by Steve Finan
It started as a joke, as many things do that turn out to be painful in the end. While looking around the student union bar one night — this was when I was a student myself, of course — I remarked to my friend Edison that there was a frighteningly high proportion of ugly girls (being male and young, we didn't even start to think that we might be considered ugly and male). I only said it because it was true. After the usual blokes' conversation bemoaning the lack of shapely and good-looking girls, we got to wondering how the females felt about being unattractive. Obviously, even the most deluded among them would have noticed that they might benefit from eating less chocolate. Although, if you have a face like a Pekinese, does it really matter if your waistline sticks out further than your saggy chest? But it is an interesting thought — what do not-pretty girls think about not being pretty? Most of them will have spent their school years wondering if they'll ever get a boyfriend and have looked to university as the time when that area of their lives would take off. Sadly though, if you've been a fat, ugly and unattractive school pupil the chances are you will be a fat, ugly, unattractive student.
We decided, right there and then, my friend Edison and I, to do something about this. On the back of a beermat we composed an advert that stated:
Girls, did you think there'd be lots of sex when you got to University?
Have you been disappointed?
It's every woman's right to have good sex!
Call The Sex Heroes (and I put my phone number) who will right this wrong.
Free, skilled, clean, discreet and fun. 24-hour service
It was a good joke to while away a dull night. The next day, Edison ran off a couple of dozen photocopies and pinned them up on notice boards in the freshers' halls of residence. We laughed about it. The next time we passed, all the photocopies had disappeared, the work, we assumed, of the staid house wardens. So, just to be persistently annoying, we ran off a lot more copies and pinned them up again.
That night, at 11.30, my phone rang. “Is that the Sex Heroes?” a voice asked. I quickly fell into the part of a receptionist for what I knew would be a piss-take. “Yes ma'am. Do you wish to make an appointment? We have several studs on call now. How many heroes do you require today?”
After a pause, the voice on the other end of the line said, ”Err, just one please.” I suddenly suspected this might not be a piss-take. I took her room number and said a gentleman would be along in 10 minutes. I didn't go, of course, we wondered about it. Everyone would have to wonder after such a phone call. Was it serious?
The next night, another call came in just after 11 pm. I'd been half expecting it. By that point, I'd convinced myself the previous night's call had been genuine. And I wished I'd gone. Even if she'd turned out to be a horror movie extra, it would have been an interesting experience. This call, I treated seriously. She was hesitant, asked a few questions about, “What would the Sex Hero actually DO?”, the answer to which was, I thought, pretty obvious. But I said he'd worship her and, if allowed, stroke her and touch her, but if at any point she decided she wasn't comfortable all she had to do was say she wasn't OK with this and the hero would smile and leave with no hassle. After what seemed a ridiculous amount of indecision, I eventually got the room number.
She wasn't bad at all. Not great looking and tending to hide what looks she did have behind her hair. Which was orange, dyed, I guessed in an attempt to make herself more appealing to guys. But a reasonably nice figure from what I could see under a baggy shirt. I thought I recognised her from around campus, but then one not-very-attractive fresher looks very like another. She was painfully shy, finding it impossible to make eye contact, which somehow gave me confidence. I acted like a stud should act and asked if I should disrobe (yes, I really did say “disrobe”). Quite frighteningly, she said yes.
I did. She looked me up and down. I was beginning to think this hadn't been a good idea. Then she moved in, put her arms around my chest (she only came up as high as my shoulder) and dropped her hands to grab my left buttock. I began to think this had been a good idea. She asked if she should pay anything. I said no. She touched my penis, which responded as such organs do when fondled, and then, we did it. No fuss, no talking, no post-coital hugging. We just did it. She took off her clothes, laid down on a handily placed sofa . . . and we had sex. She said thanks, I left, got back to our flat and Edison was gone. It turned out he'd been on a “call” too.
We were on calls every night after that.
Sometimes two, sometimes three times a night. The girls, “our girls” would either smile and say nothing else if they saw us around campus, or pointedly ignore us. It was embarrassing and then again, it wasn't. We were the Sex Heroes. We did a job. Once I got a call from a guy. I sent Edison. He didn't think it was as funny as I thought it was.
Then, one day about two weeks into our “heroism”, Magda called. She made a booking, I went and she turned out to be good looking. But she didn't want my services, she wanted to kill me.
Now, being a reasonable sort of bloke, I reckoned I had a right to ask why she desired my death. She said I was demeaning women, which was utterly and completely untrue. She had a knife though, so I treated her with the respect that is due on these occasions. I was less of a hero while my naked bits were on display. It was quite a big knife. I managed to get out alive.
Another girl, called Tina, was huge. Like, waddling, madly, fatly HUGE. And she smelled funny. But I did it anyway, once I'd burrowed my way in. I'm a pro, after all.
I did a girl who seemed to have no chin, just a neck that carried on to her bottom lip. Offputting.
I did a girl who thought she had to dress up for me. It wasn't necessary.
We did it with them all. We did it a lot. Sometimes we had a waiting list of up to five days.
I'd ask how they wanted to do it, which position, and was perplexed that about 90% said either that they didn't care, or, even more strange, didn't know.
I did a girl while her room-mate stayed and watched, arms folded, but didn't utter a word all the time I was there.
I did a girl who cried while I did it. I did a girl who said she was a virgin, wanted to do it standing up, then asked me why I'd done it. I said, “Because you asked me to”. But she didn't seem to accept this as a very good reason.
Once I liked a girl, Adrianna, so much that I asked her out on a date. She refused. But four days later she phoned to book my services again (not Edison, she stipulated she wanted me). I did the business, asked her out again, and again she said no. It was baffling.
Then we noticed that people laughed at us. Girls would point us out to other girls. Some wouldn't speak to us.
Guys would ask us all about it, but we reckoned we had to stay discreet. Guys asked to join, to become ‘A Hero' too. But we decided it was a closed shop. Me and Ed only.
In a way, we became addicts. Or at least I did. I was proud of The Heroes in a slightly reversed way. It was somehow dirty, but also liberating. Except I'm not sure what I was liberated from . . . accepted social behaviour, perhaps.
Edison didn't seem as bothered about any of it. He didn't ever ask the girls their names, he didn't understand why I was even bothered that girls pointed at us. He was a Sex Hero in the same way he did sport, he lived in the moment, did what he had to do in a slightly distracted way and never wanted to discuss special moments, goals, decisions, tactics, good fucks or anything like that. The world often seemed to pass Ed by, he just appeared in it playing bit parts now and then. I got more repeat requests as a Hero than he did though.
Then we got a call to go see the Dean. It felt like a summons to see headmaster and smelled of trouble. But Edison and I reckoned we'd done very little wrong. We were far from the only students who fucked around a lot.
The Dean didn't see it that way. He said we weren't committing a crime but we were bringing down the good name of his university with our behaviour. He wanted, he said, to suspend us but the student advocates had argued against this. He was, though, adamant that we were to cease operations immediately.
The old bastard threatened us. He said he might not be able to throw us out on the grounds that we were ‘dirty perverts', but by hell (he said) he'd find some way to throw us out.
Edison thought it was all hilarious. But then, he was doing sports science and didn't have to care.
I did as I was bid and disbanded the heroes.
But I never had a girlfriend in the remaining 18 months of my university career.
All rights reserved.
This has a long and tortuous history.
It started life as a chapter of a book I'm writing, but somehow didn't fit in.
Then I thought I could make it some sort of a reverse take on prostitution, but I can see it doesn't achieve that.
Then I wondered if it might be a comic tale, but I'm not sure its that either.
So I've decided to let it out of its cage and stand or fall on its own two feet.
Feel free to pick holes in it, take potshots at it or . . . well, do what you like. I wash my hands of this unruly piece of fiction. If ever questioned I shall say it escaped while my back was turned!