Peter is coming over.
Remember Peter? He’s Lucy’s Friend with Benefits – the slightly annoying, totally flaky guy who nonetheless is not totally shite and selfish in bed and provides Lucy with some much-needed you-know-what when there are no better options on the horizon.
Since that last time, Lucy hasn’t heard from Peter in multiple weeks. That is mostly because Peter is flaky AF. Lucy will quite calmly go a for a reasonable period of time without needing his, um, attention; then, when she starts to feel a bit wound up and twitchy, she’ll send him a cheery hello. She normally knows it’s time to get in touch when she finds herself getting aroused by a glimpse of some of the lycra-clad lads in the gym, or by a mild kissing scene in a pre-watershed TV programme. So at that point she’ll throw a quick text his way, and then wait for a response… and wait… and wait. He does surface eventually, but his inability to reply efficiently to text messages is driving Lucy even more batshit bonkers than usual. Here she is, basically gagging for a shag, with a guy at the end of the phone who is supposed to be her no-strings, on-tap, fuck buddy, and he’s impossible to pin down. The whole thing is more intensely irritating than those twats who try to throw hurl themselves onto a tube train as the doors are closing when there’s another one just a minute behind. But what can she do? She has zero better options, so she has to suck it up. In the hope that if she persists she will get to suck it up in a different way.
This time, after several days of passive-aggressive cheery texting and checking her phone every five fucking minutes in the hope of a reply, she’s managed to book Peter in for another, much-needed playdate the following Saturday afternoon, after he finishes his early shift at work. There’s only one potential problem: with A-grade wanky timing typical of Lucy’s general bad luck with men, she’s expecting her other, less attractive monthly visitor. Should she cancel? She thinks about it, but she knows that if she does it’ll be weeks before she can pin Peter down again. She’ll just have to risk it – hopefully it’ll all be fine.
Since it’s been a while since anyone last saw her naked, she hasn’t been wasting any time on personal grooming and her lady garden has become a little more like a wilderness. So the day before the date she nips out at lunchtime to get a bikini wax from the place next door to work. She’s never been there before, but it’s convenient and reasonably-priced, and a wax is a wax, right. How bad can it be?
Answer: if you’ve ever had a pelvic exam performed by a vengeful heavyweight boxer wearing velcro gloves, you’ll have some idea. The ‘therapist’ appears to have some anger management issues, and wants to take her frustration out on Lucy’s intimate area. She’s scalded with boiling wax and tugged and yanked at until she’s been thoroughly violated, and is then charged 25-fucking-quid for the privilege.
Lucy, being British, politely hands over her credit card, says a cheery ‘Thank you very much!’ and hobbles gingerly back to work.
To add insult to very real injury, the next morning she’s still finding little bits of dried wax stuck in her remaining shrubbery. And because the wax beads are yellow, it looks like she’s contracted some sort of nasty, scabby, pustulant STI – something she’s pretty sure Peter is not going to find particularly arousing. She tries to pull them off, but they are so firmly attached that she ends up giving herself a second mini-depilation that makes her eyes water. In the end the only solution is to trim the crusty blobs out with nail scissors. Hopefully Peter won’t notice the bald patches.
But no sooner has one crisis been averted than another rears its ugly head. With astonishing punctuality, her period has arrived.
Oh FFS, thinks Lucy. The once chance I get in over a month to have some actual sex, and it’s ruined by fucking Biology.
In general, Lucy is a big supporter of Science. But today, Biology can go fuck itself.
She wonders if she should pre-warn Peter, but then decides against it. She doesn’t want to give him the chance to cry off. And even though it means she will now not be getting as much of the ‘play’ part of the playdate as she was hoping, there are still other ways to have fun. And she’ll at least get some physical activity with another human being, even if it’s not quite what she had in mind.
Still, if she’d known, she could have at least saved £25 and a large chunk of her dignity.
Peter wants to take her out for lunch again so he picks her up in his flashy car and drives her down the road to a charming local Italian where they eat giant green olives and delicious thin-crust pizza cooked in a proper pizza oven, and drink a glass of wine (Lucy has two because she’s not driving, and also, just because). Then, once the formalities are out of the way, they head back to her place.
Down to business
Lucy makes tea, then they get comfy on the sofa and start kissing. Peter’s a good kisser, so Lucy immediately starts getting feels in all the good places. But then Peter’s hand starts wandering down over her skirt and up into the elastic of her knickers.
“Um…” She puts a cautionary hand on his. “You’d better not. Biology is not on our side today…”
Peter looks at her quizzically.
“You know… Biology? So the underwear needs to stay on.”
The penny drops. Peter raises a saucy eyebrow. “I don’t mind if you don’t,” he says.
But Lucy definitely does mind. Mother Nature is messy and unpleasant enough as it is without having someone else getting all up in there too – and definitely not someone she barely knows! No bloody way (if you’ll pardon the unfortunate pun). Apart from anything else, she’d be way too worried about getting stains on her hotel-quality white sheets. It’s unfortunate but sex will have to wait until next time. Maybe a bit of denial will make Peter get his shit together.
They move through to the bedroom and Lucy throws herself backwards onto the mattress in what she hopes is a sexy and inviting way, narrowly missing hitting her head on the bedframe. But Peter doesn’t join her; instead, he stands in the doorway, speedily removes all his clothes and chucks them on the floor, then stands there, proudly showing off his erection. Lucy doesn’t quite know what to make of this – she was rather expecting a bit more of a slow, sexy build-up. Now she feels overdressed, so she sits up and inelegantly peels off her tights and skirt, keeping her top and underwear on so that he can remove them later. You know, to make him work for it just a little bit.
He joins her on the bed and kisses her again. He smells strongly of what she judges to be fairly budget body wash. It’s not the nicest scent but it’s not entirely unpleasant either.
“You smell nice… like soap.” she tells him.
“Soap?!” Peter is affronted.
“I mean you smell clean.”
“It’s not soap! It’s Paco Rabanne!”
Lucy bloody hopes Peter’s perfume wasn’t expensive – as far as she’s concerned it smells less like a fancy pants cologne and rather more like the sort of cheap-as-chips bars of soap that used to be provided in institutions back in the olden days before fancy hand wash dispensers and Molton Brown were invented.
They continue to kiss and Peter removes her top and bra, and then works his hand back inside her knickers. He appears to be entirely ignoring Lucy’s instructions, though to be fair to him, she did only say the knickers had to stay on, not that he couldn’t put his hand in there. It makes Lucy a little uncomfortable – what if he can feel the string of her tampon? Is that weird? But he doesn’t seem to mind, and surely at his age he must have encountered tampons before, so she lets him carry on, and soon relaxes into it and even, um, enjoys it all the way to the end, if you catch my drift…
Now it’s Lucy’s turn to return the favour, so she starts stroking and massaging him with her hand. “Oh that’s good,” Peter whispers. “Do you want me to cum in your mouth?”
I beg your pardon?! Lucy is taken aback. No, Peter, not particularly, actually. There are plenty of things I’d rather swallow than your jizz. Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream would be quite nice right about now, if I had the choice.
But obviously that’s not really the question. The question really is: “Can I have a blowjob?” And since Lucy is denying him full access, it seems only fair that she compensates in other ways. After all, he did buy her pizza. And she does want him to keep coming back.
So she kneels between his legs and obliges. At first she actually quite enjoys it – he tastes clean and gives lots of positive feedback so she gets the reward of knowing she’s doing a good job. But then his breathing starts getting heavier, indicating that pretty soon she’s going to have to deal with a salty mouthful, and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do with it. Get up and run across the hall to the bathroom to spit it out? That would mean holding it in her mouth for longer, which might prolong the unpleasantness. Also, leaping up and running out the door the second he’s done is probably not that sexy – if anything it even seems a bit rude. And Lucy doesn’t want to be rude.
So when it happens, she makes like a good girl taking her medicine, braces herself, and swallows it down. It’s unpleasant but it’s over quickly; all she needs now is something to take away the taste. Out of the corner of her eye, she can see her half-drunk mug of tea on the bedside table, calling to her like a cheeseburger might tempt a starving man. But would it be rude to reach for it?
She eyes the mug from a distance, carrying on kissing Peter’s stomach and chest while he recovers, until she judges it’s been long enough to be polite. Then she says brightly, “My tea is getting cold”, grabs it, and takes two big gulps. It’s cooled down to the perfect temperature for a nice warm mouthwash.
Much better. They cuddle together on the bed, Peter lying on his back with his arm round Lucy, who snuggles into his neck. His skin is warm, and she can feel his heartbeat pulsing against her cheek. It’s a sensation she misses.
Peter, who has been up since 4 am for work, struggles to stay awake by trying to make barely coherent conversation.
“It’s ok, you can have a nap if you like,” Lucy reassures him.
“I shouldn’t,” he mumbles. “If I sleep now I won’t be able to later and it’ll fuck up my sleep patterns.”
But his eyes keep closing and soon he starts snoring gently. Lucy wouldn’t normally find this infuriating, but since it’s the middle of the afternoon and she’s not trying to nod off herself, it’s actually kind of cute.
Lucy hasn’t lain in a man’s arms while he sleeps for over a year. She rests her chin into the curve of his neck and breathes in his soapy smell while the regular vibrations of his snoring rattle through his throat and into her face. It’s a bit like lying on the hood of an ageing lawnmower, but she finds it inexplicably soothing.
After a couple of minutes, Peter wakes again with a start. “Oh shit, was I asleep?”
“Little bit,” she tells him.
“God, I’d better go.”
Lucy doesn’t stop him. He throws his clothes on and kisses her goodbye at the door. “And don’t worry,” he says, “I’ll ditch the Paco Rabanne for next time.”
She doesn’t argue.
But will there be a next time? Lucy’s keen to get Peter back asap to make up for the biology handicap, but as soon as he’s out the door he goes straight back to his flaky and intermittent texting behaviour. Every time she messages him, he takes days to respond, and outright ignores any questions about when he might next be free. It’s fucking maddening.
More weeks go by, and Lucy gets more and more frustrated and annoyed. It’s been well over two months now since she had actual proper sex, and this is entirely unacceptable. She’s a single woman, FFS! Her bored married friends all think she’s out there living the high life of a sassy singleton in the City – definitely more Carrie Bradshaw then Bridget Jones – and she wants to live up to this reputation! But what is the point of having a Friend-with-Benefits if you can’t rely on him to fucking be there when you need him? And anyway, shouldn’t he be the one chasing her? An attractive woman is offering herself up on a plate and he’s not doing wild, Michael-Flatley-esque leaps of glee at the chance? There is clearly something wrong with the man.
But she has no one else she can turn to, and none of her current online matches look even remotely promising, so she tries again.
Yet again, he doesn’t reply. This is too infuriating. Clearly subtlety and waiting for him to up his game isn’t going to work. She needs to be way more direct if she’s going to get what she wants. So the next day, she tries again for the bajillionth time – being as direct as it’s possible for a tea-drinking, God-Save-The-Queen British girl like her to be.
Oh FFS woman! she thinks. Why can’t you just ‘woman up’ and say what you really mean?
Most girls, at least, the confident ones, would definitely have been more explicit at this point, describing in detail exactly what they were after. But Lucy is not most girls. Even at 38 she finds sexting weird and uncomfortable, especially in the cold light of day. It’s frustrating how she can be so honest and open about almost anything, but the minute it comes to talking about sex with another consenting adult she blushes like a 14-year-old and can’t seem to find the words.
Nevertheless, her very British proposition seems to have the desired effect.
Well finally! Lucy’s excited. Hurrah for some actual proper sex on the horizon!
But then, nothing. Even though she has asked him a direct question, he doesn’t reply. For days and fucking days, until vines start to sprout in her bedroom and spiders contemplate building cobwebs in her underwear.
And the longer the silence goes on for, the more maniacally pissed off she gets. This is just plain cunting rude, quite frankly. He can’t possibly be working All The Hours – there must be moments when he’s walking, or travelling, or waiting for a tube, or sitting on the loo, when he could answer a twatting text, and the fact that he doesn’t is just disrespectful. Does she really want to let that sort of person back into her knickers?
Answer: no, she doesn’t. She’s fed up with his flakiness and constantly feeling messed around by him. Yes, they’re only fuck buddies, but surely it’s possible to have a casual arrangement with someone who is not also a total Pain In The Arse? And besides, she’s not sure the very sporadic bouts of sex are worth all the weeks of feeling wound up and annoyed.
She’s just going to have to cut him loose, and try to find someone else.
Wishing you well? Not even the slightest attempt to apologise? Well fucking screw him then. And not in a good way.
But now, what TF is she going to do about getting laid?
Still to come in a future post: Lucy goes on the hunt for a new FWB…
Up next: a new match discovers that great banter is the way to Lucy’s heart. Click here to carry on reading.