He laughed. "I just don't get where you're finding these men who don't know what they're doing. It's not exactly rocket science. Any man who doesn't take the time to make sure a woman is thoroughly satisfied is not worth getting into bed."
And the more we talk about this, the more I want to get you into bed. I swallowed. "I don't know. I can't expect them to read my mind." I shrugged. "Maybe I'm not communicating it well enough. I mean, it's just ... weird..."
"Asking for what you want?"
I bit my lip and nodded. "What am I supposed to say? I feel like an ass when I try to put it into words."
"Ah, that might be part of the problem, then," he said.
I cocked my head. "What?"
"Lack of confidence." He set his coffee down and ran a hand through his hair. "How is a guy supposed to know you want him to lick your clit if you can't tell him?"
My cheeks were on fire then. What I wouldn't have given for the confidence to ask him to do that very thing right then. I'd been attracted to him since time immemorial, but the more we talked about this, the more I learned how much he loved pleasing a woman, the more I wanted him. I sighed.
He smiled. "That's what I thought." He folded his hands on the counter and leaned forward. "You just have to get up the confidence to make it clear what you want. Does it embarrass you to have a man eat your pussy?"
I chewed my lip. He said it so matter-of-factly, so unabashedly. It shouldn't have surprised me coming from him, but it wasn't comfortable to discuss with anyone. I took a breath. "I don't think any man has gone down on me long enough to embarrass me."
He rolled his eyes. "Neanderthals." He looked at me again. "Really, though, if it doesn't embarrass you to have him do something to you, why be embarrassed about asking him to do it?"
I wetted my lips and avoided his eyes. He was absolutely right, but I didn't know if that revelation would magically grant me the confidence to be able to ask for it.
"Honestly, Marisa," he said. "Assuming you're with a man who's worth fucking, there probably isn't much you can ask him to do that would surprise him or make him uncomfortable."
He nodded. "If he's worth fucking, then he wants to please you, and trust me, there is nothing more frustrating for a man than trying to please a woman and not getting any feedback one way or the other."
"I hadn't thought of it that way."
He smiled. "Really, all you have to do is ask. If he won't do it, then boot his ass out of bed and find someone who will."
Like you? I sipped my coffee, rolling it around in my mouth as I rolled his words around in my head.
"I've been with a few women who had a hard time with this," he said.
You don't say. "Really?"
He nodded. "One girl, she just couldn't bring herself to ask for anything, and I wasn't getting anywhere with her. We were both getting frustrated as hell." He shook his head, pursing his lips. "Finally, I told her, 'I want to please you, but you've got to give me some feedback so I know if I'm doing the right thing.'" He shrugged. "So she told me. It took a while, but she started talking more."
"And it got better?"
"Oh yeah," he said. "After that, it was incredible."
"Lucky woman," I said with a laugh.
He shook his head. "Not lucky. Communicative. She told me what she wanted, and I gave it to her." He paused for a second. "I do that with every woman. I'm not a mind reader, so she has to tell me what she wants."
"Does it really vary that much? From woman to woman?"
"Absolutely. And from night to night with the same woman. Sometimes she wants a man to make love to her. Sometimes she wants to be thrown around and fucked within an inch of her life. I just let her tell me--implicitly or explicitly--what she wants. And I give it to her."
Darren, you're killing me. "Sounds like some of the men I've dated could use a few lessons from you."
He chuckled. "No, they need lessons from you."
"It's just a confidence thing," he said. "You'll get it. You have to learn to be a bit shameless. Don't be embarrassed of your own desires. Sex means getting vulnerable with another person just as much as it means asking them to be vulnerable with you; if you can't ask for what you want, then what's the point?"
"True." There was a long pause. Get a little bit shameless, you say? My heart pounded. Did I dare? Then I looked him in the eye and the words were out before I could think twice. "So what if I said I wanted you?"