Sunday, January 10, 2010

British Mating Rituals

The November issue of the London Review of Books has been in my bathroom for a couple of months, and I have read by now pretty much all of the articles in it that I am interested in reading. I turned tonight to the last few pages, with ads for an online course about King Arthur, a lovely half finished house for sale in the Roman countryside, and of course, the personal ads. The personal ads were so great, so undeniably sexinerdi, that I have decided to publish them all unedited for your edification, arousal and enjoyment. If any of my lovely readers are interested in replying to the ad and do not have a copy of the LRB on hand, please contact me for further info.

History doesn't relate the incident, but I won bronze for Festooning during the 1976 Olympics in Quebec. After that I moved to Brighton. Dizzy F, 59.

Une exploratrice? Innerly compulsed to be the sexiest bitch in the room? Occasional drag-queen (42) seeks lots of good sex with someone he really likes.

I enjoy a neatly ironed trouser and women who carry the scent of spicy chorizo. Simple man, simple needs. 40.

Warm, witty, wise, F academic (58), susceptible to spells of unsophisticated silliness, seeks male to appreciate the former and tolerate the latter, or vice versa. West Country and beyond.

My hobbies include leaving trails of crayons wherever Noam Chomsky gives a public lecture. To date I have placed 3785 crayons across the globe and raised more than $7 for charity. Beat that, fems to 55 with independent incomes and easy access to therapy.

I hate bad dreams, especially the ones with the giant tennis players. M, 41. Do you have bad dreams? Do they have giant tennis players? My sympathies.

Very attractive warm woman writer seeks good-looking man 50-62 with big heart and expansive mind for new plot. London.

Having an average score of 6.8 on the Slavoj Zizek scale of sexual magnetism (still regarded by scientists as the most accurate measure of human attractiveness), I have never had to place a personal ad. However, if I were to write one it would reference the colour green, a refusal to acknowledge the existence of gravity, and a firm belief in the theory that cuddling can solve all arguments except ones about carpets. M, 38.

Privately, I will always regard 1987 as my most successful year but publicly I would state that 2003 brought me more happiness than any other. The 16-year gap between these two points in my life represents roughly half of my overall achievements, while the square root of 97 is 9.591663046. None of these things are believed to be coincidental. F, 40.

Alone in Scotland, desperate for congenial company; interested in languages, theatre, modern music and architecture; loves good conversation, travel, adventure, birds, coastal walks and slow food. F, 69.

Shortly before my birth in 1973, I dreamt that life outside the womb would consist mainly of people with huge balloon-like heads communicating via complex systems of facial ticks and travelling the world on floating vehicles utilising the energy of laughter. Science has yet to prove me (dork F, 34) wrong.

I fear packing peanuts possibly more than any other man alive. But I never fail to weep at the simple beauty of swans makign love. Carl, 36.

Middlemen or woman needed to kiss away the pain from habitual user of violent mechanical contraptions (F). Gauche medical professionals need not apply.

I passed up an opportunity to attend the 2009 International Biscuit Convention in Warsaw to write this ad. And I really like biscuits. And conventions. Warsaw, not so much. Biscuit convention-loving, Warsaw indifferent man, 46, WLTM F to 50 with biscuit backing/ convention-hosting talent who preferably doesn't live in Warsaw.

Like faithful hound I will fetch your slippers and newspaper and follow you for walks on beaches on brisk autumn mornings. Of course, if I bite a small child I will have to be injected with sodium pentobarbital and destroyed. But let's just accentuate the positive for now. Slippers. Newspaper. Beaches. F, 32.

My dad helped me write this ad, just like he helped me with all my science projects and encouraged me to go to medical school. Thanks dad! Spoiled M, 54.

Women to 55 who enjoy cabbage will get along just fine with me! Cabbage-enjoying M, 55.

Here's a truth pill: If there was a fight between me and all the other advertisers in this column there would be no fight because we are all friends. Good luck to you all in our quest for love! Apart from the proceeding advertiser who is my sworn enemy and whom I have pledged to kill. M, 38.

42 year old clinically depressed transvestite and father of two seeks jaded but intellectual supermodels to share misery, bills and alcoholic blackouts. Costume desired but not essential. I am hugely attractive and overwhelmingly charismatic.

Mission Impossible? Sassy, bright, 60+ woman, Cotswolds, seeks friendly man for romance. Photo essential.

Xenobibliophile seeks other.

Small but perfectly formed ex-hack turned jurisprudential insurrectionist (ahem) seeks proper gent/unicorn with wit, charm and optimistic approach to Bakhtinian dialogics. (F, 29).

Schiele take a bow! Irritating Austrian art fanatic/ Eighties Morrissey fantasist (M, 43) would like your input (F to 50 or agents to 76) on campus-shenanigan novel he's been writing since sixth form. Sex is fine too. No Johnny Marrs/Brian Sewalls/ David Lodges.

When I was married, Saturday night was our date night. More often than not it became 'complain about the macrobiotic diet the doctor had me on' night. Anything was better than 're-enact scenes from Lord of the Flies' night. What I'd really like it to be is 'play Scrabble then snuggle' night. Just so long as it doesn't eventually become 'wear this leather gimp mask and don't let go of the chains' night. Nervous M, 54, WLTM woman who isn't mental or prone to candidiasis.

There are 289 species of octopus. I can, and will, name them all during the act of love. M, 58.

Many people carry scars from previous relationships. Not me: mine come from Chinese buffets. Clumsy, argumentative Dim Sum enthusiast (M, 45). Not good with children or animals. Or anything else that isn't a fork.

I placed this advert simply to toot my own horn, but the LRB refuse to let me use the font 'Impact'. As such I may not come across as bold and as dynamic as I originally intended, but let me assure you I am both bold and dynamic. (Perhaps readers could underline or highlight the words 'bold' and 'dynamic' themselves? Or else read this ad out loud and shout the words in a commanding voice. like that of a classically-trained actor? Possibly Brian Blessed?) Bold and dynamic man (49). Hull.

Carl at the Toyota dealership told me I should probably put an ad in somewhere. So here goes. M, 37.

In my bedroom, 'tension' is a word from the past. Although 'dermatitis' is very much of the moment. 'Exfoliate' is probably the choice for tomorrow. Allergy-suffering idiot (M, 40).

If we fail to hit it off on the first date, you will at least appreciate the brutal efficiency with which I let you know. No hidden meaning with often terrifying publishing F, 43, using Ming the merciless rather than Anna Wintour as her benchmark of forthrightness.

I have two great talents. One is writing superb adverts like this, the other is cage-free chicken farming. If either of those appear, please write.

My attempts to find a suitable lover in this column would have been far more successful but for the bureaucratic pettifoggery of the LRB advertising department, the dilatory shenanigans of the British postal service, and the rambunctiousness of my gall bladder. Foppish dandy and laparoscopy enthusiast (M, 56) WLTM matronly fems to 60 with own stamps and collection of surgical dressings. Leighton Buzzard.

If you can, and do, talk for hours and hours about your love of elderflower kombucha, refuse to eat anything containing wheat, endlessly refer to your travels to India at dinner parties, correct other people's pronunciation at every opportunity and insist on naming your children (all four of them, born in rapid succession) after members of the Bloomsbury Set, are 46, are cold and sexually hostile, you're either my PhD supervisor or my ex-wife. Good day to you both. The rest of you can try saying something nice my postbox.

M, 36, would like to see more reviews in this magazine centred around the 'gay cowboy' genre.

Compliant and trusting man, 43, WLTM F to 45 who doesn't insist on using the chemical names for obscure proteins as the safety word. Stoke-on-Trent.

Some may call this advert boring. I call it erotic art. Man, 57.

A graveyard in the dead of night. A spade. A curse. Then we turn the sods. Just a sneak peak into some of my dating habits, but we could start with dinner and a movie (something from the Dario Argento canon, perhaps?) Ghoulish M, 57.

As a frequent attendee at LRB Bookshop events, I spend most of my time wrestling with my own internal monologue jokes and summoning up the courage to articulate these before an audience. Naturally, by the time my anxieties have subsided, the shop has emptied and I'm once again alone. My sexual experiences mirror this. Let's hang out! M, 43.

Sulky M, 68, seeks acquiescent wife or punctual urologist. Preferably one in the same. No perverts/slackers.

Literary lads of the LRB! Know a girl who keeps in touch with all of her exes? Says she gets along with men better than women? Laughs about keeping up with their drinking? Recommends white beer with salmon rather than pinot noir? Well forget about her, she's a manipulative, cackling lush who's hated by female colleagues and the morose clutch of resigned eunuchs orbiting her Hoegaarden. Instead, date me. Post-ironic postfeminist who enjoys informed conversation, gender theory and ranking the ladette phenomenon alongside the Britisches Freikorps in retrospectives of the 20th century.

Ever been the only person in the room to take a fancy dress invite seriously? Answer me this; was it worse than attending the IAEA Christmas party as Dr. Manhattan? Failed Dr. Manhattan impresario. M. 64.

This zombie-in-contrary-context trend will halt. After which my Cavaliers-in-space vehicle will literally, literally take off.

This is not a love song. Well, maybe it is. F, mid 50s. interested and interesting, disposed to happiness, not adverse to adventure, seeks similar (F).