Sex has a history. The ways people express affection for each other have changed dramatically over time and geographical place. But the history of sexuality is not only about sex. It sheds light on human relationships, needs and desires, expectations and exceptions.
I was in a South American hospital, waiting to get my ears syringed, when my phone vibrated with one of those messages that makes your heart contract.
In March 1977, Michael Barbosa Medeiros, a freelance houseplant doctor, was at a party chatting with John Green, a professional tarot-card reader, also known as "Charlie Swan." Green told Medeiros about a possible job opening. A few days later he called Medeiros with the details: Go to apartment 72 in the Dakota, on West 72nd Street, in New York City.
Love always used to feel like pigging out, the same kind of bottomlessness. Sex was for cold mornings where you forgot to close the blinds or for hot summer afternoons, when the urge took you, when the sun was watching but you didn’t care, all white rumpled sheets like an advert.
Politics tend to attract a certain sort: the crawler, the ambition-filled thrill seeker, the disturbed, and the sociopathic. Along the way, the odd good egg is bound to be found, the seeker of justice who wants to right the world and order it. Go to the capital, change the world as you see fit. At the very least, give it a go.
Sobriety made be brave enough to put a Hoover up my bum. There I said it. So glad to finally have that off my chest.
Our US and Canadian readership is now greater than that of the UK, so let me apologise to our North American friends and cousins in advance: from time to time we’ll be publishing a bit of escapism that is more focussed upon British politics than theirs. Which isn’t to say that we’re not riveted by the fortunes of one D. Trump – just rather less qualified to comment.
I’m not proud to admit this, but eight years ago I went through this phase where I was suddenly attracted to men. Or if you prefer, persons with a non-detachable penis. So I went straight to the source, and posted an ad on the Craigslist W4M personals in Los Angeles: Kinky Queer Chick In Heterocurious Phase & Wondering What All the Fuss Is About. I was a very popular W.
Some women say that the first time they look, really look at their private parts, they are struck by the beauty, the folds like petals, the soft colours from rose to amber, the intricacy. Let them. I am happy for them. I have never been the sort of woman to gaze adoringly in a glass at my own vagina, vulva, fanjo, whatever. It doesn’t appeal; there is no need for it.
Sex is danger. So much is staked on the gamble of a safe, solvent and, hopefully, healthy customer. Once delivered, all that matters is maintaining rapport, keeping interest. The advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) merely added a touch more of that danger to that oldest of professions. With a lexicon burgeoning with terms emphasising containment and suppression, the sex industry, along with others, has been laid waste in an effort to contain the pandemic. Bodies are being withdrawn out of circulation, as is the cash that accompanies them.