Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: Chapter 37

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 37

The weather was perfect for Jason Sinclair’s party. It was one of those exceptional September days, where even the evening temperature was mild. The temperature was smoking hot for my buddy, Steve, however. There were at least five women for every man at the event, and I don’t think there was a single one who wasn’t easy on the eyes. The  entire house, deck, and backyard swarmed with well-fed and well-liquored guests. I lost my bearings with Steve early on, and I lost faith in potential date opportunities as well. There were simply not enough contenders, but the crowd was particularly friendly, and I wandered in and out of conversations and locations. Whenever I saw Steve, he was animated and energized, and with a different woman. This was going to cost him, I decided, and he said as much when I caught him outside the bathroom.

“How many phone numbers?” I asked.

“Four!” he beamed back with his drop-dead smile. “I owe you!” Precisely, I thought.

The Bachelor prepping the party face, 2008

The Bachelor, prepping the party face, 2008

Being solo at a party was not a problem for me. I talked to strangers for a living, and I had several lines that were guaranteed to get a conversation started. On the topic of self, everyone is an expert, and you can quickly gauge a person’s social skills and fun-potential by noticing how they represent themselves. Boring lifestyles and negative attitudes emerge just as quickly as zest and good humor.

“How do you know Jason?” was the line I pulled out that night, because it worked well with women, men, and small groups.

I discovered that Jason Sinclair knew an extraordinary number of smart, interesting and outgoing women. Many delivered the same response to my party line.

“Oh, we used to date.” After the fifth reply, I developed my own party game for the evening; find out how many ex-dates Jason Sinclair could fit into one fiesta. I hit the jackpot later in the night, when I inserted myself into a circle of four women. All of us were refugees of Mister Sinclair’s considerable and busy charm. That’s when it occurred to me Jason was not merely a bachelor; Jason Sinclair was a collector.

The party had been fun, but by 11:00 p.m., it had lost its luster for me. I was ready to pull the plug on Steve, when the bald beacon of a brother’s shaved head cruised in the front door, passed through the living room, and moved out the sliding door to the deck and out of my sight. Immediately, my boredom dissolved and I challenged myself to a brand new party game; get in front of that black man before another woman beat me to it.

I was on the deck in a heartbeat. The kissing booth was closed, the backyard bar was still pouring, but it was too dark to make out even a white face in the space. I knew timing was everything at that late hour; I had to find him before my highly capable competition maneuvered a pussy-block. I wound my way back upstairs through the basement, into the kitchen, and then back to the living room where I had started. Finally I spotted him, beer in hand, flashing a white smile, in a small cluster of— oh thank you, Jesus—men.

My new favorite stranger had the immortal visage and the timeless youth of the urban black male. In other words, black don’t crack, and this man could have clocked in anywhere between twenty-five and forty years. He was worth the chase; short and fit with broad shoulders, confident eyes, and a big laugh to backup that million-dollar smile. He was clearly enjoying the company of friends when I interrupted.

“Hi there.” I smiled into his eyes. “Excuse me, but I saw you come in, and I wanted to say hello, and let you know that I hope we’ll have a chance to talk later tonight.”

The stranger acted like it was the most ordinary moment on the planet—a half-drunk, green-eyed blonde in a denim miniskirt had snagged his attention with an obvious proposition. 

“Sounds good,” he said, returning the smile, “Let’s do it.”

Finally, I thought, a man in the house. I took that moment to walk away and spotlight my naked white legs beneath the high rise of my skirt. I imagined his eyes as I paraded out of his view, giving him a reason to welcome me back. There were many styles of flirting, and lately I had been practicing the fine art of walking away.

When I caught up with Steve, he was ready to leave. I begged five minutes more so I could finish up my business.

“Take your time, I’ll be out front,” he said, giving me a team hug before I sauntered back to the deck and my primary objective.

“My ride is leaving, so I’ll be heading out. My name is, Vicki Marie. How do you know Jason?”

“He sells wine to my restaurant. I’m a line chef at The Palace Kitchen. I’m Shaun Madison,” and with that reply, his references were sealed. I had spent the entire evening talking to the high quality people that Jason Sinclair collected, and this man was clearly another one, an industry friend, from a four-star venue downtown.

“I can give you a ride,” he said with that brilliant smile, not bothering to ask where I lived. “That sounds perfect,” I said, struck once again by the audacity of black men.

On the way out, I passed Jason’s couch, and was reminded of how our last date had ended. I found myself amused by the current plot twist, and with it, a fresh awareness emerged. I was continuing to learn from the men in my life, and often in ways that surprised me. Not unlike Jason Sinclair, it appeared that I had become a collector as well.

TOMORROW: Chapter 38

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 32

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 32

Shortly after Kyle left Seattle, I was back at The Triple Door, this time at a blues concert with my favorite French Cowboy. Dion and I had been doing our thing for almost a year by then, and I was thrilled that I could call it a perfect bachelor adventure. Our time together was infrequent by conventional dating standards, maybe three to four times a month. Just as I had hoped, there was no checking in, no expectation toward coupling, and there were no complications. He had other women, and he knew I was operating under the full bachelor model as well. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was the code of our club, and it provided me the freedom to be wholly and exclusively his girl during our time together, and to respectfully mind my own business when we were not.

The Bachelor in silk—and stewards—on one of Holland America's ships, Pacific Coast, 2008

The Bachelor wrapped in silk—and stewards—on one of Holland America’s ships, Pacific Coast, 2008

Self-doubt and insecurity are hardwired into women, but by recognizing this fact of life, it was possible for me to deal with it, and not let it get in the way of my new lifestyle. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with feeling jealous; it’s simply a feeling. I also believe it’s a feeling to be avoided: because it feels awful. If it does appear, it’s my responsibility to resolve. My feelings are my business, and it took the better part of forty years to realize that it’s simply delusional to expect anyone to relieve me of my stuff.

I knew my lovers had other women, and because of that fact, I adopted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as the key to keeping jealousy out of my emancipated world. DADT meant I didn’t want to hear smack about any other woman, because what I didn’t know wouldn’t haunt me. At the same time, I taught myself to eradicate insecurity by focusing on what was real. If my man was into me, and he gave me all of his attention when we were together, then it didn’t matter where he spent his time when we weren’t together. The adult truth was clear to me. I was capable of adoring and giving and wanting more than one lover; so why couldn’t he?

I had a history of cheating to back up my belief. I never did a one-off cheat in my twenty years of being coupled. I had affairs of duration. I didn’t leave Beth to be with Toni, because I didn’t want Toni instead of Beth. I wanted them both. In my bachelor lifestyle, I assumed that the men who agreed to the nonmonogamous ground rule were also capable of simultaneous attraction. Dion and Kyle and Tyrone and the others were adding evidence to my theory, and over time, I identified two other life lessons that I adopted as guidelines for being a bachelor.

The Snowflake Syndrome of sex was essential for my peace of mind. Experience had taught me that each sexual partner that I’ve been with brings something distinct to the match, and the combination of the two of us resulted in sex that was unique. Sex with my girlfriend, sex with my ex-husband, and sex with my French Cowboy were alike in only two ways; I was there, and the sex was extraordinary. In reality, what I called extraordinary with Beth, was not the same extraordinary as with Jon or Dion. The energy was distinct with each of them; different things were inspired in me with each of them; and the entire turn on was unique with each of them. Just as there are no two snowflakes that are alike, so it is with sex partners. No two are the same.

I used the Snowflake Syndrome as a strategy to manage my occasional slide into jealousy or insecurity, and it worked. I coupled that with the psychological mantra of my generation: facts always trump feelings. And one fact I knew for sure: no matter where my lover might park his pretty dick, there was only one place on the planet where it could ever feel the way it did with me.

The other conclusion I came to rely on was the concept of Actual Abundance, which is an elegant way of stating the obvious: men are everywhere. If one man doesn’t work out, there will be another. They are simply all over the place. And because men are partial to pussy—it would be foolish to lack confidence in opportunities for future action.

In addition, the concept of Actual Abundance erases forever the number one excuse that keeps people stuck in uncomfortable or even harmful relationships: fear of being alone. Once again: fear is a feeling, and the facts overrule. Too many women are blind to the fact of Actual Abundance, but men suffer from blindness as well. There is simply no need for any person to be afflicted with dissatisfaction. The universe has provided. Open your eyes. Abundance is for everyone.

TOMORROW: Chapter 33

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 31

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

THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE

Chapter 31

Leon Davis was not my first black boyfriend, but he was my teenage favorite. When we first met in 1971, I was a Jackson Five fan with a mile high crush on the pre-legendary Michael Jackson. Along with my Motown spinning girlfriends, we spent our allowance’s on the 45-hits of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and of course, The Supremes. We were drawn to black culture because it was exotic and super bad to a hip clique of thirteen-year-old white girls, raised on rock and roll.

As a child, I had early and positive contact with black culture because of the civil rights era I grew up in, because of the uncomplicated anti-racist messages from my folks, and because of the 1960s activism of the university neighborhood where we lived. On the Ave, the University of Washington’s retail core, white students wore “Free Angela Davis” shirts, and Black Panthers canvassed for money to fund the Feed the Children Breakfast Program. We were all crazy proud that Jimi Hendrix was from Seattle, and “Black Is Beautiful,” was a slogan of pride repeated by my best white girlfriends. My brother and I were also made fully aware of the tragedy of the civil rights struggle. Dad pinned black bands on our arms, and we marched in Seattle’s streets with thousands of our black and white neighbors, singing “We Shall Overcome,” to mourn the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

In 2013, I wrapped "The Bachelor Chapters" and fell hard for a new sport I found in Medellín, Colombia

In 2013, I wrapped “The Bachelor Chapters” and fell hard for a new sport I found in Medellín, Colombia. Introducing: The Bachelor at 54: Pole Athlete

It was at Eckstein Middle School where my boyfriends included the afro-styling, Levi-pressing, cake-cutter-carrying boys from the Central District the year that Seattle finally answered Brown vs. Board of Education, and began bussing black kids to white schools. Apparently, the Seattle School District was making history, but we were just kids making new friends. Periodically, racial tension would emerge, but it played out like the disputes between conventional cliques in every public school; there just wasn’t the depth of racism in the city to sustain prolonged battles between the students.

While black and white culture was Seattle-style dynamic for me growing up in the sixties and seventies, there was next to no interaction in my adult business life during the 1990s. I had studied art in college and graduate school, but landed the job in commercial print sales when I turned thirty. Like all manufacturing businesses, printing was a white man’s game, and had opened up to white women in the 1980s, thanks to the major anti-discrimination gains from the civil rights movement known as Affirmative Action. Contrary to what I said in my opening page, Richard Nixon definitely got it; he was so convinced the field wasn’t level that he signed the executive order and made Affirmative Action the law of the land. White women were the majority benefactors of these ground-breaking laws; every white-collar, white girl, and her blue-collar counterpart, can trace her paycheck and her career back to the Black Americans who went to the streets with their demand for equal access. The white feminists joined in later, with their fist-pumping chorus of equal pay for equal work. Together, these activists moved mountains; they impacted the laws of our land and the social fabric of our country.

When the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the anti-discrimination mandates for federal contracts in 1971, my father, a lifelong union man, supporter of civil rights, and the first feminist I knew, told me straight-up that white women were going to win big. He explained to his thirteen-year-old daughter that the law wasn’t going to stop racism or sexism in employment, but it did make it illegal. With employers facing consequences for discrimination, they would be forced to hire minorities.

“They’ll pick white women,” dad told me. “They don’t want women any more than they want blacks, but when given a choice, people will stay with what’s most familiar.” He was talking about the nation, but that pretty much summed up racism, Seattle style. My career took me into every business, cultural, and municipal organization that laid ink on paper; my potential customers were behind every office, factory, and city hall in the area. Twenty years on, I could make a barstool argument that dad’s prediction had played out. I had solicited thousands of people, representing hundreds of Northwest companies and organizations in my career. White women were everywhere: private companies, government, and the largest nonprofits. But it was the rare private business, not dependent on federal contracts, where diversity strayed from white females to include workers with brown faces.

Meanwhile, in the media spotlight of the 1980s and ‘90s, the reportage emphasized that Black Americans were exotic at best, and dangerous at worst. The media barely featured the fact that these were the decades when Black Americans entered the middle class in record numbers. They graduated from every university, made it into every category of employment, bought homes, enrolled their kids into private schools, and then packed their own children’s bags for college.

Instead, the media’s bright lights beamed narrowly to illuminate two sharp contrasts: deadbeat dads, welfare-cheating baby-mamas, gangsta hip-hop, and deadly crack-land warfare; or the superstar successes and extraordinary talents of celebrities like Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jackson. It was at my twentieth high school reunion that I became aware of the stories missing from my narrow lens of the families we had begun calling African American. It was only then that I recognized that my perspective had been influenced from years of bias.

“Vicki Marie, I have not stopped thinking about you since 1976, and I sure can’t believe you’re even more beautiful than I remembered.” I couldn’t believe my eyes either. Leon Davis was a man. He pulled me into his arms for a hug.

“You’re going to have to tone that down, Mister Davis. Show some respect. I’m a married lady now.”

“I’d like to show you some respect, all right.” His laugh was like a flashback. “Are you sure that white boy from West Seattle is a keeper?” He was my eighth grade buddy and ninth grade boyfriend. It was 1996. It had been more than twenty years.

Leon was exceptionally popular when we first met at Eckstein Middle School in 1971: funny, smart, and athletic. With his brilliant smile, quick wit and cute face, he had the social skills that allowed him to transcend every clique on campus. This young boy was a consummate flirt at thirteen, and with his playful demeanor and his tween-star good looks, I was smitten, along with half of the student body. He and I became friends instead, until our ninth grade year, when we had our romantic moment.

His story of the years after high school began with a college scholarship, followed by a football career in the Canadian league, and finally a shift to a career as a chef in some of the city’s best restaurants. The year we reconnected, he was also the proud father of a young man bound for college, and a precious baby girl, the undisputed love of his life. From his stories, I understood clearly that Leon had made success a way of life by working hard, staying above the bullshit, and going for what he wanted.

Leon told me about similar biographies of the eighth grade class of black kids that had been bussed to our white school in 1971. So many had done well in careers that included banking, real estate, law, sports, education, government and hospitality. There were marriages and divorces; kids had been born and raised. There were troubles and successes. Listening to Leon’s stories, and hearing the accomplished outcomes of my former classmates, left me grateful for their successes, but also nagged me with my ignorance. How come I didn’t know about the African American middle class? Why had I come to believe that all of Black America was failing under the weight of poor schools, poverty, drug abuse, and single-mother households? Having fun with my old friend and laughing about our school days had provided an unexpected opportunity for reflection. I was embarrassed with myself that I had accepted an image of a helpless and hopeless Black America, when in reality families like Leon’s were thriving, just like their white peers. I was pissed about the relentless media narration that had affected me. And I was grateful to my old friend for opening my eyes to the diverse truth about Black America at the end of the twentieth century.

TOMORROW: Chapter 32

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 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 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!