<%@ Language=VBScript %> Keepgoing.org - Winter 2001 - Discovering Lust
The Farm

Discovering Lust

By Blythe Smith

Woman I was sixteen years old when I first discovered the concept of lust. “Discovered” is probably not the right word, since I had obviously figured out what it meant long before that. But lust is surely one of those things that must first be experienced before it can truly be understood.

The boy who aided me in this discovery was named Omar. I wish I could remember the details of what led to our encounter more clearly, but like many of my pre-college experiences, the preliminaries that led to the event are obscured in the mist of memory, a mist no doubt considerably aided by other pleasure-inducing habits I picked up at a later age.

I do remember a brief conversation in the classroom that served as the office of our school newspaper, for which Omar took pictures and I wrote. There may have been some minor flirtation, although any seductive body language would have been greatly obscured by our seating, the combination desk/chairs that seem to populate every classroom in America. In any case, my own flirtatious abilities were, at that age, rank amateur at best. Omar, as we shall see, was not fettered by any such inability.

Next I recall a brief conversation in a hallway. Although the details are foggy, the word “conversation” may be giving this interchange more than its due. It was limited to, in so many words, the blunt question, “Wanna make out?” from him, and an equally blunt reply of, “OK,” from me.

Man We sneaked into the smallest of our school’s three gymnasiums, known as the gymnastics gym. It was filled with the equipment of that sport, which, had we been older or more adventurous, Omar and I might have put to use. Instead, he pushed me up against a slightly sticky, vaguely sweat-smelling wrestling mat. Precariously leaning rows of these thin mats lined all the walls like brightly-colored, floppy dominoes, and the air was always full of their leftover odor of boy stink. We locked lips while pressed into that giving, tacky surface, and the pressure of Omar’s body against mine filled me with my first-ever rush of pure, uncomplicated lust.

Omar was a known playboy in our little adolescent community. Take any given group of five or so female classmates, and at least three of them would have to admit to once or twice “mashing” with this young stud. He was the envy, and often the enemy, of his jealous male classmates, who would have counted themselves lucky to get even a fraction of the action that Omar so effortlessly enjoyed.

What made Omar so attractive to us is still somewhat of a mystery to me, even after all these years. He was of Middle Eastern parentage, and sexy in a sort of over-the-top, Latin lover, Desi Arnez kind of way. And anything other than waspy, whitebread good looks—from our hunky Black football/baseball/basketball all-star to the geeky, straight-A Korean honor-roll student—seemed exotic, and therefore attractive, to us, trapped as we were in the whiter than white world of our upper-middle-class suburb.

Those who were there can’t agree on whether or not Omar was actually what we would have called “cute." Many girls found him at least cute enough to lock lips with, while the boys unanimously recall him with words like “greasy sleezeball,” and marvel that we allowed him to touch us at all. However, as has been stated, they were biased.

But there is evidence that Omar’s looks, whether good, bad, or merely “exotic,” had little to do with his success with the ladies. For Omar had a brother, a year older and so much like him in appearance that you could almost mistake them for twins. Yet the brother, endowed as he seemed to be, at least outwardly, with all the same advantages as his sexually successful sibling, enjoyed none of his popularity with the fairer sex. He was a nice enough guy, a slightly above average student who was saved from the horrible fate of being a “band geek” only by the fact that he had a girlfriend of long standing, a hot girlfriend, no less, who was known to be somewhat of a “band slut.” But his success with her, as pleasant as that may have been for him, was the only success he was ever known to have in that area, while his brother’s bedpost must have been whittled away from all those notches.

It is interesting to note that Omar himself was not only in the band but also a member of that dreadedly dorky organization known as show choir. For those of you not familiar with the phenomenon, please take my word for it that there is absolutely nothing in the high school sphere of existence (and perhaps in the known universe) more geek-ridden and ridiculous than the utterly phony, sappy, and twisted world of synchronized dancing and show tunes that is show choir. Yet his membership in this horrible glee club gone wrong did nothing to dampen Omar’s prospects for action. In fact, if memory serves, the small practice rooms of the band and orchestra area were some of his favorite settings for seduction.

Another possible source of Omar’s seeming irresistibleness was the tale of the girl he had loved and lost. It was a somewhat famous story in our school, made all the more glamorous to us by the fact that the girl in question was amongst the jet set of our world: tall, gorgeous, perfect skin, big tits, and a cheerleader, no less. For a time they were one of the school’s most committed as well as steamiest couples, often paying for their flagrant violations of PDA law in after-school detentions. Nothing was known of how exactly Omar had lost this seeming earth-angel, although I suspect his ease with the ladies may have been a contributing factor. But it was a well-known and well-accepted fact that he “pined eternally” for his lost love. While his lips might constantly find new companions, his heart was always with her. Avid consumers of pop-melodrama and soap-opera tragedy that we were, this story seemed more romantic to us than that of Heathcliff and Cathy, or even Luke and Laura.

But really, I think all those factors were merely side dishes, so to speak, compared to what really drew us to Omar. What he had to offer was knowledge, an opportunity to find out what things were really like, without all the unpleasantness of a real romance.

To be sure, as unattractive as most of us were at that gawky, pimply, bud-breasted adolescent stage, we still had our own equally gawky and pimply admirers. We had ample opportunities to experiment with our newly formed bodies. But, although we liked having them panting around, most of us just weren’t all that interested in doing anything physical with these creatures of our own kind. Oh sure, we’d string them along, keep ’em handy for a Friday night double date, safely buffered from their advances by our equally skittish girlfriend. But for most of us, being trapped alone afterward in the back seat was not an appealing proposition.

For one thing, as addicted romance-novel readers, their sloppy embraces and awkward, fumbling gropes were not what we fantasized about. We wanted to be swept off our feet—something that, in his blunt and romance-free way, Omar was perfectly capable of doing—not poked at by an awkward, spit-sloppy tongue. And even if our curiosity to know what all the hoopla was about might motivate some of us to give it a whirl, the knowledge that you could end up back in that same car with that same drooling octopus for many Friday nights to come was enough to put a damper on even the most adventurous spirit. We did not want them forming attachments.

Besides, there was something doglike and humiliating about the way the other boys presented themselves. They were so desperate for us, for any crumb of physical contact, the demands of their urgent glands oozing out of them like sticky, rank sweat. And we weren’t quite comfortable with their adoration—after all, we didn’t love ourselves, so why should anyone else? Most of us were still light years away from any concept of self-worth or acceptance. We felt unworthy of just about anything. If a boy wanted us—as obviously unfit as we were—what could possible be wrong with him? Like Groucho Marx, we didn’t want to join any club that would have had us for members.

But Omar presented none of these obstacles. First of all, he was no fumbler, no bumper of braces against tender teenage lips. And second, whatever Omar might offer you, it was always tacitly understood by all parties to be completely temporary. We didn’t have to fear putting off his lustful advances for the rest of the school year. While Omar might offer many things, he never, ever pleaded. The obvious casualness of his advances was a seductive counterpoint to the endless needling of our other male companions. And while the true tales of his sexual adventures went far beyond a little harmless mashing in the gym, I never once heard any girl say that she had done more than she wanted to do with Omar.

This was where the true secret of Omar’s attractions lay. He offered knowledge without consequence. And knowledge was what we were really lusting for. Of course, we had our teenage urges, but the stronger motivation was to find out. What’s it like to have someone’s tongue in your mouth? Is it as gross as we imagine it to be? Will all that practicing on our pillows pay off? And what does it feel like to have a hand on your breast? Or down your pants? Just how much power did the gifts of our bodies give us over men, these supposed rulers of the world? For years we had read books about it, watched movies about it, giggled about it at our chaste sleepover parties. We were tired of speculation. Now we wanted to know.

Of course, once we got our little taste of the real thing (courtesy of Omar) our desires became far less academic. Don’t be fooled: while they may not be as obvious about it, there are a lot of teenage girls whose hormones are just as out of control as their horny brothers. Just like everyone else who dallied with Omar in the gymnastics room or the band bus or the steamy back seat of his daddy’s car, once I’d had my taste of lust, I wasn’t never going back.

Nowadays, when the few friends I have left who can remember high school get together, Omar’s name still occasionally comes up. The reactions of the men are the same as they were back then: hostility, laced with jealous wonder. “God, he was so nasty! I can’t believe you let that sleezebag get to second base. What were you thinking?” The ladies’ reactions are subtler. We may smile a little, and we say even less. We feel no need to defend Omar. We understand that in the end, it doesn’t really matter whether or not he was a greasy slimebag or just a particularly smooth operator for a teenager who, like all the rest, was looking for a little fun.

It’s not who he was that matters. It’s what he gave us that was valuable. Through him we came to understand that love and lust, while they may be two sides of the same coin, are very different things. And while one without the other may have its disadvantages, it has its perks, too. Many of us have since found real love with all the trimmings, but we still wouldn’t give up those lovely rolls in the hay we have tucked away in our memories. Without them, we wouldn’t know how to really roll once the real thing showed up.

Most of all, Omar showed us that there was nothing to be ashamed of in wanting exactly the same things as the boys—that there was, in fact, not only a great deal of pleasure but also a great deal of power to be found in getting to know some of our baser instincts, and through them, our real, grown-up selves. He helped us learn what some women can’t figure out well into their adult lives: simply put, that lust is healthy. Hell, lust can even be beautiful. And it’s something every woman should get to know.

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Copyright©2001 by Blythe Smith.

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