Laura answered the phone. Her roommate wasn’t in. That evening he finally reached Diane and suggested they get together over the weekend. “Why not tonight?” she asked. “Why don’t I come over right now?”
“How about tomorrow night?” he asked, afraid she’d want sex when he’d already jerked off.
“Listen, I think I’d really like to come over now, if that’s OK with you.” At that he gave in and quickly tried to clean up, putting away his lingerie and making the bed.
He’d been fantasizing about Diane as a svelte photographer-woman to worship from a distance, someone who’d treat him a little coldly and who wouldn’t get too involved. He most wanted a woman with whom he could share the ecstasies and mysteries of photography, a woman who was more proficient, perhaps, than himself.
She arrived wearing light brown corduroy trousers into leather boots along with a knit sweater. Her hair was pulled back, just like the first day they met. David poured wine.
“Two weeks ago I didn’t even know you,” she said, squeezing his hand.
“I know.” He made a half-smile. “To be honest, I really wanted you over here tonight.” Even if not for sex. “Because I started my private sessions with Lady Maria today.”
“Her full name is Doctor Maria Osaki, ALC, BBMD, CRS, TNT, LNR. Just kidding. A transactional analyst. Do you know about TA?”
Diane nodded, sitting cross-legged on the large floor cushions in David’s bedroom, and mentioned the time she’d briefly seen a shrink when her marriage was on the rocks. Sipping her rather sweet wine, Diane narrowed her eyes. “Something wrong?”
“Not much. Some old stuff with my parents I wanted to sort out.” David wished he could tell her about the rest.
“Oh, typical baggage. Anger at my father. Actually though, what bothers me is going to the therapist and reliving it all. It’s like hemorrhaging.”
“If this makes you feel so bad why the hell are you doing it?”
“Yeah, I’ve asked myself that. Someone said you have to feel worse before you can feel better.”
Diane snorted. “Don’t believe it.”
David liked watching emotions pass through Diane’s face as though she was a little girl. She never hid her thoughts.
The wine was beginning to work. David had begun talking about a lens he wanted to buy. Diane said, “Keep talking but lay on your bellows — I mean belly.” Both laughed.
“On the bed?”
“Yes.” She sat next to him and began strongly working his back.
“Minolta stuff is just as good as Nikon stuff. It just costs less, that’s all,” he said. Eventually Diane lay on him and kissed his neck teasingly. He began to writhe a little. She excused herself to the bathroom.
When she returned, nearly naked, she found an apparently undressed David smiling, lying under bedcovers. She crawled in and reached down to touch his penis and found a curious bulge under slippery underwear. Holding up the covers, she saw him wearing panties. She clicked her tongue as she looked at him with a naughty smile. “Mr. Nunley, do tell! My, my, those panties really make you hard.”
“Well, I like wearing them.”
“You wanted to surprise me.”
David moaned as she touched him through the slick material.
“Now my curiosity is going at 120 miles an hour. Do you wear these a lot? I mean, who would figure — Nunley the intrepid photographer wearing panties?”
“Mmmm. Touch me some more down there. Panties make it so much better.” Then David ran his hand over her own panties and bent over to touch his tongue to the front of them.
“I’ll bet you like my panties more than me,” she teased.
“It’s kind of like frosting on the cake.”
Afterwards they lay naked and sated, panties lying crumpled on the floor. They held hands absentmindedly as her head lay on his chest. He liked the feel of her long hair against his skin. Finally she spoke softly.
“Don’t you know it’s women who wear panties and men the jockey shorts? Don’t you know that crossing over isn’t permitted?”
“Yeah. That makes it more exciting.”
“I expected to find a kinda regular guy — hair on the chest, horny in the usual ways. But I guess no one’s like regular anymore.” She sighed. “Would you rather be a woman?”
David propped himself up on one elbow. “It would be nice to choose which body I’d be in each day. I’d just like to be whoever I want to be at the moment. That would be great.”
“You make it sound so reasonable.”
It was his turn to sigh. “There are fantasies, then there’s reality. Unfortunately, I’ve got big feet and a not-very-beautiful face.”
“Aww, David, you’re very good-looking. Don’t put yourself down. But are you saying that you dress up completely as a woman? Have you tried to pass as a woman?”
David watched as his penis began to spring into life again. Diane noticed, then a look of discovery swept her face. “Those negatives you didn’t want me to see — it all fits now — that was really you in those pictures!”
David blushed slightly. “Yes, dahling. Me as Natalie. I have a female incarnation I call Natalie.”
“I have to compete with Natalie? Ohmygod. What other parts of you haven’t I seen yet? You’re a real puzzle to me.”
“Oh, well. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand me. Sometimes I just stand back and say ‘How come I was dealt this deck of cards’.”
“I feel like you’ve really trusted me by telling me all of this. It must take guts to tell someone.”
“It’s getting easier. When I was in high school I thought if anyone knew I’d die. I don’t mean die, like the girls say it. I mean I’d run away because I wouldn’t be able to face anyone.”
A week later, he delivered himself to Maria’s office again. She wasted no time launching into her analysis.
“The part of you dressing up as a woman is the child in you. It’s kind of like kids dressing up in their parents’ clothes and magically becoming them for awhile.”
David listened. The more involved they got with abstract circles and arrows on the ever-present drawing board, the more he lost track. He’d stopped asking her to explain things he didn’t understand. Obviously, like a football coach at a chalk talk, she had everything figured out.
“The adult in you puts up with it but vaguely condemns it. Your parent, though, is where the conflict arises. Once you started taking your dressing seriously, your inner parent came down on the child in you.” Maria went on with her circles to show how David’s inner child related with his mother’s inner child and his father’s inner adult.
David was remembering that Gene Gatzo had said Maria was having marital difficulties and was living separately from Mr. Osaki, a businessman. David wondered how she would represent herself on the board.
Sterile. This diagram stuff is totally sterile. What I need to know is whether my dressing is OK or if it’s bad for me. He didn’t want to deal with transvestism on the same level as being afraid of elevators or being shy. It had to be on the level of murder and mayhem — otherwise why had he tried to hide it so much over the years?
When his time was up he said, “Maria, I think I need some time to absorb the things you’ve told me. Some of it seems a little beyond me now. Also, I’ve been feeling more and more down after each session. It’s been kind of hard on me.”
Maria raised her eyebrows. “It’s your decision, but I’ll bet you’re trying to escape your confrontation. You should realize that feeling bad shows you’re coming to terms with yourself — that you’re not glossing over it by masturbating all the time and feeling guilty.”
But his mind was made up and after three private sessions he took himself off the hook with options of renewing later.
Diane came over on Saturday. They had nothing in particular planned. Laura had taken the kids to Golden Gate Park.
David ran his hands up under her sweater and felt her breasts under a skimpy bra. He was always a little surprised by the softness. The seductive bra ads he’d seen as a teenager made breasts look rather firm and pointed, and the water balloon breasts he used were resilient. He pulled up her sweater and looked — the bra was shimmery and stretchy. Diane reached down to touch his erection, saying, “You love it, don’t you? You’d like to be wearing it.”
“I thought about it. Too small.”
“Are you wearing panties?”
He wasn’t, and laughed with embarrassment. “How’d you like to go shopping for some sexy things?”
“Like what?” She smiled, looking conspiratorial.
David reddened. “Get some panties, maybe. Whatever.”
“What a perve.”
When they returned with shopping bags from Macy’s she asked David to put on his new panties first. Shaking slightly, he completely undressed and pulled the drapes shut before solemnly slipping into the semitransparent black lace. He had such an erection that it stuck incongruously out the side.
“It’s not right unless I get my dick inside,” he said half humorously. Finally he contained his bulge. Diane quickly undressed, went to his side with her lean body and began to caress his penis. Her fingers touched wetness through the panties.
“God, I can’t stand it,” he said, thinking he might be in heaven. At the same time he felt disappointed. When he was by himself his fantasies were pure. He could scan his imagination for whatever woman, whatever garment, whatever situation he wanted. Now he was with a flesh-and-blood woman with her own desires and her own imperfections.
He also halfway expected her to disapprove of all this — she ought to chastise and punish him. She put on her new pair of white panties, then provocatively rubbed his wet bulge against her less prominent one and touched her breasts to his chest. They both moaned.
David gathered up his courage and asked in a whisper close to her ear if she’d tie him up and whip him. It had been in the back of his mind all day but he’d delayed broaching it. His lust had taken over, though, and here she was, seemingly coming into his fold, apparently wanted to experience his sexuality. He held her tightly for a long time then stood back and looked into her eyes.
Diane returned the look. “You’re kidding. No, you’re not kidding. Look …”
This was the first time David had seen her embarrassed and at a loss for words.
“David, it’s one thing to play house and dress up and all that, and fuck like rabbits. Ha! But dungeon stuff –”
David flopped down on his bed and lay there. “But you like pain a little bit. You like me to bite your tits. Haven’t you ever played with a whip or anything before?”
“And you’re telling me you have?”
“Just with myself.”
“You’re kidding. You flog yourself?”
“Now, come on. If you don’t want to do it, just say so. I thought it might be fun.”
“Do you ever wonder what my fantasies are? I mean, do I have a life?”
“Sorry. I know I’m always hung up on what I want. Tell me.”
“My fantasies are so different from this material stuff you’re into. Sometime I’ll tell you — I’m not in the mood now. So I get to whip you. What will that do?”
“Arouse me, I suppose.”
“I’ll do it for you, with maybe just a teensie-weensie interest on my part. I mean, it seems like herding cattle with a bullwhip or something.”
She began to lightly whack him across his white buttocks as he stood, hands tied to his closet clothes bar. He felt his erection becoming straighter and higher, now free of his panties, as though his penis was growing into a tree trunk.
“Surprise. I’m enjoying this a little,” she said as she began to whip harder.
He began twisting against the ropes and finally asked her to stop. As she continued without letup he whined about getting hurt, then gave up all resistance and let her have her way.
“I never thought I’d enjoy hurting anyone like that. But it was kind of, well … interesting to make you beg. You’re usually so unemotional …”
When he managed to disentangle himself from her amateur ties and came into the bedroom sheepish and with a still-stinging ass, she had him tie her down. In a mental fog that all of this was vaguely wrong, he tied cord around her thin wrists and spread-eagled her on the bed. He blindfolded her, then put on a bustier along with garter belt, nylons and perfume and told her to imagine he was a woman. As he approached her he noticed that his penis had been erect so long it seemed to be getting soft.
Slowly he straddled her and brought his genitals near her face. Then he drew the head of his penis along her lips. He ordered her to take it in her mouth, and after the expected refusals she lapped it up and engulfed it. Eventually he could wait no longer and entered between her legs.
Maybe it was because he’d masturbated earlier in the day, he wasn’t sure, but he didn’t seem close to coming. Diane flexed her body along with his thrusts, a smile forming on her face. She’s not supposed to be enjoying this! David tried to fantasize her whipping him again. She could be wearing a corset with sharp-pointed bra cups that cut into his chest. She’d coil a long wicked whip around his penis. He became harder for a few seconds before getting soft again. In desperation he switched fantasies and tried to imagine her forcing him to dress as a woman.
“Shit,” he complained as he withdrew. Diane lay without moving, still blindfolded. “Goddamn, if we’d done it at the very first it wouldn’t've been a problem. I went on too long.”
“Poor boy,” cooed Diane.
“I’m going to have to beat off,” said David with tears in his eyes. He lay alongside her, embarrassed, and got himself hard. He went into her once more, angry and got soft again. Diane had stopped moving. Finally he lay down with his head in the crook of her arm and masturbated until he came. He began to touch her clitoris with his finger.
“I think I’ll go home,” she said blankly.
He hadn’t expected her to so completely confirm his expectations. He looked at her lying there, resolute and sure of herself. All animation had left her face.
“Don’t you want to come?”
“Not any more. I’m weirded out.”
“I’m going to leave you tied up. You know what they say about strange men you meet. Never trust strange men.”
“Goddamn it, David, untie me now.” She nearly shouted, working the blindfold off and looking at him fiercely.
“I like you this way — it’s quite a turn-on.”
“I don’t care how you like me, If you don’t untie me I’ll scream my bloody head off and you’ll never see me again. Now untie me.”
David untied her before the neighbors heard. In a huff she dressed quickly and left. He looked down from his window as she drove away.
The next day David was riding the bus to work. He had a psychic hangover — exhilaration and depression were having their way with him. Some of his deepest fantasies — that had only been masturbation fantasies prior to Corky and Diane — were becoming realities. The combination of fantasy and reality was a disconcerting mix. He realized that he was uninterested in looking at women on the bus. Had he lost Diane and the relationship that had started so innocently? If only he hadn’t soiled her.
David was reading a story in the Chronicle about a middle-aged man who kidnapped an eight-year-old schoolgirl, kept her chained in his house like a dog and did God-knows-what before being discovered. Then David chanced to read a notice posted in the bus — “PLAINCLOTHES POLICE RIDE THIS BUS FOR YOUR PROTECTION” — and began to imagine a pair of plainclothes cops trying to arrest and remove him from the bus. At least they would say they were cops. He would insist not only on seeing their badges, but their photo IDs as well. They could charge him with resisting arrest if he acted too uppity, though. David pictured himself being forced into handcuffs and pulled off the bus, KGB-style.
“I don’t think these are cops?” he would yell to the other passengers. “Is anyone going to help me? You, sir, are you just going to sit there? Why can’t you get off your ass and help me?” He figured that maybe if he said just the right thing, eloquently and with heart, someone would jump to his aid. He practiced the various ways he might plead his cause. Then he wondered — would he come to the aid of anyone else in a similar situation? Or would he just take pictures?