To some, trains are the ultimate erotic instrument, to others they are instruments of erotic torture.
For example, because many Japanese men spend most of their lives on commuter trains, eyeing up girls and wishing they could grope them, there are now sex clubs in Japan which are a mock up of a crowded commuter car in which you're allowed to feel up the women. A friend told me he went to one where ten female customers (prostitutes dressed as commuters) and ten male customers (punters) get into the chikan-densha (pervert train), which is called so because women call "Chikan!" to humiliate gropers on real subways. In this subway sex club men can grope the girls to their hearts content.
On the other hand, my English friend Carl suffered at the hands of a train. He told me that he had to ejaculate some sperm into a cup while his wife waited in the next room of the hospital. They were doing some kind of fertility treatment whereby they were going to spin his sperm together with ten other vials of his stuff to make some supersperm to penetrate his wife's world-weary egg.
At first he thought he was going to be all right, as he slipped what was labelled 'Swiss porn' into the video machine. But he soon found that his engine would not start. The problem was that it was one of those bizarre black and white sixties films in which every time a couple is about to do the dirty the shot cuts away to a train rushing through a tunnel or thundering through some snow capped mountains. Now and again there would be a shot of a woman's face contorted in ecstasy, but it was too bizarre to be arousing for a Brit. Had he been Japanese, his matter would have been dispatched into a plastic cup quicker than you can say shout "Chikan!" As it was, he had to switch off the video and resort to his own sordid imaginatings to get the job done.
As for myself, I do often have dreams about doing it on shuddering moving objects, but then I wake up and find that I fell asleep on top of the washing machine, with the spin cycle going full throttle. What about you? Have you ever done it on a moving object ; ?
Whenever you are feeling down in the dumps and feeling sorry about your lot, think of the sixteen year old Argentinian girl, Pamela, who already has seven kids under her belt (one single, two lots of triplets).
Pamela's mother, Magdalena, 49, who works as a cleaner to support her grandchildren, said: "When we knew that we would again have triplets we wanted to die. She has no job, the father of the triplets left and I am the sole breadwinner for her and her family."
I think we need a whip round here to send the poor girl a box of condoms.
I'm not sure what happened. Maybe poor Pamela saw this educational video and got overly aroused. What do you think?
[Warning: this is taken from from 'Married Life', a 1950's educational film for newlyweds thought too hot for release at the time. As with any sex education, parental guidance may be appropriate.]
Okay, so I am reading this fascinating book called The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten: 100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher by Julian Baggini. In it, the author puts forward one hundred thought experiments which basically touch on many of the most famous problems in philosophy by putting forward ethical dilemmas which make you think.
For example, he puts forward a theoretical example of a group of people who live in a cult in a house, who never go out and only watch soap operas such as Eastenders, Coronation Street and Neighbours and believe those soaps are reality. There are called the Weatherfieldians (after the geographical area in which Coronation Street is based).
Now, one day a rebel called Dave decides to sneak out of the house and go and find Coronation Street. He is appalled to find that it is not an actual street but a set at Granada studios. He goes back to his friends at the cult and tells them what he saw but they merely get angry and deny his version of 'reality' and believe he has been duped. Then they kick him out of the cult.
What this made me think about, obviously, and what Baggini wants you to think about is, what is reality? But also, what makes you think your opinions are any better than anyone elses? And you will say, well, it is because I am better informed than the other person, but isn't it more to do with your experiences of life and reality? Most of us read only papers that support our views and surround ourselves with people who support our views. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the blogosphere where one can sometimes think, well, of course my opinions are right because everyone who comes onto my blog supports them. Then one looks on someone elses blog who is making stupid and ill informed comments on politics and one is appalled to see how many people agree with them, time after time.
My point is this: When someone disagrees with me, sometimes I will see their point of view and actually see that they have a point, but usually I will think that person is either ill informed, delusional or a total idiot. But, and this is the big but, should you listen to everyone because their opinion may be worth listening to and they may even have something important to say or how does one know if a fool is really a fool spouting nonsense? I mean, what do you usually do? If someone has a radically differing view from you do you try and understand it or do you dismiss the person as an idiot?
Back in the dark ages when I was sixteen, shopkeepers blithely sold school kids cigarettes for ten p a pop. I had spent five years in a rather posh girls' school that smelt like old cabbage and like old cabbage was riddled with spinster teachers who were as hideous as grotesque caterpillars. At that school you could be expelled for dying your hair blue or smoking in the bogs. Consequently I made my escape sharpish to the local comprehensive where you could buy a selection of illegal substances at the school gates and where the teachers turned a blind eye if you smoked weed in the sixth form common room (I kid you not). We often smoked joints on Hampstead Heath (which was where the school was located), and soon after I started at the comprehensive, I realized I had entered an extremely sophisticated realm and that my state of virginity could not be tolerated - by myself.
Before my seventeenth birthday, I was determined to rid myself of this blight. I started taking the pill but my mum found it and flushed it down the toilet. I went to Crazy Larry's one night (King's Road) with my friend Jane, her 19 year old brother Jake and his friend whose name was Dan. All the girls at Crazy Larry's fancied this Dan bloke and so I made it a personal goal for myself to lose my virginity to this incredibly sophisticated (to me) nineteen year old. We went back to Jake's student residences at LSE and smoked some joints. Jane said she was going home, did I want to come? I said, "No, I'm staying here." Now, since Jake and Dan shared a room I promptly got into bed with Dan and lost my virginity. This was a strictly mechanical act. Firstly, we did not bother with small talk or any talk at all. Secondly, he said, "Why don't you kiss me?" but I wasn't interested in romance, I was just interested in being popped. When I found blood on my knickers the next morning I was rather proud of myself. The event itself can best be described as neither here nor there. I then went round the corner to the free clinic and got the morning after pill. Quite honestly, I don't think I have ever felt as sophisticated as when I got back to school and told my friends that, oh yeah, by the way I lost my virginity to this student on the weekend.
All of which brings me to the point of that cartoon which is, should one wait until marriage to have sex? I believe that Mermaid is a virgin or a born again virgin and is waiting for her matrimonials before she does the dirty. I take my hat off to her for keeping her legs crossed, but have no idea how she does it. Also, in my experience, it took about ten years for sex to become better than okay. Admittedly, I may have had a particularly bad crop of lovers, but isn't it every woman's experience that for the first few years you fake it (I never have) or lie there while they tinker away, waiting for an explosion that never happens, assuming all the while that they know what they're doing. I remember in my mid-twenties lying there while a guy did oral sex on me and saying, wearily, "There's no point trying, nothing's going to happen." But he kept going and well, something did! Nirvana. It was a turning point. He was the first guy who knew the first rule of sex: your tongue must be able to endure many many minutes of oral sex without recourse to tea breaks or fag breaks - if you are to make the lady sing.
After that, sex got better, but I have to say that it really only became great from my mid-thirties onwards, I suppose, because one knows what one wants and knows how to ask for it without being aggressive. So, if you wait until you're married, it might take years for it to become good and then you've missed out on a lot of pleasure. That's my theory anyway.
And yes, of course I want to know how you lost your virginity. And also whether any of you - and by that I of course mean the women - had an orgasm the first time.
I woke up today to a marvellous spring day. Birds were singing. Bees were copulating. Could today get any better? Indeed it could. I had been nominated for the Beautiful Bloggers Competition.
I was in esteemed company. I was cheek by jowl next to the rather debonair devil who writes devil's kitchen. It was a lively evening of judging and I ended up third in a rather compromising position on top of the rather attractive New Romantic Mr Debonair who came forth (actually some guy called Tom Reynolds got in between us so our relationship remains unconsummated).
For reasons best known to nurse/lavatory plunger fetishists, this lady came in second:
To get onto an altogether different subject, I want to talk about people saying sorry.
Last week the Australian government said sorry to the "stolen generation", the thousands of mixed-race indigenous children in Australia forcibly removed from their families under a government-sanctioned policy of white assimilation.
This is quite a contentious subject. What I would say is, this is all well and good but what about improving the aboriginals lot now? Isn't this apology just a token gesture that will not improve the lives of Aborigines who still live on the margins of Australian society in communities blighted by alcohol, violence and poor health?
Sorry For Lynching
In 2005 the Senate formally apologized for having rejected decades of pleas to make lynching a federal crime as scores of victims’ descendants watched from the chamber’s gallery.
On a voice vote and without opposition, the Senate passed a resolution expressing its regrets to the relatives as well as to the nearly 5,000 Americans who were documented as having been lynched from 1880 to 1960.
These deaths occurred without trials, mostly in the South, often with the knowledge of local officials who allowed mob lynchings to become picture-taking, public spectacles.
Okay, again, maybe this sorry had a point, maybe not, because its not going to bring anyone back. But, in any case, shame on the twenty Senators who would not sponsor this. What was going through their minds: oh, lynching wasn't so bad, was it?
One bit of fairly funny sorry saying was when Gordon Brown said, sorry for mislaying the details of 25 million people.
I am just wondering what you think about Goverments saying sorry? Does it just get rid of their guilt or does it help heal wounds?
Attempts to go native collapsed today. Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner takes its toll on a person whose palate craves bland greasy carbohydrates. After a nervous breakdown of sorts I found myself in an eatery called Little Italy, its walls decorated in lotus leaf designs, the wait staff Japanese and Vietnamese, shoveling down mozzarella and avocado salad as if my life depended on it. I told my husband I want to live in India but he pointed out that I don’t like the food that much. I said, “What about Delhi? I hear they have a Marks and Spencers up there?” He said, “What about the heat?” While we were in Madras it was their winter and the heat was bearable but I’m not sure I could cope with their summer. So maybe living in India isn’t going to work out. Although I hear its cooler in Bangalore.
Later I went to a beauty salon and had to sit still for three hours while my hands and feet were painted with henna. While my hands were drying a girl actually lifted my coffee cup to my lips so I could take a sip. All this attention was going to my head. Sanjay’s family had this philosophy that if you traveled for a long distance to come to the wedding it brought particular luck onto the married couple. And while I appreciated how much they were doing for me, it was still strange. It seems to me that here the individual does not really exist, it is all about the collective. Family is more important than a person, consequently, at the wedding, the two families will marry each other.
Sanjay’s aunts draw chalk pictures daily outside their house for the Gods. At the end of the day the pictures are rubbed out, to show that you should not hold onto anything material. The spiritual life here is stitched through everything and I cannot help feel jealous, if only because everything is so ritualized that there is meaning in everything. On the other hand, no Westerner could live like this – sacrificicing personal desires for the good of the collective – even if it is beautiful to observe.
Day 4 – Wedding Day One
We take a walk on the Madras beach which was hit on Boxing Day 2005 by the Tsunami. It must have been a leisurely weekend scene much as we witnessed. Men playing cricket. Fishermen pulling their boats out of the water. Children playing. And suddenly a wave hit the beach and sucked the life out of it. And then, silence ….
We found a dead dog and a dead sea turtle on the beach that day, which was gruesome.
Today was the pre-wedding party. It takes place in a hall where tonight, bride and groom will sleep in separate rooms in the hall.
Later I found a cute baby at the hotel and, since I couldn’t see its mom, decided to do an Angelina Jolie and adopt the little angel but John said I had to give it back to the mom, who had now appeared.
Day 5 – Wedding Day Two
I got to the wedding hall at 6.45 to have my sari put on. The hall was pretty hot and stuffy and there were men drumming and playing instruments whose wail was quite piercing. There were many rituals between bride and groom, many exchanges of garlands of flowers. It was beautiful, only by four o’clock I had something of a headache and decided to go back to the hotel where I fell into a deep sleep.
Refreshed, we got up later and went to the hotel nightclub, where I ordered a frozen strawberry daiquiri (which was listed on the menu). The daiquiri took a long time to arrive. I could see the two barmen mixing something in a shaker, then they poured it out. One guy shook his head and poured it away. Eventually they had another go and brought me the drink, proudly. Well, I guzzled it down and really felt sick. Firstly it had lumps of ice floating in it instead of being crushed ice. Not a crime, okay. But the yuck factor came about because they had put salt around the edge of the glass. Really quite bizarre.
Day 6 – Wedding Day Three
In the morning we went to the Hindu temple with Sanjay where we were blessed by the Gods via the Swamis. Then the couple went on to the reception. They couldn’t even relax and had to stand on a stage in front of a throne for two hours and have a photo taken with each family group.
Finally they were done, we had a big feast and they drove off. They would spend the night at Sanjay’s family home, while all his relatives who live there stay in the marriage hall.
Unlike the tradition of Western weddings where we say ‘Honk Just Married’ in Madras the cars beep incessantly so you have to instruct the reverse.
I met a hilarious Indian writer called Bagchi who said, “No wonder the rate of Indian divorces is so low. After going through all this for three days, people think, oh God, I’m not going through that again!” Day 7 – A Strange Workout
Went to work out at the hotel gym. The Indian trainer there made me do sit ups and then kept grabbing the flab on my stomach and saying, “You are fat! This is no good! Thirty more sit ups!”
Honestly, and I know this will sound odd, but I think he was trying to cop a feel, and was getting some kind of kick out of this. I thought I’d ignore him and he’d leave me alone but he got more and more worked up. “More! You do more!”
Finally I said, “What about you?” and poked him in his pot belly. He just laughed and kept grabbing my stomach.
I said, “Look, I am actually thin for an American.”
He still wouldn’t leave me alone, so I got out of there.
It’s funny to think that in the US that would be considered sexual harassment. Even though his methods were somewhat unorthodox, it nevertheless has become abundantly clear to me that I need to lose some of the fat on my stomach.
We took a four am flight back to the USA on Qatar Airways. God bless that airline! Unlimited free wine and spirits. They also have a touch screen video monitor with two hundred different movies on it. Also, the plane was half full so we actually got some sleep.
The trip to India was too short and I really want to go back soon.
Also, Peach is looking for bloggers to send in their stories for a book that will be published for charity. The theme is You're not the only one: FULL DETAILS HERE
I'm back and am pleased to report that I did not get the shits in Madras. I didn't really want to leave India at all, the only downside being that the toilets left a lot to be desired.
We went over for our friend Sanjay's wedding (who's from Madras but now lives in the US), but because he is quite private I promised not to post pictures of the couple getting married, even though they are pretty spectacular.
Still, it was all so amazing I am posting some pictures. And here is my diary....
Ever wondered what happened to Noddy? He eloped with Big Ears and now lives in Madras. Shop like J Lo
Now, I am not a power shopper. I like a leisurely stroll through a couple of department stores, then a coffee, then lunch, then maybe I buy a pair of shoes. So on Day 1 in Madras I felt a bit like a movie star when I embarked on my shopping spree, because I was surrounded by an entourage - Sanjay's aunt, his fiance Abhilasha, plus the driver, plus John, my husband. We were to buy all the outfits I needed for the wedding. I didn't insist on dressing in Indian outfits, but they decreed that three outfits was the only way to go, one for each day of their Hindu wedding. No arguments, they were paying. And since there are few department stores, you drive from tiny store to tiny store. At a jewelry store where I bought some anklets, the shopkeeper was tearing up saris and removing the silver threads from them. He was going to melt down the silver threads to make silver jewelry. That was the first thing that struck me - the total recourcefulness, out of necessity, to reuse every single object. There is very little waste, and even rich people don't throw away food.
The first day was hair raising because no one follows any traffic rules or stops for traffic lights. The pollution burns your lungs and you watch in awe as the driver negotiates the traffic, often passing a hair's width past a motorbike, and narrowly avoiding cars that are casually cruising the wrong way up the street. Against a deafening cacophany of horns, babies and kids sit on the front of motorbikes without helmets. Madras is a lawless city and yet has an easy vibe. People are not stressed. There is no road rage or screaming in the street, people just drive in a very leisurely fashion. Sometimes you see a pile up, but it always ends well, with the motorbike drivers getting up, brushing themselves down and going on their merry way.
We went from shop to shop until I had a sari, one long skirt and a top embroidered with sequins (sharara) and one casual outfit, a long dress over baggy trousers (churider), plus jewelry. Plus they bought John two outfits. Everyone in the shops looked at me like I was part creature from outer space, part Amazonian. I am probably twice as heavy as most of the women there, with their narrow wrists and tiny bodies.
It is nine pm and we are still shopping and I can't believe the sheer amount of clothing that is being bought. The bride has eight different saris for the occasion. It seems that here weddings are quite a big deal!
So amazing to see the hotel guests smoking cigarettes at breakfast. Whenever I see smokers in non-regulated environments I get a bit of a kick out of it because smoking anywhere these days is almost akin to shooting up heroin in public.
Took a trip to a gruesome crocodile zoo
and then, after a visit to a Hindu temple
I wondered lonely as a cloud...
pondering what fake ice cream might be... until I was accosted by a bunch of Indian boys
Not sure what they were after but I think it may have been my cash.
Who am I? Displaced Londoner now living in the States with my two little girlies and long suffering husband. Co-author of hilarious parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.cocktailsatnaptime.com
My mom's an Austrian, my dad's a Brit, which makes me a Britaustrian, or possibly an Austrish?