Authors: Lexington Manheim
Tags: #romance, #erotic, #sex, #historical, #interracial, #nude, #intercourse, #international intrigue, #cabaret, #multiracial
New Dawning International
Escapades of an Erotic
An Adult Historical
A Spy Is Born
© 2014 Lexington Manheim
Published by New Dawning Bookfair at
"If you can imagine it, I've probably
already done it."
Sure, it was a boastful comment. I'm not
disinclined to make them. What's more, I'll admit to the occasional
embellishment. What girl doesn't massage the truth now and then
when there's a useful purpose? I, Dexeter Foxxe, deemed this to be
a purposeful occasion.
I was sitting in an uncomfortable wooden
chair, hoping the newly purchased pink dress I was wearing would
have a seductive impact on the man behind the tiny table in the
corner of the room. The man was Monsieur Robinet. He'd been a
professional photographer in Paris almost since the days of the old
Daguerreotypes. Don't feel bad if you don't know what those are. I
didn't either until he explained it to me. They were some of the
earliest photographic images.
Want to know what they took the first photos
of? Buildings, mostly. They stood still long enough for those
really slow cameras to capture their image. Sometimes it took
several minutes for one exposure. Of course, they soon improved the
process so the exposure didn't take so long and they could add
people to the pictures. People still had to stay still for some
time but, according to Monsieur Robinet, it was quite the
technological breakthrough because now photographers could finally
take pictures of what they really wanted to be shooting—naked
Honestly! If you thought
the 1800s were only about Queen Victoria and ladies who wrapped
themselves, toe-to-chin, in several layers of heavy apparel, you
really should do your homework on 19th century erotica. Bare
breasts, asses, and pubic hair. The more risqué photographs
featured bare vaginas, either modestly closed up like a fuzzy clam
or flagrantly spread open like a rose in bloom. It doesn't take a
hell of a lot of imagination to figure those blooming ladies got
that way by playing with themselves for the camera. Yes, right
under Victoria's puritanical nose, women were twiddling their
pussies even then—and doing it for an audience of prim and proper
men who paid good money to buy photos of those bedeviling
they'd call that kind of girl in public. In private, they'd
Anyway, the Victorian age was mostly before
my time. I wasn't born until 1900. In fact, it was right smack at
the very beginning of the 1900s. I'm told I came into this world in
my mother's home in Washington, D.C., just after midnight on
January 1st. Based on the rocky relationship I had with her, I
think my mother always kind of resented that I spoiled her New
Year's Eve by making my entrance when I did. Good timing has never
been my strong suit.
For example, here I was in Paris, having
arrived only a few weeks before the German army launched its
biggest offensive since the European war began in 1914. After
almost four years of a virtual stalemate, Germany was advancing
rapidly—trying, with a massive push, to end the war before newly
involved America could get its troops to the front lines. In Paris,
you could actually hear the sounds of the distant canons, and
shells were landing menacingly close to the city. A lot of
Parisians fled. Me, I had nowhere else to go. I was an eighteen
year old girl, new in town, new in the country, with almost no
local acquaintances, very limited understanding of the French
language, and a quickly disappearing supply of money.
That brings us back to Monsieur Robinet's
photography studio, where I was doing my best to sound like an
eminently qualified photographer's model. I needed a job. In a land
where I could barely speak the native tongue, the silent occupation
of modeling seemed like a good idea.
"You understand the kind of modeling I mean,
Mademoiselle Foxxe?" Monsieur Robinet stroked his pointy gray beard
as he began the interview.
He was a short, slender man
who appeared to be in his seventies. His face was very pale, yet he
seemed remarkably spry for a man his age. As I later found out, he
began his career shooting landscapes. Then, after a few years, he
specialized in family portraits. However, as photography became
more common and competition for business became fierce, he drifted
into the erotic photo genre where there was a growing international
market for French postcards. At first, I suspect, he made that move
reluctantly. But, by the time I met him, he had been doing it for
so many years that any inhibitions he'd once had about the industry
were apparently long gone. This was his career, and he approached
it with complete seriousness. His small, stark studio was located
in Pigalle, one of Paris's most notorious neighborhoods. However,
this grandfatherly figure in a pale blue shirt and loosely knotted
yellow scarf seemed the very picture of trustworthiness. I wasn't
the least bit afraid of him. If anything, he reminded me of the
gentlemanly old men I routinely saw sipping
café au lait
and nibbling croissants
each morning in the elegant restaurants that lined the city's nicer
boulevards. With him, I felt surprisingly at ease—considering the
job I was applying for.
"You mean naked modeling." I responded to
his question in a matter-of-fact manner I hoped would convey a
sense of professionalism.
"We say, in your
The old man smiled with gentle amusement. Despite his
pronounced accent, he spoke English well and did so for my benefit
when it became apparent he knew much more English than I knew
French. "But, yes, it is, as you say, naked."
"That was my understanding."
"Of course, there is
naked." The old man bobbed his head slightly. "And then there
Sometimes, to make a photograph stand out from all the rest, one
Different. A photograph of a nude girl may be pretty, but is it
different from all the other nude photos of young girls? Sometimes
one must put the nude in a different setting. Different
"How different are we talking about?"
For example…there is the
ordinary—nude standing, nude sitting, nude reclining.
. But what
picking flowers in the garden
"You're gonna shoot these outdoors? Where
anyone passing by could see?" It was my first moment of
No, no,” he reassured.
“We make believe outdoors. But you understand. Not ordinary.
,” I repeated as I began to
interpret what he was getting at.
is whatever we may imagine…even if not practical
in real life. Playful. Fanciful.
I did understand. I wasn't exactly sure what
playfully, fancifully naughty meant in this context, but I surmised
he wanted to know if I'd be willing to strike more than just your
basic demure pose. There was, as I learned later, a market for
photos of naked girls doing things like climbing trees or
skinny-dipping in pools of water. Could I do that? Well, I wasn't
about to lose a job over a fucking tree.
"If you can imagine it, I've probably
already done it," was, as I said earlier, my sure-sounding
response. "If you need someone to be naughty for your camera, I'm
I wanted him to think he was in the presence
of a thoroughly experienced, erotic, free-spirited, sexually
liberated woman, and it would be a colossal mistake not to hire me
immediately. His smile confirmed that the message was received.
All right, the fact is, I
had no experience whatsoever. At least, not as a model. I had never
posed nude before. I had never posed as a model—clothed or
unclothed. Not here in Paris and certainly not back home where nude
photography wasn't quite the elevated and accepted art form it was
in France. Still, I was running out of money, and I needed a
Either I got one, or I'd likely soon be out on the street. What
else could I do? I couldn't go home. I couldn't go back to
I suppose I should tell you why returning to
America wasn't an option. It all had to do with Beau.
We met in May 1917. I had left school the
year before. I was never a terribly motivated student, and the
temptation to attain some independence from my often disapproving,
nagging mother was all the reason I needed to find a job. Of
course, there weren't that many jobs open to an untrained
seventeen-year-old girl. But a neighbor knew a family by the name
of Parsen that was looking for a cleaning lady, and with the
neighbor's recommendation, I got my first paying clients. I'd go to
their house on Mondays to mop and scrub and dust and the like. Not
genteel work by any means, and I can't say I enjoyed a minute of
it. But the money felt good when it rested in my hand.
I guess I did a reasonably good job because
the Parsens recommended me to the Abernathys, who recommended me to
the Whitmans, who recommended me to the Trents, who recommended me
to the Eldridges, and, before I knew it, I had a full schedule of
work. The Trents and the Eldridges lived in Arlington, Virginia,
which meant a trolley ride across the Potomac River. I didn't
really mind. Their houses were the nicest of the ones I cleaned. I
suppose I could have been jealous since my mother and I lived in a
not-so-fashionable apartment in southeast Washington. But I tried
not to think of it in a competitive way. The mere fact that I got
to enter such fancy homes gave me a good feeling.
The Eldridges, in particular, had the kind
of house I've heard some call swanky. It had a fresh white coat of
paint on the exterior and some rather impressive columns right
outside the front entrance. As a housecleaner, I never crossed that
threshold. My means of entering and exiting was through a back
kitchen door. That bothered me a bit. It seemed so unfair. But I
was just a maid. I didn't make the rules, and, if I wanted to keep
the job—which I did—I had to follow them. And I did, every Friday,
which was my regularly scheduled day of housecleaning for the
I had been working for them about six weeks
when the month of May rolled around, and I met Beau. He was the
Edridges' oldest son, back home from the University of Virginia for
the summer. I had just entered the kitchen door, ready to begin the
day's cleaning. Suddenly, there he was. I actually thought my heart
stopped for a few seconds when I first spotted him searching the
icebox for a late-morning snack. Close to six feet tall, deep blue
eyes, chiseled chin, and a muscular physique that clearly indicated
he was probably an athlete. He was wearing a gold colored bathrobe
that highlighted his smooth, ivory tinted skin. His blond hair had
the tousled look of one who had just gotten out of bed. The thought
of him in bed made me tingle. The mere sight of him caused a chill
to pass through me. I had never felt anything like that before.
He spotted me after closing the icebox
"You must be the cleaning woman?" He popped
something into his mouth. Even his chewing seemed seductive to
I'm not sure I was able to utter an actual
response, but I nodded my head.
"From what I can tell 'round here, looks
like you do good work." He smiled at me.
"Thank you." It was all I could say before
he was out of the kitchen and off to whatever else he had planned
to do that day. As soon as he was gone, I took what I think was my
first breath since I had entered the house.
As I told you, I didn't
enjoy the work, but I had never felt bad about it either. That is,
up until that moment. For the first time, I sensed that I belonged
to a world different from the beautiful boy I'd just met. My world
was beneath his—so far beneath that I couldn't even hope to touch
the bottom of his, even if I stood on my tiptoes. My heart sank as
I pondered how distant we were from each other. He belonged to a
family that could afford a sparkling white house with impressive
columns—could afford to hire a person like me. I was
a person like me
. We could be under the same roof, even in the same room, and
yet we might as well have been in separate galaxies. Even with a
telescope, a boy like that would never see me as more than a dot in