Heterosexuality is an ugly word. Until recently it skulked in the obscurity of medical text books. Now, one hears it everywhere. Let us be explicit and fearless about its meaning, then. Hetero, as one might expect, is derived from a foreign language, and means 'op posite'. Therefore, a heterosexual man is sexually attracted only to women and vice-versa.
There are few outward signs by which a heterosexual reveals himself, though authorities on the subject claim that a heterosexual will sooner or later give himself away-if only by his clumsiness and coldness, and crashing insensitivity. A heterosexual walks-or rather clumps in hobnailed boots and belted mac-alone. Not for him the joys of true comrade ship; his energies are all spent in the pursuit of women. There is nothing he longs for more, than a night out with the boys, but a night out with the boys-in the truest, deepest sense is precisely :what he can never enjoy. He is too busy making passes at the barmaid.
What is being done about this problem? Very little. The prevalent official attitude is simply to make heterosexuality as difficult as possible, to scoop it under the carpet.
How do I know all this?
I am a heterosexual.
It began early with me, at my public school. I won't say which one. . . I have dis honoured it enough already. I was fourteen years old, apparently a happy, wholesome normal lad, making friendships which would stand me in good stead for the rest of my life, when suddenly I realised that I didn't feel as I should towards the Captain of the Eleven. I couldn't disguise my growing conviction that he was a big, fat, boring slob. The padre, the housemaster, the housemaster's wife, did their level best to help, but I left school under a cloud.
I became an up-and-coming young executive. My field was corsets. I was good at my job, then one afternoon, I found it necessary to take a client to a strip club. I was watching a young lady in a G-string wrestling with a stuffed snake, when, to my horror, I discovered that I violently desired her. I tried to believe that it was something I had eaten. I tried to behave normally, and only looked at the audience. But it was no use. I enjoyed looking at naked women. .
Of course, my work began to suffer. I lost my job. Now, I am a doorman at the strip club which was the cause of my downfall. I am not actively unhappy, and sometimes the young ladies let me take them home, but it's a strange twilight world I live in. I have fallen farther than most, because I had farther to fall.
Mine is a sad story, but heterosexuals do not cry. I am not a criminal. Before you con demn me out of hand, try and see me as I am, a lost and lonely soul, with perhaps, a more than passing resemblance to-dare I say it-yourselves.
"Confession" by John Braine, in "That Was The Week That Was", edtied by David Frost and Ned Sherin, W.H. Allen, 1963