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Penetrate Me

Inspired by McKenzie Wark’s autobiography, “Reverse Cowgirl,” Riley Yaxley writes a personal narrative about penetration, transformation, and the back of a 2004 Camry.

Featured image: A red car’s back end in the foreground. Behind it are two people, one with tears streaming down their face, the other calm. They’re leaning in towards each other. Illustration by Sammi Crowley.

I am going to piss all over this guy’s lap. And the back of his 2004 Toyota Camry, but I lowered myself further onto his dick anyway. I was squatting with both of my feet balanced precariously on the seat on either side of him. My left forearm was pressed against the window to stabilize myself and my other arm circled his head so I could crane my neck backward and kiss him. He thrusted in and out of me with a rote, mechanical rhythm, like a factory worker performing the same task again and again. His breath was hot on my neck and smelled like cigarettes and mint gum. I shifted slightly, cupping my groin with my hand, and hoped my bladder didn’t empty itself against my will. 

I didn’t know his name, or his age. He’d messaged me a blurry photo of himself a few hours earlier on Grindr. Even through the pixelation, I could tell that he had nice abs, so I messaged back. He asked whether I was a top or bottom. His profile said he was a top. “I’m a bottom,” I messaged. He asked me what I wanted him to do to me. I playfully begged him to “split me in half” and to “pound my tight little hole until I didn’t exist.”

I’d never had sex before and had no idea what I preferred. My knowledge of sexual positions came entirely from porn videos where twinks whose heads similarly seemed too big for their thin bodies always bottomed for older, more muscular men. I lifted these phrases verbatim from a porn I watched frequently. In the video, a man who looked like a youth pastor I had a pre-pubescent crush on (with his swirl of chest hair like a wisp of smoke spiraling from an extinguished candle) pushes another guy’s head into the navy bedsheets and fucks him from behind. The purple veins in the top’s neck and dick swelled as he fucked the bottom, who wimpered and ugly cried, begging him to go deeper. Each time I masturbated to the video, I carefully waited until the top announced he was about to cum to finish myself and watched in fascination as the top slowly inched his dick out of the bottom’s ass, revealing his hole, rosy pink and swollen—like a fresh mosquito bite. 

Years later, I thought about this video while reading MacKenzie Wark’s “Reverse Cowgirl,” where she writes: “There are the penetrators and the penetrated. Either your body opens and encloses another; or your body extends itself out of itself and into another. One can be both of course, alternately, or even at the same time. But basically, there are the fuckers and the fucked. I wanted to, and became, one of the fucked. To become flesh.”

The video wasn’t particularly kinky, but my fixation on the dynamic portrayed between these two men revealed my deeper feelings about sex at the time. My Evangelical Christian upbringing taught me that I would “lose” my virginity. I would become irreversibly damaged, unable to return to the innocence of my childhood. Like a too-small cotton t-shirt stretched until it’s misshapen and unwearable. Being fucked was synonymous with a loss — a loss of control, a loss of humanity. It was a humiliating experience that would turn me into an object, an empty hole for a stranger to enter. Like a child who defies a rule so they can experience the consequences, I wanted to be fucked. I wanted to learn the limits of my own body and discover that I, too, am just flesh. 

When this stranger asked when we could hang out, I surprised myself by texting back instead of blocking him like I’d done to the other men I’d messaged on the app. “Are you free now?” I was sitting in the passenger seat of his car half an hour later. 

A few days prior, I had sent my friend Miranda a sappy, pining poem I wrote about my crush and asked her whether I should act on my feelings. She encouraged me to talk to him, so I wrote a letter admitting I was gay and couldn’t be his friend anymore because it was too hard. I drove past his house in my mother’s blue Honda minivan and put the letter in his family’s mailbox, despite my fear that one of his parents might find and read it first. I considered handing it to him in person but got nauseous when I imagined the scenario.

He went to the same church as us and was a part of my friend group. We sat together during church service on Sundays and hung out every Thursday night for youth group. He had abysmal grades and was proud of his academic indifference; he planned to join the Navy, a family legacy. He often wore the same teal raglan shirt and was perpetually covered in scabs from skateboarding or baseball. Girls from our youth group who knew we were friends would ask me if he ever talked about them, a question I answered coolly, feigning indifference. Although, I resented them afterwards and made cruel comments about their behavior or appearance to my crush. We often had sleepovers, the two of us playing Halo, drinking Monster energy drinks, and goading each other to stay awake before admitting defeat and sharing one of our beds. 

I thought of him while I fucked myself for the first time with a dildo. I did it in the shower. The same shower we once shared after playing paintball in the woods behind my family’s house all day, telling each other it would be more efficient if we bathed together. I sat on the toilet and waited for my erection to deflate before joining him. I surreptitiously glanced at his naked body: memorized the weight of his testicles as they swung gently back and forth, admired how the water glistened on his blonde pubic hair, and tried to picture how his dick would transform as it swelled, the shape, the firmness, the curvature. I pictured his dick as I bent over and penetrated myself with the dildo. 

It was magenta pink, had pronounced veins, and took AA batteries that powered the relentless vibrating. The tempo and intensity of vibration could be adjusted by twisting the base of the faux penis. The bathroom was the only place I felt comfortable using it, convinced the sound of the shower would mask the droning buzz. I slathered the dildo with hair conditioner because I didn’t realize I needed lube and couldn’t fathom the anxiety of ordering more sex paraphenilia while living under my parent’s roof. The rubber felt stiff and unpleasant, like a pebble migrating around the inside of your shoe, and the vibration was monotonous, lacking the natural rhythm of a partner’s waxing and waning stamina. This was not the euphoria I imagined I would feel with him inside me. The dildo couldn’t mimic the ferocity of his carnal need from my fantasies, his determination as his flesh pressed against my soft insides, the warm friction eroding the boundaries between us. 

When I came, I watched my sperm sluggishly disappear down the drain. 

The battery compartment rusted a few days later. I re-read the package. This product is not waterproof. I threw it away, hiding it at the bottom of the trash. I wanted the real thing: his flesh forcing me open and plunging into my depths. Being penetrated by his dick in particular felt important. I loved him and the potential of him reciprocating this love might ease my transformation into “one of the fucked.” I thought, once he is inside me, feels the soft slickness of my magenta insides— the fragility of my flesh and my nervous, thudding heartbeat — he can’t help but love me. That his desire might be transferred irretrievably into my crevices and pores. 

He texted me a week after I delivered my letter to tell me he read it and asked if we could meet at the Caribou Coffee on 26 Mile Road. Neither of us ordered a drink. We can still be friends, he suggested sweetly. I nodded in agreement. Although, he never invited me to spend the night at his house again. I understood. How could he see me the same after I admitted the way I felt about him? Not to mention he was dating my sister. 

Heartbroken and despondent, I downloaded Grindr and exchanged messages with any man I found mildly attractive. If the object of my fantasies didn’t want me, I would find ways to combat the agonizing feeling of being unwanted — undesirable. And being penetrated might remedy the dull boredom that replaced my endless fantasies of my crush; I was determined to find a stranger who would salivate and beg for the opportunity to fuck me. 

I met the stranger in front of the cemetery. I thought it was a fairly inconspicuous location, an assumption that was quickly proven wrong; several cars passed, and we had to hunker low, hoping the drivers wouldn’t see our naked bodies illuminated by the yellow glow of their headlights and call the police. 

A soft, green glow emanated from his car radio, but no music was playing. He unzipped his cargo shorts, pulled out his dick, and spread his legs, looking at me expectantly. I leaned across the middle console and took him in my mouth. His dick was thicker than I expected. I clenched my fists as the head brushed past my uvula, a trick my friend told me was supposed to help get rid of your gag reflex. It didn’t. I coughed, sputtering, and wrapped my hand around the base as I focused on the head. Besides for a brief gasp when I first took him in my mouth, he was quiet. My jaw started to hurt.

I was relieved when he suggested that we move to the backseat. We both stripped quickly, and I watched excitedly as he opened a condom, gently rolled it down the shaft of his dick, and squirted a dollop of KY lube onto his angular tip. He cupped my ass, balancing my body while gently guiding me onto his lap. I felt him adjust his hips, pressing his dick against my hole. The pressure felt uncomfortable but less painful than I imagined.

Except, I realized he wasn’t inside me yet as he fidgeted around and felt around my ass with his hand. For a brief moment, I worried he wouldn’t fit before I felt him slip inside me. I involuntarily gasped and gritted my teeth. It felt like the time I stepped on a wooden grilling skewer one of my brothers left carelessly in the yard, the throbbing feeling in the flesh around the puncture wound was the only thing I could comprehend — a scalding sensation that felt endless and unendurable. I was so focused on breathing regularly that I didn’t hear him when he asked if it was okay the first time. When he asked a second time, I managed to whisper, “Yes, just go slowly.” 

He eased further inside and groaned, a guttural sound. “Fuck, you have a perfect ass,” he said. My body tingled, and I felt a profound sense of power as he fucked me. This stranger wanted me, wanted the pressure of my flesh closing around him. He knew nothing about me. Yet, I could feel the ferocity of his need as he rotated his hips backwards, nearly sliding himself out of my body before plunging deeper and harder than before. I stared out the windshield, opaque with the condensation from our bodies, and felt my vision become blurry. I no longer cared if I pissed on him. I tightened my fists and arched my back to press myself fully against his chest, concentrating all my energy on tightening the muscles in my rectum, afraid I might expand and explode like a latex balloon attached to the end of a garden hose for too long, the water rushing in every direction before soaking into the grass. Without warning, he came with a grunt and pulled on my hips, pushing his entire length inside me. 

Afterwards, he handed me several sheets of paper towels from his glove box. I held them awkwardly. There was nothing to wipe up. He had already swaddled the used condom in a paper towel and tucked it into one of his cup holders. We sat with the middle seat between us, and I wondered if I should move closer but didn’t. He asked me where I was from, and I quickly lied, “Detroit.”

“Nice, what mile road,” he asked? 

“Uh, you know, like, near 10 Mile Road.” I evaded his questions because I knew I didn’t want to see him again. The paradoxical power of being objectified I’d experienced while he was inside me telling me how good my hole felt had dissipated. When he was inside me, I only needed to be fuckable flesh. I could focus my attention entirely on the physical ecstasy of being penetrated by his dick. If I revealed details about my family, history, friends (or lack thereof in my case), dreams, hopes and fears, I would become more than flesh again. I would become a person who was not wanted by the one I wanted. 

We made banal small talk before I said goodnight, got in my own car, and drove off. 

At home, I sat on the toilet and strained but nothing came. I texted Miranda, “Just had sex for the first time. Maybe I’m not gay.” I bent over in front of the mirror and inspected my ass, looking for signs that an hour earlier I’d had a dick inside me, but it looked the same as before. I had lost nothing. Instead, I felt more human knowing I was finally one of the fucked; that I, too, am flesh. Flesh that could be wanted. 

About the author: Riley J. Yaxley is a writer whose tenderhearted work evokes memories in order to contemplate the self and the ways we make sense of the world and our place in it. Their writing broaches topics such as motherhood and trans maternity; gender, sexuality, and desire; and the imperial history of philanthropy in the US. Riley’s work has appeared in Sixty Inches from Center, Chicago Gallery News, ADF Web Magazine and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s journal of arts administration & policy. The middle child of seven, Riley was born and raised in a Detroit suburb and currently lives in Chicago on the traditional unceded homelands of the Council of Three Fires. They earned their BA and MA in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse from DePaul University.

About the illustrator: Sammi Crowley was born and raised in the rural suburbs of Detroit. She then received her BA in Fine Art from the University of the District of Columbia. Sammi aims for her art to convey a visual narrative in which the viewer feels like they’re remembering a memory they thought they had forgotten.

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