I could feel her breath. She leaned in close, lifted up on her toes to reach his ear, and whispered something naughty. I couldn't hear what, but it didn't matter. I could tell it was naughty. Whenever she whispered like that, with her fingers fluttering at his waist and a hint of the almost-but-not-quite embarrassed blush that started right at her collarbone, I knew whatever she was saying was meant to excite her enthralled listener.
I should know. I taught her that.
She used to do that to me. When we were together, in the beginning, she'd stroke my side when we were together, just like she's doing to him now. It was easy for her to do that in public. No one had to know how intimate that touch really was.
And then she'd giggle, lift up on her toes, and whisper something salacious and suggestive guaranteed to make me shiver. Then she'd blush. And I'd melt. It was a cheap trick, and it worked every time.
I should know. I taught her how to do that.
Not the blush. The blush is all hers, and she gets a lot of mileage out of it. Some endearing little traits come naturally, but others definitely take work. Like a pre-teen schoolgirl practices putting on her eye shadow and lip gloss and blush in front of her vanity mirror, a young woman practices her laugh and her hand movements so they look and sound casual, yet lilting. She sits at her dressing table and practices looking up from under lowered lashes and giving just the right delicate shake of her head to make that errant lock of hair fall 'casually' over her left eye. After all, what better way to get Him to feel her perfect skin and to gaze deeply into her perfect eyes, and lean close enough to smell the delicate scent of her thirty-dollar-a-bottle shower gel and sixty-five-dollar-a-box after-bath talc, than to give him a reason to brush that lock of hair back behind her ear?
The men love that, the hair thing. Somewhere they've been told that it makes them seem more 'romantic, ' and they're convinced that we women will get completely butter-kneed and unable to resist their frighteningly transparent efforts to get in between our legs.
But no one tells girls that they're supposed to practice, to teach themselves how to be charming and sweet and sexy and sultry and innocent all at the same time. So most of girls go through their teen years desperately longing for a clue. Desperately yearning-as only teenaged girls can yearn-for The Answer, searching for the thing that will make the boys look at them like they look at Carrie Newell, head cheerleader and all-around favorite girl.
Then, if they're lucky, somewhere at the end of our miserable teen years, the penny drops, and the girls Get It. Carrie Newell wasn't born like that. Carrie Newell doesn't roll out of bed looking like God's gift to wet dreams. So, they sit at their mirrors and take stock of their good points. They experiment with honey-blonde rinses and Cover Girl blusher, they stop eating Mom's mashed potatoes, and they start practicing. They wink and giggle and flip their bangs back until they, too, know that the boys will be slavering and sniggling, and although they protest and stomp their pretty feet, inside they're thrilled to find out that their name is included on the "girls we'd do" lists that the boys pass around.
I was even luckier. I'm Carrie. The perky breasts and blonde hair and blue eyes and peaches-and-cream skin are God-given. I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. I couldn't understand why the girls got all giggly and silly around the boys, but it seemed like an important thing. But since it wasn't all that important to me, the pressure was off, and I could develop those feminine wiles, using my desperate, unsuspecting high school classmates as test subjects.
That was before it was "in" to be a lesbian, or to have lesbian experiences. That was back when lesbians all had to have short hair and tough-looking tattoos and no breasts. Perky blonde pretty cheerleaders couldn't be lesbians, and in rural Iowa, the only 'experimenting' that gets done had best be with a member of the opposite sex.
So I figured the liking-guys thing would come with time. Meanwhile I taught myself how to be attractive, and I tried to make myself want the boys. I had my sexual experiences under the bleachers of the football stadium like all of the other perky blonde cheerleaders. Fumbling, awkward experiences. There's nothing at all magical about two teenagers having sex. They're not smart enough about their own bodies to truly enjoy it. And what teens understand about the opposite set of genitalia would fit on the tip of my perky little teenaged nipple. So, I let the boys feel my breasts and I put my hand down their Levi's, and everything was as it should be.
It wasn't until I left small town high school that I was able to figure out what sex was supposed to be like. Actually, it wasn't until after I left small town college. After two years of flitting around majors and departments, and trying to find lust and love amongst the graduate student TA's responsible for giving me a passing grade in Chemistry 105 lab, I came to the realization that I didn't know who I was. And until I figured that part out, shelling out tuition money each semester was a waste of resources.
So, I left and went west. I kept going until I hit blue water and warm beaches and an entire state full of employers awestruck by anyone who got to work before 10:30 in the morning. I never thought that growing up in farm country would turn out to be an advantage, but there's something to be said for the Midwestern work ethic. I signed on with a temporary agency to do office jobs and discovered that I liked it. I worked when I wanted to, and since the jobs were temporary, I could take off and travel around southern California.
And I explored. Not only were the employers awestruck, the men of Southern California were all-too-willing to be part of a young, relatively innocent, pretty farm girl's West Coast education. I dated men from bars, from my apartment building, from the offices where I worked, from the corner grocery store. I went to dinner, and I went to clubs and, with some of them, I went to bed. Men who were charming and smooth and confident at dinner or on the dance floor, I figured would be charming and smooth and confident during sex. If a man could move my body to the beat of the music, I hoped he'd be able to move with my body in a sexual rhythm that I knew I had somewhere inside.
I discovered that even grown up men don't really understand a woman's body. I knew I was missing out on something. I watched the electric connection between couples on the boardwalk and I longed to feel what they were feeling. I dated. I dated and dated and dated. Men from bars, men from offices, men from the club. Professional men, surfer boys, older men, father figures, and grandfather figures. They'd lie over me, or beside me, and thrust their fingers into my KY'd pussy in their obligatory foreplay attempt. Then they'd spread my thighs, and push and pound and grunt and groan for five minutes. I closed my eyes and tried to make it feel good.
Then I found out that men may not understand a woman's body, but another woman does. Beautifully.
The first time was a surprise. I was nursing a vodka-on-the-rocks and eating chips and salsa on the veranda of a Tex-Mex café, watching the sun set over the ocean when Anita joined me. She didn't ask, she just sat down without saying anything, drank her drink, and ate my chips and salsa until all that was left were corn-chip crumbs in the plastic basket, melting ice in our glasses, and red streaks reflecting on the water.
Then she spoke.
"I haven't seen you around before. Why not?"
And, despite my attempts to be California-cool, Iowa-cheerleader answered her. "I've only been here a few months. I'm still getting my bearings."
California-cool arched eyebrow. "Oh? Tell you what. Come back to my place and I'll help you get your 'bearings.'"
I could have feigned ignorance and left, but I didn't. Had a man used that line, I'd have picked up my purse and walked out. But this was a woman, and a beautiful woman. Where I was perky blonde American Beauty cheerleader, she was exotic Like Water for Chocolate sensual. Ebony hair, tanned skin, chocolate brown eyes, and a voice that reached between my thighs and did very pleasurable things to my insides.
So, I threw aside the Iowa small-town reservations, and I went. And her voice wasn't the only thing that did pleasurable things to my insides.
Her name was Anita, and we stayed together for the next six months. She opened herself up to me, and she was so patient. She let me explore her body as I'd only previously explored my own. We spent whole weekends in bed together tracing erotic pathways over each other's breasts and thighs. She touched me the way she wanted to be touched, and I imitated her finger strokes. We'd lie on top of the cotton sheets next to the open window and let the salt breeze wash over us as I learned what it was like to have an orgasm brought only by someone else's tongue. Gone were the painful and fumbling pokes and jabs and thrusts that I remembered from under the stadium bleachers.
She took me dancing, and introduced me to places I'd only imagined. Bars full of women, openly admiring each other. Clubs packed with women of all shapes, sizes, colors, butch and femme, dancing together, holding each other, sharing drinks and secrets and strokes and kisses. Gatherings where no one was furtive. Where being a lesbian wasn't being "different." I felt as though I'd finally come home.
.... There is more of this story ...