Recently I was having lunch with two friends - a couple - who live in my home town, and are fans of my blog and associated antics. After the customary catch up chat about life, jobs, pets etc, we moved onto our favourite subject - men. Luckily A, the man shaped half of the partnership, is a fantastic gossip when required, and they wasted no time in sharing a story of their recent woes in their new house share. After separately inviting friends to stay for a few days the couple in question were surprised to find the friends getting...friendly in the spare room. Often. Loudly. For extended periods of time.
"And it's not like a I'm a prude Fanny" said G, the female of the couple, "but the thing is, when we have sex, we make sure other people don't have to listen to us doing it. Because we're considerate fuckers."
I choked on my chocolate cake. Considerate Fucking? What a wonderful concept! Since my teenage years I have been acutely aware of the problems associated with other people knowing your business, sex wise. At the age of 14 my older brother caught me kissing a boy who was slowly but determinedly trying to unhook my bra. I don't know what my brother said to him but I never saw him again. From that day forward I learnt to keep certain bits of information, and ALL men I was remotely interested in, away from him, lest he scare them away!
It's not just interfering siblings/parents/cinema ushers* you have to watch out for either - the general rule of thumb for any kind of sexy time is for as few people as possible to be aware that you are in fact doing it. I learnt many valuable** things at University, but one of the first really useful lessons was in the art of having sex really really quietly, because the walls in your hall of residence building might as well be made of cereal boxes, for all the sound proofing they achieve. I'm not sure I ever really got the hang of quiet sex, but after a few months my boyfriend and I had put together a fairly basic but nonetheless effective sex timetable, to limit the amount of time we spent having sex near other people. This involved finding some truly impressive sites to conduct carnal pursuits, including the back seats of his car, the front seats of his car, the breakfast bar in his kitchen (during the holidays - we weren't quite that brave) his Student Union office (a particularly proud moment for both of us) and finally, our own flat, that we did not share with other people.
*I don't see what all the fuss was about - it's not like we were missing a good movie...
**For instance, I know that Exmouth Town Centre has the highest people:pub ratio in the UK.
Clearly, the best place to have sex is somewhere where no one else is likely to hear you, walk in on you, shamelessly watch you through an open window (otherwise known as my neighbour - I've nicknamed him Merv the Perv) or otherwise prevent you from being a truly considerate fucker. There are exceptions to every rule though, and sometimes you just have to make do with what's available. Recently I was out with some friends after a gig when I got chatting to a couple of chaps who were asking me about my act (they, like so many before, were wondering where I hid the riding crop). After a while my friends came over to let me know they were heading home, and was I coming with them? Under normal circumstances I would have left with them, but as one of my girlfriends wanted to stay too I decided to stay out a bit longer and have a dance with the man who had been chatting me up for the past hour while his friend butted in every few minutes to let me know that, despite his protestations to the contrary, said friend was definitely gay. I ignored this lack of developed sense of humour and had a nice dance (and a nice kiss) with the possibly gay man. When we finally got kicked out at closing time the boys suggested we go for drinks somewhere else, as they had missed their last train anyway so would be getting a taxi home regardless. We agreed, and went in search of a humble tavern to have a nightcap before retiring home. I should mention that I had three friends staying in my room that night - this will become important later.
Our search did not go well - every bar we found was either closed or about to close. We didn't let this get us down though, and instead enjoyed chatting to a lovely homeless man, took a ride in a rickshaw* and finally wound up standing outside a Travelodge, debating the pros and cons of paying for a room, rather than an expensive taxi home. They tried to invite themselves back to my flat, where I had just enough sense and sobriety left to point out that they would be sharing my bed with at least three other people (and I firmly believe that sex is not a spectator sport). So after some sound and logical thinking, and an in-depth discussion of options ("Shall we then? "Yeah, why not?") the boys got their wallet out and paid for a room, before inviting me and my friend in with them to share a bottle of wine. We agreed ("how civilised!", we said) and settled into the charming 'standard double' room with the boys, and started on our wine (in handy plastic glasses - Travelodge know how to throw a good party).
*I can state with absolute certainty that no one should ever attempt to have sex on a rickshaw.
By this point, my friend and her chosen gentleman had made it clear that they were planning on putting the bed to good use. This was not an ideal situation (mostly because I was kicking myself for not shotgunning the bed). I have been in this position once before, and my refusal to pull a Gavin and Stacey resulted in me never getting to shag a man with a bona fide superhero name.
We looked at each other, nodded, and proceeded to the bathroom...
I didn't hear from him again. I think this is for the best. No matter how attractive interesting or lovely he was, he would always be the man I shagged in a Travelodge bathroom. However, I did take with me the knowledge that, for one night at least, I was a considerate fucker!