“I want to see people having sex,” George Podolsky said to his therapist nephew Jerry.
“Say what now?” Jerry said, as he set down a lunch tray on George’s bedside table.
“I want to see people having sex,” George said again.
“You’re eighty years old,” Jerry said, sitting down on the easy chair near George’s bed.
“No shit,” George said. “It doesn’t matter, though, I think about sex all the time and your Aunt Helen isn’t interested. And internet porn isn’t cutting it. I can hardly get a boner.”
“You watch porn?” Jerry said.
“Don’t you?” George said.
Jerry didn’t answer.
George continued as if his point had been made. “The porn might actually make it worse. But I can’t tell. Maybe if I didn’t watch the porn I wouldn’t be having these feelings. Or maybe they’d be worse. All I know is that when I close my eyes, I see young, naked bodies everywhere. On the furniture, walking into my room, touching themselves in the bathtub. And here’s the weird part.”
“You don’t think the whole thing is weird?” Jerry said. “Eat your lunch, it’s getting cold.”
“No, I don’t think it’s weird,” George said. “I may be old but I’m not dead. I want to see naked people touching each other. Is that wrong? I just want to see them. I don’t care if I touch them. Well, maybe a little touching would be nice. Anyway, why can’t I see them? It’s not like I’ll be hurting anyone.”
“So what’s the weird part?”
“The weird part is I think about the boys more than the girls. You think I’m gay and I just repressed it all these years?”
“I don’t think so. I think you’re just horny. Or you think you are. I wish I could help you.”
“You can. You can get a couple of people over here so I can watch them have sex,” Jerry said.
“I’m absolutely serious. You’re my nephew, who else can I ask. Don’t you have friends who would do this kind of thing?”
“Sure all of my friends put on sex shows for strangers. After they put their kids to bed.”
“But you’re a shrink. You must know a lot about this stuff. People must tell you all kinds of things.”
“They do, but no one has ever asked me to get involved in solicitation.”
“What about Petey at your bachelor party? You told me about that”.
“First of all it was fifteen years ago. Second of all he was totally shit faced and she was a stripper, it was all pretend”.
“Pretend is fine by me. I don’t care if they even like each other. Where did you get the stripper?”
“I don’t know. Someone else made the arrangements.”
“Who? Jerry, I need this. I can’t do anything, I’m pretty dried up, but in my mind I’m like sixteen again. You’ll help me, right?”
Jerry stood up and kissed his uncle on the forehead. “I’ll think about it,” he said.
Jerry left. Alone, George absentmindedly touched his penis, and there was the usual lack of reaction. He couldn’t even masturbate any more. Well kind of could, but no happy endings. He closed his eyes and saw body parts, male and female. Curious, undulating penises searching for places to crawl into.
He thought of the women he’d slept with, how wonderful it had been to perform, to be happy and explode inside them. He tried to remember their passion as well. He knew they faked it a lot of the time, but not always. It couldn’t have been always, could it? Maybe it was. Maybe that’s why Helen stopped wanting to be touched. Maybe he should have been nicer to her. To all of them. He wondered about their memories, their fantasies. Was he ever part of them? Maybe, somewhere in space and time, his memories of them were meeting up with their memories of him.
He went on the internet and looked at sex ads. He’d looked at them before, but never done anything about it. There were actually a few ads in the local area for couples. See, he thought, I’m not the only one.
He called Jerry on the phone and gave him the phone number.
“See if they’ll make house calls,” he said. “And arrange it for a Thursday, that’s the day Helen goes into the city. Let’s find a hotel. I’ll pay whatever they want.”
“I don’t know, Jerry, this seems pretty twisted. Maybe you should talk to Helen. Maybe she can give you what you want.”
“Helen? She stopped wanting to have sex years ago. I don’t even get to see her naked. She changes her clothes in the bathroom.”
“OK, let’s not getting into details about my aunt. But why don’t you approach her and tell her what you told me. If it doesn’t work out, we can talk about other options.”
“How about this one,” George said. “Dirk and Portia, the hung stallion and his waiting filly.”
“I’m hanging up now,” Jerry said. “Talk to Helen.”
That night in bed, he took his nephew’s advice. He explained his situation to his wife. She had been dozing off with her back towards him, as usual. He had lost something, he told her, and he needed to find it. He needed to see naked bodies. He needed touching. That’s all. There were tears in his eyes as he spoke. “Don’t you miss it too?” he asked.
She turned to face him.
“It’s different with me,” she said. “But I still love you.” She put her arm across his chest. “Can we talk about it in the morning? It’s 9:30, and I’m exhausted.”
George appreciated the feel of her arm across his heart. He took her hand and kissed it.
“You taste good,” he said.
She kissed him on the cheek.
“So do you,” she said. “You always have.”