“The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not ‘taking’ and the woman is not ‘giving’. No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn. And I have never had one.”
– Erica Jong, Fear of Flying 1973
The California Zephyr is one of the most inspiring train journeys in the world. Travelling from San Francisco to Chicago; 2,500 miles over three days, and three nights. It takes you through desert, the Rocky Mountains, the snow-capped Sierra Nevada, enormous lakes and vast canyons; it snakes through great rivers, dense forests, epic waterfalls and finally into the heart of the windy city itself. Apart from a few stops at out-of-the-way stations, it hurtles through the landscape becoming its own destination, with soap opera scenarios playing out in every carriage, from the 1st class en-suite cabins to the 3rd class sleeping chairs.
Each train-car is looked after by a porter and everyone, from every class, congregates in the viewing car, its Perspex roof giving travellers the chance to stare at the awe-inspiring landscape. Three times a day they gather in the dining car for obligatory, and inclusive, meals. Waiters in white starched uniforms serve the guests with friendly banter, fresh flowers compliment the linen covered tables and hearty American meals are delivered with flawless American service. The very essence of classic rail travel still exists on those tracks and for me it was the perfect end to the trip of a lifetime.
After eight weeks of camping by the side of the road and travelling five thousand miles by Greyhound, I treated myself to a 2nd class cabin – a bunk with a sliding door onto the corridor, at the end of which was a shared toilet which doubled as a shower. Compared to what I had been used to, it was pure luxury and I was looking forward to a few days of peace and quiet. Having taken a sabbatical to get over a nasty breakup, I was feeling stronger than I had in a long time and was preparing myself for the long journey home, and facing my people again.
The only regret I had was that I hadn’t met anyone on the trip to have rebound sex with. On a few occasions I had had the opportunity but being on my own I’d probably been too cautious and missed my chances. I wasn’t going to wallow though; I was going to make the most of my last few days. My fabulously camp porter was called Andre and he welcomed every one of his ‘guests’ in the same friendly, humorous and kind manner. In half a day we were friends. We all had to book our slots in the dining car through him and it seemed Andre had a lot of fun setting me up with a variety of people. The classic ‘trainspotters’ who were beside themselves about travelling on this famous train; an Amish father and child who didn’t speak to me but eyed me suspiciously throughout the entire meal; a shouty English couple with a screaming child; and then, on the last day, Logan.
“His blond hair fell across his sea-green eyes but with a quick flick of his head I was able to see them clearly, and watched as they smiled before his mouth did.”
We were just past Denver, Colorado, where I had seen Logan board the train with a large suitcase and a cheeky smile. I was sitting in the dining car wearing a short denim skirt, cowboy boots and a gypsy-style top – a look I had adopted for my travels – happily reading my book and waiting for lunch to be served. Logan slid into the booth opposite me and extended his hand. His blond hair fell across his sea-green eyes but with a quick flick of his head I was able to see them clearly, and watched as they smiled before his mouth did. I noticed his teeth were not as perfect as many of the Americans I had met so far, he had a snaggle tooth and they were slightly yellow from smoking. This imperfection somehow made him more attractive. He had a small rainbow-coloured CND tattoo on his wrist, and when I shook his hand his strong grip belied his youth. We introduced ourselves and he ordered a beer. He was asked for ID. Nonchalantly he flashed his driver’s license and after the waiter had left he laughed and said that it happened all the time as he had just turned twenty-one. I was forty. I looked good for forty, I knew that. I, too, was tanned after so many weeks on the road, and since taking up running following my breakup, I was pretty toned. My raven coloured hair had grown longer and thicker thanks to the sun, and my blue eyes shone with holiday vibes. But I was still forty. My English sensibilities kicked in and insisted that whatever inappropriate thoughts had rushed through my head when he sat down be banished. I had had younger guys before, but twenty-one is really young, especially in the States, where you can’t legally drink until you’re that age.
I continued to be friendly throughout lunch and we chatted easily about music and festivals and snowboarding (the first two I know about, the latter, nothing at all but I faked it pretty well). Of course he loved British music and I impressed him with some of the bands I’d met and the gigs I’d been to. He was so open and desperate to learn; there is something about youthful excitement that is extremely attractive. A few wines and the age difference started to evaporate. Logan’s magnetism was too much for me. Chemistry – call it what you like – but I was on fire. When we could tell the waiters were getting itchy for us to leave, he pulled out a packet of playing cards, and I couldn’t see the harm in a couple of rounds. We headed to the bar-car.
Here I was, twenty years older, with an actual ‘boy’, who actually said things like ‘negatory’ and ‘affirmative’. I had also discovered during lunch that this cute, easy-going snowboarder was, in actual fact, delivering a shipment of hash oil, cross-country. Finding out my new travelling companion was smuggling drugs should have had me running back to my bunk, but it didn’t. Everything I knew about him at that point was everything I needed to know. I was struck by the realisation that there was no one to judge us here, no one would ever find out, the only thing that mattered in that moment was us.
As I followed him down the aisle to the bar-car, I watched his strong arms reaching out to grab the seats, controlling his swaying, his muscles tensing with each movement. Following the curve of his physique, my eyes drifted towards his lower back and onto his tight butt, barely visible through his baggy jeans, but clearly firm and round. Beneath the jeans I imagined how strong and solid his thighs would be, it was an easy leap to picture myself naked with him, to see him picking me up with those strong arms, allowing me to wrap my legs around his waist as he lowered me onto him, his big hands cupping my buttocks as he moved me up and down on top of him. Slowly at first and then faster as our bodies slid against each other with sweat, our breathing gathering pace, my arms circled around his hulking, manly brawn.
I was snapped out of my reverie by a sudden jolt of the train, and we arrived at the bar, where I followed Logan to a seat at the back. I watched as he shuffled the worn pack of playing cards between his fingers, expertly dealing them out. As he laid the cards down, his hand brushed lightly against mine and he smiled. I shuddered at the thought of what might lie ahead. The wine with lunch had softened my resolve, and I remembered Erica Jong’s Zipless Fuck from Fear of Flying which I had read after picking it up in a hostel in Santa Fe. The Zipless Fuck is the ultimate no responsibility sex. And the perfect scenario is on a train, with a stranger. I smiled, my resolve further slipping as I realised this elusive experience, rarer than a unicorn, to quote Jong, could be within my reach. Logan looked up from dealing, “What are you smiling at, Sweetcheeks?” I shifted my position so that my boot rested against his leg. He looked me in the eye, aware of my intent, and didn’t move.
Afternoon turned into evening, wine turned into spirits, and any fear I had gave way to desire. Although I kept thinking it was wrong to seduce a much younger man I was turned on, and the rum I was now sipping was dissipating my prudish society-led concerns about our age difference and the situation.
The train was due to arrive into Chicago at eleven that night, but it had been running late for three days and would never catch up. An announcement came over the Tannoy to say that the new estimated arrival time was five a.m. Amid a variety of groans, the bar started to empty out as people went to get some sleep and we were left with a couple of old lushes, a cowboy and the bartender. As the train whipped through the landscape Logan suggested we play one more round before going to our separate beds. I’m sure he caught the flicker of disappointment on my face, and we both knew that it wasn’t going to end here.
“His green eyes bore into my very being as his touch softened and his fingers slid along my bare leg, slowly stroking the tiny hairs which stood on end, making me shiver.”
The game was intense; we played slowly, both trying to judge the level of the other’s desire, determining who was going to make the first move. The game we were playing, Shithead, requires only one hand when it approaches its closing stages. When Logan placed his hand on my knee I knew there was no turning back. His green eyes bore into my very being as his touch softened and his fingers slid along my bare leg, slowly stroking the tiny hairs which stood on end, making me shiver. As I tried to concentrate on the game in hand, and keep some level of conversation going so as to avoid detection, he smiled slightly and moved his hand towards my white cotton panties, all the while continuing to play the hand he’d been dealt.
When his fingers reached, and recognised, the heat exuding from me he slowly peeled back my panties and, moving a finger to feel my wetness, which had been growing all evening, and made me sigh out loud.
“Ssshhhh…” he said, with his crooked smile as his finger sought out my clitoris and started gently rubbing me, making me quietly bite my lip to stop from crying out. As his fingers moved faster I couldn’t contain myself and let out a yelp, alerting the bartender to our lingering presence. She approached us and Logan stopped abruptly, but left his hand where it was, my softness clamping around his fingers. “I think we’re all done here.” He said chirpily, helping her clear the glasses off the table with one hand. She drawled back, “Y’all should get some sleep. We’ll be in Chicago in a few hours.” I nodded, red-faced, as she left and, as much as I didn’t want to, gently removed Logan’s hand. “I think my bunk is closer.” I stammered breathlessly, hastily straightening out my skirt and packing up the cards. Logan just nodded, smiled, and stood up.
On the walk back to my bunk, I kept stumbling due to the movement of the train, the alcohol, the intense yearning, but Logan was behind me and grabbed my waist to steady me each time – once or twice he grabbed my bum and by the time we got to my bunk I needed him to take me more than I have ever needed anything in my life.
Kissing urgently, we tumbled into my room, barely bigger than the bed and I pulled the sliding door closed. He pushed me onto that tiny bed, hitched up my skirt, gently opened my legs and with one easy yank removed my pants, leaving me bare, exposed. He stopped for a moment and just looked at me – something which in a normal situation would make me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, but this time made me feel sexy and alive. And wild with longing.
“He kissed me hard as I fumbled, desperately trying to release him from his jeans, wrestling with his zip, knowing I was on the verge of the zipless fuck.”
Then, holding my legs apart, he thrust his head between my thighs, gently feeling the contours of my lips with his tongue, finding my clitoris once more and making me moan and writhe as he hardened his tongue against me and pushed me to the edge of total pleasure. Then he was kissing my thigh, gently and softly working his way up my body, taking in every curve as he went, feeling his way along my hips, waist, tummy, till he alighted on my breasts. My nipples had been hard for hours and he took one in this mouth, biting gently and caressing my other breast with his rough, strong hands. When he finally reached my mouth, he kissed me hard as I fumbled, desperately trying to release him from his jeans, wrestling with his zip, knowing I was on the verge of the zipless fuck.
FUUUUUCK!!!!!! No condoms. I had had some with me on the road but had given them to a friend who got lucky with a trucker. Logan, despite his confidence, had none either. Once again I straightened myself out and slid open the door to the corridor. The train was now deserted as everyone tried to get some sleep before our unsociable arrival time in Chicago. I went straight to Andre’s cabin and tapped on the door. I would not let this opportunity slip through my fingers. He opened the door smiling, fortunately he was still on duty and seeing my grinning face, all I had to say was, “Have you got any…” and he handed me a three pack of condoms followed by a thumbs up which I ignored as I ran back down the corridor.
Back in the tiny room, Logan was lying naked, stretched out on the tiny bed watching the countryside slip away in the moonlight. He was still hard as a rock and his youth gave him a beautiful glow. I couldn’t help but reach for him, cupping his balls as I moved my mouth towards the tip of his cock and started gently licking, slowly but intensely, following the flow of his shaft and then taking him in my mouth, forcing my throat to open and take in its full length in slow even strides, continuing to lick and fondle him within my warm soft mouth.
My fingers slid down towards his balls caressing them before slowly stroking the soft skin between his thighs. His breath quickened and my more experienced tongue circled him, shifting from soft to hard in an instant, playing with his youthful expectations, gifting him with the same pleasure he had gifted me earlier. As he moaned that he was about to come I moved to kiss him on the mouth, straddled him and grabbed the condoms – ripping one open and placing it on him at the same time as guiding him inside me.
Slowly I started to move as he gave himself over to me, I held his hands against the pillow and lent over him so my nipples were brushing his lips as he moaned his approval. He pushed my hands back and forcefully moved me around so I was on my knees. My hands spread against the steamy window as he pushed himself in me from behind, his grip firmly on my hips as he bore hard into me.
At that moment I opened my eyes to see we had pulled in to a small station and I could see a handful of people on the platform – and no doubt they could see us – but we didn’t stop… if anything we continued harder, performing for the crowd. I rose up and pressed my breasts against the window, while he pushed me hard against it. The sweat from our bodies trickled down the glass, right now there was no room for embarrassment or reflection, this was our moment. The train moved on and the shocked faces of the few people on the platform disappeared from view.
With no one left to perform to I spun around and, taking control again, I lay down on the bed moving him towards me. I gently wrapped my legs around his waist, determining his movements, creating a slower rhythm to match the train, not allowing him to go in too deep, keeping him just outside, toying with him. Staring into his eyes I let him feel how much I was longing to get him inside me again, the aching between my legs turning me on as much as the deep penetration had minutes earlier.
As the train sped up so did the intensity of our gaze until we could no longer stand it and his mouth bore down on mine, kissing me so hard that he might almost have swallowed me whole. I arched my back to meet him, kissing him back with the same lusty desire. I lost my sweaty grip on him and he entered me forcefully, the rhythm speeding up in time to match the train. He steadied himself against the carriage wall and thrust himself deeper and deeper inside of me, over and over again, rubbing against me harder and harder until he let out a cry and exploded inside me, my entire body shuddering beneath his.
We lay still for a while, our bodies trembling, but I’d forgotten how quickly the young recover and soon I noticed him getting hard against my thigh once more, ready to continue our game, to explore each other even further – two souls from such different backgrounds united in pure and passionate pleasure. Rolling with the rhythm of the train and the hours of flirtation which had preceded it, he took me once more, thrusting himself deeper and deeper, stroking my hair, my nipples, my belly button, teasing me to near explosion time and time again.
I no longer knew who I was or where I was going. I was lost in the moment and could have ridden that train until the end of the world. I have never had an orgasm so intense, so overwhelming. My body was pushed to unimaginable places, my mind to hidden caverns. Logan came over and over again and this tiny bunk on a train became our destination, our destiny. We finished the box of rubbers. Eventually we lay in each other’s arms again, breathing hard and steady. But only for a few moments because Andre hammered on the door. “Chicago in twenty minutes!”
The call woke us out of our reverie. I had been on the train for three days and as such had belongings scattered throughout the tiny room which needed to be packed. Logan had to run and get his suitcase of hash oil. We dressed hastily, me shouting, “Where’s my bra? Where’s my bloody bra?” I never found it – I have a feeling it’s still wedged between the window and the bunk, the only remaining evidence of the ultimate zipless fuck.
We took a moment for a tender kiss and Logan held my face in his hands, so kind and soft and gentle. In that moment we felt a closeness which can only be experienced by people who have explored every inch of each other with absolute honesty and dedication to their desires. Then he was gone and in the chaos that ensued on our arrival I lost him. I never saw Logan again.
But it didn’t matter. I found my zipless fuck and although in reality there were zips and mishaps, it more than lived up to expectations.
Best of all it made me believe in the power of the purest thing there is.