One lunch period in the spring, I came into the student-council office with a great story to tell. It involved me and a fictional neighborhood girl I'd been dating. This was safe, since none of the other guys lived in my neighborhood. That afternoon I told a fantastic story about our acrobatic sex, based on a steamy scene from the film Oral Addiction.

After I'd finished, two of the other boys talked about a Spin the Bottle game that occurred at a party the previous weekend, and though they did far less in that story than I'd done in mine, their story was factual. And we all knew it. In that moment, I lost my audience. I soon became the Betamax of sexual experience, unable to keep up with the VHS of real life and doomed to nostalgic anonymity.

My career as a Peeping Tom had lasted exactly four days. I ran into Peeping Bob a few times that summer at neighborhood social functions. We never talked, but we nodded to each other in recognition. We never knew each others' names, but we shared an understanding.


The first time I stared down the business end of a recently spun bottle was on Christmas Day the next year. It was at a party at my cousin's house, and the kids of family friends gathered in the finished side of the basement and passed around a pilfered half quart of eggnog. With the assistance of spiced rum and bourbon, I found the courage to dive into a Spin the Bottle game for the first time.

With the assistance of spiced rum and bourbon, I found the courage to dive into a Spin the Bottle game for the first time.

The spinner, a teenage anomaly named Jackie, stood well over six feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. When the bottle landed on me, she stood and pointed to the shower stall in the corner. "Let's go."

My hesitation existed on two levels. For one, this was my debut first-person sexual experience, and a number of terrifying scenarios were gripping my imagination. (These ranged from simply being a bad kisser to actually peeing in my brand new khakis during the experience.) Second, at barely five-feet tall, I was afraid of being crushed by this massive girl. I stared around the room at the others, begging for an out, but was offered only mute eyes and smiles.

I stood, and she put her arm around my shoulder, as if to implant romance into our brief relationship. The others all watched us go.

We squeezed into the stall together and I picked up the aroma of eggplant parmesan and root beer that flavored her breath. I gave her a long look; her blue eyes and Christmas tree earrings, her prematurely developed breasts flanking a snowman with fluffy balls for eyes and buttons. I could hear the giggles of the others in the outside room, and the observer part of me longed to leave the stall and get back to the safety of the group. Yet some other part wanted to stay.

Jackie picked me up and placed me on the built-in seat amid bottles of shampoo and conditioner since it was clear that our height difference was going to cause a logistical problem. A lump in my throat bulged outwards and for the first time I felt the excitement and sense of imminent doom that I would forever associate with barreling down a runway in an airplane. 

I stared at her neck and the tight brown curls that hung around it. She took out her gum, reached out, and pulled the door of the shower closed.

I stared at her neck and the tight brown curls that hung around it. She took out her gum, reached out, and pulled the door of the shower closed. The next three minutes were a blur of clicking teeth and mouth breathing. I remember grasping her fleshy hip and pawing the fluffy eyes on her chest. I remember sensing when it was over, and that we stopped kissing simultaneously, as if we were both fitted with timers.

"You taste like candy canes and rum," she said and patted me on the head. I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and we left the shower.

My short rendezvous had rendered me giddy and glass-eyed. My heart worked in wild thumps and my hands were shaking with adrenaline. I'd never been able to capture these sensations from watching Oral Addiction or any other porn. Nor had I been able to capture them in my stolen moments in the forest, yards away from tapping screen doors.

We rejoined the group and sat down. As the next guy spun the bottle, my cousin nudged me. "How was it?" he asked.

I didn't reply; my look said it all. And, until now, that was all I would ever say about it.

Damien Galeone is a writer living in Prague. He teaches university students who pretend to understand him, and lives with a cat who’s plotting his murder and around neighbors who force him into hard labor. His first novel, Senseless, was published in August 2011.

Commentarium (21 Comments)

Oct 12 11 - 1:07pm

Love it! So well written!

Oct 12 11 - 3:19pm

I really like this story,never been a peeping tom but the character is really relatable!

Oct 12 11 - 5:52pm

Nerve is such a mess at the moment, with great stuff like this on the one hand and teenage trolls everywhere on the other. More of the former & do something about the latter please.

Oct 12 11 - 7:36pm
Teenage Trolls

Don't tempt us!

Oct 12 11 - 7:20pm

Love! This is some of the best writing I've seen on Nerve. I really enjoyed this story.

Oct 12 11 - 9:58pm

I couldn't have enjoyed this more. Excellent writing, great story.

Oct 13 11 - 5:34pm

I guess I'm in the minority, but I didn't like it. First off, the piece has very little to do with peeping. When I clicked on the link, I was sort of intrigued to step inside the mind of a peeping tom...sort of like one of those true crime books. So I was disappointed on that level. Second, imo, the writer just comes off as a huge dickbag. I get that we all have insecurities when we're young, and we all do some stupid shit...but there's some real psychosis going on here (the incessant lying, the peeping, etc.).

Then, when he finally does get some real action, he needs to take some popshots at the girl's weight? I know the size differential is part of the story, but considering he'd spent so much time invading people's privacy and populating his world with unrealistic porn stars, perhaps he should have been a bit more respectful in describing the first girl who was actually willing to give him some.

I mean really: "I was afraid of being crushed by this massive girl"; "her prematurely developed breasts flanking a snowman with fluffy balls for eyes and buttons"; "I remember grasping her fleshy hip." We get it; and if this was such a momentus about you treat her with some dignity too.

And oh yeah, I thought the writing was pretty shitty too.

Oct 14 11 - 7:07pm

Dave, my guy, I have to agree with you 100% on evert point you made.

Oct 14 11 - 11:57pm

I agree with you, too, Dave.

Oct 16 11 - 8:06am

Are you kidding? I think Dave might just be a very large and rotund woman :o)

Oct 13 11 - 8:08pm
wcel mgfc

Imo, dave comes off as an oversensitive and overanalytical tool. This was a fairly relatable and very funny depiction of adolescent sexual angst. And Dave, please lighten up on the psychoanalysis. You were intrigued about the idea of stepping into the mind of a peeping tom, but were dissapointed that it was a humor peice and not a true crime story? "There's some real psychosis going on here." Really Dave? When I clicked on the link I thought it would probably be a fun story, perhaps a bit voyeristic, and the writing was actually pretty good which I agree with bp, is a nice change of pace for Nerve as of late.

Oct 14 11 - 6:08pm
some bitchcunt

I'm not sure there was enough relevant detail repeated about the relative size of the girl. Are we supposed to be amused or sympathetic to the writer's position?

Oct 14 11 - 10:07pm
gem 3gh

Puberty can be hellish and also exciting. This story reminded me of some of outlandish things I did to try to satisfy my curiosities. I think all kids go through a phase where your top priority is to learn through whatever means necessary something new about the opposite sex or just sex in general. I know I did. The lies this writer conveyed are nothing compared to the stuff me and my friends would come up with. We were all so full of shit. I did not really need porn or have access to it. Any image of anything remotely feminine and my imagination was set loose. I also related to the desperation. It was just non stop obsession and frustration never satisfied with the feeling that it never would be. Pretty good story with some good humor and was a little disturblingly nostalgic.

Oct 14 11 - 10:14pm
tommy boy

dave your a douche! Story was pretty good, writer was recalling his teenage troll years!

Oct 14 11 - 10:31pm

My douchebaggery aside, your comment highlights another reason I didn't like it: this is a grown man's recollection. This isn't some 13 year old brat telling the's not even being told from a teen's voice. This is a grown man recalling his teen years, but his thoughts and characterizations still sound like that of a pimple faced asshole. Anyway, I just didn't like it.

Oct 15 11 - 3:05pm
tommy boy

wow man you really hated this story!

Oct 20 11 - 3:35am

dave1976 is taking the story too personally! Does it remind you of yourself when you were a dickbag teen?

Oct 15 11 - 1:01pm

Didn't Ted Bundy start out as a Peeping Tom?

Oct 16 11 - 8:07am

F-ing hilarious! This sounded like a passage from the next great American novel. The fact that it touched such a 'Nerve' (see above) says it all. Great stuff!

Oct 20 11 - 2:07pm


Oct 20 11 - 5:16pm

Hi Goo, I Agree: your dick IS lame, as are your mother's tits and your dad's prick; yet here we are. Get a pump for, well, your brain, and stop bothering everyone with boring, monosyllabic shanks.