Interior Porn Is Ruining My Marriage

It's not so much top-shelf material I'm interested in as the shelves themselves.
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It's not so much top-shelf material I'm interested in as the shelves themselves.

interior

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It all started when I was about 13.

I was staying over at a friend’s. A friend, I might add, with a seriously hot mum. I fancied her. We all fancied her. His dad was away for the weekend, and in my naïve, desperate 13 year-old imagination, I had her all to myself.

It was about 10.30 at night when we decided it was time to hit the sack. My friend dutifully waddled off to the bathroom to clean his teeth. It was then her bedroom door opened, only slightly, and I saw something that simply took my breath away and made me feel utterly light-headed. The excitement was overwhelming.

My heart started racing. My palms were like taps. My heart was going like a jackhammer and I felt just a little bit wobbly at the knees.

I barely registered the black lacy bra that dangled seductively over the back of the chair. No. What I saw was much, much better than that.

It was the smooth arms. The tanned legs. Yes, that’s right. It was the most beautiful chair I’d ever set eyes on.

Elegant. Classy. Well put together. A beautiful Hans Wegner armchair. gracefully bedecked in a Prince of Wales pattern.

My passion for interior porn had begun.

I’d drift off into a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired reverie in the middle of classes. Hardly the sharpest tool in the box at the best of times, my teachers would hurl insults – and bits of chalk – to wake me from my day dreaming in class. I couldn’t focus. At home, I’d wolf meals down as quick as humanly possible, jump on my bike and travel for what seemed like miles to go to newsagents where I knew no one would recognize me. I’d hang around outside, building up the nerve to go in, waiting till there were no other customers. I’d burst in, like I was going to rob the place, and in an adrenalin-filled blur, rush in and snatch what I wanted.

I’d then out Lance Lance Armstrong and pedal home like a boy possessed – which, truth be told, I was – then rush upstairs to my room and slam the bedroom door shut to indulge my desires.

It wasn’t so much top shelf material, as material about shelves themselves. Shelves. Sofas. Curtains. French windows. Kitchen extensions. Floor tiles from France. If it had anything to do with interior design, I’d be salivating over it, tucked up under my duvet that very same night. These magazine left me feeling light-headed, intoxicated.

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No one knew of course. It was guilty secret. If anyone had found out…Christ….my life would’ve been made hell. The North-East in the late 70’s and early 80’s was – and still is, to a large extent – no place for a young boy to admit his kink was interiors. Football, fags and fighting – yes. Conran, Courbosier, Chippendale – no way.

It’s a guilty secret and addiction I’ve carried with me ever since. And now it’s affecting my marriage.

Spending money on models I can’t really afford. Always searching for the next hit, the next bit of excitement of discovering something no one else has yet. The mags stashed under the bed, dreading the moment my son unearths them and my shame is made public.

My wife’s aware of my addiction. She tolerates it, as long as I promise to keep it under control. When she goes to bed, I’ll stay downstairs and surf the web for interior porn sites, or flick through fondly-remembered magazine spreads.

It’s an addiction that’s led me down seedy alleyways in Soho. Up and down Tottenham Court Road. It’s cost me friendships. (I mean, c’mon…how can you compare a Miles Van Der Rohe with an Eames and say they’re even remotely similar? Fuck right off.)

But it was on a recent trip to Amsterdam that nearly got me into the biggest trouble. After spending an afternoon partaking in the local custom of getting off ones tits on some of the worlds finest cannabis, I suddenly found myself down a narrow alleyway, my faced pressed up against a window, staring wildly at one of the most beautiful models I’d ever seen.

I knew I shouldn’t. It could get me all sorts of trouble. But my inhibitions were non-existent. I had to have it. I didn’t care about the cost…financially, emotionally. What could something like this do to my marriage? My family? My self-esteem?

None of that mattered in those seconds it took to make a fumbling, sweaty, heady transaction. I’d stepped over an invisible line, the likes of which changed me forever.

I had to confess everything to my wife the second I walked in through the front door. She knew something was up by the guilty look I had written all over my face. I’d let her down.

“Please tell you didn’t….” she faltered. “I….I didn’t mean to…it was a moment of weakness. It’ll never happen again” I feebly proffered up in way of explanation. Cold shoulder doesn’t even begin to describe the way she treated me for weeks after.

Getting a sofa imported from abroad is no easy feat. Paperwork. Phone calls that get lost in translation. But god, it was worth it. The day it was delivered, all the familiar feelings came flooding back: a light-headedness, a beating heart, a heightened sense of awareness. It was exactly the fix I needed.

At the time of writing this, I haven’t bought any new furniture for nearly 31 days. I know I’m not cured – ironically, part of curing an addiction to interior porn is admitting you have a problem in the first place so well done me (not) – but I just feel like I’m getting better.

Wish me luck. But please: no cards. I don’t know where to put them.

Unless, of course, I get another sideboard. Now, where’s the website where I saw some really lovely ones?...