Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Recollections (Page 1 of 4)

ILB recalls moments from his past, vaguely related to love, sex, or whatever else

You’ve Been Framed!

At some point in my teen years, I inherited a cardboard picture frame. It was a very simple affair – one sheet of glass, several bendable metal tags, four cardboard sides – but it was appropriately chunky, good to the touch, and – and this bit is important – it was resilient.

My picture frame could be deconstructed and rebuilt a seemingly infinite number or times without falling apart completely, and I had a colour printer in my room, so hypothetically I could have put a picture of whoever (as long as there was a picture of them available….) in my frame. Understandably, a print-out from a basic inkjet was both more fragile and lower-quality than a genuine photo, but since I didn’t really have many photos, I had to make do.

Like I said: resilient.

Media tells us that a picture frame on (or near) one’s desk often has a picture of one’s significant other in it. I decided to repurpose my frame – which had been empty up until this point, acting as a decoration in its own right – for this purpose. The problem, being, of course, that I didn’t have a significant other.

For the next few years, therefore, my picture frame would inevitably be occupied with a printed-out picture of my current crush – who, inevitably, I would have a picture of, somehow. Its longest-standing resident (the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on who I have mentioned here several times) was (and still is) a friend, and was particularly close to my sister, so there were plenty of picamatures around for me to steal borrow (there was also a flatbed scanner…).

Whichever picture was in my frame (which was getting increasingly battered as the years went by) served as both a decoration and an indication of who I was crying about in the foetal position on my bed every night. I wasn’t particularly shy (and was admittedly a little blasé) to my friends, or my parents, about the indication of the picture(s), and as my token black friend said about the time Soldiergirl was in it, “oh, she actually is really quite hot.”

I almost always had Wednesday afternoons off during the sixth form, and it became a sort of ritual that I would check, think about, and change my picture frame between coming-home-from-school and going-to-see-my-clinical-psychologist. If I had the same crush, it would stay the same; if there was someone new (or if I had more than one crush), I would flip the picture. I even put a picture of someone I saw in a newspaper there once, because I thought she was pretty.

Usually, the act of putting a new picture in the frame was a maudlin, wistful act – here’s yet another person that I can’t have – but, as time went on, it became more of a relief. With Soldiergirl, it was nothing more than jubilant, and in the very end – when my first actual girlfriend went in – my eventual feeling was one of absolute victory. This was someone who would go into my frame and stay there, and this time, I used Superglue to fix all the bits back together.

As much as I hated year 12, year 13 was one of the best years of my school life. And, as my picture frame stayed on its shelf gathering dust, I was out having adventures, no longer seeing life through a lens.

It was still a comfort, though, to run my hands along its thick, rough cardboard frames.

@ilb

Y’all wanna hear a story?

I’m 18 and waiting to get my weekly coach to Birmingham. In front of me is an older woman struggling with her purse who is simultaneously holding onto a young girl with learning difficulties, possibly some form of unspecified MLD. At one point, her grasp slips. The girl grasps me and hugs me tight around the waist. Instinctively, and without flinching, I hug back.

The older lady is incredibly grateful (and I’m not sure why… what did she expect me to do?). I say it’s no problem, I’m happy to help. I take a seat behind her on the coach.

A very pretty girl sits next to me and gives me a small, warm smile. I smile back. On the way to Birmingham, we hit some very heavy traffic and stop at a service station just outside Oxford. I hate Oxford.

I’m 23 and waiting to get my weekly(ish) coach to Oxford. I’ve been back and forth between Waterloo and Victoria several times before realising that there’s a 24-hour coach service from Victoria Coach Station. I pay the driver and sit down. It is very quiet and very dark.

The only other passenger, a few rows of empty seats away, is a very pretty girl who my brain tells me I have seen somewhere before. It’s very late, so I decide that I’m tired. I put my iPod in and zone out for the duration of the journey.

It’s after midnight when we pull in. I’ve decided by this point that I don’t need to get a bus, or a taxi. I feel safe in Oxford at night. Walking the streets alone, in a calm bubble. I love Oxford.

I’m 27 and have just sat down on a late(ish) train to London. It will take hours to get there from Yorkshire, but I have both my iPod and a book. I also have my BlackBerry, so I can check Twitter if I want to.

On the seat next to me is a very pretty girl who’s struggling with her purse while simultaneously holding onto a cup of tea. I offer to hold her tea, but by that point she’s okay. She pulls out a pack of Hermesetas and drops two into her tea, which the then stirs and takes a sip.

“Hey!” I say, surprising myself that I’m talking to a stranger. “That’s the sort of sweetener I use!” This was, in fact, true. I still use them, in fact.
“Oh, yes, yes,” she says. “Big fan.”

She gives me a small, warm smile. I smile back.

It’s after midnight when we pull in. I’ve decided by this point that I don’t want to get the Tube all the way back to the station I live near and walk home. I grab a night bus that takes me all the way. I love and hate London in the same breath.

I’m 36 and have been browsing Twitter. I am about to close the browser tab and think about turning in for the night. Just before I click, I notice an RT from someone I don’t know. There’s a picture of a very pretty girl with long, blonde hair.

I have brief thoughts of Louise, Karolina, Kirsten, and other attractive blondes I know. There have been a few. This one doesn’t remind me of anyone, in particular. I don’t know her. I close the tab.

But I’ve seen her before. I’ve met her, even. Where?

And then a thunderclap sounds in the back of my mind. A lightbulb goes on above my head, and I start to write. I love writing.

…dilly, dilly

“Is that lavender?” asked my new co-worker, upon entering the room yesterday. It most certainly was, or at least an approximation of the same: my other new co-worker (in effect, my new boss) bought some AirWick plugins last week, and they’d been left on all weekend.

“It is!” smiled my new boss (she smiles a lot). “Do you like it?”
“Uh… no,” said my colleague apologetically. “I’m, uh, allergic, actually. I don’t like the scent, even when it’s not the actual plant.”

And she backed out of the room.

“I like lavender,” I sighed happily, “it’s relaxing.”
“I can get some different scents,” said my new boss. “It doesn’t have to be lavender. What else do you like?”
“Well, my ex had patchouli,” I answered, “throughout the entirety of her flat. It was in every room. Patchouli reminds me of…” Sex.

I didn’t say sex, and even if I had, it would have been the truth. What wasn’t quite true was that she was an ex. Alicia had been my 43-year-old lover when I was in my early twenties. But I’d decided to mention patchouli by that point, and I needed to find a way to refer to Alicia without being too revealing about my (former) sexual proclivities. “Ex” seemed as appropriate a term as possible.

Patchouli reminds me of sex for the simple fact that I had a lot of sex in a flat completely suffused with it. Alicia and I had quite a lot in common, in terms of political views, fondness for hummus and tea, and a love of musical theatre, but the thing that was most apparent was how well my penis fit inside her, and so my patchouli-filled existence was mostly spent horizontally.

Sometimes on top of her, sometimes underneath, sometimes just lying in a pool of girlcum. Horizontal, in any case.

But I couldn’t bring myself to say that to my new boss. We may get along well, but I’ve only known this woman for three days.

“Patchouli reminds me of… her flat,” I decided upon. Which, now I think about it, is a less impressive statement than it could have otherwise been. I could have gone nostalgic, wistful or humorous, and yet all I did was refer to the flat belonging to a lady my new boss didn’t know existed.

My new boss gave a friendly smile and a nod which was code for something like, “cool story, bro, now go and do some actual work”.

Best I could hope for, really. She doesn’t need to know I’ve ever had sex.

[REC]

Throughout my teenage years most of the glossy smut I used to consume came courtesy of my gran’s Cable TV package. She was very much into sports, so most of the channels she watched weren’t to my particular taste, but after hours, I used to indulge – when I could – in whatever was on L!VE, UK Living, Bravo, or even Sci-Fi (although Sci-Fi also showed Knightmare for a while, so I was well-acquainted with them).

Channel Five changed everything.

With terrestrial new kids on the block – and those who actually showed soft porn, no less – actually recording some suddenly became an option. It was impossible to do on cable (and I never quite realised why), digital encoding was years away, and I had plenty of blank VHSs to exploit. While the softcore shown on Friday nights was of varying quality – the original Emmanuelle was good; Buford’s Beach Bunnies… less so – the fact that I could actually use magnetic storage to obtain these films (and, hypothetically therefore, watch them at my leisure) was something new.

New and exciting.

While I remember the first time I recorded something – it was called Lap Dancer and didn’t have nearly enough sex in it – the thing I remember the most, of course, was… destroying the tape.

Although I was diligent in committing to magnetic storage a lot of the flicks I liked, at this point I was going through my “porn is wrong and I’m watching it so I must be a pervert” stage. Practically every week I would give up, and as a result I’d tape over whatever I’d taped with an afternoon of CITV or something – assuring myself that I was now cleansed, and never would watch any ever again.

And then I’d record more the following Friday.

Things came to a head the week after recording Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse. Feeling appalling every time I saw the tape (labelled “Muttley” since I’d originally been intending to use it for Wacky Races), in the end I decided I needed to get rid of the VHS, thus spiritually cleansing myself and rendering myself unable to do it again (without stealing one of my parents’ VHSs, and they all had something on them). In the end, I went to my mortal enemy Stu, who – despite hating me – also knew a lot about destruction.

Using one of Stu’s methods, I managed to lever open the cassette, pull the tape out and snap it in half, and then – for good measure – stashed the remains in the tiny alleyway that ran by the side of the house, in a drain. Hopefully, I told myself, the rain and run-off from the pipe will finish it off. And I’ll never do that again.

I wasn’t wrong, on this occasion. I didn’t do so again. I discovered downloading soon afterwards.

But it didn’t stop, on one occasion, a distraught, horny teen ILB, standing in the rainy, wet alleyway trying to find a way to repair the tape he had so artfully destroyed.

Zounds, I can be so desperate sometimes.

Eighteen

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.

Anyway.

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.

Pushmi-pullyu

“Have you talked to Loch Ness recently?”

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?”

“I want a divorce,” I said.

Guest Service Award

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.

Spark.

“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!”

I blinked.

“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.

I never saw her again.

It’ll Never Work: ILB and his 53-X sex machine

In my early years of secondary school – say, years 7 to 9 – I spent many waking night hours trying to divine different ways to have sex on school property. Quite a number were simple – holes in the ground, under the table in a classroom, on the field in the morning mist, etc. – but some were more complex.

And then there was one which was downright bizarre.

When I started secondary school, I didn’t really know what sex looked like. After year 7 biology, I was at least aware of the missionary position (previously, I had been envisioning something similar to anal sex), and therefore, that was what my fantasies involved. I was even less aware of the time it took to have sex and was surprised at how brief it was – again, I was envisioning falling asleep inside someone and staying that way for the whole night – but, in my young head, that all made sense.

But what if you didn’t have to stop having sex? What if you never wanted to stop? Could you, hypothetically, have sex for as long as you wanted, without having to eat or sleep or exercise or do anything else at all, if you had the right equipment?

The right equipment

So here’s what I invented.

The 53-X was a box roughly the size and dimensions of a sideways kitchen ‘fridge, although bigger (obviously; it had to have two humans inside it), laid sideways on the ground, like a coffin. It was also mounted on a concrete pedestal around the back of the Science Block, but that wasn’t particularly important.

There were two sections of the 53-X, mounted atop each other. The bottom section was for those with vulvas; they would lie supine on a kind of memory foam, which would mould itself around their body shape, making them feel comfortable and relaxed. The pelvic area would be slightly elevated; the 53-X itself would also provide sustenance if you wanted it to. It was completely self-contained, although not constraining.

The top section was for those with penes; they would lie prone, the foam on the lid, also moulding around and holding their body in place. Mechanics in the design would enable the genitals to connect; effectively, you could penetrate your partner, stimulants would keep you both sexually aroused, and the 53-X would hold you both in place for as long as you wanted.

There was also a satisfying sci-fi hiss when it opened or closed, accompanied by a dry ice smoke effect. Because of course there was.

You could stay in the 53-X for as long as you wanted, and while in it you would not stop having sex. Hours. Days. Months. Years.

FOREVER!!!

To my teenage brain, this was the hottest thing imaginable. Voluntarily (or involuntarily, I had a dream once about the 53-X being used as a punishment), one could get strapped into this machine and actually spend an incredibly long period of time having sex, which of course was completely taboo at the time and something I’d never, ever, ever get to do.

I also never imagined using the 53-X myself. It was always one of the faceless masses. I was just its inventor… although why I hadn’t been given a detention for inventing this sex machine in a school full of underage teens I wasn’t quite sure.

I’d work that one out later.

Why am I talking about it now, then?

Ah, that’s the big question, isn’t it? I last mentioned the concept, vaguely, twelve years ago; I’ve never touched upon it since.

The other day, with some work colleagues, we passed by my old school. It’s not in an area I go to much any more, and I hardly ever see it. But, as I looked out of curiosity, I spotted – among the jumble of new buildings and coloured fencing – the exact spot where the 53-X would have stood. Pristine. Untouched. In exactly the same state it had been when I walked across it all those years ago.

Its rightful place, waiting for it.

Not that I’d ever actually build it.

But isn’t that what science fiction is for?

Truth will open, truth will out

Six days after the first time I had sex, everyone found out.

To many people, though, this wasn’t the first time I had lost my flashing V. The year beforehand, the rumour had spread that I had had sex with Louise, when the truth itself was much more complicated. When it boils down, however, to “I didn’t actually have sex with her, but she asked me to start a rumour that I had“, it doesn’t seem too complex, but at the time it was.

To this day I still genuinely don’t know if any of my (former) classmates believed, at the time, that I did sleep with Louise – although I did sleep with Louise, three years later – or if any of them still do; I was never too clear on the matter.

This time, however, it was real and completely undeniable. No longer was I vague or coy, nor was I ashamed: I was a sexual being and I’d had sex, and I was going to be having some more, and although it came out in a relatively random way, I wasn’t going to not answer things any more.

“So are you seeing her tonight?”
“Yes, I am! I’m going up there right after school!”
“This relationship’s really going somewhere, isn’t it?”
“Yes, I’m so pleased! It’s going really far, really fast!”
“What do you mean… you haven’t slept with her, have you?”
“Well, yeah, but that’s to be expected, I mean, we’re in a relationsh…”
“Wait, what?”

By the time the door opened and we made our way into the English classroom, everyone in the class knew I had done it. (And this time, everyone believed it.)

Their reactions ranged from polite, confused befuddlement to absolute horror (which didn’t do too much for my poor self-image). One friend, who had expressed amazement and hastily reassured me that it wasn’t because I was physically abhorrent and she couldn’t understand any anyone would have sex with me (that was Lightsinthesky’s take), eventually came out with what I assume everyone was thinking:

“But I thought you were against sex before marriage?”

I’ve never been against sex before marriage.

“No, I’m not aga…”
“You were, but not any more, right?”
“No, I’ve never been…”
“Because now you’ve had sex and you’ve changed your tune, right?”
“No, I’ve never been agai…”
“But you’re a Christian!”
“Yes, I am, but that…”

At which point our teacher entered and everyone shut up.

It’s not like the signs hadn’t been there. As early as year 7 RS, when I’d stood up in front of the class and said verbatim that I had no problem with sex before marriage (as it was an expression of love and marriage didn’t need to be necessary), and then written the same in my exercise book (my teacher countered with “can you love someone and not marry them?”, which is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard a teacher say), it had been fairly clear to which mast my colours were nailed.

I barely remember what our teacher said during that A2 English lesson. What I do remember, vividly, was the fact that all eyes were on me throughout, as if I were about to spontaneously combust or something. For the first time, I found myself enjoying the attention.

I was still replaying the conversation/revelation a couple of hours later, when on the coach to Birmingham. I was sure that they’d all still have questions (for me; nobody thought to ask Lightsinthesky, or my token black friend, both of whom had lost their flashing V the year prior), but right then, I was unavailable for comment.

Because I was on the coach, on the way to Birmingham.

For more sex.

School Council

I once told my sister that I liked an American teen sitcom named Student Bodies. It was being shown, although I can’t quite tell why, on CiTV for a while – mainly on weekend mornings – and she managed to find an episode or two on Nickelodeon; she told me, each time, that Student Bodies was on. I always made an excuse so as to not watch the episode.

The main reason that I didn’t watch any of what my sister found was that I didn’t actually like Student Bodies. In fact, I’d never seen a single episode.

I hope you’re still reading, because it’s time for CONTEXT!

I saw about five minutes of Student Bodies when I was in my mid-teens, having just woken up from a dirty dream (although not a wet dream; I didn’t have many of them). I was still in bed, and likely still hard, and the few minutes of Student Bodies I saw didn’t help much, as it featured multiple attractive teenagers… in particular, two with carefully scripted sexual tension (spoiled somewhat by a pun involving them saying “we’ve got chemistry”).

In my teens, this was something I ached for. Something romantic, but both obvious and blasé; something that would just happen, without any of the pain or heartbreak I seemed to be experiencing daily. It seemed so free, so easy, so effortless. This was what I wanted, and these fictional American teenagers were getting it. I wasn’t going to. Ever.

And I was still in my bed, still hard, and still torn between jealousy and excitement (plus, let’s be real, a fair amount of melancholy) when my sister came into the room and asked why I was watching what she recognised to be Student Bodies. I said I liked it, even though I had no idea what it was, and she latched onto that.

I latched onto the fact that I was turned on when I watched it, but she didn’t need to know that. She still doesn’t know. I don’t really want her to ever know.

But, in case you are reading this, sister of mine… I apologise for misleading you. I’ve never liked Student Bodies. But I do like people being attracted to each other, and even fantasising about it happening to me, and that’s what I was into.

Sorry about that.

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