Recently channel 4 devoted a full week in its late night schedule to prostitution in contemporary Britain. These documentaries promised to blow the lid off this apparently taboo subject. Naturally I set my video.
One of the programmes centred on the experiences of young men who had tried their hand at the sport of paying for sex. The most startling incident in this yawn of a piece was when I recognised one of these men as someone I went to school with. He had once, and only once (yeah right), paid for a quick hand-job, and had regretted it ever since. 'The sad old desperate bastard' said I in my best puritanical accent, 'how could he?'
Anyway, this reminded me of an incident a few years ago when I paid money to not quite actually end up having sex with a prostitute (or 'slut of a whore' if you are a member of the website: www.Union-of-Catholic-Mothers.burninhell.com).This sordid drink fuelled affair only needed only two sparks. First, I was a young, giddy twenty eight year old in search of romance, love and affection. Second, I was with a mate who could lend me the money to obtain the above. In fact I was very lucky to get near to achieving my quest to drink from the furry cup as before we set off I was nearly arrested.
Call it a rush of pre-payment nerves or what have you, but I needed a toilet break of the Latin variety. As we were in a highly public part of the West End I needed my pal to perform the art of a trusty lookout. This service he most promptly didn't perform, for though he looked vigilantly up and down the street, coiled like a spring, ready to yell the alarm, he did this whilst leaning on an unmarked police car, whose two occupants he had quite failed to notice. Only as I assumed the squatting position in order to slip out a fatty did I feel the hot eyes of the law upon my worsening situation. I only evaded arrest by bursting into tears, and after they vehemently withheld their right to put me through an intimate body search, we politely accepted our freedom and quickly 'did one'.
As is often the case when one is looking for love, our destination turned out to be down a piss sprayed Soho alleyway. I rang the bell on a door marked 'Model upstairs', such misadvertising only adding to my growing passions. Within seconds a maid with the lowest of foreheads was taking me upstairs, and who, if my memory serves me right, introduced herself as Brian.Finally, I was in a room, alone with my 'model', a girl whose name and appearance I fail to recollect. She must have been a bit of a fright, perhaps even worse than the lovely Brian. My mate, waiting outside in the alley, had lent me forty quid to cover my sexual expenses. However, me being always up for a bargain deftly haggled my intended down to twentypounds.This sum duly paid, I began to remove my clothing in an erotic manner, not easily achievable considering the amount drunk earlier and the fact that when it comes to having a six pack, my saggy tits are only held up by my beer belly. Anyway, as my novelty Father Christmas underbeneaths fell to the floor I turned towards my professional lover, only to notice the look of utter boredom spread across her face. How rude! How bloody rude!
Was I not her very epiphany, her fantasy most arousing? Well if I was she could certainly hide it bloody well. I mean, I know my body has the appearance of being a bit 'all at sea' when not fully restricted within a whalebone surgical corset, but even so. In a post-thingumy ironic sort of a way I feel I have a certain sort of appeal, at least to the partially sighted.Anyway, things being as they're not, my rudeness managed to wholly outdo hers. For as I lay on the bed and allowed her to glimpse my everything, I immediately passed out. Sparko! After how long I know not, she did manage to wake me and announced that my time was up.
Remembering the phrase 'you only live once', I reached over for the other twenty notes nestling safely in my trouser. Finally I woke to discover that I had been pulled off, though, to my horror, not in the way that I had hoped for. Instead I had been pulled off the bed, and with my sleep interrupted by the back of my head meeting the floor, realised I was being rolled unceremoniously towards the door by the model, the maid and a huge menace of a geezer. I could not fail to hear their shouting and swearing, which, to be honest, was highly unnerving, and, in my opinion, most unwarranted. Regaining my senses and the majority of my clothing, I covered my nakedness, vaulted the stairs (in a manner that still impresses me to this day), crashed straight into my friend, and ran out into the night.
When my mate finally caught up with me about three miles away, I confessed to him my deep feelings of hurt and surprise at my treatment at the hands of the model and her accomplices. For the life of me I could not find cause for their physical and verbal onslaught. Luckily, said friend offered his account of the incident, which took away my feelings of surprise, although my feelings of hurt remain fresh to this day. Putting together the pieces as best I can, it would appear that when I passed out for the second time, the best efforts of my hosts to wake me were entirely in vain. This had obviously led to a great deal of shouting and the rest. My friend waiting outside was obviously in no position to know I had entered a coma, and therefore, upon hearing a commotion, thought it a sign that I was being attacked, rather than merely an attempt to coax me from my slumber. In return, his loud and repeated banging on the door downstairs was misconstrued as being the beginning of a vice squad raid, hence,explaining my hosts' wish to get me off the bed, and then to get me the fuck out of their charming brothel in a most shit off a shovel manner.
It turns out that while I was preoccupied with the 'trying to dress and flee all at the same time' manoeuvre, the lovely maid Brian had poked her head out of the window and had realised that the many officers of the law were, in fact, just my concerned friend. To the polite enquiry, “What the bloody fucks going on up there?” Brian apparently replied, “Oh nothing dear. We were just trying to wake him up.'” At that moment I must have knocked my mate flying as I broke for freedom, leaving my hopes of romance, and, more to the point, the borrowed forty pounds, far behind me.
Returning to the subject of the Channel 4 documentaries on prostitution, perhaps those interviewed could have kept their deeply felt regrets to themselves. Yes, maybe they did find the experience degrading and unfulfilling, but at least they got what they paid for. I certainly did not. All I got was a bit of a kip on a Slumberland bed (which I have to admit, was most comfortable), and a torrent of abuse. And as for waking up naked with Brian peering down at me. That is a memory, which, I fear, will haunt me forever.