“If we could have a threesome with any of your ex-boyfriends, who would it be?”
Ah, this question. This question sounds like a trap, but it isn’t. It’s the start of an exploratory conversation, at the end of which he’ll tell me a story that will make my cunt slick – he just wants to tailor it correctly.
I answer the question badly. Umming and erring and asking follow-ups designed to narrow down what he’s really after.
“Would it be a one-off? Could I avoid any potential emotional fallout afterwards? Am I picking one of my ex-boyfriends based on pure sex appeal or about our compatibility as a threesome?”
I know, I’m tiring, but threesome engineering requires a lot of thought.
Eventually I settle on one: the eighth guy I fucked. An ex I still occasionally drink beer and talk shit with. But it’s not because he’s the best, per se, he’s just the first to spring to mind: the one whose presence still gives me that delicious rush in my stomach when I see him again. But he’s one of the few that I see regularly, so of course he springs to mind. In actual fact the answer is ‘almost any of them.’ Save a few who weren’t right for me, or who I pissed off enough that they’d turn their nose up, almost anyone I’ve slept with would be welcomed back into my bed with open legs and a big, eager grin.
I know this because of the chance encounters I’ve had in the past.
Ex-boyfriends who would?
The guy with whom I had sweaty, eager, long summer fucks: I met him again a year after we’d shagged. He was the same, right down to the calm voice and sideways smile and the beard that was trimmed to the precise shape I still had photos of. Same perfect hands and casual clothes. I sat with him and his new girlfriend and we drank cheap wine in the park. They told me their news, and I tried not to remember all the perfect ways he’d touched me.
The man who made noises – still the same. Still fun and funny and oh-so-casual. He doesn’t give me that kick but he has a way of chatting that makes me feel like he’s raising an eyebrow and saying ‘how about it?’ I have to constantly remind myself that he has a wife now, so that’s not what he means. If I were to run into him on the street we’d laugh like old friends, and I’d try to pretend not to notice just how fucking good he smells.
The problem with chance encounters with ex-boyfriends is that you can never know how you’ll react until you have one. Some people will have you rummaging deep in your mind for the reasons you fucked them in the first place. Either they’ve changed, or you have, or both, and what was once there has disappeared forever – just a cloud of memories and a vague sense of sorrow. More common for me are the ones which I don’t think about for years but which shatter my calm when I’m forced to confront them.
One particular guy I remember as a gangling, awkward teen. He was, if anything, a perfect match for my own clumsy teenage self. He was the one who’d spar with me in playful arguments, and knock me back if my faux-confidence started looking too arrogant. He’d drink cheap vodka mixed with Dr Pepper just because I said it tasted nice. I’d drink whisky because he liked the smell. He bitched about my boyfriend, I joined him, and eventually he reached out to touch me in the night, moaning with a deep, guttural rumble – like it physically hurt him to feel how slick my knickers were.
If you’d asked me I’d have told you I never wanted to see that ex-boyfriend again – everything about those days would come flooding back and I would hate myself too much for all the things I did. Nostalgia for the good things, sadness for the bad. The furtive touching. The whispered conversations. The throbbing pain in my cunt that signalled my desperation to have him inside me. The look on his face as he lost his virginity, and the way he crumpled when I eventually broke his heart.
I did both of those things, of course. I was seventeen: ignorant and indecisive and unknowingly cruel.
Years later, I was hanging out in my hometown, messing around with my then-boyfriend, not thinking about this guy at all. I hadn’t thought about him for years, save the odd drunken reminiscence with old friends. We were mooching through the town centre, killing time before a gig, and we went to grab a coffee.
My boyfriend picked a table while I placed the order, and fumbled (still clumsy) with my change. I heard the guy behind the counter asking if there was anything else, and I had to rummage in my bag before replying. When I looked up it was that guy – that ex-boyfriend – looking back at me.
I paused, held my breath, and waited for him to say something.
I’d hurt him and I’d loved him and I’d crushed him into this throbbing, burning core of teenage emotion. What did I expect him to say? I’m not sure. Perhaps ‘Fuck, it’s you!’ or ‘Hi!’ or ‘Wow. What are you doing here?’ I expected rage or happiness or casual cheerfulness, or the kind of wary greeting you nod at an old school friend who you can’t quite place.
I didn’t expect that he wouldn’t recognise me.
That as I handed him the money I’d have to bite my lip and hold my breath, and wait for a ‘hi’ that never came.