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Monthly Archives: March 2011
Whenever I meet a girl and we hit it off, it’s usually not long before I am placed in the “just good friends” category. We’ll sit at lunch having immensely enjoyable conversation and it won’t be long before the girl will bemoan her singledom and how she just can’t find a good man. I sit there wondering, “well what’s so wrong about me?”. To use the old Joan Rivers line, “What am I? Chopped Liver?”
Sometimes I’ll raise the subject saying that I too am available and how we could give it a go, after all we already get on like a house on fire. The answer always comes back, “I don’t see you in that way”. Time and time again it happens. I just can’t start talking to a girl without being shunted into the no-sex box, as though I’m an honorary eunuch. The ‘safe’ person they can be with and never feel that my perfectly-functional man-bits could come into play. Maybe they think of me like Barbie’s Ken. Just an accessory with nothing under the underwear. But we ‘love’ each other in that friendship way. No-one could come between us, right? They then go off with a complete bastard who doesn’t give a damn about them. C’est la vie.
But can friends have sex without emotional ties? I once house-shared with a couple of girls and one of them told me I could be her ‘tap’. We would sneakily have night-time assignations without the knowledge of the other girl (they were bosom pals). It was purely a physical thing, I was just there for when there was no guy in her life.
I have on occasion been with a friend on a drunken night out where one thing has led to another. The same thing happens: the sex is great, we both enjoyed it and… the next morning, the cold light of day (literally) seems to render the physical act an abhorrence (to her). There’s the avoided gaze, the retreat to several feet away. It’s clear guilt/shame. How could they have done something so wrong? With him? Urgh, what were they thinking? The great sex has been negated. It never happened, ok? A good thing has become a deep dark nasty secret.
I have a friend who is very sexually motivated. I’ve known her for years and we have had no-strings sex. It worked out well. Due to large distance it hasn’t been repeated, but she is unscarred by it. We still talk regularly, nothing has changed. Could it be that emotional maturity is the key? If we can accept it just as a bit of pleasure and enjoyment, would that make it ok? Who doesn’t enjoy an orgasm? You know how good it feels.
How often have you heard a married perso say their spouse is “my best friend”? Let’s blur the boundaries a bit and get rid of some of our self-imposed restrictions.
I’m open to discussion on this. Please leave comments (the lengthier the better).
I’m beginning to feel like a prude.
I think I should state that I grew up on a council estate. “We were poor but we were happy”. If you had pudding with your tea (dinner for you middle-class people) some nights then that was considered a luxury. There was a neighbour just down the road who had a car with no wheels up on those little ramp things under each axle. Stray dogs and yellow dog poo. Yes, yellow. Front lawns that looked as though they hadn’t ever been watered. Playing football using the trees as goalposts. Get the picture?
Yes, we were poor, some of our friends had rough families and we’d often tease each other with references to fleas. We were crude, we were not couth. If we were round someone else’s house we’d say Please and Thank You to their parents. Think Kevin and Perry. “yes, Mrs Patterson.” We had manners.
But what none of us dared ever do was swear in front of our parents. Such swearing we did was sporadic and infrequent. And what we very very very rarely said was the C-word. It was just one of those unspoken taboos. We knew it was very bad, we knew there was no need for it. The F-word was fine, who needed a nuclear option?
Nowadays things are very different. You can’t go a day on Twitter or Youtube without hearing it. It’s on all TV channels after the watershed, everyone on the internet seems to be OK with it. I’ve heard people on the street who pepper just about every f**king sentence with a f**king expletive as though it’s f**king impossible not to f**king swear at all. People with pushchairs are happy to say this stuff in front of their children.
When did this become ok? Why is this acceptable behaviour? It seems as though everyone on Twitter thinks it’s fine to use the C-word and F-word at every possibility. Calling someone a c*** has become the norm. I once said to someone that he was going to get a name as “The man who always calls people a c**t”. He later called me a c**t. But then he calls everyone a c**t. It’s his thing and his friends think it’s so funny.
As standards continue to slip it’s undeniable that this country has become much more violent, much less polite. You may think it’s just words, but I believe it does affect people’s behaviour. I always avoid people’s gaze in public as I fear that people are an inch away from “YOU LOOKING AT ME?”. I feel guilty if I look at a passer-by in case they may feel I’m challenging them. It used to be ok to keep from having downcast eyes when walking.
I was brought up to be polite, to not get in peoples’ way, to hold doors open.
But you can’t walk ten paces these days without having to swerve to avoid people who are not looking where they’re going. I can’t walk around a supermarket without people standing in the way of things, standing right in the centre of aisles or even worse right at an intersection of aisles. These people don’t care that others need to shop. They don’t care that other people can’t get past them. If you try to squeeze past you get glared at as if it’s somehow your fault and you should take a massive detour around another lengthy aisle.
I’m still old-fashioned enough to stand to the side and minimise the area I take up. As a fairly monumental chap I keep meaning to stand my ground when someone deliberately walks straight at me. They mean me to move out of their way because… well, just because. “Let ’em bounce off me then,” i say to myself. But I always move aside. I can’t help it, I’m too polite. Sometimes I get (silently) angry at the bad behaviour of others and glower at someone who’s just done something unspeakably rude. They may occasionally say afterwards, insincerely “Sorry” as though that makes it ok. Under my breath I say “No you’re not or you wouldn’t have done that in the first place”. Loud enough for me to hear, loud enough for them to hear that i’m muttering something. But I’m still too polite to call them out on it. Besides, if I did, I’d just get a mouthful of abuse. I would then become the one in the wrong.
Since when did everyone have to be so selfish? I know in London I have to adjust my behaviour because that’s just how London is. There you have to be pushy and strident to get anywhere. But outside London I expect better. And I seem to be alone in that.
Today a new hashtag on Twitter: #twitrelief
If you look at the hashtag for this new Charity fundraiser from Comic Relief you’ll be surprised that there’s such animosity being raised. There are four basic views:
- This is for charity, I love these celebrities and you must too.
- This is a tacky idea and I’m expressing my opinion on it
- What is Twitrelief? I can’t be bothered to find out for myself, you do it for me, ok?
- I’m going to do a very poor joke about Celebrities giving me sexual relief. *Snorts with laughter at own joke*
The idea behind it is this: You bid on eBay for the celebrity you like and if you win they will follow you back on Twitter for 90 days. Some of the celebrities have sweetened the deal by adding extras, but this does not seem to be happening across the board.
So what’s really happening now is a war of words between those who support the idea unwaveringly and those who hate everything it stands for.
In the Pro camp the most repeated sentiment is: it’s for charity, just Shut The F*** Up. If you disagree then just keep your mouth shut.
This for me is problematical. I don’t believe that anything is fine in the name of Charity. To me this is a bad idea which although made with “the best intentions” doesn’t actually do as much as if the Celebrity just said “Hello, please Donate to Comic Relief”. It’s placing the ‘Celebrities’ (and some of them you would raise an eyebrow at) on a plinth creating, as some have said, a cultural apartheid.
You don’t have to stretch your imagination to see these famous people putting a barrier between Slebs and Plebs. There’s very much a “worship us, we’re better than you” ethos here, where they have realised capital can be made by making people pledge to them. We are superior to you because we have careers where we can be on television for up to 8 years. Give money and we just might talk to you! If you’re of a biblical wont, you may see this as making an offering to the gods. Thou shalt not worship craven idols.
But this is a limited 90-day offer. There’s no way of knowing if the celebrity will even read your tweets. You can be sure in the first week of winning that they’ll retweet a token amount just to prove that they are actively reading you. And then again in the last week too, just to show willing. The rest of the time they may not read you at all. They may even use filters so they don’t have to read what you say.
People follow celebrities just for a touch of glamour. Ordinary lives don’t involve going to parties with telly people, exchanging texts with other celebrities. The humdrum normality doesn’t involve, for us, late-night poker sessions and copious amounts of cocaine before trolling off to the Ivy to spend large amounts of money we ‘earned’ doing voiceovers on 30-second TV ads. We don’t all hang about backstage with the latest media-hyped band.
It’s just a dream we have. Maybe we could live that life too? Of course we can’t. We work in insurance or at Asda or perhaps we sell shoes in a high street shop.
Richard Curtis, the man behind Comic Relief doesn’t use twitter at all. But rest assured he’s going to create an account where he will follow his bidder (and presumably only his bidder). For 90 days. And then he’ll swan off never to return. This is what devoted attention your money will get you.
As I said, the Pro Camp are rallying behind a “it’s for Charity” approach. Well that’s a bit of a problem too. Say for instance 1000 people want Nick Frost (you know, the tubby guy from Spaced and Hot Fuzz) to follow them. They keep bidding, £1, £5, £20, £150, etc etc until someone wins for £1100. Brilliant, you think, £1100 to Comic Relief, what a wonderful thing!
Except is isn’t. By the time Comic Relief actually occurs the losing bidders have lost their enthusiasm. “I’ve done my bit, I can’t be bothered to give again.” While this may not be true in all cases, there will be some. Also, this £1100 bid doesn’t come from an ordinary person. The ordinary person cannot afford £1100 with their mortgages, household bills, monthly car payments, council tax, etc etc etc. The only people who will win the follow are those to whom £1100 is spare and can be bandied about willy-nilly.
If you totted up the losing bids the amount could vastly overshadow the £1100. If only the 1000th person wins, 999 bids which add up to a far larger amount have been lost. Someone suggested a raffle, which is a much fairer idea. And it’s so easy to do. All Comic Relief needs to do is set up a website, link it to Paypal and the money could be rolling in. It’s so easy to do and could be done an hour from now. Ask any website designer.
You can’t get a discussion of this on Twitter of course because the “it’s for charity!” people are shouting down any dissent. People are being called “c**ts” and “f**kwits” for daring to be so “mean-spirited” as to find fault with the feckless idea.
My advice to you is to not prop up the celebrities, don’t give them another reason to have an inflated ego. They’re not better than you. In many cases celebrities are very dull tweeters or don’t tweet enough because they are out having exciting lives. You want to do something for charity? Donate instead.