WARNING: We have detected spyware on your computer! Your boss, your family, and even God will see all the degrading sites that you have been visiting. Install Spy-Be-Gone now and we can keep this between ourselves. Operators are standing by.
Alarmed, I quickly scanned my browsing history. I found no porn sites, no sex manuals, not even a Craigslist’s Casual Encounters ad. Just to be on the safe side though I told Spy-Be-Gone to install its software and let me know what it discovered. After a quick scan of my computer it shrugged apologetically and offered me my money back.
God, I was boring.
And I wasn’t even from the Midwest.
When my husband returned he found me cuddled up in a Snuggie watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. “Uh-Oh,” he said, cautiously hanging up his jacket. “What’s happened now?”
“The computer thinks I’m boring.”
“But computers can’t think,” he said, pouring himself a diet coke. “And even if it could think, what would make the computer believe that you, of all people, are boring?”
“It said it was going to reveal my most disturbing secrets to the world, but all it came up with was my obsession for everything Toddlers and Tiaras. Oh, God!” I cried. “Not only am I boring! I’m a freak!”
I nestled my head into the sleeves of my Snuggie, trying to get a handle on this newest revelation. My children, my siblings, and even my mother had called me prudish but I had always disregarded them. They were family. But to be called out by my own software...well, it was just too much.
“I blame our generation.” I continued. “We were born repressed. I mean, even our music was repressed.” I took a sip of his soda and blew my nose. “The Baby Boomers had a song about loving the one you're with and the Gen Y’ers have a song about girls kissing girls and liking it. All we Gen Xers had to proclaim our sexual freedom was a song about learning how to relax if you wanted to enjoy yourself. It made us not only repressed but neurotic!”
My husband patted my knee and grinned. “There, there honey. I will help you unleash your inner deviant.”
I shot him a look. I didn’t want to become unrepressed with him. We were married, and that meant it didn’t count. No, I had to think of other ways to accomplish my task. Preferably sanitary ways with dim lighting.
My first step towards sexual liberation was to visit an adult toy store. I had seen the neon glow of its lights on a dark night before but I had never been inside. Clandestinely clothed in a long trench coat and a beanie stolen from my mother, I followed my husband inside. The shop was so bright I had to squint and even though it was still early, there were several customers milling about.
“What do you think?” My husband asked, gesturing towards a wall with an assortment of items in various animal-like shapes.
“I think I’m going to go look at the lotions instead,” I said, as my husband perused the contents of a glass case. Maybe sexual repression wasn’t a symptom of Generation X after all. He seemed to have no trouble being a pervert.
The lotion section turned out to be pathetic so I wandered towards an area marked Arcade. After scavenging three quarters from my purse I headed in. Then quickly headed out. Thirty seconds in that room and I knew that I would never be able to play Donkey Kong or Pinball again.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said, grabbing my husband’s arm before he could purchase the gladiator club he had been inspecting. “I don’t think this place is the answer.”
“We could go to a bar,” my husband suggested. “One of my old stomping grounds.”
If ever there was a place to find sexual liberation, it had to be at one of the bars my husband frequented back in his single days. I could probably find other things there too; things that required an insurance card to cure.
“Sure,” I said. If he had done it, so could I. “Let’s do it.”
The bar was dark. Almost pitch. And I couldn’t make out the faces of any of the patrons. “You used to pick up girls here?” I asked. “How could you even tell what they looked like?”
“But what if they had warts on their face. Or back hair? Or a peg leg? You wouldn’t be able to tell until the next day.”
My husband took a long swill of his drink. “Nope.”
“God, I hate men.”
“See, now that’s an idea. You’ve been with men before and you still don’t feel like you've experienced everything right? Maybe you should try a woman?” Even though it was dark I could see the gleam in his eye. He was baiting me.
“Maybe I will,” I said crossing my arms. “Just to serve you right.”
“Okay then. And maybe I will like women so much I won’t come back to you.”
I looked around the room, trying to determine which of the dark shapes were men and which were women. It was a losing battle. In this lighting, they all looked the same. I cocked an ear, hoping for some voice differentiation, but voices were drowned out by the static music of an old juke box.
“Look,” my husband lifted his bottle towards a figure at the far end of the bar. “That’s a woman. And she’s been looking at you all night.”
I peered into the darkness and could almost make out some curves on the frame. “Fine,” I said, slamming my drink down. “I’m going to hit on her.”
“You do that.”
As I marched towards the shape I began to lose my nerve. I had never hit on a man in a bar before, let alone a woman. I swallowed hard, embarrassed that I didn’t know any good pick up lines. I would have to opt for directness.
“Excuse me.” I said to the shape. “I have never kissed a woman before and I wondered if I could kiss you. Just to see what it’s like.”
I think the face smiled and nodded and I hoped she was cute. I didn’t want my first female kiss to be from a golem. She stepped down from her bar stool and stood before me, dwarfing me by a good five inches. I could feel my husband’s eyes bore into the back of my head and I turned, giving him one final haughty look before reaching up to find my companion's lips. But the moment my lips were about to touch hers, I freaked. “Sorry,” I said bolting back back towards my spot at the bar. The figure slumped back onto her stool and mumbled something about experimentalists.
“I guess I am repressed,” I sighed, grabbing my jacket.
“No my dear, you are just straight. And this is a lesbian bar. But I had to try.”
It was late when we got home and I settled into a deep funk. Why was it that everyone else could be liberated and confident in their sexuality, while I blushed when someone saw me picking out a pair of underwear in Target. I was a prude and I the sooner I faced it the better.
“You know,” my husband said, bringing me a bowl of ice cream and flipping off the TV. “I don’t think you are repressed at all.”
“You don’t?” I took a spoonful and remembered the time he brought home the fake handcuffs. I quickly hid them in the sock drawer and when he asked about them later I said that they had probably been burgled.
“You’re just you.” He said. “And that’s marvelous. And amazing. And sexy.”
“If there is one thing you are not, it’s boring.” He stood, took one of my hands, and pulled me up from the couch. “Let me go prove to you how un-boring you are.”
“Okay,” I said, following him. “But is it okay if we turn off the lights? This ice cream is already settling on my thighs.”