Monday, September 04, 2006

*A word from Ms P*

Just the flare of the old Aspergers, darling

My beloved off-spring and partially qualified oncologist, she wrote with a small tear of pride, recently voiced his partially informed opinion that I am an undiagnosed Aspergers autistic. For those that don’t know, one of the symptoms of Aspergers is where the sufferer is unconscious of the true implications of their actions, often endangering themselves and usually leading to “inappropriateness” of behaviour. The conversation blew up out of my admission that I had enjoyed a clandestine sexual adventure in a public park, at three in the morning, with a complete stranger, let’s call him Jack.

I was coming home after a particularly long evening in Walthamstow (don’t ask!!) I had missed the night bus, so took to walking home, taking the short cut across a public open space in North London. This place has a long tradition as a cruising ground for gay men. As I trudged muttering darkly across the diagonal path between the tennis courts, I caught sight of Jack leaning against a tree languorously massaging his crotch. He is an attractive man in his late forties, raven hair tumbling from the front of his shirt, rugged build, perhaps struggling to subdue his beer belly, but not unpleasantly so. One of those attractive middle aged men you watch sweatily pounding on the road runner machines at the gym. I wonder if he’s ever shagged a gargoyle like me?”

I sat on a nearby park bench staring at him hotly, expecting him to scamper away to find an attractive boy. I allowed my hands to wander into my undies, where they remained motionless - I’ve had little use for masturbation in years, but these are the calling cards used by men everywhere (gay and straight I might add). To my slight surprise, he pulled out his impressive manhood, manipulated it enticingly, then moved towards me with that slightly comical gait men adopt when their most prized possession is unsheathed. He stood in front of me teasingly. I let him wait a few beats, looked up slyly and took his penis into my mouth. Over the years many people have quizzed my lovers and husbands, wondering why they would spend time with a fat, time broiled old cow like me. Jack discovered that in addition to a reticulated jaw, I have also done Rolf Harris’ circular breathing course. There was much moaning and adjustment of stance, the age old battle between selfish pleasure and the promise of something much better shared, before he pulled me to my feet in a passionate kiss. His hand fumbled and fought it’s way into my underwear. He was suddenly quite still, pulling his face away to take a better look at me in the street lit gloom. “Jesus! I thought you were a bloke” he hissed. “I know” I sympathised as kindly as I could “I get that a lot, sorry”. His face was quite still as the modem of inner dialogue squealed in his head. A decision taken, he slipped a finger inside me, his other hand explored the level crossing where I once had beautiful breasts. Then that burning, life quenching kiss. Mutual oral sex followed on the parched grass, licking genitals, rimming arseholes, fingers, tongues, sweat, saliva. Two middle aged explorers on the road to flooding orgasm I lay with my handbag as a pillow, stroking his back as he told me about his wife and kids, his job in the city as an equities analyst. His sordid double life, lived in fear and yearning. The terms of living his life lie meaning that he could not even allow himself to be pleasant to the object of his queer lusts. Jack is not gay. He is some species of uncoalesced bisexual. Lost in a mire of woolly thinking and dangerous sex. His demons driving him to sex in a regularly policed public space.

So I am given to wonder, is my angel correct, is this Aspergers, or am I taking the final step to equality. Shouldn’t a woman, even an ugly fat one, be able to enjoy clandestine sexual adventure in exactly the same way as men when the opportunity presents itself. Without the contrivance of sex clubs, fetish and patriarchal structure. Should I cower in terror of attack and rape or should I be able to express my sexuality, however inappropriate to the prevailing mores, in my own unique way. In the seventies and eighties I was encouraged by my husbands to experiment with sex - their fantasies more specifically and always with governance. Am I now taking my first tentative steps into true equality of sex. I’ve squatted over hand mirrors, shoved garlic up me to purge and coffee to cleanse in a carnival like atmosphere of groups and fetish parties. God knows I've even exercised my pelvic floor until I can grip an open beach umbrella in a high storm.

Was this park encounter in a heatwave symptomatic of me taking charge of my own orgasm. I snared the quarry, took my pleasure and left him to deal with his own inadequacies of character, or is it a worrying sign that I have mental heath issues which need addressing by professionals and drugs? Have years of shrunken singleness led to my complete inability to recognise the dangers of strangers with sweets. Was this thrill seeker sex or thrill finder fun for an independent thinking older woman? Does my vagina mean that I have to structure my sex life to socially acceptable formats. Is my orgasm public domain and precedent setting. Does it show an underlying paucity of character and seriously low self-esteem. Am I simply taking pleasure in exactly the same manner as so many men?

I wish I could give you an answer that would clarify matters for all time. Jack has phoned many times since but I do not enter into relationships with family men, any more, Heartbreak lies down that path. He will remain one in a long line of fantastic nights of pleasure. As for my child. I’ve become even less like the sainted mother he craves and more like the fuel to his race into therapy.

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