Thursday, January 20, 2005

Gagging For It

If writing about other people's blog postings is slightly incestuous then how would you describe returning to your own outpourings for further analysis and discussion? Auto fellatio?
Are you kidding? At my age? I'd be in traction for a month.

Anyway, there are still topics arising from my Glad to Be Gay riff that I want to talk about. Portuguesa Nova made an interesting comment about the benefits for a straight couple of living in a gay neighbourhood, which included a low crime rate. This, I discovered from her excellent blog, was in Chicago.
Back in the days when I occasionally visited chat rooms I once met a man from Chicago. This prompted me to type "My kind of town, Chicago is." He congratulated me on my singing. The first time anyone had done so. Because in cyberspace nobody can hear you singing off key.
He was an intelligent and pleasant man but he was into bondage and S & M, things that have never floated my boat. But this didn't get in the way of our interesting chat about Chicago and his work in public relations so long as I paused occasionally to tie another length of rope round him.

People of the S & M persuasion have certain advantages as conversationalists in a chat room, particularly if they're of the 'M' part of the formula. For one thing, they usually call you 'Sir', a pleasing old-fashioned courtesy. It was rather as though we were playing a cyber-roleplay game called Boswell and Dr Johnson.
Nobody calls you Sir nowadays, not even shop assistants, unless Fortnum and Mason happens to be your corner shop. It was mine once, in the sense that I worked nearby. I recall pointing out to a woman there that she'd over-charged me for 20 cigarettes. "Sir", she replied, in tones dripping with contempt, "most of our customers buy their cigarettes by the hundred so I'm unfamiliar with the price per packet."
The formidable Edith Evans turned the tables on a Fortnums flunkey once after complaining about a packet of tea and some biscuits costing £4.50. She handed him a fiver and when he gave her the 50p change she said: "You'd better keep it. I think I trod on a grape on the way in."

I always say "Good Morning" to shop assistants and checkout persons but only about 50% of them ever reply. The teenage Saturday staff often recoil slightly as though you'd asked them for a blow job, although some of them manage to grunt "Awight?"
I should point out that this is in southern England. In the north people are rather more forthcoming, which southerners regard as being over-familiar and nosey. If they're being tactful they say northerners are friendly but translated this means 'as common as muck.'

But back to the the land of Have A Nice Day and the Windy City and Mr Bondage.
There's another advantage to internet chat with people with these tastes. If you need to do something else they're happy to be left hanging around - e.g. from a meat hook in the ceiling - or securely tied up until you return. In that particular instance, this gentleman was keen to resume our chat after I'd had my dinner and insisted I left him gagged and tied to his chair before I left.
Well, it's a wonderfully easy way to make someone happy. No dinner in an expensive restaurant, no flowers and chocolates, no come back to mine for a coffee, no foreplay. Just a few lengths of stout rope. Gives a whole new meaning to slip me a length.
So I cooked and ate my dinner and watched Coronation Street and when I logged on again, there he was, still tied to the chair and happy as a sandboy. I just loosened the gag slightly - which he didn't really want - so we could resume our conversation. I'm not sure what part of his body was free enough to operate the keyboard. I didn't really like to ask. There was one awkward moment when his mother rang to ask him over to dinner. He thanked her but said he was a bit tied up that evening.
OK, I know it's an old joke but I'm not making any of this up.

Oh dear. This piece was supposed to be about lower vandalism rates among young gay men. But it's my blog and I'll digress if I want to.
I'll now return to that topic later, or tomorrow or next week. Whenever.
Feel free to stick around until I do.
But you'll have to provide your own ropes and handcuffs.


At 9:58 AM, Blogger peter said...

Lovely. That's quite a comedic streak uve got there, young Lupin. What with that and Carlo and all. Did you see Johnny Vegas talking about chatrooms with Paul Merton? Arguably the funniest ever - evah - in my life. "I've been on a virtual picnic. She complimented me sandwiches." Similar flashes of the biz in your own piece. (I think you have to be steeped in chatroom lore to fully get these. And to have wasted hundreds, if not thousands of hours :)

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Yes, I saw that Jonny Vegas interview. It's the only time he's ever made me laugh.
The intriguing thing about chatrooms is that people tell you things about themselves in the first few minutes that in 'real life' they would only confide to a close friend after 30 years when drunk. Of course, you can never take anything at face value but I think you get an instinct for when people are being truthful.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger peter said...

The Guardian chatroom series was great too. Laydeez Man, and my favourite name, Jenni Bought Ledger. It was so realistic I actually (don't laugh) thought it was real for an episode or two. Such a pity that the very word chatroom has taken on sinister connotations now. Me, I've had hours of innocent fun. Until blogging and webpages came along, chatrooms more or less defined the internet.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

.....and Pashmina. Someone in the Channel 4 message boards actually uses that name. My late mother used to cut those out the Guardian and give me because she'd heard me mention chat rooms. She thought they were real too but she was too old then to comprehend the internet.

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