My timing was perfect, really. I might only have been nine when sexual intercourse began in 1963, on the reckoning of the poet Larkin, but I was in my prime throughout that blessed interlude between the general acceptance of the contraceptive pill and the realization that we were all doomed by AIDS. I vividly remember getting the 1987 Government leaflet (“Don’t Die of Ignorance”) in the mailbox of my remote cottage. In fact, I had to walk a mile across the fields so that the Department of Health could scare the crap out of me. Which they certainly did. I was celibate for the best part of a decade afterwards. Though admittedly this had less to with my fear of sexually transmitted infection than with the fact that I had suddenly become desperately unattractive to women. I was no fatter or ruder than before, but I’d taken a career break and was therefore clearly the sort of unreliable nutter who should be avoided when making those wedding-house-car-holidays-children plans about which young women seem to like day-dreaming during the duller parts of first dates.
The sexual urge seems to diminish sharply when one gets past 50, which is a considerable bonus. Much more by accident than design, I have managed to sleep with two women in the last year, each of whom was young enough to be my daughter. But luckily wasn’t. My real sadness is that I did not manage to entice them into bed simultaneously. Not because I’ve always fantasized about a threesome, but because it would have saved some time that I could then have spent having a nice cup of tea and reading The Daily Telegraph.
One of them, on undressing, proved to have a fine collection of body piercings, including something she called a “clit ring”. I’ve spent a lot of time since speculating on the state of mind one would have to be in to wander into a backstreet tattoo and piercing parlour in one the more deprived parts of the “Tyne-Wear city region”, and ask some total stranger if they’d mind hammering a piece of metal through one’s genitalia. I’m prepared to concede that it had the distinct practical advantage of enabling one to find the bloody thing. She told me that it also enabled her to “multi-task” (as women so love to do) since, when she went running in her tight lycra shorts, the friction enabled her to enjoy a refreshing orgasm while taking her daily ration of healthy exercise.
Yet again it’s one law for the female of the species, and another for us men. Just think of all those headmasters and vicars who have been arrested for having a quick fumble in their tracksuit trousers while jogging slowly past the kiddies’ playground.
My other young lady had no body piercings, but shortly after sleeping with me, she announced that she had made an error in believing herself to be bisexual, and was in fact a lesbian. I’d always suspected that I might be having this effect on women, but it was still a bit depressing to have it confirmed.
I shared my concerns with a long-standing female friend. She asked me why I was looking so down-hearted and, trying to sound “giving” and “new mannish”, I said, “I’m 53 and I’ve just realized that I may never taste pussy again.” She squeezed my hand and gave me the address of a Chinese takeaway in Newcastle which apparently has a bit of a reputation for that sort of thing. I understand that it also does a locally celebrated Alsatian chow mein.
Well I never - you learn something new everyday. I wonder if I'm too old for such body piercings and to take up running. . nah. . . Just squeamish.
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