Part 88: Sexting

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When I started this blog, just over a year ago, I presumed its existence would be short-lived. I fully expected that announcing my single status to strangers on the internet – and reminding everyone I already knew that, not only was I available, I also had a great sense of humour and incredible breasts – would result in an avalanche of interest. I anticipated that all the eligible bachelors who had secretly held a candle for me would rush forward in a great swarming crowd and beg for my hand in sex and love. But not marriage, because I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about marriage. Except that I’m happy for gays to do it, if they so wish.

As you can see, from the fact that I’m still here, there has not been a great swarming crowd of interest since I started posting about my single life on this blog. In fact, the only interest I’ve had, sexually, in the past year or so has come from a minor celebrity who I won’t name, but who I kind of know and who DMs me on twitter every now and then asking for pictures of my bare naked feet. Which proves the blog has been good for something. Even if that something is only the power of its header image to arouse damaged young men.

Due to this colossal lack of interest, as you may have noticed over the past weeks and months, my fervour for promoting single life has wilted (if one’s fervour can wilt). My ice heart is melting and I want someone to love me RIGHT NOW. Preferably someone who’ll be willing to make babies with me as quick as poss – because no-one’s getting any younger and my womb is secreting hormones that make it difficult to pass small children in the street without biting their fat little faces.

But I digress. I am still writing this blog and you’ll be pleased to hear there are still things about relationships that I find totally gross – to the point where it makes me not want one.

Like, for example, sexting.

I thought sexting was something only teenagers and caddish premiership football players indulged in. Until a recent holiday when I caught a glimpse of the first few lines of a very racy message about dirty, lacy knickers and erections on a friend’s i-phone. This friend is not a teenager, nor is she a caddish premiership football player. She is a cherubic, red-headed woman with a very important job. Conversation with her and careful snooping during conversations with other friends, colleagues and acquaintances has revealed to me that sexting is not just for teens. It’s what most couples do now. It’s a proper thing, and, unlike anal, it is not a thing that it is considered reasonable to object to.

What can I say?

I don’t find sexting hot – even though I’m quite into literary erotica. It is an entirely unpretty practice – stringing together genital synonyms in the hope that they’ll get you sex later on. It’s detached. It’s seedy. And, most importantly of all, it’s just not cool, man.

I might get that sext while I’m shopping in Morrisons, or arguing with my boss, or visiting my ageing grandmother in hospital. I don’t want uninitiated titillation just because you feel bored and horny.

And, let’s be frank, you’re probably not a good enough writer to produce anything other than horror with your sextual words. A point proved to me a few seconds ago, when I turned to the date my housemate has brought home and started discussing the topic of this post. ‘Oh, yeah,’ he said, ‘I know what you mean. My friend once got this sext that read: YOU HAVE A NICE BEAVER AND CAN I SHAG IT? That was bad.’

Yes, housemate’s date. That is bad.

So, consider this a warning, if you’re thinking of asking me out. (And, if you are, can you hurry up please? I’ll probably say yes and I’ll even let you touch my feet). No sexts. Or pictures of your erect genital. I’m not really into that.

Part 70: Sleeping in Other People’s Beds

Even though there are few things more deliciously agreeable than returning to the chintzy comfort of your very own pillows after a long, hard day at the metaphorical coalface one of the many perks of single life is the frequency with which you get to stay overnight in beds that are not your very own. Don’t panic, I’m not referring to the tedious inevitability of casual sex in the life of the long term single here (although I forgive you if you thought that, I suppose it is suggested in this week’s title). What I am referring to is the freedom you have as a single person to sleep over, as a platonic guest, at the homes of friends and casual acquaintances, when the party’s over and your battery’s died and you’ve missed the last bus.

There is nothing like being an overnight guest in someone else’s house. It’s an everyday adventure that never gets old. The fragrance of just-laundered sheets – if you’re lucky and get the guest room; the perplexing firmity of a different mattress; the spooky vivid dreams; that moment when you wake up and have absolutely no idea where your are or how you got there; the unsettling shape of the furniture in the inky darkness (is that a hat-stand or a murderer holding his breath and standing very still?); and sometimes, the reassuring dead weight of your friend or casual acquaintance curled in the foetal position, exhaling peaceful sighs that lull you into the kind of intimate relaxation you used to hope that sex would deliver – if they don’t have a guest room and you have to bunk down with them.

I love accepting the offer of tea in the morning; declining toast (I can rarely stomach food before midday); supping the hot, milky thickness as light streams through the slats of the original wooden shutters – restored to former glory with a slick of whitest paint; witnessing the sleep-crushed faces of friends who always do their very best to appear attractive in public. I love that tiny moment of heartbreak, the dipping sensation in the pit of my stomach, like a swallow wind-diving, as I say good-bye. The clunk of a front door, shutting me out. I love making my way home in the dusty morning sunshine – wearing last night’s party frock, tottering on sparkling heels; a smear of scarlet lipstick and crazy punk hair, the palpable promise of potential alive on the breath of the air.

Sadly though, the regularity with which one is able to stay over at friends’ houses declines with age after peaking somewhere around the mid-twenties – before everyone gets proper jobs and ambition fuelled by the looming spectre of rising unemployment rates and a triple-dip recession. Of course, the ability to frequent the beds of friends and near strangers is further restricted once you have committed to a serious relationship – by which I mean one where there is a property that contains a bed you share with a (real or common-law) spouse, and/or children. This is reason enough to avoid serious relationships, which, as far as I can surmise, have nowhere near as many moments of everyday wonder as does a spontaneous overnight stay in someone else’s home.

Still, despite my warnings, one day that potential riding on the breath of the wind will materialise into something tangible. You’ll meet a tall, dark chisel-jawed cad who’ll know about religion and find you sexually alluring. He’ll invite you out to listen to jazz music at a club with red velvet bar stools and teeny candles on the mottled mahogany table-tops and touch your leg just above the knee when he’s consumed enough whisky to stave off fear of rejection. And there’ll be the faintest spark and a moment of relief, like ‘ahh! this is it’, before you kiss him. And that will also be wonderful; at least until the excitement of access to regular intercourse and the company of a human person you don’t find physically repulsive has worn off. At which point, you’ll be alright, because you can always leave your lover. And anyway, friends are doubly likely to invite you to stay over when you’re lonely and shattered of soul.

You see, there’s always a silver lining.