By Lisabet Sarai
As soon as I saw Jude's topic for this week, “The Great Outdoors”, I started rubbing my hands together with glee. What a fabulous opportunity to post some of my favorite photos! The posed snap of my husband and I stretched out naked together on a granite slab in the Sierras, sharing a kiss. The topless shot of me from that camping trip on Mount Shasta. Some of the many hot tub photos of us with friends, including the couple we've known for nearly thirty years who claim that we turned them on to nudism and who went on to establish a nudist resort in Arizona, which they then sold for more than a million dollars. Then of course there are the pictures from our coed stag party...
Fortunately rationality kicked in and I remembered my cardinal rule: never put anything on the Internet that you wouldn't be willing to show to your employer, your mother, or your priest. My mom had her wilder side and as far as conventional morality is concerned, I'm probably already damned, but I definitely don't want to take any chances with my job, which I dearly love. So I had to nix the pix.
I could tell you stories, though. There was the glorious June day at the Renaissance Faire, when my husband and I were so turned on by the lusty lads and buxom lasses that we sneaked off into the woods for a coupling au naturel
. He tore off my laced-up bodice to expose my breasts, then burrowed under my long skirt to taste how excited the Faire had made me. I vividly remember making love with my grad school boyfriend on one of our trips across country. We were driving across eastern Colorado, basically desert, but we couldn't wait for a motel. We pulled into a rest area, wandered about fifty feet from the road, and jumped each other. Only afterward did I notice the gritty sand sticking to my sweaty body, the sun blazing relentlessly down, the scrubby cacti threatening our tender, bare flesh, and the shiny black scorpion ambling by, a mere six inches from my face!
Probably my favorite outdoor experience was one which did not involve actual sex, but remains in my memory as one of the most sensual and arousing nights in my life. It was just after New Year's in the mountains of Montana. With a close girlfriend, I'd driven all the way from Los Angeles to Missoula to spend the holidays with the young man whom I adored. (His feelings for me were, I believe, more equivocal.) He took us to a natural hot spring buried deep in the forest. I remember hiking a narrow trail in the darkness, under snow-laden evergreen boughs, until we reached a boulder-lined creek where steam rose from the water into the night air. How strange and wonderful it was to strip off our heavy jackets and sweaters, our jeans and our boots, and plunge our bodies into the deliciously warm pool! Someone had brought a flute. The plaintive melody echoed through the wood, and I was sure satyrs and nymphs were about to join us. Then we were alone, just the three of us, speechless in the silence of the winter night, exquisitely aware of our naked limbs brushing against each other under the surface. Lazy snowflakes drifted over us, vanishing as they touched our heated skin.
I recall the frigid winter air as we dressed afterward, the magic of being naked in the forest in the heart of winter. We found a cozy mountain lodge on the road back, and then my paramour and I did make love, silently, still caught in the spell of the enchanted spring. (My friend slept in the next room; my fantasy of making love to her never did become reality.)
As I got older, my outdoor adventures became less frequent. I've lived mostly in cities for the past decade. It's a bit difficult to find the privacy for an outdoor tryst. As I've gotten older, too, the balance between lust and the desire for comfort has shifted in the direction of the latter. I'd rather make love on a clean, sweet-smelling bed in a luxurious hotel than on a hard, damp bench in the park. I'd rather be groped on a leather couch in a sex club than pressed against a dank stone wall under a malodorous bridge.
Thinking about my characters, I realize that most of them are as urban as I have become. I've written a few outdoor scenes. However, sex in the great outdoors doesn't feature in all that many of my stories.
Nevertheless, I did have a contribution accepted to the recently published altruistic erotic anthology Coming Together: Al Fresco
, edited by Alessia Brio. The theme of this collection is outdoor sex. All profits benefit Conservation International. My piece in Al Fresco is a chapter reprinted from Raw Silk, entitled “Reclining Buddha”, in which Kate discovers that Somtow, the handsome and decadent Thai aristocrat who has become her lover, has no qualms about coupling in the great outdoors.
Here's a brief peak at this lusty little interlude.
They wandered among the ruins, which had a kind of melancholy beauty. The day was getting hot, but there was still a breeze. The vines rustled softly, whispering of days long vanished.
As they continued, they came to a grassy expanse dominated by three huge chedis, conical towers that looked like upturned children's tops. "The ashes of two royal princes and an abbot are buried within those monuments," said Somtow. "During the prime of the Ayuthaya, the chedis would have been gilded, and could have been seen from a long way, above the city walls. They are positioned to catch the last gleams of the setting sun.”
They stood at the foot of one of the chedis. Katherine looked up. Most of the stucco that had once covered the structure had worn away. She could see the precise brickwork used to create the tapering outline.
Next, they reached a temple that appeared to be intact. "Wat Suwan Dararam," said Somtow. "This temple was built near the close of the Ayuthaya period; it was badly damaged, but now has been restored. Shall we go inside?”
"Oh, yes," said Katherine. The shady interior looked very appealing.
"Leave your shoes on the steps," said Somtow, doing so himself. As they entered, an elderly monk bowed in a respectful wai. Somtow put some money in the wooden box beside the man, and picked up two bundles of incense sticks.
The interior of the wat was fragrant with sandalwood. Woven straw mats covered the floor, their texture pleasant under Katherine's bare feet. Columns carved with mythical beasts supported the peaked ceiling; brightly-painted frescoes decorated the walls.
An enormous bronze Buddha image sat at the far end of the sanctuary, surrounded by banks of candles, jars of flowers, and many smaller images. Several orange-clad monks sat before the figure, chanting softly. Somtow approached the Buddha and knelt reverently. He lit his incense from one of the candles, holding it between his two palms. Then he repeatedly bowed, bringing his hands and the incense to his forehead.
Katherine watched him with some surprise. His eyes were closed. His lips moved slightly with some inaudible prayer or invocation. His devotion was clearly genuine.
She lit her own incense and stuck it in one of the bronze pots, filled with sand, that were provided for this purpose. Then she sat quietly, marveling at the peace that pervaded the place, and at the transformation of her lover.
Eventually, Somtow opened his eyes. He looked at her and smiled, then took her hand and led her out of the temple. The sun was blinding as they emerged. The heat had intensified.
"I hope you were not bored," said Somtow.
"Oh no," said Katherine."It was lovely, very tranquil.”
"It is important to pay one's respects," said Somtow seriously. "Especially for me. I have such a need to make merit.”
Abruptly, his mood lightened. He grasped her hand again, smiling his infectious smile. "Come, I have something else to show you." He led her down the road, and then turned onto a winding path through thickening vegetation. Suddenly they came to a clearing. There, surrounded by bricks and rubble, was a massive statue of the Buddha, in a reclining pose.
As was traditional, the figure lay on its right side, the stone head resting on the right palm. Calm eyes contemplated them serenely. From the flame of knowledge rising out of his head, to the soles of his feet decorated with the eight-petal lotus, the statue must have been at least ten meters in length.
Katherine gazed at the figure, impressed by its scale, and its overwhelming air of quiet power. She lost track of Somtow for a moment. Then she heard a sound behind her.
She turned to see Somtow, totally naked, lying on the grass in the shade. Like the statue, he lay on his side, his ear resting on his hand. Unlike the Buddha image, though, his expression was one of mischievous invitation.
"Somtow," Katherine exclaimed. "You are completely outrageous! Don't you consider this disrespectful?”
"The Buddha rejected asceticism. He taught the middle way, moderation in all things." Somtow grinned."I am just more moderate in some areas than others.”
Katherine shook her head, disbelieving. Her Thai prince looked as irresistible as usual. His hair was a bit disheveled, curling damply on his brow. His pale skin flowed with patterns of shadow as the sunlight filtered through the trees. His cock was hugely erect, glistening with a bit of premonitory moisture.
What the hell, she thought to herself. She pulled her tunic over head, and stepped out of her skirt. The breeze was delicious on her bare skin.
The great outdoors – doesn't everything seem cleaner, purer, more natural? Even the raunchiest scenes!