Cosmopolitan magazine, close your ears. Because I genuinely don’t feel the need to tell my friends that I ‘love giving blowjobs’ and ‘could go on all night, every night.’ I don’t have a Samantha Jones stamina. I like to give my partner pleasure, sure – and there’s nothing I find outright displeasing about getting on my knees/back/head and delivering him a ‘Christian-Gray-flavoured-popsicle’ moment. Au contraire, in the context of a wider overall sexual experience, I get a lot of pleasure out of giving it. But can I honestly tell you that the prospect of kneeling on the floor with a faceful of ball sweat and performing a repetitive motion of the head with no possibility of reciprocation sends shivers down my spine? Nah, sorry.
There are some days when I am genuinely Not In The Mood. And it’s not because I’m necessarily frustrated, or depressed, or stressed out, or harbouring secret anxieties about my relationship with whoever’s come to my bed that night. I just don’t operate within a permanent state of horniness, my legs aren’t always shaved, and sometimes I’m wearing old and childishly colourful underwear, like the spotty ones I bought in Primark five years ago when I thought that sort of thing was endearing. My sex drive is lower at certain times because that’s my personal, natural hormonal state. And nowadays, I have the audacity to neither apologise about that fact or even seek to change it.
It gets worse. Some nights, I genuinely want a cuddle. Affection outside of sexual activity says that I mean something a bit more than the next 69er, fun as that may be. Holding my hand after ‘a steamy sesh’ (credit to you, Louise Court, for that phrasal coinage) sometimes resonates a lot more than flipping me on my back and going in for the second competitive orgasm. And every one night stand or so, I find myself wondering if I can take the next one home for an indulgent night of the Mexican Hot stuffed crust pizza and the extra long edit of Labyrinth. Sadly, this sort of thing is frowned upon in the world of sexy, right-on independent single ladies, who should never turn down an evening of being shackled to the bedposts – while someone called Zed invariably tells you that he’s your daddy – in favour of processed cheese and David Bowie climbing Escher-inspired stairs in a catsuit. Sigh.
It may sound like common sense (I hope) to at least a sizeable portion of the population, but this sort of talk has been drowned out by the harridan voices of popular women’s magazines in the last decade. Women now speak to women in the media as if we all bought into being super-horny vixens all the time; as if ‘admiring his gorgeous member’ is a natural pastime; as if ‘relationship sex’ is a bit of a failure. Now, I’m not disputing that sometimes, the look or feel of a cock is really going to do it for you. Likewise, I would be presumptuous to dispute what one likely lad told me, after I’d done him a grand old favour, when he said: ‘Every girl I’ve ever slept with has really enjoyed my cum.’ He’d just added me to that list, but I have to tell you: from where I’m standing (kneeling), a man’s cum tastes like what it is – a concoction of bodily fluids spewed out of a chapseye.
I’ll reiterate that I am all for sex in its many varied forms. Not only that, but I am all for messy sex, where sweat and liquid forms of excitement abound, where the bedsheets are almost ruined, where you’re out of breath and kind of nauseous by the end. But equally, I’m all for curries rich in suspect quantities of lard, old episodes of Friends in bed, and knowing each other well enough to wear toothpaste on your spots at night. I appreciate being downright nasty with a man, and not in the ‘cock rings and rimming’ way; sometimes I want to moan about cystitis to someone and take an early night. And I’m willing to admit that a lot of my sexual technique involves a small dose of feigned enthusiasm for the things that I know he likes. I’m sorry, Company magazine, and everyone else who’s in on the conspiracy to pretend that all of us singletons are chewing at the bit and waiting to swing off the chandeliers with the next chancer from a Soho club. I’ll take that cup of tea five times out of ten – and go easy on the milk.