As we rolled lustfully across my living room carpet one evening, I invited Phil to spend the night.
“Sure, yeah, but we won’t have sex,” he responded.
“Okay, not tonight...Or do you mean not ever?”
“I don’t know.” He sat up, breathed heavily, and looked down towards his lap. “My last girlfriend,...she tied me up. I just, it was scary.”
“Okay, it’s okay. We won’t use rope. Don’t worry.” I stroked his face lovingly. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Stupefied, he didn’t respond. After a seemingly endless bout of quiet, I gave him a hug. He slowly departed, looking down at his shoes. I recoiled into a familiar state of confused relief, and called it quits —with apologies— the next day.
April 2, 1999