“Because He Liked to Leer At It”

If you’ve seen The Vagina Monologues, you know that Bob, a character in the story, Because He Liked to Look At It, helped the narrator learn to love her vagina.  He did this by sharing with her the pleasure he felt in staring at it for almost an hour before making love.  Yet in a first sexual encounter, how many young men could successfully pull this off?  What would have happened if Bob had been sexually inexperienced, or had gotten nervous?  What if Bob, instead of saying “I need to see you,” had instead asked for permission?  I’ve tried to imagine a less sexually experienced version of “Bob” in the following adaptation of the story:

“Because He Liked to Leer at It”

(With apologies to Eve Ensler.)

This is a story about a creep named Bob.

When I first met Bob, he didn’t seem like such a freak.  He was thin and tall and nondescript and wore khaki tan clothes.  Bob didn’t like spicy foods or listen to Prince, and he had no interest in sexy lingerie.  In the summer he spent time in the shade.  He didn’t share his inner feelings, didn’t have any obvious problems or issues, and wasn’t even an alcoholic – at least, not as far as I know.  He wasn’t funny or mysterious, and didn’t come across as mean or unavailable or self-involved.  He was not one of those guys who drove fast.  The fact is, I didn’t really pay attention to Bob, but I could tell he liked me.  And then one day I dropped my change on the deli floor.  He scrambled to pick it up, and when he handed me back my quarters and pennies he let his hand “accidentally” touch mine.  Long story short, we went on a few dates and I almost slept with him.

The first – and last – time I got naked with him, I found out that Bob had an odd fetish for vaginas.  (Near as I can tell, Bob likes to start off sex by staring at his partner’s vagina for an hour.)  So, Wednesday night he was over at my place.  We were making out in the dark, and he tells me he has to “see me.”

“I’m right here,” I said.

“No, you,” he said, “I want to see you.”

“Turn on the light,” I said, thinking he was a weirdo.

He turned on the light.

Then he said, “Can I look at you?”

“Right here,” I waved, “I’m right here.”

He started nervously fumbling with my clothes.

“What are you doing, Bob?” I said.

“I, um…  Can I look at you?”

“Look at me down there?”

“Is that okay?”

Guys have their kinks.  I rolled my eyes.  “Sure.”

Soon enough, he’d gotten my pants off and was kneeling beside the bed, staring at my vagina.

“This is awfully intimate, Bob.”

Bob looked up at me, and then to one side.  “I know, but it’s…  I thought you might like it.  I mean, if this makes you uncomfortable…”

I didn’t know what to think of Bob then.  He still seemed harmless enough.  I almost felt sorry for the guy.

“Okay, whatever,” I said.

Bob went back to looking.  I looked at the clock.  Ten minutes passed.  Then twenty.  It was as if he were studying a map, or maybe observing the moon, but it was my goddamn vagina he was looking at.  It the light I watched him getting aroused by staring.  His eyelids drooped like he was high on drugs, or something.  I thought he might start drooling.  I looked at the clock.  Thirty minutes.  It was eleven o’clock and I had to work tomorrow.  I’d had enough erotic theater for one night.

“Dude.”

Bob looked up.

“I have to work tomorrow,” I said.

Bob sat up on the bed with me.  He reached his arm around my waist.

“I don’t have to stay long,” he said.

I gently pushed him away.

“Bob, I really have to work tomorrow.”

“I, uh…  I wasn’t trying to weird you out.  If you don’t want me looking at it, it’s not a big deal.”

“Bob, look, it’s just getting really late, okay?”

“Well I thought…”  Bob’s face flushed.  I think he was expecting me to say something else, but I didn’t.  He got his pants and put them on.  Then his shoes.  His hands were shaking as he tied the laces.

“Bob, I liked hanging out.  It’s just, you know.”

“Yup.”

I was half-dressed and walked Bob to the door.  Before he left, he turned toward me, as though he were going to give me a hug, but then just gestured goodbye with his hand.

“Bob,” I said.

Then he was gone.

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6 Responses to “Because He Liked to Leer At It”

  1. Lynet says:

    Is there some reason why she wouldn’t be turned on by his being turned on, in this scenario, when she was turned on by it in the other scenario?

    That said, perhaps rather than going ahead but being really uncomfortable about it, he could have said something sincere like ‘I really want to see that part of you. I know I might be asking a lot of trust from you, but it means a lot to me. Please?’

    That would have been adorable.

  2. Brett K says:

    That would have been charming, and sweet, and way better than the actual scenario (which I found ultra creepy, regardless of how confident/experienced the guy was).

  3. elementary_watson says:

    Is there some reason why she wouldn’t be turned on by his being turned on, in this scenario, when she was turned on by it in the other scenario?

    He wasn’t “confident” (rather entitled) enough to ignore her not being turned on at first as in the other scenario. She was confident enough to uphold her inhibitions about letting a man gaze for a long time at her genitals. (I find this scenario more realistic than the Ensler-scenario; change of the times?)

    That said – From accidental touching of hands to “almost sex” – How does one do this?

  4. John E. says:

    Cool story, bro…

    Other than that, there isn’t all that much to say without knowing where you are coming from, so to speak.

    Now, I could be wrong about this, but looking over some of the stuff you’ve posted here and elsewhere, it seems to me that you’ve internalized some ideas about yourself and about how women will react to you that might be getting in the way of you having a mutually enjoyable sexual relationship with a women.

    So…..are you looking for advice? Are you looking for some sympathy? Are you complaining about [your experience of] how the world is as compared to how you would like the world to be?

    Talk to us, bro…

  5. Lynet says:

    Yeah, I get the impression that this ‘Bob’ hasn’t found a way to react to negative feedback from women that doesn’t involve him being intensely uncomfortable, which would probably make her uncomfortable, too, I guess. The other ‘Bob’, by contrast, displays over the course of the story only one way to react to negative feedback, which is to push past it, which is at best risky and at worst a *really* bad idea. Clearly, in addition to getting men to respect the general ‘no’ (meaning, please just go away), we also need better examples of men receiving the smaller, specific ‘no’ (meaning, I enjoy some of this but please don’t do that) without too much frustration or embarrassment.

    If even a small slice of pornography (written and visual, and for both sexes) was written in a way which acknowledged that sex involves communication, the world might be an easier place to live.

    ***
    In my experience, one goes from accidental touching of hands to ‘almost sex’ by a series of closer and closer touches over the course of a conversation. Each of these should be done in a way that makes it easy for the other person to pull away without feeling uncomfortable, e. g. lean in close before you put your arm around her shoulder; she’ll lean back if she wants to.

    If you’re getting nonverbal messages along the lines of pulling back, you may have to rethink the plan of getting to ‘almost sex’. So this method won’t get her to have sex with you if she’s not really into it. On the other hand, it follows my basic principle of flirting, which is that there should always exist an easy way for the other person to say no (and an easy way for him/her to say yes, too, of course). That way, you won’t get a rude ‘no’ (because most people won’t give a rude ‘no’ if a polite ‘no’ exists and is obvious), and you won’t end up in bed with someone who doesn’t want to be there. Positives all round.

    Verbal communications that follow the ‘easy no, easy yes’ rule are also at least as effective as nonverbal ones in my experience. Basically, if you find a phrase that has that property, hold on to it.

  6. Brett K says:

    From accidental touching of hands to “almost sex” – How does one do this?

    That varies from person to person, but asking is never a bad idea. Granted, initiating sexual/romantic interaction is always SUPER AWKWARD, except for those of us who are somehow magically endowed with amazing social skills (not me), and yes, some people might be turned off by someone who seems shy or inexperienced (though if you are shy and/or inexperienced, those might not be the right partners for you anyway). Nevertheless, if you don’t know what to do, saying “Can I kiss you?” or “Is this okay?” is usually a pretty good place to start.

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