Missing the boat

For the last week I’ve had a memory recurring that I had not thought of for years. It was many years ago – the nineties – and I don’t know what triggered the memory now, except perhaps the possibility of getting ‘involved’ again. It relates to a relationship indecision entirely typical of me.

This was around 1996 if memories serves me right. It was a funny time for me. Looking back on it I can see how I steadily progressed in my career. I went from basic roles to more complex and responsible roles, all by contracting. I was good at what I did and impressed the people I worked for and consequently got offered better and better roles. That’s looking back. At the time it didn’t feel nearly as smooth. While I was confident of the direction my career was progressing in, and possessed a buoyant confidence in myself, the good jobs were interleaved occasionally with whatever I could get.

Such was the case in this story. In the month or two before I had worked as a courier, zipping around town, and occasionally into the bush, delivering parcels. It was not a job I enjoyed much. It didn’t pay well to start with, and god knows I wasn’t meant to be a courier driver. That’s what I reckoned anyway. Fortunately I had people in the recruiting industry looking out for me, as well as keeping a keen eye on things myself. That’s how I ended my courier career by joining a place called Vic Super.

It was basically a glorified clerical role, but a step up from driving my beat up Magna around. I worked in Spring street with people who had been there for years, pleasant and competent and generally quite happily unambitious. It was not a bad place to work, but in my eyes no more than a way-station – which proved to be correct. I had bigger plans in mind, and stood out by having an edgier attitude.

I look back upon that stint as being a fun, social time. There were a bunch around my age who spent every Friday out drinking, more often than not at the Imperial. I made a number of friends in that time and had many sodden Friday nights.

I was there when a woman started work in another section to me. My memory is sketchy on these things, but I think her name was Justine. She was intelligent and interesting and had an air of refinement that made her stand out. She was quite attractive, and had, I remember, exceptional breasts. It seemed natural that within a week or two we gravitated to each other. We were counter-parts if you like, and I think that was the generally accepted view around the office. We were a match, the golden couple in waiting so to speak.

It didn’t work out that way, and it was all my fault. It’s always my fault.

She joined us on our Friday night jaunts and throughout most of that we were a pair. An unofficial pair. I bought her drinks, she bought me mine, we spoke in the same group rarely far apart, and left together. It never became more than that because of the very standard reason that I found myself unable to commit myself to that outcome. I remember thinking she was there, I only had to say the word. Maybe that’s over-stating it, but it felt that close, that fucking ripe. I didn’t say the word though, not until too late.

This has been a problem for me throughout my life. It’s a problem for a lot of men. As soon as you say yes to one you have to say no to the rest. So you leave it as long as you possibly can, just in case. The irony in this case is that I wasn’t interested in anyone else – but I suspect there must have been some uncertainty in me not to take the plunge sooner.

In the middle of all this a young girl started in my area. She was just turned 18, a very pretty girl of Serbian or Croatian descent. She was quiet at first, but then warmed up, thrilled to be out in the world and mixing with these interesting adults. Of all the interesting adults, I was foremost. Very quickly she seemed to develop a crush on me. She engaged with me at every opportunity in the office, and when we went out stayed close by. I have a history of flirting with women oblivious of what it might mean, but I don’t think that was the case this time. I was genuinely fond her. Something about her, her unaffected innocence perhaps, touched me. In those days I was generally both funny and fun. Life was a fantastic game. I was often playful too, as I was with her when she first began. I remember how we got into a ritual of poking our tongues out at each other. What was for me a bit of thoughtless fun developed into something more for her. She was lovely and sweet, but very immature, and she went on and on long after the novelty had passed.

She was just a girl, that’s how I saw her, but I’m guessing she saw herself as becoming a woman. I couldn’t see her like that, in fact couldn’t see her as she wanted me to see her. Even so, I didn’t want to hurt her. I tried to cool things down, tried to dissuade her, pointing out how much older than her I was, and what about the nice boy over there? Invariably she turned her nose up at the nice boy over there and turned back to me, her gaze steady, teasing me again as more words were no more than jest.

It was only natural that she joined us on our Friday night drinks, and the two of us, Justine and me, became three. One night I remember when everyone had left a bar in Little Lonsdale and there was just the three of us remaining – Justine, my Serbian girlfriend, and me.

It made things more difficult. It’s easy to say that she cramped my style, but that only really counts if I intended to do something with Justine. In a way she became my excuse. When finally I decided to act, many weeks later, I’d left it too long. It was not that Justine had found someone else, and when I spoke to her she did not turn me down – but nor did she say yes. She indicated that it was something she wanted to think about, but never got back to me. That was my answer. I think, quite rightly, she had grown weary waiting for me to formalise our relationship, and subtly slighted in the delay. Fair enough too.

Nothing eventuated. I remember her sister, who I had become friendly with, telling me I’d left my run too late. You’ve missed your chance buddy. If you ask why I’m still single there’s a prime example of it. I imagine that Justine today is an accomplished and elegant woman. We had much in common, outlook, lifestyle, politics, culture, and perhaps even attitude – I was the cocksure but easy-going comer against her measured and elegant reserve. It could have been something, but never was.

Instructive, in many ways, but not really a sliding doors moment. It might have been different, but only in hindsight – how it worked out was emblematic of the man I was then. That was that. As history shows, my career continued its upward arc, until, for a time, it was just about vertical – before nose-diving. There’s another instructive story, as there is with the various companions I found along the way. If I paid attention there’s much I could have been instructed by, but the pity of it is that it’s always after the fact.


Two women

I went out with the spy a couple of weeks ago, something I only mentioned in passing. It was an okay night. We met at the Gin Palace, which is a favourite first date venue for me. Reckon I must have taken 20-30 women there for a first date, and one week I can recall turned up there three times and met three different women. I don’t know what the staff thought of that.

Afterwards we went to a Burmese restaurant for dinner, where they managed to muck up our order.

I came away from the night thinking she got more out of it than I did. I went in sceptical, and there were a couple of conversations on the night I thought quite naive for such an intelligent and well credentialed woman. I won’t repeat them here, but they were in relation to her home country. I was left disquieted, and a little disappointed by that. It was a fine night, and she seemed to get me, but I left knowing it was not to be.

In truth I sort of knew that before then. People get caught up in the idea of a new relationship. They get caught up in the idea of a new person. She was always very keen, but I had the impression it was the idea that was seducing her, and not the reality. It’s not uncommon, particularly in people coming out of a long relationship. Everything is different, everything is fresh and exciting.

I twigged to it pretty simply. She was interested in my background, my past, but showed absolutely no interest in what I was doing. For example, I told her I was writing a book and she asked me not a single question about that. She didn’t ask me what it was about, or even what sort of book it was. Genuine interest in the person demands you must know everything about them, and writing is a fertile and – I’d have thought – interesting area to explore. Not one word, and there were other examples just like that.

Didn’t trouble me, and doesn’t trouble – I never got that interested. We’re still in touch and will catch up again, and likely screw etc, but can’t see much more developing out of it than that.

Tomorrow night I’m meant to be catching up with another woman I met first about 4 years ago at a networking event. She’s an attractive, intelligent, and sophisticated woman of Indian descent. She’s a lot of fun too. We catch every now and then for lunch or a drink after work. We’re more than just occasional acquaintances – there’s some frisson there – but it’s never really developed much past that.

What I find interesting is that with her I’m a different man to, say, the man I am with the spy. A lot of that is dictated by the person you’re with. Different elements come to the surface drawn out by their personality and inclinations, and other elements will fade. I met her first when I was networking which means she encountered the more extroverted H, to which was added a layer of cheeky wit once we got talking.

That’s the man I remain to her today, the man she expects and likes. I like it too. I like women who draw out my wit. I’m a bigger personality with her, urbane and easy-going, always well dressed and ready to share a laugh.

You always know the person right for you by the you they bring out. That’s a truism.

My love don’t like crap music

About 15 years ago – a time almost inconceivable – I cottoned onto a song that for a fair while epitomised everything I hoped for when it came to love. This is not something you would talk about, either then or now, though it’s okay to post anonymous commentary on it. The song was I Need Love, by Luka Bloom. For a while I thought it was a great song, and though I haven’t heard it for a while reckon it’s still pretty cool. I listened to it all the time back then, as you do when you riff on a song and a feeling. Yeah, I thought, that’s what I need to, and that’s how I need it.

About that time I was falling in love, and so the song had a particular resonance for me. I listened to the words relating them back to what I felt, and looking at her. Ultimately I ended up including it on a mix tape that I left under her pillow as I took my leave.*

I make mention of this now because of the dream I had the other day, and wondering what song it was I dreamt of. It wasn’t this, but it approximates the sentiment. The other reason is that a woman sent me a song the other night, have a listen to this before you go to bed, she said.

I actually listened to it the next day as I was going into the shop. It was a bit of a nothing song, though clearly it meant something to her. It got me wondering about the nature of these things. What happens when someone you like recommends a dud song to you? Worse still, that person you’re getting all squishy about as you start falling in love makes you a mix tape full of just rubbish music. You can imagine that sinking feeling as you listen to a mindless combo of bubblegum pop and inane dance music. Is it enough to kill off fledgling love? I suspect it is.

That’s how I’m feeling. Attractive as she is, I deeply bored by this woman who sends all sorts of things all the time. I’m too well-mannered to tell her – there’s nothing worse than being told you’re boring. That’s what I am, bored by her conversation and befuddled by the variety of links and music she sends me, none of which is particularly profound. Truth is, boredom kills desire. She could do the dance of the seven veils before me and I doubt I’d feel a thing.

That’s something that should end, which is ironic because I effectively ended it the other day with someone I have a much closer rapport with.

I like her. Fun, smart, confident lady. She likes me. We’re just in different places, and I felt I had to tell her. Sure, we can do all the things she was so eagerly teasing me with, but the fact is you’re not what I’m after, and I don’t think that’s something I can compromise on yet. That’s pretty well what I said. It seems hard-line, but you can’t go leading people on believing something that isn’t the case. I’d love to have red-hot sex with her, and may still, but the bottom line is that I want kids still, and she’s got all she wants.


* Do people still do mix tapes? It’s a bit different now that tapes – cassettes – have virtually ceased to exist. And I tend to think it’s a bit of a generational thing. Plus the crap music these days doesn’t encourage it either.

What she said about me…

I FOUND you because you are a tall atheist who doesn’t smoke. That’s a good start …

And I like you because you write beautifully – you are either well educated or smart or both …

You seem to have a passionate enthusiasm – I love that.

You seem to be wanting something special that requires you to be really aware of your own place in the world and what you need. That’s a vulnerable thing to admit, but I is somehow appealing to me. I think because I relate to it myself.

You are funny and open.

Mostly I like that you are curious. Curiosity is my favourite thing in anyone.

The fact that you also happen to be a little bit gorgeous is totally irrelevant (ok that isn’t all together true – the relevance bit I mean).

I’m not in love

It seems timely to report in on my recent dating escapades, albeit with the usual caveats, that (a) much as I’d like to I’m not in position to get serious with anyone, and (b)…actually, what was b?

It’s timely not only because I’ve passed comment about the appropriateness of having sex with women older than 42, but because I actually got a dating request yesterday from a woman about 44 – and very fuckable she is too.

Regular readers might recall how a month or so ago I met a woman at a party. She piqued my interest in a number of pleasant ways. I got in touch with her after and we corresponded a bit flirtatiously before she took herself off to Nepal, where she was running some kind of art workshop.

She got back about 10 days ago and I asked myself at the time, do I contact her again, or not? I hadn’t really got around to making up my mind when yesterday afternoon my phone pinged and it was her, following me up on a previous notion of catching up. As it happened she was more than happy to meet last night – which unfortunately I wasn’t able to do. All the same we spent several hours sending fond little texts to each other.

Regardless of what Esquire writers think she is one very sexy lady. I think the vernacular is ‘hot’. She’s an attractive woman with a great body. She also happens to be an interesting, intelligent woman, with a perspective just a bit different from most people. I like that.

I know it’s not the sort of thing I should make reference to on a family friendly blog like this, but I remember on the night as I talked to her I had a recurring desire to take her to her home in Brunswick and indulge in a delicious bout of oral sex with her. She had, I imagined – vividly – a very pretty quim.

Now we were flirting again and some of the same feelings returned to me. I like her. She’s actually someone I think I could like a lot. And I suspect I’m that person for her. It’s just that when I contemplated her before she didn’t fit into the desired demographic. Sure I want someone younger, but mostly because I want to have the children this lady already has.

Next week I see her, and I suspect sex is a strong option.

My social life is pretty dim these days, and my dating activities pretty sporadic, and mostly to the point.

Beside the unsolicited contacts there have been a few other interesting women about.

One was an Irish masseuse of about 30 with truly excellent breasts, and the Irish attitude to match.

I also got friendly with a waitress. I have a long history with waitresses and barmaids, and in more recent years, sassy baristas. Generally lots of fun the lot of them, and possessing an independent mind, which is pretty sexy.

This waitress is of the more alternative ilk, mid-thirties, petite of frame, long hair that has been shaved on one side of her head – it looks better than it describes. She had a way of walking I liked, and big, blue expressive eyes and as I noticed her she noticed me noticing her and liked it and got friendly.

She’s a woman I felt torn by. We talked about music, we both like books, she was someone maybe I’d do more with, but I held back. I can’t do anything, I thought. Not now, not yet, yet I did want to do something, if only to hold her pale breast in my hand – but likely more. She’s still in abeyance. Perhaps if I get the shop sold next week…

For what it’s worth, I’m still very popular online, and in the last few weeks have been able to happily ease some of the built up tension a couple of times.

I don’t know. This is what I need to figure out. I’m not the good catch I used to be, but in some ways I’m in my prime, I look good these days, and have an attitude that comes naturally now which the girls find alluring. I like to play, I like to flirt, I like the titillation of the chase, but I also want to fall in love and stay there. It’s what I need to.

95 and counting

Near the end of a long and quiet day yesterday a woman walked in the front door of the shop. She was the woman I’d met about a month ago for drinks and so on. We’d kept in contact since, though the conversation in most part was regarding my continuing unavailability. Stuck in the shop as I am she took things into her own hands. The mountain came to Mohammed.

I was not unhappy to see her, though I was tired, and expecting any minute another bunch of people to walk in and inspect the shop. I cracked a bottle of wine regardless and we sat talking drinking that.

Later, as we went through the dregs of the bottle and after I had seen off the latest potential buyers she cornered me in the shadows of the hallway. She looked into my eyes with intent, her mouth curling into a sassy line as she probed me with personal questions, before pressing her substantial bust against me and went seeking my lips.

I’m a big man, but I felt at a disadvantage with the wall pressed hard against my backbone. I responded from courtesy, caught somewhat by surprise and still some way from processing this latest development. Then at the crucial moment she managed to knock over a tray of stuff, and the spell was broken.

We took a deep breath. I felt a little discombobulated, unusual for me (what a great word btw). When we’d met I’d liked her in that general way. She was smart, had a bit of lip to her, and was sexy in some indefinable way. And she liked me, which helps plenty. I was never going to get serious with her – hey, who am I going to get serious with? – but I thought I’d see her again, and go further.

The going further was definitely on the agenda last night, but I felt a little off-balance not having read that particular memo. I don’t know why that should matter. I’m always happy to act independently of the rules, and of course am willing to oblige as gentlemen do. So then, why did it feel so wrong?

In the first place I was surprised she had taken the initiative, and was pursuing it so vigorously. I’m all in favour of that as a general rule, but at the same time am more used to being the initiator. I think it’s true of men in general, and me particularly, that we like to be in control. It takes some quick adjusting when that’s not the case. It’s worth noting I was good to go pretty swiftly.

More significant was something she had let slip just before grappling with me. She’d made a reference to us being ‘involved’. Now involved can mean anything. I’m involved with my mates, and there’s nothing romantic going on between us. Then again it might indicate that she saw something more serious with me. That’s normal I guess, but not for me, not after one date, not after a dozen really except on the rarest of occasions.

I’m hard to get, always and traditionally. That’s exacerbated by my present circumstances. I’d love to get involved with someone in a big way, but really need to get through this crap first. I’ve taken a step back from something I’m already a little behind the line on, but, as they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I’m happy to play, and happy to engage on that understanding. To find myself potentially the object of someone’s domestic desires caused a bit of a head wobble. No, no, no…I could hear myself thinking. Danger Will Robinson. Disengage.

It passed. I like her, but not, as the saying goes, in that way.

I accept I’m a slippery customer, but what am I to do? Live as a monk? Or simply commit? Well, I’ll commit when the time is right, and when the person is to. Given I reckon they’re about 1 in a hundred I’ve got to get through the other 99 first.

Leave them wanting more

My two nephews are 17 and 14 years old. The older one is a lovely kid, but very much a nerd. He loves movies and will for hours talk at length about the most minute detail. Growing up he was like that talking about planes, another passion – he wants to be a pilot, or feats of engineering. He has a mind for arcane detail, and I think has a good, though narrowly focussed mind. Like so many of his ilk his social skills are not so advanced. He’s no klutz, but nor is he smooth. From what I gather he has no interest in girls at present, but of course appearances can be very deceptive in that regard. I can’t imagine him being anything other tan awkward with them, and I don’t know if he’ll ever be easy with them.

It’s different for his brother. R is a good-looking kid, and, unlike his older brother, very much aware of appearances. He gets his hair coloured and has a keen interest in fashion. He’s more of a trouble-maker too. I’m not sure how much you credit to his age, but he’s not above telling the odd lie, and is unafraid of defying his mother (who asks for it). He’s a sensitive kid, and fragile in ways his mother is incapable of understanding. He’s a bit cheeky, very loyal I think when it’s earned, and likes the girls big time.

I look at them from my present perspective and I feel a mix of amusement, curiosity, and an urge to help them out. I’m very fond of them. At times I remember when I was their age. It’s hard to get a bead on that all these years later, though I have vivid recollections of what it was like to be a teenager growing up and learning about the world. From this viewpoint it seems golden. So much is happening, so much is new, so much is just magical.

I suspect I had a bit of both my nephews in me. There was a bit of nerd in me – or dag as was the parlance then, but it was pretty well hidden. My thing was military history, and if I had a special subject it was the military hardware of WW2 (particularly tanks, and German tanks). That was not uncommon back then, though I’m guessing it’s extremely uncommon now. My saving grace is that I was not one of those kids who went about talking about this stuff ad nauseam. I was happy to enjoy it privately, sharing it only occasionally with the odd fellow enthusiast I might bump into.*

I liked girls a lot. I was precocious in that way. I liked them from about grade 6 on, when I had my first serious lustful crush for a girl called Christine Okarli. It never let up from there, and boy did I enjoy it. I was cute rather than handsome (my mother always said I’d be at the William Holden level of good-looking). For the first half of my high school years I was undersized, before I shot up. I was shy in ways, but also popular with the girls without ever being the idol (though I did have my moments – stories for another day). I’ve always done well, even when, like my elder nephew, I was a tall, gangly, pale-skinned, pimply teenager. It’s an uncool look, but if there any lessons in life then surely a key lesson is that coolness transcends appearance. As I wrote the other week, attitude is everything.

I started writing this thinking of the advice I might offer my nephews in matters of romance, or seduction. I was prompted thinking of recent developments in my life in that area. I have the benefit of wisdom and experience now. What I know I’ve learned along the way. There are a lot of things, but if it were one thing I would impart it would be to ‘leave them wanting more’.

I’ve watched many a bloke overplay his hand. I’ve done it myself. Far better to leave a positive impression and go before it begins to sour. Less is more. Tease, give them a taste, be light, but interesting. Don’t take it as an opportunity to show-off. Let them do most of the talking. Encourage them with a smile, and with your genuine interest. When you speak use your wits. Say just enough for them to wonder what you haven’t said. Then, with another smile, leave it at that.

Done well it is intriguing to the girl in question, and often exciting to contemplate. She will use her imagination to fill the gaps you’ve left blank. It’s a pleasure for her because it remains pure because it remains in the abstract. The mind is a powerful thing, and there’s nothing more seductive than a healthy imagination. By the time you come around again they’ll be yearning to be with you again. And you may well feel the same thing.

Sealing the deal, well, that’s another lesson.


* There’s a conversation I still remember with a truly geeky enthusiast (Paul Lambert?) who asked for me to draw a Spitfire for me. I did so, but with a critical error that he pointed out gleefully as if to prove his superior geekiness. Everyone knows the Spitfire had a domed cupola – to my great dismay I had neglected to draw it like that. My cupola was flat, like that of a Hurricane!

The allure of attitude

Good looks, charm, etc, all count for something when it comes to seduction, but attitude, above all I think, is what seals the deal.

I should make it clear that I’m not talking about romantic love, though I’m sure attitude is a decent factor in that. And I’m speaking as a male seeking to impress females. It’s my attitude I’m talking about, not hers. Sure, attitude counts for blokes too, but not nearly as much as it does for women. Without wanting to get crude about it men are pretty easy, and, when it comes to sex, a good set of tits will trump attitude most days of the week.

So I am talking about sex, and sexual attraction. There’s not much poetry in this, but plenty of raw compulsion.

I’m prompted into thinking this and writing about it after my date on Tuesday night. I ventured into a cold CBD after dark where I encountered the strange mix of breeds that come out at night: buskers only a mother could appreciate; odd men mumbling about their penis; Asian students moving en masse; and fat girls in short skirts with garish tattoos and sporting big goosebumps. Into this melting pot I strode to catch up with an alluring woman.

She was alluring, and perhaps that very fact belies my statement about attitude being less important for men. Sure, when push comes to shove the attitude is mainly irrelevant, but walking through the chilly streets of the city I felt a state of arousal almost entirely based on her sassy conversation. She was happy to give as good as she got; to use, and be used.

It was like that as we sat across from her at Von Haus, having discovered that the Berlin Bar was inexplicably closed (they claim not to open Tuesdays in Winter, but this is Autumn still). She was already on her second glass of Riesling while I was still on my first glass on Sangiovese. She peered at me with warm, playful eyes, and impish, expectant grin on her face. She was smart, and knew it. She could talk too, and the conversation flowed.

I was in attitude. I’ve been in attitude for weeks now. It’s not something I need work at, it just happens. I sat there feeling the master of my destiny, speaking when I needed to, looking at her directly, my words as direct as my gaze or otherwise curling languidly from my lips like smoke caught in the light.

I looked at her thinking that once upon a time she must have been something. She still retained something, and most of it was in her eyes and how she held her body. It invited provocative conversation, which is what I had to offer. We spoke of a lot of things, from Melbourne bars to Mad Men. There was the usual autobiographical stuff, but beneath it all there was an undercurrent.

I had gone there thinking there was some chance of ending up in her bed, and I had no qualms in showing it. She liked that. Most do, even when they don’t. It was simple to. She was happy to sit there contemplating the possibility and sliding it into our conversation. I was happy to look across at her wondering how it would be when I slipped her knickers off.

It didn’t end like that, not this time. She laughed at the prospect, pleased to be desired and intending to let it happen. It was fun, she said, trailing a hand after me. I looked at her once more with that thought in mind, and we parted.

Sometimes it just so simple; the rest of the time, just impossible.


The morning after

This is from Californication, one of Hank Moody’s characteristic soliloquies:

It’s my purgatory, really, inner drinks, whatever. I’m never really all that interested, but I find myself telling her how beautiful she is anyway. ‘Cause it’s true, all women are, in one way or another. You know, there’s always something about every damn one of you, it’s a smile, a curve, a secret. You ladies really are the most amazing creatures, my life’s work. But then there’s the morning after, a hangover, and the realization that I’m not quite as available as I thought I was the night before. And then she’s gone, and I’m haunted by yet another road not taken.

This pretty well accords with my feelings and my story, more often than not. Just thought I’d put it on record.



Closing the circuit

I met a woman the other day. I felt immediately attracted to her in that visceral, sexual way. There was no obvious reason to explain it. I felt it within a moment of meeting her, before I knew anything of her. She was not unattractive, but nor was she particularly attractive – perhaps a tad more than what is deemed average. She had a good smile on her and a forthright manner, and perhaps this was a reason why I thought later.

Whatever I felt she seemed to feel too. If she was forthright, if she smiled, then perhaps it was in response to me. We stood there talking about other things sensing this without saying a word about it. Later she passed by and turning gave me a fond smile as if were old acquaintance. In the days after she called, ostensibly on matters of business, but there something more personal in our manner as we spoke, and, it seemed, a lingering reluctance to end the conversation.

When I saw her next I felt coy. Like lots of men I’m occasionally distrustful of my feelings. I’m wary of exposing myself too much. She commented on that. Given our superficial relationship it was never a comment you would expect – but it seemed perfectly reasonable. I made an excuse, smiled, then opened up. We talked some more and she related to me an intimacy that only added flavour to our connection. I wanted to fuck her, as I had from the moment I set eyes on her, as I have imagined in detail ever since. I think she wants to be fucked.

After she parted that second time I thought I understood how this connection was made – and how these spontaneous moments of attraction occur. I’m a man who likes women. I think she’s a woman who likes men. When those people encounter each other there is an immediate and unconscious understanding. We identify each other as like beings, which opens doors to those deeper and more sensual parts of ourself. In that process there is a fusing of desire. Something fizzes between you on contact.

People walk around, fully 90% of them, happy with what they’ve got. Most people, I think, admit to a higher sex drive than average. Like most claims of this ilk it’s nonsense, as it must be – most people can’t be above average. In any case, how is one to judge against others?

Ironically I’m one of those who claim the very same, but in my case at least have the history to justify it. In actual fact though I don’t know that sexual desire can really and properly measured by how many sex partners and frequency of sex. I’d like to think there is something more mystical about it. It’s a state of being.

I think that’s what S and I felt at the very same moment – an interest, an open-ness, a disdain for boundaries, freedom of expression. That’s a lot in a moment, particularly when none of it is explicit. It’s a kind of permission to give expression to those things we keep out of public view. Among other things it’s that sense of liberation that infuses you.

It’s very rare. It sits in you dormant. None of it comes to life with the 90% of contented fish. It’s not ever more than a casual consideration, and only when you find someone you respond to in the conventional physical way – get a load of her!

It’s only with that other 10% – if it is that many – that the magic occurs. Out of sight, out of mind, the well-greased doors slide open seemingly of their own accord. It’s not in your head but in your belly, and parts south for reasons you can’t understand at first. With those few the circuit is closed, and the electricity flows through your body.