jeudi 20 janvier 2022

 I’ve only ever been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.
Sid Vicious

I’ve moved out of Davis Road into a huge artist’s studio in Fulham. I have the downstairs studio and Jane Ashley has the upstairs one. It’s only £10 a week rent because it’s subsidised for artists. It’s as big as a bus garage with a double-height ceiling, huge doors onto a courtyard and no windows or furniture, except my mattress – which I found in a skip – up on the little mezzanine.

I’m lying on the mattress now, with Johnny Rotten. We’ve ended up in bed together a couple of times, but usually we’re with loads of other people because we’ve all missed the last tube home and there are no night buses to the other side of town. It’s not very private up here; John Grey, Rotten’s mate from Finsbury Park (Johnny never goes anywhere without a mate) is downstairs. Iggy Pop’s The Idiot is playing on the record player.

I’ve always found Rotten attractive, I like his paleness and androgyny and we get along well, but there’s never been any hint of us getting together. I’m with Mick anyway, or should be. Am I with Mick now? I can’t remember, we split up and get together again so often, I lose track. Hopefully we’re on a break. Anyway here I am, and here John is, on my mattress with all our clothes on. We gossip about Sid for a bit and when we run out of conversation, John asks me to go down on him.

I’ve never given anyone a blow job before – really, I haven’t. I suppose I should’ve done by now; I’m twenty-two. I’ve snuffled around down there enough times, but I haven’t actually tried to make a guy come by sucking him off. I think the main reason I haven’t given anyone a blow job is that I’ve never seen porn. Nor have my girlfriends. We reckon it degrades and objectifies women. Where’s the turn-on in that? Anyway, I’ve never looked at my own vagina and I’m not interested in looking at anyone else’s.

You can only get to see porn films at special cinemas in Soho, and I wouldn’t waste the money just to have a laugh, I’d rather go round someone’s flat and play records. I’ve learnt a bit about sex from watching films like Last Tango in Paris, Andy Warhol’s Trash and Heat, and a Dennis Potter series on TV (I didn’t bother with Deep Throat or Emmanuelle, they sounded dull), but I know these aren’t average people in everyday situations, so I just watch them like I’m watching a nature programme, not sure what’s acceptable or not. (Butter up the arse?) When I was at school, a boy would sometimes bring in a magazine he’d found under his dad’s bed and flash pictures at the girls – I acted all snooty, like I didn’t have those bits on my body. It was the only way I could deal with the embarrassment. Things have changed over the last six months: all of a sudden, every guy you know is trying to get you to go down on him, in the toilets of a club, in an alleyway, in the bathroom of a squat. It’s not exactly presented in an appealing way, to make you want to do it, more like something to get out of doing. Blow jobs and hand jobs are considered acceptable because no emotional involvement or eye contact is needed. Full-on sex isn’t so popular, anti-emotion is the prevailing doctrine.

John has no idea how inexperienced I am, or that it’s my first time giving a blow job. From the outside I look very confident and sexually experienced. I think to myself, I’ll give it a go. I’ve just got to lick it and suck it. How difficult can it be?

I slide down to his crotch. He gets his willy out. He smells of stale piss. So do I. We all do. I like it – it’s familiar. That smell is nice and cosy to me. None of us wash before or after sex. It doesn’t occur to us. It’s not very spontaneous to hustle off to the bathroom and then present yourself smelling of Wright’s Coal Tar soap (Cussons Imperial Leather if you really want to impress). I’m not squeamish about bodily smells, I’ve grown up with them. I expect it to smell different down there and to be dark and hairy. Maybe even a bit crispy if you haven’t been home for a few days. That’s the whole point: it’s mixed up with, and close to, all your most basic functions. I may not have given a blow job before, but I know what smegma is. I’ve known that word since I was thirteen. I’ve seen it on almost every knob I’ve ever encountered.

I tentatively start sucking.

After a little while of licking away, I hear an imperious voice from on high, like Kenneth Williams mixed with the Artful Dodger – you know, that nasal North London whine – ‘Stop it, Viv.’ I look up. What’s he want? I’m busy down here. ‘Stop it, Viv,’ he says. ‘You’re trying too hard.’

I laugh, but I’m mortified. I wipe my mouth on the back of my hand and sit up. John zips it away and we go downstairs to join John Grey – did he hear everything? It could have been worse I suppose, he could have said, ‘Stop it, Viv, you’re useless.’

I make us all a cup of tea; John and John drink it and leave. I cringe inside, imagining them laughing at me as they walk to the tube station.

I’m still cringing now.

Viv Albertine
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.

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