The real victims of sex abuse

sabuse-1My loyal readers all know I am not afraid to tackle contentious issues. So buckle up – here we go again!

My proposition is that the media’s over-emphasis of the overpaid celebrities who are leading the “#me too” campaign ignores the real victims of sexual harassment and abuse – those who are genuinely in need of protection.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not for a moment condoning any form of non-consensual or unwanted or unacceptable sexual misconduct. However, in my view, the whole #me too campaign has gone too far.

Let’s look first at the celebrities. And again, I must make clear I am not condoning or seeking to excuse unwelcome sexual advances of any nature or in any context. But surely, the question must be asked why these high profile so-called victims – many of whom (and I readily concede not all) tolerated and remained silent about the conduct of which they are now complaining after in some instances 20 years plus, presumably in the interest of advancing their careers – are being given unrivalled media attention.

And all this media coverage to the few is given whilst the real victims of sexual misconduct remain relatively anonymous when compared with those who might be described as privileged and high profile and who, for whatever reason, have decided after many years to speak out.

Now, let’s consider the victims. Of course, there are many such victims, including those of domestic violence, forced marriage, church and other institutional abuse etc … of which I concede there has been some media coverage – in some cases significant and serious coverage. Yet one sector is virtually ignored and misrepresented – those are workers in the sex industry.

The recent UK tabloids’ coverage of the Dorchester Hotel event prompted me to write this article to highlight this ridiculously unbalanced media coverage – of the privileged #me too brigade on the one hand, compared with the lost victims of sexual abuse, including those who work in the sex industry and about whom we hear barely a beep.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the Dorchester was used as a venue recently to host a male only event described as a sexual predators’ playground. An undercover journalist sought to expose the sexual nature of this event, with descriptions of men salivating, taking pictures and drunkenly approaching the women who were employed at the event with unwelcome sexual advances and comments.

Now I am not for a moment condoning such behaviour. And I applaud the journalist’s desire to lift the lid on unacceptable sexual behaviour  However, I beg to differ where the journalist and some of the girls involved said they were treated “like sex workers”.

That comment really brought home to me the relative lack of understanding and media profile – the deafening silence – about the plight of other, lower profile victims such as sex workers. Indeed, it highlighted to me how ignorant the media and broader community are of issues facing the sex industry.

 

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Seriously, how can these men be described as predators for getting drunk and being nothing more than rude? And how can the journalist and these employees truly believe they were treated like sex workers? The world has simply gone #me too far!

Please don’t get me wrong. I applaud and support many of the objectives of the #me too campaign. In particular, I support the principle of non-acceptance of sexual misconduct, unwanted sexual advances, and the importance of encouraging victims of such conduct to speak out. However, as has been well documented by many anti-#me too campaigners, in particular the French former screen actress Catherine Deneuve, who have highlighted the importance of distinguishing between sexual harassment and abuse on the one hand and normal sexual behaviour on the other.

The #me too campaign is at risk of blinding us to the fact that humans are sexual beings. It is part of our identity. It is in our DNA. The campaign fails to differentiate between sexual harassment, abuse and violence on the one hand and normal sexual activity on the other.

Further, the media’s pre-occupation with the relatively few powerful figures who have ultimately seen fit to complain of wanted sexual advances, in many instances after many years and after they have reaped the financial and career rewards of their own mishandling of the incident of which they complain, fails to cover the real, powerless victims of such conduct, particularly those who choose or are forced to enter the sex industry.

What is more, the campaign fails to distinguish between drunken foolish behaviourand normal human sexual interaction.

The Dorchester event journalist compared the girls’ treatment to that off sex workers. And I venture to guess this is simply because the journalist and so-called victims concerned think they know what sex workers have to suffer. Believe me, they don’t.

Participants in the sex industry are one of the many unsung victims of sexual abuse and predatory behaviour. Yet they are the victims the media chooses to overlook. Why? Perhaps because they are seen as people who deserve it.

Most people do not actually understand what a sex worker is, let alone what they endure in the lives they have chosen or been forced by circumstance to pursue. Wikipedia defines sex workers as those who provide direct sexual services such as prostitutes, and some but not all professional dominants; pornographic models and actors who engage in sexually explicit behaviour that is filmed or photographed; phone sexoperators who have sexually-oriented conversations with clients, and those provide audio sexual role play. Other sex workers are paid to engage in live sexual performances, such as webcam sex and live sex shows. Some sex workers perform erotic dances and other act for an audience (stripteaseGo-Go dancinglap dancingNeo-burlesque, and peep shows etc…).

Generally speaking, these are professionals, who are simply trying to earn a living. One thing for sure is they would never have agreed to wear a cheap bit of black cloth, loosely described as a dress, and work for a minimum wage for a male only event fuelled with alcohol and, I am sure, drugs. They would have charged a lot more and would have understood exactly what would be happening. And frankly, I’m pretty sure most of the women who worked at the Dorchester event would have understood the situation too.

The point I am making is that the media coverage of the #me too campaign, and more broadly journalists who should know better, are loosely using the words abuse, harassment, sexual violence and encouraging women to consider themselves victims of being made to feel like a sex worker; and they clearly do not understand what sex workers face on a daily basis.

And these are a group of people who really need the help. Yet they are overlooked by the media that prefers to pander to the relatively few grandstanding show-ponies that put up with unacceptable behaviour in return for untold riches and rewards they clearly coveted.

Many victims who should be encouraged to come forward, including many in the sex industry, are instead portrayed by the media, if the media covers them at all, as a lost cause – as someone who they expect it to happen too.

Recently, this view was implied to me by a newspaper journalist who I asked to help me and my colleague, Kelly Berg from House of Ardent, to expose the appalling abuse that is occurring within the porn industry, including the recent suicide of six young women who had faced physical and mental abuse, on-line bullying and depression. Such sexual violence, harassment and demeaning language is not the price one should pay for seeking employment, whether in the sex industry or otherwise; and nor should be deciding to take your own life. Yet hardly a word has been mentioned of these tragic cases, compared with the virtual avalanche of high profile #me too complaints.

Slut shaming of these women by the media and sometimes even from strangers on social media has gone far too far. It is contributing to these young women not wanting to better themselves because the truth is they never can leave the industry because of the poor choices they made or were forced to make, often in their youth.

Take myself for example. I retired some 18 years ago from the porn industry, and qualified in international business, counselling and mentoring. Similarly, my colleague, Kelly Berg – previously known as Kelly Stafford, retired many years ago after working with only Rocco Siffredi. And we both have offered to the media and others, including the body responsible for the welfare of adult entertainers – UKAP-important insights on the state and welfare of girls working in or trying to leave the industry, some of whom have taken their own lives. Yet we have been constantly not taken seriously because of our past – even though we are seeking to actively mentor and assist those who have faced years of genuine sexual harassment and abuse, and trying to prevent suicides.

My good friend Alana Evans in the USA recently has been inundated with media for refusing to have sex with Donald Trump! However this will soon be overlooked and questioned-Why? Because she is a sex worker.

Only last week, I interviewed a well-known UK porn actress who was groomed, manipulated and provided with false promises of security by a former Bristol MP who gained her trust then prostituted her to his friends. She was blindfolded, gagged and threatened with a sharp metal object. It took her a year to come forward and contact the police about what she had to endure. Yet no one would take her seriously because of her chosen profession. Can you imagine that being the case with a mainstream actress, particularly a successful one?

Many such victims of sexual abuse and harassment do not come forward because they are not the top of the popularity queue. They are not afforded the same compassion, coverage and support given by the media and broader society to the show-ponies from Hollywood.

Judgment, victim shaming, blaming, and fear of violence within the sex industry needs to be addressed. The media should not be covering salacious sexual content and then putting down men for admiring the view.

Further, women should be able to embrace their sexuality and not be called a slut or have it held against them in the future. It’s about time the media gave everyone the equal chance to be protected from sexual predators and abuse – not just the ones with an existing and well-rewarded profile.

It is also time for the media and broader community to learn the difference between normal sexual relations including courting or flirting, call it what you will, on the one hand, and sexual harassment and abuse on the other. It is time to learn guidelines and boundaries – not just towards others but also towards ourselves. I for one would miss the world without eye candy!

According to Oscar Wilde – “Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”

It is time for the media and roader society to cover and protect the vulnerable, not just the powerful.

As Catherine Deneuve has observed, it is time for the media and broader society to understand the distinction between normal and acceptable sexual interaction that is part of our DNA and unwanted and unacceptable sexual misconduct.

The media must stop peddling salacious stories that is unsupported by factual research, in particular it must stop misrepresenting the sex industry as a measure of what is and is not sexually acceptable in society. Rather, they must uncover and expose the fact of the appalling abuse that is occurring in that industry and help address the damage caused to participants, including the unacceptably high level of suicide.

And finally, for our own and our childrens’ sakes, the media and society must demand greater education and awareness of appropriate and positive sexual behaviours. Children should learn at a young age what is acceptable in sexual terms and what is not.

Lianne and Kelly are available for interviews via http://www.houseofardent.com

The Porn Identity

FB_IMG_1457875693565 ” I  am a movie star, I have starred in over 100 blue movies before my retirement as a performer in 2001. Sure there are some similarities in my life style and that of Matt Damons character in “The Bourne Identity”.  I have suffered many episodes of drunken amnesia and memory loss, I must also admit to having slept with a few government bodies in my time… but I have never been chased by the CIA.  I am also very qualified in a more subjects besides sex.

My PA said to me this morning, she wants sex, she is yearning for it, she wants as much as she can possibly get and she wanted it now, in writing form of course. With my partner 12,000 miles away in Australia I need something to help me release tension mentally, the physical side I can do for myself. My PA is good,  but I’m much better in this department!

Thousands of times I have been asked questions as one of the world’s former top porn stars, ones like, “What is it like being a known sex star? “-  “Are you a sex addict?”-“Have you ever been in love” -“What about your kids?” and more often than not “Were you taking drugs when making movies?”

Serious, I am not a robot, I have emotions and feel pain the same as everyone else. I am however able to separate love and sex. This does not make me invisible.

Google searching myself is hilarious and entertaining, I love it. I have had to deal with a lot of critics. In march of this year I gave an interview to British tabloids covering my decision to become a porn star in my 20s, I openly said I felt it was a positive step for my children. The tabloids used the heading “Porn star who made over 100 mucky flicks says it was good for her children”.  My movies were not mucky, they were bloody excellent! 

Here are some questions I have answered on life as a former porn star and having a porn identity:

Why was it good for my kids? It made me happy in myself,  so of course it was a good thing, it left me less stressed. It made life as a single mother easier as I was able to become a working single mother. It also gave me financial stability and self worth. It helped me feel and be financially independant, it helped me provide for them.

Did I provide for my kids? Yes, of course. In every way possible.  I was a single parent and I done my best. My daughter lived with her father from aged 2 and my son lived with me. It was not a situation I wanted and my job helped me provide for both of them equaly. 

Do they have morals and education? I would certainly hope so! 

Would I let them be a porn star? I would do my best to put them off, it’s no longer a professional industry and there is no money to be made. I have supported them both in their choices and I will always look out for them. Its not my place to tell them what they can and cant do for themselves career wise, but I would advise against it.

Are they into drugs and wild sex?  No, I don’t think so. My son is happy living quietly in Vancover and working. They have travelled, they have had education and they had a stern mother who made enough mistakes of her own to advice them and tell them what to avoid. You see being a porn star never made me less of a mother.  It helped me be more educated on issues which would affect their lives. 

What about your critics? Some home alone critic suggested I put down the porn industry on TV, they could not be further from the truth. I totally support the professional side of the adult porn industry, not that there is much left of it.  I don’t support suitcase pimps and ass holes of the industry. Nor do I have any respect for any critic sat at home who judges me, then provides negative comments on my professional advice for TV shows to help others.  Maybe, whoever critics me has gone deaf, not just blind from too much wanking. The only thing I will always be is 100% honest.

lianne_web_02.jpg Why a porn star? Let me explain, I look at things differently, I realised at a young age if we were clones of one another the world would be a bloody boring place . My decision to be a porn star was based on business, one of financial gain and development. I had a 2 year plan, I wanted to move away from my small town in Bristol to London. I wanted to get myself off and out of the council system.  I lived off benefits as a single parent and I wanted more for myself. Did I expect anyone else to pay for my dreams to be turned into reality, no, I wanted to do that for myself. I was very happy to put in the hard graft and do it for myself.  Did I like sex more than anything else,  if I’m honest, yes!

That’s where it started, with a dream and some passion. I knew I had the skills to make money from the worlds biggest industry, I knew sex sold everything. I began by writing a 2 year business plan covering finances and marketing and I made a start. It really was that simple. 

What made the difference is 18 years ago it was pre-internet. There was money to be made unlike today. The salary was very attractive, some weeks I easily made $10,000 depending on what, or when I choose to work. Did my business plan work?  You bet it did.  Did I sleep myself to the top of my work place?  Damn right I did, I was supposed too.  Unlike many other people in regular jobs.

What now, what is life like after porn?  I used my infamous label to help others. I have helped people of all ages from teens to married women on sex, relationship and confidence issues. I learned the practical sides of sex from being a porn actress, then I got qualified in the theory side of things via the family planning association. I have a strong belief that ex sex-workers, the ones that have the highest personal hygiene and top knowledge covering sex and sexual health should be teaching sex education. Recently Italian Porn star Rocco Siffredi has came out and offered to help educate Italian schools on sex education. Look at it this way, he know’s more than most. I have a joint venture “House of Ardent” which I use as a platform to advise, educate and help others on all things concerning sex and relationships and how to get through lifes hurdles. Trust me, I have survived all of them,

How do you cope with negative comments? Many people, on many occasions  have labelled me, some have been damn right nasty and vicious, some have called me disgusting names and others have used me for blame and excuses to protect themselves. Quite honestly I no longer give a damn, nor will I. They can accuse me and say whatever they like, most don’t even know me and none of them have ever offered to pay my bills. Too many people judge others and that’s never going to change, I just feel sorry for them. It used to really hurt me and leave me feeling worthless. I went through intense therapy at 30 years of age, not because of having been a porn actress, but because of some people who had tried to destroy me with thier beliefs of how I should have been living. I had to suffer mental and emotional abuse because I put myself and my own needs first, and not theirs. Everyone has a right to be themselves.

How do women view you?  When I first started my career in porn, many women would grab their boyfriends and partners by the arm the minute I walked through the doors of a bar/club. They seriously thought I would want to fuck their partners! And for nothing?  The worse part about it was they obviously never trusted their partners, that’s sad being with someone you dont trust. Take it from me, it is not a porn star or any sex worker they should be worried about-sex workers do not give out free sex!  There are a lot of people going out and getting drunk and giving it away freely, that’s who they should worry about. On occasion it did piss me off enough to say “ look darling I don’t want your man, but when you sleep with him tonight he will be thinking of me”. I gave as good as I got.

How did you become good at sex ? Honestly I have no idea, I just knew I liked it!  I openly admit to having experimented, and I had friends with benefits before porn, I will always say “porn never made me, I made porn.”. I was tested regularly and I would turn up for work everyday, I always used protection and no one was getting hurt. The hilarious part about when I choose to be a single parent, was my ex saying “you will never find sex as good I gave it to you?” yeah right, he had never even given me an orgasm!  So I proved him wrong and became the Porn Queen of England. I should thank him.

Of course, if I wanted to be a porn star today I would go into the “Big Brother house” and be a sub standard porn star, not tested, no protection and not get paid for it!  However I will leave it to them to make porn stars look educated! Im happy of my 4 years involoved in the industry during my 20s, both as a perfomer and manager. I helped many well known faces get treated correctly, get paid what they deserved and not over work. I also helped them rebuild their lives after.

wp-1460195502620.jpegSo did you enjoy your work?  Damn right I did, I got to sleep, well have sex with some of the best performers in the world who were attractive and with bodies to die for. It also made me look after myself and stay healthy and in shape, I had to maintain a perfect size 10. Did I ever get forced to do anything against my will?  Yeah right,  I am Lianne Young- would you try making me do something I don’t want to do, the answer is no.

Did you do drugs to get through work?  No bloody way, when I was performing I had to be in fantastic shape. I ate well, I trained hard and I looked after myself.  If not I would have been out of work. The Industry may have a label as being full of drugs, however in all my time as a performer and talent manager I never once saw drugs, not on set, or did I see any performer high on drugs. Did I see it in my regular jobs after porn? Yes I did, it was everywhere. 

Many people have perceptions because they don’t understand the real porn industry, or what it used to be like. Many say we are fucked up characters , it’s more likely those saying this that are messed up. If you don’t understand something, don’t judge it.  Ask questions instead. You will be pleasantly surprised how intelligent the industry used to be.  As for the industry today I would not go near it.

Do I mind being recognised as someone who had sex on film? No, not at all, it partly made me who I am today and it helped me become a businesswoman. I have learned all about independence and self discovery along the way. It also helped me turn all my dreams into reality. Why would I mind being recognised. I will never hide from my past, its part of me. I just asked to be respected. I have helped many people and I will continue to do so.

Did it mess me up emotionally in any way?  No it never, it showed me how small minded and crawl some people can be from so called normal lives. Negative comments, feedback and remarks online leave me with nothing but a smile now.  It informs me I have had an impact on their lives, I hope they use it too, to have as much fun as I have!

So what does it fee like to have A Porn Idenity?

Its ace, why else do you think I always have a smile on my face.

Xxx

Lianne


Interview conducted  by Tomera Rodgers.

 

The gender menu

 

f9018555f526ed915f7f746864cf6144Gender is such an important issue, particularly in today’s society. But don’t just take my word for it. Clearly, some agree with me.

Former South African President, Nobel Peace Prize winner and philanthropist,  Nelson Mandela once said: “We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

Yes, I’m clearly in good company on this issue. But how can we possibly hope to achieve the lofty goals espoused Nelson in the ‘gender games’, if most of us cannot or will not open our minds to gender diversity.

So many people ask me the difference between genders. Unsurprisingly, most understand the differences between the male and female genders. But few understand much beyond that broad distinction. Indeed, most people I speak to about the topic have no idea, and a few simply refuse to accept, that there are other genders that go way beyond the ‘Adam and Eve’ thing.

I must confess that I was equally ignorant when it came to the so-called ‘third gender’. And it is not surprising, given the inadequate sex education I was forced to endure at school. Unfortunately, with very few exceptions, sex, and gender awareness in particular, is still very poorly taught. So, there is no shame in being ignorant on the topic of gender.

Having said that, ignorance is no excuse. Education is the foundation stone of a truly successful life. And the education I refer to is not just about understanding others. It’s also about understanding yourself. Because with self-awareness, comes real strength.

As actress Katharine Hepburn put it so forcefully: “I have not lived as a woman. I have not lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone.

Hey, I agree with Kate. I agree we can be anyone we damn well want to be. And no-one has the right to judge who I am or who I choose to be.

Take, for instance, my recent visit to Bangkok. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to and spend time with a number of wonderful people who are third gender. The experience was both fascinating and eye-opening. I found these people – so-called ‘lady-boys’ who were born male but choose to live as female – far more feminine than a majority of women in the west. Seriously, they behave better, take better care of themselves and truly understand what a female is and how to behave. Some may find my way of looking at things a bit harsh. But you know me, I always call it the way I see it.

Whilst in Thailand, I also came to understand how important is acceptance of diversity, particularly in the context of gender. Seriously, the openness towards and acceptance of the third gender I witnessed in Bangkok was incredible. And it was a marked difference from my experiences in  the west, where people so often are ignorant of or fear difference

Ignorance is one thing, and our very poor sex education system is probably to blame for that. But who knows why anyone would ‘fear’ gender diversity? I suspect it has a lot to do with the teachings of the church that are all so judgemental and focussed on what is right & what is wrong in the church’s eyes and consequently unwilling to accept difference. Also, perhaps many are frightened of the unknown or simply fear themselves – that they themselves may be different. After all, as we saw in decades past, so many of the vile creatures who persecuted gays and lesbians were in fact closet homosexuals themselves.

So, it is unsurprising that so many people do not, or choose not to, understand gender diversity.

Fortunately, this appears to be changing. For example, there is growing awareness of younger children being recognised as transgender. To be honest, transgender has always been around. It simply hasn’t been openly accepted and spoken about.

Certainly, I accept that gender diversity is a difficult issue to grasp, particularly for older people. It’s like learning a whole different language, after years of being forced to accept only one way of thinking; one way of being. For example, my own mum found it unacceptable for my 13-year-old niece and I to watch ‘I am Cait‘ on an E channel entertainment in-depth reality show, in which Cait Jenner opened up about being transgender. My sister (my niece’s mum) accepted transgender reflected how the world is today, and agreed it was fine for us to watch the show. My mum, on the other hand, and probably typically of her generation, couldn’t accept it. I don’t think it’s because they are against transgender people per se. I think it’s simply they have lived for so long without being aware of its existence, let alone coming face to face with it as they do today.

To be fair, some groups are beginning to open up about intersex gender. Having met the third gender, I am more convinced than ever there are more than 2 genders.

So, I thought it might be helpful to lift the lid and take a look inside the world of gender diversity.

First, let’s understand what we mean when we talk about ‘gender identity. This expression  is used to describe the particular gender role in society with which a person most identifies. Unfortunately, there has been a tendency to categorise males and females into social roles. This creates problems, especially when an individual doesn’t feel comfortable in the body they were born and raised in,  and would rather choose their own sex.

babies in eggs

Male and female

At birth, the parents are congratulated on the arrival of bouncy bundle of joy and label it either a girl or boy. But what happens if the welcome young (say, girl), turns out to be or wants to be, a boy, or even both a boy and a girl, or neither? Unfortunately, the answer to that question in current society is heartache and pain for all concerned. Hence the need kfor education in and understanding of gender diversity. We need vast improvement in understanding so these situations – these lives – can be accepted and celebrated.

Let’s start with some simple terminology. Below are some simple explanations of the different recognised genders. I am not going to describe them in technical terms such as chromosomes and DNA etc… I’ll leave that for the scientists. I am happy to learn and understand about sex and gender, and I encourage you to adopt the same approach – for the sake of your kids, for the sake of your family, and for your own sake. 

Hermaphrodite: Someone who has both male and female reproductive organs – both genital characteristics. Typically, the internal organs are of one sex, and the external organs are of another sex. For example, a hermaphrodite might have a penis and testicles, but inside, there are ovaries and possibly a uterus. Once it is known that the child has both reproductive organs, parents normally decide a gender for the child to be. Hermaphrodites commonly face discrimination, and in some countries employment is not provided to them. As they have both male and female reproductive organs, theoretically, they can have sexual relationships with both sexes depending on their own individual preference.

Did you know the once James Bond girl, ‘Caroline Cossey’, was raised a boy but had female appearance. At 17, she chose to live her life as a woman, and had gender reassignment surgery. Unfortunately, she was eventually ‘outed’ by the tabloids.

Transgender: A person who identifies themselves by gender orientation and not by a member of a community. This includes people who do not identify exclusively with either of the traditionally recognised genders – male or female.  Many transgender feel that they have been born in the wrong body and therefore go through surgery to become a member of the opposite sex from which they were biologically born. They may be pre-operative, post operative or non-operative. Many transgender become victims of discrimination by people not understanding and this includes the law. You may have recently heard about a woman from Bath who had successfully transitioned from male to female and was locked up in a male prison. This was because her birth certificate stated she was male. No certificate is re-issued when you change sex, it seems, at least in the UK. Although transition for transgender is legal in many countries there are still many countries where it is not. Similarly, sexual relations for transgender people is complex, with varying attitudes amongst countries. As with hermaphrodites, this is further complicated because, of course,  there is a continuing, traditional mindset of only 2 genders, such that there is no particular gender orientation for these people to be ‘categorised’ into. So, in some countries  they can have relationships with any person they desire; in others, they cannot have them at all! 

Agender: An individual who sees themselves as without gender. People who identify themselves this way also describe themselves as genderless or gender neutral. Even though they see themselves as genderless, they should not be mistaken with asexual people. Some undergo surgery to make them appear with a body that lacks sexual characteristics. 

Bigender: Someone who identifies with two genders. They can change between male and female identities whenever they choose. This is often associated with cross-dressing.

Genderfluid: Very similar to bigender but the gender they identify with varies over time. A genderfluid person may at any time identify as male, female or any non-binary identity and even sometimes a mixture of the two. They are also known as multigender.

The bottom line is, be proud of, and live, the life you choose to lead. Whether you identify as male, female, third gender or a mix of all of them, or as none of them – be true to yourself.

 

 

Disastrous dates

Dating is hard – bloody hard – some dates are even disastrous – here are some of my own…..

 Of course, there is plenty of pressure even before we face the difficulty that is carrying on one half of a straight conversation with a new man/woman. First, we need to decide who our date will be; and then orchestrate the why, where and when the date might take place.

And after all that, there is the effort we make to ensure we look our best –  hair (tick); nails (tick); dress (tick); shoes (tick); make-up (tick); and so on.
And, of course, let’s not forget the need for a “bail out system” – a must for every first date – ranging from the pre-arranged call from a friend to enquire sotte voce whether things are going well and, otherwise, provide an excuse to leave early due to an emergency at home etc…; through to adding an app on my phone to call myself and facilitate a fake conversation, if necessary. We all need them. And, believe me, I have used them all, many times. Trust me, they have served me well. Even with Magnum PI from Dallas mentioned in my article from “Online dating”, I managed to escape with a half-decent white lie.
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Yeah, dating is hard alright. But we all have to admit that if it was taken off the life menu, it would make for a very bland diet!
So, we all persevere – for better or worse. And I’ve been thinking recently about some of my worst!  Here I have hand-picked, trust me out of hundreds, some disastrous dates that are etched in my mind. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (not!).
 My first orgasm and Mr X
He was gorgeous, shaven headed, well spoken and a confident man. He was far from selfish, in fact quite the opposite, as it was with him my heaven eventually opened and I experienced my first orgasm.
We had met via a relative of mine and I had got to know and to fancy him over a few months.
I had only been single for a couple of months after leaving my former partner and I felt I needed to get back on track sexually.
At 24 I had never had an orgasm. The truth be known, I was still relatively inexperienced. In fact, up to that point, I had not even touched myself simply because I was ignorant of how my own pleasure spots worked.
So, for better or worse, I decided to open up to Mr X.
It was after a run-of-the-mill date – I fancied him, and therefore invited him back to mine. After the usual preliminaries, as we climbed into bed together, I told him I had never had an orgasm. He offered to help me achieve that goal. And it was not long thereafter that I was having what every woman should be entitled to experience – a full-blown, dyed in the wool, rip-roaring orgasm. I must confess, it was an indescribable wave of pleasure. The spasm arrived from heaven and boom, crash, there it was; an orgasm. Hurrah!
But then, all of a sudden, instead of enjoying my first orgasm for what it was, I panicked and began to hyperventilate. Can you believe it? I was suddenly scared shitless and fighting to breathe in the aftermath of an orgasm.
I shouted for Mr X to help me. “What the fuck can I do?” he said. I jumped up and raced around the house looking for a paper bag to breathe into to cut my oxygen levels. Eventually, I parked myself on the living room couch, made him sit with me throughout the remainder of the night and breathed into the bag.
All this because of a date…. yes I did see him again but only once, I was too embarrassed.
The Gumtree website
The first date I chose closer to home was a local man called Steve. He was tall with close shaven blond hair. He was educated at Eton and a serving soldier. I had  always had a fantasy for men in uniform – the need for someone strong and protective of me has always been a theme in my life – still is, to be honest.
We met for a drink in Twickenham where I lived at the time, and we appeared pretty compatible.  However, my instincts told me there was something odd. Something I just couldn’t put my finger on.
We went on a few dates over a week or so and, during that time, I sought advice from a friend on how long I should hold off before being intimate? Her answer was, helpfully, when it felt right. I told her that a lot of time had passed since my last physical encounter and I needed one badly. So, after the third date, I invited him back to my place, plied us both with enough alcohol to settle our nerves, and when we were relaxed, we ended up in the bedroom.
So far, so good.
Now, I’m pretty loud when I do the deed. I just love sex. And I have no hesitation in letting my sexual partner know what I need, when I need it, and so on. Unfortunately, not so Steve!
OMG, I don’t know what happened. It was as if he was making out with a blow-up doll. I was really freaked out. He was completely invisible and inaudible to me – he never spoke a word at any stage – he did not even make a sound!
 When it was all over, it was a God-given fact that I would not see him again. It had felt like sex to him was a church-like experience!
I tried a few other dates with local guys and experienced some strange behaviour from each of them (strange to me, anyway). I asked prospects to meet me in local bars for safety reasons. I never drank on a first date after my experience with Steve. And I always made an effort to look my best – partly to make myself feel good and sexy but mainly as a sign of respect for my date by making clear I had made an effort.
Unfortunately, I rarely received such an effort in return. So often, I had men turn up in really casual or downbeat gear, some even wearing anoraks and sipping on pints of beer.
You can guess that one of my pet hates is a date who doesn’t make an effort to impress me. It’s just damned disrespectful to do otherwise, in my view.
Then there were men who found it difficult to hold a sensible conversation. They would sit there, monosyllabically responding to my efforts to initiate a conversation. I was often left wondering how on earth they were able to write glowing on-line dating profiles and communicate well by email, but were hopeless communicators face to face.
Beverley Hills Hotel
This has to be one of my funniest dating experiences.
I had known the guy in a business context for a little while whilst I was based in the US. He was a lawyer and considerably older than me. I was not attracted to him physically. And I had made this clear to him. But I did find his company enjoyable, so I accepted his invitation to spend a day with him, being pampered in the piano bar at the Beverley Hills Hotel.
I can’t even remember his name, just the events of the day.
He was kind enough to pick me up in his snazzy convertible from a friend’s apartment where I was staying and ferry me to the real celebrity side of town. On the journey, he pointed out the landmarks and beautiful Hollywood hills scenery.
Whilst driving, I enjoyed his sense of humour, which was as mad as mine. We looked like life long buddies, all the time laughing, joking, and singing along to eighties’ songs on the radio as we drove.
I dressed elegantly – a short cream skirt (not too short), with a black top and black sandals – because I had been forewarned we would be going somewhere up-market for the day. The lobby itself was amazing with pure white, marble floors and cream walls accentuating the clean, internal design lines of the building.
We were directed to the bar. It was afternoon, so the place was rather quiet – at least until we started in on the martinis! This place had a drinks’ menu that put to shame any bar I had ever been in – and I had seen the inside of a few in my time!
Our few hours drinking the perfect dry martinis – incidentally,  a glass of gin placed in the shadow of a vermouth bottle & with a hint of lemon zest added – just as I love them! -.did not go unnoticed by other hotel guests. One elderly dame, who had to have been at least 80, decided to come to my rescue. She perched herself at my elbow, tugged at my arm, and politely asked me if I was okay. “Why would I not be okay?” I replied, just as politely. My proposed guardian angel said “I have been watching that man taking advantage of you; trying to get you drunk.” To which I replied “Oh don’t worry, he’s my uncle”; and added “I don’t need any help to get drunk because I was quite capable of doing that by myself”.
She must have become bemused shortly after our exchange because, even though I was not physically attracted to my companion, the alcohol we had consumed throughout the afternoon had taken its toll and this “niece” was soon kissing her “uncle”. Of course, I was polite, and sober enough, to thank the woman for her kind concern before assuring her there was no need to worry because he was not trying to get me into bed – and I certainly was not going there with him anyway! I smiled to her in a friendly fashion as we left the bar shortly after that exchange.
He had been such charming company but, even with the assistance of alcohol to cloud my judgement, I did not find him attractive. This had to be made perfectly clear 10 minutes later when he insisted we should take the opportunity to look around the grounds of the hotel before we went back to the Valley. The landscaping was impressive, with amazing flower beds connected by a myriad of walkways.
Unfortunately, the booze, the scent of the flowers, or me – or perhaps a combination of all three was too much for my companion. As I was admiring the scenery, he pounced and tried to shove his tongue down my throat. He missed, lost his footing and we both landed face down in one of the flower beds, revealing my G-stringed bottom for all to see.
I had spent a memorable afternoon with what’s-his-face and the hospitality had been fantastic. But it was well past time for us to part company; and I could not think of a better way of saying farewell than with flowers.
The Tenerife trumpet
 I met this particular date on sugardaddie.com. We had exchanged emails and phone calls over a couple of weeks and I agreed to join him on a long weekend break to one of the Canary Islands.
Having never spent a night with him, it never crossed my mind that he was afflicted by one of my pet hates – snoring. And I don’t mean just the odd pig grunt. I mean steam roller at high level snoring!
We were staying at a luxury hotel on the island for a company event.
Plenty of drinking in great surrounding – what more could I ask?
When we finally hit the hay, he was so drunk he fell asleep immediately.
And then it started – OMG – in all my life, I have never been so disturbed!
Unfortunately, I had no other room to move to, no earplugs, and even more drinking would not help me deal with his racket. I had no choice than to find a creative solution. And I tried a few.
First, I locked myself in the bathroom and phoned a friend – not the TV show  “who wants to be a millionaire” with Chris Tarrant –  a real friend, and to ask a big favour – to get me on a flight back to the UK the following day as early as possible.  Laughing his head off, my friend agreed to help but only after I met his request to put the phone on loudspeaker so he could hear the level of my date’s olfactory commotion first hand!
Second, having secured my escape the next day, I tried to get some sleep. The only effective means I could devise involved rolling myself up in the luxury bedroom rug and covering my head with pillows. It wasn’t completely effective but it helped until I passed out eventually.
By the time he awoke, I was gone. I politely left a “Dear John” letter saying a family member had passed away and I had headed to the airport.
Needless to say I never saw or contacted him again. And I have not been to Tenerife since.
And from that day forward, I always made sure there is a spare room when I do date someone – just in case!
I could go on for hours – even days writing about my disastrous dates. But I will leave it here for now and be sure to cover more of my dating experiences in my future articles.