Timothy Arliss OBrien

Kink Demons

Kink: An unconventional sexual taste or behavior

Merriam-Webster

~

Anything alternative? Is that how we are defining this now?

I guess my most first unconventional taste is my love for polyamory. Who doesn’t love a messy threesome? A ménage à trois, or “household of three” if you can’t translate French.

It’s just so boring with two, and who wants company when you can have a crowd! Although I do enjoy my space when sleeping, best if you let the special guest sleep on the couch or a spare bedroom after desserts.

But why stop at three? Why not five, or seven?

At what point is it considered an orgy? And why are evens not as much fun as odds? Maybe I just enjoy betting against the house.

The most I’ve entertained was a seven-some. A sexual heptagon?

It was a thrilling drunken night when my husband and I ran into another composer friend of ours, and trust me, trouble is to be had anytime you get multiple composers together. When we had grown weary of taking turns gloating of all the recent music premieres the three of us had been busy with, we wanted to see others swinging their dicks around, so off to the strip club we went.

Since our acquaintance was only in town for a few nights our little crowd kept growing with more friends wanting to catch up with him. By last call when the strippers were packing up their jockstraps, throwing on sweats, and counting their dollar bills in taxis on their way home we were hardly done. So we embarked on the continuation of our adventure in our own taxi into the night, and off to a bathhouse.

It was a sleepy Tuesday night and there were only two other patrons lurking in the shadows that night, and those elder gays had no clue what they were in store for.

We swapped, and topped, and sweated in the hot tub.

We fucked and sucked and moaned in the sauna.

And by the end of the night we left with great memories, new friends, and the least regrettable case of gonorrhea I’ve ever had.  

But group sex really isn’t the only kink I’ve entertained.

I guess I could be a cuck cuz I love watching my husband get fucked, but it’s mostly because I dream of those sloppy seconds.

And for some reason I’m always thirsty for a golden shower, and even better if I have a friend who wants to take turns under the faucet and not just be the shower head.

One time I was getting frisky with a gentleman and he asked if I had any experience with sounding, and he proceeded to show me how he could fit a whole steel rod in his urethra and even my whole pinky finger. Which ended up with my hand deep in his back side, half way up to my elbow, and realizing I am super into making someone get off that way.

There was one guy for a while offering to pay me to take a huge fresh hot shit on his chest and proceed to watch him eat it and lick me clean, but $250 seemed too little and I couldn’t talk him up to $500 so nothing materialized there.

But I would have done it for the right price.

The only hard limits I’ve found myself shy away from were the time a guy begged for me to puke in his mouth, a different time when someone wanted me to inject saline into his balls and give him a reverse Prince Albert piercing, and the time a guy from Redding offered to drive up to Portland so I could lock him in a cage in my house and after torturing him for a week castrate him.

I’m too squeamish to be around blood, and I’ve never found any pain pleasurable and am too much of an empath to inflict pain on someone else.

I guess kinks are just like appetites, sometimes we want to try a new dish at a Thai restaurant we have never been to before, and other times we want something fast and reliable like a quick drive to a fast food place down the road.

But whether your appetite for kink enjoys it extra spicy, mild or savory, or you want a three course meal with extra desserts, or just some easy home cooked goodness for a simple night in, there’s someone out there into it too who won’t judge you but say: “hell yes, I’m on my way over.”

Just make sure to communicate your kinks, and always use consent, especially if your kink is consensual non-consent.

Who knows, opening up a little kink conversation with a partner might introduce you to something you never knew you wanted to try.

There’s no shame in a little kink, and at the end of the day we all wanna just get off. 

Tristan Cook

If You’re Not Going to Suck My Dick, at Least Come Cuddle Me

I had the strangest sexual experience of my life on January 3rd, 2021. Almost two months after my boyfriend broke up with me and I began living in the basement of a house with a thirty-five-year-old man named Brandon.

The basement is cold. I often spend my nights huddled up to my shivering dog. His short, brown coat stabs into my chapped lips. Brandon is warm, warm, warm. Our energies combine on the living room couch over wine and 90’s anime. “Hey, Tristan, have you ever seen Akira?” he’s asked with a goofy grin. 

I spent the late evening eating a Country Chicken Hungry Man and drinking Blue Moons on our ripped-up couch. A single beer in and I was already perusing the gay sex app Grindr, just as I had done every night prior. My phone’s battery sat at a steady five percent. A flea bit at my elbow. A minute or so after opening the app, I got a message from an account with the username ‘2 DTF.’

This wasn’t their first time messaging me; we meant to meet up a week prior, but the plans never came to fruition. 

2 DTF: Yo

2 DTF: How u b

Me: I’m chillin B^)

2 DTF: Wanna fuck ? 3 sum

2 DTF: Smoke a fatty

Me: ha sounds fun

Me: rn?

2 DTF: Yes

Me: Okkie

Me: whats the addy?

He gave me the address for a suburban style house about fifteen minutes away. I pawned my dog off on Brandon and hopped in my car. Sweat dampened my shirt and my jaw clenched tight. I loved the thrill of Grindr. The mystery, the danger, the gay underbelly! The repressed homoerotic-feeling ‘straight’ boys, the hit-it-and-quit-it gay boys, the married men, the older men, the tranny chasers. The men who tell me I’m cute, the men who ask if I have a penis or vagina. The boy who came in less than a minute, the boy who couldn’t get it up, the boy who told me I was perfect cause he’s never been with a dude and I’m a great place to start. The boy that wants to date me, the man that wants to pay me six hundred dollars to let him fuck me. The boy that broke my heart.

I followed the twists and turns of the road, occasionally catching glimpses of the waning moon. Was she shielding me from her disapproving eye? Was she too disgusted to tell me I’m a no-good dirty whore who is desperately trying to fill the void of lost love? Is that true?

I pulled into their driveway with a sense of unease. What if this wasn’t their house? 

Me: Hey, I think I’m here!

Me: it’s a white house, right?

Minutes passed and I didn’t get a reply. I played out the possibility that I was at the wrong house. I would go up, knock on the unassuming stranger’s door at midnight, and say something along the lines of “gay sex?” at their bewildered expression. I decided that it was worth the risk. 

I approached the house with my hands in my jacket pockets. There was a white picket fence that enclosed the front yard to the left of the paved driveway. The entirety of the front porch was screened in. There were cushioned patio chairs, a small, round table, and potted plants. I thought it was odd how adult the house looked. I assumed that the couple who messaged me were both around my age.

My cold, bruised knuckles wrapped on the front door. A blonde boy with a stubbly face answered. He was an inch or two shorter than me and wearing a black hoodie and black jeans. His name was Brendon. We said hello and he invited me in as a small brown dog shaved like a lion waddled into the living room. 

“Holy shit! I love your dog,” I said. 

“Oh yeah, he’s great.” 

We cooed over him for a moment when a husky man who appeared to be in his early forties entered the room. He had reddish hair, a clean face, and broad shoulders over a soft, round body. Maybe I should’ve asked why they didn’t tell me one of them was significantly older. Maybe I should’ve walked out the door. I didn’t consider it.

“Hi,” I said with a little wave. We formally introduced ourselves; the older man’s name was Steve. I was curious what sex would be like with him, though I wasn’t attracted to him. He was weird, but in a way that intrigued me. He was like a friend’s dad who wasn’t entirely sure how to talk to his son’s friends. I thought he would ask me if I played sports at any moment.

They led me down a long hallway until we entered their bedroom. I never asked, but I assumed they lived together. There was a king-sized bed, dresser, three bongs, and a massive T.V. mounted to the wall. The T.V. was playing gay porn, which startled me into saying oop out loud. Steve offered me one of the bongs. 

“You smoke, right?” He seemed gentle, and I felt a bit ashamed of judging his physical appearance. 

“Every day of my life,” I said while grabbing the bong. The clear glass was tainted with resin. I didn’t look him in the eyes, instead I kept my focus on the floor. I was too sober for the bizarreness of my situation, so I  ripped the bong three times.

They both clambered into bed, leaving a space for me to climb in the middle. I did. Steve rested his hand on my right thigh while Brendon rubbed my left one. Brendon kissed me gently. He began to alternate between sweetness and passion. He would take a moment to look me in the eyes and brush his thumb across my cheek, then kiss me so fiercely I could barely keep up. I eased into it. Steve tightened his grip on my thigh and uttered “fuck yeah’s” between each breath. 

Brendon switched back to gentle kisses, and I took an opportunity to kiss him on the nose. “Do you like poppers?” he asked.

“I’ve never tried them. What’re they like?”

“Bro, they’re incredible.” He reached over to the bedside table and pulled an small bottle out of the drawer. “They’re strong, so just take small sniffs.” He placed the bottle under his right nostril and sniffed three times. When he was done, I took a deep, steady sniff through both of my nostrils. 

“How do you feel?”

“Oh, is it immediate?” As soon as I said that, I felt each beat of my racing heart. 

Babum!

Babum, babum!

Babum, babum, 

babum! 

My head fell limp against the headboard behind me. My arms became cement. Steve and Brendon started to undress. A man was getting pounded in the ass while sucking another dude’s dick on the T.V.

“You should take your clothes off.” Brendon said. I tumbled to the other side of the bed to face them while I took off my sweater. “Shit, cool tattoo,” he nodded at the twelve-faced monk on my stomach. “What does it mean?”

“It came to me in an acid trip. I was sitting on the living room floor of the first apartment I lived in when I moved to Asheville. It was spring. The sky was freckled with small, white clouds. I was the only one home. The balcony door was open, allowing a swift breeze to occasionally pass through. The neighbors that lived up and to the left of my unit were sitting on their balcony playing a cello, saxophone, and drum. Squirrels skittered about and birds chirped to the music. It came to me gradually. Inspired by angels and the guides of the afterlife. We are all different faces of the same universe.”

“That’s cool.” Brendon finished getting undressed next to a naked Steve. I took off my pants, catching a glimpse of Steve’s small, half-flaccid penis. It felt like a taboo to look.

Sweat, smoke, silky, lavender, lube. 

White walls and wooden furniture. 

Watering eyes, twitching dicks, and 

heart palpitations.

It ended with my legs trembling and head lying on Brendon’s chest while Steve blew him. I kept my eyes closed or focused on the T.V. There was a moment when my curiosity got the best of me and I looked. Steve locked his eyes onto mine and I darted them away. I felt as if he had held me by the ankles and shook an avalanche of stolen candy bars out of my pockets. In this split-second moment he had truly witnessed me. And I had witnessed him! His slow bobbing motions. His bold stare. There was nowhere to hide. Several minutes passed before Steve stopped to rest his head on Brendon’s thigh. 

“Alright Steve, if you’re not going to suck my dick, at least come cuddle me.”

Bruce Mundhenke

Sedalia                                             

Gail had stopped by in the evening, as he sometimes did. We sat in my back yard, drinking a beer and sharing a joint. Gail and I were both Vietnam veterans. Gail was a medic in a combat unit. We never talked about Vietnam. The whole thing was his idea. He was telling me about a three day rock festival that was to take place in Sedalia, Missouri at the state fairgrounds there. They were billing it as the Ozark Music Festival. There were supposed to be a lot of good bands there, including the Eagles, Bachman Turner Overdrive, America, Blue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent, Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Aerosmith, and many more.

We agreed that we should check it out. Each of us talked to a few other people who wanted to go. Gail rented a Winnebego. We set out for Sedalia on Friday, planning to come home Sunday afternoon. On board the Winnebago were Gail, my wife and I, my friend Dave and his wife, my brother Randy and his wife, his friend Mike and his wife, and Kim and Terri, single girls a little younger than the rest of us.

We had tickets, but when we got to Sedalia, we had to wait in a very long line of vehicles, before we could get into the fairgrounds. When we got in,  we drove through “neighborhoods” of campers until we chose a spot among many types of camping and recreational vehicles.

After we parked, some of us climbed up onto the top of the Winnebego to smoke some pot and drink some beer. From the top of the Winnebego, we looked out on a sea of people, tents, and camping vehicles of all kinds for as far as we could see. Some guy with a bullhorn was hollering, “I need about 15 dozen whores over here and I need them right now.”  We were cracking up, because there were girls heading toward him from all directions. Looking out across the distance, you could see green sticks everywhere in the night. These were glow sticks. I had never seen them before and I called them green phosphorescent dildos.

Then we watched as a small car approached, weaving through the neighborhood. People were cursing at the driver loudly. When he drove by our Winnebego, we heard a kind of crunching, or snapping sound. We lost it because Mike and his wife Dawn had laid down to sleep for the night under the Winnebego.

Thank God, the asshole, who drove by and then disappeared into the crowded campground,  had run over Mike’s leg, not his head. The security carts had not all been taken over by the crowd yet that evening. We flagged one of them down and they arranged to get Mike to the hospital, where they set his broken leg.

The rest of us made our way to the area where the stage was to listen to Wolfman Jack trying to talk a guy who had climbed one of the towers into coming down. He finally did. Then the Eagles took the stage to play Take it Easy. There were a lot of fireworks.

The next day, my longtime friend Dave and I decided to go and find out what the place was all about. Dave was also a Vietnam veteran. We walked down to the grandstands. On the way we saw various vendors selling many different kinds of drugs. Some were on foot. Others were set up like concession stands, selling their wares out of camping vehicles. Many of these had lines of people waiting to purchase their drug of choice. We bought some LSD from a vendor on foot. There were many vendors like this, male and female, moving among the crowd, hawking their wares.

It was very hot. Each day we were there, the temperature was above 100 degrees. We sat in the grandstand bleachers, people watching for a while. Guys were standing on their motorcycles and riding them on the track the length of the bleachers. Finally, a guy crashed his bike. We never knew how bad he was hurt. An ambulance took him away.

We didn’t think we were getting off on the acid, so we bought a couple more tabs and did them. Both of us started laughing . A few minutes after we swallowed the second tabs, we started getting off on the first ones. We went down to the area near the stage. There was a lot of good music. Everywhere there were nice looking girls, some topless, some in bikinis, some in their underwear, most of them high. We never saw any fighting or violence that day, or during the whole festival.

On our way back to the Winnebego, we were walking along and I stopped at a lemonade stand and ordered a lemonade. I was pretty high. A shirtless guy at the stand said to his buddy, “Another stupid fucker.” Then he sprayed me in the face with a garden hose. All the food and drink stands had been taken over by the crowd the first day…

When we got back to the Winnebago, there was drama. It seems like Don, a pioneer of psychedelic drug use in our town, along with a couple of girls, had visited our group. Then he stopped back by later and said,  “I’m getting vibes that someone here is tripping.” And my wife was… Gail told me he thought Don had “tabbed” her. He never did come back again. She was not having a good experience. She didn’t much care for smoking pot. She wasn’t liking acid at all…  I comforted her and reassured her much as I could until she finally came down.

The next day, I started to use bathroom in the Winnebego, but it was occupied. I walked over to a restroom nearby to sit on the throne. I didn’t have any reading material, but there was a movie. While I sat there taking a dump, I watched girls showering. It was supposed to be the men’s room. On the way back to our group, I saw naked people wallowing on the ground near a fire hydrant they had opened. Water was gushing everywhere. I also talked with a guy who told me that on the edge of the “city,” people were having a hog roast with some pigs they had stolen from a farmer.

When we were ready to go home, there was no sign of Kim or Terri. They hadn’t been around since the day we got there. We spent a lot of time looking all over the fairgrounds for them. Most people had left by that time, but a lot of people were still milling around. As I was walking along on the track, a naked man, wearing only sandals and stoned out of his mind, walked past me mumbling, “Old Testament, man,” over and over, as National Guard helicopters flew low overhead.

Several days after we got home from the festival, we learned that Kim and Terri had been stabbed and cut many times and left for dead up near Chicago, Illinois. No one was ever prosecuted for that vicious attack.

Sometimes these days, when I think about the Ozark Music Festival, I have many wild and crazy memories. One thing I learned there is that anarchy is not a good choice for a way to live. By some estimates there were 160,000 people there. By others, 350,000. I didn’t count them. I’m glad I experienced it, but like a few other things on this journey, I wouldn’t want to do it again.

Mather Schneider

Hermosillo Fire

Saturday, Saturday, pretty Saturday. The melon-man drives by in his little truck selling cantaloupe and watermelon. Yesterday was Black Friday. People trampled themselves bloody in hideous stampedes for discounted luxury items like mile-wide TVs, video games, flavored underwear, microwaves, who knows what else. I barely got out of bed all day. 

Before Natalie got deported, we used to get up at 3:30 a.m. Natalia worked the breakfast shift at McDonald’s and I drove a cab. For 15 years we did that. We hated it, and dreamed of escaping it. Then the decision was made for us. Now we live in this tiny house in Hermosillo with Natalia’s parents. We make do. We try to look at the bright side. 

On Thursday night a vagabond lit a fire in the dump behind the house here on Avenida Economia. The houses stretch for a few blocks in a straight line, all flat-topped with cement roofs, separated by a 3-foot gap, so that an agile child can run the length, leaping like a steeplechase over the empty spaces. 

I was good and snozzled when we all saw and smelled the smoke. It was no joke, really barreling up like a locomotive. I climbed up the old home-made ladder to the roof of the house to do some surveillance. A cement block wall separates the houses from the dump. The blaze was rising like crazy in the dark night. Holy shit! A million mercurochrome tentacles. The unspeakable crackling, like glass hibiscus flowers crunched between the yellow teeth of Godzilla. Too much dry grass and garbage back there. 

“Hand me the hose!” 

I stood up there on the roof and used my thumb to arch the hose water, what little pressure came out of it, over the cement block wall into the flames. It helped, I warded it off our little area at least. Soon others were up on their roofs doing the same, or just using buckets. The children were having a hoot, running, screaming, laughing. Everyone else was flooding the street, watching the show. Hell approaching, let’s party! The heat and red light on our faces up there on the roof: booga booga! Good thing Natalia paid the water bill.

I stood with that hose water arching out and it was like pissing in a dream and you just piss and piss and piss. Existence, yes? It took me back to the fires of my youth. All the weenies roasted, all the ants killed with magnifying glasses on summer Illinois days in the ditch-weed. My grandfather’s bonfires in the back 40, throwing an old tire on there to really get it going, that furious black tunnel of smoke crawling up into the sky, so thick it seemed you could climb it like Jack and the Beanstalk. Fires on the banks of the Illinois river among the dead fish and the oily water and the train tracks where the trains came with their howling wind and madness. 

The fire seemed to come under some control there behind that cement wall in the Hermosillo dump. Whew! Hey, somebody toss me a beer! I stood up there and drank a beer and a neighbor kid launched himself over the gap from the next house and stood next to me, his brown face glowing.

“And you? What do you want, chamaco?” I said.

“Are you from the other side?”

“What gave it away?”

“Is it true what they say?”

“What do they say?”

“That life is better on the other side?”

“No, that’s not true.”

“But people have money there.”

“Some do, yes.”

“Do you have a computer?”

“No. I have a notebook.”

“I don’t have a computer either. Do you have a cell phone?

“Yes I have a cell phone.”

“I don’t. You wouldn’t have an old one you don’t want anymore?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t. Who you gonna call, anyway?”

“I don’t know. Somebody.”

“Does your father know where you’re at?”

“No.”

“What’s your father do?”

“He’s a bricklayer.”

“That’s a noble profession. He sounds like a good man.”

“Yeah.”

I gave him a 20 peso note and he shot off like a spark over the rooftops. Other children watched me from the dark, little raccoon eyes. The crowd on the street was giddy and we were all almost sad to see that the fire had given up. It never did leap the cement block wall. I climbed down from the roof and finished my beer at my little table with the spiders. Natalia and everyone filtered back into the houses. 

An hour later the fire truck came. The firemen stood around the truck looking at the remnants of the coals for a while, then they left. I sat in the dark. I wondered how we were going to make it, living in Hermosillo with our money running out. I reached my hand into the beer cooler but there was nothing but dirty melted ice.

Nicole Morning

A Catalog of Dudes I Boned

I wrote a zine about online dating and I like to share it with people I’m trying to date, even though it gives me intense anxiety to do so. It’s an accurate (though fictionalized) portrait of my troubled relationship with sex and men and life, and it’s full of things I want potential partners to know about me. Such as: I’m a great fucking writer; I write about extremely intimate topics; I prefer ethical non-monogamy; I’m a slut; I don’t think slut is a bad word.

The problem is, sometimes I ​feel​ like slut is a bad word. My defiant reclamation of the title is still in process. When I got called a slut in high school, it was most definitely a bad word, used both to hurt and classify me. When other people hear me use the word to describe myself, some of them are shocked and appalled. Using the word as a shameless celebration of myself, applying the term on my own terms, is an ongoing fight.

Last summer I met this dude on social media, (we’ll call him Brad) and we started interacting a lot, and we both felt a pretty magical spark of connection. This was during early lockdown, when everyone was reeling from sudden intense isolation. We were chatting and video chatting a bunch. He’d never had such an experience with someone he met online, and he felt weird about it. I decided to make it more weird by sending him the zine. I warned him in advance of the salient & sordid features, and I said I would understand if he didn’t want to read it.

About seven minutes later, Brad texted back the following:

Oh God, this is just a catalog of dudes you boned.

Now. The zine is like 40-some pages long, so I knew he didn’t have time to read the whole thing. There’s definitely sex in it. The protagonist definitely bones a lot of dudes in it. The zine opens with a cast list of characters, many of whom get boned in the course of the zine. Do you like the way I’m repeating the verb? The stupid ridiculous high school verb? Brad is forty years old, and now I know I’ll never bone him.

The thing is, above all else, my zine is about the search for beauty and tenderness and connection. I’m generally not into fucking people for the sake of fucking. I’m sexually adventurous and I’m an inherently, unequivocally sexual being. I love sex. I love humans. I love connection. Sex in its best form, in my opinion, is beautiful human connection, even when it’s casual, often, or kinky. This is, I think, the obvious and overarching thrust of my zine.

So I texted Brad back, ​no, it’s not.​

And he replied, ​how many?

And I said, I​ don’t know​ and

What difference does it make?

And he replied, ​how many​ and

Just estimate.​

He kept pressing for a number, and the more he did, the more I squirmed internally. Shame, shame, shame.

I have no idea how many. I don’t keep count. I don’t, in fact, own a catalog of all the dudes I’ve boned.

All my favorite people like the zine, and my number one favorite lover ​loves​ the zine. His pet name for me is a (secret) phrase that includes the word ​slut,​ and he uses it with infinite affection and admiration and I love it. There’s nothing insulting about the way he uses it.

There’s also nothing wrong with people who don’t fancy sluts. Everyone has the right to choose how and with whom they engage. Everyone has the right to determine their own relationship with and opinion about their own sexual behavior. Their own.

The truly fucked up thing about Brad insisting on a number is that I could tell there was a number that would’ve been acceptable to him. In the course of the conversation, that became increasingly clear. If I had fucked under a certain number of people, I would’ve been in a morally acceptable range for him. He didn’t know the actual number, the cutoff point, but he had a general idea of how many was too many. A vague idea in his self about what was a lot and what was a slut.

Well, Brad. I don’t need to know the number to know I’m a slut. I don’t need your morals to tell me whether or not I’m acceptable to myself.

I boned a dozen dudes. A hundred. A thousand. I boned a billion dudes and I loved every minute of it.

There’s no catalog but the one kept in all the corners of my heart, all the contours of my life. Anyone who cares to know me may read it any time, just by looking in my eyes.

Wayne F. Burke

SECURITY

Sam No Shirt talks on and on while cupping the telephone receiver to his ear and taking swigs off a brown quart bottle of beer. A black stripper comes in at ten; she bends over the desk to sign in. I look down the front of her dress and she smiles at me. She looks a little like Haley Mills, the actress…Then a taxi cab driver; then a guy who works as a proofreader; then some punk rockers who use the hotel studio; then the drunk, walking as if pushed from behind, and crashing through the door to the elevator; then a dope dealer dressed all in black like Johnny Cash; who even looks like Johnny Cash–a Johnny Cash who has spent time in a concentration camp. Then the girl who brings guys up to her room comes down and demands I move the drunk, who has, she says, passed out in the hall by her door. I get up from the desk and walk to the elevator,a big stack of keys jingling at my waist. I get off at the 4th floor. The drunk is face-down, his dress shirt and red face soaked from the bucket of water the girl who brings guys to her room at any time day or night doused him with. The drunk’s key is in his door. I drag the drunk into his room and throw the key in after. The girl who brings many guys up to her room not to play checkers, and whose face is painted like several kinds of flowers, slams shut her door.

John Yohe

The Power of Pantyhose

Part of the thrill of wearing pantyhose is, like buying a porn magazine used to be, ‘having’ to buy them, in public, in person. The humiliation/shame creates tension, the secret no longer secret, though, like with magazines, the thrill only comes (excuse the pun) from buying them from an attractive woman. The fact that anyone in retail even cares about who buys what is something I choose to ignore.

Though once, living in Los Alamos, New Mexico for the summer, I went grocery shopping, and feeling perverted/horny, threw some pantyhose into my basket (a good ruse—hideable under the apples and rice, in case I actually ran into someone I knew) looking, of course, for an attractive woman checker. None were to be had and I almost put them back, but went through with it, getting a male checker who, I hoped, would just assume I had a girlfriend at home wanting me to pick up some pantyhose for her, because that happens all the time, right? But, luck: a cute young woman bagged my groceries. I watched her. When she got to the pantyhose, she paused, holding them in her hand, having a ‘one of these items does not belong with the others’ moment. Then she looked at me and grinned knowingly. My god, that was the fantasy: She knew exactly what I was going to do with them, and her smile said that she found this amusing and kinky and freaky and she’d probably even tell her girlfriends about it later. After I’d paid, she handed me the bag, saying, again knowingly, ‘Have a good night!’ I should have asked her to marry me.

I resisted the curiosity/desire to wear pantyhose though it had been with me for years, telling myself that actually doing it would cross some kind of line, on a slippery slope to gayness, or bisexuality, or at least true perversion (as if any of those things were bad). Becoming a fairly serious runner changed that. At an expo for my first marathon, in Chicago, I bought a pair of running pants, for colder weather, and, that night, put them on, alone in my bedroom. I already knew they were going to feel, and look, weird, because ‘real men’ don’t wear tight stretchy clothing, and rolling them up my legs, I was extremely conscious that they were basically hosiery. And, they, I, felt erotic/sexy/and yes feminine, as hell. Sexy and erotic because feminine. Black and shiny, my legs, my whole lower body, felt caressed. Naked almost, knowing my body was being (or would be, if I were in public) shown off, and my cock and balls forming a bulge, but my legs and ass sleek, smooth. This was too important to deny: I would have to wear pantyhose. I wondered about the embarrassment, or potential embarrassment, of wearing the running pants out in public, but that didn’t turn out to be true, or mostly not, not that big of a deal at all, and the erotic feeling of wearing them is basically, mostly, gone. I do often wonder though, what women think, whether seeing men in running pants is at all as erotic for them as it it for us (or, me) seeing women in them, or if we men look a little ridiculous/emasculated. And if that is erotic to women.

One of my favorite writers, Charles Bukowski, hated pantyhose, and wrote on more than one occasion with nostalgia for the time when one could sometimes catch the magic and madness of a woman stopping in public to lift her skirt and adjust her stockings.

A generational thing? Women around my age act horrified by pantyhose, because their moms and grandmothers wore them, and they were, admittedly, back then kind of murky and dull-looking. But younger generations of women seem to have embraced nylons again, in the form of colored tights.

Like many things in my life, it took the encouragement of a woman to actually make me cross(dress) the line and wear pantyhose for the first time. Part of my attraction to that woman, M., was that she wore pantyhose. The first time we had sex, I undressed her except for her pantyhose and, after especially dirty pantyhose-enhanced/inspired foreplay, only pulled them down enough to actually enter her from behind.

She was up for anything really, recently divorced and wanting to do all the kinky things she’d heard about but had never been able to do. We didn’t live in the same city, so had a long distance relationship, which went on for over a year, thanks in large part to phone sex, and the thing about phone sex is it’s conducive to confession, because you’re just talking to a disembodied voice, in the dark. So, she very soon knew about my perversion. And, didn’t reject me. In fact, the next time we saw each other in person, she showed up in a long black wool coat (this was Chicago in the Winter after all), smiling, and before even kissing me (or I don’t remember the kissing part) took a pair of Victoria’s Secret pantyhose out of her coat pocket and handed them to me. She was wearing a matching pair underneath and, after showing me, sat on the bed and watched me put mine on. 

I was actually trembling, fearing/knowing I was going to look ridiculous, guilty knowing she was doing this for me, that she’d have been just as fine with me fucking her naked like a normal (real) man. But the pleasant surprise was seeing her face light up as I pulled the lace panty section up around my cock and balls: she liked it! She liked seeing me in pantyhose! It wasn’t just something she was doing for me anymore—it turned her on. Of course I was still embarrassed and ashamed, but very very grateful.

The gusset is the cotton panel section between the legs (I hate the word crotch) which allows the pussy to breathe. The gusset might be the main reason women don’t think pantyhose are sexy, because, compared to the diaphanous goodness surrounding it, it’s not, and in fact blocks the pussy from sight, but that is the magic: gusset as tease enhancer. A woman can wear pantyhose in front of a man, revealing almost everything but that one thing, the gateway, still denied.

One of my guilts about pantyhose is that nylon is a petroleum product. Meaning it’s kind of like a woman has been picked up by a crane and dipped in a vat of oil. The only alternative, silk (mm, silk….) is just too expensive. Then only rich women could show off their legs, and only rich men could enjoy them.

Other guilts: that human sexuality, sexiness, sexual pleasure, are all determined/informed by/a result of technology and consumerism. That is, one has to buy a product for sexual pleasure. But, I guess we passed that point of no return centuries ago. Taking sexy clothing away from women (if you could tear it from them) would merely make us look like China in the 1950s. Or like the Taliban.

Another erotic in-person night with M.: buying matching black pantyhose/tights at a grocery store, plus a disposable camera to take pictures of each other (with black and white film, so as to be classy). We went back to her apartment, put on the pantyhose, and posed for each other, which she loved, wanting both ‘classy’ shots of herself, plus some raunchy porn mag angles. Then she said, ‘You need to wear a dress.’ I hadn’t suggested it, she was taking the initiative, which was scary. Unfortunately, she was so petite that the only thing of hers that would even barely fit was a knit-wool one-piece dress—not exactly slinky, though tight. When I put it on, she made her sexy ‘Mmmmm’ sound. One of the most erotic moments in my life. That, plus being behind her, my hands on her smooth warm back and breasts, my pantyhose cock rubbing against her pantyhose ass. I felt like a lesbian.

One sub-fetish of the pantyhose fetish is ‘encasement,’ in which a woman is ‘encased’ in nylon: a pair of pantyhose where they’d normally go, a second pair with the gusset cut out, so the she can wear them like a shirt, then a stocking over her head and face, the excess material tied off in a ponytail.

One embarrassing though seemingly relevant incident: In junior high, having problems in algebra, not doing well, my mother arranged to come in after school to talk to my teacher, and she actually dressed up for it, the only time I remember her wearing pantyhose and a dressy skirt. She arrived just as kids were leaving, and as she was walking up the main hall towards me, guys I knew and didn’t like whistled and catcalled, looking at her legs. I did do better in class after that though.

More: My stepmom has great legs, and used to wear a business suit/skirt outfit to work every day. She’s closer to my age than my dad’s. She has, along with most (American) business women, since switched to the pantsuit look.

I wore my stepmom’s pantyhose.

The first time ever seeing myself in pantyhose in a full-length mirror: me as a woman. That is, if I were a woman, that’s what I would look like. Or, the woman that had always been inside of me? And even while I knew I looked ridiculous, I also felt, and (therefore?) looked, sexy. No dress, no make-up, just a wispy piece of nylon to make me re-see myself.

I jacked off looking at myself. 

I jacked off to myself. 

I jacked off wanting to fuck myself, somehow.

In the UK, pantyhose are called tights—females of all ages just wear tights. In America, somehow the term pantyhose ended up being for what women wore, while ‘tights’ were for girls, though pantyhose were/are generally flesh-colored, while tights were/are colored (green, blue, etc.). My theory is that Americans, as Puritans, had to come up with a different name for what girls wear, so as to de-sexualize them, which of course backfired, because now young women wearing tights is sexy as hell, having an aura of ‘appearing younger than they are’-ness, à la the catholic schoolgirl plaid skirt.

College. My dorm room. A girl, H., I am just starting to see, agrees to come to bed with me. I can get naked if I want, and do, and she even takes off her dress and bra, but she keeps her blue tights on. We lie on our sides, my cock rubbing against that warm nylonned ass. Her comment: ‘They’re not stockings or anything.’ 

Same girl, a week later, at her place. I’m sitting in a chair, she stands in front of me and raises her skirt, revealing green stockings and a garter belt, no panties. She climbs on my lap, kissing me, aggressive.

Conclusion: for women, dressing sexy for sexy-sex means easy access to their pussies—or the potential, that a man could easily (if she wanted him to) lift her skirt and be inside her quickly. Pantyhose would have be taken off first, thereby losing the heat of the moment. Curious the admittal that thigh-highs are sexy because they show off the legs, which is exactly what pantyhose and tights do. Men in most cases never knowing (unless women grant them access) the difference, which kind of hosiery she is wearing. All they see are the legs.

I remember when pantyhose started to be marketed as sexy in the late 70s. That one commercial, for Sheer Energy (or L’eggs?) of an astoundingly sexy asian woman (so as to emphasize the silkiness I suppose) smiling and showing off her shiny legs. My god, I was eleven or twelve, just hitting puberty, just discovering masturbation. After seeing that commercial, more than once I ran back to my room and rubbed myself naked against a pillow thinking of her, her shiny smooth nylonned legs.

Note: tights also refer to the type of hosiery worn in northern climes, mostly by girls but also women, which is still ‘tight’ and stretchy, but fuzzy and warm, so as to be able to wear a skirt/dress in cold weather. They’re very much less sexy—not shiny or diaphanous or sleek—and not as common, especially for women, as when I grew up in Michigan, though seem to be coming back in fashion, a little, where I am now, in Portland. 

Minor awkwardness: getting to know a woman on an online dating site, at the email stage. At one point I sort of flirtatiously ask her what she’s wearing, and she says tights. My response? ‘Mm, tights, I love tights.’ Which I could tell she thought was a little odd, but she was into some pretty kinky stuff (if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it) so was fine with it, and in fact, said she liked wearing them. When we met in person, she wore some for me, which was awesome, except they were the warm fuzzy kind. We didn’t date long—she lived in another city, and we just didn’t quite have enough spark, but I wonder—what if she’d shown up wearing, say, shiny black tights? Except, she just wasn’t a shiny black tights kind of woman? But still.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to six continents over the years, and pantyhose are way more common in other parts of the world, at least in cities. Something about America precludes women wearing hosiery more. I know some people would argue this is because America is more enlightened and American women more equal/liberated. And that may be. Can’t be a coincidence that latinas, from Mexico to Chile, wear pantyhose all the time, in a decidedly machista culture. Ditto Japan: Barbara Kingsolver’s gobsmackedness in an essay about Japan on seeing Japanese girls playing tennis while wearing pantyhose. Except, how then to explain the Middle East?

Seamless pantyhose, designed for no other purpose than to be sexy: No gusset, the pussy visible behind the diaphanous protective layer if the dress or skirt is raised or discarded. Visible and even enhanced, but still not truly touchable/lickable: the woman still has control, can still deny.

Companies whose sole product is designer pantyhose. 

And the women who buy them.

If you are a woman reading this, and still doubt the power of pantyhose, buy a pair and see how you look in front of a mirror. How they make you feel. Notice the attention you receive in public.

The argument: that clothing is sexy because worn by sexy women. But not with pantyhose, or at least not completely. Pantyhose add at least 10% to a woman’s attractiveness level. Physically, plus they signify something. About a woman’s personality. 

The teasing-ness. The confidence in knowing she is showing off her legs.

Young women embracing hosiery, wearing tights: colored and/or black (mmm, black) with a little ‘streetwalker chic’ thrown in in the form of fishnet tights. I am all for this, though I fear they would just say they are trying to look ‘nice?’

My favorite mens magazine, back when men’s magazines were a real financial option (i.e. before the internet really took off) was Leg Show, originally edited for many years by Diane Hanson. Full disclosure: she was the first editor to ever buy a story of mine (later chosen for the Best American Erotica of 2004!). Diane was highly aware of men’s various hosiery/leg/foot fetishes, and in many editorials she talked about trying to balance readership demands between women in pantyhose, and women in old-school stockings and garterbelts. She always included some of each, plus women in ‘modern’ thigh highs, and different kinds of pantyhose (gusset vs. seamless for example). And, to appease the real foot fetishists, Diane would always include a couple photos in each pictorial of bare feet. Meaning, unfortunately, that the woman had to take the hosiery off. I always skipped those photos, pretending they didn’t exist.

The whole point of hosiery—ok, not the whole point, but an important one—is that a woman’s feet should be encased in nylon. I don’t necessarily have a foot fetish, I can’t just jack off to a picture of a woman’s feet like some guys, but feet are erotic. Or can be. I love to give women foot massages, mainly for the effect it has on them (i.e. they tend to lose complete control) and kissing and worshipping of the feet is part of this. So, ok, I guess I do have a foot fetish. But, I would kiss and worship every part of an attractive woman. And have. Still, anyways, those tights American Apparel sells? The footless ‘leotard chic’ ones? They’re less, though still, sexy. But ballerinas in leotards and tights? Fucking hot.

I even like bare feet: I go barefoot all the time and would love a girlfriend into the barefoot lifestyle. Thus, more guilt.

Should I should mention yoga pants and/or leggings here? They have kind of the same effect, and at least right now, as of this writing, women are wearing yoga pants out and about instead of, say, tight jeans. Which I understand—they’re more comfortable. But goddamn are they sexy too, because tight (and usually black and mysterious) and anything tight is good, though the emphasis is less on the legs than the ass. Surely women must be aware of this. Surely they don’t wear yoga pants purely because they’re comfortable. Otherwise they’d just wear sweatpants?

En France, pantyhose and tights are ‘des collants.’ ‘Collant’ means ‘tight’. Sometimes ‘bas culotte’—literally ‘panty stockings’. Thigh-high stockings? ‘Les bas à la cuisse’ or ‘bas pour jarretelle’ (jarretelle = garter belt).

A French woman invited me to bed (as they are wont to do) and took off her jeans to reveal black pantyhose underneath. She only wore them for an extra layer in cold weather, but mon dieu, I basically attacked her.

Surely my love for hosiery must be related to my love of superhero comic books when I was younger, both in my desire for a world in which strong smart athletic women go around wearing tight body suits all the time, and in seeing ‘men in tights.’

Pantyhose signifying different things to different people, especially depending on gender, but also sexual orientation, age, and location. Also, race, class and religion.

Another long-distance relationship girlfriend, N., up in Minneapolis, normally a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, getting ready for her symphony rehearsal, walks out of her bedroom in just blue tights, and even though we had sex earlier, I immediately grab and kiss and touch her, telling her how hot she looks. Though we’re running late, she lets me pick her up and carry her back to her bed, where, with her legs on my shoulders, I pull the tights up just enough to fuck her. Uncharacteristically (I swear), I last about five seconds. She seems strangely satisfied and amused about this.

I’m not even advocating high heels. I know they’re horribly bad for feet, though I know too how sexy they feel, but, and I know some men (and women) will disagree, women wearing ‘flats’ are just as sexy. With hosiery.

My Winter in Salamanca, Spain, where all the teen girls seemed to be wearing mini-faldas with pantyhose and hiking boots. As if, yes, I enjoy dressing sexy for you, but if you treat me badly I’ll kick you in the balls.

En America del Sur, pantyhose/tights are ‘pantimedias.’ En España, ‘pantis’ or ‘pantys,’ while panties are ‘bragas.’ Stockings are ‘medias’ in both places.

My attraction to K., another girlfriend, was that she wasn’t a high maintenance woman—we’d met working at a National Park—and she generally just wore jeans, or shorts, and holes in her underwear were not uncommon. She just didn’t really understand my thing for hosiery, though nonetheless we did talk about sex, and share fantasies. Or rather, I did, since she claimed she didn’t have any (?!), and always accused me of being too much in my head, and not in my body. Which was true: eroticism, to me, is in the mind. Or at least a mix of mind and body. She was all body though. Still, one time—we would break up and I would move out soon thereafter—I bought her some Victoria’s Secret pantyhose and she wore them for me, even taking me up on my request to sit on my face. Our incompatibility with sex a manifestation of our incompatibility in general. Or, her medical problems and bi-polarism not compatible with my depression and fear of intimacy. But, talking on the phone with her a little later, maybe trying to appeal to me one last time, she said, ‘You know, I actually kind of liked wearing those pantyhose and sitting on your face that time. I liked feeling your warm breath through the material on my pussy.’

My fear of intimacy: are pantyhose a way to keep a barrier between me and a woman? And/or, especially in wearing them, are they a ‘safe’ way for me to be close to a woman?

For an unusually long time, in Union Station, downtown Chicago, there was a larger-than-life picture/advertisement (it took up a whole section of wall, like 10 by 20) for Shear Energy (or L’eggs?) pantyhose in the waiting room: a woman wearing nothing but white pantyhose. Just her, no furniture, white background, sitting at an angle with her arms crossed over her knees so as to cover her breasts, with her legs stretching off to the right, staring directly at the camera, so that no matter where you were in the waiting room, she was staring at you. At me. Red toenail polish. I sat in a chair right in front of her, the room crowded, though no one but me seemed to even notice her.

That picture was there for years, if not decades: I first saw her when I was around twenty-five, so mid-90s, and her hairstyle was from the 80s. She was still there when I was in my thirties. My theory is that whoever was in charge of that waiting room was a pantyhose lover too, and just kept her there—I doubt Sheer Energy paid to keep her up. If so, you’d think they’d update the model every few years. I looked forward to seeing her every time I traveled through, which wasn’t that often, though I’m still amazed an advertisement like that would even be permitted in public. Maybe in New York City, or Europe, but the Midwest? I can’t help think she was finally taken down because of a complaint, though maybe not. Maybe someone just finally realized they weren’t making any money off that wall space. But she was, finally, gone. I still look for her.

Mather Schneider

Bologna and Grasshopper Sandwiches

In Hermosillo, I get Natalia out of bed and up on her feet with her crutches, and we drive over to Alameda’s house. We try to talk everybody into going to the beach at Kino Bay. It’s an hour drive. But Alameda doesn’t want to go, Adriana doesn’t want to go, nobody wants to go. Well little Leo wants to go. Ok now Alameda wants to go, just let her paint her nails first and call her boyfriend. Can you pick up Pablo? Sure I can pick up Pablo. If Alameda wants to go, then Adriana wants to go too. Now Suegro wants to go. He hasn’t been to the beach in 30 years. 

An hour later we are on the road with a minivan full. Blue skies, music on the radio, chorro of Spanish chatter.  

Halfway to Kino Bay we stop at a small store in a pueblo called “The 12.” Everyone’s thirsty. Everyone gets out and I stand in the sun and smoke a cigarette. This is a dusty town of rocks and poverty. A tiny Indian walks barefoot through the shattered glass and stands squinting at me with delirious drunken eyes. I give him a dollar. He never stops staring at me as he takes it and I turn away like from some boogie man in a dream.

When everybody gets back with their Gatorades and lime-chile peanuts, the car won’t start. It just turns over and turns over.

  “Start, start, start!” 

“It’s the battery!”

“It ain’t the fucking battery!”

I pop the hood and 3 Mexican guys appear out of nowhere. They dive in, arguing and checking things. The consensus is it’s the fuel pump. The fuel pump’s gone fucked itself. Well what now? It’s Sunday, no mechanic is open here. Somebody phones Arturo my brother-in-law and Arturo calls Cacharpas, the mechanic in the family. They say they’ll get the part and come on out from Hermosillo.

And we wait.

The girls fan themselves and text on their phones, but they don’t complain. Me and Suegro stand in the shade of the little store. At least 4 young Mexican kids have washed the car windows with their squirt bottles. 

There’s a taco stand across the road with green plastic chairs. We trudge over. The taco lady doesn’t want to stand up but finally she does. She ladles out a plate of greasy pork covered in flies, corn tortillas, bottled orange sodas. I ask her for a fork and she looks at me and walks away. We scoop the meat up with our hands, choke down the tacos. Everything smells like urine. A drunk sprawls on the sidewalk, arms outstretched, more sun-burnt than Jesus ever was. People step over him like a rotten banana peel. A truck crashes into a utility pole 20-feet away. We jump and watch the smoke billow from beneath the hood. Two drunk men fall out of the truck cussing at each other. 

Suegro says, “This is a town without law.”

In an hour Arturo and Cacharpas arrive. They’ve brought Cacharpas’s wife, Alma, and their 2 boys, Santiago and Chato. They’ve also brought a cooler full of beer. We push the car over to a shady spot on the edge of a vacant lot. Cacharpas checks under the car and shit god dammit they’ve brought the wrong kind of water pump. 

“I told you,” Arturo says.

“You didn’t tell me nothing!” Cacharpas says. 

They have to go back to Hermosillo and pray the auto store is still open. 

Another 2 hour wait. 

Alma and the kids stay. We drink beers and play Frisbee in the rocks and broken glass of the vacant lot. I’ve brought the Frisbee. They call it a “platillo volador” which is another name for a UFO. Alma has brought folding chairs and burritos. Natalia sits with Suegro and Alma, rubbing her knees, wondering if they will ever work right again. She smiles and waves. 

A little kid comes up to us. He’s selling fried grasshoppers. I buy a bag, eat a couple. Not bad. Better with salsa, Natalia tells me.

Arturo and Cacharpas get back with the new fuel pump. They’re drunk now and still arguing about who’s fault this whole thing is. 

“All I’m saying is we should have gone to Neto’s. Neto’s is cheaper,” Artura says. 

“Fuck Neto! Shut the fuck up!”

“Calm down, both of you,” Alma says. “You sound like an old married couple.”

Cacharpas shakes his wrench at Alma and grins. He slides under the car on a piece of cardboard and sets to work bumping his head and beating on something. 

‘The god damned gas tank has to come off,” Cacharpas says from below.

“I told you,” Arturo says, and winks at me. 

The light leaves us. Arturo pulls his car up close and turns on the brights. Nobody watches the sunset, all eyes are trained on the mechanic working his magic. The gas tank comes down and he gets it out from underneath.

“Damn, it’s heavy, got to get that gas out of there. Give me the hose.”

Cacharpas sucks on the hose to get the gas flowing into a bucket.

“You gonna kiss Alma now?” Arturo says.

“Look at this gringo gas, it’s so clean! It looks like lemonade!”

They put the gas into Arturo’s car, he’s almost empty.

“Now the radio’s gonna play gringo music!”

Cacharpas wrestles with the new fuel pump. He’s got to get it on tight. He bitches and moans and laughs, makes jokes I don’t understand. 

“Where’s the last screw?”

Everybody walks around kicking the dirt looking for the lost screw in the dark. Natalia finds it! Arturo gets in behind the wheel, crosses himself and tries to start it.

“Start, start, start!”

It starts! Everyone cheers! Cacharpas the hero! 

I give Cacharpas some money and buy more beer and gas. Everybody climbs into the cars. I’m tired and drunk.  

“Follow me, Mateo,” Arturo says.

He heads for Kino Bay. I let the tide take me, my eyes bleary in the oncoming headlights. 

45 minutes later we roll into the fishing village of Kino Bay. Everything is quiet and dark. The restaurant where we had planned to eat crab tostadas is closed. One small store is still open. Alma and Natalia buy bologna and bread and crackers and cream cheese, which they simply call “Philadelphia.” 

We walk down to the beach. The sand is warm when we take off our shoes. The heavy humid breeze brings the slush of the surf. Stars like white beans scattered with a broom.    

The kids jump in the water like goofy mer-brats. They splash and shriek with their t-shirts on. I toss the Frisbee to them. It glows in the dark. 

The women make bologna and grasshopper sandwiches and pass them around.

“Kino Bay has changed since I was a boy,” Suegro says. “Everything’s changed.”

“Was it more beautiful then?” Natalia says.

“Yes.”

“What was it like back then, Suegro?” I say.

“It was empty. There wasn’t nothing. I saw a UFO right here on this spot.”

“How old were you, Apa?” Natalia says.

“Seven or eight,” he says. “Like those kids there. I was with my brother Isidro. Isidro was a year younger. It came from way out in the ocean. It was shaped like a disc and it was very bright. It moved toward us and it hovered in the air over our heads. It was completely silent and made no wind. It was too bright to look straight into. We had to shield our eyes. The lights were blue and white. Then it flew up into the sky, and got smaller and smaller.”

Suegro’s brother Isidro died last week. I never met him. Nobody talks about him. There was no funeral or service. Somebody called Suegro and told him that his brother had died. That’s all we know.   

“Then it disappeared,” Suegro says, “over there.”

He points to the southwest. 

We turn our heads and look to where he points. Suegro wipes his eyes with his red handkerchief.

“Don’t cry, Apa,” Natalia says, putting her arm around his shoulders.

“No, Mija,” he says. 

We are quiet and sit like that for a while, staring at the night sky, wondering what’s out there, listening to the children scream and splash in the water, making our secret wishes, until it is time to go home. 

El Bastardo

The Donkey Show Family Fun Hour

I remember the days when I was young.

The days seemed to last forever and I was a young Bastardo and the world was run by real men like El Presidente Bill Clinton. A man who can blow his own horn is a man who stands apart from many.

The economy was good and the senoritas truly understood how to appreciate good sexual harassment, unlike these closet lesbians of today.

My nipples tingle at the thought of wrestling Harvey Weinstein into submission; what a sexy woman he truly is. If I was in the cinema you wouldn’t hear me complain over sitting on the casting couch.

Now the world is run by spoiled orange hair grandpas who compliment their own daughters’ tits. Of course, even Satan himself has some good qualities.

It is a strange world, much like the pussy fart; it is a humorous mystery that can often make you lose your hardito.

But enough with the foreplay, gringos.

I remember the good old days when the donkeys ran free and the senoritas were nervous. The party was fueled by good cocaine and men were celebrated for being the natural bastards we truly are.

Before the new era of the reincarnated Hitler minus the fabulous fashion sense and before shitty bands like Nickelback were allowed to make the same shitty album over and over again.

They could truly ruin the best and most beautiful scene ever.

Two lesbianos kissing in the wild.

How I wish I was like Hemingway back on safari in the savage lands of Canada.

Oh well, it seems the good times have truly left us for good.

But Hope is always there.

She works mainly on Saturdays at the Hot Seat gentleman’s club.

You have not lived till you have had a lap dance to a Celine Dion song; it is a little slice of heaven that makes me want to cry every time.

Once is a little awkward but does not worry me, for everyone knows that strippers are only half human anyway, silly boys.

And if upon reading this you are insulted in any way…

Just remember this is a joke.

Much like politics and the evening news, it all went to hell a very long time ago.

Olé,

Bastardo

Leah Mueller

Confessions of a Phone Slut

If you drop out of college before you turn 20, you might end up selling sex for a living.

At least, this was true in 1979, before the internet was a prayer inside the testicles of porn entrepreneurs. Jerking off to glossy images was a man’s sovereign right. No one wondered whether the models were oppressed while off-camera.

Magnates like Hugh Hefner tried to make his Playmates seem more human by including lists of their turn-ons and turn-offs. In painstaking balloon handwriting, young women detailed such howl-inducing faults as “Men who are dirty and loud” and “stuck-up people.” No one stopped to wonder if these descriptions fit them.

Instead, guys turned up their stereos and cranked tunes like “Imaginary Lover” as they worked themselves over. Afterwards, they drove around Chicago in their Gremlins and Pacers, looking for hot pickup action in the streets.

Chicago, before the dawn of the AIDS crisis. I worked on Howard Street on the second floor of a porn sweatshop called TRA. The acronym stood for exactly nothing. Mike, the owner, just liked the way the letters looked together.

Eventually, Mike made up an ersatz female CEO for his company, a woman called Tracey. In his irritating nasal voice, he painstakingly coached me. “You must always say, “Hello, this is Tracey, what ad are you answering? If I ever find out you’re saying something else, there will be hell to pay.”

Mike placed ads in publications ranging from Playboy to the Chicago Reader. Our boss’ daily amphetamine dosage made him dream big. TRA became so popular that he drilled holes in the wall and ran additional phone lines into the building. Employees labored at mismatched desks, scooping up receivers seconds after our phones jangled.

Our crew sold lists of swingers for $25.00, women who “liked to travel to meet sexy friends.” The process of extracting callers’ home addresses proved surprisingly easy. Men with dicks in their hands seemed eager to believe that beautiful females would travel hundreds of miles to meet strangers.

I imagined their thought process. “Oh, here’s one in Iowa City. She can jump in her car and be at my place in four hours. I’ll just give her a call, tell her I’m ready.”

Mike kept hiring new women to work the phones. He hovered over us, alternately praising and criticizing our sales tactics. Each captured address netted a $2.00 bonus. This, on top of our $3.00 hourly wage, added up to a decent weekly paycheck.

No one owned a credit card, so sales were done via COD. When the postal clerk arrived, a caller’s ardor was long spent, and he’d say, “No, I don’t want this envelope. I don’t even know who ordered it. Not me. Get it the hell out of here.” But sometimes curiosity and lust prevailed, and the stupid fucker shelled out $25.00 for a worthless list of disconnected phone numbers.

As soon as Mike left the building, the fun began. Phone protocol flew out the window. My best friend Astrid was the worst of the lot. “We have hundreds of Swedish women who like to tap-dance on your floor and braid their pussy hair into tiny dolls!” she’d say brightly. Half the time, she ended up making a sale.

My co-workers and I dug inside filing cabinets and unearthed hardcore kink. I felt both horrified and titillated as I gazed at photos of sad-looking women with mousetraps hanging from their nipples.

One night, I discovered several stacks of newsletters, all written by men with saddle shoe fetishes. Deranged souls loved to share stories about jerking off while fantasizing about pleated skirts and bobby socks. I didn’t want to imagine them washing out the shoes afterwards, but how could I not?

I’d spent my adolescence in the rural Midwest, surrounded by jocks and farmers, so I should have known how fucked up men were. I avoided jocks, preferring the company of mordant intellectuals. My boyfriend Mark was a philosophy major at Eastern Illinois University. We ran away to Chicago together, and he scored a job in a bookstore. I cycled through a series of ill-fated waitress jobs, until I finally landed the porn house gig.

My shifts lasted eight hours and often seemed interminable. Men called Tracey all night long, demanding to know how they could meet sexy friends. Phone sex for hire didn’t exist yet. The clever fellows had figured out how to get it for nothing.

A particularly terrifying man called every weekend. “I’m using a vacuum cleaner on my dick.” His voice sounded timid, almost inaudible. Perhaps the powerful machine had sucked all the air from his body. I could hear a mechanized whooshing sound in the background.

“What, is it really dirty?” one of us always guffawed.

“Yes,” he replied. “Very dirty. I’ve been so bad.”

Another fellow called nearly as often, demanding that Tracey forgo her evening’s duties and come to his home for a foursome. He played a cheesy porn tape in the background while we discussed the benefits of obtaining Tracey’s list. The two actors shrieked and moaned. Every so often, the caller turned his head away from the receiver and hollered, “Would you please be QUIET? I’m on the phone!”

The Phone Sluts all had imaginary boyfriends, guys who called and asked to speak directly to us. We employed clever monikers; false names so far removed from our real ones that no one could ever figure out who we were.

My Phone Slut name was Melissa. Over time, I acquired a coterie of male admirers. I attracted brainy guys who wanted to discuss cinema and literature. They didn’t jerk off until after our conversations had ended. It was polite of them.

Though Mike had forbidden us to meet in-person with our phone boyfriends, several of us flaunted his authority and did exactly that. The Phone Sluts played a dangerous game, but it was 1979 and we felt invincible.

One night I picked up the phone and heard a low, soothing voice. Its cadence sounded almost familiar. “I’d like to meet women who are into oral sex and light bondage.” A couple of drunk men chuckled in the background. One of them dropped a bottle on the floor and cursed.

“Only light bondage?” I replied. “What are you, a wimp?”

The caller laughed. “Nothing sexier than a sense of humor. Actually, I just made that up. My name’s Paul. Tell me something about yourself.”

A week later, he called again. “Melissa, it’s Paul on the line,” one of the Phone Sluts said, giggling.

“Oh shit, he’s a goddamn alcoholic,” I said. “I don’t want to talk to him.”

I accepted the receiver anyway. A week later, Paul became my boyfriend. Mark and I had drifted apart. We didn’t have much to say to each other anymore. The porn job had turned me from a naïve girl into a cynical, angry bitch.

My new boyfriend wore a black leather jacket and owned a Fender Stratocaster. He drank quarts of beer and played scorching blues riffs, using his toilet paper spindle as a slide. Paul wasn’t an intellectual like Mark but could be quite entertaining when he wasn’t in the middle of a blackout.

Though Paul had met me via the porn house, he exhibited an inordinate amount of jealousy towards my imaginary phone boyfriends. He insisted I quit but had nothing to offer as an alternative. If I wanted to keep my independence, I needed to hold on to my sleazy gig for as long as possible.

I worked the night shift, from 5:00 PM until long past midnight. After continued practice, I developed a brisk, business-like style, one geared to attract high bonuses. My co-workers’ phone romances blossomed and developed cartoonish dimensions. Though I felt more than a bit jealous, I had my hands full with Paul.

The phone room drew a young crowd. We either rented cheap studio apartments or shared cockroach-infested flats with roommates. One of the employees, Mary, was in her mid-forties. She lived with her cop husband, a man so addled that he often called the phone room, threatening to use his vast network of police connections to shut the place down.

Mary was the most promiscuous Phone Slut of the lot. Men liked her even more than Tracey. Her phone jangled several times every night. Breathless male voices whispered, “Is Mary there?” as if they were high school boys calling an unattainable prom queen.

Mary’s favorite paramour was a man named Buddy. He called almost every evening and promised eternal love and the contents of his bank account. Buddy owned a successful gas station in rural Alabama. He adored Mary and wanted desperately to meet her. The poor man proclaimed his ardor in a loud, fervent voice, as we all covered our mouths and tried our hardest not to laugh.

There was something poignant about Buddy’s love. Also, the routine entertained us so much that we didn’t want to hasten its ending. Mary sometimes wondered whether she should egg him on, but her only other option was to go home and listen to torrents of abuse. Who could blame her for preferring a fantasy?

One night, at the end of an especially long shift, Mary’s phone rang. Without thinking, I scooped up the receiver. “Hi, this is Tracey.” My mechanical voice seemed to emanate from the other end of the room. “What ad are you answering?’

Buddy’s thick twang assaulted my eardrums. “Please, can I speak to Miss Mary?”

I thrust the receiver in my co-worker’s direction, but she shook her head. Sensing her distress, I covered the mouthpiece with one hand. “What’s wrong?” I hissed.

Mary buried her face in her palms. “I just can’t do this anymore. He bought a plane ticket and plans to come see me in Chicago next week. I don’t have the heart to say I won’t be there to pick him up at the airport. Tell him I quit or something.”

I removed my hand from the mouthpiece. “I’m sorry, Buddy,” I said, without skipping a beat. “Mary left town. We’re not sure where she went. She hasn’t been here for three days.”

Buddy emitted a low, shuddering gasp. “Oh no. Does anybody know where she lives?”

“I’m afraid not, Buddy. It’s a complete mystery. None of us really knew her.” I gazed around the phone room and noticed that several of my co-workers had collapsed on their desks, shoulders heaving with laughter. Astrid tittered, then cupped her fingers around her mouth so she wouldn’t completely lose it.

Buddy burst into noisy tears. “Oh no,” he gasped. “That’s terrible. I loved her so much. I was going to marry her next week. How could she do something like this?”

I needed to say something to ease the guy’s pain. Reaching onto Mary’s desk, I jostled a disheveled stack of porn magazines. “Wait, I just found a note.” I rustled the pages again. “It says, “To Buddy, from Mary. Hang on, let me open it.”

Buddy emitted another sob, then fell silent. “Dear Buddy,” I continued. “I am so sorry, but I cannot be with you, or with anyone. I will always love you and treasure our conversations. With my deepest love, Mary.”

The crescendo of Buddy’s sobs increased. He cried hard for a couple of minutes, stopping occasionally to catch his breath. Finally, he said, “It’s okay. I don’t know why she did this, but I still love her.”

“We don’t know either,” I intoned. “At least she left a note.”

Buddy sniffled. “Well, thanks for your help. Let me know if you hear from her. Please.”

“I certainly will. If you don’t mind, I have to go now. I’m sorry, Buddy.” I pulled the receiver from my ear and prepared to return it to its cradle.

“Wait!” Buddy cried. “I have one more question.”

I was willing to do anything to offer succor to the pathetic, deluded man. “Sure, Buddy. Go ahead.”

“What’s YOUR name?”

My job couldn’t possibly last much longer. A few weeks later, I called my boss a pimp. He told me to get the fuck out of the building, or he’d call the cops and have me arrested. Astrid grabbed her purse and quit out of solidarity. “Mike’s got some really bad karma coming to him,” she said as we fled down the long flight of stairs towards the street.

“The sooner the better,” I agreed.

Paul and I sputtered along for two years, but his drunken escapades became increasingly violent. The two of us split up on a frigid November night, and I ran barefoot to the local YMCA. Eventually, he suffered a complete breakdown and went to live with his fundamentalist Christian parents in Wisconsin.

Mike sold his business and became a fervent anti-porn crusader. I ran into him four years later on Michigan Avenue. He spotted me from a block away and dashed in my direction. I’d scored a short-term job as a horse-drawn carriage driver. As I stood on the sidewalk, shivering in my cheap overcoat and top hat, he threw his arms around me and said, “Thank you for being honest.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked, puzzled.

“You were the one person brave enough to call that place what it was. A porn house. I hated hearing you say that, but you were right. It was a filthy, horrible, disgusting business, and I’m glad to be rid of it. Thank you.”

Several years later, Mike vanished from the face of the earth. He disappeared without even leaving an electronic paper trail. Only the building on Howard Street remains, with its long stairway leading up to the office where Phone Sluts once labored over rotary phones.

Of course, the phones and the sluts aren’t there anymore. Most porn is online. People meet on Tinder and Grindr, or they watch flickering, naked images on pockmarked computer screens. So much has been lost to convenience. The porn of the 70s possessed a certain organic innocence that can never be regained.

Maybe I’ve just gotten old and moved backwards into feeble romanticism. I hope Mary divorced her shithead husband. I hope Buddy eventually found the love he wanted so much. That’s the least any of us deserve. We’re either searching for sex and calling it love or searching for love and calling it sex. In that respect, nothing has changed at all.