I return to Sexy Shop on a Saturday night, arriving soon after nine. Inside, a couple, a man and a woman, are in conversation with the burly assistant about the toys they want to buy. They take something from a shelf, turn it over in their hands, assess its texture and weight and purpose, and talk about it. I can’t be certain, it’s all in Hebrew, but they discuss the merits, and, I guess, demerits, of each item, then do the same with another object.
Eventually the assistant notices me. I pay him 30nis and I’m buzzed through the heavy, metal door.
There’s a wall of lockers inside and a door leading to some passages. It’s all quite plush, for a sex room, newly built and well maintained. It’s better finished, by far, than my flat, and spotlessly clean. It is shadowy, rather than pitch black, dusk, not midnight. TVs above play Israeli porn. The only difference I can tell between it and American porn is the language. Shlomit, at the ulpan, didn’t teach most of the few words used, but I can make a decent guess.
There are cubicles that abut other cubicles, and a hole, somewhere below waist height, linking them. The Israeli male shape has a low centre of gravity, by which I mean the men here have short legs. They would triumph in mountain stages if they ever took up professional cycling.
I continue through the passages, it isn’t that big, really, to the end, where I find a larger space, about the size of a decent bedroom. Two leather slings are hanging from the ceiling. This, I suppose, is where the Minotaur lives and where the main action is meant to happen. However, there are only six men, including me, in the establishment, and two of them leave shortly after I arrive. I’m the only one in with the slings.
The place would have been improved by more people and a small bar; I would really have appreciated a cold beer. But it is single minded in its purpose, that is, rumpy pumpy.
I leave an hour later, thirsty and more frustrated than when I’d arrived.
On Diezengoff, outside, everything is jumping, all the bars are full. I ask the assistant if it is ever busier here. Without turning, he points at a poster on the wall behind him. Thursday is underwear night, but you have to wear underwear, and nothing else. I swallow air. Should I? Dare I?
Today’s word:odd low – not yet – עוד לא
See also: Sex! (A drought)