“Lolita” | Origins of Female Sexuality

I just finished reading Lolita, by Nabokov. I was surprised to learn that the term “Lolita” didn’t quite mean what I thought it to mean. I was close, but not exactly right – which made the book a more wild read.

When we take a look at a story, the context of our lives will determine what we are capable of seeing.

From where I am as a player and seducer, I found Lolita to read like a handbook on the development of the sexualities of “precocious” young girls. In some ways, the book disgusted me. In others, I learned a lot from the stores of “nymphets” that Nabokov shares. With that as a bit of a tease… I offer my conclusions about the story of a weak man’s experience with a wicked little girl.

A quote:

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps and the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

This is a line as told from the narrator of the book – Humbert Humbert. All the unattributed quotes I use below should be read as his words.

Lolita tackles a troubling topic. While broadly speaking, Lolita looks at a forbidden sexuality, I will argue many us will be able to see some of ourselves in these scenes, and also, see facets of girls we have dated and otherwise known in our lives. And that beyond the drama, there are broader lessons to be learned from a book as “very bad” as this one.


LOLITAS

Lolita[ loh-lee-tuh ]: a sexually precocious young girl
— A standard dictionary definition

What is a Lolita? This is where the book initially shook me.

We have all heard allusions to Lolitas, and the flavor of the dictionary quote above is what I was expecting to find. I know them as much from personal experience as from references in the culture. As players, many of us mix it up with “sexually precocious young girls” all the time. How young? We’ll get to that. That is the tension of the topic, certainly.

A “Lolita” is not technically (in fact) a broad category of girl – even though that is what the term has come to mean. Lolita is the name Humbert gives “Dolly,” a substitute for the actual name of the girl in the book. Dolores Haze. Lo. Lo-li-ta. It was once only about Nabokov’s specific girl, but has now become a way to refer to a certain “type.”

We don’t always call it out, but “a Lolita” has a quality to her that is something like “dangerous.” It is both about how young she is and how she is a little bit “bad.” Maybe like what we’d call “jail bait” in less literary circles. Sexy… in a forbidden way. A lot of sex is like that.

Like the dictionary will tell you, the original Lolita was (most certainly) “sexually precocious,” but Humbert Humbert would have used a different term for a girl like her: He would use the term “nymphet.”

And let’s get to it: For Humbert Humbert, a “nymphet” is a “sexually precocious young girl” between the ages of nine and 14.

Ouch. Right. Okay.

I had always assumed a Lolita was about 14 to 16 years old. Something like that. Prohibitively young, certainly, but as I read that Humbert’s tastes grazed the edges of girls as young as 10, it changed my interest in the book.

There is definitely a danger and a conflict and a drama in the topic of the sexualities of young girls, even if we stick to ones that are “physically mature.” But to dip into pre-pubescent girls changes the chemistry of the scene significantly. Connecting sexuality with children is entirely off limits.

Full stop.

The challenge here (to press on), is not in the definition of sex… but in the defining of who is too young to be examined. And maybe more so… who gets to decide who is too young to be sexual? Not in our eyes, but in their own?

This is part of what makes Lolita’s so “wicked” – not that a grown men would engage a young girl, but in the unavoidable reality of a young girl working to expand her own sexuality into a culture that would like to say it isn’t so.

What I mostly want to do here with Lolita, is to flip the topic on its head and look at it from the point of view of the girls themselves. While civilization might want to put absolute limits on men in terms the the sexual lives of girls below a certain age, can civilization stop the girls themselves from developing their own sexualities? I think the answer is no.

If we take the men out of the story entirely, and simply look at Lolita as a chance to witness how sexuality takes root in the female experience, we can let go of some of the judgment, get curious, and (perhaps) learn something of the construction of a woman’s sex, from the vantage point of a time when her roots first find fertile soil.

For me, it is the exploration (rather than exploitation) of female sexuality that gives Nabokov’s book it’s heat. And it’s the heart of this essay (and maybe this whole blog) as well.


A DISCLAIMER

As Nabokov was willing to play with this scene, so am I. We’ll have better things to say – but let’s do a round of disclaimer now, as a matter of good house-keeping:

I do not now (nor have I ever as an adult man) dated or communicated in a sexual way with girls under the legal age. Not once. Not ever. There it is, early in the piece. Checked off and done. That is heartfelt, but I don’t mean to linger here at all.

“I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction, and, Lolita has no moral in tow.”
— Nabokov

Okay, good. Nabokov isn’t interested in the rather obvious morality issue and, frankly, neither am I. This post isn’t about morality. We have oilier fish to fry.

I quickly discovered that I didn’t like the book’s main character, Humbert Humbert. Not at all. He was the worst part of the book and I am glad to be away from him.

But… the book has value as we can be adjacent to a man as he was adjacent to a girl when he shouldn’t have been. And from that proximity, we may take away lessons about the sexual marketplace, about women, from female psychology, and about ourselves.

That is my goal here.


NYMPHETS

Another definition:

“Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who… reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as an ‘nymphets.'”

Now we have a sexual discussion of girls “between that ages limits of nine and fourteen.” I warned you it would be dangerous and it is.

But I am quite interested in that quote. He is talking about a something I recognize. Not the age, but the quality. And here we can drop our outrage and move into a closer inspection of the topic. Prudish objections asides, there is a conversation worth having here.

“The body of some immortal daemon disguised as a female child. A combination of naivete and deception…”

To lean into it, the thing that interests me in Humbert’s first sketch of the nymph is his reference to this “demoniac” quality. Here he plots some rarely spoken details. The expected naivete, but mixed with something deceptive. And complicated. And maybe cunning. A sexuality that is a pilot as much as a passenger. Could it all begin so young?

It is not that such young girls are legitimate targets of our own sexuality, but that they might have profuse sexualities of their own. That is what we are allowing for, and that… is at the heart of whole essay.

At some point reasonable adults will allow that a girl could not only have a sexuality, but that her sexual persona might also have an element of some “badness” to it. That quality will exist at some age, and the question is… at what age can we imagine its earliest manifestation? Bad, bad, little girls. Not all girls, but certain “charged” ones in the midst of a more tame pack.

Nabokov was willing to explore this and so can we.

“A normal man given a group photograph of school girls or Girl Scouts and asked to point out the comeliest one will not necessarily choose the nymphet among them.”

This ^ is a great clue to something. And the way I read it, it’s clear he isn’t talking about “surface level” sexuality. He is saying she’s not particularly beautiful, it’s something “else.” He is talking about young girls with a particular “sexual energy” about them.

I think that is right. And that is a thing that we feel in this world even if it is not to be spoken.

If you’re interested in the fruit of adult women, you might be interest in the progression of the seed.

“You have to be an artist and a madman… in order to discern at once… the little deadly demon among the wholesome children; she stands unrecognized by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.”

Whoa. Okay. Sound familiar at all? I am thinking of adult women, but it sounds familiar to me.

I edited that comment to strip out the parts that are about him – his ego, his shame, his conflict, his personal sickness – because they are irrelevant to the direction I want to take us. The sentence reads better when we take Humbert out of it. The whole book does, actually.

What he says (indirectly) is that Nymphets signal something unwholesome. They are “deadly” in some way. We know girls like this. The many reasons why some girls might have this “spark” in them (so young) probably varies greatly from girl to girl. Some from abuse (true). And some (perhaps) from a natural fount of “mischief,” “dark female energy,” and other qualities we find in other “bad girls” (irrespective of their age).

I am interested in how crystal clear he is about this feminine force, forbidden to notice at this age, but persistent in archetypes of women. The “earliness” of it all is another fantastic clue as to the origins of sexuality in girls.

A force that proceeds beyond the seed, and along the development of the flower that follows.

“…and neither is she the fragile child of a feminine novel. What drives me insane is the twofold nature of this nymphet – of every nymphet, perhaps; this mixture in my Lolita of tender dreamy childish and a kind of eerie vulgarity…”

Have you ever tried a little too hard to believe in the innocence of a girl? I think every man has. As we abstract it (and it doesn’t take much), this becomes a universal conversation after all.


PUBESCENCE AND LEGAL LIMITS

The word pubescence is one way of classifying what we consider “mature.”

Pubescence (“having entered puberty”) is a kind of mature (in contrast to emotional maturity) – one of many kinds. It is a stage where one is first capable of reproduction.

To make things a little more crude: post-pubescent could be taken to mean “she has pubes.” Ever heard the phrase: “If there’s grass on the field, play ball?” That phrase is a “locker room” way to describe at what “physical age” men have decided they could consider a girl in a sexual context. The presence of pubic hair – and pubescence – is a clear demarcation. I am not being an advocate here. But I am being real.

I would argue that it is not correct to say men “decide” that girls that have passed puberty are worthy of sexual consideration. Rather, I argue that Nature dictates that it is so. Men are attracted to women that are fertile (which is perhaps the most literally natural thing of all), even when that fertility is inconveniently young. And this is where so many of us have even more in common with Sick Humbert.

There is a line between a sensual attraction to even very young girls that are biologically fertile (say, 14? maybe 13??) and the also very sensible refusal to act on that attraction. To that I will enthusiastically agree.

Are many, young, post-pubescent girls sexually attractive? Yes. Definitely. 15? Certainly. 16? No question about it. Men that say otherwise are liars.

The point here is not to state the obvious, but to map out something real from one side, so that we can begin to examine the other side of the equation. The essay is interested in the development of sexuality in girls. And a demonic quality in Nabokov’s nymphets that is a kind of smoke that shows a fire.

Most won’t broach this subject, but here is a quote I took down years ago from an anonymous source:

“He pointed out that often it’s the minor who initiates the sex, in which case I don’t think you can call it abuse.”
— Anonymous

Put it in context:

Imagine a girl that is “too young” for your standards, but one that has a sexuality of her own, a sexuality she is not asking for permission to cultivate. And imagine her sexuality isn’t passive and reserved – but sweeps out and initiates trades in the sexual marketplace. This is not about the sexual activity of men… but that of young girls testing themselves – and testing the edges of what is possible with the men around them.

This is the tension that Lolita makes explicit. Not only Humbert’s involvement with a young girl… but her propensity for sexuality at an age where we like to pretend girls are not sexual at all.

For my part (and this works as yet another disclaimer):

I fully recognize a robust, real sexuality, in very, very young girls (perhaps even nymphets), but I am happy to do the sensible thing, and “give them a pass” until they are of the legal age. Legally, all men should. Morally, you’ll be right more often than wrong if you simply “make it a rule.” But philosophically…

I’d be foolish to miss that the origins of young girls’ sexualities start much, much earlier than the law will allow. Not only that, but that very young girls… often practice with fully grown men. Perhaps you find the suggestion demonic. If so, you’re keeping up well with the themes presented here.

This is Lolita seen from another angle.

And as men, many of us have seen all this in our own lives. There is no moral complication here, as we’re not aiding or abetting the corruption of an innocent. We are simply acknowledging the earliest days of “girls at play,” playing games they will play in their lives for decades to come.

Call it “practice.” Did you know girls practice this young?


WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON WITH HUMBERT HUMBERT

“I wanted to write a song about sexuality in the classroom. I’d done teaching practice at secondary schools and been through the business of having 15-year-old girls fancying me – and me really fancying them! How I kept my hands off them I don’t know… Then there was my love for Lolita which I think is a brilliant novel.”
— Sting

Here, the artist Sting (of The Police) is talking about the song “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” He names the girls to be at 15 years old. But the point to make here is about this double-barreled liability of both the under-aged nature of the girl and the perfectly obvious initiation of sexual experiences from the girls themselves.

“That my novel does contain various allusions to the psychological urges of a pervert is quite true.”
— Nabokov

I would invite the reader to see where he (like Sting) shares some territory with Nabokov’s protagonist. Not in anything criminal, but in the exploration of sex, and access to sex, that polite society would try to wipe from our minds. Let’s assume we’re only talking about legal encounters… have you ever felt perverted for wants you discovered in the sexual marketplace?

“While my body knew what it craved for, my mind rejected my body’s every plea. One moment I was ashamed and frightened, another recklessly optimistic. Taboo strangulated me.”

Turning away from any talk of the under-aged, how many men struggle to recognize the sexuality of women at all? Or even to give permission to their own sexualities? Not in a distant, compartmentalized sense – as in porn. But in the specific sense – as in “the nice girl they are dating” (or would like to date). What we call “pedestalizing” is often a failure to recognize not only what is perverted in ourselves, but perversion in women as well.

Lolita will teach you to see the perverted.

While Humbert Humbert engages in the truly taboo, how many men feel a taboo sigma at the idea of even talking to women when they haven’t been properly introduced? We know “talking to girls on the street” is a taboo itself in some circles. Some would like to make it illegal. And why? Again, to protect the “endlessly naïve and vulnerable young girls.”

I began to find real sexual success as a man only after I turned 40. And even then, I totally underestimated the sexual agency of girls. And I certainly couldn’t see how the youngest of the legal age might be so willing and wild. Then I met girls like Baby Dragon, who at 19, even as she was a virgin, clearly had demonic nymphic potential (which we explored, over several dates).

It took me a long time to see girls for what they are… and to begin to see that “what they are” had to have begun at some point long before me.

Here we can go a bit darker:

“He had the utmost respect for ordinary children, with their purity and vulnerability, and under no circumstance would he have interfered with the innocence of a child, if there was the least risk of a row. But how his heart beat when, among the innocent throng, he spied a demon child, ‘enfante charmante et fourbe.'”

He is talking about what it is like to see a sexual spark in a sea of dull bulbs. This isn’t about his attraction to a certain look, it’s more about how a certain girl can look back at a man.

Spotting the “demon child.” We can clean it up:

Put yourself in a bar. Lots of “ordinary children,” but you catch the glance of a “demonic” girl, and you and she both spike and there is no confusion as to what is going on. We can apply the psychology from Lolita to more legitimate circumstance – I certainly can.

I looked up “enfante charmante et fourbe.” It means “charming and deceitful child.” In some ways… don’t all women have that capacity? The darkness of Nabokov’s novel is a portal into the darkness of sultry women of all ages.

There is this kind of common wisdom about the qualities of women throughout the book.

Here is another look at how Nabokov shares shades of sexuality:

“All at once I knew I could kiss her throat or the wick of her mouth with perfect impunity. I knew she would let me do so, and even close her eyes as Hollywood teaches. I cannot tell [you] how the knowledge came to me; perhaps my ape-ear had unconsciously caught some slight change in the rhythm of respiration – for now she was not really looking at my scribble, but waiting with curiosity and composure – oh, my limpid nymphet! – for the glamorous lodger to do what he was dying to do.”

A girl, pretending at one thing, while actually pushing herself deep into another. In the scene above, the girl did that, not the man.

And Humbert is explicitly curious about how it was he knew what she wanted? He says, ” I cannot tell [you] how the knowledge came to me.” He is talking about how a player reads nonverbal communication, and guesses at intention, as he makes moves on a girl (or considers it).

So many of us have been there: She intentionally tempts him. He feels it. That is what “Girl Game” looks like.

These moments are areas where I could know my own life in those pages. When I see my own experiences in Nabokov’s words, I know that even if I cannot trust Humbert, I can often trust Humbert’s read of the scene.

While in these quotes we’ve seen several good examples of psychology in the sexual marketplace, let’s go deeper now into my broader point about the origins of the sexuality of girls.


THE ORIGINS OF SEXUAL EDUCATION

The more experience I have with women, the more interested I am in the origins of girls’ sexual education.

And I am beyond certain that girls begin their education at a very young age, via extensive exposure to “sexual situations.” They mostly learn “passively,” meaning: Men do the work of bringing them opportunities to engage and practice.

In terms of what they passively receive:

Even for girls that have yet to be penetrated, they have been seen in a sexual context since pubescence. Right? Nature flips a switch in their anatomy and men show them real sexual interest from that point on. In many cases, adult men (men with real skill and experience, such as ourselves) press them sexually (and press them hard), and they learn to move in that dance, over endless repetitions… beginning at something like “12” or “13” years old.

In that space between “12” and “18” (let’s say), how many thousands of sexual interactions (some explicit, some subtle) has she experienced?

In contrast to “nice girls” that mostly learn passively, maybe we can see nymphets as those young girls that take on sex more actively? Imagine that some of these very young girls weren’t only on the receiving end of sexual encounters, but were actively encouraging them through their “sexually precocious” behavior.

These girl would have many of the same passive experiences where men thrust sex at them, but would also be out and about generating their own heat as they moved in knowing ways, held a gaze longer than was strictly necessary, dressed the part, and inserted themselves into situations where good girls would not.

If a “normal” girl would absorb thousands of glances, weak offers, and strong advances, how many thousands of times could a nymphet taunt the world with her own exaggerated potential? How many thousands of times would she have a chance to test her skill? How many thousands of times would she be able to witness men (both weak and strong) as they felt the impact of her sex in the air?

That… is a lot of experience. And this is the truth of the origins of female sexuality. Lolita (beginning at 11 or 12) is a great look at where sex really starts.

For example:

“She told me the way that she had been debauched. Her astounding tale started with an introductory mention of her tent-mate of the previous summer… the tent mate instructed her in ‘various manipulations.'”

Here Humbert is talking about how (a possibly prepubescent) Lolita learned to masturbate… at 11 years old… as taught by a slightly older girl at camp.

I will be personal again and say that one of the greatest loves of my life was taught this exact same thing… at nine years old. She, and two young friends (both under 12), would all go back to one of their homes every day after school, and take turns, in the old fashioned tub, young asses low, definitely prepubescent legs pointing to the ceiling, as a narrow jet of warm water ran forcefully from the faucet over their girl-clits. They’d orgasm. Each of them, in turn. And then the game was over and they’d run off to do something else.

Real sex stories. I don’t find them “sexy” (as in, they don’t turn me on), but they are still “warm” (in a way) as they teach me about the origins of sexuality in the beloved fairer sex. Again… a universal theme.

Nine, 10, 11, and 12 year old girls… teaching each other to get off. It can start this way. Women have told me a lot of things. I have a lot of stories like these. Many, many.

Here is more from Lolita:

“Barbara Burke, a sturdy blonde, two years older than Lo… had a very special canoe which she shared with Lo. Every morning, Barbara and Lo would be helped to carry the boat by Charlie Holmes, the camp Mistresses son, age 13. Every morning, the three children would take a shortcut through the beautiful innocent forest… Lo would be the sentinel, while Barbara and the boy copulated behind a bush.”

Oh.

“At first, Lo would refuse to ‘try what it was like,’ but curiosity and camaraderie prevailed, and soon she and Barbara were doing it by turns with a silent, course and surly but indefatigable Charlie.”

Okay. So Humbert is no hero, but he didn’t actually deflower Lolita when he had sex with her. She had already had sex, lots of it, at 12, with a 13 year old boy, taking turns with another girl, in the woods at camp, every day, for a whole summer.

Real stories of sexual origins.

When you, as an “18 year old boy,” first get sexually involved with your “18 year old girlfriend,” decent chance she has had these kinds of experiences. And you’d never know it. And we don’t talk about it…

But we’re talking about it here. This is the point of this essay for me.

Here is more:

“…blurting out to me by urgent and well-paid request various really incredible details concerning an affair that Mona had had with a Marine at the seaside.”

This is Humbert saying he paid Lolita to give him details about her 13 year old friend Mona, that was having sex “with a Marine at the seaside.” Let’s assume the Marine was 18, having “really incredible” sex with a middle-school girl. We don’t talk about it… but this is the way of the world.

In the instance of innocent 13 year old Mona… can we be sure she was the innocent one? I’m not sure of that at all. I know a lot of middle school girls that have more experience and sexual confidence than many college guys. That isn’t an exaggeration. It’s true. And it’s true because much older men have been teaching these girls all along. In explicit ways and subtle ones. Over the whole of their “childhood.” With the nymphets (of course)… making their own magic… thousands and thousands of times.

“Well, did I know that he had known her mother? That he was practically an old friend? He had tugged and pulled her, Dolly, by her bare arm onto his lap in front of everybody, and kissed her face, she was ten and furious with him?”

“Edusa had warned her that Cue liked little girls, had been almost jailed once, in fact (nice fact), and he knew she knew.”

This ^ is a description of a bad man named Clare (aka Cue). About how Cue (a fully grown man, a porn producer, actually) had made moves on Lolita when she was as young as 10, and how Lolita had liked it.

Later in the book (at 14) she runs away from Humbert, absconding with Cue, and having sex with him too (of course).

She had probably had sex with Cue long before she turned 14. Cue had been the playwright of a school performance Lolita had performed in at 12. And she had snuck away from Humbert many afternoons to “practice that performance” – lying about where she had been (there is that sexual deceitfulness of the nymphet). And I don’t believe it is said in the book, but Lolita was certainly hooking up with him (at 12) and possibly had been taken by him at that age as well.

So by 14, Lolita has been with three guys: The 13 year old boy at camp. Her 40ish “step father” Humbert. And the porn purveyor Cue (an equally older man). If you met Lolita at 18 (let say), and you saw the mischief in her eyes… could you anticipate a backstory like this? No way you’d be ready to see all this in her – even if you saw a sparkle that you could feel but couldn’t quite explain.

“Not all women are like this,” but don’t go the other way and assume there is nothing like this in a girl’s sexual closet. Girls sexual closets are well stocked.

I date a lot of nice, “innocent,” introverted girls. I do. I always allow that they would have some subterranean secrets, but I do believe that many girls are actually chaste and virginal. Again, I am not maligning girls here, not at all.

But…

Last summer I was dating a 26 year old girl that had sex for the first time at 12. The boy was 17. I didn’t get all the details, but it’s “coin flip” for me as to who was moving that seduction forward. Very well may have been her… a confident little nymphet, with a “safe” and “adoring” boy, many years older, but not necessarily her equal at all in terms of potential for mischief or depth of sexual education.

I told you I have a lot of stories like this.

I’ll skip the many, odd little stories of small, “innocent” sexual encounters I had, personally, that go back to the 3rd grade (and earlier). I didn’t have sex until I was 18. I was likely behind a lot of the girls at my age. But I remember many sexual games as a “kid.” Some serendipitous and random (like a footjob I received, under the table, in class, when I was 15), but often encouraged by my very young peers.

“My twelve-year old flame,” says Humbert. Sounds sick… but there is more to understanding female sexuality than just dismissing these notes. Leave the little ones alone – at least until they are legal. But if you want to “know”… pay attention.


Wrapping it up… some final looks at Lolita:

HUMBERT: So be a good girl.
LO: Bad, bad girl. Juvenile delinquent, but frank and fetching.
LO: Say, wouldn’t Mother be absolutely mad if she found out we were lovers?
HUMBERT: Good Lord, Lo, let’s not talk that way.
LO: But we are lovers, aren’t we?
HUMBERT: Not that I know of.

Not the girl herself, but the demonic nymph of Lolita’s energy here is hot. Humbert sucks (and he is playing dumb), but we see Lolita’s role in all this. That she is in every way a co-conspirator. And while I will say yet again, that we have no business accepting challenges like this from underage girls… we can see them for what they are.

Another great line from Humbert:

“The sensualist in me (a great and insane monster) had no objection to some depravity in his prey.”

And here, again, I join the part of Humbert that isn’t “him,” but represents us all in some battle with potent, young sexuality… and I agree. I do hunt young girls. And they are my prey. And I am often thrilled – and sometimes, even now, shocked – by the sophistication of the flame they bring to the game.

I’ll close with this:

“On that particular day,… I felt like a rest from the nightmare of unknown betrayals within the innocence of her style, of her soul, of her essential grace.”

He is a loser. I don’t like him. It sucked to be his “wingman” for this ridiculous book. But…

Between the betrayal and his articulation of “her essential grace,” I can feel the torture he expresses here. Even as he “abuses her” (and that isn’t quite the right way to say what goes on between them), even then… she crushes him throughout the latter half of the text.

“She said unprintable things. She said she loathed me. She said I had attempted to violate her several times when I was her mother’s roomer. She said she was sure I had murdered her mother. She said she would sleep with the first fellow who asked her and I could do nothing about it.”

The demon on display. And we are all battered, tortured, fools, on some given day (at least some of the time), with the various nymphets of our lives.

Reading the book was torturously difficult. It was as if to watch a train derail, ever so slowly, page after page, in a dysfunctional rhythm, of a broken girl, led by an incapable man, hanging for far too long in those moments before that train finally runs off the tracks…

A catastrophe.

But the thing for me that is unique about this book is not that Humbert find a lover in Lolita, a 12 year girl. The fact that she is 12, is (for me) just a disgusting coincidence, a distraction from what is really great in the book. What is unique about her, and the story, is our chance to watch the serpentine twists of female sexuality in such detail. And that’s why we can learn something from her even as such intimacy with girls like her is forbidden.

I read it. And I am glad – despite the very interesting conversation it has inspired here – that it is over. She is a brat, actually… not the slightest bit charming. And he is a weak, weak man, doing all the wrong things, as he tries to hang on to something he never should have touched at all (which show a lack of wisdom which is a final thing many of us have likely shared with Humbert).

To all the men out there that find youthful fertility fanciful.. I am with you, wholeheartedly. You will see some of what you’ve read here in the behaviors of the young girls in your life. In young, “fruits vert,” like Lo, or in more grown girls… with similar tendencies and sexual experiences in their backgrounds that you may feel but will never fully know.

Lolita is a window into young girls and the secrets they keep, into the origins of the secrets that helped make them who they are. That girl… the one you’re dating.

He is the wrong man, with the wrong girl, but sharing many of the right lessons… even if the details as told here are too obscene for some ears.

Wild sport we have here, boys. Stay curious. Keep learning. Be good. Enjoy the many bad girls you can wrangle. And may we all be entertained.

Viva daygame.