My wife is mostly a straight arrow sexually, but she kind of has a thing for dirty stories. For a while now I've been making them up for her in bed, with spectacular results. Lately, though, my creative powers have run dry, and I'm having a hard time dreaming up fresh scenarios.
I'd love to buy my wife a collection of erotic stories that we could read before sex, but I'm too embarrassed to go into a porn shop. Are there any "respectable" bookstores that sell such stuff in Madison?
Page Turner: You're willing to buy your wife a fancy collection of erotica rather than just downloading her some free pornographic stories on the Internet? My, my - chivalry isn't dead.
As your friendly neighborhood advice columnist, I set off to do your dirty work for you. I checked out the Borders Books on University Avenue, just a little self-conscious about seeking sexual arousal in a space potentially filled with people I know. I scanned the aisles for the filthy books, hoping I wouldn't have to ask a clerk where they are. But I couldn't find them, dammit, so I approached a man with a Borders nametag and a headset. I wondered if the headset was for calling the police when suspicious customers ask about illicit merchandise.
The clerk led me to a surprisingly expansive section marked "Erotica." West-siders, it seems, like their naughty stories.
The Erotica section was wedged between Divorce/Separation and True Crime, making it seem like an oasis of pleasure in a cruel world. I would have loved to browse through the books in peace, but a fellow customer stood right next to me, looking through the Metaphysics section on the bookcase opposite Erotica. (His head was in the clouds while mine was in the gutter.)
The Erotica titles didn't pull any punches for squeamish suburban sensibilities: Master/Slave, House of Dark Delights, Rites of Obedience, Sex in Public, Unearthly Desires, Rubber Girl, Nights in White Cotton. With a sideways glance at the Metaphysics guy, I started pulling books off the shelf to test their...effectiveness.
What I found was shocking - not for its erotic potency, but for its literary lameness. From Punished in Pink: "She trembled at the thought of touching a prefect's thigh, kissing the naked flesh, kneeling to worship the creamy flanks, rippling in coltish beauty." Who'd get turned on by a phrase like "creamy flanks," other than a horse?
From the spanking opus Blushing at Both Ends: "'You like playing the shrew, it seems. Well, let's see how you like my performance as Petruchio!'"
Unless your wife is a tenured professor of English literature, Page Turner, I doubt that a pornographic allusion to Shakespeare will have her moaning in ecstasy.
So what have we learned? 1) You can get anything you want at a mainstream bookstore, and 2) you don't want any of it. Keep making up your own stories, Page Turner. If you do a good enough job, I'm certain that your wife will kneel to worship your creamy flanks.
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