Monday, 31 March 2008

Sam: Signal Failure

One of the most common flirting ailments is signal failure.

What is interesting about signal failure is that different cultures seems to have different version of the ailment. For instance, the British seem to find it particularly difficult to show interest in someone that they fancy. The Americans, on the other hand, tend to seem to be showing interest in everyone. Australians come across as just being friendly.

So what is all this signal stuff? The easiest way to understand it is that we are all walking around with a big traffic light over our head. For each person we see, the traffic light either shows

• Red – not interested
• Orange – maybe, get ready for action
• Green – I fancy you, come over and have a chat

The signals are given off through your body language – or, more specifically, through eye contact.

What is interesting is that eye contact is a subject that is mentioned by many flirt experts, but it is something that is mentioned in passing. Glibly they mention that if someone is interested, they will give you three seconds eye contact. Then they will look back a second time.

From my practical experience down in the trenches of the flirting war zone, eye contact is one of the biggest mine fields. The amount of eye contact that people give varies enormously, based on the city that you live in and the country where you are from. This then gives rise to an enormous amount of confusion. Women think they are giving a green light, and men are just not sure.

This whole issue really hit home to me running workshops on giving eye contact. I realised that this was crucial, because reading the material it said that three seconds of eye contact was a green light, but in the reality of London I found it was enormously difficult.

So at a singles night I gathered together 20 men and women. They were placed on either side of the room, and each were allocated a person to give their green light to. Just telling people how long is not enough – when I told the women 3 seconds, it looked to the men like it was 3 microseconds. What was amazing was that to the women it felt like it was ten minutes.

“Oh my god that felt weird”, “I must look like a crazy person”, “Now he knows I’m begging for it”, “That felt like ages and ages”. The comments from the women went on, just like this.

To this, the men responded: “That was really quick”, “I missed that”, “Was that a green light?”

What is really crucial is to get the timing exactly right.

We changed tack, and I got the women in the group to look across at the men and say in their head “You . . . are really fit”. Now, I have to admit that this is a particularly British saying. For Australians, to be fit just means you jog a lot and go to the gym. But of course, here it means attractive, gorgeous, hot etc, etc. My first attempts at “You are really hot” failed miserably as the women descended into fits of giggles.

Anyway, once the women started doing this and saying this so if felt like they were talking slowly in their heads – looking at the guy they fancied, catching his eye directly, saying (inside their head) “you are really gorgeous”, then looking away, suddenly everything changed.

“That is definitely a green light!”, “Oh Yeah” etc etc came from the men. So the issue is that timing is crucial. It can’t be too short, because men won’t realise that you are giving them a green light.

On the other hand, it can’t be too long. Historically eye contact is an extremely powerful body language signal. Researchers have found that people who are in love spend more than 70% of the time staring in each other’s eyes making direct eye contact. On the other side, between men, extended eye contact is a signal of aggression. Monkeys are the same, prolonged eye contact between males leads either to a) one male looking away and submitting or b) combat.

In a big city like London, essentially the most common people who make prolonged eye contact with you either want your money, or they want to sell something to you. Obviously when you are flirting you don’t want to come across as a money grabbing salesman.

For this reason, women often feel uncomfortable giving prolonged eye contact. However, what feels to them like a really long time, actually looks on the outside like a short time. In workshops, when women practice on each other rather than other men, the same pattern emerges. The woman giving the eye contact says “Oh that was ages”, and the woman receiving the eye contact says “That was really quick!”.

After much trying and testing, having women looking at men and saying “You are really fit” has proved to be the perfect balance between, long enough – so the men would see the green signal, and short enough so the woman didn’t look like a desperate money grabber.

To sum up:

  • One of the most common flirting ailments is signal failure
  • We give off flirting signals through our body language
  • The amount of eye contact that women give various enormously
  • To give a green signal, hold his eye contact and say ‘you are really fit!’ in your head. Then repeat.
  • Eye contact shouldn’t be any longer than this or it could be perceived as intimidating or desperate

Friday, 28 March 2008

Dave: Abdicating the throne

A common method of maintaining our gender identity is by regularly moaning about those minor irritations each appears to possess. Why do men insist upon reciting the entire The Empire Strikes Back script over the top of the film? Why do women have to point out all your grey hairs then sadistically yank them out individually? And why do men persist with using unnatural looking hair dye?

The one that confounds me the most is the notorious toilet seat row. The endless whinging about us leaving it up. The tireless complaints of having to remember to lower it and avoid a potentially lethal incident.

Now, without getting too technical, the practicality is that one has to lower oneself on to the crapper. Heading in a downwardly motion and thus enabling the hand to pull down the seat in one swift, not uncomfortable, movement. Where the hell’s the stress involved? Do we complain that we’re forced to bend down, latently straining a vertebrae, grasp the seat then pull back up to a standing position, thus further injuring ourselves? Do you hear us whining about this quite clearly more strenuous procedure undertaken whenever we need a piss? At least we have the decency not to leave the seat down and piss all over it, however great the temptation.

In fact, it should be the responsibility of the woman to return the seat to its natural upright position after she’s done whatever ungodly thing it is that results in the room being cast in a choking haze of lavender spray. Does the concept of future rheumatism in our backs ever cross their minds? Or the unnerving dizzy spells brought on by the quick-fire penitent action? No. They’re too busy worrying about falling down the loo and getting washed out to sea. If the seat were meant to be permanently in its horizontal position, it would be glued to the rim.

We use the seat too. We don’t crap straight into the bowl. Not unless we’re off our tits and even then it’s down to pure laziness rather than a lack of awareness. And we’re more than capable of levering it up for a slash and down for a lethargic slash and a bit of a read. Perhaps women are just jealous of our diversity?

Is that it then? Are women simply lazy or envious or is it an expectancy of a world running to the beat of their drum? Perhaps chivalry has spoiled them? Holding a door open these days rarely receives a polite note of gratitude, not that we should only act purely for appreciation. But, you’re more likely to get a semblance of recognition for behaving considerately from another man. Possibly because we as a gender harbour a greater decorum or it could be because we fear some kind of violent reprisal? Either way, it keeps etiquette alive.

This is one gender related huff women really should let go. If they’d seen the interior of many a pub’s men’s loo, they would praise their boyfriend, flatmate, or whatever for a remarkable job of managing not to smear excrement across the back of the seat or wedging three rolls of paper into the u-bend while unscrewing the lock on the door and spitting all over the floor.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

'Mr Sex' wonders where his mid-life crisis is

So is it just me, or am I the only chap in his extremely late thirties not as scared of turning 40 as he was of turning 30 ten years ago?

You see, according to everything I’ve ever read, seen and understood about men of a certain age, I should be shoehorning myself into skintight jeans, scouring Exchange and Mart for a sports car or motorbike, and trying to impress 18 year-old girls with my knowledge of The Feeling or some other piss-poor Indie whelps right about now. If I'm going to be alloted the requisite three score years and ten, I’m well into the mid-life stage right now – so why don't I give a toss about getting older?

Maybe I’m an incredibly charismatic individual (or I'm doing a superlative job of conning myself), but as a single bloke, the generation gap seems to be getting smaller. Due to the fact that the only places in town that pander to the older sort are this shithole and its equally depressing sister, and I’m not interested in being stuck at home in front of the telly every night, I have a circle of friends in a range of ages right down to 21. Obviously, if I was trying to cop off with them it would be a different matter, but I don’t feel like Hugh Hefner.

Obviously, there are a few drawbacks to this arrangement; it's a pisser when you're having a tremendously important conversation about England shirts in the 1982 World Cup and someone says "I don't know. I was only three then" - but then again, I can always say "Guns n' Roses? Yeah, I was offered a ticket to see them when they were playing that crappy little club in town, but I couldn't be arsed" and watch their little faces light up in jealous awe. As for relationships, my last two dalliances were with women who were 13 years younger than I, which meant I was old enough to be their Dad if I had lived on the grotty estate next door. Was that me being, to use the parlance of the playground, a Len Fairclough? Not really - I'd love to have a relationship with a woman my own age, but single, available women in their late 30s/early 40s seem to be pretty thin on the ground outside of London, unless you want to go to Jumpin' Jaks. Which I don't.

The thing is - and I'm guessing I'm not the only one - I think I've already had my mid-life crisis when I was 28, when my long-term live-in girlfriend shat on me from a great height, the career I was intending to stay in for the rest of my life derailed, and my grandparents died in the same month and I suddenly felt older and more useless. I even lost my hair when I was 27 (luckily, when head-shaving was at its most fashionable - thank you, Grant Mitchell). I look back at myself in the late 90s, and see all the symptoms of mid-life crisis; inappropriate clothing, being in the wrong clubs at the wrong time of night with the wrong set of people, going on a rebounded shag-rampage with women who deserved better, and explaining in painful detail to anyone who would listen that no, it wasn’t male pattern baldness; my hair was just fine, that’s all. Go on, feel the stubble on the bits where there isn't supposed to be any hair. Aw, go on. Please.

(Admittedly, as far as looks go, they went a while back. But then again, I was only reasonably attractive for a three-week period sometime in late 1991, so I'm not that arsed. And thanks to Metrosexuality, I’m still being marketed to - unlike my Dad when he was my age and he ceased to exist to the advertising industry. Alright, so maybe they’re more interested in pinpointing my fears rather than hyping my aspirations these days, but it’s still nice to be noticed. But anyway.)

I reckon a lot of men my age avoided the life that was set up for our Dads (and their Dads), whether they intended to or not. A job for life was a concept that was alien to us right from the start. A lot of us never married or have had kids. All of us grew up in the 80s, so we were practically groomed to cope hard times (global warming and the credit crunch? Ha – we had YTS schemes, Chernobyl, a miners strike and Mike Smith putting a condom on a banana on the telly). If I have any regrets, it's not being a Dad yet or not having the opportunity to plough a comfortable rut at some piss-easy job.

If you ask me, the mid-life crisis seems to have slipped. Twentysomethings are the ones bearing the brunt at the moment. The lucky ones are coming out of university looking down the barrel of five-figure debt, into a volatile job market that can’t fulfil the promises of higher education for the majority. I have a friend who works at an arts centre that had a vacancy for someone to work in the box office; 200 arts graduates applied for the privilege of answering the phone for bookings. The unlucky ones appear to have even less to look forward to.

In fact, people of my age may well be the first to look back at the generation below us and think, ooh, I don’t fancy that. The media has done such a good job of leaping upon any new youth cultures and dissecting them before they’ve fully developed that there appears to be little to be jealous, resentful or frightened of (we were also the first generation to want our second childhood roughly two weeks into adulthood, rather cleverly getting all that rubbish out of the way as early as possible).

So if I'm right, and the worries traditionally associated with the mid-life crisis appear to have slipped a decade, there must be thousands of men in their late thirties who have missed it completely, who know that they're not going to wake up on the morning of their 40th birthday with a cardigan and slippers welded to them. But having said that, 50 is not that far away. And that looks very scary indeed.

(oh, and forgive me for rambling, but that's what old people do, in't it?)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Sam: Gender Confusion Disorder

Recently there have been huge changes in the dating and flirting scene. For people who come out of a long term relationship, they have said to me that it is a little like stepping out of a time machine into a completely new world. Internet dating is now huge, speed-dating is commonplace, there is a whole new ‘Sex in the City’ generation of women who have grown up with powerful and different dating role models.

What you might have found, and certainly what many of my clients find, is that because of this, there is a lot of confusion about gender roles and what the new rules are. Who asks for the phone number? Who suggests the next date? Who makes the first move? Men don’t know if they should make the first move, women aren’t sure if they should be more assertive. I call this gender confusion disorder.

What you need to know is that though we are living in the 21st Century, effectively the rules for flirting have very much stayed in the 20th Century.

The question that many people ask is who does what? What are the new rules? Well a useful way to think about it is imagining that flirting is like a puppet show. The woman take the roles of the puppeteer and the man the role of the puppet. If you are watching them, it seems like the man is taking all the action. But in reality, it is the woman who is guiding and controlling what the man is doing – he is simply responding to her decisions. It is exactly the same with flirting and many people seem to forget this.

If you are the woman, you need to guide the direction you want the flirting to go. If you are a man, you need to respond to the woman’s guidance by taking action.

Key points for you if you are a woman:

* We live in the 21st Century, but generally gender roles are still basically the same as the 20th Century.
* If in doubt take the traditional flirting role
* Make it clear that you are interested
* Let the man take action
* Realise that men may be intimated by a very direct approach
* Play the puppeteer, not the puppet.

Key points if you are a man:

* You are the puppet on stage – you need to respond to the puppeteers orders!
* It is up to you to take action – either look for a flirting green light (see future posts) or on dating websites make sure you fit the criteria and then take action
* If in doubt, take the traditional male role

Essentially the gender rules for flirting are quite simple. The woman picks the men she is interested in and makes it clear that she is available. She guides the action – from first giving eye contact, to hinting that she would like to go out for a drink sometime. It is the man’s job to take action, watch out for the signals and act by starting a conversation with a women who gives you a flirting green light, asking for her phone number when she hints it might be fun to catch up for a drink, giving her a call and arranging the next date. If in doubt, stick to tradition.

I must end on a caveat. Flirting and dating rules are changing, but very slowly. It is OK for a woman to make the first move – what you have to realise is that if you break the traditional flirting rules, then there is the danger that things won’t go to plan. If you are very confident in approaching men, getting their phone numbers etc., good for you – but you need to stick to the task with gusto. If you are going to take that role, then stick to it! Don’t expect the man to suddenly start chasing you!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Dave: Flirting

Perhaps it’s nostalgic misrepresentation, but flirting seemed so much easier in our youth. You could read the signals far more competently. You and your mates would be loitering in one of the local parks, drinking Merrydown Cider and giving each other spinning blow-backs off a single joint. You’d plonk yourself down on a vacant bench and she’d come and sit on your lap. And you could tender your intentions with equal clarity by ripping the piss out of her then stuffing clumps of mud down her top. Ah, great days.

We just went with what we felt. The potential consequences didn’t appear to bother us so much. Or at least we lacked the experiences life throws at us over the years, to corrupt our hopes and courage.

Now however, we are perpetually surrounded by the medium of fantasy. Engulfed by literary characters and heroes of the silver screen. To the point where it has created expectations, as we lose our grip on reality. Confused between desirable and down right fictional.

Flirting – isn’t it supposed to be subtle? The more discreet, the sexier? Potent glances across the bar. A shy smile. A flick of the hair. All highly impractical in a world (or at least society) whereby we struggle even to read the signals from our own gender. What? Are you feeling unhappy, angry, confused, horny, flatulent?

Flirting is the sexiest part of the ritual. When it works. Solely because of the uncertainty, the mystery and above all the fantasy. It’s entirely an act. Albeit a pretty sexy one. Nobody wants honesty. We want to be dazzled, seduced by the sexy siren or the international man of mystery. Performances. Certainly we want to belief a truth of being desired but as long as it is charismatically swathed in bubble-wrap.

That wonderful scene in Tootsie when Julie (played by Jessica Lange), frustrated with men and their flirting techniques, vents to Dustin Hoffman’s Dorothy how she wishes a man would just be up front and come up and tell her “I find you very interesting and I’d really like to make love to you” So Michael, as himself, tries the very same line on her at a party and receives a glass of champagne in the face. Predictable? Of course. But that’s the point.

Honesty no longer has a place in flirting. In fact, it’s the most likely quality to kill any sexual yearning on her part. If however you have a particular fetish for pitying expressions and sibling-style hugs, then let the truth out in all its unadulterated glory.

Bring back the days when sexual blossoming negated any personal expectations. Before women became truly aware of their sexual clout and the insecurities that come with that. Bring back the shyness, the giggles, the headlocks, and the exuberant groping. And rid the world of expensive dinners, cheesy grins, prosaic yarns, and unambiguous social roles. Strip down the responsibilities of financier and mannequin. And restore the joy of flirting.

Sam: Dot Com Revolution

Well, us technomasters at Todger Talk have decided to plunge head first in the 21st Century and reduce typing strain for you our lovely readers.

After cutting back on our weekly pint budget, we've scraped together enough to stake out our internet wildwest claim on and

From now on when you type in those addresses, well you should just come straight here, no need for all the blogspot stuff.


Friday, 21 March 2008

Something For The Ladies #6

Sod Good Friday. We might be a bit late every now and then, but we never stop bringing the sex chat. So...

Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com. Every week, we shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.

Gentlemen: We would very much appreciate your input, so the comments section of each Something For The Ladies post will be yours and yours alone for 24 hours. In other words, all female comments will be deleted. Sorry ladies, but in this case we'd be very grateful if you'd hush those sweet keystrokes and let the chaps have their say. Just for today, though.

This week's question...

Anonymous writes: Perhaps you can help me understand and change a particular dynamic in my current intimate relationship. To put it simply, my boyfriend seems to zone out during sex. We have plenty of it, and invariably starts out hot and dirty.... and then fades to lukewarm and perhaps just a little untidy. To be more specific, when the sex is at the point where I am trying to climax, and I need my boyfriend’s attention more urgently, it seems he chooses exactly that interval to prop his hands behind his head and wait for me to finish. I frequently grab his hands and place them somewhere more interesting, or ask him to give me a few smacks on the bum, anything besides simply lying there. And men complain about women being corpse-like!

This is only ever a problem in this circumstance, i.e. when I’m on top, trying to come. In any other position or time, the pace and intensity are how I like it and want it, but frankly, I think it’s weird for him to keep zoning out at my critical moment. Much as I keep articulating my desire for him to be a little more proactive, both through words and actions, it doesn’t seem to help. Why does this happen, and how can I get him to keep up the pace? Is this just another case of a guy thinking his hard-on will suffice?

'Mr Sex' says: Without trying to state the obvious, your sex life (or at least a critical bit of it) is in a, ahem, rut. Let me look at this through his eyes. So he's obviously up for making you come first; good. You've both found a position that allows you to do that through penetrative sex; good. He now thinks all he has to do is to provide a bonk-on and allow you to grind away at it for a bit;

I don't know how long you've been seeing each other, but a lot of couples make the same mistake. They go through a period of experimentation at first when they set aside time for non-stop hows-your-father, then they find the position they like best. Then they keep doing it again and again, rather like a spoilt child who demands the same dinner every night, which they eat in the same way.

At the moment, your bloke is behaving like a right dildo. Literally. Sounds to me like he's taking a short rest period so you can get your orgasm out of the way as soon as poss, which is a rubbish way to go about things. The best way to snap him out of it could be to break the mould and do something completely out of character - like uncoupling yourself, placing your knees around his shoulders and masturbating in front of his face. Or turning round and doing reverse cowgirl (so at least you won't have to see him lolling about like a sack o' taters). Or simply pointing out that this position ain't doing it anymore, and he needs to get off his arse and put some bastard work in.

Thursday, 20 March 2008

'Mr Sex': Wankety Wank, Wankety Wank (DUM! DUM!) Wankety Wank, Wankety Wank (DUM! DUM!)...

...Wankety Wank! Wankety Wank! Wankety Wank! WANKETY WANK!

Before I get stuck into the second part of my Grotline Special, here's a game all the family can play (apart from the under 18s); simply fill in the missing letters of these genuine phone sex adverts. No prizes - it's just for fun...

(people who go to my pub quiz are absolutely barred out from entering, by the way)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Dave: Cool for Cats

Some of us fellas put great stock by our relationships. We regard them as a mutual bond between two devoted parties. An eternal flame which requires the constant use of bellows to avoid going out. A sacred unification of two equal parts fusing together to form a greater whole.

To the guys out there who consider themselves of this ilk there is one piece of advice I offer. A truly essential snippet of counsel you must heed. Whether it’s your first date at a particularly luxurious branch of Pizza Express (no expense spared on toppings). Or if you’ve reached the stage where she’s already seen you crashed out on the sofa in your pants playing Xbox for eleven hours straight. Before you go any further with this woman you need to know this: is she a cat lover or a dog lover?

Ideally you’re looking for a dog lover. Indifference towards either beast works just as well. A mild preference toward the feline and you could be safe. However, if she starts pulling out photos of Mr. Grumpykins, the fattest, cutest cat in town, get the hell out. Don’t bother paying the bill, just go. Ignore the fact you’re one game away from doing the treble with Accrington Stanley on Champ Man, leave your trousers lying in the middle of the floor and head for the door. This relationship, my friend, is no good for you.

You see, in most instances, cat lovers tend to be dog haters. They detest the loyal, obedient, trusting nature of our canine companions. They perceive the friendly, fun-filled frolickers as weak-minded saps. Where’s the mystique, they ask. The ambiguous attitude? The hateful scratch marks across the cheek?

Cat lovers like their men bad. They are the ‘three-letter C’s’ types of women: Cats, Cars and Cads. Coincidence? Perhaps. Nevertheless, they prefer the obvious charms of a well-groomed, furry-testicled self-obsessive. The self-flagellating excitement of knowing that puss has only returned from his philandering for some ready-made grub and a place to crash. All the while swooning over the mutual understanding that should the cook-cum-litter tray attendant get a little over familiar, he has the freedom to fuck off into the night.

Where do you think the old spinster stereotype and her harem of mewing moggies originated? These women weren’t too shy during their days of courtship. They didn’t undertake a vow of celibacy. Far from it. They were simply attracted to the worst types of users and bruisers around. Any man willing to open his heart to them or show respect never stood a chance.

In truth, these women don’t even know what they want. The dog may appear broken-in on first evaluation but its sophistication is unquestionable. Sure his hair get into the strangest of places and his chronic flatulence is less than desirable when friends come to visit. But, the potential for danger is always there, lying understated beneath an erudite surface. After all, what’s the worst a tabby can do other than obstinately plonk himself down on the exact part of the Sunday paper you were trying to read?

Well, that’s as it may be. But, she’ll never change her mind. So dispense with your faith in a fruitful relationship. Once a cat lover, always a cat lover.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

'Mr Sex' Talks NON-STOP FILTH (£1.99 per minute peak rate, £1.50 all other times)

Now then. The first job I ever had in the Porn industry was as a picture librarian for 30 grot mags. What this basically meant was that I was shoved into an office the size of a broom cupboard, had about 20 bin liners filled with loose transparencies of women showing off their Minnie Moos thrown at me, and was told to sort them all out into sets again. It was the world's largest pornographic jigsaw, and it took fucking ages.

Once I'd done that, my role was twofold. I had to ring up photographers, tell them I was in possession of a set of pictures they took 20 odd years ago and were demanding back until they gave up ten years afterwards, ask if I could buy the rights from them for £50, and then be
screamed at for being a fucking robbing bastard who wanted his head kicking in. My other role was to fulfill utterly ludicrous demands by magazine editors who wanted images that matched their letters pages to a tee. Did I have an upskirt shot of a blonde in a Hawaiian hula skirt, who was up a stepladder doing some decorating? (No.) Was there any chance of finding an image of a black Policewoman sucking a truncheon outside a football ground? (Absolutely none. Go away.) How many photos have you got of a redhead and a brunette in a bath, with someone in an Elvis costume in the background about to get in, and the bath has to have gold taps? (Fuck. OFF.)

There was one job, however, that made it all worthwhile, even though the first time I did it, I thought I was gonna get sacked on the spot. I was called up to the office of one of the big bosses, without being told what he wanted me for. Everyone had already warned me that he was not a bloke to fuck about with. I could immediately tell by his voice - a flat strangulated Essex sneer - that everyone was dead right. He had a icyness in his drawl that could reduce the testes to Cadbury's Mini-Eggs. But, to my surprise, he looked up at me with doleful eyes, picked up the phone, and said; "You'll 'ave to forgive me for this, but I 'ate this fucking part of the job."

What on earth did he mean?

"Yer...'allo, mate. Yes, very well, thanks. Shall we get on with it?"

A pause. And another glance in my direction, before casting his eyes downwards. Just like Lady Di, if she was a man in his late 40s, and worked in the Wank Factory. Then he let it fly...

"I'm a dirty fuckpig, and I'm hungry-hungry for cock"

Wham. I sat bolt upright as if someone had taken the ends of my puppet strings and jerked them upright. What the fuck?

"My slack fanny needs a turbococking by three black pricks. No, I didn't say 'slag fanny', you prat. Slack fanny. And Three. Black. Pricks."

Oh my God. Oh my God oh my God ohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod. This is my first experience with senior management, and I'm fighting to stop from pissing all over the carpet with laughter. I avert my gaze. I catch the eye of his secretary. She must have heard this a thousand times, and she's biting on a handkerchief. The cow.

"Your mouth. My toilet"

Fucking No. Stop. Please stop. Now. This is the only job I could find in London so I could be with my girlfriend who I love desperately, and if I lose it, I will have to go back and live at my Mam's on an estate 150 miles away. Please stop this crazy sex talk.

Then he says it. He takes one more look at me - his eyes practically bulging with piteous humiliation - and he says it.

"Granny wants your spunk"

And I snort like a sleeping walrus being anally penetrated by an icicle, and produce a snot bubble so enormous that the Montgolfier Brothers could have attached a basket to it and gone across France.

Amazingly, I didn't get sacked/slapped up/murdered. And yes, as you've already guessed, my boss was reading out the latest wankline adverts down to the phone to Repro, before getting me to provide appropriate images for them. And this week's selection of posts from me are gonna be devoted to them, because they're far and away the most entertaining part of any wank mag.

Let me get the scanner fired up, dear readers, and I will show you a world of wonderment and depravity, where every possible sexual urge can be sated for a mere £2 a minute. Except it can't, really, because you're trying to have as quick a wank as possible with a bit of plastic wedged between your ear and your shoulder because you're too scared to put the speakerphone on.

To be continued on Thursday...

Monday, 17 March 2008

Sam: Ear Power

Listening is one of the most powerful flirting tools that you have in your arsenal. Yet often it is one of the most underused.

Essentially, people like people who listen to them. Or rather, mostly people like to talk, and like to have people listen to them. It makes them feel important. It makes them look good. And what is particularly strange, is that if you spend an entire conversation listening to someone, usually they will remember the conversation as being terribly interesting, and you having made some fantastic points.

Most people think they are listening, but don’t realise the impact they have when they withdraw their attention from someone.

Words that people use when describing how they feel when the person listening are all terribly positive. They feel listened to, important, they enjoy the conversation and feel very positive towards the person who is listening to them. They describe the experience as being much more focused, and find it much easier and more enjoyable to carry on the conversation.

Compare that with when conversation is withdrawn. Often people use the terms ‘arrogant’, ‘angry’, ‘infuriated’, ‘worthless’ – one person actually said they wanted to slap a person who wasn’t listening to get their attention! Also very interestingly people actually find it much harder to speak, they lose track of the conversation and their thoughts. The whole experience is very unpleasant when someone is not listening.

This is the power of listening. Simply by paying completely attention to the person you are listening to, you will massively boost their impression of you and the positive associations that they have with you. And really this is fundamentally what flirting in everyday life is about. It is about making the person that you are talking to feel good, so they enjoy the conversation and then they will see you in a brighter light.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Something For The Ladies #5

Ooer, is it Friday already? Better cut and paste that bit of text that says...

: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com. Every week, we shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.

Gentlemen: We would very much appreciate your input, so the comments section of each Something For The Ladies post will be yours and yours alone for 24 hours. In other words, all female comments will be deleted. Sorry ladies, but in this case we'd be very grateful if you'd hush those sweet keystrokes and let the chaps have their say. Just for today, though.

This week's question...

'C' writes:
What do you make of a man who after a whole bout of (gah, arrhythmic) sex refuses to cum inside you, instead masturbating to finish himself off, even though he's wearing a condom (asides from vaguely insulting)?

'Mr Sex' says: Bleddy 'ell fire, we've got a right question here. I'll put aside the non-metronomic portion he's giving you (quick hint: get on top and control the strokes), and address the other two issues, as I've been dying to for ages. You have no idea what a can of worms you've opened here. First off, you are not alone. More and more men seem to be in favour of whipping it out at the point of no return these days, and there's a few reasons for that.

The most obvious one is because Porn keeps telling them to (it's got so repetitive now that scenes where men actually ejaculate
inside their partners are seen as a bit niche, and scientists predict that there'll be no children walking the earth by 2080 because men will have forgotten where they're actually supposed to lose their mess for procreational purposes). It goes a bit deeper than that, though.

The reason a lot of men do it is because a hand-shandy finale not only helps prolong the moment before we tip over the point of no return, but because we also know how to get the most from our all-too-brief (compared to the female version) orgasm. When we're about to shoot our bolt, a lot of us want as much control and as little pressure around the penis as possible, and Missionary or Cowboy can't provide either (it's one of the reasons why men love doggy-style, by the way - doesn't feel as tight, and we're in full control of our strokes).

So the fact that he's doing this with a johnny on (known in the trade as a Posh Wank) is rather defeating the object. Either he's extraordinarily terrified of getting you pregnant, fastidiously tidy and worried about getting it on the sheets, or - as I suspect - he's desperately keen to take the damn thing off and throw his stringy web of love on some part of your body, but afraid to ask. Obviously, you're feeling very left out by all this, so if you're keen, offer to take the condom off and give him a hand, telling him what you'd like him to aim for.

Sam says: Well to put it bluntly, this guy sounds like a wanker. He’s self centred and not interested in the sex you are both having, just the sex he is having. Also that’s a bit weird and creepy, not to mention really disconnected.

If he was a cracking and considerate lover up to this point, then you might have something to work with, but you don't so I suggest:

a) you dump him and get someone better in bed – people don’t change unless they have a drastic reason to do so. Otherwise you are going to keep getting disappointed on this front.

b) use mirroring to show him how it feels. There is no point arguing about this stuff, better to demonstrate by example. Next time you have sex, break it off before he is done, and finish yourself off with a rabbit. See how he likes it. Either it will hit home the point, or he will really like it, so you may like to revert to option a).

c) take Al’s advice and try and work with what is probably his porn-induced brainwashing.

Gentlemen of Todger Talk, what’s your advice to this disgruntled lady?

Thursday, 13 March 2008

'Mr Sex': His Formulations are Randy and Unintelligable

Time to grab them industrial-sized tweezers and pull out another prize exhibit from my collection of Porn letters. And ooh! This one comes all the way from Hamburg...

Dear Mitchelle!

I suspect your sack of mail is simply flowing over with horny, smutty letters from hungry dicks who are just nuts about your lovely and upperly succulent frame. But I sincerely hope you read this and not some hungry dick or pussy behind a desk. I am simply so horny my 8 inch long rod is pumping like a Fanta-automat in July. To put it bluntly, babe, not only your sack is flowing over. After seeing you in action on those dirty pics, I wanna fuck your ass. My dear Lady. Bad.

Let me tell you, I am two things. 1) I very romantic: I love women. They live longer and can wrap men round their little fingers. I love dating them, giving them roses and champagne with classical music, massages and oral sex. 2) A Tiger in Bed: when I fuck, I fuck 300%. Passion and Fire. Cock Large and Pumping. But also gentilily and long foreplay.

Why am I telling you this? Because you arouse all this in me. And turn me into a romantic tiger willing to shag your three holes blue. And I am three other things: a blonds-freak, a breast-freak, and a bun-freak. Never has one woman perfectly satisfied all three lusts. I and my long dick can can only with all reverence say: Adieu, Heart, Hello, Hard-On…

My formulations may be randy and unintelligible but I assure you, Mitchelle, you will be in my wet dreams tonight, may I be in yours? I want to make love to you until we both turn into little balls of dynamite. If you can find time to send me a greeting I will definitely wank over it for all eternity and treasure it dearly. I am sending you a self-addressed envelope, so long, beautiful woman…

Sadly, the letter never reached Mitchelle, and ended up in my bag to be read on the Tube instead. If you're reading this, Mitchelle, I truly regret not passing this on and denying you the opportunity to have all three of your holes shagged blue 300% by a tiger-shaped vending machine. Please don't hate me.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Dave: Sleazing the Moment

It’s that When Harry Met Sally moment (no, the other one), your attractive female friend has recently been dumped and looks to you for comforting words and a shoulder to cry on. As the alcohol flows, she opens up to you. Tales of regret. How to ease her pain she’s slept with a couple of his friends and couple of their friends too yet, aside from a moment’s satisfaction she feels even colder and more lonely for having done so. Emotion runs high; honesty pours out. It was just sex, and never any good because it was for the wrong reasons (you need reasons?). And between hiccups and teary smiles she holds you tightly, showering you with compliments (for the first time since you’ve known her).

Even without having listened to her confessions, you know the flirting is born from misery and the fact she can no longer see straight. And if you’re truly honest with yourself, the vulnerability may even act as a stimulus, however ashamed you are to admit it. On the one hand it’s your responsibility to restrain yourself for the sake of not only your friendship but for the altruistic feeling of really caring for this person. On the other you get to shag a really hot woman, without the burden of having to impress.

But a tidal wave of questions crashes around your head. Would she regret the encounter? Possibly. Despite initiating the proceedings would she consider that you took advantage of her? Probably. Or ironically, should you do the gentlemanly thing and get her home safely with what’s left of her virtue intact, might the feeling of rejection be too much for her to bear coming from somebody she knows and trusts? Typically.

Do you seize the moment, accepting her advances at face value, pleading ignorance of valour and foresight? Would it not be incredibly patronising to presume you know what’s best for her? And are you desperately trying to convince yourself that there’ll only be a positive outcome from boning your dejected comatose companion?

The greatest quandary is dealing with perceiving yourself as the sleazy shyster you’ve warned all your female friends, your sister, and ten year old niece about. What’s worse? That your melancholy friend may view you thusly or to see yourself in such a light? Though in terms of rationalising the situation, would it be even worse to pass up what could be a one off opportunity? I suppose the answer depends upon the length of the dry patch you’re having. A nice clinical conclusion to a moral dilemma.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Dr Ayan: Danger Down Under?

No, we're not talking about holidays to Oz, but oral sex of course. Yet again, it's been brought to my mind by a patient who asked me the question last week.

The risks are higher to a person performing fellatio on a man rather than cunnilingus on a woman, but don't be reassured by that, because the bottom line is you can theoretically catch everything from either act. Ok, I know, the doctor only talks about the doom and gloom side of sex. Well, I'm not here to preach. I think the point is to be aware of the risk, and remember, the quicker you act if you think you're at risk, the easier it'll be to treat. Remember - most STI's are treatable, so if you do have a lapse, get down to the GUM clinic sharpish.

Here's a useful link which leads to others about what you can and can't catch from oral sex.

Monday, 10 March 2008

'Mr Sex': I Want Classless Sex, And I Want It NOW

Warning: this post is a bit political. And Americans without prior knowledge of the British class system probably won't understand it at all, so I apologise in advance. But anyway; is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how middle-class sex has become these days?

I don’t want to go all Class War on your collective arses, but it has to be said; we’re living in an extremely middle-class decade, in the UK at least. We're tottering on the brink of recession, mainly because we're all being constantly being encouraged into adopting traditional middle-class values (buy your house, be suspicious/scared of the outside world, keep up with the Jones' - even though you don't really talk to them anymore - and pull the ladder up as quickly as possible) whether we can afford it or not. And a huge chunk of the population are firmly in the 'Not' side of the equation.

Turn on the telly, and you're treated a non-stop barrage of sneery gets 'helping' the Proles to sort their lives out in shows such as Your Dog Is Almost As Feral As You, Peasant, I'm A Big Shouty Aryan Who Swears A Lot At The Lower Orders To Disguise The Fact That I Do A Girls Job, and Look At Your Shit, You Disgusting Indoor Whale! Go On! Look At It! LOOK AT IT!. The music of the era is infested with mewling whelps like James Blunt (a former Army captain, for Christ's sake) and Keane (the Sound of Impotence). Want to go to the football? That’ll be £40, please, now that it’s been discovered by middle-management types. Looking for working-class people in the media? They'll be the people ramming glasses into each other's faces on TV documentaries and think-pieces about 'Binge Britain'. And you could always fucking watch fucking Channel fucking Four to see a load of fucking actors fucking encapsulating fucking authentic working-fucking-class life (by saying 'fucking' all the fucking time) on fucking Shameless.

(This is not intended to be a rip on middle-class people, by the way; I work in a traditional middle-class profession, I know a lot of middle-class people, and I like 'em. But I was brought up to believe that we were supposed to be living in a meritocracy, and your background wasn't supposed to matter anymore, that's all)

So what's this got to with shagging, then? Well, last time I checked, we were all issued with a set of genitals regardless of social status. But if you opened most women’s magazines, watched any chick-flick, or checked out pretty much every advert aimed at women with a sexual undertone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that both Rumpy and Pumpy has been completely annexed as a luxury item.

Personally, I blame Sex and the City for this horrible state of affairs; almost single-handedly, it re-perpetuated the idea that it was incredibly liberating and self-empowering to kick out the sexual jams, just as long as you had the right career and wore larcenously expensive shoes while you were doing it. Presumably, if Carrie Whatshername and her mates worked in a factory making Rabbits instead of endorsing them, and spent their leisure time knocking back WKD on a Friday night at Re-Flex, we’d have never heard of them until one of ‘em rolled up on Trisha.

Sadly, we did, and it shows. Go to any sex trade show, and within five minutes you’ll be surrounded by twittering Trustafarians who think they’ve invented sex because they’ve discovered a new colour to make a dildo with. There's a swingers club in my hometown that advertises itself as - and I’m typing this with a straight face – ‘Nottingham's sexual elite’, which brings to mind images of a Nazi eugenics programme, involving Margo Leadbetter being serviced by the Cheese Manager from the local Asda.

Worst of all; the reams and reams and reams of erotic fiction that read like Barbara Cartland novellas, but with more big spunking cocks. When you read these things, you wonder how the characters ever find the time to have it away, what with their rammed-out social diaries, massively important power-lunches, and high-flying careers. Josh, Tim and Hugo get to have their wicked way with Camilla, Emma and Chloe in five-star hotels. Presumably Tracey, Sharon and Caz get to pick up the pants and spent johnnies off the floor and give the sheets a boil-wash before going back to being knocked about by Tez, Kev and Daz.

It all sounds extraordinarily ground-breaking (and yes, at the end of the day it's all about fantasy, and being minted is probably a bigger fantasy for most people than a quality sex life) but the message in a lot of the stories veers alarmingly close to the one that Women’s Realm and Mills and Boon were pushing 50 years ago: the main goal a woman can aspire to is to use her wiles to shack up with a toff and ponce off him for the rest of their life. If you’re rich enough, and come from the right family, you’re entitled to be as sexually promiscuous as you like. If you’re not, fuck off to Jeremy Kyle and stop breeding, pram-face.

I know that female media isn’t the only culprit here - look at lad mags, which at their less inspiring moments are little more than office boys prick-teasing other office boys - but as far as I know, a decent, fulfilling sex life is something you earn, not inherit, and anyone who thinks otherwise will be put up against the wall and have dildos thrown at them when the revolution comes. Women who stack shelves at Kwik-Save who have children called Storm have sex too, y’know. And they don’t have to wrap £400 worth of shoe around their feet to do it, either.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Something for the weekend: 09.03.08

The good people at Todger Talk are, well, sitting on their fat arses and doing nowt this weekend, if you must know. Until Monday, here's some linkage;

The Grot and Wrestling Connection examined in full

This bloke here really fancies himself

VD: according to 1966, it was something to do with dinosaurs. We think.

Porn: it's bad.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Something for the Ladies #4

It's Friday. And you know what that means;

Ladies: If there's ever been anything about men you've wanted to know but were afraid to ask, or wanted a male viewpoint on a certain relationship niggle you're going through, drop an email to us at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com. Every week, we shall pick one out and answer it to the best of our capabilities.

Gentlemen: We would very much appreciate your input, so the comments section of each Something For The Ladies post will be yours and yours alone. In other words, all female comments will be deleted. Sorry ladies, but in this case we'd be very grateful if you'd hush those sweet keystrokes and let the chaps have their say. Just for today though, we love hearing from you the rest of the week.

This week's question...

LL writes: The man I'm currently missing told me something yesterday that I have no idea how to interpret. We would love to be together but a huge combination of circumstances are currently keeping us apart. I'm living a separate country for the next three years for one thing, but he is also nine years my senior and has a two year old son and lives with a woman he has been struggling for a long time to escape from. The relationship has been dead for ages, but she's a control freak and every time he leaves or tries to leave she threatens that he will never be allowed to see his son. He always chooses to stay as he would not be able to win custody of his boy: firstly, she is a woman, and secondly, she is far wealthier than he is and could keep him in court until he ran out of money. We do intend to be together eventually though.

Anyway, that's just a bit of background which you're welcome to comment on too. The confusing thing he told me yesterday though, was that he had been at a buck's night on the weekend and seen a stripper who looked just like me. She could have been my twin sister, her said. So he paid her $70 for a lap dance... and left the room after about 60 seconds. I am usually slow to judge, but on this count I have been even slower. I just don't understand, and I doubt he does either.

One thing is clear: he misses me, which I already knew. I miss him too. The rest is a mystery. Does anyone have any insight into my man's mind? Got any tips on getting out of the situation above? Or any idea how we can make it through the next three years, together or not, and somehow create a good relationship in the end?

Sam says:
Whoa, this is a doozy. Firstly, and insight into this man's mind – you've got to realise that we at heart are animals, not rational creatures. We move towards pleasure and away from pain. He is moving towards pleasure (you), but staying away from terrible pain (leaving his wife and losing his son). If anything, being with you is probably allowing him to stay in this horrible situation; he gets enough good stuff with you to allow him to carry on with his wife. If he was alone, then he would have to fully face all the pain in the relationship. You are currently effectively working as a pain-killer which helps him cope.

Tips for getting out of this situation? Well to be honest, for him there is pretty much no way out. And why would he really leave? This way he gets it both ways; he gets to see his son, and he gets to be with a woman who loves him – you. To be honest there is NO WAY that this situation will change as it stands. He will never leave her. Your only option is to leave him, cut off ALL contact and tell him once he leaves his wife, he can get back in touch with you. Harsh I know, but it's the only thing, in my opinion, that could work.

How to make it through? Well you have two choices; stay in the relationship and accept nothing will change (though you, and he will hope otherwise). Or, finish the relationship. Either he will realise the error of his ways and leave her, or you will actually be free to find another relationship where you can actually have the person you want.

'Mr Sex' says:
This is one o'them internet relationships, in't it? Maybe not at first, but it definitely is now. You poor thing. Fucking horrible, isn't it?

Internet relationships, you see, are the mental equivalent of those medieval thumb-traps. You meet someone by chance, and you talk. And talk. And talk and talk and talk. And talk. Before too long, you feel like you know this person back-to front, and you fall in love with their mind. Which, as we all know, is the biggest erogenous zone a human being possesses. Seriously, if all engaged couples were required by law not to see each other and only communicate by e-mail for a month before deciding to get married or not, the divorce rate would drop through the floor.

The drawbacks, on the other hand, are massive. You're indulging in prolonged mental foreplay without the physical relief. That's horrible. No matter where you and the other person are - be it on the other side of the world, or the other side of town - you both feel like you're in separate plastic hamster-balls, endlessly clashing together yet unable to break through. That's equally horrible. What's more, due to the fact that internet communication is still not as instinctual and instant as physical contact (and you can also take your time to write and re-write responses), you very quickly learn to read every throwaway comment the other person makes as if it were a statement of massive importance.

The end result, as you've already discovered, is an absolute mindfuck. You become totally attached to a person who has no opportunity to physically seal the deal. Which makes you want them more. Internet relationships would be brilliant if we were all brains in jars with USB attachments. But we're not. We all have other bits, and they need just as much attention from a partner too. Sometimes, a hug at the end of a shit day at work is worth 300GB of backed-up e-mails.

Obviously, you don't want to hear that, because neither did I when it happened to me. As for the stripper who looks like you; would you have accepted that from him if you were together and he was away on business for a month? Yes, it's obvious that he's attracted to you, but I think the best thing both of you could do is to calm the relationship right down ASAP, get on with your own lives without interfering with each other, and see how the both of you feel three years down the line.

Chaps of Todger Talk, your input is appreciated...

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Dave: A little less conversation . . .

Timeless complaints over how oversexed the male brain is (probably ‘cos the other regions are so undersexed) are a little grating considering the effort women put in to discussing it. We in turn frequently grumble about how women don’t even possess libidos, in a vitriolic, I’m not getting any and there isn’t even a pub in the vicinity in which to drown my sorrows, manner. Well, I’m not surprised. Women burn themselves out. Right from the word go, ‘teen’ mags, and Judy Bloom books are instructing girls on sex. How to please their boyfs. How the dashing yet, untrustworthy rogue is the one to rescue them from the evils of a humdrum life. Christ, if I were raised on that I’d quickly learn to resent the opposite sex. However, I suppose as us guys are raised on porn, there’s enough disappointment to go round.

And it’s not that we’re too shy to talk about sex; it’s just that that’s all women do – talk about it; hold hilarious ceremonial evenings; lingerie sessions (whereby any rare purchases never see the light of day).

They appear to view sex as an ideal, a separate entity, a fantastical part of their psyche which should never be tarnished with the rather enjoyable reality of getting sweaty, fumbling awkwardly and then laying there in stained underpants enjoying a post-coital pizza.

Such is the case, they renounce any responsibility for quality. It’s invariably the man who’s at fault should the experience fail to be earth-shattering, for either of them. Always something the guy has or hasn’t done. If he struggles to rise to the occasion, it’s safely presumed he’s nervous, or under stress at work, or worried his wife might find out. It’s couldn’t possibly be that the woman he’s with is just crap in bed – regardless how attractive she is.

But, even we’ve adopted this self-flagellation. Should anything not feel quite right, we instinctively blame ourselves.

A group of us were enjoying a drink the other day, when one of our number announced he’d finally got it on with a woman he’d been pursuing for years. Feeling pleased for him we encouragingly enquired how it was (purely to show our emotional support and nothing whatsoever to do with extracting the sordid details). He hesitated before confessing how useless he’d been. Must have been nerves, he supposed. An embarrassing admission for any man – particularly around other men.

We did manage to raise his spirits however, when another member of the group casually piped up with his own experience of sleeping with the same woman. We hadn’t mentioned this to our friend before, not wishing to hurt his feelings – he’d had a thing for this woman for some time. Further validation concerning her shagging inadequacies was given by a third member of the table. And once the initial shock had subsided, our friend’s confidence in his own sexual prowess eventually returned. Even if his faith in humanity had been irrevocably damaged.

The point is, how can we attract women with our confident demeanour if we’re piling on the pressure over our own performance? We must remember there are two people involved. Three if your lucky. So if things don’t go according to plan don’t beat yourself up about it, so to speak.

In fact, the next time I pull, I’m going to employ a panel of ‘sexperts’ to sit at the end of the bed and issue scorecards after the strenuous 180 seconds workout. Then we’ll see who’s putting the effort in.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

'Mr Sex' Strikes a Crippling Blow against the Groin-Grinders

So. It's the wee small hours of a school night in the middle of town, and I - Nottingham's 'Mr Sex' - am out with a few lady friends in a club. None of your Frienditis bollocks here; they're mates of mine, nothing more, nothing less. Not that they're not attractive, mind, because they are. And in any case, they've all got boyfriends. Sure, one of those boyfriends is an absolute nob, and the girl concerned could do so much better, but that's not the point. Ahem.

Anyway, we're going through the time-honoured process of getting sambucas down our throats without going into a choking fit (my tip: get as much saliva in your mouth as possible first), when I get chatting to said friend with nobby boyfriend. The conversation goes thusly;

Her: "I've finished with him. He was a right nob"

Me: "Oh, that's a shame. He was a nob, though. Are you all right about it, though?"

Her: "Oh yeah. Looking for someone new. Do you want a dance?"

Me (inwardly):
Me (outwardly): Yeah, go on then.

So far, so good. But then, as we move closer to something that sounded very shit in the 80s but sounds alright-ish now, I clock him. About 20 seconds before she does. And even from half a room away, he's already walking towards us like he's trying to eat a Star Bar with his arsehole. And I'm thinking, oh, NO. Groin-Grinder at 12 o' clock. I hate it when bell-ends come on to my mates when I'm with them, because it's just so painfully obvious, and it demeans everyone. Especially me.

My suspicions are confirmed when his crotch arrives at the scene a good five seconds before the rest of him does. And he proceeds to simulate anal sex with her. Putting aside any amorous intentions I may have towards her, this is Wrongness taken to the highest level. I can do four things here;

1) I can ask her if she's cool with this, and act like I'm her bloke and get us away from the situation, and have a bit of a laugh about it
(Probably the best thing to do)

2) I can walk away and let 'em get on with it, hoping/expecting that she'll follow me.
(But she's pissed up, I'm in full Protective Dad mode, and I'd probably get my head taken off by our mates)

3) I can try to out-frot him.
(Ugh. No, mate)

4) I can reach out, wrap my hand around his throat, and say "OIIII! DO YO' WANT FOO-KIN PANNIN' OR SUMMAT?"
(Tempting. Really, really tempting

And then, amidst the alcohol and the outrage and the confusion and the righteousness, a new thought bubbles up. Five. There is a five.

I turn around, and circle them. And then, without warning, Bang. My groin is rammed hard into his arse.

"You don't mind that, do you, mate?"

My hands grip the side of his hips. Bang.

"Is that nice? Do you like that?"

The hands creep up his chest. He is not moving. He was not expecting me.


"Fucking hell, you've some right nipples on you, duck" Bang. Bang. BANG.

Finally, he comes to his senses. He turns round, and pushes. I push back. And then we do that usual kick-off-in-town bollocks known as 'fronting up', where men re-create the cover of the Beatles Help LP before their respective mates drag them off. I can't be arsed with it anymore, so I say ta-ra and go for my night bus.

As I stand in the shelter, looking at my watch and wondering about getting some chips in before the bus comes, I am filled with righteous zeal. How fucking dare men act in such a Neanderthal manner on this side of the 21st century! And what a genius I was to counteract it in such a spur-of-the-moment fashion! Alright, maybe everyone else in the club assumed I was a prison rapist, but the point had been made, and driven home. Almost literally. God, I'm skill.

And then I see the taxi.

And then I see her in the back.

And then I see him next to her.

And then, from the vantage point of the bin that I was cowering behind so they didn't see me, I see them snogging like two trout after the same bit o' bread.

Amazingly, there's a happy ending to the story. They started going out, and they're still together, and - far from being the lecherous get I thought he was, he's actually a decent bloke. We look back on that night and have a good laugh about it now*.

*Him more than me, obviously

Monday, 3 March 2008

'Mr Sex': The Grotfather

Right about now, I really should be spilling something on the floor in memory of my old gaffer Paul Raymond, who died yesterday at the age of 82. But I can’t bear to think what.

Comparisons are being drawn to Hugh Hefner, but let’s not be silly; Paul Raymond did it first and did it best. The abridged version of his story, recounted to me by the staff at the Paul Raymond Organisation when I started work there back in the day, goes something like this; Liverpudlian post-war traveling mind-reader cottons on early to the fact that the men in the audience are far more interested in his Debbie McGee-like assistants, so he ups the raunch content. Luckily, it's the fifties, so he doesn't have to up it all that much. For example; the UK's archaic laws permit nudity on-stage as long as the ladies stand stock still. Solution? Fly them in on suspended podiums above the stage, and let 'em jiggle away. And then get someone to bellow "Naked - AND SHE MOVES!" outside the theatre.

His shows - which all sound like a Troy McClure resume ("You might remember me for such revues as Come Into My Bed, Let's Get Laid and Yes, We Have No Pyjamas!") - become so popular that he can afford to buy a ballroom in Soho, which he renames the Raymond Revuebar.
Naturally, he makes so much more money out of that (particularly after he's fined five grand in 1961 for a show described by a judge as “filthy, disgusting and beastly”, which is worth about a million quid’s worth of publicity in a time when £1,000,000 is a lot of money), that he starts to not only dabble in magazine publishing, but also buys up chunks of Soho. Although this is seen by outsiders as a canny bit of entrepreneurialism that anticipates the property boom, it’s nothing of the sort; he just doesn’t want the local Maltese gangsters who plague Soho lowering the tone of his exceedingly arty, all-done-in-the-best-PAHSSIBLE-taste shows, so he simply buys them out.

By the mid-70s, after an internal police investigation of the Obscene Publications Squad that results in 500(!) coppers resigning and small-time Charlie Endell types packing up their dog-sex vids and retiring, he buys even more of Soho. By the time the 80s roll along, he’s the richest non-aristocrat in the UK. His grot department (now expanded to magazines such as Men Only, Mayfair, Escort, Club and Razzle) more than pulls its weight (like Richard Desmond and David Sullivan, he makes an absolute killing from wank lines), but that’s just the side-action. He’s the King of Soho. You know the cover of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? I'm guessing that Paul Raymond practically owned that street.

By the time I started working at Paul Raymond Publications at the turn of the century,
there was a distinct end-of-Empire feel about both it and Soho. The rot set in as early as 1980, when his one and only attempt to break the film market was exposed as a shoddy Emanuelle copy years after anyone wanted to watch the original (he pops up in a cameo halfway through the film, agonising over the colour of the tablecloths in the Revuebar. He chose blue). After that, the flood of imported mags from Continental Europe and videos from America poured in, Desmond and Sullivan took the market relentlessly downmarket, and Paul's bit of high-class sauce was as fashionable as an all-in-one panty-girdle. The buzz surrounding the place, you felt, was a fraction of what it used to be.

Although there was still money to be made from the mags (and the website was making approximately £40K a week, which was precisely £40K more than 99% of UK-strength porn sites), the power of the brand had diminished. You also got the impression that you could say the same about its owner. The former had been blindsided at both ends by Lad Mags who were selling more by offering less, and websites that were offering pretty much everything for fuck all. It was obvious that my bosses were far more concerned with the business of property management than flatplans and websites; when you know that the meeting before yours involves the negotiation of a million-pound monthly rental of a property on Shaftesbury Avenue, you realise that your niggles about a bruise on a model’s arse are the smallest possible beer in the world.

The latter had been devastated by the death of his daughter in 1992 (who, according to the old-timers there, was an incredibly generous and down-to-earth woman who would have made the perfect heir to the empire), and was a virtual recluse. In the time I was there, I only met him once, as he was coming out of lift. He was dressed like Tom Baker’s great-grandfather, with a long scarf wrapped around him as if it was protection from the outside world. It was one of the weirdest encounters I’ve ever had in my life; meeting a man who could have easily bought every house, school, hospital, office and factory I’ve ever been in on the spot, and feeling a bit sorry for him.

The media reaction to his death says much about pornography in the UK. If Paul Raymond had lived and died in America, he would have been celebrated as both a champion of anti-censorship and entrepreneurial spirit; the man who overthrew stuffy 50’s sensibilities with a thrust of Bonnie Bell the Ding-Dong Girl’s hips, and the son of a lorry driver who ended up owning an entire postcode of prime real estate in one of the world’s biggest cities. But he was British, so he was a smut pedlar who got lucky.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the mags now. Fondest regards to all the people I knew who still work there.

Sam: Spread the good word

Al told me this is a naf idea, and my fiancée raised her eye brows disapprovingly, but then, I am Aussie and tend to just stick my foot it in anyway.

We work hard here at Todger Talk to make you think, laugh, and well laugh. I would really appreciate it if you did a teeny little bit of work in return – to gently spread the good word of Todger Talk.

Step 1. Pick your favourite post that made you laugh out loud, or really got you thinking on Todger Talk

Step 2. Email it to three friends (ideally male) saying something like ‘Har har, this is hilarious and made me wet myself, check it out’ or ‘Check this out, what a great perspective’.

Step 3. Well, um, there is no step three.

Personally I have emailed all my male mates on facebook about Todger Talk. But, I guess that’s why we get called brash Aussies.

Ah, nice one...

Post of the Week

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Something for the Weekend, Sir? (1.3.08)

Todger Talk is spending the weekend heeding its own advice, so until normal service is resumed on Monday, here's something else to lay your eyes upon;

Ben-Her: Canadian phone-prankster extraordinaire, who pretends to be a woman, goes on phone sex services, and commits acts of exceptional wrongness

Following on from Dave's post from a while back: home-made sex toys

MILF Rice? Mouse-shaped vibrators? Sex with things that look like 1980s roll-on deodorants? Only in Japan (and then the rest of the world three years later)

Who will succeed Vanilla Dong as the Name of the Year? (Come on, Pansy Ho!)