Why was there sex at the Front in the first place? What, in those unprecedented conditions, were the young men of Europe fucking for? And what did they achieve?
The mind floods with facts of human biology, sure. Remembers itself toppled by the irrepressible march of libido. The answers seem self-explanatory. But things not always being what they seem, it’s worth looking elsewhere before accepting their explanation. It’s worth paying attention to the poetry that blossomed at the Front and its suggestions that sex played a part in the War far more interesting— and far more important— than all that.
I have taken to going for morning runs with my housemate Rita. She is a superfit West Coaster with a lithe athlete's body. I am a flabby Londoner with a penchant for cheese and ale. Ibiza, I have come to understand, does not tolerate excess flesh and our route along Talamanca Beach takes us past rows of bronzed babes in bikinis, with tits that would have Newton refuting his own theory. Whilst I long ago abandoned the idea of ever being one of these pneumatic RoboBarbies I still believe that a little bit of exercise is probably a good thing as long as I know there's a slice of cake waiting for me at the end of it.
The last word she spoke onscreen was 'vagina', in Fashion Police, having just torn apart Amber Rose and her ultra revealing Laura Dewitt chainmail dress.
"Amber looks so much like a chain link border fence that 5000 Guatemalan children tried to sneak across her vagina," said the woman who sashayed across the world of entertainment for laugh-out-loud decades, leaving unfillable Manolo-Blahnik-designed comedy footsteps as she went - dainty in front with a dagger thrust following.
She was honest and she was fearless and a comic cannot be much better than that.
"I veer from unbridled hubris to neurotic paralysis," I tell The Editor after ignoring his email for a week. I once read a self-help book entitled Self-Sabotage and How to Stop It. Clearly, I didn't absorb anything. I want to be a writer but when someone expresses interest in my writing I scamper into the undergrowth faster than a nervous Ibicenco lizard.
After going to ground for a week, sitting in a darkened room refreshing my Twitter feed into infinity, today I feel like I might be a writer again.
I'm lying on the beach in my homage to Bettie Page leopard print and hibiscus mismatched bikini and I'm stealing glances at the beardy bartender from the nearby bar while typing away on my iPad. There are small windows of clarity. In these windows I see that I might be able to ditch waitressing and earn my living as a writer. I'm trying my best to silence the self-doubt.
Really, it’s high time that sex education in this country was given an overhaul. Not just because we still have unacceptable teenage pregnancy rates and a rising tide of STDs but because somehow, somewhere along the line, the Glorious Sexual Revolution has been betrayed, and our schools, colleges and universities are full of fledgling adults with attitudes towards sex that are damaging their relationships both with each other and with themselves.
When I moved to Ibiza I knew what I was signing up for. As my friend C often says, 'This island runs on sex.'
Outside almost every restaurant in Ibiza Town you'll find a heavily made up young women in heels and miniskirts whose sole role is to lure in custom. In San Antonio outside the little boat shacks that line the marina, young women in bikinis are employed to tempt you on to various vessels of dubious seaworthiness. Of course, that's just the surface, scratch beneath and you'll find the commodification of coitus on every corner. Sex sells and on Ibiza, it's the primary industry.
A few weeks ago I applied for job as a waitress. 'Please attach a photo with your CV' the ad said. I didn't recoil in militant feminist horror and retreat to my bunker in a burlap sack. I needed a job. Pretty urgently as it happens. So I sent off a CV with a photo attached. This is the reply I received a few minutes later:
I'm sitting on my balcony typing. Some days, I can't believe how lucky I am. For a fraction of the rent I paid in London, I have a flat overlooking the azure blue Mediterranean Sea. Of course, this being Ibiza it also overlooks a brothel (well technically, it vaunts itself as an escort agency) with a big red neon sign. Outside, it has a sad little astroturfed garden furnished with a few high white plastic tables and a couple of flags which hang limp in the airless summer heat. From my balcony I have a clear view of the bored looking women leaning on the tables waiting for work to come by. They are dressed in the most obvious forms of sexy: bustiers; stilettos; minidresses.
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I stare at the black card in the centre of the table. It reads, 'What would grandma find disturbing, yet oddly charming?' I go through the white cards in my hands and chuckle uncomfortably at the awkward combinations I can make. A few are genuinely funny and hardly offensive: 'Ryan Gosling riding in on a white horse', 'Erectile dysfunction', or 'Passive-Aggressive post-it notes'. Others are too uncannily near the mark to be funny: 'Hospice care', or 'Dying'. And some are quite honestly awful: 'Battlefield amputations', or 'Dead parents'.
We all love a fairytale ending.
Especially after that rollercoaster romance à la Mills & Boon, which overcame more obstacles than a Hastings crazy golf course.
Cue the wedding bells, blushing brides, pregnancy, toddlers, mortgages, education, outlawed in-laws, family seaside holidays, bringing home the bacon, pipe and slippers, grandchildren, Werthers Originals, retirement, death, merry widowhood and cats.
We hate fairytale endings because, really, they suck.
So says (rather more elaborately) Helen Croydon in her latest book, Screw the Fairytale: A Modern Girl's Guide to Sex and Love. Her view is that fairytales always end when the Prince kisses the Princess, because the rest of the story is so crotch-witheringly dull.
Rochester, aristocrat, courtier, debauchee, atheist, drunk, naval hero, bisexual, father and, for its own purposes, poet, is one of Eng. Lit.’s perennial conundrums. Like Pope’s Sporus, he seems at time ‘a painted child of dirt that stinks and stings,’ at others, to steal the jealous Hilaire Belloc’s sneer at P.G. Wodehouse, ‘English literature’s performing flea’. A fallen angel, perhaps, capering on a shit-smeared pin. He lived fast, died young (like Christ, at 33) and, the bulk of his life having been subject to the on-going attrition of incurable syphilis, his corpse was far from good-looking. If one uses a phrase that conjures up a rock or movie star maudit, then it is apt: in many ways his life seems very modern: in two words, the rebel. The question remains: to what extent was there also a cause.
It is generally acknowledged that romantic women’s fiction subscribes, in the main, to the following truisms: there must be an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending’ and where possible the ‘hero’ should appear to be unobtainable à la Rochester with his mad wife; Edward, a vampire and, of course, Christian with his fucked-up kinkiness
“We're white, we’re westerners, we're girls and we’re rich, of course we're fucking miserable. The standards are just too fucking high for us to be anything else.” Milly Thomas' new play, A First World Problem, is a must-see. Under bright lights and perched on hard-backed, straight-A classroom chairs three young women are poised like eager greyhounds waiting for the rabbit to be released. Each one holds the key to a future in her lap, cased in an innocuous brown envelope. Have they been accepted to Oxbridge, or rejected? And if they've got the go-ahead, are they attractive enough, slim enough, sporty or edgy or rich enough, to succeed there? These are 'first world problems', and lead actress-cum-writer Milly Thomas' eponymous new play is chock-a-block with 'em.
At the start of his book, Mr. Smith poses the questions: “What is the nature of man’s – or rather men’s –intimate and erotic relations with inanimate human forms?”…”When, where and why have human beings – usually but by no means only, men – fallen in love with statues and other inanimate things?”…”What provokes or stirs them to consummate that love erotically and what form does such consummating take?” These are provocative and intriguing questions…
Gazzman’s Down On Abby, by missing a crucial ‘t’ and ‘e’, cheekily creates a porno-parody of a particularly notorious period soap, one of the several jewels in Julian Fellowes’ artistic (and now, of course, baronial) coronet. Except that in Gazzman’s movie, not much happens in the way of snobbery, avarice, pride, intolerance or any other of the many aristocratic vices that Baron Fellowes so lovingly, yet obsessively, dwells upon. Aristos and staff are all far too busy screwing one another. In the nicest way possible.
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Eve Made A Wish
Eve Made a Wish
has a wonderful selection of high quality erotic toys and lingerie for women at our boutique. We’re not burlesque and we’re not soft-porn – we’re here for positive, sensual erotic pleasure and contemporary design. Be seduced by us!
We stock fabulous products from Shiri Zinn, Je Joue, Rianne S, What Katie Did, Kiss Me Deadly and JimmyJane.
is a friendly, independent cycle shop in Battersea, London SW11. Established in 1992, our bike range isn’t huge but it is considered. British favourites and classics, Brompton, Pashley and Moulton rub handlebars with our favoured hybrid brand, Giant. Come and visit and see for yourself.
OPEN Tuesday – Saturday;
59A Battersea Bridge Road
London SW11 3AU
Tel: 020 7738 2766
Did Johann Salvadorus kill the Homecoming Queen? No, he did far worse…
Why not treat your Kindle (or other eReader) to a first-class read? Now available from ER BOOKS, Heart Killer is a dark, erotic, time-tripping crime thriller by Andy Nowicki.
Heart Killer is Nowicki’s fifth novel, with close thematic links to his controversial 2011 novella, The Columbine Pilgrim
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