Dr. Frieda Strauss, Chairperson of the Department of Women’s Studies, looked up at her visitor with a sense of disgust. Bambi — what a name! — Bartoldi was so many things which Frieda was not. Frieda was tall and taut, physically fit, with icy blue eyes and short blonde hair. Bambi was short, curvaceous, and had dark eyes and cascades of wavy black hair. Frieda often wondered if Bambi wasn’t some sort of racial mongrel, with her dark complexion and full lips.
“Why did you give me an F on my paper?”
“Because, Bambi, you missed the point entirely. You haven’t learned a thing!”
“Now I can’t make Dean’s List! You’ve ruined my academic career.”
“I certainly hope so. You don’t deserve a degree in Women’s Studies. Why don’t you take up something more appropriate to your talents, perhaps Home Economics?”
“Dr. Strauss, you are not being fair. You didn’t put a mark on my paper, except the grade. A big, red F. What was wrong with it?” Bambi approached the desk and handed the paper to Dr. Strauss, who did not rise to reach for it.
“It’s ridiculous. I quote: ‘Female readers will have a sense of relief and resolution when, in the last chapter, Stephanie and Brad are married and experience a glorious wedding night, a happy ending.’ That’s male chauvinist propaganda. Stephanie suffered the ultimate degradation, rape.”
“Dr. Strauss, I don’t see how…”
“Ms. Bartoldi, how many times have I told the class? All heterosexual sex is rape. Men are by nature sadists. For them, sex is a power trip. Therefore, even in marriage, the sexual act is rape. They may pretend to be loving and caring, but in their fantasies, they are raping their partner.”
“Perhaps, Dr. Strauss, I should have said that Stephanie finally found her true vocation, prostitute. In return for Brad’s promise to love, honor, and cherish, to pay for her upkeep, Staphanie sold her body to him.”
“Well, that might have earned you a C-minus.”
Bambi slammed the office door as she left, muttering, inaudibly, “Feminist bitch from hell!”
Dr. Strauss, as Chairperson, had a pretty easy schedule. Her usual schedule was a ten o’clock class, a workout in the gym from eleven to twelve, a salad in the faculty dining room, office hours from one to three. Leaving her classroom at 10:50, she noted with satisfaction that, after the well-deserved F, Bambi Bartoldi had stopped participating in classroom discussions. That was good, an additional reason to give Bambi an F for the semester.
There were snowflakes in the air, as the Chairperson strode briskly to the gym. After her usual work-out, limbering up, running, the weights, even a session with the punching bag, Frieda showered and went for her salad.
Dr. Strauss had just seated herself when she noticed something very wrong. She was becoming sexually aroused. At first she took a clinical view, scanning the dining room to see what might have elicited a sub-conscious sexual response. Perhaps the student bus- person, in her trim, white uniform? No.
Within minutes, the sensation in her crotch was almost painful. It was more than arousal; it was a real itch. Her anal orifice itched, too, and her erect nipples were almost painfully sensitive. Frieda abandoned her salad and went to the women’s rest room. There is nothing quite as annoying as an itch one cannot scratch.
Scratching did not help. Even sitting on the toilet and masturbating did not help. It was maddening.
Frieda couldn’t go back to her office. She raced to the faculty parking lot and headed for her condo.
“Carol,” she said out loud as she locked her door behind her, “Why did you have to go and kill yourself? I need a lover, now!” She stripped off her clothes and entered the shower.
It was no use. Even when she put the shower head – – it was on a long, white hose — right against her vulva, there was no relief. Hot, cold, with soap or without, it did no good. She tried all her usual masturbatory tricks, even replaying in her mind some of the times she had made Carol submit to bondage and discipline. It did no good.
By 4 pm, Frieda was desperate. She called her doctor, told the receptionist it was an emergency. Well, she could come in at eight, if it was really an emergency.
When Frieda dressed, the itch, if it could possibly be so, was even worse. She took off her clothes and desperately tried everything she could. If only she could achieve an orgasm, she thought she might get relief. She hunted through her drawers to find her old vibrator. The batteries were dead. She hunted for a flashlight and took the batteries from that. It was no use. Food was forgotten, everything faded into insignificance in comparison to the torture of that itch.
Sheila Williams, M. D., gave Frieda a thorough examination, took swabs to be cultured, and gave her some topical anesthetic ointment, but it didn’t help. “Yes, Frieda,” she said, “you have a real problem. Your clitoris is engorged, your vagina is bright red, and it looks to me as if you are on the verge of having an orgasm, but I don’t know why. It’s not, I’m pretty sure, any of the usual infections; it doesn’t look like yeast, or anything else I’ve seen before. I’ll give you a call when the lab. results are in.”
That night was a sleepless hell. Frieda tried everything, expending a set of fresh batteries, even using a cucumber from the refrigerator. She tried ice packs, even inserted ice cubes in an attempt to numb herself, but nothing helped. Well, one thing helped. When she douched with alcohol, burning pain replaced the itch, but the cure was worse than the disease. Baggy eyed and exhausted, there was no way Frieda could go to the campus the next day, or the day after, or the day after that.
The lab. tests were all negative. Three expensive medical specialists, all women, of course, said they were stumped, and a psychiatrist said it would take two or three years of twice-weekly sessions of psychotherapy. Even then, she couldn’t promise a cure. Frieda spent almost all her savings on non-medical practitioners, not covered by her insurance. He had her spine manipulated by a woman chiropractor, had Rolfing and Swedish Massage, and acupuncture, and “holistic herbal therapy,” even a series of coffee enemas, twice daily. The enemas seemed to help her anal itch, but the practitioner charged double for a vaginal douche with fresh, hot, one hundred per cent Columbian, and the period of relief was short. It seemed that minutes after Frieda had dressed to go home, the itch was back, as bad as ever.
The Dean called her: “We’ve missed you.”
“I’m not well.”
“You’ve seen a doctor? Nothing serious, I hope.”
“I’ve seen several doctors, but they can’t help.”
“It sounds as if you have a bad cold.”
“Whatever. Don’t worry, Dean. I’ll come in to file the final grades.”
It was true, Frieda did sound as if she had a bad cold. It seemed all her mucus membranes, her nasal passages included, were swollen and inflamed. Even her eyes itched. She was a wreck. She had spent a lot of time in the bath tub, alternating very hot and very cold, trying to stimulate herself with something other than the itch. Lack of sleep made her hallucinate, and she almost drowned once, when she slipped into a moment of sleep in the tub. Her nipples were swollen and bleeding, where she had pinched and scrubbed them, trying to achieve some sensation more potent than the itch. Her anus was also cracked and bleeding, the result of unsuccessful efforts with a number of tools, including a bottle brush.
It took an heroic effort on Frieda’s part to get dressed — the itch was, if that was possible, even worse — and to drive to campus and walk, awkwardly, to her office, to file the final grades. With great effort, she called up the grades file on her screen and typed an A after Andersen, Camille. She had just typed F after Bartoldi, Bambi when the door opened.
It was Bambi Bartoldi. “Well, what brings you here, Ms. Bartoldi?”
“I’ve been waiting for you to show up. Have you not been well? You look awful, Dr. Strauss.”
“It’s nothing that won’t go away. Call it PMS.”
“No, Dr. Strauss, call it an itch which will never go away, without treatment.”
“How did you know?”
“Never mind. I know a woman who can help you, make you forget your itch.”
“I’ve tried everything.”
“Dr. Strauss, you haven’t tried everything. I have Gypsy blood, and Gypsies know things that modern medical science has never thought of.”
“So who is this woman?”
“I’ll take you to her, if you want. She’s in another city. It will cost you a thousand dollars, cash, for the travel expenses. Oh, and you had better change that F to an A after my name.”
Dr. Strauss hesitated, while Bambi Bartoldi just stood there, a smirk on her lips. After several seconds, during which Frieda had to grit her teeth trying not to scratch her crotch, she typed A after Bambi’s name.
“OK, where is this woman? You are sure she can cure me?”
“I absolutely guarantee that she can make you forget all about your…ah…affliction. Better hurry filing those grades. I’ve already bought tickets. There’s a plane in” — Bambi glanced at her watch — “in about an hour and twenty minutes. If we hurry, you can be cured by nightfall.”
Dr. Strauss did hurry, and when she had transmitted the grades to the central computer, Bambi led her to Bambi’s Toyota. They stopped at a bank machine, where Dr. Strauss emptied her savings and checking accounts and got a cash advance on a credit card. She handed the thousand dollars to Bambi. “I don’t know how you know all about this, and I hate to give in to black mail, but if your friend really can cure what I’ve got, I suppose it’s worth it. I’ve tried everything else.”
The plane to Mexico City was booked up in coach, but Bambi paid to upgrade the tickets to first class. She made a phone call, and then they boarded the plane. “I’m glad we are in a hurry, Bambi, but this is so sudden. I didn’t even pack a tooth brush.”
“Not to worry, Dr. Strauss. Everything you need will be provided.”
Frieda fidgeted in her seat the entire flight. The flight attendant kept wanting to hang up Frieda’s coat, but she kept it on her lap, so she could surreptitiously put her hand between her legs. The flight seemed an interminable hell, and Frieda could neither relieve the itch nor relieve the constant sexual urge which could not be satisfied. She would gladly have paid a thousand dollars for the relaxation of one good orgasm.
A limousine met them at the airport, with curtained windows and a uniformed driver. They drove for what seemed like miles through the haze of the world’s most polluted city and, about dusk, they arrived at a solid, four-story building with columns flanking the front door and an eroded inscription, Clinico something or other; Frieda couldn’t read Spanish. A liveried doorman let them in, no questions asked. They were greeted by a tall woman who wore a white lab. coat, like doctors wear, over a stylish silk suit. Except for the height, taller than Frieda, she looked as if she could be Bambi’s older sister, or her mother, well preserved.
“You are Dr. Frieda Strauss?” the woman asked, in perfect English.
“We have been expecting you. You have an affliction, an itch, which you wish to have cured?”
“Well, I’m sure you are anxious to begin the cure. Come this way, please.”
On the top floor, four uniformed nurses, who seemed oblivious to Frieda’s questions, gave her some forms to sign, then assisted her undressing, handed her a hospital gown, and led her into a curious room. It looked like a Nineteenth Century surgical operating theater. There were upholstered seats stepped up in concentric circles around a central area which was under a glass dome, but it was getting dark outside, and Frieda could hardly see. There was no operating table that she could see, only a gleaming arrangement of metal pipes, shaped like a saw horse.
The nurses took Frieda’s skimpy hospital gown and held her against the horizontal metal pipe. Wordlessly, two of the nurses pulled her legs apart, produced leather straps, and fastened Frieda’s ankles to the legs of the horse. Then the women bent Frieda over at the waist and began to strap her wrists to the other metal legs, pulling her forward, so her feet left the floor. The cold horizontal pipe supported Frieda’s weight, pressing painfully against her hips and pubic bone. She tried to protest, but the strong, efficient women had her immobilized in seconds, working together with military precision.
Frieda’s head was upside down, and she found herself looking between her own widely spread legs. She saw Bambi take a seat, where she could look directly at Frieda’s exposed anus and vulva. In a flash of panic, Frieda guessed that something was very wrong. “Bambi,” she whined, “this doesn’t look like any hospital I’ve ever seen.”
“It isn’t a hospital, Dr. Strauss. Oh, it was a century ago, but it is now a private establishment, serving an exclusive clientele.”
“It seems a strange way to cure an itch.”
“I assure you, Dr. Strauss. In a minute, you will have forgotten all about your itch. The treatment is very effective. Of course, it will have to be repeated, nightly, so you won’t be returning to the university.”
“They’ll miss me.”
“I suppose they will, but there is no way to trace your movements. Don’t plan on ever going back.”
Frieda struggled against the straps which bound her, but it was useless; it only pressed the hard pipe harder against her lean body.
“You tricked me.”
“You had it coming, Feminist Bitch from Hell,” said Bambi.
“But how did you know about the itch?”
“I caused it. I blew some powder into your locker at the gym. Then I let myself into your condo. The balcony door is easy to force. I sprinkled the stuff in your dresser drawers, on your towels, in your clothes dryer, in your bed, all over. No one could live in that place without getting an itch.”
“You’ve heard of Spanish Fly? It’s like that, but more effective, a synthetic.”
Just then, bright lights went on, and a spotlight aimed right at the pipe contraption almost blinded Frieda with the glare. She could barely see a dozen or so figures filing into the room, men, taking seats either side of Bambi, staring at Frieda’s exposed genitals and hanging breasts with an almost clinical interest.
She screamed. “Let me out of here! I want to go home.” The nurses promptly gagged her with a perforated rubber ball on a strap. It filled her mouth, compressing her tongue, but did not prevent her breathing through the holes.
Frieda still screamed, incoherent noises muffled by the rubber. She had forgotten her itch. Her mind was focused on the grim faces of the men who silently stared at her exposed buttocks and gaping, inflamed labia. Fleetingly, she recalled images of Carol, whom Frieda had bound and gagged; it seemed so long ago.
“Dr. Strauss,” said Bambi. “You understand the situation, I think. Your performance tonight, and tomorrow night, and, well, forever, I guess, will finance my college expenses. You understand, you androgynous bitch, that men are by nature sadistic.”
Bambi’s mother appeared to Frieda in the vee-shaped frame of Frieda’s taut, straight legs. Gone was the lab coat, gone the silk suit. She wore high, spike-heeled black boots and a ridiculous black, leather corset with gleaming metal studs. The raven-haired woman motioned to a man, who stepped into the glaring circle of light. She handed him a long, black whip.
– The End –