Tuesday, 25 June 2013

TMI Tuesday: Sex Education

June is Adult Sex Education Month, apparently. You could've fooled me - these things need more publicity. Like, a lot more publicity. I'm taking a sex education training course this Autumn, so I'll ask around then to see if anyone there has an idea about this sort of thing. Anyway, in honour of this, today's TMI Tuesday questions are on that very important but oft-neglected subject.

1. Have you ever investigated having an open relationship? / Have you tried to have an open relationship?

No. It's not really my sort of thing. I am friendly / acquaintanced with a few people both in an "open" relationship and "polyamorous" - two terms which, despite what some people think, aren't interchangeable. I once tried to draw a diagram to describe the difference between monogamy and polyamory on a whiteboard (don't ask)... it involved stick figures and arrows.
One of the reasons I'm not the sort of person who would investigate this sort of thing is a lot of stuff that happened with my first girlfriend, Rebecca, who gave a few of her numerous excuses for her indiscretions such gems as "I thought it was an open relationship" and "...I thought I was polyamorous" (after reading The Ethical Slut). This was pretty damaging for me, and I'd never want to do that to anyone.
Mind you, that's cheating. Which, again, is totally different.


2. Do you have any sexual phobias? / What have you done to manage or overcome them?

Yes, I have a phobia of pain during sex. And yet I quite like it... well, very mild pain. Like, very mild. A simple spank while I'm on top to get me going a little faster. I don't like inflicting pain (I'm a pacifist, for Glod's sake!) and when I do it's either too hard or too soft, or in the wrong place... yeah, I'm nervous and have a worry about what might happen if I go too far.
And I don't like pain inflicted on myself, either.


3. What is the best new sexual activity you have tried in 2013?

Sensation play. Jilly bought a (fake, natch) feather from Sh! and I've stroked her with it a few times... her on me, too, although I prefer to give than to receive.
The first time she used this on me, I wasn't aware that I was meant to say "stop" when I actually wanted it to stop. I was enjoying it, but I was being teased so much that I said "stop" accidentally. Jilly was relieved, as this seemed like a cue to have sex. (It kind of was). I need to know these things sometimes!


4. Have you ever called into a sex advice radio/television show or written to a sex advice columnist? / Was it helpful?

No on both counts, although I read a lot of them... both Pamela Stephenson Connolly's column in the Guardian (summary: go to a sex therapist) and the regular one in the Metro (summary: talk to each other, also read my book). I also used to watch things like The Sex Show, which had regular phone-ins ("My penis isn't big enough!"). And I've always enjoyed problem pages in women's magazines: people writing in because they think their pelvis is the wrong way around, and the like.


5. Would you use the services of a sex therapist? Why or why not?

If I had to, sure.


6. Should sex therapists be allowed to engage in actual sexual activities with clients? Why or why not?
I highly recommend watching the movie The Sessions, based on a true story of how a sex therapist helped a disabled man live a full, rich life that included sex.


I think this is the job of a surrogate, rather than a sex therapist. So in answer to the actual question, no. It's not part of their job description.
The ides of using a surrogate for sex is an interesting one, though. I will admit that my awareness of surrogacy is almost entirely sourced from soft porn... Passion Cove's episode "The Surrogate", with Kira Reed in it... but there has been evidence that it helps. I'm not sure it would work for me, though. I'd get jealous, as is the way.


Bonus: Have you read any adult sex education books lately? What do you recommend?

Last night I read a book about different sex positions, but I don't really think that counts. The last one actual sex education book I read was Tickle My Tush, but I wouldn't call that "adult", really. Calling it a "book" is going a bit far, as well.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Review: The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker

I was sent, far too long ago considering the amount of time it's taken me to get around to writing this, a copy of The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker by Suzanne Portnoy, on the condition that I reviewed it. I haven't done many book reviews (as ILB) before, but here goes, anyway.

This is a republished version; the book originally came out in 2006. Although a Wikipedia article compares it to The Sexual Life of Catherine M, in my opinion, it may as well compare it to any of the other erotic memoirs there are out there. Because that's what it is. As entertaining a genre as it is (and it's what got me into doing this, after all), most erotic memoirs follow a formula: a largely chronologically accurate recount of a life (often a female one) in which lots of sex occurs, with varying amounts of graphic detail when there is actual sexual contact. Sometimes there's a resolution... sometimes not. And that's basically it.

Legs.
From the cover of the book, it looks just like what you'd expect from any erotic memoir: a pithy quite of recommendation from Cosmopolitan, that bastion of highbrow journalism, and a subtitle that contains the phrase "intimate adventures". This isn't the only book to use that phrase: maybe you've heard of this one? Or maybe even this one? It's been done, basically. At least it's not another Fifty Shades of Grey knock-off.

So what makes this book any different from all the other sex memoirs I've read? Well, thankfully, it is very well-written. It's not difficult to get into - not that it's in the style of Simple English Wikipedia, but it's accessible and easy to read. Lots of short sentences and an incredibly swift pace (at times heading between "too fast" and "breakneck" via "mushrooms in Super Mario Kart") take you through her story, which lurches between various escapades - mostly in and around London and involving an almost exponential number of men. 

Sex is described in a blasé, blow-by-blow fashion, with simple phrases such as "he slips his cock inside me" (tense changes throughout the book, both present and past, which keeps the action interesting enough). It's difficult to describe sex sometimes without sounding too clichéd - some of the worst erotica I've read, not to mention real-life sexual encounters, reads like lacklustre cybersex - and I know from my own efforts that it's hard to find enough similes or metaphors if you're going to use them. Portnoy doesn't use any, which can be refreshing, although after 4,174,401 times the word "cock" does start to lose its effect a little.

Portnoy charts a journey lasting a number of years, skidding through divorce, one-off relationships, casual and not-so-casual sex, long-term and short-term boyfriends, affairs both local and intercontinental, loss of a close one, holidays from hell and something or another to do with a baker. (Butchers aren't mentioned... to my immense relief.) Because of the amount of things to pack into a book lasting 218 pages, the speed does help. And you can't claim it's repetitive or boring, due to the variation between the men that Portnoy chooses to write about (although it's implied that she's had more during various points). So there's that.

The problem I have with this book (and it's a pervasive one) is that, to the untrained eye, Portnoy's point of view with regard to men seems incredibly shallow. I've met Suzanne Portnoy recently - at this event, in fact - and she's genuinely a really nice person. However, if you didn't know that, you may get a different idea from this book. She makes it apparent that all the men she meets for sex are attractive, and often in the "traditional" (dumb) sense: muscular, tall, beefy and in possession of large penes. 

Example: at one point she describes a large man in a Jacuzzi as looking like "a laughing Buddha, [with] blubber around his neck and flabby arms" - which, apart from anything else, made me feel insecure about my own body. The same paragraph goes on to describe a "slim, muscular and hot" man with "fantastic biceps" and a "sculpted chest". Do you see where I'm coming from when I say she sounds a little shallow? Attractive people is one thing, but continuous musclemen - which may not be the reality, but it seems so - grates on me a little more than it should.

So would I recommend this book? Well, it is worth a read, if you can handle the speedy pace of her life, the large number of sex partners and take the preference for the ripped archetype of man with a pinch of salt. It's written with a keen eye and a dash of humour, which is very pleasing, and Portnoy is in her forties, which also makes a change from other sex memoirs, which tend to have been written by women in their twenties and thirties. Nevertheless, having said this, there isn't too much in this one to differentiate it from a lot of other sex memoirs out there. It's a good book, but it doesn't really stand out too much... particularly if you've read other books in the genre, as I have.

If you haven't read a sex memoir before, this would be a good one to start with. But it does at points get frighteningly unrealistic, when you consider how many men Portnoy picks up with incredible ease. I've read lots of them, and with contenders such as Loose Girl, Belle de Jour's first two and the aforementioned Sexual Life of Catherine M, I just can't say The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker is the best.

In the words of the immortal Roy Walker: "it's good, but it's not right."

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Stripped

Green MP Caroline Lucas has been spearheading a campaign to get rid of Page 3 of The Sun, going to the point of wearing an eye-catching "No More Page Three" T-shirt to the House of Commons - eventually being told (ironically) to cover up.
As a Green Party member, I applaud any action by the party to get more recognition in the House, and
BBC got a good picture, as usual.
in particular on a matter that isn't directly related to green issues (the idea of the GPEW as a single-issue party is still pervasive, and I can see why, even though it's the wrong idea!). My main issue with this is that I'm not, in principle, entirely against the idea of what Page 3 involves. I am, however, opposed to how it's being put into practice, and for that reason, Caroline Lucas, I salute you.


That and I'm paying £8 every month to be a member of the same party, so yeah.

Page 3 rankles with me because it is completely exploitative of something - pretty ladies with nice bodies posing nude - which, in other contexts, could be seen as more positive. It's the cornerstone, for better or worse, of a lot of porn (soft or otherwise), and there are things such as nude art through sculpture and paintings, life drawing or even naked photography, where (although there's always an exception) nudity is seen as something either not to be ashamed of or to be accepted for what it is.

As my old friend Syren once emphatically stated on DeviantArt, "there is nothing wrong with nudity in art... that is all."

Page 3 seems to go against this almost entirely. We have a topless girl (always a girl) posing for basically no reason (and if you're looking at her to get aroused, you are automatically a pervert), and to cap it all, the ridiculous "news in briefs" section, attempting to justify the whole page by virtue of the fact that you're pretending the model in the photo is saying something erudite about what's happening in the news... even to the point of making her look like an idiot. It's stupid, dumb, patronising and isn't fooling anyone. It's taking advantage of both the person in the photo and the reader... and that is why Page 3 is a really bad idea. Really.

Anyway, a week after she wore her T-shirt to the Commons (aka "yesterday", if you're reading this on the day I posted it), CL got to ask this during Prime Minister's Questions:

Caroline Lucas*: The Government’s own research shows that there is a link between the portrayal of women as sex objects in the media and greater acceptance of sexual harassment and violence against women.

Not something I've done much research into myself, but okay. One could argue that things like porn and erotica portray women as sex objects, but I've never seen too much evidence of that in the stuff I watch - usually it involves a lady on an equal par with the man. Something like 50 Shades is disguised abuse, though, so I see her point there.

That being the case, will the Prime Minister join me in trying to get our own House in order and calling on the parliamentary authorities to stop The Sun being available on the parliamentary estate until Page Three is scrapped, and will he have a word with his friend Rupert Murdoch about it while he is at it?

Nicely done with the Rupert Murdoch quip there.

It's a good idea to call for something like this, although in practice, it's never going to happen. Part of me thinks it's not such a good idea, as that may be technically one step towards censorship - but, in many ways, I think direct action is the sort of thing you may want to be looking for in terms of how to get people like the aforementioned Murdoch to take notice? Of course, the Prime Minister didn't agree (and it's his right to disagree, I just think he's wrong). But I take massive exception to the way he responded to her.

David Cameron: I am glad the Honourable Lady got her question asked after the dazzling T-shirt that she was wearing last week failed to catch Mr Speaker’s eye.

Personal insult. Very childish.

I am afraid I do not agree with her. It is important that we can read all newspapers on the parliamentary estate, including The Sun.

You see, the second part of his statement gives his opinion. But he didn't give much of a reason. I can think of several - because it's important to keep up with the news; because it may prove interesting to see how different media report upon the same happenings; because you have to have something ti ballast the escape pods with. But he didn't give any reasons for what he said. He just... said it.

I mean, I don't like the Prime Minister anyway, but... really, Cameron? Really? This is a serious issue for a lot of people, and you're just brushing it aside with a slight on the T-shirt and a pithy response? CL also made a point about Rupert Murdoch, to whom Cameron is reported to be close enough. Surely there could be a little influence there? I mean... he's the Prime Minister! Surely...?

I shouldn't be so surprised. He's not known for actually answering a lot of these questions particularly politely. But nevertheless, this is one of his worst so far. And on such an issue, it really doesn't deserve to be dealt with like this... and neither, I am sure, does CL.

* [All political statements in this post were taken directly from Hansard, so they are accurate.]

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ooh 'eck, rumbled!

I've had problems with my CD/DVD drives before. After I (porn) broke my last drive, I used an Amazon voucher to buy a new one, the same make and model in fact, which initially worked fine, but recently has only been working under one particular set of circumstances; namely, that it's plugged in at the mains in addition to via USB, it has the wind behind it, whatever I've been attempting to play has been entered and re-entered half a dozen times, and an incredibly amount of luck.

Nevertheless, when it works, it works.

Recently I tried to play Japanese AV star Kaori Shimizu's Semen Game of Death (long story... no, seriously, it is a long story) on Jilly's laptop, necessitating my groping through a dark cupboard to find my "LOL sex" box and extracting the blue British Airways CD holder that, in actual fact, holds twenty-four CD-Rs full of both soft and hardcore porn (mostly soft, natch)... and a tag which reads "Made in China". For some reason, Semen Game of Death didn't want to play (imagine that!), but our failed attempt to watch Japanese bukkake did make me hit upon the idea of trying to re-activate my own drive.

As I'm off work at the moment, I took the opportunity to do the necessary Great Wire-Related Switcheroo and was both pleased and a little terrified when the little green LED started flickering on my drive. It looked like it worked, but could I be actually sure?

I reached for the most available CD-R I could find.

In case you're interested, I don't always sit and masturbate furiously when soft porn is on my computer screen. I have (increasingly vivid) memories of packing for Woodcraft Camp while Virgins of Sherwood Forest played mindlessly in the background. And, although I was testing my drive and that involved playing soft porn, I was - at that very moment - changing clothes.

Since I was off work and still in my work things, I decided that I needed to change. I'd taken my trousers off and was attempting to find more casual ones - tracksuit bottoms; you can't be debonair all the time - and I was just holding said pair of trousers when the door opened and Jilly walked into the room.

For half a second, there was a pause while this scene played and I stood there without any trousers on. I had to make a decision as to what to do.

"RAAAAAAAAAH!" I shouted.

Mind you, there was a lot of laughter when I'd explained everything... and, most of all, my drive works now. And, moreover, it works relatively well on the third try.

Now where's that Semen Game of Death gone to?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Ten-Man Anne

We booked our holiday last year - well, I say "we"; the young raver actually did the booking - on the 'phone. As I know well from my own personal experience, it's difficult to secure a plot on a campsite online, and the archaic notion of actually telephoning somebody to get a holiday sorted is such a brilliant novelty. As I recalled yesterday when I did exactly the same thing to confirm a booking for a holiday I'm meant to be taking this summer, the young raver at least used a smartphone. Keeping up with the technology, of course.

"I booked," the young raver said. "I called up Ten-Man Anne and..."
"Ten-Man Anne?" everyone said simultaneously, together and all at once.
"Well, Anne answered the 'phone," he replied.
"Where were the ten men?" asked Mane's little brother, looking very confused indeed.
"Ten men?"
"The ten men with Anne," interjected scene girl.
"What?"
"Ten-Man Anne!" we all chorused.

It turned out that he had actually called Tim and Anne, and that his accent had blended the two words together.

But the name stuck. On the drive down towards the South Coast, we all began to construct fantasies of exactly what feminine mystique coaxed these ten men towards the epitome of power that was Ten-Man Anne. One of us envisioned them all locked in a cupboard. Another suggestion was ten men in French maid outfits, servicing her every need. Maybe she had a little black book and called them up in rotation. I favoured all ten meeting in a pub and swapping stories.

Nobody factored Tim into the equation. It was Anne, Ten-Man Anne, who we had booked with, and it was Ten-Man Anne who visited us on the first night to see how we were doing and make sure that no debauchery was going on (the sex happened later that night). I was returning from the toilet at that point, and was shocked to see a dumpy little middle-aged woman in our camp. As far as I was aware, we hadn't brought her along with us.

"I'm Anne," she offered in answer to my unasked question. "Looks like you've got a nice little camp set up here." (Being Woodcrafters, we'd made a circle. She'd obviously never seen this before.)
"Where's your man?" I blurted out, before I could stop myself.
"Tim?" she laughed. "Oh, he'll be along later." And she ambled away.

"Tim. Must be her number one," I said as soon as she was out of earshot, and the others in my camp nodded sagely in agreement.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Almost clever. Almost.

This is another one of those fake "hookup" ads that comes around every once in a while. I don't get them that often, but they do sometimes come around in my "Tim" account, which I check every now and then to see if there's anything sent to it. There isn't.

The body of the e-mail contains the same content as any of the others, so there isn't particularly anything special about this one... except this.

I've edited out her face in case she's an actual person.

The text on her paper reads "Hi innocentlbblog-spare", which is quite clever, considering the fact that that's the e-mail address it's been sent to. A quick amount of closer inspection reveals that it's clearly typeface (in fact, it's a typeface I recognise), going by the letters being the same size and shape all the way through. So, yes, it's dumb, but at least it's cleverly done.

Especially if, as I suspect, this isn't a real girl - well, clearly it's a real girl, but I'm not entirely sure the same shot is taken for every individual person that is e-mailed. That'd be exhausting - and a real person'd use a "sent from" name, as opposed to the e-mail address. My name's not "innocentlbblog-spare", oddly enough. So I'd imagine the JPEG is automatically doctored to include such text. Which is the clever bit.

Only not that clever. Because it's easily detected. But it makes me wonder how one would even be able to do that!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sherlock Phones

In year 8, I managed to get the number of a girl I had a little crush on. This wasn't any girl, of course; this was the girl who had, apparently, had a crush on me in year 7 - and I considered myself, at 11, too young to be involved in any romantic entanglements. By the time I was 13, I had been developing interests in people, and before The Zebra Project happened I found myself looking at the very same girl. The one who I'd turned down.

Great move, ILB. Very well done.

It was in the middle of an Art class when I noticed that the girl sitting opposite me had her homework diary open with a list of numbers for people right there - and there in plain sight was my little crush's number. I stared for a while, trying to decipher the digits - the girl opposite me didn't have the clearest handwriting, and besides, she'd been writing with a 2B pencil - and, eventually, quickly jotting down what the number could have been on the back of my left hand. Loath to look particularly conspicuous for any reason, I quickly picked up my sketching pencils and resumed my work.

I was nervous by the time I got home. I felt like I'd done something hideously illegal, when all I'd done in reality was write down seven digits which may or may not have been the home number of my little crush. Clearly a home number, I reasoned, mostly on account of the fact that there were seven digits. My mind is amazing.

I transferred the numbers to a piece of paper, and then wondered for a while what to do with them. Evidently I wasn't going to call up and ask to speak to my little crush - that would've been idiotic. What I needed to do was ascertain that she actually lived there, so that I had a number... although what to do with it, I had no idea. Stare at it crying, probably. I decided that I'd call it, hide my number, and wait for a response. If she answered, I'd hang up the 'phone. If anyone else answered, I'd ask if she was there, and then hang up the phone. Foolproof... right?

I tapped 141 into the keypad, followed by what I'd written down. The first two times I dialled the number, I got an unavailable tone, so I switched the numbers around a bit - a 5 may have looked like a 6, for example - and tried again. On the third try, the 'phone started ringing. I crossed my fingers... maybe, this time, it would work.

"EEEEEEH?" shouted a loud, gruff, male voice with a foreign accent suddenly, making me jump about ten feet in the air. This wasn't what I'd been expecting. A parent, perhaps, but not this... not all of a sudden! And with that, the reality of what I was trying to do hit me with the force of something that hits with a lot of force.
"I'm sorry, I think I have the wrong..." I stammered.
"Eh."
Click.

I stood there for a while, reflecting upon what to do. And, after careful consideration, I decided not to worry about it. Nothing lost, nothing gained.

Although as I walked to the bathroom to wash the back of my hand, I felt a little more nervous than I had before.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Find Me

I noticed Blacksilk doing a post about this recently, and it's something I've wanted to do for a while, because I am a stats whore. Seriously. I once sat in a chat room for hours repeating the same words over and over again so I could get onto the stats.

In any case, people wind up here for various reasons. Here are some of them.

Search Terms

durex real feel review (202) - I'm slightly annoyed that a review is the search that brings people here. It's not primarily a sex toy review blog. But I guess I did review these, and they are condoms rather than toys, so in some ways...
    

innocent lover boy (102) - Spell my name right, dammit! Although I guess this one's OK. Googling "innocent lover boy" gets me as the first few results, perhaps not surprisingly.
   
durex deluxe review (99) - See above. More condoms. I didn't like these much either.
    

danny masterson naked (93) - This always, always makes me laugh. Why anyone would want to see Danny Masterson naked I'm not sure. I'm absolutely 100% sure that people who search for this ends up at this post, perhaps the best thing about it being the comment left below! I'm surprised I don't get more hits for Jenna Jameson in Dirt Merchant, though.
    

innocentloverboy.blogspot.com (89) - Since Blogger changed the ending to my blog address to .co.uk rather than .com, this comes up as a search term. I'm pretty sure a lot of these are me, as I tend to Google my blog address plus key words in order to find specific posts sometimes.
    

durex real feel reviews (78) - I have a sudden feeling of déjà vu.

durex real feel (66) - *blinks*

innocent loverboy (52) - I'm surprised this isn't higher. I'm the top result on Google for this. There is, apparently, one other "Innocent Loverboy" on the Internet somewhere, but he's lower down than I am. I guess that's some amount of win, right?
    

shannan leigh (49) - I knew a soft porn actress would turn up here. I guess she's one of the most famous, so...

soft porn (41) - Huzzah!


Countries

United Kingdom (35877) - This isn't surprising, really.

United States (31135) - I wasn't aware I had so many readers in the US. But I suppose this isn't overly surprising seeing as how there are a lot of sex blogs in America.

Russia (5049) - Why am I not surprised at this one? I should be, really.

Germany (3863) - I'm sure not all of these hits are from 47, so hello there, teutonophones! I speak your language, kind of!

Canada (1647) - I'm kind of surprised I don't have more readers in Canada.

Netherlands (1517) - Hello, Rhye!

France (1371) - Just across the Channel, but I've no idea why French people end up at my blog.

Australia (1103) - I've got a couple of blogging friends in Australia, so I'm pretty sure I'd get some hits from (and through) them and their blogs. I also have family in Australia, and H is from there, but I don't think any hits come that way.

India (1026) - Yeah, I don't know who this is...

Hong Kong (557) - According to People's Pornography, which I read at the beginning of the year, it's much easier to both view and create adult material in Hong Kong than mainland China, due to the Great Firewall. If you're in mainland China, I salute you!


I also apparently have one reader in Qatar. Peculiar.

Top Five Posts

Review of Durex Real Feel - You'd never have guessed this from the search terms above, would you?  I will admit to this not being such a badly written review, although (due to the size and shape of my penis, I think) it's not the most favourable of reviews. It's not the best of my posts by a long way, though, so I'm a bit put off that it's my most popular!

Sexual Moments of 2012 (by ILB & LLB) - this is better. As the brainchild of the brilliant Girl on the Net, I'm sure I got a lot of traffic through her (and hopefully her through me!), a retrospective of the last quarter of 2012 composed jointly between myself and Jilly was a great idea for a post that came out quite well indeed, if I do say so myself.

Review of Durex Deluxe - A post which serves three purposes: to take a lighthearted dig at Renée Zellweger, to point out that I have a large penis, and to state categorically that these condoms aren't suitable for people with large penes. It also started the LARGE PENIS meme which I use from time to time. Because I am a mature adult. Ahem. It's a better-written review than the Real Feel one above, but still, I'm not too keen on the reviews on this blog...

Review of the REV 1000 - ...apart from this one. Although I didn't particularly like the product, I had a lot of fun reviewing it. And it led to a few amusing conversations at various events after revealing that I owned one, especially since it turns out that an old friend of Robinson's and my friend-who-is-a-midwife's too is the actor in the TV advert! I do feel a bit guilty about giving this a negative review, especially since it's expensive, but I was being honest - it just didn't work for me!

Soft Porn Sunday: Magenta - This is a really odd choice to round off my top five. Of all the Soft Porn Sundays I've done so far (and they all appear to be quite popular), this is the most read by far. The probable reason for this is that if you put "crystal dillan atkins soft porn" into Google, I'm the first and third result, and the post contains both a photo and a link to the scene that, I suppose from my own experience, people are looking for. Again, I don't think this is one of my best posts, but it's part of the SPS series, which I do like.

And that's it.

This isn't as fun as I'd perhaps hoped. I'd prefer more recognition of my favourite posts. Still, sod's law states that people will inevitably end up reading stuff that you may not particularly like yourself. It's impossible, in my point of view, to pick a favourite five posts, but a few that I remember liking at the time of writing (and still now) are:

The Zebra Project - about my first crush
Whitepool - on holidays
Great Leap Forwards - my cousin getting engaged
Straight to the Point - regarding teen romance books
and Mega Shark - in all its walk-related glory

However much I moan, though, it's nice to know that people are reading my stuff. Whether or not they actually want to find me, stumble across my blog by accident, or just want to see Danny Masterson naked... well, it's nice to see, in any case.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Delicious moocher

This phrase popped into my head a few minutes ago. A "delicious moocher" - who is that? Is that me, or you? Or even someone else? I literally have no idea where those two words may have come from. They're not even used together very much, are they? Or at all, even? I may be the first person to think of that combination of adjective and noun, and what does that make me?

We all know what "delicious" means, but what is a "moocher?" Wiktionary defines it thus:

A person having a tendency to repeatedly ask help of others, especially if they are making little effort to help themselves. Usually used as a pejorative.

I will have to admit to having done this quite a lot recently, as I've been trying to sort out tax woes and job queries by the dozen. However, I'd like to hope it's not my usual state of mind! I like to take what little pride I have in being quite selfless when other people are in their hour of need - I recently spent half the night in a hospital to prove the point!

The verb "to mooch" is defined as something which was more familiar to me:

To wander around aimlessly, often causing irritation to others.

While I don't often aim to cause irritation (although I'm thoroughly aware that I do; it's not always my intention, though!), I quite like the first half of the definition. Being a wanderer. This is something I do. I will admit to having been more of a random moocher when I was single - disposed as I was towards going for long walks (often at night) apropos of very little to nothing, with no destination in mind - but now that the warm weather is fast approaching (for as short a period as it may, it's still pleasant enough), I'm finding myself with the urge to wander a lot more than has been usual in recent times...

...a particular example happening today, when I missed my stop on the train and elected to walk the long way home as opposed to waiting for a train back one station. My iPod plugged in and no particular haste hurrying my journey along, I meandered home through the sun trying not to let anything bother me. Things haven't been going particularly well since, but nevertheless, I have rediscovered, through making cups of tea and walking around the house while it's light, my urge to mooch coming back once more.

I am a delicious moocher. Come and waste time with me, and we can be delicious together.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Dispel: DURHS!

When I started secondary school, there was vague mention of this thing called "porno". According to the people who furtively whispered about it in the corridors and behind the bike sheds, and then according to our parents (for those of us who were savvy enough to mention it to our parents), "porno" was a genre of filmed entertainment in which people were shown having sex, that most heinous and dirty of acts imaginable. For those of us who later saw some of the actual stuff, some of it was a surprise... and some wasn't.

I'd assume that we all know what porno is right now. We probably all have our definitions of what it is - and what counts. We all have the stuff that we like, in various ways and for various purposes. And, of course, it's not just films. There are pictures. There's writing. Porno is expanding, and for that, I applaud it.

But it's lost something.

Treguard: "Let... ter... O...!"
I don't know at which point everyone (myself included) started to refer to it as "porn", but upon reflection, it seems like a very smooth transition. Obviously, I didn't need to ask anyone what "porn" was, but in case you were wondering (I was wondering, anyway), my first exposure to the word "porn" was on Net Nanny's website (my mother, bastion of censorship as she was, decided she wanted to protect her children from the less desirable side of the Internet... it didn't work). Net Nanny claimed that their "safe for kids" banner was copyright controlled, and therefore you shouldn't be using it "if you own a porn site".

I knew what "porno" meant, but I'd never encountered this word "porn" before. I had a very shrewd idea of what it was, but just to be sure I opened AltaVista and put it into the search box... which, upon reflection, wasn't the best of ideas. But, since then, I've always (with one not-very-notable exception) have seen it referred to as "porn". "Porno" appears to have vanished into the ether... or, at least, its ending O has.

I wonder why this is? Laziness? Making it sound less like an abbreviation? Or just text speak gone wrong? I'll certainly admit that "porn" - as a one-syllable word with a hard P at the start - has more of an immediacy to it, but I'd assume that the content porn by itself packs enough of a punch not to necessitate a large amount of impact in its noun. I'll admit it sounds better than "porno"... but why?

And, more importantly... how?