Category Archives: Love

The perils of being an aging bookworm, or why a lot of ‘women’s fiction’ royally pisses me off.

Cultural models matter. They matter because they’re how I and he and everyone else construct and understand our experiences, of relationships and aging and embodiment and all the rest, and it REALLY FUCKS ME OFF that what appears to be a large and popular swathe of books, including some whose press releases suggest they’re crossover literary, offer only limited and damaging options for women (and people!) to grow and exist and have relationships and careers after thirty-five. Fuck that shit. Continue reading

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Leaving London: a love letter

I fucking love London. My heart lifts when the train crosses the M25. I love its old streets and its big windows and its shiny new skyscrapers and its grimy pavements, its sluggish river and grumpy people and gorgeous skylines, … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, frivolous wittering, London, Love | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

On Terry Pratchett, without whom the world is poorer.

NB: I originally wrote this for the F-word, and put it up here as a placeholder because I was overwrought and felt I needed to say it. If you wouldn’t mind following this link and reading their version also, that’d be grand.  … Continue reading

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On being queer and passing as straight

See also: who am I, in a context that doesn’t recognise my answer? Post 2 for the F-word is up here.

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Advice and survival: In which I don’t have all the answers but I care about the questions.

Anyway, an infinitely valuable consequence of this is that people talk to me about the bad shit. Sometimes people get other people to talk to me – my mother and my friends operate some kind of referral system – and very occasionally it all gets a bit much and I have to hide under a rock for a while.

And sometimes, people ask me for advice. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Hunger, Love, Psychobabble, Self-harm | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s not what but who: the problems of desire

I have NO IDEA AT ALL, none whatsoever, how to cope with my own desire. None at all. So for me, Holly’s post is a bit offbeam. I’m mostly cheerfully open about *what* I want, the things I like doing in bed, my kinks and foibles. I can discuss *that* with strangers and friends as well as with lovers, although I too am susceptible to awkwardness in the heat of the, er, moment. But desire fucks me up. How to express wanting someone, even how to deal with those feelings and/or the possibility of rejection – I’m utterly lost. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Hunger, kink, Love, Psychobabble, Sex, Uncategorized | 10 Comments


And suddenly, my lost years – the years between 18 and 25, give or take, when I was basically lost to the world, first through ME and then through anorexia, are thrown into sharp relief. Suddenly it *matters* that I only lost my virginity at 22, or graduated at 25; suddenly it *matters* that while everyone else was growing up and making friends and having sex and fucking up and *living* every glorious mistake as only the young can do because the sense of perspective or of equilibrium takes a while to develop, I was essentially trapped, subject to a malfunctioning body, indulging only in the supposedly ‘mature’ and certainly more stereotypically midlife pastimes of reflection, contemplation, self-analysis. Not for me the high-speed immortality and travel (physical or symbolic) and intense emotional rollercoaster traditionally associated with youth, from 18 onwards at least; after an immensely destructive relationship, I withdrew, choosing on some level not to engage with a world that could be so hurtful, or (later) to engage only through the medium of food and with the protection of my own pre-emptive punishment, self-deprivation. And suddenly, that matters. Part of me wants to rage at the world that it’s not fair, that I want those extra years somehow added on, I want more chances – and yet I wouldn’t for anything (well, happiness? no, for that’s fleeting, and at least innocence cannot be lost twice) wish that hard-won self-knowledge unlearned, or those experiences undone. Absurd, given that I *do* look slightly younger than my age, and so maybe the world’s doing the best it can there. Like my build, another instance of genetic luck: another area in which I feel I’ve lucked out, cheated a culture that prizes youth and slenderness above age and weight and presence, in women at least; another way in which I’ve managed to scrape together a few extra shreds of self-esteem from the bombsite that was my sense of self-worth for so many years. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Love, Psychobabble, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Things they don’t tell you about recovery: i

Recognising your true hunger’ and ‘letting the feelings happen’ are all very well, but if ‘the feelings’ and/or ‘the hunger’ are a screaming, mind-numbing, grief-stricken, uncomprehending agony you get up with every morning and sleep with every night and which frightens most people away because that much open, articulate, desperate, hopeless unhappiness is very, very difficult even for others to ‘sit with’ or recognise or comprehend, then frankly you’ll do anything to keep it at bay for just one more minute. Even if it means losing your 23″ waist and slender thighs. Even if it means losing your hard-won, struggled-for ‘recovered’ status. Even if it means losing yourself. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Hunger, Love, Psychobabble, Self-harm, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Rites of passage: gaining weight and losing touch

my friends are my world, and in a way, I see that shrinking, just as my desire to focus on it rather than my body increases. Some – depressed – days,I feel a bit rent-an-emotional attachment, really good for when people are between partners or otherwise unengaged, useless otherwise. Again, I know on many levels this is nonsense, and on others just a life-stage thing – most of my friends *aren’t* students any more, or even early 20s and still finding their feet – but it does make isolated cat-infested old age seem that much closer, and the cultural approval that comes with excessive thinness becomes that much more desirable, just as my desire to focus on food and fitness rather than friends and relationships becomes progressively less appealing. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Hunger, Love, Psychobabble, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

On love, feminism, sexuality and searching

Being noticed is ordinary, fleeting and impersonal. Being seen is extraordinary, lasting and intimate. Being noticed is common and only skin-deep. Being seen is rare and profound. It is what happens when you stay up all night talking in a stranger’s car because the conversatin is so good you forget to reach for the door handle. Suddely it is light and your stomach is growling and your future feels as if it is laid out in front of you like a highway in the desert…Being seen is when your gitrlfriend asks ‘Why do you seem so sad?’ before you realise that you are, in fact, sad. Being seen is rarely about physical beauty [although i think for me it is sometimes about seeing the beauty in the physical]. Being seen is never about being buff or thin. Continue reading

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