AA Gill On...Sex (Part Deux)

Our resident agony uncle tackles those issues you were afraid to ask anyone else

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Dear Uncle Dysfunctional,

I was driving to work. It was the rush hour. I was late. I left my husband eating muesli and listening to the breakfast show on Good Morning Bristol, in his dressing gown. I was on the one-way bit in the town centre, where there's a tricky filter by the bus station when the car died – just stopped. Didn't even cough. Just stopped. Nothing. Right in the middle of the road. In the rush hour. Everyone was honking and shouting, so I got out and ran home. I just ran home. As I opened the door and went into the kitchen, there was my husband, dressed in a girl's school uniform with a clip-on ponytail, giving oral sex to a very fat Chinese man. Actually, a Malaysian of Chinese descent, I found out later. He was very upset – my husband, not the Malaysian – he said he'd never done this before and it was an aberration, and perhaps he was depressed, or there was something in the muesli, and he'd get help. I must say, I found that difficult to believe. You don't just stumble upon a schoolgirl's uniform and think, "I wonder if it fits." And then, "Oh my, it does fit. And now I have an overwhelming desire to fellate an obese Oriental." Apparently, it was the first time he'd done it in the kitchen. Normally he uses the garage or the spare bedroom, but the Chinaman-slash-Malaysian was peckish, and wanted some toast and Nutella whilst having his willy licked. And that's when I lost it. "We haven't got any Nutella," I exclaimed. "It's on my list." At this point, my husband said he was going to kill himself and locked himself in the cupboard under the stairs. The Chinese-slash-Malaysian man said I owed him 50 quid, and if it wasn't Nutella, then what was on his toast. Please, can you help?

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– Stella, via email

Stella,

There are a number of reasons a car could just stop like that. First thing: did you check there was petrol in the tank? You might have just run out. You didn't mention if it's an automatic or a manual. I'm assuming it's automatic, in which case it's probably an electrical fault, possibly a blown fuse. The fuse box is most likely in the glove compartment. Did you try to take the key out and then put it in again? Sometimes it just needs to restart. If none of these worked, you're best to call one of the roadside assistance services. If you don't know if you're already a member, you can check with your insurer. Often, membership comes with your policy. By the way, what was on the toast?

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Dear Uncle Dysfunctional,

Do you think that using a prostitute should be made illegal?

– Alex, Stoke Newington

Dear Alex,

This is just another of our deeply weird civic relationships with other people's bits. It would then be legal to sell sex but not buy it. Do you think we might do that with drugs? Or guns? Why is selling sex different from selling your love and nurturing instincts by being a nanny? The worst thing about prostitution is the lack of respect and opprobrium, and the pity and the assumptions that are piled onto prostitutes. If you're now shouting, "What about trafficking? What about the violence? And what about pimping?" Well, they are already illegal. Whatever the trade, it's a crime – trafficking brussels sprout pickers is illegal. And hurting anyone is plainly illegal. Pimps aren't exempt from complying with health and safety, and employment law. The root cause of all the dangers and misery of prostitution is because society despises prostitutes and the men who use them. So I wouldn't make any of it illegal but what I would do is insist that anyone who used a prostitute had to work as a prostitute once a year, just to see what it was like. There should be an annual "Take Your Punter to Work" day. Men who've bought sex will have to sell sex: a hand job, perhaps, an assisted shower, perhaps pissing on a stressed farmer, turning up to a footballers' spit roast. The answer to all of society's prurience, embarrassment and censoriousness is not less sex, it's more sex. Not publicly managed and approved sex, but freedom from collective judgment sex about who you do it with, how often you have it and who you have it with. Also, how you charge for it: whether you take cash upfront or wait till after the wedding; whether you exchange it for housekeeping, protection and mutual vanity, or for a standing order. Anyone who thinks that all sex that isn't philanthropic or altruistic should be criminalised has no sense of biology or economics. There is also something to be said about making everyone file audited sexual accounts each year, which we could all then go and look up at Companies House.

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MORE AA GILL

Sex
Misogyny
Being Assertive Between The Sheets
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