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Living with Swingers
by Cian Manning

A night at the theatre in Cork; happily watered, fed and entertained were the components of a good evening. After a brief good bye to my uncle who was returning to Waterford I strolled along Patrick Street and Grande Parade surrounded by drunk students in the throes of another maniac Monday. As usual the student grants being well spent for educational purposes like ‘How many Jager-bombs can I do in an hour?’ or ‘Is Baileys good on cornflakes?’ From my own experience of the latter coco-pops or something chocolate-y is best. Who knew Arts students would conduct so many laboratory examinations? When passing five lads and a girl urinating in the street I wish they conducted these tests indoors. Ah...a night at the Cork...

Finally home, the electric radiator switched on, sizzling in the ice-box of a room I live in. One imagines the room was used by an Inuit or Eskimo easing the transition to Ireland. Even in the swelter of summer the room manages to maintain a breeze. The spiders in the room seem to maintain a stoic stance to things. I swear I hear one whisper to me to put him out of his misery. Then again his voice was one of many that inhabit my head or it could have been the whistling of that breeze. While waiting for the room to heat up I head into the living room where my housemate is viewing the ‘Sex Education Show’. Perfect viewing for the start of the week, with many PRACTICAL demonstrations which not only remained burned to my innocent, naive little mind, its hard (possibly a poor choice of words in the circumstances) to get a conversation going without concerning the topic on television.

Thank god the set is seven years old, as I imagine the vantages of HD and panoramic screens would have made me feel like the carrot which was subjected to what can only be termed as an extreme vegetarian fetish in the programme. I’m all for having your five a day, but in a far more palatable manner. At least starting with the mouth rather than another orifice, the UN should recognise such crimes against root vegetables.

Battered and bruised, I’m then subjected to the educational guidance of my housemate, who I learn is a swinger, who reveals my other housemate is also a swinger. Not only was there film, but now I had a tutor. One of her anecdotes is the arranging of a rendezvous du ménage a trios (the extent of my Leaving Cert French) which ended up with her knowing both the guy (an old work colleague) and the other woman (a former school-mate) in question. Imagine, knowing the people you’re about to have sex with! What kind of twenty-first cyber erotic vegetable harming century are we living in?

Over two hours later, my ice-box room is now a sauna. After viewing many swingers profiles (not my idea but my tutor...I mean housemate) I want to wash my eye balls. I’ve seen glass bottles where glass bottles shouldn’t be. I’ve witnessed Bosco with something other than a hand controlling his strings and I certainly have learnt more about the woman I’m living with, in this seminar than over the previous five months. However, it leaves me pondering one question: if she’s a swinger and I a single male, why was I never invited to wash the carrots?