Mr. West Coast came to the East Coast to visit his family. My outfit probably bordered on the costume of a cartoon hooker, but I wasn’t going to let what happened to me the last time happen to me this time. My dress was a fire red stretch faux suede number, backless, with a halter neckline and mid-thigh hem. On a hot summer day with a pair of flat sandals it might have looked a little bit sexy. In the evening with a pair of black patent leather boots and fishnets…? I wasn’t pushing good taste the way I usually did, I catapulted right on over it. The outfit screamed, “Please, fuck me,” which was fine by me because that was exactly what I wanted to scream. Admittedly, it would have been less tasteless on my part if his family hadn’t been there.
I saw the ever so brief surprise on his mother’s face when I showed up, but she smiled and was welcoming and hid it well. She had given me some big hints that she wouldn’t exactly cry if wedding bells were in the future. After all, she was the one who had given me Mr. West Coast’s email a few months earlier and had more or less arranged for both of us to be here this evening. Mothers always loved me and were trying to fix me up with their sons, and I’d known his mother since before I knew him, so I wasn’t too worried that one tasteless outfit would hurt her opinion of me. When we spoke on the phone earlier that week, Goody Goody, seemed to be oddly surprised that her brother was flying all the way out from California to see her in a play. “Gosh, he never did that before,” she’d said. She even suggested that I see the play on a different night so she and I could spend time together. “I don’t know why my mother got the two of you tickets for the same night! That’s going to be so awkward.” In fact, now that I think about it, Goody Goody’s mother had been quite shrewd. One of her best friends from high school would be there as well, which meant shortly after the play was over Mr. West Coast and I could take a powder without attracting too much notice.
As we sat side by side in the theater waiting for the play to begin, I said, “I had such a crush you when I was fourteen.” This shouldn’t have been news to him since I snuck into his room once in the middle of the night to fuck him. That usually gives a guy a hint, but still I wanted him to know that I hadn’t forgotten.
“I’ve had a crush on you since I was four,” was his reply.
“Huh? Your parents weren’t even married when you were four.” His family was a composite family. His mother and father each had children from previous marriages, like the Brady Bunch.
“No, but they were dating. We would go with my father to visit Mom and I remember always hoping that little girl from next door would stop by.”
I pretended to remember this because it only seemed polite, but in fact I didn’t. I had no memory of Mr. West Coast until he hit puberty. Then, all of a sudden, there he was, Goody Goody’s little brother.
He rested his arm on the back of my chair. I felt his fingers lightly brushing my bare back. The outfit started feel a lot less ridiculous.
After the play, Goody Goody said to me, “Westie is so sleazy. Don’t think you have to be nice to him for my sake.”
I almost laughed and I thought to myself, “Oh, don’t worry, this entirely for my sake and I plan on being very, very nice to him. Nicer than you can imagine.”
Back at my apartment, a few hours later, we sat on the sofa and talked while touching. I don’t know how we got onto this subject, but at some point he made a comment indicating that he believed that I had had too many sexual partners. “What do you think is normal?” I asked.
“I don’t know. The last woman I dated, I asked her and she said…”
I interrupted him. “Let me guess. Three. There was her steady boyfriend in high school. They dated for several years. After a number of months together, maybe a year, they had sex. It was very serious and they were very much in love. Of course, it didn’t work out. They were far too young. Then in college… she had a steady boyfriend throughout most of college. It was very serious. They talked about marriage. Eventually, after dating for a long time, they had sex. Of course, it didn’t work out. They were far too young. Then there was a they guy she dated for several years in her twenties. She really, really thought they were going to get married. They were very much in love, but it didn’t work out.”
He was taken aback and didn’t try to hide his surprise. “Yes, how did you know.”
“That’s the socially acceptable answer. If we were still in our twenties, the answer would be two. Now, we’re in our thirties and saying she hasn’t had sex for over a decade doesn’t sound believable, so she has to add one more.”
“But maybe,” he said, “it’s the truth in her case. Maybe so many women say that because that really is the typical behavior.”
“Really,” I said. “First of all, you think girls don’t talk to each other? Secondly, let me ask you, how many months did it take her to go to bed with you?”
He looked uncomfortable now. “Not months. Weeks, maybe. About three dates.”
I reminded him that I’d had a crush on him when we were young. “So, I don’t think you’ll take this as an insult from me, but do you really think you’re that much more seductive and charming than all the other men she dated?” In fact, I was being polite. I didn’t state what he and I both knew. Being short myself, a man’s height isn’t an important characteristic to me, but I know what other women say to me about height and I know what my short, platonic male friends have been through. At five foot five, Mr. West Coast probably had more difficulty with women than the average man, not less.
“I’m not that much more promiscuous than the average woman, but I’m a lot more honest.” I said, finally. I climbed on his lap and straddled him and gave him little kisses on his face. “If I have to be someone I’m not to please a man, then I don’t want to be with him.” With that, I lifted my dress up over my head.
He put is hand between my legs. “I’m surprised,” he said. “I expect that you’d be shaved.”
“Huh?” This was the first time I’d heard of this.
“Or at least trimmed. Actually, I’m glad you’re not completely shaved, but I like women who are trimmed, and maybe shaved a little bit.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“Most women shave their pubic areas. You look like you haven’t done anything.”
“That’s because I haven’t.” I said. This was a weird conversation, because I’d never heard anything like this before and I didn’t exactly consider myself sheltered. I’d had sex with dozens of men over twenty years and no one had ever before taken an interest one way or another in my pubic hair. “Are you telling me that Miss I’ve-only-ever-slept-with-three-men was shaving her pubic hair? God, you’re naive. When I’m not expecting to wind up in bed with a man, my legs might not even be shaved.”
“Okay, okay. Let’s not talk about her.” He pushed me back onto the sofa. My legs were dangling over the edge. He slipped to the floor onto his knees, spread my thighs and put his face between my legs. I was expecting any second to feel his tongue, but instead I heard, “Where do you keep the scissors?”
“Huh? I don’t know. There’s a pair of small scissors I use for trimming my nails on the first shelf of the medicine cabinet.”
“I’ll be right back.”
He returned with the scissors and a small comb that I also kept on that shelf. He knelt down between my knees again. “You don’t mind, do you?”
“Hey, whatever turns you on.”
Never let it be said that I’m not nice.
A few weeks later I got an email. Mr. West Coast had just finished a short stay at Esalen. “You were right,” he wrote. “Most women were au naturel.”