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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus is a Glorious Mess

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

TW: This post ends with a graphic story involving male genitalia.

There's a misconception stuck like cosmo to the lino floors of England, in particular, that the fattest chunk of the demographic have sex efficiently, gracefully, secretly and without hiccups. No mid-sex farts or bum spots, no lazy days or Homeric fails, injuries, misjudged dirty talk, surprise periods, discharge stains on lingerie that doesn't quite fit because you ordered them drunk online or sexually transmitted infections. I guess because historically people from this country don't feel safe in our culture to open up about their sex lives, or even sex in general, we all have a pretty distorted idea about what our neighbours are doing when they draw their curtains. (Sorry for the mental image if you know yours well...)

Especially as a religious (and growing up quite a traditionally religious) person, it took me a while to realise that kinks are common, that sex isn't just a slomo montage of picture-perfect orgasm faces and that being sexually curious doesn't make you a freak. It doesn't help that when things like anal, fallacio, cunnilingus, sexually transmitted infections (etc.) are mentioned in our media, its often as a cheap joke that might seem cheeky on the surface but actually when you think about it is dripping with the values of repression, misogyny and sexual violence. As social animals we pick up on audiences of hundreds of people laughing at a joke and subconsciously we learn that anything other than marital missionary with the lights out is embarrassing and wrong. (If you're ever unsure whether a joke is problematic, ask yourself 'why is it funny' or 'what are we supposed to be laughing at?')

Well, because our culture neglects to tell us the truth about sex, let me remind you all (and myself) now that sex comes in infinite shades of fabulous and we all have our own fingerprints that adapt and grow as we do. The man on the Clapham omnibus is kinky, he is fallible, he is curious, he is sexual and silly and imperfect and makes a lot of mistakes. The man on the Clapham omnibus has insecurities that he is on his own journey with. The man on the Clapham omnibus makes a colossal tit of himself more often than you know. He accidentally sends nudes to his grandma, he screams out the wrong name in the middle of sex, he learned about anal prep the hard way, he got changed in a zoom call thinking the camera was off, he fished a condom out from inside someone with the torch light from his phone, he tore his frenulum and thought he was dying, he left a tampon in and got toxic shock, he fell into a piece of furniture and broke it, he....

The point is, sex isn't perfect, and if you can have the courage to reflect on your cringe-worthy moments, or share them with a friend for a good giggle, we can learn to love ourselves deeply in our farty, spotty, poopy, giggly, bloody, stainy state. And, when you open your eyes to it... we're all pretty fucking hilarious. Don't miss the comedy gold in your own life, that would be such a shame.

To bring this message home, I'm going to finish this week's post with a story. Since I haven't had sex since the fucking dark ages, I'm outsourcing the cringe to a resent anecdote from a good friend of mine. Enter Noah.

Noah has had a pretty rough start to 2023. The poor bugger had to tell a guy he has real feelings for (along with his other sexual partners) that he tested positive for gonorrhea (even though getting an STI is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of, there is still a lot of stigma hanging round from the dinosaurs who didn't get any sex ed so take out their bitterness on perpetuating misinformation and discrimination). So after that ball-ache (not literally, but this can be a symptom to look out for!) he decided to start lobbying his landlord to install a bathtub in his flat and finally get 2023 back on track. After an indefatigable graft his dreams were realised and he was able to enjoy a hot soak every day. (I fucking love a bath).

During one of these daily soaks, Noah fancied a little bit of 'me time', and being a sexually active human in the technological age, why not make a home movie for one of his lucky lovers? Then, penis in one hand and smartphone in the other, he created a spicy 20 second sex tape of him wanking himself off in the bath... about 10 seconds of the classic penis three-finger stroke, and another extra special 10 seconds of anal play. You can probably see where this is going. He sends it to the lucky recipient (after, of course, securing enthusiastic consent) before discarding his phone on the side of the bath tub to enjoy the last few precious moments of solo sex. One hour later and his phone is blowing up. Of course, he accidentally uploaded the video to his snapchat story. What makes it worse is that the only people he has on snapchat (other than sexual partners) are old contacts from his hometown that he hasn't spoken to in 6 + years...

In a flurry he took down the video (which was not-surprisingly popular ;)) but didn't realise it had uploaded in two halves. It took another half an hour to realise there was still a close up video of him fingering his own arsehole displayed for all his contacts to see. Oh how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the recipients homes... apart from those that were accidentally traumatised, I recon there were some pretty excited viewers at that not-so-private-privates-party whose days were well and truly made.

Wonderful readers, we all make mistakes. Laugh, cry, share, and move forward. What's life without a giggle? It's a lot less cringe-worthy when you realise that for your selves.

I also want to thank the wonderful Grumpy Gits for having me on their podcast, I had such a laugh. If you want to check out the episode, you can find it here. Stay sexy, stay silly and double check who you're sending your snapchats to.

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