Dan Brown’s books have sold millions of copies despite an obvious handicap. And I’m not talking about their lousy style. According to google, Dan Brown’s books don’t contain any sex scenes at all.

I wonder why.

All descriptions of sex acts, erotica paraphenalia, documents, and secret rituals in this parody are accurate.

All said-bookisms, leaden dialogue techniques, and writing tics have been adapted directly from The Da Vinci Code.

(Honestly I should probably have also added an unrelated scene to intercut with these in order to pointlessly build up suspense, but I couldn’t be bothered…)

* *


Paris, France

Saturday Night

11:44 PM

* * *

Renowned sex expert Richard Longdon dashed through the doorway of his suite at at Paris’s ritzy Hilton Arc de Triomphe. His room was empty.

I am not too late.

Richard scanned the room, taking stock.

Vaguely labial abstract paintings, risque Aubrey Beardsley prints, and tantric illustrations from Southeast Asia lined the walls. The bed in the center of the room was covered by cool, soft 300-thread-count percale sheets and boasted a Serta memoryfoam iSleep system for maximum body support. The room was kept at an optimal temperature by heating elements and air conditioners hidden inside the walls of the hotel.

Richard turned on the stereo system and stepped over to the dimmer switch, lowering the lights.

The perfect environment for fucking.

As his cell phone began to ring, the sex expert felt a surge of arousal.

“Yes,” he said, answering. “Come right up.”

Smiling, Longdon pressed the ‘end call’ button.

Vicki LaPutain. The most beautiful woman in the Paris metropolitan area.

Longdon smiled to himself. The task before him, he knew, would require every last inch of his considerably sized penis.

Soon she will be here.

And I will have achieved what I desire.

Chapter 1

Beautiful woman Vicki LaPutain knocked confidently on the keycard-operated door of Suite 69. Her skin tingled with anticipation. She could hardly wait to meet the man on the other side.

Richard Longdon was considered the premiere sex expert on earth. Not only had he seduced hundreds of women, but during his twenty-year tenure as a Kinsey Institute professor, Longdon had helped the institution amass the largest collection of ancient sex artifacts in the world, including Pope Paul II’s secret diary, Prince Albert’s Prince Albert, and even the world’s oldest condom — the fabled Prophylactic of the Panpriaptor.

Even so, Vicki knew, Longdon was also in possession of an even greater secret.

A secret I must understand.

The door slowly opened.

“Good evening, Miss LaPutain,” said Richard.

Vicki looked equally aroused as her eyes scanned the sex expert’s body.

“I was pleased to discover you’re staying in Suite 69,” she said. “It’s quite a coincidence.”

“You’re right,” Longdon replied. “You’ve probably heard that the number sixty-nine — in French, soixante-neuf — is imbued with sexual significance. It generally refers to a position where two people mutually perform oral sex on each other.” Longdon winked. “That’s why I made sure to book this precise room number. Please, come in.”

He really is a sex expert. Vicki smiled shyly. She entered, surveying the well-appointed space.

“What’s this music you’re playing?” she questioned.

“It’s an American style of music called smooth jazz,” said Longdon. “It’s generally thought to relax the mind and body in order to prepare them for new possibilities.”

Like what’s going to happen tonight.

Vicki couldn’t tear her eyes from Longdon’s handsome, square-jawed face.

“Richard—,” she began.

“Please,” said Longdon, smiling. “Call me Dick.”

“Of course.” Vicki smiled, slipping out of her coat and draping it over a chair. “Dick, this might seem sudden, but there’s a reason I came to see you tonight. The truth is — I came here to fuck.”

She came here to fuck. Longdon felt a pleasurable pulse of excitement.

“Except first,” Vicki said, “I want to know something about you.”

Chapter 2

I want to know something about you.

Vicki’s words echoed in the scented-candle ambiance of Suite 69. Longdon wondered what she meant.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

Vicki looked out the window into the Paris night. A cool breeze wafted.

“I heard a rumor,” she said. “About your penis.”

“My penis?”

“Yes,” said Vicki. “The part that goes in my vagina.”

“I imagine you’re referring to the well-known rumor that my penis is quite immense.”

“That wouldn’t surprise me.” Vicki turned to face Richard. “After all, your name is Dick Longdon. However, the rumor I heard concerned something else—” She swallowed.

Longdon smiled.

“It’ll probably be easier if I just show you,” he said, opening up his robe.

Chapter 3

Vicki’s eyes swooped down.

Longdon’s penis — the part that goes in my vagina — was already erect. It appeared to be about 22.86 centimeters — nine inches — long.

“And you’re circumcised,” she observed.

“Yes,” said Longdon. “Most American males of my generation were circumcised as infants. Although pro-genital integrity activists claim that circumcision decreases sexual sensitivity, I’ve never known the difference, so I can’t really complain.” He winked.

“I see,” said Vicki. “But I’m far more interested in — that.”

Vicki’s fascinated eyes fastened on the minaturized Renaissance artwork that Longdon had had tattooed onto his penis.

The rumors were true!

“You really did it,” she whispered.

The image tattooed on Longdon’s penis was the Mona Lisa.

Chapter 4

“Why?” Vicki questioned.

Longdon closed his eyes as his erection pulsated. His brain could sense itself losing blood to the penis.

The memory…

The Mona Lisa, tattooed onto Richard’s most treasured organ.

The masterpiece of Renaissance art.

“If you want to find out,” Richard replied with a grin, “You’ll have to try it and see.”

“I can’t wait,” said Vicki.

The beautiful woman began removing her clothes.

The words of Richard’s sex mentor were fresh in his mind. Don’t get her pregnant.

“Vicki, sex can lead to pregnancy,” Richard reminded. “We should take proper precautions.”

“I’m way ahead of you, Dick.” Vicki flashed a triumphant smile.

Chapter 5

“I’ve been taking  birth control pills,” Vicki explained. “They use hormones to trick my body into thinking I’m already pregnant, giving me a shorter and less painful period and preventing me from conceiving a child.”

“My goodness.” Richard looked thunderstruck. She’s quite the professional.

“My gynecologist prescribed them for me,” Vicki explained. She unhooked her bra, revealing her breasts.

“However, there’s also a risk of STD and STI transmission,” Richard explained. “Especially since neither of us leads a monogamous lifestyle. So I’ve also prepared a condom. No offense,” he added, winking.

“None taken,” said Vicki.

Richard reached into the pocket of his robe and pulled out a Trojan 500X Triple Magnum condom with a spermicidal lubricant and a reservoir tip. It was constructed from an incredibly thin and skinlike, yet strong and flexible latex barrier. He tore open the condom packet and rolled the barrier onto his hardened penis.

By now Vicki had removed the last of her clothes. She lay on the bed with her legs open.

“Go ahead and enter me,” Vicki said, pointing.

Longdon’s eyes followed. Vicki’s vagina was magnificent, wedged in a slit where the legs met the torso.

“Vicki,” said Richard. “You know as well as I do that foreplay can enhance sexual pleasure. It’s probably best if I start by licking your clitoris now. That’s the most sensitive part of a woman’s body.”

Sophie argued, “I’m ready now. I don’t want to wait.”

“Then,” Richard said, unable to hide his grin, “get ready for the ride of your life.”

Chapter 6

Exactly nineteen seconds into making love to Vicki, Richard’s left eyelid began to twitch.

“The word orgasm comes from the ancient Greek orgasmos,” gasped Richard. “To mature or swell. It’s also known as… the climax….”

Shudders of pleasure tore up Richard’s body as his penis made contact with Vicki’s vaginal walls, plunging deeper into her already moistened flesh. Buckling, Richard crumpled to his knees, causing the bedspread to bunch up. His penis discharged semen, the spurts burying themselves harmlessly in the condom’s reservoir tip.

Richard pulled out of Vicki.

“You have done well,” Vicki said. “But there’s just one thing I don’t understand. The Mona Lisa is mankind’s most admired artwork. So why—”

“It’s true that I never last more than twenty seconds in bed,” Richard informed. “But with the Mona Lisa tattoo, at least I’m able to say that I always have a beautiful woman on my dick.”

Vicki sighed, relishing the afterglow.

“You were amazing,” she said listlessly.

Richard’s smile never faded. “So were you. But then, it’s no wonder you’re an expert in bed. The root of your name, Vicki, indicates incredible sexual potential.”

“It does?”

“Yes.” Richard winked. “In ancient Greek, ‘vici’ means ‘I came.’”


I just filed my Illinois state taxes. Not complicated, since I lead a boring lifestyle.

However, I couldn’t help but notice this cruel joke perpetrated by the IL department of revenue:

It seemed as if the very whiff of masculinity, the smell of tobacco smoke, or a bachelor’s joke, would spark off this feverish femininity and entice it to a lascivious virgin birth.

-Bruno Schulz, “The Street of Crocodiles”

I ran barefoot to the window. The sky was swept lengthwise by the gusts of the wind. Vast and silvery white, it was cut into lines of energy tensed to breaking point, into awesome furrows like strata of tin and lead. Divided into magnetic fields and trembling with discharges, it was full of concealed electricity. The diagrams of the gale were traced on it which, itself unseen and elusive, loaded the landscape with its power.

-Bruno Schulz, “The Gale”

What makes these passages so effective? An insistence on their own integrity? A refusal to simplify and clarify? A refusal to systematize? A refusal to allegorize? A refusal to provide anything except what is most dangerous?

Today’s device…. the POV character commenting on another character’s unusual remark.

Probably the most common way of using this is for the POV character to “explain away” the secondary character’s odd remark by making a philosophical claim.

In Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, Mandela the POV character’s fellow soldier is wounded. A medic’s reaction is in quotes; Mandela’s comment comes afterward:

“She’s very pretty.” A remarkable observation, her body torn and caked with crusting blood, her face smeared where I had tried to wipe away the tears. I suppose a doctor or a woman or a lover can look beneath that and see beauty.

And if the common move is to explain odd remarks by means of philosophical claims, its flip-side might be to use the move to ironically deflate philosophical claims. In Enrique Vila-Matas‘ Never Any End to Paris, two policemen search the narrator’s room and find out he’s a writer…

The two gorillas searched the garret, saw that no one was making bombs there, took a long look at The Assassin, and finally the tall gorilla asked me if I’d read any Simenon. I didn’t know what would be the best thing to say and decided to tell the truth, I said I hadn’t. “Well,” said the short gorilla, “we’ll be leaving now.” They seemed to be in a good mood all of a sudden, as if they’d managed to get out of an awkward situation. And, although they didn’t apologize to the innocent young man whose lunch they’d interrupted, the short guy did something quite thoughtful once they’d left the garret and were out on the landing on their way to the stairwell. He turned around suddenly and with all the ironic kindness a policeman is capable of, said: “Living alone in a dive like this is not such a good idea.” And the other policeman added: “It’s not good to live alone in the dense solitude of criminals.” This last came quite as a surprise. It was a strange sentence to hear spoken by a policeman, or by anybody for that matter. Anyway, did he think because I was writing about a lettered assassin I was potentially a solitary criminal? Many years later someone told me that “the dense solitude of criminals” was an expression Simenon often used.

Enrique Vila-Matas

I can also imagine various elegant uses of this device for characterization and secondary worldbuilding. Like this:

Detective Billings hesitated, then added: “The fact is, it’s a horrible law.”

“I never thought I’d hear a cop admit that,” I said.

Or like this:

“It’s a shame your timeline has ended here,” the cloaked figure gloated. It was a strange thing for a Timeline Assassin to say.

In both these cases, the device depicts violated expectations, thus allowing the normal set of expectations to appear by implication.

And I think coming up with lines like these is also a useful thought exercise for building secondary worlds: what lines, for instance, would sound weird coming from a thief, a con artist, a factory worker, an alien in your setting…? If you think the question through, you may be able to create a convincing feeling of depth.

I’ll be posting lightly this week because all my spare time last week went into working on my new Writers Of The Future submission before the deadline. See u tomorrow!

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