With a desire to please joining his rampant libido, our man finds himself being pleasured by a man. Or does he?

 

When people say they’ve had sex with a total stranger, they usually mean that they went to bed with someone they’d only just met. A one night stand after a party. Ships passing in the night. Cocktails, conversation, coitus, and then creeping out of the other person’s flat in the wee small hours, shameful and hungover, hoping they don’t wake up. But the sexual encounter to which I am about to confess involves a person who I never even saw. To this day, I don’t know if they were pretty or ugly. I don’t even know if they were a man or a woman. To explain how it came about, I first need to tell you about the time I met Britain’s most notorious politician.

I had gone to a party, and the only other person I knew there was a guy called Paul. We had been at university together in the ’80s and although I liked him a lot back then, he had since become a born-again Christian. He had it bad. He was one of those guys who hasn’t just seen the light but been blinded by it. For example, when he asked me how I was, I mentioned that I had earache. Immediately, he clasped his hand to my ear and said, “Jesus, cure your servant’s ear.”

Of course, I could have just left the party, but I have an unfortunate side to my personality. If you’ve seen the Woody Allen film Zelig, you’ll recognise it: a need to fit in with whoever I’m talking to. In my pathological desire to be liked by people, I lose all sense of my own values. If I’m talking to a toff, say, my accent will become more polished and I’ll make approving comments about hunting or Crufts. If I meet an Irish person, I’ll suddenly find myself full of nostalgia for “the old country”, even though I’ve only spent a single weekend in Dublin. And with Paul I soon settled into the role of eager divinity student, nodding as he lectured me about salvation.

All the same, it was a relief when he suggested that we go and say hello to a chum of his who was also at the party. So long as it wasn’t actually the Pope, I couldn’t see how things could get worse. But they did. His friend was a slightly overweight man in his mid-forties, and as I shook his hand I realised that his face rang a bell. Then he introduced himself. Nick Griffin, head of the BNP. A queasy feeling washed around my stomach. This was the man who had been accused of fascism, of being Britain’s answer to the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

As a Guardian reader, the correct course of action was to punch him in the face and then wash my hands thoroughly with disinfectant. Or, at the very least, to turn and walk away. I did neither. No, trapped in the headlights of my own social unease, my principled response was to say, “Oh, very nice to meet you, Nick. Fancy a drink?” And after buying him a pint, I hung around making approving noises while he got on his soapbox. I can’t remember much of what he said, but the constant refrain was, “We are not a racist party, you know.” To which, every time, I would smile and reply, “Absolutely!”

During this 20-minute period of brain freeze, I didn’t stop to wonder how Paul reconciled his Christian charity with Griffin’s robust approach to immigration. Probably it had something to do with prodigal sons and forgiveness. But they were obviously close, because when the party ended Griffin offered to give him a lift. He also said he’d drop me at a Tube station if I fancied it.

As I am notoriously against spending money on taxis, I agreed at once. My favourite line in a movie is from another Woody Allen one, Manhattan, when he’s in the back of a cab with a girl and says, “You’re so beautiful, I can hardly keep my eyes on the meter.” On the rare occasions that I’m forced to pay for a taxi, I sit agonised as the orange numbers flick around without mercy. £15… £20… £25… how can it be! For this reason, I confess that I’d have taken up Griffin’s offer even if he’d been dressed in full Waffen SS regalia and driving a Panzer.

But my worst moment as a right-wing collaborator was yet to come. There were five of us in the car, including Mrs Griffin and a beefy-looking chaffeur/bodyguard type, and as we drove through the darkened streets of east London, we came to a zebra crossing. With unfortunate timing, a Muslim woman dressed from head to toe in a black hijab was stepping off the pavement. “I’m legally allowed to run her over if she’s on the black lines because she’s invisible” came a voice from the front of the car, which was greeted with much guffawing from the passengers. The words, “we are not a racist party” echoed in my head and my blood turned to ice. But when Griffin turned round to look at me, I didn’t say a word of criticism. I just sat there smiling back at him with dead lips.

So, you see how bad it is. But, as I mentioned at the start, this isn’t the stickiest situation I’ve got into. That all began when I got a job on a TV travel show and found myself working with a very gay producer called Clive. He was outrageous, funny and obsessed with sex. He told tremendous stories about getting banged by policemen and seducing famous pop stars. I loved spending time with him, and the more I did, the more camp I became. By the time we got to Berlin after three weeks on the road, I was making as many queeny jokes as he was. If I’d dressed decently and been able to dance, I might almost have passed for a homosexual.

Clive, of course, suspected that I already was one. He’d met enough ‘curious’ married men through Gaydar to know all about latency. (One of his favourite anecdotes, about a tax lawyer he’d had dinner with, ended with him hearing the words, “Of course I’m straight. But let me suck your cock to make sure...”) Confident that he could “turn me out”, he persuaded me to accompany him to a gay club near our hotel. As we entered, the raw stench of lube, sweat and poppers filled my nostrils. All around us were heavy-looking guys, mostly muscular skinheads dressed in tight denim and leather caps. It was clear that the local piercing parlour had been doing brisk business. I was terrified and I walked home as fast as I could. The next morning, bruised but satisfied by his night’s work, Clive accused me of repressing my secret desires.

“You ran away because you can’t handle the fact you wanted it,” he crowed at me over croissants. I thought about this. Did I want it? Even though I find the idea of anal penetration repulsive, and consider penises to be ugly, was I really just too repressed and cowardly to “go for it”? After 40 years of being straight, it seemed unlikely, but I meekly agreed to give things another try when we got back to London.

Aware that I needed gentler handling, Clive arranged for us to go to the Torture Garden. Although not strictly a gay event, it does attract a large number of bisexual men and women, as well as every shade of S&M fanatic. It would, he promised, “be full of freaks”, and if I magically failed to become queer, I’d be sure to pull one of the many sexy girls in attendance. However, to gain access I would first need to buy an outfit. We went to the sort of male outfitters you rarely find on Savile Row, and £60 later I was kitted out with a pair of rubber shorts and a shiny vest decorated with chains. I had to use talcum powder to get into the shorts.

Inside, the party was superb. Everybody had made a real effort and they were parading around like floats at a carnival. I saw a man dressed as a fish, complete with tattooed scales on his face. There was a Goth lady who had two naked men on dog leads. In one corner, a chap was being strapped to a crucifix, begging people to punish him. Not wanting me to do a runner while he got up to mischief, Clive introduced me to Kat. She was dressed in a basque, stockings and suspenders, and within twenty minutes, she had shared three important nuggets of information. One, she was “like, totally bi”; two, she was “horny”; and three, she thought I was “funny. And funny is hot.”

So far so good. We kissed. I enjoyed it. I dropped a hint that she was welcome to come back to my house, anytime in the next ten seconds being good for me, but she giggled and said there was no need. We could just fool around at the party, in public. I started to explain that having sex in front of other people wasn’t really my bag. She stopped me with a giggle. “We can go in the dark room, silly,” she said. “It’s what everybody does.”

Unsure, but with a promise of sex in the offing, I followed her to a corner of the club. There was a door. She opened it and stepped inside, holding me by the hand. I hesitated for a half second on the threshold, not knowing what grim Narnia I was about to enter, but then she dragged me after her. Inside it was totally dark. I couldn’t even see my hand when I held it in front of my face. Kat led me to a sofa where we sat down and started kissing. My concentration was slightly ruined by the noises I could hear around us. Smacking, squelching, sucking noises, like the sound effects of a swamp. But soon Kat was tugging down my tight shorts and stroking my penis. It was heavenly. I felt one of her hands on the shaft, one on my thigh, and another caressing my balls…

Hang on! Unless I had missed an important anatomical detail about her, namely a third arm, this could only mean one thing. Someone else was joining in. My genitals had picked up a hitchhiker. The key question, of course, was whether these five extra fingers were male or female. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell if they felt big and hairy or small and delicate. Thoughts rushed through my head. Should I stand up and scream, or would that look a bit square in the circumstances? Should I reach down and touch the wrist, hoping to feel a bracelet from Tiffany around it rather than a chunky Rolex? And if I did discover that a man was tenderly massaging my balls, what was I going to do?

I could hardly start a fight in pitch blackness. In the end, I decided things had gone too far to turn back. The handjob had progressed beyond the twelfth stroke, and as there was nothing I could do about it, I figured I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. For once, my penis helped out. I came quickly and scuttled back into the light. With a mardy ‘is that it?’ look on her face, Kat emerged after me. I made some feeble excuse about claustrophobia and chatted to her for another 20 minutes, all the while looking over her shoulder as people exited the dark room. I counted four girls and seven men. The odds were not good. So now, when people ask me if I’ve ever had gay sex, they think I’m being evasive. I guess there’s something about the answer, “Probably” that does that…