Thursday, 29 October 2009


Awake at 5am – I was immediately very conscious that it is almost exactly 12 years since I got the job at the medical library, over 10 years since the trouble with the threatening yobs began, and 10 years since my dad became so ill that he couldn't really cope from day to day anymore.

I remember thinking once it became obvious that the trouble with the yobs was going to continue, that this would probably take about 10 years to go away, by which time I'd be 50, my life would be past the time of promise and development, and would be more or less over, and my parents would probably be dead. In fact it took 7 years, but in the meantime my parents did die and my health failed.

Given the seven years after 1991, the summer I realised I didn't want to be an illustrator, when I was mostly unemployed, that's the last 18 years of my life, from 32 to 50, wasted – the years of children, of career, of career consolidation. The ten years before were hard themselves, but they didn't feel hopeless.

This is all something I already knew, but for some reason it hit me with great weight this morning, and I became very anxious – how or why I can be anxious about something that is passed, I don't understand. Sad, depressed, yes, but not anxious.

Separately I've realised how normal, how everyday the sexual and romantic part of life is in most people's lives. Because I was on my own so much I didn't notice, but it's utterly normal – it's why there are children playing in the street, young women walking with pushchairs. It seemed something extremely difficult to achieve to me, but almost every damn fool achieves it. It's not necessarily easy and straightforward but it is common and everyday. I think part of the reason that I didn't notice this is because it wasn't happening in front of my eyes, I didn't have a group of friends I saw pairing off, and obviously people don't commonly have sex in public. Even passionate kissing and clinching in public makes other people uncomfortable, the comic response to the sight being "get a room".

So for me at least the evidence of other people's romantic and sexual relationships was implicit not explicit, and I either didn't notice it, or I blanked it out to avoid the pain of acknowledging it.

It's only now, since my mother died and I've connected to some degree with people of my own age again, that I've realised how life works and how late it is.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Martin van Maele

I know very little about Martin Van Maele except that he worked around the start of the 20th Century, but I liked his surreal and violent erotic illustrations from the first time I saw them in a Taschen anthology of erotic art.

There is more available at All-Art

I know very little about Martin Van Maele except that he worked around the start of the 20th Century, but I liked his surreal and violent erotic illustrations from the first time I saw them in a Taschen anthology of erotic art.

There is more available at All-Art

Thursday, 22 October 2009

On the Other Hand

On the other hand I might as well carry on...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Day

Even the porn and erotica don't hold my interest now. this is the third blog I've tried and it's just more restatements of my old, old problems.

I don't even feel sexual excitement any more, just numb or painfully sad.

So this is my last post

Thursday, 15 October 2009


To H

I dreamt about you this morning, just before waking, probably because I was on co-codamol for my extraction and sleeping quite soundly for once - we  met by accident attending for interviews for an MA course sometime in the mid 80s. I was conscious in the dream of somehow being aware that it was 2009 and 1984-ish at the same time.

It doesn't need much interpretation - I'd been thinking yesterday about how well-matched you and P are in life experience and status, and in the dream my mind was imagining the last time you and I might have been more or less equals.


Almost immediately after waking I remembered how I started playing truant at secondary school. On the afternoon we were supposed to register for Games (I hated Games and PE) I was sent instead to accompany another lad to hospital who had broken his arm. I never registered and was able to skip Games every Wednesday afternoon. From then on I realised I could skip any lesson I disliked or in which there were problems, and I truanted from many classes for the next two years, until I failed all but two of my O Levels and had to re-take them all at 6th form along with "A" Levels.

Up to that point my life was going relatively normally. If I had to name a point when I took the wrong track, that afternoon was it, or more accurately the next games day, when I should have registered myself rather than truanting, was it.

It's not that I'd forgotten this event, more that I realised today what a pivotal point it was in my life. It was the moment when I chose to retreat rather than deal with things. I could have changed the path many times over the following decades, but I didn't, and a time comes in every life when things have gone too far wrong to be put right. I probably reached that point 5 years ago when I began to feel like I do now.

Another useless insight because it doesn't change my life now and can't bring back all the lost time, experience, and opportunity.

But then again, my deep sense now is that nothing can put my life right or onto any track I would want it to be on.

Which, if I'm open, is an acceptance that my life is over.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Poverty of Poverties or "Oi! Chavvie!"

For some reason I can't identify I've just realised that the defining problem of my life and my family wasn't anything I've mentioned here, it was poverty. And by poverty I don't mean not having much money, I mean growing up in a family where there was often none, nothing to buy food or pay the rent with, where my parents had to go cap in hand to relatives for loans and hand-outs, where I grew up on overspill estates in the middle of nowhere hearing people on TV and in the street disparaging "council estate types", where my dad struggled to find even low-paid work at anti-social hours, where my parents never had holidays or even socialised because they couldn't afford to. Where hard work and effort went unrewarded. I got to college but after I left college I returned to that poverty myself.

We didn't have a car - my parents know they couldn't afford to run one -  and I feel the same myself to this day.

I sometimes call myself "3rd Generation Underclass Shite", is more or less true, it's just that I don't come over as such because I'm bright, so can I probably pass for middle class on the surface.

But the exclusion and alienation and sense of worthlessness that goes with knowing that one is powerless and looked down on is grinding and dispiriting, and one is looked down on.

So much of what I feel, so much of my sense of inadequacy and inevitable failure comes back to this strong sense of powerlessness and worthlessness and enforced lack of opportunity and experience and expectation, a sense that I've lost before I even enter the race. I used to have a friend, Shirley, who was black, from Jamaican parentage (she got married, moved to the States, and we lost touch) and we once discussed how hard it is to attempt anything when you feel every hand is turned against you  I remember saying that poor whites get a similar bad deal to black people, it just isn't so obvious, and the similarity goes far deeper than most might realised, in that the rural poor in this country were effectively enslaved during and after the enclosures, when they were driven off the land and forced to sell themselves into indenture just to survive.

But that's a digression.

I'm just noting that a lot of my problems came from being born into and having grown up in actual poverty, like and amongst the people who now get called Chavs, and the diminished ways of thinking and looking at the world and myself remain with me.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Little Brother, if only I had known

I bought the Fall's "Little Brother" 25 years ago when it was first released. How come I've only just now registered the closing words of the song?

There's always someone beside you
And there's always someone in your arms
Oh little brother
If only I had known
Then I might not be alone

Sunday, 4 October 2009

"Debbie McGee, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels"

Vocations can destroy the lives of those who have them. The cliché is "many are called but few are chosen" and the cliché - like most clichés - is true.

They destroy lives because they only rarely lead to wealth, success, and hence status.

They destroy men's lives far more thoroughly than they destroy women's. In modern society women can be a mother or a career woman or even both, they can seek career success and they can seek marriage and motherhood. For a woman there is no shame in being a mother and a mother alone, she will not be judged a failure in life by others even if she feels herself unfulfilled in the wider society of work. Men still find it easier to have successful careers, but a man must have some success and status  if he is to win a woman and have a family. For most men fulfilment and acceptance is founded on having the status enough to win a woman.

For a heterosexual man the important thing is status, not because he wants it - most men couldn't care less about the status of their male friends as long as they can have a laugh, talk about the match, have a kick-about, neck some beers with them, share a bit of advice or experience - but because women want men with status.

Women's hunger for dominant high-status men is so powerful that female sexual perversions are usually tied up with  it. Just as some men  are so charged with a need for feminine smallness, fine clear skin and powerlessness that they are attracted to children, some women are so attracted to dominance and status (in the form of notoriety at least) that they strike up relationships with men in jail who have murdered women, and even marry them. Watch the True Crime section at your local bookshop and see who buys the books about serial killers. Hint: it's not usually men.

Women are not generally passionate creatures - they love, but they don't often fall in love.  Every man I've known has fallen in love, but I can think of only three women I have met who have fallen in love. This isn't to say that women don't love and desire the men they are with, just that the passionate obsessional burning drive seems not to be there - that it comes later, from getting to know the man, to becoming companionate with him. And that motivation to be companionate emerges from a woman's choosing of a man who can provide for her, even if she is wealthy enough to provide for herself. An she will knowingly ignore huge incompatibilities and unhappiness to keep the sense of security that his status brings.

Men in the end are nicer than women - they are attracted to appearance, admittedly, but they are also attracted to loving, caring women, not women who are necessarily rich or powerful. Most men are attracted to the qualities of the woman as a person, not just to her ability to dominate and overcome others, not to the sort of moral vacuum whose one basic motivation is to be King of the Castle and hoard all the goodies and - if possible - all the women.

As the generation of children is dependent on the winning of women, in most societies where such careers exist, most families want their sons to have high status careers as doctors and allied medical professionals, as lawyers and similar. These careers don't lead to the greatest wealth, but they ensure that those who pursue them have the highest and most assured median income of any professional group, and they come with automatic status and respect.

Outside of being a surgeon these jobs don't need talent, they reward moderately intelligent mediocrities who are prepared to put in the study, and so are open to anyone with the good sense or good luck to know they are available.

In  the West  we delude ourselves about the importance of self-expression and self-fulfilment. This importance is illusory - fulfilment comes from family, from love, from work well done. Self-expression is best done in the interstices of a normal life - making it the whole of the point of a life usually destroys that life, and is a nonsense left over from the disastrous Romantic revolution of the late 18th Century.

To some this knowledge comes as a given, instilled by their families, but my family were the lowest of the low, from the biggest and worst slum  in Europe as Engels once called it., and they were unlikely to know the way out for themselves or me.

Nevertheless I had realised this by the age of 30 and did nothing about it. Or more precisely, I was paralysed because I knew what I must do, but not how to do it.

I have spent the subsequent twenty years in a bewilderment of anxiety and dread.

Now it's too late.

And all the women I know turn to men with the highest status they can find, even if on this council estate he's only a kitchen fitter or a dealer.

I have no status having been unable to parley cleverness into success, and will die as I have always lived.

Isolated without woman's touch and woman's love, and alone.

Batteries Not Included

I've woken feeling as low as I felt yesterday and my thoughts have turned again to why most other people's lives seem to work and mine doesn't.

Almost everyone I know isn't given that much to thought - by this I don't mean worrying or longing, but actual systematic thought. They pursue interests, relationships, friendships, careers without much analysis or self-reflection. They hold opinions without deep understanding, express those opinions without self-awareness.

They believe in absurd, even fatuous things such as astrology, or God, or that they have a fate mapped out for them.

And all of these people have lives that work - they have difficulties, but the difficulties mostly resolve and on goes normal fulfilling life.

I'm intelligent and thoughtful. I struggle to make friends, I've struggled to find even menial employment, I've never known how to initiate a loving relationship.

It strikes me that thought and intelligence aren't worth much. Animals don't have much in the way of them, and they live and mate and raise young before they return to the nothing-at-all that we all come from.

Early humans must have had thought and intellect, but beyond knowing what berries and nuts to pick, and how to hunt and bring down an aurochs or a mammoth, everything they believed must have been wrong. And they lived and mated and raised their children before they returned to the earth we are all made from.

I know enough successful people to know they don't do much in the way of thinking, even when they're bright.

Intelligence and thought mustn't be worth much in life, they must be like sharp teeth or sharp claws - natural built-in tools, but no more than that. Obviously emotion and instinct are more important, a will to dominance, a will to action, a will to connect.

I have the tools but in me the important instincts and emotions are faulty, and so the tools are useless to me, and I am useless to myself and others.

And so I fail.

And so I am lonely.

And so I am sad.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Hard Day

Today - Saturday 3rd October -  has been a bad day. Overwhelmed yesterday by happening on a disliked "schoolfriend", ugly, rude, fat, short, self-regarding - and finding that at the age of 48 he had found a woman and got married, I felt ever more low-spirited, at the thought that even this arsehole now has a wife and I still haven't the first idea what to do or where to start at 50.

How sweet it would be to spend a boring weekend with a woman I loved, just sitting around and watching the TV, going to the shops with her, just sitting next to her on the Sofa. This normal life that nearly every man and woman lives, that I have never even been able to take the first step towards.

I'm so weary and so lonely. If I'd known this was to be my life I would have killed myself decades ago. It's very hard not to do it now - I think about it more and more.

I felt so bad I cried in the street and cried uncontrollably when I got in my flat. Just typing this I'm crying again from thinking about it

Friday, 2 October 2009

Borderline Aspy

For many years I've thought I might have a disorder on the autistic spectrum, probably mild Asperger's syndrome. Last week a male friend described both myself and a female friend as autistic - which despite having thought it about myself at least - upset me, for my own sake and for hers.

I've taken the test for Aspergers traits designed by Prof Simon Baron-Cohen, a recognised world expert on autistic spectrum disorders - it's not an diagnostic test, merely indicative.

I scored 28 out of 50. Neurotypical men (ie normal people) usually score up to 17, neurotypical women up to 15, and 80% of people with Asperger's and other autistic spectrum disorders score 32 or above. I scored 28 which places me in the borderland of Asperger's.

It's not a surprise and it's not upsetting for me. It makes sense of a lot of my problems. My favourite TV comedy at the moment is "the Big Bang Theory" in which one of the funniest characters, Dr Sheldon Cooper, is clearly a superbright Asperger's personality with OCD, itself related to Aspergers. He's a character in whom I recognise an extreme version of myself.

The test is available here

I was surprised to hear that Prof Baron-Cohen has discovered that a greater proportion of women have Asperger's than used to be believed.

Graphic: Lions and Tigers and Bare Ass - Oh My!

Some more erotic illustrations by Tosh10 Saek1 (my previous Saek1 post is here) - this time from my own collection, accumulated over the years, most from the late 70s through to the early 90s.

I'll start with my favourite - I found this in an annual of Japanese illustration sometime in the mid 80s but it was already a few years old then. I adapted the theme myself for a westernised version in which Dorothy Gale was similarly attacked by the Tin Man, who had already dismembered the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and had impaled Toto. I have quite an obsession with the Wizard of Oz despite not being gay -I find it a very erotically charged film. So thanks to Tosh1o Saek1 for providing me with inspiration from this fantasy of Japanese demons and girls in sailor suits.

Unusual for Saek1, an illustration in which the man is the sexual victim of the woman. I love the strange mix of sadism, sexuality, surrealism, traditional Japanese illustration, and pop art styling in his work.

A strong sense of sadistic dread, the elderly couple with their hands already chopped off, the girl struggling against the man with the axe. I'd love to know whether these scenarios refer to specific Japanese cultural icons and situations, whether they appear less surreal to someone steeped in Japanese culture.

I find this picture very erotic, despite being baffled as to what it's about: a doll of Emperor Hirohito lowers a bound naked young woman onto the spiked head of a giant Kewpie Doll, watched by a smirking M1ckey Mouse Doll and Jack-in-the-Box. The only sense I can make of it is a revenge of the toys, in which a baby doll is the agent of hurting a young woman in the place where babies come from.

A young woman uses the sharp horn of a theatrical mask either as a dildo, or perhaps as a means to kill herself via her womb. Another picture I fing baffling yet exciting.

An old woman wanks an elderly man while they listen to the torture games of the couple in the next room (is one of them their daughter or son?) I love the little kitten crossing the threshold between the rooms, between youth and age, and becoming the only party that knows what is really going on. The Japanese have a strong history of depicting as erotic the impostion on women of restraint and pain on women.

A perverse rendition of a scene from the "Journey to the West" Monkey King legend - I'm not sure of the identity of the persons being molested by the two demons, but I suspect the monk is Tripitaka, who is traditionally played in drama by a young woman. The monk definitely has tits and a nicely rounded female bum.

A remarkably restrained and normal scenario for Saek1, but still quite sadistic.

A man and boy light fireworks, the boy watching with interest while the man lights the fuse of a firework lodged in the bound woman's vagina or anus. Another image I find a great turn-on.

That exhausts my collection of illustrations by this artist. If I can find the Wizard of Oz drawing I made I may post that later.