My problem is that, as a young man, I had sex with too many feminists. It was the Eighties, I was at Westminster School and then Oxford University, and every girl I went out with wanted to be taken seriously. She dreamed of a high-powered job, cared desperately about homelessness, racism, poverty, abuse, equality and respect. And that filtered into everything.
So my first forays into sex were with girls who:
– Would not do it doggy-style because it was degrading and made her feel like an animal.
– Would not do it against a wall because it made her feel like a slag out the back of a pub.
– Would not swallow because it was disgusting.
– Would not do it outdoors because she was not a whore.
– Would not do it in this position because she couldn’t see my face, which meant I could be anybody.
– Would not do it in that position because it was ridiculous.
And so I developed an approach to sex based on the assumption that women want to feel respected, civilised, clean, loved, connected and sensible while doing it.
Terrible mistake. I ended up shagging like the husband in some Seventies video aid for young married couples nervous about the first time. I did it silently, attentively, respectfully, politely – preoccupied with her ‘pleasure’, muted about mine, creating as little mess as possible, saying something nice afterwards.
And it was years before I discovered that women – after a certain age and out of a certain social group – do not want that at all.
They WANT to feel like an animal. They WANT to feel disgusting. They want, more than anything, to feel like a whore out the back of the pub doing it with some masked pervert.
But only sometimes. And only some of them. Trouble is, I just can’t ever tell which one I’ve got naked in the bed with me.
In my late 20s, coming out of a long relationship and back on the scene for the first time as a grown-up, I was baffled the first time a woman I was screwing suddenly said, ‘Hit me!’
‘What?’ I said.
‘Spank me! Slap me! Hit me!’
‘Why?’ I said. I had never seen a porn film.
I had shagged only Oxford graduates with shelves full of Sylvia Plath and degrees in
world misery. I had no idea what she was on about.
‘Because it’s HOT!’ she said.
So I whacked her a couple of times and she said, ‘Not there!’
So I said, ‘Where then?’
So she pointed and said, ‘Here!’
So I whacked her there and she said,
When she’s coming, apparently. So as to involuntarily contract her kegel muscle and make her orgasm more… something.
But then how do I know when she’s coming? How dare I presume? What if she isn’t coming but only shouting out of politeness or boredom? I’d feel such an arse, whacking a bird like a racehorse when she’s only faking it.
But then other girls think of it as foreplay, not orgasm percussion.
‘Tell me what I’ve done wrong before you spank me!’
‘But you haven’t done anything wrong.’
‘Make something up.’
‘Um. You’ve been a very bad girl. You left the fridge open after you made a cup of tea and the butter got a bit soft so I’m going to…’
‘That wasn’t me!’
‘I think you’ll find it was.’
‘And anyway, what kind of repressed bourgeois psycho are you that you’re thinking about keeping the fridge closed when you’re having sex?’
‘Look, do you want me to hit you or not?’
And then still other girls wanted dirty talk with the spanking.
‘Take that you ****ing *****!’
‘That’s horrible. Don’t just call me names!’
‘Tell me what you’re going to do to me!’
‘Um, right. OK. Well, first I’m going to
I can’t even bear to write it. How do you know what to do when, and to whom? I don’t want to come over all vanilla and boring with a girl who’s used to being tied up and beaten, but then I don’t want to end up ravishing a nice girl and getting pepper-sprayed and carted off by the rozzers.
The scariest girl I ever shagged whispered in my ear, ‘If you’re going to f*** a woman properly, Giles, you have to hate her a little bit.’ You try telling that to a girlfriend who just happens to be the Oxford University Liberal Democrat Women’s Officer.
It’s a hanky-panky-spanky minefield. But it is only now, writing about it here, that I have begun to realise how incredibly sexy a proper spanking ought to be. I curse myself for not having applied myself to it properly in the past, and I can’t believe that the spank monster has come upon me, finally, at a time in my life when I’ve got a two-year-old daughter, an infant son and, so far as I can tell, will never have sex again as long as I live.