Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Need for Intercourse

What do you do when there is no reply or answer - no verbal or social intercourse with the one person you need; no valid reason for the lack of communication? Assume the worst? She does. Always. Can't help it. He doesn't respond to her questions, he shrugs and says 'whatever' and she's supposed to know what's going on in his thick head. She's supposed to surmise the issues that keep him cool and distant. Is it her? Did she say something? Come on too strong? Look sideways, miss a subtle nuance? It must be her. Such is her self-doubt, lack of self-confidence. Such is her need for approval, friendship, companionship, love. She knows it's ridiculous. She knows his plate's full, his schedule stacked his life busy but he plays her - its a familiar tune. How busy can he be not to spare her a moment? She's hardly sitting on her thumb but still he's absent even when he's there. She's expected to wait, dance to his tune, acquiesce to his terms and it drives her crazy but she does and she will.

He knows what turns her on, turns her off, scares her, upsets her and tweaks nerves until the endings are raw and painfully twitch. He makes her nervous, makes her pressure rise. She loses sleep wondering what she did to shut him down. She hates her sycophancy but it's there. He snores like a Lord pretending he's oblivious but he knows, he just doesn't care.  He loves the magic of manipulation.   He's painfully pathetic at reassuring her otherwise.

Ah, the vanity of her assumptions. He's not even thinking about her, when he's all she thinks about. It's not about her. It's never about her. It's his selfishness masked as work, distraction, boredom or a need for solitude but it's like bad sex. He forces the issue, does what he wants, has his way. She thinks it's love, he climaxes thinking of another and she remains unsatisfied. Either that or she makes the play and he fobs her off and rolls away from her.

What do you do when he wants to talk and you're exhausted? You have no mental energy, feeling low, in need of a friend and he's prattling on about his project, his passion, his problems. Waxing lyrical about the hot chick in the bookshop or the price of steak. She never wants to say no. She doesn't want to let him go or shut him down because he's precious and she loves him and listening to his voice is better than no voice at all. She puts up with that side of him that irritates or bores or berates. She walks on eggshells so as not to upset him, avoids discussing her feelings because he'll think she's whining.  Against her better judgement, she makes herself available and listens. She smiles adoringly between invisible yawns and lets him tirade. She takes it in, then throws it out. Wishes he'd get deep and meaningful but he rarely does so she lies on her back and thinks of England because the foreplay's dull. She's less than aroused, not in the mood and the penetration is one-sided, forced and selfish. He lies replete, she cries into her pillow, disappointed, unsatisfied, unhappy.

What do you do when you both begin to listen to each other instead of talking at each other. There's attention and joy and an exchange of ideas. There's fun and flattery and genuine empathy, interest, love. Most times they have this awesome connection and both realise that friendship is deep, considered, forever.  He reads aloud and she's absorbed, they play games, they converse and argue in a good way. They exchange ideas, opinions - sometimes they say nothing and there's comfort in the silence because they're with each other. On these occasions, it's like great sex, awesome sex. Intercourse at its finest with a slow and rhythmic beginning, increasing stimulation mixed with variety and experimentation. All ends with a simultaneous climax; delicious and satisfying.  Both are calm, happy, sated and inextricably bound, comforted in each other's arms; no safer place than inside the tenderness of touch. where life and all it's complications are forgotten.

One day soon, they'll get it right. She needs to find balance. He needs to find empathy.

Written for the Tenth Daughter of Memory "A Better Ending"


  1. its like crock pot done slow and allowed to simmer in its had me at the title of course...

  2. What do you do, indeed? Indeed, what can you do?

    Edit: sycophancy (2nd paragraph)

  3. good thing there's no kids.

    let's just put this on a loop, then there's no need for an ending.

  4. I had to smile. This must be countless relationships. I'm with Tom. Loop it! It works looped. It works in segments. It reminds me too much of men and women missing each other on accident and purpose. Well done :)! I am glad for the finding, at least, or should I say, last?

  5. "C'est la vie" and "It's all so fucking hysterical."

    Not sure I like the instances when you switch from third to second person.

    Edits: "it's a familiar tune."

    Some of your "but" clauses need commas in front of them. These can be decisions of style, but most grammar rules dictate commas.

  6. Makes you wonder how many couples are like this, just going through the motions. And, how many never 'get it right.'

  7. title is quite the catch, if you are not having any, you might as well end it, because things will never be the same, sex and emotional bonding so a long way.

  8. This rings a bell. A big bell...

  9. I love the pace of this one, and a little voice kept whispering they need to change ... then I saw Brian's comment and can only suggest she needs a new recipe for their pot.

  10. painfully accurate description of how power figures in relationships. most of the time this aspect is below consciousness but you make it stingingly conscious in the voice of your character. i like the play on intercourse as well. and your line "listening to his voice is better than no voice at all" leaves an exquisite vapor trail of emptiness and loss.

  11. I thought I left a note here before.... there is a great lesson in there. -J