Over the years, I have had some unusual sexual encounters that I felt I had to discuss with friends, often in real time via random WhatsApp messages. A man wouldn’t perform unless his cats were present at the scene. Another one, in the middle of it, felt the urge to explain to his whining dog – in a child-like voice – that joining in wasn’t an option because “mister here” is fussy with animals. The prudish ones, the Virgin Marys of our times, have “never done it before” and stand out alongside those who feel the urge to get themselves into character – be it postman, doctor, astronaut, nurse, translator, to mention but a few.
I try to avoid those too fond of porn or perceive sex as a performance. OnlyFans has a lot to answer for here. I lack the patience and energy to reply to anyone who asks me if I like THAT cock/ass. I am already in bed with you. What extra validation do you need? No props involved. Please don’t ask me to wear stinky trainers, sweaty socks, harnesses, nappies, fishnets, uniforms or anything else. All I want is to get naked. I prefer the practicality of home games over playing away.
The older I get, the less inclined I am to explore other people’s living space. Unless I have developed feelings towards the object of my attraction, I don’t want to find out if he lives in squalor or is unfamiliar with the concept of a clean bathroom and toilet. It would ruin my fantasy. I have a curious disposition, which often leads me astray.
I get distracted by CD collections, a thing of the past with the youngsters as they store everything in virtual clouds. I speculate about people’s identity in the photographs scattered in the living rooms or wonder if a hammer on the floor by the sofa could become the improper weapon of a murderer. I marvel at what people read. I have lost count of the times someone asked me if I was “close,” only to realise a bookshelf’s content was about to traumatise my future orgasm. How dare you file Anna Karenina between Geri Halliwell’s autobiography and the Big Penis book? The right thing to do would be to stage an impromptu protest for poor old Tolstoy and walk out immediately, but I am inclined to lust.
Then, we have bedside cabinets, a significant source of great fascination to me. It’s incredible what people store inside them. For years now, in the name of research, my friends and I embarked on a still ongoing secret mission to uncover the weirdest bedside table junk. There is no shortage of candidates, and the finds prove astonishing. Content ranges from fake teeth to jars of fish food and ketchup bottles; from toasters and kettles to knives, from a large variety of wigs (standard, if you ask me) and stamp albums to a collection of butterflies and beetles. Covid test kits are also on the rise. Once I found a single, unbranded yellow tennis ball inside one, and nothing else. I picked it up, looked at it closely, and smelt it (just in case), but nothing peculiar indicated why it was there. Confused, I put it back where it was, puzzled to this day.
I keep a Bible and a brand new box of 50 Bic blue pens in one of my bedside drawers and nothing else. I am not sure what this combo says about me, besides the fact I will never manage to go through either of them in a lifetime. My most startling find came in an undercover operation in Melbourne in the mid-noughties. As the subject of my study was in the kitchen, fetching me a post-orgasmic glass of water, I eyed up his bedside cabinet. I opened it to find inside a collection of used condoms, tagged, and catalogued by name. Alphabetically, like my old DVD collection. I remember smiling. I closed the drawer and didn’t say a word, pleased that my name would stand out in a sea of Bruces and Shanes.
However, it was a friend of mine, Peter, who had thought he had met a real freak. Frantically searching around a conquest’s bedroom table, he found a mass of unmatched socks and Marks & Spencer underwear in every drawer. “Not a single designer item in sight!” he commented later, in a mix of horror and contempt. Peter made his excuses and left, completely misreading the signs, in my opinion. Here was a man to keep. The controlled chaos, relaxed attitude towards consumer brands, and the genuine lack of self-absorption highlighted sanity. In short, he was perfect boyfriend material.