Invisible Stranger


Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Porn Takes Queen
Over the weekend, and following a rather "interesting" Saturday night, I realised with some surprise that never in my life have I bought any pornography. Of course, over the years I've inherited or been given the odd mucky mag or second-generation VHS from friends, but I've never actually gone out with the intention of bagging myself some prime, over-the-counter, hard-core filth.

Quite honestly, I could never be arsed. I've nothing against non-exploitative porn, performed between two or more consenting adults, but I've never really got into it, at least not in the way some of my more anal (ahem) friends have, cataloguing and colour-coding their VHS and DVDs according to the variety of sexual positions contained therein and the duration and volume (measured in centilitres) of the "money shot".

Anyway, I'm a snooty and arty sort of Stranger, and reckon Genet's Un Chant d'Amour, or a freshly martyred Saint Sebastian, packs more erotic punch than Jeff Stryker repeatedly popping someone in the pooper.

I realised that this was doing my Compton Street faggot credentials no good at all. Why, the next thing I'll be saying is that Madonna is past it and Ab Fab a sad and endless retread of what was once a pretty good idea (or should those two be the other way round?). And that would never do.

So on Sunday, in an attempt to live down to stereotype, I visited my friendly neighbourhood sex shop, passing the no-under-eighteens sign, and the warning notice that punters weren't allowed to proposition fellow customers, to check out what was on offer out back.

Licensed sex shops are big business these days, welcoming in the pink overdraft with bright lights, potted palms and piped classical music, as well as tasteful displays of unfeasibly large things to put up your bottom. The next thing you know, they'll be opening cappuccino concessions, so you can lay back with a latte while deliberating whether two ends are better than one on that shaft of silicone you're had your eyes on for far too long.

It's all so upfront and out in the open, which, of course, is a good thing, and nothing to be ashamed of; but it's also so terribly clinical, as you check out the DVDs on sale, selecting tonight's thirty-quid orgasm as if you were choosing a chorizo. Whatever happened to sex being just that little bit naughty and titillating? And, well, teasing and surprising? Less is more, as far as I'm concerned, and a hint of tumescence far sexier than said tumescence being thrust right into your, er, face. I'm willing to bet exactly the same goes for straight videos as well.

Nowadays, you might as well be shopping at your local supermarket, with the only difference being that at Tesco's you get a better selection of sausages. For while we're intently studying the blurb on the back on the DVD as though it were the cover copy for next year's Booker contender, all we're really interested in is the size of their willies and what they get up to with them. And the willies of these overgrown wannabe Kens, bodies all buffed and hairlessly perfect, will do exactly what the willies of those overgrown wannabe Kens did in the last dirty video you spent your thirty quid on, which was exactly what… Once you've seen one Californian gang-bang then you've seen 'em all, my dears, which is why I find porn soooo boring (dah-ling), and why I'd never bought any.

Well, not until this weekend, that is, when I grabbed one DVD located in and around Berlin, on the grounds that it would offer me an alternative take on my favourite city, and at least the "actors" wouldn't be grunting in cod American accents.

That's what I told the man behind the counter anyway. I don't think he believed me.