I’ll never forget the precise moment I chose to be gay. It was the endpoint in a process of rebellion against my white middle-class parents that climaxed with me smuggling a black drug dealer into my bedroom at 3 a.m. on a school night aged 15.
They have a word for this in America. Bratty young white girls who shack up with African Americans (preferably belonging to the criminal underclass) are known as coalburners. I’d previously lost my virginity in a fivesome with two boys and two girls. But that didn’t sufficiently scandalise my mother, so I decided to up my game. At the time, bringing home impoverished ethnic minorities felt like the ultimate desecration of my well-heeled, two-ponies-and-a-pool Home Counties rearing.
All the best sex – in fact, all the best things in life – are transgressive and naughty. But there’s a problem when forbidden fruits go mainstream. When you teach yourself to be excited solely by transgressive acts, and end up only really happy when you’re breaking rules or upsetting someone, you’re at the mercy of changing fashions.
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