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Slip It In

Every now and then certain pieces of music will catch me unawares and hit me with an onslaught of memories that had been packed away for a while. Usually, the culprit will be a song that I had one of the mix tapes I thrived on during high school. Like with most teenagers, I guess, music was a huge part of my life back then. It was a way to choose and declare some kind of identity and tribal association. It was a litmus test to see who was on your wavelength or not. It was a complement to heady adolescent emotion. I spent so many hours listening to music then — on my long commute between Staten Island and the Upper East Side, hanging around with friends listening to each other's albums, and just hanging out alone in my room (probably sulking or pining away for one thing or another, since I was a teenager). Hearing a random track from that time can dredge up exactly the feel of the moment in the most vivid ways, especially when it takes me back to moments I’d forgotten about.

black_flag-slip_it_in.jpgI’d downloaded a bunch of tracks a while ago without looking at what the batch included, and I’ve been slowly working my way through the bunch while I sit at my desk working at night. So I’m sitting there tonight polishing up a few letters (I’ve got 26 lowercase and 9 uppercase so far, if you're curious) when Slip It in by Black Flag comes on. Wham! A flood of heady, hormone-fueled teenage memory comes flooding back. Slip It In was on one of the earlier mix tapes — number 4, I think, of the 130 or so I’d made by the time I gave up cassettes in the late 90s — and was probably taped off of WSIA, the college radio station on Staten Island. I listened to this particular mix a lot.

Actually, I listened to Slip It In more than the rest of the mix. In a way that only a closeted homo with a neurotic flair for being a goody-two-shoes can really pull off, I didn't really tap into my churning hormones until I was well into my teens. By the time I finally discovered the simple, intense pleasures of pulling my own pud, my whole sense of sex and self was already deeply mixed up.

For me, Slip It In was like a thunderclap of sex. The whole pace and tone of the song is about sex, and not the polite kind. My first really intense orgasms came while listening to this song over and over, getting off on the sound and the images I put to them. (And I didn't even know that Henry Rollins was monster hot yet.) What's fucked up, though, is that I could imagine what I wanted so intensely without actually realizing it. When I was horny, I would think about all these cute New Wave girls I had crushes on — you, like I was supposed to — but it didn't take long before my pulse was racing and my dick was throbbing to images of wiry punk rock boys in leather jackets and combat boots. If you want to know how fucked up it is to be in the closet, that’s it: happily jerking off to one thing for years without ever even acknowledging it to yourself. And man, did I know some hot punk rock boys when I was in high school and college. So many wasted opportunities! It would have been a lot easier for me, the girls I dated, and probably everyone all around if I had just been able to figure out why that stuff kept popping into my head when I let myself go all those afternoons in my room.

(You can watch the video here, but it really doesn't do the song justice. In fact, if I had seen the video back then I doubt the song would have become so erotically charged for me.)

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