Teenage dream?

“No, I don’t want it there,” I wailed, standing up in the bath and looking down at myself. “I want it to go away!”

I was about 12-years-old and my mum and popped into the room while I was having a bath and helpfully pointed out that I had started growing my first few strands of pubic hair. I was absolutely devastated – it looked disgusting and ugly, or so I thought at the time. I was quite happy with things as they were – just some hair on my head, some downy bits on my arms and legs – that would do me fine. Why did I have to get a horribly beardy bit on my privates?

But I was a 12-year-old of the 1980s, had no older sister to look up to or try to imitate and still enjoyed playing with my Barbies. Puberty and sex never entered my mind. My mum never did the ‘talk’ so I was pretty clueless, apart from seeing some couples kissing and rolling around in cheesy American soaps like ‘Dynasty’ and ‘Knots Landing’. I had just assumed this was a different version of cuddling.

The idea of growing boobs was just as alien. I remember my mum getting me some rather odd coffee-coloured training bra before I had anything to really put in it. She insisted this was the right time to start wearing it, despite the thing being very itchy and chafing my armpits. They did grow quite a bit between about 12 and 15, but in the early days, I was just baffled and confused as to why any of these changes were happening to me, when I was pretty happy with my straightforward, uncomplicated girl body.

The story now is a whole new ball game. I have an eight-year-old who is practically on one giant countdown to becoming a teenager. She checks the growth of her chest on a daily basis, despite there being nothing to report. She wears lip gloss whenever she can get away with it, such as when we are in a rush to go out somewhere and I’m too busy to notice. She already has posters of boy bands on her bedroom wall, while I was 13 or 14 before I swapped my pictures of cute kittens and fairies for A-ha and Duran Duran. She even slams her door shut and listens to music when she wants to be alone – something I only started to do in my teenage strops.

So how does a reluctant teenager guide her teenage wannabe through puberty? I don’t want to put her on a downer by warning that it’s not all lipstick, push-up bras and prom dresses. She will have to be prepared for mood swings, spots, emotional roller-coasters, boys being senseless gits and period pains.

The trouble is that her ‘teenage dream’ comes from all the American TV shows she watches, where teens have an endless wardrobe of trendy clothes, perfect white teeth, hang out at milkshake bars and always have witty one-liners. Funnily enough none of them have spots or stomp off to their bedrooms, slam the door and put Slipknot on at full blast. And the boys all look really clean – they probably don’t have bedrooms that smell of sweaty jock straps and stale socks, as I recall my brother did in that era.

Maybe the answer is to find a teenager and get them to explain what it’s like, how it has its ups and downs. The trouble is getting one to willingly articulate that…

Quick on the drawer(s)

Briefs, bikinis, low-rise, high legs, shorts, French, control, thongs, and even ‘magic’ ones; is there any limit to the number of types of knickers available to us ladies?

Walking into any well-known purveyor of panties and the choice is baffling. I have to ask myself whether I want to be high legged, but low rise or whether I want to wear ‘shorts’ of the mock boxer or knicker variety. Do I want to be pulling a piece of string out of my bum every five minutes or do I want something that pulls up over my belly and reaches halfway up my chest? As if it isn’t already bewildering choosing the right bra, never mind a pair of drawers.

Despite my enjoyment of clothes-removal and penchant for a pretty lacy bra, I have never got to grips with finding the right pair of knickers. Sadly, when buying a new ‘set’ to dazzle him in the boudoir, the bras are usually just right while the bottom half is almost always a straight choice between a thong or a ‘Brazilian’. One makes me feel like I have done a hasty job in the loo and left a bit of toilet paper up my jacksie while the other one may fit my rear but rubs uncomfortably in my lady hole like a badly inserted tampon. What is wrong with a good old-fashioned pair of bikini-style pants?

I have gone out on many occasion in what I think is a sexy ‘set’ (obviously with other clothes over the top!) and spent half the evening discreetly trying to dislodge sheer fabric from between my buttocks. It is then a complete relief, not just for the one-on-one action, to remove them later on and end the agony.

Maybe I should just get with the programme and accept the feeling of having dental floss between my butt cheeks as normal, like period pains or the scalding sensation whenever my shower unexpectedly gets boiling hot for a few seconds. Maybe I am not a proper grown-up woman because I can’t tolerate ‘sex kitten’ undies. But I did once get a dose of thrush after trying to tolerate wearing a new pack of Brazilian knickers for a week – I did wash them first and wore a clean pair every day, just to be clear.

On the other hand, I am not ready for ginormous granny pants yet. I think one can feel sexy in a pair of short-style knickers if they are worn with confidence and a pretty bra. However, I also wouldn’t dismiss wearing a pair of ‘magic’ control pants for those special occasions when you are in a party dress and want to reduce the tummy bulge.

The thing is, though, do men even notice what pants we are wearing? I have never once had one say to me ‘totally dig the panties, darling’. They probably spend a few more seconds looking at the bra, often because they can’t quite figure out how to undo it. As for knickers – they usually end up thrown across the room or disappear to the bottom of the bed, only to be discovered when you next change the sheets.

For pity’s sake

The Man took pity on my ‘no action’ lament last week and put me out of my misery.

“Poor old bint,” he must have thought. “Stuck at home with no one else to look after her kids. I’ll pop round and do my good turn for the day.”

So there I was watching TV on a Thursday evening after a day of doing housework, wearing a scruffy fleece and old jeans, feeling a little grubby, hair scraped back in a ponytail. I certainly wasn’t prepared to face the outside world, never mind entertain visitors. But of course, The Man can always be counted on to be unpredictable.

There is a knock at the door. I won’t patronise you with any false suspense here, as obviously, after the above, there is no mystery or build-up to the identity of the ‘gentleman caller’.

He sits down next to me and I offer him a drink. He declines but says: “I’ll have this, though” and leans in to kiss me. “I hear you aren’t getting any, you poor little mite,” he adds stroking my breast on the outside of my top.

“But I’m all manky,” I reply suddenly conscious that I look a complete mess without make up, slightly greasy hair and wearing my glasses.

“I don’t care,” he says, quickly pulling off his clothes and grabbing my boobs, bottom and sliding his hands under my jeans.

It is fast and frantic and I have no more time to contemplate how awful I look. Before I have a second to try and remember which bra I put on this morning (oh dear, it’s the old grey-white one I use on ‘no-action’/period days), my clothes are strewn across the floor and he is inside me as we writhe on the sofa.

He sits up and I straddle him, sliding up and down his pole before I end up kneeling on the cushions as he enters me from behind, then we lie down again. Hard and fast, hard and fast, he climaxes and I hold him tightly against me as we squeeze one another in a post-ecstasy embrace – the kind of position you don’t want to give up for a few minutes, as it says more than any words at that awesome moment just after sex, when you are both perfectly sated.

Any thoughts of my appearance have completely evaporated. I don’t care about anything other than lying here for the few precious minutes I get to hold him close, breath in his essence, smell his hair, his sweat and feel his hot breath on my chest.