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Less Than Butterflies, No. 25

Here’s the thing about having gay sex with men who say they’re “straight” …

I gasped as he ran his hand ever so gently across the nape of my neck and pulled not me in, but himself into me before he laid his lips upon mine.

… not even just “straight” men; maybe just men

The kisses were long and slow, but not the suffocating kind that makes you wonder when you’re going to be able to come back up for air. The kind you sink into — no — the kind you melt into.

… You know, men who are just a little older than you, men who pay attention to you, men who aren’t only concerned with getting off, but making sure that you get off, too …

He ran his hand down from my neck, but not the entire hand. His palms raised up like the trunk of a car and his fingertips slid down the outside of my shirt and over my underwear just above my penis before they just … stopped.

… These men open doors for you; and they walk close by you in public; and they let you finish a thought without cutting you off mid-sentence …

He pressed just their tips — those tiny zones of flesh just halfway down the fingernails on the opposite side — between the elastic of my briefs and the the skin of my pubis. Then he swayed them from side-to-side, teasing me — making me wonder whether or not he was going to take them off. And as his hand pressed back down firmly over their fabric and the fingertips came out from beneath, he edged his hand down and around what was waiting for him, and brushed his knuckles against the inside of my thigh.

I gasped.

… they are so good with their hands.

He leaned in, hot breath hitting the exposed skin between my shirt and underwear; and as he removed my clothing with the ease of a sea mammal leaping out of the water and diving back inside like a subtle decrescendo, he whispered, “You are absolutely breathtaking.”

I could have come right then and there.


Lovesickness does something to me. As it cracks the shell of my heart before my soul slides into the skillet to be stabbed at and scrambled, it absorbs the heat of the fire that cooks it. Although not always at first, like it seemed to do this time. Usually I have to get through all the crying, eating, drinking, depressive stages of my heartache before I can even look at another man with whom I might want to have sex — even it it’s just sex. I think that’s how I knew my tears brought on by Pistachio breaking my heart weighed a bit more than those before it. I was so crippled by my own hurt that I couldn’t bear to feel that way for long. It was all-consuming. It was as though I was actually afraid for the night to fall because being alone with no one else in the world to suffer through this with was a sort of loneliness I’d never experienced before. But when I’d finally fall asleep and the sun would come up shortly after, I’d be tearful just as my eyes began to open that I didn’t want to get up and be amongst people. I wanted to stay there and be alone until this famished melancholy inside of me had finally gone away.

It didn’t leave, however. I’m not sure it ever will leave. Just when I think I’ve vacated its presence, I’m overwhelmed with a heaviness in my chest and the feeling of someone making a fist around my stomach. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t even enjoy drinking, because it only brings the emotions out stronger. The only thing that seems to be letting me forget, even if just for a short time, is sex.

I know, I know. That is an extremely unhealthy coping mechanism. It’s no better than lines of cocaine — done that — or drinking myself into a coma — that, as well. It’s not really replacing the feeling of loneliness, the one of a broken heart. It’s just replacing them emotional feelings with heightened physical ones that are so overwhelming in the moment that it provides respite, even if just long enough for me to close my eyes during climax.

Just in the week following me finally getting out of bed, I had successfully blown a man in the bar parking lot, had sex with another man in the bed of his pick-up truck behind a gas station, orally serviced a dad in his bathroom while his girlfriend slept in the next room, and gotten out of sleeping with a guy who looked nothing like his profile picture on Grindr by telling him a half-lie about being too devastated to sleep with anyone after I’d recently had my heart broken. As far as sex went, I was sort of killing it, now racking up my grand total of men to 106. It seemed impossible that there was anyone left I hadn’t slept with, although I knew this wasn’t true as most of the annoying, twinkier fellows I could hardly stand speaking to, let alone having sex with. But what I did realize was that the man who would be my 107th sexcapade was much closer than I could have ever imagined. Five houses down from my mother’s, in fact. But no matter how the adage goes, not everything is about location, location, location. Although if the sex is as good as the location, it may have just proved that this man wasn’t just my 107 … he was Lucky Number 107.

His name was Grayson — although I didn’t learn that until later — and goddamn was this man a motherfucking man. He was one of those Texas men that — even as a Texan — I believed only existed in Southern mythology. He stood 6’4” weighing 220 pounds of pure, cut, and tight muscle. Or at least — that’s what I could ascertain from his Grindr profile that I grazed over while staying at my mother’s house for a few nights while her husband was out of town. And almost as if he could feel me staring at the details of his profile, my phone hummed that ribbit-like alert notifying me that the 35-year-old jock had just sent me a message.

“I think you might be my neighbor,” he wrote, followed by, “It says you’re only 300 feet away.” That much was true, and I’d honestly been thinking of going around the neighborhood to see how close I could realistically get to him in an effort to fish out which house the man lived in and, in turn, his identity.

“Seems like it,” I wrote back with a winking emoji. I was going full-Samantha Jones on this guy. If a man of his build was at all interested in pressing his body against mine, I was all for it.

“Well,” he typed out. “Either that or you’re hiding in my pantry … because you look like a goddamn snacc.”

I loved when men called me a snacc. It combined my two favorite things: sex with boys … and junk food.

“You are correct about that,” I told this man who was so far removed from my league that I might as well have been playing softball with a pack of moving lesbians while he was winning the World Series — this baseball analogy will seem more fitting later. “And you are a very attractive man,” I added with an upside-down smiley face.

The banter continued, but we didn’t end up sleeping together that night. In fact, I’m nearly certain that I fell asleep while talking to him, or maybe he had. Either way, another day passed and I didn’t hear from this man. It wasn’t until I was leaving my office in the wee hours of the morning to go home and get some rest — although I knew I’d never be able to sleep, as I’d just taken an Adderall at 10 PM to keep myself awake long enough to get things done for the next workday — when I heard that annoying Grindr notification on my phone.

“You up?” he asked me.

I smirked. I was somewhat impressed by this guy. He had never once asked me to send him nudes, and he hadn’t sent any to me either. He had revealed to me only photos of his face and body — both of which were more than aesthetically pleasing — and he had actively engaged me in conversation that wasn’t laced with propositions for blowjobs or sexual innuendo. Even when I’d asked him what it was he was into, he’d replied with such naive sweetness, “I like going to the gym, catching games, concerts, etc. You?” I probably hadn’t laughed as hard as I did at that message since before things had really gone downhill with Pistachio. And in an effort to not make him feel dumb — which I could tell by his impeccable grammar that he was not — I replied that I too liked concerts, that I hadn’t been to the gym in a while, but needed to go back, and that I enjoyed the theatre and writing. It felt too soon to tell him exactly what I might be writing next, however. This guy, who I only knew by his headline of “Houston Jock”, was, as far as I could tell, actually a nice guy.  And as it turned out, we were, in fact, neighbors — sort of.

He lived five houses down from my mother’s where I often was to see my siblings or to help her with one menial and underappreciated task or another. So as I sped to my mother’s from the office without telling her I’d be spending the night at what was nearly three in the morning, I was certain this guy was going to be one of two things: 1. closeted and inexperienced to a fault, or 2. a total fucking creep. Still, I was horny and had emotions to suppress with sex, and I therefore elected to at least meet the guy.

Having not showered since I’d left to go to the office the morning before, I broke into my mother’s house — which was unlocked for god only knows what reason — ran up the stairs, jumped in the shower, blew out my hair, found an old varsity-style t-shirt that was just a bit too big for me and a pair of nice underwear I’d left there a long time before that really made my ass pop, and then put my hair up into a messy, sexy ponytail. I grabbed beer — which I almost never drink — from the garage refrigerator, downed two, tossed two more into my arm, and ran out to the driveway to have a cigarette before he came over. I even put on cologne — something I don’t normally even do for the men I’m dating.

I let this man know where I was, and he asked me if I could hear a truck running from where I stood. In the silence of the early morn, I could hear it and saw a red pick-up flash its lights a few streets down.

“Are we gonna fuck in your truck?” I asked him — unsure as to why we wouldn’t just go inside his house.

“Well, yeah,” he replied. “Didn’t you say that that was your mother’s house?”

I laughed loud enough so that he probably heard me five houses down.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have sex in there. The second floor is completely vacant. Granted, we probably can’t get away with like … full-on anal because it would be really loud and the bed is creaky.”

“I’m cool with that,” he told me before confessing, “I’m just a little nervous. I’m kind of new to this.”

And there it was! The answer to my question about why we couldn’t just have sex inside his house. I knew even before I asked the question — though I should have been tipped off by the part of his responses that included “watching games” — that I was about to have sex with a man who identified as straight. And if we weren’t going into his house, that meant he was likely also married, or he had children whom he did not wish to wake from their slumber.

“So … you’re not … gay?” I asked him.

He answered back with great haste.

“No.”

Uhhhh-huh.

“Are you married?” I asked him. “Like … I’m not judging and it probably won’t stop me from sleeping with you because as you can see, I’m the kind of THOT that stands in his mother’s driveway in his underwear smoking a cigarette and drinking Blue Moon before he invites a stranger to have sex with him in his little brother’s old bedroom. But I would just like to know exactly what I’m getting myself into.”

He was quick to respond, “I’m going through a divorce. We can talk about it more in a second. Do you have anything to drink?”

I downed the rest of the third Blue Moon and opened the last one that had been in the fridge.

Noooope!” I typed. “Just opened the last beer.”

As he approached the house from a few houses down, I noticed he was carrying a few beers in his hand himself. But that wasn’t all that I noticed. In fact, that was probably the least of what I noticed about him. The man was not only taller than me — a rare gem of a man that is incredibly hard to come by — but he wore the best fitting jeans I’d ever seen in my life and looked like a model for a Cavender’s catalog in his sparkling cowboy boots. His t-shirt was snug around his clearly well-cut body and I immediately began to question whether or not he would see me and run home to find someone far more attractive to have sex with.

But he didn’t. In fact, if there was a way for someone to like … super not do something, that was what he did. He super didn’t run from me. Instead, he reached for my hand, bowed down a little before me, and planted a kiss on the back of it.

“You are somehow even sexier in person.”

I felt my eyes turning into hearts like an emoji and it took everything inside of me not to yelp, “HUBBA! HUBBA!” at the sight of this godlike man. Even for so early in the morning, he smelled so fresh and looked so clean and I was just this sort of still kind of wet from the shower bog monster that only really washed his taint because this man had quite enthusiastically said he’d eat my ass without any hesitation. And by the looks of him — by the way he held the door open for me to my own mother’s house and squeezed my hand just the gentlest bit as he followed me up the dark stairway — he was the kind of guy who was really going to put those straight, pussy-eating skills to the test around my now very-hungry butthole.

He took off his shoes, then took his wallet and cell phone out of his front pocket while I scrambled to the restroom to brush the cigarette ick out of my mouth. When I returned, he was still clothed, but he’d made himself quite comfortable and asked me to sit with him so that we could get to know each other.

“Are you sure we won’t wake anyone up?” he asked as he leaned his head back against an arm pressed against the wooden headboard.

“Ha! No,” I told him. “But what are they gonna do? Ground me? I don’t live here. I’m 24 and hot. Why wouldn’t I be having sex with the even hotter stranger from down the lane?”

He laughed and shared, “Grayson. My name is Grayson.”

I smiled. “Anthony,” I told him.

And from there, he told me a little more about himself — what he did for work, how his divorce had come about, the time his wife almost caught him surfing the now-defunct Craigslists personals to hook-up with a man. As it turned out, the cowboy-country thing wasn’t a charade. He’d grown up in Lubbock — gag me — and had moved here for college when he’d gotten a baseball scholarship to some Baptist university I’d forgotten as soon as he’d said it. A Baptist, it turned out, he was not. A baseball player, on the other hand, he definitely was — and he had the body to prove it.

For an hour we just talked — he’d told me how he’d lived in the area where I’d grown up for a while and how he’d met his wife and how they’d fallen apart. When he asked me how well connected I was in the LGBTQ community, I told him about the magazine and that I had served as the volunteer coordinator for Pride Houston for a couple of years — two things he was shocked to realize. And at the end of it all, he’d asked me if I was comfortable — I wasn’t, but I was trying to give him space as his nervousness was quite palpable — on the other end of the bed. And like a gentleman — albeit, again, one in my mother’s home — he arranged a few pillows for me to lie beside him and rest my head on his chest while his fingers grazed that very same shoulder another man’s had not so long ago.

I put Pistachio out of my mind, looking up to focus on the man before me. It was one thing that I’d already called out his name while having sex with someone else — another story for later — but I certainly would not be distracted by him while I was lying in bed with a man who actually did want to be with me.

We drank some more and talked and touched and tickled. After a while, we both had to pee, and I waltzed toward the bathroom to go first, fearful that when I returned he might be preparing himself to make an escape. But when I exited the bathroom, I had to hold my breath as I saw him coming down the stairs, as well. Only, I noticed immediately that neither of his boots were on, and the pocket that had previously held his wallet and cell phone lay flat against his thigh.

“What’s wrong?” he asked in a whisper, my mother’s room just feet away.

I chuckled nervously and played with a loose strand of my hair while looking down at the ground.

“Nothing, nothing,” I said with another nervous laugh while looking down at the ground. But as I did so, I noticed two other feet step toe-to-toe with my own, then felt a hand gently press my chin up to face the man before me.

He whispered, “I’m not going anywhere,” before leaning down just a tad and planting a kiss on my forehead.

As he peed, I had to smoke my anxiety away through a Marlboro on the porch. I was completely and totally unprepared to have sex with this gorgeous man. And why did he want to have sex with me anyway? Mind you, I was in much better shape than I had been in at any point in time since high school. And as of late, men were trying to scoop me up left-and-right. But they weren’t men — not a man like this, anyway. And even the cute or hot ones held no candles Grayson. Physically and at this point in my life, he is the most attractive man I have ever had sex with. He had a cute face, a hot body-ody, and from what I could tell through those Levi’s, likely a perfect penis.

What is it about men? Like … how is it that sometimes the most gorgeous men in the entire world can turn out to also be the nicest, but the ones who are still kind of cute, but not cuter than you by any stretch of the imagination, feel like they have the right to do as they please with you, toss you aside, and then make you feel like shit about yourself? And don’t get me wrong — the gorgeous men can do that, too. All men can. All people can. But something about men and their baseless superiority over my lifetime — most recently so and maybe even most significantly so with Pistachio — had left me feeling like I was something less than I am. In turn, when a man who was literally created in God’s image decides he wants to bless me with his sex, I’m left wondering why the fuck that could possibly be — suspecting an ulterior motive.

But goddamn … bless me with his sex did he ever.

For nearly the next three hours, Grayson and I fucked like we might never fuck again. His hands left me trembling and his mouth closing around any part of me sent mine flying open into sounds of ecstasy. There was no chance in hell that we were going to be quiet. We were so involved with one another, so rhythmically in sync and so lost in not only our own pleasures, but those of the other that we couldn’t have stopped even if we had woken everyone in my mother’s house and his soon-to-be ex-wife five houses down. And when he said that to me at the beginning, called me breath-taking after my glasses were off and the pudge of my stomach was noticeable even in the darkness, I really could have orgasmed right then and there. He hadn’t called me hot or sexy or cute. He had even bypassed beautiful and gorgeous, passed Go, collected $200 dollars, and spent that money on the sweetest compliment any man has ever given me in my life:

Breathtaking.

And just as certain as I could have ejaculated then, I could have also begun to cry had I not been reveling in the most pure state of absolute rapture I’d ever known. This was a man — again, a man — who didn’t know me, who didn’t know my faults and bad habits, who didn’t know I could be a raging cunt or that I fell in love too easily or that I had just had my heart broken. And while the attraction to the personality is an absolutely integral part of any relationship, it was so validating after having to hear Pistachio tell me that I’m not attractive to hear a man far more attractive than he tell me I was breathtaking.

I didn’t need the validation, mind you. But I’m certainly glad that I got it. Because I think that had I not heard that word come from that man — maybe just some sex angel sent down by God to get me out of my feelings — I might not have found the confidence I needed to get up the next day and dress myself in an adorable outfit with hair and makeup completely done the wedding of two of my dear friends. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to expose my midriff while wearing the shirt I’m wearing right now through the Galleria earlier tonight. I don’t think I would have had the strength to tell Pistachio last night that something he’d said to me was not okay and to give myself the space from him for a few days to decide how I felt about it until he was ready to apologize and until I was ready to accept that apology.

I am a strong fucking person. Willful, determined, talented, and a motherfucking snacc.

Breathtaking, even.

And if this man could see that natural beauty in my messy ponytail, with my glasses off somewhere on the floor, without any makeup, and with all my physical imperfections on display, there were going to be plenty of other men who could do the very same thing. And I pity my friend, the man who broke my heart, for having to miss out on those things and all the other incredibles parts of me this man who called me breathtaking didn’t even know.

When the sex was over, he pulled me in, and he held me. I’d come three times, as had he, and the room smelled of sex and sweat and the sheets were drenched and I knew in the days to come that muscles I didn’t even know I had would ache. He kissed me and he laced his fingers between mine again and I told him that since it was now just minutes before seven AM, he probably should get going — even though a really big part of me wanted to stay in his arms and fall asleep.

“Yeah, I know,” he told me with a smile and another kiss. “Just a few more minutes, though.” He played with my fingers and ran his toes up-and-down across my calves. “You really are gorgeous,” he told me, this time. “I have no idea how you’re single.”

“Well you really are good at having sex with men,” I said with a laugh. “I have no idea how you’re married to a woman–”

Divorcing a woman,” he corrected me with a laugh before kissing my neck and turning me right back on.

I gasped a little. “Are you sure you aren’t gay?” I asked him.

He pulled up some and looked at me.

“No,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I’m straight.”

“I don’t know, man,” I told him as I rolled over, cracked the window, and then lit a cigarette. I inhaled. “That was some pretty gay shit we just did.”

It was disappointing to hear, but I didn’t let it bother me. It was his life. If he had to live unhappily in a closet, that was his business. I wasn’t going to burden him with questions and self-doubt. As confusing as it was, I figured he probably was a little gay, but that he just couldn’t be open about that for whatever reason. I had to respect it. That said, I’d happily fuck him six ways to Sunday any other chance I got.

As I led him out of the house again, he pressed me up against the brick wall of the front porch and kissed me again and I could feel myself growing erect, as I could he through his jeans. It was such a powerful kiss — even for it to have just been with a stranger. I knew I’d see this guy again, and certainly I’d fuck him again, but if we never again traversed those five separating houses, I at least had the memory of those four hours we spent together, that electrifying kiss, and the sound of him calling me breathtaking resounding against the walls of my mind.

What. A. Man

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