Kim Idol

Kim Idol is a writer/instructor partial to dogs, guns and rock climbing and travel. Her short stories have been published in Danse Macabre, Portland Review, ToastedCheese, Dead Neon, Helen: A Literary Journal and submitted to the Kulka Best American Voices anthology. She is currently at work on a novel about travel in Nepal in between trips to the Middle East and Asia which is her passion of late.

 

Under Duress

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bored, hot and horny seeking someone feeling the same - w4m

Looking for someone to spend a couple of hours with this afternoon. Friendly, fun, oral (and otherwise) sex until it's time to go. Need to meet at a neutral location. What do you say?

·  this is in or around NW Las Vegas

·  yes -- it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Kari received fifty responses within 10 minutes and then pulled the ad. There seemed no end to the number of urgent offers (and suggestions). The human imagination was a beast burdened with a staggering array of dimensions. Internet sex was a woman’s game. She told her friend, Nick about her success. He tried the same tack and was contacted by prostitutes seeking clients. Not so much what he had hoped. Kari felt that Nick was easily spooked. He spent half a day setting up e-mail accounts to protect his identity. Then he wigged when the deal went south.

Kari preferred sailing in howling winds on small skiffs. She included her address and phone number in her replies. As a result, she hooked a stalker who called fifteen times in two hours, and threatened to visit in person unless she responded. She went to his house with a gun and changed his mind. He too had included his address in his e-mail. Kari felt like a half-smashed bird lying in the fast lane, but she would not be threatened.

The idea for the ads broke free from the underground confines of a prim sexual history while she was eating lunch with Eddie. She had been wallowing in a sad time. Her ex-husband’s fling, which caused the divorce, was working. The guy Kari wanted next did not want her, but could not say so out loud and the next guy she wanted had turned mean. She was a bad bookie being trampled by bad nags. She was also hornier than all the fleets of sailors, all over the world, combined.

“Fuck this noise,” she said to Eddie. He was forking through a greasy meal. Kari liked coffee shops for context, but usually hated the food. Her omelet floated next to potato pieces, bobbing in a clear, fat concoction.

“I’ll fuck you,” Eddie said. “A thing between friends, just so you can get your rocks off.”

“Charming. You think Erin wouldn’t stab me with a potato peeler?” Erin was a cook. It would be the device closest to hand. When Kari caught her husband cheating, it was a backscratcher on the bedstand.

“My girlfriend understands needs. She might be grateful. She doesn’t like sex all that much anyhow.” He swallowed the rest of his tea and waved the glass at the waitress. “Just so you know.” A piece of grease and egg was smeared on his chin. He wiped it off and used pudgy fingers to clean his plate with a bent waffle. Then he cleaned his fingers on his pants.

“You’ll be my backup plan.” She shoved her plate away. “Pay the check. I forgot my wallet.”

Long term frustrations and tensions left to stew were souring her. There’s a point of stoppage where if nothing is done about need it becomes all you know and Kari felt herself settling into that position. In defense, she went home, surfed to Craig’s list and clicked the Casual Encounters link.

Would you WATCH me?? - 45: In town for one day. Looking for a woman who would be interested in watching me masturbate.

FATHER&SON LOOKING FOR MOTHER&DAUGHTER - 62 and 30

Looking for Bi WOMEN 4 a group of Men and some women TONIGHT - mm4w: IF you come, please bring something to share. Don't come empty handed, unless your really hot and will do everyone that want's you. :)

A man seeking a crazy bitch! - m4w – 54: single, clean, seeking a crazy bitch, a whore in the bedroom that drive's me crazy but deep down my little princes! Any age any race yea!

It seemed unsafe to meet strange men at her place and the ex-husband was in Utah for the week, so she gave the guy the ex’s address. By the end of that night she had spent three hours with someone she would never meet again and had learned the reason you fuck old guys is because they know how. He arrived in flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt. A math teacher from Idaho. His dick stayed soft, even after it got hard, but he made her come more times that she could count. He wanted to talk in between sessions, so she let him ramble. When they were done she let him kiss her, because he wanted to, and then she made him go. She changed the sheets then went home and showered. Once that wave broke on the beach, Kari shifted into full fury. Six more men in six more nights. They came eagerly, she was a shiny silver dollar on the beach and they had been shifting sand from hand to hand, while watching traffic. She was internally untouchable. A solid form they could not penetrate no matter what. She always bathed afterwards. She always wore the same dress, clothing that could be stowed away, along with these decisions, when she returned to earth to stare at the stranger in her bathroom mirror.

She had called her friend, Eddie the next day to confirm what she had done by telling someone.

“Not smart, he said, “You’re going to get strangled. They’ll find you stuffed in a trunk. Promise you’ll call me. Tell me where you’re going and when I should worry.”

“I don’t want to worry you.”

“I’m not worried? I want your car when you die and you’ve left me out of the will.”

“Done.” She lied. Kari could not be bothered. She was a girl sledding down a slick vertical incline. Cautions were constraints. She was also, a girl who knew better. There had been a group of old friends once. Charlie’s dealer offed him, Cassie lost her eye in a fight and AIDS killed Dave. People she knew had died, and become fodder for the Media section, second page articles, in the lower corner. A lez had knifed Kari in a parking lot but she had survived and left the risky living behind. She did not shoot up, swallow or snort, anymore, had not drunk alcohol in a decade and never would again. Her new friends walked the straight and narrow. But a rocker switch had been thrown in her. The roommate wanted to leave and she nearly pitched a fit. Her mom came to town and left without calling. The men were bad choices and she heard an echo, a buzzing tone centered low and in the back of her brain. “Don’t leave me,” it said. “Please.” And when it went unheard, because life has a larger purpose than the few things Kari lacked, the buzzing traveled to her heart and mutated to a rolling ball of electrified wire, cutting and poking and she knew rage again and the kind of loneliness that kept her from thinking, from doing her job well, and from sleeping.

She knew her inclinations and knowing she would neither stop, nor be more careful, Kari searched for a way to make herself safer. A man had mentioned sex clubs in his
e-mail. She found three, picked the one with convenient hours and set a date in her head. She would go alone. If it was horrible, no one else would ever know. Skydiving without a parachute was a private affair.

She arrived at four. Traffic was light. Wheeling onto a bland driveway she saw the building on the far side of the lot. The sign over the door said Internet Café. The club was near school. If this worked, she could come after night classes. She parked in the middle of the lot. The lot was dirty, the building cruddy and bums lying two buildings away lounged in the afternoon sun sipping something from brown bags. Only two bums though, not like it was skid row, just reminiscent of a back alley where rats scuttled towards trashcans. Her body began to heat. Her underpants were already wet. She felt her insides shifting away from her skin, the way batter rolls away from greased surfaces.

Inside was clean, but grim. The café fronted the club and it was almost empty.

“Hello Sweetie.” The guy at the desk wore a single breasted, black suit. All the bouncers did. “Sweetie,” was the standard greeting for women. With a ratio of 1 to 10, women were at a premium in the club. An entrance fee for a woman was just high enough to repel the prostitutes. The fee for single men was the highest, but it could be mitigated if the man brought a girl.

Everyone got wristbands. Singles wore orange. Couples wore green. The V.I.P. lounge was on the second floor and access cost more. It opened after 9 and was off limits until then. The couple areas were sacrosanct. If your partner disappeared, you left or were politely removed.

A hallway behind the front desk led to a bar where the barmaids served soft drinks. A skinny girl dressed in a lattice mesh and fishnets served up a Snapple and said that a towel would cost four bucks. Overstuffed chairs were pressed into conversational areas, beaded drapes surrounded them, a golden pole shone in a corner, and two pool tables were laid out for new players. A jukebox, with a morphing display, played Joan Jett.

Kari wore a spandex dress and flats. She put her flats in a corner and took a seat at the bar.

A Fred Gwynne look alike guzzled a Red Bull and ordered another. “How you doing, honey?” His head was huge and he slouched.

Kari nodded and turned away. A wisp of shame combined with the fear of the unknown drafted through her. She needed a distraction, something to do. “Where’s the Jacuzzi?” she asked the bartender.

“That way, hon.” A waitress with long lacquered finger nails plucked a towel from a pile and passed it across the bar.

“No Sex in the Pool,” said the sign on the door. Kari sank into the water and closed her eyes. A waft of cool air presaged a visitor. Gwynne pulled up a chair.

“Mind if I take my dick out?” He eased a monster out of his pants and began to stroke it. His face was ground zero immediately after the blast. Hermann Munster with a hard on. Kari reached for his dick and started the blow job. Before long they moved to a mat near the pool and fucked. He liked to spank her. He said he liked to hit her ass and watch it jiggle. An image of ponies came to mind, followed by girls in black hats, black vests and red cowgirl dresses. He was too big and there was blood afterwards, but once they were done, she’d never touch him again. She suspected he knew that. He was the bad movie everyone watched once. He haunted the bar and coupled with new comers willing to fuck lower tier product. Kari would see him on later nights, infesting dark corners. Cupping a Red Bull in both hands, he would watch. It annoyed her that he could, but after a time he became like the wallpaper and drifted out of focus. He never approached her again. Good ugly dog. Stay.

She showered, dressed and searched for her hair clip. It seemed important not to leave things behind. Then she needed a book. She wanted to concentrate on one thing and not wrestle with the thousand and one gnats whirling in her brain. So she bought dinner at Border’s and read a biography of Lucille Ball over a thick cheese sandwich and talked to a man at the next table about art and the way to become rich and be happy.

Both men offered their cards. Hermann Munster owned a novelty shop. He said she had earned a discount. The other man owned an art gallery. He suggested she call and said she that had made his meal a pleasant one.

“I love Las Vegas,” he said. “There are so many kinds of people here.” Then he tipped his hat yes, tipped his hat. “Have a fine evening Miss.”

She crumpled both cards in her hand before she threw them away. Just tossing them in the trash wasn’t enough.

 

“What should I wear?” Not a question Kari considered when it came to sex. Nick wanted a tour of the club.

“Be comfortable.” July in Vegas was still damn hot. Even the nights. Kari had been swimming in her pool when the phone rang.

“I don’t want anyone to know,” Nick said. To her mind this probably meant that he should not go and it occurred to her that friends should not take friends to sex clubs. The notion had little stamina and took a dive early in round one. The demons kept tucked away since her drinking days, had wriggled free and were exploiting crawlspaces in her psyche. They could not make her drink, but they could work the walls for cracks. Common sense was curled up in a cubby hole trying to avoid getting a wedgy.

Kari circled the pool while she talked. Nick wanted the details of her first visit. No man made sense to her. Nick never engaged for very long. He was more of a spectator than a participant. He would not find what he wanted tomorrow, but she’d be damned if she would point that out tonight.

They set a time. The Fiesta Casino neon blinked in the sky beyond the walls of her backyard. Three pit bulls scuttled through the dog door and began following her, digressing in order to harass the plants and track crickets. Then the cicada, annoyed by the dogs, began to cry. The harsh keening ended the phone call.

They arrived too early, even the front rooms were deserted.

“Club doesn’t start to heat up until ten-thirty, eleven.” A tan massif in a double-breasted suit noticed Kari and Nick and recognized beginners when he saw them. They were seated on a cracked couch in the café. The slim room had narrowing exits on either side. One led to a double door exit and the other to a doorway backed by what looked like a black room. A counter by the front doors encased t-shirts, ashtrays, bikini bottoms with club logos and a stack of STRIP magazines which seemed pedestrian when you could pass through the dark room and see humans in action. Brownies, chocolate chip muffins, coffee, tea and sodas were for sale on an opposite counter.

“Anything, Sweetie?” Sylvia, a dusky girl in hip hugging jeans, was sharing a smoke with the bar maids. They were using a brownie as an ashtray.

“Coffee,” Kari replied. Nick shook his head.

“Coming up.” Sylvia tucked a lock of hair behind an ear and shoved the brownie in the trash. “You left too early yesterday,” she said. “I told you. Got to hang in there. You never know what’s going to walk in the door. Couple of the industry guys showed. I told them you was here. ‘New girl’, I said.” She dumped a white cup on the counter and wiped up the spill before she nudged it towards Kari. Three more bouncers crossed the room. Each was the size of a small truck and wore an earpiece connected to an insulated cord. In the nights to follow, Kari would realize they were always present in every room, but never obvious. A doorman sat by the door to the black room and prepared paperwork. The cashier smoked in his box and practiced drawing Animé.

The manager walked through and tapped the phony feathers of a mechanical parrot perched next to the doorman. It swore at him. He saw Kari watching.

“First defense against the drunks,” he said.

“If they argue with the bird, they are already too drunk to come in here.” The doorman supplied the punch-line. Couples dressed in shorts and t-shirts bought tickets, some asked for a tour. Inside they would clutch one another and keep clear of the action. Singles drifted by in twos and threes. The regulars took their time, paused to talk to the staff. The newcomers hurried on as if they were afraid of being seen, in a place where there were no private rooms. An elderly couple walked in. The man was bald. The woman had an afro. She sported udders, completely bared by a low cut “t”. He had a basketball belly and shuffled slightly behind her. Kari and Nick had promised one another that if either one wanted to leave, then that was all anyone needed to know.

“Tell me if it hurts,” a dentist once said to Kari. “This procedure can be painful.”

“Not on your life,” she had thought. Kari never said uncle. The promise between her and Nick them was for him. Nothing could happen in here that would make her break down. It was a quality that what made her a good drunk, no level of degradation fazed her. She always wanted more. She had a boyfriend once, a woman beater. He started out with the little things just to see what he could abide. Kari always wanted to know what the darker parts looked like and what she looked like, in reflection, from the depths.

“I’m the type that needs a plan,” Nick said. They sat and talked in the front room while they waited for the crowd to build. Kari already knew that a sex club was an awkward scene if there weren’t enough people involved. A spectacle needed a crucial minimum in order to work. “I used to think I was the adventurous type, until I met you,” Nick said. Whether that was a compliment, or a statement of distain or respect, she wished he had not said it. Kari made plans to fill the time before the starting shots, but she discarded them once the battle was joined.

“We are playing with some dangerous shit,” he said. Maybe he was, but this was therapy for her. Still suffering from her crush on him, she knew this experience would kill it. She never looked at men the same way after one of these club nights. She might not judge her companion, but she would become less aware of him after tonight. The sense that the air in the room changed when he entered the room would die and he would become less of a particulate, more of a dust mote. A girl filled with glass pieces, Kari sought ways to cut the cost of human contact. If reminders of rejections could not be evicted, they could be revised so that they did not carve new scars. She might not be able to alter the physical realities of the world in which she lived, but with concentrated effort, she could alter how they affected her.

Once enough time had passed, Nick paid the entry fee and they pierced the dark room and in an uncertain fashion, drifted upstairs, as if they had intended to go somewhere else. The light was so bad the rooms seem shrouded in haze. Terrible music played on the speakers and bounced through doorways trimmed with plastic beads. Each room had a television set on which a woman pretend cried when a guy pretend whipped her.

When faced with the need to confront fear Kari leaped past the process everyone else brooked to become comfortable straight through to the scary thing. All her life she had been the first one to leap into the sea, swim into the underwater caves and brave what others wanted to think about first. She was better at action than thinking, better at reacting than feeling. When she and Nick reached the second floor, she saw that if she hesitated she would float from room to room and never engage. Shaped by the same dress, the same shoes and the same sense of precipitation as on her first day, Kari kissed the first man they met in a hallway and they drifted to the Slave Trader bed. It was draped with red veils and offered a place to start. Nick dropped away. In the middle of a 6/9 configuration, Kari had the impression of an audience. A couch and chairs offered comfortable viewing. A coffee table allowed spectators to set down drinks. Her self faded away as she pretended that she was the kind of girl to participate in a 6/9 with a man she had never met.

“I don’t think I can come,” the man eventually said. “Maybe later.” Then he drifted away and Kari’s head cleared enough that she realized Nick was seated on the couch and that the bed was attended by a half dozen men rubbing their cocks. The thought flashed through her mind that you could damage friendships with demonstrations of unconcern and that she did not want to offend her friend even if he did not want her the way she wanted him. Then she opened a window and sent that thought spinning away. She crawled closer to a masturbator and began to suck until he came. There might have been several more, but keeping track was like trying to pierce the truth through a drunken haze. After a time, she dressed and wandered down the hall.

She stepped into a sunken room centered around circular red mats and knelt on a couch so that she could watch a blond in a shiny thong grind a high heeled shoe in a man’s groin. Kari knew Andrea. They had been the only two women in the club on more than one occasion. Andrea was surrounded. She worked the circle leaving each man aroused but unfulfilled. No one made her finish. If she balked because the wrong guy made the wrong move, he would be ejected before he could zip up. She was a performer on the high wire who could not fall. The men took what they could get and she controlled the action.

“Hey baby,” She paused to kiss Kari. A gentle hush as the circle of men eased around so that Andrea would stay centered. When she stepped back the circle moved with her. Acolytes at the oracle’s alter. Andrea liked the attention, but was neither getting off on the dance nor had she found the partner she sought. After a while you want the ones who insist.

Someone bumped Kari and put his hands on her hips.

“That was great head. I never come that way,” the man shape said. Kari cocked her head towards a mat laid out behind the show, in a corner.

“Want to do more?” He wore a pale striped shirt and beige shorts and kept one hand on her hip all the way to the bed. Lying down drew a crowd. By the time he was done seven others had been sucking Kari’s tits, rubbing her thighs and sticking their dicks where she could rub or lick them.

“Gotta get to work,” He zipped up. “Thanks.” She took two more before she felt the need for a break. The crowd clotted the entrance to the bedroom. Bystanders collecting around an accident. A palatable regret shifted through the ranks, but the men made a path and tucked their penises away. Kari located her black dress in the darkness and strolled through the rueful rows and headed downstairs.

“How you doing honey? A man in a bright blue shirt, stepped in front of her, gently blocking her progress. He was large as a small bear and smelled like mint aftershave. They found a couples’ room. She was always wet and sometimes came.

She was starting to categorize men. A successful orgasm by either participant ended the game. For this reason, there were repeats. Men who could neither keep it up nor come the first time.

“There’s a pregnant woman doing a pole dance,” she said to one. “Go watch and then find me again.”

“Not my thing.” A plumber from North Dakota. He ran his hand across his chest. Tight blond curls. “Every time my wife is pregnant, my dick goes soft. Try doing it this way.”

Kari worked them until she ran out of patience. A short Mexican, who kept calling her Mamá, got frustrated, but would not stop. She met up with him several times during the night. He finally dragged her into the bathroom where doing it on the toilet worked. She noticed ugly brown shoes with wide square tips while he fucked her from behind.

“You aren’t going to help me get off?” A visitor from South Africa had invited her into another stall by asking for a favor. He was shorter than she was and she could see where he was balding.

“It’s in the travel guide as the place to visit,” he said. “My wife said I should tell her all about it.”

Probably not every single detail. Twice more there were group scenes and in between, Kari found Nick. Whether or not it was the experience he had intended he never said, but he chose to watch. Whenever she found him, he was seated in the gallery. The experience reminded her of elementary school when your friend was not picked to play or those first school dances when you got dates and dances but your friend sat in folding chairs by the punch bowl next to the skinny guys with sloped shoulders, large faces, glasses, braces and acne. She had no idea what he thought. Washed away on high tides she was floating on a shoreless sea and every time she looked for him, he seemed to be sitting on the beach watching swimmers. She had the idea that, in the end, this was where he wanted to stay.

“The problem with me,” he said, “is that I like sleeping alone. “Three nights is the most I can stand to share my bed.” Always his bed, not anyone else’s. A man who could not drift. People need drifting time, lots of it. They need to know that helplessness is natural and not a state to resist. If Kari was lost in the whirling flow. This man was her opposite. She wanted him, but she loathed his stasis. Kari found Nick now and again during the night. They lay in smaller rooms and talked.

“Looks matter to me,” he said. There isn’t anything in here that I want.” To her knowledge he had a thing for girly girls. He did not fall in love with them, but would marry one if duty called, if he could not get out of town fast enough. He wasn’t rude, according to him, he just never stayed. Kari’s relationships with men were like that between Andrea and her fans. Neither Kari nor the men were going to be caught reaching for something they could get. Kari reached for the drifters, the ones who did not want to matter. Andrea’s tribesmen wanted the fuck that did not matter, but few had the nerve to block her retreat and insist, or even ask.

 

“What’s it like in there?” she asked Nick. They had evicted him from the couples’ section because he was alone. She had gotten sidetracked by a little guy who couldn’t get it up, much as he wanted. When she returned a bouncer unlocked one of the private rooms so they could escape from the flow.

“Noah’s ark, with uglier animals. There’s a Japanese couple in there giving head,” he said. Someone knocked on the door, then peered in the window.

“Too much visual?”

“They’re my grandparents age. I need therapy.”

“You don’t think your grandparents have sex?”

“Not on the front porch they don’t.”

“I’ll buy you breakfast.”

“You’ll pay for the sessions and the Thorazin.”

“For the shock?”

“For the night sweats. I just got past seeing my mother naked when I was nine.”

“She scream?”

“I cried.”

“You were that freaked?”

“I dropped my popsicle.”

Then they just stopped talking. The room was soundproof, the lights were low and for a moment all she knew was his shape and a shared warmth.

The conversations were slowing moments when Kari returned to herself, could feel her skin again. Sometimes hearing someone else’s story fills all the empty spaces. The moments in the club provided a fine wide sea in which to reflect on spaciousness because being one in a multitude was a comfortably strange experience. But when one guy stops and tells you what he thinks, the thousand that came before and could not do the same, are erased as if they had never lived.

Kari had composed a list of club survival rules by the time she took Nick. The club was a life raft but it was not a safe place. The men wanted to know her name. She said it was Fred. It was like high school really. In the club she belonged to no one and had no friends although she was willing to be friendly. She wasn’t worried about what Nick would see her do she did worry that he might guess why she came. But on the drive over he kept trying to plan for contingencies and she could tell that he was too self-involved to threaten her privacy.

“Come here.” She found Nick circling the rooms in the couples’ section and dragged him into a booth.

He resisted but was too unwilling to say what he wanted to refuse. “No,” he said I don’t feel like…”

Lie down she said easing back on the bed so that he could join her. When he saw that she was not offering to have sex he relaxed. Pairs peeking in booths stopped to see but when they two people fully clothed just lying together they moved on.

“You don’t like it here.” she said. He looked like he was three steps from the door where ever he stood. A clean cut stone set in the center of the stream of swirling water.

“It’s easy for you,” he said. “There are maybe three women here who don’t look like the back end of a cow.

“I don’t notice whether the men are handsome.” In order to do what, on some level sickened her, Kari did not look at faces, then she would find Nick and remember who she was because every time they met up he would talk to her and the sound of his voice made the world stop rolling.

“You don’t care.” He looked across the hallway into another booth. A woman was pinned down and groaning. A crowd started to collect and eventually blocked their view.

“It is almost sex by yourself. I don’t look.” Kari was reminded of commercials where the woman could not get her husband’s attention because he was watching football. She was less not more confused about her feelings than she had been earlier.

“What about a couple?” Nick asked. He turned his attention to her and brought up a possibility she dreaded.

“Couples are harder,” Kari said. He had a story to counter, but she stopped him from telling it. “What do they want? Who do they want? Who wants to watch, who wants to play, who wants to call the shots? That’s too much conversation.”

“I like more control.”

“I do too.”

“Not in the same way.”

“Exactly in the same way,but getting it differently. Sex with strangers is all about being in charge.”

“And it’s about being lost.” He was as much of a stranger to her as many of the others here and still strangers have that habit of saying true things. Against her will she asked what he thought about someone they both knew and the conversation segued into a reminiscence of how he sucked at baseball when he was a kid and then into the years of adventures in between then and tonight. He would talk but he would not touch except to lie by her. In between conversational pauses she left him to his devices and found men who did not want to talk and in this way she forged an unsatisfactory construct of what a date might be like if she could find one man in the many she contacted during the night.

Albatross chicks learn to fly by launching themselves to sea. Tiger sharks cluster at the rookeries and eat the flailing baby birds. If the chicks do not learn to fly instantly, they never learn at all. Kari’s sense of people was that they did not learn. That there was not enough time or space in the ebb and flow of surviving even the events that did not kill, to allow for growth. When the night was done, Kari had had several conversations with Nick, in between sessions with strangers. The talks kept the night from being insane, but they also made her see that she had not wholly escaped herself nor effected her escape from her feelings for him so at the end of the night, in one final search for the sharking experience, she encouraged him to dive into a final orgy in a room where only participating couples could play.

The room was called the Shadow Box. Black light reflected white brightly. The mat and the walls where black but white stripes streaked across the carpet and the girl being fucked on a swing suspended in a corner was wearing light lipstick. Someone turned the music up which drowned out the sounds of the watchers who kept calling out to the players and asking that they perform certain acts or begging them to come closer to the gallery where men pumped away through their fingers. The woman who let Nick and Kari in locked the door on her way out. Couples were already at it. As Nick had remarked earlier, none of them were pretty people. Without looking at anything but the ground Kari undressed and crawled into the fray. Nick took off his shirt and followed her. She reached back when she felt him come close and realized that he was still half dressed.

“Take your pants off,” she said. He disappeared for a moment to do what he was told. When he returned she could feel him behind her doing as little as he could without being ejected for just watching. She tried to touch him but he would not allow it, he also would not be kissed. So she gave up and turned her attention to the woman in front of her who wanted to be licked.

A gallery of men watched and jacked off while Kari, Nick and three other pairs risked infection. Kari sucked the woman, who turned her stomach, while she heard the woman’s husband beg his wife to tell him how it felt. Someone else sucked him while he talked dirty to his wife and played with Kari’s breasts. One many bodied beast connected by touch.

“What does it feel like baby,” he asked his wife. “Is she sucking you?”

“She’s making me come baby. She’s making me come.”

And Kari was sorry she was involved but damned if she’d back out.

The man had a rash, the woman smelled like a man and Kari could not tell Nick’s touch from the others. She realized that she had closed her eyes. When she opened them she saw Nick had retreated to a side chair where he was masturbating. He finished and wiped himself with a Kleenex. He started to dress but paused and said he needed a shower first. They showered in separate stalls and dressed without looking at one another. And when they finally closed the club and threw the swingers out, Kari felt as far from Nick as Columbus was from India, when he landed in the Bahamas.