I was called on again by Jonathan Vernon-Smith on BBC Three Counties. He was discussing infidelity and super-injunctions. Andrew Marr brought the subject to the headlines and JVS was asking the question 'Will every man cheat, eventually?' Apparently Mr and Mrs Marr have been married for 23 years. Is it a generational thing? Or do they just do it when they have become bored?
The 'Super-Injunction' argument rumbles on, and the rich and famous are protected from criticism, or at least the men are. Imogen Thomas, the Big Brother contestant who is known for being a bit of a WAG-wannabe, is in the firing line for being the mistress of a very famous Premiership footballer. Here she appears on This Morning and explains her situation. She's being slaughtered for what she's done, while he simply buries his head in the sand and doesn't face any repercussions. Why is the mistress always to blame? I am looking forward to the day the injunction is lifted and his name is released. I have a feeling we will be pretty shocked when we find out who it is.
I'm in this week's edition of Bella Magazine (the one with Denise Welch on the front). Feel free to buy it and let me know what you think. Sadly there isn't a link to it online because Bella magazine doesn't seem to have a website, but I'll probably reproduce the article on here next week sometime, when the magazine is no longer on the shelves.
OK, OK, its not today! But it was this week. It was stunning weather up here and I took advantage of it by laying out for a few days with nothing on. I've been asked by many people if I sunbathe alone, and yes I do. I have invited one or two people to join me in the past, but I do relish the total peace and quiet when I'm alone.
I found this little piece the other day, and it made me smile, because I have a new friend I haven't met yet, who is a naturist, and he's dying to start naked sunbathing with me on a regular basis, and has even invited me to join him at naturist events, and on holidays. I'm not sure how far I could possibly take any of this, at the moment I'm just considering it, but knowing how much fun my followers are, I thought I'd share it with you, and some things I have never got to say to him, or any other naturist I might meet - no matter how much I will be tempted now I've posted this :)
Things you should never say to a naked man
Ahhh, that's cute
Can we just cuddle?
They have surgery to fix that
Wow, and yet your feet are so big
There's a tower in Italy like that
It's OK, we'll work around it
This explains your car
Great! A treasure hunt!
But it still works, right?
Did you date Lorena Bobbit?
I've smoked joints fatter than that
Are you cold?
It's a good thing you have so many other talents
Does it come with an air pump?
So, that's why you're supposed to judge people on personality
Who knows where it started, but many of us are familiar with the third-date-rule. You know - the one about 'nice' girls waiting until the third date before sleeping with a man. Whoever invented it, you can be sure it wasn't a woman. It puts pressure on us from all sides. According to this rule, as well as it being frowned upon to leap into bed with a man right away, if we want to wait a bit longer - say five dates, or more - we're considered unadventurous. Or, even worse, frigid.
A quick survey among my male friends revealed they acknowledged that modern women often want sex as quickly as they do. But although they may be happy to rip our knickers off with their teeth on the first date, some admitted they might not want to take things further afterwards. One admitted, "If a man wants to have sex on the first date, you should be aware he probably doesn't plan to see you again." Which is refreshingly honest, though utterly depressing.
As someone who's used to dating often, I'm reluctant to allow my bedpost to get whittled to the width of a toothpick. Especially when it wouldn't be at my request, but purely because some man doesn't want to give me time to decide if I want to take it further. Yet many of the men I asked said they'd be disappointed if a girl hadn't slept with him by the third date. One even revealed he wouldn't bother venturing past four dates, no matter how lovely a woman was, as he'd think she wasn't 'passionate' enough - ruling out me and my 'boring' collection of sex toys, suspenders and sky-high heels immediately.
Of course, it depends on what you want. If you're feeling fruity and don't care if he calls, there's no point in waiting more than one date to find out what colour his Calvins are. But if you're looking for a lasting relationship, in this day and age, should we all be pressured to go the distance? Research has found that the best way to find out if your date is, what scientists term, a 'good male', is to hold off. If he gets bored before getting to the sexy stuff, he's likely to be a 'bad male' - in layman's terms, 'That bastard who didn't call'.
None of this explains why the man you dated for a month went off you as soon as you slept with him. Or how so many one-night stands lead to true love. When it comes to sex and dating, there are no hard-and-fast rules - or ways to second-guess how he - or you - will feel. Maybe the only rule we should stick to is forget the rules. Or maybe us girls could come up with a few rules of our own. No sex for a month if he pees on the loo seat, anyone?
Do all men in long-term relationships secretly yearn to be single?
This is a question that came up during another date with my newly divorced guy. While he was married he envied his single best friend, Jack. At parties he would watch Jack chatting up women, by midnight he'd be heading home with one. He would collapse into bed with his wife and go immediately to sleep in preparation for the 5am onslaught of his kids. He envied Jack, going at it like Tiger Woods with a cocktail waitress until the sun came up - and beyond.
I had always assumed married men were secretly yearning for the life of a single guy; no strings sex with a variety of women, no exhausting kids acting as passion-killers, and no chance of sex ever becoming boring or repetitive. I thought they wanted the ego boost of sleeping with a succession of different women and the constant excitement of new conquests. All of this had come from the string of married men all desperately trying to behave like single men, telling me why they needed extra excitement, and how, if they could, they would be single in a heartbeat.
That changed when I came upon Ethan, a man who had left his wife and family after the relationship died, with an optimistic view about being single. I was surprised when I discovered reality was nothing like that. Most of his life involved sitting on his own on week nights watching Coach Trip and wishing one of his shacked-up friends was available for a drink.
He told me, even if he did get lucky with someone he didn't know, it was far from guaranteed to be a success. He wasn't the typical dirty guy that women on the net were hoping to meet for an 'encounter'. He had been married for 17 years, he didn't realise dating had changed. He didn't know how to talk dirty online, let alone in person. He had no pictures of his genitals but practically every woman had asked for them, and he had no idea that women had become so bold, asking or demanding sex acts that he'd never heard of or experienced.
He had romanticised his single days, he had loved the freedom, and watching his single friend enjoy it had made him think he was missing out. Before he was married he couldn't imagine having sex with just one person for the rest of his life, and when his marriage failed he realised he could go back to having sex with as many women as he wanted, but he didn't want it once it happened. He found much of his life, outside work and family commitments, was downright dull and dispiriting.
Of course he found new encounters exciting, an excitement he could never get in his marriage but if it was a one-night stand he saw it as a failure, and if she wasn't The One then he felt despondent because he was 'back to the drawing board' so to speak. He had assumed his life would be a whirl of parties and passionate nights, but discovered after 40 he found himself going to speed dating events and leaving in tears. He's had a few flings that have come to nothing and they have just left him feeling worse than before. At this point I need to make it clear that the breakdown of his marriage wasn't caused by his need to be single. It was dead in the water seven years ago, but he had stayed for his daughter. However, he had taken the decision positively and decided to grab life with both hands and embrace being single, with all the fun and games that status came with. What he'd discovered though, a man's view of singledom from inside a long-term relationship is very different to when he's actually single.
He remembered the glorious nights when his eyes would meet a girl's in a club, they'd start chatting and a couple of hours later he'd be in her bed. He remembered quiet nights in, watching the football without any complaints, reading a book without any noise and sleeping in on weekends. He had forgotten the nights of rejection when his eyes would meet a girl's and she mouthed the word 'loser' at him, or the Saturday evenings when all his friends were 'having a quiet one in with the girlfriend', or the difficulty he had finding someone to go on holiday with. And now he was coming to terms with being single over 40 and the sheer grind of being on his own, the loneliness and the dull ache of want.
When he first got together with his wife it was everything he had hoped for, and loved even the dull times where sex wasn't everything, but there is only so long you can live in a relationship where the other person doesn't want you, so he broke away, hoping life would be everything he'd been missing for years. He's searching for The One but is only recently out of his marriage that it could well be too soon. As most newly single people discover, it's very difficult to be in your own company. It takes time to be happy with yourself and the complete silence that comes with that option, but it's something that needs to be done before you can move on. He's simply not taken that time yet.
I know I'm not The One he's looking for, and he's not my One, we've already had that discussion, but I am filling the time while he discovers what he needs. We make good friends, and he appreciates the fact that I understand him so well. After all, I've been there myself, with no one to go to see that film you wanted, nothing to do on Saturday night and no one to share a pint on a summer evening, and it's very easy to end up wallowing in that, so I'm going to be dragging him kicking and screaming out of any depression that cares to set in. And offer a shoulder to cry on when he tries to work out if he wants to go back to his wife or not. And help him through the dark days after a one-night stand with a woman he liked, who had chosen him simply because he was the best option at the time.
As much as he relished the idea of being single, and now hates the reality of being single, with the help of his friends he'll get used to being single because right now, it's just how it is!
When a friend tells me about her latest single male acquaintance/workmate/bus driver and declares, "He's just your type!" I have two questions to ask. First, how do you know your bus driver is single? (Jumping red lights = frustrated = not getting any?) And second, what exactly is my type, lady? Because you and I both know I don't have one.
No, I refuse to be typecast. There's no 'Tall, dark and handsome for me, please!' When it comes to dating, no type is safe from me - for I have been out with them all! A 6ft 7in basketball player; a bald, heavy-metal-loving music journalist; a blonde high-flying City boy; a squat-living crusty; a depressingly beautiful sound engineer who was 10 years my junior (please don't judge me...) And the list goes on. Now, you could think me insufficiently discerning, or really rather cheap. But I'd prefer to say I'm just exploiting and enjoying one of the most wonderful aspects of being single - that you can experiment with all types of men until you find The One.
And why not? Why limit your experiences to only one kind of man (even if he has multiple-personality disorder, there's still a limit to what one 'type' can show you) and deny yourself a thousand different adventures? I can see why some women get stuck with a type; it's easily done. Your first love was an Ashton Kutcher lookalike? Then of course you'll be drawn to kerr-azy pretty boys in the hope that heart history will repeat itself. You grew up in a family of builders? Then, yes, muscly men with rough hands will be reassuringly familiar. But there's a wide world of men out there and restricting yourself means you'll miss out.
If I hadn't dated the basketball player, I wouldn't have me his Olympic Gold Medal winning - and now past it - friend. If I hadn't dated the music industry guy, I would have missed out on the brilliantly glam backstage parties (I once drunkenly invited Kool's brother to impregnate me). I wouldn't have dined in expensive restaurants (thank you, City Boy), or been entertained by exotic tales from abroad (thank you, crusty), or had a song written for me (ah, thank you, young pup).
Of course, there were some downsides; the basketball player nicknamed me shorty because he didn't actually know anyone under 6ft; the crusty would make me get on night buses; and the man-cub would come to visit me on his 'wheels' - which, honestly, turned out to be a mountain bike! But it's all experience, right?
Best of all, you can learn stuff about yourself, too. I was surprised to find I have quite a strange sense of self; it doesn't matter who I'm seeing, I'm still me. I don't adapt my dress sense or behaviour. I also learnt that I could never, ever enjoy heavy metal. But the man who taught me that could just as easily have turned me off Thai food. This is the thing; different men have different interests that may resonate with different aspects of your personality. If you stick to one type, you may never discover those bits of you.
So has this all-embracing approach got me nearer to finding The One? Well I think that's missing the point. Yes, a big love would be a sweet PS to my story, but I'm more interested in enjoying the journey. I didn't start dating like this deliberately, it was just in my nature. Dating (and appreciating) a zillion different types of men has taught me there's no specific 'type'. It's all about the individual, and anyone out there could be The One. And you'll have more chance of finding him if you haven't ruled out 99% of the male population! Do the math, as our American friends would say. Oooh, an American.... Now I haven't dated one of those for a while..... :)
I love being single, and face constant criticism because I don't want to be settled down in a conventional relationship. What's so wrong with being single anyway? Whatever happened to girls doing it for themselves? Maybe one day I will find someone I'm prepared to give it all up for, but right now, I love my time and space. If you find yourself single, don't look around desperately trying to replace him, just enjoy your 'me' time...
Get to know you again. Sometimes we get so caught up in a relationship that we lose a bit of ourselves, forgetting what it is we like or feel passionate about. If you find yourself single, take time to get to know yourself again. Eat the foods you love, listen to the music that moves you and do things for the sole purpose of pleasing you.
Focus on friends. Being single doesn't mean you need to become a social recluse. Take time to connect with friends or even to forge new friendships. Spend quality time with the people in your life who you love to be around.
Be positive. Look on being single as a great experience. It might even be your last chance to be on your own, so enjoy it. And remember - you don't need to be in a relationship to be a complete person - you're complete because of who you are, not because of who you're with.
Experience life. Socialise, go to the gym, take that art course you've always wanted to do.... Experience life on your terms.
Celebrate this point in your life. We live in such a high-pressured world that we're always worrying about where we're going next. Make a point of just enjoying the now. Treasure this time in your life.
I've been open to a lot of criticism lately, and I guess that comes with the territory, but the major gripe is the fact that I 'censor' my comments on here. I have done that simply because I was getting threats, and grief from someone who didn't know how to behave. I always believed if you couldn't say something nice then don't say anything at all. Comments on Facebook or Twitter I can deal with, but I shouldn't have to cope with anonymous hassle on here. I started this blog because it was fun, because I thought some people might be interested, and because it has a certain cathartic effect. But the grief I have tolerated has been above and beyond what anyone should deal with. If you don't like what I do then move on, don't read my blog and boil about it, just read someone else's blog. If you don't like how I look then tough, you don't have to look at me every day, so move on, go and read someone's blog you like the look of. And if you think you need to criticise how I write or how often I do it, then please find something more important or interesting to complain about. My blog is exactly that. MY BLOG. And if you don't like how I run it, what I post, or how I write, then move on and read a different one. I don't ask anyone to read what I have to say, and least of all the idiots who want to comment on 'My fat neck'!
If you don't like it, go away.
I have never once commented negatively on anyone's blog, or even anyone's Facebook page etc. There is no need because I am busy enough running my life instead of getting involved in the lives of people I don't know. I happen to love my life the way it is. I have never, and will never, listen to any negative people when it comes to MY life. Worry about your own lives and not mine. I was pleased when my sick follower who was threatening me had finally given up and gone away, but just for anyone else who wants to criticise or threaten, and then complain because their comments aren't being read by anyone else, tough, I'm not changing it for you or anyone else. If you have something negative to say to ME then mail ME direct. Don't voice your opinion for effect or to see if you can start a witch hunt on here. It won't work, so take your vile crap elsewhere.