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Erotica: Touching

Published: MARCH 11, 2022
Overcoming tech illiteracy is the first step in drawing the long-distance lovers together, closer than ever.

For Vivian, the 21st century happened to other people. "Online" was queuing for tickets, coffee, the bus, or the theater. "Social Media" was a copy of Gourmet shared with friends. "Smartphone" was the oh-so-stylish, burnt orange rotary on her bedside table. "Streaming" was what butter did when she poured it into whatever she made. "Messaging" was writing an actual letter.

And refined ladies-of-a-certain-age never spoke of "Downloading"—at least not in public.



For Zach, his life invariably teetered on the edge of technological mortification. Setting the clock on a VCR? Hours spent reading Spanish, French, German, and Japanese instructions … only to leave it shamefully blinking. Turn off a pager? Fumbling fingers sending it comically buzzing, bumbling along the sidewalk. Send a message on a Blackberry? THey all seemed come come out "Sury runing lter WIlL bea bk in 154 mtes." Use a computer? Why does it do that, how can I get that back, what do you mean by that, where's the mouse, which key is Escape, all I want to do is send a damned email …?


Vivian threw her frustrations into work at the bakery: less kneading and more punching dough, a squeeze of lemon turning into a splash of juice and a spray of seeds, scones rolled so tight light couldn't escape their surface, once aetherial pastries became flavorless doorstops, and "service with a smile" replaced with "bitterness with a frown."

Zach shrank within himself: months then years between "with someone" to "without someone" made the world distant and inhospitable. Doubt became his constant companion, and like a friend who won't take a hint, refused to leave.

With so many trials and even more errors behind them, it took Vivian and Zack a New York Summer and the good portion of a Manhattan winter to peer over their sorrows and on a sleet-frosted Wednesday afternoon dare to reach out.

But when bashful hands eventually grazed hesitant ones, then quivering lips glanced against the same, then shared laughter, then adoring gazes, then exchanged moans, then mutual orgasms, then curled up together, then aches of longing, then bursts of quick kisses, then lost in the dance of tongue with tongue— that word, the word, tomorrow and forward became bright, warm, and happy.

Then Vivian had to leave the country to care for her sick mother.


For the first few days, Vivian's attention was primarily fixed on the electrocardiogram beside her mother's bed. Her own heart rate spiking at the machine's less and less frequent beeps.

But since this was early, single-digit days of March 2020, both were soon alarmingly aware of the world unraveling around them.

Read: A Guide to Safer Pandemic Sex

It was Vivian who first voiced their mutual fears, saying, "I hope I can get back."

It was Zach who responded with their shared hopes, "Don't worry, my love, nothing will keep us apart."

The next day came a crisply prim and precisely proper British announcement that used words like "complete and total," "quarantine," and "indefinite."

In a too-small London hotel room, Vivian said, "I miss you so much it hurts."

In his too-big, too-empty Manhattan apartment Zach said, "I want to hold you—and never let go."

Two weeks later, a sparsely attended funeral: faces of friends, family, and both or neither concealed behind masks.

Beginning with shared jokes to reading The Daily Mail (to Zach) and Weekly World News (to Vivian), followed by Alice In Wonderland (by Vivian) and The Dain Curse (by Zach) to tender New York reminiscences, to sobbing fears they struggled to reach across the vast and getting vaster, miles between them.


It was Zach who'd half-seen, half-heard it on an American news program, framed around terms like "coping with isolation," "unexpected popularity," and "how to stay connected."

In London, Vivian had to deal with language, The Lockdown, before broaching how to connect which to what.

In New York, Zach fought against a lack of availability, ever-shifting pandemic precautions, before how to install whatever that was into whatever this is.

It became a new game: morning (for him), late afternoon (for her), calls as they figured out ("ah!") that had to be downloaded onto this ("okay, I got it!") before whatever would work ("of course!") with what ("that's it!").

But finally, after Vivian strode bravely into the 21st century and Zack courageously slew his technological apprehensions, through a pair of laptop screens, they saw one another for the first time in months.

And, hardly recognizing who they were looking at, struggled to find something … anything to say.

Read: 5 Ways to Add Heat to Long Distance Love Affairs


It was Vivian who, at 3:00AM and desperate for a way to drain her irritatingly awake mind, cautiously opened her factory fresh computer, clicked on the tiny Chrome icon, and pecking more than hunting, typed "how stay intimte?"

That evening (for her) and early morning (for him), she'd softly, tenderly, warm-heartedly offered what she'd found; her reserved, wary smile turning beaming brightly as Zach said, his own words shyly vulnerable, "I-I'd like to try it, my love."

A coin was tossed, Her Majesty's regal visage awarding Vivian the right (and anxiety) of taking the lead.

A bottle of £7.50 Tesco La Vieille Ferme Red on the nightstand, lights dimmed or switched off, laptop pushed to the edge of the hotel room's tiny desk, wearing the red satin nightgown she'd bought for the occasion, Vivian withdrew and expressed some calming breaths, took her fifth large swallow of the affordable vintage and said:

"I-I've never told anyone this. I wanted to a few times but … (sigh) because I didn't know how they'd react, I always kept it to myself.

"But you're different. I feel safe with you. Nervous, maybe even frightened—" another big drink of wine "—but not enough not to want to tell you about it. Because I get it, I understand you might think it's weird (giggle), but … I'm saying but a lot aren't I?

"I know you'd tell me. Not to make me feel bad but because you're so sweet and honest. Like when you told me you didn't like to go dancing but went with me because you said if it was something I liked, it was something you'd like. That's amazing, and I tried so hard not to cry when you said it.

"A couple of my ICE friends, that's the Culinary Institute, had this thing where Saturday nights they'd pick something at random to check out. One time it was Salsa dancing, another was this rave kind of thing that just gave me a headache, and then one of them said they heard about this Club in Soho. So we went, it was kind of an open night thing where anyone could come, and I didn't know anything about it except it said we had to be polite and respectful or we'd be asked to leave.

"They also told us we should dress sexy. Refined sexy, I guess you could say—" Vivian stretched out a bit, putting arms and legs where they didn't feel knotted. "So I wore this black dress and some nice shoes. When we got there, we had to sign something like a waiver explaining the rules before they'd let us in.

"Our eyes had to take time to adjust to how dark it was … so we huddled together, not knowing what was going on. I heard what I thought was … I don't know what I thought it was, maybe punching a leather couch." She snorted, then full body laughed at the ridiculous sound she'd made.

"I began to see things. Groups of two or three people hanging out together in this huge space. Some of them were like us, politely watching what was going on. Others were … doing things. There was one man, he was very hairy … like a walking Brillo pad … and he was tied to this x-shaped piece of equipment while another man used a little whip on his nipples."

Languished was apt, a suitable descriptive for how Vivian loosened herself. At the end of another big stretch, one of her hands touched and then began caressing one of her breasts.

"It was all around us. Another person was bent over something like a sawhorse as someone dressed head to foot in red leather hit them with a huge whip. No, it was … it was one whip, but a bunch of them connected to a handle. I don't know what it was called. After, I kept wanting to find out, but … I didn't. I should have. But I didn't."

As her nipple raised, dimpled, and as her fingers plugged, tugged at it, her other hand slipped between her legs: satin fabric softly whispering against her pubic bush as she began circling her clit.


"There was another couple. They were both naked … naked, and they were both sitting on, I guess you could call it a sofa or something, facing each other. One of them was … I thought of them like a greyhound or a streamlined athlete … nothing but lean, tight muscles. The other was more … she was more luxurious, bountiful … a huge lap you want to curl up in."

From nearly surreptitious, partially obscured to open, revealing, and brazenly, hungrily, wanton: gown pushed aside, legs wide, hips thrust forward, fingers from mixing to loudly slapping her clit as she plucked her nipple like a cello's C-string.

"They had a pile … of clothespins next to them, taking turns picking one … picking them up and putting them on each other. All around their breasts, down along their sides … and, I think … couldn't quite see … on their … labia—"

Words failed, language collapsed, replaced by ancient, primordial noises. Roaring, bellowing, skating on the verge of outright screaming, barely trapped inside by biting down the meaty base of her thumb.

"I haven't told anyone," Vivian said after her body slowed its rolling quakes. "about that. I don't know what … I don't know what I want to do with it. I think I'd like to see what it might be like .. with you. Just with you. To feel those kinds of things .. maybe ... please with you?"

Read: How can I have "skype sex" if I'm too embarrassed to talk dirty?


Tumbler of New Riff Kentucky Straight on the rocks, a never before opened birthday gift from a misinformed or uncaring coworker; shades drawn and lamps turned down low; computer balanced on the TV tray he was embarrassed to own; freshly cleaned sheets; fluffed and supportive mountain range of pillows prepared; dressed in the gold-thread, maroon-fabric kimono she'd bought him on their bubbly, sweetly tender expedition to Little Tokyo; Zach said:

"I-I … I'm scared. Like you, my love … yeah, just like you. And I'm also okay with this … very okay with this. You told me, and so I have to tell you, right? But not just because you did but because I want to … you're… you're everything. Like you're who I've been waiting for but didn't know it, and then when you came, it was like … it was like you were always there … we were never apart."

Ice cubes clacking, trying not to cough when it hit the back of his suddenly parched throat, he knocked back another healthy swallow of bourbon.

"I never told anyone about this, either. I'm not ashamed of what happened, but it was … remember when we talked about religion? How you said that you aren't, and neither am I, but how certain things felt special … like they were sacred? It's that way for this, for me. Like sharing it would water it down, make it less than how I feel about it."

Rolling his shoulders, canting and twisting his neck, Zach chased away his body's unexpected rigidity.

"It was … I was just out of school, visiting my Uncle Val in Chicago during the summer. He was a great guy, and I always looked forward to going out to see him. He was like another dad … like a birthday or Christmas present, who I only saw on special occasions … so we never got too used to each other.

"I loved going to Chicago; it was such a different city. I know it's not, but it felt older, more down-to-earth. Like there weren't the big ups or downs of Manhattan, but everyone treated each other like they were in the same city.

"It had all these bookstores … one after another, and when Val was at work, I'd go from one to another, coming back to his place with boxes full of the treasures I'd found.

Briefly, he looked outside of where he was and who he was talking to: dusty shelves full of dusty books, dusty books full of dusty pages filling his mind. Shaking his head, he pulled himself back—aided by a single sip of the New Riff Kentucky Straight.

"I was in one of those stores when I heard Chicago getting hit by one of their buckets-after-buckets thunderstorms. Instead of trying to wait it out, I tried to get back to the L—their subway—but got soaked. So I ducked into this little neighborhood laundromat.

"There was no one in there but a middle-aged or maybe older woman … she had this big, caring smile, and seemed to really worry about how wet I was .. and she said to me, and I don't know if this is what really happened … maybe it's what I wanted … but she said I should get out of my wet clothes so she could throw them into one of the dryers … s-she said she didn't mind if I did."


He sniffled, rubbed his hand under his nose, and, after a big breath, melted onto the big bed.

"I forgot … to mention I hadn't been with anyone. I was too shy, too frightened of doing, saying something wrong. I didn't do anything then, either. Not that I think she was being anything but nice, but … inside, down deep, I wish she had.

"Feeling lonely, which I did until I met you, my love, I'd dream of how things might have gone … h-how she'd be tender and reassuring, smiling at my shyness as she patiently got me out of my clothes. I'd shiver a little, sitting there in my underwear until she put a big, scratchy blanket over me."

Metronomically bobbing, unconsciously revealing how far down this imagined sequence went, his cock drew the attention of his right hand.

"Sometimes she would ask to touch me right there in the laundromat, sometimes she'd take me back to her nearby apartment … other times she'd want to know if I'd like to rest my head on her breast … or if I wanted to see what a woman looked like…"

Strokes rising in duration and intensity, saliva licked onto his hand for lubrication, back arching, breathing chugging, as his head craned backward.

"I-I wanted so much for her to say how handsome … how s-sexy I was … for her to take me by the hand … by my c-cock … have fun with me, teach me how to lick, to fuck … and she'd be so excited saying I was a wonderful … lover—"

"I-I'm sorry," Zach said between heaving breaths, unlocking joints. "No … not sorry. For the first time, because I feel good … no, blessed to be able to tell you about it. I'd like, very much like, sometime maybe to play a little like this, pretend I was that age again … with you."


On those nights and the ones which followed, story after story, fantasy after fantasy, memory after memory, across three thousand miles, five hundred miles (approx) they spoke of hope after hope for the future—

—and felt more connected, more intimate, more passionate, and more in love than ever before.

Photo for M. Christian
M. Christian

M.Christian is an author who has been published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even nonfiction, but it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In addition to writing, M.Christian is a respected sex and BDSM educator, having taught classes on everything from polyamory to tit torture for venues such as the SF Citadel, Good Vibrations, COPE (in Columbus, Ohio), Beat Me In St. Louis, Winter Fire, Floating World, Sin In The City (Las Vegas), Dark Odyssey, and many others.