Tag Archives: thoughts

I resolve to be more Cuban

29 Dec happiness in havana cuba

habana, cubaI was having a little reminisce recently with my Mama about what she thinks was not only one of her best ever travel experiences, but also sadly she thinks maybe one of her last.

She has multiple sclerosis, which I’ve kinda touched on before, and as the years go by the idea of long plane journeys are less and less appealing to her.

A few years ago – PP (Pre-Progeny), I entered a short film competition called the The 48 Hour Film Comp….as the name would suggest you make a film in a weekend.

Friday night you get your genre, a character and a line of dialogue, and Sunday night you deliver a 5-7 minute short film.

Anyway, I tell you this not because finishing that damned film with only seconds to spare, sand paper eyes hanging out of my head on stalks, was one of the greatest achievements of my life, but because my team won the NSW round.

I know, right?

Awesomesauce.

It gets better. Stay with…..

When they handed out the prize of a free trip to Miami, Florida, I was the only one that could utilise that sweet, sweet free aeroplane ride to joy.

Me at the Miami Film Festival, in my new hat.

Me at the Miami Film Festival, in my new hat.

I was super excited to go to the Miami Film Festival, of course, but I was even more excited at the thought of being so close to Cuba.

A place that had always intrigued and excited me.

I told my Mama of my idea of jumping the ditch between the States and Cuba and she was rather keen to join me on a mother-daughter-transcontinental-adventure.

Miami was way cool.

Seeing my film on the big screen up against the rest of the world was an eye opener.

I’m not going to say anything bad about our little movie. It was very art-house, my curtain call acting performance (not Oscar nominated), and it won me a ticket – so it was BRILLIANT!

However, the top 3 films were astoundingly, gobsmackingly fabulous and I did feel a tad like the country mouse.

I’m not here to talk about my almost, but not quite, illustrious film career.

I’m talking about Cuba.

havana, cuba

In Cuba people are joyous.

Great big smiles split faces. You are greeted like family by people you’ve never met, and eyes twinkle with deep joy.

They laugh.

Not like freaky, maniacal psychopaths, but like people whose joy bubbles from within and bursts forth from them in a fountain of tumbling sound.

There is music and dancing everywhere. They are not generally rich in monetary terms, but in the food of the soul – music –  they’re millionaires.

It’s in their veins. It’s in their viscera.

havana, cuba

They take time to chill.

They don’t siesta per se, which I think is a trés civilised custom for people who like to nap (or indulge in afternoon carnal delights), but they sure do know how to relax.

Just chillaxing with my buds...

Just chillaxing with my buds…

In the afternoons they sit around on crates and shoot the breeze in the shade, and play music and laugh with their friends.

There is no rush. No hurry.

havana, cubaThey wear brightly coloured clothing, which is always a trend close to my heart with my über passion for brights mixed with brights.

While I was there I was joyous, and carefree.

Sure, I had no kids, bugger all responsibilities and I was on holidays, but that’s a minor detail that we can wrap up as mere semantics.

I was exploratory and saw wonder everywhere and I was open to new things.

There was also very cool cars cruising around which adds to the sheer style of the place.

There was also very cool cars cruising around which adds to the sheer style of the place.

My life was filled with music and I danced.

And there was rum. And wine.

havana cubaAnd my Mama Bear who is one of the greatest women to ever walk, now wheel, on this planet.

Havana cuba with my mama

And life was good.

Real good.

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I have been in the past, but I never really keep them because I forget by about January 2nd.

havana cubaThis year I’m already fit and healthy.

I don’t smoke, I sure don’t intend on cutting down my drinking, swearing or wanking, so obviously the only resolution left is about becoming Cuban.

I’m also not waiting for the New Year, I’m going to start today.

I’m going to listen to more music, and dance. In the lounge, in other people’s lounges….

Where-evs.

It’s about the letting go and just being in your skin.

I’m going to see more joy around me and focus on what’s great… And laugh because I can’t contain my joy.

I’ll buy a bottle of rum, for good measure, and whether I’m sipping a quiet one, or just going about my day, I’ll try to remember that happiness is a choice.

Ditch the shit that doesn’t serve you, and relish in the shit that does.

I’ll reckon I’ll skip the Cuban cigars though.

No one takes up smoking for a New Years resolution, do they?

Havana Cuba

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Behind the red light… My night in a brothel.

20 Oct sex worker getting ready for work

behind the red light

Often prostitutes, or working girls, are portrayed as either drug addicted run-aways or glamorous high-class call girls. The gritty truth of the sex industry is generally somewhere in between.

When I approached my friendly neighborhood bordello I was fairly sure that I would never set foot in the place. Instead, when I made clear my motives, they welcomed me. In fact, I reckon I could pick up a few shifts if I ever wanted to.

Danielle says she has aged ten years in the last five years, and looking at her now, I see a woman who looks exhausted.
She’s just had a 9-hour shift and been with the same young guy for much of that time.

It’s nice when it’s a long call, because much of the time is spent hanging out, chatting and drinking rather than having back to back sex with clients trying to get bang for their buck.

A 12-hour shift with a lot of clients can take its toll.

For working girls, sore bits are just an occupational hazard, amongst many other health risks. Guys will try to get the girls to do natural French (no condom for oral) or sex. With all due respect to the ladies, what kind of moron would want to have unprotected sex with a prostitute? Obviously, the girls’ sexual health is their biggest concern. Their kit is their moneymaker.

Danielle has a few regulars, one of whom she’s been seeing every couple of weeks for three years.

Do you ever get attached?

Yeah, I do, you can’t help it. Sex is an intimate thing. Some of the guys get crazy about you but it would never go anywhere. It can’t.

 I guess the Pretty Woman idyll does not live here.

sex worker getting ready for work

Danielle is a 39-year-old, single mum of three who lives with her parents and her elderly grandmother.  After a string of bad relationships, when she found herself in a dire financial struggle, that she decided she would try prostitution.

Does it ever get to you?

Mentally, I’m pretty tough. Things just roll off my back. I’ve seen wackos, but they don’t bother me. I don’t like the pedophile guys. Guys come in and want you to act like you’re 12 or 13. I won’t do that. I won’t play under 16. I don’t do lesbian either.

 The girls are never required to do anything they don’t want to. If someone requests something out of the ordinary, like anal, or BDSM, they just opt out if they’re not into it. For the most part, it’s all fairly meat and potatoes.

Danielle’s mother found her out when an embittered ex-boyfriend called and left a message on her machine. Danielle couldn’t lie to her mother, so the cat-house cat was out of the bag. Her mother keeps her secret, and is very supportive, looking after her children while she works, sometimes days at a time without returning home.

The rest of her family believes she works as a receptionist in a hotel.

behind the red light

Danielle and I are lying on a bed, shooting the breeze like two teenagers on a sleepover, except there is a spa bath in the corner of the room and a TV playing porn above our heads. I try not to look at the TV but my eyes kept drawing towards it. It’s weird trying to have a chat with bouncing arses and boobs in your peripheral vision.

Holly is a tiny little slip of a woman. Glittery eye shadow and red lips adorn her face, and she’s wearing a little black dress. Holly lives at the brothel and she warmly invites me into her room that fits barely more than a double bed and a dressing table (and her new up-cycled shoe rack, of which she’s extremely proud).

All the rooms have large mirrors adorning one wall and on Holly’s there are song lyrics emblazoned.

Sunshine. Good times. Moonlight. Boogie.

Shine bright like a diamond.

It seems fairly common to come and go from the industry, but lure seems to bring the ladies back time and time. The girls kept saying the job was addictive. I would have guessed they meant the money, but on closer consideration, the job creates a sense of loneliness and segregation from the real world and conversely, the job also quenches that feeling because behind those walls there are no secrets.

Everyone knows that they are selling sex and there is no subterfuge.

I like the industry, says Holly, I like the atmosphere. I like the activity. Even on my nights off I like to hear the activity. It makes me feel as thought I’m not alone.

Are you lonely? I probed

I’m so lonely.

Usually the girls will stop working when they have a relationship, but Holly is currently madly in love with a man who has no idea what she does for a living.

We’re talking about our future together so to spare his feelings I need to tell a little white lie. It’s not as if I’m cheating on him, because this is work. I’m only acting. I’m effectively an actress.

He believes she’s a live-in nanny and they see each other only on the weekends. I think she realizes it’s more than a white lie, but the fear of his judgment and retribution seems too great a risk. This is a very real fear, for all of the girls, but Holly has already felt the brunt of this when she lost her entire family, including her three children after being discovered.

She no longer has any contact with her children, but she hopes one day they will find her and look beyond the odium attached to her profession and reach out to her once more.

You get to know who you can tell and who you can’t. There’s a stigma attached to the industry. On TV you see streetwalkers, drug addicted streetwalkers. People don’t realize how clean and beautiful the women are in these houses. I’ve worked with nurses and business owners.

I asked Holly if she was happy –

I’m content. It’s what it is. The Universe has given me this job for a reason.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Happy.

Holly tells me that it doesn’t take long to become desensitized and tough. That’s how you get through.

Holly began in the industry after falling into a large hole of debt. Holly’s day job as a bed sales girl wasn’t cutting it.

It seemed a natural progression, she laughed, from selling beds, to fucking in them. 

I asked the girls about the money. Obviously amounts vary from girl to girl and brothel to brothel, but an average weekly income, after the house takes it’s split, is about $2500. In theory, they would only need to work a few months at a time and take time off, or save enough to do something big with, but the girls I spoke with all seem to have money issues.

brothel 2

Young Sasha admitted that in the last three months she’s been gambling much of it away. In one sitting she’ll blow her entire night’s wage on a poker machine.

Sasha started working in massage, or Rub and Tug, as it’s known colloquially, when she was only 20. She was on an apprentice wage and wanted extra cash. She said until she started working in the sex industry she had no confidence with men, and hated getting undressed in front of them.

Sasha’s bold and brash sense of humor is worn like a coat of armor. I felt as though she deflected much of her feelings by being coarse or crass, particularly with her clients. In fact, she attributes often getting the client in the first place with her overtly bolshie and sexual approach. She’s outrageous in her approach. Often in the ‘Intro’ (where the client comes in to view the girls before making his choice), she’ll be a clown, albeit a sexual one.

She’ll parody thrusting and masturbating, take the piss out of them. She initially assumed that guys would go for the prettier or the slimmer girls, but the more often she was chosen, the greater her confidence in her sex appeal grew.

In the precursory sexual health check she will inspect a client for obvious lesions whilst making a man stand on one leg.

By the time he realizes I’m taking the piss, the ice is broken and he relaxes. I also hate getting on top. I have no rhythm. None. I’ll tell them I have a knee injury so they have to do the work. I’m the laziest hooker you’ll ever meet.

That made me laugh.

When she went for an intro during our interview she suggested I come in to the room with her if she was picked.

I don’t care. I’d do it. I reckon a guy would be up for it. You wanna?

 I admit I considered it briefly, but I had to draw the line on this story somewhere… besides, I wouldn’t know where to look.

Whilst not hard work, like building the Burma railway or breaking rocks with a pick axe, it is still quite physically grueling in it’s own way. The 12 hour overnight shifts are difficult to stay awake on, and not all clients are created equal.

Some are nice, some are not.

I asked Danielle if they were shown respect by their clients, and she replied that 90% were lovely, normal guys. Now and then someone will want to talk rough or dirty to her -

You’re a slut, they’ll often say….no, I’m not, I’m a whore, Danielle laughed, you’re paying me.

The consensus between the girls is that married guys are the worst. On a recent outcall, one of the girls walked into the lounge in a family home that was strewn with kids’ toys and the walls were plastered with family photos. His wife and kids were away and he got a hooker to come to the house.

Many guys are shown tenderness, especially the broken-hearted ones, or widows, but married men are judged harshly.

Although house rules stipulate that there is to be no drug use on the premises, there is most certainly a little underground scene, with one of my girls admitting she had actually had ice, AKA crystal meth, that afternoon.

I kind of figured that the industry and the drug scene were quite tightly enmeshed so when I spoke to management before the interviews I asked them how they handled it if they saw one of their girls going down, either physically or emotionally.

Oh, we see it. If it seems like they need counseling we help them get it, and if they need to clean up, we help them with that too. We take them to rehab, or support them while they get clean. We’re a family, and we need to look after our own.

I only met three working girls out of thousands across the world. I imagine that motives vary but the main reason is easy money. Although the stories of how my girls came to the industry are vastly different, I feel that the industry has shaped them all similarly. Cynicism and mistrust are rife .They all admit that they have not been treated well by guys in the past, and this profession does not leave them with a trust for the hairier sex.

I got in my car to go home, and I was thankful to be heading to my bed and not staying for an all nighter with the girls. I’m grateful to them for letting me in, just a little bit, to their lives, and I know that each woman I spoke with is just a woman doing her best to get by, regardless of how society may view her.

brothel 3

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The secret shame of miscarriage.

9 Jul miscarriage
miscarriage

Click image to read signs of miscarriage

I lost a baby once.

I didn’t take it to the supermarket and then forget which trolley was mine and simply walk off pushing another person’s, realising when I got home with bags full of processed chicken nuggets, tinned soup and condoms that I’d grabbed the wrong trolley in my haste.

Nor did sit down with it in my pocket and it slipped out, and fell down the side of the couch never to be seen again.

In fact, I didn’t really lose a baby at all. I knew where it was at all times.

The expression ‘lost a baby’ sounds incredibly irresponsible. I mean, what kind of mother could lose her baby, right?

In between D Man and Kiki, on a cheeky holiday in Bali, we conceived another child. Never ones to keep good news to ourselves for long, we shared our fortune with our nearest and dearest. Everyone was so excited.

Even though it was such early days, I imagined myself and this child’s future. I imagined their place within our family. I imagined holding it, a whole baby, even though in reality it was nothing but a few cells multiplying at the speed of light.

I imagined sniffing it’s little fluffy head. My baby. Inside me.

I was only 9 weeks pregnant when I started to spot. I went to the toilet every 5 minutes to assess the situation. In a few hours the spotting had escalated to bleeding and I went to my friend’s house so I wasn’t alone, because I just knew that this bleeding was the start of my dream baby exiting stage left.

I called my husband and asked him to come home early if he could. God knows why? It’s not like he could do anything. I wasn’t in pain. It wasn’t dramatic. I was just bleeding when I shouldn’t be.

I remember sitting there, thinking that maybe I could do something – lie on the floor with my legs in the air, perhaps – to stop the flow. To keep the baby in. Even though logically I knew that the cells were no longer my baby, that my body was over-riding my emotions and evacuating something that wasn’t right, I was still really, really sad.

‘I don’t want to lose my baby’ I mumbled into my lap, sitting on my friends big grey sofa with our toddlers playing at our feet.

My friend, who knew all too well how it felt to be in my shoes, just offered me a cup of tea or a glass a red wine, and gave me a hug.

There was nothing else for it.

I took the red.

I was lucky in the fact that my friend had been through it. Realistically speaking, with 1 in 5 pregnancies ending in an early miscarriage (miscarrying in the first 12 weeks is known as early miscarriage. Miscarrying in the 12-20 week phase it’s known as late miscarriage and is much more rare), chances are we all know someone who has lost a child, but there is something taboo about talking about it. I don’t know why.

Obviously, it’s not something that you drop into casual conversation with a checkout chick, as it’s intensely personal, but for some reason there is a sense of failure or shame surrounding it.

Recently, someone very dear to me elatedly announced a new babe on the way. It was such exciting news…. no one really waits for 12 weeks, do they?
When a few weeks later she went for a scan and the scan showed no heartbeat, it was a very sad thing.

She was told that the fetus had failed to grow beyond 6 weeks, and by now she was 10 weeks….. she was carrying nothing more than a little sac of cells but it felt more like the huge weight of a dead baby. She was told that she could have a curette or simply wait for it to pass and she opted for the latter.

But it didn’t pass.

After 4 more weeks, she decided it was time for a D & C.

8 weeks. What a head fuck.

It’s called a missed miscarriage. Even that moniker implies some kind of failing, like missing a train or a deadline.

I tried to call her but she didn’t want to talk. I know now that she didn’t want me to feel sorry for her, but I know she also felt ashamed.

Why does a miscarriage feel like a personal failure?

But also, what’s wrong with people feeling sorry for us? No one wants to feel someone else’s pity, but sympathy can help us in our dark hours, no?

We’ve since talked about it and she said she wished more people talked openly about losing their babies. Maybe she would have found it easier to talk if she’d known of more people who had experienced the same thing. If there are so many of us, why is it so hard to find people to share your story with? People that understand exactly what it’s like to know that your pregnancy is no longer viable and has been, very intelligently, expelled by your body?

Anyway, I’m sharing these stories in case there’s anyone who can relate to any of this. In case anyone else wished they knew someone who had experienced what they’re experiencing.

There’s no shame. It’s just one of those things.

Back on the horse, I say.

If you would like to share your experience, just to write it down, but you don’t want to comment – feel free to email me at danielle@rawbody.com.au

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Hooking up with the Essentially Excellent Jess because I’m blogging on Tuesday.

Beware the lover that wraps hands around your throat.

19 Jun source
source

source

Intimidating behaviour is uncool.

Whether it’s hitting, grabbing, pushing, throwing stuff, slamming shit or even flipping your lid in an uncontrolled manner, if it’s scary in the slightest, it is intimidating behaviour.

And that blows.

Many people (I won’t just say women but it is mostly women who are at the pointy end of this behaviour) think that if they are not actually being hit, that it’s ok, but I can tell you first hand that it is not ok.

When I was 19 I had a boyfriend who I thought was cool as shit. He was powerful, built like a brick shithouse, commanded respect within his community (a group of Sydney surfers who have made the headlines time and again for all the wrong reasons….and then they went made a movie about them. Go figure) and was just a little bit crazy.

We partied a lot, and times were nutty. When he and I were given the moniker ‘Beauty and the Beast’, I thought it was cool. I presumed I was the Beauty, of course. If I were labeled the Beast, I probably would have thought it considerably less cool.

In the year and a half we dated, the police removed him from my house, after the neighbours called citing domestic violence, no less than three times. I never pressed charges.
He was also questioned two other times for aggression not shown towards me.

You see, this dude of mine, he had a bad temper.

Uncontrollable.

I moved house twice because my flatmates would end up banning him from our house because of his aggressive behaviour. He broke doors, smashed windows, and put holes in walls. My friends saw me belittled and pushed around and even threatened with a hammer.
My friends feared him, but worse than that, my friends feared for my safety.

I will never forget opening the front door one night to one of my best friends who took me by the head and rattled my brain.

‘You’re going to end up dead and I’m not going to watch it’

And she left.

And. I. Stayed.

He didn’t hit me. Not really. Sure, he smashed shit, but he only did it to emphasise his point. He didn’t really do more than push me a bit, and he was always sorry.

So very sorry.

Things came to a massive head in Bali on a surf safari when things got right out of hand.

As predicted, I really did nearly end up dead.

He lost his temper one night out partying. I left the venue and sought a safe place to chill until the storm passed.
A male friend, a little placid man, tried to protect me and hid me in his room. When my boyfriend found us, I remember seeing my protector fly through the air after being punched in the face, so I  left with this raging man who claimed to love me, before anyone else got in the line of fire.
We went downstairs to our room where he proceeded to unleash his wild temper in a display previously unmatched.

I remember the feeling of his hands tightening around my neck, squeezing the cords together. I had been crying hard, wracking the big blubs but I wasn’t crying now because you need breath to sob. I could still feel the tears on my cheeks as I looked up into his purple face. His eyes bulged with his anger and spittle rained down on me as he yelled at me while he pressed his weight onto my throat as I was pinned to the bed.

And then black.

When I came to he was rummaging around, throwing shit around and I dashed from the room while he was in the bathroom. The proprietors of the hotel, who had seen or heard most all of this disgusting scene, quickly beckoned me to hide in a little, dark, rat infested hole in the wall behind the front counter where they stored rice. The kind old lady pressed her finger to her lips in the international sign for silence as she closed the hatch on this tragic young girl.

I sat in there, wet with tears and snotting all over myself, listening to him raging around like a mad bull trying to find me, until I finally passed out, crouched in a corner.

Did I mention someone had given me a Rohypnol? Minor detail. It was the little placid dude, he said it would help me relax. Understatement of the century, FYI.

Anyway, I digress….

I woke the next day in a bed. Someone had carried me to another room and locked the door from the outside. I woke to the sound of the key unlocking the door and someone slid a tray bearing some tea and banana pancakes onto my doorstep.

My throat was covered in bruises but my ego had been beaten to death. I flew straight to my Mama in Melbourne where I stayed for a few weeks but when I returned to home, I also returned to him.

I know, right????

What was it going to take?

Truth is, I was scared to leave him now. Scared to stay and scared to go.

Quite the conundrum.

Then one day, I woke up one morning in an apartment with strange brown carpets and walls, that I didn’t want to be living in, with friends that didn’t want to see me, terrified of my lover and I just thought -

I don’t want this for my life.

Breaking up was hard. He couldn’t understand why I was leaving him.
He stalked me, and terrorised me at work trying to get me to get back together.

Further intimidation didn’t really work in his favour.

I moved house yet again and ended up pretty much repeating the mistake with someone else who intimidated me in a different way, but that’s another story. I think we can safely say I had a self-esteem issue in my early 20′s.

My point is, I’m a smart, sassy, spunky chick, but at that time of my life, I didn’t think I was worth more.

I don’t think Nigella needs our judgement. I dare say with her dirty laundry out flapping in the wind right now, she’s looking fairly closely at her lot.

We’ve seen some damning photos, that prove that no matter how successful or how rich and glamourous your life might look, everyone has dark secrets.

I hope you stay safe, Nigella. I hope you consider your children, not just their safety but the lessons you’re teaching them. Only you know what goes on inside your marriage…

But intimidating behaviour, on any level, is uncool. Scaring people you love is unacceptable.

Being scared by someone you love, is not good love.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence Hotline now on 1800 656 463

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Hooking up with the glorious Grace, to shamelessly flog my blog for FYBF

Mrs H talks with a sex therapist….How to regain your mojo.

29 Mar intimacy

intimacy

(source)

I have a theory about sex.

My theory is that the more bonking you do, the less annoying your partner is (you really ought to be bonking your partner for best effect). Sex is the thread that binds you to each other and without it, you can become unravelled.

When I spoke with sex therapist, Isiah McKimmie, from Passionate Spirit I thought I’d hit her with my theory straight off the bat to see if I was on the money.

She agreed heartily. I decided I liked her.

Isiah went on to say that when your sex life is working well, your entire relationship can change, and therefore your entire lives can change.

I may have mentioned once or twice that my mojo has been somewhat lacking since I gave up sleep, so when the opportunity arose for me to interview a sex therapist over a cup of tea, I jumped at the chance.

Is it lingerie, sex toys, 50 Shades of Grey or oysters that I need?

Nope. It’s way more simple than that.

Although the road to a banging sex life is not a short one (Isiah offers courses to couples, as opposed to one off visits), what we discussed was certainly not rocket science.

The first thing that a therapist would look at is your relationship to yourself.

How do you feel about your body?

How satisfied are you with your life?

Do you still feel like sexy you, or are you now only a wife and a mother?

One of the most obvious things is our confidence about our body after all of the changes it undergoes throughout pregnancy and childbirth. We may not feel that we can take the time to get ourselves back into the shape we were previously. It is natural that your body changes somewhat, but if your self esteem takes a battering in the process, it may be as simple as finding time to exercise.

Taking the time away from family can often cause guilt, but it’s really essential for mental health. The time you take away from your family can actually make you a better wife and mother…. and your mojo may just be a Zumba class away.

The second major area to look at is your communication with your partner.

How do you communicate about general issues? This will certainly affect the way you can communicate about sex.

Being able to communicate freely with our partners is terribly important. Some people NEVER tell their partner that a particular thing turns them on, or more importantly, turns them off, or irritates their sensitive, pink bits.

Really?

Isiah said something so poignant to this -

If you can’t communicate well in the bedroom, you probably aren’t communicating well out of it.

Aaah. Not rocket science.

Our sex lives are so personal, and people feel a great sense of embarrassment and shame about it. This embarrassment is something we may have been taught as teens when we’re curious about stuff and wanking like chimpanzees. You’ll go blind, grow hair on your palms, or nice girls simply don’t do those things.

Sex is natural.

Our bodies are ours to explore and enjoy.

There is no shame in pleasure.

The clitoris is the only part of the human body solely for pleasure. It has no greater function than to give sweet sensation. I think it was the Universe’s consolation prize for periods.

If you’re silently turning your back on your partner thinking ‘No way, buddy, I’m exhausted and my bikini line resembles Macy Gray’s afro’, perhaps your partner only hears ‘I’m not attracted to you anymore’…..and that’s just the tip of the communication iceberg.

Also, we need to try to lighten up about it. If it’s become the elephant in the room then everyone starts getting anxious and feeling rejected.

One of the hardest things when you have little people in the house is time. I mentioned to Isiah that between training, children and general exhaustion, Mister H and I have one perfect time for rumpy. That sweet moment only occurs twice in a week, and then if the planets don’t align correctly, it can be week before that magic moment rolls around again.

I suggested that scheduling sex was incredibly unsexy.

Not as unsexy as never having sex, Isiah replied.

Mmmmmm hmmmmm. I see her point.

Also, a quickie has its place, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re only having occasional quickies it’s no wonder your mojo is lacking. Biologically, it take 20 minutes for a woman’s body to warm up.

We all know that we are slower than men and require a tad more romancing and finessing in all the right places, but being ready for the main event is not as simple as getting lubed up.

It actually takes 20 minutes for your uterus to contract and get out of the way, so the penis doesn’t bash its insistent head against your sensitive lady bits. This is particularly the case shortly after giving birth as the uterus is often sitting a little lower in the chamber.

Did you know that? I didn’t, and I thought I knew it all.

If you think you don’t have enough time in the day for langorous loving touch, try turning off the television a couple of times a week. After dinner, instead of retiring to the lounge, turn off the tv, the computers and the iphones, and spend time together.

NEWS FLASH : watching tv together is not spending quality time together.

You could start by giving each other a massage. Not a ‘nudge nudge wink wink’ massage but perhaps you could start reacquainting yourselves with a no strings attached massage, without a happy ending? Hell, if you feel like throwing a leg over then climb aboard, but if sex has become the elephant under the bed, perhaps you need to take it off the table (not the dining room table. I mean, no sex) for a bit.

If you agree that you’re not going to do it for a few weeks, it can alleviate the guilt you may feel from not wanting to. It doesn’t mean you have an affection stand-off, you do other stuff.

Fun stuff. Sexy stuff. Loving stuff.

Remember when you first got together and you’d pash like teenagers on the loungeroom floor? When was the last time you had pash rash? Or dry humped till you came in your pants?

That stuff was exciting, so maybe it’s time to strip back your sex life?

Get back to the fun stuff.

Isiah and I talked a lot about wanking, on your own, together, whatever takes your fancy. It goes to reason that after you give birth perhaps your body feels different, likes different things. If you don’t explore your own body, how can you guide someone around?

Hell, we don’t strike out across town without Google mapping first, so why not chart this territory, too?

I was shocked when Isiah told me that 30% of women have difficulty (or never) orgasm. Some of her adult clients don’t know where their clitoris is. You can bet your bottom dollar that if they don’t know that, they probably don’t know about other erogenous zones, like that crazy little spot behind their knee, their armpit or the back of their neck.

You need to take the time to explore not just your lady bits, but your whole body, and it’s way more fun if you do it with your partner.

There is more sex than ever available to us, whether it’s erotica, porn, toys, or whatever that floats your boat. There is still so much guilt associated with exploring our own sexuality, why?

Why the shame?

If you’re a bit weirded out by the idea of a sex therapist, Passionate Spirit has a subscription based website with loads of information and techniques if you think maybe you need a little helping hand getting your love life back on track.

Maybe it’s as simple as simply getting back on the horse and doing it? Reawakening your sexual self.

If not, and you feel like your relationship needs a little help getting it’s mojo back, maybe you could consider sex therapy?
If your car isn’t working properly, you take it to a mechanic, right?

At the conclusion of our fascinating chat, Isiah told me she had a spare media pass to Sexpo if I wanted it……well, I thought, maybe a little research would be good.

Stay tuned for the Sexpo wrap-up. Holy dooly. I thought nothing could surprise me.

This post is not a sponsored post. I received no payment from Passionate Spirit. I just love talking about sex.

Check out Passionate Spirit’s Facebook page if you want a little mojo in your newsfeed.

Did you find this as fascinating as I did?

Can you talk about your mojo or are you a little shy?

If you know anyone that may benefit from this post, share it with them, and let’s get that elephant out in the open!

Hooking up with FYBF at With Some Grace so everyone can read about mojo rising. Check out what everyone else is flogging.


It’s Just Me.

25 Oct body belly

When I was about 19 or so, I went to a music festival called Alternative Nation. It was Australia’s answer to Lullapalooza.

Like any self-respecting music festival it was incredibly muddy due to enormous amounts of rain leading up to the day and on the actual day itself.

Towards the evening, there was a naked man, covered in mud, lurching around. People were recoiling from him in horror. He held his Earth covered hands out, palms up -

‘Don’t be scared. It’s just me.’

Now, on this particular day I may, or may not, have partaken in a small amount of LSD, but I nonetheless found this to be incredibly profound.

I’ve written before about how I feel about my body, my machine.

I’ve written before about how it’s taken 35 years to learn to love and respect thy sacred vessel. If you want to read about that stuff, it’s here.

I think I talked enough about body image and eating disorders and I don’t need to talk about that any more…..because that’s not my reality any longer.

I love the strength in my body.

I love my pins.

I love my shoulders.

I love my chin.

So, here I am.

Don’t be scared. It’s just me.

weheartlife.com

WANTED – ONE VILLAGE. Serious applicants need only apply.

12 Aug my tribe 8

Last week I went to the loo.
Nothing ground breaking there, however, last week I got to close the door.
Not only that, but after I was finished, I sat there for a minute or two longer than I needed to. Just sitting. Thinking about nothing. Just picking my cuticles and thinking about making a cup of tea.
Childless people would say ‘er duh, what’s the biggie?’ but anyone with sproglets would look at me with avarice in their eyes. How could I do this, they would ask? Was I not worried my toddler would be smothering my baby with his stuffed Rat, or sticking CDs in the toaster?
Nopes, because I was staying with my family.

Once upon a time, it took a village to raise a child, but now, in this bigger, better, faster age more and more people are doing it all alone. Neighbours don’t help neighbours, extended families don’t live together or even near each other and often families are simply unable to lend a hand due to their own requirements to be out earning money or playing bowls or whatever grandparents do when they’re not babysitting.
With the world becoming easier to access, and more people traveling and setting up shop around the globe, people are having their families miles away from their support networks. So, just how important is a support network when you have children?

The simple fact of the matter is, when your partner is at work all day every day and you’re stuck in Groundhog Day, it’s nice if there is someone to lend a hand now and then. Even just someone to share a cup of tea with, and chat about what’s going on (or not going on) in your life.

I wonder if post natal depression is on the rise because we do no longer live in this village way?
Mother’s Groups can be a great help (not my bag, but last round the escapees and I got on famously), and I’ve heard many women say they would not have survived without it….but when you have more than one child you can no longer go. Toddlers aren’t welcome, probably for fear of terrifying mums of newborns and creating a whole spate of infanticide.
I recently found myself going under. I was feeling increasingly sad, and very cranky.
Mister H was working on a big project, and was pulling long days. Combine that with his training and I felt like a single mother (hats off to single mums around the world….it is one mother truckin’ tough gig). I didn’t tell anyone I was struggling, because I couldn’t really put my finger on what the problem was. The day to day business of raising children is not exactly difficult, but the repetition, routine and constant negotiation with a toddler can grind you down, added to the months of disturbed sleep.
I’m lucky that my family live only an hour’s plane ride away, so I jumped that plane and got to where the love is flowing and the whiskeys are poured large.

While hanging at my bro’s house recently, my sister-in-law had the big kids in the bath together while I breastfed and then I started dinner, all nice and relaxed, not feeling like a jumped up juggler in curly jester shoes, keeping a chainsaw, an axe and an egg all in the air. I realised then that perhaps there was something to be said for polygamy. The husband has his hands full, sure, but the wives have sister wives to help them. Shame I’m such a shit sharer, that’s never going to fly for me.

Apparently, people are twice as likely to say yes to babysitting for an hour than people are to ask. If you need an hour off, and you do the math on that, you’ll realise you’re failing the maths test.
So, why is it so hard to ask for help?
I was discussing it with a girlfriend and I told her I felt like I was failing motherhood if I needed help. Millions of women don’t have help. She suggested that perhaps it was a sign of a great mother, one who recognised when help was needed to maintain the balance of sanity.

I’m not going to lament my lack of village any longer. I’m going to build a village. I’ve invited over a group of mums from my locality, 2 Poms, a Yank and a Dane. Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? All we need to do is walk into a bar. They’re all here raising babies without their tribes. I’m going to suggest a weekly co-op babysitting vibe. Twice a month you look after someone else’s kids for two hours, but twice a month, you get two hours off.
It’s not huge, but it’s enough time to get your bikini line sorted before Chewbacca mistakes you for a mate, get the groceries done without having a scene in the biscuit aisle, or simply curl up and read a book quietly (might even get that book finished by 2014).

Space.

That’s all it is. Just a little space so I can just be me.
Not someone’s mum.

Not someone’s wife.

Just me.

My village may not be my tribe, but maybe we can start a new tribe?

Anyhoo, here’s some shots of my tribe I took on my trip. I really love the shit out of those guys.

A Letter Of Complaint to the Manufacturers of the Female Anatomy.

20 Jul barbie

To Whom It May Concern at the Lady Factory,

I’d like to register a formal complaint, please, because I sincerely believe that your engineers were a tad hasty in the signing off of this project.
I would like to preface my complaint by saying I truly feel that many features are perfect. The lady lumps and curvy bits are generally to my liking, and I have to say that on the whole our genitalia is considerably less hilarious in appearance than our male counterparts.

Generally speaking, the female reproductive system is truly amazing, however, I do feel that the method of expelling a baby from the body could do with some tweaking.
In theory, your current methods works quite well, but there are a few fundamental design issues that ought to be addressed for the evolution of the next prototypes.

Primarily, I’m referring to the certainty that a vagina does not comfortably fit a watermelon. If the dislodgement process were currently perfect, ladies would not experience issues such as squeezing drops of wee whilst sneezing, hemorrhoids, cervixes falling out, rectal walls tearing, or any other number of unspeakable indignities. Please be advised that the nether regions of the female ought never see the glint of a sewing needle doing fancy stitch work.
EVER.

In future, please add more elastin to the mix for female epidermis, to ensure skin is never traumatised by sudden growth during pregnancy as ladies truly have enough body issues in a bikini without added stress of stretch marks from a process that is beyond their control.

Furthermore, after this process is complete and the fairer sex moves into the feeding stage, I would like to draw your attention to the major planning balls up that is mastitis. Whilst one is trying to provide nutrition to ones progeny, one ought not be afflicted by a searingly exquisite agony that makes one want to have an immediate mastectomy.
If you insist that this glitch cannot be fixed, at least work on some better treatment methods because the old ‘cabbage in the bra’ trick, leaves ladies smelling like a cross between a Russian deli and a fart.
While you’re perfecting the area of the breast, feel free to ensure that the nipple region is, in fact, not going to be blistered, torn or in any way mauled when continuously gummed and sucked for a 12 month period, as is the recommended usage period.

I have had extensive experience with this current model, and done boundless research in the public field, so if you require further feedback or would care to discuss any of these issues, please don’t hesitate to get in touch,

Yours sincerely,

An ex-bikini wearing, stitched up, sore breasted customer.

A Letter To Me On My 36th Birthday

7 Jul us

Hey you,

Happy birthday, my friend.
I wanted to write you a love letter for your birthday because you’ve been feeling a little blue lately. You need to lighten up on yourself, lady. You’re doing the best you can and you’re doing a great job.
When you had dreams of riches and fame, you thought a life less ordinary was the only kind of life worth living. Lately, you’ve been viewing your life as very ordinary. Well, let me tell you, you are anything but ordinary and you have plenty to be thankful for.

Your toddler is driving you nuts because he is energetic. He has a curiosity that makes him get into everything. That’s because he’s bright and his brain works beautifully. Your two children are the very picture of health. Just look at a children’s hospital ward and see how much you have to be thankful for for this simple thing alone.
Your husband loves you and supports your creativity and dreams (despite occasional mocking, he’s a little bit proud.). He takes care of himself, emotionally and physically, but not so vain that he spends much more time in the mirror than you. Don’t resent the time he takes to pursue his passions, and don’t martyr yourself in your children’s name.
Make time for you -take time for you – to nurture your needs. You’ll be a better mother and partner if you do. Just do it. Starting today.

You’re in a financial position that allows you to care for your children, and though there may not be large amounts of disposable income, you do not go without the important things……and yearly European vacations aren’t classified as important, honey. Consider yourself lucky that you’ve experienced these things in the past, and there will be time again in the future. You have a lovely home, that you feel safe and comfortable in, and you’re paying off a mortgage that may at times feel like a noose in it’s commitment, but in fact, you’re getting ahead, paving a future for yourself and your family. It’s not easy to do that in this city, so you are in a very fortunate position.

Don’t measure your success in monetary measures. Success should be measured in happiness, and fulfilment. When you gauge your life on this scale, are you a success? There’s always room for more happiness and more fulfilment, but you’re definitely already a success. So what if you don’t quite know what you want to be when you grow up. Trust that you’re on your path and keep being creative.

It’s ok to feel sad sometimes, to have a blue day. It’s ok to feel lonely, but remember you have many friends who adore you and you only have to pick up the phone if you need to talk.
This is a big time in your life. The last two years have been the biggest of all. They have brought great joy, great learning, growth and challenges. This craziness will calm down soon and it will boil down to one  or two chapters of your life. It’s just consuming now, but there’s the whole rest of the book to be written yet. Laugh at the chaos, laugh at the dog poo on your shoes, laugh at the piles of washing because crying ain’t going to change it and laughing makes you feel better. As they say, laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you get a big, red baboon-arse face, or something like that. Don’t wish this time away, because it’s fleeting and you’ll never get it back.

Have a wonderful year, and may your hopes, dreams and aspirations all come to fruition, and be kind to yourself in the meantime.

Lots of love,

Me xxx

School of Porn

7 Jun secretary

I read something terrifying the other day.

I’m not referring to the headline ‘Gay Porn Cannibal Eats Lover’ about the young gay Canadian porn star who was suspected of chopping up his lover (read full sensational story here), eating the juicy bits and then mailing severed parts to members of the Canadian Parliament in a rather sincere, if wacked, statement about Canadian politics. Nopes, I’m not talking about that.

I’m talking about something I read in Caitlin Moran’s (pronounced CAT-lin) book entitled ‘How To Be A Woman‘. Fabulous book, by the way, hailed by Grazia Magazine and my mother as something ‘EVERY woman should read’, and three chapters in – I’m inclined to agree.

Caitlin points out how when we were bursting with hormones in our early teens and busting to get our hand on as much sexy information as possible we were forced to fossick and forage for our one-handed reading material. My brother had a monster stack of Penthouse Magazines hidden under the bottom drawer of his cupboard. Don’t ask how I found them. My hormonal radar probably beeped whenever I walked past his bedroom door. Although I was certainly curious about the pictures in them, my time was actually spent reading the letters sent in by readers. Between this and the Clan of the Cave Bear series my sexual education was pretty, well, sexy and sensual.

Here’s the scary bit – These days with the accessibility of porn on the internet our children’s sexual education will come from the porn industry.

Now, I’m not anti-porn. I think if everyone is above the age of consent, and it’s enjoyed in moderation and not instead of a real sex life (unless of course, it’s all you can get) then porn is fine. We can certainly endeavour to police our kids’ viewing on the computer, but whether it’s at your house or someone else’s, they’re going to see it. With sites like youporn and redtube being accessed at the push of a button, they’re no doubt going to see any combination of people doing any combination of things to each other. BDSM, Threesomes, Foursomes, you name it. Everyone appears to love anal sex, double penetration and foreign objects the size of a small child and they’ll think this is what real sex is like.

Not only will our children think that sex is full of hair pulling, arse slapping and pulling funny faces (maybe that part is not entirely fictitious), they’ll also think it’s unnatural for women to have hair ‘down there’. So many of my friends have had laser hair removal to get rid of very single last pubic hair, and I’ve asked them ‘what will you tell your pubescent daughter when  she grows pubes?’. All of them have said they didn’t think of that. I know that it’s convenient and cheaper to do something permanent, but how can you let your child know it’s normal and natural when you yourself are as a bald as a child?

What about all of the tender stuff that they don’t show in porn? That’s the really sexy stuff. The vulnerability that comes with getting naked and making funny shapes with someone else and the hilarity that can ensue. Sex is fun and funny and beautiful. Caitlin also drew to my attention that porn rarely has any female satisfaction. It’s all about the men. We sure as shit don’t want our boys growing up thinking that, so we really need to not keep our head in the sand and broach this topic head on with our teens.

It’s easy for me to say this now, when the most awkward conversation we have is when I can’t understand a word D Man is saying and he keeps repeating it over and over while I continue guessing what it may be, like some weird toddler game show. I guess our future is full of awkward conversations about sex and drugs and rock and roll, but the secret will be for me not to appear awkward about it. To be as open and honest as possible and to encourage open conversation when I really wish my spotty, hormonal, teenager was still my baby!

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