Behind the mask

When one is stepping out with a new squeeze, there are always things one would prefer them not to see…for at least the first few dates.

I am not proud of my verruca that won’t go away, or that I have to use haemorrhoid cream from time to time, but I know there are far, far worse things lurking in other people’s bathroom cupboards, pant drawers, spare rooms and secret vaults.

Imagine wandering up to the bathroom on your first visit to your new chap’s house, accidentally opening the wrong door, leading you into the spare room and his vast china doll collection. And I don’t mean two or three rosy-cheeked Victorian girl dolls, standing on a shelf, but a room brimming with the things, their eyes staring out at you from every nook and cranny.

Or that spare room with the jammed door could reveal a wall of photos of you, taken from months ago in every bit of your daily life, long before you met him. It may include souvenirs like your old knickers or items from your dustbin…

In the bathroom you may open the cupboard in an innocent search for toothpaste, but instead cause an avalanche of incontinence pads, hair restorer, denture fixing gel or a penis pump…

But even his bedroom may not be completely safe. You would have hoped it had been vacuumed, tidied, freshly laundered and generally spruced up, but ‘nasties’ could still be lurking. You could bend over to unbuckle a shoe and brush your hand against a crusty pair of old boxers, or on checking the view from the window, stumble upon a forgotten cup of stale tea complete with floating mould. If he has been even more careless in the cleaning department, you may step on solidified tissues, or even uncover another woman’s lacy smalls under the bed.

“But what about you women?” I hear a few male voices call out. “You aren’t perfect or that clean yourselves!” Yes, fellas, I admit we are not guilt-free.

Some of us may be hiding a little more than a pair of breasts in our bras – those chicken fillet inserts come in handy, but would we want them jumping out in a moment of passion? Control pants have been very good to me on a number of occasions, but I am very aware that they look a lot like old lady ‘belly warmers’ when seen in isolation. And on a particularly ‘fat’ day, my tum may pop out like an airbag on their removal.

False eyelashes are also quite popular right now, but not something you want to start peeling off mid-snog.  What if they head south and end up as a makeshift Charlie Chaplin moustache? Which brings us to hair: Us ladies all want luscious, thick locks, but some of us need a little extra help, be it hair extensions, extra pieces or furious ‘Hell for leather’ backcombing (my usual choice). So imagine your beau’s horror, when he’s running his fingers through your hair, and pulls his hand away to find something resembling a gerbil attached to it.

So, none of us are the perfect, flawless creatures we would like a new dance partner to think we are. So we should be either extra thorough in our preparations/deception or just ourselves, minus the smoke and mirrors.

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.

To avoid disappointment…

There are two types of angry teachers – the ones who shout and rage and the ones who tell you they are very disappointed in you.

The shouty ones tend to have the impact of striking a match – their spark of rage is strong and bright, but it fizzles out quickly while the disappointed ones are like a large candle, burning through you slowly, leaving a lasting, lingering trail. I always found the disappointed teachers were the best ones, too, who didn’t need to raise their voices and left me feeling terrible for ages, that I had let them down when they had put so much faith in me.

Disappointment is such a lingering feeling – it can take years to die down. The same can be said for disappointment in the bedroom.  It’s an old friend of mine, though, whom I first encountered in my student days.

The second person I ever had sex with was a hunky blonde guy I thought was completely out of my league. But somehow we ended up in my room in halls after a night in the student bar. He talked his way into my pants, which wasn’t hard when I had been trying my best puppy dog eyes on him all evening. But then it was quick in and quick out, literally. And I was left wondering if it actually happened at all. The only proof was the way in which he completely ignored me the next day and never spoke to me again.

Then there was Mr Para-phimosis (see my post of 4th February 2013). I had fancied him for weeks and even engineered meeting him (I got oddly bold about things like this in my mid-twenties) by shoving a note under his door – this sounds like a stalker, but he lived on the floor above me in the flats I was living in at the time, so I wasn’t staking out his house or anything…

Things went reasonably well until we found ourselves in his bed. Too tight foreskin meant painful, slow, agonising sex for both of us – his pain physical and mine mental. I sometimes wonder if the poor guy ever got his problem sorted out. .

Then, what is traditionally supposed to be the most important sex ever – the big wedding night. I was totally exhausted after what seemed to be two days in one and my ‘up do’ seemed to contain more pins than the average sewing box which meant I was in the bathroom of our hotel room for half an hour trying to pull them out. The end result was something like an old witch with over back-combed hair and running make up.

By this point my husband had fallen asleep waiting for me to re-emerge so I had to jump on the bed, shouting ‘oi!’ Not very romantic or lady-like, I agree, but I was so tired I had lost all decorum but was determined to consummate our nuptials in the traditional way. A half-hearted effort followed.

But it is disappointments that stay as strong in the memory as the spectacular rip-roaring shag marathons. The not-so-bads and okays are quickly forgotten.

So I have learnt to enter proceedings open-minded and see what happens. High hopes are too often dashed.

Of course with The Man, I was open-minded but hopeful – I had hoped something would happen with him for a long time and when it did, it exceeded expectations. He is largely to blame (or maybe to thank) for the Drunken Slut Mum on your screen.

I’m talking pants

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of his vital parts must be in want of a good pair of undercrackers…

And that’s about as close to Jane Austin as I like to get. So, David Beckham is popping up in commercial breaks showing off his perfectly formed physique in a pair of snug-fitting pants and leaving many men feeling a little inadequate.

And pants are merely the outer casing of the centre of their universe, so why should it matter if they are greying, loose at the seams and the elastic is coming away? Yes, the contents are more important, but good pants mean a man can dress himself without his mum still buying his stuff, he has some pride and dignity and he is clean.

It may be that in the heat of passion clothes are thrown off at the speed of lightning, but there will be a point when you are both getting dressed again – whether it is after a couple of hours or the next morning. So the undergarments will get a ‘tah-dah’ moment, even if you have forgotten what you were wearing or have to search under the bed, down the side of the sofa or reach up to the light fitting to retrieve them.

While we ladies tend to choose carefully what we are wearing on such occasions, men can be a little more lax. I can recall at least a couple of chaps who have encased their bits in what can only be described as hideous rags – boxer shorts which have been so full of holes that they are merely a gusset dangling from a thick piece of elastic. I don’t know whether it was poverty, laziness or general not-giving-an-arse that led to this.

I have also seen one or two hideous pairs of off-white y-fronts which, however clean they are, always give an air of manky sweatiness.

I think my most joyful recollection of panted male butt was on a guy I actually never had sex with – maybe why I had chance to take lingering glances at his kecks. We dated briefly (excuse the pun), but something was lacking. Luckily, though, he stayed over at least once and I got to see his small, perfectly pert Italian posterior framed in blue Calvin Kleins. Other brands of similar shape and style are available – and should not be a reason why men can’t wear decent pants. Of course this style of pant doesn’t suit everyone anyway.

As for The Man – he manages to avoid this debate, as he chooses to never wear underwear. I didn’t even notice this for a couple of years, which shows just how long we stay in clothes when we get together…

But, men, if you choose to go commando, bear in mind that you should probably change your trousers more often. Even if you shower twice a day, it can get a little musty down there. And if you get a hole in them, there is nothing between you and the wind.