Shortly after that first meeting, Joey’s urgency toward managing my manner of dress seemed to increase. While window shopping, he would remark, “Look at that blouse, you would look great in that. That’s how Marilyn would have dressed.”
I’d reply, “Oh my God, Honey, I could never wear something like that. Look at how low cut it is. My boobs would hang out.”
His observation was, “That’s the point, Sweetie, that’s what men like to see. You have to do something about your clothing; you dress like some dowdy schoolteacher. You always look so gray and unsexy.”
With pleading eyes and voice, I offered, “But, Joey, I’d die if men stared at me that way, thinking I was showing off, or that I was inviting them to stare at my breasts. Besides, why would you want other men to ogle me, anyway?”
In a voice dripping with contempt, he argued, “Dawn, you are so stupid. That’s just how real women dress. They dress to please men, not hide from men. What’s the matter with you? I’ve been around, and know how men are. You know nothing about what men want in a woman. Besides, do you think you know better than Marilyn?”
Hanging my head in embarrassment, I remained silent and considered his words. I knew that he was right about my not knowing anything, but it hurt so much that he wanted me to expose myself. For the life of me, I could not understand why he would want this. He was always talking about my shyness and sexual ineptness being the basis for our miserable sex life. I so wanted to please him in every way, but I couldn’t make myself dress in such a provocative manner. I thought his request was like asking someone terrified of heights to stand out on a twenty-story scaffold to prove their love for him.
His constant disappointment made me feel like I was the one responsible for our disastrous bedroom trysts. I turned away from him so he wouldn’t see my face burning with shame as I considered the miserable situation surrounding our sex life. There were facets of our sex life that frightened me. I could only guess at what the normal methods of satisfying a partner were. I tried to take my cues from Joey, thinking that since he was so worldly in matters of education, manners, and clothing, he would also know all there was to know about sex.
When Joey insisted on inserting a Coke bottle inside of me, I felt panic and disgust. I resorted to familiar childhood measures of survival by going limp and focusing on anything outside of the bedroom. This led to arguments and disappointments, as his sexual fantasies were thwarted by that behavior. In the absence of communication, all that remain are actions and reactions.
In the beginning, I was very responsive to his delicious, tender kisses, and shared in the explorations of our bodies. As time went on, however, his inability to maintain an erection occurred with more frequency. As I became more subject to his sexual fantasies, I further with-drew, flashing back to childhood memories of unwanted touching. As the months passed, the dreaded bedroom erection scenario happened almost every time we tried to make love.
Joey and I began to argue more frequently about my conservative attire. He forgot that I was the girl that had to repeat Physical Education classes because I refused to participate in group showers. As changing my manner of dressing became his solution to our sexual problems, I felt his urgency accelerate. He thought that if I dressed and behaved in a provocative manner, he would be aroused. I wanted with all my heart to please him, but my fear of being noticed sexually far exceeded his wishes for me to emulate Marilyn’s dress style. We constantly fought about this. He made it clear that a normal woman would have known what it was that he was talking about, but between his fantasies and his need to be excited by showing off my body, I grew more and more frustrated. He said, “All real women already know about whoring.” He said that as if every other woman on the planet besides me just woke up one morning and voilà, they instantly knew how to be a sexually provocative partner.
|Cropped screenshot of Marilyn Monroe from the trailer for the film Some Like It Hot|
|Source||Some Like It Hot trailer|