If you, like me, were a teenager during the nineties – unplugging the house phone so you could ignore impending phone calls from the well mannered but unfortunately sincere youth you met down the Wimpy, smoking hashish that tasted like petrol and burned crispy ickle holes in your school trousers and watching American singles sitcoms like Friends and Sex and the City instead of dating – you will no doubt have been anticipating the myriad pleasures of adult life with some fervour. The Future, as the present was known then, was a promised land of caddish dark haired strangers. Orgasms alfresco. Studio apartments with purple doors. Quirky friends with flexible, but well paid jobs and no hobbies or family commitments that might impinge on an social activity. And LOTS OF SEX. Loads of it.
Basically, sex would be what you were doing or thinking or talking about ninety eight percent of the time, unless you were buying shoes.
But as you, like me, will have no doubt realised, it ain’t the nineties no more. It’s 2013 and adult life has completely failed to deliver on the gifts it once promised. All the dark haired cads either got married or decided to embark on extended periods of travel in South Asia with their girlfriends – or else they drink in different pubs than you do. It’s been too cold to bare so much as a shoulder alfresco since the summer of 2006. House prices are now at the kind of astronomical levels that mean you’ll be lucky if you can afford a garden shed in your life time. The tripple-dip recession has resulted in all your friends working 100 hour weeks and being too knackered to do anything on the weekends except sleep. And there’s no sex. None at all.
Sex is over, so far as I can tell.
The coupled people have stopped doing it because they’re married now, or pregnant, or post-pregnant and sporting stitches in their severed genitalia. Or else their libidos have been crushed by sobering details of the sexual antics of horny, lizard faced celebs who are currently being herded into custody like decrepit old cattle. And the single people have stopped doing it because they’ve realised casual sex is mostly gross. Especially afterwards, when the clammy stench of a stranger stains the bedsheets, and the fear of super sperm that has the power to leap through latex stains the edges of any residual pleasure. Which makes adulthood rather difficult to navigate. Particularly for single people who grew up in the late twentieth century and have literally no life blue-prints from iconic popular culture that they can follow without indulging in regular one night stands. It’s a right conundrum.
Luckily, I can report that not having sex is well underrated. You don’t have to worry about venereal diseases, unwanted pregnancies, failure to orgasm or rejection. You can turn the surface of your double bed into a handy storage centre so that you never have to be further than an arm’s length away from your mobile phone, laptop, PINsentry reader or copy of Adrian Mole: The Widerness Years. Nobody wakes you up in the dead of night by rolling onto your side of the bed, snoring or attempting to spoon you. Alright, there’s less in the way of tingly physical excitement, but scientists reckon you can totally recreate that post-coital high by eating spicy foods and chocolate.
The other thing is, when there’s no chance of sex you can stay in and bake and read good novels and watch Four in a Bed and not experience even the teeniest twinge of displeasure at the thought that you might be missing out. Conversely, you can leave the house and socialise with good looking people without being disturbed by the voices in your head that want to touch their private places. Which you’ll find makes social situations about six hundred per cent less worth turning up to. But still, there’s always Prosecco.
Who needs a blueprint when life’s this simple?