I haven't read this story, but I was reading some reviews of Asimov's "A Perfect Fit" and came across this one line by a reviewer.

There is a story whose title and author both I have forgotten, which also dealt with the idea of forcing aversion to certain things, only it wasn't used simply for punishment; for instance, one of the main characters was a girl whose parents had had implanted in her an intense aversion to men, to the point where she couldn't even stand close to one, so that she would concentrate on her studies. Either for legal or financial reasons, she couldn't have it removed herself, even though she was a legal adult. I mention this because I think this story dealt with that particular idea a lot better than "A Perfect Fit", though it would be more helpful if I could remember the title.

Library Thing, The Winds of Change, stochasticooze's review

I would like to know if anyone knows which story the reviewer is talking about.

  • 3
    Sounds like something I saw in this episode of Black Mirror
    – Shreedhar
    Sep 8, 2020 at 12:17
  • Reminds me of this. Sep 9, 2020 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


It might be Dogfight by William Gibson.

From wikipedia

A lonely ex-shoplifter who suffers from a neural block preventing him from returning to his hometown of Washington, D.C., finds a female friend, whose parents have set a neural block on her to protect her virginity – a sort of a mental chastity belt.

In the story the friend describes her block like this.

She laughed. And then, because he sensed the time was right, he reached out to take her hand.

"Don't you touch me, motherfuck, don't you ever touch me!" Nance screamed, and her head slammed against the wall as she recoiled, white and shaking with terror.

"Okay!" He threw up his hands. "Okay! I'm nowhere near you. Okay?"

She cowered from him. Her eyes were round and unblinking; tears built up at the corners, rolled down ashen cheeks. Finally, she shook her head.

"Hey. Deke. Sorry. I should've told you."

"Told me what?" But he had a creepy feeling. already knew. The way she clutched her head. The weakly spasmodic way her hands opened and closed. "You got a brainlock, too."

"Yeah." She closed her eyes. "It's a chastity lock. My asshole parents paid for it. So I can't stand to have anybody touch me or even stand too close." Eyes opened in blind hate. "I didn't even do anything. Not a fucking thing. But they've both got jobs and they're so horny for me to have a career that they can't piss straight. They're afraid I'd neglect my studies if I got, you know, involved in sex and stuff. The day the brainlock comes off I am going to fuck the vilest, greasiest, hairiest . .

  • 1
    It's the one that immediately sprang to mind for me, too.
    – SQB
    Sep 8, 2020 at 11:29
  • 11
    Mine as well. What a horrible little story it was, too. No insult to Gibson - it's just that the twitchy, dirty feeling that the ending left me with has never entirely gone away. If anything, that's praise, of a sort.
    – Ben Barden
    Sep 8, 2020 at 19:55
  • 5
    @BenBarden Totally agree, and of course that was the point. The protagonist wins the game, but loses everything that really matters.
    – Graham
    Sep 8, 2020 at 23:32
  • 1
    This may be it, but Wikipedia's brilliance aside, the anti-sex chip is a minor thing. Dogfight is about something completely different (a dogfight, it turns out) and she wasn't even the main character. But again, maybe the reviewer through Gibson's throwaway was better than Asimov's entire story. Sep 9, 2020 at 1:03
  • 3
    @OwenReynolds She certainly was a main character, just not the protagonist. Is Inigo Montoya not a main character in The Princess Bride, just because Westley is the one who gets the girl? :) And whilst the titular dogfight is what it leads up to, what the story is really about is how far someone will do for what they're obsessed with. As for your last point, it wasn't a "throwaway" - the collection it was in, Burning Chrome, is pretty much required reading for anyone slightly interested in sci-fi.
    – Graham
    Sep 9, 2020 at 12:04

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