Johnnersintheraw's Blog

May 31, 2010


The Agony and the Ecstasy and the Glories of the Perfect Pit.

I love armpits!  Quite simply, the armpits are the windows to the soul.  Not the eyes; after all, what are eyes but two little globs of jelly curtained from above and below by fringes of wispy fringes called lashes.  And the lashes are never compatible with the eyes themselves!  And part of this is because the eyes themselves are so randomly coloured.  And the colour charts from which the shades are chosen are so limited.  Why, they don’t even embrace all the colours of the rainbow.  Nor do they include such vibrant hybrids as magenta or mustard yellow or orange or Ferrari red.  And forget about zebra stripes or leopard spots or flashing neon lights or polka dots or panthers peering from round the irises.  Of course, some of these effects are possible with the aid of contact lenses; and in photographs one can always cheat and resort to computer imaging and photo-shop and even to cutting and pasting more interesting eyes into the slots formerly occupied by your own boring greyish blue jelly globs – in other words, the very eyes you have been trying to pass off as ‘baby blues’.  But that is not the same, is it. And it doesn’t even work, for the minute someone sees you in the flesh they notice how boring your face actually looks.  In fact, faced with the real non-existent colour of your eyes, they can’t even find your face in order to look into it.  And so then and there you lose your evening’s entertainment.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you always wear the colours that supposedly enhance your eyes, at least they will notice the vividness of your shirt.  But, on the other hand, such a technique does limit your choice of wardrobe.  For example, my eyes are your basic, washed-out greyish blue.  They are, in fact the original invisible eyes.  If I am willing to wear certain darkish bright blue shirts – the ones I loathe because they make me feel as though I am trying to pass myself off as a banker – you can almost see that I really do have eyes.  That is, if the light is right and I am drunk enough that my eyes are lined with red.  And as for mascara and eye-liner, don’t kid yourself.  The only time they work is if you’ve got amazing eyes to begin with.  Otherwise you look like Bozo the Clown.

No one with eyes like mine could ever be a Latin lover or a Corsican bandit or a Sheikh or – for that matter – a movie heart-throb.  Latin lovers, by definition, cannot be invisible. They must have flashing eyes.  The same with Corsican bandits, and even more so with the sort of desert Sheikh played by Rudolf Valentino and Ramon Navarro – the truly smouldering sheikhs that used to kidnap the dainty blond heroines in the movies (before the coming of sound and colour sucked out the audiences’ souls and replaced them with 3-D glasses). The one thing all these heart-throbs of yesteryear had in common were eyes like flashing black diamonds, illuminated from within by the light of the moon.  The second you stared into those limpid black pools of desire, you knew what was next on the menu.  And it wasn’t called the blue plate special. It was called “Va Va Voom!”  It was called the sort of sex that was better dreamed about than displayed on the screen. It was called, “Oh, fuck! I wish (pant pant pant) he would leap out of the screen on his white charger and take me right here on the cinema floor on top of the spilled popcorn and candy-wrappers!”

Never mind that – in the case of those smouldering Sheikhs – once they had kidnapped the fair damsel (usually a simpering blond with a palpitating heart such as Agnes Ayers) they took her back to live in their mother’s tent in the oasis – where she was doomed to spend the rest of her life beating the carpets and hanging out the wash and churning out babies every week and a half.  But the movies never showed that side of things – and wouldn’t until the 1960s and Ken Loach and ‘Poor Cow’.

Needless to say, Rudolf Valentino and his ilk cut a wide berth around the likes of Theda Bara, for she was a temptress who would have eaten him for breakfast and taken him home to live in the brothel with her  mother, where he would have had to do a great many other things besides scrubbing the floors.  In fact, poor ol’ Rudolph did finally come a cropper with a certain Alla Nazimova. And the upshot was that he died.  In other words, his eyes stopped flashing. And this only shows that you should never stray from the profile assigned you by the computer.  And it also proves that once your eyes stop flashing, you might as well be the parking attendant. Whereas, if you’ve got pits to die for you can always climb out of your coffin and become an unspeakably pitiless vampire.

Let me just add this before we move on.  Yes, Rudolf Valentino died.  And he died when he was still gorgeous and still had a glimmer of flashing, smouldering eyes that burned like charcoals; however, if he hadn’t died in tragic circumstances and prematurely, no one would remember him. You see, flashing eyes can only take you so far!  What they need to ensure immortality is a breath of scandal and a really great funeral with women in black hurling themselves on to the coffin.  Otherwise, as soon as you’re buried you’re yesterday’s news and your family won’t be able to make any money from the sale of your relics.  Just look at poor old Ramon ‘Who’s he’ Navarro.  He was a sheikh with flashing eyes just a rung on the ladder below Valentino. But nobody remembers him.  And the reason no one does is that he didn’t die a tragic death, did he?  Well, actually he did, but by the time he was brutally murdered, he was just an old, washed-up has-been who’d used up all his money buying rent-boys.  Needless to say, not a single woman swathed in black and festooned with jet even attended his funeral, much less swooned over his coffin.  And do you know why?  Because by the time he was dead, his flashing eyes were more like week-old dead slugs.  And nobody even knew or cared whether he had any pits at all.

Believe me when I say that the woods are full of screen sirens and pop idols with flashing eyes who forgot to die when they should have.  But as I said before, you’ve got to keep with the program!  For eyes dry up, and once the light has gone out of them, they might just as well have had invisible and boring grey-blue eyes just like mine.  And after a point, not even fluorescent contact lenses and spot lights will bring them to life again.

Now, there are some – not many – heart-throbs who are lumbered with invisible eyes.  And sometimes they even have boring invisible pale skin and hair the colour of mouse turds.  In fact, some of them are even cursed with colouring like mine.  In other words, whole-body invisibility. Such people were invariably called ‘Minger’ in school – unless, of course, they were cursed with even the slightest hint of salmon pink in their hair (and especially when that hair was growing on a pair of exuberantly forested milk-white legs), in which case they were stuck with the ‘Ginger’ label.  And sometimes if you had both things going for you at the same time you really did develop an issue with your parents; in other words, why didn’t they think to match their colour-charts before ‘doing it’? I almost fitted into that category, but then I shaved my leg-hair and it grew back a nice, flat mousey brown.  Just think, I just missed out on rejoicing in that wonderful double-barrelled nickname of ‘Ginger-Minger’ (and no, it is not pronounced ‘jinjer-minjer’). 

Yes, I admit there are a few career paths open to us mingers and ginger-mingers.  I mean, there are certainly job openings galore if what you crave is an action-packed life as an insurance adjuster or an assistant manager in Walmart or even one of the valued associates at Disney World who lives inside a Mickey Mouse costume.  But if you have your heart set on being a professional childminder or lollypop man, forget it.  Everyone will look at you and know you are both a paedophile and a psychopathic killer.  And very possibly a serial rapist, as well – because as everybody knows – ginger-mingers (unlike Latin lovers with flashing eyes) are always lacking in that certain ‘department’ located in their Y-fronts.  Using the same logic, ginger-mingers are – it goes without saying – psychopaths.  Or at least neurotic whiners who should be placed on the sex-offenders list on the day of their birth.

This is why every single mass-murderer and serial rapist you see in the movies has got those horrible, washed-out, invisible greyish-blue eyes.  And the actors portraying them can never get any other type of role, which makes some of them so depressed that they go on to become paedophiles in real life.

But as I was about to say before I interrupted myself, there are certain invisibly pale and boring would-be heart-throbs (the original models for the stealth bomber) who manage to become heart-throbs in spite of the fact that nobody ever manages to see them.  And do you know why?  Because of their armpits.  Because if they have great armpits, nobody ever looks at their boring and invisible eyes or at their washed-out complexions or at their lank and greasy ‘just-this-side-of-gingery’, dirty-looking hair.

As I said before, armpits are the windows to the soul.  Gaze into a perfect armpit and you are sucked into a forest of delights.  You become a child again, fantasizing about a secret garden outside your bedroom window.  Armpits as they should be are the true objects of desire that have inspired every poet from Ovid to Byron to Keats and Brooke, and right down to the present day.  And whenever in a sacred text, the Garden of Eden is mentioned, what they are describing is the most perfect, the most sublime and most glorious armpit ever created.

There are certain thespians that have based their entire careers on the beauty and the purity-of-line of their armpits.  One example that springs to mind is an American film actor named Ethan Hawke. Now, as far as I know he is a quite a decent actor.  And as far as I know he is even fairly attractive to look at.  But what I do know is that the camera is in love with his armpits.  At least that used to be the case.  But, of course, he is older now, which means his armpits might not so alluring.  And he might have even let them go to pot.  If so, this is undoubtedly the reason we don’t see as many of his films as we used to.  For in the olden days, when his armpits were in their prime and you simply wanted to bury yourself in their depths, there would come a moment in each and every one of his movies when he would be wearing a singlet or a similar garment.  At the climax of this moment, the lights would focus on his torso, and Ethan Hawke would raise his arms and place his hands in back of his head.  And his perfectly sculpted and contoured armpits would make your heart explode.  Never before or since have there been armpit ‘moments’ to equal these.  And I still dream about them. And as for his eyes, I do not have a clue what colour they were.  For in every single film he made, it was all about his armpits.

One of the great recent armpit movies was ‘Benjamin Button’ starring Brad Pitt.  I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but the way the filmmakers tracked the shifting ages of the protagonist was through the shifting character of his armpits.  And that means, of course, through the shifting nature not only of the contours, but of his armpit hair.  For as the character got younger, so his armpits became more beautiful – until you got to the point when he was a teenager, and the sheer loveliness of his fragrant gardens was almost heartbreaking.  And if you don’t believe me, rent the move and see for yourself.

Now I admit I am neglecting women’s armpits (and God only knows there are more of those than there are stars in the sky – except in Muslim countries, where they don’t have any).  And I admit they do have their attractions.  Mostly razor-burns or white skid marks from using the wrong deodorants.  And I will never deny having certain prejudices where armpits are concerned.  However – and, yes, there is always a however – a perfect armpit is only perfect on a tight-knit body and for a certain number of years.  For the most part – setting aside the inevitable beaches where all the wrong sorts of armpits are on display from both sexes – men, after a certain age – which means the age when their muscles start to turn to flab and their bodies are best seen after twilight and covered in a boiler suit – tend not to flaunt their armpits in public quite as much as they did when they had something that was worth flaunting.  Unless, of course, we are talking about those members of the human race who sit on their barstools attired in cut offs and string vests, or about certain naturists who leave their vanity in the locker with their clothing; but if they are happy then so am I.   And then there are those who have never been introduced to soap. In which case, they have coal pits.  And as we all know, you venture into a coal pit at your own risk.

Men – with certain well-known exceptions – namely the aforementioned bar stool sitters and those who stopped developing after their high school football careers had ended – do have a certain over-wheening vanity when it comes to their bodies.  And especially where their armpits are concerned (we will deal with stomachs at a later date).

Woman, on the hand, while they be as vain as men in many areas, have a blind spot when it comes to their armpits.  It is as simple as that.  They don’t seem to understand that a young, firm and succulent armpit can be displayed without shame.  However, does that mean they should exhibit their nakedness and their razor-burns whenever they brush their hair back from their eyes?  In fact, an armpit – which is after all, a sexual organ – should never be flaunted; it should be discovered.  However, many women – from the moment they dress themselves in sleeveless tops – do nothing but flaunt their armpits.  In fact, very often one sees much more of their armpits than ones does of their faces.  How sad it is that they don’t stop  pumping Botox into their phizogs, thus making them resemble weather balloons; after all, the only things they are displaying to the gathered assembly are a set of armpits that are – by then – well-past their sell-by date.  And there is nothing Botox can do about them.

I won’t go so far as saying it’s a fetish, but if I had a choice between burying my face in a freshly sweating armpit (and notice I used a form of the word ‘fresh’) and a man’s groin (equally fresh, it goes without saying) I would opt for the armpit every time.

I admit that my behaviour can at times border on the embarrassing. For if I am with a man whose armpits are symphonies of delight, I simply cannot concentrate on anything he says.  This was – alas – true of the last two horse-trainers I worked under.  Both of them were in their mid-thirties, and both – it goes without saying – were extremely fit.  Both had magnificently toned torsos… and both of them had the most outrageously succulent armpits I had seen in years.  And, no, I never saw either of them shirtless; after all, we were occupied with other things – such as schooling jumpers.  But when the weather was warm, both would wear short-sleeves shirts.  And I almost could not contain myself.  It was pure eroticism of the highest order.  All I can say is it’s a good thing for me that it is armpits that mesmerise me.  After all, if you are working with a straight man and insist on drooling at his crotch, he will eventually get slightly suspicious. But with armpits you are safe.  You can stare at them for days and all your co-worker will think is that you are concentrating on what he is saying. And looking thoughtful.  Of course, now that I’ve blown my cover by writing this, every man I know will go round with his arms strapped to his waist.  Just to spite me.

What else can I say about armpits?  Naturally, they should be clean.  Yes, the armpit owner might want to use a small amount of anti-perspirent, but don’t glob it on.  And don’t put it on before sex – unless, of course, the thought of my scrubbing your pits with a Brillo pad is what yanks your chain.  And if you’ve got a rainforest denser that the entire Amazon delta you might want to check it now and then for borrowing rodents or for one of the lost tribes of Israel.  And if you sweat profusely and have been working all day in the blistering heat, please don’t shove your pits into my face unless you want to get kneed.  The smell of fresh sweat is one thing; the rancid stench of the abattoir is quite another.

And please, men and women and Walmart shoppers, remember the following politically incorrect statement: after anyone has gained a certain amount of weight (yes, that’s what I said), an armpit ceases to be an armpit and becomes something that might as well be two sweaty halves of a hamburger bun with crab-grass or poppy-seeds in the middle.  Now, there is nothing wrong in this; we all have weight problems at some point in our lives.  Just don’t persist in thinking that what was at one time an erogenous zone is still one of your main attractions.  It is not.  It’s like trying to pass off Gary Glitter as the star of ‘Glitter’. And for God’s sake, if you have put on a few tonnes and you do lose your pits, don’t go on pretending you still have them.  You won’t fool anyone.  And while I may still stare at them, it won’t be from lust, but because I will be trying to figure out if a pit actually existed there at one time, or if you were simply born with a lump of bread dough proofing under each arm.

Ah! Pits, glorious pits, pits of the evening, beautiful pits.  Pits are like the sweetest, rarest fragrance.  Know the power of your pits!  Even if they are as clean and as pristine as a midsummer’s morn, don’t just go shoving them into a person’s face – not even a person like me, who loves a good pit to distraction.  A pit that is sublime must be approached like an exotic perfume or a very, very fine wine.  Or an exquisite bouillabaisse on which you are planning to dine.

Remember, with a pit that is perfect and with a person like you that knows what to do with a perfect pit, it is not a quick bump or grind or a “howdy do, ma’am, I hope you don’t mind” but a veritable feast of the senses.  So give each pit an hour, or perhaps even two, and you’ll break down all their owner’s defences.


May 25, 2010


Wanking and the Minger’s ‘Sin’ List

I don’t know about ‘me’.  I’ve been around for an awfully long time; I’ve lived in virtually every part of the globe.  I have seen a lot, and have avoided seeing even more – especially when it came to things that I wouldn’t have wanted to see in the first place.  Just call me lucky.  And, yes, I have also done a lot of things – perhaps not very well and perhaps I never tried hard enough.  But I cannot complain, and if I could, what would I complain about?   What would I have to complain about?  I only have myself to blame.  For you see, I have managed to pack an incredible amount into a life in which I have done absolutely nothing.  I kid you not!

The first time I shot a gun; I simply aimed at the target and pulled the trigger.  Bulls-eye! But then, the second time, instead of merely aiming and shooting, I started to think about the mechanics of what I was doing.  Should I aim higher?  Should I aim lower?  How many yards away was the target?  And, of course, I seldom ever hit the target after that – at least not until I’d put in a great many hours of practice. But even then, I the bulls-eye always managed to be in another place from where I’d fired the bullet.

So, too, with my sex life.  Whereas I knew from a very early age that life was a banquet and that every single platter was literally dripping with the choicest morsels, I simply forgot why my first experience had been so simple.  Because I had simply done it.  But do you want to know what I did immediately after I had done it and had enjoyed it and had found that it was very simply indeed?  I forgot how easy it was and started to think about how difficult it was.  Consequently, I missed out on a whole lot of fun when I needn’t have missed out on it.  After all, I lived in the ‘West’.  I had not been indoctrinated by any punitive ideology to speak of.  Yes, I was brought up with a sense of responsibility, but that is how it should be.  Or at least how it ought to be.  As far as I remember there was never any talk of sin.  It was always, “think about the consequences.”   So what went wrong?  Instead of remembering what made me tick (like even the average intelligent mosquito would have done), the only incident I remembered – and which I remember to this very day – was the time my father snapped at me when I was fondling myself.  Now, I don’t think he called it ‘dirty’ as so many parents so, but whatever he did say became the all encompassing cloud which overshadowed my entire childhood.  And from that very moment, I started to cultivate my own ideology – one which was every bit as narrow and punitive as any to be found in any organised religion.  And do you something?  I have never forgiven my father.  And this, of course, means that I have never forgiven myself for granting him so much power in the first place.

When I first started to become sexually active, I instantly cultivated something we never had a home.  A sense of sin.  And why should I have cultivated this?  It wasn’t as if I ever went to church – except occasionally at evensong, for the music.  And it wasn’t as though I knew anybody who actually went to church, or who even went in for that sort of thing.  I don’t think I really even knew what ‘sin’ was.  Perhaps I thought I was missing out on something I didn’t have?  And so I wanted it.  So I immediately set about punishing myself; in other words, I decided to repress myself.  

Like all healthy young men on the cusp of manhood, I was a mass of jangling, postulating hormones. I didn’t need a reason to get erections. They simply happened, and if I didn’t take care of them, they took care of themselves. Riding a horse?  Yes, I think we might say that many a pair of breeches were smuggled in to the washing machine and laundered without the benefit of my mother’s help.  Mucking out stalls?  Yes.  You might say that many a pile of manure got improved by my tiny contributions.  And, for God’s sake, if ever I happened to be grooming one of our stallions and he became aroused, I went through agonies.  Which reminds me that when our stallions were put out to stud, they normally stood at out trainer’s breeding facilities.  Now, I was no stranger to the mating of horses or dogs or pigs or even camels or elephants, and so I took their acrobatics for granted.  Which means that, then as now, my voyeurism was focussed on single individuals (fortunately of the human-kind) –   and when it came to two or more participants, I was not interested in it as a spectator sport. Either I was or am a party to it, or forget it.  

But to get back to our stallions and their lives as rent boys and sperm-donors:  I remember when mares were brought to our stallions and the owners would choose to be present to ‘witness’ the act.  And every so often these owners, if they were new at the game and hadn’t really seen it before, would develop a certain ‘glow’.  Now, I should make it clear that they would have been watching from behind a window in a ‘viewing room’ on the next floor.  Very often, the ‘glow’ that some of these inexperienced new owners were feeling, would grow into a shining beacon. Now there was a large sofa in this room. And more than once, these owners very quickly forgot to observe what they had come to observe.  As our trainer once remarked to me (for I would usually be the one to tell him, and also to describe in grossly unnecessary and vivid detail what the owners had done), “we could’a bred her to the bull, and saved your lad for a more appreciative audience.” For ‘our lad’ wasn’t getting any younger, and couldn’t always get it up when we wanted him to.  And, as for the bull, the trainer had a small dairy herd, and kept a Limousin to keep the cows ‘interested’; he, unlike our stallion, was ready to go anytime, anyplace, and with anything.  And he even drooled.

Sadly for me, when one of our animals was either mounting or being mounted, those were about the only times nothing happened in my nether regions.  In fact, they were, perhaps, the only times – other than when I was doing my naturism thing around the house or at the beach – when I didn’t think about sex.

I remember one time we were cleaning out the septic tank, and our ‘hand’ (one was all we ever had – not counting my father) snuck up behind me and pushed me in.  All very funny.  Everyone laughed.  And then I stripped off my clothing and stormed off to the grooming stall, where there was a shower. On the way to the shower, I got so unaccountable horny – I mean rampantly horny – that I blew my wad before I had walked thirty feet. It was probably the most powerful ejaculation I had ever experienced, and it just kept going on and on and on.  And, because I was covered with shite from head to toe, it wasn’t as though I was touching anything. But never mind.  However I should mention that I had – not one – but two wet-dreams the following night.  So if you are having ‘trouble’, just think about your septic tank.

If only most of my sexual experiences with other people had been as good.       

There was a reason why it was not – and this is really pathetic – because from the moment I proudly grew my first really grownup-looking pubic hair, my newly cultivated sense of ‘sin’ already had a stranglehold on me.  But only when it came to certain things that I decided to classify as ‘sins’.  Namely masturbating on school-nights. And before riding in a point-to-point or race (but not before dressage, before which the more wanking I did, the better). And being caught by my parents.  Especially by my father, for by that time he was deeply worried about me, and by the fact that I didn’t seem to be cultivating any girlfriends.  Never mind that I was going to boarding school, because – to his knowledge – boarding school didn’t seem to prevent any of my friends from rogering each and every girl they encountered.  I simply didn’t seem to care. In any case, why did I want to fuck a girl in a ditch by the road?  Was that supposed to be appealing or something?  But of course, unbeknownst to my father, I had ‘Dickie’ to keep me busy.  And who had time for a girlfriend when I had ‘Dickie’ ready and willing and by my side (and besides, he never asked me to make promises).  And let me tell you this: come hell or high water, ‘Dickie’ never made in on to my  ‘sin’ list.

Now, I haven’t mentioned ‘Dickie’ before.  Dickie was not part of my crowd; he didn’t ride; he wasn’t interesting in racing.  In fact, he was only interested in going into the army, and after the army, in taking over his father’s farm.  I had known him for quite a long time, and we were always good mates. We were also the same age.  Then one day, without any particular preamble, or without even talking about it, we simply started masturbating each other whenever we happened to get together.  When we first started this routine, he had not quite entered puberty, and so when he reached his climax, it almost invariably resulted in urination.  But it didn’t bother either of us – because we both knew that given time, the ‘right stuff’ would – as they say – come out.  Now I want to be clear about this.  There was no love between us.  No crush.  At no time did we want to have sex together. We just liked wanking.  And since we both liked wanking a lot, we did a lot of it. And it wasn’t as though we were even turned on by each other’s penises.  To tell you the truth, I don’t think we ever took any interested in looking each other’s anatomical enhancements.  It was all about the wank.  Every time we saw each other, it was straight out to the barn.  And out they would come. And we would finish up (it was always fast and to the point), and then go our separate ways – ‘Dickie’ back to his father’s cows, and me back to the horses.  And I don’t think either of us gave each other a second thought when we were not together.  I seem to recall he was very good-looking and had everything in the right place, but I certainly never fanaticised about him.  Not like I did about Sheila (but never mind about her – I am saving her for another chapter).

I well remember when our wanking days were over, and it coincided with ‘Dickie’s blossoming into full-fledged puberty. I had been away at school for two terms, after which I had been absent from home for an additional eight months following the death of my brother (the one that had been – when he was alive – ‘the other one’).  His death was a tragedy that seemed to provide as good an excuse as any to scrounge cabins on a distant cousin’s tramp-steamer bound for Hong Kong (a voyage which spawned a second voyage – this one for the return journey – on a second and even more decrepit vessel than the first one).  On neither journey did I find so much as a single wanking-mate.  But, then again, neither of the tubs carried more than six or eight passengers (including the three of us), and all the other passengers seemed to be either antediluvian tea-planters or members of the diplomatic corps on leave.  It was a lonely time.  And I seem to remember filling the empty hours doing lessons (so ‘thoughtfully’ provided by the school, and which I mailed back to the headmaster from various ports of call), as well as playing endless games of cribbage with the chief steward, playing endless games of bridge and mah-jong with our fellow passengers, and in marching round the boat deck with a woman who was employed by one of the Intelligence services, and who had figured out exactly just how many circuits equalled five miles.

Anyway, we finally got back home, and before I had even gone out to the yard to say ‘hello’ to the horses I received a call from ‘Dickie’.  “Meet me at the usual spot in ten minutes!” And so I did.  The ‘Dickie’ whom I had known before was not the ‘Dickie’ who greeted me out back of the barn. Yes, he had the same face and the same goofy smile, and his accent was the same, but other than that, the boy had been supplanted by a man.  He was now close on six foot one (whereas I was  at the time five foot five and determined not to grow another inch); his face, though still lean and boyish – for after all, he was still only sixteen – was leaner around the jaw-line, and on his chin was a fine beginning of a beard.

“I got somat to show you,” he said, and with that he stepped out of his trousers and presented an erection that was nothing like that I had ever seen on him before.  “What d’ya think?”  And I had to admit he had grown into a fine-looking hunk of man.

“And wot about you?” he said with a leer.  “Still the little same-o-same-o?”

“Yeah,” I replied.  “The little same-o-same-o’s the same as ever.”

And that was that.  ‘Dickie’ had grown up and could – as they say – get it up without any help from me.  He had a girlfriend from the next village; he never went into the army, but he did take over the farm.  And after a while – in the way of all things – he and his girlfriend got married, had a son and a daughter, and then a divorce.

And I’m glad it ended there, because it was just a phase, and phases are better outgrown.

No, ‘Dickie’ was never counted as a sin.  But somehow masturbating on school nights still remained a bugbear, and so did looking at porn.  And so did a long list of other things, some of which I have never outgrown.  And so did ‘yes’ when and if I was approached on the street or in a cafe or in a bar by a stranger.  And by a stranger, I mean a stranger of either sex.  Because, to tell the truth, both are the same under their respective skins, and make absolutely no difference to me. Besides, my willy is definitely an equal-opportunity player. But be that as it may, let a stranger come up to me, and he or she are bound to be met by my special ‘frozen’ stare.

I continue to feel annoyed with my poor father, even though he has been dead for over thirty years.  For I can still hear him telling me not to touch myself.  And I also can hear him asking me once when I was twenty-three or four, if I had ever had a girlfriend?  At the time, I was taking a shower and enjoying the pleasures of the warm water as it flowed down my skin, and he had walked in on me – apparently feeling I was going beyond the point of no-return.  He had always tried so hard to be a good father, but he tried so hard he always overstepped the mark.  And my problem was I was so bloody well brought up, it didn’t occur to me to tell him to “fuck off.”  I can’t remember what I said in return.  The word ‘yes’, however, was included, but otherwise it was very, and very distant.  And sometimes I wonder if that is one of the reasons I have never had children?  Would I have made the same mistakes as he?  It was one thing to go through it myself, but quite another to pass it along.  And you see, I have never entirely trusted myself.

In conclusion, what else was on my ‘sin’ list?  And for that matter, what did the ‘sin’ in ‘sin’ list actually mean?  I had made it up, after all; it wasn’t one of those things I had got out of a book, or which I had been threatened with from a pulpit.  If it had been forced upon me from either of those sources, I don’t think it would have been as bad.  However, when I had somehow ‘fixed’ on the word, I had given it a particularly evil connotation.  For you see, in the ‘Church of Me’, a ‘sin’ was something you did before all your luck ran out.  In other words, if I sinned on a school night, I would fail not only the next day’s tutorial but the entire term.  If I sinned the night before a race or a point-to-point, I was guaranteed to break half the bones in my body.  If I sinned before going out on a date, the date would inevitably have the clap or fancy someone else at the next table.  And then, of course, being the idiot that I am, I was compelled to enlarge upon my list of ‘sin’, until it encompassed almost everything, including ‘asking someone home for the night’,  ‘spending the night at someone else’s house’, ‘happiness’, ‘looking forward to anything (good or bad), ‘wanting to earn money’, and – last but not least – ‘actually doing anything that I was good at and doing it well’.  In other words, in my book of ‘sins’ I had all the bases covered.

That being said, the one activity that never made it on to the list was sex with another person.  And I rather imagine the reason I neglected to put it on the list was because I’d always thought of myself as a bit of a minger that nobody could possibly want.  However, I shall let you in on a secret:  in spite of my being a minger, and in spite of my being a hopeless tosser and absolute rubbish at anything and everything I had tried, the very fact that sex with another person never made it on to my  ‘sin’ list, meant that I have done it a great many times – more times, in fact, than most people I’ve known.  But, alas, not as many times as I could have, for although sex with others does not count as a sin, I have these pesky things called ‘hackles’, and the ‘hackles’ are accompanied by ‘alarm bells’.  And just when I find someone really raunchy and downright filthy – with whom sex might even be so good it would count as a ‘sin’ – my ‘hackles’ and my ‘alarm bells’ get all hoity-toity and schoolmarmish.  And they remind me that once I have had sex with another that is so good that it counts as a sin, I couldn’t ever have sex with another ‘another’ again. Or at least not without another seven years of bad luck.  Or something equally as bad.

May 21, 2010

Idiot’s Delight

Lost friends and lovers who were there just because they were there.

His name was not Montague. He has been dead for a great many years and all those who knew him are long gone as well.  Who knows why I think about him now and again?  I don’t know.  It’s not that he and I were ever lovers.  But even so I remember him far better, and with far more detail that I remember any of those with whom I did actually share my bed at the time.  In fact, I don’t even remember most of their names – which probably shows how seriously I take my entertainments.  Do I even recall what their faces looked like, or what their bodies looked like, or even whether there was anything special about the parts of their bodies that I had so enthusiastically fondled?   Where have they gone, those ghosts of the flats and rooms in Cadogan Gardens and Kinnerton Street, and Gloucester Road and Courtfield Road, as well as all those other streets and crescents and terraces in which my willy ran rampant, but in which I never ever fell in love?  I simply cannot conjure up a single one.  Not even the better parts of the very best of them.  I don’t recall what cafes or restaurants we frequented, or the clubs or the new boutiques that were springing up along the King’s Road.  For I was not a Carnaby Street sort of person.  We were Mary Quant and Biba – back when Biba was a tiny shop, and long before it grew into its present megalith in what was in those far-off days, Derry & Tom’s, on the Kensington High Street.  There was another new boutique on the King’s Road – Queen – but, unlike most of the others, I still can picture it and remember its founder’s name.  Glenda.  Glenda SomethingorOther. Glenda, who – or so I was told by a mutual friend, Leon – fancied me enough to go to bed with me, but she wasn’t going to wait for me forever.  At least that’s what Leon said.  He also made it clear that she was getting fed up, because I wasn’t taking the hint.  And although I seem to recall that she was tall and dark and, of course, had hair like Mary Quant’s, it didn’t occur to me to test out Leon’s theory. Why should I?  Although I didn’t say so at the time, it was really Leon I fancied; not her.  In fact, I was – if not exactly drooling – desperately hoping that Leon would go to bed with me. He was more to my taste than Glenda (but he never took my hint, either).  What I realise now was, although it may have been at the end of the swinging sixties and in the middle of the sexual revolution, homosexuality was not something one talked about.  I never knew there were such creatures as openly gay people.  As far as I was concerned, I was straight.  We were all straight, no matter what else we did.     

Around about the time of Leon and Glenda and the many others who were floating in and out of my radar, Leon and I and a couple of others were sharing a flat on the Cromwell Road, more or less across from what was then the West London Air Terminal – the bus terminal from which one caught coaches to Heathrow Airport.  For Gatwick, then as now, one caught a train at Victoria Station.  But nobody in my crowd would ever think of flying out of Gatwick, any more than they would flying by BEA.  Any more than one would move far enough to the west of Gloucester Road so that one’s telephone exchange drifted over to the dark side.  In other words: FRObisher.  FREmantle was as far west as any one us ever went.  And as far as Chelsea was concerned, no one ever lived in the wilderness beyond the point where one turned south to Cheney Walk.  Distant World’s End was no man’s land, well past the end of civilised man.  Only swamp creatures lived there.  And rats.

I don’t really know how I met Leon and Glenda and that crowd.  I suppose as young people have always done, we simply drift together.  None of us were Beetles fans, but we all partied with the Rolling Stones and with the wonderful Marianne Faithful, who now lives in Ireland and sings the songs of Brecht and  Weill in a raspy, lived-in voice – like no one else since Lotte Lenya.  At the time I knew her (and I didn’t know her well), she was recording albums and playing Irina in The Three Sisters at the Royal Court Theatre.  Or perhaps it was Ophelia.  I can’t remember which.  I only remember her as being very lovely and very special and that her face always wore a wistful expression.  I believe her father taught some subject or other at the London School of Economics and that her mother was Austrian – or something like that – but that her parents were separated.  Something not as usual then as it is now. 

Leon never did show any interest in me, and neither did one of our other flatmates – the one who used to answer the door naked and with an erection in case the caller happened to be his girlfriend.  And although I don’t remember this flatmate’s name or even his face, I do remember his penis, but mostly because it was circumcised and I was – at the time – more attracted to the other kind.  But you have to remember that in the days before Princess Diana, circumcision was the way to go if you were middle-class or upwardly mobile. It was something that – if not universal – was taken for granted. 

We had another on-again/off-again flatmate, whose name was Nicky.  Nicky was incredibly cute with one of those perfectly proportioned bodies that are a gift from God, and which he certainly hadn’t earned himself.  And he had a face to go with it.  I seem to remember at the time he was sleeping with most of the girls in our crowd,  but no one was ever jealous of Nicky, for he was gentle and he was kind and he never took himself seriously, and he had a great sense of fun.  I cannot for the life of me recall what Nicky did for a living.  I rather think Leon did something or other in the city, for I remember him leaving every morning in a suit. And the same holds with the other flatmate as well – the one with the circumcised penis but with nothing else to remember him by. But Nicky?  I have no idea.  You see, none of us ever talked about our work or our plans for the future, or even anything to do with our pasts.  Of course, it had everything to do with all of us having at least a certain amount of money.  Plus the fact that the late sixties and early seventies were, indeed, a ‘different country’.  And for our little group – and for groups like us – such ‘inconveniences’ as social upheaval and student rioting and endless strikes were not even a blip on our radar.  In other words, we were straight out of one of Evelyn Waugh’s novels.

Most nights, all of us slept in the same bed, an enormous affair that stretched from one side of the bedroom to the other. Way over on one side, right next to the window, there would be the nameless flatmate with his girlfriend, making love all night every night without uttering a single sound.  Not even a moan or a squeak.  I used to wonder how they did it, and I also wondered if they actually enjoyed it.  It certainly went on long enough (the phrase ‘forever and ever’ often passed through my mind), but there was scarcely even any movement on their side of the bed.  The only thing I could think of was that neither of them knew much about what they were doing, for although we were in the middle of sexual revolution, as far as I know there no such things as a sex education class.  Mostly one talked to one’s own doctor, but I don’t think most doctors knew much about orgasms or how to achieve them.  They would simply hum and haw and give you a little pamphlet. However, everyone seemed to be doing ‘it’, but the ‘it’ they were doing was pretty much hit and miss.

That was also about the time when LSD was easily had, and everybody knew someone who knew   how to get it.  And, even more importantly, everyone – at least in our crowd – was very careful where they got it, trusting no one but their regular source (which was probably the first person they saw on the street that didn’t look like ‘the fuzz’). Nobody ever took it alone.  I never knew anyone who ever had a really bad trip, which only shows how lucky we were.

Now, I have always been on the outside of things and never really part of a crowd.  And lucky for me I have never been interested enough in drugs to actually find out how and where to obtain them.  For if truth be told, that whole scene bored me.  It was all foreplay, followed by a letdown – very much a case of “Is That All There Is?”  Where some things are concerned, it is better to be bored than dead.

However, in this case, the purveyor was none other than the black-suited, nameless flatmate.  The one with the circumcised penis.   

I do remember one night, and it was obviously on a Saturday, because no one in the flat had to be up early the next day for work.  All of us – Leon and Nicky and the nameless flatmate and I – together with all the riffraff that routinely crashed on the floor – took our tabs and settled in to wait for something to happen.  On the top of the television set was a sculpture formed by the intertwining chrome-plated bumpers of three cars.  We called it ‘George’ – for, after all, it was like a member of our household and (unlike that one flatmate) had to have a name.  Eventually, of course, we all got stoned; we turned up the music and at least pretended to act like stoned people act (although – to tell the truth – all of our trips together were depressingly boring and middle class, as befits a group of sons and daughters of mothers who made jams for the Women’s Institute).  At about two in the morning, ‘it’ happened.  For no particular reason except perhaps it was the only object of interest in the room, everyone started to concentrate on ‘George’.  And we concentrated and chanted and concentrated some more and, all of a sudden, ‘George’ apparently became offended by our laughing at him.  For he fell apart and collapsed into several chrome-plated segments on the floor.  And we could never put him together again.  We had killed him! Anyway, that was that as far as the trip was concerned. As so, of course, we all piled on to the one enormous wall-to-wall bed in the  bedroom, where the nameless flatmate immediately and without preamble launched into one of his all-night-long sexual ‘encounters’ with his girlfriend.  And the two girls next to Nicky – who obviously did  know a thing or two about orgasms – proceeded to do things to him which made him produce a great many very loud noises indeed, and which resulted in his leaping from the bed, clutching himself desperately, and making a mad dash for the loo.

Six months or so later I took a mews flat in Kinnerton Street, Belgravia, in a remarkable old Mews house that is sadly no longer there (it was just a few steps away from what was then the smallest pub in London).  For a short while, Nicky moved in with me and  into my wobbly narrow bed.  And for a time we did very nice things together.  But then, as with all things, he moved on and I moved on, and the next time I saw him was a few years later in Piccadilly Circus, in front of Boots the Chemist. He was still as beautiful as ever, but he had grown out of his youthfulness and was now a handsome young man.  And what is more, he had a young woman beside him.  He introduced her as his fiancé and it was obvious they were very much in love.  In other words, Nicky had grown up and moved on.

Somewhere along the line, I did have one or two more encounters (neither of them sexual) with Glenda, and both of them in tandem with her mother.  One was for Glyndebourne, and the other for the racing at Royal Ascot.  In both cases I was asked to be their escort, and since the mother was footing the bill, and since the Ascot meeting included passes to the Royal Enclosure, plus hotel and meals and free everything, I said, “Yes!” Besides, I had the clothes.

  Glyndebourne was, of course, wonderful and relaxing.  Glenda’s mother had ordered our hampers from Fortnum’s, and so our picnics were a delight.  Royal Ascot, however, was another matter. 

Glenda’s mother had booked seats on the special train, and had checked all her luggage with the conductor before we boarded.  Unfortunately, the special train to Ascot – then as now – is a somewhat crowded affair, and it is not uncommon for luggage to be lost.

Well, we arrived on schedule, but there was no sign of Glenda’s mother’s hat boxes.  And you see, she had brought enough hats for two changes a day for the entire week.  One of her suitcases did arrive, but the others – along with the hat boxes and the lovely bespoke hats nestled within them, were never seen again.  Believe me, it was a miserable week. I spent so much time with the mother prowling around Windsor and trying to find a couple of extra decent-looking hats for her to wear, that I missed all the racing – even the Gold Cup!  And the mother was so devastated that she spent all the rest of her time in the bar getting drunk. And Glenda deserted us and went back to London in a huff.  I always wondered if any of those striking miners and rioting students ever spared a thought for the misery that I was going through! 

It was also around about this time that I met Montague.  I was working at a small film studio in London doing continuity and acting as general dog’s body for some awful horror flic.  One day, when I was eating lunch in my small office-cum-storeroom (the ‘lunch’, by the way, consisted of rare roast beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and the only cabbage I’ve ever eaten which can be called ‘orgasmic’ – the producer of the film may have been  lousy producer, but he was an amazing cook and always made us lunch – as a way to make up for the niggardly salaries we were being paid) when a very elegant elderly gentleman with a goatee peered in a me and  asked  if I would like to share his bottle of wine (a very fine claret from, I believe Lynch Bages).  Needless to say, I said, “Yes!”  And thus began quite a strange and wonderful friendship.

At the time, Montague was working on some television production or other which was in another sound stage around the corner.  He had seen me around and since at the time I was always well-dressed and well-mannered, he thought he would like to get to know me better.  And so he invited me to lunch at his tiny little house south of the Thames.  It became a standing invitation that lasted for about three years.

At the time, Montague was seventy-two; I was twenty-two and only recently down from university – from which I had qualified in nothing at all.  In the roaring twenties he had been a playboy dilettante and nightclub singer in France – both in Paris and – during the season – on the Cote d’Azur.    When the Wall Street crash came in 1929, he – like most of the expats – found that their meagre talents were not wanted.  So he returned to London, only to find that his father and mother – who had previously been living in a large house in St. John’s Wood, were now living in that part of London known as Brixton. Theirs was a tiny house, but into it they managed to squeeze everything of value that they had managed to salvage.

By the time that I met him, his parents were long-since dead, but he had remained in the house and had kept it like a time-capsule. Not in honour of his father and mother, but because – even though it was small and in a tumbledown part of the city,  the cramped, airless rooms held memories of elegance and beauty that – in the world outside those four walls – had largely disappeared.  The chandeliers were still lit by gas, he still bathed in a copper tub in front of the coal-fired kitchen range, and on every wall were the exotic rain forests and animals of William Morris.  And having myself grown up surrounded by William Morris, I felt very much at home.

After several weeks of swapping tales and getting to know each other, Montague mentioned that he was in the throes of writing his memoirs.  Would I like to work with him as a sometime ghost-writer-come-commentator?  And, if so, would I be free to live in Paris for six or eight months.  To which, of course, I said, “Yes!”  I believe we left the next week.

Now, the whole of our little collaboration deserves an episode of its own, but let us just say that it was glorious fun.  And not only because he was a delightful human-being, but that he himself had never grown up, and enjoyed anything and everything that came his way.

When Montague had been strutting around in his white tie and tails in the twenties, so too had a very very remarkable assortment of people, many of which were still very much alive. And that is why we were in Paris.  Among those in my new ‘circle’ were Man Ray, Dali, Josephine Baker, Jean Renoir, Ionesco (who I later was lucky enough to work with), Jean Wiener and, of course, the amazing Stephane Grappelli (who, incidentally, made the best marinara I have ever tasted).  There were, of course, many others, many of whom – being extremely French about the whole business of aging – had taken to their beds and entertained us from the midst of dozens of faded, hand-painted cushions.

During our stay, Montague and I rented a couple of rooms on top of a brothel on the rue Houdon.  However, since that delirious place became so much a part of my life for so many months and had so much character of its own, it too shall be given a later hearing. For now, let me just say that ‘Madame’ – who was eternally encased in corsets and rustling black bombazine – was the most outrageously respectable woman I have ever encountered in the course of a life of encountering outrageously respectable women.  Every inch of her considerable bulk fairly quivered with respectability. In other words, she was a born Concierge.  And it is also worth noting that, right across the street from the house was a girl’s school.

I loved every bit of that year!

May 16, 2010

My Life As A Puppy

Discovering My True Vocation

I’m not exactly an old hand when it comes to online dating.  In fact, I’m not exactly an old hand when it comes to off-line dating.  Come to think of it, even though I have never tried them, I might suggest that I would make less of a mess on inline skates than I have on the dating scene.  In other words, I am potentially armed and dangerous, and ready for a rumble.

 My past experience in online dating (and yes, there was only one) proved to me – yet again – that I am willing to believe anyone, and that I would fall in love with a garbage truck if it whispered to me often enough it was really a Morgan roadster in disguise.  So yes, I fell, if not in love, then into a state of near-fatal curiosity; it also cost me a fair amount of money and a lot of wasted time.  Fortunately there were no broken hearts, at least not on my side, for if truth be told even before I had flown halfway round the world I was already hearing the alarm bells clanging in my head.  And needless to say, less than half a minute after I met her, I was already re-examining my options (and yes, that entire cautionary tale shall get an airing). Fortunately for me – and, yes, it was a ‘fortunately’ – within two days she was rude to a waitress, thus giving me an out. For in spite of all my failings, if there in one thing I will not tolerate it is rudeness towards a server or a salesperson.  That being so, I simply stood up, went over to the waitress, paid her, apologised to her, and left, thus severing in the bud a non-relationship that would have been a disaster had it blossomed.  

Now, the fact that I rushed into this little contretemps was my fault. No-one had pointed a gun at my head, and in spite of the fact that the hairs on the back of my neck were not only tingling, but shrieking, I still went ahead with it, saying merrily, “Well, at least it’s another country I’ll get to know!” 

That episode aside, I have always been sceptical when it comes to dating services.   Especially one accessed over a computer, because even if you are serious about your quest and you write an extremely detailed and lengthy profile – a profile that should leave no doubt in the mind of even the mouldiest cabbage what and who you are looking for, it always appears as though the computer has not only not  looked at what you have written, but that whatever is written is is not specific enough; therefore the computer will simply ignore it; and usually being an American computer, it will decide it knows better than you do what it is you want.  Then, of course, one must take into account the inevitable fact that the individuals who are surfing through the site never bother to read any of the details which you have so carefully and lovingly provided.  But I am learning. Perhaps more slowly than most, but I am on the way.  In other words, I am now leaving absolutely nothing to chance.  And I’m also having a lot of fun.

First of all, let me say that I did check out my current dating site beforehand.  The first piece of good news is that it is free.  And by that I mean exactly what I say.  In other words, it is not one of those ‘free’ sites that professes to free, until, of course, the minute you institute a search, at which point it informs you that – oops! – it is unable proceed to the next step until you upgrade to their premium service.  As far as I am concerned, either it’s free or it’s not, and if it’s not free, it should say so on the box instead of wasting my time. 

I have been so excited (it does not take much to please me) that I almost forgot to say that this site actually vets the photographs.  So if you are looking for a man, you are not suddenly inundated by a lot of images gleaned from the Bel Ami gay porn site.  Not that I have anything against these images, but since I already know what most of their models look like (I am very thorough when it comes to research) I tend to be turned off when some forty-eight-year old bricklayer from Barnstable claims to be the owner of that very lovely and perfectly-form Croatian penis.  For you immediately suspect that he might have something to hide, such as the fact that he weighs two hundred stone, is covered with fur, and lives with his mother and two-hundred budgerigars. In a caravan. In a halting site.  Just next to the nuclear power plant.

In my humble opinion, looking for a possible long-term relationship is not like looking for a bit on the side.  That being the case, any man who feels obliged to display his wears to attract someone’s attention, is probably not in it for the long haul. After all, during a long haul you do have plenty of time to study the scenery. And in any case, since this is not a gay dating service specifically targeting the meat-locker trade, but rather caters to everyone, it’s actually refreshing to see someone’s face and discover that they actually do live somewhere and have a life. However, if you are not interested in that, but rather in salivating over a wall-to-wall exhibition of rampant photo-shopped penises, here is the URL:  http//: www.  

So anyway, what I am leading up to is this (and no, I am not an employee of the site in question and have nothing to gain from saying anything nice about it, except perhaps they will stop sending me notes begging me to “Please find someone and leave us alone!”):  it is not a porn dating site.  And if it is, its hidden agenda is squirreled away so craftily in one of their five hundred plus tests, that I have been unable to unearth it.

No, seriously.  It is not a porn site, and this to me is refreshing, simply because most of them are. I know it’s probably a case of supply and demand (or at least ‘presumed’ supply and demand). However, just as I don’t think most women are pining for men who ask the size of their breasts the first time out, any bloke who asks the size of my willy in his first message, before we have even introduced ourselves, may not get the response he is expecting (unless of course, he offers me a month’s holiday on his yacht and promises ‘cross my heart’ not to slit my throat the minute we enter International waters). But back to this pesky ‘tell us about your willy’ question.  Now, to be perfectly blunt, the reason I do not like this type of question is not because my willy has anything to be ashamed of.  After all, he is what he is and he is in his original wrapper and, all in all, he is rather a cunning little devil.  He has never had one of those ‘operations’ on his nether region or had his head chewed off or had one of those interesting and exotic infections or viruses named after Greek gods. Nor does he have any bad habits that are any worse than those of other models, either foreign or domestic.  And he has never, ever been subject to a recall.  In other words, his warranty – by some miracle – is still good.  But the thing is, a willy does come attached to a body and with a body comes a face and with a face comes a personality, and sometimes – though not always – a personality comes with a brain. Then – if you are really lucky – there will be a sense of humour lurking somewhere in the shadows.  And perhaps even a heart.  Yes, yes, yes, there is always baggage (for none of us has lived in a vacuum), as well as a few of those tricky character flaws.  And then, of course, there is always the inevitable cultural nonsense to deal with.  Yada yada yada.

Now lest you think I am going all politically correct when it comes to body shape and size and physical attributes, I am not.  For every one of us has a certain something that makes us tingle.  And there’s no point in someone trying to convince you that ‘in time you’ll come to love them’, because it’ll never happen.  And puleeeese don’t even think about bringing up the issue of discrimination, because as far as I know, a relationship is not a job offer.  Unless, of course, it is; but in that case I suggest you ring up your local MP in the middle of the night and ask him. Or her.  

But, to continue with this bothersome business of physical ecstasies and vomits, what happens if all the right boxes are ticked, but other person – no matter how fastidious he or she may been – has the wrong smell. Or the wrong body shape. Or tastes like Chicken Tikki Masala when all you like is deep-fried bacon and sausage pizza?  It’s called a physical reality.  So, yes, one has got to be straightforward and upfront – and, yes, if certain physical dimensions are important to you, you have to address them – and right away – otherwise you are a time-waster. However, please remember it’s not a porn site.  There are plenty of those available, many of which no longer come with computer worms or Trojan horses.  Not even when the models on the sites actually wear Trojans themselves. 

So, what do I want?  How do I know who I will eventually fall for?  I may like to say that I do not want a man young enough to be my grandson; in other words, a lover and companion who, while he may be physically an adult, is still – emotionally-speaking – an adolescent.  Do I really want to be his father?   That being said (and I have been there and done that and when it ended it had nothing to do with the disparity in age), chemistry is a wonderful, miraculous thing. We have to give it free-reign and let it play. For if the right person comes along – and I mean the right person – maybe it’s worth taking a chance. I certainly will.  Now, I know how old I am.  I am 62.  I do not deny it. And not only that, but I do not wish to be any younger.  For I have earned every single second of every minute of every hour of every day of my life.  And when I look at people twenty years younger – at that truly awful transitional age of 40 – I am so glad I am not there.  I am so thankful I do not have all that shite that forty-year-olds have to struggle through.  It is a morass, a swamp, a nightmare.  It is the age when you are still hanging on to your ‘shoulds’ and  ‘shouldn’ts’ and to all your illusions.  It is an age when you are still deluded enough to think that you can pass for 20 or 25 or 29 (if only you spend enough time in the gym or pumping Botox under your skin or adding hair extensions or attending the right support groups or changing all the light bulbs in your office and house to a flattering pinky-peach colour).  I was a living nightmare at that age.  And almost all of the forty-year-olds I encounter force me to remember what a miserable plank I was.  The memories make me cringe, but it is a grand thing – both for me and for the world at large – that there are a great many exceptions to the rule. And I can say this freely, because most of my friends happen to be – quite coincidentally – that exact age.

So, what is it I really want?  Initially, on one particular question in the site’s ‘personal details’ section, I had hedged.  In other words I had left too many options.  Where it asked what I was I looking for, I did not narrow the field down sufficiently.  After all, I do like women and if the right woman came along, I would say ‘yes’, and having said ‘yes’, I would be faithful to that decision. So, with that in mind, that was the only question in my ‘details’ in which I did not specify a man.  But I thought I was covered, for when it came to my profile, I was very straightforward.  Although I am bisexual, I want to live with a man.  However, because I had fudged that one particular question, the computer inevitably zeroed in on that to the exclusion of all else.  Consequently, I only got replies from single mothers looking for someone who would give them a little love.  In other words, a home.  And many of these women were desperate – at least, going by what they wrote in their profiles and in their notes.  And I am sorry, because I know (at least theoretically) how tough things must be for them.  However, to be perfectly candid, in no place in my profile did I ever mention women (except in that one fudge), and I always specified ‘no children.’

After a couple of weeks went by and I received nothing but solicitations from these single mothers (none of whom had anything in common with me; otherwise I wouldn’t have worried about it), I suddenly remembered that one single question that I had fudged.  So what I did was to un-tick that one box where I was asked if I was bisexual. And since then, every single suggestion and solicitation has been – if not spot on – at least intriguing.  Problem solved.

To get back to age.  Now, no man of 62 – providing he is reasonable fit and in good health – feels his age.  And even when he looks in the bathroom mirror to shave, he doesn’t look 62.  But, as we all should know – but choose to ignore – bathroom mirrors are liars. But even if we try to ignore our age; those younger than us certainly do not. Nor, when all is said and done do we really look any younger.  I well remember the day – a couple of years ago – when I was in Ireland and happened to run into a good friend who was just a few years older than I.  Now, she was a very good-looking woman and certainly did not look her age.  However, while we were walking down the street together, we had what you might call a reality check.  What happened was this.  In a shop window there was a very large mirror, and it was angled in such a way as to reflect passers-by.  And so, there we were, happily chatting and thinking about stopping somewhere for a cup of tea, when – simultaneously – we were confronted by these two broken-down-looking old people who were dressed in clothing just like ours.  And we even commented on it, and agreed that the two of them should probably wear something more subdued.  Needless to say, the two broken-down-looking old people were the two of us.  I really think it was one of the most unpleasant moments in my life.  Now, to be frank, the one or people who’ve known me since the days of the Neanderthals have been rather outspoken about my appearance.  “God, you’ve gotten old,” being the worst example.  Granted, at the time, I had just been crushed by a falling horse and was looking for all the world like a wrecked car, but still honesty is honesty, no matter what the excuse. 

Therefore, when someone specifies they are looking for someone, say 35 to 55, I am very cautious. I only reply if everything else looks like a ‘possible’ – but I start off by telling them my age. Because – as I have already said – we give our preferences for a reason. And, although it is hard when you get older to realise you are getting older, you’re not going to find anyone if you are not honest.  And, in any case, you are not going to pull the wool over their eyes.  And to get back to a possible scenario wherein I am approached by a twenty-one year old, I would ask one question of him.  “Yes, now it might be OK now, but how about in ten years’ time, when you will only be thirty-one, but I shall be seventy-two?”  And if he says, “I know, and I still want you,” then I would have to give it serious thought.  It goes without saying that it hasn’t happened, and I am not deluded enough to think it might.  And, quite frankly, although it was no doubt lurking in the back of my mind – in the place where all our fantasies fester – I really hadn’t given it any conscious consideration.  Yes, I am in good health, yes, I do look at a young person and admire his or her beauty.  But that’s life.  And don’t forget, in twenty years, a twenty year old will be a forty year old, whereas I will be an eighty year old.  And believe you me, when I am an eighty year old, the last thing I shall want to deal with will be a forty year old.

As you are no doubt aware, I have not mentioned the likelihood of a relationship with someone much older than I.  There is a reason I have not addressed this probability, and it’s called panic.  And it deserves – and shall get – a whole chapter of its own.  When I can steel myself for it.  And stop wanting to run out of the room screaming.  But let’s put it this way:  it has everything to do with the fact that so many older men seem to fall to bits.  And I am not sure I am ready to nurse another person through a lingering decline and death.  At least not yet.

So ANYWAY, what is it I want?  I mean, what do I really, really want?  Even setting aside all the sundry interests and activities I have mentioned in my profile, what would make my life wonderful?  Make my heart sing?  Yes, it’s all very well for me to mention National Hunt racing and sheepdog trials, and Crofting and rare-breed pigs and sheep.  And, yes, it’s important that I talk about my love of words, and comedy and Improv and storytelling.  But underneath all these things – and yes, they are just ‘things’ – what am I and what do I need?   Let me tell you.

I am a puppy.  And all I want is what every puppy wants.  A warm place to sleep, room to frolic, enough food to keep my belly full. And someone who loves me.  And who I can love in return.  Enough said?

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