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Guest post: Hello Sailor

chris-isaak-wicked-game-1989By Sarah Tregear

A tweet by @samaryd last week inspired a discussion on songs which reminded you of sex or as Sam calls it, ‘Songs that wake your inner..Hello Sailor.’ These songs may not remind you of a person or a specific time that you had but just make you think of sex.

Sam’s suggestion for her all time Hello Sailor track was Need You Tonight by INXS. Most females or indeed anyone with a pulse can agree that this is song that oozes with sex. It isn’t just the words, which say exactly what what he wants from you; there is also Michael Hutchence. There was something very sexual about him, in fact there was so much sex in Michael that he even died through having sexy time with himself.

My own personal song is Wicked Game by Chris Isaak. The words are about falling in love with someone who is playing a game so the attraction of this song for me is his voice, which in this song goes straight to my girl bits. Literally.

Wicked Game doesn’t remind me of anyone in particular but someone I like and in a particularly flirty period once text me to say he was in a coffee shop and Wicked Game was playing and it made him think of me…. Now that will get him the good stuff.

Sam has created an Hello Sailor Spotify playlist and we asked other people to contribute. This caused some debate as everyone’s taste is different. For example Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye was suggested but many other people said no it was cringey, or too full on.

Other suggestions have included:

A song for Lovers – Richard Ashcroft

You are the One (that I have been waiting for) – Nick Cave

Kashmir – Led Zepplin

Smooth – Santana

Let’s Do it – Ella Fitzgerald

And oddly I Think We’re Alone Now by Tiffany……

 You can find the Spotify playlist here; feel free to add your songs. We can’t work out how to do it on Spotify, but maybe you can. Failing that, add your suggestion to the comments below, or tweet us.

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A sex life with teens?

A Sex Life with Teens? | Betty HerbertAuthor: Laura Wilkinson

First off, I’m not talking about teenagers having sex; I’m talking about the parents of teenagers having sex; or not, as is more often the case in my household. For clarity, when I say teen I mean adolescent, which seems to begin at about eleven these days.

I have two ginger sons. When my husband (known as the BigFella; he is tall rather than weighty) and I took the momentous decision to have children we understood there would be some impact on our sex life; we had friends with young children; we’d read the manuals. Naturally, we hoped for good sleepers but knew it was a lottery.

Unlike others we knew, when friskiness was off limits for six months or more, our sex life resumed sharpish after Ginger1’s birth. After a traumatic, fast labour my body snapped back to pre-baby form within a fortnight, and so we made love. After Ginger2’s arrival – this time by C-section – we had sex within a month. We were advised to take it easy; wait six weeks, the doctor said, but I drove after four (unaware that I would not have been insured had there been an accident) and I figured if I could drive I could get laid. Bizarre but true.

Neither of our boys were good sleepers; in fact, they were horrible sleepers. Especially our first, who woke at 2am for a play and a chat before returning to bed (ours) for a couple of hours, after which he was up for the day. While others munched on croissants, I dug into fish and chips; 9am was effectively my lunchtime. An ‘early-riser’ the health visitor said, quaintly, smiling. You could be forgiven for thinking this had an adverse effect on our sex life. It didn’t. It just happened a little earlier in the evening than BC. The little fella went down like a dream at 8pm so we always had a couple of hours to ourselves before we’d fall into a deep and dreamless sleep. And with energetic and helpful grandparents available and willing we managed weekends away periodically: New York, Paris, and, closer to home, London. Luxurious shag-fests with a bit of culture thrown in when we could drag ourselves out of bed. I’d be lying if I said our love making was as vigorous, imaginative and frequent as it had been when we were young and newly in love, but all things considered it was more than satisfactory.

So when did the passion disappear? Quite recently, that’s when. And disappear isn’t the right description – it slipped out the back door, shrunken and apologetic. So quietly we didn’t notice, for a while. No one warns you of the impact of an adolescent in the house on your sex life. If you live in a mansion where a rave could take place in the west wing without those in the east wing knowing anything about it then you will probably think I’m talking gibberish. But, like the majority of the population, we live in a pretty standard three-bedroomed house, where the walls are only marginally thicker and more sound proof than a good quality tea towel. Ginger1 is in his early teens; too young to be out and about having fun (and a sex life of his own) and too old to be tucked up in bed zzzing by 9pm. Teenagers are around. All the time. We often hear him padding around his bedroom after we’ve finished our cocoa and turned out the light. Still a horrible sleeper.

And teens are so aware. And so much more assertive than our generation. Like all teens, now and then, Ginger1 is mortified if his parents are blatantly sexual. On the rare occasion when we go in for a snog against the dishwasher, while ostensibly preparing the evening meal, if caught we are met with a very vocal ‘Yeeeeww!’ As a liberated, metropolitan couple we are open with our children, but we are not without inhibitions. One evening, amorous and desperate after a bottle and a half of Pinot Grigio we gave it a go only to be stopped in our tracks when Ginger1 banged on the wall, asking us to control ourselves. I remember hearing my own parents ‘at it’ at about the same age, lying there, fingers in my ears, desperate for them to finish, but I would never, ever, have asked them to stop.

What about making good use of your fella’s morning glory I hear you cry? Teens have to be dragged out of bed. There’s a four year gap between our boys, so the youngest is still up early-ish. On the rare occasions we wake up before both boys, we have gone in for a quickie, but these are rushed, whispered affairs, with one eye on the bedroom door and where the BigFella keeps his boxers hooked over one ankle in case an emergency leap out of bed is called for. And the grandparents? They are older, and less energetic, and teens are less than keen to spend entire weekends with gramps.

The gap between fumbles widened from weeks to months. ‘When did we last have sex?’ we asked at last. Once we’d noticed its absence, boy did we miss it. We might be middle-aged farts but the thought of hanging up our paddles and chains (I blame Fifty Shades) is too depressing to contemplate. We’re not so ancient to rule out sex altogether – if indeed anyone should do that. Smutty comments and bottom squeezing occurred regularly between my grandparents and though I found it disconcerting as a – you’ve guessed it – teen, by the time I was all grown up it delighted me to think that even after all those years (they’d been married 51 when my grandfather died) they still found one another desirable.

How do the BigFella and I resolve this dilemma? We have dates, mid-week, when the Gingers are at school. Mostly for sex, but also to wine and dine (lunch) and talk without being constantly interrupted or eavesdropped upon. We look forward to these secret liaisons like naughty teenagers and they bring us closer together, most definitely. We’re both freelance and as such we have the freedom (mostly, we do have demands and deadlines like everyone else) to do this, and I appreciate that this is not an option many could do regularly, but it works for us. And we are more than happy to sacrifice a day’s lolly to keep our love active. There’s nothing to beat the sideways glance and grin we give each other when Ginger1 returns home and says: ‘So what have you been up to today?’

About: Laura grew up in a Welsh market town and now lives in Brighton. As well as writing fiction, she works as an editor for literary consultancy, Cornerstones. She has published short stories in magazines, digital media and anthologies. She writes general fiction as Laura Wilkinson and erotic romance as L. C. Wilkinson. Her first hot romance, All of Me, is published by Xcite, an imprint of Accent Press. Currently, she’s working on two novels: one is set against the backdrop of the 1984/85 miners’ strike; the other is a romance following a petulant young woman and a man running from his past. What does all her work have in common? Compelling stories, fascinating characters, and ideas that make you think a little. At least she hopes so! To find out more visit her sites – or – for news and freebies. Or follow her on Twitter: @ScorpioScribble . You’ll also find her GoodReads, and she loves to hear from readers and other writers so do get in touch.





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Guest post: Perving by Kath Melandri

Perving by Kath Melandri | Betty HerbertAuthor: Kath Melandri – visit her splendid new blog, The Mostess

Thank you sunshine, so far the summer of 2013 has been brilliant.

As temperatures have risen, good looking blokes have been peeling off layers and showing off their square shoulders, muscly guns covered in intriguing tattoos, thick calves and not forgetting, the biggest show offs with their washboard abs. Then of course there are the chaps who just have a pretty face. To be honest I like looking at all of you.

I think it’s time for women like myself to admit that we perv at men. For the record I don’t think this makes me a pervert. I have no desire to meet these dudes I speak of – I am happily married to a man with a full beard that I love (both him and the beard that is). I don’t even want the guys to know I’m looking, I just enjoy a sneaky peek.

That’s my definition of perving by the way – appreciating attractive people from afar without making them feel uncomfortable. For me it’s a really enjoyable pass time. Maybe men thought they had the monopoly on appreciating the human form, but no… we women like to check you out too.

As I see it, in our fast-paced western society, finding a spare 5  minutes to appreciate a fit chap has got to be good for mental health. From behind the protection of my massive sunglasses, whilst sipping my pricey iced latte, peering at lovely lads is a joy. I feel the need to stress I’m an equal opportunities perv – matters of shape, size, height and occupation can vary according to mood.

Don’t they mind I hear you ask… well I hope not. Honestly I think there’s an unwritten contract that I am part of when it comes to perving – I am drawn to guys with a peacock style of dress or undress so hopefully the quiet attention I give them, is me simply holding up my end of the bargain

This wonderful distraction isn’t a sinister hobby, it really is just my opportunity to celebrate the work of mother nature when it comes to creating men.

So just to confirm, as the humidity rages on with this unpredictable summer, if you see a middle aged woman glancing away as you turn around it was because I was appreciating your arse. Thank you for wearing those shorts, they showed it off a treat.

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Guest Post: How Thin These Walls, How Loud My Climax

How Thin These Walls, How Loud My Climax by Jillian Boyd | Betty Herbert

Author: Jillian Boyd. Find her on Twitter or her blog, Lady Laid Bare.

I’ve been in a committed relationship for nearly a year now. It’s really excellent, because I get to wake up to this sexy, clever and geeky dude every morning. Like all my Christmasses decided to morph into one person who loves me and isn’t appalled by me.

The sex is absolutely brilliant. I’m still rather new to sex, so everything about it amazes me. I am utterly fascinated by his erection, for instance. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful, and I’ve been in the Park Güell for God’s sake.

I’ve been blessed with this man, and I like to think he feels the same.

What we haven’t been blessed with is privacy.

When we started dating, I lived in a sharehouse and shared a room with two other girls. Neither of them were very fond of me, and even less fond when they saw my boyfriend’s friendly face appear. I’d occasionally chance it and ask him to stay the night, but it soon transpired that this wasn’t the best solution. For one thing, my roommates had flexible work hours, so there was no telling how much time we had to squeeze in the sex we both desperately craved.

But we managed a couple of times, and I do applaud both of us for doing it in the confines of my one-person bottom bunk in a bunk bed. I even managed to stealthily masturbate myself to orgasm twice, in his arms and in the dark of my room, while the other girls were present.

(I’ve become quite good at the stealth orgasm, I must say.)


Eventually, when the jig was up and my landlord told me my other half couldn’t stay the night anymore, we sat down together and came up with a different solution.

Indeed, within weeks, I had given my notice and moved in with him and his parents. It seemed only logical, since I was there pretty much all the time. It gaves us some semblance of privacy, in the sense that we had our own room. But said room, of course, shared a wall with his parents’ room. Swings and roundabouts, and that.

Still, we managed to let our relationship blossom and get to a good place. And then we unexpectedly had to move out.

Now, I could tell you the story about our frantic and extremely tiring search for a flat, but you’d get incredibly depressed, so I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just fast forward, shall we?

As it is now, we’re lodgers with a large devout Christian family. It’s a relatively small house, with thin walls and people walking about all the time. And blimey, they are loud people….

It’s still not an ideal situation for a young couple. But I’ll take what I can get, because all that matters is the moments I spend with my lovely man. Whether they’re spent cuddling on the sofa, having geeky discussions over dinner or making passionate (but quiet, of course) love in our bedroom.

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Whisper: The Photograph

Author: Catherine Holt

I have had photo hidden like a dirty secret since I was 13. It’s only since I cleared my mum’s house that I found it again.

It was taken in 1990. I was 14 at the time. The photographer was a young man, who at the time was much older than me, maybe 22 or 23.

I was on holiday in Cornwall. I hardly spoke to him the evening I met him. I didn’t even kiss him. I was very naive at the time and completely innocent. I met him at the disco. He asked me to meet him the following day for a walk, and then he asked me to take my clothes off for this shot…..I didn’t.

Please take care of young women/daughters whilst on holiday this year: they may not be as well equipped as may think.

Whispers: The Photograph | Betty Herbert

(Adapted from a Facebook post).

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The Man Diet

Today’s guest post is from Zoe Strimpel, author of The Man Diet, which follows her quest to free herself of bad dating habits. You can find Zoe’s blog here


I’ve never been very good at food diets. But when it comes to following the different sort of diet prescribed in my new book, The Man Diet: One Woman’s Quest to End Bad Romance, I thought I was doing well. My motivations, you see, are greater than shedding a few centimetres around the waist (though that would also be much appreciated). They are about feeling good inside by cutting down on “junk food love”: Facebook stalking binges; callous sex; obsessing about men with friends, for example. The stuff that it’s hard to avoid, but that makes us feel like crap and erodes our self-esteem, just when we should be flourishing most.

But even the desire to be good to myself, to be the best woman I can be, has not kept me on the straight and narrow recently. I admit it: I’ve fallen off the Diet bandwagon once or twice in the past few weeks – and, unlike after a chocolate cake moment, I’m not licking my lips for more. In fact, I’m regretting my slip in resolve quite bitterly

The slide from grace began two weeks ago when I had arranged to see a guy for a drink. We’d met once at a dinner, and I’d followed up (breaking one of the rules of the Man Diet right there: No Pursuit). He acquiesced with charm and before we knew it, we were the last ones in the restaurant, draining a bottle of cava. We moved on, then, to the Groucho Club. Here, despite having had far too many drinks (breaking still another rule of the Man Diet: Cutting Down on Booze), he ordered us another. Then another. Suddenly we were kissing. It was terribly exhibitionist, but by this point I felt that my limits had dissolved in alcohol; and the inevitability of going home together felt overwhelming. A voice in my head said: “This is not going to be healthy for you. Sleep with him and feel rotten tomorrow when he shows no interest.” Echoing the voice was the question: “Why? Why do this?” My answer was that in addition to his being good looking and fun, a trophy of sorts, I felt it would be boring to pull out now.

And so the inevitable happened. A night of of pleasant-enough but ultimately forced passion ensued – forced being the only type of passion that happens when two people aren’t particularly enthralled by each other or bonded by insane chemistry. As he kissed me goodbye the next morning – I do have to hand it to him for his displays of affection even in the cold light of day – the arbitrary, programmatic nature of that kiss and the preceding ones hit me with a dull thud. This truly was anti-romance, and worse, now I had to put up with the deafening silence that would follow his exit (in addition to the hangover throbbing in my temples).

A few days later, I had an email from him, saying he would maybe see me “one day” again, but generally he was not comfortable with post-sex meetings with women he had no intention of dating. I felt crap and rejected, despite not wanting to date him either. I was also aware that I’d put myself in this situation and had nobody to moan to but myself.

See, one of the big problems with junk food love is that it is addictive. So having had one unsatisfactory experience, I quickly sought another to erase the bad taste left by this encounter.

I sought it with a truly hot guy, a friend of a friend. I was abroad and looked him up in his hometown. I had entered our meeting without expectations, but after three hours of intense conversation, and several drinks, I felt it would be a “waste” not to push it further. So further is where it went. Turning this encounter into a spot of junk food love was a particularly bad choice because I liked this guy. He was interesting and complex as well as really good-looking. But instead of leaving our evening with a “nice to meet you”, a peck on the cheek and the chance for it to develop into something real, I pushed it into the sexual sphere for validation. Why, I reasoned tipsily, have a hangover with nothing to show for it?

But as with so many men, the disjoint between night and day was as harsh as ever. Hot Man was all sweetness before the bedsheets were parted: as soon as the sun rose, the game changed vampire-style, and it was a case of hustling out to work as quickly as possible. Our delicate, new intimacy couldn’t withstand the flip from boozy, candle-lit night to factual, non-sexy day, though I wished it had. So, sitting in the taxi in last night’s clothes, I felt uncomfortably bloated on junk food love, and not a little melancholic.

There’s one upside to these encounters: they have reminded me just how useful the Man Diet is. My next step? Taking a leaf out of my own book.

The Man Diet was published by Avon on 30th November as ebook, with paperback to follow on 22nd December.


If you’d like to write your own Whisper, we’d love to read it! The submission guidelines are here.

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Whisper #37 – The Naming of Cats

Author: P

Ladies, let’s not beat around the bush here. No pussyfooting around. You’ve no doubt had cause on occasion to rue the paucity of positive, useful English language words for the hoohah. You know what I mean. Yes, that. The snatch. The vagina.

Language is taking from you your right to express yourself positively, with ownership, when discussing a part of your body you have every right to feel happy with and empowered by and this has affected our culture in myriad ways, small and large.

When you pick a word, or a meaningful shrug of the shoulder or a raised eyebrow and swift glance down, it cannot be comfortable to find that you’re limited in choice by overly clinical terms or words heavily loaded with abusive or twee connotations, hence the proliferation of almost one-use words whose meaning has to be divined based on context and body language.

Perhaps we can do better. Please find herein for your consideration and discussion a set of words derived from a common root, designed to cover a wide variety of social situations. They’re certainly far from perfect, but perhaps they can represent a starting point on a journey to reclaiming in language and hence perhaps culture that which is yours to express.

For the root word, purely as a starting point, a word designed to be a replacement for ‘vagina’, consider if you will a little two seater Italian sportscar built for fun, something with some Va-va-voom. Perhaps if Alfa or Fiat were to make an MX-5?

How about ‘fa-jini’? It’s less harsh sounding than the alternative. You can even say it with a lilting Italian accent. Go on, give it a go, then try it again slightly Anglicised. Gesticulate a bit even. Then go back and look at the alternative.

Next, it’s always useful to have a good coarse word at your disposal. One you can wield in the bar, a few cocktails to the wind, shouted over the music. What we’re looking for here is an alternative to the irredeemably harsh and profoundly negative ‘cunt’.

How about ‘faj’? It’s short, it’s punchy, it’s feisty. It’s very close to ‘fab!’ which of course opens the possibility for Cosmo to start using ‘fajulous!’.

‘Hey! You! You think it’s funny to stare at my faj?’

Now we need a word with a little mystery and potency to it. Something a little bit sassy and maybe even a little romantic, a better version of ‘pussy’. May I suggest ‘jeanie/genie’. It’s already a feminine name, which is a good start, and it’s also a powerful and magical entity contained in something small.

Heck, it also lets everyone hum Christina Aguilera; ‘I’ve a genie in a bottle, baby…’

Perhaps most importantly, what’s needed is a word for situations where one just wants to describe a part of the body. One needs to be able to say it swiftly, it needs to be a word you can say quietly, surreptitiously, with small motions of the mouth.

Consider ‘jin’ or ‘jun’ or ‘j’n’. The shortest possible spoken combination of J and N. Something you can insert into a sentence as a tiny spoken marker with meaning, that you get past and then onto the rest of the sentence but that does not require that you have to jiggle your shoulders just so to get the point across.

This is a word you could use sitting in a cafe or in conversation while waiting outside school.

‘That stupid woman there just smacked her damned shopping basket right into my j’n’

It has tremendous compassionate utility. Consider the situation where a counsellor or care worker or solicitor needs to talk about something sensitive, but also wants to distance herself from the clinical terms that a victim or patient might’ve heard from medical or police personnel.

Finally, we have the case where one needs to have a chat with or about a lil’un. Perhaps you’re at a doctor’s surgery or talking with your sister about your niece or having to mention something to a friend’s young daughter. These are the situations that can haunt you for days. The sheer terror of overcoming the linguistic barrier can stop you from discussing an issue completely.

There is a beautifully simple solution. One that doesn’t involve ‘vajayjays’ or ‘froofroos’. I suggest ‘ini/eenie’. Short, sweet, simple.


If you’d like to write your own Whisper, we’d love to read it! The submission guidelines are here.

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