The last thing you want when you’re going to see your boyfriend’s hooker is a helpful man. But this man is determined to help you. He has the look - you know the look – he has the look of a helpful man.
It’s three o’clock in the afternoon. You’re standing in the lobby of a surprisingly nice high-rise in a suburb of DC, typing numbers into a security pad, waiting for a woman to come on the line and tell you her apartment number. Her instructions were quite specific. In her email, she attached a zip file with directions to this building, the sort of painfully clear directions that make you understand this is a woman who is accustomed to telling people how to find her.
The money is in a plain white envelope inside your purse. She has included instructions about this in the zip file too: “I never discuss payment in person, nor do I wish to see cash. Please place the envelope discreetly on the table as you enter.”
It strikes you as strange that a woman with such delicate sensibilities that she cannot bear the sight of money would be prepared to repeatedly bury her face in the genitals of strangers, but your boyfriend has described her as “nice,” and perhaps this is what he means...
Kim Wright, from "Dangerous Games With Competent People," BAE 2007
The Best American Erotica 2007 is out at last, just in time for our International Day of Lust and Longing. I've got a red arrow with your name on it, and some stories that will tie you in knots.
For example, the excerpt above, from "Dangerous Games With Competent People," is written by Kim Wright, the best authorial surprise I've had in a long time. She's been a full-time writer all her life, specializing in food, wine, and travel. But I have other plans for her, now...
SB: Do you think sexually adventurous people tend toward the gourmet in their eating habits as well? Are "slow foodies" better lovers? Do you find that anything about your food/travel writing that influences you when you approach a sexual scene or story?
KW: The line between cunnilingus and foie gras is a very fine one indeed. Absolutely, foodies tend to be much more sexual, more sensual, and more adventurous than your average person. Chefs are legendarily horny— probably the horniest profession out there with the possible exception of politicians. And the inverse works too... people who are sexually experimental tend to have broad appetites in other areas as well.
When I first started my career in culinary journalism, an older mentor suggested that I use sexual imagery to describe food. "If you're subtle, they'll never notice it," she told me, "but something about the writing will hit them on a deeper level." She was right.
Then I started using travel-writing imagery when describing sex— the body of your lover as a foreign country, as a continent you're landing on. Works just as well.
I don't know about the slow food people being better lovers. I'm from the South and can vouch for the barbecue guys.
When I first approached you, you made me laugh by saying "Most of the important things that have ever happened to me have happened in restaurants or in bed." Do tell!
I've met all my significant lovers in restaurants.
I used to think that the perfect way to seduce a lover was to get to know them slowly, to build a base of friendship, to give it some time.... Develop a rapport with them out of bed before you moved it to the sexual. The whole put-the-cold-pot-on-the-hot-stove school of thought.
Of course I thought that. Everyone was telling me that was how it should work, including a string of therapists and well-meaning friends.
In reality, the times I've gotten to know a man gradually have always ended in disaster. I have no explanation to offer for this, but each time in my life I played by the rules and let friendship slowly turn to love it's ended in a ghastly way. Ghastly as in "restraining order."
Because of that I've developed this profound fear of nice men. I think they're so repressed that they're dangerous. But those times I've met a lover in a bar or restaurant and we were immediately sexual, those relationships are all either still going or they ended great. Honest.
My all-time three best relationships have one thing in common: I slept with the man the day I met him. Maybe that's why I've developed my penchant for writing sexually charged scenes in restaurants. Partly it's the food-writer thing, but also, these scenarios have worked out well for me in real life.
If I meet a man and he's really out there with his sexuality it helps me relax. I trust him more. If he's drinking Barolo and sucking the marrow out of a veal bone, and saying stuff like, "I've got a car in the parking deck, how about it?"— I promise you it won't be long until my kids are referring to him as an "uncle." Hell, he'll probably end up as a pall bearer at my funeral.
Photo: "I was the slut of all time!" — so said La Taylor in the movie she won her first Academy Award: Butterfield 8