Our four month anniversary was the day she came from down South to New York City, almost to the exact hour of our first kiss. I navigated LaGuardia’s constantly-under-construction terminals to meet her as her flight landed. We had met in person for the first time in September, but the us, the we, that had been going on since March. We were trading “I love you”s back and forth a long time before we called each other “girlfriend.” We’d decided in October she’d come up in January for my MFA’s winter break.
I’d wanted her even before we met in person. She said she wanted me, but it was hard to believe that anyone would ever want me. My desire for her was different from my wanting women in magazines, actresses in movies, singers on stage, even different from baristas behind the bar at my favorite coffee shops or cute girls in my writing classes.
It made my heart warm, and gooey, like chocolate cake fresh out of the oven – and at the same time made it sparkle like a bottle of Dom Perignon at midnight on New Year’s. But in the days leading up to her visit, she had disabused me of notions of rose petals and champagne. I’d spent so much of my life thinking sex was momentous, and that because I’m 30 years old and had never had it, I should be ashamed of myself – that finally having sex would be validation, proof that someone else valued me. Up until I’d met her, I’d put so much weight on the idea that my first time had to be life-changing, and the older I got, the more I believed that. But she’d taught me sex didn’t have to be anything more than sex. Losing my virginity wasn’t the same thing as climbing Mt. Everest or graduating magna cum laude.
The day before she flew to NYC, she texted me: “Sex and first times aren’t scary or overwhelming or nerve wracking unless you decide to fixate on those things and make it so, and if you do that – you will have a very difficult time simply enjoying the moment. No one is giving unrealistic expectations except for you.”
I knew her tone by then, and could hear the teasing grin in her voice when she added, “And I love you, even if you spend an entire week playing Pillow Princess.”
I’d bought three sets of lingerie from a plus-size-friendly underwear website. They waited for us in the second-to-the-bottom drawer of my dresser, backed up against the wall next to the cat litter. I thought they would help me feel confident. But for the first time we didn’t need them.
I picked her up at LaGuardia with a glass vase of pink roses in my arms, wearing a velvet dress bedecked in pink roses. She showed up with a duffel bag, wearing sweats, so sleepy (she’d stayed up all night to catch her flight) she was about to drop to the scratchy carpet and pass out there. She didn’t remember to tell me I looked beautiful until we were heading to the Uber, but that only made me laugh. We spent most of the first day sleeping together – literally – on my twin sized bed, curled up in each other’s arms.
Around 6 p.m., we propped ourselves up against the wall beside my bed and put an episode of The 100 on my laptop. It’s one of her favorites, and since I hadn’t seen it yet, we’d been using Teleparty to watch it together for date nights while we were apart.
I closed the door to my bedroom. My apartment building was hot, to make up for New York’s first storm of the winter brewing outside. I asked if she minded me taking off my shirt, just hanging around in my underwear. She’d already taken off her pants. “If you want,” she said, settling on my twin-sized bed in front of my laptop.
“I guess we’re at that point,” I said. There was something wicked in the way she laughed while I peeled off the shirt. Devious, I called her in my head. I’d called her that so many times before out loud. She was. She is. I like it.
“Galaxy bra!” she said.
We’d shared pictures back and forth, mostly me sending her pictures of myself in various stages of undress. I had this bra from Torrid, blue with purple and white swirls that resembled the cosmos. It was her favorite.
I curled up with my head on her shoulder. We watched the opening scene of the episode. It’s a very heavy show. But I was giggling softly into her neck, because her blunt nails were trailing up and down my bare back, tracing circles around my spine. There was heat in my belly, a dizziness in my head. My hand was rubbing against her thigh, slowly.
We looked at each other. She raised her eyebrows. “What?” she said innocently.
“I didn’t know my spine was an erogenous zone,” I said.
Somewhere in the course of that weekend she told me I was a good kisser, which surprised me. I’d never kissed anyone, not the way I kissed her.
The first time, I was on my back, at her tongue’s mercy. The second time, she was still on top, and I ground against her knee, and she was laughing, and saying, “what you’re doing is all you,” and I can’t remember what I said back.
We’d been making out, and she excused herself to go to the bathroom, saying she’d come back soon. While she was gone I wriggled into a lacey purple bodysuit and stretched out on my bed like a fat femme dyke version of Burt Reynolds.
It made her laugh. It also made her touch me. No one had put on lingerie for her before.
The most beautiful thing in the world is that girl straddling my hips, tossing her head back to get her chin-length layers of hair out of her eyes.
No. The most beautiful thing in the world is that girl lubing up a vibrating strap-on latched onto a leather belt she’d helped secure to my crotch.
No. The most beautiful thing in the world is that girl lying on her back, chest heaving, as I crawl on top of her, tossing a vibrator to the side of the bed and asking things like “you like that?” and “what’s my name?” and her blinking hazily, mouthing words and giggling but unable to speak.
Sex is a language. I know that now. Sex is heat, and skin, and softness, and wetness, and rapid breath against my ear. Thirty minutes before we had to leave to take her back to the airport, she started kissing me. “You sure?” I teased. “I thought you didn’t like just making out? You said you didn’t want any more hickeys on your neck, because your family would make fun of you –“
She pulled my head towards her throat. “I don’t fucking care.”
I thought losing my virginity would change me, that I’d be a different person than I was before, but I’m not. I thought I’d be pliable and eager to please in bed, but even though I had to keep asking her if what I was doing was right, she kept laughing and calling herself “submissive and breedable,” and I found electric joy in teasing and taunting and edging.
I was missing out on something, yeah, all those years I spent pining after no one in particular, waiting for someone to come along and “deflower” me. But what I was missing I found with her, and it was meant to be with her. Not for the sake of finally getting to have sex – but for the sake of finally getting to have sex with her.
“You’ll miss your flight…”
“Screw you, screw me –“
I was worried my roommates would hear us, so I told her to put on a Spotify playlist I used when I was writing fictional sex scenes: ”H*rny With Dark And Religious Undertones.” It started with “Take Me To Church.” The next three songs were from the same album.
“Just put Hozier on shuffle,” I said, before losing myself, again, in her kiss.