Liaisons in Venice - Chapter 4

Chapter 4: The Doctor's Dinner


The Cunning Oyster

The Legend of Casanova’s daily breakfast of 50 oysters, has been vindicated by a study showing they really are aphrodisiacs. The team of American and Italian researchers analysed a group of shellfish that includes oysters - and found they are rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones. The link was announced to scientists at a conference in San Diego. It generated more interest than any other discovery in the learned society's 126-year history!

Did I really hear her say: ‘You paid for the drinks and the bedroom, the least I can do is take you to dinner’? How should I interpret that? Had she just invited herself up to my room after dinner? Wasn’t that a bit forward?

This is not how I imagined a first date, if that’s what this was. Or maybe this was the lead-up to a ‘zipless fuck’, made famous by Erica Jong in Fear of Flying. Of course I’d read her book in the mid 70s, like most of the people I was at uni with. And I’d fantasized about a zipless fuck. But even Erica Jong never had one, so I didn’t like my chances!

I still didn’t even know the name of this woman, nor she mine. We knew nothing about each other… our likes, dislikes, social circles, plans, aspirations. Would that make sex difficult for me, or incredibly exciting? Did I have a fear of flying, or was I prepared to go wherever the journey with this forthright woman took me? I swallowed in nervous anticipation, as I decided to strap on my seatbelt, put something in an upright position, and turn off my mobile phone.

We surveyed the menu. It looked fantastic. We agreed to share a plate of oysters to start, while we considered mains. “They are aphrodisiacs,” she proclaimed. “Casanova had 50 oysters for breakfast every day.”

I hadn’t heard this, though I didn’t admit to it. But I had heard of research showing that oysters had high levels of zinc, which is depleted during ejaculation, and two unusual amino acids that stimulated testosterone and oestrogen production. But you’d have to ejaculate an awful lot to start causing a zinc deficiency. Of course, Casanova did just that - so maybe the drive to eat so many oysters was an effect of so much ejaculation, rather than a cause of his amorousness!

I inserted this titbit of information into the conversation. I’m not sure that she was all that impressed with the depth of my knowledge of chemistry, or my skepticism!

“Ah yes,” she said, “but it is not the chemicals in them that make them aphrodisiacs. It’s what your mind does with the experience of eating them. I can prove it. Just look closely at this oyster; look at it.”

I looked at it – closely.

“Now, what do you think of when you look at this oyster? Come on... tell me the first thing that comes into your mind.”

I was a bit uncomfortable with this question. I didn't feel I could tell her the first thing that came into my mind, either just then or whenever I thought of oysters, or mussels for that matter, but something about her made me want to blurt out exactly what I was thinking – and that was not a familiar nor comfortable emotion for me.

I answered by saying what I see when I look at an oyster: different colours, folds, textures, smooth parts and rough; sensual, slippery, silky, succulent. And all moist and glistening.

She laughed. “Seeing is not the same as thinking, or feeling! I’ll prove it. Close your eyes,” she directed. “Now seeing won’t get in the way of feeling.”

She leant over towards me and placed the end of an oyster shell on the edge of my mouth and tilted it. The rough hairs on the shell tickled and the oyster slid on to my lips. I parted them slightly and sucked it in a bit, tasting its salty juices, breathing in the smells of the sea, feeling its softness, and exploring the complex of folds and textures with my tongue. Yes, this is exactly what first came to mind when I thought of an oyster - cunnilingus!

Suddenly her lips were on mine and her tongue was darting into my mouth, as she deftly recovered the oyster with a soft sucking sound, a bit like a kiss. “Just like Casanova!” she said. “That's how he ate oysters. From the mouths of his lady friends.”

Now, that was erotic! She was right; aphrodisia was in the mind more than in the oyster. The oyster was just a trigger. But I’d had two large whiskeys, and it is well known that the liberating effects of alcohol can be aphrodisiac-like. Oyster… whiskey, which was the trigger? It didn’t matter. Oyster or whiskey as a releaser, chemicals or mind as a mechanism... whatever; I was getting seriously turned on.

The liberating effects of alcohol were helping suppress my nervousness at being in such an unexpected, unfamiliar and unpredictable situation – and not being in control. It was overcoming my fear of flying. Emboldened, I ordered a bottle of wine. A bit impertinent, I know, as she was paying for the dinner, but I felt daring.


Hormones, Fantasy and the Big O

We ordered mains, and I tried to turn to less arousing topics as we made our way through the dozen oysters. I was distracted, though, because each oyster rekindled the sensation of her lips on mine, her flickering tongue, and the wonderful kissing sound as she sucked her oyster from my mouth. The best I could do by way of conversation was stumble over several ways of saying thank you for taking me to dinner at this wonderful restaurant. I kicked myself under the table for sounding such a nong. Again.

She was a lot more composed that I, and saved me further embarrassment with a question: “What are you doing at the hotel?”

“Me? I’m giving a paper at a conference,” I replied. “We had the first day today. My paper’s in the morning. The conference dinner is on tonight in the hotel ballroom. I was meant to be at it…” Then I blurted out: “But I’d much rather be here!”

I felt like I was wittering on. Calm down, I told myself. You have just met her and now she’s taking you to dinner. That’s all. OK, she might be expecting to come to my bedroom afterwards, but no need to get all nervous and compensate by babbling on. I was dreading this inevitable follow-up question. My research field was always a conversation-stopper in social settings, and in mixed company. Especially with a complete stranger.

“What’s the conference on?” she asked, inevitably.

“The conference title is ‘Kinsey 60 Years On’. It has been arranged to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Kinsey’s seminal book: Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. To the very day… 8th August 1953.”

“Wow!” she said. “You research sex? You are going to be more interesting than I imagined. I picked you up in the bar because you looked sort of straight and an ‘academic type’, with your head in the books, or in the clouds or something. Anyway, I thought you’d be a challenge. And I get turned on by a challenge.”

I wasn’t sure how to take this: ‘straight’, ‘academic’. That’s not how I viewed myself. Is it how I appeared? And ‘a challenge’! What was that supposed to mean?

“Well, I am an academic.” I replied. “I’m a sex researcher.”

“I’ve heard of the Kinsey Report,” she went on, ignoring my response. “Didn’t it start the sexual revolution in America in the 1960s? What’s so academic about that?”

“Well, Kinsey revolutionised our understanding of human sexual interactions by collecting thousands and thousands of observations from real people, making it impossible for conservative America to ignore the findings. He overturned one sexual myth after another. Did you know that many of the people they interviewed were recruited in bars, and then they got them to recruit their friends?”

“I get it!” she exclaimed. “That’s really what you were doing in the bar. Recruiting subjects for your interviews. And I selected myself by coming straight over to you! I must be psychic - I was already thinking about sex. Are you the next Kinsey? What are you going to ask me?  Go on… ask me some deeply personal questions about my sexual experiences and preferences.”

She was so animated that I wondered if she was getting off on this. She really did seem to want me to ask her something. It took a great deal of self control to resist.

“No,” I protested, wondering if she was teasing me a little. “It’s not like that at all. I was just in the bar for some down-time between today’s talks and the conference dinner. When you bought me a drink and came over to me, I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought that pickup strategy only happens in movies, but here it was happening to me; the least likely suspect! But ‘live dangerously for a change,’ I said to myself when you asked me to come to dinner."

“In any case, I don’t do surveys," I added. "I study chemical changes during sexual arousal and orgasm, and what causes them. That’s my research area. I’m interested in orgasms and what physical and chemical changes happen before and afterwards. Men are much more likely than women to have an orgasm by intercourse. I’m studying how much of this is due to different degrees of stimulation of the penis and clitoris, and how much is due to differences in the mental processes of men and women during sex.”

“Well, what’s the answer?” she demanded, leaning forward over her plate – food forgotten. “It’s true for me, you know. I can bring myself to a climax easily with my vibrator, with my fingers, or even with the shower head in the bath, but when I’m fucking, I often have to play with myself at the same time, if I want an orgasm... which I usually do! So, it must be physical?”

She appeared riveted, fascinated, absorbed. I was taken aback with her directness and how willing she seemed to share very personal information with me; more than willing. It was challenging... and stimulating. I wasn’t at ease in social situations at all but I was taken with her attention and interest. And she was so gorgeous; so sensuous!

I got a bit distracted looking at her. I was getting flashes of her playing with herself in the bath and while she was being fucked and these were interfering with my train of thought. ‘Maybe she is the personification of an aphrodisiac,’ I thought. That would make her Aphrodite! The goddess who is usually depicted emerging from a shellfish. A clam, oyster or scallop. Coincidence? I didn’t know the real name of my dinner-date, but I decided that she’d be ‘Aphrodite’ for the evening. She was already acting as an aphrodisiac!

“Well?” She seemed impatient for an answer. “Is it physical?”

I collected my thoughts again. “OK. Stimulation of the clitoris is important in achieving orgasm, right? Just like males need physical stimulation of the penis, which they certainly get during intercourse. But thrusting in intercourse often doesn’t stimulate the clitoris enough, or not well enough.”

“My theory is that the brain plays a much more important role for women. My idea is that fantasising stimulates a particular area of the brain, which in turn triggers changes in some chemical levels in the same way as physical stimulation. These chemicals might increase the likelihood of orgasm and its intensity. And that’s what I’m trying to study.”

I paused. I was going over the top. I did have a reputation for getting a bit too absorbed and serious when describing my theories. My colleagues often said things like: “Lighten up a bit, mate. How do you expect to hook up with a woman when all you can talk about it your work?” and “You manage to make talking about sex into a turn-off instead of a turn-on!”

She still appeared engrossed. Engrossed, and excited. There was a touch of colour in her cheeks and a sparkle in her eyes. She was distractedly playing with her spoon, ready for me to continue. Perhaps it was not just me getting turned on by the turn our conversation had taken.

“I get it... if females fantasised more, they would come more often, even without manual stimulation. What have you found out?”

I continued; enthused: “There’s now good evidence that women who fantasise frequently do indeed have higher rates of orgasm during either masturbation or intercourse. However, the most exciting study shows that some women can use fantasy to orgasm without any physical stimulation at all. So the explanation for this has got to be the power of the brain.”

I stopped abruptly, as I felt something soft stroking my foot, and then making its way up my calf. She was sitting back languidly in her chair now, looking at me with a sexy smile. I smiled back. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I was getting a bit carried away there. It must be boring for you. I live this stuff.”

“So do women!” she retorted. And her toes wriggled up to my knee. My dick swelled. “This is fascinating,” she continued. “A man, a male scientist no less, convinced of the power of the brain over physical and chemical mechanisms. Isn’t that very unusual? I find it very sexy. A turn-on. I’m sure that part of my brain is triggering big changes in those chemicals right now!”

It was a turn-on for me too, and I groaned softly as her foot made it up between my thighs. Another couple of wriggles and she’d definitely feel my erection with her foot, and who knows what might happen then. She did another couple of wriggles. My eyes widened and I jumped.

“Oh, don’t let me distract you,” she said mischievously. “I want to hear more. Perhaps if you get back to talking science, you’ll be less likely to come as I stroke your erection with the sole of my foot.”

I had to do something, or I would come, right there in the midst of the busy restaurant! I soldiered on unsteadily, trying hard to concentrate.

“We know which parts of the brain are activated by physical stimulation of the nipples, clitoris, and vagina. They’re separate areas but very close to each other. Incidentally, they are all very close to the area that is activated by stimulating the feet! There was a paper on this at the conference today, as a matter of fact. Caused quite a stir.

“We also know that stimulation of the nipples can cause arousal of the penis or clitoris. So, I reckon that chemical changes caused by activation of the nipple area of the brain could ‘spill-over’, so to speak, into the clitoral and vaginal areas - or the penis in men. So, brain is the cause and chemicals the ‘messenger’.

“The $63,000 question is how some women can activate these centres just by fantasising, and how can someone without this ability learn to develop it.”

Remarkably, my erection had indeed subsided, though her foot was still there and still stroking. It did feel good. With my brain once again connected to my dick, it was responding quickly to her touch. ‘Quick... think about something else,’ I told myself.

I prepared to launch off into a more detailed description of how I might measure changes in hormone levels before, during and after orgasm by fantasy, and the practical difficulties of finding and recruiting enough subjects who were able to orgasm through fantasy alone.


From Zipless Fuck to Touchless Orgasm

“The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not "taking" and the woman is not "giving." No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.”  Erica Jong

I paused, searching for words that would help her understand the complexity of my ideas for a study, but she interrupted before I could go on. She pulled her foot down from my crotch, sat up straight and leaned forward. “I’ve done that!” she exclaimed in a loud whisper.

“Done what?” I asked.

“I’ve had an orgasm just with a fantasy. Today even. Before I came out. It was intense.”

This was unexpected; and confronting. I blushed red, but I had to know more. “Tell me more!”

“Oh no, I couldn’t,” she said, blushing herself. “At least, not yet.

She seemed to be getting more aroused by the talk of sex and orgasms, or maybe it by a conscious or subconscious recollection of her own, recent, touchless orgasm. Whatever the reason, the colour was rising in her cheeks, she was licking her lips, and the spoon was twisting and turning in her hands.

She was exposing some pretty intimate thoughts and actions with me, a stranger. That could certainly be a turn-on. She knew little about me, and I knew absolutely nothing about her. Nothing, that is, except that I now knew she had orgasms from sexual fantasies.

To think that I had been just about to launch into more details of my research - which had started to turn me off! How self-absorbed! I chastised myself and at last turned the conversation back to her.

“And you? I don’t even know your name, or what you do? What are you doing here tonight?”

“Nothing as erudite as you,” she replied with a smile. “I just came out to pick up a good lay for the night, and hopefully have a good time doing it. So far, so good.”

I didn’t know what to say. I cleared my throat and fidgeted while I tried to think of a suitable response. But she continued before I had collected my thoughts.

“I have never done anything like this before, to be honest. I don’t make a habit of picking up guys in bars! It’s just that I’m on annual leave and I decided to have a day just to myself today: no errands, no chores, but a sleep-in, a lazy brunch, a long bath – pampering. I lay down this afternoon for a nap, and found myself starting to fantasize.”

She paused and seemed to be reflecting on her fantasy, as the hint of a smile played on her lips. The pause lengthened. Perhaps she was weighing up whether she really wanted to expose herself this much. She drew breath and continued.

“It was a fantasy about picking up a complete stranger, seducing him, and whisking him off to bed for wild sex. It felt like I was in a trance and the feelings were all so real. The daring of picking up a stranger had my heart thumping and I could feel heat and throbbing in my vagina.”

“The unfamiliar smell of him was exciting. His hot breath on my breasts and nipples; his hand sliding into my knickers and tickling between my legs; and then his tongue! His tongue sliding up the inside of my thighs and flicking my clitoris – oh so gently. I could feel blood flooding into my sex, and my lips and clitoris were swelling. His tongue continued, rhythmically, in just the right places. The build-up was amazing. I could feel my face flushing, my legs, buns and stomach all tensing, my vagina twitching and then I came, and came. It flooded over me, such an intense orgasm.”

She was obviously re-living it as she was telling me. Her face was flushed, and her breathing fast; very erotic. Her eyes were not focused and voice very faint. I wondered if she was going to climax again, just thinking about it, but she paused, seemed to recover, and continued.

“I was stunned. I’m sure I did not touch myself at all. It was all in my mind. And I came… strongly… for ages. As I lay there exhausted, but really horny, I started thinking that I could so easily turn that fantasy into reality. I decided there and then that that’s what I would do. Tonight. And coming to that decision was so stimulating, and at the same time, nerve-racking, that I picked up my vibrator and brought myself to a second, amazing orgasm. I didn’t think I could do that.”

She paused for a few seconds and then added: “So that’s what I am doing here. I’m turning my fantasy into reality. And I have been so nervous and turned on since I first decided on you as my stranger, in the bar. You are my fantasy.”

I had a response this time, pleased I had found something I could add. “Did you know that sex with a stranger is the second most common sexual fantasy for women? There’s research on this. Quite a lot of research.”

“Really! What’s the first?” she asked.

“The most common women’s fantasy is reliving a previous erotic experience with their own partner. And surprisingly, at least to me, is that it’s number one for men too. And, before you ask, the next two women’s erotic fantasies are about not being in control during sex, such as being restrained, and about being the one in control by dominating their partner.”

He could see her thinking these over, and again there was that flicker of a smile across her lips. We were interrupted by the waitress.

“Would you like to see the dessert menu?”

“Yes please,” I said. But at the very same time, a firm “No thanks” came from Aphrodite.

We both laughed, and paused. The waitress seized the opportunity for an attempt to up-sell: “The crème caramel here is fantastic,” she said. “And the tiramisu’s to die for. It’s a specialty of the house. Decadent desserts!”

I was umming and ahhing clumsily, but Aphrodite turned to the waitress and said, with a straight face and without a hint of embarrassment: “But not decadent enough for us! I’ve a better idea. I’m going to whisk him off to bed for dessert. He’ll like that so much more than crème caramel, and so will I! Please bring me the bill.”

The waitress scurried off quickly, to cover her embarrassment, or her astonishment, or both, and soon returned with the bill.

“What happens next?” I asked in anticipation.

“As I said, I whisk you off to your bed for some dessert. Come on.”


To be continued...



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