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Archive-name: Couples/

Archive-author: S. B. Douglass

Archive-title: Rings


This was another story I wrote and posted it back in 1989 as part of the

Jesse Helms Erotic Literature Contest (which I invented).

Given the stunning performance of the Honorable Senator from Utah in the

recent Thomas versus Hill battle, I thought it might be worth dredging

it up and reposting it in honor of Senator Hatch.  The gist of the

contest was that the stories had to be erotic while confining themselves

to the kinds of constraints on sexuality that Helms and Hatch advocate.

In this story, I've tried to bend all the rules to the limit while

following them to the letter.

This story has been slightly touched up for reposting.



I was in shock when I saw what Anne exposed when she undressed, but I've

got to admit it, she did warn me.  We met six months ago at a meeting of

the local support group for survivors of AIDS.  The group was hosted by

the local Metropolitan Church, but don't get me wrong, I'm not gay.  I'd

joined the group after the death of my previous lover; when we'd started

living together, she'd never told me that her previous lover was bi, but

now she'd paid for it with her life.  Now, I thank God that we'd always

used condoms.

Anne was very withdrawn when she first joined the group; she said that

she was an artist, into jewelry design, but that she usually worked as a

sales clerk in a jewelery store because her artwork didn't support her.

When she explained that she'd just arrived from Chicago, having fled the

city when her best friend was diagnosed with AIDS, I'm sorry to say that

we weren't a very supportive group.

While the rest of the group came down on her for abandoning her friend,

I admired her.  She was stunning looking, if plainly dressed.  Her long

hair was tied back in a ponytail to show her ears, and in each ear, she

wore a row of gold earrings that ran from the earlobe right up over the

top, as many as twenty in each ear.

I still remember Anne's outburst at her first meeting.  "Damn you!" she

screamed.  "Don't you understand?  Janet and I," she sobbed, "Janet and

I shared all the same lovers."  She paused for a ragged breath.  "How

can I make you understand?  See these rings?"  She ran her finger over

the arc of rings in one ear.  "Janet and I had this deal.  Everytime we

had a new guy, we'd put in a new pair of earrings, one ring for each of

us.  Now she's got AIDS, damn it, but I didn't run away from her, I ran

away from all of our lovers! Janet I could face, I couldn't face all the


She was so different from me, but somehow over the months that followed,

we found that we had something in common.  We weren't the only straights

in the survivors of AIDS group, but mabe the fact that most of the group

was gay did help push us together.  The first thing we discovered we had

in common was an aversion to everything we associated with our encounter

with AIDS, and that included sex.

A few weeks after she joined our support group, we ended up walking out

to the parking lot together after a meeting.  It was January, but above

freezing, and after the recent cold spell, we both found it pleasantly

warm, enough so that we stood outside and chated a bit before we got in

our cars to drive home.

"By the way," I asked.  "I remember you said you did jewelry design; got

any of your work to show off?"

"Other than my earrings, Nope," she said, and then paused thoughtfully.

"It's funny, I used to like flashy jewelry, but since Janet got AIDS ...

well, I guess I've tried to avoid being flashy.  I guess I'm one of the

new puritans the minister talked about at the meeting.  It sure sounds

odd saying it, though, I mean, my self-image is about as far from that

as possible."

"I guess it's about the same with me," I said as I fished in my pocket

for my keys. "How come you still wear the earrings?"

She looked oddly at me for a moment before she answered.  "They're in

permanently; I'd have to cut them to get them out."

Can you call it dating when neither partner is interested in making any

sexual advances?  In March, a few months after Anne joined our survivors

support group, we started going out together.  I think we were both

using our relationship defensively; by staying together when we were in

social settings, we could were shield each other from sexual pressure.

I remember one night after we left a meeting of the survivors, Anne gave

a good summary of her feelings.  "You know, Jeff, there are times I wish

I could become a nun, I wish I could live in an isolated world where sex

didn't exist."

"Why not marry me?" I joked.

"What?" she said, stopping me on the street and staring at me.

"Like you said at the meeting," I said.  "You said you'd always thought

that marriage was a trap to be avoided, that marriage would mean the end

of your sexuality.  Wouldn't marriage be more fun than a convent?"

She smiled at me and chuckled.  "It probably would, but you're so ..."

She paused, her voice trailing off.  "Damn it, you're so straight that

I'm afraid I'd offend you."

I couldn't imagine what she meant by straight, but she didn't say more

until a few weeks later.  We'd gone out to a late movie after one of the

meetings of our support group, and as we walked back to the parking lot

where we'd left our cars, we talked.

"It's been a few months since I left Janet," Anne said, "and still, it's

hard for me to face it."

"You should call her up, talk to her," I suggested.

"It's not that," she said, chuckling.  "I've been phoning Janet once a

week for a while now.  What I can't do is imagine me living the rest of

my life monogamously or without sex."

"Don't take it so seriously," I said.  "You could always marry me."

Anne turned to me and took my hands in hers, something she'd never done

before.  "Look, you're nice, but do you really want to live with a girl

like me?"

I held her hands as I answered.  "Look, I didn't mean you to take me so

seriously.  What's so awful about you that you think I'd have a problem


She said she'd tell me later, but it was to be more than a month before

she said anything more.  By then, we sometimes ended up holding hands

when we walked together, and one of the guys at the support group had

joked as we left that evening that we looked like we were getting a bit

romantic with each other.  I jokingly suggested that we get married, and

although she knew I was teasing, she stopped me outside looked at me

with a serious look.

"Look, this teasing's got to stop."

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you don't want to marry me."

"Why not?" I asked, realizing that I was serious.  "Really, why not.  I

think I really like you enough that I could live with you 'till death do

us part' if I had to."

"You don't want to do it!"


"OK," she said, sighing.  "I haven't been entirely open with you or with

the support group.  Yes, Janet and I were promiscuous, but there was

more to it than that."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

She looked down at herself.  "I used to dress the part, I used to really

like seeing men react to my body, but now I'm scared.  I guess I've been

dressing pretty prudishly ever since Janet got AIDS, part of being a new

puritan, like the minister said at the meeting."

She paused to collect her thoughts before she continued.  "Janet and I

were roommates, you know, and we shared our men.  We made love together,

in the same bed, sometimes with one man and sometimes with more, and

sometimes just the two of us.  We made love to each other fairly often;

at first, we only did it when we shared a man, but it was fun enough

that we did it when we were alone together, although that wasn't often."

I could tell that there was real regret in her voice, that she'd really

enjoyed the lifestyle she was describing.  At the same time, I was a bit

shocked.  I knew that some of the gays in our support group had enjoyed

something of a similar lifestyle, but I had a hard time facing the fact

that someone I was attracted to was like that.  As a result, I stopped

my offers of marriage for a month or so, but by the time June arrived,

I'd come to face the fact that I liked Anne despite what she'd told me.

Anne always brushed me off the same way when I proposed marriage; she'd

always tell me that there was more about her that she didn't want me to

know for fear that it would end a pleasant friendship.

I asked her again today, July third, while we were on our way back from

the local clinic where we got our periodic HIV screenings; neither of us

had had any sexual contacts for six months, but we were scared enough by

our experiences to keep going back to the clinic every month.  On the

way out, we agreed to get together for a picnic dinner tomorrow, before

the fireworks on the fourth.  I made my usual proposal, half in jest but

half seriously, and Anne surpirsed me completely by answering yes.

She drove us immediately to the county courthouse.  I was still in a

daze as she marched us up to the clerk's office and rang the bell.  I'd

made my usual offer of marriage, but I hadn't expected her to accept on

the spot, and her fast followthrough left me reeling.  She filled out as

much of the form the clerk handed her as she could, then handed it to me

to fill out my part.

I'm not sure I fully realized what I was doing, but when the clerk asked

for medical lab reports certifying that we were free of the diseases the

state cares about, I felt a wave of relief as I realized that we hadn't

taken care of that formality.  I was wrong.  Anne answered the clerk's

request by pulling a form out of her purse.

It took me a while to realize that our paranoid visits to the clinic for

AIDS testing every month had included tests  for all the other diseases

the state might care about.  The form I had in my shirt pocket was more

than enough to satisfy the clerk.

"When's the wedding?" The clerk asked.

"How about now?" Anne replied.  "Is there anyone around here who can do


There was; a judge had some free time.  I went through the entire thing

in a daze, and then Anne drove me back to her place, not saying a word

until she let me out of the car.

"Well hubby," she said, holding the car door open for me, "come on up

and see what you've gotten yourself into."

"OK," I said, following her up the stairs.  We'd never seen each others'

rooms before, I'd never done more than hold her hands, and now we were

married.  I'd been serially monogamous all my adult life, but I'd always

checked out the wares, as the saying goes, before I moved in with any of

my previous lovers.

As Anne led me into her apartment, she gave me a brief tour.  The place

was a recently rehabbed loft over a bookstore.  There was one window, a

picture window looking out over the street; the rest of the light came

from skylights in the flat roof. It was a one-room apartment, but a big

one, with a kitchenette filling one of the back corners, modern bathroom

fixtures in another corner, and a large waterbed under the window.  Her

only other furnature was a large drafting table along one wall next to a

workbench cluttered with the tools of her jewelry making business.

"No wall around your bathroom?" I asked, surprised.

"They hadn't finished the place yet when they showed it to me, and they

cut the rent when I agreed to take it without internal walls.  Like it?"

She didn't give me a chance to answer her question.  She was facing me,

standing a few paces away, and with a swift gesture, she unzipped her

modest denim dress.  As she pulled the zipper down, my first impression

was that she didn't wear anything under it, but as she tossed the dress

on the floor, I saw that I was wrong; she wore jewelry.

She stood definatly in front of me with her feet apart and her hands on

her hips, and I just stared.  She had beautiful breasts,  big enough to

enjoy without being large enough to need support.  Large dark areolas

surrounded her large nipples, but I wasn't looking at them.  Well, I

was, but not in the way you might imagine.  I was looking at what she

wore on them, rings, a largish one on each breast, and it was obvious

that they passed right through each nipple.

When I finally looked down from her breasts, I saw that she also wore

rings in the hairless lips of her vagina.  Body-piercing jewelry was

something I'd heard of, but I'd never imagined that I'd find it in, my

God, my wife!

She finally spoke.  "I warned you!  You want me to explain?"

I nodded silently.

"Janet and I were running out of space in our ears when we made it with

this guy who was in the piercing business, and he suggested other places

for rings and helped us with them.  How do you like 'em?"

I finally found words.  "They're interesting to look at, but what about,

I mean, aren't they inconvenient?"

"You take your clothes off too," Anne scolded.  "I want to see what I've

gotten for myself."

I started undressing, still looking at the bizarre rings in her nipples 

and crotch.

"OK," she said as I undressed.  "I guess I owe you something.  They'd be

inconvenient if I were into pants or underwear, but I don't wear those."

My mind was still reeling as I undressed, but she didn't give me time to

catch my balance.  "Come on," she said, leading me to her, no, our bed.

"Let's do it.  I've been celebate for over six months now, and I was

fourteen the last time I went that long without a man.  I need you!"

I looked at her profile outlined against the bright window behind her as

she led me to the bed.  "Don't you want to shut the drapes?"

She smiled at me.  "I like to see what I'm doing, and besides," she said

turning to point out the window behind her, "who's there to see in?"

I looked; there was a park across the street, and unless someone climbed

a tree, we had privacy.  Even so,  I was uncomfortable as I turned back 

to Anne.  She stood in a patch of sunlight, and her rings sparkled, but

as I looked at the rings between her legs, I was puzzled.  "How do they

come out so we can make love?"

She chuckled as she looked down at me as I sat on the edge of the bed.

"They don't come out.  Remember, I was in the jewelry business.  Janet

and I welded all our rings.  They don't get in the way and I'd like it

if you played with them; I'll teach you how to use them to make things

more fun once you get used to me.  Come on!"

She was still standing in front of me as I sat on the bed, so I reached

out to touch her nipples and gently fingered the rings through them.  As

I touched them, I wondered how she'd managed to weld the rings without

burning herself.

Her nipples grew erect as I fingered the rings.  "Does this feel good?"

I asked.

"Yes," she said.  "If you want to kiss my nipples, take the ring in your

mouth and play with it with your tongue.  Don't be shy."

I wasn't ready for that yet, but I was curious about the rings between

her legs.  She lay on the bed in a patch of sun from a skylight and let

me look at them. "I hope I'm not making you feel too clinical," I said.

"Do you mind if I touch?"

Her voice was husky when she answered.  "I want you to touch!  Put your

thumbs through the rings, pull gently on them!"

I did. At first, I was merely expressing my curiosity, but as I noticed

the way Anne reacted to my touch, I began to get excited.  As I felt the

soft hairless skin between her legs, she reached out and held my penis,

and I could feel it growing as she held it and gently stroked it.

"Do you like oral sex?" Anne asked.

"I don't know," I said.  Most of my past lovers had been conventional in

their sexual interests, and the few times I'd had oral sex hadn't been

worth repeating.  "I don't think I'm ready to try it with you."

"Too bad," she said, sounding regretful.  "Kiss me!"

I did, kissing my way up her stomach from her pubic mound to her breasts

and nipples.  The rings in her nipples fit comfortably in my mouth, and

while I kissed her, she ran her hands through my hair and down my back.

It had been too long since I'd had a woman, and even with her strange

rings, the feel of her nipples in my mouth was heavenly.

I kissed my way up her throat and nibbled briefly at the fringe of rings

in her ear before kissing her lips.  Her tongue slid warmly between my

teeth, and the taste of our first kiss was heavenly.  She held my erect

penis in her hand and gently massaged it while while we locked our lips

together, and I used my free hand to play with the rings in her nipples

until she pulled my hand between her legs.

The rings between her legs were fascinating, but I didn't know what to

with them so I just slid my index finger between the rows and began to

massage.  She was soft and moist inside, and she thrust her hips gently

up against my hand in response to my touch.

I started to slide on top of her so I could enter her, but she pushed me

off.  "My way," she said, rolling me onto my back.  She squatted over me

and tickled the end of my erect penis with her rings, then reached down

and carefully threaded an index finger through each row of rings, using

the rings to spread the lips of her vagina as she slowly lowered herself

onto me.

"You'd use your thumbs to do it," she said as she pulled out her fingers

and sat down.

I could feel the rings against my crotch, but more than that, I felt the

wonderful softness of Anne engulfing my penis. She began to rock as she

sat on me, and the the sight of her sitting there in the bright sunlight

was almost too much for me.  The rings in her ears and nipples shone in

the light, and as the tension of orgasm approached, they sparkled as she


I was relaxed and content as she approached her first orgasm,  but as I

reached up to finger her nipple rings, she began to pump her hips and do

something I've never experienced before with the muscles inside her.  It

was too intense, she was too bright in the light, and I couldn't control

myself as I exploded inside her.  I think she had a second orgasm then,

but I couldn't tell.

She leaned over me and kissed me, still holding my penis inside her, and

we kissed for a long time before she sat up and began fondling my chest.

She looked down at where our pubic bones met, then looked up at my face

while I admired the sparkle of the rings in her ears and nipples.   She

saw my smile and the direction  of my glance and playfully wiggled her

hips, calling my attention to the rings pressed against the base of my


I could sense my penis trying tentatively to expand within her as she

smiled down at me.  Her voice was soft.  "I guess I'll have to get

another ring, I wonder where we'll put it?"



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