"I see where you're coming from, but I just don't understand it," he said. "You don't want pleasure?"
"No," I said, holding my knees and facing the wall. "I don't need it. It hurts."
"How can pleasure be painful?" He held me from behind.
"Because it just feels wrong," I said, not fully understanding my own false logic. "There are so many better, nicer ways to get pleasure. I could be doing something better with my time. It's animalistic and it's... it just feels stupid."
"Rita, let's face it, we're animals. You can't really get around that."
"It just feels like I should be doing something more worthwhile, something productive. I should be putting my energy into something better than that."
"Do you think you're being productive right now, sitting here and crying instead?" He rubbed my leg and rested his head on my shoulder, his facial hair prickling me.
"No," I managed.
"It's just frustrating for me. It's been like this every night. Things seem to be going so well and then you end up in tears. Can you imagine what it'd be like to push you away every time you wanted to give me pleasure? It feels like you don't trust me. It's like I can't help you or make you feel good. I just want to make you happy. I'm not going to hurt you or take advantage of you."
"I know," I sniffed. "That's a new concept for me. You have to realize that these last two months have been chipping away a mindset that's been ingrained in me my whole life and repeatedly enforced every time it was challenged. Every time I thought I could bring my walls down—thought it was safe—I was abused again. Every time, the scab's been ripped off. Just as I thought I was ready to give my trust, I was humiliated and made fun of and belittled and hurt."
"You act like I haven't been hurt. I've been through a lot of pain too. I didn't even want to be in a relationship because I'm still afraid of women. I kept fighting it and fighting it but I wanted to be around you more and more and I liked you more and more. It's something about you. After your freakout I had to realize what I was doing. And at the party on Saturday they kept asking me, 'so are you guys official?' and without really thinking I said yes. Then I said, 'Yeah, we're officially dating.' Then when you wanted to put your sweater away, I told Roger you were my lady. I said, 'I have to take my lady to the car really quick.' You're my lady. You're my girlfriend, and I'm your boyfriend, and I'd never do anything to hurt you in any way, shape, or form. I just want to be able to return that pleasure to you."
"I've just been so accustomed to not wanting it. Any time it was 'my turn' I just felt better passing, since I knew nothing would come of it. They'd get bored and stop, or tell me I was being too loud, or complain about my [pubic] hair, or laugh because of the noises my body made. I was with a guy that I thought could have been right for me, and we did the whole 'just the tip' thing, and he put on a condom and barely got inside before it hurt and I freaked out and asked him to stop. Then when I sat up, it had been stretched out and air got inside so I made a noise, and he laughed at me. I was really embarrassed because it'd never happened before. He still makes fun of me about it and laughs about it even though he's now married with a child."
"You can't be ashamed of what your body does. It's out of your control. And you've got to remember that you were with a bunch of boys before; you're with a man now, someone who has experience. I'm not going to make fun of you, I'm not going to hurt you, and I'll stop if you ask me to. I want you to be able to just relax and let go, no matter what happens, and to get to know yourself so that if you're willing to choose me as your first, it can be something where you're comfortable and controlled and happy to take with you and remember for the rest of your life. I want to have that experience with you. I'm completely into you. I had this mental block of staying single and away from all women until I met you."
"You opened up a part of me too. I'm just happy that you're willing to be patient, since it's a part of me that's been sealed off for so long it's covered in cobwebs."
"I think I'm falling for you, Rita."
Yet I look into the piercing violet eyes of albino model Stephen Thompson under the guise of my muse and have trouble removing our relationship status from Facebook.