This is our truth, tell us yours
Not my favourite film, despite some awesome music, but it does contain the most erotic scene I’d seen involving a man until I was eighteen. John Travolta, in front of the mirror, primping and preening, checking he’s got all his essentials as he prepares to go clubbing and knock them dead.
It was shockingly erotic, the idea that you could be as masculine as Travolta is, oozing machismo, and yet so totally narcissistic. It was almost an ambition, to be that concerned with looking good and the performance of being a man, but without the vile parts of Travolta’s character, the cruelty and the misogyny.
The topic came to mind in bed with Jem; we were talking about the way in which we import aspects of performance into sex, using costume and rehearsal as carefully as if we were performing to an audience of many not just a cast of two. We were talking too about the way in which part of the thrill of Saturday night is the prelude, the overture, the dressing up and the making sure everything is in its place. We each wondered,separately, if we cruise cottage and club less now because we have found a way of having sex that includes the performance, the dressing up, the mental rehearsals and the ecstatic shock of improvisation.
Like amateur musicians rehearsing at home where no-one can hear them but every note still brings joy, we’re comfortable in our private performances. It’s odd to realise that there’s still a link back though to John Travolta, smoothing his hair and practicing his moves in front of the mirror.