It started slowly, this late-night sex life, it was after a bad date, one of many, they all blend together after a while, I went home, logged onto the dating site (then I was only using one; I’ve since cast a larger net), hovered my mouse around my profile, and then clicked “Play” in the list of romantic interests. I’d always just had “Dating” and “Serious Relationship” (Never “Friends” — who needs any more friends?), and it had never occurred to me before to select anything else, But this seemed right, too, perhaps more right. Sure I had slept with plenty of guys on the first date, but to connect with someone for just an hour, late at night, it was beyond slutty. By clicking on “Play” I was admitting that I was a complete deviant, that I just wanted to fuck. It wasn’t about pleasure. It was about feeding very base and gritty needs. It was about being starved, being ravenous, and taking whatever I could get to eat. About wanting to consume. But there was no pleasure. I was required to do it, by what or whom I don’t know. It was an uncontrollable urge. An itch. And I couldn’t stop scratching. 

At last, a flash of fresh hope on the screen, a new message for me from a man on the Lower East Side, who looks just like all the boys before him, young and wiry, sideburns like strips of bacon, long and unshapely, an inch of buzzed hair around his head, pulling back on his forehead in echo of a grandfather or a great uncle, and two earrings in the upper right hand corner of his ear. Two entirely gay earrings. But I know they’re not supposed to be gay because look right there, there on his profile, it says, “Straight,” right above “Play.” And I read his email, which gently suggests that the red, red lips of my profile picture would look even better around the tip of his cock.

It’s on. I am so troubled. And it is on.



Instant Love, by Jami Attenberg

Smut Vol. 1


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