The Story I Could Tell

My husband likes me to tell stories while we have sex, stories so dirty I can’t even describe them in a freewrite that is supposed to be uncensored. I love that what he desires most are my words, that in the throes of passion he asks for narrative, and that the language of our lovemaking is literally language: my specialty. I love that the characters, setting, plot, and climax are all up to me and that the dénouement—a kiss, a touch, a whisper—is up to him. 

But there are only so many dirty stories you can tell almost every night, sometimes twice, week in, week out. There are limited variables in terms of what really matters. Setting doesn’t. People do. Actions do. But there are only so many people you can involve, and only so many sexual things you can do, at least in the range we inhabit. So I have been struggling lately to make my stories fresh, to keep sex exciting. It reminds me a little of addiction; at some point there’s no amount of alcohol great enough to get you drunk. At some point, I will have been as dirty as I can be, and all the old stories will seem stale and the characters (the cop, the waitress, the ex-wife) familiar rather than taboo. 

Our sex reminds me of the question, “If your life were a story, how would you want it to go?” I get to decide how our intercourse will go, but less so our lives, which generally revolve more around what he wants, likes, and desires. I tell the story he wants to hear in the bedroom, the kitchen, the grocery store, and the car. In the restaurant, the movie theater, the gym. With a skillet, a map, a checkbook. Why am I not telling the story the way I want it to go? Because I believe I could not survive without this man, emotionally or financially. Which makes me, I realize, a bit like a prostitute. And with that thought, I begin to think about the story I will tell tonight.

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