Ok, you guys really didn’t make this easy! As I said on Twitter yesterday when I announced the names on this shortlist, I was blown away by the quality level on show across all 18 submissions. I feel pretty comfortable saying that the overall standard was higher for this contest than for any other that I’ve run over the last three-and-a-half years, which is really saying something.
Any one of these five stories would have been a worthy winner, and my only regret right now is that I didn’t reach out to potential sponsors beforehand in order to lay on more prizes. As it is, I feel a bit like Cady at the Spring Fling in Mean Girls – everyone deserves a piece of the crown!
I really like the white wall and washed-out colours in this edit of a photo I took at work the other day. Something about the splashes of brightness on my t-shirt, and the faded blue denim, made me smile when I looked at it afterwards.
I was fantasising about something very specific at the time. I wonder whether you can guess what it was…
I’m standing in the middle of the living room, panting and sweaty after a damp, windswept run. My knee aches, my face is flushed, and I’m conscious of how little time I have for a restorative shower before I need to leave the flat. I don’t feel sexy in any way.
Until she looks up from her phone.
Gets off the sofa.
Walks over and gives me a kiss.
Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Four months before our wedding, we met with the vicar to talk about the ceremony. He was keen to get to know us, and to explain some of the practicalities that come with getting married in an Anglican church; for our part, there were some language issues to discuss and resolve, specifically around the overt references to God that run through the standard wedding service. Liv wrote about this on our other blog a while back, but finding a happy middle ground between my lack of faith and her quiet belief in a Christian God was incredibly important to both of us.
It is to his immense credit that Tony, our vicar, did everything he could to accommodate our various requirements. The church is not renowned for its flexibility, but he listened patiently to all our thoughts on the subject, offered a range of thoughtful suggestions, and didn’t once question whether a church wedding was a suitable option for us, given both my agnosticism and my unwillingness to feign belief. The end result was a ceremony that felt meaningful, personal, and above all honest – something for which Tony will always have our sincere gratitude.
(Click here to check out contest details, rules and prizes)
With a few days to go till the deadline for my Song Lyrics writing contest, I thought I’d pull together links to all the entries I’ve received so far. Please do support your fellow writers by reading their work, and commenting/sharing as you see fit!
- Faithfully, by Teachers Have Sex
- Libraries Gave Her Power, by Hannah Lockhardt
- I paint the things I want to see…, by Nina Bellini
- Such Sweet Sorrow, by Fire & Honey
- Old Songs Cast Long Shadows, by Evie Masters
- Warm Body, by Cara Thereon
- Libraries Gave Us Power!, by Helen Scott
- Escape From Our History, by Name Unmentionable
- What’s the point in always looking back?, by Tits And Test Tubes
- Alone, by Hannah Lockhardt
- Staring at the bodies dancing across the floor, by Name Unmentionable
- Maybe this strangeness…, by Susie Whittenberger
- Happiness, by Confess Hannah
- One present moment, by Exposing40
- What it is, by Indigo Byrd
- Memory, by Mrs Fever
- The Backroads, by Ella Dawson
- Libraries Gave Us Power, by The Other Livvy
Thanks to everyone who’s taken part – you’re all brilliant!
We all have good hair days. We all have bad hair days. The same goes for skin, butts, and really any element of our physical appearance that’s linked in some way to self-confidence or body image – which kinda makes sense. The more time you spend scrutinising or judging something about yourself, the more likely you are to construct a spectrum on which to assess it (whether that’s ultimately healthy/helpful or not).
On Friday, I had a Good Dick Day.
After some great sex the night before, followed by eight hours of largely undisturbed sleep, I woke up feeling cheerful and positive. I worked from home in the morning, which meant camping out on the sofa in my dressing gown, with free and easy access to my body.
I’ve been sleeping naked for over 22 years. I know it’s been that long because until the age of 14, I wore pyjamas – and never once considered that there might be an alternative. It was only in the summer of 1995, when I belatedly discovered masturbation – and by extension, my own body – that going to bed at night without exchanging one set of clothes for another began to seem not just appealing but essential.
It’s no coincidence that the two developments occurred in parallel. I sleep naked these days out of habit and because, ultimately, it’s more comfortable, but there’s always been a sexual aspect to it as well, which I guess is why I’m writing about it here. Right from the start, on those sticky, sweaty, school holiday nights, I’d lie face-down and grind my cock against the cool bedsheet, seeking relief from both the nocturnal heat and my own raging hormones. Or I’d grip the duvet between my thighs and squeeze tight, till I could feel myself throb with a desire that I was still only just beginning to understand.
AND YES, THERE ARE £££ PRIZES!
Last night I went with Exposing 40 to see one of my favourite bands, Manic Street Preachers, play a special set at the Camden Roundhouse for the Q Music Awards.
During each song, they flashed up on a video screen an excerpt from the lyrics – in some cases just a couple of words, in others 3-4 lines. I took a photo of the first one, then the second…then the third…and as I did so, I had an idea.
Get a bunch of sex bloggers together in a bar with a corridor of atmospherically-lit, individual toilet cubicles, and there’s only ever going to be one outcome.
What started as a post-session photo of @bibulousone‘s bruised arse quickly became an opportunity to create the kind of view that might stop a horny, pervy passer-by in their tracks. Something both arresting and inviting, with a hint of illicit filth. Thanks to Exposing 40 and her camera, I think we managed to do just that…
Some guest posts don’t really require an introduction – they’re that good. This is one of them. It was written by my friend @katteroo_, so if it resonates with you in some way, do let her know via Twitter.
Trigger/content warning: suicide
Tangible Proof of Us
We weren’t in love. He wasn’t about to leave his wife for me; it wasn’t that sort of thing. But we had become incredibly fond of each other and over time we’d shared a lot. He was under my skin in a way that not many partners have been. There was the rhythm of daily chat that you can enjoy when you are completely at ease with each other. Each day book-ended with morning hellos and goodnight kisses, with every shade of nonsense and earnest truths in between.