Friday, 29 May 2009

Sam: Not Such Morning Glory

Morning Glory - the circumstance whereupon a man wakes up with an erection - is something that every man should celebrate. Because it means that his penis is still working. I've just discovered in hospital, unfortunately, that there is little glory attached to it. At all.

There are various disadvantages, because at a cetain point a nurse will come along and require you to pee into a bottle. Have you ever tried to put an erect penis into a bottle and peeing into it? It's very, very difficult. And that's not even including the embarassment of greeting your first nurse of the morning with a good (or even feeble) erection. My tip - wait until it's died down a bit before even thinking of summoning anyone to your bedside.

Now I'm out of hospital, I'm more grateful of my Morning Glory than ever before. And gentlemen of the world, so should you be. Of yours, that is. Not mine.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Dan: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned…

(...and especially an insecure woman who thinks she’s been scorned)

Forgive me for being silent for so long. I’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time for eating and sleeping. While thoughts of sex have never been far from my mind, they’ve not had a hugely thoughtful edge to them. I didn’t think six paragraphs of ‘I want some, I want some, I want some, I want some, I want some’, would be particularly interesting reading for you.

I was treated to an interesting display of ‘female scratch-cattery’ the other week during a meeting that turned into a bit of a night out. I’m doing some work with a friend – lets call him Pete – on a new charity comedy night. After the meeting finished, we met up with his girlfriend, a mutual female friend of ours and a few others who joined us later.

This mutual friend is lovely – good looking, husky voice and interesting with a brilliant sense of humour. She is also a natural flirt. Guys who first meet her usually think she fancies them because during conversations she will touch you on the wrist or shoulder, sometimes even your leg. She never seems bored of what you’re saying, always asking more questions to learn more – smiling as she does so.

(A pet peeve of mine is people who can’t hold conversations, and in my experience, a lot of people can’t. Ever had that situation where you ask somebody something; they answer for about five minutes while you nod looking interested; and then they just let the conversation die by not asking you something in return?)

In short, she is very engaging and so you want to engage with her in return. She buys drinks for people too - not standing on outdated etiquettes. All this – coupled with lovely eyes and a winning smile – mean sex appeal radiates from this girl like a shockwaves from an earthquake.
It also means that any girl who happens not to know her doesn’t realise she is happily in a relationship and sooooo not interested in that girl’s boyfriend, and therefore loathe her instantly and instinctively. I’ve seen it several times – it’s almost comic.

Ladies have a sixth sense for threat, I think, and evidently Pete’s girlfriend felt threatened because she did the ‘anti-vaginal magnet hug’. You’ve all seen this before – usually between two girls who know each other but don’t like each other – they hug, pretending to like each other for the benefit of everybody else in the group.

But if you look at the hug, it’s like their pelvises have strongly opposing magnets in them so the only parts that get remotely close are the head and arms, so they briefly resemble an inverted ‘v’. If you haven’t seen it, watch out for it – any time there is a power struggle in a group of women that hug is evident, as neither lady wants to be seen as the ‘bitch’ in the group.

Anyhow, so there we were, everybody laughing and joking. We all ended up back at my mate’s flat for a few drinks and then the mutual friend makes her excuses and leaves. So far, I’ve not really spotted any issues during the night - people have all been chatting, and conversations have been flowing like expenses cash into Hazel Blears’s bank account.

But almost as soon as the front door closed, my mate’s girlfriend kicked off worse than Drogba on a diving course, accusing my friend of carrying on and practically fucking this girl on the coffee table.

‘You’re such a dick… how dare you? – you know what you’ve done! blah blah, yadda yadda, call me a taxi now you pig, I’m going to sleep at mine tonight!’ (A really stupid tactic, it seems to me, if you are actually worried about losing your boyfriend to another woman).

Jealousy is a pretty ugly thing when rendered in such stark and obvious form (whichever sex is the one on the jealous spree – and guys defiantly do it too!). Pete was perplexed because he and I had spent most of the evening chatting about business (very dull of us) and the rest talking with the other people who had joined us later. At no time had Pete’s girlfriend taken him to one side and simply asked him about any perceived over familiarity. In the end, her reaction just made her look ridiculous and monstrously insecure.

All this after Pete has told me he and his lady had discussed marriage. God forbid the bridesmaids are even remotely attractive, because somebody might get injured. Can you stab somebody with a bouquet?

Friday, 22 May 2009

'Mr Sex' (and Any Major Dude With Half A Heart): Songs for the Dumped

So do you want another example as to why women have a far easier time with relationship issues than men? Go to the karaoke, and I guaran-damn-tee you that there will be at least one woman making a dog’s arse out of I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, proclaiming to the world that she’s finally over that twatty ex and is a strong, independent woman who won’t be held down by rubbish blokes ever again (before ruining the effect by going off for a crying jag in the toilets or clamping herself to some random Jeremy Kyle guest in a Lonsdale top).

All well and good. But what about those of us who have penises? Where’s our I Will Survive – songs that allow ourselves to roar with pride that we’re not being dicked about by exes anymore and have moved on with grace and dignity without resorting to outright misogyny (whilst simultaneously letting the female population of the pub be aware of the fact that they can queue up for a portion)?

Having been kept awake for ages at night going through the Guinness Book of Hit Singles of my mind, I finally snapped and sent out the Sex-Signal to my esteemed musical blog-chum, the amazingly brilliant Any Major Dude With Half A Heart, asking him to come up with five tunes men could fall back on. Not only has he come up with ten, he’s also got them ready for download (and he whipped the best ones, as he’s a thousand times more organised than I). His ten are here, mine are below – but first, please be aware of the following provisos;
1) This list is written under the assumption that the bloke running the karaoke has a ludicrously eclectic range of songs, and not just the usual rubbish.

2) It’s also written under the assumption that said karaoke is not rammed with the usual bumfluff-‘tached Oompah-Loompahs who want to do fucking Angels, or the mad old trout who demands to sing Crazy at least seven times.

3) It’s really, really hard to find male versions of I Will Survive, as you will soon discover. Most of the songs I’ve settled on don’t quite match the sentiments of the former – and some of them are not the most right-on in tone - but they all manage to carry off the impressive feat of sounding triumphant in defeat.

4) I reserve the right to swear a lot when you come up with glaringly obvious suggestions that are miles better than mine.


Ben Folds Five – Song For The Dumped

Song For The Dumped really is the national anthem of embittered dumpees. Ben Folds has been discarded with pitiless diplomacy: “So you wanted to take a break, slow it down some and have some space…” He stood no chance; you can’t argue yourself out of that one. How would you respond? And how would you like to respond. Probably like Folds: “Well, fuck you too.” Less than considerate? Perhaps. But, man, he had just BOUGHT HER DINNER. Now he wants his money back, “and don’t forget to give me back my black T-shirt”. Yeah! Give him back the black T-shirt! The new girlfriend is getting cold!

Tom Waits – Who Are You

Ben Folds wants to her to give back the T-shirt; Waits wants her to TAKE BACK what she gave him: lies. And he’s only getting started in what might be the greatest fuck-off song from the male perspective. “Did my time – in the jail of your arms.” Oooh! “Go on ahead and take this the wrong way, time’s not your friend.” Ouch! “Are you pretending to love? Well, I hear that it pays well.” Oooof!

Godsmack – I Fucking Hate You

It is fair to say that Godsmack’s repertoire of scathing zingers is rather more slender than that of Waits and they do lack Ben Folds cutting drollness, but they sing from the heart. Not only was that horrid ex apparently lying to Mr Smack, but she also impugned his good character (and we must trust that his integrity was entirely unimpeachable before), as the lyric suggest: “And every day I’m gonna blame you, even if you justify every fuckin’ bullshit lie…it only makes me want to break you.” Inarticulation often accompanies a broken heart, which might explain the lyrical descend to the levels subsequently occupied by Paris Hilton on her excursion into the world of popular music: “Don’t ever look my way. Don’t even think I’m playin’, cause I fuckin’ hate you. You’re such a liar; I love to hate you” (punctuation is mine; as conceived by the lyricist, none might have been intended). And with that out of the way, we can finally deliberate on the heart of the song: “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!” And why not? Sometimes that is all that needs to be said.

Justin Timberlake – Cry Me A River

The song apparently was a riposte to Britney Spears’ alleged infidelity. Likewise, our notional karaoke singer might have been the blameless party in a split generated by a betrayal. He might have done the dumping, but the betrayal was hers. Either way, the relationship is over, no matter how much she begs. “Girl I refuse, you must have me confused with some other guy. Your bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn to cry, cry me a river.” The sentiment, of course, borrows from a much greater song by the same title. That one is more commonly sung by women (best heard in Julie London’s version).

Hank Williams – Your Cheating Heart

Where Timberlake is piqued over Britn… the girl’s infidelity, Hank Williams (the first one, not the McCain-lovin’ son) navigates the byways of false empathy as he sketches out what emotional turmoil awaits the indiscreet ex. “Your cheatin’ heart will make you weep. You’ll cry and cry and try to sleep.” Just reward for cheating on the doubtless scrupulously faithful Hank. Of course Hank may just be hoping or projecting; the girl might well be pleased to be rid of him, and perhaps with good reason. But just in case she isn’t, he adds: “You’ll toss around and call my name.” And wouldn’t that just settle the score?

Lou Rawls - You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine

Where Hank Williams wishes psychological suffering upon his ex, Lou is more sanguine about love lost — and he can afford to be, since he was only rejected, not cheated upon. His cheer obviously is a mask: when he says she won’t ever find anyone as good as him, he is bathed in anguish, and not making an intrepid foray into the dark art of divination, his rebuff of “ifs and buts and maybes” notwithstanding. He’s not “bragging on myself, baby”; it’s just inconceivable that anyone can love her as tenderly and completely as he has. She’ll regret rejecting him. “Late in the midnight hour, baby — you’re gonna miss my lovin’. When it’s cold outside — you’re gonna miss my lovin’.” His whoa-whoas serve to underline the hopeful taunt. He’ll get over her in good time, and when she realises what she has lost, it’ll be too late. Take that, you wretched waster of good love!

Any rejected fool in love will know precisely what Lou is talking about. Twenty years ago, I was such a fool, suffering from unrequited love, a distressing case of frienditis, with Elizabeth (not necessarily her real name). One night at a club, You’ll Never Find... came on. While she was dancing with some random other, I whispered to my friend: “And I dedicate this song to Elizabeth.” Our mutual friend emphatically agreed with the sentiment. Well, Elizabeth just didn’t love me that way. The way she did love me was expressed by ramming a stake through my heart while cackling viciously like a particularly sinister witch in Macbeth as portrayed by an overacting diva as she told me that we should just be friends. I recently caught up with Elizabeth. She is happily married to a nice man who clearly adores her, and she him. So Lou proved to be less than prescient. But at the time, his anthem of defiant self-validation in which she, not he, was the big loser helped to shake the heavy dust of lovelorn despondency off my shoulders. And within only a year and a half, I was even over her…

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again

Some men are accumulating experience at being dumped, much like our present friend as he goes again here. He won’t waste much time mourning the old relationship. In karaoke mode, he is proclaiming himself ready to be swept off his feet by the next knightess in shining lycra. And what woman of compassionate spirit would fail to give the man a chance when he philosophies: “I’m just another heart in need of rescue, waiting on love’s sweet charity. And I’m gonna hold on for the rest of my days, ’cos I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams.” Sure, the poetry is risible, but he probably will get laid tonight.

Garth Brooks – Friends In Low Places

Being dumped for reasons of economic class just isn’t right-on. But this is what has happened to Garth Brooks (or the song’s first-person protagonist). He confronts her for a final time on her wedding day. And as he might in the rejected script for a rom-com, Brooks trespasses on the nuptials in his cowboy boots (and perhaps a 12 gallon Stetson), intimidates the alarmed groom, and tells the bride that he’s down with her new life — as turning up uninvited to an ex’s wedding invariably communicates. “I toasted you, said, ‘honey, we may be through’, but you’ll never hear me complain.” With bravado he celebrates having found refuge in drink among the flies at his local bar (here we imagine a joint where Achy Breaky Heart commands respect) populated by the cohort of low social expectations in the title. Brooks is, as we and his ex can guess, fooling himself. But at least he can get in a little dig as he makes his declaration of emotional independence: “Hey, I didn’t mean to cause a big scene. Just give me an hour and then…well, I’ll be as high as that ivory tower that you’re livin’ in.” At which point his lowly-placed pals join in the rousing, presumably alcohol-fuelled chorus.

Prefab Sprout – When Love Breaks Down

The dumped karaoke song for the more introspective, analytical man. It isn’t even clear yet that he has been dumped, or that the relationship is over. But our hero is already making plans for that eventuality, which he seems to regard as virtually inevitable. So, what happens when love breaks down? Firstly, you stop the truth from hurting you. Secondly, you lie to yourself (as some of our friends in the preceding songs have done). Thirdly, “you join the wrecks who leave their hearts for easy sex”. Which is why we are presently singing karaoke songs about failed relationship in a bar populated with women in first place.

New York City – I’m Doing Fine Now

At the beginning of the post I flagged Ben Folds Five’s Song For The Dumped as the national anthem for the dumped, but the real song of recovery, of liberation from the cast irons of a broken heart, is this glorious soul number from 1973. The protagonist is at a more advanced stage of recovery than our notional karaokist, but projecting an aspirational confidence that happiness will return with a new love certainly would do no damage to the prospect of getting laid or, depending on your temperament, strike up a rewarding relationship with a very nice girl. The opening verse updates us comprehensively: “Remember the day you up and left? I nearly cried myself to death, oh yeah. And then I met someone else. She made me stop and get a-hold of myself.” And here comes the taunt: “Oh girl, I’m doin’ fine now, without you, baby.” Repeated often enough to drive home the message: what the hell was I doing tormenting myself over you for?

‘Mr Sex’’s Top Ten

Iron Man – Black Sabbath

This song might sound like a big metal robot getting ready to kick the world’s face in, but don’t be fooled – the sentiments are as close as it gets to the male version of IWS. Ignore the rammell about being turned to steel in the great magnetic field – that’s Ozzy trying to say that he’s been chucked by a bird without his mates twigging and taking the piss out of him. Perfectly male sentiments, too – while Gloria gets over her ex by finding someone better, Ozzy can only purge his feelings of rejection by pretending to be 100 feet tall and putting his metal Doc Martens through a building. Because we’ve all thought that, haven’t we, chaps?

By The Time I Get To Phoenix – Isaac Hayes

And yes, it has to be the full Isaac Hayes version. While Glen Campbell sounds like a deadbeat Dad making a midnight flit with a barmaid half his age, Black Moses takes the time to explain that his ex was a right slapper who made him work triple-time so she could get her nails done, and only now does she realise how mint he is, ha ha. Problem is, he takes eleven minutes to lay this all out before he sings note number one, so you’re going to have to work your arse off to prevent a bum-rush by the woman desperate to sing fucking Crazy again and a hail of empty WKD bottles. Wearing a dressing gown made of gold chains might help.

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell

Marc Almond might not be the most aggressively masculine singer in this list (and the opening line forces you to state that a) you’ve had a bit of a roar and b) you knock about in a pub called The Pink Flamingo), but don’t let that put you off, because the glee with which he lays into his rubbish ex is a joy to behold. Bonus points for the subtle allusion that you’re after a ‘nice little housewife’, as the pub will be full of ‘em. I’d mention the David Gray version, but I’d rather not, as I’ve never heard it.

Who’s Gonna Take The Blame – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Poor old Smokey seems to have spent the vast majority of his life being pissed about by women, but he clocked what the girl in this song was all about ages ago; a window-smashing, abusive cow who needed getting shot of. Naturally, said harridan becomes a ‘woman of the street’. Smokey charitably alludes that he tried his best, but he’s bragging, really. Moral – you’re going to end up having sex for money in graveyards for dumping me, you rotten cow.

Stone Free – Jimi Hendrix

It was either this or Roadrunner by Junior Walker and the All-Stars, because the sentiments are the same: I’m single because I go round the country (possibly as a sales rep), I can’t be doing with women putting me in a plastic cage (by making me stay in and watch Strictly Come Dancing), and I’m a wild spirit who needs to live his life the way he needs to, in order to be spiritually fulfilled (by downloading porn torrents, watching back-to-back episodes of Top Gear, and playing Football Manager until 3am next to a stack of pizza boxes).

Devil Woman – Cliff Richard

The standard get-out clause for any dumped male: She Was Mental. And Cliff (who has allegedly not had it off since rationing was stopped in the UK) is in full-on warning mode about his ex, who sounds a bit like that cat-woman in Conan The Barbarian who turns into a ball of flame after that romp in the cave, advising any other bloke sniffing around to LEG IT. Whilst subtly bragging that he’s been there, of course.

Get Out My Life Woman – Lee Dorsey

As you’ve noticed, the tone is changing very quickly from ‘I will grow stronger without you’ to ‘Oh, bollocks to you, then’. And this is probably the most elegant, understated OBTYT I’ve ever come across.

Jilted John – Jilted John

The most joyous, cathartic, triumphant I’ve-been-dumped song ever. She is a slag. And he’s a creep. She is a tart. He’s very cheap. She is a slut. He think’s he’s tough. She is a bitch. He is a puff.

(and Kid Jensen can shut his gob in that video, the cheeky bastard).

Fuck Off – Wayne County and the Electric Chairs

Say no more. But be aware the singer in question ended up having a sex change. There's getting over someone, and getting over someone.

I Will Survive – Cake

Sod it, why not? 99.99999% of songs don’t have genitals, and the ones that do can easily be operated on.

So what have we missed, then?

(and for more AMDWHAH musings of music and love, click here)

Monday, 18 May 2009

'Mr Sex': "But I'd sooner have a Wii, Dad"

Part of me was delighted to notice that a news story from my own dear hometown was the most looked-at article on the BBC News website over the weekend. After reading said story - about a Dad who took his 14 year-old lad to the local red light district in order to lose his virginity, only to ask an undercover police officer if she was 'doing business' - the other 99.999999% buried its face into its hands and howled "No, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

As I've lived next to the estate of Bulwell for an alarmingly hefty chunk of my life (and I worked as a bingo caller there half a lifetime ago - great job if you like wearing ball-constricting Sta-Prest trousers and having your arsed mauled by the elderly), I've developed a few theories as to why Dad thought that giving his 14 year-old son a prostitutional treat for his birthday was the thing to do;

1. Dad was worried that his son was falling behind at school.

2. Dad was concerned that his son might be gay, for various reasons (such as not having got anyone pregnant yet, not being a school bully, or wanting to be a vegetarian or an Emo - hey, that's pretty much the reasons my Dad thought I was, in his own words, 'A fookin' ginger beer'. Apart from the Emo bit), and wanted to 'put him right'.

3. and probably the most likely explanation - Dad is a fucking mouth-breathing bell-end.
Naturally, when this story hit the local newspaper website, all manner of window-lickers chipped in with comments on how they wished they had a Dad like that (because underaged boys + older women = Good Paedophilia, remember). If anyone reading this actually agrees with that theory, imagine yourself stuck in a Ford Cortina at the age of 14, with your Dad dispensing pearls of wisdom such as "Just gerrit aht and lob it oop her", and "This is where I go when your Mam starts getting on me tits". That's not going to completely fuck up your sexual development at all, is it?

So should Dad have been put on the Sex Offenders register? Yes. And he should also be hung from the balcony of the Market Square by his knackers and used as a pinata by anyone waiting for their date to turn up by the Left Lion.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Sam: Hospital Survival Guide

If you ever have the unfortunate experience of being in hospital for a long stretch of time, or know someone who is about to, the following points might just help. Memorise all of them.

Firstly, and most importantly, ask for what you want. I asked for Morphine, and much to my surprise, I got it. I probably ended up keeping half the farmers in Afghanistan in business, which I think was a fair trade. They make a living, and I wasn't living in pain.

Second point: always remember that you are in a queue. So just before you're about to whack the button for attention, take a deep breath into the bottom of your stomach, and count to ten. Because there are probably thirty other people whacking the button at the same time, and the nurses are doing their best to get to you. If you were in a queue at the bank, would you shout "Get the fuck out of the way and give me my fucking money right now"? No. You'd wait.

Third point: throw round lots of mackerel. No, I'm not still on the morphine - it's a lesson I learned from What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage by Amy Sutherland, which is one of the best books I've read about human and animal psychology for as long as I can remember. Basically, because NHS staff get treated like shit by higher authorities - and distressingly, even by some of the people who they're looking after - they're deprived of mackerel (i.e., positive feedback). I find that by merely saying 'please' and 'thank you', you find very quickly that they're happy to do what you want.

Fourth point: understand the structure of the ward. The nurses don't really have the power to change anything - you'll have to get hold of a doctor for that. So don't harass them when you know they can't do anything about it.

Fifth point: find a spot for everything. Not because your essential items will get nicked - they just disappear. Particularly the stuff that keeps you alive, and fends off boredom.

Sixth point, and very important: pull your weight. If there's anything you can do for yourself, do it. Every bit of help you give the staff, they will pay it back twenty times over.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

‘Mr Sex’: This is what you DON’T do on the verge of your wedding

A bit of a setback for Ireland’s Most Romantic Couple. Click that link, and be prepared for possibly the greatest opening paragraph in the history of newspaper reportage. I love the use of the word ‘may’, as if a committee is about to meet and say “Ah, fair play to him, he bought her some flowers in a garage after he wiped his hands down, but. And a packet of Revels”

Monday, 11 May 2009

'Mr Sex' on this new male contraceptive injection thing

So, there's been a big fuss about the announcement of a new jab that could be the Male Pill we've all be waiting for. And this one, by the sound of it, might just work. Mint. Finally, just like women nearly fifty years ago, men get to cast off their fears about pregnancy and become more sexually liberated and up for one-night stands and stuff like that, because it's about time. I'm already lining up a few mini-skirts for myself.

Thing is, whenever I read anything about a Male Pill, my mind goes back to the first nudey book I ever chanced across, in the mid-70s, and an advert I saw for something called The Vascectomy Club. On payment of a couple of quid - and I swear blind I'm not making this up - you could buy a tie and a blazer badge that would subtly let all the womenfolk know that you had had The Snip and wouldn't get them up the stick. And when applying for this club, did you have to supply proof of said snip? Did you fuck (70s wank mags were horrible like that - I must write about them one day).

But anyway, when you think about it, the idea of a Male Pill as a cure-all has been dead in the water for over a quarter of a century, hasn't it? Alright, let's say that a Male Pill (or a Male Jab or a Male Suppository or a Male
Anything) comes onto the market, and it works. Putting aside the fact that a lot of men are more than capable of forgetting or not being arsed to take medication for heart problems, it's going to be a boon for those of us in monogamous relationships. But what about us single and eligible shag-rats? Here's a quick questionnaire;

If there was a Male Pill and it worked, would I take it?
Hell motherflippin' yes. Johnnies are horrible.

Would any woman I came into contact with believe me when I said I had?
In a pig's arse would she.

And what protection from STDs would this Pill give me and her?
Precisely fuck all.

And there you go. The Male Pill is an inevitability, but unless you could take it in front of your partner and it worked immediately, or if everyone who signed up for it had an LCD screen embedded in their forehead that flashed; "YES, HE'S ON IT, DON'T PANIC", nothing is really going to change, regardless of what the papers tell you. We're still going to have to wait for the pub toilets to be completely empty before furtively shoving three quid in the johnny machine.