Sultans of Swingby Montle Moorosi / 17.06.2009
At the towering gates of a large house in Saxonwold stood a heavyset white man with a scruffy brown and grey beard – the type you’d normally see on an English teacher or Hell’s Angel. He stood with his arms crossed and his eyes beamed in our direction, while he bounced up and down using the weight of his thighs like he was stretching his muscles and warming up for a sprint.
The man wore a black long-sleeved shirt with a collar and loose black chino’s, like waiters normally wear. His shoes looked like they belonged to an oil sheik, they pointed upwards and inwards towards his ankles as if aroused by his toes. He leaned towards the window of the driver’s seat of the car and asked the man sitting next to me, “How many guys should I let in?”
“Not more than five boet, we don’t want to have a Father’s day on our hands,” said Lyle, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel and scratching the bits of stubble on his chin.
“There’s a couple of people here already, I didn’t get a good look though, James and Tamsin are here too.” The fat man made a half smile, the sort you make when you have to settle for one ply toilet paper as opposed to using your favourite shirt. And just like that, we drove up a long winding driveway that would lead me into my first “adult party.”
A year ago I wrote a story on a girl named Tyra who was into “NSA” fun, which is an online-dating term that stands for “no strings attached” sex with a complete stranger. Tyra prowled the web meticulously for suitable candidates she could bed by using various websites such as gumtree.co.za and sacupid.co.za in order to “find the right man” who she said would be most likely to “make me squeal like a pig again.” Tyra is 24 years old and boasts a whopping score of 16 for the number of people she’s bedded through online hook-ups.
In retrospect, Tyra is a conservative when it comes to online casual relationships; she is just as good looking as Sarah Palin and just as eager to pin down a black man too. Lyle, on the other hand, is similar to a 17th century French Libertine who was conceived in the wrong era and born into an upper-class South African family in the 1980s. His father is a civil engineer turned property magnate and his mother runs a very successful events management company which once catered for dinner for Nicholas Cage whilst he was in Cape Town shooting a movie.
Lyle is the image of the prototypical Johannesburg Northern Suburbs boy who went to a boys-only private school and uses words like “okes” and “schweet” in almost every sentence. He is always of a generally happy disposition and is used to being the life of the party – telling stories and jokes, while he’s not competitively downing pints of draught beer.
“I lost my virginity when I was in Standard 7 with this Lebanese chick with really big tits, who was in Standard 9. Her mother caught us doing it in my cousin’s car outside her house when I was dropping her off after a school dance. ‘I hope you guys are using condoms,’ was all her mom said.’ Yesus, I laughed hey!”
Like Tyra, I met Lyle through gumtree.co.za. He had various messages posted throughout the casual relationships section of the site. One was called “WHERE ARE THE JHB GLORY HOLES?” I promptly googled “glory hole” and discovered this to be the practice whereby a hole is drilled into the wall of a public toilet stall, or peep show booth, for performing oral sex or as a telescope for voyeuristic pleasures.
But what if someone is simply taking a dump? Does the voyeur just deal with the smell and watch thighs flapping in boredom and wait ‘til someone who isn’t defecating comes by? Are people turned on by watching someone reading the funnies and wiping their arses with them? I still have no answers to these questions, so I moved on to another message posted by Lyle.
“ADULT PARTY: send an e-mail with your picture and a little something about yourself, regular parties hosted for the wild and adventurous. Very discreet up-market venue.”
My reply read:
Hi, my name is Montle and I’m a 24 year-old Journalism student and I would really like to bear witness to one of these parties, for educational purposes and simply to have something to do on a Saturday night.
There are over 13 000 SA based online-dating sites and the number of people involved in trying to get their freak on through cyberspace is growing. Mark Brooks, editor of onlinepersonalswatch.com, says: “There’s a lot of talk about how websites like Second Life will impact online dating. I’ve seen statistics that 80% of people will have an online virtual identity by 2011.”
“All kinds of people are into this – rich, poor, white, black, fags, everyone. There’s nothing wrong with it. I guess some of us are just tired of going ‘the long way’ when it comes to sex and dating,” says Lyle, who claims to have had sex with over twenty women through online dating.
In 2002, a Wired magazine article forecast that in 20 years “the idea of someone looking for love without looking for it online will be silly, akin to skipping the card catalog to instead wander the stacks because the right books are found only by accident. Serendipity is the hallmark of inefficient markets and the marketplace of love, like it or not, is becoming more efficient.”
I want to be ahead of 20 years; I want to see the future of relationships in its most twisted and progressive form. I just want a glimpse of what personal matters will be like in an age where a little pill is a three course meal.
As Lyle’s silver 2007 Peaugot 206 drew closer to the main house, which is one of the many houses belonging to his parents, I suddenly felt the desperate urge to go home and sit on the toilet with a good book. I was not ready for what lay ahead and began to wonder how on earth I would explain to my parents what an orgy had to do with a creative writing course.
“Last thing like this I organised was fuckin awesome. You wouldn’t believe the kind of asses we had there, nice big round ones, sexy little tanned ones…yesus, schweet stuff hey. Which do you prefer? Ass or tits? Are you a tit man?”
As we left the car and proceeded towards a large red oak wood door, above our heads the faint hum of music could be heard. It sounded like Fleetwood Mac or Steely Dan; it could have been the sound of wet skins slapping against each other for all I knew. We walked towards the lounge and bar area, which was scattered with half-full drinks, clumps of marijuana and cigarette boxes. As I was about to ask where everyone was, a woman dressed in a blue bathrobe, who looked very similar to a young Patricia DeLille, walked past and gave a shy yet suggestive smile and nearly fell to the floor when she slipped on a puddle of spilt liquor.
“Be carefull, I don’t think there’s anyone here that wants to get it on with a paraplegic just yet,” said Lyle, ever empathetic, smiling at her, eyeing her body from head toe. “That’s Tamsin, she’s a regular here, she used study at Wits too”.
In the adjoining room, furnished like one of Andy Warhol’s wet dreams, stood two men clad in white towels, sipping what appeared to be whisky and watching another fully clothed woman in jeans and a t-shirt dancing slowly to the sounds of Beyonce, which were being blasted from the giant plasma screen.
“Okes, is this it? Is this everyone?” said Lyle, trying his best not to look me in the eye.
“Don’t I count now?” asked the tanned dancing girl with short auburn hair, fingers fiddling with the television, trying to find the knob for the volume.
“I told you not to come, how many times? What don’t you understand about ‘ex-girlfriend?’ I don’t want you here, fuck sakes!”
“I wouldn’t mind trying her out hey, come on Lyle, be a sport,” begged one of the men in towels, who I think is known as James.
“That’s my ex, boet! Where’s your decency? Mates don’t do that to each other.” Lyle’s face glowed scarlet and he promptly threw himself down on a couch. Everyone looked at him, unsure of what to do next. Eventually, we sat down and watched DSTV. Mainly the the movie channel and the history channel, since there was an Adolf Hitler marathon playing.
An hour later I caught a lift back to my house with Lyle’s ex-girlfriend, Lindsey. It was a long and quiet trip, which actually lasted about ten minutes. When we got to my place she said she’d like to meet up with me one day and was really embarassed that we met under such weird circumstances. I offered her my phone number, but she said she’d look me up on facebook instead, because she didn’t want “her privacy being invaded by someone she doesn’t really know”.