Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A new lover

Sometimes a mere moment of eye contact is enough to know a woman will be easy to charm into bed. Such a woman was Jingjing. I taught her back in December. She’s a student here, plunging into German prior to going to Hamburg. Not great looking, but still somehow rather sexy.

I’m not yet quite so unprofessional, quite such a slug (that description provided by Shutty), as to directly hit on a woman in class (well, almost never… just once in the several years I have been teaching, when a woman so captivated me that I ran down the street after her when she left the class, giving her my card. She is called Deedee (the Shanghai fondness for idiosyncratic English names!), and, I think, I am within a dinner or two of bedding her).

Instead I just write up my email on the board, like all foreign teachers do (and most Chinese university lecturers do not, wanting to have as little contact with their pupils as possible), telling all the students I am happy to help check their work, advise on practice essays and the like; this way I do not seem to be hitting on any individual – though from time to time I do say ‘Keep in touch’ to the women that catch my eye.

Jingjing did keep in touch, popping up on instant chat a day or two later. The tone of our conversation was promising, so I set up meeting for coffee. I set it up at Xujiahui, near her dorm. This was unwise, since that area is where Sara lives; Sara is my ‘proper’ girlfriend, the one I am seeing on a permanent basis. Making the rendezvous there was thus tempting getting caught. It was also shitty of me, meeting another woman in what should be sacrosanct as Sara’s romantic territory. But maybe that is part of the thrill of it, living a little dangerously and flaunting my power. And perhaps there is something attractive in sacrilege, too.

But before we could finalize the rendezvous, Jingjing went offline. This was because in the Chinese gulag university system, the electricity is often switched off at night, to make sure the students do not start to behave like students and develop an active social life. But a moment after that, I found this email:-

Of course I do want to meet you, but I’ll likely be pretty nervous! So if my English is no good, I hope that will be ok. I don't dare to call you, cos when I pick up the phone, suddenly my mind goes blank. So maybe you could give me a call!

..which seemed promising, so I chased her on sms and concluded the when and where.

That coffee date went fine, and ended with me promising to lend her some German DVDs, so that she could get used to the accent. The next time we met for coffee, I forgot these, so I suggested dinner a day or two later, whereupon I would hand them over.

She agreed to this but, at that dinner, I again forgot the discs – this time on purpose. This was so that I could suggest she came to my place to collect them. That would give her the excuse she needed to come back here, where we could fuck. A woman might be willing to fuck, but she does not like to appear too much so.

I took her to my favorite restaurant, naturally (Laris, a more perfect seduction restaurant I have not found), and then a coffee; and suggested coming back here to pick up those DVDs. As it turned out, the ruse was unnecessary, for she needed to print out another copy of some application form, and, as she had no printer on campus (such is the paltry level of facilities in China’s universities) I offered to help her that way.

As we traveled home, as, home, we printed out her forms, she knew something sexual was coming. And though she was shy of it yet… yet she knew it was coming and she let it come, too.

Now of course a guy will often say ‘She wanted it’ about a woman, claiming she meant ‘Yes’ when in fact she was pinned in fear as by a snake. But it was not that. Yes, she was nervous, true, but no fear; and nor was I threatening but rather loose, gentle. Cajoling, sure, but with words only. I kissed her, and while she did not respond she did not pull away either. Instead, she gave me the old line – ‘I’m an old-fashioned person.’

Ah, ‘old-fashioned.’ She’d bought the virginity lie, had locked into the ‘good girls don’t’ bullshit. I did think she would have quite liked to, for as I tried to cajole her I had a hand on her breast and she did not murmur. So it was just that purity thing; she had the feelings, the passions – but also the conditioning. Yeah, the ‘Not until I get married’ kneejerk. In this city, in this year! Well, what a place China is, chicks who fuck at the drop of a hat, like Erin, and chicks who can’t imagine such a life, like Jingjing. Such breadth.

So I guess I still have some way to go when it comes to reading women. This kind of mix, this will-she won’t-she stuff is sometimes hard to fathom. She is young, yes, born in early 84 (this I saw from her application forms); but no woman of any age is that young. It is not that I am saying ‘she came home, she knew it was a signal,’ no – but rather that my signal came earlier, over dinner, over coffee – even over the choice of venue itself; and she cannot have been blind to that. No woman is so emotionally obtuse. She knew it was a wooing; she came back with me. Sure, not to fuck, but out of curiosity, out of To find out. Out of adventure, maybe, exhilarated by having a more articulate guy than the normal sap run after her (my opinion of the romantic abilities of the majority of Chinese guys is exceedingly low). But when it came to it, all those years – centuries – of conditioning came up, beaten in by her school education, topped and rolled by her university education, and plastered and smoothed by the whole of society. A traditional person!

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