Pugnacious and perspicacious, picks on pills, poetry, people places for pleasure and her phenomenal postbag as a platform for their passions.
Of course, it had to come. Scientists cannot leave anything alone. I am referring to that stupid story in the papers recently that a pill has been found that produces an orgasm. Called (what else) ‘The Thrill Pil’, the idea doesn’t thrill me at all but I wonder how many will take to it not to help them to achieve the real thing, but to replace it?
How many men whose wives, they claim, don’t understand them, will put on the leather, or the rubber costume and behind locked doors take this pill to achieve a state of lonely satisfaction and relief?
How many women, ashamed of their own frustrations, will curl up in bed with this new pill instead of a good book – or a good lover?
The awful thing is that scientists should even think that society needs such a pill. The awful thing is that they are probably right.
I sometimes despair of my sex almost as much as I despair of the emotional and communication failures between couples who enter adulthood seeing marriage as a state of instant and enduring entertainment, like getting a licence for a TV set.
My impressive postbag that followed my last two articles in Atomage produced the foregoing feelings of despair, fortunately tempered by a good measure of elation and a lot of good-natured laughter for which I am very grateful. I must say that readers have a nice sense of humour coupled with a happy sense of the ridiculous.
A selection of the letters and extracts there from follow but I’d like first to give my comments – unless you want to skip the next bit until you have read their side of the story. I don’t mind.
To begin with ‘Cadia’ who asked about my country background. I am frequently accused of being born in a field, the wrong side of the blankets, and there are many who, after reading my views, have even suggested a bovine nature inherited from one or both parents. I freely admit to the latter nature, but would observe of that animal, that while one end is ‘moo’, the other end is milk.
The truth about my background is more prosaic. I was born at an early age amidst ‘dreaming spires’ not so far from the Grantchester of where Rupert Brooke enquired if there was ‘still honey for tea?’.
My delicate, sensitive nature and my love of good grooming stem from my urban surroundings. Quiet good taste was reflected in the buildings, the streets, the shops and the soft country accent of the people, where the smooth rounded vowels and the downward inflections prevented anyone from saying anything that did not sound calm and polite.
I am talking about the West Country where it is almost always ‘ten to three’ in the afternoon and even the rain falls quietly and with impeccable good taste. Most of my adult life though has been spent in the greatest metropolis of the world – and I do mean London. I am proud to say I am a citizen of Lambeth, within the sound of the famous Bow Bells and within walking distance of the famous walk.
My attitude to love and to sex – which should be synonymous – was probably conditioned by my Semitic ancestors whose nature is an expressive one with emotions that respond easily to conditions and to people.
So I have never seen the need to hide love in the dark, behind a closed door, beneath the covers of a bed. Love is there to be expressed, to be demonstrated. It isn’t the sloppy sentiment of the pop tune; it isn’t the moon in June; it is the greatest emotion in the world. Like another lady of excellent taste, Mrs. Patrick Campbell, I believe that ‘it doesn’t matter what you do … so long as you don’t … frighten the horses’.
Love should be a matter of laughter, of fun, of mutual expression of affection, and intercourse should be its most sublime expression to be enjoyed at any time of the day or night, and in any place where there is privacy. Sofas, floors, tables, a soft carpet of grass and leaves, the back of a car, a rowing boat on the river in the rain; a sheltered shore at the seaside in a storm; on a Sunday in a sauna, for these are all suitable venues. Who says it must take place in a bed? Why must it be in the dark? By the same token all dress is suitable if it has the desired affect. Lovemaking should never be a chilly ritual reserved solely for the bedroom, an overture to Morpheus. Understanding this is fundamental to loving; fundamental to loving ‘dressed for pleasure’.
There is also something special about surprise, the sudden emotional expression of love, and while one or other partner might complain ‘You do pick your moments’, it is those moments that are the ones you remember in the dark hours and provide a glowing warmth long after the passion is spent. Mood is very important. Bird song, sunlight and the smell of wet grass are mood makers as good, if not better, than the traditional soft lights, sweet music, and perhaps even the rustle of a latex caftan.
My argument is not about what is worn for love but what is worn on the public pathways for the practical purposes mentioned by my correspondent. My correspondent says his wife doesn’t care about what she looks like so long as she gets home dry. Well, if she is not worried about her appearance that is her concern, but I happen to want to look elegant on all occasions. I should hate to appear in Bond Street in green waders, bright yellow smock waterproof, and a red plastic hat. And, in any case, I abhor bright mixed colours. I happen to be a devotee of black. I don’t want to look like a slightly retarded, adolescent student at my advanced years.
My plea is for something waterproof that is elegant, reflects good taste and shows that I am the shape of a member of the feminine sex. Unisex garments are uniforms for the uninformed. Why should a lady angler or yachtsman not acknowledge her sex? I know why. It is because men design the clothes, and to put it bluntly, they have not a b clue. As I have said, I happen to like black, not blue or yellow or the shades of the sunset, chosen to disguise the deficiencies in the design.
WHY A WOMAN WON’T
‘Cadia’ and J.S. (U.S.A.) are very fortunate in having wives who will wear garments in private that will ‘turn Him on’. One thing puzzles me is that they and countless other men write to ask why a woman won’t, or can’t enjoy rubber for herself and not just to please?
Very few women are rubber lovers. Robert and I interviewed one for this issue but she is one of the few exceptions that, proverbially, prove the rule. One cannot demand anything from another person – hope perhaps, but should never demand. You cannot expect your partner to share a love of rubber just because she shares your bed. What you might expect is that she might wear certain clothes at certain times in order to demonstrate her feelings for you. But to demand that she develops an enthusiasm is to expect a lot. People are what they are and what heredity and environment – and love – have made them. You might modify their views, create a tolerance and an understanding but, after the first flush of youth, attitudes harden like a clay baked in the sun.
To say, as J.S. does, that women ‘must develop their own sex drive’ is to misunderstand the fundamentals of human nature. It is not, as I tried to point out in my last article, necessarily their fault. A lot can be achieved with encouragement. I don’t happen to like tight rubber, I feel so cold in it, and so I have never been forced to wear it or told I should love it for itself.
As I have said before, I adore velvet, but I don’t expect Robert to go around looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy in a velvet suit or even to share my enthusiasm. I would love to know how you men would react if your wife demanded that you wore pure silk pyjamas in bed because it turned her on, or wore velvet/silk/brocade underpants.
Now I do like leather – not necessarily for the sexual connotations but for the practicability and wearability. We both like boots and from that we can go together to explore the whole fascinating pleasure and constant variety in the mutually rewarding relationship possible between two people.
Let me draw readers’ attention to the letter from ‘Mrs. M’ in which she says that ‘both partners … have to make an effort … for both their benefit’. In other words, you cannot force an emotion. It must be cultivated and stimulated.
I would like to think that all women have a ‘loveability factor’. It is that which enables them not only to express their own capabilities of being a woman, but enables the man of her choice to express his masculinity. It is not available in bottles or packets and is not, as some seem to think, a melting expression in the eyes, a dull ache between the thighs. It is, in fact, understanding.
I talked recently to a very good friend who very happily remarried her husband. His predeliction for dressing in rubber was one reason for their divorce – and unlike most women, she blamed herself entirely for the split up – and she discovered after the decree absolute that love was not just a matter of understanding him but of understanding herself.
The woman who says ‘Why does he insist on doing this, or wearing that?’ should be asking the question of herself and then should listen for her answer. She should do that before she cuts the rubber suit into pieces; before she calls in the psychiatrist or the divorce lawyer. Of course it cannot be denied the answer she gives herself may call for one or the other actions; although before cutting up the beautiful rubber suit, it may be, perhaps, best just to cut ones losses.
On the other hand, if she doesn’t listen to her thoughts of rational understanding she may find herself left alone with (the Thrill), Pill, along with all the other medicaments and panaceas that have been invented to cope with a neurotic, self-obsessed society.
Since I began with a quote from Rupert Brooke, I think I would like to end with one:
But there’s wisdom in women, of more than they have known
And thoughts going blowing through them, that are wiser than their own.