I’d rather have a cup of tea.

Sex. O.K, I’ll go first.

I haven’t had sex in over two years and I’m happily married.

Really?

Yes, really.

But don’t you miss it?

I can barely remember it to be honest.

Hang on, isn’t physical intimacy supposed to be the basis of the relationship?

Why?

Well, I read it somewhere, you should absolutely have a healthy sex life in order to have a real Marriage.

Woah! hold up!  Let’s go back.. you ‘read’ it somewhere, I take it from one of the numerous wellbeing blogs and sexperts?

Well they can fuck right off, excuse my French.

I’m not being rude,( no, I’m really not), but who has the right to tell you what’s normal and healthy and what isn’t?

God, I couldn’t live without sex, it’s probably the most important part of my life.

Good for you. However I can tell you without any hesitation that I would rather have a cup of tea.

Why did you stop?

Well it wasn’t a conscious decision really, we just stopped. It went from a two week dry spell to two months and before we knew it it had been two years.

Do you still Love one another?

Of course, we wouldn’t be together if we didn’t, but the sex, we just grew out of it.

But you still find your husband attractive?

Well Duh! Of course I do, he’s fucking gorgeous, but like I said, we just grew out of sex with one another.

Oh, so you have sex with other people?

Absolutely not! We’re 100 percent monogamous, or rather we would be if we actually had sex. Look I can’t fully explain it, we just stopped doing it. The sky hasn’t caved in, we haven’t gone running into the arms of younger lovers, we’re just as close as we always were.

But don’t you still get the urge? I mean aren’t you frustrated?

Sometimes, but it passes, just like a headache.

And can we please just cut to the chase, so here goes.

My testosterone is above average, I’m not impotent, I’m not crap in bed (quite the opposite actually),  I’m no prude and Iv’e probably had enough sex to last me three lifetimes. Iv’e just lost interest and so has my husband.

Well you need to do something about that, get therapy, introduce roll play, do it outside, toys and porn.

Why?

Well I don’t know, it’s just normal isn’t it?

Ahh, back to what’s normal and what isn’t. Look, we’ve both spoken about it, at length and we’re really open about it with one another. We’re not saying we’ll never have sex again, it’s just that right now we don’t want to.

Oh I know, your’e too busy, you need to make time for one another.

O.K, now you’re really getting on my fucking nerves. We have all the time in the world for one another, we are top of each others priority list thank you very much.

Well what then? There must be something? 

Why? Look, just stop trying to label it. Stop trying to fit it into some cozy, safe little box. Stop trying to diagnose it as a problem. If it was a problem we’d have fixed it.

Your’e just in denial.

Right, I’m leaving. But before I do try this on for size…

How about we’ve transcended it?

That’s right, how about we fucked so hard and for so long that we’re all out.

How about we had 10 years of non stop mind-blowing sex and wev’e exhausted it. How about we no longer feel the need to jump on each other in order to show how much we love each other.

How about we listen to one another now. How about maybe, just maybe, sex was in the way?

That’s right, what if sex was stopping us seeing each other as people? How about since we stopped having sex we actually communicate properly, do other stuff together, enjoy each others company.

So it’s passionless?

Have you been listening to anything Iv’e been saying? We’re more passionate about each other than we ever were when we were having sex. I mean authentically passionate about each other.

Look I don’t expect you to understand, I don’t expect anyone to understand, I don’t want anyone else to understand! Its just right here, right now, we’re happier than we’ve ever been and we aren’t having sex.

O.K, O.K, Just asking, so where are you off to now?

For a wank…..Satisfied?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Male Puberty.

So he left her. My Brother in law that is. Almost immediately after having their second child he upped sticks and fucked off.

There were warning signs along the way. A very unsubtle roving eye and he totally withdrew into himself, choosing only to communicate in grunts and insults. He was transforming into somebody else right before my sister’s eyes. We all witnessed the bizarre metamorphosis, he’d regressed to a moody teenager.  He felt grounded and was going to throw a tantrum until life went his way.  It got very ugly, very fast.

My very sweet and kindhearted little sister was in pieces. Absolutely grief stricken. When someone dies you can grieve for the loss. The pain is knowing they’re never coming back. But when the spirit of someone you love dies in front of you, only to be reborn as someone new – someone alien, what’s the grief process for that? How do you process a death when that person is still alive?

Invasion of the body snatchers. Or to be more precise – Second Male Puberty.

People change, we all know that, but what we don’t always make plans for is that at a certain point in life, mid life to be precise, some people change back. They revert to the last point in their lives that they felt attractive, desired and free.

But here’s the deal, we all feel like that in middle age. 

However, most of us are mature enough to handle these new feelings  within the construct of the life we have built around us. Not burn it all to the ground.

We realise there is no going back. We try to change our current lives in a positive way without regressing. We work at it, messily, childishly, perhaps over compensating with whatever self medication we can lay our sweaty hands on, be it beer or avocado.

Or we don’t, we just glide through it. We tip our caps to our second puberty impulses, acknowledging them with a wry smile and raising a glass.

He’s a Surfer now. That’s right, got himself a VW camper, surfboards and a younger girlfriend. He’s a developed a “Best Mate” approach to parenting and like’s to say “Dude” a lot. His Kids find this cringeworthy slash amusing but they love him, he’s their Father after all, just the younger version of.

As for my sister, well she wen’t through a metamorphosis that no one was expecting. Second puberty had a reverse effect. She transformed from this timid, submissive girl into a fucking Warrior Woman. None of us could believe it. Shit – well she takes none, ever, from anybody.

And as this Amazon started getting down to business she attracted a true mate. The real love of her life. She’s remarried now, happily. This ones already been through the second puberty and come out the other side unscarred and thoroughly grown up.

 

 

 

The Festival Syndrome.

There’s been an epidemic of 50th Birthday parties in my social circle.

The trouble is they all try to eclipse one another with the scale of their celebrations.  We’ve had invitations to skydiving (declined), Formula one racing (declined), Horse riding (tempted) and a long weekend in Ibiza , abso-bloody-lutely.  This is all from a gang that can barely get a round in.

I get it, my husband is 50 next year and he’s leaving it to me to make the arrangements. I hear “Sydney and Los Angeles” but I’m picturing a more sedate affair – a good old fashioned McDonald’s party (I can pass it off as retro and maybe even hire a clown).

One of our best friends decides to hold her 50th at a Music Festival.  This immediately appealed to my inner teenager.

I have a vision of crowd surfing over a sea of bodies screaming “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”.  However, my illusions are swiftly shattered by middle aged fear… filthy port-a-loo’s, communal showers and no moisturiser! Good god, NO!

But I’m assured we’ll be “Glamping”. That doesn’t go down well with the Husband, he won’t camp (although get him on the Brandy and he does a marvellous Beyonce). Unfortunately he won’t go near a tent, he’s seen too many horror movies, “The black man dies first and there is always a killer in the woods”.

So bless her heart, our friend  re-arranges the entire group’s accommodation. We’re now staying in “Eco Lodges” adjacent to the festival. Solid walls, alarms and great big signs outside saying “Psycho’s not welcome”. The Husband is happy although still very wary of the whole shebang.

It turns out to be a Soul and Jazz festival  with a fabulous line up, headlining are the Jackson’s (minus Michael of course). Not exactly Glastonbury but all very civilised. There’s even somewhere to sit down. Husband is still wary, he needs alcohol, lot’s of alcohol and I am more than happy to oblige.

The next thing I know he’s gone missing. Popped to the loo’s, getting another round in, who knows? I do worry though, he’s been known to scarper off if he’s having a crap time. I wish I had that ability, I just stick it out to be polite and then moan about it later.

So I turn around and bounding towards me is a bare chested man, face completely painted with glitter and wearing an oversized top hat with ski goggles. Who the hell?..Wait a minute, that’s my Husband!

And it doesn’t stop there.

Every twenty minutes he disappears and comes back with another festival accessory. Dayglo Bangles, Light sticks, Whistles, Beads, the whole kit and caboodle. He’s contracted full on Festival Syndrome.

For the past 12 years Iv’e had trouble getting this man off the sofa. For the past twelve years he has point blank refused a Pride march or Mardi Gras.

And then I see him, the man I married. The joyous, crazy, wild and ridiculous person I totally and utterly fell in love with. He’s back, he never really went away. He was just hidden, like I was, under a mountain of routine and day to day monotony.

I fucking love him and by the time he’s leaping around to ‘Don’t blame it on the boogie’ I’m right in there with him blowing my whistle and hugging strangers. All this without the aid of drugs, (definitely booze). But it’s more than that. It’s the atmosphere, it’s the crowd, it’s the music all wrapping us up in Festival madness.

We’ve booked up next year already.

But we’ve also brought a little Festival Syndrome back home, it’s done our lives and our marriage the world of good.

I’m getting a Loan out for his 50th, he’s getting that massive party come hell or high water, no Big Macs included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take the first Exit on the Left.

In a few months time I will be 46 and quite frankly I’m losing the plot.

I’m happy-ish married and I run my own business.  From outward appearances we’re a solid, fun couple, the type that gets invited to parties to liven things up. We’re also the token gays or as we’ve come to be known “The boys”. We’re not boys anymore, far from it  (although we are bestowed with the eternal adolescence that comes with being gay).

So far so good. Married, tick that box, travelled a bit, tick that box, own our own home, tick that box too. Iv’e been working my arse off to tick boxes for the last twenty six years.

But I don’t want to tick boxes anymore. I think I want out. Not ‘out’ out, just a total mid life overhaul.

As I assess my life and take stock of all the crap I have accumulated over the years it’s painfully obvious that I’ve often been driven by what other what other people think of me. But as I reach this halfway point in life I couldn’t give a flying fuck anymore, (pardon my French).

I was brought up in the eighties in an era of “Must have”.  Must have a good job, must have a great body, must have a nice partner, must have a lovely home, must have at least two holidays a year and must have security.  It’s only now, at this mid life crisis, that I am daring to ask the question – Why?

Why the fuck do I need any of it? (I’m all out of pardon’s).

The trouble is every time I contemplate sodding off into the sunset with a rucksack and a change of underwear I get the guilts and not just my own guilt, a long line of guilt. I’m one hundred percent working class . Iv’e delved into my ancestry.com and it’s pure poverty as far as the eye can see.

So not only would I be letting everyone I know down if I decide to quit my current life, I would also be letting down my impoverished family tree.  Contemporary guilt is hard to handle, ancestral guilt is totally overwhelming.

Then there’s my husband, the plan is not to leave him, just send for him once Iv’e established a self sufficient utopian commune somewhere in the Lake District.

There’s a lot to consider before buggering off.

But despite all this I’ve decided that I’m pressing the ‘fuck it’ button. I’m slamming my hand down so hard that there will be no more fucks to give. They will pour forth and destroy my entire life in an act of glorious self sabotage.

So here I go…

I’ll go live in the woods, I’ll go off grid, I’ll buy one of those micro houses on a trailer and attach it to a rusty bike. I’ll forgo money, material possessions, mortgages, mobile phones and all the other insidious succubus beginning with M.

I’ll forage for truffles. I will run naked through valleys of poppies and frighten livestock. I’ll grow a long wild beard and fish from a stream with a rusty coat hanger. I’ll catch rainwater in old tin cans and fashion loin cloths from old Guardian supplements. I will be wild – I will be free.

And just as I’m at the top of that misty mountain, hand’s on hips, bits flapping in the wind, I will remember who I am.

I will remember how much I am loved and love my life. How fucking grateful I am for everyone and everything in it. Every first world problem, every pain in the fucking arse person, every brown envelope that slithers through my letterbox like an asp.

So I run. I run back to my life, my amazing husband who drives me fucking insane, my nutcase family who’m I adore, my 60 hour a week career, my iPad, my MacBook, my phone and my modern, rubbish life. I burst through the front door screaming “I’M BACK, IT’S ALL ALRIGHT WORLD, LOOK WHO’S BACK!”.

And my world just shrugs back, like it never even knew I was gone, mutters “dickhead” and turns back to the T.V…..