You took the words right out of my –

I hate women who don’t know how to be on their own. You know the ones – the girls who say, ‘God, I don’t know how you cope with being single!’ when their longest period of being out of a relationship is 2 weeks, or, worse still, the ones who say, ‘Oh, I love being single,’ when really, they never are.

But often I think strong feelings like that towards a particular group of people are born out of something uncomfortable that that group reflects back at you. It’s similar, in a way, to what I was getting at when I wrote this.

I’ve been single literally my whole life. It makes me uneasy when, on shows like ‘Take me out,’ girls say ‘I’ve been single for 3 years,’ and everyone gasps. Because if I talked about being single in terms of years, what would I say? When do you start counting? From birth? Sixteen? After uni?

I’ve been single my whole life, but I’ve never truly been without a man. Since my teens I’ve slipped effortlessly from one infatuation to another. The thought of being truly alone, without even a crush to provide that rush of emotions, that sense of being alive, scares me.

In the past I’ve used the word ‘love’ pretty indiscriminately to describe how I felt about those crushes. I grew up in a family where the word is used freely – I tell my parents and sister that I love them pretty much every time we speak – partly through force of habit, partly because it’s true, and I want them to know it.

It’s not a word I’m afraid of, essentially. But when the boy said, during an argument, something along the lines of ‘I was talking to a friend about this and in her view the problem is … that you’re in love with me and I’m not in love with you,’ it really jarred. It felt like a cheap shot, and I told him so.

The bit that bothers me isn’t the bit you’d perhaps expect. He doesn’t love me, I know that, and so it doesn’t come as a particular surprise to hear him say it. Sure, it stings a bit, because no one likes to hear stuff like that, but that’s all.

Being told that I love him, though? That I’m much less comfortable with. While I’m aware that if you read this blog regularly you might well have come to that conclusion, I’m still uncomfortable with someone else telling him that that’s how I feel. ‘I love you,’ is a pretty powerful phrase and I felt like they were my words to choose to say or not to say, as and when I felt ready.

I don’t feel ready. In this relationship (or whatever you want to call it) I can’t imagine I ever will be. Not that I haven’t conjured up its spirit on occasion: a few weeks back I was having drinks with a friend and she challenged my claim that I’m happy enough with the way things stand.

‘You don’t get it though,’ I countered, ‘I love him.’

She smiled sadly. ‘I don’t think you do,’ she said. ‘You talk about him like he’s the enemy or a battle to be fought and won. That’s not love.’

And you know what? She’s right. If you love someone, there shouldn’t be that much conflict, with yourself or with them. Despite what Hollywood would have us believe, loving someone doesn’t mean having to fight for them, or waging a constant battle against incompatibility. Of course, it is possible to love someone and for it not to come up roses, but if that really is how you feel, what should be coming across is affection, not aggression.

The other thing I think you realise as you get older is that love should be less about you than it is about the other person. Yes, that’s trite. Yes, it’s cliché, but it is essentially true. Most of what I get from him is still about me, selfish though that is – it’s about my sexual confidence, my thrills, my needs. If I’m brutally honest, my attitude to his needs is more often than not that if he doesn’t like what he’s getting from me, he should end it and get it elsewhere. Because I’m compromising so heavily on the open relationship side, I tend to think that all other compromises should be his.

I’ve never been a big fan of the line ‘You have to love yourself before somebody else can love you,’ – hey, we’ve all fallen for people with flaws – but I do think it’s easier to love someone else if you already love yourself. If you believe in what they see in you, it’s easier to look outwards and focus on them. If you don’t, love is just a line you’re feeding yourself to keep fear and loneliness at bay, and that can’t be healthy.

With all that said, I’d be gutted if, when it ends, I, or anyone else who knows about us, writes the whole thing off as pointless because we didn’t love each other. I think society still has a tendency to gloss over situations that don’t fit a standard narrative – especially the media. It’s bullshit. Love isn’t the only thing that can change you; it’s not the only thing you can learn from. It’s just one potential happy ending in amongst a whole heap of others.

Advertisements

I like my filth filthy

So, there’s been a lot of talk about words and their ability to turn people on/off going around on Twitter the past couple of days, and (as ever) I have more I want to say on the topic, so this is the first of a couple of blog posts about sex and words.

Continue reading

I like your cock … just not as your avatar – Part 1

Alison Tyler is one of my erotica heroines. Not only does she edit collection after collection of seriously hot erotica, she also runs craft competitions and she loves bookshelves. How could I not love her?

Last week, she posted on Twitter ‘If your avatar is a picture of your penis, I’m probably not going to follow you back.’

I totally get where she’s coming from with this, and, with a few exceptions, generally the people I follow don’t lead with a picture of their cock. I’m sorry – but your cock in isolation, whether it’s hard or not, just isn’t that hot (for the record, it’s probably hottest when it’s semi-hard).

That doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of naked men, or of pictures of naked men on the internet. This one, courtesy of Kristina Lloyd’s blog, is currently my desktop background, and he makes me very happy indeed.

So, what’s the difference? Well, firstly, you can see his whole body, but more importantly, it’s sexy because a) you can see his face (kind of, it is actually blurred out), and b) it’s an action shot, and that sense of movement, of intruding on a private moment, is oh so hot.

It also brings me neatly to the viewpoint of Girlonthenet, someone else whose writing I really rate, but whose view on cock pics I was pretty sure I didn’t share, since her email address actively encourages guys to send her pictures of their dicks. I’m totally on board with the whole ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ approach, but if it were me I’d rather photos of your legs, say, or your amazing forearms.

Then, last month, in very quick succession, she posted two pieces that I couldn’t agree with more. The first was on how hot guys look when they’re wanking and they don’t know you’re watching (see, that brings me back to Kristina’s picture), the second was about how much hotter words can be than images.

I understand completely that what I’m asking for might be unrealistic. After all, your Twitter account, or your blog, is in the public domain, and yes, you’d be plain stupid to put up pictures where both your cock and your face are clear as day. But, that said, in an ideal world, what I want from naked pictures of men on the internet (in increasing order of importance) is:

1) Words – Yes, ok, when you post a picture of your cock, and it’s hard, I can see that you’re feeling horny. But that’s all I know – I can’t tell what you were thinking that made you hard, and that’s what I’m really interested in. If you want to make your cock pic hot, put some sexy words alongside it – erotica you’ve written, a brief description of something that turns you on, how you felt when you took the picture. Because that’s what I’m really interested in.

2) Your face – Even if you turn away from the camera, it’s nice to get a sense of your face in pictures. From a picture of your cock alone, I find it hard to conjure up an image in my mind of an act, whether that’s you wanking, me sucking you, or you fucking me in a nice hotel room. Make it easy for me: give me a hint of your jawline, or your cheekbone, your hair even – that’s the picture I’ll take to bed with me.

3) Action – See above. Pictures of you engaged in an act are the sexiest of all – they suggest that you’re not afraid to have people look at you when you might not look your best and they require the least mental work on my part to devise a scenario in my head that I can get off to. It’s a win win situation.

I’m rereading Kristina Lloyd’s Asking for Trouble at the moment, and today I reached this passage, which sums it up perfectly:

He was bare from the arse upward, his naked back facing me. His olive skin was overlaid with a sheen of dark bronze, and he was perfectly muscled: sinewy, work-strong contours rather than vulgar brawn. His black-hair was cut in a grade-two crop and the suggestion of skull beneath was menacingly beautiful. His head was slightly turned, eyes downcast, mouth set in a firm line. You could see an ear, jawline, a high cheekbone, and part of a big hawkish nose. 

His left arm was angled at the elbow; his hand was in front of his body. It looked like he was wanking, oblivious to anyone else.’

So yeah, I’m not a massive fan of pictures of your cock, but if anyone wants to stage the scene above for me, and take a photo, I’m totally on board with that.