I’ve wanted to live in California since 1964 when I read a feature article on LSD in Life magazine. From Cherry Hill, New Jersey:


They were located in the same geo-psychic space, and that’s where I wanted to live. In Erotic Anarchy. In Beautiful and Flagrant Chaos. In Delirious Visions. In the End of the World.

I gave $10 to Eric Goldstein — he was the closest thing to beatnik or hippie I knew (it was during that transition time when there were few real beatniks left and not yet any authentic hippies) — and commissioned him to bring me back an LSD sugar cube from across the river in Philadelphia. A few days later I visited for the first time that sacred zone, nearly jumped out a second story window like Art Linkletter’s daughter but eventually returned to New Jersey in a state of beatification.

I didn’t make it to the California layer of that zone for another twelve years. When I was 19 I worked in the post office in Cherry Hill to save the money to make the move to California. I accumulated $700, then quit and began to make plans for my trip.


It was about that time that my girlfriend’s Sicilian mother visited upon me the authentic Evil Eye Curse. She and her husband had returned an hour early from their Friday night bowling to discover her daughter and I in a forbidden posture. She addressed me with a series of nightmarish hand signals, all the while hissing out a sickening gush of gibberish. When she was done she became very still and informed me in a calm, mechanical voice that I would be terribly sorry I had ever violated her daughter.

Shortly thereafter my friend Bob Lordsburg convinced me that if I lent him my savings to invest in a major hashish deal, he would double my money. A week later he drove to New York City to meet his connection. When Bob handed over the $700, the man, whose chest bulged with the suggestion of a concealed handgun, immediately excused himself “to make a phone call.” He never returned. Bob returned with neither the hash nor the cash.

About a week after that I was shot and wounded by two men brandishing sawed-off shotguns. I spent a week in the hospital and two bleak months at my parents’ home. By then I was too demoralized to revive my plans and instead slunk back to college in Durham, North Carolina for a couple of years.

I finally penetrated the west coast through Oregon in September, 1976. In a public bathroom in Eugene, about a week before I actually descended into California, I found the epithet I knew I wanted to use forever to catalogue my California experience. On the wall over the sink where I shaved my face every morning I saw the note: “Don’t let Oregon be Californicated.”

I recognized the word as mine. I had an idea of what the writer of the graffiti meant by “californicated” but I didn’t care. I wanted the word to use for my own meaning. Not that I had any. I had no theories about what it signified. But I wanted it for my own. I decided that I had in fact invented the word, that somebody had stolen it from my dreams. It was my own personal revelation, the legend to my internal map of California. Though I did not formally settle in California until six months later, I began immediately to sort all California data through this code-word.

I hate the convention of the short story and I would never write one myself. But since March of 1977, when I really began living here, I’ve held open a space for an account of that California experience which would crystalize under the title “Californications.” I’ve waited for the clue which would provide the real meaning of the word, that seemingly minor event in my daily affairs that would so illuminate this process of “californication” that its hidden presence in all previous experiences would be instantly recognized.


Yesterday, on the autumnal equinox of 1977, the inspiration came, that subtle sign which I recognized as the climactic act of my conversion. The sign was not this: That I was fully dressed and driving my car and walking around and talking to people while still wearing an unused prophylactic over my cock. The sign WAS this: What happened on my way to write down this thing about how I was still wearing a prophylactic under my pants.

I felt exhilarated. It was six o’clock last night. I was driving my some time girlfriend Ariane back to her house and would soon be rid of her. The sentences were already forming in my imagination, I was building up the theme of californication around the extraordinary event of having neglected to remove the rubber and how this had come to pass.

Ariane and I are lovers some of the time, enemies most of the time. We both arrived in California about the same time, I from North Carolina and she from Ohio, and contrived an attraction for each other from our mutual alienation from California Chic.

We had come back to my house from our day at the beach about 4:30 with absolutely no inevitability to fuck. Nothing in the least magnetic or seductive had transpired. The emotional foreplay that should begin long before the act is attempted had never even started. We had sat there stupidly for hours and thrown Godot phrases at each other. I had known goddamn well the entire time that if I wanted a fuck later I was going to have to narrow my concentration down and at least practice my Charlie Manson-shining-eyes if I wasn’t going to say anything clever. But I didn’t.

The more I sabotaged my desire with laziness, the more unintelligible and senseless our dialogue became. Finally I absented myself, as I had sworn I would not, to erotic remembrances of the night before, when I had lied to Ariane and arranged a secret meeting with Elyse, a woman I knew from work. I had promised myself I would not allow the memories to leak over into my day with Ariane, partly out of loyalty to her and partly because I wanted to go over the memories in all their intimate detail when I was alone and could devote full attention to them.


It had been like a first date. Elyse and I had known each other for two months but had remained children to each other, flirting without promising. This was the first time we’d met outside of work. We found every excuse to rub up against each other, yet in the end we feigned shyness so as to prolong our courtship a little longer.

And in fact it was a first date. My first date with California. Elyse is my first pure California woman, made of nothing but California, California food, California air, California water, and California drugs. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

After one night I was possessed by her, as I was possessed by California, as I am possessed by any female for whom I have a huge, unsatisfied desire, whether the female be incarnate in the body of a woman or in a body of land. When I got sick enough of my feeble attempts to be polite to Ariane, I gave in to the possession and began carrying on a kind of hallucinated internal dialogue with Elyse.

I want you and I don’t want you.

I was saying to her. (It was actually a monologue.)

I want you but I don’t want you
because I know I could never give
you what you want, since I’m a
saint and will return to my devotions
once I get what I want from you . . .
But I want to possess you anyway,
as you have possessed me, only I want
to possess you more thoroughly, so you
know nothing more than me . . . and I will do
it in my own way, very slowly, very
gradually, very deliberately . . . Last night I
pressed you to me for the first time. I
want that to last a month, two months . . .
I want to drive you insane wondering what
I want with you . . .
Full mystery I want. No California
free and open circuits, no California reveal
everything hold nothing back, no California
love all your brothers and sisters equally,
no California do it here be here now . . .
I want it an old way. I want it suppressed
and awkward and hidden. I want a long
introductory period of poignant dreams, obsessive
longing, a nausea of nameless desire, a nostalgia
for that which has happened innumerable
times in imagination but never in real life . . .
Postponed for no reason. Except to explore
that nostalgia for what has not yet happened.
To exaggerate, distend, distort the yearning
and hoard it stupidly, force it to grow to
the hideous proportions of long-repressed
feelings. . . .
I want to live to DENY the climax, I
want to forbid our union, and always FOR
NO GOOD REASON. Always no good reason to
postpone the satisfaction of our desire, to
act coy, to act like we’re not sure what we
want, to act like we don’t want the ridiculous
orgasm . . .

mysteries like maybe it’s possible
to possess each other even more terribly than sex,
some radical and wrenching exchange that the sex
act makes forever impossible, like maybe even a
mutual Vampirism, a complete exchange of blood
and hormone . . .

I want this old way, this pain and
confusion of deception that is more true . . .
So I will trick you. I will get you to say
that my desire is not as simple as sex and
that the nature of my desire is the nature
of your desire . . .
In the beginning I will make you believe
I am not seducing you. You will fear I have
lost interest . . . But you will see that my attention
has not left you, that I am focussed
in you, that I sacrifice myself to you by my
intention NOT to seduce you . . . You’ll see
that I love you but refuse to trick you into
loving me . . . and that’s how I’ll trick you
into loving me . . . that’s how I’ll seduce you.
That will be my poem to you, my beautiful
riddle. I’ll seduce you by my refusal to seduce
you. I’ll get exactly what I want by appearing
to give up everything I want. I will
remember myself through your devotion to me,
which I will have once I have appeared to forget
myself for your sake. I will have you give
yourself completely to me when I have appeared
to give myself completely to you. You’ll
give in to me. You’ll give up any wish to
survive independent of me . . .


When Ariane and I returned to my house from the beach we had no mandate to fuck. I had played my part all wrong, giving myself over entirely to the strange communion with another woman. But I wanted the fuck anyway. I toyed with the idea of giving my rendering, the gifty of ejaculate, to Elyse, at least in imagination. I would conjure up the vision of Elyse and ejaculate into this vision while my physical body was locked in an embrace with Ariane. It would not be the first time I used Ariane as a vehicle to transport my gifts elsewhere, to practice this astral projection of the semen.

(Surely this is Evil. It is evil especially because I practice it so knowingly and with so little remorse. And it is my favorite evil, the evil I invented, because I do it so artfully. And it is bigger than normal evil because it is Absolute. It is evil freed from consequences or retribution. I have made it an act of vitality, not destruction or enervation. I have made it a celebration of the will to live and not of the wish to kill or to die, so that now it is immune to the laws of karma. It exists pure and free and inviolable. I bless it and nurture it like a black sun. I even see it in my brain, a dark but somehow glowing little fist in the southeast [back right] corner of my skull.)

I pawed through my red bag, where my rubbers are housed along with baseball cards, dice, rings, miniature ballet dancers, candles, wooden crosses, marbles, and hummingbirds’ heads. She asked with her typical inappropriateness if I was going to have any tea. I said, I’d rather have you first and then my tea, which would you rather have first? And she said she didn’t care, so I pulled on the rubber and bent down to operate, imagining myself vaguely as the 14 inch porno star in the XXX movie “Dear Pam” which Ariane and I had seen two nights before.

A few times in and out and around and she started to laugh, well before I could work up a good picture of Elyse. I knew she was laughing in genuine amusement at the absurd fix we were in rather than taunting or mocking me, but I acted proud and insulted, just like the porno star, and pulled out altogether and stalked around the room as if I were angry. To have the act make more sense, of course, I should have stripped off the rubber right away, and slammed it to the floor, but secretly I hoped she would apologize for laughing and beg me to come back, if not immediately then maybe in a few minutes. And I didn’t want to waste a 54 cents rubber just for the sake of the drama.

When she didn’t ask me back right away I slipped on my pants and made tea, ready, however, to resume fucking at any time. But one misunderstanding led to another, and, as I said, there had not been the proper build-up to make the act inevitable, and finally we decided that I would drive her home.


Waiting for Ariane when we arrived at her house was her latest suitor, a bisexual woman named Hermine. Hermine’s husband is in jail and she lives with a black man who beats her up and generally mimics the manners and style of a pimp. Yet Hermine is painfully precise in her obeisance to the etiquette of the spiritual movement. She moves with careful, unhurried motions when she must but most often sits perfectly still with her hands held in the mudra appropriate to various yoga positions, thumb pressed to index finger, other three fingers extended.

She claims to do “body work,” i.e. massage, and speaks vaguely of meridians and acupuncture points as if those were what she worked with. She even carries a tuning fork in her purse tuned to the C below middle C. She claims that when touched to the third eye position and vibrated, the fork relaxes and “aligns” her subjects, even in the middle of a crowded bar, or, we suspect, a massage parlor.

Hermine has an extensive and fashionable wardrobe, owns a late model Buick, and pays for all of Ariane’s expenses on those rare occasions she manages to talk her into going out with her. This affluence can all be explained, Ariane says, by the fact that most of Hermine’s “body work” consists of jerking off middle-aged businessmen.

Ariane ignores Hermine, treats her as if she were an inanimate object. But this does not diminish Hermine’s passion. She pursues Ariane furiously, calling her up three and four times a day, buying her gifts, writing her love letters. Ariane is not particularly a lesbian, and though she is flattered by the attention, offers Hermine no hope that their relationship will be carnally consummated.

On this particular visit Hermine presented a pathetic and desperate new appeal. She was so intent on blurting it out that she could not wait for me to leave and revealed it to us both. The union of Ariane and herself, she had discovered, was divinely sanctioned — for they had been lovers in a past life. They had both been magicians in Atlantis, Ariane a priestess and Hermine a priest.

There I was with an unspent rubber sheathing my cock underneath my pants and Hermine was encapsulating the sum of all my reasons to be disgusted with the new age. New Age I mean. The New Age which has revealed the full range of its possibilities only in the cartoonland of California. The loss of the sacred. The degeneration of the mysteries. The rabble spewing nonsense versions of the wisdom of the ages. And for the purposes of seduction!

I was reminded of my first exposure to the institutions of the New Age in 1971, when I crashed at the Rudolf Steiner-Astral Projection-K-9-Lubricating Jelly-Vedic Sidereal Astrology-Deep Massage-Free Love Commune in Yellow Springs, Ohio. My friend Fred and I holed up in the room of a friend of a friend, a short Italian girl with huge breasts named Monica.


She fucked Fred right away because Fred was around when the back massages began that first night and I was watching the World Series on the other side of town. But she really, as it turned out, wanted me. Though I didn’t want her. And I eventually, some days later, had to escape in the middle of the night when she pretended to be sleepwalking — and therefore not responsible for her acts — and fell on me, where I lay sleeping on my straw mat, with an ardent (though dreamlike) passion.

I spent the night in a stairwell of one of the Antioch College campus buildings and the next day managed to talk my way into temporary lodging at a less tactile commune. But she found out where I was and besieged me with gifts, enticements, and promises before finally, in desperation, resorting to Hermine’s strategy.

There was a man who lived in her commune who was an acknowledged local expert on reincarnation. In later years he left Antioch to attend the University of Maine, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. But at the time he was conducting experiments with “Awareness Techniques,” a form of guided meditation in which he aided his subjects to discover their past lives.

At her request, this guy put Monica in a trance, and of course the first scene that billowed up from her storehouse of primal memories was a vision of her life with me in England in the 1920’s. She saw a sumptuously furnished room glowing with a ghostly yellow light. A tall, lithe, beautiful blonde woman sat at a piano and played Debussy. There was a sense that her name started with the letter “J”. A haughty but vulnerable-looking young man dressed in the uniform of the Royal Air Force bent down and kissed her as she played.

Monica decided that the vision was a cameo image from the story of a great love affair, hers and mine. She called me up as soon as the trance session ended and with genuine awe confessed to me the ancient tie that bound us, a tie transcending the senseless hide-and-seek we played in this life.

I swear now and I swore then that this woman has no such link with me. My cells do not scream from the maw of memory to be reunited with a long-lost angelic partner. Except that just a few days before, unbeknownst to Monica, I had gone on my own trance exploration guided by that same engineer-to-be. I had had a vision of my life in England in the 1920’s with a lover named Joyce who fit the description of the woman Monica had identified as herself in her own vision. I concluded that somehow, in her desire for me, she had clairvoyantly picked my brain for the pertinent Akashic details, found the kind of information she knew would be most enthralling to me, and incorporated them into her own vision.

Of course in comparison to Monica’s attempts at seduction, Hermine’s were crude and inept. But then this is six years later and two thousand miles further west. The media-induced spiritual movement has become a slick, sophisticated, hilariously-stereotyped product. Magicians in Atlantis! How common, how predictable! Nowadays literally thousands of people claim to be reincarnated magicians from Atlantis.

But I suppose that that is all the farther her mind can reach, to the top level of astral droppings laid down by our generation in its garbled digestion of the mysteries. This layer of mass-hallucination has become the wellspring of most modern psychic experience. It is the foundation of the New Age, the foremost institution, a formalized stereotype derived from an impatient, greedy, arrogant translation of the mysteries into a twentieth century American colloquial code.

It is now nearly impossible to awaken to one’s own spiritual life without encountering the potent propaganda machine of the New Age media. Seventy years ago, or even ten years ago, when the secrets were becoming available to the public but had not yet been exploited by the media, it may actually have been possible for a lone madman to scream from the midst of a torturous communion with his Daimon, “I am a priest and magician from the ancient doomed continent of Atlantis.” But today it is a commonplace. The apparent discovery of one’s past lives is but a further glamour to add to one’s personal efflorescence, a source material to use in constructing a theory of one’s own advanced spiritual evolution.


And I am no different from any of the docile, brainwashed citizens of the New Age Conspiracy. Just like Hermine and Monica, I have exploited the mysteries of the ages for my own ends. After failing at every turn to win the affections of a woman who politely ignored my feverish love, I resorted in the end to a declaration that our union was divinely ordained.

It was only two months ago. I wrote a letter to this woman in North Carolina, Lisa, who has evaded me for over three years, not the least reason being that she is a lesbian. My plea was fantastic, gorgeous, sensational. I used every art of seduction I knew, invoked the phallic power of Pan, worked a spell with the aid of a button I had once taken from her room. I addressed her as a god does a goddess, with perfect respect, fierce, articulate desire, and a tragic humor. I wrote:

I remember when we awakened the
true Dionysian trance as maenads in
ancient Thrace, I recall the silver
ova that beat like separate hearts in
our bellies and rushed to swallow the
fuming offerings of the Great God . . .
I recall our love-anarchy in 13th
century Provence, how we mock-kissed
the black pious ass of the Dweller on
the Threshold, how we ridiculed the
Apollonian meat and bit orgasms of death
in the solar nerves of our biological
fathers . . . I recall China of the 22nd
century, the skins of poets stretched
tightly around our loins, how we
danced with hobbling steps, feigning
the crippled drunkenness of lust,
sniffing the bald bones of ancient
meals, rousing the visions of old poets’
skulls and the dissolution of their
faces, their eyes, and ripest of all
their tongues, the word-makers . . .

. . . But oh my dear terrible little
tyrant without parents I am so afraid
for our grizzly spiritual animal, hanging
by the last few skeletal dances of dreams
in the coma of our eye, our little vaporizing
eye, oh, I feel so unweaned and
spoiled, oh my magnetic, oh my multitude
of beginnings, oh my not-quite-opposite
angel, I can’t bear the birth, I can’t
bear the flesh entrancing our egg-old

Oh my imperfect shadow
Oh my mesmerize-the-flesh-to-dream
Oh my marry me marry me
Here is our poem’s foetus:
“Forever embryo,
Bleed mine hot and slutty”

Don’t that shut you up, don’t that shut
your silly mouth? Remember that the Queens
of every genitalia have gobbled up the tattooed
pets of our larva’s vampire . . . and we belong
to the anarchy of its wounds . . . and the zygote’s
poems dream ordeals of angelic failures,
aborted memories milking the blister of
my crucifix’s
penis, and scars and mouths
for the Moon to zipper . . .
Don’t you remember the eggs of no return,
the babies-before-the-soul, the momentary
violet-choked babies rubbering faces for our
angelic mask-play?
Our baby is Pan brain-washed, our baby is
Eros inscribed in the pain of a ridiculous
menstruating homunculus, our baby is a memory,
our baby is a lower mammal-germ of light
snorkeling towards the ductless glands, our
baby is playful, our baby is hunting for the
bleating masters of purgatories
where the lunatic saints go to
hide, and our baby is extinguishing
imagination with a proliferation of
false personalities! Say you will,
say you will be my ghost again, my
girl, my docile diamond vehicle, the
light at the edge of the fuck I
made myself out of . . .

. . . Is this where we bathe our eye in the
bandaging of Uranus’s wound, is this the end,
is this the glass island in clouds of gas
spanning the etheric threads from the other end
of our sleep of swimming? Is this the transparent
earth, is this where we can’t land, is
this where we have no feet, is this OUR EYE
abysmal irritation in the first fat whorl of
a new cyclone? Answer me. Aren’t you
the guardian
who sterilizes the humus I decay in? Aren’t you
my first drug? Aren’t you where my mother dies?


These things I swear to be true. I did not make them up. I have seen them all during the three years I have worshiped the Lesbian Muse. They have erupted unbidden whenever the pain of longing is matched by the grief and sorrow I suffer with her polite and friendly indifference. With her apathy she has taught me song, the art of memory, incantation, real magic, and all the arts of seduction, and yet none of these gifts have I learned to use to win her love. That impassive yet vigilant attention I have learned to use to fascinate and mesmerize, that power to seduce by not-seducing, I learned through Lisa’s silent instruction. And it has worked on every woman since her except her, and Elyse would only be the most recent of several who had succumbed to that style.

(Elyse? Lisa? I just remembered an incident at the restaurant. Elyse bussed in some dirty dishes to my dishwasher’s station and thinking of something I wanted to tell her I called out “Lisa . . uh . . . Elysa. . . . ,” unconsciously, I suppose, wanting Elysa to be Lisa. I quickly looked away, hoping she hadn’t heard my slip, that she would think I was talking to myself. Am I not an evil man?)

And I remember now that these latest thoughts of betrayal, this intention of mentally and astrally offering my ejaculate to Elyse while fucking Ariane, originated with Lisa. I first conceived of this evil substitution about three years ago, late on a summer’s night back in North Carolina, lying in a sweltering attic on a bed with my steady girl Myrna.

I had already come three times that night and was exhausted. My interest in further eros had disappeared but Myrna’s still seethed. I had not yet grown so used to her that I did not need her to think me as potent and untiring as the devil himself. We had not yet poisoned our pure animal hearts with domestic strife, still had something to prove to each other.

I decided, with a rush of perversity, to try something that I immediately recognized as a modern equivalent of making a pact with the devil. I felt like Faust, even in the middle of the secret negotiations I was carrying on with myself. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew I would look back at that internal discussion and say, “That’s when it started. That’s when I sowed the first seeds of betrayal.” (Betrayal? Or loyalty to some higher power, some remoter Queen, some more exalted and demanding Female at the root of my frail shell of human body?)

And I said, “Yes, Yes, let it be so, So Mote It Be,” as the witches would say, and I cast a Spell on me myself and I and the woman at the earth-born tip of the whirling strife of desire, and the Spell was: Let me imagine I am fucking Lisa while my body penetrates Myrna. Let me Astrally Fuck one so that I might Physically Fuck the other.

Not only because there’s a good chance I’ll never physically fuck Lisa, I thought, and this might be my closest approach. Not only to give this Myrna body a more complete release. BUT JUST FOR THE SAKE OF EXPERIMENTATION, just to see what happens, just to play with the consequences I will see in three years.


And to speak the truth, I could not have gotten it up again that night unless I was fucking, in my mind, that god-damned Dyke-Demon Lesbian Muse Lisa.

(And once just before I left North Carolina I came so close to the real thing, the Spell almost worked beyond my power to imagine. I had gone to a Valentine’s Day party on a Saturday night in the hope of having a last look at Lisa. By about 10:30 I had just about given up the search and was pissing maliciously on the left rear tire of a Dodge Dart for the third time when she came walking out of the bushes dressed in white. I poured out my love to her in every way other than by telling her I loved her. In a wandering, circuitous, tearful speech I confessed all the ways in which she had inspired me, all the gifts she had given.

After awhile I invited her in for a beer and a dance. While she drank a couple cups of draught and loosened up on the sidelines, I took to dancing the cheek-to-cheek with one of her friends, Caren, but of course only as a way to get the Dyke-Demon herself in my arms, and finally I did, first as a threesome, me and Caren and Lisa entwined like a football huddle, then at last alone when Caren conveniently dropped out for a beer. Stalk to stalk with Lisa. Just like in high school prom days, that special night when your date lets you cop just a little more feel than on other nights. Contour to contour. I tall and she short, so that I had to lean awkwardly over, unwilling to budge from the tight squeeze, grinding against her in slow deliberate rhythm to the rock and roll, my cock growing miraculously where I never dreamed it would grow, forbidden enormity pressed against forbidden thigh of forbidden woman. The tabooed desires of the flesh indulged and meeting no resistance, shattering my scrupulous respect for and deference to the purity of this untouchable woman, the repository of all my spiritual reverence and divine love. And I wondered, dumbfounded, “How can she do this? Why does she allow this violation? Does she not know that I can never have her because I have worshiped her as goddess and muse? Has she made a conscious decision to give in to me or is she just too drunk to care what happens?”


And she amazingly and thrillingly pressed back against me, straddling my right leg with her crotch, sliding, shaking, shivering, then rubbing hard and fast, demandingly, greedily, not just cunt against cunt, her cunt against my thigh-cunt, but cunt against cock, unmistakably cunt against cock, she rose on my leg and wrapped her legs around that bulge, roughly aggressively, ruthlessly, this forbidden lesbian emerging from the darkest most impossible dreams where the black innocence survives, a poisonous, fermenting, atavistic innocence, a wild and primeval innocence that ridicules the feeble, bloodless, inconsequential innocence of virginity. A deathly innocence, a greedy and lustful innocence that knows itself.

But god-damn her she slipped off to the bathroom between dances, just as I was in the middle of a spectacular story comparing our horoscopes to Charlie Manson’s. And she didn’t come back, she ran away back home or to some all-night restaurant. And I did not see her again. Two days later I left for California and I have neither seen nor heard from her since, though I have begged her to carry on a secret and impossible romance through the mails; and though I have carried on in her name those esoteric and evil traditions I learned through her, like that technique of dividing up my fucks into the domesticated woman whose body I can always have and the forbidden woman whose body I can never have.)

But none of this actually finalizes the theory of californication. In fact it is the disappearance of this evil, the evil that I love, which marks my full initiation into California life.

I left Hermine and Ariane alone at her house. I was lost in concentration as I assembled in my mind the story that had burgeoned from the initial excitement about the odd failure to remove the rubber. But it was not until several hours later, when I was in bed for the first time with Elyse, having abandoned and forgotten my internal command to indulge in a long and frustrating courtship, that I remembered I still had the thing pulled over my cock.


I was not really embarrassed at this discovery, because I had not yet taken off my pants and Elyse did not know. But it was funny to me, and my inexplicable amusement put a sudden and strange distance between us which I did not like, but which I knew would not stop me from consummating our union.

We lay tangled in each other’s arms, sighing our love sighs. I reached down between her legs and felt a thin string dangling down, and I realized she was menstruating. I have no taboos against menstruating women, as some men do. In fact, I rather enjoy the interesting variations menstruation allows. But I was not ready for this: I whispered, “I want to put it in, can you take that cork out?” And she answered, “Go ahead, you do it,” and I said, “How do you do it?” and she said, “Just pull.” And then I did something I never thought I’d do, not because it repulses me but just because it’s such an intimate and private act and I never thought I would ever be so familiar with a woman, even a California woman, that I would do it for her, but I grabbed the string and gave a tug; it resisted at first but then slid right out and I laid it on my shoe by the side of the bed. Only then did I take off my pants, discretely pull off the rubber, and get my own end in. And only then did I realize I had been authentically Californicated.

When I awoke this morning she was raking my cock with her mouth. “Raking” is the only word for what she was doing. Her mouth is just too small and her teeth too big to do more than wear grooves in the process of giving a blow job. What a terrible thing to say about my sacred vessel, eh? The woman who is my ticket into California, my final conversion. The one I said I would savor and revere as they did in the old days.

I really didn’t know what to do. She was ignorant of the pain she was inflicting. I tried to come and get it over with but every time the fever began to rush and swell she’d clamp down demoniacally and I’d recoil in agony, though I’m sure she thought it was passion, and I suppose I tried to encourage that interpretation.

I had to do whatever I was going to do pretty quickly because it was 8:30 and I was due at the restaurant at 9:00. I hated to interrupt and abandon the blow job because she seemed determined to get it done and I feel everybody needs to think they’re good at giving pleasure. I thought that maybe in the future, at some intimate moment when she was feeling good about herself, I’d urge her gently to go a little easier when she sucked the thing, maybe open her mouth a little wider. But I really didn’t want to go into it then. When it became apparent I wasn’t going to come via oral stimulation I decided the only route was the fuck, and that I had better get it done in a hurry.

I wrapped it up in fifteen minutes, ran off to my place to change into my sneakers and work clothes, and arrived at work by 9:05.