Crying before, during or immediately after sex is rarely an indicator of a good time.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were enjoying a typical lazy Sunday afternoon whilst morbidly hungover from a night of drinking with the pretentious French couple that lives upstairs.
It was a perfect sunny Sunday. The blinds were drawn closed, preventing even the most well-intentioned ray of natural light from permeating our cave walls and disrupting back-to-back episodes of "Breaking Bad" with the harsh glare of real world responsibility. Everything was going fine. That is, until I gave my boyfriend a blowjob and began irrationally weeping after he ejaculated on me (my face, to be specific).
Let me begin by articulating my fondness for hangover sex. As far as hangover activities go, it is second only to stuffing one's face with blizzard of calorie-intensive cuisine. It's wild, carefree, and kinky. Quite similar in nature to full-fledged, wasted sex, without the prohibitive complications caused by drunken clumsiness, awkward wrong hole mishaps, uncomfortable dryness, limpness, or dizziness (except for that dazed, loopy feeling which I love).
This is what we call, in my house, a hangover party.
But, as the saying goes, it's all fun and games until somebody gets a fresh cum shot to the face in broad daylight.
Normally, I’d be completely unfazed by this. But thanks to certain extenuating circumstances (like extreme hormonal imbalance brought on by PMS and alcohol-induced blood thinness), this emotionally unstable Sunday was different.
When my boyfriend made his usual request for finishing placement, I was happy to oblige him. But upon his completion, when I innocently insinuated that I’d like a kiss as thanks for all my hard, selfless work, he literally looked directly at me, scrunched up his face, flared his nostrils, cocked his head back, and shook his head in denial.
Still on my knees, full of shame, and dowsed in his semen, I felt like a scorned sexual servant, a desperate and vulnerable slut-for-hire kneeling at his feet. In that moment, I regressed into a small, insecure teenager. One that does inappropriate things for validation of the opposite sex.
I ran to the bathroom and slammed the door behind me and literally began to sob into my hands. Upon gazing up at my reflection, I instantly understood his hesitation -- his stuff was literally decorating the entire lower third of my face.
Of course, he was completely unaware of his own actions or what he had done to spark my meltdown. He came after me and knocked on the door. I turned the sink on and screamed, "GO AWAY!" (And hoped that he’d continue to try and console me).
“Baby," he said. "What's wrong?"
"You made me feel gross and stupid," I told him, in my most mature big girl voice.
He was surprised. Totally clueless. It was as if some misogynist spirit had inhabited his body and taken control and left him with no memory of being a callous jerk.
After I fixed my eyeliner and calmed down, I explained in detail how his disapproving reaction had made me feel. I explained that being punished for the very act of trying to please him felt unfair, hypocritical and sexist. That part of why I enjoy being objectified, degraded or hyper-sexualized by my loving partner is because it’s a safe, non-judgmental, and non-threatening sexual space where we can both experiment and role play freely without being constrained by the expectations of gender.
He understood. He said he hadn't meant to make me feel offended or foolish. He told me that when he looked at my face covered in cum he felt guilty. He said he was embarrassed by how unappealing his own sploodge looked accessorizing the lovely mug of the woman he loved. That seeing me there, covered in that, made him feel bad -- like he was violating me somehow.
It’s funny, really. The whole reason I like facials is because there is a certain power in knowing I'm fulfilling my man’s porno-esque fantasy. Similarly, the whole reason he likes giving facials is because it allows him the opportunity to feel like the rock-cocked star of a seedy film.
But now that we’re domesticated adults with plans for home-ownership and marriage, as opposed to the unemployed, hard-partying whirlwinds we were when we began dating a few years ago, maybe he isn't used to seeing me like that anymore. It’s a struggle to keep the sexual edge alive as the responsibilities of a grown-up future pour in with increasing frequency. For me, being freaky in the daytime was a victory, a symbol of keeping the youthful chemistry alive. I want to be the “ho” and the “housewife.”
While crying after a sexual act isn’t standard practice in my home, the contradiction of emotions, of being stretched in multiple directions and torn between head-butting, stereotypical relationship roles, is something I am becoming increasingly more familiar with.
Sometimes this feeling of insecurity is triggered by an activity as seemingly benign as lying in bed together and reading self-help books, which throws me into a sudden internal panic of “Are we not attracted to one another anymore. Where has the spark gone? Is our relationship getting stale?”
And sometimes it’s a completely contradictory spiral of logic along the lines of “What guy wants to marry a woman who lets him cum all over her face? Do I have no self-respect? I should cook more.”
Sometimes being a woman feels like you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Instead of feeling slut-shamed out of ever initiating sexy time again, which I’m sure wouldn’t please my partner either, I explained that my sexual vulnerability is a privilege that he has earned through good behavior, one that he needs to be courteous and conscious of.
I guess the key to surviving the pressure to be the elusive perfect woman who gives A+ blow jobs, mothers cherubic children and cooks a four-course meal with ease all after a full day of work, is trust and communication and learning to manage expectations. Although his now-infamous post-facial facial expression was not imagined or made up, the symbolism I attached to it, what it entailed about our relationship, most definitely was.
But, lucky for us, sometimes the dramatic kerfuffle leads to the most productive kind intimacy.
It took a moment where I could completely unravel and erupt to say what I'd been needing to say, which was: “Just because I’m the kind of girl who likes to get cummed on sometimes, that doesn’t mean I’m always going to be tough and superhuman and without hang-ups. I don’t want you to stop seeing me as a sexual object, but sometimes I am going to need some extra reassurance and validation, especially after I’ve made myself vulnerable for your sexual pleasure.”
Hopefully it's that open dialogue that will continue to get us through all the bumps and roadblocks and cum shots.