Silverbelle Jane Discovers Herself and Lets Go

[Silverbelle C. Jane Taylor’s memoir Spirit Traffic should be on the bookshelf of every great ape. You can buy a copy here:

Jane also sends a weekly “Love Letter” to her followers. She’ll send one to you if you sign up . It’s free and it’s fun.

Her most recent missive really makes clear the meaning of Spirit Traffic’s sub-title: A Mother’s Journey of Self-Discovery and Letting Go. SB SM]

by C. Jane Taylor

At a recent author event at the library in Middlebury, Vermont, I read to an adoring, if small, crowd. My audience knew my book well; a husband and wife had read it to each other in bed. It was a thrill and an honor to be recognized in this way. I asked them what they wanted me to read. Of course, they asked for the masturbation chapter. Having never read it to an audience before, I was rather shy about it. 

Here is Chapter 12, 70 MPH in its entirety. 

West of Wolf Creek Pass, enroute to Arizona, we finally hit good motorcycle weather. Riding without rain or multiple maxi pads, I was euphoric. Full sun, warm breezes, and the bike between my legs gave me a sexy feeling of exhilaration that I equated with freedom. Having survived the cold, my heavy period, near-snow conditions, and the climb over Wolf Creek Pass, I felt a rush of power swell inside me. 

We stopped to fuel up on a long straightaway seemingly in the middle of nowhere. All of the gas stations in this part of the country were under the shade of metal roofs, where stray dogs gathered to lie in the relative coolness of shaded pavement. Three such dogs, all big, smiling pit bulls, gathered at our feet to say hello and beg for the energy bars we snacked on as we filled our tanks and gulped water. I admit I did drop a piece at the feet of one of those sweet dogs.

Tanks full, thirsts quenched, we rolled off onto an empty, sunny highway through dry, rolling hills; visions of Peter Fonda, Mad Max, and California danced in my head. I breathed in the enlivening sage-scented air and sat taller in my saddle. Not frightened, not timid, not tentative, and for once, I was not struggling toward a destination. It suddenly occurred to me that I was actually thrilled. My whole body tingled with a feeling of nascent mastery approaching ease. I looked down at the speedometer: 70 miles-per-hour—my land speed record thus far! 

The road lay before me, long, smooth, and undemanding. Slight curves, gentle hills, sunshine. For the first time on the bike, I noticed sweet sensations rising on my body. The hot, dry wind shimmied up my sleeves, tickling my arms. Inside my boots, my feet prickled on the foot pegs with the bike’s vibrations; my legs gripping the tank felt the thrust of the engine’s piston in its single cylinder. Goosebumps climbed my torso. 

The thrill caused by my engine’s vibration mingled with the heady smells of the sunny road, making my nipples rise. The wind pushed the front of my armored jacket against my chest to meet them. With each bump in the road, the prayer beads given to me for luck, and hidden in the right breast pocket of my jacket, created an impious friction there. 

To my complete surprise, I grew moist against the seam of my armored pants; my whole body came alive as I rocked my pelvis gently against my saddle. Indeed, part of my titillation was the surprise itself. 

Growing up a tomboy, I was often caught off guard by the sexiness of women—including my mother. Even though Donald—the mechanic at the Honda Shop who babysat Ann and me most often—had a crush on her, called her Betty Lou, and sometimes they’d dance together to music on the radio, I did not see my mother as a sexual being. Growing up in her image, as I tried so hard to do, I did not see myself as a sexual being either.

Though my girlhood fantasy crushes on Linc from The Mod Squad (Clarence Williams III, in the early 1970s TV crime drama), and Michael Nesmith from The Monkees (late 1960s made-for-TV boy band) laid the foundation for the average girl’s evolution into womanhood, that advancement was inhibited by rape. 

My lusts and relationships were difficult and awkward after the Black man several years older than me broke through my panties. The shock that someone who looked like my TV heartthrob was not out to protect my young teenage self from danger was a cloud whose pall darkened all of my subsequent sexual experiences. 

Certainly, I had masturbated before. I had a vibrator, a libido, and a book of Shunga, but the motorcycle arousal was different. It wasn’t just a bigger vibrator; it was something I could control. The bike made me feel like I actually had some power—and maybe the freedom to express it. 

Throttling on and off slightly as I tilted my pelvis forward and back just a little bit, I found I could vary and increase the sensations. Depending on the angle of my torso against the saddle, vibrations rose up through my sit bones, labia, and my then-engorged clitoris. 

Because my son was right there in my rear-view mirror, riding just two seconds behind me, I had to maintain an outward façade of motherly propriety while inwardly steaming. 

The excitement of my illicit behavior felt like playing footsie under the dinner table with someone else’s husband. My budding power commingled with the intoxicating smells of the road and my romantic notions of California, urging me on to a crescendo. My body tensed and quivered, then released. I sighed, trembling. 70 mph. Lower speeds do not generate such intensities.

Regaining my breath, I found myself cruising coolly down Route 160, my environs richer and more colorful. I suddenly remembered my travel companions and my place in our Free Rangers triangle formation. The view of my son in my rear-view mirror certainly tempered, but did not attenuate, my physical delight at 70 mph. I threw my head back and laughed. 

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