The following texts were initially posted in the comment section of Dennis Cooper's Weaklings Blog. Each day a new update would appear, the intention being of going through my mothers entire sexual history over a course of a few weeks. As with many things I start it was never finished. Over the next week or so here I will reproduce the initial Weakling posts followed by new texts, thus completing the piece. I have also included the initial conversation between Dennis and Myself which led to the writing of My Mother's Sex Life. There is an introductory post on snooker legend Alex Higgins which was never part of the original texts.

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Introduction to My Mother's Sex Life: Alex Higgins

Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins was a genius. He was a genius at playing snooker drunk. No one has, or will ever, do it any better. Two times Embassy World Champion, Higgins modernised the game. An outlaw of the baize, he played and lived like someone who knew he had less time than the others. His career was a jagged mountain range of dangerous peaks and hard, rocky lows. Even when sat in his chair, as his opponent slowly played out, all eyes would be on Higgins: he was the game. Watching him sat there: smoking, drinking, brooding, sniffing, twitching, his eye-lids closing over, a dark mood arriving... was poetry. One of the last Real romantics to hold a cue he was a man who defined an age. In unequal measures Higgins was a scoundrel, a drunk, a drug user, a gambler, a hustler and hallowed sinner. His list of crimes includes: pissing in the plant arrangements during a live televised game, abusing match referees, head-butting a tournament director, fighting with opponents, cracking up or breaking down mid-game, flouting stuffy dress codes. The ultimate anti-hero, Higgins was the People's Champion: a loser who sometimes won but mostly lost, and in that struggle, his many downfalls and few successes, he somehow epitomised life itself. In 1985, the evening following on from his shock early exit from the Snooker World championship, Alex Higgins, 'The Hurricane', 'The Peoples Champion', 'The Drunken, Flawed, Wife-beating Genius', fucked my mother in a toilet in a bar in London's Earls Court. Knowing that thrilled me and provoked me into taking an inordinate amount of interest in my mothers sex life. I began keeping a diary, a record of the freaks, criminals, desperados and mental degenerates who passed through her...

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Introduction to My Mother's Sex Life: An exchange with Dennis Cooper

Me: Dennis, OH, I missed the Alex Higgins post!!! In the sidebar of my site he has made it in as one of the artists/writers/Down n'outs that have been a major influence on my life. In 1985 he fucked my mother in a toilet in a bar in Earls Court (London). We all loved him after that.

Dennis Cooper: Shane, Hey, man! Higgins fucked your mother? Whoa. That's pretty wild and cool. Yeah, I was way into Higgins' playing for a while back when watching him play was technologically possible, and I think aspects of him probably ended up in one of my characters even, if memory serves.

Me: Yeah, that's absolutely true about Higgins fucking my mother. But it's not that surprising, most men in London between 1984 - 1989 fucked her (or the other way around). Ray Davies from the Kinks was another of her lovers (though he wasn't famous at the time). There was also Dubai Charli, but i don't suppose you wanna know about him?!

Dennis Cooper: Ray Davies?! Your mom certainly was popular among the gods. Wow. Dubai Charli: I don't know, ... do I want to hear about him? You know me. Do I?

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My Mother's Sex Life #1 -  Dubai Charli

Dubai Charli was an arab, rich as well, at least that's what my mother said. She met him as she served drinks and fiddled the till in the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington. As the story goes, at the end of his first night, Dubai Charli approached the bar and gave my mother a folded up piece of paper. Later, when she opened it, rather than finding a phone number there was  a crudely drawn picture of a cunt, and below it, three dollar signs and a question mark. My mother turned the paper over but the other side was blank. Strange. It meant only one thing: he was coming back.

The next night Dubai Charli was back. He received large measures and short change. When my mum knocked off, for the first and only time, she fucked him for free. Understanding it was just sex, that there was no long term relationship con to be had, my mother remembered the three dollar signs. From then on Charli paid fifty quid a go, neatly folded each time and put in the back of a box of Opium perfume. For his money Charli got to fuck and knock her around a little. Nothing too serious: a split lip, black eye, bruised ribs, etc. Mum said it was better than market make-up and didn't run in the rain.

I never saw Charli, but I did see his handwriting. Every month an air mail letter would fall through the letterbox and land on the loose wooden floorboards of the hall. Inside, on paper more expensive than money, he would signal his arrival:

Arriving: XXX. Wear: XXX. Phone: XXX.

A week or so later mum would get all dressed up and disappear. After two or three days she'd return drunk and bruised and counting out what was left of the cash. The back row of her perfume cabinet began to look like a scale model of the tower blocks around the back. That went on for about a year, I suppose. Then Charli's letters stopped, mum quit dressing up and eventually her supply of Opium perfume ran out. Charli was gone, just a scent in a time that no-one now remembers. I remember though. I remember lots of things.

After Charli there was Little John, though I seriously doubt that a dwarf dressed up as a security guard would be of any interest to a cultured man like you?


  1. I would NEVER let anyone tell me what to "Wear:XXX"

  2. Shane!.. as always you managed to open my eyes wide.. giggle ..."Sex life of your mother"
    How old is your mother?
    Well no don't answer that .. but I knew Alex Higgins, although I didn't shag him.. I met him twice. Once in Liverpool in an after hours club.. and the second time in Newcastle. He was such a stylish figure. In a long black cape and a massive hat stood on Newcastle station platform.

    I also had a run in with a group of Arab gentlemen in the London Tara!! I was training at the time to work for Clarins.. and after a night out with one of the other girls, a Mercedes Benz tried to garb us and pull us into the car .. we were staying in the Kensington, but ran into the Tara and fell out of the revolving doors screaming which is where and when the chase ended ..Weirdly enjoyed these tales xx

  3. You have to burn all your value judgments in a bin before reading your best stuff Shane. This latest writing about your mum's fuck-fest is some of the best tragi-comic and existentially validating stuff I have read. I fell off my perch laughing and crying, and Alex Higgins has just become someone I want to know so much more about. Can't wait for the next installments. Hope you are high on life, whatever route of adminstration it is coming in. Russell.

  4. Grouchy - There's a massive appeal for me in not having to think, not having to worry about self-respect or Self, full stop. All the expectations of an encounter written down on a piece of paper and requiring nothing from you except to turn up and get fucked. Self-awareness gets so tiring. Being animal is like a holiday.

    Shane - The guy above me said it best.

    'Nothing too serious: a split lip, black eye, bruised ribs, etc. Mum said it was better than market make-up and didn't run in the rain.'

    Dark as fuck and funny as hell. How do you make the brutal truth sound so romantic?? (And not romance in the hearts and flowers way, in the desperate and primal way).

    Great stuff, as always. This one reminds me of Mike Leigh for some reason. Must be the existential, tragi-comic thing ;)


  5. Hey Shane,
    Brilliant stuff as usual. I love the image of the stacked Opium bottles. A friend of the same profession had a similar stack of "Paloma Piccasso" hovering on a glass shelf above a high-maintenance supply of cash and carry bleach.
    Yeah, Sailor, you took the favourite quote right out of my typing thumb there..."didn't run in the rain"
    The excuses we make for being beaten huh? Your tragedy-free style is so refreshing.
    It's so, so, so much more than those numbers that are so popular with a lot of women these days. You know the kind of thing: "Cut" "Bruised" "Scarred "Tortured" "Raped" "Abused", all that. Read in an hour and wish you'd not bothered.
    They sell for the shock factor, but also, I hear a lot of people saying stuff like
    "It puts my shit into perspective" But there's no beauty there. Just victim to survivor cliché. It's a formula: Tragedy/rescue/epiphany/justice. Money for misery.
    I think that's one element of why people are so drawn to your writing: it's the vivid, stark imagery...your descriptions of beauty in disintegration, in desolation, in chaos. Your style gives the reader permission to laugh at what may make them puke and abandon if it was written by anyone else.
    Humour is so important. Without humour, it's easy to be swallowed up and lost in difficult experiences.
    I had a "Cleopatra" eye back in 2007 that I matched up on the other side with a bit of black eyeliner. The colour of the eyeshadow would change as it faded from purple to green to yellow and all its variations.
    There was no chance of matching the newly red white of the eye though. Neither could I concoct a humorous excuse for it. The whole white was red. Maybe I'll fictionalise it when I've thought of how it could have been "explained". I couldn't walk properly and remember telling my daughter when she asked me why,
    "I'm walking like an Egyptian: they wrote a song about that. Look, I'm Cleopatra, she wore makeup like this"
    She wasn't silly: she knew, but the humourous distraction kept us going in a hard time.
    When I stop seeing the humour, that's inevitably and unavoidably when it all goes tits up.
    Anyway, I'm happy you're writing such great new stuff on here. The title's great, a real audience-puller too.
    I hope you're well Shane,

    Love, Inspiration& Long, happy life,

    Vee X

  6. Hey Vee... Oh, that reminds me i have to change the opium line a touch as I repeat a word around that sentence if I recall. I meant to edit it last week and forgot.

    "better than market make-up and doesn'tt run in the rain"

    I don't think my mum was that poetical... she has a different poetry, one that uses the word 'cunt' a lot

    I don't think the stories you refer to have any shock factor.. in a way I think they sell because they are not shocking. They turn an act which is always shocking and always appalling into something easy to digest. But a beating isn't easy to digest and reading of it shouldn't be either. But domestic violence is a weird one and it all depends on how it unravels and why. My mother seemed to be a woman who needed to be beaten to feel loved.. she really pushed every man she had to thump her. Not all did. The one's who didn't got thumped themselves and then dumped. Where alcohol is present it all becomes very corrupt

    The thing is that life is ultimately about disintegration. It's the greatest tragedy we have. Death is very rarely a happy ending, even less so if it comes at the end of a life of success. But people cling to religion still. Britain is a secular nation until people are ill or in prison. So most redemption is a religious ending, giving people life after death... the miraculous happy ending. But we pay heavy for happy endings.. and i've yet to see a real happy ending yet. There'll be none from me either. This is all gonna end in tragedy... I know that much! ahaha

    Oh, the red-eye things easy. You coulda said something like it was your time of the month and you'd been doing headstands...

    Oh God... I've learnt once I start writing crap like that it's best just to leave... I'mm well thanks VEE, hope alls good your end.. X

  7. hey Sailor.... great to see ya back! X
    I sent you a mail, but nothing to do with the comment so will be back a little later to reply.X

  8. Hey again Shane,
    Cunt has always been one of my favourite words. I don't understand why so many women find it upsetting or offensive.

    Hahaha, pmh: pre menstrual headstands. Like being a kid and thinking when you eat, the food fills you up like a jug, starting with the feet.
    I could have said I'd smoked a spliff up one nostril with the other eye closed and called it an ancient Egyptian custom?
    I'm not so bad thanks Shane. Still alive eh?!
    Love&Inspiration&long, happy life,
    Vee X

  9. One person's pain is another person's pleasure. One person's stain is another person's plane. One person's cuss is another person's suss. One person's cunt is another person's front...

  10. but why would he hit her? crazy?

  11. hey Shivi... Why??? Because some men get off on that. It'sa very common fetish... maybe the most common. And it's not all one way, a common female sexual fantasy is to be beaten, humiliated, used... raped. So it's crazy if you're having sex just to reproduce, but mostly sex isn't about that any more. And anyway, if you knew my mother you'd want to hit her too! X

  12. Like I advised earlier Shivanni: value judgements should be shelved/binned while appreciating original and groundbreaking literary work like Shane's stuff. Unless I am reading him wrong, Shane is not trying to be politically correct or properly morally compassed, he is telling it from a unique emotionally idiosyncratic perspective (any more qualification would be his department). That's why this writing feels so fresh and vivid and mind-blowing to me, anyway. Feel free to argue, I don't care if I'm wrong...

  13. hey Ya Russell... No, I think you're reading me correctly and to have someone of your knowledge and scope to appreciate what I do is and will always be humbling for me.

    Oh, political corectness doesn't interest me. Life and nature is not politically correct and so it would be a dishonesty for me to write with such a consideration. I think personal correctness and honesty will always win through anyhow, and if I want to use a word like NIGGER because it best gets to the heart of something then I will, but with teh confidence that Niggas will get and appreciate it.

    I have my own set of moral codes. It's an honesty within myself and a certain acceptance of all things whether socially moral or not. But my morals are always evolving, I think they ahve to if you'rre to evolve as a person. I am morally compassed, just in every direction! Imagine being out at sea with weird magnetic forces playing havoc which thecompass point... well, I guess my morals could be seen like that. They encompass all and everything.

    I think Russell you and I have this great understanding and respect of Nothingness in common. That a step back from it all, it's all quite meaningless... at least in ways many try to find or give meaning in existence. So nothing and nothingness is a theme constant through my work and that effects my morality quite a bit. I think also the complete lack of religion or spirituality I have is another major reason why my moral code is very much my own.

    Thanks Russell... X

  14. Hey again,
    You know what, it is a very common fetish and bizarre as it may seem, some blokes can't seem to tell the difference between a woman who "wants" to be "raped and beaten" and a woman who just wants a "normal" relationship (whatever that is)...
    hence the classic lines in DV situations:
    "She loves getting beaten" "you're a masochist, aren't you, you love it"
    Hence marital rape laws...some blokes can't understand that they don't have the right to unlimited cunt access 24/7 just because they're sharing a bed every night...Yeah, some blokes just don't get it...
    That's why there's such a huge market in the sex trade for stuff like that: for sensible people who don't feel the need to actually rape/beat people who don't share the fetish.
    It's about understanding where the line is and when and how it gets crossed.
    What's criminal for one person is pleasure for another.

  15. ...pardon my sexism...cos some birds just don't get it either haha X


"You'll destroy me too," she said, "I think I want to die."
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Make a little history and leave what words you have.. X