30.12.15

Sex. Again.

Even in a year when I wrote not more than 10 posts, only 2 of which were about sex, someone rocked up in the comments section and accused me of, “still bitching about sex.”  Now I ask you, is that what I do?  I’ve been labouring under the misguided impression that I was sharing knowledge, having valuable conversations, dispelling (and maybe accidentally creating) myths, useful shit.  But noooooo...  I’m just bitching about sex.  I wept into my cups that day.  And then the following day I resigned myself to my unfortunate reputation.  I figure, there as worse things on this internet than being known as the mama railing against bad sex, no?  I don't even have to issue a disclaimer any more, not if you deviant buggers read sex whenever I write, even when I write about the most nonsexual things.  It's brilliant.  Troubling, but brilliant.  To wit...

If what I keep reading on the interwebs is to be believed, there are way too many people out there having bad, nay tragic, sex.  Sex that involves pleasuring only one party.  Sex that involves more exertion than may actually be necessary, all in an attempt to be freaky.  Sex that involves pretending to be the person the other party desires, rather than who you really are.  Sex that does not involve any connection save for the mandatory touching of genitals.  Sex without intimacy.  Sex that does not involve nearly enough conscious decisions.  Sex that involves coercion, which may then no longer be sex, but rape.  If what I keep reading is to be believed, there are people out here, many people it seems, who think sex is a way to get one over someone else, a way for them to get what they want by any means necessary.

How the hell did we get here?

Because it's the second day of my official Christmas break (woohoo!) and this post is intefering with my Dr Who marathon, I’m going to skip all the scientific research mumbo jumbo and skip right ahead to the list, a list, I might add, I suspect I’ve already written before in all its many variations.  This is the year end summary of all things sex.  Ready?

1. Pleasure must be mutual.

For fuck’s sake, stop being so bloody selfish in bed.  You man, if you think pounding the woman for five minutes till you come is sex, you need to buy a plastic vagina and leave the real women alone.  yes?  Just nod.  If you do not:
a. kiss her (all over, for the record, not just on her lips),
b. play with her boobs, where play involves hands and mouth, and maybe stubbly chin if she goes for the whole sandpaper effect on her skin,
c. stroke her back and/or belly and/or thighs and/or toes,
d. eat or finger her damn pussy, and/or ass if she goes for that too (please ask first), until she comes,
then you have no business inserting your business end into hers.  Comprende?

And you woman...yes, you...the same applies to you, only swop out d. for suck/lick his dick and/or balls, and/or ass if he goes for that too.  And throw in a quick lick or suck of that spot at the top of his hips, where there’s a dent in his body.  I don’t know if it works for all men, but some men apparently has a loose nerve lurking therabouts that seems to do the trick for them.  What?  I read that in a Cosmo once.  It's never worked for me and mine, but who knows?  I told you this won’t be scientific, figure it out for your own damn self.

Bottom line, pleasure is mutual, which means both (or more, no?) parties have to be satisfied.

2. Freaky sex isn’t necessarily the best sex.

Cunnilingus or fellatio, or analingus, is not for everyone.  Neither is doggy style, or reverse cowgirl.  And you know what?  That’s perfectly fine.  Not every woman has a yearning for sex outdoors, or a 50 shades fantasy.  Not every man wants to be tied up and flogged.  Not everyone wants to have a threesome.  The way they tell it, online at least, if you’re not having sex 3 times a day in all manner of positions or with all manner of implements, then your sex must be crap.  Nope.  Not even remotely.  Sex is as personal as the individual having it, so do what makes you happy.  Yes, I know that making someone else happy makes us happy, but you can only accommodate so far, no?  Once it becomes a case of you pretending to be someone you’re not, especially when freakiness is the issue, then maybe it's not worth it.

This sounds odd coming from me, I’m the one always pushing you to try new things, but after seeing (reading, mostly on twitter) what people are doing in the name of sexual liberation, I’ve come to embrace the more conservative amongst us.  That’s not to say I’ve become more conservative, hell will freeze over first, but even I have limits, and I’m no longer ashamed to admit it.  Be as freaky as you want.  Or don’t.  Anyone who has a problem with you needs to walk on by, yes?  Yes.

3. Seriously though, sex is supposed to feel good.

With the exception of the kinkier end of the spectrum where discomfort is part of the sexual experience and feeling good is somewhat more complicated (remind me to write that post one day, when I'm properly toasted ideally), sex is supposed to feel good.  Really, really good.  That’s kinda the whole point.  So if you’re out there having sex with a man who doesn’t take the time to get you aroused enough before he shoves it in (ouch!), or if you’re shagging someone who’s a bit rough on your parts and you don’t like it (men and women alike have just crossed their legs after recalling a particularly unpleasant memory), or if you’re fucking someone who makes you feel like crap (before, during or after), then don’t fuck with them, again.  It’s supposed to feel good.  On this one aspect, you cannot compromise.

4. Unless you are a prize arsehole, you will make some sort of connection. Deal with it.

Proponents of casual sex are staring at me with one eye.  Feelings types are getting ready to hoist me on my own petard.  I’m about to disappoint you both.  This is not a warning against no strings sex, go right ahead, I said some sort of a connection, not love or happily ever after, a connection.  It’s built into good sex, great sex even more so.

The way I see it, sex is simply about getting yourself off, it’s wanking with audience participation.  Good sex is about getting each other off, it’s more interactive, there’s give and take, I do you then you do me and then we do...us.  Great sex, however, is about pleasure, not just getting off, the act is as important as the end result.
Viva la RevoluciĆ³n! Or not. 

Yes, I quoted myself, but only because I think that was one of the most profound things I’ve ever said.  Clearly, I’m biased.  Tell me, how on earth do you propose to get someone else off without making even the most basic connection with them?  So how then, do you turn around and claim intimacy-less sex could possibly be good?  Do you see my point?  You don’t, but I put it the list so I can refer you back here if and when you do something foolish.

5. Sex is a conscious decision.

We all like to have a slightly (or very) drunk roll in the hay from time to time, at least those of us fond of the tipple do.  Alcohol lowers inhibitions, makes it...I’m not sure easier is the right word, but it fits...alcohol makes it easier for us to let our guard down, doesn’t it?  Thing is, and this is where the complications arise, sex is something we choose to do, consciously.  I need to repeat that.  We choose to have sex.  We don’t stumble into bed randomly, or accidentally land on a penis, we choose.  Alcohol, or drugs, impairs our ability to make decisions.

See, it’s one thing when this drunk sex is being had between two people who already have a sexual relationship, the decision to have sex may already have been made, but what of people who are not already shagging?  And what about random acts thrown in under the influence, acts you may not have agreed to prior, but now that you’re not thinking too clearly, well, shit goes to fuck.  Even worse, what about the idiots out here who deliberately use alcohol to get laid?  The moment alcohol is used to reduce or remove someone’s ability to make that decision, it’s no longer consensual sex, for the simple reason that they can’t consent, not with a clear mind.

For those of you still clinging to the idea of sex via intoxication, I read this analogy a few weeks back, if someone is too drunk to drive, you probably shouldn’t have sex with them.  Operating heavy machinery and such like.  Ahem.

Folks, I don’t know what else I can say at this point to convince you (them?) that sex is neither pointless sport nor competition.  That’s not to say sex can’t be playful (it should be), or that trying to win at sex is a bad thing (we all love prizes, no?), but our obsession with winning at all costs is detrimental to the quality of our sex lives.  Put differently, quality over quantity.  And quality for both parties involved, not just you and your own genitals.  How hard is it to understand that your lover’s pleasure should matter just as much as your own?  That your lover’s desires, or lack thereof, are as central to the sexual experience as your own?  That (great) sex is about getting naked, truly naked, sans bullshit and trickery, your own included?

I'm done bitching.  Be safe, be careful, be gentle with each other.

27.12.15

38 (and a half).

Yup, my lack of mojo was so great I let my birthday pass with no fanfare.  I also let the four year anniversary of the blog slide on by, but given that I wasn’t blogging that seemed only right, no?  We shall all nod sagely and get back to the birthday storo.  I didn’t do much of anything for my birthday this year, no elaborate meal with the clan, nothing but another day at work with a surprise chocolates from a friend far away and the lack of a not surprise dinner from a friend much closer.  That’s what I best remember from the day, the disappointment at a request I made being blithely ignored by someone I thought knew better than to ignore me.  See, in my old age, I know better than to be vague or coy.  I told this pal o’ mine that I wanted to go out for a meal and maybe some dancing.  I stated it clearly, with reminders leading up to the day.  Then the day came and not so much as an sms.  And when I reminded said pal two weeks later, when he stopped by my house unannounced for a loose meal, I was brushed off like a pesky child asking for sweets I shouldn’t have, reminding me that some people will never get it, get me.  Said pal has since been relegated to the ranks of people I will never rely on, not even for simple shit like a phone call.

People will let you down.  People close to you will let you down.  That’s just the way life goes, everyone’s so busy looking out for themselves that they forget, or are simply unable, to look out for you.  We all do it, and then we feel bad about it and vow to change our ways, until we do it again.  If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my 38 (and a half) years of life, it’s to stop making promises I can’t keep, and to keep promises I do make.  You don’t want to be the idiot no one relies on, trust me when I tell you that’s a lonely way to live.

As odd as this will sound, coming after that grand declaration, I’ve also learnt to look out for myself, selfishly.  I learnt this years ago, but it’s always a good lesson to learn again, as and when necessary.  Jisort.  Always.  If you’re lucky, you’ll always have a few people around you who are there for you no matter what foolishness you get up to, but sometimes you have to be your own survival mechanism, self preservation and such like.  Sometimes, we have to get our heads out our own asses and figure shit out for ourselves.  The hidden bonus in that Deepak Chopra-esque self help nonsense, in figuring out our own shit, we’re better equipped to handle other people’s.  Being self sufficient makes you a better friend, or lover.  Go figure.

Which then makes this next bit even odder.  You can’t be too self sufficient.  I know, it makes no sense, but that’s why I’m not selling this dodgy wisdom (yet).  If you’re not self sufficient enough, you become a drag on the people around you.  Too self sufficient, you become their mule, carrying all their loads, because you do it so well.  You’re looking for the goldilocks sweet spot; good, but not too good.  I know, it’s a bit of a crap shoot, but isn’t that what life is all about, shooting crap and trying to make sure none of it ends up on your shoes?

I am no philosopher, clearly.

This year is the first time in a long time I’ve felt my age.  It’s partly because of the younglings I keep reading on Twitter (still the work of the devil that one), partly because of the people I’ve buried this year, partly because of the aches and pains my body has been subjecting me to lately as it contemplates the second half of it’s stint on this planet.  Whatever the reason, this year, a few months ago more than now, I felt 38 years old.  And it scared me.  This year, I’ve felt more mortal, fragile, than ever before.  It also made me more impatient.  We forget how truly short life is, convinced that we’ll be young forever, 18 till we die and whatnot.  'Ha!' she scoffs.  If only.  Thing is, along with my newfound fear of death came the urge not to waste any more time, which is a fancy way of saying I have no time for foolishness any more.  Lately I find myself speaking more frankly, with less time for niceties, and given how blunt I sometimes get that’s saying something, no?  You do know I see you nodding?  You buggers are so disloyal.  Nkt!  My lovelies, I’m disinclined to entertain foolishness, not even mine, having learnt to speak less and listen more, sometimes even listening better.  I’m finally learning not to waste time listening to every opinion, under the misguided hope that it may prove magically helpful even when I'm pretty sure it won't.  I now know enough to dismiss the bullshit immediately, sometimes with eloquently expressed malice and forethought to ensure it never comes back (you’d be surprised how well that works).

This is the thing about getting older, you start to understand the irritation with which older people used to treat us when we were younglings.  There’s no point trying to explain this, if you’re older than me you already know this.  If you’re younger you won’t get it until you do, and when you do you’ll say the exact same thing to those behind you.  This is one of those ‘you have to go through it yourself’ things, time has a way of showing you that there’s really nothing new under the sun.

I sound like one of those characters in Grumpy Old Men or Golden Girls, don’t I?  I do.  I’m not a cranky old crone, yet, but cross me on the wrong day with some bullshit and I can be.  For the record, any day is the wrong day.  For further record, some bullshit is basically anything that seems to be poorly thought out and/or otherwise foolish, or anything that maligns the good name of (insert my current favourite singer of tacky pop songs).  Best you can hope for is that I have enough sugar/caffeine/nicotine/alcohol in my system, mellowing me out long enough for you to make a quick getaway before I slap you.  On the upside, 38 (and a half) year old me is pretty easy to ignore so...fuck it, yes?

Live long and prosper sounds like an appropriate way to sign off, but then Spock went and died this year, bless his pointy eared soul.  Granted, he died after living long and prospering, but still...maybe not.  I say this all the time, but this year may be the year it makes most sense, my lovelies, life is too short.

Live, love, lust, linger, lick (ideally someone else).  The 5 L’s to live by, no?

26.12.15

I'm (not) with stupid.

The thing with blogging, it’s all about habit.  You get used to rambling incoherently, all day any day, often with no greater purpose than to get that ka-kick of satisfaction when you see your words on a page, and maybe a ka -like or nice comment below it.  It’s part addiction, part compulsive behaviour.  And then you stop.  For no particular reason.  And the mojo disappears almost as quickly as it appeared.  Before you know it, you haven’t written so much as a ‘will revert’ email (how is that even a reply?) in months.  For shame!

I’m trying to figure out how to apologise to you without actually apologising, because I shouldn’t have to apologise, because you buggers (whom I love deeply) don’t pay me to do this shit, but if I don’t apologise you’ll sit there and sulk in silence, because that’s what we do around here, sulk in silence.  Yes, I’ve been sulking, and no, I don’t expect you to care, but yes, I’mma tell you all about it anyway.  So why, pray tell, have I been sulking?  She sighs dramatically, too dramatically (all sighs are unnecessarily dramatic, no?), I have no fucking clue.  She chuckles, and has a swig of cheap ‘made for swift and debilitating intoxication’ wine.

This wine though...  It’s a hand me down from posh relatives who are above these things, seeing as how they drink wine with snooty French names these days.  Mind you, this cheap swill, and it really is cheap swill, has a French name, but the bottle looks like it was manufactured pale Light Industries ya Kariobangi.  Which is not to demean all Kariobangi products, only the dodgy glass bottles they use for the other generation booze they produce in lethal quantities.  All I’m saying is the crooked neck and dodgy cork of this bottle has me convinced that this wine is neither French nor fancy, which is how it ended up in my possession, and how I came to be typing this when I’m approximately two sheets to the wind, which is to say I’m a bit drunk.  Lakini I have missed writing sentences longer than 140 bloody characters.  All hail Blogger (soon to be Wordpress)!  If you’ve seen me on Twitter you know I don’t tweet much, but not because I have nothing to say, it’s because I completely lack the knack of brevity.  And I’m convinced the format doesn’t allow for nuance.  Now you know I’m all about nuance, no?  No?  She takes a swig of the aforementioned cheap swill...

So, otherwise?  How y’all doin’?  Is your Christmas merry?  Did you have a good year?  Has your government been behaving itself?  Have you been having great sex?  Have you finally found the man/woman of your dreams?  Was your bread fluffy this morning?  I’m particularly interested in the answer to the bread question...

My year has been...odd.  Not bad or good, just odd.  Feels like it was one long out of body experience.  In between serikali acting like fools and the idiot langas pretending to be press, Donald Trump and Van Gaal, a peculiar afro (on my head) and peculiar clients from hell (including the one who has me working over what should be a lovely Christmas break), a tuktuk of a car so temperamental I swear it was conceived in a Stephen King book (that bitch is trying to kill me), a depreciating shilling that’s playing havoc on Chilean wine prices at the off-licence, Avengers 2: the age of maybe they shoulda skipped right on to the third, Sauti Sol’s album cover, Sauti Sol’s album...  Odd.  Very odd.  On the upside, however, I have now confirmed that it’s not me that’s delusional (read, possibly insane), it’s the whole damn planet that’s fucked up, all the way to Timbuktu.  Timbuktu is particularly fucked up, but that’s a story for another day.  The reason our collective fucked-up-ness is a good thing?  I figure it’s a pretty valid reason for running a blog that continually asks, ‘What the actual fuck?’ because it occurs to me not enough people bother to ask that one most important question.

My lovelies, what the actual fuck?

When did it become acceptable for people to run around stealing, cheating and just generally screwing each other over just so they can have more money/power/sex?  Worse still, when did it become acceptable to be wilfully, gleefully, arrogantly ignorant, especially in this age of damn near unlimited information a click away?

If it’s not el presidente making his umpteenth speech on his oh so grand fight against corruption even as his extremely corrupt deputy stands next to him undisturbed, it’s a recklesss government borrowing money like loans don’t need to be repaid and interest is optional.  If it’s not self appointed, do gooder, saviour of the downtrodden for a fee, activist types pushing some idiotic, ill-informed campaign, it’s some self appointed knowers of all things enlightened trying to convince us that their enlightenment is the only enlightenment that’s valid, and all so they can both make a career selling, not giving, water to the thirsty.  If it’s not the dodgy tenderpreneur trying to convince you he made his astronomical, obscene billions through hard work and perseverance, it’s the greasy, grabbing preacher man, or woman, or couple, trying to convince you that your money will help him, them, lead you to heaven.  If it’s not the girl in the Saturday paper telling you to buy a girl shisha so you can rape her passed-out ass in your car, it’s the wanna-be (possibly not particularly well-read) sex advice twits declaring ‘Mollis’ type sex (which, for the record, sounded unnnervingly like non-consensual sex, which is rape last I checked) the ultimate in sexual misadventures.  If it’s not idiots with little to no knowledge proclaiming Sepp Blatter the saviour of African football, it’s idiots with little to no knowledge proclaiming Sam Nyamweya the saviour of Kenyan football.  I could go on and on and on, but for what?  We know what’s going on around us, hell, some of us are actively involved in the fuckery, and by some of us I mean some of them (points over yonder), not us, us we’re perfect.  Ahem.  Have a swig...

Greed.  Hubris.  Ignorance.  This explains everything from (no longer?) Sweetie of NYS fame to ‘Reverend’ Kyuna et al, through to Trump and the cock on that most idiotic album cover.  (Slight detour.  That I get to use the word cock in a non-sewer post is the highlight of my year.  For real.  Detour over.)  Almost every instance of foolishness I can point to this past year has it’s roots in some variation of mendacity, borne of what appears to be a frightening aversion to knowledge.  That’s what scares me most.  An aversion to knowledge.

I don’t know how this happened, but these days people are strutting around not knowing shit, and proud of the fact that they don’t know shit.  Rather than do a quick google to find out, an idiot would rather call you an idiot for knowing something they don’t, either that or they’ll discount your knowledge as not true knowledge, because they cannot or will not understand.  In some peculiar plot twist in this reality show we call life, stupid has become cool.  It’s almost as if we’re all extras in a mash-up of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ and ‘News at 9’, taking selfies and clapping along to foolish antics like trained seals, all for a fish or two to keep us going.  That Billy the Wailer can stand in front of us and lecture us on corruption, and he gets a 15 minute slot on the prime time news.  That a girl whose claim to fame is her ass can be branded a celebrity on the front page of a seemingly serious newspaper, her and a conman preacherman.  That a minister responsible for billions of shillings claims not to be responsible for how said billions were spent, including the dodgy purchase of, and this has to be a first even for our special country, a piano.  And people out here are not just tolerating the idiocy, they’re revelling in it, clap clap clapping along...

This is some bullshit, man.  Surreal, epic bullshit.  

Does that sound depressing?  It’s not meant to be, I'm far too happy (read, drunk-ish) right now to be depressed.  I think accepting this pathetic state of affairs in the first step in our recovery.  I think we need to embrace the stupidity, smother it in knowledge until it chokes on it’s own saliva and dies a slow gruesome death.  (Sorry, I’ve been watching serial killer TV, as is my December custom.)  No more idiots who think patriotism is agreeing with everything dear leader says.  No more giving the media that doesn’t seem to give a shit about accountability our hard to spare attention.  No more reading silly little fuckers, and I use this term most loosely, 'writing' idiotic opinion pieces in the papers designed to offend us.  No more modern day quacks/shamans claiming to cure us from all manner of ailments, spiritual or emotional, or sexual for that matter.  No more saviours looking to make money off our misery.  No more enlightenment that comes bundled with scorn for the unenlightened.  No more twats who think sex is a hasty transaction, or a drunk one, or a hasty drunk one.  In fact, no more twats who don’t think about their sex, and by association yours.  No more stupid, my lovelies.

With that in mind (of course there’s a reason for this rant, oh ye of little faith...), I propose to end the year as it began (even as I prepare to move to a new house), with 7 posts in 7 days.  Or 5 posts in 7 days.  Or maybe 3 posts in 7 days.  We’ll see how it goes.

Happy holidays.

7.9.15

Love at first...shag?

I'm not often at a loss for words. I am often gobsmacked by unexpected brilliance, but that's the whole point of brilliance, to smack you across the face and make you sit up and take notice. That's not what I'm talking about.  I mean I am rarely struck dumb.  Come now, I have too much to say, on damn near everything, irrespective of whether or not I actually know anything about anything.  So you can imagine my surprise last week when a reply from Ann* left me speechless.  This is not an exaggeration, for the record, I truly had no response to what she said...

I asked:
My next question should then be, did you shag with him with the idea that it could possibly blossom (always wanted to say that) into a relationship, or was it simply a shag because you both wanted to and could? For the record, either answer is perfectly acceptable (\o/), I'm just trying to get a better idea of where your head is/was at. Did you talk about relationships prior to the shag?
She replied:
I prefer my hook ups to bloom into relationships. I have been accused of reversing the process, hookup-> relationship instead of relationship->hookup.
It took me three days to formulate a basic reply, in my head:
Eh?

And why, you ask, was I struck dumb?  If you've read any of my sewer tales you may have picked up on my, umm, aversion to looking for love in between the legs of another.  I've said it, many times, don’t have sex as a means to the end that is love.  So for me to find someone who is a firm believer in said practice here, on my front page no less...  It's like I stumbled upon a pink unicorn in my living room.  “What in the actual fuck?” I exclaimed, Katt Williams expression on my face.  Understand me, it's not that I object to this choice, whatever rocks your boat is my motto, no?  It's that I don’t understand how she ended up here, amongst the deviants looking for a good shag and not much else.

Eh?

Incidentally, how many more of you unicorns are out here lurking in my closets?  Reveal yourselves...  No really, reveal yourselves, I'm curious.  I am, really.  I won't give you a hard time, this is more of an educational head count, for me, she adds, looking away in what can only be described as a very suspicious manner.

Looking for some education
I made my way into the night
All that bullshit conversation
Baby can't you read the signs?
I won't bore you with the details baby
I don't even want to waste your time
Let's just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, I ain't Mr. Right

But if you're looking for fast love...

After a couple of days, the shock wore off and I got to thinking, perhaps I'm too jaded (I am, no?). What if casual sex really can lead to a meaningful relationship, love, happiness, all that stuff?  My first impression was this may be an age thing, where younglings shag first and stick around long enough to ask questions later, and the older you get the more hesitant you become, for a myriad of reasons.  That theory made sense for about two minutes, until I recalled having a conversation with someone older than me about their messy relationship with an idiot who was originally supposed to be just a one night stand.  It's clearly not an age thing.  My next theory was even better, it's that we've gotten more liberal, sexually, thus we're having more no strings sex even as we still look for strings.  Problem with this theory, if we're looking for strings, then doesn’t that mean the sex automatically is not no strings sex?  Put differently, if you have no strings sex, and then catch feelings and want the bloody strings, was the initial sex really sans strings?   Does it matter, in the grand scheme of things?  That, my lovelies, is today's 67 bob question.

I have to issue a disclaimer at this point and state my bias upfront: I think this is all bollocks.  Bollocks.  I'm writing this post with one eye, which is to say I'll be shaking my head vehemently, scoffing at the scientists and 'It worked for me!' essays I shall no doubt have to quote.  Wait, don’t click off in a huff just yet.  Inasmuch as I am not a believer, this is the one time I will be extremely happy to disabuse myself of a few misguided notions, if only so I can have more sex with new people, instead of wasting time on silly preliminaries like tedious questionnaires, plans and such.  There's also the possibility that I'll finally prove to all you unicorns (I see you...) once and for all that the horn thingi on your foreheads is an illusion.  Win/win either way, no?  Probably not.

Because I know there is that one genius smartass who'll rock up pale chini and start a discussion on the proper meaning of 'casual sex', definitions.

Wikipedia takes romance out of the equation:
Casual sex are certain types of sexual activity outside of romantic relationships that imply an absence of commitment, emotional attachment, or familiarity between sexual partners. Examples are sex in casual relationships, one-night stands, extramarital sex, prostitution, or swinging.
My problem with this definition is the absence of attachment or familiarity bit, because that implies that casual sex can only be had with a stranger.  Also, lumping one night stands and prostitution together is not helpful, but maybe that's just me.

Urban dictionary makes it simpler, as always:
Having sexual contact with another person with no plans on furthering a long term/committed relationship with that person.
Simple, no?  Sex without future plans.  Sounds about right.

Or not, as the lovely shrinks at Psychology Today explain:
Because human sexual behavior(sic) is so various, the phrase "casual sex" turns out to be a most treacherously roomy category. Casual sex" applies indiscriminately to one-night stands, playful sex with a friend-with-benefit's, exploratory sex with an acquaintance or roommate. It describes some sex between long-married couples, some open marriage encounters and masturbation (with or without porn or phone sex). It can be accurately applied to sex-junkets in colonized countries, adventures arranged on Web dating sites or swingers clubs...
(Random question, what the hell are 'sex-junkets in colonized countries'?  Every so often I suspect some of these wazungus I read are undeclared racists.  Don’t laugh at me, these buggers are devious, hiding their imperialist tendencies under a cloak of advanced knowledge.  That was a detour.)  The gist of that article is simple, your definition of casual sex depends almost entirely on your personal bias, which in turn means that what I consider casual sex may not be what you consider casual sex, which in turn means any definition I attempt here will be subject to lengthy discussion with aforementioned smartass in the comments section.  I know, the shrinks always complicate everything.

Casual sex is an umbrella term that encompasses many forms of sex that are similar in the fact that they do not involve committed relationships. This can include one night stands, friends with benefit's, and swinging. Other terms that are used to desribe(sic) casual sex are no strings attached sex and hooking up.
This is the definition I'm using today, from the sexy people over at Kinkly, sex minus commitment.  This covers everything from Friday night fungas to booty calls to Freddie Jackson 'Rock Me Tonight' sex with the ex to your biannual orgy with six of your closest friends; it's all casual, until flags are planted and declarations are made.  Yes?  Yes.

Now as it turns out, the term 'hook up' is not synonymous with casual sex. I assumed it was, but apparently the Americans who coined the phrase insist it isn’t.  From the earlier Wikipedia page:
A hookup (colloquial American English) is a casual sexual encounter involving physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment; it can range from kissing (for example, making out) to other sexual activities. Hooking up became a widespread practice among young people in the 1980s and 1990s. Researchers say that what differentiates hooking up from casual sex in previous generations of young people is the "virtual disappearance" of dating, which had been dominant from the postwar period onwards. Today, researchers say, casual sex rather than dating is the primary path for young people into having a relationship.
Where I assumed that the hook up meant no strings sex, and it sometimes does, it might be that same hook up is this generation's (I mean people in their teens/20's right now, the generation that grew up with FM radio, yaani, not me) way of getting to know someone, i.e. dating, but without the date.  

Yes, I can see my flawed theories beginning to tumble down.  Stop smirking.

Looking for some affirmation
I made my way into the sun
My friends got their ladies
They're all having babies
I just wannna have some fun
I won't bore you with the details baby
Gotta get there in your own sweet time
Let's just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, I ain't Mr. Right

But if you're looking for fast love...

Despite this definition, I can't help wondering if perhaps they've got it wrong.  Thing is, older people inevitably try to impart their own meaning when they don’t understand what's going on.  That's why all the magazines now have way too long articles on how 'hook-up culture' hurts young people, young women in particular, often along the lines of 9 Ways The Hook-Up Culture Is Ruining Love As We Know It (don’t bother with that list, unless you're sanctimonious and/or prudish).  It's not that us geriatrics oppose casual sex, or that we didn’t do it in our misguided youth, it's just that (cue melodramatic clutching of pearls) we think it's making these kids numb to real relationships (gasp!).

Shock on us oldies, then, when research shows us that:
Specifically, boomers had an average of 11 sexual partners as adults, whereas those born in the ’80s and ’90s had eight. Gen-Xers, who came in-between, had an average of 10 lays.
Yup, younglings are less freaky than my geriatric ass. Woobloodyhoo. Unrelated, this explains so much...
“If you’re the sort of person who likes casual sex, then having casual sex will probably make you feel better about things. If you're not, it won't.”
Sounds legit, no? Wait for the best bit...
Relationships that start with a spark and not much else aren't necessarily doomed from the get-go, new research suggests. Couples who became sexually involved as friends or acquaintances and were open to a serious relationship ended up just as happy as those who dated and waited.

I can see all my unicorns doing a wee dance of joy right now, smug rainbow-tailed bastards...

My people, turns out I've been wrong all along. You can find love in between the legs of another:
In an analysis of relationship surveys, UI sociologist Anthony Paik found that average relationship quality was higher for individuals who waited until things were serious to have sex compared to those who became sexually involved in "hookups," "friends with benefit's," or casual dating relationships. But having sex early on wasn't to blame for the disparity. When Paik factored out people who weren't interested in getting serious, he found no real difference in relationship quality. That is, couples who became sexually involved as friends or acquaintances and were open to a serious relationship ended up just as happy as those who dated and waited. [emphasis mine]

"We didn't see much evidence that relationships were lower quality because they started off as hookups," said Paik, an assistant professor in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "The study suggests that rewarding relationships are possible for those who delay sex. But it's also possible for true love to emerge if things start off with a more 'Sex and the City' approach, when people spot each other across the room, become sexually involved and then build a relationship."

Before you start waxing romantic, read the fine print...
So if not the context of sexual involvement, what is behind the lower quality scores for relationships initiated as hookups? Paik points to selection: Certain people are prone to finding relationships unrewarding, and those individuals are more likely to form hookups.[emphasis mine]

"The question is whether it's the type of relationship that causes lower quality or whether it's the people," he said. "The finding is that it's something about the people."

People with higher numbers of past sexual partners were more likely to form hookups, and to report lower relationship quality. Through the acquisition of partners, Paik said, they begin to favor(sic) short-term relationships and find the long-term ones less rewarding. It's also likely that people who are predisposed to short-term relationships are screened out of serious ones because they don't invest the time and energy to develop long-term ties, Paik said.

What they're saying is the nature of the relationship depends on the people in said relationship. Sounds obvious, but it's not always that clear, is it?  Simply put, odds are either you or your casual partner, or both of you, are uninterested in commitment, which is how you ended up casually shagging to begin with.  Which means, there's no guarantee that casual sex will become anything more, not unless both parties are actively looking to get into something more meaningful.  I clarify this bit because it's often the cause of possibly the number one agony aunt question in this age of random shags, “I've fallen for my fuck buddy/friend with benefit's/no strings shag, what do I do?

But if you're looking for fast love
Fast love in your eyes
It's more than enough
Had some bad love
Some fast love is all that I've got on my mind...
I figure if anyone knows anything about casual sex, then it's George Michael.  One could even argue that he is intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of the random shag.  Ahem.  He also knows a fair share about unrequited love, and love that doesn’t work out as planned, if his music is anything to go by.
In the absence of security
I made my way into the night
Stupid cupid keeps on calling me
And I see nothing in his eyes...

Listen, I'm usually quite happy to take the scientists at their word, but not today.  If there's one thing I've learnt in this my peculiar life, it's that casual sex is just that, casual.  That doesn’t mean it's bad, or meaningless, or boring, or something to avoid, it's just casual.  Frankly, I think that's what makes it so good, when it is good.  (When it's bad it's always the twat's fault.  Default position unless proven otherwise, yes? Yes.)  Thing is, this is what works for me and my issues, so feel free to ignore me and do your own thing.  Can't hurt, can it?

Can you form a relationship from a random shag?  It would appear so.  Does it matter how the relationship began?  It would appear not.  Will said relationship last?  That's entirely up to you, my lovely little unicorn.

24.8.15

Introducing...Ann*. Again.

Ladies and gentlemen, she's back and she has a new man, which of course means new muchene.  Woohoo!  Given how hectic the comments section was on her last post (if you didn't read them, you really should, buggers went above and beyond.  Hell, songs were quoted...), I don't think I need to waste your time with elaborate explainers or disclaimers.  Read, enjoy, discuss at length...

We are in an open relationship.

When I went to pick Brian up from the stage, I was literally thunderstruck by his looks. He is just too good looking. He took away my power of speech, 6ft tall and golden, dressed in casual shorts and a sports vest. I hadn’t realized he was this handsome before. Let me back up a little.

I met Brian at sporting event; he came with his group of friends and I had come my with group of friends, and afterwards we all had dinner and drinks together, friended each other on Facebook and went our separate ways. He didn’t particularly stand out then, but later we started talking on Facebook inbox.

May I take a detour here to illustrate how not to pick up a girl on Facebook? The other day, I changed my profile picture to one where all the good angles of my face are shown, you know the picture where you get the photo filters and your expression just right. It got over 100 likes. So I was not surprised when I received an inbox from one of the many strangers who are my friends on Facebook.

I was abroad the time so I sent him the link, knowing he would have to board a few planes to arrive at my destination.
I lost interest at this point (and I believe in honesty so I told him) but anyway, is this how easily men get lunch invitations? All you have to do is say, “You look good,” and the lady is just ready to cook you lunch.

Back to Brian.

Our conversation on Facebook was of course mundane, but interesting. It just naturally meandered to topics of mutual interest, neither of which was lunch or Langata, and a date was set to watch football one Sunday evening at my place as I have quite a sizeable 42 inch screen.

I honestly hadn’t thought beyond a mutual friendship until that afternoon, I wasn’t even sure I was picking the right person but he was the only one at the stage! He got into the passenger side, said hallo and I mumbled something back. I was going to stop by Uchumi for some beer and snacks, he’d brought some whiskey with him. On the way there, I almost caused an accident, I was completely distracted from my driving. I hadn’t seen the red light at the roundabout and so joined the traffic blindly, almost getting hit on the right by a car that was exiting the roundabout. I had to tell myself, Ann, eyes on the road, eyes on the road, calm down, breathe…but in spite of my erratic driving we made it home in one piece.

Another friend joined us and we drank beer and watched the game, then the friend left and it was just the two of us. It was past midnight, way past the last matatu operating hours, so like a good host I offered Brian a place to sleep. I didn’t want to drive tipsy, I had been erratic enough sober. I live in a one bedroomed place so I dragged the spare mattress to the sitting room and readied it.. sheets and blankets and pillows. I was going to take a shower before sleeping but Brian wanted to take one too, so I let him go first because he’d probably be quicker.

When he came out of the bathroom I caught my breath, again, at the sight of him, towel around his waist. I know some women say they can’t date a man who is lighter skinned than them, but I don’t mind light(sic)-skinned guys, in other words I don’t mind colour(sic) at all. Brian is super fit and athletic, he was rubbing his hair in a nonchalant way telling me, “The bathroom is all yours now...” When I came out of the shower, he was still lounging on the mattress shirtless, he smiled at me, our eyes locked, and suffice to say I never made it back to my bedroom.

Later in the week, the friend who had watched the game with the both of us asked me about Brian and I… I told him, um, you know nothing much going on there. He told me good, because I know Brian’s girlfriend. Just check on Facebook, it’s there.

Blood was rushing to my head and I was of course mostly in denial like, no way... I have seen his Facebook page several times. When I went back however, one particular girl stood out, they were together in a lot of photos at a lot of events. There was no need to make assumptions, I immediately opened Whatsapp and typed a quick, “Hey, how are you?” When he replied, my next question was, “Is Karen your girlfriend?”

“We are in an open relationship.

“We are currently seeing other people as things are a little strained at the moment. To be fair, I probably should have told you earlier, I’m sorry. We can talk about it next time we meet.”

I thought this is insane. Open relationships, like 3somes, are things we read about in magazines and on internet blogs, but we don’t do them in real life. Or do we? Before Brian I had never met anyone in an open relationship. How do you like someone and you don’t mind them getting it on with other people? He told me they don’t tell each other, you don’t ask, you don’t tell.

I was about to start asking more questions, like, so when did this happen? Why did you decide to have an open relationship instead of just breaking up? And he was like, do you really want to know? I thought about it and responded, “No actually, I don’t.” I want to feel those arms around me and touch that firm chest and feel the six pack and enjoy the friendship that comes with no strings, if there is such.

It is very easy to over think this. I think in this open relationship thing, I am the “open” (no pun intended), and the girlfriend is the “relationship”, and I can’t help but wonder how many of us girls are in the “open” group? Now every time I see a Facebook post where he is tagged with a girl I can’t help but wonder… Of course I shouldn’t wonder, it doesn’t bother me that much but I am new to this and I don’t know many of the rules of open relationships. I just know I shouldn’t ask, and I shouldn’t tell. This means that I too am free to meet up with whomever I feel like, whenever. This can go on until everyone in the world is in an open relationship with basically everyone else… I am totally confused.

A ping arrives on my phone. It’s a Whatsapp from Brian.

“Hey, you free tonight.”

Life isn’t about overthinking things. It’s about taking chances at happiness. My body remembers his touch.

“Sure.”

I drop him a PIN of my exact location so he doesn’t have to call me for directions every few minutes.

If you read this blog, what’s your experience/opinion on open relationships? Any advice for this novice?

21.8.15

Blogging 401: It's been a minute...

I know, I know...  What can I say?  I should probably start off with a lengthy apology, accompanied by a suitably lengthy explanation as to my whereabouts for the past 7 months, but what's the point of wasting time on pointless formalities?  Better to get on with it, yes?  Yes.  To wit...

I love You Tube.  I mean I really, really, REALLY love You Tube.  For someone who grew up with one TV station that operated from 4:00 pm (2:00 pm on weekends) to 11:00 pm every day, with next to no music on screen save for the odd 30 minute show once a week, You Tube is the MTV I never had.  All the songs I grew up with, live in technicolor, all at my fingertips.  It's brilliant.  Brilliant, I tell you.  The only drawback is (and this isn't really a drawback, more my general discontent with all things), these musicians I loved back in the day look nothing like I thought they would.  I was watching a Commodores video the other day that pretty much ruined 'Sail On' for me, forever, what with their unseemly groin thrusting in what I thought was a song of romantic longing.  Dude...she peers over her glasses...why you gotta hold the mic like that?  On the up side, I now have a keen fascination with wind sailing.  Yay!  I don't, for the record.  Now the best part of You Tube is finding a clip of a live performance of a song you absolutely love.  See, it's one thing to know the album version, in and out, but it's another thing to see it performed live.  Think about the last concert you attended and how you felt hearing, and singing along, to that song you've been obsessed with; the vocals may not have been as perfect as the album cut and the music arrangement may have been different, but still you loved it, maybe even loved it more than the now seemingly sterile version on your player.  That's the beauty of live music.  All my life I've been sulking over all these great musicians I'll never get to see in person, but no more!  I have...wait for it...the interwebs.  Cue sound of heavens opening...

What?  Don't look at me like that, you cocky youngling, you have no idea what life was like without everything a click away.  This shit right here is truly revolutionary.  Take it from someone who listened to AM radio, in mono.  I wish I was kidding.

So there I was, listening to the aforementioned Commodores song, and the suggestions panel on the right had Al Green. Now you know I have great love for the Rev, and You Tube knows that too, seeing as how he's on almost all my playlists, hence the suggestion.  I should have known better, but clearly I don't, I clicked on the link and proceeded to spend an hour watching the same song, in different clips.  I haven’t been that happy since I found those Hoda queen cakes at the petrol station a few months ago (don’t judge me, those little cakes are bite sized morsels of joy, soft and fluffy, aaahhhh...).  Those clips of Al Green performing 'Let's Stay Together', from Soul Train back in the day through to a talk show in London 5 years ago, those clips became my own little world tour; skipping from a swaying dance floor to a swanky night club, from the glitzy Grammies to the always raucous Apollo; the Rev morphing from bare chested, deliciously sweaty crooner to soul man in requisite shades to three piece suited preacher-man; the song shifting from mellow ballad to raunchy falsetto to gospel call and response to salsa funk and back to mellow ballad.  In those 60 minutes, I realised there's a version of this song, and the Rev, for every occasion.  It's like I discovered him all over again, bless his truly genius soul.

I'm half tempted to stick in each and every one of these clips here, I've found 14 so far, but I suspect if I do one of you might actually slap me (by way of a harsh comment).  What I will do is stick in the ones that struck me most. Bear with me, there is a reason for this music geek moment.

Before we do the live versions, the album recording, for reference purposes.
Laid back, no?  It's almost like he's caressing the words as he sings, all gentle like, very mellow, very unlike what's typical in soul music.  As it turns out, how he sang the song was very deliberate...

"I'm in here trying to blow the studio top off," Green says, "and Willie kept saying, 'No, just say it.' I'm going, like, 'I think I need to just muscle up and sing it.' He said, 'Don't try to handle the song, Al. Just let the song happen. Just let it happen. Just let it ooze out and let it — that's right.' "

"I wanted this golden voice on it, and he kept giving me somebody else's voice," Mitchell says. "And that's why we just kept going over and over and over and over again. Yeah. When he nailed it, I said, 'That's the one.' "


Now compare that gentle with this live performance, a few years after it's release...
It's a concert performance, he's shirtless and sweaty (hello reverend...), and a bit less restrained, which in turn means the song has a bit less mellow to it and a bit more of the longing/urgency we've come to associate with R&B.  And yet he still manages to keep the song quiet.

Fast forward 15 years, the song evolved into funk...
...and gospel celebration...
At this point the song had already become a soul anthem, which is what made this my favourite clip of the afternoon...
Do you see/hear how the Apollo reacts?  I don’t care what anyone says, there is no way you weren’t getting down when you watched this, not if you love this song, not unless you're a bloody...say it with me...philistine.

Don’t worry, I haven’t been gone from the blog so long that I actually think you buggers play these thingis.  I know you're sitting there reading this with one eye and wondering when, or if, I'll get to the point of this little two step down memory lane.  Patience, grasshopper, I'm getting there.

Why, oh tell me, why do people break up,
Then turn around and make up,
I just can’t see…
You’ll never do that to me, would you babe,

This song has been on the soundtrack before, way back in 2012. I wrote a post about blogging, more accurately about no longer blogging.  I was giving myself a long winded woiyee, such as I do, to mourn what seemed to be the end of blogging by people I loved reading.  It was a bit of a bittersweet post, as was the version of the song I used, Ms Tina's (still the most excellent) cover (on the soundtrack).  As fate would have it, I ended up in the rut I spoke of, the 'cant blog, won't blog' rut.  Now I'd love to tell you there was some brilliant reason behind it, but there wasn’t, not really.  I just woke up one day and realised I had nothing to say.  No, that's a lie, a shameless one at that.  I had lots to say, I just couldn’t be bothered to say it.  I was tired, 'I feel it in my bones' kinda tired.  See, what they don’t tell you about blogging, ideally before you start, is what happens when you go digging in the recesses of your mind, digging up shit that perhaps shouldn’t be dug up.  That shit starts to fuck with your mind, slowly making you even more neurotic than you are (yes, that is in fact possible).  It gets to the point where all you want to do is curl up in the foetal position and eat chocolate, without thinking, or over analysing, or picking every little thing apart looking for some godforsaken answer that will in all likelihood never help your life in any way.  It becomes a bit much, is all I'm saying, makes it hard to do this blogging thing.

And then I heard a song that reminded me of this my baby, and I read the old post, and now here I am clawing my way out of the strange, self-indulgent rut.

Good personal blogging is, to my mind, honest above all else.  Not honest in the sense of 'thou shalt not lie', everybody lies, it's simply a matter of omission or commission.  I'm talking about honest in the sense of unvarnished truth.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I've always told myself that there is no point to any tale if I'm only telling you the shiny-happy bits and I can only hope I've managed to keep to my word, this in my attempt to be a good blogger.  From the conversations I've had about the blog during my time away, conversations with disgruntled readers (these buggers can lecture like you wouldn’t believe, you'd think they'd paid a subscription or such like, greedy so and so's), turns out what I considered 'the ugly' is a large part of why they, and possibly you, kept coming back here, week after week.  Well, that and the sex stuff.  Fine, mostly the sex stuff, dammit.  I'll admit, the not so shiny bits are harder to write, and read, but let's face it, without them, this would be one long soliloquy about songs that make me happy.  Wait, most of these posts are long soliloquies about songs that make me happy, no?  Sorry, my bad.  I lie, again, I'm not sorry.

According to my uber opinionated audience sample, the best part of the blog for them is the part I struggle with most.  Thing is, I stopped blogging because I was tired of having all of you (pointing at all 8 of you) in my house (taps head), poking about, moving things around, making tea at odd hours, drinking my booze, leaving a mess behind for me to clean up.  That's what happens, see, I climb into yours (tap your own head) and you climb into mine.  Does that sound creepy?  Good, it's meant to.  In the spirit of being completely honest with you, I didn’t feel like being honest any more.   I felt over-exposed, like I was naked in the town square and people were throwing (sometimes not too) ripe tomatoes at me.  That analogy is a bit dodgy, but fuck it, you know what I mean.  As it turns out, yes, I am naked in the square, but, and this is the bit that made my head spin a little, my nakedness makes you feel naked, and you like it.  My lovelies, turns out we are all naked here.

I almost pulled off deep and meaningful until that last bit. Almost.

At the beginning of the post I talked about how Mr Green sang the album version of the song, all soft and mellow.  In the article I pulled the quote from, they talk about the Rev learning to “let loose his vulnerable side, when the song called for it”, as opposed to singing in the 'belt it out' style favoured by musicians at the time, a style that did nothing to show off his greatest talent. “Al Green is a singer who does more with a whisper than a scream.”  That was the point to all those versions I put up. In as much as he was singing the same song, over and over again, the music tweaked just so to fit his varied audience and his evolving persona, the meaning of the song never changed, and neither did the way he sang it, not really.  In almost every performance I've found, that rare ability to sing gentle (even when he's singing loud) always makes the song feel personal, to him and to the people listening.  Isn’t that what this particular brand of blogging, writing and reading, is all about?  Our themes are constant, life and love and all the messy stuff in between, but our context is constantly changing, as we grow older, learn from our mistakes, make more mistakes, win some, lose some... I was worried that I was starting to repeat myself, getting frustrated (and sometimes embarrassed) at picking at the same issues over and over, but now I’m thinking, that's the nature of the song, no?

She shrugs and walks off in search of a glass of wine and socks...

Cause being around you is all I see,
So baby let’s, we outta stay together,
Loving you whether, whether,
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…

Hello, my lovelies, it's been a minute.

23.5.15

Introducing...Ann* (not her real name). And Tom Cruise* (not his real name either).

You know your reputation is in the toilet when someone sends you a tale of bad sex, unsolicited.  Why, you ask, would a lady feel compelled to do this?  That's exactly what I asked her, once I was done laughing.  She proceeded to point out the numerous tales of bad sex on this here blog, to which I responded, aha.  Ladies and gentlemen, my lovelies, this is now, officially, where (y)our bad sex comes to die.  It's bloody brilliant!  Or not, who knows?  Moving swiftly along.  This tale; it's short, it's not sweet, it is hilarious and it's oh so sad, but only for Tom Cruise*.  Ann, short for anonymous (she has no intention of sticking her name, real or imagined on this little piece of brilliance), is one of you silent lurker types who like to wander the corridors all stealthy like, apparently taking notes to use against me at a later date when I run for president (evil little buggers).  This is her contribution to the sewer, a refreshingly honest take on sex between consenting adults and all (well, some) of the perils that lie therein.  Don't be scared, this tale is neither crude nor rude (who knew it could be done this way?).  Enjoy, then dive into what I suspect may end up being quite the raucous conversation down below (my hand is already in the air, I have muchos questions...).

Disposing of...

So I rise to go pee and in my toilet bowl, there is a used condom staring back at me. I am stunned. No, not at the condom, but at the location. Who, in their right mind, disposes of a condom in the toilet? Well, at least he didn’t flush the toilet so it is easy to wear a plastic bag, and dispose it properly. Oh wait, this hits me that he didn’t flush the toilet! Now I am wondering which is worse... is he one of those people who don’t flush the toilet after peeing? But at least the non-flushing will not lead to a clogged up pipe system in the future... So why did he just leave it there, like seriously, where does he expect it to go? Sigh. There is so much to teach this guy, I thought he was a man, but it just hit me he is a boy.

Wait, I just got a flashback. We have been walking the corridors of the workplace, and sometimes he pops into the gent’s and each time he comes out, his hands are completely dry. Which is odd because our hand driers take forever to work; there are no paper towels to be seen around! What a pet peeve! A non-flusher and non-hand washer... I should have known, but perhaps lust, like love, is like wool over the eyes of the beholder. I should have known he was a boy and not a man!

Okay this post is now becoming bad poetry so let us get to the crux of the matter. After all the preliminaries had been set aside, we set a date and time. My place. We had dinner that I had made. We started making out. The kissing wasn’t too bad, but you could tell he has been watching too many movies because, ladies and gentlemen, kisses shouldn’t start all at once unless you were out somewhere building it up and the passion is bridling. But from a banal dinner (there were no candles or such), the tension should be allowed to build. Our movie star firmly planted his mouth on mine and we could hardly breathe. Naturally matters progressed to the bed where you think, okay, slow down, but no, the scene has to act out like in a movie, clothes are being pulled off faster than the speed of light. I tried to put away my glasses safely on the table, but Tom Cruise was having none of that, on the floor they went (he, later on, stepped on them on the way to un-flush the condom). The lady received one lick of a nipple and that was all that counted as the foreplay, before our hero swiftly wore the said condom and in the same manner proceeded to thrust for at most 4 minutes. I thought he had stopped to, you know, change position or something, but no, it was over.

I guess it is partly my fault too, I should have taken control, slowed Tom Cruise down, showed him how it is done. He has potential, I think, but I don’t feel like teaching a man who is around 30 the basics of sex (you can’t learn these things from movies guys, the movies are edited!). However, I am still recovering from the trauma of a condom in the toilet, unwashed hands (I picture crawlies on unwashed hands, is it just me?), movie-star tendencies of breathless kissing and flying clothes, consequently, shattered glasses (do you know how much a decent pair of spectacles cost?), and worst of all, I still can’t get the question of “Hii ni nini?” in response to the salad that I served, the man has never had raw vegetables. Gosh, I thought that we are now all beyond the village ways and into the world of sophisticated dining, Caesar's salads et al? This is where you just ask, kai ni kii?

From now on, the get to know phase will include questions like, do you know what salad is? How do you dispose a condom? I need someone to help me wrap it all into diplomatic language. Suffice to say, there were no sleepovers that day. This post (This is about (bad) sex) should all make us better lovers, I hope. Happy sexing ladies and gentlemen.

5.4.15

Knocking on Heaven's Door.

I don’t handle grief well.  I'm not sure anyone does, but I am particularly bad at it.  I alternate between wallowing in sadness for a few minutes, then I forget all about it for days, blocking it out completely.  It's not conscious, I think, I suspect it's how I process loss, putting it off until I'm finally ready to deal with it.  Problem is, I'm never ready to deal with it, and I don’t think I ever will be.

Mama, take this badge off of me,
I can't use it any more,
It's getting dark, too dark to see,
I feel I'm knocking on Heaven's door...

I've been working like a dog for the past couple of months.  Long days, working weekends, working nights, the works.  I haven’t had too much time to sit and think too much about everything that's been going on, and while part of me was happy for the distraction, part of me knew it was temporary.  Eventually, Francis was going to catch up with me.  That's his name.  Francis.  An old friend, brother almost.  Our relationship was one of crass humour, brutal honesty and more alcohol than is considered wise by saner (read, sober) people.  He was my brother's friend, which would make him my brother by extension, except Francis wasn’t, how do I say this, very brotherly.  He was that smooth pal your brother has, the one who you were always warned to stay well away from, because he was a bit of a ladies' man (read, man whore).  Stop pretending you don’t know what I’m talking about.  Listen here, every woman has that friend of her brother's she crushed on hopelessly when she was a teenager, the hot one who had loads of girls.  Usually said friend didn’t know you existed, being that he was older and unconcerned with the little girl making doe eyes at him, but as you got older, young adult rather than teenager, these boys/men started to eye you back, but only eye, because the bro code and such barred them from making moves on baby sisters.  Didn’t stop them from flirting, that alleged code, but it almost never became more than that, did it?  Wait, did it?  Maybe it's just that my brother's friends that were restrained that way.  Or maybe they weren't really flirting?  Oh my...

I'm laughing and crying right now, picturing him laughing at my nonsense.  He got my nonsense, Francis, he understood me.  Yes, I am mocking myself, and he would too, if he was reading this shit.

Francis was my brother's sexy pal, the one I crushed on as an awkward 18 year old, then got to know better, properly, as a 30 something year old.  He become that friend I could talk to, really talk to.  He was family, but not family, close enough that I didn’t have to pretend to be anything more than I was, but removed enough that I could talk about the more intimate bits without blushing.  We could talk about our personal drama in a way you simply can't with family, or even close friends; family don't need to know about the sex you had last night, no?  He did.  He knew about my errant escapades and my deep, dark secrets, some of them anyhow (no one knows it all, not even me).  And it was the same for him, he'd talk to me about the shit going on with him, things he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, talk about with those closest to him.  Like I said, he was family, but not family.

And now he's gone.

I'm getting to that part of life where we start to bury our friends, our parents, our siblings.  In the past five months I've been to four funerals, three in one month.  Thing is, before Francis', his was the last, the other deaths were somewhat removed from me.  I was sad, but I wasn't grieving, the people close to me were.  I moved on, life continuing with barely any change apart from the occasional woiyee in my head, when I remembered someone else's loss.  The arrogance with which we think life happens to everyone else but us.  After Francis, I continued as before, the occasional woiyee to myself, brief failed attempts at talking about it with friends who didn’t, couldn’t, understand my ramblings.  I was rambling, struggling to put this strange, vague feeling into language someone else could understand, something I could label neatly and file away, a picture I could frame to look at later on when life wasn’t quite so hectic and the wound wasn’t quite so fresh.  That's how I process, I file shit away, neatly.

As it turns out, grief has its own rules.  

And it is seldom neat.

Fast forward a couple of months.  

OGAO and my big sister have me hooked on The Voice, an American TV talent show with amateur singers and whatnot (like Idol, but without the irritating British dude in a tight t-shirt).  These two evil women have slowly but surely managed to turn me into a country music...I was going to say fan, but that would be too strong...admirer.  Stop judging me, country music has its charms.  I'm still trying to figure out what exactly they are, but at least now I know they're there, so, progress.  One afternoon a couple of weeks back, I went off in search of Blake Shelton's music (he's one of the judges on the show), this after OGAO sent me in search of his version of 'Footloose', a cover that is possibly the happiest song I've heard this year (watch it and tell me you weren't tapping your foot and grinning.  I did 'The Carlton', that's how happy it made me...).  Being quite impressionable and suitably smitten by Mr Shelton, and calling OGAO bad names in the process, I found a playlist of his older albums and set it on loop in the background as I pottered around the house, picking up clutter and randomly cleaning dusty surfaces, until a song came on that stopped me dead in my tracks.

You know when you hear something that cuts through all the noise in your head?  It's like someone suddenly muted everything but this one noise, a voice, a melody, an instrument...  I don’t have moments like this very often these days, a lot of the 'new' music I've been listening to is quite old, or a remake of something old, or something deliberately made to sound old and thus not new to my ears, not really.  These days I tend to get that 'Fuck me sideways!' feeling only when I listen to unfamiliar musicians in genres that are alien to me, like metal, or rap, sometimes pop, or, as was the case that afternoon, country.


I already knew the man has a gorgeous voice, I'd been listening to him for close to an hour, but something about the lyrics slapped me still.  Something about the longing, the loneliness...the sadness is almost tangible.   It took me back to a conversation I had with Francis, towards the end of last year.  We were in the bar up the road from my house, a ka nyama choma joint with old men watching news at the counter, and he was trying to convince me to get into country music.  He absolutely loved the stuff, as does any self respecting Meru man, and to make matters worse, he lived in Texas for 10 or so years.  “Country,” he drunkenly declared, “is in my blood.”  He then insisted I YouTube a Kenny Chesney (or someone such like) song, proceeding to narrate the song to me, using the video, explaining the 'great emotion' (his words) in country music.  We were in a bar, remember, at around midnight (it may have been closer to 2:00 am, but that’s beside the point).  We argued about country until he wrote me off as a useless philistine, making me promise to go learn more the following day.  I never bothered, for the record, I was content to hang on to my proud (read, ignorant) anti-country stance, partly to spite him.  I don’t know what exactly it is about this song that took me back to that particular conversation, but in those three minutes all the things I'd been carefully filing away started popping out of their neat little boxes.  I thought I was done grieving for Francis.  I thought, for some absurd and likely arrogant reason, that I had come to terms with the fact that he was no longer here.  But standing in my living room, listening to a song that eerily mimicked one of the last conversations I had with him, in said living room, well...

And I feel just like I'm living someone else's life,
Its like I just stepped outside,
When everything was going right,
And I know just why you could not come along with me,
This was not your dream,
But you always believed in me...

Last year we were both in transition, coming to terms with this age that sneaked up on us.  Our individual issues were completely different, but the underlying sentiment was almost identical.  The thing with getting older, in as much as you're proud of what you've achieved, most of us seem unable to shake off that picture we had of ourselves when we were young and idealistic, dreaming of a shiny happy life where our hair would never turn grey, our backs would never ache and we would never have to take jobs we detested to pay bills, hell, we would never have to pay bills period.  In your 20's the world is your oyster.  In your 30's the world could still be your oyster, if only (insert your choice excuse here...).  In your 40's the world is an oyster, but it's definitely not yours, and it never will be.  I'm not sure what the 50's bring, but from the wazees at the counter in the aforementioned bar, I suspect it has something to do with telling the oysters to go fuck themselves.  I can barely wait.  I'm swiftly headed out of my 30's and into my 40's and Francis was in his early 40's.  We were suitably morose at our prospects, which is to say we were fond of drowning our (real and perceived) sorrows with Jack and Freddie Jackson.

Slight detour.  This idiot pal of mine loved to taunt me with the fact that my Freddie is not a tall man.  Useless bugger.  Francis, not Freddie, Freddie is a small god in my eyes, quite literally now thanks to Francis, evil little shit.  Francis, not Freddie.  Ah!  Do you see what he havoc he wreaked?  Bloody nkt!  The moral of this story, don’t fuck with my small gods, yes?  Yes.  Detour over.

Another winter day has come and gone away,
In even Paris and Rome,
And I wanna go home,
Let me go home,
And I'm surrounded by a million people, I still feel alone and I wanna go home,
Oh, I miss you, you know...

I was growing old with Francis.   Those of you of a certain age will understand that vague statement.  Friends are harder to make and keep as you get older, friends who know who you used to be, and who you are, and who you want to be.  Who you've always wanted to be.  Those friends are damn near impossible to find later on in life.  He was one of too few friends who was willing to see all sides of me, especially the fragile, sometimes broken, always mending side of myself, the side I try my damnedest not to show.  And he was one of too few friends comfortable showing me that side of himself, making me feel better about my stumbles, if only because I no longer felt alone.  I miss him terribly.  More than I realised.  More than I can explain, despite my best efforts.

Mama, put my guns in the ground,
I can't shoot them any more,
That long black cloud is coming down,
I feel I'm knocking on Heaven's door...

Today's soundtrack, and the title of this post, is Bob Dylan's 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'. This is what got me talking about Blake Shelton.  A couple of his contestants did a duet of the song on The Voice, a stunning rendition of a classic I thought I knew so well.  Now I'm a bit of a weepy bastard when it comes to watching things on the TV (don’t laugh, its a genetic trait. I get it from my pa, the old man cries at the drop of a hat. For real...), but even I was surprised at my reaction to this particular performance.  It was like they were singing to me, specifically.  At the time I didn’t think much of it, blaming my tears (yes, I cried, and no, I am not ashamed) on my father's dodgy influence and the brilliance of the two voices I was listening to.  It wasn’t until later that I realised this was the song that cracked the dam, put me in a grief frame of mind, so to speak.

Knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door...

Francis is possibly the least likely candidate for heaven I have ever known, but I figure if any misguided deviant has the balls to knock on that particular door, knowing full well he has no business up in all of that (points heaven-ward), it would be him, bless his irreverent ass.

25.1.15

Day 7: Asante.

I have never been so happy it's Sunday evening.  Not even the thought of Monday morning tomorrow can bring me down.  Ladies and gentlemen, this little experiment is finally over, and the end couldn’t have come any sooner.  I didn’t think I'd live to say this, but I am all talked out.  Wait, that's not entirely true.  I have a few choice things to say about the idiot MPs who felt the need to act like fools last night, but that can wait.  Apart from that I have nothing to say.  Although there was this brilliant article I read about porn addiction and how its complete bollo...no...nothing to say tonight.  Tonight I let other people speak.  

I present to you part of my current playlist, inspired/created almost entirely by the brilliant people I follow on twitter (while it is still the work of the devil, I've finally accepted that I have sold my soul, and embraced it.  Most of it.  Well, about a tenth of it. I've digressed...).  I'd love to take credit for what you're about to see and hear, but save for putting them in some sort of discernible order, this list has nothing to do with me and everything to do with the kindness of strangers.  

That's also a disclaimer in case you get offended by something and you feel the need to rant huko chini.

First up, Ms Eartha Kitt.
Have you ever listened to someone and you sat up straight, goosebumps on your arms, back of your neck tingling?  That's what happened when I clicked play on this clip.  Ms Kitt speaks with such clarity its a little frightening, no one should be this sure of themselves, right?  Wrong.  We should all be so lucky to know our minds this well, and speak them without fear.  When I finally find the documentary from which this clip is taken, you best know I will return to this most fascinating woman.

In keeping with the theme of women speaking their minds, Ms Janet, who's been on my playlist since December.

I'm not sure how to explain just how important Janet, last name Jackson, is, I suspect I’ll have to do a separate post on her.  This woman was and still is the shit.  Ignore the dodgy Tyler Perry movies, her genius is almost as great as her brother's, hell, she only loses points because his voice was in a class of its own.  'You want this' is what a sexy video should look and sound like, oh ye younglings fond of girls shaking their thonged asses for the camera. I'm just saying, Nicki ain’t got shit on Janet, never has never will.  Useless fact, back in the day we all wanted to look like Janet. We didn’t have the body, or the face, but we had the braids, dammit.  Another useless titbit, I can still pull off the MC Lyte rap perfectly and my sister still does that kuteremka dance step like the aspiring video vixen she was back in the day.  Yes, my family is a bit special.

Special, in a good way, describes this chap quite aptly...
I had never heard of dub poetry before I played this clip, now I can't get enough of it.  This was a bit of a mind fuck for me, reggae plus rap/spoken word.   Its gorgeous music and words that make sense.  Brilliant, and so confusing to my lover's rock loving ass.

Speaking of spoken, this is my latest crush...
Smart, articulate, gorgeous, funny as hell, and she swears like a sailor.  How can I resist Staceyanne Chin?  I've had her playlist on in the background while I work for the past two weeks.  I think I love her.

I also love these two...
This reminds me of the Whedon version of 'Much Ado About Nothing', the one in B&W.  It's the rapid dialogue cum poetry, fascinates me to no end, probably because I talk quite slowly (because I think even slower).  I figure if poetry reminds me of Shakespeare, good Shakespeare, and mind you I struggle with the bard, then it's a keeper.  These two are brilliant.

Speaking of brilliant...
So I've been getting music lessons of sorts from these two junkies I follow, they who like to fuck up my playlist at random, because they can.  Its a bit fuzzy how I ended up at Chuck Brown (it probably had something to do with Chef, the movie), but I’m glad I did.  This is funk, pure unadulterated funk.  As is this one...
You know how you click a link to prove someone wrong?  I clicked on this because I thought there is no way it could be anywhere near as funky as he claimed it would be, its a random white dude for crying out loud.  I now have all of Mayer Hawthorne's music.  Woi.

I could keep going, but I suspect I’m already pushing it. One last one, to say asante, for keeping me company this week.
Thank me later.