Leah González


Leah González is a first-generation writer of Mexican descent. She grew up in San José and after receiving her BA in Communication from Santa Clara University, she moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to pursue television writing. After three years of working as a production assistant, she moved to Spain to teach English. She currently lives Almería, teaching, meeting other queer women of color, traveling through Europe, and writing. Her journalism has appeared in Santa Clara Magazine and she has worked on series such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Shades of Blue,” “Jane the Virgin,” and “The Chi.”


Everything was perfect until he told me he didn’t eat pussy. No, I’m sorry, that he wouldn’t eat my pussy. After ignoring my texts over the weekend, as was his habit, he had finally responded Sunday night. I was in bed in sweatpants and a mud mask, facetiming my best friend, when his text caused me to drop my phone on my face.


 “Are you still there?”


I jumped out of my pajamas and into real clothes. Only a cartoon could have matched the swiftness with which I was out the door, but I couldn’t tell him I was on my way just yet. First, I drove down the street to the corner store to pick up a cheap bottle of wine, which would have been half the price at a normal grocery store, but most places were closed. I waited in my car for another five minutes before texting him. Google Maps told me that I would get to Hawthorne from Long Beach in 20 minutes, a commute that normally took a DMV appointment during rush hour.

I had to calculate each and every step or else I would miss this window of attention. I needed to get there quickly, but not too quickly. To play it cool, but not too cool. I had ascribed myself a role in this non-courtship courtship and it was beginning to feel exhausting. Hadn’t I already done all this heteronormative role-playing and been burned for it? But at least he was hot. No really, it was like destiny had given me everything I wanted in the exterior package, but had failed me in every other aspect. There was the ethnic ambiguity – Puerto Rican father and Dutch-Indonesian mother; stories of traveling and the tattoos to accompany them; similar taste in music which we could go on about for hours; similar life goals to become educators.

Even worse, I was a sucker for a good story. I wanted to say things like, “Fate itself placed us at the right time and the right place, outside the Bank of America in Echo Park.” It had been one of those weekday late-nights-out-in-the-city that my best friend and I could tell other people with perfectly rehearsed back-and-forth commentary.

“After the concert, we went to the Lost Knight to have a drink –”

“But I was too broke to party and was waiting to get paid the next day –”

“So, I said, let’s wait until midnight –”

“And at midnight I checked my bank account and I –”

“Got –”


“So, we’re walking back down Sunset looking for a place to dance and these two guys pass us –”

“And one of them hollers at us –”

“Because we’re cute, but, like, no thank youuuu, so I turn around and say ‘Excuse me?’”

“We started taking talking to them and I notice that she and the other guy are getting along and I decide to distract the less cute one so that they could talk –”

“And then I find out that he’s also a teacher and just came back from teaching abroad in Spain and I told him that I had just decided to apply to teach in Spain next year –”

“So, then we all walked to the Short Stop to dance and –"

“We went to the bathroom –”

“And I asked her ‘So, what’s the deal? He’s super cute’ –”

“And I was like ‘He is?!’ –"

“He is! When we were talking he was telling me how dope he thinks she is and that she has to go teach abroad and all this really sweet stuff –”

“And I’m like, holy shit, who is this guy, so I go back out there and noticed that, damn, he is cuuuute. I was just too drunk to notice before.”

With a little bit of editing, I was sure that she could make this into an appropriate wedding speech when he and I got married.

Fast forward past the three months of texting back and forth and him never being able to stick to a plan. The red flags were there from the beginning. From, “Fate itself placed us at the right time and right place.” First of all, let’s get something straight. No one I met walking down Sunset Boulevard in the middle of the night when I was tipsy is going to be my future husband. Only my Pisces sun could have weaved a beautiful tale out of the scraps that littered our feet on the corner where we first met.  

And from that moment forward, his tactic had been to starve me for his attention, drag me through long stretches of silence, so that the times when we did see each other, or more accurately, when he decided it was convenient for him to see me, I felt validated, I felt good about myself. Each time he let me drift at sea again felt like a new bruise. When the bruise would heal, when I finally felt like I was out of his reach, could have moved on, could have forgotten about him, could have met someone else, he remembered me, and each time, I thought finally, this is it. He’s going to notice me. It kept alive, albeit at a lukewarm temperature, a narrative about how compatible we were, kept alive the fantasy about our future ethnically ambiguous curly-haired babies. In the hours that we spent together during our sporadic encounters, I told myself that I hadn’t felt this way about anyone in a long time. I let myself believe that we were just taking things slow, we were getting to know each other. That the long stretches of time in between our encounters would one day become shorter and shorter. Just when that day was, was extremely unclear.

Even as I took the 710 to the 405 to the 110, something I would only ever do for a job, I felt the pressure to convince him that I was worthy enough to be his girlfriend. And throughout the night I played my role to perfection. We drank my cheap wine and talked again for hours about traveling, teaching, music, our childhoods, our absent fathers, our exes. Sometimes we even talked about the same things we had already talked about before. It was thrilling. It was the best non-date date I’d had in years. It made me feel closer to him. All the while I still had no fucking clue if he wanted to have sex with me. It had been like that the other two times. There was never any flirting, no build up, not even a gentle or playful hand. One minute it was like he was treating me like one of the guys, and then the next he was all over me. One minute we were in the living room talking, and the next the lights were off and we had teleported to his bed. I felt that strong wave of emotion again, like I did the other two times we’d had sex. Him starving me of his touch and the relief I felt when he finally did. “You’re difficult to read,” I said again. “I’ve been told that before,” he said again. Had we perfected some kind of masochistic game?

The other thing was his penis. Okay, sure, it was big, but that was not going to make up for the fact that he wouldn’t go down on me. I had checked the time before making our way into his room. It was almost 3 o’ clock in the morning. I don’t know how much time had passed but the question floated in my head again, “Why won’t he go down on me?” Which accompanied my other question, “Why don’t you ask him to go down on you?” It’s not like I had never asked for it. In fact, that was always the first thing I asked for. My first boyfriend had spoiled me to think that it was normal for guys to get all up in there before I returned the favor. Of course, sometimes it happened the opposite way. Point being, both parties were going to get theirs, regardless of who got theirs first. Therefore, I was a little taken aback at my own lack of initiative in asking when I had been so willing to give, but if there was ever a time to ask for it, it was now, because there was no lube in sight.

“Tell me what you want me to do,” he said, giving me a perfect window. I think he meant it to sound sexy, but all it made me wonder was Did he really have to ask?

“Ummm…” Just ask him!

“Come on, tell me what you want.”

I felt the words come up from my stomach and stick in my throat. Why couldn’t I just say it, just ask for it, it was now or never, and then I was back in high school stats class all over again and Mr. Tackett was asking me to find the standard error of difference of paired sample means.

“I want you to go down on me?”

He slowed down, but didn’t acknowledge my request. I had said the wrong thing. I felt his body tense up like I’d casually asked him whether he was into light cock and ball torture. Then he kissed my neck and started to speed up again. Maybe he was just warming up to it, but unless a magical bottle of lube was going to appear out of thin air, something needed to happen down there.

“No, I’m serious, it’s starting to hurt,” I said.

He pulled out and rolled over on his back. He looked up at the ceiling, looked anywhere but my face or my pussy.

“Isn’t there something else I can do?”

I sat up, holding the blanket to my chest, suddenly wanting to hide every inch of skin even though he had just been inside of me, even though I had wanted to give him every part of myself just a moment ago.

“It’s kind of the only way I can cum,” I said.

“Sorry, but I didn’t know it was expected of me.”

Now my brain was really working to solve this equation. He had dropped an anvil on my head and squished me into an accordion shape and I was bouncing up and down like an idiot.

“Of course, it’s expected. Do you really think I’d do it if there was nothing in it for me?” What I really wanted to ask was why did a 25-year-old woman have to explain basic sexual norms to a man in his thirties?

“I’m sorry, but I won’t go down on you.”

“Can I at least ask why?”

“I don’t have an answer. Just me.”

I balled up the fury rising in my chest. “If you can’t explain, my instinct is to place the blame on myself. Is it me? Does it smell? Is it too hairy?”

“It’s not you. It’s not something I do with everyone. Only when I’m dating. It could be any other person but if we’re not dating then I’m not doing it.”

This was news to me. I wasn’t prepared for the one-two punch, for the blow that came when I was already down. I wanted to hide, to turn inward, to disappear beneath his covers as his insinuation began to hit me. What was he saying about me that I didn’t wait to date a man before I sucked his dick? It rang loud and clear in my ears. I heard the underlying message, right there in his bed as I sat naked next to him wishing that I could teleport back into my sweatpants in the comfort of my apartment. He had othered me, had put me in a separate category from the women that he would actually date. In other words, I was just the whore.

By his standards, he only went down on a woman when he decided they were dating. I wondered if these women had to measure up to some unrealistic ideal of womanhood and femininity, to straddle some line between virgin and whore to be good enough for him. I wondered if there was an episode of Sex & the City I could watch again to hear Carrie’s thoughts on this. My mind flipped through anecdotes from friends, television shows, films, books, and pop culture, but I had never read the manual on “What To Do When a Guy Refuses To Go Down on You After You Went Down on Him.” And what exactly was his definition of dating? Because by modern standards, hooking up and dating were one and the same thing. If anything, I was surprised that there was a man out there who still held onto some formal definition of dating that I thought was dead. For as much as millennials complain about how the game is so different, the market is terrible, there are too many options, the lines are blurred, and chivalry is dead, as I looked into this man’s face thinking what a piece of shit he was, I realized that I liked the lines blurred, I preferred that chivalry be dead, I fucked with gender non-conformity, and I liked asking for my pussy to get eaten and for whoever I was with to eat it.  

“It’s fine if you don’t want to tell me, but nobody makes a boundary for no reason.” 

“Is that really the only way you can cum?” His hand ran up and down my arm, but I mentally recoiled from his touch. I wanted my body to catch up with my brain. Get up, move, leave, but I couldn’t.

“It’s the only way that most women can.”

He withdrew his hand. “Interesting. My ex-girlfriend didn’t ask me to go down on her until a year into the relationship.”

“Maybe she was too ashamed to ask for it because women are still oppressed by the patriarchy. And don’t compare me to your ex-girlfriend.”

“Every time I tried, she said she didn’t like it.”

“Most men aren’t educated on how to pleasure a woman sexually, but that’s not justification for not learning. Women learn how to care for a man and it’s just as important for men to learn.”

“It has nothing to do with a man’s sexual experience or knowledge. If a woman doesn’t like it, she doesn’t like it. Google it, sounds like you need to be educated on the topic.”

Normally I was good at ignoring the red flags, but this wasn’t just a flag, it was a giant fuck you to me and my pussy. No one says fuck you to my pussy.

“You let me suck your dick knowing full well that you weren’t going to reciprocate. That would have been nice to know. Regardless of your boundary, I can’t cum unless my partner goes down on me.”

“Well, then it’s probably best we don’t hook up anymore.”

“It’s probably best we don’t continue this friendship.” I heard how childish it sounded. It wasn’t my best, but I needed the last word, to be the one to cut off whatever mediocre connection I thought that we had.

I got up from the bed. I’d never felt more naked in my life. I picked up my clothes and shut myself in the bathroom. My reflection in the mirror was torn between tears and laughter. The circles under my eyes told me it was either very late or very early. I placed my bundle of clothes by the sink, next to a box of condoms and a Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap bar. I sat on the toilet, replaying it again and again, splashed water on my face, dried my wet palms on my arms, stomach, legs, scrubbing away the salt of our sweat, before covering myself slowly, limb by limb. I went back into the living room, knocking over empty bottles in the dark. I needed to leave and I wasn’t about to go back into his room looking for my socks. The amount of missing socks and underwear from my wardrobe was getting out of control.

“Come on, you don’t have to go.” He reached out to me, but I shook him off.

“Hey man, I tried. I really did, but we are speaking different languages. You’re going to confront this again so get the fuck off your high horse. You’re not perfect, you’re not educated on this and I’m just trying to help you.”

I hoped for the cinematic exit, the one where I threw open the door and stormed out of the shitty backhouse where he lived, sockless and head held high, but I was still a little drunk and forgot how difficult it was to budge open the door. His arm reached around me, as if to show me one last time all the tattoos he collected during his travels and which had once made him so interesting.

“Sorry it wasn’t to your satisfaction,” he said.

I stepped outside and looked at him one more time. Do not go back inside. How many times had I let a man get away with murder? This is worse than murder! At least if he murdered me, that meant he cared. He cared so little about me, if at all, that my pleasure didn’t matter. He had never offered to go down on me, nor had he never even considered dating me. Still, a part of me felt like the stakes were too high. After all those months, all the time waiting. He said no your pussy!! 

Then everything felt different. I noticed a change. Whatever it was, it was confused and raging and newly born, and it froze over my heart. I told my legs to move and they did. I told myself not to stop, and I didn’t. I walked through the yellowing front lawn and the chain-link fence, away from the house on Cedar Avenue. I was sexually catfished.

When I got in my car, it was 6 a.m. I looked up from the clock and saw his red truck parked down the street. I looked in my glove compartment for something sharp. I imagined myself slashing his tires and that made me feel a little better. I’d only seen people do it in movies. Would it be loud? Would he know it was me? I only found a box of safety pins.

The sun was coming up over the spectral beauty of Los Angeles. It turned the grey sky pink. Neighbors would start stirring, coffee pots whistling, dogs barking, cars clogging up the highways to get to work. I couldn’t do anything except lean my head against the window and cry.


© The Acentos Review 2019