Milly Thomas lives a typical life in Cleveland with her husband Don and three children, until one day she hears an explosion from her neighbor’s basement. Old Man McHenry has invented a time machine that allows one to travel to any point in the past, but only return to the present after an orgasm.
“So, I can’t come back, unless I come?” asked Milly.
“Precisely,” answered, Old Man McHenry.
And so begins Lust In Time, a thinly veiled telling of my wife’s sexual fantasies.
I stumbled upon this novel on my wife Lilly’s laptop under “Healthy Vegetarian Recipes” while I was looking for our 2017 tax return. In each chapter, our heroine goes back in time to have sex with a historical figure and then orgasms her way back home.
Milly often brings back her sexual energy to her husband Don (clearly me) who is always too tired for sex. He is so busy he doesn’t notice her missing for hours at a time during her historical sexploits. This is obviously a parallel to me not noticing my wife writing a 90,000-word erotic novel in her free time and yeah, she’s got me there.
The erotica begins timidly, missionary with George Washington, but by chapter five she’s joining the mile high club with both Wright Brothers.
Her historical lovers often comment that Milly seems tired. They give her long stretches of uninterrupted napping and she awakens to a dinner prepared based on what was already in the pantry.
My favorite chapter was thirteen where Milly seduces Jesus, but before she can orgasm he is captured by the Romans. In order to return to the present to pick up her kids from t-ball, she must achieve orgasm so she has sex with the next man she sees. When she hears the jingle of silver in his pocket, Milly realizes that the man bending her over in a Jerusalem alley is none other than Judas. Now I see why my wife insists we attend church every Sunday.
Many characters are clearly based on our friends and neighbors. I don’t think Paul Newman had a passion for Bikram yoga, but my wife’s yoga teacher Kyle sure does. And there’s no way Alexander the Great had the same “sexy ponytail” as our daughter’s math teacher Mr. Brandt. I don’t begrudge my wife her fantasies, but I didn’t love when she described her husband’s “khaki-clad rump” and the way he “tilts his head back so people don’t see his bald spot.”
Most surprisingly, many of her temporal trysts are with women. The chapters with Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, and Emily Dickinson shed new light on the time I caught my wife masturbating to The Rachel Maddow Show.
Compared to my wife’s other written work, including Christmas Letter 2018 and texts to pick up apples and milk at the Jewel, this is obviously superior. However, it is not without flaws. Some of the dialogue seems a little forced, like this exchange:
As I reached down to unbuckle Da Vinci’s belt, he ran his fingers through my hair.
“That haircut, so sensual yet sensible,” he purred.
“It’s called a Bob,” Milly whispered, “I cut the bangs myself.”
The singular theme of the book seems to be that women deserve sexual desire no matter how many children they’ve had or how many “big things” their husbands had to deal with at work that day.
The ending is very unrealistic. Milly could live in any time period with lovers that adore her body and her mind, but over and over again she chooses to return to her suburban life. I know if I had Milly’s boring, unfulfilling life I’d definitely choose to stay in the past where I’m appreciated.
I’d recommend Lust In Time to no one else, as reading it was already a huge violation of my wife’s privacy. The book has caused me to drastically reassess the health of my marriage and commit to being a better partner. In fact, I ordered a beard and stovepipe hat and my wife is going to get a birthday visit from Honest Abe himself.
The title is hilarious, and the writing so disturbing but funny. Does that make sense? Well done.