Getting The Block

I have had a lot of good sex recently. I have had sex with a cisgendered man, a cis woman, and a trans woman. I suppose I count as pansexual. I have been horny for much of the time and would have had more sex of time permitted. But stuff gets in the way, work, domestic matters, and writing. Writing? I haven’t written anything for a month and it seems almost as if  I need not ti be having much sex to be able to reflect on it and write. Some of this sex has been mind blowing, particularly when my friend Stephanie and I seized the moment in Birmingham’s main lesbian bar. Erotic tension had been hanging in the air as we talked and drank pints of Stella Artois.It was a relief when she took the initiative, pushing me into the outside loo and bolting the door behind us. I kissed her, buried my face in her breasts, then knelt on the cold floor to work her clit with my tongue before pushing my fingers into her cunt, which was wet and dilating rapidly. Four fingers went in and worked up and down, increasing the tempo until, she came with a moan which must have been heard by the several people trying the door.

Just like car sex this was exciting because we courted discovery and had little time. It left me the most amazing high but unable to write. I have had ideas for blog posts which I have discarded, others I have written but feel unable to publish  because  they are born of my darkest, most intimate fantasies.

And then came the call for the Eroticon anthology with the subtext “Truth”. I had a day off work and sat for three hours over my new exercise book. I write nothing. I fantasised, I masturbated, I came but no words were out down in the page.

But last week, with a little distance from this wonderful sex, I got some ideas down. I will get my mojo back. I am going to fuck myself creative. And I hope you like the result.

Girls on Top

When I first had sex with Kelly it seemed natural to kneel before her, kiss her feet before working my way up to kiss the labia, massage her clit with my tongue, kneeling in adoration before she drew me gently to my feet. We kissed before she made me lean over the bed.  She spanked me hard and I was still stinging when I felt cold lube around my anus,  heard the slap of a surgical glove being pulled on before she moved her delicate fingers inside me, probing my back passage. At first, I tensed up, clenched the muscles, before her soothing words helped me relax.  I was surrendering to her, giving her my body to play with. She fingered me for several minutes, pushing in fingers, two then three, moving rhythmically in and out and building up to an intensity I found almost unbearable.

It was with relief that I felt her withdraw, before she lay beside me and I went down on her licking greedily at her pussy , then finger fucking her as she massaged her clit  I played with myself with my free hand, fucking her harder and faster until we came, together.

Then I knelt before her, head bowed, before gently, lingeringly, kissing her feet.  I lowered my head and touched the floor with my forehead. My worship of her was as arousing as the sex that has sparked my adoration. I was horny, so fucking horny. So we did it again before lying together, drinking gin and tonic until it was time for her to go, to get home before her husband.

In those moments I realised , what I had not been fully aware of before, which is that that I am still deeply sexually submissive with women. Dominant and sadistic in BDSM contexts, but in the bedroom with a woman, I need to worship, to adore the beauty of the female body, the most precious flower my lover keeps for me.

With men it is different and my sadism is a key part of becoming aroused for sex with men. I love the different smell of men, the hardness and angularity. But, at a deep level, I want to punish them for not being soft and rounded and beautiful as my female lovers are. The pleasure I get from hurting them as they strive to pleasure me is a doubling of the sensual delight. For them, the pleasure and pain are a dialectic that resolves itself into a synthesis of explosive orgasms; and more. As one male lover put it, rough sex with me had taken him into the kind of sub space he had only previously known in a BDSM context.

He bled, he was bruised, he smelt of the come I had smeared all over his torso. He knew what all men who go to bed with me must learn. Whether fucking me or coming in my mouth after a vigorous blow job, their pleasure will be bought with pain. For that is fundamental to who I am; a lifestyle dominant and sadist who exacts a toll of suffering from any man who would get close to her.

I have never believed that dominance and submission, or sadism and masochism were polar opposites.  I think there is something of both in all of us.  I remember, a couple of years ago, reading a brilliantly insightful BDSM based short story whose heroine was as professional dominatrix who, in her private life, was the 24/7 submissive of another woman.  I identified as a submissive before discovering my dominant vocation. But I retain submissive urges. My female lovers have enabled me to transfer them to the bedroom. And for that, I will worship them all the more.

BREAKING BOUNDARIES

I’m not a big fan of portmanteau words and I have to say that cisheteronormative is a spectacularly ugly word.  Nonetheless it is a necessary one if we are to have any kind of inclusive definition of sex and sexual activity. For, as Meg John Barker and Justin Hancock point out in their book Enjoying Sex, standard sex advice is precisely that, centred on PIV sex and technique and performance. They, instead, focus on the individual and their needs. These include the need to be freed from the dead hand of social norms.

The cisheteronormative is pervasive and influences so much that we think about sex, even those of us who like to identify as sex positive, who live alternative sexualities, and who blog about these things. Two excellent Smutathon posts by Coffee and Kink and The Other Livvy deconstruct the concepts of foreplay and virginity.

If PIV sex is privileged and defines as normal or, worse, the only “proper sex”, the question  arises of where this leaves LGBT people, disabled people, even people who simply don’t enjoy penetration? Then there are those who do not have sexual partners and have solo sex. This particularly has been the target of stigma, shaming, religious taboos and, inevitably, medical pseudo-science. I looked at some of these issues in this post. Rereading it I can see that I, too, fell into the trap of seeing masturbation predominantly as a means to an end rather than as a legitimate and enjoyable activity in its own right.

For the elimination of shame and stigma requires the idea of “normal” sex to be challenged. And, as the authors point out, this perceived normality is actually an ideological construct rather than something objectively rooted in biology.  For there is always more than one way of looking at the same thing. A penis, for example, can be seen as both a complement to a vagina (emphasising the difference) or as a male equivalent of the clitoris (and, up to a relatively stage in the development of a foetus, they are the same thing.

The problem for most of us, I suppose, is that the cultural and social norms we grew with are so pervasive that it takes real effort to get outside their boundaries to think things new. That, or life changing experiences. In truth even gender transition or the discovery of BDSM only took me part of the way.

I will talk in a forthcoming post about the different ways in which I interact with male and female sexual partners. For now I want to say a little about what I have learnt about sex from two and a half years of living as a bisexual transgender woman.

I had fondly imagined that, being bi,  I would see no difference, that I would carry on with the same lovers, in the same beds, that……yet the first time with a woman was very different to what I had expected, and set me off on a wonderful journey of discovery.  Having decided that, pre-op, I did not want to penetrate  sexual partners, I was prepared for difference but not the total delight of exploring a woman’s body for its own sake rather than as a build up to the “main” event, feeling her engage with my trans body in new ways, and finding new ways of giving me pleasure.

Sex had become for me something amorphous, or a journey without a destination. This is how I experience sex with women. There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no  linear progression. Sit jist is.  And when I am having sex with a woman, I am, to draw on another theme of the book, in the moment.

I actually relate sexually to men and women in very different ways, and I will say a little more about this in a forthcoming post. But with my male partners I am still not quite getting there. I think I will give them the book to read. It will help us both to break the boundaries that still constrain our thinking.

Of course, none of this implies that there is anything wrong with penis in vagina sex. I have had a lot in my time and enjoyed it.  The problem is when it is seen as a norm.

Another theme of this book is consent. The authors define this in ways that go beyond conventional definitions, and suggest that non-consensual sex can include making assumptions about what  partner enjoys, lack of communication, a lack of care.  As a BDSM practitioner I thought I had a relatively sophisticated understanding of consent but this gave me food for thought. I need to write about consent too, as way of gathering my own thoughts.

This, then, is a book with important messages, messages that I could relate to my own experience  and which helped draw together threads from ideas I had forming in my head from other bloggers’ writing. It has helped me to understand myself, to accept myself. It has empowered me.  And I loved the idea that by, for example, pleasuring yourself as you read a smutty story you are engaging sexually with the author. Because this means I have engaged with some awesome, awesome people.

 

Down to a T

I recently read a piece (I can’t remember where so can’t provide a reference) in which it was argued that the T in LGBT I was out of place since gender is a distinct phenomenon from sexual orientation. On one level this is true although we might point out that if a change of gender does not entail a change in sexual orientation this would mean that the act of transitioning the T actually entails the L or G since a straight man transitioning becomes a lesbian.

But there is a deeper problem with this way of thinking. It simply has an excessively narrow view  both of gender and sexuality and  ignores the ways in which they have been intertwined in gay and lesbian subcultures.

I began to think about this whilst at Tate Britain last week,  visiting the exhibition Queer British Art 1861 to 1967, held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales.

For, from the Victorian era, experiments with gender fluidity were part of the artistic expression of gay and lesbian identity. Everywhere where there is androgyny and this was something that was clear to contemporary observers.   Clothes, make up, hair,  the use of beautiful young men as models for female figures from  classical mythology, this even before we get onto pantomime dames and  drag queens. In short, those who identified with alternative and stigmatised sexualities, sought to perform their sexuality in ways that also challenged gender stereotypes. Look, for example, at the photograph of Quentin Crisp in the exhibition or the iconic portrait of Radclyffe Hall.

And maybe the words gay and lesbian are out of place here too. At the start of the period represented by the exhibition medical science had still to invent and define hetero- and homosexuality as concepts. As categories they can be restricting too. Science seeks to define and classify. Art doesn’t.  Art like this serves to undermine the neat order of science’s categories. It points the way to which allow us can live art through our sexuality and through our performance of gender. Queer art is saying that sexuality is elusive, a range of possibilities, a range of pleasures, and gender a stage for our self-representation. Seen through the prism of art, rigid definitions of gender are as constraining as heteronormative binary views of sexuality and, in a sense, underpin them.

There were parts of this exhibition I found deeply erotic. Some of the exhibition was wickedly funny. Take a look at the library book covers doctored by Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, an act for which the state exacted vicious revenge with six month prison sentences.  All of it was empowering, much of it beautiful. I left, thinking that sexuality and gender form a space where can express ourselves, a space where we can be free.

Sexy Summer Book Club

I am pretty undisciplined when it comes to reading. I usually have seven or more books on the go at any one time, read on the loo, on the bus, while stirring porridge, often just a page or two at a time, before I put the book down and move on to something else. I do plenty of reading but seem to take ages to finish individual books.  It is not unusual for a book for a book to lie untouched for several weeks and, when I pick it up to resume reading, I find I have lost the thread.

For this reason, I am great joiner of book clubs. I regularly attend the Birmingham Feminists Book Club and have read some wonderful books by the likes of Sarah Waters, Maya Angelou and Angela Carter. Book clubs make you read to a deadline and think about what you are reading so that you can contribute to the discussion.  In short, it gives you discipline.

Strange as it may seem, I don’t read nearly as much smut as I ought to.  So I thought that the Sexy Summer Book Club might be an opportunity. We began with the sexual reminiscences and reflections of Girl on the Net. Now I have known GoTN for a few years, having originally met her at Eroticon. I got to chat to her quite a bit as we were often to be found outside the building with the smoking crew. And bonding over a cigarette is a great way to bond, at least with people you are probably never going to go to bed with.

But I had never read very much of her writing. Partly this is because I don’t read a lot of blogs and things online. After a day in the office mired in Excel spreadsheets I just don’t like spending much time reading from screens in the evening. Book Club seemed like a good opportunity to make good the omission.

And I totally loved How a Bad Girl Falls in Love. The GoTN who came off the page was  the same GoTN I love smoking and drinking with. Witty and clever, with a sharp eye for the detail or observation that saves five hundred words, forthright in her opinions, a big personality.

Yet there is more here than opinion, humorous asides and fab sex (although there is plenty of all those). She also writes about her struggles with anxiety and low self-esteem and this, too, is something I can relate to.  I sometimes think it goes with the territory for those of us who became aware, possibly at a young age, that we were different in terms of our sexuality.  The journey away from shame and self-loathing towards an acceptance of who you are and the confidence to simply be yourself is a long one. And even when you find soul mates, in the kink scene or the sex blogging community, for example, the black clouds never quite leave you. Maybe life would be untroubled if all my sex was vanilla, if I didn’t know what a spreader bar was or a dildo?

But ultimately we are who we are. And in my darkest moments  I know that they are people lime GoTN  who will get me, will not judge, will give me love. Which I will reciprocate. Because that is one of the great things to come out of the book for me, the realisation that GoTN is not just a companion in nicotine and cider, but, in all her complexity, a soul mate.

I also understand where she is coming from sexually and why she likes the particular pieces of writing of mine that she does. And some of the writing in this book is hot. I read the book in the gym and had to interrupt my workout on one occasion to go to the Ladies and play with myself. And that, dear reader is the acid test, isn’t it?

A Pin To See The Peepshow

My interest in true crime dates from the time when, as a child, I listened to Edgar Lustgarten’s half hour programmes on Radio 4, when , in a rich, fruity voice he recounted famous murders of the past. So it was that I first heard about Armstrong the Hay poisoner, about the Brighton trunk murders of 1934, the Stratton brothers who, in 1905, became the first defendants convicted of murder on the basis of fingerprint evidence, and many other notorious cases.

Lustgarten seemed to revel in the often gory detail and he left no doubt that he considered the gallows a just destination for those who killed. He also believed that there had been few true miscarriages of justice and had a faith in the criminal justice system that few would have today. He even disputed the innocence of Timothy Evans.

There was really only one hanging that disturbed him and, when I first heard his account of the Ilford murder of 1922, I detected a tremor of emotion in his voice. For Lustgarten believed passionately in the innocence of Edith Thompson.

The facts of the case are well enough known.  Thompson, who was 28 at the time of the killing, lived in Ilford with her slightly older husband Percy. Their life was one of middle class respectability and quiet prosperity. Edith was a career woman and had worked her way up to be head buyer for a firm of milliners.  The marriage, however, was not happy and she embarked on an affair with a younger man called Freddy Bywaters. This proved her downfall. The jealous Bywaters, frustrated that Edith would not leave her husband, (something she could only do at huge personal cost) ran up behind the couple one evening as they walked home from the theatre and stabbed Percy Thompson to death.

There was no evidence that Edith knew that Bywaters had planned to do this, still less that she had incited him. Nonetheless she found herself on trial for murder. Bywaters had foolishly kept all her letters, in which she fantasised about killing or harming Percy, about putting ground glass in his dinner for example.   These were pure fantasy but deadly in the hands  of a prosecution seeking to plant a picture of Edith Thompson as an evil and manipulative woman. What was not fantasy was the fact that Edith had committed adultery and had had an illegal abortion.  For the social conventions of the time this put her pretty much beyond the pale and led her to the gallows at Holloway.

The case inspired the novel A Pin To See The Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse that I have just finished reading. Her heroine is called Julia Starling, nee Almond, and the setting moved across London to Chiswick.  Two thirds of the book is a portrait of London life from the period just before the First World War up to the early 1920s. Julia is a complex and contradictory character, attractive yet flawed. The narrative cleverly builds up the tension between the   dreams fostered by her daily contact with the wealthy aristocratic women she mixes with at the shop where she works, women whose money allows them moral leeway, and the drab lower middle class existence she has to return to each evening. Like Edith Thompson, she embarks on a an affair with dire consequences.

The last third of the book is essentially a fictionalised retelling of the actual trial of Thompson and Bywaters. It is compelling but grim, the story of a woman caught up in the machinery of a system that she does not understand and which she is powerless to stop.

Jesse’s novel was also dramatised but a performing licence was refused by the Lord Chamberlain. It was, even by 1934, too sensitive a matter for the authorities. Eventually in 1973 it was serialised for television by Elaine Morgan, with Francesca Annis playing the lead role.

The case continues to fascinate, principally because of Edith Thompson. Everyone who studies the case finds her an attractive personality. She is in many ways strikingly modern, a career woman with a good salary and financial independence (something which was held against her), a woman who enjoyed sex, and gave eloquent expression in her writing to her erotic imagination. She was a woman trapped in her time and, importantly, her class. For, even in 1922, her life would have been different had she been born into the aristocracy and not the suburban lower middle class. She was a victim of class prejudice as well as misogyny. At the time commentators sneeringly described her as a kind of low rent Madame Bovary. Killing Edith Thompson was not enough it seems. Her reputation had to be trashed as well.

This all happened nearly a century ago but the case still has resonance. Women are still harshly treated by the criminal justice system, more likely to be imprisoned than mean for similar offences, this despite the fact that women are more likely to have childcare responsibilities. It is, at times, as if women defendants are judged not just for their crimes, but for falling short of some ill-defined ideal of what a woman should be.

We have, I suppose, moved on from the times when a 28 year old woman could be killed by the state for liking sex  but not wanting to have a baby, but we haven’t moved far enough.

An Appetite for Pleasure

When I was 11 and staying at a friend’s house, we stumbled upon her father’s porn stash. We spent the afternoon leafing through these well- thumbed copies of Men Only.  At this distance in time I don’t remember a great deal about them except being fascinated by a photospread of a guy eating bananas and cream off his partner’s lady parts. And so a connection between food and sex was established in my mind. A current male lover loves to lick various sweet treats off my feet and this is as good a pedicure as I have had in any salon and delightfully erotic.

I, in my time, have greedily licked yoghurt and honey off cock, I have drawn a Cadbury’s Flake out of a girlfriend with my teeth (and soaked in pussy juice a Flake is, well, something else) and I still shudder to think to think about the mess a lover and I made of a hotel bed with a steak and kidney pie.

The point for me is that food is sensual, sex is sensual. Eating oysters is quite a bit like sucking cock, it’s just that cock is even better when your lover comes in your mouth. And like all the sensual pleasures they are predicated on mortality. I was, therefore,  little surprised a while ago to talk to a sex positive lady (and part time sex worker)   describing the way in which she had lost weight, through one of the many faddish diets.

“I haven’t eaten for 48 hours”  she said with a smile. “And I’m nor even hungry.”

Well, yes, I thought but this is missing the point. Food is not an enemy it is a pleasure to be embraced like a lover. Eat well, eat regularly just not to excess. Deny yourself nothing. Yet so many people do. And they are surely blunting their sensual appetite more generally. Deny yourself dessert  and what are you going to lick off your lover before you fuck? And how can you get properly horny and have the energy for love making without steak or oysters or a glass of wine?

I have lost three and a half stone since the beginning of 2015. I am now dress size 12 to 14 where I was once a 22. Some of this was down to running but mainly it is down to making the decision to eat well and eat regularly. Three proper meals, no snacks. Oh and room for dessert, room for cheese, room for wine.  It was while visiting friends In France that I had this idea. My friends pointed out that there are far fewer overweight people in France than in England yet most French people eat well. I had to agree.

I really can’t imagine Catherine Deneuve going 48 hours without food and not feeling hungry, still less being happy about it. So I’m just off out to buy cheese and maybe a crème brulee. And then I will see where the evening takes me.