The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo - Amy Schumer (2016)
MY ONLY ONE-NIGHT STAND
I’ve only had one one-night stand in my life. Yes, one. I know, I’m so sorry to disappoint anyone who thinks I walk around at all times with a margarita in one hand and a dildo in the other. Maybe the misunderstanding comes from the fact that onstage, I group together all my wildest, worst sexual memories—which is a grand total of about five experiences over the course of thirty-five years. When you hear about them all back-to-back it probably sounds like my vagina is a revolving door at Macy’s at Christmastime. But I talk about these few misadventures because it’s not funny or interesting to hear about someone’s healthy, everyday sex life. Imagine me onstage saying, “So last night I got in bed with my boyfriend and we held each other in a supportive, caring embrace, and then he made sweet love to me.” The crowd would walk out and I’d walk out with them.
And besides, even I sometimes confuse my onstage sexual persona with my reasonable, sensible, real-life self. Sometimes I try to convince myself that I can have emotionless sex, the kind I’m always hearing about from men and Samantha on Sex and the City. And I have my moments, but 99.9 percent of the time, I’m not that way. I’ve never even hooked up with a guy after one of my shows. Isn’t that sad? I’ve been touring for twelve years and not once have I met a guy after I’ve performed, brought him home, and even made out with him. Nothing. I know some male comics who say they’ve never gotten laid without the girl seeing them perform first. It’s the exact opposite for me. I’m not in this for the dick. I enjoy sex the normal amount, and most of the time it’s with someone I’m dating, and I just lie there in Happy Baby pose making it sound like I’m having a good time. When I’m single and one-night stands present themselves, I’m usually still a fairly self-protective chick, and the thought of some mystery cock entering me doesn’t get my pulse going. Well, except for this one time …
I was on the road doing a tour and traveling between two horrendous cities: Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Tampa, Florida. I’m not scared about writing that and making those people mad, because I know for a fact that no one who lives there has ever read a book. JKJKJKJKJK, but kind of not K. When you go between cities like those two, you get the pleasure of flying on the tiniest short bus in the sky, which for some reason is still called a plane. You have to duck to get on, and you can hear the propellers the whole flight, and also the faintest sound of someone singing “La la la la la bamba,” but you hope that the latter is just in your head.
It was early morning and I was hungover. As I said, I’d been doing a show in Fayetteville and there is nothing to do there afterward except drink until your eyes close. I got to the airport as I usually do—with zero makeup or bra, wearing sweatpants, a T-shirt, and flats. I’m not someone who looks adorable in the morning. I would argue I look exactly like Beetlejuice—the Michael Keaton character, not the Howard Stern regular. I was enjoying this lovely time in my life when no one took pictures of me unless I photobombed them. I was just a wonderful thirty-one-year-old girl who was opening and closing her mouth, realizing she’d forgotten to brush her teeth—well, less forgot and more I’d left my toothbrush in Charleston and it didn’t occur to me to buy one in North Carolina. One way for me to verify that I drank too much the night before is if I wake up with red-wine teeth and enough eyeliner smeared underneath my eyes that I resemble a tight end for the New England Patriots. The point is, on this particular morning, I looked heinous and smelled like curry, and if someone had put a dollar in my coffee cup, thinking I was homeless, I would have thought, Yep.
I got to airport security and there he was: a six-foot-two-inch strapping strawberry blond of about thirty-five years. My first kiss was with a redhead so I’ve always had a weakness for them. He was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen, and I was immediately turned on just looking at him. Quick side note: THAT NEVER FUCKING HAPPENS. Every day, men look at women walk by in skirts and tight jeans and get tiny erections, or at the very least some sort of arousal. But for women it’s a rare occurrence to see a dude and think, Dayummmmm! I was looking him up and down, trying to find one inch of him that wasn’t Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, and there was nothing. All he was missing was the ponytail and the bow on said ponytail.
I audibly sighed, and before he walked through the metal detector, he looked at me. All the blood rushed to my vagina, and I smiled at him before immediately remembering I looked like Bruce Vilanch. (For those of you who don’t know who he is and are too lazy to Google it, just picture a barn owl wearing a blond wig.) I got through security and walked to my gate—and boom! There he was again—looking even hotter than before. He was wearing a crew-neck long-sleeve shirt that was just tight enough around the chest so you knew what was up. It was abundantly clear that underneath his shirt was a place where you would want to rest your cheek and breathe in all his pheromones until he took you like Marlon Brando in Streetcar or Ryan Gosling in annnnnyyyyythiiiiinnnnnngggg.
I ran to the bathroom to try to find makeup in my purse, which is an actual bottomless pit when I need something (and at all other times). I’m not lying when I say my purse has all the contents of an actual ostrich’s nest. I’ll never do a celebrity magazine “What’s in your purse?” story because people would see the array of fun, gross surprises in there and probably think I needed to be hospitalized. I found some blush and ChapStick, and thought, Perfect. That’s all I need to take me from a two to a four. I looked in the mirror and saw the rosacea I’d created, and laughed at myself. Fuck it. I rolled my sweatpants up to half-calf height, thinking, Let’s highlight my strongest zone. I brushed my teeth with my finger and splashed water all over myself. I walked out like I was on a runway and floated right past him. He at no time, for even one second, looked at me in the terminal.
I bought some gum and a magazine with Jennifer Aniston on the cover and boarded the plane, defeated. I got to my tiny window seat and started reading about how Jennifer was going to die alone and it wasn’t fair, and there he was again, boarding the plane. He walked down the aisle and I watched him, his arms bulging and his huge hands gripping his bag as he navigated his way between the seats. I was thinking, Maybe when he walks by, I can pretend to sneeze … and fall on the floor in front of him … and he will trip and fall inside of me. Then I saw him look right at the seat next to me.
No, I thought. There is no way he is in the seat next to me. No, no, no. But YES! Game, set, fucking match, I thought, IT IS ON.
I never ever talk to people on airplanes. It’s a huge gamble that has resulted in such things as James Toback (Google him) telling me, “You don’t really know a woman until you’ve eaten her ass,” before we even took off, and a woman showing me pictures of her dead bird for three hours. But on this flight, I turned right to him.
“Hi, I’m Amy.”
He smiled, revealing a tiny gap between his front teeth. I love a gap more than anything on a man. “Hi, I’m Sam,” he said, in an English accent.
I soon found out that he was in the British version of the marines and was in town for just a few days. I couldn’t fucking handle it. It was all too much. I felt possessed and lost all control of my voice, like Sigourney Weaver at the end of Ghostbusters. I was in heat, as they say. Who says this? I don’t know. Shut up and keep reading about my getting pummeled by this British superhero. We took off and I pretended to be really scared of flying. There was zero turbulence, yet I still found reasons to grab his arm and bury my face in his shoulder, inhaling his scent. I was blatantly throwing myself at him and we both laughed at how aggressive I was being. My clitoris was thumping like the Tell-Tale Heart and I kept thinking of the 98 Degrees song “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche).” Even though I was slightly famous at the time, he’d never heard of me, which was another major plus. I told him I had a show that night and that maybe I would see him after. We exchanged emails and I prayed to every god that it would happen.
I’ve been in this kind of situation a couple other times where I could have had a one-night stand and I just couldn’t go through with it. Once or twice, my instincts told me no. It didn’t feel safe. But mostly I have decided against it just out of pure laziness. I will think of the practical things, like, When can I leave so I can eat pasta? We are not dating, so I can’t do domestic things like brush my teeth and wash my face and put on my eye mask and earplugs. It’s supposed to be hot and sexy, but I look like a blond Shrek in the a.m. What will the morning be like? What will we say? Will I order him an Uber? What if he says something hurtful or he tries to have sex with me in the morning when we both know my vagina will smell like a bowl of ramen? I’m just too pragmatic and lazy for one-night stands. I consider consequences and I don’t drink like I did in college.
All that being said, the Sam situation felt different. He was such a turn-on and a fantasy. Even the accent made him seem unreal. It didn’t hurt that he’d be returning to his foreign home shortly after the sun rose the next day. After we parted ways in the airport, I went to do my show, and the whole time I couldn’t help but hold my breath hoping that I would hear from him. Sure enough, when the show was over, I had an email from him asking me how it had gone. I joked that I had gotten discovered and was going to make it in this business.
He wrote back: “Who discovered you?”
I wrote: “A magician. I’m going to be his assistant.” Which I thought was pretty funny.
He wrote: “Is he gonna saw you in half?”
I answered: “I was hoping you would.”
BAM! That is the most sexually aggressive yet true thing I’ve ever written. And it worked.
We made plans to meet up at the dance club in the lobby of my hotel. We had half a beer, we danced to Ice Cube telling us we could do it if we put our back into it, and we left. Walking through the bright lobby and into the low lighting of the elevator was a lot of reality for this sexy affair we were both trying to have. The things that were going through my mind on the elevator were as follows: Fuck me fuck me fuck me fuck me fuck me.
I really needed a boost of sexual confidence during that time of my life. I’d recently learned that a guy I’d been in love with and had dated in the past was gay. Even though it had been a while since we had dated, it still broke my heart when he came out to me. And it made me begin to question myself. This person who made me feel beautiful and sexy for so long was attracted to men. I thought, Am I like a man? When you get older and wiser, you get your confidence from within, not from the person you are having sex with. But finding out someone I’d dated was gay at that moment in my life was giving me a hard time. I was having trouble feeling like a sexual being and was wondering about my own worth.
Enter Sam—this beautiful, masculine fantasy man who wanted to help Stella get her groove back. The elevator to my room could not travel fast enough.
We got to my very corporate-looking room and wasted no time.
I dropped my bag and we stripped down to our underwear and got into bed. There was no question of what we were doing there. We both had the same goal in mind: to devour each other. Ewwwwww, I know, sorry. But it’s true. Everything felt right. Kissing him felt right. His body felt right. We went for it. I can’t Fifty Shades out right now and write a sensual paragraph, so I’ll just tell you some facts. We were both very giving (head). We both couldn’t believe it was happening (we both came a lot). He was so appreciative and excited (we high-fived at one point). Which felt amazing (the sex, not the high five). Coming off the depressing discovery that a guy I’d had a lot of sex with was attracted to men, it felt incredible to have this heavenly being take me in his arms and make me feel both wanted and beautiful. The sex was perfect. He was perfect. We were both in ecstasy, enjoying and relishing every smell, sound, and touch.
When we were finally finished, I said it was such a pleasure meeting him and wished him good luck in all his endeavors. He couldn’t believe I didn’t want him to stay. He couldn’t believe it so much that he stayed and we had sex at least three more times, with little affectionate breaks in between, telling stories and laughing and holding each other.
I did eventually tell him it was time to go. I was apparently fine having sex with a stranger, but sleeping next to him was just too intimate. He tried to make future plans and I let him know that I wanted this to be a one-time thing. I said it was perfect and that I would never have a one-night stand again because it would pale in comparison. We kissed good-bye, and I went to sleep with the biggest smile on my face, thinking, Thank you.
I do realize that one of the best nights of my life was just a one-night stand in Tampa. But I felt like Marlene Dietrich in Morocco. Let the record show I am not proposing that everyone limit themselves to just one one-night stand. Oh no no no, on the contrary, some of us might be better off if we had only one-night stands for the rest of our lives. But for me, this encounter just fell in my lap when I wasn’t feeling so attractive to men. Or sexual in general. I was wanting some reassurance, and a night of unexpected sex with a built, British redhead was the Z-Pak I needed to kick the leftover mucus. (Is there an unsexier metaphor? No. Also I feel like that antibiotic never works.)
We all know one-night stands aren’t cure-alls for broken hearts and low self-esteem. That shit can backfire hard. We’ve all tried some form of remedy by way of sex and wound up feeling even more alone and running back to whatever dickface we’d just found the strength to leave. But sometimes one-night stands can fix a specific problem. And even better, sometimes when you’re trying to fix a problem with sex, you find that sex is just its own reward. No lessons to be learned. No agenda other than fun. And sometimes tons of well-deserved orgasms from a guy looking at you like you’re lunch right when you fucking need it is just what the doctor ordered. Can we make a day National Redhead Day? This man deserves a parade or something.
He reached out to me a couple more times when he was back in the US but I stayed true to wanting to keep sacred what strangely felt like the purest night of my life. And it still is.