How I finally got it

She had this Nigella Lawson thing going for her, but not as posh and a little angrier. It was sexy. She had breasts like marshmallow.

She kissed like a vacuum cleaner and it was so bad it was funny. She kissed like a teenager with middle-aged lady lipstick.

Her engorged clitoris looked like a flower. When I told her that, she laughed and said she was glad I was a vegetarian, because it made me sweet.

When we were done and she was playing with my curly hair, she was glowing and I was smiling until forever.

That’s when it hit me, that’s when I finally understood the stupid proud smile I had seen men smile before. I got it now. How absolutely great it feels. To make a woman squirm in delight.


Silly Summer Sweetness

Last week we had a few beautiful sunny days. They’re beautiful because there are so few and it makes me roam around the office like a lost koala, daydreaming and being completely useless. We’re all just walking around, going outside for a meal, a cigarette then a chat. the sun is out in Dublin. We take long breaks and then we leave work early for a picnic in the park, so happy to sit outside basking in all this light that we have missed so much. Our bodies remember that we are more than just productivity machines with our asses stuck to chairs that have wheels at their feet. the sun is out in Dublin. It takes me back to lighter places, my notebooks are filled with the hardship of people, stress, loss, but today light is there. I want to force my thought towards a selfish kind of happy, the soft nothingness of last summer ending, and a september day in Istanbul.

He brought sweet wine, the kind teenagers like, but it’ll do. The cheese is good and the olives are fabulous. We eat them with our hands as we pretend to flirt and make sure we achieve a decent volume of conversation before we move on to what we’re meant to do. I’m already in his room but this is the Middle East and we don’t do straight lines. There’s always some complication, some twisted plot before we can get to what we’re meant to do.

In the beautifully sunlit hotel room, large gulps of insignificant Turkish wine mark the intervals of our insignificant conversation. Because I’m a lady and these are silly times, it makes sense for me to drink enough to pretend I wouldn’t act like this sober. Is it so wrong to not want conversation? Like…seriously, I don’t wanna talk at all. We navigate the twists and social knots, we jump through cultural loophole and thankfully the charade doesn’t last too long. At least he brought condoms, saving me the trouble to take mine out of my purse.

The sex is quiet and long and soft. Particularly lazy and lustful Mediterranean sex…the kind that people have had for centuries when they take a day off and have the city to themselves. He says corny words I never asked for but it’s ok because it’s such a corny day anyway. It smells like jasmin, how perfectly corny is that…

Somewhere in the back alleys behind Sultanahmet, our thoughts drifts to the random confines of everything and anything and all these thoughts join us here in the room and it’s shocking, sad really, to see how bad they are.

10 times the anger for every happy smile, Sixfold the frustration for every achievement, It feels bad and wrong to enjoy a sweet summer day in the midst of our ugly mess, Jasmin smells so stupid when the Middle East is such a mess.

It’s not fatality when our demons have faces and names so we say them out loud as we reclaim the day.

We’re silly people you and I, but it’s fun, and necessary and such a gratifying exercise. You nibble my ear, I place a curse on Erdogan, I bite your lip as I wish the plague on Bachar al Assad, Somewhere under the sheet, your tongue in my wetness makes me scream and I summon the Goddess Maat to bring justice to Egypt, Saudi and Sudan. Then hours later, a million hours later, when I have landed back on the bed, back in your room, smoking a cigarette, I am still cursing the monster Baghdadi.

We’re all giggly and exhausted, I have my head out the window so I can smoke and you’re still enumerating corruption cases in Iran. With each puff of my cigarette I cast a spell on every name your say. While I’m at it, I hiss some hate at the stupid loophole knotted culture when it’s so much better to live naked and honest. It’s all so corrupted, that’s why innocent people die.

We reinvent the world, banish famine and religion, we imagine the Middle East that could have been; where everyone would have soft cotton sheets and a beautiful sunlit room to enjoy the magic that human bodies can do. A place where every day could be a sunny, sweet, easy, lazy, silly, happy summer day for everyone, the kind of day everyone deserves to have.

Hold me, kiss me…Gasoline me.

I usually know how to pick them, and I usually pick those who pour gasoline on my fire.
Nothing like gasoline to clear your head after a long complicated day. That’s why I like psycho wackos and uncomplicated libidos.

You….you measure everything because excess would be bad. You take my body like a commercial airline pilot would take flight ME35 to Paris, always in control. The ride is smooth and the landing soft. Middle East Airline passengers would cheer and clap in unison for you… then again, the Lebanese cheer for anyone who takes them for a ride. (Even politicians riding them straight to hell; but that’s another story).

Is it? Not really, both stories are about getting screwed. #JustSaying…

I noticed that you never ever break eye contact. It’s nice; you’re nice in bed and generous and highly precise with your hands, your mouth, your cock, which never stray away from reasonable erogenous zones. I can enjoy this ride with the sweet certainty that I’ll get my happy ending. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and these are my thoughts as I softly rock back and forth on top of you. Damn…you don’t even blink! And.Every.Movement.Is.Perfectly.Paced.

It’s a little annoying.

So intensely focused on me. I bet it’s all a show. I bet you think about Laeticia Casta when you push my legs to the side, or that Cromwell biography on your bedside table when you gently, methodically impale me.

Really, I want to know: What do you think about when we fuck?

Ooops. You don’t call it “fucking”, of course not. I’m sorry about that. But, Darling-Dearest, we don’t use the “L” word either, so what shall we call this? Coitus? Frankly it sounds appropriate enough.

Babe… why are we having Victorian sex?

When we met, I thought I had spotted a wolf in your eye. But you were drunk that night and today you’re not. Yet sex is not everything, it’s you I want, nobody else. I just wish you were a bit more…more.

My Blackberry’s red light is blinking, I wonder if I’ll make my Thursday deadline at work, if I can afford a trip to Rome next month and if I’ll be able to buy an apartment next year. I wonder if my parents will stop nagging me about how I live my life, if the universe will conspire in my favor or not.

Eye contact always. Dude… what are you hoping to see in there? You never look at my ass or between my legs. You’re such a gentleman you won’t even play with my tits counterclockwise.
I know I’m being vulgar. It wouldn’t hurt if you were a little vulgar too. Would you do rude things to me if I asked you? Would you know how?

My Blackberry blinks blinks blinks while you delicately take my breast like it’s a hand-grenade, your kisses are sweet and exactly how they should be.

Great Goddesses of feminism forgive me, but I wish this man would grab my hair.

My phone is still calling me. Exactly how wrong would it be of me to check it for a quarter of a second? I could do it while we switch positions…maybe you wouldn’t mind.
IknowIknowIknow it’s incredibly impossibly rude. It’s horrible and nobody should ever do that.

You carefully grab my hips to switch positions, as planned, as you always do, and it’s so sad…. exactly! Abso-fuckin-lutely!

Like you did yesterday.
Like we’ll do it tomorrow.
It’s fine; it’s perfect, it’s right.

And that’s when I look at my phone, only for a short second

That’s when your hands leave me, and I know I hurt you.

I know because you were hard a second ago and now you’re not. You’re walking away from me.
Just to get a glass of water, and now you’re back. And you’re just standing there.

I hate that I hurt your feelings, I really do. You would never hurt my feelings. I should apologize for being so rude. This time I really mean it, but that’s not going to fix anything is it? The thing is, you’re so sensitive it scare me sometimes. Your soul is so much more fragile than mine and it scares me a lot. I don’t know how to be around people with more bruises than me. I want to make you hard again but you just step away and you’re not smiling. You’re confused, and I feel horrible. Your eyes are two big question marks and there’s so much I wish I could tell you:

Rage is good. Rage will do us more good than Aspartame tenderness, since rage is all both of us have in us right now.
If you wanted, we could just screw the worries right out our heads.
Fuck me hard.
I won’t break, neither will you.
I am consumed too, it’s OK, we can burn together.
Be real, be honest, we can handle this. We don’t have to overthink and perform all the time.
It’ll feel good I promise. It’ll feel great.

Please let’s stop having absent-minded Victorian sex, I hate it!

I must have said at least one of these things out loud because at some point you come back to me; and I don’t need to open my eyes to feel every single one of your thoughts exploring every inch of me, including places I never knew existed.
I love that you’re finally not afraid, and I’m finally not afraid.
No, I’ll be honest… at some point I’m almost afraid you’ll go too far, but it’s worth it. Absolutely worth it. I’ve never been more…more.
You grab a chair and move it in front of the bedroom mirror. Oh challenge accepted! I love your smile; I love your smile so much it hurts. Your malicious twinkle is back. Your hungry wolf-ness is back. We’re both just taking what we want. Drinking pleasure from each other for what seems to be an eternity.

What shall I call that? I don’t know what to call that.
I’ll be nerdy and call you my Wolverine.

Hell yeah…Wolverine.

And when we finally explode together… wow.

Yucky detail alert: it’s funny how your semen was scalding hot! Never saw (or felt) anything like it before (or since.)

Anyway…Spectacular! You deserve a standing ovation. Except I’m exhausted and I can’t move because you just fell on top of me, and you look so happy, so rested.

And then…

Finally… both of us blissfully sated.

And we’re so tired.

In my brain and in your brain, everything, every cell is asleep… that is the whole point.

And then….
You: aaaa ohwooowwww *cuddle*
Me: mmmmmmm

I want to push you away and go find personal space like I usually do, but you look so happy, I’m happy too. My brain can’t formulate words just yet anyway.

1h later
You: Sandwich?
Me: Water please
*Eat, drink, sleep*

2h later
You: That was…intense. Consumed, we need to talk about what just happened. Hey, are you OK?
Me: *snores*

I’m not really sleeping… I’m thinking again…. Just a little. All I can think is…

we did it, we figured it out. I’m so glad we did it and I love to hear you laugh.

Instant Noodles and Great Sexpectations

I have a little cousin who’s 14. When I talk to him, it scares me to think that his baby-face awkwardness could hide the same fire, the same foolish unformulated lust I once had, when I was 14 and awkward too.

Kids like me stay quiet in the hope of taking up less space. I was the girl who grew so tall one summer that she suddenly had to slouch to fit in group photos; the teenager who grew boobs before growing a thick skin. All the other girls wore the same clothes that never fit me, they had the same hairstyle that I couldn’t figure out. I also knew that soon enough, they’d all look exactly like their mothers, up to the details of their big botoxed foreheads and stupid smiles frozen in perpetual ecstasy for designer shoes.

I didn’t mind because I wasn’t really in boring Lebanese suburbia; oh no, I was on the road with François Villon, Elsa Triolet and Anaïs Nin.

I only started paying attention to reality on the day the new girl joined our class. She was older than us, as tall as me, with bigger boobs that were never hidden. She was loud, and tacky with an impossibly big nose and glitter on her nails. She knew older boys and I thought she was the height of sophistication and experience because she knew how to take the bus to Hamra. She was everything my other classmates were not, and I found it enchanting so I made her my best friend.

Her house had dust-bunnies everywhere and no adult supervision. We did each other’s nails in the kitchen and ate instant noodles with Doritos for lunch. It felt so bohemian! My parents (who hated her) didn’t even know what instant noodles were!

Suddenly I was tired of being quiet. My first act of rebellion was to get my unibrow separated by a cheap neighborhood beautician. I still remember my mother’s unprecedented fit of rage when she saw my butchered eyebrows. Mother was right, eyebrows never really grow back, but it was a meaningless detail compared to the thrill of finally getting to invent myself.

For the first time, being tall for my age presented an advantage. With enough makeup, I could look older, I could look more interesting and more adventurous. I wore long velvet skirts with black lace shirts and bought lingerie that would put a burlesque dancer to shame. I also clumsily mumbled naughty jokes that I thought were sassy (but I don’t think anyone ever heard them). The next logical step was to do what all my heroes did: fiery embraces, glorious fantabulous sexual exploits.

But that’s the thing about my heroes, they were all really good with words and it makes everything seem fantabulous.

I had been flirting with boys for a few months and so far the most notable embraces I had experienced seriously lacked fieriness. Instead they involved unpleasantly sloppy kisses and a boy struggling with my new red bra while I pretended not to notice and kept my shirt on. Still, I was determined to discover what all the fuss was about.

It was a Friday night; we had beer, Doritos and noodles at my friend’s place. There were 4 of us on that sofa: me, a faceless boy playing with my hair, my friend, and her boyfriend. When we turned off the lights, the faceless boy’s hand found its way on my belly. We had planned video entertainment for the evening and I was honestly excited about watching a porn movie for the first time. Somebody pushed play and we saw a random scene featuring at least 3 erect penises and 2 women.

And I thought…



It was so gruesomely fascinating I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene, but first things first: I not-so-subtlety made sure the boy moved to the other end of the sofa since my friend and her guy had somehow ended up on the floor, presumably doing things I no longer found enchanting.

And then I focused on the issue at hand:

I didn’t even know a woman could open that wide! I mean, theoretically I knew of course, but that remained very very very theoretical until I saw it. What that actress had between her legs resembled some carnivorous flower on speed.

About 20 minutes into the movie, I finally managed to turn off the TV but I was already traumatized by an anal sex scene and some very hardcore deep-throating as the actress kept trying to maintain a look of perpetual bliss, as if to reassure me, while she worked on a monstrously big penis that gave me nightmares for a week.

That Friday night, I essentially concluded that sex was a nasty and violent affair. After doing some calculation, I also decided that there was no physical way for me to actually do it, since penises were too big to fit in my non-pornstar vagina. You see, I had (naively) thought of porn as the theory I could check out, along with the works of Germaine Greer, before taking the big leap.

I was, obviously, an idiot.

The Flaming Lamborghini

There are probably different recipes but this is how we did it. I forgot the measurements, we never followed recipes anyway, and it was always good. Damn…it was great 🙂

Coffee liqueur
Blue Curacao liqueur

Pour the Sambuca + Kahlua + Absinth in a cocktail glass.
Pour the Bailey’s and Curacao in separate shot glasses. Set fire to the cocktail glass, try not to burn your eyebrows as you sip from the glass with a straw. While you drink, add the Bailey’s and Blue Curacao. Drink the whole thing in one go.

And drink and drink and drink and go!

When you and I crossed path, you were carrying some heavy baggage.

That was a euphemism; please allow me to clarify: When we met, your life was a disgusting mess, with metaphoric flies buzzing around the real scumbag that you are, as you bulldozed through everything life had given you.

A former junkie of the lowest sort, you were reduced to chasing highs in a swamp of vodka and tequila, with the comfortable determination of those who stumble through youth on purpose, rolling in the mud with gusto. It was all-good because your Daddy made sure there will be a warm cushion waiting in the end.

I had long black hair (blue black said the label on the bottle) and so much eyeliner I could hardly open my eyes; you called me your princess. BANG!

Oh it was a proper courtship. You phoned at 3 am to make me listen to a song you liked, you made mixtapes for me because my car didn’t have a CD player. One mixtape every morning for a week, what girl could resist! You wrote me a poem, A POEM THAT YOU READ IN PUBLIC! And it was good (Seriously, you’re a better writer than I can ever hope to become).

So there was no way I was going to listen to all the reasonable voices around me: friends, even your family, even strangers, including the bartender at your favorite bar: “Destructive destructive destructive” they all said. I answered with a laugh: “Appetite for Destruction” (awesome album, stupid answer). To be fair, I’m self-destructive enough on my own, I would have found a way to fuck up even without you, and I’m glad it was with you.

You psycho wacko! You toxic tornado! You beautiful bastard!

Flamboyant fucker you had style.

Everything you did, you did with panache, with a loud scream, with a war anthem. Your talent for life, your voracious hunger for booze, for speed, for sex, for ME was spectacular.

Oh I knew I was a poor substitute for something you once heated in a spoon, but I had never been desired with such enthusiasm. Always a force of nature, when you held my hand, when you went down on me, when you just smiled at me. Your moves in bed, your sense of rhythm, and the earth-shattering orgasms you gave me! Every time was the original Big Bang, as many times as I wanted, everywhere I felt like it. I just had to tickle your arm and you knew what to do, even if it meant doing it while our friends were waiting in the next room. Shameless, I know. Few have made me feel so gloriously lustful, so religiously adoring, so dangerously uninhibited.

Hormones are amazing. In between my permanent afterglow and all the drinking, I didn’t mind all the disgusting things about you: poor hygiene, disgraceful language, Sojok-flavored kisses from Mano’s even though I’m a vegetarian. Once you even left bits of kafta in my mouth (I just gagged while typing this).

We were starving for each other, loving each other with such urgency, probably aware that our bright flame would be quick to burn (too cliché? Sorry). It was my first semester at university and I zombied my way through classes, sometimes already drunk by noon. I quickly earned my “weirdo” label and was soon shunned by the cool kids, those who had accepted me in their inner circle the previous summer.

Whatever… you were my Splendour in The Grass, the Sal Paradise to my Kerouac and you were certainly more fun than Sky Bar (even the original Sky Bar, before they moved to Biel) and whatever club was cool at the time. We were having homemade Flaming Lamborghinis and drinking cheap vodka from the bottle on the beach in Jbeil. We fell asleep with our pants off in your car, somewhere on the road to Beiteddine, and never made it to that concert. We went driving very fast on the highway at midnight, which was very stupid. We went tiro shooting while drunk, which was incredibly stupid. And then we had that very loud, very public fight in front of Khalo’s shop in Monot, and a friend from high school saw me. This time I was mortified.

It ended disgracefully for both of us, but I’d rather not remember that part. It ended absurdly because passion is our only compass, and sober we make quite a useless pair. It has been more years than I care to count (Almost 10), but every now and then, someone notes (with admiration) how well I can hold my liquor. This is when I think of you and smile.

His pomegranate fantasy, my big disappointment

He had what I was looking for: The confidence I try to fake, the kind face of a man with sparkly eye (but not a pretty boy, I’m not into pretty boys). Beautiful hands, long fingers that made me think naughtiness all afternoon. His voice was the best part, a voice that has sex in every word, like he could have made me faint me with bad syntax and the right intonation. This must be why I didn’t realize how stupid he actually sounded. Then again I only ever hear what I want to hear.

I should have reacted to his bullshit questions about Lebanon, instead I just laughed them off:
“Does your mother make homemade pomegranate juice?” (Not that it’s technically improbable but what’s with the romantic search for authenticity?!)
“Can you make hummus?” (nope, but I sometimes serve Tesco’s, pretend its homemade and everyone’s happy)
“Is Lebanon dangerous?” (@#$%%*&#@ – OK so maybe it’s not always super stable, but fuck you for asking- )

Anyway, my mistake. And by the way, I thought he was hot, but I really wasn’t expecting what came next:

The caveman attitude I did not love; taking over my bed and watching me with a stupid satisfied smile. But we were already there, I really needed to unwind and I knew I was not getting any sleep that night anyway. So he caressed my ass for the first time, in the timid way of a man trying to dominate, but not sure if he’s allowed or not, not sure if she likes it or not…And just then, his sexy X-rated voice said those dreadful words: “So do you belly dance? C’mon belly dance for me!”

That Orientalizing prick, that pompous human larva, laying there on my bed, trying to live out his Harem fantasies. He fucking thinks he’s Haroun al Rashid?!?! Honestly I wasn’t looking for an earth-shattering romance, not even a summer fling, but I had no intention of being a notch on anyone’s belt as he samples his idea of “ethnic sex” like it’s the fucking ethnic aisle at the supermarket!

In my imagination, I punched him in the face; I stepped on his balls with my sharpest stilettos while I gave him a lecture about stereotypes and quoted Edward Said (or something clever like that)

Outside my imagination I’m just not that strong, and honestly, I had no idea how to react. I really wanted to bounce back with a witty answer, express with exactitude how offensive I thought he was; however I must admit, to my great shame, that I had no smart, civilized, or even honest answer for him.

I accepted the fact that this was not my Gender Studies class, and that people are idiots. I could have asked him to leave, maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I really wanted to unwind (yup, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). So I relaxed, found a smile and semi-jokingly called him an idiot then suggested he strips for me instead.

He did, while singing “Leave your hat on”, after this little ice breaker it turned out to be a good night. 2 days later he called to ask me for brunch but I was busy, twice, and that was that.

I still don’t know how I should have reacted. The intersection of sex (actual sex) and gender politics is a weird grey area because we do all sorts of things in bed that are totally unacceptable in other social interactions. I’m sure that there are plenty of girls out there who love to play Sultan & Harem, just like there are probably many who like to pretend they’re Khaleesi. However if it’s a one night stand you just don’t throw your kink out there, hoping the other will respond positively. Specially not “culturally-sensitive” kinks. (That’s the most sugar-coated way I found to phrase this because this guy is still a clumsy asshole).

Condoms, cold pizza, rubber burn


Even when It’s bad, it’s still pretty good. This is supposedly true about both pizza and sex. Mr. Sensitive and I have tested that theory to its very last limit.

It’s not his feelings that are sensitive, certainly not; Mr Sensitive has sensitive skin, and he thinks it’s a perfectly good reason to avoid condoms.

So “trust” is what Mr. Sensitive has to offer instead: “walaw babe, don’t you trust me?” He is asking me, quite literally, to trust him with my life, trust him not to give me AIDS, herpes, not to get me pregnant. Actually, Mr. Sensitive never felt the need to get tested before, because fuck logic, so I’m supposed to trust him, AND his previous sexual partner, and HER previous sexual partner, and who knows who else.

The thing is, rubber is absolutely nonnegotiable for me. I know he’s silently cursing me for this, but my pre-teen years were marked by 1990’s French teen pop magazines, an the French are big on STD awareness and prevention, specially in the 1990’s, when AIDS was relatively new.

Here’s a secret: I’m on the pill, just in case the condom breaks. If I tell Mr. Sensitive, he’ll take it as a cue to stop using condoms and the argument will never end.

Another secret: I’m getting rubber burns too, because last month we ran out of things to say, and instead we have sex 4 times a day. Sometimes it burns like hell because its taking us both a lot of time to orgasm, well let’s face it, the sex is bad. He used to give me volcanoes 4, 5 times, every time. Now I fake it if nothing happens after 40 minutes.

We didn’t break up yet, because we’re both working hard at the moment and in between reading sessions, it’s nice to have each other’s warmth. It’s also still nice to have leftover pizza at midnight together. The pizza’s cold but it’s still pretty good; even if we have nothing to say to each other, there’s a new box of condoms on his bedside table.