By Lisabet SaraiOur topic for the next two weeks here at Oh Get a Grip is “The Most Erotic Thing”.
I'm really not sure where to start. Superlatives make me uncomfortable. Having spent nearly sixty years on the planet, written scores of erotic stories and read hundreds, had more lovers than I care to count, I can't even begin to decide what's the most erotic thing I've read, or done or imagined.
To start with, my memory is far too hazy to recall the details of some of my most arousing experiences. Then there's the problem I have sorting out which of the adventures I do recall actually took place and which are partially or completely fictional. I'm serious. Often my stories are rooted in personal experience, but then they bolt toward the skies like Jack's beanstalk, shooting out arousing tendrils, erupting into lush blooms far distant from the events that seeded them. It's surprisingly difficult for me, at this point in my life, to distinguish between my realities and my dreams.
The topic also implies that eroticism is a single continuum, so that one could line up stories (or lovers) in an unambiguous ordering from deadly dull to exquisitely exciting. I'm certain this oversimplifies the domain of sexual experience. Was that tender kiss as we parted for the summer any less erotic than the rough fuck up against the alley wall? How does the sublime satisfaction of a world-shaking orgasm measure up against weeks of teasing and temptation? Was I more excited by the men I've had sex with, or the women? What strikes us as erotic depends on time, place, circumstance, and past experience. How can I pick a single point in such a hyper-dimensional web of relationships?
I can make at least one definite statement, though. For me, the most erotic thing – would not be a thing. Words, and the ideas they suggest, arouse me far more than anything physical.
The red strap of a high-heeled sandal, encircling a slender ankle. A glimpse of sun-browned cleavage. A five o'clock shadow framing a plump, pouting mouth. A whiff of clean sweat from the guy pressed close to me on the subway. The scent of well-oiled leather. The passionate moan filtering through the wall from the next room. The brush of velvet against bare skin. Feathers. Honey. Cum.
Most people have erotic triggers, sensations that never fail to arouse them. I'm not immune to such stimuli, but there's nothing that will affect me as quickly as the right words, spoken in the right tone of voice – that tone that makes the speaker's intentions deliciously clear.
“Let's eat dinner fashionably late,” he told me with that quirky smile of his, and I melted into a puddle of lust. Of course I knew what he intended – the anticipation was at least as thrilling as the acts themselves.
“It never occurred to me that you'd refuse anything I asked.” That line was delivered in an early letter from my master, before we'd had any physical interaction at all. The implications – that he'd already claimed me – that he knew I'd surrender, before I was sure myself – that he had plans for me, pleasures to bestow and ordeals to inflict, far beyond anything I'd experienced – kept me in a haze of lust for days.
“What makes you think this is my first time?” This quote from the recent James Bond movie Skyfall has a remarkably visceral effect on me whenever I call the scene to mind. The villain (a camp but still very sexy Javier Bardem) has made a homoerotic proposition to the bound secret agent, clearly expecting Bond to be shocked, disgusted, embarrassed or angry. The ever-suave 007, though, ups the ante, stepping from the role of victim into that of seducer. Nothing further happens, but that single sentence invites the audience to imagine what could happen and indeed, what might have happened in the past. Anyone who grew up in the sixties and seventies as I did knows what Bond does with his women. (Indeed, Ian Fleming's novels were my first exposure to any kind of erotic literature. We'd pass the paperbacks around in high school study hall, with the “good parts” marked.) How thrilling and transgressive it is, though – well, for me, at least – to imagine the dynamics if the irresistible spy bedded another man.
The actor, writer, and director have all denied, of course, that this scene indicates Bond is bisexual. That doesn't matter in the least. That brief interchange was enough to make me wet when I saw the film, and I haven't gotten over it yet.
The most erotic thing? Well, that's the most erotic thing that comes to mind at the moment. In my opinion, though, desire is too complex a phenomenon to be captured and labeled this way. And for me, it's more likely to be kindled by words than by touch, taste, sound or smell.
My tagline is my personal truth. Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.