Dublin 3 December 1909
You seem to turn me into a beast. It was you yourself, you naughty shameless girl who first led the way. It was not I who first touched you long ago down at Ringsend. It was you who slid your hand down down inside my trousers and pulled my shirt softly aside and touched my prick with your long tickling fingers and gradually took it all, fat and stiff as it was, into your hand and frigged me slowly until I came off through your fingers, all the time bending over me and gazing at me out of your quiet saintlike eyes. It was your lips too which first uttered an obscene word. I remember well that night in bed in Pola.
Tired of lying under a man one night you tore off your chemise violently and got on top of me to ride me naked. You stuck my prick into your cunt and began to ride me up and down. Perhaps the horn I had was not big enough for you for I remember that you bent down to me face and murmured tenderly “Fuck up, love! Fuck up, love!”
Nora dear, I am dying all day to ask you one or two questions. Let me, dear, for I have told you everything I ever did and so I can ask you in turn. When that person (Vincent Cosgrave) whose heart I long to stop with the click of a revolver put his hand or hands under your skirts did he only tickle you outside or did he put his finger or fingers up into you? If he did, did they go up far enough to touch that little cock at the end of your cunt? Did he touch you behind? Was he a long time tickling you and did you come? Did he ask you to touch him and did you do so? If you did not touch him did he come against you and did you feel it?
Another question, Nora. I know that I was the first man that blocked you but did any man ever frig you? Did that boy (Michael Bodkin) you were fond of ever do it? Tell me now, Nora, truth for truth, honesty for honesty. When you were with him in the dark at night did your fingers never, never unbutton his trousers and slip inside like mice? Did you ever frig him, dear, tell me truly or anyone else? Did you never, never, never feel a man’s or a boy’s prick in your fingers until you unbuttoned me? If you are not offended do not be afraid to tell me the truth. Darling, darling, tonight I have such a wild lust for your body that if you were here beside me and even if you told me with your lips that half the redheaded louts in the county Galway had had a fuck at you before me I would still rush at you with desire.
–Love Letter. James Joyce writing to Nora, his wife.