Martin Amis: Breasts or Bottoms

By on August 14, 2010

MARTIN AMIS: BREASTS OR BOTTOMS?
Apologies for returning to the Priss Prince once more but he was my husband’s favourite, also a stick he used to beat me. I might have been a published writer but my husband had read Gabriel Garcia Marquez (although not since university) and kept on with Martin Amis even through the embarrassments of Night Train and Yellow Dog. This meant he was qualified to tell me where I was going wrong.
Mart’s latest ribtickler is a tragic novel set in the Russian Gulag. Having tired of using the Holocaust to show off he is apparently still desperate for posthumous fame as ever. Choosing this very serious subject helped win him a more respectful reception this time, in addition to being much better written than any other recent fiction. Thankfully he can still write about the physical attractions of women, something he has experienced unlike the Holocaust  the Gulag. As usual there are many excellent sentences and great gallows humour.
“Two youngish prisoners strolled past at a donnish pace, one with his hands clasped behind his back, the other ponderously gesturing. “All I care about in the end, the second man was saying, “is tits.’
“No, said the other. “No, not tits. Arses.’ “
The book contains further evidence that Mart, like his father, prefers breasts to bottoms. There is a delightful new way of praising the fuller figure. The narrator’s object of desire is described as resembling the Americas, two huge land masses separated by Panama, a very thin waist. One reviewer interpreted this as a Brazilian bottom and Californian breasts. Even if this is yet another Nabokov retread we can always do with a new way to worship the female form. Page Three stunners don’t do it for me but this does, “When she walked everything swayed. When she laughed, everything shook. When she sneezed- you felt that absolutely anything might happen.”
Otherwise, it feels too much like a lecture. Mart’s been to the library. Good for him. And a novel hinging on a letter somebody decides not to read for decades may make Professors of Literature swoon but is surely essentially bogus – for those of us with more pressing problems than which heiress to marry next.
However, the words sing and at least it reminds us to quit bellyaching. So I’m a drug-addicted sex worker who’s missing her son. At least I’m not doing thirty years next to the arctic circle.

MY MAN MAX: NUDE EXCEPT FOR A WING COLLAR AND BOW TIE
Another of the holy relics, a photo of My Man Max nude except for a wing collar and bow tie. He’s serving me breakfast in bed; fresh smoked salmon, cream cheese and champagne, begels. He is curtseying and pouting in imitation of some dumb waitress yet still manages to retain his masculinity: perhaps due to the dangling dick, still wet with my juices.
I didn’t have to feminise My Man Max. He was already emotionally literate. Maybe because he races fast cars and earns a fortune, in an industry which reveres caveman behaviour, he can occasionally let me be in charge.
Although, ultimately, we both know he is top dog. And I’m his bitch. (actually a pretty poodle with a pink ribbon and a diamond collar.) Whereas he is secure enough to pamper me without seeming too subservient the clients haven’t a clue.
The cruel irony for sexual slaves is that their fawning idolatry quickly cloys. It also devalues them as people, how often do you revere the person who begs to kiss your ring or drink your wee (Goddess Juice, as it is sometimes dignified)? Added to which many slaves have not looked after what little Mother Nature gave them. I don’t know why all slaves over a certain age tend to be unappealing fat fucks but it sometimes seems as if there is a factory churning them out. Perhaps they’re trained like Sumo wrestlers, three hour breakfasts then a little light exercise before another heart busting chow down. Except those guys are tough. Slaves tend to be just lard buckets, neither use nor ornament. Unfortunately these are usually the first men to disrobe in a fetish club, very soon nude except for a cock ring through which some very unexceptional genitals have been threaded. It is distressing that they should publicly masturbate. It is tragic that they should do it while wearing sandals.
I put the photos back in the wooden box, think about mounting them in a special photo album, then get sidetracked thinking about mounting My Man Max. The longer he’s away the worse it gets. He’s the disease and he’s the cure. And it’s always too long till the next fix.

A THREESOME WITH MIKE TYSON
It’s risky doing out calls but then drugs don’t buy themselves and I have been getting through a great deal of sparkle lately. I arrive at Feeble in Fulham’s flat and find it is covered in kitschy poetry, framed and hung at eye level. . “I wrote those,” he tells me. “I’m a poet.” “Really? What do you think of Philip Larkin?” I ask.
“I’m better than him,” he says, with no trace of irony or indeed of intellect. He’s a poet. Although there’s no poetry books to be seen in the flat or indeed any other books, magazines or newspapers.
“I wrote several books,” I tell him. Which is true. And someone else published them. I didn’t have to print them page by page and then hang them at eye level. He has absolutely no interest in this, of course. But then poets are spectacularly nuts, even by writer standards. This is the dolt who told me he has a ‘great body’. Perhaps this is poetic license. The ‘great body’ turns out to be a fair amount of unstructured flab and a lot of body hair, some of it grey. Presumably it feels ‘great’ to him. I take out my rattan canes while he talks, sterilise them in front of him. He tells me his disciplinary fantasies. I resolve to fulfill them. It soon becomes clear that he can’t even bend over without looking like a collapsing sack of cement. He eventually kneels on his bed while I very gently cane his white doughy buttocks. He can barely take anything above the warm-up.
Very quickly he’s into age regression. He then wants some anal rummaging which I don’t particularly fancy as he was too tight to pay for it. Incidentally, clients, whining is neither endearing or an effective negotiating technique. There’s always ‘Tyson’ though. This black buttplug is as thick as it’s vicious, as broad as it’s long. Just the job for some punitive anal massage. I have it wrapped and lubed and distending the dolt’s rear doorway before he can raise a whimper of protest. There are some moments of deep pleading but even this can’t make a man without an erection come. Thirty-Nine? Fifty-something, more like. He asks for a hug. I seriously consider ramming Tyson down his throat but manage some maternal comfort – that is to say, a brief bony clinch and some cold, thin-lipped disapproval. Then it’s time to vanish. The cab arrives. He lives near a football ground. Which gives me a rare opportunity to see a lot of men with terrible bodies, hair styles and clothes all drunk together. Perhaps my client was right. Compared to this lot he does have ‘a good body’.
My therapist told me I had many unreasonable demands. Although none were as unreasonable as his bill. At least I provide my clients with a service – physical and mental therapy which actually works. Shrinks get the same money for nodding occasionally and cultivating foul beards which are in themselves grounds for committal. But maybe it’s me who needs the strait jacket. What right do I have to attractive clients? In any case, who needs physical beauty when I met a poet who’s much better than Philip Larkin? And we had a threesome with Mike Tyson…

TATTOOS, BLACK MAGIC. SHAMANISM
Trying to write with blue ink instead of black is an insult to the creamy white paper in this Moleskine notebook. I’ve gone to all the trouble of finding a purple slub silk notebook to write in, with pages as soft and tempting as Miss Plum’s bum. Blue ink just doesn’t have the dark majesty required.
I suppose red ink would leave marks a little similar to those left by a whipping. Perhaps I should get a custom made flail with my signature in the tip. I could sign my name with each whip stroke. A small brand to sizzle my signatures into a nice, juicy rump might also seem like a good idea except
that it’s pointlessly cruel and brands expand and fade. They’re more trouble than they’re worth unless you’re some sort of Modern Primitive fanatic, never happier except when wearing nine heavy constricting neck rings or undergoing the Native American Sun Bear ceremony. Is this the appropriate time to relate that a tattooist I knew underwent suspension from a tree by hooks in his bare flesh – after being starved beforehand. He experienced many religious revelations during a day of ecstatic transcendence. He also saw a huge McDonalds sign written across the sky. And eventually became a heroin addict. So much for the healing power of Native American tree hanging. Actually, it’s a relief to know it doesn’t work, at least not permanently. I didn’t fancy having my back forever scarred by bloodthirsty savages. (Surely ‘Native American Shamans?’ Diversity Ed.)

I finally stopped my collections of tattoos and piercings before it threatened to get out of my hand. I’ve already had enough to make my mother cry, I’m glad to say.
I’ve got a red dragon on one arm, fiery crimson actually. It’s leery and lurid, lively enough to breathe eyebrow-singeing fire all over you, There’s a small phoenix on the other side of my forearm. We found out that the dragon and phoenix symbolise yin and yang in China after we had done them, which we found enchanting, having done far too much acid and E that year.
Well, there’s more but the most vitally transformative tatt was definitely replacing a wristwatch with a moon tattoo, inside a red triangle, afloat on foaming blue waves. This was borrowed from Aleister Crowley’s tarot deck. It’s brought me closer to the Dark MoonGoddess who rules my life but has made me a little lax regarding punctuality – what the boringly rational sometimes refer to as ‘late.’
Oh well. Just another addiction to add to the list.

MY MAN MAX: WILL SVETLANA SEDUCE HIM?
Another photo. Shirtless, well defined pectorals waxed perfectly smooth, face handsome enough for a bum boy model except for that intriguing scar. We have just made love. He’s smiling confidently at me. A bottle of champagne in an ice bucket, champagne flutes on a silver tray, Debussy on the stereo, Is he too good to be true? Well, if he spent less time abroad on business or risking his life with fast cars he probably would be. He is still a man though. A bloody nuisance who won’t listen to what is good for him. Which is a little more domesticity and a little less playing the field.
Do I detect infidelity in certain sheepish smiles? Pauses a millisecond too long before replies to certain searching questions? Love is a flame that sometimes burns too bright. Or maybe My Man Max is too hot to handle.
Should I spy on him? No I shouldn’t. I might not like what I find. You’re quite right. It would be a most foolish thing to do. Dangerous and foolish. I ring Svetlana and tell her she can have a few hundred quid for expenses. All she has to do is try to pick up My Man Max.
She doesn’t say, “You’re crazy. You’re going to ruin your relationship.” She then screws another fifty quid out of me.
“I drink only the best champagne darling,” she says.
I give in, resolving to cane her all the harder when next we play. Although considering that is what she insists upon this it will won’t be much of a revenge. Good therapy for me though.
What if she does seduce him? I’ll forgive him if he tells me. But I’ll ditch him if he doesn’t.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO YOUR TWELVE STEP THERAPY?
Well, you’re not supposed to tell anyone about it. Plus it’s quite hard. Never mind giving up drink and drugs, they want you to be happy. Happy? They do. I’m not making it up. Then there’s all this forgiving people. And the confessing. How am I supposed to confess to conspiracy to murder? To my sponsor, a nice woman who probably reads Catherine Cookson and watches The Bill? Actually I could do with a surrogate mother. To replace the real one who was usually bit busy. Or more in need of help than I was.
“What about relationships?” my sponsor asks.
Is this the moment to tell her I have two boyfriends and two girlfriends? Or that I’m bisexual? From what I’ve seen of NA it’s probably never the moment to tell them you’re sexual, never mind bisexual, or a sex worker who engages in sex for fun. They prefer you to give up sex, sorry, relationships for two years. Perhaps I could up my dose of anti-depressants enough to switch off my sex drive. It may well be the only solution for some people, as emotional hangovers are as painful as any other kind.
Teenage Susie – my inner brat – sometimes points out that modern life only seems to be tenable with one pill to brainwash you into happiness, at the cost of switching your sex drive off, and twelve step to control whatever stray hankerings you may have left. But you can’t keep getting high for ever. (“Why not?!” Excuse me, I just have to send teenage Susie up to her room.  After I have smacked her legs. “And I want that room tidying young lady!” Such language! She didn’t learn those words from me.)
So, just for today, I’m not cured. I probably never will be. I’m recovering. There is a twelve step group in America called Emotions Anonymous, for drama queens. Perhaps romantics cut off from their supply should start one here. But the cure is My Man Max,
He’s all I need. But he needs his career more than me. Why doesn’t he ask me just to hop on a plane. I’d be good. I wouldn’t cause a fuss. I’m starting to sound like the sub worms who want to live in my hall cupboard.
Geezer’s written. Again. There’s some unanswered phone calls too. But he’s chasing me too hard. He’s supposed to be a tough guy not a snivelling wimp.
I write My Man Max another email. One that’s a little too angry perhaps. But we can’t go on like this. I can’t anyway. Let’s see how he copes with my suicide, That’ll show him.

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