Kitchen scene

(Scene: A spare galley kitchen with a Viking range in the center beneath a large stainless steel hood vent. White lower cabinets, dark tiles above. No microwave. A set of tract lights overhead sends pinpoints of brightness into the gloom. Catty-corner to the kitchen stands a tall bar stool, and in it sits a woman wearing a little black dress and a pair of thick-rimmed glasses. She’s barefoot and reading a novel in Japanese. A glass of wine sits on the countertop next to her. At the counter next to the stove, facing away, is a man. He’s tall, thin, angular, but also delicate. He’s naked, save for a gauzy cotton eyelet half-apron, circa mid-eighteenth century, knotted around his waist. It was a gift from a previous lover. He’s preparing dinner, cooking an omelet. He’s cut up some tomatoes and they glisten in a bowl next to him. Now he’s chopping an onion, and every so often he wipes his eyes with his forearm. The woman seems engrossed in her book, but also exudes a sense of awareness, of watching over his movements.)


The children will be home–


We’ve still got some time.


(Wipes his eyes. The woman goes back to her book. He continues to chop the onion, methodically, thoughtfully. He sniffles loudly. The woman eyes him over her book. He crumples atop the cutting board, and the woman sets down her book.)


Are you crying?




(Kindly.) Come now. We’ve got enough time. You know there’s always long enough.

(She goes back to her book as he nods and wipes his face with his apron, exposing himself. He pours oil into a pan on the stove, sets the bottle on the counter. He picks up the knife and finishes with the onion, puts the chopped onion into a bowl, and rinses the knife under the faucet. He uses his apron to dry it. He holds up the knife and the light momentarily catches it, then he rubs it on his apron again as if to polish it. The woman gives him a slight smile over her book. He picks up a zucchini from the counter and rinses it, dries it on his apron, and holds it up to the light as if to check for bruising. Now he’s smiling. This time the woman’s smile is larger. She sets her book face-down next to her wine so as to save her page and approaches him, stands facing his back. Her dark and curvaceous body is silhouetted against his. He hands her the zucchini as she lifts the knife. A sharp glint off the edge as if in warning. She swipes the zucchini once around the inside of the pan, takes it out dripping. Her moves are somewhat obscured but the tension in her arm is sufficient for suggestion. He moans, she gasps. He shudders. She laughs gently. He turns his head and they kiss. Then the mood changes. She turns to the sink, quick and businesslike in her movements, and scrubs the knife, the zucchini before handing them back to him, dripping water. She returns to her seat, takes a sip of wine, and lifts her book. The small smile remains on her face. He wipes his eyes with his arm, repeats the drying once more before turning back to the cutting board. He chops the zucchini, which he leaves in a messy heap as he turns the heat up under the pan.)


Read to me.


(Reads aloud in Japanese.)


(Nods as he cracks an egg into a bowl obscured by his body. He repeats the gesture eleven more times as the woman reads. He turns around, cradling the bowl in the crook of one arm, whisking with the other. His expression is thoughtful, attentive. He turns back to the stove and spills the onions into the hot oil. The scent is hot, earthy, masculine. The sizzling drowns out the woman’s reading. He stirs, adds the tomatoes and zucchini, watches over the saute. He takes out another pan, smaller than the first, and pours in oil. When it’s hot, he adds the eggs, tilting the pan over the flame. The woman’s reading falls away — she’s still mouthing the words but the only sound is the hissing of the pan. He’s humming, the man. Also drowned the cooking sounds. He adds the saute to the pan of eggs, and with a few deft and practiced movements, folds the omelet and slides it out onto a platter. He sets the plate next to the woman’s wine, kisses her deeply. Elsewhere a door slams. There’s laughter.)


The children–

(She puts down her book.)


I’ll change.

(He wipes his hands on the apron and exits the kitchen, vanishing into the gloom.)




(Calls from beyond.) Set the table.



They leave the picture window open for the honey light. She endures his torment, fingers in her folds, there, and there, there again, almost painful. Even after so long, she loves his attention. She moans for his concerted effort. A volcano rises under his fingertips and she writhes with the eruption. Through the window a flock takes flight off the water. Here one instant, gone the next. Forever.

After, they lay intertwined, saying the things they say until she rises, naked, for water. The man through the window jolts her and the shock charges the track of her recent orgasm. He’s in a shirt and tie, older than he looks, older than her. She lets out a silent “Oh” and lifts her lighter instead of the water. She pulls a cigarette from the pack and slips it between her smiling lips as she steps to the window. The lighter waivers in her hand, the phone in his does not. (Ah, a video, then.) She takes a drag, holds the heat in a moment, exhales. She walks through the cloud back to bed.

I like Belle Knox

Photo via Rolling Stone
Photo via Rolling Stone

Have you heard of this girl? Maybe you’d recognize her by her real name, Miriam Weeks. That’s what I’m going to call her. Miriam is a Duke University freshman (yes, freshman) who was recently outed as a porn star. A friend and Duke frat boy recognized her in a porn scene and asked her about it. She admitted doing porn, and he promptly shared his bounty of knowledge with his entire fraternity.

The thing is this girl is honest. When news traveled beyond the frat party, Miriam spoke up for herself. I’ve read a bunch of interviews on her and blog posts that she wrote herself. I particularly love this quote from xoJane, where she stands up for herself, “My sexuality is not some sort of blackmail to be used against me, granting you ownership over my life or my story. It is my life. It is my story.”

This girl keeps her cool. From what I can tell, Miriam didn’t start slinging mud to vent her anger. She never even named the frat boy who outed her, although another Duke student did. She simply defended her decisions and her family, saying, “My family deserves to be left alone…let’s keep this one to one. You don’t like what I do? Tell it to me. Have some guts.”

This girl is realistic. “The adult industry,” she writes for xoJane, “racks up $13.3 billion in the U.S. alone, and do we honestly wish collective evil, shame, and condemnation upon every human being involved in this gigantic (and… legitimate) business?” As they say, money doesn’t lie. So can’t we just hit the pause button on the public shaming and see Miriam as a girl who has discovered a way to get herself a first class education without racking up tons of debt?

This girl owns her pain. Miriam has admitted to being raped at a party in high school. So instead of giving into her fear and becoming a victim, she’s tried to turn her experience around. It’s exposure therapy. Plus she’s doing something she loves. “For me, shooting pornography brings me unimaginable joy,” she writes. “When I finish a scene, I know that I have done so and completed an honest day’s work. It is my artistic outlet: my love, my happiness, my home.”

This girl is smart. She’s turned the negative conversation around, speaking out against sexual shaming, and in alliance with other sex workers whose experiences have been more degrading and whose prospects in life are leagues below hers. She’s taken her so-called 15 minutes of fame as a chance to market herself, and to take opportunities as they are presented to her. Miriam wants to become a lawyer one day and advocate for women’s rights, using her gifts and experiences to help other women in the sex industry. I have no doubt that she will succeed.

This girl is responsible for herself. I admire her. She has a plan for the big picture, but she’s going with the flow along the way. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. She’s not letting her parents’ financial misfortune determine her future. I hope that each of my three kids grows up to be as daring, courageous, and intelligent as her.

This girl is learning. As a women’s studies major, Miriam has tossed around a fair amount of feminist commentary. I respect her for it, but I think feminism is beside the point. What really matters is being whole. In other words, to be truly healthy, each of us, regardless of gender, needs to come to terms with our dark side, sexuality included. Miriam’s is an extreme case, but it’s a good template for everyone. Let’s take a lesson from a teenage girl: The world would be a happier place if we could all share porn with our friends, shame excluded.

Miriam impresses me. She’s got guts. She proves that a girl can be smart and sexy at the same time.


Let’s play a game

“Go commando today. Dare you!” she giggled.

“Alright,” I agreed.

“Will you send me a picture?” she asked. “Text it to me, while I’m at work, concentrating,” she raised her eyebrows and smirked cutely.

“What?” I asked.

“Come on, say yes,” she coaxed.

“What do I get?” I asked.

“You get to think about me every time your cock brushes your zipper,” she laughed. “What else do you want?”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Of course,” she stopped smiling, gave me a straight face.

What the hell, I’ll play her game. “Your panties.”


Forgive me for getting a little dirty for this week’s TrifeXXXtra submission. Did you know that November 15th is National Erotica Day? Go check out the rest of the submissions, I won’t tell.