INTRODUCTION: BARE FACTS
This is a book about one woman, sex and love, embracing a gender, generational and historical socio-economic, political perspective. It traverses six decades from childhood fantasies and fallacies to older age indulgences and investments, documenting my experience to inform, educate and entertain, inspired by my youthful ignorance and naivety about so many love and sex matters. Exploring and experimenting with sex, experience reassured me it was indeed the ‘best’ teacher, ensuring I enjoyed sex and found love too (however ephemeral) over 60 years of my life. Sex was always significant for me, not just in discovering and appreciating my own sexuality at different times and in different contexts, but for different reasons I was also intrigued by sex in our world in different societies and in different ways with different partners.
In more than fifty years, I have had sex with about 80 men, at least as far as I can remember (I stopped counting decades ago), even more without intercourse. The men were of many shapes and sizes, including short men and tall men, slim men and fat men, young men and older men, hairy and hairless, some traditionally handsome and others only a pass mark before a mirror. I was also of varying shape and size; blooming from a skinny, shapeless and titless teenager into a big-busted and curvaceous, albeit ‘plump’ woman in my twenties, my statistics less than ‘vital’ as they fluctuated over that decade. The consequence was confronting as a female (increasingly a male concern?), with complex conflicts about my ‘body image’ at that time. The men varied across a social spectrum, too, especially from the waist down; a mix of married men, ‘attached’ single men with ‘steady’ girl-friends, men without partners and men without a regular fuck (including married men who no longer had sex with their wives). They came from diverse walks of life; professionals and the tertiary-educated as well as early school leavers and tradies. Mostly, I was reasonably sober and drug free, at other times pissed, stoned and almost asleep (they woke me up!). The sex was not always in the private confines of a boudoir, but encompassed a party in front of other revellers, behind a locked door in a suburban sex shop with the salesman and in a hotel swimming pool in full glare of the hot sun as well as other guests (an exhibitionist of sorts except I was oblivious to them all). The majority of the men were circumcised (when I bothered to notice or interested to feel them), but the power of their pricks varied enormously as much as their size did, alongside everything else their bodies did in the relationship including sex partners at least for a night, sometimes two, time indeterminate; not that I can now remember their names or would even recognise them in the street. There were quite a few of those as well as having sex with more than one man at the same time. My sexual relationships had specific shelf lives, too many passing their use-by-date after just one encounter. I’ve had both good sex (verging on ecstasy and transcendent pleasure) and bad sex (not at all enjoyable or exciting) that’s lasted for five or ten minutes only; ditto for that lasting more than an hour within a relationship as well as outside of one. Some men tried to ‘woo’ me with their wallets, buying me dinner and expecting sex for their ‘investment’.
There was no way I would pay ‘interest’ on their behalf, declining their ‘dessert’ and abused for my rejection, but it was their problem, not mine. Most of my life, I paid my own way when I earned enough to afford it.
As quite a well-travelled woman, these men were of different nationalities, picked up as a fanciful, good time in varying countries in which I was living (speaking English was not mandatory with our bodies speaking the same language on the mattress, at least most of the time). Sometimes sex was an almost daily indulgence (necessity?), others times there have been years between sex; as many as ten just recently. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was almost twenty on a first date with a man I met at a party two weeks before, having my first orgasm nearly 18 months later with a different man whom I had known for just two weeks also. Orgasms are not always or essentially intrinsic to good sex. There are different feelings in clitoral and vaginal orgasms, and enjoying both simultaneously is just body-blowing, though it’s happened less than I’ve wanted. Losing myself in the sheer physical pleasure of the sex is my measure of great sex; my body experiencing a physicality all of its own quite beyond any conscious awareness. Do men feel similarly? Some it seemed do, others didn’t; I don’t know because my research was limited as I assumed, rather than asked, whether it had been as good for them as it was for me (likewise as unsatisfying and disappointing). Too many times however, I was frustratingly bored with many men, thinking too much about just pissing them off and/or pissing off myself. Sometimes, I needed foreplay before intercourse, and sometimes, it was brief but almost irrelevant. Moreover, I also ‘faked’ it; at different times and for different reasons. It’s interesting how many men didn’t realise. Do men ever ‘fake’ it, too? (There’s an issue for future research!) I found sex to be revealing about not just men, but myself from a non-sexual perspective, sometimes reflecting a more covert, personal psychology involving confidence and a comfortable rapport (and/or lack of). Is sex ‘all in our heads’? I also learned to appreciate a man really wanting me per se some of the time and just as an ‘easy lay’ at others. Indeed, I often joked “Gee I’m easy, but I’m good” as playing ‘Hard To Get’ was never part of my sexual agenda. Many times I also realised a fuck was all I wanted, too. I’ve indulged in oral and anal sex, usually enjoying both, but many men certainly aren’t experts or even at all knowledgeable about cunnilingus because they seem ignorant, even sloppy about women’s bodies, or at least mine. Fellatio is an art I tried to perfect; though I don’t always feel like bothering. I’ve also experimented with a myriad of positions; being the ‘fuckee’ and the fucker and both at the same time. I’ve learned so much about my body throughout my life, still learning, enjoying and discovering new sources of pleasure, sometimes on my own and at other times, with a man. I’ve propositioned men and been rejected as much as I’ve rejected many propositions. I’ve never had sex with a woman and have only watched three porn movies in my life. I can get off on watching lesbian sex but don’t turn on to the partnership of homosexuals. Growing up in the 60s, LGBTI sexual diversity wasn’t even part of my (or society’s) sexual landscape. I also play with myself, though the frequency has ebbed and flowed at different times in my life, using my fingers, dildos, bottles and even trying to suck my own breasts. Menopause interrupted me for a few years. I once indulged in being tied up and whipped gently, both felt pleasurable. I also tied the man up and whipped him in response, at his request (he initiated the whole experience). I found whipping him difficult at first, wondering whether it was too painful. He told me it felt good, becoming easier after a short time. I knew him for almost 12 months before he departed states for another woman. As an alcoholic, he could never get an erection but made up for it in every which way he could. I missed intercourse as he didn’t ‘think’ or understand my need to play with his fingers inside me and I didn’t suggest it. I did ask him to ‘fuck’ me and he said he was unable to, bursting into tears. It was a morning after a night before. It wasn’t the only occasion a man cried over his ‘dick’. Another younger man, circa his mid twenties, shed tears because his ‘dick’ he told me was ‘so small’. He couldn’t get an erection either; sadly an alcoholic, too. Thirty years later he tragically committed suicide, married to a woman he had walked out on. I had no idea about their sex life. Are men so ‘dickcentric’ that they’re ignorant about how else and what else they can do to ‘pleasure’ women? Is their sexual repertoire about intercourse only and how important and/or pertinent is that ‘act?” While online ‘dating’ ‘sexting and other assorted digital services are now extant and in everday use, I have never used online services to meet a man and never will. I never believed in sexual fidelity.
There is a constant thread with all my sexual experiences in that I have ‘just about’ always felt ‘a simpatico’ connection with the men; however transient and superficial. This connection included moments of romantic rendezvous as well as pragmatic practicality; a close intimacy at times as well as distant and separate at others. One rationale for writing this book is that I can count on two hands and remember very clearly the individual men I shared really good sex with. Most of them were dud fucks; though I’m unsure as to whether it was ignorance or disinterest on their part. I’m sure I too was a ‘dud fuck’ on many occasions as these men failed to turn me on in a way that my body needed, moreover wanted. It was simple to lie there and open my legs, feelings unmoved and untouched. Too often, the sex was just a quick ‘in-and-out’ job for, I can only surmise, a few moments of their selfish pleasure; unconcerned about ensuring my simultaneous enjoyment. Some of these men however, tried to see me again, but there was no hope for an encore. It said more about them and what they wanted (needed?) from sex than about me. My ‘unresponsiveness’ was seemingly a non-issue (perchance they were blissfully nonchalant about me); for me, it was paramount.
I believe a woman’s sexuality is intrinsically more complex than men’s, in so far as our bodies, or certainly mine is concerned, taking me many years of ‘trial and error’ to really understand and appreciate my own body, let alone those of men. I realised it ‘takes two to tango’ not just on the dance floor. Moreover, everyone is different as to what they like and enjoy. In my twenties, I was ‘labelled’ ‘a fucking whore’, a nymphomaniac and a ‘sex maniac’ as well as being disparagingly derided as a dyke. I have been raped three times; twice by a former lover in an on-going relationship and by a guy I met at a wine bar in London; raped in that the sex was against my will. I didn’t fight to save my own life. The former lover was at times violent and I had a black eye a few times (I didn’t count) and once picked up a knife to defend myself when I managed to get away from him in bed. I thought he might come after me as he had once before. He didn’t. He is the only man I have ever lived with. I have been pregnant once and had an abortion, unsure who the father was because I was having sex with two, different, married men over a period of weeks at the time. I didn’t tell either of them or anyone else, making my own decision as soon as my pregnancy was confirmed. I have had no regrets. I have never been married and never had a child. I once wanted both. I’ve had three marriage proposals from men in my life, saying no to all and I have never proposed to a man. I never met a man I wanted to marry, though I did contemplate it once in my life. I’ve had sex in love and in lust, mostly in lust over the last thirty years or so as I came to appreciate and understand there was/is a difference, at least for me. I am 66 and still exploring sex; for myself and about others. It is a life-long journey.