I think back to mornings when I did awaken next to a lovely young companion. The places change--- dorm rooms, apartments, hotel rooms ---but the moment is the same. There's that grey-violet pre-dawn colour to the light, and there's that sense of stillness in the room. I've always liked those moments, liked seeing my young companion's bare back half-draped by the sheet, liked the way her hair falls across bare shoulders. Watching a lover sleep is one of the more romantic images out there. And I've always leaned across to brush my lips over one shoulder or one hip and--- often ---awakened my young companion with caresses and kisses. Lovers have done that for me, too, awakened me with mouth or fingers, brought me up out of sleep and into lovemaking. That's always been part of mornings-after for me. Last night's sex becomes morning sex, and a prelude to showers and coffee and brunch. My practice has always been to offer up that dawnlight caress, the kiss on the spine or the edge of a hipbone, to begin the morning-after as an extension of the night-before. I've begun mornings-after that way for a lifetime. I'm told that that's no longer romance. It's all supposedly evil--- and probably illegal in certain countries. It's clearly enough to find oneself regarded by a whole faction of gender wars types as a monster. I've no idea how matters have come to this.
I've always been someone who talks during sex. I tell stories, and I encourage my young companions to tell me stories as well. This is who we are for the night, these are the masks we're wearing, these are the things we're doing and the films we're living inside. I talk during sex, and of course all seductions are about talking, about words. It's stories that I want from my young companions, too. I want us to construct worlds for each other, to be inside our own novel, our own film.
That's romance, of course--- creating and sharing a fantasy. My reading of certain writers and columnists these days is that the kinds of talk I share with lovers doesn't count, and may only be a screen for evil.
There's a disdain for seduction out there in the culture, and there's a disdain for silence, too. There are writers (and perhaps legislators or would-be legislators) who believe that silence should never be part of sex.
I've never overriden a No; I've never thought of ignoring a No. But those dawn-lit mornings are now regarded not as part of a shared world but as a battlefield or a tense negotiation between hostile states. Is it even not-evil to look at a sleeping companion and see beauty or feel lust? Are we quite to that part yet?
When next a lovely, long-legged young companion shares my bed, I will want there to be morning-after sex. I'll hope that the morning-after there in bed will begin with kisses and caresses. The morning-after thing that's always there to be said is just, "Hey, you..." That's an acknowledgment that we're there, and that this bed and this hour are still part of what we created the night before. I refuse to regard awakening a lover with touch and kisses and drifting into lovemaking as evil. I refuse to give up the idea of mornings-after as a kind of dreamworld.