Lost in Her Gaze

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“…Freud understood female sexuality through a separation between clitoral activity which he saw as masculine and vaginal passivity which he saw as feminine. The clitoris, for Freud, was a kind of mini-penis that might be nice to masturbate with, but the true worth of feminine sexuality lay in the passivity of the vagina. The vagina offered a pleasant nest for the penis, and it was the male organ which carried true sexual worth for Freud…”

Professor Elena Reid was lecturing for her class but it seemed, as always, like she was talking more to herself, immersed in her thoughts that were articulated for the education of her students but meant for her own reflexive entertainment. I sometimes wondered how many times she must have given these lectures to various cohorts taking the ‘Gender and the History of Sexuality’ module, yet she always seemed so engaged with whatever it was that she was talking about as if it was the first time she was thinking about it. Her voice carried effortlessly throughout the wide lecture theatre and I often found myself absorbed in it, losing myself in the sound of her thoughts voiced out for me to hear.

Although, it was not just her voice that made me lose myself. A woman in her mid-forties, she was as stunning as one could ever be. She had a toned, athletic figure (a rumour had it that this was the consequence of a rigorous daily yoga routine), and a buttocks to die for. I particular liked it when she wore one special dress that hugged her body in all the right places and that was just short enough to reveal an inch or two of her firm thighs. She had small breasts, so small that I thought she sometimes did not wear a bra at all. Indeed, during one somewhat cold afternoon when I was sitting on the first row of the lecture theatre, I thought that I could see her nipples through her dress.

“…but many feminist critics of Freud pointed out that the pleasure of the female body doesn’t need to choose between the clitoris and the vagina, and clitoral caresses need not be substituted by vaginal ones, but each contributes to female pleasure. Indeed, they do so amongst other things… touching the breasts and the vulva, stroking the inner walls and brushing the mouth of the uterus… female bodies find pleasures in multiple ways.”

The fact that she lectured on sexuality was sometimes very frustrating as I could not stop my thoughts from travelling from the general notion of female pleasure to me fantasising about her particular pleasures. I fully recognised that this was unproductive to my learning, but I could not stop myself from getting turned on by the sometimes highly explicit sexual language she used, especially when she also happened to turn around to point at something on the PowerPoint screen, providing me with a direct view of her spectacular ass. On several occasions, I found myself almost squirming in my chair as I felt my panties getting increasingly wet.

“…remember that next week’s reading is Freud’s piece on female sexuality. Also, the department has asked me to remind you that there is a public talk tonight on the impact of neoliberal changes on the welfare state, followed by us heading down to the pub for some drinks. I hope to see you all there, and if not, I’ll see you again next week.”

I had fully forgotten about the public talk and, to be honest, neoliberal changes were not on my list of special interests. I was much more interested in letting my eyes linger upon Elena as she gathered her things and leaned over the desk to shut down the computer. I could not help an image appearing in my mind, of her leaned over like she was, but with her dress around her waist, my hand grasping her firm ass, and my fingers buried inside her pussy. As my fantasy version of Elena cried out in orgasmic ecstasy, I suddenly crashed back to reality when my brain registered that the corporeal version of Elena had finished packing her things and was standing right in front of me.

“Sammy, is everything all right?”

I looked around me and realised that everyone else had either already left the lecture theatre or were making their way out the door. I jerkily begun putting my things away and pushed my laptop in my bag with what I regretted was a little bit too much force.

“Yes, everything’s fine. Sorry, I was lost in my thoughts.”

She looked down at me and I met her eyes. There is something I need to tell you about her eyes. They were the most fantastic and intimidating ones I had ever come across: dark brown and incredibly deep, with a kind of light in them that made me feel like she could see right through me. Whenever her gaze fell upon me I felt totally transparent, as if my skin provided no cover and she could see through it straight into my mind. I felt like I was bare every time she looked at me, like I could hide nothing from her even if I tried. I reasoned, of course, that none of this was true, but I could not stop myself from feeling utterly naked whenever her eyes gazed into mine. It was terrifying and intoxicating at the same time; bursa otele gelen escort kind of like looking into some deep abyss that looks right back at you. I thus tended to avert my eyes when she looked at me, which, I sometimes thought, was a bit more often than she looked at her other students, but I was simultaneously intrigued by how she made me feel. Her gaze frightened me, but it was also oddly pleasurable to be its object.

She smiled at me as I quickly finished packing my things and stood up to leave the lecture theatre. “I often get lost in my thoughts as well”, she said, “it can be both incredibly helpful and highly distracting”. She walked with me as I started to make my way towards the door. “Do you think you will come to hear the public talk?”

As we exited the building, I realised that apart from the pile of books that waited me on my desk I really had nothing better to do with my Friday evening than to go to the talk. This is one of the things that immersing yourself into the academic world in a top university does to you. Besides, how could I say no to her?

“Yes, I will I think”, I said and she smiled again.

“Great. I hope you will also join us for some drinks afterwards. I’m sure the follow-up discussion will be very interesting. I’d be delighted to hear what you think about the topic.”

We departed ways and she waived at me as she walked the other direction. My eyes lingered upon her ass and I loved the way her dress moulded itself around her firm butt cheeks as she walked. The image of her waiving buttocks loitering in my mind, I was simultaneously excited at the prospect of being in her presence in a more informal context and slightly annoyed at the fact that I now had to actually pay attention to the talk in order to discuss it with her.

The following evening, I found myself sitting in one of the uncomfortable seats at the back of the oldest (and draftiest) lecture theatre of the university, attempting to keep my concentration on the white middle-aged man talking monotonously in front of me. I also found my thoughts drifting in and out of focus. Not only did I think that the talk itself was rather dull but the man’s voice was even duller, making it hard for me to be bothered to decipher the meaning of his individual sentences let alone to critically engage with them. I searched the sea of heads in front of me for a sign of Elena, but I did not spot her, although this was not surprising considering that the talk had gather a respectable size of an audience. I sighed in relief when the speaker finished talking and the audience gave him a comparatively lazy round of applause. After the sound of clapping had died out, the chair of the talk stood up and announced that he would like to see us all join him and the speaker for a more informal discussion about this ‘extremely important and contemporary issue’ in the large pub just down the street. As the sound of chatter filled the room, people begun to make their way towards the door and I followed the stream. I spotted a small group of students that I knew from my department slowly walking towards the pub. Catching up with them, I joined the unified lament over the utter boringness of what we had just heard.

The large pub was rather empty and I was, I must admit, not altogether surprised that only around thirty people had bothered to show up from the talk. I ordered a large glass of house red (I felt like I deserved it after suffering through the last hour and a half) and sat at the table with my group of students where a furious debate was taking place over the value of institutionalised queer studies. Sipping my wine, I looked over my shoulder and felt a sudden flash of heat travel through me as I saw Elena. She was standing right behind me, her perfect ass just below my eye level, and there was a clear tone of irritation in her voice as she argued against a homogeneous looking group of ageing men.

“…no, no, I disagree. The answer in not some decontextualized welfare reform. We must focus on the increasing influence of shareholder capitalism and the decrease in public institutions if we want to see any worthwhile change…”

She was cut short by a well-dressed, moustache endowed man who begun to lecture her on what he seemed convinced were the benefits of shareholder capitalism on the British service industry. I watched Elena as she took a large gulp from her glass of wine, rubbed her temples and looked over her shoulder. I quickly turned my head in an attempt not to be caught staring at her and swallowed more of my drink.

I spent much of the next hour or two distantly following the discussion taking place in my table and sneaking occasional glimpses at Elena as she got increasingly frustrated at the conversation she was taking part in. At one point I noticed her trying to leave to order a second glass of wine in a clear attempt to gracefully exit the conversation but the moustache man cornered her, sealing off her escape route, and had the waiter bring escort bayan her the glass instead. She nearly downed her second glass on one go, gazing at the door as the man jabbed on, oblivious to her having lost all interest in what he had to say. When she finally managed to excuse herself, she headed directly towards the back door, pausing only say ‘have a lovely evening’ to a few of the academics, and exited the pub.

Barely listening to what was being said at my table, I felt stupid for being disappointed by the fact that I had not had the chance to talk to her. I did not know what I had expected, that she would spend her evening with me instead of the assortment of prestigious scholars that the pub was dotted with? She clearly did not get the change to pick her preferred company, but even if she had, it was foolish of me to think that she would have picked me. I drank the last of my wine, said my byes to the people at my table, and followed her steps out the back door.

Feeling very gloomy and my eyes on the ground, I walked the quiet lane behind the pub, heading home. When I turned around the street corner, however, my gloom was unexpectedly interrupted as I felt my body collide with another human shaped object and I almost lost my balance. Jerking my head up, I blatantly realised that I had literally walked into Elena who had been standing behind the corner, smoking a cigarette. Baffled, she grabbed my arm and pulled me to her in an attempt to help me regain my footing.

“Sammy! Are you all right?”

“Yeah…”, I said after I had placed both of my feet securely on the ground again, “yeah, sorry! I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. Are you ok?”

I could not help but notice that I was all of a sudden standing very close to her. She was still holding me, and my mind took in the fact that she was touching me which made a stream of shivers travel down my spine. I could feel her breath on my skin and as I realised that my lips were only a few inches away from hers I felt a sudden throb below my stomach. She was so close to me that I could breathe in the scent of her rosy perfume which mingled with another familiar scent. My nicotine deprived brain detected what it irrationally felt was a delightful sent of cigarettes. I had been trying to quit smoking for the past four months, alternating between short bursts of success and longer periods of failure. At the moment I was living the former, with the latter looming close.

“Yes, I’m fine”, she said, laughing, “I think you took the harder blow there.”

As I focused on savouring every second of feeling her body so close to mine, I remotely registered that she was still holding me to her, keeping me there, I thought, just a few seconds longer than she had to. When she let go of me and took a step back, she smiled.

“Were you heading home?” She asked and inhaled her cigarette.

“Yeah, I was”, I said, my mind blurry from the feel of her touch. “I didn’t know you smoke.”

“I don’t, usually”, she told me, still smiling, “but I do carry a pack with me in case I feel like I need it. Do you smoke?” She opened her pack of Marlboros and signalled me to take one. The irrational side of my brain battled the rational side and won. I reached my hand out, took a cigarette and leaned towards her so she could light it for me. My body involuntarily leaned a little closer than was necessary and I noticed her leaning into me as she lit the cigarette. I inhaled deeply and felt a delicious flush of dizziness go through me which is only ever the consequence of abstaining from smoking for just a bit too long. I closed my eyes for a short moment as I blew out the smoke and sighed with pleasure. I devoured the feeling of nicotine reaching my brain, blending with the recent memory of her touch on my skin. When I opened my eyes, I noticed that she was observing me with a hint of bemused on her face.

“It looks like you needed that.”

“Yeah, I think I did”, I said, smiling back at her, and meeting her eyes. They were searching me as I looked into them and I automatically turned my eyes to the ground, unable to bear her gaze.

“I find that when there is a need for pleasure, most pleasures gain a higher level of intensity”, she said. Intrigued by her choice of words, I looked up at her face and was met with a cheeky smile that I had never seen before.

“Did you have a good night?” she asked me as I took another puff from my cigarette.

“I did”, I lied, and blew out the smoke. “Did you have a good discussion with the gentleman with the moustache?” I blurted out, immediately realising my mistake and feeling like an idiot. Now it was obvious that I had been staring at her all the night. “Or, I mean, with the people you were talking to”, I continued, making it worse.

She looked at me, with a curious trace in her eyes of something that I could not quite get a hold of. “The Gentleman with the moustache is doctor Murray from the law department”, she explained, “but I would’ve much rather mudanya escort joined your table to discuss queer studies”. She inhaled her cigarette, watching me as I tried to identify her tone. She blew out the smoke and smiled her cheeky smile again.

“Come here, let me show you something”, she said, and took out her iPhone.

I stepped closer to her, daring to let my arm and the side of my thigh brush against her under the pretence of being able to see the screen. She played me a clip from a queer performance art show, but I must admit that the specifics of the performance have left my memory, not because it was not interesting, but because after we had finished watching it I turned my head to say something to her and found myself looking directly into her eyes from only a few inches apart. It was one of those moments when two people execute the same movement at the same time with unexpected consequences. As I turned my head, so did she, and we ended up facing each other so close that I swear I could feel the heat radiating from her skin. Her eyes were so overwhelming that I became paralysed by them, unable to look away now that I had been swallowed by her gaze with such immanence. I felt like she had enveloped me in the depth of her never-ending brown eyes. I realised distantly that she had not turned away either, allowing her eyes to remain locked into mine and her breathing to softly brush my skin, lingering there and intoxicating me with every breath. Unwilled, I found my body leaning into her and to my surprise her body responded. As I melted into her gaze, I felt her leaning into me and then, ever so slightly, her lips brushed mine.

I was so amazed by what was happening that at that moment that, failing to decide whether I was dreaming or awake, I simply lost the last fragments of my rational mind that had not already been lost in the depth of her gaze. As my eyes drifted closed, I pressed my lips against hers. She was so warm; her lips were almost hot against mine and as, incredibly, I felt them open for me, I experienced a sudden desire for her of a magnitude that surprised me. I let my body press against her, and I felt her fingers travel to the back of my neck. My hands, on their own accord, floated to stroke first her lower back and then her hips, and I kissed her with passion that ached below my stomach. She kissed me back with almost equal passion to my own, her hands holding the back of my neck firmly and her body pressing into me. For a brief moment, I felt my hands cup her astonishing ass which felt as firm as it looked, and she whimpered into our kiss.

Before I could fully grasp what was actually happening, the kiss ended as quickly and as unexpectedly as it had begun. As I faintly registered a distant sound of heels clapping against the cobbled street, Elena gasped and abruptly jumped away from me. She looked at me, bewildered, and her hands flew to her face to cover her mouth.

“Oh my god, what am I doing?” she whispered, and her eyes shifted to the ground. She blinked rapidly a few times, as if in accordance with what looked like a speedy bombardment of unwanted thoughts. “Sammy, I… I’m so sorry, I…”

Before I had time to respond, she turned around and walked away. Dumfounded, I stood paralysed in the spot where she had left me, incapable of comprehending what had just happened. It was only when I watched her disappear behind a street corner that I regained control over my body and realised with horror that I had just let her walk away, clearly feeling like she had made a mistake, without making any attempt to stop her. Feeling desperate and confused, I run after her and yelled her name, but she was gone by the time I reached the street corner.

I spent the following few days wondering what on earth took place that night. I could barely believe it was real – indeed, it occurred to me that I might in all seriousness have dreamt the whole thing. Sure, there had been moments before where I had thought that Elena’s mesmerising eyes lingered on me a bit longer than they had to. But the idea that she would have actually kissed me seemed so unreal as to be a fragment of my imagination. And yet, the taste of red wine on her lips, the faint scent of cigarettes entwined with her rosy perfume, the feel of her heat as she pushed her body against me… It all seemed so real and vivid that I reasoned I could not have merely conjured it all up.

I could not believe that I had let her walk away. I wished I would have stopped her, and I wanted to kick myself for being so useless. I wanted to talk to her about it. Hell, I thought about trying to find out where she lived, then go to her house and ring the doorbell. But I also wondered why she had run – was it because she felt that what we had done was inappropriate? It was clear to me that her career meant everything to her, and kissing a student would definitely be seen as unprofessional by the institution… The last thing I wanted was to put her job at risk. Perhaps she had run for a good reason: maybe the kiss had merely been a spur of the moment thing, induced by a little bit too much wine and a disappointing night out. Perhaps she thought it had been poor judgement, something that could potentially have reflected badly on her if someone had walked in on us. I certainly did not want to be a hindrance to her.

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