We emerged onto the King’s Road and celebrated at Dino’s café, eating poached eggs on toast.
I had a Michelin star by then but hadn’t considered cooking a sumptuous feast for the occasion. I came from a hard, working-class world which, since my mother’s death, had been dominated by men.
Compare that with 2008 (when the proportion of us choosing the option had slumped to just 37 per cent) and it seems that, as it celebrates its 65th birthday, the British package holiday is looking not so much at retirement as renaissance.
True, Abta's Sean Tipton thinks that the cause may lie in post-2008 austerity – after all, with operators' economies of scale, they can be cheaper and easier than web-based DIY – but taking another look at packages has allowed us to discover an updated, classier, more flexible holiday experience.
Sex City is a bit of an institution in the sex community, having broadcast on CIUT for over 15 years.
We have featured many of the biggest and most controversial names in the sex world, including Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, Christopher Ryan, Susie Bright and many, many more. That Wednesday afternoon, I was just a guest, talking with one of the many hosts who have come and gone over the show’s years. Our tongues are a little more free, our discussions are a little more open and I think our guests are more comfortable as well.
But for the first bunch of years, there was something about Sex City that felt a bit odd. And it felt so bizarre talking about my bisexual erotica in the middle of a weekday. As much as our community strives to make sex-related discussion a part of everyday life, there are many people—many listeners—who just aren’t ready for that. I can’t help but imagine that some of them are settled in, nice and comfy and ready to talk about some of our most intimate subjects. There is something special about broadcasting at night, whether you’re sharing talk or music.
Although it would be awesome if our talks about the many different sexual themes we discuss—education, politics, arts, culture and more—could happen regardless of the time, we do appreciate that there are people out there willing to listen to and engage. Years later when I was asked if I would be interested in becoming a host on the show, I remembered there had been a change: it was now on Saturday afternoons. Sex City was offered the timeslot we now call home, at 11 p.m. Certain topics and sounds just sound better floating through the dark air.
During those years, I had many guests question the timing of the show and whether people want to actually listen to sex talk at that time of day. Through this time, and the beginnings of social media prevalence, Sex City grew and broke new ground in terms of honest and exciting sex talk. I grew up with a glowing dial: dancing in my room, driving through the country, sharing close time and laughs with others. Figures – released, as luck would have it, on the 65th anniversary of the first Mediterranean package holiday – have shown that the number of Britons taking package holidays abroad is rising again, from 15.3 million in 2013 to 15.9 million last year.And additional research by the travel association Abta suggests that more than half of UK holidaymakers (51 per cent) going abroad last year booked a package.A smidgen of snobbery from the independent traveller crowd, a healthy dose of revulsion at boozed-up Brits abroad, and an unmourned demise was guaranteed.Now, however, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the death of the package has been greatly exaggerated.