Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 70

Status

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 70

“Hey, baby! I need you to get your French butt over here. We’ve got to take pictures of my ass,” I told Dion.

“What’s happening?”

“The invite for The Roundup. The chaps arrived. Hot, baby, hot. I love them. You will too.”

I hung up with Dion, and looked back at my reflection in the dance studio mirror: bone-white leather, with fringe on the outside-seam, and two medallions of beadwork, one on each hip. The cowgirl leggings were beautiful, heavy, and complicated. It took several minutes to understand how to push my legs into ass-less pants. But they looked great. I had thrown on an ivory lace thong, a cocoa-butter leather halter, and a straw-colored cowboy hat. Hah! Fear was receding, and facts were once again winning. Fifty looked mighty fine from the high side of forty-nine!

Writers can always find a reason t drink! Celebrating my first draft of the last chapter in Antigua, 2012

Writers can always find a reason to drink! Celebrating my first draft of the last chapter in Antigua, 2012

Why did I want to hang my butt out for my birthday? Fury. And audacity. This was a bitch-slap at the relentless limitations imposed by my presumptuous culture. Having arrived at the threshold of the fifties, I resented the opinion that a woman of age is expected to relinquish the only power that the patriarchy has ever encouraged her to possess. We spend all those years— and all that money—primping and posing and perfecting our itty-bitty oasis of recognition. Some women excel and some women opt-out and some women give up in despair, because the cultural bandwidth for female sexual power—like Barbie’s waistline—is notoriously narrow. Pussy power is personal and political—it speaks to how women see themselves, and how the culture sees women. I had arrived at that end date, where I could be dismissed, and not seen at all.

I had never let my age stop me from doing anything, but that didn’t mean I hadn’t spent way too much time in the roll up to forty, distressed over the inevitable. Contemplating fifty was an even bigger hump to hurdle. I was a sex positive feminist, with a harem of studs, and I still struggled with this bullshit.

Well, I was sending out a middle-finger message, to eliminate the residue of my own self-doubt, and overcome the fiction promoted by my culture. There is no universal expiration date on a woman’s power and influence. And just to advertise the truth of this reality, my cheeks were coming out for one white-ass reason: to prove those asses wrong. 220

TOMORROW: Chapter 71

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.

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 46

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 46

I’d never been a football fan, but I knew the game from my childhood. My dad taught me about the significance of Vince Lombardi, the prominence of Bart Star, and the rise of Joe Namath. I understood the passion of sports fans, and the civic pride that infected a city during a playoff bid. I also knew it was good business to follow the team and talk ball with my customers. The year the Seattle Seahawks went to the Superbowl, I joined the playoff party and quickly became an enthusiastic fan of Matt Hasselbeck, Marcus Trufant, and the smoking hot Shaun Alexander. I was late to the table, but I came to love the series, with its breathtaking plays and high stake games.

There was also an unexpected sweet spot to the game: I had stumbled upon the televised peep show from heaven. There was an army of seriously sexy brothers on the screen, and nothing ignited my libido like the tight butt, the broad chest, and the thick bicep of a professional black ball player. I could suddenly relate to that favorite pastime of men when they enjoyed, without apology, an eyeful of women. The players were made to order for my taste buds, and I was primed for the fall kickoff in 2006.

Finally. I live in a dance studio. Panama City, Panama 2014

Finally. I live in a dance studio. Panama City, Panama 2014

As luck would have it, I would not have to wait nine months to reconnect with the multiple pleasures of my new hobby. A former defensive back, Lamar Taylor was not quite forty-seven years old when we met on Black People Meet, and from the look of his photos, it appeared he could still be a pro. Not unlike me, his profile was brief and to the point, saying that he was interested in meeting independent women. One photo in particular made me answer his email. He was bent over sideways, holding onto his belly, laughing so hard you could almost hear the fun in the room. Broad shoulders and massive biceps showed through his simple sweater, and unbelievably, he was wearing a cowboy hat. A black cowboy in Seattle? 

“Yes,” I wrote back. “Let’s meet at the bar in The Mayflower Hotel. How’s Thursday night?”

On a wet Monday night in February, cold as only Seattle can be, I dressed in a simple knit top, and hip-hugging, black suede pants. I made a mental note: pants from Vancouver, boots from New York, and coat from Chicago. My wardrobe was a scrapbook of my travels. It was a great outfit, but I was not in the mood for a first date interview. I was seasonally sick. February funk is a disease in Seattle, where daylight barely penetrates relentless gray skies, and the best position on the planet is where the cushions are piled high in front of my fireplace. I had considered canceling, but this was already a reschedule. Lamar had called the previous week with the news that his son had been accepted at USC in Los Angeles with a full ride on a football scholarship, and their celebration had bumped our plans. Thrilled for his family, I threw in my congratulations, and we moved our date. While I painted my lips, I remembered Lamar’s happy cowboy photo, and began the pep talk: the guy is probably fun, I told myself. You could use a good laugh.

Lamar was at the far corner of the bar, and saw me come in. He got up from his stool, and popped a kiss on my cheek. I was surprised by his height; I thought pro players were larger than life, but this man was not even six feet. His autumn-brown sport coat covered his broad frame, and a sweater in the same hue. He looked classy and conservative, save for the sharp points of blue reptile that peeked beneath the deep indigo jeans. He was polite, but not warm; and barely looked me in the eye before sitting down. I was not in the mood for indifferent company, and I smelled disappointment. As the bartender stirred my martini, I promised myself next time I’d follow my gut and stay home.

I began with the usual questions. His answers were short, precise sentences, not even close to conversational, and he asked nothing about my life. Annoyed with the one-way volley, I remembered to ask about the scholarship party, hoping to warm things up with some papa pride. His reply was merely reportage: not even an attempt at a descriptive anecdote. The man wasn’t exactly rude, but he wasn’t giving me any reason to have sacrificed my warm fireplace for his cold shoulder. I took a long sip from my drink. At least the martini was perfect. Next, I asked what he did for a living, wondering what would be left to talk about once he reduced that answer to another conversation stopper.

“I’m a police officer.” He had my attention then.

“You’re a cop?” This could be good or bad. “What department?”

“Traffic,” he said, this time just a one word sentence, followed with his first attempt toward conversation. “I love my job.” I was no longer annoyed. I was officially turned off. Everybody hates traffic cops.

“You love writing tickets? Tell me why.” This I had to hear; it just didn’t make sense to connect love with traffic violations.

“Because drivers are assholes, and I get paid to call them out.” And with that, we established common ground because I agreed: drivers are assholes.

Immediately, the evening warmed up. Lamar reeled off one story after another, describing the maniacal theatre drivers performed when stopped by a cop. Gesturing with his large hands he shaped the story, imitating the indignation of driver’s and mocking the idiotic excuses and lies that justified their crime. In no time, he had me entertained and convinced. People weren’t merely assholes; they were self-righteous victims and delusional liars. In spite of my lousy mood, his chilly welcome, and my prejudice against ticket writers, I was warming up to the company of the brusque man with the big hands.

Unbelievably, we discovered we had gone to Eckstein Middle School at the same time; a year younger, he had been bussed north, along with my black, teenage boyfriends. He knew them all, and had even played high school football with my beloved Leon Davis!

“I’m going to check my yearbook when I get home, so I can see your middle school picture!” I laughed at the small world connection.

“So, do you still see Leon?” I asked, realizing that it had been at least ten years since our reunion.

“He died—four or five years ago. Diabetes—just like his dad. He didn’t make it to forty-five.”

The news came into my brain and pushed my memory into free fall. It seemed like it was just yesterday that Leon and I had hung out at that bar by his house in Madrona. We shared a bottle of wine, laughed at the past, and made fun of teenage sex. That’s when he thanked me, reminding me I’d asked him for oral sex when we were fifteen. He told me that had helped him overcome his teenage inhibitions, and had made him a better lover—a great lover, he said proudly—and that I’d changed his life. It was an unexpected revelation to hear after so many years, but it was clear that he meant it. Riding on the coat tails of his confession, we toasted the courage of fifteen year-old girls, and then the generous lovemaking of men closing in on forty. Then he told me about how much he loved his little girl, how he was going to be a much better dad this time around, how she was going to be smart and have a voice, like his mom, and his sister—and like me. She would be a teenager now, and his son would be almost thirty. Their dad was dead, his life done at forty-four. The same age I reinvented mine.

“Don’t you have to go to the Ladies Room?” Lamar brought me back to the bar.

“You want to watch me walk out of the room,” I said, calling him out on the obvious.

It was a bold request on a first date, and instinctively, I raised the stakes with a wordless reply. I slipped off my stool, and walked toward the lobby. Then I stopped. Slowly, I bent over from the waist, legs long, ass high, and brought my hands to the floor, freezing the provocative pose. It occurred to me I should feel self-conscious, but something had shifted. Leon was dead and I was alive. Who had time for fear?

“Here’s my hundred yard return,” I thought, holding the pose, certain of my silhouette in the soft leather. When I brought my torso up, I arched my back, pulled my hands through my hair, traced my body to my hips, then ended with a tender brush of my palms over my ass. Satisfied, I looked back over my shoulder, then set my gaze forward, and finally left the room. The awkward and irritating opening of the evening had expired. Officer Taylor had my attention. And he had the next play.

TOMORROW: Chapter 47

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.

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 34

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 34

Jason Sinclair was anything but your average white guy. A gentleman and a ladies man, he clearly loved women, and was excellent at the fine art of balancing seductive intention with playful charm. I felt desired under his gaze, and I savored the attention. He was, quite simply, a man who made me feel like a woman.

We sat for one evening of fine dining in a downtown restaurant before I got the tour, sans Trish, of the wine cellar in his south Seattle home. On our first date I explained my bachelor lifestyle, and he described a few female friends who were doing the same thing.

“You’re the first person who’s told me that,” I said with surprise. “But I knew I couldn’t be the only woman on the planet on the bachelor path.”

“Nothing unique about a booty call,” he shot back.

“That’s not how I think of it, at all. That’s too crude for my taste.”

“But, that’s what it is, isn’t it—un-partnered sex, free of commitment, mutually beneficial?”

Navigating in Medellín, 2013

Navigating in Medellín, 2013

I thought of my lovers over the past few years. Sure, zero commitment and mutual benefits were key components. But there was always the backdrop of the date, the ambiance of the dinner, the conversation with the cocktail, a call to dance before the sex. There was the dressing up, the attention to the details of seduction, the drama and play of what I was fond of calling, “adult entertainment.”

Booty call evoked an image of hanging out in your sweats, flipping through the Rolodex, and then grinding out quick satisfaction. That wasn’t even close to what I was doing. That wouldn’t turn me on; that was dude-style. That was gay boy bumping.

Flavor, music, wardrobe, fragrance; I brought all the senses and more into my sex. For me to be turned on, for me to hit my capacity, my mind had to be engaged. I relished the foreplay, the set, the costumes, the props of romance and luxury. It wasn’t simply sex I was after. It was experiential. It was something to savor. I composed a romantic short story, absent of drama, focused on pleasure. Before the disrobing or the heavy breathing or the first orgasm, I had to stimulate the most important sex organ, the one above my shoulders. At the end of the day, it was all in my head.

“I learned this recipe when I was just a kid, on my first job as a sous-chef in New Orleans. It’s not Cajun, it’s just damn good. I’ve been making it for more than twenty years.”

It was our second date, and Jason was throwing together a meal off the grill. I sat in the evening sunlight on his west-facing deck, sipped the red wine he’d snagged during the cellar tour, and listened to his stories about the grind and glamour of the wine industry. Good food and good drink were his bread and butter, and I was partial to all industries founded on pleasure. Dad gave me that. He worked as a bartender, but fine cooking and strong flavor was the hobby he practiced the two nights a week he was home. Food, drink, and breast-beating dialogue; dad looked for adventure in a recipe, and theatre in a conversation. That was my inheritance, and those were the memories I was able enjoy again after he died.

I laid a slice of brie on my tongue, and let the Washington Syrah lend a burst of spice to the creamy texture. The falling sun tinted the wine in my glass with a robust glow, and the bird on the grill sent out an aroma infused with garlic and rosemary.

Our slice of heaven was as simple as a man and a woman and a meal on the way. Would I like him to kiss me before we ate? Would I welcome sex after dessert? However the evening unfolded, then that’s where we would land. I was moved by the suspense, and my fundamental preference: I was on a date with a man, and I was in for the follow.

After our meal, we cleared the dishes, and moved the conversation to the couch. Without a word, Jason brought his face to mine, and took my mouth with his thick lips. I brought my hands to his face, finding the surface rough from his shadow beard. He deepened the kiss and the spark spread between us. I dragged my fingers through the curls on his head, found the skin of his neck, squeezed into the tight muscle of his deltoid. Unwavering and deliberate, his tongue in my mouth, Jason traced my legs with his open palm, lingered on the roundness of my ass, found the firm flatness of belly, then the hard reflex of my nipples. He was direct and exploratory, extracting pleasure from my limbs, the back of my neck, the crease that frames the pussy between my legs. There was urgency in how he handled me, and that fact pushed sound into my breath, the signal that I burned from his touch. The man didn’t merely want me: he was taking me. I bore into his hard chest with my palms, pressed into his thighs with my hip, felt his hot breath against my cheek.

His hand came to the button of my blue jeans, freed the zipper from its locked position, and found the heat inside and the wetness he inspired. I welcomed his first finger, and then his second, thrusting my pelvis toward his fist, pushing off his chest with my arms. When his fingers sunk in, I arched the length of my spine, rode the silk wave of rapture, and gripped everything he had inside of me. He watched with his eyes while he fucked me with his hand, pulling in and out like a dick, steady, fierce, and deepening against my bucking hips. My eyes were closed, but I felt him watching. I could see in my mind he was turned on by the storm he’d provoked and I pictured his dick, rock-hard with power. We’d arrived in that expansive state where sexual capacity feels limitless, and physical sensation explains all existence, because it has hijacked the mind. His method was self-serving, and his victory secure. In that ironic madness of desire, he’d made it all about me, so it could be all about him.

TOMORROW: Chapter 35

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.

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 6

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 6

“I want you to open your present,” she said. We were reclining in front of the fire, on the stack of blankets and pillows I had dragged out the night Jon left. Toni went into the other room for her suitcase, while I sipped on the dry red and watched the flames in the hearth dance. I had fallen asleep to this view for almost two months now, since that day in November when I began my life alone. I’d turned the hearth into my refuge, my place to come undone.

I was a veteran in this field, the battle zone where one wrestled with the enemies of self-worth. My duty was to endure my sadness, and experience the unavoidable misery that followed the crushing loss of another love. I knew the drill; years earlier I’d grieved Toni on these grounds, and Beth, too. There was no escape. There was only an unspecified amount of waiting for an unfixed moment in the future when it would no longer matter.

I had ended our marriage. I saw it as my offensive strike against a future that I believed would suffocate me. It was my decision, but that didn’t dull my grief over the death of our life together as a married couple. I remembered how it felt when our hearts had thrived. I remembered the wonder and the certainty and the depth of love that was absolute. I had meant forever—and I knew he had too—nothing I said had ever been as true. I didn’t just leave Jon; I also left the part of me that belonged only with him.

The Naughty or Nice Christmas Card: A Bachelor Tradition since 2004

The Naughty or Nice Christmas Card: A Bachelor Tradition since 2004

Toni came back in the room, and lay down again.

“I’m so glad you’re here.” I said. “It’s great to have life back in this place. I’ve been living with ghosts!” My friends had left an hour earlier. The occasion was a cocktail Christmas party, the night before Christmas Eve, with a handful of my best girls. They all wanted to meet the notorious Toni, and she did not disappoint; she put on a show with her famous flaming cocktail, and added more spice with her contagious wry humor. Everyone had adored the woman they had met. “I get it now, Vic,” Trish said before she left. “She’s the real thing.”

“Your friend, Trish—she cornered me! I got the four-one-one on how I better be treating you!”

“Well, my dear, everyone who was here tonight knows how far back our story goes—and the details of your previous decisions.” Toni rose on her elbow, and faced me, with her back to the fire.

“Listen to me, Vic. I will never do that to you again. I was young the first time, and I was a coward the second time. This is different.” She looked me in the eye. I had no doubt that she meant it. I had always believed in our love.

“I know, baby. That was a million years ago. Trish was being protective. My friends love me.”

“And so do I. You’ll never know how lucky I feel that you let me back in your life. I just want to love you, Vic. I’ll never let you down again.”

Six months and a lifetime had passed since our trip to France. This was our first reunion, and our next beginning. I smiled into those big brown eyes. God, she looked good to me. She had always looked the best.

“Oh, I know you’ll never do it again, Ms. Rey, because, if you did—I’d have to extinguish you from the planet. And that, girlfriend, is a promise.”

“You won’t need to, because I would do it first! But, that’s not happening, that’s never happening—that bitch is dead!”

We raised our glasses, and after the sip, sealed it with a kiss. I couldn’t believe we had finally landed in the same place at the same time. Nothing had ever made so much sense. After twenty-two years, it was finally our turn.

I took the green paper from her hand, folded in thirds, like a letter. “Sorry it’s not wrapped,” she said. “I was in a hurry to get out of the office. I had a date with a sexy blonde in Seattle.” I leaned in and kissed her again. “Now open it!” she said, breaking away, “I can’t wait!”

I unfolded the letter, and tipped the page to the fire so I could read it. There were only four lines. Speechless, I looked up, tears stinging my eyes before falling. Her smile was tender; her whole face had softened.

“Yeah, girlfriend. It’s real.” She reached out, brushing back my hair with her hand. “Merry Christmas, Vic. I’m taking you back. We’re going to Paris—you and me.”

TOMORROW: Chapter 7

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! SEVENTEEN DAYS LEFT TO RAISE $3000!

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 4

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 4

“Salsa dancing, for real?” My question was for Toni, the R&B, slow dance connoisseur. What was up with the Latin sound?

“Vic—it’s a gas—you’re gonna love it! I’ve been doing classes; I’ll teach you the basics, and we’ll go out—you find the clubs in Seattle!”

I was clueless. I didn’t even know what salsa music sounded like in 2002, but my girl Toni was impressed, and lord knows I trusted her taste in all things music and dance. She’d been my new music DJ forever—first taping cassettes, then later burning discs—always the first to discover the next best artist, always scoring the greatest playlists.

The author performing the "upside-down dip" with Seattle's Social Salsa King, Gene Rivas at The Century Ballroom, 2010

The author performing the “upside-down dip” with Seattle’s Social Salsa King, Gene Rivas, at The Century Ballroom, 2010

She and I had been solid friends, without lies or longing, for close to a decade now. We’d once been comrades and adversaries in a life lesson called love; and somehow we got lucky and were at peace with how things had unfolded.

Maturity had kicked in. By now she had experienced the lesbian equivalent of marriage, and I had done the legally recognized version; and we just got real and got over ourselves. We talked on the phone maybe every other month; it was fun being friends with my former partner in crime. She and her wife had split after half a dozen years, and she had dated casually ever since. I was her favorite audience for describing the comic dramas that played out in her romantic life as a middle-aged lesbian. I heard it all, and teased her relentlessly about her questionable choices and hilarious situations.

She was burning to turn me on to salsa, so we picked a weekend and I asked Jon if he was cool with a houseguest. “Sure, babe. Sounds good. But only if I can come too.” I kissed his face and laughed at the rare joke. We both knew that nothing would make my husband happier that an evening at home, while his wife was getting her social hit with one of her best girlfriends.

Toni showed up a few weeks later, and she was right about this new dance; it was something to get serious about: salsa sizzled. The beat was new to me, and I could barely follow the steps, but I wanted to learn the sexy styling and dramatic spins that I saw on that dance floor. We got home late, and I hung with her in the guest room for more girl talk before I said goodnight, and crawled into bed with Jon.

“You two have fun?” he mumbled, not needing to know. “The best, baby,” I whispered, squeezing into his backside. “Now, back to sleep. I love you. G’night.”

I found a salsa school, and unbelievably after the first week I was drafted—my teacher wanted me to join her performance group! I called Toni with the news.

“You’re going to do it, right?”

“Hell yes, I’m doing it! Rehearsal starts next week, and get this, she picked me because I know nothing. She wants to make a dancer out of me!”

I began dancing four nights a week, with two rehearsals and two classes. There were seven of us in the group, and I was the only one without a dance background. I was also the only one born before 1974—way before. I was definitely over my head with a steep learning curve. The only way for me to get to a performance level was through hours of home practice where I focused on choreography and shines, which are the solo moves without a partner. It was like learning two completely different dances, and my partnering skills—the reason I wanted to learn the dance—floundered in comparison.

Toni came up and joined Jon and my mom and a handful of other friends for the first performance. I was nervous that night, and almost regretted that I’d dragged everyone out. Plus, there were so many hot dancers in the crowd—and I mean salsa hot—and my skill level was ridiculously shallow. But I had a theatre background, so I copped my best showbiz attitude. I was forty-three years old and I decided to make the most of the long overdue event; opening night would be my very first dance recital!

The show was a hit, and where I was weak in execution, I distracted with my enthusiasm. I fumbled one moment and missed a break turn, but my personal audience didn’t notice; it was nothing but big hugs and high fives after the show. Jon opened his arms for a premiere victory hug, but his smile fell to horror when he caught sight of the false eyelashes and heavy stage makeup.

“Babe, my God, what happened to you?” It was so like Jon to kill the moment, but Toni interrupted.

“Damn, Vic! You were great!”

“No! I blew it! Did you see that turn—oh God, tell me—how awful was it?”

“No way, get over it—you made it disappear! You’re a pro! I can’t believe how good you are!” She wrapped her arms around me. “I’m so proud of you, Vicki Marie!”

I picked up the phone on a Saturday morning several months after the first gig. “Come to Paris with me.” It was Toni. I said yes, waiting for the punch line. “I mean it. I’m going to see my family for a few weeks. Meet me in Nice.”

No way! A girl trip to France? Yes, holy yes! I told Jon when he got home. “That’s great, babe—you two will have fun.”

“Can you believe it? Salsa dancing in Paris! I can’t wait!”

TOMORROW: Chapter 5

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s 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.

Last week, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for translation services, 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, plus there are several other fabulous rewards!

 

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 3

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 3

My hidden romance with Jon matured into a marriage of comfort and commitment. I regretted cheating on Beth, and moving forward, I vowed never to betray him. Jon and I were an independent couple, with adventurous, but unshared interests. I was a serious hiker, constantly planning the next solo trek in the mountains of Nepal or the jungles of Vietnam. He was a private pilot, and sunk his free time into his airplane.

We were supportive of one another’s activities, and we created a loving oasis in our home. I felt like my ability to love and be loved had matured with my age. We rarely argued, and our sex was hot. Our marriage was realistic, not romantic, and I was convinced we had designed the perfect partnership to take us through our lives together. Informed with life experience, love finally made sense. No more drama. No more baggage. I adored being an adult; I was a married lady, excited by the present and certain about the future.

The author's first trek above 16,000 feet, Peru, 2007

The author’s first trek above 16,000 feet, Peru, 2007

Yet, gradually, around the tenth year of the relationship, my marriage began to annoy me. I loved my husband and felt blessed to be dependent on our partnership, but the differences between us started to nag me and I was too embarrassed to admit it. Covertly, I started to question whether I could spend the rest of my life with him. I was outgoing, spontaneous, and social. Jon was self-contained, premeditated, and friendless. Growing old with someone who rarely laughed, rarely spoke, and had no desire to be around other people suddenly looked like a nightmare. How could I live like that? I felt guilty even thinking about it. I had taken those marriage vows as an inviolable contract. He was the same man he’d always been. I had been happy for years. What was wrong with me?

One day I surprised myself and almost dealt with the situation. He was in the kitchen putting away the dishes. “Honey, how are you feeling about things between us?” I asked. “Has there been anything on your mind? Anything you’d like me to know?” Jon never answered a question quickly. He stood in front of the open cabinet, a plate in his hand. I held my breath, knowing I had nudged a land mine. “Well, yes. There is.” I was stunned, but played it cool. Could it be that he was dissatisfied too? He went right to the meat of it. “There are lots of times when you don’t shut the kitchen cabinets. I come home from work, and you’ve left all the cabinets open.” He placed the plate in the cupboard, closed the door, and turned to face me. “Honestly? It pisses me off.” Speechless, I watched the gap widen between us.

“Sorry, honey. I’ll pay more attention.” I’d found my voice, but I’d lost my courage. I walked to the freezer, pulled out two martini glasses and the gin. I’d been brooding about the future of our marriage. He had a cabinet door issue. I poured the gin and handed him the drink.

TOMORROW: Chapter 4

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Summer Reading Series and never miss a chapter! The Bachelor Blog 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.

Last week, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for translation services, 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, plus there are several other fabulous rewards!

 

Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 2

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 2

No one was more surprised than I was when years later, in my early thirties, I fell for a man. I had been a lesbian my entire adult life, and women, specifically non-femme women, had been the objects of my desire since high school. I’d been all over boys in my early teens, and I’d had enough sex with them to know that I liked it. Yet after falling in love with my best girlfriend in high school, and feeling the fire between my legs with that first kiss, there’d been no looking back. I was a dyke.

“There’s really not that much difference,” I explained when the sisters asked me how I could love a man after loving women. “Love is love. There are more similarities than differences.” People focus on anatomy, but it’s the energy from the chemistry that’s the true measure of a relationship. In my case both men and women had been equally exciting. I was turned on by a masculine-feminine exchange of sexual energy, and the women that were my lovers were as authentic as my future boyfriends in acting out those classic roles.

Vicki Marie writing, The Bachelor Chapters, Buenos Aires, 2012

Vicki Marie began writing The Bachelor Chapters in Buenos Aires, 2012

When I became involved with my husband, Jon, I experienced the hardwired differences between the two sexes. I discovered that it wasn’t the sex or love stuff that was so different with men, but the Venus and Mars stuff. Men were self-contained and kept their emotional distance, whereas women were inclusive and got right up in your face.

Being with a woman is incomparably intimate. Women’s capacity for sharing in a female same-sex union is deeper because women simply get one another: and because most women are gluttons for symbiotic entanglement. The intensity can be breathtaking, and that was the hook that led me to believe I would never be able to love a man. At the same time, the dynamic of two women together can often be exhausting. Women are high maintenance, and expectations can feel relentless. A year after my affair with Toni, I became involved in a monogamous lesbian partnership with a woman named Beth. We stayed together for close to ten years, and with a mortgage and three dogs, we considered our relationship equal to a marriage. Ours was domestic love, born from passion, and we felt we were on track to forever. She and I worked hard at addressing the complexity of being a couple, and it was heartbreaking when we couldn’t overcome the common circumstances that led to our breakup. We had our own reasons, but ultimately we were just another couple that had slowly grown apart. In my next relationship, with a man, I discovered I was free from the endless cycle of managing another woman’s feelings, and that relief meant my life had more capacity for peace.

Truth had become stranger than fiction in my unexpected twist of identity. I was a feminist, a lesbian, and a virtual soldier against the patriarchy, and I found that I could be more independent when coupled with a man. I had space. There was simply more room to breathe. My husband Jon and I were an odd couple, with little in common short of intense attraction and mutual admiration. He was a client of mine, and we had an immediate chemistry similar to the energy I had first experienced with Toni Rey. I wanted to have sex with him, but I was also scared. I felt like a thirty-three year old virgin. He was a man—with a penis! It had been a long time. What if I didn’t like it?

Well, I did like it—a lot. Jon was a generous lover, and we began having a passionate affair. Because I was breaking up with Beth, and because he was a client, we were undercover. I was only interested in having sex with him, and had no desire for a straight relationship. In the beginning, it was very sexy and very naughty for me to be with a man. Sex with men was taboo in Lesbian America, where bisexuals were not tolerated. By 1991, I had been a lesbian for fifteen years, and I’d never even met a bisexual woman. The stigma was absolute.

When I unexpectedly fell in love with Jon, I had to bear the guilt for abandoning my tribe. It was like coming out all over again, facing prejudice and ostracism. My switch was judged as desertion and betrayal, and I bore the shame of heterosexual privilege. Immediately, I could walk down the street holding my lover’s hand and not be stared at or harassed. I was building a business career by then, and I no longer had to avoid pronouns when conversations veered to personal lives. And ultimately I could marry the person I loved and benefit from the unequivocal social acceptance that I could never have with a girlfriend. It wasn’t fair, and I knew it, because I’d lived it my entire adult life.

Overnight, I was no longer welcome as gay, but I didn’t feel straight. I had come out in 1976, when I was seventeen years old, and had been part of the generation that created gay culture in America. Culturally, I was a lesbian and an activist. Sure, I was in love with a man. But did that make me straight?

TOMORROW: Chapter 3

Subscribe to Vicki Marie’s Summer Reading Series and never miss a chapter! The Bachelor Blog 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.

Last week, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for translation services, so we can offer this liberating story to Spanish language readers all over the globe. When you donate online, I’ll send you a copy of the book, in English or Spanish, plus there are several other fabulous rewards!