Fabio came and went. There was little remarkable in the whole episode. It was over before it had started.
But his passing through did mark one thing – the start of my Italian phase. As Picasso went through his Cubist period, his blue period and African period, so I went through different ‘periods’. There was the ‘snogging people you don’t really fancy, but, what the hey, it’s still a snog’ period; the ‘long-haired or dreadlocked – whatever, just different hair’ period; the ‘desperately in love but sadly rejected’ period; the ‘oh I must find someone with commitment’ phase and the ‘series of really bad fuck-ups’ period. And this is just to name a few. I could give Picasso a run for his money, unless it came to producing amazing and priceless paintings. On that score I would have to hand him all my brushes and canvasses.
So, Fabio was the first of three. I met him in a night club in Camden when I was staying with a friend. It was the late 1990s; we were young, free and up for fun but had reached the point in life where we had seen it all, in terms of the nonsense men use to ‘pull’ at such venues. We were drinking, dancing and having a reasonably good night, but it had been slightly marred by a procession of creeps who had tried to either grope or proposition us.
I had also noticed a group of dark-haired, olive-skinned guys standing in the corner of the dance floor. They stood out as they were all well turned out and quite handsome (a cliché, I know, but true).
The shorter one of the group, with shoulder length dark hair and a leather jacket was staring at me, then he came over. I looked behind me to check he wasn’t approaching someone else. But no, it was me.
“My name is Fabio. I am from Italy. Please may I dance with you,” He said in a thick Italian accent. After all the earlier creeps, I was taken aback by his politeness and unassuming approach. How could I refuse?
We did the awkward dance where neither of you wants to look ridiculous when you are trying to be cool, sophisticated and fanciable. You both move stiffly and try to hold a neutral facial expression – letting yourself go could produce an ugly gurning face, while smiling may look like you are laughing at the other person and being too serious could look like you are in muscle spasm or hating every minute.
We attempted conversation, but the combination of loud music and his limited English made that a big challenge. So, he leaned in for a kiss and I obliged. He had soft lips and smelt really good – a pleasant but not overpowering after shave.
It was the typical nightclub pick up scenario and the fact that I was only in London for a couple of days meant I didn’t expect to see him again. There was also no chance of ‘going further’ than a snog as I was staying with my friend’s parents.
Fabio got my number but I didn’t expect to hear from him.
Then, a day after I got back to my flat, my phone rang. “’ello. I am Fabio,” said the voice on the other end. “When I see you?”
He was so cute, so sweet, polite and I loved the way he spoke. So, I did a rash thing.
I bought a train ticket to go all the way back to London for a day to meet a virtual stranger, who had a casual job in a restaurant kitchen and lived in a shared house with five other Italian guys.
“What the Hell,” I thought. “You only live once. Maybe I can move to Italy one day.”
He was just as handsome, but seemed shorter this time – about the same height as me and had a strange tuft of facial hair just below his bottom lip (a soul patch?). I just wanted to pat him on the head and squeeze his bottom, but restrained myself.
We went back to his house and he introduced me to various people – Luigi, Mario, Alonso and co. Then we headed to his room and he pulled me on to his bed. We rolled around and kissed before he nudged me in the direction of his throbbing erection. I dutifully unzipped and extracted it. He proved the point that a person’s height is certainly not proportionate to the size of their member.
His rather substantial member enjoyed some sucking and licking and rubbing as he moaned and said words I didn’t understand. But as I climbed on top of him so we could both share the fun, mini Fabio deflated. He was apologetic, but at this point someone knocked on the door and we quickly adjusted ourselves, game over for now.
After going out for a coffee there was little time before my train home, so no chance of a rematch.
I again assumed this was the end of our encounter, but was proven wrong a second time. He rang me to arrange to come for a visit. Intrigued, I accepted.
He stayed for a couple of nights. I took him to a few tourist attractions, out for meals and drinks. We tried to talk a little, but conversation was limited.
The first night we tried to pick up from where we left off in his bedroom. Mini Fabio was a little perkier this time, so I was able to climb aboard as he sat on my sofa. We shagged furiously and Fabio reached his peak, shot his load and I got off, but there was little in it for me. I dismissed this as him being tired from his train journey, but each time it was the same. I was expected to ‘get him up’, deliver a ‘blowie’ or “you go down” as he put it, but he did not go near my area with his fingers or mouth.
He looked me up and down on one occasion, as I got us both a drink and said: “You a beet fat. Not too fat, but a beet. But no lose weight. If you lose weight you will lose these,” and he gestured at my boobs. “And I like-a these.”
That once and for all flicked off the switch – the one in my head that had stayed on in hope that things may develop between us. Us ladies are sensitive about these things. It is alright for us to call ourselves fat, but if anyone else says it, we are deeply hurt.
So, I was glad to see him leave. He did cook a nice meal one night (carbonara, I recall), but that was where his usefulness ended.
He tried to ring me a few times, but I screened my calls and never picked up. We lived too far apart for it to be worthwhile, my attraction to him had faded and clearly I was too ‘fat’ so I wasn’t even sure why he was still ringing me.
So, Fabio was the first. Then there was a second, shall we say, much longer term relationship. And the third was Benito, a UK-born Italian, who like Fabio was my height. Benito was excitable, funny, moody, fussy and fun – very similar to Fabio, but without the language barriers. He also had the best, most pert and grab-able bottom I have ever seen on a man to this day. I absolutely fancied him, and could have stared into his big brown eyes, framed by long black eyelashes, for hours.
But he had only agreed to go out with me after I sent him a series of emails after finding his contact details through mutual friends. Some may call that a form of stalking. I call it resourceful.
At least he gave me a shot. We had some long, heart-thumping kisses so I could enjoy his perfectly formed lips. But aside from him inserting two fingers inside me once, there was no physical interaction whatsoever. Clearly I was not as gorgeous and sexy to him as he was to me. But there are always going to be defeats. I am no Angelina Jolie, so am never going to ensnare all I seek to trap.
And there ended my Italian phase. Since then, there has been no common link between any of my ‘men friends’, but I am still holding out for a Scandinavian Thor-like period – a procession of tall, fair haired blue-eyed hunks – and maybe even a dishy, twinkly parade of Irish men next. The trouble is that I may be pushing a Zimmer frame before these chaps make an appearance.
*I hope this post doesn’t cause any offence to Italian male readers. It is only taken from my very limited experience.