The Manchester Review
Tim Scott
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She won’t stop. She doesn’t want to stop.
      I suggested therapy: couples’ therapy or just for her. I said I’d pay for the best but she won’t go. She says it’s not a problem.
      It all started off fairly innocently. When our daughter Molly was almost two, I noticed that my wife had started incorporating it – her touch – into our sex. It could’ve passed me by because, at first, it wasn’t interfering too much. I mean we were doing everything just as often as normal and for as long.
      She does the selfless deed, oral sex, about once a month and that routine didn’t change right away. She tends to offer after we’ve had an argument or after I’ve paid for something major. The first time I caught her pleasing herself, it was after she’d offered. I’d written a cheque earlier that day to the builders for redoing the kitchen surfaces. She was sick of grey. I made a little joke that she’d have to make it up to me, that she’d have to start paying for these things herself when I retired, and she became quite angry. It was embarrassing. She put it in her mouth that night to say sorry and thank you.
      I’d cricked my shoulder you see and I had to sit up in bed. It was awkward and uncomfortable. It meant I could see her, which I normally never can. She had one hand on me, holding it steady, and her other hand was on her, between her legs, a finger hidden.
      I asked her, ‘are you touching yourself?’
      ‘I’m enjoying it,’ she said. ‘Aren’t you?’
      Well, obviously I couldn’t make a big deal out of it. But then she’d started doing it when we’d have full sex too, which happened about once a week. She’d get in the mood, or at least become willing, when I was picking out my tie for work on a Sunday night. That didn’t change for a long time. Only I’d started to notice that as she’d kiss my neck, very lightly, before we started making love or whatever you’d call it, a finger would vanish.
      She’d started asking me to wear a condom too. I’ve had my tubes crossed so I don’t know why she still felt the need for a condom. It was any excuse really, any excuse to make a bit more time for her. She’d take a little too long reaching for a condom from my bedside drawer and she’d take a little too long unwrapping it and putting it on me. She’d start panting slightly as she did it. It was very different to the affirmations, the screaming that came out of her when I was involved. When it was just her – when she was pleasuring herself, she’d shiver.