“What are you doing? What is this?"
She doesn’t look at me but continues to turn a box in her hands about the size of a car battery. It is upholstered in rich black leather, finished with dimpled brass studs. A brass S shaped crank sticks out of one end. Its handle is made of dark, polished hardwood. The underside of the box has two half-moon section cut into it, a large brass lobe protrudes between them.
“It’s an artifact,” Ren says and hands me the orignal documentation, a small square of age faded Byronic paper.
Instrument For Use by Qualified Physician when Carrying Out Relief of Persistent and Occasional Female Hysteria. Her Royal Majesty’s Patent Registrar as granted to Messrs Maw & Son. London.
I’m mystified. “What the fuck...?”
Ren reaches for a tiny eyeglass screwdriver and adjusts the handle.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“This little brass screw,” she shows me, “keeps falling out so I cleaned it and re-cut the threads.”
“Kudos, baby. I’m impressed.”
Ren finally turns to me. Her smile is benign.
“Well, I have picked up a thing or two watching you mess around with your bikes and cars. I wasn’t always idly jerking off at all your sweat and muscle and grease.”
“Mmm… A girl who can handle tools. Fucking hot.”
“Isn’t it? Okay, let’s give this thing a whirl.”
I wink at her with a gravel-voiced leer. “As you command, Mistress.”
She grins and tilts her chin. “Come along, Igor.”
Ren lays on our bed, legs straight down, and sits the box on her crotch. The half-moon sections on the underside fit onto her thighs and hips. She fidgets and gets comfy.
“Aren’t you gonna take your clothes off?”
“No, this was done with women clothed.”
“Stop talking and do as I say.”
The brass handle faces toward her feet.
“Okay, so now what?”
Ren raises her head a bit to see what’s going on.
“Now lean on the top of the box with your open palm, but not a lot, just enough to keep it snuggly in place.”
I do so.
“All right,” she continues. “Turn the handle.”
I turn it. The heavy brass lobe inside the box is like a big rounded tear drop. It begins to rotate, the fatter bottom end acting a centrifugal weight.
“The idea is the round thing underneath presses my clit and pubic bone every other revolution. This is supposed to stimulate orgasm, thus relieving Female Hysteria, also referred to as Maenadic Hysteria.”
“Hm… ‘Kinky’ as the rubes like to say.”
“Turn it faster.”
I pick up the pace.
“It’s a Victorian thing,” she tells me. “Doctors would use these to basically get women off and keep them from going completely insane and killing their children and their maids. I’m also supposed to have a wooden bridle between my teeth so I don’t bite off my own tongue.”
“Husbands would bring their hysterically bitchy wives to sanitariums. It was all very medical. A nurse in attendance to handle the bridle and pat the patient's forehead.”
I speed up my cranking a bit more.
“Is it working? You feel anything?”
Ren eyes move around. She squints, comme ci comme ça.
“Uh… sort of… It’s a nice sensation… But then again, I’m not some dammed up, sexually repressed Victorian lunatic. I guess if I hadn’t cum – like ever, I’d probably be gushing like a firehose.”
“So what’s the deal? Doctors would seriously jerk women off with this thing?”
“Yeah, like I said, it was a medical procedure. After several massive cums and the woman screaming her head off, they’d give her a bath and she’d leave with her hubs and her parasol, nice demure smile – ‘relieved of her Female Hysteria.’ Seems reasonable considering the how they lived.”
My arm gets tired and I stop. “Those doctors must have been ambidextrous. This thing takes some real elbow grease.” I lift off the top and peer inside at the machine’s guts. “Oh, for chrissake, baby. You could have lubed the spindle and gear. The thing is grinding against the shaft.”
“I’ll grind against your shaft. Anyway, I didn’t say I was Miss Mechanic. I got it working, didn’t I?”
I put the lid back on. “Hell, I'd be hysterical too if I had the weight of all human history resting between my legs.”
“Oh, shut up, James. You’ve been reading too much. That doctor of yours is turning you into a bit of a pinhead.” Ren sits up and leans on the box, eyes brightening. “Hey, maybe we could do a demo sometime. That’d be cool, huh? I’d wear one of those long very simple Victorian hospital smocks. You know, hair screeched back in a white wrap, face and lips very pale, wild-eyed like a race horse – ready to weep and go insane, pussy quivering. You could wear a vest and lab coat, pocket watch and pince nez. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
“Not my kinda thing,” I frown. “Get one of your fags to do it.”
“Oh baby, c’mon. Don’t get upset because I told you to shut up.”
“I’m not upset.”
“You are. You’re sulking. I was just trying to stop you from repeating some pretentious nonsense to other people. Around me it’s okay. I get it.”
She reaches for me as I turn away. “James…”