Women – you’re bloody lucky, you know. OK, you might have to deal with a bit of sexual harassment in the workplace, or people making mad assumptions about the way you dress and carry yourself, but it’s all OK because you can have sex any time you like.
You hear me? Any time you like. If you fancy a shag, all you need to do is walk down the street, find the nearest available man, and invite him back to your house. He will leap at the opportunity, drop all his current plans, and run over to hump you senseless before you can say “hooray for sexual stereotypes!”
Men aren’t only after one thing
Of course, it would be a lovely world for me if that were the case, but sadly it isn’t. Prepare yourselves for a horrifying shock because it turns out that men – brace yourselves – aren’t just after one thing.
I read an article recently in which a man gave his (future) daughter some advice on dating. This included the immortal (and depressingly common) advice to “Just assume that every man you meet from now until you’re, I don’t know, 53(?) would sleep with you if given the opportunity.”
Women get rejected too
Being a triumphant slag, I often ask men to fuck me. As a general rule, if I fancy someone and they seem reasonably interested, I will at some point ask if they’re up for some sex. And do you know what? Sometimes they say no.
They say no for a variety of reasons – they’re busy doing something else, they’re too drunk to pull it off competently, they don’t want to cheat on a girlfriend/wife, etc. But by far the most common reason is that they just don’t fancy me.
Which leads me to the phenomenal and groundbreaking conclusion that your average man cares about something other than just a comfortable place to stick his cock.
Boyfriends turn sex down too
Perhaps the even more surprising news is that even if a guy fancies you he might still turn you down.
Sometimes men are just too busy for sex. Sometimes they’re not horny. Sometimes they quite fancy a wank but would prefer you not to sit dribbling next to them on the sofa while they’re doing it. I’ve had boyfriends turn me down for no more significant reason that that they simply don’t feel like it.
Whatever their stated reason, the point is that there are reasons – hundreds of them – why a man won’t always be hard and willing just because you’ve dropped your knickers.
Why this is so important
I am more passionate about this than almost anything else I write about. Why? Because I’ve spent miserably lonely nights awake and horny, listening to the snores of men who have recently rejected my advances.
Seventeen-year-old me used to cry herself to sleep when her boyfriend turned her down. Because I’d been told that men always wanted sex. Cosmo, FHM, films, TV and books all told me that guys were permanently on the edge of arousal and desperate to stick their cocks into whichever woman looked most willing to let them.
So when I’d dress up in lingerie, touch my boy, whisper filthy things in his ear and then get rejected, it hurt. It hurt a lot. And I felt like a miserable, pathetic, ugly, nymphomaniac freak.
I’m a grown-up now, so I know these lies for what they are. And I can shrug off a rejection, safe in the knowledge that it isn’t a significant condemnation of my own sexuality but simply a reflection of our weird portrayal of other people’s. But it’s still important to challenge ‘men are only after one thing’ when people say it, because publicly recognising that it is definitely not true helps both women and men feel a bit more normal.
So in conclusion: don’t assume that all men are ‘only after one thing.’ Don’t tell women they can have whatever sex they want whenever they want it. And above all don’t you dare tell your daughter that all men want to fuck her – you might as well tell her the grass isn’t green, or that all the roads in Disneyland are paved with free cake. If young women grow up thinking that all men want to sleep with them, we’re not giving them the gift of insight, we’re telling them an outright lie. A lie that will lead to humiliating disappointment for our daughters, and give our sons a reputation that they could never possibly live up to.
This might sound callous, but I don’t care if you break up with me by text message. Same goes for email. Sod it – text the ‘letters’ section of the Metro for all I care. If you’re going to dump me, just dump me.
Yes, I’ll be sad. But I’ll be no more sad than if you – quite literally – made a meal of it. Took me out for dinner, had a long discussion prompted by occasional irritating sighs, ending with The Chat: ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t fancy you any more/we have nothing in common/I’ve met someone infinitely more likeable.’
It hasn’t been emotional
People say that the reason they wouldn’t break up via text is because it’s cold-hearted. But the problem is that few of the relationships I get into are emotional enough to require a drawn-out conclusion. Most of the ‘break-ups’ I have been involved in recently have happened either because
- he’s found a girlfriend who’d rather he didn’t fuck anyone else
- he lives outside Zone 3 and so I am far too lazy to see him regularly
And so in this context, a break-up text will do just as well as a long conversation. If he’s a boy I’m shagging he’s a boy worth shagging, so naturally I’ll be sad that I can’t fuck him any more. But I’m not going to cry my face off over a tub of Häagen Dazs – we were probably never that close.
More importantly, it takes me just five minutes to read an email, less than one minute to read a text, but it takes an entire evening to have the break up chat. A whole evening. Think of all the things I could do in an evening! While I’m listening to you tortuously apologise for ending something that was inevitably going to end anyway I could instead be dying my hair, writing another blog, livetweeting The Apprentice or – crucially – finding someone else to fuck.
There is nothing more valuable to me than time. And giving me more of it, even if it means swallowing your natural desire to project emotion onto sex, is a wonderful thing to do.
Just tell me
But the main reason I think text break-ups are fine is because very occasionally, because of the way I meet and interact with guys, I end up in a weird limbo where I’m not entirely sure if someone is still with me. In the last year I have had three guys who have broken up with me by just ceasing all communication.
Two guys stopped fucking me after a few lovely evenings which I’m reasonably sure they enjoyed. One guy stopped fucking me shortly before we were due to go away together for a weekend.
This isn’t a rant about getting dumped. I’ve been in many ‘things’ that have ended, so I don’t get particularly upset about the endings themselves.
But what I am emotional about is not knowing. Because I like to plan. I like to know. Just as I like to know how you like your blow jobs and whether you’re into spanking, I also like to know exactly where you stand on the issue of whether you are or aren’t willing to put your dick into me.
It’s not you, it’s me
And it honestly is. I think I’m alone in this, because I’ve told other people about my preference for rapid-fire, heartless relationship comms and had them weeping over my cracked and battered soul. But a text or email at least has an immediacy and honesty that I wholeheartedly respect.
You might wait for weeks for the right moment to have ‘that’ conversation and (in the case of some of my past boys) end up never having it at all. So if your mind’s truly made up, and you really really mean it, what better way to tell me than to bleep it to my phone?
Not only will you have furnished me with useful information, you’ve also saved me time. I’ll be able to read it, digest it, mourn and move on in less time than we’d have spent on pre-dinner drinks.
The problem with human interaction is that it’s so fucking nuanced. I mean, why can’t people just be obviously good or evil? It would be much easier to decide whether we should give someone a knighthood or throw them to the wolves.
There’s been a trend recently that I find utterly disturbing, of people being hauled over the coals for misjudged (and sometimes utterly prickish) comments that they have made on the internet, and I’d like to take a bit of time to lay down some ill-thought-out rules and opinions. If you want to skip the waffle, go straight to my 3-step guide to not being a prick on the internet.
In the meantime, here’s why I don’t think you should be fired from your job for being rude on the internet.
Representing your company
You, as an individual, are representative of your company, right? Wrong. I feel quite strongly about this, and it is my duty as an anonymous sex blogger to point out that nothing I write on the internet in any way relates to my job. If it did, my job would be far more interesting.
Yes, if you’re tweeting from a company account, you should conduct yourself as if you were on company business – no gratuitous swearing or trollery. This should be fairly common sense. But just as I wouldn’t expect to conduct a pub chat as if I were chairing a meeting, likewise I will say things on my personal Twitter feed that I would never say at work.
But when people who tweet personally are then linked to their job, the waters get a bit muddy. This week Grace Dent received what I can only describe as a tawdry, prickish insult on Twitter. Rather than ignoring or blocking the offending person, she clicked through to his biog, where he had a link to his personal website that had a link to the company where he worked. A company that happened to represent Grace Dent.
This man was an idiot. By his own admission he shouldn’t have posted it. Were I his boss I’d be having a serious chat with him about the nature of social media, and insisting that he remove all links to his workplace from his profile. But I categorically do not think that he should be fired.
If he’d threatened her, yes. If he’d been bigoted, or obviously inciting hatred, maybe. But he made a stupid joke about her looks. The problem is that this is a level of reasonably inane and harmless cuntery compared to hate-speech and threats, and we find it hard to come up with a solution that deals with the nuance. Grace Dent has decided that she would like him to be fired.
I have a lot of respect for Grace Dent, who is the epitome of everything I admire – someone who gets paid to write funny stuff on the internet. But in this case I think she’s desperately wrong.
Pic and Mix rules
If you accept that what you say on Twitter is subject to scrutiny by your workplace, you have to accept that your workplace could skip over the insults you’ve written and instead concentrate on the more personal/political things that you say.
It’s then more than possible to end up with situations where someone will be censored not because what they’re saying is offensive, but because it isn’t in line with company policy.
You could tweet about a political figure on whose good side your company would like to stay. You could say something negative about an organisation that your own company is about to partner with. In the case that inspired this post, you could say something rude about a client of your company. Or finally, in a sudden and sledgehammer admission of my own personal interests in this tale, you could tweet about piss play and get fired for being a pervert.
I’m not saying people should say and do what they like and damn the consequences. It’s of the utmost importance that people at least try to conduct themselves with courtesy and respect, because otherwise society will fall to bits and you’ll end up sitting at a laptop in the middle of a nuclear armageddon typing “OMG u r a troll you fat slag lolz” while the remnants of civilisation crumble to dust around you.
All I’m saying is that we should be careful what we wish for – accept that a man gets fired for being catty about a client and we have to accept a certain degree of company interference in tweets that we post on our personal stream. And that way lies unemployment for political bloggers, interestingly opinionated tweeps and – most importantly – me.
To prove I’m not advocating total anarchic trollery, and for those unsure of how to conduct themselves online, I have compiled a handy 3-step guide to not being a prick on the internet. Please print out, affix to your screen, and have a glance every once in a while before you post rude things about powerful journalists.
Three-step guide to not being a prick on the internet
1. Got a criticism that is threatening, illegal or hate-filled? Don’t post it.
2. Got a criticism that doesn’t fall into category 1 but would be hurtful to the person on the receiving end? Don’t @ them in it.
3. Got a criticism that is thoughtful, interesting and genuinely contributes to the discussion? @ the author, reblog, talk about it, or spaff your wisdom intelligently in the comments.
Recently I received a text message that contained this gem:
“you’re waiting, bent over the desk, chemise immodesty parted…”
Now, sexy though that may be (for the record, it is), it is not something that I want to have bleeped to my pocket. Texts have a disturbing immediacy that emails don’t. An email says ‘I have something to tell you, and I have taken the trouble of sitting down and composing it.’ An email elevates you to a status of importance. It usually contains more information, some gossip and, if you’re lucky, a link to something that you might like. An email respects you, it lets you know that you can take your time in replying, mull over your response, and consider carefully before you commit to anything in writing. I love email.
A text, on the other hand, is a conversation killer. You could be halfway through a gripping novel, a relationship crisis or a cheese soufflé and your mobile leaps up; blaring, buzzing and all but hitting you in the face screaming ‘pay me attention! I’m important! Feed me words, you fucker!’
I don’t like texts. My friends complain that most of their texts go unanswered, but that’s because most of their texts come when I’m in the middle of something that I think is more important. I frequently experience irrational bursts of hatred towards my nearest and dearest because they text me inanities while I’m at work, inanities to which I feel duty-bound to reply.
And if you (get ready to shudder) “sext” me at work, chances are it will enrage me even further. Lovely though it is to imagine you bending me over something solid then humping me frantically like a bonobo with an audience, it won’t help me get this strategy document written.
Here’s where I backtrack so you don’t think I’m a giant bitch
I’m not always a terrifying harridan – I think some texts are great. There is nothing I love more than a good old romantic text, particularly one that doesn’t invite an immediate response. A well timed:
“It might be the whiskey talking, but the whiskey says I miss you every day.”
can be the best thing that’s happened to me all week. A romantic text is always welcome. And on the few occasions when I am in the mood for conversation or sexy chat I’ll leap to my phone like an excited teenager, cradling it in my arms and soaking up the misspelled words and predictive-text fuck-ups contained therein.
But these moments are few and far between. The fact remains that, on the rare occasions when people do text me with sexy content, there is an 80% chance it will make me want to punch them.
Sexy emails? Great. I’m sitting at my computer so would probably have been planning a wank anyway. Sexy texts? It’s like a double glazing salesman ringing your doorbell during dinner and then slapping you in the face with a semi-flaccid dick.
Don’t even get me started on phone calls.
I don’t want to cause alarm, but it turns out that despite years of battling for equality, there are some people in the UK who have completely missed the memo about women being independent, equal human beings.
I was in the pub on Friday with some friends, and one of my favourite boys. We danced, drank, flirted, and occasionally snogged each other like teenagers with a bucket of cider in a park.
After a couple of hours, a kind gentleman from the bar decided that the situation had reached tipping point. He could no longer stand by and watch the horror of the unfolding scene – what I can only describe as ‘some people having some fun that caused no harm whatsoever to those around them.’
With a slightly drunken leer, and eyes sparkling like those of someone who is about to make a truly knicker-wetting joke, he marched up and spoke to one of the boys I was with:
“You should control your woman.”
There was a distinct absence of laughter. ‘Control your woman’? Anyone would have thought that I was robbing the pub, or having a violent altercation with one of the other customers. But no – it turns out I was just dancing with someone who a passing stranger had identified as Not My Boyfriend. And he obviously felt that the boy he had mistakenly identified as My Boyfriend required help in handling what he perceived to be a crisis situation.
I can only begin to imagine what was going on in the mind of this gold-plated cretin. What is this woman doing – dancing? With a man? What if she gets pregnant? What will happen next? After all, dancing has been known to lead to so much more – women expecting oral sex, for example, or owning their own passports, perhaps even trying to have jobs with equal pay or something equally unconscionable.
omg it was just a joke lol
Perhaps I’m overreacting here – he was just trying to make a joke. He was a reasonably friendly dude and by the looks of it he mainly wanted to start conversation with a friendly-looking bunch of drunk strangers. I didn’t overreact and follow my immediate instinct – to piss into his pint glass then cackle like a terrifying harpy, but nevertheless I felt angry and uncomfortable.
Not only has someone told me that I am effectively ‘out of control’ for having the kind of fun that would happily be shown before the watershed, but he’s also implied that some other people see me with boys and infer ownership.
So instead of actually confront him about it, I thought I’d tackle it in the traditional nerd way, by retreating to the internet to have a bit of a rant. Because although this guy was joking, jokes like these are far, far too common for my liking.
“Blimey, she’s a fiesty one.”
“Looks like she wears the trousers in your house.”
“I’m surprised he lets you do this kind of stuff.”
One of the reasons I don’t have a boyfriend is that I don’t want any unrealistic expectations placed on me. I don’t want to have to remember birthdays, leave parties early, go to things I won’t enjoy, or not occasionally rub my crotch on people in the pub. In telling the boy to ‘control’ me, this guy reinforced everything I hate about relationships, and the expectations placed on you within them.
He also, even more hatefully, implied that once you have entered into a relationship with a boy, that boy has not only a right but a duty to control you. God forbid men should let their guard down in a public situation – the scorn of sexist pub men will be brought to bear on you if they witness your girlfriend dancing with another dude.
So in conclusion: no, I don’t want to let it go. Despite the no doubt side-splitting hilarity of this throwaway sexism, I’d urge sexist men to avoid ‘controlling their women’ – instead, why not learn to control your fucking self?