How intestinal gas made life hell for our fearless sex columnist. And one poor New York lady…

 

My penis and my sphincter have never been close. Well, they are geographically close, of course, being situated the customary few inches apart in my underwear. But what I mean to say is that my arse has always been the sworn enemy of my sex life. Whenever I go to bed with a girl, I’m aware that it’s lurking in the background, a sinister Guy Fawkes with a keg full of explosives, conspiring to ruin my enjoyment.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. As boys growing up, we are given free rein to express ourselves through farting. Loud ones are applauded. High-pitched ones are greeted with laughter. Even silent ones which have the pungency of a 1,000-year-old egg will garner their creator a grudging respect. But when we become adults, we have to repress this source of glee. Women don’t like it. And so we have to spend hours holding gas in, or subtly channelling it down a trouser leg, or rolling to the side of the duvet and leaking it out in small, agonising increments.

Before I tell you about my most awful moment, when a bout of extreme flatulence saw me thrown out of the bed of a woman who had been writing me letters actually begging for sex, I’d better explain how it all came about. A few years ago I made a cable television show in which I went around the world meeting perverts and pornographers. It was low budget stuff, and a typical episode saw me get stripped naked and whipped, have a hot wax mould made of my private parts, or be sat on by a fat Danish whore. It won no BAFTAs.

Oddly enough, however, it did provide me with a groupie. She was called Kim. She was a 20-year-old American girl studying in London, and she sent me a postcard via the production company. It said she was a big fan of the programme and that I was cute. As well as a signature, she had left a scarlet imprint of her lips. Flattered, I replied, and soon we had a lively, flirtatious correspondence going. In her e-mails, she made no secret of the fact that I was onto a promise with her. Naturally, I figured this must mean that she was too ugly or obese to get a man in the normal way, but when she finally sent me a photograph I saw she was actually quite pretty. I was single. It seemed too good to miss. I suggested dinner.

When we said hello at an Italian restaurant in London’s St John’s Wood, the first thing I noticed was that she had a tongue stud. This intrigued me. Fellatio is my catnip and I’d often heard of the delightful temperature and texture tricks that could be played on the head of the penis with a piercing. Unfortunately, I’d never experienced them.

I suppose the best thing would have been to confess this but, thanks to the TV show and the saucy e-mails, she had me taped as some kind of no-holds-barred sexual pirate, swaggering his way across the globe, a bold renegade who had tried everything. There was no way I could suddenly admit the truth without shattering this image, and with it my chances of getting laid. If I told her that actually I’d been squeamish about nearly everything we’d filmed, and that I’d spent most of the time pleading with the director to let me keep my trousers on, she’d feel… well, cheated. So when she talked about threesomes and swinging parties and sex toys, I just joined in knowingly, inventing stories that tied in with my reputation as a bad-ass libertine.

Five-in-a-bed romps? Of course. Bum sex on an airplane? Oh yeah. Rimming a red indian? Sure, which tribe? It was like being a teenager again, bullshitting about how much you knew so a girl would let you do it. Well, I was obviously convincing enough, because after dinner we strolled back to her studio flat in Maida Vale. It was a 15-minute walk, so I took advantage of the fresh breeze and wide pavements to secretly expel the wind which affects me after meals. Just like a primitive huntsman on the trail of an antelope, one learns how to be silent and how to stand downwind of a girl in these situations. But I could sense that something wasn’t right. My saltimbocca had obviously made enemies in my stomach, because the gas kept on coming, burbling down through the coils of my stomach in a threatening way.

On the bright side, when we got to her street, Kim did lean close to me and whisper huskily, “You know what I’ve been looking forward to since I first saw you on TV? Giving you a New York blow-job.”

I wasn’t entirely sure what this was, but it sounded good. God knows, a standard blow-job is pleasant enough, so a version with bells and whistles attached was surely going to be amazing. “Yeah? A New York one?” I said, nonchalantly, still playing the arch-fiend of sex. “Cool, I like them.” Her flat was tiny. There were only two rooms, one containing a loo and shower cubicle, the other a sofa bed and open-plan kitchenette. I’m only 5ft 8in but I felt like Gulliver. While she poured some vodkas, I went to the lavatory for a quick pre-coital spruce-up. I also hoped to rid myself of the flatulence issue once and for all.

Now there are good toilets and bad ones, and this one was awful. It was cramped, windowless and – worst of all, given my situation – the door was paper thin. From my perch on the seat I could hear the ice clink into the glasses and every glug of the Smirnoff, so there was no way she was going to miss any violent gusts or terrible plops from my fundament. Panicking, I searched for something to mask the noise. A radio? A fan? There was nothing.

Thinking fast, I engaged her in loud conversation, hoping to time my questions to cover the noise of any anal emissions, shouting if necessary. Although surprisingly effective, this gave our dialogue a slightly artificial quality. “Yes, I agree, Transformer is a grEAT ALBUM BUT YOU SHOULD listen to the earlier material with THE VELVET UNDERground as well…” After passing a gallon of wind, my guts felt less volatile. Certainly I reckoned I could last ten minutes without any further trouble, long enough to see what this New York business was all about.

Okay, I might be falling short on the promises I’d made to her – over dinner, I’d hinted that I was capable of delivering a sex marathon filled with more fancy fingering techniques than Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 3 – but I could always make it up to her later. The only remaining problem was the smell. The herbs and spices which had given my meal such a pleasant aroma only an hour before appeared to have undergone a terrible metamorphosis. Now they whiffed like a country dunghill. It wasn’t just a case of “leave it ten minutes, love”; the bathroom clearly needed to be sealed off by government professionals, like in the movie Outbreak.

But I couldn’t stay in there forever, so I acted fast. First, I flared my nostrils as wide as they could go and inhaled strenuously, trying to suck up the stench. I sniffed around the room, high and low, for 20 seconds, like a pig searching for truffles. “Are you okay in there?” asked Kim. “Er, nearly done. Just a mo.”

Next, I picked up one of her perfume bottles and hosed the area down. I must have sprayed ten quid’s worth. But it still smelled awful, so I went to plan B. Charge out of the room dramatically, as if overtaken by passion, and push her back in the furthest corner of the flat with the urgency of my kisses. This, at least, was in character. Ignoring the drinks, I clasped her and reversed towards the sofa bed. We sank to the sheets and I began to peel off her T-shirt. But I was too flustered to kiss her properly. I was clumsy, not tender. Our noses and teeth bashed together like the foreheads of Glaswegians on a Friday night. Then, as I struggled to undo her bra, evincing all the motor skills of a blind man solving a Rubik’s Cube, I sensed the first hint of unease in her voice. “Er… are you wearing Tommy Girl?”

Before I could explain, a loud rumble, what’s known technically as a borborygm, gurgled in my belly. It sounded like a bath being emptied. Kim pulled back and looked at me quizzically. I could feel myself sweating. New quantities of gas were being moved into the drop zone. I had to act fast! I wanted that New York blow-job!

Giving up on her bra, I stood masterfully in front of her. To her credit, she unbuttoned my flies and swiftly worked my cock into maximum stiffness. Given that I was now clenching my buttocks and attempting to mentally paralyse my internal organs, I might as well have been made of concrete between the navel and the knees. She pushed me down and hovered above me. The ruby in her tongue stud glinted in the half-light. She licked her lips. I was going to make it after all.

Now, I know of course that New York has a very large Jewish population, but as an uncircumcised male I wasn’t expecting to be turned into one of them by oral sex. However, the first thing Kim did was yank my foreskin roughly down towards its base. The pain was immense, shocking. My foreskin was quite literally hanging on by a thread. But before I could do anything but give a frightened gasp – easily interpreted as passion by her – she set to work with her mouth.

Obviously, the people I’d spoken to about tongue studs had experienced metal ones, those smooth balls which look like cake decorations. But Kim’s was fitted with a sharp-edged gemstone, and when she licked it across my bell end it felt like I was being attacked by an industrial diamond cutter. She might as well have been tattooing my penis or molesting it with a specially-trained hedgehog.

The shock made me lose focus on bowel control. A guff shot out of me. Actually, “shot” is the wrong word – it curled out of me slowly, sounding like a long, plaintive note on the tuba. A real snorter. Kim stopped sucking. I saw her eyes. They were actually scared, like the eyes of a girl in a horror film who’s just seen a zombie in the mirror. The sound seemed to reverberate and time stood still between us. Then the second wave hit her, the ripe, sickly fragrance. She lurched backwards, appalled.

What could I say? What could I do? Having allowed myself to be built up as an expert stud, this was simply too gauche and awful a faux pas to laugh off. If I’d pissed all over her face or taken a dump in her lap, I might have been able to pass it off as a something kinky and adventurous, but farting was unforgivable.

Needless to say, I never got to have an orgasm and she never wrote to me again. For a while I tried to search for a moral in the incident, because if God makes you miss an open goal like this there’s usually a lesson in it somewhere. Don’t lie to women? Don’t eat Italian food before a first date? The truth is I still don’t know. Maybe we are simply meant to be ridiculous. But just in case it happens again, I’ve bought myself a dog.