Thank U for Touching Me
“I’m by the Lorimer stop at M Noodle. What are you doing?”
“I’m at a hotel in Manhattan.”
“We’re going to a gig then a hotel roof on Wythe. Let me know if you swing through the hood.”
I didn’t respond, and so Kip texted me again a few hours later.
“You still about? Thinking of heading.”
“I’m around. You should come hang out.”
“Is it cool if I come in a couple or so hours?”
Two hours later Kip texted me again.
“Yo badda bing, I’m dancing. I’m at an incredible gig with Chris Feldman, but he’s tired and I’m full of energy. I’d like to come over later if you’re feeling up for it—your last night dread da dread dread.”
“Come! Bring Christopher.”
“What’s the hotel name and room number?”
“It’s called Radisson. Room 1709. It’s on 32nd Street and Broadway.”
“We’re on the way x. Chris’s much more lively now.”
“OK. I’m really tired by the way. Sorry if I’m half asleep.”
It was around 2 AM. I had not slept in over 36 hours. I lay on the bed, trying to keep myself from falling asleep. I wondered how I would entertain Kip and Christopher with my exhausted zombie brain.
Kip and Christopher were two Facebook friends of mine in their early 20s from London. They happened to be in New York at the same time that I was visiting, and had asked me before to hang out while I was there. It was late at night then, and although I just wanted to go to sleep, I thought that since Kip had been texting me throughout the week wanting to hang out that I should meet with him before I left, and tonight was my last night in New York.
Kip and I had talked about Scandinavia and Sheila Jeffreys and Jon Gnarr, (“I have a friend in New York who has been emailing back and forth with Jon Gnarr. Here's what he said to me, ‘Do you think we should all move to Iceland? Speaking of comedians, I just got an email from Jon Gnarr saying he thinks Iceland could become an anarcho-socialist society but he needs all the good and creative people from around the world to come there and help...’”).
Christopher had sent me long messages about literature and politics that I never bothered to read, (“I'm writing my dissertation on contemporary experimental literature: Is there an avant-garde today? What would being avant-garde today look like? Does that term even have meaning any more etc. ... I read your thing on London and found it really interesting, especially as I can really imagine that sort of guy and see them around town a lot, and it's interesting reading about other people's experiences of London and as a guy it's obviously always interesting to hear about sex from the woman's point view...”).
About half an hour after his last text, Kip texted me that they were here, and a minute after that the room phone on the desk rang. I walked over to answer it.
“Miss, there are two people here who say they’re here to see you.”
I got up to go meet them outside, and we ran into each other at the entrance to the elevator. We said hello and laughed about almost missing each other. Kip and Christopher were lively and chatty in the elevator; I felt half-asleep and didn’t say much.
I opened the door to my room and we all went in.
“This is nice. How did you afford it?” Kip asked.
“My friend, John, got it for us today, and then he went back home to Connecticut, so I have it for tonight.”
We all sat on the edge of the bed.
“Can I have this?” I asked and picked up the beer Kip had set on the desk. He said it was fine, and I drank it rapidly.
“You’re leaving tomorrow?” Christopher asked.
“Yeah, my flight’s leaving at like seven in the morning,” I said, laughing.
“Where are you going back to?” Christopher asked.
“The West Coast.”
“So, you’re not really Icelandic like you told me before? That’s a shame... I wanted you to meet all of my friends in Reykjavik... I did my degree in Scandinavian studies,” Kip said.
Christopher and Kip talked about going to Chicago. I talked about how rude people could be there.
“Get the fuck out of my way!” Kip said in an English accented tinged imitation of a Chicago accent.
“London is full of cunts, too, though,” Kip said.
“People in London can be, like, cold, I guess...” I said.
“Once late at night my friend was peeing on the street, and my friend was a girl, and a guy walked past and saw her and said, ‘Not pretty, not classy!’ So that whole night we were all shouting ‘not pretty, not classy!’”
“What have you been doing in New York?” Kip asked.
I started to laugh nervously. “I had a threesome with my friend and her husband, and it was one of the most awkward experiences of my life.”
“But don’t you think life is about those awkward moments and finding beauty in them...?”
I was too tired to formulate a response, so I just smiled.
“Are you one of those people who is really negative all of the time?” Kip asked.
“This guy who came over before you guys came—”
“It’s like over the top, extreme, in a good way.”
“Anyway, the guy who came over before you guys came over was like, ‘Oh baby, I was really looking forward to coming over tonight.’ And then I said, ‘I look forward to dying.’”
Kip laughed and kissed me on the top of my head. I was surprised, but then I figured that it was just a natural expression of his extraversion.
“What’s the best and the worst thing that’s happened to you in New York?” Christopher asked.
“I threw up in my friend’s bed.”
“Was that the best or the worst thing?”
“It was kind of both.”
Kip took out a bag of weed from his coat and asked me if I had any rolling papers; I didn’t.
“Can you believe that we got all of this for $20?” Kip asked.
“The weed is a lot better here, right?” I asked.
“It might be better here, yeah...” Christopher demurred.
We decided to leave the hotel and walk down the street to Duane Reade to get rolling papers. Inside, Kip and Christopher picked out beer and bought it. At the counter, Kip asked for rolling papers, but the clerk said they didn’t have any. He bought Parliament cigarettes instead, thinking that he could roll out the tobacco and use the paper.
Outside, we all smoked cigarettes on the street.
“I got you a present,” Kip said and handed me an energy shot; he had shoplifted it.
“Oh, thank you.”
Kip asked every passerby on the street if they had rolling papers. None did. I was interested in how he effortlessly, unselfconsciously engaged everyone, and charmed them. Christopher and I stood back, watching him. I drank the energy shot and made a face, but about 15 minutes afterwards I felt much more awake.
“None of these people are the sort who would have rolling papers. We need to find a tramp,” Kip said.
A disheveled looking man approached us and asked Kip for a cigarette. Kip gave him one.
“What kinda cigarettes are these?”
“These are Parliaments. You know, the crackhead cigarettes with the extended tip.”
“Where are you from?”
“I’m from London.”
“You sound like you’s from London.”
“Yes, I should hope so,” Kip said.
“I heard ya’ll call cigarettes ‘fags’ in London. Is that true?”
Kip confirmed that it was.
“I’d like to bum a fag,” Christopher said in an imitation of an American accent.
The man took the cigarette from Kip and walked away.
“I feel like the accent doesn’t matter much in New York. Too cosmopolitan or something. Don’t they know who we are?” Kip said.
“Yeah, how important we are...” Christopher added.
After a few more rejections, Kip said, “Let’s give up.” Christopher and I followed him back to my hotel room.
I sat down on the bed because I felt so tired. Kip sat down next to me and without hesitation pressed his body against mine and kissed me. I felt confused as I had gotten the feeling that he wasn’t attracted to me. I had thought that the idea of anyone being attracted to me then, with my tired face without make-up, messy hair, and old, wrinkled clothes was unthinkable.
“Can I use your shower?” Kip asked.
Kip went into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
Christopher sat down next to me on the bed.
“What ethnicity are you?” he asked.
“I’m part Korean and part German.”
“I can see the German in you. Germans are always funny.”
We talked about London and different places we had traveled to and how much we liked Japan.
I was slightly drunk, and liked the idea of making out with Christopher while Kip couldn’t see us, so I moved to kiss Christopher.
“We don’t have to kiss,” he said, but I pressed and we began to make out.
Kip came fully dressed out of the shower and looked over at us. We stopped kissing and Christopher got up and went to sit in a chair across the room and went on his phone.
Kip sat down on the bed next to me. As I began to talk he kissed the top of my head and then he kissed me on my mouth. And then his hands were under my sweater and then reaching under my bra. He fondled my breasts and then unbuttoned my shirt and took off my bra. He kissed my breasts for a long time. I heard Christopher shuffling around the hotel, moving things around awkwardly. Is he really doing this in front of his friend? I couldn’t tell if I was more uncomfortable or excited.
And then Kip’s hand was under my skirt and he rubbed my clit through my underwear. I felt uneasy that Christopher was there—he was obviously very uncomfortable. I felt confused as to what was happening. Are we really just going to have sex in front of his friend?
Kip slid his fingers inside of my underwear and began to finger me. I moaned softly. I was amazed how unlike most guys he wasn’t at all afraid or nervous. He wanted me and so he sat down next to me and started to kiss me and feel me up. He didn’t care that his friend was there. Kip pulled my skirt down. I felt incredibly embarrassed to be almost naked and fingered in front of Christopher.
“Look at me,” Kip said.
I looked into his eyes, which were bright green. He had a truly beautiful face. I blushed from the intensity, from being forced to realize he was looking at my tired, naked face from only a few inches away.
“Is this alright?” he asked.
I shut my eyes and nodded.
Kip got up and walked across the room to look in his bag.
I lay on the bed totally naked except for my underwear. I looked and saw Christopher now lying on the other side of the bed, looking at his iPhone.
“Chris, would you pull them down, please?” Kip asked. Christopher looked up from his phone. I wondered what was going to happen.
Christopher crawled across the bed and slid my underwear down.
Kip went down on me while Christopher kissed me and then my breasts. The feeling of having two men touch me at the same time was strange; it was pleasurable and interesting because it was a totally new sensation, but it was also overwhelming to the point that I sought to disassociate. And it was tainted by the worry that afterwards they would think less of me. It was interesting to me, the way that two men could, with their bodies, actively create a reason to respect me less, that they could transcribe shame onto my body with their own. Christopher put his fingers into my mouth.
Kip kissed me on the mouth and then my ears and neck and Christopher immediately went down on me.
I looked up and saw Kip handing an unwrapped condom to Christopher. This excited me; I felt like I was a present being given to Christopher by Kip.
Christopher put on the condom and penetrated me and lifted my legs high into the air. Kip made out with me. I struggled to kiss him because I kept moaning. He stuck his tongue so far down my throat that I gagged, which I liked.
“Look at me,” Kip said.
I turned my head to look up at him, but didn’t open my eyes.
“Very hot. Very sexy,” he said, forcefully.
I wondered if I seemed like I needed to be consoled about the way I looked... I was no longer insecure about the way I looked. I felt incredibly embarrassed yet excited that I was being fucked while Kip watched, and on a deeper level I felt scared because of some more intimate fear, insecurity that I didn’t understand that Kip and the situation in general tapped into. Perhaps I was just afraid of him.
Kip motioned to Christopher, and he immediately stopped fucking me. Kip put on a condom and then penetrated me. I moaned loudly. He was much rougher than Christopher had been. I felt embarrassed, knowing that now they had both seen me fuck two guys in a row. Had they talked about how I had written about being a sex worker in London? Had they talked about how I write about sex? Had they thought I would be so easy and that they could do whatever they want because they know that I write about sex...?
I turned my head to look at Christopher, and saw him looking at Kip’s cock going in and out of me. He looked fixated yet dumbstruck. I wondered what it was like to be a straight male and to watch your friend penetrate another woman, to see his sexual performance and his cock. I wondered if he felt aroused, excited, disturbed... I imagined asking him later about it over Facebook chat.
“Turn over,” Kip said.
I rolled over onto my stomach and got onto my hands and knees. Kip took me from behind and Christopher came to stand in front of me. I realized that Kip had directed the scene so that I would give Christopher a blowjob while Kip took me from behind. It was interesting to me how Kip was controlling not only me, but the other male, and how he did it subtly, without any force.
I heard the sound of them pecking each other on the lips.
I wondered what they would say to each other about it later. I wondered if they would make fun of me after they left. I imagined them imitating the sounds of my moans to each other and laughing. Part of me wanted to cry. I felt like they saw me as, and were using me like, a machine.
Whenever I allowed myself to be used so blatantly I could never reconcile my excitement and my curiosity, my desire to experience, with the feeling of being dehumanizied and uncared for.
Kip wanted to switch places with Christopher, and so they stopped and began to circle around me. I lay on the bed, half-curled up, panting. I could tell that I had a pained expression on my face, and I didn’t try to hide it. Part of me wanted to cry, but it wasn’t overwhelming and so I could ignore the desire to. Christopher looked at me and then he said to Kip, “Do you want to take a break? We can all spoon or something.”
Kip nodded and went to go sit on the floor and began to roll a joint. Christopher lay on the bed.
I felt an impulse to write, partly because I was upset and overwhelmed with feelings. Wordlessly, I walked over to the desk across the room and on the provided hotel notepad wrote in a stream-of-consciousness:
I felt like they were having sex with each other through me. The handing condoms & asking the lube, the desire to eat me out immediately after the other one had, and of course the desire to pass me around... Two penises in the same vagina as close as touching as could be allowed. Homosociality. English accents. The kiss during.
I tore the paper I had written off from the notepad and walked over to put it into my purse.
“Marie, are you OK?” Christopher asked.
“Are you really OK?”
Kip finished rolling a joint, and we all went still naked into the bathroom to smoke it. Christopher stuffed a towel under the door so the smoke wouldn’t get into the room.
“Do you guys say ‘hot box’?” Kip asked.
“I think that’s just called putting a towel under the door,” I shrugged.
Kip and Christopher conversed. I looked at myself in the mirror.
“Your areolas would be lighter if you were Icelandic,” Kip said suddenly to me.
We all passed the joint around until it was gone.
“Can I smoke another one?” Kip asked.
“It’s getting really smoky. There’s like a $200 fine if they find out you smoked in the room...” I said.
“I don’t know. I’ve smoked in a lot of hotels and it’s never been an issue,” Kip said.
“It’s your room, though,” Christopher said.
“Is it OK?” Kip asked.
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t...” I said while nervously smiling.
Christopher opened the door to the room and Kip and I followed after I washed the ashes down the sink.
“It’s almost 5 AM,” Christopher said, implying that he and Kip would have to leave soon.
But I didn’t want them to go. I wanted him to finish what he started; I wanted him to cum in me or on me—I wanted to see what would happen if we kept going with this. It felt like something that I had to experience. I wondered if I was being driven by a self-destructive impulse.
I looked at Kip. He kissed me and we made out for a while. I tried to very gently pull him towards the bed. He pushed me onto the bed and violently pulled my shirt over my head and tugged my skirt down.
Kip kissed me deeply and began to finger me.
I wondered if men ever considered how having long nails makes fingering painful for girls. I thought about how with most men I would tell them to stop because it hurt, but with Kip...
“You sound so fucking sexy when you moan.”
“Does that feel nice?” Kip asked.
He asked me repeatedly if it felt nice, even though I was moaning loudly and had responded affirmatively three times. I used to hate it when men got off mainly by getting women off; something felt humiliating and dishonest about it. But I had changed my way of thinking recently to enjoy the humiliation and control of being used in that way, though afterwards it left me feeling extremely used. I had actively adjusted my sexuality so that it was more compatible with a common male sexual urge. I was overwhelmed with embarrassment and shame and excitement.
Sometimes I would open my eyes and look up at him and see him looking directly back down at me, grinning.
“You like getting girls off?” I asked.
“Yeah, I love it.”
“You know what would really get me off? If you were mean to me.”
“Mean? I’ll be a fucking cunt.”
He bit me on my neck, thighs, arms, and breasts so hard that I yelped every time. I still had red bite marks on my skin days later.
“Fuck me... Fuck me... Fuck me...” I moaned. I wanted to excite Kip, to push him in order to see all that he would do to me. I felt like there was something that I was seeking from this situation that I hadn’t experienced yet.
“Chris, would you fuck Marie, please?” Kip asked.
I wondered why Kip wouldn’t fuck me.
Christopher looked up from his phone and came over to the bed. He jacked off violently, trying to get an erection. “Fuck me,” I moaned again. Christopher was able to get an erection and penetrated me from behind. Christopher slapped me hard on the ass. I wondered if because he was in front of another straight male he felt the need to act more dominating than he normally would, or if because Kip had obviously controlled and dominated him in a sense that Christopher felt the need to assert power over me.
I turned my head backwards to look at Christopher. His eyes were only slightly open, and he was smiling.
“Do you like it?” I asked.
“It feels really good,” he moaned.
We had sex for a few more minutes, and then Christopher stopped so that Kip could fuck me.
Kip softly pressed a spot on my back in such a way that I fell flat onto the bed, and then he turned me onto my stomach. He penetrated me and then slapped me across the face. I moaned loudly in response.
“Do you like it?” I asked.
“You have a hot cunt,” Kip said.
I had never been fucked so deeply in my life. I covered my mouth with both of my hands to stop from screaming out, and also to provoke some sort of control from Kip. Christopher grabbed my arms roughly and pulled them down so that I couldn’t help but scream out loudly. I kind of feel like I’m being gang raped right now.
It was like he never tired. Kip alternated between fucking me, fingering me, and going down on me, and he did it all with incredible energy, even long into it. Finally I had to say, “Stop doing that. Stop,” and smack Kip’s hand away until he finally stopped and sat down next to me.
I felt Fucked To Death. Laying there I thought about a dream I had the night before where I had been criticized by people for writing a story with a scene that was meant to excite the reader by describing my sexualized murder. I thought about how my friend had texted me about how she wanted to sunbathe on a giant, ancient sea turtle. I thought about how I had drunkenly curled up half-asleep in my friend’s lap a few nights ago at a party and how he had stroked my hair and said, “Oh Marie, what are we going to do with you?”
“Have you done that before?” I asked.
“Not with two boys,” Christopher said.
“Not with Chris,” Kip said.
“You’ve done it with another guy before? With two girls is fun, too...”
Kip decided that we should all share a cab, they would drop me off at the subway station and then take it back to Brooklyn where they were staying.
Kip and I stood outside of the hotel while Christopher stood in the street, waiting to hail a cab. Kip hugged me and kissed me on the head and then my cheek.
I felt upset and irritated. I didn’t want him to be affectionate towards me, to pretend to feel any sort of emotion towards me. I didn’t understand how I felt about Kip then.
“I hope that was OK,” Kip said.
“How do you mean?” I felt like acting coy. Or, I didn’t want to concede that what had happened hadn’t upset me.
“I hope it was more fun than awkward and weird.”
“Was it for you?”
“For me, definitely.”
He asked me where I was from.
“I’m from Portland.”
“A lot of lovely things come from there. You have a lot to live up to.”
“I don’t want to live up to anything. Like, I don’t know...”
We talked a little more, and then Christopher finally stopped a cab. We all got in. I sat in the middle. Kip lay his head on my shoulders, and I leaned against Christopher. I wondered when I would stop abusing myself for the sake of new experiences, new sensations. No one talked during the cab ride.
When it arrived at the train station we all got out. Kip said that it had been lovely to meet me, and hugged and kissed me. Christopher hugged and kissed me, and said, “Have a lovely trip back to wherever it is you are going.”
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