Things Nobody Talks About: Sex Faces and ‘Large’ Condoms

This is a fictionalised conversation, with blog post elements, containing remarks from various chats I’ve had with people. It’s the first in what will hopefully be a new series of collaborations with others on topics people should talk about more, either because they’re funny, or because they’re isolating to think about alone.

Friend 1: You know what I was thinking about the other day? Men’s sex faces.

Friend 2: Why were you thinking about that?!

Friend 1: I was overtired, and getting frustrated by stupid things. But really: why do men sometimes make such weird faces during sex? There’s the constipated look.

Friend 3: And the very serious, intense concentration look. Are we having sex or are you doing some complicated maths?

Friend 1: Or bored. An ex had a default bored face, and he always looked slightly bored during sex.

Friend 2: Ugh, like total poker face.

Friend 1: What, no expression at all?

Friend 3: Serial killer face?

Friend 2: Yes. It was so weird. You look up, or down, or whatever, and he’s just staring at you totally blank like you just made a joke he didn’t get.

Friend 1: Oh dear. That sounds awful.

Friend 2: It was really disconcerting. I just shut my eyes in the end.

Friend 3: I slept with a guy whose jaw slid to the side, so he had a really lopsided face all the way through. It would move over “on entry,” as it were, and stay there until the exit.

Friend 2: Oh my god, how did you not laugh?!

Friend 3: I think I shut my eyes too.

Friend 1: Why do they do all these weird things? Is it because they don’t get taught what to do by films and stuff? I feel like women get lots of inspiration from films because every film you ever see with a sex scene the woman has the same expression: eyes shut, lips parted…

Friend 2: Head thrown back…


Friend 1: But men: you never see their sex faces in films. And in real life there’s such a wide range. And so many of them are PRETTY odd.

Friend 2: I know why it is.

Friend 1: Why?

Friend 2: They’re putting no thought into it whatsoever. Absolutely zero. They just don’t care.

Friend 3: Oh god, you’re right. Here we are talking it to death and it will never have occurred to them to worry about it.

Friend 1: That’s such a good point. God! Must be so peaceful not to have endless thoughts like: Am I getting cramp in my foot? Did I remember to shave my whole legs, and not just the bottom halves?

Friend 2: My elbow/wrist/knee is going to be ruined after this.

Friend 3: What’s he thinking? What am I thinking?

Friend 2: Well, maybe they are thinking those things, but I think primarily they’re thinking: this is nice.

Friend 1: How lovely. Do you think women make weird faces too? I’m going to worry about that as well now.

Friend 3: Oh for crying out loud, stop thinking!

Friend 1: You’re right.

Friend 2: Okay, I have another question, although I’m pretty sure I know the answer to it. What do you do with a condom left over from a previous relationship, which he left behind at yours, which says ‘Large’ on it?

Friend 3: Haha!! Did he need it?!

Friend 2: Of course not. A normal condom will fit over someone’s head. It definitely wasn’t bigger than somebody’s head.

Friend 1: Thank Christ for that.

Friend 3: Well you can never present that to a future partner as you’re getting down to it.

Friend 2: No, that’s what I thought. “Oh, do you need a condom? I’ve got this EXTRA LARGE one someone left here that you can try…”

Friend 1: Oh dear me no, that would be game over, and I wouldn’t blame him either.

Friend 3: No, it would be like you’re just about to have sex and then suddenly he says, “by the way, the last person was super hot and ridiculously good in bed.”

Friend 2: But he wasn’t ridiculously good.

Friend 3: No, but that’s what ‘LARGE’ condom implies, isn’t it?

Friend 1: Yeah it really does. I don’t actually understand all this business about wanting a massive penis when the average woman is only about 3-4 inches deep – although apparently the vagina expands a lot during sex. But still, it’s not necessary. And sometimes, much after 4 inches or so it’s just like, oh good, you’re banging against my cervix. Thanks very much.

Friend 3: If he was banging against your cervix you may not have been turned on enough, if it’s supposed to expand when you’re good and ready.

Friend 1: Yes, well, that used to happen occasionally. “I’d really rather not, I have to go to work.” “But we haven’t done it for ages!” “But I’ll be late for work.” “But I really want to!” Oh FINE.

Friend 3: That’s not cool. You should have told him to sort himself out.

Friend 1: I know. I was too nice.

Friend 2: The fact they make ‘large’ condoms is stupid, the normal ones are perfectly adequate, surely. Wasn’t there a girl who stretched condoms over her leg to the knee to shut down any guy who said that he couldn’t wear one because they were too small and they hurt? So really what this condom is saying is that I’ve been sleeping with someone who’s a massive dick in another sense, in believing he actually needs to buy vast condoms.

Friend 1: Just had a mental image of a condom the size of a house. Thanks for that.

Friend 3: You’re right, no good can come of pulling out this condom. He’ll be intimidated or think you’ve been going out with a total arsehole.

Friend 2: But he was a total arsehole.

Friend 3: Well, yes, but you can tell him about it in a nicer way than saying he thought he needed gigantic condoms. Agreed?

Friend 2: Agreed. I’ll throw it out. It’s some weird foreign make anyway. He probably only bought it because it was cheap.


Thank you for the Liebster Award Nomination!

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award by the amazing Bianca.Paige.Smith! This is really flattering and exciting, and I’m looking forward to answering Bianca’s questions and connecting to other fellow bloggers. Be sure to check out Bianca’s awesome blog here


Here are the Award rules to follow:

Once you are nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.

– Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.

– Nominate 10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.

– Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.

– Answer the ten questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.

– Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

So these are the questions Bianca asked:

1. What is your favorite color?

Red. It has been for several years, and it’s getting a bit out of hand: I have an awful lot of things in red, coats, handbags, curtains, bedlinen, clothes, kitchen equipment… But I love all shades of red, it’s such a gorgeous and vital colour. And it makes it easy for my friends to find me in a crowd.

2. What is your favorite meal to make for yourself?

Ooh tricky. Maybe one that I got from my Mum, which we call ‘crispy chicken’- chicken thighs in soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice, roasted in the oven. The skin gets super crispy (hence the name) and my brothers and I used to fight over the crispiest thighs when we were small. Now I make it for myself and get to eat all the crispy skin J

3. What is a meal that you love but you only get when you go out to dinner?

Sounds simple, but spaghetti carbonara. I’m just terrible at making it for myself, which makes me sad because I adore it. I like trying it everywhere to find the best one. The frontrunner so far is a restaurant in Ambleside in the Lake District, of all places. It’s called Tarantella, if you’re in the area.

4. Would you rather be honest or loyal and why?

Hmm. I think often these two go hand-in-hand. But if I had to pick one I think probably honest. Obviously there’s a difference between blunt and hurtful honesty, and respectful, subtle honesty, but I think honesty in all relationships is very important. I’m generally a very honest and very loyal person so neither of these are that difficult for me!

5. What is your favorite thing to do by yourself?

Not much beats going to a cinema with a café in it, having a tea and then going in to see a film on my own. It’s a terrifically peaceful thing to do. And I seem to be good at picking very good films to see alone; I can’t remember being disappointed by any I’ve seen by myself.

6. What is the first thing you usually say when you wake up in the morning?

What time is it. I often wake up too early so I always check to see how long I’ve managed to sleep and if there’s some time left before I have to be up.

7. What are you passionate about?

LOTS of things. Gender equality is a big one. We’ve come a long way in some places but there is still a lot to do, for both sexes I think. The stories I read with women being treated as second-class people, or not really people at all, make my blood boil. But in recent times with the development of feminist thinking I’ve seen some backlash with men being treated as sexual objects more, some instances where I think ‘you wouldn’t get away with that if he was a woman.’ For example, a comedy programme I saw recently had a man sitting topless, and a female comedian/ventriloquist put a mask over his face and talked for him. It was funny, but can you imagine if he’d been a woman? Obviously it’s not such a big problem as female soldiers in Indonesia having invasive ‘virginity tests’ before they’re admitted to the army – as if their virginity had any impact on their ability to protect their fellow citizens – but still, it’s important to remember it’s about equality for everyone, not just women.

8. Who/what makes you laugh the hardest?

Normally stupid things that nobody else thinks are that funny, but which tickle me and I’ll be laughing about them for days. But most recently, the honest trailer for the third Hobbit film made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt.

9. Who could or would you spend all day around and not get annoyed with?

My closest friends, my boyfriend, most of my family, my dog. Myself.

10. What is the best advice you have ever gotten/best advice you could give to someone else?

Best advice I’ve been given: my Dad when I was small and had insomnia, telling me to try not to worry if I couldn’t sleep because I would be getting some rest anyway. It’s difficult to follow but I still try to remember it. I could probably extrapolate it out to saying, don’t worry about things when worrying about them will only make them worse. If I’m worried about sleeping, you can be damn sure I won’t sleep. I think there’s a Buddhist proverb: If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying? Cracking advice if only I could follow it.

Best advice I could give: a quote I saw at the tube once: ‘If you can’t put your heart into it, get yourself out of it.’ I saw this at a time when I was in a job that was driving me into the ground, and I knew that I had to get out and do something I enjoyed. If you’re in a situation where your heart isn’t in any part of it, whether it’s a job where you don’t like the people or the work or the money or anything about it, or a relationship where you know deep down that it really isn’t working, if there is any way you can, get yourself out. I didn’t realise until I got out of said job how much damage it had done.

Wow that lot really made me think! Awesome questions!

These are my ten nominated blogs. Actually couldn’t see how you find out how many followers they have, which I’m sure is me being dense. Hope it’s okay anyway!

Please answer the following questions and let me know when you have so I can read your answers!

  1. What made you start your blog?
  2. Cinema or theatre or watch a film at home?
  3. What’s your favourite book ever and why?
  4. Who was the most inspiring teacher you’ve ever had?
  5. Where do you want to go more than anywhere else?
  6. Who/what do you miss the most?
  7. Tea or coffee?
  8. Umbrella or raincoat?
  9. What would be your top desert island disc?
  10. Puppy person or kitten person?

Return of the black dog

Written March 2015

I’ve been feeling very low this last week. I had a very difficult month before that, culminating in a week with too many people in hospitals and a funeral to go to at the same time as trying to finish my last essay of my Masters degree. When it was all done I thought, I should take some time off so I don’t burn out. Unfortunately, after only a day of doing nothing without feeling guilty, I started feeling like I should be doing something. I should be doing some reading, or doing some work. But half my brain was still saying, no, you need to rest or you’ll get ill. So I got stuck in no man’s land, not relaxing but not getting anything done properly either. So, as predicted, I have burnt out, and I am now feeling pretty shitty.

If you’ve never suffered from depression or anything like it then this might not make any sense to you. So I’ve had a tough few weeks and then not really taken any time off – so what? Get on with it. In the words of my old boss, ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ (her exact words to me when I told her I’d been diagnosed with depression. What a charmer). But the sad and deeply frustrating truth is, I can’t cope with this kind of strain without something giving, and that something is my brain. I hate the fact that I can’t push through like a lot of people can. I’m working on getting stronger and I’m doing pretty well – I haven’t felt this crap for nearly a year. In a way, that makes this even worse and even more difficult for me to deal with though, because I thought I was better and I didn’t have to put up with this anymore. It means I’ve kept trying to push on when I should probably have given up before and accepted that I am not doing well and I need to read my own tips on fighting depression – which I did today and I haven’t been following them all that well, so I’d better start now.

Treating myself nicely. I haven’t been doing that much. Even though I’ve been trying to relax I’ve also been beating myself up constantly for not getting more done, for not ticking all the things off my ‘To Do’ list. The problem then is that you keep saying to people you’ll do more, because you’re fine and if you could just get a few more things done then you’d stop panicking and you’d feel better. But when you try and make yourself do something, your brain isn’t up to it. I have been trying to work for the last fortnight with a brain that is running on empty, so that I can’t focus on things for any period of time and quite often I’ll make silly mistakes or forget things that should be obvious. The other day I was thinking of the word ‘sliver,’ and I couldn’t picture how to spell it. A couple of days later I couldn’t be sure which type of ‘there’ I needed for ‘that house is theirs.’ I did know, really, but I didn’t trust myself to be certain. In the end it gets to a point where I try and concentrate on something, and it’s like pushing the two positive ends of a magnet together. They get close, but then there’s that invisible bubble which stops them touching, no matter how hard you try. That’s what it’s been like trying to work with my brain likes this. I try, but I can’t.

I have still been getting a fair amount of exercise – I went dancing three times last week, and mostly it helped. If you’d only seen me at those classes and dances, you’d probably wonder what on earth I’m talking about as I won’t have seemed any different to normal. I did go to one class which is more difficult than my usual one, which was possibly a mistake when I’m feeling this tired and unsure of myself. I got into a very negative train of thought which meant I was too tense to dance properly, and everyone who’s ever danced blues knows that the key is to relax as much as possible without being a puddle on the floor. Instead, I went in thinking that most of the people were much better than me and feeling very intimidated. I convinced myself I couldn’t do the move properly and, sure enough, kept messing it up and then hating how confused the leads were getting that it wasn’t going right, thinking that they all must hate dancing with me and that I should just sit down and do everyone a favour. The more tense and worried I was, the worse it got, because if I wasn’t trusting myself to get the move right then I sure as hell wasn’t putting any trust in my partner to get their bit right, and although I calmed down a bit and managed to improve slightly I still felt like a loser and like my dancing was getting worse instead of better. Even though dancing is a great stress reliever, when you’re feeling low probably isn’t the best time to start pushing on to higher ground. It’s only because of long-standing evidence that going blues dancing improves my mood that I managed to go to the other two dances of the week – and I am glad that I did, as the dancing was easier and I didn’t put so much pressure on myself.

I have still been doing some of the things I enjoy, not just dancing but reading and also baking. They all help for a while but I am still aware of carrying around this negative tiredness. Unusually for me, instead of not getting enough sleep and waking up in the early hours, I’ve been sleeping like I’ve been drugged. I might still wake up in the night, but I won’t be able to get up in the morning. I’ve been sleeping nine, ten hours a night and I’m still exhausted by the afternoon and falling asleep at ten. This has been quite disorientating and very annoying, because I then wake up feeling like I’ve missed too much of the day or like I’m coming out of a coma. But if I set an alarm I’ll just keep hitting snooze until I have to get up. My appetite has also been all over the shop, which I hate. I’ll be so hungry I’m starting to feel queasy and then when I try and eat, I have no interest in it. Very irritating.

One of the things which should be on my list of how to fight depression is to talk to people. I am very lucky that I have several good friends who I can call on in times of need, as well as my parents and my family. If you ever get a message from someone saying ‘I feel really low and rubbish,’ all you have to do is say: ‘ugh, poor you. I’m so sorry. Do you want to go for a coffee/see a trashy film/go to the pub’ etc. Please, do not ignore it. I have sent people messages in the last few weeks and they have ignored them completely or replied but skated around the bit saying I’ve been feeling awful. Obviously you don’t need to reply instantly, I don’t mean that, but don’t just ignore it. I know it can be awkward, and it can be frustrating, but they’ll already be feeling worthless and like they’re annoying people so if you ignore them, you’re reinforcing all those negative pictures they’re holding of themselves.

I don’t have any answers today. For the first time in a long time, I’m considering trying some other medication. I’m hoping that taking some proper rest will do the job for me, but if it doesn’t, I can’t carry on like this. Someone asked me what I would do if my depression had a physical manifestation, for example, as a coat. My overriding thought was that I’d like to set fire to it. I can’t even explain how difficult it is not being in control of your own mind, especially when you know that so many people are going to doubt that there’s anything actually wrong with you. All I can hope is that I am back to normal very soon, and that the black dog stays away even longer next time.