Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Personal (Page 1 of 5)

ILB’s personal posts

TMI Tuesday: Lord knows, it’d be the first time

Swirly colours with text "First Time for Everything" superimposed
*Doctor Who Theme*

It’s the second week of 2022 (possibly – time has very little meaning any more) and the first time I’m doing this meme. Hmmm, that isn’t as snappy a sentence as I thought at… wait for it…

…at first.

When you’ve finished rolling in the aisles and being carried out helpless with mirth, would you mind reading the rest of this post? Cheers.

1. First app you check in the morning?

This is Twitter. I don’t have any other apps on my phone – I use Facebook, but rarely, and primarily on my computer, and I don’t have any other accounts – ie. I don’t use Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok et al. (edit the preceding sentence according to the year). I routinely check Twitter, since it genuinely is my only link to the outside world.

I’ve got WhatsApp too, which I guess is an app of a sort, but I’ll check Twitter first.

2. First kiss location?

In her bedroom, on her bed, just after asking her to be my girlfriend. I’d never been kissed before, and I had no idea how to do it. It was messy, deep and surprising – I didn’t even imagine that there would be so much tongue – but so, so good.

She kissed me again afterwards, which was also a surprise!

3. First major purchase over £1,000?

I don’t think I’ve ever bought something that cost over £1,000 (not even rent – the rent here is £950 per month and the deposit was paid by my grandparents)… and, even if I wanted to, I would never be able to afford that!

My biggest purchases have been video game consoles. My Switch set me back a couple of hundred.

4. First song choice in a karaoke song book?

For someone who can’t shut up once he’s started singing, I’ve got very little experience with karaoke. I know all the lyrics to the greatest hits of James, so I’d go for those (as long as it isn’t Sit Down), and I’d sing anything by Smash Mouth by virtue of them being my second-favourite band. But, generally, I’d sing anything.

The first and only time I’ve ever tried karaoke, I sang Gangnam Style. No, I can’t read Korean, but I knew the words phonetically… to a point, at least.

5. First internet screen name?

Benvolio. We were studying Romeo & Juliet (and I was reading Doctor Faustus, in which he also appears), and it seemed an appropriate enough sobriquet.

6. First break-up reason?

Oh, well done on opening up that wound.

This is still unresolved, and won’t ever be. I think the most simple reason is “dumped me for someone else”, but I’m fairly certain there were multiple other reasons for what happened. She was reading The Ethical Slut before breaking up with me, and I’m pretty sure that was a contributing factor.

The fact remains that I was being cheated on (and I knew it was happening and didn’t say anything on the assumption that it would end soon), and as a result, I find it incredibly difficult to trust my partners, especially if they have a celebrity crush.

It’s a silly thought, but it stems from how my first relationship ended. One word from anyone else and they’d be out the door.

7. First concert and how old were you?

Green Day 2002. I was 17.

I’ve been to a lot of concerts (I almost saw Staind before Green Day, but Music Man also promised the ticket to his then-girlfriend), and prior to this I saw a lot of classical music at the Barbican. I am assuming that you mean rock concerts, though, and therefore The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at the age of 12 probably doesn’t count.

It took me long enough to get to a concert. I had tickets for blink-182 the previous year, but then 9/11 happened and all the flights got cancelled. Then Tom broke his back. I eventually saw blink-182 in 2004… I was going to go with my girlfriend, but – well, see above…

8. First crush?

My first crush was a very quiet girl who sat in the most inaccessible corner or every classroom. I had a crush on her for a very long time, actually, and until the end of school, I still sneaked a few looks at her. We eventually became friends.

At the time, I gave all my crushes code names. Hers was The Zebra Project.

Bonus: What was the title of your very first blog post?

It was “I really don’t understand some people.” The first sentence was:

It’s so unfair, sometimes. I try my damn hardest not to get so upset about everything and yet some things just whistle by. 

2001 ilb

Most of my earliest blog posts were angsty teen rants from a boy who desperately wanted a girlfriend – more intimate and love-fuelled posts than I had in my paper diaries, but still on a public space and intended to be read. My early blog posts weren’t good reads, but looking back on them, they do provide something of an insight into the teenage male mind, and maybe that proved useful…

…to a point?

#FiveThings: Journal

First post of 2022 and it’s a meme. ILB, you predictable bastard.

In any case, this is my attempt at taking part in the new Five Things meme, with thanks to Julie from MPB for coming up with the concept. The prompt is “journals, diaries and planners.” I can do that, I’m sure.

When I was in my teens, before I stated blogging, I kept a journal. I wrote it, diligently – almost religiously – every single day. Occasionally my entry would be a couple of sentences (on two occasions I wrote “too tired to write”, read: “too lazy to write”), but more often than not, I managed to fill the whole page. So here ae five things about my handwritten journaling days.

1) My journal was written purely to entertain.

From the instant I started writing, I knew that the intent was for my journal to be read. Once it got out that I had a journal, I knew people would want to read it, and I knew that I liked to write. My aim wasn’t to keep secrets, nor was it to mention anything too explicit. I wanted my writing to be read and I kept that in mind.

2) Once it was read, it became wildly popular.

Maybe “wildly popular” is a little hyperbolic, but for a while, it was one of the few things any of us brought to read on residential trips, holidays, etc. – and I certainly took a few of them. Since I didn’t mind my journal being read (and it was written for that purpose), I was quite pleased to let it be passed around the group and let everyone read my words. (This may come as a shock to you, but some writers are self-obsessed, wanting people to actually read their content. I know: amazing, isn’t it?)

3) Other journallers were confused by my attitude.

Our year 9 History teacher once asked if any of us wrote a journal; three hands went up. His question was about reading – did any of us let anyone else read their diary? Both girls who had also raised their hands confessed to letting each other read (they were best friends who, at this point, lived together), but that it was private. I said, truthfully, that my journal was an open book (quite literally, heh…) and that I would willingly read bits out if people wanted me to. Neither girl understood this, but they both ended up reading it.

4) I wrote my journal with an incredibly specific style and structure.

This is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else ever do. Every journal entry had to have:

(i) A title – usually a pun, or a sentence, or a couple of key words… like a blog post does. This would range from “Xmas Day” (my very first entry) to things like “Venture On In!” (a Venturer day out) or “Droit du seigneur” (when we’d first done sex ed in school and I was amused by it). I did this accidentally at the beginning and liked it so much I carried on doing it for all three journals I managed to fill.

(ii) A quote of the day. This was something funny, clever or memorable that somebody had said throughout the day. My favourite was “I shall never make soap”, but that takes a bit of explanation to justify.

(iii) In later years, I’d add a statistic or fact (one that I knew; I was too lazy to look anything up) relevant to the day’s events. This went after the quote and was rarely a replacement for it…

(iv) …and/or a “moral learnt”, which was later still and only really appeared in “Journal III”, the final one. This was intended to provide a bit of humour – everything I write is meant to be humorous, really – but throughout the year it became more and more bitter and self-deprecating.

(v) Cross-posting appeal. My first diary was a little longer than my second, so I would write each entry twice: once in my first journal, and then again – word for word – in my second. Towards the end of my third, I started a LiveJournal, and when I didn’t have anything new to add for a journal entry, I would print out that day’s LJ entry and stick it on the page.

5) It wasn’t just a journal.

Because I’m… well… me, although my main intent was to write an entertaining, humorous, self-deprecating account of my life, my journal was used for more. Every now and again, snippets of fiction that I was working on, bits of a playscript (I finished the play, eventually, after photocopying journal pages), song lyrics I’d written, schematics for a droid I wanted, or emotional short-form poetry.

I started my journal when I was 14. At 16, I genuinely wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to be… but I was pretty certain that I could write anything I wanted. About anything. In any form.

So I did.

And I still do.

Five Things

2021 #orgasmcount (aka: “Zounds, More Of This Shit?”)

After a difficult, depressing 2020, 2021 was certainly different: a rough-and-tumble, tumultuous assemblage of a year, starting with sea shanty TikTok and ending with an absent Prime Minister. I, personally, have been through several highs and lows throughout the year and, now that it’s over, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about that.

The Year

I had quite a good Spring. After being jettisoned from my beloved job at the end of 2019, I had struggled to find anything else for a while, until just before my birthday, when I was given a lifeline until the Summer. I was very sad to have to leave that job, although the last few weeks of June were slightly tempered by the fact that I’d spent a week in hospital and been diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy (which was both a surprise and a relief).

Summer was a confusing mess, overshadowed largely by the fact that Willow died at the beginning (but I did enjoy a free August). I didn’t enjoy Autumn much – as the result of working at a new job where it was made clear that I didn’t fit in – but I had an okay Winter… at least until a couple of weeks before Christmas, where I had to battle off COVID-19 for two weeks, only for my nan to die a few days later. Christmas was a sad one, although it did go well enough, considering the circumstances (and I got everything I wanted – thanks, Jesus!)

I’ve spent the last few days trying to be calm. I’m not good at being calm, but I’ve been trying. For the past couple, I’ve been achieving it. This morning I even managed to get up early and make myself a hot chocolate – how’s that for progress?

The Orgasms

Right, back to what I was originally intending to post about. In 2020 I had 113 orgasms; this was down from 2019’s 134 (but 2019 was a better year!). This year I had long periods of not being able to touch myself – being in hospital and sick with COVID, plus some relatively severe periods of depression at points – so I wasn’t sure how many I would have had by now.

Fortunately, I kept a record….

131– the number of orgasms I’ve had this year (as denoted by a ★ in my WHSmith mid-year diary)

That’s markedly more than last year. I am genuinely surprised by this; I thought it’d be less.

35.89% – the number of orgasms in a year, compared to the number of days in a year, expressed as a percentage

More than a third. That’s an awful lot of time with my dick in my hand.

24/11 to 09/12 – a period of time in which I didn’t have any orgasms at all

This was the week (and surrounding days) when I had COVID. I was pretty much knocked out by COVID and, although I had feverish sex dreams during, I barely had the energy to move, never mind wank. I also didn’t do so when I was in hospital, but I’ll talk about that later…

28/06 and 05/11 – dates on which I had notably powerful, effective or satisfying orgasms (as denoted by !!! in my diary)

The first of these being the day after I got out of hospital. It was also, in fact, the first orgasm in my parents’ house (where I was staying) for years. Bonus fact for you there.

27/01, 03/03, 07/04, 01/06, 03/08, 13/12 and 16/12 – the one date on which I had more than one orgasm (as denoted by “x2”) in my diary

I’ve been a busy little bee this year. Buzz, buzz, buzz.

03/04 – a day where I wrote the single word “jump!” after the ★. I remember this one: I was angled in such a way that my jizz did a Dick Fosbury move in the air before coming down to land. Holy jumping semen, Batman!

The Audacity

This marks post number 65 in 2021, compared to 79 in 2020, so I certainly didn’t manage to make 2020 Escape Velocity this year. Maybe next year… we’ll see. As long as I don’t get laid up with a mysterious illness at any point, I’m sure I’ll be okay.

I have an interesting year planned for 2022 – although with caution, as I’m pretty sure nobody knows how ’22 is going to go. Nevertheless, I can pretty much guarantee it will be interesting. Let’s hope it’s actually interesting in a more entertaining way than the last two years have been.

Join ILB in 2022 for more sex, porn and wanking chat. See you there.

Feliz Navidead


My aim to write more posts in December didn’t happen, did it? I’ve been fairly active on Twitter, but (on account of the fact that I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks now) I was fully aware of the fact that I was in possession of the precious time I need to write blog posts, and wasn’t using it to do so.

So why not?

On Monday the 20th, one day before her eighty-ninth birthday, my Nanna died, suddenly and unexpectedly. CPR administered by my grandfather, mother, uncle and auntie – followed by a team of paramedics who arrived 50 minutes later – managed to recover a faint heartbeat, but she had stopped breathing. A few moments later, quietly, she died.

Grief is an odd thing, and it’s become apparent to me quite quickly that I don’t know how to do it. When I turned up at Nanna’s house that morning, I was the only one of my generation who wasn’t crying. Given the fact that I cry at the drop of a hat, and howled like a banshee when Willow died earlier this year, I spent the day abundantly aware of the fact that I wasn’t doing so. As the one religious person left in the family, I said prayers for her, and that was the closest I got.

I feel sad, and I feel the loss, but I don’t feel inconsolable, like my mother is, and for that reason, I also feel a little guilty – like I’m not sad enough. I don’t know how that works.

Additionally, as a result, I’ve been spending a lot more time with my family. This isn’t a new thing, as my family are all incredibly close. We make very little distinction between siblings and cousins, our houses are within the same mile or each other (and we have keys to all of them) and we spend every single milestone together – however minimal. Birthdays and Christmas, sure, but also anniversaries, graduations, Rogation Sunday, to celebrate my grandfather having his foreskin removed… really, any excuse.

But my generation, in particular, have been leaning heavily on each other this week. We’ve barely spent any time apart, and although it seems awful to say this, I’m enjoying myself. Our priority at the moment appears to be supporting my one remaining grandparent (he met Nanna when they were 15, bunking into a cinema – stay classy, South London – and hasn’t really been apart from her since), who now has to spend the rest of his life in the cavernous semi-detached house full of her stuff… alone. We are trying (and, for the most part, managing) to keep him busy over Christmas.

January will be spent organising a funeral. Amongst other things. I’m meant to be planning a wedding, and I don’t even have the emotional energy to do that.

I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been busy, sure, but also because I have very little to say. I wasn’t even sure if I should mention Nanna’s death on here, but then factored in the fact that I should, because it’s an important event in my life and the public needs to know.

I don’t know what the next step is, and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it, and how I’m going to display the grief (or even if it will feel like I’m doing so enough), but at this moment I’m just going to let it happen.

Because I really can’t do anything else.


For the past couple of weeks, and (more specifically) when I’m taking quiet moments to try to fight off the remnants of COVID-19 by virtue of such remedies as “sleep”, I’ve had one specific sex scene in my head.

Ondrea reclines on a table while having sex with Alvin.
Genuinely didn’t take me long to find this.

It’s one of my favourites, for sure, although for some reason I’ve never really mentioned it on my blog… I probably will at some point. It’s hot, anyway, it’s quick to start, it’s quite long, and it’s got Amber Newman in it. But this post isn’t about that. Unless you want to wank, in which case I would recommend. I mean, I had my first wank in weeks to this scene and I came so hard that I managed to hit my shoulder.

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Well, I’ve talked before about how my daytime dreams tend to be more sexual than my night-time ones, for sure, but I’m not sure what I was doing during COVID-19 recovery could really be counted as “dreaming”. Most of the time, I wasn’t even asleep. Just… lying there. In all the pain and the discomfort and with the hideous scent I still have somewhere in my nose. COVID is boring, and at the end of the day, all I was doing was staying still, thinking about how I had COVID.

If I did fall asleep, it would be a fitful slumber. More than likely, I’d cough myself awake at some point, or suddenly need to vomit or drink or something, and I wouldn’t get the rest I needed…

…but just once…

I was surrounded by darkness. To say that I was in a dark room or a dark hallway wouldn’t be an accurate description of where I was – nor was I floating somewhere in the dark. I just had no other surroundings. There was one focal point of my dream and everything else did not exist. I could only see one thing, and that was my point.

Dreamy ILB was staring – not looking, staring – at a screen which was (somehow, I’m not sure how) in front of him. On the screen was a video (maybe a stream?) of another screen, close enough to the camera to see that this was, in turn, showing a third screen… and on this screen, clear as day, was a high-resolution, DVD-quality capture of that one very scene, both Amber Newman and Brian Heidik doing their thing. It’s all that I remember – the music, the disrobing, the sex.

Dreamy ILB got that swoopy feeling in his stomach that Normal ILB gets when he’s about to watch something that’ll make him come. Normal ILB, at that point, of course woke up – tearing him away from the scene he loves, throwing him back into his dark, empty bedroom and underneath the tangle of sheets he’d been using as a duvet replacement.

I lay there panting for a few moments. Time check – four in the afternoon. Okay, sure. Body check – still full of COVID. Do I need a drink? No. Toilet? No. Food? No – I keep bringing up whatever I eat. So why do I feel different?

And then I realise that I’m hard. Wait, no, not just hard – very hard. In fact, I think I’m more aroused than I’ve been all year. I’ve managed to turn myself on by having a dream about a stereoscopic view of a scene I’ve been watching regularly since the age of 18.

So what do I do now? I certainly can’t pleasure myself. I barely have the energy to breathe. Moving my hand would be completely beyond my capabilities.

With a Herculean effort, I roll over onto my side…

…I throw my stronger hand over my chest and drag it, finger, by finger, down my stomach…

…and I wrap my fingers around my shaft, feeling how hard it is, feeling it pulse and throb…

…and I go back to sleep.


We’ve heard a lot about COVID-19. Even if you have spent the last two years living in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears, you almost definitely have been bombarded with news about it. There’s a lot of panic and misinformation around it, but if you can filter out all the waffle, there are some very important messages hidden there.

What nobody tells you is how boring COVID-19 is.

Since testing positive two days ago, my entire life has ground to a halt. I’m being careful – self-isolating and all that – but, even so, it feels like I’m doing much less than I would be doing were I at home for any other reason – say, a weekend. It’s Saturday now, and it took me a while to work that one out.

I’m usually really grateful for the chance to spend a little more time in bed, but it’s less pleasant when lying in bed is accompanied by a pounding headache and far too much heat for November. In order to protect my beloved, I have been lying on the sofa at night while they take the bed – notice how I didn’t say “sleeping”. Sleeping on our sofa is physically impossible.

The nights are unconscionably DULL. Lying there, lacking the energy to move or do anything fun, just waiting for the morning to come. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Why aren’t I sleeping? I’m not well, so why can’t I just sleep through it like I do with every other illness?

And yet when the morning comes there is still nothing to do. I’m not a particularly active person usually, but the fact that I could do something – go to town, shop in London, get some food somewhere (even if I didn’t do any of those) – was always an option. Staying at home was just something I chose to do. Now I have to.

It’s so boring.

I don’t know why. I have plenty of things here at home – Nintendo Switch, Disney+, a huge pile of books. But now I’m stuck here, feeling grotski, I don’t really want to do any of them. Lying awake last night I made plans for what I’d do today, but since they mostly amounted to “make a sandwich”, they seemed more exciting then than they do now.

Am I complaining? Probably. I feel awful, but I’m fortunate enough that my reaction to getting COVID-19 isn’t any worse. I’ve had to cancel a few things – a gig I was going to; a hospital appointment on Monday – but, at the very least, I have a bed and a sofa and a computer all available.

And yet, on any of them, every second is an age.


ILB History (part two)

…and continued from here.

At the end of 2010 I made a New Year’s Resolution to be more sexually adventurous, and with it, to have more sex. I’d kind of been taking steps in that direction anyway, starting to attend the CCK socials and such, but I felt like I needed to come out of my shell a little more.

Typically, the following day, the Seamstress ended our two-and-two-thirds-year relationship, thus throwing me back into the depression maelstrom I had worked so hard to get out of… and with no idea of any direction in which to go. In a kind of desperate flail, I started going to Spiritual Space, which gave me a little peace.

Fast forward to Autumn 2012 and I’d be in a similar situation with a different lifeline.

The rinse cycle

I wasn’t ready for a new relationship so soon after my second one ended, and although I soon after went on what could technically be termed a ‘date’, it didn’t really go anywhere. By the summer of 2011 I was in a relationship, but I still wasn’t ready, really. I still was having (and still do have dreams) about the Seamstress, and even though I was starting to do more things with what could loosely be termed ‘the community’, the cutieloveheartgirl wasn’t keen.

Which is an understatement. She was furious that I had started to go to Erotic Meet (nothing happened) and livid that I had Rose staying over for the night (nothing happened). In February 2012, I attended Eroticon for the first time, which was like an unforgivable sin. I’d just about managed to reconnect with my identity, and here she was, telling me that I shouldn’t be writing my sex blog any more. I genuinely didn’t know how to feel about it.

And so towards the end of the summer I found myself single once again and completely unsure of myself. Gone were the overpriced meals of the CCK socials and late night Jesus chat of Spiritual Space; my escape manifested in the dark gloomy corners of the Green Carnation with the miscreants that attended Erotic Meet.

The tenderness years

For the first few months I attended Erotic Meet, I was – although certainly very social – relatively chaste. Certain moments where I could’ve are still burned into my mind, and although I certainly got the chance a couple of times, I didn’t. I was still in a relationship, anyway, and even if it wasn’t a healthy one, I couldn’t just start cavorting with people I’d met at EM, no matter how hot they were.

Not cheating was difficult. I’m surprised to hear myself say that, as it’s genuinely something I’m very much against (since my first relationship ended that way), but while I was attending EM, I was also in a difficult, angry, sex-free relationship and, although there was still a lot of love there, we were both fairly sure that it was going to end at one point.

Someone (someone specific, but I won’t name her here) once told me that she would have sex with me that night if I was single, and asked if I was. I told her that I wasn’t and we couldn’t have sex… but, if I had lied, we would have done.

Starting a relationship with Jilly was probably the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. We were clearly attracted to each other, and had been building up a flirty friendship for all the time we had attended the same events, so when we actually started dating, it felt like the natural conclusion to what had been Agatha there all along.

And so I found myself in a fourth relationship, now with somebody who was completely accepting and aware of all sides of my identity…

To be continued…

TMI Tuesday: Munie

I’m not even sure if the theme of this TMI Tuesday is money. It seems to attach itself well to the first few questions, but then peters out. Still, it lets me answer questions, and if there’s one thing I like to do, it’s answering questions.

Ask ILB is still an option, btw.

You went to dinner on a first date, and your date took care of the bill. But when you get home you get a text from your date that is a Venmo request for half the cost of dinner. Do you…

a. Pay the Venmo amount in order to up your chances of a second date?
b. Only pay for what you actually consumed?
c. Pay nothing because the date supposedly picked up the tab and did not discuss halfsies when you were face-to-face?
d. Call the date and yell, “WTF?!”?

Hmmm. There isn’t an option here that matches what I’d actually do. I’d never expect someone else to pay the bill on a first date anyway – going Dutch is always my preferred method, but given the choices here, option A is the closest thing to what I’d do.

I wouldn’t pay my half to increase my chances of a second date, though; I’d do so because it’s the right thing to do!

Does anyone owe you over twenty pounds? How many different people?

A few people, and I’m never expecting to get that back. Two come to mind – the housemate I had at uni, who needed £30 to go to Germany and never mentioned repayment once he returned, and the £100+ I was owed by the lady I went for a sex date with in Brighton and vanished halfway through the night. It transpired that she had never paid the hotel bill (as she said she had done) and I shelled out cash I couldn’t afford for one night of sleepless worry and no sex.

She ghosted me and I’ve never heard from her again.

Are you one to sneak food into cinemas?

No – I’d buy food from the kiosk or the Starbucks my local cinema contains. In fact, that’s what I do do, since I go the cinema a lot and… well, do this.

There’s a Pizza Hut next door to the cinema, which is a popular source of comestibles for the local youth. Rapscallions often go through to the cinema screens with boxes containing side orders from the Hut, or even full pizzas to eat with their film! They’re never challenged for this by the staff, so it’s my assumption that, were I to sneak food in, it wouldn’t be a problem.

What do you want to brag about?

I rarely brag. Let’s think.


I’m a very considerate lover.

This is something I’ve been told, rather than something I’ve pulled out of my arse. I will genuinely go out of my way to do something for someone I love (romantically, sexually or otherwise), even sometimes doing something I’m not comfortable with. I’ve been told (again) that it’s apparent I’m very focused on my partner’s pleasure, and won’t stop until she does, unless I’m told to stop, in which case… I stop!

What do you get in trouble for the most?

I have no filter. It takes a huge amount of effort to remember that not everyone is part of a liberal, sex-positive community and that sometimes I have to moderate my conversation to not drop in casual references to sex shops or soft porn actresses.

In my professional life, I can’t do this; it’s a point-black no-go area (as opposed to something in an office which might raise a few eyebrows at most). As a result, I’m slightly more free with my words outside. Most of my friends are relatively chill with my innuendo (which has increased since I started a sex blog); a few are exasperated but tolerant. I can’t think of anyone I still see who’s genuinely offended by my sex talk.

Most of my friends have children now, so I’m assuming that they’ve all had sex themselves at least once.

Bonus: What is in your attic?

I genuinely have no idea. I live in a rented flat. There is an attic, but there’s no stick to open the stairs or ladder to ascend to the loft with, so I haven’t a clue. Most of the overspill from my life is in my parents’ attic, and due to my disability I’m finding it very difficult to get up there any more. My sister may have to sort out my shit at some point, and some of it could be very valuable if she does!

ILB History (part one)

While there was a definite, complete and very sudden turning point in my sexual development in my youth, there’s something more significant that is also significantly harder to define.

I came up with the idea to start a sex blog where I get all my ideas – in the shower. I didn’t really have a name, or a concept, or anything I wanted to say that I was entirely sure hadn’t been said before, but I had just read Girl with a One-Track Mind and had managed to convince myself that I could do something similar. By the end of my shower, I had decided that “innocent loverboy” – something I had written on a list of Battle Royale characters to describe Hiroki Sugimura – was an appropriate enough sobriquet.

The rest could come later.

I almost didn’t start this. Halfway through signing up to Blogger, I thought it was a bad idea (and too much faff) and closed Firefox. A second later, I opened the browser again and started from the beginning.

That one second could have changed my life.

Imagine, for a moment, that I didn’t have that moment of decision and decided to keep the browser closed, letting my idea of starting a sex blog go and carrying on with my life as it was at the age of 22. Let that roll around in your head for a while. If you yourself write one of your own, what would it have been like without it? If you had your own spar of indecision and went along the other path?

I’ve heard people wonder aloud at how impactful something as simple as an online diary can actually be to a person, even its author – but then, they may not have experienced what I have. Blogging caused a seismic shift in my life which set me off on a completely new trajectory: something I never would have sensed, or dreamed of, the day before I wrote my first post.

After the beginning

I did wonder, at the beginning, if I would manage to get laid as a result of blogging. What I didn’t expect was three long-term relationships coming from the emergent community. Blogging did give me the confidence to approach people – the two that I did have sex with first off, snowdrop and Lilly, were from other sources – but the girlfriends that came afterwards were different. They were genuine and interesting. These were relationships – something I’d desired for so long – and they were real and adult and exciting.

Without my blog, I wouldn’t have been beguiled by gin-soaked kisses on Broad Street in the centre of Oxford. I wouldn’t have set foot in Yorkshire, never mind go for rambling walks in the Northern wilds with someone almost as tall as me. I almost certainly wouldn’t have ended up living with a queer Belgian. And I certainly, certainly, wouldn’t have had as much sex.

I’d like to think that I’m more sexually aware, although how much of that comes from the sex blogging community and how much from a cultural shift remains a mystery. I’m more aware of terminology concerning gender and sexual orientation and proclivities (I also now know what “proclivities” means) than I was when my only connection to sex was through IRC. I now enough to be able to teach others, which is exciting in its own way.

The fact remains that I have never had any sort of romantic or sexual interest from anyone who hasn’t read my blog since 2008. While there were certainly attractive people in the circles I travelled in – there still are – my involvement in those circles was beginning to erode. (While the youth camp in summer 2007 was the last time I saw some key players in my life up until that point, its end was like the termination of something. I retained my crush on Leaf for months afterwards, despite not having her in my life any more.)

I am aware, realistically, that I’m not a particularly attractive guy. Physically I’m not and have never been much to look at, and the amount of idiotic glossolalia that comes out of my mouth is astounding. At the very least, though, those who found something to be attracted to through my writing was – although confusing – something I was (and am) extremely grateful for.

The second step

While not without their issues, the real-life events that I was finally persuaded to go to – Erotic Meet and Eroticon shortly afterwards – were transformative, not only insofar as facilitating being able to meet, mingle and shoot the breeze with other sex bloggers (there has been such an explosion in the community since the fledgling days on 2007!), but also simply being able to introduce myself as “Innocent Loverboy” and actually have people recognise that name.

I didn’t start going earlier due to the fact that the cutieloveheartgirl I was with at the time was particularly resistant to the concept, although by that point she wasn’t happy with the fact that I still wrote a sex blog (despite being attracted by that in the first place). I went along anyway, while politely befuddled by the hectic anarchy of Erotic Meet and feeling gleefully adventurous on my way to the first Eroticon.

In the bathrooms at Telephone Avenue in Bristol, I paused for a while to look at myself in the mirror.

“I know who I am,” I said to myself. “I’m me…” (here I inserted my other IRL nickname) “…and I’m ILB, and I’m okay with that.”

This, for what it’s worth, was another turning point.

To be continued…

Youth is not wasted on the young

I was an opinionated little boy. Ask ten-year-old ILB and he would tell you that he was a pacifist. At nine, he became a vegetarian. At eight, he cried to his mother that he was upset by boys in his class using the word ‘gay’ as an insult. At two, a Tory canvasser came to the door and he squeaked “Vote Labour!” while sitting on his father’s shoulder.

I had my moments at the age of eleven, just after I started secondary school. A woman in uniform came to assembly to recruit young children to be cadets and I got up and walked out. My head of year said we had visiting rats who came to the playground after dark so I left food for them in hidden corners. I complained loudly about the school selling Nestlé products and refused to use the tuck shop unless they stopped (they didn’t stop; I stopped buying tuck).

My one blind spot was sex.

I’ve known about sex since I was about two, but the concept never appealed to me. I’d missed out on the year 5 sex ed video because I was sick that day, but I didn’t miss anything I didn’t really know. I knew, basically, the mechanics of it all, but I considered it dirty, and disrespectful, even – that is to say, I pretended I did. In reality, I was starting to get interested in sex; I still didn’t want to have any, but I found the concept a fascinating study.

And this was a rapid change.

A teasing young girl came up to ask me if I was interested in someone I’d never heard of before. When I said that I wasn’t, she answered with “So you don’t think she’d be good in bed?”
“I don’t know what it’s like in bed,” I said theatrically, with an eye-roll. Later that day, I tried to envision what it would actually be like. The following day, I did the same. And again, and again, and again…

My brain invented my sex machine once we’d had the biology module and I knew what sex could actually look like. By this point, I was too far gone – and, although I wasn’t masturbating (because I knew that was wrong), I had come around the idea that sex, although it still wasn’t for me, was okay.

By the end of the year, the eleven-year-old boy who wrote the sentence “I don’t know why humans would want to have sex other than to have children” was twelve, standing in his RS classroom, making a speech about how sex outside marriage was perfectly OK, consent to such an act was perfectly dependent upon the individual, oh, and that there was nothing wrong with being gay. (That wasn’t in the question: I just added it on.)

Young ILB grew quicker than he would have liked, but his opinions kept coming. He fiercely defended his opinion on gay people in year 9 when his History class seemed resistant to the concept. He stood outside biology classes when they dissected animal hearts. He stopped fights by standing between the belligerents, preferring that they hit him instead of each other.

And, by the time he was fourteen, he was a full-on sexual justice warrior, fiercely defending the right of people to have sex when, how and if they wanted to – talking freely about consent, what an orgasm was, how to use a condom, and wondering exactly what periods were, since they didn’t tell us that bit. I even tried to talk to my parents about sex (they were a little abashed).

Remi Himekawa from eroge game True Love. Fan art by ILB.
Young ILB’s first real sexual obsession.

At 17, I was one of the first (and few) young people in my year to lose his virginity; by 18, I was one of the… two? three? ish? people in the year who was actually having regular sex with a regular partner. I was dumped when still 18, and until the age of 21, while not having any sex at all I was getting in touch with my sexual identity, pleasuring myself all the way through university.

36-year-old ILB looks back and wonders where the binary switch was.

And now it comes to me that maybe I wasn’t alone here. Maybe everyone had a moment where they woke up and suddenly a “sex is gross” / “sex is great” volte-face clicked into place. Possibly a single epiphanic event or possibly a number of experiences. Or, like me, it just happened.

It’s just occurred to me that I’ve never really asked anyone.

So I suppose I’m doing that now.

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