OUR LIPS AREN’T SEALED

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Love is one of those things that has the ability to knock you sideways, whilst also being able to seep in silently like a good scent. It can appear as if from out of nowhere, but it can also grow for years before you realise you’ve even been struck by it. Sometimes, you don’t even know you’ve had it until it’s gone. But that’s the thing with love, you never know what form it’s going to take, how to prepare for it or in what way it’s going to shape you. But it does shape you, in one way or another. Every. Single. Time.

And I think that’s something worth talking about.

So, seeing as Valentine’s Day is pretty much on our doorstep, I thought now would be a good time to do just that. Yes, it’s a ‘Hallmark holiday’ and a cheap excuse for retailers to up the price of prosecco and long stemmed roses, but it’s also a chance to celebrate love in a few of its many guises.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adding a pair of lips or two to this post, just below where you’re reading now. Behind each set, you’ll find a tale about a type of love that somebody has experienced (for better or for worse). These stories have been told by people I know, people I don’t know, people I’ve met and some that I haven’t. And then, of course, some by me. From the dangerous and forbidden to lost and lesbian love, I have it covered. But please, if you feel compelled to write one of your own, send it over. I’ll be posting throughout the month, so there’s still plenty of time to spill the beans.

Although we might not like to admit it, we have all had our fair share of both heart-make and heart-break and I think it’s time we spoke honestly about these experiences in order to both celebrate and laugh in the face of love.

Come inside, our lips are far from sealed.

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The Orgasm

largeThere’s something about buying a fake Fendi, Rolex or Marc Jacobs that leaves you feeling less satisfied than as if you had purchased the real thing.

So how are you supposed to feel when you find out that your other half fakes it like a cheap watch in the bedroom?

Lying, in any form, is bad for a relationship. But as for the subject of faking orgasms? I’m pretty sure it’s been decided that ignorance is bliss.

As an ardent feminist (FYI: someone who believes in equal rights and also adores the company of men), I think it’s a little unfair that, on the whole, it’s just accepted that it’s harder for women to orgasm or that it’s okay for us to fake it, while men have all the fun. And I’m not for one second saying that the blame should reside entirely with our hairier halves either. In fact, quite the opposite. If your bedroom buddy is telling you that what you’re doing is spot on (five hundred miles off the beaten track) and you’re still doing it that way, then, in fact, you’re being an – albeit incorrect – attentive lover by doing what the woman says she wants. A little more steerage please ladies.

And fellas, I do understand that you have a tough job. I had a girlfriend call me up the first time she climaxed and it had taken her sixteen years to perfect it herself, so we’re not expecting you to get it in the first go. But don’t assume that we aren’t putting in the leg work to get you there too. To quote Samantha Jones: ‘they don’t call it a job for nothin’.

I think the key, anyway, is to stop thinking about blame and instead wonder: when did this age old tradition, as deep rooted in our society as a turkey on Christmas day or a vow of silence on the tube, become so widely practised?

‘They’ say that 70% of us have faked it. Call it 90% and that’s probably a lot closer to the truth. I say this because when I ask the men around me whether they believe a woman to have faked it with them, they laugh and respond with a firm, “No, never!” But when I ask the women around me if they’ve told porkies, they laugh and respond with a firm, “Yeah… all the effing time.”

Now, I’m no good at maths but those facts just don’t add up.

I’m not saying that sex can’t be pleasurable without an orgasm, but it IS a little bit like getting to the end of a Cornetto only to find that the chocolate bit at the end of the cone is missing. It was delicious, but without that, we might as well have just had a Magnum, or in other words, done it ourselves.

So back to my main question: what do you do if you find out that your better half is faking it?

Well the road to any sort of recovery begins with confession. So I think if everyone held their hands up to doing it, at least once, then we could begin to sort this out. Let’s not leave it up to the people in white lab coats to decide what sort of orgasms women can have. Instead, get naked and experiment with your chosen lover. And men, take some of the blame and pay closer attention to when we claim to climax: we ain’t no Katherine Hepburn and you ain’t stupid.

For those of you who are infuriatingly still reading this thinking: “No one has ever faked it with me. I am a sex GOD and have totally knocked the socks off of everyone I’ve ever slept with”, go and download When Harry Met Sally.

And once you’ve watched that scene in complete dismay, remember this immortal word and repeat after me:

foreplay.

The Kiss

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During my early teens I was nervous about practically everything, and in hindsight, have no idea why. But when it comes to the subject of kissing, I completely sympathise with my immature anxiety because if someone asked me for advice now, I’d have no idea what to say.

When you actually stop and think about it, what on earth do we actually do when we kiss?!

I’ve been trying to work out what I did with my tongue the first time I ever snogged someone (yes I did just say snog) but I can’t remember. It’s probably down to traumatic memory loss or something. I am however pretty sure I googled “how to kiss a boy” before I’d ever locked lips with a chap. I’m also pretty sure that I got distracted by msn and frantically working out my love percentage with Duncan from Blue, and thus had absolutely no idea what I was doing when it actually came down to it. Shame on me: a hobby I would go on to spend approximately 336 hours of my life practising and I was more concerned with my compatibility with bisexual boy band members. Excellent.

So although I don’t blame myself for my teenage melt down, I’ve realised there’s not much to it. Kissing is pretty much rubbing your lips against someone else’s as you both make accidental (and slightly awkward) slurping noises, right? Wrong. There’s the awkward teeth clash that does in fact happen in real life, there’s the ‘which way are they going to lean’ dilemma, and there are issues of height and even breath. I’m telling you, it’s a minefield of misfortune. In almost any other social situation, putting your face that close to another person’s would result in a head butt. Or a restraining order. So why is it acceptable and why does it feel so good? I’m sure there is some rather boring scientific explanation for why a smooch feels fantastic, but from space, I think it could arguably be perceived as one of our strangest global past times.

Have a look for yourself. Go to any club across the country and you are guaranteed to find hundreds of couples kissing in dark corners, canoodling on the dance floor and people sharing more than a cigarette in the smoking area and I find it hilarious to watch. Let’s not forget though: kissing can most certainly be very unappetising. It’s not always like the movies where one foot lifts off the floor and lipstick (and cold saws) miraculously avoid passing from mouth to mouth. Instead, tongues can wander and saliva can slither, but in the moment, you’re totally unaware until someone publishes a photo of you and Dave from finance snogging outside O’Neil’s on Facebook. Your memory of a romantic rendezvous now looks more like an x-rated episode of Eastenders. But what’s a bit of harmless fun, right?

Wrong.

Although we easily fall for the French who are renowned for being the most skilled of lip lockers and Italians who are known for their passion, whatever you do, avoid pursuing a Glasgow kiss. I’m pretty sure you’ll live to regret it.