It was a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday night and I was busy in the kitchen, whipping up a stir-fry when suddenly there it was. I was busy chopping the vegetables into the appropriate size and shape to help ensure even cooking when, heralded only by the most discrete of tings, it arrived. It just seemed so out of place, amongst my orderly array of precision cut veggies. There were the big luscious red capsicum, the hard orange carrots, the bushy, forest green broccoli, and the crisp green of the snow peas, a cock, and of course some creamy looking button mushrooms. Naturally, my first thought as I stood with my large chef’s knife in one hand, and phone in the other, was “what colour is that?”
Good grief. I briefly considered cutting the conversation short, and continuing with dinner, but let’s face it, I could always eat later. I put down the large knife, and before reaching for my glass of wine, I allowed my fingers to stroke the screen of my phone. Using just my thumb and index finger, I gently touched it, and just like that, it was magically bigger. I giggled like a teen.The disembodied penis, which was now invading my Masterchef moment, had text attached.
Now I would hate for you to get the idea that I am some kind of prude, or even worse, one of those totally hopeless mature women in their forties who struggle with technology. I most definitely am not. However the truth of the matter is the last time I was single and dating, phones did not have cameras.
So here I was, just me, the already cooked tofu, some chopped vegies, and a cock. The wok was overheating, the oil starting to smoke. I hesitated for a second. To continue with the stir-fry, or address the issue in hand? I turned down the gas. As I poured more wine I started to ponder how best to frame my response, for there was no question, I would respond. The attached text demanded it. The text below the pic simply said, “I am hard. I hope you’re wet.”
Crikey! Cringe! OMG! I turned from the bench, and with a glass in one hand and the phone in my other, I slid down the cupboards to sit on the floor and think about my next move. Even though my heart was beating a little faster, and I had the feeling of needing to rush, like I was running late for a meeting, I decided to take a moment. The truth of course, is that though the photo was unexpected, it wasn’t wholly unsolicited. It had started earlier in the day, when I had been woken with photo of a beautiful Black Marlin tailing, in the wake of the great white hunter, who by day was in fact an architect, and the man whom I had sex with, two months prior. The first man I had slept with in well over a year. The only man I had slept with in twelve years, apart from my husband.
The marlin photo was wholly unexpected. Having slept with him twice, I hadn’t seen him in months and while I tell my girlfriend’s we are still in touch, the reality is, I am in touch and occasionally he deigns to reply. At the onset he had told me he lost interest after two dates, but naturally enough, no doubt like a hundred women before, I didn’t think for a second this would apply to me. I am after all, fascinating. I text him when I’m bored, and if I am witty enough, engaging enough, or perhaps the truth is, if he is bored enough, he sometimes responds. He never initiates. Well not until now.
How the marlin picture devolved to me sending off a body shot of my latest purchases from the Bendon Everything Under Twenty Dollars sale, is simple. He was on his boat, with a couple of buddies, bored and horny, and he asked. It was early in the morning, I was up and about to get changed for spin, and the early morning light in my bedroom is really quite forgiving. Besides since finding myself un-expectedly single, I’m embracing the whole YOLO philosophy. And yes, I was flattered. So when I replied to his first request for a scenic photo to tide him over, he really didn’t have to try hard to talk me around. His advice was simple.
“Just point, and shoot.”
So I did. It took around fifty attempts. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. Me, lying on my back, sucking in my stomach, keeping my arms out of the way so the wobbly bits didn’t swing into frame, making sure my chins weren’t visible, and ensuring that I had elevated my arse just high enough off the bed so my cellulite didn’t bunch. Finally in the end I was happy. No head, just a torso, wearing a black and pink bra and matching panties, in slightly hazy light, with the iPhone trade mark graininess. He replied immediately.
“Fuck. You are hot!”
I wasn’t totally happy with that response. It sounded as though he was surprised, as though he had already forgotten what my body looked like. That’s the problem with text. Sometimes it is just so hard to read tone. Mind you, as I sat on my kitchen floor, I did for a second wonder if it was his cock? It looked different in the photo than what I remembered of it. I looked at it curiously, wondering what it would look like attached to his body, when it occurred to me I really couldn’t remember his face. I certainly didn’t remember that much pubic hair!
I sent a text back, expressing that I had never had a text like that before, and was too shy to respond. That’s right people, I did what any sane woman would do in my position, I stalled, but as soon as I pushed send, I threw back what was left in the wine glass, hauled my arse off the cold kitchen floor, and sprinted up the stairs , taking them two at a time. I had work to do. I can’t say at that point I knew how far I would go, but let’s just say, I made like a Girl Guide and got prepared.
I ripped off my clothes, threw on another Bendon bargain, brushed my teeth, (I know, I know! ), applied make up, and tousled my hair, all before the next text arrived.
“Hurry up. I have something for you.”
Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck. Looking back, I’m embarrassed, but it was a first. I didn’t know how to respond I just knew I wanted too. But of course there was a problem.
Twelve years with one person allows for a certain amount of relaxation and comfort with each other’s bodies. You are aging together, you accept each other’s faults, and largely turn a blind eye to the changes wrought by time. However when finding yourself single at the age of forty four, there are certain issues that must be addressed. In this instance the problem was pubic hair. A couple of months prior, when I first decided it was time to what I will euphemistically call ‘date,’ I noticed that most distressing of things. That thing on which comedy careers have been built. I noticed a grey pube. Surely not, maybe it was just a stray blonde? I did what any logical, un-expectedly single forty something woman would do, before hoping back on the bike, I booked for my first Brazilian, and had them all ripped out by the roots. Oh My Fucking God! It hurts, but the result, at least initially was strangely pleasing, and it was that smooth, and freshly stripped back, pre-pubescent pussy that the architect had first been exposed to. I went back again , but that had been three weeks ago, and what was facing me now, just wasn’t pretty.
When I went back to the House of Wax, the senior waxer was apparently un-available, and in fact I think I saw her scamper out the back as I arrived but I can’t be sure. I can’t rule it out though as on my first visit, I did scream a lot. I swear that when I kicked her in the head it was an accident. Well more of a reflex really. Instead the woman about to treat me was a nervous looking girl who didn’t look old enough to be familiar with pubic hair at all. The experience was traumatic, and the result was staring back at me from the bedroom mirror. The slimming and sexy landing strip, had shrunk to resemble something more reminiscent of Hitler’s mo. The surrounding area was a mixture of regrowth and bumps. Damn, why hadn’t I bought that laser treatment deal on Grab One last week? I looked at the poxy landscape with dismay. The ingrown hairs had produced an angry rash. I was about to admit defeat, but then I heard it. The phone tinged.
"I need to see you. Send me a photo.”
I started with lingerie on, similar to what I had sent earlier that day. I was fast and efficient after the earlier session, knowing what I wanted, I threw myself on the bed, assumed the position, and fired off three photos. I then added the text, “I can’t, I’m just too shy.”
His reply arrived while I was in the bathroom, shaving, carefully navigating around the bumps and lumps.
“Show me more.”
This was it, I grabbed my concealer, dimmed the light, but not so far as to need a flash. Make-up, lights, camera, action. It was game on.
His directions came fast, and explicit. My replies were slower than he wanted, but I needed time to find better angles. I explained it away by pleading coyly, and waited for encouragement. As the shoot continued, a strange thing happened. I felt myself getting turned on. I started to text back with more confidence,
“Quid pro quo, Send me another photo.”
He did, with more instruction.
“Take off those fucking panties, NOW!”
The whole exercise I noticed later had taken place over a period of forty five minutes, and as I lay back on the bed, wishing I still smoked, and marvelling at how naughty, but erotic the whole experience had been, a further text arrived,
“You are a very bad girl. Till next time…X.”
I replied quickly, remorse already fucking with my afterglow,
“I’m not bad, you’re a bad influence, but thanks…X”
“Oh, and I’m sure I don’t have to ask
But can you delete that conversation?”
“You’re welcome and of course.”
It wasn’t until the following morning, when I was scrolling back through the conversation, (well he didn’t ask me to delete it, did he?) that I started to doubt how wise the enterprise had been. The first thing I noticed was his in text reference’s to how he was coming to see me again, so he could fulfil my text requests, with the hero of piece, pictured earlier. Yeah, right. Still I marvelled at his skill. Damn this guy was good. This guy could take photos, text, wank and bullshit, simultaneously. And they say women can multi task! I quickly went to my camera roll, which now had around an extra two hundred photos, all of my vagina, and did the camera equivalent of a walk of shame as I pressed delete, delete, cringing at my wanton behaviour, and repeatedly sending image after image of my genitals to the little trash can. I imagined it getting fuller and fuller, overflowing with discarded pussy.
Over the next two days, my doubts became worries. I heard nothing from my two night stand. The phone tinged, but it wasn’t him. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know what protocol was. What was the acceptable behaviour around this kind of action? I was out of my depth. I decided to seek the wisdom of friends.
I told a girlfriend, who hysterically announced the sky was falling, he would have shown my vagina to friends! The photos would by now be all over the internet, my vagina all over the World Wide Web, for anyone to see. Men across the globe would be jerking off to my amateur photos right now, relatives even. I pointed out there was no head attached, and there were so many vaginas online one more wouldn’t make an impact. I was a little worried at the thought of him showing me to his friends but I was also having problems imagining the context in which this would happen. I couldn’t quite picture the circumstances in which he would say “Well the fishing’s a bit pants, how about I show you the vagina pictures I got sent last night?”
I decided my concerns were mainly about how he, yes he who had encouraged me, would now perceive me. I wanted to know. I needed a man’s perspective. I consulted two friends separately. The result was not good. They both said pretty much the same thing. Neither thought he would show his friends, and both agreed that people are sending photos left, right and centre, the problem it seemed was I had gone too far. The common wisdom it seemed was that no matter what part of the anatomy a guy sends you, you should only ever return the lingerie shots I had started with. Perhaps a breast, discreetly revealed, but anything more would apparently make me a dirty, slutty horn dog that was up for anything.
I was appalled. All this technology, and here I was apparently committing a sex text faux pas. The dating scene it seemed had changed but not evolved. It was a digital double standard. I had a great time, in many ways it was the perfect solution. I didn’t have to clean the house, make the bed, get dressed, cook dinner, endure small talk, or leave the house. Fuck it. Fuck all this dating etiquette, fuck the double standards, and finally fuck it, why was letting men direct the action, and direct me? I sent a text.
“I really enjoyed the other night. So much that I have written it into a short story.”
“The least I could do as your muse,” he replied.
“Next time maybe you could a muse me with a movie?”
“I’m not sure…” he replied eventually.
“Just point and shoot.”
Published in Brief 49.