I remember the “good old days” when as a young matelot travelling to the fleshpots of the planet, the glorious world of exotic sex was just a jeepney ride away. A few San Miguels under the belt, an eager driver happy to whisk you away to the pleasures of the flesh with the mere mention of “boom boom party” as a destination. But with advancing years, not to mention common sense, such pastimes are a thing of the past. Or are they?
Now I know everyone is about “surveyed-out”. What could be worse than another survey to tell us something we don’t care about, is patently obvious, or trivial in the extreme. It’s not as if the Labor Party is the only one who learned nothing at all from pigging-out on focus groups.
But this one is a bit different, at least for someone with a yearning for jeepney times-past and who finds himself on the wrong side of middle age and the lost joy of spontaneous erections at inappropriate times. Not to mention that gravity has taken hold of my body, shaken it like a dog with sock, so that my chest had slipped south and my backside seems to have drained somewhere in my thighs; budgie-smugglers now look more like Bombay Bloomers than girding the sensual, sculptured loins of Adonis.
Anyway, this survey was commissioned to look at sexual attitudes and practices among the 50-plus population, the “Boom Boomers” if you like. Here’s what they found.
Men think about sex more often than women, we see it as more important for our quality of life and engage in sex more often and are less satisfied if without a partner. After concluding this was stating the bleeding obvious, I suppose I can interpret that to mean that we prefer someone to talk to rather than engaging mano a mano with our hand. I was somewhat taken aback to learn that we tend to enjoy sex more than once a week, but thankfully not daily. Note to self: pick up that gym membership.
Among those who said their sex lives were worse than they were 10 years ago, people said worse personal health, more stress and worse health of their partner as the top reasons. I concluded that having one’s partner die at some critical juncture in the passion was some kind of psychological wet blanket to the process. The remainder of the Boom Boomers survey is not worth mentioning, beyond noting that someone actually got paid for this inane “research”. Like everything else, we take what we like and disregard the rest. So, what do the few parts I read really mean?
Well, for one, I realised that jeepney rides to the fleshpots of Olongapo and Bughis Street need to remain historical relics. I therefore opted to try my hand at the Boom Boom Party destination par excellence. The Casino. And I can tell you, it was like watching nursing home inmates at an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord.
It didn’t seem to matter if you were wearing a wedding ring, or over 75, people were all smiles. The best part was that I could also see women clearly in the lights of the slot machines, which is a real plus after the near blackout conditions of singles bars in the ‘70’s. Back then, you didn’t know what you’d “caught” until you drove past a streetlight and took a good look at their face. From there, it was straight to the “catch and/or release” program. The 70’s were a very scary time for singles.
So, let me say to all you old people, forget that boring church, volunteer and supermarket hook-up hype about finding companionship in these places and get down to the casino. There’s a Boom Boom Party going on and you’re still invited.
Robert Barclay is an ex-matelot who spent many years learning the cultural mores of several Asian countries, mostly through the lens provided by the bottom of an empty beer glass. Now retired, he struggles with technology, gravity, Viagra and a desire for a night’s sleep uninterrupted by periodical visits to the toilet.