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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Here & Now #108 Sex change

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Here & Now 108 picS Sorrensen

My place. Thursday, 6.30am

My sexual preference is changing.

It used to be a beautiful woman, late at night, with something classical playing on the turntable. (I love Amadeus.)

I wasn’t totally set in my sexual ways, though. I experimented. Sometimes I would play Billie Holiday or Leonard Cohen or even Frank Sinatra.

Once, I had Hottest Hits of the 70s blaring out as I entertained my love. With the Elvis clock marking midnight, Rod Stewart sang Tonight’s the Night as I poured De Bertoli from the cask. Let’s Get It On Marvin Gaye urged, as my love refused a second cupful of vino and wondered what was on television. Then, the depth of our love was plumbed as the Bee Gees asked the question.

Oh dear. It must have been my kinky period. (Okay, I may have worn flares that night.) Not the sort of thing I would do now.

Still, you have to love the 70s. It was when Australian soldiers were brought home instead of sent to far lands; when refugees were welcomed (and brought pho bo – the most delicious soup in the world – to the land of Vegemite); when citizenship was given, not taken away; when the ideal was democratic, not corporate.

But, even with some nostalgic variability in the soundscape, my preference always included a woman and the cover of darkness – the ‘wee small hours of the morning’ as Sinatra sang.

Oh, and wine. Of course. What is love without wine? (Answer: platonic.)

Wine stirs the passion possum, stokes the erotic embers. It is a liquid fertiliser that grows the delicate seed of interest into a gnarly tree of carnal knowledge. It is beyond helpful, it is magic: It can create love from nothing, lust from proximity. Wine is a sexual shaman, whose hex is sex. I love wine. If wine was a woman I would marry her and live in a crystal chalice.

But my sexual preference is changing.

You see, my amatory encounters were always at night. Sure, the darkness is romantic – candles, stars, infomercials. But it is also a cover; it hides me. This fear of exposure is a product of my upbringing. Hell’s Pell, the grubby nonsense that is the Catholic clergy conditioned in me a love of the dark where even a vengeful (and slightly drunk) God can’t find me.

But I’m changing. Now, I prefer daylight for love – especially the first light of morning with Venus winking approvingly at me.

Sure, it does mean the wine thing has been ditched – but the smell of coffee brewing while birdsong fills the valley is an aphrodisiac.

Venus is the brightest planet and my favourite goddess. (Yes, I like her even more than that other goddess, Angelina Jolie, despite Venus having never done anything for the poor children of the world or strapped semi-automatic pistols to her thighs.)

Venus was called Aphrodite by the Greeks before the ever-pragmatic, but religiously bereft, Romans adopted the Greek religion, complete with its gods, after realising that religion is the best way to control people.

Aphrodite is the goddess of sexual love. She had heaps of lovers and she considers sex a virtue, not a sin. She finds me in the dawn light – and I don’t mind. She hums Hot Stuff by Donna Summer and peels back the cover, revealing a new day. She has no moral issues with wine. In fact, she and Dionysus had a brief affair after one of his little harvest soirees.

I don’t know if she slept with the god of coffee, Lavazzus, but she’s cool with espresso.

So, I’m coming out into the light, the beautiful morning light, with no music except the birds, no drink except coffee, and no god – only a goddess.



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