Friday, September 26, 2008

Til Whoredom Come

You've politely sipped two martinis and said no, demurely, to a third. You ordered the angel hair pasta and left at least a third of it on your plate. You sat like a lady, with your legs crossed, you smiled at his jokes but resisted the urge to giggle, you let him open the doors even though your arms are perfectly capable of pushing and\or pulling. In short, you have spent the entire evening pretending to be exactly the kind of girl that you aren't.

But when his car pulls into your driveway, the jig is up. Three kisses and a hand under your shirt, and instead of pulling away, you're inviting him in.

So now you're sitting on the couch, each with a glass of wine from a stash of bottles you keep for exactly this purpose, both pretending to watch a movie that neither of you could identify if pressed, while his hand creeps up your thigh, the one you rubbed with lotion hours earlier thinking of exactly this moment.

I take his hand and put it right where we both want it anyway. He'll look a little shocked at first - I've just broken with the dating protocol - but then slowly, it will dawn on him that I've just saved us both 45 minutes of his hand's ascent, quarter-inch by quarter-inch. Now that the cards are on the table, the panties can hit the floor.

But wait.

Panties are last. Everyone knows that panties are last!
Shirts are first.

If you're a dirty girl, you've selected your date outfit not just for its level of hotness, but also its ease of removal. Your shirt should not be of the crazy-amounts-of-buttons variety (or god forbid the ornamental buttons - kiss that shirt goodbye if you were that stupid), and for heaven's sake stay away from the tricky hidden zipper on the side shirts (I mean, to be fair, those shirts are even hard on me!). If you like the guy you're about to have sex with, cut him some slack and go with a top that pulls off easily (and if you don't like the guy, reconsider the sex). No matter what, a dude will absolutely forget to be careful of your hair when he takes your top off, so don't be too attached to the style it took you 55 minutes to achieve. Be prepared to just shake it out, bat your lashes, and not think about it again until you're trying to comb out the sex tangles after he goes home.

Boy shirts aren't too difficult. There are basically only two varieties: the kind you pull over his head (if he's tall, remember to do this while you're still sitting on the couch) or the kind you unbutton. If he's wearing a button down, let him take your shirt off first. Then, reach up and sweetly work on his first couple of buttons. Look up at him from under your lashes, let him get a good look at the cups of your bra doing their good work, and he'll hurry the process up, either working on the buttons from below, or sacrificing the buttons entirely and forcing the shirt off one way or the other. Make sure that you let the shirt fall where you are, still outside the bedroom. The trail of clothing is of the utmost importance: more on this later.

He'll be pretty anxious to get your bra off at this point, but don't let him. The next part can be tricky, and girls, you definitely want the upper hand.

Boy belts can be hell, and I've found it's one of many tasks best performed on one's knees. There are many reasons for this, the least of which is the view he'll get, which will make him excited and get him thinking of other things you might be doing while you're down there. But you're also giving yourself the best angle to work at, and a good overview of the obstacle. Now, as the girl, you realize it's your job to be slow and teasing and his job to be crazed and efficient (without much emphasis on the efficient). A finger in the waist band of his jeans is a good way to start. If you discover something in there you don't like (say, panties that are prettier than yours) you can hit the brakes and kick him out only half naked. This is all the encouragement he really needs. He'll be unbuckling that belt faster than if his pants were on fire. Actually, as far as he's concerned, his pants pretty much are on fire. Stop him there, though. Leave the button and the fly for yourself. Say hello. Acquaint yourself, but only briefly, before standing back up, but don't be afraid to leave a little lipstick behind.

Now that you have access through the front of his pants, he now has plenty of motivation to make your bra melt right off you. Let him get the zipper of your skirt or the button of your pants, which will be done in a fumbly fashion if you're doing your job right and being a good host to the friend you made when you were on your knees. Stop before you enter the bedroom, and each shed your own bottoms. This is important because you'll want to take the opportunity to also take off your socks, because lord knows there is no graceful or sexy way for someone else to do this for you. Socks can be a real turn-off. The only exception to this rule is if you're wearing thigh-highs. Those you can leave on.

You should both still be wearing underwear when you get to the bed, but his should come off before getting in. If he's a little shy though, you can take them off for him once he's in, just be sure to throw them onto the floor, out of reach. Yours should always be left for last, because taking them off will leave him in a very opportunistic position for how you'll want things to go from there. A little upward tilt of the hips is a helpful way to let him know what's on the menu.

And the genius of it is, when it's all over, he'll have to get out of the bed to get his boxers. If he's not making the move quickly enough, just start hogging the sheets, he'll catch a draft and be inspired to find his underpants soon enough. And cleverly, retrieving the rest of his clothes leads him pretty much right up to the front door, where you first threw his shirt. At this point, it's easy to hand him his shoes as you open the door. While he's doing the hopping-on-one-leg-tying-his-laces thing, pat his bum, kiss his cheek and give him a rousing "Thanks, that was fun!"

Close and lock the door.
Flush condom.
Have a scoop of Ben & Jerry's.

And that's how a good girl has bad girl sex.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Warm September Rain

We're sitting in a booth and our thighs are nearly touching. I'm very, very aware of the nearlyness.

It's early days for us, but what I know of him, I like: the penchant for argyle, the passion for his work, the way his eyes linger over me...

But then it hits: a huge wave of insecurity washes over the already tipsy vessel we call the U.S.S Second Date. He thinks he's being polite, making casual conversation. He has no idea he's just entered my danger zone. I'm doing my best impression of a blandly smiling mannequin but on the inside the red lights are flashing, the captain is screaming Jump ship! and I'm frantically casting about for a lifeboat, an inflatable vest, a bloated corpse, anything.

He's just asked me about my gym habits. The stupid fucking gym. Possibly I walked right into this line of questioning having just been making fun of the yuppie zombie lululame-os in my yoga class, but no matter who's to blame (and I'm still favouring him for this one), there's no squirming my way out of the subject matter.

And why do I not want to talk about the gym?

It's not the particular shade of tomato that I turn upon exertion. It's not the mickey's worth of gin that I sweat out my pores. It's not the way spandex makes my ass look like it should be zoned for its own area code.

It's that I'm slow.

Now, I am prepared to let this be the one thing he's better at than I am. But I'm not just slower than him, slower than men. I'm also slower than all women, most toddlers, obese senior citizens, three-legged turtles, and 7 year old Heinz ketchup. I'm extraordinarily unimpressive.

And right now he's looking at me like I'm the bee's knees, like he can't believe how brilliant my non sequiturs are, like he can't get over how lucky he is to be paying for my chicken parmigiano.

Of course it's an illusion. I don't normally reapply my lipgloss 17 times an hour, and he doesn't normally reshave before dinner, and neither of us usually exist on diets consisting solely of breath mints, and yet here we are. I know it, he knows it, but we're both enjoying it nonetheless. The thing about dating is: if you like the illusion well enough, then you might take the time to peak behind the scenes and get a glimpse of the creepy little wizard who's been running the whole show.

And right now, with the candles flickering between us, and his thumb rubbing my palm, it's not time to pop the bubble. I don't need him to know the boobs-squashed-in-a-sports-bra side of me, the struggling-to-bench-press-25lbs-if-I'm-lucky side of me, the couldn't-run-faster-if-a-bear-was-chasing-me side of me.

So I distract him the only way I know how (while keeping my top on): I put my hand on his chest, and I lean in real close and I whisper You know what? You haven't kissed me yet today and though it's not true in the slightest, I know damn well he won't call me on it.

Pretty soon we're in the alleyway behind the restaurant with my back pressed against the gritty brick wall. It's raining out, but it's a surprisingly warm September rain, and the luscious drops that fall on my bare shoulders just make for a slicker sensation when he runs his hands up and down my arms. He tastes like wine and looks handsome in the moonlight.

Screw the gym: distraction is my new favourite sport.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I'm not a girl, not yet a wino.

Caro and I were enjoying another one of our "failed" shopping trips (the kind where we stop in at Sephora, bemoan the fact that they still haven't restocked the Apricot Souffle, and then proceed to buy substitute purchases (at other stores, mind you, ones that deserve our business) that we don't particularly need but seem to take home anyway) when we decided to give ourselves a break from toting around our monstrous shopping bags and sit down for a little lunch and nice big drink.

It goes without saying that mine was a martini ("touch of pink", it was called, and it danced on my tongue and was sweet enough to mask the staggering amounts of alcohol mixed into such a pretty little drink) and as we sipped and ate, I amused her with stories of my sisters and I sharing a bathroom growing up, and even now, when we all happen to be visiting at the same time.

Confession: I am a bad, bad girl.

Oh, not the good kind of bad. Not the naughty kind. Well, yeah, that too, but that's not what I'm referring to this time.

I mean the bad kind of bad: inept, dysfunctional, graceless, impaired.

While my sisters (of which I have 3) vie for mirror time to primp and preen, my routine consists more of things like eating cheerios, flossing, and changing my top 18 times. But as for hair? Makeup? Forget it. I suck.

And it pains me to admit this, because my mother was a hairdresser, went to beauty school and everything. When we were little, she'd line us up in the kitchen and she'd pass from one set of bangs to another with her curling iron, making us all look like brunette Farah Fawcett nesting dolls. My sisters have clearly inherited her talents, and developed them, while I have been left in the dust.

So this winter I set myself a goal: make my hair look less retarded. And I've tried, I really have. I can now do things with a curling iron other than give myself scathing ear blisters, which is a marked improvement. And the straightening iron is no longer my sworn enemy (now it's the friend I love to hate), although it still makes me cry when I spend 20 minutes coaxing it to perform miracles only to have my efforts derailed by stupid humidity (and even as I type this, I find myself hoping that humidity really does fuck with hair, and it's not just something my Mom told me in order to make me feel like less of a schmuck).

So Caro, good friend that she is, laughs at me only a little bit when I point to my face with the wrong end of a fork to highlight the fact that I am not wearing makeup, as if she hadn't already noticed.

I don't wear makeup because I can't wear makeup. I mean, ostensibly the stuff can be applied to my face, I just have no idea how to get it there. And not for lack of trying: every so often I'll feel inspired, and I'll buy some of those little pots with the pretty colours in them and I'll take them home and do my best but I'm just never happy with the Tammy Faye lookalike staring back at me when I'm done.

Time has come today.

Caro informs me that this is the day that I finally become a woman (I quickly gulp 2 more martinis in sheer panic).

Becoming a woman, it seems, involves donating a paycheque to a little boutique called MAC cosmetics. I brace myself before we walk in.

I am a blank canvas. The only things I've ever been able to master (well, more like muster) is mascara and lipgloss. The rest of my face is virgin territory (oh stop your snickering, I can refer to myself as a virgin with any spontaneous combustion...I'm pretty sure).

I let Caro and the girl at the store (whom I will call Miss MAC because if she wore a nametag, my heart palpitations were too severe to notice it) work their magic. I merely sat there in the unforgiving lighting, shedding tears for each and every pore, and looked up when they told me to, puckered when I must, and tried not to look completely flummoxed when they showed me the results in the Little Hand Mirror of Death.

The crash course in girliciousness was a bit overwhelming, and I neglected to take notes. I retained, however, that only morons think that one eye shadow is sufficient. Your eyelid, apparently, is a tiny palette on which you are to shove as many colours (complementary ones, whatever the fuck that means) as possible and then blend them like mad (and using 78 different brushes) until you either look sexy or you poke an eye out. The first one they both agreed on was called Naked Lunch.

"You must have Naked Lunch; everyone has Naked Lunch" they told me, and I grinned like the idiot that I am, because I do not have Naked Lunch, unless you count the book, of which I do have a copy, or the clothes-less midday meal which I may have partaken in a time or two. But Naked Lunch is just what goes on underneath the colour you actually intend to use. Naked Lunch is just a base coat which requires a primer underneath it and lots of accent colours on top. It's exhausting, and since I would never devote that much attention to a wall, what hope in hell does my face have?

Mascara comes after the colour and I finally felt confident enough to proclaim that "I had mascara under control."

"Then why aren't you wearing any?" Miss MAC asked.

"Um. I am" I said, because I was. Or I thought I was.

"Clear?" she asked, unable or unwilling to hide her disgust.

"No" I admitted, blowing her mind.

The thing about mascara is this: it's glop that short-lashed ladies use to make their lashes appear longer, and fuller. As Miss MAC pointed out, my lashes are stupid-long, but this does not get me off the hook. Even when you already naturally have what mascara hopes to achieve, you must always strive to be longer and thicker (whoa does that sound dirty) and thus the vicious cycle never ends. So Miss MAC is laying a few coats on me and Caro is exclaiming over her interesting barrel-roll method (which I, being the girl who obviously needs the tutorial, could not see because my eyes were closed because SOMEONE WAS POKING AT THEM WITH A WAND COVERED IN GOOP).

So yes. Eventually I had a small mountain of magic pots containing things like concealers and powders and shadows and blushes and lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And Caro stands beside me at the cash whispering "You know you're about to spend a small fortune, right?" and it's fine because I'm getting my girl on, but still, you'd think a fortune would require a bag bigger than a Nutrigrain bar, right?

Anyhow, when we finally exited I must have been looking pretty punch-drunk, because Caro used our escalator time to quickly go over the steps, and their proper order. She even showed me which finger to use (there's a right finger? there's a wrong finger?) in order to be kindest to the skin underneath my eyes.

Oh holy lord, all these years I've been scrubbing and poking at that skin just as whole-heartedly as all the rest and it has taken me all these years to learn that I have been committing the ugliest of all womanly sins.

At home, later that night, getting ready to go out and do some damage, I line up all my purchases and go a little weak in the knees. I can stand in front of a near-stranger of the opposite sex in nothing but knee-high white leather motorcycle boots and not miss a beat, but put me in front of a vanity mirror and suddenly my palms could water the community garden.

But you know what? I think I did okay. I patted gently and used feathery strokes and even remembered the little wrist tap that gives you beauty instead of bozo. But then, I've always looked in the mirror without fearing that my face may cause violent traffic accidents so maybe I'm not the greatest judge. Maybe I need Paula Abdul to sit in my bathroom and break it to me gently. The real proof is in the pudding, and lacking pudding, a club full of cute boys will do nicely. Right?

Not so much. It turns out, boys aren't really checking out my eye makeup. They are, however, responding to SOMETHING, and I've made my peace with that, with some extra Naked Lunch winks for good measure.