Every so often, a person – invariably a brilliant person – will say something that makes me want to hug them in sheer delight. That happened earlier this evening, when a good friend casually reminded me of the pure, unadulterated hotness that is library sex.
Library sex is a fairly predictable trigger for me, and I would guess the same is true for a lot of people who enjoy reading and writing erotica. The school library was my sanctuary as a teenager; various university libraries the cause of Stockholm Syndrome as an undergraduate. Since finishing my Masters, I’ve frequented them much more sporadically, but they remain deeply evocative of a ten-year period in my life when I was at my most hormonal. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that you could get a decent understanding of my early sexual evolution just by looking at it in the context of libraries.
At secondary school, most of my break times were spent under the watchful eye of Mrs Potter, our head librarian. I read my way through every science fiction and fantasy title I could find on the shelves, followed by a sizeable chunk of the contemporary fiction and classics. As I got older, my interests shifted, and I became an expert at finding the hot sex scenes in otherwise respectable novels. I would read them standing up in the stacks, half-turned so that no-one could see my erection. They served as the inspiration for a lot of my earliest forays into masturbation, and sometimes I’d even squirrel the racier titles out of the library in my schoolbag, too embarrassed to take them up to the counter, but desperate to pore over them again in private.
By the time I reached university, my literary tastes had become a bit more adventurous. I discovered Literotica around that time, and through it a treasure trove of the filthiest reading material I could wish to put my hands on. Or to enjoy while putting my hands on my cock, anyway. I used to print out my favourite stories in the college computer room, and this time sneak them into the library, to be folded between the pages of a textbook and enjoyed while trying not to squirm too much on the thickly padded chairs.
And of course I would stare at the girls. It’s impossible not to at Oxford. The college and departmental libraries, and especially the Bodleian, form such an integral part of most undergraduates’ lives that complex social structures develop within them. As a result, they absolutely reek of sex. Take several thousand bright, curious, erudite, and incredibly horny students, coop them up for long periods in warm, stuffy reading rooms where silence is mandatory, and watch them find a thousand different ways to flirt with each other. The boys would try their best to look mysterious and soulful, all soft scarves and designer stubble; the girls would glance up at them under exquisitely-applied make-up, and show just enough skin to ensure that dozens of pairs of eyes followed them each time they got up to return a book to the counter.
Sometimes, I would find ways to masturbate in the library. That was easiest at my college, where I was usually able to hole up in a dusty, under-used corner and slide my hand down inside my jeans. I’d lick my fingers over and over again, then freeze in terror if they squelched too loudly and wetly over the head of my cock. I was usually sensible enough to bring tissue with me, but occasionally I’d be so desperate to come that even though I didn’t have any in my satchel, I wouldn’t want to break off to fetch some from the toilets; when that happened, I’d just pull my boxers and jeans over my dick at the last second and come inside them, or shoot all over my stomach and allow it to dry under my t-shirt, matted into the light fuzz that led down from my belly button.
It wasn’t until after I left Oxford that I started to do things with other people in libraries. The first time it happened was actually at my old college. I was doing a Masters somewhere else by then, but dating a second-year undergraduate, and we found ourselves alone in one of the reading rooms on a sleepy Sunday afternoon about halfway through term, the time when everyone’s work ethic is starting to waver. We were only about 30 metres away from her room, but she unzipped my trousers under the desk anyway, and bent down to take me in her mouth. I slid my hand up her skirt and just rested it on the inside of her thigh as she sucked me. Once or twice we heard what we thought were footsteps approaching, and she tensed herself to spring back up, but they never got too close, and after a few minutes I came down her throat. She held my cock in her mouth for a little while, as our heart rates slowly returned to normal; then we hurried back to her room and fucked like animals for the next couple of hours.
A few years later: same city, different girl, different library. We visited one of her friends, a PHD candidate living in Halls, and enjoyed a boozy evening in the college bar. At the end of it, we walked past the library, which was open 24 hours a day in the run-up to exams. Fired up by alcohol and never ones to miss an opportunity, we slipped inside and wandered between the high, wooden shelving units till we found an empty row. The carpet was thin and the floor underneath it cold and unforgiving, but I got down onto my knees anyway, pushed her back against the books, and licked her clit till she’d soaked my chin and her thighs. We fucked doggy-style: I pushed two fingers inside her mouth while I thrust inside her, so she could bite down on them instead of moaning out loud; when I felt her squeeze me hard, I pulled out and came tight against her arse crack, then pulled her knickers back up so she could feel that stickiness for the rest of the evening. I’m pretty sure at least one person saw us mid-shag, but we were rooted firmly and irrevocably in a haze of lust, booze, and horny memories of countless afternoons in the library spent fantasising about something like this.
Even if I never set foot in one again, the idea of having sex in a library will never seem less than thrilling. It might be driven by nostalgia, but when I think of how much time I’ve spent in them over the years, reading, thinking, learning and dreaming about sex, I feel very happy for some reason. When I think – as I did this evening – about the times I’ve made myself come in the library, and especially about the times someone else has done it for me, I’m a hot mess again within minutes. So thank you, brilliant friend, for messaging me from the library this evening: little did you know the thoughts you’d inspire!