The sex I used to have with the people I used to have sex with.

A rediscovered fragment that should have been in 101 Stories if I’d remembered about it, that I found tonight when I was looking for a story I wrote about The Gathering to send to Ali.

The sex I used to have made me feel like a bystander in my own life. He would move my legs around, hoist them over his shoulder, turn me on my side, or whatever he wanted, and I would lie there compliant, thinking “it’s not him”. It was only when he went to hold my hand afterwards that I felt that something was wrong. I am not in love with you, please don’t try to force intimacy on me. I am fucking you precisely because you are not him.

And it felt weird, someone different touching me in different ways, in different places. His cock was totally different, of course, and the feelings involved were different. It was easy to spell them out in this case: I am drunk, you are not him and I need to be with someone who’s not him to prove that I can be with someone who is not him. That could be the mantra of each thrust into me. friend.

So it doesn’t matter that he seems like he is a sexual deviant. It doesn’t matter that he rejoices in my hairy legs that he takes the time to rub his cock up and down. It doesn’t matter when he licks my armpits, or tries to fuck me in the morning when he’s still wearing the same condom. He is no one. He is nothing. It doesn’t matter.

I’m not sure of the words we said to each other or anything, only the look that he gave me; the single dirtiest look in the history of one night stands EVER. It wasn’t a “I want to fuck you” look; it was a “I’m going to fuck you in this position and this position and this position, and you’re going to love it, because you’re a dirty whore and you want nothing but my cock inside you” statement. And of course he was right.

If only it could have been simply that simple. He was a mystery, a boy of extreme contrasts. He was sweet and charming in conversation, but he had my clothes off the second we got in his bedroom door. He didn’t call a taxi as soon as I said I’d go home with him because he said that would be presumptuous, but straight away on his bed he told me he had a treat for me and rolled on a spearmint condom. For a nice guy who told me that he hadn’t had sex outside a relationship before, he still managed to fuck me in half a dozen positions, transitioning seamlessly between them. He played me Jeff Buckley, and then a song he wrote named after a girl with the same name as me, but also wanted to fuck me in the ass.

That’s the first time, of course. The second time is a year later, when he’s had a chance to get back together with his ex girlfriend and then break up with her again, and I’ve had a chance to realize that running out while he was sleeping because I thought I was in love with someone else and terrified of developing intimacy with him and using the excuse of not having a Connection was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. There were two beers each in a pub, conversation where we talked about our families and how bad Sex in the City was, and we really seemed to be on the same page. I was able to say that I wished I had got to know him the year before, and he smiled at me. It felt really nice, but I was still completely surprised when he said “How about I come over to your house later with a bottle of wine?”

Then when he kissed me on the street outside, my legs felt like they were going to buckle underneath me and I ended up walking down the street in a total daze. At home later, I watched videos with my flatmate in an attempt to keep calm – after I’d changed my underwear, of course. He arrived, shyly knocking on the front door, we opened the promised wine. My flatmate stealthily retreated as soon as the movie ended, and him and I were left together on the couch. So, alone, not at a party, or a bar, or a cafe or any of the places I’d seen him since we went to bed. Over the course of the conversation, my legs crept up onto the couch so that our knees were touching. Our tastes in music were dissected to find places where we were compatible. And finally, we put our glasses down on the ground and he took my hand and we kissed again, this time for much longer than the pavement encounter earlier that night.

If I had melted into him at that very moment, I wouldn’t have been surprised. He’d been on my mind in various guises for a year – first in sweet nostalgia, and then in regret for leaving, and then in “I WANT HIM AGAIN NOW” capacity.

I wasn’t talking to her. He wasn’t talking to me for that reason, and it all stemmed from the same thing – good lovers making great enemies and best friends falling out over a boy and all the usual cliches. And there they were at the bar that I was at, and I’d been drinking beer, bubbly, and more beer. As soon as I saw them I sunk shots of Green Chartreuse to hide it, but it didn’t work, I still knew they were there. And why should they get to run me out of every bar in town? Plus, I’d run out of money for liquor and I knew that they had large bank balances. I stumbled over and plonked myself down in their line of vision. I was hot and knew it, after all. My boobs were on display for the entire world to see and it felt really nice.

I’m not sure who was more surprised – her or him. I guess we’ll say Her, because I did sometimes talk to him, even if he’d been ignoring me as of late. “Oh my god,” they said, “Joanna’s talking to us”. I suggested to them that they owed me a drink or two and she scampered off. More Corona with shots beside. I told them how no one liked me anymore. I was leaning forward to talk to them, my arm resting across his knees. They knew all the names that I was mentioning; they asked me over and over if I was okay, if I was really all right. They genuinely cared about me. I leaned forward more. She moved off to talk to other people and I took her seat. All of a sudden we were kissing each other with more fierce intensity than we’d felt in three years. Hands were all over each, in places that shouldn’t be in a nightclub. If it had been possible, we might have devoured each other whole. But instead, I was across his lap, whispering filthy things in his ear, rubbing his cock through his trousers in what I thought was a covert manner, promising him pleasures beyond what we’d ever experienced together before. I don’t know where his wife has gone, but really, it doesn’t matter as I follow him into the men’s room. He has me pinned to the wall and his hands are so rough in what inside my jeans that I have to tell him he’s hurting me as my top is dropped on the floor and my bra is pulled up. Our mouths are dissolving into one another, his hands are rough on my breasts and all I can do is tell him how much I want to fuck him. Always responsible, he asks me if I have any condoms, but of course, my bag and my jacket are somewhere back out in the bar, stashed under the seat where we first started getting dirty, and so that’s a no.

He has a solution for this of course, and he shoves my head down to his crotch, telling me to suck his cock. I do this gladly, reaching into his jeans like I’ve done a million times before. I want to show him how good I am, how much better I’ve become since he left me, and why he never should have left me. I do the best I can, and it’s not long before the pre-come is dribbling into my mouth, the salty taste turning me on instead of grossing me out. The fact that we’re in this barren concrete space makes the whole experience that much hotter. This is illicit near-fucking, and my god that’s a turn-on. His hands are on my head, pushing back my hair to secure his view and to make sure I don’t move my mouth away. I can taste his tang and it’s all I want for now, all that I could ever want, but there’s a knocking at the door, and he says that it’s her – his wife.

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