She glances at the dessert menu and then abandons it, despite the chocolate fondant.

He raises an eyebrow. ‘You don’t want anything?’

Her foot rests between his legs, caressing his stiffening cock through the fabric of his shorts. She smiles at him and draws her finger through the damp circle her wine glass has left on the table. She feels, for once, like she’s the one in control.

‘Not dessert.’


How does he do that? How does he flip the dynamic so quickly, so easily?

She holds his gaze. ‘I want you.’

This time, he’s the one to smile. ‘Likewise.’


He asks for the bill. The minutes seem endless. He only has a fifty, and the waiter takes an age to bring the change. She’s so wet she’s worried she’ll leave a mark on the canvas chair.

He leaves a tip, gathers up the rest, and deposits three euros on the table in front of her. ‘Your turn to buy condoms.’

‘But we have – ‘

‘I’d like you to buy them there.’

Next to the restaurant is a pharmacy. A pharmacy which is clearly open for business. A pharmacy whose flashing green sign indicates that the current temperature is 28°C. Her face feels at least ten degrees hotter. Because she knows he doesn’t mean her to buy them there. He wants her to use the machine.

It looks as if it hasn’t been used in years. Graffiti covers its rusting surface, along with the tacky remains of stickers long ripped off. There’s a lump of what she fears is chewing gum stuck to its side.

It looks dirty, nasty. Exactly how he likes her to feel.

She wouldn’t mind, late at night. Late at night, in a deserted street, she’d do it willingly. But it’s 14:24 on a sunny Saturday afternoon. People are watching, and that’s his thing, not hers.

She’s frozen to her seat. He reaches down, adjusts his cock in his shorts. She feels her cunt twitch in sympathy. She needs him inside her.

When she finally moves, the backs of her thighs are actually stuck to the canvas. The chair clatters against the concrete as she stands. A few people look up. He grins, half in amusement, half in malice.

In her clammy palm, the coins feel huge. She feels like she’s clutching something secret, or precious. Suddenly she’s reminded of her childhood: of begging to buy Minstrels from an equally tired machine.

‘No,’ her mum had said, dragging her away. ‘You don’t know how long they’ve been in there.’

She feeds the coins in as fast as she can. They clunk down into the depths of the machine and she glances round nervously, convinced the noise is echoing round the entire square. The maitre d’, who seated them a couple of hours earlier, catches her eye. He’s thinking about what she looks like in bed, she’s sure of it.

She presses a button, any button. It doesn’t matter what kind the machine dispenses, because the condoms aren’t the point. They probably won’t even use them. The point is making her burn hot with shame.

The machine doesn’t budge. She presses a different button. Still nothing. She tries the first one again, but to no avail. She turns to look at him, begs him with her eyes to come and help, or to tell her It’s ok, leave it. Instead, he stands with his hands shoved in the pockets of his shorts, visibly erect. He shrugs.

She turns back to the machine, and in frustration as much as desperation, she thumps the side of it. This time, people really do look up. She can hear titters, and somewhere in the crowd a man whistles.

She hates this. She loves it.

Finally, a packet falls down the chute, and she grabs it and scoots back to the table as fast as she can, eyes firmly on the ground.

He catches her arm, pulls her tight against him, grinds his cock into her stomach. He holds out a hand and she drops the packet into his palm, ridiculously proud of herself.

They kiss, all the heat and shame finally channelled. When they pull apart, and he takes her hand and leads her back in the direction of their hotel, she doesn’t notice him casually abandon the square packet on the table behind them.

42 thoughts on “Machine

  1. Oh, lovely! Though this reminds me of me going to buy condoms in the men’s toilets in the pub one night – either the one in the ladies’ didn’t work or there wasn’t one (I fear it might have been the latter) so I marched in and …. it didn’t work either. So then I had to go find John the Barman because it ate my money. He seemed ridiculously delighted that this slightly drunken 17 year old was demanding condoms from him without a hint of the shame displayed in the story, and he was always really friendly to me after that. It’s a nice memory, but your story makes me feel like I missed out a bit.

  2. I love this post.

    As a boy, I am well-versed in the odd cursory glance at the condom machines in public toilets and their odd call, all blue LEDs flashing and occasional graffiti gouged into the sides. At some points, I’ve attempted to buy things from them – never condoms, but occasionally mints or gum – and sometimes this even works (in one case, I got my money back and a packet of mints).

    When I was younger, I desperately wanted to own a condom. I was too young to have sex, but wanted to look at and feel one – I knew what they were for and was facinated by them (when I eventually put one on, the sensation wasn’t too pleasant, alas). I vaguely considered putting on a fake beard and pretending I was a really old man, then going to the chemist to buy some, just so I could own a packet.

    But I never, ever considered buying any from the vending machines in the public toilets. Like the character in your story, I was incredibly ashamed about possibly being seen – especially as an underage boy – and this carried on into adulthood, even to one evening when sex was on the cards (and did actually happen) and I was out of condoms. I should’ve would’ve could’ve gone to the public toilet and bought a condom… but I didn’t.

    Like the girl in your story, I didn’t quite trust the machine. But unlike her, I didn’t even get close.

    I once saw a machine selling all kinds of flavoured condoms. I had no idea what flavoured condoms were at that point – I assumed there was some kind of enzyme in them that engendered a flavour in your mouth while sex was occurring.

  3. It’s palpable, the tension you create here, her discomfort, her need, and ultimately his control.
    Yes, I really did enjoy this x

  4. This is soooo deliciously hot. What a perfect little bit of sexy flash fiction. The whole thing crackles with desire and anticipation


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