So we're still recovering from the fabulousness that was our first 'A NIGHT WITH HOTBED' live podcast event which took place at Old Street Records this week. This was really the first time that we'd stood up on stage in front of an audience and told everyone what we were really about, what we wanted to achieve, and more importantly how much we hated it when our partner picked the dead skin off his feet in front of us. First off we need to say BOOK OF MUM aka Kelly Ford was incredible and sang the best ode to the missionary that we've ever heard. And then of course Dr Karen Gurney who made sure we weren't talking complete nonsense and was always on hand to offer tangible, solid advice- the kind of advice you want to write down immediately just so you can tell all your love-starved friends about it. If you didn't make the night then here are a few highlights just so you can get a taster of what it was like.
So here's just some of the things we covered...
The challenges of having a good sex life after kids (or any sex life at all)
We kicked things off talking about why sex can be problematic in long term relationships. One of the key things is that it's tough trying to maintain a sex life when you're tired, grumpy and often take your partner for granted. And the sad truth is that we often see the comfy i.e. unattractive side of our other halves (i.e. the one that scratches dead skin off their feet and deposits on the carpet), but rarely see the more showy, glamorous side. We also talked about the fact that you can fall into a rut where you're trying the self-same things together and it's not working anymore. One thing (via the ace Dr K) is to actually spend some time thinking a bit about the things you LIKE that your partner currently does (hopefully there's something) and then think about the things that are less successful. TALK about these things. If you can't talk then put it on a piece of paper and show it to your partner. They may laugh or they may actually take you seriously and actually realise that there is a path back to getting your groove on again.
Masturbation- Why we're too shy to actually fess up to the fact we do it
We also talked quite a bit about masturbation- chiefly the fact that women find it hard to admit that they're doing it. Is it because we're worried that our friends will think we're sluttish? Or is it a societal thing which seems to pretend that women actually never do it? Why are boys raised to feel like it's natural and normal but we don't talk to young girls about it? The reality is EVERY WOMAN MASTURBATES and masturbation is actually good for us. If we can't turn ourselves on then how can we expect our partners to do it? And maybe the first step is just talking about it more. Acknowledging that it happens. Normalising it for women so it doesn't feel weird/creepy/sad etc.
Is it time for bum sex to come out of the cupboard?
We also covered off BUM SEX AND the fact that it's another of those things that feels like a big taboo. We're made to think it's something that men want but is somehow un-lady-like to ask for. The reality is that it can be fun and pleasurable as long as you keep a few things in mind (i.e. do I trust this person? do I like them? do they know what they're actually doing? ). The important thing is not to feel pressurised about it and only do it if you really fancy it.
And finally we also reviewed lube, vibrators and a new app that promises to help with intimacy between couples. There was also a very good game where the audience had to guess different noises (from various household appliances).
So what were the things we enjoyed most about the event?
Well first off the bat, the audience! And the fact that every woman there participated, asked questions and got involved. There is something pretty powerful that happens when a group of women get into a room together and the walls come crashing down. Suddenly it feels like it's permissible to get stuff out in the open. 'I never knew women felt this way,' the barman said afterwards, 'I wish more people would be this open and it would make life a lot easier.' And WE AGREE. We want to facilitate THIS SEX TALK. We want people to feel more confident.
We know sex can be embarrassing but if we talk about the challenges, our desires...then maybe we can take more control over our sexual destinies and stop putting up with the dull routine.
In a world that feels increasingly conflicted and hard work, taking more pleasure for ourselves is no bad thing (even if you're not up for bum sex 24/7).