Veronica S. of West Plains, Missouri was chosen last week’s $25 winner, having the correct answer, FRAN.
Sex For Science
It was the late ‘70s, and sex therapy was the new, new thing.
Sex researchers, Drs. Hartman and Fithian, had just published their seminal book, Treatment of Sexual Dysfunction.
My girlfriend Fran and I attended their all-day seminar at our graduate school. The noted researchers explained their techniques and treatment of sexual dysfunction, including orgasm, pre-mature ejaculation, and impotency. Frigidity, we learned, was a myth made up by men. (Who else!)
We watched films of patients practicing sensate focus—non-genital touching, hugging, and kissing. We learned there’s no physiological difference between a mini-orgasm and one that blows your mind.
Fran’s only mini-orgasm happened in a drive-in movie when her foot hit the horn.
The scientists had collected data on more than 700 research subjects. When they said that anyone interested in visiting their facility should sign-up, we flew from our chairs, pens in hand.
“This must be the place,” I said, rubbing my hands together. “Time for the big show.”
“We’re probably on the other side of a two-way mirror,” Fran said, opening the door.
A bell jingled, as if we’d entered a deli instead of a reception room. Chairs, a water cooler, magazines … Playboy! What did I expect, Highlights?
An inner door opened, and there they stood in white coats. Dr. Hartman, tall with bushy eyebrows and black Boris Karloff eyes. Dr. Fithian, short and round-faced. She held a clipboard and a cheerful smile.
“So,” I said, “do we get to see your volunteers in action?”
Dr. Hartman’s dark eyes gleamed. “Right this way.”
My heart did a little drumbeat. Yes!
We followed him down a hallway.
The place was mortuary quiet. Invisible spider legs crawled up my back.
He opened a door and stepped aside. “Our office.”
It was so small we could barely stick our heads inside.
Fran said, “I see what it means to work shoulder to shoulder.”
Two desks sat pushed together and piled sky-high with papers and folders. Stuff you’d usually find in a file cabinet—several file cabinets.
The doctor mumbled something about penny-pinching research grants and closed the door. “This way.”
This way led to a second door. He opened it, and that little drumbeat in my chest quickened.
If you’re like me, when you think laboratory, you think test tubes and Bunsen burners. But a bed?
I whispered to Fran, “Where’s the two-way mirror?”
The bed centered a room the size of a, well, small bedroom.
The pale-green walls were probably meant to be soothing—but they weren’t working. Nor was the soft music. Were we to observe from inside the room? I ran a finger under my collar.
“Please, sit down,” Dr. Hartman said, gesturing toward two chairs.
Fran clutched my sweaty hand, intending, I thought, for us to make a break for it.
No such luck.
The researchers sat behind a table at the foot of the bed.
Beside them sat a machine with wires and dials and blinking lights.
I thought of Boris Karloff again. We’ll never get out alive!
I squeezed Fran’s hand. Surely these people weren’t Frankensteins collecting body parts. They were scientists collecting data from more than 700 volunteers.
Then again, that could mean 700 saleable hearts and 1,400 kidneys.
Dr. Hartman itched a bushy eyebrow with a pencil, then smiled and asked, “Bill, do you have issues with premature ejaculation or impotency?”
I stiffened. “Hell, no. Why ask—”
“Let’s test that. You two may either—”
All at once my breath caught. “Wait a minute! We’re only here to check things out.”
“That happens by being research subjects.” He smiled again. This time with flashing eyes.
Fran and I hadn’t considered the finer points of checking things out. She asked him, “What would you have us do?”
I shot her a hard glance. What the hell are you thinking? Don’t you see that machine?
“Your choice,” he said, his gleaming eyes aimed at me. “Masturbate or have intercourse.”
Dr. Fithian, her cheeks rosy with anticipation, took the pencil from Dr. Hartman and readied it on her clipboard.
Trying to buy time, I pointed to the dildo connected to the machine. “What’s that thing for?”
“To measure vaginal contractions,” he said, as casually as if stating the weather.
“And orgasms,” Dr. Fithian said and began flipping switches on her machine.
Fran turned to me and said, unabashedly, “I don’t want to have intercourse, but I’m …”
I think I’ll end the story here, except to ask, what have you done for science lately?
If you’re enjoying these goofy blogs, share with friends. There’s a new one each week (until I run out of drugs, girlfriends, and wives).
Next Monday: Brier Patch #3 LSD … WOWZEE!
Barbara Cameron saysOctober 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm
You’ve certainly led an unusual life or have an extremely fertile imagination.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:04 am
That’s what Joann, current wife (number 4), says. Stay tuned for what the other three say. (-;
Pat saysOctober 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm
I love your blog. Makes me laugh out loud.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:06 am
Thanks, Pat. That makes me smile (-:
Debbie Rice saysOctober 2, 2017 at 11:34 pm
I am enjoying this blog
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:08 am
You’re the second Debbie to say that. The first was wife Number 3. More about her later.
Cadryn Brooks saysOctober 6, 2017 at 11:08 am
Your blog posts are very entertaining.
Bill Brier saysOctober 6, 2017 at 7:53 pm
You are too kind, Cadryn. Thanks.
Julie saysOctober 7, 2017 at 2:20 pm
An interesting story, well told! I love the way some names are changed…. while others are not! 😉 Great blog!
Bill Brier saysOctober 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm
Julie, how could you possibly know that (the first part…not the second)? You’d think we were related. (-;