Throughout the numerous liaisons in my twenties, I can’t honestly say I viewed every one of them as a one night stand – a story attached to a penis to recount when I hit my 30s and began settling down a little. But somewhere the naïve romantic in me was half-heartedly hoping that shag-of-the-night might leap from close encounter of the genital kind straight to husband-to-be.
For the most part this wistful ideation remained firmly locked in my head (or heart) but – emotionally expressive type that I am – I would confide these traditional and at time stalker-esque notions to my best friend L.
Once we’d outgrown the Norbury, we spent a lot of time, especially come summer, clubbing in Great Yarmouth on an unhealthily regular basis.
It had always been my and L’s dream to find two friends (or brothers) and marry them. We figured this convenient arrangement would mean we ourselves would remain best of friends. Fate though has dealt us a hand where we didn’t meet such a duo and immediately espouse them. Thus whilst still being incredibly close, time, relationships and children have meant that intimacy has dissipated somewhat – though friendship and shared past experience has not. Sad but I suppose life moves on….and it’s a real bitch getting from South East London to Essex.
Anyway that was the plan back in our early to mid 20s…and beyond. On one particular occasion however the Universe threw us a lifeline.
L was…shall we say encouraging(?) an on again off again long term flame from Great Yarmouth, but making no promises. They’d always try and implement the ‘let’s be friends’ façade which worked well for L – she was the one that always dumped him and pulled the strings so her heart was somewhat safer. Kenny on the other hand, while desperately trying to behave platonically, could never quite get over his intense feelings for his former love. Rather than just telling her he couldn’t be do it, or even just staying away, he would attempt to play the game they’d set up only to find himself awfully wounded when he found L enjoying her single status. I felt for him, but since she didn’t exactly lie to him, nor, if I’m honest, did she actively discourage his advances. She had nonetheless verbally confirmed the state of play.
And that’s what L and I wanted; to play!
And we did.
There are two clubs on Great Yarmouth’s main pier, the Britannia.
The first and aptly named ‘Pier Tavern’ as you approach Britannia, is for the more mature folks and has a resounding set-list of cheesy songs from the 60s to the noughties. The other – ‘Long John’s Show Bar’ at the pier end stretches out over sand and sea. ‘Long John’s’ was where the younger set of gentlefolk inhabited; it was bigger, had a long bar and played modern music – some to my and L’s taste but only for short durations.
In true form what started out as a ‘friends night out’ ended with Kenny becoming rather irate at the attention L were receiving and to mask his feelings he began acting like a complete …..what’s that word again that rhymes with ‘hunt’?
So L and I played hide and seek leaving him with the fogies in the Pier Tavern, ourselves hot-footing it up the pier, (as best we could with our high heels getting caught in the spaces between the planks of wood), to Long John’s to join the pretty young things there. Fortunately this establishment seemed more attractive to tourists and we stumbled across what I vaguely recall was a stag night – or just a boys weekend of some sort. Despising the music, but eager to avoid Kenny we were grateful to the invite at the table this group had colonised outside the club.
As the only two girls present we seemed to have quite a choice. Two men were vying for L’s attention but I was happy with the guy that approached me. He was named Ben and in my mind he seemed like a shorter, slightly less attractive version of Andrew Lincoln of ‘Walking Dead’, ‘This Life’ and ‘Teachers’ fame. There also seemed to be a sincerity to him which I think now was actually a combination of desperation and beer goggles. He was all too keen to exchange numbers and reiterate how he was looking for a girlfriend. This caught me hook, line and sinker. Once the club closed we didn’t really want the party to end.
L had hooked up with a beefy blonde sweetheart called ‘C’ who was, without doubt the personality of the two with a masculine caring aura around him. This put me at ease and made me feel like he could quite competently look after out little quartet.
Determined to carry on the proceedings, L confessed she’d borrowed Kenny’s house key earlier in the night mid-argument with him and suggested we return to his flat to retrieve the booze we’d left there, pinch a bottle opener then head back to the beach for a very early picnic breakfast of…..alcopops.
Being young, brazen and unashamed we pulled it off. Kenny, desperate to keep dignity intact and not weep at L having found some amatory fun, girded his loins and (I’d like to say while managing a watery smile) verbally abused us but not to the extent of jeopardising the remaining strands of his relationship with L. We marched out waving the bottle opener victoriously, confident our overnight bags would not be on the street when we returned.
Trooping off to the beach, we separated with our respective men.
I was fortunate enough to find some children had dug a sizeable bunker in the sand – it was an at least two foot deep hole that could spaciously accommodate myself, Ben, four bottles of Smirnoff Ice and plenty of drunken lust.
Now, boyfriend, one night stand, or anything else, what I do expect is sex. And my kind of sex is real. Honest to goodness vaginal penetration – a pushing, grinding, pounding, slapping full flesh fest. I didn’t get it. My magical musician hands, now so used to firmly and rhythmically playing an array of instruments (some musical, some fleshy and snake-like) not only slipped off Ben’s pants but also found their way to his cock, kissing him passionately as the sun rose over Yarmouth beach. By then I was so deft in the delivery of hand-jobs that within a minute I felt that familiar, warm, sticky fluid seeping over my hand. I didn’t feel I could wipe it on his clothes and I didn’t want to soil my own, and the more I tried brushing it off the more my hand began to look like it was transforming into some sort of sand sculpture.
You’d think, wouldn’t you, that having performed such a successful operation I might at least have gotten a cuddle, a kiss….or even a cheeky finger or two; something, anything – some reward…..even a bloody ‘thank you’ would’ve been welcome. But other than sand on my hand all I did get was a quiet resentment at his embarrassment for his premature and amateur shot. Suddenly the bunker didn’t feel like such a romantic hidey-hole anymore – it felt full of his inadequacy. Him thinking it, me knowing it. Not that I was a bitch. I couldn’t have been more pleasant or polite. Waved away his excuses, told him it wasn’t unusual, said I was happy, tried to kiss and engage in conversation. But it it seemed though my magic hands had once again performed the amazing trick of turning a guy off instantly. Fortunately I was youthful and unknowing. I assumed my words and his advances of earlier still meant something and held some sort of genuineness.
Despite the exchange of numbers and promises of ‘I’ll text you’, he didn’t. Worse still, throwing my own dignity aside, I attempted to initiate contact with him. Occasionally he’d return a message or two but would steadfastly apply the ‘three day’ rule before deeming me worthy of a response.
C on the other hand proved the knight in shining armour. His words to L had actually been honest and earnest. He had wanted to see her again and also respected as her best mate that to make such a thing happen it would have to be a package deal (L and I didn’t really do ‘alone’ back in those days). So it was he who persuaded Ben to head back to Yarmouth in order to have a weekend with us.
Ben had flung a few crumbs of attention my way in the shape of the odd text, but there was no call and only cold confirmation he would be attending that forthcoming weekend.
It was actually the first time L and I had travelled anywhere out of London for a real-life double date and the fact our dates were friends…..we still held firm to our fantasy of marrying two best mates in order that our own intense relationship would remain unchanged. Thus we let ourselves dream.
When we finally arrived and went to meet them, we realised we were in fact dating the male equivalents of ourselves. Like L, C was well dressed, calm, thoughtful, reserved, intelligent, generous, happy, content in the company and wanting to enjoy the evening. Ben, on the other hand, was a mass of neuroses, already stupidly drunk to build up his confidence, talking loudly, quickly and over exaggerating any and every story he told, wanting to be the focus of attention and not quite knowing how to behave when we lavished it upon him. His words were his costume and my words complimented my little black dress as well (I was funnier than him though – or so I like to think).
Not unexpectedly as the evening progressed we all got drunk. I could almost see Ben’s beer goggles growing thicker and thicker with each new bar entered and each new cocktail served. His body language changed from clinging to C like a child to gradually moving closer and closer to me, till he eventually whispered ‘I was really dreading this weekend, but I’m glad you came. You’re real pretty.’
Despite everything that had happened upon and since our introductory night, I could close my eyes, breathe out and start believing again. Hell by the end of the night we were holding hands stumbling from club to club (and I’d always said holding hands was naff and embarrassing).
When the clubs closed we headed back to the bed and breakfast we were all sharing. The nosy owners had been quite keen to meet us and guess if their pairings had been correct or not. I suspect they got it wrong. Because C was broader and more solid they would’ve assumed he was with the fat girl (me), Ben being slighter and prettier would likely have been matched with L.
I’m not sure how everything was sorted, whether there was any discretion involved or not, but because L and I had the double bed, Ben and I parked ourselves in this room immediately. L was happy to take the twin room allocated to the boys, allowing intimacy but with physical restraints to inhibit any unwanted libidinous compulsions that might potentially arise.
I began a ritual routine. Cuddle on bed, begin kissing, remove shirt, kiss chest, rub hand down crutch, undo zipper or fly buttons, reach in for…
‘Don’t touch it!’
My hand flew out of his pants like his crotch was made of molten lava…..or riddled with warts…or was in fact a vagina.
He was breathing heavily and muttered ‘I don’t want to come too quickly. Tonight it’s my turn to pleasure you.’
I couldn’t argue with that, nor did I want to – in fact I kinda thought he owed it to me. Suddenly I felt the warmth of his averagely satisfying penis enter me. I can’t honestly say there was a lot of pushing, grinding, pounding and slapping, but there was penetration and it wasn’t unwelcome. For me nothing felt better, more life affirming, more sexy than having the weight of someone attractive on me as they slipped in and out of my own warm, wetness. It was perfunctory though. I think that was the best he could manage at the time because clearly he was still racked with guilt over the sand-pit incident and had a set idea of how to make amends which was distracting him from any ‘game’ in bed. He was all too keen to visit my vagina to reciprocate the wonderful gift I’d bestowed upon him on our previous ‘date’ (it was a date in my mind; I appreciate it was a one night thing now).
I let him try. What woman wouldn’t – straight or gay. It feels good….unless you’ve had a particularly nasty prior sexual experience. But my god it seemed to drag. In fact, mid-way through, on all fours, faced buried between my legs, his arse raised proudly wiggling at the door, L and C thoughtfully entered the room to deliver my kebab and chips (not sure Ben had put an order in himself). The sight of the full moon up so close and personal had the two of them fleeing. I could hear their heavy, hurried footsteps and much giggling on the flight of stairs, escaping the room but, I assume, never able to escape the picture of Ben’s bare white bum from their mind’s eye (and no I haven’t offered to pay for therapy – learn to knock guys….or did you?).
In fairness Ben was committed, and, irrespective of the laughable interruption, he soldiered on like a faithful cavalier. But it wasn’t doing it for me. I was still chuckling at L and’ C’s faces and worrying whether my chips would still be warm enough to eat when the deed was finally done. I actually wanted to push his face away and finish myself off one handed. It would be infinitely quicker and I suspected more intense – plus I might still be able to devour that kebab and chips and savour the flavour. But when I thought about how inadequate he felt and how hard he was trying my softened heart knew I had but one option – to fake it.
So I did. I began moaning and tried wriggling orgasmically like I’d seen in my brother’s old porn movie collection. It did the trick. He came up beaming…or maybe it was the gleam of moisture on his face.
‘Did I make you come?’
I nodded enthusiastically. He looked so pleased I knew I’d done the right to thing. His fragile male ego saved, he was cuddling me again and talking about the future and I lay there contentedly thinking ‘finally L and I are going to date best friends, this is going to be my boyfriend’. But I was a romantic and boyfriends became husbands, and husbands were people you slept with forever – for the rest of your life, the ONLY one (good catholic girl that I was). And he hadn’t made me come. Hadn’t even come close. God if he believed he had, then chances were he was never going to be able to because he thought he could and didn’t need instruction. So how could I overcome such an obstacle in future? No, that would never do. If we were going to get married we had to have a good sex life. I had to be honest with him. Honesty in relationships is a good thing, right? It’s what makes them last.
‘Ben, BEN – are you asleep?’
‘You didn’t make me come.’
‘I know you tried and everything but I just want to be honest with you. You didn’t make me come earlier. I didn’t have an orgasm.’
His faced crashed harder than a Qantas Airbus.
I’d said he’d given me an orgasm then taken it back. It’s one of the worst things you can do to a guy. The epitome of bad bedroom language. A golden rule I’d broken in the silence of a quiet summer morning in Yarmouth. Honesty didn’t save that relationship.
I never saw Ben again.