The Club

By: Lauren Rowe

Chapter 1



I inhale and exhale slowly. Am I really going to do this? Yes, I am. Of course, I am. The minute Josh ever so briefly mentioned “The Club” to me during our climb up Mount Rainier four months ago, I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d be sitting here on my laptop, filling out this application.

“Jonas Faraday,” I type onto my keyboard.

With this application, you will be required to submit three separate forms of identification. The Club maintains a strict “No Aliases Policy” for admission. You may, however, use aliases during interactions with other Club members, at your discretion.

Yeah, okay, thanks. But the name’s still Jonas Faraday.


I type in “30.”

Provide a brief physical description of yourself.

“Extremely fit. 6’1. 195 lbs.”

Wait a minute. I’ve been working out like a demon this past month. I walk into the bathroom and stand on the scale. I return to my laptop.

“190 lbs.”

With this application, you will be required to submit three recent photographs of yourself to your intake agent. Please include the following: one headshot, one full-body shot revealing your physique, and one shot wearing something you’d typically wear out in a public location. These photographs shall be maintained under the strictest confidentiality.

Jesus. Am I really going to send my personal information and three photos of myself to who-knows-where to some unknown “intake agent” for a dating service/sex club I know nothing about?

I sigh.

Yes, I am. I sure as hell am. Even if it’s against my better judgment, even if doing this flies in the face of rational and analytical thinking, even if my gut is telling me this is probably a horrifically bad idea, I’ve known I was going to do this since the minute I heard Josh talk about The Club four months ago.

“It’s incredible, bro,” Josh said to me, getting a foothold on a boulder and stretching his hand toward a nearby crag. “Best money I’ve spent in my life.”

The best money my brother had ever spent—and this coming from a guy who drives a Lamborghini? It was an endorsement I couldn’t ignore. In fact, thanks to Josh’s intriguing recommendation, I’ve thought of little else since our climb. Even when I’ve been smack in the middle of what should be an epic fuck with a hot kindergarten teacher or state prosecutor or barista or flight attendant or personal banker or dog groomer or graphic designer or court reporter or waitress or hairdresser or pediatric nurse or photographer, all I can think about is what I’m probably missing out on by not belonging to The Club.

“It’s like a secret society,” Josh explained. “You can find members anywhere you go, anywhere in the world, on a moment’s notice, and the members matched to you are always ... uncannily compatible with you.”

It was the “uncannily compatible” part of that sentence that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, not the part about being able to find other members on a moment’s notice anywhere in the world. Because God knows I can find a sexual partner virtually any time I want, anywhere I go, on my own.

I hate to be blunt about it, but women throw themselves at me, I guess based on my looks (so they tell me) and money (so I surmise) and, sometimes, thanks to the Faraday name (which, believe me, ain’t such a prize). Young, old; married, single; hot, mousy; blonde, brunette; bookish, badass; full-figured, heroin-chic. It doesn’t matter. It seems I can have anybody I want, as easily as ordering “fries with that” if I’m so inclined. And, yes, over the past year or so, I’ve become increasingly, incessantly, obsessively so inclined. And I’m beginning to hate myself for it.

Before anyone gets all up in arms and starts righteously listing off all the women I could never bed—“Well, you could never fuck Oprah or Mother Theresa or Chastity Bono before she became Chaz”—let me be crystal clear about what I’m saying here: I can bed any woman I want to. No, not literally every woman on planet earth. I fully acknowledge I couldn’t nail a nun or Oprah or an eighty-year-old great-grandmother or a pre-op-transgender-lesbian. Nor would I want to, for Chrissakes.

What I’m saying is that if I, Jonas Faraday, want a particular woman to be naked and spread-eagle in my bed, if that’s what I want, if a woman turns my head and makes me hard, or, hell, makes me laugh, or think about something in a whole new way, or maybe if she can’t find her sunglasses and then chuckles because they’re sitting on top of her head, or if her ass is particularly round in a snug pair of jeans—oh, yeah, especially if she has an ass I can really sink my teeth into—whoever she is, she will, eventually and most willingly, float onto my bed like the beautiful angel she is, spread open her silky thighs and, after a only a few moments of mutual bliss, beg me to fuck her.

I wish I could say “end of story” right there, but, unfortunately, I can’t. Because sex is never the end of the story when it comes to me. And that’s why I need The Club. I can’t keep going to the same pond with the same fishing rod, dipping my rod into the same waters—no matter how warm and inviting those waters happen to be—and just keep bringing up the same goddamned tilapia, regardless of how moist and delicious. I just cannot do it anymore.

If I keep doing the same thing I’ve been doing, over and over, the same way I’ve been doing it, then I’m going to go completely insane—which is something I’ve already done once, albeit a lifetime ago and under completely different circumstances, and I’m not willing to do it again. What I want is something different. Something brutally honest. Something real. And if the only way to get what I want is to ignore my better judgment and shell out an enormous monetary sacrifice to the gods of depravity, then so be it.

Please sign the enclosed waiver describing the requisite background check, medical physical examination, and blood test, which you must complete as a condition of membership.

No problem. I’m relieved to know every member gets rigorously vetted. I sign where indicated.

Sexual orientation? Please choose from the following options: Straight, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, other?

“Straight.” That’s an easy one. Just out of curiosity, though, what the fuck does “pansexual” mean? I Google it. “Pansexual: Not limited or inhibited in sexual choice with regard to gender or activity.” Ah, okay—anything goes. Interesting concept, solely from a philosophical perspective, but it most definitely doesn’t describe me. I know exactly what I want and what I don’t.