Sunday, 18 February 2018

Eroticon 2018: Meet & Greet

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It's That Time Again, so it seems. That's not the name of a wartime comedy on BBC Radio, though; it's my sneaky way of telling you that I'm about to copy-and-paste the Eroticon 2018 Meet & Greet and hack it into pieces with my approximation of words.

The first thing I need to clarify is that I won't be attending all of Eroticon this year. It's my birthday on Saturday the 17th (I am accepting kisses...), and I've got tickets to see Hamilton that afternoon, so I won't be attending the final hour or so of Saturday's 'con. I'm not too fussed at missing the Kink Lab session, really, and you don't have to put up with my face for those precious few moments. Everybody wins!

Anyway, I will be there for:

- The Friday night drinks
- Saturday morning
- Saturday lunch-time
- Saturday evening entertainment
- Sunday (all day)

Plus, y'know, Hamilton. Because that's important.

With that in mind, here are the questions...

*

Name (and Twitter, if you have one)

Apparently it is still "Innocent Loverboy", although this is commonly abbreviated to ILB (pronounced "I'll be" or "aiulbuhh" if you are drunk). I'll probably answer to most other things, to be honest, under the delusion that anyone wants to talk to me.


Oh, and I'm on Twitter as @innocentlb. I'm also on Ello, Twoo (formerly Spring.me), and Quora, although I have no idea how that one happened. I'm also probably on Google Plus by default, as I have a Google account and everything.

What are you most looking forward to about Eroticon 2018?

Hamilton doesn't count, right?


Seriously, though, it really is all about seeing everyone. There's always the convenient myth that we all know each other and bump into each other ALL THE FREAKING TIME, but that never happens. Tight though the community may be, we don't really do anything this big apart from meeting at Eroticon, and that's what I'm looking forward to. That's why I keep going!

We are creating a playlist of songs for the Friday Night Meet and Greet. Nominate one song that you would like us to add to the playlist and tell us why you picked that song.

Holy wow, a new question! I'm going to go for Nothing but Love by James, because it's odd, but empowering, and most people have heard it without realising what it is or who it's by. And it's got the word "Love" in the title, so it speaks to my condition.

What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

When I was five, I told the educational psychologist that I wanted to be a "film director". I don't actually remember this, but I remember wanting to be a palaeontologist when I was about two, because I was interested in dinosaurs; of course I was interested in dinosaurs - I was two.


I had clearer ideas about what I didn't want to do when I was older - I think one of the things I discounted was singing opera, which is odd because I love to sing. Predictably, one of the other things on that list was the thing I now do professionally, because of course.

Weirdest place you’ve ever gotten up to mischief (define ‘mischief’ however you like…)

You mean sex here, right? You can't fool me with your 'however you like' rhetoric. I'M ONTO YOU.


Uhm, anyway, the oddest place I've had sex is in the little cubbyhole above the driver's seat in a motorhome. It wasn't very good sex, because there wasn't any room to move (and I'm a little claustrophobic sometimes, so sleeping in the same place later on that day wasn't fun), but I seriously doubt we would have had sex in any other part of said motorhome.

That's a lie. We totally would have.

Tell us two truths and a lie about yourself.

(i) I'm a radical socialist and have always been, but the first time I was eligible to vote in a general election, I voted Conservative, for a laugh.

(ii) I have never had sexual intercourse outside.

(iii) I have never been to North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia or Antarctica. Effectively, I've never never ventured outside Europe.


Complete the sentence: I want...

to dance a pirouette; want to fall on the floor like a marionette; I want to walk on stilts until my legs drop off; be saved from the sea by David Hasselhoff.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Lady Rolo

On Valentine's Day, I came home, took off my blazer, flung my bag into a corner, sat down, pulled out my diary and a pen, and started to write.

My school has been doing it for years, although I've no idea whose idea it was originally. It must have been fairly cheap, too - all they needed to do was buy a couple of packs of Rolos and some silver wrapping paper. If you wanted to, you could pay 50p to the school council, whereupon they would send a Rolo to the person you had a crush on, along with a note if you so wished.

I rather wanted to point out that this involved telling the school council who you fancied, and exactly why this was a terrible idea, and in any case Rolos are made by Nestlé, so you shouldn't be buying them anyway. I'd been trying to get the tuck shop to stop selling Nestlé stuff for years, which (of course) they didn't.

I wasn't really expecting to be sent a Rolo, and therefore, I wasn't surprised when none arrived for me. I was surprised when the school council turned up during form time and delivered a Rolo to the naughty, dysfunctional kid named Wayne who sat in the corner and muttered dark things to anyone who passed. But I wasn't going to get anything. I wasn't fanciable, anyway - I was too nice, too intelligent, and too much of an outcast. And people kept telling me I was ugly, so there was that as well.

By period four, the novelty of being given one single sweet (and one more dead baby) wrapped in cheap silver paper had worn off. I wasn't seriously expecting anyone to hook up; there weren't that many couples as it was, and those who did have significant others had taken to looking elsewhere for them. And then there were people like me. But then, it did provide a talking point as a bit of idle chatter, and so I asked a friend - who I knew had a boyfriend, so her answer should have been 'no' anyway - if she had been sent any Rolos.

She said she hadn't, but that Bob had been sent three.

THREE! Most people didn't even get one!

My mind went into overdrive. I'd kind of worked out who had sent Rolos to who - Wayne's was easy; she'd signed her note - but I had no idea about Bob. I had no idea if anyone had a crush on her - except me, but I didn't send any - although, because I could see why one would fancy her, I shouldn't have been surprised.

But I was surprised. Three Rolos. Three!

I didn't wait around that afternoon. I went home immediately without waiting around for Einstein or Lightsinthesky. My dad knew better than to ask me if I had been sent any Rolos. He'd bought my mum a Valentine's card, which I thought was quite sweet. I said that I wanted to go upstairs and write my diary entry, and that I'd talk to him later. Off I went.

I sat on my bed, wondering what to write. What do I say? My diary was always for public consumption - I let people read it, and read bits of it aloud to people. Pretty much everything I write has been intended for an audience. I hadn't mentioned that I had a crush on Bob, and in fact, had been telling myself for years that I didn't. I couldn't put something so scandalous in my diary, and besides, I knew from experience how painful it was being fancied by me. (Although the silver girl and the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on appear to have gotten over it by now, I still feel sorry about it.) But I knew - although I wasn't entirely sure why - I needed to write about this.

I mean, three Rolos. That's at least three people. Four, if you count me. At least four.

I took my pen, put it to paper, and wrote her name over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and...

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Soft Porn Sunday: Flower Edwards & Eric Stratton

It is said that, if you are awake at midnight on a certain day in mid-winter, you can concentrate all your efforts into hearing the cries. Follow their melodic tones into the wilds, and when you are at a safe distance from civilisation, you may see her. Perhaps just a glimpse at first, but be patient. Sit and wait, and eventually, she will appear to you. Not of this plane, but not entirely of the next, Flower Edwards lies alone and friendless, and only intense concentration and meditation on your part can draw her to you from the netherspace in which she resides.

Which is my excuse for having not mentioned Flower Edwards before. Not that it's immediately obvious who she is - she is often simply credited as "Flower", which could mean that she plays a random begonia in the background or something, or maybe a lupin in Robin's grove in Virgins of Sherwood Forest. Maybe she's a red rose that magically appears whenever Emmanuelle and Haffron make love, or something. As it turns out, her name isn't even really "Flower". Her name is Miyoko Fujimori: she's Asian-American and from Los Angeles, as opposed to Mexican as Fast Lane to Vegas would have you believe.

It's a stretch, I know.

So how do you solve a problem like Flower Edwards? What do you do with her if it's not going to be racist like making her a Japanese sex kitten or a Mexican señorita just because she looks slightly exotic?

Simple. Make her an alien - problem solved.

Appearance: Andromina - The Pleasure Planet (1999)
Characters: Alexa & Cody

Okay, so Alexa, play Smoke on the Water, is the character played by Flower Edwards in Andromina. Unlike some of the other female characters in Andromina, she doesn't get much to do, and for a while, I thought she would be a sexless character. She does get to rub herself a bit while watching Jeeter and Roxie having sex, but in amongst all the fairly constant banging, there isn't much for Alexa, re-order cat food, to do. It seems, initially, that the job of Alexa, turn the Christmas lights off, is to represent the "technologically advanced" subsection of her planet's all-female society, and in doing so, effectively corral all the male leads (and the female hangers-on they have managed to explicitly pick up through their gormless lack of sex appeal) into the prison she handily runs.

Yes, she runs a prison; not that it matters too much, because everyone beams out of it to return to Andromina anyway. Before this, however, a loose plot thread needs to be tied up: Cody. The "third man" of the impromptu Scouting for Girls party genuinely doesn't do much on arrival - as opposed to the other two, who immediately have sex with the first women they meet, Cody runs straight into Alexa, tell me a joke, who zaps him with a... zappy... thing... and then takes him to her prison, where he spends the rest of the movie strapped to her ULTRA HIGH-TECH TOP-SECURITY IMPRISONMENT SYSTEM (which is basically some braces attached to a wall).

Some people actually got paid for writing this.

Alexa, what's the weather like outside?, and Cody have sex towards the end because who cares, we have ten minutes left and Flower Edwards is contracted for one more day of filming, so fuck it, let's have some more banging.

That's a very odd sideburn, innit?
The set-up for this, if you could call it that, is that Alexa, search for cinema times, is "curious". She kisses Cody once earlier on, and if either Flower or Stratton could act, there might have been a spark there somewhere. Here, she kisses him again, and there clearly is a spark, because she starts taking her clothes off. Yes, seriously - that's all it is. There's even a two-second silence before the music starts, as if the orchestra wasn't expecting this at all, and had a rush to get all their instruments ready.

The first minute basically consists of disrobing, with occasional moments of random licking (seriously), curiously long shots of what is probably meant to be sexy dancing but is basically Flower's bum as she bobs up and down on the spot, and occasional breast, bush, or back shots to remind us that this is a sex scene. Flower gets lots to do, and I suppose Stratton probably does too, but I've just watched this scene twice and I can't recall his face. I don't suppose that's a good sign.

Flower, by the way, is beautiful. She has lovely facial features, a radiant smile, a natural body, nicely
Mmmmmm...
proportioned breasts, and a tan-line which shouldn't be there because Alexa, find my car keys, is never shown to wear a bikini. She's also proving, during the first minute and a half, to be fairly flexible, as we find her in all sorts of odd positions while she gets licked by Cody.


One minute and thirty-four seconds in is the only bit of the scene that has ever made me orgasm (although it's managed that, so...). This is The Sex Bit and it actually utilises the ULTRA HIGH-TECH TOP-SECURITY IMPRISONMENT SYSTEM as a prop, which makes sense, since it's the only prop they have (and in fact the only bit of scenery; the rest is complete darkness). Alexa, search for nursing homes, has suddenly realised how to have sex, and is doing so up against the wall while holding onto handles of the ULTRA HIGH-TECH TOP-SECURITY IMPRISONMENT SYSTEM for support (I like this, it's a nice bit of design). She's facing Cody, who is bopping back and forth (and we can't see his face, which helps).

Alexa: "YMCA..."
AND SHE IS STILL WEARING HER BOOTS. I love that trope. Never mind that, from the look of them, they'd take about nine years to remove - whatever the reason, she hasn't taken her boots off. She's so desperate to have sex that she's still got her shoes on. That's so incredibly sexy - I love it!

The rest is really boring, though, so there's that.

Most sex scenes start with kissing, then teasing, disrobing, foreplay and sex, in that order. This one dispenses a few seconds of sex and then insta-fades into effectively a montage of Stuff, which is mostly Flower being strapped to the ULTRA HIGH-TECH TOP-SECURITY IMPRISONMENT SYSTEM and getting touched in odd places - kissed up her thigh, licked between her breasts and generally molested (there are even some shots where you can very clearly see Flower's vulva, which is slightly incongruous for softcore), entirely in semi-darkness, and while her body is great, there's nothing particularly interesting there. She is even strapped to what is effectively a St Andrew's cross and flipped over so that Stratton can do exactly the same thing to her, but she's upside down.

Hmmm, St Andrew's cross in a St Peter's cross style. I wonder if they're implying something.

VULVA wheeee im sharin dirty pics im a pr0nographer!!!1

I mean, I'd like to enjoy this. I'd like to be able to say that it's racy BD/SM or that it's an interesting reversal, insofar as the dominant, authoritarian figure is discovering her submissive side and being ironically taken advantage of (albeit consensually) via her own ULTRA HIGH-TECH TOP-SECURITY IMPRISONMENT SYSTEM. I can't say that, however, because it's really boring, and by the time he rotates her back up and goes in for another sloppy kiss (at which point her hands are mysteriously free), I've just stopped being interested.

Oh heck dang, look, a softcore blowjob. Yawn. And he's doing stuff to her hair. Snore. And now I suppose they're having sex. Humph WAIT A SECOND WHAT THE FUCK?

Four minutes and fifteen seconds into this snooze-fest and they've reactivated the sex button. Unlike
She certainly has the X Factor.
the earlier bit, however, this sex is hardly believable, or exciting. Alexa, wake me up in ten minutes, is clearly meant to be enjoying sex from behind (because Cody is behind her), and she's certainly writhing a bit while he touches various bits, but there's actually not much else to it. Flower smiles a lot and we get to see her boobs for the rest of the scene, but I'm finding it hard to get turned on by this when sex was depicted to well at the start of the scene. It's completely anti-climactic, and for a film that does standing doggy-style sex so well earlier on, that's a little bit sad.


In fact, it's very sad. I really like Andromina: The Pleasure Planet, despite its slightly ethically questionable plot. I know nothing about Eric Stratton - I don't recognise him, really - but I really do like Flower Edwards; she doesn't get to do much in a lot of things I've seen her in, but she is pretty and she can act a bit, so it's nice to see her get a whole scene like this. It's just a shame that it is this scene - the one let-down in a film with no less than six other sex scenes, which are all better than this one. The fact that it's the final scene also doesn't help. At all.

I also think she's meant to be an alien. Hang on, I'll check. Alexa, identify your own species.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Innocent Blubberboy

Last week, while at the gym, I got caught up in my loose trousers, fell face-forward onto the treadmill upon which I was jogging, bashed my knee, and then got rolled off the treadmill, catching my hand in the process. Trainers dragged me to the side and tried to send me to hospital, but since nothing was broken, I insisted I was okay and limped home.

Exercise régime going well then, ILB?

I really dislike exercising. I'm not good at any of it - I mean, yes, I'm a fairly strong swimmer when I need to be, I'm an adequate dancer if you ask the right people, and I can jog for a while (yes, jog. People have forgotten that word, substituting "running" in its place. I'm trying to bring it back, refusing firmly to be one of those twats that goes "running" on a daily basis) without dying of heart failure. But I don't like it. It takes time and effort, it hurts, and I don't feel the satisfaction that everyone else in the universe seems to claims to.

So why do I do it?

Because, really, I'm seriously unhappy with my body shape. I've been exercising semi-regularly for a while now (I'm a member of a gym, for Luigi's sake!) and I still don't appear to have lost any weight. I looked at my face in the mirror yesterday and noticed a complete lack of chin, something flabby hanging there that wasn't always present. I've been jogging and cycling, but don't feel any fitter; I do ab crunches, but can't see my abs; I swim, but I still get out of breath doing one length of breaststroke and have to scull on my back in order to get back to the shallow end.

I keep doing it, but I'm not feeling any difference, and I'm certainly not seeing any.

I'd feel better about it, were I not so worried about my image. And I'd feel better about my image were it not for comparison. And I know I shouldn't be comparing myself to anyone else, but that's what I do.

Next month, I'm going to Eroticon. Eroticon, for those of you who haven't gone, is full of absolutely beautiful people. 'Con goers are stunning - everyone looks fabulous, radiant even, surrounded by a heady glow of body positivity that we should all be indulging in, but I've never been able to possess. While ILB fits in like a hand in glove (well, he's part of the community, right?), his body is failing him. It doesn't match up to all the confident, sexual people who are both physically flawless by whatever standard and positive about it.

It makes me feel sick. I feel inadequate, unattractive, and undesirable.

This isn't what I'm meant to do. I've never given that much attention to physical appearances - not least of all my own. I scoffed at people in secondary school who put all their value on hair gel and face creams, and I continue to question the wisdom of those who wash their hair every day. I've never thought of myself as attractive - I've been told so by many people, mainly cisgender, heterosexual, female people - but now I'm making an effort, it's not doing anything.

I'm just sweating, that's all I'm doing. I'm tiring myself out, I'm making myself hurt, and I'm sweating like a very sweaty person who sweats, and nothing else happens. I don't feel better about myself - I feel worse. Like I'm doing something, but not enough, whatever "enough" is, or I am doing enough and something else is cancelling it out, like my diet or my slow metabolism.

Whatever it is, my goal this time last year was to lose enough weight to feel better about my shape by the time February rolled around in 2018. It's now February 2018 and I haven't changed. I'm big and I'm getting bigger, I feel very unhealthy, and some of my clients the other day called me fat, so as encouraging as my girlfriend is, there's got to be some truth in it.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I just needed to vent and this was an ideal place to do so. But if you see me at any time soon, have a look at my eyes. They're the only part of me I'm comfortable with... and if you see them sparking with tears, don't be alarmed. I'm probably just not feeling like I'm worthy of your attention.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Sex and Sacrilege

One of the first times I was accused (falsely) of having a crush on anyone I didn't was at the age of about 10. I had taken on the task (well, was given it, actually; I didn't have much of a choice) of speaking at church. It was coming up to Christmas, and we put on a kind of nativity-cum-carol-service thingy in which The Youth did some of the speaking bits. I was put in a balcony above the pulpit, and my job was to tell the story, and occasionally scatter oats from above while shouting "Christ is born!", thus announcing the birth of the Messiah and causing a headache for the cleaners at the same time.

Next to me in the balcony was a girl of the same age named BC (her initials, anyway - quite appropriate for the story we were telling, which happened in 4 BC). Having a voice just as loud as mine and being one of the oldest children, she also shared story-telling duties with me, although unlike me, she didn't get to scatter any oats. I didn't know BC very well - we were friends, but only within the church setting - and at this point my interest in her was only professional. It wasn't until one of the younger children said something like "there's talk going around about you and BC" that I realised two older people sitting in a balcony together, and talking in perfect harmony, may look somewhat romantic to the untrained eye. Also, we were 10, so maybe not.

I stopped going to church at about 11 (not because I wasn't interested - just because I was getting lazy), and inadvertently became one of the diminishing number of attendees that affect the religious in the 21st century, but every now and again, I made cameo appearances, partially to worship God, and partially for the tea and biscuits, but mostly so that old women could remark upon how tall I was getting and asking if I was 18 yet. At the age of 12, I found that both unnerving and scary; I wasn't even sure I'd make it to 18.

The next carol service I attended was a few years after my oat-scattering escapade at the age of about 14. By 14, I was incredibly sexually awakened. I'd been watching soft porn, had both biological and PSHE lessons at secondary school, and was starting to get crushes on girls, although - as I have documented here in extensive detail before - I was yet to even think about masturbation. For some reason, the service was partially held outside, in the freezing cold; jacket potatoes were available (for which I was incredibly grateful - I'll never pass up a jacket potato), there was mulled wine for the adults, and very little for children to do. I was 14, so I probably wanted to go home.

It was only when I went into the darkened building to use the toilet that it occurred on me that there were so many tiny corners in the church (and the adjacent hall, which would be later used for pantomime, holiday clubs and my 21st birthday party) which would be the ideal place to have sex. Probably (if not most definitely) not the most appropriate place to do so - although it's not a Catholic church, so it's not like one has the Virgin watching - but this was just a fantasy, right? So it's not wrong, right, to walk around the corridors and mentally note all the places were it would happen should the opportunity arise within the next thirty minutes? How long did sex last, anyway? Could it take less than thirty minutes?

Halfway through this task (and part of the way up the spiral stairs that led to yet another balcony where I would later sit and project the hymns' words using a PC), a different problem presented itself to me: someone to fantasise about having sex with. I had a crush on someone at school, but I was determined not to think about sex with her (and I didn't, not even once). What I needed, as it turned out, was someone to have dirty thoughts about - someone my age, preferably who I knew but not very well, who may well turn up to something like this, click with me and decided that what she really needed was to cement our new-found and incomparably passionate relationship with a quick shag in a darkened corner of a nearby large building.

I asked one of the Elders if BC was around. It was the first person I could think of, and coincidentally the only one. The Elder told me that she didn't recognise the name, but that the surname rang a bell, and that that family hadn't attended the church since Revd David had left a few years prior (I was there; I shook his hand and burst into tears). She also couldn't remember the face, but I could.

In the car on the way home a vague picture formed in my head which consisted mostly of BC getting railed by me in an unspecified dark corner. I may have given her bigger breasts than I remember, but then, if she had aged as much as I had, they probably would have been bigger. I also may have reimagined her face slightly, although I got the vague details down - they may have been confused, perhaps, with that of another girl I knew who had the same first name as BC and similar facial structure. I couldn't really remember her voice, but I invented one.

Ten minutes later, while making myself a hot chocolate at home, I realised that what I'd actually done was create an entirely fictional person based on a real person's name and a wild assumption about her continuing existence past the age of ten. I'd never heard of her since and I have still never heard either of or from her, nor have I sought her out because I have no particular need to do so, and apart from throwing oats at a crowd (actually, now I think about it, they were probably Sugar Puffs) from a box, my only enduring memory of her is fictionalising the top half of her body in order to imagine I was having sex with it (or something).

I feel like this is something I should apologise for. But, while I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me, I think I'll probably just go and get a jacket potato instead.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Shouldn't have gone to Specsavers

I need glasses, apparently. This is interesting news, although not completely unforeseen. It may well be a hereditary thing - or, as my sister so eloquently put it while indicating my parents, herself, and me, "glasses... glasses... glasses... fucked."

It's not the first time I've worn glasses. I used to wear them for reading when I was 16. Diagnosed with long-sightedness just before GCSE season, I was asked to identify a free pair of spectacles to wear and immediately chose the biggest, roundest, nerdiest pair of glasses I could find, rocking up at school the following week looking like Harry Potter and getting a mixture of stares from fellow students and compliments from my Maths teacher. And I had something else to discuss with Einstein, of course, who also wore glasses (and still does; I swear they are the same pair of specs he had when he was 16 himself).

So today I went to see the optician, although it wasn't the sexy one with all the touching I usually see, she was brisk and efficient, and ended up telling me that the chalazion I had before 'con last year was a result of dry eyelids, I should buy special wipes to help my eyelashes recover from loose skin, and that I shouldn't hold my breath while she's preparing to blow air into my eyes (although I didn't realise I was doing the last one. I also hold my breath when the hairdresser washes my hair, as if I'm laying my head on the block or something.). I also have mild astigmatism, so I need to get glasses.

I don't really mind this - I think glasses are seriously sexy. A lot of people I've fancied have worn them, three out of four girlfriends have been bespectacled (and some of the best sex I've ever had has been with them still wearing their glasses and nothing else, and I even volunteered to fix a broken pair belonging to the girl with whom I wanted to have sex during a badminton session. (I removed my white poppy and tightened the screws with the pin - it worked perfectly. A very angry, horny friend who was both very angry and horny then assumed I had a crush on her, called her ugly, and told me to get my eyes tested. Well, I have now done so - what now, fucker?)

Of course, I'll never find myself particularly attractive. But I browsed the £25 range for a pair that doesn't make me look absolutely appalling... and I picked one. More traditional soft squares in a thick plastic frame (in black - the frame, not the lenses). At worst, they'll make me look like Gregg Wallace. At best, they'll make me look like Marcus Brigstocke. More likely, though, I'll look like myself. With glasses on. I'm sure I can cope with that.

Now to sort out the rest of my body...

Monday, 29 January 2018

Do Not Want

"It's your birthday soon," my mother reminded me. "You've usually made a list of things you want by this point."

She wasn't wrong. My birthday's in March. I used to have a list ready by the end of January, just in case my parents needed the time to get a loan or something.


"I don't really have anything I specifically want," I replied, "but I've got a list of things I don't want..."

Which was true. I was more afraid of getting something I genuinely didn't want and having to feign gratitude. I wasn't very good at it, as I'd discovered by this point. The only thing I was really interested in getting was a new N64 game, and I doubted my parents' budget would stretch that far. I was 14, and sinking deeper into depression than ever before, I was beginning to lose interest in things I once liked. I had my books, at least.

In any case, I produced my list of "least wanted" and pinned it to the corkboard. I seem to remember the first one being something vague like "violent things", but at least it gave them a broad range of what not to aim for.

The second thing on my list was more defined:

Anything designed for spotty herberts. Like designer deodorants, "worrying teenager" books and the like... I am NOT an adolescent.

I'd had a lot of conversations with my dad about the definition of the word "adolescent" by that point, and the general consensus had been that adolescence was a state of mind, when one was confrontational, moody and rebellious. I've never been overly rebellious. I had some terrible times ahead, including days when I wasn't sure if I'd make it through the next 24 hours, but at this point, I was okay.

"It's true, though," my mother finally said after puzzling over the odd font I'd chosen to write the list in. "You're not an adolescent. I think you've outgrown that phase."

"Thanks, that's kind of you to say," I heard my mouth saying. My brain was running something more along the lines of

fuck fuck fuck! she knows! she knows i've given up watching porn! she wasn't supposed to know to begin with! don't say anything, don't say anything, don't... 

She'd vanished, presumably to do whatever it is she does in her spare time. Dodged a bullet there, I thought to myself.

One of the reasons I'd so strenuously pressed the issue of not being an adolescent is that I had made one of my frequent efforts to stop watching porn. I enjoyed partaking every now and again, but I was underage, and breaking the law by watching it (I think... it's not clear). I knew everyone else did it, and I knew lots of people masturbated to it, which I wasn't doing. But I felt dirty about doing so. I felt unclean. And, for no reason other than the fact that there were schoolyard snickers about it (the laughter, not the chocolate bar), I knew deep down that watching porn was wrong.

So I gave it up. Or, at least, I tried to. Some of my efforts were more successful than others - this one was working quite well. The TV in my room was mostly used to play Super Mario 64 and didn't tune in very well to Channel 5; I used to sneak downstairs to watch Gran's TV when I could, but that was risky; I enjoyed having my healthy teenage erections, but since I didn't wank, I had no idea what to do with them, aside from curling into the foetal position and waiting for them to go away.

As a result, I was kind of getting more sleep (insofar as "sleep" is concerned. I was staying in bed longer; I can never really sleep). This one was more successful - I hadn't even so much as seen an explicit image in over a week. I was making a concerted effort to think about it less, as well. One more month and I'd be totally clean. Of course I would.

i won't do it ever again, because i've given up, because that's the right thing to do, but if i start again she will probably find out, and then i will totally be an adolescent again, and anyway, i made a promise to jesus, so there.

I started watching porn again. She didn't call me an adolescent. I didn't get anything I didn't want for my 15th birthday, and in fact, I got The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, so as it turns out, there was actually something I wanted.

I've never been able to take a compliment, either...

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Soft Porn Sunday: Tina New & Jarod Carey

Among the glut of shiny, inoffensive sexy programmes that UK cable viewers got (and let's not forget the fact that they were all American imports - so they had to be syndicated to make it over here: a difficult task to begin with considering what I assume to be relatively low viewing figures), Passion Cove stood out. It had a fair amount of sex (unlike Red Shoe Diaries), managed to make it both hot and funny (unlike Compromising Situations), and wasn't heteronormatively, over-binarily, gender-definingly billed as 'women's entertainment' like Bedtime Stories (although that's not their fault... I loved Bedtime Stories too...).

The only thing that I wasn't too fond of in regard to Passion Cove was their propensity to use actors familiar from other softcore studios - mainly Surrender, but they used others. Kira Reed, Amber Newman, Susan Hale, Mia Zottoli, Regina Russell, Holly Sampson and Flower Edwards all turned up - as did Brian Heidik and "good ol' Jason Schnuit" - plus a number of older stars like Keri Windsor, Kim Dawson and Caroline Ambrose (in a non-sexual rôle as Samantha, the woman who owned the place). Into this rotating hurdy-gurdy of skin and curiously hairless body types some tangentially connected, but loose plotlines, are thrown... which, with any luck, we will completely forget about, as with Passion Cove, there's no important message at all hidden behind the softcore sheen.

Appearance: Passion Cove, Series 2: "The Bet" (2001)
Characters: Dusty & Paolo

"Hey, let's watch our friend have sex. That's not creepy AT ALL." 
This episode is discernable on account of the fact that it has a memorable plot to frame the episode, although it's a relatively weak one. Wealthy, successful, unreasonably attractive singletons Cassidy (Gabriella Hall, another Surrender regular), Dusty (New) and Mona (Judy Moulton) are all staying at Passion Cove when Machop Machoke Machamp handyman Paolo turns up. Suddenly all desperate for penis and floppy hair, the three friends make a bet that they can all seduce him in different ways. This happens, and they all end up having sex with Paolo (often while the others engage in casual voyeurism and watch!) at one point. Every day is Christmas!

I seem to recall it ending with everyone laughing, although I think that's how every episode ended. Or maybe that's The New Adventures of Robin Hood. Probably both.

There are three sex scenes in this episode, and they're all hot. Officially, my favourite is Mona/Paolo, which happens on a kitchen table and involves the rather callous disposal of salad, while Cassidy/Paolo is soft, warm and involves some very loud "fuck you"s to the other girls (in the form of "oooooh, Paolo!"). I didn't actually get around to watching Dusty/Paolo until quite recently, and then yesterday I found myself having a massive orgasm to it. Funny how these things work, isn't it?

Paolo, played by Jarod Carey, is - predictably - a very attractive man, if you're into that sort of thing.
"SHINY! Like a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck..."
He's not my type - but then again, I'm straight, so he wouldn't be - but he's all muscles, shiny dark hair and smiles, and puts in a fairly enthusiastic performance for someone whose character boils down to "cock with a hunk hanging off the end". He also doesn't appear to own a shirt, although judging by this, neither does Dusty, as played by Tina New, who spends most of the episode in a bikini, although she dispenses of it pretty quickly once this scene starts.


Tina New, by the way, is beautiful - a pretty, curvaceous redhead, but realistic enough to be believable - as are Gabriella Hall and Judy Moulton, who spend their time standing on a very obvious balcony watching. Given that this is Passion Cove, everything happens in the sun, outside, by a swimming pool, under a clear blue sky, with some lush greenery surrounding everything. It's all very pretty - and not just the actors - and that's matched only by the music, which is sparkly, twinkly and kind of swooshy at times (very professional musician terms there) and carries the scene gently through from commencement to conclusion. Certainly something I want to be watching during a January in London, anyway.

Sometimes there are boobs.
All this aside, what I like about this scene is that it is incredibly sequential. It could all be filmed in one shot - although it isn't; what is this, The West Wing? - as it's very fluid. We start with kisses - quite a lot of them, too, and they seem quite genuine (some soft porn kisses are brief, but these look heartfelt). This all happens while Dusty is disrobing, or at least Paolo is doing so for her, although she isn't wearing much to begin with. Her breasts are in shot by fifteen seconds in; he's kissing her cleavage by 33; and she's on her back by 42. It sounds like a rush, but it isn't - Paolo still has his jeans on by this point. They're just changing positions to make out some more, and even though Paolo removes her pants at 00:52, it's still going to be a while before they start to have sex.

So don't worry.

It's at this point that he begins to deliver soft porn cunnilingus, which is often difficult to simulate, but they manage it by having his head in between her legs and superimposing some kiss sound effects (which isn't as gross as I just made it sound, I promise). His hair helps hide anything vital, and Dusty arches her back and makes the "this is pleasurable" face, so it's at least a little believable. It is at this point that Cassidy and Mona wander in and watch while spouting dialogue, but it keeps them on the screen from a bird's-eye view, making sure our focus is on what's happening, rather than what isn't. Huzzah, actually good porn!

Oh man, I need a holiday.

One minute and fifty of kisses, rubbing skin and fairly dedicated oral sex later and he finally takes his trousers off (he doesn't appear to be wearing pants! Does he not own any of those either? How much do they pay these handymen?) and they begin to have sex, in the missionary position (which makes sense, since they were already kind of there anyway). The occasional grimace aside, this bit has a lot of intensity to it - fluid, sensuous rocks back and forth from both Paolo and Dusty, a closeness to their bodies that you rarely get to see, and just the right amount of movement. Enough, but not too much.

They're also not skimpy with the camera angles, either. It's very clear what they're doing.

And that's all they need to do. Kisses, clothes off, more kisses, some rubbing, some oral, and sex. Like
Just to make it clear: SEX!
I said, it's sequential. It's almost like it isn't overthought, and maybe that works to its credit. They're not a couple, friends with benefits, or having an affair: they're just hot people having sex with each other, mostly because they can, and the throwaway nature of that set-up belies the fact that there's a kind of sweet, natural rhythm to the way their bodies move and the way it's framed. Yes, it's outside and spacious and they are being watched, but it's also very intimate. And I love that.


And then they fall into the pool. Because of course they do. There's a pool there. It's a rule, or something.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

You're very mad, Chris

[This post contains use of the word "mad" as a mild to moderate insult. I have been advised that misappropriation of the word "mad" in this context may be seen as offensive. Apologies if that is the case. I have a history of mental illness and have never seen it as offensive, and in my defence, I was 13.]

In my first three years of secondary school, I was very skittish about discussing sexuality in any particular context. I never thought I'd be too interested in sex (ha!), and although I did develop a keen interest at a fairly early age, I didn't want to admit to it. In particular, I didn't want to talk about sex in the way that a lot of the rowdy boys at my secondary school did - using almost exclusively swear words in related conversation(s); the misuse of the word 'gay' as an insult; hyperbolic descriptions of puberty to the point of neuroses; 'whack-off' contests that may have involved biscuits at some point - and we didn't actually get sex education until year 9, which was probably too late.

One of the things I particularly didn't want to admit to was getting an erection. I was, of course, getting erections - quite healthy ones, whether engendered from year 7 reproductive biology, soft porn on L!VE TV or envisioning what it would be like to make love to the sexy, intelligent girl I sat next to in French - although not masturbating them to orgasm, but still, getting erections. I'm pretty sure everyone capable of doing so was getting one every now and again.

I lied, of course, and pretended not to have ever had one.

That's not what I said. When the topic was broached, often by one of the rowdy boys who liked to pick on the bookish oddball in the corner with no friends (let's call him "Chris", that's a nice generic name), I used to reply neither in the affirmative nor the negative. I didn't want to say yes, because of whatever reason, but I didn't want to say no, even though I'd been saying that for a while. I was fairly sure that either answer would have been weaponised somehow, and by midway through year 8 I'd spent the last academic year trying to convince everyone I wasn't gay. I didn't need something else to be spread throughout the school about me, even if it was that my cisgender male biological functions were actually working.

So I went with "you're very mad, Chris."

Chris would ask me at least once a day (although he often said things like "have you ever had a boner?" - me having only found out what the word "boner" meant the year before in the worst way imaginable). He and I were both in the same classes for a few things - including maths and science - and he found it amusing to drift across the room (seriously, his feet barely touched the floor) to ask me exactly the same question, and get the same answer.

"You're very mad, Chris."
"You're very maaaaad, Chris," he would often reply, imitating my posh voice. "Very maaaaaad. Very maaaaaaaad, Chris." At which point he would swan away.

I found this irritating, but it could have been much worse (and would have been, had I snapped and said yes or no); for what it's worth, I actually thought of it as a fairly adequate response. It wasn't exactly a direct insult to Chris, but it was a deterrent of a sort, a way to deflect the question, and relatively quirky by use of the modifier "very". He certainly didn't get any answer from me otherwise, although it didn't stop him asking, and in the end it became something of a catchphrase. I didn't even have anything particularly against Chris - even if he boasted about watching L!VE TV (which I did, but I didn't admit to that either) and may or may not have won a Spice Girls competition (which I saw reported in a local newspaper).

While puzzling my way through Maths one day in a darkened classroom, I noticed a shadow falling over my desk. I looked up, expecting to see Chris - and was slightly puzzled to see "Lisa", one of the bolder girls in the class (although I quite liked Lisa, she was a nice girl), instead.

"Hello, Lisa. What can I do for you?" I said pleasantly.
"I've got a question for you. Does your dick ever get hard?"

There was a brief pause.

"You're very mad, Lisa."

At which there was an explosion of raucous laughter from the other end of the classroom, from a corner of the less-interested boys and a couple of more outgoing girls, to which Lisa returned immediately after getting this stock answer.

"Pay up, Lisa," said Chris, extending his palm.

Monday, 22 January 2018

#squatgoals

Earlier this evening my girlfriend and I made a list (well, she dictated; I wrote, using a blue biro) of goals we would like to achieve in 2018. It's fairly short, but that makes it easier to tick things off. Some are achievable (her finishing her current job training; watching 52 or more films this year), some are achievable but difficult (me getting a more permanent job; making blog escape velocity this time), some are aspirational (take creative action! more financial stability!), and some are complete lunacy (me finishing NHS Couch to 5K no really this time).

Number four on our list is to save money for, and then take, a small break. Together.

Throughout our five-and-a-bit-year relationship, we have never really done this. We've gone to places for Eroticon and weddings, and I even booked us a hotel room for Valentine's a couple of years back (but that doesn't count; it's a hotel about 10 minutes' walk from where we lived at the time). These rare snatches of time where we stay elsewhere overnight. Sometimes we've even had two days, which is a fucking miracle.

But we have never actually had what could be termed a "holiday". We've never gone away somewhere together for any reason that isn't strictly business. We've certainly talked about it, and we've even had thoughts about where we would like to go. Even if it isn't anywhere particularly fun, the idea of spending more than a few hours alone with her, just enjoying each other's company in a room outside of our usual routine, is a glorious idea. It's wondrous. It's a fantastic idea...

...it's never happened.

I don't think we've ever been able to afford it. We don't really ever run out of money, but we don't have a lot of it. I most certainly don't, and in this day and age with living and working in London, the price of food (and books) and the sheer exhaustion of having been born in the '80s (and '90s in her case), any amount of money is a godsend. It doesn't last particularly long, and even the fact that I managed to buy a ticket to Eroticon this year is a result of nothing short of serendipitous fortune. I have thought, briefly, of doing something which makes us a lot of money in a short space of time so we can go somewhere, anywhere, even if only for a weekend and thus fulfil our life goal...

But let's get real. I'm not going to make any money. I'm a millennial.

It is, however, a goal. And it's more realisable, I think, now we have put it on a list. I certainly don't know when, or where, or perhaps most importantly, how... but I'm perfectly clear on why. And that, dear readers, is a start. It's a start, and if you want to finish, you may as well start.

Incidentally, does anyone want to sponsor us to go to Woodhull?