Invisible Stranger

Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

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Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Picture This
While he's ooh-là-là-ing it over in gay Paree this week, Mike of Troubled Diva is giving over his site to four guest bloggers: Rainbow Villa John; Quarsan of My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts; Gofish Mac; and Mike's own incomparable Auntie Cyn, who, if she doesn't exist, then Ronald Firbank shall just have to jolly well go off and invent her.

I was at a dinner party with another Cyn once, none other than ex-madame Cynthia Payne. She was a mate of a friend of mine. I remember she was a short-ish woman, who, despite the brassy image, was surprisingly well-spoken and well-mannered, but with an X-rated glint in her eye. She was your naughty auntie, the one your parents didn't mention, but were secretly quite fond of.

All we "gay boys", as she called us, were on our best behaviour. And, as so often happens when you're in a celebrity's company, we tried hard not to mention the thing for which she was famous, and on which the film Personal Services had been based. Secretly we were all gagging to know what had really gone on behind those closed brothel doors in Streatham. We didn't ask though, because that's not something you asked a lady.

Finally, after dinner the conversation got round to sex, as it always does. Sitting in the easy chair, with her boys on the floor around her, she talked about the absurdity of the sex laws chucked the odd polite compliment the gay "community" way (to which I got the impression she was pretty indifferent), and only once displayed anger at the hypocrisy of the un-named bishops and clergymen who were some of her perviest regulars.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we gossipy queens nodded in sage agreement, all the time wishing for some prime, juicy gossip. A little wearily perhaps, she clipped open her handbag, and passed round a selection of Polaroids of her parties, all the faces discreetly blacked out and anonymous, of course, and talked with obvious fondness of her clients over the years.

There was the inevitable elderly judge, bound and gagged, rolls of fat splurging out from the openings of his bondage gear, who "pulled a few strings once"; a remarkably young (and actually quite horny) guy in dog collar and chain, yapping at the feet of a busty, thirtysomething dominatrix. ("Did well for herself. Married into money. Sends me a Christmas card every year.") And best of all, someone I took to be a younger Madame Cyn herself, stilettoed feet resting on the wide-open backside of a middle-aged paunchy man, trussed up in leathers and begging on all-fours.

As a party piece, it certainly beats handing out the After Eights.