Since I got back from my holiday, I have been showing everyone my new bag and going “it’s made out of tea bags. TEA BAGS! My BAG is made out of tea BAGS! My bag is MADE out of TEA bags!” People have mainly been politely interested about this, and not too many have backed away slowly, which is nice of them. But my bag really is made out of tea bags, and you too could buy one; and if you do, you would be actually be contributing to a local economy that could really benefit from your support. AND you’d get an awesome TEA BAG BAG. Let me introduce you to one of the best experiences on my recent trip to South Africa to visit my mother…
Consent has been in the press this week again, thanks to a couple of young men who were deeply personally insulted and affronted at the nerve, the sheer bloody gall, the CHEEK of their presumptious places of learning, to include them into an invite that went to all students to voluntary consent courses.
So someone sent me a link to this article, based on a book, about sex tips written for men by a gay woman. As much as I see that it’s well meant, and well intentioned, something about it really bugged me – and it’s similar to something I discussed a few weeks ago.
Women are not all the same.
Women are complex individuals, just like men are complex individuals. Women have as different desires, wishes, kinks, bugbears, irritations and dislikes from each other as men do. I get profoundly irritated by statements such as “women like X” or “it feels good when you touch a woman like Y on her Z” because you simply can’t make sweeping statements about all women based on what you think, or on what your experience of women in your life is, or if you’re a woman, on what you like. While you may indeed find a large audience of women going “YES this is ME and THIS IS WHAT I WANT” there’s just as many other women going “er, no. This doesn’t speak for me at all. Please stop.”
Take the first picture for example. The arrow pointing to her vagina that says “do be gentle”, and the statement in #6 about being gentle with the clitoris. This is a pretty individual thing. I know plenty of women that be like “gentle? Fuck that noise. POUND ME”. Also, sometimes you might want it gentle and slow, but sometimes you want someone to really go to town on you. Or take section 4 – “You must behave as if her vagina is the greatest thing you’ve ever smelled, tasted, and had the privilege to be near. She must believe that she is letting you eat the Cinnabon that is attached to her body.” Really? Maybe some women want that but to me that’s just plain weird. I’ve known women that *hate* receiving oral sex. And I am not going to pretend a dude’s penis is the most delicious thing I’ve ever been near and that I am privileged to be near it, why would I expect it in return?
Back to picture 1 – please, PLEASE, men out there do not think of this as a guide to what all women want. Not all women want you to look deep into their eyes when fucking. Some of them hate it. Not all women want you to be gentle with their breasts, or grope and smack their ass. Many might, and if a woman gives you this picture and says “here, this is a handy guide to what I like” then sure you’re good to go. But – and I am serious about this women being complex and diverse issues thing here – do not assume this is what all women like.
I had one ex who loved having his ears licked. I am not going to assume that every other guy ever likes having his ears licked. But this excerpt (and fair’s fair, I’ve not read the book, perhaps this article isn’t doing the book any favours) seems to suggest that you should never lick a girls ear. Some girls might love it, and that’s ok. It suggests you should always shower. But some girls get turned on by the smell of unwashed lion, and that’s ok too. I have a friend that LOVES being sent dick pics (only when she asks for them though. Not so much unsolicited.) so hopefully her suitors never take heed of #4.
There is some good advice in there – about trying things out, being intuitive, respect. But some of it gets so specific that it really doesn’t work as a guide to sex tips that ‘we’ want you to know.
So, being me, I thought I’d have a go at writing a less-specific-but-still-helpful guide to having super awesome sexy times. A friend offered to illustrate it, so then I *had* to write it. So here are…
Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess’s 9 super sex tips!
1) Ask me what I like
It can be a massive turn on when someone asks what you like to do, and then does it. Remember – asking doesn’t have to be verbal. If you find it hard to talk about sex then you can write notes to each other, do it by email or messaging. The important thing is to find out what the other person wants to do, and want they like to do, and what feels good. And work with that.
2) Tell me what you like
Just because other people you’ve been with have liked The Thing, don’t assume any other sexual partners also like The Thing. Each person is different. Sex should be about mutual pleasure – getting what you want and giving what they want. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable saying things out loud then you can find other ways of communicating. But what’s important is you let each other know what you like, what you want and what makes you feel awesome.
3) If I say stop, stop
Awesome sex is always consensual, and consent is continuous. Even if you’re right in the middle of something, and someone says stop? You stop. For example, if you’re in a close relationship with me and we’re comfortable with each other and I am saying ‘stop’ it’s probably either because a particular thing isn’t working for me, or because some part of my body is partially dislocating. It doesn’t really matter what the reason is though. Because if someone says stop, you stop.
4) If I say don’t stop, don’t stop
If I am saying “oh god oh god, don’t stop, yes, there, just there” then DON’T STOP DOING WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING. Seriously. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has stopped doing the thing they were doing when I’ve said don’t stop, and started doing something else, and I am like “what? No, wait? Why did you stop doing the thing? I was liking the thing.”
5) Ignore 3 & 4 if we have a pre-arranged kink agreement and those aren’t the safewords
Ok, this might not be
relevant to *everyone*, because not everyone has kink agreements or needs safewords. But I did want to include a tip that acknowledges that not all sexual relationships are as clear cut, and you might actually have a specific kink around saying ‘stop’ and the other person carrying on or saying ‘don’t stop’ and the other person does something else. Some people find this super sexy. See 1 and 2 for more information.
6) If 5 applies and I use the safe word, stop
Kink arrangements should be agreed on by both parties in advance, with clear guidelines over what is ok and what isn’t. And if someone says the safe word, then you stop.
7) Just because I don’t want to right now doesn’t mean i don’t want to ever
Sometimes people aren’t
in the mood. It doesn’t mean they don’t still fancy the pants off you, they just don’t feel like it right now this minute. Often one party can take this as a rejection and feel bad or frustrated or upset; but there’s myriad reasons why someone might not be in the mood that have nothing to do with you. Just be understanding and go make yourself a cup of tea or something.
8) Just because I want to right now doesn’t mean I always do
I’ve already covered this before, so I’ll just plagiarise myself. If someone said “yes” to tea around your house last Saturday, that doesn’t mean that they want you to make them tea all the time. They don’t want you to come around unexpectedly to their place and make them tea and force them to drink it going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST WEEK”, or to wake up to find you pouring tea down their throat going “BUT YOU WANTED TEA LAST NIGHT”.
9) Great communication makes great sex
The best sex comes from a place where everyone participating is present, and comfortable with what’s happening, and is enjoying themselves. The best way to achieve this is to communicate. Remember, communication isn’t just verbal; it’s about looking, touching, connecting, texting, winking. Being on the same level as someone, asking for what you want, asking what the other person wants. That’s where great sex starts. The rest is up to you.
Huge thanks to Iriini Kalliomäki for the fantastic original artwork. You can check out her blog here!
I have been struck down with some kind of virus for the last few days; I am a highly efficient snot producing machine with a high temperature and razorblades in my throat. I’ve spent the last couple of days wrapped up in a duvet watching day time TV and generally feeling sorry for myself.
I am on the mend today, not 100% but definitely feeling more human and less like a swampy sweat monster from the planet catarrh. I hope I am not catching, as I had to vote.
I HAD to vote. Not legally, I mean. In the UK it’s not like in Australia where voting is compulsory; in the UK Voting is a democratic right, and you can choose not to vote.
But I think everyone should choose to vote. Especially women.
2015 marks the 97th anniversary of women in the UK being entitled to vote (although it would be another 10 years before women has the same voting rights as men). It also marks the FIRST TIME that women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to vote.
The right of women to vote has been hard fought for by passionate women who put their health and lives at risk so that future generations would have the right to have a say in who governs us.
I’ve heard some “excuses” as to why people might not vote this election and they disappoint me. It’s a safe seat, my vote doesn’t matter. The polling station is in a really inconvenient place. I don’t like any of the candidates/parties. None of these are good reasons not to vote.
Sure, your seat might be a safe seat, but if every single person in your area who doesn’t think it’s worth it because it’s a safe seat turned up to vote, and they vote for someone other than the present incumbent, it’s not such a safe seat any more, is it? That aside, Every vote is counted, even in a safe seat. Every. Single. Vote. So even if it’s a landslide victory for the present incumbent, a huge rise in other votes gets noticed. Even safe seats can get a shock – but only if you go and vote.
I had to wander around looking for my polling station earlier, as my local borough had inconveniently given me the wrong address for my polling station. Annoying at the best of times, but when you are ill it’s not fun at all. But while I was voting, an old woman, unable to walk without a wheeled walking aid, arrived to vote. It took her several minutes just to walk from the gate to the polling station door. She was so exhausted, she had to rest while the poll station staff fetched her water. And then she left to walk home again. It must have taken her ages. But she came out and cast her vote because voting is important.
Don’t like any of the candidates? Spoil your ballot. It will count. And you will have voted. You will have attended the voting booth and sent a clear message that none of the parties represent you. If you really don’t want to vote for any of the candidates, don’t. Add a box at the bottom that says “none of the above” and put an X in it. Write NO TO EVERYONE across the paper. Draw pair of ovaries. Whatever. Just go to the polling station and get your ballot paper and commit your minor act of civil disobedience. It’s still more productive, and more empowered, than not voting.
Once I’d eventually found the correct polling station and was in the booth, I spent longer in there than I ever have in all my years of being old enough to vote (I am old enough for this to be my 5th General Election). Previous years I’ve known who to vote for and been confident enough to put my X in the box without a second thought. This year I’ve put more thought into my vote, and how to vote, and what my vote means. At the point where I stepped into the ballot box I still hadn’t decided whether to vote purely on policy, to vote local, to vote as a protest, to vote with my heart, to spoil my ballot.
I don’t like any of the current political parties, to be honest. I don’t think any of them have 100% viable policies. I did the Vote For Policies test and was surprised to get 100% Green as the result; I don’t actually agree with all of their policies. I also don’t particularly like my local Green candidate. I DO like my local Labour candidate, a lot. I think she’s brilliant for the area, and for women. But a vote for her is a vote for Labour, and I no longer feel they represent my beliefs. I could vote for TUSC; their candidate impressed at a hustings I attended and as a public sector worker I am very much behind a no-more-cuts drive. I’m in a pretty darn safe Labour seat – my vote for any other candidate would be little more than a protest vote. I could draw a dinosaur on my ballot paper.
All of these options were open to me as I stood in the booth, running over all my options. I did make a decision. And the beauty of our voting system is that I am entitled to an entirely confidential vote. I don’t have to tell anyone what I chose. But I could choose. I was free to, and had the right to, make my choice about the government of my country.
Which way I voted, or what I did with my ballot paper, that’s far less important than the fact that I voted.
Whatever your political inclinations, whoever you think should win, whatever your reasoning behind what you put on that ballot paper – you should vote today. Because you can. And that’s a powerful thing.
Apologies for the lack of blog day last week. I took a week off, for the first time since starting this blog and mainly on the advice of Mother DinosaurPirate who recognised that perhaps I wasn’t coping with my sudden and unexpected internet exposure entirely as well I was pretending I was.
Since 2010 pay freezes, below inflation incremental pay ‘rises’ and redundancies mean that I am doing the work of three people for what is essentially a pay cut. And I’m lucky. I earn enough and have a life situation where I don’t need in-work benefits. Many public sector workers don’t. Why should people being paid by the government have to also take benefits, simply through low pay, when MPs and bankers (who, let’s not forget, CAUSED the financial problems in the first place) are receiving huge inflation busting pay rises?
This isn’t just about me, and it’s not about ‘greedy public sector workers’. This is about a fair working wage for the people that keep the country going.
I’m lucky. I can take the hit of losing a day’s pay. Others can’t, and they are striking today and I am striking with them, for them, and for a fair working wage. Please support the strike.