Dogging Firemen: The Naked Truth About That ‘Disturbing Gay Orgy’

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What a carry on in the dark!

The very widely-reported story of the Avon fire­men dis­cip­lined for bring­ing the Fire Brigade into dis­rep­ute and unau­thor­ised use of their fire engine (and torches) is both fnarrr funny and funny pecu­liar. But the most pecu­liar aspect of it, and cer­tainly the most ser­i­ous, is the light it casts on the minds of news­pa­per editors.

The ‘bare’ facts that can be ascer­tained from the vari­ous reports are these: on their return to their fire sta­tion, four on-duty fire­men from Avonmouth Fire Station’s ‘Blue Watch’ (no kid­ding) drove out of their way at night in in a fire engine to a remote cruising/dogging area and shone their power­ful Fire Brigade torches into some bushes, sup­posedly reveal­ing a group of four men involved in ‘a gay sex act’.

According to the news­pa­per reports, one of the par­ti­cipants in this night-time tryst in the bushes illu­min­ated by the firemen’s torches com­plained to the Terrence Higgins Trust who then con­tac­ted Avon Fire Brigade. Avon Fire Brigade sus­pen­ded the men on full pay for three months before find­ing them guilty of bring­ing the ser­vice into dis­rep­ute, demot­ing, fin­ing and mov­ing them to dif­fer­ent sta­tions and com­pel­ling them to undergo ‘gay aware­ness’ training.

The Sun, for whom the story was almost tailor-made, devoted most of a page to it: Firemen expose gay dog­gers, with the strap­line ‘Four fire­men have been car­peted after dis­turb­ing an out­door gay sex romp.’ The Sun sug­gests of course that the case was an example of ‘polit­ical cor­rect­ness gone mad’ (and some of the details, such as the ‘re-education’ of the fire­men appear to lend them­selves to this). It also makes a meal of the ‘crim­inal’ nature of the acts these public-spirited fire­men witnessed.

However, per­haps sur­pris­ingly, The Sun, unlike most other news­pa­pers, made some effort to avoid whip­ping up indig­na­tion at the very idea of men hav­ing sex with other men out­doors - e.g. the use of ‘gay romp’ (‘romps’ used to be strictly hetero in the Sun; gay sex was ‘sor­did’ or ‘sleazy’ or ‘per­ver­ted’) and the inter­est­ing phrase ‘gay dog­ging’ (when dog­ging, a very recent phe­nomenon, might actu­ally be described as straight cruis­ing).

Funnily enough, The Sun’s sister-with-a-degree-paper The Times, the UK’s paper of record, ran a report that was much more mis­lead­ing, right down to the head­line: ‘Firemen are dis­cip­lined for dis­turb­ing orgy in bushes’, which in its very ambi­gu­ity (are the fire­man hav­ing the dis­turb­ing orgy?) is rather ‘reveal­ing’. The piece failed to make it clear that the fire­men had quite lit­er­ally gone out of their way in coun­cil taxpayer’s time, in a fire engine bought and fuelled with tax­pay­ers money, to shine their power­ful FB torches on this ‘crim­inal activ­ity’ — when they should have been back at the fire sta­tion await­ing a call from a mem­ber of the pub­lic whose chip-fan was on fire.

More import­antly, like most reports, it also con­veyed the impres­sion that the (dis­turb­ing) act the fire­men wit­nessed was of course illegal and seemed foun­ded on the absurdity that they should be pun­ished rather than the uppity crim­inal ‘gay’. (If you think I mis­read the piece, see the indig­nant com­ments about ‘crim­inal gays’ pos­ted at the end — e.g. ‘I am astoun­ded. Fine upstand­ing cit­izens, hard­work­ing fire­men who risk there lives to help people, dis­turb people in an ILLEGAL act and it is they who get into trouble, not the indi­vidu­als who are behav­ing in an ILLEGAL and immoral way. This coun­try is going to the tubes’.)

The Daily Telegraph, which doesn’t pre­tend to be as met­ro­pol­itan as The Times does these days, man­aged a bet­ter fist of it, des­pite their equally confusing/revealing head­line: ‘Firemen rep­rim­anded for dis­turb­ing gay sex act’. The art­icle seemed like the oth­ers to pre­sume the ‘illeg­al­ity’ of the dis­turb­ing gay sex act, and the out­rageous­ness of the uppity gay who com­plained, but, cru­cially, included (in the print ver­sion) a small box at the end by their legal cor­res­pond­ent which con­tained the rather import­ant point — neg­lected from all the other reports I saw — that reforms to the law in recent years, doing away with dis­crim­in­at­ory laws that crim­in­al­ized only sex between men, and intro­du­cing the concept of ‘reas­on­able expect­a­tion of pri­vacy’, mean that con­sen­sual sex between men — or any­one of any gender — in a remote place (in the bushes, at night) isn’t illegal.

So the angle presen­ted in the Sun, The Times, the Telegraph (main story) and the Mail, and in count­less Richard Littlejohn style rant­ing blogs — crim­inal gays get off (arf) while heroic, upstand­ing straight fire­men are pun­ished — wasn’t an angle at all. Or at least, a highly debat­able one.

Even the ‘gay-friendly’ Guardian, in a lengthy report, failed to men­tion this rather sali­ent fact and con­veyed the same erro­neous impres­sion, des­pite quot­ing prom­in­ently, as most if not all of the reports did, an ‘unnamed fire­fighter’ (who wasn’t present on the Downs that even­ing) com­plain­ing: “This is a com­plete farce. All four officers have been let down by their senior officers when they needed their sup­port the most. They have been treated as the crim­in­als in this case and it has been com­pletely for­got­ten that they wit­nessed crim­inal activ­ity occur­ring in a pub­lic place.”

Umm, nice try mate, but they didn’t. And they didn’t report what you now say they claim they saw, either.

The Telegraph’s use­ful little box also men­tioned that unwanted voyeur­ism was poten­tially illegal. In other words, if you want to get all hoity toity and talk about ‘crim­inal acts’ the fire­men should per­haps con­sider them­selves lucky that they weren’t dis­cip­lined and pro­sec­uted.

It’s dif­fi­cult not to con­clude that the fire­men, homo­phobic or not, were in that place at that time of the night shin­ing their torches around in the bushes because they wanted a cheap thrill. They were dog­ging them­selves — but on our time. (Though of course we now get to dog as well by read­ing the news­pa­per reports.) If they had observed the usual etiquette of such places and not shone their bloody torches in everyone’s eyes to get a bet­ter butchers no one would have rung the THT and they wouldn’t have got into trouble.

As someone who has been cruis­ing in such places myself in the past I know how long it takes to get your night vis­ion back after being blinded by some idi­ots un-dipped head­lights. I think they deserve everything they got.

But the news­pa­pers deserve much, much worse for their derel­ic­tion of duty.

As part of the same mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion of the story, most of the reports refer to the (anonym­ous) four men sup­posedly involved in the pub­lic sex scene unequi­voc­ally as ‘gay’ or (in The Times) ‘homosexual’.

How do the news­pa­pers know this as a fact? Were they there in the bushes them­selves? Would this have even helped? This was, after all, a pick-up area, we’ve been told, pop­u­lar with ‘gays’ and ‘straight dog­gers’. Even exclus­ively ‘gay’ cruis­ing areas, if there are any left now that straight dog­ging has become so pop­u­lar, are not that gay, which is, after all, the point of them: they appeal to mar­ried and bisexual men, and men who regard them­selves as straight but like a bit of cock every now and again.

And from what I’ve seen of dog­ging, quite a few ‘straight dog­gers’ will get involved to some degree with the all-male action if it’s a slow night — or at least have a good look if someone’s put­ting on a show. Dogging by its very nature tends to wander out­side the the usual bound­ar­ies of ‘straight’ and ‘gay’.

Besides, the claim that the fire­men wit­nessed any sex at all, let alone a ‘gay orgy’, is just that, a claim, not a fact as presen­ted by the news­pa­per reports. A claim which seems to have been made only after the fire­men were dis­cip­lined — and by a dis­gruntled fire­men chum who wasn’t even present that even­ing. In other words, it’s about as dubi­ous a claim as you could imagine.

So the widely-reported ‘fact’ that it was one of the ‘gays’ tak­ing part in the ‘illegal’ ‘pub­lic’ ‘gay orgy’ who con­tac­ted the THT - and the basis of all the tor­rents of right­eous indig­na­tion - is actu­ally pure fantasy.

Absolutely noth­ing is known about the man who wanted to know what the fire­men where doing there at that time of night other than what the THT has put in the pub­lic domain as they were the only people to speak to him and the ones who presen­ted his con­cerns to the Avon Fire Brigade. They (con­firmed in an email to me) have made no state­ment about his sexu­al­ity — and the THT doesn’t ask any­way. He didn’t say any­thing about what he was doing on the Downs. And he didn’t report any sexual activ­ity to them.

There was never a ‘com­plaint’ about the fire­men made to the THT — a mem­ber of the pub­lic (we do not ask ques­tions about the sexu­al­ity of indi­vidu­als) merely enquired via the THT as to why the fire engine was at that location.

None of the officers at the time of their dis­cip­lin­ary made ref­er­ence to see­ing any­thing (illegal/sexual activ­ity) tak­ing place.

There was no ‘gay orgy’ or indeed any sexual activ­ity repor­ted by either a mem­ber of the pub­lic, the fire­men, the police or the THT.

So two facts finally emerge from the bushes:

a) the sexu­al­ity of the ‘gay’ who rang the THT and was sub­jec­ted to national vil­li­fic­a­tion is in actual fact as unknown as his iden­tity and

b) the only source for the ‘fact’ that he was part of a ‘gay orgy’ is the dis­gruntled chum of the dis­cip­lined fire­men who wasn’t there that even­ing. And even if he had been, how the blazes would he know who had con­tac­ted the THT?

It seems to me that on this one, everyone’s in the dark, thrash­ing around the bushes with their pants down.

—–

An excel­lent piece by Rachel Johnson dis­sect­ing the far­rago, set­ting the legal record ‘straight’ and and going some way to restor­ing The Times’ hon­our appeared the day after I pos­ted this blog.


UPDATE 2008: PCC Complaint

I decided to shine a torch of my own around and referred this wide­spread mis­re­port­ing to the Press Complaints Commision. Surprisingly, the sec­ret­ariat took up my com­plaint. They don’t usu­ally do this if you are not the party con­cerned (in this case the party con­cerned would be the alleged dog­gers and/or the anonym­ous man who con­tac­ted the THT).

But I explained that as someone who has vis­ited such places in the past the wide­spread mis­re­port­ing of the state of the law in regard to out­door sex crim­in­al­ised me — and made me and oth­ers more likely to be attacked by vigil­antes and queerbash­ers. As a res­ult, a few offend­ing news­pa­pers includ­ing Metro and The Yorkshire Post prin­ted let­ters from me cor­rect­ing their report­ing. The Daily Mail of course refused any such res­ol­u­tion. Despite being the biggest offender — and run­ning a column by Littlejohn on the mat­ter which stated as fact that ‘out­door sex is illegal’ and essen­tially encour­aging attacks on men who have sex with men outdoors.

The Executive Managing Editor of the Daily Mail Robin Esser’s reply to  the PCC began:

First of all the Daily Mail is not homo­phobic, nor, I believe, is our colum­nist Mr Littlejohn.’

And that was prob­ably the least absurd part of his let­ter. In a later one respond­ing to my rebut­tal of his, turn­ing down the res­ol­u­tion option of pub­lish­ing a let­ter from me, he came out of the closet about the Daily Mail’s polit­ical agenda in its mis­re­port­ing of the story — and exploit­a­tion of it:

I do not think the Editor would be in favour of a let­ter which encour­aged the pur­suit of ‘dog­ging’, either het­ero­sexual or homo­sexual, legal or illegal.’

The PCC Commission, a panel of national news­pa­per edit­ors, chaired I think at that time by Paul Dacre the editor of the Daily Mail, ruled against me — stat­ing that there was not a ‘sig­ni­fic­ant’ breach of their reg­u­la­tions. And any­way, I was a ‘third party’.

In other words, they couldn’t deny that the story and the legal pos­i­tion had been mis­re­por­ted, but it wasn’t ‘sig­ni­fic­ant’ enough to piss off their chum Paul Dacre over.

The Daily Mail did how­ever very kindly agree to ‘put a note in our files’ regard­ing the story. The PCC declined to explain to me what this actu­ally trans­lates into in terms of accur­ate report­ing in the future and how I would test this statement.

Oh, and in its judge­ment the Commission insisted on refer­ring repeatedly to the ‘gay men’ tak­ing part in ‘an orgy’, des­pite my hav­ing made it quite clear to them with doc­u­ment­ary evid­ence that neither of these state­ments were fact but merely loaded opinion/prejudice. I com­plained about this to the sec­ret­ariat who took it up with the Commission. The response of the most power­ful news­pa­pers in the land to that was to state that ‘because these men were men hav­ing sex with one another [sic] it is reas­on­able to assume they were gay’.

Fallacy based on false­hood is an irres­ist­ible force. At least when it comes to the great British press.

UPDATE 14/02/13

Thanks to Chris Park for draw­ing my atten­tion to this excel­lent art­icle in Flagship the Fire Brigade Union magazine — which strongly sug­gests that the anonym­ous quote from a col­league of the dis­cip­lined fire­men is bogus too.

Another liberal loses his mind over Larry Craig

An elo­quent, but quite unhinged example from SFGate.com colum­nist Mark Morford of American lib­eral hys­teria over the Craig affair:

In fact, Craig’s clas­sic case of GOP hypo­crisy, of the chasm between his homo­phobic pub­lic per­sona and his homo­sexual per­sonal lusts is simply so blatant, so undeni­ably grot­esque, he becomes a bizarre case study, a cul­tural curio, a deeply fas­cin­at­ing — albeit largely naus­eat­ing — arche­type, full of obvi­ous but still man­dat­ory les­sons for us all. ’

What a ver­it­able flurry of irres­ist­ible adject­ives: ‘Undeniable’, ‘blatant’, ‘naus­eat­ing’, ‘grot­esque’, ‘obvi­ous’, ‘man­dat­ory’. Very per­suas­ive. Very reasoned.

Now go and have a lie down, dear.

Fortunately SFGate.com have provided the anti-dote to this shrill self-righteousness in the form of a less excit­ing but much more per­tin­ent piece by Jonathan Zimmerman.

A Hiding to Nothing: In Defence of Female Masochism

 

A good sad­ist is hard to find.

But, I can reveal, a good mas­ochist is even harder to find. Whenever I hear the words, ‘Use me, abuse me, do any­thing you want with me!’ my heart and my man­hood always sinks. Not because I have any prob­lem with the idea of using someone. Rather it’s that I know that not far behind this invit­a­tion to selfish­ness are always the words, ‘Not that! This! Not there! Here!’

And Anita Phillips, author of In Defence of Masochism, won­ders why mas­ochists have such a bad name. It’s a word that prom­ises so much but then woe­fully fails to deliver. Far from being a slave to your desires, it turns out to be their pleas­ure that they’re inter­ested in - just like every­one else.

Worse, not only is their pleas­ure even more tedi­ously exact­ing than most people’s, you also have to pre­tend that it is your pleas­ure. While the idea of hav­ing someone around the home to clean the toi­let and bath­room floor with their tongue might appeal in an abstract kind of way, it always, always turns out to be much more work and take much longer than doing it your­self and con­duct­ing a common-all-garden, non-masochistic, missionary-position, under-the-floral-duvet-every-other-Sunday-morning rela­tion­ship. As Phillips admits, the best part­ner for a mas­ochist is not a sad­ist, but another masochist.

Sado-masochism, when all’s said and done, is a bit of a con and should be pro­sec­uted under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Nonetheless, there’s plenty of it about these days — and it’s selling like hot candle-wax. Madonna’s early Nineties flir­ta­tion with s/m chic seems to have sent it squeak­ing and creak­ing up and down the cat­walks and into advert­ising ever since — to the point where a stilet­toed heel threat­en­ing a man’s bum-hole on a bill­board hardly pro­vokes any com­ment, let alone the rear-end pile-up it might have done just ten years ago.

And while David Cronenberg’s Crash, a film about people who take pleas­ure being on the receiv­ing end of mutil­at­ing car acci­dents, did pro­voke out­rage and cen­sor­ship from some quar­ters, many found it rather banal. Meanwhile the recent film Sick: the Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist seems to have elev­ated mas­ochism to a kind of super-heroism; how long before we hear little boys whin­ing: ‘Mum, can I have a leather har­ness and cling-film cape for Xmas, please?’.

Which almost begs the point of a book with the name In Defence of Masochism. However, a recent European Court rul­ing asser­ted that assault can­not be con­sen­ted to (which means, of course, an end to box­ing, sur­gery and sup­port­ing Arsenal) sug­gests that there is still an argu­ment to be made. And, even if most people who don’t wear wigs and sus­pend­ers for a liv­ing are more laid back about the issue, there are still a num­ber of com­mon mis­con­cep­tions and pre­ju­dices about mas­ochism — most of which Anita Phillips dis­patches here with aplomb.

Most not­ably, the idea that mas­ochism is always someone else’s per­ver­sion. Phillips invest­ig­ates, via Freud and American aca­demic Leo Bersani the uni­ver­sal­ity of mas­ochistic impulses, the thin line between pleas­ure and pain, and shows how the curd­ling of these impulses into a con­di­tion and a type changed what it means to be human.

Masochism’ is one of the inven­tions of late nine­teenth cen­tury sex­ology in the Gothic shape of Baron Dr Richard Von Kraft-Ebing. It was only ever inten­ded to apply to men; women were ‘nat­ur­ally’ mas­ochistic, so pleas­ure in pain on their part was not ‘per­verse’ and there­fore not a prob­lem to be explained or patho­lo­gised. This was part of a shift in gender roles in the West in the Nineteenth Century which was con­cerned with, we are told, insti­tu­tion­al­ising women’s sub­jug­a­tion. As Phillips points out, ‘Dante’s ordeal in the Inferno to be reunited with Beatrice, to John Donne’s love poetry, sac­ri­fi­cial mas­cu­line love has been a cru­cial theme, only in this cen­tury has what for many cen­tur­ies seemed the nat­ural, desir­able form of male love been redefined as effem­in­ate per­versity, masochism.’

Phillips believes that this refor­mu­la­tion of male iden­tity that excluded mas­ochism made mas­culin­ity ‘blatantly miso­gyn­istic, emo­tion­ally inept and homo­phobic’. She also believes that it was this new mas­culin­ity which led in part to the ‘cor­rect­ive’ of fem­in­ism. Ironically, the exclu­sion of mas­ochism from the male psyche has pro­duced a pub­lic scen­ario of their pun­ish­ment and chas­tise­ment by women which con­tin­ues today. The fem­in­ist is Ms Whiplash.

To be sure, we can see that male mas­ochism is now mak­ing some­thing of a comeback — what else could explain The Verve and the tor­tured, feel-my-stigmata ‘soft lad’/‘Emo’ tend­ency? And while this rise of male self-dramatisation/self-obsession may or may not be good news for women in gen­eral, it is def­in­itely good news for women like Phillips who enjoy mas­ochistic sex. Paradoxically, now that men are relin­quish­ing their grip on the whip handle, women need no longer feel like they are betray­ing their sex by express­ing fantas­ies of domination.

But as with most cases of spe­cial plead­ing, Phillips’ argu­ment often slips into evan­gel­ism. We are told that mas­ochists are ‘ima­gin­at­ive risk-takers’ and that ‘real erot­i­cism’ requires a cer­tain ‘shat­ter­ing of the self’. In other words, mas­ochists are on a higher sexual plane to those poor souls who don’t want to get whipped, trussed up and locked in a cup­board for three days. Apparently, ‘the shat­ter­ing qual­ity of sex needs to be diluted for those who can­not fully handle it.… {and they} make a kind of civic vir­tue from their own neces­sity to retreat from the chal­lenge of a full-blooded encounter.’

Perhaps. But those who prefer their sex weak and thin, with the gore and entrails strained out are not neces­sar­ily lily-livered. Maybe most people refuse to indulge their mas­ochist lean­ings any fur­ther than a spot of slightly embar­rassed spank­ing or coy nipple tweak­ing because they have bet­ter things to do with their time than try­ing to ‘dis­cover their lim­its’ remak­ing Hellraiser.

 

Originally appeared in the Independent on Sunday, 1997

Gay science

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Lady America seems to be pinned between the thrust­ing theo­cracy of St Paul and the passive-aggressive pseudo sci­ence of Karl Ulrichs. Not a good look.

I under­stand that many American gays, most of them middle-aged and no longer with hair whorls of their own, are keen to prove they’re an immutable/congenital minor­ity who can’t help them­selves, that Mom isn’t to blame and they need their own reser­va­tion — where the Christians can’t be beastly to them. After all, who wants to take per­sonal respons­ib­il­ity for lik­ing Cher?

But if you’re going to look to sci­ence to fur­ther your pet polit­ical pro­ject (i.e. your­self) then it does, I’m afraid, make it some­what tricky cri­ti­cising those on the right who do the same thing. Surgeon gen­eral nom­inee James Holsinger’s Godly sci­ence of the Holy Rectum is as con­vin­cing and as object­ive as the weird sci­ence of the Third Sexers.

And that’s without even con­sid­er­ing how, whatever the pro­fessed aims of the gay sci­ent­ists involved, talk of con­gen­ital con­di­tions always raises the spectre of eugen­ics. To be hon­est, if I was to have kids I’m not sure I’d want a gay one. I mean, he might grew up to be a sci­ent­ist with a chip on his shoulder har­ass­ing people on Pride parades want­ing to look at their hair whorls.

I think the only way to describe this sci­ence is ‘gay’ — in the sense of ‘lame’.

That said, after look­ing at my my hair whorl, my index fin­ger, my penis length, my head bumps, my under­wear and my record col­lec­tion, I had a rev­el­a­tion on the road to the gym­nas­ium about Who I Really Am.

The res­ults are con­clus­ive, cat­egor­ical and as clear as the hand in front of my face: I’m def­in­itely a les­bian trapped in a straight man’s gay body.

Tip: Uroskin

Bummed Up The Arse & Overheard At Dinner

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The world of straight trade may have long since dis­ap­peared from the streets of London but if you still hanker after that lost eco­nomy of bois­ter­ous­ness, straight nightclub toi­lets might be a fruit­ful place to loiter. Preferably with a line or two of coke (Colombia’s own ver­sion of the Gay Bomb).

Though you might have to be Arthur rather than Martha when it comes to doing the dirty. At least judging by this story related by Mike a mutual friend of Dermod who insisted he passed this anec­dote on to me on the grounds that it was ‘such a Mark Simpson story’.

Mike was recently hav­ing din­ner with a spe­cial chum at cheap Thai res­taur­ant in London. They were try­ing man­fully to mind their own homo busi­ness. This was a little dif­fi­cult to do since at the — inde­cently close - table next to them a beefy blond Cockney wide-boy and a huge fit Nigerian began hav­ing an argu­ment about some busi­ness deal that had gone tits up.

Things become some­what heated and they start slag­ging off, as you do, each other’s birds, for sev­eral minutes.

Provoked bey­ond endur­ance, Beefy Cockney finally blurts out, ‘Well, at least I don’t get BUMMED UP THE FUCKINARSE IN CLUB TOILETS!!’

Outraged, Huge Nigerian hotly denies this ter­rible slur for ten whole minutes. Before finally con­ced­ing, under his breath, ‘Ok, Ok, it was just the once though, and you know I was off my head.’

Besides,’ he adds, ‘it’s not like you never done it yourself!’

THAT’S A FUCKINLIE ANYOU KNOW IT!’ retorts Beefy Cockney, really angry now.

Five minutes later they had both con­ceded that they’d been done up the arse regularly.

Finally, Beefy Cockney turns to Mike (who has been pre­tend­ing for the past twenty minutes not to be hanging on every word of this exchange) and asks, straight-faced: ‘Mate, can you settle somefink for us? If you saw both ov us walk­ing down the street, which one would you say looked a bit bent?’

Hmm… I think it would be hard to tell,’ Mike replies, in all hon­esty. Then he turns the ques­tion around: ‘Do you think I look a bit bent?’

Nah,’ replies Beefy Cockney. ‘But your mate does.’

The Crapsex Guide

Most Britons are unhappy with their sex lives’, accord­ing to a recent sex sur­vey. Apparently they don’t enjoy it very much (nearly half don’t orgasm every time — and their part­ners don’t even notice).

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Most of all, they com­plain that their ‘busy life­styles’ mean they don’t have enough time to have ‘really sat­is­fy­ing sex’.

No won­der. After all, it takes a lot of plan­ning and a whole day of film­ing to record just one porn scene. Editing can take weeks. Especially if, like me, you have to use a lot of CGI.

And get­ting a body like the ones spor­ted by the pneu­matic couple used by the Sun to illus­trate this fea­ture, or in fact any art­icle on sex, rela­tion­ships, or mort­gages, is a full-time occu­pa­tion. You cer­tainly don’t get one by redeem­ing your tabloid Family Basket KFC vouchers.

But per­haps you’re bored with all those news­pa­per and magazine art­icles, videos, TV shows and nurs­ery school classes on how to have Better! Bigger! Hornier! Hotter! SEX!!! Maybe you’re sick of wor­ry­ing whether your flex­ib­il­ity and muscle con­trol would get you into the cir­cus or not. Maybe you won­der whether things have gone too far and too blue in con­sumer culture’s relent­less, obsess­ive, insatiable-inflatable pur­suit of eye-popping, bed-slat-snapping, whor­ish HotSexTM.

If you are you’re prob­ably as over the hill as me.

Either way, I say it’s time to stop skip­ping to the whip of aspir­a­tion­ally slutty HotSex and drain that water bed, can­cel that Viagra bulk order, turn the lights off and take some pride in sex that is not hot.

Otherwise known as crap­sex.

To that end I’ve come up with eight semi-erect reas­ons why luke­warm crap­sex is bet­ter than horny HotSex (and it only took me three minutes):

1. You don’t have to worry about your appear­ance.
During crap­sex you’re covered the whole time by your duvet. During HotSex, you’re forever stop­ping the action in order to reapply your body make-up and adjust the pos­i­tion of the arc lamps and the camcorder.

2. Crapsex is quick.
Because crap­sex doesn’t take much time, or effort and, frankly, isn’t very sat­is­fy­ing, there’s always plenty of time and energy left over for import­ant things like over-eating, build­ing ships inside bottles, depres­sion, mas­turb­a­tion. And affection.

3. Crapsex is cheap.
No Internet bills, no year-round tan, no gym-membership, no sil­ic­one implants, no vacuum-pump, no hay bills for the goat in the back­yard. All you need for crap­sex is a slightly raised pulse. Well, a pulse.

4. Crapsex is easy.
HotSex is an end­less com­pet­i­tion — with your­self. Each lay is metic­u­lously com­pared with the last, and rated on a personal-best score-sheet. Crapsex cuts out this grind­ing stress-cycle with the relax­ing reas­sur­ance that sex can’t get any worse. HotSex, on the other hand, is bound to.

5. Crapsex keeps you faith­ful.
If you’ve been hav­ing lots of a crap­sex, oth­er­wise known as ‘mono­gamy’, it’s sens­ible to avoid new part­ners because they might have been hav­ing lots of HotSex and will laugh at your untrimmed pubic hair and unsup­pressed gag reflex.

6. Crapsex won’t wake the neigh­bours.
Or your partner.

7. Crapsex doesn’t have to be with someone who is your ‘type’.
Or accept­able to your per­sonal fet­ish chart. Instead it can be sex with someone you’re almost quite fond of, when the lights are off and they haven’t been eat­ing onions. And it’s their birthday.

8. Crapsex is the real world.
But this is also the reason why most of us these days will choose HotSex every time.

 

© Mark Simpson 2007

Finally, a condom for butter-fingers…

Is this the end of frantic­ally try­ing to tear shiny foil with lube-covered fin­gers while your arousal ticks ever down­wards and your part­ner admires the wallpaper?

Consumerism, in its end­less quest to make everything oh-so effort­less, does also tend to make things some­what pointless.

Here how­ever it actu­ally helps you to main­tain your pointy­ness.

All in all a gad­get Mr Bond would have found rather more use­ful than most of those Q fois­ted on him over the years.