My pet peeves with sex toy companies

When it comes to designing and marketing toys, there are certain things that companies do that cause me to roll my eyes and seethe with frustration.  Whether it’s creating toys that aren’t fit for their purpose or perpetuating sexual shame, sometimes sex toy manufacturers really frustrate me.  Here are five things that I wish sex toy companies would stop doing.

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  1. Using the word “Massager” instead of “vibrator”

I’m always puzzled when I see the word “massager” pop up on the packaging of an item that is very clearly a vibrator.  I get that there are a lot of appliances that were intended to be used to relieve sore muscles, which have subsequently become cult-favourite sex toys (Hitatchi Magic Wand, are your ears burning?).  But often dildos and vibrators are sold under the guise of “massagers” that purport to “ease tension” and “reach those tight spots”.  All of this pussy-footing around just seems so silly to me.  That item that looks like a pearly pink phallus that rumbles and buzzes?  I’m gonna use it on my genitals.  It’s a vibrator.  The jig is up and you aren’t fooling anybody.

 

2. Non body-safe materials

There are materials that you aren’t allowed to use in the manufacture of children’s toys that are regularly used to make toys intended to come into contact with the most intimate parts of your body.  Some of these materials are not safe because they are porous and can harbour bacteria that can cause infection.  Some are actually toxic and can cause anything from minor irritation to chemical burns. And yet companies continue to make sex toys from non-body-safe materials because it’s cheap and they look good.  The worst part is that a lot of the “beginner” ranges of toys are made from these materials.  Those cute jelly dildos and small sized butt plugs look colourful and are easy on the wallet, but they can be seriously bad for you.  I wish that more sex toy companies would work harder to make their toys safe to use.

 

3. Anal toys without flared bases

I have lost count of the number of toys I’ve seen that are marketed as being “anal safe” that are actually anything but.  You should never put anything in your backside that doesn’t have a flared base to stop it getting sucked up into your ass.   Even though this is a very well-known rule, companies continue to make toys that are intended for butt play that have no means of retrieving them.  It’s very simple, if you want to sell butt-toys, make ones that aren’t going to disappear inside your consumers.

 

4 Including Anal-eze with butt toys.

While we’re on the subject of butt toys, let’s talk about Anal-eze.  Anal-eze is a numbing lotion that you’re supposed to apply to your asshole before anal play to stop it from hurting.  It’s also the Product Most Likely to Induce a Tantrum from this blogger.  Anal-eze is pointless and plays into so many insecurities people have around anal play.  Firstly, if you’re going to be playing with your anus, you don’t want to numb the area because you’ll miss out on all the pleasure.  Secondly, anal play doesn’t hurt when it’s done properly.  Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down, use more lube, relax, try a smaller toy, or change positions.  Pain has a function, and without it you run this risk of doing real damage to yourself.  I think that a lot of people use products like Anal-Eze because they are afraid of anal sex and believe that it’s going to hurt.  And ironically, if you can’t feel your butt, you’re more likely to rush or use something that’s too big and you’re going to be sore when the numbing wears off, which only reinforces that fear that butt sex is painful.

While I get pissed that Anal-Eze even exists, what makes me truly livid is the fact that some manufacturers include it in the packaging with their butt plugs and anal probes. To me, that eliminates the pleasure and power a person might experience from buying an anal toy and replaces it with fear and shame.  Also, it’s just plain unsafe.

 

5. Claiming to mimic “real life” sex acts.

In the last year, there has been a tidal wave of clitoral suction toys that are supposed to feel “just like” oral sex.  But they never do.  They feel great, but the sensation of a machine on your genitals is always going to be different to a real person.  Sex toys aren’t a substitute for a partner.  Sex with toys doesn’t feel like sex with a person. And that’s ok.   I see sex with toys as a different kind of sex to having partnered sex, and I like both for different reasons.  Trying to make a toy that mimics sex with a human being will always leave the consumer disappointed because even if you could perfectly replicate the sensation, you can’t program a toy to be spontaneous or intimate.  I wish that more manufacturers would focus on marketing how great the toy feels, rather than comparing it to sex with a partner.

There are plenty of companies out there that create amazing body-safe toys without cringy marketing or a side-helping of shame with every purchase.  But there are still plenty of stores out there selling toys that commit these five sex toy crimes.  And I wish they’d stop.  Because sex toys are so much fun and the less shame and stigma that surrounds them the better.

 

What are your sex toy pet hates?

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The Soldier On Syndrome

I’ve been sick with the flu this week.  It crept up on me last Tuesday night, appearing as a tightness in my chest and a tickly cough.  By Wednesday morning I was aching all over and my cough had become a hacking, wheezing monster.  Even so, I stood in the shower on Wednesday morning, determined to soap away the sickness and head into work.

I had this mental tug-of-war going on.  One half of my mind was telling me “You are actually, properly sick.  You need to rest and get better.  And nobody in the office is going to thank you for coming in and spreading your disgusting germs around”.

But the other half was insistent that I should just toughen up and carry on.  I felt like even though I didn’t feel well, that it wasn’t right to take the day off when there was work to be done.  I felt selfish for even thinking about calling in sick and leaving my co-workers to pick up the slack.  This half of my mind was begging me to get dressed and soldier on with my responsibilities, regardless of how I was feeling.

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In the end, I listened to my body and phoned the office to let them know I wasn’t coming in.  But for the remainder of the day I had this lingering feeling of guilt that popped up in between bouts of coughing, uncontrollable shivering and feverish naps.

 

Now that I’m feeling somewhat better, I have to ask my self why it is that I feel bad for taking time off when I’m genuinely sick.  After a fair bit of consideration I’ve come up with several reasons.

 

Firstly, I’m worried that my co-workers won’t believe me or they’ll think that I’m faking it if I call in sick.  This is largely a silly worry because I’ve never heard anyone in my office suggest that a person is pretending to be ill to get a bonus day off. However, I’ve worked in other places where there has been scepticism when someone has taken a sick day.  And so I’m always anxious that my boss won’t believe me when I call to say that I’m not feeling well and I need a day to rest.

 

Secondly, I am concerned that taking a day off is selfish.  That by staying at home I’m shirking my responsibilities and being lazy.  This worry comes from a lifetime of living in a culture where self-care is seen as self-indulgence.  Where speaking up and saying “I need this” is seen as entitled behaviour and where admitting that you’re not up to the challenges of your normal day is seen as weak.

 

Thirdly, I’m very aware that we live in a world where we are surrounded by messages that tell us that being sick is merely a blip on the radar, a mere inconvenience that needs to be suppressed so that we can “get over it and get on with it”.  There are so many advertisements for medicines that don’t claim help us recover faster or feel better. Rather, these advertisements are all about getting you back on your feet so that you can soldier on with your myriad of daily responsibilities.  Rather than encouraging us to get well, the bottom line is that we should carry on regardless of how we are feeling, because how productive we are is far more important than the way we treat ourselves.

 

This mire of guilt, frustration and fear that I experience around taking a sick day needs to stop.  I recognise that it’s not good for me physically or mentally.  If you’re going through similar feelings, then it’s probably not good for you either.  Let’s take a moment to review some facts and set ourselves on solid ground.

 

If you are ill, you are allowed to take a day off to recover.  Heck, if you need to, take two days. Or an entire week if that’s what you truly need.   Sick leave exists for this very purpose.  If you work with other people, then going into work when you’re ill puts everyone else at risk of catching whatever you have.  And if you work in the customer service industry then you’re exposing your customers to your lurgy as well. Nobody wants their coffee served by someone who is snuffling all over the place.

 

Admittedly, this is a lot harder if you are self-employed.  When there is nobody to cover for you, and no sick pay to cushion the blow, taking a sick day can feel a lot more detrimental.  But honestly, if you aren’t well, you aren’t going to be doing your best work. It makes professional sense to take the time to get well and jump back in when you are well again.

 

Stepping away from work if you are ill isn’t selfish.  Not only will you be preventing your co-workers and customers from getting ill, but you’ll be ensuring that you aren’t at the office doing sub-par work and making mistakes because you feel lousy.  It isn’t self-indulgent to rest when you are unwell.  It is if you take a sick day when you aren’t actually sick and you just don’t want to tear yourself away from your Netflix binge.

 

Be kind to yourself and listen to what your body is telling you.  Often, we get sick because we haven’t taken care of ourselves as well as we could.  Illness can be your body’s way of telling you to slow down.

 

Finally, taking time off to recover isn’t weak.  In light of the constant bombardment of messages about the importance of productivity and how we should solider on in the face of illness, it’s actually takes some degree of inner strength to make the decision to step down and rest.  It can be easier to stay on the treadmill, to give in to the idea that your worth is based on how much you get done in a day, and completely ignore your personal needs.  I think that the more powerful decision is to stick up for what you need, to allow yourself the time to get well and to release yourself from the guilt and frustration that do not serve you and only make you feel worse.  If you’re sick, stay home.  There’s no need to soldier on.

Product review: Doc Johnson Wonderland vibrators

This past Valentines Day, I chose to treat myself to some sex toys.  I had been eyeing off the Doc Johnson Wonderland range of vibrators for months, and when Wild Secrets had them on sale, I snapped up The Pleasurepillar and The Mystical Mushroom.  When they arrived I could barely contain my glee.  I ripped into the packaging and was floored with wonder.

I was so impressed with the packaging of these vibrators.  The level of detail and sturdiness is akin to what you would find wrapped around a luxury vibrator.  Each toy came packaged in a hard box with a slipcover.  When the cover was slid away, it revealed a gorgeous gold-embossed letter W and the word “Wonderland”.  The boxes have a magnetic closure and the toys were safely nestled inside a perfectly-shaped foam case.  These cases are small enough to use as travel cases to stop your toys switching on in your luggage, or simply for storing your vibrators when not in use.

As if the packaging wasn’t gorgeous enough, the appearance of the toys themselves was breathtaking.  The colours are fantastic, and this line features shades not often seen in the realm of sex toys.  The Mystical Mushroom is a deep royal purple and the Pleasurepillar is a charming turquoise.  The shapes are also unique and exactly what drew me to the toys in the first place.

The Mystical Mushroom features a rounded nub surrounded by a flared disc to look like a mushroom.  It has a lot of interesting textured grooves. I imagined that the tip would be ideal for pinpointed clitoral stimulation, while the rounded edges could feel wonderful against my labia.  I had a different idea in mind for the Pleasurepillar.  I had hoped that it’s hooked end would make it a great G-spot toy, and I imagined that the bumps and bubbles along the shaft would feel excellent during thrusting.

My excitement grew as I pulled the toys from their cases.  Each one is made from a buttery soft silicone.  They feel incredibly smooth to the touch and have very little drag.  This silicone is of the kind of quality I’ve only seen on high-end sex toys, and is so impressive on a mid-range vibrator.  Sadly, the packaging, appearance and texture of these toys are not an indication of how well they perform.

The Wonderland toys are battery operated.  This can often be a stumbling point, as battery operated toys often lack power and you have to worry about having extra batteries on hand during play time.  I’ve had a few battery operated toys that pack a real wallop, but sadly these two vibrators fall flat.  The vibrations are extremely buzzy and don’t feel good against my skin.  During use, they feel more like an annoying itch and tickle than a pleasurable rumble.  Even on the highest setting, I had to really press the toys into my clit to get any real sensation.

While the shape of the toys has great potential in theory, in practice they really miss the mark. The Pleasurepillar was particularly disappointing in this regard, as it was just too short to hit my G-spot squarely.  And once inserted, the vibrations were even further dampened.  It was also very difficult to manipulate the Pleasurepillar for thrusting, as the toy doesn’t really have enough length to allow for a good grip during internal use.

I was also utterly frustrated with the placement of the power button. It is located right on the end of the toy.  This means that it’s incredibly easy to inadvertently push it during play, switching the vibration patterns and ruining your flow.

The vibration patterns were another source of consternation for me.  Each of these toys features ten vibration patterns and three vibration strengths.  This was a huge drawcard for me, but again it fell over in the execution.  For starters, when the toy is switched on, it starts on the highest vibration pattern.  You then click the single button to cycle down to a medium vibration, then again for a low vibration, and then you cycle through the patterns.  Now, when I use a vibrator, I tend to use it on the lowest setting to get warmed up, then slowly ramp up the intensity as I approach orgasm.  I don’t know anyone who goes in the other direction.  And the vibration patterns are varied and interesting, but the lack of power makes them almost indistinguishable on my clitoris.  As far as my clit is concerned, the patterns are just a bland series of flutters and blips.

As a final insult, these toys are an absolute bitch to clean.  The ridges and bumps on the Mystical Mushroom are just a lodging-place for lube and fluid and require scrubbing to get really clean.  Additionally, these toys are only splashproof and can’t be submerged, which makes cleaning even more frustrating.

I was so disappointed with the Wonderland toys.  The packaging and appearance were on point, but the performance was sub-par.  I wish that Doc Johnson would make a more powerful version of these toys, maybe with a bigger shaft.  I would love these shapes and that gorgeous silicone in a toy that actually had enough power to make playtime pleasurable, rather than an exercise in sexual frustration.

That time I participated in cultural appropriation…

Last week I was looking back over some photos from my time at college when I noticed a picture that made me stop in my tracks.  The picture was taken at a costume party in my second year at university.  For this particular occasion I was dressed as a geisha.  I’d swept my hair up into a smooth top-knot, I was wearing a satiny kimono-style robe and I’d applied white powder and overdrawn red lipstick.  The picture made me want to hang my head with shame.  Because in that moment I realised that I’d taken part in cultural appropriation when I chose to dress that way.

 

Cultural appropriation is an important topic, and something that I think about on a regular basis.  In case you’re unsure what I mean when I use the phrase “cultural appropriation”, here is a great article that explains it pretty well. But essentially cultural appropriation is “when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that is not their own”.  It is particularly prudent when the cultural aspects have religious or deep cultural significance, and/or when the person taking the cultural aspect is from a racial group which has a history of oppressing the group the culture is being taken from.

 

I mentioned that I think about cultural appropriation on a regular basis, and this is most often in context of the things I wear.  I love to express myself through fashion and there are a number of items in my closet which have been inspired by other cultures.  I even have items which have been given as gifts from friends overseas which have come from other countries, and which I now wear.  Whether or not me wearing these items counts as cultural appropriation is a muddy debate (and one which I’ve grappled with many times in my own mind).  But I am certain that my geisha costume was a definite example of cultural appropriation.

 

Now, when I first saw the photo, I tried to rationalize my behaviour.  I thought about my interest in geisha culture and how much reading and research I’ve done about the history of geisha and their practices.  I thought “well, perhaps the fact that I’m interested in geisha and that I know a lot about them makes it OK to dress as a geisha.  Maybe my costume was more of an homage to a culture I respect rather than an appropriation”.

 

But I still consider it to be an appropriation.  The clothing, hairstyle and makeup worn by a geisha is special.  It’s not something that just anyone gets to wear.  A woman has to go through years of difficult training before she is worthy to wear the geisha makeup or hairstyles.  Different geisha hairstyles have different meanings, and in some cases a geisha has to satisfy certain criteria before she is permitted to wear her hair a particular way.  I have undergone no such training, and although I am interested in this culture it is not MY culture.  I have not earned the right to dress like a geisha, and it was wrong of me to do so.

 

In contrast, I think about a time when I wore a kimono that I do not consider to be an appropriation.  Many years ago I visited the Immigration Museum in Melbourne and was treated to an exhibit led by two women from Japan.  At the end of the tour they showed us a number of traditional Japanese garments including kimono, and I was invited to come and try one on.  I don’t think of this experience as an appropriation for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I was invited by a member of the culture to wear the item.  Secondly, kimono are not generally an item that carries a certain status in that you don’t have to be of a particular class or hold a certain job or title to wear one. In this instance, I was not taking an item of special cultural significance, I was experiencing an aspect of a culture by invitation of two members of that culture.

 

I believe that cultural appropriation is something that’s important to think about, particularly in the context of fashion. There are a number of items that I have stopped wearing altogether because I am aware that they have particular cultural significance.  For example, I used to wear bindis on a regular basis and now I will not wear them at all.  While I don’t think that there is a need to completely cut out the wearing of anything that has come from another culture, I think it’s extremely important to consider the significance and history of those items and truly consider whether it’s appropriate to wear them.

 

So although I still wear items that have been inspired by other cultures, or even some clothes which have come directly from other cultures, I am much savvier about what I choose to wear.  I will not make the mistake of using another culture as a costume, and although I’m ashamed that i have done so in the past, I think it’s important to talk about it.  Because I believe that you have to own up to your mistakes in order to learn and move forward.  And I think I’ve come a long way since that night I donned a geisha costume, and I’d like to move even further towards being a person who is more compassionate and open, particularly when it comes to culture.

 

Have you participated in cultural appropriation?  Is it something that you think about when choosing what you wear?

The Christmas gift that never came.

When you were a kid, was there ever something that you wanted for Christmas that you never, ever received?  Sure there was!  Practically everyone I know has a similar tale of missing out on that ONE THING that they really, really wanted for Christmas.   It seems to be a common thread that runs through most childhoods: the constant requests, numerous appearances on wishlists and endless begging to department store Santas that yielded disappointing results.

 

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For me, that elusive gift was a trampoline.  I asked for a trampoline every Christmas from the time I was four years old until I was fourteen.  For ten years I diligently added it to my Christmas list.  When I was tiny, that involved cutting a picture of a trampoline out of a toy catalog and pasting it to a collage of My Little Ponies and Ninja Turtles paraphernalia.  As I got older, I would labour away, tongue poking out the side of my mouth as I struggled to spell “trampoline”.  I even remember getting out Dad’s enormous hard-cover dictionary to make sure that I got the spelling exactly right so that there could be no mistake as to what I was asking for.

 

Despite my constant requests, I never got a trampoline.  I had to settle for bouncing on the one in my best friend’s backyard every second weekend when I would sleep over at her place.  But as awesome as that was, it never measured up to the hope of owning my very own trampoline.  I harbored dreams of spending the hours after school in a semi-suspended state of bouncing bliss.  I imagined how skilled I could become at flips and somersaults if I only had the means to practice them on a daily basis.  And I also thought that the trampoline would be a bitchin’ place to sleep on hot summer nights.

 

Now, I should point out that my parents had a pretty good reason for not buying me a trampoline.  Years earlier, my aunt had fractured her skull when she took a nasty spill on a trampoline.  Apparently she had similar hopes of mastering a mid-air somersault, but during her maiden attempt her knee violently kissed her forehead, shattering her skull.  Although my aunt recovered, all the adults in my family decided from that point on that none of the kids should own a trampoline lest the same thing happen to them. And considering the fact that every member of our family seems to have been bashed with the unco-stick, I’d say that was a pretty good decision.

 

So I never got a trampoline, and it took ten years before I gave up asking for one.

 

So now it’s over to you.  What was the one thing you always wanted but never got for Christmas?  How long did it take you to stop asking?

Geeky confessions.

I think it’s definitely fair to say that geek culture has gone mainstream.  The internet seems to be bursting with blogs about celebrating your inner geek, the convention circuit is thriving and it’s suddenly cool to be geeky.  And to this I say “Hurrah!”  I adore the fact that so many people are happy to let their freak flag fly, and now it’s more acceptable than ever to enjoy a bit of geekiness.

That being said, the concept of “geek culture” comprises a huge number of fandoms.  It seems to me that if you identify yourself as a ‘geek’, then it will be assumed that you love certain things.  But in reality geekiness is a little bit different for everyone.  Each geek has their own interests and fandoms, and may have no fascination with some of the things that are thought to be traditionally ‘geeky”.

A while ago, Gamer Wife, hosted a link-up titled “geeky confessions’, encouraging geeks to air our geeky secrets.  I’ve been eager to jump on this link-up, and now I’m finally ready to reveal my biggest geeky confessions.

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It took me ages to get into Harry Potter

Although Harry Potter is one of my favourite fandoms, I was very late to jump on the Hogwarts Express.  I was about eleven when the Harry Potter books first became came out, and I shunned them because they were ‘popular’.  I was reading at an adult level at this point, and wouldn’t deign to lower myself to read a lowly children’s book.  Fast forward to when I was nineteen and one of my Potter-obsessed mates loaned me her copies of the books when she went away to college.  I read the series from book 1-5 in two and a half weeks, while sitting under a Japanese tallow tree in my parent’s backyard.  I was hooked.  I wish I had gotten into the fandom earlier and not been such a snob about trying something new just because it was ‘mainstream’.  I was such a hipster in my pre-teens.

I don’t find Benedict Cumberbatch attractive

Lately my social media feeds have been exploding with fangirls  exclaiming over the dreaminess of Benedict Cumberbatch.  One of my friends told me that just looking at him causes her to ovulate spontaneously.

But….I just don’t see it.  Sure, he’s not unattractive.  He appears to be a well-groomed young man.  In interviews he seems witty and polite.  But I’m just not feeling the sex appeal from Mr Cumberbatch.

I’ve never watched Star Trek

Nope, not even once.  Not the movies, not the original show and not The Next Generation.  I will get around to it eventually, I’m just not drawn to it right now.

I really like Jar Jar Binks

Jar-Jar Binks is something of a joke among Star Wars fans.  All the fan frustration and crabbiness gets taken out on Jar-Jar.  Everyone seems to find him intolerably annoying.  Everyone except me, that is.

Now, he’s not my favourite character (that would be Yoda) but I really like Jar Jar.  The first time I watched The Phantom Menace, I thought he was hilarious.  I still have a bit of a soft spot for him.  I love an underdog.

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I’ve given up on Dr Who.

This one really pains me.  I used to adore Dr Who.  Each Sunday morning I would bound to my computer to check out the newest installment in the Doctor’s adventures.  I would dream about being whisked off in the TARDIS for a series of thrilling adventures with Doctor Number 10 (David Tennant…drool!).  But then things started to turn a bit sour.

Don’t get me wrong, I still adore the earlier seasons of the rebooted Doctor.  But from about mid-way through season 6, I began to lose interest.  I got bored with Rory and Amy as the Doctor’s constant companions.  I was fed up with the tired story-arcs and recycled villains.  Most of all, I was sick of the sloppy writing and gobbledegook explanations for every occurrence within the Doctor’s universe.  I held out hope that once Peter Capaldi entered as the 13th Doctor, there would be something of a fresh start and the show would get good again.  But it just didn’t.  I watched four episodes of the newest season before I came to terms with the fact that I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore.  Sad, but true.  So I stopped watching.

What are your geeky confessions?  Do you speak Klingon?  Do you have no idea what a portkey is?  Do you make a yearly pilgrimage to New Zealand to visit the spot they shot Lord of The Rings?  C’mon, out with it!

Four months on…

It’s been four months since my breakup, and today I felt like writing a bit of a reflection on how I’m feeling at this point.

DSCF8776To say that these past few months have been hard would be putting it mildly.  I feel like I’ve had my heart put through the ringer and I don’t even recognise what came out the other side.  I’ve had times were I’ve been in so much emotional pain that I was sure I would die, because I didn’t think it was possible for someone to exist when they were hurting so much.  I kept waiting for my head to explode from all the thoughts and feelings that were swirling around in there.

In a lot of ways I feel better than I did when I first wrote about my break-up.  I no longer burst into tears four or five times a day and I’ve stopped hoping that we’ll get back together.  I’ve accepted that it’s over, even though that’s very difficult to admit.

I never thought that it was possible for me to miss anyone as much as I’ve missed Ross these past few months.  It’s almost been like a chunk of myself was missing.  For nearly a decade I hadn’t gone a day without talking to him.  He was always there to celebrate with me when good things happened and comfort me when I was feeling low.  It’s been so strange to adjust to life without him.  There were many times when I’ve picked up the phone to call him to tell him about something that’s happened, only to have to put it back down again and remind myself that he’s not my boyfriend any more.  There are days when I still long for him.  But the truth is that he’s changed a lot, and I don’t actually think that the person I’m missing exists any more.  It’s almost like mourning a death, the death of the man I loved.  On the few occasions that we’ve seen each other, I’ve walked away shaking my head and wondering why this stranger looks exactly like the man I spent a third of my life with.

I also feel like I’m mourning the loss of the future I’d dreamed we would have together.  The wedding I imagined us having, the children that might have been, our house, travelling together after we retired.  All of those things are gone.  I also feel a keen sense of loss for our ‘story’.  In many ways, our relationship fulfilled fantasies and dreams that I’d held since I was little.  It unfolded and grew in such a beautiful way that I sometimes felt that I was in a modern fairy tale.  I felt so lucky that these amazing things were happening to me, and that I’d met someone I connected so well with.  Having him leave me wasn’t the “Happily ever after” ending I’d been hoping for, and it’s tremendously hard to let go of what might have been. I’ve had to re-think a lot of my beliefs about love and relationships and re-arrange my expectations.

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I can feel myself hardening towards the idea of love.  When I watch a romantic film I find myself rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, he loves her now, but he’s just going to leave her for someone younger in a few years time”.  I hate feeling so cynical and cold, because it’s not who I am.  I don’t know how to defrost myself to a point where I can trust another man.

The thought of dating again is fraught with difficulties.  Sometimes I’m so lonely that I’d love a man to spend some time with me.  I miss physical affection and having cute nicknames and in-jokes.  But I can’t imagine myself falling for anyone just yet.  I’m just not ready.

I do worry though.  In the past four months, at least five of my friends have either gotten married or announced their engagement.  I get the distinct feeling that I’m being left behind, that I’ve failed at yet another very important life goal.  I worry about being the last sausage left on the shelf.

And then there’s the anger.  I’m not an angry person, but these past few months have been tinged with rage.  Mostly directed at my ex-boyfriend.  I’m angry that he left.  I’m angry at him for changing.  I’m angry at him for acting so cool and collected whenever I see him.  I hate feeling this way, because it’s not like me at all.  I’m a stranger to anger, and I don’t like how acquainted we’ve become.

DSCF7673But it’s not all bad.  I’ve gotten to a point where I’m beginning to see some up-sides to our breakup.  Like the fact that I no longer have to clean up after anyone else, or trip over piles of comic books and DVDs every time I move.  Like not having to worry about another person’s moods and just being able to concentrate on looking after myself.  Like being able to fill my days with things that are important to me rather than having to compromise all too often.

I’ve also had a chance to see how amazing my friends and family are.  I’ve had so much loving support from my nearest and dearest these past few months and that is truly humbling.

If anything, I’m feeling more like myself than I have in months.  I’m laughing a lot more, taking the time to do the things that make me happy and trying to heal.  I don’t think I’m all better yet, but I’m definitely on the right track.