I ripped a piece of toilet paper from what was left on the one-ply roll and wiped the smudged mascara from under my eyes.
"How do I make myself look like I didn't just have sex in a bar bathroom?" I jokingly asked in an attempt to make post-coital conversation. I'm careful not to address him. Jake? Jack?
"You're beautiful, baby," responded Jake-Jack.
Well, that's my cue to leave, I thought upon hearing the cringy pet name. I ran my hands through my hair and took one last look into the mirror before stepping back into the disco-ball-lit club.
After years of fantasizing about public bathroom sex, I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed with Jake-Jack's delivery. The sneakiness and riskiness was enticing. When I mustered up the courage to tell him to follow me to the bathroom, I didn't think through the logistics: unflattering lighting and sticky floors from men who are too drunk to aim. In my mind, there were going to be sleek Kohler fixtures, space for a position besides standing penetration from behind, and a man who took more than three minutes to finish. It's like having sex in your childhood bed; everything is fun until you realize you have a squeaky twin mattress and 10 stuffed animals hidden underneath.
Now, this isn't to say that the whole experience wasn't thrilling, because it definitely was. But, it was thrilling in the same way as having sex for the first time is. In hindsight, the actual deed was mildly memorable, but the build-up and subsequent freaking out with your girlfriends was the best part. Much like losing your virginity, there's naked fumbling and active ignoring the weird sounds that happen when air is forced into a vagina by a penis. There's still the nervous rummaging around your purse to see if you have a condom buried somewhere in there, and the quick prayer that it hasn't expired.
But, when you tell the story, you don't talk about the farting sounds or the trouble you had with the serrated line on the condom wrapper. Instead, you talk about how you can finally check something off your sexual fantasy list. There's nothing that compares to knowing that you've acted on your erotic openness and done something that you didn't think could be done. There's something special about being young in a time where expressing sexuality is becoming encouraged, and you aren't defined as a "nympho" just because you like having sex.
I think everyone has a fantasy -- it's just a matter of creativity and experimentation. Sexual fantasies are deeply rooted in personality and attachment qualities. For someone like me who is type A and thrives on being in control, it's not exactly groundbreaking that I like to relinquish that in bed. Sex is the only time in my day when I can detach from that part of my personality and accept that someone else can take the lead. But, my driven self can also get in the way of complete fulfillment of them.
For one, I can't stand surprises. I was the kid who opened every closet and drawer in the house looking for Christmas gifts because I hated speculating about what I would receive. My underlying lack of patience and difficulty being a follower, not a leader, has gotten in the way of sexual fantasies. Sure, I would've loved it if Jake-Jack asked me to meet him in the bathroom instead of having to instigate it myself. But, the clock was ticking and I seized the opportunity.
Regardless of whether or not I will ever be able to get over my fear of surprises, I use my sexual fantasies as a means to better understand myself. The advice I get and give the most is to communicate. Of course, it would be so much easier if your partner could read your mind and know exactly what you daydream about, but the reality of that happening is about as slim as Jake-Jack reading this column and asking me if I want to go for round two.
So, speak up about what you desire. Explore your own mind, and let someone into what you're thinking. Keeping the discussion open and diminishing the taboos of sexual fantasies is crucial to a happy and healthy sex life, even if you have to have a few uninspired bathroom hookups to get there.