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Ireland is sexy. No sniggers, please. I mean it. Listen.
When I was doing stand up, I used to do material about how Irish people weren’t sexy, about how when we took our clothes off it was less like tantalisingly revealing the beautiful gift of your naked body, more like unwrapping uncooked chicken. Our awkwardness in getting it on was more to do with fear of salmonella than anything else.
But we all know that’s not true. We all know what I was skirting around there. I mean, the joke got laughs because we acknowledge the idea that our traditionally pasty skin was the problem, but it’s really not true. It’s repression and fear and shame that got in the way of us taking the global stage as the hot pieces of ass we are. Well, those days, my lady and gentleman and non-binary friends, are over. We’re taking sexy back and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it.
Who are they? They are de Valera, Archbishop John Charles McQuaid and any of their frigid minions who tried to beat the sex out of us. Even enshrining the old shame in the constitution. They took what looked (even to untrained, angry eyes) like repressed kinks and destructive power hunger that a few quick therapy sessions could have ironed out and, ironically, fucked a nation for years with their warped ideas of virtue. The misery of it. It sapped our strength. It made us compliant for far too long.
I now advocate the Riding Rebellion. It’ll be like 1916 but ridier. All you have to do is have sex and not be ashamed of it. For Ireland. They hate it when you’re not ashamed. It shouldn’t be any of their business, but they still hate it. Let’s resolve to do it more.
How dare anyone say Irish people weren’t sexy and good at sex when, if they’d let it into the Olympics, we’d have won at it? I’m certain that part of the reason we didn’t do well at other sporting events was we were so tired from riding and covering it up; the covering it up part being the part that took up all the time and energy.
Name a place in this country – go on, anywhere: sex has been had there. Irish people had to be inventive with where they had the sex so it looked like the sex wasn’t being had. Ditches, cupboards, unlit laneways, canal banks, glassy chrome Celtic Tiger offices, cow byres, confession booths…you name it. And you know it. I’m not inventing this or revealing anything you don’t know to be true. Leinster House? I wouldn’t run a blacklight in there. Sure, they’re even glauming each other (whether the glaumee likes it or not hahagoodgirlyourself,you’reagreatsport) when the Dáil is in session. God knows what happens at less populated times. Alan Shatter even wrote a book about it so it’s definitely true. As if we couldn’t have guessed by the heads on them. And I do mean heads.
When we talk about repealing the 8th amendment, as well talking about basic reproductive rights, we also mean repealing this two-faced attitude to sex. When we talk about being ok with ‘certain circumstances’ for abortion, we’re saying we’re actually ok with abortion itself, just not with the circumstances of conception or the women who’ve conceived. Honestly, let that sit for a second. Really think about it. I don’t mean it to be shocking, or inflammatory: that’s actually what’s in question. When you build shame into the constitution itself, when you remove people’s responsibility to weigh their own morals and ethics and butt out of everyone else’s lives, sexy or otherwise, you create a big old mess. You don’t need a blacklight to pick it up.
There was a video circulating last week of Annie Murphy, who gave birth to the son of the late Bishop Eamon Casey. It showed her on the Late Late Show being vilified and scorned. There is glee on the faces of the audience. They are sanctimonious, self-righteous, cruel in their attempts to discredit her, when the facts were undisputed. That was 1993. Another Olympic omission at which we’d excel: Pass Remarkableness. Curtain Twitching. How dare we. How dare we.
So, let’s leave the curtains in the past where they belong and get back to what we’re good at: riding. It doesn’t matter that it’s cold and wet most of the year – the riding will warm us up. It doesn’t matter that the national dish being bacon and cabbage followed by custard (I don’t think you’re ready for this…custard) means we haven’t traditionally had taut abs – the riding will tone us right up a treat. There is no pressure here: we only have to be sexy like our own selves. If you don’t have someone to do it with, do it with yourself. I swear you’ll feel better, more at ease, more dynamic at work, play, or overthrowing an ineffective government. It’s always been fun, but right now it’s vital that everyone living in this country gets on board the riding train.
Remember. We’re doing it for Ireland.