Ghosts

I’ve been a fan of photographing cemeteries for years. Way back in winter 1995 I was out photographing a snowy cemetery as my Dad called my university landline to try and get the news to me that my Grandad had died.

My business partner knows I still frequent these places with my camera – he just doesn’t know that these days my photography more often than not includes naked people! A couple of weeks ago as a late birthday present he gave me a book about where significant people are buried in London. Knowing I had this image lined up for today’s photo I thought I’d see which ghosts haunt Kensel Green Cemetery.

Alongside one Mr WH Smith (founder of the UK’s biggest high street stationers for the non-Brits) and Harold Pinter I read about Henry Spencer Ashbee. Ashbee was a city merchant by day but was also one of the country’s most prolific collectors of erotica and an occasional author of erotic fiction and personal memoirs under various pen names. He bequeathed his entire library to the British Museum but they burnt the majority of the erotica.

Excited to find out more I hopped over to Wikipedia. I discovered a character in Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith was based on his life. But I also learnt that his daughters’ excessive education irritated him, his wife’s suffragist support angered him, and he became estranged from his gay son. How awful. How often we expect liberal views to be prevalent in all aspects of a person’s life and how disappointed we are when they aren’t. I hope that in 2018, almost 200 years after he was born, his views would have softened and he would now be championing the rights of his wife and daughters and proudly waving the rainbow flag on behalf of his son.

In the meantime, I’m delighted to present one of the fiercest supporters of rights I know, the gorgeous Honey and her hot biteable butt!

February Photofest

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Do Not Delete

Yesterday I read this smoking hot guest post about the effect of a leather skirt over at Girl On The Net’s place (if you haven’t read it yet go and check it out and then come back!). It reminded me of some photos that Exhibit A took of us way back in early 2015.

This morning I went looking for them. I couldn’t find them. They weren’t in the folder with all the other photos we took in that hotel room. Then a little creeping dread came over over me. I remembered deleting those shots. I didn’t like them. I didn’t like the way my tits looked, the weird expressions on my face or the roundness around my middle. I kept them for a short while but every time I looked at them they made me feel bad so eventually I deleted them. After much rummaging in my recycling bin I found them and recovered them.

So what do I see today?

I see a snapshot of a really hot moment and remember a happy 24 hours. I think my tits look pretty good actually. I like the way he’s gripping my leather skirt. I smiled when I saw the green wristband that was such a part of him for so many years. I chuckled at the memory of his dinner turning up with teeth in it. I remember it was the first time he talked to me about Livvy and I feel a little bubble of happiness at everything that has happened on that front since. I think about walking in the New Forest and playing pool. I recall being annoyed that they’d run out of croissants by the time we went down for breakfast and picking all the chocolate out of a pain au chocolate. I grimace that we were charged £42 for two gin and tonics!

And I feel sad that it’s taken almost three years to appreciate the photo.

How many of us have deleted a photo in haste not realising that with it we have closed the door on a whole host of happy memories? How often do we take a photo then fail to appreciate the nuances of the shot because we are focusing in on our perceived flaws? Why are we not kinder to ourselves?

I’m glad I read that leather skirt post. I’m glad I fished this photo out of the recycling. I’m glad I’m sending it out into the wild. And I’m resolving to not delete in haste again and to zone in on the memories of moments, not the bits of me I don’t like.

One present moment

“Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quickly you hardly catch it going.”

He wasn’t working at the time so weekday afternoons were our default time for hanging out. We’d chatted lazily over tea, I’d come under the rhythm of his tongue and we’d polished off an early evening dinner.

He had evening plans. I had a girlfriend coming over for wine and chat.

His plans were cancelled.

He stayed to say hi and took a glass of wine. The chat was relaxed and the wine good. One glass turned into two and before I knew it the bottle was drained. He got up to get another bottle from the fridge. He returned with the wine but minus trousers.

Confident. Brazen. Hot as fuck.

A clarion call.

My stomach flipped and my cunt pulsed. I felt the colour rise in my cheeks. But none of us acknowledged the adjusted dress code. He topped up our wine, sat back down and we picked up the conversation. Through the loaded atmosphere and increasingly disjointed chat my friend and I made eye contact. Eyebrows raised in slight question and half smiles communicated wordlessly that we were both good with this.

The conversation tailed off, both of us watching as he teased himself hard, gripping his cock through his underwear. It’s funny how we remember detail. The underwear sticks in my mind. Hard cock profiled through fresh white cotton. He eases them down. I dip my head but hesitate, enjoying being stood on the edge of a moment.

He pushes my head down in what felt like slow motion and then I am sucking his beautiful dick. I could have stayed in that moment for much longer, feeling him thrust into my mouth and enjoying the moment of exhibitionism and thrill of us being watched. But I force myself to pull away. I look up, catch her eye and nod.

It all speeds up then. In one swift movement she’s on her knees in front of him. He’s gripping the back of my neck and kissing me with an intensity I rarely feel, as if he’s communicating the pleasure he’s getting from her mouth through the force of his kiss. My fingers in her cunt as I slide down onto his cock. Me smiling as I sit back for a minute or two and sip my wine as I watch her ride him.

Then he’s pushing her to her knees and directing her face between my legs. He fucks her from behind, the force of his thrusts pushing her tongue harder onto my clit. Of all the flashbacks I have of that evening this is the one I feel most keenly. The moment of locking into eye contact with him, appreciating the pleasure play across his face as he fucked her, watching his expression flicker between calm and concentration.

That was more than eighteen months ago but I think about it often. Present moments may go by quickly but I close my eyes and this is yesterday.

This was written for Exhibit A’s Manic Street Preachers-inspired prompt. You can read the other entries here

My London Bridge

My train from the suburbs arrives into London Bridge. At the time he was working just over the river. It’s a hot July day and I’m not really concentrating. My phone pings.

Fancy sucking my cock?”

“I’ll get the next train.”

“I’ll see you in The Vintry”

An hour later I’m walking back across the bridge to get the train home. A man double takes as I dip my fingers into my cleavage and lick the spunk from them.

I giggle and text him.

“That’s a really hot message! That was really hot.”

Forty minutes later I’m back at my desk.

I’ve thought about that every single time I’ve crossed London Bridge since. That’s my London Bridge memory. It’ll always be my London Bridge memory.

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First Date 

We’d planned to meet on Monday but he messed his diary up.

‘Tuesday?’, he suggested.

‘That’s Valentine’s Day. Would it be weird?‘, I asked.

‘Doesn’t bother me if it doesn’t bother you’, he replied.

Saturday: The Wicked Wednesday Valentine’s Day story prompt is out. An idea takes hold. A simple shot, no need for words. First Date.

‘I might need you to take a photo of me next week’, I type.

Sunday: ‘My work thing’s been cancelled so Monday’s fine if you prefer?

‘No, my photo story won’t work if we don’t meet on Valentine’s Day’.

Well, they may as well know upfront what they’re letting themselves in for with me, right?

Me by Sean

Febraury Photofest

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Undressing for Dinner

‘Are you hungry?’

‘Um…I don’t know, I don’t think so. Maybe. I think the fizz has filled me up. But yes, probably.’

Eloquent!

I’m not sure if it was a teasing question, or just comic timing but I’d blatantly been staring at his cock, visible as he sat on the bar stool in the too-short white robes we’d just changed into. Hungry? Yes.

I like to buy experiences as birthday presents. Presents that create memories. My Mum gets trips to gardens and lunches with views. My best friends and I have saved £20 month for years and go on weekends to New York and spas, and dance at concerts. Exhibit A got dinner at The Bunyadi, London’s first naked restaurant. I’m not sure if the 40,000+ waiting list is fact or clever PR built around the number of people that signed up for more information when news of London’s latest pop up restaurant was released earlier this year, but I only booked a week or two in advance so I’m suspicious about that spin!

A few minutes later we were shown to our table through the black out curtains to the side of the bar. The restaurant, a ‘complex’ of private booths created with winding bamboo walls is in near darkness, lit only by candles. Once in your booth you disrobe. Seats are tree stumps, the tables made of wider slices of tree trunks. Terracotta plates and wine goblets and edible cutlery removed all the clatter of a normal restaurant. The website isn’t wrong when it describes it as having the feel of a spa. The waiters and waitresses are also naked, bar some strategically arranged ivy underwear: ‘It’s a very A Midsummer Night’s Dream outfit,’ observed Exhibit A. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from the food, assuming it would be okay at best and that the experience would be the main attraction, but actually it was delicious. And no hot food or liquids that could create a painful accident if you spilt it in your lap! Salmon sashimi, steak tartare and a coconut mousse. There’s a choice of vegan or non vegan too.

Directing us back to the bar after dinner the waitress told us robes were no longer compulsory in the bar. Back on the bar stools you soak up the experience of collective nakedness. It was at that stage that the ‘rules’ come into focus. No photography (the ones here were snapped quickly in the changing rooms) and ‘no sexual activity’. A quick affectionate slap to my arse or me unthinkingly running my hand up and down his leg as we chat suddenly comes into sharp focus and something you wouldn’t think twice about when clothed suddenly has a frisson about it. But a good teasing one! ‘The best and worst bit of last night was the constant tease of just wanting to take your cock in my mouth and feel it get hard and not being able to,’ I messaged the next day.

I’m sure some people keep their eyes firmly on themselves and their drinks, but we’re not those types of people and happily (but discreetly!) drunk in the nakedness around us. ‘If you could fuck anyone in this bar who would it be?’ he asked. ‘Her,’ I said, nodding to a woman stood at the bar to our left, chatting to her friend. Of course he immediately struck up conversation. What followed was two hours of conversation covering everything from careers in law to non monogamous partnerships to our blogs to sex positive and sex negative parents to body piercing and Doxy wands. I’m not sure if I vocalised it or just thought it, but at one point it crossed my mind that I hadn’t for one moment felt self-conscious or tried to tuck in my belly or worried about my flat nipples.

At the end of the evening, wobbly from the wine and atmosphere, we all get dressed. I remember looking at the two women we’d spend the last couple of hours talking to and being surprised at what they were both wearing. I’ve no idea why, really. I don’t know what I would have put them in, but I remember thinking if I’d been asked how they’d dress based on the conversations we’d been having and their different confidence levels I’d have probably swapped their outfits over. A reminder that so often our clothes are our armour and part of the story we tell the outside world about ourselves.

We all go our separate ways. Him to have an unfortunate end to the evening involving a bike and a pavement, one of them South and me and the hot woman to share a taxi to South East London where we both live. I could say my evening ended there, but it would be a lie. Three hours later in bed she says, ‘This is so bizarre. I’ve spent all evening saying “don’t look at her tits, don’t look at her tits!”‘ ‘Really?!’ ‘Yes! I clocked you as soon as you two walked into the bar.’

That was a surprise! I’m not self-depreciating; of course I know people fancy me but I always assumed I am more of a package! Not someone you’d notice as they walked into the room but someone you fancy more as the layers of their personality and experiences are revealed. I rely on good dresses and skinny jeans that show off my legs, shoes and jewellery that catches the eye. Things that distract from the middle bit, basically! I didn’t imagine for one minute that naked me walking into a room would catch an eye or that being perched on a stool with my belly rolled up and odd-shaped breasts on full display would be in any way hot to a stranger.

‘Ha! He asked who’d I’d most want to fuck minutes after we sat down and I said you.’

‘Oh my God. I assume nobody ever fancies me. I think they always fancy my hot friend.’

So there you have it. Great atmosphere, delicious food and assumption-busting encounters. 

A Brush with Spirited Bodies

Lucy & E40 (L-R) by Patsy Hans

Lucy & E40 by Patsy Hans

Trigger: violence against women

I stood naked on stage, back-to-back with another woman, arms raised as if protecting ourselves. The eyes of 40 other women were on us. I swallowed the lump in my throat and blinked back the tears. Feelings of vulnerability surged through me.

“In the UK, prosecutions for violence against women include domestic abuse, rape, forced marriage, stalking, honour-based violence, trafficking, female genital mutilation, child abuse, and offences related to prostitutions and pornography.”

“Around the world a woman is killed in an honour crime every 90 minutes. If a woman is seen to have bought shame on the family by refusing to enter an arranged marriage, looking too long at a boy, or even being raped, a man is free to kill her as long as another family member forgives him.”

The tears I blinked back were not for me. I personally did not feel vulnerable. Quite the opposite. I was enveloped in warmth and good will. I was mentally stilled by the concentration of staying physically still, absorbing the meditative silence of those concentrating on their drawing. The surge of emotion as we held positions that spoke of violence and trauma were for the women whose lives I was imagining as the words above were read out. Somehow, the experience of feeling so strong through being completely naked enabled me to feel more acutely the vulnerability of the women whose stories we were hearing.

I hadn’t really expected the experience of modelling for life drawing to be particularly emotional, but then I am not sure what I had expected. Participating was a spur of the moment decision. Reading the programme for the WOW Festival the night before, I had spotted that Spirited Bodies was running a life drawing session and audience members were free to model. I tweeted them in the morning and then turned up really early. I planted myself on the front row, a complete fraud amongst the people who wanted a prime position because they could actually draw. I didn’t want to draw, I wanted to take all my clothes off!

I didn’t want to take my clothes off quite as much as Nat who walked to the back of the room and stripped naked before realising the only other people who were so far naked were the Spirited Bodies cast! When audience participation actually started, unencumbered by clothes as she was, she was first on stage. Waiting for the rest of us to peel off the layers, she described seeing “a line of naked amazingness proudly walking on stage.”

And it was a proud feeling. A slightly out of body feeling, but also proud. Looking into the audience there was a sea of smiling faces and a ripple of applause. Looking around the other volunteers I noted that we were all wearing the same slightly dappy grins as we looked to the more experienced models for direction. It struck me that everyone’s face was open and warm and full of anticipation. I didn’t know any of these women but it felt safe.

We settled self-consciously into our first pose. “We’re going for a drink after this,” I muttered not very quietly. A collective chuckle and quick agreement. Later, in the bar, three of us who posed chatted to Patsy, one of the artists. She commented on how nice it was seeing the camaraderie that existed amongst those of us on stage. I am glad the audience could see that because up there it felt really tangible. While the segment on trauma and violence was an incredibly powerful and emotional experience, at times it was also really bloody funny.

“I have cramp in my thumb.” “What?!”

“My thighs are really sweaty.”  

“I was paranoid my period was going to arrive.” “So was I!” 

“Farting would have been the worst thing to happen!” 

But most of all it was humbling and uplifting. On stage were a group of amazing women of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities, trusting the women in the audience. And in the audience were women using the trust we put in them to find their own meditative space as they sketched. There was no judgement in the room, just a heady mixture of solitude and solidarity.

Thank you to Spirited Bodies for an amazing experience – I hope our paths cross again. Thank you to the artists for your work – I have credited those of you whose names I know, but please do get in touch if I haven’t and you want a link back to your site or Twitter.

https://spiritedbodies.com/

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Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked