A (not exhaustive) list of desirable qualities in my next partner:
He has to like me
You wouldn’t think this would be the number one requisite. A bit Janet & John, right? But most of you have never met me. You have no idea how pig-headed, stupid and arrogant I can be. A boy is showing little or no interest in me? Fuck you – I will MAKE you love me.
I will pour all of my love and energy into making your world a beautiful, warm, loving place. Cartoon bluebirds will follow you around, festooning you with blossom and singing songs of sweet, sweet love. Chubby little cherubs will flirt merrily around your ears, shooting their love-stuffed arrows right into your heart.
You will run as fast as you possibly can from the crazy, overbearing, smothering-you-with-fucking-Mills-and-Boon-nonsense, idiot girl that I am. No more.
Next time, he will like me as much as I like him. Not more. Not less. Exactly equal amounts of like. (I will ruin next time by trying to quantify exactly how much he likes me and comparing it unfavourably with my pile of like, like I used to do with mine and my sister’s Easter eggs. Still, it’s all content for the blog, right?)
He must smell good
My ex-husband always smelled good. The Pirate… Ah, The Pirate. Bottle him. I can’t tell you how important smell is. Both my ex and The Pirate smelled good in their raw state, but then they enhanced. Deodorant. Aftershave. The Pirate’s conditioner (oh! The Pirate’s hair! It’s OK that I’m still mourning his glorious, glorious hair, right?).
Because smell isn’t just hormonal. Cleanliness and a certain amount of preening go a long, long way. My Mum has a very attractive neighbour. He has the most beautiful green eyes, washed out surfy blonde hair and a soft yet very defined, very kissable mouth. Lovely. And he smokes roll ups, doesn’t seem overly concerned with showering in what seems to be a consistently French way, and absolutely reeks. The waste! Enough to make a girl weep.
He will be an enlightened despot
A controversial one, this, and difficult to explain. Did you learn about the enlightened despots at school? 18th century European monarchs who ruled absolutely with no pesky government or court telling them what to do – but who did so tolerantly and with an appreciation for the arts. I need me one of those. An indulgent master.
I know, I know… Horribly old-fashioned, unforgivably anti-feminist. How to explain… OK. I want a man strong enough to keep me in line. A man with the strength of personality to command my respect, a man I recognise as my equal, if not my superior. But, crucially, a man who doesn’t abuse the power he holds over me. A man who could crush me with a word, but chooses not to, every time. An alpha male that recognises and respects the alpha female in me, and makes her want to bow down and lick his boots.
I can’t be in any kind of relationship with someone I don’t respect. I worked my way up the ladder at work not out of any real sense of ambition, but because I couldn’t bear working for people I had no respect for. If I thought I could do their job better, I worked up and over them. Told you I was arrogant.
The Boy-Child was a self-confessed beta male and it just didn’t work for me. He was timid and passive-aggressive, which was bad enough, but also put me on a pedestal, which was worse. It was really hard not being a bitch, not abusing the position of power he put me in.
You can see this is going to cause all kinds of problems. I can’t see that it will be any easier for a man not to do the same to me. I fear I’m going to get stung by a lot of arrogant bullies before I find a good, kind, strong man. But I don’t think my lust for alpha males is going anywhere fast. I blame Rhett Butler, Heathcliff and Petruchio.
He’ll teach me things
It’s more than the hair and the smell that’s making it so hard for me to get over The Pirate. He used to be a groundsman and gamekeeper. He knew stuff. We’d be driving through the Cumbrian hills and he’d tell me about moor management, and how strips of the heather are burned away to… (Fuck knows. I can’t remember. I didn’t say I’d remember the things that he taught me, just that he’d teach me them and I’d see the passion in his eyes and imagine him fucking me senseless in the blackened gulleys of razed heather stubble, whispering words of ecology in my ear with every thrust.)
Like when we were on the beach with an awesome storm rolling in over the sea, and he described what was happening in each of the types of clouds, what the winds were doing and from what direction, when and where the rain would fall. Or when we were driving across the Pennines and he suddenly pulled over, leaped out of his jeep in the rain and ran clapping into the gorse, so I could hear the wonderfully peculiar sound a particular game bird makes when it takes off. Or when he was standing behind me, arms around me, teaching me how to fly fish for salmon in the grounds of an ancient castle.
I like learning things. I was good at school, not because I am especially intelligent – again, I refer you to the content of this blog for evidence of my spectacular stupidity. No, I was good because I am good at learning. I enjoy it. My next man will teach me things. Could be about heather. Could be about particle physics. I’m not really bothered, as long as it’s delivered with the kind of passion that makes me want to do bad things.
He will want children
Because I want more. Soon. Which could be an issue… And he will want MY children, all of them, including the gorgeous boy I already have. I crave family.
He will love me for who I am
Yes. Let’s aim a little higher than ‘he will like me’. He will love me. He will find the things about me that are loveable, the things that I can’t see right now. He will make me feel loved, and he will let me love him. Every day won’t be hearts and flowers. I imagine there’ll be tough times. But we’ll work through them, together.
Too much to ask for, do you think?
Call me stupid – there’s overwhelming evidence within this blog to support your case – but I’ve just realised that the words I am writing here don’t just disappear into the nothingness of the internet. My modest number of followers has lulled me into a false sense of closed door security. My ramblings could well be read by anyone. Including the people referenced within these pages. People like The Pirate, for say…
It’s unlikely. He is shit at the internet. And there wasn’t much here that I wouldn’t and indeed haven’t said to his face, or at least emailed to him. But there was stuff that I wouldn’t especially want him to hear, and stuff he probably wouldn’t want you to hear, so I’ve deleted 4 or 5 posts.
It’s only a light edit. The anal sex, the Spanx, the ode to his glorious penis. It’s all still there. I won’t self-edit. I’d hate you to miss a second of this car crash. But I will think more carefully about sharing information on behalf of people who have no say in the matter. Thank you.
I would like some sex, please.
I’m probably ovulating, or something. But I would really like sex. Dirty, energetic, bitey, sweaty, laughy, earthy, un-self-conscious sex. I miss the penises I have known and loved in the last 18 months. It’s sad that the men attached to them were total dicks, but they did have nice penises.
My ex-husband’s cock was beautiful. I know there is comfort and joy in the familiar, but I suspect a stranger would be delighted with it, too. Circumcised, always beautifully clean and manicured, and a lovely size. Not too big, not too small. Ah. Just right. Smooth against your lips. He had lovely bollocks too. Weighty and pendulous. Nice and slappy. A fine set of tackle.
The Boy-Child’s cock was… hmmm. Not that pleasant, now I think. But it was incredibly eager, and rose to the occasion again and again and again. Which is, you know, flattering. Oh, and his cum was like water. Absolutely no viscosity, a little oily. Not for me.
The Pirate’s cock… Jaunty. A little periscope foreskin, befitting the nautical vibe. I’d say it was cute – a bit meerkatty, nosy somehow – but men don’t like words like ‘cute’ being used in association with their bits, right? Not the biggest of cocks which, judging by the many self-deprecating comments he made, bothered him. Can’t say as it bothered me. It was a thing of beauty (and it was big enough to make me bleed. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do…).
Two good things – it smelled amazing. (Naturally. It was attached to him…) Even after a day in fishing waders. Sigh. And it tasted even better. His cum always, always tasted delicious. Actively delicious. Not just tolerable. Lipsmackingly moreish, no matter what he’d eaten.
I really like giving blow jobs. I take pride in my work. I miss giving blow jobs. *I want sex.*
I really wish I could do casual sex. The world would be a fine place if I could. I’d probably still be sleeping with The Pirate. He might be here tonight, fucking me from behind under the fairy lights, doing bad, bad things with the candy canes from the tree, biting my nipples, drinking Baileys from my belly button..
But I’m a stupid rubbish girl, with stupid rubbish emotions that get in the stupid bastard way. (Though with The Pirate, I suspect it was pheromonal as much as emotional. I’m pretty sure no-one’s cum tastes that good without some serious chemical shit going on.) I wish I was a boy. I want sex.
And alongside this physical itch that so very needs scratching, there’s the need to be touched. No-one touches me any more. It makes me jump when people do. My boss touched my arm today, a supportive squeeze, and it freaked me out. It felt like an invasion, because no-one touches me any more. And I am *such* a tactile person. I want to be stroked and hugged and – oh god – kissed.
Yeah. I want sex.
“How to grope through Spanx”
Why would anyone be searching that? WHY? You can’t grope through Spanx. They are an impenetrable, unmolestable fortress. A contraceptive on so very many levels.
Seriously… Why would you be searching for that?
And again, I feel my content is a bit of a let down. I didn’t let The Pirate grope me through Spanx. I evaded his advances like a virginal eel with an elastic band wrapped around its middle, until I could decently go and remove the bastard things in my bathroom. And then extended the foreplay to give the red elastic marks around my ribcage time to fade before I got naked.
That’s how you grope through Spanx. Badly, and with no dignity. Still, a lesson learned. I will never, ever wear control pants again unless I am totally sure no-one else is going to want to remove them.
In other news – I’ve been emailing a man through an online dating site. He asked how I am. I bitched and moaned a bit about my cough, which is threatening to turn me inside out. Told him I was half fearful of coughing up a lung, and half hoping for it, since then I could give it a good clean and a stern talking to.
He replied telling me I’m lucky – he has to keep his chest really warm over the winter months SINCE HE HAD HIS LUNG REMOVED.
And here you have everything’s that wrong with online dating. I have no idea whether he’s taking the piss or not. No idea.
You joined my internet dating story in the middle. There was someone before The Pirate. (“Did he have a precursor? He did, indeed he did. In point of fact, there might have been no Pirate at all had I not totally fucked over, one spring, a certain boy-child. In a completely landlocked county.”)
Yeah. Before The Pirate, there was… I didn’t have a name for him. So let’s call him the Boy-Child. It’s very apt. He was the first person I clicked with on Match.com and the first person I slept with after my husband left – that was my first mistake. Not giving myself time to recover my sense of self. I was trying to find myself in someone else. All bad.
So we chatted on the phone loads. He was lovely. Very funny, very intelligent. Very, VERY left-wing and politically active with a huge social conscience, which I found refreshing after my football-and-lager mad husband. A massive geek, but I had no issue with that. By the time we met, I had already half fallen for him. God. All bad.
We met. He was physically so far removed from my type that I found him attractive. (Do you see what I was doing? Do you see? *Such* a cliche…) It’s not that he was ugly. He wasn’t. But he was so very uncomfortable in his own skin. He wore it like a badly fitting suit. He hunched his shoulders, his smile was awkward, he carried his arms in a most peculiar manner that I’m not sure I could describe. He’d been badly bullied as a child, and it showed. I nobly and arrogantly decided I would help restore his self-confidence. (I actually made things a million times worse. Yay me.)
We went from first date to relationship in about 3 seconds. Second mistake. Getting swept away in the romance of romance. He made me feel beautiful; told me I was beautiful all the time. He decided very quickly that we would move in together in a couple of months, get married and have children, and I got swept along too. Third and biggest mistake – letting him fall in love with me, actively encouraging it, in fact, because I was so very lonely and lost and wanted someone to make me feel better. I am a loathsome human being. It’s about the worst thing I’ve ever done.
I saw him for 4 months, and over that period, I slowly began to piece myself together again out of the rubble of my marriage. The Boy-Child helped me, with his love. Oh, I did a bad thing… Because when I eventually woke up, I found myself in a really rather heavy relationship with someone who, to be brutally honest, really fucking irritated me.
He was the most absent-minded person I have ever met. He used to leave things all over my house – important things – and lose them. Which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t try and blame me and my son for the losses.
“Did The Boy take my work pass?”
“How do you know?”
“Because I know him. If he had it, he’d tell me. You shouldn’t leave things lying around that you don’t want him to touch, though.”
“Goddamnit! He needs to learn not to touch my stuff!”
“Excuse me, fucker – my boy DIDN’T touch your stuff!”
I bought him a bowl to put by my front door. Called the Twat Bowl. When he entered the house, he emptied his pockets into it. I would accept responsibility for things going missing from the Twat Bowl. Everywhere else, he was on his own.
“Do we have to call it the Twat Bowl?”
“Yes – we wouldn’t need it if you weren’t such a twat…”
He was brilliant with my boy, but critical of my parenting. This REALLY pissed me off. He had no children, there were no young children in his family – what the fuck? I could just about tolerate it when he expressed an opinion, but not criticisms. We went to see a kid’s show at the theatre. The Boy got restless in his chair and sat on the steps in the aisle next to me – like a good dozen other children.
“The Boy – he’s running riot!”
“No – he’s sitting on the step, clapping with the other children.”
“He needs to be in his seat.”
“He needs to enjoy the show I paid £11 for him to see, and he is now he’s moved – he’s OK there, I can see him.”
“I don’t think it’s acceptable behaviour…”
“He’s only 2, it’s a long time for him to sit still, he isn’t disturbing anyone – it’s fine…”
“I’d like him back in his seat, please.”
Fuck off. Just fuck off.
He was incredibly judgemental. In the supermarket: “Did you just put Grazia magazine in your trolley? Take it out! Come on D – you’re an intelligent lady. Justify to me why you read that shit…”
1. I don’t have to justify myself to anyone.
2. If we’re feeling all justify-y though, justify to me how you can criticise me for reading Grazia when you read comics and categorize real human beings by personality types based on some weirdass geeky superhero scale?
3. Fuck off. Just fuck off.
I was tinkering with the idea of getting a kitten – I looked at rescue centres, then found breeders of Cornish Rexes in my area.
“There is no way you’re getting a pedigree kitten. It’s immoral.”
“I’m sorry – I’ll get whatever kind of kitten I like…”
“I disapprove D, I really do…”
I tried to talk to him about how his judgmental attitude made me feel. Told him that my principles were sadly more fluid than his – for example, I don’t believe in private education, but I would definitely send my son to a private school if I felt there was no other option. Where The Boy is concerned, the greater good goes out of the window.
Boy-Child could see my point, but didn’t stop the judging, and told me he couldn’t send any child of ours to a private school. I should have been pleased that he saw The Boy as ‘his’, but it just made me bristle.
He was a very, very immature 28. He lived like a student in a tiny bedsit, and had done that weird thing of printing the *whole of the internet* out and papering his walls with it, totally missing the point of digital content. It was like walking into something out of Seven – deadly sin: immaturity. Cartoons, ‘funny’ signs, satirical articles… All over the walls. He asked where he’d put it when he moved in with me. I looked around my house, full of MY things, with carefully chosen, original art on the wall. This wasn’t going to work.
He took the piss out of me for owning such bourgeois items as a garlic press, and a wok.
He was amazing in bed – but every time we had sex, I got a UTI. Tests at the doctors confirmed they were caused by fecal matter. Oh good god. We started showering before and after sex. Didn’t stop the UTIs. Did he spunk shit?! So, so bad. In contrast, I had some of the filthiest sex of my life with The Pirate, with no thought for prissy showering, often 4 or 5 times on the bounce and including anal, without a single UTI. Me and the Boy-Child, we just weren’t compatible.
I could go on, but things came to a head when I lost my temper. I was dishing up and stressed, he kept telling me to calm down in a really patronising, hushed tone, which made me want to kill him, and then I burned my arm on the oven tray, so deeply I am now scarred.
“For FUCK’S sake!”
“Calm down, D…”
“Tell me to calm down one more time and I will gouge your eye out with this spoon…”
And he believed me. He refused to speak to me all day and all night, and when I did manage to break the silence, he told me he was disappointed in my behaviour and scared of me.
He really believed I’d gouge his eye out.
The sulking dragged on for days. He told me I was a danger to myself and others. I told him, somewhat predictably, to fuck off – there’s only so many times I’ll apologise for something, especially when I don’t consider that something to be that bad. And from then, it was just plucking up the courage to end it.
And I did. Initially over the phone, but then I drove over to his to talk. See, Pirate? This is how you end it with someone. It’s fucking horrible but it has to be done.
And oh, it was horrible. He couldn’t look me in the eye. I did a bad thing.
And it gave me the confidence to dally with a Pirate. So you could say that my deeds didn’t go unpunished.
I am deeply embarrassed about my behaviour. I have erased him from my history – all photos, all emails, everything he ever gave me has gone. I don’t want to be reminded of the bad thing I did. And I’d rather die than speak to him – I would actually combust with self-loathing.
And I suspect that this is how The Pirate feels about me. I was his pity-fuck, his confidence-boost. Awesome.
I’ve been so wrapped up in my own blanket of shit, I didn’t notice she was struggling. Not that she wears it like a badge, but I didn’t think to ask how she was. The whole world has revolved around me, me, me, me, ME. She had to tell me how monstrous her partner is being right now; the cold, cruel, toxic environment she is living in. B, this is for you.
1. You deserve better
My heart breaks for you, going home to a man who tells you he doesn’t care. He is, quite frankly, a twat and you deserve so much more. You are delicate and fragile and need a sensitive soul to gently cup your heart in his hands, not a blundering oaf who squeezes the life and joy out of it.
2. A shared past does not demand a common future
And here I speak from experience. I’d been with R for so long, and from such a young age, that it felt like destiny that we should marry. It wasn’t. It was habit and fear. People change so much over the space of a year, let alone a lifetime. He isn’t the one for you. Don’t let any more life pass you by trying to make him be so.
3. Staying together for the children is a bad, bad idea
When I realised that I’d never forgive myself if my boy grew up like M, I ended it. And he was a perfectly *nice* boy. Your man is lazy, misogynistic and an average, glory Dad at best – at least, from the outside looking in. He doesn’t respect you. He treats you with contempt and belittles you. This is not the male role model you want for your son. And it isn’t the kind of environment your gorgeous boy should grow up in. He should be raised in a home singing with love and respect. Hell, you should live in a home singing with love and respect.
You say the stakes are higher now you have a boy. Damn right they are. And I’d say that, given those stakes, there are more powerful reasons to separate than there are to stay together. I don’t say this lightly. I believe in trying your hardest to make things work when there are children involved. But it makes my soul bristle to think of you expending even an ounce of effort on this man, especially given all the effort you put into creating the home that he is arrogantly rejecting. Arsehole. He’s an arsehole of a man. Don’t give him the satisfaction of rejecting you. Kick the fucker out, Christmas or not.
4. Being a single mum rocks
I miss having a partner. I *really* miss sex, and intimacy. And fuck me it’s hard managing a boy, a house, and a job. But I am honestly happy beyond measure about being a single parent. Even on days like today when I don’t feel very well and have auto-piloted it somewhat impatiently. In the words of Brandy & Monica, the boy is mine and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Darling B, I am here for you whatever you choose to do. But I want you to get angry – at least as angry as I am. You are stronger than you look. Don’t let his cold words freeze you, unable to move and think and feel. Get hot. Get ANGRY.