31 Ejaculations: No. 24

In the big world I'm small, but here I'm big.

Topics: Sex, Sex Work, Love and Sex,

The mosquitoes drift in circles over the drain as I towel off and find a dry linen shirt. CNN International babbles on the TV, the only English I can find this time of day, while the setting sun paints my room a sickly yellow. I splash on some cologne copped at the duty-free store, swallow a mouthful of whiskey and I’m out the door.

In the swarming streets, people pass me over. Tall white guy, they know who I am. They’ve seen me or someone like me a thousand times. I’m as predictable as a macaque monkey, with double the sex drive. Getting near me is nothing but trouble.

I drop a coin in the bowl of the beggar squatting before a large Buddha decorated with bits of gold leaf and spent incense sticks. Sewage gas threads the haze of the leaded exhaust fumes, the sky darkens. Like angry bees, the mopeds buzz past, driven with the determination possessed by those who have nowhere to go.

Me, I’m in no hurry. I’m going to get what I want. I take dinner down by the water under a string of colored Christmas lights. No waitresses, only waiters. I perversely ask for chopsticks, because the locals never use ‘em. While I wait for my food, I notice another occidental at a corner table and he’s got his lady already. He’s lecturing her and she’s nodding, because of course she doesn’t understand more than two words of what he’s saying. I sip my beer and he glances over without any concession that we are members of the same club.

The waiter arrives in minutes with a freshly broiled fish dressed in tiny circles of green chili, a mound of white rice and a beer. Like some Graham Greene expat, I contemplate the dark water lapping up at the ancient Buddhist wharves, wallowing in exoticism “lite.” I pick bits of flesh from the little ribs on my plate and chew slowly. I am the ugly American. So what?

After dinner, I amble through the cluttered market lanes, past the young guys hawking packs of Marlboros, past the skinny hookers trying to meet my eye. I avoid the transvestites passing little cards illustrating all the sexual positions of the zodiac. I’m sized up by the mock-friendly vendors standing by their piles of cheerful souvenir T-shirts and bootleg videos. At the food stalls, silent cooks, cigarettes dangling from their frowns, supervise smoking bits of fish and egg.

Streetlights are an accident and deep shadows carve every wall. Down the gloomy alleys, men gather, beckoning me to sins that have stood the test of time: “Banana show,” “ping-pong show,” “razor blade show.” Been there, done that. I want something more personal. I could hit a massage parlor, take my time in my selection, gazing through the 10-foot-high plate glass. Here the girls let their minds watch TV as they wait for their bodies to fetch a companion. I have no idea whether they’re watching “Baywatch” or kickboxing because the TV set is facing them and they are facing me. If I wanted one to join me upstairs, I’d nod to the Mama-san and give her the number pinned to the chosen one’s blouse. But blatant slavery doesn’t do it for me either. I prefer the subtle kind.

I follow the bright lights, because that’s where the pretty young girls are. They are in the go-go bars, mutations descended from the Vietnam War R&R days. In places like these, stoned GIs kicked back their fear and anger just long enough to embrace a warm body before rejoining the nightmare. Billy Bob nervously created a secret memory never to be shared back home with Betty Sue. Here, the girls know what lonely Americans like: laughter and eye contact — they show their teeth and flirt. Makes us Yankees feel like we’re back home in Red Wing.

So here I am at “Supergirl” or “Baby Go-Go,” studying the slim, laughing nymphets. It’s a fantasy Asian high school cheerleading team, bopping their tiny bikini bottoms to the rhythms of Guns n’ Roses. Mirrors, pink tin foil and tissue paper flowers remind me of some teenage slumber party. It’s the senior prom and the theme this year is “sex.” I check out the hard little nipples and big brown eyes. I sip my sweet drink, inhaling the scent of exposed skin. All I have to do is look. Just eye one cutie for a few seconds and next thing I know she’s sitting in my lap, working me with her miniscule repertory of English phrases.

“Hi, my name Mai.” “You funny. You come from States?” “You like me? Yes? We go hotel? Now?” Who knows where these young ladies come from? Bought from a farmer up country or sent into town by their grandma. They’re bored, they want out. They want to party. Anything is better than dancing for hours on tired legs, better than stooping over in a knee-deep paddy replanting rice seedlings. Better than getting smacked in the face by some fat guy with beer breath from Hamburg, Germany.

This one girl, Toi. Probably about 16 years old. Probably HIV-positive. So happy and small and devoted like a human pet. Eager to please me. I really believe it makes her happy I am there, because I am certain I add something to her life. In her dark little world, happiness is the absence of bad people, absence of pain. And so I’m happy to oblige. It’s the way things are. I didn’t invent it.

She whimpers and moans because she thinks I like that. And I do. It’s true. In the big world I’m small, but here I’m big.

For a split second, when I come, everything turns surreal. I can’t remember how I ended up in this no-name hotel on the other side of the planet. How did it happen that I’m holding this delicate human in my arms? We’re not passing like ships in the night, we’re bouncing off each other like atoms in outer space, anonymously dancing the dance that spins the world. As close as we’ve been, we’ll never see each other again, that’s absolutely certain. And then it’s over, and she’s getting dressed and everything reforms into shapes and sounds I can deal with only because I saw a movie once that looked something like this.

Read No. 25

Eric Bogosian is an actor and writer. His solo shows include "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll" and "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee." His novel "Mall" will be published by Simon & Schuster in November.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>