Curio(6)By: Cara McKenna
“Could you take your pants off?” I asked him.
Before I knew it, he’d stripped to his underwear. And it’s the sexiest underwear I’ve ever seen on a man. Nothing fancy, just briefs, but they must be made of silk or some other fine, explicit fabric, the way they cling. His thighs looked strong, his shorts full. He was an Armani campaign, lounging on his old couch in this moody, elegant apartment, candles flickering. Note to self—find out if clients are allowed to take photographs.
“Is it weird,” I asked, “having people stare at you?”
“No, not really. I modeled for so long, I’m used to it now.”
“And you don’t model anymore?”
He shook his head. “Very rarely. My priorities have shifted.”
“Oh. Well, I guess it’s just weird for me, then, doing the staring.”
“You’re here with permission to do far more than stare,” he reminded me with a smile. “Believe me, I’m not bothered.”
“Would you feel weird if I asked to watch you, later? You know, like watch you…” I couldn’t find the right verb, all of them sounding too clinical or too juvenile.
Oh, that’ll do.
“No, that would not bother me at all.”
I sipped my wine and considered something. Male prostitutes can’t fake it the way female ones can. For a second I was filled with fear that the time would come for Didier to take me and he wouldn’t be up for it, as it were.
“Something is worrying you,” he said.
I smiled dopily, owning my nerves. “Sort of. I was just thinking about how… About what happens when you’re not attracted to your clients.”
“Whether or not I can perform?”
I nodded again.
“Well, I have a few unwritten policies. The first is that no one in this flat does anything they aren’t comfortable with. If I don’t think a woman is absolutely, perfectly ready for me to do what she’s asked of me, I won’t do it.”
“And what about if you aren’t into it?”
Another smile, but this time he lowered his gaze to the glass in his hands. “If I’ve managed to make a woman really, truly ready to have me, I’m into it. It’s very seductive to me, a woman who can make demands of my body.”
“Oh. That’s a good answer.”
He met my eyes again. “The truth always is.”
“Have you always known… When did you first realize you’re, you know. Good-looking?”
He made a thoughtful face, just another intriguing flavor of handsome seasoning his features. “I suppose when I was about fourteen, I started to realize, or people started to tell me.”
“Did you always want to model?”
“No, it was very accidental. Photographers kept asking, and I kept being broke. It seemed a natural solution.”
“What about…” I gave a little nod to mean this room, the two of us and what brought me here.
“That was accidental as well. It never struck me as such a great divide, the step between modeling and selling my physical body. And I never had a drug problem or anything so desperate, if you were curious.”
“That hadn’t actually crossed my mind.”
“But I’ve never been modest, and I’ve never felt that sex is something so precious it needs to be reserved for some mysterious ‘one’. That’s a very American way of thinking, isn’t it? This modern obsession with monogamy. Exclusivity.”
“Probably. Did you want to be something else when you were younger?”
He smiled. “I certainly never went around saying, ‘when I’m grown, I want to be a whore’.”
I blushed, unsure if he was offended by my question.
“I wanted to make women happy. That was all I knew.”
“That’s an interesting thing for a boy to realize.”
“You would have had to have my mother to understand. She was a very cold woman. To me, at least. I’m sure a psychiatrist would have plenty to say about that. But I suspect that’s some part of why I’m here, doing what it is I do.”
“Do you enjoy it?”