Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 20

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 20

Our evening began in a Thai restaurant where we ate mussels and beef satay with dripping hot sauces. During dinner, we’d been exchanging life stories, and that’s when Dion told me he never dated anyone over the age of twenty-eight; which is when I spit out my drink.

“You do know that I’m not even close to twenty-eight, don’t you?” I asked rhetorically, wiping the gin spray from the table as we both laughed at my outburst.

Reflecting on bachelorhood and pleasure: always reflecting on pleasure. Panama, 2009

Reflecting on bachelorhood and pleasure: always reflecting on pleasure. Panama, 2009

I’d known him for several months, long enough to understand that he loved the company of smart mature women; he was turned on by my life experience, and it was clear that he adored me. Our intellectual rapport meant even more than our sex to me, and I was electrified by our sex.

“So why twenty-eight, how come the great divide?”

“After twenty-eight, a woman wants to be married and have children. She’s through having sex for fun or for romance. She will have plans.”

I was immediately offended. How could I not take that personally? I was on the far end of his scale of obsolescence. Such was my feminist reflex, to any opinion from a man, when women were reduced to a universal group. But Dion was smart, and I would even characterize him as a feminist; privilege and inequity were not foreign concepts in his worldview.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“Forty-one.”

His spirit was much younger, but his age explained the depth of our discourse. As a pair, we had almost ninety years of living between us. I couldn’t quite believe he didn’t have a harem of fascinating forty-year-olds. He was missing so much.

I thought back to my life at twenty-eight. Beth and I had been a couple for three years and had just bought our first house. Before we met, I had been looking for love; I had wanted a partner. I didn’t want a kid, and I didn’t want just any woman, but I did hope to share my life with someone amazing. Well, there you had it. According to the facts of my own biography, the French Cowboy was right.

That was what I liked about my life at that moment; I had decided to listen. I had a lot of self-knowledge by my mid-forties, and I was more interested in how others saw the world. I was intrigued by how men saw women, in part because I had so little experience. Difference turned me on, and I pursued it by asking piercing questions and suspending judgment. There would have been a time when I would have been permanently put off by his position, but that was no longer necessary. I was grateful for that gift of maturity. So what if he had a preference for women under twenty-eight; he had a reason, and it was his life.

Men didn’t threaten me and they didn’t overly impress me. But they did fascinate me. I had lived so many years without heterosexual intimacy and outside their sphere of influence, that my curiosity about men was almost anthropological. I knew the cultural privileges of men, I knew the social expectations and stereotypes, but I actually knew very little about how individual men connected the dots of their lives.

Men like Dion attracted me because they were open but self-contained, and not invested in approval. That looked like freedom from where I sat, and I drafted Dion as my guide. I knew the high price of entwining sex with the heart, and I imagined I could beat that back with my brilliant bachelor plan. I wanted to hear what was inside his head, just as much as I wanted to feel his desire.

That night was my first visit to his home. Dion’s apartment had only two rooms; undeniably small, but with so little furniture, somehow seemed spacious. Was it coincidental that his place reminded me of the loft in Paris, where Toni and I had surrendered to ecstasy, where we had filled the emptiness with our bold theatre? In Dion’s place, there was a bed in one room, with the tiniest table and chair next to it where the computer glowed. The wall behind the bed was a salon-style homage to The Duke; there must have been more than forty framed and autographed headshots of America’s most famous cowboy. The second room was spare as well, furnished only with a cinder block bookshelf against the wall that held the LP’s and stereo. The vintage albums, with their period graphics, were displayed to be seen: lounge music from the ‘50s, country music from the ‘60s, and other strange compilations with even stranger graphics. Surfboards and snowboards and cowboy hats hung from the ceiling of the high walled room. Eclectic Americana were the only objects in the apartment, and it left the impression that he was a curator of an earlier bachelor era.

He laid an album on the turntable and the silky rhythm of a bossa nova swooned into the room. I liked the wordless first move of a man, and when he came to where I stood in the middle of the room and kissed my lips, I closed my eyes. His hands traced my cheeks from hairline to neck, past my shoulders and down my back. His tender strokes matched the slow deep kisses he offered, until gracefully, he sank to his knees and his face hovered before the burn between my thighs. He took an ankle in each hand, and then his palms glided up the back of my legs, past my ass, and back to my ankles with my panties in his grip. There was an art to lifting the leg of a woman, and he had it down, delicately lifting one foot and then the other, like the Prince helping Cinderella into the glass slippers. Next he lifted the hem of my skirt. I opened my eyes when his tongue touched my pussy, watching while I felt the magnificent spread of his mouth reach beyond my outer lips.

The view from above was surreal, like watching a movie, only I felt every frame. Voluptuous women, draped over mid-century furniture, kept watch from their seductive poses on the album covers, and framed the background behind his smooth head. I gaped with rapture as the circular motion of his head magnified the smaller strokes of his tongue, a stimulation that moved through my clit to my thighs, across my ass and up to my nipples. All zones came into play, my entire body signing on, persuaded by the sensation that radiated from his mouth on my pussy. Looking down I felt omnipotent, but helpless; I towered over his submissive position, yet I was completely dependent on his desire. A man on his knees, moving his mouth for my pleasure: was there ever a more potent image to imagine? Could I ever feel more power on the planet? Would I ever feel more like a man?

TOMORROW: Chapter 21

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY! to contribute to my Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 19

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 19

Dion and I were meeting at a new bar, The Chapel, which had been the neighborhood funeral home for more than eighty years. Butterworth’s Mortuary had struggled for years, losing relevance with the lifestyle shift from elaborate funerals to ash-tossing memorials. There had been a brief increase in the burying business during the AIDS epidemic, and as my martini arrived I was struck by the irony of a repurposed mortuary set in the very neighborhood that suffered the loss of so many young lives. Most Americans had been spared the heartbreak of the AIDS crisis because of bigotry or cultural indifference. Those of us in the gay and lesbian community, who watched our friends die by the dozens in the eighties and nineties, still grieved from the horror of that period.

Tanqueray Martini, stirred, not shaken: the official cocktail of Vicki Marie's Bachelor Chapters

The Tanqueray Martini, stirred, not shaken: the official cocktail of Vicki Marie’s Bachelor Chapters

I thought of my best buddy, Robert Kaiser: singer, songwriter, costume designer, and self-identified Marlboro Man—another cowboy, no less. Damn, I missed him. How could it have been ten years since he died? We would be sitting at this bar, that’s for sure. He would have loved the wicked twist that the Capitol Hill funeral parlor had become a cruising joint for the next generation of gay men. He also would have applauded my plan to have more than one man between my sheets; gay men had practically resurrected Rome with their scandal-free promiscuity. The straight men I’d been dating could not have been more different than their gay brothers.

Dion Miron swept in moments later and joined me at the bar.

“I thought I had a date with the French Cowboy tonight,” I said, standing up for the double-cheek kiss. “I didn’t expect you to trot in on a horse, but I did expect at least one or two cowboy hats. Did you forget the brim you said I could borrow?”

“The horse stays outside—and I leave the hat with him when I drink in a funeral home—respect for the deceased,” he said, running with my joke, then crossing himself like a proper catholic.

“So, you’re a French Catholic Cowboy; you just get more interesting all the time, Monsieur Miron.”

“And you are interesting because Rob Anderson is your friend. I thought he only cared for friendships with French Catholic Cowboys.”

I laughed in spite of the fact it made no sense. Like hipster Marx Brothers, Dion and Rob were fans of absurd humor, and I discovered I liked it, too. I also liked the sound of his English, spoken in a French rhythm, and the way he shaped his mouth to make the words. His lips moved easily and often, in and out of a smile. He liked to be amused.

Our conversation covered high altitude trekking, the election year campaign, his delinquent college days in Paris, and the common sense of French mothers who dispensed birth control pills to their teenage daughters. Dion asked questions, provoked discourse, and seemed perfectly suited for the simple scene of a bar, a cocktail, and une femme blonde américaine. He was handsome without being perfect; his face was wide; his jaw square. His thick nose had a prominent ridge that lined up with his cheekbones, set beneath brown eyes and dark brows. He was bald, and I wondered if that was by choice. His groomed goatee showed the evidence of age, with a shimmer of grey in the dark hair. Was he forty yet? It was hard to say.

“Have you ever been in love?” I asked, following a discussion about the difference between European and American infidelity.

“Love? But, what is love?” he replied, with that lyrical accent. I really wanted to know, so I described exactly what I meant.

“Being in love is when you can’t imagine your life being happy or whole without that other person.” Dion looked at me blankly, as if English was not one of his four languages.

“Being in love is also a totally helpless and symbiotic condition. If the love is reciprocated, then the dependency is disguised.” I leaned into the bar. “That’s when love feels irresistibly powerful. That would be the hook.” Dion didn’t appear to comprehend any part of what I believed to be common knowledge.

“So, the answer is: you’ve never been in love.”

“No—yes—once—in Paris. We were in school—artists—a group of us spent our time together. She studied acting. There was love.” He sounded indifferent. “I loved her. She loved me. Later, she changed her mind.”

“That’s it? That’s the only time?” Dion nodded, shrugged. Men were so tight-lipped when the heart was involved. If we were two women, we could have stayed on the subject all night.

“I’ve been in-love three times,” I told him. “I’ve been lucky—I had two long-term relationships. I liked it a lot—but I’m not interested anymore. I want something different.” I had to put it on the table. If he couldn’t handle it, then we weren’t meant to be. “I want to be single; I want to date. I want sex, but something more than one night stands.”

He was nodding, listening. “Sex is important.” His tone was pragmatic. “To like the person, is good. But not always necessary,” he signaled the bartender for another round.

“It is for me. I want meaningful connections; I want to experience something significant—but no more monogamy. My sex is my business, and I’m going to have sex with whomever I want.” That was the truth. And if I didn’t keep saying it, there was no way I was going to get it.

“Of course. It’s personal. It cannot be anyone else’s business,” he said.

“Exactly.” I drained my glass, setting it back on the damp napkin, my mind alert to what had just happened. No one had ever agreed with me before. Suddenly, Dion was more than a potential lover; he was a comrade and I wondered if he could be a guide.

“How do you do it, Dion? How do you date women? Where do you meet them?” He shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head.

“Where? I meet girls at clubs. At work. If there’s chemistry, we’ll have sex. Sometimes I see them for a while. Sometimes not. I tell them I’m not a boyfriend.”

His answers electrified me. He made it sound possible.

Finally, I had an ally. He wasn’t just a voyeuristic listener, but an actual human being who had been practicing honest, non-exclusive connections for years. He didn’t need a partner to feel whole. He didn’t require love to be satisfied. He didn’t mislead regarding his intentions. I tell them I’m not a boyfriend. He didn’t have to justify or apologize to anyone; he was simply a bachelor. Wait—that was it! Dion Miron was a bachelor! And wasn’t bachelorhood non-monogamous and socially acceptable? Could it really be that simple? After six months of trying to explain my goals and de-stigmatize my desires, it took the wisdom of one French Cowboy and the gin of two martinis for the truth to emerge; of course, I wasn’t a slut because I wanted sex with multiple partners! I was a bachelor.

The air was warm for a Seattle evening, and my bare arms savored the rare exposure. Dion and I had left The Chapel in search of food. This was his neighborhood, and I’d told him to choose when he asked what I wanted to eat.

“Broadway Grill. We’ll take a taxi.”

How European, I thought. A taxi. The restaurant was no more than six blocks, but hey, it was his call. I would do anything with him at that moment. I was feeling delicious in his company. The evening could not have been more meaningful.

“I’ll call one,” he said when we reached the intersection, pulling out his phone. Without restaurants, the street was vacant at 10:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night. The corner was lit from the mercury-vapor streetlamp, and my pale, naked arms deepened to a purple-brown in the off-cast color. I felt sexy and alive, affected by the romance of the street. Street lamps had always evoked mystique and allure for me, never more so than when Toni and I had owned the crooked streets of Paris for those nine magic nights. Was it odd that I could remember Paris with fondness, and not be stirred by the bitter rejection that came later? I had been in love, and loved, in Paris. That time existed like an oasis in my memory, an island too heavenly to be tainted by the shock of what followed.

Dion pocketed his phone, and crossed the sidewalk to where I stood. He said nothing when he raised my chin to his face, and brought the intimate pressure of his lips against mine. He found a welcome entrance. I opened fully to the wet heat of his tongue as our bodies pressed neatly into one another. His hands traced the contours of my torso, my back, and the roundness of my ass under the blue-black dress. Dion’s touch was authoritative yet restrained; presumptuous yet patient. My body was swept easily into the moment, my open throat exposed to the mercury glow as I rose on to my toes, stretching tall to meet the height of his mouth.

The boldness of that corner kiss, set in the sidewalk spotlight, was the opening act. It was an archetypal performance and I deferred to Dion; I followed his direction. In The Chapel I had auditioned, and on the vacant corner I had been cast. The taxi pulled up, and he led me to the open door. I folded my galvanized body out of the spotlight and into the dark interior and awaited his next cue.

With the door sealed, and instructions to the driver delivered, Dion returned his attention to me as if we were in the most private of places. He placed one arm around my shoulder, bringing me close to his side, and with the other began a surveillance of my skin. He touched my left thigh, moved to my right thigh, and then traced the calf down to the ankle, brushing his fingers against my exposed instep. Every place he touched erupted with the charge of memory; of being touched by other hands, of being touched at other times. His hand moved beneath my dress, to the inside of my naked thigh, and into the wall of heat radiating from my pussy. I flinched when his fingers found the place where the fabric of my panties met my skin. Instinctively, I shifted my ass off the seat; Dion guided the panties effortlessly to my ankles, escorting each heel free of fabric, leaving my ass naked beneath my dress before the taxi had moved two blocks. He’s done this before; there was no mistaking his skill. He kissed me again, deeply, and I spread my legs, giving in to that divine reflex of desire. And he does it well, I thought, before submitting to the sensation of his perfect touch on my perfect pussy.

TOMORROW: Chapter 20

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 2 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 18

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 18

By the time I told Sergio about Johnny Sullivan’s email, the bite had healed, and I laughed just as hard as he did. I didn’t like rejection any more than the next person, but I had thicker skin than most. I was a sales executive, and hearing “no” was a part of my job.

Dating, again? Bring your sense of humor. Vicki Marie exhibiting her Objet Trouvé Collection, Cafe Paloma, Seattle, 2006

Dating, again? Bring your sense of humor. Vicki Marie exhibiting her Objet Trouvé Collection, Cafe Paloma, Seattle, 2006

It took years to build clientele in my career, and it meant soliciting dozens of customers for every one that I gained. I didn’t like losing, but I’d learned the truth; it was a numbers game, and every loss brought me one step closer to the next win. I started to think of my dating quest with a longer timeframe. I had only been at it for three months. I hoped it wasn’t going to take as long to be successful with my romantic goals as it had been with my business goals, but there was only one way to find out—I had to put in my time.

With business on my mind, I decided to give networking a shot in my pursuit of eligible men, so I called another customer I had become friendly with and we had lunch near his office. We’d run into one another a few weeks earlier at a brand launch for a new winery. He had been out with an intriguing man that night, and I had set up the lunch to dig for more info.

“That guy you were with at the wine gig—the French guy—is he single?”

“Oh, he’s perfectly single,” Rob’s eyes lit up like headlights. I’d just told him about my dating saga, and he knew exactly where I was headed. “He’s funny, smart, and—he’s a cowboy!”

“Cowboy? A French cowboy?”

Oui, juste! You’re ‘gonna love him! Great guy—my best friend. We’ll go out, the three of us. Let’s do Tuesday, at Le Pichet, downtown. I’ll pick you up.”

I really liked Rob, though we hadn’t spent much time together. He was a decade younger than I was, down to earth, and metro-hipster sharp. He was cool enough to have his finger on the pulse of every trend and fleeting obsession, and savvy enough to decipher what was BS. Rob was childless and recently divorced, and he was reviving a single lifestyle, catching after-work happy hours and weekend surf trips with his boy crew. We were practically neighbors in West Seattle, and he was certainly being neighborly in his offer to orchestrate a chaperoned blind date.

“Thank you, baby, but please—don’t tell him I might be interested.” I really didn’t know if I was. I just knew he was good to look at, he spoke English with a French accent, and now I knew he was a single cowboy. I was definitely up for low-pressure cocktails and a table for three. Le Pichet was an under-hyped bistro-style bar and French kitchen that made you forget you were in the Pacific Northwest. Rob loved the place, and the bartender was a buddy, which we all knew translated into generous pours.

His name was Dion Miron, and over cocktails I learned that the French Cowboy had a childhood obsession with John Wayne, which prompted the nickname that Rob had created for his buddy. Losing Toni had not changed my passion for all things French, and my Tuesday night with the boys at Le Pichet gave me one more reason to covet the culture. Sitting in that French bar, grazing on pomme-frites, and drinking in his accent, his wide smile, and his athletic physique snagged my attention and I knew I wanted to see him again. Like Rob, Dion was smart and razor-sharp funny, and the three of us improvised a hilarious evening of lightning-quick satire. At the end of our night, I wrote down my email on the back of a coaster, and Dion did the same. I wasn’t at all clear what might happen next between the French Cowboy and me, but I was absolutely clear that the networking maneuver had earned a category in my experiment. Suddenly, it was like business, and that was a game I knew I could win.

Exactly one week later, after exchanging a few wry emails, I made plans to meet the French Cowboy alone. For the first time, I was actually nervous. I was looking forward to solo time with him, but our meeting that night had not been defined as a date. The French Cowboy was loaning me a western hat for a photo shoot, and cocktails on the Hill had been scheduled for the exchange of property. I wasn’t clear if he was interested in anything more than another night of conversation over drinks. I had no idea about the customs of French men and their dating habits; I just knew it had to hold more promise than my string of losses with the Americans.

TOMORROW: Chapter 19

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 3 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 17

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 17

While the car gymnastics with David had affirmed the pussy-as-gateway thesis, there was one glaring absence in the panty-snatcher episode. I hadn’t told David about my brand of nonexclusive dating. Could that be what had skewed the results with the subsequent subjects? Was Sergio right that the anti-monogamy component—and the fear of competition— was a serious turnoff? There was no denying that when I’d been upfront about the open relationship rule, men had vaporized. All evidence was supporting Sergio’s insight, but that didn’t stop me from feeling confident about a second date with Johnny Sullivan. Until that changed too. Four days after our first date, he hadn’t called either.

"Did I want too much? Or was I too much?" Not in this crowd—checking out the Erotic Art Exhibition, Seattle, 2010

“Did I want too much? Or was I too much?” Not in this crowd—checking out the Erotic Art Exhibition, Seattle, 2010

I refused to believe that my date with Johnny was going to lead to nowhere, so I conjured up reasons to explain his silence. The man was a hotshot media operator for crying out loud. Maybe he had landed an unexpected gig; maybe he had even left the country. Still, I was bugged. I had been on enough dates to know men were capable of vaporizing. But none of the other guys had captivated me like Johnny Sullivan; I thought we had a real chance to share something special. By day six, I needed confirmation that he was still an interested party, so I bent my rule and sent him an email.

I opened his reply, which began with an apology for the time-lapse. Excellent, just as I thought, the man’s been busy. I read further. Uh-oh—really busy! Johnny Sullivan explained that after our promising first date, he’d gone on to meet his heartbroken girl-buddy, and she’d presented an alternate plan— which apparently had worked out just fine for him. They had spent the entire week fucking their brains out and stitching up their romantic tapestry; in other words, I’d been pussy-blocked! The exceptional Johnny Sullivan had a girlfriend!

I left the computer to refill my coffee, shaking my head in disbelief. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, especially when I thought about Katsu and Sergio, who would both be doubled over by the latest twist in my pitiful plot. Pussy-blocked! Was there no end to this frickin’ drought? To hell with meaningful connections: was I ever going to get laid again in this lifetime?

I sat down with my coffee to read the last paragraph, where Johnny Sullivan started by thanking me for the evening. But then he told me he had been uncomfortable with my invitation to meet in a glamorous venue. He thought it was, “honestly, kind of weird.” His implication was clear. Even if he didn’t have a new girlfriend, there would be no second date, and my face burned from the rejection. I couldn’t be hurt over a man I hardly knew, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t sting. My mind flashed to Toni, and the mystery of why she had left me. Then I thought about what Sergio had said. “Men are simple, Stolsen. And you’re too much.” Maybe my idea for multiple meaningful connections wasn’t just an unsuccessful experiment; maybe it was a figment of my imagination. Did I want too much? Or was I too much?

TOMORROW: Chapter 18

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 4 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 16

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 16

My research had raised more questions than answers. And it sure hadn’t gotten me laid. When I designed my nonexclusive dating experiment, there was one convention I presumed to be true; the pussy is the undisputed gatekeeper to heterosexual pleasure, and the dick will always drop in when the invitation is extended. Katsu had confirmed as much. But after ninety days in the laboratory of serial dating, results from the field simply sucked. My consult with Sergio only confused me further. I had no precedent to comprehend what he described. I was dating women the last time I was single, and chicks couldn’t be any more different.

IMG_0386

Clinton, Huffington, Stolsen: You have questions? We have answers.

I was especially disheartened that Sergio’s explanation so accurately answered my sexual impasse. It was just too damn straight for me. I wanted to change my ideas and expectations about what was possible with sex and intimacy. I was turned on by some old school dynamics between men and women; I liked when a man opened doors, picked the restaurant, and made the first move for a kiss. But misrepresenting my intentions, to spark a man’s interest, wasn’t just unacceptable; it was a turnoff. I was an adult.

These hurdles were real, however, and it was clear Katsu and I had been overly optimistic about the power of the pussy. I was emboldened after that dinner conversation and I’d been even more encouraged when I discovered the Nerve website. I had been making fresh moves in all aspects of my life; I’d even enrolled in a new salsa class. I thought back to that first night of class, before I began the email experiment, when I had met a charming stranger. At the time, I was sure the encounter marked the launch of my bold, new life. And what a promising start it seemed to be.

The salsa class was at the Century Ballroom, a dance hall in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that had evolved into the epicenter of the city’s social dance boom. My performance group had disbanded, and I was ready to focus on the partner moves of the dance with the music that I’d come to love. For me, signing on for a class at the Century Ballroom was akin to my own private debutante event. After the Thursday night class, I would be mixing it on the floor with the hottest and sexiest salseros outside of L.A. This was serious salsa action, and I wanted to be fluent in the scene as quickly as possible. I had a lot to learn.

I arrived early for that first class, and found myself a seat on the far side of the dance floor. There were only a handful of people on the sidelines at that hour, mostly students waiting for the advanced class. I was nervous; I knew the class would be a stretch for my skill set.

“I haven’t seen you here before.” I looked up to see a short man, standing next to my table, a big smile pasted on his face. He seemed a bit too eager for my attention, and I wondered if he was hitting on me. I was there to study dance, not meet men, and besides, he looked too ordinary for my taste. I had no problem being friendly, however, so I explained my salsa background across town.

“You’re going to like the teachers, they’re good. And don’t be nervous about the dance that follows—everyone is welcome at the Century.” He told me his name was David Ryan, and I answered yes when he asked me to save him a dance after class.

I held my own in the class, and was glad I’d had the gall to enroll at that level. I definitely had a lot to learn, and being led by advanced partners was the best strategy. Everyone was helpful and encouraging, and the hour flew by.

David caught me as I was coming off the floor, with his outstretched hand and a bow. I was charmed by the gallant gesture, and followed him back to the floor. He held me in a closed embrace and waited for the music, our faces inches apart: his bright smile warm and encouraging.

“Be good to me,” I said, smiling back at the sparkle in his eyes. When the music broke, what happened next was as surprising as it was unforgettable. My first dance with David was sexy, hot, and flawless—it was everything that I imagined the dance could be when I went out that first time with Toni. I had no idea I was capable of the complex moves from his repertoire—he merely led, and I just followed—like it was something I did every day.

“Another?” he asked at the end of the song.

“Yes! That was fantastic—I don’t know how I did that!”

“You’re a great dancer,” he said, and I thought he meant it. He caught the music cue, and led with a basic, an inside turn, then—down!—the man dipped me to the floor! I was erect again in a heartbeat, speechless, and already into the next turn before I knew what hit me.

“I’ve never done that!” I squealed, and David responded with a sequence of daredevil dips linked together with some fiery spins. I couldn’t believe what we were doing. Somehow I’d landed in a Hollywood musical, and he and I were the stars!

He controlled all my movement by leading with perfect frame, clear signals, and a spicy routine—he was a master. I danced with others that night, but nothing came close to the sexy energy and excellent footwork he extracted from me. This was what I wanted when I first set out to learn how to move to this music; the irresistible fusion of two dancers as one, inspired by the irrepressible spirit of that Caribbean sound. I didn’t know if I’d discovered a salsa mentor, or if David might be a contender for a meaningful connection. Optimistic, I walked out into the street that night with two things I didn’t have walking in: a sassy strut in my gait and a Friday night date.

SEATTLE FANS: Vicki Marie will be reading at R E Welch Gallery, July 11th, 2014

SEATTLE FANS: Vicki Marie will be reading at R E Welch Gallery, July 11th, 2014

We met for dinner at a little Italian café in Wallingford. I learned that David worked as a software engineer at Microsoft, but dancing was his passion. He knew all the ballroom classics, but salsa was his favorite. He was a nice guy, with an infectious smile and a warm and friendly attitude. The conversation flowed easily enough, but there was no chemistry over dinner to compare with the drama of our dances. My dinner with David was not just my first date with a man since my husband; it was also my second date with an adult man ever. I wasn’t nervous as much as curious—how did these things move forward? Or was it going to move forward? When we walked to my car and the conversation began to ramble, I wondered why he’d made no move toward a kiss. I thought men were known for bridging that divide as quickly as possible. Maybe I wasn’t his type? Or was he just shy? I had nothing but questions for myself as I drove away, and wondered if David was simply going to be the dance mentor I had hoped for.

We decided to meet the following week for a salsa workshop with my original teachers. That would be another opportunity to stir up our salsa chemistry. To be honest, I wasn’t at all certain about David as a potential lover, but I thought it only made sense that we should at least try locking lips. I knew from my many nights at the lesbian club in Portland—if a hot dancer could kiss even half as well as she could dance—there was a chance that sizzle could translate to sex.

I thought about it during the week, and I decided that I had to be ready to initiate makeout potential with David; however the logistics were awkward. We were meeting at the workshop venue, and the distance to either of our homes for horizontal action would be a serious commute for one of us. I wasn’t going to invite him over without some assurance that our chemistry was compatible. We needed a test kiss.

After class, we walked to a bistro pub, and when David sat beside me at our table, I was pleased with the signal he sent— side sitting is not for friends.

“What’d you think of the workshop?” I asked, after we toasted with our drinks.

“There was nothing there for me to learn—but that’s not why I came out tonight.”

“Oh, I understand you perfectly, Mister Ryan,” I said, yet again following his lead. “You just want first crack at the newest salsera to hit the boards of the Century Ballroom.”

“How can I deny, when the truth is so evident, and the dancer so sexy?”

Unlike salsa, flirtation was a dance I had mastered, and I was delighted to realize I had misjudged the man after our first date; there was nothing shy about his intentions that night.

“So tell me: you learned this dance to meet sexy women?”

“Guilty, guilty, and guilty. I had two left feet, and I couldn’t follow a beat to save my life ten years ago.”

“I don’t believe you! You’re a master!”

“A master at overcoming catastrophic humiliation, maybe. But, dance—no way. That was hard work. Really hard work.”

I was stunned and impressed. It was impossible to imagine that the man who could turn, dip, and glide me across the floor like Eddie Torres himself, had ever suffered from lack of rhythm or stage fright. David evoked absolute confidence on the floor, and he wasn’t demonstrating any shyness at the table either. We were shoulder to shoulder, and he was touching my arm easily with the full grip of his palm, bringing his face in close and holding my eyes confidently as the evening progressed.

When I returned from the ladies room and he had picked up the check, I was excited about my plan to engineer a first kiss. I took his arm as we walked the three blocks to my car, leaning into his frame and enjoying the fit. Chemistry was brewing. When we reached my Audi I opened the passenger door, and offered to drive David to his car. He got in and we sat side-by-side, in those isolating bucket seats, with that hopeless stick shift between us; that blasted obstacle that I had plotted to overcome. I inserted the key into the ignition, and turned to face my passenger.

“Well, David,” I said. “I can either drive you back to your car, or we can move ourselves into the backseat and makeout.”

The invitation had hardly passed my lips when the front door opened, and without a word, he was out of the front seat and into the back seat—mission accomplished! I hustled my butt to the back, and had barely shut the door when his lips lasered in on my mouth. He lifted me onto his lap and grabbed hold of my ass from under my skirt; my panties were at my ankles in a heartbeat. The velocity of his passion blew back my hair and extinguished all rational thought. It was all mouth and hands, his were everywhere all at once, squeezing my naked butt cheeks, pulling on my hair, finding my neck and pressing my kiss deeper onto his tongue. David Ryan and his five-alarm come-on consumed all the oxygen in the Audi A4, and extinguished all my ambivalence with the force of a fire hydrant.

I sent a telepathic high five to Katsu for reminding me that I held the key to my brave new world right between my thighs. It was too soon to know if our second date passion would lead to a meaningful connection; but it was the perfect time to shift our promising experiment out of the backseat and into a bedroom. I invited David to follow me back to my place, and then I asked him the next obvious question: where in the hell had my panties landed?

TOMORROW: Chapter 17

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 5 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 14

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 14

By the time I met with Johnny Sullivan, I was in the third month of my experiment, without a single second date to show for my efforts. When I staked out this new lifestyle, I thought I understood the sexual prerogative of men, and I was sure it was compatible with what I was looking for. But instead, I’d been dealt a losing hand of insincere strangers. Why were they so adamant about wanting a second date—and then so consistent with not following through? In my career, I was an expert at reading people, but in this world, my experience had failed me. I felt like a foreigner, with no understanding of the culture. I still believed men wanted sex with women, but I needed my luck to change quickly, before even that universal truth failed me.

Installation of Vicki Marie's art at betty blue, Seattle, 2006

Installation of Vicki Marie’s art at betty blue, Seattle, 2006

It had been more than fifteen years since I had seen Johnny Sullivan, when his note appeared in my Nerve mailbox. We studied photography at the University of Washington at the same time. He was finishing up while I was entering, and we were never more than acquaintances. I was fairly certain he wouldn’t remember me, but there was no way not to remember Johnny Sullivan. He went on to international fame for his photographs that documented the rise of Seattle’s seminal grunge scene that captured fans around the world with the music of Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, and Nirvana.

I was at my table when I saw him enter the bar—tall, lean, with a smooth shaved head. He wore a black form-fitting T-shirt, black jeans, and a man bag, which he had slung across his fit chest. “Yoga,” I remembered reading in his profile, and “learning to break dance.” It shows, I thought, admiring his cut biceps as he lifted the bag over his head and bent down for a cheek-kiss hello. That’s when I smelled him, a smoky cologne on his skin, just enough to pique the senses.

“So, you found the place OK?”

“Not a problem,” he said sitting down, “I was glad you suggested we meet here—I haven’t been in years—and I can see that it still looks the same.”

“Not only that, but did you see? Frank is still working the door! That’s twenty-five years—since the first year they opened.” Johnny looked over his shoulder, saw the silver haired maître d’ and smiled.

“Look at that! It’s like time froze here—in all the best ways.” I liked that, as well. Johnny Sullivan was no stranger to my favorite Pike Place restaurant, and he even remembered Frank. Everything was happening so quickly.

While the waiter took his order, I took inventory of my senses. I was aware of the flush of blood between my legs, and I did my best to resist the sensation. I uncrossed my legs under the table, and re-crossed them again. Nothing had even happened between us, but in less than two minutes, I was reminded of how my body could feel. This was much more than a change of luck. I was excited.

I’m gonna fuck a yo-o-gi! I’m gonna fuck a yo-o-gi!” I sang out loud to myself as I danced down Post Alley two hours later, high on gin and the sweet promise of a meaningful connection. To hell with those other guys! Fuck them all! This was the real deal—this was exactly what I’d set out to find! First, there was that energy: that unmistakable, inexplicable force of nature we call attraction. That would have been enough for my little experiment, but with Johnny Sullivan there was more. We connected on every level that mattered. We were both in our forties, both committed to physical fitness, and both humble enough to take on new dance skills. We were both adventure travelers, captivated by new experiences, and both fans of glamour and grit in our destinations. We were connoisseurs and critics of art, design, and fashion, and we couldn’t stop talking about Paris, New York, and Bangkok: the legendary cities we both adored and could never get enough of.

I was turned on by his success in business, where he had a client roster that included Timberland boots and Grey Goose Vodka. His personal art projects took him to the back roads of Vietnam and the b-boy street scenes of American cities. He was a creative and dynamic man, and if I hadn’t been attracted to him, I would have welcomed him into my world as a friend and colleague.

When he told me that he understood my decision not to pursue a conventional relationship, I was certain I’d finally found a man I could play with.

“I have an idea!” I told him, before we said good night. “I adore the backdrop of a classy hotel bar in New York or Paris— and it’s been too long. Let’s meet at a four-star bar downtown— and pretend we’re in some other fabulous city for the night!” I loved the idea. I missed how I had dressed up with Toni, and we had made the world our stage.

We parted way too early for my taste. He was meeting a best girlfriend, who had sent out an SOS for sympathy because of a recent breakup. I was disappointed our time was over, but Johnny Sullivan impressed me again by stepping up for a girlfriend-in-need. Something significant was in play. I had felt it all evening. Finally, I’d been dealt a new hand, and this time, in the nick of time, I was betting on a win.

TOMORROW: Chapter 15

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 7 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 13

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 13

Like all my early email rendezvous, Johnny Sullivan and I met at Il Bistro, Seattle’s venerable fine dining restaurant on the edge of Post Alley at the Pike Place Market. Il Bistro was old world, and evoked the spirit of a typical bistro one could find on any corner in Rome or Tuscany, with hardwood floors, brick walls framing arched windows, and a mirror-backed bar holding the largest single malt scotch collection in the city.

Hanging lamps with Victorian fabric shades gave the room a warm glow, and the marble topped tables were lit with candles.

I became a regular there in that winter of 2004, and Tuesday was my unofficial date night—same table, same cocktail—I even wore the same dress. I was conducting research into the possibility of sex outside of coupling, and Il Bistro was my laboratory; although I’m sure the other customers mistook my lab for the party table in the room.

Vicki Marie at the Preview for her Exhibition, "That Ain't Right" 2007, photo by Robert Wade

Vicki Marie at the Preview for her Exhibition, “That Ain’t Right” 2007, photo by Robert Wade

By week three, the bartender was onto my game. When I sashayed past the bar to my table, he broke into a smile and began mixing my martini just the way I liked it—Tanqueray, stirred, with three olives. The dress I wore each week was a deep blue and black Lily crepe number, found in Paris, that first trip with Toni. It was form-fitting, cut on the bias and fell to mid-calf. The length was unusual for me—I specialized in short-shirt fashion—it was the only below-mid-thigh dress I owned. I’d decided to spotlight elegance, intelligence, and humor as my primary bait: brain first, body later. This was like a game to me, but my intentions were dead serious, and I wanted to be thoughtful about what I was trying to accomplish. I was making it up as I went, and I came up with some guidelines to keep me on track:

No sex on the first date. This was an interview, not a hookup.

No married men. I was in search of authentic interaction with adults, and not the coward crowd who rationalized cheating and lying.

No unemployed or underemployed. I didn’t expect a man to always pay my way, but I definitely wanted to be treated like a lady upfront.

No fat physiques.I was looking for a view to turn me on, and the endurance of an athlete to keep me going.

No misrepresentation on my part. I knew many men were on the hunt for their next wife, or a soul mate, so I felt obligated to explain what I meant by a meaningful connection, and I made it clear that I was nonexclusive.

I conducted my research with a sense of humor, and a grad student’s commitment to over achievement. I wanted mature, sexy, intelligent men in my life—with an emphasis on the plural. I wanted outstanding sex; I wanted rock solid integrity; and I wanted my independence. Was it possible?

TOMORROW: Chapter 14

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series at The Bachelor Blog and never miss a chapter! Or follow on twitter @vickimarie44

Copyright Vicki Marie Stolsen, 2014, Forever Forty-Four Publications, Publicity Rare Bird Lit, Tyson Cornell, Tyson@rarebirdlit.com, Distribution by Ingram, Available online and in bookstores in paperback, eBook, and audio format.

Until July 11th, I’m asking you to contribute to this Kickstarter campaign to PAY FOR TRANSLATING THE BOOK INTO SPANISH: so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, you’ll get a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, and of course, there are other fabulous rewards! 7 DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!