Jessy Randall: The Lollyball Problem

The Lollyball Problem by Jessy Randall 

Snith liked his so much, I thought I’d try the woman’s version, with the nose. I’d walked in on Snith with his once, and the look on his face was like nothing I’d ever seen when we were in bed together. The Lollyball was skootching all over him, undulating over his pelvis and making slurping noises. He was only supposed to use it when he was traveling, but that had gone out the window soon after he received it. 

We’d both seen the advertisements and laughed at them. The Lollyball had to be for losers – I mean it was just a head, basically, not even a blow-up doll, just the head of a blow-up doll, made of some new silicon blend they were bragging on, it would conform to all your desires and so on. In other words, it would conform to your penis. It was “semi-sentient” and could change shape and texture (“Some like it smooth, some like it rough,” went the slogan, “the Lollyball knows how to give you enough”). It didn’t have a face, just a mouth really, or you could get the version with the long curving nose.

It’s not that our sex life was terrible. Okay, it was nothing special, but it wasn’t terrible. We’d been married a long time and we’d both kind of lost interest, that’s all. It wasn’t just me. Neither of us had tried to get frisky in weeks, and when that new ad had popped up during season 30 of Top Chef, well, we both got a little bit turned on. So I bought Snith a Lollyball just before he had to go to Minneapolis for work. I put it in his suitcase so he wouldn’t have to react to it while I was watching. I knew if he did he’d say he didn’t want it or laugh it off, and then it wouldn’t be much of a present.

Of course he tried to laugh it off anyway, sending a text saying he’d found my little surprise and treating it like a joke. He didn’t send any more texts about it, though, and after he got back from Minneapolis he started taking a lot of “naps” and extra showers and it was pretty obvious what was going on. No reason to hide it, really. Our marriage was good! I’m serious. It was. Maybe it was lacking in this one area after fifteen years, but so what? We still liked each other and enjoyed each other’s company. We’d tried Anonymized Orgies, Inc., and that was great while it lasted, but it had gotten too expensive. And the last thing either of us was interested in was an actual affair with another person, all the mess of getting to know someone, negotiating trysts, the guilt…

After I’d given Snith his present, I kept getting spam from the Lollyball company, with offers for various other products, and finally I clicked into the one for the Lollyball with the nose. They called it a unicorn horn but it was more like the horn on a Viking helmet, fat at the bottom and curved at an almost 90 degree angle. They were marketing it mostly to women, for obvious reasons. It was on sale for 20% off for a limited time, plus I had a digital coupon from when I’d bought the regular Lollyball. So it was practically free, really, and I found myself doing the one-click ordering and then I’d ordered it and it was too late to change my mind.

When it arrived in the mail, Snith was away again, this time in Denver. I opened it up and tried it out immediately. I think knowing it was on the way had put me into a state of anticipation I’d not felt since the early years of our marriage, when I’d get into bed naked and tell Snith to hurry up, why was he taking so long to brush his teeth? I skimmed the instructions and saw that calibration time was estimated at ten minutes, so I took off all my clothes and then sprung the Lollyball from its magnetic base.

It was on me like bees on honey. Even the calibration felt good. It buzzed and hummed its way up my legs and found everything it needed to find in record time. Then it slowed down and played with me, bringing me right to the brink and then whispering away, holding me in a state of pleasure until I was almost in pain and then finishing me off.

No wonder Snith had started taking all those naps! This thing was incredible. I tried it on the bed, the floor, a chair – soon I realized that with the Lollyball’s patented magno-power I could put myself into any position and it could climb me and wrap around me in new ways. I stood with one foot on the rim of the bathtub. I took it out onto our balcony, wearing a loose skirt, and looked out at the view while the Lollyball licked and sucked and plucked at me. The neighbors probably thought I was doing Zumba outside, the way I was wiggling and hopping around.

When Snith got home I put it away, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I changed my hours at work so I had some time at home by myself every day. Well, not exactly by myself. The horned Lollyball and I had some amazing times together. It turned out the instruction booklet had some inspiring ideas, with diagrams. Some of my yoga training came back to me and the variety was endless. Let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to do household chores if you’ve got a Lollyball up your skirt.

It could even do its thing while I was at work, though it was difficult to be discreet. It could shrink from its usual volleyball size down to about the size of a tennis ball, but anyone paying the slightest bit of attention would know something odd was going on from the lumps and bumps in my lap, not to mention the wet, juicy sounds it made, like a squishy grapefruit. Sometimes it made those sounds the moment I released it from its base, as though it was warming up for me.

For some reason, I didn’t want Snith to know that I’d joined him in Lollyball-land, so I kept my Lollyball adventures on the down low, so to speak. He almost caught me once, when I was reading the instruction booklet, but I tucked it inside a magazine and then put the magazine at the bottom of the magazine pile, and then the magazines all got recycled, and that may be why we had the problem – I’d never gotten to the end of the booklet where the warnings were.

I learned later that indeed, the booklet specifically said not to allow one Lollyball into the proximity of another. With hindsight, it seems obvious, but I suppose I was in a fog of lust at the time and might not have paid attention even if I’d seen the warning.

Yeah, so what happened was, I’d been Lollyballing around in the bedroom in the afternoon and Snith came home early. I pretended I’d been napping (clever! I’m a genius!) and stashed my horned Lollyball under my pillow. I went into the kitchen. A few minutes later Snith joined me, looking rosy-cheeked and happy. We cooked dinner together, not realizing we were both in a state of post-coital Lollyball bliss … for the last time.

When we went into the bedroom that night, a strange sight awaited us. The two Lollyballs were locked together like a double cherry. They’d mutually calibrated, you see. And since they were each capable of handling an insatiable human, they couldn’t stop calibrating. The mutant thing they’d turned into grasped itself hard and soft, jittering around the room like a Roomba vacuum cleaner. The patented quiet purr they’d each made separately had become an angry roar, rising and falling like the sound of a lawn mower on a summer evening.

Snith and I watched as the Lollyballs sucked and jabbed themselves to the breaking point until, finally, about four hours later, they broke. It was pretty spectacular. The semi-sentient silicon blend was intended for use with flesh, not with itself. The constant recalibration touted in the advertisements turned out to be impossible to sustain. The Lollyballs vibrated themselves into jelly. After about two hours, they were lolly-mounds. At three hours, they were lolly-puddles. And at the end, they evaporated together into the air, making a sound like the sigh of a sleeping child.

I looked at Snith, and he looked at me, and then we, too, attempted calibration. Being fully sentient, we knew to quit before we reached the evaporation point. After only about fifteen minutes, we turned each other into jelly, just like the old days.

The Lollyballs were still under warranty, but we didn’t bother to request the free replacements. Too much hassle, and our lives are busy, and anyway we don’t really need them anymore. Now and then I go online and check to see if the company has developed anything new, though. I’ve been thinking about sending them a suggestion for a Lollyball built for two.


Jessy Randall’s stories, comics, and other things have appeared in Asimov’s, Poetry, and The Best American Experimental Writing. A collection of her diagram poems, How to Tell If You Are Human, is forthcoming from Pleiades Press in fall 2018. The illustrations for “The Lollyball Problem” are from her current project, watercolor versions of internet slang. (She is happy to take suggestions for terms.) More:

Jessy Randall at EIL

Jessy Randall Belated Valentine at EIL

Jessy Randall CatOber at EIL

Jessy Randall Dog comic at EIL


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