Does anyone get the perfect amount of sex? My friends and I talk a lot about our love lives and so often sex is a bone of contention even in happy relationships. There seems to be a lot of mismatched expectation and negotiation: a lot of pleading, begging, gnashing, blocking, sighing, yearning, weeping, scrabbling, silent mounting and tearful pleas to “get off me so I can go to sleep.”
If only marriage vows could be a little more specific: does loving and honouring someone mean forgoing an episode of the Bridge so you can be used as a silent, naked prop in a wanking session?
It’s been 5 months for me, which is definitely nowhere near my definition of a perfect sex life. To break the fast, I’ve organised a second date with the genius, a night at mine watching a film.
“We’re not having sex,” she snaps in a text.
“Of course not,” I reply, immediately shaving my entire body.
We get off to a rocky start. I’m busy preparing dinner when she arrives so I take her coat and lead her into the kitchen where she immediately starts poking the different pans of water with a knife:
“Look at that water! You’ve overcooked the asparagus,” she barks. “Do you have an ice bath?”
No m’lady, I do not have a bloody ice bath.
She takes over, rifling round in my cupboards and shooing me away from the hob like I’m a pesky kitten.
“Do you have anything we can add to this to make it better?” she shouts from the cupboard.
Your head? I think sourly, as she retrieves a bottle of extra virgin olive oil with a little yelp of triumph. Eventually I stop fluttering around trying to cook for my own date and take a seat in the dining room with all the other mugs.
“Sorry,” she says eventually, “I’m a bit nervous.”
Thankfully, over dinner she relaxes and I get a glimpse of the soft, sweet flesh of her beneath the prickles. She talks about her ex, about how brilliant and accomplished she is – a political star in the ascendant – who also called her fat and dumped her via text. She talks about the struggle to find her calling and the pressure she feels to live up to her intellect, like she’s trembling on a stage, her friends and family impatient for the show to start. She talks about the anxiety medication she knocks back in fistfuls for the pressure, for the tremble.
And she talks about sex. About how they had it 10 times in the last 2 years of their relationship. About how intimacy seeped from their union and took with it all the colour and passion and tenderness between them. Listening to her, I can almost feel the chill.
After dinner, we head to the living room with the remnants of our wine. She sits next to me on the sofa and my libido, which has been dozing silently throughout dinner suddenly perks up.
Go away I hiss, she’s vulnerable, she doesn’t want this.
FIVE MONTHS. It shouts back at me. FIVE BLOODY MONTHS AND MAYBE SHE DOES WANT THIS?
So I kiss her. I kiss her and I’m yearning and sighing and scrabbling and we’re running upstairs and I’m in her lips and I’m coming once, twice and ohgodit’samazing and all I can think is two things: the drought is over! and her ex was a fucking moron.