Less than 48 hours after meeting Ryan, I was straddling him in a nightclub, giving him my first-ever lap dance. My relationship with him was, from the beginning, more sexually charged than any I’d been in.
On our first date, he gave me a goodnight kiss, along with a two-handed ass squeeze.
“I thought he was a bit forward,” I wrote in an email to a friend the next day.
It shouldn’t have surprised me, then, when our first romp in bed introduced me to the world of dirty talk. Being a writer, I consider myself sensitive to the English language. Typos irk me and misspellings make me shudder.
When Ryan indoctrinated me with those three mellifluous words, “Yeah, suck it!” my brain refused to process the command. “Isn’t that what I’m doing?” I thought. He had to have meant it literally, because to utter that phrase for any other reason would be vulgar, contrived… disgusting! This, I thought, is why adult films are always better on mute. I decided my best move was to ignore him.
But I was unaccustomed to between-the-sheets dialogue—or monologues for that matter. Each time he spoke, I’d snap to and say, “I’m sorry. What?” (I earned a blue ribbon for best manners in kindergarten.) He may as well have been speaking in tongues.
Most of the time I had no idea what he was saying, and I preferred it that way.
It was too hard trying to figure out what he meant by the things coming out of his mouth; things you only heard in porn movies; things you heard uttered by your drunk college roommate when she dragged home her night’s conquest and you had to lie there, pillow over your head, pretending to be asleep, all the while judging, silently judging: “Ew! Who says that stuff?”
As it turns out: my boyfriend does.
At first I bit my tongue. After all, what kind of response does “I’m going to give it to you all night long,” really require? But he was just getting warmed up. It took only a few trysts for him to start describing vivid scenes with complete blow-by-blow action.
I listened like it was storytelling hour, because isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? If he’s in this fantasy, shouldn’t I be there with him? I couldn’t keep the details straight. Wait, how many guys? Where am I again? “Where does he get the mental energy for this,” I wondered. And then, I started to laugh.
“What’s wrong?” Ryan asked, not quite sure what was going on.
“Do you really want me to do that?” I asked.
“Do what? What? I have no idea what I’m saying half the time. What’d I say?”
Luckily, he started laughing as well. It became a joke. He’d go off on some X-rated rant, and I’d teasingly mock him. “Oh, yeah? What else are you going to do?”
Eventually, I came to associate his dirty talk with being turned on.
The more aroused he was, the more verbal he became. If he wasn’t babbling about tits and ass, I assumed he wasn’t stimulated enough.
So I began prompting him with fantasies of my own. Awkward and tentative, it sounded more like a game of Clue: “Um, you…me…in the kitchen…without clothes…” The only problem with that, of course, is that he had questions. “What are we doing? Is anyone watching?” To which I always said the same thing, “Uh, what do you want?”
And, the funny thing is, it now excites me as well. While talking dirty can be a great way to share our fantasies, sometimes, his idea of sexy is definitely not mine, and I wish there were things he could take back. What sounds hot in the moment can turn cringe-worthy in retrospect.
Ryan remembers the time, before me, that he slept with a Texan who had all the enthusiasm of a Dallas Cowgirl. She all but yee-hawed her way to orgasm, screaming, “I’m fixing to come!”
“It turned me on like crazy back then,” he admits.
Lately, he’s been on a swingers kick. We’ll go to a party where everyone swaps partners, and he can watch me have my way with other men. Yeah, sure, in a pipe dream, why not? It looked pretty hot in Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Eyes Wide Shut.
And in my make-believe world, I get to have the body of Nicole Kidman, so, what the hell? I’m down. Or I was, until we got into the particulars.
“Do you want to find another couple?” he asked. “We could put an ad on Craigslist, and…”
Craigslist? Are you kidding me? I won’t even buy a rug off Craigslist. Why don’t we just walk into a bus station and see who’s hanging out in the bathroom? Do you have any standards at all?
I stewed over it for weeks until I finally confronted Ryan. “Jill, it’s pretend. Do you really think I’d use Craigslist?”
“Then why did you say it? That’s not even a turn-on! It’s disgusting.”
“I don’t know. I mean, where do people go to find swingers? Lavalife? What was I supposed to say?” he asked.
I had no idea.
“It could have been worse,” he said, smiling. “I could have said, ‘I’m fixing to put an ad on Craigslist.'”
“You’d have blown your whole load right there,” I said.
“Well, look who’s talking dirty now.”