Monday, 16 October 2017

Me too

I'm nervous about saying "me too".

I've seen conflicting views all over various recesses of social media concerning whether it's appropriate for men to say "me too", considering how it comes out of the recent disturbing (but not unforeseen) revelations about Harvey Weinstein, et al., and (as far as I can tell) it's a useful awareness-raiser regarding sexual assault on women perpetrated by men.

It's a truly vital issue. And should not be ignored.

As a man myself, I strive to be as respectful as I can, and as supportive, towards any and all genders. I've even called out people for sexism, homo- / bi- / trans- / whore-phobia, and SWERFing. As a British person, speaking out is hard to do... but if it's your mother, or sister, or boss...!

That doesn't mean I'm blameless. Just as you can't rightfully damn me for whatever certain people of my gender have done, there's still a lot to do. Outing Weinstein is a step, but the fact that it proves to be the tip of a whole iceberg of sexual abuse just goes to underline how much has happened. I feel guilty, really, for not being able to do more.

Having said all of that, here goes.

When I was 16, I was (almost) sexually assaulted. Without going into the details (because they're a little fuzzy, and it's not fair), I'd gone to my sort-of girlfriend's house to lose my virginity. Attracted to her though I was, when the time came, I realised that I wasn't ready. I didn't feel ready, and when I told her so, she asked again. I refused, a little firmer, and she tried.

Though I did, eventually, manage to talk her out of it, she persuaded me to act as if we did have sex that afternoon, just for me to save face (or so she said). I was reticent to do so, but I did, mostly out of guilt for what I saw, back then, as denying her sex. I "confided" in my token black friend, who told Lightsinthesky, whose mouth went into overdrive. My sixth form was ablaze; when, eventually, I told them the truth, nobody believed me. I'd had sex and nothing else mattered.

Three years later, I had sex with her. In the intervening years, we had both grown up. I had had my first relationship; she had become recklessly promiscuous. We had remained friends, and when we eventually did have sex, this time I felt ready.

This is, more than anything else, the reason why I'm nervous about saying "me too". Part of me feels as if I invalidated what happened by having sex with her (fifteen times...), although, logically, that couldn't be further from the truth: every time is different. The fact remains that she tried to force herself on me... and that she cajoled me into lying to everyone.

Whether or not this all counts as sexual harassment, I don't know. It didn't feel like it at the time, but looking back at it now, I did endure an uncomfortable, anticlimactic few days, followed by a year of rumours (some of them quite nasty) about my sexual habits.

I'm also willing to wager anything that the fact I stayed friends with her - and slept with her too - isn't a unique characteristic.

I genuinely don't know what I'm trying to achieve by sharing all this. Compared to what some people have gone through, it seems trivial. I certainly don't mean to devalue anything that's happened to any of the women (and any/all genders) following the social media trend. This isn't a "what about the men?" post, either. It is, however, something I did have to share.

So now I have.

With apologies, and no lack of anxiety...

Me too.

Monday, 9 October 2017

When I think about it, I touch myself

Why do we masturbate?

Okay, yes, it's a very loaded question. And it's one to which I doubt I could append a particularly comprehensive answer. There are many reasons to masturbate and I'm not going to interview all 7.2 billion people on the planet to find them all out. And that's not counting all the people who don't.

Over time, I've been through a lot. I didn't start masturbating until I'd had my first sexual experience, and even then, it wasn't for any particular reason other than the fact that I was enjoying orgasms too much to stop. Throughout university, I was getting back in touch with my sexuality - particularly in my first year when I'd just come off SSRIs - and, being free to do what I wanted in my little room, masturbation became a big part of that... both reclaiming an identity and starting to amass my porn collection.

For the last decade, my reasons for masturbation have been as varied as one would expect. Usually it's just to gain pleasure. Sometimes it's an experiment. Or an emergency. Or a way to pass the time. Maybe I'm just horny. I've also masturbated for people. Over people. On people. And sometimes, even though I doubted Esque when she originally told me, it does help me sleep.

But for the past month or so, there's no doubt as to why I've been masturbating.

I've been under an incredible amount of stress. I won't go into the details, because there are far too many (and too varied, and too identifiable...) to mention. Living in the capitalist world as I do, most of the stress is to do with money, but then there's also time and self-image and confidence, and the lack of the same. Work is a slog and seeming like it's too much, even though I was missing it when I wasn't there. There are so many unexpected outside sources that have come from outside - all of them at approximately the same time. Frankly, I'm a bit of a wreck.

It all seems too much. And that's why I masturbate.

As a result of stress, one of the things I've lost is control. I'm not a very driven person, but at least I like to have an idea of what the next short-term goal is. In these situations, it's hardly even possible. I can break things into small chunks, but every time I do, the end goal gets changed and I have to start again from scratch.

But when I masturbate, I take control. It's something I know how to do. It's fun, it feels good, it's healthy, and it's free. Sometimes, it's the only thing I can do, because I have no time, wherewithal, or resources to do anything else.

I know it's silly. I know it's temporary. People say it's not good to run away from your problems. They say it's better to light one candle than curse the darkness. I'm aware of all that, and I know that if I do one thing that I can (and there aren't many that I can do; I am limited where I am right now), that's on thing off the list. But I need it. I need that sweet release; I need to trick myself into believing that everything's all right.

In those few moments, orgasm helps me achieve that state.

Why do I masturbate? Because I need to. Because I need to escape. It's the only way out.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Mikado

"We should go out," she says, "and get a lot to eat. Then we won't need to graze when we get back."
"What are we going to do when we get back?" I say, although I know the answer.
"Let's watch a DVD."

Okay, that's not the answer I'm expecting.

The lovely couple who have set up this four-star B&B have themed all the rooms. This one's called "Mikado", leaving very few doubts as to what the theme is. It's actually quite restrained - it could have bordered on the offensive - but is isn't. Anyway, I negotiated this room. I suppose the "Camelot" room wouldn't have been so bad, but I wanted this one.

I browse the DVD library that they have also provided, perhaps trusting that those who visit Brighton and are comfortable enough with staying in loosely themed rooms managed entirely by a gay couple won't start stealing things. It's a safe assumption, since all the DVDs are still there. We look for something sexy, or at least something with sexy people in it. I eventually choose Chicago, partially on the grounds that I've never seen it, but mostly because she says the costumes are hot.

"Okay," she says. "Maybe later we can... because the... and we'll want to..."

The rest of her sentence is cut off. Maybe she didn't know what to say, or maybe she was being coy. I don't know. It's my fault. I've pressed my lips to hers.

She responds, wrapping her arms around me and holding me in a kind of semi-aroused, semi-surprised hug. I'm still not sure why she was so taken aback that I was so keen to kiss her. I like to kiss.

I lift her up just a little and put her down onto the bed with a soft flump. We kiss again; I gently lie her back. Looking down at her from my standing position, with her hair a mess against the bedclothes and her breasts straining against the fabric of my favourite blouse, she is impossible to resist. She's always been. I'd be thinking about this, but in the moment, I'm not really thinking much at all.

I hitch up her skirt and tug at her pants. They slide off. Easily. Slick with lust, she spreads her legs for me, grabbing her skirt to stop it slipping back down. I'm growing harder and bigger by the moment. (Now, it looks a little passé. Back then, it was real, and adult, and exciting.) I'm not wearing a belt, so my trousers practically fall off my legs with the lightest of touches. I take her sides, lean forwards just a little, and slide into her.

Her sex contracts around my shaft, fitting around it as neatly as the rest of the puzzle around a missing piece. Standing, I'm unable to thrust as effectively as I would while on top of her; I steady myself as best I can and push my hips forwards. She makes a sound - a positive one, impossible for me to transcribe here - so I do so again.

And again.
And again.
And again.

I stop, hold it for a second, and pull back out. Both our faces flushed, I help her sit up. We swiftly re-dress; she readjusts her skirt, brushes her hair back into place, and takes my hand. We haven't yet explored Brighton; we haven't eaten anything yet. But we have just had sex - at least for the first time this weekend. It'll probably end up numbering about three or so times. At that moment, it's the excitement of not knowing that makes it fun.

We end up in a trattoria. The waiter shows us to a table. I'm still flushed, a little; I've never had sex standing up before. It's a new venture for me. She has a little more decorum.

Lights go down across the seaside town. We go back to the room and watch Chicago. The costumes are hot. I return the DVD to the library, turn, and go back to the Mikado room. By this point, she's already naked. Naked, and ready to finish what I started.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

PMS

Of all the phenomena that have a tendency to occur immediately following sexual activity, one of the more frequent - and, as an insomniac, can be one of the most useful, is that of post-masturbation sleepiness. Your body needs to recharge after orgasm; the longer it takes before you do, the more you will feel tired afterwards. It usually takes me a while to orgasm, especially when I'm bringing myself off, so I sometimes slip into a semi-dreamlike state immediately afterwards.

It's inconvenient that I then have to get up and clean myself. I'd gladly fall fast asleep while still covered in my own cum - I'm just not sure the person with whom I share my bed would take the same view. I may also end up making a mess of the bedsheets, but I guess that's what a washing machine's for...

I had a few hours off work this afternoon. Finishing at 2pm (well, running an errand for work, but I left at 2:30); back in at 6. With a couple of hours to kill, I headed for home. When I got there, I found my room empty, and bed practically begging to be lay upon. Off went my socks, broken shoes, jumper... and then my shirt, my trousers and my new(ish) pair of pants (although I kept my socks on [yes, I am that classy]). I settled back, stretched out all the tension in my limbs...

Thirty minutes later and my shaft was pulsing a steady beat against my palm, my thumb and index finger still wrapped tightly around the head. I'd come so hard that some of it had managed to hit my chest. I got my neck once, but this wasn't so bad either. Mindful of the time, I sat up, grabbed some serviettes that I'd picked up from Costa this morning (yes...), wiped myself down (including my chest), and rolled over onto my side, breathing heavily.

I wasn't sleepy.

Yes, I'd had an orgasm - and yes, a very potent one. Yet I just wasn't tired. I'd missed that little window of opportunity, using it to clean up. I was aware, yes, that I needed to get back to work at six, but nevertheless, I was surprised at how quickly the soporific effect of orgasmic release had vanished. It was almost as if it hadn't happened at all.

I was right, of course. It just hadn't happened... yet.


Back up. Pants on. Trousers. Shirt. Jumper. Shoes (the ones that aren't broken this time). Sling bag over shoulder. Brisk walk to the bus stop. It was colder, and darker, by this point. What happened to summer? I tend to forget.

The bus came along and I went to sit down (a little gingerly, truth be told, as my cock was still feeling the after-effects...). This was relaxing, I decided. Very relaxing. In fact, it was the comfiest I'd felt all day...

...

I awoke just in time to stagger off the bus and down the road to work. I sat through the staff meeting with huge bags under my eyes and a haze of tiredness creeping from every pore. But at least I wasn't still covered in cum. I hope.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

You're not you when you're horny...

Focus!

Stalin's actions during World War II led to over two million Soviet citizens dying on the Eastern Front, although they did ultimately secure an Allied victory over the Nazis in eastern Europe. Operation Barbarossa was not a great success for the German forces, because of all the places in the world, we have to fool around in your mother's car?

Ooh. Yes, that's a good scene. Maybe I'll watch that when I get home.

You're not going home! You're going straight from here to see Rebecca, remember?

Oh. Of course. (My foot nudged my box at this point, nestled as it was securely under my desk.) Maybe I can watch it there, when she's not looking. Does she have Grokster? Maybe I can watch it streaming from somewhere. Perhaps it will run on RealPlayer...

Focus!

Nikita Khrushchev referred, in his "secret speech", to a Leninist principle of "collective party leadership," and then went on to say that Lenin's theories were based on Marxism, quoting The Communist I told you, she's not my mother Manifesto. Hearkening back to the iconic quote, "Workingmen of all countries, unite!", what if we get caught?

I really like the way the music works, as well. It syncs up with the movements of Lisa Boyle's body as she rocks back and forth on her character's boyfriend's frame. I like the sort of power dynamic they have going on - she's younger, but she appears to be running the show. The dialogue works well. It's an excellent scene.

Hey! Shut up! You can think about soft porn on the coach on your way up to have sex in the Midlands! You have to finish this and...

"You have half an hour remaining."

Focus!

Stalin claims in his book Leninism that he was following the official party line, but Isaac Deutscher disagrees, and points to the exile of Trotski and the subsequent purges of Zinoviev, Karmanev, Bukharin and the suicide of Tomski, all as a result of Stalin's paranoia. There's the other scene as well, where she's still in command even though he's on top. It's really well written, how they transition from an innocent flirt to full-on sex on the lawn.

Focus!! 

I could link Stalin's paranoia to Fidel Castro and the similar fate of Ché Guevara, but I don't think that was Castro's fault. It doesn't really relate well to European history. They probably study it in Montana. That's an interesting name for her character - "Montana". Montana Stillman. I wonder why she didn't turn up in the sequel.

FOCUS!!!

The sequel stars Paul Michael Robinson. I'm never going to think of him as anything but Haffron.

Shut the fuck up about soft porn and finish your god-damned exam, and I'll let you masturbate on the coach if you bloody have to! Jesus fucking Christ, dickbrain! Tell your cock to shut up and FOCUS!

And therefore it seems from these studies that

"Five minutes remaining!"

to the discerning historian, Stalin's claim that he was following traditional communism

"One minute remaining!"

Lisa Boyle's got amazing tits

"Thirty seconds!"

does not hold up under modern scrutiny

"Okay, finish the sentence you are writing and remain quiet while I collect up your papers!"

and led in the long term to recent events such as the uprising in the Ukraine and discontent in former Soviet states such as Afghanistan and therefore Khrushchev was justified in his excommunication of Stalin once he had assumed the premiership but maybe Richard Pipes would disagree! 

"Have you quite finished?"

Dear Lord, please bless this European History exam, into which I have put my heart and soul, and look upon me with mercy, for I have sinned. Or at least I'm about to.

Okay, now stand up, pick up your box and walk out of the hall.

Stand up? You're joking, right?

The sooner you stand, the sooner you can leave...

But I'm...

You have to get to the station! Your train leaves in twenty minutes!

I was going to...

Go! You'll miss the coach!

I don't want to fail all my A-Levels! What if I didn't write enough about Friedrich Engels?

Focus!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Soft Porn Sunday: Laura Gemser & Gabriele Tinti

TYPI ΦΕΤΑ.

It's the only Greek I know. Not that that really matters, but this film from the very brink of the '80s has an opening sequence that really, really, really wants you to know that it's set in Greece. It pans over Ancient Greek ruins and through streets beset with Greek architecture. It then shows Greek people doing Greek things and, just in case you weren't sure where you were meant to be, it lists the crew in huge letters... who are all Greek. Writer and director Ilias Mylonakos clearly has a very defined idea of where this is set.


Of course, it's never mentioned again; neither are any of the cast Greek, nor does anyone speak a single line of Greek throughout the entire 1:30:59 runtime, but I'm perfectly sure that the fact this is set in Greece is relevant.

Although as for how...

Appearance: Emanuelle: Queen of Sados, aka Emanuelle's Daughter, aka Emanuelle: Queen Bitch (1980)
Characters: Emanuelle & Tommy

Black Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) is back - she still hasn't managed to gain a second M in her name which would require the involvement of Alain Siritzky, and she still isn't black, either. She has, however, managed to gain a surname - Brindisi - which is the name of her much older, sadistic husband who delights in having her held to the floor and hitting her with a quarterstaff...

...seriously, that's what happens...

...so she decides to have him murdered. She then spends the rest of a film struggling to evade the hitman Mario (Haris Tryfonas - hmmm, that's possibly a little Greek), who turns on her in an attempt to blackmail her, and take over her late husband's business, all the while trying to keep her stepdaughter our of harm's way. Hence the "daughter" of one of the alternative titles for this thing, I suppose.

Livia had a little trouble with the wind machine.
Livia Brindisi (played by Livia Russo - very imaginative character naming; well done, studio) is actually the best thing about this film. She's smart, sassy, pretty and completely unconcerned that her father is dead, because she didn't like him much either. She's also overly sexualised at points, and even gets raped by Mario later in the film, which is both disturbing and disconcerting, since she's playing a teenage girl who's probably just over the age of consent (she also has sex with her boyfriend Mike, but we don't see that). It's not the sort of thing I'd expect to see in an Emmanuelle film; the fact that this is one of the unofficial Emanuelle series seems to change things about this.

They've also put some actual sex into this one, unlike Black Emanuelle, which doesn't have much.

Despite the fact that she starts the film off married, Emmanuelle doesn't seem to have sex with her husband much, mostly on account of the fact that he prefers hitting her with things and she has him killed within the first ten minutes. She does have sex - immediately after the opening sequence - with the hitman Mario himself, who is actually the participant in most of the subsequent sex scenes in the film. Approximately 50 minutes later (of screentime, it's a week or something; it's not made clear), she meets Tommy, a friend of her husband who immediately proposes marriage, despite the fact that her husband's body isn't cold yet.

Emanuelle declines, but she has sex with him anyway, because...

...well...

...okay, I have no idea.

Because it's Greece, and Greece is hot, this sex scene starts outside. Tommy, of course, is rubbing oil
Not a lot of budget went on wardrobe.
onto Emanuelle's skin - because that's totally a sexy thing to do - while she's on a sun lounger; some weird synthy music decides to jump in at this point. It's nothing special, the music - not quite synthpop because the '80s hasn't really started yet, but with some conga drums somewhere and odd loops. But after an hour of this film I've kind of come to expect this music, so in it comes.


The action then moves inside (!), onto a (fake) animal skin rug (!!) on the floor (!!!), where they get down to having sex because clearly they didn't know where the bedroom was. There's a fair bit of foreplay here, with Tommy kissing his way down Emanuelle's back while she pulls her "I'm enjoying this" face; she then flips over and he kisses her boobs a couple of time for good measure, then her mouth, and then - oddly enough - her back again, as the scene jumps back to the beginning and plays the same footage twice!

Haven't I been here before?
When the film decides it's finally time to move on, we suddenly jump cut to a bird's-eye-view of things, which reveals Tommy is actually lying sideways on his front, all the better to kiss his lover, while she lies on her back on an incredibly tasteless lion rug. This goes on for a bit - we get a good eyeful of his bum and her boobs as he's clearly meant to be licking her out at this point (although I've never done so sideways)... but it kind of works, as we get a better impression of what's going on.

Yet more licking and kissing later, via an alarming shift into soft focus like someone's sneezed on the lens and yet more repeated footage, and the two change positions, Tommy lying on his back and Emanuelle kneeling to kiss him all over - eww, he's really hairy - and then, a full five minutes after this scene starts, she finally begins to ride.

YAHOO! Oh, wait, that's the wrong Mario...

I wasn't actually expecting this. Laura Gemser's first sex scene was ages ago and mostly in the spoons position. I wasn't expecting Emanuelle to have sex again (since she spends most of this film being a bitch, and it's more of an action thriller than erotic drama), but here she is, full-on astride, doing it rather slowly as opposed to being too bouncy. But then this is romantic sex, I suppose. She has a great body, so that helps.

A minute or so of this and then they kiss standing up (WTF? What happened to having sex?), again footage that's repeated several times over.

A minute or so of this and then they kiss standing up (WTF? What happened to having sex?), again footage that's repeated several times over.

She's tanned, but she's still not black.
At which point I've lost interest. It's a pretty boring scene. Laura Gemser does have a certain sensuality to her, and after yawning my way through a few sexless Black Emanuelle titles, it's nice to see her getting a few actual sex scenes in. This moves very slowly, there's not much to it, and there's no escaping the fact that you're waiting through five minutes of uninspiring foreplay for about forty seconds of very slow, very unconvincing sex. The whole thing is intercut with footage of Livia and Mike on a date, which is a storyline I'm much more interested in... but seriously? Why intercut it? What's wrong with a separate scene?

It's a real shame, actually. In terms of plot and cinematography, this is one of the best erotic films I've seen. It's certainly the best unofficial Emanuelle film I've seen by a mile - it'll never be as good as the real ones, but at this point the project had stalled - Emmanuelle 7 wouldn't come out until 1992, and the Marcela Walerstein series following in 1993. 1990 was a year without Emmanuelle - for an unofficial one, this bridges the gap nicely, with a storyline that did keep me engaged and a certain amount of thought put into it. It's all very pretty.

Except Gabriele Tinti. I'm sorry, but he's seriously not attractive. That shouldn't be a major problem, but he also can't act. His heart genuinely isn't in this - it's difficult to believe the famously hedonistic, pleasure-seeking, openly sexual Emanuelle - even if she isn't the real one - even considering going anywhere near this bored, bland, unattractive man. Then again, she's also had sex with the hitman at this point, and he's even worse...

Beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Come along, Pond

I had a sex dream last night.

Despite talking about them a lot on this blog, one does have to take into account the fact that said blog has been extant for almost a decade. I don't have that many sex dreams, and out of those, only one has been what you might term a wet dream... I've always thought "sticky" might be more appropriate, although this one was fairly wet, taking place as it did mainly in a lake.

But I digress. Slightly. The sex dream I had last night also took place in a natural body of water - too small to be a lake, too large to be a pool, so I'll go with "pond" - and, although I was a participant who almost had sex, I didn't actually end up doing so.

Which, I've realised, is a theme. I have lots of sex dreams which involve almost having sex. Maybe there are some kisses, maybe some cuddles. There's usually flirtation, and one person - it's always been a girl so far - who I seem destined to be having sex with. I certainly get close, but it's not the right time, or the right place, or I'm called away to do something else first. Last night's dream even involved me getting my erect penis out (while in the pond) and almost having sex with the lifeguard (yes, there was a lifeguard; yes, it's somebody I know; yes, it doesn't make sense either...), except it wouldn't go inside, since she wasn't ready yet.

She wanted to have sex at midnight. I handily turned off the sun for a bit, but it probably still wasn't right. Plus, you know, there were kids in that pond. So yeah.

I've no idea what this means. The person or the water or the inexplicable fact that people seem to find me attractive. I'm not even sure why I'm getting trolled by my brain into thinking that I'm about to have sex, and then not actually getting to do so because LOL NOPE!

But, despite all this (and despite the fact that it didn't go anywhere, a fact for which I am aggrieved), I was pleased to be having a sex dream. I've been stressed out recently, with serious money worries and lack of physical motivation in the extreme; having a dream about sex - even if I don't end up actually having any - does go to show that the important bits of me are still working. It's a nice reminder, and a bit of dirty frippery, if nothing else.

Of course it's also content to write about too...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Mote vs. Log

As I walked through town today after depositing my pitiful wage into the bank, I stopped to look at an art installation somebody had put up in the space usually occupied by a funfair. It wasn't much - a load of white signs promoting peace, justice, brotherhood and other things that Tories appear to be against. But I stopped to look anyway. In fact, I was so distracted by reading all the signs that I didn't look exactly where I was going.

Otherwise known as "Mistake Number One."

"Jesus loves you," chirped a young man appearing out of nowhere, "and died for your sins!"
I stepped back instinctively.
"I... I know," I stammered, speaking for the first time in over an hour.
"Oh, you're a Christian?" he beamed.
"Yes," I said, truthfully.

This is what usually puts evangelists off talking to me. The fact that I don't need to be converted is often both enough, and confusing. I don't actually agree with evangelism, ethically, but I wasn't going to tell him that.

This guy, however, was militant. He lobbied me with questions, as to which church I belong, whether or not I was baptised, and if I read the Bible - all of which I seemed to pass. It was only when he asked if I believed the whole Bible that I paused.


No, I don't. But I wasn't going to say that either. I don't even think that he does - Deuteronomy 22:23-24 condones stoning to death a woman for not being a virgin, and Numbers 15 says it's okay to stone someone who works on the Sabbath. (That's Saturday, since this is the Old Testament. Today's Saturday. I wasn't going to stone this guy for working on the Sabbath, but I tend to desist from violence.) I don't think that he believes that stuff.

"I'm not sure I believe every word of the Bible," I said carefully, "but I think that all of it carries a message, even if I don't think it can be taken word for word."
"So what do you believe?" he challenged, making me feel less and less comfortable for having engaged him in conversation after all.
"Uh... well, mostly the Gospels, and most of the New Testament makes sense," I mumbled, "apart from Revelation." Only I added that last bit under my breath.
"Oh, good, so you don't agree with gay marriage?"

WHAT?

"No! No, of course I agree with gay marriage!"
"Do you know any gay people?"

"Yes! I know lots of people of any and all sexual orientation! I'm in a long-term relationship with a queer bisexual woman myself and it's the best relationship I've ever had!"
"But God says..."
"God says a lot of stuff!" I protested. "Listen to Jesus! Why do you look at the mote in your brother's eye while ignoring the log in your own? (Matthew 7:3) Judge not, lest ye be judged!" (Matthew 7:1)
"Paul says, in Romans, that homosexuality is a sin."
"Paul also says in Romans that you shouldn't be so judgemental! You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse!" (Romans 2:1)
"But it says in the Bible..."

"I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan!" I shouted. "Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women! 2 Samuel: 1-26!"

For that one, he didn't have an answer.

"You don't need to convert me, and I'm never going to agree with you," I said, "but I'm already a Christian. If you're handing out tracts, I'll take one."
And I took one.
"I'll pray for you," he said as I walked away.
"I'll pray for you too," I responded.

And on I went.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

C. R. U. S. H.

Out of all the short-term crushes I had (although I wouldn't really call The Zebra Project short-term), the one that lasted the longest - over a number of years - was also the one that hurt the least.

That's not to say that it didn't hurt at all. It did - all my crushes hurt - but, this time, I was older. As was she. We were both in our late teens. I was also three-and-a-half years older than her, but at that point I didn't care. I first met her when I was 19; she was 16, and she was beautiful. Short girl, with red hair cut into a bob and square glasses. She played the drums. She liked indie music. She was a Woodcrafter. It all seemed to fit into place. She even lived in London.

I spent the years counting down to national Woodcraft events because they were my lifeline, but no small part of that was the fact that I'd get to see her. At every event, her hair colour had changed, but she was always the same - cute mannerisms, odd sense of humour, wonderful smile. I started to leave trails - presents for her via the secret friend system, even if she wasn't my secret friend, with very small hints that it was me. I even snogged her at one point - four seconds, right on the mouth, tongues and everything - but I'm not sure that counts (she was drunk!).

As the gaps between events became wider and I was increasingly worried that I wouldn't see her again - ever - I wondered whether or not this was still a crush, or whether I was actually in love with her. Our brief MSN chats were all too brief; I talked to a few people about her (who didn't know her, so it was a bit pointless); I even told a fellow Woodcrafter about it. She sympathised - and understood. The sight of her kissing another girl, also while a little drunk, was enough to reduce me to tears once.

As the years went by, and I stopped attending events (at one of which, allegedly, she lost her virginity - in an orgy that took place just one event after I stopped attending - typical!), I started spending time in a confused haze. I was, with increasing and alarming rapidity, writing songs about her; this started with a funk jam that I'd wanted to do for a while and her name just kind of fit, before throwing caution to the wind and writing a full-blown love ballad about her (and some stadium rock...). Even at the age of 21, when I'd left university and hadn't seen her for months and possibly also had a crush on H, I still thought I was a little smitten with her.

Maybe if I hadn't written all those songs, or taken all those pictures, or kissed her...

And then, at the age of 22, I was invited to an event that I could still go to, as the age limit was 23. I didn't know that she was going, but I was pleased to find out she was there - again with a different hair colour, and again with the pretty smile. I was sure, at this point, that I would have moved on - that this whole stage of my life had ended and that I'd found someone else who took my fancy a little more. Surely this wouldn't cause any confusion. Of course not.

For the whole week, I couldn't keep my eyes off her.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Vaginas

[9am on a Saturday morning. Of course we're still in bed.]

ILB: "Vaginas are pretty."
LLB: "Hmmm?"
ILB: "Oh, I was just thinking about vaginas. They're pretty."
LLB: "They are."

ILB: "..."
LLB: "..."
ILB: "..."
LLB: "Surely you mean, 'vulvas'? Vaginas are the inside bit. You're thinking about vulvas."
ILB: "I'm thinking about both. At least I am now. But yes, vulvas... vulvae?... are pretty. They're both pretty."
LLB: "Yes, they are."
ILB: "..."
LLB: "Well, I'm going to get up now..."
ILB: "Cuddle first?"
LLB: "Mmmm."