I’ve been asked before about the best sex I’ve ever had – the question itself is a weird one. Much as I love ranking things, it’s truly hard to choose a ‘best’ shag, because the criteria will change depending on my mood. Do you mean ‘best sex’ in terms of filthiness? Sheer pleasure? Bucket-list options ticked off? If you ask me about the best sex, I’ll need a bit of clarification on terms. But if you ask me about the best sex with any specific guy, I can usually give you an answer. It just might not be the one you would expect.
The best sex we ever began in the pouring rain. We’d spent one night forced apart by bunk beds on an overnight ferry. Cosy in the fresh linen, I stretched my hand out from the top bunk and he took hold of my fingertips. We whispered excitement in the dark, then fell asleep dreaming of fondue and wine and late-night holiday sex.
The next morning, we cycled off the ferry and past the early morning traffic, down winding lanes and picturesque side streets. When we came upon groups of tourists, we eavesdropped on their tour guides and tried to guess what was being said in German or French or Spanish. We giggled and took photos of everything they were looking at.
“What even is this building?”
“No idea. But if we take a photo of it we can look it up on Google images later.”
“Good thinking. Croissant?”
We meandered for hours, cycling slowly so as to savour the day, not wanting to get to our destination too soon. Enjoying that first-day-of-holiday excitement when everything’s ahead of you. Breathing air that wasn’t London, and feeling our blood pumping through our desk-job-wasted muscles for the first time in forever.
And then it rained.
Not London drizzle – that soot-grimy mist that you can dodge with a decent hat or a fold-away umbrella: this rain poured down in thick, heavy sheets. What began as a gentle ride in the country turned into a voyage through a neverending waterfall. My hair was plastered to my face, clothes soaked through. We fiddled with panniers and waterproof bags to make sure we didn’t drench our phones, and debated the merits of droplet-splattered glasses versus natural eyesight, barely good enough to make out the road markings.
Then came the wind.
I remember the dull ache in my thighs as we cycled directly into it. The frustration as my body – which had delighted me this morning – failed me when it seemed most urgent. The heartbreaking terror as he disappeared into the rain and the mist. I drew ragged breaths and pedalled harder, forcing myself on until I could see the familiar shape of him, resting in the shelter of a tree, peering back through the weather to look for me.
The best sex we ever had began in the rain.
It began in the rush of relief as I caught up with him, panting and wet and miserable. The angry looks we exchanged, in silent agreement that this holiday was the worst idea we’d ever had.
With grim resignation, we cycled for what felt like a hundred more kilometers into an apparently gale force wind. The rain slowed us down, sticking clothes to skin and making every movement harder. Our muscles sang with the effort, and our pedals felt heavy with the combined weight of the water, our belongings and disappointment.
As we hit a small village, the rain eased off, but had already flooded the streets. Some kind resident had laid duckboards over a patch of mud, but they were slippery enough to throw both of us off and into the giant puddles.
When we finally arrived at our hotel, the only thing that stopped me from crying was the unbearable thought of adding more water to an already washed-out week. We had made an awful, irretrievable mistake, and now we were stuck in this pissing, rainy country with nothing but our bikes and four panniers full of damp electronics and socks.
When we got to our hotel, it was warm and dry. Our room had a king-sized bed with soft cotton sheets, and huge windows that led to a balcony, through which we could see the sun just starting to burn away the clouds. We stripped off our clothes, hunted down outfits that were vaguely dry, then walked to a nearby shop – in mutual agreement that nothing could solve our misery quite like sweets and crisps and wine.
While we got changed, the rain stopped.
While we walked to the shop, we each managed a smile.
And by the time we shared a glass of wine on the balcony, one of us may even have laughed.
There’s a reason I told you that this started in the rain: the rain is paramount. The rain matters. It matters because the best sex we ever had – told in isolation – is just a fairly standard account of a slow yet pleasurable fuck. A powerful, skin-tingling fuck, sure. But just a fuck. We didn’t get out lube or test a new sex toy. We didn’t work through the kama sutra or invite the hot couple from the next room to come watch us while they wanked each other off.
We lay together, on the soft sheets of that giant bed, and touched each other all over. Used to quick fucks before bedtime which began with both of us naked already, the simple act of removing each other’s clothes felt like a bizarre new kink. Accustomed to pulling my knickers to one side in the hallway of our flat, and getting fucked with my face pressed against the cold plaster walls, the simple act of kissing felt like utter filth. And having been acclimatised to rain and freezing winds for the best part of the last eight hours, the warmth of his skin against mine felt good enough to make me cry.
In fact, I think I probably did.
It was the slowest fuck we’d ever had. I have no idea how long we lay together, rocking and touching and kissing. I remember enjoying the chance to let my aching muscles do something languid. I loved the utter lack of urgency. While I’d usually have been racing towards an orgasm, this time I couldn’t have cared less if I had one or not. All I wanted was to wrap myself around him, draw him in, soak up his warmth and marvel at how real and solid he felt.
The best sex we ever had was something I’d never be able to recreate, or fully explain, or include in sex advice listicles: ‘top 10 ways to have amazing sex.’
It didn’t end with orgasms – although we both had them. It only truly ended over tapas in the hotel restaurant, as we laughed and ached and got sloppily drunk, and retold the days horrors through a happier lens of post-sex satisfaction.
And it didn’t start with foreplay – although there was plenty of that. It started with wet clothes and aching despair, as we cycled through the pouring rain.