When “No” Might Mean “Maybe,” but Really Means “No”

Caveat: This might get a bit sexually graphic, so take a pass on this post if that isn’t your thing. Or … keep on reading if it is!

I’m not a swinger. I should have told him that from the beginning, instead of laughing when he asked me the question. I should have just said no. I also shouldn’t have brought him back to my room. I didn’t really want to. But I did. And while there wasn’t any harm done in the process, it seems there is yet more for me to learn in the Eros department. Fortunately, my body led the way, even through some of its befuddled messages (to me, let alone to him!); and it had the last word. Thankfully.

It happened rather unexpectedly, as these things have a way of doing. I was taking one of my many beach walks when he came walking not toward me, but in my direction. He stopped, pointed at a dead palm tree and asked whether I thought it had been struck by lightening. An odd conversation opener, perhaps, but we went on to chat for a few minutes and then both carried on walking in our opposite directions. I noticed many things in those short minutes (isn’t it amazing what can come in such a tiny amount of time?) –  I couldn’t help but notice his startlingly-blue eyes. Yep, those couldn’t be missed. Nor his warm and open smile. That, too, I took in and made note of. Along with his heavily-accented English, which I took to indicate he was Russian, since there’s loads of vacationing Russians amongst the few tourists about. And I also noticed that he was exceptionally thin, lanky. No, the honest word is scrawny, yes, he was scrawny, sort of like an early-teens boy. But he was no boy – although likely younger than me – what with the lines of age scrawled across his face. But those eyes, my god, those eyes were compelling. I smiled to myself, didn’t give him much more thought and kept on with my walk.

Except, of course, that’s only the beginning of the story.

In the early evening he walked by Tiger Hut (he’s staying at the next little huts on the beach) and struck up yet another conversation. It was sunset time and I was lingering at the edge of the sand and water taking photos with my I-phone, which he used for his next opening; inquiring about it. A longer conversation ensued. I found out I was wrong about him being Russian – he lives in Brooklyn, where he’s been for 20+ years, although he’s from Lithuania. He’s been traveling since November and just arrived here a few hours ago. He’s enchanted with this place. So am I, so that was easy conversation material. Simple conversation flowed and we both seemed to enjoy it. He headed back to his bungalow and said that perhaps we would see one another tomorrow. All well and good. But he lingered, if not physically, in my mind certainly.

Then again, the next morning as I walked past the huts of his place, I looked in their direction (something I don’t ordinarily do, as I tend to be more focused on the sea); and there he was, outside one of them and waving wildly in my direction. Without much thought, I followed the waves and he came out to greet me. Another, seemingly innocuous, although friendly conversation ensued. Again we spoke of perhaps seeing one another later and he said, “oh, yes, definitely.” My curiosity was peaked, although I couldn’t say much about why it was so. Perhaps I was just enjoying the simple flow of conversation amidst all my solitude and lack of any appreciable contact with anyone else since I’ve arrived here. I didn’t feel particularly attracted to him and was reminded again of his tiny body and how surely unmatched we were, if in no other way, surely in that one.

The day continued and a fine one it was, with reading, napping and walking. A day not unlike many others I’ve enjoyed here, luxuriating in the restful sense of spacious time and no agenda to do anything or go anywhere.

Now it was late afternoon and I was out in the ocean swimming, delighting once again in the warm water and in riding the more powerful late-day waves. Again, I saw him – this time he was walking on the beach from the other direction and in no time, he saw me and waved. He continued walking toward me; and again, before I knew it, I was waving towards him, encouraging him to come into the water. He turned around, put his things down on the beach and followed my invitation. We met one another’s faces with warm smiles and shared how our days had gone. We played in the water together for at least an hour, swimming sometimes together and then sometimes off on our own. We laughed and we swam; and in this short time, I realized how fun it was to share, even with a stranger, the pleasures and joys that I’ve had only with myself. Yes, company was indeed a fine thing

The day was soon coming to a close as the sun found its way toward the horizon and we decided to bring our swimming to a close as well. As we walked out of the sea, I pointed out my hut to him and we made plans to have dinner together in an hour or so. I showered and dressed; and even with my pittance of a wardrobe, put some awareness and attention to the fact of having a dinner companion. I even tidied up my tiny bungalow, smiling to myself in surprise as to what it was I was tidying for.

Just as I walked out of my hut, there he was, walking up to it. Hhmmm. I couldn’t help but notice the serendipitous timing of our frequent encounters since his arrival and the easy flow of our contact. I wondered what Spirit was up to now.

Dinner continued our easy flow and we found much in common to talk about and share. I ordered an ice-cold beer, while he ordered a mango shake based on my repeated claims to its yummy-ness. We laughed, joked, and had more substantial conversation. He, too, had been traveling for some time. He too was a vegetarian (even though I don’t choose to use that label, which didn’t quite fit with my shrimp-ordered meal) and was into meditation and music. We talked of things spiritual and musical. And he, too, was headed back to the States on the same day as me. Hhmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.

Unfortunately, they had run out of fresh mangoes, so he couldn’t get a shake. He decided that his soup would be fluid enough and let it go at that. My beer was the perfect accompaniment to my spicy and most tasty Tom Yum, but I kept it at one. Somehow I knew I  didn’t want to be woozy with alcohol in the midst of what may be coming this evening.

As we talked I caught sight – out of the corner of my eye – of the large wooden swing that’s hung here above the sea at Tiger Hut. It sits above the water – tied high overhead to two palm trees – so that at high tide, you can swing in it and have your feet dangling and splashing in the luscious, warm water. It’s very sweet, really; and I had swung in it myself a few times. But it’s very wide, better built for two; and during my swinging times, found myself fantasizing about having a swinging partner. For the swing. No, really, just for the swing. I pointed it out to him and asked if he had swung on it yet. He smiled wryly at me and that’s when he asked, “Are you a swinger?” I met that wry smile with one of my own and said, “Well, come swing with me and find out.” He followed without any further encouragement.

So we swung. And we talked. About swinging. No, not this kind, the other kind. Little did he know who he was talking to, of course; but he went on to describe his experiences in clubs and his thoughts about love and sexuality not being something that could be owned by one person or relationship. He spoke of his interest in spiritually-based sexuality and his interest in Tantra. I swung, happily with him at my side, as I shared my own similar thoughts and experiences. I talked about ZEGG and Body Electric and my many experiences in European clubs. We laughed a lot about this most curious and unexpected connection. I felt his arm move slowly around me and stay there, poised gently at my lower back. It felt good. I felt the warm seawater on my legs as we swung. And we both kept giggling with the sheer enchantment of it all.

That could have been enough for me. And it may have best been left at that. But we didn’t leave it there.

I slipped my hand onto one of his thighs as he held his arm around me. We moved in for a kiss and then another. We moved off the swing, but stayed there at the shore as he took me – his scrawny build suddenly not so important – into his arms. I felt not only the sheer delight of the full body contact, but his hard desire pushed up against me. He felt for my breasts under the sheer gauze of my dress. I was torn. It felt good to feel his hands on me, but something in me wasn’t interested in going – especially so quickly – in this direction. And I told him so. Without any interest or attempt to judge his obvious readiness, I let him know I was nowhere near where he was in the process. I went on to explain, with too many words it suddenly felt, that I was more skin-hungry than genital-sex hungry; and that while I was really enjoying the contact, I wasn’t interested in sex tonight, although I didn’t rule it out some other time. Clearly, he was, and said so and went on to tease me about when I thought I might be … “Tomorrow? Next week?” “No silly, not next week, I don’t know when, I just know that I’m not there now.” That was fine, he said, no force needed and no need to do anything we both don’t want to do. Although that was my truth, I didn’t stop kissing him, I didn’t stop pulling him towards me and feel, against my desire, my desire growing. I wanted the contact, I just didn’t want it to have to be a means to an end. His erection stood tall throughout the conversation and was more than distracting my determined stance.

It was then that all the lights at Tiger Hut went out. They were closing for the night. Well, what to do now?  We began to walk away from the sea and it seemed, in the direction of my hut. That seemed okay, there was no harm in continuing the evening, I thought. But his desire had become even more intense and his focus even more genitally and breast-based. My stance was softening. He apologized for not having any condoms with him. I asked why he thought I wouldn’t have any and I wondered at the mixed messages I was sending. “Well, I should have brought some, because I need the really big ones.” I suppressed a laugh – surely he’s got to be kidding with this scrawny body of his – how is it that men are so zealous about the size of their cocks? I told him I didn’t think we’d need them, even as I could feel the sudden slipperiness of my own desire. I felt his hands moving up my thighs, soon to discover there was more to my interest that what I was letting on. Now I wasn’t sure what I wanted. Even as my desire grew, still I was hesitant to surrender to it and to him. And I trusted that hesitancy – even as I didn’t quite understand it – more than I did his obvious hunger.

I savored the sense of being in bed once again with another human being, in full body contact. I relished it. But with that contact and the kissing and his hands, finding their way over and around my body, the desire in both of us grew. I resisted – for a bit – moving my hands in those same directions on his body. I was focused instead on caressing his face, his head, his chest, looking into his eyes, looking for that energy that lives in surely, but also just as surely, places way beyond what’s between our legs. But I couldn’t resist much longer. I, too, then, reached down to find his hunger; and sure enough, he was right about the size of the condoms he needs to use. While taken aback, I let my hand linger and explore as his desire grew even more. And I was stunned. How this cock got on this body was an unbelievable quirk of biology, for sure! It was beautiful, I could tell, without even seeing it. Long and while not narrow, not too thick either. And long. Did I say long?! I was in trouble now, my desire even more obvious in his hands, but my hesitancy still present. Damn, but I still couldn’t let go into the moment. Something was still holding me back, resisting the seemingly inevitability that I was encouraging, even if not whole-heartedly. Even as I felt myself longing to feel the certain pleasure that would come (!) from continuing our evening into the territory that my early protestations forbade, I was still not completely convinced or present. I knew that more words would only muddle the confusion I had already expressed, the mixed messages a jumble of which he could hardly understand. I could hardly understand. So, as most of us would do, he paid attention to those that he liked the best. And I continued on with my muddling.

Then I did get a condom and surprised him with a Lifestyles XL – he put it on and seemed delightedly surprised – “wow, it’s just my size!” he exclaimed. And he was right, it was. But that’s when the evening took on yet another surprising turn.

There was no pressure. There was no feeling of being forced. By this time, I had not only acquiesced, I had more-than-agreed, if not with some apparent ambivalence, to go in this direction. Surely, I figured, this is when, finally, the lover of my trip had shown up. Here he was, in the bed next to me, his hungry desire so very apparent and mine not too shabby either. Yes, the moment was here and the time to embrace it and him was now.

But that’s when my body got in that final word I talked about earlier. No way, it said. This is not gonna happen. As he tried to enter me, it was like a barricade was instantly erected inside of me and there was no <ahem> penetrating it. This was not, I could deeply sense, merely the  case of not having had intercourse in some time and my pussy needing to adjust to it, particularly with all of his size. No, it wasn’t that at all and I could feel it to be so as surely as I could feel his ever-present erection. No, even more than that. Way more than that.

I tried, feebly, to explain, but realized that no explanation would suffice. But feeble was as far as I got. He was more than shocked and wayyyyy disappointed. I resisted apologizing, recognizing that there was nothing to apologize for.

With that “out of the way,” I felt a sense of relief, in some ways. Now, I thought, we could get back to hanging out, continuing to talk and laugh and lie in pleasure in one another’s arms. He could even spend the night, I thought, if it came to that. But before I knew it, he was up and out of bed, disposing of the – much to his regret – unused condom in the bathroom and returned and began getting dressed. His energy now completely having shifted, he began to talk about how he had to go, what with having to shower and meditate in the morning and blah-blah-blah. Now it was my turn to be stunned. But sure enough, he was dressed in what seemed like an instant and walking out the door. It was then that he said, “I should have known when I couldn’t have my mango shake that the evening was not going to turn out to be a good one.”

And then I knew. It was in that instant I knew what my body – some part of my body – had known all along. It’s what the hesitancy knew all along. That this man was not a man I wanted to take into me. No matter the slipperiness between my legs, nor the hardness between his. That is simply no longer enough for me to open the sacred space that lies there. Once it was, but it’s not anymore. So, no, I’m not a swinger. Not anymore. And I have no regrets in the slightest about that, nor did I immediately or even the next day have pangs of sorrow, anger or disappointment. Curiosity, ohyes, that for sure. But not the others.

And most curiously, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since, even though it’s already been several days and he had planned to stay at least that long. So much for that serendipity, after all.

So I thank you, my body, for even in the midst of my perplexed, ambivalent, mixed messages – you showed me what was ‘right’ for me … and I finally, I listened.

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