From Issue 3.6 - Summer 1997
Bad Boys: A Love Story
James, you were my first. I was no more than five, but still I was mesmerized by that gleaming steel hook, peeking out from the deep lace at your wrist. Your campy evil posturing, I knew, was a sham -- what you craved was a mother, a woman to set you straight, to teach you right from wrong. I wanted to be airborne and androgynous, to be Peter -- but I wanted to have you, to control you, to teach you, to love you.
Oh, Doctor, my darling. Never had I seen anyone so craven, so abjectly afraid. Lost in a hostile universe, you reacted in all the ways that a good littel girl couldn't -- selfishly and deviously, then running from the consequences, whimpering in overacted terror. How I hungered to be the one inspiring those gasps, that begging, those lovely sobs. Was I yearning to make you express the fear and sadness that I couldn't? Who cares? All I knew was that I wanted to turn those crocodile tears of yours into genuine symbols of pain, of remorse, of redemption.
Then Basil stole my heart. That long haughty nose, those aristocratically heavy eyelids! I saw you match swords with Errol -- a handsome boy, that Errol, athletic and grinning, but lacking the fascination of your serpentine charm -- on countless stuffy black-and-white Saturday afternoons. And (did it really happen, or did I invent it?) I remember you smiling sadistically as you slashed a vicious many-tailed whip across his broad bare Hollywood back. Could someone take that whip away from you? Could she use it on you? Could she make you beg to have it used on you?
Then, heaven! Two nights a week of bad boys, strutting and jeering in egotistical splendor, just waiting for someone to show you the error of your ways -- no paunchy jowly caricature of a Batman, but someone stern and kind, knowing and merciless. Riddler, you were always my favorite, and the show where you met your match in the torture room of a wax museum -- Batman backing you up to a huge wheel, wrenching your vulnerable hand as you whimpered for mercy, then strapping you into place and giving you a jovial uncaring spin -- had me tossing restlessly in my virginal bed for months afterward. But each of you had a place in my dreams: squat hostile Penguin; Joker, whom I recognized as a lost soul seeking love; even -- a foreshadowing of my eventual bisexuality -- you, seductive Catwoman, who needed so badly to lose your manipulative power. I imagined my own reformatory -- dimly conceived except at its heart, the room where the canes and straps are hung.
Since then there have been so many of you. In college I learned about archetypes, and found that I fall for a fallen angel every time -- but knowing has changed nothing. I nod as a recognize my fantasies, garbed this time in the cloak and mask of you, Darth Vader, and mourn your eventual redemption (I could have done it so much better!). I see the oily glee of my old pal the Riddler reincarnated in the body of you, Q, the omnipotent being from Star Trek's Continuum. Of course, the show where you lose your powers inspires my vibrating fingers for many a night. I even find myself spending a perfectly good Saturday afternoon in an empty theater, having paid actual money to see "The Beautician and the Beast." (Timothy, you're no Yul Brynner -- but ah, what I wouldn't give to turn that dictatorial frown into wide wet eyes and a quivering chin!)
Embarrassing? Hell, yes! Even having such fantasies feels pathetically juvenile; talking about them -- in print, no less -- is a particularly masochistic form of emotional exhibitionism. But what would I be without my bad boys? Without the desire to tear away the facade of uncaring, of anger, of eveil, to expose the tender needy nerves beneath? Without the belief in my own power to save, to scourge, to redeem?
Thank you all. You'll never know me in this world, although if heaven
is the place where our dreams happen, we may indeed meet someday. But
when I'm an old lady, you'll still be cackling and preening,
whimpering and begging, on the big screen of my fantasies -- as bad as
Lady Green is the author of "The Sexually Dominant Woman: A
Workbook for Nervous Beginners" and "The Compleat Spanker," and (as
Catherine A. Liszt) the co-author of "The Bottoming Book," "The
Topping Book," and the newly published "The Ethical Slut: A Guide to
Infinite Sexual Possibilities." For information send a SASE to
Greenery Press at 3739 Balboa Ave. #195, San Francisco, CA 94121, or
visit the Grenery Press
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Last updated: 20 August 1997