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?

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Time is a feminist issue

I’ll begin this by saying that I think a lot of people may disagree with what I’m about to say. Certainly the friend I mentioned it to this evening did. Please do add your thoughts in the comments, whether you agree or not – I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

Anyway. In comparison with a lot of women, there are very few claims on my time. I work full-time, sure, and there are a couple of hobby-related regular commitments in the evening, but I’m not raising children, working hours and hours of overtime or caring for someone who’s sick or elderly. I’m a single woman, a free agent, and my diary is relatively uncluttered.

None of that means that my time isn’t valuable. There are lots of things I need/like to do when I have free time – meet friends for drinks, laundry, food shopping, blogging, writing. And I like to know in advance where those things are going to slot into my week. That makes me neither a better nor a worse person than someone who likes to fly a bit more by the seat of their pants.

I should also, in the interests of full disclosure, remind you that time keeping is not one of my strengths. I’m regularly 15-30 minutes late. I’m occasionally guilty of doing that thing where you send a ‘Just leaving now!’ text when you still have wet hair and are wearing only your knickers.

But I don’t bail. Last night I went to someone’s birthday drinks. She’d invited somewhere between 15-20 people. Most had replied to say that they’d be there, but when I turned up, halfway through, the majority had texted some excuse as to why they had to cancel at short notice. This kind of shit drives me crazy. As she said herself, if people had said no in the first place, or the week before, she could have made the decision to cancel. The way it actually worked out, as the night wore on the pub kept moving us to smaller and smaller tables as it became obvious people weren’t going to show. I doubt it ruined her birthday, but it can’t exactly have made it, either.

So yes, both men and women can be lame. But in my experience it’s far more often men who are guilty of suggesting plans, promising to confirm by a certain time/day, and then not bothering, so the woman has to chase, which makes her feel needy, naggy and generally pretty damn unattractive. Once or twice I’ll forgive this, but if it becomes a pattern, not so much. If it becomes a pattern I will nag you, I will become shrill and needy, and I will pick a fight, even though it won’t help.

Why a feminist issue, though? Well. You could (and I’m going to) argue that men call the shots much more in dating than women do, especially in the early days. I see tweets every day from women about men who’ve arranged dates only to cancel at the last minute. And, something which I’ve had more experience of myself, and which I hate even more: men who initiate conversations via dating websites, who want to flirt, who want to sext, who want you to give up a good chunk of your time to interact with them online but who have no intention of meeting up in person, Men who can’t even be bothered to take the time to draft something new when they message you via said sites. Men who clearly haven’t even taken the time to read your profile. Men who, essentially, think their time is *much* more important than yours.

That’s the impression it gives too when, a bit further down the line, a guy suggests meeting up on a Sunday and says he’ll confirm by, let’s say, Friday evening. I generally like to have my weekend plans firmly in place by Friday, but I like him, so, ok, I can wait till Friday. Friday comes and goes. Nothing. Saturday evening comes. Still no word. I text, and ok, by now I probably sound a bit stroppy. I say something like ‘I guess tomorrow’s not happening, then? And the reply, of course, says ‘Sorry! No, couldn’t make tomorrow in the end.’

There are of course other explanations here. That he’s generally flaky. That he just doesn’t give a fuck about me. There’s probably some truth in both of those statements. But I do think it’s partly because he’s a man, and because he’s been socialised to believe that his time, his wants and his needs, take precedence. And even if he doesn’t believe those things, he has *no idea* how often women’s time is at the mercy of the decisions men make. So boys, if you really want to be feminist, start by texting when you say you will.

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.

So there’s this bar…

So pretty close to where I live, there’s this wine bar. Which was where I first met the boy.

About a year later, he texted, mid-morning: ‘Did you know the wine bar’s closing?’

I didn’t. I went, not with him, but with a friend, for one last glass after work. I was feeling sentimental.

It takes me a long time to settle in places. Just as I’m beginning to get comfy somewhere, people start to suggest that maybe, for the sake of my career, my desire to have children, for *some reason,* it might be best to move on. And often, I act on that suggestion.

That bar was just a bar. But when I rocked up there to meet the boy for the very first time, it was pretty much my only haunt. I’d been living in the city less than 4 months. I’d made a couple of friends at work, and my best uni friend lived nearby, but nothing felt like home yet.

We met, or went for post-sex drinks there, often, in the early days. And inevitably, I began to associate it with him. It was where I’d tried to decide if I even fancied him. It was where we’d gone together to a wine tasting on our second date and chatted politely to a lot of middle-class, middle-aged men while his hand slid further and further up my thigh…

The night it closed, he rocked up too, eventually. Friend and I left. He texted:

‘Hey, where’d you go?’

I went back. Obviously.

They’d said they would close at eleven or when the wine ran out, whichever came sooner. The wine got progressively worse, but it didn’t dry up. It turned into a lock in. We were both slaughtered.

When they turfed us out in the early hours, I was desperate to have him inside me. We snogged in the street and eventually ducked between a restaurant and an office block. I was wearing jeans, which was my worst decision of the evening, even worse than buying a third bottle. I knelt in the shadows and sucked his cock, and then we tried, pretty unsuccessfully, to fuck against the wall. It wasn’t the best sex we’ve ever had, in fact, it would probably be up there with the worst. If I could remember the details, that is. But it didn’t stop me thinking about it every time I walked past. *Still* thinking about it every time I walk past, for that matter.

And the bar? It reopened six months or so later, under new ownership. I don’t go there much anymore. It’s not the same as it used to be: it’s poncier, all cream paintwork and yummy mummies.

I’m glad it’s still there in one form or another, though. Because, y’know, memories…

Good girl

I’m lucky enough to live in a city that gives good date. As the sun goes down, it glints off the golden limestone. The tourists thin out. There are numerous riverside pubs and, well, it’s just bloody pretty, really…

So I was in a fairly buoyant mood as I headed through town earlier this week on my way to one of said pubs. On, get this: an actual date. I haven’t dated for a long, long time. Sure, I play around a bit on OKCupid and Tinder when I’m bored, but the idea of spending an evening messaging a bunch of different guys? Not really my idea of fun.

He seemed a nice guy, but then, the signs had been good from the start. He’d bothered to read my profile before he messaged me, he thought this was a good idea and he didn’t write as though grammar was an optional extra. In the flesh, he was tall, attractive and as intelligent as his messages had suggested. I asked for a glass of wine, he ordered a bottle. Apparently I pay even less attention to the One Drink Bailout than the guys who read my profile.

He asked as many questions as he answered. He didn’t make me laugh, but he did make me smile a couple of times. When I nipped to the loo and asked myself whether I’d consider a second date, I was leaning towards yes. 

When I later told him I didn’t want to see him again, I gave what happened at the very end of the date as my sole reason. Looking back, I was a bit uneasy even before that. As long as we were talking about his MBA, his background or his hobbies, everything was fine. When he talked about women? Not so much.

I could, of course, be completely wrong about this. He might have been recounting his experiences exactly as they happened. His last long-term relationship was true love. Her family didn’t think he was good enough, and they split. He would always love her, and she him, and if anything went wrong in her life, he’d still ‘do anything for her.’ 

Since then, he’d been out with a handful of women he’d met on OKC. And these women, he seemed to be saying, were invariably a bit crazy. One just wanted him for sex and wasn’t afraid to say so. Another, when he told her he didn’t want to see her anymore, started sending him abusive messages. Wow, I thought: of the guys I’ve met online, mostly it’s just a lack of chemistry or stuff in common that stops me going back for more. There’s not normally, y’know, drama.

We finished the wine. He asked if I wanted more. I said I was ok, but I was happy to get him a glass and keep chatting for a bit longer. He turned down my offer, and bought another bottle himself. Hmm. Rightly or wrongly, I let him pour me a bit more. I went to the bathroom again. When I got back, he’d moved our stuff to a table nearer the river. More romantic, I presume.

It got to 11:30, and I wanted to make the last bus. I was still undecided about that second date, but I figured I’d think about it on the way home. He offered to walk me the bus stop. As we rounded the corner of the pub, he cornered me up against a wall and moved in for the kiss.

I’m a sucker for a snog, and I think it’s a good indicator of chemistry, so we kissed for a while. Ultimately, I pulled away. It wasn’t that great, and I still had time to get to the bus stop. And that’s when he pulled a condom from his back pocket and asked if I was ‘sure I was a good girl?’

I should have told him that I’m neither good nor bad. I mean, when I got home that night, my knickers were damp. I have a history of one nighters. Briefly, the flash of that silver foil packet made my heart beat faster, made me crave something different, something one off. 

The rest of me didn’t feel sufficiently at ease to want to fuck him. I hadn’t decided. I wanted more time. All things that have nothing to do with whether I’m good or bad. 

‘Good girl,’ has a place in the bedroom, definitely. I’m less sure it has a place on a first date.

Why difference is hot

I have a work crush: a tall, rangy, floppy-haired designer who wears skinny jeans and a pretty smile. He’s male model hot, sure, but more than that, I’m drawn in by what he’s good at – the fact that in an hour long meeting he can cover an A4 page with beautiful, intricate doodles a million miles away from my wonky hearts and stars. Every so often he pauses in his scribbles to pick up his mug, which, appropriately, is emblazoned with the slogan Hot Tot Tea. He catches my eye and I look down at my notepad and blush. I haven’t mastered the art of checking him out subtly yet.

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It’s not my intention to give you blue balls

Last night, Laurie over at My Potential One True Love wrote this, about dating and being single. I liked it and it resonated, so I shared it on Twitter. Since setting this blog up, I don’t think anything I’ve tweeted has been retweeted so quickly and so widely. Clearly it’s not just me for whom it rings true.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know I don’t really date. I say I’m going to date, but in reality my patience levels with OKCupid are similar to those of an eleven-year-old boy with ADHD.

And here’s why.

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Red or white?

There are two questions the boy knows there’s little point in asking me. The first is ‘Do you want to suck my cock?’ and the second is ‘What are you drinking?’

Red, white, sparkling or Rescue Remedy, if it’s grape-alcohol based, I’ll drink it. I have my preferences, obviously, but, I’m not, y’know, what you’d call fussy.

While thinking about this post, I did a bit of research into how often I mention wine. It gets some kind of reference in just under a quarter of my posts. So, yeah, it features heavily in my life, both as a single girl, and within my relationship with the boy.

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My inner teenager

Yesterday was a busy day. I got up, went to a writing workshop at a literature festival, caught the bus to London, went to an exhibition at Somerset House, for drinks in a fancy hotel, and then to see McBusted.

*pauses to lose followers*

I’m comfortable with what I like to do in my spare time, just as I’m comfortable with who I like to do it with. I did most of that stuff with a good friend, but I’d have been equally happy to do it by myself. And, if you ignore my terrible taste in music (the last gig I went to was Gary Barlow), a lot of what I do I do to indulge my inner teenager.

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I wouldn’t buy a 3D telly, so why would I want a 3D man?

This post has been many inspirations in the making, but I nearly didn’t write it. Believe it or not, if it’s deeply personal, I don’t write about it here.

Men on paper (or, more likely, on screen) are full of promise. There’s a guy on OKCupid at the moment who likes long walks in the country, pub lunches, and, get this: art house cinema (Do you know how rare that is?!) I should message him. And yet, somehow, I just can’t get that excited.

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