Innocent Loverboy

Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Soft Porn Sunday Special: The Adventures of Justine

Let me be the one, Justine
Let me be the first, Justine
To have you, and hold you…

Blue DVD case with several film titles listed. Justine is there, but she doesn't look like she does in the flick.
Justine doesn’t actually
look like this.

It’s been a while – in fact, it’s been so much of a while that I can’t put a number of years to it – since I first watched the Adventures of Justine series. It was shown all of twice on L!VE TV in the late-’90s, and I once accidentally got sent a copy of a Justine flick when I’d actually ordered Emmanuelle. (I watched the sex scenes and then sent it back.) The fact that I’ve been re-watching it recently has me thinking… was I assuming it was anything other than what it actually is?

Time for AN INVESTIGATION!

For those of you who aren’t aware what Justine is – and relax, it’s in no way based on the book by de Sade; I had to look that up too – it’s another series of seven erotic adventure(ish) films made by the same people (almost exactly the same people) who made Emmanuelle in Space. By which I mean, without hyperbole, it’s got the same directorial team, same crew, same sets, same cast (with the only variation being the principals, and even then there are some returning actors), and even some of the same music, which I hadn’t noticed until rewatching the second in the series the other day.

Justine follows the traditional ASP line of having seven volumes with pretentious names, some of which being known by alternate titles because actually I have no idea why. According to the DVD cover, they are:

Volume 1: In The Heat of Passion
Volume 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (presumably with apologies to Bill)
Volume 3: Object of Desire, also known as Wild Nights
Volume 4: Exotic Liaisons, also known as Exotic Liaison
Volume 5: Crazy Love
Volume 6: A Private Affair (written by Brian Clemens OBE, although how he got involved…!)
Volume 7: Seduction of Innocence

while Wikipedia lists them as:

Volume 1: Exotic Liaisons
Volume 2: A Private Affair
Volume 3: Wild Nights
Volume 4: Crazy Love
Volume 5: Seduction of Innocence
Volume 6: In The Heat of Passion
Volume 7: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

and there’s even some ambiguity as to when these films are dated – some are 1995, some ’96 and even some as ’97. I’m going to guess that ’95 is the closest bet, as Emmanuelle in Space is from ’94 and it’s quite clear there was very little break between filming both series.

Justine, a blonde college girl, is completely obscured by the word "JUSTINE" in obtrusive white text.
It’d be more impressive if you didn’t have your name obscuring your entire face during the opening credits.

I’m not entirely sure what Justine is meant to be – perhaps an erotic spoof of Indiana Jones, perhaps a college girl tale with fantastical elements, or probably just “a way to use up ASP’s budget” – but the resulting product is incredibly episodic, so it doesn’t seem to matter what order you watch these films in (I’m going by the order on the DVD cover). Internally the films are also a series of individual adventurey vignettes, so one could achieve the same effect by broadcasting the Justine series as half-hour episodes. Only nobody would watch that.

So, yes. Justine Wikenson (Daneen Boone, who also appeared as “Girlfriend” in Emmanuelle) is a smart and precocious, yet incredibly innocent, college girl at an academy for gifted students (Topacre). Her best friend Ursula (Kimberly Rowe, Angie in Emmanuelle) is smart and sassy, but also incredibly sexually active – the only one to have scenes like this – while Madame Souvray (Jennifer Behr, Ursula [confusingly] in Emmanuelle) is a female teacher… possibly the head of the academy, who cares?

Robson, a tall man with dark hair, embraces Justine. They are both naked.
Robson and Justine as a medieval queen. Don’t worry, it’s all just a dream.

The male lead – Professor Paul Robson (occasionally pronounced “Paul Robeson”, amusingly – is played by Timothy DiPri, who also played Theo in Emm… you get the idea. Robson is meant to be a bespectacled, yet handsome archaeology lecturer who just can’t resist getting his hands on some random historical McGuffin, throwing him into a world of intrigue. Justine interferes and gets captured (yes, in every single film! This girl gets captured seemingly as a hobby!); Robson manages to rescue her and…

…okay, here’s the other series trope. It was all a dream.

I’m not making this up. Justine’s adventures are mostly dreams she’s having either in the middle of Robson’s lectures or while writhing on her bed in sheer négligée. They genuinely don’t need to write endings to these storylines because they’re all actually dreams!

Justine, asleep in bed, which is basically the only place we ever see her.
Oh, Justine! Wake up – you’ve written an adventure film in your sleep again!

So what’s Justine studying, then, sleep? I’ve never seen her do any actual work or take an exam or anything… not like she pays attention in class, either, as she suddenly slips into an archaeological adventure seemingly completely at random!

Originally I intended for this to be a standard SPS review, where I took a scene and analysed it in-depth. I can’t bring you one, however, because the other thing I’ve managed to discover is that there’s very little sex in this sex series.

Justine is a virgin and manages to remain so throughout the entire thing (fetishisation much?), while all the kinky sex with random guys is the remit of Ursula (slut-shaming much?). While there’s meant to be a little “will-they-won’t-they?” between Justine and Robson, this never actually happens, so there’s no pay-off. There’s plenty of inoffensive nudity from Justine, as she’s particularly keen on changing into nightwear at the drop of a hat… but there isn’t an awful lot of sex.

And when there is sex, it’s often brief, poorly lit, and cuts off before any actual penetrative sex is meant to be happening! It’s very frustrating!

I suppose one positive thing about this (apart from Paul Michael Robinson, formerly Haffron, who plays a villain in this with the most lacklustre German accent I’ve ever heard – always a gem!) is that, in what was clearly quite a short space of time, ASP managed to wring seven adventure films out on what was also probably quite a limited budget. Daneen Boone tries her best, but she doesn’t have the inherent sexiness of Krista Allen as Emmanuelle, and frankly she’s such a drip that it renders her character quite unlikeable.

Justine, in very revealing nightwear, masturbates while having a dream. She has a lot of dreams.
At least she has the impressive ability to masturbate while sleeping.

But the adventure aspect is good. I’m sure I’d appreciate this more were it not for the “it’s all a dream!” epilogue, but at least they’re trying something different with it. I’m not sure it works, coherently, as a whole – they get lost a few times with what they are trying to do – but at least it has the bare bones of a series all in place.

I just wish there were a little more sex, that’s all!

heat

thump thump thump

the heat surrounds me. i cannot move – it is overpowering. movement is not a possibility. i am restricted by the blistering heat

thump

someone gives the call for breakfast. i sit up and work up more of a sweat just by struggling out of my sleeping bag. all of me hurts. i am bathed now, not just in heat, but the sounds of my friends waking up all around me

i don’t want to move

i pull on some shorts and a t-shirt that i have owned since i was 14. robinson unzips the tent and a rush of incredibly great heat rolls in. everyone groans. nobody says a coherent word

thump thump thump thump thump

robinson pulls open the flysheet and the world outside fades into view through the haze. it is not fully realised. some colour. some sound. the thump, i now realise, is my heartbeat, resonating through my head

i struggle with my trainers, which i slip on

i crawl out of the tent and force myself to stand up. mane follows behind. everything is covered by a haze. warm air sinks down upon us. ahead, some of the older adults are doing something with breakfast. the kitchen tent looks too hot. i very slowly begin to tread towards the mess tent

the mess tent is slightly cooler. it’s so full of people cooling off that i don’t notice

robinson’s dad calls the younger ones for breakfast. we wait, drowning slowly in the heat and complete lack of activity. talking hurts. moving is slow. difficult. heavy

we get the call and slouch our way to the breakfast table, our clothes clinging to our bodies as we do so

there is water and squash. the food is immaterial. what we need is water. i get some orange squash. my first sip is sticky. sugary. tastes very faintly of orange. it’s the best drink i’ve ever had

robinson is drinking too
mane is drinking too
hairy friend is drinking too
mane jr. is drinking too

we raise our plastic cups as one and head for one of the canisters of water. we refill and drain our cups. for the first time, someone makes a satisfied sound

there is a pause

someone calls for the morning circle

and we begin to assemble

Keeping the British End Up: Rosie Dixon – Night Nurse (1978)

When I was a teenager, I used to keep a list of films that I saw on a little corkboard behind my PC’s monitor, and specifically films I wanted to see again. For a while, it consisted entirely of Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens (1979), until a few months later I added Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse. Presumably, at the time, I liked it; looking back on it now, I have very little idea as to why.

Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse (1978)
Director: Justin Cartwright
Starring: Debbie Ash, Carolyne Argyle, Beryl Reid, et al.

One of several posters. They're all the same, really.
I’m sure it is.

ILB’s Trivia Corner: This is apparently based on a novel by Rosie Dixon, framing it as an autobiography, of sorts. You’ll be shocked, I’m sure, to find out that Rosie Dixon doesn’t exist. She is Timothy Wood, who wrote both the novel and the script for this film. He also wrote a glut of Confessions books as Timothy Lea, four of which got turned into their own sex comedy movies… but that’s for another time.

So, yes, anyway. Rosie Dixon stars Debbie Ash as the titular Rosie, who suddenly decides she wants to be a nurse, and INSTANTLY BECOMES ONE because apparently you can do that without three years of training. The general idea is that randy male doctors and characteristic old man patients (there are a lot of old men in British sex comedies, for whatever reason) can’t keep their hands off her. It’s a threadbare idea, but at least it is an idea.

It’s just executed poorly.

As an example, there is a scene where an old man in a motorised wheelchair continuously pinches Rosie’s bum, and then wheels away before she can notice it’s him. This happens a few times and, despite the fact that there’s nobody else around, she still doesn’t realise it’s him. This is, I presume, meant to be funny, but it isn’t – it’s just stupid. There are a few scenes like this, but this sort of stuff belongs in Doctor in the House. This is a sex comedy; there should be more tittilation than this.

So to the sex bits.

Rosie, Penny and some rando
they put in for whatever reason.

This film has a fair amount of inoffensive nudity, including a shower scene, but unless you are a very young teenager, this isn’t really going to arouse. It’s just naked bodies; you’ve seen them before. One of the main plot points of this film, though, is that Rosie is sexually inexperienced – she doesn’t actually have any sex until the very end of the film, and that’s with one of the doctors, Tom Richmond (Peter Mantle). She’s the star, and she spends a lot of the time not getting laid.

To facilitate this, we have the introduction of Penny Green (Carolyne Argyle), who is both sexually active and very physically attractive. She even has some relatively decent lines like

Penny: I used to be a travel courier, but I had to give up.
Rosie: Why?
Penny: One night there were fifteen ski instructors scratching at the door of my room.
Rosie: Goodness!
Penny: But I wouldn’t let them out!

but those are few and far between. Her main job is to be sexy and sassy, and during both sex scenes she actually has sex and is sassy about it, so I guess that character works, insofar as she is supposed to do what she does.

So, the sex scenes. There are two (two!), and neither is particularly explicit; they always follow a certain pattern, as well, which is:

(i) seduction, although usually very brief
(ii) sex begins happening with Penny
(iii) sex begins happening with Rosie (although in the first scene she’s under a bed with others having sex atop it)
(iv) sex intensifies by way of sped-up footage and overlaid sex noises
(v) quick cuts between Rosie and Penny intermittently implying that this is all happening at the same time
(vi) at some point, the theme tune comes in, so we have “Rosie, my love, don’t change a thing” sung over very unconvincing love-making
(vii) everything ends explosively, in a “humorous” way

The first sex scene is actually pretty okay. Penny is being seduced by (although she actually does more of the seduction herself) Dr Seamus McSweeney (Ian Sharp). Seamus has spent a while trying to get his British end away with anyone who will be receptive, like

Seamus: With your combination of beauty and sensitivity; to be in your presence is to glow.
Rosie: Well, I’ll make you a cup of coffee, and then you can glow away.

and eventually accosts Penny during a night shift, and things go from there at the speed of Billy Whizz on amphetamines… and they have sex on a massage bed. Rosie, meanwhile, almost has sex with one of the abundant old men in the hospital, but he instead ends up having sex with the matron (Beryl Reid… yes, that Beryl Reid), and we don’t even see that, so we cut between Penny humping Seamus (she is on top) and Rosie’s head underneath squeaky springs.

And that’s it.

It’s a humorous, relatively sexy diversion, and it even happens at night, which I guess means we can justify the title of the film after all. The main problem, however, which affects the whole thing, is the second sex scene.

As I’ve said before in this review, Rosie has sex with Tom in the end (in an attic; Rosie assumes he’s brought girls here before, and he says

Tom: I haven’t… but someone else may have!

which poses more questions than it answers). Penny, however, has a thing for a man in traction covered completely in bandages (Jon Lingard-Lane), who can’t move at all, or speak or do anything at all, but allegedly she is enraptured by his eyes. So it happens that, while Rosie and Tom are having cheese-sandwich missionary sex (and end up falling through a ceiling, for the lulz), Penny appears in traction, mounts the patient in plaster, and effectively rapes him.

Well, I say “effectively”; that’s, in fact, exactly what she does, and the final scene (which – spoiler alert but not really – has both main characters getting fired) has her gleefully admitting that she raped a patient – yes, those exact words. That, as you may have gleaned from my words by now, is not funny.

Rosie and Director Bones from DC Comics
Skeletor was on set at one point.

And that is a shame. You see, from looking through this film retrospectively as I have, I can actually see the “comedy” in “sex comedy”. Yes, it’s crass and it’s rude and it’s blunt – they may as well have a stage hand with a neon sign saying “laugh” at certain points – but there are some funny one-liners, and the banter between characters is cheap and cheerful. The physical aspect is a little on the nose, but it’s clearly intended to make you giggle, and all the actors look like they’re having a whale of a time making this.

But the plaster scene, though. I mean, without it, this would probably be my favourite. With it, though, I just can’t get over that mental picture. Penny is naked in it, too… and that’s worse, in a way, as that’s the sort of nudity you want to see!

Overall, then, this is a valiant attempt at making something that’s sexy, funny and inoffensive, good as a distraction at midnight, but more or less completely overshadowed by a very poor decision at the end. Story of my life!

Star Guitar

A person of interest
You’re a person of interest
Won’t say I’m in love, yeah
But certainly impressed

It had been a long day. I hadn’t even been too interested in most of the bands playing, and in truth, I’d only really been to see the band Music Man was in. I was, to use the technical term, a fan – and he was a friend. The fact that I got to miss a day of school to sit in a theatre and watch rock bands was probably a plus, as well.

The garage crew (who eventually won the contest) were the absolute worst. I may not have been a fan of garage, but my token black friend (who was seriously into the So Solid Crew, et al.) corroborated the fact that they sucked. In fact, most of them sucked, with the exception of Music Man’s band and a couple of more punky girl bands from schools I didn’t know existed.

And then I completely forgot about everything else.

She walked onto the stage already wearing her guitar – although she was also wearing a school tie, which I suppose was some sort of attempt to look as indie as possible. For some reason, and to this day I don’t know exactly why, I was completely transfixed.

I don’t recall the name of the band, nor do I the song they played. I remember liking it, but nothing more than that. I do, however, recall staring from my seat in the raked stalls, completely oblivious to anything Lightsinthesky, Music Man, or my token black friend were saying. Rhythm guitar… she played rhythm guitar. Of course she did. I played rhythm guitar too. I just wasn’t in a band. But then she didn’t know that.

She didn’t know me. But then I could change that.

As luck would have it, she ended up standing two stairs away from me after the bands were all finished playing and the judges were deliberating their wrong decision. So I, courteously I hope, introduced myself.

“I really liked your guitar playing,” I said. It wasn’t entirely a lie; I mean, I enjoyed the performance. Her guitar playing was part of it. I couldn’t quite divine which guitar part it was, but still.
“Oh! Thanks!” she beamed. “I’ll give you a hug for that.”

Oh, look at those beautiful eyes…

And she gave me a hug. I was new to hugs at that point. I’m a seasoned hugger now, but back at 16, any sort of physical contact was a bonus.

That’s so nice. So warm and soft.

And after that I just kind of… stopped. I mean, what was I meant to say then? Perhaps ask her to introduce me to some of her friends in the band? Maybe ask her how long she’s been playing the guitar for? I mean, there was a common interest. I could have even told her that I liked her style… because I did; the tie was a bit incongruous, but maybe that was the point.

And that hair. So long and so shiny. I just want to brush it.

Maybe I could say it. “Hey, I just met you, and I’ve no idea what you’re into apart from rock music, but I’ve got a crush on you, so maybe you might consider going for a…?” What? A drink? Is that a thing people do on dates? I’d never been on a date.

But I didn’t say it. Lightsinthesky pulled me onto the dance floor for a mosh to the metal band that had won the second prize. In all fairness, it was my first mosh. I certainly had something to share at Woodcraft that evening, even if I eventually had to demonstrate how to mosh by throwing myself against the wall.

As things started to dissipate and the harried security guy tried to break up what was threatening to turn into a mass crowd surf, I found myself looking around to see if she was still there. She was – on her own. On the stairs where I’d been talking to her. But the event was definitely coming to a close, and I knew that when it did, she’d walk out of my life, possibly forever.

But then I shook myself. I’d looked at someone, become attracted to her, actually genuinely had a conversation with her and got a hug in an exchange for a compliment. At 16, that was pretty much the furthest I’d gotten with anyone.

“What are you looking at?” asked Music Man, emerging himself from the moshpit. “That girl with the tie?”
“I… yeah. Yeah. She…” I said eloquently, before realising he’d gone. In fact, lots of people were going, and I found myself being chivvied along with them. In fact, if I wanted to go to Woodcraft at all that evening, I’d need to go home.

On the way out into the cool, welcoming air, she looked my way one last time. I gave her a friendly wave, and in return, she gave me a big, bright smile.

What a smile, I thought to myself all the way through the bus ride home, as my heart slowly began to tear itself into a million little pieces.

Soft Porn Sunday: Beatrice Baldwin & Glenn Ratcliffe

First Soft Porn Sunday on the new(ish) blog and it’s one I’ve been promising for ages – months, even – without bothering to get off my arse and do so. Cracking stuff, ILB.

This is, in any case, the third in a series of four sex scenes from Compromising Situations‘ third-series episode Centerfold [insert “shudder at the American spelling” here… again…]; additionally, as with the first two I reviewed, this features Glenn Ratcliffe as lackadaisical photographer Joe who… hell, just go and read the first two, okay? I’ll wait.

Appearance: Compromising Situations, Series 3: “Centerfold” (1996)
Characters: Angela & Joe

There were two in the bed and the little one said...
I am pro-soft, so…

So, yeah. This scene takes place on an incredibly fluffy bed with a pretty blue/grey colour scheme (which extends to the curtains and whatever’s going on outside the Perspex window they have there), which both serves as a location and outside fuel for my seething internal jealousy (my bed is about as soft as one of those Whomp enemies from the Mario series). The Sully-themed duvet cover does, however, look a little itchy, so why they’re getting naked on top of it I’ve no idea.

I mean, it’s obvious why they’re getting naked. I’m just slightly distracted by the colour scheme.

There isn’t really a lot of nudity here, for what it is. The scene starts with kissing – and they’re very keen to show you that it’s kissing, judging by the fact that they’ve overlaid kissing sound effects, which cut out suddenly when we cut to Joe doing some odd kind of horizontal kiss on… her breasts? Her collarbone? Random bit of skin? It’s confusing, but it doesn’t matter, because 32 seconds in we fade to insta-sex, SO THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY.

Laundry's going to have a field day.
To be fair, I do quite like the discarded clothes. Shame they vanish later on.

The sex here is positioned in an odd way facilitating it to happen neither under nor on the covers (or maybe they are just trying to avoid the itch); Joe is on top of Angela, or kind of… they are rolling around a bit, but I’m assuming this is meant to be missionary… with the covers pulled down and keeping their feet warm, but the rest of their bodies on display. One does have to wonder exactly why they’re doing neither one nor the other. Softcore doesn’t tend to have this kind of quandary.

There is evidence (or at least pervasive urban rumour) to show that having your feet warm during sex makes for a more satisfying experience. Scientifically, you can lose a lot of heat through bare feet, which lends some credence to the idea, although during good energetic sex you are building up heat, so maybe a fair outlet is beneficial. Whatever. Maybe Joe and Angela are keeping their feet warm to facilitate better lovemaking while also having their top halves bare so they can mutually admire the person they are making love to.

But. y’know, probably not.

It’s nice to see the undersheet also corresponds to the colour scheme, though.

Anyway, so yes, sex. As I said before, Joe is kind of on top here, but they are rolling around a bit so at points it’s a little difficult to tell. At 00:44 we get a quick fade to something more close-up (where we get the first good look at Beatrice Baldwin’s face, which reminds me of Salma Hayek) with yet more overlaid kissing sounds and then one of the least appetising screen kisses I’ve ever seen, but there’s still very little indication that actual sex is happening. It’s clearly meant to be, but this is much more like foreplay than sex (even by softcore standards), and even then, it’s not particularly invigorating.

The claw is our master!
“I won’t go on
if I’m clawing you…”

Maybe it’s all that sex with other women that’s tired Joe out, or something.

The subsequent cut makes this all the more confusing, as Joe (who is doing something odd with his hands as if he’s trying to read Braille) is clearly not meant to be inside Angela, unless he’s somehow fucking her knee (we also get a view of his very square arse, which I hadn’t noticed before and will never now unsee!); if he was meant to be having sex with her before, why isn’t he now? Is this in the wrong order, or are they just trying to be super-realistic and have them take a quick break?

Okay, at this point I have nothing to say because there’s an over-long shot of Beatrice Baldwin’s boobs, so I’ll talk about the music, which is utterly mystifying. It consists entirely of a hi-hat rhythm with apparently random snare and bass drum hits, coupled with a strange ethereal synth line and occasional low thrumming notes (also possibly played on a synth). It doesn’t really sync to the scene, doesn’t actually have any relevance, and is scarily reminiscent of Muzak, which makes me unnerved, as it takes me back to department store lifts in my youth.

After twenty-five seconds of boobs (yes, that’s right – it’s all we see for nearly half a minute), there’s another mix to what, this time, is meant to be sex without pussyfooting around. At least, at this point Angela is riding Joe, so unless she is somehow shagging his belly button, this is full-on penetrative sex, and…

…oh, more kisses. Okay.

Look, I like kisses. They are one of my favourite things. I like to kiss and to be kissed. And I like them in soft porn because they have their place – especially when used strategically, like as a precursor, or footnote, to sex. A kiss can be very powerful. There is, however, a limit, and when you have – as with this scene in pretty much its entirety – multiple kisses of various body parts even when any other scene would have bump’n’grind at this point, that limit has been, shall we say, reached.

Random pillar there in the corner, because why not? Everyone like pillars.
Sure, why not?

Scene kind of ends there with (finally) a full-body shot of them not really doing very much, and a couple of snare drum hits for good measure.

This isn’t a scene I dislike so much as I find baffling. Sex is meant to be happening at certain points, but because there’s very little movement, it’s difficult to discern exactly what those points are. There’s too much of an emphasis on kissing, which would have been fine interspersed with actual sex, but I’m left at the end of this wondering why she had let him inside her in the first place, since neither of them seem to be putting any energy into it. You could achieve the same effect with a cuddle.

And the set design is sound, and Beatrice Baldwin is pretty, and Glenn Ratcliffe is… well… Joe. It has all the makings of a good scene. It is, however, boring, stilted, and uninspired. There are four sex scenes in this episode, so maybe they ran out of ideas?

Or maybe they just had a limited amount of time to film it. I mean, that would explain a lot; we all have things to do that we occasionally run out of time on and never quite fini

One more confession…

Dear ex,

I need to clarify something. I know you’re probably never going to read this; you dumped me just under a decade ago and I’m not even sure if you know I still write my blog (although I know what you’re doing). But there’s one thing I never told you, and it still comes to me in my darkest of moments, so here goes.

The night my grandfather died I got a text to tell me it had happened. I still don’t know why I had turned on my BlackBerry, really – it had been off for a few days and I didn’t really want any distractions – but nevertheless, I turned it on, and there was the message from my mother. We all knew he was dying – he was in hospital, watching the Olympics and waiting for it to happen. He squeezed my hand the last time I saw him.

I don’t think you ever met him, but you would have liked him. He was the 83-year-old who saw the sign on Space Mountain advising elderly people not to ride it and saying out loud, “right, I’m doing that.” He was in the third wave on D-Day and assumed that he could survive anything after that.

I could have cried that night, but I didn’t. You were angry with me – very angry. We had had a slight mishap (involving orgasms, in fact) that necessitated the changing of sheets. I explained, calmly I hope, that this was easy – we could take the sheet off, rinse the stain out, and hang it up to dry in the balmy Provence heat – but you told me that I was being passive-aggressive (a concept I still don’t understand). I got the spare bedding down and added the new sheet. After we hung the damp sheet up outside, we went back to bed and you threatened to slap me.

You didn’t actually slap me, but I felt you could have.

As I lay there shaken, I wondered over and over if I should have told you that he died. If I did, you might have assumed I was trying to deflect, or ignore the (admittedly very trivial) problem that had prevented itself (and that we had managed to correct, I hasten to add). You clearly didn’t want to hear me say anything, and if I had cried, you’d have assumed I was trying to get sympathy. Maybe you would have slapped me. I don’t know any more.

So I didn’t say anything. I held back the tears, and lay awake, wanting more than ever to get to sleep so it could be morning and you would have calmed down.

I hadn’t done anything wrong.

The next day, as we sat at an open-air café in the village, you decided to have a look at your ‘phone and told me that you had a text from my mother, since I hadn’t replied to hers, telling me that he had died. I acted shocked, went still for a while, and let a few tears out while you squeezed my hand sympathetically.

“I’m sorry,” you said.
“Well, thank you. I knew it was going to happen; it was just a matter of when…” I started.

The thing is that, well, I knew it had happened. I found out the night before, but I was far too scared to act sad or shocked or morose or… anything other than calm and rational, really… because I feared your reaction. I didn’t want to trivialise the old man’s death, either; this was a massive thing. But we were on holiday (for the first time as a couple). We were meant to be having lots of sex, and we probably would have done, had the sheets not been stained.

So I didn’t tell you I already knew. I kept that to myself; it was all I could have done in the circumstances. We went to the cathedral in Avignon the following day and I lit a candle for him under a picture of St Joseph, saying a prayer and watching the light dance.

I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. I could have told you that morning, maybe, over breakfast – the sad news might have been better over croissants still warm from the boulangerie. Or maybe when we were washing up afterwards, or taking showers, or sitting on the swing in the garden. Any of those times. But I couldn’t come up with a viable explanation for why I hadn’t told you when I actually found out.

So I didn’t say anything.

And I didn’t say anything, either, for the next one-and-a-half years of our relationship. I didn’t tell you when it ended, either, and I still haven’t told you until now, when I’m telling you in the knowledge that you probably won’t read this. You may remember me going to the funeral a week or so later, after surprising you by staying in Oxford for a day longer than I was going to. You may remember spending Christmas together and how I cried because I missed my little church so much. You may – I know I do – remember all the good times we had in Provence, even if we had better holidays later on.

But I didn’t tell you that I knew. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you sooner. And I’m sorry to my grandfather, posthumously, for keeping his death a secret. But, in all honesty, I really don’t know what else I could have done.

Forever and always, my love,
– ILB x

KOTW: Devil Fellah

Ever since I was very young, I’ve always loved stuffed toys. For reasons which remain nebulous to this day, my family has always referred to them as “Fellahs” – presumably a mispronunciation of “fellows”, and more specifically, probably mine since I’m the eldest – but I’ve never really questioned it. They are Fellahs, and that’s the end of it, really.

My favourite Fellahs have stayed with me through multiple house moves (while the rest are in a toybox in my parents’ attic). My squashy, cuddly rabbit who I got for my 19th birthday still lies next to my bed for when I need him. The little handmade (by me) Knightmare creature celebrated his birthday the other day (or, he would have, but we couldn’t quite find him…). We have a collection of little plushies – mostly rabbits, I like rabbits – plus Pinkie Pie, Magikarp and, of course, the huge IKEA BLÅHAJ shark which I bought my girlfriend for Christmas last year.

Blåhaj is heavenly soft. You can fall asleep while holding him. He is, without a doubt, the best gift I’ve bought anyone. Ever.

You’re wondering about what the title of this post means, aren’t you?

In my earlier teens, while I was at least interested in sex, I wasn’t really obsessed. My refusal to discuss the subject – nervous about it as I was – and the fact that I wasn’t really interested in masturbating resulted in my sexuality manifesting in weird ways, often things that made me frightened and victimised, and – more often than not – disgusted with myself after some sort of gleeful indulgence. Nowadays, of course, I’d call that a kink. Back then, it was a shame.

One of the toys I had was an oversized Dizzy Devil whom I won at a school fête. I was a big fan of Tiny Toon Adventures and, while Dizzy wasn’t my favourite character, I was pleased to have her. She was a very big Fellah, in fact, about half my height at least, and wide enough too.

The more astute of you will have noticed that I’m using the female pronouns for a Fellah based on a canonically male character. The reason for this, of course, being that after a couple of years I stopped seeing her as Dizzy. If I closed my eyes very tight, worked through a situation in my head (often something from soft porn or similar) and slipped my erection between her legs, I could hump back and forth and do something which I assumed, at the time, was similar to sex.

At the time, I didn’t care that it was Dizzy Devil. I didn’t really mind who, or what, I was having a sex fest with (yes, I genuinely used the term “sex fest” in my head while doing it; it helped me get hard), as long as it was a firm, unyielding body I could lie on top of. There wasn’t a hole for me to go in, of course – I’m not that sort of plushie, although I find that fascinating – but, as I rationalised, this was something. And something was better than nothing.

It hurt, though. Of course it did – I was effectively rubbing my penis between the hard, rough fabric of a giant Fellah who wasn’t designed to be soft. I didn’t even have an end goal in mind – I wasn’t going to come, as that wasn’t even an option; all I would do was hump for a few seconds and then… well, finish doing so, I guess, in case anyone walked in or something. I even established a kind of routine, insofar as I’d do it after watching Robot Wars, but I wouldn’t call it a kind of key part of my sexual awakening.

And it hurt. Sex isn’t meant to hurt.

Eventually I gave Dizzy away. Despite the fact that we’d been shagging, I wasn’t particularly close to her, and the fact that we had to give away a large Fellah at another school fête presented the opportunity (the little spinny thing at the top of her cap had come off at this point too…). I’ve acquired other Fellahs since then – and even had relationships with girls who adore them, ranging from KoЯn dolls to floppy, soft kitties to rabbits called “Rabbit” – but the concept of using one for sex has long since passed.

I’ve got a healthy relationship with Fellahs. They are my friends, and never will be anything else. But maybe, just maybe, once or twice to an early teen ILB, one of them may just have been my lover.

Boom, clap, I’m in me friend’s car

It’s another balmy day in Port Elizabeth and I’ve been attempting to float in the pool for half an hour now. I can’t float – it’s always been impossible for me despite the Seamstress insisting that it is – but trying is fun. At least being in the water is fun. I don’t like the heat, anyway, and being in water is a way to pretend it isn’t as hot as it is.

Louise isn’t in the water, because she’s paralysed with laughter. She’s been watching me flail around for a few minutes. I leaned back and almost floated for about a second before sinking into the water with a sound like the ‘drowning’ noise from Worms 2. Apparently my facial expression was what made her laugh. She hasn’t stopped.

“Hey, you,” she says. “Let’s go for a drive.”

I pull myself out of the pool with a huge reverse splash. The heat in the air dries me off almost immediately. Who needs towels?

“Didn’t we go for a drive yesterday?” I asked. “You drove me around the city. We went to the wharfs. We went to the café. We probably would’ve ended up in the bush if I hadn’t persuaded you otherwise.”
“That was then; this is now,” she replies, as if there’s some sort of weighted finality in this completely innocuous statement. I’ve no idea what she’s going on about, but I’ve long since decided there’s no point at all in questioning her. I shrug, walk through the French windows, throw on a loose T-shirt and pull on some shorts that I hadn’t been aware I still had.

She’s already standing by her car by the time I’ve locked everything and left through the front door. It’s quite a nice car, although I don’t really know anything about cars – I just think it looks nice. It’s a nice blue colour. To be frank, I’m just impressed that she can drive. She learned at 17 which, I remind myself, was two years ago. Still, she picked me up from the airport and has been driving me around a city I don’t know for two days now, so…

“Your chariot awaits,” she says (and yes, she seriously says that), holding open the passenger door. The seat is pushed all the way back, which I assume is because I’m a tall idiot with hecka long legs.

As is turns out, that’s not exactly why she’s pushed the seat back.

“I thought you said we were going for a drive,” I say, albeit quietly, as she climbs on top of me without so much as a preliminary warning.
“Eh… I lied,” she admits. “Surely you don’t mind this?” she adds, pulling off her top to reveal her breasts, huge and shiny, grabbing my hand as she does so and guiding it so I can feel how wet she is.
“Mind it? No, not really,” I say. Or, at least, I would, but I’ve got my lips wrapped around one of her peaked nipples and can’t really say anything right now.

I could spell it out in Morse code via small licks, I suppose. But I’m not sure that would work. I don’t know Morse code.

She arches her back while I work her with my tongue. She looks fantastic, but then again, she always has. I’m starting to feel the heat again, but then, I’m in a car with a beautiful girl sitting on top of me – it’s hardly an Arctic floe.

I won’t recall, later, exactly the particulars of how she manages to get my shorts off and my pants down without dismounting. It’s not that important anyway, I reason. She’s not wearing anything under her skirt which, I suppose, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. She shifts; there are a few moments of silent anticipation, and then I feel her folds split wide as my smooth, firm cock slides in, her grinning the grin that she grins at my semi-gleeful, semi-abashed face (which, apparently, is what I look like every time).

I feel her inner walls squeeze, moulding themselves around my shape. I’m throbbing – a lot – but can’t really do much, stuck as I am into a car seat. She’s doing the work, merrily riding away, sliding up and down like only she knows how to do, giving me what I need… and, judging by the sounds she’s making (and yes, she is loud), she’s getting what she wants as well. I try to do something with my hands, but all I can really do is hold onto her sides. She doesn’t have a problem with that.

We’re having sex in a car. I realise this just before she orgasms – a huge, powerful, rolling one. She makes a kind of low guttural moan – almost bestial – as I feel her girlcum begin to cascade from her soaked sex, coating my shaft, and running down her legs, to boot.

She leans forwards, resting her whole body on me (but there isn’t too much of her, so this doesn’t hurt). I wrap my arms around her and just hold her. Neither of us say anything, but then what else is there to say? Good sex is good. I’m not going to look this gift horse in the mouth, specifically when the gift horse is a millionaire’s daughter who did quite a lot of pleading a few days ago to actually get me onto the ‘plane.

It’s only after we get back into the pool – we didn’t go for a drive at all, you’ll be totally shocked to hear – that I think to ask what she’s going to do about the large stain we left on the seat.

“Oh, that’s okay,” she says brightly. “I’ve got a sponge and some cleaning fluid. It gets the stains out of anything. I’ll clean it up tomorrow, and then we’ll go for a drive. A real one this time.”
You’ll clean it up? Surely you’d let me do it, after what you just gave me.”
“I’m the one who came, and besides, it’s my car.”
“It is,” I demur. “But surely I could at least help. Carry the bucket, or something.”

It takes me a while to convince her that “carry the bucket” isn’t a euphemism for anything. But, by the time I’ve finished explaining, she’s right back to where she was an hour ago… on the side of the pool, watching me flail, and wheezing with laughter.

Keeping the British End Up: Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976)

Welcome to a completely unwarranted, shockingly unheralded new meme from someone who’s unqualified to talk about this sort of thing.

The history of sex in film is complicated and it’s hardly as rigid as any of the documentaries and books on the subject would have you believe. In the “above-ground” sex film realm, though, there was something of a shift, in various places internationally, after the decline in popularity of nudie-cuties from the ’60s. American sexploitation began to rear its ugly head, as did Japanese pink film and mainland European “art porn” – the first Emmanuelle came along in 1974.

British film, typically coy and unassuming, started to make its own contribution with smutty comedies – a mixture of slapstick mirth and (often female) nudity: even featuring sex, although in a very different fashion from what one might term as soft porn. I’ve seen a few of these (okay, a lot of these) and, now that quite a few of them are available on Amazon Prime…

…yes, really…

…maybe it’s time for ILB to write far too long blog posts about them.

SO HERE WE GO!

Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976)
Director: Stanley Long
Starring: Barry Evans, Judy Gleeson, et al.

I last saw this when I was a teenager, so although I kind of thought I knew what this was about – I remember a snake and a kidnapping plot – I wasn’t entirely sure about the details. I didn’t remember any sex happening, but that isn’t really the point of a British sex comedy.

Badly drawn cartoon
Doesn’t say much.
Like the film itself, really…

The main idea of this flick is that Joe (Barry Evans), who acts as both the protagonist and narrator (he talks in asides to the camera), is a taxi driver who picks up beautiful women. That’s basically it. There’s nothing else to the film. It opens, and this I didn’t remember, with a very British opening narration (by a different actor) about how wonderful taxi drivers are, laid over a montage of “ironic” clips featuring taxis cutting off other vehicles, drivers giving V-signs and stopping to pick up women while avoiding old couples and single men.

Britain!

Joe also had a weird family (because they all do) including his layabout, thieving tearaway brother Peter (Marc Harrison) and domineering but drippy fiancée Carol (Adrienne Posta), but they make occasional and seemingly random appearances. The first hour, at least, acts as a checklist of “what to do in a sex comedy” things, which can be summarised thus:

(i) needlessly gratuitous bum and thigh shots, often close-ups when women bend over or something ✔
(ii) carelessly sexist dialogue, often referring to women as “birds” or “a bit of crumpet” ✔
(iii) occasional nudity, often female ✔
(iv) people in unhappy relationships – double points if it’s a young, attractive women married to a much older man ✔
(v) random double entendres that hit like a ton of bricks ✔
(vi) very little actual sex (but some, or at least a hint thereof) ✔
(vii) genuinely famous actor making their first appearance (in this case, Robert Lindsay) ✔
(viii) love interest who shouldn’t be a love interest (Judy Gleeson as Nikki) ✔
(ix) “amusing” naked caper-type scenes ✔
(x) incredibly posh older lady (Prudende Drage as Mrs Barker) ✔

If this all seems relatively un-amusing, that’s because that’s what it is. This film can’t decide what it’s trying to be. There are a few things which makes it more unique, such as

Snake sex: Nikki has a snake (a real one) named Monty, who accidentally stimulates someone Joe is trying to seduce (which sounds funnier than it is)

Visible dick: during the naked caper bit, where Joe has to make his way back to his taxi with no clothes, and then picks up a nun to deliver to a convent (also not funny)

Extra kidnap crime plot: tacked on an hour into the film itself, and also comes to nothing!

Emmanuelle reference: one of the cinemas he drives past in central London is showing Emmanuelle, which suddenly made me want to watch a better film

Attractive blonde woman who's probably got somewhere else to be
She can do better.

but, in actual fact, they all add very little to the plot, and all the jokes miss. There’s even a really transphobic bit (in before your “but the ’70s!” protests; it’s still transphobia) with a “female impersonator”, which made me cringe so hard my face resembled a topographical map of Snowdonia. It’s awful, and the fact that the film is trying very hard to get you to like Joe (whereas he is an unlikeable, unattractive, sexist git) just makes it worse.

There’s a switch which comes in so fast that it’s alarming late in the day when suddenly a crime caper happens – something to do with stolen jewellery, but by this point I’d zoned out so much I couldn’t quite work it out. It doesn’t even work here, either, as there’s been no build-up to it, nor is there any particularly appropriate pay-off. It just sort of… ends.

The worst couple since Brangelina
Joe and Carol.
Horrible, isn’t it?

It’s strange, after the drubbing I’ve just given Adventures of a Taxi Driver), to think of how successful it was. Because it was – and it even spawned a couple of sequels, so there’s a whole series to get through (groan!) It relatively shamelessly takes its cue from the Confessions series of a similar ilk, but it has none of the cheeky charm of the Robin Askwith films, and is so episodic in its execution of all the invidual skits that it makes me wonder if this was filmed in a bit of a hurry.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being unfair.

No, I’m not. It’s the film that’s wrong.

Cockblocked by… myself?

For the past year or so, my gut has left me alone. I was formally diagnosed with IBS a few months ago, after repeated and increasingly uncomfortable tests to make sure it wasn’t Crohn’s or UC or something new that’s going to end up named after me. A less stressful job that I quite like, some tablets with friendly bacteria (which makes me seem like a wanker, but just go with it), and – dare I say it? – drinking more water (it is free at work) have all helped, and whereas I do still have issues with my stomach, attacks are less common, and when they do happen, rarely debilitating.

Mind you, when they happen, they really happen.

As you may have realised from my last few posts, I haven’t had sex for a very long time, and non-penetrative sexual contact (while something that has happened, rarely) is the most I’m doing. I’m not going to push the issue, or talk about it much here, but very little has been happening of late. The other day, however, my girlfriend started talking about getting some new sex toys, and my interest was piqued.

I was in the bathroom when she asked it.

“Hey, you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m… I’m on the toilet.”
“Okay, I was thinking… after you’re finished, maybe do you… do you want to play?”

The fact that I’d noticed our Doxy had been moved from the corner of the room to her side of the bed floated into my head.

“Play? Play! Yes! Yes, I want to… I’ll be with you in an… aaaaaaargh…”
“What is it?”
“Nothing, nothing…”

Of course, that was a lie. It was something. The instant she had mentioned play, my entire abdominal system compressed into a ball with roughly the density of a neutron star. I leaned forwards, stuffed my fist in my mouth and screamed silently.

I kept promising, of course, that I would be with her soon. Zounds, but I wanted to be. The problem was that, with my gut deciding to have a go at shibari without having consulted me first, I could barely talk, never mind move. I couldn’t wield a Doxy, wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on using my fingers, and if it came to oral sex (DEAR GOD I MISS GIVING ORAL SEX AND IT HAS BEEN SO LONG), I doubt I’d have had the focus to give as much time and attention as I usually do, what with my body experiencing an internal French Revolution, complete with guillotine.

“Hey, I’m sorry, I… aaaaaaaaargh…
“It’s okay – you stay in there as long as you need – we don’t have to…”
“No, I want to… it’s just… aaaaaaaargh, fuck!
“Seriously! Take care of yourself first!”

Discord wants a glass of water
“A little glass of water, please?”

It’s not really like I had much of a choice in that situation. So that’s where I stayed, sitting, for the next hour or so, continually swearing at the entirety of my gastro-intestinal system and wishing, not for the first time, that I could just rip it out, if only temporarily.

She did bring me a glass of water, though, so it’s nice to see that she doesn’t consider me a complete disappointment.

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