my rabbit, the vibrating ears can make me come in like 2 seconds, so I've gotta be careful to drag out the climax for as long as I possibly can. If this level of intensity exists in sex, will the real Christian Grey please stand up??

I know the reason GG often doesn't want to have sex is because he's worried he can't please me. And I think he's haunted by the fact that he's never given me an orgasm. He doesn't quite believe me when I say I don't care. He's even apologized after sex for being a “dud.” I'm sure he'd rather just masturbate... guilt-free.

I thought about taking you through the ins and outs (haha) of my masturbation sessions but my friend Sadie reminded me that masturbating is not that interesting. There's no conflict. As any writer knows, if there's no conflict, there's no story, and there's no conflict when I'm fucking myself. I know I'm going to get off – there's no tension there. And there's no mystery about what my partner might do – because my partner is an inanimate object whose actions I control. No expectations or disappointments, no reciprocation or guilt trips. Just pure pleasure. And pleasure without tension does not provide nearly the same relief.

I felt so great about myself a week ago because I really thought I would never text him again.
“I'm over it,” I declared to anyone who would listen. They all looked skeptical but encouraging. I really thought I was done. Then, I threw my girlfriend's bachelorette party. I drank a lot of Greyhounds and watched a lot of sexy burlesque dancers writhing on poles... and my fuzzy head got the better of me. I reached for my phone.
Me: “Watching burlesque... Putting me in the mood...”
Silence. I waited a half hour. Still no response. I took a photo of one of the dancers in full splits, gripping the pole between her legs, and sent it to him. A totally irresistible and boner-inducing shot. Or so I thought.
My phone buzzed.
GG: “This guy probably cares. Text him.”
Followed by a shared contact, his friend JC whom I'd talked to the other night at the event.
JC had asked about what was happening between me and GG. I told him it was over, that I didn't like the way he treated women. Even as I heard the words “we don't deserve it” come out of my mouth, I knew I was full of shit. JC listened intently, then responded remorselessly:
“You love it. He's the girl whisperer. You don't want a nice guy.”

I knew he was referring to himself. I could tell he was interested in me, and also a much nicer guy than GG. But he was right, I wasn't interested. Because I like the conflict – as frustrating as GG is, he always gives me something to push up against. The tension keeps building and building and I'm still waiting for that sweet relief. In my brain, I know it will never come. Maybe if it did I would lose interest. That's what's fucked up about this whole thing, and my dirty little secret – if I got what I want I probably wouldn't want it anymore. Oh well, at least he makes for a good story.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What the hell am I doing?

“Here, take $10 in case there's tax.” He holds out a bill.
I shake my head, uncomfortable taking money from him. We're standing outside Trader Joe's and the air is spicy. Gaffer Guy is trying to buy me one of those cinnamon witch brooms TJ's is selling for Halloween. It costs $3.99. Again, he pushes the bill at me, again I shake my head.
“Fine. Suck a dick. I'm trying to buy you a present.”
This is just how he talks, I don't take it personally. I relent and reach out my hand but he's already shoved the cash back in his pocket and he won't offer again. I feel remorseful – I've made another mistake.

I haven't written in several weeks partly because I don't know how to write about what's going on. I also feel lately like a really big failure as a feminist, and I think I'm a little embarrassed to talk about it. Especially in light of the criticism I received from “Anonymous” on my last blog... I'm warning you, friend, it gets worse.

I don't want to say I'm dating Gaffer Guy because it usually doesn't feel like that's what's happening, but we do hang out a lot and sometimes it does seem relationship-y. He buys me flowers and brings them to me at work. We go out for lunch and beers often, and he always insists on paying.

He comes up with these strange plans, always on his terms, and I go along with them.
“I need your help with something.”
We're going to grab tea before he has to head back to work.
“You come over tonight after work and tomorrow morning at the butt-fucking crack of dawn, drive with me out to Sunland to look at this BMW. If I like it, I'm gonna buy it. Then you follow me back to my place in my car.”
“Okay, if I help you with this, you have to at least give me one kiss.” This is in reaction to last night when I sat with him and his buddy drinking beers for several hours and didn't even get a kiss goodnight. I've become very frustrated with his apathetic physical attention – getting him to fuck me takes much coercion and sometimes a little guilt-tripping. I swear I've never had to work so hard for sex – this must be what it feels like to be a guy.
“Uh yeah. If you sleep over there will be lots of kissing.”
That's all I need to hear.

These moments when he needs my help are advantageous for me, because it means I might get laid. It also means he can't crap out on me at the last minute – when something comes up that he considers more important than seeing me (which is pretty much anything – like helping his friend move big rigs in the middle of the night, for example). We're best when we have a task – he comes over to help me hang my paintings, I drive with him to Sunland to buy a BMW. This way we can pretend we're not just hanging out because we like hanging out – we really need each other's help.

That night, we meet for drinks at the British pub by his house. There's an incredibly loud rock cover band jamming in the main room, and we take turns screaming at each other over our beers. I enjoy the vibration of the music through my body, and it's so loud I'm forced to stick my face into his neck with my lips hovering beside his ear every time I want to say something - this proximity is usually a  no-no, and I take full advantage.  The band members are dorky and excited and look to be having a blast. He orders a chicken quesadilla and I'm not hungry but I eat with him anyway. His eating schedule is out of whack and I often have two dinners when I see him – one healthy and full I prepare for myself at home early in the evening, one junky and incomplete I share with him late night over beers.

I tell him I'm thinking about moving to London, that my godparents have a place there.
“We should just go there for a couple months. Tell them we're coming to stay with them.” Nothing he says ever makes any sense to me. The other day he told me I should move into his guest bedroom and pay $800/month and we could be roommates. I told him he really is crazy, that it was pretty much the worst idea I'd ever heard.
“Well, for one, you would start resenting me the second I moved in. For two, I don't want to listen to you fucking other girls in the next room. And then there are a billion other reasons it's a terrible idea.”
“Ouch, man, that hurts.” Yep, he calls me 'man'.

We walk home to his place and he's doing the dreaded slow blink that always tells me it's going to be a real challenge trying to get him to have sex with me. His dogs greet us at the door and Gaffer Guy promptly feeds them their dinner. Then he takes two hard-boiled eggs out of the fridge and spends fifteen minutes torturing the dogs by putting the eggs on the floor by their feet and making them wait to eat them.
“Daddy's home. Whose the boss?”
I beg him to just let them have their treat. He looks annoyed and makes them wait longer. Finally, he says “Thank you” in a sardonic voice and this is their cue to eat their eggs.
“I'm tired man,” he tells me again. I now know this translates to “I probably won't have sex with you tonight. It's not you, it's me.”
He changes into baggy boxers and a wife beater and crawls into bed. I'm wearing sexy, coordinated underwear but I see this is not going to have any affect on him so I take off my bra and panties, leave on my skirt and shirt, and join him in bed. He hits the lights. We lay there for a moment in the dark and I'm playing it very passive aggressive. I refuse to be the one who makes the first move again, but I'm also going to be totally pissed if I don't get some tonight. I'm on my back – not my sleeping position, but I want to make it easy for him to kiss me. And miracle of miracles, he actually does! After a moment in the dark, he takes a deep breath as if gearing himself up for something, leans over, takes my face in his hands, and kisses me long and deep. We start making out, feeling on each other's bodies. He crawls on top of me...

Afterwards, we hold each other. I kiss his neck, he kisses my shoulder and squeezes my arm. He likes to give me a little back and shoulder massage after sex, which I thoroughly enjoy. Even though I know it's my consolation prize for not coming. I've still never had an orgasm with him, which is strange because I'm obviously very attracted to him, I want him all the time, and I enjoy our sex a lot. To be honest, I don't really care that I don't orgasm. I mean, it would be nice, but it's not the reason I have sex with him. He just feels good to me, and in this post-coital moment, I feel close to him. It's not logical.

We wake up early and get ready for our road trip. Neither of us shower, both wear clothes from the night before. We head out to Sunland and it's Saturday so there's not much traffic on the road. We listen to Blue October's Sway and he talks shit and makes me laugh the whole time.
“I told the owner I'd be coming with my girlfriend so she doesn't think I'm a serial killer.”
“You should've said I was your sister. Then we could've really given them a show.”
It's a beautiful morning and I watch the sun climbing higher in the sky as we cruise up the freeway.

We drive down a suburban street that's not quite as upscale as we were expecting. We joke about a shopping cart in the front yard across from the Beamer's house – not a promising sign. The woman who owns the car comes out to greet us and we all pile in to take it for a test drive. Gaffer Guy naturally wants to check the pick up speed and zooms along the residential streets, narrowly missing a couple of early morning joggers and blowing through a stop sign.
“Whoops, didn't see that one. Sorry girls!”
The owner and I hold on for dear life as he puts this baby to the test. The owner tells us the windows recently started having issues going up and down and Gaffer Guy deduces they're off the tracks. The car is supposed to be $4,000.
“Let's say I give you $3,500 cash right here right now. Knock off $500 so I can get those windows fixed. It's probably going to cost a bit more than that but...”
The owner sounds slightly defeated but she agrees. He's good at getting people to do what he wants.

As she's signing over the title, her husband comes outside with their 4 month old baby wearing a little hoodie with bear ears. He's got orange and black Halloween socks on his tiny baby feet.
“His first Halloween,” says Gaffer Guy.
When the baby sees me, he opens his mouth wide in a big smile. He does it again and I laugh, feeling that familiar biological pang. Despite myself, I can't help but think that Gaffer Guy might notice how this baby is drawn to me and... I have to cut off this train of thought. It's coming from my uterus, which is not where my best decisions are made.
Gaffer Guy is counting out hundred dollar bills into the owner's hand.
“Gotta make sure it's all there. She likes to go through my wallet.”
Meaning me. I roll my eyes and glance at the husband, who laughs, realizing this is a joke. Gaffer Guy likes to pretend I'm his high maintenance girlfriend when we're amongst strangers. He's fond of saying things like “I need to make more money. This one needs new shoes.” Or, “Gotta go buy the girl breakfast.” Yes, it's a slightly sickening role play but I am so not this girl so I find it funny, and I sort of enjoy playing the straight man to his crazy.

He's also fond of acting out dialogue between us, naturally imparting a high-pitched squeal for my voice. When he does this in front of strangers, I try to get them on my side by telling them: “I don't even need to say anything. He acts out both our parts.” In some moods I enjoy this caustic banter, in others I find it incredibly offensive and it makes me hate him. Strangers watch our display with a mixture of sympathy and confusion, unsure whose side to take and whether or not this is a joke. I wish I knew. They probably think we're both nuts and we deserve each other.

All papers signed, hands shaken all around, we say goodbye, and Gaffer Guy hands me the keys to his old car. I follow him back onto the main road where we stop at a gas station so he can fuel both cars. He buys me a protein shake and we get back on the road. I follow him as he pushes 85 on the freeway, clearly enjoying his new ride. I hang back – I will not follow him over 80.

Back at his place, I park the Corolla he will be returning to its owner – an older gay man I call Liberace because of the way Gaffer Guy imitates his voice. We kiss goodbye like lovers loathe to separate. He holds me tight, squeezing my back in places as though trying to memorize the way I feel. He asks me what I'm doing later. I can't believe how much time we're spending together. I can't believe I'm still doing this with this person I have vowed to stop seeing more times than I can count.

My only justification is that I've seen a side of him that makes it very difficult for me to walk away. And I know it's a female clich̩ and believe me I hate myself for it, but I see all this raw potential in him and I watch him completely wasting it and fucking up his life, and it makes me want to be a good influence on him. There, I said it Рwe can all go throw up now. The other part of it is purely chemical Рthat animal attraction I can't seem to shake. It's hormones.
He texted me the other day:
“We both know I'm an asshole.”
“You sure are.”
“And yet you still love me. Who's crazy now??!”
I think he's just waiting for me to come to my senses. I know my friends are. No one, including him, understands why I keep coming back for more. I wish I knew what to tell them. Why him? Why am I so drawn to this particular flame? I'm trying not to be too hard on myself about this. I expressed to a girlfriend that I think he's much more vulnerable than me and I'm not worried about getting hurt – I'm stronger than him. She shared with me this sage analogy:
“Are the people on the Titanic any less vulnerable than the Titanic itself? I mean, the ship's gonna sink and they're all going down with it.” I laughed and told her I have a really great life vest.

Will I heed her warning advice? No. I can't seem to listen to reason right now. Not about this. Sometimes I think about telling Gaffer Guy, “you know what, I think I'm done.” But the only reason I would actually do that would be to hear him say “No! I'll stop being a dick. I don't want this to be over.” And I know he will never say that. Because he's not a guy who fights for what he wants, and his ego refuses to admit he actually likes me. Sometimes when he's drunk, he tells me he loves my face. If I told him to fuck off and never talk to me again, he would do just that. And that scares the shit out of me.