The Thirteenth One Night Stand by Tawni Waters

So I’m starting to feel like I should title my portion of this blog “Sex and the Shitty” because mostly all I do is write about sex, but it’s not sex with billionaire astronauts, and I don’t have any shoes that cost more than $100.  In fact, let’s be frank.  I bought my last pair of shoes at a thrift store.  For $4.  Also, in completely unrelated news, I’d like to think that my nose is smaller that Carrie Bradshaw’s.

                  But there’s this boy, and that’s what I’m going to talk about in this column.  Surprise, surprise.  But.  Here’s the twist.  I’m not in love with this one.  I am professionally connected to him.  He has become my impromptu counselor, my very own Dr. Ruth.  My “6’6”, ridiculously good looking, swimmer’s body, 30-something, of course I have fantasies about banging him” Dr. Ruth.  Not that he’s really a doctor.  But he is profoundly good at comforting me.  Sometimes, when I ask for sex advice, he leans in and touches my arm and smiles.  He has perfect teeth, by the way.  Perfect with a gap in the middle.  And anyone who knows me knows that this particular configuration of teeth sends me.  Simply sends me.

The kid knows what he’s doing.  He knows that by casually touching me, he’s causing me fantasize about ripping his clothes off.  The kid is a pro. He is a womanizer of epic proportions.  It’s like a sport to him.  I know this because he tells me. We tell each other everything.  Lately.  Really, it’s a new turn of events.  It started over wine one night, when I told him about an encounter I’d had with Jesus.  I don’t know how that deeply spiritual conversation turned into this habit of me confessing my tawdriest sins to him, but it did.

So what I told him today was that last night, I had my first official one night stand.  Ever.  I’m 41, and I had my first one night stand.  It was a nice experience.  The boy was uber-pretty.  The best smile you’ve ever seen.  He made me laugh.  I sort of knew him already, so it wasn’t like I just picked him up in a bar and dragged him home by the hair and ripped his tighty whities off.  And in my defense, I hadn’t had sex in a long, long, long, long time, and that whole nun thing was getting kinda old.  And, I am ashamed to admit, I was pulling the classic pathetic girl move of having sex with a boy you kinda like to try to get over a boy you really love.  (For the record, it didn’t work.)

But still.  I had guilt issues this morning.  I went to work wearing the bordering-on-skanky-ass clothes I wore the night before, and I smelled like cigarettes and cologne.  I don’t smoke, nor do I wear Axe regularly.  Plus, my hair looked like I’d spent an evening in a wind tunnel.  I was pretty sure everyone who walked past me snorted slightly, knowing damn well what I’d been up to.  I felt like a whore.  So I had to tell someone, right?  Confess my sins.  Clear my conscience.  I guess I could have gone to a priest, but I’m not Catholic, and anyway, why would I do that when Dr. “I Look Like I Stepped Off the Cover of GQ” just so happened to offer to buy me coffee?  Color me mea culpa-ed.  Who needs a priest when you have Ashton Kutcher willing to absolve you of your sins?  And laugh at them.  He did. He laughed and high-fived me and told me I’d “conquistadored.”  And I quote.

He then informed me that one night stands suck at first, but if I get back to him by number 13, he bets I’ll be loving it.  And I said, “So basically, you’re saying that I’m going to feel like shit 12 times, but then the thirteenth time, it will rock?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” he said.  He used to play college ball, and that fact became clear here, because he adopted that voice people put on in sports movies when they are giving “go team” pep talks.  “It’s about endurance!  You gotta push through the pain!” he told me.  I wasn’t sure if we were talking about one night stands, passing kidney stones, or natural childbirth at this point, but any way you sliced it, it was sounding less scintillating than sex should.

He told me one night stands were supposed to suck, that sex never gets really good until you’ve had it 60 times.  “SIXTY TIMES???” I said.  I haven’t had one night stands, but in the old days, before I unwittingly became a nun, I vaguely remember having had sex, and I don’t remember it taking 60 times before it got good.  Two or three, yeah.  But 60?  That seemed excessive.  He insisted 60 was an accurate number.  I was starting to wonder if the advice he was giving me was sound, particularly because if I was hearing him right, he rarely, if ever, had sex with the same girl more than once, but he touched my arm again, so I didn’t care.

I asked another question.  “So I assume you have a lot of one night stands?”

“Oh, yeah,” he said, and he did that arm touching thing.  “It’s pretty much my life.”

“If they suck, why do you keep doing it?” I asked.

He explained that every fourth or fifth one blows your head off, once you get past that crucial thirteenth one  that makes one night stands magically palatable.  Plus, he confided, he’s tried making one night stands into two or three night stands, but that never works.

“Why?  I asked.  “The girl tells you that was the worst 30 seconds of her life?”

He laughed and said, “Something like that.  But you know, if it only lasts 30 seconds it’s a compliment.  It means the guy is really into you.”

“If you’re really into a girl, maybe you should try to last longer than 30 seconds to impress her,” I suggested.

He studied his coffee thoughtfully for a moment.  “That’s another way you could go,” he finally admitted.  He then said it didn’t matter if he only lasted 30 seconds the first time, he was usually ready to go again in 10 minutes anyway.  Of course he freaking was.  He can’t just look like a Greek god.  He also has to be sexually gifted.  “Anyway, the 30-second one night stand can turn into the all night one night stand if you play it right,” he concluded.

I felt like I should be taking notes.  I felt like there was an algebraic equation involved in achieving the perfect, guiltless one night stand, and if I could just get it right, I’d be on top of the world.  (His words.  “On top of the world.”  That’s how you feel after a great one night stand.  Apparently.)

Then he got all psychologist on me.  He leaned in.  “Tell me what is upsetting you about this one night stand?” he asked, his eyes boring into mine, full of genuine concern.  I wondered if I acted appropriately distraught, he might touch my arm again.  Maybe throw in a reassuring shoulder squeeze.

“Nothing, really,” I said.  “It was fun.  Except I was self-conscious because I have bruises all over my body from Mexico.” (Don’t ask).  “And the lighting was bad, you know.  Who in the name of all that’s holy wants to be seen naked for the first time under the glare of florescent lights?  And speaking of naked, every time you see a new naked guy, it’s a little. . .freaky.  I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but most of you male humans look weird naked.”

“I don’t look weird naked,” he said.  This time, he touched my knee. I suppose my job was to picture him naked then.  I did.  He didn’t  look weird naked.  Still doesn’t.  I know because the image of him naked is burned into my brain now.

So thanks to Dr. Hot Stuff, I now I feel worse.  Not only did I have a tawdry one night stand, I’m picturing my quasi-psychologist naked.  Often.  He finished our chat by telling me to go home and wash that guy off me.  He laughed when he said it.  So I guess I smelled bad to boot.

Yes, it is noon, and I do not give a shit that the fact that I want a glass of Malbec at this hour makes me a bad person.  I think we’ve already established the fact that I am indeed a whore of epic proportions anyway.  A stinky, skanky little whore.  Oh, and sorry, Dr. Ruth.  I’m not pushing through the pain.  I will never know the magic of thirteen.  That was officially my one and only one night stand.