By Sara Dobie Bauer
Clare loved when Reid came to her sex toy shop, Captivations.
He was a bisexual, polyamorous stud, and he taught the best blow
job workshops in the US. Because he was a man, the process seemed
more respectable, as if he really knew what he was talking about.
And he did. She’d slept with him once: a research necessity
that aided in her career as a “Sex Geek.” He not only
knew blow jobs; Reid new all jobs and he always remembered her.
Then again, how many women had full arm sleeves, including a dragon
tattooed on the back of her neck? If anything, Angela was memorable.
She was also late for work.
“Shit, shit, shit.” She dropped her keys in a rush
to lock her Toyota in the parking lot off Mill Street, downtown
Tempe. She trotted in her all-black work uniform and red, satin
pumps and sprinted through the swinging glass doors of her place
of employment for the past three years.
In the back, she could see the crowd: at least fifty women, hungry
for Reid’s knowledge … and possibly parts of his anatomy.
Her boss gave her a “look,” and Angela mouthed the
words, “Sorry. I’m a fuck-head.”
“You’re never late for Reid, Angie,” Pyrha whispered
(not her real name).
“I know.” Angie gave Reid a wave, and he pointed at
her with a smile, mid-sentence, before he continued with, “Who
wants to learn how to deep throat?”
“Where were you?”
“Couldn’t find a parking spot.”
“As usual.” Pyrha rolled her green eyes and flipped
her over-colored red hair. She was a lesbian, super gay, and had
more metal in her face than most cars kept under the hood. “At
least you look hot.”
“I do?” Angie looked down at her ensemble: black skinny
jeans and a lacy black camisole that covered absolutely zero of
her copious ink.
“You gonna bang Reid again?”
“No. One time thing. Research. Couldn’t be avoided.”
The two women leaned their butts against the glass check-out counter
as Reid put a condom on a yellow dildo with nothing but his mouth.
“Can you do that?”
“Sure.” Angie nodded.
Something dropped to their left. Both women turned to see two
grown men in suits wrestling with anal beads.
“Don’t see that every day,” Pyrha muttered while
chewing a black-polished fingernail.
The shorter one with the shaved head giggled; Angie and Pyrha
shushed him in unison.
The other guy, a lanky ginger, raised his huge hand and mouthed,
“Sorry,” before loudly smacking his friend on the
back of his bald head.
The girls shushed them again.
The ginger raised his hands in defeat and dragged his buddy down
“Gay?” Pyrha whispered.
“Gay guys don’t wear suits on Saturday afternoons.
They’re also not embarrassed by anal beads.”
The sound of a display of vibrators knocking over received several
angry glares from women hoping to master their gag reflex.
“Really?” Angie hissed. She put her hand on Pyrha’s
arm as her boss tried to pass. “I’ll go. I’ve
heard Reid’s spiel before.”
She heard Pyrha say, “You’ve done more than that,”
as she walked away.
The shorter one, bald but attractive, was giggling again, and
she smelled remnants of whiskey even from where she stood, two
“Can I help you gentlemen?”
The ginger stood, and God, was he tall. She leaned her upper body
back and gave him a funny look.
“We’re very sorry to interrupt your …”
He pointed his finger toward the crowd of women. “Uh …”
“Blow job workshop.”
The ginger closed his dark blue eyes and said, “Right. Yes.
“Do you need help finding something?”
“Dude.” The shorter gent smacked the ginger on the
shoulder. “They have lingerie. I’m gonna check it
out.” Baldy disappeared around a stack of books about tantric
“Are you guys a couple?”
This made the ginger look down at the ground and shake his head.
“No. No. Look, it’s my friend’s bachelor party
tonight.” He gestured toward the ladies’ underwear.
“Not that idiot, but we all went to college together.”
“Uh, no, Yale, and I’m the best man, and I’m
not good at this.”
“Good at what?”
He held his hands out to her, palms up. “I need something
that would greatly, greatly embarrass the bachelor in public.”
Angie laughed into her hand in an effort to keep the noise down.
“I think we can make that happen.” She smiled up at
the gawky ginger, and he smiled back. “Is your buddy metro?
He seemed to consider this. “I think ‘manly’
might be the best of those choices. Much more manly than me.”
“Dude, you’re wearing Armani. There’s nothing
more manly than that.”
He raised red-blond eyebrows at her, seemingly shocked by her
“What’s your name?”
“Ben. Short for something humiliating.”
She laughed again. “Well, I’m Angie.” She reached
out her hand, and they shook in honor of newfound familiarity.
“I have just the thing for your manly pal.” She beckoned
him around a corner with a crooked finger.
Over the sound of Reid explaining the more intricate details of
the “69” position, Angie eyed the next aisle over.
She did a slow saunter, her eyes trailing over male enhancement
pills and plastic vaginas before she stopped suddenly, and Ben
ran into her.
“Sorry. Had a couple pints already.”
“That much …” she laid her hand on his forearm,
“is apparent, babe. Now. Here is what you need.” She
pulled a gigantic penis pump from a hook. “I mean, probably
not what you need personally. I’m guessing you’re
too tall to need one of these.”
“You don’t know what this is?” She handed it
to him. She watched him read the box, and the more his lips mouthed
the words, the more his eyebrows lowered until finally, he laughed.
Pyrha shushed from across the store.
“This is perfect,” he said. “You’re a
“I know my penis products.”
He chuckled and bit his bottom lip while looking at her, which
made her kind of want to bite it, too. “What are you doing
“I mean after that.”
“Dunno. What am I doing after that?”
He pointed the penis pump toward his compatriot, who, Angie noticed,
had a pair of women’s underwear on his head. “Would
you like to meet us out?”
“Why? Do you need a stripper?”
Ben’s face crinkled in horror. “No, I didn’t
…” He shook his head.
“Oh, my God, I’m kidding.”
His skin turned bright red.
“Oh, he’s blushing!” She reached her palm up
and touched his cheek. “You are so fucking cute. Yes, I
would love to meet you out. Give me your number.” She smiled,
surprised this gentlemanly geek could make her swoon when she
was so used to leather and bondage.
He shook his head, but he was smiling, too, as he reached into
his suit jacket and pulled out a crisp business card, which she,
of course, glanced over immediately.
“Ben Anthony. New York, huh?” She raised her eyebrows.
“And you’re an ‘esquire’?”
“Well. Um … I’d better buy … this.”
He nodded toward the box in his hand. “And stop my friend
from putting on a corset. But call me tonight. I’d like
to see you again.”
Her smile broadened, and she made a point of shoving his business
card into her bra. He gave her a single head bob and carried a
scented wave of aftershave behind him as he rescued his drunken
friend and headed for the cash register. Pyrha seemed annoyed
to have to work while Reid was talking, but Angie glowed with
the prospect of an unexpected sexual romp.
When she called at 10 PM, he said they were someplace called “Mellow
Mushroom” and the statues inside were “like a bad
acid trip—not that I’ve ever done acid, but you know,
like in the movies.”
Before turning off the Captivations store front lights (and saying
goodbye to a very disappointed Reid), Angie bought a black pleather
mini-skirt that matched her work shirt. She kept on her huge,
red pumps and gave Pyrha a peck on the cheek. Then, she stepped
out onto Mill Street, where college students from Arizona State
were already in full party mode. The sidewalks were packed with
kids waiting to get into crowded bars. Different songs vied for
attention from open doors, and a bouncer Angie slept with once
whistled when she walked by.
The air was warm—much too warm for April, and she knew the
next month would be even worse. At least there was a breeze, which
blew her black bob around her head in a halo and tickled the tops
of her ears.
Of course she knew how to find Mellow Mushroom—her favorite
pizza place within walking distance of her condo. She was strangely
thrilled at the idea of sleeping with Ben: an out-of-towner, which
meant no commitment, and a shy guy, which meant she would blow
his mind in bed.
As she stepped into the restaurant, the dining room was darkened
and empty, but the bar was in full swing. Someone yelled, “Angie!
Penis pump girl!” and she figured she’d found her
The bachelor waved his new gift around in the air to get her attention,
and she didn’t blush. No, Angela Clare never blushed. She
simply acknowledged recognition and made her way to a lounge table,
covered in what appeared to be spilled shots and half-empty beer
“Dude, she is hot.” The bachelor nodded and stared.
Ben squeezed the bachelor hard on the shoulders before arriving
at her side. She noticed the bar light took the edge off his ginger-ness.
Everything seemed a shade darker, from his light hair, to his
blue eyes, to his pale skin.
“Hey,” she said.
“I may be … slightly drunk.”
“Excellent.” She nodded. “Wanna help me get
“I do, very much so. I like the, um, piece of fabric you’ve
wrapped around your ass.”
“It’s a skirt.”
He made her laugh, almost every time he spoke. She liked when
men made her laugh—meant they would be more fun in the sack.
“What can I get you to drink?”
“Bourbon and coke.”
“Okay, yes. And a shot?”
“Yes. All right.” She watched him walk to the bar,
and although he was maybe a bit wobbly, he still walked like a
serious businessman—which he was. Angie and Pyrha looked
him up on the office computer, following the workshop. Ben (Bennington)
Anthony, Esquire, was a prosecutor in New York. He was thirty-five
and partner in a prestigious Upper East Side firm. Yet, he didn’t
look it, wandering toward her with three drinks balanced on the
palms of his long-fingered hands.
The guy from earlier—the one with the panties on his head—put
a heavy arm around her shoulders. “So what do you think
of Mr. Manners, huh?”
“Mr. Manners?” She glanced from the guy with no hair
to the tall ginger with plenty.
“It’s an old nickname.” Ben took a slow sip
of what appeared to be Guinness.
“Mr. Manners!” The bachelor, along with about eight
other guys in the bar area sang the words like a song, and even
in the dark, she could tell Ben’s face was red again.
“Ben is the most polite dude you will ever meet.”
“Unlike you.” She threw back her shot of Fireball.
“Dude, I like this chick.” The bald guy waved his
beer around. “She’s hot, and she’s a bitch.”
“Eric …” There was something akin to warning
in Ben’s usually playful voice.
“Hey, Angie, how do you use this thing?” The bachelor
held up his penis pump.
“Put it on your wang and pump, man.”
The entirety of the bachelor party seemed to find this hilarious,
and as she watched them laugh, she realized they were all massive.
She leaned against Ben and whispered, “Were you guys the
bullies of Yale or something? You’re all freakin’
“Lacrosse team,” he whispered back.
“Lacrosse? So you’re yuppies, then.”
“Funny.” She moved even closer. “I’ve
never been attracted to a yuppie before.”
“You’re attracted to me? I just thought you wanted
to see what happened with the penis pump …”
An hour later, following a very public rehash of all she’d
learned at the blow job workshop, she found herself alone at a
table with Ben, having lost the rest of the party to a DJ and
“Bennington,” she said.
“Oh, no.” He rubbed his eyes with his right thumb
and pointer finger.
“I think it’s cute.”
“No, my name is awful.” He stopped rubbing his eyes
and looked at her. “How’d you know that, anyway?”
“I stalked you online.”
“What else did you find out?”
“You’re a lawyer.” She over-pronounced the word
and showed off the curl of her tongue.
“And you work in a sex toy shop.”
She feigned coyness. “That’s not all I do …”
“I’m sure. Let me see these.” He touched her
hand with his finger, and Angie extended her thin, painted arms
across the table. He took her upturned wrists in his palms. “Tell
me about these.”
“My ode to video games.”
She nodded. “See this one? This one is Zelda. Do you know
“Not personally, no.”
“And over here …” She used her chin to gesture
to her right forearm. “Final Fantasy.”
“And Mario, of course, over here.”
“And then, Mr. and Mrs. Pacman, because, you know, they
started it all.”
“You’ve never played a video game in your life, have
“No.” His face broke into a smile.
“Let me guess. You …” She looked to the ceiling
for answers. “Showed horses or something.”
“Now, why would you say—yeah, I did show horses.”
He watched her laugh, and she enjoyed being looked at by this
“Let me just …” He leaned forward a bit in his
“You have something …” He continued to lean
forward, and his lips touched hers.
His caress was so soft, his mouth so gentle. He pulled on her
bottom lip as he leaned away, and she was prepared to howl in
frustration, latch onto the back of his red head, and suck his
full lips ‘til they bled. However, a chorus of “Manners!
Manners!” interrupted all amorous thought as Angie giggled
and Ben, as usual, turned the color of a pomegranate.
She dragged them to a club down the street and could not get Ben
anywhere near the dance floor. She tried to sneak him into the
alley out back a couple times, but there was always some excuse.
She was beginning to wonder what the hell was wrong with the guy
until two AM rolled around, and the bachelor party—along
with an unconscious bachelor—waited on a Mill Street curb
for their “party bus.”
She watched Ben glance at his college friends, and finally, finally,
he grabbed her hand and pulled her around the corner of a women’s
Mr. Manners was pleasantly un-mannerly in private. He pushed her
back against the wall and dove for her lips. She was ready, open-mouthed
and hungry. She pulled hard on his hair and wrapped one leg around
to the back of his, which gave her better leverage to stick her
tongue in his mouth. His hands cupped the bottom of her ass, and
she moaned when pelvis found pelvis. They separated momentarily,
“I live two blocks from here.”
“I can’t,” he said through labored breath.
“Yes. You can.” She reached up for his face, to pull
him back down to her, but he held to her wrists and kept away.
“I don’t …” He seemed almost embarrassed.
“I don’t sleep with women on first dates.”
She made a series of incoherent noises.
“Maybe on a second date.”
“Come to the wedding.”
She turned her face toward the street.
“Come on, Angie.”
“You want to bring sex toy girl to a Yale lacrosse wedding?”
“Yeah. Definitely.” He nodded.
She shook her wrists, still held tightly in the palms of his hands.
“Can’t we just have sex now?”
“Ben, let’s go!” someone shouted from the street.
She was not at all ready when he let go of her and went dashing
back to the sidewalk, where the party bus waited. She stepped
out from the alley and shouted, “What am I supposed to do
now? I’m so horny, I could hump a street curb!”
Holding onto the bus entrance, he gave one glance back. “Try
a streetlight pole. Might work better.”
Pyrha thoroughly disapproved of Angie’s dedicated efforts
to bang a dude, but Angie said Pyrha’s opinion didn’t
matter because she was a lesbian and couldn’t understand:
Angie had to sleep with Ben. She spent the week thinking about
him and then bought the most scandalous off-the-shoulder black
dress she could find. She did arrive at the wedding under her
terms, however, which meant she did not attend the wedding at
all. She merely showed up for the reception, sure to be there
post-toast and post-first dance bullshit. She fully admitted to
Bennington Anthony, via text, “I’m only showing up
to fuck you,” to which he replied, “If you’re
lucky.” God, he was infuriating.
The reception was at a fancy downtown Phoenix venue—a touched-up
corner of the warehouse district near Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks
sucked at baseball every week. The place was covered in white
roses—so very Yale of them—and when she walked in,
arms fully exposed, people glared like she was the Wicked Witch.
Then, he walked up, in a full tuxedo, and she felt like she might
pass out. “That’s it, James Bond. You better take
me into a back room and just fuck me now.”
“Nope.” He gave her a closed-lip smile and extended
his hand, which she took, begrudgingly. “Come meet the bride.”
“Ugggggggg,” she muttered.
The bride was Scottsdale, born and bred: bleached blond hair;
huge, fake breasts; and a dress that probably cost more than a
four-bedroom house. Yet, she smiled white teeth when Bed introduced
them; Angie knew it was only because she was on Ben’s arm,
and everyone seemed to really like Ben. In fact, she met dozens
of people; they flocked around him like seagulls to bread crumbs.
He introduced her as “his girlfriend,” which she knew
he did just to piss her off. Everyone smiled and called her “lovely,”
which never—in her life—had she been called before.
Finally, her ginger conquest allowed her to sit at a table filled
with boys from the bachelor party. Together, they nursed scotches,
no ice, and Angie did her best not to tear Ben’s clothes
“Thank God Ben brought some scenery to this snob fest,”
“You’re from Los Angeles. How is this worse than LA?”
“Too many people over fifty at this shindig. Snobby vibe.”
As the boys debated the lack of available young women, Angie put
her hand under the table and pretended to listen. She nodded occasionally,
but her entire focus was on her right hand and Ben’s upper
thigh—which she felt tense under her touch. He was careful
to glance quickly in her direction: a warning glare. Yet her fingers
didn’t stop. She moved her hand closer and closer to …
until he grabbed her hand and set it securely on white tablecloth.
“Angie, what do you think? About the wedding?”
“I don’t really give a shit, Eric. I’m just
here to fuck Ben.”
Like the bachelor party all over again, the table erupted in laughter,
and Ben turned his face toward the dance floor to hide his obvious
“I’ve honestly been thinking about him all week, and
yet, here I sit, just waiting to give him the best night of his
Ben stood up and pulled her with him. Over the background cheers
of “Manners! Manners!” he forced her into the outside
area where people puffed cigarette smoke into the air like clouds.
“It doesn’t have to be all about sex, Angie.”
She could tell he was angry. “I was just kidding around.”
“Look, I spent this entire week thinking about you, too,
but I need you to understand: I’m not like the men who come
into your store. I’m a boring lawyer who didn’t grow
into his ears until the age of twenty-five. I don’t sleep
“Shit, man, why did you even invite me?”
“Because I like you.”
She looked away from his dark blue eyes. “I don’t
know how to act around you.”
“I’m just like any other man.”
“No. You’re not.” She crossed her arms over
“Look, I do want to make love to you. I do.”
“You don’t have to.”
“Don’t be fucking crazy.”
“So you do cuss. Thank God you’re not perfect.”
He looked to the sky. “No, I’m not perfect. I just
want to get to know you before I …”
“Stick your penis in me.”
He groaned and covered his face with his hands. Then, she noticed
he chuckled behind his palms. He revealed his face and smiled
at her—the kind of smile that made her feel warm all over.
“I missed you this week. You sexy psychopath.”
She smiled back and heard the sound of Frank Sinatra inside: “I’ve
Got You under My Skin.”
“Dance with me.”
“I don’t …” she scoffed. “I don’t
dance to this kind of music. It’s like my grandparents’
He rolled his eyes.
“Okay, fine.” She latched onto his hand and dragged
him back inside. “I don’t even know how to—”
“That’s why I lead.” Once on the dance floor,
he put his hand on her lower back, the other in her right hand.
For the first twenty seconds, she looked down and studied his
feet before getting the general idea.
“I can’t believe I’m—”
“Shut up, would you?” He leaned his face down so that
his cheek was against hers. His warm breath found her neck as
he kissed behind her ear. The full length of their bodies pressed
together, and Angie spun, nameless among so many strangers.
Then, something strange happened in her stomach. With Ben so close,
Angie, the woman who never blushed, felt her nerves curl into
knots. She felt his soft lips against the side of her face. She
felt his hand holding hers. She felt his gentleness, and abruptly,
sex seemed too intimate. She wanted to flee, but his arms kept
her there, and soon, they were in his hotel room across the street.
Once there, Angie became someone else. She allowed him to remove
her dress. She deliberately removed the several pieces of tuxedo
that covered his lanky frame. There was no tearing—no passionate
popping of buttons or shoving onto still-made beds. She would
not find a complimentary mint matted into her hair the following
morning. He would not be bruised.
She allowed his gentle hands to find the right places on her body.
She coalesced to his needs, wallowed in every inch of him. Angie,
who had spent twenty-eight years fucking, found in Ben a partner
to pleasure, unselfishly, and her orgasms vacated the small circle
of her clit and travelled into the unfamiliar area of her heart.
Then, they spooned.
She woke to the sun and the sound of him breathing behind her.
The early morning light tinted his hair gold, and his gaping,
wide open mouth made her giggle behind her hand. She used the
restroom and sat there, naked on the toilet, and stared at ivory-colored
She longed to feel post-sex peace. She had conquered the ginger,
as planned, so why did she feel panicked? Why did she feel like
leaving while, at the same time, like curling into his sleepy
She wiped. She flushed. She washed her hands. She rinsed old mascara
from beneath her eyes and realized that, despite his gentleness,
Ben had left a hickey right above her collarbone. She touched
it and felt as though the mark was a prize.
When she wandered back to the room, she knew he was awake because
his body had moved—turned over onto its stomach. She stepped
in front of the windows and opened the curtains wide to reveal
her naked body to the sidewalk outside. She didn’t want
Ben to be the only one to see her. She wanted her body to be shared
by the masses—to incite lust, as usual, because whatever
brewed in the base of her stomach was not lust: it was something
He spoke: “Come to New York.”
“No,” she replied.
“You scare me.”
“You scare me, too.”
“I should.” She smiled into the sunrise. “I’ll
only hurt you.”
“I don’t care.”
When she turned around, he was on his side, leaned up on one elbow.
His light hair stood up in spikes, and his eyes looked puffy and
“I don’t love people,” she said, and she wrapped
the length of curtain around her body like an expensive toga.
“You don’t have to love me.”
“You’re the kind of man who deserves to be loved.”
“Come to New York, Angie.”
She let go of the curtain and walked to him, revealed, unadorned.
She sat on the edge of the bed and ran her fingers through his
hair. “I like you too much to do that.”
He closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. “Will I ever
see you again?”
“No.” She shook her head. “I don’t want
to do that to you either.”
He nodded and opened his eyes, which reminded her of the San Diego
“I shouldn’t have slept with you.”
He smiled at this. “Not true. I mean, it was a bang-up job.”
She chuckled. “I knew you didn’t need that penis pump.”
He joined in her amusement.
“I hope you haven’t changed me too much, Bennington.
I kind of liked the girl I was before I met you.”
His touch was almost too much as he reached up and pushed black
curls behind her ear. “She’s still in there. I saw
her a few times last night.”
“She has a way of fighting back.”
She stood, desperate to be away from his reach. “I better
“Yeah.” His eyes looked away from her.
Angie hurried around the room. She collected her clothes and hid
in the bathroom to dress. Her nakedness seemed embarrassing in
front of him then—the man he was. When she wandered out,
he sat in a chair by the window in black slacks and his white
tuxedo shirt. He stood up with her arrival.
“So,” he said.
“So.” She held tight to her purse as if it might protect
her. “It was nice to meet you.”
“Can I kiss you?”
“No.” She shook her head. “I, um … I need
to go.” She nodded to convince herself.
“Right. Okay.” He gestured toward the door to his
hotel room but didn’t move. She knew he respected her enough
to obey her wishes.
Angie didn’t look back as she walked toward her exit—literal
and emotional. She opened the door; the knob felt cold. She prepared
to step into the hallway. Then, she paused in the half-open doorway.
She looked back at him: the tall, gawky ginger. Long fingers.
Strong hands. Warm skin.
She looked down at her own hand on the doorknob and said quietly,
“Maybe just one more kiss.”
Dobie Bauer is
a writer and publicist. A Magna Cum Laude Creative Writing graduate
of Ohio University, she is currently working on a Creative Writing
Certificate at Glendale Community College, where she attends as
an English scholarship student. Her work has appeared in The Traveler,
The Gila River Review and Canyon Voices. She lives in Phoenix,
Arizona. Read more at http://saradobie.wordpress.com.
Sara Dobie Bauer