September 13, 2005

Mark Simpson, the hopeless romantic

Independent on Sunday columnist, author and cursed inventor of the term "metrosexual" reviewed a book called Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis 1918-1957 by Matt Houlbrook.
A lament for the lost world of gentlemen pursuers of rough trade in the peasoup days of London. That wonderful "frolicking with panthers" (a la Wilde) came to an end, apparently, when not only decimalisation decimated the trade, but also easier access to girls (it was the 60s after all) and economic prosperity made that sexually frustrating period between ball drop and more easily available premarital hetero sex much shorter. These days the only sexually frustrated boys in the world are muslims who prefer to blow themselves up to get at the virgins rather than go the more fun route of pleasuring themselves and other tourists a la Orton and Burroughs in Tangiers.
Chasing a soldier, guardsman, sailor or other docklands rough trade sure sounded like a lot of fun. As I have noted before, there is no mention of this at the Museum of Docklands. From my own experience dressing up meticulously as rough trade - be it my infamous nazi-boy episode on Hampstead Heath, or buying and customising an original Royal New Zealand Navy #1 dress uniform second hand and white flat canvas hat from an antiques shop - you do have extraordinary sexual success. Dressing up for sex is always fun in my opinion - and more romantic.

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