10962161 by Juska Wendland | Flickr
When a former stranger covered in sweat and old saliva is wiping his fading erection on your decorative pillow, that’s when the big questions arise - like whether this person could possibly be your soulmate. Great relationships are often bound in the twisted pretzel of passion and friendship. At first, all that matters is pleasure. But when that initial rush begins to fade, when the hormones have subsided, that’s when the foundation can be laid. That’s when you decide if the person laying next to you is worth building something with.
I’d thought Josh was worth building something with. But after nearly a year of long-distance dating, his prolonged absence had created a gaping chasm of sexual frustration that threatened to swallow me whole.
On those lonely nights where dirty talk failed, where awkward texts and dick-pic Snapchats couldn't get me going, I had my own personal massager to fall back on. Or into.
But just like my relationship, it had become a huge disappointment.
Held together with duct tape, this carelessly designed vibrator was prone to giving off painful electrical shocks that made me feel like I’d inserted a knife-wielding toaster into my Easy-Bake Oven.
If I sneezed, slumped my shoulders, or bucked my hips, my vibrator would display its wrath by turning off. Usually at that crucial moment of climax. I was at the mercy of an off-brand Walmart gag gift. It finally suffered an unfortunate end when it somehow found its way to the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Days later, my sexual deprivation was reaching hangry levels. All those late-night phone calls while alone in bed. If I couldn’t have him, then Josh made sure I had something better. That’s when Iris came into my life.
She was a thing of beauty, with a flower-carved tip and an eye-catching deep rose covering. I soon discovered the joy of upgrading to a top-of-the-line, Michelin-graded, four-star vibrator. That very night I became a LELO girl, lost in a pleasurable abyss.
My boyfriend had gifted our relationship a sexual reprieve, and her name was Iris. And Iris had gifted me multiple orgasms. I could see a big, bright, beautiful future with my 24/7 dual-wielding, fast-acting robot cock.
That was until a few months later, when Josh came back.
Compared to Iris, his shotgun style of romance was frantic and left me deeply unfulfilled. Those first few weeks were spent scouring the Internet for helpful advice and reading articles like, How to Desensitize Your Boyfriend’s Over-Eager Man Meat, or He Shot Directly into My Gobble Gusher before I Even Got My Shoes Off… What Do I Do?
Frustrated, I turned my attention back to mechanical perfection. With Iris by my side, I stopped obsessively searching for answers to my relationship woes. Instead I had time to focus on the one thing that truly mattered… clitoral stimulation.
But even the most well-maintained household device can break down. My girl’s energy finally began to wane, her silicon padding split apart, and whenever I turned her on, a smell of burning hair permeated my apartment. Yet I continued to let her worship my body.
Like most relationships based on passion, ours fizzled out. In this case, in a small wire fire a few weeks before Christmas.
There could be no replacing Iris; the model had been cruelly discontinued. And nothing could be done to bring her back to life. At one point, half-crazed, I even attempted to take pliers to her innards, to break her apart so that I might put her back together again.
Josh caught me, hunched and weary, staring at the broken parts that were Iris, her power cord torn to shreds, her lovely case cast aside revealing the bone-white china beneath.
Desperate and horny, I rebounded. I found a newer model, the next generation: the Mona. Similar in stature, smooth silicone with a blushing, hot-cherry exterior, she could’ve been right for me. I was desperate to love her.
Even in those first awkward days, as I fumbled with the complicated swivel dial and attempted to ignore the whiny pulsating noises that screeched out of her Bluetooth-enabled tip, I thought, It’s still better than him.
But by the third week I realized how foolish it was to buy a vibrator on the rebound. The Mona did not make me moan. I’d been promised a Ferrari and left with the actual power of an octogenarian on a mini-scooter.
Depressed and lonely, I tried to comfort myself with Josh’s warm, pulsing heat. But how could his flesh compare to the uncomplicated and endlessly devoted Iris?
Our problems, which I had so long ignored, had not lessened, and as I lay next to him unsatisfied and on the verge of tears, I took stock of him in the cruelest way.
His penis was mediocre, his smile crooked, his hygiene haphazard. He farted a lot. Especially during lovemaking. Short noxious sounds permeated from the unconscious crack of his mind. Who was this man who supposedly shared my vision for pleasure? Why could he not be like the supple, elongated plastic of my prepackaged friend?
We tried everything: teeth, toes, tongue... pegging. But nothing brought me even a taste of what Iris and I had shared.
To my shock, a few days later, a beautifully wrapped package in plain white paper appeared at the foot of my bed. My boyfriend eagerly waited as I unwrapped his surprise.
There before me was a new pleasure packet, the Icicle. Pale blue, blown glass, artistically strewn veins... It seemed more like an ornament for the mantel than a clitoral carpet ride. My eyes understood its beauty, but my body did not. In fact it still sits unused on top of my jewelry case, its thick shaft the perfect size for my worn-out bracelets.
My previously inattentive boyfriend had become determined to give me what I craved. But instead of trying harder in the bedroom, he put all his effort into finding me another inanimate object to love.
A few weeks later came the Bee, a hulking, industrial-sized device that sounded like a lawnmower skinning a feral cat. The sound was so loud that my roommate’s initially polite knocks turned into banging accusations if I were to use it before ten on weekend mornings.
Afterwards came a nifty lipstick-sized pocket rocket. But by the end of the week I was worried what was left of the EPA might be alerted to my mountain of AA batteries.
After all these failed attempts, I began to wonder, if soulmates existed, then was it possible that in all the world there was only one perfect vibrator for me? Would I ever be able to recreate the intricate bond that Iris and I had formed?
My partner, my friend, my devoted human-sized lover, who can never fill the hole Iris left behind, hasn't given up yet. He scours the Internet and ducks into seedy overpriced sex shops, hoping to find her for me. What once was my isolating journey for sexual pleasure has bonded us together. We are entwined in this sacred quest. Batteries at the ready, waiting for our throuple to be complete.
Until then, when the foundation beneath us begins to shake, I lock myself in the bathroom, take hold of the shower head, and pretend that Iris is still with us. That we are okay, and that this is enough to build on.
Lindsay Morris writes lively, uncomfortable, and downright hilarious stories about life, relationships, and sex. Her characters channel an awkward fearlessness that makes for highly enjoyable reading. An avid traveler and storyteller, Lindsay has a B.A in English from Syracuse University. Her play We Won't Fight premiered at the Athenaeum in Chicago, IL, and she currently performs in the East Village, getting her work out there to the delight and horror of her audiences. Instagram Writeforthewhimsy.