Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Recollections (Page 2 of 7)

ILB recalls moments from his past, vaguely related to love, sex, or whatever else

Womanspreading

“Do you know what I’m going to do?” she said. “I’m going to spread my legs.”
“That’s a bit early,” I replied. “I thought you were waiting until you were married. Or has that gone out of the window now you’re 16?”

Her boyfriend shifted uncomfortably. There had been plenty of stories about them deliberately not spending time together ‘just in case we have sex’. A year or so later, of course, I had no such qualms. I both admired their steadfastness and was baffled by it in equal measure.

“No, that’s not what I mean,” said the Floof. “I mean I’m going to do it here. Now.”

I looked up into the sky and indicated the summer sun beating down on us. Our picnic had quickly devolved into inane chatter and we were now just killing time before church. Spread legs were a new topic.

“I think people are watching,” I pointed out in mock scandalised tones. “Why don’t you do so in your bedroom tonight instead?”
“No, I want to do it now,” she insisted. “I want to know what it feels like for a boy.”

I rolled my eyes. Zounds, was it this again?

Much as I liked the Floof, she did have some ideas about gender which I found a little outdated. She was, after all, the one who always wanted to hug me, but not when I was crying because ‘boys don’t cry and I don’t know what to do in that situation’. She wrote me a letter once in which she assumed that ‘when we’re young we all think our daddy is the strongest man in the world’. At one point, she also clearly thought I was gay. No reason, she just did.

One of the things that she had brought up – and one I genuinely hadn’t thought about before – was that boys always sit with their legs apart, whereas girls never do. That was the way genders sat, and since she didn’t believe trans or NB people existed, they didn’t get a mention.

As a boy who had, in his own sixteen years of existence, had his legs in all sorts of positions when sitting, I was a little confused by this. In her very long elucidation of the subject she had also mentioned that, the more confident the boy was, the wider apart his legs would get.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The amount of male confidence is in direct correlation to the distance between their knees when in a sitting position.

this is what the floof actually believed

Much as I didn’t agree, once she’d said that, I couldn’t unsee it. While I could get the concept that external genitalia made it slightly more comfortable to sit with one’s legs slightly apart, there were clearly some rowdy boys at school who were keen to show off their manly confidence by taking up as much space as possible. There was one guy in my class who seemingly spent most of his time trying to do an impression of a croquet hoop.

I’m genuinely surprised they didn’t start walking like that, doing the waddle that cowboys in westerns do.

“Anyway,” said the Floof, “boys do it, so I’m going to.”

At which she unsealed her legs, spread them akimbo, and immediately experienced some kind of transcendental experience. Her eyes shone with an immediate realisation of a better world, all the other light in the immediate vicinity dimmed in comparison to her pure radiance, and an exclamation mark appeared in the air above her head.

“Hey!” she trilled. “This is really comfortable! It’s no wonder boys like to sit like this. I’m going to have to do this more often!”
“Not in church, I trust.”
“Well, no, not right in front of the minister. I mean, what would he think?”
“I don’t know. Probably that you’re getting comfortable, I suppose.”

At which point a rounders ball came out of nowhere and hit her right between her thighs.

“AAAAAAAAH! MY FANNY!!!” she yelled, in a way I’m sure her minister would have not approved. “That does it! This might be comfortable, but I’m never opening my legs again!”

But, considering the fact that she later married the boyfriend and now has two children with him, I’m fairly sure she did so… eventually.

Revelations: Unwritten

Unlike pretty much all of my friends, I quite like this song. I’m honestly quite surprised that Molly remembers it. I can’t stand Daniel Bedingfield, but Unwritten by his sister is such an earworm that I’m prepared to give the whole family a pass.

I’m nice like that.

*

It was a Monday evening and I was headed out to band practice in an hour. By this point, everyone else had moved out of the house and I had the whole building to myself. I’d spent the whole day doing basically nothing but wandering around in circles and listening to my growing collection of MP3s – the last of which was, coincidentally, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.

One of my friends had written a damning indictment of the song on his blog at the time, which was probably why I downloaded it.

I also had some porn open. It wasn’t running, of course – Unwritten may be a fun song, but it doesn’t quite sync up with this scene from Virgins of Sherwood Forest – but I’d had it open for a while, the DVD valiantly whizzing in its little USB-connected device.

Natasha Bedingfield in a still from her music video for Unwritten.
Natasha in front of the background scenery from Virgins of Sherwood Forest. Or similar, anyway.

“Feel the rain on your skin…”

I clicked off Windows Media Player when the song had finished and turned my attention back to the porn. Forty-five minutes until I had to go to band. Maybe I had the time to enjoy myself beforehand. Or at least start myself off. I unhooked my trousers, slid my pants off, sat back, curled my fingers comfortably around my shaft, and clicked play.

*

Band practice went past as it always did – a collection of adequate tunes coupled with me getting almost constant low-level verbal abuse from our musical director – but it had finished. During debrief in the bar afterwards, I excused myself to use the toilet, at which point I discovered that I was still hard. Quite an achievement considering that I had just spent three hours hitting things with sticks and I had had an orgasm shortly before that.

I resolved there and then to try for another orgasm once I got home – hey, it was my house now, I could have as many as I wanted – and was distinctly uncomfortable for the ride back to my side of Nottingham. Just before I got out of the car to follow my dick back up to my bedroom, our band manager asked me to add something to the website.

“Okay I’ll do that I’ll do that tonight I promise look tomorrow okay I love you bye bye!” I said in one breath as I channelled Billy Whizz on my way to the front door. Up the stairs, with my trainers, trousers, pants and T-shirt coming off at various points. Back to my room, computer on, porn back in, same scene, let’s do it again. Again. Again.

Sooooo horny.

*

Half an hour later and I’d finally managed to clean all the cum off my hand, belly, chest, neck and a bit of the desk that it hit. I was also considering sponging down my chair and going for a shower, but maybe that could wait. I admitted it: I love my porn.

Five minuted later and I was about to shut down my computer and actually go to bed when I realised that I hadn’t done the website update. I could do that. It would take me, what, five minutes? I could even put some music back on while I typed it up…

The first song Windows Media Player opened was the one I’d been listening to when I clicked it off a short eternity ago. Unwritten started again from the beginning, a nice accompaniment to the tappity-tappity-tap of my fingers across the keyboard. I was about to click submit on the web form when I realised that I hadn’t put a title.

What would be a good title for a general update?

“Feel the rain on your skin…” I typed carefully, reasoning that if the band manager didn’t like it (or, come to think of it, if he had an aversion to Natasha Bedingfield), he could always change it).

He never asked, and that post remained in situ for the rest of the website’s existence. The fact that I managed to hide the phrase “I have been watching porn” in the code remained so too.

Maybe that’s why I like this song so much.

Revelations

Hot, hot, hot…

I wasn’t even aware the evening would be even hotter than the middle of the day. But, then again, this would have been more of a surprise had I not chosen to abandon all shock and awe. By this point I was just going along with it.

In any case, the evening was incredibly hot. All the windows were open, and the door to the back garden too. The distant rumble of the city could be heard, but the sound of the insects enjoying the summer heat was something I felt much more calming.

I could barely move. My own heartbeat was throbbing in my ears and, if I took a steady breath in, I could swear I felt the planet rotating.

Everything was sticky. Hot. Untidy. Heavy, almost. I lay there, eyes closed, sweat beading on my forehead.

Naked, of course.

“I’m assuming you don’t want any more coffee?”
“Mmmmmm…” was all I managed. I hadn’t even been aware she had entered the room until then. (I would have jumped in surprise, but I didn’t have the wherewithal to jump.) “No more coffee, though. Maybe a cold drink.”
“Lemonade, then.” She crossed the room, pulled a couple of glasses out of somewhere and pulled a couple of lemonades.

Sip.

“It’s good, thanks.”
“Very good?”
“Yes, very good.”
“So you’re up for another round before you fall asleep?”
“What?!”

I mean, I knew she was horny. I just wasn’t expecting her to be this horny.

“Do you want to go again? I could do with one more, if you feel me?”
“Really? But it’s boiling hot! And I’m exhausted!”
“Your penis says otherwise,” she pointed out, indicating it with a finger. In all fairness, she wasn’t wrong.
“Yeah, well, my penis says a lot of stuff,” I demurred. “It’s had a lot of fun today, but now it just wants to…”

I didn’t say anything else, because by that point I was already inside her.

“Not fair,” I whimpered alongside her gleeful bounces. “It’s too hot to resist.”
“Nobody resists me,” she laughed. “Hot or not.”
“Hot,” I moaned. “Definitely hot.”
“Uhhhhhhhh…”
“Mmmmmm…”

Ten minutes later, as we lay entwined, a very welcome breeze blew in through the French windows.

“That feels nice,” I said.
“Doesn’t it always feel nice?”
“I mean… the breeze.”
“That’s what I meant!”
“Oh.”

And with that (and a shimmy I wouldn’t have been able to manage, even if I hadn’t been so hot), she slid from the bed, a mixture of our juices leaving a glistening trail across the floor.

“Where are you going?”
“More lemonade, of course, silly,” she grinned as she collected our glasses. “I could do with one more, if you feel me?”
“One… more?”
“One more lemonade?”
“Oh. Yeah, yeah. That’s what I meant.”

Because it was, as I may have indicated, very hot.

Alarm

I’d just like to make an announcement:
This building is on fire!

Tim Booth, 1983

I got to my room before anyone else. My ‘phone, vibrating in my pocket, told me that one of my colleagues was out of action with a stomach bug; my immediate superior wasn’t in yet. Vaguely wondering if she was sick too, I sat down at a desk and began to busy myself.

The fire alarm went off.

Sigh. Out I went into the corridor. Nobody was there, but then I didn’t see anyone in the assembly point, either. Rationalising that if this was a real fire, it wouldn’t be safe, I made my way down the stairs. I was halfway down when the alarm stopped.

A building on fire, although unconvincingly, with alarm
The aforementioned cataclysm from Thirteen Erotic Ghosts. Devastating.

“It can’t be a real fire,” I said aloud to the unoccupied staircase, adding “like that one at the beginning of Thirteen Erotic Ghosts…” in an undertone. Confident that I was safe and struggling to remember any more of the plot of Thirteen Erotic Ghosts, I stomped back up the staircase to my room, this time passing by a cool, unconcerned-looking colleague.

I hadn’t sat down yet when the fire alarm went off again.

This wasn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, the day beforehand, and the day before that, we had all stood outside in the mizzling rain listening to our boss talk about how opening certain doors tripped the alarm. Who had done it? Staff? Client? It didn’t really matter, though; there wasn’t a real fire. Making a mental note to not open any doors again, ever, I stood there dithering for a few seconds before grabbing my lunch and the Super Mario cup I got in Sweden and making my way back out.

I didn’t stop walking when the bell stopped ringing this time, since I was halfway to the break room and had half a mind to make some morning coffee while putting my lunch in the ‘fridge. As I passed his office, I spotted our CEO Paul sitting back down, evidently having been caught out by the alarm as I had been.

Paul, like Paul Michael Robinson. Paul Michael Robinson, who plays Haffron in Emmanuelle. Grinning internally at what reaction Haffron might have to a fire alarm sound, I made my way into the break room to find, for the first time that morning, more than one colleague standing together.

The fire alarm went off again and nobody said or did anything about it.

I got my coffee and walked back to my room past a door through which grey smoke was issuing.

The word smoke slotted into my brain a little too late, and I half walked, half flew back to the room, wrenching the door open.

“Hey, close the door!” said my colleague in the kitchen. “I had a bit of an accident making the toast, but that’s okay. I threw away the burned bits. The toast’s ready now.”
“Theo, your toast is ready,” I said before I could stop myself. My colleague threw me a half-amused smirk, with which I thought it best to excuse myself.

My immediate superior was in my room when I got back.

“Ah! You’re here!”
“Yes! Have you been here for a while?”
“I have. The fire alarm went off a few times. I was enjoying the quiet and privacy, but that’s not to be.”
“You can have privacy in my room.”

I make connections far too easily.

Hotel Story #1

Having booked a little break to Bath for the upcoming weekend – PSA: don’t do that four days before the event; it’s not cheap! – I’ve started thinking about hotels. I have plenty of stories about staying in a hotel, in fact, whether it’s waiting, wanking or… I don’t know, some other word for having sex that starts with a W… but there are always more to tell.

This is entirely Robyn’s fault, anyway, because they are a terrible influence and I just can’t resist the call to write about something easy.

So here’s a hotel story.

*

Prelude

We were on our way back from Eroticon when one of us – I think it must have been them – realised how dark it was. It was late – we both knew it would be late when we got back, but we couldn’t stay for another night this time. I had work on the Monday morning.

“I don’t really want this to end,” they said with some finality to it.
“Yeah, I know; it’s sad, isn’t it?” I replied. “But it’s okay. And we’ll get home after a while, and then you can have a cup of hot chocolate or something and…”
“No, I mean, I don’t want to go home. It’s too much…”
“…?”
“…effort,” they finished. “Getting back to London is enough.”

There was a pause as I wrenched my exhausted brain into action. Words, images and sound all swirled around in my head as I scrambled for a solution. Ten seconds passed before an image clicked into my head… a tiny advert I’d seen once in the back of the Metro.

“There’s a hotel next to Paddington Station!” I ejaculated. “A really cheap one! It was advertised in the Metro! I bet they’d have a room!”
“Yes! Let’s go to that hotel!”

Once we’d pulled into Paddington, we were both quite excited about our little adventure.

Part 1

It wasn’t overly difficult to find, although it was quite clear from the moment we arrived why it was so cheap. Carpets in the reception were worn; the concierge was behind a desk ventilated by an electric fan; lighting was restricted to traditional lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling. It was a million miles away from the high-end Radisson Blu around which Eroticon had traditionally been centred. That being said, though, it was clean, it was orderly, and it was affordable.

Bossman behind the desk gave a broad smile when we walked in, which indicated to me that, never mind the Metro ad, his hotel probably wasn’t very well patronised. Random couple walking through the door unannounced was probably a good indication.

“Uhm, hello,” I said. “I saw your ad in the Metro and we were wondering if you had a double room for tonight? You’re not full, are you?”
“Oh, we’re not full,” he said. “No, we’re never full. We always have rooms. I can get you a double. It’s – ” [here he named a price; I can’t remember, but it wasn’t much] ” – for the room, and you get hot and cold water, a TV, access to the bathroom, and there’s breakfast included; it’s in our bar.”

He indicated where the bar was. I hadn’t noticed it initially.

I agreed, dug around in my wallet, and paid with spare cash I had left over after Eroticon. He gave us a key (an actual key) with a chunky latex tag indicating a door number; we set off down the long, dimly-lit, dilapidated corridor to our room.

Part 2

For how oppressive the hotel reception had been, our room was light and airy. Net curtains covered windows, outside which the London night continued apace. I sat on the bed, setting an early alarm so I could get up for breakfast and go to work the following morning. They tried the TV (a box CRT with an indoor aerial) and found a fuzzy version of Bruce Almighty (which I’ve never actually seen). All seemed okay.

A rickety table in the corner held a kettle and sachets of hot drink mix; I used some of the promised hot and cold water (from a little basin in the opposite corner) to make some hot chocolate. After a while, I decided I needed to check out the bathroom before doing anything else, so off I set, back down the corridor.

The bathroom was about the size of a broom cupboard; there was also very little light. A shower head was suspended directly above the toilet – if you wanted a shower, what would you do; straddle the loo seat? – but, like the rest of the hotel, it was clean.

On the way back, I reflected on how this place was clearly a labour of love. It was a budget hotel on a budget, in a building clearly not designed to be a hotel at all; it did, however, exactly as advertised. We had an okay room, a serviceable bed, a working TV, hot and cold water, a cramped but usable bathroom, and free drinks… with the promise of breakfast to come.

The room was cold, the bed wasn’t the most comfortable, there was a lot of noise outside, and some bloke in the next room was snoring so loud it was like living with a banshee.

It was the best night of sleep I ever had.

Part 3

Compared to the rest of the hotel, the bar area was relatively spacious. I was its sole occupant, having left them snoozing in the room while I had to make my way to work. Breakfast was provided – a scant selection of cereals with orange juice and a slice of cold toast. I made myself a bowl of cornflakes, added milk and sugar, and munched my way through a meagre feast.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but maybe something more. Having said that, as I reasoned at the time, for the price, any food at all was a bonus. What I needed that morning was any food at all.

I worked in central London at the time, so getting to work was both easier and quicker than I was used to. As usual, my boss wasn’t there with the key, and I was early as it was, so I went into the McDonald’s next door and sat with a drink and hash brown to complement the breakfast I’d nominally had half an hour earlier.

And then I realised how I felt, and I cried.

I cried because I was tired. I cried because I had met loads of cool people and missed them all. I cried because I had had to leave my girlfriend in the bed and I wanted to cuddle them some more. I cried because, as much as I liked my job, I was simply in no mood.

But mostly, at that moment, I cried because I’d have been perfectly happy to stay where I was.

Because I really, really love hotels.

Superfrog

In 2008 I went to university, for the second time, in order to do a course which involved a lot of science. I’m not really a scientist at all – more of an artist, if anything – and, although I liked my friends doing said course, I didn’t really enjoy myself. I stuck it out long enough to get the degree, though.

At the end of the first week I found myself in a crowded lecture hall full of people as confused as I. I wanted my girlfriend, I wanted my bed, and after a week which was just a succession of “don’t”s, I wanted an actual lecture. The afternoon beforehand had consisted almost entirely of a talk about how badly we could fail, which one of my coursemates summarised: “well, she sure told us.”

Folders were handed out. On my left was a tall, pretty, and incredibly thin girl who I didn’t know yet. She seemed friendly, and smiled a lot, so we got talking. We also seemed to be quite similar, insofar as we both raised our hands when the lecturer out front asked who cried easily. (I was the only boy to raise my hand. None of the other boys on the course were particularly macho, but still…)

I didn’t clock quite how similar we were until much later.

For the next month or so, I found myself to be avoiding her. To this day, I’m not entirely sure why – we had vibed quite well in that first lecture. As I told my mother at one point:

She’s tall and thin, and she’s very pretty, and I seem to be avoiding her.

a very confused ilb

I think maybe part of me felt a little intimidated by her. Perhaps even a little unworthy. Maybe she smiled too much. Maybe, infatuated as I was with my girlfriend, here was someone incredibly attractive who I wasn’t attracted to, and that threw me off.

She waved at me once in the corridor, and I jumped.

We started talking again when I noticed her mentioning a computer game on Facebook. I sat next to her again, deliberately this time, and without even saying hello (I knew her name; I was never quite sure if she knew mine), I launched into the spiel before losing my bottle to do so.

“Hey, you. I saw you posting something on Facebook about Superfrog?”
Superfrog!” she said with enthusiasm. “I love that game! All those little passages you can open up and things to collect! I haven’t played it for ages!”
“I played it yesterday,” I said truthfully, “after you mentioned it…”
“Ooh! You have it? Could you give me a copy?”

By the end of the day, she had copies of Superfrog in every format. I am nothing if not thorough.

As our agonising degree wore on, more of the class bonded, mostly through our collective misery. Nobody seemed to be having a good time, and by the end, we were all utterly convinced that, should anyone ask for advice, our first thing to say would be: “don’t go where I went.” (I used this very piece of advice later on, when Robinson asked. He took it, went elsewhere and is now working in the industry.) I chanced across my Superfrog friend a few times throughout my various travels, and when I realised we had the same tutor, make sure to stick around after consultation sessions in case she was the next one up. She wasn’t enjoying herself either.

At the very end of the course – once most people had finished and moved on – I, who had had three weeks’ sick leave and hadn’t done all the hours, was still on placement. It was a very lonely existence – none of my fellow students were around, even those who were meant to now be working in the same building, and even some of the staff I’d gotten to know were leaving.

I took a breather at one point, going down to get some resources from a corner office, when I noticed my Superfrog friend – still in her student garb – ambling around the corner.

I looked at her.
She looked at me.

And then, without preamble, she gave me a big, warm, reassuring hug.

It got me through the day.

Sarah vs. Sex

It was one o’clock in the morning and we were just coming out of a fairly heavy round of drinking which may or may not have started with a musical jam in the little studio space our university hadn’t advertised as owning. We had made sure to put a little drum kit in there, and moved the piano to the same room, so it was at least possible to jam. Tom had his guitar; Em, her trombone; Sarah, her saxophone. I didn’t always remember to bring an instrument, but tonight, I had a bag full of percussion.

That, however, had been a few hours ago. For the past while, we had been drinking. I, of course, was completely sober – everyone else had their own varying state of intoxication. My job was to get everyone onto the number one bus from Old Market Square appropriately. Helena had come over rather giggly.

“I don’t love him,” Sarah was saying, “I really don’t. I keep telling myself that, that I don’t love him…”
“Have you told him that?” cut in Rachel. Helena giggled.
“…no, but really, I don’t. But I want to see him. Just once. I have to see him again.” Helena giggled.
“Are you sure that’s healthy?” pressed Rachel, who was looking serious. “Your ex cast you completely adrift…” (Helena giggled at this point) “…and you want to spend time with him, just to see him again? Does anyone think that’s wise?”

Nobody raised their hand. Two years prior, I’d stood in almost this exact spot, locked in a messy kiss with an ex I had decided I ‘just wanted to see’. I was wiser then, although there and then I would have kissed Sarah, Rachel or Helena, if only she could stop laughing long enough.

“I just want to see him,” Sarah shrugged, as if this ended the discussion.
“All right, you want to see him,” conceded Rachel. “But make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
“Like what?”
“Like… sex.”

Helena giggled.

“Yeah,” said Sarah wistfully. “I miss sex.”

don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it

“I haven’t had sex for two years,” I said out loud, “and after a while, it gets easier.”

now go stand in a corner and think about what you did

“TWO YEARS?” yelled Rachel, who had just explicitly told someone not to have sex. “Nah, that’s impossible. Couldn’t do two years.”
“I do it, like, two times a day,” said Mouth.
“I used to have a lot of sex, said Em, “but then I dumped my…”
“…two weeks is a bit of a stretch…”
“…all these boys, I mean, why should I choose one?…”
“…(Helena giggling)…”
“…these beds are too small, when you’re not living in hall, it’s easier…”
“…three times a day if I can, I mean, if I’m free and lunchtime and…”
“…still don’t know why she did it, I mean, I was still right…”
“…told him I was gay, I mean, I am gay, but I still told him that…”
“…so needy, we had sex a few times and he thought I liked him…”
“…I miss sex.”

“Are you quite ready?”

We’d managed to make our way onto the number one bus without anyone noticing. The driver was looking annoyed for having been held up, but this was the terminus, and according to the timetable, he wouldn’t be leaving for a while. I dug around for my return ticket in the third pocket of my combats while Rachel and Sarah carried Helena, who was now experiencing paroxysms of hysterical mirth, into an empty double seat, where she lay weeping with laughter.

None of my housemates were awake when I got back. I had lectures in the morning, too. Vaguely wondering if Sarah would, in fact, sleep with her ex the following week or if Helena would ever understand the concept of “quiet”, I stripped off and sank into my bed.

“Yeah…” I said to the darkness. “I miss sex too.”

Berrie

“Hey,” I said to my mother. “Some of the girls at my school are saying Berrie fancies me.”
“Well, you’re going to have to get used to this,” she answered. “Throughout your life, there are going to be lots of girls that fancy you,” she lied smoothly.
“What? Why?”
“Because you’re tall and you’re handsome and you’re clever,” she continued to lie, “and girls like all those…”
“Mum, I’m not handsome!” I moaned, rolling my eyes. “And everyone at school hates me because I’m clever! And being tall isn’t an advantage; it’s much more difficult to hide from adversaries!”
“…”
“…”
“…so tell me about Berrie?”

But there wasn’t much to tell her. I didn’t know her very well. I knew her name and that she was in a different class from me. If I strained my memory, I could picture her in my head. That was about it.

“And she’s in love with you,” added my mother.
“Mum! She’s not in love with me!” I yelped.
“So she likes you,” she steamrollered on, “and do you like her?”
“What? That’s GROSS! I don’t want a girlfriend! I’m not into that!” (Eleven-year-old ILB was convinced that he was immune to the burgeoning feelings everyone else was talking about. A year or so later, previously asexual ILB started getting unexpected and intense crushes, but that was a bad time for all involved.)
“So you’re not even interested a little? Is she pretty?”
“Aaaaaaaaargh!”

I put it out of my head, as best I could, for the rest of the year. Every now and again, one of the bolder girls who giggled a lot would sidle up to me in the playground and whisper “Berrie fancies you” before evaporating into the ether before I could respond. I went to the school leavers’ disco (for some reason) and spent the entire time by the buffet table; a gaggle of girls swept over to me and asked me to dance with Berrie, which I politely but firmly declined.

Throughout this whole debacle, however, there was one crucial variable missing from the equation: Berrie. As above, I didn’t know her particularly well, and as far as I was aware at this point, neither of us had ever said a single word to the other. She remained both distant and unclear, and since we had no point of contact, that wasn’t entirely unforeseen. If it was her sending the missives, she wasn’t making too much of an effort.

On the last day of school, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her taking a picture of me. I pretended not to notice.

*

“I had a dream last night about my new school. Berrie was in it and she kept pulling me around corridors by my sleeve.”
“Berrie? Is she still madly in love with you?”
“Muuuuuuuuuuuuum!”

And just like that, she was a constant presence in my life. Whether in the classroom in a distant corner, sitting near me in the lunch hall (near enough to exchange pleasantries, not right next to me), getting touched up by my bully in year 8 Maths (“yes, I am, and I’m enjoyin’ it”), or eventually appearing in my life four times a week since we went to the same church and Christian youth group, there she was. Four years after hardly being aware of her presence, here we were as friends.

I hugged her once in the swimming pool, which made her turn bright red. At once, the questions started again, although from her best friend this time.

“Why did you want a hug from her?”
“I… I like hugs?”
“But from her, specifically?”
“I hugged Mark too…?”
“He doesn’t count. Why her? Do you fancy her?”
“No! I don’t! Just because she fancied me when we were in year 6 doesn’t mean that…”
“…wait, what?”

Whoops. I wasn’t supposed to know, clearly.

But now we had a line of communication. The best friend made a few inquiries and took great pains to assure me, while not looking me in the eye or speaking particularly loudly, that what had happened in primary school hadn’t happened: Berrie had not fancied me, the five or six girls who all told me the same thing were having a laugh, and that she didn’t have a single picture of me anywhere in her house.

She couldn’t explain the missive asking me to dance. It all seemed a little suspect to me, to be honest. But, due to the fact that I was dying a thousand deaths from the crush I had at the time on the silver girl who bore the same name as Berrie, she was more interested in that.

I thought it best to drop the subject.

*

Lightsinthesky somehow found out that Berrie had recently become single the week after I did. As far as I was aware, this was private information and I had no clue whatsoever how he found out. Of course, he made no secret of the fact that he considered her fair game pretty soon afterwards.

“Hey, do you know if she has another boyfriend yet?”
“Well, no,” I admitted, “but from what I’ve heard she goes through boyfriends pretty quickly…”
“Right. But, I mean, does she have a crush on anyone? Anyone you know? It’s difficult to tell if a girl fancies you, right?”

I didn’t say a word.

Being Good

It’s dark in this corner. I can’t see much. There are people around, but it’s dark. And it’s getting late. I’ve had too much to drink, as usual, but since I don’t drink alcohol, it’s only really sugar that’s holding me up right now. Possibly also caffeine.

And she’s smiling at me.

Just kiss her, ILB.

I know what I could do. I could tell her that, if I did anything she was uncomfortable with, she could just tell me to stop. And besides, I’ve been kissing her for a while and she’s been reciprocating. It’s only a small step from a peck to a smooch, and from there to a snog. If she doesn’t want to kiss me, she wouldn’t be doing so.

My good angel appears on my shoulder and yells through the din into my ear.

Hold on, ILB. Yes, you certainly want to kiss her. But there are people around. You have friends here, and friends talk. There’s somebody over there who has a genuine crush on you. If you kissed someone else, it would hurt.

And if there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s hurt someone.

The problem is her. She’s so pretty. And she’s got this beautiful, full-beam smile and she’s shining it straight at me. The look in her eyes is almost playful, almost lustful. Just do it, ILB. Kiss her.

My bad angel pushes his way to the front of the crowd and shouts to anyone who will listen.

You may never see this girl again. And you’ve kissed other people. Your crush is over there. Why don’t you kiss her instead?

I mean, I probably could. But then I’m in a situation here and I’m not sure where this is going. Is it going anywhere? Do I want to know where it’s going? Am I just imagining this?

Oh, look at that smile.

You’re not meant to be kissing anyone, ILB.

And that’s a fair point. I’m really not meant to be kissing anyone. What I’ve been doing so far is playful. Anything more would be deeper – more serious. I can’t do that. I may want to, but I can’t.

Just kiss her, ILB.
Don’t do it, ILB.

What if she doesn’t want to kiss me?
What if I do, and she doesn’t like it?
What if I do, and I don’t like it?
What about everyone else?
What happens afterwards?
What if she doesn’t stay stop? What if she never says stop?

I’m not meant to be kissing anyone. The easiest thing is just… well… not to kiss her.

Just kiss her, ILB.

I don’t kiss her. I never do. I wonder, idly, if I will see her again. This time, I may have made up my mind.

I never see her again.

TMI Tuesday: Pain and Pleasure

You’ll be a dentist
You have a talent for causin’ things pain
Son, be a dentist
People will pay you to be inhumane

Time for another meme to blow the cobwebs away. I have a few things to write this week, but let’s start with this.

This is TMI Tuesday again and it’s about pain and pleasure during sex… which isn’t something I have a lot of experience with. It’s also a complete retread of a previous set of questions by former (but now inactive) sex blogger Bi Likes Sci-Fi (who I remember!).

I may have to dig into my memory for this. It’s a challenge, at least.

1. Which do you enjoy more in bed: pain or pleasure?

This is a complete no-brainer: pleasure.

I’m hypersensitive, and although I feel a lot of things, I’m particularly sensitive to pain. I can’t stand it. This may sound odd from a former self-harmer who occasionally walks into walls and has spectacular falling episodes, but I really can’t handle pain.

You also may have to take into account that most of my sexual upbringing involved softcore porn, which always highlights pleasure above anything else. That was, in my mind, what sex is.

2. Do you like being tickled during sex, and where?

No, I can’t stand it!

I am incredibly ticklish. Mostly around my midriff, under my arms, on my neck and the soles of my feet. I can tickle myself, too, which is something you’re not meant to be able to do. Being tickled completely disables me; I flail and crease, but I can’t do anything else.

47 and H will attest that I make noises when tickled – something between a laugh and a scream. I will admit that it is amusing, but probably more so for them than it is for me!

3. Have you ever used feathers during sex?

Once.

My girlfriend, now my wife, once bought a feather to stroke me with (the term they used was “sensation play”), although not a real one – rather a vegan alternative they got from a sex shop.

I quite enjoyed being stroked, but as a more relaxing sensation than a sexy one; eventually, however, it strayed into Tickle Territory, and I had to call stop with a fair amount of urgency!

4. Do you like to be blindfolded during sex?

No.

Not me, anyway. I’m not sure I could handle being in the dark so much – I’m afraid of the dark, and I’m too curious. I’d want to solve the mystery.

I have blindfolded people, though. I once went through a whole session – fingers, tongue, cock, orgasms – with my ex as she was both tied to the headboard and blindfold (with two bits of different cosplay outfits: check me out, Mr Resourceful), and she was really enjoying not knowing what was coming next!

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

5. Have you ever used cold or heat as part of your sex play? What provided the cold or heat?

With my ex again. We used some massage melt products by Durex (there’s a review here if you’re interested!) and they were Cold AF. But I’m not sure that really counts.

I’ve also once lit candles and dropped hot wax onto my wife, but again, that was for decoration purposes rather than heat play. And very colourful it was too.

I don’t recall having ever used, for example, ice, or hot stone, or anything. As I said before, I’m hypersensitive, and none of my eight sex partners have ever indicated that they have ever wanted to use such a thing.

Or, if they did, they never said!

6. Do you enjoy being spanked, giving spankings, or both?

Neither, although I’ve got a few stories about this.

My ex-lover Alicia used to spank me very hard while getting railed by me – both as a way of telling me to keep going and for want of something to do with her hands, I suppose. The pain was, of course, almost too much to take, but she was so enthusiastic and the sex was so good I didn’t really care. Catherine, my ex, did much the same sort of thing in a way that left a distinct handprint on my arse.

I even took a picture of that once.

The only real forays into planned, fully consensual spanking I’ve ever done have been with my wife, although as I’ve said, we haven’t had sex for a very long time and this has also fallen by the wayside a little. I don’t like dealing pain almost as much as I dislike receiving it, but they went though a phase wherein getting spanked was the main way to help them feel relaxed.

So I did so. Mostly with my hands, but I even used a few implements now and then. Mostly freebies from Eroticon, BUT STILL…!

7. Do you have a safeword? Have you ever used it?

“Stop!”. It’s very effective.

Bonus: Tell us in 3 to 4 sentences the most painful or pleasurable sexual experience you have had.

Late night in Bristol. Lots of pent-up energy. Girlfriend on ceiling. 😏

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