Words Leah McSweeney Photo Diana Scheunemann
I consider myself to be sexually liberated. I speak frankly about sex. I tell someone when I want sex. I like being sexy. I get a kick out of behaving like a “man.” I know what I want. I’m my own boss. All of this translates into my personal and sex life. Sex is fun! Right? Wait. Is sex fun? Am I sexually liberated? How liberated am I really though when I find myself caught up in the throws of passion and lust?
You know those relationships we all wind up in that are purely focused on the physical? Can we even call them “relationships?” OK, for the sake of conversation, let’s do it. But these aren’t real relationships; dynamic relationships, adult relationships, quid-pro-quo relationships where you actually have something in common and you talk to each other. These are primal, lust-filled, I-need-someone-to-fuck-me-and-
You get completely distracted from your beloved career, your clique of dope bitches, your hopes, dreams and aspirations and you completely forget all about the importance of a solid eight hours of sleep. Suddenly you’re skipping your favorite yoga class because you’d rather get some Doggy Style instead of perfecting your downward-facing dog. Canceling spa day with your girls to get a facial from him instead. All you can think about is being twisted up in his skin and your satin sheets, sweating and out of breath as you get lifted into some fucking parallel universe for 30-40 minutes.
Mr. Good D can have no other good things going for him, but there is that part of us as women that can’t help but get caught up by world-class fucking. It happens to even the most sexually liberal and forward-thinking of us. The most independent of women cannot escape the imprisonment of good dick. Does the modern-day woman who calls the shots like being taken prisoner now and then? Maybe.
I’ve had a couple of Mr. Good D’s in my day. Let’s face it — we don’t come across many of them. These visceral connections can go on for years. Mr Good D number one — let’s call him “Rico.” Me and Rico had mutual friends and had been acquaintances for years. I had never paid much attention to him, but one summer evening I ran into him while he was dj-ing and the stench of his ambivalence and tan skin and white-ass teeth and fat lips were just too much for me to resist. What should have been a hot one-night stand turned into years of self-inflicted torture. Almost like an emotional form of cutting.
Rico had that swagger only guys raised in NYC have. They have this hardness you just want to crack open. He would put me into positions I didn’t even know I was capable of. When he would be inside of me, I forgot that anything or anyone else existed. All of my problems melted into the floor we were shaking underneath us. I would wake up in my bed after a night with Rico with condom wrappers all over my floor and my hair in knots. Maybe I was falling in love with him? I couldn’t tell the difference. I was a mess.
Rico was elusive. He wouldn’t reply to texts for days and, when he did, his words read like Kryptonite. He liked canceling last-minute. He was moody and deep. He would refuse me Good D if I told him in a boss bitch way that I wanted him right then and there. He did not think that was hot. He told me he didn’t want to be treated as if he were my employee. I told him he should be flattered that I’m fiending for his D! It was always a struggle for power. It was exhausting. But I was under his spell.
I went on dates with other guys. I slept with other guys. I wanted to become un-hypnotized, but nothing would work. Rico and I would try to do “couple-type” things together. Excursions to the bathhouse, Korean bbq, movies, whatever. But it never felt right; I prayed to G-d to send me another good D so I could please move on. And you know the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” That cliché could not have rung any more true for me in this case. I went from Good D to Mind-Blowing Sociopath D. Which took another few years to finally shake.
After what felt like an eternity of being in the Cold War with Good D, I threw my hands up and surrendered. Only once I did this I realized I hadn’t been at war with anyone but myself. I went dry of any contact with men for a substantial amount of time. I will just say it was a lot more time being alone than I’m used to.
This wasn’t even a conscious decision, but the Universe working ever so divinely, giving me (or more like withholding) exactly what I needed. This blissfully lonely time was more productive, more comfortable and a lot less lonely than those plentiful years I had spent caught up with the wrong Good D.
A shift occurred within me. I learned a true freedom that every woman should experience. I couldn’t believe how much space there was in my life for me to do things that I actually wanted to do. Creativity and ideas hit me hard and quick like waves crashing. I was filled with satisfaction and a sense of well-being, whereas before, I had been filled up with Good D and emptiness. I realized I had been such a prisoner of the Good D that I had put up with bullshit I would have never dealt with otherwise. I reflected on the years I spent locked up and couldn’t help but feel regret, an emotion I am not used to. I vigilantly vowed to myself to not get lost in the sauce. Ever. Again.
I am still living in my new space of freedom, but it’s gotten a little smaller since having added a man (or men) back into the mix. The passion and chaos in the relationships I once craved for are now something I have lost all desire for. I’m enjoying the company of men, but in such a less entangled way. I might even be more capable of meeting someone that can make me happy now more than ever. But right now, I’m so into where I’m at. Why fuck it up?
I finally know the meaning of true sexual liberation. It’s the paradox of giving something up to receive it. During a recent visit to my shrink’s office, she pointed out to me that if I know I’m going to get attached to good dick, then maybe I should find some good dick that’s worth getting attached to. Like, maybe a nice guy with good dick. My reply to her? “But nice guys can’t fuck.”
Hair and Makeup: Jennifer Brent Stylist: Dani Concepcion
This story appears in Mass Appeal Issue 53. Read more stories from the issue here.