Wednesday, February 29, 2012


"No," she said. "Hand me that pillow."

He wanted her in the bedroom. From the moment he'd heard her car pull up he'd been hard. She'd pressed herself against him as soon as the front door shut, greeted his kisses open-mouthed. But when he'd tried to lead her down the hall to his bed, she'd resisted.

Women delay sometimes, even ones who want you. But for her, it wasn't normal. She was so submissive, so seemingly enthralled by his every touch. Up until this moment, taking the lead with her had been as natural as it was new to him. Had he made a wrong move?

He looked at her quizzically, searching for signs of annoyance. "The pillow," she repeated, jerking her head towards the couch at his back. He handed it to her. "Thanks," she said, dropping it by his feet and sinking to her knees. His belt buckle was undone before he'd fully grasped the situation. He leaned his back against the door. No reason to resist. His zipper was undone and his boxers down with the same speed he'd planned to use to pull off her dress. She gripped the base of his cock.

He looked down at her and she smiled, licking her lips. "Look," she said, gesturing with her chin. His entry-way mirror reflected them, her mouth opening to take him in, her eyes glinting at him mischievously.

He watched as she ran her tongue around the head of his cock. Then he closed his eyes as her mouth engulfed him.  He felt her gag against him, and then the flow of spit erasing the slight roughness of her tongue. Her muffled groan made him throb. "I've got no technique," she'd told him once.

"I'd choose enthusiasm over technique, any day," he'd answered. Her mouth sucked and slobbered, licked and thrust. Her hand spread slickness around his balls and the base of his shaft. It was impossible to know exactly what she was doing. He opened his eyes again to check the mirror, but her hair obscured most of her face. Instead, he saw how her whole body was shifting up and down as her mouth moved, as if she were fucking someone underneath her.

Some random words escaped him and his hands instinctively went to her head to guide her. Her wet hands grabbed his as soon as he touched her hair, and he let her push them back against the door. She was using him as a brace, pulling herself into a intelligible rhythm. The incongruity of her position struck him wordlessly, her fierceness as she knelt in front of him, gagging and drooling and moaning over and over. And then he thought nothing as her hands moved to grab his ass and thrust him into her, his hands gripping her hair in helpless need for control. His orgasm surged through him. Her mouth licked and sucked and swallowed him as his body pulsed and shook.

The door dug into his back. Her mouth was in front of him, so he kissed it, tasting the slight bitterness of his come. "Want to go in the bedroom?" she asked. He followed her.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Crushing Out

I've had the kind of crush where I'm always scanning the crowd for her. The kind of crush that makes my heart  founder and my face flush when I see her walk into the room. If I talk to that kind of crush, I can barely meet her eyes. Even if we're good friends, I'm half-afraid the whole time that she might see how much i like her.

I've had the kind of crush that's mostly misery. Where I want him all the time, even when we're together, even when we're fucking, always wanting more. The kind of crush that makes me stalk his blog comments and google his name repeatedly. Those crushes have woken me in the night, heart racing, thinking I might have missed his call, as if that would be an irredeemable loss.

A few lucky times I've had the kind of crush that make the world brighter. When I think of her, I feel relief, like the sun's come out on a cool day. There's desire in there, but it's mixed with peace. See me smiling dreamily? She crossed my mind and there's nothing else I need to make this moment perfect.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lube and Orgasms

If you are in Austin, come see Orgasm, Inc. next Wednesday! You have to reserve your ticket in advance at

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ramble about Wrongness

The previous post was hard for me. It was hard to formulate what was going on in my mind, and painful to write down.

I really hoped that publishing the story would help me dispel some of the lingering shame I feel. A lot of times, blogging has worked that way for me. I post something, and I feel free. It lightens me just to put it out there, and when people comment saying it resonates I feel almost celebratory with relief.

Instead, I've felt scared, naked, and hideously self conscious. I thought about taking it down. I'm pretty sure that would just make me feel worse. I don't want to hide. I don't want to feel that I have to hide. I believe I have nothing to be ashamed of, and I don't want to coddle my irrational feeling of shame.

I asked a friend to read it. "What did you think?" I asked. He said he couldn't tell if it was consensual. He wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a happy story or not. He was uncomfortable. I concluded the story must need editing. It should be clear--starkly clear--that my stepfather's actions were the cruelest kind of abuse: the kind that presents itself as love.

I sat down to edit the story tonight. I can't see where to add a line, a word, a paragraph that explains. I don't want to make that story an educational piece for those unfamiliar with the various dynamics of sexual abuse. I'm surprised to think I might need to.

I guess that's a good sign for my own healing. To me, at least, there's nothing ambiguous about a grownup man in a position of trust having sex with his teenage stepdaughter. It's destructive. It's wrong. But for those it's not so obvious to, here is a list of a few of the things Howard's charade of love cost me:

Having a father figure I could rely on
The opportunity to develop sexually on my own time line
Trust of, intimacy with, and respect for my mother
A sense of safety in my own home and bed
The ability to be honest with my peers
Access to mental health care (because revealing my situation would mean his arrest)
The ability to connect with others physically
The ability to feel sexual pleasure

I've won a great number of these back, through hard work and with the loving patience of friends. As I said in the original post, I don't generally feel the need to think or talk about this part of my history very often. For the most part, I've moved on.

For the most part. Because I clearly felt the need to write Red Tide. And I needed, just as much, to hear from friends and readers that they understood my story.

As a young girl, I took the shame and horror and fear of that experience and turned it in on myself. I felt shameful, disgusting, and tainted. I was hoping sharing the story would help dispel the last of those feelings.  It hasn't so far, but I'm still hoping.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Tide

Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon also known as an algal bloom, an event in which algae accumulate rapidly in the water column resulting in discoloration of the surface water. Toxicity varies.

I should post a warning. The following contains graphic scenes of …

Fuck it. Take your chances. This is non-fiction. The sensitive should abstain.


Last week, I went to the urologist. That’s too much information already, isn’t it? Bear with me. It gets worse.

I went to the urologist for a vague complaint my doctor felt needed further investigation. I had my period, and cramps, and almost cancelled. The doctor was booked out a month in advance, though, and I thought I’d better just go and get it over with.

After handing in a urine sample, the nurse told me I needed to undress for a pelvic exam. “I have my period,” I told her and she shook her head with a motherly smile.

“The doctor doesn’t mind. He won’t be using a speculum. Just hop up on the table and it will be over in a jiff.”

“I have a tampon in,” I told her. I was embarrassed. Mortified, actually.

“You can just toss that out. I think I have some more here in this drawer.” She pulled out a monster sized Tampax with a triumphant flourish, laid an absorbent white paper cloth over the end of the table, and left me to it.

I pulled out my tampon and wrapped it in paper towels. Blood soaked through them instantly. I shoved the bundle deep into their trash can. There was a drop of blood on the floor. I did my best to wipe it up with a tissue. I got up on the table before pulling off my panties the rest of the way, and wadded them up behind me for security.

The doctor was knocking before I’d finished pulling the sheet over me. The nurse came in with him, standing over me comfortingly as I lay back and put my feet in the stirrups. The doctor’s gloved finger entered me easily and felt around. He pulled out less carefully than he’d entered, and it hurt my sore insides. I caught a glimpse of his bloody glove before he deftly turned it inside out and threw it away. Probably the whole exam took 30 seconds.

The nurse put out a box of baby wipes as she left the room. There was less mess than I’d feared, though the trash can held gaudy splotches of red. I got dressed. “Come back in two weeks to discuss your test results,” the doctor told me.

These details are not relevant: I drove to work only to find I’d soaked through the giant tampon and pad. I drove home again to change my pants. I spent the rest of the day in bed with cramps.

This one is: I’ve been dreading going back next week. I don’t want to see that man again.


It came to me in the shower last night: The memory of my stepfather’s face, painted red with my menses.

I was 15. I can’t recall how it happened that my mother didn’t come along on our weekend trip to Cape Cod. Howard had arranged it somehow, engineered her disappointment and my delight. We'd daydreamed of going away together. I wanted losing my virginity to be special, not furtive. When we arrived at the converted mansion that was to be our hotel, we checked in as honeymooners.

We stashed our luggage in the antiques-filled room and headed out for an early dinner. When we got back to the room, with plans for massages and a movie and... that act...  my period started, days early. It was even heavier then than it is now, and the cramps were unbearable. Advil didn’t touch it. Howard went to down to the bar and then out to a liquor store to find me Kaluha and a box of milk. He put his warm hands on my stomach and hummed songs for me until I was able to relax again. Was I happy to be there with him, I wonder? I can’t remember any feeling beyond the physical.

He'd been waiting for this night. For my finally being willing to let him inside me. I wanted him to do it, because he’d done it before. He talked about being gentle. He had theories about technique. And I wanted it done, so I wouldn’t have worry anymore about his satisfaction with our sexual encounters. In my mind, having sex meant I'd be freed from obligations. I wouldn’t have to handle that throbbing, purple-tipped protuberance that seemed to always need satisfaction. I wouldn’t have to look at it, or to feel its too-thin-skinned smoothness against my tongue. With intercourse he could hide it inside me, and take his pleasure while I closed my eyes and tried to smile.

Both of us thus eager, we waited for the Advil and Tylenol and alcohol to do their work. When I began to relax, Howard brought towels from the bathroom to put underneath me, and smoothly pulled down my underwear and red-sodden pad. I was propped on down pillows against a carved, Art Deco headboard. The musky smell of my blood was thick in my nose. Howard licked me. Looking up, lips grotesquely red, he told me he liked the way I tasted. “The towels,” I said. “The hotel-”.

“They’re used to it,” he told me, and went back to lapping against my clit. He pressed his little finger into me slowly. “Now I know why they call it a flow,” he said. "It looks like a river." He was smiling delightedly, face covered in gore.

He finally wiped his face and arranged his body over me. His first thrust slipped up against my belly. His second felt like he’d hit a wall inside me. The third, knife-like, penetrated. He held me tightly as he thrust. Our stomachs slid wetly, sticky with blood and his sweat.

Afterwards, wiped clean again, my wounded body bundled back into layers of padded underwear, Howard pulled my head onto his shoulder. “How do you feel?” he asked.

“Fine,” I told him. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want him touching me. I thought of the mound of bloody towels and washcloths on the bathroom floor.

“It’s normal, you know,” he told me, “For a girl to feel upset after her first time. Angry, even.” I felt disgust, for our bodies, for the act, and most of all for myself. I wanted to sleep in the other bed, despite the soiled sheets. I didn’t want to be weak. I didn’t want to cry and let him think this moment meant something.

“I’m not mad,” I said, and kissed his cheek.


The next day over breakfast the hotel gave us sad news. A red tide had come in, and it was not safe to swim. There were dead fish along the shore, and it smelled of rot. We walked through the village, every quaint New England building filled with tasteless tee shirts and sea shell art for sale. Howard bought me a pair of cheap sunglasses and we ate dinner at one of those old-fashioned seafood and steak places where there are never any surprises.


All this came back to me in the shower, a composite flash of memory and the clear congruence of images: his red lips, the doctor’s bloodied glove. I hadn't told anyone about that trip. I hadn't thought of the disgust I felt, and how I sometimes feel it still.

I don’t live in the past. I’m not a victim or a cripple. I’ve paid my dues in therapy and bad relationships and tears. I’ve found my way to celebrate sexuality in myself and others. It’s just--every now and then--some moments creeps out of the past and demands to be seen again.

The doctor, though.... I don't think I'll be seeing him again. He can give me my diagnosis over the phone.