As it was the first time we were legitimately allowed to talk about sex, due the Institute of Sexology show at the Wellcome Collection, we launched straight in. "I bumped into Bruce in front of the cum contraptions," said AC. Dave moaned, "There was just too much to read!" None of us were sure what it was we were hoping to get out of the show, but we all felt somewhat short-changed. It became clear though, that if there's one way to strip all sexiness from the act of sex, it's by putting on a curated show about sex. There were a few golden nuggets in there nonetheless. AC in particular enjoyed the cock n ball 'keep-your-house-safe' Ganesh-style trinkets in one vitrine. A few of us were also intrigued by Marie Stopes's very detailed graph of when she felt like her nipples needed a tweak and other intimate moments of the month. Also fascinating were the letters people wrote to her, both out of gratitude for her work, and in disgust. The other crowd-pleasers were the two videos - one of animals jumping each other and of students discussing their lothario-like behavioural patterns on campus. Every now and then, you felt that there was a bloke in a trench breathing down your neck, twitching in his jacket pocket. But then again, it was probably Dave.
Next up was Francesca Martinez's autobiography What the f*** is Normal. I had suggested the book, having heard her speak at a Bloggers Conference where she managed to make me laugh and cry in the space of five minutes. At the time I had no idea that she was a fellow Kensal Riser, that she went to both Salusbury School and Malorees. That she even had Mr Rainbow as a music teacher. Not all managed to finish the book in time, or even buy a copy (Dave), as some of us are now simply too busy being artists (Dave). There were definitely moving moments in the book, such as when the grandfather dies, or imagining Francesca lugging her typewriter through school, or dealing with bitchiness in High School. But some sections were disappointing, such as the anti-consumerist rant in the last 20 pages. But nothing that couldn't be solved by dipping some bread into a vat of cheese. And then it was presents all round. Except for Dave, who didn't get one, because he forgot to bring one.