In the space of just 10 days Lucy’s had five intensely hot dates with Charlie, who defines himself as ‘ethically non-monogamous’.
There’s no denying it: Lucy’s pant-wettingly attracted to Charlie. He ticks every one of her long list of boxes: he’s sharp, articulate, confident, funny, left-leaning, successful, tall, handsome, doesn’t have a beard, and miraculously seems to think she’s not so bad herself. If Lucy were going to design her perfect man, Charlie would pretty much be IT.
Except for the not-insignificant issue of his non-monogamy, that gross, fat fly in the otherwise beautifully fragrant ointment. Forget Alanis and her ten thousand spoons, this is the new Ironic: meeting the man of your dreams, and then finding out he’s poly.
Lucy knows she’s already catching feels for Charlie, and that it’s as certain as a man from Tinder bringing sex into the conversation after five minutes that she’ll end up getting hurt. But still she wonders, is that a good enough reason not to carry on? Could she enjoy this thing for what it is, have All The Sex, and deal with the fallout later?
After all, she definitely hasn’t done enough shagging. After losing her virginity at 19 to a Peruvian barman named Juan, she didn’t have sex again for another five years. Yes, folks, despite what they promise you on the first day of Freshers’ Week, Lucy made it through a full four years of university without getting laid once. While normal people were spending their 20s experimenting, Lucy was pining for boys that weren’t interested and occasionally having underwhelming encounters with nice, if rather dull, young men. Finally, at 30, she met The Ex, a guy who, while enthusiastic (at the beginning at least), was distinctly lacking in drive or imagination, and that was the way things stayed for the next five years.
Now nearly 40, with the first signs of age starting to appear, Lucy’s hyper-aware that she has a fuck of a lot of lost time to make up for. She definitely needs to make the most of opportunities like this before they – and she – dry up entirely. And what better way to finally have the adventures she craves than in the hands of someone she likes, who’s done it all before, and who could maybe teach this old-ish dog a few new tricks?
I know what you’re thinking: you’re screaming that Lucy should send Charlie packing and carry on looking for someone who can be hers and hers alone, but after four straight years of being ground down by the dating mill, can you blame her for being tempted? At last, the chance to spend time with a charming man without having to wade through all the morons and dickheads and cretins on Tinder and Bumble? Does that not have an intrinsic value all its own? Does every date have to lead to finding The One?
After all, the tired old cliches say you should stop looking for love; that it’ll find you when you least expect it. Maybe if Lucy gives herself a much-needed break, stops looking, and allows herself to have a bit of fun for a while, the Universe will finally send her person to her.
It’s gotta be worth a shot, right?
A week after their eventful fifth date, Lucy and Charlie have arranged to meet up again.
They meet for a drink near Lucy’s work and spend another happy evening drinking wine, flirting and kissing, but at the end of the night Charlie realises he’s forgotten his bank card, so Lucy pays the bill.
Charlie is mortified. “You must let me make it up to you,” he says. “How about on Sunday I come round to yours, and I’ll bring brunch, and champagne, and we can see what happens…”
Not exactly subtle, Charlie, but after six dates you can hardly blame the man for getting the sledgehammer out to crack this particular nut.
Mind you, it’s not really needed. Lucy’s resistance is already gossamer-thin, so the promise of a gorgeous man bringing brunch, champagne and further undefined but much-desired pleasures to her door is all it takes to blow the last wisps of sense out of her head.
And so it’s decided. On Sunday, Charlie’s going to come round to Lucy’s house, and they’re going to have All The Sex.
Lucy spends a frantic morning getting ready. She goes to the gym, scrubs herself from top to toe, and washes and blow-dries her hair. She epilates her legs and bikini line, neatly trims her lady garden, and tweezes stray hairs from her eyebrows and chin (fuck YOU, age). She applies body lotion, perfume, and the sort of ‘natural’ make-up that’s supposed to look Sunday-morning-effortless but actually involves 17 different products and 45 minutes of stabbing herself in the eye with various brushes. Then she puts on her second-best underwear (gotta keep something in reserve, you see) and after dithering between a t-shirt dress and a jumpsuit (both from Boden*, of course) she opts for the jumpsuit, on the grounds that it’s harder to get into and she doesn’t want to make things too easy for Charlie.
Finally clean and fragrant, there’s just one thing left to do: get rid of her fucking housemate.
When Lucy gallivanted off to Africa for 4 months, she rented out her spare room to a random chick with a short-term job in London. Natalie was supposed to fuck off home to Nottingham when Lucy got back, but her contract got extended and so Lucy agreed to let her stay. How was she supposed to know she was going to need the space to herself so she could have All The Sex as loudly as she pleased in any room she wanted?
Normally, Natalie goes home at weekends to see her boyfriend. But this, apparently, is not a normal weekend. And although Lucy’s spent the last few days dropping hints, asking what her plans are, and even directly telling her that she’ll be receiving a visitor (nudge nudge, wink wink), the selfish bitch has decided that not only is she not going to vacate the premises, she’s going to spend the whole weekend sitting stubbornly in the flat making the most of every damn second that she’s paid rent for.
FML, thinks Lucy, remembering why she chose to live alone.
As a last-ditch attempt, at midday she knocks on Natalie’s door to warn her that there will be an Actual Man turning up shortly. Just in case, y’know, she was planning on going to the bathroom wearing only a towel, or something. Quite apart from Natalie’s potential embarrassment, Lucy really doesn’t want filthy-minded Charlie to go getting any ideas. But also, GET THE HINT AND FUCK OFF, YOU DUMB COW!
Happily, Natalie’s up and dressed. It’s a nice day, she says, so she’s going to go out. Disaster averted!
At 12.45 Charlie turns up laden with brunch goodies. He gives her a brief kiss at the door, and it’s all Lucy can do to keep from demanding that he ravish her right then and there, but Natalie hasn’t left yet, and this sort of thing is generally frowned upon in polite company, so she’s forced to restrain herself.
Weirdly, she’s not nervous at all. Normally the first time she has sex with someone she’s full of overthinky anxiety. Will it go well? Will he be any good? Will she? But with Charlie it’s different. After six dates she’s so comfortable in his company that all she feels is a happy expectation of the pleasure to come, and maybe a little uncertainty about the wisdom of this idea. But she pushes this last thought aside: it’s time to live in the moment, seize the day, and just enjoy the ride (heh).
They take the champagne into the living room, closing the door behind them, and now, finally, Charlie kisses her, deep and long and so fucking marvellously, turning her insides to liquid. And yet stomach-melting though it is, this kiss has a strange absence. Because although it’s full of lust and anticipation, it’s a kiss that’s lacking something Lucy didn’t realise was so vital: hope.
If Charlie were single; if this was about to be the start of something amazing, right now Lucy would be feeling giddy with excitement, happiness, and an unhealthy dose of terror. But he’s not, and it isn’t, so this kiss, while delicious, lacks that intense, thrilling mix of fear and joy Lucy would normally feel with a new partner.
Instead she just feels quietly calm and relaxed. It is what it is, and that’s OK.
They head back to the kitchen, where Charlie takes charge of toasting muffins while Lucy attempts to impress him by creating perfectly-poached eggs. Which everyone knows is harder than a certain part of Charlie’s anatomy will hopefully be in the not-too distant future, but somehow she manages to pull it off. Mission Perfect Woman, Phase One: Domestic Goddess – Completed.
While they’re eating, they hear Natalie go out. Which means Phase Two: Sex Goddess, can now begin.
Leaving the dirty plates on the table, Charlie grabs the champagne glasses and heads for Lucy’s bedroom, and she follows him, heart hammering like a train, all thoughts of stopping now firmly pushed aside. There, he pushes her onto the bed and kisses her, and suddenly they can’t undress fast enough, except that Charlie can’t work out how get to the jumpsuit off, tugging and pawing at it frustratedly like a puppy with a packet of biscuits until Lucy takes pity on him (and herself) and shows him how it’s done.
After that the rest is easy, and now, finally, she gets her first proper look at the goods: Charlie naked in all his full, confident glory, standing proud and ready to go, and yes, he’s as impressive as she imagined he’d be, and more delicious and tempting than the entirety of Hummingbird Bakery’s window display.
Just like the cakes in the window Lucy finds she doesn’t just want it, she wants to greedily shove it all in her face, which rather surprises her because when she pictured this scene in her head she imagined that it would be Charlie, all experienced and confident, who’d be in the driving seat. But something’s come over Lucy – champagne, chemistry, the sight of that masculine flesh straining skyward – whatever it is that’s caused it, she needs to fill her mouth with him.
“I would love that,” he grins, and lies back while she dives in, savouring every inch while Charlie makes little giggles of pleasure that make Lucy’s heart dance.
“Jesus!” he gasps, “You clearly know what you’re doing!”
“I’m just making it up as I go along!” laughs Lucy, who wonders whether maybe passion and her own enthusiasm are really all that’s needed for a good blowjob.
She carries on for a while, but delicious though it is there’s no bloody way she’s letting this stunning thing go before she’s had her fill of it, so after a while she resurfaces to kiss him, which Charlie reads as his cue to take charge.
He flips her over onto her back, swiftly produces a condom, and with one strong thrust that makes Lucy gasp out loud with sheer relief, he finally puts himself where they’ve both been wanting him to be almost since the moment they met.
After all that anticipation, it’s the most joyful, intense, brilliant fuck Lucy’s had in as long as she can remember. They lock eyes, and both grin like delighted fools, and in that connected moment, with their bodies entangled, Lucy remembers what it’s like to be in a real relationship, with a man who’s mad for her, who’s been needing and wanting her, and who, now that he finally gets to have her, would die rather than be anywhere else.
Unsurprisingly after all that build-up it doesn’t take Charlie long to come, hard and enthusiastically, but rather than instantly falling into a disappointing post-orgasm coma as others have done before, he’s immediately keen to return the favour.
What a gentleman; I could definitely get used to this! she thinks, as he puts his mouth between her legs and with an extremely expert and well-practised tongue turns her bones to jelly in about twelve and half seconds.
Fuck! He’s fucking amazing. Lucy’s in SO much trouble.
“Oh my God, that was just as brilliant as I’d expected it would be!” gushes Charlie, cuddling into Lucy. “We’re such a good fit together. You most certainly didn’t disappoint!”
“Are you sure?” asks Lucy doubtfully, thinking about all the dozens of women who’ve gone before and wondering how she must really rate in comparison to them: younger women, thinner women, ones with bigger boobs or prettier faces, ones with more experience or into kinkier things. “Because sometimes I wonder, you know, I’ve been single for so long, maybe it’s not my face or my personality, maybe I’m just not, I dunno, sexy enough.”
Charlie sits up. “I swear to God,” he says firmly, “If there was such a thing as fuckadvisor.com I’d give you a five-star review.”
He kisses her again. “And this is only the start. I hope you’re ready for a whole lot more…”
They lie on Lucy’s bed together, completely relaxed in each other’s company. Charlie tells her about some of the kinky things he’s tried: group sex, sex parties, bondage, and all kinds of toys. It’s a whole other world.
“Have you ever had a threesome?” he asks with a cheeky smile.
This is Lucy we’re talking about, so of course she bloody hasn’t, though that’s not to say she wouldn’t be curious, depending on the arrangement. She has absolutely zero interest in seeing two men fucking, and the idea of getting up close and personal with another woman’s lady parts makes her feel distinctly nauseous. But Charlie and another hot guy both focussing on her at the same time? She could definitely be down for that. Maybe it would be worth keeping him around for a little longer, after all…
They spend the whole afternoon in bed together. The sun streaming in through the windows is calling them outside, but they wilfully ignore it. They have sex twice more, Charlie goes down on her again; she comes again. He fucks her enthusiastically, taking charge, grabbing her hair and pulling her head back, and she loves how he takes control, like he’s wanted this for so long, and now he has her in his grasp he’s going to grab his prize and own it, over and over again.
“You know,” he whispers, “I’ve wanted to do this ever since that first time I kissed you in the pub on our first date.”
In between rounds of sex they break to talk and drink; they run out of champagne, so Lucy produces gin and tonic, and tea, and then they resume where they left off.
He fucks her from every angle, flipping her over and turning her around, Lucy on top, Charlie on top, from the side, from behind, at one point even in front of the mirror so Lucy gets the full, hot-as-hell view of him thrusting into her. Sometimes they have their foreheads pressed against each other and they look into each other’s eyes, and laugh with joy at the intensity of the connection.
“Fuck you,” Lucy gasps. “You’re a fucking cunt. Why do you have to be taken? I’m so fucking furious with you!”
And he laughs and thrusts even harder, but inside Lucy’s deadly serious.
Unsurprisingly with all this going on, she starts to get a little chafed, so she directs him to the lube she has in her bedside drawer.
“Durex Play?” He holds it up in horror. “This is terrible! We’re going to need to get you something better, I’m afraid.”
Lucy has no clue what’s wrong with Durex Play – or what constitutes ‘better’ lube, but she’s happy to bow to his superior knowledge. He’s clearly the expert here, after all.
Lucy’s trying with all her might not to get attached. Building a wall around her heart, managing her expectations, reminding herself constantly that this is just a bit of fun. But it’s so rare for her to find a guy she likes this much, and who so clearly feels the same way about her. Because it’s not an act, Lucy knows that. He wasn’t just spouting fuckboy bullshit to get her into bed. They way he acts round her, the way he talks, suggest Charlie sees her as someone he wants in his life, not just as a temporary plaything, but as something more meaningful.
But while that’s all very well for him, to have one girlfriend back home and a second here, what the fuck good does it do Lucy?
It gets late, and eventually he has to leave. To go home to his girlfriend, of-fucking-course.
“When can I see you again?” he asks her, and she agrees to Thursday. No going back now.
At the door he kisses her one last time and heads down the stairs.
“I’m so angry with you,” she shouts at his departing back from the top landing. “Why the FUCK did you have to be taken?”
He doesn’t reply.
Next Time: Charlie has some news.