Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lest We Remember

Without some serious wondering I couldn't tell you how many people I've had sex with. I'm old enough not to have to. I'm old enough not to have to tell you how old I am either.

Half the reason is that most of these experiences were mediocre. I don't remember most of the dinners I've had either. I remember the best and the worst. The rest are forgotten. I like the thought of sex that may for me have been a memorable experience being unremarkable for someone else. I hope that my memory forms a significant moment in at least one forgotten stranger's sexual history.

However, when I say that I remember the worst, it usually takes a trigger. I don't carry bad sex memories around like a miasma of negative sexual energy. Reading Quiet Riot Girl's memoir of an awful dinner date that led with crashing, horrified inevitability to excruciating sex, however, brought up some real horrors.

I had talked to Charles at the pub and at a party or two. I was hanging around with a couple of mates, both nannies from the north of England and older than me. I was a bit lost, back from college after only one term, living at home and waiting for my Dad to die. Charles and his friends were what you would call young professionals. One of my friends had a big crush on one of them, although it didn't look like turning into anything. On some level I knew that they didn't think much of us.

Charles was handsome in a pretty, fussy way. He wore pink, stripy shirts with the collars turned up. His blond hair was pushed straight back and he went to the pub in his work suit. He was a young corporate lawyer. I don't think I liked him much. He was just there and I decided in a rather adolescent way that I would fuck him, not because there was any strong desire to fuck him but because it was something to do. I think I was numb at the time. My first love had been unrequited. My dad was dying. My friends were not my friends anymore.

There was no seduction, just a pretense that I had missed the last bus and would stay rather than take a cab. I would sleep in his bed. He made a point of saying that he had to work in the morning. Oh that's ok, I said. In an effort to deter me he then smeared an obscene amount of moisturiser on his face. We lay in the dark in his bed. I remember the smell.

Well why not? I asked, after a while. I think he answered that he didn't particularly want to and that it wouldn't mean anything. I said Does that matter? and I suppose he agreed because we fumbled around for a bit, he put on a condom, fucked me passionlessly for a few minutes and came. I hadn't expected anything so I wasn't disappointed.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find Charles's arm around my waist and pulling me against him. He fucked me hard from behind. It was hard enough to be sore but I didn't stop him. We slept again. I don't remember anything after that. No more memories of Charles.

This is the closest to nonconsensual sex I've ever had. Technically I think one could call it mutually nonconsensual. I won't trivialise rape by saying that I raped him or that he raped me but I'm not proud.

That was probably the worst sex of my life. Not the worst sex physically, and there were no consequences, but I was at a low point and probably shouldn't have been having sex at all. Celibacy was another tactic I tried later on in a bid to avoid soul-destroying sexual experiences. More on that another time maybe. I really need to go and do something cheerful now.

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