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CK – 02/06/2017

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“Creepy Fuckery” (or: “Niece Jackie”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E5

You may recall that episode 4 ended with Izzy’s roommate (I’m told her name is Nina, according to Google) catching Izzy and Jack making out, moments after crashing into and breaking Nina’s grandmother’s antique lamp. Well, episode 5 begins with them sitting at the table looking sheepish while Nina tells them off.

There’s a knock on the door, and in comes pdeudo-boyfriend Andy. “Ooh, this is gonna be interesting,” says Nina. No kidding. Jack awkwardly introduces himself, calls Andy “dude,” then apologises which just makes the whole thing that bit more excruciating. Jack says he’s Izzy’s uncle but they’re “more like cousins because we’re so close in age.”

  1. Who are you kidding, Jack-Not-Fred?
  2. If Andy is buying this, he’s the biggest idiot in this entire show filled with total idiots.

Izzy asks to move their planned lunch to cocktails later. Andy leaves after throwing a snarky “dude” remark in Jack’s direction.

“Yes, I’m a client,” Jack says, answering both Nina’s question and mine. “There’s your tip,” he adds to Izzy, leaving money on the side and walking out. Nina pockets the money, which is kinda fair given that Izzy and Jack just broke her expensive heirloom lamp.

Later, Izzy and Nina walk across campus and Nina asks Izzy why she kissed Andy in front of Jack. Izzy says it was to keep Andy “on simmer” (um?) but Nina knows it was to make Jack jealous and calls her out on it. Here’s a thing: if purposefully making your partners (who don’t even officially know about each other!) jealous is your game, you’re not ready for non-monogamy.

Nina asks Izzy if she’s okay breaking up a marriage. Izzy confesses her feelings about Jack and Emma. “Oh yeah, it would be so tragic if all three of you didn’t live happily ever after,” says Nina, ever the sympathetic friend. I mean, I can kind of see her point because we all know this is heading towards a trainwreck of epic proportions, but at the same time triads CAN work and can be happy and functional. Just not when they start with both members of a couple cheating on each other with the same escort, the escort inexplicably catching feels, and no-one having a clue how to do even the most basic communication.

The phone rings and it’s Emma. Only apparently she’s “Em” to Izzy now. Emma is with Carmen, who is obnoxiously trying to get her attention – I think to tell Emma to break up with Izzy. Izzy pretends Andy is on the other line and about to take her on holiday, and hangs up. Emma is upset and shouts “FUCK,” despite the fact that she’s in the middle of a public park and there are chilren around. This leads to this amazing exchange:

Emma: “Sorry, sorry! Hey kids, don’t do drugs, stay in school!”
Random Mum: “They’re toddlers, dumbshit!”
Emma: “Dumbshit!? Oh yeah, well I bet those snotty little brats aren’t even vaccinated!”
Random Mum: “I’ll vaccinate your ass!”

And then Carmen pulls Emma away, Emma professes how much she “HATES ANDY,” and Carmen demands that Emma not bring any of the Izzy drama into “HER neighbourhood” or around “HER children.” Hey Carmen, Emma might be acting world-class foolish, but she lives in the neighbourhood too and can invite whoever she damn well pleases back to her own damn house. Step off.

Later, Emma and Jack are having drinks. Emma confesses to phoning Izzy, and Jack confesses to visiting Izzy during his lunch hour. In a moment of surprisingly rational and adult conversation, Emma admits to being “scared and nervous and excited.” Next thing we know, they’re actually communicating! Jack asks what happens next, and Emma points out that there’s a third person involved who should probably get a say. I suddenly find new respect for her until…

…the bitching about Andy begins. “I hope he has low self-esteem!” says Jack. “Does he hate puppies and poor people?” Emma counters. Wow, guys. Really?

We cut to Izzy and Andy, who are eating pizza – because of course when a skinny, normatively attractive woman loves pizza, it’s OMGSOCUTE #Keepingitreal. I bet if Izzy was fat, this scene would get a very different response from viewers. Andy wants Izzy to “decide.” Decide what?

Back at Jack and Emma’s house, they’re fighting about the “niece” thing (remember when Jack told his boss’s daughter, whom he inexplicably felt he owed an explanation to, that Izzy was his niece “Jackie?” Yeah.)

Izzy is in a cab after Jack texts her telling her to come over but take a “slightly different route.” The cabbie is hitting on her and asks if she spot in seemingly the middle of nowhere is where she really wants to be. She essentially tells him to fuck off, gets out of the cab and wanders into some nearby woods, muttering, “damn fucking aunt and uncle bullshit. Fucking JACKIE!” Meanwhile, Jack and Emma are freaking out waiting for Izzy to arrive (apparently they just said “come over” but didn’t specify a time or anything, because obviously people do that,) and right on cue she arrives. Her first words are “if you don’t have something that makes sense in a shot glass, I’m killing everyone but the pug.” On balance, I’m voting in favour of this idea.

Lori, across the street, is spying on Jack and Emma’s house. Because of course she fucking is. Because she’s not only the nosiest busybody in existence, she’s also Jack’s boss and has no sense whatsoever of professional boundaries. If I found out my boss was watching my house, neighbour or not, I would literally take out a restraining order. Lori’s kid (“Ava,” Google tells me) comes outside and says, “we both know there’s something weird going on with them and that niece.” They then quickly realise “Jackie” is “in there.”

Jack, Emma and Izzy are all drunk, but Jack stops them getting stoned before they talk about Serious Adult Things. Meanwhile, back in the bar, Andy is talking to the bartender, who is also the cabbie from earlier who dropped Izzy off. Sure, why not? Also, he’s played by Patrick Gilmore, who was David Mailer in Travelers, if you’ve seen that. (If you haven’t, you should. Gilmore is wasted in this nonsense.) Ooh, Bar & Cabbie Guy (“Shaun” is apparently his name) has recognised Andy as Izzy’s boyfriend and is about to reveal where he dropped her off.

Our intrepid “throuple” (fuck me I hate that word) are talking. Apparently Andy was a ploy all along to make Jack and Emma jealous and see if they “feel the same.” Also, Izzy is all “I MET YOU FOUR DAYS AGO BUT I CAN’T STAND THE IDEA OF YOU HAVING SEX WITHOUT ME.” For fuck’s sake, Izzy. Firstly, they’re married. Secondly, as you correctly identified, you’ve known them ten minutes. Third, and very important, even in non-monogamous arrangements the individual dyads do tend to have sex 1-on-1 at times. We’ve established that all three of them are super jealous for various reasons. This is not a problem in and of itself, of course, but I just know they’re not going to handle it in a constructive fashion.

In the bar, Andy is putting two and two together. In the house, Jack asks “where do we go from here?” “Well the logical question,” Emma replies, “is, has anyone in this room ever had a threesome?” They establish they haven’t. In the bar, Andy gives Shaun $80 to tell him exactly where Izzy is. Creepy. And credits.

Are we FINALLY going to get to see some hot threesome action in episode 6 of this “SUPER HOT THREESOME SHOW?” I will be very angry if not, but based on what I’ve seen thus far, if this lukewarm nonsense can pull “hot” out of the bag I will be stunned.

 

 

Ten Things Not To Do on OKCupid*

*or the dating platform of your choice.

We all know, by now, that our profile picture shouldn’t be a picture of our genitals. (We do, right? Please, God, tell me everyone knows this by now.) But what about the less obvious but equally offputting things people do that sabotage their chances on dating sites?

I’m a woman on the internet. I get a lot – a LOT – of unsolicited contact on OKC and the other dating sites I’ve used over the years. Aside from dick pics, there are a number of things which will immediately turn me off somebody’s profile, and many of the other women I’ve spoken to agree with me.

So what should you avoid?

    1. “I dunno, if you want to know just ask me.”
      This is the most boring cop-out of an “About Me” section possible. You might as well have written “there is nothing interesting about me whatsoever.” The “About Me” is the first bit of your profile someone will read, so you need to grab their attention and make them want to read on. You don’t need to tell your life story, but a few carefully chosen tidbits that will intrigue a potential match and make them want to know more. “If you want to know, just ask me” sidesteps the process of putting any actual effort in and expects that your theoretical reader will be so blown away by the desire to get into your pants that they’ll put all the work in. Spoiler: they won’t.
    2. “I’m just a normal guy/girl.”
      What the fuck does this even mean!? There are seven billion people on this planet, what on earth is “normal?” Again, you might as well have written “I’m really boring and can’t think of a single thing that makes me unique or interesting.” You are NOT “just a normal guy/girl.” You’re YOU. Tell me about YOU rather than lumping yourself in with some nebulous category that you somehow think defines your entire gender
    3. “I’m really good at eating pussy.”
      Want to know a secret? Of all the guys I’ve dated, the ones who bragged about their superior cunnilingus skills were always, without exception, the ones who left me cold. That’s because every vulva is different and there simply is no such thing as being universally good at eating pussy. That thing that had your past girlfriend moaning in orgasmic bliss that one time in 2004 is not necessarily going to do anything for the rest of the women you will fuck throughout your lifetime. I don’t want a guy who is “good at eating pussy.” I want a guy who is an enthusiastic, curious and attentive lover and will pay attention to what *I *like, not what they think “girls like.” Bragging about your skills makes you look clueless at best and rammed with toxic masculinity at worst. Don’t.
    4. “I don’t read.”
      That section where you list your favourite films, TV, books etc? Nothing will put me off faster than “I don’t read” or “I haven’t read a book since high school.” You don’t have to be a classic literature aficionado, but come on, you must have read SOMETHING!? Even if fiction leaves you totally cold and you’re a complete computer geek and all you read is technical manuals, say that! It gives me an insight into your interests, which is no bad thing, and it doesn’t leave me going “…what, AT ALL!? How can someone not read AT ALL!?”
    5. “I’m looking for a real man/real woman.”
      Again, what does this even mean? What’s the alternative, a ‘fake’ man or woman? It reeks of toxic gender roles – the implication, of course, is that a “real woman” is demure and submissive and wears skirts, heels and makeup, and that a “real man” is a football-loving, beer-guzzling, lawn-mowing, domineering Manly Dudebro. Come on, people, we’ve moved on a little since then. There are but two among a universe of valid gender expressions. (And if you’re using “real” to mean “cis,” fuck off forever please and thank you.)
    6. Disregarding someone’s stated preferences.
      If she says she’s a lesbian, you are NOT the exception. If her stated upper age limit is 30 and you’re 50, move along. If she says she wants local and you’re in another country, don’t waste your time or hers. If she says she only dates older men and you’re barely out of high school, DO NOT MESSAGE THAT GIRL. There is a certain degree of common sense at play here – if her stated upper age limit is 45 and you’re 46 but you’re a 99% match with loads in common, it’sprobably worth a respectful first message as long as you’re willing to accept a no (and no reply IS a no) with grace.
    7. Text-speak.
      Are you twelve? No. There’s no excuse. Type in full words that form actual sentences. Use punctuation. Grammatical perfection is not necessary but making an effort is.
    8. “We’re a really low match but hey opposites attract!”
      No, that’s not how this works. The match percentages on OKCupid or (insert the algorithm on your dating site of choice) are actually really good if you use the site properly. Mr CK and The Artist are both 99% matched to me and Evil Genius is 80-something percent. If we’re a ~20% match and/or have a high enemy rating, that implies we have hardly anything in common and probably at least a few fundamental differences.
    9. Asking to meet right off the bat.
      I get the desire to see if there’s chemistry in real life before you invest too much energy in someone online. I really do, and I share that desire. But – and this applies especially if you’re a man or male-read person messaging women or female-read people – meeting someone from the internet in real life can be a risky endeavour. At best, you’re risking an awkward coffee date that neither of you feels able to extricate yourself from, and at worst you’re risking meeting someone genuinely  dangerous and having a real problem on your hands. Get to know each other at least a little bit first. Exchange a few messages. Don’t say “hey want to meet for a drink?” in the first message. And if you’re in the more powerful/taking-less-risk position of the two of you, respect that they may want to move at a slower pace than you’d ideally prefer.
    10. Mentioning sex immediately.
      Nothing tells me “this person doesn’t care about me as a human being” more than them asking about my fetishes, telling me about theirs, asking me to fulfil theirs, asking me to hook up or (even worse!) sending me explicit sexual fantasies in the first message. Approach someone as a human being. A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t say it to someone you were interested in getting to know at a party, don’t say it online. Would I throw my drink in your face if you walked up to me at a bar and said this thing? Then don’t drop it in my inbox.

What have I missed folks? What else makes you go, “ugh, NO” and click that little X in the corner of a dating profile?

[Offsite] The Five Biggest Lies I Was Told About Sex…

…And You Probably Were Too!

I’m honoured to be featured again as a guest writer for the excellent Exhibit A. Here’s the teaser…

We are all fed toxic beliefs about sex and relationships from the time we’re tiny. Whether it’s parents, the church, teachers, your peers or crappy internet porn teaching you these things, they’re almost impossible to escape. Here are some of the most toxic, thoroughly busted by Yours Truly.

  1. “Your first time will be the best sex of your life.”

Why It’s Told: We live in a society where (female, or those read as female) virginity is highly prized and highly commodified, and where woman/vulva-owning people are not supposed to enjoy sex or seek it out for its own sake. Setting up sky-high expectations for the mythical perfect ‘first time’ puts young women under huge pressure to find the ‘right person’ and effectively serves as a warning. If it’s with the ‘wrong’ person, we’re told, we will miss out on the One And Only Opportunity to have The Best Sex Of Our Lives.

Read the whole post here.

“Is That a Vagina Joke?” (or: “Check a Box”) – CK Watches You Me Her, S1E4

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, for I watched episode 4 of this travesty three weeks ago and have only just gathered enough fucks to write it up.

Episode 4 begins with Jack and Emma fucking. Jack says, as they finish, “it feels like we just gave orgasms to everyone within a two-mile radius!” Um. What? The pillowtalk that follows consists entirely of them congratulating themselves on how sexy their performance was. [Spoiler: it wasn’t.] Emma reveals she used to feel relieved after sex was over (poor woman!) and wonders if this new spark is “all Izzy.”

Jack goes jogging with Emma’s friend Carmen’s husband, Neighbour Dude. ND is interrogating him in a “he blatantly knows” kind of way. Not one to mince his words, he tells Jack “I think you’re a fucking moron” and lectures him on keeping fantasy as fantasy, then admits he’s jealous and asks how the rules work. Also this just in, when two women have sex apparently their vulvas just “smoosh together.” Well then.

Jack admits he thinks he has “never found a fucking G-spot in my life.” I have two comments on this:

  1. This is literally 5 minutes after “OH EM GEE WE JUST REINVENTED SEX.”
  2. It’s, like, just inside and on the front wall in most vaginas. It’s not hiding!

ND mentions that Carmen thinks Emma is in love with Izzy. No she isn’t, they barely know each other. She’s infatuated at best.

Next scene, Jack is at work (he works in a school, remember.) A teenage girl comes in who turns out to be Lori’s daughter (Lori is their nosy neighbour who is also the Dean of the school and therefore in charge of Jack’s entire career basically.)

Lori’s Kid: “Who was that chick at your house?”
Jack: “Why do I have to tell you that?”
Me: “You don’t, Jack! You’re the fucking teacher here! Tell the brat to mind her own business and throw her out of your office stat!”

Lori’s kid is acting inappropriately sexual and Jack tells her to stop with the “Lolita act.” Ew. (Also LOLITA WAS AN ABUSE VICTIM, READ THE FUCKING BOOK FOR FUCKING FUCK’S SAKE.) Jack says Izzy is his neice, leading Lori’s kid to say he must be “old as shit.” Okay why isn’t this kid in detention yet? Jack finally gets rid of her, gets Emma on the phone, and they decide no more Izzy at the house. Lori comes by and Jack goes into full-on Kiss Ass mode, and invites her to a party. Smooth, Jack-Not-Fred. Very smooth.

We cut to Emma and Carmen, who are drinking juice on a pier. Carmen is giving Emma a much-needed reality check re. Lori and the future of Jack’s career. She lectures Emma about ruining her life with the “Izzy” situation and the spectre of waking up one day “with saggy tits, wondering where your awesome life went.” Nice. She threatens to dump Izzy for Emma if she won’t do it herself. Emma grabs the phone back and runs off.

Meanwhile, Creepy Pseudo-Boyfriend Andy is pissed that Izzy has been booty-calling him and breaking dates for 3 months. Fair. She is vegging out on the sofa in jeans, comfy booties and… a lacy bra!? Fuck me sideways, I don’t even wear lacy bras to go out in, never mind on the sofa at home. There’s a knock on the door and…

…surprise! It’s Jack! Izzy scolds him for coming round unannounced. He points out she did the same a couple episodes back. I guess mutual stalking is okay?

Jack: “Why aren’t you dressed? It’s like 12:30.”
Me: “STUDENTS, Jack. Students.”

He makes a show of dumping her – apparently they won’t be “requiring [her] services any longer.” These people have no fucking clue if this is a sex-worker/client or a love relationship and they really need to make their minds up. Izzy calls his bluff, stating that Emma had no part in this decision and he’s unilaterally decided to duck out. Yeah, no shit.

He tells her to keep away from his wife. She calls him a misogynistic dickbag. I suddenly like her a lot more! She makes a bet he’d call her again within 2 weeks. He says, “stop acting like you’re irresistible.” “You don’t think about me?” she asks, taunting him. They make out. Her shirt is off. They crash into a lamp.

“This counts as our date, right?” he asks amidst the making out. Then right on cue, Izzy’s roommate walks in. Roomie is pissed – apparently the lamp was her grandmother’s and is an antique, and also Izzy broke the eminently sensible “Rule #1” – never tell clients where they live. She calls Jack “Clark Griswold,” a reference which is lost on me.

Roomie asks if Jack is a client or “something else.” I’m glad I am not the only one wondering this. Izzy goes, “umm…” and we fade to black.

Goddamn, even for this show, that episode was inane.

[Toy Review] Lovehoney Desire Clitoral Vibrator

This toy comes to me courtesy of my friend TigerStripes, whose podcast Kinky Discussions you should totally check out!

This toy has a lot to recommend it. I’m a big fan of Lovehoney – they mainly avoid gimmicks and provide good quality toys at reasonable prices, with quick and discreet delivery. I bought my first ever sex toy (a tiny bullet vibe) from them nine years ago and I still go to them for the majority of my sexy needs.

This is a nice simple little clitoral vibrator. It’s USB rechargeable and waterproof. The front has 3 buttons – on/turn up, setting change, and off/turn down. It’s maybe 3 inches long and is inflexible but very soft. It also comes in an attractive and discreet case.

The end curves to a soft point which is perfect for those who prefer their clitoral stimulation very direct and focussed, or you can also use the rounder end for a more generalised sensation. For me, it actually worked best when I pressed it side on to my clit, but your mileage – and body – may vary. It has 8 different modes or ‘patterns’ of vibration. As is usual for me, I preferred the constant vibration turned on high, but it’s worth experimenting to see what works best for you. The ramp-up-then-back-down setting is perfect for a slow tease!

My Ratings (all scores out of 5★)

Price: ★★★★
(Full disclosure: I got this at less than retail price from my friend. It retails at £59.99, which is definitely out of some budgets but worth spending for a good toy if you can afford it.)

Materials: ★★★★★
(It’s made of beautiful soft silicone and contains no latex or phthalates, which means it’s body-safe and also suitable for anyone with a latex allergy, as well as feeling absolutely gorgeous in your hand and in other places.)

Appearance: ★★★★★
(I can’t fault the design – it’s small and cute and it comes in either pink or purple. I do wish sex toys were more widely available in a greater range of colours, but that’s a gripe with the industry as a whole.)

Ease of Use: ★★★★★
(Very light, ergonomically designed and fits well in my tiny hand, which sometimes struggles to hold and manipulate the bigger toys for the 20+ minutes it can take me to get off. The buttons are easy to press and it’s so self-explanatory that I haven’t even opened the instruction booklet.)

Ease of care & cleaning: ★★★★★
(Easy to clean with a sterile wipe available from medical suppliers, or some toy cleaner available from most sex toy shops. It’s waterproof and silicone, so it should be safe to sterilise in boiling water too, which is how I prefer to clean my toys.  It’s not the obvious shape to use with a condom, but as always I recommend doing so if you’re sharing your toys with a non fluid-bonded partner.)

Versatility: ★★★★
(As I mentioned previously, it comes with 8 functions and the constant vibration speed can be turned up or down, and it can be positioned against your clitoris in different ways depending on where you like your vibrations focussed. It’s waterproof, so can be used in the bath if that’s your thing. Not suitable for internal use.)

Intensity: ★★★
(This is really the only place this toy falls down. I would have liked it to go a notch or two more powerful. That said, it did get me off, it just took longer than it would with a higher powered vibe. Good if you have a sensitive clit and find the Doxys and Hitachis of this world too overwhelming.)

Overall Score: ★★★★
Overall, I really like this toy and I recommend it alongside many of the things in Lovehoney’s range. I’m giving it 4 ★s instead of 5 only because, as mentioned above, it could stand to be a touch more powerful, and the battery time isn’t brilliant (~60 mins use for ~90 mins charge.)

Recommended for newbies and toy geeks alike.

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[Book Review] Approaching the Swingularity by Cooper S Beckett

★★★★★ – five stars.

Yes, you read the title correctly. Swingularity. As not only a Cooper/Swingset fangirl but a devotee of all things puntastic, how could I resist?

This is actually Cooper’s second novel about swinging and follows directly on from his first, A Life Less Monogamous. I read them more or less back to back but, at the author’s request, I am reviewing the newer one first. Swingularity can also be read as a stand-alone, though I’m of the opinion you’ll get more from it if you read ALLM first. I’m going to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but a few plot/character points may need to be disclosed in order for it to make sense.

[Full disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.]

Approaching the Swingularity takes place during one week at Aphrodite’s Resort & Spa, a fictional swingers’ resort I’m informed carries “more than a passing resemblance” to Desire. It follows several couples, most notably newbie-ish swingers Ryan and Jen (the focus of A Life Less Monogamous) on their first trip, scene veterans Bruce and Paige, and first-lesbian-couple-to-attend Alejandra and Crista. There’s also a storyline following the trip’s leader, Raymond, who struggles to play the jovial, sexy host while dealing with some intense personal pain.

Swingularity is definitely an erotic novel. It’s raunchy, it’s explicit and it’s hot as hell. Particular highlights, for me, were Ryan and Jen’s outdoor fuck in the middle of a summer storm, and Bruce and Paige’s very erotic “couple’s massage,” but there’s more sexy fuckery (and some of it quite kinky!) than you can shake a flogger at. But it’s also a lot more than an erotic novel.

The characters are beautifully thought out and well realised. They all have foibles, flaws and the occasional fuck-up of epic proportions. I fancy the pants-he’s-probably-not-wearing off Bruce, but his actions when an old flame re-appears in his and Paige’s life had me going, “you FUCKING IDIOT” at the book. The relationships, too, are beautiful and real – sometimes painfully so. The struggles within and between the couples are magnified in the intensity of the resort and sometimes tensions stretch to breaking point, but there’s also love and hope that shines off the page. I was genuinely rooting for the characters to work through their troubles in productive ways and end up happier and healthier for them. And crucially, more often than not, the sex serves the plot, not the other way around. Without giving too much away, there’s a scene where a hitherto-straight man explores his interest in sex with another man – the result is in turns sexy, uncomfortable and ultimately gut-wrenching.

It’s also deliciously inclusive. I mentioned to Cooper that this novel is – sadly, one could say – more inclusive than the real-life swinger communities I’ve encountered thus far. There are gay and lesbian characters and bi men,  not just the endless straight-men-and-bi-women-only trope that is all too common in the swinging world. There are characters of colour. There is at least one trans character. There are older characters, younger characters, fat and skinny, able bodied and disabled. There are a huge variety of sexual proclivities, preferences and levels of experience. I wish, how I wish, that the real life swinging community where I live was more like this. We’d probably get laid at events more often if it was.

I would be remiss, too, to not mention how funny this book is. There’s a particularly hilarious incident about half way through involving an obnoxious podcast host and a jellyfish, and the banter between the major characters kept me giggling throughout. Cooper certainly understands the truism I’ve long stood by, that sex is hilarious and ought not to be taken overly seriously too often.

In short: I laughed. I cried. I wanked furiously. And now I’m telling you all to go out and buy this book so you can do the same.

If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of my work, please consider becoming a patron or buying me a coffee. The blog is and always will be free, but every penny helpps towards my goal of making sex writing my living. If you’re a budding sex writer, you can also sign up for my first workshop.

On Getting Out of Oz

I have a tendency to say that Mr CK saved me, rescued me, etc. from the abusive relationship I was in prior to meeting him. He’s always pushed back against these statements but it was only during a conversation the other day that I was able to not only understand why but also come around to his way of thinking.

He never rescued me. I rescued me.

You see, I am Dorothy.

[You’ve read or watched The Wizard of Oz, right? If you haven’t, please drop everything, educate yourself immediately, and come back to this post later.]

Dorothy is dropped in Oz partly as a result of her own decisions (running away from home during a tornado = arguably not the best idea, but we don’t blame her because she’s a kid,) but mainly as a result of bad luck (because who coulda guessed the tornado was gonna pick up her house and literally dump her in another world?)

I landed in a bad relationship partly due to my own decisions in holding poor personal boundaries and staying time and time again after episodes of abuse (though I do not blame myself for this and you shouldn’t either,) but mainly as a result of a person exploiting my feelings for them and an unequal power dynamic to gain control.

Lots of people remember that Glinda, the good witch, gives Dorothy the ruby slippers that eventually get her out of Oz and safely home. The readings of this tend to go along two lines – either Glinda is the rescuer who gets Dorothy home, or Glinda is a massive asshole for letting Dorothy go through all the angst of the rest of the story before giving her the last piece of the puzzle. I think both of these readings miss the point.

Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: She wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

It’s there. That’s it in those four lines.

She had the power all along.

Just as I always had the power to get out of that relationship. And people merely telling me this made no difference – do you not think friends had been begging me to get out for years? Do you not think Mr CK, quietly in love with me from the sidelines, had begged me to get out – whether my leaving would result in he and I being together or not? None of that was what made me finally do it.

Glinda gives Dorothy the magic slippers, but that’s all. The rest, our young heroine does for herself (with a little help from her friends.) Mr CK showed me a door, and something beautiful – my freedom – on the other side of it. He said, hey, you can get out of Oz. But you have to choose it for yourself. But the rest? That I did for myself.

The difference between this and all the other times someone had said “hey, CK, this guy seems like kinda bad news!” wasn’t that someone swept in like a knight on horseback and whisked me away. The difference was that I’d seen the truth and I couldn’t unsee it. The difference was that I wasn’t being passively told things any longer – I had learned it for myself.

I was the one who clicked my heels together three times and said, “I deserve better than this!”

[Yes, I realise that my Beloved is a lady in a floofy pink dress in this metaphor.]

What I Wish I’d Known When I Was Nineteen

Nineteen was a pivotal age for me – in a lot of ways, vastly more significant then eighteen. Among other milestones, it’s the year I started university, met my best friend, came out as bi and poly, went to my first BiCon, experienced my first group sex, and realised kink was ‘A Thing’ and not just me being a freak.

Last night, at a play party, I chatted with a young woman who is currently 19. She is also so incredibly brave, smart, self-aware, sensible and fearless that I am a little in awe of her. This started me thinking about what I wish I’d known at that age that I know now, in the hopes that it might help some other young person who stumbles across this site and is as lost and confused as teenage CK was.

So some notes to my younger self…

Everything you’re experiencing now is real. Everything will also change. Both of these things are okay. I know you think this man is the love of your life, and right now that might be true. What you don’t know yet is that there is so much more love still waiting out there in the world for you; love vastly more rich and complex and beautiful than you can even imagine right now. What you want right now is real and valid. What you want in ten years will be different, I promise – and that will be real and valid too.

Your value is not in your innocence. There are men out there who will trip over themselves to get a piece of you before too many people have had you. You’re beautiful, you’re very young, you’re somewhat naive and when they look at you, they see a certain wide-eyed innocence that they can’t resist. Run from these men. They will use you and spit you out when there are no more ‘first times’ to be had. They will call you a whore the moment you act less than virginal. They want innocent little girls because they can’t handle a fully grown woman who knows her worth well enough to demand that they treat her like a goddamn human being and not a trophy.

Equally, your value is not in your sexual availability. You will get invited to a lot of parties. You may then stop getting invited when you don’t fuck the host or their friends. You will be hit on near constantly. You will go on some dates with some guys you really, really like… and then never hear from them again if they reach for the condom on the first night and you say, ‘no, I want to move slower than that.’ You should say yes to the invitations you wholeheartedly WANT to say yes to, and no to the rest. The people who are worth your time, energy and affection will value you just the same. Your body does not need to be your ticket to acceptance and community.

Sex is morally neutral. You’re not better than ‘other girls’ if you wait a while before having sex with someone. You’re not a prude, frigid or broken either! You’re not cooler than ‘other girls’ if you have a lot of casual sex. And you’re not a whore, damaged goods or broken either! The only sex you should be having is the sex you want to have, with partners who want to have it too. Whether this is a kinky orgy with twenty strangers every night of the week, or only with your husband once you’re married, or anything in between – I promise it’s okay and it says nothing either way about your morals or character.

Love is abundance, not sacrifice. Love should not hurt. Right now, you may believe that the more it hurts, the more you love the person. Remember that night your new boyfriend stood you up and you came home, makeup all cried away, to tell your fiancé, “I know I really love him because of how much this hurts?” Love, generally, shouldn’t hurt. Of course it hurts when you argue, if something goes wrong, and that’s normal. But every day shouldn’t be pain and self sacrifice. Love should bring you vastly more joy than hurt. Love should expand your world, not shrink it. And speaking of which…

Nobody is worth changing yourself for. It’s a truism that the only constant in life is change. You will change, your partners will change, and relationships do change us in profound ways. But any changes you make should be on YOUR terms and because YOU want to make them. No-one who loves you will demand you change. No-one who values you will make you contort yourself into a little box you don’t fit in. No-one who deserves you will belittle you or put you down for all the wondrous little things that make you you.

You have a right to walk away. If someone treats you badly, you can leave. If someone makes you cry at least as much as much as they make you smile, you can put an end to it. If someone fucks with your head, you can choose to stop letting them in. If someone abuses you, you have the right – and you owe it to yourself – to tell them to take a running jump off a cliff and get the fuck out of there. You don’t need anyone’s permission to protect yourself from abuse and mistreatment.

Your body is normal. If you come from clitoral stimulation only but penetration does nothing for you, you’re normal. If you love being fucked but oral sex doesn’t get you off, you’re normal. If you’re multi orgasmic you’re normal. If you’re anorgasmic, you’re normal (though, if you WANT to change this, there are resources!) If you squirt, you’re normal. If you don’t, you’re normal. Whatever you like and however your body works, it’s okay, I promise – meet yourself where you’re at, give yourself permission to experience ecstasy however it works for you, and accept that bodies, just like everything else, change. Your pleasure may look very different in ten years – and you’ll be normal then too!

And some bonus tips to finish:

  • Life is too short to buy shitty vibrators from Ann Summers.
  • The word ‘no’ is your best friend.
  • Get some goddamn lube. (Water based and body safe, please and thank you!)
  • Ask the cute girl out.
  • If someone kink-shames or body-shames you, DTMFA.
  • Getting older is nothing to be afraid of. The power and strength you will come into will blow your mind. 

Bluebells.

When I kiss him in just that way, he knows what I want.

He manoeuvres me, lips still locked to mine, until my back is against the tree. The woods, carpeted in early May bluebells, are quiet; we haven’t seen another soul all afternoon. Pressing his body close to mine, he kisses me harder as his hands go to my breasts, fingers manipulating my hard nipples.

He unbuttons my jeans, fingers slipping inside and into my knickers. When they reach my pubic hair, I gasp and part my legs further. When they touch my cunt, I am already dripping. He pushes a finger inside, then two.

‘Take your jeans down.’
‘But…’
‘I said take them down.’

I glace around me, paranoid suddenly that we could be being watched, and do as he says. Jeans and knickers around my ankles, he pushes another finger into my willing cunt and fucks me hard with his three digits. I try to keep my noise to a minimum, but I cannot suppress my cry of pleasure as I feel the first orgasm building, building…

‘I’m coming…’ I gasp as I explode on his hand. He responds by pounding my cunt harder and harder with his fingers, forcing a second and third orgasm from me so quickly that my legs buckle. I grab a branch to help keep me on my feet.

He withdraws his hand. ‘Turn around and bend over,’ he says.
‘But someone could see…’
‘There’s no-one here. Turn around. Bend over.’

I obey, bracing myself against the tree as I offer my ass and cunt to him. He adjusts me until I’m at the right angle, and his cock slips easily inside. Fingering me, watching me come, always gets him so hard.

‘You’d like it if someone was watching, wouldn’t you?’ he asks. In response, my cunt clenches, tightening around his cock as I start to come again. ‘Did I just feel you come? Are you such a slut that the thought of someone watching you get pounded in the woods makes you come?’

He knows damn well I am exactly that much of a slut. I respond by pushing back onto his cock, asking him to fuck me harder. God, I love his cock. The thought pushes me over into another orgasm.

He pulls out of me. ‘Turn around and get on your knees,’ he says. ‘Clean your mess off my cock.’

I kneel, feeling the soft forest floor on my bare legs, and take his full length into my mouth at once. He’s still hard as I lick and suck my juices from his cock, tasting my own excitement and the several orgasms he’s given me in the last few minutes.

‘You know,’ he murmurs as I stand to kiss him, ‘I think there is someone watching us over there…’

[Note: There was emphatically NOT anyone watching. We made sure we were completely alone and very secluded.]