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Surprise Saturday: Chapters 1 & 2

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Author’s Introduction:

The story plot of wishing to be someone else has been used to very good comic effect, notably in both movie versions of Freaky Friday. One day we were watching the Lindsey Lohan version and it occurred to me how different it would have been had Jamie Lee Curtis switched bodies with a teenage son rather than a daughter. In the film the sexual overtone was referenced, but in a family film sort of way that ruled most issues off limits.

So in this tale, I take on the theme of perspective and honesty in family life via this well-worn, scenario. Additionally I look into the new hot-button issues of gender identity and sexual morality in this short novel. To fast-forward the addressing of all these issues, I set the story in a home, like the home in which our kids grew up, where the parents have an open marriage.

Sadly I am not so good at writing comedy, so if you are looking for laughs, this is not the place to look. I hope you find this entertaining. But remember it is just a thought experiment. As such I use an impossible hypothetical and project one way that a pair of people would respond. However, it is fiction without any basis in actual living people.

Chapter 1

Sue woke slowly. She had slept very deep and had some vaguely disturbing dreams, yet as she pulled into consciousness she could not quite remember them. She rolled to her back; something didn’t feel quite right. Annoyingly the tee-shirt she’d worn to bed wasn’t fitting right. She didn’t dwell on the thought but brooded over the fight she had with her son at two in the morning. She’d been worried about his safety, but that was no excuse for what she had told him. Besides, she never slept well when her husband was gone overnight. She didn’t resent his absence. It was only that she missed him beside her.

Down the upstairs hallway, in his bedroom, Stephen slept on. It was Saturday with no baseball game scheduled, so he was likely to sleep till noon. Besides he’d gotten home way later than his mother had wanted so he’d been grounded. Curfews were for kids and Stephen was no longer a child. He had been seventeen for over three months now and was taller than his dad. As a junior, he had been the starting free safety on his high school’s varsity football team in the fall, and now was starting shortstop on the baseball team. Additionally, he had a part-time summer job, a car, and an amazing girlfriend; but, his mother still treated him like a child. Yes, he knew it was past his 1:00 AM curfew when he pulled in the drive an hour late; but he deserved some time with his girlfriend. It’s not like he was free to bring her home to spend the night. But did his mother understand? No! She just went on and on about how irresponsible he was.

“Do you ever stop to think before you do something?” she had said. “I have got news for you, young man, the world doesn’t revolve around you!” she had told him in an inappropriately loud voice. “You just think everyone has to cater to your needs. You just need to grow up!”

“Mom!” he had yelled “I am not a child. I am so tired of you treating me like one. All the other adults in my life, my coaches, my teachers, and my boss at work all tell me that I am the most responsible teenager they know. But not you! I don’t know how to make you see how much I act like an adult.” He wanted to add that he never drinks more than two beers at a time and has never had vaginal sex without using a condom, but decided against it.

She in turn swore that he was a child and there was no way he was prepared to take on adult responsibilities. “I wish you could see how childish you look through my eyes” before taking his car keys and slamming the bedroom door behind her. Though he didn’t know it, she reproached herself for the words and the actions before she made it to her bed. But when her husband, Calvin, was off for the night she was always jumpy. Then when Stephen did not respond to repeated texts and then calls, she had been sick with worry. When he showed up at 2:00 AM without a hint of contrition, that was enough to make her lose it.

It was now morning and she pulled the covers back and swung her feet off the side of the bed. She felt bad that she’d called Stephen childish. She knew it wasn’t true. As she moved off the bed her train of thought was interrupted. Something felt wrong. She wasn’t sure what, but the way the sheets moved across her body and the way her body felt on the bed. It was all off somehow, the thought began to percolate in her mind. She sat up, swung her feet to the floor, and slapped her thighs preparing to rise.

But she did not stand. She did not move. Her eyes stared blankly at her legs. They were a mess; a hairy mess. Her mind was more muddled than usual in the morning. She didn’t even try to figure out why her legs looked like she hadn’t shaved in months. Shuffling across the room she flipped on the bathroom lights and moved directly in front of the brightly lit mirror.

What she saw did not make sense. She was looking right in the mirror, but it was Stephen, not her own reflection looking back. She stood there for some time looking at Stephen, wearing a very old and rather ratty Led Zeppelin tee shirt. Her favorite night shirt that she, only after some time, realized did not reach Stephen's waist. Some things need to be reasoned, but some things just need to be accepted. She was looking at her seventeen-year-old son, essentially naked, looking back at her. The fully erect penis at her crotch was completely out of the little thong panties she wore. She was her son, Stephen. But why was she wearing women’s panties that did not begin to keep her … his …well above average sized erection covered?


She had no idea. Perhaps she’d always been Stephen and her life as Sue, the mother of two, wife and professional artist was all a fantasy. That was it. She was Stephen and she was having a mental break. She was still lucid enough to know she could not be Sue, she had to be Stephen. To end the discomfort, she pushed the undersized panties to the ground.

“What to do?” she said out loud. “Well if I am still a teenager, I must be at my parent’s house. I will find my mother and all this will straighten out.” To convince herself she was in control she took a towel, wrapped it around the naked waist of Stephen and went to look for her mother. Or should she look for the real Sue? Could she be my mother? This was getting more confusing by the second. But one thing was clear. She was not in the home in which she remembered growing up. She was in the home of her delusion that she was really a grown woman. That at least was real. But that did not clarify anything.

She started down an open staircase. Below her, in the living room, sat her daughter, or was it her sister? Either way, it was Kate.

Sixteen-year-old Kate looked up at her brother’s darting eyes. “What?”

Sue realized Kate was asking her, or rather Stephen a question. Forcing a calm she did not feel, Stephen’s voice said in a solid baritone, “Where is Mom?”

Kate returned to her book and said “She’s not out of bed yet.”

Sue knew that was not true, she’d been in her mother’s bed. If Stephen had been in his mother’s bed, then perhaps the mother was in the son’s bed. And so she was. Sprawled on the bed in the middle of a typical teenage boy’s room was the mother he (or was it she) had been looking for. It was still just so confusing.

“Mom! Mom!” Sue said as she shook what, she somehow thought should be her own sleeping body.

A groggy voice said “What?” before pulling the covers over Sue’s strawberry blond locks and saying “Are you going to bitch at me again?”

Instinctively Sue snapped back “Don’t use that language to me…..” but before she could say “young man” the voice came to Sue’s brain and it didn’t match.

From under the covers, Stephen also noted the incongruity of the words and voice. He pulled the covers back to see himself, standing at the side of his bed, wearing his mother’s Zeppelin shirt and a towel.

Unlike his mother he did not look for a logical answer, he sat bolt upright and said “What the fuck?”

He looked down, he was still in his clothes from last night. But, like his mother’s first thoughts, he felt something wrong.

He pulled back the neck of his old practice jersey, and where his hard-earned abs should have been, were a pair of pinkish white breasts. Even in this state, the teenage boy looked hard and long at these tits before looking back to….to…. himself?

Where the older person looked for rationality, the teen took the circumstance on face value. He rolled to his knees and looked at the mirror that hung on the wall beside the door. He was in his mother’s body. He looked back at his body and said “Mom?”

What could she say? He had broken her delusion of reason. “Yes, honey, I’m afraid so.”

“But how?” he muttered.

“I don’t know.”

“Why? What are we going to do?” He said in his mother’s voice, now almost pleading.

“I don’t know,” she said again. “Give me a few minutes. I’ve got to think” and she shut the door as she left the room.

Stephen fell back to the bed. This was just more than he could handle. How did he turn into a woman? Not just a woman, his mom. She might be over forty, but she was beyond doubt the best looking mom he knew. Well, except Carlos, his mom had him at like fourteen and she didn’t look anything like a mother. But as far as MILFs went, his mom was the most popular. The guys always liked coming over to his house in the summer as his mom was very friendly to the kids and often wore skimpy clothes. She even sunned in their back yard in thong bikinis. His friends all drooled over both her ass and her tits. Being the teenage boy he was, his hands went to his chest and cupped the breasts beneath the jersey.

The feeling was a surprise. Not for his hands, he’d cupped a good many boobs in the last few years, but in the breasts themselves. They were so sensitive. It felt good, not the same as holding his dick, but not completely different either. As he lay there, he felt the nipples harden. His nipples! And they got more sensitive as he rubbed them. He pinched one. The intense sensation made him jump.

Without any thought to the seriousness of the situation; Stephen jumped out of bed and stood in front of the full-length mirror pulling off his jersey and kicking loose his sweats as he went. How many times had he stood in front of that mirror and jacked off? But this was something completely different. It was like a video game. He was in a female body, his mom’s body, and could make it do anything he wanted.

“Fuck me!” he said aloud. While he’d had brief looks at her naked many times, this was not a brief look. The Richard’s home was not uptight about such things, after all his mother was a professional artist who often painted nude women. When his mother’s friend Mary posed buck naked for his mom, neither his mother nor the woman ever batted an eye if he came into his mom’s home studio. However, her case was the rare exception, not the rule.

When almost any other woman posed for her, his mother put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her studio door. She had made it clear to both him and Kate that nudity was not the issue, but rather the model’s privacy and comfort. All this did not mean his mom deliberately let him see her naked either because she did not. Yet, in the summers her outfits could be revealing enough to give his friends wood.

Other than his best friend Collin, the rest of his friends begged to come over in hopes of seeing his Milf mom sunning in a thong bikini, or working in her home art studio in what she called her togs. Collin had not begged only because he was there so much already and the truth was Mrs. Flint, Collin’s mom, dressed way more provocatively than did Mrs. Richards. The two families were as close as could be and to the two boys that was how all mothers dressed. Though their friends assured them that was not so and swore they were the luckiest guys on earth. So he more or less knew what she looked like under her clothes. But this was totally different.

The body he saw in the mirror was a youthful forty-one, just under 5’4”, curvy but not fat. As a natural redhead, her skin had a pink hue and many small freckles just about everywhere, but they were more prominent on her face and shoulders. The pink breasts seemed large to him. Certainly, larger than any girl with whom he’d had sex, but they were not so big they sagged too much to be unattractive. Her hips flared more than those girls too, and Stephen was surprised at how the mound of her sex stood out. Looking at his mom in the mirror couldn’t help but to turn him on. He felt the tingling sensation in his thighs and lower abdomen, but instead of radiating out into his engorged penis, the arousal flowed inward.

He reached down and touched the patch of red pubic hair cut cleanly into the shape of a flattened five-sided diamond that sat on top of her pussy cleavage. For a moment he lost track of lusting over his mom’s body when he wondered how she kept the triangle so perfectly cut. He recalled how his mother had first shown it off two summers before. He had almost finished his first year of high school when his mom had surprised even her friends at the annual Memorial Day pool party at Gill’s parent’s house. When she kicked off her shorts, she was down to a cutout bikini top and an absolutely minimal thong bikini bottom. So minimal that her red pubic hair plainly showed above the tiny bit of fabric that just barely covered her pussy.

Nobody there mistook that for an ooops moment. It was plain that was how Sue Richards intended it to be. She had proudly told everyone that she was not going to let bourgeoisie rules tell her how to cut her pubic hair. Since then, he’d seen her show her pubes at almost all of the three annual big pool parties with her friends. Not always, but often enough, and it was always shaped exactly the same. His mom might be bossy sometimes, but she really was super cool. Perhaps that is why he and his mom were so close, he really did respect and look up to her. If that made him a momma’s boy, as some of the guys had said, well he didn’t think any momma was half so great as his.

Soon however the nude woman in the mirror ceased to be mom in his mind. How could he feel off his mom? Up till this moment, he thought he knew all about female bodies. Even before that really strange day six months ago when he and Jenny had sex the very first time they had met, Monica had been a friend with benefits for half a year and Dianna was too. For over a year he’d been having sex about twice a week. Beyond those three special friends, he’d gotten over a dozen blow jobs… from a total of eight different girls. He had gone down on three of those and had fucked one of them. So, he was sure that he knew what he was doing in the sex department. He recalled how Jenny, Monica and Dianna responded to his touch. He also recalled how his sister had told him that girls were different than guys in how they experienced sex. Now he finally understood. He felt the sensitivity of his groin area. Without thinking about it he pressed his legs together at the thigh, the feeling was not too unlike when he touched the shaft of his hard penis. But rather than pointing out like his dick, it went into him. The sort of shaft that ran between the, his, inner lips seemed to be like his penis only super small. Not just the tip, the clit, but back and down too…and it felt like it had gotten hard. It felt remarkably like his dick did when he got turned on. It was like how the head of his cock got super sensitive, but other parts were sensitive too.

He tried feeling himself off, the way he’d done to girls. He groped his new vulva, and found out right off why this didn’t get him very far, it was irritating. Not a turn on, just irritating. He quickly backed off the intensity. With such feedback it didn't take long before he got the right amount of speed and pressure. Soon it began to feel really good. And in the mirror, it looked good. So hot! With instantaneous feedback, he began masturbating in earnest and it was like nothing he had ever even imagined. While rubbing his vulva, he used the other hand to cup a breast, then began to experiment with different sensations on the sensitive nipples. It was all so cool and felt so good.

When Sue had left her son’s room, she went back to her own bedroom and sat on the side of the bed. She appraised the situation. It seemed apparent that the fight and her accusing him of still being a child caused this reaction. If so, what was to be done? Like the ghosts in A Christmas Carol, this supernatural event must have a lesson to tell. If so, she needed to learn it quickly and get back to her life and her body. She reasoned that no one should know of this. Not her husband, certainly not her daughter. “No one can find out. I must live Stephens’s life today,” she said to herself.

Sitting half-dressed in the master bedroom was not living his life. So she headed back to Stephen’s room.

Stephen had just found the road that led to a woman's orgasm when his bedroom door swung open almost hitting him. In all the weirdness he had forgotten to lock it.

Sue found herself standing right in front of herself, at least her body, fully nude. It was evident he was masturbating; playing with her. Stephen leaped to the bed and covered up. Sue shut the door behind her. She certainly had not anticipated this. She would deal with this boy’s disrespect of her body, but not now. She had to end this.

With no mention of what she had just caught him doing, she laid out the plan. He would go to her room and get dressed in her clothes and she would dress in his. They would pretend to be the other until a way to return to themselves showed.

“Your sister is still in the living room, just go to my room and get dressed.”

He hesitated to get up.

“That body you’re in may be new to you, but I’ve seen it every day of my life. Now get!”

He slowly slid from beneath the covers and, still naked, passed his mother to head up the hall to the master bedroom. The implications for this little switch were quickly becoming apparent. Under the towel, she could feel the newly acquired penis pushing up against the terrycloth. She rummaged through Stephen’s drawers, and found some clean clothes and went to the bathroom shared by the two kids.

The rogue penis was mostly hard when she removed the towel. Unlike her son, she had a great deal of experience with the opposite sex; not just in the fact she’d been married for two decades, but she’d handled a great many penises of all shapes and sizes over her lifetime. Far more than her son could imagine. Removing the tee shirt, she took a good look at the body she inhabited. Though it seemed somewhat perverted to look, this was her body now, possibly forever. She might as well get to know it sooner rather than later.

She decided quickly Stephen had become a good-looking young man. Sure, he was still somewhat gangly, but he had really filled out in the last year. His 6’ 1” frame showed defined muscles on his arms, chest and legs. His hair was more blond than strawberry but still had that pink hint, though his skin was less pink and more tan. He was so much like his father except for that classic Celtic hair and skin coloring. And that half-hard penis, had nice size and shape, and was clearly on the thick side nestled in fine blond hair. She laughed to herself “Well, if I get stuck in this body forever, I’ll have no problem getting girlfriends or boyfriends or both”

She found the right water temperature, and began to shower. Sure, she lingered on cleaning her new genitals, it felt damn good. The full-blown arousal came on so incredibly fast. It truly surprised her. In her own body, she had an unusually fast arousal cycle, she could climax in less than five minutes under the right circumstances. But, this new body of hers was close to climax in seconds. No wonder teenage boys are so pervy. She gave into her curiosity to give the thing a few strokes. “Just a few,” she told herself. It would be going too far to make Stephen’s penis ejaculate. Though she was sure she could do it in less than a minute. She left the shower with a full hard-on.

It was still hard when she was back in the room. Not just hard, but insistent. She just couldn’t ignore the call of that penis. So it was, she found herself just where she had found Stephen; standing in front of the full-length door mirror, masturbating. But she remembered to lock the door. It did feel and look good, standing, slightly wet stroking. She was enjoying the feeling greatly when the climax just rushed up to meet her. She wanted to keep on, to slow down, but she didn’t know how. Her male hands stroked faster, seemingly out of her control. She felt the testies pull up and she felt the rising semen come up and out of the penis in her hand in long streams. Her knees became weak and she back to the bed and sprawled out.

Wow! She’d be less pissed when a guy came too fast in the future. It was like a freight train, impossible to stop without prior warning. She lay back and let her heart slow, her hand still slowly caressing her son’s dick.

In ‘his’ room, Stephen took time to look at “himself” in his mother’s mirror before dressing. He found himself touching that body again. He really wanted to find something to fuck himself with. He’d always wondered what a girl felt, but that would have to wait. He rummaged around until he found a pair of sweats and a tee-shirt. He thought to himself, ‘I’m sure this is what Mom would wear since it is still February and the house has not yet warmed for the day.’ He pulled them on without trying to mess with the female undergarments. He said to himself, ‘good thing Mom goes really casual most of the time around the house. It would be a real pain if she were like Mike’s mom and didn’t leave the room till she had fully dressed and put on jewelry and make-up. I’d be in real trouble then.’ Going down to the ground floor he stepped into the living room where Kate was still reading. He sat down in his mother’s favorite chair.

Without looking up Kate asked “What’s for breakfast?”

Stephen had to swallow the inclination to say “Whatever you make.” Instead, he asked as nicely as he could, “How does biscuits and eggs sound?”

“OK” his sister responded.

He and his sister had always been close, even though they have different interests and traveled in very different circles at school. Perhaps that is why they got along so well, they have never really stepped on each other’s toes. Sure, they fought, but in the last few years things had been different. She was less than a year younger than him. For a few years she looked older and was taller than him, but when he was in 7th grade that changed. By the end of 8th grade, he towered over her. As that change had been going on they both had become interested in the opposite sex and without really planning to, they had become confidants in new and wholly unexpected ways. Though dealing with, or rather competing for their parent’s attention and favor, continued to be a sore spot. Like in many homes, the little girl had daddy wrapped around her finger; while Stephen tended to be closer to his mom. Both of them fought more with Mom than Dad. Anyone who knew their family knew full well that Sue ran the Richards home. Now he WAS Sue Richards. The idea that this might be permanent frightened him.

With that on his mind, he rose and went in the kitchen. He looked around and then realized he’s the mom now, so he can make the plans. He looked back out of the kitchen door and said “How about The Riverside Cafe’ instead?”

Kate responded, “Sure. When?”

“Maybe an hour?”

“OK Mom, sounds like a plan,” Kate said.

With the first bit of parenting done, Stephen headed back up the stairs to the master bedroom. He could hear that his mom was still in the shower. It seemed very odd, and kinda kinky that his mom was washing his naked body. “I wonder if she’ll play with me? he wondered as he walked by “his” door. “After all, I know how morning wood can be.” He was tempted to walk in on her. It was she who pointed out that there was no reason to be modest around one another when they were in the other’s body like this.

He decided he’d take a shower too. If she could wash him, he could wash her.

How many movies had he seen with the woman taking a sexy shower? Now he’d know what it felt like. The glass shower stall was steamed when he stepped in and just stood under the shower head. Getting seven inches shorter sure was nice here in the shower. He took a handful of the body gel and began to caress his mom’s skin. It was smooth and responded to the touch. He felt the tingle all over that seemed much more diffused than it did in his own body. All roads did not lead to the crotch in this female form. He cupped the breasts, lifting them slightly. They were heavier than he’d imagined they would be. When he released them, he could feel their weight change his center of balance.

He continued to explore, rubbing the soft round ass and spongy thighs. It was so very different than his body in more ways than he had previously realized. His mom’s body wasn’t as slim as Jenny's or any of the girls he had seen naked and touched all over. Even Carrie Phillips, with whom he had spent whole afternoons in her bed on three different occasions last summer, had bigger tits, thighs and ass than his mom, but she wasn’t shaped the same. Not that the nude body he’d seen in his mirror wasn’t hot as hell. As far back as middle school his friends had called her a super Milf, and she was; but now he had a better understanding the difference between a hot Milf and even an average fifteen- or sixteen-year-old girl. One wasn’t better or worse, just different. He realized he would never look at grown women the same again. All his exploration began to build the arousal he felt. His hands closed on the mound and his index finger separated the, oh so sensitive, lips. ‘Fuck this feels good’ he thought as his fingers lightly touched the most sensitive areas. ‘I am so going to have a woman’s orgasm now’ he said in his head.

Then the water went cold.

“Damn!” he said as he jumped out of the shower. “She used up all the hot water.”

He grabbed a towel. He dried himself then wrapped it around his waist. The mirror told him he had to retie the towel, he couldn’t go down the hallway with his (her) tit’s hanging out. Again, he took a few minutes to look at the nude body. If he let himself, he could stand in front of the mirror all day. He re-tied the towel over the protruding breasts, then headed to his own room. The door was locked. ‘Why?’ he asked himself. He knocked on the door.

His mother was still lying on the bed naked, hand caressing the penis she now wore. She jumped at the knock, pulled her wet towel to hold in front of the mostly hard penis, and unlocked the door.

In the short time between knocking and his mother opening the door, Stephen made an educated guess as to why the door was locked. He opened the door. Inside his mom stood holding the towel to cover both chest and waist. He looked down at the floor. Three streams of milky fluid were visible on the hardwood. One was smeared by a footprint, but no matter, he knew exactly why she’d locked the door.

“I thought you said there was no reason to cover up,” he said sarcastically looking at her effort at modesty. “And besides I don’t have tits to cover.”

Sue followed his eyes to the semen on the floor. The blood rushed to her face. He knew she’d been giving herself a hand job, using his penis. When she had caught him doing the same thing, she had been so angry she’d made him walk past her and up the hallway nude. Normal rules of propriety seemed to make no sense now, the world was so mixed up. All she could do to recover her dignity was to pretend she was not ashamed.

She released one hand and the towel dropped aside. The penis stood nearly straight out.

“Does this thing ever get soft?” she asked, looking down at his penis. She hoped that would shift the issue to him.

“Sometimes,” he said smiling. The tension was broken, not just todays, but the unspoken issue that had created a wall between them for over a year. In that instant, the normality of his adult sexuality broke through. This she understood. She used her foot to push her towel toward him. “You might want to clean that up before someone slips on it.”

He picked up the towel and put it on the wet semen. “Well, at least once we get back to normal you will understand why I need my door locked.”

She moved to his dresser, then answered “Once we get back to normal, I guess you won’t need to lock your door. At least not for me.” She even genuinely laughed at her own joke. She pulled out some boxers, sweatpants, and a shirt.

“Yea, I guess not” he agreed now smiling.

“You know,” she said while she dressed, “I think this is all about you and me and the fact I have not wanted to see the truth that you really are a young man. I have used that term for a couple of years now to describe you, but only right now do I fully understand it. Somehow the fates have decided we need to learn a lesson. I think we need to be open to understanding each other so that the lesson gets learned quickly and we can get back to our bodies.” She was pleased how she’d now made logical sense of all this and was again in the parent role.

She pulled on the shirt and said “Though I think we would agree we have already found some of this enlightening, I don’t think either of us wants to stay this way.”

“Right on both counts Mom.”

Sue tried to laugh and made a point of looking down at where the semen had been. “I certainly understand one thing in a way I never have before.”

Stephen saw where she was looking and what she meant. He could not help but laugh. She was right; he did want to get his body back, but perhaps not just as fast as she wanted.

Dressed, Sue looked to her body. “Now let’s get you properly dressed and see how we can make this work for the day.”

She decided to first check on Kate. She didn’t want her to walk in on her brother dressing her mother. In the living room at the bottom of the stairs, she found Kate still reading. When “her brother” walked in Kate looked up and said, “Mom’s taking us to The Riverside Cafe’ in a few.”

That was news to Sue, but not a great surprise. It seems her son had figured out that “Mom” could do lots of things outside Sue’s control.

Once back in the master bedroom Sue pulled out a bra and panty set. “Come over here and take those clothes off. You will need to put something else on to go out to eat.” Once her son was nude again, she expertly began dressing him. ‘No need to teach him how all this works, hopefully he won’t need to know how to do this on his own.’

She had him dressed in just a few minutes and she sat him in her vanity chair. She stood behind him and began to brush out her own strawberry-blond hair that still draped over her shoulders. She did have nice hair she mused as she was working. From the dresser, her cellphone rang.

Instinctively she picked it up, but paused before answering. The screen showed it was her husband, Calvin. This was bad. She had not thought of how to head off her husband from telling Stephen about what he'd been doing last night. He had not been helping a friend move as they had told the kids. He had been in-fact spending the night with a couple that Sue had met on the swinger’s site, The reason the suburban housewife had so much experience with different men’s sex organs was not just that she’d screwed a lot of guys in college, but she and her husband had an open marriage. Since not long after Stephen’s younger sister Kate was born, they had both been dating and having sex with other people. All these years they had so carefully covered their tracks, and now...

Before giving the ringing phone to Stephen she said, “It’s your dad, just agree with anything he says and hang up as soon as you can.”

Stephen took the phone and his mother’s voice answered “Hi, how’s it going?”

His dad answered “I’m a little worn out, but it went really great.”


“Did you know this was this couple’s first time?”

“Ah, yea, sure” Stephen answered, though he had not a clue what his father meant.

“I thought you did.” Calvin said “Well, it seems they have been married over ten years and both of them had been completely monogamous all that time, but they have role-played other partners for years. It seems your emails convinced them to give it a try.”

Stephen was struggling to put this into context. He and his sister have suspected for a couple of years that his parents were covering up something about the parties they went to. He suspected they might be doing weed, but Kate’s money was on something sexual. Still, he had nothing more than guesses and he assumed his sister did too. Now was he going to find out the truth? Could it really be that his dad had sex with another woman last night? Was he calling to tell Mom all about it? And did Mom really set it up? Perhaps Kate was right. He didn’t want to let his mother know yet what he was thinking, still he wanted to take advantage of this situation. He encouraged his dad to elaborate by responding, “And….did it work out?”

Sue was trying to guess what the conversation entailed and wondered about what Stephen was asking. She sunk down to sit on the side of the bed.

On the phone, Stephen’s dad took the bait and continued “Great! She had a first-rate dinner made and waiting when I arrived. All through the meal she was so nervous. It was funny, but I felt a little sorry for her. After dinner, they took me to their living room and we had some drinks and talked for a while. I told them about us, and how we have had an open marriage for the last sixteen years. She asked if you got upset when I have sex with other women, and I explained that it is unusual for me to meet a couple without her. I told them how it is nearly always you who goes off on a date with a man or a couple while I stay home. That took them off guard. As we’ve done so many times before, I explained how in the open marriage community the women are the leaders in nearly all these kinds of encounters. That was the right thing to say, wasn’t it?”

Though his brain was struggling to comprehend all that his dad had just said, Stephen just agreed as his mother had told him to do.

Sue did not like this extended conversation. She strongly suspected this was the normal de-brief after a date that she and Calvin had. In that case, her son was getting a rundown on a night of sex with his dad and a younger couple. She had to work to keep her thoughts hidden in case it was something else.

“Good, I thought you’d agree. So, after we talked and had several glasses of wine, Connie went to their bedroom to change into lingerie. She is way better looking than her pics online. You might want to teach her about taking good nudes. Bill put on a porn movie while we were waiting. When she came out, she was in a really nice negligee. Not cheap sex shop stuff or even Victoria’s Secret, but something from a high-end boutique. I’m not normally a fan of negligees, but I think you’d look great in this one. You will need to ask her where she got it. Well, she sat between us. Her husband and I took turns kissing & playing with her. She then took turns leaning over to give us head. She did her husband first, but did me much longer and with more vigor. Once she got naked, her shyness disappeared. She couldn’t get enough. Her husband and I took turns with one of us fucking her then she wanted to suck and fuck at the same time. When we were both spent, she wanted to sit on our faces. She had talked about it twice earlier, but I’m not sure it was her kink or his. She had me pull out and take off my condom just before I came so I could cover the outside of her vulva with my semen. Then she sat on her husband’s face. Of course he came inside of her, so when she sat on my face it dripped as I ate her out. She was on me again in the middle of the night, then again, this morning. After a second round of morning sex before I left, she asked about us taking them to the club tonight. I have no doubt she is dying to do it with you too. She said she and her college roommate had a long running thing, but she hasn’t been with a woman since. Though he acted noncommittal, I’m sure her husband wants a chance to do some swinging too. Are you up to it?”

Stephen tried to wrap his head around all the information, but he knew it would take time to process all of that. It was more than he’d imagined, more than even Kate had suggested. For sure it would change how he looked at his parents. They weren’t just cool and edgy, they were really, really hot. Again, he answered his father’s question in the affirmative “Ah, yea, sure”.

“Good”, I’ll give them a call but I think you’ll need to email directions to the club and pick out someplace to meet for dinner before we go. Oh one more thing. She made it clear she hopes for more than just a foursome. If you think it is appropriate, could you email a few of the crew and see if any would like to meet at the club for a group thing tonight. I think that would be easier than just hoping to find people we know when we get there. I told them how you normally are the emcee of group sex events and how everyone agrees you are better at that than anyone in our circle. Well, I’m getting into some traffic; I’ll see you in about an hour and a half.”

Stephen ended the call and handed the iPhone back to his mom. She looked at him expectantly. “Well? What did he say?”

Stephen couldn’t help but get a Cheshire Cat grin. He’d caught his mom not just in the lie about where Dad was, but hiding a whole secret life. Right off he could see all sorts of clues he just had missed. But now it was all plain as day. “He said the woman that you set him up with screwed him on and off most of the night. He also said she wants to go to the club with you guys tonight. The woman wants to have a foursome with you and Dad. But he said he thinks the wife really wants for us…well you…to email some of your friends to see if they want to meet at the club tonight for an orgy. He said to do that only if you think that is appropriate.”

When he was done, he just sat in the chair looking at his mom (in his body) with that grin. He had her caught. Or so he thought.

What he did not seem to understand was while he might have an adult body, he still didn’t have the experience that came with it. Though she was mortified that all, ALL of their secrets had just been revealed in one fell swoop; she would not, could not, let it show. Sue knew her son would not be too hard to maneuver. It would not take long for her to reclaim the power position. Without hesitating she asked, “Well, are you?”

That took him aback “Am I what?”

“Are you up to going to the swing club and participate in an orgy with this couple?” She tried to use her eyes to remind him who was in charge.

In the back of her head, she thought on how long and hard they had worked to hide their lifestyle from their kids. Last summer one of her two closest friends, Vivian Flint, called her in a panic that her fourteen-year-old daughter had confronted her about her “affair “with Sue’s husband, Dwight. Of course the girl’s accusation was entirely justified. Four years ago after the death of Jack, Vivian’s husband and Dwight’s closest friend, Vivian and her kids had effectively lived at the Richard’s home for well over a month, and continued to spend most weekends with them for over a year. There had never been any thought of Vivian sleeping anywhere but in the bed with Sue and Dwight. To all appearances, the four kids had not seen that as in appropriate given how devastated Mrs. Fling had been. It was at that time, as part of the grieving process that Viv and Dwight had gone from affectionate playmates to a deep and abiding love. There had actually been talk about the Flint family moving in and openly becoming a hybrid family with all four kids and three parents. Had they lived in Seattle or Portland perhaps they would have done so, but in rural South Carolina that was simply not an option.

With the door to joining the Richards family closed; Vivian became a free-wheeling single for close to three years. Contrary to Sue’s advice, she made no effort to hide her sexual activity from her kids. The sheer brazenness of her hyper-active sex life as a single actually helped hide the relationship she had with Dwight. From what Dianna, Vivian’s daughter, had told her mother; it was only when James Otis moved in just before her remarriage did the observant fourteen year old begin to suspect that her mom and Mr. Richards were more than just very close friends. Her mother had taken that timeline on face value, though perhaps she should not have.

Vivian had concluded the combination of Dianna getting older and the frequency with which the two families spent time together led the girl to put together the pieces. And perhaps it was also because she, the youngest of the combined four children, had become sexually active over the summer. From what Vivian said, Dianna had been quite open to her about her budding sex life over the summer. Sue wished her daughter was as open about what she was doing as Dianna was.

When she showed her mother a phone video taken from her bedroom window just weeks prior to the confronting her about the ‘affair’, it appeared to confirm the assumption that Dianna had just learned about the relationship. The ten-minute video was of Viv and Dwight flagrantly having sex by the Flint’s swimming pool. With such evidence, Vivian had no way of denying it. However, rather than telling the whole truth about her free-love lifestyle, she presented it as a love affair begun after the death of Dianna’s father, which was true in a way. She even told her that had it been legal she would have married Mr. Richards to make one big family.

That same day Vivian called Sue to come over and assure Dianna face to face that she knew and fully supported the relationship. Sue thought that information initially confused the girl. She did not blame the teenager, after all that was not how she was taught marriages work.

It was only when she asked if the two moms were also a couple or where they just friends with benefits, it became clear to Sue that Dianna knew far more than she had initially told her mother. Vivian had tried to deny she and Sue had a sexual relationship, but Sue had stepped in to clarify. She said she and her mother were very close friends with the addition of “Yes, we have sex as part of that friendship. We think it is perfectly natural for women to show that kind of affection.” That frank admission seemed to be what Dianna was looking for.

In only a matter of days, Dianna seemed to accept what she’d been told as just how their families operated. At the time both Vivian and Sue were actually surprised how quickly Dianna came to see the arrangement as not at all wrong or bad. Perhaps it was because Dianna already had come to see Dwight as her father’s replacement, so knowing her mother and her father-figure loved one another only cemented their bond rather than strain it. The biggest hurdle was to convince her that James Otis had known about their mother’s “other relationship” even before they were married. But a verbal assurance from Mr. Otis was all it took for the fourteen-year-old to fully accept that neither spouse saw the relationship as a threat to their marriages. It seemed to both Sue and Vivian that the case was closed, at least for Dianna

Viv had suggested at the time to come completely clean and tell all four of the children everything: that all four parents had an open marriage for years before Jack Flint had been killed in that awful auto accident. In particular, she wanted her kids to know that she and Dwight had been casual lovers for years before that terrible day. But Sue talked her out of it. Now she wished she had not. Now Sue knew she would pay for not taking that opportunity to make things right.

And there was the other issue of what had Dianna told Kate. What they told Dianna was only the tip of the iceberg; even so, Sue had braced herself for Kate’s reaction. She was sure the girl who was practically her daughter’s sister would tell what she’d learned.

The Richard’s, the Flint’s and the Kenopple’s (Gill’s parents) had been a social group for years. But since the Kenopple’s only had a son, the two girls formed a defacto unit while the three boys did their thing. Unlike the three boys, the two girls were separated by one grade at school even though they were only born eight months apart. That meant they were friends at home but not in school functions.

Now, with this inexplicable event, Sue again suspected that her daughter knew everything they had told Dianna. The fact she had not talked to Kate about it at the time only made the barrier between mother and daughter larger.

This was not the first time she wondered if they had been wrong in hiding their open sexual lifestyle from their kids from the very beginning. From the moment they joined the Pulaski’s poly circle, Sue had seen how other families had handled their open marriage with their kids. The most extreme approach was that of Doug and Janice McCurry and their three kids, all of whom had been teenagers fourteen years ago when she & Dwight had joined their group. As she understood it, Doug and Janice had never tried to hide their lifestyle from their kids, even when they had been young. They had just put it right out in the open. To their kids, sex, even their parents having casual sex with friends, was just a normal adult activity; no different than playing bridge or going to a play. As Janice explained it to her all those years ago, by making it normal to see their parents having sex it took all the mystery out of it. She said that until their kids were in puberty, they just ignored the nudity and sex they saw at home. Sue thought on how it seemed to have worked for them. Their son and two daughters were all happily married and have been bringing the grandkids to the Pulaski’s annual Memorial Day pool party for years. At this moment she wished she had followed their example.

But back then she’d thought it wildly inappropriate when she realized that all three of their kids were in the house during one of the swinger parties the McCurry’s sponsored. Their twin girls, Joliette and Marcella, at the time were seventeen, the same age Stephen was now. Neither Janice nor her husband seemed the least bit surprised when over the course of the party, both girls let their mom know they were taking a break from their hostess duties to have sex with adult couples. Later that night, Sue looked into a room to see Joliette and her mother in the same bed. Joliette was taking it from behind from a man while her mother was doing sixty-nine with the man’s wife right beside them. She couldn’t believe Janice would do something like that. True, over the years as she’d gotten to know the family, particularly Joliette (who she now counted as a friend), her position had softened quite a bit. She now was pretty sure the McCurry’s had the right approach all along, though at the time she’d been shocked and even disgusted.

Not all the other poly circle parents had been quite so open, though at different times in the past decade, in addition to the McCurry’s, both the Pulaski’s and the Lopez’s had brought their adult children with them to Poly Circle events. But as far as Sue knew, all of the circle parents had told their kids about their open marriage sometime during puberty. Somehow, she’d missed the importance of taking that step. Perhaps the fact that none of their “swinger” friends had told their kids anything about their lifestyle had clouded her judgment. For the first time, she saw that was one of the bright lines that separated poly couples and swingers. Even though she and Vivian would be a little late in telling their kids about their open marriages, she was hopeful it was not too late.

Stephen, apparently trying to evade the question about going to the swing club as long as possible shifted the topic with, “Oh, before I forget, Dad also said something about how he told them how good you are at as the master of ceremonies for group sex. I guess you are good at guiding things and ensuring everyone has a good time.”

Just like her son, Sue was not yet ready with a coherent response to the situation. So she answered the last comment first. “Yes. Among our friends both in our poly-circle and at the club we usually go to, people look to me to guide things. You see, when there are more than three couples together, it takes someone to keep an eye out so that some people don’t get left out.” This gave her time to see where to go. Her next words put her back on track. “If you don’t call your father back now and tell him you are not up to it tonight, you will have to be me at the swing club. I know it sounds impossible but I actually think you can do it. The key to guiding the evening as a whole and the orgy itself will be to keep aware of what is going on with everyone involved all the time. I guess it is not that different than what you do on the football team. As free safety, you have to be aware of what everyone else is doing even while you have your own job. You told me that in a game you have to watch the quarterback and the receivers and your linebackers while running full speed. To guide social situations of all types you do the same. Know who is who, predict what they will do and adjust your actions to cause them to do what you want. Whether you have a foursome or an orgy tonight you must maintain situational awareness, even when you are fully engaged in hot and heavy sex. You won’t have the luxury of just laying back and enjoying.”

That little speech firmly shifted the balance of power back to her. This time it was his turn to sit like a deer in the headlights.

She went on. “Unless something changes real soon, we can assume it will be you, not me, tonight no matter where you are. So, you need to decide now if you want to be here alone with your father, or at the swing club with lots of people. If you think you are up to playing the part of me tonight, l will be glad to spend the afternoon preparing you. If you want, before you decide, I could show you their SLS profile. She is really quite pretty and in her profile she says she hasn’t had sex with a woman since she was in college. She wrote that she has a lot of Sapphic desires she wants to let out. I have no doubt you will like that part.”

Chapter 2

For all his bravado, this was way more than Stephen was ready to just take in stride. Sure, he’d banged Jenny last night like a real pro, but was he ready for a swinger’s orgy? In his mom’s female body? He barely had time to try out masturbating as a woman, now he had to decide if he could supervise an orgy? He’d had a couple of threesomes, but with this, his mother was talking about a whole lot more than two girls with him. He asked himself ‘But, on the other side, would that be worse than being alone with Dad when he thinks I am Mom?’

Sue saw his distress and decided to back off. “It’s OK Stephen. I’ve been doing this since you were a baby. You’ll have a good time, just respond as my body leads you. I can work you out a detailed game plan. You could think of it like just another physical training drill.”

He just sat there bewildered. All this was getting to him. So many things were racing through his head. What came out of his mouth was just one of the many thoughts in his mind. “Mom, how many men have you had sex with?”

This was way off-topic, or was it? No matter, it was not what she had expected him to say. She was back in charge and did not hesitate. Looking right into his eyes she said “Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve told you before I was really wild in college. Certainly, in the hundreds if you include my years at The College of Charleston.”

He just looked at her. “Hundreds?” he repeated. His head was so jumbled.

“Yes, absolutely more than a hundred, though most likely it is well over two, and that is just counting the men who have put their penis in my vagina. Though like I said, the truth is I have no idea,” Turning the question around, Sue asked her son, “How many girls have you had sex with?”

“Four” he said definitively.

"And if you include oral sex?"

"I've gotten blow jobs from ten different girls, and I have eaten out six. But Mom, I want you to know; I have never once tried to score with a girl like a conquest. In every single case, the girl came to me asking to do it. And the truth is, I’ve had at least ten other girls pretty directly tell me they want me to screw them."

Sue nodded. That was actually a very good sign. “Good son. I didn’t think you were the kind of guy who collects notches on the bedpost. When did you first have sex?”

“Screwing sex? A little more than a year ago.”

Sue wanted to open the conversation up, so she asked “Would you be willing to tell me about how it happened?”

“A girl, I won’t tell you who since she is one of Kate’s friends, straight out asked me to be her first sexual partner the Saturday before last year’s Christmas break. Not to be her boyfriend, but just to have sex with her as a friend. She said she asked me because she liked me and knew she could trust me. From the very first she let me know she didn’t want a boyfriend, but she wanted to have sex. Since I had never had real sex before either, we both learned how to do it together. We did it a lot over Christmas break. We continued to do it regularly all the way till the end of summer.”

Stephen was actually happy that this weird event had given him opportunity to talk to his mom about all this. He had always liked talking to his mom about the important things in his life. She’d always been the one he talked to about everything, that is until he started having sex. He and his mom had even once talked about the ‘right’ kind of porn. But his actual sex life, that one thing, was walled off. Even in the half a year he’d been dating Jenny, he’d talked to her and gotten advice about their developing relationship; while maintaining the open fiction that they were not having sex. Of course, he knew she knew they were doing it, but still, the subject was carefully avoided. Finally, after over a year of having a taboo subject in their talks, the words just seemed to flow out of him. He didn’t even try to hold back. It was like he felt a need to catch her up on everything and there was a lot he wanted to tell her while hiding behind her face.

“It was Kate’s idea for her to ask me. Right off that was pretty obvious since Kate was standing right beside her when she asked. You see, Kate had started screwing guys that prior fall, when she was a freshman. It seems the fact she was having sex and her friend was not put a strain on their relationship because… uhh her unnamed friend… felt left out and left behind. The other thing was that Kate was intent on working it out so she could screw her guys at the house when you and Dad were gone for your Saturday night outings with your friends. But she didn’t want to do that with me in the house unless I was also having sex when you were gone. Yes, she knew full well that our house rules allowed for her to have guys over while you were gone as long as the guy leaves by 1:00 AM; but for some reason, she didn’t want to be the only one doing it.”

“I’ve known this friend of Kate’s for years. I’ve always thought she is nice and pretty in her own sort of way and well…how could I say no? It worked out just like Kate planned. With you and Dad gone until really late two or three Saturday nights a month, Kate has her friend over for the night. When her date rings the doorbell, Kate’s friend comes to my room. That way the guy never knows we are home and they have the run of the house for their date. To be clear, Kate always follows your house rules to the letter. She never lets her guy stay past 1 AM, and in most cases, he is gone between 11:00 & midnight due to his own curfew. After that, her friend and I come out of my room and the three of us just hang out. Sometimes her friend and I go back to my room for another round of sex, but at 1:00 she goes back to being Kate’s friend, rather than my bedmate, just like the rule says. I hope you don’t think we manipulated the rule in doing it that way.

“But I should say that since Jenny and I started dating, the Saturday night routine has been different. I take Jenny home for her 11:00 curfew. If Kate’s guy is still at the house, they go sit outside, or if he has a car they will go out for a late-night snack. On the way home from Jenny’s I sometimes pick up either Dianna or the other friend for Kate. I haven’t actually had sex with that unnamed friend in a couple of months, but we sometimes snuggle and kiss on the couch while the three of us watch TV.”

Even though Stephen didn’t name her, Sue knew it had to be Monica Williams who he was calling the unnamed friend. How could she miss it? Monica and Dianna were the only two girls who spent the night on a regular basis and he didn’t seem to hesitate to name Dianna. Besides that, Vivian’s daughter was more like a sister to her kids, and last Christmas, she had still been in middle school. Sue liked Monica and as her son had so deftly put it, she was pretty in her own sort of way. The girl was not a pin-up beauty, but was attractive in the offbeat sexy artist way… just like so many of Sue’s college friends had been. As she considered it, there really wasn’t someone she’d rather be her son’s first than Monica.

Sue smiled and said, “No, I don’t think you did anything wrong. You adhered to the letter and spirit of the law. I actually think it is quite an elegant solution. I am very impressed with all three of you.”

She kicked herself for missing the obvious about her daughter’s sexual activities. Kate had asked to start on the pill around Halloween… a little more than a year ago. Her daughter had directly told her mother that she thought she was ready to start having sex. Sue, trying to show her confidence in Kate’s judgment, didn’t ask any questions. She’d just taken her to the doctor and began picking up both the monthly supplies of birth control and condoms without prying. Only once had she laid down the law “no sex without both the pill and a condom.” At the time it had seemed the right thing to do especially since Kate had not turned fifteen till three weeks after she’d started on the pill. However, by taking this approach Sue inadvertently had created a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation in her home.

She now greatly regretted missing the opportunity to normalize her kids having sex back then. Sue, the great believer in sexual freedom for everyone, had missed the opportunity to normalize teen sex in her own home. Almost every Saturday night, whether or not she and Calvin went to the swing club or parties, either Monica and/or Dianna spent the night. Every Sunday morning Monica and/or Dianna were to be found in Kate’s bed. Yet, she also concluded by the used condoms in Kate’s trash that her daughter had boys over for sex on the Saturday nights when she and Calvin were out of the house. Kate clearly didn’t make any effort to hide the condoms or wrappers from her mom. However, Sue had never quite figured out how all that was happening and didn’t ask. That wall had prevented her from simply asking Kate even though she had no doubt that her Kate would tell her if she asked. Now due to this insane situation, she had found the answer to the riddle. But at that moment, she actually felt quite naive. She added, “And Stephen, I know that unnamed girl of which you are talking is Monica. You’ve said everything but her name so you can drop the pretense… and I approve. I like her a lot.”

Stephen figured she’d know who he was talking about, but it was important that he didn’t betray Kate’s trust by telling. He was glad she hadn’t asked about Dianna. That might be too much for even his mother. With the tacit affirmation he’d just gotten, he continued. “It was a win for everyone. In addition to those Saturday nights you were out, Monica and I found times to have sex at least once almost every week from then till last summer. Last spring, she and I both had dates, even sex, with a few other people. Well for me it was two people, for her it was three. I worked to be supportive of her as she talked about other guys. It was really strange in that we would be talking about people we liked at school one minute, then having sex the next. It was good that nobody at school knew about our arrangement. As far as anyone else could see we only knew each other because she was my sister’s best friend. As it turned out I was the one who said we needed to stop screwing when her relationship with a guy from school had gotten serious.”

“That last time with her was wonderful and really strange. It was the first weekend in August when you and Dad took some paintings to an art show in Atlanta. You left on Friday and did not get back till Monday. You’d given Kate permission to have both Monica and Dianna come over and stay till you got back. Collin and Dianna where here before you left and Monica’s mom dropped her off not long after you’d gone. Monica’s boyfriend picked her up for their date later on. Oh, her boyfriend was one of the guys, Wyatt Emory, from the art group you do on Tuesdays. He’d been here more than once to see Kate when Monica and I were hiding in my room before they started dating. They’d been going out for well over a month by then and that day she came back a few hours later after they had gone to dinner, a movie and had sex out at the park.”

He paused and said “Mom, I broke the rule that once. Those two nights she slept in my bed till morning. If you punish me for breaking the rule I won’t complain.” He knew even in his confession he was evading the fact that Dianna too had spent the night in his bed as well, but he just didn’t know how to add that little fact. Well, he knew he left out a whole lot about what happened that weekend, but perhaps later he could give her the whole story of that very busy two days and nights.

Sue was touched and a little amused by what she heard. “I think we can let it pass.”

Stephen smiled. He was glad he’d told that much, but he just wasn’t ready to tell her the rest of the story. So, he went on “So when Monica’s date dropped her back off at our house…. well, when she got to our house Kate was already busy so she joined me and Dianna in the TV room.” He hoped she would miss that he’d not said where Dianna’s brother, Collin, was, since he was in Kate’s bed at the time. Again, he would tell her the whole story, but not just yet. “We all chilled there till after Kate was done. Finally, she and I went to my room. Right in my bed, while we were having our warm-up time, Monica told me all about her date, even the sex part. We knew that the weekend was going to be our last time. We both cried. Well, we fucked and cried; and cried and fucked.”

“It took a while but we both agreed that we loved each other, but in a way that was not boyfriend and girlfriend; and not like a brother & sister either. We decided we were special close friends who loved each other deeply. I remember it so clearly because she described what we were doing as making love for the first time rather than having sex or screwing or fucking or whatever. For us, it seemed so normal to love each other even while she was falling in love with her new boyfriend. We knew nobody else would understand. We were in and out of the bedroom on and off all weekend. Kate, Dianna, and Collin are the only ones who know the whole truth about us. Oh, and so does Jenny. I couldn’t hide it from her.”

Sue softly said “You are wrong, I completely understand and your father would too. You are describing polyamory. It is how your father and I have lived for the last fifteen years. Just because you love one person as a partner, does not mean you can’t love other people in different ways. Just like you describe, your father and I are very supportive of each other as we date other people. I’m really impressed you found this on your own. How much does Jenny know?”

“I actually told her all of it the first week, actually the first day we were together. But I didn’t tell her Monica’s name until she began to come over. I had not expected that Kate, Jenny, and Monica would like hanging out together like they do. I told her that first day how Monica and I had planned to be just fuck buddies while we looked for relationships, but we fell in love. Then I told her how I broke it off when she got serious with Wyatt. Of course, that day we didn’t know we’d be together like we are. But Jenny knows we haven’t had sex since last summer.”

Stephen didn’t know if his mom would keep digging or not. He really wanted to tell her about Dianna’s part in his complicated relationships, but he’d boxed himself in. He took a breath. “I am not sure Jenny fully understands how much Monica and I still text and talk pretty regularly and… and, as I said, sometimes we make out pretty heavy with lots of hand action… even getting each other off; but we haven’t fucked even once since then. In talking to Jenny, I’ve referred to what Monica and I do a good many times, but haven’t directly told her how far Monica and I sometimes go… but I think she gets the idea. Strangely she doesn’t seem upset about it.”

Seriously Sue asked her son, “Does she know you love Monica?”

Stephen nodded slowly. “I told her the very first day I met her. She knows full well how we talk and spend time together alone when Kate is still screwing in her room. I guess she figures she doesn’t have room to be mad since she’s known from day one. What is strange to me is how at home she has pretty much joined the Kate, Dianna, and Monica crew. You’ve seen how the four of them are now. Sometimes I even feel like she’s here to see them as much as me.”

His mother laughed. “I know. All four of them are here a good bit when you are at ball practice. Don’t think that is a bad thing. And my guess is that the girls have discussed that relationship among themselves a great many times. Your sister can be persistent; there are no secrets, I’m sure. I have no doubt that Jenny knows everything you and Monica talk about and do.”

Stephen thought for a moment “Yeah, I think you are right. She’s made a number of comments about Monica. Not bad or even jealous, just …. Well just like she was trying to let me know she knows.” He thought again, “Do you think she was trying to get me to talk, to bring it out in the open?”

His mom leaned forward. “I’m sure of it. I think you have probably missed plenty of opportunities she has given you to be open about your relationship with Monica. My suspicion is, after seeing how well they get along, is that both of them want you to simply make it part of the background of your relationship with Jenny. You have three choices, and only three. You can break up with Jenny, or you can stop spending alone time with Monica or you can find a way to make Monica an open part of your relationship with Jenny. Now I don’t necessarily mean you need to have sex with Monica, though that would be an option. I will tell you now, if that is the solution you guys work out your father and I will waive the house rules to allow them both in your room even if we are gone. And, if you want to talk to Jenny about polyamory, I would be willing to talk to her and tell her about my life.

She watched him think on what she said.

Finally he replied “I know I have to do something and I won’t break up with Jenny and I have found I really need Monica in my life. A few weeks ago, Jenny wasn’t able to come over so when Monica’s boyfriend dropped her off like he does every Saturday night. For two hours we sat in the living room and talked while Kate and a guy banged upstairs. I don’t remember which guy was here that week. Kate always does it with one of the same six or so guys. She is even doing Wyatt again since he and Monica broke up. It is kinda weird that they don’t see it a problem that he did it with Kate before and after the four months that he and Monica were a couple.”

“I know it seems odd to you, but it doesn’t seem so to me at all.”

Stephen just nodded at what his mom said and went on “I don’t know all the guy’s names, but you actually probably know them all. As far as I know, they are all part of your Tuesday afternoon Art Club.”

Sue considered that, and it made perfect sense that Kate would choose the guys in the Tuesday Art Club that had been meeting in her home for a year and a half. It had begun quite by accident at the start of Kate’s freshman year. Though freshmen were generally segregated from the rest of the school, extra-curricular clubs/activities was the one exception. Kate had shown both an interest and talent for art since she was little. Of course Mom was more than happy to encourage and act as a personal tutor as she developed her talent. But in a town in rural South Carolina there simply was no place for her to socialize with other kids with the same passion. So when Kate started high school she joined the art club. Mom had been all too happy to encourage in any way she could. Conversely when the faculty sponsor of the Francis Marion High Art Club found out one of her freshman club members had a mother who was an actual working professional artist, the invite to talk to the club came almost immediately.

Mrs. Joy Baker, who taught art and was the club’s faculty sponsor, followed up the informal invitation to speak to the club with a phone call the day she found out Kate’s mother was a professional artist. The phone call was followed up by a visit to Sue’s home studio.

Sue found the slim grey-haired wife of an Episcopal minister to be a sheer joy to be around. She was full of life and had an obvious eagerness to bring the joy of art to her students. Despite the grey hair, Sue was sure the fit looking woman was only a few years older than herself. They talked for almost two hours and Sue was sure she found a new friend. They talked of art, the business of art and even the back stories of some of the teacher’s favorite paintings she’d seen on Sue’s website. Sue was quite careful to point out she was happily married as a proxy for implying she was monogamous. Some things had to stay hidden. Even so, Sue could tell as they wrapped up something was wrong. Instinctively she knew what it was so she took the burden off the woman. “I already know you can’t have me speak at school because a good percentage of my paintings are nudes. Right?”

Joy nodded sadly. “I am afraid so. As much as I would love to, I can’t. Even if you didn’t mention you mostly paint nudes and even worse erotica, your website does. All it takes is one student to tell his conservative parents that you came to class and that parent to look you up to create a scandal that would engulf both of us.”

“I understand,” Sue replied making sure her voice didn’t betray even a hint of bitterness.

“But…” the teacher said “I have a suggestion for you to consider. Suppose a student invited selected club members who would most benefit from a visit to the home studio of a professional artist… who just happens to be her mother. In that case, the school would not be involved. And if someone just happened to leave a list of a few students who would be unlikely to find offense at the art they might see…..”

Sue had not before considered such an idea. The idea of acting as a mentor to aspiring artists appealed to her immediately. Not to mention the advantages of having her home to be the place Kate’s peers gathered. Sue thought back to her high school years. She’d known since she was ten, the only thing she wanted to be was an artist. Her conservative parents had been supportive, as long as she created Christian-themed art. But, as she developed her skills and used the public library to learn about the history and appreciation of all forms of visual art, she was drawn to two things, art deco and nudes. Her parents did not like deco and she never let them know she spent hour upon hour sketching her own nude body using the full-length mirror in her bathroom. Those sketches she made of her own body she kept well hidden. That had been before the internet brought the world of art to a teenager’s fingertips, so it was only at the central library pouring over art books that she found inspiration. But she could not even think about bringing those books home. How she would have benefited from a mentor. With a knowing smile, Sue said, “I’m sure that could be arranged.”

The grey-haired woman replied, “You don’t know how much help you could be to some of my students. The official Art Club is almost exclusively made up of my most promising students with a real love for art, but even with them, I have strict limits on what I am allowed to teach. Some, I know, are like me with more love for art than artistic talent, but even for them exposure to someone like you would broaden their horizons. If we lived in a major city, even here in the South, I could take them to museum galleries that would give me an opening to at least broach many subjects I’ve been warned explicitly not to allow in class or the club. I hate it but that is our time and place.”

Sue smiled, “Yes, I fully understand. I grew up in Beufort. I didn’t see my first nude painting in person till I was in college.” Then she laughed “And my freshman art class at the College of Charleston was quite the awakening.”

The teacher laughed with her and clearly understood. She added, “Oh me too.” They both shared a few memories of going from overly sheltered homes suddenly into the big world. ‘Yes’ Sue thought this will be a friend. There are so few people in this town I can talk to about my craft.’ Since that day, she and Joy have gotten together once a month or so. Sometimes they just do lunch, but other times they make road trips to Charlotte, Columbia, and even to Charleston to go to art exhibitions. Sue keeps the teacher updated on the student’s work and Joy provides guidance to Sue in working with the teenagers.

Initially, Mrs. Baker suggested five seniors to Sue. Kate then quietly spoke to the three girls and two boys on the list. She gave them her mother’s website’s address and made the invitation. That first week all five came along with Kate and Monica. It was a hit with the kids from the first day. In the next few weeks five juniors and five sophomores were invited to join. They all joined the group eventually, though most weeks over the next eight months only about ten teens were actually at the Richard’s home. For the rest of the year, each Tuesday afternoon from after school till 6:00 became the time for what the kids soon called The Art Commune. There was no question that the group thought themselves quite special and subversive. Part of the cachet was the group was both exclusive and secret. It was the students themselves who decided after the second week to never speak of the group or the meetings at school. The call for secrecy was not just a kid's gimmick, they knew full well if word got out about the content of the art and the frank discussions that Sue was all too happy to have, it would all end. That is not to mention Sue’s painting “uniform” or togs as she called them.

Her work outfit had been created by happenstance when she was in college. In the winter of her sophomore year she and three fine art major friends had rented a house in Charleston with a greenhouse behind which they planned to use as their studio. It was perfect, airy, well-lit and roomy. The only problem was they were in Charleston, and for half the year it was HOT. As the spring heated up she wore less and less. She’d actually painted in the nude a few times, but her housemates were fearful of offending the neighbors and eviction. Her solution was to purchase a pair of overalls at a Good Will store, cut the legs off very short, and wear nothing else but her shoes. For all but the coldest days, the men’s overalls without a shirt underneath became not just a practical outfit, but a signature look and feel for herself. By the time she had the purpose-built home studio with air conditioning over a decade later, she couldn’t imagine painting in anything else.

As her children grew up she simply never came to the point she thought it problematic for a mother of two growing kids to dress that way. Though she liked to lead people to think otherwise, she had added to that original pair of Good Will overalls half a dozen times with new better fitting ones. Still, she was quite proud of the fact that she could, and sometimes did, wear the pair that dated back over twenty years.

Certainly, she’d always known how much boobage showed, and while that might have been a statement of liberation a long time ago, now it was just the way it was. The overalls left the sides of her breasts fully exposed and almost always part of at least one areola peeked out from the sides of the bib. Occasional full nipple slips were not all that occasional, less common were when an entire breast came out in the open. Sue was defiant even when her mother once, and only once, had come into her studio. It was her studio and she dressed the way that she chose. Anyone who came in did so by their own choice. After all most of her paintings featured nudes, both male & female, and a good one in ten were overtly erotic.

In her space, she dressed how she pleased. She’d never even considered changing her work outfit even when her kid’s friends reached their teens. After all, as a practice she changed into and out of her work clothes in the studio as a sort of ‘going to work’ ritual. She only left the studio in her work outfit if absolutely necessary. She’d avoided self-reflection and deliberately refused to ask herself if she liked how both Kate and Stephen’s friends (male and female) looked at her when they came into her studio while she was at work. Deep down she knew the answer, so she just refused to consider the question. So from the very first Tuesday, the selected students saw more of Mrs. Richards than any of them expected. She reasoned that was a good introduction before they were exposed to the content of some of her work. As it turned out, her attire helped greatly with the cachet of the Art Commune.

Right off, Sue loved playing teacher. In time her guard came down and she was able to be herself (mostly). She tried to let the students guide the topics from week to week. The group was most definitely the artsy type: Sue’s kind of people. Over and over they thanked ‘Ms. Sue’ for giving them a place they could not just learn, but a place they could just be themselves. Importantly, at the Commune, they could share their own works which they were not allowed to bring to school. Some of which were sexually graphic enough to surprise even Sue.

So when Stephen said she would know the boys Kate was sleeping with, he was right. The original group had a total of six boys, two of which identified as gay so that left four, all nice guys that Sue had no concern about her daughter bedding. At the end of Kate’s freshman year, the seniors graduated, and they invited four rising sophomores to join. All summer on both Tuesdays’ and Thursdays, the Art Commune members were invited to come to the house, but it was far less structured than during the school year. Of the newcomers two were boys and neither were gay but both (in time) came out that they had sex with each other. What Sue didn’t understand at the time was when they said they enjoyed sex with girls that, by then, they both had done it with her daughter multiple times.

With this background, Sue just told her son, “Yes I know all the boys. I don’t have any concerns with Kate having sex with any of them.” What she didn’t say was how much she regretted that she’d apparently not given her daughter room to tell her mother about it.

For Stephen, his mother’s casual acceptance of hearing that his little sister was screwing six different guys was jarring. But it was the new reality in his home. He went on with his story about his relationship with Monica. “So, while Kate and what’s his name knocked boots upstairs, Monica and I talked. She is on the third boyfriend since I’ve been with Jenny. She is finding it really hard. For me, my love for Monica and Jenny are both growing as time goes by. For me it’s not an either/or thing. I love them both. But it’s not like that for her. She keeps comparing her new boyfriends with the relationship she has with me. She knows that is poisoning those relationships but she can’t help it.” He took a breath. “Mom, we were really, really close to giving in and making love right on the couch that day, but we didn’t. We both confessed that we would very much like to start having sex again but we don’t know what to do.”

Sue wished she could devote her focus to this part of his life, but today she just could not. She thought she could help, but not today. She sat up and clapped her hands as if to make it all go away. “You are in a difficult spot, but not impossible; however, that isn’t something we need to worry about until we get this current crisis solved. But, the longer you let it ride, the worse it will be. For now, we need to focus on tonight.”

Stephen nodded in agreement. Then suddenly he realized he had just given up something he held in confidence for his sister. But perhaps with everything else, his mother would miss that he outed that his barely sixteen year old sister has been having sex with multiple guys since the week she turned fifteen. But on the other hand, his mom seemed to already know. So perhaps he hadn’t betrayed Kate.

Sue did not miss what her son had said, but it was of no concern. From the condoms & wrappers she emptied out of Kate’s trash can she knew her girl was having sex on a regular basis… and she was sure her daughter knew she knew that. But to Sue it really didn’t matter if Kate had done it with one guy or twenty as long as she was in the house while she had sex and Stephen was home to ensure her safety. As she’d let Stephen know, he and his sister were not breaking the established house rules with what they were doing.

Her children’s sexual development did not come out of the blue for Sue. Three years ago, when she and Calvin realized their kids were on the cusp of sexual maturity, they had taken the time to work out formal written house rules for the kids. They had wanted the kids to know, long before it was actually an issue, that when they had high school sex, their parents preferred that Stephen and Kate do it in their own home. After talking at length and doing a considerable amount of research, they crafted the rules to let their kids know that their home was the best place for teenage sex. Not in cars, not behind some bushes, not at parties; but right here in their home. But critically they had decided not to say it explicitly since, at the time Kate was only thirteen and Stephen was fourteen. They knew the rules would not really come into practical force for several years but they wanted them to be part of the background before the kids needed them. They went as far as posting the rules in a large polished wooden frame between the two kid’s bedroom doors in the upstairs hallway.

Though Sue had suspected as much before, now she knew for sure that by failing to explicitly say the kids could (should) have sex at home; their two children believed the rules implied that Mom and Dad did not want it happening when they were there. The unintended consequence was that everyone at home pretended that neither of the kids were having sex even though everyone knew that wasn’t true.

Sue was both impressed and appreciative that Stephen had been so forthcoming. She thought she needed to reciprocate with a higher degree of honesty about her own sexual history. She thought for a moment then said “Let me clarify the answer to your first question. Up until the end of my freshman year in college I had only had sex with two boys; one in high school and one in my freshman year. However, in the two years after that, I had sex with at least a hundred different guys, very often in group sex settings….. that is at the very least and I can’t be more precise than that. In case you are wondering, I have no shame at all that I have had so many partners. My value as a woman and a human being is not decreased one bit if I invite a hundred or a thousand men to put their penis into my body. However, I will confess that I am ashamed of many of the circumstances in which I had sex in those two years. For my irresponsible and reckless behavior, I paid a heavy price. But if I am honest, I paid a far lower price than many do for the same poor choices. If you ask me later I will tell you more about that time, for now let’s let it go. I met your father in the spring of my junior year, but we were not a couple until well into the next fall. By my senior year in college, I’d cleaned up my life and had incorporated my love of sex into a productive life. For the first year that I dated Calvin, we were not exclusive. Though we were a couple and living together much of that time, we had a good number of threesomes and foursomes and both of us had casual sex with friends when the other was not there. How many new guys did I screw in the year and three months between when your father and I became a couple and when we got married the Christmas after I’d graduated? If you are making a running tally, let’s say twenty-five.”

“Your dad and I both graduated at the same time, but your dad went to grad school so we stayed in Charleston. While he worked on his master’s degree we got married. At the time we believed that monogamy was expected for married people so for four years, until after both you and your sister were born, neither of us had sex with anyone else. But we decided that was not for us. After Kate joined our family, I had my tubes tied, and a few months later Calvin had a vasectomy. In the first couple of years after we embraced open marriage, both of us had a good many new sexual partners as we developed our polyamorus circle. If you want a number, I guess the first year we had an open marriage I fucked an average of about one new man every couple of weeks. The second year I did about half that many. After that, since you were about four years old, I have averaged around six new men a year. Some years it's been higher and other years it's been less. For two of those years, I didn’t have a single new sexual partner. Calvin and I think of ourselves as polyamorus. The overwhelming majority of sexual encounters we have are with people we have been with before. Even tonight, while yes I, well you, will have sex with someone I’ve never done it with before, that is the exception not the rule. Do you see? It’s like you and Monica. Let’s say Jenny wants to have a threesome, I’m sure Monica would jump at the opportunity, but for you that would not be someone new. So like I said, I simply can’t give you a number of men with whom I’ve had sex. So, let’s just say one hundred-fifty before your dad and I were married and one hundred since then. Does that put your sexual activity, or that of your sister into perspective?”

She could tell he was choking on those numbers, but she thought he was looking at the wrong thing. “Son, I failed you in that we haven’t had this talk before. I should have sat you down when you were thirteen or fourteen and told you that sex, yes even teenage sex, is a wonderful thing. The honest truth is if I could do it all over again, I would have had a lot more sex in high school; yet, I would have fewer different sex partners in college and would have taken more precautions for my safety. But, I am happy to hear that even before you had turned seventeen you’d found the joy of sexual love with not just one girl but two. I won’t pretend that I don’t hope that at some point you can find a way to embrace your love for Monica as openly as you do your love for Jenny. The way I see it is that love is too precious to waste. If you can find a way to openly embrace a polyamorus relationship with both girls, it will bring all three of you infinitely more joy than denying one love to keep the other.”

Even as he listened to his mother speak, he wanted to tell her that he was in love with three girls, not just two. But he understood what she was saying. He’d had sex with Monica after she’d fucked not just her three boyfriends, but after casual sex with his best friend Collin as well. He’d sort of skipped over the fact that over the past nine months or so, Kate’s most common male partner was not one of the guys from the art club, but with his best friend Collin. More than once in the last year and a half, Kate has had threesomes with Collin and Monica in her room, then Monica had joined him in his bed just as soon as Collin had finished. To them, there had been a special kind of joy in him hearing through the bathroom that connected the two rooms the moans and banging then for her to come into his room so she could continue with him. Yes, he understood what his mother was saying.

Sue paused her discussion on polyamory, then decided she also needed to at least obliquely comment on his sister’s choice to have many sexual partners. “As long as you take proper measures to prevent pregnancy and disease there is only one moral imperative regarding having sex. Each and every person with whom you have sex should think better of you and of themselves the next day. If you ensure this is true, sex will be a blessing for you and your partners. The number of girls who invite you to put your penis in them is not the important thing, how you treat them before, during and after is. Conversely, a woman’s virtue is measured by the kindness of her heart, not how few or many penises slide in and out of her body. Don’t let anyone tell you different. I apologize for failing to explicitly tell you and your sister all of this three years ago. I now can see that our bodies and minds have been switched for a reason. This is like Karma. We must learn the lessons we are meant to learn. Perhaps it is my fault. No, it is most likely entirely my fault this happened to us. I promise I will do everything I can so that tomorrow morning we wake up in our bodies better for the experience.”

Stephen had a pained look on his face. “I don’t think you can claim it to be all your fault Mom.” Though I have yet to understand what exactly I need to learn, but I can’t imagine I am an innocent bystander in this.

Sue just shrugged, “Perhaps, but I can only do what I need to do. So last night when I blew up at you, might I assume that the reason you were late was that you and Jenny were off having sex somewhere?”


“I’m not saying this is an excuse for my behavior, but please understand that while you were enjoying your time with Jenny; I was sitting up waiting for my son to get home. You really should have answered my texts or calls. I was really worried. I know you think I’m overly protective, but that is what mothers do.”

“Sorry Mom,” he said contritely. “I won’t do that again. I promise.” She was sure he meant it.

Sue straightened her shoulders and said “Let me make it clear then. When things get back to normal, you will still need to be off the road by one; but we will now treat staying at Jenny’s or any other girl’s house just like you were spending the night with one of your guy friends. Yes, I know there is zero chance Jenny’s parents will let you spend the night with her, but you know what I mean. The first time you spend the night with a girl I will need to talk to the parents to see if it is OK with them. After that just let us know if you are staying overnight. But I don’t understand why you don’t just bring Jenny here anytime you guys want to make love. It’s not like you two haven’t had sex here dozens of times already. I really don’t understand why you two never have sex at the house when your dad and I are home. Have we ever even hinted that we don’t want you to have sex in the house while we are here?”

Her son stammered. He seemed to be confused. “I…we….Kate and I thought you didn’t. The house rules…they seem to say that we can have people over for sex as long as you don’t know about it. We concluded over a year ago it was something about plausible deniability. When you didn’t ask any questions when Kate asked to start on birth control it seemed like you were saying that you supported her choice to have sex, but you wanted to be able to claim you didn’t know about it. You’ve done that with other things in the past.”

She cocked her head. “Well, that is nonsense. It is never what we meant. Let Jenny know that I think it is a beautiful thing that you two love each other and I think it is wonderful you can share your bodies. Consider this, if you are open about the fact you are making love in the house while I am home, you are allowing me to share in your joy. Exactly like last night when your dad was enjoying sex with that gorgeous younger woman. No, I wasn’t there; I couldn’t see or hear what they were doing, but I made it possible and I knew he was sharing our sexuality with them. Love making is life and beauty. When you let those who make it possible to rejoice in your pleasure you are expanding the reach of your joy. Just like I am sure that your sister gained an immense amount of pleasure all those times you were making love to her best friend in the next room over. She knew she had made it possible for her best friend and her brother to explore the wonders of sex, even as you were doing it. She was part of your love making even if she never once actually was in the room while you two did it.”

Stephen seemed quick to say “No. We never had a threesome or foursome or anything like that.”

Sue shook her head. “You are still missing what I am saying. When someone helps make it possible for you to create sexual pleasure, they are a part even if they are not actually part. Tonight, I am sure you will enjoy a host of new things that feel really, really good. I won’t be there, well my body will but you know what I mean. I will be part because I helped make it possible. It will give me joy to know I helped. As we go through life, we enhance our own happiness by sharing our joys with others. Can you see that?”

He nodded but she wasn’t sure he got it. Perhaps he needed to think on it. So she shifted to address the pressing issue of the moment. “You really do need to decide if you are going tonight. Do you need to call your father back and cancel or are you up to the challenge?”

Again he was befuddled at how she kept jumping from one wild thing to the next. It was hard to keep up. Was she always this way? Or was this a side effect of the body switch? “Could you give me a little more time to think?”

“Not really” his mother responded. “If you wait till he gets home it will be almost impossible to back out.”

He nodded then said “OK. Then I’m in. I’ll do it.”

She knew she’d dumped a lot on him, but she couldn’t imagine he’d give up the chance to go to a swing club. “If you are sure then we need to plan. When we get back from The Riverside Cafe’, you and I will go to my mother’s. We will only stay a few minutes, but the drive will give us time away from your sister to prep you for what to say and do. So we need to change you into something more presentable for my mother before we go. When we get home, I’ll pick you out something to wear tonight.”

Once Stephen had been pulled into a casual dress they left her room. Stephen went to his room to check his email. Sue went to the living room where she found her daughter still on the couch reading. She was glad that they had not been discovered.

Kate looked up at her brother coming down the stairs, “When are we leaving?”

She had no idea it was not really Stephen who told her “Mom will be down in a minute.”

It was only when she’d reached the bottom of the stairs that Sue realized that while Kate was in the exact same position she was when she’d seen her last. She was out of the red-checked flannel pajama set she’d been in earlier and was now fully dressed. For a moment Sue became alarmed that her daughter had gone upstairs to change without her knowledge. ‘Had she seen or heard anything?’ Certainly not. She was far too perceptive to not see something wrong if she’d looked in on her and Stephen talking.

Kate looked like a ‘mini-me’ of her mother. Sure, Kate was slimmer all around and her hair was more red; but that was due to Sue’s efforts to keep the gray at bay not nature. Both had pink skin and freckles. In the last year Kate had found she could ‘borrow” many of Mom’s clothes. Still Mom’s bras were too big as were her jeans, but in many things the difference in their dimensions were not so great that Sue’s clothes didn’t fit her little girl. More than once had Kate’s school teachers commented that Sue didn’t need to wear a name badge since it was plain as day whose mother she was.

Like her mother, Kate was drawn to drawing and painting. She loved to find creative expression in what she made with her own hands. Like her mother was at her age, she lacked the social currency to be part of the in-crowd. While not physically unattractive by any measure; neither teenage Sue nor her teenage daughter possessed the overt good looks, the personal magnetism, or the means to buy popularity with family status that got teen girls noticed by their peers. Just like Sue had done a generation before, her daughter seemed to be spending her teen years in the purgatory of social oblivion. Unlike her mother though, Kate possessed her father’s easygoing attitude about life that Sue has never had. Sue had strived, still strived, to control her environment and force it and the people in it to dance to her tune. Kate was like her father in that she just let the world wash around her. Sue was glad her daughter was not like her in this. It would save her years of pain and frustration.

Watching her daughter, Sue thought of her life when she was sixteen. She had longed every day to be part of the cool kid’s world. That was not Kate. Perhaps the fact Stephen, who was only one grade ahead of her gave Kate a window to see those mean girls who fought for social superiority were, in fact, not to be envied. Kate seems to have already internalized something that it had taken her mother years of pain to learn; that those cool people were actually no better than her. Kate did not seem to care what the cheerleaders and the other stars of the Francis Marion High School firmament thought or did. Perhaps as Stephen’s sister, she was protected from the abuse the popular girls so often heaped on social nobodies. Sue, and likely Kate, knew with a certainty Stephen would never let anyone pick on his little sister. At Francis Marion, he had the clout to make it stick. So while the mean girls might want to abuse her, it was not going to happen. Perhaps that was Kate’s reward for living in the shadow of a brother who was a good-looking, socially smooth, athletic, and academic superstar. Kate seemed happy to be herself. She had plenty of friends from the school’s artistic subculture. Sue had met and really liked many of them, and those who were part of the Tuesday art group she knew very well indeed. The truth is she liked Kate’s friends much more than the people her son brought over to the house. Her friends were quirky and fun and Sue loved it that her house was so often the hang-out for the ‘out-crowd.’ While she had made it sound a none-issue, the fact Kate evidently had brought every one of the boys Sue knew well over for Saturday night sex was actually a little unnerving.

While Sue continued to think on this, it dawned on her that her daughter had learned the core lessons about sexuality even if her mother had failed to teach them explicitly. If she were to guess, Kate had learned on her own that contrary to the message propagated by both Hollywood and religion; wonderful, joyous and fulfilling sex did not have to involve pair bonding, just trusting friendship. That must be it. She knew her girl. Kate would never think to use sex to buy attention or self-esteem. Kate’s self-esteem was absolutely not a problem. She’d never known any teenager so self-confident in her own worth. How many high school girls would have the self assurance to hang a nude painting of herself, painted by her mother no less, on her bedroom wall like Kate did?

Though she would have to ask her directly to confirm it; Sue was sure Kate, totally on her own, rejected the popular belief that sex with good friends is cheap or transactional. Her daughter had somehow discovered that sex with friends was wonderful in its own right. That would explain why she opened the door for her closest friend to share her brother’s bed while she bedded the other boys in her social group.

Sue for the n-teenth time that morning berated herself for failing to provide explicit guidance regarding sex for her kids. Yet…both of her kids seem to have, somehow, learned those lessons from her anyway. She’d read that children learn values from what parents do and how they live from day to day far more than from what they say. That brought up a whole new set of questions. How much had she and Calvin revealed about their attitudes about sex to their kids? It was pretty clear it had been a whole lot more than she, or perhaps even they, realized. Many times Sue had told people that open marriage was more about the freedom to have sex with whoever she chose than actually having sex with other people. It seems now that her and Calvin’s positive attitude about casual sex had come through loud and clear. Even more, the belief that sexual partners, even spouses, don’t own the other’s sexuality had been taught equally clearly. After all, Stephen obviously was not traumatized or even particularly surprised listening to his father on the phone. Watching his face as his dad talked, Sue saw amusement, not horror. Had Sue found out her mother had been screwing around when she was that age it would have upended her whole worldview. For Stephen it seems to have only confirmed that she and his father lived what they said they believed.

As Stephen (Mom) came down the stairs, Sue decided she had to talk to Kate as soon as she got her body back. It was way past time to bring down that wall between them regarding sex. She would come clean about her lifestyle this week. The Richards home would no longer harbor secrets.

But how?

Perhaps this curse, or miracle or whatever it was would provide a path forward.

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Sep 29, 2023

Sue's introducing high school students to her studio was a huge gift. I've mentioned that I'm active in a couple of weekly drawing groups that hire nude models. In the words of a ninety-something woman who manages a group I haven't attended in a while, the local godmother of life drawing, drawing the nude is "pure good karma."

We are alienated from our nude bodies. A naturist point of view sees being alienated from the part of nature that's under our clothes as facilitating alienation from the rest of nature. So beautiful! It is a treat to painstakingly study the un-broken expanse of skin, the curves, the relief, penises, pussies, breasts, asses. A woman in our Thursday group thanked he…


Sep 20, 2023