When I Was Sleeping With Him, I Was Thinking About Her
I went to the bar just like I told you.
I sat with my friend for a few hours, talking and enjoying myself, but I was somewhat bored. My friend got up to use the restroom. I stayed and watched our drinks and her bag. That’s when it happened. In what now seems like something out of a movie, something that doesn’t happen to regular people, the crowd at the bar literally parted for a moment and we made eye contact. I saw you. You were sitting with a guy who was animatedly talking to you, but you weren’t listening. You were looking right at me.
My friend came back, but you kept staring. Finally, you came over and introduced yourself. I wondered if that guy was your boyfriend. It seemed like he wasn’t. You maneuvered it so you were sitting next to me at the bar. When I said something funny, you touched my hand. Your teeth were so white. Your hair was so shiny. I couldn’t have made you up more perfectly if in a dream, but here you were.
“I think that girl is flirting with you,” my friend said when you’d gone to the bathroom.
“I hadn’t noticed,” I said, but my heart was beating fast and my throat felt dry.
Later, you told me, “This was fun. We should hang out again.” I nodded as we exchanged information. I wanted you so, so badly.
I got home from the bar and you were reading in bed with the side table lamp on. I straddled you, and gingerly plucked the book from your hands, tossing it to the floor.
“Oh hey,” you said.
I didn’t say hi back. I kissed you hard and started pulling off your soft T-shirt.
“Whoa whoa, what’s got you all worked up?” you asked and I laughed and said, “What? I’m always worked up” and you said, “Okaaay” like you didn’t believe me at all.
And then I fucked you and I thought about her.
It felt amazing.
It always does, obviously. That’s one of the reasons we’re together. The sex is great. I have fun with you. I love you. I want to be with you and only you. I won’t see her again. That’s not what this was about. But even so, that night, I made you her surrogate. I “Poker Faced” you. I thought about another woman and I slept with you.
I feel a little bit guilty about it, though I’m sure this’ll be met with a raucous chorus of, “He’s thinking about her too, sweetheart!” And sure, yes. But this feels different. This feels like an urban legend come true, some wicked straight male horror story where the guy’s girlfriend has sex with him but is picturing the witchy women she plans to leave him for, that evil, evil lesbian conspiracy. Is this a boy’s boogey(wo)man? Is this the beginning of a new season of The L Word?
But it happened. It happens to other women, I’m sure. It’s happening all over the world right now as I type this.
I slept with you and I not only thought about her, but I pretended you were her. I pretended your hands on my waist were hers and that your lips were hers and I moaned for her and I came for her.
Would knowing that excite you? Would you want to hear everything I was thinking or feeling? Would you want me to describe her — her clothing, the slope of her shoulder, her long legs? Would you like it?
Or would you feel threatened, cheated on, betrayed? Would it make you feel insecure? Would it make you feel like our sex wasn’t enough, wasn’t good, wasn’t what I really wanted? Would you feel disgusted and used?
Maybe guilty isn’t the right word. Mostly I feel guilty that I don’t feel guilty. Not even a little. Not even at all. The sex we had was electrifying. I’m sorry I’m not sorry. I really, sincerely am.
But I still let you take her place and it felt really, really good.
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The best thing about being a young adult right now is that you, more than any previous generation, have the freedom and the resources to create your own religion. So, let’s get started.
The apartment you lived in your first year out of school, the walk-up with a view of the street.
I wanted to quit my job. I hated my boss.
His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.”