Batchelor of tarts

It’s a day of pride for many people – dressing up in a gown, hood and mortar board, walking up on the stage and collecting a rolled up piece of paper from a local dignitary. Family and friends applaud with pride and you usually have a formal gathering to raise a glass to your success as a conscientious and successful student…

Only my graduation wasn’t quite like that. In fact exam success never seemed that important to me. I studied and crammed, but all rather last minute and largely because it was what everyone else was doing, rather than through my own self-discipline. I scraped through.

So my motivation for turning up for the whole shebang, apart from pleasing my parents, was purely to see ‘Perforated Pete’. His nickname was down to the numerous piercings he had in his ears, nipples and eyebrow and to differentiate him from another Pete we sometimes hung out with.

But the metal-bearing moniker paints an inaccurately unattractive image. This guy actually had girls eating out of his hand. He was a 1990s grunge dreamboat with a twist*. His face was a cheeky, sexy shade of handsome, with large hazel eyes and a knowing smirk. He had long light brown hair, shaved at the sides (remember, this was the early 1990s) a stocky, toned build and dressed in black t-shirts, combat trousers and army boots. He was a couple of years older than me but had started his course a year later, in ‘Media’ or something a bit arty – my memory fails me here.

Perforated Pete and I had flirted for a while, but the timing had always been wrong – I was with my then boyfriend and he was seeing a tall, voluptuous blonde a friend and I referred to as the ‘strapping lass’.  The most we had managed was a cheeky kiss when we played some odd drinking game involving everyone kissing. When PP and I lingered a little too long in our smooch my boyfriend got very angry and almost punched him, bringing the game to a swift end.

So, travelling back to my rather gloomy university town, after a mutual split with that boyfriend, filled me with hope and excitement. In the days before mobile phones, widespread internet usage and few student homes even having a landline, all one could do was hope for the best.

My parents had booked a budget hotel with a room for themselves and separate one for my friend Lu and I.

We got the formalities over with, had the photos taken, went out for dinner with my folks, then fluffed our feathers to meet some of our friends at the pub later for celebratory drinks. The whole time I could only think about PP and whether he would show up. I had put on a red floaty top which clung to my cleavage, with my usual tight black jeans and boots in a special attempt to catch his eye.

As we walked in I looked around the room, desperately. No sign of him. We sat with friends and I tried to put him to the back of my mind. Half an hour passed and it dawned on me that maybe he was now seeing someone else – it had been a while since I had seen him and ‘strapping lass’ was still around.

But, just as I had settled into chatting to people and trying to shrug off my disappointment, a familiar figure casually walked in with a couple of friends. His pretty, long-lashed hazel eyes met mine and he flashed me a sexy grin. I immediately felt my cheeks flush and my whole body tense up. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to form the words to speak to him.

But he came over, pulled up a chair and asked me how the day had gone. As the cider and blackcurrant flowed, we relaxed into a conversation, peppered with his dry sense of humour and occasional touch on my thigh.

PP was very self-assured and knew how to press the right buttons to lure a girl back to his place, but he wasn’t cocky or arrogant and never took himself too seriously.

There was an obstacle to proceedings, though. I was supposed to go with Lu back to our hotel room at the end of the evening and be ready for 9am to have breakfast with my parents. Perfectly reasonable, you could say, but not when one had been waiting over four months to bed the sexiest man of the moment…

So a plan had to be hatched. PP and I walked Lu back to our hotel room and we agreed a special door knock for my return later on. This freed PP and I up to dive into the next available cab back to his house for some valuable hours.

He lived in a shared student house, so we had to hurry through some garbled introductions before we could escape to his room. Once the door was shut we just could not wait any longer.

In a cider haze, we dived on the bed, kissing like we only had seconds left before the world ended. His body was smooth and delicious. And for some reason after all the tension we were now totally relaxed and as we began to bonk we were chatting about how much we wanted it. He was saying something along the lines of “I have wanted this for ages. I knew it would be good because we are both tarts.” It was good and he had impressive staying power, but it was probably the only time I had had inaugural sex with someone and we had talked through the entire session. We covered a range of topics from our favourite positions to my tits to his tattoos, underwear and the photos on his bedroom wall. I wanted to do it again in a couple of hours without the chit-chat just to feel normal again.

After a smidgen of sleep daylight streamed into his room and I had to leave PP naked in his bed to call a cab from the nearest phone box. I got back to the hotel at 6am, knocked loudly on the hotel room door (hopefully not waking my parents) and poor Lu stumbled bleary-eyed to the door and let me in.  I slipped into my cold bed and tried to rest, with a big grin on my face, before we had to go down for a ‘full English’.

*What is the ‘twist’? I hear you ask. That’s one for a future post, as PP had a yet-to-be-discovered facet to his personality.

When the music’s over…

Ever wondered what it would be like to have one of your favourite things snatched away from you for good, never to be seen ever again? In my current ‘famine’ period, this enters my mind every day.

I have explored/wittered on these pages about sex in old age and pondered on how to cope with temporary periods of ‘non-action’. But what if I am actually gaping into the abyss? What if this is it for me – my end is never going to be had away again? My lady hole is just a pointless feature, occasionally used for inserting tampons…

I have this hope that something will come to it one day which isn’t made of metal or silicone and doesn’t make a buzzing sound, but maybe my hope is misguided and it’s really curtains on that front. After all, I am not getting any younger and the lines, bags and general sagginess are worsening week by week.

How does one cope with this knowledge? I am already in my head lining up my best lacy undies, basques, all-in-ones, stockings and so-on just in case they should be sent to a better place – to someone who will give them a more fulfilling and active life.

And does it stop there? Should I swap my regular panties for the gigantic belly-warmers the old lady two doors down hangs on her washing line? Well, comfort does outweigh appearance when no one else is going to see them. Do I swap my dresses for comfy and practical slacks and jumpers?

Maybe taking up a distracting hobby would help. I could collect stamps or sew tapestries. And any films featuring hunky men would have to go, as I would get too depressed watching Gerard Butler and Ewan McGregor snogging the face off someone while I sit alone on the sofa with my peanuts and shandy. Then again, this is a typical Saturday evening these days.

If I am heading for an eternity of celibacy, it would have been nice to have had some warning – then I could have fitted in some of my top fantasies from my sex ‘bucket list’ (remember this? I’d want at least numbers 2,5,6 and 10 of that list). It’s the same if you have a good friend who is moving away – you would want to have a special day or night with them before they left, just as people on death row get to choose their favourite meal before they face the chair or the needle.

Then again I could pull the same stunt as the geese in the Brothers Grimm’s The Fox and the Geese. The fox gives the geese permission to pray before he kills them, so they pray, but never stop praying so the fox (for some reason being true to his word) is left waiting for an eternity to end their lives.

So anyhow, if I have forewarning that bonking is no longer on the menu after a certain date, maybe I should have a never ending feast. It could get a bit tricky doing housework and the school run with a man inside me (and somewhat inappropriate), but I would make a gallant effort with the help of strategically placed blankets. If I had to drive anywhere, he could operate the pedals while I did the steering and gear changes…

If this were at all possible, I am not even sure where I would get the man to do it, seeing as The Man seems to have (sadly) removed himself from the menu. Maybe I could stick an ad in the local newsagents: ‘Make a middle-aged woman very happy. Short-term casual work. References needed. Must have good stamina, but hairy backs need not apply.’

So meanwhile, I’ll visit my local purveyor or big pants and eye up what I could be wearing in the not-too-distant future…

Teenage dream?

“No, I don’t want it there,” I wailed, standing up in the bath and looking down at myself. “I want it to go away!”

I was about 12-years-old and my mum and popped into the room while I was having a bath and helpfully pointed out that I had started growing my first few strands of pubic hair. I was absolutely devastated – it looked disgusting and ugly, or so I thought at the time. I was quite happy with things as they were – just some hair on my head, some downy bits on my arms and legs – that would do me fine. Why did I have to get a horribly beardy bit on my privates?

But I was a 12-year-old of the 1980s, had no older sister to look up to or try to imitate and still enjoyed playing with my Barbies. Puberty and sex never entered my mind. My mum never did the ‘talk’ so I was pretty clueless, apart from seeing some couples kissing and rolling around in cheesy American soaps like ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Knots Landing’. I had just assumed this was a different version of cuddling.

The idea of growing boobs was just as alien. I remember my mum getting me some rather odd coffee-coloured training bra before I had anything to really put in it. She insisted this was the right time to start wearing it, despite the thing being very itchy and chafing my armpits. They did grow quite a bit between about 12 and 15, but in the early days, I was just baffled and confused as to why any of these changes were happening to me, when I was pretty happy with my straightforward, uncomplicated girl body.

The story now is a whole new ball game. I have an eight-year-old who is practically on one giant countdown to becoming a teenager. She checks the growth of her chest on a daily basis, despite there being nothing to report. She wears lip gloss whenever she can get away with it, such as when we are in a rush to go out somewhere and I’m too busy to notice. She already has posters of boy bands on her bedroom wall, while I was 13 or 14 before I swapped my pictures of cute kittens and fairies for A-ha and Duran Duran. She even slams her door shut and listens to music when she wants to be alone – something I only started to do in my teenage strops.

So how does a reluctant teenager guide her teenage wannabe through puberty? I don’t want to put her on a downer by warning that it’s not all lipstick, push-up bras and prom dresses. She will have to be prepared for mood swings, spots, emotional roller-coasters, boys being senseless gits and period pains.

The trouble is that her ‘teenage dream’ comes from all the American TV shows she watches, where teens have an endless wardrobe of trendy clothes, perfect white teeth, hang out at milkshake bars and always have witty one-liners. Funnily enough none of them have spots or stomp off to their bedrooms, slam the door and put Slipknot on at full blast. And the boys all look really clean – they probably don’t have bedrooms that smell of sweaty jock straps and stale socks, as I recall my brother did in that era.

Maybe the answer is to find a teenager and get them to explain what it’s like, how it has its ups and downs. The trouble is getting one to willingly articulate that…