I keep forgetting to write about this experience I had last week. I keep forgetting that it happened. I keep forgetting about this moment.
I met a guy, I brought him home. This wasn’t the first time I had been with this guy. He’s a sweet guy, nice hair, big nose, remembered facts I had told him the last time we met. Jewish to boot!
And a bit on the rough side. And rougher and rougher as he starts to lose himself.
Which wasn’t doing it for me that night. And which was reaching my brain as pain instead of pleasure.
“That hurts, no harder than that.”
“Ok, I’m sorry.”
And he backed off.
Until he was nearing the finish line and starting losing himself again.
But, no, this is not an excuse I’m going to make for him.
I bucked him off and kicked him into my wall. Literally, pinned him to the wall with my foot.
“Did I hurt you?”
“Yes, I told you not to do that.”
A tumble of very breathless apologies. He’s still against the wall, catching his breath, apologizing.
I hear the words “I’m sorry” rise to the back of my throat and I bite down hard.
Because I’m not sorry. I’m not even sorry I’m not sorry. How do I really feel?
I rise to my feet and join him at the wall to whisper in his ear, “I don’t make a habit of placating men.”
More apologies tumble out, “I don’t want you to placate me.”
I go get two glasses of water.
We drink the water and talk naked for 45 minutes or so, with our heads resting on each others knees like a yin yang. A yin yang of pale jewish skin but nonetheless. There was no resentment, there was no fear, no anger, it was the best conversation we’ve ever had.
And I keep forgetting about it. This could have turned into a moment I played back for the rest of my life. If I hadn’t said something in that moment I would have hated him. I would have hated me. I would have been full on anger and empty on self-esteem.
And instead it’s a moment that I don’t even conjure up unless reminded of how pleased I am with it.
The thing that keeps striking me in the retelling is how easy it was, and how well-received. I know this makes me lucky. These things make me lucky. But also, if every woman could feel how easy it was to react that way then maybe it would be easier to convince ourselves that we’re allowed to be active participants in our sex lives, to convince our partners that we’re active participants in our sex lives. Perhaps it would go some way towards not being treated like chattel. Towards being treated like subjects in our own spaces.
It’s worth a try anyway.