One of Britain's sauciest pensioners has written an erotic novel set in Liverpool that draws from his own experiences.

Former filmmaker John Sealey claims his novel, A Young Man's Awakening, makes the explicit sexual drama Fifty Shades of Grey look tame.

Following the antics of Irish immigrant Michael, who is prompted to move to Liverpool by the potato famine, A Young Man's Awakening sees the inexperienced young Catholic plunged into a world of bare-knuckle boxing, brothels and prostitution.

According to MyLondon, John, who says some of the story closely resembles his own "dalliance" with a prostitute as a younger man, said: "My book has the same sort of sexual content as Fifty Shades of Grey, but it's a much stronger story.

"Michael works as a bouncer in a brothel. As a staunch Catholic, sex was seen as a sin outside of marriage."

He added: "But there is open sex in all sorts of places, throughout the story.

"I've been careful, though, to make sure it is entertaining and erotic - not pornographic.

"The key is to be as explicit as you can, but to inject warmth to the story and understanding, which is very difficult."

He added: "It's actually erotic but not filthy."

One reason John's erotica reads so well, according to the author, is its feeling of authenticity - with his own rich and colourful life influencing the storyline.

A big help has been drawing on his own experience in order to navigate Michael's journey through the book.

John, too, befriended a young prostitute in the course of work, when he was employed in the cutting room of Soho's famous Wardour Street, which back in the 1960s and 70s was dubbed "film street."

At the time, Soho was also known for its vice and John befriended a sex worker called 'Maisie,' saying: "She was beautiful and very ordinary."

He added: "She had a room nearby and used to say, 'Come on, John. Come and have a drink with me.'"

In the end, he and Maisie had a relationship of sorts.

He said: "I didn't really understand sex until I met her."

He said: "I never knew her real name - I just knew her by 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 that I'd never dreamt of doing. I've never forgotten her."

His time with Maisie even inspired John - who has written nine books in total, about everything from crime to comedy 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's never had sex and the character based on Maisie has to teach him. It's a very explicit scene but is also very emotional."

John's erotic novel

While John accepts that people may be shocked by the content of his novels, he feels it is important to be more open about sex.

He said: "It feels wrong to me that in some parts of society sex is still taboo. Parents still don't even explain it to their own children and my parents didn't really explain sex to me."

But John's formal upbringing did not hold him back. The love of his life was Shelley - a circus performer who he first romanced in 1965 when he was 31, but only married after they had been apart for 25 years.

A glamorous trapeze artist, they got chatting in a London wine bar and fell for each other instantly.

But it wasn't plain sailing for the couple, who split up after just twelve months together.

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 parted, it was my fault, because I fell for a French lady, which was a big mistake.

"I didn't see Shelley again for 25 years."

Shelley Sealey, John’s late wife, was a circus performer and trapeze artist

They got back in touch after John ran into a friend of Shelley's, who took his phone number down wrongly.

He said: "Shelley tried every combination of the number under the sun until suddenly I answered the phone.

"We got together again in 1990 and friends told me, 'The strange thing about Shelley was that she never really got involved with any other man'.

"She kept saying, 'No. One day I'm going to meet John again and we're 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 were married in 1993 and had another 25 happy years together.

"She loved the circus and she had great friends She was always jumping on tables to dance. She was beautifully mad."

Sadly, Shelley - who John describes as "the love of his life" - passed away in 2018, aged 77 following problems with her stomach and kidneys.

But John, who does not have children, found happiness again in 2019 with another glamorous girlfriend, 70-year-old Sue Britton, a former barmaid and pub owner.

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He said: "I'm very lucky - I've got a lovely girlfriend now", as he explained how he fell for neighbour Sue after she nursed him back to health following an operation which left him weighing just six stone.

And the couple say they still have an active love life

He added: "We're still very active, we're still very healthy and why can't we enjoy sex?"

Growing up in the swinging Sixties helped to give John his liberal views.

He said: "In those days, I would go to parties and finish up in bed with someone having great fun.

"They were the best years of my life and gave me plenty of material to write about.

"I am very happy to be known as Britain's sauciest pensioner."

Sue, who reads John's books and thinks A Young Man's Awakening is brilliant, is similarly happy to be dating an octogenarian with so much get up and go.

She said: "We have great fun together. We make each other laugh, which goes a long way.

"We laugh all the time, usually at silly things."