This story can only be found bundled with the Erotic Novella “Slippery When Oiled”
Just as I sliced open the packing tape which sealed the large, flat box of Gunter Blum posters I’d special-ordered directly from the photographer’s native Germany, I heard a metallic whump! from the old-fashioned horizontal flap inset in my shops front door. (The slot was occasionally useful for my infrequent snail-mail, like my Empaths Unlimited newsletter). The whump! was followed by the muffled whuff! of something thick being wedged tightly into the narrow opening. After ripping open the top of the grayish box and confirming that they’d sent the right set of art-quality blow-ups (that almost take-off of Lewis Hines Steamfitter with the beautifully lean and slick-haired model posed against a grittily rendered piece of machinery, the hair on her pubis wiry and fierce against her taut thighs), I hurried over to the door. A tightly wound roll of sticky dots sealed paper jutted through the tight labial opening like a crude dildo.
The Blum posters could wait. The Empaths Unlimited newsletter only came out once a month, snail-mail thanks to it being too massive for an e-mailing. I’d been a long time between mind-seductions. Not that I didn’t get my fill of illicitly-obtained fuck-fantasies gleaned from the fuzzy little brains of my customers, the men and women who either boldly or timidly entered my establishment, to fulfil whatever moist fancies their minds and bodies craved. But after a while, their craven wants grew tiresome and even easily anticipated – the stately, perfectly coiffed matrons who selected the largest, thickest dildos to use on their college-age lovers, both male and female; the I’m buying this for my collection types who were already yearning to shoot a steaming wad at the model in the sexcapades CD ROM they’d just shoved into their initial-adorned briefcase; or the eyes-cast-at-the-floor meek ones who tried to rip the edible panties they’d just bought off their own bodies once they got them home and wiggled into them in their lonely, steamy bathrooms.
I could picture and feel each one of their memories, their wildest (or tamest) conceits, as they drifted about my store like windborne dandelion seeds, aimlessly letting their eyes drift over items they had no intention of using, would never want to own, lest I discern their true desires should they hone in too quickly on the object of their longing. Perhaps I should have written warning: telepath/empathic on duty! under the heading under the existing lettering on my store’s front window. But as it was, I thought that homme-donna was already a bit artsy-classy, surely enough to keep away the truly vile and the hopelessly tacky away from my establishment.
Glancing quickly at the clock above my counter, I noticed that it was close enough to closing time for me to turn around the OPEN/CLOSED – PLEASE COME AGAIN sign resting at the bottom of my discreetly mauve-curtained window and turn my full, pussy-throbbing attention to my torn-open newsletter. Once I’d seated myself in plain view of the Richard Avedon framed, non-glare-glassed posters opposite my counter-stool (several actresses and models whose names I only vaguely recalled caught in nude, but dignified glory), I flipped through the “Women Seeking Men”, “Men Seeking Women”, “Men Seeking Men” sections. Each bore that alphabetical string of abbreviations along the bottoms of the pages: M = Male, F = Female, E = Empathic, T = Telepathic, PC = PreCognitive, G = Gay, Bi = Bisexual, FT = Fetishist, N/D = No Drugs, N/S = Nonsmoking, and so on. The list purposely omitted the more typical Singles Paper designations, B = Black, W = White and H = Hispanic because that particular point was a moot one when it came to espers like me, and the other readers of this newsletter. I finally chose Women Seeking Women.
Three pages’ worth in this issue, both sides of each sheet. But I’d scanned the first page and a half of listings (“BiFT seeks open-minded/open-hearted G/BiFT/E for discreet but intense shared visions of–”), and come across nothing but the same-old, same-old, variations of “Let’s blend feelings and fantasies” with no inherent bite, no suggestion of something fresh in their advertisements – let alone the one or two word “MindBytes” which followed each listing. Those teasers, when concentrated upon by the reader, gave off a faint, residual echo of that person’s thought-waves, their fingerprint-like unique signal which could be momentarily savored like a whiff of encapsulated perfume molecules trapped between the folded strip of paper in a magazine insert.
By the time I was halfway through this month’s crop of psipotentials my mind was gummy with after-images of romance novel-cover tepid embraces under the ubiquitous full moon and wisps of cloud, and cloyingly cuddly mental snuggles under postcard perfect sunny skies. Weren’t there any hot-minded lesbian or bi empaths left any more?
The offerings in last month’s issue had been little better. I’d received a long-long-distance virtual finger fuck from a woman in England who was expert in transmitting her bodily sensations to me via a phone line (her voice was even sexier than her mind), and the telepath over in Queens whod been too timid to phone me was marvellous at pseudo-cunnilingus while we both literally pictured ourselves in a Grecian temple, but neither woman was seeking anything more than a one-mind stand, as it were. Once the last of the orgasm died down, I felt their minds gently but firmly close to me, leaving me sated but hardly satisfied.
Things were getting so bad for me, I’d recently been trying to tune in on the thoughts of some of my customers after they’d left my shop, discreetly bagged purchases in hand, but tracking them amid a clamouring, seething ocean of mental voices and bodily sensations was often much too difficult – aside from one store-to-apartment track on a rainy, not too bustling evening, when I’d seen/felt an outwardly confident-looking young executive type receive a deliciously thorough whipping/humiliation from her surprisingly femme-looking Mistress, my efforts at connecting with Unawares were close to futile.
The best Mindfuck occurred between two espers, period. Which is why the Unlimited was created. The only trouble was, most of the truly hot and gifted espers already had partners, and didn’t need to advertise for a mind-mate.
I morosely flipped through the remaining listings, letting my gaze wander over to that opened cache of Blum posters (what was in that model’s mind, I wondered). I was sorely temped to run my own advertisement: “GFE/T wants to know – are there any hot G/Bi/E/T/PCs out there? With imagination and libidos to match? . . . until my eyes drifted back down to the tight columns of newsprint, and saw:
TIRED OF MIND-F – KS THAT LACK IMAGINATION? Try me. I’m G/T/E, N/D, N/S and a water F/T; seeking G/Bi-? to swim the steaming waters of my mind. Shed those clothes along with your hangups/inhibitions! Think: *OCEANOFAIR
If the Unlimited’s listings weren’t so blasted PC (and I’m not thinking PreCog here), she could’ve come out and said “Mind-Fucks” in print, but knowing that she was thinking it, and not wallowing in pseudo-Romanticism only, was a most bracing revelation.