By Anthony Paull
I’m not sure what to do with my girl Jackie. Her boyfriend recently taught her what it’s like to do anal, and now she’s convinced that she should have been born a gay man. “I get why the majority of you bottom,” she tells me. “That’s powerful stuff, the best thing to happen to my life since the morning-after pill. I feel reborn.” To celebrate, she wants to talk about it every time we meet. I’m usually up for it, but it tends to become awkward when we’re sitting by school kids at Starbucks. I flash Jackie a warning with my eyes. “Please. Like they haven’t tried it,” she scoffs. “So tell me, what do the gays do to prepare for such an event?” Excited, she wiggles in her seat. “I mean, organically.” Now, Jackie’s never been one to be PC or beat around the bush, but this type of questioning seems out of place, even for a young lady who forgets to wear panties to the office just to give her pervert manager a reason to go home and bang his wife. (She considers it philanthropy.)
“Seriously. Can we talk about this another time?” I ask.
“Why?” She seems miffed. “Because.” I pause for a breath. “You can’t bring up anal like it’s the weather.” “Why not? I thought that’s what gays live for.”
I choke down my latte, eyeing our audience of teen and elderly coffee lovers. “Yes, but it’s not an everyday thing. Think of it like…a holiday or a special occasion.” “Like the sun coming up? Who are you kidding? You take it every chance you get. Now, what’s the secret to a fast, clean ride?”
I refuse to answer, finding a reason to exit the conversation, only to receive a phone call later in the week. This time, Jackie is more subdued, able to convey what this nonsense is all about. “I know. It’s weird. But it brought a spark back to my sex life with Ben,” she explains. She states that since the new technique, the two have engaged in sex at least four times per week in the last month. Compared to the once-a-week rhythm the couple had settled into, the sudden burst of activity has been a nice change. That is, until two days ago, when the interest suddenly died. “It’s like he’s over it,” she confesses. “I can’t be loose in one month. Can I?” “I don’t think that’s the issue.”
“Well, what else could it be?” she questions. “Look, can you do kegel exercises with your ass?” The next time we have coffee, she sits awkwardly, half-off her chair, like she’s in pain. Her face turns an odd shade of red.
“What are you doing?” I question. “Clenching,” she says, breathing like she’s taking a Lamaze class. “I read about it online. It’s easy. Just like blotting your lips. Ooh, ha, ha. Ooh, ha, ha.” I wonder if she’s about to birth a turd. “That’s not sexy,” I advise. “It’s not supposed to be. It’s just prep work: squeeze and release, squeeze and release.” Her hand falls across her face, covering her eyes, as if she knows just how desperate she appears. “Don’t laugh. I’m out of ideas, and I’m trying to save my relationship.”
I hold my tongue, fearing I’ll allow something to slip that isn’t supportive. It’s clear Jackie needs for me to remain positive, so I allow a moment to pass, then plant an idea in her head, wondering aloud if there’s something she can do outside of the bedroom to bring her closer to her boyfriend. “What connects the two of you besides sex?” Jackie ponders the thought, arriving to the conclusion that she hasn’t actually tried to learn much about Ben other than the rate at which he can ejaculate. It’s been their safety blanket, learning about one another under the sheets instead of covering the ordinary bases: play dates and excursions out of town. The two met in a pub and had sex in the men’s bathroom before last call. Following the Big Bang, busy careers have allotted them few hours of leisure, leading them straight to the bedroom when they meet up. Jackie admits she had to take a pic of Ben sleeping to prove he exists to certain family members and friends. “Sometimes, I don’t think he’s real either,” she reveals. “He’s like a ghost, only able to appear in the dark.”
To shed some light, Jackie promises to find time during waking hours to take him out. She wonders if they’ll click without dick in the equation. Can she clench his heart with more than body parts? Would he mind learning about her mind?
A week later we meet for coffee and she takes a seat, normally, chatting about her first official date with Ben. They had gone canoeing and bicycling. She’s still sore from the events, but this time there’s no huffing or puffing when she speaks. In fact, she only loses her breath once, when Ben surprises her with a call, asking if he could join us. Minutes later, he takes a seat at her side, meeting me for the first time.