Thursday, 14 December 2017

All about that bass

I thought she wasn't going to do this. I mean, she said something in her DeadJournal which suggested she wasn't going to do it. Mind you, I don't know if she knows I read her DeadJournal. No, wait, she does know. I left a comment there once, defending her against a troll. I guess I'll just have to ask her.

So I asked her.

She told me that she wasn't intending to participate in the competition, but that the band she was in needed a bassist, and if she wasn't going to do it, they wouldn't have been able to play at all. So she acquiesced, joined the band again, and stood in the corner of the stage, bass in hand, plucking away demurely while the rest of the band thrashed around in an apoplectic style.

This wouldn't actually be the last time I saw Obsession. She turned up at a few of these events. I wasn't even there to see her band; I was there nominally supporting another band, the one that Music Man was in. A few of us had gone to see them in lieu of doing sixth form study periods, and somehow Lightsinthesky and I got in without having booked tickets. Life is very odd sometimes.

Except I had a secret reason to be there as well. The year beforehand, I had developed a very intense and incredibly instant crush on a female guitarist playing in a band I'd never heard of from a school I didn't know. In a relatively bold move, I managed to seek her out in the general mêlée that followed the acts but preceded the judges' scores and told her that I loved her guitar playing. I earned a thanks, a hug, and her name, and a yearning for the following year, during which I was very confused and still trying to get over the girl-I-used-to-have-a-crush-on. I went to this one hoping to see her. People tended to pull at these things; Music Man - who was always the most attractive of my friends - did every single time. Lightsinthesky certainly had a go.

I didn't pull anyone. I invited Obsession to sit next to me in the audience, and she did. Despite her nervousness, she managed to shout out the name of the band from our school when the judges announced the name of the "best original song" artist (although we shouted it louder...), and joined in with the frantic head-shaking when it was given to one of the worst acts I'd ever seen. Good for them, I guess.

Everyone left feeling cheerful and relaxed and, on the way out, Obsession gave me a big squeeze before melting away into the summer evening haze. I bade farewell to everyone, walked home, and proceeded to write an angry, ranty post on my LiveJournal about how music competition judges were idiots and how my friends should have won the prize and it was theirs by right anyway because they wrote an actual song not a cacophony of noise and it's a crying shame, oh and the girl I went to see wasn't there anyway, or if she was I didn't see her, and fuck the judges this is an amazing band.

Or something like that.

Someone added me on MSN that evening to talk about the competition. She said that she'd noticed me there, gotten my name and MSN ID from Obsession, and liked my LJ post (which had been reposted on the band's forum, to general applause). We started chatting informally, on and off, mostly about music.

Turns out that she'd been at the competition one year beforehand too, and she had a very intense and incredibly instant crush on me. But, of course, she never said anything, so I didn't find out until years later. Obsession didn't tell me anything either.

Life is very odd sometimes.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Leonid Gayev

An occasional moment of clarity from an always-muddied, constantly distracted mind.

It's something that blindsides me when I am least expecting it: something with seemingly no trigger and very little substance, and (often) something with no result, because even if I know the path (and I don't), I ultimately lack the drive.

But it comes down, today at least, to this: I am lonely.

I am. I do very little these days except blog, work, wait, and think. I don't sleep much because I have insomnia, but when I do, it' a bizarre experience. Last night I had a dream in which I made a new (female) friend - someone who doesn't exist, as opposed to a real person in that rôle - with whom I spent a lot of time. I pretended to her that I didn't have a girlfriend, although I've no idea why, and at the end, both of them left, leaving me alone once again.

In real life, I have a girlfriend who spends a lot of time at work - more time than I do - and, when she is here, she spends a lot of time resting, or engaged in other activities: this is perfectly understandable, she needs her rest to recharge her energy for the physically demanding job she does. I, on the other hand, do a job which nominally takes up very few hours, but actually takes up a lot more (unpaid) time. I am in a constantly client-facing position, which suits me due to my nature, but ultimately this is a personal connection which is transient, and merely professional. Very few clients actually become friends. I don't expect them to.

And then there are my friends. Seeing them used to be a weekly experience, or maybe more so. Now, it's a very rare one, and one that I can't afford to do (seriously - I can't even make a bus journey because my card doesn't let me, and my boss is refusing to pay anyone until the unachievable gets achieved. That's a Catch-22 just before Christmas.); when I am reminded of my friends, it is usually in one of a few ways: a group that no longer exists, a group in which everyone is achieving more than me; a group which consists of my closest friends but I appear to be out of their grasp for reasons unknown; and a group which I've been part of for a very long time but in which I now feel as if I am persona non grata.

Some groups feel different now. One of them has fractured into little shards, one has faded into obscurity, and one has become much less of a "community" and is more of an autocracy with a figurehead and a "team" whose job is it to approve members' contributions.

If there's one group of people I spend most of my time with recently, it's my family, who are by and large pretty great people, but they can be tiresome, and their attitude towards each other often makes me feel like an outsider (even though, being right in the middle in terms of both age and cliques, I should be the lynchpin that holds us together).

And I get it. Everyone feels like this now and again. I know. And yes, it seems ridiculous, writing this post when there is a snoozing girlfriend in my bed and bustling housemates within earshot, a 'phone full of contacts and access to social networking on which hundreds of thousands of people buzz. It even seems somewhat pathetic, feeling so isolated like this and not going out and doing something, but what? With what money? And with who? The people whose jobs keep them busy, the people whose children keep them busy, the people who make me feel unworthy of their time, the people of whom I am insanely jealous, or the people who may not like me any more but don't say so directly?

But whatever it is, it makes me second-guess myself. I don't want to play video games because I reach hard bits, get stuck and end up hitting myself very hard when it gets too much. I don't want to read books because my eyes get tired, my brain gets overloaded, and the book I'm reading at the moment makes me yearn for the unobtainable. I don't want to write because I fear the reactions I never used to fear. I don't want to eat, or drink, or go to the gym because all of those exacerbate my poor self-image. I don't want to sleep in case my brain invents another temporary friend for me to be distraught about.

I am lonely. I am poor, I am isolated, I am put-upon, I am overworked, I am tired, and I am lonely.

And it hurts so much that sometimes I want to throw my head back and SCREAM.

I try to hold it together; I really do. I need to be solid, dependable, reliable, flexible and tolerant. I don't want to bend so much that I feel I will crack at any point. I don't want to go through day after day fighting the urge to cry, maintaining a brave smile while my colleague continuously bitches at me because she doesn't like her job, fending off accusations from all angles on all subjects, and feeling nervous and twitchy whenever asked what I'm doing in case this is the catalyst for something else.

I don't know what would help. I don't know who to ask, or where to go, or even how to say I'm feeling what I'm feeling. I am surrounded by people and yet I feel lonelier than I ever remember feeling.

Was I intending to publish this? I'm not even sure if I was. I was scared to go into the kitchen to make tea to drink because my housemate was there and I didn't want to disturb him. I sat down to write, and I wrote this. I don't know if I was ever going to hit the publish button.

But I will. I don't have a void to scream into, but this will do. I'm hitting the publish button. Here I go.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Friday, 8 December 2017

Knowledge

My boss sends e-mails to me almost every day. I rarely see her any more; my timetable has changed, along with my rôle, and I'm perfectly okay with that, as she makes me a little nervous. My other colleagues, and clients if feedback from them is genuine, have no problems with anything I do; the job does, however, involve a large amount of paperwork, much of which can't be done without clients present. If they don't turn up, I can't do the paperwork.

I became abundantly aware of this during a 15-minute window yesterday wherein I gave a form to a client to fill out.

"Fill that out, please," I said. "I know it's a headache, but it needs to be done. I'm so sorry."

Which is how I act at work. If I apologise constantly, nobody else needs to do so.

I turned back to my task at hand and eventually forgot all about that client and the fact that she was filling out a form that needs to be submitted or I don't get paid for November. Fortunately, half an hour later she was back with a question.

"What does this word mean...?" she asked, pointing to the word "heterosexual" under the "sexual orientation" section of the form.
"Uh..." I started. "That's a bit of a loaded question. So, if you're attracted to the opposite sex, which in your case would be men...? I mean, maybe? Do you identify as female? I mean, I don't want to assume..."

A blank stare.

"Okay, let's start again. Do you know the term straight?"
"Why not ask her if she's gay?" suggested another client, who was both listening intently and threateningly close."
"Well, that suggests it's a binary system," I replied. "I mean, she... they... could be anything. Here we have bisexual as an option. There's also an 'other', which isn't really enough, but maybe if they are queer, or questioning, or undefined, or pansexual, or heteroflexible, or intersex... although maybe that's a gender, some of the terms are unclear..."


More blank stares.

"Tick that box," I decided upon, pointing to the "I do not wish to say" option, as I could sense both time slipping away and myself getting higher and higher onto my horse.

She ticked it, and them marked herself as "female" under the "gender" section. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief, and started to return to what I was doing in the first place.

I'm absolutely sure that my boss, were she present, would not approve of any brief discussion of sexualities and sexual identification, especially as I'm fairly sure she's a homophobe (although she has hired openly gay people, so maybe not that discriminating a homophobe. Still, it's no excuse.); I, however, feel it's important. I've held whole sessions with clients while discussing sexuality in quite a lot of detail. People sometimes ask if I've ever met a bisexual person - which is an odd question, since not only have I met many people of any and all genders, I'm in a relationship with a queer bisexual girl (which also gets the blank stares).

"Why is it so important?" asked a third client, who had joined the ever-increasing gaggle of those eager to listen.
"Because it is," I said impatiently. "It's something that affects us all. Love is love," I added, "and love wins. Just look at what's happened in Australia."

Another blank stare.

"Okay," I said, "I could talk about this for hours, but I haven't got hours, so if we could all move along, let's all finish what we need to do and then go home."

There was a very uncomfortable silence, during which a sudden and very vivid memory of writing down all the non-binary pronouns for a curious client who was unaware that there were any presented itself. Copy and file under my previous boss being an outspoken homophobe who referred to gay people getting married as "bastards", and my current boss believing sexuality should not be discussed in mixed company. Neither of whom were present. And I was suddenly in a room with several silent people all looking at me.

I gave my halo a spin and managed a broad smile.

"Any questions?" I asked.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

I[ ]B

I have been hit by a wave of nostalgia.

It is a wave I will admit to cresting with relatively alarming frequency. Simple though life seems sometimes, it is also true that I am a jigsaw puzzle made up of many different pieces that don't quite fit. Over a decade ago, on a different blog and in a quite different place, I used the analogy of a wall of bricks to describe a shelter. Some of those bricks are still in place. Those that aren't still sit in the foundations. I never truly forget things.

For whatever reason - lack of sleep last night causing me to overthink things, sudden downtime following insane weeks at work resulting in meditative/reflective lethargy, or just circumstance - today has managed to pique my interest in things that may be a part of me, but in some ways, I barely remember.

I spent all morning transferring music to my iPod, music that I love but also reminds me partially of Rebecca and partially of a friend who died while I was at university. (By extension, more music that reminds me of university, and buying CDs at random just because I could.) While doing so, just before disconnecting my iPod, I found and added 47's first demo EP, which reminds me vividly of his old house in Kent, his room in which I slept, and in which he handed me said EP with a reminder to look out for the album when it came out. And the resulting band I ended up playing in. My guitar, which used to be his, stands in the corner. Yesterday I thought vaguely of digging out my bass.

The Seamstress was attracted to boys who played bass and those with beards. I am both now, but with little real consequence.

More came. Thinking about my grandparents on Twitter coincided with accidentally clicking open a forum on which I used to rôleplay. A dead forum, maybe, but one in which I used to spend hours spinning intricate tales without knowing where I was going with them. I tapped out a post there, signifying an ending of sorts, with a strange mix of pride and melancholy. Earlier today, in fact, I spiralled back through my past, looking for a specific post on a specific LiveJournal (which I found). Each of those words, heavy with meaning, shining through the years with the glow that reflects the fact that somebody sat down to write them...

None of this, though, really compares with porn.

Last night, lying awake, I was reminded of some porn which I could have sworn I have, but remained completely unaware of exactly where to find it. Awaiting a meeting that didn't happen at 8:30am, I sat at my computer sifting through my old, scrappy Disks of Wonder, scanning the filenames at speed. Again and again, names leapt out at me; things that inspired me, alarmed me, aroused me. I found the porn I was looking for, and transferred it to my external HD (on which I keep my porn), thus relieving the struggling CD-R from its labour that has lasted a decade and more... but it wasn't the only file I transferred, grabbing at random scenes I know by name, things I may want on hand even though it wasn't the right time this morning.

All pieces of the puzzle.

When I dream, the dreams all take place in the house where I grew up. I haven't been there for years, and yet I can still see it so vividly - feel it, even - all around me when I close my eyes and concentrate. This is the same computer. It's the same brand of tea I sip. It's the same music; the same words; the same porn. In a lot of ways, it's the same ILB.

Some bits of my past I miss. Some bits I don't. I suppose I am still learning. Sometimes that is difficult. But I am, whenever nostalgic, pleased that I made it through.

I am still. I am here. ILB. Hi. Hello. It's me.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2017

It appears to be "that time of the year" again, whatever that means, and it's certainly time to once again trawl through the Top 100 Sex Bloggers list, adopted by Molly a few years back and still going strong.

Pleasing as it is to see myself back on the list (and in the top 20, no less - I was in the upper echelons last year and was worried I'd place at all, as I always am), props also go to Amy for getting a nod for best newcomer (newcomer? really?), to Cheeky Minx whose blog I've long adored and just missed out on a top 10 place, to Chaturbate for sponsorship (and having one of the most addictive sites on the internet; no, I am not ashamed), and to everyone on the following list, which I will now lazily copy and paste for those of you who haven't already navigated to a better blog in order to read.

1 Kayla Lords @kaylalords
2 Mrs Fever N/A
3 Girly Juice @girly_juice
4 Pain as pleasure @bibulousone
5 Rebel's Notes @rebelsnotes
6 Not So Sex in the City @notsosexintheci
7 Pandora Blake @pandorablake
8 Scandarella @ella_scandal
9 The Beautiful Kind @TBK365
10 Red Hot Suz @redhotsuz
11 Love Hate Sex Cake @LoveHateSexCake
12 Tabitha Rayne @tabithaerotica
13 Little Switch Bitch @_littlesbitch
14 Bex Talk Sex @bextalkssex
15 Cara Thereon @thereon_cara
16 Denying Thumper @thumperMN
17 Domina Jen @DominaJen
18 Cara Sutra @thecarasutra
19 Hey Epiphora @epiphora
20 Innocent Loverboy @innocentlb
21 Emmeline Peaches Reviews @EmmelinePeaches
22 Poly . Land @polydotland
23 The Big Gay Review @thebiggayreview
24 Sexual Destinites @victoriavista1
25 The Other Livvy @theotherlivvy
26 Candy Snatch @CandysReviews
27 Miss Scarlet Writes @MissScarletUK
28 Grind N Throb N/A
29 Modesty Ablaze @ablazingmodesty
30 Ninja Sexology @ninjasexology
31 By Aurora Glory @AuroraGloryBlog
32 Miss Eve E. @MissEveBlogs
33 Holden and Camille @holden_cammie
34 Teachers Have Sex @teachershavesex
35 My Trickle Trunk @mytickletrunk
36 Wriggly Kitty @wriggly_kitty
37 Princess Previews @PrincessPreview
38 Ann St Vincent @AnnStVincent
39 Happy Come Lucky @ht_honey
40 Exposing 40 @exposing40
41 Cleareyed Girl @_Masterseye
42 Random Red Rose @randomredrose
43 Joanne's Sex Machine and Sex Toy Reviews @joannesreviews
44 Kitten Boheme @kittenboheme
45 Victoria Blisse @victoriablisse
46 Jerusalem Mortimer: Between the Lines @JaimeMortimer
47 Rabbit in Chains @Rabbit_InChains
48 Poly Love & Sex @CPoly69
49 Floss Does Life @_floss_84
50 Sex is My New Hobby @SexIsMyNewHobby
51 Sex Matters @more_matters
52 The Redhead Bedhead @JoEllenNotte
53 Horny Geek Girl @hornygeekgirl
54 A Shared Wife @ASharedWife
55 Mary Q Confesses @maryqconfesses.com
56 Marvelous Darling @marvydarling
57 La Taverne Du Captain @captain_review
58 A to sub Bee @sub_bee
59 subs missives @Sum1Sub
60 Suggestive @suggestive
61 Cooler Than A Glass Dildo @NatandTom_
62 Not Just Bitchy N/A
63 Oh Gush @_ohgush_
64 Krystal Minx @BisexualMinx
65 Mx Nillin @mxnillin
66 Minxy & Caged @minxyandcaged
67 The Ins and Outs of Erika Lynae @erika_lynae
68 Collared Mom @CollaredMom
69 You Won't Tame this Sassy Cat @sassycat38
70 Sex, Death Rock'n'roll @violetfenn
71 Le Journal @Little_xsecret
72 Mischa Eliot @mischa_eliot
73 Exhibit A @EA_unadorned
74 The Casquetero Files N/A
75 Backwoods Bedroom @bkwoodsbedroom
76 Maria Open's Up @MSM1647
77 Sexologist Vixenne @DrVixenne
78 Miss Ruby Reviews @MissRubyReviews
79 Echo Explores @EchoExplores
80 Ina Morata @InaMorataWriter
81 Miss Jezebella @Miss_Jezebella
82 Cammies on the Floor @cammiesonfloor
83 Fiesty Fox Films @feistyfoxfilms
84 Dr. J @DoctorJAuthor
85 Emmanuelle de Maupassant @EmmanuelledeM
86 Poly Role Models N/A
87 Malflic @malflic
88 China Doll 320 @ChinaDoll320
89 F Dot Leonora @fdotleonora
90 Livvy Libertine @Livvy_Libertine
91 Life of Elliot @ElliottHenry5
92 My Sex Life with Lola N/A
93 Asrai Devin @asrai
94 stretchingcandi N/A
95 SweeteN Dirty @Sweeten_Dirty
96 Male Chastity Journal N/A
97 Chronic Sex @chronicsexchat
98 Dildo or DilDont N/A
99 Nicci Haydon @niccihaydon

As always, the bottom spot is more or less an open mike. What with so many blogs out there, and more coming wave after wave, there's an opportunity to promote your own blog (and congratulate the 99 above), which you are free to do on Molly's post. As it's a Saturday, today is #SoSS - Share Our Shit Saturday - so this is nothing if not the perfectly timed opportunity to Share Our Shit.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Smooch!

The other day, during one of those rare snatches of time when I have nothing to do (which seem to be rarer and rarer these days), I made a list of all the people I've kissed. I had to cheat a bit to remember everyone's surname, but I got them eventually. Next to eight of the twelve people who made up the list, I put a little star in black for the ones with whom I went on to have sex, and highlighted in pink the four who were actual relationships (I'm not counting Soldiergirl, or snowdrop, as neither of those really happened for very long).

This is the first time I've ever done this. It's usually the sort of thing people do at school, or in their first year at university, where they may put it next to a shag chart.* My sister has one such list, which she's been keeping since she was 13. It takes up several pages of A5 with two columns on each page. Mine is much easier to manage, and out of all my kisses, only one of them was particularly drunk. Hooray!

[*NB. I have never seen such a chart. At my alma mater, an article came out in our university magazine advising us not to have a shag chart on the wall. Most of us cut out the article and stuck it on our walls.]

For all my life, I've been enamoured with the idea of a full-on kiss being something special and unobtainable, barring exceptional circumstances. I am reliably informed, however, that I am relatively rare in thinking that. I've seen people taking part in 'pulling' games, where you have to snog as many people as possible in as little time as possible, so as to win points (albeit nothing else). I've seen people get drunk and work their way around the room at parties. I've even seen my friend with the huge penis locked in an embrace with a number of different girls (although at several points over several years; I just remember it more vividly than others, for whatever reason).

At school, there were more. Music Man, Lightsinthesky, my token black friend, Lightbulb and the guy who looked like Dewey from Scream all managed to be quite prolific at it. My friends who were girls were all relatively coquettish, but shy when asked, but they also kept lists - especially in the sixth form, when they started keeping a book which everyone added to, including a list of the hottest boys in our year (I was number 11).

And yet I still feel that way. During the three-and-a-half-year gap between Louise and Alicia, there was nobody. I went though university seeing couples wrestling lips in clubs but never managed to get anything more than a kiss on the cheek, or a hug as thanks for being understanding while I listened to another female friend's relationship problems. Each peck on the hand, or swift hug, or even bright smile in my direction ignited a spark somewhere, but nothing ever led to a kiss. In the end, that was all I really wanted.

I'm in a relationship now that's lasted, as it turns out, over five years. It still feels like a new one in some ways. I get a kiss every day now, but it's not always a long one. Just a swift peck on the lips before whichever one of us goes to work first departs, maybe. Except for last week, where - completely by surprise - she pressed her lips to mine and went in for a long, passionate, deep and relatively messy snog.

A nice reminder of what my desires all involve.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Soft Porn Sunday: Erika Jordan & Darcie Dolce

One of the things I like the most about soft porn is that, due to the nature of the beast, there are always sections of dialogue, basically filling up space between all the sex scenes. As a subgenre, erotic sci-fi generally does this in an idiosyncratically ridiculous way: technobabble that doesn't actually mean anything; alien species who look like, act like and speak the same language as humans from Earth; CGI sequences which are more reminiscent of ReBoot than Star Wars; everybody female in the intergalactic cosmos is beautiful, busty and bisexual. But, oddly enough, they're not having nearly enough sex.

Except in this film. Which is mostly sex. By which I mean almost entirely. It's the dialogue that makes it, though, if you can hear it over all the boobs.

Appearance: Escape from Pleasure Planet (2016)
Characters: Aria & Pleasure Android

The premise behind the plot for this thing is helpfully explained fairly near the beginning. Beautiful, busty, bisexual Princess Dianna (yes), played by Blair Williams, is celebrating her royal birthday by visiting an interstellar brothel - presumably the titular "Pleasure Planet" - in order to enjoy herself with one of the famous beautiful, busty, bisexual 'pleasure androids' (Darcie Dolce), which she duly does, providing the viewers with a watery, lusty lesbian sex scene and adding a whole new dimension to the term "royally fucked".

What she doesn't know - incidentally we don't know this either - is that Cassia (Veronica Vain, who is beautiful, busty, bisexual and doesn't appear to own a bra), who operates the planet, is secretly working for intergalactic tyrant Aria (Erika Jordan). Aria turns up and attacks the planet; the princess and her bodyguard escape, and Cassia is dispatched to find and retrieve her, as with her capture, Aria can take over the universe. I can't say I didn't find myself wanting her to succeed.

At this point the film's budget presumably ran out, because the rest of the action takes place on Earth.

Cue the dialogue.

Told you she didn't own a bra.
"Cassia to Master Aria, come in. I've located the princess on the third planet from the star of Braxis."
[Pause.]
"Come in. Aria? Hello?"
[Pause.]
"What is she doing?"

Oh.
There's a lesson in this somewhere. Something about not leaving a beautiful, busty and bisexual intergalactic warlord on a planet completely vacant of inhabitants save for a sentient robot whose only skills involve sex. I can't quite put my finger on it.

There's plenty to say about the ensuing five minutes of incredibly intense lesbian action. They both start out naked, so there's no time spent disrobing. We are thrown directly into the sex, which manages to incorporate kissing, cunnilingus, nipple-sucking and mutual masturbation all within the first thirty seconds! Blimey, movie - you're spoiling us!

For all that they had available (and the end credits suggest this entire film was made in one day, which is very impressive if true), they manage to keep this scene not just entertaining, but well-shot as well as keeping it stimulating. There are technical limits to what you can show with lesbian soft porn, and yet by employing varying camera angles, numerous bits of the set (there's a large pool there, but a lot of the sex happens out of it), and switching up some of the action every now and again, this is incredibly well-thought out.

There's a lot to be said for the actors, too. Darcie Dolce does her thing as the pleasure android,
I'd be her loyal subject.
although we've already seen her at it with the princess. She does the writhing and moaning well, though, and both gives and receives with a pleasing amount of gusto. Erika Jordan, however, is something else. She is absolutely stunning - gorgeous red hair, a body that's well-proportioned without being too thin (which I don't like), captivating eyes and, yes, great boobs. There's also something to be said for Aria being a would-be universe-conquering tyrant who's clearly turned off her communicator to have sex for a while. It's naughty. It's fun. It's not meant to happen, yet it is happening, and I love that.


Something else that I've noticed (and it's probably only me) is that there's an unexpected power dynamic going on throughout. As Aria is a commander and the pleasure android is... well... a pleasure android, you'd expect Aria to be on the receiving end all the time (and, in fact, that's how the scene starts). But as it develops, she ends up giving just as much as she's getting - taking control herself and touching or licking her android to orgasm, being a giver without becoming too subservient. The android, of course, spends plenty of time between Aria's legs to bring her off, but there's no clear leader between the two of them, and they both seem like they are genuinely enjoying themselves.

Forgive me, Aria, for I have sinned.
However, none of this wonderful lesbian cornucopia would be half as arousing were it not for the jump cut directly after the dialogue above. There's about half a second of exasperation from an oblivious Cassia before we are thrown immediately into the midst of sex, complete with nudity, licking, set and music (the music is an odd '80s-style synthy pop loop; it's odd, but it really fits the scene). It's a truck driver's gear change of a cut, but the sudden incongruity (and the fact that you've worked out exactly what's about to happen within that half-second) and the fact that the hot and heavy action slaps you right in the face is incredibly difficult to ignore.

So much so, in fact, that when reviewing this, I was hard from the moment the dialogue started.

The rest of the sex in this film - and there's plenty of it - is pretty routine, though shot in the same
That's some serious hair action.
style. It's arousing enough, but there's just something about this one that makes it special. Maybe it's the way its set up, the way it starts, the actors themselves, the way they've played it, or just Erika Jordan herself. But whatever it is, these six minutes (seriously, it's that long) are worth the rest of the film. just by themselves. Of course, they don't make any sense without the rest of the film, but...


It works for me, in any case. It really, really, really works for me. All hail Aria, our new, naked, lustful intergalactic overlord.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Larcenyhub

I'm not even sure if I'm qualified to talk about this. But then, that's what a blog is for.

There are so many things that could be said about MindGeek. I have more of a problem with the Digital Economy Bill itself, obviously, but as the Vice article that's been doing the rounds suggests, the whole 'sharing of information to get access' thing is risky and flawed, and Blake's post about it does ask the important question: just how much do you want to give MindGeek, specifically when you don't know who's going to see it?

But I'm not here to talk about that - to add another scared voice to the throng. There are plenty of articles about the DE Bill and why it's an imperialist right-wing neoliberal stranglehold that's a contravention of international civil rights law (although it bears repeating) and, as linked to above, articles about its knock-on effect and handing over your identity to the Pornhub network.

But while I have my issues with this whole business, the thing I take issue with, really, is that all the tube sites on the Pornhub network use stolen porn.

And yes, I get it. Porn can be expensive. I certainly can't afford any, but then again, I can barely afford food. There's a lot of temptation there, when you're horny and nearly there and you just need that little kick to take you over the edge, to jump into RedTube or Thumbzilla or YouPorn and tap in keywords that you know will yield a specific result. It's the modern-day equivalent of downloading videos off KaZaA via your 56K dial-up connection back when you were a teenager. If it's there, and it's free, it's a lure. I've been there - it's so very hard to resist.

Lakitu is MindGeek; the 1UP is porn.
Yet there's still that ethical pickle that's presented. You know, at the back of the mind, that you need to pay for your porn. It's the right thing to do - it supports the people involved - the actors, the writers, the producers... everyone. You do the same thing when you rent a DVD from a shop or stream a whole series of BoJack Horseman via Netflix, and nobody seems to have a problem with that. Why is porn so different? Is it too sinful to pay for, or just too easy to find?

"Hang on, ILB," says the devil on my shoulder. "There's that one scene, isn't there? There's always that one scene you discover, but you don't know where to go if you want to buy it? Or maybe it's not available anywhere. Maybe it's by a company that's gone bust, Maybe it's amateur porn and you can't buy it. Or maybe it's just nowhere to be found. Back to Tube8 you go..."

And that's the problem. As visible as porn on the Pornhub network is, MindGeek is woefully lax in providing a "here's how to support this performer!" link. Google them if you must, but there's still the chance you won't be able to buy that scene you like so much. And why would you want to, if you've just seen it?

Therein lies the problem.

And yet there are still some sites that make things right. Even without being hidden behind a paywall. Chaturbate lets you watch people getting sexy online for free, but you can show your appreciation with tokens you pay for. xHamster relies primarily on stolen porn but is starting to produce its own, for which it pays those involved (with the knowledge that it will end up on a tube site.) Softcoretube has plenty of sex scenes on offer, but never the whole film - and those things you can buy on DVD.

And then there's the plethora of individual porn sites where you can just pay per scene. You may not  find that one scene you want. But you may find something just as good. Better. I've been watching porn for almost twenty years now, and I'm still discovering.

I suppose what I'm trying to say here is that paid-for porn needs to be pushed a little more. A little more visible. Of course, it's never going to reach the heights that the Pornhub network does - you can't deny that if it's free it'll always be the go-to click for somebody (realistically, quite a lot of somebodies). But we all have a voice, and if you're bold enough to say something like, "hey, this is a great scene, it's from this film; if you want to buy it, here's the link," then you may - just may - be doing a tiny bit of good for the person who made it.

So trawl Pornhub if you will - while you still can, even. We've all done it. But it might be worth considering, once you're sitting there in the satisfying glow of on orgasm well done, what you can do for them too. After all, they've just helped you come.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Not jut, but nearly...

At the age of 17, I had an almost relationship with a cute Danish girl (who, like pretty much all of my exes, has now grown up, gotten married and had at least one baby. Her first child was one she had with her boss' son, although she did stress that it was planned.). I say almost relationship because it wasn't really a genuine one. I was certainly attracted to her, and I think she was to me. We shared a lot too - sent letters to each other with photos, chatted on MSN for hours and compared our woes, many of which centred around the myriad of crushes we both had and how we weren't getting anywhere with them.

As you do.

It took me a few months to realise that I no longer cared that I wasn't getting anywhere with the crushes I had at home, because I had her. Realistically, on account of the fact that she was in Jutland and I was in North London, this wasn't going to go anywhere either. Neither of us entertained the fact that it would, but at the same time, there was this little spark there, something that seemed to suggest that - through some fortuitous circumstance (and the fact that I'd been saving money...) - we may end up together.

At the same time, closer to home, my token black friend had had a bit of a breakthrough, insofar as he'd asked out the girl in our year who he fancied (and who quite clearly fancied him back), and she'd said yes. It took a while to get him to do it, with various tactics involving a steady stream of encouragement from the Manics fan and Lightsinthesky repeating "ask her out, ask her out, ask her out" like a stuck record. He held off all the way through her birthday party and, finally, asked.

"We should organise a multiple date," said Lightsinthesky while we walked back from town after decamping to McDonald's to discuss recent events. I mean, you've now got [here he said the name of my token black friend's new girlfriend], and I've got [here he said the name of his new girlfriend], and you've got [here he said the name of my Danish friend.]"
"Not really," I said. "It's not a real relationship. I mean, it might be. I'm not sure what it is."
"Well, have you asked her?"
"No," I admitted slowly. "We just talk a lot. Most of the time, really. We just stay up late and talk."

At which point my token black friend walked into a wall. He'd been in a happy daze for the rest of the day; it was nice to see him in such a delighted mood.

And so the uncertainty continued. On and on and on it went, with her sending me art she'd made and me sending her photos of my face; discussing politics and religion and the Danish school system took up far too much of my time, which I should have spent doing homework. But it made me feel less lonely and a little more valued, and the fact that neither of us had said it wasn't a relationship kept the option open, if only for a short while.

After a few months she kind of vanished. She still reappeared occasionally, but she spent less and less time online, and rarely texted any more. I was kind of relaxed by this point - had my first kiss with Soldiergirl, my first sexual experience with Esque, and was heading towards my first real relationship with Rebecca - when I saw her pop up online again. I said hello, asked her how she'd been, and was wondering if she was all right, as she'd been quite quiet recently.

She told me that she had a boyfriend. She even showed me a picture.

Now I think about it, I probably should have felt differently. But all I felt at that point was relief. She had moved on with her life just as I'd been thrown headlong into mine. And, to her credit, she was happy, and no longer confused as to what she wanted. She started paying attention at school, went on to college, got a different boyfriend, and what I've heard recently, all is fine. 

As much as I'd enjoyed the uncertainty while it lasted, I was relieved that it was over. Now I knew where I stood... and I was free to carry on with my own love life, which was soon to reach fever pitch. It just hadn't quite happened... not yet, anyway.

Something nobody's ever asked me about is who the girl on my "About ILB" button is. Well, that's her. It's a sketch of her I drew back in the day, when she mentioned being so confused. I sketched her, along with a few other people (realistically, I did a lot of these, including 47, TMF, Louise, Soldiergirl, and myself, but she was the first one I did), and sent these people their sketches by post. She put hers up on the wall.

No point in waiting for someone to ask, I guess. Time to tell the story. So, in fact, I have.