"Damn, Tilda, you're a mess. You really must do something with your hair. Not to mention joining Weight Watchers and dropping about a hundred pounds. And don't forget to see a dermatologist. It's a cinch you'll never get a boyfriend with a butt fatter than the Goodyear Blimp and a face looking like an anchovy pizza."
"Thanks, Sandi, you sure know how to make a girl feel good about herself. Where would I be without you?"
"Think nothing of it. After all, what are friends for?"
Matilda was thoroughly disgusted. With the world. With fate. With herself.
She had a pockmarked face and a big fat ass. She was ungainly and lacking in social skills. Never mind that she was warm, loving, and, somewhere underneath it all, recklessly passionate. At 38 she was still a virgin.
Her last attempt at a relationship, some years back, had been a disaster. Stanley ("call me Studley") had seemed to like her all right, but was ashamed to be seen with her in public. "My buddies'd have a shit fit if they saw me hanging around with a fat chick," he admitted.
"My girlfriends would have shit fit too, if they saw me hanging around with a musclebound moron like you," she laughed, "so I guess we have something in common after all."
It ended on a lonely country road, when he tried to "persuade" her to give him head. "It's my way or the highway, girlie." Two hours it took her to walk back to civilization.
Tilda was older and wiser now, but that didn't diminish her loneliness, her desperate craving for simple human touch. She needed someone who would caress her hair, look her in the eye and tell her she was special. Someone who would cherish her inner beauty. Someone who would care.
"A good man is hard to find... " Wasn't there a pop tune like that once upon a time? For a woman in her late thirties damn near any kind of man is hard to find. All the "good" ones have long since married or settled into longterm relationships. All that are left are... the leftovers. The misfits and rejects and losers. She certainly belonged in one or more of those categories.
Maybe... just maybe it was time for a change in strategy. If suitable men in her age group were scarce, then what about... younger men. Men in their late twenties. Men in their early twenties. Men just barely of legal age. Hell, even some of those eighteen-year-old kids fresh out of high school were starting to look mighty good.
So, what did she have to offer to a younger man? Experience? She really didn't have a whole lot of that. Well, maturity... acceptance... warmth. And what was it a young guy wanted after all? A combination mother and lover. She'd give it her best shot.
First priority was the minor matter of acquiring expertise in the art and science of lovemaking. Tilda began by reading the classics on the subject: the "Kama Sutra," Richard Burton's translation of the "Perfumed Garden," and Alex Comfort's "The Joy of Sex." These dealt mostly with different positions and variations of intercourse. There was a marked scarcity of detail in the turgid prose, and a total absence of the esoteric gems of wisdom she had expected. "There's not a great deal that books can teach me," she concluded.
Where to turn to, then? Well gosh, why not Aunt Karen? Even at the ancient age of sixty, she was still the black sheep of the family. During Tilda's childhood she'd often heard her parents whispering about Karen's alleged escapades with various boyfriends and paramours. Quite a racy reputation she had.
"Aunt Karen, I seem to have a teensy little problem. I'm trying to jump-start my love life, but I'm totally ignorant of the mechanics of it. Yes, of course there are gazillions of books on the subject, but what can I learn from just reading?"
"When it comes to the erotic arts, sad to say, books are pretty much a waste of time. Ah, Matilda, there is so much I could teach you, so much pain I'd like to spare you. Unfortunately, it's all too true that pain is the great teacher. Probably the best I can do is give you the the benefit of my own limited experience, then send you on your way. And, oh yes, please call me Kari, won't you? I simply despise 'Karen.'"
"Any help you could give me, Auntie, I'd appreciate. I haven't had much luck with men my own age or older, so I've been thinking about younger men, much younger men. Does that knock you out of your socks?"
"It would take a great deal more than that to shock me, my child. I've seen and done things that would chill you to the very marrow. It just happens that I was a member of the notorious Dr. Abelian's inner circle. You might have heard of him -- the man who claimed that 'orgone' energy, the power released by sex, was the key to eternal youth.
"Oddly enough, Matilda, Abelian discovered that virginal males are the richest respositories of that particular fundamental force of nature. A sexual connection with an inexperienced young man, one whose emotions are freshest and rawest and unmuted, liberates a veritable torrent of orgone energy at the culmination of the act of love. The youthening and age-retardant effects of the orgone radiation affect everyone in the immediate vicinity."
"And that's why so many older women are taking young lovers nowadays, Aunt Kari? For the rejuvenating effect? I assume this also works for older men with young girlfriends."
"As it happens, my dear girl, having sex with a virgin female actually reverses the orgone energy flow. This causes the male partner to age more rapidly, to his utter dismay, no doubt. But yes, women in their thirties and upward can slow the aging process by 'breaking in' virgin males. Do you need proof? Look at me. Look closely."
Aunt Kari unbuttoned her blouse, then pulled off her bra. She had smooth, unlined skin and her firm breasts showed not the slightest trace of wrinkles or sag.
"You still doubt me, child?"
As Tilda stood frozen, staring in shock with her mouth gaping open, Kari vigorously scrubbed off layers of pancake makeup from her face.
"My gosh, Auntie, you could pass for my younger sister! I can't flippin' believe it."
"It's all too true, Matilda. Absorbing regular doses of orgone energy keeps my face and body at a physiological age of twenty-five."
"Auntie, you mean you -- you mean the wild gossip about you is... true?"
"Don't rush to judgment, Matilda. Don't you realize that your own parents are of my own generation? I just happen to know a few of the crazy things they themselves did as they were coming of age. They didn't call us the 'Free Love and LSD Generation' for nothing.
"To answer your question -- I have indeed taken 18-year-old boys as lovers, and not just for the rejuvenating effects. Quite frankly, I enjoy their youthful zest for life and their untainted enthusiasm for sex... their uninhibited horniness, to be disgustingly crude about it. 'Boy toys' indeed."
"Why, Auntie, no!" Tilda snorted. "And just where do you go on your cradle-robbing raids? Bars? Dance clubs? You maybe make like the Phantom of the Opera and skulk around pool halls?"
"Do you have any plans for tonight, Matilda? If not, I invite you to accompany me on a cradle-robbing raid, as you so aptly put it."
Tilda and her Aunt Kari were sitting in the back row, listening attentively to a sloppily-dressed young fellow expounding with evangelical fervor on the glories of his favorite computer operating system.
"What a bunch of weirdos," Tilda whispered across to Kari. "No wonder they're virgins. No self-respecting woman would look twice at one of these geeks."
"Forget the clothes and hairstyles. Observe their firmly-muscled young bodies. Just look at those tightly-packed buns. It makes my ancient juices flow thinking about that sweet meat!"
Tilda was starting to redden with embarrassment as the speaker continued his sermon.
"... holding back the satanic avalanche of sludge from Redmond, Washington. Only Linux can save the world from... "