I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of rugged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
Dorothy MacKellar (1904)
A most dreadful thing happened this week. A truly horrifying, cover-your-mouth-to-contain-the-rising-bile event. It wasn't that a kitten died in my toilet, nor that I confused my hair product with my facial cream. No, much worse than these; I realised that it has been over a year since I last got laid.
That's right. Over. A. Year. 365 nights alone. 31536000 passionless seconds. One trip around the sun without so much as a fumble in the dark to pass the time.
Now many of you – ladies, I'm talking to you here – may not think that this is such a long time. How sweet, you gush, that he should wait with patience and quietude, savouring his celibacy like an overripe plum bursting with summer juices. Inco-fucking-rrect. Not only is this state of affairs messing with my similes, what you also fail to realise is that Time Without Sex for a gay man has the same multiplication factor as dog years. With this in mind I have actually been without rompy pompy for seven years, from the ages of 30 to 37. Or as The Sister once delicately put it, “I've been without a root for so long my viginity's grown back.” Noice.
To explain how this situation came about, we need a bit of Exposition. If I were to indulge my inner geek and write in sonata form I'd also need some Development and Recapitulation, preferably with the latter occurring into the toned arms of a nude hottie... mmm, naked Recapitulation....
Apologies. I digress.
Right. Exposition. I moved to the West Country 12 months ago to work on a product design business with The Midget Boy and Straight Best Friend. We got a house together in a village so small it only has one street, and there is a sign on the church noticeboard that says “Found in village – one horse. If owner please call number below.” I kid you not. We have three chickens, a brown labrador, an ancient black cat and a stream of elderly dependents who pop around bearing marrows when we are trying to work. Straight Best Friend hisses, throws tea in their faces and tells them to fuck off, but they giggle good-naturedly at the antics of youth and come back the next day with more oversized garden produce.
There are a variety of issues inherent in this situation.
Problem no. 1: Working from home. This provides no opportunities for meeting new people, such as through casual spillages on to the cute chap who sits next to the water cooler. Not now that The Midget Boy has started wearing an anorak indoors anyway.
Problem no. 2: Bath. My nearest city only has one gay bar. Apparently the only homos in town are wealthy retirees who sit at home counting their serfs, or 18 year old drama students. The gay bar caters to the latter, all of whom appear to all be auditioning for the title role in “Gollum: Queen of Mordor.” It is all most distressing.
Problem no. 3: I am returning to live in Australia at the end of this year. Like Ms MacKellar I too love a sunburnt country, and more to the point I miss my family. Knowing you are about to uproot your life and dump it on a big red rock on the other side of the globe kinda takes the sheen off the desire to go out and find Mr Right.
However, like any well-developed essay this neatly segues us to the true horror of my situation. For when I return to OZ I shall be working like a dog to get a little design project off the ground, and to finance this I shall be moving back in with my parents. For up to 18 months.
If we make the wild assumption that I won't be getting any while living in a rural town famed for its annual Wool Expo, while sleeping in a bedroom next to my parent's, then we arrive at the following numerical horrorshow:
Elapsed Time Without Shag: 12 months
Remaining Shag-Free Time In The UK Living In An Episode Of The Good Life: 6 months
Proposed Time Living Celibate Under Close Parental Scrutiny: 18 months
Total Time Without Shag: 3 years.
Take into account the Gay Man's Adjustment factor and I shall be celibate for the years from 30 to 51.
Truly this is the kind of drought Dorothy was writing about. I just hope the flooding rains come while the mountain ranges are still rugged, rather than sporting ear hair and a paunch.