After an hour of a pick-up beach volleyball game on the sand court in the side lawn of a church on a hot June afternoon in Nebraska, everyone was dripping in sweat and coated in a thick layer of sand grains. Ready for a break, my companion and I left the court and helped hose each other off.
As I swept the spray back and forth across him, the sandy brown water ran in rivulets down the contours of his muscular body, streaming over his rounded calves and then across his feet, and back to the earth. His face scrunched up and he gasped with delight at the refreshing cold of the spray, and I couldn’t help but think of some nights together where he made a similar noise.
As he wiped his eyes and reached for the hose to return the favor, he saw me looking up and down his body and smiled. After we were both as clean as we could get with a basic hose-off, we went to our tent to change out of our soiled, sand-filled clothes.
We always made a point to try to place our tent away from others. Given our preferred and frequent nighttime activity, it was just the respectful thing to do. At this particular campsite, that meant while everyone else was clustered behind the church and in the side lawn, we set up on the front lawn of the church, in full view of the road and a row of houses. Thank God for rain covers.
Zipping up the door behind us, we helped each other wiggle out of our muddy, sopping wet clothes and tossed them into a corner of the tent. With our clothes off, it was easy to see we still had plenty of sand sticking to us in places the hose hadn’t reached.
Tents are great on chilly nights when you’re lying still and trying to fall asleep; they trap your body heat in the space and help you stay warm. But on a hot summer afternoon in the midst of a passionate workout, it’s like wearing a ski jacket in a greenhouse.
With neither of us having seen a real shower in over a week and the floor of the tent covered in sand and running with sweat, we were too gross for foreplay.
We started off close together, his arms around me as he worked his hips, but as the temperature in the tent rose and our bodies got more and more slippery with perspiration, we pulled away and kept as far from each other as we could while still remaining connected at the pelvis. The tent floor became so slick with our sweat that he struggled to keep his knees from sliding out from under him, and the sand scratched against my back. Practically all of my body’s water content came flooding out of my pores, and I found myself thinking more about getting out of the tent than I was about the wonderful sensations down below.
He felt it too and finished quickly. The deed done, we scrambled to open the tent’s windows, just enough to let the breeze in without exposing ourselves to passersby. There had been times in my life where I was in too much pain to move, or too exhausted to move — this was the first time I felt too gross to move. With my clothes in a sopping, disgusting heap in the corner, I found myself trapped in our little sauna by my nakedness. He bravely unraveled his soiled shorts and donned them to venture forth and fetch towels and dry garments.
In the end, giving myself a thorough scrub with a dry towel and putting on fresh clothes felt better than the sex itself.