It was my second date with James*. (I'm not counting the New Year's Eve when he came by the nightclub where I go-go dance to watch me work the booth in my silver and white feather-adorned bikini.)
We went for sushi. It was harmless and innocent, even.
James was what appeared to be your typical nice guy. He handled my go-go dancing with respect and polite distance. He clearly enjoyed watching, but in a sheepish and slightly embarrassed proclamation, he let me know he needed a cold shower afterward. He was sweet and inexperienced, but I was looking for danger.
A string of recent dates had led me to realize my search for danger doesn't always mean seeking out the bad boy. Somewhere along the line, I became the bad girl.
I accepted my wild streak and thrill-seeking behavior as an essential and wonderful part of myself, and I f*cking ran with it. Sure, that meant the nice guys who told their mothers about me received fervent looks of disapproval, but it also meant I was free to unabashedly own my fierce and rampant sexuality. So on date number two, I was determined to show James a world I knew he did not expect.
Twenty minutes and an avocado roll in, he told me his tongue was beginning to swell and itch.
“I'm allergic to avocado,*” he said as he waved our server down and ordered a soda.
“It helps!” he answered to my look of concern.
While I sat listening to his shockingly long, but admittedly truncated list of allergies, I wondered if the rest of the night was going downhill in a hurry. But I settled into my seat, determined.
I had already promised my ex-boyfriend new, very NSFW photos from the night's activities, and I certainly didn't want to let him down. (It is very complicated.)
As we finished dinner, I could see James's mind scrambling to figure out how to continue the evening.
“Do you want to go get ice cream or something?” he asked, his eyes hopeful.
“I don't really eat sweets…” I trailed off.
“Coffee?” he tried again. My wrinkled nose answered, even though I love coffee.
“Or, we could go back to my place and watch an episode of 'Fargo?'” My eyes lit up.
"Yes, that one!" my head screamed. Naturally, I jumped at the offer.
I followed him back to his place, and after a tour of the house, we claimed our positions on the couch. Unfortunately, his was staked out a good foot away from mine.
"Respectful," I thought. "Boring," I corrected.
After the episode we were watching ended, I decided I was done waiting. I turned to him with an innocent smile.
“So, I've always had this fantasy of having a guy record me while I give him a blowjob or having sex.”
Lie. It was nowhere near a fantasy. It was more like common practice. (Fair warning: You probably don't want to go through the camera roll on my phone.)
I could almost feel his heart stop across the couch. He blushed as he searched for words.
“I'll keep that in mind,” stumbled out of his mouth. Still not getting it, I tried again.
“I have a phone,” I said, and I picked up my iPhone and dangled it in front of my face like it was the key to my heart. It finally clicked, and we headed downstairs to his bedroom, a bottle of champagne in tow. As things got heated, I handed him my phone so he could start filming.
James was still clearly in shock at his luck, and I could feel his composure slipping. I pulled out my most porn star-esque moves, forgetting that most of the world may not be prepared for my penchant for things that are far from vanilla. That's when James began to fall apart with overexcitement.
After a sudden stop, he fell back onto the bed, gasping for air.
“Oh my god. I'm dizzy. That was so hot. So hot," he struggled to say.
As he exclaimed he was about to lose consciousness, I quickly retrieved a glass of water and told him to elevate his legs. He made a beeline for the bathroom and knelt down, his naked body hugging the toilet. As he yelled from the bathroom that he didn't want to throw up while I could hear him, I gathered my things and got dressed.
I walked into the bathroom and put my hand on his shoulder. A small amount of guilt began to creep into my mind as my fingers collided with his clammy skin. James was pale, and his were eyes shut tightly.
“OK, I'm going to go. Are you sure you don't need anything else?” I said softly to the back of his head. He mumbled a “no,” and I left the house.
Driving home, thoughts, confusion and disbelief swirled in my head. I recognized the hilarity and bad luck of the situation, and I laughed to myself.
Did I really just shock this guy to the point of near unconsciousness? Should I have toned it down and acted like the tame, demure young lady he was clearly expecting on the second date? Is it wrong that I'm more flattered than I am disappointed?
I had just experienced the first instance of my wild, bad girl self being too much for someone. Used to a level of crazy and f*cked up that matched my own, I paused to question my choices. But, I landed unashamed.
I'm not afraid of the dark, shadowy parts inside myself anymore. I'm proud of my sexuality, and I'm proud of my wild and unrestrained self.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to show someone the wondrous world I choose to live in, which is a world I don't know if he would have experienced otherwise. I'm not here to apologize or accept the shaming of my sexuality. I'm here to own it.
Yes, sometimes, that means you will be too much for someone. It might also mean that you leave some poor guy with his head in the toilet, unraveling from shock, awe and growing self-frustration.
But you do you, girl. Ask for what you want.
If you get called a slut in the process, own it. You might even like it. I know I do.
*Names and allergies have been changed to protect identity.