Bound By Wolves
It was only the beginning of their four day, 500-mile mountain climbing trip and Rachel was already so excited she could almost burst. A trip with some of her best girl friends was just what she needed to take her mind off her endless dating troubles. No men, and especially no boys, allowed. She wanted to make the rule that they couldn’t even talk about guys or relationships at all during the trip, but she knew that was too hard to accomplish. They were still females, after all.
Rachel’s last relationship had ended recently and it was all she could do to try and stop thinking about it. She was swearing off all men for the time being, she couldn't handle any more disappointment for a while.
This wasn’t just any girl's trip. Rachel and her friends weren’t like other women they knew. They didn’t go shopping or go to spas and get manicures. They didn't go on vacations to beaches to lay dormant on the sand, watching hairless men in Speedos, getting pointless tans around the rims of their expensive sunglasses. They were adventurers. They wanted to run, jump, sweat and feel the heat of the sun. They loved the satisfying burn that emanated from deep within their stressed muscle fibers. They wanted to get lost and to get dirty, and go to sleep hearing the rustle of the leaves outside instead of the rush of traffic. Most of all they needed a challenge.
Burning energy surrounded by her best friends in the world, was the greatest thing she could think of to distract her from what was shaping up to be a very dry spell in her love life. She was getting older, and she was starting to feel the anxious ticking of her biological clock. She wanted to have kids one day, to give birth, to experience the full cycle of natural life and reproduction, but she didn’t want to copulate with just anyone. The sterile and upstanding men she dated in the city were all too clean-cut, too vanilla, and too weak.
These men didn’t deserve for her to carry on their seed. Rachel didn’t want to slow the pace of her life for some man-child whose greatest ambition is to sit on the couch and watch other people play sports.
Rachel’s friends Michele, Emily, and Katie weren’t quite as adept at rock climbing as Rachel was, but they did have one thing in common — they were all single. And they were all tired of the same bullshit.
The cabin they rented far up in the reaches of Sequoia National Park was not some fancy chalet or cushy get-away house. There was no electricity and barely any running water. The only mini-bar was the one they brought themselves, and the beds were more like cots, with scratchy warm blankets and pillows that felt almost like they were stuffed with straw. If they were going to be in the forest, they were going to do it right. No television, no men and no crying.
They made a hearty meal of tough bread, sausages and soup, and each of them poured at least an inch of whiskey into the metal canteens they had brought along. The next morning they would start their grueling climb to the top of the first cliff, but tonight they were going to start off by having a little fun.
The sun was beginning to set behind the trees. The girls lit candles and the smell of hot wax emanated throughout the cabin. They talked about their waning love lives, the last men they had been with, all the things they liked and disliked about their jobs. As the whiskey was flowing and their cheeks started to flush, their conversation got a little bolder.
“Okay Katie, truth or dare?” asked Rachel.
“How many times a day do you masturbate?”
The ladies all fidgeted uncomfortably. Even grown women sometimes felt silly talking about certain things, even if they all did it themselves.
“Ha ha,” said Katie. “Very funny. Like I would ever tell you perverts.”
“Come on, you know us! We’re like your sisters, you should be comfortable talking to us about anything,” Rachel pushed.
“Fine,” she said. She thought about what she had done just that morning, in the shower, before she had gotten in the car for the trip, “At least twice a day, and in the summer sometimes more.” Katie turned bright red.
The girls erupted with laughter. They all agreed that satisfying themselves was something they did regularly, but talking about it in a group got them strangely riled up.
“Your turn, Rachel. Truth or dare?” Michelle asked, mercifully taking the heat off Katie.
“Have you ever masturbated with something other than a dildo?”
“No way!” she said, as a reflex, without even thinking about if it was true. She was trying not to think about what would fit inside her vagina on this trip. But, she realized, some thoughts were harder to push away.
“Not even with a cucumber?” Emily laughed, cracking up and almost spilling her drink.
Rachel thought about it some more, she was the one turning bright red now. She remembered a few times she and her roommate at Cal State had gotten drunk and feisty with an empty beer bottle. Corona, she remembered, had the longest neck. Modelo was the thickest one. But all of them were cold and lifeless. Playful, sure, but not arousing. Man those were some wild and crazy times, Rachel could hardly recognize the girl from her college years.
“I don’t know, maybe in college? I don’t really remember," she said evasively.
“Once I used a hairbrush,” said Emily. She was usually the first to open up to the group in any conversation. “I was trying to tease this guy I was fucking. I wanted to show him what I could do to myself and get him really riled up so I made him a video. He went crazy for it.”
They made a list of things they had used to penetrate themselves when there was no one else around to do it for them, the weirdest by far was Emily's admission of once using a hotel travel-sized shampoo bottle. It was a desperate situation she pleaded.
“Once I rolled up a sheet and used it,” said Katie.
“I will admit, I do touch myself a lot. But it is not the same, though,” said Michele, “as it is with a man.”
The other girls nodded in agreement. One by one they all got the glazed look of someone who was imagining something far more visceral than could be played out in decent conversation. Even a conversation among close friends.
“I mean sure, you can orgasm. But nothing beats the warm hard feeling of someone coming inside you. Let’s not kid ourselves, it is still just like fucking a mirror.”
She was right, Rachel thought. Of course there was nothing better than a real, rough and tumble man. With his sweat and strength and hair rubbing her chest raw as he straddled her.
“It's not that there aren’t any men out there,” Rachel said. “We’ve all had our fair share of dicks and johnsons. It's just that none of them are tough enough. None of them can climb as far or as fast as we do. None of the city boys we date like to get dirty. I don’t want to be the wildest one in bed, do you know what I mean?”
The other ladies knew exactly what Rachel was talking about. They all echoed back to her, “yes," and “hell yeah!" They were getting riled up, the whiskey bottle had a good sized dent in it by now.
“That's why we’re here,” said Katie, and she held up her canteen for a group toast. “To the masculine energy of the wilderness!”
Michelle roared, “To finding our even wilder sides!"
They all took long sips, reaching the bottom of the whiskey faster than they’d hoped. Rachel went around to refill all of their containers with as much as they would hold. This weekend was about pushing their limits after all.
“What is it about the forests of the west coast that bring out the wildness in people?” said Emily already slurring some of her words. “One time when I was a teenager, I came camping here with my family. We were staying in two tents, the kids in one and my sister and me in another one. When they thought we were asleep, I could hear my parents having sex. It was the loudest and craziest I had ever heard anyone going at it. To this day, I cannot get those sounds out of my head. They were like animals, like dogs.”