The definition of clickbait is a title or image that is misleading. It takes you to some dodgy site and before you know it a fat bloke in Latvia has bought four new tires for his VW Golf on your credit card (most popular car - Google it.)
Sadly, this is not clickbait. My first sexual relationship was with a tree in my primary school in Dublin. Even now, the thought of it makes me misty with romance.
Imagine a scene:
A very religious country. No possible way for a young boy to discover his sexuality outside an encounter with the clergy. A palm tree - exotic, skinny but most importantly - climbable.
Let's get back to sex in Ireland in the 1960's. Here in England, you had the Beatles, hippies, marijuana and free love. Skirts were short and breasts were everywhere. In Ireland, we had 20 years of the '50s. The '60s just never happened. Oh, some of the clothes came over - I remember having a very loud shirt - but sex - no. There was no sex.
Catholicism has a lot to answer for. One of those things is a perverted attitude to sex. In Ireland sex between young people was not just sinful - it was dangerous. A young woman who was seen to be 'letting her family down' by hanging out with boys, could be locked away - in a mental home - forever. That is not messing around. That is very serious shit and it happened to thousands of young women. Those who were unlucky enough to become pregnant could have their babies taken from them. Steven King could not do justice to the shocking horrors meeted out to those young women and their children. If you want to know more check out the documentary The Forgotten Maggies.
So you see, in context, sex with a tree doesn't seem so bad now does it?
Let me describe the act to you (after all, that's what you're here for). In the event that you and I should ever meet you can keep these thoughts in your mind - it'll console you.
The tree was halfway between the prefab school rooms and the sports fields. Although it was out in the open, it was ignored. Grass, bushes, trees - who cares, right?
Well, boys climb trees - it's a pointless pastime - certainly in this case because Palm (as I'll call her) was only a dozen feet or so high. There was really nothing to get up to, if you understand me. Mind you, she had a shock of green leaves - long and sinuous. That only occurs to me now - at the time I needed to get to the top for some reason. Anyway - I got halfway up and with legs wrapped securely around her trunk, I took a break looked about, slipped down a few inches and - something happened. A sensation unlike any I had had before. I ignored it got back to climbing - slipped and - well, life changed.
'To have that sensation once' as Oscar Wilde might say 'was fortunate.
To have it twice is a call to arms.'
Let's jump forward. It was decided that I should be the one to tell my 11 year old boy the facts of life. This was actually something I was looking forward to since he was born, I just had to bide my time till Polly nominated me. I wanted him to have a better perspective than the one Father Nolan (the oldest priest in Ireland) had given me. So, off we went for a walk in the fields. He knew what was coming and I'm pretty sure he trusted me to put a spin on it that would damage him in an amusing way. Here's how it started:
'The first thing you need to know about sex, is that it is, without doubt,
the most fun you will ever have.
There are countless possibilities and all of them end well.'
There can be great pleasure in weeding out the shit of your youth. I hope I managed that for him.
So thank you, Palm. Our relationship didn't last long. A term or two. You were older and wiser and maybe it's because you came from another culture but I'm grateful to you for not judging me. Although just a boy, I learnt so much. That sex without guilt is normal. That you need to improve your stamina if you want to give it a good shot and that rubbing yourself on a tree in winter can be perilous.
I see you everywhere now - Hollywood movies, tropical holiday advertising - trips to the garden centre - there you are to remind me that sex is awesome.
IN PART TWO
How the facts of life were given to me a priest older than the Magna Carta.
How my first experience with a woman was interrupted by the police.
How my virginity was lost to a woman who robbed pensioners.
I've done these things, so you on't have to.
SUBSCRIBE FOR PART TWO - IT'S WORTH IT!