Sunday, 22 November 2015

↑ Temp ↑

I do own, somewhere, a convection heater. It's probably somewhere among the assorted junk in my the attic at SH, alongwide all the fan heaters my parents have collected over the years. Any rational person would assume that it no longer works, considering how it's been archived... but I have faith. It survived being dropped on its side repeatedly and even losing both feet due to loose screws, plus years and years of being transported around with me to various places, still managing to produce enough heat to sustain me. I'm certain it still works.

I didn't bring it with me when we moved to this flat (which we are being forced to move out of soon; needless to say, I don't wish to discuss the specifics behind this - it's just a massive headache); I did assume that, since our room has a radiator (and it was baking hot when we got here in mid-August), we'd be able to regulate its temperature relatively effectively, and with the aid of some pliers, my dad turned off the radiator and we threw open the French windows.

Fast-forward to mid-November and I'm still wearing my coat and gloves despite being inside.

I've barely been here all weekend. Yesterday I spent most of the day attending an open house held by my friend-who-is-a-midwife (and, by extension, her brothers, Mane and Mane Jr.), and today I was at a joint anniversary... thing, celebrating my grandparents having been together for 60 years without managing to kill each other like the married couple in Father Ted (it's been a close-run thing). The temperature of my room wasn't really a major concern in my mind throughout either party, and yet - the instant I got home - it became more of a critical problem than a minor niggle.

It took a huge amount of effort to get the radiator back on (I ended up, rather than using the same pair of pliers, replacing the plastic knob and pushing with Herculean strength), and when that wasn't enough, I resorted to closing the curtains and lighting candles, rationalising that that's fire and fire is hot, and making a cup of tea. Then, and only then, did I feel comfortable enough to take my jumper off and settle down at my computer - well aware that my trusty old convection heater could have done the same job in about ten seconds.

I was at my happiest back a few years ago, in the cold winter months: my light, bright and airy room provided a perfect place to sit, think, blog and even stretch my legs if I wanted to. A little inspiration from a warm cup of tea and thirty seconds of warm air from my heater, and a little external peace and quiet, and I could turn out content like this that I was both pleased with and wistful about (now there's a combination!). The cosy comfort brought on from artificial warmth, a lot of light and a familiar setting - providing a complete antithesis to the colourless wasteland presented outside - certainly was conducive to a productive and satisfied ILB.

And my penis gets bigger when it's warmer.


Thursday, 19 November 2015

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Why can't I have nice sex dreams?

The dreams I have which feature my former girlfriend, the girl who drinks and sews, all seem to follow a vague pattern. We are together; things are harmonious. And then, at one point, she betrays me, sleeping with someone else we both know - although it varies as to who this may be - and is completely unrepentant about it, even gleeful. I am hurt, possibly in penance for one of the few sex dreams I've ever had where the transgression was my own (although I hurt myself enough over that one).

I don't understand how one could be so disloyal. The irony being, of course, that the drinking girl was about as unlikely to cheat as I was - my first girlfriend, of course, did so; I have in the past believed that it was happening to me again: hence my fear manifesting itself in dreams, I suppose.

I last saw the drinking girl in early 2011 just after she cast me adrift. Since then, she has moved on, upwards and onwards (and married, no less); I have had two long-term relationships since then - one tempestuous and unsteady (because, to be frank, I was still not quite over the drinking girl), and one that's still in progress now. To my immense relief.

I'd like to think that I, in my own way, have moved on - threw myself headfirst into the emerging world of sex blogger real-life events; started saying "yes" more to things á la Danny Wallace; changed career a couple of times - once into an industry I then left (and to which I later returned); turned 30 - all while holding on to things which have always mattered to me: my friends, my family, my favourite music, books, shows and games, plus my blog, the increasing identity of ILB that I have helped grow throughout all these years, and my little toy rabbit, who I cradled in my arms while the tears cascaded onto my pillow on the evening of January 1, 2011.

Last night, I saw her again. This time, we were working together, in (of all things) a mystery detective adventure. I forget the details - as one does with dreams - apart from the fact that, unusually, it was a cohesive, linked and intelligent narrative, with a beginning and a middle and an end; the detectives we were working with managed to solve the crime (because of something I did), and with that, everything was okay... and then, just before I awoke, one of the detectives realised he had left his radio on, and through it I heard the unmistakeable moans and cries of someone enjoying sex...

...and it was her.

She had left. She was now having incredibly loud sex with someone else - possibly her now significant other, although I've no idea who that is; we weren't a couple in the dream so she's allowed - but I was suddenly horrifically distressed. I burned with envy for whoever it was making her moan, my mouth open in a silent scream as everyone else laughed, as if it were the end to another cop show (with an ending theme tune!), all my previous hard work crushed underfoot as here was my ex-girlfriend pressed under the weight of another man, her sultry cries the only evidence thereof (although that made me try to visualise it, which makes it even worse).

I woke up in considerable disarray, full of jealousy and madness and despair, grabbing my BlackBerry to write a tweet in capitals about what I'd just seen... at which point I woke up again, aroused from my dream within a dream within a dream...

...ascertaining, once I was truly awake, what I was feeling: confused, hurt and upset.

Everyone has an albatross. The image of the drinking girl is mine - someone who went away years ago, but whom my brain refuses to let go of, who appears, then betrays and forgets me at night, and then gleefully sleeps with whomsoever takes her fancy at a moment's notice.

This has got to stop.

Monday, 16 November 2015

How to Survive a Corporate Sex Industry Event (and get away with it)

On my first day at Sexpo, last Saturday, Essex Lad (yes, seriously, Essex Lad) asked me if I had any tips for how to make the most of a corporate sex industry event... seeing as I've been to a few. By Sunday evening, I had something of a coherent answer.

I kept thinking about it on the Tube back home. What would be the best tips I could give someone? If I could go back to 2007, and talk to embryonic ILB, how would I phrase these things? And what would be the best advice?

And so I present here a survival guide. And, in true Essex Lad style, these are the ultimate and unquestionable tips.

Bring your own food
The most valuable tip I could ever give anyone, and the one that - had I followed it myself - would have been kinder to my financial balance this weekend. Unless you happen to be a member of the Sainsbury family, any food you happen to buy in a convention centre will certainly leave more of a hole than the one it's supposed to fill. There's a Costa just outside Olympia, if you must spend anything on food.
The same, of course, goes for drink... preferably water, although if you can get through quite a few beers in a day, then that's absolutely fine, Zak.

Befriend at least one exhibitor
Satine Spark, Lu Elissa & Magikarp Me
Unless you're an exhibitor yourself, it is absolutely essential to have a place to hang. Find someone you think you know if you can, or be as warm as possible to someone you like the look of (this is where social media comes in - get to know someone before you go and buy their stuff!). It's useful to have a base you can return to once all the leather and lace gets a bit much. And, as a bonus protip, this is where being able to bake cakes really comes into its own.

Talk to everyone... to a point
There isn't much that can't be gained from talking to people, but there is much to be lost from talking to the wrong people.
I'm a chatterbox, so I talk to everyone, too quietly and too fast for most people to understand, but it's not a skill everyone has. And that's fine - you don't need to twitter at a rate of knots about the changing personal homepages of porn stars or the benefits of evolving all three starter Pokémon if you don't want to - but, if you're not going to buy something from somebody, you may as well get them talking. It assuages the guilt of not mortgaging your house in order to be able to afford everything at your favourite stall.

And now that I mention it...

You don't need to buy everything... you don't need to buy anything!
Yet another one that I could have stuck to this weekend but didn't. Well done, ILB.

The best things in life are free
If you consider lube and condoms to be the best things in life, then this is technically true.
There's a lot to be gotten for free at these events - especially if you're willing to downsize from posters to promotional flyers people will sign for you (people will sign anything if it stands still long enough), or from huge containers of lube half the size of your body to a bag full of sachets obtained from simply taking a sexual health test and saying you liked sanitary products.
Or, if you happen to be Jillian, free pants tend to manifest somehow.
One may argue that these aren't events designed for freebies, but I'm not sure I'd agree, entirely; at Sexpo, there was free entertainment on all the way through!

Learn to say "no"
If you seriously don't want to spend £50, allegedly priced down from £7,000,000 for one hour only, on a
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
glamour photography session in Knightsbridge, then you don't have to say that you'll think about it. I got asked this about four times on Friday and each time I had to say that I would do so and come back on Sunday.

I did come back on Sunday, but deliberately avoided these stands, often taking a detour the size of Nebraska to do so.

Learn to say "yes"
You don't want to put your finger into a Twerking Butt? Okay, sure, neither did I. But why not? It's not going to hurt anyone, and you certainly need something to write about...

...and come to think of it...

Say you're a sex blogger
This is a fantastic way to ingratiate yourself to someone. I've even found that you don't even need to say which sex blogger you are... just indicate that you spend a large part of your time writing about sex and how open you are to new experiences, and smiles tend to magically appear on faces - it's brilliant!
If you happen to review products (even if they may not be the most favourable of reviews - *cough*), then people will be more willing to let you "try" their stuff. If you flirt enough, you may even get one for review purposes. Even if not, everyone will want to be your best friend...
...and why? Because sex bloggers are awesome!

Be nice
Some people go to events to buy stuff. Sell stuff. Attend seminars. Give seminars. See performances. Perform. Network. Meet friends. Make friends. Help friends. Satiate curiosity. Pull someone. Be pulled. Or even find something to do with their weekend.
Don't be a shark. Let people do what they want - that's what sex-positivism is all about, and there's no reason that industry events should be anything different.

And, finally...

Relax. It's just sex.
At my first event, I was a bundle of nerves... until I walked in and relaxed almost immediately.
These things are always full-on. There are likely to be a lot of things you like just as much as there will be things which make you step back and question your life choices. (I'm always upset that nobody ever sells soft porn at these things, or I'd probably never leave that stand.) But, for whatever reason you came, you came, and so you must have had at least some idea of what to expect.
Sex is a part of life, and so events related to the sex industry should be too. And they are. And that's brilliant. So take part while you can.

It can't last forever.

Can it?

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


And on and on the mazy dance goes. Politicians spin the media roundabout around and around and around it goes. Up come more cuts to public services. Natural disasters. Refugees. Migration both in and out. The obligatory SWERF ruining feminism for everyone. And now sexting rears its digitised head again.

There are lots of resources out there about sexting (Justin Hancock's BISH has a pretty comprehensive guide for young people which covers everything you may want to know, as well as his recent blog post). I myself wrote a blog post about sexting almost five years ago in which I claimed never to have sexted.

Which was true at the time. I have, since, done so.

Whatever it is.

As I've often said (including on Twitter, earlier today - and to my girlfriend too, verbally), a lot of the problems that come from "sexting" stem from how you interpret the word itself. The politicians and media that report upon sexting often use the word to refer to taking and sending sexually provocative images (often of oneself) via MMS (BBM, Snapchat, whatever), which obviously has its problems when it comes to young people (see BISH, above).

I mean, I've done that. I've got a picture of my torso and stomach covered in glistening cum after a long masturbation session lying on my back (I had a new phone) even though I've never shared it with anyone. I've taken pictures of my erect penis because who hasn't?, but I've only ever sent that to people (via e-mail, I took it with a webcam) with their consent. And, crucially, I'm not under 18.

But that's not what I consider sexting.

Sexting, to me, is basically cybersex via SMS. That's what I was told it was and that's what Glee says it is... and it's what I've engaged in (at least once) since 2011. In my younger, headier days, I used to have a lot of cybersex and what I liked about it was the fact that you can get someone else off with a bit of imagination and a consistent prose style - I rarely got pictures of the people I would cyber with and almost never asked; the pictures in my head were enough for me. When someone mentions sexting, this is my go-to idea.

Lightsinthesky did a presentation during A-Level Philosophy about sexual ethics and referred to cybsersex as accessing porn online, at which I wanted to scream, "THAT ISN'T WHAT CYBERSEX IS!". I didn't actually do that. Do I want to shout "THAT'S NOT WHAT SEXTING IS!" at something which I think sexting isn't?


The problem with the word is that it's slightly ambiguous. It's not as clear-cut as the distinction between watching porn and having cybersex (IRC being my medium of choice, although one supposed that Skype has provision to do so, not to mention Twitter), which I've always considered to be completely different things. Sexting has become more of an umbrella term - partially due to misappropriation of the word, but mostly because there isn't a snappy synonym for "the sending and receiving of sexually explicit pictures via a mobile telecommunications device or similar, often for the purposes of biologically pleasurable acts." Really rolls off the tongue, right?

And this is the problem I have with sexting. I have nothing against the practice (with consent, of course), however you interpret it. But those standing against sexting almost always seem to show a lack of understanding due to the ambiguity of the term itself. And, if there's anything guaranteed to irk, it's being against something without considering all involved.

In many ways, it's much the same as people who rally against porn...

...whatever that is.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015


"You must be brave, or at least feeling a little scared," I said, "hosting ten sex bloggers overnight in your house. Who knows what we might get up to?"

Catherine's mum nodded. "I trust you."

"Of course," I grinned and hugged her. Heading back to the big upstairs lounge in my old house, I took my place on the sofa. Catherine was there. Jilly was too. As I looked around the room, I saw Blacksilk talking to Lady P with Rose and Charlie Forrest playing some sort of card game. Bunny and Silver were resting, holding hands... and in the corner sat Charlie Powell, chatting to GOTN, who was reacting in a more animated way.

Flushed with inclusion in this coolest of gangs, I wondered exactly what would happen overnight...

The dream changed...

I felt strong, bold and powerful. I'd answered an call on Twitter from @notaleedsgirl to go and distract her while she studied in the library. Sitting next to her, I made no indication who I was, and neither did she to me. Getting up to leave, she thanked me briely for my intervention, but feeling annoyed that I didn't get any more than a vague salutation from her, I followed her out.

We were stopped by @beckandherkinks, who was sitting in the corner (oddly enough, a kink). She was more friendly, joking with NALG and knowing, not only who I was, but my real name. She did suggest something a little more social, which we could all do together, and I thought this was a great idea, because I'd just had a sex blogger sleepover and that had been fun... even if I couldn't remember what had happened there...

The dream changed...

I was in a cocoon. Safe and warm, but isolated. Wrapped up in my own world, but there was nothing else outside. I could hear 47's voice from outside and reached a hand towards it, but just as it touched the wall, I noticed it feeling softer, more flexible...

I pushed the duvet aside and opened my eyes.

I do need a little social interaction, I reasoned... so I've bought a ticket to Sexpo.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Let 'er rip!

Things were getting hotter and heavier than usual - were I the instigator, then I would have been surprised at how successful I'd been. As it happens, I'd only gone over for a cuddle and maybe some gentle kisses. I wasn't expecting a full-on snogging session with a pulsing erection and a girlfriend seizing the moment without any prior warning. I reasoned quite quickly that I could work with this, and sure enough, ten minutes later I was gasping for breath, burying my face in her shoulder as I came deep inside her.

No problems there.

The scary bit came a little earlier when I suddenly realised that I was a little overdressed to have sex and needed to remove some clothing. In my haste, I began to pull my trousers down, forgetting to undo the top button...

A horrible ripping sound rent the air. A more rational man may have had a sudden "oh, my! my best pair of trousers!" thought rush through his head. A more conservative man may have remembered to carefully fold his trousers onto a chair before engaging in coitus. Someone who's read this blog before may have recalled that I have a history of this sort of thing. My thoughts, however, were somewhere in the territory of "oh thank you sweet baby santa christ i'm just about to have SEX!!!", and the loss of yet another pair of trousers wasn't really on my mind as I eased my erection carefully into the warm folds of her sex.

I kept my jumper on throughout, though.

What? It's autumn now! It's cold!

The notion of putting my trousers back on came up later as it was a steadily dawning concept that it may not be the best of ideas to walk into the communal cooking area with my UNUSUALLY LARGE PENIS flapping in the breeze. Pulling them back on seemed relatively easy, and I noticed with appreciation that there was not, as I had assumed, a rip; I could even wear these to work and I doubt anyone would notice that these had been abandoned onto our dusty floor in the heat of unbridled passion.

The second I straightened up, there was a ping!, the button fell off the thread, and the trousers fell down.

And that's how I learned to love belts.

Monday, 2 November 2015


I wonder if I will talk to this lady sitting next to me on the bus.

I may say something like "hiya," or "are you going all the way to Greenwich?" or even "do I know you?". Because I do know her. I can't place where from, but I know her extremely well. It's got to be her; the features are the same as I remember them, from the long, thin nose to the slightly surprised blue eyes to the blonde hair with an odd cut - fringe, flowing locks, the lot. It's her. I just don't know who she is.

And it's while I'm pondering this that I notice she appears to be staring directly at my crotch.

I glance down and notice the bulge in my trousers that makes it look like I'm hard. I'm not - too tired to be hard even if I tried - but the zip in my trousers has manipulated itself upwards and it looks full of penis. About a centimetre from this lie my hands, my right index finger clenched in my left fist, instantly reminiscent (to my brain, anyway) or a smooth, firm cock enveloped in the tight, warm embrace of a beautiful vagina.

The instant I notice these things I feel wracked with doubt. I've just glanced at a lady and then down at my crotch, where there's a fake erection and hand-related penetration going on. And she's definitely looking. Maybe she thinks I'm being terribly inappropriate at 5:00 on a commuter bus. Or maybe I've sparked her imagination and she's now thinking of ways to make a slightly sexual signal back.

Only she doesn't do this; she just gets off the bus and walks off towards the Tube. I follow her, somewhat relieved that I hadn't actually ended up talking to her.

And now I know the answer to my question. She was going all the way to Greenwich.

Friday, 30 October 2015

I'd rather be a poly than a toff

I'm not poly, but I think my dreams are.

This isn't a one-off occurrence. I once had a dream in which my cousin was in a poly relationship with Lightsinthesky, but I don't even want to consider that. She's just had a baby and I'm very pleased it isn't his. No... I'm talking about last night.

In which I dreamed that I was planning to get married to the girl I had a crush on in university, while still being in a relationship with Jilly (there was naked Blacksilk in it as well, but I'm not sure what the significance is there), although - to be fair - the implication was that I was getting fake married to her for... whatever reason, it's not like she needs citizenship, she's a British aristocrat. Perhaps not my brain dredging up some long-lost or secret desire or something else.

And, you know, lots of casual nudity.

The poly lifestyle is something I've never had conflicted feelings about. I understand the concept (I even drew a diagram once); I have no problems with it; it's not for me. YLASRBLINMLASRBLBYLASRBLIOK, as they say. I've known people - both inside and outside the sex-positive community - who are in healthy polyamorous relationships and it's great to see this sort of thing working out for them (as it is with any sort of relationship, frankly). Despite whomsoever Dreamy Luigi ILB is going to marry, however, it's not my cup of tea, which is fine. Still with me so far? Good.

What I do have a problem with is the misuse of polyamory for one's own personal gain. Lots of sexual things are used for this - bits of porn are branded "abusive" and used as ammo by radfem campiagners. People trafficking statistics are interpreted as proof by SWERFs. BD/SM was misinterpreted and turned into gloopy dross by EL James and a slew of copycat authors. Being pounded in the butt by... no, let's leave that one, let's just not go there. Some accuse polyamorists of being selfish, or slutty, or indecisive, or cheaters. They are none of those things.

My first relationship ended with being cheated on. We know this. What we may not know is that, shortly after reading The Ethical Slut, my then-girlfriend had a sort of epiphany moment (in her words, "I thought I was polyamorous"), and started sleeping with a few different people - one in particular, which is who she ended up with - all without telling me, or even broaching the subject. She also had a semi-slutty, semi-poly friend (again, her words) - who I'd quite like to get into contact with now I mention her; I just forget her full name - whose glamorous appearance and sexual escapades appealed. She just "forgot" to tell me.

Cheating, I know, and not at all representative of the poly lifestyle. This did, however, put a bit of a blemish on the concept for a while, and although there wasn't a problem per se, I didn't really participate in any discussions about it, even though they were becoming increasingly frequent as the internet became more and more of a source of sex and relationships discourse. I was worried that what had happened to me would cloud my judgement, and so I (wisely, I think) stayed out of broaching the topic, until a bisexual poly friend of mine ended his relationship and wanted to talk to me about it.

I'd like to think I handled the conversation with consideration and grace, although I'm pretty sure I just ended up talking about how inappropriate tickling in bed was.

And so when I'm placed in more than one relationship in my dreams (and, before you ask, yes - it has happened before, I remember one of about ten years ago), it makes me feel uncomfortable not because of the concept, but because it's me, and it's not My Thing. Only last night's dream ended a little prematurely, and I'm a bit annoyed at that. Why? Well, because the main relationship I was in was the one I already am in; 47 was there and I miss him; naked Blacksilk; getting fake married looks kind of fun and I like a party...

...and there was food.

Now that's My Thing.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The "one track"?

"I was listening to some of Synthesiser's stuff."
"You know... my friend, Synthesiser?"

"Okay, well, I have this friend, Synthesiser."

(I probably don't need to explain that his name isn't actually Synthesiser. It's just quite an apt pseudonym, for reasons that will become apparent soon enough.)

"He makes this electronic music. It's one of the things he does. It's really good, actually."
"Well, not quite EDM. A bit... er, it's sort of electro kind of trancey orchestral... dance but not really... kind of synthpop but without the vocals, kind of..."

In hindsight, I probably wasn't describing his output very well.

"Yeah... yeah, EDM. Sort of."


I put minimal effort into the lentil bake I was making this evening. I was tired, didn't want to chop any more vegetables than I reasonably had to, and besides, it's hard to cook with a huge tent in your jeans caused by the raging erection thast comes from sub-editing one of your girlfriend's anthologies (protip: don't ever try this, it leads to accidents). Slightly more worrying, though, was the music bouncing around in my head.

I could visualise perfectly the sex scene that came with it - it was the one that everyone downloaded half of back in the days of KaZaA. A fairly routine teacher/student scene, amped up by the fact that the girl was really hot and the sex was real. I've no idea if that was rare or not; I didn't often download hardcore. But I liked this scene. Everyone did, including Rebecca... and her younger sister, who managed to download it off my computer for her own entertainment.

I'm not sure if I feel guilty about that or not.

As I ran my finger under the cold tap trying not to swear too loudly at the same burn I get every time I make lentil bake, something tweaked in my mind. The build-up to the sex bit was perfectly aligned... the gradual increase in drum beats with clicks. And the bit where they start doing it, up against the blackboard... well, that was good too, with the drums. I even considered watching it; I have the scene somewhere in my Disks of Wonder.

But then the hook came into my head - the synthy hook, which suddenly jarred with the scene. I'm sure this scene didn't have that bit in it. Or, if it did, I wasn't aware of it.

No. No no no no no no no. I never get porn wrong. I'd know this if I heard it. So where was the hook...

...the hook...



I raced back to my netbook at Mach 10 and practically slammed ModPlug Player into existence. A frantic scramble through the MODs and, there it was, the track that so resembled everything I'd thought of, down to every last hip thrust and open-mouthed expression, up until the hook, which threw me off-kilter and back to reality - the track I was thinking of, certainly... just not quite the one from the scene.

A grin unfurled across my face as I suddenly realised a new career path for Synthesiser to go down...