He has a funny name. I made a funny film. And it’s kind of funny that we’re both artists from New York and we met at this quirky little film festival in Cape Cod. So naturally we came together and opened ourselves to each other in the ocean, naked on a jetty, in the moonlight, under the stars.
The guy with the funny name was working for the festival and staying in a beach house with other crew members and volunteers. He mentioned that they stayed up most of the night. Earlier in the week, he invited me to join the nocturnal ravings on the beach, but I declined because I wanted to be awake for the daily screenings and events. But Friday, oh fabulous Friday, was waiting for wildness: My friend Zoie had arrived for the weekend, my screening was over and my birthday was the next day. That night, every element was aligned for adventures to unfold upon a sandy stage. Besides I had a crush on the guy with the funny name.
The three of us left the official festival party and went to the beach house. As I changed into my swimsuit, I imagined shedding it onto the sand. Why did I think I would need this sexy bikini? It was two in the morning. If you’re going to go swimming in the ocean after midnight, you may as well be naked. If I weren’t an exhibitionist, would I feel the need to hide the secrets of my body from the moon and stars?
When I emerged from the bathroom, he asked, “Did you put your swimsuit on?”
“Yes, but I might just go in naked.”
“That’s what I was thinking of doin,” he replied.
I wonder what else he was thinking. Skinny-dipping is one of those seemingly innocent activities that functions as an ambiguous precursor to sex—like sharing a bed or a back massage.
Zoie was too cold for night swimming, so she settled on the sand while he and I prepared for the plunge. While fiddling with my dress, I listened to the rustling of his movements, aware of a vague locker room self-consciousness filtering through my peripheral glances. Nakedness isn’t cause for shyness so much as the transition to an exposed state. Once you’re exposed, you’re free from hiding. I watched his naked body drift toward the water and disappear.
As I waded into the salty darkness, I observed him standing half submerged and knew that we would soon be kissing. How liberating to be naked in the ocean at night! Clinging wet fabric and other coverings and trappings of daytime beach culture were apparitions from an unnatural world. If I wasn’t attracted to him, however, it might’ve been strange. I probably wouldn’t have draped seaweed around my neck and approached him like a Siren from the deep. The next move was symphonic—in lieu of coy seduction, we glided into each other’s mouths.
It couldn’t have been more organic. We bobbed around while flashlight beams passed over our skin and voices carried over the ridges of ephemeral sea. Were they from the festival? Could they see us? The exhibitionist in me wanted them to, but I didn’t need that. We played and kissed until I started shivering. Then we waded to the jetty, where he lifted me onto a bed of glistening rock, lowered me onto my back and told me to relax…
“Just enjoy,” he said. His tongue dove between my legs as I gazed at the stars and the undulating magnitude lapping against the rock. For a few moments I imagined myself as a mermaid, but the image dissolved when I started to wonder how mermaids could possibly enjoy cunnilingus. The cold, the hardness of the rock and newness of him delayed my orgasm until the following afternoon, when I escaped for a few hours to the beach house. He gave me three big O’s for my birthday. How many people spend the early hours of another year’s passing, supine on a jetty rock, receiving oral sex from someone they’ve known for less than a week?
I didn’t go to this film festival in Cape Cod with the intention to hook up with someone. No mad pursuit propelled either of us to fall into the other’s sexual space. Instead, it was a mutually natural progression, from connecting through conversations to sex behind hedges and every naked moment in between. It was pure logic wrapped in the magic of movies in a quirky little town and the summer camp feeling of a communal beach house. It’s funny that casual sex never appealed to him. It’s funny that he chose me. And it’s funny that my mind is still there, naked under the stars.