Carnal Theory by Henry Corrigan


Carnal Theory

by Henry Corrigan


Dr. Elizabeth Spencer has a theory about sex.

As Northeastern State University’s leading behavioral researcher, the beautiful yet guarded

doctor believes that lifelong satisfaction is no longer a couple’s only game.

After being left to her own devices thanks to years of disappointment, Spencer sets out to put

her theory to the test. But when she meets her subject, the handsome, stubborn and

unpredictable Dr. Michael Aaronson, more than just the science begins to go awry.

As their sessions together heat up, and the two find themselves more and more on common

ground, a sudden betrayal puts the entire project and their careers in jeopardy. Thrust into the

national spotlight with questions flying on all sides, Spencer and Aaronson must face not only

an uncertain future, but their own pasts as well.

Will Spencer lose everything she set out to prove? Or will she finally find the satisfaction she’s

been looking for all her life?

People come to erotica for the heat, but they stay for the heart.

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Author Bio:

Henry started writing erotica for the same reason that gets most people into trouble; Because of

girl. He writes contemporary erotic fiction, romance and speculative erotica as well. His stories

focus on the bonds of love, friendship and marriage and he believes it is the heart, the love that

grows between characters, which brings readers back for more. Henry was born and raised in

Long Island, New York. His story Absence on Film, was published by Coming Together in 2015.

For more from Henry, you can check out his blog, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Twitter: @HenryCorrigan



In the Language Arts building of Northeastern State University, Professor George

Conklin sat behind his desk and stared at what he’d come to think of as the greatest enigma of

his career.

The enigma stared back at him quietly, eyes steady and calculating. Her face was

perfectly neutral, body formed into the chair with a relaxed poise. She made no move to avoid

his scrutiny, but the longer he looked the more he felt stonewalled by a sharp, coiled

intelligence. He had known the enigma for six months but was still no closer to understanding


He’d also been sleeping with her for equally as long, which did nothing to help his case.

Dr. Elizabeth Spencer, was five foot six, one hundred and thirty pounds, with cropped

blonde hair and hazel eyes. She moved with sharp, viciously economical movements, like the

wheels of a rushing train. Even when still, a quick glance at her eyes confirmed the mind behind

them all was always clicking away.

Spencer was the university’s foremost researcher into human biorhythms and behavioral

psychology. Hired shortly after receiving her doctorate, her articles had appeared in numerous

journals and she was widely respected in her field. Which in itself was an accomplishment

because she wasn’t yet thirty-five years old.

But for as often as her brilliant intellect occupied Conklin’s thoughts, her mind wasn’t

what currently slicked his palms.

One night six months ago Conklin, a professor of English Literature who often stayed

late to grade papers, opened his office door to find Spencer standing calmly in the hallway. In all

his years at the university, the two of them had spoken less than half a dozen times. Every

conversation had been awkward and strained. At least for Conklin.

The standard convention for polite conversation called for taking an interest in the well-

being of the other person. Usually characterized by questions such as, “How are you?” “How

have you been?” or the more colloquial “Sup’?”

Spencer never so much as acknowledged such a convention existed. She always struck

right to the point whenever she spoke and eschewed any and all forms of polite chitchat. As

they sat together that night, Conklin had all but convinced himself she was there to discuss

something academic, or philosophical. Though what the topic might’ve been, he couldn’t have

begun to fathom.

Which was the reason for his near attack of apoplexy when Spencer told him exactly

what she came to talk about.

“I propose the two of us should become sexual partners.”

Before Conklin could even react, Spencer launched into her justification.

“I’ve been studying your finer points for some time now, Professor Conklin. We are both

hard working, highly intelligent, dedicated individuals, which already suggests we would be

compatible. Our lifestyles are too equally hectic to support any sort of emotional attachment. So

in my assessment, a purely sexual relationship, kept to a strict schedule, would be beneficial to

both our well beings.”

Conklin was flabbergasted. His mouth opened and shut a dozen times as thoughts about

her proposal rattled through his head. In the back of his mind he knew he should have balked at

the idea. He had no illusions the awkwardness of speaking to her would ever fade, and he was

man enough to admit she intimidated the Hell out of him.

But on the other hand, Jesus, it had been months since anyone made him an offer like…

Well frankly, no one had ever made him an offer like this.


Everything about Spencer was a little left of normal. Her hazel eyes were more gold than

brown. Her lips were pale pink, the color of roses in early spring. The clean, striking planes of

her face weren’t traditionally beautiful, but they caught the eye anyway. Gave her a sensual

quality, which was hard to pin down. Then there was her scent. Even from across the room he

caught the edges of it. Something both sweet but spicy, like cinnamon or cardamom.

He spared himself a few more seconds to consider her offer, then threw aside his

reservations and simply nodded. He was keenly aware of the pounding of his heart.

Seconds after giving his assent, Spencer stood up and, without preamble, stripped down

to reveal lingerie so red it gave her pale skin a kind of glow. For a woman who talked robotically

and had the most meticulously clinical mind of any on campus, she possessed the widest and

most intense sexual imagination of any lover Conklin ever had.

Every weekday night since, at exactly five forty five, Spencer would enter his office, strip

off her lab coat and begin a ninety minute session of explosive carnality almost unheard of in

polite society. Afterwards, Conklin would stumble from his office exhausted and deliriously


Now however, it was five fifty one and she sat in complete silence. Her attention on an

imaginary point beyond Conklin’s left shoulder. Unable to ignore his own biology any longer, he

uncrossed his legs to relieve the painful pressure in his groin. Mentally he shook his head.

By rights, his office couch should have been creaking like a stagecoach over rough

terrain. He needed to see what she had on under her lab coat. Spencer never wore the same

outfit twice. In the past, he’d born witness to everything from functional bras and panties to full

corsets with garters.

When she at long last, stood up and approached his desk, Conklin broke into a broad

grin and began to strip off his tie. But instead of quickly disrobing, Spencer stopped an arm’s

length away, produced a slim file from a coat pocket and plunked it down onto his desk. In the

second it took him to register it, she turned and sat down without ever once changing


Conklin was dumbfounded. His eyes yearned for her to come back. But if Spencer

understood the look, she ignored it. She sat with a determined calm and pointed one callused

finger at the file.

Conklin snatched it up in a fury, unable to believe anything could be more important than

the incessant twitching between his legs. As the pages passed, his foggy, hyper—aroused brain

tried to make sense of what he was looking at. He read line after line until his brow crinkled.

What on Earth?

He read further, took in a whole page. Then the next. And the next. By page sixteen

Conklin’s eyes were wide and he was laughing so hard tears rolled down his cheeks.

“Are you serious about this?”

Spencer looked shocked at the question. “Of course I’m serious. I would have thought

that was obvious.”

Conklin, still laughing, flipped back to the cover page.

Sexual Mechanics and the Unilateral Ownership of Orgasm.

Underneath it read, “Is a sexual partner necessary to achieve frequent and lasting

sexual satisfaction?”

Conklin slapped his palm against the cover and tried to catch his breath. “What on Earth

made you come up with this?”

Spencer sat forward, instantly ready to discuss the genesis of what was, in essence, a

proposal for a research experiment. “I want to settle the debate about the necessity of sexual


Conklin smirked. “My dear. I think that debate was settled ages ago.”

The gold in Spencer’s eyes flickered, like the edge of a blade pressed to a whetstone. “I

think not. In fact, I strongly believe the debate was never settled and needs to have a definitive,

conclusive answer.”

“Why for Heaven’s sake?”

“Because the concept of coupling as the key component for sexual satisfaction may be

based on a fallacy.”

Conklin opened his mouth to rebuff such a ridiculous statement, but then stopped.

Something he’d read stuck in his brain. He flipped back over charts, graphs and footnotes until

he found it. Filed under Project Specifications.

He read it again and the grin, which broke across his face was so joyful, it bordered on

hysteria. He looked at Spencer and let the file slip from his fingers. He growled as he spoke.

“Your project. It will require multiple…what did you call them? Sessions for sexual


“That’s correct. Each session is designed to be more involved and complicated than the

last, so as to test the subject’s sexual abilities at multiple levels.”

“You intend to use yourself as part of this experiment?”

“Yes. I believe I am the ideal candidate, considering my own past sexual history.”

“And your partner?”

“Also ideal, in my opinion.”

“I should say,” said Conklin, his eyes feverishly amorous.

“And the University has approved this?”

“Absolutely,” said Spencer. “Sexual mechanics is a burgeoning field of study. And my

experiment has the potential to reveal new insights into the nature of human orgasm.”

Conklin snickered. “That is indeed exciting. I especially like Stage 4. The idea of


“Toys,” finished Spencer.

“Yessss. If I may ask, what made you want to make this a part of your experiment?”

“This was honestly a personal decision. If all the previous Sessions failed, then I wanted

to test my partner’s abilities with certain key sexual devices. For instance, the seven inch purple

vibrator detailed in diagram 4.2, has brought me to orgasm every single time you failed to satisfy

me. Why are you unbuttoning your shirt?”

Conklin’s fingers froze. “What?”

“Your shirt. I don’t understand why you’re undressing.”

Like film stock being rewound, Conklin’s brain rolled back till it remembered what she’d

said. Then all the blood drained from his face.

“Wait. Um, I. Every time I failed to…What?!”

Spencer’s eyes narrowed. “The purple and red vibrator. It has satisfied me every time…”

“I heard you the first time! What the Hell does that mean?”

Spencer quieted. She tapped a finger against the arm of her chair, then slowly nodded.

“I suspected as much. You never noticed. Well, Professor Conklin, this may come as

quite a shock to you. But in the six months of our relationship, you failed to satisfy me more than

ninety percent of the time.”


“Did you need me to repeat something?”

“No! I don’t need you to repeat anything!”

Conklin was red faced and gripped the edges of his desk for dear life. “But…but you

can’t be serious?”

“I don’t see how my seriousness plays a factor in this. I’m merely stating a fact. You are

not at all proficient in bed.”

“You…you…I’m not…You.”

“I spent considerable time puzzling over this by the way. It was difficult for me to

determine the source of your sexual ineptitude.”

Conklin growled but Spencer continued unabated. “After all, you are physically fit,

possess a higher than average intelligence and your penis is of sufficient length and girth. After

eliminating all of these possible impediments, there was only one answer. Your technique is sub


Conklin came around his desk and stood in the middle of the room. Feet firmly planted,

arms out as if he were a defensive lineman trying to stop the onrushing truth of Spencer’s


“Dr. Spencer. This is—an unfortunate circumstance. One I am prepared…More than

prepared to rectify. When do you want to start your experiment? I am ready to go right now!”

“Begin?” Spencer’s eyebrows came together in puzzlement.

“Professor Conklin, I’m afraid you misunderstand my intentions. I didn’t come here to

recruit you for the project. I came to tell you that since you will not be participating, I see no

reason for our sexual arrangement to continue.”

Conklin’s breathing was erratic. “Who. Is. The. Subject?”

“Well, there are three potential candidates,” she said.

“It’s Robertson, isn’t it? That bastard has had it in for me for years!”

“Professor Robertson is seventy two years old. He had his hip replaced last fall. I hardly

think he would be capable of participating in even Stage One. In fact, I’m positive Stage Three

would kill him.”

“Enough! Fuck Robertson! No! I mean. I mean no one else is participating in this

experiment except me. Strip off the lab coat and break out the tape recorder Dr. Spencer. We

are starting this right now!”

With gusto, Conklin tried to both rip his shirt off and unbuckle his pants at the same time.

But his movements were wild and spastic and he ended up stuck, shirt half off, both eyes

covered. Spencer stood up to try and help but before she could reach him, Conklin lurched hard

to the right and tripped over the leg of his desk. He tumbled ass over teakettle to the floor and

landed in one big, half-dressed heap.

Contorting himself like a circus performer, he stared at her through his sleeve while one

hand flailed desperately at the fly of his pants.

“I’m fine! Ready to go. No problem.”

“Professor Conklin, I feel this situation has gotten out of hand.”

“I won’t be a minute! Get ready for the balling of your life!”

Spencer made a hasty dash for the door. “I think I should leave. Give you time to, um,

collect your thoughts.”

“Don’t fuck Robertson!”

She slipped out into the hall. Through the door came, “Don’t. Fuck. Robertson!”


Dealing with Professional Criticism

One of the first pieces of advice I received upon joining a writing group was that I had to

develop “a thick skin.” Criticism is as much a part of writing as the editing process is and once a

story is published, authors have no control over how their work will be received or interpreted.

This reception can come in the form of a poor review on Amazon, a sharply worded rejection

letter, or stony silence from a publisher you submitted to months ago.

Writer’s groups are full of stories about reviewers who spewed vitriol in a personal attack on an

author rather than a cogent and reasonable explanation of why that particular book wasn’t

their cup of tea. While Internet trolls are difficult to deal with in any situation, you can

eventually off their rage inducing words as their attempt to make themselves feel better by

making you feel like crap.

However, the much more difficult criticism to deal with is the one that is both harsh and right

on the money. Last year, I submitted a story for consideration in a “Best of…” anthology. I had

high hopes for the story as I thought it was an interesting take on a man learning to deal with a

disability. Weeks went by but eventually I received an email from one of the lead editors. In it

he said he liked the story and would consider it for the anthology if…and from here I lost the

ability to think properly because I was tripping over words such as “grossly overwritten” and

“amateurish.” The editor, whether he knew it or not, came off as smug, elitist and curt

bordering on caustic. I hated him within three sentences.

Rather than fire off an expletive filled reply, I took the night to calm down and forced myself to

think about it objectively. I took a look at the annotated manuscript he’d sent back and as the

minutes went by, I realized I could cut out over four hundred words and not lose one ounce of

the story.

This sudden epiphany hurt like Hell.

I wanted to tell the editor off, but instead I wrote him back the next day, thanked him for his

critique and said yes, I was willing to make the necessary changes to the story.

It took time, a trained eye and a new appreciation for Ginsberg’s “Kill Your Darlings” but I did it.

I pared down all of the extraneous words and found the story all the better for it. I’d learned

how to trust the reader’s imagination and to recognize when I was over-explaining. Could it

have been delivered in a more polite manner? Absolutely, but I was able to put my personal

feelings aside and see the well thought out critique beneath. It may not have one him any

brownie points with me personally, but it helped make me a better writer.



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