KOTW: Last layer of defence…

How can something so gossamer thin protect me? Something which snags on nails, rough chairs (I laddered my tights at my Cambridge interview) or runs for no reason at all?

I don’t know. But I bought my first suspender belt at 18: precocious as fuck, because I never did learn how to take less than half an hour to wrestle to attach my stockings to it. And wearing your knickers *on top.* They don’t tell you about that, do they?

So I graduated to hold ups. M&S basic, £6 a time hold ups. Just as sexy, right? And I realised that, if I can avoid it, I don’t take them off during sex. I thought I was just ‘being sexy.’ It took me a while to realise that I have an uneasy relationship with the way my legs look: if I sit naked on the floor, with them stretched out in front of me, you can see how there’s barely any muscle tone in my left thigh compared to my right. I can hide that a bit behind a 15 denier thread count.

If you’re going to take them off me, therefore, there had better be a damn good reason. I fucked a guy a while back who tried to roll them off seductively and then just dropped them on the floor.

I felt vulnerable. And if you’re going to use my hosiery to make me feel vulnerable it’d better be because you’ve used it to tie my wrists to the bed…

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Shoop Shoop

Sometimes, conversations on Twitter rumble on in the background for so long, I forget what the original point was. This was one such conversation and I had to actually go back and retrace it to its roots. Turns out I started it. Colin Firth: would he be good in bed?

Most of Twitter said no. ‘He’d take it *way* too seriously, ‘ seemed to be the most common concern. And from there it spiralled into a conversation about what makes us assume a man will be good in bed. Dancing appeared on the list, as did ‘quiet confidence.’ But kissing? Kissing came up again and again and again.

I make no secret of the fact that that’s a long held belief of mine. Potential partners have lived and died (not literally) by their kiss.

Way back when I was seventeen or so, there was a guy in a nightclub. He may well not have been attractive, but the Smirnoff Ice  had been flowing and when he approached me on the dance floor it didn’t take much to persuade me to snog him.

‘Who was that guy?’ one friend asked, as we stumbled home. ‘He looked like he’d fallen from the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.’

Harsh.

But fuck me, he could kiss.

I think he was only the second guy I’d ever kissed, in fact. He was the first to show me that good kissing (and ok, ok, a well-placed thigh between my legs) can make me wet faster than anything else. Kissing makes me want to both rush headlong into full on sex and delay full on sex for as long as possible so that we can just keep on kissing.

Cher had it wrong, sadly. You can’t tell if he loves you so from his kiss – like it or not, that is in the way he acts. God knows good kissers can make you feel like it’s love, though: I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said to friends, ‘But how can he kiss like that and not *mean it?*’

With sex, I think if you asked me to rank positions by preference, I could do it pretty easily. Missionary, WoT, Doggy. If you asked me to list my preferences regarding kissing, I’d struggle. Those butterfly-soft kisses all over my face when his cock is deep inside me? The ones that are so punishing they bruise? The first one of the evening, when, for a few moments at least, I get to stop worrying about when I’ll next see him and just get to enjoy it?

How on earth could you ever choose between any of those?

The Lion, the Witch and her Wardrobe

At the very beginning of #NaBloPoMo, I asked you guys what you wanted me to write about, and Kristina Lloyd came back to me and asked if I’d write about clothes and make up.

I’m not a big believer in gifs in blog posts (and this isn’t a gif anyway), but this was the first thing that came to mind:

I’m kidding, of course. I don’t *actually* think Kristina wants me to blog about those things because she doesn’t think I’m up to sex blogging yet (at least, I *hope* that’s not what she thinks!), rather I think it came from the fascinating conversation we had over on Facebook about Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser (which we’d both highly recommend.) They also sell it in a beautiful Christmas tin, if you’re looking for a gift for your grandma.

Seriously, though. This post is probably the closest I’ll ever come to lifestyle blogging, and I personally think I’m totally. ill-qualified to write on fashion. When I told the boy what Kristina had asked me to write about, he laughed in my face. Then we had a minor row about what John Lewis’ ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy *actually* means. Which should probably be the second disclaimer. I spend a fair amount of money on my clothes. This post is probably going to end up  an exceedingly middle class read. Please feel free to not read beyond this point – I’ll try to be back with the sex tomorrow.

Like I said, fashion has never really been my thing. My mum was still buying me clothes from M&S long after my friends had started choosing their own. When I did eventually graduate to Tammy Girl, I made some exceedingly poor choices, including a black long-sleeved maxi dress  with Adidas-style stripes up both sides. And a crop top. Tits aside I’m not built for crop tops now, and I wasn’t at 13, either.

At university, there were pretty much two camps of girls when it came to fashion. The scientists and mathematicians wore a uniform of jeans and black fitted T-shirts. The arts students wore little dresses and scarves. Lots and lots of scarves. Based on my clothes, I looked like I was studying Physics, just with a lot more cleavage. My personal ‘style’ didn’t come until I started working.

These days, I think I know what I like and what suits me. I make the odd bad choice, obviously (don’t we all), but I’ve mastered dresses and a look I’m confident in but no longer involves my tits falling out of my neckline quite as much as it used to. I haven’t bought a lot of clothes this year – Jigsaw is absolutely my go-to store, both for its dresses and for its vest tops, which, while pricey, last forever and are really nice and long in the body. Dorothy Perkins can be great for cheap tea dresses which will fall apart if you wear them often enough, but which someone said to me the other day ‘look just like Cath Kidston.’ I bought jeans again a month or so ago (I haven’t owned any for two years!) – Levis demi-curve, which are high-enough, but not too high, at the waist and have enough room to accommodate my arse. If you’re curvier than me, I’m pretty sure the curve increases beyond demi-, too. For blouses to go over jeans, I think Oasis is the best bet.

The pieces I’ve bought that I really, really love this autumn are this dress and this dress, both from Jigsaw. Office-appropriate, dinner appropriate – I finally feel like I’ve found the clothes that make me feel like me. Don’t believe for a minute though that if you have big tits you’ll look like the model does in that second one – I need to wear a camisole under it to be remotely decent in public.

So, what am I still coveting, clothes-wise? Well, I wouldn’t mind this dress and I really, really want this jumper dress from Toast, too. I have a bit of a soft spot for elbow patches. Aside from that, I’d love the Cambridge Satchel Co Music Bag in red.

I’m not great on tips for where to buy jewellery – I have a friend who understands my tastes very well and buys me great earrings as gifts, and round my neck I mostly wear my Alex Monroe bumblebee, which was a gift from my parents. Other than that, I love the majority of what Oh My Clumsy Heart do,  and I’m a sucker for Metal Taboo‘s filthy wares, as well. Of all the earrings I’ve lost, these are the only ones I’ve desperately wanted to replace.

And make up/beauty products. I’m pretty faithful to the products I like – as well as Liz Earle, a lot of the stuff I use in the bath gets bought again and again – like Origins’ Ginger Float bath cream, for example. On my face, I’m just trying to get to grips with primer,  but I’m loving YSL’s new foundation, which was a Twitter recommendation. We’ll just ignore the ‘Youth Liberator’ bit. My lipstick is either Bobbi Brown or MAC’s MAC Red, and my perfume is almost always Dior Pure Poison. Blusher? NARS Orgasm, obviously. I still can’t find a mascara I’m in love with though, so if you have any tips, please leave them in the comments…

Why I love sex blogging

Sunday just gone I went to a very cool memoir writing workshop with Brooke Magnanti. In retrospect, it was probably pretty obvious that a good number of the other participants would be sex writers, given what Brooke writes about, but somehow I completely failed to realise that in advance and was there as my real self, not as Charlie.

And obviously anything I write that’s remotely memoir-like is going to be based on the same kind of stuff I write about here, so that was pretty stupid. And yet, these kinds of events (Eroticon, anything held at Sh!, erotica workshops) are places where it feels pretty safe to operate under a pseudonym or  under my real name. I might be naive, I might yet be proved wrong, but nobody from the sex blogging community that I’ve met in real life has yet given me reason to feel uneasy. Very much the opposite, in fact. The Kristina Lloyd and Janine Ashbless book launch at Sh! a couple of weeks ago was a great example of that. Of the people there, I was already interacting with or reading nearly everybody. And people are just as nice, if not nicer, in real life.

Why am I writing about this now? Partly because this morning I kicked my nerves into touch and bought a ticket for Eroticon 2015. But also because I recently realised something pretty crucial about blogging. I think there are a fair few bloggers, mostly female, who, somewhere in the back of their mind, think they’d love to have a hugely successful lifestyle blog. Who you envy, I’m sure, depends on who you read: personally, I get little jealousy pangs when reading What Katie Does, A Cup of Jo and The Prosecco Diaries. I mean, I get jealousy pangs when I read Girlonthenet, too, but that’s different.

Lifestyle blogging looks like it comes with endless perks and freebies, in exchange for reviews. Stays in fancy hotels, nice restaurants, craft workshops, make up, overseas travel. I fucking love all that stuff. But you know what? There’s only so much of it to go round, and there are so, so many of these blogs, and it’s so competitive. Not to mention, as I discovered to my huge joy the other day, fake.

Sex blogging isn’t like that. It’s supportive, warm, understanding. Most people who read take the time to leave kind, thoughtful comments on blog posts. It feels like somewhere that I fit in. And I don’t feel like that very often in life.

Wicked Wednesday: First Time

The stories of my first times are scattered round the internet. Girlonthenet has the story of my actual first time. My first real wake up call to kink is this post. First kiss is here.

That leaves two, by my reckoning.

‘Write about your “other virginity”‘ suggested someone on Twitter who’s not usually so coy. Anal, I presume she means.

I could. In truth, I’m a little surprised that I never have written about it. I’m not ashamed of having done it, nor of the fact that I like it, much to the surprise of some of my RL friends, who have only ever had bad experiences of anal. The secret to good anal is quite possibly doing it with a guy who is a) not anti being on the receiving end of it and b) knows his way round a bottle of lube, although I didn’t know that either of those things was the case when he first said ‘I really want to fuck your arse.’

But with anal, although I was undeniably nervous that it would hurt, I liked the fact that it felt like something he was entirely in control of. I can understand why that’s the very aspect of it that might terrify some people, but I like it when the responsibility for something physical is taken entirely out of my hands.

So let’s talk about something where it’s not.

I don’t think about my hard limits all that often anymore, but for a long time, oral, both given and received, was my hardest of limits.

Giving head is a skill, undoubtedly. I still think I’m really shit at it. I still worry about grazing him with my teeth, about gagging, about the fact that I can’t make him come that way.

But I used to think you gave oral in order to get oral.

When did that change? The first time he fucked my mouth so hard that my face was a liquified mess of tears, mascara, saliva and pre-come.

It felt like more of a milestone than anal.

Girl Crush (2)

I don’t fancy girls. Or rather, I don’t fancy fucking girls. Not really. I mean, never say never, right? But it would be untrue to say I don’t find them attractive. Because I do. Attractive, and often so much more interesting to watch than men.

I wrote about my official girl crush here, and she’s still going strong: she’s had her hair cut into a cute little pixie look now, and yeah, I still would. But noticing that I notice girls? That’s new.

It’s my inner magpie that can’t resist women. It’s the flash of the light on glitter eyeliner as she flicks her hair behind her ear, the soft roll of flesh above her jeans, the jewellery. Especially the jewellery.

I watched someone fiddle nervously with a stack of beautiful chunky silver rings today as she was reading to a group. My first thought was that her hands were stunning, my second was a recollection of a story I’ve been meaning to write since the end of the summer.

I was on a train, heading back to Geneva airport. In my gap year, the air in Swiss train carriages was so thick with cigarette smoke it wouldn’t been pretty easy to watch someone unnoticed. No longer, sadly.

I didn’t notice her first. I noticed her boyfriend. He wasn’t conventionally attractive but he looked … interesting. Skinny. All in black. Hair tied back. A tiny treble clef tattoo behind his ear. And it was that tattoo that I was still focused on when I spotted her.

She stood out less, truth be told. Skinny jeans. Ballet flats. Vest top. Enviably perky cleavage. And she had this gold necklace – I can’t remember exactly what now, but an ampersand or a delicate bow of some sort. It swung gently from side to side as she crossed and uncrossed her legs, reached over to stroke her boyfriend’s thigh.

It was just a necklace. She was just a girl. It’s funny how I notice some more than others.

On seminal kink

‘Seminal’ is one of those words that makes me really happy. It has its good, solid, academic meaning: ‘very important and having a strong influence on later developments’ and also means ‘spunk-like.’ How can you not love it?

Anyway. I got to thinking about seminal kink again yesterday morning, having last thought about it when lovely Molly at Mollysdailykiss mentioned it on Twitter last week. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but I do remember saying that I wished all sex bloggers would write a post on their first memories of kink (I totally stand by that remark. I’m fascinated – please do leave your memories in the comments section here or write your own post and let me know where I/others can find it).

For me, tiny things can send me back to my earliest memories of kink. Yesterday was kind of a perfect storm. Seaside Slut tweeted about a dream involving having sex with a cat with good hair, and I was instantly transported back to reading Nancy Friday’s Women on Top, with its chapter on fantasies of beastiality (let me be very clear that that’s *not* my kink.) Then, clearing out the paperwork in the drawer of my coffee table, I came across a scribbled book recommendation on a scrap of paper. The book was Alina Reyes’ The Butcher, which looks like it’s out of print, but which I immediately bought secondhand on Amazon. Beautiful cover, for a start.

And in my current (non-erotica) read, I read the line ‘pinned my wrists high above my head,’ and realised that those words are *everything* to me. They’re obviously not always worded quite like that, but I know, as soon as I encounter a similar description, I’ll be instantly wet. That crude, non-kit based bondage is the key to it all.

When I was eight, I was at a tiny, tiny village school. A church school. No more than ten kids in my year group. There was a girl who worked in the kitchen, washing up. At the end of lunchtime play as she tried to leave we’d corner her and try to ask about her clothes, her tattoos, her boyfriends. She can’t have been more than eighteen or nineteen. She smoked. She was a total tomboy. She was an enigma, and therefore she fascinated us.

I say she was an enigma. That’s not quite true. Aside from her school kitchens job, she had two others. She worked in the butcher’s in town, and she babysat for a handful of us, me included. And when she babysat, she would tell stories. About the butcher.

Let’s be clear. There was nothing sexy about the butcher, nor about his shop. It was, as all butcher’s shops are, mainly white tiles, the smell of raw meat, and plastic parsley dotted everywhere. He was in his fifties, grey, red-faced and well, old, basically. Looking back, I don’t know quite what was going on between them – whether she invented the stories, whether they were seeing each other, or whether she was putting a brave face on something that was actually non-consensual and more than a bit grim. But in her stories, when they were closing up, he would chase her round the shop, pin her against the wall and try to slip something – money, I think; a tip – into the pocket of her jeans.

At school we embellished. It wasn’t money he slipped into her pocket. It was love notes, gifts. We believed our own narrative so much, we used to beg her to show us this stuff, even though it almost certainly never existed. And at home in bed, I’d take it a step further still. He’d kiss her while she was pinned there against the wall, or he’d tie her up and leave her there, just her and a load of animal carcasses in fridges, until he returned to open up the next morning.

I think I’ll enjoy The Butcher.

Sex and communication

One of the conversations I’ve been involved in on Twitter this morning has been about sex and ‘feedback’ – which everyone involved seems to agree is a terrible word for it. Basically, the question, as I understand it, is: should we be open to talking honestly with our partners about what does/doesn’t work for us in the bedroom?

On paper, I’d say yes, we should. But what works on paper doesn’t work for me in practice.

Let’s take a different example. Ever since a few months back, when Exhibit A wrote on sport, I’ve been meaning to blog my own thoughts on the matter. It seemed more sensible that commenting on the original post: I needed to work through my feelings on the matter and they’re so bloody complex I knew they’d probably run to longer than reasonable comment length.

On an intellectual level, I know that exercise isn’t something you get to opt into or out of in life, although despite that knowledge I still do very little. I asked my parents if they’d consider paying for gym membership as a Christmas gift. Initially, they thought this was a great idea – they’ve been hassling me to be more active for years. But then they had a little chat overnight and decided that they both agreed that a personal trainer (obviously a much more expensive option) would be better.

I’m ashamed, but not particularly surprised, to say the whole conversation collapsed into a tearful row. I cried. I made my mum cry. My dad, normally a staunch ally, took my mum’s side. I’m not interested in a personal trainer: I can’t bear to catch sight of myself in mirrors when I exercise, the thought of *paying* someone to stand there and watch, especially if that someone was male, sends me spiralling into immediate panic.

You’re not listening, I argued. What might be objectively best for me won’t work for me, because there are other factors getting in the way. I’m looking for compromise: you’re telling me it’s your way or the highway.

And that was my experience of sport pretty much all through school, as well. When I was eleven, and had come home from double PE in tears again, my mum lost her temper. ‘*Everybody* has something they’re bad at,’ she argued, ‘What about the kids who can’t read or add up?’

She had a kind of point there, but again, the comparison wasn’t quite fair. I’m young enough that I went to school at a time when humiliating kids with poor reading or maths ability by getting them to read out loud in class or to come up and work out an equation on the board had gone out of fashion. Sadly, the same wasn’t true for sport. The focus of sport was at best on teamwork (I don’t like letting people down), at worst it was ‘Get into groups, design a dance/gymnastics/aerobics routine and perform it in front of the class. High jump was one at a time in front of everybody else. So was rope climbing. Hurdles. My PE teacher ironically ultimately won an MBE for services to sports education – I don’t once remember her asking what she could do to help or make me feel more comfortable.

Her younger colleague on the other hand, obviously came from a different school of thought. She cornered me after a trampolining lesson and asked if I’d consider coming to trampolining club early on Friday, before everyone else arrived. ‘Bring a friend,’ she said ‘And you can have a go while there’s nobody else here. Would that be better?’

There’s a limit to how much of that special treatment – great, and kind and appreciated that it is – that you can expect when you have a disability – you kind of do have to just get on with life the best you can. But I don’t think that’s a reason to make it unnecessarily hard on yourself – to go against what comes naturally.

On the subject of feedback, I had my mid year appraisal at work yesterday. It was, much like the job itself, paper heavy, insular, more like a (endlessly long) cosy chat than an appraisal. It’s another of the things that tells me I’m in the right career: nothing about the pushy, competitive, bullshit-heavy, male-dominated worlds of consultancy or the city, for example, appeal to me. I wouldn’t be good at those jobs. I’m too soft, too emotional. I don’t think that makes me a bad person or a failure: it’s just about recognising that I have a different skill set.

The point I’m trying to make is that although, obviously, we’d communicate with our partners often and sensitively and constructively in the bedroom, in practice I think that’s harder to achieve. Good communication is something to aim for, but I don’t think it comes naturally to many couples, whether they’ve been married for years or are just friends with benefits.

Since I started having sex, men have said all of the following to me:

‘I don’t care if it’s waxed or not as long as it’s tidy.’

‘We’re not friends, we’re just two people who fuck and get on fairly well.’

‘Use your hand as well.’

All of those have stung a little bit, for one reason or another. My body confidence is low – is my bikini line neat? Does it meet his standards? Probably not – it’s not as neat as I’d like it to be, but I don’t know how to do a better job of it. Why aren’t we friends? What’s wrong with me? Are you ashamed of being seen out with me in public? And ‘Use your hand as well?’ To me that translates as ‘You’re shit at giving head.’

A lot of this is fuelled by issues that I have to address. I know that – it’s just one of the many reasons I see a therapist. But as relationships become more complicated – as more and more of us are in friends with benefits arrangements, or just having regular one night stands – what qualifies someone as having the right to give ‘feedback?’ I wouldn’t, for example, be open to receiving comments on my technique from someone I picked up in a night club and wasn’t planning to see again.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that the trust necessary for giving constructive feedback on sex, and for it being well received, extends far, far beyond the bedroom. With me, you’ll win that trust by showing that you’ve thought about how things affect me that perhaps don’t affect you – you’ll hold my hand if we’re crossing an icy road for example. Or, if we’re out having dinner, you’ll squeeze my shoulder when you come back from the Gents: little signs of affection that show that you care about me even when we’re not naked.

If you’re not that invested then I’m sorry, I’m not particularly open to hearing what does/doesn’t work for you in the bedroom.

On sex, cities and food

I sometimes joke that I could rename the blog ‘Food blog (of sorts) and the title wouldn’t be any less accurate. I don’t blog about food that often, but I tweet about it *a lot*, namely the fact that I exist largely on cake, chocolate, tea and white wine.

For all that I eat badly though, I *love* food. I love eating out, trying new places, revisiting old favourites. And above all those things, I adore food after sex.

It was the boy who introduced me to sex first, eat later – it seemed counter intuitive, since I’d long been under the impression you had to be tanked up to have the confidence to fuck. More often than not, sober fucking meant fucking before dinner, and fucking before dinner meant that by the time we sat down to eat, I was absolutely starving.

So food after sex is bloody good. Being on the prowl for food after sex though is better still. It’s the walk of shame, but the improved version – it’s that same longing for food, often filthy food, that you get when you’ve been drinking. Walk the streets of any city after getting laid and I swear to god that *everything* will smell of food. Curry, chips, hot dogs being fried at the side of the road. Every-fucking-thing.

Recently I took myself to a very good restaurant after sex – a long time favourite. The kind where you have to queue to get in and you sit round the bar and watch the chefs preparing the food. Ok, ok, it was here.

They managed to squish me in because I was on my own – it’s always easier to get seated if you’re alone in a restaurant with very limited covers. Everybody was dressed up for a night out in London. Me? I had a bruise forming on my collarbone, dry lips from my lipstick sealant, and come in my hair. Yes, you read that right. I ate deep fried croquetas, Spanish omelette, tuna and a shitload of garlic. It was a-mazing.

I sometimes wonder if people feel sorry for me when they see me out and about on my own like that on a Saturday night. I wonder if they think I’m lonely. I’m not, not at all. Earlier that same day, I’d walked the full length of Oxford Street, dodging the tourists, cursing the dawdlers. I felt lonely then. But at night? I just don’t.

I’m not a big lover of cities, but I do like the way they change at night – the way the pace both slows and speeds up, the way the crowds thin enough to make your life easier, but not enough to make you feel alone. After I’d finished eating, I walked the couple of miles back to the bus stop, stopping from time to time to gaze longingly into the windows of bookshops that had long since closed for the night or weaving my way around a couple snogging in the middle of the pavement.

I tried to pin down what I was feeling, and for a few moments it escaped me. But that, that being alone in the middle of the city, sated in all possible ways, that feels a lot like happiness.

On growing out of kink

I haven’t bought my Eroticon 2015 tickets yet. There are a few reasons for that: better to wait until payday, fear of a repeat of last year’s anxiety attack, and, most worrying of all, the ‘hope’ that I’ll be in a relationship that means erotica/sex blogging/kink will no longer be a part of my life.

I use ‘hope’ in the loosest possible sense. I’m not actively looking for a relationship in which I’m unable to express my submissive desires. It’s just that, well, finding decent guys on dating websites is hard enough, so inevitably, there are things on my wish-list I’ve decided I’ll compromise on if I have to. And finding a partner who’s at least a little bit dominant may be one of those things.

And yet. One of the most frustrating conversations I’ve had in recent weeks was with my best friend, who I adore. She’s got through her fair share of unsuitable men over the years, but she’s had some great sex with these men. Recently, she’s started dating a nice guy, but, in her words ‘It won’t last if the sex doesn’t improve.’

Ok, so for her, sex is a priority. Great. All the more frustrating then when, over brunch, I was talking about how it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve really started to embrace submission and how fantastic it would be if I met someone who I not only liked and fancied, but who also shared my kinks, and she said ‘Oh, but that wouldn’t really matter if you met the right person.’

FFS.

I feel like, in a way, I’ve come reluctantly to kink. In the past month two people, completely independently, have pulled me up on my claim to be vanilla, citing my increasing desire for pain, bruising and toys as proof that it’s simply not true. Not to mention increased participation in things like Sinful Sunday. Not only are they right, I’m also having the time of my life, sexually: I’ve discovered what turns me on, I have a sexual partner who’s happy to explore that further with me, and I am *loving* it.

I’ve written before about submission and self-confidence, and unlike Girlonthenet, I still think there can be a link between low self esteem and submission. I think it tends to be a more passive kind of submission – a letting someone else take charge so you don’t make any false moves, rather than purely because it turns you on – but I’d argue that it’s submission nonetheless.

Novels like Fifty Shades of Grey would have us believe that the only reasons you could possibly be interested in BDSM are a) difficult childhood b) trying to hold onto a billionaire who had a difficult childhood. They also promote a very fixed view of what BDSM means: it’s spanking, flogging, bondage, waiting on your knees for your Dom to turn up.

It can be any or all of those things. It can also be none of them. Girlonthenet wrote a wonderful piece a while back about being a ‘stroppy submissive’ and I associate with it more and more. When the boy grabs my wrists and forces them high above my head I don’t submit willingly: I try to wriggle free, desperate to get my hands on his belt, to suck his cock, to touch him. I let him slam them back against the wall, my rings clinking as they hit the plasterboard, and I beg him to let me have his cock in my mouth. When he refuses I don’t look at the floor while my inner goddess pirouettes with joy, I tilt my chin up and look him square in the eye. I’m as defiant in submission as I am outside of the bedroom.

I’d love to find a long-term partner who loved all those things about me and who wanted to embrace them within our relationship. Even before I started exploring my submissive side, sex was a key interest: I’ve been writing erotica for years and years. Not buying an Eroticon ticket for 2015 because I’d met someone who didn’t like that side of me would be a massive let down, really. It would mean I’d compromised massively on who I am. But would I put kink to one side if someone was perfect in every other way? Quite possibly, yes.

If I do though, it’ll be because I choose to compromise. It sure as hell won’t be because I ‘grew out of’ kink.