Kirk A.C. Marshall

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Kill the Flaccid: A Gonzo Sexual History

A Gonzo Sexual History & [Academic Article / Paper]
Published: 06/10/04 (c)

[Warning: May Contain Self-Indulgence]


                I’m crap in bed. It must be symptomatic of an embarrassing childhood, or a nauseating experience involving being approached by goonish, random strangers when I was a kid, or perhaps it’s because I’ve always wanted to be a woman. Or maybe it’s some suppressed Freudian complex, like feeling electrically amorous over issues of the National Geographic and not being able to express this frustration to anyone but a member of the esoteric Inuit tribe of the Arctic northern steppes. Or, perhaps, somewhat simply, it’s because I’m just crap in bed. Best not to ponder such existential issues of universal secrecy too long. Just bite down fiercely on the lower lip, and tell her “I’m honestly, terribly sorry.”

            What first notified me to this brilliant, life-affirming fact was the veritable losing of my virginity at the age of seventeen to a girl with as much class as an airport novel. For the purposes of this recollection, I shall refrain from disclosing accurate names as I found it erroneously difficult persuading my index finger to find that number in the White Pages to inquire as to whether I could, well, exploit the bitch. It’s not as though I’m still embittered about the incident; in fact, I find that it exemplifies ingloriously the armadillo way in which I live my life. No matter how many highways upon which I get sideswiped, I affect the foetal position and continue on rolling.

             For this specific reminiscence, my name will be Kirk, and her name will be Jezebel. The locale for this steamy, sheet-singed summertime romance? Er, well, let’s brand it – self-indulgent, perhaps, but it’s narcissistically unfeasible to stop myself – Jezebel’s Palace. For perhaps two months now, she and I had been broken-up. We’d weathered that ludicrous period of adrenaline-fuelled teen love, the external world enshrouded in a butterfly mist, where the most important element of life was pretending to care what her parents said; her neck an apricot tree in bloom, her lips falling upon me like a deluge of marshmallows.

            They were inextricably linked to chaos theory, those lips. She, with that flowering smile, brought with her a downpour that would last for hours. Even after being pretty succinctly trashed – I initiated it, sure, but it was never intended to be definitive, not until she told me with utmost eloquence to “Fuck off” – I found myself encompassed by those lips. In all totality, I’m not certain what we were to each other, after the break-up; it was a tenuous friendship at best, but afterwards, in those moments together, I’d find I had to shelter myself from that eternal rain, huddle beneath a tarpaulin of resilience, and wait it out. Still, every time I returned home, I’d come in a little bit wet.

            So it was at this time that I was enamoured with This Is Spinal Tap. Remaining stalwart to the belief that it was arguably the most consistently funny film to be eructated from Hollywood’s maw, I bought my battered VHS copy over to her place, clasped in hard-scrubbed perspiring fingers, and did my unquantifiable best to keep the visit entirely asexual.

            I popped the packet, extracted the tape, and inserted it hard and fast into her VCR.

            Perhaps it was Nigel Tufnel’s inscrutably marvellous designer mullet that unforeseeably got her in the mood, but, as is the wont with friends when appreciating a heavy metal-homage mockumentary film, we consequently began grappling at each other with our tongues. It was hot wet communication, her aquiline neck arched like that of an ivory swan, and within minutes I found myself and my inexpert fingers pushing the succubus forcibly against the kitchen wall – to the chorus of framed paintings falling off their hooks.

            This progressed, without a solitary moment of lip-detachment, in a well-enacted migration down the hall, until arriving rather benevolently at the threshold of the land of promise, Jezebel’s bedroom. The colour pink worked as a counterpoint to the ambience of iniquity in that den of sacrilege; if I had given myself the luxury of a moment to utilize that other profound organ, I might have prevented where the marriage of my clammy palms with her hardened nipples would inevitably lead. But in the end, the pink merely enveloped me, walls breathing and dancing about us; a new womb. Her breasts were swollen, her cheeks were pinched with that cliché cherubium warmth that all females seemingly express when a floundering boy struggles to lead the progression of all that intimate stuff, and soon I was engulfed.

There were pinks ribboning in her hair, the rhythm of her breath, the crescent of her body. I was gone. Submerged in that eclipse of perfume only found in a blossoming teen girl, I became Gatsby, awash in cosmic madness, the lonely man by the green bay.  [Fitzgerald, F. S., 1925]. 

It’s easy to wax lyrical now to describe the poetry of fucking, imbuing the incident with a nostalgia not then present, but even then there was some depression within me that opened gracefully, like a dark black lotus. So it hurts to remember this.

Subsequently, the parents erupted into the room, represented thus in their gloriously convincing human manifestation, complete with the accompaniment of homosexual Chinese horticulturalists interested in purchasing the house. And all I could do was waver feebly in the storm of that mother’s gaze and explain Jezebel’s hickey away with, “She went outside, and the dog bit her.”

I know. O.J. would be proud.



            The Spinal Tap indiscretion, as it will henceforth be known, occurred sometime in May of 2002. Since Jezebel, I’ve had a sporadic long-distance relationship with a girl overseas (ended), a vaguely-sexual but not particularly pleasant relationship of fifteen months with a Bitch (issue Mk. II; ended), a riddlingly complex friendship-cum-something with a girl for four months or so (obligatorily, the something, too, ended), and a handful of attempted “date endeavours” (eg. asking a girl out and being told that I did not comply with “her belief system”, or being offered unattached sexual relations from a girl if I accepted six of her superfluous couches – a couch for each, er, time[1]).

            In this way, my sexual evolution has met the Darwinist equivalent of a cul-de-sac: indeed, my penis has become a unicorn. What better way to treat a forlorn, solitary creature than to shun it completely unto obscurity. Moreover, any elegiac pride evoked from being male is now relegated to nursery rhyme[2]. “Hush-a-bye, baby, on the treetop, When the girls run your libido will drop.” I am, assuredly, well aware of the bane of pathos present here, but it’s ultimately difficult suppressing these affectations when you find yourself naked and pallid, performing your best Bruce Campbell-inspired sneer in the reflection of the splotched bathroom mirror.

            Accordingly, I must stipulate that the term “penis envy” is surely an oxymoron.

            Nevertheless, from a cumulative perspective, I suppose I wanted to construct a theory as to a) what directed me to such a sexual initiation, and b) why I’ve so studiously managed to have such little sexual fecundity since the Spinal Tap indiscretion. In brief, this two-part inquiry would act as an expose almost symbiotic with Rob Gordon-of-High-Fidelity-fame’s patented Top Five Relationship Analysis; I’d speculate as to how, throughout my later life, my sexual activity had been manipulated by various discourses, and furthermore, deduce a solution as to how I could prise myself from this proverbial rut [Hornby, N., 1995]. The innate basis for this latter half of the article was to Kill the Flaccid. To work against the analogous drought. To question my failures.

It’s not self-help. This is – in no way – a conventional manual regarding definitive sexual healing, mine or otherwise. To some degree, this is really an anarchic exploration of the catalysts for my present, unreasonable sexual famine. The hope is that working towards a few solutions might redirect my current position. Conclusively, I feel that poet laureate debonair, Marvin Gaye, said it best when he harmonized that, “Sexual healing is good for me, Sexual healing is something that's very good for me.” [Harper, B., 2001, <>].

Now, sex isn’t everything. But it keeps my hands busy.



Looking for solutions…


My exhaustive research and journalistic proficiency lead me with all inevitability to where I was now; standing before the Georgian aisles of dusty tomes at my local library, papery fingertips running across each individual spine, as though the route of an excessively excitable tarantula.

            All those embossed, calligraphic titles. But, seemingly, no “Sensual Pleasures” by Susan Quilliam. Just a brilliant-executed coincidence of unfathomable humour, here, with an empty space where the book should reside. Perhaps ironically, the two retrograde volumes book-ending this space were “Parasites & Partners” and “Life’s Grandeur”. I found these titles provided a delicious triumvirate of definitions for contemporary relationships: Erosive Co-dependence; Oh Beauteous Love; and, apparently between these was, well, Sex. However, the only book contiguous to “Parasites” and “Grandeur”, then, that seemed to explore issues of modern sexual angst was “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden. I took it out.



Why No Quick Fix, Kirk?


As it seems necessary to validate the thoroughly sexually-based bias of this article thus far, a moment here to digress on the nature of relationships, and my subjective perceptions on said beast.

Now, I entirely concur that good sex, however that is interpreted, can be derived from a relationship – in fact, fear of being branded an over-sentimentalist notwithstanding, I will nevertheless declare in all saccharine honesty that I have never actually allowed myself to participate in a “fling”.

It’s not the notion that “sex experienced recklessly would be cheapened” that I’m averse to; I could probably provoke myself to be intrigued by an orang-utan sticking coconuts in a man’s anus if, um, push came to shove [Palahniuk, 2001]. Seedy nymphomaniac nights do not induce trepidation within me – but I don’t comprehend the allure of detached sexual gratification. I can gain that from my clenched palm anytime, and occasionally from eating the right kind of spaghetti bolognaise.

There are gradations of pop psychology, granted, and this is increasingly toeing the line, but in all integrity: sex is a union. Any Chuck Palahniuk novel can get me off, but it takes a woman with a smile like the elevation of humanity to produce fireworks. The pervasive scent of a girl’s neck does it to me every time, and you don’t get that privilege, that knowledge in the asthmatic haze of a smoke-choked tavern toilet. And I need to see the laughter lines in bloom around her eyes.

If you’re fucking off-the-fly, you’re fucking in the dark.






Pouring over solutions…


I was sitting before the keyboard, mahogany desk festooned with paper, books and hand-scrawled notes written illegibly down one arm in a fading, cramped codex , and the words that had last been typed – “…in the dark…” – were pulsating on the screen. I needed a narrative construct that would assist me in sifting through so extensive a quantity of expositional information gathered, to find concise, staccato answers in so brief a remaining word space. Individual letters were beginning to fall upon the page as though in orderly rows of deathly white headstones.

Sex was an amorphous concept. Answers

There was a Kurt Vonnegut novel, lodged between a lexicon and a squatting stack of LPs in disarray, beside my right elbow [Vonnegut, Jr., 1969].

…That’s when the Tralfamadorian perambulated past the adjacent window, a sound issuing from its plunger-conical head like the breath of a bellows.

Then: I came unstuck in time.


The Tralfamadorian took me places. I asked the people that I knew in these places questions concerning their sexual identities. I needed to know how my sexual history relied upon theirs. They delivered potted responses.


Mr. Lennon, Great-Great-Great Grandfather (1896):

“I cannot criticize the act. Twelve children must count for something.” [inspired by personal communication, Healy, September 26, 2004].    


Ryan, Friend and Professional Adonis (2004):

“I was 16, and it was with a girl from school who I had been seeing for about a year. She seemed to enjoy it and I had scratches down my back to prove it, but for me it was just sort of like doing push-ups... I failed to climax, but I apparently made her feel good, so I guess it wasn't a completely wasted exercise.” [personal communication, Sim, September 26, 2004].



Hunter S. Thompson, The Good Doctor (1958):

“You wanna know why you ain’t gettin’ any? ‘Coz, sissy boy, you’re too worried ‘bout finding a girl, like some magic wand. I mean, goddamnit man, it ain’t ‘bout some erotic voodoo that solves all your woes. It’s ‘bout embracing the sunshine. Going out and living, you goofball.” [Thompson, 2003].



Germaine Greer, Hear Me Roar (1968):

“I suppose it can be considered an enlivening, zesty enterprise, but I can’t defend the modernist construction of sex, the salaciousness behind it all. Now go away, I’m writing a book.”



George, Brother and Sexual Carpenter (2004):

“I’ve nailed a few birds this year. Sex has nothing to do with love. Doing it with as many people as possible is what you want whilst you’re young.” [personal communication, Marshall, G., September 26, 2004].



Albert Camus, Everyman (1950):

“Sex has died. Yesterday, maybe the day before, I can’t remember.” [Camus, 1946].



My Mother (2004):

“I suppose it’s a question of choosing the right person. You want to wake up of a morning and be with someone who doesn’t rush off as though they’ve made some kind of dreadful mistake.” [personal communication, Marshall, K., September 26, 2004].



Identifying solutions…


            The Tralfamadorian dropped me forthright before my monitor once more, emanating comprehensive extra-terrestrial guile. It was undeniable, from an observer’s perspective, that as a representative of humanity, our race must appear inordinately feeble.

            On behalf of our pathetic people, then, I apologized.

            “You believe in free will,” replied the Tralfamadorian. “Exercise it. For, if your current state is not predetermined, then solving your lengthy passivity towards nubility is possible.” His singular eye fixed my own gaze. “You are after sexual epiphany, not merely gregarious nymphomania. You desire for it next to be distinct. Memorable.”

            I suppose I didn’t want it to involve Spinal Tap, again. I decided to consult Edith Holden, a devoted source in recording a naturalist’s fancy, for an answer. I located a random quote:


“Hers was the love of wilding things;

To hear a squirrel chirr,

In the golden rowan of Menolowan,

Was joy enough for her.”[1]


            Maybe the point was not to force it. The pragmatist within me knew that sex was relative to the individual. Thus, anyone responsible for influencing the way in which my life had evolved need not concern themselves with my current sexual inadequacy.

            To recapitulate, getting down and proverbially dirty wasn’t everything. Essentially, I was probably being superfluously neurotic, and a true narcissist. Moreover, in all self-efficacy, I’d wager that tomorrow I’d get myself laid.

And if I didn’t, I might just go and graffiti my mobile phone number on the wall of a public lavatory.

            Vonnegut said it best: So it goes.





The Augustine Fellowship. (1997-2003), “Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous – 40 Questions for Self-Diagnosis Pamphlet”, S.L.A.A.: Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Fellowship Wide Service, Inc., <>.


Bastyra, Judy. Sex: The Ultimate Lover’s Guide. UK: Lorenz Books, 2004, pp. 255.


Birmingham, John. He Died With a Felafel in His Hand. Australia: Duffy & Snellgrove, 1994.


“Body Language Joe”. (2004), “Attracting Girls Using Body Language”,, <>.


Camus, Albert. L’estranger. Australia: Penguin Modern Book Classics, 1946 [re-printed].


Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. Australia: Penguin Modern Book Classics, 1925 [re-printed].


Frewin, Tony (1998), “All Through the Night (Version 2)”, KiDiddles: Song Lyrics, <>.


Harper, Ben (2001), “Ben Harper Lyrics: Sexual Healing Lyric”, Lyrics On Demand, <>.


Healy, Myrna (2004). Personal (or telephone) communication, 26/9/04.


High Fidelity, 2000, Produced by Tim Bevan and Rudd Simmons. Directed by Stephen Frears, Touchstone Home Video / Buena Vista Home Entertainment. DVD recording.


Holden, Edith. The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. Great Britain, UK: Michael O’ Mara Books, Ltd., 1977, pp. 120.


Hornby, Nick. High Fidelity. Australia: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1995.


Marshall, George (2004). Personal communication (or interview), 26/9/04.


Marshall, Karen (2004). Personal communication (or interview), 26/9/04.


Mason, Mark. What Men Think About Sex. London, UK: Time Warner Paperbacks, 2002.


Palahniuk, Chuck. Choke. Australia: Vintage Random House, 2001.


QLD Government 2004, QLD Sexual Health and Hepatitis C Website for Young People, <>.


Sim, Ryan (2004). Personal (or email) communication, 26/4/04.


Thompson, Hunter S. Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century. Australia: Penguin Books, 2003.


Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse-5. Australia: Vintage Random House, 1969.


[1] (Holden, E., 1977, pp. 120).


[1] To which I wisely responded, “Six? Can I put down half now, and half later?” She retorted thus, with stentorian grace, “Actually, I’ll just go find someone with more experience.” Oh utopian joy joy.

[2] Though certainly not for ones entitled, “All Through the Night”. [Frewin, T., 1998,].

Text ends here.