By Jeff Balke
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Mary Windham met the guy in an online chat room. Every night they'd flirt and talk dirty over the phone. Mary's husband, Max, would sit beside her and stroke her arms and thighs as she confessed her sexual preferences and fantasies. The stranger's voice turned Mary on. And that turned Max on.
One morning Mary and Max piled into their Honda Civic and rode off to meet the guy at a Chili's in a podunk East Texas town. Mary donned a denim skirt and lacy black tank top. They spent an hour and a half making sexual innuendos and winking knowingly while lubricating their intestines with burgers and nachos.
Enough small talk, Mary finally decided. It was time to get what they'd come for. She signaled her approval to Max with a raised eyebrow.
"At this point I was so wet and horny I decided to ask my honey to find us a hotel room" is how Mary captures the moment during a salacious description of the hookup, which she later podcast from her home in suburban Kingwood.
Podcasts, as teens and techies already know, are audio files that can be downloaded to a computer, MP3 player or iPod, hence the name. The user-friendly technology, created a little more than a year ago, has spawned thousands of Webjays, or amateur radio hosts, like Mary, whose shows would be X-rated if a ratings system existed.
Unlike the erotic storytelling featured on some of her other shows, Mary's account of the ménage à trois is based on an actual experience that happened over the summer. It's one of her earliest podcasts and by far the most popular.
The raw, uncensored narrative rivals your typical Penthouse Forum fare: The men kiss and caress Mary. They slowly strip her down to stockings and garter. The attentive husband goes down on her, then pulls her to the side of the bed and penetrates her while she blows their new friend. Mary's body quivers and quakes. They rotate positions. Now she's on all fours, shrieking at every thrust.
"I don't remember if it was several orgasms or just one very long one," Mary coos into the microphone. "I just remember I did not want it to stop."
As Mary tells it on her show, the guys eventually blow their wads and they all break for chow. They later return to the Comfort Inn and watch some TV until the guys are ready for round two. This time Mary mounts and rides her new friend as Max enters her from behind -- or, as she calls it, fifth base. "I never really thought I would be able to handle that," she says demurely.
And on it goes. Mary peppers her testimonial with the occasional "Unnhhhh" and "Mmmmm." Toward the end of the show, she serves up some false modesty: "Wow! I can't believe I actually told you guys that."
With so much porn out there, you wouldn't think sex-themed podcasts like Mary's would garner much of an audience. Her shows are nonvisual, run a measly ten minutes and clearly are made on the cheap. The sound of her bumping up against the $25 mike connected to her laptop is frequently heard.
Some of Mary's shows are downright unsettling, as she switches abruptly from talking about readying her kids for school to the hazards of anal sex. "Stick something in someone's ass with no prepping, that's gonna hurt," she rightly advises. Whether she's discussing boilerplate laundry-room fantasies or the hot sex she had one afternoon in a pickup truck parked on Westheimer, Mary's insights and escapades hardly break new ground.
But in just a few months she's built a loyal following of several thousand listeners in countries across the globe. She gets weekly fan mail from women and men alike who praise her sultry Texas twang and seek her advice on sex and relationships.
When the hurricanes hit the coast and the show didn't air for a couple of weeks, Mary got an outpouring of letters from people who wanted to be sure she was okay. She's received dozens of thank-you notes, including one from a guy in Australia who says he received the best blow job of his life after his wife listened to her how-to program. The trick: deep throat combined with prostate massage.
Mary's show, called Kiss and Tell, may be the most downloaded podcast produced in the Houston area. One Web site that offers a podcast directory gave it a coveted five-star rating. Voters at Podcast Alley, a directory site based in Arlington, have consistently ranked her show in the top 500 of more than 10,000 archived. In all, her shows have been downloaded some 20,000 times.
But Mary's risking a lot, and it's not even clear to her why she podcasts at all. She hasn't earned a penny from it, and likely never will.
A 37-year-old dental hygienist with three kids, Mary is convinced she would be fired from her job and face social estrangement if her friends, parents or neighbors ever found out about Kiss and Tell. And yet she posts pictures of herself online -- she wears a plaid bathing suit in one, a tight-fitting T-shirt in another -- and is willing to come out for this article. (She allowed the Houston Press to publish her real last name, but not her first. Mary is the handle she uses on her shows.)