Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Getting familiar with a partner is wonderful. Once you know what they like, everything gets so much better. And it starts paying dividends surprisingly quickly. You only need a few sessions and the exponential curve begins. And this is awesome, because doing things people like is awesome.

Case in point: the ex-boyfriend of previous posts. I asked him what he liked. He didn't have much idea; he volunteered that he liked French kissing? Rubbing his back would make him collapse and laugh and cry dramatically, but there was only so much mileage I could get out of that. Basically he seemed to have no turn-ons besides 'touch my penis' and even that didn't work reliably; he was the one who, during our first three sessions, didn't come.

'I guess I get more pleasure from what I do to other people,' he sighed.

Then towards the end of one kissing session I kissed his neck. We stopped for some reason that I forget, but he mused,

'Yeah, I think there was something vaguely sexual there...'

Next time we were kissing, I remembered this and kissed the side of his neck. He made some noises that sounded hopeful. I pressed firmly into his neck where it curves into the shoulder, and then I licked all the way up the front of his neck.

'What are you doing?' he demanded.

'I'm licking your neck,' I said. 'Do you like it?'

He did. He asked me to do it more.

Necks are my very favourite things.

A couple more little licks and kisses and he was gone. I just lay there on top of him, kissing his neck and listening to him breathing.

'It feels so good,' he whispered. 'It feels really good...'

I literally skipped home after that. And from then on, I always knew exactly how to make him melt. I can't believe he'd never tried something as mainstream as having his neck kissed before.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Word Versus Deed

It often happens that calling out discrimination isn’t as simple as calling jerks out on their jerky ways. A lot of people are actually perfectly nice – good friends even – but just occasionally make remarks that I’m not okay with. So my question is, how do you challenge someone on an opinion which is definitely not acceptable, without making it look like you think they themselves are a bad person, overreacting, or being rude. Does it even matter if they’re discriminatory ‘in theory’, if they’re lovely to you ‘in practise’?
Example: there was a very pleasant, mild-mannered boy living on my floor in my first year at uni, who, when questioned, was strongly anti-feminism. Once, the people on my floor were hanging out in one of our rooms, chatting and telling funny stories of the wild things people used to do at our old secondary schools.

‘Boys used to unhook the girls’ bras sometimes,’ he said, ‘but they were all slags anyway, so they didn’t mind.’

Thing is, he wasn’t insulting any of the girls in the room, or trying to undo their bras. True, the girls at his school were real people, but I doubt he would have called any of them slags to their faces either. But he had this concept floating around in his head: ‘girls who let boys touch them are slags.’ What was I going to do? Let this idea go unchallenged, or challenge it, attack my friend and spoil the mood?

Fortunately, that time I had the presence of mind to be brief, mild and to the point.

‘I often wonder,’ I said, ‘why boys who unhook girls’ bras are considered fine, but girls whose bras are unhooked are considered slags.’

‘I’ve often wondered that too,’ one of the other girls said, which was the start of a beautiful friendship based on feminist rants. For some reason I always cheer up instantly from hearing a male be sexist, as long as the females in the room are on my side.

Unfortunately I didn’t spot and point out the catch-22 that a girl who had appeared to ‘mind’ having her bra unhooked would probably have been accused of being uptight, so they had no choice but to not mind and appear slaggy, but at least I said something reasonable.

Another example is the boy I lost my virginity to, and his attitude to rape jokes. I invited this boy up to my room, took my top off, lay down on top of him on my bed and told him I didn’t want to have sex, and he said, ‘okay,’ and we didn’t. Over the course of our relationship he asked me a couple of times if I wanted to have sex, and then stopped mentioning it when he saw that I definitely wasn’t ready. He didn’t pester or pressure in the slightest, and he definitely didn’t cross any of my boundaries.

Eventually I decided I was ready, and everything went fine, and the morning after, as we were hanging out, I asked him if we could watch Borat, a comedy film which I knew he really liked and thought I might like too. This film was basically nasty in every way imaginable, but I’m going to stick to the rape jokes because they applied to me directly.

‘This is our town rapist,’ Borat explains to the camera. Borat is supposed to come from Kazakhstan and be on tour in America. ‘Naughty naughty.’

Later, he says to a car dealer,

‘When I bought my wife, she was pretty, she behaved, her vagin work well, but three years later, when she was fifteen, her voice drop, chest grow hairy and her vagin hang like sleeve of wizard. How do I know that the same thing will not happen to this car?’

So this is a joke about the sale and repeated rape of a child, who is considered by her husband to be a possession comparable to a car? Hilarious. Meanwhile, I lie curled up in the arms of my boyfriend, who has shown the utmost respect for my bodily integrity while I do everything but fuck him, and who thinks this kind of humour is brilliant.

This time, I didn’t say anything apart from, ‘meh, I don’t like this much, it’s in pretty poor taste, let’s turn it off.’ I’m pretty sure that he just hasn’t thought it through properly, there’s a disconnect in his brain between the film and real life and he would be horrified at the idea of any of this happening for real. But at the same time…this boyfriend was a very meek and unassertive person. I don’t think I remember him ever pushing or pestering for anything ever, let alone for sex with me. Was not raping me an ethical choice for him, or simply the line of least resistance.

I’m going to go with ethical choice. He was basically a decent guy. But I still felt kind of retroactively violated.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Very Polite Policemen, a Treatise on Busking

Today, I got moved on while busking by some policemen. They were very polite policemen and I opted to Work With Them, not Against Them, so the experience wasn't at all traumatic, but still, it will be very annoying if I have to give up my little earner.

Nobody seems to know what the law is on busking in my town. The lady who answered my email to the council told me it wasn't allowed, then apologised for her mistake and told me it was. The lady who I phoned up at the council told me it wasn't allowed. The polite policemen seemed to think that you could buy a license for £30. I have decided to believe the lady who answered my email.

The policemen said that 'obviously they weren't offended' by my playing, but that others might find it annoying. To those who would ban busking because it is potentially 'annoying,' I make the following points:

1. Not everybody finds it annoying.

Some people give me funny looks as they walk past. Others smile. Parents send their small children up to my case, and the small children drop in silver. Old ladies tell me I take them back to my youth. The lady who hands out the Christian Healing leaflets chats to me about university. And I consistently make better than minimum wage. Clearly a lot of people don't find me annoying, so why should the people who do get their way?

2. It is not illegal to be annoying.

Supposing everybody did find me annoying? Sometimes lads walk down the street in large groups, shouting and shoving one another and intimidating everybody, but not actually accosting anyone, and most people find this annoying. Sometimes people loudly express opinions I consider stupid, and I find this annoying. Sometimes a woman may pass in a burka or a mini-skirt, and depending on your views on how women should dress, you may find this annoying. However, all these people are acting within their rights. It is legal to be annoying, so why should it be illegal to be annoying with an instrument.

(Note: That was a facetious question. I know that instruments are different to the annoyances I just described because they are loud, and because they carry on being annoying in one place instead of moving on. This is why I never play in the park, where people might be trying to hang out in peace, why I always smile and look friendly, and why when a woman lent out of an office window and asked me to play more quietly, I offered to move. But if some people, walking by and hearing a snatch of my music, find it annoying, tough titties.)

3. In my opinion, freely accessible live music is a good thing.

There are people who can't get to concerts as often as they would like. There are lots of musicians who aren't quite good enough, or lack the PR smarts, to get hired to play concerts, but are still enjoyable to listen to. When busking is legal, people get free-ish music and the buskers get an audience. I think a society with strains of music floating down its streets is richer and more fun than a society whose streets are silent because a few stick-in-the-muds find buskers 'offensive.'

Monday, 22 July 2013

So my boyfriend has trouble reaching orgasm...

These are the main issues that popular, polite-society discourse (mostly the Saturday Times sex-advice column) has taught me about with regard to sex.

- often have difficulty reaching orgasm with a partner. Their sexual response is fluid and bound up with psychological factors such as romance and self-confidence.

- often reach orgasm too quickly, particularly in their teens and early twenties.
- sometimes can’t get it up.

One thing I never found out from the papers and sex advice websites is that men can sometimes get it up, but have trouble coming. I’ve touched four (adolescent) guys’ penises. Two came easily, but not in two minutes like all the books said they would. One thought once that he wouldn’t be able to come, but then we changed things around and took the performance pressure off him and he found he could. He always needed so much hard stimulation that we used to call handjobs ‘the next epic round of Arm versus Penis.’ And it was the fourth time sleeping with my first boyfriend before he managed an orgasm.

‘I’m just not very good at coming,’ he explained to me, not sounding surprised in the slightest. ‘Maybe it’s an image thing.’

Further into the relationship our record improved dramatically. My conclusion? These gentlemen’s ‘feewings’ were making them all shy and stopping them from coming.

WTF? I thought that was a girl thing?

Fortunately I had read on The Pervocracy that men failing to come was a thing that could happen, so I didn’t panic or feel woefully inadequate when my boyfriend didn’t come. I just told him,

‘okay, never mind, let me know if there’s anything I can do to make it better for you.’

But it seems like this boys-being-nervous thing is pretty darned common, so why does it never get mentioned in the media?

I said in my last post that I was going to talk about girl-orgasms. I was reading something somewhere in the blogosphere recently about how, even though we are told that guys take two minutes and girls take fifteen-twenty, a solo girl and a solo guy both take about four minutes. I don’t think there is no difference between male and female orgasms, male orgasm being essential for procreation while female orgasm is not, but, even though I usually choose to go on for longer, it’s certainly true that I can come very quickly on my own if I want to.

With partners it’s a whole different story; I think someone else has brought me to the kind of orgasm I have on my own about once. I think it’s partly to do with the fluid-emotional-female sexuality, but I also know that the first time a boy announced that he was going to make me come, my immediate thoughts were,

‘Argh, but all the books say I won’t come, it’s really hard to come with a partner, I’m not going to come am I?????????’

Not the best frame of mind in which to have an orgasm.

On balance, I’m glad the ‘women, you may not come’ advice is there, otherwise we’d all probably be panicking and convinced that we were frigid freaks doomed never to feel sexual satisfaction in another’s arms. But at the same time, I think the advice sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The warning ‘women find it hard to come’ tends to kill any chance of easy, worry-free orgasm.

And I really wish that there was more literature out there telling men that it’s normal for them to be feelsy nervous not-always-orgasmers. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Orgasms Cure Hiccups

My friends and I, being incredibly cool, sometimes meet up and get drunk. Four or so girls, gathered around Leah’s dining room table, Leah’s mum being the most tolerant of late-night giggling. Me, Leah, Heather, maybe my friend Mary, maybe Leah’s friend Bella. The traditional cooking of stir-fry, followed by Ring of Fire and other drinking games (last night I forgot to bring playing cards, so we drew our own), the table cluttered with peach schnapps, Sourz, various fruity ciders and cans of Tango. Giggling, oversharing, musings about Society, and finally, for a grand climax, we Skype a boy
It could still potentially be cool and racy if we were lesbians, but we’re not.

Anyway, I have recently become incapable of drinking more than a couple of sips of anything fizzy without getting very persistent hiccups. I was sharing a thought about the way men’s and women’s respective sexual responses are preconditioned/fucked up by culture, and thoroughly alarming everyone, when the hiccups kicked in. I excused myself and sat still and quiet, holding my breath and sipping water, which failed to shift them. Then I bethought me that all the methods of getting rid of hiccups – drinking water from the wrong side of the glass, eating spoonfuls of sugar, being frightened – basically work by disrupting one’s breathing patterns, resetting the diaphragm, as it were. Also, there is a psychological element to hiccups. Trying to drink from the wrong side of the glass is likely to make you forget you were ever hiccupping in the first place, which makes them go away.

So I locked in the bathroom and tossed a quick one off. And it worked like a charm. Pre-orgasm, hiccupping away. Post-orgasm…nothing. Blissful diaphragmatic peace.

Society’s pre-determining of male and female sexual response, and my ability to reliably toss one off in a few minutes even when distracted by hiccups, will be the subject of the next post. In the meantime, I do recommend this unorthodox but highly effective way of getting rid of hiccups. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sax, Singing and Society

I busked for the first time on Saturday morning, playing my saxophone. I made £20 in 1 1/2-2 hours, which is more than twice minimum wage in England. I was lucky, of course; it was a bustling market morning and the sun was shining. Also the dark whisperings in my head tell me a lot of it was pity-money, but whatever, cash is cash. And that's another good thing about busking: provided you're not playing badly enough to be an annoying nuisance, enough people will pity the poor student and toss in a quid to make it worth your while (provided you have nothing better to do).

I was also lucky that a man decided give me a whole fiver in one. This is an aspect of busking that I hadn't considered: your glimpse your benefactors and then they are gone, most of them never to be seen again. I got an impression of this guy, though I don't remember his face. He was short and brusque-looking and had buzz-cut hair. He tossed me money and I tossed him a thank-you, finished my piece, glanced into my case and exclaimed after him,

'hey, thank you!' as I saw the note. He'd disappeared behind some other people and he didn't come back, but I think he was still close enough to hear me. Other passers-by who'd seen definitely heard, and they chuckled at my reaction.

'Ah, but that was the way he wanted it,' my mum said to me later, when I told her about the sadness of people giving money and vanishing. 'He decided to just anonymously brighten up your day. It was a Random Act of Kindness.'

Anyway, it appears that with just a saxophone (I spent all week writing accompaniments for myself, and then my CD player went into a sulk at the last moment. It meant I could wander all around my repertoire instead of playing the six pieces I'd prepared) I can make the difference between 'too poor to do anything this summer' and 'able to have fun this summer.' Good times!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013



I often think that orgasm isn't (as some commentators seem to suggest) the best part of sex. Being well on the way but not there yet often feels better. Why, then, does it matter whether one comes or not?

Having sex is like listening to the introduction of Handel's 'Zadok the Priest.' The introduction is by far the best bit of the piece. Unusually for Baroque, whose harmonies tend to be quite predictably major or minor, it twists through several sets of unexpected chord progressions. There's a beautiful sense of building anticipation in those violins. Every time you think the start of the main piece is approaching, the music finds a way to avoid resolving. It keeps building towards a climax and then ebbing away again. Handel was a bloody tease.

After the introduction, it's just good old noise. So why don't we just play the introduction and then pack up and go to the pub? Because CLIMAX! After that introduction, we need a more tuneful way to say 'squee.' And if we don't get it, it hurts. If my old choir didn't come in with sufficient gusto, the conductor would stop us dead. Orgasm denial. Musical blue balls. Sometimes you have to suffer for your art.

There are other pieces that produce equally striking effects. Faure's 'Lux Aeterna' feels like having a bottle of iced champagne poured down your neck, while drunk. The spiritual 'Give Me Jesus' caused me to coin the term 'chordgasm.' Climax after climax, each more delicious than the last.

And if the conductor won't let you finish, you can always go away and listen to the rest of Zadok in your head afterwards. The only danger is that it, or whichever piece you are practising, will then be stuck in your head all day. If only there were some way of practising safe music!