There’s a circular bed under one of the bay windows. Otherwise, it’s a pretty normal living room. Couches, a few sparsely populated bookshelves. One set of the windows look out onto the road, at the traffic that whizzes by, the buses and commuters. They leave their curtains open.
I’m seated on a couch with Miri, and Ben is in an armchair across from us. On the windowsill next to me, my tea casts a shadow on the glass.
“Have you ever done anything like this before?” Miri asks.
“Not sober,” I tell her, which is the truth. Miri and Ben cast each other a look. Theirs is a dry home, one of the many things that make it a curious establishment to me.
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“We can, um. Go grab a bottle of wine or something?” Ben offers. It’s a concession they’re willing to make, but I can tell they both feel a little uneasy, the way their eyes keep meeting, trying not to meet.
“No, it’s ok. Adults, like, take ownership of their wants, right?” And they laugh, thank God, they laugh because I feel so weird and uncomfortable, like my own desire is an unwieldy thing. But it’s true. I do want to be there.
It’s then that Miri kisses me.
This is my second date with Ben, but my first with Miri. A week prior, Ben and I met at a café in Rockridge, near my apartment, for coffee. We’d met online-they’d messaged me from an account that looked like it was Miri’s, but listed pictures of both of them. They’re a gorgeous couple, married for years. Both of them appear squarely outside my league. So when, on our first date, Ben told me he was a competitive triathlete, I just laughed. Of course he was. But when he told me they were both sex therapists, I was genuinely surprised.
I asked a lot of questions, but I still don’t really understand what their session to session work life is like. Nor do I completely understand the reason for having the circular bed in their living room. That’s where they practice, that much is clear. This is also where we all have sex together.