The Handmaid’s Tale

On HPHS Approved Book List
Approved for unrestricted use in the curriculum, but not in use at this time.


“Above me, towards the head of the bed, Serena Joy is arranged, outspread.  Her legs are apart, I lie between them, my head on her stomach, her pubic bone under the base of my skull, her thighs on either side of me.  She too is fully clothed….”

“….My red skirt is hitched up to my waist, though no higher.  Below it the Commander is fucking.  What he is fucking is the lower part of my body.  I do not say making love, because this is not what he is doing.  Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people, and only one is involved.  Nor does rape cover it:  nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for.”

“Serena Joy grips my hands as if it is she, not I who’s being fucked, as if she finds it neither pleasurable or painful, and the Commander fucks, with a regular two-four marching stroke, on and on like a tap dripping.  He is preoccupied, like a man humming to himself in the shower without knowing he’s humming….”

“….There’s impatience in his rhythm now.  But isn’t this everyone’s wet dream, two women at once?  They used to say that.  Exciting, they used to say.”

“Sometimes the movie she showed would be an old porno film, from the seventies or eighties.  Women kneeling, sucking penises or guns, women tied up or chained or with dog collars around their necks, women hanging from trees, or upside-down, naked, with their legs held apart, women being raped, beaten up, killed.  Once we had to watch a woman being slowly cut into pieces, her fingers and breasts snipped off with garden shears, her stomach slit open and her intestines pulled out.”