Russian Infusions:
Part One of the Sexual Triathelon for the Big O Show

"Kissing," I'm telling him over a cup of tea at a diner.

He is in the outfit I will come to think of as his "starving artist" uniform. I have not yet realized all of his clothes qualify-old faded t-shirts, cut off cargo pants, sweaters with large holes or sections unraveling-all in grey or brown-except for his one "Russian peasant shirt" a blouse-y affair that reminds me of something Errol Flynn might wear.


He is rolling his rrrs partially for dramatic effect and partially because, as he has learned, any language with rolling rrrrrs turns me on. As a result, he has decided to add his hard russian rrrs to as many english words as he can.

"You know you can teach kissing? All you need is some slices of canned peach and..."

"Because I have that kind of time. Listen, if you can't kiss, you can't do anything else. Kissing is the wellspring, baby. If you're slobbering or biting my lips, imagine what the rest of my anatomy has to look forward to. And beyond that I teach all day, you think I want to come home and do it all night in bed. No way, sure a few pointers, a little technique refinement, we can all use that, but with kissing you gotta be pret a porter baby-ready to wear. And if not, well, you're fired, clean out your locker and security will escort you to the door."

"You're a woman of high expectations."

"No, those are standards. Standards. Kissing is not a little extra, you know like breakfast in bed or a rose on the pillow, it's absolutely integral to the whole freakin' process. When it's something as essential as kissing, it's a standard."

He makes no comment about his prowess, no comment about his ability-good or bad-or the assessment of his ability by others. He has full lips, but I have learned from experience not to judge from externals. A drag queen once tried to teach me how to judge the size of a man's cock from his pants-but I have had fabulous sex with poorly endowed men and awful sex with men endowed like a budweiser clydesdales. Still, he licks them, a quick flick of the tongue, because he knows I am watching.

"The truth is kissing really doesn't matter overall. For a man the most important thing is to be all about her pleasure. If it's kissing you give her that, if it's spanking or dressing up, you do it, and you have to be so into her pleasure, that she doesn't have to ask, that you know, from how she rotates her hips and closes her eyes, from how she arches her eyebrows and bites her lip what she wants. You have to know her body better than she does. She thinks she wants to have her nipples kissed, but then you kiss the backs of her knees, the inside of her elbow, and on top of the pleasure you get surprise at that pleasure, the appreciation of finding a new way, a new place to find pleasure, and you have to do that until she is beyond her ability to control herself-until the pleasure overpowers her-and for me that is absolutely necessary-I've met women who could not give themselves to pleasure completely-who were always worried and concerned or trying too hard-and if you can not give yourself over to just allowing me to please you well then, there isn't much point is therrrrrre?"

I stir my tea thankful that if I hunch my shoulders the table hides the tips of my breasts, by now protruding through my sweater.

We go out into the winter, his long scarf luffing in the wind. He is singing Italian opera. Over the wind, I hear "RRRRRRrrrrrrrrrecondita." He is walking in front of me, not even looking over his shoulder as I struggle up the hill behind him. At my door, he will bow and lean to press my cheek against his, "I will not kiss you tonight. Too much pressure, I can not take the judgement." I can smell his skin, even in the dead of winter he smells like sun and ocean, the beach he loves so much, his hand around my waist. I close my eyes and as slowly presses his lips to my skin. "By the way," he breathes, "I have velvety skin. Really, like a bunny. You will find out." He walks into the snow and the wind and the cold and I stand on my warm doorstep as if I am the one who is frozen.

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