Exposing40

Friends. Photography. Adventure.

Simply Me

Last Tuesday morning birthday boy Exhibit A tweeted that his DMs were open for “allllllll your best nudes.” I giggled, wondered how many he’d get then thought nothing more of it. Shortly after midnight he tweeted a thank you. I suddenly realised that not only had I not sent him a birthday nude but it had not even occurred to me to do so.

I am a very bad sender of sexy nudes. I’m an excellent taker and editor of arty farty flattering nudes. I’m on the money when it comes to adding flourish and humour to photos. I’ll make sure my friends and I have so much fun being naked that we forget about the bits of ourselves we don’t like. But I hardly ever just grab the camera to take a candid shot of naked me to send a partner or lover, to let them know I’m thinking about them or to turn them on.

Don’t get me wrong, I do send partners nudes, but it’s always just an advance viewing of one that’s going to be on a blog. And even if it’s for their eyes only, it’s still always slightly curated and edited. In short I send them the photos of me that I like, not the unfiltered unedited ones that are the real me, that would help them imagine they’re there with me. It’s ridiculous really. I’m not a shy naked person. When I’m with a partner I happily wander around with all the wobbles on show and I never feel the need to cover up when we hang out on the sofa after sex or sit and eat dinner. But when they’re with me they’ve got all of me – the whole package of what makes me me and my body is just part of that. When I’m sending a photo suddenly my body is a one dimensional thing captured in pixels and I’m less confident about my nudity. Which is why they get the same curated shots that the outside world gets. And that’s terrible because I’m demanding of their natural off the cuff nudes and I whine if I haven’t had any for a while.

So anyway, in the early hours of Wednesday morning I read Exhibit A’s thank you tweet, had a sudden flash of guilt about not sending him a birthday photo, sat bolt upright in bed and snapped three quick photos. I sent them along with an apology and a less wordy version of this post. The response was encouraging but also gently chastised me for continuing to think this negative shit. And you know what, I do like this photo. The natural me isn’t as bad in reality as it is in my head. I doubt you’ll see many photos like this on my blog. I like my arty farty funny style too much. But I am resolving to send partners more photos that are simply me.

Sinful Sunday

The night I got locked in a nightclub!

This short and ridiculous story has been prompted by The Other Livvy’s other blog, @sexlovevideo. If you’re not following it already then you really should: every Sunday evening she posts an in-depth analysis of a movie, rating it on how sex positive it is, whether she’d want to watch it again, the fuckability of the cast, whether it inspires fantasies and whether it passes the Bechdel Test. This week it’s the turn of clanger What Women Want, a truly dreadful film – do go and read Liv’s take down of it.

I was on a round the world trip when this film came out and I and the two friends I was travelling with watched it on a flight to Australia. We laughed our way through it in disbelief and horror but the final straw in our incredulous hooting was at the end when Mel Gibson (spoiler!) gets his woman: they kiss in a dramatic lobby and the camera pans out to show her with one foot in the air. We lost it. WHO KISSES WITH ONE FOOT IN THE AIR?!

We were still cackling about it when we bonded with a group of women in a hostel, some of who I’m still friends with now and who’ve taken one or two photos on this blog. We (probably under the influence of too much white wine) decided that our mission was to get a photo of one of us snogging a man with one foot in the air. It was the start of a ridiculous list of photo challenges we set ourselves, including photobombing wedding photos on Sydney harbour and sneaking photos of men on the nude beach (forgive our poor awareness of consent – we were young and stupid and know much better now!).

Anyway, the opportunity for the leg in the air photo came a few weeks later when we went to one of Sydney’s less salubrious night clubs for a school disco. A chap starting making the moves on me on the dance floor and my friends were quickly egging me on to get the photo. When the bloke snogged me I’m not quite sure what he made of all my friends roaring with laughter and snapping away. Anyway, as it happens he was pretty hot and a great snog and it wasn’t long before we were sneaking off to a hidden store room. A store room that was dark and had a mattresses. It was funny and pretty hot and after he nipped out for condoms some more than passable sex ensued. Given we were drunk and in a manky storeroom it’s remarkable there were any orgasms but there was. Then on the ‘comfort’ of the mattress we slipped into a deep slumber. Which is how we found ourselves sneaking out of the fire exit of a closed and quiet nightclub at 6am on a Sunday morning and wandering through the streets of Sydney dressed as a school girl and school boy.

I’m not sure who has those photos these days so I can’t share one, but the leg in the air game continued so please enjoy this photo of me kissing Toadie from Neighbours.

Footnote: the nightclub later featured on an expose of the sex lives of backpackers in Sydney. I did not feature but I now have a good idea of how many other people may have used that mattress!

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Dilly Dilly

“Lavender blue, dilly-dilly 
Lavender green 
If I were king, dilly-dilly, I’d need a queen…”

I’ve been sitting in a hammock doing some googling and I’ve learnt that dilly was a medieval word for ‘cheers’ but it’s also an obsolete word for delightful. And apparently Cleopatra used lavender as a tool of seduction, women used it to “inflame” their husbands and sex workers used it to attract clients. So there you go, some old etymology and some lessons in seduction. Oh, and here’s me and @19syllables naked in the lavender fields. Cheers! I hope we delight and seduce you!

Sinful Sunday

It’s a Piece of Pisa

I’m just a little bit heiress, a little bit Irish
A little bit Tower of Pisa
Whenever I see ya
So please be kind, if I’m a mess

Rufus Wainwright

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

Maybe I should have paid a bit more respect to when visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits on consecrated ground, but, well, you’ve got to be silly sometimes!

Sinful Sunday

Elust 119

Photo courtesy of Floss Does Life

Welcome to Elust 119

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #119? Start with the rules, come back June 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Poly wobbles

Friendly Concern

Unmentionable

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Breakthrough

Wait Silently

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Sensual Indulgence, Familiar and New

 

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Teaching (from) the bottom (part 1)
An Intro to Ethical Cum Tributes
What is Dominance?
Reader Q&A: Femdom Podcast 105 [w transcript]
Unmentionable Lifestyle
In the wild

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Laughter, The Best Aphrodisiac
I Hate Bullies!

Erotic Non-Fiction

Devilish Threesome Fun
Cumming Awake
Flying Chaste

Body Talk and Sexual Health

How Taking Nudes Taught Me To Love Myself
Guest post: Trans access to abortion

Erotic Fiction

Milky Way
More Than Friends Prologue
Desperate
Twisted ~ Into The Woods ~ Lana’s Story
A Gift to the Gods
A New Fetish
Coitus Interruptus Vampyr
Making herself available

Writing About Writing

Smut Marathon – Round 4 Thoughts

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

A True Friend
Trust your landmark and run through the smoke
I’m not interested.

Poetry

-06.06.19_12:20-
 

 

 

Elust

Side Profile

Sinful Sunday

Out of the Darkness

Not sure if I have really achieved soft focus here but at least you get a look at my super dark new bedroom walls. I suspect they may provide the backdrop to a few photos over the coming months. As will this cute grey velvet cocktail chair in the corner.

Sinful Sunday

Bounce bounce bounce

As you may have seen on Twitter, I’ve been staying at a friend’s this week helping her with her kids while her husband was away. It’s the second year I’ve done this. Both years I’ve been been blessed with good weather that encouraged me into the garden with my camera while the kids were at school. Last year I got arty with a mirror, this year I just got naked on the trampoline…

Sinful Sunday

White Space

Sinful Sunday

Friendly Concern

Last week I was having dinner with three other women. Not close friends but a group of ex colleagues who I meet up with once every 12 – 18 months. The conversation takes the usual twists and turns of people who’ve known each other for years but see each other rarely. The dynamic of colleague friendships fascinates me; for the period you work together you spend more waking hours with each other than you do your family, friends and partners, you see each other at your best and worst, you spend long evenings in the pub analysing crises and internal politics and then poof! – just like that jobs change and you’re down to a couple of hours every year or so.  Anyway, the conversation went the usual way – asking each other about work, holidays, children, nieces and nephews, common acquaintances.

Then the searching “Sooo, how are the love lives then?” directed at me and one other single woman with the hungry gazes of two women who have been married for years and want you to give them something new and exciting to pore over. As I have written previously, I am increasingly open about my relationships with those closest to me and who I see regularly. Not so much with ex colleagues who I see rarely and whose response I couldn’t necessarily predict. But last week I had one of my ‘fuck it’ moments and I found myself talking more freely and honestly than usual.

The response? Well, one woman exclaimed: “Oh my God, I need another drink!” and promptly ordered a large glass of Rioja. There was surprise, there was fascination, there were some sensible and some annoying questions and there was (happily) very little judgement. But there was also concern. Was I definitely OK with this? Am I being treated OK? Is it what I actually want? Does my partner’s wife know? Is she OK with this? Have I ever met her? Do I like her? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! What I realised was that while there was little judgement of me the tone of the concerned questioning was loaded with judgement about my partner.

At the time I calmly answered all their questions, reveling slightly in the fact that I’d sent a little shock wave through our pleasant but pedestrian evening. Yes, it suits me really well. Yes, I get many of the nice bits of a long term relationship but with none of the compromise of family Christmases and blended lives. No, I definitely don’t want to ever live with anyone again. Yes, I know her and I was at their wedding (that tit bit always shocks the listener and delights me). I’m off on a gallery day with her and another friend next week actually. Without the bloke? Yes, he doesn’t need to chaperone us.

But on the way home I started thinking about their line of questioning and how frequently people default assume that non-monogamy is something that is done to women by men and that it is something that women put up with because they have to. I started reflecting on other occasions where I have had this assumption projected on me. My best friend: “But you are so sensitive I just worry that you are going to get hurt.” Me: “But the things that hurt me are things that could happen regardless of whether a relationship is non-monogamous or not.” Exhibit A, The Other Livvy and me at an event in my local bookshop discussing a book called Is Monogamy Dead? and a woman asking EA rather aggressively “But what would you think if they had other partners?” and the surprise in the room when I piped up “I do have another partner.”

That last one always causes surprise. People outside of this community never expect me to have other partners. Even if they can just about get their head round the fact that I have an established and happy relationship that will never be more than it is, with a man who is married to someone else, and that is enough for me and fine with everyone involved, then introducing the notion that I have other people in my life just about makes them fall off their perch. My Mum, who now always asks about Baby M, never asks me if I’ve been on any other dates or after other partners who I may have mentioned. It’s like that is a bridge too far.

The more I thought about it the more I found myself getting annoyed by the narrative that non-monogamy and polyamory are things owned by men and accepted by women and that men will be the ones with multiple partners while the woman stays happy with just the one. Even if my friends or a stranger in a bookshop weren’t explicitly acknowledging that assumption it was there in the way they asked their questions. When I mused this point on Twitter last week @kinkynerdy rightly pointed out that the assumed status quo makes no allowance for poly lesbians, for example.

Interestingly, much of my experience with non-monogamous men suggests something contrary to the assumed norm. When I think about the significant men I have met since I joined OKC in 2013 – not the brief flings or one off sex dates, but the ones that turned into something more – I note that four of them opened up their relationships as a result of their wife or primary partner having an affair. Now, I am not advocating this approach to opening up a relationship – all of them came with a fuckton of baggage – but unless I exist in some microclimate or have unique appeal to men who have been cheated on then this wafer thin data suggests that there are many women open to shirking a one penis policy!

The thing that bothers me most about the common narrative is that it is taking away women’s agency in non-monogamy. It is suggesting that women may be passively accepting something that is somehow second best. Do people really look at me and my life and my business and my travel habits and see a woman who is ‘settling’ for a life because that’s all she can get? Do they think I am lying when I say that I don’t want more than I have? I also hate the way it pitches women against each other. The subtext of people’s questions can be that women who are in a relationship with the same man see each other as enemies or a threat when in reality we are connected through a shared affection. There is deep joy and camaraderie in sharing a small joke or knowing smile about a mutual partner’s habit. I have written a letter to a woman I have never met who lives 4000 miles away, expressing sympathy for a terrible event, not because I had to but because it seemed inconceivable not to extend a kind word to the wife of someone who meant something to me. For me, one of the greatest joys of non-monogamy has been discovering a completely new kind of friendship and respect that can exist between women.

That non-monogamous relationships are becoming more accessible through dating apps and normalised through mainstream media delights me. Six years ago I didn’t even really know what non-monogamy meant; now my mother asks after my partner’s five-month-old. I once worried there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want to settle down, now I have meaningful relationships that nourish me without stifling me. Sex is back in my life. That people might look at everything I have and somehow think I am being short changed distresses me. Did I spend my thirties explaining that ‘no, I don’t want children and I am happy to not be married’ only to have to spend my forties explaining that “yes, non-monogamy really works for me, I am very happy’. Must women always have to justify their choices?

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

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