002: Corinne and the Cheese (Part 1)

A woman struggling with life inside and outside the bedroom finds love in all the ripe places.

CoriNne and the Cheese (Part 1):

It would not be inaccurate to say that I had a love affair with cheese.

It also would not be inaccurate to say that I’m a woman who doesn’t like to mince words, so before you start snapping your fingers and thinking, “this girl gets me,” I need to be clear: I like to fuck cheese.

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I remember my first encounter. I was running down a flight of stairs towards our kitchen—I must’ve been two, three years old—and my mom said that magical phrase “Sweetie, lunch is ready!” God my mom had a way with words.

I scaled the chair to the kitchen island where meals were always served. She ushered the pan from stove to countertop, my plate awaiting like a landing pad below.

And then I saw it. Two perfectly butter-burnt golden pieces of bread, enshrining the Kraft singles as they coalesced inside, melting out in excess like hot curdled sex from its edges.

I bit into that sandwich and all that is holy and dairy and carbs made love to my mouth. I wore a bib for protection, and as I chewed, the juices spewed, my mouth perched between bites in a permanent smile.

I didn’t know it at the time, but that grilled cheese - or as I called it for several more years - girl cheese, was nothing but a gateway into what many would consider an unhealthy fetish, or at the very least, cardiologists and gynecologists would agree was an unhealthy dietary practice.

While most kids on the school yard were trading their lunches for Gushers and hostess cupcakes, I was trading for Handi-Snacks and string cheese.

I understand that to some this may sound farfetched. But as you wrestle with my words, wherever you’re reading this: I can assure you of two things: sharing these words with you now has been no easy task, and that if you had that cheese inside you, you’d know this story is anything but fantastical.

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I lost my virginity at 16. It was uneventful, much ado about nothing. You see the movies and you read the magazines and you feel like you’re missing out on something. That you’re doing it wrong. This pattern continued, the banality of lovemaking, fucking, bumping uglies—whatever poetry you wanted to bring to its name, the end result—disappointment—remained the same.

There’s a great sense of shame that comes from not being able to achieve an orgasm. You’re told that it’s meant to be this holy grail. The coda to the pas de deux that is lovemaking. It’s not that you can’t enjoy the dance without it, it’s just that the dance never feels conclusive without it. Over time, sex starts to feel more chore-like for both parties. If what can’t be done in 10 minutes can’t be done in 20, and what can’t be done in 20 can’t be done in an hour, what difference does much more than 2 minutes make?

At first I’d lie. I’d tell them that I never came on the first date. It wasn’t a sustainable lie. So then I’d tell them I couldn’t cum without assistance. But then, thanks to the internet, sex-positivity became le mot du jour, and suddenly boys were bringing more battery-operated devices into the bedroom than a Best Buy, and so, that lie had to go too.

Eventually I said that I could only cum by myself. Without anyone else in the room. I figured that this would remedy the situation, but the reality was, there couldn’t have been a worse lie for me to tell. Suddenly my orgasm became a conquest not of my own but my lovers’.

I’d lay there, pussy sopping with an hour’s saliva, only to pat his head, and tell him to enter me. And then I’d continue to lay there, limbs being battered, staring up at the ceiling, waiting for it to be over.

Which is not to say that these men shouldn’t be applauded for their concerned efforts, but simply that at a point, sex became less about enjoying them and more about enduring them.

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The first time I lied about an orgasm I was 24. I can’t remember the man’s name on top of me, but I think it was Doug. What a dumb name. It’s just “ugg” with a “D” attached to it.

He was hammering and nailing, occasionally tossing his head to cast his sweaty hair to the side. I didn’t find anything particularly attractive about Doug, except that he was yet another step in the direction of staying the course, the ostensible destination some mythical happiness that must be earned through the sheer passing of time. And it had been last call at the Whistling Pickler. 

Sitting on his couch, a mere three blocks from the bar, I contemplated if Doug could be the one to solve this ancient mystery that was my body. But two Michelob Lights, and an unveiling of a “a shirt that said something about being a feminist” later, Doug tongue-speared my throat, and down goes Hope.

As Doug pumped away, and I lay there, both of us sad in our own way, the thought crossed my mind, ‘what if I gave Doug what he wanted?’ Which was the satisfaction of knowing that he was the one; the one who could satisfy; what if I gave him the victory he was thrusting after?

“Oh yeah, fuck me with your big cock. Fuck me with that big, fat cock.” I’d never said such words. Also, it wasn’t that big.

“Yeah, oh my god. Ohh fucckk. I squeezed my thighs firmly against his and began contracting them in rapid succession. I put my hands behind my head and grabbed for as much pillow as I could.

“It’s happening,” I said, to avoid any ambiguity.

I kegeled. And boy could I Kegel.

“Mmmm oh yeah yeah yeah, mmmmm” My voice started vibrating, my face scrunched up, and my eyes actually began to well.

“Ahhhh.” I sighed out, signaling relief.

“Yes. Yes! Oh fuck yeah, I am the fuck king!” His words, not mine. He shot inside me. I didn’t like using condoms, but I made it seem like it was his idea.

His face fell into the pillow behind me. My face perked into a smile. It was over. It had never made sense to me before, but at that very moment, I realized why so many women before me had been faking orgasms.

And so from that point forward, that became my modus operandi.

Until I forgot to check my oil.

Eric Barry