Dreams Can Come True

Until recently, the last time I received anal sex was in 2012. A one point I thought there was something wrong with my anus from having too much anal, so I stopped because of that (turns out it’s fine), but it was mainly because I started to realise the double standards around anal, and how some men were expecting us to be willing to be fucked in the arse, when some of them would freak out if you even tried to put a finger in there. So I made a rule not to let a guy fuck me in the anally, unless he was willing to let me fuck him anally. I still allowed fingers and thumbs (and some anal beads one time), but for 5 years no dick crossed the threshold.

I bought a strap on because it was my dream to peg a guy, but the only time it ever got used was when I had sex with women. One day in early 2014, a guy I had fucked a couple of times asked me to use it on him, but I wasn’t mentally prepared for it, and we hadn’t had sex for a while, so I said ‘just fuck me first and then maybe we can do that after’. Sadly that time he came really quickly, left, and I never saw him again. I regretted not doing it for ages. But maybe it wasn’t meant to be with him. After all, your first time is supposed to be special.

I’ve heard the line that a lot of straight men don’t want something in there because they think it’s a bit ‘gay’, but that’s bullshit. Also, have you ever heard a straight woman say they don’t want to receive oral sex because ‘that’s what lesbians do’?! No, of course not.  The irony of men wanting to fuck women in the arse and not wanting it in return is that men have actually got a g-spot up in there and WE DON’T. One of my female friends recently received anal for the first time from her male partner and afterwards when she said it was just ‘ok’ he said ‘but don’t you have a prostate up there?’ 

HEAD DESK.

I blame mainstream porn.

Anyway, I enforced my rule very well, until my crazy sex night in March, then in April I started dating a guy from Tinder. We had sex on the third date (I know I said I was going to wait to get to know someone more first, but I wanted to fuck him too much to wait any longer). He put his finger inside my arsehole,  and the next time I put my finger in his. I asked him whether he would let me fuck him with my strap-on, and he said ‘probably’, and I thought he might, because he seemed very sexually open minded, but I wasn’t totally sure. But on the 5th date, I was super horny, so I fucked the rules again, and told him he could do it to me.

I know some women, who have said that anal can feel quite good – perhaps their vaginal wall is quite thin, so it’s more easily stimulated, but some others do just find it uncomfortable. For me, I quite enjoy the fact that it hurts, and that it’s causing me pain while giving them pleasure. It was nice that he fingered me for a while first and used lots of lube though, which meant the pain wasn’t overwhelming, like it has been in the past sometimes when guys just stick it in.

On the 6th date, he came to one of my gigs (I did my anal sex joke about the double standards), and then when we got home I asked if he really was going to let me do it to him. He said ‘What now? Ok.’ and having learnt my lesson from my last missed opportunity, I did not waste any time in getting out some lube and starting to finger him.

I sucked his cock while putting my fingers inside and eventually worked my way up to four fingers. My strap-on is quite thick, so he definitely needed this. I had previously searched online for good positions for pegging, so decided to try some of these out. One of them was him lying face down (which I particularly enjoyed because I could pull his hair while doing this), and the other was me sitting on the edge of the bed while he backed onto me.

We did briefly try him lying on his back with me on top but he found it too painful, which is a shame, as I wanted to be able to look him in the eyes while fucking him. I didn’t do doggy style, as a man in that position doesn’t really appeal to me – I like my men to be submissive, but not that submissive. But I would have liked to try some other positions, maybe lying on our sides or standing up against a wall, or fucking him over a table while pushing his head into a container of water. You know, all the classics. 

I found it quite difficult to fuck him and stimulate his dick at the same time, and I definitely think he enjoyed the fingering and blow job more than the actual pegging, (enjoying the foreplay more than the penetration – welcome to our world), but obviously it was my first time doing it to a guy, so there is still lots to learn. The best thing about it was that he trusted me enough to let me do it to him, and was willing to let me live out a fantasy. 

Obviously the main difference between a woman fucking a guy with a strap-on and a man fucking a women’s arsehole, is that the strap on is not part of me, so I am not getting the same physical enjoyment. My strap-on can vibrate, but this was not close enough to my clit for me to feel the effect from it. So for me, fucking a guy like this is more of a mental turn onIt did make me feel powerful, and happy that even though I had let him do it first, technically I hadn’t broken my rule again.

In my joke, I say that it’s my dream to do it while listening to the Spice Girls, because that’s true Girl Power, then I say I’m only joking – I’d do it to Blurred Lines, as that would be more appropriate. But there wasn’t really a right moment to stop and open up Spotify to put on my pre-prepared Spice Girls/Blurred Lines playlist. I also think it would be fun to dress up while doing it, in heels and my dominatrix style dress. Maybe next time I can do all this. Hopefully I will get to do it again in the future, whether that’s with him or with someone else.

So in the words of Gabrielle, dreams can come true, and yes, it’s not always when or exactly how you expect them to, but I’m glad I have finally found a guy not constrained by gender norms and expectations, and not afraid to try something new…

 

 

 

 

Stuck in the 90s

On Wednesday I turned 32. Which I always remember is the same age Brittany Murphy was when she died. Which makes me want to clean my shower properly, so I don’t get toxic mold poisoning. But I hate cleaning. Or do I? More on that later.

When I was a teenager I thought that 32 was super old. I couldn’t imagine being that old. Or if I could, I thought by 32 I would be ‘settled’, probably married with children. I guess because that’s what you assume when you are a kid. That’s the narrative you’re sold, especially as a girl, and especially when I was younger and we didn’t have Frozen to teach us that true love can come from your sister, not just from a man.

Although I didn’t have a sister, so that would probably have just pissed me off. I couldn’t understand as a kid why my mum couldn’t just give me a sister, because I didn’t know that some things do need to come from a man.

But anyway…anyone who knows me or follows me on any social media knows that I am obsessed with the 90s, which is ironic because we didn’t have social media in the 90s. I didn’t even have a hotmail account until 2001.

It confused me when I was younger why my mum was obsessed with the 60s and would still listen to The Beatles and The Supremes – I was like ‘ listen to some new music, mum!’ before slamming my door and putting on the Spice Girls.

But as we all are doomed to turn into our mothers, despite our best intentions (HEAD DESK), now I basically haven’t moved on since circa 1999. I still wear shag bands and chokers, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on a regular basis, and recently sang Jennifer Paige’s song Crush at karaoke (while on a Tinder date which I realise is not very 90s).

So I thought, what better way to spend my birthday evening with my mum than to go and see ‘2 Become 1’. A 90s themed musical (with real 90s songs). It opens with one of the characters Jess sobbing into her landline after a break-up, and singing All Saints Never Ever (All Saints was the first concert I ever went to) before her 3 friends persuade her to go to a speed dating event.

It had everything I had hoped for and more – Shania Twain, butterfly clips, hilarious facial expressions, audience interaction, Titanic, 3 Spice Girls songs, dance routines, Britney, Gina G Ooh Ah Just a Little bit, and not one – but two Buffy References! They even managed to mix ‘I’m Horny’ and ‘Genie in a bottle’ together. It totally embodied the sense of fun that the 90s were all about. 

And there were free badges! I am now the proud owner of a badge that says ‘No Scrubs’ on it.

I loved that there were some references to the way some men see women (‘he wants you to suck his cock, but pretend like you’re doing it for the first time’), and the crap that we read in women’s magazines.  There was also some dramatic irony about how online dating will never catch on because it’s better to meet someone in real life, and the character Molly imagining a terrible world where we don’t have a Labour government and there are loads of cuts to the NHS, and the arts.

It was basically a wonderful trip down memory lane for me, even though it made me a bit sad that I never had a Tamagotchi. (Belated birthday present anyone?)

I do feel sometimes like the 90s was a better, more innocent time, sure we had lads mags, but there was something more tongue in cheek about it, plus we had Girl Power to balance it out. And I’m sure loads of bad stuff was still happening (I remember the war in Kosovo) but we didn’t hear about every bad thing all the time because no one had Twitter. The 90s was a time when a Union Jack dress was nothing to do with Brexit and a troll was a toy you would collect.

There was so much hope! (Before the ultimate disappointment when your cassette tape got tangled and even a pencil couldn’t save it). Especially with New Labour. I loved Tony Blair so much at one point that it was my dream to become a politician. Not even joking. Can you imagine? I mean I do have the legs for it.

Maybe 2017 can be the new 1997? The small optimistic part of me wants to believe that on the 9th of June we can tell Theresa May to talk to the hand ’cause the face ain’t listening. And if not I plan to get drunk and listen to Nirvana. Actually I will do that either way.

Although the 90s resonate with me and I love them, I don’t necessarily love who I was then. It’s easy to idealise the past, but I’ve changed so much  and I much prefer the person I am now. And yes I’m not where I thought I would be at 32. But I discovered that I don’t want a conventional 2.4 children life, and also more recently that sometimes I hold myself back because of self-fulfilling prophecies I have about myself.

I spent years telling myself I couldn’t be good with money, or tidy, or good at cleaning, or able to achieve certain things but that’s just me limiting myself when there should be No Limits, and now in the words of Ultra Nate, I’m free to be who I want to be.

I also think I’m starting to get the balance of simultaneously living for the present and planning for the future. As Buffy would say ‘seize the moment ’cause tomorrow you might be dead’.

So yes, I am stuck in the 90s, and I think that’s okay as long as it’s musically and fictionally, not mentally. I do have to accept that it’s not 1997 anymore, and that’s a good thing. Maybe I’ll even start listening to some up to date music. While I clean my shower. I just need some 90s nostalgia to Spice up my Life sometimes. 

P.s. If you’re reading this before Edinburgh Festival 2017, go and watch ‘2 Become 1’ before you regret it like I regret never seeing the Spice Girls live (which was going to be the band I hadn’t seen on my list of ten bands, except I don’t do bullshit Facebook fads like that).

2 Become 1, written by Natasha Granger and Kerri Thomason, was at King’s Head Theatre Islington, 12th April 2017 – 29th April 2017 and will be at The Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14) Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017 – Tickets here 

Men are a Distraction (Flaky Chris, Horny Nathan, and Sexual Harassment)

I decided that in order to attract a relationship, I needed to give off more of a relationship vibe on OkCupid, so I re-answered a couple of questions, added ‘no hookups’ to my profile, took off some of the sexier pics (which I shouldn’t have to do but I thought ‘okay I’ll play the game’), and added some ‘look how much of a fun girlfriend I would be’ pics. It hasn’t really made much difference to the quality of messages I’ve been receiving, but at least if the right guy does come across it, then it will be clearer to them. 

There was a guy called Chris I’d been talking to since December, and after my decision to look for dating rather than sex, I told him about this, and he said he was still interested in us meeting up.

We arranged to meet on a Wednesday afternoon in a cool cafe on Brick Lane. I got there at 4.40 (only ten minutes late for once!!) and text him saying I was there. He replied saying he’d thought he messaged me to change it to 5.30.

WHAT?!

I said ‘okay I’ll just chill in the cafe and listen to a podcast’. Then at ten past 5 he sends me this:`

chris-2

Then he said I was the first person he’d stood up ‘unintentionally’! Apparently people just go around doing this, yet I once turned up to a date just to tell the guy I didn’t want to go on a date with him. Which I think is the right thing to do.

I joked about him flaking due to not wanting to be on my blog, and he said actually he’d quite like to be on my blog, and I said it was too late, and he’ll always just be Flaky Chris now. I’m aware his wish has still come true. (Be careful what you wish for, Chris).

We chatted on Whatsapp for a bit and he said he’d still like to meet me, and because I keep forgetting that I’M AN AMAZING WOMAN WHO SHOULD STOP GOING FOR IDIOTS WHO AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, I said ‘well okay, you can come to my gig on Saturday’, because I have to be there anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you turn up or not.

I thought about if for a few days, and then decided that I didn’t want Flaky Chris to come. Yes it can be fun having a date at your gig, but it’s also annoying in a way. It was different when Tory1 came to see me, because I’d already met him, but it still took away from me a little. I did a gig last week run by the same people who had been at Date with a Tory, and one of them said it was good to watch me perform without being distracted by him. I just did jokes about him instead. 

So I told Flaky Chris not to come to my gig, as it was my first of the year, and I needed to focus on the comedy. #TheComedysMoreImportant

Now if I’d been really clever in the first place, I would have given him the details of another gig to go to that I wasn’t going to be at, and he would have gone there, and I could have got my revenge. But sadly I didn’t think that quickly. 

Anyway, Flaky Chris then asked if he could come to the next gig after that, and I said some friends might be coming (which was sort of true). He kept messaging me, so I eventually replied and asked him how his weekend was, and got a reply I was not expecting.

He told me he’d been doing a parasite cleanse, and that he was disappointed he’d ‘shit out a worm but most of them are to (sic) small to see’…

I purposefully tapered off the conversation after that, and that was the end of Flaky Chris and his flaky parasites. 

But let’s talk about Horny Nathan…

Nathan was another one who I’d been talking to online since December. I asked him about what he was looking for, and he said just a casual thing at the moment. I said that wasn’t really what I was after, and told him about my bad experience. He agreed that even casual sex still needs some sort of connection and intimacy, and I thought ‘well we all have needs’, maybe I could try it again with someone different.

But we carried on chatting and the more we chatted, the less I was interested in meeting him. He always seemed to be telling me he was horny and his sexting style was a little strange. Not only did he lack imagination, but he’d often put a winky face after something blatantly sexual.

For example:

Feel the inside of your pussy all over my cock 😉

Why is there a winky face after that?

It reminded me of a song by a comedian called Lucy Cox where she sang, ‘winky face means sex’. Winky face is something you use after innuendo to make it extra clear there was a bit of flirting going on. 

When you’re already talking about sex, there’s no need to confirm that you were talking about sex! Also I don’t mind chatting a bit about sex before you meet someone, maybe just to work out compatibility, but when that’s the main topic, I get bored of being just your wanking material.

He was mostly only messaging late at night (oh I wonder why), but one time we were daytime chatting and he suggested us meeting to have sex. I reiterated what I’d said in the past to him about going for a drink with NO EXPECTATIONS just to see if we got along, which he’d seemed to be fine with a couple of weeks ago, but not anymore.

nathanscreenshot-2

Why are people going to other people’s houses that they’ve met online without meeting in public first?

Of course I’m very aware that you can still be raped and/or murdered by someone you’ve met in a public place, and then gone back with later (remember that Tinder hotel story one of my Tinder dates told me), and I’m also aware that most rapes and murders are carried out by someone you know.

However, I do think that meeting someone first, and getting a sense of what they are like before you go home with them is the most sensible thing to do in this situation, but clearly he doesn’t have the patience for this.

I also don’t understand the assumption that you’re definitely going to fancy each other. Even if someone looks attractive in their pics, I think a lot of us have been on dates where the pics might as well have been of a different person. When you’re in a pub, it’s not quite as difficult to leave prematurely, but once you’re at someone’s house, that’s a lot more awkward.

Anyway, Horny Nathan hasn’t replied since then. He’s probably still horny and most likely wanking right now. 

But moving on to more important things…

I think I’m a fairly chilled feminist socialist. I don’t tend to rant about feminism or politics that much online, other than sharing the odd piece here and there. I’ve never been to a march, or a protest before, and probably wouldn’t have gone on Saturday even if I didn’t have other plans.* Because effort. And crowds. Okay I’m basically a lazy feminist. I’ll like your social media posts with all the witty placards and signs, but actually go along myself? No chance.

But something happened to me on Saturday that made me think maybe I do need to be a bit more proactive. And it seemed all the more telling that it happened on the same day as the Women’s March, and Trump’s inauguration. I went to my friend’s birthday drinks in the evening, and had a really good time, and I was walking home from the tube probably around 11.30pm.

In a very short space of time after exiting the station I had 3 different men saying things like ‘gorgeous’ and ‘sexy’ to me. I was annoyed, but I was cold, and wanted to get home, and the lazy feminist in me couldn’t be bothered to say anything. But then a few minutes later, I realised three men were walking behind me, one of them made a weird noise, the sort you would use to try and summon an animal, and another one said something about me, I can’t remember what it was but it made me feel uncomfortable, and was an unwanted distraction to my journey home.

The culmination of all these events meant that I couldn’t stay quiet any longer. In the past I’ve shouted at guys or told them to ‘fuck off’, but this time I decided to talk to them about it, in a calm way, without losing my temper. 

I turned around and told them that it wasn’t appropriate to do that to a woman walking on her own late at night, and that they should have more respect. One of them tried to argue that some women like it and that it was a compliment.

As we walked down the street, I tried to explain that most women I know don’t like it, and they’ve probably just never told them.

And yes, sometimes I like sexual attention from men, of course I can admit that, but it’s all about context. And this was the wrong context. It’s not nice to feel outnumbered and intimidated.

The one who made the noises kept asking me questions like ‘where are you going now?’, I told him this was inappropriate too, and the men laughed at this (not in a good way), and couldn’t understand what was wrong about what they were doing.

I went on to say that they’ve probably never felt scared that they might be attacked or assaulted walking by themselves, but that’s how women feel sometimes, and especially at night time they should just leave us alone. But no matter what I said, they just didn’t seem to get where I was coming from, and it made me so angry and upset that they couldn’t see it from my point of view. 

So now we have a President of the United States who doesn’t seem to care about consent or women’s rights, or anything that makes logical sense. A President who would probably would take the side of these men who thought it was okay to harass me on my way home. 

I won’t even apply for a job where I don’t meet one of the points on the person specification, yet Trump acts like he never even read the job description. And yes maybe Hillary wasn’t the best option either, but at least she was qualified for the role, and didn’t go around saying it was okay to grab men’s dicks without their permission. But so many people were too distracted by Trump’s incredibly unconventional approach to running for president to see through his bullshit. It seemed like the more controversial he was, the more support he got.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media saying that democracy happened and people should get over it, yet I keep thinking about the fact that Hillary actually got more votes than Trump. More people wanted her to be president. If this had happened in Brexit there would have been outrage.** ‘Oh we know you got 1,269,501 more votes, but sorry babes some votes are worth more than others’.

Saturday night was another reminder that a lot of men in the world just don’t respect women, not enough to turn up for a date, not enough to want us for more than just sex, not enough to criticise a female politician intelligently without resorting to gender based remarks, not enough to support our reproductive rights, and not enough to let us walk home in peace without feeling the need to comment on the way we look. 

What can we do about it?

What I said to those guys probably didn’t make any difference, but maybe if the next woman says something to them, and the woman after that, maybe if we keep challenging this behaviour, eventually things will improve. I don’t know. And I understand why most women would put their heads down and just keep walking, because there is a real risk of something awful happening to you. But I’m not going to stop challenging it. And I might even go to a women’s march next time. I can use my new found love of arts and crafts to make a good banner.

And what about dating?

I just keep finding that men are a distraction, and not just the ones you like either. The ones you don’t like are a distraction too. The time you spend checking online messages and profiles in the vague hope there will be a decent one there.

It annoyed me that I’d wasted an afternoon waiting for some guy who didn’t have the basic capability to organise his day properly. (I’d even been willing to overlook the fact that he often made really bad spelling and grammar errors on text, despite good grammar being one of my favourite things, as he said he was dyslexic).

If I think about my happiest times, a lot of them are when I was single and didn’t have any guys on my mind. So yeah it would be nice to have a partner to go to the next Winter Wonderland with, but I’m just going to try and not put too much attention into it, just check the apps every now and then, and meet people that seem cool, but not waste too much time messaging, or agree to meet guys I already know I won’t be compatible with.

At the beginning of this month, I wanted to go on a date every week, and basically treat it like a numbers game, but someone pointed out to me that I was turning it into project, and this might not be the best approach, and I agree. What I really would like is to meet someone in real life, and this seems so rare now, but I’m also going to keep going to cool and interesting places and see what happens.

Maybe I’ll find someone to be my boyfriend this year, and maybe I won’t, but in the meantime I’m dating myself. I’m going to be my own best boyfriend. Take myself on dates, cook myself great food, watch movies with myself, maybe use my vibrator a bit more often, and cuddle myself…yeah that last one is weird, I guess I can use my teddy or new piggy for that instead.

*I was watching one of my female friends in the Musical Comedy Awards heat- so in a way I was still supporting the cause

**Side note – let’s not forget that the outcome of the referendum was supposed to be advisory, yet I suspect even with the fact there now has to be a vote in parliament, there’s nothing we can do to stop Brexit now, and even Jeremy Corbyn seems to want it (just put us all out of our misery Jez and admit you secretly voted leave)

My new piggy:

piggy

How to Date a Feminist

On Friday night I went to see ‘How to Date a Feminist’ at the Arcola Theatre. I’ve just started a programme called ‘The Artist’s Way’, all about releasing your creativity, which involves taking your inner artist on a date once a week. I often go to things alone anyway, as I enjoy (often prefer) my own company, so it didn’t feel weird being by myself.

It opens with the two main characters – Steve proposing to Kate, but Steve has been raised a staunch feminist by his activist mum Morag. So before he can propose he must apologise for the patriarchy, and everything they have done over the years (ancient Greece, FGM, domestic violence, footbinding). Kate seems to find all this a bit excessive and in the end just shouts ‘For fuck’s sake! Propose!’

htdaf

It then goes backwards in time to the night they first met at a fancy dress party. Kate is dressed as Wonder Woman and Steve is dressed as Robin Hood. Because ‘he’s a brilliant ethical hero…he basically invented the welfare state’. Kate thinks the whole point of Wonder Woman is that you can see her pants and Steve explains (mansplains?!) why she’s actually a fantastic role model.  

Kate’s ex, Ross is also at the party, dressed as Superman. When they were still together, he had wanted her to come as Lois Lane, but they broke up because she caught him shagging the intern. Kate tells Steve all this and reveals that she can’t help liking ‘bad men’ – men like Heathcliff from ‘Wuthering Heights’. Steve questions this and doesn’t see the appeal of it. He thinks that Kate should stop ‘liking bad men’, of course implying that she should go for someone like him. 

So in the words of No Doubt ‘Why do we choose the boys that are nasty?’

Because nice guys are known for being boring. Even Jess in ‘New Girl’ is reluctant to date someone because he’s ‘too nice’. Nice doesn’t get women off. But bad guys don’t make for good boyfriends. So where does that leave us?

I think a lot of women have this conflict of wanting a ‘bad man’, because they are more ‘exciting’, but then also wanting a man who will treat you properly. This is definitely something I have experienced. And it seems difficult to find someone who is the perfect mix of half way between the two. But it looks like Steve has gone too far the other way. The first time he and Kate are making out he keeps asking for her permission (May I kiss you? May I kiss you again with my tongue? May I kiss your collarbone?) to the point where it just becomes ridiculous.

Later at their wedding, Kate’s (more traditional) dad and Morag end up kissing and start taking each other’s clothes off. Steve and Kate find them together and Steve just can’t understand why his mum would consensually have her hair pulled, and assumes that Kate’s dad must have forced her into it in some way, because her dad is the sort of man who just ‘takes what he wants’.

Kate and Steve begin to argue and Kate tells Steve that she wants him to take what he wants sometimes – ‘make decisions, choose wine, open doors, drive a car, operate a drill, eat steak! Be a bit rapey when we go to bed’. Steve is especially offended by the last one.

I can see how it must be very confusing for some men, especially very ‘feminist’ men who have been taught all these years not to hurt a woman, yet are met with inner conflict when they find that a lot of women would like to be sexually dominated, to varying extremes. I’ve definitely experienced this, and remember I had sex with one guy a couple of times who was willing to be quite rough, but absolutely refused to slap me in the face, because he just couldn’t do that to a woman. On the flip side, I feel some guys need to remember that just because you are into that kind of sex, doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be treated with respect. 

Despite Steve’s ‘feminism’, it seems in a way he’s just like the men he strives against, because he too cannot comprehend or accept complexities in women. He wants Kate to change, and as a result almost becomes just as controlling as the men who are not self-proclaimed feminists. I wonder what Steve’s character would think about women who choose to use their sexuality, such as porn stars (or pop stars). Steve probably doesn’t watch porn, or if he does, he seeks out ethical feminist porn made by real life couples, and most dsc_0460-1024x652-1000x637definitely can’t reach orgasm if the woman doesn’t look like she’s enjoying it.  

The play also opened up the idea of whether men can be true feminists.  Even Steve ends up shouting at his mum in a slightly threatening way. She tells him ‘You’ll never know how it feels. You’ll never really understand.’ And I think she has a point here, and maybe that’s why Steve has been over-compensating this whole time, because he can’t really imagine what it’s like to be a woman. 

Another thing that annoyed me about Steve is that he still got down on one knee to propose in the traditional way AND gave Kate an engagement ring that he chose. One thing that is a majorly problematic for me about marriage in heterosexual relationships, is that it is almost always men who propose, and women who wear engagement rings (I was delighted recently when met a man who was wearing one that his fiancée had bought him). Steve also says at one point that he wants to rescue Kate, like she’s some sort of archetypal princess in a Disney film.

It was a very funny show, that raised some interesting points about feminism, and the relationships between men and women. Both actors were outstanding, especially the way that they seamlessly moved between different characters. I particularly liked when they skipped down the aisle to ‘Robin Hood, Robin Hood Riding Through the Glen’. Plus the fact that Kate’s suggestion was Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’, and she wanted to act out being let at in a window. Some of you may know how obsessed I am with this song – I think I may have laughed particularly loudly at this point. (If I ever do end up getting married, I will be using this idea…)

I guess ultimately it’s important to have a balance, not to be like Ross, Kate’s ex, who only sees Kate in very reductionist terms, (basically just wants her for sex, and keeps trying to get her to write lifestyle pages instead of more serious journalism),  but not going so far the other way that you view women as needing to be mollycoddled or ‘saved’. And I think this balance can come from more men starting to treat women as people, with complex thoughts and behaviours, rather than just as women.

‘How to date a Feminist’ was at The Arcola Theatre 22nd Nov – 17th Dec 2016, written by Samantha Ellis and starring Tom Berish and Sarah Daykin

 

My Own Hard Brexit

Last week on Thursday the 3rd of November, the Tory rang me to say we should ‘knock it on the head’ because he didn’t want me to be his girlfriend. 5 years’ ago on the exact SAME DATE the guy I was seeing at the time came over to tell me that he didn’t want us to date anymore. That’s WEIRD right?! I mean WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! I don’t know. Even google doesn’t have an answer. Also this blog has basically taken almost as long to write as the whole ‘relationship’, but I think that’s because I had a lot to say. 

I knew this was going to happen. This is why I didn’t want to date. I just wanted to stay in my single little bubble occasionally having sex while getting on with my life. And then I met the Tory twat and he ruined it just like the Tories ruin everything. I only wanted to have sex with him at first, because it was so wrong it turned me on, but then I ended up actually liking him as a person, and that’s when it all went downhill from there, and I learnt that you should never date someone who voted leave because they will just end up leaving you. 

So after our bowling ‘date’, he went a bit quiet on me and ‘forgot’ that we had made plans to see each other the next week, and the more I tried to see him, the more he backed away. To cut a long story short, we did arrange to meet again, initially on 4th November, which I then changed to 5th November so we wouldn’t have to get up early the next day, but he wasn’t really texting me that much, so I kind of sensed that he wasn’t into it anymore but I was basically too much of a pussy to end it myself.

He said on the phone that we shouldn’t keep seeing each other because he already knew he didn’t want me to be his girlfriend and it was unfair to carry it on, especially not to meet up on Fireworks night because it’s such a couply thing to do. When I asked him why basically kept saying that we were too different, and I was too into sex, and some other reasons I didn’t really understand  like apparently sometimes I don’t seem interested in stuff he’s saying, which I totally disagreed with. He hadn’t thought that we were dating until I said we were on our bowling date, despite the fact that we were clearly ON A DATE. He just thought that it was a casual arrangement.

Anyway I was out, and it was totally the wrong time to talk, and I couldn’t hear everything he was saying, but basically may have slightly pleaded with him to still see me on the Saturday because ‘I really liked him and wanted us to have fun together’. HEAD DESK.

He insisted that it was over, but he also said I could call him again if I wanted to talk about anything which really confused me. WHY DID HE WANT ME TO CALL HIM?! I left the conversation not really understanding what had happened and thinking that maybe he had got scared the way men do sometimes when you get a bit too close to them.

I’ve had lots of casual sex in the past and probably would have been okay with it being a casual thing if I had known from the start that’s all it could ever be, but the problem was from my perspective it had the feeling of the beginning of a relationship due to things that he did and said, and this it what confused me.

He gave so many mixed messages that made me think that he did like me in that way and see us maybe dating. For example, talking about things we could do together in the future, even if it was just jokey like how we were gonna tidy my flat together, or how he was gonna turn me soppy, or that we should go out for dinner before we had sex the first time so we’re ‘more invested’ (I ended up cooking dinner instead).  He was also very physically affectionate and we held hands on the street. 

Also he once walked 10 MILES to see me. I thought this was really romantic but then I remembered this was before we had sex and if Peep Show has taught me anything it’s that men will do and say ANYTHING to get laid.

But all this meant that I mistook certain things that he said for typical male commitment-phobia, because I’ve seen that happen so many times before. So when he said he thought we were fuck buddies, or when he said he didn’t like making firm plans I misinterpreted this as fear. Of course a leave supporter wouldn’t be into making a plan.*

Anyway, like an optimistic remain voter hoping for a second referendum, I thought that maybe if I just said the right things that he would stop freaking out. I even texted my long term ex for advice and he said, ‘Just tell him to think of your relationship like austerity and that it’s a relationship with cut backs’.

On Sunday 6th November I decided to call him. I didn’t tell any of my friends I was going to do this as I knew that they would say it was a bad idea. But I’m so glad that I did.

I guess the main idea of the call was to undo all the stuff I did on Thursday when I had been really needy and still trying to get him to see me. I thought if I called him out on the freak out then told him I would give him some space to come back to me when he was ready then maybe there was still a chance that he would date me.

This is the opposite of what happened, but now at least I understand that it was doomed from the beginning. Which is both frustrating and oddly freeing at the same time.

I got him to explain more about why he feels we are too different and I realised the more we talked that I think he has a bit of Madonna/Whore Complex going on in that basically I’m too sexual to be girlfriend material.

I think that when we first met he was intrigued by me and liked the idea of exploring some kinky stuff and acted a bit more sexually confident/adventurous than he actually is, maybe to impress me or whatever. 

I also think that sometimes when he reacted with nonchalance to certain things that I told him it was more that he didn’t want to tell me he wasn’t into that or cool with it. But really he’s the sort of guy who pays the stripper not to take her clothes off (I think he has actually done this), and I’m the first woman to ever send him a picture of my tits. 

He said that when he does have a girlfriend that he wants to be able to bring them into his whole life with his friends and family etc and he couldn’t do that with me. I pushed him to explain why…’Am I too loud? Or is it because I’m not posh?’

‘No, it’s not really that, it’s more that you’re a bit… coarse.’

Ah.

Well I’ve never been called that before.

It also turns out he thought me sucking that straw was a bit vulgar. Not too vulgar to fuck me of course, but too vulgar to date me. I guess the Tory twat wasn’t worth it after all. 

At least he didn’t give me that bullshit cliched ‘I just don’t want a girlfriend right now’ excuse that I hate when some men do. No, he was very clear about the fact he didn’t want ME as his girlfriend. No sugar-coating here. 

I wish that he didn’t think or feel like this, but ultimately I don’t want to be with someone who still has these old-fashioned views of women. The thing is I find a lot of men are not totally comfortable with women’s sexuality, and I can’t help but feel there is some ingrained sexism going on here.

For example, my long term ex really didn’t like the fact that I had slept with other comedians he knew on the circuit before we met, yet I was totally fine with the fact he had had sex with a comedian that I know and get along really well with.

I feel like so many men feel like this though and I wonder whether I will ever meet a man who totally gets me and is not threatened by this side of me. Maybe after 16 long years of dating men it’s time to finally start dating women? Either that or just be alone forever.

I told him about how I had got mixed messages from him and I felt that he had messed me around (you know like not texting me for a week), and he said he was sorry about leading me on. I told him he shouldn’t be allowed to date again. But seriously, I hope that he does learn from this and is a bit more aware in future about other people’s feelings, and not acting in such a relationshippy way if a relationship is totally off the table.

I said that at least I didn’t have to change his name in my phone because from the first night I met him it was already saved as (First name) Tory Dickhead (Last Name). He thought this was funny and we laughed about it for a bit. Oh how we laughed. DICKHEAD.

I don’t even know why I liked him that much. He’s not even that cool. He likes Robbie Williams. SERIOUSLY. And he can’t eat gluten. So now every time I eat gluten now I think about how he doesn’t deserve gluten and it makes me smile. And I made a list of 10 things I hate about him to make myself feel better. Well it was supposed to be 10 like the film, but it ended up being 19. Wait, 20. I mean it just keeps getting longer and longer. My favourite is number 18 – he really knows how to drag out a joke…(I’m well aware this blog post is half the length of my University dissertation). Another plus point is this will give me more material for my Edinburgh show. I was wavering about whether to still do a solo show or not. But pain is a great inspiration for creativity. And of course the comedy’s more important…

It was interesting (and at times frustrating) to spend time with someone whose political views were so different from mine, because whenever I tried to question him on a Conservative policy he wouldn’t give me a good enough answer. For example, after he went to see ‘I, Daniel Blake’ I asked him if he felt bad now for voting Tory but he said no because claiming JSA under a Labour government was just as nightmarish, and that it has always been a ‘ghastly system’, but I don’t think he realises how much worse it is now.

I think a lot of people, including him are not informed enough or just don’t see or refuse to see how different it is now, and how many more unfair changes have happened since we have had a Tory government, such as the bedroom tax, DLA cuts, and now the housing benefit rent cap.

I’m not a politician so I don’t necessarily know how I would save the money that we need because it’s not my job to (although here’s an idea -getting companies to actually pay corporation tax would be a start), but I certainly don’t think that it should come from the poorest in society. That doesn’t make any sense. But I think that a lot of people ignore all these facts and/or just don’t care, because they are so convinced that the Tories will make the country better overall. And yes, it’s true I didn’t know the name of the leader of the EU until he told me, so maybe we all need to learn a bit more about who and what we are voting for. 

Towards the end of our phone call I also told him  that in no universe ever should it be him who doesn’t want to date me – it should be the other way round – because I’m better than him at EVERYTHING. He laughed and said this was arrogant. But it’s probably true. Except cunnilingus. He was surprisingly good at that…Damn, just stroked his ego one last time. Well at least now I don’t have to pretend I’m interested in everything he is saying…

It’s really hard when someone rejects you, especially when you thought it was going somewhere. But I should just get used to disappointment. 48% of me is still a bit annoyed and upset, but 52% of me knows that it’s for the best. I guess we’ll always have The Lion and The Unicorn, Kentish Town…and whenever I hear this song I will think of him, not fondly. But I’ll think of him.

*credit to Tara Molineux for this joke

 

 

I Don’t!

This weekend I went to my cousin’s wedding in Buxton. It was a lovely day, and nice to see some of my family I hadn’t seen for a while. The inevitable questions came about whether I would be next and I explained that I’m not getting married, to looks of surprise and confusion. But it got me thinking, is this definitely something I don’t want, and if so, why don’t I want it?

When I was a younger; indoctrinated by Disney movies and Rom Coms, I assumed that eventually I would get married and even planned out my wedding in my head (I wanted it to be in a castle), but as I got older I realised that perhaps all this wedding malarkey wasn’t for me. My boyfriend is even more against marriage, so unless a miracle happens (to both of us), this woman is never walking down that aisle (except to walk to my seat at other people’s weddings).

Reasons why I won’t be getting hitched
N.B this post gives examples from heterosexual weddings, as these are the only ones I have attended so far, and I am in a heterosexual relationship, but I know a lot of the traditions will not apply in same sex relationships and ceremonies.

1. The engagement ring
So a man is supposed to spend (at least) a month’s salary on this thing and then get down on one knee in some clichéd romantic fashion possibly in front of lots of people, then you look overjoyed and scream ‘yes!’ and then go on your Facebook page and tell everyone how he proposed. Umm…

The thing I hate most about this bit is the idea of waiting for a man to propose to you; which I hear talked about often, along with ‘I thought he was never going to do it’. At least I know with certainty that my man is genuinely never going to it.

How I would do it if I was going to get married: Either I would propose to reverse stereotypes, or we would just have a chat one day and decide as a couple that we would get engaged. No extravagant gestures and no expensive engagement ring. If there was going to be a ring, it would be fairly cheap and he would have to wear one too and since he hates wearing rings (so I don’t know what we would even do about the wedding ring in this hypothetical scenario), that’s unlikely.

2. It’s not like I’m a virgin
Historically, and still nowadays in certain religions, marriage is a religious ceremony linking your love to your God, and enabling you to now be able to have sexual intercourse without ‘sin’.

I happen to like sin, and find it incredibly unrealistic that you would marry someone without knowing how sexually compatible you are, so this certainly doesn’t apply to our relationship. Also neither of us follows a specific religion, there’s no need to cement our union in front of the leader or whatever. Also it always seems to be the woman’s virginity that is emphasised. I’ve never seen the man wear white to show his purity.

How I would do it: I’ve already ‘done it’ ha ha ha. But seriously, there’s no way it could be in a church or other religious building, even though some churches are very pretty. A castle would be cool, as I said before or maybe some gardens or a historical building.

3. Money
Apparently weddings cost around 20 grand! I say skip the wedding and just do the honeymoon without the ceremony. Or put down a deposit on a house, or go on a shopping spree, or give it to charity. Hell if you have a spare 20 grand, you are well lucky, so don’t waste it! Either that or you now have a massive bank loan/credit card bill.

How I would do it: Make sure we actually had enough money saved to pay for it, which would probably mean getting married in our 40s, or never.

4. Contractual Obligation
I get that the whole point is that because you are married you are more likely to work through problems, rather than just leave at the first sign of trouble. But I like the independence of being able to leave when I want and not having to pay loads of money to break up with someone. Divorces can be almost as messy and expensive as actual weddings, plus you then have to admit that 20 grand you spent a while back was just a waste of money. You could have numerous honeymoons if you just didn’t bother with the wedding bit.

How I would do it: Probably make an unromantic pre-nup and try to find the cheapest lawyer around if it all went wrong.

5 The Vows
Admittedly they have been updated and you’d be hard pressed to hear anyone saying ‘love, honour and obey’ anymore. However I did notice at the weekend, the groom saying that he will ‘protect’ the bride, which I thought was a bit outdated, and as it was a traditional Christian wedding, there was a lot of God chat and hymns.

How I would do it: Write our own vows, have as short a service as possible (guests get bored and hungry), in and out in less than half an hour. Also when the registrar asks if any person knows of any lawful reason why we shouldn’t get married, I would totally get someone to heckle something as a joke (and then probably due to the red tape of having to investigate the claim, the wedding would be delayed and we could all go to the pub for a bit).

6. The Dress
Why is it always so long? I’m surprised more women don’t trip over that thing; incredibly impractical.

How I would do it: Wear a short dress like the slutty non-virgin I am, who says you can’t get out legs and cleavage on your wedding day? Not me. Of course it wouldn’t be white either, (obvs) but mainly because white gets dirty easily and if there’s going to be wine, food and the classic chocolate fondue fountain, it’s probably not the best colour for me. Any other colour will do. Maybe even black.

6. Being given away
Another outdated tradition of transferring ownership of you from your dad to your husband, perpetuating the idea that women are property/objects etc.

How I would do it: Well as my father is deceased, he couldn’t give me away anyway. I would probably want to walk down the aisle with my partner and thus destroy that soppy ‘watching the groom’s face as he first sees her walk towards him’ moment.

7. The speeches
Ah the speeches, where important members of the wedding ensemble get to stand up and talk. Wait, except it’s almost always the father of the bride, the groom, and the best man – all men. It makes me so frustrated when you don’t hear any of the women speak. It’s all praising the bride for looking beautiful (though in this recent wedding, a lot of comments were made about her amazing non-looks based qualities too) and ridiculing the groom. What if I want to be ridiculed too? Why can’t people talk about my ill-judged life decisions and insinuate how naughty I was on the hen do?! I sat there at this wedding thinking ‘I’m a better public speaker than these guys who can’t project or articulate even with a microphone’ (genuinely missed a lot of what they said due to this problem).

How I would do it: I would give a speech, as would the groom, best man and my best woman, so that way it would be equal and I would also get to tell my husband how beautiful he looked. (Aww).

8. The bouquet (and all the other hundreds of flowers)
I’m not really a flowers kind of gal; I had a mini freak out when my boyfriend bought me flowers on our third date (though it was really sweet), so I find the flowers at weddings overwhelming. The bouquet thing is weird too – all the unmarried women scrambling for the symbol that proves they will be next! OMG! It must be true. Luckily I didn’t accidentally catch the bouquet at the weekend otherwise my family’s comments about me getting married would have been even worse. One of them said afterwards, while showing me a photo of the bouquet bit ‘you didn’t even try to catch it’. Shocker.

How I would do it: Minimal flowers. My bouquet would consist of black roses, to go with my possible black dress, and to symbolise the death of my anti-wedding crusade. Oh and if I’m going to throw it, then the unmarried men can try and catch it too. Plus I’d hide a water balloon inside just for jokes. Weddings are supposed to be fun, right?!

9. The first dance and wedding music
At the weekend wedding, the couple took a relaxed wander in each other’s arms around the dance area to a recent slow famous love song I can’t remember the name of. Less dancing, more talking to each other and trying not to feel too self-conscious that all eyes were on them. Some couples take dance lessons and come up with full blown routines, such as the routine from Dirty Dancing. Then everyone else joins them on the dance floor to dance to lame pop songs.

How I would do it: The Dirty Dancing idea sounds amazing, we would have to do the lift at the end though, like this couple, not like this couple who didn’t bother. I would have a DJ that didn’t play cheesy music all night and maybe even make our own playlist of our favourite songs.

10. The name change
I’ve noticed sometimes the bride’s friends and family will start calling her the future Mrs so and so on social media before she has even got married and most of the women I know who have got married have changed their names, so that the name from the man’s side of the family can get passed down when the couple has children. Some women even keep their own name but give their children the husband’s name.

Even worse than that is when people address you using only your husband’s names. So my partner and I would be called Mr and Mrs Jake Pickford. No identity for the woman at all. Weird. Even when you don’t change your name some people still assume that you have, as this has happened to a friend I know who didn’t take her husband’s name. There’s also this outdated practice of being asked for your mother’s maiden name as a security password, which has happened to me. What if your mother’s maiden name is the same as your last name? That’s not very secure is it?

How I would do it: Make an announcement to everyone I know not to presume that I will be taking my husband’s last name, because I would keep my own name, or at the most I would double barrel (but probably not). As I won’t be having children either, I wouldn’t need to worry about what name they would get. Yes I know, not having kids as well as not getting married! Before you say it, if I had a pound for every time someone said I will change my mind, I could probably afford to bring up a child.

So there you have it; 10 reasons why I’m not getting married. If you’re still not convinced, that’s fine, because Jake and I did decide on one loophole, which is we would do it if we got to go on ‘Don’t tell the Bride’, however given that none of us will be inclined to apply for this show in the first place, the loophole is pretty insignificant. Although he now has an easy-to-refer-to list for if we do.

If you want to get married, I understand, because not getting married is not for everyone. So keep inviting me to your ‘special days’ and I will happily write nice encouraging shit in your wedding book, eat your wedding cake and dance to the Macarena. Just don’t ask me when my wedding is.

Nipple Alert

Last night was the VMAs and various news stories are circulating, including Nicki Minaj opening the show with Taylor Swift to reconcile their feud, Kanye West’s 12 minute long speech and Justin Bieber crying. But Miley Cyrus’s left nipple has also attracted an areola of attention, as during an outfit change, there was a short flash of it on camera.

I’m reminded of the Amanda Palmer incident in 2013 where the Daily Mail wouldn’t report on her music, but made sure they wrote about her wardrobe malfunction with the classy headline Making a Boob of Herself! She had the last laugh though, delivering the best ever response to the article and highlighting the hypocrisy that no one makes a fuss whenever men expose their chests.

Miley’s nipple escapade has been reported a bit differently, with several sites such as Bustle mentioning that she is a supporter of #FreeTheNipple and it could have been intentional, with encouraging words at the end of the article.

However, The Mirror did use the word embarassing to describe her ‘nip slip’, which does bring her down unnecessarily.

As a past lover of controversy, it seems plausible that Miley was giving everyone a cheeky show.

So was it a free the nipple? Hard to tell, and does it really matter?

If Miley was freeing the nipple, surely the whole point is that it should be insignificant, that female nipples aren’t such a big deal and we should be allowed to get them out without making the news? Although conversely, publicity for the campaign can be positive. If it was on purpose, then it’s a shame it had to be censored out on some of the news reports. Nipples are even censored out of the trailer for the film about #FreeTheNipple.

So why are men’s nipples not looked at in the same way? Women’s breasts, and therefore nipples are widely considered way more sexual than men’s nipples. Women’s breasts are first and foremost for breastfeeding, but society is obsessed with them. Despite the fact that I do find men’s nipples incredibly sexy, they just don’t generally seem to provoke the same reaction.

I also find it strange how you’re not actually considered topless unless the nipples are out. You could wear the lowest cut top possible, but if the nips are hid then you’re not topless. I’ve seen Burlesque dancers who are happy to show their tits, but freak out when a tassel falls off. Some women don’t have nipples though due to medical reasons, so what makes them topless; is it simply when the furthest-out point of the breast is on show? The pinnacle of naughtiness?

The worst thing about the Miley coverage (or lack of) is some of the negative comments I’ve seen on Facebook such as ‘gross’, ‘hoe’, ‘flat chested’, ‘built like a 14 year old boy’. You may not like her, you may disagree with some of the things she has said e.g. about Nicki Minaj (which Nicki addressed live at the VMAs and Miley replied about how words get twisted in interviews), but if that’s the case, then write critically about it, insulting her body is way more embarrassing and disgusting than flashing a nipple.

Along with Miley’s nipple, it was also great to see Amber Rose’s anti slut shaming outfit, reclaiming the negative words used against her and other women. Yet Hollywood life completely missed the point – including it in their worst dressed list. I guess we still have some way to go.

In the meantime I’m going to dance round my room listening to Nicki, Miley, Taylor and Amber – possibly with my nipples out…