The Spark


We have all had that moment of instant sexual attraction. I looked across at my husband when I first saw him at a party and had that spark. Mostly it was, ‘Look at that ass!’ This post is about how deceptive it can be. When I started college I had to take two buses to get to my campus. After a few days, I noticed that a handsome young man was taking the same two buses and going to another college close to mine. There was plenty of time to look at each other because the journey took over an hour. I was 17 and very shy – today I would just sit next to him and start chatting. So, for a whole year we just gave each other meaningful glances but nothing happened.

The following year we had moved to two different campuses but still had to take the same bus route. Given that we caught the same bus (and there were plenty of them) and I think we were deliberately planning our encounters. He wasn’t really my usual type; dark, Black Irish probably and serious looking. Another year went past and as we went into our third year of college, I noticed he was now at the same college as me. Still no smile, no talking – just looking. I had split up (again) with my fiancé and I was ‘on the sniff’, as they so delicately put it in Scotland. I still remember what I was wearing that night – a gypsy peasant dress, red with little flowers all over it. My girlfriend and I had gone to the university disco and suddenly THAT guy asked me to dance. My stomach turned over with excitement and anticipation. It didn’t take long for us to figure out that we both had been lusting over each other and when he kissed me – wow!

We started dating and discovered that only did we live in parallel streets but our mothers’ were friends. They were both excited that their children were courting. A strange thing happened on our first date, the day after we met at the disco. His dark stubble was abrasive on my skin and my face broke out in boils. Yes, not zits but horrible large boils – it was an omen… As time progressed we started getting more intimate and even though he was only about 20 years old he had performance issues. He was humiliated and I was perplexed. I knew he had recently had other girlfriends and he insisted that performance was not an issue with them. He told me that he was overwhelmed by my looks, intellect and for lack of a better word, classiness. Although I was mystified, it was obvious that he was telling me the truth.

I was equally overwhelmed that he had no body odor – after a night out in a hot disco he smelled of fresh washing. You would think that would be a good thing but as you know I am an earthy girl see this post Resolution No. 1 – Wash More. I felt intimidated by my own pheromones and natural scent. Since we were now at the same college we were invited to a party, as a couple, hosted by my rowdy male classmates. At some stage in the debauchery, my friends lifted me up and put me on top of the kitchen table to dance – normal behavior for us. This brought out a glowering, possessive and unpleasant new boyfriend who started behaving aggressively towards my friends. I had to stop a potential fight and the next day, at college, my friends urged me to break up with him.

I was considering this anyway because that initial spark of sexual attraction (and very long lasting crush) hadn’t evolved into anything and now that I knew his personality better, he started becoming unattractive to me. We ended our relationship acrimoniously but still had to spend our last year at the same college and take the same bus route. We just pretended that neither existed and I went back ‘on the sniff’. More spark stories to come – no pun intended… 🙂

Sexual Fluidity – part II

Kerry looking like a Catholic school girl...

Kerry looking like a Catholic school girl…

Following on from my post yesterday, I am writing a series of blogs about sexuality. They are not from a professional/clinical viewpoint – I am just an interested observer and participant. Without further ado, I am musing today about sexuality and orientation. My Roman Catholic upbringing impressed on me the importance on not going beyond first base. I googled this on my work computer and then deleted the history. The definition in the Urban Dictionary was French Kissing so perhaps my interpretation of first base was a little off base…

On a short deviation from the title but not the topic my first boyfriend was Frank. He dumped me very quickly but then kept hooking up at parties during Spin the Bottle or the like. He was exotic with an Aussie accent and part of our Glee type gang of boys and girls. I had no idea how grown-ups kissed and was rather titillated that he French kissed me. Oh, la, la! Then I French kissed all the other boys in the Glee Club – I was popular. A year later, the girls were chatting after the summer vacation and one girl mentioned that a boy at the Carnival/Fairground had stuck his tongue in her mouth. All the girls shrieked with horror and I wanted to die, thinking that I am the slut of the Glee Club. Eventually, I found out that I wasn’t and that someone had gone ALL THE WAY!

Cut to college – it’s party time! Not only did I get to meet even more boys, some of whom were Protestant, but I developed boobs – YAY! All through my college years I had a steady boyfriend who I promised to marry but I still had to sew my wild oats, didn’t I? He was my first lover (I think…you know what happens when I drink) but I thought it was okay to mess around with other guys. I regularly went out to college events (dances/concerts) and would take the night bus home. From time to time I was approached by young ladies who were either bisexual or gay. I should point out that it was very common to hook up, in an innocent sense, with someone on the night bus home. It was your last chance to get frisky that night… I was curious about the female advances but demurred. My look is utterly feminine, bordering on slutty since Blondie was my role model and I then had long blonde hair. Was I giving out some ‘fluidity vibe’ or did I just seem approachable?

I soon got bored with college events and started going nightclubbing with a girlfriend who was working. She was dating one of the owner’s friends so we got free entrance, drinks and many propositions. The owner locked up the doors at 2 am and we stayed on, partying. It was like the Garden of Earthly Delights. People were indulging in drugs, stripping off, getting it on with both, either or all sexes. I just watched with fascination. A very handsome Spanish guy, who I danced with regularly, asked me if I would have sex with him. Perhaps an invitation to dinner would have greased the wheels but I demurred again. He pleaded with me that he wasn’t sure if he was gay or straight because he had been molested by a man when he was younger and that I would solve this conundrum. It had the ring of truth but was still a ruse to trick me into a world that I didn’t want to enter.

The girlfriend that introduced me to this world then made a pass at me. She kissed me full on the mouth in the club. For years there had been signs of this being a possibility but I thought it was youthful curiosity. Yet again, I demurred but was conflicted. I foolishly shared my feelings with yet another girlfriend who thought I was making a pass at her! Good Lord, life gets complicated when you wander off the Yellow Brick Road. I now know that not every person is completely heterosexual at a young age – much like puppies and kittens. It bothered me for some time – I knew I was completely attracted to men but was I also attracted to women? Since I didn’t wander off the path of heterosexuality, it took years for me to realize that I am utterly attracted to men. Their smell: their size: their attributes: their difference and their machismo. I joke that if Angelina Jolie approached me, I might consider it but really it is not my thing and that’s okay.

More musings tomorrow…

The revealing black jumpsuit

Studio 54 courtesy of NYMag

Studio 54 photo, courtesy of NYMag

I have been watching the CNN series about the 70s and Studio 54. Suddenly I was transported back to Glasgow to 1979 when I was 19 years old. My college shared union facilities with another university and I had the opportunity to see Blondie (my heroine), Sting when he was in the Police, Led Zeppelin and many others who were performing at the small universities. Despite having a boyfriend (the beleaguered architect) I was always going with girl friends to college discos and, mostly, not behaving badly. Then we had one of our many breakups; I dyed my hair blonde and bought some sexy new outfits. One of them was a silky black jumpsuit with spaghetti straps. It was very revealing but in those days fancy bras were not available so I just went without one…everything was in the right pert place. I had started going to ‘The’ Club in Glasgow and only was allowed in because I was with my cool friend who was dating the manager’s friend. You had to be 21 but I didn’t even look 19. The doorman would look at the huge queues and pick out good looking girls, rich handsome guys and regulars who were fashion forward. My friend just went straight to the top of the queue – I so enjoyed the envious looks of the long queue. On the evening that I wore the jumpsuit, my uncle came around to visit my mum before I left. He was horrified and said, “You are not letting her go out like that, are you?” My hip single mum thought I look great. She couldn’t wait for me to come home to share glamorous stories. The manager/owner had a Lolita crush on me and took me out for dinner once, until I figured out that he really wasn’t separated from his wife. I developed a taste for Brandy Alexanders – how louche. This was my first exposure to gay relationships and after the club was shut at 2 am, the party really started with drugs being openly traded and mini-orgies.

Anyway… on the night of the black jumpsuit, I hardly sat down with all my suitors wanting to dance very closely. One young man was African and I guessed he was one of the many foreign students that came to Glasgow for engineering, navigation and other heavy industry courses. We ended up dancing in a corner of the totally mirrored dance floor; the walls were mirrored too. During one funky number my spaghetti straps both snapped and the already revealing black jumpsuit slithered to the ground leaving me naked apart from a tiny pair of nude panties. Despite my shock, I burst out laughing both at the circumstance and the look on my dance partner’s face. My body was reflected all over the club with the myriad mirrors. ‘Is this a Scottish custom?’ I imagined him thinking. I gathered up my jumpsuit, holding it in place and rushing to the restrooms with my friend who miraculously tied knots on both straps and it still fitted, if a tad tight around the crotch. As you can imagine, I spent the rest of the night trying to avoid my African suitor who now had a taste of possibilities to come. It was hilarious and I remember saying to my friend, “At least I will never see him again.” The weekend was over and life got back to normal. Makeup was off and I was wearing my sensible college gear – jeans, heavy hooded coat, walking shoes. I went into the college library to borrow a book on industrial psychology (I still remember it) and guess who was standing opposite me? My African suitor! I spent the next year at college politely rejecting his advances and plaintive glances. There is no moral to this tale – that was the best year of my life!
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