Maddy Burns


My fantasy isn’t us having sex.

That fantasy is too dangerous.

My fantasy is talking about what it might be like if we had it.

We talk in private, of course – an empty office or a bare classroom after the others leave. You linger, so I linger. Or I linger, so you linger.

I don’t know what sparks this discussion, but I hope it takes less than we think. Maybe I ask about the book you’re writing, the one about religion and sex. Maybe you ask about the book I’m writing, the one about religion and sex. Maybe you admit what I’ve suspected for years: we have a certain chemistry.

However it comes up, I want you to be just bold enough to ask: What do you think it would be like?

I answer: It would either be incredible –

You raise an eyebrow. Or?

I stare hard at the institutional blue-gray carpet. Or it would be disastrous.

You crumple your mouth and contemplate. It might be both.

I look up, surprised, and our eyes accidentally meet. We allow ourselves this connection for one, whole, loaded second before breaking it, both of us scrambling for separate places to land.

And then . . . and then I don’t know. Except I’ve imagined kissing you. About you resisting, then giving up and giving in. Your lips on my mouth, behind my ear. On the base of my neck where it starts to curve out. Your hands on my shoulders, my back, my hips. You grabbing my haunches and hoisting me onto you as I wrap my legs around your waist. You stumbling forward, searching for a desk or a table on which to park me. Me trying to avoid banging into the Leatherman clipped to your belt as my thighs press against your sides, straining to hold on. Do you struggle to unhook it as we careen about, desperate for that hard surface? Or do you yank it off swiftly in one swoop right before –

What kind of sex would you want to have? you ask.

I consider. Let’s write it down. Five adjectives each. Then we exchange answers.

My five might be:
-Kinda bitey (I know that’s two words, but you’d let me have it because it’s true)

Yours might be:
-Mutually pleasurable (I know that’s two words, but I’d let you have it because it’s true)

Actually, I don’t know what your fifth word might be. Probably not carnal. Probably some beautiful, striking word that also somehow hints at its opposite.

We trade.

Kinda bitey? you say, smiling, blushing.

I love making you blush.

Well, not . . . and I stop myself from saying, Not like I’d bite your dick off.

Not painful, I settle on, Playful.

I don’t want to break my vows.

I don’t want you to break yours.

I just want you to wish that it wasn’t a tradeoff.

© Maddy Burns

Maddy Burns’ writing has appeared in The Belladonna Comedy, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Lumina Journal, and the podcast Life at the Corner of Inappropriate and Awkward. She held various side jobs while working as an actor and stage manager in New York City before she earned a masters of fine arts degree in creative nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives with her spouse in Pennsylvania.

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