Friends, family, and clients think of me as the good girl. An angel, really. I wondered what they would think if they saw me lying on my sofa bed, brown skin in sharp contrast to green fabric. My legs are spread open, and the fingers of one hand sink slowly in and out of my body, while with the other hand I tried to hold the phone to my ear.

“Slap it for me,” he said.

“Okay,” I whispered, stroking myself, trying to find that magic spot.

“Oh, God,” he breathed, his voice dropping several octaves. “I want to hear it. Can you do that, baby?”

I hesitated, looking down between my legs. My clitoris peeped back.

“Okay,” I said, drawing the word out into about five syllables. I lowered the phone then slapped myself lightly producing a wet slurpy sound. I put the phone back to my ear. “Did you hear it?”

He laughed though it sounded a little like a cry as well. “Oh, yeah, baby.”

I smiled and sunk deeper into the bed as he, let’s call him D, dragged me deeper into degradation.

Well, dragged is a bit of an exaggeration, especially when I was the one in control.

Of late, I have been consumed by sex. Not sex as in thrust-and-grind, but sex as in the exposing of one’s innermost thoughts and desires to another. I have been on a quest, I suppose, to bridge the gap between my imagination and my experience. I’m a writer. I have heaps of imagination. As for experience, well, that’s a different story.

The quest began during the heat of summer. I sat in front of my computer, my skin tingling, feeling flush. I was aching, but not with a cold. What I suffered from had one remedy: sex. Sex is a hard thing to do when you’re shy, but even shy girls can use a computer. I visited Craigslist and started reading the Casual Encounter postings.

What I read was often juvenile and ridiculous but my body reacted anyway. Finally, I emailed a man whose posting made me squirm and smile at the same time. We exchanged pictures and emailed a bit. I said he was handsome. He said I was cute. We never met. My fault. He wanted to but I was ashamed. I had a secret. I kept putting him off until he disappeared.

But heat still prickled my skin.

I made my own post. A woman looking for a man. I described how the heat was making me feel, using references to the movies Body Heat and The Year of Living Dangerously. Oh, and, I might have said something about needing to quench my thirst with something more than a glass of ice water. Who knew so many men were on Craigslist in the middle of the day?

Of the responses, one author in particular caught my eye. We exchanged stories. He wanted to meet. I put him off. We exchanged more stories. Our veils of anonymity began to slip. Soon he shared that he was a 40-something business executive. I realized that what snared me in his story was his confidence and experience. I took a leap of faith and told him my secret. I confessed that I was still a virgin. I asked him to be “the one.” He didn’t judge me. He simply agreed to help me begin my delayed sexual journey.

We made a date.

He was handsome in a pale, blue-eyed William Hurt kind of way. When I took off my shirt and bra, those eyes lit up.

“Why the hell are you still a virgin?” he asked.

“I’m shy,” I replied with a smile.

“Whatever you say,” he said as he pulled me closer.

Everything he did\’kissing me, touching my breasts and between my legs -\’ he asked if he was the first. Each time I confessed that yes he was the first, I could see something growing in him. Kind of like pride.

He apologized for the swiftness of his first orgasm. “I forgot how wonderful it feels to take a virgin.”

I stifled a giggle. “Is that right?”

After the second go-round, he held me tight. I think he would have let me go sooner, but I sort of held him in a strangle hold.

He chuckled and said, “You’re not a virgin anymore. What do you feel?”

I finally pulled away.

With a big grin on my face, I said, “I feel like a kid who has just been given the key to the candy store.”

“You didn’t have an orgasm. Want me to… ”

“No,” I said. I kissed him on the cheek. “I’m fine.”

And I was for a while, but then the joy of losing my virginity gave way to the discontent of knowing I hadn’t experienced what I’d read about in all the romance novels and had seen in all those silly soft porn shows on cable.

I decided to keep playing on the “listĀ, to see what other sweet manly treats I might find.

I made another posting. I was more confident about what I wrote, and what not to write. I became more discriminating. Anybody who replied to my postings with anything like, “I’ve never slept with a black girl before” was instantly deleted. I established several email pen pals along the way, including D, who introduced me to the wonders of phone sex.

So many men responded, old, young, married and single. The married men were so much more interesting than the single men. Smart. Well-read. Patience exuding from every turn of a phrase. I needed a patient lover but I drew a line. No hopping into the sack with married men.

How fast a line can become smudged and eventually erased.

Let’s call him M.

He replied to the last posting I made. He told me exactly what he was. A sadist. And what he would do to me. How he would hurt me. We talked on the phone and he repeated his pronouncement. I heard the words and understood them, but I couldn’t imagine them. I told him I’d never been hurt or suffered beyond the norm. I described how I have always been protected. Cherished.

He said that he would cherish me.

We’ve met a few times, briefly, intensely, but not nakedly. He is tall with grey hair and eyes and strong gentle hands. He moves slowly, challenged by my sexual innocence coupled with life experience. He says I’m not like the usual women who seek him out. I keep telling him that I sought a man who emitted quiet confidence and control. The fact that he is an admitted sadist, well, that’s an unexpected and curious turn of events.

In my personal and professional life, I exude my own quiet confidence and control. Like a tigress, I tend to hold my own, leading when necessary, fairly happy to follow if I respect the leader. But when it comes to intimacy I am very different.

I told M about my dichotomy, that there are parts of me that are like a tigress and parts that are like a butterfly. He looks forward to drawing out, and playing with, both sides of me. I am curious how he will do that. If he will do that.

M and I will meet soon, nakedly. Until that moment, I send him long emotion-filled notes about me, the other men in my life, my joys, my fears. When I share my fears, he reminds me to keep in mind that he is a sadist. He will use what I tell him, to stoke his pleasure, and to give me what he thinks I want.

One day he asked me, “What exactly do you want?”

I thought back to my childhood growing up in the south. My younger brother and I found a cocoon hidden under the back porch. We watched the white silk grow transparent until the butterfly inside was revealed. It strained against its clear cage.

With that image in my mind of that butterfly all wet, wild and fragile, I held my M’s face between my hands. “What do I want? I want to fly free.”

He kissed me, and then he said, “That can be arranged.”

We shall see.

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive, women-principled adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Good Vibrations has always included all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.

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