A true story told by me, about me. And yes I have put my real name in it, and that of my families.

Part of me wanted Alex with me, but part of me was glad I was doing this on my own. I parked the car, stepped out into the hot July sun, and walked up the block towards the small jewelry store I'd found. As I approached the store, I thought about Alex. He was a good man, but over the last few years, our relationship had grown a bit stale. We'd talked about it, on and off, but I can't say anything much had come of our talks, and on a few oc- casions, I'd even thought about divorce.

My thoughts skittered in another direction as I stepped into the cool shade of the store. What was I doing? Proper mid- dle aged housewives don't do things like this. "Why not?" part of me wondered. "Why not!" another part of me asserted. I'd had this fantasy for a long time, and now that I knew I could make it real, I was sure I'd never forgive myself if I didn't do it.

"Can I help you?" It was Sue Austin, jewelry designer, and she was certainly dressed for the hot day. "Alex would like that," I thought. I felt a mix of annoyance and envy as I noticed how little she wore, just a pair of very short and very frayed cutoff jeans and two small triangles of leather over her breasts.

"I'm Elizabeth Arnold, we talked on the phone," I said. I'd gotten her business card at an art fair a year ago after I noticed the ankle bracelet she wore. It was the stuff of my fantasy, an unbroken gold hoop, welded closed. It had taken me most of the past year to get up the courage to dial the number on her card.

"Ah," she said, and motioned for me to follow her. The shop was small, with a neat display of her somewhat eccentric jewelry on the walls and in one large display case. I followed her into the back room, a cramped combination of workshop and storeroom.

We talked about what I wanted. She showed me the dif- ferent sizes of stock we could use, told me the costs, and discussed the methods. A chill went through me when she explained silver soldering. It wasn't welding, but it did involve a flame that could sear flesh held only inches from my body.

She demonstrated how she could do the soldering safely by building a heat shield on her bare thigh and playing a torch over it. The shield was surprisingly simple, a dry cotton towel over her thigh, then a sheet of heavy aluminum foil, a vapor barrier, she explained, then a wet towel, and then a sheet of copper.

After I selected the stock I wanted, a half-inch oval tube, I watched while she bent it into a circle of the right size using some kind of rolling machine, then cut and dressed the ends and fit a splint made of silver into the joint. We cooperated in the job of springing the gold circle over my head, and then I pulled my hair up and sat on a chair, leaning forward while she worked the layers of a heat shield into place between the back of my neck and the gold ring.

While she worked, she explained what she was doing. It took her longer to arrange the heat shield than to silver solder the joint in my new necklace, but she spent even more time after- wards, working with a file and then some kind of power tool to polish the newly soldered joint.

And then she was done; I looked at my watch, and saw that I'd been there for less than half-an-hour. The best way I can describe my feelings as she removed the towel from over my head is to say that I felt high. I tossed my hair back where it be- longed, and then we went back to the front half of the shop so I could look at myself in the mirror.

The still-warm ring of gold around my neck weighed more than a few ounces, but it felt good hanging loosely at my collar bone. I couldn't see any evidence of the newly soldered joint until she pointed it out to me, and then I paid her the fairly steep price we'd agreed to.

Driving home, I couldn't help fingering my new necklace. The feel of it around my neck fascinated me to the point that it was almost erotic. It had started as a private fantasy of mine, but now, it was very real. What would Alex think? What would the kids think? I asked myself these questions for what seemed to be the thousandth time, but this time, I didn't have to remind my- self of the answer. It didn't matter. I'd done this for me, not for him!

I'd fantasized about permanent jewelry for years. The idea had grown on me from just one fantasy among many to the point where I couldn't resist it. There were times when I won- dered if it was an appropriate fantasy for a middle-class house- wife, but I knew that my doubts were silly. I'd finally decided that the whole question was wrong. There isn't any such thing as an inappropriate fantasy, as long as it's just a fantasy, and the social norms that dictate what a middle-class housewife should wear are silly. Now, I'd declared my independence from those norms; it was time for me to lead my life the way I wanted.

I drove up the driveway to our empty house, parked the car, and walked up to the door. Alex was at work and the kids were away, so I had the place to myself. As I came inside, I saw myself in the hallway mirror and stopped to look. The gold ring around my neck was pretty, resting lightly on my collarbone, just inside the neck opening of my T-shirt.

I looked pretty good in the mirror. Somehow, the ring around my neck made me look at myself in a way I don't think I'd ever seen myself before. I saw myself as almost a stranger; I saw a woman such as I'd imagined but never dared imitate.

I liked what I saw. My T-shirt and shorts showed off my arms and legs nicely, but something bothered me, my bra. I could see it outlined through the fabric of the T-shirt, and even though that's how I've always looked when I wear a T-shirt, I realized that I didn't like it. It would be better to see bare nipples outlined through the thin fabric than to see the marvel of engineering that is a bra.

I walked to the bedroom wondering about my bra. I was so used to the feeling of a bra that I hadn't thought much about it. Why was I wearing it? I was so used to it that I didn't notice the discomfort, but it wasn't really comfortable. It was supposed to support my breasts, but my breasts don't need supporting. They'd always been too small, even when I breast-fed the kids. I was wearing a bra because my mother had started me wearing a bra back before my breasts started growing; I wore it because social convention dictated that middle class housewives always wear a bra and because I'd never wanted to be identified with the hip- pies and feminists of decades ago who didn't wear bras.

In the bedroom, I took off my T-shirt and bra, and looked at myself in the mirror and admired the gold ring around my neck once again. It looked good against my bare flesh, far better than it had looked with my T-shirt next to it, and it seemed natural for me to slip off the shorts and panties I was wearing to see what I looked like posing nude.

I stood in front of the mirror, hands on bare hips, then cupped a breast in my hand and grinned at myself. I don't think I've really taken a hard look at my naked body since I was in junior high, and again, it was as if I was looking at a stranger, a new woman. She looked OK. The woman I saw had breasts that were small, but not too small, she was thin but not skinny. I saw a woman who I suddenly realized had the potential to be beauti- ful. I couldn't remember really feeling beautiful, not ever, and it was almost a shock.

What kind of clothing should this woman wear? I wasn't sure, but the thought struck me that she was the kind of woman who might sometimes wear nothing at all. I was inside my own house, the kids were away for a long weekend, I didn't expect visitors, and it did feel rather nice to feel the warm summer air against my skin.

The phone rang as these thoughts ran through my mind, and I ran into the living room to get it. It was a salesman trying to sell some new lawn-care system, so I hung up quickly enough, and only then realized that the curtains were wide open and that I was standing there by the picture window wearing absolutely noth- ing.

Part of me wanted to do something about it, to close the curtains or run for privacy, but another part asked why. What would this new woman do? I realized that the answer was nothing. I turned to face the window and looked outside. It was a clear day, and the view out across the valley was spectacular. Nobody was on the lawn looking in, and the street was empty. Even if there had been someone there, I don't think the new woman would have cared, though. Somehow, she wasn't the type to let that kind of thing bother her.

I sat on the couch and felt the smooth hard surface of the ring around my neck as I looked out the window. I'd never sat on the couch in the nude before, and the leather cushions felt cool and sensuous against my skin. I fingered the circle of gold around my neck, and then leaned back on the couch, overcome with what I'd done. What would Alex think?

I wanted Alex. I didn't want his approval, I wanted him, I wanted his male body. I wanted him to touch me, to finger my new jewelry, to stroke my body with his big hands, but he wasn't home. As I relaxed on the couch and looked out the window and across the valley, I slid my fingers from the gold ring around my neck down my chest.

My nipples had always been large and sensitive, decent compensation for the small size of my breasts. As I fingered them, they hardened and sent their signals of desire to my groin. It had been fifteen years since I'd breast-fed a child, but I'd never forget the near orgasmic pleasure of breast-feeding. As I remembered, my other hand slid to my thigh, and then I spread my legs, parting my lips to gently slide a fingertip into the space between.

My world closed in until I was all nipple and clit, and then I came. I felt the blush spreading over my body, I felt my new jewelry cool on my skin, and I continued to stroke myself, sliding a couple of fingers into the moist crevice between my legs. My body was eager for more, my nipples ached to be touched, my vagina wanted to be filled, my clit wanted to be squeezed under the base of my thumb, and I came again.

I lay there, looking blindly out the window for some time, relaxing in the calm limbo that follows orgasm, and then I smiled. What had come over me? What was I doing? I don't think I'd ever had two orgasms so closely spaced, not in my life. I'd never masturbated much since my teenage years, and even then, I'd always felt a bit guilty about it. Why didn't it bother me now? Why wasn't I rushing to wash my hands?

This thing about the new woman in me, I knew that it was nonsense. I was still Elizabeth Arnold, wife of Alex and mother of Kim and Nathan. The thought of the kids jerked me back to reality. What would they think if they saw their mother naked on the couch masturbating? Somehow, the question made me laugh.

A day earlier, and I think it would have made me jump out of the couch and scurry for cover, but now, all I did was chuckle. Kids always seem to have a horrible time understanding that their parents have any sexual feelings. It's almost like, deep in their hearts, kids believe that they are the product of virgin birth, and they believe it deeply enough that even if you told them in graphic detail how they were conceived, they wouldn't believe you.

My stomach grumbled, and when I glanced at the clock, I was surprised to see that it was after one. I'd eaten an early breakfast with my family, and I was hungry. I got up and went to the kitchen, still thinking about what I'd done. Who was this new woman I'd found in myself? She was part of me, that was clear, but I was acting in a way I'd never acted before. What had come over me? Why should a gold neck ring make such a difference?

As I sipped at a glass of milk, washing down a cream- cheese and jelly sandwich, I continued to think about what had happened. Back when I was in college, a good twenty years ago, I'd been pretty conservative, but looking back, most of it seemed like a reaction to what I saw going on around me. The problem was that I'd let the reaction continue for far too long. Now, it was time for me to stop reacting and start living.

While I picked up after myself in the kitchen, I wondered what to do for the rest of the afternoon. It was awfully nice to have kids who were old enough to take off on their own with fri- ends; this time, they'd gone as a group to visit a Renaissance festival. With the drought, the lawn didn't need cutting and the weeds in the garden were dormant. There was laundry to do, how- ever, so I went down to the basement to start a load.

The cool basement air felt refreshing on my bare skin, and I realized that I'd completely forgotten that I still had nothing on. Along with the sight of some of my own clothing among the dirty laundry, that turned my thoughts to how this new woman I'd discovered should dress. Some of my clothes were pure- ly practical, decent clothes to wear for work or play, but so much of it seemed downright frumpy.

After I started the load, I wandered back up to our bed- room wondering what had possessed me to buy some of that stuff. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't practical, but it was the kind of clothing a middle-aged mother of two was supposed to wear. I was half tempted to spend the afternoon trashing my way through my wardrobe, but common sense got hold of me and I realized that I needed to know what I really wanted to wear before I started tos- sing things out.

I certainly didn't want to dress like a grown up version of my daughter Kim; she's no Madonna wannabe, but kids her age can't escape the influence. For that matter, I didn't want to dress like I had when I was her age. I'd been as influenced by the silly fashion trends of that age as anyone else, dressing be- cause that was how you were supposed to dress instead of dressing the way I really wanted to look.

I looked at myself in my bedroom mirror again, fingering the beautiful gold ring around my neck, posing and trying to cri- tically evaluate my body and the clothing it called for. What use is clothing? It protects from the weather, it provides a clean surface to sit on, and it can be modest. I didn't feel par- ticularly modest.

The laundry machine buzzed, signaling that I'd spent half an-hour in front of the mirror, so I went down to the basement, moved the load to the dryer, and then went back to my thoughts about clothing. What I wanted was something that frankly exposed what I had, and if not that, something that didn't so much hide as draw attention to my body.

I had a few sheer blouses, the kind that's meant to be worn under a coat or over a camisole; when I tried one on over nothing, I liked what I saw. It was the wrong time of year for turtleneck sweaters, but I tried one on and found that, once I pulled the neck of the sweater inside the hoop around my neck and turned it down, it looked wonderful. The hoop looked good resting on the red knit cloth, and without a bra on under it, the sweater clung to me and clearly showed the shapes of my breasts and nipples.

By the time I heard the car pull into the driveway, I'd taken a bath, put away the clean laundry, and gotten dressed. As Alex came walking up the driveway, I walked to the door to meet him wearing a long denim skirt and a big silk scarf.

It had taken a bit of inventing to figure out how to wear the scarf. I tried a few ideas before I hit on the idea of pul- ling the scarf around behind my back and then bringing the ends up under my armpits and loosely clipping them to my new necklace. I used a pair of small gold hoop earrings as clips. The scarf hung open between my breasts, and I tucked the bottom edge into the waistband of my button-front denim skirt before buttoning just enough buttons for minimal modesty.

I kissed Alex on the cheek as he came in, then stepped back and posed.

"Wow," he said, after a long pause. His eyes were on the shadows of my breasts, barely visible through the almost sheer scarf, and I liked the attention.

"Like the new necklace?" I asked.

"Yup," he said, and I could see his eyes rise to the gold ring around my neck. "Gold?"

"The real thing," I said, and then kissed him, pulling him to me and giving him a bear-hug as I forced my tongue between his lips. He seemed surprised, but he responded.

Alex pulled back, still hugging me. "You're acting pretty horny," he whispered, and then knelt to kiss between my breasts. I didn't need any foreplay, it was as if my entire day had been foreplay. I wanted him now, and as his lips touched the soft skin between my breasts, I knew that I wanted to feel his lips lower on my body.

I pushed him down and away from me, and he sat down on the living room rug, looking up at me with a puzzled look on his face. I knelt behind him and began to massage his shoulders, and then let him lie back against me, cradling his head on my thighs as I leaned forward over him, sliding my fingers up and down his shirt-covered chest.

I bent down to kiss him, chin to nose as he lay in my lap, and his hands reached up to finger my breasts through the thin scarf I wore over them. My loins ached for his kisses, and without thinking, I spread my legs behind his back, letting his head fall to the floor between my thighs.

If I'd planned it, I couldn't have done better. My un- buttoned skirt spread to each side as I knelt straddling his head, and then I leaned forward, spreading my legs farther, part- ing my lips as I lifted myself over his face. Wordlessly, his hands took my hips as his lips met mine. I felt his tongue gently touch my clit, but it wasn't enough.

I bore down on him, grinding his chin into my clit as he drove his tongue into me. Time seemed to stretch as I knelt over him on the living room floor, my clit and nipples were every- thing, my tension mounted, and then I felt the release, the contraction deep in my groin, and I relaxed, no longer intensely excited, but still enjoying Alex's dreamy attention.

After a while, I pulled myself off of him and smiled down at him as he lay with his head still between my thighs. He looked stunned, and I couldn't help but chuckle as I looked at the expression on his face. I'd certainly given him nothing in the way of warning about what would hit him when he came home.

"What's gotten into you?" he asked.

"Does it matter?" I asked, smiling down at him.

"I don't know," he said. "It's just, nothing you've done since I got home matches anything I expect from you. I mean, that get-up you're wearing, you're not wearing any underpants, making love on the living room floor, my God!" He looked towards the picture window. "The drapes aren't even closed."

"So what was there to see?" I said. "I mean, we didn't undress, and the fact that we make love isn't any secret."

He sat up and turned to me with a troubled, almost angry look. "What do you mean?"

I couldn't help but laugh. "I mean, we're married. That means people expect us to make love. I mean, we've got two kids and they sure aren't the products of immaculate conception."

"I guess nobody could see in the window anyway," he said, glancing out.

"Come on," I said, "as long as the kids are away, let's go out and celebrate." I kissed him, and suddenly it hit me, I'd never before kissed him so soon after oral sex. I could taste myself on his lips, and I could smell myself on his skin.

Alex went to the bathroom to wash up while I sat on the couch wondering about what had happened. The thought of kissing right after oral sex would have disgusted me only days before, and I wondered why it hadn't bothered me. On the other hand, I wondered why it should have bothered me in the past. Did I taste bad? Did I smell bad? The brief taste of myself on Alex's lips didn't seem bad, but the experience had been so brief that I wasn't sure.

As the sound of the toilet flushing came from the bath- room, I realized how little I knew about myself. Alex and I rarely had oral sex, and when we did, it was always his lips on my vagina. He certainly knew what I tasted like, but I didn't know how I tasted. I knew it would be easy enough to find out what I tasted like, but in all my life, it had never occurred to me to find out.

As I sat on the couch, I slid a finger between my thighs and into myself. I was still very wet, and it felt good as I ex- plored myself with my finger. It felt good enough that, after I licked and smelled my finger, doing my best to critically judge how I tasted and smelled, I slid my finger back in, curling my fingertip around my pubic bone and pressing on my clit.

The taste wasn't terribly different from sweaty skin, less salty, a bit more acid. The musky smell was a bit strong, but it suddenly hit me that the musk reminded me a bit of some perfumes I'd run across. Are those scents attractive because they smell like a woman's crotch?

I chuckled at the thought, but my attention was focused on the feel of my fingers as I stared blindly into the yard. Touching myself was such a simple pleasure. Why had I avoided it for so many years? When I came, it wasn't a big orgasm, but it surprised me, being so soon after Alex had satisfied me. Just then, the water stopped running in the bathroom and I heard the door open.

"You want to go out?" Alex said as I stood up. "Where? And do you really want to be seen dressed like that?"

I turned to him. "Do you want to see me dressed like this?"

He looked at me, then the expression on his face softened. "Well, yes, I'm surprised, but I guess I like it. You really don't mind if other people see you dressed like that?"

"Nope, come on. Got money? How about that place in the old factory building by the river, I forget it's name."

Dinner turned out to be pleasant, but Alex acted shy and didn't have much to say. Considering the way I was acting, I don't blame him, but it was something of a letdown. I asked about his day at work, and he told me, but that was about all we had to say while we ate. The way he looked and acted as he sat across the table from me reminded me a bit of the way he'd been on our first two dates, a cute but awkward guy.

Things came to a head in the car on the way home. "All of a sudden, I feel like I don't know my own wife," Alex said as he drove.

I didn't really know what to say.

"I mean, I come home to find a woman who's dressed like nothing I've ever seen before, beautiful but so sexy I'm almost scared of you, and then you just about rape me on the living-room floor."

I hadn't seen what I'd done in that light, and the word "rape" bothered me. "I hope you didn't mind," I said, lamely.

He glanced briefly at me and smiled. "No, and I hope I did a good job, but it left me a bit frustrated. I hope you're in the mood for more."

I reached over the gap between the seats and rested a hand on his thigh. "Don't worry, I am."

The occasional bounce on the ride home drew my attention back to my neck ring, and I reached up to finger it as thoughts of Alex's body ran through my head. My fingers slid down over the thin scarf that covered my breasts, and I was horny again.

My long skirt was still unbuttoned almost to the crotch, and it was a simple matter for me to drop my hand to my lap and slide a finger into the warm moisture between my legs. As I began probing myself, I idly wondered what I was doing masturbating with Alex sitting right there beside me. Would he notice? Would it bother him? Would it turn him on? Somehow, instead of inhibiting me, these questions only added to my excitement.

I was about to climax when Alex stopped the car. We were home, and as I got out and closed the car door, I ached for it. My whole body wanted a climax. As Alex unlocked the front door, my desires shifted to him. I wanted him in me!

"Alex," I said, unclipping the scarf from the ring around my neck, "I want you in bed, now!"

"OK," he said, and then bent down to kiss me on the nip- ple, sending a thrill through me. "I don't know what's come over you, but I like it."

I took off my skirt on the way to the bedroom, and kicked off my sandals as Alex began undressing. As he pulled down his pants, exposing his erect penis, I touched it. He sat down to take off his shirt, but I was too impatient to wait, so I climbed into his lap and sat on him.

There was a brief surprised look on his face as I took him into me, but then he smiled at me and leaned back on his hands. It felt good to feel him deep inside my body as I sat there, pressing my clit against his pubic bone. I leaned forward and kissed him gently on the lips, and in my already excited state, the stimulation and added pressure pushed me over the edge to an orgasm, a small one, but very good.

I shuddered, and then broke the kiss and began to unbut- ton his shirt as he sat there smiling at me. "I don't believe how horny you are," he said.

"It's a bit of a surprise to me too," I said, pulling his shirt off his chest and sliding my fingertips over him.

"What brought it on?" he asked.

"Getting this," I said, fingering my new neck ring.

"Really?" he asked. "How's it come off? I want to look at it."

"It doesn't come off," I said, leaning forward to kiss him. With the pressure of his pubic bone on my clit, that simple motion was enough to send me to another orgasm.

"What do you mean?" he asked, breaking the kiss.

I caught my breath before I answered. "What I said, it doesn't come off. It's permanent, welded on, a solid ring of gold." I was still high with the feeling of his erect penis deep inside my body, and as I spoke, I began to rock my hips, driving myself to another orgasm.

His face looked intense but boyish, and I knew I had him on the edge of an orgasm. He briefly fingered the ring, then dropped his hands to my breasts before pulling me hard against him. Waves of contractions pulsed through my groin as I came again and again; I floated in limbo, feeling him come inside me as his arms pulled my body against his and his tongue drove be- tween my lips. It was the climax I needed, the climax I'd wanted for years, and if we hadn't been locked in a kiss, I know I'd have moaned with ecstasy.

We held our embrace for a long time as I sat in his lap on the bed. It took time for the tension of orgasm to flow out of me. I felt his penis slowly shrink within me, and then Alex broke off our long post orgasmic kiss and leaned back, looking critically at me.

"So explain this necklace of yours," he said.


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