Which led me to thinking about all the times in between the first and the most recent (actually these days I see a naked man several times a day; generally my husband, but I also spent quite a lot of time doing research for my various erotica stories, which always seems to involve my watching an excessive amount of gay porn. It's for research, I promise. Friends help you move, real friends delete your browser history if you die? Right...)
When I was in high school, I did plays. I always wanted to act (right up until the point where I did some actual acting work in the movies, at which point I packed up that dream and put it the fuck away) and so I tried out for all the high school stage plays. If I was able to sing, it would have gone better. As it was, I would occasionally get a role - in the chorus, or comic relief, and get stuck in the back where my terrible, window-shattering voice could be buried under the other students'. When we didn't do musicals, I got a lead; I played Aunt Martha in Arsenic & Old Lace. (I also played the mayor's wife in Bye Bye Birdie. Apparently even in high school, my typecast was batty old lady... lovely...)
So, once a year, I'd spend several weeks at rehearsals, making costumes, learning stage makeup and generally hanging out with other theater geeks. (The rest of the year I hung out with the band geeks, about half of whom were the same people.) One evening, we're hanging out in costumes getting ready to do production photos and a dress-rehearsal. The "professional" photographer is late, so we're all in the green room (which wasn't actually green) or spilled out into the hallway, bullshitting and carefully drinking Dr. Pepper through a straw so we don't mess up our lipstick.
Have you ever stuck a straw in a can of Dr. Pepper? It does not want to be there - the straw, I mean - and will keep sliding upward out of your can. If you're not paying attention, the straw will pop completely out of the can and splatter droplets of soda everywhere.
We're theater geeks. And high school students. And if there's ever been a more concentrated group of dirty minded individuals... wait, scratch that. I've been part of more dirty minded groups...
But we are making bad jokes and generally being obscene....
And I'm watching my crush out of the corner of my eye. I never look directly at him because that would be stupid and obvious and my whole fantasy would be written in neon letters on my forehead. (Or so I thought; turns out later that not only were all the boys I liked completely oblivious and needed to be cracked over the head with a clue-by-four, but I also missed - entirely - that some people had crushes on me!)
Mark is gorgeous. He has long curly black hair, deep brown eyes, a full, kissable mouth, and is the only boy in my high school who's not only managed to grow facial hair, but it looks good! (In retrospect, reading what I just wrote, I come to the stunning realization that I married someone who looks almost exactly like him. Hmm.)
And he's joking about the rising straw; no matter how much it goes off, it always gets right back up, etc, etc.
He's talking about sex and dicks and women - in some sort of oblique code that will probably get him out of trouble if the director happens to stick her head back here to make sure we haven't burned down the English wing - and I'm sitting almost perfectly still, watching him. There's a strange fire in my belly and my knees feel all wobbly. He's had sex before, I realize. He actually knows what he's talking about. (I, at the time, had not... and had only the vaguest idea of what the whole thing was about, but wanted, quite a bit, to find out.)
I was feeling more and more uncomfortable about the whole thing; if he didn't stop, I was going to have to excuse myself to use the rest room to do something about this hideous ache between my legs, and I was wearing a poodle skirt and several layers of petticoats and was not looking forward to the idea of getting into and out of my costume in a high school bathroom.
"Oh, for God's sake, Mark," I snap, "you're so damn proud of your three and a half inches, it's sad."
"Here," Mark said, turning to Clay and hanging off his performing beverage, "hold this for a second, would you?"
Mark got to his feet, snagged my wrist and dragged me off down the hall and around the corner. It was darker down there; the lights were only on near the green room and the unenthusiastic mid-February sun had already retreated.
The shadows dancing around his face made him look more attractive, and slightly more dangerous. My heart boomed in my chest, closing my throat off completely, fit to burst right out of my chest. I affected a bored expression; I was going to be an actress, after all. I should be able to pull off bored, right?
Mark bracketed me up in the corner - did he think I was going to faint? - and unzipped. I looked. How could I not?
To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be impressed or not. I'd only seen one, ever before. And it was still flaccid, so I could have covered the whole thing with my hand.
That thought sent a hot bolt of longing right through me, impressed or not, I wanted to touch it. What the heck did it feel like? How did boys wander around all the time with it just hanging out like that? Wasn't it weird? Didn't it get in the way?
"How's that grab ya?" He said.
"Eh," I said. Cool, remember? Bored? Casual. Dear god, someone strike me down right now. My fingers twitched curiously. "I might need a closer look to find it."
"You," he said, "are either very, very stupid, or -" He stepped closer to me, pump handle still hanging out in the breeze.
I put my hand on him, which had the interesting benefit of making him shut up. The space between us vanished. His arms were around me and his face was thrust against my neck. His hot breath was quick and urgent on my throat and the curls of his hair brushed against my lips.
And the soft, velvet thing under my hand grew alarmingly. Mark groaned against my skin, needy and wanting.
Suddenly our roles were reversed and I had all the power in the situation. I felt it in every blood cell in my body. I had done this; I had reduced this cool, arrogant male into something a bit more desperate and longing.
"It will suffice," I said.
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, and movies with more FX than plot. She has published over a dozen short stories on topics ranging from steampunk to Cthulu, from contemporary to urban supernatural to the zombie apocalypse. Her safeword is Oxford Comma. You can follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LynnTownsendwriter ) or on her blog at Paid by the Weird (http://paidbytheweird.blogspot.com/ )