Topical Guide 66
Erotic Fantasies (Male, Heterosexual, Adolescent and Beyond): Bathing; Wishful Thinking
I was, throughout my childhood, required to take a bath sometime between dinner and bedtime, and Eliza took on the responsibility of bathing me when she and Mr. Beaker were taking care of me on one of those Saturday nights during my earliest years. … Eliza invented a number of bath time games over the years. My favorite of these was making soapsuds landscapes. …
As I grew and aged, the pleasure that I took in soapsuds landscapes and Eliza’s other bathtub games began, as one might expect, to shift from the aesthetic to the erotic. …
The room was steamy. Droplets covered the mirror and the chrome fixtures. The droplets commingled and grew and ran suddenly down erratic courses. Eliza’s cheeks were rosy with the heat. Damp strands of her blond hair fell across her eyes. She blew up at them to get them out of her way or pushed them up with the back of her hand, keeping the soap out of her eyes. She bent over the tub, working at shaping the soapsuds. Her damp blouse clung to her breasts. Her hand grazed my thigh while she was shaping suds into a peasant cottage, and we glanced at each other simultaneously. There was a look in her eyes that I had never seen before.
Little Follies, “The Static of the Spheres”
I have to be very careful not to play spoiler here. In “Call Me Larry,” another of the novellas in Little Follies, Peter recalls his fondness for a series of boys’ adventure books called The Adventures of Larry Peters. Among the attractions in that series was—well—I’ll let Peter tell you:
MARIE, THE PETERSES’ MAID, made my heart go pit-a-pat the moment she first appeared in one of the adventures, pushing the kitchen door open with a beautifully rounded hip, stepping into the dining room on those long and luscious legs, carrying a tray of blueberry pancakes, just as, I’m sure, she made the hearts of most of the boys who read the Larry Peters books beat faster whenever she appeared. Marie never figured very prominently in the adventures themselves, though she would pop in now and then. Ordinarily, she was left at home when the pace of the action picked up, and we wouldn’t see her again until the end of the book, when the adventurers—tired, possibly injured, but always victorious—returned to Kittiwake Island and sat down to another big meal. Most of my ideas about Marie came from outside the books themselves, from other sources and from my imagination. There were, however, one or two scenes in which Marie appeared that have remained sharp and clear and brilliant in my memory. I am willing to bet a sizable sum that any reader of the Larry Peters books will recall one of those scenes immediately and vividly if I merely end this sentence with the phrase tub of Jell-O.
Little Follies, “Call Me Larry”
A few lines later, Peter quotes from one of the books in the series, The Flying Aspidistras. In the passage he quotes, Larry and Marie are—for reasons I will not divulge—talking about things they have never done but would like to do before they die.
“Say,” said Larry, forcing a lighthearted tone into his voice, “suppose you could do just one of those things. What would it be?”
“One?” asked Marie. “Oh, my goodness. One? I don’t know, I—”
“What’s the first one that pops into your head?”
“Oh, well,” said Marie. “The first one that pops into my head? I—oh, I don’t know—I—well—I’ve always thought it would be fun to—you know that big claw-foot tub in my bathroom?”
“Sure,” said Larry. He blushed as soon as he had spoken, for he had on many an evening climbed the apple tree outside the window of Marie’s bathroom in the hope of catching a glimpse of her while she bathed in the claw-foot tub to which she referred, and had, in fact, succeeded on a number of occasions.
Little Follies, “Call Me Larry”
I should probably stop there. I think I’ve done enough to demonstrate that erotic fantasies about bathing are a topic that appears more than once in the Personal History. Yes. I’ll stop there. I really don’t want to play spoiler.
[more to come on Friday, August 13, 2021]
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