Monday morning, 2 a.m.

I look at the Sunday bus times and then realise it’s not Sunday at all.

It’s Monday morning. Shit.

I have to stop doing this. I have to stop chasing pleasure, be it sex, wine or an hour of quiet time to myself, at the expense of a good night’s sleep.

But god, it’s a hard habit to break. I’m braless and smudged, damp-eyed from yawning, but my mind still way too active to drift off.

I watch the dark motorway glide past as the coach slides through the night: devoid of life bar the occasional lorry or stretch of floodlit roadworks. This night-owl version of me reminds me of my younger self, writing through the night and pacing the corridor of my uni halls at 6 a.m. waiting for people to surface.

At home I’ll finally look in a mirror and be horrified by my birds-nest hair and tired skin. And then I’ll think, fuck it, he made me feel beautiful. The clock reads 2 a.m., at least, and my chances of being on time for work in the morning are pretty much zero.

I make a cup of tea and take it up to bed with a funsize Twix, because what good is sex if it’s not followed by food? And then I write it down, not the sex, not this time, but the little things that happened afterwards and made me realise I was happy.

It’s not a bad way to start the week.

GT

With less than five minutes till the deadline for Exhibit A’s Sinful Stories 2 competition, I can’t work out how to embed Molly Moore’s gorgeous photo, the one that speaks to all my kinks, into the post! Argh! Anyway, you’ll find it here.  And my second competition entry is below…

***

It all started with Simon Jamieson in Year 9. All those dotted characters whose dots she could turn into perfect bubble hearts as she married herself off to him on the back of her English exercise book. Gemma Jamieson. Gemma Thompson-Jamieson. GJ. Mrs Gemma Jamieson. He turned out to be a cunt, though. Obviously.

All through her twenties it was the same story, worse even. She no longer met anyone she could see herself marrying, and the guys she did meet didn’t give a fuck who *she* was. They didn’t even call her Gemma – it was always ‘Baby,’ ‘Sweetheart,’ or even ‘Baby Gem,’ like the lettuce. She bloody hated salad.

Alex called her ‘Great tits,’ right from the night she met him. Somehow it was the best nickname she’d ever had. He called her other names, too: ‘Slut,’ ‘Whore,’ ‘Filthy bitch.’ Hard words that she found herself begging him to say. He’d hold her down and sink his thumbs or his teeth deep into her collarbone, her neck, her breasts. She was fascinated by the bruises that formed in the aftermath: the way they sprang up within hours where her skin was delicate and close to the bone, only to appear whole days later on the softer bits round her nipples and on her tummy.

Date night, to her surprise, was still a thing. He could fuck her mouth so hard it made tears stream down her cheeks, tell her to clean herself up, then take her out to dinner *and* let her share his dessert. Why had nobody ever told her it could be like that?

And dinner did nothing to sate his appetite for her. On the way home he’d fuck her in dark alleyways, shop doorways, bus stops. She remembered them all, of course, but none stood out more than the subway.

The subway made her feel vulnerable – that was why she loved it. He made her strip off her clothes, fold them neatly and pile them on the damp, filthy floor. He made her walk a hundred yards from where she’d left them, to the point at which the tunnel sloped back towards the road, and told her to keep watch. It didn’t escape her notice that no one was watching the other entrance, and nor was she sure what she was guarding against.

She heard the hiss of paint and swung her head round. In broad strokes, he’d sprayed her initials in the formation in which he liked to mark her: big and black and smudgy right above her heart and then two smaller, redder swellings either side of it. The formation in which he *did* mark her, there under his graffiti, the smell of solvent still thick in the air. He fucked her, hard, and then he got up and went to fetch her dress.

He’d reduced her to nothing more than a body. He’d sprayed her tits with his come and the wall with an elegy to her tits. She stretched. The concrete bit into her arse. Her grazes stung. It felt like coming home.

***Massive thanks to @Mollysdailykiss for permission to use her gorgeous pic, obviously. Thanks Molly! x ***

 

23:30

It’s 23:30 and I’m sat, naked, on the sofa, where I’ve been since he left. It doesn’t sound good, does it? I’m cold, now, but I wasn’t an hour ago – he’s hot in more ways than one – and at half ten I was dripping with a mixture of come, saliva and sweat. So yeah, I’m not as cosy as I could be, but I’m happier than I’ve been for a while.

The worst part isn’t once he’s gone, actually – it’s the ten minutes or so just before he does, when I don’t know what to do with him. Jumping him again is out of the question but I need as much of that physical touch as I can to tide me over until the next time.

We kiss, one last time – him fully clothed again, me not – and I think the cab driver can see us, perhaps. Ah well. He lets himself out and I mean to get up and load the dishwasher but I’m not quite ready to go back to reality just yet. Instead I finish my wine, then the last few mouthfuls of his, and pull the blanket that’s draped over the sofa around me for warmth.

An hour later, I finally, finally drag myself up the stairs. In my bedroom my ‘Let’s make out’ cushion has been tossed to one side, the way it always is whenever there’s been any actual making out going on. I step over my abandoned jeans, pick up my knickers – the ones I wore for all of an hour – and dump them in the laundry basket.

I ache now, a bit – I don’t remember what he did to my arm – whether it was teeth or fingers, but the muscle remembers it, certainly. When I catch sight of myself in the mirror I have what they really mean when they talk about bed head.

It’s a mess, and I don’t know what to do about it. Right now though, I don’t care. Right now I know I’ll sleep better than I have in days.

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?

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.

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.

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 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.