J was the first. We met up at a coffee shop near my office and I envied him his calmness.
Me, I was nervous as hell. I mean, we'd talked about this before we arrived and he'd reassured me it would be fine but still, this was a whole new experience for me.
We'd met on an internet site, I'd joined at the recommendation of a friend having spent an entire evening complaining that the only men I met in real life were creeps and weirdos. J had apparently joined for similar reasons, and, having similar tastes in music, and both of us having hectic work lives which prevented any kind of meaningful full time relationship, we'd decided to give it a go and see what happened.
I walked into the coffee shop and he caught my eye, beckoning from a seat in the corner. His hair was tinged with grey and he was slimmer than I expected, but otherwise he looked pretty much like his profile picture. Having heard nightmare stories of people using old or completely faked pictures, I was impressed.
We ordered coffee and began to talk, his voice was calm, not too deep, and he was well spoken without sounding too "posh". I, on the other hand was manic, nerves and caffeine getting the better of me and causing me to talk too much and too quickly, plus I'd been up working til 6am and sleep deprivation always makes me over talkative. The conversation was easy but awkward at the same time, it flowed, there were no awful silences, but we both knew we were there to take the measure of the other and see if we wanted to go any further, which put an unnatural pressure on the situation.
2pm came around too quickly, and with it, the end of my lunch break and our alloted hour. We left the cafe and had that uncomfortable "do we kiss?" moment outside, settling for a kiss on each cheek, before saying goodbye, and that, I thought, would be the end of it.
I was wrong...
Two days later we arranged to meet again.
He'd suggested I come to his for lunch this time, on the understanding that if we both wanted to, there would be the opportunity to play later. I wanted to, I really did, but I'd never done this before and my nerves were getting the better of me. After lunch of pizza and salad, he held out his hand to me and asked if I wanted to go upstairs.
I wanted to go, but I couldn't move, couldn't speak. I'd known this guy all of 5 minutes, what the hell was I doing?
I should explain, I've never been a one night stand kind of girl, and most of my previous experience had been in relationships, generally with people I'd known since I was at school and felt comfortable with. I'd had 'fuck buddies', of course I had, but these were usually ex boyfriends, where we'd decided that we were better friends than partners but the sex was too good to give up. Sex with a stranger was completely new to me, although appealing in some ways because of the lack of history between us. Still, I imagined my mother would be appalled, having brought me up as a good Christian girl with a pretty decent set of morals and mandatory attendance at church and Sunday School every week.
He asked again and I slowly stood up, taking his hand. What was I supposed to do? I knew what he was expecting, and I really, really wanted to dump the boring, good girl image and become the kind of woman he was looking for, but I needed something, some kind of reassurance that it was OK to do this.
I guess he saw how nervous I was because he pulled me closer and gently kissed me, a little hesitantly at first until I started kissing him back, then he dragged me hard against him so that I could feel his erection pressing against my stomach.
He was a good kisser, soft and slow, with just a hint of tongue and teeth, and I could easily have stayed there all afternoon, my hands gradually starting to explore his body as his roamed confidently over mine, but after a while he pulled back slightly and took my hand again, leading me upstairs to the bedroom.
I followed him from the kitchen up the stairs to his room. Still silent, still terrified. He opened the door and led me in and my eyes widened in shock as I looked around the room. In the centre was a massive, oak framed bed covered with white sheets and a white duvet, and facing it was an entire wall of mirrors. Apart from that the room was empty.
I kissed him, I had to do something to distract myself, and he kissed me back, unbuttoning his shirt and letting it fall till it bound his wrists behind his back. We'd discussed this, he liked to be dominated, but I was far too nervous to even attempt the role of mistress, all I wanted to do was run.
He must have sensed this as he asked me if I was OK, telling me we could stop any time. I believed he would. I leaned over to kiss him again and whispered softly that I wanted to continue but I really didn't want to be in charge this first time. Then I waited nervously for his reply.