I look forward to reading the Dad Rules column in the Sunday Times each week. Back in April, Andrew Clover, he who is Dad Rules, wrote an article about trying to have sex with his wife, which was one of the funniest things I have read in a long time…funny because I found it so true to life, although without the added bonus for me of the manic tidying by husband.
10 pm. Kitchen. I’m reading an article to my wife. “The average married couple,” I announce, “have sex five times a month.” “What!” she says. “That’s more than once a week! We do it five times a year!” “Darling,” I say, “we need to get our average up.” “Do you want to do it twice in one night?” she challenges. “I always want that,” I reply. “But only before we do it the first time.” She laughs. Then she snogs me.
That’s confusing. She is luscious, she’s sexy, she’s a real, live, genuine lady. But she’s doing that thing of retreating her tongue, making me stretch for it. I feel as if I’m reaching in the cellar for the mop. Plus, she’s blocking my good nostril, so I can’t breathe. I’m not against French kissing, but I’m not prepared to drown. We keep kissing. And, then, something happens inside — the little love buzz at the base of my rude area. “Baby,” I whisper. “The rocket is on the launch pad once more. Let’s probe for Planet Love.” “Okay,” she breathes.” But could you quickly tidy?”
What?!? There’s loads of tidying. But I am a rocket. I blast through it. I press dishwasher buttons. I wipe the sink. I even remove the wet onion hanging from the plughole. Then I run upstairs. She’s in the bath. Good. The Hoover is out. Less good. She could so easily rise from the bath, then be seized with the desire to Hoover. That must not happen. I Hoover. I put on my show pants — the black Calvin Kleins. I leap into bed. Then I realise I’ve not cleaned myself. I run downstairs and shower. When I return, the light’s out. I get in and shuffle over the bump that marks the edge of my territory. She kisses my hand, holds it round her, and hums sleepily. Is that foreplay, or cuddling. There’s no time for cuddling. I touch her breasts. She slaps them off. I touch her stomach. It’s soft and womanly and gorgeous. “Leave me there,” she says. “I feel fat.” “For God’s sake,” I want to say, “can we agree, now, on all zones that are out of bounds?” This is the trouble with our sex life. She gives notes; I sulk. If she wants to dominate, I reckon, that’s fine, I’ll be her slave. But if I’m the chef, she can’t keep nipping to the kitchen and changing the recipe. I cuddle her. This is love I’m showing her, not just lust.
I reckon one minute should do it. Then I send in the ground crew once again. Engines are roaring. It’s blast-off time. Ten. Nine. I kiss her cheek. Eight. Seven. I touch a buttock. Six. There’s no response. Five. She snores. Four. She’s really snoring.
Three. She’s flatlined. She’s gone. Houston, we have a problem