Sex in a Tent

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With mud nearing knee-height, flooded camping fields and leaking tents, it was highly unlikely that anyone would pray for more rain this year at Glastonbury. But one person did; and that person was me – despite the fact that, thanks to the rain, my tent had already leaked, I had fallen over face-first in a huge mud swamp (whilst piggybacking my son) and we already had a long muddy trek from our tent to the pyramid stage and Kidz Field. But there was decent logic behind my will for more rain at 4am on Saturday morning, and that was to drown out the porn show from the neighbouring tent…

Now I’m far from a prude – I may have become asexual and have no current want for a relationship, I may even be so rusty that I’ve forgotten how to do the business, but I have had a good innings in my past and I have at times jumped two feet into the promiscuous camp. However, this performance of copulation made me somewhat uncomfortable, given that it was louder than the Muse gig we’d seen 5 hours earlier. And it was as descriptive as a David Attenborough documentary.

Had the couple been liaising in a beautiful French accent, or even with the silky tones of someone like Joanne Lumley, then perhaps it would have been a little more tolerable, but this was parallel to the script of Deep Throat and was delivered in a thick scouse accent (and I say this with Liverpudlian friends, and as a huge fan of Margi Clarke and the Good Sex Guide she fronted). But the shrill noises made it sound like a Brookside gang bang – with shrieks aligned with the discovery of Trevor Jordash’s body under the patio. You shouldn’t have sex like that in a semi-detached house, never mind a tent. In fact, I’m surprised he wasn’t semi -detached by the end of it.

So pray for more rain, I did. And thankfully, it hammered it down so that the percussion on our tent was sufficient to drown out most of the commentary; and thankfully my five-year-old didn’t wake up. My son knows about sex – he asked and I explained, but my talk hadn’t gone past the ‘two people who love each other, fitting together like a jigsaw’ and into this arena of sex talk (I’m saving that chat until he’s six). Had he woken up, my game plan was to sing the Postman Pat theme tune at the top of my voice – this would have confused him terribly, but less so than what the drunken lady was saying to her boyfriend and why she was making a noise like a wolf.

I had attempted to avoid this scenario a day earlier, through the subtle visit to local campers with the donation of a couple of my son’s glow sticks, which was a gesture of “ok, I know I’m gate-crashing a ravers’ camping field with a child, but please accept some of his glow sticks in exchange for not having sex like you’re auditioning for ‘Fucked by a Horse’, or falling through my tent wall onto my sleeping child when you come back wasted.”

One out of two wasn’t bad I guess.

It’s not even that the family field would have been any better in terms of avoiding the soundtrack to someone’s ‘how’s ya father’ session – last year there was an attempt at a discreet romp by the neighbouring camper and his wife (well I assume it was her…), right next to our tent, but with the oblivion to the fact that sleeping bags rustle very loudly. I just wanted to shout “Mate! You’ve got four kids in there – and if I can hear you then I bet you a pulled-pork bap that your kids can…”

Given that people in relationships are deemed amorous if they get jiggy twice a week,  even those people would surely want to pick two days when they weren’t in the grubbiest, muddiest, sweatiest state that Glastonbury dictates? Aside from that, the floor is bloody hard (maybe she was yelping in pain…? Or because his body fumes were stinging her eyes…). And dare I even ask what you do with the aftermath…? The showers were a good 40 minutes walk away.

If you have the energy to bonk then you have the energy to get out your tent and go and find a bush. Even up against the Glastonbury letters, or on the roof of the West Holts stage – the place is bloody massive – you don’t need to have sex right next to another family. Even knock on, unzip my tent and ask to borrow a poncho to lie on, take my roll mat if you like, hey, I’ll even pass you my son’s blow-up Minion bed if it spares his ears from hearing something that would even make Ron Jeremy cringe. But please not up against my tent. It’s just not nice.

Next year I may campaign for a new initiative: they currently have ‘piss patrol’ workers, who shout down megaphones and bang drums at anyone who ‘pees on the land’, well I think they should have sex patrollers too. If you are heard having sex by the naked ear then out comes the drum and tanhoy – “stop having sex near these innocent bystanders you filthy animals!” **bang of drum, blow of penny whistle, perhaps an old fashioned car horn in there somewhere.

So, whilst the answer to the question: ‘what was your festival highlight?’ would be “a toss-up between Skepta, Muse and Mr Fish”, my answer to: ‘what was your most memorable Glastonbury moment?’ would be: “two scousers having sex next to my tent”.

Re-enactment of Wicked Sensations aside, I will not be deterred from returning to the happiest, most magical place my little boy and I have yet to experience; roll on next year’s purchase of earplugs, and the sex patrol initiative…

Being Poked by a Stick

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If wealth is peace, then today I’ve been tempted to file for bankruptcy.

It’s like being repeatedly poked with a massive stick – you can promise yourself you’ll ignore the stick, and never let the poker interrupt your mindful existence, but after a while there becomes a temptation to shout “stop poking me with a fucking stick!” followed by you grabbing the stick, snapping it in half and ramming the ends into the temples of the Prat doing the poking.

Usually, the stick here would be a euphemism, as would the poking. In a way, I guess that it is – given that it’s the ongoing aftermath of being ‘poked with a man’s stick’ that has today led to me having a facial expression like the one in the famous mug shot of murderer Tracie Andrews.

Once again, I avoid the temptation of jumping on the self-destruct button, (which would involve drinking a pint glass of something that should be served as a 25ml measure), and I throw love at the situation. But not before throwing a toy or two out the pram. And in that respect, I feel I’ve let myself down. It’s the parenting equivalent of sleeping with a member of Geordie Shore, or an MP – I wish I’d behaved a little differently.

The week started well; Monday was the ultimate in the wealth outside my pocket: blissfully happy, spending the day with a friend, walking up a hill and then polishing off wine and a whole cheese whilst starring at trees and fields. I’m old before time – my love of Craig David, ownership of a Glastonbury ticket and the fact I’ll still be rocking hoop earrings when I roll into the 40-plus bracket, was totally wiped out by the fact that I was watching planes and trains through binoculars – for about 2 hours. I was as happy as a pig in shit, and the anxiety devil was nowhere to be seen. This is what I’ve worked for, this is what I wanted to show my son, this is what makes me enjoy a life I once wanted to leave: peace.

But then comes the piss on my train-spotting parade – the small reminder that I got pregnant by a Chav… (I think this reference is very fair, given the ‘PIMP MY RIDE’ and ‘I DON’T DO SPEED BUMPS!’ car stickers on a car that would have fitted in well racing round the Broadmarsh centre in the late 1990’s. And it’s a small blow given that an AK47 would likely be justified here – he’s got off likely).

(I always think about what my son might think, or how he may feel, if he ever reads anything autobiographical that I write – I hope that he will agree it’s objective, and be proud I’ve used attempted humour as a coping mechanism, in order to be civil face-to-face to his dad, to avoid needing a permanent gin infusion and to be able to keep present during motherhood, in the face of constant stupidity. Sadly, though reassuringly, he’s had a long-held objective view of his Dad, without me needing to point it out. I think this is unlikely to change as he grows up. And I need a healthy outlet. If there’s someone alive that can think instant peaceful, empathetic thoughts, and default to a dignity without it being premeditated, then I want to meet them. And beg them to share what they know).

Back to the poker… fresh from squeezing a helium balloon into our five-year-old’s mouth (see previous blog post for details on this interesting parenting choice), he follows cutting my child maintenance (due to poverty), with telling our son he’s taking him abroad. And this is where I slip up – I drop my so far dignified silence, outside of this therapeutic blog, and I rant in front of my boy, with a temper like Nellie Boswell. I then disappear upstairs to find a quick resolution for my anger at not being told, or even better asked, about escaping the country with our child – not least because smuggling him into an 18-30’s holiday in Magaluf is a very possible reality here.

Hurrah for very dear friends at the end of the phone. I’m lucky with friends, from day one, none of them have ever taken a ‘chop his dick off’ stance; they’ve always pushed a fair, child-centred viewpoint. And the bottom line is that, regardless of the claimed poverty in the face of endless new cars and designer clothes, despite the lack of respect to ask me if it’s ok to disappear abroad with our child and a woman who considers me invisible, despite the fact it’s highly unlikely I’d get an honest answer about where they would be going, our son would really enjoy going on a plane. So I have to swallow my pride and let him go – because, despite his complaints about his Dad, he would like to go – and I’m sure he’d have a lot of fun (assuming there’s none of those ‘how many sexual positions can you do in 60 seconds?!’ competitions around the poolside…).

Having calmed down, and my face returning from an unruly shade of fuchsia, I am visited by my boy, as he comes upstairs to ask if he can have some chocolate. I apologise for getting cross about his dad, and explain I was just upset because he hasn’t asked me, but that if he’d like to go abroad with them then I’m happy for him to go. He smiles and walks off, then stops, turns around and says, with a big grin: “And remember I love you.”

And my virtual pockets suddenly feel full again.

Don’t steal other people’s chips

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I’m watching it happen: a twenty-something boosting her ego by trying to get her hands on someone else’s husband. It’s a car crash I’m not interested in watching, and am unable prevent.

Infidelity is a theme that keeps cropping up in my path, and something I feel passionately about.

At a work Christmas party, 18 months ago, I found myself a comfortable spot on the dance floor and became lost in a happy bubble of surprisingly decent tunes. Strangers were uniting through the appreciation of music, and it was a temporarily beautiful moment. The track ‘Song 2’ came on and I embraced the vibe, alongside (well, not right alongside, there was a good three metre gap between us) a man who apparently shared my love of Blur; we jumped around in sync, within the limits of my impractical footwear.  He was not a love interest, I did not want to pull him and I doubt for a second that he wanted to pull me – being evidently very happy with his wife and child, and the fact that I’m an acquired taste. Within about 30 seconds, a married woman, of extremely senior status within the company, stormed across and grabbed him – dragging him away from my sights and giving me a look as if I had just decapitated a kitten on the dance floor. I was absolutely incensed.

Something triggered this again recently, and I guess it feels a little personal – because hitting on someone else’s man is not just something I would not do – it’s something I feel very strongly against. It was offensive that I was deemed someone who would dive head first into a married man’s trousers.

Here’s why I couldn’t do it: imagine someone taking a rusty pair of scissors to any part of your body that would come off, then applying a cheese grater with brute force to the rest of your body – followed by a finale of pushing you into a bath of acid. That’s how much it hurts when someone does that to you. And if you think it can’t feel worse, they then watch, praying you will drown, don’t offer you a life jacket of an apology and then rob your wardrobe, handbag and Gin shelf.

Should these women be forgiven? Yes. I think that everyone deserves forgiveness, kindness and the benefit of the doubt that they aren’t quite aware of what they have done. However, I believe the situation can be avoided very easily, aside from the very simple approach of “try not to put a married man’s willy in your nutty”. You can control your feelings – and here’s proof, through one very awkward question:

If your brother wasn’t your brother, would you fancy him?

The most common reason people aren’t attracted to their siblings is because they are siblings – there is something that makes it impossible to fancy someone else – and that is because they are out of bounds. Men in relationships are out of bounds. Make that people in relationships – this post is about women respecting each other and there being some sort of girl code, largely because I write autobiographically  – but it’s not based on a perception that only women behave like this – men pinch people’s partners too.

There’s no science behind not having an affair – you simply think of that person as your brother. Oh and you respect their wife/partner, as another human being, not stick your fingers on your ears, close your eyes and sing ‘la la la’, to avoid that fact, whilst you put their penis in your mouth.

I have been lucky as a single woman: I get invited round to other couples’ houses, I have been given lifts by friends’ husbands, I have had a friend babysit whilst I went running with her husband and have been for a drink after work with married male friends. Until the day I die, I will never see any of these men as anything other than friends.

I wish the dance floor lady could read this. I wish she had the opportunity to realise that her public gesture was a kick in the genitalia, and that she was lucky I didn’t grab her by her bulging eyeballs and say “Listen lady, just for reference, I would bath in dog shit over sleep with him. And not because there’s anything wrong with him, but because he is married. And he’s a dad. And for what it’s worth, I’m wearing a jumpsuit, heels and loads of make-up because I’m clinging onto the attempt to feel attractive after being left for someone else – not because I want to attract a man. Aside from this, you are a GREAT BIG SEXIST PIG – why did you not drag any of the married women away from me? Take your unfair, sexist conclusion and shove it up your hairy judgemental arse crack.”

Whilst I’m on the rampage, I want to take the woman I observed, who was gunning for a dirty shag in an ALDI car park with her target married man, and set fire to her boobs. I want to run at her with an electric sander, and then push her into a paddling pool of lemon juice. I want to show her quite how much her actions might hurt the oblivious wife.

Despite my asexual vibes, I got accosted recently by an out-of-bounds gent, and was deeply offended by the offer – which, to me, equated to ‘Hi, if you’re free on Friday night, do you fancy destroying my girlfriend’s life? – No! I don’t care if you cover it in chocolate, tie a bow around it or if it has the powers of a magical genie lamp – I’m not going near your todger. End of discussion.

I totally understand that men have natural urges and that it may be fact that monogamy is unnatural. I think that men who are honest about wandering thoughts, who acknowledge this and seek the advice of their wives, especially at times when women are trying to snare them, should be proud. I’m aware of this happening with more than one friend, and I totally back their supportive approach to these revelations – both friends understanding the position of their husbands, and being grateful for the honesty and the fact their husbands didn’t just drop their pants and hold up a ‘jump on board my javelin!’ sign. However, if women had respect for each other, and stayed away from other people’s partners, then affairs wouldn’t happen. Also true for same sex couples and for men who have got jiggy with, or suggested it, with married women.

Would I have done it in my twenties? I’d like to think not. Would I have appreciated the pain I would have caused if I had a married man with kids on offer, who I wanted to be with? Probably not. I know there’s an element of naivety here on the part of women who do this – but there’s also a hugely apparent ‘who gives a shit’, and in the latest case I’ve had wafted in front of my eyes, I think the lass just wanted to get fingered round the back of a Ladbrokes, and then be on her way.

I have a burning research project: if a mass of women, and men, are genuinely ignorant to the hurt they would cause by stuffing a committed sword into their foof, then do those of us with children have the power to influence infidelity in the next generation? Up there with ‘don’t do drugs,’ ‘don’t drink too much,’ ‘work hard at school’ etc., should we be adding ‘don’t have sex with someone who is in a relationship?’ It would be an interesting study to carry out, over a 20-30 year period. It makes me think of the school visit we had from Leah Betts’ dad, Paul, (I even remember his name, over 20 years on); he warned us of the devastation of taking drugs – and it worked – his story stuck in my mind for forever and possibly stopped me from ever trying class A drugs. And I have since met two friends in adult life who remembered the same talk at their primary schools, and felt it had really worked in preventing them from dabbling with drugs.

Preparing for potential disgruntled readers who have imitated a scene from Geordie Shore – and dabbled with someone else’s man/woman – I am not claiming a squeaky clean track record in my life – there are many other platforms from which I could not preach. But if this hits a nerve, it just needs to be taken on the chin. People aren’t chips – you can’t pop one in your mouth when the person who ordered and paid for them is looking away.

Thank you for reading – you can follow me online here.