Thursday, 30 July 2009

HNT: Foundations

Cate's post on being able to reassess and improve her marriage through what she had learned over the last year made me start to wonder.

If I'd had my blog a decade ago, would I have been able to implement changes in my own attitude that could have saved my marriage? Or would I eventually have tired of always being the one to compromise? For I believe that that is what my life would have become. One long fight to accommodate someone else's inability to communicate in terms of both talking and listening. Repressing my own needs and making a whole litany of excuses for that inherent lack in the man I had chosen as my life partner.

I don't think anyone should continue in a relationship like the one described in Kate Nash's 'Foundations' where compromising instead of having it out properly leads to bitterness and sniping in private that overflows into our public lives to the embarrassment of friends and acquaintances.




'My fingertips are holding on to the cracks in our foundations' is an occupation with which I can empathise at first hand and to what end? To maintain a relationship that is not built on the solidity of mutual respect?

Suddenly the relief of being able to let go and just allow the pieces to fall where they are comfortable is almost palpable.

So, as I look around the place that will be my home for the next six months, I can't help feeling a sense of pride that I finally had the courage to walk away on my terms. But, more than that, ultimately I achieved the ability to recognise what I needed from all the relationships in my life and the keys to, hopefully, restoring the balance within them.

Through what I learned in my counselling sessions, I have also attempted to retain my lifestyle by accommodating his needs and utilising the behaviour that used to work against me.

Still trying to have my cake and eat it too.


Maslow diagram courtesy of http://talkingtails.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/800px-maslows_hierarchy_of_needssvg.png


HNTbutton

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lesbian

I can remember him flinging the accusation at me across the great divide of our bed in the darkness of the night. I had rebuffed his advances once more.

I find it amazing, even now, after the numerous times that I had attempted to explain to him that I needed tactile affection in order to feel beautiful. And that I needed to consider myself desireable before I could succumb to his attentions.

But he never seemed to understand the reasoning behind my appeals. He rejected the excuse and discarded it, preferring to think it was something about me, rather than something that he could do to change things.

The first accusation was frigidity. Followed a year or so later by lesbian.

I never bothered to answer. Did not attempt to dispel the allegation. Let it lie there for him to believe if that was what he chose.

Some years later, I went through a phase of achieving quality time with my daughter through the medium of watching The L Word, a programme that we shoo-ed all males out of the room when we were watching.

It seemed quite amusing then when I clicked on 'Recent Documents' to erase any memory of photographs I had downloaded and perused, to discover that someone had been looking in my files and had selected three in particular from the thumbnails showing.

A particularly emotion-filled one of Alice and Dana, where they are clearly just about to kiss and then Alice, again, with Shane. No need to be concerned about that. He knows that I like The L Word.

Except that the third photograph was from my real world and depicted me at a party with a young female friend. Still, nothing terribly incriminating about that you might think, except that it is one from a set where we were hugging each other and messing around after a few drinks at a party. The overall effect is quite flirtatious. And in a set from another party, I am kissing her and laughing as I look into the camera. That one may well have been viewed on another occasion.

Again, not terribly risque but, of course, the seeds of doubt were planted long since and one can only assume that they are now sprouting forth and confirming his suspicions as to why I stopped accepting his bedroom advances before deciding to end our marriage.

His wife prefers Sapphic encounters with women.

After all, it couldn't possibly be something that was his fault.

It would seem almost cruel to dispossess him of this comfortable assumption.


** Oops, I had a bit of a senior moment and managed to post two pieces on the same day, so Im moving this one along a few days x

Monday, 27 July 2009

Mute Monday: Medical


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Sunday, 26 July 2009

You've Got the Love - 2nd Blogiversary



I first heard the song at the end of the second series of Sex And The City and, although Candi Staton has always been a personal favourite, I really wasn't too sure about this one.

Since then, it's really grown on me and I thought I'd share it with all of you to express my gratitude for helping me get through the last two years and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Since I can never remember exactly when I started blogging, I reserve the right to mark the occasion at some point during the month of July... as and when my senior moments permit me to remember :P

I thought the first year of blogging was hard enough, with all its trials and tribulations. However, on reflection, maybe this year seems worse in many ways because it was the denouement, the culmination of all that had gone before.

To everyone who commented or took the time to send an email of support, your words really cheered me up and have helped me to keep it together to the bitter end.

The next few weeks will see the start of Joanna Cake's Brave New World but I couldn't let this month go by without saying a huge Thank You to all my Readers.

You sure do Got The Love x

Friday, 24 July 2009

OverRated: Dragon Receptionists


My friend, Fluffy, called me recently to tell me about her tooth.

She'd been eating some particularly chewy toffee and a filling had become totally dislodged. With the offending amalgam in her palm, she called her usual dentist, only to be told that he was out of town for a week.

In order to ascertain whether her appointment was truly an emergency that would necessitate a visit to an alternative dentist, the lady on the desk grilled her with a series of pertinent questions:

'Does it hurt?' she interrogated.

And in response to Fluffy's affirmative: 'Are you sure?'

Doh!!!

Fluffy has started to call them Appointment Nazis since she also suffers similar problems at her local doctor's surgery and I have to admit to finding it most irritating that I have to explain to my own doctor's receptionist the nature of my ailment, however personal, in an attempt to get the most proximate appointment.

By the same token, I can understand why some practise receptionists become so protective of their emergency slots. I know of one couple of hypochondriacs who were forever in the surgery and, of course, the one time that the lady was really ill, they had to stand there arguing the toss with the person behind the counter and were sent away with a flea in their ear to remain in pain until an appointment two days later. They had cried wolf too many times before to be taken seriously when they really were in need.

However, the majority of patients just want to see their doctor of choice either that day or the next so they don't have to be in discomfort or anxiety any more.

We are all guilty of putting it off until it's excruciating so perhaps we do have to shoulder at least some of the blame for not being able to get immediate appointments.

Picture courtesy of http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/jdi/lowres/jdin31l.jpg

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Thursday, 23 July 2009

HNT: Crossing the Rubicon


I have the keys.

Now I have to start cleaning...

... and sorting through three decades of accumulated stuff.









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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Waiting... for Godot?

So, now all the important people are in the know...

... and, despite my fears, the world hasn't come crashing in.

It would appear that my children are, for now, content to deal with the idea that the parent who stops them from doing stuff and shouts a lot is going to be living in another place but coming back daily to keep an eye on them.

They are well aware that a line was crossed in their parents' relationship and that it is impossible to go back. New lines of communication and habitation have to be set up and the attitudes with which we have lived over the last few months must become a thing of the past.

The location and size of my new accommodation has been discussed in terms of there being room for staying over and visiting generally. Keys have been requested and denied, for the moment, on the basis that it is a short term rental and not worth the additional cost.

My parents are sad but not surprised. I have been drip feeding them the chaos of my attempts to parent for months now and they have observed certain disrespectful behaviours increasing in the meantime. My family has rallied round to support me, both emotionally and financially, although there is no animosity towards my Husband, who has been a family member for the last three decades and will continue to be such. There is just a general feeling of sadness that he was unable to grasp the nettle and step up to the plate to provide proper parenting for our children and hung me out to dry as a result.

So now I count down my final days and nights in the house that has been my home for over 20 years in the knowledge that, come Thursday, if all goes well, I will have the keys to my new residence.

Waiting for my old life to draw to a close and the future to begin.

And almost looking forward to being an independent woman for the first time.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Mute Monday: Flora


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Saturday, 18 July 2009

To Mac or not to Mac...

So, here I am at the beginning of a new life, starting from scratch with all sorts of things to buy.

Obviously, I have to make the most important decision of my life about one of the basic staples of my life.

I don't know about the broadband connection to the new flat so I'm going to have to rent some internet time until I can get it sorted.

I'm thinking Vodafone... but I'm also thinking of investing in a laptop.

Blinded by science at PC World, with hundreds of netbooks and laptops to bemuse me, I call upon my trusty readers to give me guidance.

It's like that whole Betamax vs VHS dilemma all over again.

To stay with the Windows system, with which I am familiar or to pay the extra money and take advantage of improved reliability by getting a Mac?

I don't play games... well, apart from Scrabble on Facebook... I want to be able to watch iplayer and c4 on demand. Obviously, I need to be able to access my blog and comment on other people's. I send/receive less than 50 emails per day (if you don't count all those notifications from Facebook and Blogger, if you do, then it will be somewhat more). I upload photos from my phone now and again and fiddle around with them a bit in photobucket for HNTs and download about ten images per week for Mute Monday. I'd quite like to have the facility to watch dvds but it's not the end of the world if I don't. If I didn't get a stand-alone PC, then I would need to be able to write letters now and again (usually I use Word).

From my status question on Facebook, I suspect that I am about to open up a whole can of worms because so many people have such strong opinions, but tell me what your experience is telling you...?

Friday, 17 July 2009

Changing the Habits of a Lifetime

"It sounded so depressingly female, this pity for someone who treated you badly, the desire to show them that you won't behave as badly as he did. That you are empathetic even if he is not."

Anna Blundy, The Times, Saturday 11 July 2009


It was a strange day.

First, two articles on the same page of the previous weekend's The Times that were so relevant to my own position: one about the benefits of benign neglect as a parenting style and the second highlighting the difference of perspectives vis a vis a mother's view of a family holiday and a father's.

But the second piece was also about how women deal with personal relationships that make them unhappy. By trying to understand and rationalise. Making excuses for bad behaviour, rather than hitting out and calling the offender to account so that it doesn't happen again... and again. Because in so doing, you save up all that repressed rage and self-pity which, eventually, has to come out somehow, perhaps in the form of an eating disorder, depression, or just a general dislike of yourself. It is a trait that is very familiar to me and, over the decades, I have watched it destroy any possibility of saving my marriage.

And then, later, a conversation about what we should tell our younger children concerning our impending separation. The agreement that things should be not about blame but about positive steps to improve relationships for the future. As well as the decision over the best time to impart this piece of information that, if done in the wrong way, could adversely affect the rest of their lives.

It was my Husband's assertion that he was sure 'we would get on better as a result of our new separate living arrangements' - that 'we' is exclusively me and my children, rather than him because he believes he has an excellent rapport with them.

When he then went on to explain that he was totally sincere in that wish and would never deliberately undermine me with the children in my absence found me thinking 'You arse' as I repressed a wry smile at his earnestness.

For a man who has spent the last 16 years consistently and persistently doing just that right in front of me, as well as behind my back when he was with our offspring. Mocking my hobbies and my foibles to their conspiratorial laughter or just deliberately fudging my boundary setting by disagreeing with my parenting in their presence.

It was most bizarre, and yet not really surprising, that he couldn't even recognise this horrendous character flaw when he did it habitually.

But the strangest thing about that day was that inner smile, as opposed to the familiar repressed fury that normally bubbles up inside me as a result of such an incident. I no longer felt upset at the knowledge that he thought this was acceptable behaviour.

Things have reached a point where I have changed my own habits and accepted that there is no point in taking umbrage and becoming stressed by his disrespectful attitude. I now understand that you cannot change the behaviour of another, you have to deal with your own reaction to it. That no one can make you feel a certain way unless you give them permission and allow it to happen in your own head.

So, what has been done has been done but the future can be changed.

I am able to move away from it and start again.

I can draw a line under the past and look towards the years yet to come which will, fingers crossed, start to include some real happiness. Where I can be much more open about the people in my life that give me pleasure and remove the power from those whom I have allowed repeatedly to cause me pain.

With the help of the Counsellor and my Readers, I have learned not to hold on to the hurt. Yes, I do still try to understand and rationalise but I won't permit another's actions to make me feel bad. Sometimes, it really isn't all about me :)

Above all, I have come to understand that you need to deal with emotional problems within a relationship as they occur. Not making a fuss because you are keeping the peace by 'understanding and empathising' with your partner will only allow pent-up negativity to colour your view of the past, promoting and reinforcing a continuing interaction that is purely destructive and serves only to perpetuate your lack of self-esteem.

So, do something about it now and you won't need to look back in anger x

Thursday, 16 July 2009

HNT: Exposed


I want to hold on to this feeling.

It hurts and it's horrible, but it's really important.

In the dark days ahead, when I'm on my own in my new flat and miss my children desperately; when I start to beat myself up about how I could have put up with it for longer, done things differently somehow, I need to remember what it felt like today.

To know that I had lost my children. Their affection and their respect.

Despite all the unpleasantness I have sucked up and the time and effort I have put in to remain and look after their well being, they have turned against me.

And I need to remember that it was because I married someone who is too gutless to do the right thing when it comes to parenting. Who would rather join their gang and remain popular than fulfil the role of a father and instill ethics, morality and respect in the face of their opposition.

One of my children has called me a cunt.

And, instead of knocking the miscreant into the middle of next week, my Husband proceeded to ignore the issue and allow the offender treats all weekend because the original cause was 'not his argument'.

Three days later, in the light of the consequent escalating disrespect, it took a horrified plea from me, for him to request that an apology be made. This was done on the basis that I should 'accept the apology properly' and that it would lessen the time frame for the loss of privileges that I had instituted.

After that, no one wanted to talk to me or spend any time with me because I had insisted on the removal of internet access from the guilty party for a month. They all knew that their father did not agree with this; that the punishment was down to me and that, at the first opportunity, he would find a way to return that access without my knowledge.

They are also well aware that I will have to attempt to deal with any future misdemeanours in the full knowledge that I do not have his support.

The lunatics have taken over the Asylum.




HNTbutton

Picture courtesy of http://www.schizodoxe.com/docs/2007/09/risques.jpg

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Sugasm #169

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #170? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.


This Week’s Picks

Clothespin Communion “Surrender to the sensation.”


Remembering the Pain “And it really was that bad.”


Short And Sweet “Why don’t you turn over”


Sugasm Editor Fetish Fridays: Financial Submission


Editor’s Choice Belonging


More Sugasm

Join the Sugasm

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Voicemail

"This is Staff Sergeant Tom Caldicott. I can't get to the phone right now, but if you leave your name and number, I'll get back to you"

Sitting alone in her hotel room, she replaced the receiver carefully and tried to distract herself with her book. Anything to stop thinking about him. She knew that when he was in his office, one of those technical jamming devices, so beloved of the military, meant that mobile phones were inoperational and so she was at liberty to listen to him say those words whenever she pleased.

The timbre of his voice sent shivers down her spine and she could feel the familiar heat moistening the triangle between her legs. His dominance was almost complete in that he could excite her when he wasn't even there.

There was an imbalance and it needed to be rectified. She knew that she had to restore equality, regain some form of control.

And the idea came to her.

Thinking back to their last encounter at the party, she smiled. After a year apart, his previous denial of the depth of their attraction had been completely overturned and he had given in to his own desperate lust. Ambushing her in the corridor and spreadeagling her in the most insalubrious of surroundings, before burying his face between her legs until she had no choice but to succumb. Gushing her appreciation over his face as she acknowledged their mutual need with the word that had become synonymous with his victory.

Time constraints and his mental compartmentalisation that if he didn't actually penetrate her with his cock again, it wasn't technically infidelity had seen him debase her as some kind of wank fodder. Thick, hot, sticky semen spurting over her belly and breasts. And then the ultimate indignity as he reclothed her over the top of it. She had had to remain at the party for hours afterwards conscious of his fluids causing her dress to adhere to any proximate flesh as she moved. And watch him work the room as they ignored each other.

He was a bastard. But he was her bastard. And it was her turn to retaliate.

Choosing her toy with care, she let herself lie back on the bed and relax into the moment. Feeling her arousal as it grew, enveloping her in a warm glow of self-satisfied pleasure. She thought about the moment that he would have to relieve himself as a result of her next offensive and she smiled at the effect such an image had on her nether regions.

Her excitement growing, she tweaked the dial on the vibrator jammed against her clit, ramping up the power and consequentially increasing the volume of liquid squelching between her legs.

At the optimum moment, she dialled the number again and heard his voice:

"This is Staff Sergeant Tom Caldicott. I can't get to the phone right now, but if you leave your name and number, I'll get back to you"

Her normally clipped British tones whispered huskily and carefully into the receiver. Staccato words that slurred together towards the end as the energy feeding her orgasm took the power from her vocal chords and into her cunt.

'Hello... I... can't... stop... thinking... about... you... and... thisiswhathappens...'

She knew that he would insist on a rather more detailed description of the scenario and so she tried again.

'Tulip... clit... fingers... arse... cunt'

As the ability to communicate verbally began to fail, she turned and positioned the phone on the pillow in front of her, then knelt and spread her thighs as wide as possible. Whilst the tulip vibrated her swollen clit, taking her closer and closer to the edge, she reached behind her to lubricate her ring finger with her own juices and delicately inserted it into the pert rosebud of her bottom, before penetrating her pussy with the two digits above it. Then vigorously probed both holes simultaneously.

Within seconds, she was overwhelmed and the call degenerated into the buzzing of the motor and her uncontrollable moans as the climax began.

The time allowed for the answerphone message expired and the click terminated the connection milliseconds after she had whispered the word that signified her orgasm.

'...Chief...'

From her vacation 3,000 miles away, she knew what effect it was going to have and that retribution would follow swiftly upon her return.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Mute Monday: Classic


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Sunday, 12 July 2009

Pleasurists #36

heels

by Massimo Innocenti


Pleasurists is a round-up of the adult product and sex toy reviews that came out in the last seven days from bloggers all around the sex blogosphere. Did you miss Pleasurists #35? Read it all here. Do you have a review for Pleasurists #37? Submit it here before Sunday July 12th at 11:59pm PDT. Please re-post this list on your own blog if listed.


Want to win some free swag? All you’ve got to do is enter.



Madame Editrix

Scarlet Lotus St. Syr


On to the reviews…


Editor’s Pick



Vibrators



Dildos



Anal Toys



Toys for Cocks



BDSM/Fetish



Adult Books/Games



Adult Movies/Porn



Lingerie



Storage



Sex Furniture



Miscellaneous



Pleasurists adult product review round-up banner

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Culinary Throwdown Challenge - Recession/Budget Meal

In response to the Troll's CULINARY THROWDOWN CHALLENGE, I submit another offering from Ruf, my Vegan culinary expert:


Basil-Laced Tofu Pasta

Onion

Garlic

Basil-laced tofu (available from most good health food stores)

Mushrooms

Vine Tomatoes

Tomato Puree

Bag of spinach



Fry some onion and garlic in a pan

Add the mushrooms.

Dice the tofu into cubes and place in the mixture

Chop up some vine tomatoes and throw them into the pan

Stir in a big dollop of tomato puree

Pour in a little water, followed by a whole bag of washed spinach

Boil some rigatoni pasta tubes in a separate saucepan until al dente and then mix into the other ingredients.


Leave to stand in the pan whilst you give your female at least seven orgasms and then reheat two platefuls in the microwave. This allows the tomato and basil flavour to really permeate the pasta, as well as earning you lots of Brownie points for satisfying two of her most basic needs.

Friday, 10 July 2009

UnderRated: Milk Thistle for Cystitis and Skin Disorders

I'm a great fan of herbal and homeopathic remedies and have had much cause to be grateful to them over the years when the synthetic drugs described by various doctors have proved to be of limited value.

I started to be affected by cystitis on a regular basis when I began wanking. If you remember, this was an activity which I had denied myself until I entered my fourth decade on this planet.

Unfortunately, the effect of my imbalanced hormones due to my entering the peri-menopausal state meant that testosterone was in charge and I couldn't control all these rampant feelings. I had to pleasure myself every day just to keep on top of all the lust that seemed to be bubbling up inside me. Suddenly I could empathise with the way that men are often believed to think only with their dicks. Here I was doing exactly the same thing. Housework be damned, I needed to scratch my itch!

The downside was that the malady often known as the 'Honeymoon Sickness' came to haunt me with a vengeance. I could drink gallons of cranberry juice plus those special drinks you get from the chemist and it would only control it. Never actually cause it to be totally gone. Sometimes, I could feel the bacteria moving up into my kidneys and a course of antibiotics would be the only solution and give me a nice dose of thrush and another trip to the chemist for Canesten.

When I began my relationship with Ruf, things went from bad to worse. Repeated shaftings several times a day over a period of a long weekend would leave me sore and pissing blood.

Researching on the internet, I found a natural remedy in the form of bicarbonate of soda and drank several pints of the stuff during and after my weekends with Ruf. With a hot water bottle, some paracetamol and my glass of 'soda', I would recuperate between fucking on the couch until I was ready to participate once more. Again, this 'cure' controlled things but it was always lurking in the wings and if I drank too much alcohol (especially champagne) I would suffer the consequences from this irritant too.

I put up with this state of affairs for a couple of years and then, quite by chance, I discovered Milk Thistle Complex with Boldo. The vicissitudes of my family life had caused me to reach such a stressful mental state that my skin began to erupt in the lesions of psoriasis. I was devastated. The doctor could only prescribe steroid creams which controlled it but didn't eradicate any new patches. I had to find something that would pre-empt those eruptions.

The trusty internet was, once more, my friend and I found Milk Thistle.

"A member of the sunflower family, its black seeds are harvested for medicinal use. The active ingredient within these seeds is called silymarin, which is where the therapeutic benefits lie.

One of the main benefits is its antioxidant ability, which is more potent than most vitamins. Antioxidants are able to remove toxic chemicals called free radicals from the body. These free radicals cause cell damage which is the root of disease and premature aging.

Perhaps the most important milk thistle benefits are its effects on the liver. The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, breaking down nutrients and cleaning the body out. Milk thistle detoxifies the liver as well as protects it against damage from toxins, alcohol and other negative effects.

Milk thistle benefits the liver in other ways as well: it promotes regeneration and repair of liver cells, reverses liver damage and is very helpful in the treatment of hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Some milk thistle clinical trials show that milk thistle benefits may include reducing inflammation, decreasing excessive skin cell growth and helping treat endometriosis.

There are very few known side effects of milk thistle so you probably don't have to worry about milk thistle dangers if you take recommended dosages.

There have been reports of upset stomach and slight laxative effects. If you have liver disease you should take added precaution. Milk thistle and most other herbs are not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.

As with all health supplements, make sure you consult a physician or qualified medical professional before taking any milk thistle supplements
."

http://www.herbal-supplements-guide.com/milk-thistle-benefits.html

Purely by chance, the first manufacterer that I researched was Bioforce, from whom I also obtain Echinacea (review to follow) and it transpired that their product was a complex containing the tinctures of: fresh Cynara scolymus* (Artichoke) leaves 46%, Silybum marianun (Milk Thistle) dried fruit 32%, fresh Taraxacum officinalis* (Dandelion) herb and root 12%, Peumus boldus (Boldo) dried leaf 7% and fresh Mentha piperita* (Peppermint) leaves 3%.

Naturally, I checked out all the ingredients and discovered that Boldo, a South American herb, was also used to treat urinary tract infections. (Never take the essential oil internally as it is highly toxic!)

Within a fortnight of beginning to take a couple of these pills each day, my existing psoriasis had begun to clear up and no new patches had appeared but, even better, I visited Ruf and, despite being given a severe test over several days, my bladder seemed not to be affected in the same way.








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Thursday, 9 July 2009

HNT: In Search of... my Clitoris

Armed with a head torch and a hand mirror, and as resolute as an intrepid explorer on the trail of the Eighth Wonder of the World, Ruf assumed the position between my legs.

Having spent the past ten minutes studiously engaged in trimming any hair that could possibly obscure my view, I had become quite comfortable with him down there and the moistness resulting from his tender attentions was very pleasant.

I took control of the hand mirror and, angling it so as to get the best reflection, I surveyed the image before me. The neatly trimmed lines of soft brown hair framing the meeting place of the two labia majora and the glimpse of crinkled pink skin as the labia minora tried to peep out here and there.

Widening my legs to get access to the whole area revealed the entirety of the soft skin that curls inside the protective covering of the outer lips and marks the entrance to the vagina. My cunt is like a couple of 'A's stacked on top of each other and then completed by the V which marks where my perineum becomes my anus. The whole area all jumbled folds and fronds of delicate pink skin, hiding a myriad of nooks and crannies.

Above the labia minora is another upturned V of curly skin, which I always assumed was part of my clitoris and, yes, this is partially correct. But it is actually the hood that protects the wee beasty beneath. Positioning his head so that the flashlight focussed upon the area in question, Ruf placed two fingers on either side of the ridge of flesh and pushed it upwards.

"And there it is!" He reminded me of a conjurer going "Ta-dah!" at the end of a particularly successful trick and, giggling, my eyes followed his pointing finger.

Framed by the pushed-back skin of its hood was the tiniest little shiny pearl of palest pink. Glinting up at me for approval. Licking his finger, Ruf rubbed my new-found button, just to confirm his assertion. The resulting shiver that made its way to the nerves in my brain and then proceeded down my left shin, before returning to its original source seemed to qualify the statement.

Some time later, with my hair dishevelled and the marks of Ruf's passion still clearly visible upon my back and bottom, I stood on the bed and surveyed Jackie Adshead's portrait.

I couldn't help but contemplate my good fortune at finally being able to pinpoint the exact location of this sweetest of spots.

Nirvana.

Hidden in the up-turned V above the fronds and, to be honest, still a little too sensitive from under use to be fully appreciated.

Let us hope that practice will make perfect... but I suspect that a lot of lube will be an invaluable asset.




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