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Read a bleak sex scene from the debut novel by Melissa Broder (@sosadtoday)

The writer behind the existential Twitter account has released THE PISCES, the story of a woman in love with a merman – read an extract here

In my new novel, THE PISCES – the story of a woman who moves to Venice Beach and falls in romantic obsession with a merman whose tail starts below the dick – there is good sex and there is bad sex. Before my protagonist, Lucy, has sex with a merman, she has to have sex with some humans. 

Thematically, THE PISCES explores the question of whether we can fill the existential void with romantic obsession. More specifically, I wanted to confront the paradox of limerence: why a narcotic, erotic fantasy can feel so much more desirable than “real love.”

Lucy’s merman, Theo, is emblematic of that fantasy. I sought to imbue their “good” sex scenes with an element of pleasure realism I’ve found missing in reading literary erotica. Often, I’m reading a text and I think “wow, she came on page 121 but I wouldn’t have cum until at least page 138.” Lucy may be fucking a merman but she still gets self-conscious about the amount of time it takes her to cum.

Yet in her sex with humans, particularly in the encounter she experiences with Garrett in the following excerpt, the divide between fantasy and reality may be seen as even more pronounced. Can anyone ever live up to magical thinking we project on their Tinder profile? In the case of Garrett, a graphic designer with whom Lucy has arranged a fantasy sex excursion, the answer is no.

“Alright,” said Garrett, when I finished my drink. “I'm going in first. You wait here. In five minutes you come and knock on all four of them. I’ll let you in.”

“All four of what?” I asked.

“The bathroom doors.”

“Wait,” I said. “Why are we going to the bathroom?”

“To fuck,” he laughed. But he looked concerned.

“Oh,” I said. “I thought we were like getting a room or something.”

“Oh shit, sorry. No. The fantasy was that we would fuck in the bathroom. Did I not make that clear?”

“Not exactly.”

“Are you cool with that?” he asked.

What the hell? Did I look like I wanted to fuck in a bathroom? Maybe this was sexier. Maybe this was an honor. Not everyone could fuck in a hotel lobby bathroom.

“Okay,” I said.

“You’ll love it. I can’t wait to make that ass to go up and down.”

Was this weird or was it okay? People at the bar were engaged in conversation, regular interactions, trying to pass as normal or interesting. Nobody was that interesting and certainly no one was normal. Why wasn’t everyone fucking in a bathroom?

I knocked on the first bathroom door.

“Can I help you?” came a voice.

“Sorry!” I said.

I knocked on the next door. Garrett opened it and pulled me in. He kissed me hard. It made me feel good, like he wanted me.

“Look me in the eyes,” I said.

He hoisted me by the waist onto the big black marble sink. I was turned on by the action, but not turned on in my vagina. Or maybe my vagina was turned on, but I wasn’t there yet.

“Slower,” I said.

He teased me over my underpants. Then he started fingering me. My lips kept getting caught and rubbing against his fingers in an irritated way. I felt like they were puffing up like balloons. I kept asking questions. I wanted to hear that he wanted me.

“Do you like the lingerie?”


I guess he could feel that I wasn’t wet, because he pushed my undies to the side and licked my clit. I moaned, not altogether fake, because I enjoyed hearing myself. But fake in that I was too self-conscious to be aroused.

I slid down onto my knees. I unzipped his pants and started to suck his dick. His dick was long and skinny. I felt like it could stab me. Usually I enjoy dick sucking and I’m pretty intuitive at it. I like to tease it first – really prepare the dick. But he grabbed my hair and pushed my head closer to his body. I gagged, then continued. He moaned. Hearing the moan come up from the depths of his belly made me feel wetter. My juices stung my irritated labia.

“Get up here,” he said.

He hoisted me back up onto the sink. Then he pulled off my underwear and spread my legs. I gasped when he put his cock in and began to thrust. It felt good, but also too much, like he was hitting a wall in the back of my vagina. My thighs were chafing on the counter. My back banged against the faucet. I kept getting caught on the sink bowl.

Next, with his pants around his ankles, he carried me down onto the floor and commanded me to turn over. I flipped over onto my hands and knees and he began fucking me doggystyle. I could feel his dick up by my bellybutton. It hurt and I just wanted for it to be over. Someone had chosen a range of sad classic rock ballads: Peter Gabriel’s Salisbury Hill, Eric Clapton’s Tears In Heaven. I was fucking on a bathroom floor to Tears In Heaven. Sorry, but no. What did it even mean to be alive? I started laughing.

“Rub your clit,” he commanded.

I obeyed. I felt him spread my cheeks, put his finger in my asshole. It felt like I had to shit, like something in there needed to come out. His dick banged against my asshole. He pushed. Then I felt a searing pain: like a giant hemorrhoid was trying to get inside.

I turned and looked at him.

“Is it in?”

“Wait a minute,” he said.

I felt his dick get softer and collapse. I imagined it forming a U-shape and going back into him. I imagined him fucking his own bellybutton.

“It’s too tight,” he said. “I’m just gonna fuck your pussy.”

That was fine with me.

He fucked me for maybe a minute, then came.

“Sorry,” he said.

“That’s okay,” I said. “That was great.”

I looked at my coat on the floor. It was covered in a blob of semen.

“We should get going so we don’t get caught,” he said.

“Yeah, as much as I’d like to sit here all night…”

I was playing it cool. Look how chill I was. But I felt angry and sad. This wasn’t what I was in this for. I mean, it was something, not just ordinary, hollow life. It was a stab at the nothingness. But I wanted him to obsess about me. Had I been used? Could you be used if you were using the other person? Did the one who came automatically become the user? Was the one who was less attached the user? I tried not to cry as I put on the coat. I felt embarrassed that it was so fucked up, even though it was him who had fucked it up.

“Go out first,” he said. “I’ll wait a minute?”

“Okay,” I said.

I went to the bar and applied lipstick. I wanted to look hot for him, collected.

Five minutes passed and he didn’t appear. He was really playing it safe. Then ten minutes.

you ok in there? I texted

huh? he wrote

Are you going to come out of the bathroom or do you need me to help?

Oh sorry. I left. headed home. That was fun ;)