Wicked Wednesday #3: Highlights of 2015

Standard

I decided that I would like to write something for this latest prompt of ‘Summarize’, as I have been thinking over the events of 2015 recently.  I am not sure I would class them all as achievements or accomplishments; I think some could be defined as experiences or quite minor events.  But they have all had an effect on my life or provided enjoyment in some way. And they are not all sex-related!

One thing that I like to do is put a lot of detail into things. I have realised that with my blog posts. I like to ensure that all the facts are there and there is a logical flow. Although, no one else will obviously know if any detail is missing, I  know and I like things to be done properly –  I am very conscientious.  I have deliberately written this as a list  to stop me from giving huge amounts of detail!

Highlights of 2015 (in no particular order)

  1. Starting this blog.
  2. Trying to learn and understand WordPress.
  3. Becoming more confident at sharing my thoughts and writing frankly about sex and other life issues.
  4. Getting the confidence to take part in various blogging memes including Sinful Sunday, Boobday and Wicked Wednesday.
  5. Getting my first Wicked Wednesday post picked as one of Rebel’s top 3.
  6. Visiting a naturist spa.
  7. Addressing the issue of lack of sex in my marriage.
  8. Experiencing new sexual partners.
  9. Feeling sexually attractive and desirable.
  10. Experiencing oral sex again after an absence of 20 years. And getting an orgasm!
  11. Plucking up the courage to ask for a Doxy for my birthday.
  12. Reading extensively and gaining a new perspective on the issue of monogamy.
  13. Taking some sexy selfies in public places.
  14. Making some wonderful friends on Twitter.
  15. Experiencing some ‘interesting’ Skype calls with a great Twitter friend on the other side of the world.
  16. Undertaking training for some voluntary work involving public speaking for a charity.
  17. Visiting the V&A museum and Tate Modern for the first time in London.
  18. Undergoing some successful surgical treatment for an eye condition.
  19. Making some new (and good) friends in real life.
  20. Having a successful course of laser hair removal.
  21. Spending enjoyable holidays at the seaside in Norfolk and Dorset.
  22. Seeing an abundance of red squirrels at Brownsea Island in September.
  23. Getting round to replacing my passport, which expired three years ago.

I am slightly irritated that I have not got a nice round number of entries in my list. In 2016 I shall endeavour to keep a journal of positive events to make this task easier next time!

Click the button to see who else is participating in Wicked Wednesday

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Wicked Wednesday: Monogamy

Standard

I haven’t participated in Wicked Wednesday before, but when I saw the prompt of Monogamy, I felt I should put some of my thoughts down, as it is a subject that is very much on my mind at the moment.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about the lack of sex in my marriage, which is due to a number of reasons. In that post, I considered whether non-monogamy might be the way forward for our marriage. I read a great deal around this subject before suggesting it as a possibility. I subsequently posted an update on my blog, following discussion of the issues with my husband. To summarise, we have very different sexual desires, including his immense dislike of any type of oral sex, and he has no interest in sex at the present time. This is a paragraph from the update.

One constant throughout has been his appreciation of my frankness and honesty. But, he admitted that he can’t provide me with sexual fulfilment and acknowledged our differences in that respect. Consequently, he has given me freedom to seek other sexual partners if I feel the need for fulfilment, However, for him, sex is not a priority at present.’

Following that discussion, which was two months ago,  we have not discussed the matter again, and I think perhaps that has been a mistake on my part. I felt quite emotionally drained after the last discussion, and it took some time for me to accept my new situation.

Our day-to-day lives seemed to get back to normal pretty quickly, and it is almost as though nothing has changed. But, I am conscious that it has.

Incidentally, we usually communicate well on all other aspects of life and marriage, and used to communicate well regarding sex. He has a huge amount of freedom to pursue his technical interests and I never complain about the amount of time he spends on them. I know a lot of women would not be quite as tolerant. But it is important to have flexibility and give-and-take in a marriage, and I think that applies to monogamy too. Particularly when desires and needs in a relationship are poles apart.

The thing that is playing on my mind the most is setting some guidelines for the arrangement to work. I had planned to raise the matter for discussion again this week, but each time I went to say something,  I stopped myself.  I know this sounds ridiculous as I have done the hard bit in raising the subject initially, which he was appreciative of. I don’t want to be deceitful, so it is important that I know if he wants me to tell him if I have made arrangements to meet someone, or whether he would prefer that I kept things to myself. I know that the key to any type of open relationship is communication, communication, communication!

I am worried that raising it again will hurt and distress him. But the silly thing is that he prefers plain talking. and I suspect he might think I have already had meetings given his consent in our last discussion. I think the new ‘elephant in the room’ might be caused by me feeling guilty.

I contemplated forgetting the whole idea, but I really want, and need, some passion, and to experience being desired again. I know that if I keep avoiding the matter and it does end up forgotten, I will deeply regret a  missed opportunity.

 

Click the logo to see the other Wicked Wednesday posts…

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked
.

Online Dating the Old-Fashioned Way

Standard

The expression ‘online dating’ seems to crop up everywhere nowadays. Websites such as  e-Harmony, Match.com and Plenty of Fish are thrust at us constantly. It’s the cool way to try and meet the person of your dreams and, of course, totally socially acceptable.

However, meeting a partner through a dating agency wasn’t always considered to be hip. In fact, quite the opposite is true. You were sad, a social outcast, desperate even,  if you had to resort to paying an agency to introduce you to a potential partner.  The shame of it…

Let me take you back to 1996…

I had ended a six year relationship and after a few months of singledom felt it was time to go on the hunt for a new man.  I was in my late twenties and having met the majority of my previous boyfriends in pubs and clubs, I felt this was not something I wanted to do again. But how else was I realistically going to meet a decent man? My workplace was definitely not an option. Most of the guys I knew were attached, so short of bumping into ‘Mr Right’ in the street, it was unlikely to happen. I knew of a couple of girls at work who had met their partners through an agency called Dateline and although they were fairly open about the fact, they were the subject of a lot of office gossip. My mum also had a friend that had met her husband through the same agency, and had suggested that I should think about joining. I was appalled at the suggestion. I wasn’t a sad character. I didn’t need to join the ranks of the ‘desperately seeking’ .  However, over the next few weeks, the idea grew on me. So, I decided that it wouldn’t hurt just to find out a little bit more.

I was an avid reader of Cosmopolitan back then, which was one of the glossy magazines where Dateline placed their colourful ads showing cheesy grinning couples. I cut the reply coupon out, filled in my details and posted it off with apprehension.

A few days later, I received a glossy A4 folder containing various forms, leaflets and a paperback book, which told the reader how they could find love with Dateline, and featured some success stories. It sounded perfect. Too good to be true.  They convinced me to join. What could ever go wrong?

You were required to fill in a very lengthy questionnaire, mainly consisting of multiple choice questions,  which attempted to elicit as much information as possible about an individual. I recall that one of the questions asked how attractive you thought you were. The choices were average, attractive or very attractive; I boldly ticked attractive. The magical Dateline computer would then process all the answers you provided and churn out a list of perfect matches. The cost of membership was £150 per year. For that you got an initial list of six names of potential matches, and your name would also appear on lists sent to  people you were matched with. I convinced myself it was a good investment to find everlasting love.

comp pic

This is how I imagined the Dateline computer to be (Image from Carry on Loving – 1970)

A week or so later, I received my list of matches. Six names, addresses and telephone numbers of men within a 20 mile radius of my home. Reality then hit. I was going to have to pluck up the courage to contact these men. I decided to leave it a few days to get used to the idea.  Once I felt bold enough, I looked down the list of names. Which name to pick? I decided the first one was the best place to start, I was a nervous wreck. Just the kind of woman you want to call you on a Sunday evening. He answered, and I introduced myself and said I had received his name from Dateline. He informed me, in a very pompous manner, that he had met someone already. Not a pleasant experience and I decided I didn’t have the nerve to do it again. So, I decided to write a letter to the next name on the list, Jonathan. By hand, using proper writing paper – it was before the internet and email were in common use in homes, and I didn’t have the luxury of my own PC and printer back in 1996. I recall that I spent ages drafting a letter to Jonathan, and no doubt filled it with complete drivel.

Meanwhile, I received a phone call on my landline a few days later from a guy called Mark; he had received my details from Dateline as part of his list of six names. We had a brief, nervous chat, and arranged to meet in a local pub on Saturday lunchtime.

I was incredibly nervous as I walked into the pub. No photos were used by Dateline, so you had no idea what someone looked like before you met them. You relied on a few brief details exchanged beforehand.  We did find each other, and the date lasted about an hour. That was enough. He was incredibly boring and just the kind of person I didn’t want to meet, He went to great pains to tell me about how he liked to watch ‘The Magic Roundabout’ when he was ill. He told me that he liked to take his time with these things and didn’t fall in love on a first date, but he might contact me again. I wanted to tell him that he was quite safe from my attentions and not to bother contacting me again, but instead smiled sweetly and said that I understood.  I felt quite unsettled by the whole process. If he was the type of guy I was going to end up meeting, I’d rather not bother. I stopped to buy a bottle of brandy on the way home. To make things worse, when I got home, there was a reply from Jonathan waiting for me; he had met someone from outside Dateline.

That was it as far as I was concerned. I was not going to contact anyone else and if I got any more calls, I would say I wasn’t interested.

A week or so later, I got another call. My resolve not to bother went out of the window. Another date was set up. And then it started in earnest. I received call after call, night after night. I didn’t arrange to meet everyone I spoke to, but in the space of three months, I met 16 men. One day, I had a date at lunchtime and another in the evening.  I met some of them two or three times  One thing that was common throughout was that most of the men I spoke with, and met, worked in professions where there were few women, with engineering being the most common.

I also had my fair share of dating disasters along the way. I was stood up a couple of times. Bored to tears a number of  times. But if was all fairly innocent, as in no sexual encounters. In fact, there was never any suggestion of any, and to be honest nothing was further from my mind. Apart from a guy called Alex that is. We met quite a few times, and he was a bit quirky, quite different to all the others that I met. He came round to my house for a meal one night, and I had suggested that he stay over (in the spare room) so he could have a drink. I was hoping that he might sneak into my room during the night. But to my disappointment, he didn’t. I decided to take him a cup of tea the next morning, and my clumsy attempts to seduce him failed. So that was the end of that.

The last man I met through Dateline was with no 16.   Shortly afterwards, I received another letter from Jonathan telling me that he was now single. I wrote and told him that I had now met someone. And the not-so-lovely Mark did contact me again, some two months after we met. I took great delight in telling him I was inundated with male attention, and I would not be meeting him again.

And I ended up getting married (eventually) to no 16…

 

An Update on the Elephant in the Room

Standard

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post regarding lack of sex in marriage. It seemed to make an impression on many people, as I received an overwhelming number of comments, tweets, DMs and emails from others willing to share similar stories. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Particular thanks to The Shingle Beach for recommending a book entitled Rewriting the Rules by Meg Barker. The book examines the rules society places on relationships, and covers areas such as love, attraction, sex, monogamy and conflict, and considers ways of rewriting the rules and how we can adapt them to fit into our own lives. I found it to be a very interesting read and it certainly made me stop and question some of my own values. I think it would be of benefit to any type of relationship, not just anyone considering non-monogamy.

I decided that the best way of approaching the matter with my husband would be to let him read the blog post, along with another I had written regarding oral sex.  Finding the right moment to approach the subject was tricky, mainly due to me losing my nerve a couple of times and the fact I’d decided to raise it while we were away on holiday.

He seemed pleased that I’d raised the matter, which he agreed was overdue for discussion. We had a long talk and he obviously felt somewhat inadequate, which saddened me. We were both a bit exhausted by the talk, and the matter didn’t get discussed again until we returned home. Having both had a chance to mull things over by then,  we ended up having a more heated discussion where our marriage was laid bare. A lot was said – some of which was painful to hear and say. But digging into the mechanics of a marriage and assassinating each other’s characters is always going to be a painful experience. He said that he had lost interest in sex and, despite having told me otherwise, he can only get aroused by thinking or participating in corporal punishment activities. Which is as I had always thought. But even CP is not doing it for him at present. Oral sex, for him, is definitely not an option, and he does not understand why men get pleasure from going down on women. And, of course, we all have different likes and dislikes.

We both needed some space and the fact that he was due to go away for three days for work was welcome respite.

On his return, we talked a lot of things over. Neither of us want to split, but there are a few cracks there, which we both need to work on.  One constant throughout has been his appreciation of my frankness and honesty. But, he admitted that he can’t provide me with sexual fulfilment and acknowledged our differences in that respect. Consequently, he has given me freedom to seek other sexual partners if I feel the need for fulfilment, However, for him, sex is not a priority at present.

I feel strangely detached from it all at the moment and it feels a bit surreal. I’m certainly not filled with a feeling of euphoria, as one might imagine from being put in a position of consensual sexual freedom. For us, the rules have certainly changed and it will take a period of adjustment. I acknowledge that it is an unusual situation, and one that some people may not understand, or think is wrong. I am sure I will get used to the idea in time; until then, the male population is quite safe…

Raising the subject of sex with your partner can be awkward and emotional, as I have found out. But, in the end, acknowledging the elephant was the right thing to do and hopefully it will stay out of the room in future.

Lack of Sex in Marriage – The Elephant in the Room

Standard

On a number of occasions, I have made humourous remarks on Twitter about married people not having sex. Judging by the ensuing banter, many people find themselves in this situation. I have also had numerous private conversations regarding this subject. No doubt there are many married couples who manage to maintain amazing and fulfilling sex lives, but there are those of us that don’t have regular, or indeed any, sex.

Certainly communication is an issue. Sex becomes ‘the elephant in the room’ – it’s too awkward to discuss the fact that there is no intimacy; perhaps too much time has gone by, so we ignore our desire for a basic human need and pretend everything is ok.

No doubt there is a multitude of reasons for this: loss of spark, boredom, physical and mental illness, medication, getting older, incompatibility; I could go on. I suspect the expression ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ rings true in a lot of cases. And, of course, it applies equally to both sexes.

I haven’t had sex with my husband in around 18 months. We haven’t slept in the same bed for 12 months. This is for a number of reasons:  incessant snoring, frequent bathroom visits, bouts of insomnia, 3am alarms =8pm bedtime on the previous night, etc… Plus his work regularly takes him away from home for several days at a time. And I do actually sleep much better by myself, so it just seemed easier to sleep separately.

Like most couples, when we first met, we had sex fairly regularly and it was ok. The usual initial passion you find with a new partner, apart from his dislike of oral sex, which was and still is a problem for me. But, I have never truly felt completely and utterly desired by him, as he indicated very early on in our relationship that he had never been sexually attracted to larger women (I was nearly two stones lighter then than I am now), but liked me so was trying to overcome this. This obviously did little for my confidence and ever since have felt unattractive and certainly not desirable. He has never told me that he finds my body beautiful and sexy.

He also told me he had a kink for corporal punishment and its association to footwear. This was a new thing for me, and I was happy to participate in role plays on a regular basis, although it held no sexual appeal for me.   As I have mentioned previously, I have an exhibitionist streak, which is not his kink,  so this has never been explored together. The suggestion by me, many years ago, of some erotic outdoor photography filled him with complete horror. As does the idea of women going out in public without knickers on. He doesn’t get any sexual pleasure from intimate looking and touching, or from boobs. Only from spanking and footwear.

Looking back, I realise that I was happy to have found a decent man and, at that time, did not see sex as a particularly important issue.

Over time, the number of occasions that we had sex dwindled, as is usual in a lot of relationships. He took a job that involved living at the other end of the UK, so for a couple of years we only saw each other every 6-8 weeks. I lost my sex drive completely due to stress and bouts of anxiety and depression linked to my work. I rejected his limited advances at times because of this. When I did feel like having sex, I felt awkward making the first move due to the length of time that it had been since any physical contact. As time went by, I became increasingly aware that he found it difficult to have sex without thinking of, or mentioning, corporal punishment in some way.  He assured me he didn’t rely on it, but I have never been able to shake off the feeling that he did, and I found this gradually put me off having sex with him, as I felt it was taking over.

So, all in all, since we got married eight years ago, we’ve had sex a handful of times.  I bravely made the first move on the last occasion. That was more out of my need than a desire for him.  And you are no doubt wondering why we bothered getting married.

Our relationship is akin to sister and brother. We rub along ok in general. We don’t argue very often. We laugh and joke. He’s kind and generous. He’s always there if I need him.  He’s thoughtful. He opens doors for me.  Together, we’ve been through a lot of the unpleasant things that life throws at you. The emotional connection is there. There are a lot of positives.  And yet, occasionally, I feel like I’m living with a stranger. He has no idea how I feel deep down about sex.  I have changed dramatically since we last had sex 18 months ago.  I am more confident about my body. I know that I am sexually attractive. My sexual needs and desires are stronger. There are experiences I would like to try.   I feel that I am now at my sexual peak and want to make the most of it instead of trying to suppress it.

I have read a great deal around the area of sexless marriages and the advice given is sensible and obvious. Usually centred around communicating with each other about sex, and possibly getting some counselling.  But what do you do when the fundamental reasons for not having sex aren’t going to change?  Our sexual interests and what turns us both on are so different. He can’t fulfil my needs and desires. I am no longer sexually attracted to him and I don’t think he has ever really had a true desire for me. Yet, our relationship is sound in most other areas. I know that having sex with other people without his knowledge is not the answer.

I have started to wonder whether there is something to be said for consensual non-monogamous relationships. Can we ever be all things to one person? Perhaps we need someone to love and nurture us, with our sexual needs being satisfied by other people. I don’t just apply this to my own needs. I have questioned whether his strong need for corporal punishment is being suppressed by me.

Sometimes, when I think about the area of open relationships, it makes complete sense, yet at other times I feel ridiculous for even considering it.  After all, it’s the sort of thing other people do, not me. Isn’t it?

We have never discussed this area, so I don’t know how he would feel.

When I read this finished post, it sounded like a really tragic story, yet I suspect that it is not too dissimilar to other people’s experiences. And I apologise to anyone who thinks I am being selfish and should be satisfied with what I have and the love of a good man.

The elephant in the room is becoming harder to ignore, so I know that we will have to discuss it soon.

A Matter of Taste: Oral Sex

Standard

I recently had to attend a dentist appointment and, as frequently happens, the dentist was running considerably behind schedule. Having exhausted my Twitter feed on my phone, I picked up a recent  copy of a magazine aimed at young women and flicked through the usual inane adverts and articles. I am not usually interested in most of the ‘bilge’ contained in magazines. but an article on sex advice from friends and family caught my eye.  One quote, in particular, touched a nerve with me and has played on my mind since the appointment. So, today, when I returned for further treatment, I was relieved to find the magazine was still there, so I could take a photo.

Capture

It’s absolutely correct – cunnilingus is very important. I also recently read a great blog post on oral sex from Sex Blog (of sorts)  which had got me thinking about the subject.

For me, receiving and giving oral sex has always been very important and almost every partner I have had has been delighted to participate. I was introduced, at the age of 17, to the wonders of oral sex by my first boyfriend, and it was this that gave me my first orgasm, although being a bit naïve at the time, I didn’t realise what the amazing sensations were that I was feeling. It’s not just the pleasure that oral sex brings; I think that the whole experience is one of the most intimate and erotic that two people can share.

When I met my husband, 18 years ago, he told me that he didn’t enjoy oral sex, he hated the taste of going down on a woman and it made him feel sick. He did try, but did not enjoy it  and it stopped after a few attempts – never to be repeated, or discussed again. Incidentally, he doesn’t like to be on the receiving end either. I convinced myself that it didn’t matter; I was so glad to find a decent man, that I thought that I could forget about it. It was just one element of a sexual relationship and it is, of course, unfair to expect people to perform sexual acts that they find distasteful or don’t enjoy. I pushed it to the back of my mind, but, over the years, often thought about what I was missing.

Sadly, like many long-term relationships, the sex has dwindled over time and is now non-existent, but that is something I might address in another blog post, rather than here. Oral sex is something that has never really been there and I doubt that talking about it will change anything.  And hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I bought a Sqweel from Lovehoney, which is ok, but is a bit too light in touch and doesn’t really hit the spot for me, and of course, there’s no hair and head to grab hold of…

From the comments, photos and videos on my Twitter timeline, so many men love the intimacy and the experience of going down on a woman. It makes me very sad to think of what I am missing out on and that I may never experience the pleasures of oral sex again.

Secret Twitter Accounts: A Modern Mid-Life Crisis?

Standard

One thing that has struck me since I have been using Twitter is the number of ‘secret accounts’ that are out there. The definition of secret presumably being that the ‘other half’ doesn’t know about it. It would appear that we are all looking for something more; a new and exciting dimension to our everyday lives. ‘Humdrum’ was a term used by a fellow secret account holder to sum up their life.

Some of you may remember a BBC sit-com called Butterflies, from the late seventies, in which Ria Parkinson, a 40-something middle-class housewife, wanted to make her mundane life more exciting and formed a secret relationship with Leonard, a successful, divorced businessman. The relationship remained innocent and was never consummated, despite an obvious desire by both parties to have sex. Ria was married to Ben, a dentist, who never knew of Ria’s mid-life crisis, or her relationship with Leonard.

bruce-452886

To me, the themes that run through Butterflies have an awful lot in common with the secret accounts of Twitter; apart from the fact that Leonard probably never gave Ria a picture of his cock, unless he went to the trouble of getting a roll of film developed by Truprint.

We seem to be looking for fun, passion and excitement; a phrase which a few Twitter friends will have heard me use before. Our relationships must be missing something fundamental if we can share our innermost thoughts, secrets and desires with virtual strangers, yet our partners remain oblivious to the people we long to be.

Perhaps it’s the thrill of doing something illicit and having a second ‘virtual’ life/dirty secret. Maybe it’s reaching a certain age, when our own mortality is getting closer. We can all no doubt remember the excitement of setting up an account and getting those first few followers. But also quickly realising that a good proportion of Twitter has a secret account, and that there are similarities between many marriages in terms of lack of sex, attention and affection. Or is it just a bit of harmless fun? After all, we only live once.

Twitter seems to provide a medium for us all to be the person we secretly wish to be.  I am in my forties and was acutely aware that if I didn’t take the plunge and reveal my hidden desires and true personality, and say and do things that I may not have the courage, or chance, to do in real life, then I might never do so. A mid-life crisis maybe? Some people portray an image of being a ‘playboy’ or a ‘serial shagger’, yet in reality, they are the complete opposite and would run a mile given the opportunity to be the person they pretend to be online.

It’s interesting to wonder how many online secret friendships remain on a virtual level and technically innocent in nature, like Ria and Leonard. But is that enough for us, and will it satisfy any impending mid-life crisis?  Or will meeting our Twitter crush be an anti-climax and shatter the illusion we have of that person?

None of us are in a position to judge each other for the reasons behind our secret accounts. We are all outside looking in and don’t know the circumstances of other people’s lives. Only the parties in a relationship know what goes on behind closed doors. But, of course, you never really know who you’re talking to on Twitter; could our partners have a secret account too?!