I’m More Concerned About Trump’s Policies Than The Size Of His Dick

charles-deluvio-695754-unsplash (1)

There’s been a lot of talk about fruit and veg in the press this week. First, about the loonies here in Australia that think it’s funny to put needles in strawberries, and then there’s Trump’s mushroom-shaped penis, the image in my head of which, I can’t unsee.

It’s not that I actively sought out the flagrant details of the US president’s knob, but they are hard to avoid on Twitter.

Albeit a feminist, I’m not a fan of the “kiss and tell” or tit for tat memoir, and I’ll admit to something close to the stirrings of a loose bowel movement when snippets of Stormy’s passionate (?) affair with the President first came to light. Personally, I believe that if you are going to “tell,” a “less is more” approach can be far more salacious. And frankly, the detail of Trump’s tiny manhood – while deservedly humiliating for him – doesn’t alter my opinion of him. I’m more interested in the man’s policies than the size of his dick – although, it’s true that it would be hard for my opinion to sink much lower.

In a very sad way, perhaps the size of his todger is a tiny excuse for his behavior – “small man complex,” and all that.

But you have to admire Stormy, who must surely be cognisant of the avalanche that she has triggered in the media, and which is certain to descend upon her once they get over the titillation of her lover’s small cock. Give her a few days grace before they cut her back down to size and force her to pick up the mantle of the fallen woman again, in spite of Trump’s infidelity and his proclamations about the virtues of family life.

Monica Lewinsky has never walked away from the smear campaign against her, while Bill continues to be canonized for his roving eye. So I hope that Stormy is as strong as her name suggests, or that the revenue from her book is worth the wrath that she has ignited in the White House – particularly if Trump gets re-elected.

Telling the truth at the expense of a man’s reputation is a risky business for women, and stronger women than Stormy have sunk under the weight of their aggression in a duel. The #notallmen retaliation suggests that men are fighting back against what they believe are unfair accusations by women – even though it is only abusers that are being accused, so I’m not sure what the majority of them have to worry about.

In a world in which leadership positions are dominated by men, (and for the main part, by white men), women do not fare well when they stand up for their rights; particularly against powerful men, as proven by those female Liberal MPs brave enough to speak out after the government spill and the cartoon of Serena Williams in the Australian press.

Trump is not known for his forgiveness. He is now known for his mushroom-shaped dick, which, however vulgar that might sound, is still (sadly) unlikely to contribute to the worst parts of his legacy.

 

Sharing Your Fantasies On A Middle-Aged Weekend Getaway

She luxuriated in the fresh white cotton bedlinen of their four-poster bed as she looked up at him.  He lay over her, on his haunches, a quizzical look on his face, the muscles of his arms twitching. He was still beguilingly ripped for a middle-aged man.

breakfast-1246686__340.jpg

She shivered as she watched him devour her body with his eyes, lifting his face back up to hers before they reached her belly. She couldn’t believe how big he looked above her, or how small she felt beneath him as the morning light bathed the room around them, highlighting the perfect angle of his beer belly.

‘Tell me what you want?’ he murmured into her ear again, before gazing back down at her body admiringly. Was that hunger in his eyes?

She turned her head to one side, feeling shy all of a sudden. As she felt her hot red cheek cool on the sheets beneath her, she thought about how to tell him.

‘Come on,’ he begged, tracing a finger from her chins down to her cleavage. ‘Tell me. I told you, this weekend is about you.’

‘I can’t,’ she admitted, coyly, still averting her eyes.  ‘It’s embarrassing.’ She bit her lip, forgetting for one moment how much that excited him. Could she really be that honest?

‘I want what you want…’ he persevered, stroking her hair with his builder’s hands.

‘Really?’ she giggled nervously, still unable to look up at him, the image in her head so naughty somehow, and yet too delicious not to share. It had been so long… and wasn’t that why they were here, she justified.

‘Of course. I’ve told you,’ he said, patiently. Whatever makes you happy makes me happy,’ he repeated, lowering his eyes to her breasts… and then lower. ‘Tell me what your fantasy is. Tell me what is going through your mind right now,’ he pushed her, licking his lips.

‘Okay, but you have to promise me not to be disappointed.’

‘How could I ever be disappointed in you, silly?’ he asked as she felt the heat of his desire push against her thigh and saw his eyes melt to liquid chocolate. She knew she had to be brave.

‘Bacon,’ she said, closing her eyes.

‘Bacon,’ he repeated slowly with a sigh, closing his eyes, his breathing suddenly heavier. Lowering his body closer to hers, she could smell last night’s three pints and Jalfrezi on his breath as he asked in a sultry voice – ‘Streaky or back?’ 

‘Back,’ she giggled, aware of the sudden warmth between her legs as she said the word. Had she really said it out loud? She began to stroke the insides of his arms as he flexed them above her.

‘What else?’ he asked, a discernible quiver in his voice, his body beginning to move rhythmically against hers.

‘Mushrooms,’ she said, losing focus on his arms as an image of the fungi exploded into her brain.

‘Grilled?’

‘Fried,’ she answered in a guttural voice, her eye now firmly on the prize. ‘In butter. Yes! In butter,’ she gushed, raising her body to meet his, ‘with perhaps a pinch of Tarragon.’ 

‘Sausages?’ he suggested hoarsely, his hot breath on her face as his body searched hers, more roughly now, but touching her exactly where she needed him.

‘Yes, sausages!’ she repeated confidently before she shrank back into the pillow, her hand over her mouth. ‘Cumberland,’ she added, in a quieter voice. ‘Thick, moist… and floating in brown sauce.’ She enunciated the word moist slowly, secretly delighting in the look of pain that shot across his face. 

‘Now?’ he panted, unable to disguise the hope in his voice.

‘Not yet,’ she said, close.

‘What else?’ he asked, his voice strained as she heard him breathe in her skin.’

‘Those crispy potato things,’ she said, her voice rising with the increase in her heart rate, her brain unable to think clearly anymore. ‘What are they called?’ she asked him, her back arching, her body reaching for him impatiently. ‘WHAT ARE THEY CALLED?’ she screamed, soaring.

‘Hashbrowns?’

‘YES!  HASH. FUCKING. BROWNS! YES! YES! YES!

‘And eggs? Surely we need eggs?’ he shouted, panic in his voice as he looked down at her face for reassurance.

‘Fried!’ they shouted jubilantly, jumping out of bed to head down to breakfast.

 

 

 

 

Rape Is About More Than Sex

bd9b3e929d2b7e3fb6ef4f0af3bad8e5I took myself on a beautiful winter’s walk yesterday morning. Many locals think that autumn and winter are the most beautiful seasons in Sydney with their blue skies and lower temperatures, and although I hate the cold, the beauty of this time of year has grown on me – after all, keeping warm is only a matter of layering.

The dog was by my side as I pounded the cliff tops – a vain attempt to pre-work off lunch that afternoon – and exhilarated by the cool kisses of the winter breeze on my face and the sense of freedom at finding myself alone on the streets, I didn’t notice the stranger ahead of me, until he was a few metres away. A boy of about eighteen, I would guess, he was also on his own. I watched him as he mounted the hill and felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise as, subconsciously, I did what every woman does in that situation – I did a personal risk assessment.

The boy was of average height, wearing slightly too-short trousers, old-fashioned trainers, and a cap. His hair was at that in-between stage that can only be described as unkempt ie. not surfer-long, yet too long for school. Pale, underweight, and with a twisted smile on his face (that I realized later was because he was listening to music), I tightened my grip on the dog’s lead and looked around me, briefly comforted by the fact that it was daylight and that I was within shouting distance of several houses to either side of me. Reassuring myself that I was being stupid, I felt myself relax as he walked past, his eyes focused firmly on the ground.

I breathed again.

I know what you’re thinking. I stereotyped that poor kid as some mentally-ill delinquent who may have picked that moment to do something out of character or opportunistic. And the biggest irony of that judgment is that I am the mother of a kid like him, of roughly the same age, who I am certain will be stereotyped in the same way by another woman.

That’s what women have to do, to survive.

Since the murder of Eurydice Dixon, I have listened to the furor on social media from women about the need to educate men, (as opposed to curtailing the freedom of women), to stop the increasing number of murders and rapes. I have also listened to the argument of men that #NOTALLMEN rape and murder. I will ignore the argument that women need to be ‘situationally aware’ and take responsibility for their own safety (which is blatantly sexist), but I understand the frustration felt on both sides, even though I can’t help thinking that now is not an appropriate time for men to become defensive with such fresh, awful evidence staring us in the face. We have driving laws because of the few that refuse to drive safely; we need better laws for the protection of women against men that abuse.

I can’t see what’s not to understand about a sensible and long-term approach to enforce change? This issue is not about men – for once – it is about saving the lives of women.

I know that most men will not abuse women, but no man can tell a woman how she feels when she walks home alone late at night, nor can they pretend to understand the preventative (and often costly) planning measures those journeys require. On many occasions when I have voiced my own nervousness about taking public transport late at night, men have laughed off my qualms, in a way that I can only interpret as ‘who would want to rape you?’ – the inference, I can only assume, that they believe that rapists and murderers are selective, with a  preference for younger women.

If only.

That belief implies that rape and murder are pre-meditated, calculated acts, or acts of violence committed by normal people – which of course they can be. Sadly, however, it is not true that only young women are victims. Rape is rarely about sexual attraction or prowess, it is about power, control and the need to dominate – behaviors linked to entitlement in some men.

Eurydice’s memorial was vandalized last night, and the only explanation I can find for such behavior is an innate and gross disrespect for women – even the dead. Some men feel threatened by women, and there are many reasons why they rape,  many of which have nothing to do with seeing women as an object of desire – it’s just that it is easy. It is a sense of entitlement that we need to stop for the sake of our daughters and for every young woman like Eurydice Dixon, with their futures ahead of them and the world at their feet, so that they can feel safe.

 

Romance Goals And How Sometimes It’s Best To Say Nothing At All

‘Have you farted?’ the old man said to me as he brushed past me to get into my bath water.

 

underwear-2613034_1920Not exactly the three words I hoped to hear when we said our vows nearly twenty-five years ago. But if he’d said ‘I love you’, I would probably have worried that he was hiding something. Not that we never say those words, but we tend to reserve them for special occasions like Christmas or for serious negotiations over the last cube of chocolate or drop of wine.

 

‘What’s for dinner?’ ‘let’s watch Netflix,’ and ‘can you unload the dishwasher?’ is our language of love these days. ‘Take off your panties’ – not so much – the sultry words whispered by Christian Grey to Anastasia Steele over dinner in Fifty Shades Darker, the viewing of which, (NC and I decided yesterday afternoon) counted as slightly more of an achievement than sleeping for two hours on the sofa.

 

Anastasia obliged immediately because she’s that kind of independent, modern woman that woman starved themselves for, who does exactly what she’s told, whereas I would probably have reacted with ‘YOU take off your panties,’ (more M&M than S&M) or the simplest words, ‘I’M EATING!’.

 

Even more entertaining was when she managed to inch down the itsy-bitsiest lace g-string over six-inch strappy heels which she obviously couldn’t take off first because a) they were sat in a restaurant and b) I imagine they took two hours to do up. Let’s get serious here: there is no way you could inch a g-string down your legs – no hands – without them getting caught on sandals with enough straps and buckles to look like an S&M torture device. I couldn’t help imagining my version of the scene and the camera’s lingering focus at the end on my huge granny undies caught up in my Hush Puppies to the crooning of Barry White.

 

Yep, romantic gestures change with age and the longevity of relationships.

 

A romantic gesture from the old man these days is a take-out meal or a bottle of wine that costs more than ten dollars; mine to him is permission to watch the rugby. Flowers are a rarity, that occasionally appear on our anniversary if I threaten to leave him and the last time I told him I loved him was when I got two consecutive parking tickets in one morning.

 

If you want a cinematic delight of a trip down memory lane to those early, heady days of young love, I suggest you don’t watch Fifty Shades Darker – the tale of two robots with dialogue that was obviously written by two kindergarten kids who forgot that both characters need lines, leaving the female protagonist stuttering and sighing  with frustration through every scene – or at least I imagine that’s what all that groaning was about. Although she does still manage to score the top job in a publishing house at the age of twenty-one so maybe I should try whimpering like a dog next time I want to nail a job.

 

I can recommend a good old-fashioned classic such as An Officer and a Gentleman, though. We caught the last half of it at the weekend and decided that nothing beats the chemistry between Winger and Gere, who hiss like a Chinese sizzle dish on screen. An anti-hero like Christian Grey, don’t expect awkward declarations of love from Richard “Love God” Gere, but if broody, smouldering looks, a confident swagger, a very nice chest and defined peen lines stir those dormant embers – sorted!

 

In the words of Ronan Keating, ‘sometimes you say it best when you say nothing at all.’

 

 

 

The 16 Best Comments To Get Out Of Sex When You’re Middle-Aged And Can’t Be Bothered

ladybugs-1593406_1280

 

I know you hate me talking about sex, but here’s a bit of frivolity for the weekend…

 

  1. ‘Remind me where the dog goes?’

 

  1. ‘But it’s after 9 O’clock!’

 

3.‘I’ve got this new pair of support knickers you’re gonna love…’

 

4.The problem with peri-menopause is that you just never know when your period’s                  gonna turn up…’

 

5.‘I knew those pulses and beans were a bad idea…’

 

6.‘If you need Viagra tonight, that’s absolutely fine…’ 

 

7.‘Okay if I just lie here and watch the gymnastics while you get on with it?’

 

8. ‘And I was about to give you full control of the remote all evening…’

 

9.‘I think I pulled my vagina at the gym…’

 

10.‘Bit hairy I know, but I forgot we were out of winter…’

 

11.‘Let’s do some role-play. You’re Poldark reaping corn…

 

12. ‘That sounds like the kids…’

 

13.‘I’m pretty sure I can’t get pregnant any more…’

 

14.‘Or we could watch a western, action-packed Netflix series with lots of car chases and              gratuitous violence?’

 

15. ‘Do I really have to take my yoga pants off…’

 

16. ‘Five minutes is long enough, isn’t it?’

 

 

 

 

 

The Brazilian Conspiracy

I’ve always believed that there’s enough unwanted hair on women’s bodies to deal with at this stage of our lives, without us having to go through the pain and cost of getting our fannies waxed every few weeks. 

primate-455863__180
I think SOME body hair is attractive

 

 

I reckon I could start a profitable business in wigs if I have to shave down there as well.

 

But from what I’m led to believe on Social Media, those of us who prefer the kempt garden as opposed to the shiny limestone courtyard are now in the minority, so I’m getting a bit of a complex in the communal showers at the pool.

 

When did this Brazilian conspiracy happen? When did we move from the hirsute Chewbacca look of the seventies to Gollum, without me taking on board that my thatch is now deemed demode.

 

To be honest, I’d assumed that the rise of the Brazilian was a phase, something silly that Gen Y did – not some new beauty expectation of all of western womankind.

 

And those women that do it, insist they do it because they prefer it, (which I find hard to believe when it’s akin to tortures developed in Guantanamo Bay), and nothing to do with the preferences of their partners as some of us more skeptical feminists suspect.

 

I get that the invention of barely-there briefs and g-strings makes it harder to contain those rogue pubes. Which is why I’m all for some DIY landscaping – and not for the old man’s benefit I hasten to add, but because I’m a swimmer and errant pubes might affect my speeds.

 

But getting rid of the whole shebang? It’s just not right.

 

I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s book ‘How To Be A Woman’ at the moment – not for the pelvic-floor-challenged amongst us, I hasten to add, because it’s wet-your-pants, laugh-out-loud, OUTRAGEOUSLY funny – and she’s in agreement with me on this topic. The hair ‘down below’ serves practical, biological purposes and shouldn’t be messed with to appease the fantasies of men who think they know everything about sex from watching porn.

 

Her innovative take on life is that there are four things every woman should have and one of them, is what she prosaically describes as a ‘…a proper muff. A big, hairy minge. A lovely furry moof that looks – when she sits naked- as if she has a marmoset sitting in her lap. A tame marmoset, that she can send off to pickpocket things, should she so need it – like that trained monkey in Raiders of the Lost Ark.’

 

Moran goes on to discuss how we are living in an era of ‘pube disapproval’ and questions how we got here.

 

Because if I have to groom the dog, surely these days of equality demand that the old man go ‘metro’ and wax his tackle too? (gags). It might give him some definition – not that one wants to turn up the spotlights on the penis, which requires some natural shade to hide its fugliness.

 

To be fair, though, I can’t imagine that the fully exposed, ageing female vulva could ever be deemed a model of great beauty.

Man Spreading, Bread Rolls And Lesbian Sex: The First World Issues Of The Global Traveller

I’ve moaned before about the Everest of all tortures; that is the twenty-four hour long-haul flight from Sydney to London. One that rivals any agony ever to be invented for breaking terrorists by the Americans at Guantanamo Bay. appetite-1238406_1280

 

Well, somehow we survived it.

 

Unlike childbirth, it’s not so easy to forget every moment spent gritting your teeth on the cusp of your body’s breaking point once you step off the plane. From the wails of desperate children ringing in your ears and the sight of true desperation of their parents trudging aimlessly around the economy deck, to the queues for putrid toilets and cold, congealed scrambled eggs, if any teenager needs a lesson in humility, this is it.

 

Uncharacteristically, the Gods looked down on us for the first leg of our journey this time, by offering up a half-empty plane and all the promise that brought with it – by my calculations, a reduction in the toilet queuing time by half and double the potential for free booze. Even they must have realised what a truly shite couple of years we’d been through, and how deserving we were of a bit of slack.

 

In real terms it meant that the old man fucked off to a row of empty seats, leaving me to the treat of what was effectively a bed, and what I imagine is similar to the sleeping arrangements of Business – without the Champagne, canapés and sycophantic smiles of the hostesses.

 

Having slammed it in the past as a leftie luxury only available to the ‘more money than sense’ classes, I now fervently believe that Business is one of life’s necessities.

 

However, to be spoiled so early on set us up to fail for our second leg, where wedged between two long-limbed males with major man spreading issues, I struggled to straighten either leg for the entire eight hours and at one point believed my knees had permanently locked into the pap test position. Not even Cate Blanchett in ‘Carol’ could help me through the seven hour ordeal, (which really should have been a breeze after the previous seventeen). When your body is deprived of deep sleep, your back has been reshaped into the shape of a car seat, your stomach is a bloated carb mountain from the number of rolls forced into it to stave off boredom and the hosties have a three hour round trip to bring your first drink, it’s hard to digest the possibilities of lesbian sex.

 

Sod education, sod the migrants, sod Waleed for Prime minister, it’s time our government invested in a decent transport system for the cattle classes.

Turning Middle-Aged Invisibility On Its Head

It seems ironic that at this time of my life, when I have the greatest confidence in who I am, society is trying to write me off. wonder-woman-552109_1280

 

Unfair that this game change should come at the same time as my kids finally need less of me,  and I have more time to develop my own interests, evolve and come to terms with this new fifty-plus version of myself; in my opinion, at a point in my life where I have the most to offer. Just as it isn’t a speedy process for the larva to develop into a butterfly, it has taken energy and considerable amount of education for me to feel confident with my newly developed wings. But I kind of like how they fit now. I have much more to offer – more to say, bigger thoughts to share and more confidence in my job and my talents.

 

I don’t feel invisible on a personal level, so if society is determined to push me behind curtains, I’m not going out without a struggle.

 

Although I admit that initially the middle-aged invisibility thing stung a bit – like when you’re at a bar and the short leather skirt sidles up next to you with way more in common with the straying eyes of the hipster barman than you do. But do I seriously miss being forced into cheesy, suggestive chit chat when all I want is a drink?

 

Not so much.

 

Do I miss the lewd glances and wolf whistles that men mistakenly believe to be flattering, but which at times were terrifying?

 

Not at all.

 

Am I waiting impatiently for the day some thoughtful young person offers me their seat on the train?

 

You bet!

 

Kasey Edwards suggests in her piece for Daily Life, ‘I miss being sexually attractive’ that ‘in the defence of every other woman who is missing her hotness, the reason we lament the loss of our sexual currency is because for much of the time it’s our only currency.’ 

 

I disagree. I don’t miss being sexually attractive, because I still feel sexually attractive. Perhaps not to nineteen year olds…but seriously, why would I want to be?

 

Nevertheless, there is obviously some truth in her comment, even though the value of sexual currency must vary from job to job, because it certainly wasn’t a very valuable commodity during my stint in education, nor would it help in the job I do now. I do remember one office job, however, six or seven years ago, when I worked with female peers who were all a good fifteen to twenty years younger than me, and evidently ‘hot’, when I wasn’t so miffed about being overlooked by the men in the office, as irritated by being ignored by the ageism of my young female colleagues, who obviously judged me as too old to be fun.

 

It’s funny that society should want to hide me away at the exact time I’ve worked out who I am and my place within its narrow walls; during a period of my life when instead of burying myself away, I actually want to shout out ‘look at me!’ And in particular in relation to my personal style – which is way more polished than it has ever been before, aided by a new confidence that I never possessed in my twenties. Because it has taken time and experimentation to teach me to believe in myself, to understand what works for me now; which colour palette clashes with my Rosacea; which cut best draws the eye away from my muffin top.

 

And the best bit about being invisible is the  thrill I get out of scaring the local school children whenever I go outside without make up on.

 

 

When You Have To Deal With Shark Month, Stress And Work, All At The Same Time

Don’t you just hate it when your real job gets in the way of what you really want to do with your life? shark-674867_1280

 

My day job has been woefully demanding of my time over the past few weeks, which has meant that not only has my writing/parenting/viewing of ‘I’m A Celebrity’ suffered, but my stress levels have escalated to crazy Trump-support proportions.

 

I can’t complain really because I don’t have little ones demanding my time, (although Kurt still feels the need to text me every hour on the hour from TAFE, usually to ask what’s for dinner), and to be honest, feeling professionally needed does make me feel like a very important person at home and means I can justifiably brush off the old man patronisingly with an ‘I’M WORKING’ superiority whenever he asks me to contribute to anything domestic.

 

But adding to the increase in my anxiety, (which has already triggered an attractive and professionally humiliating sheen of perspiration permanently on my skin as a result of the current climate of this crazy Australian summer and menopause – listen to Leo), and although I wouldn’t ordinarily bring this up, (being aware of the sensitivities of my few, loyal male readers who will instantly click out of this post in the same way that the old man visibly winces when I ask him to buy period paraphernalia when he does the weekly shop) – the topic of menstruation does seem to be currently de rigeur as a result of one British company’s decision to give women time off for their cramps – and I’ve recently experienced a fucking shark MONTH as well as working like a dog.

 

There, I said it. I mentioned ‘menstruation’, and you’re still there. Aren’t you????

 

Just another minor side effect in the lead up to the delights of full-blown menopause, when your uterus begins to implode rather like an old star at about the same time as your ovaries decide they’re truly fucked. Not that I care about my uterus dying – it’s not like I need it anymore – but it’s annoying that it refuses to go quietly. My uterus wants a final moment and it’s having a painful, drawn out death, with all the pomp and ceremony of an Indian funeral, which is tiring when you have to deal with life’s demands at the same time; rather than be allowed to lie in bed, order room service and feel sorry for yourself.

 

So when, despite the flexibility of my job, (which is wonderful), its demands get backed up and I have a week ahead of me like the one I faced this week, I could really have done without the added complication of the death throes of my vajayjay.

 

You’ll be relieved to know, no doubt, that I have booked myself in to be put down, I mean see a specialist – she must be a specialist, judging by her charges – for a procedure called a D and C, (something I previously thought was a type of comic superhero or a skate brand), and I imagine that she’ll use some special and very painless vajayjay Dyson suck-monster to extract all that excess menstrual ickiness and allow me to be finally done with reproduction and it’s grossness and say hello to becoming truly, physically old.

 

What I’d really like, of course, is a full-blown hysterectomy, because neutering animals makes them so much calmer, but I worry about feeling completely asexual then and not even noticing Chris Hemsworth.

The Question That Divides A Nation of Parents Of Teenagers

A lot has changed over the past thirty years in terms of what teenagers can and cannot do.

young couple in bed
happy young couple in bed at morning

But nothing sets the cat quite as freely among the pigeons as the question of where parents stand on sleeping arrangements and privileges in the homestead, once teenagers enter into relationships.

 

As in, whether or not they can sleep with their partners under the family roof? Mainly because no parent likes to think of their kid shagging…actually, ‘shagging’ per se.

 

This dilemma has come up with Kurt recently, and although one tends to be a million times more lax in just about every parenting decision that ranges from piercings to curfews when it comes to the second or third child, the answer to this problem also has to depend upon the maturity as well as the age of your child.

 

The old man and I came from very opposing parenting rules when it came to sleeping together in our parents’ houses. His parents were older and stricter; his mother, a Catholic who wept the first time we went away together, made sure we didn’t share a bed (knowingly) in their house until after the wedding ring was firmly in situ on my finger. Whereas my father sat at the opposite end of the spectrum. A young parent, who found himself newly single again in his late thirties, (about the time I was entering my own first serious relationship), it would have been difficult for him to play the Victorian father in relation to my moral code when I never knew what was going to be at the breakfast table; and I’m not talking about the cereal.

 

From this first serious relationship, my father was straight with me and informed me that he’d prefer it that if I was going to do it at all, I ‘did it’ in a bed rather than the backseat of a car; although that concession was obviously only if I was in a committed relationship.

 

And I never abused his trust.

 

We took a similar view with our own kids, which wasn’t difficult with NC as she was well over the age of consent before boys became more important in her life than Harry Potter and the periodic table, and as The Astronaut is a few years older than her, it felt natural to allow him to stay over once she was ready.

 

But then there’s Kurt…a very different animal.

 

Kurt has not had what I would describe as a committed relationship thus far. Many lovely girls have passed through his young life, some of whom have lasted more than a couple of hours, even though Kurt’s poor concentration skills make it hard for him to maintain focus on any one girl for very long. Therefore, when he suggests that he should be allowed to have girls stay over because NC had boys stay over at the same age, it’s hard to explain my reluctance.

 

It’s not a problem for me that Kurt is only capable of casual relationships at the moment; many of the girls in his social group seem only to want FWB relationships, too. (And by the way, the new term for ‘friends with benefits’ is ‘Fuck Buddies’, which frankly makes my skin crawl). Monogamy doesn’t suit everyone, just as long-term relationships don’t, but this is our house and I refuse to be forced into my dressing gown for  a different girl every week.

 

And then there are all the extra towels to wash.

 

Kids stay at home longer these days and become sexually active younger so we parents have been put in an awkward situation. I don’t want Kurt shagging in public toilets because he has nowhere else to go, but equally, I can’t condone him bringing any girl home and treating us like a knocking shop.

 

I have to put on trousers when I leave my room even when The Astronaut stays over, and I like living in a tee and big knickers in the summer with this heat and associated hot flushes.

 

I remember some of our friends being horrified when we let The Astronaut stay over the first time in NC’s room and sensed some real dissension. Interestingly, though, most have caved on this issue with their second children. You find that if you try to maintain your Victorian principles in this arena, you risk never seeing your kids again. They are terribly inclined to stay over at the house that lets them shag in a bed and provides them with the best breakfast.

 

What’s your position on this?

 

Menopause, Schmenopause

So this whole menopause thing is not as much fun as I thought it would be.

Aside from the tiredness and ANGER, the weight is creeping on, taunting me menacingly, especially because I’ve tried everything in my dietary power to keep it off. It’s not like I’m so vain to really care about a few extra kilos at this stage in my life, but it’s annoying when I’m restrained around biscuits, I pick at food like a mouse and I’m still lardy.

I can’t work out where the weight comes from. I eat far less than I used to – although I’ve been told that stress can cause some unfortunate suckers to actually gain weight.

Typical!

And then there’s the tiredness and ANGER…

Menopause, Schmenopause
Found on Pinterest.com, originally for Buzzfeed.

It’s also becoming increasingly hard for me to distinguish between the anxiety caused by menopause and the anxiety caused by my inherent bat shit craziness that is constantly exacerbated by the behaviour of my bat shit crazy son.

And all those symptoms aren’t helped by the most evilly, relentless night sweats. They’re not so unbearable that I’ve actually contemplated giving up alcohol or coffee yet – Hell, NO! I’m a fighter…all the way to the death if needs be… but they’re annoying enough to make me tired, cranky and basically FUCKING HOT most of the time.

We’ve spent thousands of dollars over the past twenty-five years on a worthless spare room, and now, when I really need my own space to sweat in, the sofa’s my only option for a decent night’s sleep.

The big argument the old man and I have at the moment is about whether I can open the window in our bedroom at night. You see, the old man is a heat conductor, which worked really well when I was younger and slimmer and had the circulation of a corpse, but now I’m menopausing, we’ve both become conductors, and even these chillier Autumn nights feel like some nightmare where someone has locked the door of the sauna and won’t let me out.

And obviously I can’t kick the summer-weight doona off, because…hello…mozzies! I know they’ve been waiting for that one sign of weakness.

The Princess’s insistence of sleeping between us doesn’t help the situation either.

And then there’s my mind. It’s so far off it’s game, it’s almost farcical, and the kids obviously think I have early onset Alzheimers by the looks they give me when I can’t remember their names, which with my hypochondria is detrimental to my insomnia. Between you and me, I’m not sure how I’m holding down my job at the moment; it’s lucky that my ‘faking it’ skills haven’t been affected too much, yet.

*yawn*

And I’m hungry all the time, even though I haven’t read that as being an atypical symptom of this stage of life. I get depressed after each meal, wondering how I’ll possibly get through the following five hours until my next calorie fix. And I’m craving the worst food-fixes, like crisps and lollies and all the stuff I thought I’d trained myself a long time ago not to dare think about.

My libido is obviously shot, too. Sex doesn’t revolt me yet, I just can’t really be fucked, because it involves energy I don’t have and would prefer to spend on something interesting like painting my toe nails in a new metallic Loreal shade. The old man and I have struck a deal where I’ve agreed to have sex with him as long as I can lie there, eat chocolate, watch tv and he doesn’t talk to me but just gets on with it.

He was so understanding when we made the arrangement – sometimes it touches me just how much he really cares.

And did I mention that I’m spotty for the first time in my life? I never even had pimples as a teenager, but now only three layers of the gloopiest, age-concealing foundation smeared all over my pores will hide the embarrassing truth that I am a grown woman with acne.

So where exactly are the benefits if this menopause-thing? I’m still getting periods and associated monthly joy – so there’s no liberating knowledge that I will never have to have another baby or even save money on sanitary-ware to put towards wine.

And I have no energy to pour into all these exciting, middle-aged projects that should be presenting themselves to me now that I’m approaching fifty, feeling more confident in who I am and aware of exactly what I want from life…

Menopause, Schmenopause…

European Food Porn

IMG_6877Of course, the really sexy hero of my recent trip to Europe was the food.

If you’re a pig foodie like me, you wouldn’t automatically think of the UK as a foodie haven, but France would certainly be up there, pretty close to the top of your list.

Let me tell you, though, the Brits are catching on. Gone are the days when a steak and kidney pie is considered gourmet dining; I discovered a new wealth of fresh and healthy food on offer, even though the weakness of the Australian dollar made eating out seem much more expensive than my previous trip.

But even better news, (because although j’adore French food, my middle-aged stomach has developed an annoying intolerance to rich sauces these days), French food has finally evolved. Not one creamy sauce passed my lips on a mission to further constrict my arteries. The French still love their gross food, though, although it felt almost sentimental to see snails, intestines and brains on the menu.

European Food Porn
Fresh, plump oysters, dripping with lemon juice.

But the most orgasmic foreplay of the trip had to be the plump, fresh oysters dripping in lemon juice that slid so easily down my throat at the Brasserie Gare Du Nord in Paris, alongside several memorable chicken liver parfaits and my all-time favourite, Foie Gras. Yes, I know Foie Gras gets a well-deserved bad press due to the way it’s produced, but it still remains a personal delicacy.

I snacked on the best pork scratchings in London and prayed that my statins would over-ride the extra cholesterol or that perhaps the wonderful selection of exotic salads I found would serve as penance. It’s not so easy to find good, creative salads in a chilly climate but the Market Superfood Salad I had during my first visit to one of Jamie Oliver‘s Italian’s, which I topped with the freshest, creamiest Buffalo mozzarella (instead of the Cottage Cheese) was healthy comfort food at its finest.

Onto mains, and although I try to steer clear of red meat these days, two lamb dishes were the equivalent of the missionary, which, although not the wildest of positions, at times can be strangely comforting – the first, a crisp, green salad with hummus and goats cheese, and the second, traditional cutlets in a rich, red wine gravy. In both plates, the meat was served perfectly rare and oozing flavour. As for fish, I experienced my first pave de saumon in Paris served on a simple bed of petits pois, several unfancy but flavoursome grilled sea bream and a hearty seared tuna.

European Food Porn
Perfectly rare lamb with goats cheese and hummus.

As for fromages et desserts, there were far too many to count or own up to; as my new-and-improved waistline will testify. I always pick cheese over dessert, particularly in France, where the creamy Bries, bitter goats and mature Stiltons all fight for my affection, so the only two desserts to compete seriously with them were a Café Gourmand in Paris, which was delectable in its simplicity and included a rich chocolate brownie, salted caramel ice-cream and the most heavenly tapioca-type-thing I’ve ever tasted, and a rich vanilla Panna cotta, with a gentle velvet texture that was balanced perfectly by tart red berries on the top.

European Food Porn
Cafe Gourmand!

And if that seriously wasn’t enough to get your juices in a twist, did I mention my beautiful sister-in-law’s Easter roast?

 

European Food Porn
The perfect roast!

Feeling hot and sticky yet?

Let’s Talk About Women and Middle Aged Sex, Baby!

I know EXACTLY what you’re thinking right now…

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Women and Middle Aged Sex, Baby!
True Nature Productions – Sex After Forty – found on http://www.flickr.com

 

 

 

LET’S NOT!

 

 

 

Don’t worry; I’m not going to give you the sordid, hanging-from-the-chandelier-details of the sex the old man and I have on birthdays and Christmas.

 

 

 

But it’s been a week of discussion about sex in the media. Not only has ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ been on trial in Australia this week, but we’ve been subjected to Valentine’s Day in the same week, so the pulse rates of the female population have increased in anticipation. And it’s not only the teens who are excited by the prospect of Jamie Dornan with his shirt off; there are plenty of middle-aged women out there, unashamed to admit to feeling titillated by the content of the books and film.

 

 

 

So, about women and middle aged sex…

 

 

 

First of all, men, I hope it’s evident from the reaction to the ‘Fifty Shades’ series that we middle aged women still want and like sex…occasionally, and possibly on our birthdays terms; but we definitely still want it… just as long as it doesn’t clash with anything important like Tyson’s chest on ‘I’m a Celebrity’ or if we’re feeling tired (which is what we really mean when we say we have a headache) or blue, or bloated and aren’t feeling particularly attractive.

 

 

 

You see, after we’ve produced babies and commenced that phase of precariously trying to balance being the perfect mother, perfect employee and perfect partner, something has to give.

 

 

 

And sorry and all that… but for a while, that can be sex.

 


Embed from Getty Images

 

 

 

And then those young children swiftly develop into horrible teenagers and we have to cope with menopause (and if they coincide it is truly horrible), and then there’s those shocking physical signs of ageing which knock our confidence about our bodies, and those evil hormone imbalances that make us irrational and irritable and even more tired than usual.

 

 

 

So I guess that what I’m trying to get at is that we may both may need to work a bit harder to reach the stars.

 

 

 

So don’t fall for the hype that all middle-aged women are those stereotypes who use up the affection they previously reserved for their partners on their children and eventually become shrivelled up and happy to settle for a platonic relationship AC (after children). The popularity of ‘Fifty Shades’ proved that we DO still get turned on and that we still like an attentive (un-controlling) man/partner, but we respond best when we are made to feel attractive and loved.

 

 

 

In our favour, we mature women know what YOU like by now. We’ve got experience on our side and because we’ve worked out what WE like too, there should be less fumbling around in an long-term relationship and a greater understanding of each others bodies, which leaves more time to experiment. But middle-aged women also recognise that good sex does not a good relationship make.

 

 

 

Sure, sex helps…but it isn’t the be all and end all in this phase of our lives. It’s the icing on the cake…like shared naps, and not having to drag small children around a busy shopping mall or worrying about awkward silences.

 

 

 

When I was a young women I always recognised the signs of a dying relationship when the the physical desire disappeared.

 

 

 

Women are like that. We’re wired a little differently to men. It’s not that we don’t want sex; we just need feelings and emotions attached to enjoy really great sex.

 

 

 

And I think that some men are a bit scared by that complication.

 

 

 

Middle aged, mature women might not have that brash impulsivity and recovery that we had in our younger years, but we possess an inner confidence, experience and the self-respect not to under-sell ourselves. We still love new adventure, in and out of the sheets, but love and respect is what truly turns us on. 

 

 

 

Too Middle-Aged For Trout Pouts And Cold Sores

New week, new outlook and new clients, I thought innocently on Monday morning.

 

NEW FUCKING COLD SORE!

Herpes labialis
Herpes labialis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Is there anything as damaging to what self-esteem you have left than a fresh, newly- hatched cold sore on a Monday morning?

 

I’m not vain (much), but I’m sure that most people still associate the common cold sore with promiscuity. So I felt like Mrs Trailer Trash when I woke up on Monday morning with that tell-tale throbbing on my upper lip.

 

I’d hoped that the tingling of the previous few days was a minor case of sun burn. But nothing is that straightforward in my life.

 

My timing was as perfect as ever – it was inevitable that I would be meeting new, young and trendy clients yesterday, who were probably asking themselves how they ended up with the middle-aged Herpes Trollop for a consultant.

 

Little did they know that my cold sore was not triggered by an orgy of hot and rampant middle-aged sex, but a dose of too much western sun, post my job in Orange last week when I miscalculated what ‘no ozone’ actually means. It always sounds glam when you mention that you style properties, but in truth I spent two days lifting and unpacking boxes between five houses in 35 degrees heat.

 

Cold sores are like penises, where the male perception of their size is so much bigger than they actually are.

 

What NC kindly describes as ‘a minor collagen lip injection gone wrong’, actually feels like as though I have a golf ball attached to my top lip. It makes it hard to talk, eat and look in any form, human or attractive. There is also a blossoming blister forming, which is hard to pass off as a lip pout.

 

I was waiting outside the pharmacy at opening time; Kurt’s bike helmet in place. The pharmacist recognised my desperation and smiled pityingly at me and then blew her lying cover by insisting she could hardly see the football attached to my lip.

 

Cold sores are like zits – they are the shit young people have to deal with because they lead fun and exciting, sexual lives. Middle-aged people get back-ache, indigestion and 24hr tiredness – not the symptoms of shagging anyone they can.

 

For the record, I still get zits too.

 

My clients sat next to me at our lunch table, rather than opposite me. My cold sore obviously didn’t compliment their Pesto Salad with Fresh Parmesan.

 

And I realized just how hard it must be for people with a facial disfigurement – me with my pathetic little lump on my top lip, that made me feel like a leper.

 

I am obviously as shallow as I feared.

 

The old man laughed when he saw it this morning. Big Mistake! I gave the rim of his juice glass a huge lick before I passed it to him.