What’s so casual about sex?

Throughout my life (although, thankfully not for a few years), I have been dragged along, by my friends, to nightclubs. Usually when I’ve been a little too intoxicated to argue too much and have quite fancied the idea of a few more drinks. Personally, I can’t see why anyone would want to go to these awful places, let alone actually claim to enjoy them, but tens of thousands do every night, spending vast fortunes of their hard-earned cash so they can dance in over-hot, frighteningly expensive steam rooms whilst being deafened by bloody awful repetitive beats and bone-juddering basslines blasted out at ear-drum-bursting volume. All because they think they might pull. Seriously, you can tell the people in clubs who are in a happy relationships, because they’re usually the ones sitting at a table or standing near the edge of the room, looking glum, watching their over-scented mates attempting to cop off with someone.

Quite honestly, I really don’t know why people bother. Why on earth would you want to try to meet a potential partner in a place where you can’t comfortably hold the kind of conversation cavemen would have had, let alone have a meaningful conversation and establish a proper human connection with someone? I think that’s my problem, really. Because the people attempting to meet someone in a nightclub aren’t actually looking for conversation, for anything deep and meaningful. They’re not interested in anything beyond where they live, what their star-sign is and whether they’re single or not. Not all of those things matter, from what I’ve seen, either. All they seem to be after is a purely physical encounter and I’m really not into that sort of thing.

I simply don’t do casual sex. I’d even go so far to say that the phrase “casual sex” is an oxymoron to me. It’s either meaningful and is part of a relationship that is at least planned to be long-term or it just doesn’t happen, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a prude and wouldn’t describe my social beliefs as particularly conservative, but as far as I’m concerned, sex is ideally enjoyed as part of a loving couple and anything other than that is inadvisable for anyone other than those possessing the hardest, most superficial hearts. Apart from the risk of STDs (the risk of which are not always eliminated purely by the use of condoms), I guess I’m much more attracted by the whole person than just the body and, let’s face it, when the music is pumping and the alcohol is flowing, the body is all you’re ever likely to go for in a nightclub. That, to me, is an encounter that you’re likely to regret and unlikely to truly find fulfilling.

This viewpoint is something ingrained in my personality and something I really needed little help reinforcing, however there are a couple of tales which have happened to friends of mine and only served to make my personal beliefs stronger. The first example was a driver colleague of mine who, when I was in my mid twenties, persuaded me to go to a place in Croydon called Cinatras. It was a cheap(ish) night – one of these places where you pay twenty quid on the door and then all of the drinks were free all night, so it didn’t seem like a terrible idea. Well, it was a horrible place. Hot, dark, mind-numbingly loud and full of what can only be generously described as “middle aged ladies”. Seeing as I was with a couple of men approaching middle age, I suppose it didn’t take a genius to work out why we were there.

During the night, I did what every fish out of water at a club does and I lost myself at the bar, having brief, friendly chats with a few people there, men and women alike. I was married at the time and so wasn’t even remotely interested in the opposite sex, but my companions were definitely up for whatever they could find, even though one of them was in a long-term relationship. So, the inevitable happened and my friends “pulled”, one of them ended up wishing us both goodnight at the end of the evening, then disappeared off home with his conquest. My other friend had hooked up with a rotund lady who, if I was being kind, was in her forties and had a face like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle. If I hadn’t been quite so sure that Les Dawson was dead, then I would have been asking for an autograph. Still, my colleague seemed to like her and, in his inebriated state, I wasn’t going to point out that she wasn’t exactly an English rose.

So, what do many people do after a nightclub? Yes, the kebab. So, me, my friend, his newly found lady friend and her friend, who was just as much of a gooseberry and uninterested in meeting anyone as I was, all walked down the street in search of the nearest kebab shop. It didn’t take long before my mate and his “sweetheart” decided that they wanted to explore each others’ tonsils with their tongues. They retired to the most romantic of locations, a shop doorway, and became intimately acquainted with each other by exchanging several pints of saliva. While we were waiting for the loved up twosome, us two wallflowers stood under the light of a lamppost on a chilly, fresh Croydon night and chatted about our kids, partners and what a nightmare the people we’d gone to the club with were. After what seemed like a lifetime, they surfaced from the shop doorway, both looking a little bit hot and bothered. Thankfully, it was time to say goodnight and to indulge in a little bit of small talk. We were asked what we did for a living, to which we replied that we worked on the railway and told them where. Shrek piped up, “Oh, my husband works there!” Yes, my friend had only been smooching the arse off one of his colleagues’ wives, who, not only was obviously unfaithful, but was known famously throughout our workplace as being more than a little unbalanced. Needless to say, we escaped pretty sharpish after that and I was sworn to secrecy about the incident. One positive thing is that my friend and colleague wasn’t as keen to play away from home after that particular encounter, strangely enough. Can’t think why.

The second example of the folly of drunken, casual encounters happened when I was a fresh-faced 19 years old and working in a shop in Coventry. There was a guy in his mid-twenties who worked in the same department as me and, as we got on really well, we’d often go for a couple of pints after work. It was during one of these after work drinks that my friend – who we’ll call Ian – confessed that he hadn’t had sex for a long time since splitting up with his last girlfriend, which was nearly two years previously. I told him about an over-25s disco I’d heard of but had never been to that was held once a fortnight in a hotel near central Coventry which was locally known as “The Old Bag’s Ball”, mainly because of the clientèle of women who were generally over thirty (usually over forty). It had a reputation that if you were a man under thirty and couldn’t hook up with someone by the end of the night, then you should probably buy a dog and give up on women for life. Ian seemed quite excited by what I’d told him and became very keen to go to the next one, which happened to be at the end of that week. Although it wasn’t something I was at all interested in, I thought it could be a bit of a laugh and so agreed to go along with him.

The day came and we both dressed ourselves up to the nines, had a couple of pints beforehand in a pub called The Holyhead, and then made our way to the “Old Bag’s Ball”. Although it was an over-25s only place, this night was like the mirror image of a regular nightclub. Young men were welcomed, ushered in swiftly and were given cheap drinks for the first couple of hours, whereas the women queued up in the droves outside and had to wait their turn to get inside. The music wasn’t that bad – mainly 80s – and the venue itself resembled something you’d expect if you’d gone to a big wedding reception rather than a club. Overall, it wasn’t terrible, but it was definitely a bit of a meat market and the ladies there really were backwards in coming forwards. I had a bit of a dance with a couple of women, but made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t interested in hooking up with anyone. Well, not anyone who was there, anyway. Ian, on the other hand, didn’t waste any time and had soon paired off with a rather thin, angular woman. The end of the night, thankfully, came and I was eager to go home, having spent a couple of hours politely declining offers of dances from ladies old enough to be my Mother.

My mate, however, didn’t want the night to end there. He had got an offer from his new “romantic” interest and wanted to take her up on it. She asked me if I’d like to come back to her place with them for a another drink. To be perfectly honest, I’d already had enough to drink, actually felt a little tired as I’d been to work that day, and was ready for bed, but my friend was keen that I come with them, so that he didn’t feel as if he was abandoning me. Although I was more than happy to be abandoned at that point, I reluctantly agreed and the three of us got a taxi back to her flat in Wyken, which was the other side of Coventry from where the hotel was and where we both lived. Unfortunately, her flat wasn’t what you could even loosely describe as a “nice place”. It was sparsely furnished, had an odd smell like raw chicken smeared with Vaseline and was absolutely freezing cold. With all the lights on in the flat, I got a good look at Ian’s lady friend for the first time and her pointy face had more wrinkles than a pensioner’s scrotum. This was definitely a woman who had “been round the block” and who life certainly hadn’t treated very kindly. In fact, if she was under fifty years old, then I’m a small wallaby called Eric.

There were photos of children on the wall and, sensing the chance for a bit of ice-breaking chit-chat, I asked if they were hers. She said that they were. When I asked where the kids were tonight, she replied curtly that they were “in care” and that she “didn’t want to talk about it”. Changing the subject swiftly, I asked what she had to drink, as she replied that she didn’t have anything to drink at all. It was at that moment when I became simultaneously puzzled and more than a little bit scared. Still, I laughed it off and blurted out, “So, if you haven’t got anything to drink, why did you invite me back for something to drink?” I swear that she licked her lips before she said, “I was hoping that you’d want to join Ian and I”. Thankfully, Ian also looked a bit scared at this suggestion and I thanked her for the kind invitation, but that I really wasn’t “in to that sort of thing”. Without batting an eyelid, she beckoned Ian into the bedroom and told me that I could sleep on the sofa if I wanted. After they’d gone into her bedroom (personally, I was amazed that after the offer of a threesome, Ian had happily gone to bed with her anyway), I let myself out into the cold night air and began the task of attempting to hail an expensive taxi home.

The next day, I went into work on a late shift but when I arrived, Ian was already there, looking white-faced, shaken and almost like he had post-traumatic shock. It turns out that he really had. When I asked him what the matter was, he just shook his head and told me that he’d tell me at lunchtime. When lunchtime came, he still didn’t look any better and reluctantly told me what had happened. After they had gone to bed and stripped off, Ian had found it very difficult to muster any kind of enthusiasm for his partner, much to her frustration, so she asked him what kind of things he liked and what would get him “in the mood”. He coyly admitted to her that he liked to watch girls “play with themselves” and so she pulled a very big, black vibrator out from under the bed, lubricated it with some jelly which she kept on her bedside table, turned it on and started to put on a little show for him. Much to her delight, this appeared to work and she seized the opportunity to lay him down and impale herself on top of his now fully awakened member.

Ian, still having problems maintaining sexual interest for the woman he was with, closed his eyes and thought about women he did fancy. His thoughts were interrupted when he felt the tip of the vibrator tickling his bum but he found that he quite enjoyed the buzz and started to enjoy the sensation. Until she gave it an almighty shove. He told me, with a half sob, that his eyes and mouth flew wide open as she had deftly and firmly shoved this big, ebony, vibrating dildo straight up his arse and he had given a yell that he was surprised I hadn’t heard in my taxi on the way home. Less than two minutes later, he said, he was running for his life away from the flat, half-naked, pulling on his clothes as he went. He had, unfortunately, managed to leave his boxer shorts there and he just closed his eyes and gave a sad, pained nod when I suggested that she’d probably added them to her collection. As I watched him walk out of the lunch room, rather like John Wayne, I, at least, had the decency to wait until he was out of earshot before collapsing into fits of laughter. Ian, for some unexplained reason, never wanted to go back to the “Old Bags Ball” ever again.  He was quite clear about that.

Casual sex – if there really is such a thing, it’s just not worth it.  Just ask Ian.


*Names and details have been altered slightly, to protect the innocent – and guilty.

About A.D.S.

You are reading the musings of a music-obsessed forty-something who was brought up on The Beatles, lived through Britpop and now spends his time in pursuit of the best music around. This 'blog gives me an outlet to write about the huge number of albums I buy and the many gigs I go to. All of the opinions expressed are my own and if you don't agree with me, then I understand - music is a very personal thing. I like to receive comments, especially if they're nice ones.
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7 Responses to What’s so casual about sex?

  1. The Dude says:

    Is Cinatras where Cheryl Cole/ Tweedy assaulted that woman?

  2. elle says:

    Oh, I completely agree that casual sex is an oxymoron. There is nothing casual about risking pregnancy, or god forbid, HPV, gonorrhea, syphilis or HIV. NOTHING. It’s much easier to wank off at home to a porno. No harm, no foul.

    The very idea of taking home a complete stranger and having a go at him repulses me completely. I feel sex is a spiritual union between two people who know and care about one another. I figure, if I wouldn’t want to have a child with someone, I shouldn’t sleep with that someone.

    I’m no prude or religious case, either. Casual sex is disgusting and perhaps even immoral. It is most assuredly an oxymoron.

    • Thanks for your comment. Sorry it has taken me a long time to reply – I’ve been neglecting my ‘blog a little!

      Completely agree with you. I guess some of us are just made this way and others not. I try not to judge, but you can’t help it if the idea of others’ behaviour makes you feel… well, a little icky, can you?

  3. Tammy Pearson says:

    Your post was hilarious! I used to go to Cinatra’s in Croydon in the mid 90’s when it was £15 to get in and drink all you liked. I usually only had a couple of drinks, then stuck to soft drinks for the rest of the night (as I didn’t see the point in making myself ill, and I wanted to get home safely at the end of the night), so it wasn’t really worth the money, but I enjoyed the atmosphere. I was divorced, had gone back to college, and my mum would look after my son for me so I could go out and enjoy myself with a couple of college mates. I liked the old fashioned decor and went there literally to dance. I never went home with anyone from there and I certainly never invited anyone back to mine… I was probably one of the few women there who was relatively sober and not interested in casual sex – I just wanted to let my hair down and have a dance.

    I did, however, have a slow dance with a bloke who gave me his number and made me promise to call him. As I don’t like to break promises, I called him the following week, only to find he’d given me the wrong number!! I also experienced a slightly scary moment after a night at Cinatra’s, when a bloke who’d started chatting me up and realised he wasn’t going to get anywhere, made a play for my friend instead. At the end of the night, she told me that even though we’d sworn we would always stick to the golden rule of accompanying each other safely back home, she’d decided to go back to his with him and his mates after he’d offered her £20! I went mad and accused him of treating her like a prostitute, and told him that she would not be going anywhere with him. It was at this point that I got really scared, when he puffed up his chest and looked like he was going to hit me. Everyone else milling around outside just looked on, and to add to my frustration, my friend told me he had offered her the money to get a cab home afterwards, and that she’d decided to go with him after all… Not only was she leaving me to make my own way home, but she was ignoring my bad feeling about the guy and making me look stupid in front of him and his mates. It was at this point that I reiterated that she wouldn’t be safe, and that if she insisted on going with him, our friendship would be over. She went with him and his mates anyway and I went home on my own. The next day she called to apologise – she said that they started making her feel extremely uncomfortable in their cab, and when she realised her mistake and demanded to be let out, they thankfully let her out, but ridiculed her and left her stranded so she had to find her own way home. This little episode made me realise that she was not what I regarded as a friend and we never saw each other again.

    I was really disappointed when Cinatra’s was closed down, as well as Pals and the Blue Orchid. Even the ABC/Cannon/Safari cinema just up from Cinatra’s, where I worked in 1987 has been knocked down and replaced by flats…

    So, as you have probably already guessed, I am now the same age as the scraggy old women you mentioned, but I have to say, at 41, 5’10”, size 12, with long dark blonde hair and blue eyes (who strangers point out as a Princess Diana lookalike when I have short hair), I still get chatted up by young lads in their 20’s when I’m out, which is funny because they’re not much older than my 21 year old son! I certainly don’t have casual sex with any of them. I still enjoy clubbing – if the music’s good – I’m usually the designated driver, so I know me and my friends are going to get home safely, which means I rarely drink alcohol. And, yes, we do sometimes stop off at a kebab shop on the way back to the car, although now it’s usually the one in Broadstairs, as I no longer live in Croydon.

    I don’t go clubbing in the hope of having casual sex, or of meeting the man of my dreams – I simply go to have a dance and a laugh, so that I can temporarily forget about the stresses and strains of every day life for a few hours… You can’t generalise when judging why women (of any age) go clubbing – after all, as a mother, who is also a mature under graduate history student, and a member of English Heritage, with a thirst for knowledge, who enjoys exploring the countryside for old pubs, sitting in front of a real fire and going for long walks along the coast in all weathers, there are lots of facets to my character – just as there probably are in many of my fellow ‘clubbers’.

    You never know, you might one day come across a nice looking and friendly older lady in a club, who wants to get to know more about you than your star sign! 😉

    • Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed the ‘blog! Thankfully, it has now been a good few years since I last went to a club, but I’ve been assured by a few people that my opinions on them being a meat market aren’t entirely true and lots of people go there simply to have a dance and a good time. Each to their own – but that easygoing viewpoint wouldn’t have made such an entertaining ‘blog entry, would it? 😉

      • Tammy Pearson says:

        That is very true, and in studying history, I am often heard complaining that SOMETHING good must have happened in the past – all we seem to be learning about is death and destruction!! But you are right – unfortunately people only seem to be interested in the bad or gory stuff – that is what students study, that’s what sells the newspapers, and if programmes like Eastenders had nice, friendly, calm and quiet people in them, nobody would want to watch them! (Apart from me!!)

        I love the things you have written though – there is nothing like a good debate and difference of opinion, as long as nobody is being offensive or getting personal. Keep up the good work, be happy 🙂

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