What it is

All writing in italics: Lyrics -‘What it is’. The Blue Aeroplanes, (1990). Swagger.

“Watch these hands
Watch what they’re doing
What is it?

They float around the neck like nervous birds
They circle the waist like sly torpedoes
Then they hike into the interior
You know how it is…”

The thing about a single bed is that you have little choice about proximity when two people occupy it. Top/bottom; spoon left/spoon right; side by side and face to face; top to tail; even back to back, there is not much space to go around. Of course this only really matters if you want to sleep, but sleep became an intermittent commodity when Ryan and I were first together. If there was a way to keep ourselves awake in that narrow bed we found it. It wasn’t always sex. We were both keen writers at that time, and ideas come thick and fast when you have a like-minded companion…

However, proximity is of course, a marvelous thing for sexually charged people, especially if it’s spiced with unavoidable periods of abstinence. Sex took place in that bed late at night before sleep, and the stirring of his cock was my early morning alarm clock, but the slightest movement of either of us during the night often brought on groping, rubbing and sometimes – poking. While we fucked in a variety of places, many of them far removed from the comfort of that mattress, the narrow bed in the smallest bedroom in a fusty student rental holds very fond memories for me.

“…You can be your enemy
Turn to sideways figure of eight
Oh we’ve each got our positions in this exchange of views
This oratory, this debate
You know, I think one of us should drink the other to tears…”

There are a handful of moments that truly stand out, in my 49 years of sexual interaction and as I’ve mentioned before my first time ever wasn’t one of them. My first time with Ryan, was, however; but by the time he’d progressed to living at that student house we were way past that moment. Not so much in measured time, but in sex – well that was a totally different story.

We didn’t always have the house to ourselves, scheduling private time when living with others and juggling other important commitments therefore meant that we had to find ways to mute our vocal enthusiasm. Mostly we resorted to that student standard for sexual privacy – turning the lights down low and playing music. In retrospect it seems obvious that retiring to Ryan’s room and putting on music was probably just as much of a give away as any sexual vocalisation might have been.

Time does strange things to the brain and only a few artists and albums stand out from those years, although we played some continuously, often for days at a time. When we first met I introduced Ryan to the music of Patti Smith and he shared his passion for a range of Heavy Metal artists including Judas Priest. But by the time we’d reached a point where we were spending every spare second fucking each other into a stupor, our musical tastes had moved on a little.

I’ve heard it said that “old songs leave long shadows”, but what stands out for me now is one album and one night in particular. The album, “Swagger” is not one you hear very often anymore, or at least not in the circles I move in; but I retrieved my vinyl copy several weeks ago from its possie (that’s Aussie slang for place or position – for those wordsmiths in the Northern hemisphere) in the cupboard and perused it reflectively. While I hadn’t heard the album for over 24 years, reading the titles was enough to recall substantial portions of many of the complex and obscure lyrics.

“…Oh memory’s a house under rain…

Just watch it explode…”

I don’t have a record player set up at home so I had to resort to downloading to hear the music again. I waited until bedtime, turning my iPad on and the bedroom lamp off, before I pressed play.

The sound of The Blue Aeroplanes filled the room as it had on that night so many years ago. With my eyes closed I could see that dimly lit room so clearly. Bed, chair, old wardrobe. Ryan’s bass in the corner. The rat cage on the desk next to Ryan’s battered computer.
It was too early in our relationship for the hard fucking experimental play of the following year, but we gloried in the sensual delight of mutual investigations of each other’s bodies and what we could do with them, for hours at a time. It was and is still, so easy to visualize Ryan’s strong angular face looming over me, to feel the softness of his long hair falling over my shoulders, breasts and buttocks as he challenged my limbs with another position from which to view, finger or enter my cunt. And the times when even his long legs and apparently tireless back and hips needed to rest; even though his miraculous cock hardly ever seemed to, and I found myself eagerly sucking or straddling him.
Writing these pages, it is not just an exercise in recall, my body also remembers vividly what it was like to take him in my mouth, ride his length, tug his softly furred balls, suck his nipples or pin his angular shoulders to the mattress…

But I digress.

Prior to our involvement I had been studying a form of energy healing and one night we went to a healing circle together. The session started early, as it was close to mid-winter and the house we were visiting was outside town, down an unmade road which skirted the state forest. I can’t be sure but I seem to recall there were about seven people in the room, and the energy was extremely intense. We had taken along some food to share at the end of the session to ground us before departing, but it had been some time since I’d been practicing and it was Ryan’s first experience of this phenomena, so by the time we departed around 8.30 we were both on a high.  We stopped off at a supermarket for more food, and Ryan unusually, bought a large bottle of coke, although I wondered at the need for this given how full of energy he already was.

The house was in darkness when we returned, and we entered quietly concerned that Ryan’s housemates might be asleep already. Stepping into the kitchen, Ryan found a note on the table informing him that Melissa and Pete had decided to go home for the weekend after all.  Pleasantly surprised, but very grateful, we gathered our snacks and drinks and repaired to Ryan’s room, to listen to music and try to take the edge of that rampant energy. Ryan unlaced and removed his Docs and I slipped off my shoes and we sat cross-legged on the bed for a while, blankets pulled around our shoulders to keep out the rapidly advancing nighttime chill, eating cheese and biscuits, drinking and talking about the evening. Normally fairly quiet, Ryan was surprisingly voluble and the conversation was free ranging and animated. He had removed his furry friend from the cage and the little black and white rodent was happily climbing around on the bed too, eating crumbs, climbing up Ryan’s sleeve, disappearing, then re-emerging from the folds of the blankets. From time to time as we talked our fingers or lips would meet and merge, the energy buzzing between us. Eventually, the kissing became more intense, and Ryan’s long, very chilly fingers began to search under my jumper fondling and teasing my nipples, while I twitched and rippled in a mixture of cold and sexual delight. When the tape clicked off, Ryan untangled himself from the blankets, then moved decisively over to the player, the rat now riding high on his shoulder. Taking this as a signal that he was planning to go to bed, I lifted and shook out the blankets, then padded my way, shivering,  down the chilly passageway to the bathroom.

“…These lovers
You ask them to go, they won’t come back
You ask them to stay, they won’t go away…”

Upon my return the music was on again, Ryan was in the bed one hand behind his head the other moving slowly beneath the covers in the vicinity of his cock, and, judging by the scrabbling I could hear from near the desk, Rat was back in his cage. Stepping out of my jeans, I dropped them on the floor then I entered the bed wearing only my undies and jumper.  This may have been the start of a typical sexual encounter between two horny lovers trying to stay warm in the middle of winter, except for one thing.

I’ll never know if it was the energy from the healing, the bottle of coke, the freedom of being alone in the house, or a combination of these, but while the music of The Blue Aeroplanes album Swagger played on repeat, we fucked the night away, and into the next morning. I have never experienced such a coupling before or since. We started counting around number six and by midday the following day had reached a count of seventeen. The sex was varied, sometimes hard and fast and on at least one occasion slow and dreamlike like sleepwalking. Ryan complained his cock was sore, and so too was my cunt, despite being awash in cum, but, we would stop, snuggle for a little while, even briefly doze off, then one of us would move, just a little, and it was all to do again.  Exquisite sensitivity meant that delicate touches of fingers and mouths were sufficient to send one or both of us into helpless spasms, repeatedly.

Later, I did a commemorative drawing which shows us floating together above the bed, me in my jumper, he wearing his beloved Doc Martins, a little black and white rodent watching intently from on top of an old wardrobe and zooming around the antique light shade, in an endless sideways figure of eight, a small blue aeroplane. Writing this in the long shadow of that old song, I’m not sad as I have been on some other occasions when recounting stories of my love affair with Ryan. I cup my memories softly, holding them as I would a ball of healing energy, a small nervous rat or a toy like blue aeroplane, feeling them expand slowly outwards, gathering detail as I write,  bringing a sense of joy, wonder and gratitude for a time that will never be repeated, but in retrospect was well worth the pain that came after.

“…The morning was evening, train was a bus, it was dull, dull, dull

You’ve got something to tell me?

I can taste it
I can taste it
I know what it is”


Thank you Ryan….


Track: What It is. Album: Swagger (1990) Artists: The Blue Aeroplanes

Source of lyrics: https://genius.com/The-blue-aeroplanes-what-it-is-lyrics

For more of the songs that were part of our lives see here.


This post was part of Exhibit A’s Erotic writing Song lyrics competition  for more entries please click on the link!














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