Have you experienced an awkward moment on the train or bus that you wasn’t sure if it was actually sexual harassment or were unsure on how you could report it?
I remember one hot summer many years ago, I wore shorts on the bus and I sat upstairs on a crowded bus. The person I sat beside started to touch my leg and I felt extremely uncomfortable but wasn’t brave enough to confront the man further or make a scene on the crowded bus so I got off and left.
This year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day is: #choosetochallenge
“We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”
Whatever you decide to stand up for, you can show your support and solidarity by taking part in IWD’s social media challenge by taking a photo of you raising your hand to show you’re committed to calling out inequality. More info here
If you’re not sure which S word I’m on about, it’s SEX. I wasn’t keen on using it in the title because my boy can read fluently now and I’m not ready to start the whole birds and the bees convo with him just yet. He’s already been asking where babies come from and how they’re made and I’ve just about managed to dodge it for now. He’s 7 by the way.
Let’s talk about S E X
Let’s talk about it. For me, it still feels a little taboo even though we’re online and I’m just writing all of this. I was brought up by very strict Asian parents so any talk that’s even remotely associated with sex and the sorts was banned. Luckily for them I wasn’t too much of a curious soul.
Sex since Lockdown 1.0 has not really been that different for us. We’d usually do it in the wee hours of the morning or at night when the kids are in deep sleep. However, there have been moments when we struggled with getting it on.
Your contraception can be a (libido) killer
Our sex life is pretty okay. We’re active and perhaps a little more now than in previous years. That may sound strange but I think it’s because I came off the injection (female hormonal contraception).
I loved being on the injection and used it for many years and between my pregnancies. I’m quite fertile and it just worked really well. I only needed one jab every three months which made it all convenient. I tried the implant and it left me with adult acne and the patch was great but it ended up irritating my skin. I tried the pill once when I was younger but could never remember to take it on time.
Apparently a common side effect for using the injection is loss of libido. I literally had no sex drive. I hated being touched. I was grouchy all the time. And down there was as dry as the Sahara desert no matter how much he tried to get me going. It wasn’t working.
That lockdown loving…
Naturally, I blamed it on stress. But when Lockdown 1.0 hit and I was unable to get an appointment my body started to ease up as it reverted back to its pre-contraceptive state. Being off any kind of contraception brought my libido back. I loved it. I finally felt like a human being again. That’s when I knew it had to be the contraception.
So now I’ve decided to give the hormonal pill a go again and it seems to be going well. My sex drive is pretty much back to normal and we’re getting it on a few times a month which works out to roughly once a week. We’re too tired and lazy to even attempt to do it anymore than that. Sex is tiring, you know!!
The stresses of lockdown, isolation, working from home, parenting can all get too much. As a result your sex life can suffer from it. So if you and your partner aren’t getting it on as much anymore, try to think why that might be. Have a talk about it as you might find that your reasons are not the same. If there’s one thing I learnt about our relationship (we’ve been together for 14 years) is that communication really is key. We talk a lot more about things we never did before. And being comfortable talking to each other about sex is one of them.
What if the sex is boring?
Sex doesn’t have to be a chore. Especially if you’ve been with your partner for a long time, having sex with each other can get boring. It happens! But there’s things you can do to help each other bring it back. Just remember to keep it down – I’m sure the kids and the neighbours don’t want to hear what’s going on after hours…
What if your partner’s not up for it?
This is a tricky one because it involves understanding how your partner is feeling and what their reasons are for not having sex with you. It could just be stress. It could be something more. YOU HAVE TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. It’s really the only way unless you’re psychic and don’t have to ask. I highly doubt that otherwise you wouldn’t be lacking in sex.
Even when we THINK we know what our partners are feeling, we don’t actually know so it’s crucial to talk to each other. If they’re not one to easily open up, find a way to be able to get through to them. If it still doesn’t work, perhaps speaking to a counsellor or therapist could help you both out.
PS. Don’t forget, it’s Valentine’s Day on February 14th – make an effort as we’re not able to go anywhere, you might as well make the most of it in the bedroom!
Your mini-guide to lockdown loving:
TALK IT OUT. The simplest of them all. Let each other know that the flame is burning out. That way, you’re both acknowledging that there’s something missing. Sometimes when we get too caught up in our own things, we assume our partner knows there’s something lacking but in actual fact, they don’t know sh*t all. So talk it out. Figure out what’s missing.
TRY SOMETHING NEW. This can be anything from buying sexy lingerie to introducing something new into the bedroom ie. a sex toy, oral sex, anal sex whatever you both fancy. It could even just be trying out a new lube for the first time! Whatever it is, find something that make you both feel good doing it. Being a selfish lover is never any good so make sure that you are both being pleasured – it doesn’t have to be simultaneously but it shouldn’t be one-sided.
PICK A NEW ROOM. Never tried it in the kitchen? Or always thought about it in the bathroom? How about outdoors? Be careful with that last one because, you know, lockdown and all but if you have a private garden or balcony it could be possible. The thrill of doing it in a new location can be quite exciting and is sure to be fun as long as you’re both up to it. Just be considerate of your neighbours or who’s around if you’re planning on venturing out.
RECONSIDER YOUR CONTRACEPTION. If you’ve lost your libido like I did, ask yourself if it could be your contraception. If so, would you be able to consider another method. You have to find a method that works for you so I wouldn’t promote any form of contraception over the other. You know your body best so if you’re unsure of what you can switch to, ask your GP or a sexual health advisor.
STRESS LESS. Most likely, if you’re not getting enough sex it’s because you’re stressed, or tired, or both. Exhaustion and irritation can be manifestations of stress which increases your cortisol levels. This will leave you feeling fatigue and you could experience a loss of libido because of it. Stress is also not good for the body, in fact it’s actually really taxing on your body as it puts it in a constant state of ‘fight-or-flight’.
So chill out. Give yourself some time. Have a hot bath soak. Listen to some music. Read a book. Do some yoga. Get some downtime in to really calm your mind and body.
KNOW YOUR BODY. Sounds pretty simple. You see your body every day, you know what it looks like therefore you know your body right? But do you know how it feels like? Self-love is not just about loving yourself from the outside in. It’s also about loving what your amazing body can do, how it can feel… and sometimes we have to discover that intimacy with ourselves first.
If you’ve never tried exploring yourself before and you want to, you to give it a go. I know not everyone approves of this so it’s up to you but if you want to, try it. Some women are unable to orgasm with a partner but when they’re touching themselves, they’re able to orgasm multiple times. And if you know your body well and know how to make it feel that way, you can help your partner figure it out too.
WATCH PORN. I wasn’t sure if I should list this one or if it falls under the ‘try something new’ heading but sometimes a good porn can get you both going. Or at least the one of you who’s watching. Watching porn together is something I don’t do – I still find that weird and it’s something we like doing separately, in our own time. It is easier to get aroused after watching porn so it could be an easy place to start, and it’s mostly free nowadays too. Woop woop!
After reading Simply Inspired: I’ve been nominated again! by blogger, Simply Inspired who nominates any new blogger to take part, I have decided to nominate myself in answering the questions set by the blogger herself – so here goes!
1. Do you have a favourite quote? If so, what is it?
I have several quotes that have become my mantra for life but the MAIN one is “love the life you live and live the life you love” because this is very correct and true. Life is short and precious so live it how you want and love it.
2. What is the best book you’ve read recently?
I must admit, I have not read properly for a long time as I much prefer to watch them as films. However the best book I have read in general is a novel called “If You Could See Me Now” by Cecilia Ahern – it’s my favourite.
3. Favourite designer brand?
I don’t really wear designers, only high street brands but if I had to pick a designer for their style it would be Alexander Wang. His designs are always minimal yet super sexy.
4. If you had to travel to the future or to the past, what would be your choice?
To the future!
5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Hmmm… tricky question lol – I have over 20 pairs but out of those I only wear 5 of them as the others are heels for special occasions which have never been worn or worn only once!
6. What inspired you to start blogging?
I have always been blogging but it’s been an on/off kind of thing so this year I have decided to commit myself to it and make it a regular thing. I love to write and my previous job as an online marketing assistant blogging was one of my main job responsibilities which I loved but then it became too much about profits and I couldn’t blog from the heart as much so I left after 2 years.
7. Who inspires you?
Strong women – any woman who has been through a lot but never complain about it to others. They just get on and deal with it and resolve the problem with or without help. I really admire women who can handle their own.
8. Describe your style.
I would say I dress very practical and casual. Leggings/jeggings, a cropped jumper and chelsea boots (or pumps) are part of my everyday attire.
9. Do you collect anything? If so, what do you collect?
I collect a range of things – I am a bit of a hoarder (I got it from my dad!) so I will collect anything from stationary pens from business to pretty canvas bags from shops.
10. Coffee or tea?
I love a good coffee from Costas but nothing beats a good ol’ cup of tea 🙂
11. What is your biggest fear?
Ever since having my little boy, he is the most precious thing to me so something bad that could happen to him (that I couldn’t prevent) would be my biggest fear.
Like Simply Inspired, I also nominate anyone who is a new blogger with a following of less than 200 to take part -it’s fun! Please leave me with a link to your blog in the comments box below so I can view it too. 🙂
Here are your questions:
1. What inspired you to start blogging?
2. What specific topics does your blog focus on and why have you chosen these topics?
3. Do you think all bloggers should start vlogging?
4. What are your top 3 travel destinations and why
5. What did you want to be when you was younger and what do you do now?
6. Do you prefer to read novels or watch them as a film?
7. Who inspires you?
8. How would you describe your style?
9. Money or love?
10. Are you a vegetarian or meat-lover?
11. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
LO is sick today so not a great mother’s day for me as I had so much planned for us today but things like this happen all the time so it’s to be expected. The weather is not looking too good in London today either; foggy and probably not very warm. I’ve not stepped outside into the real world today, instead I am having a stay-in with a nice hot cuppa (tea, of course) with rich tea biscuits and cuddling LO at every chance I get!
He’s having a little nap now so that gives me time to catch up on here and plan our days out for next week. As we were supposed to go to the Wellcome Collection museum we will have to find a day next week to go. Another mummy friend has also mentioned she wanted to go to KidSpace in Romford, Essex so will need to set a day aside for that too – it’s going to be a busy week next week!
Childrens Mother’s Day Crafts Workshop, Greenwich Market
If you are in Greenwich or planning to go somewhere today, why not head down to Greenwich Market for some pre-Mother’s Day fun? There will be arts and crafts today for the children; there will be a workshop for kids to get messy and create a wonderful jewellery box or a special Mother’s Day card. What’s best of all is that it’s completely free!
If you want to take your mums out to a lovely meal around Greenwich, why not try out the Piano room at the North Pol restaurant? Enjoy beautiful, live piano music whilst enjoying a delicious three course meal for a decent £24.95. The North Pole Greenwich also has a heated outdoor garden where you can sit and chill out after dining if you wish. Contact the restaurant directly for to make your reservation.
I am loving today’s Google Doodle! This is one day in the month where women are properly recognised for all the good work that they’ve done and how much they have contributed to the world without having a man to undermine them. (Sorry if that sounds a bit feminist!)
If you are looking for things to do, The IWD website has a list of events for the whole of March that you can attend to be inspired and entertained: www.internationalwomensday.com
I also wrote the following poem based on how I am feeling today. The poem may seem kind of sad but it’s not; it just acknowledges how strong women are and what we can be capable of. Sometimes things aren’t great and life can feel against us, but we keep our heads high and spirits alive for the wonderful things around us.
You always see her smile; not a day goes by when she doesn’t laugh or seem happy.
You believe that she has a perfect life but what you don’t see is the everyday pain and suffering she endures.
The smile you see is merely a facade; to hide from the ugliness that lies beneath.
You do not see her traumatic past or trials and tribulations;
The abusive husband who obsessively controlled her from what she wore to what she eat,
The lazy lover who offered no support even when she was sick and bed-ridden,
Or the boyfriend who left her and told her to abort their unborn child because he was “too young to be a father”.
She never shows you the ugliness that lies beneath, only the beautiful smile you want to see.
That smile is a reflection of the inner strength that she possesses.
This poem is for all of the women who have suffered at the hands of a man;
All the women who have been left to be the mother, father, brother and sister;
And all the women who have nursed their children from ill health to good health;
You are a strong woman.
Your struggle has not gone unnoticed and we can see that through your beautiful smile.
Mother’s Day is approaching thick and fast and if you are anything like me, you probably haven’t been able to get anything for your mum yet because you are too busy looking for things to get yourself first! *guilty face* …Well all is not lost; with so much gifts available in the shops and online, why not go for something more personalised cupcake bouquet in your chosen flavour with a personal message!
London patisserie baker, Dinah’s Desserts is offering a beautiful cupcake bouquet complete with a personalised message for £30 including free delivery for this Mother’s Day. Get your orders in fast though as she gets booked up very quickly. Although she is based in London, she has also delivered to Surrey before so don’t think that you must live in London to order. Dinah offers a wide selection of flavours from alcoholic such as Baileys, to non-alcoholic classics like red velvet and raspberry ripple. If there’s a flavour you want that she doesn’t already offer, let her know as she can make it up for you as (everything is made to order from scratch).
I will be putting my order in now and can personally recommend Dinahs Desserts in London to anyone and vouch for the high quality taste, culinary skills and presentation. For LO’s baby shower, I ordered a cake from the talented mother-of-one. I gave her a broad brief of what I was looking for and was very pleasantly surprised with this beautiful creation (see below). I normally cannot stand icing but this chocolate icing really hit the spot. Everyone at the baby shower commented on how stunning the cake was.
DinahsDesserts also specialises in bridal cakes with professional consultations and cake tastings as well as provide catering for small and large events offering dessert buffets. She also offers classes for children aged 3-5 to practice their culinary skills and make something delicious every week.