Calendar Girl (January) Chapter 4: The First Not-A-Sex Scene

Two days ago I was at my best friend’s wedding. Yesterday I caught a 6 AM flight. Today I turned 26 and have to start paying my own health insurance. Things are going downhill pretty rapidly.

Anyway, here’s some smut.

Calendar Girl (January): Chapter 4

Mia and Wes return from the party, and Mia immediately rushes to her room and locks the door, realizing that she needs to really work on keeping emotional distance and not becoming attached. Don’t worry, this only lasts about four pages before she jumps him instead.

Then again, why couldn’t I have fun? I was an adult. He was an incredibly hot, willing man. […] It would do me well to get a good rogering, loosen me up. It had been a year since I’d had sex, and my vibrator wasn’t cutting it anymore.

Sooo this is definitely a little tricky to write about. Is it fine because she wants to have sex? Is it gross because while he might be “willing”, they’re only in this situation because he’s paying for her time? Is this a conflict of interest? Is that how conflict of interest works? THIS IS REALLY COMPLICATED.

According to the clock on the nightstand, it was very late. One o’clock in the morning.

Okay, grandma.

Mia goes to Wes’s room and – much like this plot – just jumps right into the sexy bits.

I lifted my hand up to the halter clasp on my dress and tugged. In one swift movement, the dress fell to the floor in a heap of purple silk. Wes gasped as I moved the hair that had fallen down the front of my body and shifted it behind my back. I stood perfectly still in nothing but a black lace thong and the stilettoes. [sic]

patrick-star-let's-get-naked
How did I forget about this gif for so long

The easygoing tone [in his voice] he’d had earlier when we met and throughout the evening was long gone. In its place was control, desire, and lust. My three favorite things.

This is a little weird, since Mia’s character is so undeveloped that the only thing we do know about her is that she hates men, because she dated four men who were mostly described this way. TOO LATE TO THINK ABOUT THAT. IT’S CHAPTER FOUR AND IT’S TIME FOR SEX STUFF.

“Sweetheart, we need to set some ground rules.” His voice was a grumble against my skin. […]
I moaned. “Ground rules?” I barely made out the words while enjoying his talented fingers as they tugged and elongated each peak.

She’s talking about her nipples. Somehow Calendar Girl found such a weird way to describe nipples that I had to explain the context.

“Rule one: we’re going to have an insane amount of sex this month.” […]
“And that’s a rule?” […] Sounded like a damn good rule to me. […]
“Rule two is when we’re together like this, it’s only you and me. The entire month, we’re monogamous.”

Isn’t she already contractually obligated to spend all her time with him this month anyway? Why would this need to be specified?

Both hands moved off my breasts for a moment, and then they were back, though somehow wetted.

how?

south-park-the-fuck-does-that-mean

No, seriously, how. How are his hands wet. We haven’t gotten to the erotica yet and this erotica has me flummoxed.

“Rule three: we never sleep in the same bed. We do not want to confuse this with something it’s not. I like you, Mia. A lot. I wouldn’t want to hurt you by making you believe I was in a position for a relationship. Understand?” […]
“Oh, fuck yeah, I understand,” […] We wanted exactly the same thing. Friendship and physical release. […]
He opened me with his thumbs, flattened his tongue, and went to town on my clit.

Okay, erotica. Just… all of erotica. I get it. “Vagina” isn’t a sexy word. But, and I think this is a fair counterpoint, “He opened me” isn’t doing a much better job.

“Rule four…” His eyes twinkled, and he inhaled my scent and then licked his lips like he was enjoying the finest delicacy and was about to feast. “Never fall in love,”

Okay, dude. The other rules were useful, now these are just cliches and kind of ruining the mood. Although speaking of ruining the mood, based on Mia’s sexy talk from when they met…

“That might be impossible…” I whispered as his tongue drove into my sex. I was right on the edge when he stopped […]
“Excuse me,” he said, voice tight with a razor’s edge. I gripped his hair and did an ab curl up to my elbows.
“Relax, Wes. I’m in love with your fucking tongue. Now stick it in me and make me come so I can return the favor.”
The sexiest grin I’d ever seen slipped across his face. “Best decision I ever made, hiring you.” He licked his lips and leaned down to blow across the wet flesh.
I lifted my hips. “Prove it!”

youre-the-worst-slice-off-a-piece-of-this

The scene ends there and we pick things up again with the not-couple getting ready to go to a dinner with the director of the next movie he’s writing in his war movie series. Mia also tells the reader that they spent the whole night on oral sex, never having penetrative sex or even kissing. Calendar Girl continues to forget that it still hasn’t fucking told us anything about Mia.

Maybe that was, in fact, the trick? What my best friend, Ginelle, and all my other girlfriends had already figured out.
Fucking… with no strings attached.

Ah, of course, Ginelle! Her friend who had seven lines of dialogue in chapter one that never touched on her sex life, dating life, or basically any part of her life at all! And her other friends, who presumably exist but have never been mentioned! These references the state of their sex lives are very useful frames of reference for me, a reader of the words that have managed to appear this book!

Even though I considered myself a bad-ass, half attitude, eyes-always-on-my-goals type of girl

Are you? All we know about you is you’re not an actress yet and maybe you like writing and houseplants.

Wes explains the plot of the next movie: an undercover soldier leaves secret codes for his officers, but also sends messages to his girlfriend using the same codes.

“But she doesn’t know what they say until he leads her on a journey toward finding out how to decipher the letters.”

…is she going into an active war zone? It kind of sounds like he’s sending her into an actual war zone, right?

“Sounds really romantic.”
He grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “That’s the idea. It gets the women hooked on movies that are typically geared toward men. Blood, violence, things blowing up, the military, espionage, things a man’s man can really wrap his head around.”

Not that I was expecting this to be a book that particularly challenged gender norms or anything, but I’m sure you can hear me groaning through your screen.

sinfest-patriarchal-action-movie
http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2013-01-23

They get to dinner and meet the director and his trophy wife, because that’s pretty much this whole book: rich men and hot women and not one critical thought about how this world is a patriarchal hellscape. The scene even ends with Mia talking to the trophy wife and helping her realize that the answer to her dissatisfaction with her life could maybe be solved by having a baby.

I’m not making this shit up.

“It’s true. I don’t know what to do with myself,” Jen whispered. […]
“Why don’t you volunteer or something. Got any hobbies? […] Do you like kids?”
[Her] eyes lit up like the candles on a fifty-year-old’s birthday cake. “I love children!” […]
“Why can’t you work with kids, or better yet, have some of your own?”

seriously not making this shit up. this is actually what happens.

“What is it, darling?” Jay asked his wife.
She smiled wide, and I swear, that smile could bring peace to the Middle East. “Just happy. And I can’t wait to talk to you when we get home.”

Look, Calendar Girl. This is an implausible solution to this character’s matrimonial problems, much less the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

The chapter ends with Mia and Wes flirting about how they’re gonna fuck when they get home. Calendar Girl is just a little one-note.

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13 comments

  1. Kristin

    Are we supposed to like these characters or just read this for the sex? Because right now I neither like them nor care about the sex.

    Also, Rule 4: never fall in love? Why am I picturing Ronnie from Jersey Shore right now? Worst foreshadowing ever.

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    • matthewjulius Post author

      I’m honestly totally unsure. I still have trouble remembering Mia’s name

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  2. Anne

    So they have rules about sleeping in separate beds and not falling in love, but also about being monogamous for the entire month? “We are not going to be a couple, but we cannot see other people while we are doing this, because open relationships are sin and not ‘true love’ ”
    Considering the pacing of these kind of books I’m going to guess that in the next chapter one of them will get jealous/ accuse the other of flirting with someone else.

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    • matthewjulius Post author

      In a way, this novella an admirable condensation of the formula that e l James cranked four books out of

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  3. wordswithhannah

    I’d argue that “going to town on my clit” and “stick it in me!” are even less sexy than “he opened me”, though the latter does offer up unfortunate images of a small cabinet in her abdomen (or worse, this book just became a snuff project).

    I’d argue that the premise of his movies actually gets men interested in what is typically a woman’s interest. The films sound infinitely more interesting than the actual book that we’re reading because, from the description, they seem to contain a deeply romantic bond between the main character and his girlfriend, which is pretty rare in action movies. In addition, it’s socially acceptable for women to show interest in “masculine” media like action/horror movies (they’re cool girls! They probably drink whiskey, too!), while men who go see rom-coms have their masculinity called into question. So it sounds less like delicate fluffy women are being snookered into seeing an action movie and more like super-manly men are being hooked on an epic romance film.

    Great. Now I’m disagreeing with the author’s interpretation of media that she invented.

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  4. Sue W

    Authors of erotica are eventually going to run out of three-letter girls’ names than end in A.

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  5. Jennifer Layton

    This sex scene reads like a visit to the gynecologist. “He opened me” sounds like a speculum was involved. And with that pleasant image in your head, Happy Birthday Matthew!

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  6. justaddgigi

    Wow, I haven’t seen erotica this uninspiring since fifty shades. Seriously, I just was waiting for that whole scene to be over and done with. I really wanted to slap Mia during that whole dinner with the Director and the ‘trophy wife’. The misogyny just keeps on coming. The wife doesn’t even get a name, she’s just the ‘trophy wife’.

    *headdesk* it doesn’t even occur to Mia that having children doesn’t automatically solve all your martial problems. Sometimes, having children can actually make things a whole lot worse. Mia should have suggested Martial counseling, or just stuck with advising her to get a hobby.

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    • matthewjulius Post author

      Ok that’s definitely on me. She totally had a name but she only appears twice in this book and I didn’t feel like it was necessary to include her name or her husband’s. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to make my point about implicit sexism, in retrospect.

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      • justaddgigi

        Oh, well! I take back part of that criticism back. Thank you for clearing that up Matt.

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    • wordswithhannah

      “Hey, what you really need is something relaxing that can help you center your thoughts and keep your sense of self. Have you thought about knitting? How about children?”

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  7. gasolinespider

    Even though I considered myself a bad-ass, half attitude, eyes-always-on-my-goals type of girl

    Well she’s right about one thing, she does have half an attitude. The only thing I’ve gotten so far from her personality is misogynistic and vaguely doesn’t like love.

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