Triangle

I still remember, 16 years on, how you calculate the missing side of a right-angled triangle: a2 + b2 = c2.

That information is useless to me.

What would I like to know instead? Well, how to groom my pubes into a neatly-trimmed triangle (my style of choice) would be a start. Although not a right-angled one, it’s true.

I am pro-hair, on both men and women. I’m pro-hair on myself. But I’m not pro the way it looks most of the time, and I certainly don’t feel positive about either my ability to style it the way I want, or to ask someone else to do just that.

Which, to be honest, worries me.

I am, on the surface, all body confidence and positivity. Naked in the changing rooms. Topless on the beach. Fucking with the lights on. But what I project? It’s sure as hell not being reflected back at me.

I believe, wholeheartedly, in two things. Firstly, that body positivity is important, even when it’s a struggle, and that it’s more important for me to come to terms with my body the way it is than to cave to society’s demands that I change it. I will, for example, only try to lose weight when I’m in a good and happy place, because I’m trying to like myself more, not less.

Secondly, that there is no shame in asking  questions when you don’t know or can’t do something. And I do a shit job of landscaping down there. I’d like to be smooth underneath. I’d like zero hair in the creases between my thighs and my pelvis. I already go to the beautician to have facial hair waxed, which, truth be told, should bother me a whole lot more for the lack of femininity it implies. But I don’t. I don’t go because I worry that beauticians never see clients with pubes as unkempt and wonkily-shaped as mine. I worry that they’ll judge. I worry that I won’t know what to ask for.

Because I don’t want a Hollywood, a Brazilian, a landing strip, or a postage stamp.

I just want a triangle.

So why the fuck can’t I say so?

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When C4 get it right: Born to be Different

I am a bit of a sucker for documentaries about growing up or growing older. When I left my last job, my colleagues bought me the box set of the Up series, and it remains one of my favourite things I’ve ever seen. I love Child of Our TimeBut I’m particularly drawn to Born to be Different because this is growing up/growing older + disability.

I’ve taken Channel 4 to task before for what I consider to be ableist, unfair disability programming in the form of The UndateablesI stand by what I said in that post. But equally, Born to be Different is proof that when they get it right, they really, really get it right.

Disability is a strange thing. In some ways, with many disabilities, it seems the biggest physical challenges come early on. Will a child walk? How bad is the brain damage? What’s the diagnosis? Once those things are established, it can only get easier, right?

I’m increasingly not sure that’s true.

The Born to be Different kids are turning 16, and I’ve realised, for the first time, that disability splits in two. For some people, it’s a battle to live with a condition – to maintain self esteem, independence, faith – in the face of a world that increasingly judges them. For others, with life-shortening conditions, it’s a battle just to survive.

The life-shortening conditions are heartbreaking, obviously, but they’re harder to relate to. The kids with these conditions are still just that – kids, and it’s their parents and siblings you really feel for, because they can express just how hard life is in the face of such epic disability.

And then it gets complicated. Because although Zoe, who has arthrogryposis, is much more disabled than I am, I relate to the challenges of her condition, which affects the mobility of her arms and legs. I’m in tears as she talks about giving up netball, and then PE more generally, because ‘people can be nasty.’ Now, she says, ‘she wants to be a barrister,’ and I recognise too that turn to academia as an area in which is is possible to succeed. And god, I want Zoe to succeed.

In the episode I watched tonight, she was encouraged to apply for head girl, and I was immediately transported back to my last year of middle school, when I won the prize for overall contribution to the school. I was twelve, and it felt like the last time I was in any way at ease with myself (in many ways, I already wasn’t). Zoe panicked about making a speech, and as she struggled up to the podium, I completely got why – it’s not easy being the centre of attention when your body won’t cooperate. I cried, a lot, both for her, and for me, because I feel a million miles away from a happy-go-lucky childhood, and I’m not sure I could readopt that approach to the world even if I wanted to – snark and sarcasm are an easier and more robust defence. But Zoe is lovely, and I hope that, against the odds, she finds a way to maintain that as she grows older.

The boys in the programme so far have all been much sicker, so it’s hard to say whether there’s a gender split in how hard disability hits as you reach adulthood, but the Radio Times’ summary of next week’s episode, and its focus on dating, depressed me:

‘At 15 years old, Emily is interested in boys, although she’ll need one who won’t balk at her manually sluicing out her bowel several times a day. Similarly, Zoe worries that boys who claim to see past her arthrogryposis don’t mean it.’

There is something about the way that’s written that pisses me off. Will both Emily and Zoe find dating harder because of disability? Almost certainly. But ‘manually sluicing out her bowel several times a day’ is oddly graphic and unnecessarily explicit. Presumably Emily can do this independently, and any potential boyfriend would have no need to witness it in quite the icky terms its described in here? We need to understand disability better, undoubtedly, but it shouldn’t give us free rein to pore over the details which, it strikes me, are only there to make an able-bodied audience recoil in horror at the realities of life with a disability. It’s a precursor, I reckon, to questions like this.

Channel 4, to their credit, have avoided that this time. It would be nice if the Radio Times could do the same.

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Falling out of (and back in) love with my tits

People who see my boobs now don’t believe I was once a 34C, but I was. Honest. At uni, looking back, I had these perfect, neat, perky breasts. I adored them, and I dressed to let the world know. I’d lost a lot of weight on my gap year, and I was a comfortable size 12, a true hourglass. I wish I’d known who I was fashion-wise at the time, because I wasted those couple of years on jeans and black scoop neck tops.

‘I can see your bra,’ my friends would chorus, endlessly, as I flaunted my cleavage day in, day out. Weirdly, my tits got more (negative) attention from women than they ever did (positive) attention from men.

‘I don’t care,’ I’d reply, but I did. I cared because I hated feeling criticised for the one part of my body I actually liked. I cared because I felt a bit slut-shamed, even before I’d ever heard the word. I cared because the girls criticising often had shorter skirts and more luck with guys than I did. I felt like I couldn’t pull off sexy, only cheap and unpolished. Rather than admit defeat, I kept it up, right through my wrap top and clingy jersey dress phase.

I couldn’t tell you exactly when my bra size started to creep up. I’d guess I was a DD at least by the end of uni, and the rest kind of came with the additional dress sizes. By the time I was an F cup, I wasn’t sure my tits were still sexy. I felt like the line of my cleavage had changed as I’d got older – everything felt lower and more spread out and although I still touched them with the casual affection I always had; sliding my fingers into the warm space between them, or tucking my folded arms around them and idly stroking them over my clothes when cold or daydreaming; they felt like what they essentially were: fat. After all, they contribute to the number I struggle with every time I step on the scales and whereas I’d once looked ok in backless dresses, I had enough flesh around my bra strap now that I didn’t like to catch sight of myself in the mirror and see the bulging fat that had seemed to appear one day out of the blue.

It was Sinful Sunday changed things. In the very first photo I posted, which was taken by a friend, I was kind of stunned by how much rounder they were than they looked to me from above. To me, they looked pointy, and I hated that: from the front, that wasn’t the case at all. I’ve mainly posted pictures of my tits since, because they don’t let me down like the other bits do: my tummy might look huge or my thighs flabby, but in seven out of ten shots, my tits will look okay.

But I still hadn’t quite come to accept how they were making clothes fit. Whether I tried on the size 14 or 16 in clothes shops meant for grown-ass, professional women, the necklines couldn’t accommodate my bust in a way that was appropriate for the workplace (where I still show a fair amount of cleavage) without the addition of a vest top underneath, which seemed to me to simply add more bulk to a body I felt was more than bulky enough.

I hadn’t shopped for clothes in Pepperberry for years – since before it was even called that, in fact. It was simply ‘the clothes range in Bravissimo’ when I last bought something there and I barely filled out a size 14 ‘Really curvy’ top. Last weekend, wanting my casual clothes to flaunt my tits again, but for them not actually to burst free, as they continually do from my favourite maxi dress, I tried again. I tried a dress I liked in the 14 and the 16 ‘Really Curvy’ and still it pulled at the back. Frustrated, I resigned myself to leaving without anything. But as I handed the dress back to the shop assistant, it occurred to me what might be wrong:

‘Am I a Really Curvy or a Super Curvy?’ I asked. The bust fit is determined by how proportionate your bust is to the rest of your figure and I’d always reckoned I had average-sized tits for a size 16 woman.

The shop assistant looked me up and down as I stood there, fully-clothed. ‘You’re what, a G or H cup?’ (Good guess work!) ‘Definitely a Super Curvy.’

My bust, it turns out, is not in proportion to the rest of my body. It’s bigger. I’m ok with that, but it’s taken me a while to get there. When I asked a friend for her verdict on the dress, she said ‘It certainly draws attention to your tits.’

Yep, and you’d better get used to it, cos that ain’t gonna change.

One day I’ll learn to love you

You’re warm, and soft, and curvy. You have good bits, like tits and beautifully shaped fingernails. And today, I hate you.

And do I trust you? Ha, you must be kidding. Why would I trust you when you constantly let me down?

Take this week, for example. Every time I stand up, my left ankle tries to collapse. My right knee is tired of putting up with that shit – I know, because it aches so badly.

We don’t understand each other, you and I. The ankle thing, someone suggested, might be because you don’t like the cold. Oh. I *love* the cold. I didn’t know it caused your muscles to contract, made you tight and inflexible. At night now, that ankle gets a hot water bottle. Does that help? I wish I knew.

I tell my mum what I found out about you, too: that it’s not just that the left leg is shorter, it’s that the hip muscle has yanked it up and won’t let go.

‘What’s the point of knowing that,’ she says, ‘If you’re not going to do anything about it?’

But I don’t want to change you. I want to like you the way you are.

That’s not to say we don’t have good times. We just mainly have them alone. Just after Christmas, we went for a walk, and as usual, we set out later than we should – sundown, it turns out, isn’t at 5 p.m. in early January, it’s at 4. And so we’re under pressure. The walk is flat though, according to the book, so we’ll be fine, right?

I forgot about mud. It coats my boots, means there’s no friction between you and the ground. I force you to swing from branch to branch to get down the first bank, and they snap and you have to clutch and grasp for another. Over and over again. We survive. Just. And I’m proud of us.

There’s more mud, and water that slops over my boots, but we cope. Ultimately, it’s not you that brings the whole endeavour to an abrupt end, it’s me. I have plenty of ridiculous fears, but this one I think, is justified. Staring back at us, from the field which ‘has a stile in the corner diagonally opposite’ are three bulls. Uh uh. No way.

So together we try to scramble back down to the road. And we almost make it. We’re probably three steps from safety when you fail me and I land flat on my back in the mud. I could cry, but there’s no one to see my humiliation. So I forgive you and we set off along the road instead.

We get to a junction. Googlemaps seems to think we’ve gone the wrong way, and then my phone dies. Obviously.

There’s a grim looking hotel and I go in, and ask the guy on reception to call me a cab. And could he check they’ll take cards?

‘There’s a cash point in the petrol station,’ he says. Then: ‘I can’t call it unless you stay here. Sometimes people do runners.’

Yeah, he’s a cunt.

In the petrol station I ask a woman if she’s going the way I need to go. It’s only just over a mile, but it’s dark, I have no torch, no phone and there’s no pavement.

She’s not, but she points in the opposite direction. ‘You can get back that way, too. It’s quicker, and there’s a pavement.’

Thank fuck for that.

We drive home via Sainsbury’s. I want to buy you something nice for tea. I’m proud of you. And it even makes me laugh when, later, in the bath, the bits of twig floating on the surface confuse me until I realise that my hair is bloody full of them from when we were swinging tree to tree.

We’re ok, you and I. We just need to learn to love each other. To trust each other. And maybe, once we’ve done that, we can start to trust other people.

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Sweet little mystery*

I don’t watch porn. Really. I mean, I watched the odd soft core movie, rented from Blockbuster and accompanied by cheap wine from the college bar, when I was at uni, a lot more on Channel 5 when I was babysitting as a teen for the crap families who didn’t have Sky, a few hardcore clips the boys on my corridor downloaded onto my laptop, and a full length hardcore film three weeks ago in a hotel in Paris, out of sheer curiosity. And because it was free. That’s honestly the full extent of my porn watching. I’ve wanked to porn perhaps once. Because I discovered good erotica pretty young and because I’ve only ever seen porn with terrible and distracting plot lines, I’ve never really felt the need to seek it out.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not bothered by the new UK porn regulations. I’m very much with Myles Jackman, the obscenity lawyer quoted in this wonderful post by Girlonthenet, who said “Pornography is the canary in the coalmine of free speech: it is the first freedom to die. If this assault on liberty is allowed to go unchallenged, other freedoms will fall as a consequence.”

Plus, even the Independent is citing the anti-feminist argument (“More worryingly, the amendment seems to take issue with acts from which women more traditionally derive pleasure than men,”) so I think it’s safe to say that being pretty fucked off at this is not overreacting.

Lots of people will write about a lot of the acts on the banned list a lot more knowledgeably than I possibly could, so I’m not going to go there, much as my initial dismay was caused by the fact that bruising is no longer allowed. Instead I’m going to write again about something I’ve written on before: female ejaculation.

I stand by my original take on it. Personally, I don’t like it. That’s if I’ve even ever done it properly. I’ve certainly got very, very wet during penetrative sex, wet enough to soak my clothes and the bed underneath me. For me, that counts. For others, it may not. Either way, I don’t the sloshing noises my cunt makes when he fucks me that way, even though he seems to. I don’t like the feeling of being uncontrollably wet, I don’t feel *lady-like.* And therein lies my problem with banning squirting in porn. It’s not that squirting *isn’t* lady-like, that’s just my perception of it. Which might be partly down to personal preference, but also, I think, has a whole lot to do with the way society polices women’s bodies and the fluids they produce.

Lets go way, way back to when I was eleven. I got pretty good sex-ed at school. My parents had been open and honest about puberty. I was staying with a kind-of friend, the daughter of one of my mum’s mates. I was on a thin mattress on the floor and aside from anything else, I remember being unable to sleep because I was fucking freezing. And then I woke up properly in the early hours of the morning, soaked. In blood.

From there on in, it got worse. I was pretty scared of my mum’s friend, who wasn’t exactly warm and approachable. In fact, based on a later incident where my sister got drunk on cooking wine on a camping holiday and vomited everywhere, I’d say she’s a judgemental bitch. Anyway. My clothes for the next day involved cream jodhpurs (don’t ask). I didn’t dare tell her my periods had started, so I wore the cream jodhpurs and did my best to fashion an impromptu sanitary towel from loo roll. You can imagine the state of me, and the state I was in, by the time I got home.

And so it continued. Later the same year, someone in my class had the famous swimming party at the local pool, complete with massive inflatable for climbing on. Yep, you’ve guessed it, I had my period. My mum gave me a tampon, explained how they worked, and left me to get on with it. The swimming party lasted an hour. Nobody told me you need to change a tampon immediately after you swim. By the time I did change it, an hour or so after the party, it had leaked, staining the beautifully 90s body-with-poppers-between-the-legs (also in cream) that I was wearing. For the second time in less than a year, I was mortified by my body. I’d also learnt a lot about not wearing pale colours during my period.

At 30, I’m obviously much less bothered by my menstrual cycle, except it’s more irregular than ever, and in some ways, more disruptive. The problems of being a woman on her period don’t go away: I keep tampons in my desk drawer at work, but do I then slip one into my handbag and take that with me or do I clutch one in my fist and hope that no one stops me on the way to the toilets? If I sleep with someone who’s happy to fuck me while I’m on my period, I still hate that moment when you have to slip away to take your tampon out. Even if the guy in question *is* happy to fuck me at that point in the month, it’s undeniably less messy to avoid blood during sex, which means I back-to-back packets of the pill way more often than I intend to.

We’re no more open-minded about urination and I don’t mean in a watersports sense. Or UTIs for that matter. I don’t get cystitis often, thank god, but every time I do, it’s a battle to get the doctor to accept that I’ve tried the over-the-counter salts and they haven’t worked, and I need antibiotics. On one particularly memorable (for all the wrong reasons) occasion, I paced the floor of the emergency GP surgery to try to distract my bladder as he wrote me a prescription, on another I thought my entire birthday trip to Latitude festival was ruined because I was bleeding every time I peed and couldn’t get more than a metre from the toilet block before the stinging desperation forced me back again. For some reason, you can order antibiotics for cystitis online via Lloyds pharmacy, but can you do the same in a physical store? Of course not.

Likewise, when I looked briefly at Mumsnet earlier, to see what they had to say about squirting, there were lots of *hilarious* gags about how they could pass off urination caused by a weak post-partum pelvic floor as ejaculation. Very few women seemed to have anything positive to say about female ejaculation in its own right. How did we get like this as a society, and why can’t we be more like the French, who offer pelvic re-education as standard after having a baby? I could go on, because there are still more things about women and their need to piss going unrecognised that bug me, including the fact that city centres often now have pop up urinals for men who’ve been drinking. Is anything similar supplied for women? No, love, we don’t want to think about the fact you piss, so go and crouch behind a wall somewhere where we can’t see you.

And lastly, there’s the stuff that *never* gets talked about, or certainly never did when I was younger – like the fact that vaginal discharge is acidic and can therefore bleach the crotch of your black knickers to a garish shade of orange over time. It took me years to figure out that that wasn’t just me.

I have no idea why female ejaculation has been banned in UK poem – this post is an educated guess, at best. When I read the Independent article, it made me think of this passage, from Kristina Lloyd’s Thrill Seeker:

‘You’ve got to really work it.’ Liam slammed his middle fingers into the pad of my G, his elbow shunting as if he were trying to tug something from me. ‘It can look quite violent.’

‘Ach, I dinnae mind that,’ said Baxter.

I wailed as the pressure swelled within me. All too soon, my walls loosened and I was slushy around Liam’s pounding fingers. I slumped in Baxter’s supporting arms, crying out as liquid rushed from me in a hot, unstoppable fountain.

If squirting’s been banned because the censors associate it with fisting, something which they, insanely, consider to be ‘life-endangering,’ I can almost see the twisted logic behind the decision, much as I still disagree with it. If it’s been banned because someone objected to women’s bodies behaving in that way – well, angry doesn’t begin to cover it.

*The title of this post is a music-related riddle. I think Girlonthenet once used to send her readers a Twix as a small prize for getting questions like this right, and I liked that, so if you’re the first person to guess the link between the title and the post topic, I’ll send you something chocolatey.

Cock: isn’t it hilarious?

So this post has been saved on my phone for months now, under the provisional title ‘Hen nights.’ Which is unfair, really: I’ve been on *bad* hen nights, most memorably the one where the Maid of Honour told the bride not to book anywhere for dinner that cost more than £20 a head for dinner because she couldn’t afford it and then proceeded to sneak off during the daytime events and buy herself a Marc Jacobs handbag. But luckily, I’ve not been on any where everything – from the straws to the ice cubes to the shot glasses to the chocolates – has been in the shape of cock.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t hen nights like that out there though. How do I know? Because I’m the girl who ‘likes cock.’ Which means, at the height of wedding season, I’ve come back to my desk to find everything from a little wind-up plastic cock with feet to a crumpled party napkin containing three ‘chocolate’ (I use that term loosely) dicks, with little smiley faces, filled with mint ‘cream’ (geddit?). It’s almost as disappointing as when you’re a kid and you get home from a birthday party to discover that you accidentally sat on your slice of birthday cake in the car, and now it’s all squashed and unappetising.

I was reminded that I wanted to write this post earlier this evening, when I saw this:

I don’t think it’s true any longer to say that women are only allowed to talk about/look at/like cock when it’s presented in a comedy setting. I think it’s now ok to admit that, when you see a guy naked you fancy all of him – not just his arse, his legs or his broad shoulders, but his cock, too, whether it’s hard or not. Personally, I have a weakness for both hard and soft: I love when he’s rock solid before he even gets his jeans off and you can pull his boxers away and watch him spring free, swollen and ready for action, but I’m equally as fond of those moments after sex when he’s soft again, and his cock is damp and mollusc-like. Those moments when he thinks I’m not watching and he cups himself gently in his hand. I think his cock is beautiful.

For all their faults, men don’t seem to try to turn cunts into comedy props. Yes, stag nights are equally guilty of tasteless themes: men squeezed into their girlfriends’ dresses, men with a fake ball and chain around their ankle – but the ‘humour,’ although pretty bloody predictable and childish if you ask me, is not based on how hilarious the female anatomy is. You may well disagree, and feel free to in the comments, but I think we’ve moved on since the 90s and Men Behaving Badly ‘aren’t-tits-hilarious’ style humour.

I fear this post makes me sound like a spoilsport, now I’m nearing the end of it. That wasn’t my intention at all. The point I was trying to make, albeit badly, is that I hate hen night props for two reasons. Firstly, because I think it’s really, really important that we celebrate people’s bodies, whatever their shape and whatever their gender and I think selling plastic, disembodied body parts with little faces for laughs detracts from that, and secondly because I think it reduces women’s conversations about men, their bodies and sex to a superficial and often dishonest, level. I think we need to stop playing sex for laughs, essentially – at least until we can all agree that it’s a happy, healthy thing for adults, both male and female, to be doing.

 

PS I noticed when I was writing this that Horny Geekgirl has also written about cock this evening. You can find her post here.

On sexting

If you search Twitter, or the internet more widely, for blog posts on the subject of sexting, you really would think that only teenagers do it. Everything I could find was about how to try to persuade your teenage kids not to try it. There was one piece intended for middle-aged divorcees reminding them that if they’re tempted they should remember to password protect their phone, not leave it where other people can see the screen (actually, I could learn a few things from that – I once switched my phone back on after a flight and accidentally shared a dick pic with everyone else who was standing in the aisle), and certainly not to do it when drunk. Then I remembered a blog post I read recently about the joys of reading the Mumsnet forums, and thought I’d check out what they had to say about it. The result? I ended up feeling *really* sorry for this woman’s ‘DH’.

Anyway, what got me thinking about it was the fact that I’ve received a couple of (admittedly very softcore) sexts in the past couple of days. I said that I wouldn’t share my #100happydays posts here, but if it wasn’t for the fact that they need to be documented by photos, the sext would definitely have been today’s happy moment.

I don’t get photos any more. That’s what you get for expressing pretty strong views on cock shots. Twice. I retweeted this yesterday, and although I don’t share the author’s affection for cock shots of men she doesn’t know, I do agree with this:

“… it’s the dicks I do know that capture my attention. I like to think about who that dick’s attached to, the ways that person excites me—whether physically or intellectually—and the good times that dick and I have shared.”

And actually, word-sexts, rather than picture-sexts, have the same effect. I don’t think the best ones are lengthy descriptions of what you’re doing right now, or what you want to do to me, a simple ‘I’m feeling/doing x, and I’m thinking about [your] x,’ is more than sufficient to fire up my imagination. But I like them for the more than the fact that they make me horny. I like them because no matter how many times that you tell me I’m hot, no matter how many times you get hard in my presence, as soon as you leave I develop the memory of a goldfish. I’m not capable of remembering that that’s how you feel about me for longer than three seconds when you’re not here, so those little reminders out of the blue? They make my day.

Now I just have to learn how to reply.

Making all his wishes come true

It’s probably about the time that I should be writing a festive post, but other than what I wrote about gifts, I don’t really have much to say about Christmas as far as sex and relationships are concerned. Probably because most of my Christmases are like this.

The only tenuous link I could think of between this post and Christmas is that it’s about making people’s wishes come true. Except, at Christmas it’s Santa who makes wishes come true (yes, I totally still believe!), and you probably wouldn’t want that to be the case with the kind of wishes that I’m going to write about here. But anyway, here’s why I’m a bad replacement for Santa:

A good while ago now, the boy brought up the subject of fulfilling each other’s fantasies – merely as a suggestion. I seem to remember feeling pretty vulnerable at the time and desperately craving vanilla and affectionate sex, so I told him I didn’t have any fantasies. He pulled me up on this, which was the right thing to do, because it’s clearly bullshit.

I have lots and lots of fantasies – they’re mainly centred around relinquishing control, letting someone else call the shots, and, when you get to the far end of the spectrum, being forced. But he knew this already, because in the bedroom we were always playing with aspects of my fantasies – he knew I liked being held down, bruised, told exactly what I wasn’t allowed to do. It was rare that this would become the main focus of the sex we were having, but it was always there.

Was the same true of his fantasies? Not so much. I don’t recall now whether we ever talked about his fantasies before I discovered, by accident, that he had a blog where he was writing about them (and even then I wasn’t 100% sure whether I’d stumbled upon his fantasies – he was writing fiction, and I fall whole-heartedly into the camp that says you can write stuff that you would’t necessarily want to do.) We’ve since had a couple of conversations about them, but I still get the feeling that talking about this stuff (with me, at least) makes him uneasy. And then the other day he said something about the fact that his fantasies ‘don’t interest me.’ Not in the sense that, y’know, I’m not interested in the stuff he likes, just in the sense that they’re not sexually interesting/arousing to me and therefore, are unlikely to get fulfilled.

That last part may well be true. Except that that part about not finding them a turn on is a little more complicated than it looks at first glance. I feel like a lot of what I’ve read about acting out fantasies focuses on women who don’t want to act out their partner’s fantasies because they’re in some way morally opposed to them. Even when they’re quite clear that it’s something they do want to try, as the question in this letter to the Telegraph suggests, the advice always seems to be ‘Are you absolutely sure it’s something you want to try?’ (I know, this could be my fault for trying to get my sex advice from a right-wing newspaper …)

Anyway, I digress. My point is that my reasons for not ‘being interested’ in his fantasies have nothing to do with my moral stance on them (no issues there), or being scared about acting them out changing the dynamics of what we have going on. The problem is that all my fantasies centre around giving up control of my body to someone else; while many of his centre around wanting a woman to take control and wanting to be the submissive one.

I’m crap at getting outside of my own headspace, my own fears. When he writes about something as simple as having his back stroked as being something that turns him on, my initial reaction is ‘Oh god, I’d be shit at that because I’m way too clumsy to ever do it well.’ Can you see, then, why stuff like pegging is way out of my comfort zone? Do I judge him for liking it? Not at all. Is my unwillingness to try it down to a moral objection? Nope, just down the fact that it means taking control of his body as well as my own, and, in my head, a massive risk that I’ll hurt him.

And yet, sometimes things take you by surprise. I thought I’d like being handcuffed, seeing as it also represents relinquishing control. The reality was that he cuffed me and I hated it. It threw my balance out, and meant relinquishing control over my body in a way that I hadn’t anticipated not liking. I might let him do it again one day, but only if he cuffed me to something, rather than cuffing my wrists together.

So, my point is that, in my opinion, if you are comfortable with the idea of acting out each other’s fantasies, do – don’t let The Telegraph make you believe that first you have to discuss it to the point of exhaustion and then, y’know, buy some erotica on the subject, just to be *absolutely sure* it turns you on.

On the other hand, if, like he and I, you haven’t really felt comfortable discussing it, then yeah, that probably is the place to start. Just don’t write somebody off as ‘not interested in something,’ without taking the time to find out why.

Fat is an issue that I’ve not had in my relationships … thank god

Earlier this week, my neighbour came round with my Christmas gift, a bottle of marsala wine and a legendary M&S stollen – a vision of icing sugar and flaked almonds. He handed it over and wished me a 2014 that was ‘lucky in love.’ My neighbour is amazing, and if he wasn’t over 60 and married, I’d probably be making a move.

Anyway, that’s by the by. I took the stollen to work, commenting to a colleague that if I ate the whole thing by myself, it was unlikely that I’d be lucky in love next year, because, y’know, I’d be huge.

‘Do you consider your chances in love to be linked to your weight?’ she said, sounding vaguely horrified, as well she might.

I nodded and she shook her head. ‘That’s not good,’ she said. ‘Not good at all.’

She’s right – it’s not. You shouldn’t keep an eye on your weight because you’re worried about what a man might think about it, you should do so (if you want to) for your own health, sense of wellbeing, desire to reach a goal etc. etc.

A friend came round last night, after her work Christmas dinner. She mentioned that one of her colleagues, who she had a bit of fling with back in the Spring, had joked, after she’d finished both her risotto and sticky toffee pudding. ‘Wow, seeing you eat like that, it’s no wonder you’re a size 14.’

Now, this friend is petite, height-wise, and she’s a size 10-12. She said she’d laughed off his comments, told him to fuck off and felt smug that that particular day she was wearing a size 10 dress. Because that makes his comment fine, obviously.

I said this, and pointed out that that was hardly the point – how is it funny to accuse someone of being a dress size that’s smaller than the UK average? Because her attitude didn’t thrill me either, rather than calling him a cunt, which is what I’d have done, she was just pleased that he was two sizes out.

I am a size 14, bordering on a 16, and I pointed this out to her. She backtracked sharply, ‘Oh, but it’s different, isn’t it, because you’re taller, and curvier, and you have bigger tits.’ Well, yes, all of this is true, but it’s also a massively flawed argument. If we were the same weight we’d be very different sizes, but if we were the same dress size we’d be just that, the same dress size.

Her attitude isn’t quite as bad as his, but it’s still not great, and in my life I’ve found most of the pressure around my weight has come from other women (namely my mum), not from men.

The boy, for instance, has never made me feel remotely fat or uncomfortable about what I eat or drink. The only thing he has a go at me for consuming is wine which is clearly in his glass, not mine. Last week I mentioned, in passing, that the night before I’d eaten two bowls of cereal, a croissant, and then my dinner, all because nothing seemed to sate my hunger – and then I’d felt massively sick.

‘Well, obviously,’ was his only comment. ‘I’d expect a seven-year-old to know  that.’ He wasn’t at all bothered by how much I’d eaten, just by the fact that I seemed surprised that it had made me nauseous – and that was worth teasing me about. It’s that attitude which makes me happy to fuck him on top of the covers, sober, in daylight, and to wander around naked after sex without worrying about the size of my tummy, and fuck, it’s liberating.

So please, ladies, don’t fuck anyone this Christmas who makes you feel fat. There’ll always be men, but there won’t always be lebkuchen (this statement may be  slightly flawed). But seriously, if he wants to sleep with someone skinnier than you, then that’s what he should do. You don’t need to be a certain weight to make him happy.

The things that make us who we are …

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what it is that’s stopping me from going after what I really want when it comes to love. Sure, I’ve dabbled with internet dating, but I hate it. And recently, I’ve realised that, unlike many people who hate it because it can be depressing and it takes up precious time, I hate it because it means confronting my biggest fear: that no one will want me.

As ever, no melodrama intended – that’s just my honest world view. One of the things that has surprised me most since setting up this blog is the followers I feel I have most in common with are not the sex bloggers, but the relationship bloggers. That’s not to say that there aren’t some fab and supportive sex and erotica bloggers out there (if you haven’t read Kristina Lloyd or Alison Tyler you really, really should), but the girls who write about their search for Mr Right have been kinder and more interested in what I’m doing here than I could ever have hoped for.

Because relationships are my greatest hang up. Technically, I’ve never had one. How did that happen? Well, it’s a pretty long story….

Why do you walk like that?

I’ve touched on some of the issues in this post before. My very first post was about my slight disability and the way complete strangers react to it, but it’s not always complete strangers. The first person I ever felt wasn’t able to accept that my body wasn’t normal was my mum.

This isn’t some kind of attempt to pass the blame for all my insecurities back to my parents – they’re fantastic, and I adore them. In fact, when I first went to therapy, the first thing I said was that I had no interest in trying to pass the buck back to them for how I got so fucked up. But my mum hasn’t always got it right. She walks at 100mph, for example, and I’ve always been expected to keep up. My dad is generally better at recognising that this is tricky for me but when I was a kid, we got taken into his office every Christmas Eve and every year I fell over on the walk from the station and ended up in awful emergency Sock Shop tartan tights.

Not only do I have to keep up though: I have to walk properly. I’ve got much better at this – until very recently I was becoming more agile, not less. She’d say things like ‘You’re walking badly today – are you tired/not concentrating/wearing uncomfortable shoes?’ Often, yes, one of the above – but who isn’t one of those things much of the time. When I paid close attention to every step, I walked better but at the expense of becoming massively self-conscious. It’s never gone away.

No one wants to kiss me

All through primary school, no one noticed that I wasn’t as co-ordinated as every else. Then, when I started secondary school, all that changed. Not only was there a fair amount of teasing, there was also the hell of school discos and under-18s club nights. All the other girls would spend most of the evening with some boy’s tongue down their throat while I hovered on the edge of the group, desperate for the evening to end. Did my disability mean that I was a terrible dancer? Actually, I have no idea – I’m a pretty cautious dancer, but I don’t know if that’s because my body won’t let me be otherwise, or just because I’ve never had the guts to properly throw some shapes. In the end, I was 17 before I had my first kiss and then, irony of all ironies, 17 and a half when I lost my virginity. In a nightclub.

Older men

When the boys your age aren’t interested, you’ll turn elsewhere for male attention in the end. I have a lot more to say about crushes on teachers, so I’ll write about it in more detail later, but let’s just say that most of the years from 15-18 I wasn’t interested in anyone who didn’t take a register. Wanting to impress helped me to get into one of the best universities in the country, but the opportunities for sex there were far and few between too. Plus ca change …

Just good friends

My first grad job was in the middle of nowhere, and my first good friend in that job was senior to me, but behaved at least five years younger than I was. He was a terrible flirt, and he had a Geordie accent that left me weak at the knees. We spent increasing amounts of time together until he decided to tackle the fact that I clearly fancied him head on. He wasn’t ‘in a good place for a relationship,’ which turned out to mean that he’d been in love with his girlfriend’s twin sister for nearly seven years and the idea of moving on was completely alien to him.

That rang true with me. I started seeing a therapist about a year later and one of the first things she asked me was why I thought I continued to be drawn to him despite the fact that we didn’t want the same things. My answer: he doesn’t want to sleep with me.

Now, looking back, that seems odd, even to me. I’m unapologetic about how much I love sex – chasing it, talking about it, having it. But I didn’t want to have sex with anyone I really cared about – I couldn’t face the fact that the morning after they’d inevitably wake up knowing that I’m bad in bed and liking me less because of it. But I stuck with it nonetheless, increasingly unhappy. For two whole years.

What ended it? He met someone, obviously. Someone younger, stick thin, and with no tits to speak of. It’s rare that I don’t love my cleavage, but we had a rough few weeks around that time.

Friends with benefits

Of course, looking back I can see that he didn’t end up with someone else purely because my body was a disappointment to him. It probably wasn’t a disappointment at all – it was probably just that he didn’t fancy me. Or that he wanted someone who was less emotional, less of a drama queen. And that’s ok. Well, ok to an extent – we’ve never salvaged the friendship, but he collects stuffed meerkats now, so I consider myself to have had a lucky escape.

Hopefully all of the above makes it clearer why I consider the current boy  (wow, nearly wrote relationship there!) to be something of a break through. The first time I slept with him I honestly expected that I would never see him again – I certainly never imagined that two years on, despite huge ups and downs, we’d still be fucking, or that I’d be comfortable enough with him to not need to pull my clothes back on straight after sex or to always need a few drinks beforehand.

Of course, the things that don’t work in this arrangement have been well-documented over the last few days – I’m reluctant to lose what we do have, but I know that if I stay, I’ll be giving up a massive chunk of my dreams. I can argue until I’m blue in the face that I’d rather have a baby by myself, but honestly? It’s self-defensive bullshit. I would have one by myself, absolutely, if I don’t find anyone to have one with. But would I rather find someone to raise my children with, someone to slob in front of the telly with, someone who loves my body and who wants to be my friend? Well, obviously. Who wouldn’t?