“For every pot a lid,” a Lancashire friend quoted to me when we were discussing how a larger acquaintance of ours had managed to bed an especially delightful woman. And it is absolutely true: no matter what shape you are, there is someone out there who will choose you over Brad Pitt. It is your job to find them and then give them what they want.
It’s a beginner’s mistake to believe that being slim and muscular is a prerequisite for being a good lover. Byron, Casanova and Richard Burton, to name but three wonderful exponents of the craft of love, drank, ate and shagged to their heart’s content, and would have derided the idea that a few extra pounds made any difference to their performance or desirability.
Uunderneath her beautiful dress there is written all over her divine body the words PROPERTY OF BEAU DE JOUR
They knew what is obvious to any of us who enjoy the bedroom arts: the body has sex, but it’s the mind that makes love. And if the mind is sufficiently engaged, the cock will always follow.
Indeed, I was lying naked on my bed after making love this afternoon with a particularly perky minx when I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror on my open wardrobe door. I couldn’t help noticing the loss of tone in my middle-aged body, no longer as hard and defined as in my youth. But over my face there was plastered a very happy post-coital grin reflecting the feeling of triumph coursing through my veins, after a long and satisfying session of rumpy pumpy.
I was reminded of an article I read recently which claimed, and I quote, that according to a ‘medical study’ men who take up exercise to shed their middle-aged spread often find they instead gain a few inches just where they want it. It went on to assert that the effect of losing spare tyres and beer bellies among men in their fifties is a boost to their sex drive, give a higher sperm count and stronger erections. Losing weight and getting fit, it concluded, makes us better lovers.
I have a different view on this. Being overweight and out of shape can have a marked effect on sexual performance, but only if it makes you (and not your partner) feel unsexy. For this problem I have a solution, and it is to be found in my bedside cabinet.
A well-stocked cabinet of wonders
A word or two about the consummate lover’s bedside drawer. It should be well-stocked at all times. It is up to you to cater for your own tastes, but I recommend a book of Shakespeare Sonnets (at least one of which should be memorised if you have any serious amorous ambitions).
These poems, spoken well, are basically female Viagra. No plastic sex toys should be welcome in the bedroom. They are for beginners. Why would you take a short cut through the beautiful, rolling landscape of sex? Surely the longer everything takes, the more enjoyable?
I always keep condoms, naturally, a pot of honey with a spoon, and an eye mask. Somewhere in there should also be a thick felt pen, preferably indelible. I enjoy taking a woman out to a fine restaurant after making love, knowing that underneath her beautiful dress there is written all over her divine body the words PROPERTY OF BEAU DE JOUR, or PASSED, or more prosaically THE GREATEST F*** IN THE WORLD. Try it: you’ll find it makes dinner all the more delectable.
If I ever feel uncomfortable about my body, I will deploy the blindfold and place it over my lover’s eyes. If I am still concerned with my appearance for any reason, and find that this corrosive thought makes its way to my penis, I put a second blindfold on myself (though last time I ended up stroking my silk headboard thinking how soft my lover’s skin felt).
I think you will by now have understood the general theme of my treatise: real men make love with their minds, not their body. As the late, great Barry White knew only too well.