Leda and the Swan

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When I first met Carla, I was living in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is a strange town for upstate New York — people who hate it say it’s “stuck in the 60’s;” people who love it say it has “preserved the 60’s.” At least they agree on what’s special about Ithaca — they just disagree about whether it’s good or bad. A friend of mine who moved to Ithaca from Santa Cruz says that Ithaca is “Santa Cruz with lousy weather.” We don’t have a boardwalk, either.

Many of the businesses in town are run by aging hippies who moved to Ithaca to attend school, then never left. Every second or third business or institution in town seems to have the word “alternative” in the title — there’s the Alternatives Credit Union, and the Alternative Bookstore, the Alternatives Natural Food Store, and the alternative just about anything you can think of. One enterprising soul who believed that money is the root of all evil (not a new attitude, is it?) decided to make an alternative to money. She instituted a formal barter system in Ithaca, where people trade skills, goods and services with each other. People who work for someone who doesn’t have something that they want are given chits to exchange for the services of someone who does have something they want. Don’t ask me how the chits are different from money — if you want to join the system, it’s an article of faith that they ARE different.

The people who belonged to the bartering network seemed like gentle, good-natured souls in a goofy kind of way (all those drugs in the 60’s left them with fewer brain cells, I suppose), and I was an impoverished student, so it seemed like a good idea to join. I could meet some interesting “alternative” people and trade my services for a few things I couldn’t acquire otherwise.

Upon joining, they gave me a list of names, addresses, and skills. My own name (Leah) and skills (housecleaning, vegetarian cooking, and listening) would be added to the next list. Scanning the list for goods and services I was interested in, I was intrigued to find “Carla Pierre, sculptor.” I could trade housecleaning for sculpture? Only in Ithaca! So who needs a boardwalk, anyway?

I made an appointment to talk to Carla. On the day of my appointment, I walked down Cayuga Street, searching for her studio. It turned out to be right above a bookstore I frequented. Funny, I’d never before wondered what the floors above the store were used for. I clambered up three flights of stairs, then knocked at a door marked “Carla Pierre, Sculpture.”

The woman who opened the door was tall, with black curly hair and intense blue eyes. I was surprised at how young she was. I had been expecting an older woman, but the woman before me was probably only about five years older than I was. That was good; it would make what I had to say easier. She sat on one end of a futon on the floor and waved me to the other end. Alternative people are not known for their formality.

I saw her take in my pink triangle — she looked from it to my face and smiled. So, she was a dyke, too. Interesting.

“You’re interested in sculpture?” she asked.

“Well, not *all* sculpture. I don’t go for the three-basketballs-floating-in-a-fishtank kind of sculpture, but I do like realistic sculptures of people. I know that’s gauche, these days.”

She hooted. “Can you *believe* they put that thing in the Museum of Modern Art?”

I shook my head, and we both laughed. I liked her laugh – it seemed unrestrained.

“The only sculpture I do is the realistic kind, and yeah, it is out of favor these days. But I comfort myself with the thought that my stuff is more likely to be enjoyed by somebody a hundred years from now than three basketballs floating in an aquarium. Of course, it makes it kinda hard to pay the rent *until* then.”

I nodded sympathetically. “I have a request that makes me a little nervous, since I don’t know if True Artists are supposed to turn it down in disgust or not.”

“Hey, that was good — I could hear the capital letters.” She smiled. “Not to worry — True Artists probably don’t join the Ithaca Barter Network, either.”

“Okay. Well, I’d like orhangazi escort you to copy a work for me. Not to pass off as the original or anything like that — I just like it and would like to have it around to look at. It’s sort of an unusual work, and they didn’t have any casts of it for sale at the museum shop.”

Carla raised an eyebrow. “I’m guessing this is the Met, not MoMA.”

“Got it in one.”

“What piece did you have in mind?”

“The Met has a whole series of ‘Leda and the Swans,’ done by different artists. Most of them just look like they’re of a nice girl and her pet swan, but there’s one that’s different. This one shows Leda actually being penetrated by the Swan. I’m not all that sexually conservative, but I still found it shocking, especially compared to the others.”

Carla was looking at me with a really strange expression. “Come with me,” she said abruptly.

We exited the studio, and she locked it, then we went down the stairs. We walked down Cayuga Street, turned right on Clinton Street, then right again on Fayette Street. All this time Carla hadn’t said a word. I’m not quite sure why I was following her, but it never occurred to me not to. I’m not usually a docile person, but she said “Follow me,” and I went.

She let us into a little apartment in a house on Fayette Street, then led me into her bedroom. Sitting on the nightstand was a copy of “Leda and the Swan.” THE “Leda and the Swan.” Looking at it, I was shocked all over again, and not just because a woman was getting fucked by a swan. I looked at Carla.

“I’m not usually turned on by depictions of heterosexual activity,” she said, “but I couldn’t get this piece out of my mind, so I copied it.”

‘Heterosexual activity.’ I hadn’t really thought of it in those terms. At least I had been right about what the smile meant.

“May I look at it?” I asked.

“Of course.”

I picked the piece up and looked at it. It was only about as big as a loaf of bread, but it was bronze and heavy. It looked, to my inexperienced eye, very like the original. Certainly it was just as beautiful, just as realistic, just as shocking. Leda was on her back, legs spread wide, head thrown back. The swan was between her legs. Fucking her. I wouldn’t have said that I was at all into bestiality; in fact, I know I’m not, but there was something about this piece that got to me.

Carla came up beside me and looked at the piece while I held it in my hands. Her arm brushed my breast as she reached over to point out Leda’s expression with her forefinger. An accident?

Her voice was soft in my ear. “You said that you weren’t sexually conservative. Did you just mean that you’re a dyke, or are you a loose woman in other ways?”

‘A loose woman.’ What a quaint expression. Having her so near certainly made me feel loose. I’d always been attracted to women of her physical type, but it wasn’t just that that drew me. There was something in her manner or her eyes or her aura that held me. “Aura.” Right. I think I’ve been Ithacaized.

“Oh,” I said flirtatiously, “other ways, too.”

“Do you ever have sex with somebody you’ve just met?”

“I never have before, but I think it’s time I broadened by horizons, don’t you?”

She took the sculpture out of my hands and set it back on the night table. Then she unbuttoned my shirt. I have small breasts and never wear a bra, so she was caressing my breasts all of about twenty seconds after I said yes.

“Something tells me this isn’t the first time *you’ve* ever had sex with a stranger.”

She moved back slightly without letting go of my breasts and looked me in the eye. “Do I feel like a stranger to you?”

I’m a shy person; it takes a lot to get past my defenses. Once in a while I meet someone I feel I’ve always known, and with that person the defenses never get raised. Carla was one such person, which was undoubtedly why I was doing something with her that I’d never done before. “No,” I answered her, “I feel as if I’ve known you for years.”

“And soon you will know me better.”

I removed her hands nilüfer escort from my breasts long enough to pull her tee-shirt over her head, then replaced them. “Controlling bitch, aren’t you,” she said.

I giggled. “You don’t know the half of it.”

She gave me a look that said she knew more than I thought, and I wondered, for the first of what would be many times, how she could read me so well. My purple Indian skirt had an elastic waistband, as did my underwear. One yank, and I was dressed only in sandals. Carla was wearing ratty jeans, the appropriate attire of the working sculptor, which took longer to remove.

Once they were off, I dropped to my knees, pressed my face to her vulva, and inhaled. God, she smelled wonderful.

“Can’t wait to get to the good stuff, huh?” she teased.

“I never can.” I was completely serious.

“Somebody should teach you some manners.” She was still teasing.

“People have tried.” I was still serious.

I pushed her over to her bed, onto her back with her legs spread. I laid on my stomach between her legs, with my face next to her vulva. I inhaled again. Mmmm — woman. I took her clit in my mouth and began to lick it, alternating flicking it lightly back and forth with flicking it lightly up and down. She got wet almost immediately, which made licking her all the more fun. Her scent grew stronger and her juices tasted wonderful. I was surrounded by, immersed in, the sight and scent and taste and feel of Carla. She started to moan, and sound was added to my other pleasures.

I licked her slick wet clit, sucked her delicious juices, rubbed my tongue against the warm wet folds of her vulva. It always amazes me that women like this. I’d ask them to let me do it to them as a favor, because I enjoy it so much, and they actually get pleasure out of it, too. It’s days like this that I believe there really is a Goddess.

I supported myself on my left elbow while I put the forefinger of my right hand into her. I moved it slowly in and out of her, licking her clit all the while. She felt open enough for more fingers, so I added another and pumped a little harder. Judging by the sounds she made, Carla very much liked getting eaten and finger-fucked at the same time. I was glad she wasn’t one of those anti-penetration lesbians.

When I first started making love with women, I finger-fucked them because I thought they would enjoy it. It only took a few sessions, though, before my fingers looked forward to it at least as much as their cunts. I was bemused when this occurred. Fingers are not on the recognized list of erogenous zones — how could it be that my fingers WANTED my lover. They didn’t itch, exactly, or ache, or tingle — it was some sensation I didn’t have a name for. But they wanted her in a way that felt physical, even though I knew it must be psychological. I wondered what it must be like to have a penis, if my fingers could crave cunt so badly. Have to find out in my next life.

Carla seemed to be getting really close to coming, so I sped everything up, licking and fucking faster. “Harder,” she said. I didn’t know which activity she was talking about, but it didn’t seem the right time to ask for lengthy explanations, so I kept licking lightly but fucked her as hard as I could. Carla came, screaming, then collapsed. I love the screamers.

She was sweaty and breathing hard as I moved up to hug her, and we lay intertwined for a while, snuggling.

After a while she raised herself up on one elbow and looked at me. “Haven’t you ever heard of foreplay?”

“You can have all the foreplay you want, right now,” I said.

“That makes it AFTERplay.”

“Details, details.”

She laughed.

“Are you teasing, or are you really disappointed?”

“Oh, I’m always TERRIBLY disappointed when I come my brains loose.”

I was relieved.

“I was just a little surprised is all. I don’t know many women who get right down to business like that.”

“Business! I forgot all about business. How many chits do I have to give you to let me lick your cunt?”

She pretended türbanlı escort to slap me, then chuckled. “That’s a kind of whore I never heard of.”

I ducked the blow. “Stop that, or I’ll call the police.”

Carla stopped teasing and looked at me seriously for a minute. “Before you made me incapable of noticing anything, I did happen to catch sight of those bruises on your ass. They didn’t look like you got them by falling down one of Ithaca’s endless hills.”

“Oh,” I teased, “Are you a connoisseur of bruises?”

“Yes.” She was still being serious. “I inflict enough of them on my lovers to know what paddle marks look like, Leah.”

“You’re a sadomasochist, too!” She nodded. “Top or switch?”

“Top,” she answered. “Bottom or switch?”

“Switch.”

“Speaking of which, I’d like to take one to you.”

“My body is yours.”

She caught my eye. “Someday you will say that to me and mean it completely.”

I shuddered and didn’t answer.

“What’s your safeword?”

“Vanilla.”

She smiled. “I was joking about the switch, but I do have this nice paddle, and since it looks as if your body is already …familiar… with such an implement, I’d like to use it.”

“Could you start with your hand and then switch to the paddle? It seems more personal somehow if it’s your flesh against mine.”

“Certainly wouldn’t want to be impersonal with somebody who’s spent the last hour with her face in my cunt. Come lie across my lap.”

I’m pretty tall, so lying across someone’s knee always leaves me with a couple of yards of arms and legs left over. Some people get off on the indignity of the position, but I’m not one of them — I just like what happens after I get into it.

She caressed my ass gently with her palm, then slapped me lightly. Somehow the first slap always surprises me. She waited a moment, then slapped me again, just slightly harder. Another pause, another blow. It was clear that she wasn’t in any kind of hurry, and I liked that. It’s always overwhelming when somebody manages to convey that they don’t have anywhere else they need to go or anything else they need to do besides make love to you.

She spanked me in that same leisurely way for quite a while, each blow just slightly harder than the last. Eventually, my ass started to feel quite warm, and at that point she switched to the paddle. Her first blow with the paddle was much harder than the last one with her hand, and I yelped, as much out of surprise as out of pain.

She gave me an evil grin that I hadn’t seen before. “Now that I’ve got you sufficiently warmed up, we can get down to some serious beating.”

I gulped, then comforted myself with the thought that she was just trying to play with my head.

She hit me over and over again, quite hard, but with ample time to recover between blows. I was yipping a little, but not really crying or screaming.

She noticed this. “I’d like to make you scream a little. Is that okay with you, or do you usually stop here?”

“Uh, yes to both.”

“Both? Well, I’m flattered. But not so much that I won’t hit you as hard as I can.”

The first blow landed, and I screamed, just as she had desired. My ass felt so hot, I could have sworn she had heated the paddle on the stove, even though I knew she had not. Another blow, another scream. God, she was good. Again. We continued for a while, then I decided I had had enough. “Vanilla,” I said.

She stopped and began to lightly kiss the area she had just smacked, feather light kisses that I wouldn’t even have been able to feel if my ass weren’t so tender. She turned me over and planted the same feathery kisses on my thighs, then my vulva, then my clit. She began to treat me as I had treated her, and with the same result.

We snuggled up close, and I played with her hair while she caressed my cheek. “I knew if I joined the Ithaca Barter Network I’d meet some interesting people,” I said.

She put on a phony English accent. “Well met,” she said, “Jolly well met.”

And our relationship continued, and grew, but those are other stories.

****

There really is a “Leda and the Swan” like the one I describe in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check it out the next time you’re there. (There also really is an aquarium in the Museum of Modern Art with three basketballs floating in it. I leave checking THAT out to your own discretion. 🙂 )

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