Sex Lessons from Issue 80
JACK, mid-30s. Silk boxers.
SALLY, mid-30s. Lingerie.
A bedroom: a bed, a chair, a picture of SALLY, and alarm clock.
AT RISE. JACK reclines comfortably. SALLY holds a sheet around herself and sits at the edge of the bed.
JACK: (He holds a pack of cigarettes out to her.)
SALLY: No thanks. I don’t smoke.
JACK: Let’s try that again.
(He holds the pack of cigarettes out again.)
SALLY: Yeah. Okay.
(She takes one.)
JACK: Thank you.
SALLY: You’re welcome.
JACK: No, you. Say “Thank you.” Take the cigarette, and say “Thank you” with elegance and grace. Not “Yeah.”
SALLY: Thank you.
JACK: This is not the time to be hunting down your panties. Relax. Stay a while. Say something nice. Something complimentary.
SALLY: That’s a… nice photo on the wall. She’s pretty.
JACK: Don’t compliment the décor. Compliment me.
SALLY: You have very nice hair.
JACK: Tell me what a good time you’ve had.
SALLY: I’ve had a good time.
JACK: Sally. That is your name, right? Sally? You came to me for help. I’m trying to help you. But you don’t seem to want to learn.
SALLY: I can do small talk. I didn’t come to learn small talk.
JACK: There’s nothing small about it. The post-coital conversation is essential. Or there’ll be no second chance. Try again.
SALLY: Okay. That was great. Thanks.
JACK: Use my name. Jack….
SALLY: Thanks, Jack.
JACK: Tell me what you liked.
SALLY: Everything. Jack. You’re incredible. Okay?
JACK: Tell me specifically.
SALLY: No. This is making me uncomfortable. I have to go.
JACK: We still have five minutes. Sally, you need to relax.
SALLY: How can I relax when all you do is criticize me?
JACK: I’m not criticizing. I’m teaching.
SALLY: I don’t like your teaching style.
JACK: You seemed to like it twenty minutes ago.
SALLY: Now I see why you insist on getting paid in advance.
JACK: I have a 100-percent-satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t feel you got your money’s worth….
SALLY: No. No. I got my money’s worth, okay? I just feel like…. Why should I have to compliment you? It’s ridiculous. You know you’re amazing. I shouldn’t have to say it. I want you to compliment me.
JACK: Then you’ll have to earn it.
SALLY: You mean you didn’t enjoy…. ?
JACK: I mean I’m not going to be polite until you are. You’ll have to take the first step here.
SALLY: Fine. Fine, Jack. I love what you did with our… and my…my…I never would have thought the ankle was an erogenous zone. You have the tongue of a snow leopard.
JACK: Much better.
SALLY: Thank you.
JACK: You have an ear fetish, don’t you.
SALLY: That doesn’t sound like a compliment. I’m going to leave. I have places to go.
(She gets up, still wrapped in the sheet, and starts hunting for her clothing.)
JACK: Oh, you do.
SALLY: Yes, I’m having dinner with my husband.
JACK: You’re married?
SALLY: Of course. Why else would I be here?
JACK: Of course. Things getting stale. Husband’s not an ear man?
SALLY: I didn’t come here to be mocked. Where are my clothes?
JACK: We still have three and a half minutes.
SALLY: You’ve hidden my clothes.
JACK: Sally, please. Sit down.
SALLY: I need to take a shower.
JACK: I’ll join you.
SALLY: No!…No, thank you. Just…
JACK: Sit down and I’ll give you a compliment.
SALLY: Please just give me my clothes.
(She sits on the chair.)
JACK: One the bed. Sit by me.
(She moves from the chair to the bed.)
JACK: You’re really very beautiful…
JACK: Don’t interrupt. Your legs are long and muscular, and what you do with your toes is outrageous.
SALLY: You’re mocking me.
JACK: I’m perfectly sincere.
SALLY: Is “outrageous” a good thing?
JACK: Absolutely. You’re supple, limber, and lithe. These are very good things. You bend easily.
SALLY: Sometimes it hurts.
JACK: And then you scream, which is a nice touch, too.
(A buzzer buzzes, or a bell rings, loudly. Jack stands, turns off the alarm, puts on a robe, and plops himself into the chair. Sally relaxes.)
Whoa! That was fun. Did you have fun? That was amazing. I feel liberated. Invigorated. Don’t you feel invigorated?
SALLY: I feel like I’ve been dipped in mud.
JACK: That’s sexy.
SALLY: Like I need to be sanded down and bleached.
JACK: You’re saying you didn’t have a good time? You seemed to have a good time. Until the talking. Then you got crabby.
SALLY: Jack’s great in bed, but what a creep.
JACK: He’s just doing his job.
SALLY: What kind of person gives sex lessons for a living?
JACK: It’s not “a living”. It’s just part-time. Consider it his contribution to society. He’s helping make the world a better place, one pathetically needy female at a time.
SALLY: You don’t need to insult Sally.
JACK: Don’t take it personally.
SALLY: Of course not.
JACK: You haven’t even seen her in years. It’s not like you’re still friends.
SALLY: We were never really friends.
JACK: You’re nothing like her.
SALLY: Nothing? What about my legs and toes? And what you said about my being limber? Supple? and lithe?
JACK: That was Jack.
SALLY: So it wasn’t true?
JACK: Of course it was true. But it wasn’t me saying it, and it wasn’t about you. it was Jack and Sally.
SALLY: But you’ve never met either of them! Why would you want to be such a creep?
JACK: It’s my birthday.
SALLY: That’s supposed to explain it?
JACK: When it’s your birthday, you choose. Today’s my turn. Anyway, you told me about sex lessons.
SALLY: I know. Isn’t it funny. It was 15 years ago, and I can’t get it out of my head. But I’d never want to be Sally.
JACK: What kind of person takes sex lessons?
SALLY: She was always competitive, got A’s in every class. I guess everything was school to her, even sex.
JACK: Do you think she got an A?
SALLY: I don’t know. You’re the one doing the grading.
JACK: Not me. Jack. And I meant the real Sally. Your friend.
SALLY: I don’t want to think about it.
JACK: Neither do I.
SALLY: It’s too pathetic.
JACK: I know.
SALLY: I’m glad we’re not like that.
JACK: I know.
SALLY: Not that I would mind a little praise every now and then. But I do have self-confidence. I know I’m good. I know I don’t need lessons to keep my husband interested.
Of course not.
SALLY: And that you really are an ear man.
SALLY: You’re not?
JACK: No, no… I mean yes. I am. If you like it, I like it.
SALLY: You mean you’re really into toes?
JACK: It may be just a phase.
SALLY: You could have told me. You could be more assertive.
JACK: You don’t think I’m assertive?
SALLY: You need to say what you like.
JACK: Like Jack?
SALLY: Oh god. I didn’t mean that.
JACK: I think maybe you did. See you learned something about yourself today. Didn’t you. It makes you more objective.
SALLY: Just thinking I may have thought that makes me feel like I have fungal spores in my brain.
SALLY: Not to mention my more vital organs.
JACK: Sounds like it’s about time for that shower.
(He picks up the alarm clock.)
Ten more minutes? It is my birthday.
SALLY: Your present was one hour. Can’t we just be ourselves? Don’t you want to be with me?
JACK: Of course. I want to be with. You. You’re supple, limber, and lithe… Your legs are long and muscular…
SALLY: That’s not me. That’s Sally.
JACK: And you think snow leopard tongues are sexy. Mee-ow.
SALLY: Not me. Sally.
JAK: She’s hot, isn’t she? She must be hot…. I think I may be falling for Sally. She’s petulant and humble.
SALLY: You’ve never met Sally. You wouldn’t like Sally.
JACK: She’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a woman.
SALLY: I’m everything you’ve ever wanted in a woman. You called Sally “pathetically needy.”
JACK: Maybe I’m what she needs.
SALLY: Jack didn’t like Sally. Jack would prefer me.
JACK: You know, you’re right. Jack would.
SALLY: Jack’s better in bed than you.
SALLY: It’s almost time for your birthday dinner.
JACK: Maybe it’s time to swap, to switch. To trade. You take Jack, I keep Sally.
SALLY: You can’t keep Sally. Sally’s gone.
JACK: But I’m not ready to say goodbye.
END OF PLAY