The Club(2)

By: Lauren Rowe

Do any of your sexual fantasies include violence of any nature? If so, please describe in detail.

“No.” Emphatically, categorically, no.

Please note that your inclination toward or fantasies about sexual violence, if any, will not, standing alone, preclude membership. Indeed, we provide highly particularized services for members with a wide variety of proclivities. In the interest of serving your needs to the fullest extent possible, please describe any and all sexual fantasies involving violence of any nature whatsoever.

Hey, assholes, I answered honestly the first time. “None.”

Maybe I should move on to the next question, but I feel the need to elaborate. “There is nothing whatsoever I enjoy more than giving a woman intense pleasure—the most outrageously concentrated pleasure she’s ever experienced in her life. Now, granted, if I do my job, her pleasure, and therefore mine, is so overwhelming, it blurs indistinguishably with pain. But, no, my fantasies do not tend toward violence or infliction of pain, ever. I find the entire idea repulsive, especially in relation to what should be the most sublimely pleasurable of all human experience.” What kind of sick fucks do they let into this club, anyway? My gut is churning.

Are you a current practitioner of BDSM and/or does BDSM interest you? If so, describe in explicit detail.

“Never,” I write, my fingers pounding the keyboard for emphasis. A distant memory threatens to rise up from its dark hiding place, but I force it back down. My heart is racing. “My extreme disinterest in bondage and sadomasochism is absolutely non-negotiable.”

Payment and Membership Terms. Please choose from the following options: One Year Membership, $250,000 USD; Monthly Membership, $30,000 USD. All payments are non-refundable. No exceptions. Once you’ve made your selection regarding your membership plan, information for wiring the funds into an escrow account will be immediately forthcoming under separate cover. Membership fees shall be transferred automatically out of escrow to The Club upon approval of your membership.

What did my father always used to say? “Go big or go home, son.” Oh, how he’d laugh heartily from his grave to know the son he derisively called the “soft” one is harkening back to his father’s mantra to choose a sex club membership. “I guess you’re more like your Old Man than I thought,” he’d say. I can hear his ghost laughing wickedly in my ear right now.

It’s not the amount of money that gives me pause. I could buy either membership plan multiple times over and never hear so much as a peep from my accountants—but I don’t throw money away, ever, in any sum. Regardless, though, if I’m going to do this, which I am, doesn’t it make the most economic sense to join for a full year? My hands hover over the keyboard. My knee is jiggling.

All right, fuck it, yes, I admit it—it’s crazy and irresponsible to spend this kind of money on a club, or dating service, whatever the hell this is, especially sight-unseen. I’m Jonas, after all, not Josh. I’m not the twin who buys himself Italian sports cars on every whim or who hired Jay-Z to play his thirtieth birthday party (which would have been our joint birthday party if I’d bothered to attend). And yet ... I sigh. I know damn well what I’m about to do here, no matter the cost or how loudly the voice inside my head is screaming at me to retreat.

“One year membership,” I write, exhaling loudly.

Please provide a detailed explanation about what compelled you to seek membership in The Club.

I close my eyes for just a moment, collecting my thoughts.

“I love women,” I type. I take a deep breath. “I love fucking them. And most of all, I love making them come.” I smirk at the stark boldness of the words on my computer screen. There is no other context in which I’d ever make these crude statements to anyone.

“Perhaps what I’m supposed to say is, ‘Oh, how I love the smell of a woman’s hair, the softness of her skin, the elegant curve of her neck.’ And, yeah, all of that’s true; I’m not some kind of sociopath. Yes, I’ve been known to lose my composure over a woman’s sharp mind and wit—and that’s not sarcasm, by the way; when it comes to women, the smarter the better—or her husky voice or raucous laugh, or, yes, even a flash of genuine kindness in her eyes. Yeah, that’s all sexy as hell to me. But in my view, a woman’s hair only smells so damned good, and her skin is only so damned soft and inviting, and her laugh is only so infectious all as a delicious prelude to one thing—the most honest and primal and fucking awesome thing our bodies are designed to do. Everything else is just prelude, baby, glorious prelude.”

I take a deep breath. I’ve never articulated these thoughts before. I want to get this exactly right—otherwise, what’s the point of filling out this application?

“From as early as I can remember, I’ve always particularly admired women. As I grew up, that translated into a powerful sexual appetite, but nothing I couldn’t control. I could take a woman to an art gallery or concert or movie or candlelit restaurant and pleasantly ask her about her work, her passions, and even her beloved Maltese Kiki over a bottle of pinot noir and not even once feel compelled to blurt out, ‘I just want to fuck you in the bathroom.’”

I stare at the screen. I’m pretty sure I sound like an asshole right now. But it can’t be helped. The truth is the truth.

“And then, everything changed. About a year ago, I went on a typical date with a very pretty woman, and when I fucked her after dinner—and not in the bathroom, mind you—she did something a woman had never done with me before. She faked it.” I grimace. “She fucking faked an orgasm. It was so obvious as to be insulting. And it pissed me the hell off. Sex isn’t supposed to be about humoring someone or being polite—it’s not high tea with the goddamned Queen. Sex is supposed to be the truth, the most real and raw and honest and primal expression of the human experience. And orgasm, by its very nature, is the height, the very culmination of that honesty.”

Jesus, after all this time, I still get riled up about this. My chest is heaving. My cheeks are flushed. I can’t think straight. I need music. Music is the thing that calms me when my thoughts are racing and my pulse is raging. As a kid, my therapist taught me to use music as a coping mechanism and it still works for me. I click into the music library on my laptop. I choose “White Lies” by Rx Bandits and listen for a few minutes. Quickly, the song soothes me and clears my head, opening a window for my bottled thoughts and feelings to fly through. I listen for several minutes, until I’m calm again.