Lady Chatterley deconstructs the myth of the sex-starved male by showing the female side of desire
It’s wrong from the beginning. We know it. Ignore it. Coast on borrowed time. We fall into one another far too quickly. I feel myself dissolving. No longer a whole person, but an outline, colored in with parts of him.
We meet in secret, snatch hours from the top and bottom of days. We’re work colleagues, fueled by the cliché of the clandestine. Can’t be together. Can’t stay apart.
For the first time ever, my thoughts are consumed with sex. I’m hungry for it. The more I get, the more I want. It’s selfish, sweaty, fierce sex. We claw at one another. Tumble from the bed to the floor. Collapse in breathless piles of laughter.
He’s beautiful. Simultaneously soft and strong. I feel wanted. Sexy. I walk emboldened. Paint my lips red. On the nights we’re apart, desire keeps me awake. It prickles. Alive and greedy.
At work, he’s more senior than I. Has more to lose. He’s a manager in a corporate world of grey suits and strict policies. I’m squeezing in hours around uni lectures, photocopying and filing, counting down the days until summer holidays.
Away from the office in his studio apartment, we circle one another in a dance of words. His drip with logic. Mine are flung from a secret strength. A hurt that festers. A hurt I believe is proof of love. We stall. We sink. We surrender. I wake once again, tangled in sheets and secrets.
I run and return. He runs. And doesn’t. Crawls back sheepish with a mouthful of love. And I believe in his love because he says all the right things. It’s dramatic and passionate. Like I think love should be. And I’m not sure if I’m happy, but his absence is intolerable. We can’t be together. Can’t stay apart.
We fall into a cycle of talk and tears. Of sex and sleep. I fumble through days, write essays on American literature. And fold in beside him at night, safe in an unsafe haven.
“Why are you with him?” My friends chorus.
“But the sex!” I say. “And I love him. I think.” They look at me like I’m a woman possessed.
A business trip forces three weeks between us. Soon after he leaves, I’m lost in a new rhythm of coffee and study and girlfriends. Out of touch and sight, my desire for him wanes.
Straddling timezones over the phone, we scramble to fill the silence. I realize I don’t know if he has any siblings. That I crave his body. His scent. His stubble under my fingers. And not his words. He asks me what I’m wearing. Doesn’t ask about my exam.
“I lust you.” He says.
“I lust you too.”
Reunited, we struggle to slip back into each other’s lives. Exam weary, I chase sleep. Not sex. And the quiet still of time on my own. He stops texting every day and I stop hoping each message is his. We stall. We sink. We surrender.
It was wrong from the beginning. We knew it. Can’t ignore it any longer. It isn’t love. Infatuation perhaps. Each with an idealized, and incomplete version of the other. The spell splinters. Breaks. There are no books or CD’s to exchange. Not even a toothbrush.
We part. Leave with our selves intact.
Image credit: Flickr/eschipul