Vicki Marie’s Sexy Summer Reading Series: One Chapter A Day
THE BACHELOR CHAPTERS: A THINKING WOMAN’S ROMANCE
My true love affair of the week was with the city of Chicago, which dished up everything I craved in an urban scene. I came from a town of bridges and water, but the fresh-water expanse of Lake Michigan filled the horizon like an ocean, and the lattice grids of the bridges that spanned the Chicago River flexed like steel muscles. The architectural ambition of Chicago stretched from her level footprint high into the sky. Skyscrapers evoked geological remnants, but unlike Manhattan’s dense skyline, the buildings of Chicago resembled the layout of a curator’s eye. The view was uncluttered, the grandeur of each building displayed as intended by their architect authors.
The visual pleasures of Chicago’s natural and man-made landmarks were backdrops for a diverse palate of cultural pride and social activity. There were the ballparks of Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park with their famous narratives, and the royalty of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Any student of western art history reveres the legacy of The Art Institute of Chicago, and every economist in the world has been trained through the lens of The University of Chicago. There was the world-class Lincoln Park Zoo, The Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium and the immense parks that lined the lakeshore and inspired the runners, rollerbladers, and bike-riders.
And of course, there were the people. The city’s streets were a streaming collage of ethnicity, race and migration that overflowed in its diverse neighborhoods, restaurants, bars, and the never-ending cycle of outdoor festivals. For the visitor, Chicago was lusty, ripe and abundant, and I set out to savor its endless invitations.
I spent the day Friday walking the green spaces of Chicago: from the recently unveiled and spectacular Millennium Park, through Grant Park, and the grounds of the Field Museum to the sparsely groomed acreage of the McCormick Center, location of my industry’s annual trade show. I was training for a trek to Nepal, and I’m sure I traversed more miles, and saw more of the city on foot, than most locals do in a lifetime. By the time I hoofed it back to my hotel neighborhood, I was tired and calorie-starved. I picked The Capitol Grille for geographic simplicity; it was just two blocks from my hotel. The menu promised Chicago’s finest steak. I decided to weigh in on the claim.
The restaurant décor was an inspired cathedral to nineteenth century capitalism. With its soaring ceilings, velvet swags, and brass accents, The Capitol Grille evoked the lush and opulent interiors of a privileged gentlemen’s club. I was immediately aware that I’d entered the sanctuary underdressed in my Nike ensemble and daypack. Sorry guys, I thought, sending a post mortem apology to Marshall Field and Andrew Swift for my inappropriate wardrobe. But at five minutes past five, the space was nearly empty, giving me a commoner’s excuse to reject dress codes, and belly up to the bar in athletic gear.
I was starving for a steak and thirsty for a martini. After performing a quick finger-fluff of tired hair, and painting fresh color on my lips, I greeted the young and personable bartender, who made me feel both welcome and attractive. He was charming with an easy and flirtatious style that should be mandatory for every bartender’s job description, and I lost all self-consciousness about being underdressed. In a matter of moments, my sore feet were off-duty, and my right hand was holding a perfectly chilled martini.
The bar and dining area were loud with Chicago suits and power-dresses before the clock hit 6:00 p.m. By then, I’d had my fill of perfectly aged beef, and I’d moved on to make friends with the crowd at the bar. Stan, another trade show attendee, representing the southeast territory for Xerox, had picked the stool on my right. Stan was short, gray, and carrying the extra weight typical of men closing in on sixty. He became a first-class bar friend, and we spent hours trading anecdotes on business, politics, relationships, and sex. Stan was a bit of an industry historian, and he described the technology changes that he had lived through in his forty years as a Xerox executive. He was the perfect colleague to celebrate my fifteen-year anniversary in the business, and the two of us entertained each other with stories about greatest-hits and close-calls, as only sales executives can.
It wasn’t long before Stan and I got personal, and he confessed to having a ten-year affair. It was old news, many years behind him, but he still lived in fear that his mistress would emerge with bitter vengeance. He claimed to be committed to his wife of almost forty years, and he told me it would destroy their marriage if she ever found out. He seemed sincere about his loyalty to his wife, so I was confused by the staggeringly long betrayal.
“Why?” I finally asked. “Why did you cheat?”
“My wife and I always had a satisfying sex life,” he said, choosing his words carefully, “but there are just some things she isn’t comfortable doing.” He paused, and I wondered if he was going to tell me. “She doesn’t like cunnilingus.”
“Whoa. Sorry, Stan. I’ve heard of that—and it always surprises me.”
“She’s a very modest person, and it embarrassed her. It’s ironic, but I think that because I loved it so much, it made it even worse for her.”
He was probably right about that, because what Stan was describing was not modesty, it was female sexual shame. She was uncomfortable with her pussy: maybe she was even disgusted by it. Rather than experiencing the pleasure her body was capable of, her husband’s face between her legs had grossed her out. Not even the fact that he loved that position could dislodge the message she had internalized about her body.
“I know your wife is from an older generation, but even today, too many young women are affected by shame about their bodies.”
“That’s certainly true for her,” he said, casting his eyes down toward the bar, considering the memory.
I was reminded of the facts, and I saw it for what it was: a health issue and a political issue and it pissed me off to my core. Generations of women, because of cultural prejudice or religious persecution, had been systemically cheated of a healthy affinity for their own bodies. And it wasn’t just women who suffered. Stan had just showed me how this entrenched culture of female sexual repression had ripped him off, too.
I had stepped down from my stool to go to the ladies room when I remembered Stan had told me that after he ended his affair, he had never cheated again.
“Stan, does that mean, you haven’t eaten pussy in seven years?” He nodded. “Ah, baby, that sucks,” I said, and we both chuckled at my unconscious pun. Maybe it was the gin talking, but in the ladies room I felt overwhelmed by the sadness of the situation. I thought of the men and the women I had been with, the ones who had put their mouths to my pussy with passionate reverence. I knew that for many people, a full mouth of pussy was the pinnacle of their sexual pleasure. It meant everything to them. It was sex for them. I felt sorry for Stan and I felt angry for his wife.
I tidied up my hair, repainted my lips, and gave myself a long look in the mirror. Yes, I was drunk. But I knew what I was doing. I couldn’t change the injustice of this story, but I could change a moment in time. I was feeling nothing short of benevolent when I took my seat next to Stan. I turned and looked him over, sizing up his small fat frame, his full head of gray hair, his blue oxford shirt, his Docker’s chinos, and his Joe Average lack of sexual attraction. Without a doubt: this was a man I would never even think of having sex with. But this wasn’t about me.
“Stan,” I said, leaning in with nothing but charity, “Stan, I know it’s late, and I hope you don’t take this the wrong way—but, baby, I’m going to say it anyway: if you’d like to, my friend, you can eat my pussy tonight.”
In the morning, light leaked through the curtain, and the clock on the nightstand announced it was 6:12 a.m. I closed my eyes again, and then came the sober flashback. Holy fuck! What had I done?
I heard the toilet flush, and leaped off the bed. I was still in my bra, and snagged my panties off the floor. Stan came into the room, and his face had the pallor of a ghost. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Sorry, Stan. But you look terrible.” He was dressed and crossed the room for the bag with his tradeshow materials. He had a presentation at seven.
“You can’t ever contact me.” He looked terrified. “I can’t be your lover. I can’t ever see you again.” Was he out of his mind? He was short, fat, and had zero sexual appeal. Sure I had let him eat my pussy, but I had made it clear the offer was a humanitarian intervention. How could he think for a single second I would be interested in him?
He left quickly and I crawled back under the covers, taking my conscience with me. Talk about misplaced anger. I was inflamed by the historic injustice of his story, and I’d decided to strike a blow against sexual tyranny by putting my pussy in Stan’s mouth. Talk about too much gin. In my martini swill, the fact that Stan was married had been mysteriously irrelevant. I forgave myself soon enough, but I sure felt like an idiot. I pictured the look on Stan’s face before he left, and I felt sorry for him again, but for a completely different reason. I saw that my misguided benevolence had ironically become a burden. Now Stan thought he had two mistresses he would have to fear for the rest of his life.
TOMORROW: Chapter 24
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.