Overcome by irresistible excitement, I pulled her skirt up in back, pulled her underwear down to her knees, and charged her from behind. Oh, Señor, she said, with a mournful lament, that wasn't made for coming in but for going out. A profound tremor shook her body but she stood firm. Humiliated at having humiliated her, I wanted to pay her twice what the most expensive women cost at the time, but she would not take a cent, and I had to raise her salary calculated on the basis of one mounting a month, always while she was doing the laundry, and always from the back.

Memories of my Melancholy Whores, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I don't seem to find any meaning in dictionaries related to sex. Does the statement in bold in the above paragraph mean the character in the story had sex with the woman?

  • The other possibility is an error in the translation: that the original Spanish word (here translated as "charged") could mean having sex, even though the English word does not have that meaning. – GEdgar Mar 9 '16 at 14:33

The bolded part of that paragraph is not a direct reference to sex, it is used as a euphemism:

[a] mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

It is the following sentence which makes it clear there was sexual intercourse (of sorts).

  • 3
    It's worth noting that "charge" expresses a violent rush forward (Merriam-Webster) and so evokes a particular manner of copulation, likening the moment with the fervor of a military advance (conquest here) and/or the charge of a wild beast. The latter sense is also captured by the use of "mounting" later in the text. – Egox Mar 9 '16 at 10:45

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