licks her fingers and tastes herself. The taste is as salty as you might imagine but not fishy, not in the least. It lingers in the mouth like well-aged vinegar. This is one of many unknown things about the world’s only (to the best of her knowledge!) mermaid porn queen.
smiles as the blonde bronze human swallows and tells her, This is my first time. I mean, not my first time, but my first time doing this. She strokes the side of his face like a mother and tells him it is easier than he thinks, that the motions and mechanics are mostly the same, that he just needs to spread his legs a little wider to make room for the end flaps of her tail. I don’t want to hurt you, he says. It’s okay, I’ll tell you if you are, she says. And then they do things that no mother should ever do with their child, and it doesn’t hurt or even seem awkward, really, and afterwards the mermaid porn queen feeds him some smoked kelp she had prepared as a snack.
already knows what you want to ask her. Yes, she has a vagina, or at least an opening that could be considered one; no, her tail does not split in two like legs to expose it. Under her navel, on the ventral plane of her tail, a patch of smoother flesh leads into a gentle slit where penetration can occur. Her tail itself is a taut length of muscle, and can be flexed to open herself up to different positions.
The parts of her that could potentially house life do not fall on the human spectrum, so she has no need for birth control. She has ovaries but not the corpus luteum of the female mammal, which secretes hormones necessary to the maintenance of human pregnancy. If she wanted a child, which she does not, she supposes she would deposit her unfertilized eggs out in the water and find a mer-mate to ejaculate over them. It is not currently known if this would work with human males, or if it did, what the resultant conjunction would look like: would it divide in perfect fractions, becoming one-fourth fish and three-fourths human? Would it be outwardly all man, but soft-spined on the inside, unable to hold itself up above the density of the water?
These are questions that are easier not to ask. She has seen human children before, splashing in the low surf, and feels nothing but a mild sympathy when they discover the harsh sting of salt in their eyes.
is a diligent worker. She does not drink on the job nor will she accept one without a contract, dated and laminated so she can keep a copy in her files beneath the sea. Any film crew she signs with must operate by strict ethical standards, including full consent and bargaining power for performers. She negotiates for combs, for French face creams, for DVDs. She is particularly fond of Young Frankenstein.
The mermaid porn queen is a good businesswoman, so good that sometimes the set crew forget she is a porn star and fall in love with her slick straight back. They vie to be the ones to rearrange her tail in between takes, or to spritz her down with a light oil-water mixture (for rehydrating, and to add a sexual glisten to the skin). But at the end of the shoot they always slink home to look for girls who have never bared their breasts in 4K high definition at a 19:10 aspect ratio.
She doesn’t mind at all. It’s their loss, really.
knows that one good thing about having a tail in this industry is never having to put up with the language she sees mapped onto other women’s bodies. The one director who dared refer to her “va-jay-jay” was quickly removed of that tendency; being the only mermaid porn star and therefore a limited commodity affords her a relative degree of power. The mermaid porn queen knows her sex is not a flower or a pussy but a three dimensional location that beats and breathes and consumes with ravenous delight. Because no one quite knows what to call it they switch from saying Your cunt tastes amazing to You taste amazing. This makes the mermaid porn queen purr with pride; it is she who moves her body, it is she who deserves the crown.
has been known to take lovers, too, although she is clear that she does not mix work with pleasure. There are not many mer-men in the sea, and even less who deign to swim where the humans gather, so more often than not she tends to take up with the human kind. She takes them into the water and kisses their hipbones, lets her long hair hover in clouds around their naked bodies.
Sometimes she bares her teeth very close to their faces and flares her gills like fans on the sides of her neck, pretends she is about to bite into them. The way their eyes widen, as if all the legends of sirens and sea witches were true, makes her laugh so hard she almost forgets to let them up for air.
pulls her jaw open in front of a pane of polished sea glass until the corners begin to ache. Then she holds her lips apart until the whole structure of her face turns numb. It is becoming increasingly popular for directors to start their films with a close up of her performing oral sex, the screen tight on her head and back, then petering back to reveal the sudden curve of her skin into scale. From those first frames, they tell her excitedly, no one ever knows the difference.
She sloughs dull scales off of her tail and shakes it out to its full length. That difference, she thinks, is in pretty damn good condition for its age. Honestly.
uses the rough edges of seashells to file down her nails before lesbian scenes. By now she must have done over a hundred of them.
When girls are first sent to her, they don’t know if they should treat her as female or fish. She does not swagger like the men they are used to but she still takes up space. In the beginning they stick mainly to her breasts, her neck, they supply shy kisses like new lovers. In return she teaches them how to dip their fingers to give her pleasure; she wraps her tail around their fine waists to offer support as they lean in to her touch. Some girls ask, after the shooting, if they can take a closer look. They peer into her body with unabashed curiosity, sanitized stares, keeping a careful distance as if these parts are now entirely new. As if what they’d just done was have sex with their eyes closed, with their mouths open, drinking in the core sensations but not their surroundings.
reads her latest fan mail, which is left bi-weekly under the southernmost rock on her shore. A man who runs an art collective expresses his deep respect and awe for the breadth of work she has committed herself to. He wishes to invite her to dinner (an indoor tank can be provided, of course) and requests she call him names while she sticks a kebab skewer up his ass. The mermaid porn queen pens a polite decline, which includes a cautionary line about hazardous materials for anal insertions.
is showered with semen for the last time in the day. The milky globules preserve most of their form where they land on her scales, glittering there like scattered pearls. Look at what you did, the mermaid porn queen laughs, lifting her tail to hold the jewels to her co-star’s eyes. He laughs too, penis beginning to droop comically to his thighs. When the final cut comes out, it will not include this scene; the way human and mermaid grin at each other over their ridiculous, beautiful intimacy.
The first and last mermaid porn queen watches the human dry translucently on her skin. I am a work of art, she tells herself, pulling the waterproof microphone wire from her back. I am a job well done.
YVONNE YU is a Brown University undergraduate and the co-creator of the hashtag BadBitchLipClub. She currently works as a sexual health educator and advocate. A fan of the obscure and the macabre, she keeps her wisdom teeth in a glass display case and would like others to believe that she once killed a man. Previously published in The Molotov Cocktail, she is learning to stop whining and just keep writing.