Much to everyone’s surprise, especially mine, I’ve become a suburban housewife.

When JD proposed, I accepted. I thought why the hell not, I’ve tried every other type of lifestyle. We have a little suburban house in a liberal college town. Now I decorate the yard according to the appropriate holiday, an inflatable turkey for Thanksgiving, enough Christmas lights to blind an airplane landing in the next city. We eat at Applebee’s on Friday nights. The bills get paid and I’ve finally found a brand of kitty litter/dishwashing liquid/paper towel that suits my busy modern lifestyle.

I know I’ve settled. JD weighs over 400 lbs and he’s not very interesting, but he’s nice. After a string of disastrous relationships, he seems stable and reliable. I’m not unattracted to him. He works two jobs, so he isn’t home much, and when he is, he’s watching sitcoms. I work 50 hours in an office and work on my nursing degree at night. We get along.

The logistics of having sex with JD are not complicated. The rare times we do have sex, I’m on top. It’s all very vanilla and perfunctory, especially considering that I wanted my last partner to hold a gun to my head while we fucked. I haven’t told JD very much about my past, sex-wise. When I try to, he says I’m not that person anymore and he doesn’t need to know.

One night after too many watery Margaritas from Chi Chi’s, JD says he has a confession. He asks me to turn the light off because he can’t even look at me while he tells me this. It’s been weighing on him, not telling me this.

Taking a deep breath, he tells me when his friend Jeff had his bachelor party, they all went to a strip club somewhere around Detroit,  then they went to an Asian massage parlor. There were prostitutes there, and he didn’t know that they were going to go. He swears. But they had a few beers first, he didn’t know what he was thinking, so he went in too. He confesses he got a blow job, but she put a condom on him before she blew him.

“That’s it?” I ask. “How long ago was this?”

“Eight years,” he stammers. He sits in silence waiting for my terrible judgement.

“That’s the single most interesting thing you’ve ever told me,” I say. “Let’s fuck.”

Manny literally lives on the wrong side of the tracks.

His is one of a dozen houses on a tiny unpaved cul-de-sac that butts up against the railway. He still lives with his parents, but so do I, we’re both in our early 20’s.

When we first started dating, he wouldn’t let me meet his family or even let me in the house. I showed up one day, unannounced to see what he was trying to hide from me. Now I’m part of the family. The faded red bench seat from a pickup truck in lieu of a sofa doesn’t faze me, nor does the stack of dirty dishes that seems to only get washed once every few months.  His mother, Rosie, has that thin, hard look of people that get up too early and work too hard. She’s missing all of her teeth, but says dentures hurt her mouth. Miguel, Manny’s dad, has dark tired eyes and a big beer belly. He has a thick Spanish accent that he likes to play up when he wants to pretend he doesn’t understand something.  He likes to tell me how pretty Rosie used to be, and that he fell for her because she was a “real party girl.” Now he complains about how lazy and ugly she is, but it’s mostly an act and they both know it.

It’s Saturday, party night. Miguel and Rosie throw a party almost every weekend, and lots of people always show up. Rosie calls to me from the bathroom. I go in, thinking she wants me to zip her dress up. The bathroom door is broken off, it leans against the kitchen wall. Instead a bed sheet is thumbtacked to the door frame, so I push it aside and go in.  Rosie’s reclined in the bathtub, naked. She asks me to hand her the shampoo then splays her legs open wide. I look away and hand her the  bottle, then leave. She yells something after me, but I don’t turn around. I don’t tell Manny. He hates hearing about shit like that. The first time his dad flashed me, I freaked out and cried, now I just ignore it. Continue reading

“I’m not done with you yet.”

Theo doesn’t dom much, but when he does, it’s with all the cool precision of a mad scientist. My ass is already covered in black and blue patches, red welts circle my breasts from all the little clamps. A silver chain dog leash is clipped to the black collar around my neck.

Theo goes out to the kitchen and returns with a big green apple. “Open,” he commands, tapping my chin. I obediently open wide.  He tells me to bite down on it and to hold there in my mouth. He takes out a new box of acupuncture needles and sets it on the bed.  I watch him open eight little packets, each containing one thin silver needle, lining them along the edge of the nightstand.  Theo binds my hands together then hands me a squeaky cat toy we’ve dubbed “The Safety Hedgehog,” instructing me to squeeze it if I’m in distress.

Theo takes the apple from my mouth, kisses me, then replaces it without a word. “Ready?” he asks, one eyebrow cocked. I nod. My palms are damp.  He  presses a corner of my lip tightly against the apple and my whole body tenses. I feel the sharp tip press my skin and I jump. The Safety Hedgehog squeaks in protest and Theo quickly takes the apple out of my mouth. “Are you okay?” he asks. I laugh, it was totally a reflex move.  I bite down on the apple again and nod at him to go ahead. Continue reading

It’s a Saturday morning in early October.

I’m sitting on a brown plaid couch at my boyfriend Gary’s house, but he isn’t here. My best friend, Amanda, is in the bedroom fucking Brett, Gary’s older brother. It’s not even noon and she already fucked a guy named Richie this morning.  It’s my freshman year of high school, she’s an 8th grader.

I flip through TV channels, cranking the volume to drown out the sounds from the bedroom. School photos line the living room walls. In every one, Gary’s big crooked brown glasses cast awkward shadows across his face. Brett is the handsome one. In his photos, he poses with trophies from track, football, tennis, as if coming in first was just his natural place in the world. His blue and white varsity jacket hangs off a chair, laden with medals.

I find something to watch, then doze off.  Amanda wakes me up by gently shaking my shoulder. Her moon face is flush and her ponytail has come undone. “Brett wants to talk to you,” she says, gesturing towards the bedroom. Brett is standing naked in the doorway. I’ve never seen a naked guy in real life before. He gently takes my hand and leads me towards the bed. I realize this is his parents room, unless he’s in the habit of wearing a pink bathrobe and smoking a pipe. I sit down on the corner of the bed, staring at him in disbelief. I ask him what he wanted to talk to me about. Brett laughs, then starts to unbutton my shirt. Continue reading