FICTION
Two Divided by Three

By Sophie DuChien

Men are not all the same. In midlife, with one child in college and the other at boarding school, I am coming finally to understand this. Although my years in service to one particularly loathsome example of a banker-cum-bully -- you know who you are -- have prejudiced me deeply, I find I still can be moved by reactions to what I have taken to calling real-time situations.

And here I must confess that while I never personally participated in threesome sex until this spring in Europe, the idea has been darting across my mind for years, usually very near to sleep after unsatisfying sex with Charles. I find strength in the notion that some people are so comfortable in their relationships they feel free to share their partners. I feel a mystical power in the combination of energies when three people are tuned into and turned on together. I confess, my interest also has to do with the idea of all those hands, so many pleasures at one time.

Yet what of a situation where one partner uses threesome sex as a tool against the other? The idea also intrigued me, because it was something Charles talked about, making it with two women. I assumed this was part of his typically male notion of how to keep me in my place. But as I have been learning, life is never quite so simple.

Just back from Europe, which had been very good for me, I found myself in a peculiarly bored, superior-feeling mood. Circumstances not worth the retelling threw me together with a young University of Chicago humanities assistant professor, recently separated from J., an attractive woman I have known peripherally for years. He was charming enough, but because I was still freshly inflamed from my liberating sapphic spring, he seemed a bore, annoyingly sincere and painfully naive. I was much more interested in her than him. So when, on his third Martel, he began on his marital troubles, I waited for the first opening to wither him: "At what point," I began as wearily as I could muster, "did sex become a chore for J.?"

His defensive "Never!" clued me that I was on to something entertaining. To be perverse I said, "I understand J. is bisexual." He blanched, but this is what he told me, and I confess that it was good enough to get him an invitation to my apartment.

He was well-dazed with drink by then, so that while undressing him I made it clear that under no circumstances would I permit him to make love to me. However, lying next to him, stroking his obviously aching member, I was able to tease quite a lot out of him. . .

"Two summers ago," he whispered, "I went to a stag party, which is an added little twist to my story. I hadn’t wanted to go, but I felt compelled by group loyalty, something I weigh more heavily these days, and I showed up for a night with the male half of the crowd J. and I ran with then.

"It was as bad as I feared, lifeless and forced, so there was a great deal of beer swilling in a failing effort to generate enthusiasm. When S. pulled out his favorite super-8 smoker reels and clumsily loaded them into an ancient projector ("Very retro!" he boomed as he fumbled) I thought of leaving. But the ennui was a drug, so I did not. Many are the times since then I have wondered where I would have walked in on J., at what state in her arousal.

"The evening was very warm, I remember distinctly, and when I finally did get home, I found J., M. and her lover sitting on the front porch steps. I instantly knew something had happened. Maybe I could smell it. Maybe it was seeing M. in my wife’s shorts and little cotton summer top.

"J. was in tiny red running shorts -- the ones she didn’t wear panties under. And why was he wearing my T-shirt? I instinctively felt on guard against him. Maybe it was the three of them, dressed so casually in our clothes, that felt overly intimate.

"In actuality, I can no longer distinguish between facts and what is my imagination. Did J. really loan them the clothes because after a day of work, sitting at an outdoor cafe, taking a crowded city bus ride and making the five-block walk to our place, everyone needed to change? Or was it that after their wild little scene, everyone’s original clothes were so sweaty, wrinkled and sticky they couldn’t possibly be worn?

"The three of them met after work. Because M.’s husband also was at the stag party, she felt confident to bring along her lover. J. had met him the week before at a wedding reception, which I had skipped to work on a grant application. Later, she told me about him, but in terms that apparently did not clearly convey her true feelings. He was married. M. was going through some kind of sexual encounter with both him and his wife. M. apparently was feeling very proud of herself, telling J. that he said he wanted to fuck her -- my wife -- as soon as he saw her.

"J. said to me ‘What a cocky son of a bitch he is.’ What a dangerous son of a bitch is what I thought.

"And then just days later, there was J. with the two of them, sipping white wine, passing pleasantries and enjoying the tension in the air. I have gone over this scene dozens of time in my mind, as I have gone over every other detail I could wrestle out of J. when she was excited enough to reveal details. Yet I still find questions, things that torture me and excite me at the same time.

"Like was she expecting to meet M. alone after work that day? Or did she know he was coming along? J. must have found something engaging in the situation, since she invited them home for dinner afterward. I am still trying to determine when J. knew that there would be no dinner, unless she was the main course?

"J. said the physical seduction began when she was sitting on the green sofa. He knelt to massage her ankle, which she had twisted slightly stepping off the bus. M. was across the room on the new couch, sipping more wine and chattering away. Exactly when was it, I’ve often wondered -- usually with my dick in my hand -- that J. knew more was involved than a foot massage?

"When did she catch her breath? Was it when he moved to her other foot, and she was glad he didn’t stop? Or was it how he put his leg under her foot to brace it and she could feel the sexual tension in him? Or was it when his hand moved up her calf, finding the nerves that vibrate up J.’s inner thighs to melt the ice cap that had been forming between us?

When was it she got the idea he actually might climb all the way up under her skirt? And when did she decide she would let him? When did she decide she wanted this cocky son of a bitch to feel her up in front of M? Did she really not get it, back there at the outdoor cafe, sipping her Chardonnay so nonchalantly, that he would try to make good on his words? And that M. was in league with him? What did she think when on the bus M. whispered ‘Promise me, no matter what happens tonight you’ll still be my friend.’?

"Was the idea that the two of them might really try to seduce J. so farfetched that she did not think of it? Or was she secretly hoping they would? Was it all a flirtatious game that got out of hand when she found herself aroused by his fingers? Or was it the idea of having sex with M. there that led J. to cross a line I had never been able to get her to cross. There always had been competition between J. and M., and I can’t shake the notion of J. finding it both safe and extraordinarily arousing that M. should be there to participate in this act of marital defiance.

"Were J.’s sighs involuntary as his hands continued their one-track climb up her legs? I think they must have been. But I also know that she understood her sounds were encouraging him, filling the room with palpable sexual energy. Was she passive when his fingers passed to the insides of her upper thighs, or did she slide her hips forward to give him access? I imagine that from the floor his face was very close to her as she lifted up, and that he could not only smell J’s musk, but when she arched her back, he saw her lips outlined in thin, damp panties, brown hair peeking out the legs. He was hard, by then I know, and seeping into his shorts.

"I see J. struggling to control her breathing, and losing it as M. openly slipped her hand into her top to pull out a breast and pinch a nipple. J. said she heard herself whimpering when she suddenly realized she was afraid he would stop stroking the outside of her panties. But then his fingers moved under the cotton to probe her slick puffiness, and she felt a wall breaking somewhere in her mind.

"I think of this moment as powerfully sexual, as well as pivotal in the evening. J.’s gasp and twitch marked clearly that instant when a sexual bargain was sealed among the three of them. Each knew fully that together they would go wherever this game would lead them.

"J. told me he put his fingers in his mouth to savor her taste. Then he took off her skirt and blouse. She let him do all the work, enjoying completely the feline feeling of being caressed and adored, until she was naked but for her blue lace bra. Her liquid excitement was plainly evident to bright, eager eyes when his hands opened her legs.

"Over his shoulder she watched M. rise to her knees, shove her slacks and pink panties down to get at herself. M. frigged hard, a glazed look in her eyes, grunting to an obvious, trembling orgasm. J. said she came then, too.

"I have always found this image tremendously exciting. I have come to it more times than I should admit…"

My young man smiled a funny little smile at me then that I still remember quite clearly, because it was so endearing. I put my hand on his to urge him to go on.

"When she could focus again, J. saw that M. had moved closer to her lover, pushing his shorts to his knees. He was thick and uncircumcised. J. wanted to watch M.’s hand shimmy on him, but through the dental dam they all had laughed at, his tongue found its target, and sliding down into the cushions, J. had another, much bigger orgasm."

At that point I must confess, I came, too, simply from rubbing my legs together. I tried to be casual, but he, poor boy, told such a good story that I couldn’t help myself. And he, feeling my ecstasy through fingers I unconsciously squeezed, splurted into the night, with an anguished cry.

Soon after, he fell into a deep , yet fitful sleep. And I began a long, slow drift to my own rest, turned on like crazy and knowing I had to get the rest of this story!

I waited until the second cup of morning coffee, having successfully resisted his earliest-morning advances by sending him to the shower. When I was ready, I pulled my chair next to his, and asked him to pick up his story while I stroked his chest under my big blue terry robe.

"I admit to you, I want to know every detail. It is very important to me to be able to see the whole incident cinematically, to separate my feeling, which are terribly mixed, from the whole sequence of events so that I can sort them out one by one."

He gazed deeply into my eyes. "Am I being obsessive?"

I smiled. I pushed open the robe to see his flesh rise to meet my fingers. He did have a very lovely penis.

"One problem in getting it all straight is that J. told me she lost track of what was happening, exactly; of who was doing and who was being done; that there was a great wave of intense feeling. She said she can’t remember if her eyes were open or closed. But she did become very aware of M.’s presence.

"I should tell you that the thought of M. in arousal has crossed my mind many times. J. and I had talked about my visions of inviting M. to soak with us in a hot tub. J. even agreed it seemed exciting, especially when I said that after massaging M. I would want to make love to J. But it never happened.

"I worked on J. for days to tell me more about M. on that night. But she was reluctant, which only pricked my curiosity. . ."

I pinched his nipple for that pun. He spilled coffee on his erection. I enjoyed using my napkin on it.

"Several weeks later, late on a Saturday, when J. was remarkably horny, she responded to my first hint of a question by saying that if I were to "lick her nicely" -- those were her exact words -- she would tell me what had gone on. This was very unusual for J., saying something like this, so without hesitation, I slid down to put my lips to her sex. I found her wet. I began kissing her cunt lips as if they were her face lips, sucking them and Frenching her. In a wavery voice, she said that after returning to herself, she opened her eyes to see that M. had retreated to the edge of the rug, and was studying her lover’s ministrations. She was playing with herself again, in that same hard way, grinding onto a small sofa pillow, her brow furrowed in concentration. J. said she saw sweat in M.’s blonde pussy, and she noted how funny M.’s white thighs were, and how red her face was, like her exposed pussy. J. held out her hand to M.

"I now understand clearly that one reason for J.’s great excitement at being in this situation was that it brought together three powerful currents in her fantasy life: her submerged rebelliousness, her desire to get at me by doing something guaranteed to get under my skin, and the urge to compete with M. in an arena of her own choosing.

"This was very subtle of J. and it took me a long time to figure out. By allowing M. and her lover, whose role in this drama was enabler, to take advantage of her, she had a method to gain power over them. She could control them sexually, and thus felt herself freed from M’s dominance. Do you see?"

I smiled at him. I shrugged. What could I say?

"Even so it took months for J. to admit that what really convinced her to let go all the way that day was the thrill of turning on M. And when she stuck out her hand, she knew she had succeeded beyond her imagination. M. responded almost shyly, inching across the floor on her knees, a deep hunger clear on her face. In her passion J. pulled M. to her breast, and M. obliged by taking a nipple into her mouth. J. dizzily pushed her hand down M.’s stomach, through her sparse blonde bush to find the source of her fine, smooth, musky oil.

"J. hesitated briefly, unsure how to address the firm little nub she had found, but instinct took over. She whispered to me, ‘It’s a good thing I reached down with my knowing hand.’ M. pushed her pussy onto J.’s hand, and together they did a dance, M. responding to every lead.

"I could feel J. blush through the darkness when she told me how just at the moment she had M. on the edge, she pushed her down into the sofa, insisted on opening a dental dam very slowly and then buried her face deep into M.’s dusky source, sending M. off onto another spiral.

"And when J. came down this time, she was a changed woman. Sexually M. had become putty in her hands. M’s lover’s eyes were so glazed with lust and his dick so hard that he was reduced to lying on the floor, one hand holding up his head, the other rhythmically riding up and down his erection ‘Wow,’ he said, ‘O wow, O wow, O wow…’ Over and over.

"J. said she felt sorry for him, too. He seemed in pain, she said, so like Florence Nightingale, she sat on his latex-enveloped erection and fucked him into submission. ‘I couldn’t just leave him high and dry,’ J. said innocently enough. But by fucking him, she cut through the muscle in our relationship."

That’s silly, I told him, an adolescent response, basic male crybaby-ness in the face of having his exclusivity challenged.

"It wasn’t that, he said calmly. It was a change in J. She realized through him that she didn’t need to be so dependent on me, that she could make her own conquests, that I was merely a phase she was passing through. At a very basic level she didn’t need me anymore. That’s what she found out. That I was emotionally agitated by the whole story only helped to bring to consciousness the feelings she was trying to repress. But I kept bringing it up, so in the end, she decided she didn’t need me at all."

When my young man stopped talking, he leaned back wearily and closed his eyes. I was filled with a great tenderness for him. He wasn’t a bad man, just out of his depth. Sitting on my kitchen chair, sun streaming in on his firm, nude body, he was a vulnerable creature at the end of a marathon emotional run. The quiet became loud.

"And what do you think it all means?" I whispered.

"I think of lying naked beside J. in the dark, when she first began to tell me what happened. It was not easy for her, I know, to confess. But as she spoke, I could feel the trembling in her body turn to profound arousal. I hadn’t seen J. so turned on since before we were married. She couldn’t keep her hands from between her legs. It was very exciting. But I also think I knew clearly at that moment what she already knew, there was a permanent rift between us."

I slipped out of my nightgown quietly and unwrapped a condom. I straddled his legs. His nearly chapped, but nicely firm penis slid easily into me. "Keep talking," I whispered in his ear. Then I bit it. He had trouble talking, but I made him continue.

"Later on I felt some resentment that despite clear hints of interest, I could never get J. and M. to do the same with me. So I spent a while feeling the foolish cuckold -- not by the guy, but by M., a woman I desired, a woman with whom I had even once made out.

"There, there," I said, settling into a smooth rhythm.

"Even now," he said softly "thinking about this as much as I have, I don’t fully understand why she would never allow the possibility of involving M. and me. It was my idea. J. loved for me to whisper it into her ear. We both got off on the idea. We even took a shower with M. once.

"But when J. did it with M. and him, she left me behind; she wouldn’t include me in. I would have included her. That’s what hurt. That’s what still hurts."

And when we came, my young man was crying.