As you can imagine, kraken-lovers, it takes a lot to creep me out, not just because I am an underwater creature of wrath and the scourge of mouth-breathers the world over but because in my spare time I like to dissect the small dead animals that the cat has delivered. No, really. I do. I can show you pictures of my scalpel bowel deep in a shrew if you like. However, one thing that creeps me out so much that I have a weekly slot booked at the Esso car wash is a mere phrase, just two short words, words that, every time I hear them, make me want to piss petrol over my brain before setting fire to it. Want to know what those words are? Really? Ready? Ok then, here you go: making love.
For the love of fuck, even reading back those words makes me heave over my own frontage. You see to me the phrase – deep breath – ‘making love’ is the greasiest, leeriest, sickliest, sleaziest, hand-up-your-skirtiest phrase in the English language has ever sicked up, which is quite an accomplishment considering that the same language has birthed such ugly terms as ‘chillax’ and ‘starring Michael MacIntyre’. When a phrase makes actual sweaty, sticky, gormless sex sound like a tea party at the Ritz, you just know it’s a steaming crock of wrong. Problem is, the term ‘making love’ is so ubiquitous in cultural life that dodging it is like avoiding the process of peristalsis. Books, songs, art and films all attempt to, I dunno, glamorise the act of shagging by calling it making love even though it is such a dated term that it automatically makes me think of 70s love gods draped in polyester, medallions and roadkill-like chest hair.
I shit you not, if a man asked me to make love to him he’d have to find a sick bucket long before he found a condom. Yup, he could ask me for a shag/ boff/ knobbing/ fumble/ fuck/ bang/ bone or bonk and I’d merrily consider my options. Or he could suggest we bury the bone/ dip the wick/ feed the kitty/ lay piping/ plunder the conjugal nook/ take a trip to Tuna Bay or spear the bearded clam and I’d consider whether I’m up for it. As long as we were already aware of each other in the biblical sense he could even tweak a tit or grab some arse. Yet the moment he sidles up to me and whispers in my ear that he wants to make love he’s got a one way ticket to a piece of liver and an elastic band.
Why I have such a problem with this phrase is something only a psychologist would know and, frankly, I can’t be arsed to ask. I do, though, file the term alongside the other words and phrases that make me reach for a cold poultice and those are ‘panties’, ‘ladies’, ‘suspender’ and ‘horny’. You know how those of us who write about sexism and feminism occasionally include trigger warnings in our work? Well, these words should carry trigger warnings too. They won’t take me back to an earlier trauma but they will increase the likelihood of me choking to death on a bar of soap.
Perhaps the reason I hate the M-L phrase is because it is so excruciatingly condescending. You see, it imbues the act of sex with such meaning, importance and expectation that it sucks every ounce of enjoyment out of it. In fact being asked to make love is like being asked to play tennis for Great Britain in the Wimbledon final. The pressure is utterly fucking enormous. Somehow you’d have to create this magical, memory-making gift of adoration via the medium of minge when all you realy want to do consists of a grapple and a fanny fart in the kitchen while the toddler is sleeping on the sofa.
Apart from which the phrase ‘making love’ belongs to an era when when women weren’t even supposed to have sex unless they were doe-eyed with love. Thing is, none of us are Jayne Eyres waiting for Mr Rochesters any more. We’re independent, self-aware females with rollercoaster menstrual cycles who buy sex toys from High Street shops and gawp openly at David Gandy whenever he pitches up in a D&G ad. In fact, none of the women I know have any interest in making love at all, not least because they only have the time, energy and mental space for a quickie behind the bedroom door. It’s hard enough managing that without it turning it into the sort of moment what would leave Barry White in a faint on a chaise longue.
That’s why, should I ever find myself divorced for widowed, and you fancy your chances with The Kraken don’t ask me to make love to you. Not unless you want the term ‘deep throat’ to involve my fist and a sharpened stick. Instead I’d ask that you speak to me like the modern woman I really am: intelligent, independent and, if the light is right, up for it. Now come over here and gis a kiss because that’s not my tentacle. I’m just pleased to see you.