Our sexual swashbuckler’s toilet neuroses land him in deep water with a Thai hooker

 

This month’s story involves me appalling a Thai whore. But before we get onto that, I want to tell you about the saddest erection of my life. It happened last week while I was doing some research about Ethiopia for a travel book I’m planning. Studying the atlas for the umpteenth hour in a row, I found my eyelids growing heavy with boredom. I began to drift into a warm, fuzzy, afternoon doze.

I was vaguely aware that I should snap out of it and get back to work, but then I started having this weird erotic dream. In the dream I could see myself. Only I was physically different. I had huge, protruding buttocks, as though they had been pumped up with air. This was alarming. But it was more than compensated for by the fact that I seemed to have an enormous erect penis. It jutted out in front of me, a monster.

In my half sleep, I smiled. I felt a real tumescence grow in my trousers. This was excellent. I was having a fine afternoon. But then I suddenly noticed that my dream-penis was pointy. It was like a weapon. I woke up immediately. What did this all mean? Slowly, the answer became clear. It was right there in front of me. I had been studying the map of East Africa and the page was open on the Horn of Africa. Perhaps inspired by the word ‘horn’, I had daydreamed that I was the continent itself. My bulging buttocks had been the curve of West Africa, my erection had been Somalia... oh God, I’d become aroused by imagining myself to be a geographical feature. It was a new low.

Mind you, perhaps I should be grateful that I’m not researching a book about the Yellow River. In that case I might have been urinating in my sleep instead. God knows, it wouldn’t be the first time. All my life, I have been unlucky with bodily waste. As a child I wet the bed until I was ten, and later at college I had many a drunken accident, waking up with a terrible hangover to find that I had soiled the sheets.

Normally these things get better as you get older, but not for me. In my thirties, I got very sick while making a travel programme in India. Something I ate in Jaipur had a devastating effect on my bowels, changing my stools from nice, regular, fluffy brown logs to thin, black, evil strings which would come out in a sudden torrent. It was like giving birth to a family of eels. And the smell was appalling. I’d have to flush the toilet at the exact moment the excrement came out of me, or else a sulphurous odour would spread around the bathroom like poison gas.

This condition persisted for years, and understandably I have developed quite a neurosis about going to the lavatory. If I’m alone in the house, I still lock the door. I don’t want a burglar to catch me in such a vulnerable position. And even if I’m just going for a quick pee, I make sure that I sit down like a woman. I want to be comfortable, just in case I feel a sting in my urethra, or a dull ache in my scrotum, or any of the dozen other symptoms that might signify an STD or the onset of some dreadful cancer.

Also, once a bowel movement has begun, there are several rituals which have to be observed. I am as strict as an imam about these. Firstly, no straining, not since I read that trying to force a stool out of your rectum can lead to haemorrhoids. Secondly, always put the lid down before flushing, because when the chain is pulled thousands of molecules of excrement are sprayed into the air like an aerosol. (If you leave your toothbrushes out in a mug by the basin, a doctor told me, the bristles will soon be heaving with anal bacteria. You might as well be cleaning your teeth with your bum.) Lastly, I shake my foreskin dry, apply a scrap of paper to the end, and leave it there for a minute, much like a barber would staunch a razor cut. Only then can I be sure that there will no embarrassing dribbles on the front of my chinos.

The situation is, of course, much worse when I’m not at home. Taking a dump in other people’s houses fills me with anxiety. How thick are the walls? Can anyone hear the noises I’m making? But the doomsday scenario occurs when I’m caught short in town and have to use a public convenience. The long row of urinals stare back at me like a firing squad. I gulp and unzip. If there is anyone with three yards of me it’s touch-and-go whether I’ll be able to pee at all. I stand paralysed.

The other men in there must be wondering, “What’s his game? Is he just here to watch?” I close my eyes, trying to envisage waterfalls, tropical monsoons and leaking pipes. If that fails, I attempt a desperate remedy once recommended to me by a friend – I imagine that my worst enemy is kneeling in front of me and that I’m releasing great yellow zigzags of piss all over his face. But sometimes even this is not enough. I have to zip up again and pretend that I’ve finished an unusually silent urination. I can feel the accusing stares as I leave...

Using one of the stalls isn’t much better. Many of them have doors like you’d see in a Wild West saloon, with big gaps at the top and bottom. They offer no sonic privacy at all. Everyone in the Gents can hear exactly what’s going on, every plop and gurgle. I used to try to mask the sounds by laying down a ‘fireman’s blanket’ of Andrex above the water, but I gave this up after one disastrous occasion where the excess sheets clogged up the U-bend. I had to stab away with the loo brush for three flushes, as if I was killing an unusually tenacious otter.

However, the worst situation – at least until we get to the one with the Thai whore I mentioned – occurred at work. I was employed at an office which had an ‘Allie McBeal’ arrangement in the lavatory, with girls and boys sharing the same facility. One day, I popped in for my customary after-lunch sit down only to find that someone had beaten me to it. The toilet looked like it had been attacked by terrorists. Every surface of the bowl was smeared with sewage. There was so much diarrhoea on display that I half expected to see the hollowed out shell of a dead human being curled up on the floor.

I turned straight round, intending to use the one upstairs. But just as I opened the door, a young woman from the office tried to walk past me. I froze. There was no way on earth I could let her in. I’d have to leave my job – and possibly the country – if word got out that I was responsible for this cataclysm. “Er... nearly finished,” I croaked, then went back in and slammed the door shut. I waited for a moment, but she was still out there. Damn! I’d have to clean it up! It was so unfair!

And no picnic, either. The pipes were blocked, so the first flush only served to make the water level rise to the very top of the rim. With no brush to use and no window to escape through, there was only one choice. I rolled up my sleeve and gingerly slid my hand down into the grim slurry. With closed eyes, I groped until I could feel the lump of paper. I pushed it through. The waters sank, but they were still as brown as oxtail soup. Conscious of the young lady tutting outside, I waited for the cistern to refill, using the time to mop at the pebble-dashed porcelain with wads of paper. I flushed again, washed my arm in the sink, and then quickly scurried past her in the doorway.

All of which brings me to Pattaya, one of the centres of the sex trade in Thailand, but more famous in my mind as the location for My Lowest Ever Moment In Toilet Shame. Like many visitors, I had gone to the red light district and picked up a bar girl. She was the classic Thai beauty: small, delicate, brown skinned and friendly. We reached a financial agreement and then headed off to a ‘short time’ hotel to cement our love.

Inside, she excused herself to “freshen up” in the en suite bathroom, leaving me a couple of minutes to check out the furnishings (which were basic) and to hide my wallet (cunningly in my shoe). As I stripped naked, I heard the shower go on. Part of me was glad that she was washing, but part of me was revolted by the fact that she had to. I wondered how many customers she had already serviced that day, and whether I was at the end of a long queue of US Marines and fat German sex tourists.

Soon enough she came back in. She was wrapped in a towel, with another turbanning her wet hair, and looking so lovely that I forgot all about my neuroses. It was going to be great. Me and my Madame Butterfly were going to have a perfect sexual encounter. But, as so often happens before sleeping with someone for the first time, I felt a nervous need to go to the loo. Excusing myself, I walked into the bathroom and was just about to sit down when I noticed that there were two drops of liquid on the toilet seat. Was it water from the shower, or had she carelessly let slip some urine?

My first thought was to wipe them away, but there was no loo roll. (What had I expected in a £5 room?) Both the towels were wrapped around her. I was starkers. There was absolutely nothing to clean up the droplets with. And now I needed to sit down. Urgently. Unwilling to use my hands this time, mainly due to my extreme AIDS paranoia, there was only solution I could think of. Crouching down by the lavatory, I started to blow the liquid towards the bowl. My cheeks were puffed up like one of those zephyrs on an old map, but it was definitely working. Pffw! Pffw! The droplets edged towards the precipice. Soon I’d be able to relieve myself.

It was at this moment that my hooker came back into the room. She must have seen plenty of bizarre perversions in her working life, but judging by the terrified look in her eyes, this one took the biscuit. A piss blower. Needless to say, the sex didn’t live up to my expectations. No longer the bubbly man-pleaser, she got things over with as briskly as possible, hardly saying a word. No sooner had I come than she was on her scooter and away. It’s hard to find a moral in all this, but I will tell you that since then I have followed one piece of advice my grandmother gave me. “Always carry a handkerchief.”