(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz



[Tsaurah Litzky is a poet and writer of fiction, non fiction and erotica. We call her America's queen of erotic literature. Susie Bright, editor of the yearly Best American Erotica books, calls her "Miss Dirty Stories." Tsaurah's work has appeared in Best American Erotica 95, 97, 99, 2001 and will be included in BAE 2002. She has also been published in Penthouse, LONGSHOT, The Unbearables, Crimes of the Beats, Appearances, Downtown Poets, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Pink Pages, Beet and many other books and periodicals. Her poetry books include Kamikaze Lover (Appearances 1999) and the recently published Good Bye Beautiful Mother (Low Tech Press 2001). Formerly a columnist for the now defunct New York arts weekly Downtown, she now teaches erotic writing and literature at the New School University. ]

It is woman's Wednesday at the Tenth Street Baths. I am in the Russian sauna room   lying butt up on the lowest tier of the three-tiered benches with a towel over my head. The place is packed, women seated squeezed side by side. I'm being obstinate and selfish, taking up enough room for two and a half. I'm indulging myself in this anti-social behavior because I'm feeling bitter, yet another failed love affair. I have come here to try to sweat my anger out and to console myself with the sight of all this luscious woman flesh.  In the sauna I am a shameless voyeur. I love to contemplate the bodies, appreciate, marvel, and compare. It would be too obvious, too rude to stare, but the towel on my head affords me protection. Some of the women sit silent. Others chatter together like schoolgirls. Some relax, open their knees, show their sex. In the half darkness I think I see flowers growing between their legs, peonies, orchids, marigolds, tiger lilies, dahlias.  The woman on one side of me stands up to reveal thighs as thick as my waist, a massive ass.  When she turns to grab the water bucket, she flashes me a moon so wide it fills my eyes. All I can see is moist, pink flesh.

This makes me think of Peter's tight small bottom, half the size of the one before me. The last time we were in his bed, I wanted to hold his lean ass in my hands, to run my tongue down between his butt crack and snack there. When I asked him to lie on his belly and give me his bottom he would not. Instead he roughly pushed me onto my back. He sat on top of me while he reached over to the bedside table and tore open the condom that rested on it.. He slid it on his already swollen cock. Then he shifted his weight. He tried to pin one of my legs over my head with one arm while he held the other leg open with his thigh in the same way that he did the last time. He had done this the time before too and the time before that, so that he could, as he put it, 'throw a fuck into me." He liked to pretend he was a sleazy hood with a gutter mouth, even though he had two P.H. D's. He liked to be the big bully, the one in control.  I knew he was afraid of the power of what happened between us. Maybe he believed in the vagina dentata, that one day my snatch might pull back to reveal a sharp set of teeth, then I'd bite his cock off and spit it out on the sheets. What good would it do me then, foolish man?

This time, finally, I would not let him run the show. I wanted, deserved, was entitled to some variety.  Suddenly I pushed his arm down with my leg, grabbed his shoulder and flipped his body over, knocking him flat on his back.

"Hey," he'd said in an angry tone, "Hey?? but I was already on top, my thighs spread wide like the sides of a pyramid. I took him inside me so fast sparks flew. I lifted off and rammed down again

'. . .with the condom
hanging like a silly rag
at the end of his prick. . .'

and again. His eyes were half shut and he was snarling up at me. He didn't like what I had done but he couldn't stop himself from moving beneath me. His cock jumped and twisted inside my cunt with the combination of movements I had learned meant he was about to let go. I bent my face down wanting to kiss his beautiful mouth. Before I could, he reached out, grabbed a pillow and put  it over his head. I did not let this cruelty deter me, I pumped him steadily, sure of my purpose. Under the pillow I could him panting as we came together. I got right off him then, and went into the bathroom leaving him to deal with the condom hanging like a silly rag at the end of his prick. Usually, I would pull it off and lick him clean but I no longer cared. When I got out of the bathroom he was curled up on the bed like a hermit snail.

"I'm going." I said.

He just grunted. After I dressed I went back into the bathroom and got my douche bag, my LiquidSilk and my Nyquil out of the medicine cabinet. I put them in my backpack and went out the door.

I stretch, clasp my hands behind my head, how good it feels to surrender my fury, my resistance, my power, such as it is, to the healing heat, the ancient fires of the sauna gods. The woman with the big ass next to me rises. There is a peeling sound as she lifts her towel from the wooden bench. When she opens the door to leave, a draft of cool air blows in and a few other women enter.

Someone sits down in the vacant place next to me. Beneath the corner of the towel, I can see that this woman has very, very, big feet with giant bunions, enormous toes. Her toenails are painted a shade between midnight blue and purple. Her big toe is so big, as big as some cocks I've known. I want to get some action going with that big toe. I imagine the woman's toe inside of me, all her toes inside me,  little digits pressing on my clit, dancing along my labia, this little piggy goes to market, this little piggy goes home, this little piggy cries wee, wee, we,. . .and this little piggy. . .

"?Do you think she's sleeping?? a shrill voice asks, then louder, "Excuse me please, but we'd like to sit down." I pretend I don't hear, then pull off the towel, raise my head and say in what I think is a sleepy voice. "W?w...what??

 "Could you please sit up, so we could fit in here."  says one of  the two women, standing before me, both of whom have perfect, large, pear-shape breasts, possibly the result of surgery. "Oh, oh, sure," I say, pretending I just woke up. I slowly stand. I make a show of it. I fold my towel into a cushion, put it down on the bench and sit. Both women thank me, courteous after having disturbed one who was sleeping so deeply.

"No problem, " I magnanimously respond.

From my new vantage point I can see the several women sitting across from me on the opposite bench. One is a very pregnant woman with a stomach which looks like a giant football about to burst along the seam. Next to her, sits a slender woman with short purple hair. She has kiddy tits, her breasts very small with tiny pink nipples. Her thin legs are spread wide, her vulva is shaved but it seems to be covered with a peculiar red and yellow rash, spotted with blue. I subtly inch

'. . .Once I thought of shaving my crotch and tattooing "Take no Prisoners" on my labia. . .'

forward to get a better look. I put my arms out in front of me, bend the top of my body forward as in the crow pose in yoga. I am closer now. I can distinctly see what is on her vulva. It is not a rash at all, it is a tattoo. It is the sacred heart, the sacred heart of Jesus!

This woman understands that sex is love AND redemption. I wonder if she is catholic- born, Lutheran, Baptist or Unitarian. Maybe, like me, she is a Jewish-born atheist who consoles herself with the anarchic divinity of symbols. Between her parted legs I can see the glint of a silver ring. I don't feel angry anymore. I feel delighted, exalted the way that I do when in an art gallery, amidst the imitations and masturbatory self-indulgent work, I suddenly come upon a painting of startling beauty. Once I thought of shaving my crotch and tattooing Take no Prisoners on my labia but could not get up the nerve, maybe this will inspire me. I am gawking.

I sit up straight, close my eyes. I'm suddenly very thirsty, dehydrated.  I've been in here too long. I rise, grab the nearest water bucket and up end it over my head. The cascade of water doesn't dispel my dizziness. I best go upstairs to the locker room and lie down. As I gather my towel and put on my rubber slippers I can't help but look over at the woman. She smiles right back at me, a big open smile and I manage to smile back. I exit the sauna, shower, go upstairs to the locker room. I grab a couple of fresh towels and claim one of the six cots. I make a turban out of one towel, wrap the other sarong style under my arms. I collapse on the cot half asleep, half awake. 

In this twilight state, I think about my crazy life, the bodies I embrace, how I keep looking for safe harbor although I know there is none. I drink vodka, smoke pot and do yoga, eat nothing but baked apples for a week. I wake and go right to my typewriter, my head filled with visions and dreams. I think about my colleague at the faculty meeting last week, the one who said I didn't look like I should be teaching sex writing. He said I wasn't sexy and gorgeous enough. I just walked away even though I wanted to grab him by his puny crotch and squeeze his voice out of him. I think how I love my students, how I want to be a holy crazy shepherd of rebellion like in the Allen Ginsberg poem. I think how my dead mother would like my new long black and white tweed coat. I think about that big turquoise rubber dildo in Babes in Toyland that costs fifty-nine ninety-nine, I  think I want some Thai food. I want"."

"Excuse me, I hate to disturb you?? a voice says. I open my eyes to see sacred heart woman standing above me. She is dressed in Reebok's, jeans and a red sweatshirt that says Brooklyn on it in white letters. "But I just had to speak to you before I go, aren't you a writer?? she asks.

"Yes, I am," I say.

"Didn't you read on Wet Wednesday at the Unbearables Arts Festival? My boyfriend and I loved your story. We wanted to speak to you after, maybe invite you for a drink, but there were so many people clustered around you. We just went home. Later we wished we had been more patient. My name is Lena."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 'thank you. It's nice to meet you," I said, "You know in the sauna,  I couldn't help but notice your tattoo."

"It's hard not to notice it," she said. 'some people might think it's weird but I love it. I got it in Amsterdam five years ago. First I wanted to put the Sacred Heart on my arm but when my boyfriend suggested I put it on my mound I knew that was exactly right. Actually," and she

'. . .Well maybe
we could just all go
to bed together. . .'

hesitated a minute, "when my boyfriend and I saw you at the reading, you looked so great in that pink, leather strapless dress, we wondered if you might, uh.. you know.. uh, want to play with us??

I was surprised at her directness.

"Play," I asked, "You mean play like in playing Scrabble or tennis or play like in playing doctor??

"Well maybe we could just all go to bed together," she said.

"I haven't even met your boyfriend. Who is he, how long have you been with each other?? I wanted to know.  I noticed she and I were wearing the same shade of dark red nail polish.

"I can understand you being cautious," Lena said.

"Absolutely," I said, "do you do this all the time, approach strange women and invite them into your bedroom??

"No," she answered, "very rarely, actually we only did it once before. We just both thought you were wonderful. Anyhow, Kim and I have been together for ages. He's a photographer and I'm a fabric designer. We met at Pratt. It seems like lifetimes ago." 

"I know what you mean. It feels like I've lived twenty lives in this one, and that's only so far," I said.

"Why don't you come over and meet Kim?? Lena asked,  "Maybe you'll like him and we'll all hit it off, at least we could get to be friends."

The woman standing before me did not look like a white slaver. I gave her my number.

One evening, a week later, I found myself standing outside a two-family house on a quiet, residential street in Greenpoint. As I rang the top bell I felt nervous and strange. I heard footsteps on the other side of the door and then it was flung open by a moon-faced oriental man. He looked like an overweight Jackie Chan. He extended a plump hand.    

"I'm Kim," he said, "it was such a lucky coincidence that you and Lena met at the baths. We liked you so much, but then again I don't know if I believe in coincidence."

I felt immediately at ease with him. "I only believe happenings are coincidences when I want to ignore what they mean," I replied.

"We're speaking the same language," he said. "What a relief, I was afraid you might turn out to be one of those writers who can only be real on the page."

Lena's voice floated down the stairs, "What are you two doing down there," she said, "planning world peace? Come up and have a drink."

"Yes ma?am," Kim yelled back, and I followed him up the stairs. Lena was waiting at the top of the landing, standing in the open door. "What a great tweed coat," she said.      

They had knocked the walls down in what Lena told me had been a four room railroad apartment thus making one big room. In the corner by the big picture window there was a large bed covered with a patchwork quilt. I looked at it quickly than looked away.

"Please don't worry," said Lena, "we're a little nervous too. I've made sushi. I hope you like it," she said.

"I couldn't live without it," I told her.

After the sushi and much plum wine we were not so nervous. Kim offered a hand to me and a hand to Lena and silently we went over to the bed. He undressed Lena slowly, reverentially. He

My nipples
hardened and I was
suddenly so wet

kissed each part, her collarbone, her graceful, slender arms, her navel. her cleft, decorated by the tattoo. When she was completely unclothed she sat on the bed. She spread her legs to show me the glistening, silver ring inserted in her labia.

'that piercing really must have hurt bad," I said. "No, not much more than having your ears pierced," she answered, "Do you want to touch it??

I did, I gingerly reached out with two fingers, touched the silver ring, then, getting bolder, I tugged at it a few times.

"Oh, oh,?  Lena signed, and she did a little bump and grind like a belly dancer, then she stuck her tongue out at me. My nipples hardened and I was suddenly so wet, I thought my juices would pour out of me onto the floor. I started to pull off my clothes. Kim helped me and then Lena and I undressed him, kissing and sucking as we went. His chest and arms were hairless and underdeveloped but his cock was long and thick and already waving at us.

As Lena and I knelt before him and removed his socks and shoes, Kim told me that in China the traditional name for cock was jade stalk. Kim took our hands again and we tumbled onto the bed. Lena and I were about the same size. When we kissed we fit perfectly together. We could be sisters and Kim was our big, jade stalk daddy. Kim moved his body south. He started kissing and licking our ankles, our toes, the soles of our feet. I looked down and saw him take Lena's tiny heel into his mouth, then he did the same for me. Lena's body covered mine like a silk hand. I could feel her tiny nipples pressing into my fuller breasts while she fucked my mouth with her plum wine tongue.

As we rubbed together with increasing intensity, I wondered if, to her Sacred Heart, my wiry bush felt like a crown of thorns. If it did, she did not seem to mind. I could feel her silver ring tap-tap-tapping my labia. Our bottom mouths opened to each other like two gobbling fish, consumed and consuming, joined together by tongues of fire. Suddenly, I felt Kim's large, soft hand between my legs, between myself and Lena. He was lifting Lena up, using his hands as a wedge. Then I felt the heavy heat, the solid weight of his jade stalk as it moved between us, first into me, then into Lena, into me, into Lena again. His rhythm was strong and certain. Lena and I, our lips still joined, were looking at each other, connected by a golden beam of light. As Kim continued to move between us, mingled with our sighs of pleasure, I could hear the beating of my own sacred heart.  ##



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