Saturday, 22 October 2016


Occasionally - in fact, fairly regularly, realistically - my girlfriend gets up to go to work three and a half hours before I do. This is admirable and shows a level of fortitude and constitution that, had I not done the same thing a few years ago, I would believe impossible. I'm finding it difficult to put on trousers at the moment, which gives you an idea of exactly what my physical state is.

This nominally gives me three and a half hours to get out of bed, wash, get dressed, eat something for breakfast, have a coffee, and get through some of whatever book I'm reading before picking up my bag and heading to the bus stop. This has happened all of once, my de facto reaction to being alone for a while consisting of rolling onto the other side of the bed and accidentally getting some of the sleep that I no doubt had trouble with during the night itself.

Sometimes I masturbate. Yes, that's where this post was going, don't pretend that you had no idea.

Again, this isn't something I do very often. I probably should, seeing as how I'm at my horniest both late at night and in the early morning, and it's usually at least a thought in my head that there's a possibility, but it's the kind of thought that doesn't always link that easily to deed. It's good when I do, because (after the few minutes' grace period of lying there, drifting on the surf) I tend to feel a little more awake post-orgasm. Breakfast, a secondary concern, can happen afterwards. Not that t ever really does, but my intentions are good.

At some point during this week just gone I did, in fact, bring myself to orgasm in the morning. I'd been both horny and anorgasmic for the past couple of days, and when the chance finally came, it was something close to explosive. A jet of warm, viscous cum, splashing all over my stomach and heaving chest. Familiar, but no less satisfying.

After which I realised that I didn't have any tissues nearby. Or in the room at all. I was lying in bed with a pool of my own cum forming, some dripping down my sides like some particularly wanton icing of a too-small cake, and there was nothing to wipe myself down with. I'd left it too late for a shower (and besides, I had a shower the previous evening); all the toilet roll was in the toilet (which would have been easy to access, although I'd have had to walk, naked, out into the corridor and across to the room, dripping cum, which probably isn't a sexy look to my housemates); I wasn't going to use any discarded clothing (it's a bugger to get out, even with the most potent washing powders); I wasn't keen on just lying there in my own jizz (what is this, porn?); I'd lacked the foresight to actually have some tissues near my bed at all.

I've got a cold coming on, so I should have done so already! I'm terrible!

The above thought process, including Rolodexing the different options, took about three seconds. Three of the longest seconds of my life, staring at the ceiling with an expression somewhere between naughty schoolboy and abject horror, prickling with indecision and indecency.

I ended up wiping myself down with a J-cloth that had been through the washing machine and was now, fortunately enough, drying on the clotheshorse we use to keep the wardrobe door shut. I took it downstairs, threw it back into the washing machine (along with a couple of tea-towels, lest any housemate think this suspicious) and returned to my room, feeling both inventive and thoroughly ashamed.

While questioning my life choices, I checked my 'phone. It was ten past eight. I had twenty minutes before my usual getting-up time.

So I went back to bed. Fell asleep, got up at nine, and proceeded with my actual morning routine: blind panic, flinging on all the clothes I could find, and running at breakneck speed to the bus stop, using up all the fluid I'd managed to retain and swearing at the top of my voice. At least I know how to do that...

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Wisdom & Follicle

At the age of about 14, Lightsinthesky discovered he had hair.

Although he wasn't a bad-looking bloke, Lightsinthesky was obsessed with making himself look hotter, on the assumption that this would make girls fall hopelessly in love with him and end up shagging him senseless. While his somewhat relentless pursuit of everyone did lead him to jettisoning his "flashing V" before any of the rest of us, the few years preceding that consisted mostly of grooming, making liberal use of hair gel at one point, turning up with a number-two buzz cut at another. In the sixth form, while attempting a rock star haircut (I myself had wild black hair that hung down to my shoulders), he managed to accidentally grow a mullet.

While the rest of us regarded his personal appearance as his own business, at one lunchtime he suddenly paused from pointing out which of the girls in our year were the most shaggable to holler the name of one of the girls who was in a lot of classes with Einstein, Music Man and I, but - as far as I know - had never even shared a single word with Lightsinthesky. She was a quiet girl, very intelligent and occasionally quite giggly. Everyone liked her, especially a guy called Michael, whose face she ended up glued to at the leavers' party a few years later.


"Where's your report?" he demanded of her.
"What report?" about six voices said, including hers, mine, Einstein's, Music Man's, Man o' War's and one of the teachers who happened to be walking past at the time.
"The report you said you were going to write! Your report on how good my hair was!"
I dropped my lunchbox on the floor. To my knowledge, nobody had ever said anything good about Lightsinthesky's hair.
"I don't recall every saying I'd write such a report," she said, astonished.

Of course, he didn't ever let it go. He sought her out in the playground to ask her again where her report was. He asked me to ask her (I did, but she said that she'd never even noticed his hair) and to keep checking during the lessons (at which I drew the line). I brusquely asked him at one point if he had a crush on her, to which he said no, the kind of "no" which means "no, but since I'll take anyone and she may at some point have said something about my hair we could be soulmates".

Weeks passed and his hairstyle grew more and more ostentatious, up to the point where I'm sure it could have survived a nuclear assault. My classmate, who had noticed his hair by this point (not that she had much of a choice), got around to asking me what she should do.

"You could try writing the report you're apparently supposed to be writing."
"OK, I'll do that..."

My Report

I never said anything good about your hair and never will. Your hair is, in fact, terribly designed, and looks greasy. You are physically unattractive. Never come near me again, or I will throw things at you.

"Fair enough," Lightsinthesky said as he folded up the piece of paper and put it in his inside pocket.
"Why are you keeping that?" I asked.
"Isn't it obvious?" he said. "She's crazy about me."
I rolled my eyes and trudged through the slush back in the direction of our respective homes. A soft snow began to fall and I pulled a woolen hat over my head for protection. He did the same.
"Okay, well, hope you're happy with your report, see you tomorrow."

"Wait, wait, wait."
I waited.
"Does my hair look okay?"

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Cure

There are many things I can't do.

I can't play the ukulele, or the bass guitar (despite owning one), or the ocarina (despite owning three). I can't do sports; I can't run without getting tired after a few steps. I can't dance, although I like it; I can't sing, although I want to do so almost constantly; I can't do a handstand, I can't speak Dutch and I can't get past the impossible third boss in Luigi's Mansion 2.

And I can't do self-care.

Kind of. I mean, I want to do self-care, and everything. It's a skill to have, and while I'm very aware that fewer people have it than one may initially think, I couldn't possibly comment (well, I could, but I won't). I go to therapy, but that's a transient solution, at best; I have my bad moments, and those are the moments in which I need care. I prefer to do that alone.

I woke up this morning with tears streaming down my face, shivering from the cold. I had two horrendous dreams in relatively quick succession; they may have even been part of the same dream. In the first, I watched an animal expert put two mice in a blender, and while one was unscathed, the other was bleeding to death; I bawled on the floor while he stood by impassively. The second was not as bad; I was about to eat a large, steaming bowl of macaroni cheese when somebody deliberately knocked it onto the floor. I went into the kitchen and wailed until somebody asked me what they could do to help, as long as it didn't involve getting me any more macaroni cheese.

No, I don't understand either.

The first dream has a root. This comes from a girl I used to flirt with online (and with whom I occasionally had cybersex) who referenced getting rid of (live) mice with a Henry Hoover. I didn't indicate how horrified I was, but I couldn't stop visualising it for days afterwards, right down to the terrified squeaks. As for the second... well... I just like pasta, I suppose. After my accident in Somerset, my first priority was to get back to my pasta...

I can't do self-care...

I got up and went to work.

The morning passed slowly, but without incident; I still managed to phase out a bit in the quieter moments. At lunch, I went to the local pub, put some James on the jukebox and ordered macaroni cheese, which was fine, but it still didn't make me feel any better. I then ordered an ice cream sundae, because I am a filthy beast, but I barely tasted it. I toddled back to work and sat in the kitchen staring into middle distance, waiting for the Chromakey to wear off and reveal that the entire room was just blue.

A woman whom I didn't recognise walked in and asked where the toilet was, which I helpfully indicated. I went to use the toilet myself, then went to gather my documents and return to my room.

At this point I heard her having an orgasm, immediately after which I remembered Red Dwarf was on tonight.

"Maybe it isn't all hopeless bullshit," I said out loud, before going back to where I was meant to be and barnstorming my way through the remaining two hours of work, in my usual way - just as theatrical as my horrendous dreams, perhaps, but with less wailing this time.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Time Machine

"For a time my brain went stagnant. Presently I got up and came through the passage here, limping, because my heel was still painful, and feeling sorely begrimed. I saw the Pall Mall Gazette on the table by the door. I found the date was indeed to-day, and looking at the timepiece, saw the hour was almost eight o'clock. I heard your voices and the clatter of plates. I hesitated - I felt so sick and weak. Then I sniffed good wholesome meat, and opened the door on you. You know the rest. I washed, and dined, and now I am telling you the story."

"Is that all?" I enquired. "Assuming, of course, that you are to be believed, Mr. ______. I can neither confirm nor deny your tale, entertaining as it is; I cannot, however, rid myself of some sensation that you are withholding on some information - maybe even something you have deliberately left out of your recollections?"

For the first time since he had started speaking some time previously, the Time Traveller seemed perturbed. I fancied I had struck some nerve that he was expecting to remain untouched. After a few heavy seconds, he seemed to regain his composure.

"You are correct," he told me. "There is - there is something else that I experienced during my travels. I will, if you wish it, recount my experience, although before I do so, I must apologise in any advance for profanities. Although I do not intend to offend, in the interests of science, I may do so." And he took a deep breath.

"I have informed you, of couse, that at what I assume to be the end of Time, and the death of Earth, I observed no sign of life, save a small, football-sized tentacled creature near the shore of the stagnant sea? In my weariness, my torpor, I could not help but feel a sense, not of fascination, but melancholy. Were this to be the future of our planet, surely some vestige of humanity should live to see it - but there was no sign. I did not, I felt, have the right to be alone for this apocalyptical vista.

"I could have returned to the time I first visited - perhaps to bring some Eloi, or Morlock, with me, to show them what was to happen millions of years hence? However, I rationalised this to be a foolish notion, for neither Eloi nor Morlock would have any vested interest as I did, and I wished to cause no further harm to those rival factions, having meddled as I had during my first visit.

"I returned to my machine and took myself back several thousand years. Once again I found myself looking out at the blood-red shoreline, the steady ebb and flow of the tide oddly calming when compared to the silence I had just experienced. A swift glance around ascertained that none of the monstrous crabs I had nearly fallen prey to were in close proximity. Removing my levers, taking them in my pocket lest an accidental movement by some creature may rob me of my Time Machine, I left the vehicle and set off inland, following the course of a river branching in from the sea.

"For how long I ventured and where I came to, I have very little recollection. I was not expecting to find much: some version of humanity, maybe even mammal life, was not going to be a likely find, in this world ruled by crustaceans and arthropods. But I continued my journey, through curiosity rather than hope.

"Eventually, fatigued and despondent, I lay down upon the lichenous vegetation and fell into an uneasy slumber. My rest was fitful and my dreams somewhat... unfit for mixed company, if you catch my drift. I was, in my mind, reunited with Weena - my Weena. Her stark beauty and the grace with which she moved her body was the stern fixation of my eyes; she was more beautiful and yet more terrifying than the real Weena in my memory, but no less desirable.

"When I awoke, I was delirious with a wanton sense of arousal which I had rarely felt before. My eyes alighted upon a queer sight - the huge butterflies, one of which I had noticed the previous day, were flocking above me, dancing in the thin air akin to a murmuration of starlings. The effect was somewhat dazzling, yet served in no way to quench my desire. I theorised, at that time, that all I needed was relief, and so I was going to have to serve myself.

"I pulled down my trousers and perched upon a rock on to which the lichen had not yet encroached. Taking hold of my shaft with one hand, I felt an unfamiliar - but pleasant - throbbing sensation beating a steady tattoo upon my palm. With a mixture of excitement and agitation, I closed my hand into a fist and began to work my foreskin back and forth, the friction building up only serving to exacerbate the first pleasureable feelings I had had since departing the Eloi complex with my Weena. The memory of her, still fresh in my mind from the dream and undulating in front of my eyes whenever I closed them, caused my heart to beat audibly. The loudest sound, perhaps, in this dying world.

"Ridiculous as this recollection may sound, I was giving in to my baser instincts. My cock - I said," as I blanched, "that I apologised for any profanity, but I must continue my story. My cock had taken control of the rest of my body. The twitch and spasm was too much for me after all my experiences, and the size to whish it had grown seemed to be not enough. I felt as if it should swell to double, triple, quadruple its size, and continue to expand, as if to fill all the space in this dull, flat world. For a moment, nothing was quite enough."

There was a pause in which the Time Traveller's eyes glazed over. After five loud ticks from the grandfather clock in the hallway, he cleared his throat.

"I can't explain what became of me," he began, "only that I gave way to my feelings of lust. I emptied myself upon the ground. I was the last, you see, if you assume Onan to be the first." He almost smiled, allowing himself a joke.

"I had expected the butterflies to flee as I cried out, but they did not. I pulled myself together and retreated from my spot, beginning to make my way back down towards the sea, my lever clutched as firmly in my hand as my shaft had been earlier. I was momentarily distracted, however, by the flurry of wings behind me, and saw - with something approaching fascination - that the butterflies had descended to the ground, and were engaged in some sort of tussle, exactly around the spot at which my emissions lay. Interested though I was, I dared not encroach, in case these winged beasts were sapient or aggressive, and briskly made my way back to the beach.

"With relief, as evening drew in, I spotted my Time Machine, untouched. One of the titanic crabs was scuttling along the beach, so I took the last few metres at a sprint, re-attaching my lever and pulling myseld back into the stream of Time before it could react."

"Is that all you left out?" enquired the Medical Man. "That you gave yourself over to Onanism in the last days of Earth?"

"There is one more thing," the Time Traveller said, with a hint of admission in his voice. "Before returning to the present, and recounting my adventures as I have been doing to-day, I ventured once more to the spot at the end of the world, wanting one final look out at the red sun over a dark sea. Once again, I ruminated in the silence, and breathed heavily in the thin air. Only this time, I was no longer alone.

"I saw her in the twilight, just before I left. I would hesitate to call her human, but she certainly looked familiar. She flitted across the streaked, dusky sky on glowing white wings, with breasts, legs and abdomen all on show. I watched this angelic creature - a light in a dark world - flutter off until she disappeared over the horizon, checked that the flowers Weena had given me were still in my pocket, and then returned to you to-day.

"To you, of course, that may seem another unreal fantasy. To me, it happened nary an hour or two ago."


At the risk of disappointing Richardson I stayed on, waiting for the Time Traveller; waiting for the second, perhaps still stranger story, and the specimens and photographs he would bring with him. But I am beginning now to fear that I must wait a lifetime. The Time Traveller vanished three years ago, leaving but a single note:

Gone to find my daughter.

And, as everybody knows now, he has never returned.

[With apologies to HG Wells, in prudent admiration.]

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Sonic Boom!

I'm very rarely certain about things - like, 100% certain. There are few things in life which are certain (prices will rise; politicians will philander; Rogue One is going to be awesome), and - disposed as I am to making grand, sweeping statements absolutely every time I speak - I've never been absolutely certain of many things.

I heard the couple in the flat around the back of our house having sex. Of that, I am certain.

Our place is odd because it's a room in a share house, in the garden of which is something which I assume was once a garage, but has been converted into a studio flat. The young couple in it are loud - whether they mean to be or not. Six, the girl, is slightly louder than her boyfriend, Seven, who works in the catering industry and is a massive geek (to the point where he's considering getting a Wii U just for Super Smash Bros. To be fair, this is a sentiment I understand.). Not technically living in the same house as them, I am rarely party to their misadventures, although I always enquire as to how Six's foot is, considering how she broke it falling down the steps to their flat, and I've occasionally geeked out with Seven over a card game or two.

They also argue a lot and Six's voice carries. It's quite awkward when it's the middle of the night and there are raised voices and I'm just trying to have a wank in peace, damn it!

Things can't be all that bad, though, because - as it turns out - Six is just as loud when in the throes of orgasm as she is when she shouts.

I was just washing my hands after visiting the bathroom when I heard the succession of oh!s coming from the open window... which I duly closed. This didn't really make much of a difference, so I went around the surrounding areas closing every other window, at which point every oh! started reverberating through the vent above the shower. A momentary silence followed, during which I held my breath, before being treated to yet another, louder succession of oh!s, with occasional sounds somewhere between a cry and scream from Seven. Halfway down the stairs as I was, I started to reflect that I could distract myself by going to make lunch.

Then I realised that the kitchen was right next to the door to their flat, so I sat on the stairs, torn between anxiety and amusement and considering just being hungry until they'd finished.

They finished. Audibly.

Hoping to avoid detection (although quite why - one suspects they were assuming everyone was out; it's quite quiet, sex noises notwithstanding...), I crept downstairs to find Six hobbling into the kitchen on her crutch, hair a tangled mess but clearly quite pleased with herself, followed quickly by Seven, who greeted me with a wave far too cheery for him and an enthusiastic salutation.

"Hey! I didn't realise you were here!" I lied. "How's your foot, Six?"
"Fine," she lied back, wincing as she put her weight on it. "We were just... just... we were..."
"Going out?" I supplied.

"Yes, that'll do!" said Seven. "See you later maybe we can do something together at some point okay really are going out now bye!" And they vanished into thin air.

Almost. Just before they shut the front door, Seven turned round and gave me the faintest hint of a grin, which I returned, before finally opening the 'fridge to get sandwich fillers... as my halo lit up and began to shine.

Monday, 3 October 2016


In my early 20s - both before and after I'd started writing ILB - I gave myself a time after which I could do the sexy things that I used to do: watch porn, watch more porn, masturbate, shower, feel regretful, watch more porn, feel better. This time, which I selected completely arbitrarily, was 9pm. I coudn't so much as touch myself before 9. The only thing I could do was blog.

I don't know either.

I'd come back from university where I'd spent three years in a bubble of soft porn and sex chatrooms. As long as I wasn't doing anything else - and considering that my degree involved seven hours of teaching maximum per week - I considered that open season. Living with my parents, single and jobless, there was very little to occupy my time with - not even the essays about Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray I'd been writing one year prior. I couldn't masturbate all the time.

I really couldn't.

So I set myself a time limit. I'd wait until nine o'clock and then set to being as dirty as I liked (which usually didn't amount to much past having an orgasm and slinking off to bed, although I had my moments!). This had its advantages:

(i) less likelihood of my dad wandering in to ask if I wanted a cup of tea
(ii) some sort of reward for managing to make it through another day alive
(iii) er...

I made allowances for the cat. She could stay in the room; she probably wasn't watching me masturbate. She was asleep most of the time, in any case.

This worked well enough for a while before I stopped thinking of 9pm as a limit that I'd put on myself and started to think of it as more of a rule. I was trying to stave off sexual cravings until that crucial time hit - although quite how I can't recall, I didn't really do much - and feeling like I'd failed if I surrendered to temptation and made a mess at any point before it. Before long, the instant 9pm hit, I was a ball of raging horn with a rock-hard erection merely because my body had come to expact that at the time.

Of course, the orgasms I'd had were incredible. But then they always were. They still are.

Fast-forward to 2011 and another long period of no employment. At some point, I had abandoned the watershed I'd set for myself and started masturbating whenever I felt horny, which - in hindsight - seems like the obvious thing to do, as opposed to just... waiting. As a result, I masturbated a little more than I had before (because I had the opportunity to do so more than once a day...!), and although my orgasms weren't perhaps as good, they were more of a treat than what you'd get from a routine wank after hours.

I suppose I knew what I was doing at some point in all that. Although these days, of course - ten years on - I hardly have any time at all... so I'll take whatever I can get!

Friday, 30 September 2016

This is why I can't have nice things...

I masturbated today - nothing fancy, just a plain old honest-to-Glod masturbatory session. My girlfriend was out at work and so I had the place to myself. I had an awkward semi-nap for a while, read some comics, and then put on some porn I like and tried to bring myself to orgasm. One thing I was keen on, however, was not having an orgasm too quickly - I usually take a while (I call this "stamina"; others may disagree), but (having not had one for a few days, at least) I was anxious that it would just be over, and I wouldn't have time to enjoy it.

It all started well enough. I was doing my thing the way I always have, and then just when I felt the main event around the corner, my thought process decided to intervene.

Oh hey, I see you're having a wank. You're about to come, right? That's exciting, isn't it?
But you're not quite ready, are you?
I mean, you wanted to enjoy this, didn't you? Hey, this porn is quite good. Maybe you can enjoy it without having an orgasm, right?
Hey, maybe you should stop.
Stop! NOW!

The next few seconds were confusing. I had both stopped and tried not to stop at the same time, and before I knew what had happened, my shaft was covered in a viscous, sticky substance, but without the stimulation, I hadn't felt anything at all. I had, effectively, made myself come without orgasm, and immediately decided to isolate myself from the world entirely, perhaps moving to Nepal, where I intended to live as a goat.

Then I realised I was still hard.

Trying to ignore the fact that there was a large amount of natural lube to contend with, I managed to start manipulating my foreskin again, getting back into it, the familar size and weight of my throbbing cock in my hand - porn back on, imagination working, penis twitching, hand working up and down. Back in the game.

Before long, I felt orgasm approaching again, and this time, I wrestled my thought process to the ground, followed by giving it a roundhouse kick in the face. This time I was ready, and by gum, I was going to have my orgasm.

And I did. I had my orgasm. The deep, shuddering pleasure accompanied by a pulsating cock, shooting... well... nothing.

Hmmm, something's missing here, I thought. For a couple of wild moments, I thought that I'd somehow broken myself; then I realised that I came earlier, and maybe this was just the second half of that event. Before I realised that this was a stupid idea, my cock gave one last Herculean twitch, and I suddenly - and unexpectedly - shot several strings of very thick, very sticky cum... all over my nice grey jumper.

I grabbed the tissues, set to work cleaning everything up, and then started thinking about exactly how much it would cost to get this jumper properly cleaned, and if it wouldn't just be less trouble to think of some alternative.

See you in Nepal!

Thursday, 29 September 2016


"Keep an eye open," asked Marks, the boy in shorts, "and if you see a chemist anywhere, let me know."
"Will do," I affirmed, and duly kept my eyes peeled for such an establishment.

A few seconds passed.

"Why?" I eventually got around to asking. To be honest, it was a fair question. Exactly why he would be seeking out a pharmacist in this situation was something I didn't have an answer for. If I was going to be pointing out one to him, I thought I was due some form of explanation.
"Oh, I'm going to have sex with Beth," he said, "but I don't have any condoms with me, so I'm going to need to buy some."

We were on a youth camp full of 14-to-22-year-olds, so as I pointed out, there were likely to be condoms everywhere. There had certainly been a lot of nudity; one would assume that there would, also, be a certain amount of sex. One of the younger ones had already left the camp due to the fact that the girl he fancied didn't want to have sex with him: the British delegation, of which I was a part, were mostly upset due to a ban on alcohol and "euphoria drugs". But none of us had left.

Due to the fact that I don't speak Danish, finding a chemist proved to be a difficult task, especially considering the speed at which we were walking. None of the Danes who were hosting us were present (maybe they were upset by all the alcohol and euphoria drugs), not even the hot one with long blonde hair and low-slung jeans who always seemed to find an excuse to talk to me.

Eventually, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a green cross on a white background, relaying this information to Beth, who then told Marks. He grabbed a handful of kroner from her and ran off at the speed of sound, returning with a packet of something mysteriously labelled "Black Cat".
"Black Cat...?" I whispered under my breath. "What on earth...?"
"They're condoms, apparently," replied Marks, slipping the little box into his pocket, "and I'm sure they'll do. Tell me if you hear us having sex, all right?"

"Uhm..." I replied, which was the best I could do, considering all the noise the rest of our group was making. They'd found a shop selling the Danish candy called Spunk, which is - of course - the funniest thing IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

As it happens, I didn't hear Marks and Beth having sex at all, but apparently they did, more than once, throughout the rest of the camp. It wasn't until the train journey on the way back, which took us through Frankfurt, Lille and Brussels before returning to London, that I realised I'd optimistically brought a selection of condoms with me - as I always did to camp; never ended up using one - and that I would have been able to donate one, or the whole lot, to Marks. I liked the guy, after all, and I certainly liked Beth.

"You know," I said to him after a little conversation, "I had some condoms with me. I could have given you one..."


"...a condom. I could have given you a condom I just... just... just didn't," I finished, a little lamely.
"That's all right," said Marks. "I had my lucky black cat." It's the wittiest thing he's ever said.
"What colour are they?" I suddenly burst out, asking the question I'd been dying to since I saw the name on the box.
"Huh? They're clear, like... well... like condoms are."


It really says something when I'm more disappointed by the fact that the condoms that my friend had been using weren't actually black than I was by the fact that I'd brought condoms of my own that had ended up going unused.

Although as for quite what it says...

Monday, 26 September 2016

Heavy Breathing

I once went through a period of writing songs about one specific person. Most of my songs are about people - I have an irritating habit of channeling my unrequited affections into word rather than deed - but this one specific person I rarely saw. Every time I did see her, I found her more and more attractive, and although I wrote songs, I didn't think she'd ever hear any of them... although, actually, she did; not that she clocked that they were about her.

She didn't really realise any of it. That the songs were about her or that I was sending her things to try and drop hints. Buying some little stones that referred to her name or painting the name of a song by the band I liked onto a felt heart for her. I stopped short of writing a love letter, but still, I tried to make some sort of intimation. I went so far as to declare that "I have never had a secret admirer" during a game of "I Have Never".

Somebody pointed out that you may not know if you have ever had a secret admirer. She didn't drink either way.

Once, on a holiday weekend, she was a little tipsy and had been going around snogging people. She was looking, although not very hard, for a fourth person to kiss, and I found myself in a room with several other people... and her.

"Who wants to get off with me?" she shouted from her position (lying supine on one of the beds).
"I'll get off with you, if you like," I said, surprised by my sudden boldness.

For all the physical contact that was going on at these things, I never really got a lot of action. Hugs, yes. I was a safe space, a non-threatening boy that was nice to hug, but wasn't going to try anything. I also wasn't very attractive. But, this time, I was actually going to go for it, act out the fantasy of a guilt-free kiss with the girl I'd been obsessed with for years.

After dithering for a while and exchanging a look with another person in the room, I walked as briskly as I could over to where she was lying, bent down...

...and we kissed.

That was it. That was as far as it went. At first, I wasn't even sure she knew it was me (although another game of "I Have Never" clarified that she did, in fact, know it was me), having only once kissed a drunk person before and that was my girlfriend. Nevertheless, it was a really nice kiss. I just wished, at the time, that it had lasted longer.

And I scuttled out of the room.

It was unreal. I'd never kissed anyone I fancied completely randomly, and suddenly I had. It may seem like something small, but to me, it was a big deal. I felt wanton and sullen, and it took a dance to the whole of Build Me Up Buttercup to bring me out of my rêverie. Whether or not I saw her again (I did) or it went any further (it didn't), at least I had this one memory, a light in the darkness, just to remind me of what happens if you take a chance.

As you can probably tell, this meant more to me than it did to her at the time. And I doubt she even remembers it... but I certainly do. I did write a song about it, you see...

Friday, 23 September 2016

Alicia vs. Rue

Back in 2006 I used to work with a guy I'll call Rue. He was a fairly nice bloke (despite the fact that he had tattoos on his arms of several different girls' names; none of them, he said, were real), and I ran into him a couple of times en route to work. I don't think we had much in common - despite the fact that we had both seen the film Kidulthood and he made an obscure Knightmare reference once ("Is everything done on Levels 1, 2 and 3?") which only I laughed at (okay, maybe we had more in common than I thought!) - but we got on okay.

At the time I was also sleeping with Alicia. This dreamlike, slightly unreal arrangement didn't last too long - it was never a relationship, just that old cliché of friends who have sex - but it broke the dry spell I'd had throughout university and the year beyond and was mutually beneficial (she had many orgasms; I got to have sex; we both got to eat hummus and discuss current affairs while fingering on the sofa). It was through my sex with Alicia that I disovered my penchant for oral, for which I am eternally grateful.

The amount of energy I had at 21 was amazing.

I had two jobs at the time - a midweek one and a weekend one. The weekend one - which actually made me money; the other one was voluntary - involved working with Rue. Alicia, who also worked during the week, was quite receptive to an evening visit and accompanying shag on Saturday nights, after which we'd sleep together and I'd get dressed into a spare uniform and head back into central London for my Sunday shift. I also, occasionally, went to see her during the week after occasional forays into London for music/arts-related events (go to band; play the triangle; sex with lady), but the weekend bits were often the best.

After a while two people managed to cotton onto the fact that I went "missing" on Saturday nights: H, whom I immediately told everything to (while standing behind the counter at work - it made for good conversation), and my mum, who I didn't. While my sister found out (although quite how...) and told everyone she could, including Robinson et al. and her boyfriend-of-the-moment, I needed a plausible excuse to provide the older members of my family.

Rue was that excuse.

He was a known entity to my mother, but only in passing; a shadow, an unknown quantity with an unusual name. Improvising wildly, I came up with what was essentially a very believable lie: Rue had come into some money and was renting a nice flat somewhere in Harrow (Alicia lived, and still does live, in Harrow - hence the idea.). Being single and well-to-do, he was holding all-night social gatherings, with sleepovers, in his flat, mostly on Saturday nights with his work colleagues. This was where I was going, and from where I came back on Sunday evenings, tired out from two days of retail work and wild humping sleepovers at Rue's.

And so things continued. I worked during the week and got experience; I worked during the weekend and got money. Alicia lay on her back and had multiple orgasms. H laughed, my sister gossiped and I had sex. Rue, who had absolutely no idea anything was going on, seemed to accept my context-free, unsolicited thank-yous and occasional slaps on the back with nothing more than polite befuddlement and requests of where be could find a picture of a cat for his next tattoo (I suggested JLA: Earth-2; he settled on Maus, also a good choice).

Alicia told me, just before Christmas 2006, that the physical side of things between us was over (to be fair, I had known it was coming), but that she still wanted to be friends. She championed my subsequent year of failed attempts to find someone else to have sex with, amazed that I wasn't having any luck (I, however, was far from amazed). At the same time, I decided to tell my mum that Rue had decided to move to Brighton and therefore his weekend sleepovers were terminated.

This wasn't far from the truth. Rue did actually move to Brighton. He just didn't move until months after I told her this.

Shortly before I left that job, I was heading off to one of my final weekends at work when there was no service on the National Rail (now London Overground) line I used to take into London. My mum kindly drove me to a local tube station, and as she was parking up, I noticed - who else? - Rue, who had himself been somewhere he probably shouldn't overnight, and was making his own way to work.

"Hey, I know that guy!" I said. "He's one of my colleagues from work."
"Oh?" asked my mother, intrigued. "Who's that?"

He's the guy with the unusual name whose fictitious flat I kept pretending to go to in the evenings, but that didn't actually happen, I was just having sex with a friendly older woman named Alicia; he was just a very convenient excuse.

"James," I answered.