Tag Archives: skills

“With Money, With Face, With Style And Body — I COOK!”

This morning, I am thinking about baking and love making.

No, not cooking and sex:  Anyone can do that.

Some people — men and women alike — may not enjoy cooking (although most share a general liking of sex).  Whenever I’ve met those non-cooking types (and I used to be one of them), their only fault turns out to be quite innocent:  They just haven’t been able to discover any pleasure in the kitchen, yet.  My own earlier disliking of cooking had something to do with a lack of time and sparsity of ingredients.  But once I’ve crossed the threshold into my fuller-fledged womanhood and more comfortable prosperity, I soon discovered:  I loved cooking.

“But, of course, I cook!” I tell any man who asks; and I say so proudly while I notice a whole new category of interest sparking up in that man.  He wants it.  I can tell.

But there isn’t really much art to cooking:  All you need is esteem and common sense.  (Kind of like in sex.)  Esteem is a consequence of experience and skills.  The better the esteem — the better cook.  The better the lover.

With baking, however:  It’s a different ball game.  The one thing that a baker absolutely must accept is a very precise list of ingredients and measurements; tools, temperatures, timing.  A baker must enjoy following instructions, which much be why none of the men I’ve known liked baking.  Sure, I’ve dated many men who cooked.  Although I’ve never slept with a professional chef, I’ve shared a bed — often after sharing a meal — with a few men who were very skilled at cooking.

Interestingly, the better skilled cooks, in my personal statistic, somehow turned out to be better equipped lovers.  It may be a pure coincidence, of course, but I would imagine that what made them good in bed and in the kitchen was their willingness to improvise.

There are recipes in cooking, but most of us, cooks, use them as a mere source of inspiration.  Personally, all I need to know is the flavor profile and the temperature; and then, I take it from there, on my own — thank you very much.  And soon enough, I am able to get lost in it:  to transcend while most the time thinking of the person for whom that meal is being made.  And that is exactly where I get off:  Cooking requires a generosity of the soul.  Combined with a set of skills, it is meant for the benefit of the other participant.  Kind of like sex:  GOOD SEX, that is.

And just like in the bedroom, I prefer to establish a certain amount of control in my kitchen.  I am an extremely territorial cook:  I keep my working space immaculately clean while often setting the mood with the voices of my favorite soulful songbirds and wearing the minimal amount of required clothing.  During a meal, however, I prefer to lose that control and to get my hands dirty.  And I do prefer for the other person to get turned on by the tastes and the textures of the meal so much, that he unleashes the reins of his vanity — and starts eating with his hands and licking his fingers.

Here, I would dare to compare cooking to foreplay:  As any good cook and lover, I bounce between the general recipe for it and, again, improvisation.  Which would then make the actual meal — sex itself.  When in the midst of it, there is no more room or time for brushing up on the ingredients.  Because after all of that preparation, it is time to get down and dirty — and to make a meal of it.  Which is why I always prefer the company of very hungry men.

Now, baking, as I’ve mentioned, is a whole different ball game.  It’s a ballpark with its own rules.  Personally, I prefer an absence of all balls while I juggle in front of my stove.  On occasion, I have permitted a man to observe me while I improvise a meal, for his benefit.  But as a baker — I do my thing in silence and entirely alone.

I still think of the other person, of course; but the more I like a man — the more complex my baking recipe will be.  Because what I want — is to impress him, to titillate him with luxury at the end of a successful meal; to take him over the edge just when he is ready to lean back and relax.

If I ever bake for a man, I have already interviewed him on his favorite sweets.  I’ve done my research.  I have collected the best of the ingredients which often requires traveling to specialty stores and the purchase of a specific pan from Sur La Table.  Sometimes, the process of baking takes several days:  I let each part sit, settle, cool down; absorb the ganache.  Then, I compile the next layer, and I allow it to serve its time as well; to age a little.  And I find that most cakes taste slightly better on the second day after their completion.  But then, I always perform the final touches just a few hours before presentation.

And it turns me on to harbor the secret of it while I observe my man consuming a meal and often singing me praises:

“You have NO idea what’s coming at the end of this, do you?” I think to myself — proudly — I notice a whole new level of interest, of adoration that arises in my heart for the very hungry man across my table.

Most bakers will confess that they don’t improvise.  It is a game of precision.  You must be willing to surrender to the rules and avoid listening to any dictation by your ego.

But the more you grow as baker, the more room you find for improvement.  TRUE:  That room is very modest.  There is nothing you can do to fix a collapsed souffle or to a mousse cake that refuses to set in.  There is nothing to do — but to start from scratch.  But you can thicken the icing to fix a lopsided cake.  Or you can add a caramel to a cheesecake to distract your guest from a less-than-perfect crust.

And so it is in love making — TRULY GREAT LOVE MAKING:  You must know what you’re doing.  Not only have you interviewed your partner about his tastes and preferences, by now, you have most likely practiced a few times.  You’ve learned how to reach your lover’s pleasure.  You’ve done: The research!  And that very expertise is what separates love making from sex:  It takes time and practice.  It takes surrender — and maybe just a little room for improvisation.

No matter how good of baker you are, you will most likely always botch up the very first crepe, right?  And no matter how great of a lover you are, the very first time with a partner, you’ll end up having sex — NOT making love.  But if you’re willing to invest the time, to do the research; to learn and to be patient; to accept the recipes to your lover’s orgasms and to know when and how to throw in the last improvisation — however modest — you will discover this:

What makes a great lover — and a great baker — is leading with your heart.

“Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On!”

the best of you

I like more than you think.

the others don’t count

Charles Bukowski, One for the Shoeshine Man

“Do you know which word you say the most?” he said.

“Oh here we go,” I thought.  “Another one, trying so hard.  SO hard!  Why can’t he just let me be?”

But he didn’t wait for my answer:  “Grateful!” he said.

I hummed, surprised: I guess I’ve never learned how to receive a compliment.  

I’ve always had the skill to listen, you bet cha; and to admire them, pro bono.  And over the years, after enough cynicism (which I camouflage with my wit), I’ve even learned to rebut their self-serving inquiries, with unexpected grace.

So, when they say:  “So, what do you do for a living?”  

I read:  “I need a shortcut to your character.”

They hear my accent and too quickly spit out:  “Do you like it better here or over there?”  (Some even dare to over-enunciate.)

This one, I’ve learned to back-up with a comedic routine because no one wants to sit through my nostalgia or watch the ruins of an immigrant’s life.  They want me to be “grateful”.

“How old are you?” they say; then startle themselves, linger to recover and quickly add, “…if I may ask?”

For years, I’ve watched other women get coquettish or cutely offended by that question, some acting more sincerely than others.  And I would often lose my own hard-on, on behalf of the poor suckers who still had to shag them, eventually.  And I’ve tried that coquettish act myself:  It reminded me of waiting for my motha in Soviet hair salons while trying on lice-infected wigs.  Contagious — but what a fucking act!  And how boring!  

So, I always tell them my age instead — straight out, hard! — because whether it’s enough or not enough, it has most likely already been determined.  Or, it’s in the works.

No matter how habitual, how well-practiced their routine, when they look at me for the first time, there is a glimmer of curiosity.  Perhaps, they are relieved that they don’t have to hide their gazes any more (or their hard-ons):  They’ve already spoken, so they’ve gone beyond creepy.  So, they soak me up, scanning my modest endowments.  Some lick their lips.  Others just smile like 7-year-olds in love with their preschool teachers.  (Oh, you darling darlings:  How I adore you!)

And before they begin comparing me to others — for I know no man who hasn’t been changed by “that one woman” — I let them look.  I revel in it.  

Oh, how I wish there were a way to have this electricity of the initial attraction last!  To last past the mundane habit of hearing them pee with open bathroom doors; and past their own disappointments in my inabilities to live up to “that one woman”.

And when they look, men tend to need more time.  They don’t have the lightening-speed askance of a woman who scans a suitor while simultaneously going over her own list of prerequisites.

“Check, check, check,” a girl is always thinking.  (Trust me, I know:  I do it all the time.)

But men are not like that.  They either go with their gut or they go with their habit.  Those who are gutsier, will ask you an unusual question:

“Those earrings:  Where are they from?”

Or:  “You aren’t from around here, huh?”

(I prefer for them to be surprising.  Always.  It gives me a hard-on.  Or for me, to be surprisingly interesting — to them.)

The simpler types — God bless ‘em!  Really! — they always speak in quotations; and I often wonder how many back-up choices they’ve already earned on their speed dial that night, with that same routine.  What chaos, I think; but somehow I don’t mind it.  Most likely, they’ll soon get distracted anyway — and let me be.

“If beauty were a minute — you’d be an hour.”  (Oh, c’mon:  Why don’t you mind my laughing at you?)

“I like perfection,” another threatened me recently, while whipping out his phone; because his arrogance must work like a charm on other women.

“Is that why you’re talking to me?” I responded.  (What did I tell ya?  I’ve learned to rebut, you bet cha.  But still, I prefer to be surprised.)

“Are you gonna make me chase you?” another one commented on my impressive stunts in heels; and even though I’d outrun him, sooner or later, he decided to follow me for a long enough to get my number.

“Yep.”  (Don’t you know you aren’t supposed to waste your breath in marathons, buddy?)

But those who stick around for the first date usually tend to take their time figuring me out.  They study me, like an ancient spiritual text, of no particular religion.  They shuffle through universal concepts and bigger theories.

Like that adorable one, catching me off-guard with my own speech tick of “grateful”.  The entire night, he’s been wanting to play the tug-o-war of “You, Me, You, Me.  Me, Again.”  He was young and ambitious, quite contagious and still altruistic.  He was so beautiful to look at, in the way that only the young can be.  And in those moments of his trying so hard to like me — or to be like me; to get the gist of it all, to figure it all out; to stand on his own, but then dive into his empathy head first; to equate me, please me, surprise me; to make me laugh, to make me vulnerable; to get me; to earn me:  I found myself grateful, indeed.

Because I knew better than to hold onto him:  No one lasts.  Or they haven’t lasted so far, and I can’t expect them to.  But I can expect them — to be.  I can let them be, just as they are.  

And because, for a change, someone was letting me be as well, I suddenly felt surprised — at my own magnificence — and I wanted so much to return the favor!  

And yes, I already knew that the electricity of the initial encounter wouldn’t last, but I reveled in it, if only for that night.  But secretly, I began harboring a glimmer of hope that maybe it was my turn — to be “that one woman”.   

Zen — and the Art of Going Down

I’ve done some research for you, my male comrades.  I did that!  Having heard enough of women’s tales of woe titled He Just Won’t Go Down on Me—always followed by the eventual and unavoidable dumping of the unskilled lover, by the way—I’ve decided it was time to get a man’s opinion on the subject.  Or better yet:  Why not get a tutorial, I thought.

And who would be better suitable than the Young Latin Lover type I’ve known since my very first days in LA-LA-Land six years ago?  The kid is in his twenties, yet, as I’ve overheard from his satisfied customers, is highly equipped in the lip service.  He and I have never hooked up; because despite standing at 6-feet tall and then some, in a body of a Giorgio Armani model lives a heartbreakingly sweet kid.   Gullible and funny, always up for a game or an improv, he used to dangle off of the workout bar installed in the doorway between my former roommate’s and my own bedroom—for hours.  Sometimes, I would come home to a BB gun warfare of the two men-children at play; and while ravaging the furniture, the walls and each other’s backs with yellow plastic bullets that I would continue to discover for years to follow, this kiddo would leap out of his hiding place at my arrival, as if I were his mother and he were a 5-year old in love and I’ve been gone for way too long:

“Hey, Rara!”  He would engulf me in his embrace, and warmth, and beauty.

“Hey, Rara!” he said yesterday, leaping off his black vintage motorcycle and shaking a head full of Miami-sun-kissed hair out of his eyes.  His eyes—so dark they appear pupil-less—remained locked on mine while he walked toward me.  And then:  he smiled.  God damn it, I thought:  Youth!

That’s just the thing about the kid:  No matter his hustle in this city, or the struggle as a young artist, or the heartbreak of his recent love affair with an insecure creature who knew nothing about her self-possession, his heart—alas, his magnificent, generous, childlike heart!—has remained unscathed.  Oh, to what gods must I pray to protect my friends from losing their innocence?!

What followed was an afternoon full of uncensored laughter and words and stories, old and new, as if no years have passed since the beginning of our friendship.  He was my kid brother, my fellow artist.  A co-historian of human love.  A beautiful soul I wish to spend my lifetime deserving.  As the sun crawled through its habitual trajectory, we sat on the patio of our regular joint famed among actors, musicians, writers and other LA artsy types (yet somehow seemingly immune to duches).  When the meal arrived, we both chose to ignore our utensils; and while I was licking my fingers, the kiddo put on his best James Dean expression and said:

“So, what’s the deal with going down?”

I’ve warned him, you see, that he would be expected to co-author this piece; but just like I could not predict that an hour-long interview would turn into three hours of my uncontrollable laughing into this kid’s lap or the lapel of his black leather jacket, I failed to predict the manner of his contribution to the subject.  First, there was zero embarrassment or crassness.  Instead, he began with poetry:

“The thing is:  I just l’ove to do it.  Period.”  (He said “l’ove” like a Latin speaker would:  slightly softening the tongue on the first syllable.)  “I want all of it!  And I don’t care how long it takes!”  He bit into his medium-rare burger which made his lips glossy with its juices and oil.

Apparently, gentlemen:  It’s all in your intention. Just like you can sense when a woman is faking her pleasure during her oral performance, she can pinpoint a bad actor in her bedroom as well.  You must find pleasure in pleasing her. If you think the job too hard—just imagine the mere mechanics of fellatio that she suffers through:  much more rhythmical and forceful, it may cause a crick in her lovely neck or a lockdown of her jaw.  If your sympathy for her part won’t get you to dive—then, just go down a checklist of what the job entails:  a naked woman, moaning and grunting at your every move, whispering or screaming your name, and losing complete control of her censored behaviors.  Hmm.  Not to shabby, if you ask me—or my kiddo pro at yesterday’s conference on the subject:

“It’s kinda like…  I don’t know:  energy?” my “Jaime” Dean continued, searching to express a now seemingly god-given skill of his.  “You have to be in tune with her.  Gotta think about what it feels like—to her.”

You have to be in tune with her.” It’s not just about the moves; because the moves will have to be customized to fit your lover’s habits, histories, fantasies and anatomy.  Also, as in any artistic endeavor, there must be room for improvisation.  But something that cannot be taught—is empathy.  To get there:  First, you must be comfortable in your own body and mind (and hopefully, your lover matches your maturity).  Once the baggage of self-consciousness is out of the way, you must carry on as if the two of you were a part of one body.  Yes, there are signs that she may grant you:  moans, back arches, hair pulls, etc.  But what’s more crucial—is your capacity to identify with exactly how she feels, in that moment.  “It’s kind like…  I don’t know:”  Being her; being a part of her, as if a single entity.  Fuckin’ poetry!

“It’s a beautiful thing,” my Latin comrade smiled yesterday, with his eyes departing for a moment into what had to be a memory of a woman.  “It’s not just sex.  It’s something you do to get close…”—he got intense, channeling his inner Pablo Neruda.  “There’s nothing you can do wrong if you really want that person.”

It may be just sex, gentlemen, and she may even be on the same page with you.  But my beloved comrade hit a bull’s eye yesterday:  No matter the duration or the objective of your affair, in the very moment of every physical intimacy—you must be in love.  You must be in love with that person—your lover—in complete empathy with him or her.  In your sex act, you must worship their body and honor their humanity; and remain fully present and aware of their needs, finding satisfaction when those needs are fulfilled.  That, I believe, is the only way to beauty and art and, as confirmed by my Jaime Dean, to successful love-making.  Or, in his cunni-lingo:  “L’ove-making.”