Exposing40

Friends. Photography. Adventure.

Category: Stories & Anecdotes (page 1 of 4)

Cigarettes After Sex

“I am a respiratory registrar; my day job involves treating smoking-related lung diseases like emphysema and lung cancer but I still believe that in the right circumstances, smoking can be really fucking hot!” The Other Livvy

I’ve known for a while (about two years!) that I’d eventually get round to doing an album cover series. This Cigarettes After Sex cover has been on the list since the beginning. I don’t know much about the band but I was captivated by Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby during the first series Handmaid’s Tale and when I looked the tune up on Spotify I immediately approved of them using this Man Ray image for their cover art.

The title of the album also makes me hugely nostalgic for, well, cigarettes after sex. Cigarettes after sex go together like cheese and wine or strawberries and cream. Like all ex-smokers there’ll always be a part of me that romanticises cigarettes and misses them, even though I know they’re bad for us and ludicrously expensive and make us smell and taste bad. Part of me wishes we didn’t know so much and could all just bust like Marlene Dietrich.

When I was figuring out my February Photo Fest photos I put Livvy’s name against this photo because I knew she’d pull off the Man Ray look so wonderfully. It was only as I started reminiscing about all the excellent post fuck fags I’ve had in tents and fields and manky student bedrooms and lying on lawns of stately houses during May balls that I suddenly thought: “bloody hell, she’s a lung doctor, that’s a totally inappropriate caption for her photo.” Then I remembered the above quote from this post and laughed out loud. She’s right, in the right circumstances smoking can be really fucking hot. Or at least it was.

This spate of nostalgia has been heavily influenced by the re-run of This Life on BBC4 and iPlayer. If you are of a certain age and disposition and are similarly besotted with that programme may I recommend The Guyliner on why you are not and never will be Anna from This Life!

To say the programme influenced my early twenties would be an understatement. The first series broadcast during my last term at university and a few months later as six of us stumbled into a three storey town house in Camden with its primary colour walls and big windows and high ceilings one of us exclaimed: “it‘s just like the This Life house,” and we put the deposit down on the spot. We weren’t lawyers, we were all working in PR, fashion and travel, but we swanned around Camden feeling like we were the This Life gang. When the second series landed in spring 1997 we felt like we were watching ourselves. We had the washing up and stolen yoghurt arguments, we had a couple who at times were not dissimilar to Egg and Milly, we had a flatmate move in a dodgy partner, there were the money dramas, the job dramas and lots and lots of partying, booze and sex.

While we saw our London life and home and co-living dramas reflected back at us and we definitely allowed ourselves to be influenced by it, I didn’t think it had influenced the sex we had that much. I mean, we had a lot of it with a lot of different people, but we were 22 and box fresh graduates with disposable income arriving in Camden amidst the excitement of 1997. If we hadn’t been having a lot of sex we’d have been missing an open goal.

I say I didn’t think the show had influenced the sex we had.

For more than twenty years I’ve had a fantasy about fucking on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. I’ve had many orgasms to that fantasy over the years. The details change. Sometimes the audience are just watching, sometimes they are wanking as they watch. One time David Beckham was in the audience wanking. I always thought it was bizarre that I’d magicked this fantasy up before I’d ever visited the Royal Albert Hall. In recent years I’ve used the fantasy as an example of how I was clearly an exhibitionist even before I’d heard the word or read anything about it. But last week I’m watching This Life and Milly, Egg and Anna are watching porn. “How can people do that in front of a camera?” says Milly, to which Anna retorts: “I’d fuck on stage at the Royal Albert Hall if it meant I was getting some.” Ah!

Oh, I love my life now. I love my solo-living, clean and tidy, smoke-free flat in suburban south London. But fucking hell, if for one day I could just magic myself back to Camden of summer 1997 and be 22 with it all to come and lie in bed listening to the noise of the house and the street as I smoke a cigarette after sex…

February Photofest

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

Ooh!bergine

Last Wednesday’s post was a celebration of the friends I spent a wonderful and hilarious Saturday with, capturing many of the photos you’re seeing here this month. You could call this post part two.

One person who was missing from the cast of characters mentioned last week is today’s subject. He also made an appearance in the Sound of Music week and will be here again in the album covers theme next week. Those photos were taken the day before the group gathering but despite not being fuelled by a Bellini brunch he embraced my ridiculous ideas with just as much enthusiasm. And it was the first time I’d ever met him!

As I said last week, I was pretty blown away by what my friends got involved with but at least I’ve got shared history with them. There’s years-long friendships there; they’re people I’ve laughed with, cried with, shared meals and boozy nights with, I’ve been at their weddings and big birthdays and looked after their babies, we’ve played board games and visited museums together. Our photo adventures sit within a rich tapestry of deep friendships.

Not this chap. Imagine being so brilliantly game that within half an hour of meeting someone you’re stood butt naked in a park on a cold and windy January day while a relative stranger straddles a muddy puddle so she gets the right angle. Then going back to her place and posing with an aubergine over your cock. He first mentioned us having a photo adventure back in the autumn after seeing my Yorkshire Moors outing with Missy. He may have been imagining expansive vistas but he got emoji dick pics and muddy suburban parks. I did buy excellent cake, but still, kudos!

But this is yet another thing I love about our little corner of the online world. For all the shittiness and snark it throws our way, Twitter is an excellent place to get to know brilliant people. For the record, this man and I have many good friends in common and had been online acquaintances for a while – he was a ‘by now our paths really should have crossed in offline life’ person. In short, I don’t do photo adventures with actual strangers. Only people I already know I can trust get to lie on my bed holding a shiny purple protuberance.

Thank you for being such an excellent sport. You have many many credits in the bank for majestic outdoors nudes and beautiful arty black and whites and I look forward to you cashing them in!

February Photofest

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

Tied up with string

“Ubuntu is a quality that includes the essential human virtues of compassion and humanity. It is often translated as ‘I am because we are.‘”

Noise. So much noise. Deep echoey belly laughs as I plopped spaghetti on @19syllables‘s tits. “Careful of the yolk!” as a fried egg is transferred from the frying pan to my chest. And we haven’t even touched on (pun very much intended) Exhibit A‘s sausage, Honey’s honey pot or Katteroo‘s melons yet. They’re all coming up during food euphemisms week, starting on Saturday.

Such an utterly ridiculous, hilarious and joyful couple of hours. Occasional pops as someone opened another bottle of Prosecco. Words of encouragement: “Oh my God, you look amazing!” “I think that will work, come on, let’s try.” And behind the scenes industry too; Charlotte Brown applying WD40 to the stuck zip of a sports bag to get at a prop, JediHamster stood on the sofa to get an aerial shot of four beautiful women squished up together on the floor. Special hat tip to Jedi this week because The Sound of Music theme was her idea.

I’d come to that Saturday with a work mindset, producer mode fully activated. A couple of days earlier I’d made shot lists of all the photos I wanted to take and subdivided the list into ones I could do another time and ones where I definitely needed extra pairs of hands and the smorgasbord of differently shaped bums, boobs and bellies that were in the room. And what game and generous friends I have. Because let’s be clear, I have asked people to do some very strange things for the camera this month.

There are some arty shots to come too, but mainly I’m celebrating the ludicrous this month. We need laughter in these dark times. Side note: I’m not quite sure how she managed to get away with not having to do ridiculous things with food stuff but I’ve realised all the shots of Livvy that came out of that day are beautiful and elegant – even the one where she has a golf tee in her mouth! She features twice in my more artistic week of album cover homages later in the month but I have no daft images of her. Fail!

What I loved most that day was just how enthusiastic and into it everyone was. Nobody was worrying what they looked like or precious about posing with silly props, everyone just mucked in and got on with it. So much support for my silly ideas and so much camaraderie in getting it done. Today’s photo, the ‘tied up with string’ line from My Favourite Thing sums up the spirit of the day for me. Here we are not seeing the finished result (although I think we’ll see it on Katteroo’s feed at some point this month!), we are seeing a snapshot of the process. Two friends working together to create something beautiful.

The bubble of joy I felt after everyone left that afternoon stayed with me all weekend and every time I post another photo I smile again. I’ve always intended Exposing40 to be a collaboration – my about blurb reads: “Some are behind the camera, some are in front and some provide ideas.” This project wouldn’t be what it is and wouldn’t be approaching five years old if I didn’t have the enthusiasm and support of a wonderful group of friends. I am because we are.

February Photofest

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

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

Lutz Wanking, a fantasy.

“Don’t stop.”

“What?”

“Don’t stop,” I repeat, sitting back on heels and dropping my camera to my lap for moment.

It’s a warm spring day and we’ve been walking in the woods for a couple of hours, chatting aimlessly while also keeping an eye out for hidden spots away from the main path. We’ve found one. Our usual drill follows – I test a couple of frames and angles while you undress. Moving into position you reach down and give your cock a couple of swift strokes. You’ve no intention of getting yourself hard, it’s just part of what you do to get camera ready. It always makes my cunt pulse. I usually ignore how damn hot it is and just focus on getting the shot, but today I don’t want to.

I’m on my knees, ready to get the angle I wanted for my photo and looking up at you against the trees has brought the image of Lutz Wanking to mind. It’s no secret that Tillmans is one of my favourite photographers (I’ve used his work as inspiration before, after all) but the Lutz Wanking shot is just everything. A naked man, wanking for the camera, in the woods. It’s got me written all over it.

“I want you to wank. Here. In the woods. For my camera.”

Your expression is a mixture of disbelief and mild discomfort. An exhibitionist you may be but there’s a difference between the risk of being caught naked and apologetically passing it off as an art project and being caught wanking. For a moment I think you’re going to refuse but you hold my gaze, spit in your palm and move your hand back to your cock. Your jaw is set and you look almost annoyed by the situation but as your cock hardens your face softens.

I watch. I watch as your body relaxes into the pleasure. I see your knees sag slightly and your eyes close as you tilt your head back and lean against the tree. I take in the sheen across your chest and the colour rising in your neck. Your rhythm changes and I clench my cunt in time to the brief pauses in the short staccato pumps of your hand.

As the grunts rise from your chest I raise my camera to my face and capture the shot I’ve fantasised about.

In the small hours of Sunday morning, sleepless in a hot mosquito ridden room in Nairobi, playing this scene in my head resulted in a deliciously intense orgasm. A few hours later I read this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt. It seemed too much of a coincidence to not share this fantasy with you. I hope to make my tribute photograph a reality soon though!

 

Lutz Wanking, Wolfgang Tillmans, 1991
Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Who was Albert Ede?

It’s no secret that I love shooting in cemeteries. You can rummage around my site or other people’s and you’ll find many examples me and my friends of getting naked with dead people! Something I often wonder when we’re having one of these adventures is what are the stories of the people who inadvertently feature in our photos? Tonight I decided to find out and with a little bit of rudimentary research amongst free public records I started to build a picture of Albert Ede’s life.


Born in the summer of 1886, Albert was the middle child of Thomas and Sarah. The couple were married young by today’s standards – teenagers. As newlyweds they lived on Isabella Street, which for Londoners, or those who know London well, is the little street just off The Cut where you’ll find lots of restaurants under the railway arches.

Albert’s birth was registered north of the river in Clerkenwell, which may have something to do with his father’s work as a brass molder; the area was a hub for watchmakers. However, by the time of the 1901 census the family were living just five minutes walk from Isabella Street on Cornwall Road. By then Sarah was a widow and 14-year-old Albert was a messenger boy.

The 1911 census tells us the family had then moved to Lothian Road in Brixton. Albert was 24 and single. His elder brother had moved out but his three sisters were all single and living at home. That four adults in their twenties should all be single and living at home with their mother fascinates me. In the early twentieth century this was very unusual. Did Albert ever marry? Without paying for his death certificate I can’t know for sure, but the dedication on this headstone is by Sarah to her son and two years after he died she was buried with him so it seems unlikely.

Albert didn’t live long enough to participate in the 1921 census – the war records show that he died on 25th January 1917, aged 30. He was Private Ede and serving in the Army Service Corp, the branch of the army that was responsible for coordinating logistics, from transport to stationery, food to fuel. He died at home in Brixton and was buried three miles away in Nunhead Cemetery.
I would love to know how he ended up with such a grand headstone when his family’s professions and circumstances would suggest a modest income. I’d love to know what he looked like, his personality, what impact his father’s death had on him, what his relationship with his mother and siblings was like, whether he had lovers.

In a parallel universe where the internet hasn’t delivered up the basic facts of a life lived more than a hundred years ago and where we can’t see that the dedication is from a mother to a prematurely departed son, I like to think of this second photo being one of those lovers visiting their “dear Albert.” Where Maria strips naked in the cemetery to feel as close to him as possible. I wonder what he’d think about his headstone being used in this way?

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

Fat, beautiful, worthy

 

“The most attractive component to me of any woman is self-assuredness, willingness/ability to own their wants and desires, lack of concern about conforming. I’m obviously very visually stimulated and I think watching at a party is a great example of this; a ‘classically hot’ person who is boring is a whole lot less fun to watch than an average or whatever body type having a good time and feeling the moment.” American chap

A couple of weekends back I read a tweet that’s stayed in my mind. On the surface it was benign enough. A woman wondering why her friend was still single and listing various reasons why this was surprising – sparky, fun, bright. So far so good. The final thing on the list was “slim and pretty.” Someone responded saying they failed to see what being slim had to do with it. I took the lame option and fired off a rarely-seen-from-me subtweet about misogyny and women not needing fatphobia from other women.

Because comments like that are fatphobic. The subtext is that being slim is better than being fat. That being slim makes someone more worthy of finding a partner. And when slimness is held up as evidence in a case of ‘oh my God, I can’t believe you’re single’ then what does that infer about fat people who are not single? That they had some massive stroke of luck? That they must have bagged a partner and then ‘let themselves go’? That they’re a sympathy fuck? Even if this is not what people mean, when they hold up slimness as a barometer of attractiveness and worthiness then I can assure you that is what fat people will hear. It is what we are socially conditioned to hear.

Me: “What do you find attractive about me?”
Him: “I think it’s your mouth and your manner – the way you know exactly what you want and make sure you get it. Also the way my handprints look on your arse.”
Me: “My mouth as in what it does or what it says?!”
Him: “What it does, how it looks, what it says – it’s an all-round good mouth.”

The always brilliant Laura Williams wrote recently about why she’s no longer talking about weight and body image: “Yes, I am gorgeous. But on reflection, the only way to empower myself, and to also empower the women around me to accept their bodies in whatever shape and size they come in is to remove discussion around them full stop.” I grant you I am talking about it right now, but ignore that discrepancy for a moment and just absorb her wider point. Fat or slim, we all need to think a little bit more before we speak and become more comfortable in just being.

This post isn’t intended to be a massive dig at slim women – they have been subjected to the same social conditioning that all of us have. Fat women are just as bad at holding slimness up as a virtue. Whatever your size, when celebrating one type of woman puts another one down it is not a feminist action. And I believe it’s not all about how fat women are seen (although that is a huge part of it), it’s about changing the way we see ourselves too. We must stop thinking that our size and body shape is the defining benchmark of our attractiveness. We may not want to admit it but we are often our own worst enemies and in undermining ourselves we undermine other women.

What is the use of celebrating our beautiful undulating curvy wobbly sisters if we then berate our own bellies, bums and thighs? How can we hold up others if we don’t hold up ourselves? And if we continually talk ourselves down and believe ourselves to be unappealing what does that say about how much we respect the choices of the people for whom we are an object of love, affection or lust? I have not always been good at this. Full disclosure: the outward-facing body positive E40 is not always how I behave in private conversation with friends or when I am battling insecurities and taking them out on partners. But I am a million times better than I was.

In pursuit of evidence for this post I decided to do some deeply scientific research. It basically involved me asking men and women what they found attractive about me. Those polled ranged from one offs to casuals to established partners. The comments are peppered through this post. I highly recommend this glorious exercise in positive affirmation. Exhibit A came back with this:

“I met E40 five years ago, after some initial chat on a (non-kinky) dating site and several months of messaging. I’m not sure why, but the fact that she’s fat had never even crossed my mind during our various conversations, so there was an initial ‘huh!’ moment when she first opened the door to her flat and said hello. The kind of ‘huh’ you get when confronted by new information or something you hadn’t quite been expecting. After that, I went inside, took off my coat, and didn’t think about it again for the rest of the date.

“Nor have I really thought about it since then, to be honest, in the same way that I don’t really think about her toes or ears! The size of her belly is rarely a factor in anything we do, and as a result I consider it just another part of her – I don’t understand why anyone would choose to get hung up on it. There are way too many other interesting bits to focus on!

“So yes, I’d say I find E40 attractive neither despite nor because of her body shape – instead it’s her energy, openness, and creativity that draw me to her, as well as her excellent legs and ridiculously strokable hair. Five years later, those are the qualities (along with a hundred others) that make me glad that we met each other, and that we’ve managed to build the connection we have now. I wouldn’t change anything about that, and I wouldn’t change anything about her appearance either.”

There’s an important point there about acknowledging fat. We cannot expect partners not to notice it but we must also trust that this won’t negatively define their feelings and that to them we are more than the bodies we inhabit, just as they are more than their bodies to us. Would we ever say “I worry that you don’t find me as hot as other people because I am so slim?” I think not!

We also need to own our fatness more confidently. I realise I can be a bit Pollyanna sometimes and I know some people have had horrible experiences on dating sites. But if we are really honest with ourselves, how open are we in our profiles? I know my dating profile says “a little bit extra” when my belly is definitely fat. It is only in the last year that I truly shook off the shackles of fat belly shame and put a full length photo up. Yet I carry all of my weight around my middle. So when I was only putting up pretty smiley head and shoulders photos was I really owning my whole self? EA was justified in being surprised when he saw the whole me for the first time. It didn’t bother him but I have had comments from others that I looked different to my photos and they were fair comments.

I know some people worry that they won’t get attention if they are fully upfront in profiles, but there really is no point in being anything other than honest. Jedi Hamster pointed me to this article about a woman who created two identical profiles, except one used photos when she was a size 10 and one when she was size 18. Size 10 her got exactly twice as many messages as size 18 her. Predictable and disheartening you might say? Maybe, but like I said earlier we’ve all been conditioned to think slim is best so let’s not judge the men for a minute. What I liked was her closing comment: “You could interpret these results slightly differently. A size 18 woman, posting some of her least flattering, double chin-featuring pics, received 18 messages in five days.”

Interestingly, the profiles of the men who messaged fat her were similar to those who messaged slim her. Both versions of her attracted fat and slim men of varying degrees of ‘typical’ accepted attractiveness. This is an important thing to note. Fat people don’t sit in a little colony together, only fancying each other. A friend who is one of the most body confident people I know had this to say on the matter: “It’s important to remember us fatties don’t just fuck each other. We desire and are desired by people who would be thought of as conventionally fit/slim/hot. And we are not always defined in sex by our fatness. Sometimes us fatties get comments about how sexy we are that don’t refer to our size. It’s important to hear those comments and share them so that other fatties know that it’s possible to be sexy without it just being about the size of your body. Having lovers for whom your size is not relevant, for whom you are, simply, sexy enables us to feel like anyone else having (good) sex – it makes us feel transcendent.”

Tellingly she added: “At the same time I don’t wanna sound smug – like fucking handsome, fit men is some kind of prize for a fat girl. It’s tricky to get the tone right.” She’s right, we don’t want to hold up the conventionally hot people we fuck as trophies in our fight for fat acceptability, but we also need to recognise that people still express surprise at mixed size couples (of any gender make-up, actually). How often do we hear comments about similarly sized people along the lines of ‘don’t they make a lovely couple?’ or ‘don’t they look good together?’ whereas the bigger half of a differently sized couple will get ‘you’ve done well for yourself’ or ‘good for you!’ No! The fat person didn’t do well. Both people did well for finding each other, for having the good fortune to meet someone whose company they thrive in, who they fancy and who makes them feel good about themselves.

I am giving the last line to this lovely piece of feedback and I am paying it forward to any woman who needs to believe she’s hot and desirable. Own these words and go out and be your best beautiful confident self.

“You are so gloriously sexy and fuckable. Everything about you, especially when you’re turned on, is hot. Your movements, your facial expressions and damn it – your body just makes me want to work my way down to in between your legs. Feeling all of you on the way. You are fucking sexy”

 

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

Collaboration

I describe Exposing 40 as a collaboration. My strapline is ‘Friends. Photography. Adventure.’ So I really couldn’t let this week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt go past unmarked. In the true spirit of the word I decided to produce a collaborative post. I chose my favourite photos of four amazing 40-something women and asked them to send me some thoughts to use alongside them. I don’t really know why I was surprised by their words as all four are so generous with their love, but they made me laugh and cry and I now feel a bit of a plum for creating a post that’s one big love in. I hadn’t intended this to be a willy waving exercise! We hope you enjoy our collaborative post!


Honey
Exposing 40 is a force of nature when it comes to collaboration. I was naked in front of her camera the second time we met – although that time, I’m not sure I was the most easy and relaxed model. Since then, it has been so much fun giggling around places with less and less clothing. I know it is an Exposing 40 day when I am making sure I can whip my clothes off in a flash (and whip them back on again-but that is less exciting). One of the brilliant things about photo adventures with Exposing 40 is the combination of amazing ideas that she comes ready with, or thinks of in the moment and the fact that she is also up for any chaotic ideas of my own. The best thing though is that out of a day of outrageous, soul nourishing giggling and mirth, there is suddenly later the ping of amazing images landing in an inbox. It takes a lot for me to completely relax when there is a camera pointing at me, and yet, Exposing 40 knows that I can’t wait for another chance to strip off and cavort for her. I think that is the gold standard of collaboration. The fear is gone (although there is the tingle of fear of being caught) and the joy of creating together shines through. How she manages to get crisp images of giggling models is her secret to tell.


Maria
When I visited the UK for Eroticon ’17 I knew one of the main things I wanted to do was go on a photo adventure with Exposing 40. I long to take outside photos when I’m on my own at home but for some reason, I’m paralyzed by fear of being seen or getting caught. But when I was with Exposing 40 I felt like I could easily whip my kit off anywhere and the fact that we were together was a magical form of protection. Partly because we were having so much damn fun and partly because I knew that Exposing 40 could talk her way out of any legal or awkward public scrape we might encounter. We took our photos in the loveliest overgrown cemetery, there were sometimes people only yards away, but I felt secure and confident and had the time of my life. Having my photo taken by her, specifically, gave me new eyes to see myself. A pose or angle that I normally would have cut if I were taking the pictures of myself suddenly became beautiful because I was seeing myself, my figure, through her eyes. I felt beautiful in ways I hadn’t before. The other thing I love is that she includes non sex blogger friends on her blog. I am still intensely private about mine at home, so seeing her open up to let people in that way is lovely. And something I am still aspiring to. What breakthroughs could be made in my long-standing friendships if I opened up to them about this aspect of my life?

@19syllables
On our recent daytrip to the seaside Exposing 40 and I made getting a shot for the Sinful Sunday diptych prompt our mission. A diptych is often described as a matching pair of images, but this is not true. The two parts of diptychs are never matching; they are always different but together tell a story. This reminds me of our friendship. Exposing 40 and I are two things that that complement each other, not a matching pair. We have chosen to structure our lives very differently. I am married; committed happily and whole-heartedly to one man for decades (and forever), in what looks from the outside to be a relationship constructed on the traditional, establishment model. Exposing 40 has crafted a more unorthodox, non-monogamous structure for herself which is bespoke to her preferences. She is also actively and joyfully child-free, whereas a central, defining and love-filled part of my life is that I am the mother of four. Sometimes it feels as if the media would like women like us to pitch ourselves against each other; the traditional against the bohemian, but we’re having none of it. She is resolutely happy for me, quick to celebrate my family’s triumphs and console me through inevitable bumps in the road, and I only feel admiration for her choices and the way she conducts herself. Honest to herself and those she connects in a way I have not encountered close-up with anyone else before.

Tabitha
I have always struggled with body confidence – my photos for Sinful Sunday are always carefully curated, 99.9% being trashed. I was so nervous when Exposing 40 approached me for a photo. What if she indeed exposed the truth I felt about my own body? She didn’t, she exposed the beauty I didn’t believe was there. I am so grateful. I love even more when we do a shot together, giggling as the timer goes off. Just lovely. Being photographed by Exposing 40 is thrilling beyond belief- not only at the time where, for that naked half hour your world vibrates with the excited buzz of possibly getting caught – to the moment the photos are sent through. To be photographed from angles you never see of yourself, being able to recognise yourself through another’s eye. To look at a photo somebody else took and not be horrified. It is liberating, exhilarating and has changed every walk I now go on. Now I’m always scouting for the next Exposing 40 location. Thank you my friend, you’ve changed the way I see myself – it’s actually life changing x x x

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

House Sitting

On Saturday I was having sex that was so good I decided to dispense with the notion of having an orgasm. That may sound odd, but stay with me…

“I need to water the neighbour’s garden tonight. I decided to wait until this evening so you could come with me have a nosy at the posh house.”

I don’t know if this was the real reason I decided to wait until the evening, or whether deep in my subconscious I had an ulterior motive. I mean, it’s a gorgeous house that anyone would enjoy having a wander round, but still…

The neighbours opposite feature regularly in my sex life. I imagine them admiring his arse as he fucks me over the edge of my bed. I ride my Adam, Doxy pressed to my clit, my curtains open and I wonder whether there’s someone in the shadows watching. “Do you think she’s watching us fuck as she sucks his cock?” is whispered into my ear.

So did I really want to show off their wood-fired pizza oven and the beautiful kitchen tiles imported from Morocco? Or did I like the idea that the next time we got off on the exhibitionist/voyeur potential that two bedrooms that look into each other offers he would have an insider view of the house too?

As I stood watering the plants I watched him walk upstairs. It wasn’t long before I followed. We wandered around commenting on the pristine hotel-like decor of the rooms, all the sheets ironed and cushions perfectly arranged. In the bedroom that looks into mine we discussed him taking a photo of me in my window but agreed the light wasn’t on our side.

As we turned to leave the room I felt his grip on my arms tighten and I could feel myself being manoeuvred. “Not on the bed.” No, not on the bed, me forced to my knees, sucking, spitting and gagging on hard cock. Then pushed onto the bed, trying to maintain the tension in my arms so that I didn’t collapse and crumple the perfect linen. Holding in a giggle as I noticed a spider’s web on the iron bed and found myself thinking “we’re not the first intruders in this room this week.”

“Touch yourself,” came the instruction. And for a while I did. And it felt brilliant. But I was so turned on that my clit was too sensitive. It felt like it does if I’ve been frigging for hours, or over-egging it with the Doxy! When my clit is that sensitive I get little jolts of sharp pleasure that feel like electric shocks, destined to crackle but never explode. So I stopped. I decided to concentrate on all that was good about that moment and not try and make myself come.
I focused on the sensation of cock, driving in and out, then teasing me. It felt so good, and that feeling spread across my whole body in little tingles. When my hair was grabbed and my head tugged up I focused on our reflection in the mirror. I yelped in surprise, pleasure and pain when my nipples were pinched, hard. I turned and looked over to my lounge window and talked of how I imagined him standing in the window and wanking as he watched the neighbour fuck me. I lost myself to the feelings of having my cunt spanked. I love cunt spanking more than arse spanking, and I love having my arse spanked a lot!

Much is written about women and orgasms and ‘well-meaning’ advice for positions that ‘guarantee’ orgasm is regularly shared. For some people these are useful, but I know from the comments I read on my timeline that more often than not they can cause more anxiety than relief for people that may struggle to come during penetrative sex. They add more shame about what our bodies can’t do rather than enjoying the pleasure they do give us.

I used to be very goal oriented during partnered sex but I’m trying to change that about myself. I wrote this post last year laying out why I was going to try and worry less about orgasms. Don’t get me wrong, I have brilliant partners who care very much about my orgasms and are very good at making them happen, it’s just sometimes my brain gets in the way. I wrote then that thinking ‘I’m going to come,’ often chases the orgasm away. That still happens if I think it so I try to just concentrate on everything I love about penetrative sex – the intimacy and cock for cock’s sake. The orgasms come from tongues and toys and fingers!

So it felt good to abandon the orgasm on Saturday. I felt like I was letting my body do the talking rather than letting my mind control my body. And you also know that some fucks are going to keep on giving, long after they’re over. I knew even in the moment that the afternoon was going to deliver many orgasms – they didn’t need to happen there and then. I wanted my takeaway to be all the details, the assault of sensations on my whole body and my mind creating the filthy scenarios that exaggerated the physical feeling, not the memory of forcing an orgasm from an over-sensitive clit.

I rarely dream about sex. I’m always a little bit jealous when someone tweets about waking up from an amazing hot dream. But the filthy memories infiltrated my dreams on Saturday night and I was orgasming even before I got up to make tea on Sunday. And the memory of him standing over me as I lay on the carpet shaking the last of his spunk onto my chest fuelled a later fantasy about multiple men standing over me wanking. It was in my mind at 5.30 this morning when the storm woke me early. So the crashing orgasms came and I’m sure they’ll keep on coming. So yeah, like I said, some fucks just keep on giving.

Happy National Orgasm Day folks, may your orgasms be banging and worry free and at the time that suits you and your body best.

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

Invisibility

“So I just told them how it all works. I didn’t want to keep it secret because I am really proud of how my relationships work.” Me to Exhibit A, a few weeks back.

I have become friendly with a group of neighbours in the last six months or so. Things started with typical chat about taking in parcels and cleaner recommendations, then someone decided to host Christmas drinks. I thought it would be a couple of hours of small talk, pleasant but not memorable. I wobbled home at gone midnight after an evening of copious wine, raucous laughter and chat that ranged from women’s health in Africa to local running routes to one neighbour confessing her husband tells her off for being an exhibitionist when she stands naked in their bedroom window. Basically, a crowd of people who are right up my street – literally and metaphorically!
One Saturday in April someone pinged the WhatsApp group to see who was around. Remarkably, we were all free! A few hours later we were round a table in a local restaurant, feasting on charcuterie and planning a street party so we could meet even more of our neighbours. Fast forward to the second May bank holiday and we’re having a planning BBQ to finalise party details…
It’s the weekend after Exhibit A and I have been to Luxembourg and the neighbours are asking about my trip. I don’t know if there was something about the way I was talking (I definitely didn’t talk about photos and fucking in musty tunnels!), or whether some penny dropped by chance, but the face of the-neighbour-with-the-big-house-who-always-hosts fell and she exclaimed: “Oh my God! I am so rude. You have a partner and I have never invited him to any of our get-togethers!” I laughed and reassured her it was all fine, thinking it was easier not to get into detail of why he doesn’t regularly rock up to events as my plus one. Then she asked if he would be coming to the street party and I just thought ‘fuck it’!
“I don’t know, I will mention it. I know he and his wife are planning quite a low key weekend but they might want to come.”
Nobody flinched but I could see questions behind eyes so I clarified. It’s ethically open, Livvy and I are friends, I was at their wedding, he loves meeting new people so if any of our street get-togethers happen to coincide with when we have plans I’m sure he’d like to come. Simple statements of fact, a chorus of ‘oh wow’ and ‘that’s cool’ and then onto deciding what games we would put on for the kids. But that straightforward explanation of relationship status when you’re not in a traditional set-up is still relatively rare.
I have written before about being a very happy second and everything I wrote then still stands. I still have zero interest in the trappings of a full time cohabiting relationship. And I still recognise that I thrive from having the security and affection that comes with a partner who means more to me than a fuck buddy does (although I love my straightforward sex dates with fuck buddies too!). But something I have found myself reflecting on over the last year or so is the issue of visibility when you’re a secondary partner living in a society that still doesn’t widely embrace non-monogamous set-ups.
A lot of the time you have to be pretty invisible and it can occasionally make you feel wistful. You have to modify your behaviour, think about what you say, and occasionally lie. Last summer Exhibit A and I went to see a friend of mine do a reading of his work. At one point when EA was looking at his phone my friend mouthed over ‘Is that your chap?’ and shot an ‘appreciative eyes’ look at me. ’No, just a friend,’ I mouthed back. What I really wanted to say was ‘Yes! And I know – hot, eh?!’, but I knew that my friend is friends with EA’s sister. When someone asks how you know them at a party (or a wedding!) you hide your affection and say you used to work together. You spend a lot of time being aware of your actions. I am the most ridiculously enthusiastically tactile person but I once asked whether I could touch EA when we in a pub; he looked at me oddly so I reminded him that we were in Livvy’s sister’s neighbourhood.
Of course, in the sex blogger community there’s no need to hide anything and outside of the community some of my closest friends and a couple of family members know. But broadly speaking a partnership I really value remains largely invisible to the outside world. Nobody is doing anything wrong or intentionally trying to hurt anyone; for many people in non-monogamous relationships it’s still easier, for numerous reasons, to keep things quiet in their wider lives. My situation is in no way unique.
Although I reflect on this from time to time, I don’t dwell on it. I spend enough time overthinking the things I can change without overthinking the things I can’t! But for my own processing of feelings I allow myself to acknowledge that having to hide something that you put work and emotional energy into, and that you’re really proud, of isn’t always easy. Which is probably why the conversation with my neighbours felt like a little victory and why I relayed it with such delight!
Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

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