If it was possible to write a story of gluttony, lust, and sloth without a moralistic ending then it would be our story, because we fell into decadence without so much as a hint of guilt or a moment of regret. There were challenges as there always were, but those were born more out of our growing affection, our newfound views on the world, relationships, and sex, and the tension that new love often necessitates.

But we ate, drank, and fucked our way through the city, and those months are a blur of sex and tears interspersed with some of the most amazing meals I have ever had in my life. It wasn’t uncommon for us to order a bottle of a wine, a dozen oysters, steak au poivre, a bucket of mussels, and possibly a scotch for my dessert and a creme brulee for hers. We ate at Minetta Tavern, at The Mermaid Inn, and at Lucky Strike. We found every decent lobster roll in the city, and we drank ice cold martinis and ate Malpeques for brunch on cold Sunday afternoons. We sat in front of the wood burning stove at McSorley’s and she danced on the bar of Doc Holidays on Halloween. And then, without exception, we were back at my place, our bodies covered in sweat as we fucked and made love on my bed.

It may be that the sex is what brought us closest, although the oysters orchestrated it. For some reason I can’t actually explain, except to say we were both tired from hiding, we were suspiciously honest with each other when it came to what we liked. It helped that we shared some context–I had seen her play at parties and she had read my books–but we opened up to each other over and over again, laying our souls bare in ways neither one of us had done before. The physical things were both the easiest and the most complicated, at least for me, but the things that went through our heads were more precious. Our deepest fantasies, from age play and incest to cuckolding and humiliation, we shared it all, and not once did one of us turn away in disgust. In fact, the simple conversation often led to another round of hot sex followed once more by the open window and the red-tipped cigarette hanging from my lip as we looked out over the city wondering how life could be so painfully and blissfully complicated at the same time.

I tend to believe that most issues surrounding sex have to do with honesty, and it always begins with ourselves. If I can’t accept the things that turn me on, there is no way I’ll be able to share them with a partner. And if my own desires make me so uncomfortable I have to erase my browser history the second I come, then how can I possibly ask for what turns me on? The challenge is, of course, the fear that they might say no. Or even worse, that that look of love and respect we have come to rely on might suddenly be replaced by disgust or revulsion. What if, instead of looking at me with want and lust in her eyes, she gets up from the bed and lights her own cigarette as she shakes her head at me? That’s fucked up, she might say on a bad day, or simply, I’m sorry I’m not into that, on a good one.

And maybe if we learned early on to deal with that type of rejection it would be a different story. Maybe if we learned from an early age that it was okay to like things that other people didn’t, it would be a different game, but as it is, my desire to be agreeable almost always outshines my desire to have my own needs met.

But whether out of exhaustion, grief, or simply no longer having the energy to deny ourselves, we poured out our wants into each other’s waiting and eager minds and it worked. Oh glorious gods and mythical angels did it fucking work…