Catherine Townsend: Sleeping Around

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The Independent Online

'My friend has a crush on you," my friend Jamie told me, "can I set you up on a date?" There's nothing really abnormal about this, except that the "friend" is a woman named Rachel, and she's absolutely gorgeous.

I have met Rachel a few times before, and know that when it comes to sexual experimentation, the girl makes me look like a nun in comparison. They'd had an open relationship, and I'd heard loads of stories about the wild stuff they'd got up to in bed.

Rachel is curvy, but in all the right places, with long, wavy black hair and olive skin that make her look like a taller version of Penelope Cruz.

I consider myself mostly straight but have been experimental with women. Since there's no special guy in my life, I did the maths and thought I would be crazy to turn down a woman this stunning.

Perhaps the scariest part of the first date with a woman was dressing for it. Men are easy – generally something clingy and a flash of cleavage suffices – but this girl works in fashion, and I'd have enough to worry about without fretting over if my handbag was last season's or I had a run in my fishnets. But the second I first saw Rachel, in a hotel bar, I instantly relaxed. She was warm and friendly, with a brilliant laugh. We looked like any two girlfriends on a night out. No one knew about our dirty little secret.

I couldn't stop staring at her chest, then feeling my cheeks burn because I was being so obvious. Eventually, our conversation turned to her relationship with Jamie. "Well, we dated all through university, and he was the only guy who really understood my sexual appetite," she said. "But these days, I'm sure he told you that I'm much more into women than men."

I plucked the last olive out of my drink and tried to suck on it seductively. Unfortunately the pit caught in my throat, and she ended up having to whack me on the back until I spat it into my napkin. The experience could have killed the moment, but she saved it after I recovered by kissing me.

She leaned over and brushed her lips with mine, and then I kissed her back, softly at first and then with more intensity. We were really getting into it, until we became aware of several men at nearby tables staring at us. But this wasn't some red-carpet stunt to titillate lecherous old men, this was something we were doing for ourselves.

"I want you to come home with me," she whispered, sliding her hand up my leg. Jesus, this girl was forward! Talk about role-reversal. We hailed a taxi and kissed all the way back to her place, where she gave me a night I will never forget. I'm not sure if I'll ever see Rachel again, but my next boyfriend will definitely benefit from what she taught me.

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