Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Tag: quote quest

QuoteQuest: Love, No Sex

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

hunter s. thompson

While I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve certainly had both of these.

The very easy thing to get out of the way is that the very first time I had sex, and the hundred-plus time afterwards, I was definitely having sex with love – that is to say, I was having sex with someone I was in love with. Sex was a big part of our relationship, and the same was true of my second relationship (which was also “sex with love”, although sex of a more adventurous variety). In fact, half the people I’ve had sex with have been people I’ve loved. I’m very lucky in that respect.

Sex without love has also been fun, although for a very different reason. Louise, Alicia, Lilly and snowdrop all had their reasons for sleeping with me (even if “I was horny and he’s got a dick” was the simple reason). All four were highly sexual people and the knowledge that there was no real commitment other than “satisfy this person” (and I did satisfy them, believe me!) both jarred with my monogamy-centred lifestyle and excited my own sexual self.

My aim was, and has always been and always will be, to ensure that anyone I have sex with enjoys it. Sex goes wrong every now and again – of course it does, everything does – but, if you can accept the person you’re making love to, you can accept the occasional fuck-up (and be aware of your own as well). I like to please – I’m desperate to do so – and so there is, in fact, a common thread here, no matter who I’m having sex with, or why.

Love without sex is different.

I’m in a relationship which is, to all intents and purposes, sexless. This may be slightly ridiculous to say when the relationship started during sex, but it is true. I’m still interested in sex (well, of course I am, I’m a sex blogger, silly), but they are not, or at least not any more.

I’m not entirely sure why – various reasons have been thrown about, ranging from health complications to relationship anxiety to depression to physical weakness to the way they put it the other day – “I’m just disgusted by sex, the idea repels me. It’s not you, it’s sex itself. I don’t like it any more.” To this point, we haven’t been intimate for weeks, and we haven’t had penetrative sex for years. I’ve genuinely lost count of how long it’s been.

I’m not going to press the point, though, as it’s a touchy subject – nor am I going to put them under any pressure. If they don’t want to have sex, they don’t have to, and I’m not going to try to change that, as it’s their prerogative.

My sex life now consists of pleasuring myself. Since I don’t have sex with anyone else, I’m not having sex at all, and with the strange ways my sexual desires manifest themselves being more apparent as a result, I control and temper myself with masturbation – although I don’t always get the time to do that either! I can easily slip into sexual fantasies or explicit half-dreams, but again, when I can’t actually do anything about it, it’s…

…well, yeah, it’s difficult, of course it is.

A cis female friend recently told me about a conversation she had where the other conversationalist (who I don’t know but is also a cis woman) was presented with the same situation – monogamous couple, no sex for boy – and straight-up said, “he’d probably just leave, that’s what men do.”

I could never imagine leaving. I completely, truly, deeply, one hundred per cent love the person I am with, and the fact that we’re not having sex doesn’t change that.

So, no, I don’t agree with Hunter S. Thompson.

Sex without love is fun.
Love without sex is possible.

I miss sex.

QuoteQuest, innit

QuoteQuest: Good Job!

A good blow job is fucking art. It’s like playing jazz piano blindfolded for an audience you’re desperate to please. It’s improvisation and communication and skill and practise and a whole lot of love.

girl on the net

I’m not sure if I’ve ever even had a good blowjob.

Okay, stop sharpening the knives. This genuinely isn’t a slight on any of the nine people who have given me blowjobs over the years – I was grateful, in many ways, for every single one. The issue, I’m sure, is with me; my penis appears to be selectively sensitive. It reacts well to masturbation and it likes sexual intercourse, but it doesn’t seem to do much when being sucked.

Or I’m suffering from iron fist. Maybe that’s a thing.

Or maybe I haven’t ever had a good blowjob. That’s always a possibility.

Whatever the reality is, the idea of blowjobs appears to be something that almost universally appeals (although the first time I heard of blowjobs I ran to the toilet to be violently sick). I’ve seen it written somewhere (and forgive me for not remembering quite where!) that those with penes like being blown because it makes them feel like they’re in porn.

I’m not sure about that. There are a lot of blowjobs in porn, but then there are a lot in real life, too. Porn blowjobs tend to involve a lot of spit and quite possibly gagging. I’m not fond of the hacking cough that results – I mean, not in every porn scene, but quite a few…

…which brings up the other question. Power dynamic. Is there one? Male-gaze porn irregularly tends to depict the one getting the blowjob as fully deserving: either being hot enough, or desirable enough, or having done a good job at work or something. In these ideas, a blowjob is a reward: it reinforces the idea that men are dominant, and that women are, apart from anything else, the gatekeepers of sex, and if they choke a bit on the 9″ dick that all men apparently have, then so be it.

I’m hyperbolising a bit here. I don’t even watch that much porn. Blowjobs in softcore always involve a lot of hair, perhaps for obvious reasons.

Yet I’ve also seen a lot of people – of all genders – saying that they like giving blowjobs. Again, they like the concept, and (as GOTN’s rather excellent quote suggests) it’s difficult to get one right, so if they do, they have done a good (blow)job. I’ve talked to people who tell me that they feel like, when giving one, they are the dominant partner; they have, to an extent, control.

My friend Louise, who has given a lot of blowjobs, says this:

I like giving blowjobs simply because it gives me control. It’s a way of gratifying the boy without having him guide the whole experience. I get to call the shots, and I take my time doing it! Oh, and I like the taste of cum, which helps…”

louise

Which is fascinating. Like all aspects of sex, it must vary according to time, place, situation and/or individual. Louise, to her credit, adds that her entire aim in giving a blowjob is to get the recipient to orgasm without any extra stimulus (her nickname, Swallow, is probably the clue there), and that she is nigh on successful every single time…

…but that’s one person with one fixation. There are almost eight billion of us; we can’t all give perfect blowjobs.

I’m probably not the right person to ask. I’ve never given a blowjob, and I’ve never come from getting one.

But if you were to ask me about giving oral sex instead… sign me up for that one!

QuoteQuest

QuoteQuest: Walter

It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.

marquis de sade

and

Some boys are sissies by nature but I was a sissy by conviction.

frank o’connor

I am, to use the common parlance, a wimp. I’ve never been quiet about that, or ashamed – it’s just who I am. I am incredibly sensitive, both mentally and physically: look for a soft spot, and you’ll find one all over. Any sort of stimulus is one I can feel, and at the correct time, the right sort of physical touch is all I need for a galaxy brain moment – get my right nipple in your mouth as I’m about to come, and I’ll most likely see through time.

Walter knows where it's at.
Hard same, my friend.

But I don’t like pain very much.

Understatement of the century, right there. I can’t stand pain. Hypersensitivity isn’t a friend there, and although I’m always receptive to being touched (anywhere, by anyone) – back scratches, hair strokes, long cuddles, spooning despite what GOTN thinks – I can’t abide being hurt. It doesn’t do much for me, and it doesn’t help. It’s a distraction.

And it makes me cry. Some people find crying boys sexy. It’s not meant to be sexy.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been hurt during sex. Alicia used to spank me very hard while I was on top. I’d howl with pain, which she interpreted as pleasure, but she seemed to be enjoying it, so I didn’t say anything. I almost died of dehydration giving the Seamstress head underneath a duvet (but kept going until she came, for… reasons). Catherine’s lack of restraint left a hand-shaped mark on my arse; energetic sex with Louise left my muscles sore; I even managed to injure myself once, during sex with Jilly, slamming my head against the wall (but that was an accident!).

I may not be aiming for pain during sex. But I’m no stranger to it. It just… happens. This is the sort of thing that happens to me. I’m expecting it, frankly.

I’m also not overly comfortable with delivering pain. I’m not a particularly violent boy, and even with the consent that’s necessary for any sort of sexual contact, I don’t really know how to do it. I’ll do a few (soft) spanks if she wants – I’m a percussionist, after all – and I’ve even wielded a vegan rubber-tipped flogger at some points. But this is, in every case, for her pleasure, and at her request. Given the choice, I prefer kisses as foreplay.

This extends outside of the bedroom, of course. Slaps in porn make me flinch. Crying babies make me nervous. I don’t like shouty teachers, or strict parents, or authoritative bosses. I had a massive panic attack once watching a fisherman kill a fish. Upset children are a specific weakness, too – mostly girls, in fact. I can’t emotionally deal with any of these things.

And I really don’t like pain.

I’m aware this may be painting me as the antithesis of so many of my fellows in the sex-positive community. But it’s for the reasons above that I don’t partake in BD/SM or hardcore porn. If I can live a softer, safer and more comfortable sex life, then I will… because, on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much.

Doesn’t mean I don’t fuck hard, though.

QuoteQuest

QuoteQuest: Letter 20

A morning coffee is my favourite way of starting the day, settling the nerves so that they don’t later fray.

marcia carrington

Much as I like coffee in the morning (and hot chocolate, malted drinks, fruit juice, warm milk, or anything soft that tastes like lemon or cherry…), when I’m in a pinch, it’s tea that I keep coming back to. While there’s a blog post about how it’s my favourite thing to quaff while writing, a simple search for the term brings it up so frequently that I do have to wonder if such a post was at all necessary.

I’d forgotten all about dicksplash.

Tea was a very important part of my first relationship (ironically, since throughout the course of my fourth relationship, both of us have mainlined coffee so much we’ve both worked in coffee shops). It was a cornerstone, of sorts: during my two-day weekend visits, our Saturday mornings always started with tea. Tea would herald the fact that we were up, and active, and it became so much of a ritual that she wouldn’t kiss me before we’d had tea.

Tea also punctuated our heady days (as it was readily available – I like to think I have a healthy relationship with tea; with her, it was becoming a problem). With lunch, which happened soon after breakfast as we were sickeningly slack in getting out of bed, we had tea. Mid-afternoon, we had tea. Listening to music – tea. Chatting with 47 – tea. Working on the computer game we wrote together – tea.

And after sex… of course… tea. Cuddles too. But mostly tea.

In fact, practically every relationship I’ve had has involved tea in some significant way. Louise imported British tea to her place in South Africa because she missed it so much. Alicia asked me to pick up some milk on the way to her flat, lest we run out and have to forsake tea. Snowdrop promised me that she would “make us both a brew” before utterly ruining me on the bed upstairs. Although the drinking girl was more fond of gin, her mother made a very nice cup of tea (and even offered me one mid-wank once, fortunately through the door). Catherine’s mum regularly made me two cups of tea, for the simple fact that I could drink one after the other.

And this blog post, in fact, is brought to you by a battered, chipped mug from Eroticon, containing a nice, strong cup of… well, you don’t need me to finish that sentence, do you?

*

In 2005 I saw a friend at camp attempting to drink a cup of tea approximately the size of his head. Having failed to find an appropriate mug, he had taken a two-litre measuring jug and thrown in a couple of teabags, a tablespoonful of sugar and a sizeable amount of milk, then topped the whole thing off with boiling water and gave it a stir.

“Sleep is for the weak,” he answered all the unasked questions.

But I drink tea before I go to sleep.

QuoteQuest

QuoteQuest & KOTW: The ILB who Loves to Love

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

tim robbins

I’m a horny sex blogger. I write posts about porn, oral, and dirty sex. I love sex, even though I haven’t had any for years. I’ll talk about it. I’ll promote it. Hours can pass and I’ll still be discussing it… with no filter. Thirteen years of sex blogging does that to a boy.

And yet I’m still thoroughly aware that, love sex as I do, my focus has always been on love.

I mean, it’s in my handle, c’mon.

I’ve always found it easy to fall in love… possibly too easy. It’s never been easy to actually be in love – successive teenage crushes on which I never acted making me increasingly upset as life went on. In a few years, I went from occasional glances to out-and-out pining, and finally to going home every single day to cry for an hour because I was in love. Since the age of about 13, in fact, there hasn’t once been a time where I didn’t have, if not genuine love, an “official” crush.

I didn’t, however, actually entertain the idea that my affections would ever be reciprocated. Despite my Head of Year (to whom I was quite close) telling me that people would be flattered, I was convinced – fairly quickly, as it matters – that I was unlovable. It didn’t do to be fancied by ILB. I was fairly convinced, throughout my miserable ecstasies, that those who I loved must have been constantly wondering what they did wrong.

If they thought about me at all. I’m not sure if any of them did.

Careful! Or I’ll fall in love with you!

innocent loverboy

Love, to me, has always been associated with guilt. I’m still sorry to the people I loved. But I can’t take any of it back. I may have fallen in love easily, but it’s not like I could control it.

In the more recent years, even though I’ve been in genuine, actual, real long-term relationships, I’ve still struggled with the concept. My dark moments tell me that, no, I can’t be loved. Girlfriends have cheated, or cast me adrift, or become so critical that every night was a challenge. Every time I get close, life seems to conspire to remind me of this. I am unlovable.

I’m trying, and believe me that I am, to convince myself otherwise.

It isn’t easy.

But I’m working on it.

QuoteQuest

QuoteQuest: Applause, please!

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all: read a lot and write a lot.

Stephen king

and

I write for me, but I want you to read it too.

little switch bitch

and

I’d love to help the world and all its problems, but I’m an entertainer, and that’s all!

william shatner

I initially found this week’s QuoteQuest a little uninspiring, but LSB’s post opened up some interesting avenues. Which is, I suppose, what I’m trying to do too.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember (I started at fifteen months, so my family tells me) and writing for about as long. Stephen King’s quote above doesn’t serve so much as a reminder, but a description of my life, and even if I don’t have the time to read so much (or to write so much) I’m always composing in my head.

If a blog post comes out of it, then that’s a success. If not… well, it’s an idea. And and idea’s something.

I may blog now, but back in my teenage years, I kept a diary. Frustrated by the hoops I had to jump through in academia, writing my journal every night was the way I got my writing out. Unlike my friends who did the same thing, though, I would freely pass my diary around, letting people read everything I wrote. (I even read bits out to them, if they asked.) I applied the same logic to my LiveJournal, when I started that a few years later, and latterly to ILB.

Like LSB’s quote above, my writing is for me, but I want you to read it too.

I don’t really get the idea of writing which isn’t there to be read. That is, after all, what writing is for by design. One of the first things we are taught at children is how to read, and what’s the point in learning a skill if you’re not going to use it?

I write to entertain. I always have, even when I’m not meant to. My teachers didn’t like my unorthodox approach to every written assignment (but at least I made them laugh!); in the sixth form, my political and historical essays weren’t neutral enough (but at least I made them think!); at university, my tutors appreciated the effort but were often confused by the overabundance of sardonic wit (but, again, I made them laugh!).

[It’s a good thing I did a creative writing dissertation, as well, as I don’t think I could have hacked my way through yet another essay deconstructing the precious art form of literature…]

My aim, in writing, is to entertain. Whether or not that actually happens is immaterial; I write every word in the assumption that someone, at some point, will read it. Thirteen years ago, I started writing ILB with no idea that people would read – but I hoped they would – and they did. So I kept writing, kept the content going, and kept enjoying myself. I want people to read my words and have a good time doing so.

And that’s why I write.

*

Or to put it another way…

A year and a half ago I had a job interview for something I really wanted. I rehearsed, for want of a better word, the practical task and even some of the interview answers (although, in the end, I freewheeled my way through the interview… son of an actor, I can do that…), but forgot completely that there would be a written aspect of the interview process.

I was given a blank piece of ruled A4, a black biro and a printed question.
“Don’t worry about giving too many details,” the interviewer advised me. “This is just to see if your grasp of written English is sound.”
“Righty-ho,” I replied (yes, I genuinely said “righty-ho”). “But can I put details in if I want?”
“Do whatever you want,” she said cheerfully, “it’s your writing.”

The Hallelujah chorus rang out.

A page and a half of dry humour, parenthetical remarks and deliberate oxymorons later, and she came to collect it.
“This is… quite a lot longer than I was expecting,” she said, “but I look forward to reading it.” I thanked her, took my leave, and on the way out, I heard the telltale rustle of a page being turned, followed by short, sharp bursts of laughter.

And that’s why I write.

QuoteQuest

Quote Quest: Work

This is the first time I’m taking part in Quote Quest – probably not the only time, and I’m late to the party, but nevertheless, it’s a start.

Wanking is only two letters away from working!

amy norton

The majority of the people who have taken part in this meme are sex bloggers who write about sex (…toys) for money. Realistically, I can see the link there. In Amy‘s case, that’s very much a thing – as it is with many others – and there are some handy guides, in the links you’ll find, if you want to wank for cash yourself. That’s a route so many go down, and they have my mad respec’.

But what about ILB?

When I started this blog, relatively few sex blogs existed, and those that did weren’t making money in the way that blogs do these days. Bloggers were making money were doing so from getting book deals, and although there were a few of those, a book deal is like gold dust. You may not even have the energy to write a whole book (and those that do have my mad respec’ tag heading tueir way too!).

I started my blog with the very specific aim of sharing my views on sex, curated after many years of being single and getting in touch with my sexuality. There wasn’t even the question of monetisation anywhere in my mind, and it took me quite a few months before I realised that people were starting to do it.

Thirteen years later and I still stand by my principles: this is a non-commercial blog, ergo:

I need to put this badge back
on my sidebar at some point.

No affiliates;
No sponsored posts;
No paid ads;
No paid-for links;
No paid reviews;
No commercial links.

I never have, and I never will.

Back to the quote itself: does I, as ILB, see what I do as work? If I’m not paid for it, more specifically, do I see this as work, compared to – say – my day job working with people, or my former side hustle editing Christian literature? Why am I going to spend two hours writing about soft porn if there’s no remuneration involved?

That’s a far more complicated question…

I will admit that when I started blogging I didn’t expect it to blow up. I wasn’t expecting hundreds of readers, I wasn’t expecting lasting friendships, and I certainly wasn’t expecting wave after wave of nascent sex bloggers – some who vanish after a strong start; some who struggle but stick it out; some who stick and become, if not a face, at least a voice of our sex-positive, sexually open generation.

The sex blogosphere, to the eager newbie or curious journo, can be quite a forbidding place. Inside there lies a network of genuine people, all of whom know each other by name and pour out mutual appreciation for the content we produce… by and for people who are genuinely passionate about our subject. On the outside, though, it is confusing: a sprawl of separate blogs by separate writers, all ostensibly coming from the same direction but approaching sex from multiple angles.

And then there’s the glut of paid content, affiliate links, ad banners, toy reviews with clicks that pay, and the reliance upon sponsorship for those brave enough to take the plunge and blog for money. Wade through this for a while and it’s easy to wonder if the medium has become devalued – content, previously free and easy, looks like something you have to mine for.

Lazy readers won’t have the patience to do that.

So what about ILB?

In response to the quote, then: no, I don’t see blogging as work. Or wanking. Or writing about sex. It may well be my favourite thing to do, but it’s not work.

The fact remains, however, that it is my favourite thing to do. I love sex and I love writing, and I love writing about sex. It’s been thirteen years (almost) and, every time, I thank Past ILB or starting this thing. I can’t imagine life without my blog, and the directions in which it’s taken me. It may not make me any money, but it does so much for me, and I hope that in reading my words, it does something for you too.

And while it isn’t work, it is something I put a lot of work into. A blog is nothing without content. Sometimes it flows freely; sometimes it needs a bit of a push. If I need to work to write ILB, then so be it.

But I’m doing it because I love it.

Your mileage may vary.

QuoteQuest

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