It wasn’t a hookup. We had been on three dates over the period of a month, and had reached that oh-so-intimate phase of texting each other during the day. When she asked if I wanted to have dinner at her place for our fourth date, I knew there was at least an 80% chance that it was Go Time.
I would berate myself at this point for sounding like a Basic Bro, but the truth is, I was right. We downed an entire bottle of bubbles when I got there, dinner was quick and simple, and before I could lay my fork on the side of the plate, she hit me with a “now it’s time for dessert.” Though I may be a relatively dense individual, I know a metaphor when I hear one, and it didn’t take a PhD to understand that she wasn’t going into the bedroom to retrieve a Tiramisu.
It took about ten seconds before we frantically stripped the clothes off each other, which started out super sexy. Shirts are always the first thing to go, and that’s über hot, because it’s nothing but heavy panting, buttons flying, bras popping, delicious flesh and shoulder curves. But the sexiness came to a screeching halt with the socks. Socks are never the first thing to go. Socks are, in fact, the last thing to go, so right before the moment of naked truth, you’re forced to do this awkward abdominal crunch and try to pry your gross, calf-length socks from your feet. It is a mood-destroying break in the action that can’t be avoided, because there isn’t a body in the universe that looks hot in nothing but black business socks.
Call me old fashioned, but first-time sex should begin with the missionary position. There’s something about starting that way that says, “You can trust me because I’m not asking you for Reverse Cowgirl right out of the gate.” Still, there’s always a fair dose of awkward with a new partner. It’s to be expected. When done right, sex is kinda gross, with all these smells and secretions and tiny hairs and limbs stacked up like a game of Jenga. But surprises are part of the fun, which explains the enduring popularity of sex as well as game shows like The Price Is Right.
So chugga-chugga-chugga, off to work I went, merrily taking in all the pleasures of the flesh while simultaneously remaining cognizant of the fact that this performance better be spot-on or future performances will be canceled. I nuzzled into her neck, because I’m a big fan of that, and when it made her moan with delight I decided it was a good time to start the ol’ Intimate Eye Contact.
When I gazed upon her face, what I saw was genuinely upsetting. She was not into this. Not at all. She wore a frown that looked like it had been cultivated through decades of career disappointment, and her eyes were clenched shut like she was expecting a slap across the face with a filet of rotten salmon.
I immediately stopped. “Oh my God. Are you ok?”
Her eyes popped open. “What?”
“Are you alright? You look…uh…”
“I’m fine. Why did you stop?” She asked.
“Oh.” I was confused. “I just…never mind.”
And back to work I went. Chugga-chugga-chugga. Admittedly, it was not easy to rekindle in the mood. As a prototype Cis White Male, I will not cast myself as Mr. Woke, but I know full well that we are neck-deep in the #MeToo era, and the last thing I wanted was to be the second coming of Aziz Ansari.
Eventually, my fears were allayed, as the groans of ecstasy filled the room and our bodies geared up to do those things that bodies do in such situations. I wrapped my arm around her waist and flipped her up on top…and there it was again. Her eyes pinched tight, her nostrils flared, her mouth trembling as though she were about to cry.
“Holy shit, are you alright?” I exclaimed.
Her expression immediately changed to obvious anger. “Why the fuck are you stopping? I was almost there!”
“Because you’ve got this look on your face like I just killed your dog or something!” I knew I should have been more tactful, but this was tricky territory and I didn’t quite know what to do. “Look, I just want to make sure you’re into this, because it totally looks like you’re not, and if you want to stop, we can stop – “
“No,” she sighed. Her shoulders slumped in disappointment and she looked away. “I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ve got Unhappy Sex Face.”
She went on to explain that I wasn’t the first partner to have noticed her unfortunate affliction, and she had come to realize there was little she could do about it. Unhappy Sex Face was a variation of Resting Bitch Face. Despite the fact that she was truly enjoying herself, her involuntary expression was a lot less Let’s get naked and a lot more Let’s get waterboarded.
“But it’s just a quirk,” she said. “I mean, I’m really into this, ok?”
“Ok,” I agreed. But as it turned out, it wasn’t so ok. As much as I really wanted to make things work, I couldn’t get around the fact that she looked like her house was going into foreclosure whenever we had sex. Again, I’m not claiming to be Starbucks Poetry Guy, but I couldn’t bring myself to say, “Uh, why don’t you bury your face in this pillow?” every single time.
Unhappy Sex Face Pairs With: 2016 Dionysos Greek Merlot. Normally in these pages, I highlight wines that I find particularly awesome. As there is pretty much nothing awesome about Unhappy Sex Face, I thought I’d feature what may be the second worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. The wine is deceiving on the nose: hints of cherry cola, earth and tobacco. But on the palette, it’s nothing but turpentine, moldy gym socks and nightmares. I guess when a back label literally reads, “with style, volume and greasy,” that should be the first hint. If you could have seen the look on my face…