[Continuing in the vein of games-related posts, today I'm going to tell you a dark, embarrassing story from my teenage years. For more stories of a similar ilk, check out Lilu's blog.]

I haven’t always wielded eight and a half inches of steam-piston, woman-slaying man meat. I was actually a very late bloomer.

Which is a little odd, considering how early my fuzzy moustache came through and how rapidly my voice broke at the age of thirteen. But I didn’t kiss a girl until after I turned 18.

I’d been close to only one girl before that, when I was 16 — but truth be told, I had no idea what to do with her, or myself. I was scared stiff — so, just as things were hotting up, I ran. I ran fast.

I ran all the way back to my darkened bedroom, to my bank of glowing screens, consoles and computers. Back to my true love and her soft bosom and warm, muscly embrace.

I ran back to… Lara Croft.

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, circa 2007. Much more curvy than the original.

Only, back then, when I was 16, she looked like this:

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider 1 - Not so many polygons... a bit Madonna...

To my geeky, hormonal eyes, those cylindrical legs, twiggy arms, funnel-like breasts and glass-cuttingly perky nipples were more erotic than watching Pamela Anderson bound mystifyingly along a sun-drenched beach on Saturday afternoon.

Lara Croft was my first love.

If I shut my eyes I can still hear her grunts. Ohhh the grunts! I would lean back in my computer chair, legs akimbo, one hand on my mouse, the other between my legs — and make her grunt. Lara Croft, when she exerts herself or walks into a wall, grunts — hngh! — and I would do it over and over and over.

Hngh! hngh! hnnngh! hnnnNGH!! That last grunt would be me, unable to hold it in any longer, overcome. Three or four Lara Grunts were usually more than enough to topple my weak, teenage sensibilities.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Sorry. The recounting of the tale is almost as intense as being sixteen again and back in that stuffy, musty room.

So… I had a method, as every guy does. A particular path to masturbatory Nirvana, and through the first level of the game, that I could navigate with just one hand. It took exactly eight minutes and twelve seconds, which was definitely pushing it back then (if anything, one of the most important stories that Lara — Miss Croft — taught me was that patience, endurance, holding off, is a virtue. My lovers probably don’t realise how indebted they are to a video game…)

After those eight minutes of navigating packs of wolves and solving simple puzzles — though not so trivial when your mind is trying to work out once and for all if Lara’s a C or D cup –  I would arrive at the target: a tight corner, one that could elicit an infinite stream of grunts, only limited by my perseverance.

But, more importantly, there was a ledge.

Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, repetitive digital grunting was nothing compared to the handstand. I can’t find any photos to prove it, but I recall as if it was only yesterday, she would go into the splits before reaching the vertical. She would lift herself slowly, using her strong, supple arms into an inverted split. There she would pause for a moment, tantalisingly, allowing my vigorous, ruthless, pubescent imagination to quickly tear those tight shorts from her toned but resolutely feminine legs.  But alas she would not linger long enough for me to climax, and up into the vertical handstand she would go.

Lara Croft -- Tomb Raider 2 or 3? -- Hand stand, on a ledge!

On a good day I would get through maybe two corner-grunt-leg-split-handstand repetitions. Once I made it from corner to ledge four times. Four times! My mother never did find out why I suddenly needed a new monitor and keyboard.

So, Sandra, if you’re reading, that’s the reason I twisted my way out of your tentative grasp back in the summer of 1999 with a bulge in my pants. I ran back to my room. Back to Lara.

It wasn’t you. It was all me…

I'm so lonely...
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I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.