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Mercy Sex: An Excerpt From My Novel

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Dear Cal,

Last night, when you came up behind me in the kitchen, I didn’t mean to be so weird, I was just deep into my audiobook on my headphones, drinking my wine, washing the dishes, and you startled me. I didn’t hear you come in, so when a hot little hand grabbed my back fat, I assumed one of the girls was out of bed. That’s why I yelled.

When I saw that it was you, your hand, your wounded face, I knew that I was in trouble. I’m not allowed to be startled or shocked that you touched me for the first time in months, I guess. Sure enough, you raged about how your touch repels me, and I’m a cold fish, and you’re long-suffering. I’ve heard this speech before.

I’m so tired.

Dr. Sanders wants us to talk about our sex life next session. That should be fun. I know you blame it all on me, and maybe I am some sort of joyless shrew, but honestly, I’d rather be the wet blanket than keep having mercy sex. It started to feel gross and violating that we were only doing it when it had been too long and you pouted enough to make me feel guilty. I just couldn’t. That’s not hot. It isn’t satisfying or loving; it’s a service agreement. Eventually, even guilt and wine weren’t enough to make me do it. When we stopped having sex, you stopped touching me altogether because, if it’s not a sex-bound activity, there’s no point for you, I guess?

We used to cuddle before kids, right? Weren’t we constantly spooning on the couch? Now that couch is covered in kid nastiness, and by the end of the day, I’m all touched out by the kids. I want to be left alone to listen to my book and drink my wine.

Cold fish. Screw. Asshole. All accurate.


It’s weird, but I can still feel exactly where your hand was on my back last night like it left a stain. If I looked at it in the mirror, I imagine that I’d be able to see it glowing. What really kills me, is I used to love it when you grabbed my hips. It made me feel so powerful and feminine. Now I’m flabby and angry, and you’re pitiful and deprived. I hate what we’ve become.


Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

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