Once again, life has taken over

Hi everybody

Just a quick post to let you all know I’m still around, but life has been crazy busy lately.  I’m in my final semester of university and have assignments due on a weekly(ish) basis, which hasn’t left a lot of time for writing!  On top of that we’ve been busy with visitors, as well as the usual adulting/parenting duties.

Hopefully I’ll be back properly soon, until then though, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog!

Sex positive parenting: the book we are going to burn

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My wife and I are huge book lovers, the word ‘bibliophile’ definitely comes to mind.  On top of this, we are also very sex(uality) positive when it comes to parenting, both wanting our four children to grow up with a healthy understanding of sex and sexuality, theirs and in general.  Our eldest daughter is 11 now and is going through puberty; she loves reading puberty books, demolishes the damn things, then reads them two, three, four more times… and a month later will get them out from the library again.  It got to the point we ended up buying the books for her.

A few months back we were in our regular secondhand bookshop, perusing the shelves full of booky potential.  I came across a hardcover book – ‘Questions Kids Ask about Sex: Honest answers for every age’, Melissa R. Cox (ed) – and thought HEY!  THAT SOUNDS FUCKING BRILLIANT!  I checked inside and saw it was published in 2005 – great – the information would be relatively up to date and would probably be from a modern viewpoint.  It was $3.00, I had to get it!

Home we came.  Into the bookshelf the book went.  Forgotten it was.

For whatever reason, my wife got it out of the bookshelf… the next thing I heard from her was a gasp of dismay.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.  She began reading :

Masturbation isn’t inherently physically damaging unless excessive force or instruments are used; however it can be emotionally destructive and even become a substitute for relational intimacy in marriage.  Your child should understand that masturbation can become addictive and he can lessen the risk for this addiction by having an honest sex education grounded in the values of abstinence until marriage…. In addition you should strongly encourage him to avoid the use of pornography, drugs, and alcohol if he wishes to avoid the consequences associated with becoming addicted to masturbation.  If you’ve discovered (or heard) your child masturbating… remind him of the dangers of pornography; obsessive, all-consuming masturbation; and group masturbation.  (pg 147)

I wasn’t sure I had heard right, but she then went on to read another juicy little segment, leaving me with my mouth wide open, looking at her in shock.  What the hell?  How could such a book be in our house?  Only a few weeks ago I posted on this very blog about why women should embrace masturbation, and here this book was, explaining just how evil it is, listing numerous reasons to encourage your child not to masturbate.

Notice the use of the pronoun ‘him‘?  I guess girls don’t masturbate, right?  Nor would they look at pornography.  Na ah, as a 16 year-old no way did I masturbate, and I have never ever ever EVER looked at porn.  Yeah right!

After my wife had flicked through it she threw it at me (literally threw it) and told me to have a read before we burnt it.  Yes.  We are going to burn this book.

Not only is masturbation addictive, so is pornography.  Here is a handy little hint for what to say to your son if you catch him looking at porn:

Pornography is the stimulation of sexual curiosity and drive outside the bounds of a healthy, nurturing marriage relationship with a real person; in effect, it can become a substitute for healthy relationships and become addictive.  In fact, anything that takes the place of a healthy relationship will, by nature, become addictive.  (pg 145)

Porn though, as well as being addictive, is a harmful marriage killer!

While pornography is harmful to single men, for married men, it’s a marriage killer.  Simply put, pornography destroys an individual’s ability to be satisfied with sex with a real person and puts a spouse in an unfair competition. (pg 190)

Yeap, that’s the truth, anything that makes you feel good is bad for you, mmmkay?  *I am now rolling my eyes and scowling*

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Speaking of things that feel good being bad for you, anal sex is a big no go, did you know that

Anal sex is never a healthy behaviour, not even in marriage. (pg 191)

And loosely related to the subjec of anal sex…

Homosexual curiosity doesn’t mean you’re homosexual.  Feelings and attractions aren’t always under one’s control.  Behaviour choices are controllable.  Choosing to engage in homosexual behaviour can be physically emotional and dangerous. (pg 201)

And then we have some pearls of wisdom from the ‘Abstinence is Attainable’ easy reference box

Don’t let your teen be home alone with the opposite sex – after school or anytime!
Remind your daughter that how she dresses will communicate to guys the type of girl she is.
Have a man (dad, uncle, grandpa) discuss with your daughter what turns guys on. (pg 177)

But what about when he (or she!) puts a ring on it?

Is there any danger in having sex while I’m engaged?
The engagement is a time for a couple to get professional counselling to uncover any basic problems that are likely to lead to divorce . They either deal with these issues or cancel the engagement.  Sexual intercourse during this time may mask some basic personality differences that might lead to divorce. (pg 259)

And there is, after all, nothing worse than divorce!  No. Thing.  At. All.  It’s much healthier to stay in a loveless and/or unhealthy marriage!  Chances are if you are considering divorce, you probably had sex while you were engaged.  Bad, bad, BAD you!

I have to say, I also love the way this book remains neutral, particularly when discussing emergency contraception:

The pill can alter the lining of the uterus so that if the first and second actions fail, the tiny baby will die because it cannot attach to the lining of the uterus. (pg 291)

I am absolutely convinced that the wording ‘the tiny baby will die’ won’t evoke any emotional response.  Nope   In no way would it make a young woman feel guilty about considering taking the morning after pill.  It definitely isn’t intended as guilt trip!

As with all books about sex, unplanned pregnancy comes up, and the options are listed in order of preference; (1) adoption, (2) keeping the baby as a single parent, (3) marrying the father of your baby, and finally, the last option – abortion.  Naturally abortion is also dealt with from a very neutral position:

… life begins when the sperm from a male fertilises the egg of a female.  The new life has inherited 23 chromosomes from each parent, 46 in all.  This one cell contains the complex genetic blueprint for every detail of human development – the child’s sex, hair and eye colour, athletic ability, musical ability, and personality.  Then only food and oxygen are needed for the baby to grow from one cell to a seven pound baby nine months later.  The baby’s heart begins to beat on day 21.  By day 22 the foundation for every organ system is established and developing.  At nine weeks, the baby is unmistakably recognised as a human being… While pregnancy can be terminated by an abortion, the memory of the pregnancy will last a lifetime… Abortion isn’t without risks, and complications can and do occur.  Some women are never able to get pregnant in the future, and then you must live with the fact that you ended your one and only pregnancy. (pg 215)

Considering I have had an abortion, this last part really got my hackles up.  It’s enough to get your head around without essentially being told ‘you’ll be murdering a baby, you know that, right?’.  I am pretty sure that each and every woman will understand that by having an abortion she is ending a pregnancy, therefore ending a life – or potential life – depending on the individual woman’s views.  Who cares if you are poor?  Who cares if you are in an abusive relationship?  Who cares if you’re 14?  Who cares if you have dreams?  Who cares if you want to provide a better life for your child than you could even come close to at that point in time?  Who cares about what that child’s life might be like after their 9 months inside?

I think now is a good time to finish this post, because quite frankly, looking at this book is making me feel sick… and it is making me want to throw it at the wall, to burn it; to douse it in petrol, strike a match, toss it on and watch it – and its shitty advice – go up in flames.

After reading it I understand why so many  people have issues with everything related to sex and sexuality.  If this is the type of bullshit fed to kids from an early age (I kid you not, there are techniques for dealing with sex-related issues with INFANTS in this book), no wonder they grow into children, teenagers, young adults and adults with screwed-up ideas about sex and sexuality.  No wonder there are adults who are ashamed of masturbation, no wonder there are couples who argue endlessly about pornography, no wonder there are adults who are ashamed of their bodies, no wonder… ugh, you know what I am getting at.

I am sure there are people who found this book useful, some for whom it is a parenting handbook of sorts… and to be honest, it makes me scared for their children.  Yes, children, teens, young adults need to be educated about sex, they need to know the dangers and risks, they need to be given the tools to make healthy decisions, there NEEDS to be communication… but I don’t know that using scare tactics is the way to go.

Is it right to be telling children (of any age) that masturbation is unhealthy?  That pornography is evil?  That forms of sex are wrong?  That the way a child feels is wrong, or something to be ashamed of?  Quite simply, the answer is no.

It really does scare me that books such as this are in existence – and I guess more than the books – it scares me that these attitudes toward sex exist.  Parenting is by no means easy and I understand the need for this type of book, just not for THIS book in particular.  Luckily there are some really great books out there that are aimed at older children/teens which give a more positive outlook on sex and sexuality.  It is these books our children should be reading, it is the attitudes toward sex and sexuality in such books, that can only have a positive effect on those reading them; that goes for both parents and children.

Women shaming women

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This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a couple of weeks now, or at least the mostly blank page, bar a couple of little notes.  I resisted writing it because if I had done so when I first saved it, it would have been a huge, angry, one-sided rant, mostly fueled by my sensitive nature; I get so damn offended, so damn easily.  On top of that I have this huge problem with not feeling good enough, with feeling as though everyone judges me, with feeling as though I don’t fit in.

What was it that sent me into this whirl of anger and… well, pissed-off-ed-ness?  Fifty Shades of Grey.  That’s what.

When the movie was finally released and reviews began rolling in, I started to get defensive.  Everything I read (and I’m not exaggerating when I say everything) in that first 24 hours suggested that if a woman wanted to see the movie, there was something badly wrong with her.  Amongst the reviews were people suggesting anyone who saw the movie was insulting all the women who fought so hard for women’s rights,  that they were essentially saying it was acceptable for men to control women in all senses of the word

Before I turn this into the rant it would have been a couple of weeks ago, I’ll move on…

What I realised, after a long talk with my wife, is that women are far too good at shaming other women.  No, not all women do this, but it seems women are judged for almost everything they do, that if they don’t do things a particular way, if they don’t feel a particular way about something, then they are scum.  Or this is how it seems to me anyway.

I always knew women could be bitchy, but it wasn’t until I became a parent that I realised just how nasty women can be to one another.  To start with, I was a single parent… there was a look I used to get, always from other women, the type of look that said ‘something is obviously wrong with her if she can’t hold down a man‘, then there is the ‘I bet she got pregnant after a one-night-stand and didn’t even know the guy’s name‘.  Not only was I a single parent, I was a single parent who gave birth via cesarean section – twice – and formula fed both babies.

To a lot of women, cesarean section seems to equal taking unwarranted risks, and endangering the life of mother and baby; similarly when it comes to formula feeding, it seems to equal not caring about what is best for your own child, being completely ignorant, and putting your own needs ahead of your child.  What BOTH of these scenarios in particular have in common, is that all the judgement thrown around makes those who didn’t have a natural birth and/or  didn’t breastfeed feel as if there is something wrong with them as a woman.

I remember being told by more than one person “Women’s bodies are created to give birth naturally” – and I knew this actually meant “you’re not a real woman because you opted to have your baby arrive via a surgical procedure” or “I went through 20 hours of labour, I deserve to be proud… you had a 45-minute-long surgery and didn’t do any hard work, pfffft, and you call yourself a woman?!”  My first cesarean was an emergency delivery, my second was because my anxiety disorder meant I was terrified of the process of giving birth, terrified of being the one responsible for bringing a baby into the world, being responsible for making sure she entered the outside world without dying.  To say I was terrified is an understatement.  Do I wish I could have delivered naturally?  Yes, I do.  I had dreams of a waterbirth with my first, and fantasised about a homebirth with my second.  I wasn’t strong enough to fight the anxiety-ridden part of my brain.

I lost count of the number of people who commented “Oh…. so you’re not breastfeeding?” when they realised I was feeding either of my babies with a bottle.  It was always said with shock, with disappointment, with disgust even.  I managed to give my eldest breastmilk until she was 14 days old and my second until she was four or five days old.  I TRIED MY HARDEST.  Those people who gave me the look had no idea of the hours I’d spent crying, upset because I couldn’t do what I should naturally be able to as a woman.  They had no idea how much I hated myself for not being able to perform this one task other women seemed to be able to do no-handed.  They had no idea how depressed it made me, how guilty I felt, how inferior, how useless, how worthless it made me feel.  I saw a lactation consultant in hospital with my youngest, but that was the one time she actually fed well.  She told me I would do fine.  I left the hospital and it was just me.  No nurses to help latch her on, to talk me through what I was doing.

One of my problems was my relatively flat nipples, the other was the fact my boobs are HUGE.  My babies DID get smothered by my boobs while they were feeding, the nurses at the hospital told me, the midwives told me, I could see it myself.  I tried all the positions I could to find the one that worked, but none of them did, not for me.  As I said, hours were spent crying about it.  Rather than enjoying breastfeeding for the bonding experience it should have been, I dreaded it…  I was told flat out by THREE people that big boobs isn’t an excuse not to breastfeed… but how would they know?  They had normal-sized boobs and more than that, they had the support at home, someone to sit and help them try to reposition the baby, to speak words of encouragement.

I already felt bad enough about not having the natural births I wanted, about not being able to breastfeed for 12+ months… but other women made me feel worse, a lot worse.

And this is how I am made to feel about wanting to see the Fifty Shades movie, and having read the books.  All three of them.

Do I think the story is an accurate depiction of a BDSM relationship, or the BDSM lifestyle?  No.
Do I think the relationship in the story is healthy?  Not particularly.
Do I think the story is well written?  No… I don’t.
Do I want to see the movie for any deep, philosophical reason?  No.  I want to go because… SEX!  Sex.  I love sex and seeing sex in movies.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, their own thoughts on the matter, their own reasons for liking or disliking something… but should that opinion entitle us to shame another woman for liking or disliking something?  For doing or not doing something?Hell.  No.All the articles and posts on social media that pissed me off, I could have responded to negatively, starting an argument; but I didn’t because I know every single person who states an opinion on a matter does so for their own reasons!  It’s not the opinions that get to me, it is the attitude of ‘I believe ____________, so if you don’t believe __________ as well, there is something wrong with you’.  It’s the ‘I’m looking down on you for wanting to _____________’ / ‘I’m looking down on you because you did/didn’t _____________’ attitude.  It’s the seeming desire to make other people feel inferior for living their life in a different way; for choosing a particular parenting method, for formula-feeding rather than breastfeeding, for liking a certain band, for liking a certain author, for liking a certain genre of movie, for being in any relationship other than a heterosexual monogamous one, for having a particular kink, for having a particular job, for liking sex, for not liking sex, for their weight, for their fashion sense, for wanting children, for not wanting children.As you can tell, this is something that has really been eating away at me!!!  If you are still following, I applaud you.I just wish people would focus on the positive things to have come out of the ‘whole Fifty Shades thing’.Alternative relationships are being spoken about!  Never has BDSM been spoken about so much in the mainstream, and I think it’s great.  It’s not something that should be hidden, it is something that should be spoken about, that people should be informed about, that people shouldn’t feel ashamed for feeling curious about!What constitutes abuse in a relationship is something else being spoken about.  The relationship between Ana and Christian has made people consider what abuse looks like in a relationship, that it’s not always as obvious as a black eye or a fat lip.  People are discussing what is healthy and what isn’t healthy in a relationship, about control and manipulation, about sexual abuse, about the importance of consent, the need for communication.SEX is finally being spoken about in a wider context, and I think it’s brilliant. … I would love to know how many people, after reading the books or seeing the movie, have decided to explore their own little kinks?Imagine a world where spanking was something openly spoken about in the break room at work.  When you could tell tales about that time you tried out those really intense nipple clamps.  Or maybe about that time you tied him up and flogged him.Okay, I doubt the above would ever happen, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that the world would be a better place if we could be more open about sex… and perhaps Fifty Shades is going to play a tiny little part in helping us evolve toward that point.

Rock and a hard place: The problem with adding to our family

About three times a year I get myself into a right state over one particular thing.  Sometimes there is a trigger, sometimes there isn’t; this time there was.

My wife and I started dating when my youngest was around 18 months old, meaning my eldest had just turned five, her kiddos were four and eight.  From the moment I met her I knew we were soulmates, that she would be my forever and we would grow old and senile together.  I believe it more than ever and there is nothing I would change about our life together.

Well.  Maybe one thing.

A baby of our own.  I would give anything to have that little dream come true, but it isn’t going to happen, for various reasons.

And it is so damn hard sometimes.  I feel as if I missed out on experiencing something amazing with her, because we met when we were both done having babies.  For us it isn’t as simple as forgoing contraception and having sex at the right time of the months – we have no sperm – and that is quite the issue when it comes to the conception of a baby!

We aren’t rich – we make ends meet – but we are by no means well-off, which means opting for a sperm donation and IVF are out of the picture.  Private sperm donation would realistically be our only option, but for us it isn’t an option.  Well, not for me.

I have an anxiety disorder.  My wifey being pregnant would cause me enormous amounts of anxiety; everyday I would be waiting for something to go wrong, for a miscarriage, for a stillbirth, for my wife to die for some pregnancy related reason.  Yup, being pregnant was fun for me!  Having gone through the anxiety mentioned above for two of my own pregnancies, I vowed to myself I would never go through that again, hence why I had my tubes tied when I gave birth to my youngest.  It would be bad enough to go through it myself (and the miscarriage part I did, twice), but I don’t think I could handle that happening to my wife, to our family.

Pregnancy isn’t even the worst part for me – the first 12 months are a special type of hell.  You see, my nephew died of SIDS when he was four months old… every single morning of those first 12 months I would race to my children in the morning, to make sure they were still alive.  I had an Angelcare sound and movement monitor and while this provided me a lot of reassurance, it didn’t stop the anxiety.

Going back to why private sperm donation wouldn’t be an option for me. Because I have had my tubes tied and IVF isn’t a possibility, that would mean my wife would be the one getting pregnant.  I would love to see her pregnant – I love the photos I have seen of her pregnant with her kids – she looked damn sexy in fact… but to me, her being pregnant would mean she was pregnant with her baby.  Not ours.

I know it’s a selfish way of thinking, but it’s what my slightly messed-up brain does.  I know technically it would be our baby, because we would be raising it together, we would be the parents…. but when it came down to it, I wouldn’t be able to ignore that the child wasn’t genetically mine.

Damn genetics.

If there was a way for us to have a baby that was genetically mine and hers, I would be more than happy to jump on board.  Actually, if that was a possibility, we would probably have a baby already and maybe have another on the way.

I don’t know if I will ever be able to completely move on from this.  Maybe 99%, but never completely.  It’s so damn tough.  I always wanted to get married and have kids with the love of my life, instead I had children with two men that weren’t it for me, effectively ending that dream of mine.

There is absolutely no way I regret that though.  I cannot (and will not) imagine my life without my precious kiddos, they are the little loves of my life and I know it sound cliché, but along with my wife, they make life worth living.  Besdies, if I didn’t have my babies, I wouldn’t have met my wife, it’s as simple as that.

Sometimes being an adult is so bloody hard, especially when there is no easy answer to a problem!

I feel guilty for even viewing this as a problem – that I would love a baby to grow our family, to add to our four kids we have between us – when a lot of our friends are having trouble conceiving their first.  I feel as if I have no right to complain, no right to feel sad that we won’t have a fifth child, that we won’t be a ‘yours, mine & ours’ type of household.  We are so blessed to have four wonderful, healthy children, that we are both called mum hundreds of times a day.

I’m going to try and find a way to move on from this, to actually appreciate just how lucky we are.  I know it’ll be hard, it will mean rewiring my brain to a certain extant… but I have to get there one day, right?

(and this, dear chums, is why so many of my stories feature pregnant women; I can’t experience it myself so I live vicariously through my characters)

 

Why women should masturbate – and be proud of it

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I remember the very first time I had an orgasm.  It was Boxing Day, I was in my bedroom reading the book ‘Spring Collection’ by Judith Krantz.  I came across a sex scene and the next thing I knew I was touching myself in a way that felt wrong, but ohhhhh so good.  I must have been 13 and felt very conflicted about what I had done.

I had heard about masturbation before, well mostly about guys ‘wanking off’, a term that would make me giggle and screw my face up… it was yet another gross thing boys did.  From memory I told myself it was a one-off, that I wouldn’t do it again.  A few nights later I was nearing the end of the book and remembered that scene and what it had made me feel, what it had made me do to myself.  I told myself not to flick back – but I did – and as I had done on Boxing Day, touched myself until I had what I was pretty certain was an orgasm.  I felt ashamed but at the same time… relieved… and so relaxed that I quickly fell asleep.

Over the next few years I masturbated with more frequency but still mentally battled with myself over it.  If it was so wrong, why the hell did it feel so good?  If it was so bad for me, surely I would get sick or something?  My fingers would fall off?  My vagina would put up some form of protest?

I knew boys and men masturbated but was truly convinced I was the only person with a vagina who had ever masturbated.  OH MY GOD, there was something wrong with me!  Lock me up and throw away the key.

Eventually I accepted that I was a masturbator, that for whatever reason my brain wasn’t wired properly and maybe I had a ‘guy brain’.  None of my female friends ever spoke about masturbation, the closest they came was using the word ‘wanker’ as a derogatory way to refer to a male (of course I did this… hello, they CAN be a bit wanky at times!).

My male friends though?  Masturbation this, masturbation that, masturbation here, masturbation there, porn this, porn that, hard on, stiffy, boner, steel rod, pole, rockhard-cockhard… they spoke about it a lot and they spoke about it openly.  I remember feeling envious of them.  Sure, I didn’t need to know that ______ had masturbated in his car on his lunch break, or that ______ had masturbated five times over the weekend… but I envied that they could openly discuss it.  It was almost as if masturbating made them more macho in the eyes of the world, whereas if I had admitted to enjoying fingering myself, I would probably get a look of disgust and a few knives in my back.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yes, that delightful male/female double-standard thing stikes again.

Fast forward to 2015.  I am a proud masturbator.  I don’t exactly walk around town holding a placard proclaiming how awesome masturbation is and that everyone should do it, but I don’t shy away from the topic when it comes up. (okay the immature 12yo in me is giggling about the whole ‘comes up’ thing)

Being a little older (okay a lot) and a little wiser (sadly ‘little’ is the accurate word) I now know that  I am not the only woman in the world who masturbates, and I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbating!  Not only is there nothing wrong with it, it is healthy and normal.

From a young age a huge emphasis is placed on us to know who we are, to know what makes us tick, to know what we want out of life, to know what it is that makes us stand out, that makes us unique.  We are meant to dedicate enormous amounts of time to finding ourselves so we can live to the fullest and reach our potential.

Should that not include knowing our own body?  If it is important to know what works for us on a mental and emotional level, shouldn’t it be just as important to know what physically works for us?

Face it.  For most people their adult lives are consumed by sex in some way (obviously to varying degrees).  We are expected to be in the right career, to be on the path that means we can be 100% happy within ourselves… why shouldn’t we know who we are as a sexual being?  If the fate of the human race rests on our shoulders – if babies need to be made, if we are meant to pair off and find ‘the one’ – then shouldn’t we know ourselves sexually?

How do we learn about ANY aspect of ourselves?  Exploring.

How can we learn about what works for us on a sexual level?  Exploring.  Yeap.  Masturbating.

They say you need to know yourself before you can really let someone else into your life/heart/soul/whatever, so doesn’t it make sense that you shoud know your own vagina before you can really enjoy letting someone else into that as well?

Masturbation is great for relationships!  There is nothing better than having a spectacularly mindblowing, coma-inducing, legs-don’t-work, brain-no-worky romp with the one that you love (or that special friend with special benefits) and being able to guide ymasturbation-4574-2121our partner just adds to it.  Humans aren’t mind-readers.  We don’t (always) instinctively know what someone is going to like sexually, and let’s face it, it can be damn frustrating when you just aren’t feeling it because you aren’t getting the right pressure in the right place, you’re not getting it deep enough, you’re getting it too deep, too hard, too fast, too slow.  If no one speaks up it can lead to confidence plumetting.

“Oh my god, I didn’t get him/her off, I am so useless at sex!” <— that type of internal dialogue ensues.

If a woman knows her body well enough – through masturbation – she can guide the man/woman in question… rub my clit in a circular motion, rub my clit softly, rub my clit faster/slower, penetrate me slowly, penetrate me fast, move all the way out and slam back in, don’t move out at all, just grind your hips into mine.

Sexual responses are just as unique as the 6.something billion humanoids on earth.  I don’t respond the same way my wife does, Jane down the road doesn’t respond the same way as her cousin Lucy, Anna loves deep penetration, Margaret loves shallow penetration, June is all about the clitoral stimulation, April can’t handle too much clit stimulation.  Just reading that makes me feel flustered.

Moral of this little (okay, long, almost preachy) story?  MASTURBATE!  Do it!  Tonight!  Give your most intimate self a pamper session – go on, you deserve it!

Spend time focusing on your erogenous zones… the aim isn’t necessarily to orgasm (hey, that’s always nice but it isn’t everything), you want it to be a relaxing, enjoyable, peaceful (??? if your circumstances allow!), you want to come away from it smiling, knowing yourself that little bit better.
Play with your nipples – do you like them to be lightly grazed or tugged on?  slow rubbing or fast rubbing?  squeezing?  twisting? squeezing and twisting? tugging?  tugging and squeezing?  tugging, squeezing AND pulling? touching your bare nipples?  touching your nipples with a sheet/towel/top/bra/etc covering them? no touching whatsoever?
Stroking yourself – do you like to stroke your hips? your neck? your chest? your belly? your ass? inner thighs? with your hand? with something like a feather? a silk scarf perhaps?
Pay lots of attention to your clit – do you like your clit being rubbed in circular motions? side to side? up and down? pressing firmly? feather light touches? what about gently squeezing it between your fingertips?  firmly squeezing? tapping it quickly?
What about your labia – running your finger up and down between your labia? pressure in a particular place? fast? slow?
Internal stimulation – fingertip just inside? fingertips just inside? a finger deep inside?  fingers deep inside? fast? slow? what angle? soft impact? rough impact? gentle? so hard it almost hurts? no internal stimulation? only internal stimulation?

masturbation_Oo_by_Photomaniac_ZIThere is no one way to masturbate and there is no one position to masturbate in… on your back? on your left side? on your right side? sitting up? reclining? standing up? head hanging over the edge of the bed? on your back with your ass against the wall and your legs vertical? on your belly? a variety of positions throughout?  It’s the same for the location (obviously privacy and appropriateness are key here!)… in the bed? on the bed? on the floor? in the bath? in the shower? on the couch?  on the recliner? at your computer? at your desk? on the toilet? in the laundry room? in the garden? in your car while driving through a really busy roundabout after you have been rubbing against your poor drink bottle for the past 15 minutes and it just feels too good to stop (uh… yeah, not a true story… *coughs* really…).

Do it with your fingers, do it with a dildo, do it with a vibrator, do it with a cucumber, do it with the handle of a hairbrush, do it with the fish-shaped baby bath thermometer, rub against something… just do it.  Learn what you love, learn what gets you off, learn the fastest way to make yourself orgasm, learn the most teasing drawn-out way to make yourself orgasm.

Hell!  If you ask me, masturbation is a bloody life skill life-saver.  I was about 10 weeks pregnant with my youngest when I became single… it just so happened my libido went through the damn roof around the same time.  Had I not been able to masturbate chances are I would have internally combusted by the time I reached the 20-week mark!  As someone who was single for very long periods of time between 18-27, I can tell you that being able to masturbate probably saved me from going insane due to sexual frustration.  When I became un-single for the final time the sexual frustration didn’t go away – no – it was worse than ever.  I know, makes no sense – until I mention three little words – long distance relationship.

For 12 months we lived 650km apart and with kids and school, were only able to see each other in the school holidays and only for a week(ish).  We spent a LOT of time on the phone talking… and having sex.  Phone sex, it’s a funny old thing, you’re communicating with the person you love and if you close your eyes you can imagine they are right there beside you.  But they are not.  What you are essentially doing is talking to each other while masturbating.  I cannot tell you how many batteries I went through or just how many orgasms were had over the phone.

We would talk dirty to each other, make up little stories and scenarios to get each other closer to the edge.  It sucked not being able to physically have sex, but I have to say it was a lot of fun to listen to her getting more and more turned on, and then of course hearing her orgasm was especially enjoyable.  I guess you could say that in those 12 months of long distance we honed our masturbation skills into a pretty fine art.  It was a way to keep the spark alive while we were apart but it was also a good way to get to know each other on a physical level; well, as much as one can over the phone!

On a more serious note (because there has to be one, it’s like the law, or something), women shouldn’t be ashamed of masturbating or of the fact they are sexual beings.  Sex is something to be enjoyed.  Masturbation is something to be enjoyed.  Masturbation is healthy and normal – at any age.

As a parent I have strong thoughts about children being raised with a negative attitude toward masturbation and body image.  Children shouldn’t be taught that masturbating is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ or ‘dirty’, nor should they be brought up to believe sex is bad and something they shouldn’t like. I guess this is such a big issue for me because of our four children, three are girls.  Our eldest is nearly 11 and is going through puberty, while it is a scary time we are also really lucky because she is extremely open with us.

We have had numerous conversations about puberty, about the changes in her body, sharing our experiences as well, in an attempt to make it normal for her.  Puberty isn’t something we keep ‘hush-hush’ and I think she will be better for it (as will all our kids) in the long run.  I think we are doing a good job too because rather than being embarrassed or secretive about what she is going through she seems to be proud of the changes in her body… I love that she can talk to us and that she willingly comes to us.  A lot of our conversations are initiated by her and that is something that makes both of us happy; it’s nice to know we are doing something right as parents!

I just wish more parents were like this.  If we didn’t make children (particularly girls) feel ashamed of what is such a natural curiosty – and if there wasn’t such a stigma attached to the human body, from such a young age – perhaps there would be more more women in the world who were proud of themself, their body, and their sexuality.

End of the day:
Sexual curiosity = normal
Masturbation = normal 
… and anyone who tells you otherwise is an utter douchebag who could probably do with an orgasm or 50!

Klimt_Mulher_sentada

– by Gustav Klimt (1916)

 

Such faith in the next generation. Only not.

intolerant asshole

**** I apologise for the language used in this post.. but ‘nice’ language wasn’t going to suffice.

I rolled my eyes when I saw I had one message under the ‘other‘ category on my Facebook PMs.  Let me guess, some guy wanting to show me his dick, some fraudster with $1,000,000 that was left to me in the will of a long lost non-existant relative.  I clicked on the message and as I did, realised the name was that of the 16-year-old son of one of our friends.  We don’t see this friend a lot, mainly because we are busy and she is busy, but also because her husband is very controlling (putting it very politely) and extremely religious – as is our friend.

The family are very strict Catholics and something I’ve always appreciated about our friend is that she has always welcomed us into her home; she is of the belief that love is love and you can’t help who you love.  On the instances we were at her house she was very open with questions – I like that she was so curious – that she took the time to listen and try to understand us, when according to her religious belief system homosexuality is a sin.

Her husband on the other hand… men and women are put on the Earth to procreate, women’s purpose in life is to pop out babies and to serve the men in the family.  Not just her husband but also her sons.  The one time we were at her house when the husband arrived home unexpectedly he looked at like we had horns growing out of our heads, had long pointy tails, were bright red and had flames shooting up all around us.  His thoughts were very easy to read.  Sinners.  Get the fuck out of my fucking house. Now.

All because I love my wife and she loves me.  All because we treat each other as equals.  All because we each found our soulmate.  All because our marriage is a happy one.  All because we have a family together.

Who the fuck are we to… y’know, love each other, love our family and be happy?  Seriously?

Now that I have set the context I shall continue with my venty little post.

Facebook.  Message from this young man.
Ha gay‘.

WOW.

I know he didn’t mean ‘ha gay’ as in ‘I have to go to bed early’ ‘ha! gay!’.  He was saying ‘ha, you are gay and that is disgusting, burn in hell mother fucker’.

Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it?

5a54781a1da39c018d5618e78186cd0cI feel like a right twat.  Earlier this week I was thinking about the world our kids are growing up in and the fact there is a lot more tolerance/acceptance of the LGBTQI community.  There is more than when I was growing up, more than when my parents were growing up, more than when my grandparents were growing up; I know there is still a very long way to go, but I thought that perhaps we’re finally starting to get it right, that this younger generation are going to grow up even more tolerant/accepting than young people these days.  For a moment there I felt proud of living in a country where same sex marriage is legal, where two women can walk down the street holding hands and not fear for their lives, where most people don’t bat an eyelid when they see two men or two women who are obviously romantically involved.

When I told my (then) 5-year-old daughter that I was in love with and going to marry a woman all she was worried about was whether or not she would get to wear a princess dress.  I guess we got lured into a false sense of security because neither of us had any negative reactions when telling someone about our relationship and then about our impending marriage; quite the opposite, everyone has been so supportive of us, so accepting of our relationship.  We have been very lucky.

That message today… it shook me up.  It made me realise that not everyone in this world is as open-minded, supportive or accepting as those we are lucky enough to be surrounded by.   What unsettled me the most about it is that this 16 year-old has learnt this sort of intolerance and let’s face it – assholyness – from a parental figure.  As kids we think our parents are godlike, what they say is the absolute truth, we model ourselves on the way they act, what they say, what they do, what they think… it’s not intentional, it just happens.  I guess it is evolutionary and way-back-when probably helped the young develop the skills necessary to survive.

Whatever the reason, this kid has now been programmed to act, think and be a certain way.  He is going to carry on the nasty circle of hatred and intolerance toward the LGBTQI community.  Him and his little friends who have been brought up the same way.  Those little shitheads will go on to procreate – because it is after all, our reason for existence – and then teach their children to be prejudiced, judgemental, close-minded, intolerant.  Those children will grow up and have children, and unless the cycle is broken those children will be like the generations of men and women before them.

Please note:  I am by no means saying that all religious people are like the young man I am talking about.  As I said earlier, his own mother is the opposite of what he is and I know plenty of other religious people who are supporters of LGBTQI rights and of same-sex marriage; in the same way there are a lot of non-religious people in the world who are anti-LGBTQI rights and against same-sex marriage.  Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but everyone should be entitled to live their life the way they want, without fear of judgement or worse (and in some cases much worse).

I hope that something happens in this kids brain and he re-thinks the way he acts.  He can think homosexuality is a sin but he doesn’t have to act on those thoughts by saying or doing something to insult or hurt another person.

I hope so for his future wife.  I hope so for his future kids.  I hope so for his kids’ kids and their kids… and on and on.

Let’s face it though.  That probably won’t happen.  He will be like his father and not entirely to blame for the way he is… it is what he knows, after all.  It is his normal – it’s sad when you put it that way – sad and scary.

In the meantime I will enjoy being married to my soulmate, my equal, the woman who loves me for me, who lets me be who I am.

Oh – while I’m at it I will also take great pleasure (figuratively and very literally) out of the spectacular sex that is part and parcel of being in a loving marriage such as ours.  Sex that is 100% about pleasure – not procreation or duty.

In  perfect world this would be a no-brainer

In perfect world this would be a no-brainer

Low self esteem & bad sex decisions

I need to print this out and put it somewhere I will see it on a regular basis...

I need to print this out and put it somewhere I will see it on a regular basis…

I posted earlier in the year about the sexually abusive relationship I was in, you can read that post here.  I know that part of the reason I allowed myself to be in that relationship for as long as I did was because of my low self-esteem issues and being convinced he was the only man who would ever find me attractive and want me.

My low-self esteem got me into other bad situations sexually – the moment a man paid me attention I would do anything to keep him happy, whether that was having a threesome with him and his friend or going home with him when I knew I had no way to get home in the morning.  I had more one night stands than I care to remember, if I am brutally honest I can’t actually remember how many I did have.  My late teens-early twenties were a blur of alcohol and one nighters, meaningless sex that made me feel good until it was over and then I felt even more worthless than I already did.

It was a horrible circle.  Attention would generally lead to sex, which would then lead to feeling good for a few hours, which would then lead to feeling worse than usual… then the following week, month, etc a man would pay me attention and I’d end up having yet another one night stand.  I couldn’t stop and looking back, I don’t think I wanted to stop.  The attention was something I craved; I liked to feel pretty, I liked to feel sexy, I liked to feel like a woman, I liked – for one night anyway – feeling as if I mattered to a man.

Sex destroyed some of my closest friendships.  I was a shitty, horrible friend for a while then.  The whole ‘chicks before dicks’ saying didn’t really mean anything to me, I needed sex.  I needed that attention, that reassurance I was just as desirable as any other woman.  I am ashamed when I think back to what I did, about the friends I hurt.  One friend was amazing enough to forgive me after I did something truly heinous (and if you are reading this, you know who you are…)… I still struggle with what I did to risk that particular friendship and really don’t know how she had it in her to forgive me.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to.

I am a believer that sometimes our brains block out memories we don’t have the capacity to cope with.  Today I had what I like to call a mental unblockage.  Driving Miss 4 to preschool I suddenly remembered something that had happened when I was 24/25, I began shaking and found it hard to breathe, I needed to tell my wife about it before I had a complete breakdown.  Nope, I hadn’t even told my wife about the relationship in question – that tells you how bad it is – I share everything with my wifey.

As with my relationship I posted about earlier in the year, I chose to believe that this at-the-time boyfriend was just sexually adventurous, that what happened was all innocent fun.  With the benefit of hindsight I can see that he was actually grooming me for a pimp/prostitute type arrangement.  We decided one day it’d be fun to have a threesome, put an ad up on an online dating site and pretty soon after we had our third confirmed.  The night came and for whatever stupid reason I agreed it could be at my house.  Literally minutes before #3 was meant to arrive my boyfriend text to say ‘something had come up’ and he wouldn’t be able to make it, so how about I have sex with the guy then tell him allllllllll about it.  It would be kinky, he said

I had sex with the guy, I told my boyfriend all about it… we had pretty awesome sex afterward.

The following week he suggested I could do the same thing, that he would find me a guy to have sex with and then I could tell him about it afterward.  Deciding it would indeed be ‘kinky’ I agreed… I wanted to keep him happy after all.  If I wasn’t adventurous enough surely he would leave me?  I had sex with a stranger, again.  I told my boyfriend about it, again.  Before he even left to go home he suggested I do it again.  I didn’t really want to but knew I needed to be more open-minded so agreed.

Four or five times this happened.  A man would turn up on my doorstep.  We would have sex.  He would leave.

Each time I felt worse afterward.  I felt like a tramp.  I felt like a whore.

One day it occurred to me that that was essentially what I was to him.  I was his whore, he was my pimp, only there was no money exchanging hands.

That I knew of.

I broke up with him soon after my little epiphany and swore that that would be it, no more relationships that involved me doing things I was doing just to keep the man happy.  No more one nights stands, no more strangers, no more risky sex, no more risky situations.  What type of example would I be for my daughter/s in the future if I continued down that path?

Again with the benefit of hindsight, looking back I am pretty sure those little sex ‘arrangements’ weren’t as innocent as my ex made out.  In fact, I would be willing to bet he was actually making money out of it.

That end of that relationship brought with it a huge reality check.  For the first time since I had become sexually active I thought seriously about what it was that motivated me to seek out sex and to crave male attention so badly.  That period of time was full of self-reflection for me – and admittedly a lot of self-loathing – but I eventually came out the other side with a little more respect for myself and with a newfound understanding of the importance of being in control of my own self.  My dreams, my desires, my needs.

As the mother of three young girls I am going to do everything I can to make sure their self-esteem is high, that they have self-worth and know they are special, that they are important,  that they deserve only good things.  I want our daughters to grow up confident and to have  the mindset that they don’t need a man to be happy.  It might sound cliché, but I want them to love themselves.  I have never loved myself and I wish I had because I know certain choices wouldn’t have been made if I did.