I’ve been having a lot of typical sex lately. You know, the sort of sex you have when you just fancy some sex but have no particular desire to put a cherry on top. Basic sex. No-frills sex. If exciting and boundary-defining shags are the equivalent of a twelve-course tasting menu, then what I have been doing is eating cheese sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a whole month.
And guess what? It’s brilliant.
I love cheese-sandwich sex to almost exactly the same degree as I love twelve-course fancy sex.
My typical sex
It starts with a suggestion by one or other of us. Not a gentle touch or a barked command, or anything designed to elicit a specific sexual reaction. I’ve had shags that have started with playful sofa-fighting, and ones which I’ve kicked off by simply pulling my knickers down and offering my naked arse to the gentleman in question. Typical sex isn’t like this, it begins much more simply.
“Fancy a shag?”
There’s a pristine beauty and simplicity to it. It’s not overworked, which means that if the second person doesn’t fancy one they’ll know it’s not the end of the world to decline. Nor is it overly-prescriptive. “Fancy a shag?” leaves you open to developing a particular type of shag if you like. I could respond with “yes, will you fuck me over the bath?” or “no, but I’d love to suck you off while I rub my clit through my knickers.” In short, ‘fancy a shag?’ tells me that you’re horny, and asks if I am too. All the rest is up for grabs.
Once it’s been established that both of us fancy a shag, we touch. Although I’m generally a fan of variety, in this specific scenario, when I am in the ‘typical sex’ mindset, I get off on the predictability of it. He grips me around the waist and immediately slides his hands down to my arse. There’s a delicious familiarity there – the exact size and shape of him is satisfyingly unsurprising. The exact degree to which he squeezes me has been carefully calibrated over years of ‘a bit harder’ and ‘oh God yes that’s it’ until he’s got just the right pressure to get me dripping.
The same familiarity comes, of course, from his dick. I know how quickly it gets hard, what motions will best help it to get there, and exactly how to open this specific pair of trousers (seducing someone new is great fun, but I never seem quite as suave as I’d like because I fumble with unfamiliar trouser openings). His dick has a very specific weight in my hand, and I’m an expert on just how to hold it and squeeze it to ensure that the typical fuck takes its course.
There’s no detour here for blow jobs – I’m describing my typical shag. And typically I don’t have time to take him slowly into my mouth, because we’ll both be too keen to start fucking. So fuck we do.
And the best part is that as soon as we begin, it’s all about the end. This is an ‘everyday’ fuck – something at least as fun and functional as masturbation.
He’ll fuck me with quick, efficient strokes – touching the bits that give him extra shivers through his dick. I’ll push back and squeeze around him so I can feel as much as possible inside me: so that every atom of my cunt is pushing into part of his cock. There’s no pretense that we’re trying to impress each other, or even making an effort to get each other off: we’re doing it because we need to, and because each of us is as keen as the other to feel those first twitching waves of orgasm grip us in the pit of our stomachs.
‘Typical sex’ doesn’t mean ‘boring sex’
It’s a fuck you have because you both need it. It’s even better than wanking because it’s a mutual pleasure, and is therefore sociable: like monkeys picking fleas off each other or you scratching an itch that I just can’t reach on my own. And the moans and ‘oh yes’s and sighs at the end don’t just signal joy or sexual ecstasy – there’s a definite tone of relief. We’ve soothed and satisfied each other.
That’s why I love the everyday fuck. I love it easily as much as I love the special ones, the exciting ones: the ones with extra people or special toys, or words that make me growl with lust. Because while twelve-course meals are undoubtedly exciting, sometimes you just want a cheese sandwich. Something you eat while standing up in the kitchen, dropping crumbs onto the counter and forgetting to put the butter back in the fridge. It’s everyday, it’s typical, it’s nothing fancy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious.
I’m an online dating evangelist – I think meeting people on the internet and then going for drinks with them (in a safe public place, etc) is one of the best ways to meet likeminded and potentially shaggable people.
As an evangelist, however, there’s a conversation I’ve ended up having a few times that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. It goes something like this:
“Remember you told me to go on OKCupid?”
“Yeah. How’s it going?”
“Well, I’ve had a couple of quite good dates. But I’ve also been sent some hilarious and awful messages. And oh God this one person had a profile so bad it was hysterical. I’ll send you a link…”
Please don’t show me the money
I don’t want to see your links. I don’t want to see the people you think are so funny that it’s worth going to the trouble of finding their profile again, copying the link and then emailing it to me. I’m human, of course, and so naturally I find the flaws, foibles and fuck-ups of other humans inherently funny. There’s nothing I like more than hearing how unrelentingly shit other people can be, because it makes me feel like less of a blundering oaf.
Tell me about it, by all means. If you’ve spotted a dating profile where someone’s used a UKIP quote in the ‘things I like’ section, then that’s well worth a pub-time anecdote. But I don’t want your links.
There’s something so deeply personal about an online dating profile that even the idea of other people seeing mine (I’ve wiped it now, so don’t go looking) makes me shiver with cold dread. Like showing your CV to a work colleague who has known you for years – someone who knows that most of what you’ve written is – at best – rose tinted and – at worst – bordering on fantasy.
Mistakes, misogyny and mockery
I don’t like it when people lie on internet dating profiles. When they send messages that are presumptuous or rude. I don’t like it when they make sexist statements or offer arrogant critiques of people’s profile photos. There are many things that I not only don’t like, but that will have me wishing slapstick comeuppance on anyone who comes across as vaguely right wing.
But I don’t want you to show it to me. There are two reasons for this:
1. I have probably seen it, or something like it, already. No, really. I’ve done a lot of internet dating, so if you send me someone’s profile picture along with an amused email about how he’s odd because he included a photo of his dick, the best reaction you’re going to get from me is ‘so?’ I’ve seen quite a few dicks – attached to profiles, emails, and (if I’m really lucky) actual men. I’ve also seen messages where people just say ‘how r u sexy’, or write clumsy erotica, or offer to be your slave forever. Unless it’s a spectacularly unusual message or picture, my reaction is likely to disappoint you. If you want someone to be shocked by it, you’re better off sending it to your mum.
2. I’m uncomfortable laughing directly at people. Sure, if a friend trips on the way to the bar and accidentally spills a beer over someone I didn’t like much, I might have a bit of a snigger. But there’s a world of difference between the odd giggle at someone’s flaws and an anonymous shredding of someone who has laid themselves bare for you in the hope that you’ll approve. The shredding is fine, but when you’re shredding someone and I have to look into their eyes – even if they’re separated by a net connection and the knowledge that they’ll never hear what I have to say about them – there’s a feeling of discomfort that just isn’t enjoyable. If you asked me to kick a kitten I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it just because you assured me it was dead and wouldn’t feel a thing. It’s still not a fun thing to do.
I’m not saying people on dating sites are all amazing and wonderful, nor even that in mocking them you’re a horrible person. What I am saying is that if you want me to join you in appraising and critiquing, I don’t need to see who they are.
Knowing me, knowing you
This brings me on to my final point – and it’s a very important one. Be wary of being too judgmental about people when you’re telling someone else about them. Recently a friend of mine (a new member of OKCupid, on my wholehearted and overenthusiastic recommendation) sent me a profile of a guy she thought she liked, and told me that he’d ruined things by having ‘massive sex issues.’ Meaning to incite a good old giggle and a session of bitching, she invited me to offer judgment about his ‘freakish’ foibles.
Unfortunately for her, his ‘freakish’ foibles sounded pretty hot to me. Moreover, based on a slightly blurry picture and his style of profile writing, I had a sneaking suspicion that I’d already sampled them.
She didn’t reply to his message.
Yesterday I found a brilliant (read: not brilliant) article on HuffPo giving dating advice to women. You all know how much I love (read: don’t love) both HuffPo and ill-thought-out dating articles. You know the ones – they all seem to be entitled ‘Top 10 tips for women dating’, or ‘Top 5 ways to impress a lady if you’re a man’, or occasionally even ‘Top 10 search-engine-optimised sex manoevres with which to confuse your partner.’
These articles are clearly bloody difficult to write, and the writers frequently fall into a number of traps. To prevent this happening again, and causing me to spit cider over my phone and exclaim “WHAT?! You want me to do WHAT on a first date, HuffPo?!” I have written a guide for dating writers:
Top 5 tips for writing a top 10 dating tips article
1. Try to avoid assuming we’re all stupid. Tips such as ‘post a recent photo on the dating website’ and ‘don’t play with your iPhone during the date’ rest on the rather gargantuan assumption that your readers are a herd of cackling incompetents. You might as well tell us to not to punch the waiter, or ensure we turn up wearing shoes.
2. Before you set pen to paper, try your hand at some research. If that is too tricky, why not simply haul yourself outside for five minutes and meet a real human? This might prevent you from giving tips in which you make gargantuan, sweeping proclamations about the behaviour of the entire species. Clangers such as: ‘if you’re looking to hook up on a first date, that’s fine. Just don’t expect this to lead to a real relationship’ can be easily avoided by speaking to one of the countless thousands of people who have done exactly that.
3. When editing your tips, read them with the eye of someone compiling a 1950’s guide on how to be a Good Heterosexual Partner. Tips such as ‘if you want an over 50’s man in your life, you’d better give him the ability to feel needed by taking care of things for you’ will no doubt have that particular editor smiling with delight. This is a sign that you should cut them. Immediately.
4. Consider whether your advice applies to everyone, or just to you. Advice like ‘don’t wear flattering underwear’ or ‘don’t try to suggest changes to your partner’ only apply to a very specific subset of people – the sort of people who wear flattering underwear, for instance. Or the sort of poisonous critics who are likely to explain – on a first date, no less – exactly which things their potential partner might need to change about themselves. I don’t know any of these people myself, but if you’re writing this tip down, you are probably one of them.
5. Remember that dating is neither a war nor a job interview. When I read these articles there’s an overwhelming sense that the sole purpose of going on a date is for the person you’re dating to accept you. As if the best possible thing that can happen is that they don either a Donald Trump hairpiece or an Alan Sugar beard and magnanimously announce that ‘you’re hired!’
Dating tips writers – I appreciate that on the surface your job might appear to be one of a coach – cheering your team on until they win a shiny prize, and ensnare the man or woman they’re meeting. But actually your role is far more important than that: you’re there to help people have successful dates. By encouraging people to think only about whether they’ll be accepted by their partner, you miss out the rather crucial point that they need to accept their partner too.
Every minute they spend worrying about whether their underwear is too flattering or whether they’re making their date feel ‘needed’ enough is a minute not spent finding out whether the person they’re dating is actually someone they’re interested in.
My top dating tips
1. Talk to your date
2. Listen to your date
3. Decide whether you like them
4. Find out whether they like you
5. If, by the end of the date, you know the answer to both 3 + 4, then no matter what the answers are, you’ve had a successful date.
How did it ever come to be accepted wisdom that if a girl has sex on a first date she’ll never see the guy again? This information, as well as being at direct odds with my own experience, doesn’t even seem to make any rational sense. Presumably if you sleep with someone on the first date it’s because you both want to sleep with each other. And wanting to sleep with each other is surely one of the best signs that a first date has gone pretty well indeed.
You don’t need pictures to get horny. When both I and the internet were young, I was a big fan of chatrooms. A chatroom, in case you’re too young to have ever needed them, is a place you can go on the internet to talk to complete strangers. You just log in, pick a generic name, and join in the discussion. Like Menshn, yeah?
I haven’t been in a chatroom for years, but when I was young (14, 15 ish) I thought they were the best thing about the internet. I’d log onto the main room, chat to people for a while (always with a name that made it clear I was a girl, but perhaps did not make it clear quite how young I was) and wait for the private chat boxes to pop up.
I was just old enough to know what ‘cybering’ was, and just young enough to think the very idea hilarious.
no, I don’t wanna cyber, but what’s ur name?
[For some reason I believed that correct use of spelling and grammar would see me hurled from the internet]
Short chats with lonely guys turned into longer ones. Some just wanted to talk, some wanted to do sexy chat, most of them were keen to know exactly what I looked like. I spent a fair bit of time listening to their woes, some time trying to describe – in explicit detail – nicely developed pairs of tits that definitely weren’t mine. But it was fun. You could log on, reach out, and within minutes be surrounded by words from horny guys, lonely guys, guys who wanted nothing more than to talk to you.
At the time I thought it was the best way to get off – kids these days won’t understand, but in the competition between jpegs of celebrity nipple-slips that loaded line-by-line over a shitty dial-up connection and chat rooms where perviness was almost instantly guaranteed, there was no contest.
Besides – I was talking to real men! Actual men! The joy of teenaged discovery doesn’t come better than knowing that even though you can’t get a boyfriend at school, there are thousands of men on the internet willing to pretend to be a half-hearted version of one for twenty minutes or so.
But naturally there has to be a moral to this story, because as an adult I look back on my teenaged self prickteasing horny guys in chatrooms, and I think: well, you were a fucking arsehole, weren’t you? Moreover, at no point do I want kids to read this blog and think that fucking about in chatrooms is anything more than a dangerous waste of time.
So here goes.
One day I gave a man my phone number. See? I was an idiot as well as an arsehole.
He seemed nice, though. I was young and stupid, and I thought I was in line for a 17 year old boyfriend. 17! Practically a grown-up! And he seemed… well … quite sweet. He wasn’t scarily pervy, just a lonely guy with a modem and some time on his hands.
When I turned off the internet (that’s right, kids, back in the day one had to do that) the phone rang straight away. My Mum asked why someone was calling this late at night, and I pretended I knew him.
She left me alone and I spoke to him. And it was at this point that I got a bit scared. Because despite my horny teenaged chatting, and my confidence that no guy could hurt me, I suddenly came to the terrifying realisation that this guy had actually phoned me. He’d called my bluff. And if he wanted to he could call me again, at any time, even if I told him to sod off.
As it turns out, there was no need to be scared – this guy was perfectly nice, and realised within about 10 minutes of our phonecall that I was not, as I had stated in my username, 19, but closer to 13. He said goodbye and hung up.
There are two morals here: number one – don’t give your fucking phone number to men you meet in chatrooms, because they will probably use it to call you. Most people know this, I didn’t.
Moral number two – teenagers will find porn on the internet no matter how and where you hide it. If it weren’t chatrooms it’d be pictures, or erotic words, or sexual health websites with stark and unerotic pictures of male genitals.
As an adult, porn usually consists of a high-quality video of two people going at it hammer and tongs, or six people lustily writhing together in a bucket of something that resembles lube or mucus. As a teenager, porn can be anything – when I was a teenager I would become aroused reading a certain section of the (kid’s book) Heidi, because there’s a moment when she gets spanked by her schoolteacher. Absent any other porn, I could probably crack one off looking at erotic book covers on Amazon.com. And I could certainly – certainly – find somewhere on the internet to hook up with lonely, horny guys.
Kids will find porn. There’s no reason we should make it easy for them, but we’ll never stop them finding it. The scamps.