Who Needs a Puppy When You Have a Young Lover?

“Too much,” I said, stated as simply as if he had put a dash more sugar than I prefer in my coffee. He cocked his head back and slightly to the right. Like a damn cocker spaniel.

“I thought you liked that?” he asked, now looking genuinely hurt.

“I do. I do,” I lied. “I just burnt my tongue earlier today, and having your tongue sliding up and down my numbed taste-buds isn’t doing it for me.”

“Oh, okay,” he said. Hurt. Timid. Like a puppy who’d been scolded. I might as well have been holding a rolled newspaper threateningly above his head.

Cautiously, Jeremy leaned in again with his lips pressed together, eyes closed. I kissed him, but I tried to imagine he was someone else. Jeremy was gorgeous–physically fit with dark hair, beautifully dark brown eyes, and the creamy light brown skin of a young Latino man–but he was painful when it came to intimacy. I thought dating a younger guy would be exciting and fulfilling. The only rush I had gotten so far was the blood pounding in my head from the migraine that comes on every time I have to explain my sexual desires in a way that won’t hurt his sensitive side. I’m starting to sense that “sensitive” may be the only side that he has. Any kind of feedback seems to blow this guy’s ego to pieces. And then I feel the need to put it back together.

For a second, I forgot we were still kissing. Dry, tight-lipped kissing. God, this was bad. Wasn’t I supposed to get some sort of thrill from teaching a twenty-one year old how to fulfill my sexual needs? Don’t older men and women alike fantasize about the opportunity to give their experience to a younger, eager-to-please lover? So far, I felt more annoyed than empowered.

His hands moved from his side to my waist. He rested one hand lightly on each hip. Then he moved one hand up my side, and it tickled. I giggled. I felt his lips pull up into a smile. Okay, that’s sexy. He has a really good smile: full lips, straight white teeth, and a dimple on the left side. It was the first thing I noticed when I bumped into him–literally–at Antonio’s Bar & Grill last week. I had apologized. He had smiled and said, “It’s cool,” and I flirted my way into getting his phone number. Two dates and eight days later, we stood kissing in my living room.

His hand moved from my ribs to my breast, hovering above it like a space ship. When he finally landed it, he grabbed and pulled at my breast like it was a water balloon that he wanted to burst.

“Okay, seriously. I can’t do this,” I said. “I’m just not feeling it, Jeremy. I’m sorry.”

He stepped back a couple of feet. Confused. Embarrassed. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, it’s not you.”

“Then what is it?” Big, sad brown eyes glistened back at me. Oh shit, was he going to cry?

“Well, actually…” I had every intention of breaking up with him. He put his head down and stared at my feet like a puppy expecting a smack on the head. “Actually, I just wanted to go get some ice cream or something. Cool things off, if you know what I mean. I don’t want to rush this.”

He perked up. If he had a tail, I swear, it would have wagged. “Oh, sure. That’s cool with me,” he said. “I respect that.”

Respect. Jeremy earned a third date.