A former filmmaker has left Tinsel Town for a new career as an erotic fiction writer at the age of 86, making him Britain’s boldest retiree.
John Sealey – who worked as a production manager for the hit 1970 film There’s a Girl in My Soup, starring Goldie Hawn and Peter Sellers – claims that his novel, A Young Man’s Awakening, features the explicit sexual drama Fifty Shades of Gray tame.
But widower John, from the Essex coast, who rose through the ranks to become a film editor, mainly working in London’s Soho, still sets high standards: “People reading my book say it’s fantastic and the sex scenes are really exciting . “
He added, “It’s actually erotic but not nasty.”
Set in 1860s England, John, who was inspired to write novels in 1973 by an advertisement about a man looking for work and inundated with phone calls from women seeking sex, says his book also ‘much better written’ than Fifty Shades, which became an international literary and film success after it was released in 2015.
One of the reasons John’s eroticism reads so well, according to the author, is the sense of authenticity – with its own rich and colorful life influencing the storyline.
Following the antics of Irish immigrant Michael, who is incited to move to Liverpool by the potato famine, A Young Man’s Awakening sees the inexperienced young Catholic plunged into a world of bare knuckles, brothels and prostitution.
John, saying that part of the story is very similar to his own “weirdo” with a prostitute as a younger man, said, “My book has the same kind of sexual content as Fifty Shades of Gray, but it’s a much stronger story.
Michael works as a bouncer in a brothel. As a staunch Catholic, sex outside of marriage was seen as a sin. “
He added, “But there is open sex in all sorts of places in the story.
However, I made sure it is entertaining and erotic, not pornographic.
“The key is to be as explicit as possible, but to add warmth to the story and understanding, which is very difficult.”
A great help is drawing on his own experience to navigate Michael’s journey through the book.
John also befriended a young prostitute while working, while working in the cutting room of Soho’s famous Wardour Street, which was dubbed ‘Movie Street’ in the 1960s and 1970s.
At the time, Soho was also known for his vice and John befriended a sex worker named “Maisie,” who said, “She was beautiful and ordinary.”
He added: ‘She had a room nearby and always said,’ Come on, John. Come have a drink with me. ”
Ultimately, he and Maisie had some sort of relationship.
He said, “I didn’t really understand sex until I met her.”
He said, “I never knew her real name – I just knew her through Maisie, her working name.
‘She seduced me and said,’ I’m going to teach you how to treat a woman and how to make love to a woman. ‘
She taught me to appreciate every part of a woman and to do things I never dreamed of doing. I have never forgotten her. “
In fact, his time with Maisie inspired John – who has written nine books in total, covering everything from crime to comical ghost stories – to name a character in A Young Man’s Awakening after her.
He added, “Michael sees all these girls walking around naked, but he never had sex and the character based on Maisie has to teach him. It’s a very explicit scene, but also very emotional. “
While John accepts that people can be shocked by the content of his novels, he feels it’s important to be more open about sex.
He said, “I think it’s wrong that sex is still taboo in some parts of society. Parents still don’t even explain it to their own kids and my parents haven’t really explained sex to me. “
But John’s formal upbringing didn’t stop him. The love of his life was Shelley – a circus performer he first romanticized in 1965 when he was 31, but didn’t get married until after they had been separated for 25 years.
They were a glamorous trapeze artist, they got talking in a London wine bar and immediately fell for each other.
But for the couple, who split up after just twelve months, things were not easy.
John left her when a beautiful French woman caught his eye,
He said, “We first lived together a long time ago.”
He added: “When we broke up it was my fault as I fell for a French lady which was a big mistake.
“I haven’t seen Shelley for 25 years.”
They contacted again after John ran into a friend of Shelley’s who had erroneously noted his phone number.
He said, “Shelley was trying every combination of the number under the sun until I suddenly answered the phone.
“We got back together in 1990 and friends told me, ‘The strange thing about Shelley was that she never really dated another man.’
She kept saying, ‘No. One day I am going to meet John again and we are going to get married. He’s the only man I’ve ever loved. ”
He added, “And that’s exactly what happened. I really loved her and always regretted what I did.
“We got married in 1993 and had another 25 happy years together.
“She loved the circus and she had good friends. She always jumped on tables to dance. She was beautifully angry. “
Sadly, Shelley – whom John describes as “the love of his life” – died in 2018 at the age of 77 from stomach and kidney problems.
But John, who has no children, found happiness again in 2019 with another glamorous girlfriend, 70-year-old Sue Britton, a former barmaid and pub owner.
“I’m very lucky – I have a lovely girlfriend now,” he said, explaining how he fell for neighbor Sue after nursing him back to health after an operation where he weighed just six kilos. “She’s great and we are in love. She is very attractive. “
And the couple says they still have an active love life
He added, “We are still very active, we are still very healthy and why can’t we enjoy sex?”
Growing up in the swinging 1960s helped John express his liberal views.
He said, “In those days I went to parties and ended up in bed with someone who was having a lot of fun.
“They were the best years of my life and gave me a lot of material to write about.
“I am very happy to be known as Britain’s most brutal retiree.”
Sue, who reads John’s books and finds A Young Man’s Awakening brilliant, is just as happy to be in a relationship with an eighty-year-old with so much getting up and going.
She said, “We have a lot of fun together. We make each other laugh, and that goes a long way.
“We laugh all the time, usually about silly things.