Around 1998 in Panama the Internet was barely emerging from a rumor into a kind of awkward existence. I had been using the Internet as far back as 1994 when I lived in New York but most communications were still being done by BBS ("Bulletin Boards") which were like personally owned web domains.
I was learning to surf the web, and magazines were emerging dedicated to web surfing because it was still such a novelty. Needless to say most of those magazines are extinct, but they were handy at the time. A magazine had a URL for a site called "Bianca's Smut Shack". In spite of the name, this was not a pornographic site, it was a chat room. According to Wikipedia, it was founded in 1994 by an Italian transsexual when he/she was only ten years old, and was in fact the world's very first chat room. And I was there.
It was called the Smut Shack because of it's defiant stance on free speech. You could talk about anything there in a series of "rooms" which tended to be loosely organized by topic. After rewiring my mother-in-laws wall phone to accept a modem, I began tuning into the Smut Shack regularly. One night there was a brief post from a young man who said he was 16 years old and had just lost his virginity about an hour or so ago to a woman nearly 60. He had just staggered home shaken, guilty, and a little defiled. And of course - he was a guy - so he was also Today I Am A Man proud and bursting to tell someone about it.
The woman was his mother's best friend. They had known each other since he was in Kindergarten and he had been going over to her house next door a couple of nights a week since forever. On these nights they'd sit together on an old sofa, eat popcorn and watch old re runs. They were fixtures in each other's lives and could talk about anything.
This night the shows were pretty dull and somehow the conversation turned to birth marks. "I have a birth mark on my arm," said the woman and showed him her birth mark. "I have one on my arm too." and he showed her his arm. "I have one on my thigh," said the woman. She opened her robe a little and showed him her thigh. He reached over and shocked them both by kissing her birthmark. He showed her another birth mark and she reached over and kissed his. Soon they were running out of birth marks in all the socially acceptable places and were busy working their way down; the last few being near his now stiffening penis which she kissed and next to the nipple of her bare breast which she removed from beneath her bath robe for him to kiss. By that time, no one was watching TV anymore and the room was beginning to feel very small.
"I think we need to stop," said the woman. According to his chat. "What if we don't?" he said. "What do you want to do then?" she said. "I don’t know," he said. "I think we’d better stop," she said. For awhile they just sat, with her breasts out and his cock out. And then she said "That is . . . I don't know. Unless you want to go to the other room."
She left the sofa and padded off in her slippers to the other room alone. He sat on the old sofa for a while, as the idiot TV chattered and laughed to itself, and then he got up to see what she was doing. Her robe and underwear were on the floor next to the bed. The room was dark. The table lamp was on. She lay covered, holding the bed spread tightly up to her chin.
"You can put it inside," she said softly. "If you’d maybe like to see how it feels, it would be okay."
Ten minutes later he was standing at the bathroom sink splashing water on himself, deeply shook up. She called to him from the bed "How do you feel?" He called back "I feel like I just fucked my grandma."
This made her giggle loud and nervous, he said, and she called back teasing "You fucked your grandma! You fucked your grandma!"
That was his story, this bewildered boy, author unknown. People in the chat room verbally slapped him on the back and Attaboys! all around and asked what his plans were. Go back for more of course. And he dropped out. I always wondered how things played out for him and his mother's friend.
Coming to this confession from a rather sheltered religious life, sexual frankness itself was a novelty for me. To hear another human being speak so plainly of sex and then in such a profoundly human way, unplanned, by accident. Two people who liked each other playing around and then suddenly – what did we just do? What just happened to us?
No doubt this doesn’t especially move you. I don’t expect that. That’s not the point. Years later, just thinking about those two wipes me out – why?
What makes something erotic?
Erotic is not sex. Sex is incidental, the consequence of eroticism expressed. Erotic is the arousal and the source of the arousal, the way that sex takes on its power and meaning. Animals have sex. Humans are erotic.
Sexual fantasies are the maps of our darker deeper currents, the dreams we make for ourselves and our pleasure. Fantasy, especially your darker fantasies can reveal yourself without masks. They can be a path of introspection.
According to Jack Morin, author of “The Erotic Mind”, our sexual fantasies are derived from three basic scripts
1. Cultural Script
2. Interpersonal Script and
3. Intrapsychic script.
Cultural scripts are about violating cultural or religious taboos, such as rape fantasies. Interpersonal refers to the rules by which we grow up that are second nature to us, such as the taboos against incest. Intrapsychic is the most interesting, being about the interior themes that run through all of your fantasies and reveal something of the darker currents underneath your consciousness.
Jack Morin names four elements that eroticism is built around. Almost all of these elements are present in some form in this episode and the subsequent fantasies it conjures for me.
1. Anticipation: What is it like to be that boy sitting on the sofa as though sitting on the edge of a precipice, the front door there, the bedroom door just over there? Beyond the front door the safety of conventional morality and the validation of himself as a “good boy”. Beyond the bedroom door the mysteries of woman, the terrors of his own body and its exhilarating discoveries. Are you good? Or are you bold? How must it have been for that young man, who may never has kissed a girl between the instant the thought occurred to him until that moment he reached down and touched his lips to the skin of her thigh? To send out that daring message, not knowing how it would be received; his very first entry into manhood? And for the woman, how confident is she he will follow her seduction and arrive at her bed? What could be more humiliating for an aging beauty to lay there naked under the covers to be taken by a young lover who then rejects your offer? What a lonely fall that is.
2. Violating prohibitions: The obvious of course is the socially unacceptable (for 1998) seduction of a young man by an older woman, though in past cultures father’s often brought their sons to a trusted older woman, sometimes a courtesan, for initiation into sex. And what will she do if her friend, his mother, finds out? No wonder she asks him how he feels (don’t rat us out!).
3. Searching for Power: That moment of her offering (“Unless you’d like to go to the other room. . .”) of sweeping out the net and bringing the male to her, because he must come to her bed by himself drawn by her sexual power over him. He must show her his phallus, his response to her power. And then his discovery by the sink that he has been seduced, and the realization that this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him.
The eroticism for me dwells in that gap where the information drops out briefly, between the moment the woman invites him under the covers "if he wants to see how it feels" and the moment he's discovering her sensual power over him and wailing "I feel like I just fucked my grandma!"
What went on in that room?
Did she throw aside the blanket and present her sagging breasts and wrinkled belly defiantly, daring for him to be a man right now and mount her? Did he sit on the bed with shaking hands and draw back the cover to reveal her? How did it feel for him to take up the awkward masculine posture while she opened to him, to feel under him the wetness welcoming his penis, to feel it sinking deep into the void of this old woman he watches TV with, who baby sat him, made him chicken soup when he was sick, cookies when he was sad, feeling it pierce all the way inside this first of all the women he will do this act with, this cherished old friend turned suddenly strange, squeezing her eyes, making excited little throat gasps with each unsure thrust to cheer him on, hard humping together against the squeaking bed springs with a frantic guilty rhythm as though his mother and maybe Jesus Christ might burst in on their paradise screaming with outrage? Did they look into each other’s eyes? Did they whisper things? Am I doing this right? You're doing fine. Is this really what people do? Yes, it is but, but - but how did I end up with you on top of me, this is insane, we were watching TV, goddamnit. Do you want me to stop? No! Don't you stop till I tell you!
Every time I think of it, I want to be that boy so bad.
Your sexual fantasies have a general theme, that “intrapsychic script” that runs through them all, things they have in common. If you search those themes you’ll surprise yourself. My fantasies since adolescence have almost invariably been about non-violent dominance over sexually assertive women. Dominance through kindness, through the willing surrender and conquest of the woman. They are also in scenarios where there were no other men, an absence of male sexual competition. These themes characterize almost unfailingly nearly all of my sexual fantasies. They show me as a man who loves women, fears them, and is not confident of his ability to attract them over other men. Goodness, but weakness.
I told you that story partly so I could tell you this next one.
I had a very interesting dream many years ago, which takes on a new meaning when viewed this way. In this dream one night, there was a war between humans and vampires. The vampire hordes were lead by a couple, a King and Queen vampire who were determined to wipe out human beings. I did not want to fight, but the vampires overwhelmed and killed my wife and child and filled me with a terrible hate. I became the violent leader of the army of men who set upon the vampires and fought them without mercy until all were slain except the Queen and King. Men feared me and my berserker ferocity was a legend. In a courtyard, where the king and queen were bound, she wept blood tears because she loved him and begged for his life. I killed him in front of her. I threw down my bloody sword and ordered my men to strip her naked and tie her down. I violated her in the worst way to show her how thoroughly she was defeated and then finished her. Because of this harrowing dream I understood the true nature of rape, that it was not an act of desire but of pure rage.
This dream is a very powerful image, just as the boy and his woman are a powerful image to me. They are extreme opposites, as though the dream personage were a cry of protest against the person I actually am. Taken together they are light and darkness and I contain both within me. These conflicting images are a powerful thing, the sources of my secret eroticism.