Hands up, I have been skiving. The changes in my life, back-to-back social engagements at the end of last week followed by a wee four day holiday, meant I was out of routine. And I had gone to the tiny, beautiful, peaceful island of Easdale, armed with my laptop and a bundle of good intentions to write. If I hadn’t had company I might have, but instead I revelled in the lack of solitude. Sometimes you’ve got to go with the flow and the flow was good weather, good friends and lots of good chat. We didn’t do much, except for walk about a bit, throw stones in the sea, play, drink coffee, drink wine and laugh. For a small place (about 60 inhabitants) it was surprisingly sociable. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.
But now I am home and sadly, back to work today. Leaving the island yesterday, that last journey on the ‘ferry’ was horrible. There’s something cleansing about all that fresh, sea air and views of the mountains. It was a time to escape from all my normal preoccupations (except motherhood) – work, politics, blogs, sex…yes, while it was never 100% from my mind, there’s something about these beautiful wild places that’s more spiritual than physical, even if sunsets and skies full of stars can be very romantic.
So, now that I am back in the city, just a little bit more on the subject of sex this week. Probably because while I’ve been recovering from a truly disgusting lurgy (you might have called it a manflu), I’ve not been at the gym for well over a week. I did recover just before the holiday, but despite the usual burpee advice from coach, I decided to relax and do fuck all. Clearly this is causing a build-up of excess libido, with a possible blockage in my philange. Or something like that, I’m not sure.
Anyway, a slightly out of date report drifted into my news orbit the other day. At the moment, I am on high alert for everything with any sexual connotation at all (an advertisers dream!), so I noticed the ‘women more likely to be bisexual’ headline straight away. In the study by US researchers, women were three times more likely to become bisexual than men, especially later in life. They concluded that this is because women were more fluid in their sexuality than men. Hmmm. I’ll come to that in a minute.
The same study also noted that women who were attractive and well educated were most likely to be 100% heterosexual, with their conclusion that the more options a woman has among heterosexual men, the less likely she is to ‘to turn to homosexuality’. Naturally, this caused some rumblings in the Twittersphere when it was published a few months ago, and for good reason. Women are only lesbians if they are ugly? Women can switch their sexual preferences around, depending on the quality of the available males? Researchers often make conclusions from their research that people in the real world think are a load of bollocks, and this is one of them.
Here’s my view. If women of a certain age are more likely to cross over to the other side, perhaps it’s not because they are more flexible, or ever thought they would end up in the sack with a woman. Perhaps it is because they are curious. Perhaps after years of average-to-bad sex with men, they are wondering if it might be better with someone who knows what all of our different knobs and buttons are for. By the way, this is not anti-men and their love making skills. I think this about men too – logically, the best blow job a man is ever likely to get, would be surely be from another man?
Here are two stories that illustrate my point. A friend of a friend who I caught up with last month, surprised me by telling me about her recent relationship with a woman; both of them are in their forties, previously heterosexual and the other woman has children. It was a fascinating discussion and one of the things that struck my sex obsessed mind most, was when she said that neither of them knew what they were doing, but that the sex was mind blowing. I’m not saying this made me want to be a lesbian, just that it confirmed my opinion that the best sex might be had on gay planet.
Another friend of a friend confided that she had recently had her first orgasm from sexual intercourse with a man, aged 44. Not because all the men she has ever had sex with before have been bad at it, but because NEWSFLASH…many women struggle to have orgasms from vaginal sex alone. It is not necessarily the fault of men. Many women need the extra finger, or toy, or whatever. This is normal. This is why vibrators have the wee extra, nobbly bit. Men who know what they’re doing can get you off at the right angle, without the finger, but not all can, nor do they all care. You know what I’m talking about.
Except if you went by film and TV alone, you mostly wouldn’t. Women there are coming all over the place after only a bit of half-hearted grinding by the male. If only that were the case in real life! Pornography is the worst, given that it’s mainly catering for male desires. The women in porn are usually screaming their heads off after about half a dozen thrusts into their baldy beavers. If there is anything real about that last sentence, please let me know. The problem is that we so rarely talk about it honestly, we still have little understanding of what is normal or not, especially for women.
In real life, the female orgasm usually requires a bit more effort than thirty seconds of thrusting, but it’s generally a bit dull in terms of porn star acting. The thing that makes me sad is knowing that there are hunners* of women out there who have never had them, or even worse, had them when they were younger but not with the man they settled down and had kids with. The impact of watching your partner, who never really did it for you anyway, decline as they age, must surely be devastating. Especially if you still want to have good sex before you die.
And it’s not necessarily that difficult. We live in a culture where female popstars squat in bikinis and swing naked on construction equipment. It shouldn’t be this hard to talk honestly about things. Aren’t we empowered after all? I may appear cynical but in some ways I know we women undoubtedly are more powerful.
While many women are still downtrodden and enslaved across the world, many women in western society are more free and empowered sexually, not always as puppets of men. The bitter irony is that this has led to a backlash, in particular with terrifying and threatening trolling by men on the internet. Men benefit from sexually liberated women, but they are also afraid of them.
For too long, female pleasure has been an irrelevant side effect of sex and it is often still the case, despite all the empowering stuff on the internet. A classic illustration of this is masturbation: men seem unafraid to admit that they are regular wankers, so why are women, no matter how good the friendship?
We don’t even know the correct names for things most of the time. Our vaginas are inside – the correct name for the collective bits and bobs we refer to as the fanny/pussy/cunt** is the vulva. Perhaps that word is too technical, not feminine enough. But odds on, a man named it somewhere, sometime. Either way, we don’t ever talk about whether we do touch our vulvas, alone at night in bed, or in the shower or bath, or whatever random location takes our fancy. And it’s a real shame if we don’t.
By that I mean men or women. Especially if we are lonely, whether in a relationship or not. It reminds us that we can feel pleasure and keeps us in touch with what feels good. So if some lover that swings by makes us feel bad about ourselves, we know that it’s temporary. We are capable of those amazing feelings; it’s just that they weren’t triggered with that person. Knowing this, remembering this, is essential in the modern world of dating. And by the way, it’s really good for you, as if you didn’t already know that.
So what’s my important message this week? Hmmm. Generally, if you are lucky enough to be having regular sex, for once think mainly of your partner and their desires. Hopefully, they will do the same for you next time.
If not, that’s okay. But don’t let things stagnate or crust over! Keep your hand in (literally) at least once a month (you’ll know when) and all will be well.
Ho hum. I’ll be back to the gym next week and probably back to normal…
Until next time,
*not a scientific statistic
** depending on preference/age