Time Out’s Executive Editor Michael Hodges has been dallying with danger so you don’t have to. This week’s thing not to do in London – No 210: Have five-way sex while seated.
My leg is caught in someone else’s sex party. Moments ago it was shaking vigorously as the band reached volume levels not experienced in this part of west London since Concorde flights from Heathrow were stopped. Then suddenly it was stilled, caught – along with the rest of me – in an unexpected orgy in Shepherd’s Bush.
The other participants in this orgy are two couples in their early thirties: a short man with a tall woman, and a tall woman with a short man. Arriving late an clutching armfuls of lager to their chests, they looked around the wide expanse of empty seats on the balcony and then, seeing that I was enjoying unimpeded views of the gig, headed straight for the area immediately in front of me.
To ensure they were blocking my view, the short woman took the far left-hand side, and the short man the right-hand side, so the tall man and the tall woman were forced to sit between the other two in the seats directly in front of me. Now I can still hear the band – people on nights out in Amsterdam and Edinburgh could still hear this band – but I can no longer see them. Instead, I have become an unwilling witness to a ferocious outbreak of face eating among these strangely matched couples, a frenzy of snogging and hair ruffling that only abates when they need lager, which they drink in great gulps before wiping their mouths and getting back down to it.
As they grind and pull at each other’s clothes, the row in front becomes a writhing snakepit of lager-fuelled libido. Such passions are not easily contained by flimsy social conventions, such as not having sex on a stranger’s lap at a British Sea Power gig. I must move before I’m engulfed, but the seats, along with the rest of the theatre, were designed for small Edwardians. I’m not a small Edwardian, and in order to get up I have to push myself forward, putting my head directly in the centre of the sex storm.
With no choice but remain in the seat, I watch with horrified fascination as a hand emerges from the tangle of limbs, hair and flying saliva, probing and searching until it reaches my leg. The wayward fingers belong to the short man; they are searching, as if he didn’t have enough on his plate with the tall woman, for the neck of the small woman. Thinking he has arrived at his destination, he doesn’t grab my lower limb but brushes against it fleetingly, to see if my leg is up for it. It isn’t. I jerk it wildly and catch the tall woman on the back of her head. She yelps and all of them turn round and scowl at me. I smile back at them, point at my leg and shout ‘My leg!’ The women shake their heads, both men grimace, but soon arousal overcomes anger and they return with renewed vigour to attacking each other in the face.
Few lovers, no matter how lithe, can keep up this sort of pace in such cramped conditions without spilling their drinks, and presently, the four stop writhing and pumping and hold a brief conference. The result of this is that the tall man and the tall woman get up to go for more drinks, scowling at me as they pass. They have only been gone for a minute when the small man, who is apparently insatiable, leaps on to the small woman. This is my chance: I launch myself forward in an attempt to escape. For the briefest of moments it might appear as if I am leaning forward to stare into the laps of the embracing couple in front of me. And it is at exactly this moment that the tall woman and the tall man return with the drinks. The five of us look at each other. The band gets louder.
Also not recommended…Four more seat-shaped fails
THE SPRINGING-UP SEAT: A free seat by the tube carriage door! You hurl your bum at it, only for it to rise as you descend. The result: you on the floor and much merriment among the commuters.
THE OFFICE CHAIR: Morning coffee at the desk and you discover a lever under the chair. What does it do? Easy: it hurls coffee over your lap
at the exact moment your line manager enters the room.
THE THAI BENCH: As a lone diner in a Thai restaurant you share a bench with five girls on a hen night. As one, they rise to give it the full ‘Gangnam Style’ and you are catapulted into the fish sauce.
THE SPANISH STOOL:
Tapas to the left of you, tapas to the right of you and, if you’re honest, a little too much rioja inside of you. You sway like a tree in a stiff Andalucian breeze. ‘Do you mind if I just reach over for the patatas brav… arrgghh!’
Read more about Michael Hodges’ adventures.