Every Day’s a School Day

Someone very kind (in fact, the lovely Friend of the Blog Jess Kelley) has sent me some instructional DVDs. Wednesday night being Date Night, I suggest them to Herbert.

‘What are they?’ he says.

‘There’s one on vulva massage and one on finding the G-spot.’

‘Okay,’ he says, ‘fine. We’ll maybe leave the clingfilm ‘til next week.’


‘Yes,’ he says, ‘you know. We talked about it. But don’t worry, we can save it for another time.’ Now he comes to mention it, I do remember talking about it, but I must have hidden it behind the door in my brain that says, ‘Eeek’.

We start with Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to the G-Spot. The format here seems to be a factual discussion complete with passion-killing diagrams, a studio demonstration of the techniques by two very game women, and then some captioned porn to watch afterward. We’ll get to that in a minute; but there’s a more pressing concern. After a few minutes of watching Tristan Taormino talking through the structure of the G-spot, I cannot help but say,

‘She looks just like your sister.’

‘Ugh,’ groans H, ‘why did you have to say that out loud? Did you think I hadn’t noticed?’

‘Don’t worry,’ I say, ‘I don’t think she’ll be personally giving any demonstrations.’

H frowns at me, and I take that to mean the discussion is closed. Thankfully, the science bit is soon over, and we move on to the films, which are supposed to show how to put the educational bit into practice. I don’t buy this. The first couple don’t seem to do anything particularly G-spot oriented, although a little caption comes up whenever they get close. The second couple play with G-spot toys for a while before moving on to a more standard shag. We are essentially informed that every known sexual position hits the G-spot. If that’s the case, why am I not getting earth-shattering orgasms from the doggy position? And why do all the actresses seem to need to hold the legendary Hitachi Magic Wand to their clitorises in order to come? I am left a little perplexed at what all this G-spot stimulation is supposed to achieve.

Anyhow, H and I should not be allowed to watch porn together. We commentate in the most unhelpful way possible.

Me: ‘Look, she’s giving one of those weird swivel-headed blowjobs that only porn actresses can do.’

H: ‘That woman is really angry about something. She’s probably hiding a pair of scissors behind that cushion.’

Me: ‘Never, ever do that to my clitoris. Ever.’

H: ‘Did you see his ball-bag? Oh my god, that’s the weirdest ball-bag I ever saw. Look: it’s flapping all over the place.’

Me: ‘What I love about porn is that you get to see people naked. Not in a sexy way. Just that you get to see what other people look like.’

This continues apace until the female ejaculation film. The couple talk for a while about the woman’s propensity to ‘squirt’, and then get down to it.

Me: ‘Good Caesarean scar.’ I like scars.

H: ‘That’s not squirting, she’s just getting a bit wet…oh my god…I take it all back.’

Me: ‘That’s seriously impressive. Bloody hell…and again…and again. Where is she storing this stuff?’

We move on the to The Best of Vulva Massage, Vol 1, which is all about erotic touch. There’s a tantric/spiritual aspect to the selection of clips that I fear will bring H out in hives, but it turns out he’s just quite keen on watching footage of lots of vulvas.

From my point of view, I vastly prefer the techniques on display for touching your lady parts. There is an absence of clitoral prodding, and I’m delighted to see Betty Dodson showing one woman how to masturbate just like I do. I mentally award myself a gold star for getting it right. However, I’m disturbed to hear that this woman is a medical student and doesn’t know how to find her clitoris. Please tell me she skipped that class.

We finish by watching an erotic massage therapy session taking place. I’ll confess we snigger a bit at first. I really must stop finding moustaches funny. The subject of the massage comes off as a bit needy, but I think that’s possibly because we’re not used to watching sex in a therapeutic context. After the therapist brings her to a series of seismic-looking orgasms, though, H gazes admiringly at the screen and says, ‘He’s good at his job.’ And then he thinks for a while and adds, ‘I don’t suppose they have therapists like that for men, do they?’

What did we learn?

Well, although the Tristan Taormino DVD didn’t quite convince me of the value of a G-spot, it did teach me an interesting trick: when G-spot stimulation makes you feel like you need to pee, release down your PC muscles (rather then clenching them as you would to stop yourself from peeing), and this seems to relieve the sensation. The Vulva Massage DVD was not a turn-on (I don’t think it was supposed to be, although this wasn’t always clear), but was genuinely informative about different approaches to touch. It certainly gave H some ideas to try out later.

And, it turns out, that G-spots are rather fun when you’re not worried you’re going to wet yourself.

As they say, every day’s a school day.


Oooh, Saucy!

I sometimes think that life is a sequence of petty illnesses. When we wonder where all the time goes, it is because a percentage of it has been spent on the sofa, groaning and gazing at TV programmes that we’d never dream of watching in good health.

That is to say, I have spent the weekend slumped on the sofa with a cold. It was not an entirely unproductive time. I did manage to knit the best part of a Fair Isle mitten (I will need to catch something else if I am to create its matching twin), and, amongst the deluge of Malcolm in the Middle re-runs and crap movies, I watched two things that made me think: BBC4’s drama, Hattie, and BBC2’s The Return of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

I was transported to the days of sitting cross-legged on my grandparents’ green carpet aged six or seven, while trying to make sense of all the hysteria and innuendo. I suspect the purpose of the double-entendres was to add an adult layer to the script that went over my young head, but in reality, little escaped my notice.

Returning to these shows as an adult, I felt again the echoes of those early sexual stirrings, a vague idea that men and women pursued each other, without fully comprehending what the end game might be. My mind retained a catalogue of images for later consumption: Barbara Windsor’s yellow bikini top flying across a campsite, Benny Hill chasing a giggly stream of girls, Helga stripping to a black corset and stockings for the delectation of Herr Flick of the Gestapo.

Rummaging through the dressing-up box of my then-best friend, I remember coming across a cache of her mother’s old underwear: lacy bras, thong knickers and a black chiffon babydoll nightie, trimmed with green ribbon and slashed up to the navel. The meaning of these garments was not lost on us. We put them on over our pink vests and pants, and spent a happy hour playing Carry On under the bed covers. Sample dialogue: ‘I take my willy and put it in your back bottom so that it comes out through your front bottom.’ It should be noted that this displayed unusual sophistication for us. Our other favourite game at the time was to sneak into my grandparents’ garden, dig a hole in the vegetable patch, and poo in it.

What did I learn from all that erotic farce? That men had voracious sexual appetites, that women were obliged to put up a show of resistance, that luxuriant cleavages and shapely legs were much to be aspired to, and that sex was grubby, compulsive, giggly fun.

Of course, I am practically obliged to point out that it’s all terribly un-PC and objectifying to the modern mindset, with those clear distinctions between young nubiles and old battle-axes, and the general acceptance that men cannot help but to pinch or slap any bottom that comes with in ten-yard radius of their restless hands.

But I, personally, find it all rather comforting. In the hands of ‘Allo Allo and the Carry On films, sex is joyous and mutually-delightful; it’s barely recognisable from the sex we see in contemporary drama, which is too often either po-faced (by which the writers mean to imply: good), or barely consensual (bad). In fact, I find this queasy handling of sex far more sexist, as it rarely shows women having very much fun in bed at all.

Thank heavens, then, that I grew up in the era of smutty jokes, dirty old men and a bit of slap & tickle. It’s the best sex education a girl can have.

(Oh, and here’s that mitten, just in case you’re wondering.)