Big hugs

The other day a male work colleague dressed a deep puncture wound on my left ring finger.

This was an unremarkable event in itself; I had accidentally stabbed myself when washing the giant blade of a new food mixer. A day or two after, when I was in work, I asked him for advice, when it was still bleeding quite a lot. He had done a first aid course, you see.

But as he gently applied a padded dressing and secured it with some surgical tape, it sent a strange tingle from my wrist, up my arm, shoulder and into the back of my head. It’s that odd, but pleasant feeling you get when someone touches you (not sexually) in an unexpectedly gentle way. I remember the same feeling when I was about seven and my piano teacher adjusted my ‘fingering’.

I have no feelings of attraction towards this colleague – he’s a sweet, funny man about 20 years older than me with a twinkle in his eye, but nothing to appeal to me in that way – nor my female piano teacher of 30-odd years ago.

But the significance of this event – which I would never tell anyone, as it would sound self-pitying – was that it must have been the first time in over seven months that a man has actually touched me. Here, I am not counting a hug from my brother on Christmas Day, or repeated hugs and kisses with a four-year-old boy (my little boy, by the way). And because of that, the thought of it lingers in my mind. And how careless I was when I was washing the ruddy big blade that sliced through my washing up gloves.

I am not making this observation for sympathy and pity, just noting it for thought and the fact that when we get ‘touched’ regularly we all tend to take it for granted. If you’re bored with your man, irritated by him grabbing you from behind as you do the dishes (avoiding sharp mixer blades, I hope), kissing your neck or squashing your legs, as you sit together on the sofa and he does that turning sideways to stretch out and use you as a foot rest thing, just think about it. What if all that physical contact suddenly stopped, even though you find it annoying at times?

It feels cold – cold and shivery. Yes, if these things happen, we just have to suck it up. Shit happens, as less articulate philosophers would say. And lots of old people live for years without a single hug, kiss, touch of a hand. I remember (long gone) older relatives attaching so much meaning to a mere hug that, clearly, it was a major event in their lives.

So, really, I mustn’t grumble. But nothing can replace a big man hug, that kind where you can bury your head in his chest, hear his heart beating, smell his scent, feel the warmth emanating through his clothes, as he holds you tightly, for a few minutes. Even emerging with an imprint of the knit pattern of his jumper on your face, and feeling slightly woozy, because you haven’t breathed proper air for a few minutes, is worth it.

Don’t get me wrong – I still miss the sex bit too – my God, I do! But I have ‘machines’ that can help with that.  Whereas, at this time of year, when temperatures drop below zero, any number of layers of clothing, heating on full blast, jumping up and down and jogging on the spot, are just not enough. Nothing can replace snuggling up with someone on the sofa or under the duvet.

Man up!

‘Guyliner’, fake tan, excessive waxing, preening and coiffuring seem to have become the norm for many men in their 20s and 30s these days.

But ask most women, at least of Drunken Slut Mum’s generation (let’s say those born roughly before 1980) and they won’t be overjoyed/impressed by any of this nonsense.

How are you supposed to get anything done in the bedroom if he spends longer than you do putting creams and potions on and waxing his chest hair? I also don’t want to be competing for mirror space if I wake up with him in the morning and have to get my face on.

I am not broaching this topic as an onlooker, either – I have done my share of narcissistic self-beautifying men. My first experience was a Robert Smith from the Cure wannabe who loved the shade of cherry red lipstick I wore at the time and borrowed it so much I ended up giving it to him.  Kissing got a bit messy if we wore different shades. It ended badly with me cheating on him with someone more manly while on a residential school trip.

There were then two guys at college who were in some ways interchangeable. They both had long hair and were fans of ‘glam rock’ – by this I don’t mean Slade and Wizzard, rather Dogs D’Amour, The Quireboys and vintage Rolling Stones (google the ones you haven’t heard of).  This somehow required the wearing of ridiculously dandy shirts, tight trousers, eyeliner and occasionally a velvet baker boy hat or bandana.  I now wonder why I didn’t run a mile on seeing someone in this ‘get-up’ but I suppose it helped that both were pretty boys and ultra-confident.

I also had a brief fling with a guy who liked to cross dress a bit – not frilly frocks, false nails and a long blonde wig – just the fishnet stockings, fetish-style pvc basque and a touch of lippy and eyeliner. However, because he was stunningly good-looking, charming and funny, he somehow got away with it without seeming ridiculous. I did his makeup one night while straddling his lap which was an oddly arousing experience until I applied some of that clear strong smelling stuff that is supposed to help lipstick stay on longer. He objected rather forcefully nudging me off his lap and shouting “aargh – that’s horrible – get it off!” You see, men are actually too soft to endure what we women go through to look good…

So, I do approach this from a qualified perspective. What puts me off being a lesbian is the lack of difference between myself and other women. Apart from the obvious ‘boy bits’, I like to sometimes feel men’s stubble rubbing against me (but not so often that I end up with a red flaky chin), to stroke their chest hair, to occasionally get a slight (only slight, mind) whiff of their natural sweat and to feel their stronger, bulkier bodies against me.

Which brings me to another personal turn-off: skinny men. There are few things worse than feeling his hip or pelvic bones digging in as he grinds away on top. Ouch! And any kind of cuddle afterwards lacks a little warmth. You can’t bury your head into a xylophone. Skinny men must have an appeal to some ladies – many are attached and often to larger ladies – but not me. I don’t want a bucket of morbidly obese lard, either, or someone rippled with muscles to rival the Incredible Hulk. I just want a solid, three-dimensional man, who does good hugs, has good bonking suspension and is stronger than me.

The Man more or less covers all the above. He doesn’t mess about with all that metrosexual stuff and uses his strength to occasionally take control in ‘the act’ by pulling me by my legs to manoeuvre me into optimum launch position or initiating our next move. Try getting a skinny, feeble man to do that. I don’t want to be dominated all the time, but see nothing wrong in a man exercising his masculinity now and then. Just like us females sometimes use our tits and arse to our advantage when the need arises.

So, men – wipe off the fake tan and leave my eyeliner alone! I don’t care if you haven’t just straightened your hair or sprayed yourself with half a bottle of some over-priced scent. Set your natural pheromones free and lead me upstairs or take me over the kitchen table!