Thursday, 27 September 2018

Calendar girl

When I was about twenty, I got a missive from Soldiergirl asking if I would buy a nude calendar made by, and raising funds for, the girls from her local LARP society. There wouldn't be anything explicit in it, she stressed - just the girls in various states of undress, LARP weapons and equipment strategically placed to block nipples and genitalia.

And here I was, thinking I was a geek.

It might be worth stressing here that Soldiergirl didn't like taking "no" for an answer, but in this instance, I didn't try. I didn't have a lot of money, but there was very little reason I shouldn't have bought one. It's by no means the oddest calendar I've ever had anyway; I had a North Korean calendar on my wall at SH - all pictures of soldiers, pastel murals, and Kim Jong-un looking at things.

So I bought it. I flicked through the images - some sexy elves hiding behind axes, the occasional warrior maiden inside a bush, Soldiergirl herself wearing a top hat and so heavily made-up she looked like something out of commedia dell'arte - decided I wasn't going to hang this up in case my parents Asked Some Questions, and put it somewhere quiet and dark. I also told Soldiergirl that I would buy the next one (and did).

What I didn't tell her, and what I've never told anyone except myself (and now I'm telling you, gentle reader), was that I found it about six months later and became rather entranced by one of the images (July, I think). It featured one single girl (artfully covered in shadow) who, I would admit to myself, I didn't find particularly attractive, but had a certain degree of 'pull' to her. I had no idea exactly what it was: possibly her big smoky eyes; maybe the half-smile playing around her lips; could have been the expression on her face (she was looking upwards at the camera, like people used to do on MySpace).

It took me a few more months to realise that, if I steadily moved the calendar closer and closer towards my face, and kept my eyes fixed on her eyes, it looked as if we were about to kiss, and that I even found this arousing, occasionally opting to forgo the standard practice of watching expensive porn that I'd imported from America in favour of pretending to snog a black-and-white photograph of somebody I didn't know playing an imaginary character in order to get an erection.

And then this happened.

I was trying to masturbate standing up. It's not impossible, but it is difficult, and it's not something I'm used to - I tend to do it sitting in a chair - but I was incredibly bored, and unbearably horny, and I had decided to have a go at wanking in an upright position and see how far I could come.

Classy, I know.

The problem being that my brain wasn't co-operating. I had all the right sexy thoughts when I started, but as I got harder, so did the thoughts. Within half an hour of conceiving this crazy plan, I was beading with sweat, my hair was a mess, my knees were hurting, and I still wasn't even close to orgasm (although I was still incredibly hard, mind you).

The calendar. It was within arm's reach. I could look at the calendar, move it closer to my face, and imagine the kiss. It had worked so far, and it might re-activate my brain. I could do that, and then I'd be all fired up and get my orgasm.

So I did. I found the page, looked at the big smoky eyes, moved it closer and closer towards my face, pursed my lips...

...

...and then I realised that the taste in my mouth was ink. I was, in fact, making out with the calendar, which tasted absoutely terrible. I also didn't realise this for a few minutes until my unhappy inkmouth alerted me to this fact - by which point, of course, I had had my orgasm: an incredibly powerful one that had shot in an arc over my bed and hit my radiator, the one hand that wasn't holding the calendar gripping one of my bookcases for support.

I staggered to the bathroom to wash my mouth out, only I didn't do that; I let out a groan and fell forwards, landing with a flump on my bed, my legs still dangling off the end, penis still hard and pulsing post-orgasm and mouth full of ink. I still had the calendar in my hand, which had refused to let go for whatever reason. I was a bit of a mess, but at least I'd managed to orgasm standing up, so I could cross that one off the bucket list I didn't have.

Eventually, of course, I did wash my mouth out, and brushed my teeth, for good measure. Offering a silent thanks to Soldiergirl, and the unknown, unnamed girl with the big smoky eyes, I hopped into the shower, feeling a bit weird but strangely refreshed after the whole affair.

I never really looked at that calendar again. Well, I did, but since I'd kissed her face off, there was a blank space where a head had once been.

Anyone for a ghost girl calendar?

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Don't ask, don't tell

It occurred to me earlier this week that I have, in fact, never written about this. I don't really know the reason - maybe it's too raw; maybe I keep forgetting; maybe I just didn't know how to handle such a story. But it's relevant.

So this is why I don't ask people out.

I tried once. I was 16. I'd had a series of long-term crushes on various people, two in particular (although there were more, and sometimes I found myself fancying more than one person at the same time; I did, however, tend to have one person at a time that I "officially" had a crush on). I'm kind of under the impression that being fancied by me wasn't a pleasant experience - not for me, either, after everything was exposed and made both my, and her, life hell (both times).

But, just after everything had blown over and the almost-constant ribbing had stopped, I fell head-over-heels for someone else. She was the daughter of an (older) friend; she went to Woodcraft; she made me laugh. She was also two years younger than me, and actually, I had more in common with her older sister (one year younger than me). But it was her I wanted. In fact, it was all I could think about.

I was obsessed. Because she didn't go to my school, I could tell people about her. And I did - my best friends, my teachers, my family, my clinical psychologist. I told everyone, except her... my thinking was that, if I didn't keep it a massive secret, if it got out, it wouldn't hurt as much. This kind of worked, for a time. But it wasn't going anywhere... and it wasn't going to go anywhere, unless one of us took action. It certainly wasn't going to be her.

Over a year later, and several rather torturous holidays where I kept trying to avoid her gaze and not end up sitting next to her, I was pushed - essentially - to break the habit of a lifetime and ask her out on a date. "The worst she could say is no," my mother told me constantly, but I wasn't sure that was true. I mean, yes, that was the worst thing she could say, but let's consider my mental state at the time. I was 16; I was having a stressful time at school and going through a major depressive episode. I had started developing massive body confidence issues, had no self-esteem left, and had little regard for my health either. I wasn't sleeping well, I was self-harming regularly, and an unidentified issue with my stomach (later diagnosed as IBS) was causing more problems than it had been.

Basically, I was a mess. The only thing carrying me through each day was the light in my heart that was the girl-I-had-a-crush-on. The rest was darkness and despair. A "no" from her may have tipped me over the edge, although by no means would that have been her fault. I knew - of course I knew - that she wasn't going to say yes, despite practically everyone telling me otherwise. But I didn't want to ask. I didn't want to put her on the spot like that... and I didn't want to extinguish that glimmer of light.

Eventually, though, I did ask her. I called her on the 'phone and asked, and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I got the standard "I don't know" answer and she told me she'd think about it. Nothing else to say, I handed the 'phone to my sister (they were friends) and went swimming with my friends that evening, in a curious mood which was a mixture of euphoria and paranoia. In fact, I didn't hear anything for a week.

I heard back from her earlier than planned. I went to a party hosted by a Woodcraft parent and she and her family came along; once again, I was put on the spot. I dragged her off to a corner and, effectively, reiterated my offer: "still, if you want to..."

With the benefit of hindsight, she was very kind. She didn't, in fact, give me a straight no - she did say that she didn't want to go out with anyone right then (although several people told me, afterwards, that that was just a veiled "no"), and I acquiesced, and told her that there were no hard feelings. I've no idea how she felt as the party went on - I spent the next few hours crying in a corner, and at one point went and got a kitchen knife to self-harm (quite badly, in fact, I still have the scar). The following night was one of my worst: I lay awake, staring at the ceiling, feeling nothing except numb. Over the following few days, I would feel unattractive, unlovable, and klutzy - I would spend my time doing stupid things, and saying stupid stuff, and generally being stupid, because I was stupid. I shouldn't have thought I had a chance, I shouldn't have even thought anyone would ever want to go out with me, and I certainly shouldn't have asked her out.

With the possible exception of my dad, nobody seemed to understand why I had invested so much in it, and the extent of how upset (mainly with myself) I was. The commonly used phrase was "you'll get over it", but I don't really do "getting over it" particularly well. I never have. The past stings and there's little I can do except accept the pain that, at the time, I felt I so richly deserved.

The following summer was not fun. I went to camp (and apologised to her at camp), got my GCSE results and cried for three days because they weren't good enough, and got taken on holiday (which was a massive mistake by my family; they should have known better than to isolate me from my friends and my home for a week). I tried to kill myself once (clearly unsuccessfully), and by the time I made it through to the sixth form induction week at the beginning of September, I was a husk of whoever it was I used to be.

I also didn't enjoy year 12 much at all, really. I was very jumpy, quite nervous at trying anything (clearly fear of failure meant more, now I knew how it felt), and without any vestiges of what may have once passed for confidence. There was nobody to blame but myself, but that just made things worse, as I turned all my bad feelings inwards. My exasperated friend from the Christian youth group was still genuinely surprised that I had feelings for the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on, presumably assuming I would have forgotten about her existence in the six weeks during which I saw her more than three times.

I'm still not sure how I recovered, if indeed I ever did. But there is a more upbeat coda to this story. Despite the fact that it's a cliché of the highest order, the "we can still be friends" I got from the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on was a real one. We did become friends: bantering with each other over a card game, verbally sparring over MSN, bonding over the fact that her new boyfriend had a monobrow so pronounced that he looked like a McDonald's advert, or her getting drunk and taking my hand to drag me through the streets of London in order to find the nearest bar. And when my relationship with Catherine had started to go wrong, it was the girl-I-had-a-crush-on who had the most salient advice about how to navigate the end of a relationship.

If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be where I am.

I still don't ask people out, though. All the relationships I've had since, including the one I'm in now, have "just happened", or in fact happened because she took the initiative. There were periods where I was single for a long time, during which people were confused I didn't ask anyone on a date... and yet I still wouldn't do it. I remembered the first time, and what happened afterwards. It could have been much worse for me, really, and if I wasn't so skittish about what I was capable of, I could have done much more damaging things to myself at that time. I'm lucky that I didn't.

I'm not sure if there's a moral to any of this. I certainly didn't handle the situation well, and probably shouldn't have done it to begin with. I probably didn't write about it because there would still be a dull ache in the pit of my stomach when the embarrassment comes flooding back (and there it is!).

But there's a reason I find it difficult to ask for things. The same goes for applying for jobs and volunteering to run workshops and stuff. I'm expecting a no, and it's never really the rejection that kills me. It's the fact that I tried at all.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Addiction XXII: Pornography

"Okay, and... the porn group." She gave a light titter. "That would be interesting to your parents. You can go home and say, 'I was in a porn group!'..."

There was a ripple of uncertain, slightly nervous laughter.

"So... what did you come up with?" continued the youth leader. "Why is pornography wrong, in the eyes of God?"

I opened my mouth, although I wasn't sure what to say, before I remembered I wasn't in the porn group. My group had been arguing against infidelity - which, as it happens, I found it much easier to be against. I closed my mouth again, trying to find a way to say that porn wasn't wrong, without making it sound like I watched porn.

As it happens, I did, in fact, watch porn - but not a lot of the hardcore stuff. University was a couple of years away and I was still in the softcore-on-my-Gran's-cable-TV phase. Bravo was showing weekly films of both the Surrender and Russ Meyer type, usually on Saturday evenings, and I was still enjoying the resulting erections, although I was yet to touch myself in any real effective way. What's perhaps more interesting - or was, at the time, anyway - was that Bravo was also showing Italian Stripping Housewives, the host of which's catchphrase - "cha-ching!" - having been echoed by some of the other boys in my Christian youth group.

So maybe I wasn't the only one with a dirty secret...

The porn group came up with some waffle about porn actresses not being your intended soulmate, so you shouldn't be looking at them. (I rolled my eyes, just about the only thing I could do.)

"That's right," said the youth leader, "and I'm giving you this warning, boys..." - at which she shot a mean look at all the boys in the room - "and possibly girls too, but it's really only boys..." she added as an afterthought. (Again, I rolled my eyes.) "Pornography... is... addictive."

Everyone laughed, although I suspect for different reasons.

I used to love going to this group, mostly for the social activities, although the slightly evangelical aspect of the study group evenings got to me. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to agree with everything they said, and would always be more enthusiastic about going to Woodcraft; I did, however, keep going, my rationale being that I was already at church, why not follow the rest of the people my age and get a few quick prayers for tolerance in along the way?

Homosexuality wasn't a topic that had been broached yet. If anyone said it was wrong, I would probably have walked out. I walked out of a meeting when somebody said Harry Potter books were "not harmless". I walked out of a youth night when the youth leader killed a fly. I didn't, however, really have an excuse to make a scene here. I couldn't bring myself to believe that porn was wrong - I'd be a massive hypocrite for doing so - but I wasn't sure what to say. Plus I wasn't in the porn group.

I knew that:

(i) porn wasn't wrong
(ii) it wasn't only boys who watched porn
(iii) this was a relatively pointless conversation anyway
(iv) everyone watched Italian Stripping Housewives 

But then I also knew that: 

(v) pornography was addictive

Because, frankly, it was. I was enjoying, if you can call it that, what passed for pornography in my mind. I was enjoying the scenes it conjured up, the laughable flights of fancy necessary to create an atmosphere necessary for sex ("Leonardo da Vinci's hot young assistant licks out the Mona Lisa! Genius!"), and the fact that - like it or not, Christian youth - I was developing into a sexually aware person. At that age, everyone was.

It took me a while (years, really) to come to the conclusion that she was also subtly equating pornography with masturbation, which was

(vi) wrong

because they aren't the same thing: I also knew, by that time even though I hadn't masturbated yet, that one could watch porn without wanking (after all, that's what I'd been doing for years), and that one could wank without porn (just ask any of the other boys in my year... the girls, too, although they would be somewhat less forthcoming!).

I walked home from the meeting with the odd, slightly guilty, feeling that I was myself addicted to pornography, and going there had been a moment of realisation. As was her way, the only thing she had really said had been something I couldn't disagree with, because she had said that it was addictive. She hadn't said it was wrong - the porn group did that. Her unnecessarily gendered language bothered me (even as a 16-year-old boy; one doesn't need to be a thirty-something sex blogger to understand gender politics), as did her accusatory tone. I'd never liked her much anyway.

I think, now that I look back, the issue here is a slightly deeper one, linked to the fact that I didn't really have anyone to talk about porn with. I wasn't one of the rowdy boys at school with their exaggerated boasts; the girls I used to hang out with certainly weren't talking about it; my immediate circle of friends was slightly hampered by the fact that only Lightsinthesky did any of the talking.

I stopped going soon afterwards, as things came to a head. I kept going to Woodcraft for years, because it was much more accepting. Pornography wasn't something we discussed, particularly. But I'm fairly sure it was mentioned at least once.

Nobody said that it was gendered. Nobody said that it was addictive. And nobody said that it was wrong.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Incredible Thoughts

Incredible thoughts
Incredible minds
I'm so overwhelmed
How did my brain conceive them?

...and then we make love, right there on your best friend's couch. Mmmmm, that's a sexy lyric. There's an implicit sexuality in all these songs, that makes them all seem so... wild and free. Uninhibited, guilt-free, liberating sex. It sounds glorious. But, let's face it, it's never going to happen to me.

It's too late for me, anyway. I'm not as young as I used to be. Or as thin. What if I have sex again? What if I have sex tonight? Can I even do it any more, or would I just collapse under my own weight? Would I even be any good? I used to be... but that's in the past now.

Do you know what, I would really like a blowjob.

What is it with suddenly wanting to make everyone orgasm? Even with my incredibly tireless tongue and cheerfully giving philosophy, I'm sure it would eventually lead to incredible soreness on my part. Still, I wouldn't stop until she orgasms, because that's what I do...

I can't believe I didn't clock that it was two Fs, and not a V, for a few years. I'd still be erroneously calling him "Havron" had I not done my research. What an idiot.

Her straddling me, rubbing her vulva up and down against my stomach. That's hot. Possibly. I don't know. Is it sexy? Where the fuck did that idea come from, anyway?

What do the night staff do? There are two of them on. There's a bed in the staff room. Is there some unspoken credo that, every night, you have sex with your co-worker? Is that a thing? Maybe it's a thing. It would be a good way to pass the time, of course, if it is indeed a thing. I'm going to pretend, from now on, that that's a thing.

Do my dreams mean anything? If they do, then what's with all the odd threesomes involving people I know from Twitter? The associated confusion and incredible resulting horniness certainly don't clear anything up. Explain, dickbrain! Explain! 

...and...

Exactly how frustrated, considering all of the above, must I be?

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Busflirt

At the age of 18, I had (and still have) a little notebook on which I wrote "concert reminiscences and paraphernalia", which was intended to be a detailed look at every concert I attended from that age, but in reality meant I'd stick in used concert tickets and a set list if I managed to get one. This lasted well for two pages, before I started filling up space by putting in stuff from concerts that the band I was in played, and eventually started adding tickets from theatre things I went to that weren't at all musical. By the time I got to Concert Book II ("now including plays!"), I was much less discerning.

My reviews were also getting longer. By second year, I was a reviewer for my university's student newspaper, and going to a whole host of things; the one-line descriptions in my concert book were evolving into whole paragraphs, which later formed the basis of my full reviews. This, too, continued for a while, until I wrote the following after an emotional performance of Jesus Christ Superstar:

THAT'S A PRESS TICKET!
AN ACTUAL PRESS TICKET!
I GOT IN FOR FREE!
AND A FREE DRINK AND EVERYTHING!!!

(Great show.)

Fun bus ride home, too!

I'm fairly certain that I would have remembered that bus ride home, even if I hadn't written it in my concert book.

You see, back in those heady uni days, I lived in the suburbs, having moved off campus after the first year. Walking to and from the city took an hour and a half (longer on the one time I tried it, during which I got lost and ended up on the side of a motorway), so I had to get the bus back from the centre. There was only really one suitable one, and it was there when I got to the bus station; I got on and sat down - randomly - opposite a rather exuberant blonde girl who was, I gathered, late for a house party.

I say "I gathered", but it didn't really take much detective work. She was trying many different exhortations to the driver to get him to move faster (which, since he hadn't left yet, were slightly pointless, but props to her for trying), including offering him a sip of her drink - and then a whole bottle of drink. The rest of the travellers on the bus, I could tell, were a little bemused by this riotous girl on a school night clearly in possession of a large amount of alcohol and with raucous living to undertake.

I, of course, was fascinated. I'd hardly ever been to a "house party" before, and the only knowledge I had of them being based on an episode of Ghostwriter, I assumed they were little other than loud music and drugs.

From what she was saying, this wasn't a wholly inaccurate view. She had certainly been to many - including the one she was en route to tonight - and, although they were all enjoyable, she generally couldn't remember the finer details. (She also offered me a drink, after ascertaining that I was the most receptive at listening to her - I politely turned it down, but kept the conversation flowing). As it turned out, she had lots of friends who went to these, and the one she was actually going to was around the corner from my student digs.

Just before her stop, she said quite casually that she had slept with a lot of random people, and asked me if I had done the same. I said - truthfully - that I hadn't, and she told me that I should, because it was fun. I replied that I assumed as much, but stopped short of expounding on any more detail of why I wasn't (which boils down to "how, exactly, does one start doing that?"). With a cheeky wave, a  bit of a wiggle, and a thanks to the bus driver, she got off about two stops before I was due to.

I made an instant decision, and jumped off after her.

Of course, I then realised I had no idea what to do. I couldn't just go up to her and invite myself to the party she was going to. I assumed that the whole sleeping-with-random-people wasn't a flirt, but I wasn't too sure. It could have been. If I was polite, I could have walked after her, told her I had a fun bus ride, asked her name, and left it at that. Nothing else needed to happen, but at least I could have made an effort to let her know she made my boring evening travel very entertaining. I could at least have said goodnight, I hope you enjoy your party, I just live down here, and farewell.

I didn't do any of those things. I just stood there like a lemon. She melted away into the darkness, followed by a very short burst of loud music and laughter from the same direction, so I assumed she had gotten to wherever she was going.

Don't be stupid, I told myself. You met somebody who piqued your interest, but you need to let that go. Go home and, if you really want to sleep with random people, invent a situation in your head and masturbate to orgasm like you've done so many times before. Or put on some soft porn, since you've amassed quite a collection by now.

Mentally shaking myself, I turned and walked in the other direction. Okay, so I didn't go to house parties, big deal. I didn't get to see what happened at them, I knew very little about the music, I don't drink alcohol, so what else could I do there? I also didn't get to sleep with random people. I didn't get to sleep with anyone. It wasn't going to happen.

Wasn't going to happen at all.

At all.

At which point I realised I shouldn't have gotten off the bus with her.

Because I was lost.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Soft Porn Sunday: Monique Parent & Myles Furlow

Silly though I may be sometimes, I've always thought of myself as a fairly rational man. I dream a lot and often get lost in my imagination, but at least if you ask me about something, I'm able to explain it - at least to the best of my ability.

Apart from Buford's Beach Bunnies. I can't explain that at all.

Appearance: Buford's Beach Bunnies (1993)
Characters: Amber Dextrous & Skippy

Quite why this was made in 1993, rather than 1973 (which is where I'd have pegged this had I not seen the date), I can't explain. I also can't explain why the titular Harry Bulford would choose to run a fast-food restaurant only serving rabbit and expect to turn a profit. Similarly, I can't explain why the writers thought this would be seen as funny, rather than cruel; why the waitresses are dressed as pink bunnies; why Bulford's son Jeeter absolutely needs to lose his virginity and, yes, that is the main plot.

I also can't explain why Kitten Natividad agreed to be in this - nor Jim Hanks, brother of the more famous Tom, who plays Jeeter. The biggest surprise, as it turns out, was the presence of Monique Parent - who I know from other '90s softcore like Brief Affairs, Passion Cove and Erotic Confessions. I suspect this was made on what passed for a handheld video camera in 1993, and that's the only way I could even begin to explain this.

It may be because of the character's name that I remember Monique Parent as Amber Dextrous, although I'd forgotten about Beula Legosi or Dr. Van Horney (yes, I know), so maybe it's the fact that her first scene involves her riding a surfer guy naked Skippy in the toilets of Buford's establishment and her final post-credits scheme has her up against a tree having sex with a vicar. Despite the lack of clothes, very few other characters in this have any sex at all; I've only recently seen it after a gap of more than a decade, and there's even less than I remember.

Hold me closer, we're going in.

Nothing of any consequence happens before Amber turns up for work. That is to say, stuff happens, but it's neither clever nor funny. Busily serving a customer, she flirts harmlessly with him until he notices a crystal necklace she is wearing, and this is somehow code for "I want to nail you in the bathroom", which he proceeds to do.

Good ol' neck kiss.
Despite Amber's protestations that she doesn't do this with every customer she sees, the implication is that she... well, does. She certainly seems experienced enough at it, as while the rest of the bunny waitresses are doing whatever it is they do in the kitchen, she manages to ascertain his name - Skippy, which may explain the bouncy nature of the sex as he's probably a kangaroo - and disrobe fairly promptly, merrily riding away while her boss assumes she always uses the bathroom because her kidneys are weak.

Yes, her kidneys. I realise there's a joke in there, but surely the more accurate organ might at least make for an attempt? Clearly it's not only the kidneys that are weak.

Of course it wouldn't be a sex comedy without some amount of campy innuendo, but her mid-orgasm line of "you're doing this for me because you're so... sensitive and... spiritual!" doesn't quite work, insofar as it means absolutely nothing.

At least she kept her crystal on.

As you may have realised by now, this is an incredibly brief sex scene which was hotter in my memory than it actually is when you see it. I do quite like the set-up - illicit sex with a stranger behind your boss' back at work, it's a classic trope and usually a very titillating one - and, despite the incredibly low-quality camera work that went into this, it's filmed pretty well (although there's nothing too explicit really shown). I certainly didn't remember how brief it was, nor did I remember the fact that Amber wasn't blonde - I could have sworn she was!

I'm also not a big fan of Monique Parent. She pops up a lot in '90s softcore, but I've rarely ever found
Face off.
her stuff to be that memorable. She plays Amber perfectly well - generally ditzy and addicted to sex - but her sex scenes have never really worked for me. Oddly enough, unknown actor Myles Furlow is actually quite good as Skippy, considering how we never see him again and all his dialogue (aside from a brief "turn around, baby") is contained in the lead-up flirting-in-the-queue scene!


All this aside, though, if you can find it (and it's difficult), Buford's Beach Bunnies is worth a watch in the same way that Birdemic is. It's complete nonsense, although with more sex (although that is, in itself, negligible). However, as a curio to make you wonder how these things ever get made - and with perhaps the most infectious theme tune since DuckTales, that's what will stay with you, as opposed to any of the characters or setting.

But having said that, I obviously remembered this one character, and this one scene - so maybe it's not as forgettable as I originally thought... and maybe that was their plan...!