:: Article

Adolescent Sex – Pistols

By Andy Blade.

You would need a damn good reason, welded onto solid gold motivation to even think about challenging the morals of the Western World, which is why, as a rule, it is probably best not to bother. Likewise, to even consider opening the box labelled ‘Early Sexual Encounters’, you’d have to be certified insane. There are so many minefields to avoid, you could end up in pieces merely for discussing such personal content openly, which is why, as a topic, it is generally rendered untouchable in the polite society in which we live. Of course, our society is not really all that ‘polite’ at all although it likes to think it is — but when you scratch the surface, when you look at what’s going on around us in this civil society we so enjoy with its porn sites dedicated to ‘rape enactment’, and the gradual, but relentless sexualisation of young children, as depicted in a variety of media, or the violent, misogynistic culture that permeates the ‘polite’ rap music they absorb. When you take a good look around, you start to get a realistic handle on what their understanding of ‘polite society’ is actually all about.

There are, and have always been, those who cannot help but speak when not required to do so. These miscreants serve to undermine and subvert society’s imaginary, bullshit notion of ‘politeness’. Which can only be a very good thing. The worlds of Literature, Politics, Music, and Art, depend on freedom of expression and the right to challenge the status quo — even (some might say ‘especially’) if it courts controversy. Why then, do its purveyors, so often wind up in hot water with a media whose preoccupation with condemnation and political posturing knows no bounds, particularly when out of their depth? It’s much easier that way as it requires zero research to pontificate wildly.

The recent story concerning the married DJ couple, Tony and Julie Wadsworth, is a good example of our predilection for presenting titillating stories, dressed up in faux outrage. That it was a ‘hot blonde’ or ‘Nympho-MILF’, co-ordinating the sessions, makes it that much more palatable somehow, than had it been her husband boning teenage girls in front of her. There’s something ‘okay’ about it being the other way around. Yes, it muddies the water slightly that her masturbating husband would get his jollies off observing the whole thing, but I’m sure he considered it a fair exchange for having loaned out his wife in the first place.

Compare that story, then, with the outright crucifixion thrust upon Milo Yiannopolous, for recounting various details of his formative sexual experiences. Mistake number one was mentioning — as a fourteen year old — how he considered his school teacher ‘hot’, that he not only manipulated him into getting ‘noticed’, but enjoyed it when he finally responded to Milo’s precocious badgering. Or, at age seventeen, how he considered it an honour to be ‘mentored’ by a priest at boarding school — even when said ‘mentoring’ included oral sex tutelage. I doubt he even anticipated the outrage it supposedly triggered in his detractors, leading to the cancellation of a prestigious book deal, the pulling of an invitation to speak at NPAC, and a host of other unpleasant stuff he could no doubt have done without. Not everyone, it appears, agrees that taboo subjects need dragging into the sunlight, especially if it is the ‘wrong’ kind of interaction. A horny, mature blonde, satisfying her lust by feasting on young lads, fulfils a titillation quota , whilst any other variation, is to be condemned, outright.

Milo’s account was undoubtedly the wrong kind of story. Worse still, by failing to comprehensively condemn his ‘abuser/s’, Milo has broken a cardinal sin. The lack of vengeful thoughts, and absence of any hysterical claim of victimhood angers those who prefer to keep their heads in the sand. I mean, really: what kind of fool does not exploit victimhood to the max these days? Not when there are a multitude of lobbyists, pressure groups, fundraisers and Mumsnet, to hysterically carry you through the stream, to the pot of compensation gold on the other side. Whilst it in no way makes it okay for an adult to take advantage of a teenager, and whilst I firmly tick the box marked ‘I condemn all forms of child abuse’, there exist amongst us, believe it or not, a percentage of wildly precocious adolescent kids will often furtively furrow their own path, be it by chance, or design. The problem is, we are not supposed to admit this. We are not even asked to try and understand the circumstances of any given case, hence they are routinely ignored, or discouraged. The reason for this, is often because of an aversion to employing empathetic language when prevaricating on such a heated topic. The standard procedure, when discussing a reprehensible, or even just an uncomfortable human trait, is to unconditionally express outright condemnation. No ifs, no buts. No matter that it demands a more thoughtful approach. If it feels uncomfortable: condemn it. Ignore the fact that we all share a certain understanding of the troublesome, often traumatic time of life known as adolesence, yet we tend to keep our early sexual thoughts and experiences to ourselves. Not necessarily because of anything weird, kinky or embarrassing, but because it is no one else’s business.

In 1977, I was a little bit older than Milo, at fifteen years old. Unlike him, I was not attracted to men, neither did I fancy my ‘abuser’ — whom I shall henceforth refer to as N. I use the term abuser lightly, not because I don’t consider it serious enough an event, but because I am still confused as to what it constituted outside the accepted perception of events — although her partner’s part in the proceedings, I have no problem in describing as abuse.

One cliche that needs dismantling is the idea that all adolescent boys are up for a bit of slap and tickle with an older woman. In the same way that most teenage temptresses would see right through an older guy’s chat up lines, or balk at the idea of getting intimate with a paunchy, middle-aged married man, the same too, applies to their male counterparts. So, despite N being a leggy, blonde rock chick, I was not in the slightest bit interested in her. It wasn’t just one thing that put me off her, but a litany of minor complaints, including being too old, and wearing the same perfume as my mother — a passion killer if ever there was one. The fact that I was a boy with hormones on fire, and she an attractive woman, makes zero difference in the eyes of the law, but in the court of public opinion, it changes quite a lot. It makes a scenario such as this, all the more palatable for public consumption. The defining difference between my experience and the above examples, is that both Milo, and the group of Mrs Wadworth’s ‘lucky boys’, were keen, and I was not. They didn’t need much, if any, coaxing, or manipulating. It’s likely that the boys were plied with alcohol and drugs, as I had been, in my case out of sheer necessity. They found their molesters attractive; I found mine replulsive. The law is one thing, but on a human level, it really does make all the difference.

N’s statuesque proportions, blonde mane of hair, prominent hooter, and husky German accent, made her sound and look like something out of the movie Cabaret — to me at least. Why my friends did not understand my objections to canoodling with what looked very much like a ten-foot tranny, I didn’t get. For them, it was a misnomer: how on earth could a red-blooded young man turn down the proverbial sexy older woman? Had I not seen Mrs Robinson? Did I not follow schoolboy folklore? To them it made no sense. It irritated me too, that I remained so omnipotently unmoved by her.

As a young wannabe pop star, it would have been very convenient to have her on my side, with the long list of conquests and connections she’d made over the years. Indeed, her current boyfriend, whom she would later marry, was the figurehead of the burgeoning Punk Rock movement that had recently exploded onto the London music scene. Winning the trust of VIPs, my manager explained to me, was an essential pursuit, a perk of the trade, if you will, because, as we all know, a gift horse should never be looked in the mouth. I could sense how serious he was about this, constantly on the lookout for a good press angle by which to sell my band, as he was. His association with Malcolm McLaren, the notorious Sex Pistols manager, had given him ideas, but whereas McLaren was an intelligent guy, our manager wasn’t.

I wouldn’t — or couldn’t — be convinced. Not even after being kidnapped by N, on the pretext of giving me a lift home one night from the infamous Roxy club, after losing the rest of my band, and lift home with it. No matter who she knew, or what she had — be it a car, millions of pounds in the bank, a house with a spare bedroom, booze and drugs on tap — none of that mattered. Yes she had all of those things, and more but, call me squeamish if you like, she also had man’s hands, spoke like an SS officer, and for all I knew, had a cock the size of a jackboot. I was never going to be a willing partner. The more I tried to make this clear to her, the more she was determined to add me to her book of conquests. Her book of conquests was a real book. A small red notebook, with autographs, sketches, poems, limericks dreamt up by her bedmates, immortalised in print on the night the seduction took place. Before the next morning, my name, and a short message would appear within its pages: ‘HELP!’

As soon as we’d arrived back at hers, I told her I was so exhausted, I had to go to bed. The less room to wriggle, I figured, the better. It was the small hours by now, and I had to catch the first train home in approximately three hours’ time so that I wouldn’t get into trouble for missing school the next day.

‘No problem!’ She said, arousing my suspicions, rather than dispelling them. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I’d resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be getting away with this completely scot free. She wouldn’t have gone this far without a prize of some sort. As I suspected, only fifteen minutes later, the bedroom door inched open, and before I knew it, she was sitting next to me on the bed.

‘You don’t have to do anything at all, Andy,’ she whispered, removing my trousers, ‘lie back and think of England.’

I followed her instruction, thankful that her words matched the lines in my already prepared mental script, namely, that I didn’t have to actually touch her. Although it felt wrong, which in turn made it also feel creepy, her enthusiastic skills provided me with an unwanted, yet weirdly enjoyable ten minutes, before I dropped off into a fitful sleep.

An hour or so later, I was woken up by yet another odd sensation, that of warm liquid dribbling down my face. I opened my eyes — they stung like hell, so I quickly shut them again. I tried again; no change. Standing above me, urinating on my face was N’s fiance — the King of the Punks himself, and a couple of his court jesters. Whilst it might have come as no surprise to my tormentors, human urine makes a surprisingly effective pepper spray. I honestly thought I’d been blinded for good, convinced as I was, at first, that it was bleach they were using. Thank God it’s only urine, I thought, as the revolting odour of piss disappeared up my nose.

Things were going from bad to worse. I wished I’d listened to my instincts and walked home from the Roxy when I had the chance. To be fair to her, I don’t think my seducer had any idea her boyfriend would be sneaking into the house at such a late hour. Nor, I imagine, would she have guessed his strangely sinister behaviour. By the sound of glee in his voice, and his apparent over-excitement, I imagine that even she was surprised as to his peculiar form of pleasure seeking. I was angry that she hadn’t warned me of the likelihood of this unexpected visit. if I’d known he had a key, that this was his second home, and that there was a strong possibility he might let himself in whilst we slept, I would have walked home from the Roxy hours ago.

The fun and games didn’t stop there, however. Suddenly I found myself being pelted by heavy objects: ornaments, a pair of scissors, and a stone Buddha statuette. I considered throwing it back from whence it came, but not wanting to up the ante anymore than necessary, I held it over my face for protection, which had the effect of increasing my attackers’ roars of laughter.

If you’re trying to wonder what it must do to the head of a naive young kid, to be taken advantage of, and then attacked by a bunch of psychotic-looking crazy people, the answer is: absolutely fucking terrifying. I thought my time had come. I was actually trying to remember prayers I’d been taught as a kid, in a sudden bid to find God, and get help. To die on the floor of a rock chick’s bedroom, like a trophy at the feet of the King and Queen of Punk Rock, wasn’t how I’d expected my life to turn out. It wasn’t the worst of rock ‘n’ roll deaths, by a long chalk, if only by virtue of its oddness, but still.

What effects then, if any, has the experience had on my life, and has it impacted on my relationships with women? Annoyingly, I don’t really know the answer to that. Perhaps it’s not just coincidence that, like Milo, I also became very promiscuous, developed a certain fixation for oral displays of ‘love’, with the propensity to let someone else do all the work in bed. It would appear logical that such a knock-on effect would occur when considering your first sexual experience. It is a topic worthy of further investigation I think, but I’m glad to say I never developed a fondness for post-coital aggression.

Certainly you couldn’t accuse either Milo or myself of suffering from low self-esteem as a result of what happened all those years ago, and surely, if people are brave enough or willing to speak up, it can only be a helpful thing. Milo’s fans know him well enough, though, and I doubt they were surprised that instead of condemning what happened to him — he professes to not only have encouraged the ‘tutelage’, but to have enjoyed it too, his abuser/sexual mentor being ‘hot’. The shade of grey presented by making such a statement, causes enormous problems in the black and white world in which we live, where we are asked not to pontificate too deeply over the more uncomfortable aspects of the human condition, especially this highly charged, inflammatory one. Rather than waste words condemning Milo Yiannopolous, time might have been better spent explaining why and how the ‘Gay Scene’ is so very different to the heterosexual ‘romance’ model so many of us grew up with.To pretend we live in a world where every situation one encounters, and everything we do, is essentially governed by the same principles, no matter where you may be coming from, is to be ignorant. It would also be to deny common sense and logic — an immensely popular pursuit, at this time, it would appear.

Possessing a better understanding of the machinations behind different types of abuse, and the motivations behind it, doesn’t hinder, rather it helps. It does not ‘enable’ paedos (as was one of the charges against Milo), any more than the Bible incites incest, or wearing hair-straightening products makes you Michelle Obama. That is not to deny the existence of some very sick people out there, but what is important to remember is that they would always have been there, no matter what, because, believe it or not, the human race is flawed and produces anomalies, both negative and positive on a vast, sliding scale. Get over it. We don’t need more hysteria. What we need is to learn how to resist the perfectly natural urge not to respond over-emotionally. So many of us have children of our own, younger siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. We can instantly relate to this most vile of perceived scenarios, and thus we are ultra empathetic: it could’ve been my son/daughter, you can’t help but think, as an image too terrible to so much as visualise, looms into view. A visualisation guaranteed to bring down the red mist, which is the worst time you can ever attempt to rationalise or understand a situation. In my experience, when you are out of your mind with anger, grief or fear, the best thing to do, before taking any action, is to wait. When my daughter was ten or eleven, she went missing whilst out walking with the dog with my then other half. It was only for a short while, but after receiving a panicked call from my wife, as I drove to the woods where they’d been walking, in between blind panic, I considered what I would do if faced with whoever it was had taken her. All of a sudden, I was Liam Neeson, on my way to rid the world of yet another scumbag nonce. Thank God, it was a false alarm. Vengeance is just as much a part of being human as islibido. Recognising why allowances are made for certain aspects of the human condition, for example; a ‘crime of passion’, provides us with good insight into why it might make sense to extend the prism, through which we examine such behaviours when considering a custodial sentence for the guy who walked in on his wife and her lover. Not so as to provide an excuse, or to avoid punishment — but to further our understanding in the hope of effectively tackling the more uncomfortable heinous of crimes.

I think it says a lot that people in general, find it far easier to put themselves in the position of the parent of an abducted child, than the parent of an abuser, because rather than stirring up the herd instinct — let’s get a mob together, and go sort us out some justice! — it forces parents to try to understand where it all went wrong, and instead of desiring retribution, one craves understanding. Statistically, most abusers were themselves, once abused, and are now caught in a cycle of perversion — seemingly inescapable. I wouldn’t want to wish an attraction to children on my worst enemy.

Trying to make sense out of our sometimes frenetic, traumatic lives, is a hard enough task in itself, without having to have the details run by a PC panel before one can move on. Being open about personal experiences, in a world that encourages deceit and suppression, is not a dangerous thing to do, it is a brave thing to do.

Andy Blade was lead singer with legendary punk band, Eater. He is the author of The Secret Life of a Teenage Punk Rocker: The Andy Blade Chronicles, one of the very best punk memoirs ever written. A new audio version is now available — for details: andyblade1@yahoo.co.uk. His latest solo album, Plastic Penny & the Strange Wooden Horse is available here.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, June 30th, 2017.