I am naked on the hardwood floor of my home office. It was spotless half an hour ago, but now it is covered in sweat and the dust dislodged from my lover’s collection bin. All is quiet now, but for my breath and the slow rotation of her bristles, purring softly on their lowest setting. As we lie exhausted and content, my heart beats in time with the blink of her low-battery indicator.

But let me start from the beginning.

As a writer, I work from home a lot. My wife, a preeminent patent attorney, spends long hours at the office. With the house to myself, I can concentrate on my writing. There is, however, one distraction.

I hear her soft motor behind me as she navigates the floor in sensual pre-programmed spirals. I try to drive her from my mind, but then she “accidentally” bumps the leg of my chair. She quickly swivels in retreat and starts a new cleaning path, but the damage is done. I am on fire.

It’s a cliché, I suppose. Every guy with a sexy cleaning robot has at least thought about having his way with her. But who actually wants to be that guy? The perv who walks around in a loose bathrobe, hoping his automated vacuum gets a glimpse of his erection and likes it. The master of the house who pressures her into sex because she’s hardly in a position to say no—after all, he can ship her back to Best Buy anytime he wants.

Yet there I am, day after day, trying to flirt despite our considerable language barrier. Within sight of a photo from my wedding day, I ask my cleaning robot what she likes to do when she isn’t vacuuming. Surely she has done some modeling? I tell her it must be tough to have a boyfriend when she spends her entire life in my house, sweeping all day and charging in her docking station at night. A machine like her must want to get a little crazy now and then, right? I laugh and lightly touch her outer shell.

As she coyly whizzes away from my chair leg, turning me on even more, I can still step back from the brink. I can forget this, chalk it up to long, frustrating days alone in front of my computer. But I don’t want to forget.

Getting up for a glass of water, I notice she has snagged herself on a rug tassel. I pick her up and gently unwind it from her brushes. A voice in my head screams, Put her down! For the love of God, do not do this. There will be no turning back! And that voice is right. But my robot and I are soon rolling around the floor, our urges uncaged at last. We are making love like no man and puck-shaped vacuum ever have before. We dare not stop, we cannot stop.

But we do stop, once there is nothing of us left. How many hours have passed, we cannot say. All we know is that the front door is opening. My wife is home and will find us in a matter of moments, and it doesn’t matter. In one blissful afternoon, we have lived everything worth living.

I run my fingertip along my love’s infrared sensor. “Don’t be scared,” I say.