The Woman Accused of Nymphomania

In America, it has always been a crime to be sexual. Michael Jackson might not have even gotten away with grabbing his groin all the time if he hadn’t dyed himself white–for a black man rarely gets away with such scandal (Jordan Peele and Donald Glover slowly paving the way). And, as we all know, his foil, Madonna, never got away with it without the spilling of much ink devoted to the subject of her whoredom. And regarding the matter of Madonna/whore, well, let’s just say that most men can’t seem to evade the complex. It has something to do, perhaps, with their need to separate the “pure” nature of their usually bitch mothers from the Circe-like beings that take pains in making the attempt to “rip them from the nest”–as both mother and son ultimately see it.

Blythe–whose name was in direct contrast to her persona–wasn’t aware of just how much truth there was to this until she met Lucian–whose name was close enough to Lucifer for her to have known better than to get involved. It happened casually, their initial encounters. They found themselves always at the Downtown Brooklyn Trader Joe’s at the same hour, off peak, that is to say. Mainly around nine p.m. on a Friday when people had “better things” to do, like numb their brains out with alcohol in order to recalibrate for Monday. And there, in the aisle filled with canned sauces of varieties like Bolognese and tomato basil marinara, Blythe found the courage to smile at Lucian, who seemed to be overwhelmed by the choices. Her smile was a way of her assuring, “It’s okay, they’re all pretty much the same.” He seemed to appreciate the gesture, feeling moved to at last break the silence that had occurred between them after all these public encounters.

“I’m having some trouble. Mind telling me your favorite?”

She automatically reached for the “Trader Giotto’s” sauce dubbed Three Cheese and handed it to him. “You can’t go wrong.”

He nodded. “Thanks, I might have been here till closing.”

“Cooking for someone?” she asked, unashamed of how obvious it was that she was prying as to whether or not he had a significant other.

“My mother,” he returned sheepishly. It was a severe boner killer for Blythe, who might have preferred for him to have a significant other in lieu of admitting loosely to some sort of Norman Bates dynamic, which surely must have been the case if he was cooking for her, Friday night or otherwise.

“Oh,” she emitted.

“It’s just something I do for her once a week ever since my father died.” Things were starting to get very personal very quickly, and Blythe was briefly regretting having offered him her smile. “She’s a very lonely woman,” he added. “She doesn’t do so well by herself. Which I guess just harkens back to that Aristotle saying, you know? ‘To live alone one must be either a beast or a god.’ I guess she’s neither. Just a woman.” Lucian was starting to realize he was prattling on in a way that was likely extremely offputting. So he closed his mouth and looked ruefully at the jar of sauce. Blythe was endeared by this and decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. So they exchanged numbers and started to see each other outside the confines of the grocery store. It was gradual at first, then sudden. Like Hemingway’s description of bankruptcy. And I guess you could say that Blythe was going bankrupt, of her original spirit. The one that told her there was nothing to be ashamed of about wanting to have sex at least once a day. When Lucian unearthed this need of hers, he was somewhat appalled–and didn’t do a very good job of trying to hide it.

“We just did it last night,” came the resistance roughly one month into their, whatever you might call it…for it never truly became a relationship. That would require individuation from one’s parent. At first, Lucian believed her sexual appetitiveness was merely a part of the excitement of being with someone new–the whole “can’t take your hands off of each other” phenomenon that occurs when you gain access to new genitalia. But when her appetite didn’t subside as it usually did with women he had been with in the past, Lucian grew immediately wary. This wasn’t normal behavior, he concluded, and told Blythe as much as she sat at her vanity one morning a month and a week into their affiliation. As her blonde locks cascaded against her back while she meticulously groomed in a pinup pose that was heightened by her naked torso, Lucian snapped, “This isn’t healthy. How much sex we have. I feel like my dick is gonna break off.”

Blythe turned to the side to face him, her left brow arched. “Is that so?” And as she finished her question, she rose from the stool and flipped back her hair so that both breasts were exposed in all their glory. Lucian didn’t need to look down to know what was happening next.

****

On the train, late to work again because he had already been worked too hard without pay to give Blythe an orgasm (which, on average, took ten to twenty minutes that he could have been spending to look a little less slovenly), Lucian had a thought that made him shudder. What would his mother think of how much sex he’d been having? She would scold him, call him dirty and used, a disgrace to his gender–perpetuating stereotypes about male susceptibility to any snatch that came along to ensnare (snatch, if you will). Amid his open floodgate of shame, Lucian forgot to get off at the correct stop, not noticing until about five stops later, when he was already ten minutes late.

Arriving to the office disheveled and reeking of sex, Lucian’s dowdy supervisor, Agnes (whose age corresponded to the name), glared at him. It was as though she knew he had ejaculated within the hour and wanted, more than anything, to punish him for that as opposed to his tardiness, being that she herself would likely never know such pleasure again in her lifetime–as is usually the case for rotund women with pale sandpaper skin of a certain age. Receiving her glare with a humble nod, Lucian scuttled over to his desk, where no doubt at least twenty emails of no import awaited.

Foolishly thinking he had gotten away with his minor indiscretion, Agnes called him over to her cubicle just before the lunch break.

Without so much as even a tick indicating some sort of emotion beneath her face, Agnes recited, “We’re downsizing at this time and have decided to let you go. You’ll be offered a severance package commensurate with your time here. If you have any questions regarding this transition, please speak to HR.” And with that, she handed him a packet filled with presumably “relevant” information about his “transition.” Left speechless, he didn’t even try to argue as Agnes swiveled her chair slowly back toward her computer screen, choosing to ignore any reaction he might have. And, of course, he knew it was moot to even bother with one, accepting his packet rotely and leaving the premises as though he was just going to lunch so as not to raise any suspicion. The good thing about being a cipher in the workplace though is that when you do get fired, you have nothing to pathetically gather before you go. Such was the case with Lucian, who instantly went charging back to Blythe’s apartment, where she worked from home as a freelance dominatrix. She had told Lucian freelance writer. Which is why he was more than a little shocked to find her answering the door in a vinyl getup that Bettie Page would have admired.

“What the hell are you wearing? It’s eighty degrees out.”

Too stunned to respond, Blythe suddenly didn’t need to say anything–because the man bound and gagged in her living room said it all. Horrified by the display, Lucian turned on his heel to flee from this Calypso, this nymph–this whore who couldn’t get enough. Despite the fact that she was wearing steel-toed stiletto boots she had bought long ago in the East Village of 2010, she chased after Lucian, knowing full well that chasing after a man is usually a bad sign, even in these purportedly modern times where it’s supposed to “okay” for a woman to make assertive and aggressive moves formerly assigned solely to the person in the dynamic with a penis.

She made it all the way to the stoop before stumbling and falling right at his feet just as he turned around to verbally rebuff her. Collecting her bearings, she picked herself up off the concrete and sweetly explained, “It’s just a job. I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d be upset.”

He chortled. “You’re a nympho. And your fucking–literal fucking–addiction just cost me my job this morning.” He sneered at her. “I’m just glad I didn’t introduce you to my mother.” He flashed her one final look of disgusted disapproval, throwing his hands up in the air as passersby stared at Blythe in her work attire. Blythe let the glances bounce off of her. She wasn’t going to be made to feel ashamed. And as she walked back inside confidently, vowing never to hide her lust for pleasure from anyone again, she contemplated: Is a nymphomaniac really a nymphomaniac? Or is the male sex organ merely as incapable of giving a woman what she needs and wants as a man himself?

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