friendship

The night Maggie, 17, said she had sex with her married high school teacher at his house.

Content warning: explicit. 

When Lisa Taddeo set out to write a book about female desire, she had no idea that she would spend eight years inserting herself into the lives of three wildly different women at varying places on the spectrum.

Among them is Maggie, a North Dakota woman who made headlines when she came forward with allegations that, as a 17-year-old high school student, she had a sexual relationship with her married English teacher. He was ultimately acquitted of all charges, while Maggie was left to grapple with a new identity as the town pariah and all the name-calling and betrayals that come with it.

In this extract from Three Women, Taddeo paints Maggie’s picture of her first sexual encounter with the 29-year-old father.

***

He opens the door. There is her teacher standing at his garage door at night. He’s wearing a blue Spamalot T-shirt and jeans. She doesn’t think the outfit is cute. She doesn’t know what she was expecting. She didn’t expect him to wear his school dress pants and shirt. But this is weird. He looks sloppy. He isn’t ripped or anything so the T-shirt looks like it’s in awkward pain, sagging there. She wonders if he spent as much time as she did, choosing an outfit. She gets out of the car.

Hi, he says. He doesn’t seem nervous.

She can barely speak. She doesn’t know what she feels. It isn’t glee. It feels like falling.

He leads her down into the finished basement, which has an entertainment zone and a bedroom. He says his two children are sleeping upstairs and asks if she would like a tour of the house.

Upstairs, she knows, there will be another lady’s shaving cream and magnifying mirrors.

Mia Freedman interviews author Lisa Taddeo on the latest episode of No Filter. Post continues below. 

Maggie says, No thank you.

In the basement it’s terribly cold. He suggests they watch a film. She would rather talk. She feels she needs time to absorb the reality of what’s happening. That this carpet is his carpet, their carpet, and his kids play down here and they watch Ice Age as a family. Mostly, though, it’s very cold so Maggie asks for a blanket.

He selects one from a closet. Everything is well arranged. She feels as though she’s at the home of a friend whose parents have more money than hers.

She sits on the couch and he sits beside her. He’s already selected a movie—Dan in Real Life.

Thirty minutes into the film, Aaron takes Maggie’s hand and says, Kiss me like you said you were going to.

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She’d texted once, during a confident surge, that she wanted to memorise his entire face with her lips. She didn’t think he’d been paying attention because the text didn’t receive a real response. It was one of the times when he changed the subject. She thought she’d spooked him. But now he seems anything but spooked, leaning in with his dinner breath.

Finally, she thinks, his mouth! She can’t believe it. Her heart pounds, her hands shake. His mouth! And just like that, she is inside it.

Besides Mateo, Maggie has kissed only boys and grasped their skinny shoulders, tasted their Winston breath. When high school boys kiss, the passion is muted and impatient, like they’re just waiting to undo their pants.

This kiss, with this man, is roving. She feels his desire to convey the full scope of himself.

I love you, she says.

He smiles and says, I love you, too.

For the rest of the night they would repeat the sentiment a great number of times while intensely gazing into each other’s eyes.

The first few kisses involve the tongue only slightly, but after the third I love you, his tongue thrust becomes excessive. It isn’t gross at all, but like he couldn’t get enough of her, skating his tongue along the pink roof of her mouth.

Next he moves his body on top of hers. They are on the sectional couch. He begins a back-and-forth sliding-plus-pushing motion. In her deposition she will say he was thrusting his pelvis into hers. In layman’s terms, he is dry-humping her. She likes it; it gives her pleasure without making her nervous or freaked out and she wants it to go on for hours.

Maggie supposes it makes sense that men want to revert to doing high school things after they’ve been married for a while with routine, fully naked insertion. Meanwhile schoolboys long to f*** like porn stars, unclothed and poundingly.

Three Women Lisa Taddeo.
Three Women Lisa Taddeo.
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In a while Aaron suggests they move into the spare bedroom, where he takes off his Spamalot shirt. He pulls down her jeans, and her underwear, in separate trips.

She goes to undo the belt on his pants but he says, No.

She feels she’s done something wrong. Softly, he says, I want to wait until you’re eighteen.

It’s unclear whether he means to have sex or for her to get a look at his penis.

She smiles. Her hand hovers around the golden button of his jeans.

He growls. She has never heard a man actually do that in real life before.

Ohhh you’re seducing me, he says. Now I’m gonna have to do this.

He slips two fingers in her. They are kissing and he is waving traffic ahead.

He takes himself down the length of her body until his mouth locks between her legs. She says his name out loud for the first time. All this time she’s avoided it, the way she avoids calling her friends’ parents by their first names and ends up never addressing them at all. She’s done the same thing with Aaron for the past few months, until now.

Oh, Aaron! she says. She doesn’t moan too loud, because she is aware of his children upstairs.

He brings her to orgasm. He is the first man ever to do this, though two and a half men came before him. He smiles proudly, emerging from between her thighs.

With a voice that sounds like he has just smoked many cigarettes he says, I like the way you taste.

Maggie, breathing hard, says, Don’t they all taste the same?

Laughing, he says, No. Nonono.

He says something about knowing a lot about women’s bodies and how to touch them. It’s over, she guesses. He’s lying there as though it is. She doesn’t start crying, but she feels she’d like to. They consider the ceiling together. It feels awkward, not entirely magical. Still, she feels lucky to be there. But something about the orgasm made her feel very cold, like something was taken from her.

This is an edited extract from Thee Women, Lisa Taddeo, Avid Reader Press. RRP$24.50.

You can purchase Three Women on Booktopia. 

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