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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: 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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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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Whisper #36 – Limerence

Author: anonymous



….a term coined c.1977 by US psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated.  (Wikipedia)


You never meant to fall for Him. Because you thought being married ring-fenced such feelings, made you immune to them. You didn’t even like Him that much, that first time you met. He was pompous, self-centred, overly eager to impress you. He was wearing navy socks. He lived in a normal house in an ordinary part of suburbia. He was everything you had not expected: His very ordinariness was a shock, and when you left, after that first meeting, that interview, you felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Yet, there was something, vague and indefinable, an exchange of glances, a shared joke, the mirroring of your movements that set your belly fluttering in a way unfelt for over 20 years, like the half-remembered sensation of a teenage crush, and a time when sex was still as much a puzzle as a thrill.

And so a correspondence begins, your messages bouncing back and forth in the ether with all the intensity of an ace tennis volley. By the end of the weekend, you’re certain there is “something”, a connection and a chemistry more profound than anything you’ve experienced in a long time, maybe ever. You walk around Notting Hill where you work with a spring in your step. You catch sight of your reflection in shop windows, people smile at you in the street, you’ve got the pollen on you! Yet it comes as a shock to realise that the boundaries of your emotional life are not completely impermeable, that being married does not make you resistant to another person’s attention. You anticipate, and look forward to contact with Him in a way that is all too consuming, and before long, you find he has filled a space you hadn’t even known was there. You tell yourself it is foolish to pretend that these email ‘conversations’ have anything in common with real ones. By its very nature, communicating by this means is subject to stringent self-editing; these are self-conscious, self-selecting versions of truth, offering mere illusions of intimacy, yet soon a relationship begins to grow, built on paragraphs and punctuation in the soundless, faceless, anonymous world of cyberspace. Each day you long to see the little envelope icon in your in-box, to tell you He is thinking of you, and the churn of a secret life is potent and addictive. You spend your days in suspense, waiting. Waiting and waiting.

You re-read His latest email, re-reading and re-reading until you have memorised every word in the short message, and you watch your feelings rearrange around it, like the splinters of coloured glass in a child’s kaleidoscope.




And then – oh joy! – the chance to meet again. It’s public, with others. It will be easy. But of course when you see him the symptoms flood in, strange uninvited feelings, as though something has colonised and taken over your mind and body. Just seeing him sets your heart racing, banging around in your chest as if you have been running hard. You want to appear cool, sophisticated. He’s standing in the doorway, talking to someone else, but His gaze is fixed on you. He’s impatient to come to you. You’re edging towards one another now, imperceptibly, and then suddenly He’s striding towards you, smiling, smiling, and there’s the “Oh-my-God-is-it-really-you-ness” of meeting Him again after a long absence, and you’re touching the fine wool of the sleeve of his suit and you’re kissing, public and chaste, but a kiss nonetheless, and He’s talking to you, and now there’s no distance between you at all. You’re talking, laughing, it’s friendly and easy, and the hive of nerves in your stomach settles because you haven’t said anything stupid.

You wrap the moments around you like a soft warm shawl and walk back to the station with a secret smile playing around your mouth. But as the train trundles through the Surrey countryside, and the distance between you grows, again, all the anxieties creep back again and threaten to overwhelm you. Your insecurity, your hopeless desire for the things you cannot have, your need to be in touch with Him, to have His attention, His flattery and His affection, flood you and erase most of the pleasurable feelings of the encounter. Your eyes prickle; you are close to tears.

An email drops into your inbox at 4pm. Brief. Significant. Sufficient. You read it and reread it. Again, and again. Later, in bed you bring it out again, like a precious, secret object, always hidden, always close. Read it. Reread it. Again. He invades your actions and your thoughts, and your fingers stray between your legs, remembering, remembering, replaying, trying to balm the ache.

Each day you tell yourself it has to end. But how can you end something that has hardly even begun?

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 #35 – What is the Perfect Vagina?

Author: Kirsty Higginson – find her on Twitter


Are you happy with your vagina? I’m sorry if the question seems a little forward, or a bit in your face, but it is a question that I’d really appreciate if you could answer without thinking too much about.

After my second child, I wasn’t happy with my vagina, it just felt all felt wrong ‘there’. My husband, the poor soul, would listen to me whine about how much it had changed and, when I’d finished, he’d lovingly tell me that everything felt as it had before the birth. Nothing had changed.

Obviously, being woman, I thought he was literally saying it for a bit of peace or maybe to make me feel better. I haphazardly told him that if I had the money I’d seriously seek help for normality to resume in the downstairs department. He buried his head in his hands.

That was was in 2003.

Today, in 2011, I am the one burying my head in my hands. Realisation set in long ago that nothing is actually wrong down ‘there’, it never was and it does, quite simply cover my definition of being perfect; it serves its purpose well.  So, when I recently came across an article in The Independent, entitled; ‘Pornography linked to huge rise in plastic surgery for women’, I quite simply just wanted to cry.

Not for myself, oh no, my boat has sailed and there’s no way I am going down that route again, but for our younger generation who are easily influenced and for the women who do feel that their vagina just isn’t good enough or right. Don’t get me wrong, I know it can be a serious problem for some, but I am specifically talking about those who want to just ‘approve appearance’, it saddens me that some women feel their vagina isn’t acceptable on those grounds.

Back in 2003, the problem was that of course it was going to be a little different after giving birth to an 8lb 3oz baby, I was swollen and sore – but other than that it was fine. The fact that I had been pondering over my genitalia twenty four seven meant that it did change – albeit in my head and not in reality. My brain had thought about it for far too long. Well, you don’t normally lie in the throws of passion trying to workout out if IT has changed, shrunk, got bigger etc…..and if you do, you really need to stop and go with the flow, enjoy it.

Love, sex and passion aren’t about thinking – it’s not about making a list in your head about what you’ll need at the Friday big shop OR whether you need a designer vagina, it’s about going with the fantastic and orgasmic flow and leaving your inhibitions behind…..forever.

Quite frankly I believe the world is now going crazy – do we all need to have a similar vagina to be accepted? No. Should we be made to feel that it has to have some certain shape to feel womanly? No. It’s the same with the waxing/Brazilian/Hollywood* phenomenon that are currently being waved in out faces. What are we doing people, or better yet, what messages are we sending out that see so many woman want to tweak their bits?

I, finally, have turned a corner and go with the flow – not what others want me to do. And, I certainly do not let society and the media try and dictate how I should look – under my clothes and over them.

So, please, women of the world, try it – it is liberating. Be who you want to be, not who you are told to be.


*What is a Hollywood anyway? Please excuse my ignorance I just couldn’t really care. I’m guessing there isn’t a Manchurian or a Liverpudlian?


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 #34 – Everybody Needs a Bosom for a Pillow

Author: Katyboo who blogs here, and tweets as @thevoiceofboo


My eldest daughter is experiencing the first throes of puberty.  She is not impressed. Not impressed at all.  During the summer holidays I mentioned that it might be time to get her fitted for a bra.  She all but got down on bended knees and begged me to wait just a little longer.

She said in a rising wail: ‘Why? Why do I have to be a teenager? Why can’t I just be twenty five and skip that part?’

I said: ‘There are good things about being a teenager.’

She said: ‘What are they?’

I could not think of anything off hand.

She flounced out of the room, triumphant.

I have relented about the bra fitting for now.

This is mainly because I remember the utter humiliation of going for that first bra fitting with my own mother.  I really had nothing to show in the breast department at the time.  Not like Busty Brindle, the girl in my class at school who all the boys used to yell at when we did the 100 yard dash in P.E., and whose chest wobbled like spectacularly unstable jelly.

All the other girls in the class, myself included, were fascinated by her development, but I don’t recall that any of us were particularly eager to join her.  We did not want to be full of feminine allure and the object of ogling. We wanted to keep on playing British Bulldog and pick our scabby knees.

My mother on the other hand was keen to get the bra fitting out of the way as soon as possible.  She deposited me with the lady with the tape measure in the Marks & Spencer’s fitting room as if she were the first person to have invented bosoms.

I don’t know who was the most embarrassed, me, or the tape measure lady.  She did her valiant best, but there really was nothing to measure.  My maternal grandmother, who was nothing if not eccentric, used to describe her breasts as ‘two fried eggs on a plate’.  She used her bra to keep emergency fivers and the odd treat for sulky grandchildren in.  On one memorable occasion she pulled a Robinson’s Golly badge out of her left bosom area for me.  I was, as you can imagine, very impressed by this.  I hoped in later life to be able to make my bosoms do something similar.  It now seemed as if I might get the chance.  As the tape measure lady was fumbling about my upper chest region in the hope that I might suddenly sprout 38 DD knockers and give her something to placate my mother with, I thought of all the things I might keep in my bra, clear as it was that I would not be keeping my wayward chest in it for quite some time.

I got as far as wondering if it would make a good place to stick a supply of Sherbet Dib Dabs when the woman pulled the tape measure from round me with a snake charmer’s flourish, and announced that I was a 28 AA.

I was absolutely sure that she had pulled this figure out of her arse.

I was proved right after I got home and tried on my bra, only to find that there was room for a score of Sherbet Dib Dabs and possibly 2oz of pear drops.

Despite the fact that I was wearing some complex elastic strapping merely to support two empty wind socks of material, my mother still made me wear the bra every day.  It was clearly visible underneath my school blouse, and led to derisive jeers from the boys who, quite rightly, asked what the point was? Unfortunately they thought I was trying to be come hither, and tormented me to the point of distraction.  They would not believe I was actually more keen to go thither.

The idea of burning my bra was becoming more appealing on a daily basis.  Not to liberate my oppressed female self, but to go back to being the androgynous child I had been quite happy as.

In my later teens, my bosom was still more of a problem than an asset.  I hung around with a group of girls my mum insisted on calling the Valkyries.  They were all rather amply proportioned, and to a woman had gigantic bangers.  One of my friends was so generously endowed in the bosom department she had to sleep in her bra, because otherwise her lolling boobs gave her a dead arm.

By this time I had managed to grow to a reasonably respectable ‘B’ cup, but I can’t say I was having any problems with dead arms.

The best that could be said of my breasts were that they were pert.  One lunch time in sixth form, a group of us sat round reading Just Seventeen, a then very fashionable magazine for young women.  We read about the pencil test.  Apparently it was very important for women to have pert breasts.  It did not explain why this was so, and we never questioned it, we just knew that we had to aspire to pertness.

The test for pert breasts was to stick a pencil underneath your boobs. If the pencil was trapped by the weight of your bosom you did not have pert breasts.  If the pencil rolled onto the floor, you were sufficiently pert.  I was the only pert one among us.  As one of my friends commented at the time; ‘I don’t know about a pencil. I could get a whole pencil case under there with no trouble at all.’  She seemed proud of this.  I picked up my fallen pencil quietly, and went off to dream of bosoms rolling with stationery.

It has taken me nearly forty years to come to terms with my bosom. I do not see why my daughter shouldn’t delay things a little longer.  It’s not like her boobs are  going anywhere. Except south.

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

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