Love languages I am intimately familiar with

daria shevtsova @ unsplash

ACTS OF SERVICE

  • pre-paying for my taxi because he’s too high to drive, again
  • doing the washing – doesn’t matter if you mixed white with red, does it? I like pink, right?
  • every heavily weighted sacrifice I never asked for
  • generously taking credit for my ideas – you’re the better executioner, I know
  • cutting me a thinner slice, a smaller portion, lines as slim as you like me

GIFT GIVING

  • a gift voucher to the waxing studio
  • expensive trinkets with minimal resale value over cash as a deliberate power play
  • a gilded pinprick to my ego
  • all the tiny toys you won me from the 2p sliders on the pier
  • two thirds of my things back, shoved into a shoebox and left on the doorstep in the rain

PHYSICAL TOUCH

  • the conspicuous absence of such
  • a look firmer than any well-placed hand
  • sloppy kisses that I don’t feel invested enough in to correct
  • expertly faking orgasms for reasons even I can’t fathom
  • caressing a record sleeve the way I wish you’d caress my ass, why don’t you do that anymore

QUALITY TIME

  • meeting for the first time in ten months because cancelling on me is a better rush than any pill, any powder, any disgusting cup of coffee served up by a chinless camden cunt
  • spending forty minutes on the train for ten minutes of whiskey dick
  • dividing the cost of my travel by the amount of hours I spend awake with him
  • wondering if he sees me as a therapist, an awe-struck journalist, a fuckdoll or all three
  • hell is an endless string of gallery openings where you are the permanently muted +1

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

  • “you’re fascinating” – from every man I’ve ever dated, a month before they leave me for somebody else blander blonder and undoubtedly better
  • perpetually wondering whether to replace my entire okc profile with “a large, puffy, short-legged, big-breasted and practically brainless baba”
  • love letters you know she only wrote so she could reference them in her next “piece”
  • the whisper-crackle through the phone when you’ve both run out of things to say
  • a message telling me that they’ve started seeing someone (two days after they fucked me, two days after telling me they weren’t – naturally)

my most treasured filth

photo by ian dooley @ unsplash

//

“There.”

On her cloth is the culminated effort of 40 minutes of my precious time and hundreds of pounds in cosmetics – foundation that costs roughly the equivalent of my weekly food shop, rosy beige cream blush, a pressed setting powder and a loose finishing powder, four different eyeshadows in only slightly different shades of light to mid brown, brow pencil, mascara, and muted brick red lipstick. She wipes my face again, and I see it reflected in the mirror behind her, waxy white and shiny. My lips are stained a little. I am very near to tears.

She smiles, wide and gleaming and beautiful, and eyes me.

“Do you still feel pretty? Do you think if I sent you out there like this, people would still care about you? Would they be nice to you?”

I shake my head. There are tears now, white hot. She cups my chin and presses her lipsticked mouth to my forehead, my cheek, my jaw, my pathetically wobbling bottom lip. Tangles her long, glitter-tipped manicure into my hair and dips it to the nape of my neck, resting my head against her collarbones, tilting my face up.

“Don’t cry. You look so, so ugly when you cry. I think I might have to sit on your miserable little face. God knows I can’t do anything else with you.”

I am absolutely fucking soaked.

//

“How do you – how – how do I get all of this off you?”

“I have to do it! Don’t, you’ll rip it. Easy! Expensive.”

“No – no, I want to do it – let me – jesus christ, have you ever in your life worn anything practical?”

“It’s a special treat! I haven’t seen you in ages, I thought you’d like it.”

“A special treat I can’t fucking get into. Jesus, you’re like one of those victorian ladies in all her silks and corsets. You’d make a good victorian lady. Fainting and getting flustered all the fucking time and having to be revived, and I could be your bit of rough – what IS this, why is this button HERE? Why are there layers? Why would you do this to me?”

“Did you ever consider that maybe this is a ploy to get you so irritated with me that you bend me over your knee and – careful! – hit me?”

“You could’ve just -”

“I mean, it’s not, but – ”

“If you were a real victorian lady this would be the bit where I’d rip all this off – all of this – and these stupid little buttons, they’d go flying. Hit the floor. Pitter patter. Nearly done. I’d put my big dirty working man’s hands on you and you’d say, oh, mister, you mustn’t, you simply mustn’t!”

“But we would. On the floor and on the bed and out in the garden. Gardens, probably, plural. Have you gone soft yet?”

“Undo that last bit yourself, lie down nicely, and I’ll show you”.

//

“I love your pussy.” She grins at me from behind her laptop. We’re in a café, leeching off the wifi and buying fresh pots of tea and muffins every half hour as to not irritate the owner.

“Sshh! Be quiet. I love yours too.”

“I love yours more. I’m obsessed. I think about it all the time. At work. At uni. Whenever. Like a white peach. Soft. I’m thinking about it literally right this second. It’s right there and I can’t. Have. It.” She brings the lid down and pours out the very last of the tea. Adds milk. Two sugars. Gone in a second. I still have a good half-pot left, plus an entire blueberry muffin.

“Stone fruits are literally the gayest organic symbol – don’t laugh at me! – on the planet. That and like, roses. Tulips. I guess.”

“They’re, uh, yonic, right? When you eat one and the juice drips down your chin and goes all the way up your arm, and you can smell it all the way up inside your nose cause somehow it got up there too. Licking your fingers clean, putting the stone in your mouth and sucking all the flesh from the centre. And all that fuzzy skin! There is nothing – nothing – and I mean this, don’t look at me like that – more sensual than sinking your mouth into a fat, soft, juicy peach. Like. Put on a sundress and like, go to Italy – oh my god, we could go after this, it only takes like an hour, right? Anyway. Go to Italy, right, pick – no, pluck – a ripe peach, squeeze it and watch it leak that sticky sweet juice down your wrist and and tell me you don’t want to just -”

“They have a peach smoothie here, I think.” She rolls her eyes at me, and reopens her laptop.

//

“I have every intention of fucking your brains out. If I ever get there.”

I can hear him tapping on the steering wheel, faint traffic noises. I’m lying in the middle of the bed in uncomfortable, expensive underwear with my eyes shut. I imagine myself as a tiny china doll having been put to bed, waiting for my owner to come and curl in next to me. The signal’s good, but his voice sounds hollow through the phone.

“What if I’m asleep by the time you get here?”
“You better not be.”
“But what if I am?”
“Then I suppose I’ll have to wake you up. Or maybe I won’t. Depends on how good of a mood I’m in.”
“How good of a mood are you in right now?”
“Right now? Could be improved. I can think of a few ways.”

Pause. I can’t think of anything to say. My head feels like it’s full of stuffing.

“How are you feeling, anyway?”
“I want you here. I bought all my toys and everything. There’s a new metal one and I want to see if…”
“Patience.” Soft groan.

Pause. Car noises. I think about doll-me again.

“I sized up underneath my desk earlier. It’s you-sized. You could sit under there and keep your pretty mouth full while I work.”
“I really, really, really like that idea.” I roll over.
“Is your cunt wet? Can I listen?”
“Yes, and no.” Low laugh on his end, stupid great smile on mine. I put my thumb in my mouth, tongue flat against my nail, softly drooling.
“I think we’re moving now, anyway. I’ll see you very, very soon. Kiss kiss.”

//

Many thanks to my friends at Dirty Chat for sponsoring this post!

Review – Fun Factory Laya II

Fun Factory Laya II

I always liked the design of the original Fun Factory Layaspot. It was the cutest of clit vibes – small, curvy, and coming in a wide selection of adorable colours, it stayed on my wishlist for an impressively long time, but I never actually heard anything particularly good about it. “The shape’s decent, I guess. The vibrations are okay, I guess”. I didn’t ever get around to buying one, and eventually it started to disappear from retailer’s websites, seeming to be quietly discontinued. There was little fanfare.

Fun Factory brought it back from the dead a few months ago – revamped, refreshed and renamed the Laya II, it now boasts a sleek new black on black colour scheme, a rechargeable battery and apparently, more power. I remember unwrapping the review package that Fun Factory sent me, feeling a crackle of excitement in my stomach – this is iiiiiit, this is all I’m ever gonna need, this is what I’ve wanted for ssssso long.

No.

Each and every single one of the vibration settings on the Laya II is underwhelming at best. Intolerably buzzy on the higher speeds, the gentlest, wispiest purring on the lowest. Mid-range isn’t even worth bothering with, and the patterns feel like two or three booted woodlice traipsing across my vulva. I don’t know why it doesn’t have the same kind of motor nestled inside in their G5 range – this is piss poor, whiny, dull.

Unlike the vibrations, the curved, comma-like shape works very well for me, which is partly why I’m so disappointed – it nestles easily between my labia, and I’m able to adjust the faint pressure on my clit by clenching my thighs or rolling over onto my side or stomach. I imagined it as an improved Ruby Glow, thinking about how good it’d be for every red-cheeked smut lover sitting cross legged and fidgety.

I don’t get it. The toys that Fun Factory have been churning out lately have been uniformly good to great – the Bück Dich, a thick silicone paddle with a heavily ribbed dildo doubling as a handle, is a perfect example of the toys I’ve come to expect from them, tongue in cheek while managing to do their job well. I’ve talked about the Tiger G5. They’re coming out with a menstrual cup! The Laya II is a profound letdown, and I can’t recommend it.

Many thanks to Fun Factory for sending me this wee gadget in exchange for my review.

You can buy your own Fun Factory Laya II direct from Fun Factory, or from Shevibe.

Casual Sex & Courtesy

photo by Marcello Aquino @ Unsplash

So.

I’ve had a lot of casual sex. Like, a lot – not so much now, because I’m discovering that I’m actually really quite monogamous and currently very into the whole dreamy soft-focus vaseline lens romance thing, not that the two are remotely synonymous…but you get the idea.

I wish I could say that all the casual sex I’ve ever had has been amazing and mutually rewarding, but that’d be the biggest, fattest lie, because I’ve had some monumentally dreadful one night stands. I won’t go into detail, because that’s for another post, but I have got a list of pointers – how to improve your casual sex game, if you will, as a result of all those tragically unsexy situations.

BASIC ETIQUETTE
First point – don’t expect people to want to come straight over to yours, or vice versa. While grabbing a quick coffee together first is obviously not a foolproof way of sussing out if someone’s a serial killer or not, it’s a basic safety measure that’s good for calming nerves (unless you order an espresso, I guess) and establishing chemistry.

Second point – freshen up! Take a good shower, moisturise, scrub under your nails, make sure that your clothes are clean and free of stains – toothpaste, hot chocolate, sauce from those beans you were eating out of the can on your sofa at 3am two days ago. This extends to your place, too, if you’re hosting. Open the windows. Clear things off the floor. Please, please, please change your sheets.

Third point, and I could easily end it here – don’t be awful. No weird body comments, no overstaying your welcome, no offering to order takeout and then asking them for the money, no trying to weasel them into a threesome with your flatmate, no pouting like a petulant child when they reveal that they are – shockingly! – a human being, and not actually a sexbot programmed to fulfil every single one of your desires with no questions asked. Basic human decency. Not a particularly tall order, this one.

CONSENT CONSENT CONSENT
Get consent, and actively respect that consent, because it’s not set in stone forever once it’s given. Making sure that your partner is in agreement about what you’re doing  – or about to be doing – can be as simple as “do you like that?” or “is this okay?”, two phrases that even the most lost for words, anxiety-ridden person on the planet (me) can respond honestly to. Pay attention to body language, and if your partner seems overwhelmed, cagey, or nervous, take a minute to verbally check on them.

BE PREPARED
No excuses! Take condoms and/or other relevant barriers (gloves, dental dams), lube if you think you might need it. If you have a preferred brand, make sure to keep that supply topped up. I’ll concede that taking an entire bottle of lube somewhere isn’t always practical, but because anything is possible on the internet, you can buy individual sachets of the stuff from Luckybloke. You’re welcome.

Taking toys to a one night thing is slightly trickier, and if it’s essential for you to use one to get off, make sure to bring it up beforehand to gauge their opinion. Personally, I take my Vibratex Mystic Wand with me when I know I’m going to get laid because it’s small enough to fit in my bag, isn’t loud or large enough to be deemed intimidating, and I can take the batteries out for travel.

NO PRESSURE
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – or your partner – around lengthy performance or having a stellar orgasm right off the bat.

I’ve slept with multiple people who proclaimed that all they wanted in the world was to make me come and truthfully, declarations like that just make me feel uncomfortable. They make me feel like my orgasm is more of a prize to be won or akin to a steam achievement, something to be checked off the list or stored away later for bragging rights, rather than something you want someone to experience because you genuinely want them to feel good.

In my opinion, good sex is more about intimacy and chemistry than about how many orgasms you have. I can give myself three in ten minutes but I can’t give myself butterflies, you know?

EMOTIONAL SAFETY
Making your intentions clear and being 100% honest is key here. Humans aren’t infallible. We have feelings, and sometimes those feelings are messy and inconvenient and rear their ugly heads when you least expect them to, BUT you can totally mitigate them and make them less tricky to navigate via the twin miracles of open communication and honesty. Magic, right?

BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER
Casual sex should be fun, ideally, and not something that leaves you feeling sticky and vaguely discontent in someone else’s bed. Unfortunately, sexual pleasure isn’t ever guaranteed (no matter what the sex toy industry wants to tell you) and ultimately, it’s up to you to campaign for your own pleasure and comfort.

Learn to advocate for yourself. Get better at confidently reinforcing your own boundaries and respecting other people’s. Hone your communication skills and actively pursue your own pleasure – if someone’s doing something that you’re not actively enjoying, then tell them. Expecting people to be able to read your mind is not a practical basis for a mutually sexually satisfying experience. Accept that what does it for you might not be what does it for someone else – no-one else is ever obliged to indulge your fantasies if they don’t want to, no matter how badly you want it – and incompatibility is just part of the game sometimes.

Many thanks to My Sex Hookups, the free fuck site, for sponsoring this post!

Lust is a virtue

photo by Brooke Lark @ unsplash

I don’t fall in love easily. I don’t even fall in like easily. I’m unwillingly reserved, no social anxiety but still never quite feeling like an active participant in my own social life. Dating is even worse; I secretly fantasise about some pink-hued, 30s screwball idea of love but most of the time I fall in and out of ill-defined ‘things’, partly because I don’t actually know what I want – do I want to date multiple people? Sex With No Strings? One night stands? Romance, with a long, rolled r?

The internet changes that, a little bit. Tinder makes me feel vaguely queasy – swipe left, swipe right, everyone’s a gym lad or a self-proclaimed bad bitch or an art hoe or unable to shut up about their unfortunate facial hair, nightmare – but other places are okay. OkC rings like a catalogue of personals, which I like. There’s a wider range. It’s quieter. That’s where I met them both.

/ / /

After weeks of messaging each other on and off, I’m sitting in his flat on an awkwardly high, hugely expensive cream sofa. Why is it so high? Who designs this stuff? He says he works in the city sometimes but he doesn’t live here, not really; this is “just” his London place, spending most of his time in Toronto. I desperately want to roll my eyes at this and he must see it in my face because he smiles with all his teeth on display, eyes gleaming – “I know, I know”. He gets up to make another coffee and when he sits back down, he reaches out one long arm and pulls my legs onto his lap. I curl up under his shoulder and he continues talking, his thumb making slow circles on my thigh. 

Eventually, we go quiet. He strokes my hair, rolls a lock around a long finger, dips his head to kiss my forehead and eases his thumb into my barely open mouth, pressing it against my teeth. Stands me up and unzips my dress slowly, carefully. Pushes his tongue flat against my cunt through my underwear, teases me until I’m glassy-eyed and pleading, carries me to a vast white bed and fucks me with my legs bent back against my shoulders, pinned under him. I almost don’t come – I pretend, twice – but after he comes messily half-in and half-out of my mouth, he sits me on his face and wraps his arms around my thighs. I couldn’t move away even if I wanted to, which I don’t. 

The insides of my thighs are prickly and raw from his stubble the next morning, and he soothes them after we shower with a cold, damp towel. We look good together. He goes back to Toronto the next day, asking me for my address via text. He likes writing letters, he says. If anyone else had asked me this I would’ve said no, but by this point I’m so thoroughly charmed, I give it to him. I expect nothing.

Two or three days later, I arrive home from work and am promptly dragged into the kitchen by my housemate – “something arrived for you!” she crows. An enormous bouquet, an envelope with scalloped edges. White ribbon. Roses. Peach streaked with pink, creamy eggshell, sunshine yellow, petals slightly bruised from being fondled, the whole thing barely fitting on the countertop. A letter in the envelope, full of filthy words and a long row of kisses blurring into each other.

We see each other every time he’s in the city. One week he bails from work two days early in order to get an earlier flight – he wants to spend more time with me. Work can wait, apparently. He’s clever, handsome, doesn’t expect me to laugh at his terrible jokes, and I am dizzy with lust. It’s unsustainable, of course it is; we are escapism for each other. There are no expectations, and ultimately, there’s no future. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t want it to ever become boring, tarnished by real-life responsibilities, all the ugly, dull things that make us three-dimensional and human. I want something perfect and gleaming. Indulgent. Selfish.

/ / /

She messages me first. She compliments me on my taste in films and it takes me a day to reply – I’m embarrassingly intimidated by her perfectly worded profile – but as soon as I do it snowballs, rapidly. We gel immediately, exchanging numbers and texting non-stop. That weekend, we meet in a tiny, quiet bar for drinks and nachos. I’m nervous but she’s all smiles, smelling like grapefruit and ginger, and the bracelets on her arms clatter together as she reaches out her hands to cup my face, planting a neon kiss on my cheek. She’s warm and pretty and sparkly and magic, her nails long and navy blue. They tap on the side of her glass and I wonder what they’d feel like grazing down the curve of my spine.

We go back to hers, as it’s closer and her housemates are out. I’m wearing ridiculous shoes and try to take them off and fail repeatedly, almost upending myself, rolling back on the sofa with one leg in the air, hysterical. She collapses into laughter and takes pity on me, kneeling with her head resting on my thigh. Carefully untying them, putting them away in a pair. Women seem more aware of enforced femininity’s trappings in a way men just don’t think about – giving you time to redo your makeup in the morning, not treading all over your clothes. If you rip her tights, offer to replace them. Little, basic, boring things.

She fucks me on her bed, first under the covers and then on top of them. Lights on, lights off. Beckons me into the bathroom and runs a bath – it’s a clawfoot, which I’m enchanted by – and lights a candle, opens the window, lets the jasmine scented water drain out of the tub as I lick her cunt lazily, her left leg hooked around the tap. She shows me how she uses the detachable showerhead and we stumble back to bed, almost sated. Just one more time with her doxy.

She texts me the next day. I’m in my own significantly less spacious bathtub, covered in bubbles, and I hear my phone vibrate and scramble for it, nearly dropping it into the water. She says she had fun, she likes me, would like to see me again if I’m free next week or whenever? No rush, totally fine if I’m busy. Yellow flower emoji. I reread it over and over again. She likes me. She likes me. She likes me. 

We go places together, joined at the hip, arms linked, mirroring each other unconsciously. Split a banh mi in the sunshine, go to the £3 cinema, people watch, pet every cat we come across. Mutual respect for each other’s schedules proves to be important – I work long night shifts and don’t have the relative freedom that she does, and she’ll be free for weeks on end, later knuckling down for days spent working on a project. I begin spending more time at hers, partly out of convenience, partly out of want. I want to be near her, wake up with her hair in my face. Make meals together. Make plans.

It tarnishes, eventually, lasting just into autumn. I think of her often.

/ / / 

Many thanks to sexwithnostrings.com, the no.1 UK dating site, for sponsoring this post.

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