Start Me Up

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5.15 pm: I’m sitting in Ekki, it’s an Eco restaurant at the backend of Amsterdam’s Central Station, where the police are controlling access (probably in the wake of the London lone-wolf terror attack a couple of days ago) and admission to the concourse is via ticket only. It meant that I had to use the underpass. It looked so good, I photographed it.

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I’m looking out over the Y (pronounced eye), part of a canal which at one end spills into the North Sea. The Cinema Museum (known locally as The Eye) is slightly to the left on the opposite bank and the old Royal Dutch Shell building (I worked for Shell, once upon a time) is towering over everything (information courtesy of the Dutch guy sitting at the next table).

The clear blue sky that I can see is on the house. I’ve just returned from De Pijp. The students who I talked to this morning had been based in the area and I figured I’d take a look. Okay, it’s been something that’s been on my mind for a while but it’s just a little too far out to drop in on without making a bit of effort. I took a tram out to Museum Plein. When I arrived I did something disgusting. I bought a hotdog. It was advertised as pork and beef but they didn’t say exactly which parts of the pig and cow. I washed it down with an indifferent coffee. That was more necessary than the dog (for all I know it actually was a dog, and all that pork and beef talk was just bullshit) because my throat was sore from all the talking. I talk a lot during these talks. Stands to reason, I suppose.

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Well, after eating, I walked across the park (back to Coster Diamonds and with The Museum Shop on my left) in the direction of the canal that would take me to The Pijp. I crossed the bridge onto Ruysdaekade and headed south. I knew it was a window area which is regarded by locals as much better than De Wallen or The Singelgebied (see the 2017 Best Girls page on the Jan van blog) and I felt duty bound to check it out. I found the windows. And I also found The Albert Cuipmarket, which is where I became the target of a mugger or pickpocket, possibly a family of muggers or pickpockets. The market stalls line both sides of a very, very, very long street. It must be at least a quarter of a mile long. I found it interesting checking out the food stalls and other stuff stalls but there were also a lot of handbag stalls. I have a shoulder bag which I bought in Egypt a couple of years ago. It looks like it was designed just to store my laptop, camera, coins, mouthwash, blah, blah. The laptop is more like a notebook, very compact so not just any old bag will do. The one I have has a flat zipped pocket at the back; it’s ideal. However, it’s started to show its age and I’ve struggled to find a replacement.

Anyway, I became aware that a young Asian guy, maybe eighteen or nineteen, was keeping pace with me, walking just a couple of yards behind. Whenever I stopped, he stopped and pretended to be looking at something on a nearby stall. I tested him. I checked out a bag stall and then went into the bag shop that it was nestling in front of. Sure enough, the little prick followed me in. My guess is that he’s a pickpocket rather than a mugger. Interestingly, one of the Dam girls on my last visit warned me about pickpockets. “Keep your wallet where you can feel it. You wouldn’t believe the things I see standing at the window.” I ignored him but contrived to make him exit the shop first. I was going out and he was on my heels and I stopped to check a bag near the doorway. He had no option but to keep going. Outside, he dithered. He obviously didn’t know which way I would go. I left the shop, turned right and walked very purposefully for about five yards before turning around abruptly and walking back the way I’d come. Fast. The little cunt was nearly trampled over and the expression on his face told me that he knew he’d been rumbled (and nearly trampled on). Game over (I hope).

However, on the return journey, about fifteen minutes later, I passed him and what looked like his mum and his dad and his sister. And as I passed I saw from their expressions that I registered with all of them. Looks like they’re a team and I had been marked out as prey. Just in case they still had some interest, I tacked along the street; up onto the path behind the stalls on my left, then back onto the street, then up on to the other pavement.  I stopped a few times to check that I wasn’t being followed; it didn’t matter if they noticed (so much the better).

After that, I needed to do something to relax me. I mean, my bag contained my phone, my camera and my laptop. As artefacts, I could afford to lose them. What I couldn’t afford to do was lose what was on them.

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I’ll spare you the details but I was surprised to find the windows on the main drag, and the occupants were clearly a cut above the De Wallen and Singelgebied day-staff. I checked out the area, hung around a while and then made my choice. It’s Sod’s Law that your choice will always disappear in the period between looking and deciding and returning. No worries (I know that she exists). Here there were options. And the option that I took up hadn’t been there on my first walk-through. She was definitely my type (well, one of them). She’s from the Dominican Republic, slim, pretty, about thirty years old, and she’s got an arse that you could stand drinks on. I wasn’t there for romance; indeed, I wasn’t in the mood for romance, this was simple research. The important thing isn’t what happened (cowgirl and doggy), the important thing was the room. It was spacious and modern (very). The window owner was taking this seriously. A lot of thought had gone into the décor, the lighting, decorations and images on the walls. It beat my hotel room hands down. It also boasted a bathroom and a walk in shower. The shower was a feature (and a nice one). I couldn’t help wondering if it might be there for more than simply cleaning up at the end of a shift; say, for a romantic shower or to facilitate water sports.

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I guess it would make sense to comment about her age. I’d made the point with the students that I’m attracted to women in their early twenties (20- 25) but it’s not that simple.  In De Wallen, the legal age is 21 – maybe it applies here, too. At the same time, girls I knew as 22 year olds are now 26 or 27. And you don’t know the age of, say, a Soho girl until you knock on her door or cross the threshold at the invitation of her maid. And I’m not rigid in my approach; when I talked to the students I was generalising. The critical thing is that young women are sexually preferable to older women. Shame, I know, but that’s life.

Between 6.00 pm and 7.30 pm I rested up in the hotel room. On the night before flying out I’d only had two hours sleep. That always happens the night before a journey where ‘being on time’ is critical. Last night I hadn’t fared much better. I slept but it was a restless night. By the time I left the hotel I was hungry and ready to eat. 7.30 pm is a bit early, in general terms, but I was anticipating an early night (and once I’d found a place, ordered and waited, it would be later than that before I got to eat). I decided to find somewhere a bit off the tourist route, but not too far from the hotel. Actually, I fancied an Italian, but not in the way that you probably imagine. I found one. While I was checking the menu on the wall outside, a young woman came out wearing a why don’t you come in smile. It’s the sort of smile you see when perusing the De Wallen windows. I declined. I moved on. But further on didn’t turn up a ready alternative so I went back, went in, and was immediately greeted by a fat old woman (normally a woman’s fatness or oldness wouldn’t be an issue but I guess that here I’m making a point). I sensed a trace of disappointment that I was on my own (from this fat old woman). Let’s be honest, people on their own (in restaurants) are a bloody nuisance. They take up valuable space and represent a decline in profits even before they’ve ordered. The restaurant was almost full but there were a couple of tables for two near the entrance and another at the back of the shop. She suggested that I might like to have a table upstairs. She made it sound like she was doing me a favour. Whatever. I was there because I was hungry.

I followed a waitress up some stairs to a mezzanine. It became obvious why I was going to be located there. The only other occupants were two children (UN definition); we were sharing a space laid out for twenty-four customers. It looked like the old woman was deploying her window mentality. He’s a tourist and we aren’t going to see him again, and I don’t want him messing up a prime location. At least I hadn’t been given a table next to the toilet.

After a couple of minutes, Miss Smiley Face appeared and gave me a menu. I ordered a bottle of the house red wine. The price by the glass suggested that this was a smart move, and I figured that I wasn’t going to be able to easily catch her eye for a refill. For 20 euros I wasn’t expecting anything great and  I wasn’t disappointed (most of the wines by the bottle were at stupid prices – I ain’t that stupid). It was relatively low alcohol (12% by vol) but drinkable. I ordered eggplant in a tomato and mozzarella sauce as a starter and giant prawns to follow. I hadn’t been there many minutes before other customers started filing past me on their way to the toilet (it wasn’t visible from my table but it was there right enough). It wasn’t a huge problem because I was facing away from it. But I did get to see a lot of people, including the young woman who was suffering from cystitis. Typically, a lot of the young women came in pairs. What’s that about? There were a lot of Dutch voices in the mix. Guess I really have gone off piste. As I put the finishing touches to my starter (I wiped the plate clean with some of the bread), the children stacked their plates and glasses (coke) and dirty cutlery and left me to tough it out on my own. They were chattering in Italian. I guess they were probably family.

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The prawns were as big as the menu promised. Not bad. Actually, I couldn’t finish the whole dish, but I’d had enough. And I fancied the Italian ice cream to finish. I mean, you always have room for ice cream, don’t you?

At 9.10 pm I downed tools. And waited. At 9.25 pm the waitress came and scooped up my plates. At 9.35 pm she came back up the stairs, walked past me and went into the toilet. At 9.40 pm she reappeared, walked past me, again with no acknowledgement, and descended the stairs. I hope she washed her hands. I decided that the tip would go into the ice cream. I was tempted to sit there and see how long it would take for one of the staff to make contact. Maybe they would just carry on as normal, put the chairs on the tables and wash the floor, that kind of thing (maybe even shut up shop and leave me there for the night).

At 9.45 pm I poured the remaining third of a bottle of wine into my glass and sprinkled salt and pepper on it, which I then stirred in. I resisted the temptation to spit in it. I knew that if I’d left it in the bottle it would have been served up to someone the next night. As it was it will probably go into a sauce. At 9.50 pm I descended the stairs and approached the bar. There were just four female customers left in the place. It was nearly full when I arrived so I guess they all turned up at about the same time, ate and then left.

Miss Smiley Face smiled a winning smile and asked if I would like my bill.

“Please.” (If it wouldn’t be too much fucking trouble.)

It came to 57 euros (which seemed OK value for money). I proffered a 100 euro note.

Fat woman poured me a complimentary digestive (I think it may have been grappa) and smiled at me as she pushed it across the bar. I ignored it. Pour it back in the bottle, why don’t you? Then there was some tooing-and-frooing because there were no coins in the till. The old woman, Miss Smiley, the chef and the waiters all smiled. I didn’t know if it was because they were willing me to tip heavy or because I’d made the plate dishwasher-clean or because of the way they’d fucked with me. Eventually, they came up with the right change. I scooped it up and left.

Need I say more? Yes, I think I will. I suspect that they would put the transaction down to the fact that I was a tourist, had bad manners and had drunk a bottle of wine (even though I hadn’t). Looking back on it, my final take on this situation was probably triggered by the ineptness of the waitress. What she should have done (in my opinion) was to return at some point (sooner rather than later) with a dessert menu and do the, “Would you like dessert or coffee?” thing. Maybe Fat Woman and Smiley Girl thought that it was all in hand. And, yes, I could have explained to them, and I could have called the waitress back after her toilet visit and requested a soiled menu. And they would have apologised and the Fat Woman would have poured me another grappa. But there was more to this than an ice cream, wasn’t there?

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So what about the talk this morning? It was with the second half of a study group. The first group came out at the beginning of the month. It sounded as though they had been split for administrative reasons. I’d explained to the audience that the first 30 minutes would be spent with me talking about me and my window experience. The next 30 minutes would be me rehearsing some things that I wanted to say (but linking it to a question from an earlier group) and the last hour would be devoted to a presentation which they constructed and on which I would put some flesh (with as many prepared answers as I could work in).

Well, it went pretty much according to plan, and as usual, I can’t remember many of the questions. The first one, however, was whether I was a feminist. The answer was a categorical no. I’m not a feminist for a number of reasons but I do share some feminist sensibilities. Good question. Especially since I had a prepared answer, which I hope illustrated the complexity of the question.

Two hours is a long time to be sitting and listening and on this occasion one of the tutors suggested that we take a ten minute break. That seemed sensible. What I wasn’t ready for was everyone grabbing their phone. We have a no-phone, no-recording deal (making a guest appearance on Youtube isn’t my idea of fun). I’m hoping that the moment passed without incident. Another  question that I remember is, “What’s your job?” Another good question, and it’s the first time anyone has asked me. Unfortunately, it’s one of three questions that I’d decided I wouldn’t be answering. What are your three favourite sex acts/positions is something I’m prepared to answer, but I’m inclined to avoid identifier questions, even though I know that it’s no more than casual interest.

Afterwards, I grabbed a sandwich with the rest of the cast. I was interested to know if the questions changed once the dynamic changed from group lecture to one-to-one.

“What is sex? How would you define it?”

Well, that was a track stopper. It’s one of those things which you know intuitively what it is but not why you know. I was reminded of a psychology test which Jonathan Haidt references in his book The Righteous Mind. People are presented with a gross scenario and asked to respond. Some are indifferent to the grossness. Others declare it to be disgusting. When pressed to explain why, they can’t. His point is that people make moral judgements instinctively, and not on the evidence. They trawl for evidence after the event. What is sex wasn’t a moral question but it wasn’t straightforward. (And why did she want to know?)

I started by making the point that it seemed self-evident and then I asked if it was a sort of trick Bill Clinton question (for those who don’t know, he claimed never to have had sex with Monica Lewinsky, even though he had put his penis in her mouth on a number of occasions and had at least once ejaculated his Presidential seed onto her very famous blue dress).

“No.” (Not a Clinton question, that is.)

On reflection, I think I could have pointed out that the window girls seem to make a distinction between fellatio and ‘sex’. If asked what they will do for that fifty euros they often say, “Suck and sex, or blowjob and sex.” And when they think that you’ve had enough of the first of these they might say, “Do you want to do sex now?” Bill would have liked them.

I, however, see sex as any sexual activity or combinations of activities. A handjob, is sex. Caressing a woman’s breasts is sex. Licking between her legs is sex. Putting your penis into a woman’s mouth is sex. Doing that while licking between her legs is sex. Vaginal penetration with fingers or penis (or toys) is sex. Any combination of these things is sex. Obviously, I’d make a shit President because I could be impeached in the time that it takes a gnat to shake piss off its cock. Maybe the short answer is that anything involving the touching of sexualised parts of another person’s body is sex. I mean, quite a lot is regarded as a sex crime these days.

I did recover, however, and was able to make the point that in my experience there are different sorts of sex. For example, some of my experiences are at the intimate, romantic end off the scale (kissy and cuddly while, for example, gently stroking between her legs), but In some instances, the sex is very ‘full-on’ and physical and about the intensity and energy of the sex act, or maybe we set out to break my record for Karma Sutra positions. And sometimes I choreograph it: with some women, I make ‘porn movies’ (there is a plot, there might be costumes involved, and the wall mirrors are the cameras – in the sense that what you see is what you get). The choreography is important even if it’s not for a porn movie. Managing an hour session with a girl who isn’t actually your girlfriend isn’t as straightforward as I sometimes make it seem. And occasionally I’ve done BDSM; on those occasions I’ve tied the girl up and done whatever came into my head (our safe word is STOP – it’s never been used), and it’s not because they are gagged (that cuts out too many options).

The most memorable moment?

One question was about the way that there seemed to be a gender imbalance in prostitution, in the sense that there are lots of bought sex opportunities for men and none (or very few) for women. What did I think about that? I was distracted for a moment as I wondered if my questioner was into gender symmetry, but it got me talking about the differences between men and women (according to The Book of Me), and that worked round to orgasms and the fact men can come at the drop of a hat but women take longer.

“Look, it’s a generalisation, but I’ll suggest that all men want to give the woman they’re with an orgasm.” There were only two guys in the audience. One nodded in agreement and the one who (I later discovered) was recovering from a bit of excess the night before did his best to nod.

“Unfortunately, most men don’t know how to do it.”

At which point I felt that I was really connecting with the audience, as thirty, or so, heads nodded in what I would describe as enthusiastic agreement.

Yes, lectures can be fun. And lectures also beget lectures. The audience don’t know it but their questions do inform subsequent talks. And this one is no exception. I’m pretty certain that I’ll be doing another in the summer and I’ll be making all of my presentation about my experiences, not just the first 30 minutes. I’ll keep my thoughts on prostitution as a social phenomenon until the Q & A, and hope that the questions include ‘what is sex’ and do the prostitutes ever have orgasms?

Hey, Lord, about those 21 questions!

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The links to Youtube throughout these blog posts have different connotations. Sometimes it’s the title of the song which is significant, sometimes it’s the lyrics. Sometimes I’m being for real, and sometimes I’m being ironic (and a little bit opportunist), like with this choice of song. The only consistent thing is that I actually like the songs that I chose.

I was in Dam a few days ago doing another gig for American students. It was at the 420 Club. In order to get it to work I fly out on Thursday, do the gig around lunchtime the next day and then fly back the following day. I come out a day early in anticipation of flight cancellations or delays on the actual day. This way I have a fallback position. I fly back the next day because that’s the best financial deal and WTF, all work and no play, and all that. If I wasn’t doing a talk I wouldn’t be in Amsterdam on those dates so I have to make it work financially.

The venue changes but the 420 Club is my kinda venue. Right size, right shape, right lighting, right acoustics. As my Arab friends would say, Mia Mia. Oh, yeah, it’s also an easy trek from the hotel that I use on these occasions.

This time I was talking to a ‘half group’. Normally there are fifty students, of whom 90% are women. Today, it was just over thirty in the audience and, from what I could make out, two guys. The other half will be in Dam in a couple of weeks and I’ll meet up with them at some point during the week.

What do I talk about? Well, the core is always the same. I explain why I visited a prostitute in the first instance and then why I continue to visit. It’s a longer and more complicated story than you might think. I take the opportunity to thread that story with anecdotes and insights, and (increasingly) I’m giving my take on issues relating to prostitution. I don’t know for sure but it’s my guess that they come up against more establishment figures who develop the prostitute as victim narrative than any views which challenge stereotypes and misinformation. Because I can’t squeeze all the things that I want to say into the presentation I change it regularly; no two presentations are exactly the same. I also seed the talk with questions that I want the audience to ask in the Q & A (a bit like a Victorian Magician). Does it work? Of course it does.

I usually start by telling them that I have no idea what they want or expect from me or why they are studying prostitution in depth (one semester). And this is true: “So I’ll just do my thing and hope that it makes some sense.” This is, of course, an open invitation for someone to spell it out to me one day.

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One of the things I always regret is that I don’t have a good recollection of the questions that get asked. This time I made the point during my opening remarks and one young lady immediately volunteered to act as scribe. Thanks! Greatly appreciated!

 

  1. What made you go straight to the Netherlands for sex instead of looking for sex in GB?
  2. How can you be so sure that the women do not fit the victim narrative (because you are the buyer and they have to fake things)?
  3. Do you think buyers should have an organisation to flag possible trafficking victims?
  4. What preliminary research do you do before you go into a red light district?
  5. How did your friends and family react to your actions?
  6. What do the workers honestly believe about the police?
  7. Talk about the time you reported something to the police.
  8. What would have to change in your life or in the world for you to stop buying sex?
  9. Have you ever considered taking your participant research and teaming up with academics in order to complicate the victim narrative?
  10. Why did you decide to take down your site?
  11. Payjacked?
  12. What do you make of the argument that women are economically forced into prostitution?
  13. Do you find that prostitution has moved online? In your life, specifically?
  14. What is it like to see the tourists at the windows? Does it make you feel uncomfortable?
  15. Have you met other clients and become friends with them?
  16. How often do you purchase sex? Do you try to visit the same women?
  17. What is the most positive aspect of the sex industry for the sex workers?
  18. Can they be empowered or emotionally destroyed?
  19. In your words, what are you buying? Body. service, experience?
  20. When you approach a new woman who you are attracted to, how long does it take to develop a relationship with a woman?
  21. Tell us about Janice.

It took a good hour to respond to the questions, largely because there is usually a story involved in the process. I recognise the questions but not the order, and sometimes my recollection is of a question with a different nuance (but these were being recorded in real-time and as the questioner spoke).

The one I couldn’t answer and which made me stumble around was: Do you think buyers should have an organisation to flag possible trafficking victims? In retrospect I think that it’s because the answer is no, and that sounds rather uncaring. There is already an organisation that buyers can contact. It’s called the police. There are always ways to do that anonymously and in the Netherlands there is the government sponsored Anonymous Tip Line (on the janvanderdamm Links page).

The question I don’t recall at all is Payjacked? And I’ve absolutely no idea what it means.

My scribe failed to record one question: Don’t you have any amusing stories? This is all a bit serious.

That was a fair point. I did manage to work in a few one-liners which got a laugh but there weren’t any ‘amusing stories’. Maybe that’s because the questions didn’t trigger anything, or maybe it’s because I didn’t see the opportunity in the moment. Back in November, when I did this, I deliberately worked on the humour. However, it often takes time to set the jokes up and I found myself trading content for humour. However, I’ve thought of a couple of anecdotes to work in next time. There’s the time that a condom burst. Well, it’s amusing in retrospect, and in the way that I tell it. And there was the time that I went online and made a list of women not to visit because they gave very, very poor service – and then left the hotel and went straight to one of them! There are, however, quite a few amusing anecdotes in The Amsterdam Diaries and The Amsterdam Diaries 2 (and always at my expense).

Let It Bleed – Soho Part 1

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This is a three-day event. I booked it several weeks ago. The plan was to keep the party going. Two weeks ago I was in London for an Ezra Furman concert and at the end of that week I was in Amsterdam for three days. This additional visit to London would do very nicely. Well, that was the thinking. A couple of days before setting off I booked three theatre visits. The first was to a see an hour-long comic take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula at The Kings Head pub, Islington. The next night I got a front row seat for Last Tango at The Phoenix Theatre, which was a stone’s throw away from my hotel. Sunday afternoon would be Lazarus at the King’s Cross Theatre. The spaces in between would be taken up with visits to girls in the walk ups, girls in the strip clubs and visits to a selection of the numerous tourist attractions that London has to offer. The truth is, however, that by the time it came to it, I simply wasn’t in the mood, and the mood was tempered by the fact that day two was set for rain. Lots of it. I had been busy with a lot of girls over the previous week or two, which meant that this visit didn’t feel special.

My mood was further dampened by the fact that I was still suffering from the cold that I’d picked up in Amsterdam last weekend. It was dying but not fast enough to make it possible or sensible to indulge in the walk up plan straightaway. Instead, after checking in to the hotel in Soho, I went over to Camden Market to take photos to illustrate my last blog post. Then I walked up to Chalk Farm with a view to checking out an art exhibition. The trouble was that I hadn’t written the name and address of the venue down and couldn’t find it. I cut my losses and came back via Angel. I found the King’s Head Pub and then timed the return journey to my hotel. Forty minutes. I built the rest of the afternoon and early evening around the return journey. On getting back to the hotel I rested up for an hour and then went down to the hotel bar for complementary wine and snacks: cheeses, olives, bread, biscuits, fruit and chocolate. I had just the one glass of wine but the indications were that they would keep topping it up. At about 6.30 I went to Gumps, off Piccadilly, and had a Bucket of Trash: soft-shell crab, shrimp and fries and dips. It turned out to be a good plateful, especially on top of the nibbles at the hotel.

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The return to Angel was much quicker than the test journey and I’d set off with time to spare so I had about forty minutes to kill before the performance. I used the time to check out the area and to buy ice cream. I sat outside the shop and ate it and watched the world go by. At one point a group of seven early-twenty-years-olds came past. One was already off her head. She ran up to me and sat down at the small bistro table.

“Are you having a good time? Are you enjoying your ice cream?”

“I was.”

Her mates scooped her up like another helping of stracciatella gelato (already in my cup) and helped her on her way.

When I’d scrapped the cup clean (I couldn’t get my tongue into it) I went back into the shop and asked where the toilets were. They were through a door marked Private Staff Only. I descended into the crypt, had a wee and retraced my steps. Then I went to the pub which was a few doors away and I did my sitting in a crowded pub on my own and not drinking party piece while a couple of hundred people partied around me. Five minutes before the play was due to begin I was put out of my misery and the doors to the theatre space opened. It’s at the back of the pub and appears to be a completely separate enterprise.  It looks like it holds about a hundred audience. How was the performance? Brilliant. It was very, very funny and it was held together by five actors (three men and two women) who cox and boxed all the parts, something which added to the humour. It lasted an hour. That was good too. There was plenty of evening left for me to go out and play. On the tube train back to Leicester Square I had to stand because it was so busy. I was positioned in front of a young woman (late twenties, maybe) who was studying a theatre programme. It was for Lazarus. I apologised for the intrusion but wanted to know what she had thought of the production, explaining that I was due to see it in a couple of days time. She thought that it was brilliant. There had been a standing ovation. So much for the poor reviews that I’d seen.

I was back at the hotel by about 10.30. I changed into a suit and headed for a strip club.

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It’s one I’ve used before and I recognised a few girls (no, it’s not the ones in the photos, they are from Google Images – except the blue image that is, that’s mine). The one I least want to dance for me locked onto me almost immediately (she always does). In the past I’ve shaken her off by telling her that she reminds me of my wife. After a few minutes she took the hint and left me alone. I bought a gin and tonic, just so that I had something to do with my hands and scanned the bar. I was there with a view to seeing someone in particular (it’s a long story). The only girl to catch my eye was black (OK, of colour, maybe a mix of colours). At first I couldn’t be sure if she was one I already knew. She wasn’t. I decided to stick to my original plan and took myself over to the dance area. No, the girl I’d come to see wasn’t there either. There was a girl working the stage and maybe the men to girls ratio was four to one. I glanced to my right and who was standing there? The black girl had clocked my interest and had followed me. She was doing her best ‘I’m just standing here completely absorbed in what’s happening on stage’ pose. I swear these girls have bats’ radar when it comes to picking up men. I didn’t waste any time.

“You want to dance for me?”

She didn’t answer, she just grabbed my hand and led me to the back of a small queue (for a dance booth). A queue is good because it means that there is time to talk and fondle. I did both and she did faux kissing moves with lots of eye contact. It’s not because I have the looks and charm of George Clooney; it’s the smell of money that makes them do it.

“What’s your name?”

“Krystal. And what’s your name?”

“Marcus. I guess that your name isn’t really Krystal.”

“No, it’s a stage name.”

“Me too. My name isn’t really Marcus.”

She looked surprised.

We established that she is twenty-five (she looks eighteen). We ducked my age. Well, I did.

“Where are you from?”

I told her. She didn’t actually say ‘bad luck’ but that was what she meant.

“I’d like to live in London but it would have to be in the centre and I can’t afford that.”

She indicated that she could and that she did. She told me that her taxi bill had persuaded her to make the change.

“Is this your job or do you do something else?”

Her answer was vague but it appears that she has outlets for her creative talents, including writing.

“I write, too.”

“Oh, what?”

“Well, I’ve written a couple of books on information technology.”

“Fascinating.”

“Not really.”

“You don’t understand irony?”

“Whoops. Yeah. I just hadn’t caught up. I’ve also written a book about gender inequality.”

“Oh, I’m interested in that.”

I doubt it. It wasn’t about poor, down trodden women.

“And I’ve also written a book called The Amsterdam Diaries.”

“What’s it about?”

“Amsterdam. It’s a diary.”

She looked at me with a disbelieving expression.

“You’ll have to Google it.”

I hope that she does. All through this little exchange I’m fondling her arse and she is swaying to the music and I’m only half aware of the blonde girl on stage who is completely naked and contorting her body to give the audience a glimpse of every orifice. She isn’t my type.

“Do you like your work?”

Krystal held eye contact and brought her mouth up for a kiss that didn’t quite happen.

“I love it.”

She took my hand, swayed to the music and then did a jive-spin.

“You followed me down the stairs. Was that because you thought you could make money?”

The answer was probably yes but she claimed not to understand. By then it was time to take a booth. She put her drink down in one corner, I put mine in the other. She put her purse down at the end of the velvet covered bench and I took off my jacket.

“Do you want a thirty pound dance?”

That’s interesting. Maybe the girls have worked out that the forty pound dance that they used to pitch for isn’t worth the money because there are few takers. I took it once but couldn’t tell the difference between that and the standard twenty.

“No. A twenty pound dance.”

“Twenty?”

She said it like it was a shock. Like, ”You’ve brought me down here and groped my arse for a miserable, miserly twenty pounds?”

“Yes. But you can do another after that.”

That seemed to placate her. I’m not here for the dance, I’m here for the company and to pass some late-night time, so the longer I can spin this out the better.

“Open your legs.”

That’s usually my line. I spread them. Here I feel the need to comment. There are women in the world (feminists) who interpret the spread legs of a man (usually on public transport) as his invitation for any woman sitting opposite to drop to the floor, unzip his jeans/trousers, take his cock out and suck it until he comes in her mouth. Yeah, OK, I get it. But that’s not what’s happening. Some men explain it as the need for a man to give space to his testicles. It’s a physiological imperative. Maybe. However, I have another hypothesis. It’s about balance. That’s all (especially on swaying public transport). She stepped between them. And started to move. Her top came off. Then her thong (I actually removed it from over her heels and put it beside me on the bench). Both black. Double black on black.

“Do you like having your arse smacked?”

I only ever ask a girl who has a generous arse.

“I love it. Where are we going to party tonight. After this?”

Nowhere. She’s playing me but I don’t mind. I like playing.

“I’d like to take you back to my hotel and play with you.”

She leaned forward and let her delicious tits (they are perfect) swing towards my mouth, then put her mouth close to my ear.

“You couldn’t afford me.”

I put my mouth close to her ear.

“I think that I could.”

I could. Afford her, I mean. Definitely. But it wasn’t a realistic proposition; I’m not into pure contract sex. Nevertheless, I like talking sex to her.

She put one foot on the bench so that her legs were apart and her crotch exposed. It has a fair amount of hair on it (discrete, trimmed, coiffeured). That’s very unusual. But very erotic. Her slit is small and neat. I bet she’s tight.

“I’d like to lick it.”

“I know.”

Her breasts are natural. She’s slim but curvy. And the aureoles of her breasts are generous, feminine. The nipples were slightly erect. I’d like to lick those too. I realised that she hadn’t shown me her arsehole. She took some pleasure in showing me the other hole, though.

“Do you want me to open it?”

I didn’t want to disappoint.

“Yes.”

She exposed a beautiful little, bright, shocking pink hole. The truth, however, is that I like the sight of a girl’s slit better than the sight of her hole. And the smaller the slit and the less labia protecting it the better. Oh, yeah, I also like a small clitoral hood which covers (once you get to it) an obvious clitoris.

Dance two finished.

“Another?”

“Sure.”

She doesn’t really have many moves and it’s not as good as many dances I have had here but it was OK. She, however is better than OK to look at. A lot better. During dance three she posed rather than danced and I became aware of how good the poses looked in the reflections in the mirrors all around us. I framed them with my hands and commented. She posed some more and I took imaginary photos of the reflections. Then the dance ended (and I still hadn’t seen her bumhole). It seemed pretty arbitrary, the length of the dance, I mean.  I hadn’t heard the music start or finish once. I got up to leave. She put her hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the eye (very up close) and tried to press me back into the seat.

“One more.”

The eye contact was good. It was what might once have been described as a smouldering look.

“No thanks.”

“One more! Sit down!”

My guess is that this works on most occasions. Actually, I almost did as she said.

“Now you’re hustling. Don’t do that.”

The girl standing waiting with a customer just outside our dance area had a look on her face which said she was wondering how this would play out.

“OK. Give me the forty.”

Petulant tone. Another command.

She panicked briefly because she couldn’t see her purse. It had crept under my jacket.

“Give me a tip.”

I guess you can see how this works.

“No.”

She shrugged and went from being a cunt to covering it.

“Wait for me.”

I waited while she dressed. I didn’t mind. I’d rather exit with the girl than on my own.

“Come with me. We’re going to the bar.”

Hand in hand we reached the bar where she bounced a guy out of his seat. She spoke to him through me.

“He’s in my seat. I can’t get to the bar.”

He obliged. She ordered a cranberry juice.

“What are you having?”

I ordered a gin and tonic (I would have preferred cranberry juice, no gin). I paid. Obviously.

On the way back to the bar she had been told that she would be dancing soon.

“Come with me. I’m dancing next. You have to tip me. You have to do it while I’m on stage.”

She poke like a five year old mimicking an adult, Order, order, order. I’ve been wondering what kind of jobs these girl’s might be qualified for, other than flashing their tits and their arses. Speaker of the House of Commons comes to mind.

Yes, for the last few minutes I have been manipulated and jerked around like a dog on a leash – but within my comfort zone and with my consent (it is, after all, research of a kind). As we entered the dance area we encountered one of the first girls I made contact with in this club. She had been persistent about dancing for me. I had declined but just before I left the club I gave her the price of the dance for trying so hard. She remembers me for it and it has been a good investment; she is always friendly and treats me like an old friend when I put in an appearance at the club. She was taken aback because I haven’t been there since February and I could see her searching her archives to pull up the right name. My black friend and I parted company because she stopped to talk to the DJ. I moved to a front row seat. On the way I passed Sonja, a French girl who I had got on well with before Christmas last year but who had blanked me when I went back in January. We had exchanged numbers. Actually, she had given my phone a missed call to register her number but I had terminated it without thinking, rather than letting it be logged as a missed call. The plan was to speak further over Christmas. Except that we hadn’t, because we couldn’t. I assumed she’d interpreted the lack of call as a lack of interest. Tonight she was welcoming. I guess time heals. I explained that I had something to do but would see her later. Smile, smile. Bridges mended, wounds healed. She knows that I spend and that’s what’s important. Krystal came on and did her stuff and after about thirty seconds she settled down on all fours in front of me. Expectant.

“Where do you want it?”

She indicated the top of her stocking. I obliged with a folded ten pound note. She jiggled in front of me some more and another guy tossed a five pound note onto the stage. The song ended. Totally naked, she bent down and scooped it up, grabbed her thong and then left the stage via a small door to the side. As she made her exit I made mine. I got up and left the dance area and went back to the bar. I made a show of checking the area (there really was nothing for me there) then put my drink down on the bar. I was beside the girl who had seen the attempted shake down. She was looking at me with ‘curiosity’.

I called it a night.

Pollocks a Tango and then a Fandango – Soho Part 2

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I took breakfast at the hotel. I had little choice. The rain that had been forecast had arrived and in a big way. It was raining buckets, it was raining cats and dogs, it was coming down in sheets. Fucking rain. Actually, it worked to my advantage because the buffet breakfast was exactly what I wanted. Muesli (with yogurt and fruit if I wanted), ham, salmon, cheese, salad and bread and unlimited coffee. It wasn’t as good as The Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam but it did the job (and was considerably cheaper). By the time I’d finished (taking my time with a house copy of The Times), the rain had stopped and I was ready to tuck into London as a tourist. I headed for The Royal Academy, off Piccadilly. It was on the recommendation of my hairdresser, a Toni & Guy guy. He’d visited a few weeks before and had enthused about an all black canvas which wasn’t actually black. Apparently, when you observed closely it was made up of red, blue and green specks. Well, y’gotta see something like that.

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My first mistake was over the expression Abstract Expressionism. As I approached the counter to buy a ticket for that exhibition I was priming myself to buy a ticket to the Abstract Impressionism exhibition when I saw a sign: Abstract Expressionism. Shit. How embarrassing if I’d asked for the former.

“Can I help you, sir.”

“I asked for one ticket.”

“I’m sorry, sir. There is no such thing. It’s Expressionism, not Impressionism.”

“Oh.”

Quick recovery.

“I’ll have one of those, then.”

We exchanged money for ticket (is it really different to money in exchange for sex). It seems that they had run out of the catalogues that are included in the ticket price. My ticket cost £13.30 instead of £17.50. I was given a more modestly printed overview, which apparently did the same job. I later discovered that it was the text minus half a dozon illustrations. Good deal!

After surrendering the ticket for an audio tour guide I launched myself into the exhibition, some twelve halls. There were some Pollocks, which I’d particularly wanted to see but most of it was bollocks. Including the commentary. People see what they want to see. But what the fuck, I was in out of the rain. And it occurred to me that my photo interpretations of the some of the window girls in Amsterdam (one in Soho) fitted the expression Abstract Expressionism. And that gave me an idea. But it would have to wait until I got home.

Around 2.00 pm I was contemplating walk ups. I haven’t been in London on a Saturday for a while and most of the names in my address book didn’t mean anything to me. I went to a walk up where I’d met a new girl a couple of months before. There was just a chance that she was still there. She wasn’t. The name on the door told me that. However, the name had the phrase ‘new girl’ beside it so I decided to give it a go.

“Oh, dear. This looks like a mistake.”

The girl who opened the door just wasn’t my type.

“She’s with someone. She’ll be five minutes but you can wait if you want.”

It wasn’t the girl, it was her maid.The crazy thing was that she could have worked there (just not my type).

I took up her offer and while we waited I enquired about the girl I’d come to see. She’d never heard of her but suggested another walk up. It was one which I had associated with the girl a few weeks before.

I asked about the girl working there at the moment.

“Dark, shoulder length hair. About my build.”

I decided to try the other walk up.

When I got there I heard footsteps descending. I passed a guy on the stairs. He was Asian. Chinese maybe. About forty. Maybe forty-five.

The door was opened by a blonde who I guessed to be in her late twenties. Cute. But not the girl I’d come to see. I stood there hoping that my disappointment wasn’t registering. She stepped aside to let me in. She introduced herself and held out her hand. I took it and shook it and introduced myself.

The connection wasn’t right. I could tell straight away but I was there and there were few alternatives.

“Where are you from?”

“Poland.”

Shit. No ice breaker by using some native tongue. That would have to wait.

“I’d like half an hour. It would have to include sixty-nine, though.”

“That’s OK.”

She gave me a price. It was unexpected. Then she apologised and reinvented it. I would learn why later.

“And something for the maid.”

I recognised the maid who was busying herself in the kitchen. She is always busy. Always on the move. I decided that I could test my game (the one I have been considering for a while). I dug into my shoulder bag and drew out a small sack of white chocolate, silver covered coins (Christmas is on the horizon).

The girl had them in her hand before she realised what they were.

“It’s OK. Let’s see what she says.”

The maid got the joke and said thank you. They didn’t mention the absence of real money but I coughed up a two-pound coin anyway. It was a mistake, though. I should have waited until I knew both maid and girl. I was probably coming across as weird to the girl (and not in a nice way).

When she returned from the kitchen along with the maid’s smiles and ‘thank you’ I followed her to the bedroom. Great body. Great bum, fully exposed (with the exception of a thin strip of black thong up the crack). Pretty little face (pixie-cute). Neat waist. Slim, shapely legs, accentuated by five inch heels. I’ve used the room before. Indeed, I know it well and I have had some sensational sex in it. We undressed. I washed my hands. I’m making a statement.

“Have you washed? I passed your last client on the stairs.”

“Of course.”

Maybe that was a lie.

I encouraged her to lie down on the bed and set about working my magic. To cut a long story short it didn’t work. She lay there dutifully, passively, and putting up with it.

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-eight.”

She inquired as to whether I had a girlfriend or wife.

“No.”

“Do you have brothers or sisters?”

It appears that she has a thirty-year old brother and a twenty-six year old brother.

I played with her (cunt). First I played with her clitoris (finger sliding up and down the slit for a few minutes) then I swirled my finger around her clitoris (for a few minutes), then I rubbed it hard and fast (but lightly) in an ‘up and down motion (for a few minutes). Then I knelt between her legs and gave it a lick calculated to bring her to orgasm. No luck. I might just as well have been fucking a corpse. I set about a missionary fuck, which was very nice. For me. Then we did doggy, first in the traditional position then with her prone on the bed with her legs closed and mine either side of hers, trapping me in a deliciously wet, soft space. It was nice. Then we did her on top. It was OK, I guess.

“I think we should do Spoons.”

She looked down at me, still impaled on my erection. She felt hot in there.

“No. You on top, doggy or me on top. That’s all.”

She said it like a ticket collector on public transport giving you options.

“Do you know what Spoons is?”

“No.”

And she clearly didn’t care or want to know.

“How old are you?”

“Guess, then I’ll tell you.”

She guessed. She did it like she was messing with me. She clearly wasn’t messing with me enough because she got it right. I confirmed her guess. Her jaw dropped and her eyes popped. I figured that this was pointless. I told her to get off. We dressed. I won’t be going back. To make sure, I asked her when she worked (like I was really interested). It seems that this is her only afternoon gig. On top of it she works two night shifts. The indications are that she is a suck and fuck girl and not looking to engage with the clients. It might have something to do with the night time experiences – get ’em in, get it over with and get ’em out. Obviously, it might just be me. However, she is the first girl I haven’t connected with this year (and there have been a lot of connections). Indeed, she’s the first for a long while but I did sort of know as soon as we made eye contact. So did she. If I had been there for a quick ten minute suck and fuck it would have been good (very good), but I wasn’t, I like to take my time and I like to play. She doesn’t.

After that experience, I decided to play safe and went to a girl who is a known quantity. The maid sent me straight through to the bedroom and into the arms of someone I’d never seen before!!!! Like the last one she was pretty but (like the last one) she wasn’t my type. I did my best to cover for it and paid for half an hour. After depositing the money with The Bank of Maid she came back and went to cuddle. I was unprepared. It was a clumsy cuddle. I suggested that she lie down on the bed. She suggested that I lie down. Indeed, she was insistent. So I did. I soon realised why. She has a routine, an act, just like I do. And it’s good (just like mine). I went with it. She has good hands. She’s a bit too theatrical (Ohhhh, Ahhhh), however, like every time she’s touched it’s a stunning pleasure sensation for her. After a while we swapped places but it wasn’t the same as usual (it definitely wasn’t what I wanted). She pretended to respond (Ohhhh, Ahhhh). So I fucked her. It was going pretty good and then it started to feel really good which, in turn, led to me fucking like a maniac.

And then it was over.

“Oh, I needed that.”

Not as much as I did. It was more unnecessary theatre (on her part).

As we dressed I asked her about her plans. She plans to make enough to set up a business. Maybe a travel agency. In Russia. I said I was pleased to contribute to her project. She said she hoped that I returned. She has a beautiful little hole and I enjoyed licking it, so while it’s not likely, it’s not out of the question. I checked her work days, just in case.

Then I went back to the hotel, picked up my laptop, found a Costa, ordered a coffee and set about writing this up.

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I had a substantial complementary snack with wine at the hotel then went along to The Phoenix Theatre to see The Last Tango. There is a lot about The Last Tango which isn’t my thing (including the plot, the music and the songs) but I do like to watch Flavia dancing (subsequently my stylist told me that he has cut her hair!!!!!!). I arrived at 7.30 (by my watch) and was told that the performance (which I expected to start at 7.45) had just started. No worries. They would sneak me in after the first number. I waited at the back of the stalls and noticed a spare seat at the end of the aisle at the very back. The usher said it would be OK to take it (instead of my seat in the third row from the stage). An absolutely clear view.

How was it? The show, I mean. Good enough. Because I have watched quite a lot of the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing I found myself concentrating on the footwork, the rondes and armography and arm extensions and the quality of the lifts, etc., etc. I expect you get the picture. And Flav was Fab!!!!

Increasingly, I find theatre productions end ‘early’. That is to say, they end at a time which makes it possible to do something else afterwards. I went to Poppies on Old Compton Street (the Ann Summers end), the site of the original 2-i’s coffee bar for a fish and chip meal, which was seriously excellent – boneless fish in tempura batter, a bucket of mushy peas and the weirdest song collection you ever heard. All the staff were foreigners. Fuck Brexit!!!!! And nearly all the diners were hyperventilating at the prospect of getting staff to pose with them for selfies. After stuffing my face I went back to the hotel, a stride away, and changed – and headed for a strip club.

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I breezed in, paid the entry fee, ordered a drink and was immediately set upon by a girl who was sitting at the bar. The girls will invest in talk-time in order to be asked to perform a paid dance. That way the customer has a pleasant time which extends well beyond the actual dance time. The problem is that the girl who hits on you is unlikely to be the one you actually want to marry (if you know what I mean). This one was (marriage material, I mean), she was East European. But not someone I can romance in her own language. I looked for a connection. I told her about one of the interviews I’d done for an Vice online magazine (there was a version in her country). That led naturally to my interest in taking photographs. I showed her some photos of some Dam Girls on my phone. She looked at a few of them, then paused.

“I don’t believe that you took these. I’ve seen this one before.”

Interesting (I think that it appeared on a Russian news site which plundered my own – she’s not Russian, by the way). I logged on to janvanderdamm.wordpress.com so that I could offer a measure of verification. She scrolled through the blog entries, including the ones devoted to photographs.

“Pervert. You’re a pervert.”

I’m not sure that she really understands what the word means. I suspect that she just likes the taste of it in her mouth.

“It’s your passion.Taking photographs.”

That has a more agreeable ring to it.

“It’s a blog. You will be part of it in a few days time.”

“You can’t do that, write about people without their permission.”

“I can. If I want to.”

“It’s Karma. Karma will get you.”

She may be correct about that (certainly in a few days time I will have a string of bad luck – let’s hope that it’s over and done with). I decided that I would like to see what she has between her legs (maybe I am a pervert, after all). I told her that she could dance for me. We went to the private dance area and hit a queue. Good. It meant that we could talk and I could play with her bum while we waited. It seems that touching is permitted if both couples are standing. She’s petite. She’s slight. Her bum is cute, enough to make a very feminine, soft cushion when she is being fucked from behind, but not enough to be an obstruction.

She’s older than she looks. She’s in her late twenties. I would have said twenty-two. She’s here in London to make money to ‘fund her passion’. She’s an artist and a photographer. She showed me a selection of photos and artworks on her phone. I know, everyone takes photos but there is a difference between photography as an art and taking pictures of yourself (and your plate of food) for Facebook. And here was the difference. I’ve met some very interesting women while doing this. They aren’t the sad, desperate losers that the rescue industry portrays, they are intelligent, articulate, focused young women. And many are artists.

“Do you have a website?”

“No. To be honest I’m not a computer person (no, she’s an artist).”

“You mean you’d like to dump the photos on someone and say sort it for me.”

I guess I had me in mind when I said that, like if I could get her number maybe I could get to fuck her. She returned to the theme of pervert a few times then said that I reminded her of someone.

“I’ll tell you who afterwards.”

Wow! Someone famous? David Bowie? George Clooney? Aidan Turner?

It seems that she lives in Soho. (Fuck! I want to live in Soho.)

“What do you like to eat?”

“I’m a vegan.”

She said it like it was a challenge (to me).

“I want to become a beegan. Do you know what that is?

“No.”

“It’s someone who lives on air alone.”

She means breatharian. I didn’t disillusion her. It sounds like a group that lives Beyond the Wall, doesn’t it? We eventually got into the dance booths and she immediately started getting rough. I’m sitting in the booth and she has her clothes on (the bras is made of quite robust material) and she starts crashing into my face with her chest. It doesn’t feel good. It’s happened to me once before and that time I rode it out. This time (with hindsight) I didn’t.

“Stop it. That hurts. Do gentle or don’t do it at all.”

I don’t know if she was being playful or spiteful. Maybe she thought that I would like it rough. She changed tack and settled down to erotic as opposed to crazy.

When the bras came off I could see that her tits were really small. We had a conversation about it. I told her not to change them. She said that she was quite happy with small tits but that a lot of men like big ones. Soon after, she gave me her thong. It was clear that she expected me to sniff it. I don’t do that. I put it down on the bench beside me. Of course, there are things that I do do.

“I’d like to tie you up and do things to you.”

“No. I’ll tie you up.”

“Sorry. That doesn’t work. I like the girl to be helpless.”

“Well, maybe, if you’re gentle.”

During the second dance she played with herself.

“It’s wet.”

She put her fingers to her nose then mine.

“Pervert.”

I told her that I only lick clean pussy.

“No, it has to smell, otherwise it’s not really pussy. Another dance?”

“Of course.”

While she danced she told me about a particularly perverse thing that she had once done for money (a lot of money, and very perverse, and with a Turkish guy – maybe ten years from now I’ll explain what it was). She is a curious combination of calm, cool and collected (and talented and artistic and articulate and bright) and completely off the wall. I didn’t touch her much but at one point another girl told me to take my hands off her arse.

“Why does she care?”

“I’m a new girl. She’s looking out for me.”

“Another?”

I hadn’t seen her bumhole during her routine. I wanted to. I sometimes find that the direct approach works.

“Okay but turn around, spread your legs, bend over and show me between your legs.”

She obliged. And obliged. And obliged. She has a beautiful little slit, cute arse cheeks and a really nice bumhole. It was the best twenty pounds worth of fun I’ve had for a while. She stopped posing and started to rub her bum up and down my chest, then settled down on my cock and gave that a rub too. I don’t usually get an erection when the girls do that but this time I did.  She seemed pleased with herself. Then she seemed to have a thought. She broke off from the bum fun, turned around and then knelt down between my legs at cock sucking height. And then she frisked me. At first it was a pat down, then she opened a couple of buttons on my shirt. She did it like it was ‘more fun’ but I believe that she really was looking for a hidden camera. If that was the case, she was going to be disappointed. She got up and stood with her back to one of the mirrors on the wall. She stood with her feet apart and then slid her back down the mirror until she was squatting at piss on the floor height. I liked that too. I would like to have watched her piss, and maybe put my hand between her legs while she did it. Pervert.

“Another?”

“No.”

You can have too much fun. We left the booth together. I was trailing her, hand in hand as we snaked our way past other couples who were waiting to use the booths or just standing and talking. She stopped abruptly and turned to look me straight in the eye.

“My father. You remind me of my father.”

It took a moment to register what she had said and why. It wasn’t what I was expecting to hear but I didn’t miss a beat.

“So what was it like showing your dad your bumhole and the slit between your legs, knowing that he wanted to lick both of them and play with them?”

She treated it like a rhetorical question. Instead of answering she told me how she was feeling.

“I’m wet. Really wet.”

I put my free hand on her upper arm. She was, indeed, damp. So was her back. The exertion had made her sweat; she was clammy to the touch. However, I’m sure that she meant wet between her legs.

“What are you going to do?”

It was getting late. There was maybe another hour of playtime before the shop shut for the night.

“Up to you. You want to work that’s OK, you want to talk that’s OK.”

She said that she would give it a go with the Muslim boys (I assumed) who were making up most of the audience but if she didn’t click she would come up to the bar and talk.

I went to the bar and ordered a drink and was immediately accosted by a twenty-year old Spanish girl. I had no interest.

“The girl behind you. What’s her name?”

It had been bugging me all night. She was the very first girl to dance for me when I first visited the club, She had told me that she was from Brazil. It had been nice. She is by far the most attractive girl in the club. However, since I saw her that time she has had breast implants. It’s just not my thing.

“I don’t know. You like her more than me.”

“No, no. that’s not true.”

It was true but it would be mean to let her think that. I explained the situation and that I couldn’t recall her name. Later it would come to me. Her name is Olivia.

Soon after, my little artist friend re-appeared and came my way. Fuck. I’m too polite to tell Spanish Girl to go away (and my girlfriend read that as her cue to fuck off). I told Spanish Girl I had no money and she moved on, but her place was taken immediately by Romanian Girl (by this time my girlfriend was with someone else). I played my Romania card to good effect then told her that I had run out of money.

“No’a barnee.”

“What?”

“No’a barnee.”

She still didn’t get it.

“No money.”

“Oh, no’a barnee. That’s not a problem. There’s a place just along the street where you can get money from the wall.”

I relented and let her perform a totally unmemorable dance for me. Then I went back to the bar and found my girlfriend in the clutches of two (distinctly heavy) guys. I dumped my glass with its unfinished drink and left. Outside I was accosted by a black guy who wanted to take me on to my next good time.

I declined.

The Day of the Undead – Soho Part 3

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Soho London. Day 3 of my visit to the capital. I decided to have a cooked breakfast. I bought a Times and went along to Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton Street. There were maybe a dozen customers. The manager was busy photographing the cakes in the window. I was offered any vacant seat in the house. After a couple of minutes a waitress appeared and took my order for a full English and an Americano.

“I’d like the coffee straight away, though.”

“Certainly, Sir.”

The coffee came and I set about reading the weekend summary of the American election. What did I think about it? The election, I mean? Well, I hadn’t heard Trump speak until the Presidential Debates (I have a TV but I don’t watch it). My view of him? A total fucking idiot. We have a radio programme (UK) called Just A Minute. It’s a panel game. The contestants are given a topic and they have to speak for a minute without hesitating or repeating themselves. If they do either, it’s handed over to the other team. The one that’s speaking when the time runs out is the winner. Trump speaks like he’s a panelist (not a good one, I might say). There is a tendency for people to speak with a stream of consciousness, making no sense at all. He does that well. How could anyone vote for him? Hillary, meanwhile comes across like a one-trick feminist Chucky figure dressed as Kim Yong that is relentlessly hurling its head at an imaginary glass ceiling. The harder she played her feminist credentials, the more people became pissed off by them. Yes, we are all for equality, but my guess is that there is hardly anyone in the world who truly gives a shit about the number of women on the boards of the top 100 companies. She kept it up through her concession speech, reinforcing the negative view which she’d generated throughout the campaign, with this advice “Any little girls watching, if you find yourself in a hole, keep digging!!!” What the fuck? I didn’t want Trump, but I didn’t want Clinton more (and I am, by inclination and voting history, a Democrat). Trump, meanwhile, looks (more and more) like a man who says shit but who can be reined in.

The breakfast turned up two minutes later. My guess is that it was only the eggs (two fried) that had held it up; the rest was ready to go.  I ate as I read. I read half the articles and ate half of the breakfast. That was more about watching the calorie intake than a comment on the food, although the was only ‘OK’ (I won’t do it again). When I’m in London I eat more than usual so I have to manage it. I guess I was there an hour. No rush. No one was rushing. From there I went over to The Royal Academy (which I visited yesterday) to take some shots for the blog (to replace the Google images that I stole). I’m not sure if they will work but I have taken them. And I’m toying with using The Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks LP cover as an illustration in that blog – amended to Never Mind The Pollocks.

I’m too sore to play with girls. I think that the hand jobs in Dam created a little bit of a problem and the Russian girl yesterday was a bit heavy mouthed. I went back to the hotel, ordered a coffee in the hotel’s café and typed up some more of the diary for the blog. When I took time out to glance at my watch I saw that it was two o’clock. It was time to head over to the Charing Cross Theatre. I  went to the Leicester Square tube station, picked up the Piccadilly Line and set off for King’s Cross. I don’t recall ever being out on the street at King’s Cross before. No theatre. I asked a nearby newsagent for directions. It was there, I just couldn’t see it. I doubt that anyone else could either because it has the appearance of a boarded up construction site.

The theatre is New-New. Very modern. I was seated about three quarters of the way back in the stalls, and somewhere between the middle of the row and the right hand aisle (it’s an OK position, if you are contemplating a visit). I sat next to a mum, daughter and son-in-law from Sweden. It was mum’s seventieth birthday treat. I assumed that dad was dead and resting in the ground. It seems that she is more into dark (miserable her son-in-law said) religious music than Bowie. I, meanwhile, wasn’t sure what to expect. Obviously, the girl on the train had enthused about it (yes, I read the book and thought it was shit). And I’d bought Black Star on release and been unimpressed. Apparently, the audience had given a standing ovation. Meanwhile, I’d noticed (not read) one-star and three-star reviews in the press. Not good.

I was lucky enough to get the tallest guy in the building sitting in front of me. He was literally head and shoulders above the rest of the audience in his row. Depending upon how he positioned himself he blocked out twenty to twenty-five percent of the stage to my left. Cunt. However, I know something. I actually discovered it while doing field archery. After a while, people wilt (it’s after a lunch break in field archery, their shoulders sag and they shoot low). I sat upright and bided my time. After about twenty minutes he became restless and then he started to sink (wilt) into his seat. About (fucking) time! After that the obstruction varied but it was from nought to ten percent (depending upon how his head lolled from side to side), which was a vast improvement.

My verdict on the play and the performance? Excellent. The story is slight but the style, the striking use of computer graphics, the choreography (there was no dancing), the imagery, the singing, the interpretations and appropriateness of the songs and the positioning of the band as an integral backdrop (and the acting) were stunning. And, of course, the music was fab.The songs worked, some particularly well. There were some very interesting takes on some of them, especially when delivered by female members of the cast. I soon realised why Michael C Hall got the part. He sounds like Bowie. Exactly like Bowie, in fact.

Before I set out from home a couple of days ago I was moderately cursing my planning. That may have had something to do with the fact that I wasn’t in walk up mode. I’d had a lot of sex over the last ten days and I felt sated. However, it has been a great break. I hadn’t expected to see Hall in a matinee performance and so felt rather lucky. Maybe it was his way of getting the night off.

When I got back to the hotel around 5.30 pm I took my laptop down to the café, ordered some free wine, had a couple of snacks and then continued the diary. I’m back there now (8.50 pm), having been to a Brazilian steak house on Shaftsbury Avenue. They have a decent  buffet and waiters circulate with as much meat as you can eat. They walk around with large skewers of meat and slice it for you (each skewer has a different meat). You grab it with tongs as they slice. When I arrived the place was pretty busy and I had to hang around until a member of staff noticed me. She established that I was alone (and sad and depressed) and then she set off in search of a table. She halted abruptly. I nearly went up her arse. She seemed distressed (although not at my near involvement in her inner workings).

“How about this one?”

I said. We were standing beside a table for two which was beside a couple of young women (twenties, but not my kinda meat). In front of it was a young Japanese guy in his twenties who was working his way through a plateful of his own meat with what looked like relish (the expression on his face, not an accompaniment).

“Well, if you’re sure. I was trying to find …”

Her sentence petered out. I wonder why.

I sat and waited. And waited. Eventually, a guy came up and took my order for the meat option (as opposed to just the buffet) and a bottle still water. He gave me a small card. One side read Give me meat and the other read Stop giving me meat. Then I set to work. Halfway through I decided to go looking for where the waitress had intended to put me. Yup. A table for one scrunched up against the only pillar in the room. Valued. That’s how I felt. I ate quite a lot of meat, paid and then headed for an ice cream parlour. Three flavours. I sat inside and ate it. I watched the Japanese tourists taking photos of their ice creams and listened to the conversation of two eighteen year old boys who shared the cheapest cup and a lot of boyish mouth fluids. Then it was back to the hotel (where there seemed to be a lot of male couples sharing double rooms) to rest for an hour. I’ve done a lot of walking today.

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At about 10.15 pm I set off for a lap dance club. Suit. Boots. How cool. Well, maybe not if you are the only person in central London wearing a suit. Two heavies blocked my path at the entrance.

“Good evening, Sir. Have you been here before?”

“No.”

“It’s ten pounds entry fee (before 11.00 pm), a basic private dance is £20.00. There are two VIP areas. No touching. No cameras.”

He might have said more. I wasn’t listening. I’d read the rules which were displayed outside the club in the afternoon.

“How’s it arranged inside? Is it on one level?”

He hesitated before answering.

“It’s basically on one level. There’s a bar and then a large social area. Then there are sepate private dance and VIP areas.”

“Thanks.”

“Enjoy your evening.”

I took myself into the crypt. This place, which I’d assumed was at street level and/or above, was in the basement. A very large basement. I hope that the stuff over us doesn’t collapse because there will be a lot of it. I passed a girl in her early twenties on the stairs. She was wearing street clothes and she was on her way out. She was friendly. If I was looking for a special companion I got the impression that she might be it (I don’t usually get that can’t take my eyes off you from twenty year-olds who I bump into in the street). There was no one in reception but I could see into the bar area. The occupants stirred. They could smell fresh meat. It was like watching dozing vampires momentarily disturbed.

Only one way to do this.

Shazam!

I went through the opening between reception and the bar and did the obvious. I approached the bar. I was joined almost immediately by a blonde vampire who was taller than me (that’s not good). She was wearing a red bras and a white and red excuse for a skirt, which barely covered the cheeks of her arse. Slim, toned body, blonde hair down to the middle of her back, trim waist, bright eyes and Ziggy Stardust lipstick. She introduced herself.

“I’m Felicia.”

“I’m Marcus. Where are you from?”

Please don’t say Poland or Hungary.

“Romania.”

Come here vampire. I did my Romanian party piece. It worked. Why? Because it is so unexpected and I do it like I know a lot more than I do. During it, the barman appeared and relieved me of £14 (entry fee and the price of a gin and tonic). We were joined by another vampire. She is also from Romania and they live together an easy tube ride from the centre. They have been here about a year. With a new friend on each arm, and with one of them carrying my drink, we found a place to sit. I explained that this was my first time in the club and so I wanted them to explain how it worked. They did. With considerable emphasis on the VIP areas, the forty pound dances, the VIP areas, the special dances, the VIP areas and the champagne, and the champagne and the champagne.

“All the VIP stuff and extras is out. I’m here to learn, not spend a lot of money.”

They looked only marginally disappointed. We were joined by another vampire. This was quickly turning into a Jonathan Harker moment. Vampire #2 was shorter than vampire #1. Her hair was pulled back tight into a pony tail. It’s gave justice to the term Essex Facelift. She had wide open eyes and bright red vampire lipstick. She, too, was from Romania. We were joined by vampire #3 who had a distinctly American-porn-movie-star name and predatory (but not very bright) eyes. I got the sense that #1 and #2 were a team and that #3 was an opportunist interloper.

“Where are you from?”

She seemed unprepared for the question. Maybe she was looking at my suit and thinking something’s not right (after all, I’m the only guy in the place with a suit), maybe he’s a cop or from The Border Agency.

“I can’t tell you. If I did I’d have to kill you.”

A murder rap would be better than deportation, it seems.

“She’d have to kill you.”

Said #1 just in case I wasn’t following.

Maybe they are from Transylvania not Romania. However, #3 did understand the other girls’ Romanian chatter. We had the usual where am I from why are you in London what have you been doing stuff.  I’ve realised that they hear English, not an English accent so I spun a yarn. I said that I was Dutch and that I was from Amsterdam and that I was taking a break.

“I’ve seen some theatre and been to another club a couple of times, not far from here.”

“I’ve heard of it. What’s it like?”

I wish that vampires #2 and #3 would go away. I guess I could have made it happen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t looking at vampire #1 through my ‘potential girlfriend’ filter at that point and I figured that to zero in on her would raise her cash expectations. It was also because she looked a little bit older than my type. I would have said that she as twenty-eight.

“I’m going to go and see how the place is laid out, see how it works. I’ll come back later.”

They accepted it. I picked up my drink and walked down into the social area which was filled with groups of hotel armchairs which were grouped around small hotel coffee tables and which were accommodating groups of men (various ages) and young women. There seemed to be quite a few young women who were guests rather than dancers. At either end of the room (fifteen metres across and twenty long), were two small dance areas, each with a pole. The girls on stage (maybe they were Poles too) moved, but only just. They were there but not giving it anything. Listless. Too early, maybe. The lighting is so subdued it’s almost hard to see. The dancing girls are vague, fuzzy images, not sharp, sexy images which demand attention. I’m already not liking it. So I’m standing there, like for fifteen seconds, when another vampire swooped. Another blonde. She wasn’t my type either.

“Where are you from?”

“Guilford.”

“Oh, I thought that you might be East European.”

I mean, she looked East European.

“Do I sound like I’m from fucking Eastern Europe?”

I guess not. She established that she was a straight talker. I get that. I couldn’t really miss it.

She wanted to know where I was from.

“You sound like you are from the north.”

That is a first. I am from the north, as in north of London. I told her I was surprised at her analysis because I’ve always considered myself to have a BBC accent (as in without a regional accent).

“Oh, I’ve never thought of that. What do you do.”

Maybe she has got it into her head that I work for the BBC.

“I don’t do anything. I don’t work. I don’t have to.”

She did a visual take on the information, somewhere between ‘that’s not fair’ and ‘lucky sod’.

“So what did you do when you did have to work?”

I told her. I don’t tell many people.

“You do realise that everyone hates you, don’t you?”

After a bit more pointless conversation she drifted away with the promise of a good time (I’d played my just arrived in your cave card), if I should want to take up the offer. I settled into one of the armchairs and tried to focus on one of the dancing girls; no one else was and maybe that’s why they didn’t seem to give a fuck. Vampire #5 (another blonde), landed on the arm of the chair and wrapped a wing around my shoulder. My right arm hung listlessly behind her. If she’d been my type it would have been exploring her arse. She wasn’t so it didn’t. She took the hint, told me to look her up sometime and flew away.

At which point a waitress appeared with an offer to top up my drink.

“Thanks. I’m okay for the moment.”

“I’m your waitress for the evening, just ask if I can do anything.”

There wasn’t much that anyone could do. I could see that there wasn’t a single girl in the place who I wanted to play with. But I was here. And this was research. I went back to the trio of vampires in the bar area. I didn’t ask if I could join them, I just did.

“I have a plan. You can all dance for me, one after the other and I’ll see who is best.”

They brightened at the prospect. Vampire #2 tried to put her spin on it.

“Why don’t we all come with you. We’ll all do separate dances but be together.”

This wasn’t a plan entirely without merit but my instinct was to spin this out. Maybe she was worried that one of the other girls would slice through the deal and take all my money before she could get her share. We discussed the running order. It would be #1, then #3, then #2, the order in which they were seated in front of me.

Vampire #1 took me by the hand and led me to the blood letting area. We took a sensual, meandering route through the tables to some booths off the main room. On the way I promised to marry her.

“Call your mother. Tell her the good news.”

“But we have no ring.”

“We’ll think of something.”

Maybe she is more my type than I imagined.

The entrance was policed by a guy who looked like he might have been a Polish Kappo in another life. She ushered me into one of the booths. It was dark. We could see one another well enough, but shadows were cast everywhere. There was no clear view of her body. When she turned her back, bent over and pulled the cheeks of her arse apart all I could see was a shadow where I should have seen a slit and a bumhole. She had nice natural tits, though. Not too big and not too small and quite firm (very small, male nipples). Her arse was similarly well proportioned. And she was playful. I liked her. We spent some of the time discussing our favourite sex positions. She likes doggy and on top. I like doggy and on top too; but I mean me on top so that I can see the girl’s face while I’m fucking her and I can kiss her while I rub my cock against the wall of her vagina. The indications are that girls like doggy because the guy can go deep. It may also have something to do with the friction against the bumhole side of the vaginal entrance.

“What part of a woman’s body do you like best. These, this or her arse?”

The truth is that I like all three but have a preference when push comes to shove.

“I like a girl’s bum.”

I think it’s because when a girl is bent over in front of me it’s like having access to a cunt a bumhole and two special tits as a single package. After that I got quite a lot of bum, some of it pressed against my cock some of it rubbed up and down the front of my shirt. And sometimes just pushed out at me to have a good look at (bearing in mind all those shadows).

“It’s just a game, isn’t it?”

She laughed like she was thinking, “You get this, don’t you?”

And it caused her to high-five me. I’ve seen and played with a lot of girls. I’m not going to get off on having my shirt rubbed against some girl’s sweaty bumhole, hence my comment.

I spent a little time explaining some differences to the other club. The other club has good lighting. She didn’t like the sound of that. The other club has a space for four dancers with clients. Everyone can see everyone else in good light and the security guard puts in very few appearances. Because we are all together it’s self regulating. She thought that paying for one dance and seeing three others for free didn’t sound like good business.

Then it was over.

“Do you want another?”

“No.”

That wasn’t strictly true but the lighting in here is abysmal.

“OK.”

“How tall are you?”

She deals in metres and I deal in feet and inches. She stepped out of a shoe (five inch heels) and sunk to an ideal height. She went from two inches taller than me to three inches shorter. She would have to look up at me to be kissed.

“Fabulous. It’s like getting two girls for the price of one.”

She smiled.

We headed back to base, doing a reverse thread through the tables and the chairs and the other visitors. Vampire #2 offered me my drink, which I had left on the table. I declined.  Instead, I took #3 by the hand and we set off for the booths. As soon as we were alone she went into hyper-upsell mode. She had her heart set on a VIP experience which I would ‘really like’. No, I don’t think I would. We ended up in a booth with a photo of five naked women on the wall. It was a good photo. Erotic but not explicit. She was one of them. Maybe she’s older than she looks.

“Oh my god, it’s like having two girls for the price of one.”

I had no sexual interest in her. She made an impression, however, by doing a pissing squat with her back to the wall and gave me the best view of the evening. She also decided to shove the heavy sole of her stilettoed shoe into my crotch, which was less fun. She has natural B cup tits too. And small nipples.

Did I want more? No.

I returned her to the bar, scooped up my next partner and repeated the experience. She immediately started to upsell with talk of thirty and forty pound dances. I declined those too. While I was a little bit interested in seeing vampire #1 with no clothes on I had no interest in this one (or the other). I was more conscious of the guard walking past the booth every five seconds to make sure that I didn’t have my cock in her mouth. Like the other girls, she has a good body; it’s toned. And she has B-cup tits and small nipples too.

As she dressed I asked how old she was.

“Guess.”

I thought maybe twenty-nine. But it felt dangerous to go there.

“Twenty-five. Maybe twenty-seven.”

She looked pleased.

“Thirty-nine.”

“Fuck! Wow! That’s amazing!”

And I meant it. I gave her a hug (mindful of the security guard who was prowling the corridors of the castle). She looked even more pleased than before.

“It’s like having two girls for the price of one.”

Back at the bar, which was filling up with pre-eleven o’clock punters, vampire #2 handed me my drink. I should have ordered a Bloody Mary, shouldn’t I? I wondered if it had been spiked in my absence (just joking).

I took a small sip and put it down.

“So who was best?”

It was vampire #3 who wanted to know.

“Well, it’s not easy. But what I will say is this. It was the girl who was like two girls for the price of one.”

They each barely concealed a smug smile.

“The great thing is that all the girls in the bar have just watched this play out. And now I have you for protection, to keep them away from me.”

A bit like dangling cloves of garlic around my neck. They exchanged ‘fucking hell, I don’t believe this’ looks and laughed.

I could, of course, have said, “The great thing is that all the girls in the bar have just watched this play out. They saw a guy who is spending money. And now they will all want some. I just have to sit and wait for the right one to approach me.”

I could see that vampire #3 was losing interest. She had only been attached to me by the smell of money and had detached just as easily when it became apparent that there would be no more, even though she had seen the thick wadge of twenties in my wallet (I made sure of that when I paid them). Vampire #2 was more respectful although hardly less interested. Vampire #1, however, seemed very relaxed and was looking more and more like fuck material and I felt more of a connection. She’s prettier than the other two (to my mind) and I suspect that she can turn up for work confident that she will make money. But that wasn’t going to happen, fuck her, I mean; I’m sure she will go home with a purse full of cash, which probably shapes her lack of attitude. I made a decision (there was nothing more for me here, other than the prospect of hemorrhaging more money for little purpose. I stood up.

“Molto me’yesk (thank you very much). Lara va’dare’ree (see you later).”

I did it with a smile. They looked surprised.

“But your drink.”

Vampire #2 held it out to me.

“No thanks. I’m good.”

And then I left.

Look, I’d had a very full day. And an enjoyable day. And these ladies had contributed to it. But it just wasn’t working; I saw no one in the bar who I wanted to romance. There are simply too many pretty women in the world who I have no interest in.

Lost Weekend

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I spent Monday in London. It was an over-nighter. The trip was planned around a concert by Ezra Furman who was doing a short UK tour. I came across him about a year ago on the Jools Holland show (BBC 2).

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There was something a bit whacky about him but his sound resonated. And he tells stories. I went out and bought all of his CDs. And this was my opportunity to see him and feel the sound in the flesh. It was an incredible feel-the-flesh sound!!! The trip I talked about was a £20 ticket + £520 expenses. How’s that for fan commitment?

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I arrived in London at midday and went straight to my hotel, which was in the heart of Soho. I don’t mean sort of in the heart I mean really in the fucking heart!!!!!. I was too early to check in but I was able to leave my luggage. Then I headed to a walkup, to a girl who I have visited before. We’d got off to a good start on that occasion because I had been able to romance her in Romanian. She did the pleased to see you thing, pleased to see my money too, I don’t doubt. I bought half an hour of her time. She’s like a girlfriend but we are one small step off true ‘real girlfriend status’. I encouraged her to lie down and relax and then set about setting her body on fire. Afterwards I counted (what I had done): I took her through 12 step changes, each one more intense than the one before. Afterwards, as we were dressing she said, “You’re amazing.” She sort of blurted it out. It wasn’t related to any conversation that we had been having. It was like it just escaped from her thoughts. I could see that she regretted saying it, probably because I might misinterpret the sentiment. She was referring to what I’d done to her and how I’d done it (it wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy). People ask me if I’m addicted to sex (because I visit prostitutes); I’m not. But I think that I might be a little bit addicted to giving young women orgasms (especially of the unexpected kind). However, there are no obvious ‘harms’ which are associated with true addiction.

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When I left her I headed for Camden Market (the photo composite is made from Google images), which was about ten minutes away on The Northern Line. Despite being a Monday, the place was heaving with tourists. There’s clothes and food and clothes and food and clothes and food, and there’s other stuff (lots of it). I was there looking for a replacement shoulder bag. I started using them when I was visiting Egypt frequently. They have several compartments and one is exactly right for carrying the notebook sized laptop that I travel with. One of the zips (on the money compartment) is faulty and so I need a replacement. No luck. And this isn’t the first market that I’ve checked out. I was hungry so I bought a Thai takeaway. Two mouthfuls told me that it was a bad move. Spices and garlic. I threw it away and bought an ice cream, a combination of stracciatella and lemon sorbet; maybe it would go some way to neutralising the garlic. The guy serving me was clearly disappointed that I only wanted two flavours.

I headed back to Camden tube station as I ate it, en route to the next walk up. I figured that would choose another girl who I was familiar with and take an hour of her time so that we could have easy, lazy sex and I could enjoy her company. Hers was a top floor flat. When the door opened I was face to face with a girl I know, but not the one I’d come to see. Is she on my ‘must-see’ list when I am in Soho? No. But I went in anyway. She’s expensive and I didn’t particularly want to be there (she’s pretty and sexy but just not my type). However, as soon as we settled down she set about it in romantic mode. I immediately traded up and extended the time to half an hour. I repeated my earlier performance and got the same result. It would be fair to say that when I’d finished she looked a little bit damaged, like she wasn’t sure what had happened to her.

“Can you take me straight away?”

She could. And she did.I meant put my cock in the hole between her legs. And she had another mini-meltdown, just before I had my own.

“Are you OK?”

She was referring to the fact that I was having my own in-shock moment.

“Just give me a minute.”

“It’s OK, there’s no hurry.”

Well, after that I had to take time out. I went back to my hotel which was situated very close to the action and rested up for an hour. Then I headed to a rendez vous with a film director acquaintance. I’d had a part in a film which he had directed back in February. It was on location in London. It was my acting debut. The meeting was to discuss the possibility of appearing in his current project. We went over to Bill’s on Brewer Street and had a leisurely evening meal. It was clear that the waiter thought we were an intrusion and he stuffed us into a corner. I get used to it. Somehow we managed to spin it out until it was time for me to set off for the Furman concert. It was at The Roundhouse at Chalk Farm.

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I believe that The Roundhouse was built in the 1840s. It was a train repair workshop. It’s iconic. The standing capacity is 3000, which means that it’s pretty intimate wherever you are situated in the audience. I situated at the back in the centre, looking at the stage over the mixing desk, so that I could make an easy escape just before the encore; I wasn’t keen on fighting 3000 other people for a place on the tube train back into the centre.

There were a few other people who had the same idea but it was very manageable. I found myself in a compartment with two guys in their thirties, two girls aged 18 – 20 and a young woman aged 25. Obviously, I’m guessing all this. The guys had been at the concert too and one, the one with ginger hair and a hipster beard, was wired. He hit on all three girls with a steady stream of bullshit. They batted his bullshit aside. Confidently and easily. I wondered if he would have traded his bullshit for my Soho experience today.

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Back at Tottenham Court road I went along Oxford Street, took a left into Soho Square, and headed for a strip club. I’d not been to it for nearly a year but I was hopeful that one or two girls who I knew would be there. They weren’t. It was grim. There were maybe a dozen girls and a dozen customers. And there was just one girl who was my type. She was my type of black African: slim, bright, beautiful, British, natural breasts, and the best bum in the bar. Like the other girls I get to talk to she was an easy conversationalist. Her reward, after ten minutes or so, was to dance for me twice. Wearing a bikini she was delicious. Stripped she was exotic, erotic and delicious. I spent the time fantasising about how it would go if I could get her into the same situation as the two girls I’d seen during the afternoon. The music stopped. We said our goodbyes and thank you’s and I left the club. Long day. Excited and sated. And ready for sleep.

The next morning I went to Muriel’s Kitchen on Old Compton Street for a disappointing breakfast then went to The National Portrait Gallery. They had an exhibition of 19th C photos of ‘black people’ that I wanted to see. By the time I’d finished I was in the mood for another walk up visit. I decided to check out a new girl, one new to me that is. She was operating out of the room that had been first on my list yesterday. Again, she was attractive but not my type. Nevertheless, I stayed for half an hour. It was a re-run of yesterday.

“Where did you learn to do this?”

Well, I did my apprenticeship in Amsterdam and honed my skills between there and Soho. If only I could box it and sell it.

How was it for me? Pretty good. Because of my exploits yesterday I was able to last longer and when I came it was the life-threatening kind. Fuck. In a couple of days I’m going to be in Amsterdam. Too much of this and I’m maybe looking at hospital.

When I got home, about three hours later, I caught up with stuff. The next day,Wednesday, was a day of rest although I spent a good deal of it getting ready for the flight on Thursday. It takes me longer to haul my stuff together and get packed than you might imagine. I travel fairly light but there is still a good bagful. Is the phone charged? Is the laptop charged? Is the camera charged? Then there are various customised toiletries and ironing a few shirts and documentation and so on and so on. I mean, I didn’t spend every minute of the day on it but it dominated the day. By early evening it was all ready to go. Then I logged on and did a final email check. That’s when I hit trouble. One of the mails was from my travel agent. Urgent! Call us! It appeared that KLM had cancelled my flight for the following morning, citing technical reasons. The travel agent advised that I had been rebooked onto the same flight but the following day. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work. I was going to Amsterdam to give a talk to fifty American students who were there on a study visit. And my revised schedule would have me arriving at Schipol about the time that I was due to be wrapping up the talk.

The travel agent advised me to call KLM and see if I could arrange a more convenient time to travel. After a twenty-minute wait I got to speak to an adviser. She rearranged my outbound flight and said that she would mail me the eTicket. Unfortunately, she couldn’t deal with the return flight. She would have to send a mail to the ‘back office’.

By the next morning (the day of the flight) I still hadn’t received any confirmations so I called KLM again. I got a similar story and was assured that the eTicket would be mailed to me. It wasn’t. So a couple of hours later, with the clock ticking down I phoned again (this is costing me a fortune). This time I got to talk to a guy who arranged the second part of the journey (it had been cancelled), mail me the eTickets and explain that the other operators had been mailing my travel agent not me. Not good. To be honest, my experience with KLM has not been good. I’ve made six trips to Amsterdam in the last eighteen months and all but one had major complications, including long delays, cancelled flights and being bounced off flights because they have been overbooked.

Well, here I am in departure typing this up. If it goes to plan I will be in Amsterdam around 8.00 pm (instead of 1.00 pm). Luckily, this isn’t too much of a problem. I’m not going there to see girls and I hadn’t made an appointment to see anyone but if this was an in-out visit over twenty-four hours it would have been ruined.

Actually, I’m in the WiFi area sitting next to a fat cunt who clearly has a cough problem. I’m hoping that it’s a physical thing rather than something he is trying to share with the rest of us.

When we got underway the flight was twenty-five minutes quicker than the normal time. However, we spent almost as much time taxiing at each end as we’d spent in the air. I sat beside a couple who were taking a long weekend and we talked about Brexit. They asked why I was visiting Amsterdam and I couldn’t resist telling them that I was giving a talk to students. I always tell people that the theme is moral politics. They understand the words but not the concept. The conversation starts and ends there. But I get to brag a bit.

It looks like Schipol has undergone its facelift. Over the past couple of years it has been undergoing remodelling and large areas have been closed. Access to Arrivals has changed. The usual route had been blocked and passengers had to walk through the main concourse to get to it. They have made it a bit more user friendly. In the past passengers have surged into the hall and formed queues as best they could. Now there are roped walkways which force much more orderly queues. I found myself standing behind a striking black woman. She was super-slim and could have been anything from 25 – 35. She wore a black Guy Falwke’s style hat under which she wore black Guy Fawke’s style hair. She wore a very tight, tailored black coat, black stockings and black, Puritan shoes with three inch heels. It was a sort of Matthew Hopkins look.

It wasn’t long before she started complaining about the slow progress of the queue. There were three officers on duty. Two were serving one queue and the third was dedicated to ours. She concluded that two was better than one and swapped queues. As I exited Customs she was still in a queue with eighteen people in front of her. It was an excellent exercise in queueing theory.

Ten minutes later I saw her a few yards along the platform as we waited for the 7.59 pm train into Amsterdam. She had buddied up with a Dutch girl. When we left the train I found myself directly behind her as we reached the top of the escalators. At the bottom our world’s, having briefly collided, divided.

I checked into the hotel, The Ibis, as quickly as possible, dumped my stuff, and headed for The Krasnapolsky where I had a leisurely dinner. It was after 10.30 when I left. When I came to pay I realised that I’d left the hotel with only English money in my wallet. Luckily I had a credit card. I paid and left the hotel with a view to doing a window count. By my reckoning, 127 were occupied. If we add in 10% for closed curtains there appeared to be around 139 women working, which is up on what I was used to recording a couple of years ago, despite window closures.

There were maybe a couple of women who I might have been interested in if I’d not been sated after my Monday visit to Soho and the wine and meal that I’d just had. That’s not good. I went back to the hotel, changed into window clothes and headed for the Singel. I’d decided that I’d spend half an hour with a girl if one took my fancy. None did. The options were worse than bad. The women looked rough. I counted 34 open windows, so maybe 37 were active. Then it was back to the hotel (seriously tired) and a rough night. I slept intermittently. My room is over some of the track of Central Station so I got to hear any trains that were running. It wasn’t too intrusive but it’s not the best location I’ve had. Having said that I do have a very interesting view across the estuary from my bedroom window.

I got up at eight o’clock. I had a sore throat. I wasn’t sure if it was the result of the smoke-cannabis atmosphere or fat-cunt and his coughing. I went for breakfast at Exki at the back end of the station concourse, overlooking the estuary. It set me back 12 euros. Usually, my hotels of choice are The Krasnapolsky or The Barbizon Palace where I graze at what are quite generous buffet breakfasts but they were out of my price range this time. This was a work, not a leisure, visit. After breakfast it was back to the hotel and a wait before heading over to Café Heffer for the talk. On these occasions I feel like an athlete who wants to just get on with it and get his feet into the starting blocks.

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The talk was in The Heffer’s dungeon. The group was already assembled in a long room deep below the street. My thoughts are always about whether or not they are pleased to see me. I have no idea if my visits are something they look forward to, are indifferent about or hostile towards. Maybe they make a difference. Maybe they make no difference at all. I guess that statistically I could reckon on a bit of each.

How did the talk go? It was OK, I guess. If you ignore the difficulties with the laptop and Internet connection, the poor quality of the image on the projector screen, the fact that the room was narrow and long so that half the audience was a long way away, the fact that I had developed a sore throat overnight (that cunt at the airport, I bet) and the fact that I seriously misjudged the timing and couldn’t answer some of the questions (to my satisfaction). At least I remembered most of the talk, which I do without notes, but was disappointed that I’d forgotten my carefully rehearsed jokes about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. Shit! These opportunities only come along once! Having said that, the audience laughed where they were supposed to, which is an indicator of sorts. I also managed to get a fix on their probable politics and an indication of where they might be coming from regarding the prostitution issue. My guess is that the Trump/Clinton vote in that room was 50:50. It is only a guess, though. I got the timing  wrong because I went for a soft intro and that needed to be at a leisurely pace. I intended to make some comments about the notion that prostitution is ‘violence against women’ and use a visual (I am putting images of violence in front of women who maybe believe that prostitution is violence against women). I agonised (a lot) about putting inflammatory images in front of the audience but decided to do it. Why? Because I believe what I say.

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My comments went like this. Violence against women is violence against women. Violence against prostitutes is violence against prostitutes. Prostitution is the exchange of sex for money. There is nothing intrinsically violent in the prostitute transaction. There is certainly no third party violence. No woman in the world experiences violence as a result of a man visiting a prostitute. To say that prostitution is violence is against women makes as much literal sense as saying that writing notes in the margins of a textbook is violence against authors. Or that taking notes during lectures is armed robber. After all, the notes are theft of words and the pen is, as we all know, mightier than the sword, making it a formidable weapon. Yes, it’s nonsense. It’s just playing with words. But that’s the point. If prostitution was violence against women there would be no need for debates about the Swedish Model. The cops could just hang about outside establishments where prostitution was taking place and arrest guys as they came out and then charge them with violence. They don’t. Because it isn’t. If people want to express their profound disapproval of prostitution by claiming that it is as bad as violence against women, I get that. I understand. But they are speaking metaphorically. They are telling us nothing about prostitution as a social phenomenon. But they are telling us a lot about how they feel about prostitution. It becomes problematic when people in power try to generate support for an argument or have prostitution redefined in law as violence. It’s especially dangerous when the person wielding the power is a self-confessed moralist who gets angry when considering prostitution.

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Because I ran out of time on the presentation I wasn’t able to address the two recommended books as smoothly as I would have liked. I had to cut short Sex & Punishment and that meant that the groundwork for Righteous Mind wasn’t in place. Indeed, it only got reviewed because a member of the audience asked a question about it. I has also been setting the audience up for an orgasm joke but there was no opportunity to trigger it because of the omissions. What would I have said (about Sex & Punishment)? Something like this. Berkowitz gives an astonishing account of sex and punishment. There has been a lot of it. Prior to the birth of Christianity the emphasis was on infidelity. It mainly focused on women and punishments were severe (very severe). With the birth of Christianity it took a new direction. St Paul (in particular), Roman philosophers and a few Roman emperors set the public tone on sex for the next several hundred years. The message was that sex is a distraction from man’s quest to achieve closeness with God. Celibacy gets state approval and is promoted as the most desirable human state. Obviously, not everyone subscribes but it is the establishment view which comes with establishment pressure.

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In the twelfth century there was a step change, a real game changer. The Roman Catholic church introduced marriage as we know it today, and it wasn’t some Disney view of marriage. The aim was to control sex. If you must do it, you do it on our terms, and preferably to make babies, not because you like it. We will give you permission. They had a few tools to help them. First there was the confessional, where people were encouraged to declare their dirty sex secrets. The priests had books detailing sex crimes. These were known as the penitentials. The lists were long and only constrained by the imagination of the people who compiled them. But all was OK; tell us your secrets and we’ll absolve you of the sin. The second tool was the nun. Women were second class citizens but they could gain social status by joining the church. they could enhance that status by coming down hard on women and sex. The third tool was the number of days on which couples could legitimately have sex. The church got this down to about fifty days a year (once a week). Finally, the Roman Catholic church introduced the first brothels in to Europe (with a view to controlling sex). We can’t stop people but we can keep on eye on what they are doing, where, with whom and how often. And make some money in the process. We have been living with the notion that sex is sinful and needs to be controlled for hundreds of years.

Over the last couple of centuries, the focus for sex and punishment has been on prostitution, pornography and homosexuality. The state of affairs isn’t too much different in 2016 to what it was in 1816.

I would have liked to have worked in the Page Act (America 1875) to show how sex is used as a weapon. I also liked to tell the story of The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon Affair, to show the lengths that the morally righteous will go to control sex. But, like I said, I ran out of time. One of the guys asked me to review The Righteous Mind but I think it would have made more sense with the sex-and-church preamble.

After these things I’m in shock – these things demand a lot of concentration. The presentation lasts an hour and then there is an hour of questions. Most concerts don’t last that long (Ezra was on stage for about 90 minutes). I find that recovery is aided by coffee and comfort food, so I headed for The Krasnapolsky and had one of their burgers. Yes MacDonalds would have been cheaper but nowhere near as relaxing.

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Then I went for a walk. And became aware that my sore throat had become seriously painful. Back to the hotel to use the throat spray which is part of my medicine pack. Over to The Nine Streets. Back to the hotel. Over to the red light district where I spent half an hour with a black girl. I was there for a relaxing massage and talk (I was unwinding). Then I walked back to the hotel. Then I walked back to the red light district. Then I walked back to the hotel.  The hotel is really well situated for arrival and departure but it’s a pig when it comes to those necessary trips back to the room to pick stuff up or drop stuff off. By the end of the day it’s my legs that were dropping off. At one point I went to a pharmacy to buy a throat spray rather than hike back to the hotel. When I got outside I set about using it straight away. It was a construction kit, one which omitted any device which could punch a hole in the spray nozzle. I dumped it in a trash bin. It was the easiest waste of ten euros all week. I went back to the hotel to take my medicine.

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That night I ate at The Restaurant De Roode Leeuw, on the Damrak (just off The Dam). It’s the first time I’ve been there. I’ve always thought of it as a steak and chips sort of place but it isn’t. I stopped to check the menu in the window and saw that it included saddle of hare. That sold it. I was parked in a small-table window seat. That suited me because I could watch the world go by. I had lobster bisque, enhanced with scallop and shrimp, then the hare and then a mousse with ice cream. Verdict? Pretty good. The wine, a Valpolicella was very good. I wasted money (12 euros) on a very small glass of dessert wine. It was nice, but not that nice. By the time I was finished the only bed for me was the one in my hotel room. All that walking, and standing, and the brief red light experience had made just about every part of me ache.

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After a slightly better night (throat still sore) I set off for breakfast. It was raining. That wasn’t supposed to happen. To cut though it I made for the Exki again and had coffee and croissant. It wasn’t what I had in mind for breakfast so I went onto the Damrak. Everywhere I fancied eating was full so I went back to Exki. It was OK but the impression that endures is of a staff who have absolutely no interest in their work The customer is something to be endured.

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Then what? Well, I checked out of my room, set up my laptop in the lounge and typed up this diary entry. Around 1.30 pm I set off in search of girl-contact. Do I need it? Of course not. I’m doing it because I am here. However, it’s not as easy maybe you think. I did a few circuits. The number of women working was limited and the number I was interested in was zero. Then I saw a girl I know. The downside? She was sitting on the second step of some stairs eating a take-away. I realised that my throat was no longer sore.

I knocked. She smiled. She put down the meal and let me in.

“So sowwy. No cussommer. Verwee quiet so I eat.”

I get that.

I told her that I wanted half an hour. She brushed her teeth and used mouthwash. I washed my hands then undressed and she lay down. I played with her just like I play with the Soho girls. She let it go only so far.

“You have to stop or you make me come.”

We swapped places and she reciprocated. When playing with me felt like it might get out of hand I suggested that she play cowgirl. She did. And she did it like a girl who knows what she’s doing. And then we did missionary; we stayed like that until I ran out of road. It would be fair to say that when I came it was ‘intense’. All that preparation in Soho earlier in the week had made sure of that.

15.00: I picked up my luggage and went over to Central Station. There was a local train which left at 15.13. It stopped at Schipol at 15.35. During the journey I got to talk to an Irish student who’d been in Amsterdam for three days. He’s studying marketing and appears to have a heavy workload. During our conversation he commented on the face recognition self-check-in at customs. When I reached the luggage scan I was hauled over and all my luggage searched and I was given a pat-down. Actually, it felt like a grope. I’d left some anti-bacteria hand gel in my case. It meant that because of the delay I ended up in a customs’ queue made up of a party of about fifty Chinese. I checked my passport for the self-check-in logo. The check in option had six entry points and one user. Zap! I was through in record time. Sadly, I look exactly like my photo.

YOUNG AMERICANS

On Friday, 24th June, the day after the UK voted to leave The European Union, I spent a couple of hours with a group of young Americans who were in Amsterdam on a study visit. What were they studying? Prostitution. Why? I have no idea. I have absolutely no idea why they would want to spend a semester studying why men pay to have sex with women. I did a presentation which lasted an hour and then they asked me questions for an hour (my throat is sore – two days later). I don’t remember many of the questions. However, I do remember, “Why pay? Why not just hook up with someone for sex?” Maybe I remember it because I’m always asked that question. The girl asking the question made it sound really easy.

It’s not.

Actually, I’ve remembered a couple of more questions. They both have a feminist flavour. The first was about consent. Specifically, did the window girls specifically give consent. The answer is, of course, no. They stand in an area where sex is old and when you ask how much they tell you and then they let you in. I guess that technically that is tacit consent. I asked what prompted the question. It was against a background of a mood for explicit consent on campus in the USA. The implication is obvious. If you have sex with a window girl who has not explicitly agreed to sex (even though she took your money), it’s really not consent. Nice confused way of looking at the world. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m inside my head.

The other revolved around loads of money as a prostitute as opposed to, for example, next to no money as a cleaner. “A job which earns less money can be so much more rewarding.” Well, it’s a point of view.  However, it’s not my decision. Nor is it the decision of the girl who posed the question. Or anyone other than each individual prostitute.

After the ‘talk’ I went back to my hotel and changed and had a shower. It had been hot in that lecture theatre and I was hyped up; I’d been performing for two hours, not giving a talk. I needed something to bring me down. It turned out to be a girl I’d not seen for over a year. She was in Trompetersteeg. Actually, I thought that she had left the area because of the closures. At first I just stood in the alley and talked to her and we exchanged the usual ‘how have you beens’. I decided to visit for fifteen minutes. I like her. I like to talk to her. However, as soon as I was in the room I parted with €100 and bought thirty minutes of her time. She is skilled; she can stimulate a guy who isn’t sure if he wants to be stimulated. I guess that’s another way of saying that she is good at what she does. She talked me into buying another fifteen minutes. We talked a lot. My plan was to stay there and just ‘cuddle’, if you know what I mean. But she has a good hand. And we got round to ‘doing it’ (which had not been part of the plan). How did I feel about that? Well, I had intended to take advantage of the erotic ‘play’ then seek out a girl I’ve never been with before just for the experience but as is often the case I let her take me all the way.

How was my trip? Thanks for asking. There were three delays on the way out (a) before boarding the plane (b) before take off (c) before landing. Total? Over two hours. On the way back I was in the last carriage on the train to Schipol from Amsterdam Central. The train arrived at Schipol with the platform on the side of the train that the doors wouldn’t open. By the time that I and another six guys had worked our way to the other end of the carriage, people on the platform had flooded on (blocking our path) and the doors had closed. We went to Rotterdam non-stop. How would you feel?

At least I can say that I have been to Rotterdam. I considered giving them the link to this blog so that they could read about themselves. Five of the guys were skateboarders who appeared to have a black guy as the gang leader. It was down to him that the situation worked out OK. He took off to find a guard (he found two) who explained that the journey to Rotterdam would take about 25 minutes (not days as I was imagining) and that there would be a train back to Schipol on the other side of the platform when we arrived. They struck a deal with the guard on that train and we travelled back in First Class. The least they could do. And the sixth guy? Well, our predicament was down to him. And me. You see, being a gentleman I let his girlfriend exit her seat before I made progress along the carriage when we arrived at Schipol. I do this a lot, especially on aeroplanes; I don’t like the idea of people being trapped in their seats as people rush past. What I didn’t know was that she had a suitcase the size of a house. She struggled to move it. It delayed her exit. Meanwhile, I let her boyfriend (who was on the other side of the aisle exit too). He had two fucking great suitcases. He gave one to me (thanks). We struggled along the aisle with the four skateboarders behind us. About five yards from the doors to the platform our exit was blocked by people streaming on. There had been a gap between Suitcase Girl and Suitcase Boy so people  on the platform thought it was OK to board. I remember yelling, “Get back! Get Back!” and not to a Beatle’s tune. It made no difference. The doors were closed and locked by the time we reached them. Suitcase Boy exchanged a sorry stare with his girlfriend. They were on their way back to Hong Kong. And we all shouted and gesticulated at the guard on the platform who was being briefed by Suitcase Girl. Pointless. This isn’t the first time that my good manners have turned round and bitten me in the face. Luckily, the Skateboarders didn’t attempt to exact any kind of revenge, not even harsh words.

At checkin I was dealt a standby ticket. And not for the first time. This happens to me regularly. If you are going to bounce someone off a flight because too many tickets have been sold, the obvious victim is a guy travelling on his own. As it happens I didn’t care either way. I didn’t have to be anywhere the next day (although I did have tickets for a rock concert that night). Well, I was issued with a boarding pass at the gate and made it to the gig.