Erotic Notion #21: The Good Pussy, the Bad Short Story
By Hapax Legomenon

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John Singer Sargent, Zuleika 1907
John Singer Sargent, Zuleika, 1907

Truly the moon has not become her face,
Nor two lotuses
Transformed into her eyes,
Nor her slender body formed from gold.
But his mind deceived in this way by poets,
Even if still understanding the truth,
The body of doe-eyed women, just skin, flesh and bone
men will worship.
          Bhatri-hari, Passion, 46

The other day my wife surprised me by handing me some pages she printed out. "Here's an erotica story I wrote," she said. "I want you to have it."

"Thank you," I said. "When did you write it?"

"Last week."

I tossed the pages onto my desk and returned to my email.

"You are … planning to read it?" she asked.

"Of course," I said. "Not this minute though. I really need to finish this presentation."

For a moment Jenny seemed annoyed, then she walked out of the room to make a telephone call. Jenny was always instigating new bedroom games and forwarding articles about spicing up your love life. Much as I enjoyed all these new things, it could be a bother sometimes.

Seriously, I was swamped at work. Until Monday's presentation was over, I would be unable to think of anything else. Friday night we were supposed to go to a block party – did I really have time for that? But no. Jenny insisted. Commitments, commitments! Maybe I'd find a spare hour this weekend to read the story. Who could predict?

Saturday was full; the line was long at the oil change place, and I spent a few hours driving around town to find a memory card adaptor. (Yes, that's my typical weekend). When I returned home at 3:30, I was determined to read Jenny's short story; I even took the pages and brought them to bed, but as soon as I started to read, I fell asleep. When I awoke, it was 5:30 already; Jenny would be home in an hour. She taught a photography class during the afternoon, and usually did food shopping afterwards. I picked up the first page. As I started reading, I remembered that I needed to watch last week's episode of the Office before Jenny returned. We were going to watch the one hour season finale together that evening, and I was one episode behind. I turned on the TV and watched the show. It's the episode where the boss arranges a basketball game. Hilarious.

At 6:00 I went to the bedroom and started reading Jenny's erotic story. Reading the story took 15 minutes (it was ten printed pages). After finishing, I reread it to make sure I didn't miss anything. I didn't want her quizzing me about it. Jenny liked writing and was an English major at college. She even kept a online photo-journal which I checked every few weeks. She dabbled in everything with the same degree of passion; she was always showing me her latest creations – an opinion piece about Iraq, a photo of a grasshopper, an article about reducing energy consumption, a poem about her mother. Lots of emails, lots of URLs. Years ago she showed me some stories ("prose pieces" she called them), but this was her first erotic story.

I was curious and a little worried. At first, I wondered if I'd recognize myself in the male character. Did the story contain some veiled message about our relationship? But no, it was nothing like that; the story was about a warrior who seduces a princess and promises to return after battle. Then he dies. It was okay, I guess. There was a sex scene and it was explicit – she mentioned "putting his manhood into her mouth" and "feeling his body convulse, his hard cock spasm." I retched at a few descriptions ("His scent reminded her of their rides through the forest – leather saddles, grassy hills and gentle spring breezes.") I might have found it interesting if there were autobiographical details or wierd attractions or kinky transgressions. But no, this was Jenny. She kept an open mind about sexual experiences and never hesitated to express a kinky thought (if only to remind me of her naughty potential). But deep down (we both knew), her erotic inclinations were conventional – and not in the least bit scandalous.

The erotic story itself was tame and predictable...even boring. I knew she was a decent writer; I knew about her (almost limitless) passions. I knew she read great books and had great dreams. But was this the best she could do? A princess? An imaginary warrior? The cliches were dreadful, the prose was overwritten; the plot and dialogue were contrived. The story lacked insights into sensuality; it didn't even have a playful sense of amorality. Did she find this type of man exciting – stupid muscle-bound men who were easy to figure out, horribly rich and courted women with phrases from greeting cards? When we were making love, did she mentally replace me with the man in her story? I wasn't so much threatened by this fictional lover as I was dismayed that my wife could find him so attractive. I suppose Jenny would find my own fantasies about high school cheerleaders or submissive interns or bisexual women simple-minded as well, but at least I didn't take them seriously. When the two characters mouthed cliches ("What day will you return?" "The day my heart finds true happiness"), they did it with such earnestness. How on earth could Jenny find it sexy?

And then there was her pussy.

That was a part of Jenny I adored. The first time we had sex I had expected to give her a gentle introduction, easing her into the kinks of the male imagination. But once her sensual inclinations were unleashed, I became the one needing instruction. The rest of my life (I realized) would be devoted to understanding the variegated erotic impulses that shivered through her body. They were far more complex – and powerful – than my straightforward male horniness. She wanted love...she needed it...she depended on it and yet providing it was no easy task; it required effort and intense concentration and patience. Her desire was not something I could read like a manual; it was moody and temperamental and easy to misinterpret. It was not merely a matter of lavishing the right amount of attention in the right way; every occasion was different; I had no guidebook to follow; I went exploring through her passions as though it were the first time.

Once we were at a company-sponsored barbecue at an outdoor park with 150 people we barely knew. After I introduced her to my boss and helped unload food from his car, I saw Jenny mingling with random people. She was smiling and laughing politely, looking at me with a restless expression. That look was subtle and easy to miss; certainly no one around her would have recognized it, and earlier in our relationship, I wouldn't have either. It was a simple movement of the eyes, a nervous twitch, a slight look of exasperation. Its message (as I interpreted it anyway) was an invitation to sex, a sudden awareness of the body's naked needs. But when she saw me, she saw a way to mollify these desires, a way to be satisfied without compromising respectability. I was all hers: a person whose spigot could be turned on and directed at will. These erotically-charged moments came and went, but they reminded me that her life revolved around sexuality every bit as much as mine did.

I leaned on her shoulder, stroked her neck and said in a low voice, "Do you...want to do something else?"

She looked up at me and said, "What?" She searched my eyes for a moment, and then said quietly, "Okay...give me a minute." I released her hand, and Jenny went to the front desk to grab a to-go plate covered with plastic wrap.

We walked side-by-side towards the field that served as a makeshift parking lot.

"Do you want to be fucked?"

"Yes," she said without embarrassment.

"Say it."

"I want to be fucked."

"Do you want to make love or do you want to be fucked?"

"To be fucked," she said, following the script.

"Do you want to make love or do you want to be fucked?"

"I want to be fucked," she repeated more firmly.


"I want to be fucked." By that time, we had come to our van, and she laid the carefully wrapped to-go plate on the front passenger seat.

I sat on the back seat and said, "Come back here." She closed the door and climbed back. We were now behind tinted windows, sitting inside a van at a grassy parking lot, surrounded by empty cars, invisible to the world. She crawled into the van, and I bent her across the seat, giving her a few moments to unbutton her jeans before I pulled them down. My hands were immediately upon her – everywhere – finding every place she could be touched. And I touched her – keeping her spread open while I took her – again and again and again.

Afterwards, I whispered "I love you" into her ear, and she laughed; both of us knew this fuck had nothing to do with love. All this...provoked by a simple raising of an eyebrow at a picnic.

Jenny was a woman who not only complied but was compelled to comply; it was her nature; she needed to demonstrate her willingness to be used (and yes, even abused) not just by me but the impregnating forces of life itself. It was not enough to assert she was mine; I had to make her mine; I had to own her, possess her, use her and hold her without letting go. I had to be both master and slave, the one who acknowledged her erotic inclinations (no matter how hidden or perverse). Most importantly, I had to love her – 100% of the time, always, no matter what.

I could talk about the occasions in which making love didn't quite work or where the coupling was unremarkable or routine. Though we made love often (we were still newlyweds), our batting average wasn't particularly remarkable; one of us wouldn't be in the mood, or it would become tedious, or we'd approach the moment and never quite make it, or our minds and hearts would race elsewhere – was she thinking about past boyfriends? A student? The price of cantaloupes? For all I knew, she could be stewing over something I had said, yet when we made love we were in a state of truce, making simple demands and yielding to them in silence.

At other times we were ready to leap into passion. Once, we had just finished a marathon of making love. We had been trying to have children for almost six months, and today she was apparently at the peak of her fertility. The evening was all ours, and not only was there sex without guilt, there was guilt about not doing it. If I wimped out that evening (I remember thinking), she'd probably kill me.

But no, everything had been fine. A dinner out, a casual walk around the neighborhood, and then a slow walk into passion. I was excited and horny; we were ready to jump into bed, but our delays were deliberate. We wanted the candles, the negligee, the fifty song playlist. We wanted to want it; we didn't just want an ordinary fuck; we wanted one to put all previous fucks to shame. We wanted beauty and tenderness, patience and skill, acrobatics and a world which was completely ours (at least for that night). It began with a few scattered caresses, moving quickly to consummation. First and foremost Jenny wanted a baby, but she also wanted to unwind and achieve her libidinous potential; she wanted to love me and reveal the depth of her love. She was my dinner guest, my porn star, the mom of my future children. Together we were a couple, a family, a pair of interlocking body parts, a secret debauched duo. Lying together felt like we were starring in a play, performing roles we had been rehearsing for years. We had already mastered the cues and gestures and vocal cadences, but each occasion had to seem like the first time.

After I came, the pace slowed down, but everything was not over. Jenny was responsive and energized and hungry. There was no denying it. I gave her a few letdown kisses, but she clearly wanted more; this woman would keep me up all night. I held her close while stroking her pussy. She moaned softly, but seemed on the verge of another orgasm. I sat up and rolled Jenny on her stomach.

"Jenny, I have a favor to ask." Jenny smiled and looked up. She was used to the way I referred to the kinkiest desires as "favors."


"I want you to give yourself an orgasm. And I want to watch."

Upon hearing that, she was relieved, having half-expected me to suggest some bizarre fetish or bondage game. Just masturbation...she could handle that! Resting her face over my crotch between my legs, she put her hands underneath her stomach and began gyrating her hips. She looked servile, ridiculous, and incredibly sexy. She waddled up and down while watching me with a stupidly happy smile. Every few seconds, she would hit a new spot of satisfaction, sigh momentarily, and resume her waddling motion in my lap. She started climbing to a climax, and right before she reached it, I jerked her hands away.

She cringed. But I didn't care; I held her wrists firmly and gave her cheek a kiss. Then, leaning back, I put my cock before her mouth and said, "suck."

She began decorating my cock with kisses. By this time I was physically spent. No matter how long and hard she would suck, I wouldn't have another orgasm for the night. I knew this, but she did not. I just wanted to watch her compliance. This evening, I realized, was not about my desire but hers. Clearly her body was still wound up by the interrupted climax, and yet she continued sucking, unwilling to assert any right to pleasure. For her, the night wasn't about pleasure; it was about giving oneself up to love.

I released her wrists and said, "Are you ready for an orgasm now?"

"Okay," she said sweetly.

"Are you going to ask permission before you come?"


"Right before orgasm, ask me if you can come."

She started to caress herself, at first slowly (she seemed to have misplaced that previous desire), but once she found it, she began stroking herself vigorously. In no time at all she whispered, "Can I come?"

I looked into her pleading eyes while I stroked her cheek.

"Not yet," I said, grabbing her hand away again. For the next minute I held her, giving her cheek a light stroke. Her eyes remained closed; desire was still bottled up inside her. But she laughed.

"Are you ready to have an orgasm?" I finally asked.

"Yes!" she said, sick of all these questions.

"Are you going to ask permission before you come?"

"Are you going to say no?"

"Start masturbating, and then you'll find out."

She picked up where she left off, requiring almost no time to reach maximum excitement. "Can I come?" she said. And when she asked it, she slowed down, looked up and waited for the go-ahead. But I said nothing. "Matt, can I come?" she said, picking up the caresses. I kept my hands over her neck and rubbed her cheeks.

"Matt..." she said again, her voice trailing off. Her body released a noiseless sigh and fell into a state of relaxation. Even my kisses were an unwelcome distraction.

A minute later, she had returned to my world again, laughing and saying, "Did you enjoy that?"

"Of course. Are you ready to do it again?"

"Uh-oh," she said.

"I want you to give yourself an orgasm. And I want to watch."

Jenny looked at me as though she though I were kidding. "If you insist."

She resumed her movements, fatigued but lubricated enough to keep going. I made her kiss my penis and watched her advance and retreat, up and down, sighing. She closed her eyes and smiled as she concentrated on pleasure. Every so often, she'd open her eyes and look up, laughing to herself, a woman who knew she was both beautiful and loved. Her breathing became labored and – when she reached a certain point – completely quiet. For a good ten seconds, not a noise came from her, not even a breath, then she gave a loud whimper and a melodramatic sigh. Afterwards, she seemed oblivious to my presence; she had even forgotten to ask my permission to have an orgasm. But I didn't care. She was happy with the world, and so was I.

She nuzzled into my lap and I whispered again, "One more time please."

She laughed as I gave her another kiss. "I might need a while," she whispered.

"Take as much time as you need."

"Can you...give me a little help down there?"

I moved my hands over her pussy, but I didn't want to take the lead; I wanted to see how far she would go, how far she would last. I wanted desire to ooze from her – not because I willed it but because she willed it for herself.

"Jenny," I said, "do you love me?"

She laughed. "I'd love you more if you help me out a little!"

"You'll manage." I rested her cheek against my penis and offered several encouraging caresses.

Jenny looked up and tried valiantly to find her place again, stopping and starting a few times, hobbling back and forth. By now, desire was not so effortless; Even the touch of my fingers failed to electrify her skin. She looked into my eyes wearily; she would not give up, no matter how unreasonable my demands; for her sexual love was a challenge, and she was eager to overcome it. She closed her eyes and concentrated on her motions, testing, struggling, achieving. I held her head against my lap as she struggled to climax, sighing, settling into a state of tired satisfaction.

We kissed again, and I stroked her cheek. Jenny was purring contentedly on my lap, and I thought, should I ask once more? Did I dare? She had not yet refused me. Would she ever?

I took the hand she had been using to caress herself and kissed it, inhaling the secret odors of her arousal. This was the beautiful pussy that consented to my lewd propositions. I continued kissing her hand, bringing it to my heart.

That was a year ago. Tonight we were trying to recreate the same magic, trying to overlook the petty annoyances of living together. Now we were making love to forget, to purify.

"Did you like my short story?" she said to me afterwards.

"It was interesting," I said.

"What – you didn't like it?!" she said.

"Of course I liked it. It was you. I love you – and everything about you."

"But for a moment forget that you are married to me. Would you still have liked it?"

"That's hard to say." I said. "I can't imagine not being married to you."

"Suppose you came across the story in a book or magazine. Would you have liked it?"

"Well, I'm not much of a reader," I admitted. Jenny looked at me, waiting for an answer. "Of course I liked it. It was beautiful."

"Thank you," she said, giving me a hug. "That's all I wanted to hear."

"When are you going to finish that children's book – the one about the talking shoe?"

"Oh that," she said. "Funny you mention it. I thought that … "

My answer had been a lie … a painful lie. It wasn't her story – just her – which I found beautiful. That story was nothing to me...just words on a page. You can't kiss a prepositional phrase or a charming bit of dialogue. On the printed page, a female character could flirt and charm, but she would never suggest weekend outings or give random gifts (like a short story). On the page, a character could be outgoing and sexually open, but she would never sense what bothered you or made you happy. On the page, she could produce orgasms with ease, but her passions would never catch you by surprise or make you curious. On the page she could laugh or sigh, but to your ears, there would only be silence.

A pussy – Jenny's pussy – was something I could touch and feel; I could notice changes in her body, her temperament, her voice. When I stroked her hands or ran fingers through her hair, she treated it as nothing unusual; Jenny was more than an aesthetic idea; her appeal came not from lewd kisses or sexual gymnastics but incidental sarcasm and minor thoughtful gestures. Jenny was a jumble of unpredictabilities; she lacked the formal certainty of a Rembrandt or the playful elegance of a Mozart symphony. Yet she was my inspiration, the provider of endless epiphanies. Jenny and her pussy stayed in my heart longer than any Shakespearean metaphor. Her pussy was neither poetry nor prose; it did not have a voice, only inclinations: it responded, it embraced, it shuddered. The words in Jenny's story conjured something – that was undeniable. But when viewed on a piece of paper in Times New Roman font, these sexually-charged words seemed unremarkable, unrefined and even silly; it just didn't compare with real life. In the bedroom, when we made love, I gazed into her eyes, searching for her dreams. In the last paragraph of her story, the princess reads the dead man's letter, recalling the last time they made love. The female character weeps. When I read that, I felt nothing (though Jenny probably expected me to find it moving). That emotional moment in the story was important to her – but meaningless to me; no, I was the wrong audience for this story – but if I couldn't be persuaded to like it, who would?

After reading that short story, I almost wished it never existed. It complicated things. If I didn't enjoy her erotic stories, would somebody else? – did I mind that? With stories the problem was communion between reader and writer; how much of this experience was really being shared? But when Jenny and I were together in the flesh, this empathetic enjoyment flowed naturally; orgasms were relatively easy to cause and recognize. When I put my hand on her pussy, she laughed; when she kissed any part of my body, I felt enormous relief. I wasn't trying to be a critic or judge her sexuality; I was only giving back what she had given me.

"It is much easier," I observed, "to love you than to love a short story."

"That's what you think," she said, tossing a pillow at me.

Written April, 2007.

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"My hands were immediately upon her – everywhere – finding every place she could be touched. "
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