I’ve been to the cinema a lot recently and, although I have yet to see an 18-rated film, I will doubtlessly be seeing one at some point, possessed as I am of a girlfriend who has an unhealthy obsession with horror. They mentioned, yesterday, as the 15 came up for the second film we watched, that they still feel a sort of naughty thrill at seeing a 15-rated film, even at the age of thirty.
I’m thirty-six and I still get that with 18s, mostly on DVD.
I have a complicated relationship with the BBFC rating system due to the fact that my mother was so stringent. My dad was a little more lax with what I was allowed to watch – I didn’t want to watch anything more than PG until I was about 15 myself anyway, so it was probably easy – but my mother was both nervous and worried about anything more than a 12, pulling us all into the lounge to have an hour-long talk about the ethical considerations of taking me to see Shakespeare in Love at the age of 14.
And then we have porn.
I started ordering porn – if you can call it that – at seventeen. I was underage, and I’m aware of that, but I had my Visa Electron card and an Amazon account. Amazon, in those days, had a “video erotica” section (now sadly lost) with a surprisingly varied collection of VHS titles… all rated 18, of course. Ordering one – even one as pedestrian as Emmanuelle: Queen of the Galaxy – gave me a curious feeling somewhere between excitement and guilt. I was doing something I could, obviously, but something I shouldn’t.
It was probably illegal. I mean, I don’t know, but it probably was.
When I got to university I ordered a lot more. I didn’t have a DVD player before, but my new laptop had one, so I could hit up Amazon for softcore basically whenever I wanted. In my first year I even paid money to sign up to a site where you could download individual scenes (which now seems passé – don’t move so fast, technology!). I still felt incredibly guilty, and when they arrived at the university hall postbox, I basically smuggled the goods up to my room as if I was doing something illicit. Even if they were in cardboard packaging.
I got to the age of about twenty when I realised that I was, in fact, well over the age of eighteen and, in fact, was not doing anything wrong, nor anything I wasn’t allowed to do. Indeed I was paying for the porn I was watching, which isn’t the wrong thing to do at all!
But I still felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing. Going back home at the age of twenty-one with a growing collection of softcore DVDs, plus a case full of Discs of Wonder (all hidden inside a D&D box), made me feel like a wretch. I knew my parents wouldn’t approve, and was readying myself for the conversation when it hit me.
They don’t need to know.
And then came
You’re 21. You’re well over 18. You’re allowed to buy porn and you’ve been allowed to do so for three years now.
Yet I still feel odd even considering doing so. It’s helpful, therefore, that I have a collection.
One does have to wonder, at points, how creative types get their ideas. Consider, for example, the lead actress in this scene, and why the words “Pristine Edge” were her chosen moniker. The title certainly works, but as for how she came up with it, I’m not sure.
The same can be said for the production company behind Vixens from Venus (Retromedia Entertainment), who clearly thought they had a winner with this plot.
Venusians Zonondor, Zorax and Zimbabwe (couldn’t they have chosen a name which wasn’t already the name of something else?) beam down to Earth and temporarily take the bodies of sexy young women Felicity, Piper and Violet respectively. They are greeted by three of “Earth’s top scientists” – Doctors Edwards, Grayson and Kline (plus their assistant Charlie) – whose intention is to study them.
The Venusians’ aim is to escape any information about them getting out, in an attempt to preserve their utopian society. Quite how they know it’s a utopia I’m not entirely sure, since I’m fairly certain Utopia did not have a print run on Venus, but then there are more pressing matters, such as why they speak English.
Or why they came down in the first place.
Or why they feel they need to have sex to rob the scientists’ memories.
Or where Zimbabwe went. She’s by far the most attractive character in this and she’s hardly in it.
But let’s not worry about that.
Appearance: Vixens from Venus (2016) Characters: Dr. Kline & Dr. Grayson
Grayson and Kline appear to be romantically involved.
Felicity / Zonondor
Zonondor has a delicate way of putting things, it seems, since she’s just walked in on Grayson and Kline having sex on a table.
As it turns out, the Venusians need to sleep with all three scientists in order to complete their mission. Doctors Grayson and Kline are engaged (although neither of them is wearing a ring – tisk, tisk), and after their colleague Edwards has been incapacitated (after foolishly sleeping with Zonondor), they decide that the best way to let off steam is to fuck on top of the sanitised table in their study room. This they do.
Before the plot moves on, really. This is, of course, a Retromedia Entertainment trope – overlong sex scenes with very attractive people with a plot set around them – the problem being that by this point I was invested in said plot, so there wasn’t a reason not to spool through them! Aaaaargh!
Ahem. As I was saying.
So. This scene takes place in a lab, by which I mean a set which has illuminated screens which show very little, gadgets that don’t do anything but beep and blink, and what look like 1950s-era sound reel-to-reel tape players. At the very least it doesn’t take long for the doctors to disrobe… because it all happens in a mix cut. There’s a brief kiss and then an immediate mix to Grayson giving Kline oral sex. No time wasted there. Very efficient scientists, clearly.
I’ve mentioned how lengthy the scenes are, and this is a bit of a problem. As attractive as Pristine Edge might be (and she is, she’s absolutely stunning), watching her get eaten out for over a minute and a half seems to slow time down a little. There isn’t really any variation in the position it happens, nor in her reaction, nor in McLane’s “half-a-face” expression. It’s just naked Kline on a table for a length of time which could be a whole scene on its own.
There is an interesting cut to the Venusians discussing their plan in the middle of the scene, which provides a refreshing break (and a glimpse of Dillion Harper as Violet/Zimbabwe, which definitely kept me interested), and when we cut back, Grayson and Kline are now having penetrative sex. It’s quite a clever way to show a shift (in location as well as activity; they’re now on the opposite side of the table, yes I do notice these details shut up). It’s fairly energetic and regularly bouncy, and although this also lasts for a long time, the regular cuts between different angles, quick pace of the sex and Edge’s range of naughty facial expressions (she does a good open-mouthed smile thing which I recognise from actual sex) helps keep the momentum up.
There are even some moments which your average sex scene wouldn’t consider. They look into each other’s eyes and at one point attempt a messy kiss. It’s not a romantic scene, but if you really try, you can almost imagine they’re a real couple.
After a while, Zonondor walks in, watches for a bit, and then smiles and exits. Fantastic – voyeurism. Let’s add that to the list of social issues this film has.
What you can’t see (or hear) is that, throughout this entire scene, there is a strange pop track playing… with vocals. The lyrics aren’t very inspired (choice cuts include “I need your love” and “I want your love), but the track also includes various orgasm noises at points. They aren’t at all related to what’s going on on screen, which throws off the rhythm somewhat. Plus, if I’m listening to the lyrics, how am I meant to be enjoying the sex? There’s only one of me!
The main thing, however, is that throughout this scene, and the successive one and the one after that (and one later in the movie), all of which feature Pristine Edge, she is genuinely the one carrying the weight. Throughout the film, she neither looks nor acts like a scientist, but she gives every performance her absolute all – her facial expressions (whether lustful, cunning, or pleasantly vacant once she has been incapacitated), the way she moves her body, her cute little nose piercing and famous “four hearts” tattoo. She is fantastic at what she does, and despite the fact that the script does nothing for her character except gets her naked, she really brings the performance to life.
I have an issue with Vixens from Venus, insofar as the message it gets across. It has some very questionable ethics behind it in terms of gender rôle, social class, race division and a wholly unnecessary method employed by the aliens (and one scene which could be considered sex without consent), and – essentially – a plot which, look good as it may on paper, is sort of forgotten about in the second half.
So I do have to say, essentially… yeah, the sex is good, but just… just… don’t.
I like hotels. I mean, everyone seems to like a good hotel, but I just like hotels in general. I booked into a budget hotel, once, with my first girlfriend for about £30 just because I could. My second girlfriend and I took an alarming number of mini-breaks throughout our relationship; my third and I once stayed for an entire week in the same hotel room (which we barely left).
With my current girlfriend, hotels have been an important part of our relationship. Early on, before we had announced that we were together (we got together about a month after my previous relationship ended, so the timing wasn’t great), we had nowhere to go and, as a result, I became quite skilled, quite quickly, at finding – at short notice – an affordable hotel.
I’ve also stayed in hotels on my own. Sometimes I’m going somewhere; sometimes I’m staying somewhere else. I’ve even stayed in hotels at some points just because I can. And then I’ve been abandoned – twice – in hotels.
Hotels and I have a complicated relationship, but when it comes down to it, I think the basics are: I like being taken care of. That’s what hotels do – even if it’s a cheap room in a hotel around the back of King’s Cross where all they do is give you a key and a room number. Room service and complementary breakfasts are one thing, but the fact that you just get a room – a space where, to all intents and purposes, you are free to just be – for a small fee… is nothing short of genius.
Stoppard’s quote (above) works, in a way, but I think it’s much broader than that. In a lot of ways I don’t mind where the hotel room is. I once went around the country staying in hotel rooms by myself for a while, and – although I could orgasm to interactive hentai on my laptop while watching the commuters going to and from St Pancras one day and fall asleep on my back covered in my own cum in central Birmingham the next – the act of being in a room of one’s own put me into a completely different headspace.
Physically, it’s pleasant – a nice bed, free hot drinks, good breakfast if you’re lucky, excellent sex if you have someone with you – but, mentally, being in a hotel gives me a complete disconnect from everything else.
In a hotel, you are allowed, without judgement, to just be, even if you have had to pay for the privilege.
[Girl on IRC] I’d like to have you in the shower… [ILB on IRC] That might be quite tricky. [Girl on IRC] Maybe the bath? [ILB on IRC] I have had sex in the bath…
While I didn’t go into details, that statement was indeed true. I have had sex in the bath. It was, like I imagine shower sex to be, incredibly difficult.
I can’t really take baths (although I can have sex next to them). My skin doesn’t like warm water – it tends to flare up on contact – so I can’t have a long soak in a bath, play with Matey like I used to as a small child, or post those obnoxious “here are my legs in the bath” selfies that unreasonably hot women on Instagram do. The last time I actually took a bath, I itched so much that I swore, rolled out onto the bathroom floor, and cried for a while wishing I could peel my skin off and send it to a lab for dermatological testing.
Sex in the bath happened a few years earlier.
The fact that it was a success I can attribute to the fact that my girlfriend at the time was very short. As anyone who’s met me can attest, I’m tall, and trying to position myself on top of someone the same height – while remaining in a confined space, as opposed to a double bed or somesuch – would have been a logistical nightmare.
But, this way, it was easier. I drew the bath myself; she settled herself into the water, relaxing against the far end with her legs (which only reached part of the way to the tap end) spread. I got in, my feet up over the taps (the only way I would fit), positioned myself the same way I usually did when we had sex, and after I got consent, slid into her.
The sex itself was quick and dirty, if not the most comfortable. All the familiar sensations were there – the throb of my cock inside her, the tightness of her inner walls around my shaft, the softness of her folds as they pulled back – the water was just an extra bonus. Even our movements were familiar; the water itself made a pleasing slosh with every thrust, and there was more of a slap of body-against-body contact. It just didn’t feel majorly different.
What was different was the fact that I was increasingly stiff throughout (my whole body, not just…). I was jammed into a confined space which, while it fit my 5’2″ girlfriend, wasn’t really optimised for me. After a few minutes of passionate thrusting, I wasn’t really feeling it any more, and she was more than happy to get out and have sex on the bathroom floor, for which I was grateful.
We then decided, in our infinite wisdom, to go to her bedroom and have sex there as well – which we did. This time, we both came – she shuddered and jerked and sighed beneath me; I tensed up, reared back and shot rope after rope of cum into her, and we collapsed, together, into a happy, sticky mess atop her crumpled bedsheets.
“I need a bath,” she said after a while. “Oh, right,” I replied. “I’ll go and draw you one.” “No need,” she said, looking around for a towel. “I think it’s full already.”
It could apply to either thing, really. First of all, my CD drive won’t work. I have, in all fairness, had this for a while. It certainly opens well enough, but then there’s the matter of the fact that it’s not reading the CD-R I’ve put into it.
Maybe it’s a problem with the CD-R. I went through labelling them all a month or so back, and this one says “this disc is temperamental”. But it’s not just not reading – it doesn’t appear to exist. My computer isn’t detecting a drive at all.
Maybe it’s not plugged in properly.
I fiddle with wires. Eventually the drive groans into life.
I’m looking for something specific, but I’m not even sure if I have it. Disc after disc go in and out of my drive. Scene after scene scroll past my eyes, flickering like a peepshow. What am I looking for? Is this it? What even is this?
Why won’t this work?
I was hard even before I started watching the scenes. Minutes pass, and this becomes less of a scavenger hunt than a mission of arousal. My body is crying; every part of me screams for release.
It’s too early to be horny, I tell myself. But then I can’t control what my body wants. And I’m haaaaaard.
So why won’t this work? These are carefully curated scenes. They’ve always worked before. My hand knows what to do. But something is disconnected here – it’s not working. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, then I may as well satisfy myself in another way, and if I can’t satisfy myself that way, then what am I achieving here?
Maybe I should just give up. Put on some clothes, get myself a drink and walk to the cinema to see Jungle Cruise.
Google Chrome is still open, I notice. What site was I browsing before this? Click.
Something sparks in the back of my brain. I close my eyes and let my imagination take over.
I probably need to point out at this moment that my mother didn’t actually refer to my former classmate as ‘Loch Ness’. We used to call her that at school (privately, not to her face) because her name looked a bit like the Loch Ness Monster rising in humps put of the water. I do believe it was my friend-who-is-a-midwife who came up with that one.
In any case, I had been talking to Loch Ness after stumbling across her on the street and getting her MSN address. In fact, I’d been talking to her quite a lot. And I’d been talking to her about quite a lot.
As it turned out, since we lost contact Loch Ness had been dating a lot of my friends from secondary school. She allegedly got her first boyfriend in year 7, which seemed realistic… once she was legally able to, she started sleeping with them too (and, although I never thought to ask any of them, I’m willing to bet my entire reputation as a hopeless social misfit that at least one of the punk rock fans in my year lost his virginity to Loch Ness).
I’m still not sure why she told me this.
“It’s not nice being single after being in a relationship for so long,” heartbroken ILB said at one point, “there’s no fun.” “Does you use of the word ‘fun’ have a sexual connotation?” “Maybe, I mean, I wasn’t really being that specific but…” “Because once you’ve had some ‘fun’ it’s hard to stop, right?” “…Right?” “Hey, question. Have you ever had a crush on me?”
This was, I am 100% certain, why my mother had asked about her. She made a big deal out of the fact that Loch Ness was very pretty, and being perfectly aware that I was just out of my first relationship, assumed that this was a direction I was heading in. (She was less keen on her throughout junior school, when Loch Ness tended to invent stories. One of her boldest claims: if Oliver Cromwell had accepted the throne, she would be a princess.)
Fortunately, I had an answer to that.
“Didn’t I marry you at one point?”
And indeed I had. I mean, the ring had been made out of Play-Doh, all the guests had been wearing school uniform and the best man had been a pushmi-pullyu comprised of Robinson and my friend-who-is-a-midwife tied together with a scarf, but I did indeed marry her. If my memory served me correctly, I stopped her as she passed my table and asked her to marry me.
I’m not sure if a year 1 wedding hastily arranged following a maths session counts, but nevertheless.
“So you did! Happiest day of my life!”
Now that I could believe.
“So…” “So…?” “So…”
There was a pause. Should I go back to talking about sex, or answer her question?”
Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.
hunter s. thompson
While I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve certainly had both of these.
The very easy thing to get out of the way is that the very first time I had sex, and the hundred-plus time afterwards, I was definitely having sex with love – that is to say, I was having sex with someone I was in love with. Sex was a big part of our relationship, and the same was true of my second relationship (which was also “sex with love”, although sex of a more adventurous variety). In fact, half the people I’ve had sex with have been people I’ve loved. I’m very lucky in that respect.
Sex without love has also been fun, although for a very different reason. Louise, Alicia, Lilly and snowdrop all had their reasons for sleeping with me (even if “I was horny and he’s got a dick” was the simple reason). All four were highly sexual people and the knowledge that there was no real commitment other than “satisfy this person” (and I did satisfy them, believe me!) both jarred with my monogamy-centred lifestyle and excited my own sexual self.
My aim was, and has always been and always will be, to ensure that anyone I have sex with enjoys it. Sex goes wrong every now and again – of course it does, everything does – but, if you can accept the person you’re making love to, you can accept the occasional fuck-up (and be aware of your own as well). I like to please – I’m desperate to do so – and so there is, in fact, a common thread here, no matter who I’m having sex with, or why.
Love without sex is different.
I’m in a relationship which is, to all intents and purposes, sexless. This may be slightly ridiculous to say when the relationship started during sex, but it is true. I’m still interested in sex (well, of course I am, I’m a sex blogger, silly), but they are not, or at least not any more.
I’m not entirely sure why – various reasons have been thrown about, ranging from health complications to relationship anxiety to depression to physical weakness to the way they put it the other day – “I’m just disgusted by sex, the idea repels me. It’s not you, it’s sex itself. I don’t like it any more.” To this point, we haven’t been intimate for weeks, and we haven’t had penetrative sex for years. I’ve genuinely lost count of how long it’s been.
I’m not going to press the point, though, as it’s a touchy subject – nor am I going to put them under any pressure. If they don’t want to have sex, they don’t have to, and I’m not going to try to change that, as it’s their prerogative.
My sex life now consists of pleasuring myself. Since I don’t have sex with anyone else, I’m not having sex at all, and with thestrange waysmy sexual desiresmanifestthemselves being more apparent as a result, I control and temper myself with masturbation – although I don’t always get the time to do that either! I can easily slip into sexual fantasies or explicit half-dreams, but again, when I can’t actually do anything about it, it’s…
…well, yeah, it’s difficult, of course it is.
A cis female friend recently told me about a conversation she had where the other conversationalist (who I don’t know but is also a cis woman) was presented with the same situation – monogamous couple, no sex for boy – and straight-up said, “he’d probably just leave, that’s what men do.”
I could never imagine leaving. I completely, truly, deeply, one hundred per cent love the person I am with, and the fact that we’re not having sex doesn’t change that.
So, no, I don’t agree with Hunter S. Thompson.
Sex without love is fun. Love without sex is possible.
I’d barely checked in (and put my bag down) when I realised that I was, in fact, bored. I’d been bored all week – I had to be in the city for a few nights and had nowhere to go – and had spent quite a while in the big market square playing Pokémon Sapphire. I had, in fact, been there since Thursday, and had managed to source places to sleep until Sunday night. To whit, I acquiesced, walked to the most convenient hotel I knew… and asked for a room.
My bag stashed in my room, I took myself back down to the lobby/bar area and sat at what amounted to being a bar (although it wasn’t too much). The girl who had checked me in came up to ask what I wanted to drink, and it was at that point that I got a look at her properly.
Let’s get a bit of context here. I was 19 or 20 (or thereabouts) and had spent the entire day playing music (if what I do actually counts to the discerning listener as ‘music’). Following a week of boredom ending with a day of cacophonous racket, the one thing I really needed was a drink. My overwhelmed mind beginning to decompress, I noticed a couple of seconds after I started speaking that the girl I was talking to was incredibly pretty. I noticed in the mirror that the look I was giving her was somewhat appraising, and then a moment later that she was giving me the same sort of look.
“Hello, could I please have a Friar Tuck?” I asked clearly and politely. “That’s full-fat Coke with a shot of blackcurrant cordial, if you’ve got that.” “Coke and blackcurrant?” she repeated. “Yes,” I sighed, and then fished around in my head for the necessary addendum to the question. “It’s a non-alcoholic cocktail invented in Nottingham and it’s…” “It’s what I drink!”
“Excuse me?” “It’s what I drink! Coke and blackcurrant! I like the combination! It’s very sweet! I’ve never met anyone else who likes it!” “Oh!” I ejaculated. “Excellent!”
She handed me my Friar Tuck and, for a few seconds, both of us paused. It took me a while to remember I needed to pay for this, and as I fumbled for my change, I could feel her eyes on me. Focus, ILB. Focus.
After an eternity of silence and smiles, she drifted away to check in some git who had arrived specifically to distract her from me, and I found some solace in the trivia machine in the corner (I was the first to play it, as she told me later, so I was first on the scoreboard by default; I did quite well, nevertheless) for a while. A few games later, with my wallet lighter in my pocket, I finally took a sip of my drink.
It was the best drink I’d ever had.
I got back to my hotel room burning with energy, excitement, and a few other things. What do I do for her? was the question blazing trails through my head. Buy her something? Just be polite and thankful? Maybe I’ll ask her out. No, that’s stupid, when am I going to be here again?
I sat at the little desk that all hotels seem to have and pulled out some headed paper.
I know, I’ll write her a song, I genuinely then thought. And, after a fashion, that is exactly what I did – a few verses and even a chorus. I even used the word “exuberance” once, non-ironically. In my head, it resembled the finale from Antonín Dvořák’s ninth symphony (although, when I added chords a week later, it sounded nothing like it). I finished three pages of scribblings, crossings-out and corrections, signed my name and…
…what do I do now?
I couldn’t just go and give it to her. Weird guy checks into hotel you work in and writes you a song? That’s creepy. I stashed it in my bag, made myself a tea (also a hotel room thing), and looked for something else to do.
After breakfast the morning after (which I almost didn’t make it to: I was there three minutes before it ended), I went back to my room to pack (and, let’s be honest, clean up). On the desk, once I’d moved off all my stuff, I noticed a little card I’d overlooked the night before: a nomination card for a guest service award. I pulled out a thick black gel pen and carefully wrote out her name on it.
It proved more difficult to write out exactly why I was nominating her for an award. Somehow “I have only met her once but I think I have a crush on her, and moreover, I think she has a crush on me” didn’t quite sound right in my head. I wrote out something generic about being friendly and helpful, and quickly added “…also knows what my drink is” before taking it to the counter.
I checked out, paid for my one rented ‘movie’, and handed the card to the lady now occupying the counter.
“Oh, she’s a honey,” she said after glancing at the card. “I’ll make sure she gets this.” “Oh, thanks,” I said, before adding, “well, tell her I said hello. I mean, you too. I mean, it was a very pleasant stay, I mean, yes, thank you, yes.”
ILB, the master of wondrous wit and ready repartée.
“Will we be seeing you again?” “Oh, yes, yes, I’ll come back, I will, I promise,” I squeaked as I walked out of the door. Standing outside for the first time in twelve hours basking in the warm air, I took a few long, deep, steadying breaths before trudging my way back into the milieu of the city I knew so well.
I went back to that hotel once more, with 47 in tow at that point. It was then that he told me that he knew I was ILB.
Last Thursday, while trying to explain to a friend what my recent diagnosis means, I managed to accidentally demonstrate by falling spectacularly to the ground and cutting my knee, grazing my head and shoulder, and winding me, to the point that I couldn’t get up again. I had to be hauled to my feet and hobbled to the nearest safe place, bleeding freely as I did so.
Which means I was, under the advice of the triage nurse, not at work on Friday, which means that I was at home when I got the call from my mother to tell me that my beloved cat Willow was about to undergo an operation, and half an hour later, the call from my father to tell me that Willow had died on the operating table.
Willow has been in my life for sixteen years. By the end of the first day, she was sitting on my chest as I lay supine on my gran’s floor; when I went back to university soon afterwards, it was very hard to leave her.
For the last tumultuous decade and a half, she has been there for me. By the time I started writing ILB, Willow was there. She was curled up on my bed as I was setting up my first Blogger account. Three girlfriends came (and, in two cases, went) and every single one of them adored her. I carefully combed her for fleas once and she was so grateful she didn’t leave my bed for a week.
As my sexual identity grew, Willow was remarkably tolerant. She wouldn’t bat an eyelid if I masturbated with her in the room having forgotten she was there. If I remembered, and put her outside, she would wait patiently for me to open the door so she could resume her napping spot on the bed. If I cried because of heartbreak, she was there. If I sat up in bed reading, or on the ‘phone to a loved one, she’d be there. If I lay in a pool of sweat and cum, or weeping with frustration because it didn’t happen (and I’d forgotten to let her out), she’d be there.
Willow was a constant throughout a good portion of my life. She wasn’t just my cat – she was a member of the family and, in certain points, I saw her as something like a daughter. I loved her, and I still do, and I always will.
I can’t describe the noise I made when I heard the news – it was something between the sounds made by a banshee and a werewolf. I was still in paroxysms of grief when my beloved called, and then for a hew hours afterwards, I was sobbing on and off. By the time I got to bed, I was feeling nothing but a dull, empty numbness; my uneasy slumber that night punctuated by waking moments feeling small holes opening all over my body.
The bit that hurts the most – unequivocally – is that I didn’t see Willow at all during the past few weeks. I’ve spent quite a lot of time at my parents’ house for one reason or another – including just after being in hospital, when I asked where she was – and didn’t seen her once during that time Every time I used to go there I saw her, and would give her a tummy rub or scratch behind the ears, and was looking forward to doing so again… and again… and again.
My parents didn’t bring her body home. I will never see her again.
Last time I was an inpatient in hospital, I was there for a night. Just one – as it turns out, there wasn’t anything wrong with me, but my chest was hurting, I had an odd ECG reading and my grandad died of angina when I was two, so I went to A&E anyway. I was there for hours, got a bed in a ward, and was discharged in the early hours of the morning. It was still dark when I left.
I remember vague things about that. I had a Harry Potter book with me. The nurse brought me a sandwich once because I said I was hungry. I remember the shape of the room – a sort of irregular pentagon – and the sound of the cars outside.
And I masturbated. Twice.
Are you meant to masturbate in hospital? I’ve no idea. There’s nothing wrong with it, I suppose. I was horny by the time I got into my hospital bed (although I wasn’t triggered by anything – just horny), and since I had a room of my own with an en-suite bathroom, I doubt my rationale process went any further than, “hey, there’s a toilet; I’ve got a dick, let’s have a wank.”
I’m still not sure why I did it twice. I think I just got bored at some point.
I’ve just spent an entire week in hospital. Go back seven days to last Monday early afternoon and I was already well-ensconced, semi-conscious, hooked up to a heart monitor in an MAU. I’ve been through multiple neurological procedures, CT scans, MRIs, one EMG and a myriad of ECGs. Healthcare professionals drifted in and out of my life trying to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me – it was clear that I was ill, but why?
Unlike the time I had my accident, I don’t remember much of the ambulance ride. I remember being given NO2 and wishing that they’d given me more, although they did also administer morphine, which I have to assume worked. I wondered, at one point, if there were flashing blue lights on my ambulance, because there was certainly a siren going. Getting to the hospital didn’t even take that long, even though it was a different part of London.
Memories of the first two days are hazy. I remember a lot of pain and an initial diagnosis which was later canned in favour of a different one. Towards the end of the week, as a result of an off-the-cuff remark I made on day one resulting in further tests, I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy – which was both a surprise and a relief at the same time.
I was there for a week, and I didn’t masturbate once.
I tried, on the last night. I couldn’t really do so in my bed, even with the curtains pulled: I felt a lot more self-conscious and the guy in the bed opposite me had a General Grievous-like coughing fit every half minute, but I did manage to escape into the bathroom and try a few times while perched on the edge of the toilet. The problem being, I suppose, that without anything to rest my back on, any sort of visual stimulus (my imagination having been fried after a week of tests), or the sort of silence or comfortable environment I usually set up for myself, it just…
I went back to bed feeling both guilty and frustrated (and possibly a little angry at myself, for all the missed opportunities). Wriggling and struggling in my bed for a bit, I made the conscious decision that I couldn’t do this alone. I groped for the call bell and pressed it. My night nurse appeared.
“What can I do for you?” she trilled. “I’m sorry to bother you,” I started with, “I know you’re busy.” (I started every conversation like this – I used to work in healthcare; I know it’s a universal truth!) “But I’m not sleeping well. Could you get me some warm milk?” “Sure,” she smiled. “I’ll be back in a second…”
She genuinely could get me warm milk? It was only a joke.
I sank into a fitful slumber once I’d had my milk. Orgasm-free, perhaps, but sleep, at least. My dreams went to odd places, too: not sexy, just odd.