it's complicated

How I Discovered the Power of a Hot-Pink Fake Penis

Welcome to It’s Complicated, a week of stories on the sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, always engrossing subject of modern relationships.

I loved my first cock. It was not mine, only borrowed, but I came to cherish it as though we’d been attached from birth. The cock, hot pink and rubber, about six inches long, belonged to my first girlfriend. She kept it in a metal box of sex toys and various lubes that seemed terrifying at first, like a Victorian surgeon’s kit of tools. All the sex I’d had in the past was with vanilla men — boys, really. It was sex in college dormitories, blow jobs in the backs of cars, an occasional finger-fuck in the darkness at an idyllic park, many orgasms faked, some real, but none of it ever requiring anything other than condoms and alcohol.

With S, the accessories were not a requirement either. The first time we had sex was purely oral: my mouth, her pussy. I had pursued her for two weeks, which — in 21-year-old sexual-odyssey time — is about ten years. She looked like a cherub boy, with the face of the Cheshire cat, and from her lips poured a constant stream of edicts as to the errors of my existence: the men’s tie I purchased from a department store to impress her (too thick, should be skinny); my Anne Sexton tattoo (what does that quote even mean?). She was cool, I was uncool, and she made sure it was on record.

But now she was in my apartment, and I was feeling her pussy for the first time, the first pussy I’d ever felt besides my own. It was so soft, vulnerable, as though underneath her mask of judgment lived a secret gentleness. It made me wonder if other judgmental assholes were soft underneath, too.

I licked her the way I would want to be licked: my tongue fast as a hummingbird wing, middle finger parked inside her pussy like a tampon, making profound “come hither” motions. I remember how hard and quickly she came, how proud I felt of my skills. This was my first time, and look what I had done! Perhaps I was not just a lowly bisexual after all. I felt like Don Juan. But I also felt confused about my newfound finger phallus and the changing dynamic between us. S presented aesthetically as butch, and I had expected her to be dominant. Yet she made no effort to get phallic on me that night, or even eat my pussy. I was what we called high femme — my long hair in two Princess Leia buns, a short black mini, leg warmers, and three-inch heels.

But I doubt Don Juan ever waited for a text. I was afraid I would never hear from her again, until she called me the next night and coyly asked if I wanted to come over. I knew it wasn’t easy for her to admit that she liked me, a suburban philistine who spelled indie rock “indy rock.” But now we both knew that she wanted me.

At her apartment she brought out the cock and strap-on harness for the first time. As she fucked me with it, I thought it was cool that this cock could last and last, never getting soft. But the ring where the cock met the leather banged against my pussy, hurting me. When my pussy was more irritated than aroused, she asked me if I wanted to try on the strap-on. Suddenly she looked more to me like a nervous young woman than a wicked boy.

Putting on that cock, I felt sexy and powerful, like a superhero. When I asked her to give me a blow job, I felt like a stud. The cock became mine as she sucked me. I really could feel her sucking — like the cock had nerve endings — and it was so different than getting my pussy eaten. I even moaned differently. Where my sex noises in the past had been what I perceived to be “sexy” for a woman — whispery, almost crying — now I was a grunting trucker. I was a frat boy. Never had I felt so self-contained, unafraid of the way my pleasure was perceived. Never had I been so generously selfish.

Next I laid her down and fucked her with my cock. I made sure to hold the cock in place so that the buckle didn’t rub against her pussy, the way it had against mine. I felt like a unicorn woman, possessing both horn and pussy. In the past, when fucking with no horn, I never felt completely sure of my rhythm. I sort of gyrated like a frantic rabbit. Now I was like a conductor or a samba drummer. I moved in rhythm with some primal river.

That night I refused to take off the cock. I wore the cock to sleep and woke up wearing it. I began wearing it all the time when I was at her house. It was all I could talk about. Was it my cock or was it my dick? When in use, I decided, it was my dick. Suck my sexy dick. But when lazing around like Caligula, it was my cock. I wondered what it would be like to have been born with a body that matched the cock. Would I look like a Beastie Boy? Love myself? Would I still have had to deal with an eating disorder? I contemplated wearing the cock out of the house, or investing in a soft pack: a flaccid set of dick and balls for daily travel. But I never did.

I’m not sure why I never bought my own cock. Certainly, I could have found one that I loved as much as the one that S and I shared. Perhaps it is because I was scared to feel that much power — that confident — all the time. What would it feel like if I wasn’t constantly judging myself? How would I measure myself? What would I eat if I had a cock? Whatever the fuck I wanted, probably. But then what would I strive for? If I wasn’t striving for some perceived feminine beauty ideal — some more perfect version of what I thought I was supposed to be — what would be the point of existence?

It was as though the cock was saying, “I want to take things to the next level.” And I was saying, “Me, too, but I’m scared.” And the cock was saying, “Just let me love you.”

But I was saying: “I don’t know if I am deserving.”

A few years later, when S and I were no longer together, I had occasion to wear another cock. This cock was 12 inches, silver, and belonged to a man I met on Craigslist who wanted me to fuck him with it. Tom, a bald 40-something corporate lawyer, was heterosexual, a practicing Catholic, and in possession of the biggest dildo I had ever seen. I love a big cock. I would like to think that if I had my own flesh-cock, it would be girthy, meaty, and monumental. Yet I knew as soon as I strapped on this cock that it was not really mine. Try as I might to inhabit the cock, everything I felt when I wore it was wrong.

There I was, fucking some corporate bro up the ass with a cock twice the size of his own. It should have been a triumphant moment: an ascendance of personal power. But behind the cock I felt timid, separate, like it was just a costume and I was playing dress-up.

As I watched his stupid hairy ass move up and down, trying to gobble up my big silver, I just wanted it to be over. His bald head spewed platitudes about how he was my “cumslut” and encouraged me to humiliate him, to “hurt” him. But I didn’t want to hurt anyone. I’m just not that kind of cocksman. I didn’t even grunt like I did with my medium pink cock. Instead I returned to my old demure whispers and moans. When he sucked my cock I got bored.

Since that night with Tom, I have ceased chasing the cock dragon. Sometimes it feels like the hot-pink cock is still with me. It’s like a phantom limb — a ghost cock — and I can put it on in my mind and radiate the same confidence I felt. Other times it’s clear to me that it’s gone, like when I see men in porn with their big cocks and feel jealous.

I have a whole range of fantasies regarding what it might be like to have been born with a cock, what that kind of power might feel like. I imagine that if I began to feel anxious or depressed, I could grab my cock, and the sheer beingness of it would have a transformative effect. It would be my prize possession.

But can a natural-born cock ever rival the love I felt for the pink cock? In my fantasies my cock is always hard, alert, a virile Achilles rising from his tent. Even when flaccid, it maintains its substantial size and girth: hearty, proud, grounded firmly in the present. My cock protects me and requires nothing of me. Yet what kind of cock would I really have? And how would things really be between us? It would probably be much more reluctant to be alive than my pink cock. It would probably be a sleeper, hiding from reality: a squeamish nugget dozing quietly on a bed of pubes. Most likely, it would become just another endless source of anxiety. Who knows if I could get it up at all?

How I Discovered the Power of a Fake Penis