I suppose one should celebrate this Valentine’s season with a paean to true love, but really, just think what it has been reduced to: a shiny, helium balloon shaped like a heart, half-a-dozen bedraggled roses and a pair of edible knickers made entirely of additives and sprinkled with pubic hair. It’s not my idea of romance.
But perhaps I am finally becoming old fashioned in my afternoon years. I’m certainly feeling as though I might be out of the sexual loop.
Call me a body fascist, call me a hypocritical old lecher, but I like to surround myself with beauty, style and sophistication
It’s all this talk about swinging that’s done it. Evidently, we’re all supposed to be at it.
Just the other day, for example, while I was thrusting my hot, stiff weapon into a cocoon of soft, moist, utterly female warmth – or to put it another way, dunking my toast soldier into a perfectly boiled egg – my eye was caught by a newspaper story about a chap called David Kay. He has converted his five-bedroom house in the village of Calmore, Hampshire, into something called the JCT2 club. It contains: “Two dungeons featuring spanking benches, torture chairs, examination tables and suspension equipment. The back garden has been filled with a hot tub, stocks and a giant ‘crucifixion’ cross for use in sex games.”
Well, it beats the standard trampoline on the lawn, I suppose. And never let it be said that I am shocked by the various accoutrements through which people seek pleasure or pain. It’s the people themselves that bother me.
Call me a snob, call me a body fascist, call me an appallingly hypocritical old lecher, but I like to surround myself with beauty, style and sophistication. And my strong suspicion is that, with a very few exceptions (I think of one particular establishment in Paris where the women are worthy of the catwalks or the Crazy Horse) the majority of swingers would fail to meet my demanding standards.
My idea of a swingtastic soirée would involve William and Kate, Brad and Angelina, George Clooney and that Amazonian ex-wrestler he’s currently squiring, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, Tom Brady and Gisele… but that’s not what you get.
On the contrary, the people who actually come knocking on the door are, well, the Krankies. The husband and wife team of Scottish ‘comedians’, otherwise known as Ian and Janette Tough, recently admitted having spent the Eighties in an orgy of alcohol fuelled, tour-bus-trashing, Paul Daniels-punching sexual swingery. They had an ‘anywhere, any time’ policy towards sex, both with each other and any of the multiple partners they each took, quite openly, with the other’s full knowledge and approval.
Now, if that’s how they roll, I for one will not object. Every couple has to work out its own modus operandi. I once knew a nice, well-educated English girl who went to France, became an extremely successful porn star and married her film producer. She woke up every morning knowing that she was about to be penetrated by one or more men, selected by her husband, while he supervised the filming of the event and then sold the resulting footage.
As far as I could tell, as we drove along the seafront at Cannes in hubby’s Rolls Royce Corniche, they were both extremely happy with the arrangement.
But, honestly… the Krankies? I have in front of me a picture of the Toughs in their professional and sexual heyday. Ian has curly, permed hair, a chubby face and a soft, flabby body. In his pastel leisurewear he looks like a sky-blue sausage skin filled with blancmange. Jeanette, of course, is dressed, as was her wont, as a wee schoolboy. It simply boggles the mind to think that anyone could have been so desperate or undiscriminating as to be aroused in their presence.
But the truth is, most people look more like the Krankies than the Beckhams. And that means most swingers’ nights bear a closer resemblance to the staff of a provincial insurance company squeezing themselves into black rubber, leather and studs than to the Victoria’s Secret girls gone wild.
I was reading the other day about the new Weimar-style decadence of Berlin. This apparently involves a slew of swinging sex-clubs at which women bend over in front of the bar, being pleasured at both ends, while men are beaten into submission near the dancefloor. For a few paragraphs I was intrigued by the prospect of a 21st century reimagining of the whole compellingly sordid world of Isherwood and Cabaret, Brecht and Brownshirts.
Then the writer mentioned the thumping techno music everywhere (enough to induce a bit of a headache, just thinking about it) and I saw a photograph of the scene she was describing. Right in the middle of the shot was a man of Our Age, who had evidently not worked hard to maintain his physical condition. His legs were spindly, his belly rotund and a few sweaty straggles of silver hair flopped around his scalp, just above his old-scrote spectacles. He was wearing a string vest and a black leather posing pouch.
Frankly, if that’s what the other guests are going to be like, I’d rather swing alone.