Downtown Press
July 2006
ISBN 0743499417

available at

Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Her ideal lover is reliable, silent, and always leaves her satisfied...

Elle Sheffield wasn't always Elle Sheffield, life coach. Elle Sheffield used to be Elle Shields, with a painful high school past, a traumatic family secret, and a go-nowhere tech support career. Now she's re-created herself and found her true calling: guiding women to overcome their obstacles and fulfill their dreams. And speaking of fulfillment, Elle gets hers from her trusty, battery-operated companion. We'll call him Mr. Goodbunny.

...until his little engine goes kaput.

But what's a girl to do when her vibrator's on the blink and her life is spiraling out of control? A shot at a profile in The New York Times may be just what she needs to jump-start her business, but it's her sex life that really needs resuscitation. Is it possible there's more to satisfaction than her solitary trysts with Mr. Goodbunny? Though it may mean taking a chance on a real flesh-and-blood male...

Elle is about to discover that when it comes to true happiness, there is no substitute.



I live in a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side. A quiet place, with off-white walls, a galley kitchen that doubles as storage for my reference books, and a view of the East River, which sounds more picturesque than it is. The water's not too murky, but the dismembered bodies that get fished out on a quarterly basis ruin the ambience.

Anyway, I like my place, because it's my castle. At night, it's just me, my television, and the pink pearl bunny that makes me smile. As I was growing up, I found various methods of pleasuring myself, some creative, some adventurous, and some not completely sanitary. But one fine spring day, via an anonymous mail-order site on the Web, I took back my orgasms from all the black-hearted cads who were determined to leave me either brokenhearted or celibate -- or both. It had taken the best part of my adult years to find the key to my own sensual nature, the solution being a motor-powered rocket launcher that didn't care if my hips were too wide. When the stress of my solitary existence got to me, I'd take out my frisky friend and let him have his way with me.

I settled myself down on the couch for my nightly ritual, The Late Show with David Letterman and my vibrator.

Over the years, I've learned the value of a good vibrator. It's there when you need it, never insults you, never tells you it had a good time, blah, blah, blah. And best of all, me and Mr. Bunny have been together ten long years. That's more than most marriages I know of.

So as the Top Ten List counted down, so did I.

I turned on Mr. Bunny's controller, and he buzzed just as he's supposed to.





No, that wasn't me. Mr. Bunny wasn't turning anything on.

I spent a few quality minutes cursing the undependable nature of batteries and then padded over to where I kept the spares. I padded back to the couch, took an extra sip of wine, and flicked the switch on the controller, ready for liftoff.


Okay, maybe those batteries were bad, too.

I tried one pair after another, my fingers working frantically, until I had emptied my battery drawer, and the painful truth began to settle in: my bunny had died.

It seemed like only yesterday that he arrived in a brown-paper package, discreetly addressed from M&L Manufacturing, and my love life had never looked back.

I took Mr. Bunny and his wire-attached controller in my hands, thinking that maybe the batteries were overrated. After a few fumbling attempts at manual maneuvering, I discovered they weren't.

My stress levels were still heart-attack high, the wine bottle was empty, and even Letterman was a rerun.

You ever had one of those days? When the best part of the day turned to crap?

Mr. Bunny had been a faithful companion for ten years. He was my rebound lover, my Friday night lover, my lover when I didn't feel like shaving my legs. He was Everyman to me -- in many ways, far superior.

I hated to say good-bye, mainly because with the death of Mr. Bunny, I had no excuse not to go out into the world to try to find a replacement. A real replacement that's powered with blood and passion rather than AA batteries. It had been a long time since I had a man in my life. Three long, lonely years, not that I expect your sympathy, although it'd be nice.

To be perfectly fair, men provided several things that Mr. Bunny could not. Conversation, usually centered on their life, their work, or another woman's breasts. The warmth of human touch, usually as precursor to asking for either a loan or a blow job -- sometimes both at the same time. But they were human. They had a human touch, something Mr. Bunny could never acquire.

With a heavy heart, I wrapped him in the Sunday Style section and laid his translucent pink form out on a casket designed by Pyrex, offering a quiet thanks for the memories.

I placed a single finger over the on/off switch and pushed one last time. Hoping against hope for some sign of life.

Alas, it was not to be.

Eventually, I realized I could not mourn my tiny companion forever, so I removed him from the Pyrex and then buried him in my kitchen trash, right beneath the container of three-day-old Szechuan chicken.

I tried television, music, but nothing felt right. Finally, I showered and went to bed. After a couple of hours tossing and turning, I knew what I had to do.

First chance I got, I was going to find a new vibrator.

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