Today an article went up on the Guardian that made me desperately sad. In the wake of a woman being murdered by her partner, with whom she was said to be in a BDSM relationship, Emer O’Toole explains that we should examine the impact of BDSM – as if the murderer’s label of ‘Sir’ is in any way more significant than the fact that he was an abusive, evil, murderous prick.
I’m going to warn you, this story gets more awful and troubling with the context so you might not want to read on.
Recently I had a chat with a mate of mine who is signed up to a couple of dating sites. Tinder, OKCupid, whatever it is the kids these days are using to hook up with people. She explained to me that her greatest bugbear is guys who – after she’s ignored their first message (or more likely first deluge of messages) – say ‘hey, you could at least tell me no rather than just ignoring me. It’s polite to say something, after all.’
Hear this: I can totally see why your average dude might be confused by that. That unequivocal ‘no’ looks a bit harsh, doesn’t it? If you’re someone who sends a lot of dating messages only to be met with tumbleweed, you might think ‘hey, GOTN, that’s not very nice. I’d reply to everyone, so why shouldn’t they reply to me?’
When you tell someone a story, how much of it is true? Every detail? Probably not. Whenever you tell someone something that actually happened, there’ll be elements of it that you remember perfectly, and other elements that you don’t. You’ll perhaps gloss over some of the awkward details, or play them up to comic effect, or tell a story in a context which doesn’t fully explain the whys as well as the whats.
And so it is with sex stories.
During an email interview the other day, someone asked me how much of what I write is true. My initial, kneejerk response was: all of it. And that’s the simplest answer. Everything I write here – unless it’s specifically marked as a fantasy or bucket list shag – actually happened. But to say it like that is to gloss over what actually happens when you write up a sex story – whether it’s a relationship you had ten years ago, or a quickie you had last night.