Shoot that poison arrow

So, ladies – I can only do this one from a female perspective, but hang on in there, chaps, you might learn something. Ahem… So, ladies, you have identified your target, but how do you achieve a direct hit? How do you ensure the object of your desire is struck by your ‘l want you’ arrows?

We are not necessarily talking about love here, but pure lust, and ways of subtly letting the male know that you are very keen to share more than a handshake with him.

From my experience, very few men notice the kind of signals suggested in magazines – eye contact, brushing past, flicking your hair. Most would not even see it if you wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘I’d like to get jiggy with you’ in neon pink across your chest.

Unfortunately, to ensnare your prey you need to work hard, campaign and sometimes be prepared for the long game. It took me three years to finally get it on with The Man. Other personal relationships and obstacles did hamper progress, but he had no idea I fancied him for the first two years. And I surprised myself that my interest and resolve was as strong in the third year as it was in the first.

With this, I may not be the best person to advise, but here are some suggestions anyway:

Find a way to talk: Looking longingly at him and trying to catch his eye are just not enough. He will just think you are staring at him like a nutter and rather than arousing his interest, you are just scaring him off. Ok – you want to admire the view, as you totally, utterly want him, but be subtle about it.

Join in: If he’s a work colleague, make sure you go to any social outings he’s at – being around and accessible means you are not as forgettable as you could be. If he’s a friend of a friend find times when he is going to be out/around.

Non-obvious stalking: Don’t actually stalk – this is not only scary for your target, but can land you in trouble with the law, with an injunction or even custodial sentence! And being a psycho is not going to do anything for your sex life. What I mean is if you know he is in a certain place at a certain time e.g. in the work canteen, waiting to catch a particular bus or train or in the supermarket, show up from time to time. I don’t mean be there every time without fail or he will start to panic and change his routine to avoid you. From time to time, even once a week (but don’t pick the same day every week or he will notice a pattern) be about, breeze past, say ‘hello’ if you dare, smile, tuck your hair behind your ear. Don’t linger – walk by, get the milk out of the fridge, do whatever you have to, but move on. A fleeting appearance can leave a bigger impression than giving him a full account of your crappy day or the argument you had in the shoe shop when you wanted a refund.

Smarten up: Take a little bit of extra time on your appearance if you can. Check your makeup is tidy – no panda marks under your eyes – and your hair looks clean even if it isn’t. Wear things that highlight your best bits e.g. if you have good boobs, a bit of cleavage doesn’t do any harm, as long as you are not in the realms of a lusty serving wench in a 17th century tavern. If you have good legs, show them off. To do all this, you don’t have to dress obscenely – this won’t go down well at work and your friends will think you’ve had a knock on the head. Just look in the mirror and think “would I fancy me?” or “what will he notice first if I wear this dress?”

Create a ‘oops’ moment: Once your ‘breezing by’ routine is established, I don’t see anything wrong with you creating a situation where you have to interact, even if it is an old cliché. Dropping a pile of papers near him, forcing him to come and help you pick them up, may have been applied in dozens of movies, but it’s worth a go. It will test out whether he’s a selfish git or a polite and helpful sweetie if nothing else. Alternatives are accidentally bumping into him in a crowded place, dropping something out of your handbag on the platform or near the bus stop, even spilling a drink. Even if he helps you up and asks if you are alright before walking off, it gives you something to refer to next time.

Take an interest: Assuming you get talking eventually be completely, utterly interested in everything about him (even if your only interest is seeing him naked). So, you are supressing a yawn when he drones on about Formula One, steam trains, logarithms or computer programming. But you have to put on your best Oscar-winning performance and look fascinated. You should even listen well enough to ask him a few questions on his specialist subject – this will impress him no end.

Take it to another place: The conversation has to continue – either in a bar, restaurant or if you are daring enough, your sofa or boudoir. Find a way to do this – “we should talk some more in the pub” or your selected venue. If he takes the bait, you are a step closer to take off. If he doesn’t , either he’s tired, not interested or clueless about your less than honourable intentions in which case you will have to start all over again with the above steps. And believe me; I’ve been there – three times.

If all else fails: You could just wait until Christmas – if there’s a work Christmas do or you are out with your friends or feeling extra festive at the bus stop when people around you are a little more jovial than usual. Then, either blurt out that you fancy the arse off him, dive in for a kiss or launch yourself at him. This will at least get you a swift response as to whether the last few weeks/months/years have been an utter waste of time or well worth the graft. If it all goes horribly wrong you can use Christmas as an excuse and pretend you lost it for a few seconds.

Celluloid or cellulite – part 2: The Dirty Weekend

I got a little attached to our friends, Barry and Sandra and their unrealistic movie couple counterparts, Benedict and Rosetta. So they are back for a sequel.

Benedict and Rosetta have been billing and cooing in perfect harmony for some time now, in the fantasy ‘set’ of pastel walls, cream carpets and colour-co-ordinated outfits so they decide some excitement is needed. Benedict happens to have an uncle who owns a luxury country house hotel so suggests they take off in his convertible Audi on Friday afternoon.

Barry and Sandra have been bonking like rabbits in every room of each other’s homes (when Sandra gets a night off from her kids) so decide it would be good to do it somewhere different. Barry suggests a dirty weekend in a low budget hotel somewhere near the next town – “it’s got en suite, love, and there will be free custard creams and tea bags”. He’ll take them in his Toyota Starlet.

Friday arrives and Rosetta lets out a cheerleader squeal of excitement. Her ‘Benny’ pulls up in a car so shiny that it practically dazzles. Rosetta wears a floral dress, scarf and sun glasses – the glamorous way to travel in an open top car. Of course, the weather is perfect in movie land so no need to worry about wind, rain or a hair falling out of place.

Barry’s car splutters and backfires to the car park below Sandra’s third floor flat. She runs down and throws her bag on to the backseat (covered in sweet wrappers and crisp packets). Barry has to get out so she can shuffle across the driver’s seat, getting her foot stuck between the gear stick and hand brake, as the passenger door has been jammed since 1998. There is no CD player, just a tape slot and Barry has a chewed-up Chumbawamba cassette playing.

Exhilarating orchestral music plays as Benedict and Rosetta whizz along country lanes, the wind billowing through Rosetta’s silky blonde tresses. They glance lovingly into one another’s eyes for a second.

The Starlet shakes and jerks as Barry attempts to take it up a hill. He has to lean forward to put his foot down as far as it will go on the accelerator to avoid it stalling. Relief at it making it to the top fills him with a frisky urge and his hand wanders across to Sandra’s thigh. He strokes her leg gently, lifting it off for a moment to change gear, then back again and up her denim mini skirt. She sighs in arousal, then… “Shit!” They go round a bend and are shocked to find a long queue of traffic. Barry has to break suddenly, making the cassette jump and snatching his hand away from Sandra.

Our movie couple have now arrived at their country hotel – a majestic castle-like mansion with acres of fields and gardens, a dark wood-panelled reception area with huge chandeliers. They check in with the attractive receptionist as ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ – disappointingly unoriginal. The couple dash up to their room, arranging to have their luggage ‘sent up’. It is bedecked with chintzy country cottage curtains and lamps and is dominated by a large four-poster bed half-covered with sumptuous fluffy cushions.

Barry and Sandra are late and bedraggled. The traffic jam delayed them for forty minutes and they ended up arguing over the Chumbawamba cassette which Sandra said was ‘crap’. At one point she threatened to get out of the car and walk, but then remembered the door was jammed. They drag their bags to the reception area of their budget hotel, but no one is there. Barry rings the bell four times before a grumpy woman in her 50s, with missing teeth and glasses on a chain round her neck, emerges. They can’t be bothered giving false names, as they just want to go to their room and eat biscuits.

Benedict and Rosetta are now lying in their romantic bed after making love. A bottle of champagne sits in an ice bucket and they are feeding one another strawberries. As usual they look flawless – Benedict is tanned and toned with a smooth six-pack stomach while Rosetta’s hair looks brushed and glossy, her breasts are symmetrical and her make-up just as it was six hours ago. The camera pans out as the pair embrace.

Dishevelled and thoroughly fed up, Barry and Sandra throw their bags on the floor of their room after taking a few minutes to figure out the card-key lock. The room is plain and a little cramped with barely any space between the dressing table and bed. No bed posts here – just a plain bed with white duvet and the standard four pillows and a fire evacuation plan on the wall.

They look at each other for a few seconds and the argument and traffic jam melt away. Sandra gently leans into Barry and pushes him on to the bed so she is sitting on top of him. She kisses him hurriedly at the same time as working open his zip and fly. She caresses his penis before lowering herself over it. They both throw off their clothes and have frantic, sweaty, passionate sex. Sandra orgasms loudly as Barry works his fingers in all the right places. Then as he enters her hard from behind he moans and explodes. They both roll on to the bed, coated in perspiration and sex. “Shall we have that cup of tea and custard cream, now?” Suggests Sandra.

A fan(ny) for all seasons

Those of you who live in warmer climes (I know I have at least one Australian reader) will have to forgive my indulgence this week. Warm weather in the UK is so rare that people act oddly at the slightest sniff of sunshine, ripping their clothes off, jumping into rivers even when they are too shallow and declaring a drought when it has rained for the last six months.

So, in the midst of a ‘heatwave’ us Brits also find ourselves a little frisky, as we are wearing fewer clothes and cracking open the beer or Pimms at least an hour earlier than usual. In the true spirit of sweaty arm pits, non-air conditioned offices and lily-white legs sporting the socks-and-sandals combo, I feel it my duty to compile a hot versus cold weather sex list. All scientifically proven, of course (or maybe not).

  1. Hot: It’s possible to have sex outdoors without anything shrinking.
    Cold: Sex al fresco is not very inviting, but at least with the extra darkness, you can do it in the shadows.  And with some brandy inside, you may not feel the chill.
  2. Hot: On a similar theme, there are suddenly more possible locations where one can copulate – be it in a field, on a tree trunk, park bench, swimming pool, Rhododendron bush, allotment or garden shed.
    Cold: Unless you are happy to freeze your bits off the most likely place is in bed, on a sofa or rug in front of a roaring fire.
  3.  Hot: It’s easier to whip your clothes off for a ‘must do it now’ moment as you’re probably only in a little sun dress or bikini (and that’s just the men).
    Cold: With all those layers it can be time consuming and frustrating stripping off. His army may have even retreated before you reach your vest. One leg out of trouser and knicker is a possible way around this.
  4. Hot: Shagging in high temperatures can be very tiring with excessive perspiration before you have even reached ‘second base’, so you could find yourselves collapsed on the bed/floor/field/shrubbery very early on.
    Cold: You need to go at it hammer and tongs just to keep warm and only feel chilly when you have finished, which means you at least have an excuse to cuddle and snuggle under a duvet.
  5. Hot: Summer always makes me hornier, especially when the air is heavy with humidity and I am so hot that my clothes are virtually peeling themselves off.
    Cold: Winter means the run-up to Christmas with parties and opportunities to go out for a few drinks and try to attract the attention of a chosen target. Such evenings are bursting with hope, possibility and excitement.

Conclusion: You should know by now that there never is a clear conclusion to these lists. Maybe, rather than the two extremes, we should focus our attentions on autumn and spring. Or maybe we should enjoy having our fancies tickled whatever the weather. As long as the man behind the tickling stick knows how to use it (much appreciated, The Man).

A many splendored thing

I can count on one hand how many times it has happened to me – well, actually three fingers of one hand. But for some people, all their fingers and toes may not be enough, while for others a big fat fist of zero says it all.

A simple, probably unoriginal comment on one of those social networking sites – the one that sounds like a brand of bird food – got me thinking. It said: “Women use sex for love while men use love for sex.”

Of my three ‘occasions’ just one did not start with sex, but all three ended in failure or rejection – maybe I am just good at getting it wrong.

The one that did not start with sex, ended with sex, so what’s the difference? He was a good friend and I actually fell for his personality before his looks (let’s call him S). When we went out as a group on a Saturday night in our 20s, I somehow always ended up chatting to S, moaning about a clingy boyfriend I had at the time. S was always willing to listen, impart his wisdom and never looked bored. Maybe he was just a good actor, but I began to realise how unique this was for a man in his early 20s.

I then began to notice his face, the way he talked and everything about him gradually became wonderful, beautiful, perfect. I would gaze into his eyes as each Saturday he would make time to ask how I was in a way that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The flip side was that he was also a big drinker and would deteriorate into a shambling mess by the end of the evening. And he was still deeply troubled by the break-up of his last relationship. But the lost and troubled boy was all the more endearing. I thought I could heal him. As the months passed it became obvious to everyone else that I was smitten – especially since I have never done well at hiding my emotions, even when I think I am being discreet. He knew it too.

We managed a couple of drunken snogs, out of the sight of everyone else – I thought he was being romantic when in fact he probably didn’t want to be seen with me. We also fell into his bed drunk on one occasion, but it was strictly clothes on and no sex.

A year passed and my feelings didn’t change. I would sit in my flat listening to Radiohead and crying into my pillow at the injustice of him not wanting to be with me. S had said he did not want a relationship. This in the phrase book of the male language, which I will write one day, should end with the silent two words of ‘with you’. The other well known, overused dumping line is ‘I can’t do this anymore’, only slightly less common than ‘it’s not you, it’s me’!

S and I continued to have our drunken snogs, which lifted, then dashed my spirits repeatedly. Then, I thought we had a minor breakthrough on a visit to friend in another town. We all slept on his floor after a wild night out. We kissed and fumbled and he allowed me access to his lengthy member so I could quietly tuck in. But still, despite my success at popping his cork, he wouldn’t let me in emotionally and I returned to my pillow and Radiohead.

So, I surrendered, tried to move on, had other relationships. But for a year or so, I would always compare them to him and they never matched up.

Then I met the man I ended up marrying, which seemed to give him a sharp kick in the nads. As soon as he heard I was engaged, he sat up and took notice. I continued to have the odd night out with my friends without the fiancé. But S became the attentive person he was when we first met, asking if I was sure I wanted to be married. This turned to ‘do you have to get married’ then ‘don’t get married’. We then had a very drunken night – I can’t even remember where or when – and ended up at my flat. He pleaded with me to ‘do it just the once’ before I got married. What could I do? After all those years of love and lust, how could I resist, even though I was supposedly making a lifelong commitment to someone else?

We hurriedly threw our clothes off, as if the heating had suddenly been turned up, and dived into bed. But alcohol had the last laugh. He entered me once then rolled over after a few seconds when everything wilted. I am not even sure if what happened actually qualified as sexual intercourse.

We left it at that, remained friends, I got married, the marriage broke up after several years, he got together with a long-term female friend and they are still together. He got it right. I got it wrong.

And the other two occasions – one was a six-month relationship at university with another drunk – this time a very intelligent, musically talented and charismatic one who got bored of me. And the other? That would be telling.

Manual controls

The air is still, hanging with expectation. It is a hot, humid night – the kind where it is hard to settle, relax, sleep.

I lie on my bed, just out of the shower, but already feeling beads of sweat starting to form down my back and under my breasts. I run my hands over them, stroking my fingers over my nipples round and round until they start to tingle and send waves of excitement down to my groin.

As these waves run down my body, I slowly echo the direction with my hands, gliding them down from my breasts, slowly towards my stomach, hips, thighs so gently and lightly that the back of my neck also tingles. My fingers take a right angle turn from my thighs to my groin and I feel my mound and pubic hair through thin cotton knickers. I like to seduce myself slowly, as the anticipation makes the finale all the more delicious.

I stroke this mound through the layer of cotton, going nowhere near the pink dragon in his damp cave, who is now starting to wake from his deep slumber. My fingers move in tiny circles, alternating between the pads of my fingers and the edges of my nails. I close my eyes and focus on the sensation. Then the cheeky middle finger of my right hand tentatively dips under the side of the gusset and carefully slides across the outer labia to the area around the clitoris.

I give out an involuntary gasp at the sudden surge of arousal and gear change this brings about. No longer idle caresses – now the rocket is fuelling for take-off! And so the cheeky finger grows bolder and begins to pulsate faster and faster, sending waves of electricity through my body. My lower body begins to tilt upwards and wriggle and jerk up and down. The finger has a mind of its own and seems to move independently while I am no longer in control of my body, panting and groaning. I keep my eyes shut so nothing distracts me from the waves of ecstasy shooting through me from head to toe.

Then it happens. I always have a warning it’s on its way as I get a high pitched muffled sound in my ears – like ducking under water. My entire body shakes in one giant spasm and a powerful, joyous tidal wave overcomes me. My mind is completely empty for a few seconds. I gasp and moan and want to shout ‘yes’ but hold back so I wake no one. I then feel the urge to bury my face in the pillow next to me and hug it.