In 1977 a boy named Brad could bring you down to his parents' paneled rec room, put a little Abba on the turntable, toss your algebra homework off the olive green vinyl beanbag chair, mumble sweet nothings into your ear, and from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., when his stay-at-home mom would yell dinner was almost ready, that boy could have his way with you.
Of course, in 1977, "his way" was to dishevel your shag, eat off your Bonne Bell lip gloss and maybe, maybe, if he was a true sexual sophisticate, unhook your Olga bra using nothing more than his left thumb and forefinger. My partner in crime wasn't actually named Brad and—hell, who are we kidding?—I didn't actually need a bra, but there was a boy and he was on the swim team and he drove a white Trans Am, and in tenth grade that meant something. It was Saturday night, the one evening a week when husbands wore leisure suits and wives wore Wind Song, and you'd be left with a pepperoni pizza, a phone number in case of emergency, and a house to yourself, whereupon this sort of gawky, sort of sexy swimmer would appear at the front door, settle into the sofa, and kiss me with his eyes closed for the next three and a half hours—because back in the day, making out wasn't a means to an end, it was an end unto itself. There was no such thing as a good Merlot, a brazen double entendre, a smooth transition to the bedroom. There were only tentative mouths and hungry hands and wild chestnut hair falling all around the throw pillows until it was time to stop.
"So, uh, I guess I should get going," said Brad, who wasn't Brad.
"Oh, umm, okay," I answered.
I smoothed out my Huckapoo blouse, raised myself up, and reached across him for the Tab on the coffee table. But a funny thing happened on the way to that can of metallic-tasting soda: My arm accidentally grazed his lap. It couldn't have been more innocent, a split second, an inadvertent brush across a pair of button-fly 501s. And yet...
"Or," he said (after a slightly startled pause), "I could stay."
Huh? Wait a second, what just happened here? And in a flash I got it! With nothing more than a strong thirst and a light touch, I had gone from coquette to femme fatale. I possessed the power to make him stay!
And there you have it.
Hard to imagine anyone could have been so naive, but this was a long time and a thousand somebody elses ago. It was before we all had to be responsible for our own orgasms, before eHarmony or match.com, Britney or Christina, Viagra or Cialis. Rock Hudson was still chunky, Ecstasy was still legal, and foreplay was forever—or at least it was in my little corner of the suburbs.
More From Lisa Kogan
From the October 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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