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“Mmm, yes Goddess… is this good for you, Goddess? Tell me how good I am to you...” His breath is hot and sticky in my ear, heavy with the smell of leftover curry and the medical-grade sativa we unceremoniously smoked moments before. His right hand, comically small, perpetually clammy, and shockingly well-manicured for a gardening hobbyist, is under my skirt, clumsily rubbing between my thighs from behind. His left pins my arms above my head, wrists crossed. The right side of my face, which I consider the ugly sagging side, is pressed against the cool, coke-white wall, which would be smeared with blush and greasy Maybelline foundation were he any other client, but he’s not any other client. He’s SensualEmpath823, and SensualEmpath823 does not like me to wear makeup. 

I attempt to utter an affirmative “yessir,” but it escapes garbled and unconvincing from the corner of my naked, lopsided mouth. He releases my wrists and backs away until he’s seated across the room in a faux fur armchair the color of split pea soup. He’d told me earlier that one of his other “friends'' had picked it out. In fact, he said, he gave this so-called friend of his, who happened to be a bleach blonde Ukranian with plush, donut-shaped lips and heaving, too-firm double D’s, one of his various credit cards and insisted she decorate the entire house, which aside from carnal appointments like these, sits empty in the lofty neighborhood. “Now get on your knees. Crawl to me.” 

I drop to my knees and do as instructed. The carpet is rough, a fake Amazon-bought Persian, and burns my skin. I’m stoned off my ass and a tad whiskey drunk and worried this will permanently scar my kneecaps. How would I ever explain to my mother where these carpet scars came from? 

“Slow… Slower… That’s a good girl…” 

I arrive at his socked feet and peer up at him. Rough-housing on the floor with a friend’s rowdy dog, I decide. He cups my chin in his hand and admires my face like a sacred sculpture. I flinch, avoiding eye contact. 

“Oh, Goddess… How naturally beautiful you are,” he purrs before slapping my cheek and demanding I rise. As I do, star-like speckles of color swirl across my vision; my ears ring, siren-like. I bite my tongue, and he begins to undress me. 

“You know you don’t need to get all dressed up like this for me, Goddess. You know I prefer a more… natural look…” An image of his Eastern Bloc bimbo jumps to my mind and I wonder what, exactly, he considers natural. He tugs my turtleneck up over my head, wrecking my supremely natural, slept-in updo I’d neglected to wash for a week, then buries his nose in my armpit. He tenses. 

“Are you wearing deodorant, Goddess? I thought I told you – explicitly – no deodorant when we meet.” I try to explain that I’m not, in fact, wearing deodorant, the lack of underarm stench merely the result of having bathed the night before, and that for once, I brag, I didn’t sweat in my sleep from Zoloft-fueled nightmares or gross hormonal imbalances. He doesn’t believe me, but lets it slide and unzips my miniskirt, all the while gushing over my curves, the “natural shape of my body,” “the shape of a real woman,” and I can’t help but interpret this to mean I’m fat even though the skirt pooled around my ankles is a size 0, which is a secret and shameful source of pride for me every time I wear it. He pulls me onto his lap and unhooks my bra with an impressive ease I’ve only ever encountered while fooling around with women. My mom bought me this bra at Victoria’s Secret while I was visiting her in Houston last week, thinking I’d wear it to impress a non-existent boyfriend; thinking maybe, finally, I’d bring home that sweet, erudite Jewish boy she’s always envisioned for me in her saccharine familial fantasies. If only she knew it was about to land on this 48-year-old Buddhist pervert’s unswept floor in exchange for rent money and brunch. 

“Now, my good girl… let us uninhibit your inner goddess. What does that mean to you?” I blink, stupefied, unwilling to correct his grammar, and also wondering how best to answer this question that sounds like it belongs in a tampon commercial. Unimpressed with my silence, he presses his weight firmly against me and growls. “Goddess… Goddess… Goddess…” The growling persists until he’s nose-deep, once again, in my armpit; licking, suckling, snarling, leaving the overgrown hair slick and clumped with slobber before leading me back to the bed. I release a premature sigh of  relief – the sooner we do the deed, the sooner he finishes, and the sooner I can retreat home to my bathtub. 

Seemingly life-long minutes of more mind-numbing pit-licking roll by. I stare at the ceiling, eyes glazed over, wordlessly debating whether I want tacos or pasta for dinner; fingering the cheap linen of the Target duvet, wondering if Sasha or Anastasia or whatever-her-name-is from Ukraine has hairy pits too, or if she’s bald all-over like a baby. I toss in a few pornographic moans and syrupy “uh-huhs” here and there to break my surely uninspiring silence until he flips me onto my stomach. “It’s time, baby. Let’s make you a real Goddess,” he sneers, smacking his lips. About damn time, I think. It’s been two and a half hours since we met over brunch; I know because I can’t help but check the clock every ten seconds. I brace myself for his entrance. 

Suddenly, searing pain, a lightning rod in a foreign region – I jolt from my dissociative daydream. He’s inside me, but not where I expected or wanted him to be. “Uh, NOPE. No, no, no no no.” I squeak. “Sorry, Ka – I mean, Sir? I – I don’t do anal. Ever.” 

He groans, thrusting ever deeper, tugging at my tangled nest of hair. “You just haven’t had it done right yet, baby. Relax,” he breathes, “Relax and let me make you a real woman.” He pauses and pulls out with a whimper, then hands me the bottle of whiskey from the nightstand; I gulp until I feel nothing but the fire of it lacquering my throat. Do a lot of “real women” also suffer from IBS? I wonder. Tears leak from my eyes as he re-enters my asshole, which I’m now certain is hairy, unkempt, and unsightly, having never felt the need to groom it, stupidly believing it existed solely for shitting and wiping and such. Whatever, I guess. To dust we shall return. 

For fifteen minutes, he continues to thrust, slap, bite – I continue to face the wall, bottle chug, and wonder how the hell anyone is supposed to unlock their goddess potential when all their energy is spent resisting the urge to drop a steaming shit on the unwelcome, uncircumcised dick nestled in their butt. 

He shudders behind me, murmuring,“I’m close, baby. I’m so close…” Before I can reply, he pulls out, flips me onto my back again, and, looming above me, begins furiously jerking himself. “Let’s worship that beautiful nose now, Goddess… That beautiful Jewish nose of yours…UHGH –” A guttural, primal noise escapes him – like a pubescent boy with a constantly-cracking voice who’s just been kneed in the nuts – and violently shaking, he erupts onto my nose. I lie still for a moment, at-once stunned and fighting the impulse to sneeze. I guess I never thought to plug my nose before someone splooges. Lesson learned. 

He’s still rambling about my womanhood, my untapped, ethereal potential, when I reach for a tissue and blow his hot load out of my nostril. It’s late winter, and the salt of it stings my chapped upper lip; I wince. I fold and unfold the semen-and-snot-sodden napkin, conducting my own little Rorschach test with the mingling fluids. I see a breaching humpback, a skull and crossbones, my mother’s mother. 

“Well,” I say, tossing the tissue aside and wriggling back into my turtleneck, “That was fun!” I feed him some bullshit about having to meet a friend somewhere for tea (tea is for cowards who can't hack coffee) and feed my cat (cats are demonic entities I refuse to own), as I zip my skirt. 

“I’m sad you have to be going so quickly,” he says. “I’d really like to sit and pick your brain for a while. Pontificate, if I may. You seem, well… You’re fascinating, Goddess, but you’re not quite liberated yet, sexually speaking…” I shrug nonchalantly, not pretending to know or care what he’s talking about, and ask him to call me a car. 

“Sure, sure. Of course, Goddess. And remind me of your Venmo again?” 


$600 richer and armed with SensualEmpath823’s copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus (per his vehement insistence), I button my jacket and prepare to make my exit. On my way out the door, he stops me, still fully nude save for his crew socks, his limp penis waggling about, alien-like. “One more thing… I’m attending a seminar next Thursday at the arts university downtown… It’s about Buddhism and mental health. If you’d like to join me, I think you could really benefit from it, Goddess. And, we could play a little afterward.” He cocks his eyebrows and smirks, as if this is an offer I’d be an idiot to refuse. I tell him I’ll consider it, hop in the Uber, and, once safely home, block his SugarDaddyDate.com profile and delete his phone number.

“How was it?” my roommate asks. She’s an art student at the school where SensualEmpath823 will attend his retarded hippie seminar. I sling my purse onto the countertop, kick off my boots, yank open the fridge. The smell of rotting root vegetables floods the kitchen.

“It was… interesting, I guess. Pretty disgusting actually. He fucked me in the butt, which I detest. I’ve never, ever been drier.” Nudging the fridge shut, I peel back the lid of a yogurt, sniff to make sure it hasn’t expired, and dip a spoon. “But he drives a crazy BMW. Butterfly doors and all that. And he has three houses. I’m convinced he’s a cult leader.” My roommate laughs, asks me to elaborate. “I dunno, dude. He claims he has all these ‘special friends,’ which sounds like… I don’t know. It’s creepy.” I scoop up some yogurt and miss my mouth, cursing as it splats on my sweater. I dab at it with a mildewy dishrag before continuing. 

“Anyway, he clearly keeps a harem of sugar babies around, but refuses to call them that. To him, we’re all just ‘friends.’ He’s even got some in Ukraine. He asked if I wanted to meet them and proceeded to show me one of their nudes. I’m being recruited for something sinister.” 

“He probably just wants to watch you guys fuck,” my roommate says. “Which, honestly? Would be way better than sleeping with him, from the sound of it. Dating a cult leader would be really sick, actually. Was the chick in the picture hot?” I frown, drop the half-eaten yogurt in the trash, and announce I’m going to bathe for several hours. 

I dump half a bottle of lavender bubble bath into the tub, crank the faucet to max heat, and collapse on the toilet. My asshole feels raw, like I’m on day three of a Ballerina Tea cleanse and forced to wipe with sandpaper-like napkins because the Charmin Ultra Soft’s run out. I lift a hand mirror to my hole to inspect the damage, expecting R-rated gore. To my relief, everything looks shockingly intact. 


I’ve been in the tub for two hours now, adjusting the faucet with my toe to add more hot water whenever it turns tepid. This is my post-stranger-fucking routine – I prune in the suds by candlelight and chainsmoke with a paperback on the bamboo bath tray that, more often than not, remains untouched because I can’t stand the thought of my damp fingers blistering the pages. The candles, mostly of the ugly pillar variety and stolen from the corner drugstore, are adorned with cheap religious imagery. Apparently you can buy The Virgin Mary for $3 but you can’t buy Me for less than $600. They flicker, burning unevenly, the wicks perpetually drowning in their own taffy-colored wax. I dribble some of the molten goop onto my thigh, just because. As it dries, hardening but still malleable, I squish it between my thumb and forefinger, roll it into a ball, and hold it to my nose, knowing full well it’s unscented, and feeling disappointed nonetheless. Craving further disappointment, I open my email.

“Hey Abigail, CANCEL that zit!” an ad from my favorite skincare company reads. Aside from that, there is just one unread message:

Re: Moving Forward 

Hi, Abbi Baby. I seem to be shooting all week, which is cool, but kind of sucks too. I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages! There are some things that have been on my mind that I’d rather talk about in person, but, you know, it’s hard to mesh our schedules; so here I go… 

We seem to have a great time together. Our talks are really so enjoyable, and our shoot last month was the most fun I’ve had behind the camera in a while. That tight little body of yours… So youthful, so jubilant… Just thinking about it gets me hot! There’s something that’s nagging at me, however. I believe that you do genuinely like me, but I don’t get the feeling that you’re actually that attracted to me, and I can't understand why? I'm kind, generous, and I dare say I’m a decent looking guy. Sure, time has left its mark on me, but it will on you someday, too. Sooner than you expect, seeing that you're already 25... Your clock is ticking. ;-) Ha ha. 

Anyway, when we last saw each other, I didn’t expect anything to happen, you know with you having your period and all, but even when I kissed you, it felt like you recoiled a bit… at the studio and later in the car. 

Maybe you’re just not feeling me that way, and I guess c’est la vie… I don’t expect to be the cat’s pajamas for everyone I meet. But I suspect I'm at least marginally cooler than those other artless rubes you've been seeing… Ha. So maybe reconsider? 

If after all you’re not feeling it, then I’m afraid we really shouldn’t continue any intimacy... I do need it to be, above all else, organic. 

Miss you in my studio nonetheless, baby. 

XO - Steve 

Snorting, I light my last cigarette. The bathwater’s gone cold again, and my roommate is knocking at the door, demanding toilet access. “One minute!” I holler, knowing it’ll be another fifteen at least. Steve is – or was, I guess – another of my sugar daddies, a wildly successful, globe-trotting architectural photographer with impressively robust salt n’ pepper hair and complementary beard; expensive and heady, yet tasteful cologne; and exceptionally palatable taste in music and film. All in all, he isn’t terrible. In fact, he is arguably, as he guessed, the best of them; but he insisted on maintaining eye contact during sex, and, being nearly sixty, struggles to get fully hard. He’s also a Libra (total dealbreaker) and has a wife and teenaged son, neither of whom know anything of his raunchy escapades with women thirty years his junior. But, I’ve decided, that's none of my business. 

I press REPLY. 

Re: Moving Forward 

LOL. Maybe, Steve, if you want a relationship to feel organic, you should spend some quality time with your wife, rather than paying a chick 30 years younger than you to suck you off in your work studio. Just some friendly advice. :) 

XO - Abbi 

My thumb hovers over SEND. Instead, I stick in my mouth, gnaw at the cuticle until the metallic tang of blood greets my tongue, delete my reply, then block his email address. There goes my $1000 weekly deposit, I guess. I toss my phone onto the bathmat, pull the plug, and watch as the water swirls idly down the drain. 


image: Gabrielle A.D.