The Questions We’re Actually Embarrassed to Ask

A week or so ago, I got an email from Marie Claire. One of the articles it linked to was 15 Questions About Sex You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask.

There’s not much about sex I’m embarrassed to ask, and when I canvassed my Twitter followers, it seemed that the same was true for them. The questions we were actually avoiding were about beauty or personal grooming – things that society tells us we’re inherently supposed to know. How to get a genuinely smooth shave. Whether it’s normal for hair removal to be something you have to do to your arse, as well as your cunt. What exactly we’re supposed to do with products recommended by magazines and/or other women.

I’ll hazard a guess it’s not just beauty that we’re ashamed to talk openly about. For me personally, it’s less about grooming and more about health. Why do I occasionally bleed after sex? The muscles down my left side don’t work properly: does that mean if I squeeze my cunt around his cock when we’re fucking he feels it more on one side than the other? And, the one that really bothers me: will I ever be able to have children?

This isn’t just a paranoid fear born out of the anxieties that seem to plague a lot of my generation. Many of us have at least one friend who’s struggled to get pregnant. We share stories of not knowing when the hell our periods are due, not only because we have more important things in life to keep track of, but also because the pill, diet and stress all have a massive impact on our cycles. And to me, it always seems weird to rock up at the doctor’s just because something’s niggling at you at bit: I guess I feel a bit like this. Plus, I’d rather worry about stuff than have my fears confirmed. I know, I know…

It was my beautician who first caused those niggling worries to turn into something more concrete. My hair is dark, and if I don’t get it waxed, you can see it on my top lip. That’s normal, I figure, and so that, and my eyebrows, are just one of those things I regularly have to get sorted, in order to feel like a proper girl.

But as she spread hot wax onto my lip a year or so ago, the beautician said ‘Oh. You’ve got a few hairs on your chin, too. That’s often a sign of PCOS.’

She’s right. It is. Along with growing hairs around your nipples, weight gain (which did happen all of a sudden in my late twenties), and that weight sitting low and all up front, making you look like you’re in the early stages of pregnancy. In the last couple of years, three complete strangers have asked me, out of the blue, when I’m due. Ugh.

It’s not just that I prefer to bury my head in the sand, although there’s an element of that. It’s also that admitting to the above makes me feel less feminine, less attractive, things which are already exacerbated by my disability. PCOS can be controlled, with diet, drugs or surgery. It would make sense to find out for sure if that’s what’s really going on. Instead, I changed my beautician.

Oh god, what have I done…

I can’t post this until the clock turns 00:00, which is a bugger in itself, because I was counting on having an early night tonight.

Usually, in the autumn, I commit, foolishly, on about October 30th, to NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – where you challenge yourself to write a 50k word novel in November. As you can probably imagine, it doesn’t tend to end that well: I think I’ve done it six times now, and I usually average between about 1800 and 8000 words over the course of the month.

Except in 2008, and, er, last year. In 2008 and 2013, I hit 50,000 words. Last year, I even managed to reach the ending by 50k, although flicking through it now, having not picked it up since last Winter, it, like me, needs some serious work on its flabby middle.

For once, I think it would be nice to sit down and do the editorial hard graft on that ‘novel.’ It’s the first full length work of erotica I’ve ever written and although it’s highly flawed and distressingly autobiographical in places, I think it deserves to live. Which means that this year, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo.

i need a writing challenge though, because I can only edit for so many hours a day, and writing makes me happy. And today on Twitter, I came across NaBloPoMo, which i mostly like the sound of because the acronym sounds a bit filthy. NaBloPoMo is an October challenge, where you aim to write a blog post a day.

This is my first, which, yes, ok, is kind of cheating, but let’s gloss over that. I’ve toyed with the idea of having a strategy or plan, dividing the month up into say, 6 different categories and writing five posts on each (before anyone questions my maths skills, this is post one, which leaves 30 posts to be written.) If I do follow my plan, it’ll look roughly like this:

5 x typical Charlie style, ‘whatever I feel like writing about’ posts
4 x Wicked Wednesday
4 x Sinful Sunday
5 x posts about women/sex in the press
2 x pieces of erotica/fiction

Umm… that leaves ten more…

I’d love to write about stuff *you’d* like me to write about, and even more than that, I’d love to end the month with a Q & A post not dissimilar to this one. So, if you have ideas for posts, or you have a Q&A question (and please do send these as the post won’t work without them!), please feel free to DM me on Twitter (@sexblogofsorts), leave a comment here, or drop me an email at

Apologies in advance if I bore the pants off you this October…


If you talk about something enough, people start to think you actually know something about it. Which, of course, is not true. I could talk at length about the geography of Europe or the different species of animals in the Lion King, but actually, I’m pretty ill-informed on both.

The same is true of sex. I’ve had much less than most of the friends I talk about it with, so it’s strange that they nonetheless sometimes come to me for advice. I wonder occasionally if it’s because I’ve somehow cast myself I the role of big sister – at uni I was one of only a couple of girls on my corridor who took a gap year, so suddenly I went from being the youngest in my year group to being the oldest. Not that that meant more mature. Who set fire to the toaster at 3am and ended up greeting the fire brigade? Yep, that was me.

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