Ur beautiful

I was going to title this post On Beauty, but then I realised that Zadie Smith got there first. Dammit.

Anyway. There were years and years of my life when I longed for boys to tell me I was beautiful. I’ve written before about the impact that my early nightclub experiences had on my life, and wanting to feel pretty was a massive part of that. As a teenager, I wasn’t particularly interested in fashion, but I was precociously interested in sex, and I wanted to be kissing boys. What did the boys want from me? Someone to do their homework.

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Sleaze, yes please (occasionally)

Another blog post hot on the heels of last night’s – partly to make it clear that I have no intention of this becoming a largely protected blog and also because this was the post I wanted to write last night but wasn’t thinking coherently enough to pull all the strands of together.

It started with reading Justine Elyot’s short story, Thames Link, which opens with this line:

” I sing the praise of the sleazy man.”

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Ode to missionary

There’s a small chance that if I post something tonight it’ll tip my blog hits over the 10,000 mark, and seeing as we all (well, me at least) love a bit of stats porn, it seemed as good a reason as any.

I was perusing Twitter a few days ago, when I saw this Tweet. And I was looking at it again just now and the comments, especially ‘never been bored on my back tbh’ made me LOL on the bus (it’s ok, I promise never to say that ever again). Because I totally agree. I love the missionary position, and not just because I’m all insecure about my body, but also because:

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Underwear: I just can’t let it drop

Yesterday, I went to the theatre and for dinner with a uni friend who’s just started seeing someone new. The night before they’d had an argument in which he’d accused her of being negative/endlessly challenging his views. She wanted to know if I thought that was a fair judgement. As far as the first bit was concerned I think he’s wrong, but as for the latter, he’s bang on the mark. Continue reading

Saying no (and yes)

I had a blog post all lined up to write this evening, and then I came across this article on Twitter, all about consent and boundaries, and it struck a chord with me to the point that I wanted to write about it straight away.

There are two parts of the article that I found particularly interesting. The first is the bit that says:

‘Ask the people you will be having sex with what their preferences and limits are. This fosters active consent and encourages communication.’

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You might have heard of the #100HappyDays project. As soon as I started doing it, today, friends started popping out of the woodwork saying ‘Ooh, I read about that somewhere. It sounds cool.’ The basic premise is that, for 100 consecutive days you post a picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter of something that made you happy that day. If you manage to post all 100 pictures they send you a little book of them at the end, but that’s not really the point. The point is watching out for the little things that make you smile.

God knows I need it at the moment. I’ve blogged enough about depression recently, and what I intend to do to get better. When I first heard about #100HappyDays, I couldn’t really be bothered. But the bright yellow webpage made me happy (yes, seriously) and i realised that actually, I’ve always been pretty good at making sure I have those little moments of happiness in my life – I’ve just lost the ability to focus on them, that’s all.

So yeah, from now on, when I wear bright, lacy matching underwear I’ll be taking pictures (probably not that kind, though). I’ll be buying myself flowers, painting my nails, buying more books and wearing red lipstick. There’ll be photos of it all, but don’t worry if you find the whole thing a little bit too twee – they’ll be confined to my Instagram account.

If you do like the idea though, I’m curious: what are the little things that make you happy?

It’s not easy being … monogamous

Early this morning I flew back into London to a perfect dawn. The whole sky was orange, and it was truly beautiful. I was tired, and groggy and coming down with a cold, but I was happy. I’d spent the past two days having great sex with someone I really care about and who I’ve missed, someone who knows, in the bedroom at least, just how far they can push me.

Just above my left breast is a tiny purple bruise, subtle, but painful when pressed – the best kind. Sure, it’ll fade, but it’s the best souvenir I could have brought back. Sometimes it feels like my whole sex life is a quest for good memories – even the most knee-trembling orgasm fades; but the feel of a guy’s come inside me, or the ache from a bruise lasts longer – it can be taken back out into the world and enjoyed over and over again – if you watch closely you’ll see me slide two fingers under the neckline of my dress from time to time and press down on the skin – I’m remembering how good it felt to get that mark in the first place.

I may be wrong, but I think this is the first time I’ve been honest with him about liking low-level pain. It’s the first time I’ve been honest with him about other stuff, too: the first time I’ve been willing to admit that yes, if it’s snowing and slippy I *am* scared of falling, and I would rather hold on to him. The first time I’ve been willing to go to bed dishevelled post-bath and been more than happy for him to find me that way, holed up under the duvet, prioritizing snug over sexy.

Sometimes I think I’ve spent years trying too hard. I always want to be sexy in a traditional, girly kind of way – you know, matching underwear, great cleavage, good cook, when the reality is that actually, I don’t have the restraint or discipline to be that kind of girl – I’m too loud, too curvy, too honest, too emotional and my behaviour reflects that – I eat chocolate for breakfast, for example. Yes, most days.

And this weekend it felt like he didn’t care. Like I was hottest in big jumpers, drinking too much, asking stupid questions. As if as long as I was being fun, it didn’t matter that I came ill-prepared for seduction – yes, I bought new, fancy underwear for the trip, but he ended up having to sever the tag on the knickers with a corkscrew, because I hadn’t brought scissors and therefore couldn’t get it off. When he tried to play chivalrous and help me put my coat on at the end of the evening, I handed him my phone and bra to hold instead, because I’m happy for the concierge to see my nipples if it means I don’t have to go to the effort of putting everything back on. And, finally, finally I felt like I could be me and still be sexy. That realisation’s been a long time coming.

But when the confidence and happiness take you by surprise that way, it inevitably takes you equally by surprise when they’re yanked from underneath you. Because I fucked up: I fell for a guy who likes to have multiple partners, and I, well, I just don’t. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore. He’s overseas, after all and that makes it easier to turn a blind eye, easier but still not always possible. I live by the motto that what I don’t know can’t hurt me, but if the information’s out there somewhere and it’s down to me whether I look or not, I always will. Even when I know it’ll make me cry.

And that’s what happened this afternoon – I saw something I didn’t want to see, and now I can’t go back to not knowing. All I can do is learn from it, and what I choose to learn is that I have to get better at not seeing monogamy as some kind of personal failure. Sure, this blog will never be a rich source of all the different things I’ve done with different men who all thought I was the best thing since sliced bread, but then, that wasn’t why I set it up. If it means I write mainly about him, and the handful of boys who preceded him, I’m not going to apologise for that. I like boys, and I like sex, and I like writing about them. I just have to learn to do it my way.

By way of introduction …

Last night, the boy in my life wrote at length about why he doesn’t like receiving oral sex. I love going down on him, and while I knew that he doesn’t tend to come that way, I didn’t realise that he wasn’t even that keen on the act per se. What struck me most when I read it is that, although we’ve been fucking for two years, it isn’t something he’s felt able to tell me to my face.

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