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Belinda read a Cosmo-Sutra and now she’s obsessed with the dynamics of fucking. She marks pages in books, working through them night by night: “This looks interesting!” she exclaims, and “No, tuck your left leg behind.”

She starts keeping a progress report with pleasure grades for each new arrangement. Eventually, logically, she splits this into his-and-hers. “After all,” she says, “it’s more accurate that way.”

It makes sense, and Ralph tells himself he’s lucky. He can’t help but feel ashamed, though, looking at his weekly card and its column of failing grades. He should try harder. Belinda always gets straight As.