This past weekend I was having a stoop sale with my very best friend, Jason. Half way through, I went on an ice cream run at the local parlor to buy cold treats for everyone who was hanging out with us for the day. It had been a great day selling all our old flashy costumes. Most of our friends showed up to hang out and shop, and now the lasty nasties were hanging around to watch the sun go down and help pack up.
I came back from the shop loaded down with a coffee tray full of cones. But in spite of how delicious my ice cream was, my experience in the shop had been absolutely terrible, and I had to share the story with the group.
“You will not believe what happened to me. I went into the store and the guy behind the counter says, 'Kiki?' And I said 'No, I'm Lacy.' He said he was sorry but I looked just like this customer Kiki who was a regular. They even named a float after her. Then he said if I came in enough they'd name a float after me.
"I said, 'Cool, the Lacy float. I'd dig that.'
"Then he said, 'Yeah but you'd end up gaining like 25 lbs.'
"'Is that what happened to Kiki?'
“'So are you telling me I remind you of the fat girl?'
"Then he got all flustered and told me I was putting him in a tough spot.”
Everyone on the stoop was doubled over laughing at how, on a routine trip to buy ice cream, I wound up getting called fat. Then suddenly a voice popped up from behind one of our racks of clothes.
“I work at that ice cream parlor.”
I hadn't even noticed, but there had been a bona fide hot dude working his way through all my old neon fringe and unitards. I felt instantly uncomfortable, but also strangely connected to this stranger who had been fingering a lot of my intimates.
He was tall and broad shouldered—so tall that he could drape his arms over the clothing rack and hang there comfortably.
“The thing about the guys that work there is a lot of them are drunk," he said. "If you ever want to get a little crazy, like if you're babysitting the worst kid or something, ask them to add whatever bottle they got behind the counter to your float. Believe me, they have a ton, so you'll have a choice.”
I sat on the stoop with my legs tucked under me and tried to flirt with him: “Oh, yeah? What's you favorite mix? Vanilla and rum, or coffee and whiskey?”
“I don't drink,” he said.
It's always a little awkward when a young person tells you they're sober. A myriad of thoughts went through my brain: What happened to you? Don't you think you're being a tad extreme? Are you judging me for wanting rum in my vanilla ice cream? Is this a test? Do I drink too much? How would we ever have anything in common?
I was lost in thought, contemplating my own drinking habits, when he brought me back down to earth. “Listen," he said. "Come into the shop and I'll make you an egg cream to make up for my idiot co-worker's behavior.”
I demurred, saying, “Well, I don't know if that would do anything for my figure.”
“Believe me," he replied. "That's not something you have to worry about. I work Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I'll see you then.” And with that, he walked off calmly and with absolute confidence.
As soon as he was out of earshot, my friend Eric was hysterical, “Holy shit. I can't believe that happened to you!”
“I know! But he's sober. What would we do on a date?”
Then Jason said, “You know, straight-edge guys make the best lovers. Think about that one dude you hooked up with, the Chelsea artist.”
It was true. I didn't even have full-blown, penetrative sex with that guy, but still it had still been one of the best sexual experiences of my life.
To briefly sum up the Chelsea artist, he was an art school playboy who didn't drink. It was obvious from our hook up that he had an addictive personality. He was “more-ish,” meaning he always wanted more: more kissing, more talking, more cuddling, more dry humping, more of me—and sometimes it was more than I had to give. A friend of mine who also hooked up with him said she could tell he was a recovering alcoholic because when he went down on her it was like he was trying to drink her.
And yet, it's not like he had a bag of Casanova tricks up his sleeve, he didn't press on my abdomen with his left hand while trying to finger me with his right hand or anything. He just had an almost sociopathic ability to relate. He was present at all times and demanded we both put our guards down.
Maybe sober dudes are better lovers. Maybe its because they replace one addiction with another, or sex is their last option for blowing off steam, or maybe it's simply because they aren't drunk when they fuck.
I have definitely used alcohol as a sexual lubricant—to make me less nervous, to make me more “fun,” and to make me more able to take off all my clothes without worrying about my handful of cellulite. But I've also gotten too drunk to have a good time. I'm not even talking about black-out drunk. I'm talking about consensual experiences where I simply float away from my body and the sex feels like its happening to me, not like something I'm actively engaging in. I've felt that way because I was intoxicated and it wasn't truly something I was present for. Sure, my hips were still thrusting and I was still making the requisite moaning sounds, but inside I had shut down. A lot of those times I thought I didn't have to be responsible for my actions if I was drunk. Being wasted made the sloppy inconsistent sex ok, and, at one point in my life, even the norm. When I'm sober I have to be accountable for my needs and desires. I have to say no and yes. Thinking about the ice cream dude made me re-visit a lot of my drunk sexual experiences and I can say I'm more than looking forward to experimenting with sober romance. Also, I'm looking forward to remembering the sex.
Follow Lacy Warner on twitter @laceoface