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Headaches

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 4 December 1986

... Men are the ones that have the headaches now. Back in my mother’s day, when girls said no most of the time, they were all after it – or so they said – in pain with their erections. But now we call their bluff by answering yes, the truth is out – they want it less than us. Most of my female friends are on the pill, willing, good-looking too. What do we get? Men who can’t quite make up their tiny minds ...

Bond Girl

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 16 March 1989

... Back in my extra days, someone once swore she’d seen me in the latest James Bond film. I tried to tell her that they only hired the really glamorous leggy types for that. (My usual casting was ‘a passer-by’.) I’ve passed the lot in Pinewood Studios. It’s factory-like, grey aluminium, vast and always closed. Presumably that’s where they smash up all the speedboats, cars and bikes we jealous viewers never could afford ...

Virtuous Women

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 18 September 1986

... Virtuous women are those who do not sell themselves too cheap or give themselves for free. In Solomon, the virtuous woman’s price is set far above rubies, we all know. What kind of rubies though? Idol’s-eye-size? Or just small chips in an engagement ring? A friend of mine has got this man at work – her ‘sugar daddy’. He saves up for weeks to take her out for these expensive meals ‘The bill came to ninety-one quid,’ she wrote ...

Baby Doll

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 5 June 1986

... My cousin sent a baby doll for me – hairless and clammy, waxen yellowish-grey with sunken pale blue eyes and a mouth pursed for pouring water in so it came out through a small aperture between its legs. I called it Peter though it had no prick – it looked too ugly for a girl I thought. I used to fill it up and souse my lap. Sometimes I’d press its squashy latex head to force the liquid out at higher speed, yellowing the pee by adding mustard in, or making diarrhoea with chocolate milk ...

No Smoking

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 24 May 1990

... Lent is the time for cutting out what’s bad. I’ll give up going to bed with men who smoke, for that and other seasons of the year. Is it the taste? That’s not too bad as long as I don’t put my tongue into their mouths. The tiredness of their skin? Their bloodshot eyes? Is it the smell of fag-ash in my hair next day? Not really. That can be washed out ...

Swimming-Baths

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 20 June 1985

... In Acton, the Public Baths’ attendant was not the lifeguard type you might expect. You’d see his fishy, chlorinated eyes above the doors. He’d got it to an art – parading past the cubicles, checking the locks still worked, peering at ground level for extra pairs of feet. A serious few entered with a low dive, thrusting forward, their heads in wrinkled caps, their bodies smeared with Vaseline ...

‘Expense of Spirit’

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 9 January 1992

... Shakespeare’s a good psychologist,’ I’d said – a casual remark, post-mortemised by the historian I was talking to. ‘He couldn’t be – psychology’s a science that wasn’t even invented in his day ... Shakespeare showed feeling for his fellow man!’ (He told me what he thought I’d meant to say.) I felt the sofa wasn’t long enough for both of us and wished he’d go away ...

My Prickly Friend

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 8 October 1992

... Returning from a party late at night I went to use the basement loo and saw a mass of heaving spikes and bright black eyes and swore I’d never touch champagne again until I realised that it was real – a hedgehog struggling in the lavatory pan. I held a walking-stick – he grabbed the end and wrapped his body round it like a ball. (He didn’t smell too good when he came out ...

Dogs

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 13 June 1991

... Young men, like pups, can be somewhat unformed. Unless you’re certain of their pedigree, it’s hard to see how they’ll mature and grow. (Alsatians will fuck dachshunds now and then.) A man who has some mileage on the clock in theory would be best. You know the worst – how much his hair is likely to recede, his face to fold, as ‘character’ comes out ...

Two Poems

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 20 September 1984

... Sex Objects I learned from a friend’s porno mag that men can buy the better class of plastic doll (posh ones are hard and unyielding, not the pneumatic sort that fly from windows when they’re pricked), in slow instalments, torso first. Well-qualified in wanking, Mark saves up his pennies till they grow to pounds and then invests in Ingrid, just the body, for his carnal press-ups – a bit too flesh-pink for human, and she sports a ridgy seam where back meets front ...

Two Poems

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 17 October 1985

... Private Parts Pencil is less ambiguous than paint, incising hard lines round the genitals. I’ve seen art-students, broad-minded enough to talk naturally to naked models in their breaks from posing, become furtive as they draw a penis – men too. Often, like children cheating in exams, one hand shielded the other’s workings from all view. Others erased madly – they’d made it far too short or long, then, found they’d worked the paper to a grubby thinness there, or left black rubber pills like pubic lice ...

Two Poems

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 11 October 1990

... Blow Jobs You’d get more protein from the average egg; the taste’s a tepid, watery nothingness – skimmed milk? weak coffee? puréed cucumber? Fellation’s not a woman’s idea of fun. Just doing it as foreplay is OK. You kiss me, I’ll kiss you’s a quid pro quo – but carrying on until the buggers come – suck, suck, suck, suck for half a bloody hour! (I haven’t timed it but it feels that way ...

Two Poems

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 25 January 1990

... Entertaining I don’t like visitors. I meet my friends in pubs where others do the washing-up. A dinner-party’s my idea of hell. (Guests come to criticise I’ve learned that much.) All right – I compromise, and with a smile provide drinks, coffee and a home-made cake (when forced to it). But still I draw the line at full-blown meals – the planning’s difficult like simultaneous orgasm – meat and veg rarely arrive together or on time ...

Designer Sex

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 8 April 1993

... For D.) You’ve made yourself a master of the art of touch. You play me like an instrument. While I lie passively, as you prefer – eyes closed, you’d rather that I didn’t watch – your fingers (unobserved) combine to seem like other things. Your subtlety deceives. This time I’m on my front and sneak a look ... I see your hands, then the illusion breaks ...

Three Poems

Fiona Pitt-Kethley, 4 April 1985

... Paying for Sex A Hollywood actress who’d come to stay with a born-again film extra in Richmond asked where she could pay for sex in London. On being told that there was no such place, she asked: ‘How do you manage then?’ The answer is – we manage badly. Free sex is something like the NHS – months to get down to it with some coy types. And all the details that you have to tell! The form my mother filled for glasses was no worse ...

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