Thursday 17 May 2007

Not for the faint-hearted - one about sex toys!

Adrian arrived back last night. He said Lithuania was fascinating – storks nesting on chimneys and a true peasant culture (plus good beer of course). After Spain, James and I had high hopes but sadly, this time, our trawl was not quite so classy. James got souvenirs from the brewery – towel, baseball cap, coolbag – all in a bilious shade of yellow. I received a bottle of Lithuanian champagne – which we decided we’d take to a dinner party on Saturday for novelty value (rather than saving to toast any imminent move) – and two boxes of possibly the most disgusting chocolates ever manufactured. Suffice to say they are still relatively untouched – possibly a first in this household. How is it possible to make chocolate so revolting? The only stuff that I’ve tasted quite as nasty were some chocolate willies from a sex shop.

Now, let me explain VERY quickly. Many aeons ago, I used to write about sex and relationships for some of the women’s magazines (New Woman, Elle, Options etc). It was good fun but had its fair share of embarrassing moments. For instance, I was asked once to review sex education videos and so had to steel myself to go into one of the Soho sex shops (this was before the time of one click ordering on the Internet). I figured the only way to do it was to be upfront and professional about the whole thing, so I took a deep breath, marched in and said, ‘What have you got in the way of sex education videos?’
The man brought out a batch and I said briskly: ‘Lovely. I’ll have the lot. Oh, and a receipt please. They’re on expenses.’
His eyes nearly popped out of his head and it struck me that was quite an achievement, shocking the unshockable.
I became pretty unshockable myself. In fact I got so used to talking about bodily bits and orgasms that I forgot that normal people don’t go around discussing clitoral v vaginal orgasms or the relative merits of Taoist over Tantric sex. I still blush to think about the dinner party I was at when, having quizzed the man next to me ad nauseam about what he got up to between the sheets, I popped what seemed to me (at the time) a perfectly normal question, just at the precise moment when the general conversation hit a lull.

‘So, how big is your penis?’

After that I resolved not to mix work and pleasure. But it was tough. What do you do when your editor says she wants you to write a feature about how unrealistic movie sex is – by testing out some of the most famously lurid sex scenes on celluloid? I hadn’t been going out with Adrian for very long at this point and so when I said, ‘We’ve got to pretend we’re having Basic Instinct sex,’ he looked pretty cheery. Then I told him that the editor wanted a photographer to take pictures. His eyes widened. ‘Posed of course,’ I added hurriedly.
‘You are joking?’
I looked at him. Joking? I took my career very seriously at that point. I never turned down a commission.
‘Er no.’
‘Er, hello. People we know read that magazine.’
He had a point.

Sexy food was fun though. We virtually peed ourselves laughing in Waitrose, looking for ‘suggestively’ shaped vegetables (which are supposed to put you in the mood). I waved a very skinny carrot at him. He replied with a marrow. I retaliated with a deformed turnip and we both dissolved into hysterics much to the bemusement of the other shoppers. So we moved swiftly on to stock up on champagne, oysters, prawns and dark chocolate – God, that was a great job!
Now I hope I’m not shocking you. Let’s bear in mind this was a long time ago and of course I wouldn’t dream of having sex now! But, while I’m on the topic I suppose I should mention one more story. In fact, I had an overwhelming urge to write about this on the other site, when the competition was announced, as it was an amusing tale of the perils of village life. But somehow I didn’t think it would be considered quite suitable. But you purple bunch are made of sterner stuff so here we go.

My editor decided that we should run a feature on sex toys and so, over the next few weeks, the postman delivered a very large quantity of plain brown packages.
‘You’re getting a lot of packages,’ said the postman in that nosey parker postman way.
‘Yup,’ I said airily. ‘Bulbs.’
‘Big bulbs.’
I have to say they weren’t really that great. Certainly not remotely aesthetic. I tried, I really did. You couldn’t say I wasn’t game – good old girl guide Jane always willing to have a go. But some had me totally bemused. Anyhow, I applied the third rule of journalism (“When you don’t know, guess”) and the feature was done and dusted. But I was left with a problem. How do you get rid of three boxloads of sex toys? They’re not exactly the kind of thing you can shove off down to the village fete. Or pass on to your friends – ‘hey, fancy a barely-used Rampant Rabbit?’ It seemed wicked (to someone who’d been recycling since she was three) but there was nothing for it – they had to be thrown in the bin.

You know what’s coming, don’t you? We hadn’t been living in the village that long and so I cheerily put out our bin bags in the lane. The next day when I went to walk our boxer, Monty, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A fox had been in the bins and there they were – about a dozen vibrators, various balls and other contraptions all littered over the lane, some merrily humming away to themselves. Never has one woman hunted and gathered so frantically. But I did it – got the whole bunch whisked away in the nick of time before the Colonel and his two Springers hoved into view.

The Springers bounced off to play with Monty and I exchanged the time of day and details of the dog show with the Colonel.
‘Well, m’dear, must get going.’ And off he went, just as Monty came bouncing out of the hedge with something horribly pink buzzing like a demented gnat in his mouth.
‘What’s he got there then, eh?’
‘Oh God, no idea. Monty! Monty!’ Hysteria tinging my voice.
‘Bring it here boy.’ Calm and steady military tones. And Monty, the traitor, did just that, trotting straight past me and dropping it neatly at the Colonel’s feet.
I was scarlet. But, to my total amazement, so was the Colonel.
‘Er, better give that here, boy,’ he muttered and in one seamless movement scooped it off the ground, switched it off (something I’d never quite figured out how to do) and popped it in his pocket.

PS – changing the subject totally……dreams. A few more notes following your comments.
@themill – bridges join up two locations and usually indicate moving from one phase to another. Can be fear of how change will affect your security. Also there has to be a link to childhood here – maybe even trying to get closer to someone from your childhood.
Ragrug – either she IS your Mum, or you’re trying to contact a part of you that is represented by your mother. Try taping them – it’s the easiest way of remembering them.
Mousie - discovering hidden talents, needing to put more energy into that. A neglected baby suggests a vulnerable, sensitive side of you that needs nurturing.
Jacqui – a need to be more carefree and natural – not knowing quite where you stand on something.
Frances – a feeling of being out of control in some way, but also (interestingly) a need to be more childlike, or to sort out something from that toddler period of your life.
Grouse – I’m foxed!! But maybe you need to think about what a ballbearing means to you. I can quite see how horrible this must have been…..quite the strangest dream I’ve heard.
Suffolkmum – remember the house is you – why not try painting it but putting a big black border round the edge so it remains safely trapped inside the boundary?
AK – teeth loose can suggest the need for a more positive attitude, or wanting to get your teeth stuck into something. Can be about self-image, exposing true feelings, letting down defenses.

Just idle thoughts….only you can really interpret your dreams……

PPS - pic is of a much-younger me and that rogue Monty.


Chris Stovell said...

That is a brilliant blog - I DO wish you'd posted it on the Other Side. Thanks for a good laugh.


Oh, Jane - that was so funny! I would love to have been a fly on the wall back in the Colonel's house when he announced his find to his good lady, and they pored over it earnestly, turning it on and off and wondering what it was for... (Or am I being a bit niave about the Colonel - suppose we'll never know!)

PS How would you interpret a dream about getting an ASBO for showing one's bum in a car? Honestly - the night before last.

Sally Townsend said...

Very entertaining, as you say a real dinner party conversation stopper. Tell Adrian that this weekends guests (French) have bought their own beer pump ! I dreamt last night that the guests wanted my pillow ? hmmmm

Blossomcottage said...

Your blog reminded me of some friends of mine who were trying to sell their house( sounds familiar)They went off to work one morning leaving the nanny to take the children to school. Whilst at work the Estate Agent let himself in to show some prople round. When they came home they found the children had been in their bedroom before they went to school and had been playing horses on the bed, leaving it a rumpled state with a hunting whip and a pair of spurs lying in the middle!!

jackofall said...

Ah, the Alexander Technique of conversation stoppers! Great blog.

toady said...

Classic Exmoorjane, hilarious. Mind you I don't believe it was for a commission at all. I bet you're just one of them sex mechanics.

DevonLife said...

Oh if only you'd kept the vibrators, you could have caused a meltdown on freecycle. Made me laugh out loud when i read this, and I was on the phone at the time to someone who really wasn't funny.

And he out of the blue put me on conference call with other people in a large echoing room. B'stard. "How large is your penis" indeed

Tattieweasle said...

I DO so love my R&R thank you that made me laugh! The poor colonel! Yes, and aren't dogs traitors they know you know!

@themill said...

Brilliant - reminds me of Meet The Fockers!
The dream analysis is very apt and makes total sense to me at this moment in my life.

Suffolkmum said...

Loved this - yes, very Meet the Fockers! I think you would have lowered the tone somewhat at the other site!! Thanks for the advice re the dream - but just thinking about doing it gives me the collywobbles!

Zoë said...

that had tears rolling down my face, it was very very funny and appealed hugely to my very warped sense of humour .. brilliant , thanks so much for sharing it, I needed a laugh x

Louise Vaan said...

I finally have time ot read some blogs and this was dfinitely worth waiting for! Hilarious. Thanks xx

Bluestocking Mum said...

You are the master Jane!! It did remind me of Meet the Fockers!! So funny.

warm wishes

PS-the dream blog interesting too!! I believe in it all being in subconscious-it is fascinating stuff.


Eden said...

Oh jane, killingly funny, this one. You write it so well. I just love that the colonel knew how to turn the thing off in an instant -- is that a lifetime's experience with detonators or a very mispent youth?

Great news that first draft of ghosted book is done! Wish I could say the same for mine. It just won't sit for its photo.

CAMILLA said...

Dear Jane, a most brilliant blog, you write so well, terribly funny, no mention of the word Banana's then! I remember in my early days of nursing, a friend had asked another nurse, "what made you go into nursing", to which she replied, "so I could see lots of willy's"! Lovely photo of you and Monty.

Frances said...

Very good one, Jane.
I was expecting that you dug a hole to bury your treasures, and that ASBO Jack dug it up. Wonderful to know that he has forebearers with a sense of fun.

Pondside said...

Some people get the most interesting jobs! What a hoot that was. I'm sure the Colonol was worried that you might see the nasty thing that the dog had, and that is why he whisked it away - to save your virginal eyes!
It might have been an idea to have saved those bits and pieces for Sally's vide grenier!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

it's all been said - last one in as usual- brill laughed 'til I ached!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Loved it, thanks so much for making me laugh out loud.

SueInAlmondbury said...

Hi Jane,
Hilarious blog...I had one of the aforementioned toys, underneath the bottom drawer of a bedside cabinet, and one day, years ago, whilst drawer sorting, I put the bottom drawer on the bed. The door bell rang, and I opened it to see my ex mum in law, and as we spoke my son, then about four, threw a pink batteryless number down the stairs and it landed at her feet. I stuffed it up my jumper (why??) and carried on talking!!!

countrymousie said...

Well that was a blog just made for CL site I feel - that would have shifted old Susie off her sofa for sure. Like the sound of the Colonel - knows how to switch off a rabbit - priceless.
And, did youever find out how big his willy actually was!! The dinner party guest not the Colonel - stop, before I get in a bigger muddle!!I do like the sound of sex aids on expenses - that would make the VAT lady sit up!!!
Hugely funny and I am now going to read it again... Particularly liked the sentence .."you know whats coming" - obviously!!! love

Cait O'Connor said...

. I've arrived a bit late but I agree with all that's been said, very funny and I wish you had posted it before on CL.

MaidofKent said...


Milla said...

Classic, and hilarious.

Fennie said...

Loved this. Wonderful end to the day.

Grouse said...

Classic, ExJ. Do so wish you'd put it in the comp!

Faith said...

Brill blog Jane, and loved Blossom's comment!