Boy behavior

I tried acting like a guy to get laid. It worked, but it takes a lot of energy to be the aggressor.

Published August 14, 2000 7:26PM (EDT)


I had this little idea a few weeks ago that I wanted to have a rib-wrenching orgasm. I didn't think masturbation would cut it -- sometimes me and my vibrator just don't get along. (I go left when it goes right.) And I didn't want to spend the time that it takes to meet that special someone so that I could "make love." At this point, it could take years to find a boyfriend, and I don't want to date right now anyway. So what's a girl to do when she's horny?

I decided to act like a boy.

I flipped through my mental Rolodex and remembered the name of the last guy who wanted to have sex with me. I had met Tim about two months before in a bar. He had expressed a sexual interest but informed me that he was in the process of ending a live-in relationship. I didn't believe him and, accordingly, I wasn't interested. He was cute, but I'm not down with other people's property. A few weeks back he had gotten in touch. Turns out he really was breaking up with his girlfriend, and he was now out of their apartment and in a new space.

Perfect. There's no way this guy was looking for anything serious. He was stretching his arms, awakening after the deep sleep of an unfulfilling long-term relationship. We're in, we're out, we're done. Make no promises, and take no emotional prisoners.

I e-mailed him and told him he had "popped into my head." Six e-mails later (after the requisite "what's new" exchange), he asked me why I had thought of him. I sat at my computer and stared at his question. Do I couch it? Throw out a "Well, it was really nice meeting you" or "I heard a song/saw a movie/read a book that reminded me of you"? Or do I cut to the chase, be bold and tell him exactly what I wanted.

That boy voice in my head said, "You get what you ask for in this life. Why screw around?"

Indeed, why?

I've written many a great love letter in my life, arranged my words to seduce and inspire, and have been very successful in the past. This note was not one of my finest works. I hesitate to even call it a "work." It was like a note passed in study hall combined with a late-night posting in a chat room. I shudder to reprint it, and yet I find it terribly amusing that I wrote it.

"Well, it's summertime, and I'm looking for a little fun, and you seem like you'd be a lot of fun in bed."

Could I get any cheesier? I held my breath and then sent it. This boylike behavior does not come naturally to me, and I wondered if he would even respond. A few minutes later, he replied with, "Wow. Cool!"


I've been told before that women can get laid anytime they want, and that it's the boys who suffer, but I have to disagree. Or maybe it's just that we're not willing to sleep with just anyone. For example, I cannot sleep with anyone who is dumb, talks incessantly about how much money he makes, doesn't have a good sense of humor or has really crappy taste in music. I simply can't. If I find a man's personality appalling, I'm not going to have an orgasm, so what's the point? Men, on the other hand, are blessed with the ability to achieve their desired goals simply by finding a nice, warm spot to call home for 10 minutes. Lucky bastards.

Now Tim and I, we weren't what you would call a match made in heaven, but I thought he was nice enough for a night. And apparently he did, too. I met him for drinks at his local bar, which was conveniently located across the street from his new apartment. To my great dismay, I discovered he wanted to talk first, and so we did, for a couple of hours. I met some of his friends, which was even more frustrating. I didn't want to have anything to do with niceties; I just wanted to jump him and go on my way. Why wouldn't he just let me be a boy?

We drank and talked, and after a while, I tried to resurrect the tone I had set in my naughty e-mail.

I scratched my nail on his leg, and he looked at me and smiled. I widened my eyes and smiled, too.

"You look so devious," he said.

"No, not devious. Lascivious."

"Oh." He laughed. "So is this what you would call a booty call?"

Oh, the vulgarity! I almost got up and walked out right there, but then realized the only one to blame was myself. And I had come too far (and drunk too many beers) to walk away from this. Hot sex was only across the street and up the elevator.

"Well, it's a little early in the evening for it to be technically that, but I would say that I am only interested in hanging out in an incredibly casual fashion."

I'm such a pretentious, overeducated ass sometimes. I was losing my desire over language. I changed the subject quickly, avoiding any commitment to a concise definition of our relationship -- a standard boy move.

"Let's get out of here," I said.

At that moment, the dynamic officially turned. We walked across the street, and he told me a story about one of his friends. As we got in the elevator, he was still talking and I moved closer. Why was he still talking?

"Oh. Yeah. I guess we could talk about that later," he said, and then we kissed. I don't think he was any better at this than I was, so I guess I had to lead.

In bed, I was more aggressive than he, but again, I had put myself there. If you start as a boy, you have to finish as a boy. The sex -- all four times -- was good, but it wasn't great. I like it when a man grabs me and takes charge. Though I wasn't always on top, I still felt as if I was. He was a conquest claimed. That just doesn't contain the same appeal for women as it does for men.

I lay back after we were finished and felt the blood rush to my head. I thought about our conversation -- so much talk that I had to consider. He had mentioned a day trip the next weekend, a concert in Battery Park in a few weeks, drinks on Monday. Did he say that to try to make me happy? Because all it did was freak me out.

And suddenly, I felt the inevitable, that thing all bad, bad boys have experienced before at the end of a sexual encounter. I felt incredibly fucking claustrophobic. I had to get out of there. I was not going to sleep there, man -- no way in hell I was waking up in his bed. I didn't want polite morning banter. I wanted to go home, shower, lie in my bed and drift, body buzzed and satisfied.

"So I'm going to take off," I said.


"Your bed is really small," I said lamely.

"No it's not. It's fine." He snuggled up next to me. I thought I would hyperventilate.

"I think I would be more comfortable in my bed."

"Oh, you should stay. You're welcome to stay."

"I'm going to go."

"I don't know why you're leaving."

"I really do think I'll sleep better at home."

And so forth.

I got up and put on my clothes. He walked me outside and hailed a cab. My final touch? I grabbed his ass and complimented him on it. The transformation was complete. I was a boy for a night. In the cab home, I buzzed a bit, and then ultimately, I felt a little drained and sad. It takes a surprising amount of energy to maintain emotional distance, and I was exhausted. I can act like a boy as much as I want, but when I wake up in the morning, I'm still a woman.

By Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg's fourth book, "The Middlesteins," will be published in 2012.

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