It’s said that the 70’s was the decade fashion passed by, from my perspective the 80’s was the decade sex passed by..
It’s interesting how times and attitudes change over the course of ones life.. I’ll be 50 next year and my ideas are somewhat different from the ones I had when I was in my 20’s. At home in Norn Iron during the 80’s it was damn near impossible to engage in rumpy-pumpy with a member of the opposite sex, very different from now. You had to be dating for a very long time and even then… the running joke at the time was ‘What’s the definition of a Belfast brothel? Four sheep tied to a lamp post.. (apologies to all sheep lovers out there!) …(but you REALLY ought to get a proper girlfriend!). The norm was one needed to be seriously engaged before one got past first base as our American cousins call it.
Of course we all bragged about how many times we were doing ‘it’ with some non-existent girlfriend and at that age one was basically a walking erection, full of hormones and with only photos of bare breasted Maasai woman in National Geographic to provide some relief. Rather ironically, we had the Sunday Observance Society that made sure all the large chains of shops were closed on Sundays but one could buy a copy of Playboy from the local newsagent (but not a bible) on a Sunday.
That, in itself, was a challenge because everybody knew everybody else in the community, the local newsagent was on first name basis with your Ma and Dad, it’s where they got their fags (cigarettes!) from on a Sunday. So going in to buy a copy of Playboy was wrought with difficulty, one had to buy up lots of other useless magazines including Popular Mechanic’s Today, Woman’s Own and Country Houses Monthly and deftly insert a copy of Playboy in there as well, hoping of course that the newsagent wouldn’t say anything or he wouldn’t want to lose such a big sale.
Naturally what happened more often than not (I had ‘lots’ of practise!) was a number of things, the newsagent would see the mag and give you a withering look that said ‘wanker’ as you stood there sheepishly and shamefaced, or he’d ask your age as one had to be over 21 to buy adult mags, he’d make a big song and dance about it holding up the offending magazine and it was usually this point that your next door neighbour would walk in at that very same second to witness all this and frown on you even more, or worse the newsagent would unexpectedly take a break just as you placed all your mags on the counter and his daughter would take over serving, the same daughter you’ve had a crush on since you were seven and now she’s about to see what a perv you are and will tell all her girlfriends in the local watering hole.. I’m pretty sure that newsagent never actually sold a single copy of Playboy in his entire life.
It was the same when one went into Boots The Chemist to buy some Frenchies, our usual term for condoms, the same rigmarole, buy lots of useless junk along with a three packet of Frenchies only to have the same look from the Pharmacist, or you’d get someone evil who would process all your useless goods, get to the condoms and shout out (so loud that the whole store could hear) to the manager standing only two feet away “Mr Smith…Mr Smith.. how much are the three packs of Durex’s?”, every customer, including the ever present next door neighbour, would glare, mumble to the nearest person and point at you like some Zombie extra in the Thriller video, “him! HIM… HE’S the ONE..”, not that you really noticed as one was too busy feverishly praying for a big hole to open up in front of you and swallow you up..
I’m telling ya, those sheep looked more and more attractive each day… baaaaaaaa..