People bare their souls freely on a long drive through darkness.
It's the rev. It's your companion in shadows, it's feeling
invisible yourself.

Last winter I had to make an appearance on a college campus in
New England. My plan was to fly into Boston in late afternoon and
take a rented car north. I began my career in that neck of the
woods, and I looked forward to a long stretch of memorious
solitude negotiating the country-roads that pass for highways up
there. I arrived in Boston at about half-past three on a day in
late January. The shadows were already long. As it happened,
there had been a blizzard two days earlier. My rented car was
secure, but, even though New Englanders wrote the book on
clearing snow, most of the fleet was missing in action: many cars
due back days ago were only now trundling in. That was how the
young woman with the sexy, educated look, and the name Emily on
her badge, who greeted me at the rental-station came to be
apologizing for a request she was about to make which she wanted
me to understand I would be perfectly within my rights to refuse
once she made it. There's no loveliness lovelier than the high-IQ
kind - it's something you see a lot of in Boston - trig hair-cut,
pretty clothes, searching bespectacled eyes. A woman like that
can ask - or, to be accurate about it, require - anything of me,
and it's hers if it's in this world. I conveyed this sentiment to
the divine being from Harvard Square (an origin I was sure of),
though perhaps in a manner more flirtatious than humble - and of
course immediately regretted the dastardly disguise in this. One
often wonders what a woman would say if an otherwise solid male
citizen made it plain - perhaps by dropping to his knees - that
he was ready then and there to be her most obedient servant. Get
out? Get serious? Get real? Really, now, get up off your knees?
"Women are really much nicer than men," the poet says. "That's
why we like them."

In any case, I told the young woman I strongly doubted that I
could refuse any request of HERS. There was a little too much
noblesse in the way I said it, a little too much affluent-author
gallantry. I meant it literally, and should have sounded as if I
did. The minute the words were out and the gesture made, I
bitterly reproached myself for my infidelity to the cause I'm
supposedly dedicated to: female supremacy. How to make up for it,
then? There was only one way: agree in advance, without knowing
what on earth she had in mind, and lavish the lady with
compliments suggestive of worship, if not solemn genuflections at
her feet. Her rent-a-car counter, with its plywood escutcheon
tilted forward to symbolize speed, would have obstructed her view
of my sunken body actually, so I stayed on my feet but did up the
first remedy.

"Please," I said, "don't even ask...."

"I understand," she said, "I wouldn't have, but...."

"No, no," I said. "I mean, you don't HAVE to ask. Just tell me.
Tell me...." And now my heart pounded, as male hearts do when we
dare these imperceptible leaps of submission that nonetheless
feel to us like death-defying free-fall - utterances that send
pangs of glorious exposure through us while the unprepared woman
deflects their soft-spoken craziness with a quizzical blink and a
mantra of cognitive dissonance, "Yes, well, anyway...."

"Just tell me," I said, "your wish is my command." I gave her
what I think of as an earnest look, tilted head, widened eyes
just this side of sorrow. "And I mean that sincerely," I added,
at the same time thinking, Dear God, now I'm sounding like Sammy
Davis Junior.

"Mr. ---, don't you want to hear what it is first?"

"As a matter of fact, my dear, I don't" - (that false note of
gallantry again! but quickly corrected...) - "I want you to
remember later in life, when too many men to count have served
you unhesitantly, that I...(here I mentioned my name, with much
conviction)...that I, one wintry day at Logan, was the first. ONE
of the first, anyhow. A woman like you, I mean.... What are my

So this was how the man I'll call Renny Polhemus, whose
destination lay along the same narrow road to the deep north as
my own, whose "reserved" rental-car was probably being hauled
from a snow-bank hours north of Boston even as we spoke, and
whose business was urgent...and so on, and so on...this was how
he ended up my passenger on a drive that was meant to give me
three hours or more of evening solitude.

Polhemus was standing out of ear-shot as Emily shyly delivered
what I wanted to feel were my instructions. He was quite a
handsome man, actually, tall, early middle-aged, graying. He wore
a chocolate-brown trench-coat, full-length, Italian-cut, smooth
black desert-boots and an olive Borsolino. There was a
fiber-flecked sport-jacket, dark shirt and darker tie under his
coat. A man of artistic bent and obvious sophistication - that
was a relief - though looking rather miserable just now, what
with his travel-plans foiled. I asked Emily to introduce me as
Tom Black, if she didn't mind. Yes, of course, she said,
addressing me luxuriously by my real name, she understood.

I tried, as we pulled into the airport traffic, to cast one last
look of exceeding surrender in Emily's direction, but, collision
being imminent, I was obliged to cut it short, and I doubt that
Emily caught what I was sure would have remained the memorable
picture of an important man's diligence in her service.

Polhemus and I made the requisite small-talk: how kind I was to
let him hitch with me, the difficulties of winter-travel, the
impossibility of following the highway-signs in Boston, our
hometowns, our lines of work. He was an illustrator. I'd probably
seen his work - book jackets, New Yorkers, c***dren's books. We
must have had acquaintances in common. We'd come in on the same
flight: he'd noticed me, hard at work at my computer the whole
way. I didn't look like a suit, though, and I wasn't wearing one,
and I didn't keep rummaging through papers, so he'd concluded
that I was a writer or a journalist.

"Exactly right," I said, without settling the remaining
ambiguity. I detected that Renny and I wore the same cologne.
This increased my affection for him. Not being a shallow person,
I judge exclusively by appearances. One learns in the cult of
feminine beauty how sound a procedure this is.

We went on a bit about computers. What a boon they've been in our
work. It was obvious that neither of us found this theme
enriching. We'd fallen silent by the time we hit the northern
suburbs. It was dusk already. Then Polhemus thanked me again for
agreeing to take him.

"I couldn't refuse the girl," I said, hoping this sounded more
good-humored than slighting.

"Lucky for me, then," he said. "I was taken with her, too,
actually. You could see she had the knowledge."

"The knowledge?"

"Isn't that what you meant, then?" he said. "The knowledge of us?"

"Us?" I said. "You and me?"

"Men," Polhemus said. "Us men."

"Wait," I said. "Are we talking courtesy-of-the-knee stuff,
humble-makes-pure?" He'd either know the code or he wouldn't.

"The knowledge," Polhemus said. He intoned a few measures: "Some
say it's in service...." His voice was deep and hardly needed
raising to sound dramatic. He could carry a tune whispering.

"My word," I said gaily. "I hadn't pinned you for a Rosicrucian,

"Pure AMORC, Tom," Polhemus said.

Then he asked me if I and that laptop of mine had gone
world-wide, and if so, did we browse certain newsgroups? When I
said we had and did, he began to mention correspondents he
especially liked. Amity, Mule, Vickie Tern, Estragon. Did I know
them? Rather, I said, and asked if he, Polhemus, ever posted. He
was just a grateful reader, he said. What about me, then? he
asked. You know me from my stories, I said. Imagine that, he
said, and asked if I was Mule or Estragon?

Polhemus spoke of the fellow-feeling my stories induced. He
remembered curious details from each of them, including early
excursions I myself had half-forgotten. It was sometimes uncanny,
he felt, that my experiences - if that's what they were, genuine
experiences, and didn't I imply as much? - that my experiences
corresponded so often with his own. My "Serving Young Girls" came
close to home, he said; perhaps, if I liked, he'd explain in a
little while. He remembered my writing that I could not recall a
time when sex did not mean female-supremacy to me. I told him it
was so, adding that my recollection goes back pretty far.
Polhemus said he'd like to say the same of himself, but the truth
was that he couldn't recall. He'd been a late bloomer, sexually
speaking, a boy in love with solitude and his sketch-pad. Some
indolent boyhood masturbation aside, his first distinct memory of
arousal was of his s****r Sylvie, younger by three years,
climbing into his bed when he was ten and tumbling around in it,
crawling cavalierly over him with her diminutive body. When she
first caught on to the erection she was causing, she laughed at
the silliness of it, but couldn't keep from making frequent
"accidental" contact with his penis thereafter. She never lost an
opportunity to observe her effect on her b*****r.

Renny was just at the beginning of adolescence and his organ was
needy and sensitive. Even the touch of an immature girl, and his
s****r at that, made him shiver and go weak. As she wriggled and
rolled across him, Renny would f***e himself to lie stock still,
suppressing the urge to squirm, scarcely daring to breathe, lest
his s****r mistake any movement on behalf of his own pleasure for
a rebuff. So he played possum, his erection alone alive, drinking
in the sweetness of a small girl's random bumps and grinds.
Sylvie was delighted with this result. Soon enough she recognized
that Renny's passivity indicated a power she possessed over the
boy. By eight she was using the precious gift of a hard-on as an
instrument of bribery, and then of domination. For a time she
practiced blackmailing him with the threat of exposure to her
eight-year-old friends - he was eleven already, his organs had
seen a growth-spurt, hair was starting to appear in the
neighborhood - but at last Sylvie realized that Renny had crossed
the line, that the menace he felt in the scene of girlish glee
she was always taunting him with had turned to promise. So Sylvie
arranged it to happen, arranged it so that he could feed on the
humility and luxuriate in the helplessness that young girls in
their careless amusement know by instinct how to instill in the
soul of a naked youth.

Renny was enslaved. At eleven, at twelve, as late as f******n,
no, all the way through high-school, he would trade service -
after-school missions to stores and libraries and laundrettes,
assistance with homework, plain waiting-in-case-of-need, not to
mention various acts of pointedly pointless exertion - for the
opportunity to remove his clothes and stand at attention or kneel
before members of Sylvie's circle, pleading with them for
permission to masturbate in their presence or endure some other
shame to make them feel queenly. At the beginning, of course,
watching a boy spout sperm was a treat for the girls, their first
inkling of the state of helplessness their sex could induce in
the other simply by looking on. A boy's ejaculation readily
confirms a girl's suspicion that he lacks command of himself. The
next step is easy for her: fill the power-vacancy. So Sylvie and
her friends - as many as five at a time - would huddle on a couch
and watch Renny bring himself off, one orgasm for each girl
present, the girl herself dictating the posture and pace of the
act. Even for a boy at high hormonal tide, six comes could take a
while, but Renny was not free to go his way until he'd delivered
them all. After a while, though, the gamut of ejaculations lost
its novelty for the girls and Renny's need to perform became more
interesting to them than the performance itself. Then he was
never free, for there were errands to do, real or trumped up,
tests of energy and servitude, and after each he had to strip
again and ask to be assigned one more, then dress and do it,
return and strip once more and importune for another, and so on.
They had discovered at last that what a girl would call
humiliation is the very prize a boy will beg for.

Away at college, Renny had intercourse for the first time. It was
attended with inconvenience. In any case, his real idea of
intimacy with a woman was more in keeping with the worshipful
emotions that were now thoroughly naturalized in him. On holiday
from college his first semester, Renny's lips and tongue were
made acquainted with the sacred sensation and sweet flavor of
woman's hiddenness, and his nostrils discovered the intoxicating
complexity of her divine perfume. His cheek felt the silken
smoothness of her thigh, his forehead the paradoxes of her pelvic
bone and pubic hair. Sylvie and the other girls had prepared this
Christmas cheer for him. Sylvie herself stripped and bound and
blindfolded him, pressed him to his knees at the foot of her bed,
then welcomed he could only guess which of her friends into the
room. He knelt there in vigilant stillness, recording the rift of
zippers, the rustle of skirts, the slide of denim. Then, with
delirious obedience, Renny offered oblation to six cunts once, or
three cunts twice, or maybe four cunts once and one cunt twice,
or...well.... There were four such afternoons during the
Christmas break. Seeing Renny off at the end of the holiday,
Sylvie reported that the girls were very pleased with his
proficiency. "They say it's your best event," she told him.

We were beyond the Boston suburbs. The traffic had thinned and
other motorists were steadily dropping away. The exits were
infrequent now, mere lanes, reverently named for the particular
outpost of the Bay Colony they vanished into. Polhemus's soft
baritone, rising every so often with sudden irony, but otherwise
free of stress, was the voice of a man well-acquainted with his
own heart. I interrupted his happy tale of cunnilingus to
conjecture that he had never married. My insight impressed him.
What gave his past away? The fact that he told his story of
sexual awakening without nostalgia, I said. As though no chasm
fell between past and present for him. People who have been
married seldom feel that continuity, I said. They've made
unfortunate adjustments. In any case, I was right about him,
Polhemus said. And right, he felt, about sexual innocence too:
one should never allow oneself to grow up sexually. Penises,
pussies - what senseless things they are, Polhemus said, and what
a senseless thing sex is.

"Total nonsense," he said carefully, and with feeling. "Total,
glorious nonsense." A long pause. "So, yes, I never married. But
I've had a good reception from women. I'm presentable-looking...."

"To say the least," I said.

"Kind of you. If you could see Sylvie, though...even at
forty-six, an angel of loveliness and power.... Sylvie married.
Married young,... to a teacher of hers who made her pregnant and
went his way. I always thought that was what she really wanted,
after all. Not the man, just the baby. My niece, you know, Amy.
My life's true love, in point of fact. My daughter, very nearly.
Twenty-six now. Cinematographer..., anyhow studying it...."

Renny resumed his chronicle. In college he became friendly with a
woman who ran one of the departmental offices. They were
fellow-artists. She was beautiful and quite young actually, but
to him she was an older woman. Soon he was posing for her, and
sometimes for friends of hers as well. He'd spend whole days
naked among women. There were no robes, no pretensions to
formality, but no fervent eroticism on the women's part either.
On his part? Well, yes, he had shameless erections all day long,
but the women largely ignored them, or smiled tolerantly, or, if
his hard-on threatened a particular composition, sent him off to
relieve himself. If someone brushed by him and he gave a start,
there might be a joke about his sensitivity. Otherwise, his penis
was left alone to yearn. It wasn't long, he was pleased to
report, before the femdom nature of his relationship to his
benefactress and her friends emerged. He served them in a dozen
ways - no, not sexually, though he once displayed himself at her
mother's request to one of the women's eleven-year-old daughters.
He was twenty then. Posing nude became a privilege, his payment
in a sense for strenuous service elsewhere. There were times when
some delinquency or other actually cost him a day's nakedness,
and, even though posing is hard work in its way, and even though
the women betrayed no sexual fascination with him, he was
despondent all week over the loss. The reflection that the ladies
cared less about it than he was no source of reassurance either.

Yet he did not exaggerate in calling his "older woman" a
benefactress: next to Sylvie, she did more to set him on his
track than any other person in his life. She taught him to see a
woman's most inattentive glance as a rich and certainly unmerited
reward. Yet she gave him plenty of attention for all that: she
taught him to hold doors and yield his seat and place in line, to
reach gently for the parcels so as to cause a woman no
embarrassment - all the residue of chivalry. And she taught him
how to dress, with taste, with flair. To this day, her theory of
the necktie seemed to him worlds ahead of any other. The necktie,
she would explain, was certainly a phallic symbol. No news there.
But it was colorful and ornate, as the phallus obviously is not.
The necktie is the male organ made feminine, redesigned to appeal
to and entertain the female. Not the functional old tool, the
horny weapon, but this frivolous, fluttering windsock, useless
but amusing, an announcement to women: Take me lightly, I live to
please you.

"Some theory, don't you agree?" Polhemus said. "An impressive
woman. I once calculated that I orgasmed imagining her two
thousand times in the couple of years I knew her. No matter whose
picture I began with, she always moved into view well before I
came. I don't think she ever guessed how many seed-spills
moistened this boy's bed on account of her on a given day." Then
he spoke again of Amy, of how he was present at her birth,
reminding Sylvie and sometimes himself to breathe, of how pleased
Sylvie was to have borne a girl, of Amy's good nature, of her
charm and wit and many talents.

We were alone by now on the wintry road. Snow banks lined it,
returning an unearthly glare to our headlights. Beyond them, the
skeletal trees and piney woods were black and vaguely ominous. In
harmony with Polhemus's melodic recollections, my memory was
speaking softly too: this landscape was a bush of ghosts for me.
I thought of Daisy, whom I called Katie in "Serving Young Girls."
It was not so far from here that I gave myself to her twenty-five
years ago. She was fifteen, her s****r and friend still younger.
In reality, I felt terrible anguish for some time afterwards,
imagining that I had done deep wrong in showing those intensities
to minors. The fact that at the same time my mind relived the
feverish ecstasy of it daily did not assuage my fear. It was a
while - it needed a maturer Daisy's reassurance that the girls
had never doubted the good it did them - before that episode took
its canonical place in my history, rehabilitated from a source of
guilt to a hope of heaven. As Polhemus, the shadow at my side,
went devoutly on about his niece's brains and beauty, I thought
of Daisy.

"When I read 'Serving Young Girls,'" Polhemus said, "the
description of...was it Katie?...fresh and pretty and athletic
and womanly all at once, well, I thought of Amy."

"Her real name was Daisy," I said. "It was years ago...."

"The important thing is that it's still alive for you. Not nostalgia,
not that wistfulness at the lost exuberance of youth.... I hate
bemusement, Tom. I think we're of one mind on this."

"I think we are."

"I admit," Polhemus said, "everything perishes, everything fades.
But how awful! How absolutely awful! Everything in us should rise
against it."

"People believe they're taking command of destiny by greeting it
with open arms," I said. "Nothing can be further from the truth.
The future isn't really there waiting. It's a figment, so be
arrogant towards it. That's my view. Love the world for the women
in it. Practice cunnilingus, the yoga of rejuvenation. Have a
minimum of four ejaculations a day, at least two of them to the
memory of yesterday's cunnilingus or the anticipation of
tomorrow's. Estragon's northwest passage to eternal life."

Polhemus laughed politely. But his heart had shifted. Though he
tried to carry on in my vein, his voice caught. That theme of age
and perishing, which he had introduced, now saddened him. Yet I
doubted that this man was capable of grieving for himself.

"She's twenty-six, your niece?" I said.

"I have to tell you something, Tom," Polhemus said. "A story. Not
an anecdote. Longish. Will you indulge me? I've told no one, but
you're the one to hear it. It's a thing you'll understand. Be
grateful for perhaps."

His fervor worried me. I peered at his dim profile, straining to
make out a long gray beard and glittering eye. When I spoke, I
made light. "Wait, don't tell me. You also grew up to serve young

"One girl," he said. "Just one. For one afternoon. And even
though I've been, as they say, lucky in love and have known
countless moments of submissive ecstasy, moments in which time
dissolved and my very identity with it, moments in which the
woman to whom I owed these sensations seemed the paramount f***e
in the universe, with every right to consume me - even though
I've lived these things that other men yearn for, and will go on
living them till the grave gapes, one thing I'll never experience
again - it's quite impossible, except in recollection. It can't
be prepared for, and it certainly can't be recaptured. I don't
mean acts. I mean the sense of them, the depth, the indescribable
feeling of the hunger that defines you being fully fed for the
first and last time in your life. I mean the sweetness I knew on
a certain afternoon in summer a dozen years ago. Quiet, honest,
ravishing sweetness, utterly sexual and absolutely innocent -
Penis delivered up to No-penis without shame or misgiving - like
a return to Eden, with all the memories of guilt erased."

All at once Polhemus fell silent, as though the prospect of
rehearsing the lovely tale had already ravished his power of
speech. Our road was winding steadily upward now, and every so
often, as we took a turn, our high-beams would dramatically
illuminate a grove of trees. To show my patience with his quirky
exposition, I called my companion's attention to the wintry scene.

"Look, Renny," I said, "the Junipers shagged with ice. The spruces...."

"It was August. Amy was f******n," he said. "For days on end a
c***d still, then, for one afternoon out of seven, a woman, more
than not...."

Part Two

"Of course," Polhemus said, "girls are always women deep down.
Every day and long before the womanly features show. Wasn't it a
great shock to us pubescent boys to realize this? To discover
that girls have had the edge all along - that even the young ones
with not a single feminine bend or bevel from top to...,well,
bottom..., even the lanky young ones, flat as a sheet of paper,
have the knowledge and see through us and go around laughing at
the lot of us in their sleeves? One day it hits you that all this
new bigness you're so proud of down in your bicho and
cojones...it's just a convenenient development for the fair sex:
you'll be easier to see, easier to manage, easier to put to
shame. You remember it that way, don't you, Tom?"

I told him Christ, didn't I! I had stories, I said, but, come to
think of it, he knew that.

"The point is," he said, "when I speak of Amy's being more girl
one day, more woman the next, I'm referring to something beyond
the ground level. Small differences that are enormous
differences. I'm not talking masquerade. No big banner declaring,
'The woman is in today.' Smallest flowers have deepest roots,
don't they say? Barely tangible, earth-shaking differences: a way
of turning her head, the angle she looks at you from, something
in her carriage or the fan of her fingers that tells you she
feels completely harmonious today, from her long dark hair to her
adorable, suddenly polished toes.

"It was such a day for Amy. There had been others. But once I saw
it, I also realized how slow I'd been to accept it. How many days
that summer had I seen her in her swim-suit, registered the all
but imperceptible stubble under her arms, the glossy finish only
a shaved leg possesses. Yes, I'd observed the bonnie braes upon
her chest, but she was such a slender girl. And when I noticed
her maillot pleated a little into her crack..., well, my first
thought was, how sweet her lack of self-consciousness. My mental
image of her, my dream-image - maybe because I was her uncle -
was still Amy the c***d. It was to grow quite archaic before the
day was out. It's strange how willfully blind we can be. Sylvie
at seven, and all her friends soon after, unforgettably sexual
little beings - but not Amy at f******n, a good dozen-and-a-half
menstrual cycles into womanhood? How mindless of me.

"The Polhemus clan has this beach-house in Amagansett. The house
goes far back. Big establishment. We're a large f****y. Sylvie
and I had joint custody of the place each August. Some years it
would just be Sylvie, Amy and me; years when we adults were in
love, our happy partner or partners would be there too. That
particular summer was different. I should explain that Sylvie,
once the pregnant drop-out, had found her way back to school and
ended up becoming a doctor. Yes, my s****r's a doctor.
Hematologist. That summer she was doing rotations on her
residency and couldn't stay on the Island. So it was Amy and me
alone, and Sylvie would make it out when she could.

"I always had some piece of work that needed finishing and I'd
furnished a studio out there. I had built an enormous table whose
top was a solid-core door. Heavy as hell. Amy liked to join me
while I worked. She'd sink into an arm-chair and read, or she'd
watch over my shoulder as I worked, commenting and questioning. I
had a certain stock joke with her on those occasions. She never
got tired of it. I'd sit there, apparently absorbed in my
drawing, unaware for all Amy knew that she was even present. I'd
busily sketch this figure and that and then, without the
slightest change of manner, not even the hint of a smile, quickly
and calmly draw a caricature of her which she'd recognize
instantly. She never lost her fascination with this elementary
ability of mine.

"'It's just a couple of lines, Uncle Renny. I mean, how can a
couple of lines do all that?' she'd say. 'And you're not even
looking at me, but there I am.'

"'I don't have to look at you, darling,' I'd say. 'I carry a
picture of you in my heart. I look at that all the time.'

"Normally Amy would laugh at my sentimental confession. But that
day she said, 'I keep changing, you know, Uncle Renny.'

"I told her that my picture changed with her, but I silently
wondered if it was actually keeping pace. I turned to Amy. God, I
thought, she's utterly sweet and pretty, feminine without
affectation. If you had to supply the Webster's First
Intergalactic Dictionary with an illustration for the entry
'Earthling, female, young, pretty,' well, Amy's picture back then
would have left no ambiguity. Do you remember, Tom, those
adolescent debates about the difference between beauty and
prettiness? Beauty was always this lofty thing, prettiness kind
of likeable but home-grown? Sometimes I think that's utterly
wrong, or anyhow misleading. Beauty may be ethereal - I'm not
knocking it, believe me; types like us, like you and me, Tom,
beauty is a necessity for us - but prettiness is an even deeper
mystery, really. Why? Because you can't get away with pointing
upwards to explain it. Beauty is from the gods - or, rather, the
goddesses. Wonderful of them, gracious, terrific. But, still and
all, prettiness is no less a mystery, and it's totally human.
That's my point. Nature is pretty (I mean, when it isn't horrid),
super-nature is beautiful (when it isn't terrible). Amy has her
mother's beauty, always has had. But, you know, in a
f******n-year-old, beauty is still a formality, a promise. It
isn't a sexual f***e yet. It isn't really alive. In a young girl,
the vitality and power is in the prettiness. Something much
closer to her basic nature as a female person.

"I had these thoughts for the first time that day, challenged by
my pretty niece to keep my inner image of her up-to-date. Besides
being beautiful like Sylvie, I thought, Amy is pretty too, and in
a way that's all her own. I think I sat contemplating her for a
time, and Amy sat still and let me, knowing, I'm sure, what I was
doing and pleased to see that Uncle Renny's habit of getting lost
in thought had for once gotten him lost in thoughts of her.
Suddenly I recognized that I had been for some time the
beneficiary of an indulgent smile. 'Ah,' it seemed to say, 'Uncle
Renny is just waking up.' Amy's mouth may be a touch too wide and
full for her face. A lips-to-visage ratio made for beaming - for
generous, dominant, lipsticked, heart-melting, sophisticated,
feminine smiles. I had an inkling then of the devastation my
niece's smile would do one day. Toward me it was just an
affectionate, almost daughterly gesture of forbearance, but that
touch of condescension in it, Tom - I think that's the quality I
mean - there was, to be honest, something arousing in it,
something precocious and knowing and, yes, because of that,
arousing. I don't mean that it hardened my penis there and then.
I don't think that's what happened. It was more that it made me
look at Amy with a different eye. It made me consider her as a
member of the class, Penis-Hardeners - just in the fashion of an
observer. What do you know, my own little niece is one of those
Penis-Hardeners you hear about! It wasn't that I began to lust
after her. God, no. Nothing of the kind. I'm not that way,
believe me.

"But I saw a sweet infusion of woman in the girl. A weak dose,
maybe, but of a d**g so potent, a droplet in a thousand can leave
you entranced. The effect was astonishing, the more so because
there wasn't a theatrical thing about it. Amy wasn't putting on
an act. She wasn't dressed in an unusual, suggestive way. In
fact, she was wearing her everyday, summertime girl-duds. Loose
white shirt, khaki shorts, tennis-sneakers. Honest clothes for a
girl her age. But for that very reason, they appeared suddenly
filled with the truth of our difference. All of a sudden, they
were sexy. You're the one to understand this, Tom,...Estragon. If
I understand YOU, your stories that is, you have a distaste for
artifice, role-playing, theater...."

"I love theater sometimes," I said, "particularly in the
theater." Renny seemed not to find this observation worth my
interrupting him for. But he made polite use of it, as a skillful
teacher does an irrelevant contribution by the class idiot.

"Exactly," he said, "exactly. In the theater. But not in the
bedroom, or the dining-room,...or the restaurant before the
theater. You're terribly afraid of discovering that everything
alluring in women, everything we bend our knees to, is the
product of artifice, like some gorgeous stage-set palace, thin as
a wafer. Am I right, Tom? Yes, you love dresses and pumps, you
love cosmetics - and so do I, so do I - but you have to see them
as dressing nature to advantage, not disguising it, let alone
usurping its place. Don't you worry incessantly about shaving?
Don't you have a whole theory about it? Thinking, it would have
been better if women naturally had no hair on their legs or under
their arms. Then thinking, but if I believe THAT, then shaved
legs etcetera are pure falsification. Oh, but that's too
horrible, too horrible. Then comes pubic hair, enormously
complicated, another dimension entirely. So you do the casuistry,
some fol-de-rol about geometry and feminine self-fashioning and
why having legs to shave is for the best. Don't misunderstand me:
I breathed a week-long sigh of relief when I read 'Fashion's
Slave,' Tom. You and I, and men like us, we don't want the sex we
adore to be a figment of our imaginations. We want to submit in
daylight reality to real women, don't we? Not to actresses in
clever costumes under cover of night."

Polhemus had the mind-set down pat. I half envied his ability to
phrase it. I told him so. "As for Amy...," I said.

"She raised her arm at some point, and I found myself desperate
to look up her sleeve. Just the short sleeve of a t-shirt, you
know. I'd seen her arm-pits plenty of times, but just then I
wanted a STOLEN glimpse at them, shaved and waiting under wraps
until their bareness was needed. Naked arm-pits: they're as
delicate and personal as the Hill of Venus - almost. I take it as
a colossal privilege that women display them freely all summer
long. But my real joy is in the stolen gander. I can't explain
this, Tom, but I see a small-boned woman, or a youngster like
Amy, in a t-shirt, and my eye immediately looks for entr=E9e,
pries up the unfilled diameter of her sleeve and avidly seeks the
patch of delicate depilation - and when I get my glimpse (this is
the bewildering part), my heart goes soft. I melt with tenderness
for the creature, with gratitude and a wish I can barely control
to f***e my way into her home and do her housework. She's fragile
and strong all at once. Fragile as a girl, strong as a woman.

"So it wasn't merely that I saw a bit of woman in my niece that
day. It was just as much that she was reminding me of all the
girl there is in women. You see a killer beauty somewhere,
dressed to perfection, full of power, with a cunning hair-style
and high breasts and smooth stockinged legs and heels that only
enhance her grace as she glides by you - you see her, every inch
reflecting the whole hypnotic glitter of womanhood, and you
think, It must be awfully hard to live on that level, she must
need to slip down into unrestrained girlhood now and then. And
soon enough you see her again, or you see her s****r, making her
way back from the gym or a jog, in a tank-top and shorts, her
hair pony-tailed, a bottle of designer water in her hand, and you
wonder at the magic of the sex: ravishing as the woman in the
deadly black dress, just as ravishing as the girl in
running-togs. So much of Amy's sudden effect on me that afternoon
depended on my seeing it both ways. I know you understand this,
Tom, but it's one of those truths we keep rediscovering and can't
get enough of.

"Amy's chest was a nebulous puff under her loose shirt. Mostly
just a suggestion of female developments, but nothing definite.
But then, when every so often she stretched in a way to pull the
fabric taut, I could see that her breasts were firm and real and
perfectly in proportion to her changing body. The hint of slender
bra-straps under the white cotton all but moved me to tears. And
to a kind of awe, in fact: this c***d's body already bore the
signs of a privileged destiny - breasts, Tom, unmistakable
breasts - and Amy was welcoming the fact by donning this singular
undergarment, this incontrovertible proof that womanhood is not a
matter of the sexual organs alone, but of the entire body, even
parts independent of the hill and valley down below. There it is,
drawn proudly across her shoulder-blades, the broadest part of
her back, way up in the thin air, a different climate altogether
from the moist tropics of her sex. The other side of the world,
too, and yet there it is, the unmistakable banner of committed
femininity. I was her uncle. She was my s****r's c***d, and so,
in a way, my c***d too, my ward. I loved her as my own flesh and
bl**d. I took responsibility for her, and some credit too. But
now I was getting a message. From a few frail bands of cotton
across my niece's shoulder, I was getting an unmistakable
message: something stronger than uncle-hood was taking over,
displacing me, cutting me down to size.

"This must be the case with all fathers of girls. I think so:
they play their part in creating them and imagine for a while
that they have title to them - isn't that where parental
authority comes from? From the rights of the creator over the
creature? In any case, they imagine they have such rights. But as
the femaleness of the c***d emerges, the woman that she will be -
it dawns on the poor men that they are expendable agents of a
higher power - call it what you like, nature, fate, the eternal
feminine - the woman that she will be, and always has been
intrinsically, surpasses the mere man who fathered her. It is
like being the human partner in some divine marriage of
convenience: you remain an ordinary mortal, but, thanks to your
supernatural spouse, the c***d you assist in bringing into
existence is infinitely superior to you, and you are at most the
guardian of her infancy, her temporary tutor and groom.

"It awe, then - awe more than lust - at the immense f***e my own
poor power had gotten caught up in - it was awe at the inexorable
thing my shy, slender niece was part of that first caused the
reaction in me to which Amy was pleased to call my attention.

"'Can I tell you something, Uncle Renny?' she said. I was still
at my table, but turned in my swivel-chair toward her of course,
studying her as I've described.

"'Anything, my dear,' I said. 'Tell me.'

"'Well, then, I know you're having an erection in your pants
right now, and I think I'm the cause of it...,' she said. 'While
you were staring at me just now, I was watching it happen.'

"I started to deny it, but Amy gave me her big, condescending
smile, and there was a disarming look of tender scepticism in her
eyes, so I ended up apologizing instead.

"'It's all right, I'm f******n. I know the facts of life,' she
said. 'I know men's penises get hard for girls. And yours is hard
for me, Uncle Renny. I'm only asking you to admit it.' She'd
grown gleeful as she spoke.

"'I admit it, then,' I said, 'but that doesn't mean I'm proud of it.'

"'Well, I'm proud of it,' Amy said. 'I'm just hanging around
minding my own business, but, unbeknownst to me....'

"'Unbeknownst to you, you say?'

"Amy laughed. 'Totally unbeknownst. The woman inside of me was
hard at work giving you an erection, Uncle Renny. I'm proud of my
inside woman.'

"'Hard at work, your inside woman?' I asked. 'How come unbeknownst?'

"'It's an idea of mom's...," Amy said.

"'I should have guessed.'

"'...If we had to be aware of all the complicated techniques
connected with being a woman, it would be a full-time job. So,
fortunately, they're just wired into us. Second nature. As I
understand it, when you get older you develop these sensors that
let you know the effect you're having without you really having
to pay attention. But when you're a girl like me, you're still
dumb about these things. I mean, the sensor's there and bleeping
maybe, but you don't know what it's telling you.'

"I'm sure the more it bleeps, the more you'll understand,' I said.

"'Of course,' Amy said. 'It can't be easy making something like
that happen to another person's penis without actually going and
taking it in your hand and giving it a squeeze.... It's like...what do
they call that power?....

"'You mean the power that doesn't exist? Telekinesis....'

"'But it does exist, Uncle Renny. I've just used it to give you
an erection.= '

"'That's the exception,' I said. 'Girls' telekinetic power over
boys...that's the one proven exception. But, as for going and
giving someone's penis a squeeze..., have you tried that too?'

"'Not yet,' Amy said, 'but I'd like to correct that really soon.
Maybe today,...who's to say, you know?' She gave me a sweet smile
that had been intended for a sly one. 'I think the rule should
be, anyone who gets an erection for a girl owes it to her to let
her see it and play with it,' she said. Then she got flustered.
'Oh, God, Uncle Renny, I don't believe I said that.'

"A surge of love went through me. 'Your mother's daughter,' I
said. 'That's what you are...and I love you both.' I reached my
arms toward Amy and she put herself girlishly into them,
sideways, without exactly settling on my lap. 'You don't have to
be embarrassed by what you say to me, darling. I live for your
mom and you.'

"'As well as for Barbara and Sandra and Ulrike and Nicole
and....' She was naming as many of my girl-friends as she could
recall. But there was no real reproach in her tone. Rather the
opposite: it was as though my devotion to her mother and her was
all the more impressive given the many fine women in my life. And
when I replied, 'But you first of all,' Amy had reason to take me
at my word.

"She was leaning lightly on me, her slender frame tucked between
the arm of the chair and my thigh. It wasn't a comfortable perch
for her, but it gave her a close, clear view down my body.
Strands of her hair fell against my cheek; it had the scent of
marjoram. All of Amy did. We joked a bit longer, about my
girl-friends, about Sylvia and me as c***dren. 'Mom says she had
you wrapped around her finger then,' Amy said.

"'Then?' I said. 'And what about now?'

"'My turn,' Amy said. And then, with sudden resolution, 'Okay,
Uncle Rennie, I have to do this. I have to. Okay.' And with that
she let her hand sink flat against my groin. All her weight went
into it: the pressure was less than crushing, but steady and
heavenly. My penis swelled against her palm. Before I could sort
out the good and bad of it, I was sighing frankly, awash in the
sweetness. It was like a nourishment long withheld. Why so, I
can't say. I was not what you'd call sex-starved. I'd been a
well-adjusted submissive for years and years. I was thirty-seven.
I'd never visited a professional, never needed to. I was
unashamed of my needs and always found lovely women who consented
to my serving them. All the same, Amy's abrupt, unsubtle touch,
all nature and no art, was instant bliss. All my senses turned
groin-ward. My muscles surrendered to the girl. I'm sure she felt
it happen.

"'Do you like what I'm doing, Uncle Renny?' she asked.

"'Oh, my little miracle, I do...,I do, far more than you can guess.'

"Amy laughed liked a c***d. But the idea was too good to believe.
Could it really be so easy, she was wondering, to exercise your
woman-power? 'Come on,' she said. 'Don't just say that. Tell me

"'I'm telling you truly, my sweet dummy,' I said. 'Amy, believe
me, you are making me feel like I've never been touched before....'

"'Which isn't true,' she said.

"'Which isn't true, but....'

"'My mom and bunches of her friends, for instance....'

"'She told you all that?'


"'ALL that?'

"'Why shouldn't she, Uncle Renny? I mean, we're fellow-girls, mom
and I, aren't we?'

"Amy adjusted her position a little, which led to a slight change
in the pressure of her hand. The small movement might as well
have been an earthquake. I was already lodged tight in my chair,
but I slumped inwardly. My voice went hoarse. 'Oh, Amy,' I
unintentionally growled. It was the voice of a wounded man,
pleading and capitulating at once. It startled the inexperienced
girl. She pulled her hand away. But this only changed my blissful
agony to anguish plain and simple. 'Darling, no...,' I said.

"'It really matters to you, Uncle Renny?' she said.

"I could just manage to speak the words, 'Oh, darling,' in a tone
of earnest confirmation.

"'Okay,' Amy said, returning her hand to its place over my
erection, 'I can put it back. If that's what you want....'

"I thanked her. As though she had passed the butter, I thanked
her. But she couldn't fail to sense my gratitude. My body thanked
her. My penis throbbed and twitched. I squirmed to give it
quarter. It nuzzled against Amy's slender hand. "'Gee,' Amy said.

"Sylvie, I kept thinking, what would you say? In my mind I begged
for my s****r's forgiveness - for her forgiveness first, but then
for her approval. If only Sylvie were near to tell me she
welcomed this. Couldn't it perhaps be good for Amy? To be shown
her own power and his submission by a man who loved her dearly, a
man with whom she was perfectly safe? Wouldn't Sylvie be all for
it? It's not in his bones to hurt Amy, she would say. He lives
for us, she knew. Then wasn't she one hundred percent correct in
her faith in me? Would my mind or body be capable even of an
unwitting impulse that might prove harmful to my beloved girl?

"I went round in this circle, aroused and agitated. Amy was
beginning to shift her hand rhythmically across my lap, evidently
enjoying the sensation of my hard penis snapping under it from
one side to the other. Then, quietly, she asked if I wouldn't
like it better without my clothes in the way. 'Anyhow, I would
like it better,' she said. 'This is new stuff to me. Mom said
maybe if I asked....'

"Maybe if she asked, Tom! The words were incandescent. They
changed the world in an instant. They were a blessing. Sylvie's
blessing. My heart opened and s**ttered its fears to the wind.
Amy was going to put me under - was already doing it - and there
was nothing else to think about. No fear to keep at bay. No
misgiving. I had a vivid premonition of what was to come, a thing
almost too exquisite to bear on this earthly plane, as though the
whole afternoon had been concentrated in a single moment which
would now be rolled out to magnificent length.

"I wanted to tell Amy that asking was beside the point. I wanted
her to command. But the distinction seemed gratuitous just then.
She was f******n. She was starting later than her mom, but, of
course, her mom had had me.

"'Yes, Amy, ask,' I said. 'Ask. You know I can't refuse.'

"She furrowed her brow. Something hadn't been put right. Ah, I
understood. I had it now. 'Can't refuse,' I said, '...and never
want to.'

"'There's something I'd like a lot, Uncle Renny,' she said.
'You'll think it's silly, but I'd truly like it a lot. Uncle
Renny?' As she said this, she instinctively closed her hand for
the first time over my penis, or over as much of it as she could
grasp through my stubborn clothes. (I was in shorts too, but
heavy, pleated things.) Amy had made the fundamental connection:
his penis is a handle; you're a girl; handle him with it. Even if
(as was very likely) Sylvie had already plied her with some
theory, this was certainly the moment Amy first experienced its
truth. I found it very moving, Tom. I mean, apart from exciting.
It brought tears to my eyes. A my-little-girl-knows-the-score
kind of thing. Do I have to explain this to you - I mean, the
relief a man feels at the sign that a girl he cares about has
discovered her birthright?

"'It won't seem silly to me,' I said, 'if it's something you'd
like, my darling.'

"'It probably will,' Amy said. 'But anyhow it's this. I'd like it
if you'd just lie on the table and I could sit in this chair and
do what I like with you.'

"'It sounds wonderful, Amy.'

"'You understand what I mean, don't you?' she said. 'You'll
undress - no, you'll just take off your shirt - and lie on the
table - I'll help you clear it off, Uncle Renny - and then I'll
do...I don't know...what I do. Probably I'll open your shorts and
pull them down. Also what's under them. We'll see. Do you
understand what I mean now?'

"'I understood before, sweetheart,' I said. 'Please, now,
understand what I'm going to say. I want to give you everything,
Amy, more than I can tell you. I have to, for my sake as well as
yours. If you don't understand that now, you will, I hope, before
the day is done....' I made to rise from my chair while I spoke -
Amy had to lift herself off me - and together we began to clear
the table. 'I will do anything and everything you ask,' I went
on. Standing, I was rather conspicuous in the region of my fly.
Amy noticed of course, but she didn't laugh as I'd have expected.
Apparently it was a solemn sight to her, her eye shocked by a
reality her hand hadn't minded.

"'There's nothing you can want that I don't want also,' I said.
'Do you understand that, Amy?'

"'Not really, Uncle Renny. Does it mean you want to start
undressing now?' she said."

Part three

"There was only one honorable response to Amy's question,"
Polhemus said. "I lifted my shirt off at once. When my head
re-emerged, I was rewarded by one of those sublime - and now
erection-enhancing - smiles of approval my niece specialized in.
You know, Tom, I'd peeled off my shirt in front of that girl
hundreds of times. On the beach, around the house. I won't say it
meant nothing: she WAS a girl, after all, and when a man bares
his chest he's making some kind of little gender-statement, isn't
he? But it certainly never before had the feeling, the
importance, it had at that moment. It carried the sense of the
things that would follow. You start the wildest journey of your
life by passing the corner store, and you think, All those times
I ran out for milk, and didn't realize I was on the road to

"The way Amy took it, she might as well have been seeing me in
something less than a horse-blanket for the first time in her
life. That's the loveliness of it with a young girl: it's the
idea of what's happening that excites her. A man is removing his
clothes because he's different from you and you've asked to see
just how. It almost wouldn't matter what he had to expose; what
counts is the fact that he's doing what you wish, that whatever
the difference really is between you, it compels him to obey you.
And to go on doing it. The going on is important; her knowledge
that it won't stop, that there's another turn and then another,
and she can keep on having her way - that means the world to her.

"So, yes, Amy had seen that same bare chest and abdomen countless
times. She'd even made a thing of it now and then. My body-hair
amused her and worried her a little when she was young. Once upon
a time Sylvie told me that, after a day at the beach with me,
chattering gaily about this experience and that, Amy had begun to
speak of my hair and had confided that she was glad she was going
to grow up a woman because that would leave her smooth like her
mom and not hairy on her chest and belly like poor Uncle Renny.
But now it hardly mattered that she didn't think me a pretty
sight: this wasn't about aesthetics. I don't think men are
usually objets d'art for women anyhow. No, it was the meaning,
the meaning. Uncle Renny, a man, was getting undressed for...for
me, for Amy, a girl, a f******n-year-old girl, and...my God!...it
WAS shocking, Tom. Shocking that baring a body could mean so
much. Wonderful and shocking.

"I laid my shirt over the chair, bent low before my niece to
remove my shoes and socks, then made it my business to stand
facing her as frankly as I could in that situation of inevitable
embarrassment. My erection was no secret. An impulse made me say,
'Thank you, Amy...thanks for letting me....' I didn't have to
finish the sentence. The point was to intercept any impulse of
Amy's to thank ME, to prevent the least gratitude on her part
from reaching the surface. It was happening fast: it's not as
though I'd thought it out. But years in the sect of woman made it
second-nature, I suppose. My instincts told me that I must do
everything to make the favor Amy's and the gratitude my own.

"Feeling my urgency, Amy said, 'You're welcome,' though there was
puzzlement in her tone. How to say what needed saying next? Did I
simply ask Amy what she wished or put it in terms of my own
desire to please? Did I say, 'Shall I drop my shorts now?' or
'May I...?...Shall I?' or 'May I?' The question was how to ask
the question. I made a slow, fumbling gesture of unbuckling my

"'Maybe, Uncle Renny,' Amy said, 'maybe I don't want your shorts
off yet, okay?'

"'Maybe I'll leave them on, then, sweetheart,' I said.

"'Maybe I'd like you to lie on the table now,' Amy said.

"Without turning away from her, I planted my hands behind me on
the table-top and hoisted myself up. Amy gave me an abbreviated
nod and I lay down. The door-wood was solid but strangely
comfortable. There's a feeling of insecurity in lying supine at
such a height, though, so I was glad when Amy took her place in
my swivel-chair. She's like an organist at her key-board, I
thought, the whole compass of her instrument within reach of her
outstretched arms. She asked if I felt okay and I told her I felt
perfect. Perhaps I shifted and wiggled a little, seeking my
detente before my niece. I let my limbs recline. I didn't look at
Amy - I thought I shouldn't just yet unless she ordered it. I
stared straight up at the ceiling, catching a glimpse of her
through the corner of my eye, but feeling by far more seen than
seeing. In that state I focused on my erection, imagining how it
must look to Amy making a gable in my pants. I became lost for a
moment in that reverie, to the point where I didn't sense the
lightness of her timid hand roaming over my chest and stomach. I
mistook it at first for a sudden breeze. But it was delicate,
curious Amy, tentatively trying the action. She didn't speak. But
I thought beneath her breathing there were whispers of
satisfaction as she slowly took possession of a man. Her fingers
skimmed, dabbed and palpated me. They rode over my breast-bone.
They snatched hairs, pinched nipples, glided south, over my
stomach, to a place beneath my navel, where they stiffened and
pushed in. They teased along my rib-cage and most delightfully
over the bone of my hip, which was partly hidden by my shorts. My
head was spinning, from helpless excitement and the altitude of
my berth on the table-top. But I kept myself stock-still. My
penis twitched with every stroke - visibly, I hoped, a mousy
tremor from somewhere in my fly. 'Amy, my darling,' I wanted to
say, 'don't fail to notice my hard-on, don't fail to see how you
make it jig. It's yearning for your hand, it's trying to reach
you. It wants to bask in your free sight of it, to glisten and
dance before your eyes. When will you strip me? When will you
grant it?'

"Then Amy's hand was resting on my penis. She'd been drifting
toward it, I guess, but the sensation was startling and made me
gasp. I gave a cry, 'Oh...,' and found it hard to say more. Amy
was amused. She was not being gingerly now. Her touch was
determined and meticulous, but the sensation was explosive. She
was trying to adjust my penis inside my shorts, trying to get it
to lie to the left. She was being purposeful, not seductive, but
her firmness registered with me through my clothes: I thought I
felt a moistness on my glans. With one hand she was drawing my
shorts and undershorts away from my body while with the other she
prodded and guided my penis to a place the resettled fabric would
hold it in. That done, she pressed her finger-tips into my groin.
She was excavating for my scrotum. She'd been building up to
this, but she wasn't sure, I think, what a pair of testicles
ought to feel like inside all that fabric, and with that hard
penis of mine obstructing her approach. That's why she had to
move it, I realized with admiration. She wasn't ready to strip me
apparently, but she wanted to be sure she'd hit ballocks when she

"'There,' she said to herself when she was sure the resistance
she was meeting was neither penis nor twill. I think the softness
of the sack, its readiness to give beneath her pressure,
surprised her. She'd expected balls to feel like...well, balls, I
suppose. Hard, discrete little units in a buttery soft purse. It
thrilled me to feel the firmness of her fingers digging into me.
My scrotum was well-cushioned and Amy's pressure didn't hurt. I
wished it did. I wanted to ache as all men should for my dear
little niece. But for all Amy knew, this stalwart exploration of
my balls could be doing a rugged job on me. Yet she didn't stint.
That thought alone was delightful to consider.

"Not wanting her to doubt herself, I reached into my entranced
body to bring up enough voice to explain how a scrotum contracts
and gets a little spongy 'when a girl gets a man excited. Maybe
that's why they don't feel like much right now,' I said, 'but,
believe me, Amy, they're there and working. When I'm naked...that
is, if I'm naked,...if you want it...well, if or when, you'll see
what I mean.' Amy thanked me for the information but wished I
wouldn't rush her. Yet as she said this, she began to undo my
belt and unbutton my shorts. For the first time since mounting
the table I turned to look at her. She had raised the chair and
was leaning forward against the table-edge, which was holding her
shirt taut. Her breasts looked firm against the fabric, womanly
and firm. The white of her shirt was made opaque by the
undercoating of her bra. Amy's face had reddened a bit, but it
was confident and youthful all at once. It was prettiness itself,
ravishing prettiness, nature in its glory, the kind of thing that
reassures you that the loveliness of women is the deepest reality
and not some trick of the light. Her hair was girlish - female,
girlish, they meant the same thing to me then - and it had gotten
a bit disordered, falling about her face, just managing not to
conceal her sweet dark eyes, so full of precocious understanding.
Her skin was young and naked - I mean it was female skin -
utterly smooth and poreless, and there was that shapely, wide
mouth, with its half-smile of gentle condescension toward the man
it captivated. You looked at her, Tom,...I looked at her, that
face I'd adored from its infancy, and it seemed to solve every
mystery in the world and repair every wrong. You know the feeling
I mean. The sense that absolutely everything else in the world is
crazy mad, the most appalling waste of time and a grotesque
misunderstanding of life besides. The only thing that's
reasonable and makes sense and gives you a chance to put things
right is to lie on a table under the gaze of your niece Amy, with
a big erection between your legs and your clothes gradually
slipping off your body in compliance with the girl's sweet will.

"It was the only will in the room, Tom. I had none of my own.
Already I was lost to myself. I was caretaker of my body, but for
Amy's sake, not mine. I lived on the property, but it was hers. I
felt infinitely cooperative. My only desire was to facilitate
Amy's. I was penetrated. Men think it's something if they're
permitted to slide a few inches of dick up a woman's sheath.
Superficial, Tom. Trivial...as you know. (I'm forgetting it's
you, Estragon. Forgive me. Carried away by memory.) Well, the
point is that women do the real penetrating. Their power
surrounds us, infiltrates us without any possibility of
resistance on our part. It more than penetrates us. It enters us
everywhere at once. It permeates us. So I was permeated with Amy.
I had been given this man's body - a slightly pathetic fate in
Amy's opinion - but inside a girl had taken over, a girl's heart
was beating in place of my own. Inside I had female wishes and a
f******n-year-old girl's irreverence toward my scrubby male skin
and this penis and these testicles I found fastened to my groin.

"My pants were open now. First the belt, then the buttons yielded
to Amy's persuasive touch. She'd spread apart my fly and, since
these shorts were pretty baggy, my swollen undershorts were plain
before her eyes.

"'We're getting there, Uncle Renny,' she said. 'I know you're
eager, but that's the fun for me, okay? To have you more eager
than me, even though I started it. I feel incredibly powerful
this way,' she said. 'I can't help it. I feel I have incredible
power over you, Uncle Renny. I look at you and I think, it's
amazing, this grown man lying on a table for me, and I'm
undressing him and playing with him and, big as he is, he's
totally helpless. I feel like you're my toy. I have to be honest
now. Like you are a person, but also a thing. You go back and
forth between them. I love you as Uncle Renny, but there's
something else there that isn't love. Just to be honest.
Something that's like what you feel about something you bought.
You can do whatever you like with it. It's a thing, that's all.
One minute you're a man, and the next you're something to play
with. Then I start all over again. I realize you're alive, and
grown up too. But, all the same, you ARE my toy....'

"'I am, Amy,' I stammered, for she had wrapped her slender hand
around my covered organ as she spoke, and this was a great
challenge to my own powers of speech. 'I feel it that way too.
Except that the man and the toy are the same thing as far as I'm
concerned. They're me, my darling. It doesn't matter that I'm a
grown man. The fact that you're a woman - and you are,' I said,
'You are, Amy, don't you see?...this fact is far more important
than who or how old I am. The weakness you're seeing in me you
can see in every man under the sun. I was your uncle when you
needed an uncle. I will be so again if you need me. Yes, you may
need an uncle again. But from now on you'll know...a girl's
uncle,...he's just a man...just a male...and that's what he's
been all his life to other women, to other girls...to his s****r,
your mom, and her young friends once upon a time,...and now to
you, Amy.'

"Amy nodded. Didn't say a word, just nodded. She seemed to be
thinking out her next step. She gripped my penis firmly in her
fist, without moving it in any way, as though, lost in thought as
she was, she'd forgotten she was holding it. I did nothing. Amy
was allowing me extraordinary selfishness. Even her absent-minded
touch was sweet and concentrated to me. All I had to do was lie
still and receive - her pressure, her words, her imperious
gestures. Yes, because suddenly she gave me a kind of equestrian
slap on the hip which I knew without reflection meant that she
wanted me to raise my buttocks off the table so that she could
ease down my shorts. Lifting my hips before her as she inserted
her fingers inside my opened fly gave me the sense of being a
sacrificial offering. I strained visibly - Oh, I hoped it was
visible - to make a grand arch of my pelvis, and poor Amy, the
divine being for whom this sacrifice was intended, had to stretch
her own body to manage the rest of my undressing.

"Or semi-undressing. Because Amy made it clear that she wasn't
going to let me shed my underpants all that quickly.

"'You know, Uncle Renny,' she said, 'this is all pretty new to
me. You know it is. I'm kind of afraid to see you naked. I mean,
I like it that you want me to. I even like it - I hope I can just
tell you this - I even like it that it's making you squirm and
suffer somewhat that I'm being so slow about it. It wouldn't
enter a girl's mind to be in a hurry to have a guy see HER naked.
At the most, it's a favor she might do him. But a girl...not just
me, Uncle Renny,...I mean any girl...any girl I know...because,
sure, we talk about it together, sure we do...no girl I ever knew
would think how great it would be if some boy would just let her
undress for him. This is a one-way street, I guess.'

"All the while, Tom, Amy's got my penis in her hand. Still inside
my drawers, but hard within her grasp, and the agitation of what
she's saying is making her yank and twist it. I was already
dangerously near to coming, and I wasn't even nude yet.

"'I want it too, Uncle Renny,' she said. 'I'm just saying I'm
also afraid. I mean, look how carried away you already are. So
let's both get used to it, okay? I'll pull down your underpants
little by little. So what if it takes a long time?'

"So what if it takes a long time? My little niece didn't know the
theory of coming, Tom. My heart melted at the thought of what she
was to learn from her adoring uncle that day. At once she began
the sweet torture. First she pulled the waist-band of my
underwear away from my body and simply held me wide open to the
air, which rushed coolly in. Amy didn't attempt to look inside.
For a few moments she didn't attempt anything. Just held my
waist-band well away from my pelvis, ventilating my privacy but
refusing, to my chagrin, to invade it. Then, at last, she
inserted her free hand into the cavern, cautiously, weightlessly.
I felt her nails knock quickly against my upright penis and
recoil. I wanted to coo like a baby at the deep, fleeting
pleasure. Amy's hand floated in there, mapping my male terrain
without touching down. Her stealth was exquisite. I felt the
fronts of her fingers pass over my pubic hair, from right to left
and back again, several times. Their movement was lighter than
air and hardly distinguishable from it. Sensors in my scrotum
detected a single faint finger descending now to the left, now to
the right of my testicles, silent and elusive as a glider dipping
among alps. I was torn between the need to quiver in gratitude
for each precious droplet of this nourishment and the fear that
by doing so I should lose the next. There was a fleeting tickle
to each thigh, just below where my balls lay. My scrotum felt the
nearness and yearned to be included. Then my waist-band snapped
back against me.

"Silence. Silence and stillness. I turned again to look at Amy,
but this time she rebuked me.

"'Eyes closed, Uncle Renny. Eyes closed. Or, here, I'll make a
blindfold out of your shirt.'

"And so she did. Her hands had hardly left my temples when I felt
them below again, carefully drawing down my undershorts just
enough to expose a tuft of hair. She gathered some of this in her
fingers and pulled. Then she explored the sparser growth on my
stomach, as though she were trying to determine how the two
regions of hair were related.

"'Arms over your head, Uncle Renny,' Amy said. When I obeyed,
extending my arms well beyond the table-end, she sunk a few
fingers into my nearer pit, examined some of that hair too - the
hair of a man's body was obviously as puzzling to her as the
hairlessness of women is to us - then in the most leisurely way
let her finger-tips stray down my torso, giggling at every
shudder and moan she drew from me, arriving at long last at my
waist-band again, which she then lowered without ceremony to the
base of my penis. She pressed two or three fingers into the
little trough where the penis meets the pelvis. As a boy, I
always thought of it as a kind of moat you had to bridge to reach
the towering penis. Now Amy was frolicking in it, mocking it.
Almost carelessly, she pushed the elastic of my undershorts a
little way up my erection with her skipping fingers as they left
for a second or two their playground in my hair. It was the first
contact of her skin and my bare penile flesh. I was barely bare -
what, an inch of thick penis-base? that was it - but when Amy's
sweet nails flicked up that inch, Tom, it was full of storms.
I've always had trouble understanding why we refer to an
explosive experience like orgasm by the same term, "pleasure,"
that we use for lighter and milder things. What a weak word for
it! And how misleading! Something that shakes your being - is
that really just another "pleasure"? What I'm saying is that
Amy's terse little strokes were that explosive. "Pleasure" hardly
says it. A girl - a young girl, a pretty f******n-year-old girl -
and her f***e plunged so deep into me, it might as well have been
my first boyish encounter with a woman's hand. There's no
experience that compares with it. Your own hand? Why mention it?
Your hand is just an implement. A girl's hand? You call it that
because that's the only way you can make sense of it in language.
But it's ineluctable. A girl touches you, and you've been lifted
to another level of being. Caressed by an angel, whose gentlest
stroke will give you the bends. Oh, Tom, isn't it true - we want
their touch more than anything? More than all the adult kinks and
protocols, don't we want to be destroyed by that simple, sweet

"I tried to lie still for Amy. I understood what she wanted of
me, and I tried. But my erection, so desperate for full
disclosure, kept twitching and crying its entreaties out to her
in the voiceless way of penises, those truly dumb a****ls. Of
course Amy recognized my need. Again and again - I can't say for
how long - she coaxed my undershorts a little farther up my
penis. The effect was to pull the thing forward while the elastic
kept it in place, pointing toward my feet. With each additional
exposure, Amy would tease the whole length of my erection,
dwelling perhaps a little longer on just that borderline between
the covered and the bare. She didn't conceal her glee at my
inarticulate vocalizings and startled inhalations. That was part
of the sweetness, Tom. As young and unprepared as she was, she
had the female instincts: she took a natural pleasure in seeing
my need to feel her power grow greater than her need to exercise

"Each time Amy uncovered a length of my penis, she'd say, 'See,
Uncle Renny, we're getting there. Soon you'll be able to show me
everything. Everything, Uncle Renny...." And as she said such
things she might sweep a few fingers almost sternly across the
base of my penis, or maybe tweak my still-covered glans.
'Everything,' she'd go on. 'Your penis..., God, even your
testicles, Uncle Renny. Won't that make you happy as can be?'

"'As can be, my goddess,' I said. We speak of a sexy woman's
seductive voice. But a young girl's inexperienced condescension
isn't less mesmerizing. The opposite, rather. The mixture of
naivety and new-found confidence is irresistible.

"As she ran a finger-tip or nail up and down the length of my
penis, while I whimpered and squeaked at each infinitesimal
difference in stroke and pressure, Amy murmured slow, soothing
promises to me, like a mother with a fretful c***d, repeating the
words over and over again without thinking: 'Soon, soon. It will
be soon, Uncle Renny. Just hold on....' And I drifted into that
strange sexual sl**p in which consciousness doesn't dissolve, but
remains alert to a single place and feeling and the happy
sameness, the exquisite monotony, of quiet arousal. I became so
lost in this, Tom, that I nearly missed the announcement which
had burst suddenly from the hushed recesses of my niece's

"'Soon, Uncle Renny. Very soon I'm going to lift this cloth away
and let your penis out. Very soon, Uncle Renny. Be patient, Uncle
Renny. I'll do it soon. Maybe...maybe...yes, Uncle Renny, I
will...I'll do it...now.'

"And then it was done. The last inch of covering was gone and my
penis quivered free above my tightened balls. I don't think I
have to tell you, Tom, what an emotion a man feels when he is at
last made utterly bare before a girl. She may have teased you for
hours - it already seemed hours, in any case - and gradually
stripped you to the point where everything is visible except for
a small part of your penis, over which she's left no more than a
wisp of cloth. She sees everything. She's learned the lessons of
your body. There's no revelation left for her. Not really. The
rest is for you. To bring the humiliation of it home to you. As
long as that inch of cotton still conceals your wet, red glans,
by God! you're a man with some pride left. But when she pulls
that meaningless bit of cloth away at last, she might as well be
tearing plates of armor from you, if the thrill of defeat it
gives you is any sign.

"'You're naked, Uncle Renny,' Amy said. She methodically removed
my undershorts. I could hear her fail to suppress a laugh or two.
She had my testicles in her hand. My senses were riled and I
jumped and gasped with each dig and squeeze. At last she was
causing me the heavenly ache.

"'They're so...I don't know, Uncle Renny,' she said. 'Oh,
sweetheart, don't be insulted at all. But they're so...funny. Oh,
just think, you've been such a good uncle to me all my life, and
all along you've had these...balls...yes, these balls. And I
guess if I'd known what that was really about...well, I guess I
would have been nicer to you.'

"She gave my testicles what she must have conceived to be an
affectionate squeeze. I yelped of course. Amazingly, she then did
it again, and after that once more. After each of my involuntary
cries, she patted my balls tenderly and said, 'Aw, gee...,' with
the complacency of a princess. Tom, my heart raced: Amy wanted
the ache in me to last. After one of my more strident yelps, she
surprised me with a kiss on my lips. Not an erotic kiss. Not a
long one. Something to help me endure the ache she was pleased to
be causing me. A comforting kiss. To tell me I was poor Uncle
Renny, Uncle Renny whom she loved dearly but who happened, poor
fellow, to be a man.

Part four

"For a long time I lay on the table-top, entranced by my niece's
random strokes," Polhemus said. "Of course she'd had no practice
at titillation, but she had a woman's natural skill. Her fingers
moved over my cock and balls, along my ribs, across my stomach
and down my legs, teasing one moment, f***eful the next,...moved
where they wished, ...blithe and serene - and the cause of their
infallible magic could only be Amy's girlish intuition. She took
to the work of immobilizing me as though she was born to it.
Amy's presence - or maybe something naturally absent - THAT was
Amy's skill. I lay contentedly within my blindfold, seeing all
that I needed to see in my mind's eye. I could feel the afternoon
sun pouring through the window-slats to stripe my thighs and
singe the bottom of my scrotum. Amy's touch in those places was a
cool balm, and the slight chill in her fingers made them feel
competent and strong to me, made Amy herself seem cold in a way,
and irresistible.

"Her movements were unpredictable. Wonderful, indolent repetition
sometimes, abrupt pokes, slaps and tickles others. My role was to
receive, Tom. Simply to lie there adrift in the powerful, sweet
sensations, signaling their arrival at my brain with continual
yelps and sighs - the entire repertoire of spontaneous 'oohs' and
'ahs,' pliant 'yeses' and reckless 'oh, my Gods.' They appeared
to be all the acknowledgment Amy desired. My high-pitched
outbursts filled her with delight. Silly, helpless Uncle Renny.
I'd have done anything for her, Tom. You know that. My whole body
was an appendage of my penis, as thick and ponderous and reeling
as that d***ken little organ. Yet just like that I'd have leaped
from the table and sprinted to the rack if Amy asked me to,
fortified through every torture by the memory of her finger-tip
whispering casual, exquisite edicts to my glans. But my niece
required no such demonstration of my enslavement; she wanted
nothing beyond my pure passivity and openness to her touch. Of
course, of course. She was acting entirely within her nature.
Artifice and theater were the furthest things from her mind. I
was on display for her, yes, but I wasn't on stage. I was still
Uncle Renny, the same Uncle Renny, naked and helpless before her
simply because a girl's uncle, you know..., he's a man with a
penis after all.

"At each twitch and squeal from me, the little-girl part of my
niece would laugh freely. I was 'funny' to her. That was Amy's
word, wasn't it? What else is a young girl to think when she
first lays eyes on a male? We're funny, Tom. Funny-looking,
funny-acting. As boys we were funny with those poorly thought-out
objects between our legs, and we're more so as men. Seeing it,
saying it...that's part of a girl's sense of her power. You
played as you liked with the 'funny' things on a man, and he made
'funny' sounds and movements and...you couldn't help it, you had
to laugh. The effect of that spontaneous candor was only to
deepen my own - to make me feel like an elementary man who had
never in his life conceived a guileful thought toward a woman.
Amy's innocence...does this make any sense, Tom?...Amy's
innocence restored me to my own. I remember detecting, amid the
lovely, hypnotic frissons, something like an idea in my head - an
indignant idea, part contempt, part furious bewilderment, that
sex - this thing between two mortal beings, Tom,...sex - that sex
could ever get mixed up with shame, that the pure reflexes, the
natural play, of male and female tissue,...a man's helpless
erection, a woman's delight in causing it, his urgent humility,
her calm domination...that any of this sweetness should be
stifled for the human race in guilt. d**gged as I was with the
pleasure of being passive, I was appalled all the same at the
thought of this meaningless sacrifice of happiness, this refusal
of a thing within the reach of every man and woman's instinct.
Nothing brings me closer to believing in God than the sight of
beautiful women in public places. I mean, when I'm not on the
make for them and their existence on this sad planet is enough;
I'm simply grateful that they're in view, and I never lose my
astonishment that merely by sweeping past me in their special
womanly rush they can make the difference between my loving life
and my hating it. Who but a God could have dreamed up such a
consolation - sex, Tom, going all ecstatic, feeling all sublime,
because a woman has gotten the thing you pee with hard? It's
wild, it's nuts, it's even embarrassing...but it's our life here
on old earth. And then..., then to take the best proof of God's
existence and condemn it, and to do so in God's name! Oh, it's
ludicrous, Tom, and it's vile...."

I felt some troubled urge to interrupt the Polhemus polemic - not
out of piety, need I say?, but because I had followed this route
in my own thoughts many times: Polhemus and I shared a k**ney.
The innocence of perfect sexual harmony, man happily abject,
quivering, erect, woman softly dictating the terms of his
surrender, his knowing them a moment before he hears...I
understood Polhemus perfectly. His thoughts were my own, many
times my own. Man and woman a single organism, one part will, the
other obedience. But what of that frequent sensation, that common
knowledge, of the great chasm - the great difference in kind -
between the sexes? How much more often than innocence did we
acolytes of woman feel her awful estrangement? This state of
grace Polhemus was describing, this sense of perfect union with a
female heart, this thing that happened once in Polhemus's long
life of service - might it not be the fata morgana of the man in

"Renny," I said, "didn't you admit that sex is nonsense?"

"Glorious nonsense, I believe I said, Tom."

"Yes, yes, glorious. Would I quarrel with that? But innocence,

"What is more innocent than nonsense, Tom? What is more innocent
than the delirious, nonsensical ecstasy - we're talking ecstasy,
Tom, transcendent ecstasy, you see - what could be more innocent
than the ecstasy you get from the mere skim of a female hand
across your puny appendage? For that stroke we sigh and crumble
and say, 'I'm your slave.' I call that nonsense, I call it
glorious,...and sweet, and innocent.

"You can tell I'm not a sentimental man. If I were, perhaps that
afternoon with Amy would never have gone so deep. I'd have
imagined I knew it all already. Innocence?...Oh, yes, of course
sex is good and natural and just the right thing, the best thing.
That's what I'd have been thinking. I wouldn't mind hair under a
woman's arms at all, would I? Men and women, they're just the
same libidinous tissue...a penis more or less, what does it
matter? That's what I'd have been thinking. You've noticed how I
love science, Tom? Scientists say that there's life, advanced
life, all over the universe. A million times over, so they say.
There are civilizations, there's thought. Don't worry, I don't
believe we hear from them, but I have no trouble thinking they're
out there. It stands to reason. I have no problem with it. But
you know what I do doubt, Tom...?"

"I can't say I do just now, Renny."

"What I doubt is that a single one of those civilizations - and
there are millions, Tom - who knows what they look like? it's
unimaginable, but there are millions - yet I'm sure that not a
single one of those bright, civilized species light decades from
us in their fluorescent skins...I'm sure that not a single one
has the tropisms, the lurches, the whimpering necessities of the
thing we call sex. Sex is a one-time turn of events, a thing that
happened to happen on this earth. But only here, Tom. Crazily
only here. You see what I mean? The way we are, the things we've
learned, you and I, to harden for. Elegant clothes, delicate
scents, shaved legs - didn't we talk about all that, Tom? -
dancing and crooning and being urbane...? Earth is a sad planet,
and sex is why. Desire is why, the desire of men. But sex is our
consolation too, our sweet medicine. What are we men, we males,
Tom? Masses of desire that can never be satisfied. Electrical
circuits that flare and go short, then flare again. We're
disorders of nature, we men, instabilities that have somehow
endured. It's not possible that this could happen twice. Sex is
too deep, too mad, too fucking LOCAL to be innocent.... I know
this perfectly well. But I know that for one afternoon none of
this was so. Every man,...every man of good will,...has one such
impossible afternoon of earthly peace on his card.

"I know what I know. Amy was a girl, a female person. A thousand
things put her worlds apart from me. Deepened her beyond my
understanding. Just the fact that she menstruated...I knew what
it meant, Tom. I knew where it left me. Yet that afternoon I was
one of her limbs and nothing else. No rhetoric here. I thought
you understood that. You know, at one point Amy rested her head
on my thigh and blew little breaths against my penis and
testicles, and I felt that I could only go on living for as long
as she kept this artificial respiration up. Imagine I felt that
her breath was the source of my life. And then, when she put my
penis on trial, tweaked me, bent me from side to side, pressed me
hard into my own balls and just as hard into my abdomen, when she
volleyed my lumbering erection between her palms, or pulled and
twisted it, or dug her nails in, or spread my hopeful wetness
over the tip with her thumb...I mean, no matter what she did, I
felt it was my own need at work. I felt that Amy knew my need
before I knew it myself. Because she was the author of it, and my
very neediness, even before she satisfied it,...that was her gift
to me. You know this, Tom: need doesn't stop in a man. There's no
fulfilling it. Fulfillment is an illusion. Absolutely. But that's
its sweetness. The perpetual need. Do you see? That's the origin
of our enslavement. The impossibility. Otherwise, it would all be
economics...or electricity. This is where pain comes in. The
sweetness of pain. Most men like us, they let themselves believe
that pain is the way they demonstrate the totality of their
submission to women. That's okay. It's well enough to see it that
way. It makes no practical difference. But pain goes deeper
really. Pain comes first. Our hopeless desire IS pain. Pain
demands that we submit, causes us to do it, then asks to be kept
alive through tests and punishments. Submission is our way to go
on desiring."

"Amy caused you pain, Renny?" I asked. "And even that was

"The most innocent of all. If someone asked, after you've
gallantly withstood a few ladylike buffets to your balls, how you
could bear such pain, what would you say, Tom? That it didn't
feel like pain, or didn't feel MERELY like pain? Something of the
sort, wouldn't you? You'd explain that you were too excited, too
enraptured, too beside yourself, to register pain - that you KNEW
it to be that, but you weren't HURT by it. The intense sensation,
totally the opposite of anesthesia in fact, makes pain not hurt.
People think of pleasure as the most selfish thing there is. I
suppose that's why they condemn it in high doses. But the
pleasure of enslavement to a woman,...pleasure that deep - I
don't care how paradoxical it sounds - such pleasure makes you
selfless...no, doesn't MAKE you,...depends upon your having
already begun to put your self aside, because you need your
servitude that much. The pain your body senses when there's no
self left to assemble it into hurt...it's atomized,...there's no
anguish in it. Don't you think the martyrs at the stake were
anesthetized by ecstasy? And who was more innocent? When you
suffer for a woman, she...the woman...makes you innocent and
immune, and you suffer and in a deeper sense you don't; she lends
you the courage to bear what it pleases her to visit upon you.
She envelops you in her sweetness..."

"You're talking nonsense, Renny," I said. "But it's glorious
nonsense. I shouldn't have interrupted. Amy so enveloped you,

"Yes, Amy went on to give me generous helpings of the sweet pain
- and it was sweeter to me for the fact that she discovered her
right to cause it there and then. I've said what it meant to me
to realize that Amy intended the ache down in my groin. How,
after an excursion up and down my body or a round of calisthenics
for my penis, she would give my testicles an affectionate squeeze
just hard enough to cause that inguinal cramp we love, and I
would wince and cry out, and Amy would try and fail to suppress a
giddy laugh. That a gesture of affection, a mild closing of her
fingers over some part of my flesh, which would have signified
kindly condescension elsewhere, could prompt a cry of pain from
me when offered to my balls - I think the discrepancy between her
original motive and my response proved quickly enlightening to
Amy. I think it demonstrated to her the strangeness of the male
machine. I think she understood that our circuits and ligatures
are not like women's, that the familiar antinomies - of
tenderness and severity, of pleasure and pain - did not apply to
us. She understood, and it pleased her. That was the splendid
thing. It startled her, yes: there was certainly some nervousness
in her laughter. But in the end it pleased her. And she wanted

"For a long time we communed nearly in silence. There were my
bursts and sighs and gasped doxologies, and there were Amy's all
but voiceless titters when I squirmed. But we had suspended
conversation. I was sealed behind my blindfold, and very happy in
the darkness, though my imagination took certain liberties which
I knew were impudent. Amy's every touch, unforeseeable, surprised
and inflamed it. I wondered what expression she had on her face
as she worked me: I imagined a variety of them. Gleeful, girlish,
concentrated, contemptuous. Each was plausible. Protected, as one
feels, from my own blindness from being seen, I gradually let
myself picture less decent things.

"First it was merely Amy's hair falling about the faces I kept
conjuring. Then it was her shirtless torso, her smooth arm-pits,
her delicate forearms. Then I saw her bra-less, and, young as
they were, the angelic breasts and sweet nipples, which I'd never
actually seen of course, stood imperiously before my inner eye.
All the while I felt the shame of an intruder. My whole emotion
was wonder and adoration - nothing coarse at all - but it's rude,
isn't it, to take even imaginary privileges? Even had Amy
suggested it herself, I would never have agreed to HER nakedness.
She was too young still, and she was my niece. A girl-c***d has
the regulation rights of a woman over every man - uncle,
father,...it doesn't matter. She's a girl, an incipient woman,
and she has her perks. But that doesn't make her any less a
c***d, a daughter, a niece, where the man's perception is
concerned. For all that, I failed to hold my imagination to a
strict standard. With each stroke and prod and squeeze I felt the
thrill of thinking, there in my darkness, that the being causing
the sweetness was a female with such-and-such breasts, with
such-and-such nipples, such-and-such mound and pubic hair. Yes, I
went that far. I drew the elastic-band of Amy's shorts and
lowered them in my thoughts; I contemplated the turn of her hips,
the bulge of her bones...and of her mound within her panties.
Here at least I had the sight of her in a swim-suit to instruct
me. I went further: I slipped down her panties, my niece's
panties, and gazed with reverent love at the sweet slope of her
pubic bone, which I imagined sparsely sown with a perfect
triangle of light-brown hair. I saw her cleft, her clit, her
lips. I smelled and tasted her. Remembering still, after twenty
years, the mild cunts of Sylvie's schoolmates, I gave Amy such
mildness too. The faintest femininity was all I needed. This
person teasing my penis just now, I thought,...I can picture her
cunt, I can inhale and taste it, and...yes, yes, it IS a cunt,
she IS a woman, I AM a man and slave.

"I remember thinking this amid the small sounds as Amy grazed my
glans repeatedly, hypnotically, with a solitary finger. I
imagined the moisture I secreted for her there to be a steady
flow. For long minutes our movements and murmurs had been as
faint as the rustle of leaves, thin and crackling. Then came the
cupping of Amy's hand around my balls, its quick contraction and
my yelp. Then Amy's gratified laughter at my reflexes. Then she

"'Why are you made that way, Uncle Renny,' she said, 'so easy to

"'To make it easy for ladies like you to control me,' I said.

"'But how can you bear it, knowing it's possible every minute,
wherever you are?'

"'I bear it...men bear it...by remembering what it means.... Oh,
my Amy,' I had to add, 'I want to answer every question and show
you everything I am, but I have to beg you not to lift your hand
away while we speak. Do what you like with it, only go on
touching me somehow, please, my darling.'

"Amy obliged without a word, beginning with a reassuring clench
to my penis. I'd done without her pressure for a few seconds at
most, yet her renewed attention was as sweet to me as milk to the
famished. For the remainder of our conversation, Amy did her best
to keep me nourished, but I could sense the burden of it on her.
Her thoughts were elsewhere, in this troublesome realm of
testicles and their unimaginable fragility. Her hand never left
my penis, but for long moments it rested there inert, only once
in a sudden while remembering to close its life-restoring weight
around it. Had I not been so ravenous, I would have been amused
by my niece's absent-minded struggle with duty. As it was, I
regretted my own yearning, afraid that even the little demand it
had f***ed me to make would leave Amy sceptical about my
professions of selflessness. But she seemed to give it no
thought. My humble testes were Amy's only theme.

"'It's really unbelievable,' she said. 'I mean, how things got
this way. You know, girls always talk about how weird it is that
boys even have these things hanging outside of them. We talk
about how glad we are not to have them....'

"I loved these revelations, Tom. What 'girls talk about...'!
Their secret knowledge of their superiority. I wanted to drink
this in, but all the while I was thinking, Press me, Amy,...don't
forget...bend me, crush me between your hands,...keep me going,
my darling,...don't you see that THAT'S your answer, the reason
I'm hung? And if somehow she read my thoughts just at the
vanishing point of her own,...well, even the belated stroke that
came of it was heaven to me.

"'Girls say that a boy's testicles are his weakest part,' Amy
said, 'that if you touch them the right way you can knock him
out. Is that really true, Uncle Renny.'

"'Yes, sweetheart. The girls know what they're talking about.'

"'Not really, Uncle Renny. I mean, not the girls I know....'
(Tell me all, my darling, I thought, but squeeze me, just once, I
beg you....) 'I mean,' Amy said, 'the girls I know haven't
actually done anything to anybody's balls that I've heard of. We
just talk about it. I'm not sure we'd know what to do if we had
the chance. IF we had the chance, Uncle Renny....'

"'Amy,' I said, 'you know you have it with me.'

"'Oh, Uncle Renny,' Amy said, 'will you be angry with me if I
tell you I like hearing that?'

"'Do you, my darling?'

"'Is that a terrible thing, Uncle Renny?'

"'I hardly think so,' I said. 'It's a natural thing for a girl to
like her power over a man, and to like everything that guarantees
and proves it....'

"For these words, I was rewarded with a lovely round of f***ed
penile curtsies to all the points of the compass. I thanked my
niece lavishly, but her questions still preoccupied her.

"'In that case, Uncle Renny,' Amy said, '...if you don't mind, I
would like to see for myself...what can...you know...happen to

"'My darling,' I said, 'I'm completely under your spell, and I
would do anything to stay there, anything at all.' I assured her
that she could do what she liked to me, with me, that I couldn't
stop her and had no desire to.

"'When you say things like that, Uncle Renny,' Amy said, 'it
gives me a funny feeling I can't explain. I love you and also my
power over you - oh, yes, I love that a lot - and I want to be
able to think about it later without wondering if it was just a
game. I mean, in real life I'd never think of hurting you....'

"'THIS is real life, Amy,' I said. 'This....'

"'Okay. I understand. What I mean is that I don't want to cause
you pain,...YOU, Uncle Renny...but I do want to know about balls
and everything. If there was a way to do what I liked to them and
still not hurt YOU..., well, that would be great. But there
isn't, is there?'

"'Because there shouldn't be, my darling. Don't be offended, but
you have it backwards. A man's fragile testicles are there to
enable you to get at HIM, to vanquish HIM. You, Amy, the
girl-person, the woman-person, reach deep into me or some other
man- or boy-person. Do you see? Otherwise it's meaningless pain.
It's the fact that it's me, or some other fellow, not just a pair
of balls, that makes it beautiful.'

"Amy said she understood. She said that she was still shy to do
it, much as she wanted to. 'I'd need your help, Uncle Renny,
okay? I don't even know what to do..., I mean, apart from the
squeezing. Will you tell me?'

"'If you had to decide for yourself, darling, what would you
think of doing? These things always go better when a girl does
what she pleases and doesn't think twice about the boy.' No, I
wasn't flattering myself with the label 'boy'; but I had a hunch
that Amy wanted to take today's new-found knowledge home with
her, that, as much as she relished her freedom with me, it meant
still more to her to contemplate the subjugation of some
adolescent boy she had designs on. It was rather wonderful, I
thought: playing hob with a grown man's balls was all right in
its way, a needed lesson, but getting some cocky classmate to
drop his charade - that was the real fun for a girl of f******n.

"'What I'd do, Uncle Renny? Okay. I think I'd really get you into
a position where you were completely opened up, first of all. I'd
make you spread your legs as wide as they could go, right over
the table-edge....'

"At first it was words alone, amazingly precise details of
posture and elevation, but after a bit, Amy began to execute her
own directions. She spread my legs so that my feet were hitched
beneath the edges of the table. The muscles in my thighs and
groin soon ached and burned. The split tilted my pelvis downward,
and to correct the displacement of my organs Amy fetched a
throw-cushion and propped it under my buttocks. I felt the
perfect sacrificial victim, my vulnerable parts isolated and
raised high before the eyes and reach of the virgin-priestess, my
niece. She patted and prodded me lightly here and there - on my
flexed thighs, and the exposed stretch beneath my scrotum, and my
cowering balls themselves, a good, plumb two-finger jab to them.
She was appraising her subject, the resilience, the yield of his
flesh. She was getting ready. All the while, my ungainly penis
jigged and tottered from side to side.

"'And when you were set up,' Amy continued, as though it were
still only speculation, 'and when you were set up, I'd wheel the
chair around to the end of the table, where I could see and reach
everything, your ballies, your dickie, and then I'd....'

"Suddenly the heels of Amy's hands were resting against my groin,
on either side of my testicles. Their presence caused me a lovely
chill: there was danger in them. A wonderful pulsation of fear
froze my heart. One last thought for Amy....

"'No matter what, my darling, no matter how I react when
you...you know...do it, don't be scared, don't be deterred. I may
not be able to help it, I may cry out, but that won't mean I'm
unhappy. I may....'

"Was she listening? I think not. Because before I had finished
this important admonition, Amy brought her hands together with
astonishing f***e, sandwiching the wretched contents of my sack
between them. I heard myself heave and deflate. The bitter ache
flooded my belly. Unable in that posture to double over, I tried
by other means to surrender to the galling surge within me. I
shuddered in place. My body from my shoulders to the small of my
back lashed and snapped against the table as if electrified. I
groaned a single, unending syllable.

"'Are you okay, Uncle Renny?' Amy said. I choked that, Don't be
fooled, I was. 'Stupid question, I guess,' Amy said. And then,
incredibly, there they were again, those female hands of hers,
planted once more beside my sack, getting ready to deliver a
second jolt, as though she could think of nothing more suitable
in such circumstances. And then it came, fierce and sharp,
knocking my bulbs oafishly against one another in their hopeless
race to outleap the v******e of Amy's hands. I writhed, I
retched, I thrust my pelvis further into the air. I think I shed
some tears. And all the while I was trying with ragged breath to
assure Amy that I was well,...that I was well and she was good at
this. Take it and be still, I told myself, and for courage
desperately turned my inner eye to Amy's imagined cunt, smooth
and hard, and unassailable.

"And then my blindfold was gone, and Amy was leaning above me
urging me to open my eyes. She told me they were wet and she was
sorry for it. 'Never say so,' I pleaded. 'Not to your slave.'

"'But what will happen when today is over?' Amy said. 'After
you've spurted for me - you will, won't you, Uncle Renny,...show
me how your sperm shoots out? - but then what? Do we go back to
being the same old niece and uncle team as ever?'

"'That's scarcely possible,' I whispered. I ached too much for
hardy conversation. 'A slave is forever, Amy. Tomorrow, next
year, ten years from now. And so is an uncle. So an uncle who's a
slave...there's no solider bond on earth. That much I know.
Whether we'll ever share these acts again I can't tell. That's
more your decision than mine. You may find other males more
interesting. I think that's likely. Especially because you'll
never have any doubts about me....'

"'I'll still want you to undress for the beach in front of me,
and to answer my questions and tell me the secrets of boys, using
your own penis where relevant.'

"'Where relevant? Oh, yes, my darling. Always...where relevant.'

"'Uncle Renny...,' Amy began with sudden earnestness. She had
rolled back to center and was now hovering above me, half-mounted
on the table. 'I'd like you to look into my eyes.'

"'Gladly, my sweet girl.'

"Amy reached one hand toward my lower body as she studied my
eyes. Without turning her head, she began to fondle my penis. My
pelvic muscles were still tight with colic from the battery of my
balls, and the tender stimulation acted on them like a sedative
even as it brought my penis close to bursting. I returned Amy's
gaze. Eyes are as bewildering as sex itself. Amy's seemed at one
and the same time to reveal her soul and to veil it. There was
intimacy between us, but mystery as well, both immeasurably deep.
The contrary feelings deepened our love. Made it absolute,
indifferent to the arc of time. Had Amy removed her clothes then,
lowered herself onto me like a woman and taken me into her -
something I wouldn't have wanted and couldn't have approved of -
nevertheless, at that moment, I would have given myself humbly to
fulfilling the needs of immaculate love, forgetting age and
kinship and everything that wasn't the difference of sex itself.
Of course, it didn't happen. We simply stared silently at one
another, while Amy, with surprising deftness, readied my penis
for ejaculation.

"After a time she said that she was tired. Her voice was
apologetic but a little distant.

"'Don't hide your wish from me, my darling,' I said. 'I feel it

"'Yes, good, Uncle Renny. It's this...oh, but please believe me,
I don't want to hurt you...I saw how it was, how bad it was....'

"I began to protest, reproaching myself for the weakness that
caused my darling's remorse, but Amy was moving past me.

"'Well, what I didn't see was how you looked at the moment it
happened. I didn't see your eyes, Uncle Renny....And I would like
to I'd like to look into your eyes when I do it.. That's all. I
mean, except for you...you know, shooting sperm...coming, that

"I've taken my thrashings, Tom. From loving friends and chilly
bitches whose names I never learned. But I've never felt the
intoxication of submissive love as I did then. Even the echo of
Amy's words was exquisite. That request - Let me gaze into your
eyes while I hurt you, Uncle Renny - my God, the self-possession
of it!

"For the second time, Amy kissed me on the lips. After confessing
her wish, she bent over me and kissed me. Her left hand still
clasped my penis. This time she lingered a while, all the time
gazing into my eyes, studying me, searching for the source of my
humility. She wasn't absent-minded now. Her free hand rested on
my forehead, keeping my eyes from shifting. Her lips, her hand on
my penis - they were well-coordinated now. I shivered with
delight and expectation. I wanted to postpone orgasm for hours,
for days, but I knew that it would be soon. Amy had only to clap
her hands.

"And so she did, Tom. I don't know how she worked it from that
angle. My eyes were fixed on hers. Yet I couldn't read them,
though they were avidly reading mine. She gave nothing away, and
when the blow came and my testicles went white-hot in the
refining blast, I had drifted and was surprised. Once it
happened, it was all I could do to keep my eyes wide for Amy's
research. I kept myself as motionless as I could, directing every
torsion in my body somehow to my eyes. Amy's hand had left my
penis, of course, but only for a split second before she struck.
After the blow, she took her time resuming her attentions to it.
But when she did, it was like a second detonation. Knowing she
must see my orgasm fully, I used all my strength to contract my
much beleaguered pelvic muscles. It was useless. For all my
discipline, for all the staying-power I've long boasted of, the
flood of sperm was rolling through me, fleeing my convalescent

"I hardly had voice in me. 'Amy,' I croaked urgently.

"'Uh-huh?' she said, without turning her gaze away.

"'Amy, no...you must look, darling,' and I waved desperately if
feebly toward my pelvis.

"She understood me through my hoarseness just in time. I could
see her puzzlement as she turned, but my work was done. I let my
eyes fall shut and instantly imagined Amy discovering her own
hand as though it were another's wrapped around my spilling

"'For you, Amy,' I murmured as I came.

"And Amy said, 'Uh-huh.'"

We were passing through the outskirts of a fair-sized town.
Polhemus's destination, but I wondered if my normally alert
companion had noticed. He'd fallen still, and I thought a little
sad. The snowy landscape and the white cottages glowed in the
clear night. Even from the car you could see stars in the frosty

"Pure New England," Polhemus suddenly observed. "My stop is just
down the road." After a moment's silence, he added, "Don't worry,
I've told all the story I intended."

"No sequel, Renny? No morning after? No years later?"

"I didn't say that, Tom. But you of all people should know that
that's another story."

I told Polhemus he was unforgettable, one of a kind. I told him
that I felt honored to have been his audience. That I'd gladly
play that part again to hear "another story." I told him my real
name. This way, I told him, we have a future. "If that's any
comfort," I said.

He didn't seem surprised, or offended by my deception. He thanked
me for my trust.


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Categories: Taboo
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