when I wrote romantically about relationships it felt pretentious,
when I wrote about sex it read much more truthfully
ADVENTURES IN EROTICA
I became less romantic with years. It was the drip-effect of mundane events as they came to bear on my more fanciful notions about how the world was. This was especially so with women and sex. I realised, particularly when drives started to wane, just how much of a slave I’d been to my libido and its manifest agenda. I realised that love and lust could impact on the emotions in similar ways.
Thus I began to understand myself more as a material being. I saw that all humans are cut from the same cloth, all are animals with animal needs whatever the moral codes. I now pictured culture as veneer on top of a near infinite physical, chemical and biological reality. Such a realisation wasn’t depressing. It was just a healthy disillusionment, part of a process of observing things as they are rather than how I wanted them to be. Knowledge was replacing belief.
Thoughts like these were the context in which I set out to write about my experience of sex. The writings were decidedly not about the complex dynamic that attended a relationship life. They were mainly about the fucking, the doing of it and the withholding of it, divested of romance. They were about how I came to see my affairs of the heart as almost entirely rooted in the mating game.
There was a further factor. I discovered some 19th Century erotic literature, the memoirs of Cora Pearl, a celebrated English courtesan. This was interesting because I’d long felt an absence of suitable vocabulary for talking about sex, especially its baser aspects. Too many taboos and repressions got in the way. It seemed that the processing of desire was made too difficult for too many people by stupid rules, ethical precepts and social imperatives alongside having to submit to an entire edifice of legal and financial conventions devised for the controlling of intimacy. Add to that a profusion of jokey vernacular to contend with from sexist men and it was not a pretty picture.
All of this meant one could easily be denied any artful depiction around that most essential of human activities: sex. Pearl’s unabashed narrative served as antidote. Together with an increasingly unromantic worldview it helped me contrive a form of personalised erotica using some of my own amatory adventures as story material. Out of discretion they’re represented here only as a few mildly explicit extracts.
When reading back, treating the women as purely sexual, deliberate though it was, I wondered if I was branding myself no better than the kind of men I despised. Obviously an alternative sexism was not the intention. When I wrote romantically about relationships it felt pretentious. When I wrote about raw sex it read much more truthfully. Authenticity was the endeavour, a returning to something lost perhaps, a liberation from what came of imposing too strong a moral conscience on top of the deep seated drives from desire...
from: Madonnas & Whores
His sexual preference was for the one who engages for pleasure and connection, for pure relationship value if you like. Whether high-born or from the lower ranks, whether intellectual or superficial, whether musician, model, madonna or whore, it didn’t matter much. In her absence he was always wary of those on a quest for partnership - and that, due to a pedestrian set of conventions, was what all the women were after, even the ones who did sex for money. They wanted a man to themselves and if you had half an attribute you were a contender. If you had more than that you were a catch. He sought women who were genuinely free from these shackles but they were so rare as to be virtually non-existent.
from: Infatuation Failed
Leaving her flat that morning he passed her boyfriend on the landing. It was already a complicated affair. It was also fleeting and a bit messy on its way. She was one of many physical infatuations where he mistook lust for love and was only in love with a certain womanly aesthetic alongside sex and its prospect. When coitus was achieved he would invariably lose interest.
from: Remaining Chaste
It wasn’t that she was particularly his type. He preferred fuller-figured women. It was just that their lingering chats had produced a chemistry, an eroticised charge, the natural consequence of which was to fuck. Withholding was a form of torture and only intensified the pull. In her company he was in a constant state of arousal, reduced to the carnal impulses of a teenage boy, straining at the groin, damp in the pants. It was an exquisite suffering, not painful or unpleasant exactly, but a trial nevertheless, an abject lesson in the art of chastity and the power of unconsummated desire.
from: The Courtesan
An hour or so later they were embraced like true lovers, face to face and close to climax. She went first, accompanied by vigorous pelvic shudders and the thoroughly conspicuous sound of a woman’s euphoric wailing. He waited for a moment, motionless, his lips locked onto hers in a singular tender kiss, then came inside her completely with an earth-moving ecstasy impossible to describe. And they were done. They lay still, yoked in mutual rapture, spent and satisfied.
from: Bonds Of Antipathy
The dissolute days were history and she was no longer game. He had become a platonic presence, someone to talk to about love life and all things sexual. Despite a confessed proclivity for overly endowed men she remained demure which was a torment for his offering. It didn’t stop them flirting. Nor did it stop her dressing as provocatively as ever, her awesome curves winningly flaunted in ways that would heighten his lust. Curiously, and for reasons undisclosed, whenever she met someone new she would be interested again. With passions in part fuelled by antipathy this arrangement was fine.
from: Flesh & Fabric
She came knocking in the small hours, clearly up for some action and suitably togged - i.e. in the briefest of skirts with a top to exhibit her deep cleavage. Bare legs and boots added to the drool factor. "Fancy a shag?” she asked rhetorically. Beneath the seductive display of flesh and fabric she had no underwear so there was little impediment to them doing it as they were, right where they stood - a “zipless fuck” in the parlance. Just as quickly she was gone, dreamlike, into the night. In the morning he wondered about fantasy belles and thought she must surely qualify.
from: Sex & Music
He woke to find her beside him, naked and prone, the covers rolled back just enough to expose that fabulous arse. It was an arresting image. It was also a fork in the road moment. She’d made herself fully available. All he had to do was slip into her and start a new chapter. Given the size of his enlargement it seemed perverse not to. Had they done the deed, had his attraction extended to her person, events would’ve taken a different course. They didn’t, so they parted a little bruised from the experience, both in their different ways, each for their own reasons.
What became of that girl he wondered. When some respect and not a little gratitude were in order she’d been branded a slag for her attributes, for willingly giving the boys what they wanted. Occasionally he would see her hanging around the bus station apparently servicing the drivers. Her facility for sex had become a way of living just as it had for him too albeit in an entirely different way. “I didn’t think you were like that!” she’d said when he put his hand between her legs on that memorable summer afternoon behind the garages. But he was. He was very much like that.