It's a Man Thing
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Slow,
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - He's asked for advice and gives it, and finds himself involved more deeply than he expected.
"It's a man thing," I said, looking across at the young woman sitting opposite me. I saved my work and shut down the laptop, "don't worry; let me explain."
But I ought to start further back than that. I'm, well, let's just say 'over sixty'. I was married, very happily, for over thirty five years to Katherine, who was twenty years older than me. When she died, six years ago, I had no heart to continue in teaching. With all the rules and regulations, the stress, the paperwork and the bureaucracy (am I the only one who has problems even spelling that word?) there was no joy in it any more and I retired early. With that and insurance on my wife's life I could live fairly comfortably. The house was paid for, and I didn't need much.
On the other hand, I wasn't ready to fade away, so I took up invigilation. I gather I would be called a 'proctor' in America; I supervised examinations for a local University. Okay, theoretically it's principally to prevent cheating, but there's more to it than that. Ensuring a comfortable environment – not too hot or cold, not noisy. Ensuring students have sufficient paper, pens and pencils – spare calculators, erasers, pencil sharpeners, rulers ... Escorting them to the toilets when their coffee consumption has been excessive. You get the picture, I expect. Once I'd been at it for a year or two, I began to be asked to invigilate students with special needs – mental health problems (like panic attacks, for example) physical ones – injuries requiring that the student exercise for so many minutes each hour, dyslexic students that needed longer to write, or needed a computer ... all sorts of things. The University bent over backwards to give support as needed, and I loved it. Sometimes I would be a 'chief' in charge of one or more invigilators in a larger setting. That paid more, and could be interesting; especially if it was a 'disabled' venue with several different exams going on at the same time. Something I found particularly satisfying was supporting students emotionally when the pressure of the exams got too much. It was mainly the ones we used to call 'highly strung'. A few quiet words, perhaps an offer to fetch a cup of tea or coffee; on one occasion I got the student to breath into a brown-paper bag when she was hyper-ventilating.
One of the 'perks' of the job was watching the wide variety of young women, many of whom wore very little. I always tried to be discreet about it, and I don't think I ever made anyone feel uncomfortable. But what can I say? Tall or short, thin, fat or medium; blonde, brunette or redhead, I didn't mind. I particularly like legs, by the way, and just love the fashion for skimpy skirts or shorts. Dirty old man? Well, maybe. I rather suspect I'm far from the only male in my age-group that takes pleasure from watching the display around me. Isn't that why women dress that way?
Anyway, usually, I'd be assigned male students for one-to-ones, but apparently there wasn't a rule about it and from time to time necessity forced invigilators to supervise students of the opposite gender. As far as I know, there has never been a problem arising from this.
On the day in question, I'd been sitting in a room reading a novel while a pleasant, very modestly dressed young woman wrote a three-hour exam (with extra time, for dyslexia – so with preparation and reading time, four and a half hours for me). That's a long time. About half-way through, I became aware that she'd started to cry. Not a great fuss, just that I heard a sniffle of two and looked at her. Tears were rolling down her face.
I dug in my bag for tissues and went over to her.
"Hey. Have a tissue. What's up?" I held out the packet.
She took a tissue and started mopping up; the tissue was soon sodden and I just held the packet out. Once she'd calmed down, I tried again.
"Got a problem?"
"Not really. I just completely lost my train of thought and panicked. Thanks ... I'm okay now."
I went back to my book as she bent over the paper and began to write again. As usual, I warned her at forty-five minutes, thirty minutes, and five minutes to go. Moments after that, she sighed, stretched and closed her answer booklet.
"I'm finished." She held out the booklet to me – I took it, thanking her, and went to seal it in an envelope with the other paper-work. She stood; I thought she was going to say something, but it was just, "Goodbye – and thanks." before walking out.
I was hungry – over four hours with nothing but a bacon sandwich beforehand and a cup of coffee which I finished shortly after starting her off. I wasn't far from Information Processing, though, so I went and handed the script in before heading for the cafeteria.
The University kitchen is ... shall we say variable ... in their offerings. Personally, I'm not fond of unusual combinations – rosemary and lamb casserole comes to mind. Not unusual? Perhaps not, but rosemary is a pretty powerful herb and completely drowned the flavour of the lamb. But I digress. They do a pretty good chicken tikka, though, and that's what I went for. I could fork it up in between working on the laptop.
I'd finished eating and was sipping at my coffee whilst typing when I was aware of a diffident throat clearing behind me. Looking up, I saw the girl who'd just sat an English paper ... name? Philippa ... something.
"Er ... do you mind if I sit there?" She pointed to a seat opposite me.
"Not at all," I was perplexed, but gave a mental shrug.
"I don't want to disturb you..."
"But you're going to, anyway?" I smiled, to hopefully take any sting out of my words.
She blushed. "Could I talk to you?"
"That'd be my pleasure," I said lightly.
"You're teasing me," she commented, as she sat.
"A little," I said.
"You were very kind when I got upset."
I looked at her seriously, "that's part of my job," I said.
"No," she said firmly, "it was more than that. You made me feel that you cared. And because you were so calm and... there, I calmed down and got on with the exam. I might not have, if you hadn't been there ... with a packet of tissues."
"Somehow I don't think you just want to build my ego, though."
"No, but I think you're the first ... man ... I've felt able to talk to."
"What about your father?"
"Never knew him," she said simply.
"I'm sorry," I said, inadequately, but sincerely. "Well, if I haven't put you off, what were you wanting to talk about?"
She coloured again. "Why aren't boys interested in me?"
"It's a man thing," I said, smiling. As I was saving my work and shutting the laptop down, I was thinking of what to say ... and how and where to say it.
"Don't worry, I'll explain," I said, "but perhaps somewhere quieter? What about the Winter Gardens?"
We left the University, crossed Arundel Gate, walked through the Millennium Galleries and into the Winter Gardens. Turning right I went to the refreshment kiosk.
"Drink?" I asked.
"Yes, please. Ginger beer?"
I bought her a ginger beer and got a redbush tea for myself, and we found an unoccupied bench to sit on.
"Okay," I began. "Why do you think boys aren't interested in you?"
She looked at me. "Well, none of them even talk to me, let alone ask me out."
"Okay. Now, why did you come to me? Think about it carefully; it's important."
She looked at me and was quiet. "I ... don't ... know ... because you were kind to me?"
A longer pause. "I suppose, because ... well, I thought you wouldn't laugh at me, and I thought I might get an honest answer."
I nodded. "Could I say, that it felt safe?"
"Ye ... es. Which is odd, seeing as I only met you this morning."
"Right, then. What you need to realise is that a lot of men, especially young men, are insecure. That's point one. Point two is that anything new, or more challenging, makes things worse. Young men are especially insecure because they've got less experience, so more is new and challenging. With me so far?"
She nodded thoughtfully.
"Okay. One of the most difficult things to handle is puberty," I grimaced. "Your young men are having to cope with the hormonal urges, but at the same time young women are, well, an unknown quantity. I'm talking generally here, not specifics – some young men, well, are best described as arrogant. But in general ... Now. Point three, is the 'macho' thing. Men are not supposed to be insecure, so we cover it up, and we avoid situations that make us feel worse."
I took a sip or two of tea, whilst considering my next words.
"So that's where we're coming from. Now. You came to me because I felt safe. So young men will approach young women who feel safe to them, or at least, less unsafe. So ... they'll approach a girl who is not too good looking, who looks approachable."
"So ... you're saying I'm unapproachable?"
"Well, sort of." I frowned slightly. "What do you do when you're not studying?"
"Well ... I read..."
"What about at meal times? Do you eat in the cafeteria?"
"And do you just eat on your own, sit reading as you eat?"
"So the impression you give ... is of a quite good-looking girl, who dresses ... let's say, modestly, who avoids social contact and avoids eye contact, and who is ... academically inclined."
"You make me sound ... staid. Did you say good looking? I'm overweight, and flat-chested."
I sighed. "How tall are you, Philippa?"
"I'm about five foot seven."
"Okay ... and you weigh, what?"
"That's a cheeky question!"
"I've got a reason for asking."
"Okay, then. I'm nine stone six pounds, give or take."
I dug in my bag for a calculator. Muttering to myself – a habit of the old, I know – I input the figures.
"Right," I said, "that gives you a body mass index of twenty point six seven."
"BMI is a rough guide to healthy weight. A normal healthy person should have a BMI of between eighteen point five and twenty five, so you're in the lower half of the normal range. If you've got a little fat here or there, that's normal. If you don't like the odd bulge, join the gym and turn it into muscle ... but whatever you do, don't lose any weight."
She was silent for what seemed like a long time.
"What about my flat chest?"
"In the first place ... are you wearing a padded bra?"
She coloured, but said, "No, I'm not," quite firmly.
"Well," I said, "despite that sweat-shirt, I'm sure I can detect something in the way of shape. Let me tell you another man thing, okay?"
"Your average young man is only interested in one question when it comes to breasts," I paused, looked her straight in the eyes, and said, "can I touch them?"
"What!" She stiffened in shock, but then giggled. "You had me going there for a minute!"
"But I was quite serious. Not that I want to touch you up, though I'm sure I'd enjoy it. When I was a student I had a girlfriend who was really flat-chested, but it didn't mean I liked her any less. Mind you, her nipples were really sensitive."
She was crimson with embarrassment, but didn't storm off or anything like that.
"Have I answered your questions?" I asked gently.
"All but one, for now," she said, "can I talk to you again?"
Ah, now. What to say about that? I dug in my bag for a slip of paper and scribbled my mobile number down.
"If you ring me, don't be put off if I don't answer – I may be invigilating or something and not have the ringer turned on."
"Sorry, but ... there's one more thing. Don't answer if you don't want, but ... what were you writing?"
I laughed. "You'll find this difficult to believe, but ... romantic fiction."
"Actually, yes, I do believe it. I think you might be quite romantic. Anyway, thanks. I'd better go and get on with some work."
"You're welcome. Good bye!" I watched her out of sight. What had I done?