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Of Grand Illusions

Of Grand Illusions

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An art student is drawn into the magical world of costume sex, where extravagant props and fanciful garments paint the hot colors of passion on the erotic mind.

As I looked up, with this spectacular woman filling my gaze, realized I sure wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I felt as if I’d just stepped from black and white into the Technicolor of the Land of Oz. I had just arrived in the Greenwich Village section of New York City to visit the studio of my famous painter friend, Jan. I’d come all the way from the small college in Kansas where I was studying art in the hope that this great man would let me watch him work. I was willing to sweep up, run errands, whatever it took.

His paintings were swirling phantasmagorias of eroticism, rich with dark, spectacular hues and daring, lavish images of powerful sexuality.

The female model he was painting now was extravagantly beautiful and voluptuous. She stood, motionless, on the platform in front of his easel, with darkness behind her and small theatrical spotlights casting shafts of red and blue and magenta onto her flesh.

She wasn’t completely nude — Jan rarely painted nudes — but the bizarre garments she wore made her look far more sensual than she would have had her skin been bare.

The model was tall and slender, her ebony hair long and full, her skin the color of alabaster. She had the long, strong legs of a dancer. Her breasts were full and firm and cast wonderful shadows in the valley between them and on her smooth white belly. Her eyes were large and the most wonderful shade of deep lavender.

She was spectacular — but the fanciful things she wore made her seem even more provocative. On her breasts, covering one nipple and leaving its twin exposed, were two golden lizards bejeweled with sparkling stones of scarlet and deep green. The lizard that slithered across her left breast was the smaller of the two; the larger flicked out its golden tongue to curl it around her exposed right nipple, which was dark red, almost like a wound, in this exotic lighting.

On her navel glittered a  huge, blood-red ruby, and her fingers culminated in scarlet nails almost two inches long. One hand held a strange sort of object, half magic wand, half weapon, which was in the shape of a thick black shaft and which culminated in the bejeweled head of a dragon: its mouth open, its silver teeth like tiny, slender daggers, its forked tongue scarlet. From its head black feathers splayed in a crest.

A long, slender serpent made of flexible plates of thin gold wrapped itself around one leg, starting at her ankle and coiling up and around to encircle her thighs. Her pubic bush was furry and black and glistening and completely exposed, and the snake’s beady black eyes glared at it as though the snake were ready to slither into the pink slit buried in the fur. The serpent’s long silver tongue reached out to tease her lustrous bush.

My gaze rose gingerly to her face, and when it did, she was looking right at me, her gaze burning directly into my soul. Slowly, very slowly, she opened her mouth, as though she were teasingly inviting a lover’s cock, and in her mouth, glistening in the theatrical lighting, was a glowing emerald the size of a small egg.

I knew the emerald wasn’t real, nor the ruby. These were all theatrical props and costume pieces. It was all a gloriously erotic illusion. Back at college I’d done a term paper on the use of costumes and props in portrait painting. I was well aware that painters used these sorts of things to become masters of illusion.

But it wasn’t until that moment, when I was surrounded by the smells of oil paint and turpentine and gazing up at Jan’s live model, that I had my first hint of how powerful the illusion provided by erotic attire can be in sexuality, how costumes and props can transport us to amazing heights. But at that moment, my cock, I suddenly realized, was straining in my jeans, feeling bigger and harder than it ever had before.

Jan called a halt to the session, and the model disappeared into the back of the studio. I was so grateful that this great painter was taking me in like this and letting me learn the ropes by watching him work. He was a little gnome of a man, pink-cheeked, white-bearded and always smiling. I’ll always be grateful to him for how comfortable he made me feel in the big-city art world, and for how much I learned about from him. I’ll also be grateful for some things he’ll never know about.

That afternoon I rented a furnished room in Greenwich Village, the New York neighborhood where lots of artists hang out. Late that night I went to a nearby laundromat that’s open twentyfour hours-the clothes I’d worn on the bus from Kansas needed a good wash. The place was deserted except for one young woman sitting in front of the dryers and reading a magazine. She wore no makeup, and I couldn’t really tell about her figure because she had on a baggy t-shirt over jeans. Her long black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and on her head was a Mets baseball cap.

She looked up and ·smiled. “Oh, hi,” she said. “You’re the artist who’s going to be working with Jan, aren’t you?”

Well, I’d never been called an artist before-though I’d been called an “art student’’ plenty of times. I’m afraid I blushed a little.

“Yes,” I said, smiling back, a bit mystified. “How did you know?”

She grinned. “You don’t recognize me, do you?’’

All of a sudden I did. I opened my mouth in surprise. “You’re ... you’re his model. I saw you today. “

“I’m Magdalia” she said, extending her hand, and I told her my name. I also wanted to tell her how beautiful I thought she’d been, and how much I’d been turned on. But I didn’t-not right then, anyway. We got to talking as my clothes washed and hers dried, and then she waited for me until I was done. We really hit it off, and we told each other all kinds of things about ourselves as we strolled through the quiet, winding streets of Greenwich Village.

Finally we stopped, under the golden light of a streetlight near the Hudson River. She moved close to me, and I could feel the warmth of her face on mine as she whispered, “You haven’t mentioned how I looked today in the studio.’’

“I… you were beautiful,” I stammered.

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