Alex is in charge of every woman.
He has a system.
He pulls her close and places his strong hand on the back of her neck. She breathes into him and he pulls her closer still, lips dancing. She leans into him and he pulls away, lets her, no, makes her reach for him. He wants her thirsty.
He kisses her neck, the hard line of her throat, takes gentle bites and kisses the pain away. Their clothes are eager to fall off and do so, effortlessly. Unless he peels them off, layer by impatient layer, till they scream to be ripped off. His hands take their time, fingers carefully tracing the outline of her richly coloured nipples, pointed and hard against smooth (creamy or cocoa or caramel) breasts. He is a calligrapher using the tip of his tongue as an ink brush, carefully lettering her body with his name. He glosses straight lines down between her clavicles, between her breasts, pausing only to highlight each nipple, straight down to her navel, down to her labia. There, he has options. Long languid licks, perhaps, up and down the length of her. For another, small sweet circles on her clitoris; for another, quick, urgent pressure; another, fierce forceful sucking. He writes calligraphy on her pussy with his tongue.
She may return the favour, doing so as gently or furiously as she desires. She may not do it at all. It is not important to him. Pleasurable yes, but not important. The candlelit dinner beforehand, or the romantic movie, or the drinks at her favourite bar or the jewellery unwrapped on the desk or the conversation about what she likes are all in service of what is important: the urgent moans only he can elicit.
When he takes her, he takes her. Sometimes it starts slow, a gentle press of the tip, deep, long strokes that move with the irresistible motion of waves at high tide. Sometimes it’s a ferocious thrust, a near angry pace, the ocean in a hurricane. Sometimes her (long dreadlocked or short bobbed or tightly curled) hair may be pulled, or her (shapely round or small pert or thick bouncy) ass may be slapped. Eyes may gaze deeply. She is lost in him, the figure of abandon. Powerless.
At all times, he waits patiently behind his strokes for her scream in his ear or her nails in his back or her thrust on his hips. He finds her climax gratifying, his release from obligation.
It is always disappointing.
He never calls them back.
Alex and Ochiri have been together for more than a year now; his longest relationship. He proposed three months ago and she is planning the wedding. He has a great job as a top tier Financial Consultant with Delahoitte, Delahoitte and Greenberg. She will be his beautiful wife. They both have shiny white teeth and their skin is charcoal and blemish free.
He tried his system with her in the beginning.
He wrote her sonnets with his tongue but she was different. He could taste it, the lack of wet and desire. She was bored. When he glanced up at her, she looked down on him. His eyebrow raised a question. She answered with an obligatory sigh. When he took her, she was absent. Her nails did dig into his back, and her legs did wrap around his waist, but more so, they wrapped around his thoughts, pulling him in deeper into hers. You can’t have me. Her eyes were coal and blank.
He flipped her over. Tried it from the back. He moved slower. He teased her with just the tip, waiting for her to beg and she did, obligingly. He turned her over again, and found eyes unwilling and bemused—You can’t have me—Each thrust, each move was parried by her unimpressed glare—I can’t have her.
He ground himself deeper—I can’t have her—impaled himself—I can’t have her—into the dark—I can’t stop—and found—I can’t have her—he couldn’t wait—I must have her—behind—I can’t have her—his strokes—I can’t—and came.
He came harder than he ever had before.
He kept trying after that night. He tried his system for a while. He wanted her moans and sighs to be the music to his lyric. She moaned and sighed, obligingly. He changed his system. He tried new systems. He dropped his system. He read forums and asked questions. He tried every kink and every motion and every emotion. Her obliging moans and sighs began to taper off. She grew more silent, less responsive each time. Her nails stopped digging into his back and her legs stopped wrapping around his waist. He hates himself more each time.
She used to moan and sigh. She doesn’t do that anymore. The room stays silent when they fuck. He loves her for it.
Their ritual began the very first night they spent together.
“Did you come?”
She goes to take a shower.
He waits five minutes.
He goes to the shower.
He stands in front of the lightly frosted glass.
He watches her.
She washes the scent of him off her. The soapy water looks luxurious on her skin, opalescent white on decadent black. Her hands trace the firm curves of her body, muscles trained to taut perfection. She takes her time, hands on her breasts give a gentle massage then her right hand moves down. Her fingers move deftly, practised, in undefined motions and patterns, seemingly catching her off guard every now and again. When her fingers start to thrust in and out of herself, there is no image, just feeling. In and out, harder and faster. She comes.
He watches her.
He wonders if he’ll ever do that to her. Each time he finds her—breathless and wet, like he imagined her, like he wanted her to be because of him—he is weak, powerless.
She watches him.
Their eyes meet. Her eyes tell him no, no he never will do this to her. But he’ll keep trying.
They have talked about it only once.
She was sitting on the couch, across from him. The television’s volume was low. On it was a sex scene to which she was barely paying attention. It took him a full minute to gather the strength to speak.
“You never look like that,” Alex said. The female lead (the witch Alagantre) was writhing, eyes rolled to the back of her head as the male lead pumped behind her.
“You know, like that.” Alagantre had her eyes shut tight, faces screwed up and mouth open, gasping. “You never look like that. Not with me.”
“Oh, come on, it’s a TV show. No one ever looks like that.”
“I mean, her eyeliner hasn’t even smudged, and she was crying like two minutes ago.”
“I wasn’t talking about that.”
“What were you talking about?”
“I just mean, her face. I dunno, she was lost, I guess.”
They watched it for a few seconds more.
“Everyone is different,” she said. Her tone was brutal. He knew she was going to punish him for asking. The sex scene was over. There was a sword fight on now. He increased the volume.
They had sex that night. He was more tireless than ever, desperate to make up for his mistake; she was as blank as ever. He began the ritual.
“Did you come?”
She got up to shower.
He couldn’t move.
She stopped by the bathroom door, looked at him, coal and blank.
“You should try harder.”
She went in; locked the bathroom door for the first time. She was telling him that he didn’t deserve to watch. He knew why. She made sure she was loud this time, let him listen to his failure.
He pressed his ear against the door.
Anne Moraa (@tweetmoraa) is a creative writer, editor, performer and all round word-obsessive. Exploring various forms, her poetry has been commissioned and performed at venues from Kenya to Scotland and she is presently studying for her Creative Writing (MA) in Fiction, as well as being a Founding member of Jalada. For more information, contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org