Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shanghai Sexbomb continued

So, getting back to Deedee, those lovely legs, that flouncy skirt, her stunning beauty…

After we’d eaten I’d planned to take a cab to a certain bar on Maoming Road. My reason for picking this bar in particular was simple; due to the road system, one has to walk a few hundred meters to get a cab home when drinks are done, and this necessitates walking past the Garden Hotel. This hotel has a lovely park, well tended and clean, old, spreading trees, winding paths under them.

When I wish to seduce a woman, I either take her to Laris or to this bar. As we leave the bar, we will walk past the garden, and I’ll point it out, having made sure to mention it over the drink, telling my date it’s well worth a look.

And indeed it is worth a look. For I have walked in that park on forty different evenings and have never met anyone else in it. Local people, seeing the gate of a hotel, will not go beyond it if they are not a resident of the hotel; and indeed I suspect that the gate guard would stop them if they tried. Much of China operates on one rule for white people and another for the locals. It’s highly offensive, and a curious way for China to choose to run its society.

But the lack of locals in the park means it is not strewn with spit and litter, as is every other city park; means the trees and plants are able to grow and thrive, rather than being picked, poked and plucked to destruction as they are in other parks; means there are no people pissing in the bushes and hawking up phlegm; means there are no security guards in ill-fitting uniforms prowling; means there are no speakers dismally fashioned into plastic rocks and toads piping out awful, awful, awful music; means there are no bright neon lights to blare anyway any trace of mood left from those speakers’ assault; means there are no kids vandalizing the place as parents look on lovingly; means I can walk with a girl on my arm without being gazed at like some curiosity from beyond the seas, without those same insouciant parents calling to their spoiled progeny, ‘Look at the foreigner!’

Means, in short, with its paths and pools of darkness, with its relative quiet, with its backdrop of the elegant hotel building, that it is the ideal place for a post-drink kiss.

Dinner was good and filled me with the hope that I might bed her that night. Our eyes meeting, hands touching, plenty of laughter, easy, free conversation. And she is far from the good-time girl I assumed she was; likes jazz, dances ballet… And is self-aware, too. ‘People look at me and think I’m the kind of person who just like pop music,’ she said.

I never thought that for a moment’ I lied.

Most of the other stuff we talked about I cannot recall – stuff about how she hates university (which is hardly surprising, for someone like her would find its cramped, stifling monotony unbearable) – wants to study abroad.

But toward the end of our meal, slow, leisurely, she scotched my hopes by pulling the ol’ parents number on me, Ma and Pa wanting her home by 10pm. Hah. Even so, I was still confident. Were we not paddling hands, touching legs, locking eyes? She liked being with me, was excited, effervescent. This was not a simple brush-off.

Dinner done, the weather had changed to a fine rain, so there was no point in heading to the bar and, besides, she ‘wanted to go home.’ Yet she agreed to a coffee instead, so we went to a nearby place, my one arm round her waist and the other holding the umbrella as we walked. And there again in the coffee bar we sat knee to knee, caresses, her hand on my knee, my hand on her arm.

But about this time of the evening, things went a little odd. Not between me and her. She’d been getting SMS messages all evening, but now their constant trickle became a barrage. After she’d dealt with a flurry of them, she gave me an explanation.

Since she was seven years old she’s grown up with this guy. He ‘loves’ her. They had a relationship for a while, but she ended it. He, in the way of this culture, could not accept a No; could not even understand it, simply had no concept of her right to be unpestered. Instead, just like Lucy’s guy, just like Simone’s, he pursued her with this welter of calls and messages, keeping tabs on her every movement. (I have not mentioned Simone in detail yet; she was the one who was 19 when I met her, making her my youngest lover to date; I will add that story to the to-do pile.)

This guy of Deedee’s calls her every night to make sure she’s home by ten; and calls her a little later on to ‘say goodnight’ to her.

Sure, I let him have it. Why not? I told her how wholly unacceptable this behavior was, how she should not stand for it, how her life was her choice and so on. As I told her this there was a wash of relief and recognition over her face, as though what I said accorded with a belief she was sure was true yet that no-else seemed to share; as, maybe, when one person who thinks to have spotted a UFO, to the general amused contempt of others, meets a fellow believer.

Then the guy called her. I knew it was the guy as soon as she answered up the phone, since she blushed in embarrassment and walked over to the other side of the room to take the call. These signs pleased me; they meant she did not want our tête-à-tête interrupted by this clod, that she knew he was a crass interruption to what we had going. After the call (which she confirmed was indeed from him) she told me that he was living alone here, since his parents were in the US (where he had spent a few years), and that he felt lonely and depressed; and so he could not get to sleep unless each night he called her to say goodnight. The fucking pussy.

What he was really doing was quite obvious, so I told her. ‘Don’t you see? He is trying to control you. He just wants to make sure you are at home. He doesn’t want you to be out having fun, he’s worried you might meet other men. He’s trying to control you. That’s totally wrong.’ Perhaps this had not occurred to her. When I told her, its truth was immediately apparent to her. Now since by making her see what a scumbag this guy is I can incline her more toward me, I continued to let him have it. ‘Frankly he would not dare try this in America… women there would just not stand for it and he would not even try. You know it’s just because this is China that he does it. He’d never do it to someone in the States. It makes me pretty angry.’

And in fact my own fervent desire to fuck her until she yelps aside, this kind of shitty behavior does piss me off pretty good. Guys here can be such scumbags. Not, of course, that I am in any way morally responsible or decent when it comes to women. But at least I’m not the stalker type. Yes, a liar, a cheat, a cad; but I respect each and every woman I’m with. And maybe it was a crude step to bring race into the equation… but it is a racial thing – or, better, a cultural thing which was anyway the terms in which I framed it.

Is that a brush I can be tarred with? Possibly. After all, it is my skin color that makes me desirable, that gives me an edge; and I take advantage of that. And though I like to think I do not treat women with the contempt that so many guys here express, maybe I am indeed just as bad, albeit in a different manner. But no; no, and again no. I simply do not treat women with the scorn and cowardice of so many guys in this society.

But anyhow; Deedee felt she had to go home. Yet she’d said she felt that way in the restaurant and had already stayed an hour beyond that. And her claims that ‘I must go.. let me, go, I must go’ were not much more than words, for I made no move to make her stay beyond saying ‘Only go if you want to go. Not because he says so. If you want go or if your parents tell you to go home, that’s ok. I’d respect your parents’ wishes, but not his. He has no right to control you like this.’ That’s all I said, and she stayed, our bodies close, her knee finding mine. And indeed in the end I decided to give her her exit –‘Well, then, I guess we should go..’

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Weekend Dilemma

I saw today something I have never seen before; a parent on a bike with a kid, and the kid wearing a protective helmet. A Shanghai parent who thinks! Astonishing.

That was the new; as for the old – that was the bars and tubes and streets and coffee shops and restaurants here, which are full of people celebrating Japan’s world cup defeat at the hands of Australia. Ah, the endless ugly ignorance of Nationalism. China seems to pride itself on such stiff-necked stupidity.

But of more concern to me, Which woman to choose this weekend?

First of all there’s Ellen. Now Ellen was one of the very best fucks I’ve had here in Shanghai, hot, sexy, uncomplicated. I’ll describe that night in more detail in due course, in all its glorious and passionate detail. But it was some months ago, and, in the time since I saw her last the memory of that night has ripened and matured, and so I’ve been keen to see her again. But last weekend she was busy, the weekend before I was tied up, and I do not want to put her off much longer.

But also I want to see Feena again; I have put some work in on her already, and if I leave it too long before seeing her, that preparation will go to waste. I’ve taken her out to dinner once and had coffee twice. The last time we had coffee she needed the merest push to make her come home with me but, that night, I had other plans and so held back.

Feena, the first time I met her in class, was an open book; bright, confident body language, her eyes on mine, that hint of blush in the cheek, the dilated-pupil response, the slight breathlessness. Lovely bright smile, sparkling eyes, cute Shanghai-girl clothes. This, the way she looked at me, and the way she lingered behind after class, made me pretty certain I could bed her. But since we were still in class, since I was still her teacher, I kept at least some outward veneer of professionalism to my response to her, even though inside my attitude was anything but teacherly.

By chance I met her a few days after that first class on the platform at People’s Square subway. She was heading home to Changshu Lu, so we talked as we rode the tube there. Her body language was, once again, very clear. She told me she was home alone at the moment, her parents on business in Changchun. Again, if she had not been a current student I’d have leapt on that, asked, ‘What kind of house do you live in?’ or something like that. Then I would have lightly steered that conversation so that she could say to me ‘Why don’t you come and look?’ and thus would have spent the night with her. But once again I kept it professional, since she was a current pupil. Even so I did put in a little groundwork, the better to seduce her after class.

This groundwork was simple, easy stuff; really, it was no more than just greeting her by name when I saw her there on the platform. Basic, sure, but effective, because the class I taught her in had a good number of students in it, and I teach many different classes. The fact that I remembered her name, then, was flattering to her, and indeed she commented on it – ‘I’m really surprised you remembered my name, you must have so many students!’ I am sure she was thinking something slightly different – ‘He remembered my name, I must have made a big impression on him.’

But really the matter is quite simple; at the end of each class I make a note of what I have taught so that I do not repeat myself in the next session. In this notebook I also jot down the women that catch my eye – either by name, if I know it, or by description followed by something about what we talked of, so that the next class I can say ‘And how was your week at X Corp.?’ (or whatever the case may be) and thus lead them to think their sparkling personality made a great impact on me.

Now Ellen is a sure thing, and she’s cute, smart and lively, a lot of fun in bed. But Feena is not a sure thing and naturally I have no idea what she’s like between the sheets. So Ellen appeals to me for a sure night of passion, and Feena appeals to me for the thrill of the chase. Now of course I could just take one to dinner Friday night and the other Saturday night. But I have early class Sunday morning, meaning firstly that some measure of early night is required Saturday night and, secondly, if I have a woman with me, the necessary 7 a.m. Sunday start will not be a graceful conclusion to our revels.

I had decided to invite Ellen out Friday, and spend the night with her, and then Feena Saturday, on the basis she might, after all, not want to come home with me.

But then Tulip messaged me, to tell me she had 5 days’ holiday and suggesting dinner.

Tulip, as I mention somewhere below, is married, and rather unhappily so. The guy in question is not right for her, and she mainly married him to please her parents. Now, sure, I would love to take her to bed, but with Tulip bed is not a priority; I am extremely fond of her, and greatly enjoy time spent with her for its own sake. And so I will have to give some thought as to how to balance these various offers.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Six-foot Stunner

In spite of the title of this blog, my whole life is not purely a quest for sex; the company of women is simply more enjoyable than that of men. It seems to me the men in this culture have, mostly, rather little to say for themselves, but the women are confident, articulate and nuanced. Each woman is different; most men are the same. That’s why 95% of my friends are women.

Though I did meet an interesting guy the other day, square-jawed, blue-eyed – from Xinjiang province, a Muslim, a Uyghur. We talked a little and then I asked, ‘So, should Xinjiang really be part of China?

Can I trust you?’ he asked, leaning forward, wanting to talk but being scared to. And rightly scared; one cannot tell the truth much in the mainland. So Xinjiang people learn to lie when they talk to mainlanders; Tibet people learn to lie; Taiwan people learn to lie; Hong Kong people learn to lie.

But anyhow. Back to vapid gossip about women.

Before I get back to Deedee, a detour to a few weeks back when I’d arranged dinner with various friends. One of these was Linda, whose company I enjoy; she’s astute and articulate, and a good journalist (which is no mean feat given how hard it is to do that job well in this country of mostly shit journalism) but, given that she is my age or so and married, I have no interest in her beyond friendship.

But it was not just because Linda is pleasant company that I wanted to have dinner with her. It was also because she said when we met she would invite Cara, a student who was in the same class as her.

Cara attracted me immediately; she was strong, bold, confident and clearly skilled at her job, since she held a good position in her firm, an multinational printer company. This is just the kind of woman I like, the one who knows what she wants, who she is, and who has little time for all the traditional shit of being good, sweet, demure and submissive. Fuck that.

But alas, galloping in, I riled her. Keen, in my pathetic way, to show her I was a knowledgeable chap, when she mentioned the firm she worked for I made a little joke of it. It so happened I’d read an article in The Economist about this firm just the day before, saying it lost US$600 million this year due to fraudulent accounting at the top. A firm with that kind of management, I suggested, could not prosper.

This did not go down well, and she sulked at me the rest of the course.

Or maybe I was just staring at her breasts too obviously. That could have been it.

A couple of weeks after the course ended, Linda, at my request, had given her my MSN and told her I would quite like to hear from her, and in due course she added me to her list. We chatted, guarded at first, for clearly she thought I was after her; so I got that out of the way with (mostly false) claims of friendship only. After that she yielded a little, becoming a bit more talkative, but not too much so. Even so, this talkativeness was enough to make it clear she was single. She did not tell me this directly, but instead said she’d had a ‘difficult’ few months.

For a woman in China this nearly always means one thing: splitting up with a guy. Linda had previously told me Cara had a guy in Hong Kong and later I established that my present surmise was correct. They had indeed parted.

Anyhow, I reminded Linda to invite Cara, which she did, and I also invited Tulip, who accepted but then had to change her mind. But just after Tulip said she could not come, I got an SMS from Arina, who was heading out of Shanghai the next day and wanted to know if we could meet that night.

Now, Arina has been on my catch list for some time; but the chase is not going too well, and I may not succeed. Naturally Arina too was someone I met in class, yet now it shocks me just how totally I failed to notice at the time how stunning she is. Strikingly tall, over 6 foot, and with great looks. With heels on, she'd be taller than me. 

I did not want to pass up this chance to get to know Arina better before she left town, so I slotted her right in the place Tulip had just vacated (reflecting to myself as I did so on the merry-go-round nature of my social life).

Now of course given that I would quite like to chase Cara, this was tactless. But Cara is a little older, maybe 27, 28, and that means problems. With a woman that age, it is never fuck and run, never fuck and fun; marriage is always there in the equation. Getting her to bed would take too much legwork, as would getting out again afterward; and in any case fitting another woman into my already full calendar would be tough.

Thus chasing her would lead to tanglements and complications (even besides the fact that, at present, she does not quite like me). It’s a pity that we got off on the wrong foot, because I get the feeling she and I could have made firm friends. But she is a little proud (which I much respect) and will not back down so easily. Sure, with work, I could get Cara, and she’s certainly attractive. There’s a sort of boyishness to her, a hard, unyielding edge. It’s really rather endearing But chasing her would be too much hassle. Putting in that work would create obligations, duties that I do not wish to incur.

So I reckoned I might as well invite Arina along. She was the better prize than Cara. But as well as that, it interested me to bring Arina along for another reason than my desire for her. Cara, shrewd as she is, was surely aware I had some feeling for her. But what better way to throw her off guard, to toy with her, than to turn up to dinner with breathtaking Arina by my side?

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