Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Real pain.

Unlike anything I've ever felt before.

I just found out my cousin, 25, brilliant and beautiful and selfless and unique and every other superlative I could possibly think of, was murdered. While she was in New Orleans studying and volunteering. She was shot several times in the head.

There are no words.

I miss you, Kirsten.


Preface: Last night I had a dream about my ex. (With a little e. You'll see why shortly.) Those of you who know me personally know which one I'm talking about. The dream, which would have, had it involved anyone else, been a pleasant memory, was genuinely disconcerting. It wasn't a nightmare - in fact, in this dream, he was being sweet. I woke up with fond memories of him. Which is a problem. A SERIOUS problem. I tried to deal with this all morning, but while I was sitting at my BS office job (ah the joys of work study), it was all I could think about. And I needed to study for my midterms tomorrow, but I could not, for the life of me, process what was going through my head. So I wrote a letter. I won't be sending it to him, but here's what it said. (Be prepared... it's long. There are a lot of things I wish I'd said to him.)

Maybe you can tell me why the hell I'm thinking about you right now. You should be the furthest fucking thing from my mind. What's worse is that I'm thinking of you fondly. That's not OK with me. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't mind. But I shouldn't have fond memories of you. Not because there never were any good times, but rather because it's important that I not remember them. Because if I remember that, for a time at least, I really believed you loved me, if I remember how good we were together, sexually at least, if I remember how every once in a while, you'd do incredibly romantic or loving things, then I might not hate you any more. And if I don't hate you anymore, I might want to to talk to you again. Just for closure, I'll tell myself. And then I'll do something stupid like call you when I'm home and ask you to meet me for coffee. Which would be probably the stupidest thing I could possibly do.

I don't make a habit of hating my exes. Even those I don't speak with anymore, well, I don't hate them. I know it's healthier for both of us if we don't speak, so that's how we operate. But you. I have to hate you. It's important. Because if I don't, I risk bringing you back into my life when I've spent so much time and effort making sure you're removed from the same. So I can't think about any of those good things that happened while we were together. I just can't.

Instead, I need to think about how shitty you treated me. I need to remember that for every night you'd do something romantic, there were five where you would get drunk and scream at me. For every time we'd have great sex, there would be three where we could only have the kind of sex YOU wanted. You refused to indulge me, even a little, no matter how much I indulged you. And, for the record, yes, the anal sex fucking hurt. Didn't you notice I was only "willing" when I was drunk? No, of course you didn't. And also, for the record, I know now that it doesn't have to hurt. In fact, it can be a hell of a lot of fun. And I owe someone else for showing me that. And you're the reason he laughed when I asked, flabergasted, "you mean it isn't supposed to hurt?!"

I never felt sexy standing next to you, or laying with you. Not because I wasn't sexy, but because you told me I wasn't. You never let me forget that you were better-looking than I was. You told me every fucking week. You'd tell me how lucky I was that you would (condescend) to be with someone who looked like me. You didn't like me wearing high heels because it made me taller than you, and that made you insecure. It was bad enough I was heavier than you, you'd say. I didn't need to be taller than you, too. "I know I'm more attractive than you are," you'd say, implying that you were some kind of saint for being with me anyway. And then, the next person I was with? Well, he was better-looking than you are. Fucking gorgeous, actually (a generally accepted fact among those who've met him). And in actuality, he isn't much taller than you. But here's the catch: he made me feel, as cliche as it sounds, like the most beautiful woman in the world. He'd find things to compliment about me. Little things, like how I kissed him or how I sang or how I looked waking up next to him. And he made me feel sexy because he was sexy. And he'd tell me I was. And, the real kicker? He and I were better together than I could have ever dreamed you and I would be. It was, without question, the best sex I've had. For any variety of reasons.

And where you would get drunk (off the booze you'd buy with my money while living in my house where I paid rent,) and insult me and throw things at me and hold me down when you didn't want me running away from you; he would invite me over, share a drink or two, and talk with me about literature and art and music. And then he'd take my face in his hands and kiss me softly, then gently lead me to the bedroom.

I want to tell you all this because I want you to know. I want you to know that I realize how awful you were to and for me, and I want you to know that you didn't break me. You made me feel so fucking worthless. And I realize now it was all a strategy to keep me down so I'd be too scared and too weak to leave you. And when you were worried that I might be getting ideas in my head to leave, you'd invent a problem. You'd violate my privacy, and read my personal (paper) journal, then wake me up to fight with me about it. And when I didn't shrink then, because I wouldn't apologize for writing something down instead of saying it to you and because I refused to censor myself simply for fear you'd find out, you reacted like a petulant child. With a drinking problem. You channeled Stanley Kowalski and showed up at my work, drunk off godknowshowmuch whiskey at 5pm, screaming at me and banging on the glass. In addition to being angry at you, you fucking embarassed me. Not that that was something new for you. You know precisely why I wouldn't bring you around my friends and your fucking jealousy was literally tangible. Tangible in the bruises you'd leave only in places you knew no one would look.

So I don't owe you a goddamn thing. This letter will serve as all the closure I could possibly need. I don't need to go to coffee with you. I don't need to see you again. Because you don't deserve that. You don't deserve to have me in your life. You gave up that right the moment you laid a hand on me. The moment you spoke to me like that. The moment you used me. I'm sorry for myself that it took me so long to get you out of my life, but now that you are, that's exactly where you will stay.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Smart girls...

... definitely make better lovers. Want to see why? Go read Phaedra Fallen's latest post. Pure brilliance.

That's all for now.

Hopefully some stories about my interesting weekend to come. But it's midterms and I'll be out this weekend kayaking in southern Spain, so we'll have to see.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


While reading the lovely Amalthea's latest post (and first foray into sex blogging, huzzah!), I couldn't help but be reminded of the joys of impromptu sex. In fact, it's something I didn't realize I'd been missing until I was reading her words, feeling rather transported into her space. (Indicative of the quality of the story, dear.)

As of late, the sex I've been having has been in a sense planned. Not in the sense that my partner(s) and I know exactly what we're going to do or how long it's going to take - quite the opposite in many cases - but rather that sex occurs at very regular times in very regular places. Sex happens at the end of the day. It's the last thing to occur before I (and sometimes my partner, although that depends on the person and the situation) fall asleep. There's nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I'd be the last to complain about my sex life as of late. This summer was fabulous for many reasons, and the regularity and quality of sex I was having was absolutely a primary factor. I've only had sex once since leaving, and while that was thoroughly enjoyable as well, it was rather predictable, concluding a long night of bar hopping.

I miss the kind of sex Amalthea describes. Where you go into it, well, not thinking you're going into it. Just sitting on the couch with a partner, for example, when a simple kiss turns into something more. And then you lead them by hand into the bedroom, or maybe stay there on the couch. The afternoon sun streaming through the window and illuminating your bodies, clothes maybe strewn on the floor or maybe not even entirely removed. It's not selfish, not presumptious, not complicated, and entirely beautiful. Then maybe, like Amalthea, you end laughing as you both try to stand up, legs weak and wobbly. Then carry on with your day, still a little flushed but very happy to be alive and where you are with who you're with.

I can't remember the last time I had this kind of sex.

I think, in large part, this is the kind of sex that comes most easily to those in a significant-other kind of relationship. Where perhaps you live together, or spend time together outside the bedroom and at times other than the darkest hours of night. I'm sure this isn't restricted to couples, but I can't see a whole lot of other situations where this might be possible. I suppose it also requires some level of privacy, or self-sufficiently, as some (not all, I know) people wouldn't necessarily want to have sex in a living room shared with several roommates (then again, some certainly would, but that's a different entry and a different desire being filled).

I think the last time I did anything like this was probably when I was with my Ex. (Yes, with a capital E... the one I was with for five years.) I suppose the length of time and how comfortable we were with one another allowed this kind of encounter. And we were very young, still living with our parents, but we would often have our respective houses to ourselves. Hmm. And this is the first time I've thought about sex with him in a long, long time. It's a strange sensation. Because I don't remember details, or sensations. I know it happened, but all the details are fuzzy. My guess is that's a self-preservation mechanism. Or maybe those memories served their purpose and are now necessarily fading into obscurity.

This entry has taken a very different direction than I had thought it would. I suppose that happens sometimes. I'm not even sure it really has a point. I guess I'm just realizing that there are perhaps unintended consequences of this liberal, free-spirited sexuality I'm living right now, bucking monogamy and traditional relationships and what not. I'd be lying if I didn't say that my experiences thus far have occasionally left something to be desired - emotionally, at least. I don't think that something missing is unattainable from this setup I'm living presently, but I think it will take a good deal more work to find and secure. But so it goes, I suppose.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dude, I just wanna dance...

Sorry for the Dane Cook quote... I know it's terribly passe, but it's relevant here.

Last night we went out in the city again. Our goal was to go to this girl bar our fabulous gay boyfriend had told us about. I've been trying to meet women here for a while, but queer women are more invisible here than usual. Just in case it wasn't tricky enough already. Ugh. Anyways, I was really excited... And my roommate had agreed to go with me, albeit grudgingly. We just barely made it on the last Metro (on a sidenote, considering that this city's clubs don't close until at least 6am, the fact that the Metro stops running at 1:30a is kind of bullshit.), and had to get off a few blocks from the gayborhood we were headed to.

After getting rather lost and having some substantial trouble finding the bar, we finally found it. We got to the door, and the bouncer told us it was 8 Euro each. Hmm. My roomie and I contemplated not going (we generally make it a habit to avoid paying covers, since we know we can have a good time without paying just to get in), but eventually concluded that since I'd been looking forward to this for so long, we might as well give it a shot. We could hear music thumping on the inside, but couldn't see how crowded the place was. So I paid for both of us (she didn't have any cash with her) and in we went.

Into a tiny, long and narrow space. There was modern salsa music playing, and the lighting read green, for the most part. It wasn't crowded, but it wasn't empty either. But here's the problem. Everyone was at least 20 years older than us. Now, I've written about my changing perception of age before, so the fact that everyone appeared to be in their mid-40s wasn't categorically a problem. But we felt out of place. Not to mention, there were at least as many men as women. And most of the women were dancing with men. Really dancing, not just standing in a circle while everyone dances by themselves. Aside from a couple of women making out in the corner, you wouldn't have guessed that the club was in the city's famed gay neighborhood, or that this club was a supposedly esteemed "disco de mujeres" (women's club). The roomie and I decided we'd have more fun dancing with gay men (who were, for the most part, our age at the club we were thinking of), so we left. We thought we'd try to see if we could get our money back, since we'd literally spent 5 minutes inside. I thought it was a longshot, but it was worth a try. It turned out the bouncer wouldn't give us our money back. I thought maybe we'd go back inside and get our drinks (I'm still not sure if our entrada included a drink or not), but my roommate ripped up the tickets to be defiant. Or something.

We ended up walking around the city for the next hour and a half. Which would have been OK had it not been something like 40 degrees (F, obviously)... and we were in sleeveless shirts. We eventually met some random guy from Guatemala, who walked with us for about an hour and we finally found an open bar. Our gayboyfriend happened to call the roomie right as we were headed into the bar... and told us that we were two blocks from his apartment. He met us at the bar, and the Guatemalan went to the restroom. Gayboyfriend suggested we ditch the Guatemalan... why I'm not entirely sure, but the bar was really crowded, and we'd been waiting a solid 20 minutes to try to get a drink. Also, it was Gayboyfriend's 27th birthday, so we were bound to do what he wanted. He hailed us a cab and we rode back to the neighborhood we'd been in an hour ago, near where Gayboyfriend works.

And then he got us into a really. damn. swanky. club. There was a line around the block, but Gayboyfriend knows the staff, so we walked in through the VIP line, and didn't have to pay the 15 Euro cover. (See? This is why we don't bother paying cover... we know the right people!) The music was a mixture of Latin songs, including some Puerto Rican tunes that Roomie and Gayboyfriend knew, US club hits, inlcuding Britney Spears (ugh) and finally, techno. The songs would go in cycles, basically, playing four or five songs of each genre. While Roomie and Gayboyfriend danced some serious Salsa to the Latin songs, and we all bounced around to the US club hits, and then the techno came on.

I. Love. Techno. I know Essin' Em often talks about how she doesn't really dance traditionally, and I guess I'm similar in that respect. The only kind of dance I really know how to do well is Swing and Bellydance. (I know, that's a really random combination. Such is my life.) The bellydance, especially, makes it easy to carry over to dancing at clubs, because, well, I can do all sorts of cool hip isolations and stuff, and at least in the States, that's all you really need to do to attract attention. I'm amazed at how many women can't (or choose not to when dancing?) move their hips... Anyway. Techno is what I actually prefer to listen to. I love the layered beats, the trance-y notes, and the way you can't help but move. At least, I can't.

So when the techno (or trance, it was a little of both) came on, I was just ALL ABOUT IT. Usually I don't dance much at clubs, especially when compared with the friends I was out with, who were absolutely showing off their moves, but I took over at that point. I wasn't drunk at all (I'd had ONE cocktail through the course of the entire night), but I danced like I was - meaning I didn't give a damn who saw me. I moved with the music, closed my eyes, my hands traced an invisible ball of light between them. It was a really freeing experience. It felt like I was lifted above everything... almost like I feel when high (not on pot. that's a major downer for me, one of the many reasons I don't smoke), a little detached from everything around me while simultaneously being hyper aware of my body.

And the best part about all of it was that I wasn't intoxicated. It was, if nothing else, an excellent opportunity to realize that I CAN, in fact have fun without any chemical substances. That's a good thing to know. And I think last night helpd me get over a good deal of my self-consciousness at dancing. I'm not going to waste time being a wallflower, if that's how good dancing feels. I like feeling so good - I think it's something I'll strive for more often. Who knew moving could be so intoxicating?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HNT: Camera!

As promised, I'm now able to upload photos from my digital camera. And take photos in the bathroom mirror, so I can even see what I'm doing. And mess with the colors and tone on my crappy basic photo editor (yeah, it's a step or twelve down from the CS3 I'm used to. Oh well.)

Anyway... here's the first official HNT photo from my camera. I figured it was only fair to show off a lot of skin. So we'll consider this my version of the classic Myspace bathroom self-portrait.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The aftermath.

First off, I must thank everyone for their support following my last entry. I was pretty shaken up and angry when I wrote it, and with your help (and, admittedly, some well-timed social reconciliation with my best friend) I'm able to look at it as a negative experience, but one that won't define me. Roland, I promise not let it ruin my entire Spanish experience, although I suppose it will inform it from this point forward. I also appreciate those who shared their own experiences either through comments or blogs. Once again, you all are a sort of safety net that it's wonderful to know I have.

And now on to the aftermath. Which, for me, is almost always an intellectual thing. (I'm also back in classes and recharging my brain for academia, which hopefully means posts will lean more that direction for the next few months until I shut off my brain again for winter break.) As of late, I have been struggling, mentally and morally (which isn't quite the right word but will have to suffice) with my interest in BDSM. I suppose for the most part they are standard questions. How can I be a rape survivor who enjoys and indeed desires very aggressive, dominating and violent sex? Can I be a feminist and still desire the same? At the same time, how can I advocate for sexual freedom of choice and practice and equality and still hold internal issues that don't allow me to fully accept my own identity? How will I know where my limits really are, and how far am I willing to go to explore those limits? And even, once I find them, how do I interpret them and integrate them into my life, sexual or otherwise?

I was most concerned with the first several, and generally figured that the latter are more experience-based and would eventually be established. As for those first, more theoretical questions? Well, I wasn't so sure how I'd get those answered. In the midst of re-reading Gayle Rubin's call for a radical sexual politics and being assaulted, I think I found the answer.

The difference between "good sex" (as Rubin refers to it, a la right or condonable sex and sexuality) and "bad sex" (obviously, the opposite, or unacceptable, amoral sex) is the question of consent. It has nothing to do with specific behavior or acts being acceptable and others being categorically wrong. It isn't wrong to hit someone if they've consented to being hit (without coercion, of course... all this should be read with a filter of "fully-informed and willful consent"). By the same token, it is wrong to touch someone, even gently, if they haven't given you express consent.

Before people jump on me about the term "express consent," no, I don't think that necessarily means that every time you want to hug a friend, you need to ask if it's all right to do so. Although that might not be such a terrible idea. I know, for example, that my dear Essin' Em has been rightfully called "the queen of consent," and indeed, she does ask before she gives hugs. And consequently, I've never felt that she's invaded my personal space. I can't say the same about others, even those I consider friends. Sometimes you don't want to be touched, don't want to be talked to, don't want to be involved. Rather, what I mean by express consent is that the person must make it clear that they want whatever is being done to them (I'm writing this from the perspective of a sub, but consent goes both ways, of course). Any question about consent needs to be clarified. Beforehand. Or during. It is never, ever an excuse to say "Oh, but I thought you wanted that..."

And as Merlin mentioned this in his comment on my assault entry, consent can also be revoked at any time. I know this is an issue discussed regularly in the BDSM community (and rightly so). I believe several other communities and indeed, most people would do well to give more thought and attention to the idea of consent and its...fluidity. I have spoken with vanilla, straight friends who tell me that they experimented with something new sexually and decided they didn't like it (way to be GGG, though!), but their partner assumed that since they had consented once, he or she automatically had access to this behavior. Uhm, no.

I suppose all of this isn't especially news to anyone, but the idea to me was somewhat novel that consent is what delineates the good from the bad. I'm content with the idea that there is no bad sex, other than that which doesn't involve equal and free consent of all those involved. (The issue of who, precisely, is capable of giving consent is another concern and entry all together.) The idea that it isn't wrong for me to like to be tied up, hit, talked down to and fucked hard with a partner (or partners) who I trust and have consented to being with, is an incredibly freeing sensation. At the same time, it allows me to know that that doesn't by any means that I should have enjoyed those men who were groping me in the street last weekend, although they may have exerted much less force than some partners I've been with. Indeed, in other situations, I've been quite proud to wear bruises as a marker of time well-spent. But that doesn't mean I have to enjoy any and all behavior that resembles that which I do sometimes enjoy in the bedroom (or dungeon, or or or...). And I believe this allows me to, for the most part, reconcile my liberal, pro-equality and sexual freedom and feminist views with my actual life practices.

It's still a work in progress, but I can gladly say that something positive and affirming came out of this negative and discouraging situation.

And I'm already working on HNT ideas. I can finally upload photos from my digital camera. Huzzah.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #148? Submit a link to your best post of the week by emailing me directly at radicalvixenatgmaildotcom Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks
““You’re lucky I’m not being mean right now.””

Cum Squirt With Me. Confession #131
“Not much research has been done on the female orgasm in general, much less this seemingly new erotic marvel.”

Jealousy, Pornography and the Boundaries of Blogging
“I search to be a sexually free, independent and satisfied woman without the stigma of slut yet with the positive implications of slut.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself
Sugar Bank

Editor’s Choice
Blue Fantasy, Red Silk Rope

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Just as a heads-up, this isn't going to be a cheery post. I'm really angry and that's going to come through. If you're looking for an upper, read a few entries back.

I was assaulted last night. I should probably define what I mean. I'm in agreement with Essin' Em that assault - sexual, specifically - is any kind of contact you don't want. The moment you say no and someone doesn't respect that choice, it becomes assault. And that's not fucking OK. I don't think this definition is too liberal, although I'm sure some people would say that it is. And, of course, it goes without saying that victims (and offenders) can be any age, orientation, identity, etc etc etc.

With those logistics out of the way now, on to what happened.

I was out with my roommate in the city last night. We had a few drinks, but I was by no means stumbling or drunk. I was in jeans and a tank top, with wedge sandals. No little black dress, no copious amounts of skin showing. I looked pretty, but not especially provocative. Just for the record.

After we left our friend's restaurant at about 3am (in this city, that's still early to call it a night), and were wandering around looking for an open bar. I needed to use the restroom, so we stepped into a discotheque, which was disgustingly smokey, so my roommate told me she'd wait for me outside. When I came back out, she was sitting on a bench, talking to a pair of Spanish men. Fine. We do this relatively regularly, since we both speak Spanish, and thus far, everyone we've met has been pleasant - some have even become friends who we've seen again. I sat down next to her and joined in the conversation (in Spanish, of course).

Suddenly, there were 15 men around us. I still don't know where they came from. They were fellow 20-somethings, and were obviously drunk. They all started talking to me at once, asking where I was from, what my name was. Before I had time to answer, two of them took my hands in theirs, ostensibly complimenting my nails. Then each one took my hand and tried to stick it down their pants. I pulled away and pushed them off, telling them no, I wasn't interested. In Spanish and then in English. (Granted, "no" is the same in both languages.) At the same time, some other guy had put his hand on my chin, trying to get me to look up at him or stand up. I shook my head to try to get him off me. He persisted. The hand-holders took my hands again, and held them fast. And then there were arms reaching through the group, touching my chest, then progressing to grabbing my tits. And pulling, and pinching. Hard. There were men behind me with their hands in my hair, starting to pull. I kept repeating no, don't touch me. I don't want you to touch me DON'T FUCKING TOUCH ME (in Spanish). I stood up trying to get away, and was met with even more hands grabbing and smacking my ass. I brought a knee up to try to break through the wall of men that had entirely surrounded me and effectively separated me from my roommate. (Who was still engaged in conversation with her Spaniards, none of whom were touching her.)

The hands followed me, focusing on my tits and ass. I broke through enough to reach out and grab my roommate's hand. She stood up, and told me she had just told the guys we'd go to a party with them. I told her they were touching me. She didn't get it. I told her they were fucking all over me and we needed to leave, immediately. Then she got it. And screamed at them in Spanish not to touch me, trying to push them off me as well. I held on to her hand and we took off running. They didn't follow us with anything except their whistles and catcalls.

We ran for a few blocks, and ducked into a doorway. She asked me if I was OK, told me how sorry she was for not realizing sooner. I told her it wasn't her fault and sure, I was OK. I kept my hands crossed over my chest, hands clasped on my shoulders. I asked for the bottle of wine we had in our purse, and she opened it for us. I drank it straight from the bottle. I didn't really know what else to do. I didn't want to go home, strangely enough. I just wanted to sit. And drink.

She wanted to talk about it. So we did. She asked why they didn't go after her, and I said I didn't know. We weren't doing anything we weren't supposed to. We weren't alone, we weren't shitfaced, we weren't being loud obnoxious Americans, we weren't dressed slutty... We talked some more about why they went after me, when we were clearly together. "I bet it was your accent," she said. I asked what she meant, and mentioned that I'd been speaking Spanish just like she was. "Yeah, but I'm dark-skinned, and Latina. I don't look like I'm American. You, with your light skin and brown hair and green eyes, well, you do look American."

And I suppose she had a point. There's only so much I can do to integrate myself into this community, this culture. I don't have olive skin. I'm Scandanavian, for fuck's sake. I dye my hair much darker than its natural dirty blonde, but I still don't look Latina or anything close. It's frustrating, though, because I make a concerted effort NOT to be the stupid stereotypical American. I speak Spanish. I follow regional social customs. I never expect people to speak English to me, and if I don't know a word, I'll explain it IN SPANISH until the person I'm speaking with understands what word I'm looking for. I don't get stupid-drunk and wander the streets. I was doing everything right, and I know that life's not fair and whatthefuckever, but this, this was really shitty.

I still have bruises on my tits.

A challenge!

So last night my roommate and I had a traditional girly-night. We stayed up entirely too late, talking about boys and sex and love and life and giggling entirely too loudly. It was a lot of fun. I had, admittedly, had a margarita or two, which made the conversation regarding sex that much more interesting and easy-flowing (as if it's difficult for me to talk about sober. Ha!). But as we started talking, she confided in me that she's never had an orgasm. By her own or with a partner. I tried to restrict my ohmygodyoupoordeprivedthing reaction, and think I did a reasonable job. I asked her if she thought there was a reason, and she said she thinks it's mostly mental, and there are some things in her past that she recognizes are mental blocks. I told her I hope that one day she finds someone who she trusts enough and is comfortable enough with to be able to let go and share that feeling that comes from such an incredible release. I thought I was doing pretty well, hoping my sex-positiveness would rub off on her. (Earlier, she'd discussed how she doesn't masturbate because she thinks it's gross, and consequently doesn't want her partners going down on her or really, anywhere near her clit. I validated that, even as I was a little shocked and trying to process what a sex life like that would look like.)

And then she asked me what an orgasm felt like. She said all her friends had told her "oh, it's the best feeling in the world, blahblahblah." But she wanted to know, physically, what it felt like. I told her it's different for everyone, and the best I could do was offer what it felt like for me. She said she'd like to know.

And then I stumbled. I fell short of being able to describe what an orgasm feels like, without going into flowery metaphors and abstract similes or hyperbole. I started off all right, but eventually, I just got lost.

So, fellow bloggers, who absolutely write better about sex than I do, I'm asking for your help. How would you describe your orgasm? Physically, and as free of flowery abstraction as possible. (Although, I know for me it's largely mental and emotional as well, so there's no strict bar on the use of literary devices.) I'd love to figure out how to capture that emotional connection and release with the physical sensation. Not a medicalized description, because I know what that is. I know which muscles contract, I know which chemicals are released in the brain. That doesn't help my roomie know how it feels.

So, how would you describe an orgasm to someone who's never had one?

Feel free to comment here or make it a post. Perhaps I'll show the responses to my roomie and see if she gets a better idea than I could offer her from your inevitably-better-suited words. Thank you in advance!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

HNT: Curves

So, I realize I talk a lot about the fact that I'm curvy. I've even learned not to automatically turn off to the word. Although I do still kind of consider it a euphemism for fat, but that's because of how my mother always used it. (And yes, I know that sounds fatphobic. I am, when it comes to myself, at least. I'm less critical of other people.) Anyway, it seemed fitting that I show you all some proof that I do, in fact, have curves. So here's a photo of me... less-than-flat stomach and all.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Support is an excellent thing

It's funny how much solace you can take from a little screen and people whose faces you've never seen.

But I owe you all a massive THANK YOU. All the comments on my last entry helped me put the whole situation in perspective, and now whenever I think about it, I laugh. In addition to those who commented, I want to thank those few who I know in person (and who I know read this) and got in touch with me through other avenues. I know this wasn't a major crisis, but I've been so sorely lacking in my regular support systems (a side effect of moving across the world... who would have guessed?) lately that your words all really meant something to me. So thank you to everyone who wrote and offered advice and told me that it wasn't my fault. Like I said, I'm able to laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole situation now.

And a side-note about how much more ridiculous this story got: The crazy lady (ex or not, I still don't really know) sent the girl I'm "in a relationship" with on Facebook a message. Telling her that I'd broken [crazy lady's] heart and that she wanted to tell [my girl] what kind of a person I was just so she wouldn't get hurt, too. Of course, my girl - who is one of my best friends, and who I'm NOT involved with at all - thought it was hilarious, and forwarded the message to me, asking if I wanted her to reply. We contemplated the idea of replying and saying that oh, sure, my "girlfriend" knew all about it, in fact, she was there, too! And then we thought better of even giving them the time of day. But it was still good for a giggle. Seriously, where do I FIND these people? eep.

And I promise the dramatic posts will cease, at least until the next mini-crisis. I have an HNT post in the works, so check back tomorrow for that.

And now, off to a commenting spree. Yay, spreeeee!

Friday, September 12, 2008

i can has answers?

Guilt: I usually try to avoid it, and I usually do a pretty good job. But now it's gotten a little bit trickier.

So, you all remember David, yeah? The walk-of-shame, yet enjoyable one night stand. Who then facebooked me a few days later. And his status said married. And I chalked it up to whatever - he'd mentioned that he had a daughter, but told me that he and the mother weren't together anymore, that's fine, I'm not going to ask for legal proof. The message he sent was very simple, and I sent back an equally simple (and innocent, might I add) message saying "wow. Hi! How are you? I'm assuming you made it back to England in one piece?" I figured maybe a little facebook messaging back and forth and that would be the long and short of it.

Instead, today when I checked my messages, there was a message from his wife. Or the woman who's listed as such on his status. And it said "I just wanted to thank you for ruining a nice family of five."

I've tried telling myself that it's not my fault, and that this could easily be his buddies fucking with me, or just his jealous ex (or current) girlfriend/wife/whatever. I don't actually, logically, think I have anything to feel guilty for. He was absolutely leading the charge, and while sure, to be cliche, it takes two to tango, I know I didn't really have any responsibility to this other woman, seeing as how I'm not the one in a relationship (past or present) with her.

But here's the catch. I actually do feel guilty. This is all probably not helped by the fact that I have some wicked respiratory infection right now and consequently feel like shit physically, too. But this is giving me that sick, knotted feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like when I know I've done something wrong but don't want to admit it.

So, my dear readers: Did I do something wrong? Or am I correct in thinking that my culpability in this situation is relatively low? (Presuming, of course, that this isn't just his buddies fucking with me.) I'd love to hear your thoughts. What's the verdict: miscommunication or homewrecking whore?

*sigh* I need a hug. And I kind of want to go home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Being alone

Can sometimes be a really fabulous thing. At least for short periods of time. Tonight, for the first time in over a month, I have the room to myself. My roommate is out at a concert, and I have no plans. No date. Well, except the one I decided to make with myself. After dinner, I hopped in the shower, and took my time, finally.

Turning the hot water all the way up, letting it run down my skin, feeling every drop as it fell down, cheek to collarbone, traced a line between my breasts and gathered near my navel, where it split into two rivers, leading down to each hip bone. From there, the water ran down my thighs, wrapping circles around my calves and finally forming a puddle as it fell off the bony part of my ankle.

And then I imagined your tongue tracing a line back up where that water was falling. Taking my foot like some scene from Cinderella, and leaving kisses up my legs, my toes pointed like a ballerina. And as you moved up my leg, you'd look up at me with that mischievous look I love so much, and I'd be reminded how fantastic you look with water running down your body. You stopped at my hips, to nibble along the bone, keeping your hands firm around my waist because you knew my knees would go weak as soon as your teeth met my skin. Your smirk turned to a blatant grin as I whimpered and leaned back against the wall for more support.

You took this as an invitation, and raised yourself from your knees, letting me look at your glorious shape in full. Jesus, you're beautiful. You brought your hands to my chin as you stepped towards me. I knew what was coming, and my stomach was still in knots. You kept your eyes locked on mine until I tried to look away, feeling the connection almost too well. Instead of letting me turn my head, you kissed me. Deeply. Exploring my mouth with your tongue and coaxing mine into yours. Again, my knees went weak. You wrapped your hands around my back and leaned into me, fully pinning me against the wall. The cold tile on my back combined with your still-wet warmth along my torso left me shivering as I melted into you.

"Maybe we should get out of here," you suggested. You knew I couldn't conjure any coherent thought, so I just nodded and grabbed a towel for each of us as you turned off the water. We opened the door and the steam flowed out - only half of it from the hot water. We raced to the bedroom like teenagers afraid to get caught sneaking around. We tripped over each other as we tried to close the door behind us and landed on top of one another. Well, you on top of me, really. You smiled like you planned it this way all along. And maybe you did. I wouldn't put it past you. You kissed me again, as both of us were smiling. Knowing full well you had the advantage, you took the chance and in one swift movement, rid me of my towel. "You won't be needing this," you assured me.

Keeping your body on top of mine, you filled your hands with my breasts and buried your face in my neck. If I had any thought of trying to get up, you banished it at that moment. Again, you traced the same path your mouth had taken in the shower, but this time in reverse. I reached down to run my hands through your hair, and you pulled your head up from my skin, scolding me. In one fluid motion, you had pinned my hands above my head. I took a deep breath and moved a little farther from this plane of existence.

You spent more time biting at my hips, I consequently writhing underneath you, whimpering from time to time. Suddenly, I felt pressure on my clit - vibrating slowly, and as I melted even further, I heard you growl "Oh, is that where you like that?" You knew I couldn't answer in any way but to nod. "That's what I thought."

I love when you talk to me like that. I can't manage to do it myself, but hearing you tell me what I like, and how I belong to you and will do exactly what you tell me to, just reminds me of how true all those things are and how much I enjoy that fact.

You kept growling, keeping your hand at my clit, keeping me tantalizingly close. And of course, you knew when I was, and would chuckle and tell me I wasn't getting off so easily. Had I been more cognizant, I would have laughed, too, at the pun. Instead, you filled my mouth, and I almost lost control. I knew I had to ask your permission, and I knew I wouldn't get it, but having a part of you inside of me pushed me so close to the edge that I started shaking. You knew I couldn't hold out much longer, but kept torturing me. When you'd feel my body tense, you'd pull away the vibrator, seeming to revel in the change in my breathing it caused and my increasing desperation. Finally, you aligned your body with mine and thrust into me, digging your nails into my skin. I arched my back with the brilliant pain caused by having you so deep and fully inside me.

You moved your hips in that way that only you can, where it feels like you're not moving while at the same time rocking my entire body. I felt you through every nerve in my body, and as you brought the vibrator back to my clit, my body took over. My hips bucked off the bed and into you, my nails dug into your back and I lost sight of everything around me except you. My body tensed around you and all at once released and I couldn't help but gasp and pull you closer. I needed to be closer to you than physically possible.

As my body settled, you looked at me - and I couldn't tell if the dampness on your forehead was from your still-wet hair or a fine layer of sweat. Your eyes flashed. "You didn't think we were done, did you?" I felt you start fucking me again. Harder this time, with more urgency. You whispered more filthy things to me and I wrapped my legs around you, impressed that I could still move them after the putty you'd just turned me into. I sunk my teeth into your shoulder, and that soft spot just behind your collarbone. You thrust harder. I felt your body tense and felt mine start to do the same. I rocked my hips into you and realized we were both panting, almost in unison. Every muscle in my body was tight, waiting for you to push me over the edge. Then you came, with a chorus of profanities. Feeling you let go, I couldn't hold on any more, and joined you, nearly screaming as wave after wave hit me. I don't know how long we stayed like that, rocking, breathing, existing in unison.

Slowly, we came back down, you still on top of me, head resting on my chest. A tiny aftershock ran down my spine and I shivered. You raised your head to look at me, smiling. Your eyes were less intense, now; So much energy had been spent between us that I could still feel it buzzing in the air.

I stayed like that, thinking of you as I drifted off to sleep, and wishing you'd been there with me for what we just had.

i <3 teh interwebs

Because sometimes they make me giggle. Like when I wake up this morning, and see a message from David on facebook. Yes, walk-of-shame David. Which is funny, because my name is more than a little tricky to spell correctly, making me tough to find on Facebook. We did have a conversation that morning about my last name, I just failed to realize that was so he could find me online later. It made me smile, and blush a little bit. Although the less than awesome part: his status definitely says married. To a woman with a hyphenated last name the same as his.

Now, I remember him telling me he had a three year old daughter at home, and I also recall him very clearly telling me that he was no longer with the mother. I´m not really one for regret or shame, but I do feel a little bad if I just fucked some poor woman over. Of course, I also think most of the responsibility to that fidelity (and yes, I realize this is assuming that they are in a monogamous relationship which might not be the case, although for what it´s worth, he seemed relatively vanilla) lies with the people IN the relationship.

So for now I´ll just enjoy the irony of the interwebs.

(Details of the encounter with David are forthcoming, I promise. I just need to get back to my computer with a keyboard I´m used to typing on.)

HNT: Most complimented...

... part of my body here in Espana is:

Yeah. People here are fascinated by my lip ring. My roommate jokes with me that it's a sex-magnet. Of course, the fact that I have my lip pierced is not a totally innocent piercing. Sometimes it isn't so bad to have people staring at your lips. I DO, however, find it interesting just how unique everyone seems to think this piercing is. It's not so unusual in the States. Whatever - I'll take the compliments!

(Also, I realize the angle of this photo makes my lips look like they take up the entire bottom half of my face. They don't, in actuality.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The walk of shame...

...is pretty much just as shameful in another country.

Although, it might have been made a little worse by how blatant it was that I was rocking the walk of shame. It was noon, on a Sunday (in this Roman Catholic country), and I was walking to the Metro in my little black dress and 5" stilettos. Hair - which had been down in sexy-messy waves - was tied back loosely, hopefully not exposing any hickeys.

I didn't get too many glares, at least not painfully obvious. But I knew. Oh, I knew. I was actually feeling not too bad about it, until I got back to my apartment. I was hoping to avoid my Mama, who had seen me go out at midnight the night before, but as I walked in the door to the building, she was walking out with a load of laundry to hang. Busted. She looked at me knowingly, and simply said "Buenas noches?" I hung my head, blushing, and mumbled "si..."

The funny thing is, it WAS a fabulous night. I went out by myself to go meet classmates at a bar downtown. I ended up running into other people on my way to the bar, and they were lost, but they didn't speak a lick of Spanish, so I ended up asking directions for us when they realized we were lost. Eventually, we found our way to the Irish bar where the other students were. It was JAM-packed. It took me 20 minutes just to get the bartender's attention to get a drink. As I was walking back from the bar toward the people I knew, I stopped and chatted to some Englishmen, who were here for a stag night. Well, stag weekend, really. A friend of mine stopped by and chatted, but relatively quickly got distracted and wandered off. Once againm within an hour, the group I had come out to meet up with had left the bar. And once again, they hadn't told me. I'd been talking to the Brits (who were from Manchester), and they asked me where my friends were. I pointed out that I was pretty sure they had left. The boys seemed appalled. "That shit wouldn't happen in England!" They assured me. I said it was fine, and asked if I could just keep hanging out with them. They smiled and promised to take care of me.

I was definitely the youngest of the group, and by the time we were hussled out of the bar at 3, I was also the only girl in the group. I actually really enjoyed their company - they reminded me of some of my boys back home, what with the witty banter. Well, if you add in the hot English accent. Also, my fondness for them wasn't hurt by thier propensity to take turns essentially constantly complimenting me and telling me how "fucking gorgeous" I was. Never a bad thing for a girl's self-esteem. The groom-to-be was pretty blasted, but as we left the bar, decided it wouldn't be a stag night without a strip club. The Brit I'd been talking to most, David, looked at me hesitantly, like he wasn't sure I'd be down. I smiled and led the way. The compliments changed to a chorus of what a badass I was for being cool enough to want to go to a titty bar with them.

We didn't stay at the titty bar long - David asked if I wanted to go to a club that was next door to dance. Never one to turn down a dance, I said sure. He grabbed my hand and intertwined his fingers with mine as we walked out into the night air. As we stepped into the club (discoteca, here), we headed back towards the bar, and he bought me a drink. Sidenote: I've been being really good about keeping my head about me when I'm out with these new people. I get a nice, happy buzz, but there's no serious incapacitation. I think it's probably a good habit to be in. We grabbed a couch as we sipped our drinks, continuing to talk abut politics and culture, and, yes, he continued to compliment me. Also, there's something kind of sexy about being told how "fucking gorgeous" you are, said in that accent that's not quite gutteral when they say Fuck, but still has a little bit of a dirty tone behind it. Want.

We finished our drinks and he asked if I wanted to go dance. He'd been teasing me throughout the night (well, it was back and forth) because in my giant shoes, I was taller than him. Nevertheless, the dancing worked well. I'm not entirely sure how long we stayed on the floor, but I do know I enjoyed my "D-floor makeout," to quote my esteemed colleagues. And jesus, he was a really good kisser. And had these really big, strong hands he'd wrap around my waist and pull me to him.... sigh. Lots of goodness.

And, as it turns out, the shortness in height was absolutely made up for in other areas. HOLY. SHIT. More details to come. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Foreign Identities

Now that I've been in Spain for approximately a month, I'm starting to get settled. I'm living in an apartment with an older woman and her twenty-something daughter, and my roommate (who is in the same program I am and attends the same University back in the States) and I share a small bedroom. It's a little snug, but for the most part, we get along famously. I certainly get along with her better than anyone else in the program, so it's a good thing we're rooming together. In fact, last night, when we went out on the town (to a mutual friend's bar where they always give us free drinks or, as was the case last night, free dessert), we were talking about what would have happened had we not met one another in the pre-semester seminar - we think we both would have been living in singles. Which, at least in my case, likely means I never would have gone out. Or I would have gone out only alone, which is not a particularly bright idea in a major city in a strange country with a language that is not your first.

But my roommate and I did find each other, and started rooming together early on in the seminar, which was a tour of four cities along the Mediterranean coast. During those few weeks, she and I obviously talked a lot, and one night, over tapas and sangria, I came out to her and another girl on the trip. It wasn't a drunken confession, but rather something I thought the girl I'd be living in such close quarters with all semester should know about me, almost like a medical condition. (Which, I realize upon writing it, sounds very self-hating, but it isn't meant to be. It's an important part of who I am and dictates some of my behavior, so I didn't want it to catch her off guard.) Anyway, after the obligatory questions about my past and whether this was really just a phase, or if I was the kind of bisexual woman who just makes out with other women or if I'd actually dated/slept with women, the conversation moved on.

Now, in general, I'm used to the following reaction after telling someone I'm bisexual: U.S. cultural stereotypes tend to dictate that bisexual women are really straight, and just wanting to experiment. Consequently, I have many friends back home who assume I'll end up with a man, and encourage me to do so in who and how they ask about who I'm sleeping with. I've come to accept this and just tend to correct them, using gender-inclusive terms when I respond to their exclusive questions. It really freaks some people out. But that's their issue, not mine. I'm generally very comfortable in my identity.

But my roommate here has taken a different stance. I'm not sure she really knows any queer people who don't identify as outright gay or lesbian. For the record, I'm not a lesbian. I have slept with men, I'm interested in men, and will continue to be so - in addition to my past, present and future for and with women, of course - and therefore am not a lesbian. I validate that identity, but I don't claim it. It isn't representative of me. Same goes for the label "gay." If I identify as anything outside of bisexual, it's simply queer, as an overarching and inclusive term. There are many things about my sexuality that are queer, and so I actually prefer that title. But sometimes, that's hard to explain. Especially in a different culture and language.

So my roommate, who is Domincan and Puerto Rican and lives in New York, has taken to introducing me as gay. When we were at the friend's bar for the first time, she happily told everyone there that I was gay. Granted, I think it was for the most part a misguided effort to help me find common ground with the mostly gay male staff we were hanging out with, but I have a few problems with this description:
1) As I said, I'm not gay. I'm queer. Or bisexual. Either label is fine, but gay isn't representative.

2)Telling people, especially those I've just met, that I'm gay offers them a certain image of who I am and what I like and what I do (stereotypes do exist, afterall) that may well not be accurate.

3) Calling me gay invalidates the identity I've struggled to define and come into.

4) And this is a little more shallow, but telling men especially (which tend to be most of who she's talking to) that I'm gay effectively either indicates to them that I'm not interested in them - which in one case was completely the opposite effect I wanted - or leads them to believe that they could possibly "fuck me straight," which will never happen and is misleading to them.

I truly believe that for the most part, it's just ignorance on her part. I'm very conscious of validating people's identities as they see them. I ask about preferred pronouns, identities, labels, and correct others when they're using something I know makes someone uncomfortable. I know that she doesn't have that experience and isn't as aware, but it's getting a little frustrating.

I've approached her about it, in as non-threatening a way as possible, asked her not to describe me as gay to people we're just meeting. I've told her the labels I prefer if she feels the need to label me to people we're just meeting, but she persists. Again, I think some of that is the language barrier with the people we're speaking to, and some of it is just ignorance on her part in understanding the importance of identity. Although, perhaps I should compare it to how she gets offended when people here call her Black. She's proud of her Latino heritage, and while she has darker skin, she isn't Black or African American. (Here in Spain, "Morena" is a kind of pet name, but she finds it terribly offensive when people call her that.) Maybe explaining to her that my queer identity is as essential and specific to me as her cultural identity is to her will help her understand. Then again, maybe also will the queer sexuality class she's taking with me this semester.

And no, the irony isn't lost on me that most of the time, especially in the States, I'm considered straight, and here I'm automatically considered gay. But it is essentially still a problem of invalidating and ignoring my actual identity. Which sucks. To put it as un-academically as possible.

*le sigh*

Thursday, September 4, 2008

HNT: Tanlines

It's been just over two weeks since I started working on my crazy Mediterranian tan. Of course, at this point, it's starting to fade. I apologize for the quality of the photo - it had to be with my webcam as there's still no way to upload from my digital camera. Sadface.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Skin hunger:


So, for those of you who had money riding on how long it would take me to get some while abroad, the official count is...exactly three weeks.

There was no sex, for a variety of reasons, most importantly because I wasn't looking to get laid last night. There was, however, a great deal of making out, preceded by discussions of US politics and people and Spanish culture as viewed through foreigners' eyes. What can I say, I'm a sucker for intelligent conversation. Especially because it happens so rarely when randomly meeting someone at a bar.

We'll call him Pedro (to quote a fellow blogger, "for the good and sufficient reason that that is [his] name"), and he's from Mexico. Yes, those of you who know me can now have a good hearty laugh. Leave it to me to come to Spain and find a Mexican man to make out with. He's here getting his MBA, and he speaks perfect English, but is way sexier when he speaks Spanish. (As is often the case.) He's taller than me (even in my heels), a little metro, and has cloudy blue-grey eyes that are a little too easy to get lost in. My girlfriends and I started chatting with him while we were out last night, then the girls left (the rest of the group we'd gone out with was still at the bar), and so he and I picked up the conversation. He was impressed that I knew, well, much of anything, it seemed, about Mexico, and more so that I am so fond of it. We talked about Spanish views of Mexican culture and people, and then the conversation shifted to international perceptions of Americans. (I actually don't like the term "American" because it implies that anyone from the US are the only Americans, when we aren't even the only North Americans, let alone mention of South America. In Spanish, I can say I'm Americana or Estado Unidense, and I always use the latter, which basically translates to United States-ian, but that doesn't work as well in English.)

I made a joke that I should start telling people that I'm Canadian, because being from the States doesn't always put one in a favorable position here. Especially being young and from the States, when everyone assumes you're just here to party and that you're loud, obnoxious, and uncouth. While I can certainly be all those things at times, I make a concerted effort not to allow those to be my default behavior.

Pedro brought up Barack Obama, saying that if he wins, it might not be so bad to say I'm from the US. Conversation quickly turned to US-Mexico relations. Pedro went off on a rant asking why more US people don't speak Spanish. I responded (in Spanish) that I didn't know - which was true. It makes no sense to me that being bilingual is such a specialized skill in the States, where as I've seen it's the norm here abroad. Certainly in Spain, everyone speaks Spanish, most speak English, and a significant majority also speak French (and a plethora of other languages). Pedro seemed surprised to see me not defending people from the States, but rather empathizing with him.

We talked about how people, both abroad and in the States, seem to forget that Mexico shares a border with us, unless they're talking about people crossing it illegally. I told him I'd spent some time in Mexico and where my favorite places are (which are nowhere near Cancun or any other tourist trap), and we talked about Mexican Spanish phrases that don't translate or aren't used here. He was impressed I knew them. I finally said something about thinking more people from the States should speak Spanish or just be aware of other cultures (specifically Mexican and South American), and he smiled at me. Told me I wasn't like any girl from the US he'd met, placed his hands along my jawline and kissed me.

The talking and kissing continued, and I sipped on the drink he'd bought me. (I only had a few drinks over the course of the night, which means my head was still very much about me. Hence the making out with a relative stranger.) It was about 3:45am, and the bar was getting ready to close. A cab ride home is about 10 Euro for me, and I'd bought a drink earlier, so taking the cab would have cost me all the money I had left. I had planned to stay out until 6, when the Metro starts running again, and Pedro asked if I wanted to hang out with him until then. He pointed out that he lived a few blocks from the bar, and I thought it over. At this point, we'd been talking exclusively for almost three hours. I looked at him, and as seriously as I could, said "OK. I'll come over. But I'm not having sex with you tonight. Are we clear?" He said of course, and I clarified again in Spanish. The bartender asked if we were ready to head out, and Pedro kissed my forehead, took me by the hand and led me out of the bar.

He continued holding my hand as we walked towards his apartment. Because of the hour and the fact that it was a Monday night (at that point, Tuesday morning), there was no traffic, but we still stopped at each intersection making sure we weren't going to get run over. At one point, we had to cross to the other side of the main drag, and as we walked across (clear of any traffic in sight both ways), he stopped. "Kiss me. Right here," he said, smiling.
"I can't kiss you in the middle of the street!" I replied, laughing.
"Yes, you can!"
And so I did. The whole walk back felt a little like something out of a chick flick. I can't remember the last time I walked down the street with my fingers intertwined with someone else, just enjoying the moment like that.

We got to his apartment and walked in the heavy green door, made of metal, it seemed, that had some design on it. I was surprised at how nice the neighborhood was (an area I'm quite familiar with), and more at the marble staircase which wrapped around the elevator we took to the seventh floor. As he turned the key and walked into his apartment to turn on the light, he apologized for the mess. There were a few magazines on the table, which I suppose was what he was referring to. He'd already told me he lived alone (which is unusual for Spain), and I was impressed with the hardwood floors and classy, while minimalist, taste in furniture. I set my purse down on his dining room table and surveyed the space. It was huge. A two-bedroom, with a full bathroom, kitchen and dining room. He was still standing near the door, smiling at me. As he approached me, I pointed out that I'm nowhere near as tall as I was (what with the heels on), and sat on a chair to remove my shoes. He asked if I wanted help and knelt down to unbuckle my strappy sandals. He kissed my shoulder as he stood back up, and brought a hand under my chin to bring my lips back to his. I had to stand on my toes just a little bit to be able to kiss him. Which is exactly how I like it. He kissed down my neck to my collarbone, to the scoop neckline of my haltertop. He asked if he could take it off. I told him he could, and he kept kissing me, wrapping his arms around my now-exposed waist.

I trailed my fingers along his hips, tugging at the bottom of his shirt, and pointed out that if I was shirtless, it was only fair that he was, too. With his nod of approval, I peeled his shirt off him and pulled his body back against mine. There is no feeling like skin on skin. I love the physical and psychological connection that comes from touching someone and being touched. He asked if I wanted to come and lay down - I said yes, reminding him that I wasn't going to be having sex with him. He chuckled and said he remembered, and that he'd be happy if this is all we did all night.

He took me to the bedroom, still kissing me, and when the backs of my knees hit the edge of the bed, brought a hand behind my head to lay me down. I threw my arms around his shoulders, and once we'd fallen, he leaned over me, surveying my body. Usually this is where I get self-conscious or hesitant, but he was smiling, and so were his eyes, and so was I. He ran his hands down my sides, tracing my curves and making me shiver just a little bit. He brought his lips to mine again and kissed me deep and slow. He pulled away slightly, staying close enough so I could feel him breathing, far enough to look directly into my eyes. "Me encantas," he said, without a hint of irony or the joking tone we'd adopted all night. I melted a little more.

We'd been speaking Spanish exclusively since we left the bar, but that phrase was particularly poignant and damn near touching. It translates, essentially, to "you're enchanting." Which is a really fabulous thing to hear. And of course, Spanish being a romance language and sexy as hell on top of that, makes it sounds even better.

We kept kissing, touching, biting and licking, and save for a few verbal requests to let him go down on me (which I declined), he entirely respected my limits. By about 6am, we were both exhausted, and he asked me if I wanted to stay and sleep for a while or if I wanted him to take me home. I'm never one to pass up sleeping next to someone, so I settled in with my head on his shoulder and legs tangled with his. I fell asleep to him stroking my hair, punctuated with gentle kisses on my forehead. When I awoke several hours later, we had moved positions, but his arms were still around me. He looked peaceful and happy, and as I turned to kiss him again, he smiled and wrapped his arms tighter around me.

I could, perhaps, get used to this.