Brenda Breaks Free Ch. 01
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Authors note: This is the first of a series of stories based on events during the 1970’s. Though these stories can not be properly called historical, nor can they be called fiction. Rather they are distilled memories of my life and the life of friends and family during those heady days between the sexual revolution and the backlash of the 80’s. So they fall into the Hollywood category “based on a true story”. A factual framework has been filled with details that are fuzzy memories at best, hopefully making an entertaining story.
Brenda was the thirty-two year old mother of three. Until last year, maybe even six months ago, that had been her whole view of herself. Sure she was house-wife, church member, even garden club president, but still the overarching feeling was that her life revolved around being a mother of three. To be honest, she loved being mom and her life had been busy and she had felt fulfilled. She had even resisted when her husband suggested that with their youngest in school she should go back to college and finish her degree. She’d dropped out when just before she gave birth to their first, she had been twenty one and she had almost finished three years of an elementary education degree at Baylor. She had first just skipped one year after Will was born, intending to go back and finish before they, but, things happen. Only rarely did it bother her that she did not finish, but she loved every minute being a mother. When Connie, their youngest, started first grade last year she’d begun to think about finishing and it had taken her the rest of that year to get through the process of resuming her education.
It had been 1963 when she had left Baylor, a (then) conservative Baptist college. It was now the fall of 1973 and the world was very much a different place, especially on the campus of University of Texas at Arlington (UT-A) where she was now enrolled. She had decided to pursue anthropology rather than to continue to train to be a school teacher. Her classes in the fall had proven not to be a great academic challenge, she had always been a good student, but her core values were challenged, no assaulted, nearly every day in class by her professors. She had taken a philosophy course, a sociology course, a literature class and a course in world religions that first semester (in addition to introduction to statistics and Ancient Eastern History). Literally every day something about her religious views, her moral views or her political views were challenged. For the first few months she resisted, and finally, in late October she went to her Philosophy teacher, a Dr. Valerie Driscole, and poured out her concerns. She’d told her she wanted to continue school, but did not like her values being attacked every day. Dr. Drisole’s response was kind, direct and changed her life.
“Brenda” she said quietly “I can’t tell you what to believe, but what I can tell you is that if your beliefs are worth having they will stand up to an honest intellectual examination. You are a bright woman, a very bright woman from what I’ve seen, so rather than shutting off the challenges to your beliefs, take this as an opportunity to affirm what you believe by subjecting them to the challenges your teachers are giving you. If you are right in your views, they will easily stand up to scrutiny, but you to be intellectually honest you must be willing to accept if you find your views do not stand up to the test.”
Brenda had taken that challenge home and then back to class the next day. Sitting in Sociology she, for the first time, really considered what Dr. Hughes, had to say, though it was very much different from what she’d been thought.
By the end of the first semester at UT-A, she knew deep in her heart that her Southern Baptist view of the world was not passing the instinctual challenge very well. She didn’t say anything to her family, but to a few friends she’d met in class she begun to open up. She surprised herself that over the four weeks between semesters, she found her self more comfortable going out with her new, younger, college friends, than her friends from church or the Garden Club. When her children were also out of school it was easy to go back to her old lifestyle, but on the Monday after New Years, when the kids were back in school, she called up Millie and they had lunch.
Millie had been in two of her classes in the fall semester, and like Brenda, she was a little older than most of the other students and they had hit it off right from the start. Millie was unlike anyone Brenda had ever known in any sort of personal way. Prior to her starting school, just Millie’s appearance would have been enough to keep Brenda at a distance. Until the heat had broken in October, she wore the same ratty, very short, cut-offs and the same two or three little halter tops nearly every day. In the fall she went to a couple of equally worn hip hugger, big bell jeans and tee-shirts and when it was cold as navy pea-coat. And from what Brenda could see, she didn’t even own a bra; just letting her, not-insubstantial, boobs just hang out there. On top of that, she was Jewish. bahçeşehir escort That would have been enough on it’s own to make her exotic.
Brenda, for all her conservative views, was very sociable. Her winsome personality coupled with her natural physical attractiveness, had always made sure she was never a wallflower in any group. By the third week of class she was a regular member of the lunch group which was mostly girls ten years Brenda’s junior.
Millie, however, was in her late twenties, so just a few years younger than the others and that, along with the fact they shared both a Monday-Wednesday-Friday class and a Tuesday-Thursday class and they were both returning to college after a long hiatus in their schooling was what initially brought this unlikely friend into her life.
Millie was very talkative and all too glad to talk about herself. Like Brenda, she’d been a middle-class suburbanite and went off to college naive and, as she liked to say “with a head completely devoid of reality.” She’d left her home in upstate New York in the fall of 1967 to study psychology at University of Buffalo. By the spring of her sophomore year she was a sophomore the naive eighteen year old had become a radical twenty year old. The campus riots in March and the violent police retaliation had pushed her firmly into a full fledged radical and though she completed her second year at Buffalo, when summer came she left New York for ever.
While Brenda was busy raising her children in the early 70’s, Millie was leading a very different kind of life. It was after a test in October that she gave this narrative. “I left New York and with my parents believing I was going on a study trip, I went to Europe. I was sure the US was soon to fall into anarchy and so I wanted to get away, and so I went to London, then on to the south of France. London was amazing. Unlike hippies here, in London they dressed up in amazing clothes, ruffles and colors and style was so in. It was all so fun, and for me, best of all they were apolitical. It was all about just letting go and having a good time. None of the heavy talk about the war or civil rights, just smoking hash in hookahs and making it with a new person, or two, every night. For like a month I just carried my back pack to one flat after another going from one party to the next. I don’t think I slept in the same bed, or with the same guy more than two or three times from the first of June till I went to France at the end of July.”
One of the younger girls at the restaurant table asked “Why’d you go, that sounded really groovy.”
Millie continued by saying “It was, but a girl named Bernice, she was from Belgium, she and I had gotten to be real close and when she invited me to go with her and her boyfriend to commune in the south of France, it sounded fun.”
The same girl interrupted again “You and her and her boyfriend? Sounds like you were real close.”
Millie just gave a wry smile and said “Yea, she wasn’t the jealous type and he was very nice looking.”
Brenda’s eyes must have visibly widened. She was doing all she could to not look shocked that Millie was so open about having sex with, evidently, a good many men, and now she was clearly saying she had been intimate with her friend’s boyfriend.
A girl who appeared to be the youngest at the table commented “But doing it behind her back?”
Millie defensively said “Oh, I wouldn’t do that, we never did it unless Bernice was there.”
Even Millie’s defense was even more shocking. Did she do a manage-a-trios?
Evidently unaware of just how shocked Brenda was, Millie blithely continued “So, we go down to St. Tropez, it was so pretty. It seemed that Bernice’s boyfriend had a cousin who had rented an apartment for the summer. I guess he didn’t ask if there was any room for us, so we just slept on the floor. Fortunately I met a guy the second day and hearing of my lack of accommodations invited me to stay with him, so I did a week. It was great, I’d never been on a topless beach before and even though I’m no prude, it was strange at first to go topless, but after just a few hours it was no big deal. By the time Jacque left to go back to Paris, he asked me to go with him but Bernice and I had already had an offer to stay at an amazing villa just out of town with a guy that she’d taken up with after her boyfriend had to go back to Belgium. I guess I should say, Bernice was very, very pretty and guys just flocked to her.”
Brenda thought it funny that Millie would say her friend was pretty, as Brenda thought the same of Millie. She had an olive complexion and features that looked like a movie star’s. Not to mention her figure, that from what she’d see would stop a man dead in his tracks, all told if her friend was as pretty as Millie, the two of them on a beach would have been… extremely popular. And that would have been true even if they weren’t evidently topless and quick to jump into bed with just about anyone.
“So,” Millie went on “we go to this Villa, and wow! It overlooked the bay and had it’s own pool and bakırköy escort everything. The guy she took up with was the son of some kind of industrial tycoon. I thought he was really stuck on himself, but the place was really nice. I just hung out at the pool for two weeks as often as not just wearing just my bikini bottoms. There were lots of people coming and going and it was like a rolling party. On the second Tuesday we were there I met Kenneth. He was so good looking and funny and smart and ..” she grinned wickedly “.. he had a great penis that he really knew how to use.”
The other girls laughed. Brenda blanched.
“I fell hard” she said then looked around and corrected “OK, first I came hard, again and again, then I fell for him. He was a law student at Columbia and when he left to go back I went with him and moved into his apartment. My parents freaked out but they settled down when we got married that Christmas. Then they freaked out again when we got divorced a year later.”
She went on to tell how she’d moved in with her sister after the divorce and that is what brought her to the Dallas area. At first she was repelled by both Millie’s politics and her lifestyle, but she was just so fun and interesting, she and Millie soon spent every lunch together and even some weekend activities as well. Thus after her children went back to school after Christmas break she and Millie spent several days together. It was not that having time wither her lady friends was something she hadn’t done over the years, but what was new was that in all her time with Millie she was developing an identity of her own, separate from being a wife or mother, she was just Brenda. Not Mrs. Johnson, not Will or Richey or Michelle’s mother, just Brenda. It was new, exciting and more than a little frightening at times.
The first time a guy tried to pick her up she was clueless as to what was happening. It was after class a few weeks after Christmas. Millie had taken her to a bar just off campus. A BAR! She had never in her life been in a bar. She didn’t even drink. She had only tasted beer once and that was in high school. Sitting drinking her Tab at a table, two men asked to sit with them. They were very nice, but it wasn’t until one asked her what she was doing latter that night that poor naive Brenda realized he was hitting on her; trying to pick her up, he thought she was available. Despite the wedding ring, he thought she would go with him. It shocked, infuriated and flattered her.
Millie had brushed them off with ease, but it was a revelation to Brenda.
“I thought you were going to pass out” Millie had said once the men were gone “How long has it been since a guy has tried to pick you up?”
Brenda just looked at her dumbfounded “Never.”
Millie had clearly been taken aback by her answer, but kindly did not pursue the issue that day. Brenda, on the other hand, began to think about a lot of things. The next week her husband was out of town again from Monday until Thursday. His job provided them a very comfortable lifestyle, one far more affluent than how she had grown up. However, the price was that her husband, as he had promoted, traveled ever more. A year ago he was promoted to Junior -Vice-President in his company, he was now a real jetsetter, traveling the world, or rather away from home, for 10- 15 nights most months. After her evening shower, she stood in front of the full length mirror and looked at herself: naked. She tried to imagine what a man, not her husband, but just a man, would think of her body. Millie had talked about the topless beaches, and she had made reference to the fact she had gone to a nude beach in the Bahamas last year, but not elaborated. What would men think of her 34 year old body if she were next to someone like Millie?
She looked at herself. She knew she’d always looked young for her age. When she first went to college at 18 years old she’d still looked like she could have been in Junior High. She had hated it then, but now, she could see the upside. She slowly turned to look at herself from all sides. The three kids hadn’t been unkind to her. Her waist was not as defined as it had once been, but she still fit easily into size 5 dresses and slacks, a size 3, she thought, if she wore them as tight as Millie did. She slapped a thigh as she look at her rear quarter; firm and only a hint of cellulite, again, not bad at all. Her boobs, though not remotely as big as the girls in her husbands Playboy magazines, were, she thought nothing to be ashamed of. Sure they’d lost a little of their fullness with nursing, but she had no regrets about that. A solid 34C, but she knew, at a nude beach she would not be confused with an 18 year old, but she imagined she could get her share of looks. “Where did that thought come from?” she asked herself aloud.
She ran her hands through her dark brown hair. She’d begun letting it grow out even before she started back to school, now it was beginning to cascade over her shoulders. She was not bad looking, when she was in high school, she’d been rather a wallflower, but with başakşehir escort maturity had come softening of her features to the effect of generally improving her appearance. She still was a long way from being a knock-out, but she certainly was not homely either.
An angry scream came from the living room. One of the kids was doing something to one of the other kids. “Back to being a mother”. She pulled her night gown over her head, followed by her robe and strode from the room in full mama mode.
Two hours later the kids were asleep. Brenda slipped off her robe, then very uncharacteristically, she let her nightgown fall to the floor as well, and crawled across the bed nude. The sheets were cool as she slid across the top of the king sized bed. She went to the far side, his side, and opened the drawer in his end table. From it she took the top few magazines. June (1974) and November Playboy, June’s Penthouse, June and July’s. She slid under the cool sheets and opened the first magazine.
This wasn’t the first time she had looked in her husband’s magazines, but it was the first time she had looked closely. The girls were young, pretty and all had boobs much bigger than hers. She was very interested in two photo layouts, one in the July Penthouse and one in the June Playboy. Both were shot outdoors. Mostly on deserted beaches, again she thought of Millie on a nude beach, and imagined her self as well. After perusing the photo spreads, she began looking at the articles on modern sexuality. She read the advice column from Xandra Hollender, and the letters about their sexual exploits. It was more than enough to keep her mind running after she put the magazines back and turned off the light.
Laying on the big bed, under sheets her mind thought of what it would be like to be with another man. To be with a man in bed like the in the magazine stories, for him to take time to warm her to his desires, to have him stimulate her with is mouth and then to engage in intercourse, not for the five minutes that was all her husband had ever done, but to have sex long enough to move from position to position, to have sex until she felt as spent as he was.
As she thought her palms pressed into her thighs, her fingers gripped the flesh and she pushed the hands down her leg. The friction warmed her legs, though the movement was slow. The tactile sensation was very stimulating. She drew her hands up, still pressing into her flesh enjoying the feeling of her skin being pulled. Up the sides of her stomach, the two hands in tandem inched up. She felt her ribs under the skin, the softness of the outer edge of her two breasts. Her palms rotated her fingers inward as they moved up her body. When the heel of her hand was pressing in, just below her armpits, her splayed fingers only floated on the soft surface of her breasts themselves. The tips of her fingers lighted on the raised surface of her areola and the middle finger just touched the firm pencil eraser sized crown of her nipple. An unexpected shiver shot from her own touch and as it raced downward, brought a contraction in her stomach and pelvis before settling in her suddenly acutely sensitive clitoris. Reflexively her buttocks tightened and her thighs in turn pulled inward, putting more pressure on the suddenly alive feeling in her crotch.
This also was not the first time she had ever touched her self. As a girl she and explored those feelings on several occasions, and then in the months between the time she began dating and the night she lost her virginity to the man who became her husband she had again explored the pleasant sensations of touching her breasts and pubic area. When she began having sex it was nothing short of amazing, for those amazing months between their first time and when she found out she was pregnant, she, looking back, was just out of control. And by the time they had been doing it six months she was pregnant, and they had a quiet summer wedding. Such is the price of sin. After the wedding it took some time, but she began to reflect on the fact that though sex felt good while it lasted, it always ended to soon and it nearly always left her feeling empty. After the children came she had lost interest in seeking those feelings as they seemed never to lead to satisfaction. Who wants to be disappointed? She had convinced herself, bolstered by the similar experiences of her friends from church, that women who said they were having deeply fulfilling sexual experiences were either lying or sinfully depraved. That was why she had not sought out the mysterious orgasm, or climax or cumming of which she had heard.
That self satisfying belief was one of the things she was finding herself questioning as of late. Now, having become friends with a woman who’s life, who’s upbeat and seemingly fulfilled life included regular, extended sexual encounters with different men, and never had she even hinted at the phony nature of sexual promise. In fact on a number of occasions she’d refrained having ‘great sex’ or ‘a mind blowing orgasm’. Was her friend Millie lying or depraved? She knew full well that she was beginning to think she’d been duped. She’d been let to believe sex was just for the man and procreation, but what if there was some great experience she’d never had? It was that thought that caused to look at her body in a sexual way. It was that thought that caused her to pull out the magazines. The insistent tingle in her thighs was not new, but it was more intense than she had felt in a very long time.
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