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An Idiot's Guide to Sex

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内容提示: AN IDIOT’SGUIDE TO SEXKaren BallS U M M E R S D A L E Copyright © Karen Ball 2001All rights reserved.No part of this book may be reproduced by anymeans, nor transmitted, nor translated into amachine language, without the written permissionof the publisher.Summersdale Publishers Ltd46 West StreetChichesterWest SussexPO19 1RPwww.summersdale.comPrinted and bound in Great Britain.ISBN 1 84024 191 8 ContentsIntroduction 5Chapter One: The Opposite Sex – What Are They? 10Chapter Two: Teenage Kicks 25Ch...

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AN IDIOT’SGUIDE TO SEXKaren BallS U M M E R S D A L E Copyright © Karen Ball 2001All rights reserved.No part of this book may be reproduced by anymeans, nor transmitted, nor translated into amachine language, without the written permissionof the publisher.Summersdale Publishers Ltd46 West StreetChichesterWest SussexPO19 1RPwww.summersdale.comPrinted and bound in Great Britain.ISBN 1 84024 191 8 ContentsIntroduction 5Chapter One: The Opposite Sex – What Are They? 10Chapter Two: Teenage Kicks 25Chapter Three: Am I The Only Single Person I Know? 50Chapter Four: Across a Crowded Room 74Chapter Five: The First Date 100Chapter Six: Stepping Into The Sack 126Chapter Seven: Classic Bedroom Blunders 152Chapter Eight: Post-seduction Fallout 176Chapter Nine: Is It All Worth The Effort? 199The Serious Bit – Further Information 218 Karen Ball lives in Walthamstow with hertwo goldfish, William and Sid. She has anasty drink habit and I wouldn’t try cadginga fag off her if I were you. She’s never hada boyfriend and it’s unlikely she’ll find oneafter writing this book. 8An Idiot’s Guide to SexIntroductionThis is a book for everyone ‘out there’ whoopenly admits that they still don’t havemuch of a clue about life, love, or to bemore specific, sex. I’m not only talkingabout the single population. It can be justas relevant to those in serious, long-termrelationships who have spent many yearsinvesting a lot of blood, sweat and tearsinto convincing their partners andthemselves that they know what the heckthey’re doing. The big question is: who arewe all trying to kid? Why don’t we just admitthat when it comes to sex, a lot of it is stilla complete mystery?This shouldn’t be read by anyone whowants serious advice on how to become abetter lover. A good lover is like a goodmathematician. You admire their skill, butwould you really want to be one? This book 9An Idiot’s Guide to Sexis a celebration of the kid inside everybodywho is still desperately groping somethingin a dark corner of the school disco. Withmy dubious advice your groping handsmight actually find their target, but in themeantime you’ll learn to embrace your idiotself in the world of love and sex. I haven’tgot all the answers, but I have got the sameas you – absolutely no clue what’s goingon! 10An Idiot’s Guide to SexCHAPTER ONEThe Opposite Sex – What Are They?Before going any further in this quest forsexual knowledge, we really need to workout what on earth the opposite sex is allabout.Many men willingly admit that theyhaven’t a clue how the female mind works– that’s their excuse for not making theeffort to understand. 11An Idiot’s Guide to SexMany women like to encourage thisfoolishness by pretending they aremysterious and enigmatic – and that’s theirexcuse for the fact that they don’t knowwhat’s going on either. So let’s explode afew myths and take a look at the mainidentifying features of each sex.ManBrain – Confused, looking for his mother.A Sense of Humour – Essential but oftenjuvenile.Clothes – Don’t try and judge a man by hisclothes. He’s probably being dressed byanother woman.Attitude – Lots of men have attitude. You’remeant to be intrigued. 12An Idiot’s Guide to SexWallet – An essential accessory, and onethat many women mistakenly overlook.Down Below – Don’t worry, size doesn’tmatter. No honestly, it doesn’t . . .Feet – The size of a man’s feet is all-important.WomanBrain – Many men like to think that womenare mentally inferior.A Sense of Humour – When she says you’rethe best she’s ever had – that’s sarcasm.Clothes – Power-dressing usually indicatespsychotic tendencies. To be avoided.Attitude – It’s not just an attitude problemwhen she tells you you’re boring. 13An Idiot’s Guide to SexWallet – Amazingly, many modern womenhave their own income.Down Below – To wax or not to wax?Feet – Only porn queens wear stilettos. Sorry.Now that you’re clear on how to identifymembers of the opposite sex it’s a goodidea to look more closely at what makesthem different to you. Whoever called them‘the opposite sex’ wasn’t joking – they’reabout as far away on this planet as youcould possibly hope to get. Just becauseyou’re able to pick out a person’s sex fromacross a crowded room (well done!), there’sno guarantee that you will feel relaxed andcomfortable should you be forced to speakto them. At this point it’s probably worthlooking at some of the most commonanxieties that we come across when firstmeeting someone . . . 14An Idiot’s Guide to SexDoes My Breath Smell?A common problem upon first meeting apotential partner is the worry over whetheryou’ll get close enough to risk a kiss. Thereason for this is that you’ve been drinkingblack coffee all day at work, have chain-smoked twenty fags and your teeth arestained from red wine.Because of this cumulative potential todisgust, you try to talk from behind yourhand and the person you fancy ends upthinking that you’re offended by theirhalitosis.Get over it! Most bad breath issues areall in your mind and if you get in closeenough for a proper snog you should beable to cut off any air supply, therebynegating their sense of smell. 15An Idiot’s Guide to SexDoes He/She Fancy Me?When you’re worried about your ability topull, your ability to judge anything becomeshorribly distorted. Every smile, twitch andslap across the face becomes analysed todeath – is she smiling at me because shefancies me, or does she smile at everyonelike that?Herein lies the path to madness, and theonly real way of finding out whether or notthey fancy you is to ask their best friend.Most best friends can be trusted to call aspade a shovel. It might sting a bit to hearyourself described as repulsive, but at leastyou know where you stand. 16An Idiot’s Guide to SexDo I Fancy Him/Her?This seems like a silly question, but it’sone you’ll often find yourself asking. Usuallyjust after you’ve managed to confirm thatthey fancy you. Now that you’ve got theirattention and devotion you may start tothink that a complete stranger on the otherside of the room is much more attractive.Beware! It’s far better to go for thecompromise and get off with someone who’s‘alright’, than to chase after the impossibledream of a person you really wouldn’t want 17An Idiot’s Guide to Sexto kick out of bed but who you’d probablynever get into bed in the first place. Manyof the world’s most stable relationships havebeen built on compromise. Never be afraidto do yourself down.Have I Got Any Condoms on Me?It’s a bit pointless indulging an anxiety likethis because, let’s face it, whoever you’retalking to is not going to want to sleepwith you. Not yet, anyway.Do They Think I’m Stupid?Gone are the days when a woman wasjudged by her looks and a man by his wallet.Gone, but not forgotten. You’ll still bejudged by both these things, but even moreimportant in the modern age is the abilityto impress with your mental agility.Unfortunately, your ability to down a bottle 18An Idiot’s Guide to Sexof wine in one go has long overtaken yourMensa application. If you do want toimpress, I don’t recommend doing mentalarithmetic out loud. Instead, a good tacticis to casually drop literary and philosophicalreferences into the conversation. Forexample, ‘Does Tolstoy deserve as muchliterary merit as Dostoyevsky?’Are My Friends Embarrassing?Few people would admit this, but they’reoften concerned about the impression theirfriends give in relation to themselves. Andwith good reason! I mean, would you goout with someone whose best friend drankBacardi and Coke or wore leatherwaistcoats? If you really want to pull, it’sprobably a good idea to take a long, hardlook at your acquaintances and if they don’tmeet the mark then leave them at home. 19An Idiot’s Guide to Sex(Obviously, don’t forget your friendscompletely – their sympathy will beessential when you eventually get dumpedfor being a shallow so-and-so.)Am I Wearing Clean Pants?What can I say? This is the most cripplinganxiety of them all, but one that reallyshouldn’t be occurring at this stage in yourlife. Did your mother teach you nothing?There’s really no excuse for not having apristine pair around you at all times of theday, so if scummy pants are your downfall– well, so be it!OK, we’ve dealt with, and dismissed, someof the most common worries but we stillhaven’t really got to grips with what it isabout the opposite sex that makes us soanxious. Let’s have a look at some of the 20An Idiot’s Guide to Sexreasons why you’re never going tounderstand them.They Were Born That WayMen and women are just born different. It’sno one’s fault that men like cars and womenlike lipstick – that’s the way we’re made,and it goes all the way back to the wombwhen our mothers’ bodies were creating thebits of us (brains, personalities, addictivedisorders) that would influence the rest ofour lives.To try and fight this is like trying to arm-wrestle God – you’re never going to win, solearn to give in gracefully. 21An Idiot’s Guide to SexTheir Mothers Ruined ThemMany adults like to blame their problemson the parenting they suffered, andpersonally, I’m more than happy to colludein this denial of responsibility. If there’sanything wrong with your loved one it’s fareasier to blame it on their mother than totry and understand it. After all, that’s whatmothers are for and they won’t mind at allthat yet again they are held responsiblefor the ills of the world. 22An Idiot’s Guide to SexSocial ConditioningEvery day we see all around us theinfluences that have made our partnersimpossible to understand and plainimpossible. From the cradle to the gravewe’re fed messages that mould ourpersonalities and make us hide our deepestemotions. It’s either that or we’re all just abit messed up.Ex-partnersHah! Now there’s the rub! Most adults havebeen scarred for life by an inconsiderate,selfish ex-partner who is probably betterlooking than you. If only you could havereached your true love before they werechewed up and spat out by this monster,you might have had a chance at happiness.But that chance has now gone forever andit’s left to you to pick up the pieces and 23An Idiot’s Guide to Sexlook at them in despair. You’re handlingsecond-hand goods and you might as wellget used to it.CareersFar too many young people today havecareers. They put their career first andeverything else second. That includes you.The good news is that one day they’ll wakeup, realise what a load of old tosh work is,throw it all in, travel the world andremember how fantastic you are. Or they’llmeet an amazing Kiwi lover in Bangkok andforget you forever.Gettouttahere!The majority of people meet their partners inthe workplace. The rest hang out in singles’ bars,where even the bar staff refuse to talk to them.Then they go home, put their head in the oven,remember it’s electric and go to bed. 24An Idiot’s Guide to SexIf you’re still feeling a bit dazed and confused(let’s face it – I have no idea what makesthe opposite sex so weird) it might be worthcasting our minds back to younger dayswhen life was really bad. I’m talking aboutwhen we were teenagers. You think you’vegot it bad now? You should pause to considerwhat it was like having your first snog withhalf your mates watching and giving youpoints out of ten. Our ability to cope in theromantic arena is often defined, and moreoften ruined, by our experiences as anadolescent, and it’s worth going back tothose early days just to remind ourselveswhat it was all like . . . and why it couldonly have got better. So let’s revisit the lifeof a teenager. 25An Idiot’s Guide to SexCHAPTER TWOTeenage KicksA good counsellor can work wonders whenit comes to erasing the scars left by teenageexperiences.While we all complain about getting old,how many of us would really want to goback to what our parents assured us were‘the happiest years of your life’? Oh, happyindeed for them, as they mocked our acneand laughed in the face of our dress sense.But miserable for anyone trapped in theteen nightmare. So you may not be inclinedto thank me for stepping back into thegolden age of ‘can’t shag, won’t be shaggingfor the next ten years’. But if we are tounderstand and solve our problems, wereally need to ponder the teenage traumas 26An Idiot’s Guide to Sexthat turned us into the broken men andwomen we are today.The teenage dilemma is a difficult one.We all desperately want to have sex butnobody knows what it’s all about. It’sdisconcerting when you look at spottyDarren Biggs and he tells you about hissix-times-in-a-night session. Or if you’re agirl, you’ll be jealous as hell of Sharon Woodand her brushes with teenage pregnancy –but she won’t tell you about it becauseyou’re not cool enough to be in her gang.Face it: you’re a virgin and irredeemablyout of touch. Just thank God that all yourfriends are the same. Except you don’t. Noone will ever admit to their lack ofexperience, so you really do believe thatyou’re the one frigid stick in town. EvenMrs Brown next door is pregnant again andshe must be at least thirty. 27An Idiot’s Guide to SexSo, how do teenagers go about combatingthis nightmare?Hair GelAccording to teenage mythology, bad hairis a real puller. If the top half of your headlooks like a grease slick, a hedgehog, or arats’ nest, then you’re in there! The basicrule of thumb is: if it hurts to run yourhands through your hair, you’ve got it right.Of course, this all goes back to obscurecaveman mating rituals, where they’d dojust about anything to alert the oppositesex to their existence. Ruthless corporationslike Boots the Chemist encourage thesesexual delusions, as they stand to make atidy profit selling you glue masqueradingas hair gel.In time, you will grow out of this desireto abuse your crowning glory but these 28An Idiot’s Guide to Sexmops will haunt you forever. Friends overthirty should have all photos confiscated,because otherwise you can guarantee thaton your wedding day someone will pull outa picture of you looking like a completetit. And you will only have yourself toblame. 29An Idiot’s Guide to SexHair ReductionTeenagers also become prey to the desireto pluck, shave and wax till their entirebody shines with scrubbed good health.Well, that’s the theory. What this means inpractice is that male teenagers will startshaving before they’ve even got a hint of awhisker, leaving their faces covered inshaving rash and not much else.Teenage girls pluck their eyebrowsbecause, well, they’ve never done it before,and come to school looking like Greta Garboon a spectacularly bad day. They’ll alsoapply sugar solutions to their legs, whichthey then can’t scrape off without it really,really hurting. They’ll be obliged to coverup their legs with thick socks for the nextsix months, chiselling off a bit of cruddysugar for a snack each time they feel 30An Idiot’s Guide to Sexthemselves fainting because they’re onanother cabbage diet.Being In A BandAs Jarvis Cocker quite rightly pointed out,you only become a singer so that peoplewill sleep with you. Let’s look at theevidence: Jarvis himself, Mick Jagger, anymember of a boy band . . . yep, if you passedthem in the street you’d be more inclinedto kick them in the shins than drag themoff to bed. But because they all mime intomicrophones and mince around a stage,people seem to find them very desirable.On this basis, millions of teenagers haveformed bands. Records show that at leastthree of them are able to play aninstrument. Further records show that 98per cent of these groups disband after six 31An Idiot’s Guide to Sexmonths. Or, in other words – once they’vegot a lay out of it.Reading Teen MagsA whole industry of pap has beenestablished on the back of teenagersdesperately seeking advice on their woes.Agony aunts and uncles take, ooh, at leastfifteen words to give an answer to problems.These answers often contain gems aboutself-esteem, learning to love yourself andpolitely asking that big bully to leave youalone. None of this advice is worth thepaper it’s written on. If you want to go outwith someone, ask them for heaven’s sakeand if you’re being bullied – well, look upthe local hired assassins in the Yellow Pages. 32An Idiot’s Guide to SexDrink Cider . . .Often the only way to overcome cripplingshyness is to get drunk. But at the age offifteen there are two barriers to wisetippling: firstly, you have no money to speakof. Secondly, you have no discernment (youactually don’t know if one glass of vodkawill get you pissed, so you drink five justto be on the safe side). Having clubbedtogether, you and your mate step into thelocal off-licence. Your priorities are: cheapand strong.Decades of research by generations ofteenagers have shown that the chosentipple is usually a big plastic bottle of cider.Because you can’t go home with alcohol,you sit in a park and take turns at swiggingstraight from the bottle. After a bit you’llproclaim, ‘Ooh, I’m really pissed,’ despite 33An Idiot’s Guide to Sexfeeling nothing other than a need to burp.After half a bottle you’ll be incapable ofproclaiming anything, but will be projectinglarge and powerful streams of cider andstomach goo. By now you have completelyforgotten your plan to chat up anyone.. . . And Smoke TabsBenson and Hedges, given a choice.Unbelievably, despite all the advice givenby sensible grown-ups, teenagers prefer tothrow caution to the wind and try on thecool cap by indulging in a nasty habit.Contrary to parental opinion, this reallydoes hurt the teenager more than it hurtstheir parents. You have to put in a lot ofhard work and commitment to get past thebody’s natural objection to nicotine. Yourfirst few cigarettes will probably make youvery ill indeed, your favourite clothes 34An Idiot’s Guide to Sexbecome littered with cigarette burns, andawkward newsagents no longer agree to sellcigarettes singly, so it’s quite an expensivehabit too. No wonder teenagers are forcedto turn to crime.Are You Still A Teenager?Find out if you still secretly think like ateenager by filling in this multiple choicequiz. Obviously, if you are under the age oftwenty, you don’t need to do this.When you go to the supermarket, what doyou buy?a) Sundried tomatoes and crème fraîcheb) Nappies for the babyc) Bottle of dry cider, please 35An Idiot’s Guide to SexWhat does the word ‘organism’ make youdo?a) Look it up in the science dictionaryb) Tell the biology boffin to go awayc) Snigger and nudge your matesIf you’ve got a spot, what do you do?a) Cover it up with concealer and wait forit to go awayb) You don’t get spots any morec) Squeeze it until your face starts bleedingand then burst out crying 36An Idiot’s Guide to SexThe person you fancy has just come over tosay hello. What do you do?a) Offer to buy them a drinkb) Ask if you can take their phone numberc) Turn bright red and ignore themYou think your mum is:a) A wonderful woman who deserves a bighugb) Worth more than your dad, but youresolved that in therapy years agoc) God, just like, really embarrassingIf you answered c) to two or more of thesequestions, then you definitely have a teencomplex. God help you.But All That Was Ages AgoOK, you think, I have now relived the hellof teenage life. Thanks very much. But how 37An Idiot’s Guide to Sexdoes this relate to my idiot performance inthe sack these days? Well, the quiz you’vejust done is fine for revealing superficialsimilarities between you now and you withspots back then. But teen angst never reallygoes away; it just masquerades as adultmisery. All those tortured famous peoplerattling around in The Priory aren’t reallydealing with addiction issues or nervousbreakdowns. They’re still trying to come toterms with the fact that when they were ateenager they were fat, ugly and unloved.Such demons are not exclusive to the richand famous. Particularly in the arena of sex,you’ll discover that many of the worries thatplagued you as a teenager are still rattlingaround at the back of your disintegratingbrain and have a major influence on whatfloats your boat now. 38An Idiot’s Guide to SexIs My Willy Too Small?Teenage boys spend hours in the bathroomwith a ruler trying to decide whether ornot they are enough of a man. Self-helpguides advise these teenagers not to lookdown at their member as this instantlydistorts perspective, but to look at it in amirror. They don’t give any advice if youhave to squint to see it in the mirror. 39An Idiot’s Guide to SexThis is an obsession that stays with aman all his life. He will never lose the secretfear that he is inadequate. (Which, ofcourse, he is. In lots of ways. But that’s awhole other book.) And frankly, womendon’t help by guffawing or wiggling theirlittle pinkie at him.Ear BlowingThere are some aspects of heavy pettingthat are extremely unpleasant. But it’s onlyby testing them out that we discover quitehow unacceptable they are. Anything thatinvolves licking, blowing on or nibbling theear is to be avoided at all costs, but manyteenagers think that this is a sexy way tobehave.This is because their only informationabout what is sexy comes from bad pornfilms or American film stars playing, ‘Let’s 40An Idiot’s Guide to Sexmake-believe that sex is a beautiful thing’.If you are still indulging in these pettingantics after the age of eighteen, then youare doomed to sexual failure. Somebodyreally should have said something to youby now.How Do You Put A Condom On?Pity the poor teenager who first tries toput a condom on. They really are the best 41An Idiot’s Guide to Sexever forms of contraception, because by thetime you’ve fumbled around and failed towrap anything in rubber, you’ve completelylost your erection. Self-help manuals are afantastic source of hilarity on this subject,recommending that you get the hang ofcondoms by rolling them down over abanana.Other self-help books suggest turning thecondom moment into a sexy one, by askingyour partner to help put it on. Again, I amforced to laugh in the face of such advice.Condoms just aren’t sexy. Not even banana-flavoured ones. You will always turn tofingers and thumbs when putting one on.When it comes to condoms, you are forevera petrified teenager. 42An Idiot’s Guide to SexLovebitesTeenagers wear their lovebites with pride.It is an essential clause of the heavy pettingcontract that you should walk away from aromantic encounter with several purplebruises on your neck. The coy will wear ascarf for the next few days, but any teenagerworth their salt will recklessly leave theirshirt collar gaping for all to see their badgesof honour.Adults also like lovebites (the suburbanversion of S&M), but tend to request theirdelivery to parts of the body that can beeasily covered up. If your partner tries togive you a lovebite on the neck, sack himimmediately. If you ever do spot an adultsporting an obvious lovebite, you can safelyassume that they have recently left theirlong-term partner and are rediscovering thejoys of reckless sex. Sad, then, that they 43An Idiot’s Guide to Sexshould have so little imagination as toequate reckless sex with, um, lovebites.Sex In PublicMost teenagers become accustomed to anaudience when indulging in a sexual act.The only time they have the opportunityto get it on is usually at house parties wherethere is a limited opportunity for privacy.Because of this, it is quite common to seerows of couples on the living-room floorlike sardines in a tin, all fumbling andgroping after the requisite consumption ofdry cider.There are always a few sad boys who havefailed to pull and it will be their role towatch proceedings and report back to therest of the school on Monday. On such abasis the reputations of thousands of 44An Idiot’s Guide to Sexteenage girls and boys are broken (orimmortalised) forever.And so, twenty years on, crammed at theback of the adult mind is the thought thatsex in public places is, well, groovy baby.Such exhibitionism is not part of an eroticthrill – the danger of being discovered isn’tsuch a big one. Any stranger happeningacross your coupling will probably just turnround and walk away. No, this is all aboutthe desire to return to our teenage selveswhen sex was exciting and fun. It’s called,‘Let’s pretend I’m still young’. And if youneed to have sex in a park to recreate thefantasy of youth, I recommend plasticsurgery. Much more dignified. And you won’tbe recognised if you are caught doing it ina park. 45An Idiot’s Guide to SexTweaking and TuggingOh dear. There’s so much that goes onbetween a teenage couple that’s reallyrather painful. In our teens we’re justdiscovering the beauty of the sexual act,but we operate as though we’re still playingwith Lego. In other words, we’re clumsybuggers. Teenage boys think that nipplesare there to be twisted like a couple ofvolume dials. Teenage girls are almostequally hopeless, as they pull about bits oftheir partner’s body with all the dexterityand gentleness of an ape. I sometimeswonder why we didn’t all vow to turn ourbacks on sex forever. And yet, and yet . . .Down the years we discover that thegentle touch is the route to seduction. Well,some of us do. Some of us are still mistakingcries of pain for shouts of ecstasy. Well,listen up! Clean out your ears! If your 46An Idiot’s Guide to Sexpartner refuses to speak to you after a sexsession, perhaps you need to stop and thinkabout what you’re doing wrong.MasturbationLet’s face it, this topic almost deserves achapter all to itself. How can I write aboutthe teenager without mentioningmasturbation? Teenage boys masturbateapproximately twenty times a day. (Perhapsmore, perhaps less: I just made that figureup.) Teenage girls swear blind that theywouldn’t know how to, and definitely neverhave. But masturbation fulfils an essentialfunction in the life of a teenager. It stopsthem from exploding and gives themsomething to do during history lessons.So how does this affect our adult selves?Well, we might masturbate a little less oftenbut the same rules still apply. It gives us 47An Idiot’s Guide to Sexsomething to do. Masturbation is basicallya comfort blanket for grown-ups, remindingus that a tiny part of that teenage lust forsex is still with us. And with maturity comesthe realisation that nobody does it betterfor you than you!Nobody Understands MeIt’s not easy being a teenager – your body’sgoing through loads of really weird changes,at a time when you’re desperate to appearirresistible to the opposite sex. You feelcompletely alienated towards pretty mucheverybody and think you’re the only onewho knows what it truly means to becompletely miserable.But it is at this point that some luckyteenagers also discover that life’s not allbad. Your skin may be bad, your hair greasy 48An Idiot’s Guide to Sex– but then you find someone to go out withwho also has greasy hair and bad skin. Theyeven like the same bands as you, and guesswhat? They write bad poetry, too. Bizarrely,in the midst of the worst teenage angst,some people have the chance to spend timewith someone they like to call their‘soulmate’. Of course, in a couple of yearsyou’ll dump them for someone moregorgeous – but in the meantime, it’s greatto find someone to join you in your torturedisolation.This is probably the only time in yourlife when you’ll feel totally in sync withanother human being. Because given a fewyears (usually after you’ve first beendumped), you’ll realise that we’re all justlonely beings who happen to be sharingthe same planet. Most people are vicious,selfish brutes who laugh in the face of your 49An Idiot’s Guide to Sexpain. But at least for a short while youdiscovered one of the nice sides of sex –someone who’s there to keep you companyand put a bucket by the side of the bedwhen you’re drunk. Which leads us nicelyinto the next chapter. A chapter thatexplores the full horror of the single lifeand why you’re one of the millions of peoplesat reading this book on their own. Don’tworry, you’re not a freak. So, why do youfeel like one? Well, despair no more. I amhere to help you understand that beingsingle doesn’t mean that you’re sad. Just abit pathetic. 50An Idiot’s Guide to SexCHAPTER THREEAm I The Only Single Person I Know?Many people feel like idiots in the world ofsex because they haven’t done it for a while.They haven’t had anyone to practise on.Some of us can even forget what it’s like tofeel sexy. You usually first notice this lackof sex appeal on a Sunday afternoon in aDIY store. You look down at your feet andrealise that you’re still wearing yourslippers. 51An Idiot’s Guide to SexIf this has ever happened to you, then I’mafraid you only have yourself to blame.You’ve been letting yourself go. Use thefollowing checklist to see if you’re a slobwho deserves to be single.Which of the following apply to you?KYou can’t remember when you lastwashed your bed linen.KYou have bought an Indian meal forone from the supermarket in the pastmonth.KYou would not allow people to seeyour underwear.KYour toenails need cutting.KYou can no longer see your kitchenbin for all the rubbish.KYou’re on first name terms with thepizza-delivery man. 52An Idiot’s Guide to SexKYou watch the Family Affairs omnibuson a Sunday.The kernels from the facial scrub yougave yourself last week still line thesink.KIf one or more of the above apply to you,then you deserve to be single. Who in theirright mind is going to date someone withsuch shocking personal hygiene?These are just a few of the characteristicsthat mark out the sad single person. Butbelieve me, there’s a multitude of otherdanger signs to alert you to the presenceof a socially unacceptable nerd . . .Independent StreakYou can always spot a single person by theirability to perform almost any function inlife without the helping hand of a partner. 53An Idiot’s Guide to SexTypically, and infuriatingly, these peoplehave no problem with walking into a pubor party on their own. They take holidayson their own and even choose their ownfood in the supermarket. They laugh in theface of your worries when you have to dealwith the horror of a weekend withoutcompany. If these people are getting youdown, it’s easy to put them in their place.Just ask them if they also enjoy drinkingon their own. Vast quantities of wine. That’llshut the smug blighters up!MoneySingle people usually have more money tospend than their friends and colleaguesbecause they don’t have some waste-of-space partner sponging off them or draggingthem down with their debts. You’ll see these 54An Idiot’s Guide to Sexsingle people recklessly spending onclothes, books, nights out and fresh pasta.It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Ifyou have a friend who’s single, take fulladvantage of their financial good healthby ‘forgetting’ your purse whenever you goout with them. Not only will you get a fewfree nights out, but just when you get sickof being associated with a single personyou’ll find that they have mysteriouslystopped phoning.Social LifeSingle people often have a very busy sociallife, or work very late in the office. This isbecause they can’t face the beast ofloneliness that’s waiting for them at home.Of course, you may envy them this beastwhen confronted with the couch potato thatis your partner. If you start to get a bit 55An Idiot’s Guide to Sexdown looking at the sexpot on the sofa,you can always make yourself feel betterby imagining your single friend’s home life.At this very moment, they are probablysobbing into their jumper at the desperateemptiness of their nest. (Or they might bewatching Eastenders with a glass of wine,the phone switched off and that infuriatingsmug smile on their face.)A Young OutlookIt is particularly frustrating, upon meetingan old friend who’s still single, to see howin touch they are with youth culture. Bythis, I mean that they know what’s in thealbum charts, are wearing combat trousersand have their hair all spiky. Of course, yougave up on fashion years ago and your lastCD purchase was Phil Collins. You don’t needto look groovy and interesting anymore, 56An Idiot’s Guide to Sexbecause you bagged your piece of the actionyears ago and they’re sitting at home. That’sright, the couch potato.At this point, you may be tempted toindulge in the sin of envy. Don’t! Indulgein the sin of cattiness instead and mutterthings like, ‘Mutton dressed as lamb’, ‘Nospring chicken’ and ‘I thought theKajagoogoo look went out with the Eighties’.You’ll have lost a friend, but restored yoursense of worth.Sex and the Single PersonOf course, the subject that fascinates usis: how do single people get their rocksoff? Are they all having a shagtastic timewith loads of really groovy people ...

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