Flan Club

So what’s it like when you pretty much invent a fetish, and gradually watch it being absorbed into the mainstream? Well, that’s what happened to Bill Shipton, the creator of Splosh! magazine (www.splosh.co.uk) and quite possibly the funniest man in England. The best part of two decades ago, Bill launched the magazine to cater for folks with a penchant for wet and messy sex – everything from rolling around fully clothed in mud to getting off on filling your knickers with cold baked beans. The erotic element was always balanced out with lots of silly, slapstick humour – one photoshoot featured a Russian spy called Inya Pantigusset, for instance, while his parodies of everything from Grange Hill to a telethon on behalf of the charity Adults In Need… Of A Good Shag were always spot-on. It was a niche interest, but it was a fun niche – in Bill’s eyes it was the perfect antidote to those who took the world of fetish (and themselves) waaaaaay too seriously. While they were strutting around a club in a £300 designer rubber frock, Bill’s readership were buying second-hand bridesmaid’s dresses from charity shops and pouring poster paint all over them.

I even ventured into Splosh!-world myself. One of Bill’s videos, Messy Missies, ends with me and my good friend, Gwenn (in the guise of editor of Big And Fat magazine, Hazel Herbert-Jones), having a pie fight on some very slippery plastic sheeting in a photographic studio just off Great Ormond Street. Given that Gwenn’s the best part of a foot taller than me, it’s one for all connoisseurs of comedy size difference and rank bad acting.

So it’s something of a surprise to see that sploshing has had a rather glamorous makeover. The most recent episode of CSI: New York featured a character found dead with blood seeping from every orifice and bits of linguine in unusal places. The inference was he’d been poisoned at a sploshing party – cue visit by lead CSI Mac Taylor and his team to said event. Now, I like the way the various CSI franchises cover fetishes and alternative sexualities – over the years they’ve featured swing parties, gender reassigment, furries and hardcore BDSM, among other things – and usually the characters are murdered for a relatively mundane reason like jealousy or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, not because they’re pervy. Again, the sploshing element of the storyline was something of a red herring, but it was noticeable that the people at the party were uniformly young and implausibly attractive – a bit like hurling a plate of pasta at a page of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue…

Having let Bill know about this (I was sitting at home with my feet up, having got back from watching Rotherham beat Lincoln at Sincil Bank, while he was out listening to some dodgy heavy metal band in a pub close to Splosh! Towers), he told me to go and watch this week’s episode of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, as he’d helped them with a scene in which Billie Piper, as Belle, has a messy cake fight with a client. I’ve somehow managed to avoid the programme till now, but I watched it to see how they covered the subject. It’s safe to say I’m unlikely to watch it again. If you like glossy, well-filmed nonsense in which a woman consoles herself with shoes, champagne and (alarmingly condom-free) sex while secretly longing for love with an unavailable man – well, actually, if you like that, you’ve already got Sex And The City. Secret Diary Of Some People I’d Quite Like To Slap has the requisite universally attractive cast (apart from the splosher, who had a deliberately ill-advised beard and a slightly off-kilter face), artily-shot sex and lots of moping around to a Magic FM soundtrack. It’s the sort of programme which makes me believe I’m really a bloke…

Still, sploshing is officially mainstream now, so I’m going to keep an eye out for it appearing elsewhere. Patient taken into Holby City with a flan-related accident, anyone?

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