Sleeping around: A big issue

'Women often say that size doesn't matter, but this is just a white lie'

Catherine Townsend
Monday 15 September 2008 00:00 BST

I'm often surprised when I read research saying that women haven't adapted to casual sex, or have reported feeling bad after one-night stands. That's certainly not the case among myself or my friends.

It's true that the best sex I've ever had has been when I was in love and in a committed relationship.

But running a close second were casual flings, where I had no expectations of forming a long-term union and could let go without worrying about pleasing my partner.

Each experience taught me something, whether it was the professional saxophonist who showed me how his double tonguing technique translated below the belt, or the hot Australian who helped me join the Mile High club.

With each of these men I could strip off my inhibitions as easily as my clothes, probably because I knew I'd never see them again.

Short flings taught me that sex wasn't just about gazing soulfully into a lover's eyes, and the importance of not taking it too seriously. Especially when it came to weird sounds, liquids emitting from strange places, and hilarious orgasm faces.

In fact, occasionally the sex can be more awkward if I've known the man for a while, because there is so much on the line. For me, seduction often comes easier than intimacy.

My first kiss with Charles was electric, and intense. But because we'd been friends for a long time and dated for months, my heart was racing as we got undressed.

I'd planned my ensemble carefully, but performance anxiety was kicking in big time as I stripped to killer heels and Agent Provocateur knickers. I was turned on, but freaking out.

This wasn't helped when I unbuttoned Charles's trousers. I'm sure that most women, when confronted with the sight of a naked man they care deeply about, have smiled and uttered the immortal line, "Wow honey, that's the biggest one I've ever seen."

But with Charles, I actually meant it. Women often say that size doesn't matter, but this is just a white lie that we tell men to make them feel better like when they tell us that they have never fantasised about that Gisele lookalike who works at Starbucks.

Unfortunately, despite several years of yoga classes, a raging libido and three glasses of wine, it proved too much for my body to handle. We tried several positions, but despite great chemistry out of bed we just couldn't seem to fit together. "Don't worry, I've seen this situation before, in that internet video of the girl with the horse, and they worked it out in the end," I said. He did not even crack a smile. I was mortified.

Often the best-endowed lovers from my past were the equivalent of the gorgeous kids in primary school who believed they could coast through life on the basis of their looks they never realised that just showing up and whipping it out is not enough to deliver mind-blowing orgasms.

Fortunately, Charles didn't fit into that category and was a very giving lover. But my attempts to return the favour were less successful, despite the fact that I once deep-throated an aubergine at an oral sex class.

I decided to try a different tactic I led him into the bathroom and we leant over the bath tub so that we could watch ourselves in the mirror.

We were finally getting into an amazing rhythm when I fell, crashing my head against the shower rail. "Are you OK, darling?" Charles asked. We both started giggling, which finally broke the ice, and he scooped me up and carried me to the bed.

Making love with loo roll stuffed up my nose to stop a bleed isn't in any romance novel, but I had never felt so calm and happy. Since orgasm is a relaxation response in the female brain, sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.

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