November 6, 2004
Imagine the scene: Two people are in bed (let’s call them Lover A and Lover B). The way their bodies are entwined and the manner in which clothing lays discarded around the room leaves no doubt that there has been some sexual activity in recent times. In fact, they have reached that point where the urgency has settled and they have decided to make an afternoon of it.
But if you listen, there is another sound. Not quite natural considering the moment. The eye is drawn to the door and if you look closely, you can see the door knob turning. The lovers do not notice.
The door is an awkward one to open (belonging as it does to a 140 year old house) and requires a good push to open … and in stumbles a girl. It takes her a moment to realise that she is not where she intended to be. Another moment before she notices the naked bodies on the bed.
Meantime, the sudden squeak of the door has alerted the lovers – who have frozen like a tableau – and as if drawn by a magnet, their heads are whipped round to view the source of the noise.
There is a pause, then:
Lover A: Can I help you?
Girl: I’m sorry, I was looking for the kitchen.
Lover B: It’s back down the hallway. The other left.
Girl: Thanks. This place is like a rabbit warren.
Lover A: I know what you mean. It takes a while to get used to it.
Girl: Yeah … You guys take care. Bye
At which point she exits, closing the door behind her. The lovers smile at each other and then return to what they are doing. The end.
Such a simple scenario really, but it didn’t happen like that. The girl stumbled in (White; long dark hair tied up in a ponytail; long sleeved black pullover and blue jeans – it’s amazing the details you notice at such times); looked shocked, embarrassed and fully apologetic. And for a while she just stood there looking at us; and we looking at her trying to comprehend the situation. Then she panicked and quickly shut the door. Leaving us to look at each other, register what had just happened, and then burst into embarrassed laughter.
We dressed quickly after that (That kind of thing can break your concentration); laughing at the awkwardness of the episode and the fact that a stranger had seen us naked (“Oh my God, she saw my arse”).
Later, when I went to the kitchen to get a drink (having washed face and hands) I was to meet the girl again. She said hi, I said hi and then I hid my laughter in the fridge on the pretence of looking for a cold drink.
And it got me to thinking just how embarrassed people are when faced with real sex. I mean, we see it every day on TV shows: the other night we were channel hopping and came across ‘6 Feet Under’. In the space of about four minutes there was gay female sex, gay male sex and heterosexual sex (In that order and one after the other). It’s used for advertising everything from shampoo to dentures and the porn industry makes a killing every year despite the morality that is highlighted and praised in all our cultures.
So why is it when we sit down to read books and watch TV we can take it in as easily as an episode of Neighbours, yet when faced with the real act, we stumble and blush and race for the nearest exit?
Surely we should be glad that people are taking time out of their day to spend time with each other in such an intimate way? But it seems that if it’s not twisted or on display, we can’t handle it.
It’s OK for Mr Schlongg to pump three rounds into Miss Sex Kitten, yet being faced with something real freaks us out almost to the point of bile in the throat. How did we get here?
I’m not necessarily saying we should make it our life’s work to go and watch other people have sex, but on those times we do stumble across this, should we not close the door quietly, smile a knowing smile and be happy in the knowledge that for a split second we were witness to something special?
All thoughts and comments welcome….
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.