Erotic Notion: The Reluctant Lover (Suggest a Last Line)
By Hapax Legomenon

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In the story you have just read (i.e., Erotic Notion # 10 or Erotic Notion #11 ) two lovers talk, and one proposes acting out a sexual fantasy on Saturday night. But I don't reveal anything about the nature of this fantasy until the last line (when the second person poses a question).

By not revealing the sexual fantasy until the story's end, I hoped to provoke the reader's curiosity.

I actually wrote a last line for this story. But as soon as I wrote it, I realized that what I wrote wouldn't be half as interesting as what the reader imagined it to be. The key elements of this story were the fact that the narrator found the lover's fantasy disturbing and yet eventually consented to it for the sake of the lover's happiness. What question would the reluctant lover want to ask beforehand?

Here are some things to think about:

Your Assignment

I have been compiling a list of the last lines other people have suggested for this story. You can read this list of last lines other people have given for this story, but only if you do one thing first: email me your thoughts of what the last line should be!!!

You are allowed to read the last lines of other readers (both male and female), but only if you first share your answer with me in an essentially anonymous way.

Here is how to send me your answer:

Use the contact form at the bottom of this page to send your answer.

You will need to provide this information:

  1. your email
  2. your gender
  3. your answer for the last line (If you want to provide more than one answer, that is ok, but don't send more than 3 or 4).

The Monday after you send your answer, I will send you a private email. The subject line on the email will say: "ER Notion URL from hapax." The reply will say simply, "Here is the URL that accompanies EN story 'The Reluctant Lover.'" When you click the URL you will see a list of all the responses I have received from male and females readers so far.

Send your answer/gender/email address to hapaxlegomenon AT .

Note #1: Do not worry about whether your answer is clever or original. That is not important. The important thing is that you write down the first idea that popped in your mind without censoring. Your answer can be crude or bizarre or silly or cruel or seductive or ironic or just boring. It doesn't have to be a "great" ending. It just has to fit what you think the final line would be.

Note #2: I will protect your privacy as much as I can.

Note #3: Occasionally I will be busy on Monday or my Internet will be down. This is a rare occurrence, but it can happen. If it is Wednesday or Thursday, and you haven't received a reply, you may want to check your email's spam filter or complete the form again.

Note #4: I will try to include as many answers from readers on my answer page and I will try to update it regularly. However, if one answer is similar to another or if I think your answer does not take the exercise seriously, I will probably not republish it.

Note #5 In case you are wondering, the answer page cannot be found by googling. I have taken steps to make that impossible.

Note #6 If you are an established erotica writer and would like your posted last line to include a link to your other online fiction, mention it in your submission and I'll consider it.

I look forward to reading your responses and sharing the ones I collect from readers.

Note about Genders

I am a man and so I originally wrote the story with the man suggesting the fantasy to the woman (who was the protagonist). Later I tried reversing genders and point of view. Men having weird and vulgar fantasies seems to follow the stereotype, but when women do, that was something new and unusual. Ultimately, when I removed the last line, I realized it didn't matter which gender was the narrator.

So I decided to provide two different versions of the same story: one for the male reader and one for the female reader. In each version, the character proposing the sexual fantasy will always be the opposite of your own. (This doesn't really take the gay perspective into account; I'm sorry).

Regardless of which version you read, if you send me your idea for the last line, I will send to you the responses I have received from both male and female readers.

Written June 2009

As soon as I wrote the last line, I realized that what I wrote wouldn't be half as interesting as what the reader imagined it to be.
Witold Pruszkowski , Bachantka, 1855
Witold Pruszkowski (1846-1896) Bachantka, 1855
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