Janis Hetherington – Part 13: "Blow-up dolls…"


Sex issues

“She was originally called M’Ladye Screwsville before being punctured and left forlorn quite beyond repair”

Janis Hetherington was the first UK woman in an openly same-sex couple to be artificially inseminated. In this, the 13th part of her exclusive autobiographical series for Biscuit, Janis talks war, rubber girls and corrupt cops…

I could bring a torrent of tears to your pretty peepers by revealing the full horrors of this week in Gaza and our determination that the media do not starve you of the full terror of being blown to pieces. But Nanny is going to stick with how Ronald became embroiled in that part of the world as the 24th anniversary approaches of the invasion of Kuwait on August 2nd.

Before your eyes glaze over and you harrumph with displeasure thinking Nanny’s going to shove a nasty dose of political platitudes down your eager lickle gobbies let me assure you this is a spicy tale to perk up your peckers. Have a hankie at the ready.

So without delay and to cut the crap – blow-up rubber dolls!

Now you did not expect that, did you? This particular life-sized, blonde-haired, blue-eyed (with one dodgy eye that drooped) beauty had been purchased by moi to adorn the “secret cell” we used during the first Gulf War, of which you have been given nibbles of info in previous Biscotties.

You will also have had the chance to glimpse my booky (Love Lies Bleeding)and know we are all safe and sound with the nasty legal beagles who sniff up our arses for the slightest whiff of ackers for ought.

Blow up dolls? (She was originally called M’Ladye Screwsville before being punctured and left forlorn quite beyond repair). How did she get invited to dinner?

I bought her by way of compensation for Mr. DC (nickname 007) who’d rented me his favourite orgy flat in Bayswater to use as a secret cell during the Gulf War.

Secret? The Kuwaiti women I had been involved with had used my home in London as a safe house where they could take their female lovers without fear. Some were also politically involved in trying to secure rights for women to vote and marry whom they wished. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990 it was during their holiday time when most families were abroad or on their yachts or enjoying the sort of naughty lifestyle they were denied in the kingdom. Those left inside Kuwait were to form a resistance group supported by the UK and USA with several of the women seeing this as an opportunity to gain some political kudos. These were the ones known to us and not unlike the suffragettes of the early 20th century.

However, the last thing the Allies wanted was an internal coup as well as the invasion to cope with so our small “revolutionary” group would be tolerated but controlled.

We could work away from the main hub run by the Kuwaiti embassy and use our own contacts in France and Ireland but would be monitored by what we called Top Plod, a jokey term for Special Branch. Our aim was to use as many women as possible who were known to our cell. We became the Kuwait and British Woman’s Support Group.

As part of the resistance those inside occupied Kuwait had passed messages on, sometimes putting themselves at the ‘mercy’ of the invading Iraqi forces to obtain invaluable data. It included seeing scenes of rape and torture and sometimes being the victims of those same brutalities. They had to be protected, especially when, for their own safety, they were smuggled out and over to the UK. Most were looked after by the official embassy based lot but our handful came to the cell where we arranged exposure to the media we trusted.

ambassador2So how the fuck did Ladye Screwsville play an active part? Adorned in a black and white Yasser Arafat style head scarf, Ladye S adorned the dinner table as a bit of light relief. She only appeared as a quick joke after Arafat declared he was siding with Saddam and we thought it apt to ever so slightly take the piss. However she/he proved so popular that despite the cell being extremely cramped she became part of the family. With the strict proviso attached – do not stick pins in. She’d previously resided in a flaccid state in the small bedroom in which I slept, unless perched with Top Plod drinking bottles of Scotch in the adjacent chamber. Obviously the chit chat was mainly war talk but relieved by other events and gossip, especially Maggie (still in my mind Snatcher Thatcher)’s departure at this crucial time. Top Plod felt betrayed by the whole scandal of Willie Whitelaw, Leon Brittan, the “Scottish lot” and Murdochio having knowledge that a paedophile ring existed and the plods could not expose it. Top Plods sometimes shed top tears, especially when it comes to cover-ups over child sex. The ones I knew anyway, even if their flexibility elsewhere was decidedly iffy, a moral code was just that.

Our vulnerable little group would be easily disposed of had we be become a political nuisance but we always made sure our media friends knew of our existence and none more importantly than good old World In Action. In those days the one program that could be relied on to expose the skeletons dangling in cobwebbed closets.

What the fuck was really going on? Sadly, everyone I knew understood it was a false war. That it had only one conclusion and the balance of power in the Middle East made Kuwait and the Gulf another unnamed state of America. One of our group had been head hunted by Nasa as a genius computer programmer so her ability to access files had made her invaluable. She was tortured and assassinated before the ground invasion in January ‘91 took place. It was her first broadcast that we’d arranged by satellite phone in the early days of the invasion. She’d gone on to work with the mainstream resistance but because she’d been part of our chairwoman’s household she had always been the first to receive news; filtering info down to us about the French right wing and Jean Marie Le Pen making political gain through his Moroccan contacts, how the IRA were trying to stop the many Irish expats still inside Kuwait helping the Allied troops etc. We were all devastated when news came through she’d been captured. She became known as the heroine of the war and even our stationary was adorned with In Memoriam Asrar.

Janis Hetherington, Part 12 – “Major Ronald”

Janis Hetherington, Part 11 – “Fatwa”

Janis Hetherington, Part 10 – “Split personality”

Janis Hetherington, Part 9 – “Eccentricity”

Janis Hetherington, Part 8 – “Polyamorality”

Janis Hetherington, Part 7 – “We still weren’t ‘normal’…”

Janis Hetherington, Part 6 – “The publicity years”

Janis Hetherington, Part 5 – “Meeting Biscuit”

Janis Hetherington, Part 4 – “The custody battle”

Janis Hetherington, Part 3 – “The death”

Janis Hetherington, Part 2 – “Breaking the rules of 70s family life”

Janis Hetherington, Part 1 – “A graphic sexual voyage”


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Janis Hetherington

Outrageously, rebelliously outspoken. Sexually incontinent. Avid supporter of lost causes: ever hopeful they will be transformed, ever fearful that once they are they will become the monsters that trampled them. Janis is the author of "Love Lies Bleeding: Memoirs of a Sexual Revolutionary".

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One Response to Janis Hetherington – Part 13: "Blow-up dolls…"

  • Blow Up Dolls is a brilliantly conceived piece that weaves together the disparate strands of sexual politics and Middle East politics (not an easy thing to do) and in a way that is both informative and fascinating. This is an excellent series of articles navigating a path between truth and lies. The link is another facet if the same discussion – http://chloethurlow.com/2014/05/web-of-lies/

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