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.
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.”
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.