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

Seastorm

For the fourth time that day, I regretted not bringing a hat to Chessington. Although the continuous beat of the sun had proven quite effective in baking off the water I was covered in from Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks, it was still feeling quite oppressive as we stood patiently in the queue for Seastorm.

Lightsinthesky had left us a while ago, accusing us of living in “pencil-land” when we both refused to go on Rameses’ Revenge. Einstein and I were enjoying ourselves, however.

What neither of them knew was that I had had A Momentâ„¢ earlier that day. As usual, nobody had wanted to sit next to me on the bus, so I had a double seat to myself – most of the rowdy boys opposite me were more concerned with making V-signs at lorry drivers than haranguing me, so I had a quiet journey. As we pulled into Chessington, however, the radio blasted an Elton John track the instant the second bus came into view.

The first person I saw through the window was Zebra, the girl I had a crush on. Granted, she was the only one I’d been looking for, but the combination of the music’s swell and her long, dark hair (and beautiful toothy smile) had a profound effect on me. At that moment, all I felt was love, love, love, and the dark and difficult year I’d just had seemed to simply melt away.

As Einstein and I clambered onto Seastorm, she hovered into view again (and I mean that – her feet never seemed to touch the ground), accompanied by her short, cheeky friend and two tall, white girls with glasses. Eventually, I’d end up with a crush on all of them. But, at the time, I only had eyes for her.

“Look, there’s…” I started, but I never got to finish my sentence, as she faded into a blur when Seastorm started moving. I held on, let out a few whoops every now and again, and thought to myself, this is all right. Everything’s all right.

For the rest of the day, I kept an eye out for her, although the milieu of warm bodies throughout the park was too dense to make out her shape. I went on as many rides as I could, for sure, but I never did see her after Seastorm.

As it grew darker, the teachers corralled us and we were duly shepherded back onto our respective buses. I sat in the same seat, the multitudes prepared their V-sign fingers, and I trained my eyes on the window I’d seen Zebra sitting at that morning. As I’d hoped, she materialised in exactly the same place, smile fixed to her face, looking straight forwards.

She wouldn’t see me unless she turned to the right.

So I stared…

Ring

Ring ring
Is that you on the ‘phone?
You think you’re clever
But you’re never saying nothing at all

It was the middle of a lazy Saturday afternoon when the ‘phone began to ring. My parents were out, my sister was away, my gran was at a day centre, and my dog couldn’t use a ‘phone. Moreover, the landline was just outside my bedroom, so it was easy for me to get.

The problem being that I wasn’t really available to answer it. We had decided to take advantage of the empty house and spend an hour or so of having very energetic, very messy and very loud sex; not content with re-aligning her spine on a regular basis, we were now trying to murder my mattress. She was certainly making all the right sort of noises, and tight around my shaft…

I was going to come inside her. I was so close (and she was approaching something like her second or third orgasm), so I couldn’t just stop now, could I?

Ring ring. Ring ring. Ring ring.

“How long does it take you to answer the ‘phone?” squawked Lightsinthesky by way of a greeting. “We were wondering if you were going to come and sit in when we record the song?”

The song! I’d totally forgotten about it. I’d even written a verse myself and hovered in the music room making suggestions while Music Man strummed chords. I owed it to them – and my token black friend (whose song it was, nominally) – to turn up.

“I was… was… going to…”
Are you coming back to bed, love?” she said, loudly and breathily, grabbing my arm and hauling.
“Yes, yes,” I gabbled. “I’ll come…” (at which point she laughed) “…I’ve just got to finish something first. I’ll be there, I’ll be…”

She took the ‘receiver from my hand and hung up. We went back to bed, and half an hour later with my cock still tender and her full of cum, we turned up at Lightsinthesky’s house. None of those present had ever met her before, but one supposes meeting someone in their “just got railed” state isn’t an entirely unpleasant experience.

*

Later that day my mother deemed it prudent to ask the perfectly innocuous question of what we had been doing that afternoon.

“We went to Lightsinthesky’s house,” I said, perfectly truthfully, “and recorded the song we wrote for my token black friend. It was very good; she was still singing the chorus afterwards.”
“Did you say hello to Dane?”
“Dane. The builder, Dane.”

I knew Dane. He had helped to convert our attic into a third bedroom. But I’d no idea he had been present. Maybe he had come by while I was at Lightinthesky’s?

“I didn’t see him – when was he here?”
“He’s been here all afternoon, finishing the bathroom floor! You didn’t see him? What were you doing for most of the afternoon?”

😳

He’d certainly done a good job on that bathroom floor. Six years later and I was still fucking on it.

ILB History (part two)

…and continued from here.

At the end of 2010 I made a New Year’s Resolution to be more sexually adventurous, and with it, to have more sex. I’d kind of been taking steps in that direction anyway, starting to attend the CCK socials and such, but I felt like I needed to come out of my shell a little more.

Typically, the following day, the Seamstress ended our two-and-two-thirds-year relationship, thus throwing me back into the depression maelstrom I had worked so hard to get out of… and with no idea of any direction in which to go. In a kind of desperate flail, I started going to Spiritual Space, which gave me a little peace.

Fast forward to Autumn 2012 and I’d be in a similar situation with a different lifeline.

The rinse cycle

I wasn’t ready for a new relationship so soon after my second one ended, and although I soon after went on what could technically be termed a ‘date’, it didn’t really go anywhere. By the summer of 2011 I was in a relationship, but I still wasn’t ready, really. I still was having (and still do have dreams) about the Seamstress, and even though I was starting to do more things with what could loosely be termed ‘the community’, the cutieloveheartgirl wasn’t keen.

Which is an understatement. She was furious that I had started to go to Erotic Meet (nothing happened) and livid that I had Rose staying over for the night (nothing happened). In February 2012, I attended Eroticon for the first time, which was like an unforgivable sin. I’d just about managed to reconnect with my identity, and here she was, telling me that I shouldn’t be writing my sex blog any more. I genuinely didn’t know how to feel about it.

And so towards the end of the summer I found myself single once again and completely unsure of myself. Gone were the overpriced meals of the CCK socials and late night Jesus chat of Spiritual Space; my escape manifested in the dark gloomy corners of the Green Carnation with the miscreants that attended Erotic Meet.

The tenderness years

For the first few months I attended Erotic Meet, I was – although certainly very social – relatively chaste. Certain moments where I could’ve are still burned into my mind, and although I certainly got the chance a couple of times, I didn’t. I was still in a relationship, anyway, and even if it wasn’t a healthy one, I couldn’t just start cavorting with people I’d met at EM, no matter how hot they were.

Not cheating was difficult. I’m surprised to hear myself say that, as it’s genuinely something I’m very much against (since my first relationship ended that way), but while I was attending EM, I was also in a difficult, angry, sex-free relationship and, although there was still a lot of love there, we were both fairly sure that it was going to end at one point.

Someone (someone specific, but I won’t name her here) once told me that she would have sex with me that night if I was single, and asked if I was. I told her that I wasn’t and we couldn’t have sex… but, if I had lied, we would have done.

Starting a relationship with Jilly was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. We were clearly attracted to each other, and had been building up a flirty friendship for all the time we had attended the same events, so when we actually started dating, it felt like the natural conclusion to what had been Agatha there all along.

And so I found myself in a fourth relationship, now with somebody who was completely accepting and aware of all sides of my identity…

To be continued…

ILB History (part one)

While there was a definite, complete and very sudden turning point in my sexual development in my youth, there’s something more significant that is also significantly harder to define.

I came up with the idea to start a sex blog where I get all my ideas – in the shower. I didn’t really have a name, or a concept, or anything I wanted to say that I was entirely sure hadn’t been said before, but I had just read Girl with a One-Track Mind and had managed to convince myself that I could do something similar. By the end of my shower, I had decided that “innocent loverboy” – something I had written on a list of Battle Royale characters to describe Hiroki Sugimura – was an appropriate enough sobriquet.

The rest could come later.

I almost didn’t start this. Halfway through signing up to Blogger, I thought it was a bad idea (and too much faff) and closed Firefox. A second later, I opened the browser again and started from the beginning.

That one second could have changed my life.

Imagine, for a moment, that I didn’t have that moment of decision and decided to keep the browser closed, letting my idea of starting a sex blog go and carrying on with my life as it was at the age of 22. Let that roll around in your head for a while. If you yourself write one of your own, what would it have been like without it? If you had your own spar of indecision and went along the other path?

I’ve heard people wonder aloud at how impactful something as simple as an online diary can actually be to a person, even its author – but then, they may not have experienced what I have. Blogging caused a seismic shift in my life which set me off on a completely new trajectory: something I never would have sensed, or dreamed of, the day before I wrote my first post.

After the beginning

I did wonder, at the beginning, if I would manage to get laid as a result of blogging. What I didn’t expect was three long-term relationships coming from the emergent community. Blogging did give me the confidence to approach people – the two that I did have sex with first off, snowdrop and Lilly, were from other sources – but the girlfriends that came afterwards were different. They were genuine and interesting. These were relationships – something I’d desired for so long – and they were real and adult and exciting.

Without my blog, I wouldn’t have been beguiled by gin-soaked kisses on Broad Street in the centre of Oxford. I wouldn’t have set foot in Yorkshire, never mind go for rambling walks in the Northern wilds with someone almost as tall as me. I almost certainly wouldn’t have ended up living with a queer Belgian. And I certainly, certainly, wouldn’t have had as much sex.

I’d like to think that I’m more sexually aware, although how much of that comes from the sex blogging community and how much from a cultural shift remains a mystery. I’m more aware of terminology concerning gender and sexual orientation and proclivities (I also now know what “proclivities” means) than I was when my only connection to sex was through IRC. I now enough to be able to teach others, which is exciting in its own way.

The fact remains that I have never had any sort of romantic or sexual interest from anyone who hasn’t read my blog since 2008. While there were certainly attractive people in the circles I travelled in – there still are – my involvement in those circles was beginning to erode. (While the youth camp in summer 2007 was the last time I saw some key players in my life up until that point, its end was like the termination of something. I retained my crush on Leaf for months afterwards, despite not having her in my life any more.)

I am aware, realistically, that I’m not a particularly attractive guy. Physically I’m not and have never been much to look at, and the amount of idiotic glossolalia that comes out of my mouth is astounding. At the very least, though, those who found something to be attracted to through my writing was – although confusing – something I was (and am) extremely grateful for.

The second step

While not without their issues, the real-life events that I was finally persuaded to go to – Erotic Meet and Eroticon shortly afterwards – were transformative, not only insofar as facilitating being able to meet, mingle and shoot the breeze with other sex bloggers (there has been such an explosion in the community since the fledgling days on 2007!), but also simply being able to introduce myself as “Innocent Loverboy” and actually have people recognise that name.

I didn’t start going earlier due to the fact that the cutieloveheartgirl I was with at the time was particularly resistant to the concept, although by that point she wasn’t happy with the fact that I still wrote a sex blog (despite being attracted by that in the first place). I went along anyway, while politely befuddled by the hectic anarchy of Erotic Meet and feeling gleefully adventurous on my way to the first Eroticon.

In the bathrooms at Telephone Avenue in Bristol, I paused for a while to look at myself in the mirror.

“I know who I am,” I said to myself. “I’m me…” (here I inserted my other IRL nickname) “…and I’m ILB, and I’m okay with that.”

This, for what it’s worth, was another turning point.

To be continued…

Youth is not wasted on the young

I was an opinionated little boy. Ask ten-year-old ILB and he would tell you that he was a pacifist. At nine, he became a vegetarian. At eight, he cried to his mother that he was upset by boys in his class using the word ‘gay’ as an insult. At two, a Tory canvasser came to the door and he squeaked “Vote Labour!” while sitting on his father’s shoulder.

I had my moments at the age of eleven, just after I started secondary school. A woman in uniform came to assembly to recruit young children to be cadets and I got up and walked out. My head of year said we had visiting rats who came to the playground after dark so I left food for them in hidden corners. I complained loudly about the school selling Nestlé products and refused to use the tuck shop unless they stopped (they didn’t stop; I stopped buying tuck).

My one blind spot was sex.

I’ve known about sex since I was about two, but the concept never appealed to me. I’d missed out on the year 5 sex ed video because I was sick that day, but I didn’t miss anything I didn’t really know. I knew, basically, the mechanics of it all, but I considered it dirty, and disrespectful, even – that is to say, I pretended I did. In reality, I was starting to get interested in sex; I still didn’t want to have any, but I found the concept a fascinating study.

And this was a rapid change.

A teasing young girl came up to ask me if I was interested in someone I’d never heard of before. When I said that I wasn’t, she answered with “So you don’t think she’d be good in bed?”
“I don’t know what it’s like in bed,” I said theatrically, with an eye-roll. Later that day, I tried to envision what it would actually be like. The following day, I did the same. And again, and again, and again…

My brain invented my sex machine once we’d had the biology module and I knew what sex could actually look like. By this point, I was too far gone – and, although I wasn’t masturbating (because I knew that was wrong), I had come around the idea that sex, although it still wasn’t for me, was okay.

By the end of the year, the eleven-year-old boy who wrote the sentence “I don’t know why humans would want to have sex other than to have children” was twelve, standing in his RS classroom, making a speech about how sex outside marriage was perfectly OK, consent to such an act was perfectly dependent upon the individual, oh, and that there was nothing wrong with being gay. (That wasn’t in the question: I just added it on.)

Young ILB grew quicker than he would have liked, but his opinions kept coming. He fiercely defended his opinion on gay people in year 9 when his History class seemed resistant to the concept. He stood outside biology classes when they dissected animal hearts. He stopped fights by standing between the belligerents, preferring that they hit him instead of each other.

And, by the time he was fourteen, he was a full-on sexual justice warrior, fiercely defending the right of people to have sex when, how and if they wanted to – talking freely about consent, what an orgasm was, how to use a condom, and wondering exactly what periods were, since they didn’t tell us that bit. I even tried to talk to my parents about sex (they were a little abashed).

Remi Himekawa from eroge game True Love. Fan art by ILB.
Young ILB’s first real sexual obsession.

At 17, I was one of the first (and few) young people in my year to lose his virginity; by 18, I was one of the… two? three? ish? people in the year who was actually having regular sex with a regular partner. I was dumped when still 18, and until the age of 21, while not having any sex at all I was getting in touch with my sexual identity, pleasuring myself all the way through university.

36-year-old ILB looks back and wonders where the binary switch was.

And now it comes to me that maybe I wasn’t alone here. Maybe everyone had a moment where they woke up and suddenly a “sex is gross” / “sex is great” volte-face clicked into place. Possibly a single epiphanic event or possibly a number of experiences. Or, like me, it just happened.

It’s just occurred to me that I’ve never really asked anyone.

So I suppose I’m doing that now.

Adagio for Sins

Rowdy Barber: “So, yeah, basically, that was one of the girls I fucked.”
Barber’s Rowdy Friend: “One from the college?”
RB: “Yeah, one from the college. I never had any trouble from them girls I fucked.”
BRF: “For real?”
RB: “Yeah, ’cause I fucked them, y’know? They wanted it and they got fucked by me, right?”

[RB reaches for the weird watery spray that barbers use for no conceivable purpose. He sprays it a few times in the vague direction of ILB’s hair.]

BRF: “What about all them girls you didn’t fuck?”
RB: “Ah, man. I had loads of problems from the ones I didn’t fuck. It’s the ones I didn’t fuck that I had all the problems with, man.”

[RB downs tools and towels ILB off.]

RB: “Can I give you a hot towel, blud?”
ILB: [politely] “Yes, please.”
RB: “What say you, anyway, my friend? You had any problems with girls you didn’t fuck?”
ILB: [politely] “No, not really. I’ve got a question about your stories, though.”
RB: “Oh, yeah? What is it?”
ILB: [politely] “Do you remember any of their names?”

[Pause.]

RB: “…”
BRF: “…”

I wonder why he gave me a discount.

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 my current crush 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 some – those on whom I felt I had something of a lead – 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.

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