Bare concrete has to be the most unforgiving surface imaginable. It’s not physics of the material but because there are harder substances and tougher ones which withstand wear better. I always feel concrete is associated in my mind with memories of my upbringing in the industrial north of England.
I didn’t have an unhappy childhood and adolescence as some people I know did. It was Spartan from time to time, occasionally tough and turbulent at times but I wasn’t hard done to. I am however left with the feeling of an unyielding concrete time in my life where it was easy to get metaphorically grazed and if I wasn’t careful crash into a hard carapace of unyielding artificial barriers set up by those around me.
I wasn’t unique. At the time the country was going through a period of austerity like the one we are about to experience. I was chatting to Suze about it today and I don’t think that we will descend to the levels that we did then, but for those who weren’t born in the 1970s it will feel just as hard. The higher you are the further you have to fall.
In a way I welcome this because it’s times of hardship that really define the character of a generation. When you ask a kid of today about the 1980s they will tell you about yuppies and booming stock markets (they may also mention Audi Quattros thanks to Ashes to Ashes). But what defined that era like every other was the market crashes, the increased disparity between rich and poor and the sense of resentment many young people felt towards figures of authority, official bodies and the government. There was something to rebel against, a cause to rally too, something which is missing in any time of prosperity.
So what does this have to do with a sex blog? Well, a lot.
People feel things more acutely when they are under pressure. I’ve never felt more alive than when I’ve been on the edge and that’s when I feel the most sexually alive too. Everyone should feel like that and while I’m not suggesting that sexual awakenings are a justification for the deliberate inducement of an economic slump I think everyone has to know what it feels like to be outside the cosy care-free world of financial security before they truly know the value of a good relationship.
I would argue that if you listen to the music of the late 1970s and early eighties you can feel the tension.