"Would you soap my back?" she asked, looking over her shoulder at
Standing in a communal shower, the sounds of other people laughing
and bathing reduced to a backdrop of sound, a distant hum, I stared at her.
I'd met Ann the evening before, soon after I'd arrived at this weekend
workshop. Located in a hot-springs area in northern California, a
clothing-optional community that found its roots in the hippie days of the
60's, it had enjoyed a renewal in this new-age decade.
A delightful woman I'd met on-line whose sensitivity and insights I'd
come to cherish, had recommended that I might benefit from this
concentrated weekend that was designed to deal with the issues of sex, love
and intimacy. While I was not put off by nudity - mine or others - there were
certain aspects of intimacy that were newer to me. Such things as emotional
Anyway, I'd gulped, swallowed my apprehension and drove up to this
relatively remote spot on a Friday afternoon. It was rugged and
exceptionally beautiful, but at first I didn't see that, for in my self-centered
way, I was caught up in my shyness, thinking, "What am I DOING here?"
Mulling on that existential quandary, I'd not even been aware when
she walked up, that is until she sat beside me on a pillow against the wall.
Sticking her hand out, she said, "Hi. My name's Ann. What's yours?"
Years of social conditioning allow one to go on autopilot and without
thinking -- after all, she hadn't asked me the meaning of life! -- I shook her
hand, admiring her firm grip, and replied, "My name's Bill." Perhaps thinking
we were in the Amazon, I added, "I'm from northern California. You?"
She frowned for half a moment and then laughed, pointing out the
obvious, "Uh, this IS northern California. And I'm from San Rafael."
We chatted for a few minutes. Yes, she'd been to a couple of these
work shops. No, I didn't have a "buddy."
It turns out that the facilitators of this workshop recommended that
folks buddy up to form a small mutual support group. Often, this wasn't the
person with whom you did "work" during the weekend, but rather a kindred
spirit with whom you might share your feelings about the work you'd done.
"Wanna be my buddy for the weekend?" she asked.
"Even if I'm from Mars?" I countered.
Smiling, she nodded and said, "Even."
Now, the following day, I was naked and in the shower with her.
This was a part of the "exercise." Clothing, or more correctly, its lack, was
an issue for some people. We tended to use it to hide more than our bodies.
Taking off one's clothes, as with all the exercises, was optional and 98% of
the folks opted to do just that . . . take off their clothes. It had a lot to do
with trust, letting go of masks and stretching . . . stretching one's emotional
boundaries, those artificial restraints that often go under the guise of
Another artificial boundary was removed when the men's and
women's locker rooms and bathrooms were made unisex. Just in case we
didn't get the message right away, this exercise was included to help us
along. We were to all take showers together. No more instruction than that.
Those who needed SPECIFIC instructions -- "Um . . . do we touch each
other?" -- were left to figure out life for themselves. At least in the shower
So here I was, all wet, admiring the total-body tan of the attractive
girl in front of me, the one I'd met the evening before. I only knew her first
name. The rest didn't seem important.
"Gimmie that soap, woman!" I growled in a fake, commanding voice.
She stood with her back to me, head bowed slightly, relaxed and
waiting, the water streaming off her tanned buttocks. I started in a "safe"
place, across her shoulders and working
my way gently down her back. When I moved to her sides, she raised her
arms above her head, offering me that tender area in the axillae.
I soaped her arms down to her "pits" and then down her sides,
brushing my fingers across the tail of her that blended into her sides.
She made no comment other than to moan softly, letting me know it was
okay . . . more than okay.
Dropping to one knee, I soaped down to the flare of her hips and
then back to the swell of her buttocks. She pushed back against my hand,
bending slightly in invitation. I ran soapy
fingers through the crack of her butt, briefly touching her wrinkled anus.
"Oh, yes. Get all of me," she murmured.
"Front too?" I asked.
In answer, arms up again, she turned around and faced me. "Front
Her were as tan as the rest of her body, medium heavy, full
with up-tilted large nipples and slightly raised areolae. Her stomach was flat
and her pubic hair had a sun-bleached coppery color. She had tight curls
and ringlets that hid her labia. Part of the top and sides were trimmed, more
of a fashion statement I thought than serving any functional value.
I washed upward from her ankles, working my way slowly to the
inside of her thighs. At my touch, she shifted one leg out, opening herself at
the juncture of her legs and, in the process,
opening up her now-visible labia just a little. I sat back and just
looked at her for a moment, watching the water stream off her pussy.
"Like it?" she asked
I smiled, nodded and then said, "Looks like you're peeing."
She didn't close her legs or look away in embarrassment. Rather, she
smiled as said, "I often DO when I'm in the shower."
"Want to now?"
Again, that sweet smile as she shook her head. "Well, I'd *want* to I
guess . . . but I can't. First, I just went. Second, I'd be a little . . . uh . . .
gee, I'm not sure what to say."
"Me too." I wasn't quite sure what she was alluding to, but it was
easy to offer a sympathetic me too.
All of the above account serves only to introduce the main player, who I was
to meet that afternoon. For all the sweetness of showering with Ann, and the
"promise" of it, we were "buddies" and I was to engage in even more erotic
"intimacy work" with Sandy later that weekend.
I seem not to be able to tell a quick story. Truthfully, I get so involved in my
own memories and imagery, I must work at limiting myself. More to come.
After finishing our communal shower and getting "dressed," (I wore a
T-shirt and Ann wore a light cotton wrap, left unwrapped) we filtered back
into the main room, a large space with a vaulted, open-beam ceiling. We
chatted with people for a few minutes before the workshop was to resume.
Ann put her hand on my arm and said, "Bill, I'd like you to meet a
friend of mine, Sandy. And Sandy, I'd like you to meet my buddy, Bill. He's
the one I was telling you about."
Telling what? I wondered as I looked at Ann's friend and almost fell
into her eyes. Sandy was tall, several inches taller than Ann and an inch or
two taller than me I guessed. She had long, wavy strawberry hair
down over her shoulders and intense, light-blue eyes. Like Ann, she
reached out and gave me a firm hand shake. No wilting, limp fingers here.
She shook my hand and I could feel her gentle strength. I liked that.
Perhaps most striking were her breasts. It was not their size: I
thought them perhaps a B cup. (Later Diane said, "Between a B and a C.")
What *was* it that attracted my attention? Perhaps their firmness, their
youthfulness? Yes, some of that to be sure. They were hands-down,
Were they augmented? I knew a little of that procedure and my
practiced eye caught no tell-tale signs of subtle reconstruction incisions.
Plastic surgeons are good, but the most artful surgeon can do no better than
leaving a thin white line. No, there was no hint of surgical augmentation.
The firmness and perky nipples were all her's (and God's) and I concluded
this all in the first thirty seconds of our meeting.
I'm a product of my conditioning and my mother's words were etched
into my forebrain. "William, when you are talking to a woman, do not look
down her dress. Wait until she's talking to someone else." I suspect the
second part of that admonition may have been my own addendum. So I
waited a few moments until she was engaged with Ann and then let my eyes
fall to the rest of her body. Like Ann, she was wearing a flowing robe,
unbelted and hanging open. It was thrown on as I might throw a sweater
over my shoulders, ostensibly in case it got colder, but actually, mostly for
While her legs were long, she was not geaky, for her slim torso was
in proper proportion. Her softly rounded belly curved to a full growth of
rusty public hair, medium sparse and wavy. The labia could just be seen
through the untrimmed public hair nestled between her long, shapely thighs.
I was starting to experience that sensation I've grown to recognize
and appreciate, that initial pre-tumescence, a stirring in the loins if you will,
and I suppose I lost it. My hind brain had taken control and I might well
have been standing there, slack jawed, perhaps drooling a little, staring at her
pussy when I heard, as if through a fog, "Bill?"
They were both looking at me. Busted! My eyes darted about the
room, searching for some witty comment to deflect their obvious thoughts.
From long experience I knew that in a minute or two, I'd think of something
very clever, but I also knew from an equally long and well-established track
record that the best I'd come up with right then was to get in the face and
"Sorry. I'm back," I offered, holding my hands out, palms up as if to
say, "What can you expect? After all, I'm a guy."
Sandy again held out her hand and said, "Nice to have met you, Bill.
Hope to see you again."
Jezz, I thought. We're going to be in the same room for the next two
days. How you going to miss me?
"Uh . . . sure. Be seein' you."
She smiled at both of us and walked off. My tongue was thick.
Ann said sotto voce, "I thought that might happen!"
"God! Who IS that woman?" I asked, shaking my head, still looking
at her, by now across the room. "I'm sure there's nothing I can tell you that
you won't find out for yourself in the next two days. Just don't her,
"Hurt her?" I asked dumbly.
"I'm sorry, Bill. I'm just being a hen. Anyway, there's an
exercise coming up -- I'm not supposed to tell you -- but there's an exercise
coming up that will give you the chance to get to know her better . . . or at
least her body. Interested?"
"Does a bear shit in the woods?" I gave her my ain't-I-bright look.
She gave me her oh-God look and said, "Clever."
I then tried my little-boy look and digging into the hardwood floor
with my toe and said in a contrite voice, "What do I do?"
"You'll figure something out, guy. Just keep your wits about you and
be prepared to move fast."
At this point our conversation was cut off by the facilitators who
chased all the outside. Again, without any explanation, we -- the --
were given our choice of lipsticks! Several of the looked perplexed and
persisted in asking, "What do we DO with this stuff?"
At times I'm slow, but I'm really not dumb at all. It was clear to me
that a big part of the exercise was to make a situation possible, but the
process was up to the individual. "Got it, " I mumbled to myself and made
my way back to the door that led inside.
At that moment, the leader opened the door and said, "You can go
inside now." I almost ran him over.
Soft music was playing and the sun illuminated the translucent
skylights, casting a warm light on all the women who were each lying on
towels spread over the conference room floor. There were about thirty of
them, each lying supine, feet toward our door, hands by their sides.
I stopped in utter awe and some guy ran into me from behind; I could
feel his dick against my buttock. "THAT'S not what I came here for," I
thought briefly as I singled her out. She was lying in the near geometric
center of the room, right under the largest skylight.
Without looking right or left, I walked right up to her and dropped to
one knee. She looked at me and smiled briefly. I had no notion what the
women had been told. Did she know what was *supposed* to happen?
Well, give me a tube of lipstick and a to-die-for redhead lying totally
nude on the floor with no incumbering instructions, and I'll think of
*something* I assure you.
Without speaking, I held up the lipstick that she might see it and then
raised my eyebrows in the universal interrogative. Without uttering a sound
and without smiling, she simply nodded her head. I was being given
permission . . . for just what remained to be seen.
Kneeling by her left side, facing her body, I reached across and drew
a bold lipstick line starting on her mid right thigh and sweeping up across her
body, between her breasts, ending on her left deltoid. That was the main
stem of the flower I began on her body. Branches and leaves curled
over and almost touched her pubic hair. More leaves framed her left while flowers burst out across her torso and chest. One nipple became the
center of the largest blossom and, as I painted it, it became hard and urgent.
Once, she sighed.
I slowed. The mural was almost finished, but I wasn't. Attention to
detail, that I reasoned, was the key to successful body art. (Jezz, Billy, what
a lot of crap. All you want to do is feel her up, huh?)
When we'd finished, the facilitators formed a circle with the sitting on the outside while the ladies paraded around inside, each showing
her "art." What a strange and wonderful collection that was! Given no
particular direction, the had done all sorts of fantastic things,
some of which were even attractive.
I squirmed and felt a warm flush when Sandy's flowers were given the
"Hello. This is Sandy calling. Is Bill there?"
I recognized her voice immediately. She had a characteristic lilt and
musical quality that even came across the limited fidelity of our local phone
A couple of weeks before, I'd spend part of an intense and
emotionally charged weekend with her in a workshop dealing with love, sex
and intimacy. It had been my character make up to look with some
reservation and suspicion on most of what passed for "love." After all, how
many of us, deep in lust, have mistaken that raw and powerful emotional tug
as love? Too many to count, I'm sure.
And sex? Well . . . what can I say? An ingrained, almost primitive
driving force in my life to be sure, but I suppose I was lamenting some loss
of the magic and thought to reacquaint myself with the freshness of it and
more, to take down those self-imposed barriers.
Intimacy was, of course, the big one for me. I could view love with a
jaundiced eye and get off in an impersonal way on the titillation of sex. But
intimacy? There was for me some undeniable and non-fakable impact of
being genuine and being honest, those things we associate with intimacy.
Hearing Sandy's voice again, a wave of delicious feelings washed
over me. When I had given her my card with an invitation to call sometime, I
did so knowing that she was involved in a relationship. I knew nothing of
the details and didn't need to know, save that she probably didn't need some
guy being pushy in her life. So, I'd simply given her my number and let her
know that I'd like to talk with her again.
We'd been told to ask for what we wanted in that workshop, and then
be willing to negotiate a win-win compromise. So, I was honest. And then I
let it alone. What a notion!
"This is Himself speaking. In the immortal words of the poet,
Richard Brautigan, "How's *your* ass?"
Sandy's lilting laugh warmed me. She replied, "Much better, thanks.
As I recall, you said you liked girl's . . . uh . . . butts, didn't you?"
I did? Cripes! One of the major benefits of honesty is not having to
remember who you told what lies to. Still, there's that little voice that asks,
"Just how honest WERE you, Billy?"
"Yep, you've got the right guy. I've been blessed with an artist's
appreciation for beauty and the fine lines of a female backside . . ."
"I get it! I get it!" she interrupted, laughing. "How're you? How's
the weather there?"
The weather? Well, that's safe. Closing my eyes I saw the Aleutian
Current sweeping across the Bearing Strait and being carried by the
clockwise ocean currents down the coast of Alaska, Canada and California.
I described that for her and how the cool ocean air is pulled into the warmer
inlands here. Located below the ridge of the costal range, my house enjoyed
the fog rolling in over the hills each night. Concluding, I said, "It's
delightfully cool here. How is it at your place?"
"Whew! I'll bet if I asked you what time it is, you'd tell me how a
clock works. Got anything to talk about between the costal currents and my
I know what I'd like to get "between your ass," I thought, but being
the witty conversationalist I am, I said something like, "Duh!"
Sandy, who proved to be quick and adroit, said, "You mentioned that
you had some knockout hiking trails in back of your house. The offer still
It came to me that the hiking trails above the University of California
in Berkeley, close to where she lived, were outstanding, certainly better than
those right here. But I didn't hesitate.
"Yes! This afternoon?" (Baby, the iron is hot.)
"I hadn't thought . . . well, yes. Why not? This afternoon?"
Knowing that she lived in the East Bay and probably regarded this as
"The Deep Peninsula," I offered to give her directions.
"Okay. Do me."
Do me? What're we talking about here? I pondered that for a
moment and then smiled to myself. Actually I KNEW what we were talking
about, but there's a part of my waking mind that delights in seeing any
possible double meaning.
So I gave her the no-brainer version, concluding, ". . . and turn
toward the ocean behind Stanford. It's about six miles up in the hills."
"I'll be there this afternoon. About two? Oh yes, you said you had a
hot tub. Do I need a bathing suit?"
"My tub's a clothing-optional' experience. However, in *your* case,
a bathing suit is forbidden."
"My kinda tub," she said and hung up.
I stood there a minute, looking at the telephone, a little stunned.
Yeah, I knew that I'd put out an invitation and then let go of it. Not that I
didn't care. To the contrary, but I hadn't entertained any expectations. I'd
long since come to realize that for me, expectations are nothing more than
resentments waiting to happen. I had nourished the thought that I *might*
see her again one day, but certainly didn't anticipate it might happen this fast,
Gathering my wits, I looked about my place. What did I need to do?
I wanted to look "good."
I smiled to myself on the heels of that thought, recognizing an reaction that believed that I had no substance and therefore, appearance must
hold sway over that lack. Shaking off those feelings, I settled back into
an acceptance of myself, just the way I am.
Still, it wouldn't do to have the place a mess, would it? Some time
ago a that I admired was talking to someone else about self esteem. He
suggested that a first step in acquiring self esteem might be easy. "Make
your bed," he said. While he'd not been talking to me directly, I heard him as
though he were. I didn't even have to look. My bed was made.
Too, there was no dirty underwear laying about. Perhaps a little
dusting? Oh, the hell with it. Some flowers? Good idea!
One of the benefits of living out in the country is a splendid privacy
and the beauty of open space. One of the minor down sides is living about
three miles from the corner store. I drove the ten minutes down to our tiny
shopping center that included an excellent nursery and bought several
bunches of fresh flowers.
She said she liked salads, I recalled. I stopped at the grocery store
and bought the makings of a Caesar salad and some fresh sour dough French
bread. Let's see. Extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Check. Fresh
grated Parmesan cheese. Check. Garlic, lemon, sardines. Check.
I smiled inwardly at the mild frustration an friend had
expressed when we were working in the kitchen together. She was an
outstanding cook who never used a cook book much as some folks with
exceptional musical ability don't need a score. We had been winging it in the
kitchen and I was doing my mental check list, getting my stuff ready. She
turned to me with one hand on her hip and said, "For God's sake, Billy! We
gonna measure or we gonna cook?"
Back at the house I turned up the volume of the stereo (it's always
on, I just turn up the volume). I particularly like the magic that Bob James
put together with Lee Ritenour, backed up by Nathan East and Harvey
Mason. They called their group "Fourplay" and this CD had the (prophetic?)
title of "Between the Sheets."
Deciding to grab some rays, I was sunning on the redwood deck on
the south side of the house, facing a canyon and past that, the costal range. I
must have dozed, for I hadn't heard a car drive up and was completely
unaware until I heard her voice. "Nice place."
"It just got nicer," I said in welcome.
"Before we do anything, I've got to . . . right now! I'm about to
Gesturing, "Through those sliders, right in there."
She spun and slipped into the large and open bathroom, slipping her
thumbs into the waistband of her pants as she walked.
I'm nothing if not opportunistic. Following her through the open
slider door, I watched as she put down the seat and pulling her pants
"Remember the unisex toilets at the workshop?" I asked, leaning
against the door frame, arms folded across my chest, trying to look
nonchalant. I was not unaware that this was my first "date" with this lovely
creature and that she'd been at my house for a time best measured in seconds.
Was I being pushy or was this just very friendly?
She bent over a bit and with her elbows on her knees started to pee.
"It's one thing to have a guy in the stall next to me, but having you look at
me is another experience."
I didn't reply right away. The erotic sounds of her hissing filled the
room, and my head. She finished and then squirted one, twice again and then
stopped, looking at me.
"I want you to know how erotic that is for me," I told her. "I think
you are beautiful and sensuous and watching you just jolts me."
Folding a tissue and dabbing between her legs, she blushed And said,
"I've never done anything like this before."
I almost lied and said I hadn't either. Being honest isn't always the
most natural thing for me. I'm so self-serving that my mind immediately
jumps to whatever I imagine might serve me best. Instead I said
nothing. I just smiled and said, "Glad you called me and even more pleased
that we could get together. You're a treat."
She pulled up her pants as she acrose in that smooth motion that
provides no more than a flash of skin. "I had several firsts in that workshop.
Are they to continue here?"
"Only if you want them to. You always have choice and it's not my
intent to ever embarrass you or talk you into anything that you don't want to
do. I value you. You are a precious person and you're safe here."
"Thanks, Bill. I feel that."
End of Part III
It occurs to me in telling you this that, as it really happened, it was
slow to evolve. In part, that's what gave it the erotic charge it attained and in
similar fashion, the protracted development of this lends a heightened
anticipation. You see, this little was written in response to a casual
remark I made about watching a pee. "How'd you ever get to do that?"
I was asked. Well, this was how it happened.
We were to explore much farther reaches of our sexuality, to cross limits and establish yet newer boundaries. The stuff of other I guess.