Monday, January 31, 2011

Stay for breakfast?

End of January! End of the condom-celebrations! Today I'll stick everyone's name in a hat and get the baby to pick a bit of paper. Anyone who's commented or contributed will go in the draw. Thanks so much, everyone who's visited, read and taken part. I'm going to collect the flash and other offerings and stick them in a new blog, Rubber Soul, so if you happen to stumble on anything condom related, do send it in and I'll stash it in there.

To finish off the posts, here's Jeremy Edwards' fabulous little scene from 'Le Petit Dejeuner', published in 'A for Amour', edited by Alison Tyler.:

As we make love, I imagine that we are in Paris. That there is a bidet in our bathroom. That people are speaking French on the sidewalk below. That around the corner is the little pharmacy where I had to resort to an earthy pantomime to indicate that I required a box of condoms. Where the pharmacist, a handsome woman of about 35 with dark, humorous eyes, smiled at me when I paid for them.

“Tell me about the pharmacienne,” Lisa requested our last night in Paris, just as I was penetrating her slick hole with bedtime vigor. “Fuck me and tell me how she looked at you.” Lisa got off on the idea that the druggist had watched me as if she wanted to personally administer the dose of condoms she had provided. She still asks to hear about it some nights, three years later.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mexican Standoff

Rick visits the chemist that afternoon, buys a stock of extra-strong. Smiles at the pharmacist as she slides a paper bag across the counter.
After midnight in the dim-lit nightclub toilets, Danny drops a coin in the machine, rattles the drawer open, pockets the box.
They meet at the bar. Knock back a couple of tequilas. Rick pushes Danny’s hair behind his ear and lets his hand rest on the other man’s neck. He can feel his pulse, hot and steady.
They kiss hard enough to get stubble burn. Both reach for their back pockets. Smile.
No-one loses this draw.

# something-plus-one in a series of 100 word flash celebrating the condom

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Some more art

Thanks to a lovely, resourceful condom-helper, here's Good 50 x 70 - 'An annual contest, confronting seven of the critical issues affecting today’s world.

Seven charities each provide a brief on a global issue. Anyone who wishes can enter one or more posters on any topic that inspires them. The best 30 ... are collected in a catalogue and exhibited around the world.'

One of the topics has been HIV/Aids, and there are some wonderful images of condoms in there.  I'm not sure whether it's okay to repost them, so please click here for one of my favourites. Just what I'd like for Valentine's Day, I think.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Close to the bone

I just took the babe to the docs. He's okay, first of all. That's always first of all. Sick, but doing okay.

The doctor told me if I wasn't breastfeeding, J would be in hospital for intravenous rehydration. He also told me that if a woman has compromised nutrition and her baby has a viral illness, the woman likely won't be able to feed her baby enough. He used the vague, kind phrase 'carry them off'.

Six thousand a die are 'carried off'.

First time I've been grateful for being fat in a while. 

Having a child makes the world seem a fragile, dangerous place. It makes me angry, and tired, and strong. Also, it makes me willing to be a fucking pain, a self righteous fuck, willing to use any trick, cheat or favour to get my child healthy.

People talk a lotlotlot about children, about how we should and what we must and not ever and who does what and how awful and yes this is the best statistics show and if what then when why.

But what I mostly notice is the incredible power a child has. This small thing. Love is thick, tangible, embarrassing, desperate, almost ugly. So vast you don't even begin to know how to say it. What blows me away is how everyday this is, this love, fear, superhuman strength. All along, all those families dragging their kids round garden centres. Whining and trailing sweetie wrappers and talking about ballet classes. Their petty lives.

All along, they had *this* to deal with?

I had no idea.

J leans his cheek on my face and the small slight, softness of him, the warmth of his skin. The warmth of his skin.

(A packet of rehydration salts cost twenty pence. Bargain! Fifty lives for the price of a round of drinks!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

More about the pill

This may seem only tangentially linked to the condom theme, but a lot of people seem to have mentioned reactions to the pill, so this moving and informative article from endo writer on progesterone intolerance may strike a chord with some.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I finally made it to Twitter!

Mostly I watch the stream of chatter slightly puzzled and bewildered. Seems you need to talk often for anyone to hear you. And I'm still not quite confident with my @s and my #s.

So mostly what I'm doing is quietly amusing myself by making notes about #littlesexydaydreams.

I think you might be able to find my tweet profile here. If you do tweets, go there and shout at me, will you?

(Also, am working on a couple more rubber flash and so on. Have sick baby at the mo and tax return, so obviously am lost in more joyous tasks than blogging. Will be back soon!).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A love story written in rubber

So, those French letters, if you laid them all out on a bed – a king-size bed, say, line after line. What would they say?
They might start with how we were cautious, how we cared enough to bear the blush produced when near-strangers discuss the practicalities of sex. They might continue to say silly things – strawberry flavoured jokes that tip you into bed.
That gap there, the little space big enough to make a child. The absence makes me smile. And now?
The letters continue, fewer, maybe, but no less urgent. No less wonderful. And always, always sent with love. 

#something in 100 word flash celebrating the condom. 

Adriana Bertini

Wow, you have to see these! Adriana Bertini is an artist living in Brazil who makes art out of condoms. Here's her statement:

'I work in the Dress Up Against AIDS Project which is composed by art workshops, debates, artisic interventions, art exhibitions, publicity campaigns, lectures and formation of young community agents in aids prevention.
For twelve years I have investigated the transformation of condoms into art pieces re-utilizing condoms which haven't been approved by the companies' quality control process. The goal is to re-define the condoms' image by breaking taboos and inserting the image in a natural way to every day life.'

And here's her photostream

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

For fun, from Fulani

Yet more frivolous and fantastic uses for our flexible friend.

Thanks, Fulani!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Thanks very much to Danielle de Santiago for reminding me of a story in which I use condoms. I mean, the characters do.

'Stop, stop, wait.' I said, remembering one of Sandy's rules. 'We should use a condom.'
He nodded, beyond speaking now, only leaping up nimbly to find his jeans and check the pockets. He sprinted back to where I lay with a foil square in his hand.
'You brought one to work?' I couldn't quite believe it. Was I the only person in Glasgow who didn't anticipate a casual fuck at lunchtime? My model grinned, biting at the foil to rip it open. He had a wicked smile.
'Boy scout motto. "Always be prepared". You never know who you'll bump into.'
I wasn't in any position to argue, and I just marvelled at the sight of him, cock in hand, unrolling the rubber down his length and checking to see it was on tight. I lay back.

- From 'The Art of Fucking', in 'Sex with Strangers', published by - oh, some old forgotten publishing house that got dropped like a dirty hot potato when some politico schmuck decided he wanted to write his meemoirs. Or something. Allegedly.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Condoms in fiction

Here's an interesting article from authors with a couple of views on the use of condoms in fiction. And another about fictional condoms, particularly in m/m fiction.

My personal view is that fiction is not really subject to rules, and that each fictional situation is different in any case. I'm uneasy about fiction that preaches, yet I'm also uneasy about fiction that wilfully and without question propogates risky and perhaps very subtle subtexts, such as 'we may pretend condoms are okay, but really everyone knows the BEST sex is only bareback'. 

Sometimes I get the impression people are trying to push those old, tired arguments about condoms spoiling sensation or being a passion-killer with the angle that 'fantasy' sex should be condom free. It's the presumption that condoms are unsexy that I'd question.

Basically, I think there are no 'shoulds' in fiction.

Condom as weapon

According to Sonnet Ehlers, 'a medieval deed deserves a medieval consequence'.

Which is why she invented the Rape Axe.

The Rape-aXe is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp, inward-facing barbs that would be worn by a woman in her vagina like a female condom. If an attacker were to attempt vaginal rape, his penis would enter the latex sheath and be snagged by the barbs, causing the attacker excruciating pain during withdrawal and giving the victim time to escape. The condom would remain attached to the attacker's body when he withdrew and could only be removed surgically,[3] which would alert hospital staff and police. Like most condoms, Rape-aXe also usually prevents pregnancy and the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted Infections. 

(From Wikipedia's Anti-rape device article)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

From Madeline Moore

Back in what Jack Nicholson calls "The Golden Age of Sex" (post- pill, pre-HIV) we believed in free love. But I believed the pill might be very bad for me. Who could trust the drug companies, hm? So condoms made good sense, as birth control. I wasn't wildly promiscuous or even promiscuous, in my opinion, but a shudder ripples across my shoulders at the thought of some of the babies I might have mothered had I not used proper protection. As it turned out, my two babies were both planned.
Nowadays condoms are used as much (or more?) for protection from STDs as they are for birth control. A quick trip to the drugstore for three or more and a guy is good to go. The sexual partners share in the responsibility for preventing unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
All of that wrapped up in a packet the size of an old fashion photo slide. Condoms are cool. They always have been and I'm guessing they always will be. Amen.

~ From the wonderful Madeline Moore

The fucking Olympics

From Jeremy Edwards, this fabulous response to my earlier flash.

Isn't it gorgeous? I'm now dreaming up what events they have at the Fucking Olympics. Triathlon, Gymnastics, Tossing the Caber - wait, I'm getting all sports-confused.


‘Like having a bath with your wellies on,’ Dave said, with the corners of his mouth curling up like day old ham. ‘It’s bareback or nothing, for me,’ he said, shrugging.
So later, when I rode him on the persian carpet, I didn’t use the saddle or the stirrups. I straddled his naked back with my naked legs and dug my heels in. I wriggled until he cried. Kept him on his knees, bore down until he begged.
‘Only with a rubber,’ I said.
‘Course,’ he said, when I held out my palm, two packets lying on it like sugarlumps.

~ 100 word flash celebrating the condom

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Flash from Vida Bailey

This fabulous flash just in from Vida Bailey:

I've never understood it, the attitude some have to condoms. To me, they're just part of sex. The 'is it time for a condom?' breathless pause, then the scramble and fumble and the reconnection as it's handed over and I smooth it on, or watch his hands dressing himself. The cool warm slippery latex length against me, and then that first push inside - I love the blunt, wrapped sensation of it. More intimate, somehow, than a naked cock is one that's been prepared for me. Readied. Primed! And then any ensuing mess is mine and mine alone. 

Vida Bailey

Pastime Paradise

The past is comforting, beaten out, done with. But it’s also sad. That was what happened. It looks so much smaller from here. How did we fit ourselves into that situation? When there was scope for almost anything, when the world opened out stretched like the fantastic silks of a spiderweb. It would catch the light and it could go anywhere.
In the end it didn’t. In the end it was us, cosy and scrambling around between days, dredging up feelings, being overtaken by tsunamis of our own making.

In the end, is where we are now. Don’t look down. 

The other day I got into some interesting discussions about past tense, present tense. I started to wonder -  are we afraid of present tense in the way that we can't bear to look at what's in front of us? Coming soon - flashes in *future* tense. Probably.

"We found the three girls lightly clad and sitting on a large sopha, and we sat down opposite to them. Pleasant talk and a thousand amorous kisses occupied the half hour just before supper, and our combat did not begin till we had eaten a delicious repast, washed down with plenty of champagne. We were sure of not being interrupted by the maid and we put ourselves at our ease, whilst our caresses became more lively and ardent. The syndic, like a careful man, drew a packet of fine French letters from his pocket, and delivered a long eulogium on this admirable preservative from an accident which might give rise to a terrible and fruitless repentance. The ladies knew them, and seemed to have no objection to the precaution; they laughed heartily to see the shape these articles took when they were blown out." 

Casanova (text Laforgue, trad. Machen)

Stories starring condoms

'Georgica' by A.M. Homes.

'In "Georgica," a young woman patrols the sand dunes of a local beach. No notions of privacy are entertained, she spies on couples, hopeful they will engage in sex. She waits and is often rewarded with exactly what she is seeking, a used condom. Neither a voyeur nor a spy, she wants the condoms and their contents, the possibility of new life, for her own use as living for her has become a ritual of seeking and planning. '

If you haven't read it, you need to. C'est tout.

Mind the Gap

When you’re deep down in it, lost in sweat and slick secretions, sliding into a language of flesh and pressed on by a heartbeat and want and want and want, blurring the awareness of whose skin is whose and where it’s slipping and how its driving on and further in what you want is not

-         hold on a minute.

A pause. Cold air. Synapses rearranging to trace the memory of where you left the box–sudden silence when it was all going so well.

I mean, jesus, who’d want to prolong that kind of pleasure, start all over again?

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Sassy, sexy, seedy

My story 'Picking Apples in Hell' got a lovely mention in this review at Erotica Revealed.

'I loved this story for its colorful depiction of the seedy underside of the city as much as for the characters and the sizzling sex. The fact that Ms. Magennis pulls off a deft surprise ending was an unexpected bonus'

(Aye, the picture is a *plum. I appear to have a dearth of fruit-related pictures at the moment.)

*yes, a mutant doubleplum.