Friday 31 July 2015

You're never too old to learn new things about condoms

The other day, my daughter decided to inflate a condom like a balloon. I've no idea why she did this. She's nineteen. I am sure that she knows how condoms are supposed to be employed.

We were both feeling poorly and full of cold viruses and were lounging around the living room feeling sorry for ourselves. Clearly condom-inflation seemed the way to go at this point. Just before she buggered off to her boyfriend's house for the evening, my daughter drew a face on the inflated condom "so you don't get lonely".

So I now have a new room-mate. He's a bit of an airhead but on the whole he's pretty easy going.

My new friend was originally quite, well, slimy. He's considerably less so now. I mentioned to my daughter that this was because he has been bobbing around my bedroom rubbing spermicide on every surface that he has come into contact with, This led to a slightly heated "Do condoms come with added spermicide?" discussion. I maintained that they do. My daughter emphatically maintained that the condom-puppet's sliminess was all down to lubricant. "It's just lube, Mum!" is the sort of thing that passes for normal conversation in our house.

I backed down from the argument pretty quickly because (a) my knowledge of the ins and outs of prophylactics isn't terribly comprehensive and (b) I had to concede that if spermicide was part of the manufacturing process of a condom, would one really put it on the outside? Surely if you were going to spermicidize any part of a condom, it would make a lot more sense to put it on the inside.

I like to recognise a learning opportunity when I see one, though. So if anyone is curious (and as ill-informed as I am), I have ascertained that condoms DID used to include spermicide Nonoxynol-9 up until the early part of this century. They don't any more. Durex have completely stopped making and selling condoms lubricated with spermicide. Nonoxynol-9 is no longer permitted in new products. In 2001 the World Health Organisation concluded: "There is no published scientific evidence that N-9-lubricated condoms provide any additional protection against pregnancy or STDs compared with condoms lubricated with other products. Since adverse effects due to the addition of N-9 to condoms cannot be excluded, such condoms should no longer be promoted."

So there you go. I wasn't wrong exactly. Just hopelessly out of date. That's parents for you - always living in the past. No wonder our teenage children roll their eyes and say "It's just lube, Mum." God, parents are so embarrassing. Always carrying on like it's the 1990s or something.

Oh, and speaking of the 1990s, we had some corking condom-awareness adverts back then. I am sure anyone from the UK who is near my age will remember Fred Brewster and 'Geronimo'. It's sad to think that Mr Brewster is almost certainly no longer with us, I hope he bequeathed Geronimo to a good home.

"It was like having a bath with your socks on. But it never stopped me. No way."

Thursday 30 July 2015

Gentlemen For Hire

A while back I wrote a series of posts about my adventures in Online Dating. My OKCupid account is currently deactivated because I am seeing someone in an exclusive not-hooking-up-with-random-weirdos-from-the-internet way. Which is fine and lovely, obviously, but you know, I do sometimes miss the weirdos.

And the "sexy" aquatic images that for some reason accompanied all my dating posts.
(Yes, I did crop the picture above. You're welcome.)
Incidentally, when you deactivate your account, OKCupid asks you to provide your reason for doing so from a list of options which include things like "because Online dating turned out to be terrifying and weird" and "I got fed up with all the axe-murdery types sending me badly spelled messages." I imagine when someone actually ticks the first option "Because I met someone through OKCupid", everyone in the OKC offices gets very excited and starts high-fiving one another. I like to think I made them happy, anyway.

Fun as it was, I don't think I can reactivate my Online Profile just for the purposes of poking the nutters with a stick. If you're not actively looking then you don't get to play. Online Dating is not a spectator sport.

If only there were another source of weirdos on the web...

Well, happily enough there is! There's the utterly baffling (and horribly fascinating) Male Escort site These men aren't going to be doing any chasing. They want women to come to them. And to pay handsomely for the privilege.

Gentlemen4Hire does exactly what it says on the tin. It provides a selection of gentlemen of all shapes, sizes, nationalities and ages and the hourly rate for which you can avail yourself of their services.

All manner of gentlemen can be found on these pages, from slick Italian 'ex-model', Matteo here:

Matteo (£90 p/h): "If you ask, my best quality is that I am a great listener and have the gift to deeply understand women."
To the slightly more rumpled-looking Mohit. To be fair, Mohit recognises that he might not be to everyone's taste and has priced himself accordingly. It costs a mere £10 an hour to hang out with young Mohit, there. That's a ninth of the price of smooth, chin-fondling Matteo.

Mohit (£10 p/h): "I like nice women who like me for who I am"
What services are you buying here, you may ask? Well, emphatically NOT SEX according to Gentlemen4Hire's FAQ page. "Our escorts are straight male escorts offering companionship only, they do not offer sexual services". Oddly, this information doesn't seem to have been communicated to the escorts themselves. Most of the profiles seem to be all about assuring their potential clients of their sexy sex prowess. This is achieved with varying degrees of subtlety.

Tom (£40 p/h) claims to be "well-dressed" on his profile.
You're not very dressed at all here, mate.

Luke (£100 p/h): "il be anything you want me to be."
Um, how about clothed?
Not all the gentlemen for hire are quite so brazenly up for it though. Ashok (who expects a whopping £180 for each hour of his company) is very clear that he is not going to put out. Like he says on his profile, he "love[s] cuddles, holding hands, but on NO SEX basis."

No sex with Ashok. Just STOP ASKING, all of you.
The quality of photos on this site varies a hell of a lot. For every good-quality decently shot set of pictures, there's at least one person who was clearly happy to bung up whatever picture they just happened to have on their phone regardless of whether it was blurry, or the size of a thumbnail or was clearly cropped out of their own wedding picture.

And apparently 'cropping' may be a skill to far for some of these gentlemen. Er, was that your wife, next you there, squire? That's ... disturbing.

James (£65 p/h): "No calls will be ansered [sic] without previous contact, I repeat I will not answer calls without prior contact."
Why? Because the missus might find out what you're up to?
Far worse are the pictures where children have been partially cropped out or covered up. Seriously, you're pimping yourself as a straight male escort and you couldn't find a single fucking picture of yourself without your children in it? I am not linking to any of those pictures. I have no idea what those men were thinking. I presume they weren't thinking at all. If there was any amount of thought involved, that makes it all rather worse.

There are plenty of other baffling images to choose from, though. 'Can' here seems to enjoy a particularly close relationship with his dog. So much so that he included this picture four times in his profile. Four identical pictures. One after another. Just in case you accidentally scrolled through the first three. Is what you're doing there even legal, mate?

Can (£100 p/h): "I'm 25 years old I'm Turkish I like sex. I can make you happy."
Like on every online dating site ever, many of the men here have no idea how to sell themselves. Which is odd because this time there is actual, literal selling going on.

I wonder how much business any of these gentlemen for hire actually get? Is there a lot of demand for this sort of thing from women, do you think? The website's Become An Escort page tells us that "there is currently overwhelming demand for male escorts". But, you know what, lads? I think the site owners may be bulshitting you.

All the gentlemen on this site are paying £9.99 a month to have their profiles displayed. It's a small enough sum for plenty of blokes to presumably think "Oh sod it. I might as well. Could be a laugh." and given that the site owners don't need to do a thing other than host all the profiles (all bookings are made directly with the escorts), I imagine, there's a tidy little profit to be made from deluded souls who somehow think that offering their social and sexual services to lonely ladies will equal ££££££££.

I would love to know how many bookings these men get as a result of being on here. Because who wouldn't want to shell out three hundred quid (plus all expenses) for the pleasure of spending the evening with a unkempt, unfit middle-aged man with poor spelling and grammar skills? Goodness knows, it's not like Plenty of Fish and OKCupid aren't already teeming with such prime specimens offering to "fuk u evrey way u liek" for no fee whatsoever.

Not that I think all the gentlemen on Gentlemen4Hire are on a hiding to nothing. Take Dale from Bradford (£100 p/h).

"The experience of a lifetime which is sure to have you back for more."
Dale takes this shit seriously. He's got a YouTube account and everything. He's got dozens of photo montages set to cheesy music which allow the viewer to virtually enjoy Dale Meeting You After Work, A Dinner Date With Dale and my personal favourite, Dale Visiting You At Your Place.

This particular video a bit long, mind. 
If you're pushed for time, may I suggest skipping to 1:44 ("Dale takes his shirt off") or 3:40 ("Dale moves into the bedroom")

If you couldn't afford to hire Dale, you could pretend you were on a date with him by watching one of his "Dinner Date" videos while forking microwaved Marks & Spencer Spaghetti Carbonara into your mouth and sobbing quietly into your Pinot Grigio.

Delightful as Dale's videos are (and they are delightful. I can't stop watching them), that's not the reason I think that - unlike 90% of men on Gentlemen4Hire - Dale might actually be making a reasonable income as a Male Escort.

Dale, you see, advertises on numerous Male Escort sites. This includes Gay sites. If there are any men reading this who do want to make a living from having sex with people, I think having sex with other men is probably the most profitable way to go about it.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Spanking A2Z: Unicorns to Zoetropes

So last month, I participated in Celeste Jones's Spanking A2Z challenge. As required, I produced blog posts for ALL the letters of the alphabet from A to T.

Only, you know what? Apparently, there are more letters after T in the alphabet. Who knew? I blame the British education system. (Although to be fair, you'd have thought that the 'Z' in #spankingA2Z would have provided my first clue.)

Obviously, I can't move on with my blog (or my life) until I have dealt with the rest of these pesky letters. So hold tight, readers, this is going to be a whirlwind journey through letters U to Z.


Horse with a ruddy great weapon attached to its face
Seriously, people, what is the deal with unicorns? Obviously, I am missing out on 95% of the appeal of unicorns by not being a pony-ish/horsey sort of girl. Even though I live in Surrey and one in every three vehicles here is a horsebox. If you don't have a "I stop for horses" bumper sticker on the back of your car, you may as well be telling your fellow road users "I mow down horses and their riders for shits and giggles".

I still don't get the unicorn thing. Why does sticking a ruddy great weapon on the front of a horse's face make it more whimsical and magical?

Would a hamster be more adorable if it had a chainsaw attached to its nose? Would you like rabbits better if their ears could double up as ninja death stars? What about if a goldfish could shit incendiary devices? Or if cats had lethally sharp weapons springing out of their paws at a moment's notice? Oh wait, cats actually do have that. And that shit's real. Cats win. They always do.

Vaginas and Vulvas

There was a thread on Mumsnet recently complaining that a school sex education talk told pre-pubescent girls they will grow hair on their vaginas when they hit puberty. They won't. Women don't have hair on their vaginas. The vagina is the genital tract. It's all internal. Women have hair on their mons pubis and their outer labia. Hell, if they're like me, they have hair from just below their belly to halfway to their knees if they don't choose to do something about it.

When did 'vagina' become the catch-all term for a woman's intimate area? OK, it's better than referring to 'front bottoms' or 'flowers' or 'lady gardens' or, you know, a 'woman's intimate area' but it still isn't right.

If you're talking about the external stuff, then why not just refer to the vulva? That covers the mons pubis, the inner and outer labia, the clitoris, the vaginal opening and the external urethral orifice. The whole shebang as gynecologists (probably) say.

Germaine Greer advocates using the word 'cunt' as a term which encompasses all the female sex organs. I love the word 'cunt'. I try not to use it too often as I like to keep it for special occasions. Like having a best set of crockery that you only get out for special visitors. 'Cunt' isn't synonymous with 'vulva' anyway.  'Cunt' includes the vagina but excludes the urethra. (I feel like there's a Venn diagram just waiting to happen, here. And I do love a Venn diagram.)

Embrace the word 'vulva'. It covers a multitude of terribly interesting areas. Although if you do want to keep referring to 'cupcakes', 'flowers' and 'mimsies', I'll try not to judge you.

Just don't advise your daughters to shave their vaginas. That could get really messy.

Westerfield Affair, The

I could have gone with Westbrook for 'W' but, you know, you've probably had enough of that sort of thing.

Enjoy a snippet from Renee Rose's "The Westerfield Affair" instead. Because goodness knows, I never talk about her on this blog.
“Well, I've come around, will you let me up?” 
“Are you going to spank me again?” 
His mouth twitched with what appeared to be humor. “No.” 
“I rather like holding you like this.” 
She bit her lip, trying not to smile. 
“We should not be in here alone.” 
“No, we shouldn't,” he agreed. 
“So will you let me up?” 
“No,” he refused flatly. 
She rolled her eyes and reached up, plucking the end of his cravat and yanking it, so it came untied. It was a bold to tease him now, considering he'd shown no compunction in turning her over his knee, but his eyes crinkled with amusement and he smiled down at her.

You know I'm not even slightly apologetic for more Renee Rose-ness on my blog, don't you?

Best spanky romance. EVAH

Big X, little X, what begins with X? Well, nothing much does, does it? X is a very much a letter for coming at the end or in the middle of words.

Even Dr Seuss acknowledges this in Dr Seuss' ABC. 
X is very useful if your name is Nixie Knox
It also comes in handy spelling 'ax' and 'extra fox'

And let's face it very few of us are called Nixie Knox. (I know three Nixie Knoxes, tops.) So it's just the ax, fox and people-who-want-to-score-well-in-Scrabble contingent who need to worry about it.

I wrote about X-rated movies for my 2014 X blog post but I really can't think of another X-word that I want to write about on my nominally spanking-themed blog. X-rays? Xenophobia? Xylophones?

Actually, it occurs to me that xylophones are massively over-represented in their importance to impressionable young children. So are zebras. Almost 8% of alphabet-themed wallcharts consist of xylophones and zebras. Children must grow up thinking those two things are going to be vastly more significant in their lives than they actually are.

Make sure you learn this word, kids. It's going to be HUGELY important in your adult lives.


Or rather "Yes, yes, yessss, Oh God, Yesssssssss!"

Of course, the most famous "Yes!"-based orgasm scene in popular culture isn't even a real orgasm. Still a marvellous clip, though.

I've never understood the trope about shouting out the name of the wrong lover in bed. Do people really call out their sexual partners' names at the point of climax? I have never done it. Shouting out "Nigel! Nigel! Oh, Nigel!" would just seem kind of weird and awkward in the circumstances.

I'm sure I do say "Yes!" a lot, though. Apart from anything else, it's positive reinforcement. You don't want to be all negative if a gentleman is doing his utmost to pleasure you. There's a scene in the movie This Year's Love where Ian Hart is attempting to pleasure Jennifer Ehle. She dismissively says "No... no... not like that" in response to his efforts. Well, that's not going to get the job done, is it sweetheart?

Far better to say "Yes" to the best bits. Gives a bloke a bit of feedback. Which I find encourages more "Yes"s. Leading, of course, to "Yessssss!", "Yessssssssss!" and "Oh, my fucking god, Yesssssssss!". Culminating in utter speechlessness when it all becomes much too marvellous for words.


You've all seen a zoetrope, right? It's a fancier version of the flip-book and was briefly popular in the nineteenth century. My internet-age daughter had her mind blown by the ones at The Museum of Childhood in London when she was little.

Zoetropes were pretty quickly eclipsed by film. Why stare through a tiny slit in a rotating drum when there's actual proper moving images on screen? Of course, the interesting thing is that film is based on exactly the same principles as the zoetrope. Which is that our brains are quite easily fooled. Show me a quick succession of moving images and my brain will happily fill in the gaps to ensure that it looks like a smooth progression of movement happening in front of my eyes.

Happily, the art of creating zoetropes is still alive and well. Both Studio Gibli and Pixar have created 3D zoetropes in order to demonstrate how animation works.

Just watch the clip below and tell me those characters aren't moving. I refuse to believe otherwise. Actually, why did they even need to build a zoetrope? Why not just get the characters from Toy Story to walk around independently. They can totally do that. It's not like they need those tricks. The Toy Story films were fly-on-the-wall documentaries, right?

So there you go. I may not be able to claim that I completed the #SpankA2Z challenge this year. What with being three weeks behind schedule and everything, But at least I can move on with my life, now.

Wednesday 1 July 2015


This is my 'T' post for the Spanking A-Z Blog Challenge. "What's that?" you ask. Check out my page here for more information and a list of all the wonderful bloggers taking part.

I mentioned in an earlier post that tea is my number one fetish. I'm not even joking about this. It's on my FetLife list of fetishes and everything.

I hang about with a lot of Americans online and, you know, a lot of the cliches you've been given to understand about British people aren't true. We don't wear bowler hats all the time. We don't greet one another by saying "God save the Queen!" Our teeth are fine.

But being obsessed with a nice cup of tea? Oh hell yes. My sister-in-law had to do the UK Citizenship Test  which consisted of a bonkers load of questions that most of us who were just born in this country would struggle to answer. I reckon the best way to do a UK Citizenship test would be to ask prospective residents if they want a cup of tea, If they say "Oooh, I could murder a cup of tea right now, I'm parched." then we can immediately welcome them into the country with open arms.

Years ago, when I worked in IT Support, we used to operate an international 24 hour support desk which meant that we would hand over to the US support team at a certain time each evening. One day we needed to hand over a couple of hours early. (I forget why. Let's assume there was some inter-departmental orgy going on.) The US Support Manager said "Sure. But you owe us candy."

We took her at her word and posted a huge box of  goodies including loads of very English sweets like clotted cream fudge and rhubarb and custards. We also included tacky Royal Family souvenirs, pork scratchings and a jar of Marmite. And a lovely selection of tea, obviously.

And because I have no confidence that Americans have any idea about how to make a cup of tea, I very helpfully included the following flow-chart.

Unfortunately, I didn't include any instructions for the jar of Marmite which led to the Support Manager attempting to tuck into it with a spoon. And then declaring it disgusting, obviously. Because that's not how you do Marmite. Hot buttered toast is essential.

A year or so later, a young lady joined the Support team who claimed to have never made a cup of tea in her life. Clearly, this wasn't an adequate excuse not to take part in the tea rounds so I printed out the above flowchart to give her some guidance. Did it help, you ask? Did it, bollocks. You know the bit she messed up on? The 'making sure the kettle had boiled adequately' bit. The importance of freshly boiled water is mentioned like FOUR TIMES in my flowchart. She just assumed the water that was already sitting in the kettle was 'hot enough' and used that. She was just lucky that I wasn't her Line Manager. I would have definitely have brought that up in her Performance Review.

I'm not saying tea is the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD, you understand. That would be crazy. It definitely makes the top three, though.