Warning, this passage depicts graphic sexual acts.
How I Adore You (excerpt)
from the collection “How I Adore You” by Mark Pritchard
The bar, in a gentrifying district of artists and cafes, was full of people on a Thursday night. I was there alone; I was going to bars alone, hoping to leave with someone, but everyone else came and went in couples or larger groups. I sat at the bar wondering if my being alone was going to be a problem, for the woman I wanted to meet. I didn’t know who she was, but when she showed up, I didn’t want to seem like some psycho loner. Solitary, okay, a little aloof perhaps. But not crazy.
I had been alone for a few years. I could afford to be alone a litle longer.
I sat there for an hour when I saw her, sitting with a group of two other women and a man. She was so striking. She was more than just eye-catching — almost monumental — but in the way a marble statue is, one and a half times larger than life, expanded slightly because it stands on a pedestal ten feet high. And yet she was not especially big, although her features were. Her face was like an icon — looming out of the dark of the bar, it compelled devotion.
She also seemed to have a lazy quality, a reluctance to move too fast or smear her makeup, but her whole being breathed life and warmth and sexiness, big-boned — to wit, a broad. She was still. Look at a cloud unmoving at 25,000 feet; look back, it has changed from a flophouse to a palace.
I spied on her in the bar mirror while she talked to her friends. Then they all left, and I went home, cursing myself for not having had the courage to make a move.
The next night I went back again and she was there in the same spot, talking to someone else. Again I watched her covertly. When she noticed me watching her, I could see her recognize me from the night before — her gaze held mine for a few seconds, and she smiled when she looked back at her companions — this time two men. Then she looked in the mirror at me again.
She went to the bathroom and I followed, washing my hands as she did her business in the stall. When she came out, I turned and she met my eyes. It was one of those moments where it seems like it takes someone ten minutes to walk across a space of two and a half feet, our eyes locked the whole time. I didn’t get out of her way and let her have the sink, and she didn’t go around me, either. When she finally got to me, I put my hands lightly on her hips.
I expected her to look down submissively, then up at me again. It’s what girls do when they want to be kissed. Instead, she looked at me directly. And then she kissed me. A light kiss that got heavier — not too intense, but a real kiss and then some. Her tongue touched mine, that was something. I didn’t even know who she was.
Then she gave me her phone number.
I spent the next few days in a haze of desire. Oftentimes early in the fall there will be a few days in San Francisco that turn warm and dry, more so than all year long. The wind blows from the east, as it hardly ever does, and people get jumpy and nervous. They call it earthquake weather, because there’s something about the dry windiness and the tension that builds that seems to demand a cataclysmic resolution. For those few days it was earthquake weather inside me.
I don’t know what I wanted. To worship her iconic face? To have her squash me flat? To throw her up against the wall? Whatever happened, it was going to be momentous.
Finally, a few nights later, we were in her room in the Mission. It was one of those beautiful 20s apartments which have French doors and wooden floors and are situated in a nice building. I knew she hadn’t been here that long because she had to be only about 25, and these apartments were now expensive. Maybe she was a trust fund kid.
She gave me a Coke and we sat on her couch. She had a girl folk-rock singer on the stereo. I felt like a teenager sitting there holding a Coke, my hand wet around the sweating can. She didn’t even offer me a glass. I sipped because I didn’t want to swallow a lot of bubbles and then belch suddenly.
She slipped her shoes off, so I did too. We were about six feet apart, talking about her job downtown at a nonprofit. After a while, I guess she decided a decent interval had passed. She stood up and headed for the bedroom and said, “Come on.”
I put the Coke down and followed. I knew we were about to fuck. The idea filled me with excitement so strong that I was afraid that if I really showed it, she would be nonplused. So I tried to stifle it and just play it cool.
The moment her tongue touched my mouth, my cunt flashed wet. It was like somebody threw a bucket of warm water on it: one minute dry, the next soaking. Her tongue, sharp and insistent, penetrated my lips and played lightly over my teeth.
“Oh god,” I breathed softly into her mouth. She chuckled in her throat.
I was already so turned on but didn’t know how much to show. If I tell people how much I want them, how turned on I am and how much I want them to keep doing what they’re doing, they tend to think I’m a total nympho psychopath. So I generally try to hide it a little — the “Oh god” was a slip. Maybe I’d wait for a little to tell her how good it felt to finally be in her arms, to have her licking my mouth, to smell her body.
I realized my breath was coming in short panting bursts. She was going to find out in no time anyway. “You’re getting me all worked up,” I said softly.
“I can stop,” she said, smiling, flirtatious. Before I could answer, she filled my mouth utterly with her tongue.
I twisted beneath her. Her mouth was enveloping me and I went into it. My body floated somewhere outside, like a piece of tissue paper curled by a breeze. I wasn’t responsible for it.
After a minute she backed away. I drew a huge breath. “Didn’t mean to smother you,” she said.
“Smother me,” I said, pushing her onto the bed and diving on top of her. I wanted to hold her face in my hands, but instead I found my hands peeling off my jeans and underpants, and then digging my fingernails into her legs, which if they hadn’t still had tights on, might have been damaged in my excitement. I imagined her teeth on my lips, no, I felt her teeth on my lips, so biting seemed the thing to do.
“Unnghh.” I found I had clamped my legs around her, so that her hip was mashed up against me — I didn’t care, my body was just in a spasm.
When it faded, Elena was looking at me in humorous appreciation. “I don’t think I’ve ever been humped quite like that before,” she laughed.
“I don’t think I ever did that before,.”
Her eyes sparkled. “Do you need a second,” she said, “or can you do that again for me?”
I laughed nervously. “A second — No, never mind, no time like the present,” I said helplessly. “Just kiss me again, that’s all I need.”
Again with her tongue. My head was swimming, not just with the sensation of being wanted, of being kissed, of having my caresses returned, but at the same time with the conflict of being turned on and, at the same time, being a little embarrassed at how quickly I was turned on and not wanting her to think I was as much of a slut as I really was.
I forced my hands to lighten up, to stroke her, to listen to her. Once I made myself listen to her and got my spasming body under control, I realized she was a little breathless as well. It was her, after all, who was doing this to me. Her hand was around my throat, I realized.
“Elena,” I said, to buy time.
“Nothing, I just like saying it. Tell me something.”
“What? Stop talking,” she said, kissing me again. I didn’t want my tendency to over-intellectualize to ruin things, so I shut up. Just make out with her, I told myself, even if you did rip your own pants off. Don’t get carried away.
I made myself aware of her breath, the undulations of her body. She was peeling back my top now, exposing my tits, which aren’t big. She put her mouth around the right one and I let my head fall back, my left hand probing her warm body. “Take your clothes off,” I whispered.
While she stripped, I let her look at me, imagining it turned her on. The same thing which makes me convinced I need to hide my own arousal makes me certain no one could find me very arousing. But hoping I’ll be wrong, I act arousing.
I didn’t let myself think she might really like me. I only let myself think she might be turned on.
She finished taking her clothes off and let me put my arms around her. She put her mouth around my nipple again, and I contented myself with letting my eyes roll back in my head and feeling between her legs for something moist. When I found it, she bit down a little. I touched her between the legs and she did it again. That made for an even exchange for awhile. Easy touching, I told myself, gauging it by the strength of her bites.
When she switched breasts, I let a finger slip in. By that point her vagina was really wet, so it was like pushing a finger into a thick soup. I made sure the bites continued.
After a time she pulled her head away. “Jeepers,” she said. “What are you doing to me?”
“Not very much,” I said lightly.
“Well, keep doing it,” she said, closing her eyes. This, this, just looking at her — her heavy olive skin, her thick brows over the closed eyes, her mouth open thoughtlessly — this was enough. Her breathing changed, and I followed it with my touch. It wasn’t about making her come, it was about the specific connection between my finger and her breath, the way this touch makes her gasp, or that touch makes her give a little sound in her throat.
“What?” I said, pressing hard on that spot. “What was that?”
She grunted. Every time I touched her, she made that little sound. I don’t think it was voluntary. I made sure I wasn’t hurting her. No, just doing her clit — rubbing up against the soft, spongy part under the clit itself. The part that makes me, well, never mind me.
“Don’t stop,” I said. “I won’t move. I’m going to keep doing this.”
“Unncht,” she replied, nodding slightly.
“I just want you to do one thing,” I said. “Just put your hand between my legs. You don’t have to do anything. Just–” I was seized with a spasm as I felt her hand gently placed on my vagina. “That’s right, I just need to feel you there, let me–”
I made sure my finger was still stroking that spot of hers, I thought I could detect a quickening in her. It was so strange, it was like we were signaling each other from across an ocean, negotiating some alliance of arousal and willingness, even while we were in each other’s arms.
“Elena,” I said again.
“Sweetheart,” she whispered. “Oh, I love that. Just do that.”
It was nice of her to say that. I kept doing it.
“Oh, believe me,” she said, nonsensically. “Oh.”
She came on my hand. I made myself focus on what her face looked like, and on evoking the sighs and gasps that she revealed to me as part of her orgasm this time. I watched it all and took it into me, to the same places that I had to hide from her to keep my own arousal from being seen.
The levels of things not revealed get a little depressing, after a while. So I won’t mention that so much anymore, except as a monitor of how turned on I was getting versus how turned on I let myself appear. I did let myself wonder if the day would ever come when they approached each other.
So instead: what her face looked like when she came. It was like an implosion of energy happened, all her energy was drawn into her face and then exploded back out again like sparkly fireworks. Her eyes opened just a couple of times, enough to show how beautiful they were, and then they went back, like the sun setting. Her lips, meanwhile, weren’t nearly so poetic, they stretched over her teeth, tightly, in a grimace.
Her voice was doing something.
She finally shuddered, gasping, “Stop!” and holding my hand still against her clit. I obeyed her, and waited while she came back to herself.
Now was the time when she might get embarrassed and pull back, so I made sure not to look too closely at her.
Finally she opened her eyes and smiled at me in a friendly way. What made it strange is that the whole time I was coming on her hand. I was careful not to show it, not to let my orgasm overwhelm hers. Maybe it’s not quite correct to call it an orgasm, but really, I was coming, over and over again, into her hand.
I smiled back helplessly. Just do whatever, I said silently to her.
She chose to straighten up over me. I was now on my side a little, one knee drawn up in the air. She pulled me slightly so I was completely on my back. Then, hope against hope, she lowered her face to my pussy.
She doesn’t really want you, I told myself, forcing myself not to grind back against her face. I made my hips dance a very light pattern as she put her tongue against my clit. She doesn’t want you, I said to myself over and over again, so don’t show her you want her.
“Oh,” I let myself say. It meant, Elena, your mouth on me is like the whole fucking ocean. Your mouth is perfect just to look at, and the thought of it, just the thought of your mouth, is enough to make me wet. Just the idea of it being against my pussy is enough to make me come. So what does it mean for you to actually be pressing your lips against me, sucking on my clit, making me do this?
I let my breaths tell the rest of it. My mind went somewhere where she was sticking long needles into my pussy lips in such a way that the pussy was not shut but pinned open widely, so that to be fucked would simply drive the needles deeper into me.
That’s the kind of thing I don’t let myself say or really talk about.