GILES COREN

Giles Coren on fa­thers (him) and sons (Sam, aged four). This month: sex re-ed­u­ca­tion

Esquire (UK) - - Contents -

In his lat­est dis­patch from the front-line of fatherhood, he imag­ines “the sex talk”

I used to think that I would one day have some­thing to say to my son about girls. I was not go­ing to be one of those fa­thers who shied away from help­ing out on that score. It’s no good say­ing, “Do what comes nat­u­rally,” be­cause that is no use at all to a young boy who needs se­ri­ous an­swers to se­ri­ous ques­tions. When Sammy came to me at 15 or 16 or 17 or when­ever and asked what he was sup­posed to do, I al­ways planned to take a deep breath and tell him.

I would tell him not to be scared of them or to try to be any­thing that he isn’t, to per­suade a girl that he is what she would like him to be. Be­cause girls can smell that shit. They much pre­fer men who are not afraid to be true to them­selves, I would tell him. That’s why they like gays so much. Although for me, that’s go­ing a bit far. Then again, I sup­pose if my son were gay it would be eas­ier to give him ad­vice about sex. “Just stick your mid­dle fin­ger up his arse while you’re suck­ing his cock,” I could say with dour cer­tainty, “And he will never leave.”

But if he weren’t gay, I still used to think I’d have some ideas for him on the mat­ter of ro­mance. For ex­am­ple: if you truly love a girl,

then even­tu­ally she will love you back. No mat­ter how beau­ti­ful or spe­cial or unattain­able or at­tached to some­one else she seems. It may take time, but it will hap­pen. The world is beau­ti­ful like that.

And if she doesn’t seem to be com­ing to you be­cause she’s been with some other guy for years and ev­ery­one says it’s true love and they’ll never part, then do this: ac­cen­tu­ate what­ever it is about your­self that this boy does not have. Be­cause how­ever much she loves him, she will be pin­ing for the one thing that he is miss­ing, be­cause that is how girls are. So if he is pop­u­lar, be lonely and po­etic. If he is dark and moody, be bright and funny. If he is fat, be thin. If he is pious, be filthy. If he is filthy, be sanc­ti­mo­nious. If he is in­tel­lec­tual, be tanned and ath­letic. And she will come to you, in the end, at least for a while. Like Daisy Buchanan.

This does not go against the ad­vice to be your­self, by the way. It’s just a case of ac­cen­tu­at­ing the small, true thing about you that needs, for the mo­ment, to be the only thing. I have been the don­key-cocked fuck­pole of more than one size queen, as well as the nerd with a tiny win­kle to whom girls have run, to escape the hor­ror of their fi­ancé’s mon­strous and painful dong. You’ve seen Some Like It Hot — you just have to shuf­fle back and forth be­tween Joe and Josephine and Shell Oil Ju­nior and even­tu­ally Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe will come to you.

And then when she does, I thought I would prob­a­bly tell my son, kiss her only with lips for the time be­ing. The tongue is a blunt and un­re­li­able de­vice and best left out till the deal is done. Those kisses in the movies have noth­ing to do with any­thing.

Then fuck her. Don’t muck about. Leave it longer than the third date and she’ll think you’re gay. Which is great if you want to be her friend. But other­wise, fuck her. Do the gen­tle things to be­gin with. Put all that porn out of your mind (for the mo­ment). Do the kiss­ing and the stroking and the lick­ing and give her an or­gasm (if she wants one) with­out bring­ing your cock into the story at all, be­cause cocks can go wrong in all sorts of ways and spoil ev­ery­thing. Leave the cock un­til later. The cock is her prob­lem, not yours.

So be kind and gen­tle and thought­ful and lick her cunt a lot be­cause even though lots of girls aren’t both­ered by it, and many ac­tively don’t like it, it con­notes, in the wider cul­ture, sex­ual gen­er­ous­ness, and means that later she knows you will do what­ever she wants, even if it is not this.

And then, soon, within the month, if not the fort­night, for­get all this and fuck her like you’re an an­gry tiger who hasn’t eaten in weeks and she is a fat lit­tle goat who’s been giv­ing you the eye. Put aside all no­tions of civilised mod­ern hu­man in­ter­ac­tion and do to her what you think your Stone Age great-great-grandpa would have done. Not all women want that, pos­si­bly not even most, but the ones who do, re­ally do, and they don’t think it counts if they have to ask. (Per­son­ally, I never did that, but I know now that I should have done. I mis­read the far­away look in their eyes as I fid­dled and faffed and did all that “new man” Nineties shit as a kind of plea­sure coma, rather than what it was: plain old bore­dom).

If she doesn’t like it, go back to the lick­ing. Quickly. And say sorry.

These are the things I thought I would prob­a­bly one day tell my son. But then, in the last few months, ev­ery­thing changed. And it turns out I know noth­ing. It is turn­ing out that An­drea Dworkin was right and all men re­ally are rapists. All sex re­ally is an act of ag­gres­sion. Mis­un­der­stand­ings are too easy. Women are tak­ing back con­trol of the sex­ual play­ing field, not be­fore time, and try­ing ac­tively to make any­thing hap­pen be­tween a man and a woman, if you’re a man, is quite likely to be looked on as just bad, bad, bad. They’ve got a new way of do­ing things now and it isn’t for us old guys to say.

So, my ad­vice to Sam will be: for­get it. Read su­per­hero comics, play chess, do a physics de­gree, wank till your arm falls off. But don’t bother with girls. Sex is over for this hu­man cy­cle. Gen­der is up in the air. They’re go­ing to cre­ate ba­bies in lab­o­ra­to­ries and make ev­ery­one pee sit­ting down. And to be hon­est, they’ve prob­a­bly got a point. It was all a lot of fuss about noth­ing any­way.

If you truly love a girl, then even­tu­ally she will love you back. No mat­ter how beau­ti­ful or unattain­able or at­tached to some­one else she seems. It may take time but it will hap­pen. The world is beau­ti­ful like that

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