It was Thanksgiving weekend and Lo and I had driven the grueling trek to visit my extended family back in my hometown. Most family holidays I host, but this year proved to hearken back to my college days in more ways than one. For a variety of reasons having to do with family members’ commutes, health, and so forth, we arranged to meet up in the suburban hamlet where I grew up. I despise going back there because no matter how many years or how much experience one puts between one’s awkward adolescence and one’s mature adulthood, revisiting one’s hometown always feels like wearing the ill-fitting and out-of-style clothes from high school found in the attic.
However, Lo helped to ease the pain by lightening up our lengthy, traffic ridden commute with some self-pleasure in the passenger seat and, on more than one occasion, by reaching over and helping me to relieve the stress of bumper-to-bumper traffic with her lips on my cock — in broad daylight!
With the help of her left hand and some good tunes, the ride was tolerable. But when we arrived, the crush of family and their frenzied preparations for the big meal were smothering. All through dinner Lo concertedly tried to make me uncomfortable by rubbing her bare foot up and down my leg, occasionally grasping my crotch under the table, and, on one occasion, dropping her fork and planting her face in my lap as she reached to get it. I finally had to grab her hand firmly and tell her that she was going to be severely punished if she kept up her antics. But that only made her squirm in her seat with anticipation.
Thanksgiving weekend being the prolonged four day affair that it is, after the big day had passed, there was some time to get away and do some enjoyable non-family activities. Mixed in with those, unfortunately, was the obligatory visiting of friends whom one has not seen (except on Facebook, perhaps) for ages. One of those friends I was compelled to visit was Don, a man I’ve known since grade school and, much to his detriment, the true-to-life exemplar of the 40+ year-old virgin. I kid you not. For a long while I thought that Don was closeted and simply could not face the truth about himself. Over the years I tried, on many occasions, to help him confront, accept, and embrace who he is on his own terms. But he has always rebuffed my suggestions and has insisted that I had it all wrong. He certainly liked women, he assured me; he merely was painfully shy.
I still harbored my doubts. On the long drive I voiced all these thoughts to Lo and she was eager to test my hypothesis empirically. As I recounted my history with Don and his woeful tale of loneliness, Lo impatiently interrupted me to ask, “What’s he look like?”
“He’s not attractive,” I said. There was no need to lie. She would see well enough for herself.
“What are we talking here?”
“We’re not talking Steve Carell — cute but nerdy. We’re talking unattractive.”
“Short — maybe 5’5”. Pale skin. Thin. Balding.”
“Yikes!” she said, repulsed. “I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”
I let it drop at that, but seeing Don, with Lo, was still on the itinerary for the weekend.
So, when Saturday night rolled around, Lo and I met up with Don in the local diner — the same diner that Don and I had haunted back in high school, I didn’t have any expectations.
After the awkward introductions — every social interaction with Don is awkward — we sat and made stilted conversation. I could tell that Don would have preferred it if it were just the two of us. A female presence (even so far back as my first girlfriend) always made him uncomfortable and inhibited. Lo was her usual vivacious and friendly self. But when Don got up to go to the bathroom, Lo surprised me by turning to me and saying, “He’s so adorable!” I had not expected that. I had expected her to roll her eyes and say, “How much more of this do we have to endure?” But she was taken by his unassuming (that’s an understatement) demeanor and, no doubt, by the fact of his virginity.
When he returned to the table, Lo was rubbing her leg up against mine, out of sight, like a kitten eager to make friends. I knew what she wanted. I actually thought it may be good for everyone. But I didn’t know how to bring the happy conclusion about. And then I struck on a plan. After we were done with our meal and the waitress brought out some coffee and Lo indulged herself with some apple pie à la mode, I brought the conversation around to writing. Way back in the day, Don and I had a sort of writer’s correspondence. He would send me his depressingly dreary poetry and I would carve it up with my red pen. I asked him about his writing and he said he hadn’t been doing much of it as of late. And then he fell for the bait and returned the gesture by asking me if I’ve been writing. I said, “Oh yeah, quite a bit.”
“What sort of writing?”
Oh yes, he has fallen for my little scheme, hook-line-and sinker. So, I told him, “I’ve been writing a novel.”
“A novel? About what?”
This was really too easy.
“About, well, basically my life with Lo.”
“That’s not a novel, that’s a diary.”
“Well, I guess it is sort of a diary. . . a journal, perhaps, of sorts.”
“Or a memoir?”
“That makes it sound like it happened long ago. This is more of an account of. . .”
“So, why did you say novel?”
“That’s a good question. I guess, it reads like a novel more than a diary or journal or even a memoir. I mean, it’s a slightly veiled account of our life together. Names are changed, places are changed. It’s not a straight-forward play-by-play of our day-to-day. Rather, I take bits from here and pieces from there and stitch them together in a narrative that gets closer to the essential of who we are. Think of it like this: James Needham could have taken a photograph, even a Polaroid picture of himself and his wife for his hugely popular “Double Portrait,” but instead he painted the two of them wish colorful brush strokes, intimacy, soft edges, and blurred detail. Looking at it, no one would say that it is an exquisite realistic representation, but that’s not the point. It’s not trying to be representational art in the way that a photograph is representational and ‘true’ to the subject, objective in its depiction, and affording minimal insight into the photographer. Rather, Needham is getting at something essential about the subject — that is himself and his wife — that can only be shown through a crafty manipulation of ‘the facts.’ It’s not deceptive, it’s not fraudulent, it’s certainly not false. Rather, as Picasso once said, ‘Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.’ Were I to call it a ‘memoir’ or simply a journal — now that would be false and misleading. So, for lack of any better genre term, I simply call it a novel.”
“It’s about our sex life,” Lo blurted out, growing bored with my excursion into theory and cerebral criticism. (She once said to me, “You have to lose your mind if you ever want to cum to your senses.” A wisdom beyond words.)
“Your s-s-sex life?!” Don spat out, stumbling over the word sex.
“Yeah, I mean, some might call it pornographic,” Lo said nonchalantly, “in fact, we’ve been banned by certain distributors because of the graphic nature of the content, but it’s really just a love story.”
“P-p-pornographic?” Don asked, stuttering. “B-b-b-banned? By who?”
Lo waved her hands in the air, “It doesn’t matter. H.H. is a beautiful writer. But all they see is ‘arse’ and not art.”
“Lo’s a writer too,” I interjected.
Don’s mind was still stuck on trying to wrap itself around pornography and what that might mean and I could see him struggling to switch gears to focus on Lo and it looked as if he were suddenly seeing double — the beautiful woman sitting in front of him and the phantom image of a porn star ghosting next to her. “A writer?”
“Yeah, tell him Lo,” I said.
“I’ve been writing reviews of porn sites on the internet.”
Poor Don, he had never heard anyone speak of these topics (in polite company, let alone in mixed company, let alone, a woman!).
“Yeah, well, you know how there’s about a bazillion porno sites out there, many of them free.”
Don couldn’t speak, he couldn’t nod, he was frozen, stuck between the shock of what Lo was saying and what it would mean to acknowledge that he knows of these seedy sites on the internet. Lo continued as if he had properly assented to her comment. “Well, unfortunately, a lot of them are full of misogynistic images, depictions of rape, violence, and coercive use of women, be they actors or models or what-have-you.”
“Watch out,” I said, “you got Lo on her soap box.”
Lo hit my arm playfully and continued. “Well, I write reviews, or at least alert people to which porn sites, in my opinion, are sex-positive — pro-women — and which are not. I mean, don’t get me wrong, S&M, BDSM, gang-bangs, bukkake and all that stuff can be good, healthy sex and good healthy porn for people to get off on at home, so long as the participants are all willing and consenting.”
“And adults,” I added.
“Consenting implies being of age,” Lo said, a bit frustrated that I wouldn’t immediately realize that. “But yes, and adults, of course.”
I really thought Don’s mind was going to explode right there in the diner. What a mess that would be.
“So I do research and try to ascertain to the best of my abilities what are healthy, woman-friendly porn sites and I write about them in an e-zine.”
“You watch porn?” was all Don could ask.
“Of course. I mean, it started just as fun. I love watching porn as much as the next gal, but it really pissed me off to see these stupid videos — no, not just videos, whole categories — of guys fucking women who are passed out or sleeping. I mean, that’s rape. That’s not sex. There’s a difference between sex and rape. And that is rape — a crime, like murder or assault and battery!” Uh-oh. Lo was getting started. I could hear her volume ratcheting up. Nothing riles her like the level of ignorance in the world and that the world is ignorant of its own ignorance.
“But it is tricky. I mean, nothing with sex is ever clear-cut. Plenty of healthy, sex-positive, even feminist women engage in rape fantasies when masturbating or with their partners. Remember that time, H.H.,” Lo turned to me to reminisce, “when we were skiing in Colorado and you went to get the newspaper in the morning, and when you returned to the hotel room you snuck inside and forced me onto the bed with those leather gloves?”
I nodded, slightly embarrassed by hearing her recall those actions.
“God I loved that! But that doesn’t mean I deserve or condone sexual violence. Does that make sense?”
There was a pause. Lo may as well have been speaking a foreign language.
She continued since her thoughts were racing faster than her mouth could utter them. “So some women might want to watch a porn video that depicts rape. (My reviews are written mostly for women, though I hope men pay heed too.) It gets really tricky and sometimes I just have to trust my own instincts or simply try to warn my reader ‘So-and-so site has depictions of rape and violence against women, but. . .” and then I give my reasons why I think it may be pro-women none-the-less, if I believe there is a case to be made. There are very few out there that I would say that about.”
“So you watch porn?”
Lo looked at me with a quizzical look on her face, as if to ask, “Has he not just been sitting here?”
“Don’t you?” she countered.
Don squirmed in his seat. He and I are of a generation that never admitted to watching porn, buying or stealing “dirty” magazines, and especially never admitted to masturbating. Shame, shame!
Lo is of a completely different generation; a generation that had easy access to graphic depictions of sex, for free, in the comfort of her own home. In my generation “naughty pictures” were hard to come by. (No pun intended.) It wasn’t till I was in the eighth or ninth grade that I saw my first “porn” magazine. It was Playboy or Penthouse or something that merely showed naked women and more often than not, their hairy pubic areas were covered up. The women were all airbrushed and the pictures were shot with soft lighting and an ethereal haze. Occasionally one caught a glimpse of their triangular patch, but never, never did one see a woman with her legs spread. And there were no men in those magazines. No depictions of sex. It wasn’t till I was in college that I saw my first pornographic movie in which intercourse was portrayed. And, you may find this little fact amusing, it wasn’t till I was in my late 30s that I ever saw an act of anal sex in a porno flick. Nowadays, all of that and more is easily accessible from your fucking phone! Anywhere, anytime, you can see any sexual act you dream of right there in the hairy palm of your hand. (That’s right — in my day they used to tell us that masturbation would make your palms hairy. I wonder if that is the subtext of all those werewolf movies.) Need I mention that the thought of women touching themselves, masturbating, was beyond the pale of possibility? So far as I knew, Don still lived in that world that we grew up in together. Or, if he did per chance watch explicit videos, he certainly had never met a woman like Lo who admitted — no, exalted in — the fact that she likes, watches, and is even a connoisseur of pornography!
Seeing how uncomfortable Don was made by her innocuous question, Lo considerately got him off the hot seat by saying, “I also write about other things too — relationships, safer sex practices, gender-radical feminism, reviews of films and erotica, as well as the occasional restaurant review and holiday recipe.” Lo’s eclecticism and her ability to switch from talking about cream-pie interracial double-penetration videos to talking about recipes for Boston Cream Pie and homemade double stuff Oreos made me laugh.
Thankfully, the bill came and gave us all an out from the incredibly one-sided conversation. Lo excused herself to “powder her nose.” When she was gone, Don turned to me and said, “Wow! She’s. . . I don’t know what to say. She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met. Beautiful. Charming. Forthright. Intelligent.”
“Yep. I know. And I bet if you play your cards right tonight she would be more than happy to help you lose your virginity.”
Don and I had never spoken directly about his unlucky streak of 35 years with women, but now seemed as good a time as any.
“What?!” he exclaimed without any stammer.
“You heard me. She told me she finds you attractive. She’s insatiable. And, well, we do have a hotel room.”
“But. . .”
Whatever Don was about to say was cut short by Lo’s unusually prompt return from the loo.
After settling up, Don excused himself to use the bathroom. That gave Lo and me a strategic moment alone.
“Can I pop his cherry, Daddy? Please?”
She rapidly shook her head in assent.
“Be gentle, not like with me.”
“Oh, I will be, Daddy.”
I opened my mouth to begin to ask how she wanted to proceed, but before I could get the question out, Don was back.
“Well guys,” he began as he clapped his hands together in an incredible farce of camaraderie, “I guess I’ll head back. It was. . .”
“Don, it’s still early,” Lo interjected. I have to admit, she looked irresistible in her short skirt and jackpot top!
“It’s getting late, but maybe. . .” his stutter betrayed him.
“Come on with us,” said Lo as she wrapped her arm around his and around mine. “Just for old-time-sake.” What a ridiculous thing to say! Lo never met him before! For old-time-sake. What was this, a 1950’s movie? In any case, it worked. Don conceded that he’d join us at the hotel “just to talk,” as he said.
When we got to the hotel room, Lo sat on the bed and Don sat in the chair by the faux writing desk. I went to the small fridge and pulled out a beer. Don, of course, declined my offer for a cold one. Lo asked me to pop the bottle of champagne and pour her a glass.
Lo began sipping it and as she was sitting on the full-size bed her skirt began riding up her hip. She feigned ignorance, but with Lo nothing is unintentional. She continued talking a mile a minute as Don and I were her captive audience. Finally, she excused herself to go to the bathroom and while she was in there Don gave me a perplexed look. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “What can I tell you, she’s a handful. A real nymphomaniac.”
No sooner had I said the word than lusty little Lo returned and sat on the bed again, showing her sexy legs up beyond the knee, revealing just a bit of her pink lace panties! Don squirmed in his chair and asked if he could have a glass of water. I went to get it and told him, “Don, we have no ice. I’ll just run down to the lobby and get some.” I assured him I’d be right back. I left the room, but not without some trepidation. What would happen to my innocent, forty-something-year-old friend? Would he be inexorably changed?
I admit, I took my time walking down the hall, getting the elevator, finding the ice machine, purchasing it, and returning to the room. I was half expecting the “Do Not Disturb” sign to be up on the door, indicating to me to find some bar to go to with my ice for the night, or at least for a few hours. But, to my surprise, there was no sign and no sound of Lo screaming from behind the door. I walked in and all was as it had been when I left. I got Don his glass of water — with ice — and I sat in the large club chair next to the bed. From that vantage I couldn’t see Lo’s pussy barely concealed by her panties. I only saw her sexy leg, revealed from the toes up to her hip.
Lo and Don were discussing literature and the topic of my novel came up. Lo began telling Don how she reads it on the train, on the bus, and how it’s a bond of connection for us when we’re apart from each other. She explained how it began as just a lark between the two of us — how I would write her naughty stories and e-mail them to her to read on the bus and she would take naughty pics of herself with her phone and send them to me periodically throughout the day to whet my appetite for her when she got home. Don watched her sexy mouth, her tongue licking her lips, as he tried hard to not watch her. Lo went on talking about who she’d like to play her in the movie version and how she hopes for a “high-budget porno” to come out of this. She wants a reputable company to produce it and for it to go mainstream, now that “Mommy-porn” and “Erotica” have become the flavor-of-the-month for suburban housewives. She’s sure this book and the companion film will start a few fires in long dormant bedrooms around the country.
After a while she looked at me and said, “Daddy– ” She must know what that does to me, especially after she had refrained from calling me that all night. Now, here she was, using our special name in front of a third party! “Daddy, can Don and I have some time. . . alone?” She got on all fours and her skirt rose up above her waist, revealing her beautifully shaped ass.
“Lo, this is a friend of mine.”
“I-I-I have to be going,” he stammered.
“Oh no!” said Lo as she looked at him with puppy-dog eyes. “Please not yet.”
Don almost made to jump for the door.
“I really must go,” he said, without stuttering.
Lo looked at him and said, “But we were just getting to know each other.”
Don stood up.
Lo slid to the floor with her legs spread, her skirt up around her waist like a spoiled, dejected child.
“It was great seeing you. Both of you. I must run.”
As he went to shake my hand, I removed from my pocket a card. I handed it to him. I said, “Don, I know how you feel right now, but this might help tonight. . . . And tomorrow night. . . . . And every night.” I gave him the card.