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Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I was, very kindly, invited to the UK premiere of Shortbus at the London Film Festival last night (thanks Lucy), and – having been let down by my date – took a mate with me to see it.

“Be prepared,” I warned, “for an amazing film. You will fucking love it.”

“I can’t wait” he said. “It sounds fantastic.”

“It is. And we have tickets to the after-party too. I’m wearing a very low-cut dress; just so you know…”

We met for dinner and I gave him a quick flash of my revealing outfit; the plunging neck-line almost down to my waist-line (work it out).

“Fuck, you weren’t kidding, were you?!” he remarked.

“Well, yeah, my cleavage looks out of place here in the restaurant, but hopefully I’ll fit right in at the party. I have a reputation to uphold, don’t you know?”

He laughed. “And what’s your name tonight then?”

“‘Abby’, I think.”


“I’m more likely to pull that way.”

In the toilets I caught a woman staring at my breasts, her eyes quickly darting up to my eye-line when she realised I was aware of her cleavage-focussed gaze.

“Er, you have a lovely necklace on” she stuttered, blushing.

‘You’re busted darling’ I wanted to say to her; the ‘necklace’ explanation being the oldest excuse in the book… Instead I said “thanks” and smiled, taking in her pretty eyes and wondering if this moment might evolve into something.

She blushed some more. “It matches your outfit” she noted, her eyes involuntarily dropping downwards again.

I laughed. “Yeah, well, you know us women: we’ll do anything to co-ordinate”. And flirt, evidently. We both stood there smiling, but nature called, desperately, and when I was finished, she had left the bathroom.

After the film (fantastic: the entire audience was in fits of laughter), my mate and I made our way to the after-party, debating what we’d just watched as we walked.

“I felt a bit uncomfortable watching the gay three-way” he admitted.

“But you laughed hysterically when the guy was humming the Star Spangled Banner whilst he was tonguing the other guy’s arse!”

“True: it was a brilliant metaphor about American politics, so it was worth a little cringing I suppose.”

“You’re such a homophobe: you need to relax a little. Anyway, I rather liked watching that; but then, I am the kind of girl who likes a little man-on-man action... Let’s hope there’s some at the party.”

We arrived just as it was in full swing: ram-packed, a few drag queens milling about, and sexy strippers dancing seductively (I was rather disappointed that there weren’t any male dancers hanging off the poles: there’s still room for more equality in erotic dancing, I think).

“You’d better write about the strippers” my friend said, emphatically. “People need to know how great they are.”

“Well, besides being fantastically talented, she does have an amazing arse“, I agreed, pointing at one particularly athletic-looking dancer. “She’s a bit skinny for my liking, but I wouldn’t say ‘no’…”

We mingled, and people-watched, and then got chatting to the director, John Cameron Mitchell.

“I don’t want to be a sycophant,” I said, coming across as exactly that, “but I fucking love this movie. I think it’s bringing dialogue about sex and sexuality out in the open, and that’s what my writing is about too. So I will plug it as much as I fucking can: I hope it does fantastically well.”

We spoke for a bit, about trying to challenge stereotypes and ideas about sex and relationships, and then Justin Bond joined us.

“I feel like I know you already” he said, kissing me on both cheeks. “I spotted you in the audience at the cinema.”


“Oh yes darling, you really stood out, because you look absolutely fantastic!”

(FYI, to be a woman and have a gay man tell you that you look fantastic, is the best possible compliment you can get; especially coming from a guy as glamorous as Justin, because you can't get more stylish than him. I’ve never been a ‘fag-hag’ before, but am considering becoming one now).

Later, I spotted a particularly sexy man whom I thought might be worth pursuing. (He didn’t look gay, anyway, but hey, I’m not picky – as long as he lets me watch...)

“Go and fucking talk to him” my mate pressed, moments after said bloke had walked past me and returned my grin.

“I can’t. What do I say? ‘Hello, what’s your name? I think you’re nice-looking, can I have your number, because I’d like to fuck you?’”

“You’re the sex writer: you do this shit all the time.”

“Yeah, but I haven’t done it for a while. And that’d be so fucking blatant: it’d never work. Anyway I’ve got you cramping my style; he probably thinks we’re together.”

“And ditto, the women in here with me. Let’s split for a bit.”

We did, and I went in search of the tall, handsome bloke. On the way, I got accosted, and informed of another, even more private, after-party. I couldn’t refuse the invite: picking up a fit bloke would have to wait…


“So, why did you have your tongue pierced then?”

“I could say it was to improve my blow-job technique.”

“Was it?”

“No. I did it as a dare to myself: sort of ‘if I could go through with it, I could go through with anything.’”

“Oh, right.” He looked disappointed.

“It did assist my blow-job technique though, but really, if you haven’t got the skills to begin with, a piercing isn’t going to make you suck cock any better.”

He burst into laughter, as did his good-looking mate who was listening in, and, aware of the latter's interest, I tried to remember if I had brought any condoms with me. (Amazingly, for a woman who always comes prepared, last night, I hadn’t).

“So, how do you find English men? Are they intimidated by you?”

“Face-to-face, yeah, probably: I think they find my upfrontness and honesty a little challenging.”

“They sound like wimps.”

“Believe me, they are. I honestly can’t be fucking bothered with them, and their half-hearted attempts at dating, any more. Maybe I should move to the States; I’ve never had a problem with New York men, they seem to like feisty women.”

“Ah, we certainly do.”

“Even women who are socialist feminists, and environmentally aware?”

“Sounds perfect!” he turned to his mate, and they both nodded in unison.

“Well, I’m a socialist feminist environmentally aware woman, who happens to be making a living because I have written about my sex life.”

They both roared in applause. “My god, you sound like the ideal woman!” the first guy said to me. They both grinned, and I noticed the second guy’s hand on my knee.

“Yeah, well, you’d better behave,” I said, looking at the second guy, “or I’ll be writing about you tomorrow.”

I didn’t remove his hand though.

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