Lecherous Arts: A Guide to Perving in Melbourne by Matilda Dixon-Smith

Posted on May 23, 2011


Somewhat ironically, after deciding to write this article I watched the first season of Ladette to Lady. In Ladette to Lady the “Sexual Etiquette” teacher, Liz, talks about the art of seduction. I’m sure nowhere in the handbook does it condone the following.

How do you occupy your mind when you’re getting a coffee, picking up some bread at the supermarket, or languishing in a particularly dull lecture? Where does your brain go when you hop on the train and realise you left your copy of Bergdorf Blondes at home? I face this dilemma every day.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I recommend perving?

Let me draw a scenario for you. I sell pies for a living. Mostly, my job is pretty fun. Sometimes though, I work alone and the need for a distraction tugs at my brain like an insolent child. “Feed me”, It says. Lucky for me, there’s American Latte Guy (ALG). ALG and I have a special connection. I understand that he takes great pains to keep his stubble at the cool 5 o’clock shadow stage for optimum attractiveness. He understands that when I make him a latte, occasionally there is too much foam. Sometimes he calls me “darling”. Only it’s not like when old men or grannies call you “darling”, because he has a laid-back Californian drawl and nice arms. When ALG comes into the shop, my heart does a little dance. When he hands me $3 to pay for his latte, electric shocks go all up my arm. There’s a giddy exhilaration in checking out his SEXY biceps, made more exciting by the knowledge that each time he comes into the shop it could be the last.

How about another? My friend Antonia and I often stroll around Princes Park in the evening. We promenade, me in my threadbare  leggings, Annie huddling into her grey hoodie.  The walk is all business – we’re on a mission to get super skinn-ay, like most 21 year-old girls. In our fellow exercise-enthusiasts we have found unexpected pleasure. We meander along and Annie tells me about her latest pasta creation. Up ahead a hulking figure approaches; a jaunty, purposeful bound. As Annie details how she concocted her creamy chicken sauce, a Strapping Gent with Hulking Quads (SG-HQ) passes. After he’s passed, Annie and I pause for a moment, allowing the impact of the SG-HQ to sink in. Then we continue as before, like the moment with SG-HQ never happened.

This is not the stuff of great romances, people. I’m not going to slip them my number. I don’t fanaticise about when I can sign letters ‘Mrs American Latte Guy’. It’s not like that. It’s just simple, honest leching.

Yes, it’s also the name of a European beer!

A good lech can happen anywhere. In your first week of classes you could discover that the Parisian in your Novels tutorial has a très charmant accent (and cute, flicky hair). You might be wandering along Bourke Street Mall when you drop your purse, and an Adorable Scruffy Businessman with INCREDIBLE eyebrows may stop and help you. A chance encounter on a tram with a trendy, soulful-eyed Brunswick inhabitant will leave you dizzy and elated. What better way to fill your time than by salivating over the Universe’s finest offerings? It’s like looking at the cake display in a café. You know that if you got the cookies and cream cheesecake you’d just feel sick afterwards. But heck, take a gander.

It might be uncouth to admit all I ever do when I leave the house is check out men. “Sexual Etiquette” Liz would tell me I was a “disgrace to Eggleston Hall!” Well Liz, I challenge you to find me something better than cheekily checking out a nice arse. Balancing a book on your head, or de-feathering a pheasant just isn’t the same.

Prime Leching Locations:

Cafés – Baristas and waiters are, more often than not, steamy. Also, they are forced to smile at you in order to earn $15 an hour. I recommend the crepe cart at Melbourne University, which is manned almost entirely by cute guys. OPTIMAL perving.

University Lectures – I say “lectures” over “tutorials” because there is a higher volume of people from which to select a good Leching Subject. Plus the effect isn’t ruined, as it can be in tutorials, by the Leching Subject opening his mouth and revealing he is stupid/arrogant/mega-crazy.

Parks – To find the fitter Leching Subjects, bypass the gym (where the men are over-muscled and self-obsessed) and head to your local running track. Leaner bodies, relaxed Subjects and the advantage of the 3-Second-Lech – where you perve only while the Subject is passing, then they are gone forever. We have discovered that Princes Park has an almost endless supply of banging SG-HQs.

The Supermarket – Often, supermarket employees are teenagers who look like they want to blow their brains out. Supermarket shoppers are usually harried fathers picking up cartons of nappies (ugh, depressing). I only include “Supermarket” because I have an ongoing obsession with an employee at Barkly Square I like to call Moderately-Attractive Safeway Employee(M-ASE). Too bad M-ASE works at Safeway Liquor and frequently sees me buy Bowler’s Run while wearing my pyjamas.

The Laundromat: I’m including this one because Hannah swears she had a total meet-cute with a guy in the Laundromat on Sydney Road. They were both reading and eating take-away whilst washing their clothes one night, and they bonded. All those with a washing machine in-house are truly missing out on this untapped opportunity.

Public Transport: You’re standing hip-to-hip with a total BABE. When the tram stops and starts his hip brushes yours, so he mumbles “Sorry” and shoots you a haphazard grin. ‘Nuff said.

Matilda is a self-confessed Public Lecher. Share your own leching stories and favourite locations with her below.

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