Review – Rough: how violence has found its way into the bedroom and what we can do about it by Rachel Thompson (2021)

Rough, as the title suggests looks at various forms of violence that have made their way into our sex lives particularly in recent years. Some of these can be described as experiences that sit within a ‘grey area’ that might not fit traditional definitions of rape and sexual assault. The reason for this grey area, Thompson suggests, is that our society and by extension, the law, uses binary terms of rape or non-consensual sex vs. consensual sex.

The problem with this, according to Thompson is that, language feeds into the notion of a hierarchy of sexual acts, with some forms being more valid than others. This can invalidate LGBTQ people’s sexual experiences but also lead to the assumption that only some acts need consent. By removing this hierarchy, we can begin to address these ‘grey areas’ and bring about change in the legal language which fails to account for the full scope of sexual violence.

For example, in the UK, legal definitions of sexual assault and consent differ depending on whether you live in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England or Wales.

Many experts interviewed, are critical of the term ‘non-consensual sex’. Thompson explores why, by focusing on the importance of language, how we use it and how this is reflected in legal terminology. By using the term ‘non-consensual sex,’ it downplays violations and feeds into a culture of permissibility that has real consequences for survivors of sexual violence.  

Thompson goes onto look at some of the acts that could be seen as making up this ‘grey area’; acts that may fall outside the legal definition of rape or sexual assault, but nonetheless leave the victim feeling violated. These include stealthing (the act of non-consensual condom removal), non-consensual choking and spitting, facial ejaculation amongst others.

She hones in on BDSM and how it has become conflated with sexual violence thereby demonises the community. Thompson makes it clear, by looking at the importance of consent in these interactions, that there is a line between consensual BDSM acts and BDSM being used by perpetrators to get away with non-consensual acts. It leaves the door open for abusers to pass off their behaviours as kink. These acts that are written off by perpetrators as ‘rough sex’ are in fact it is ‘sexual violence’.

I found the discussions in the book, around consent interesting, particularly the notion of ‘strategic consent’ a term coined by Bay-Cheng. “Disadvantaged young women often don’t have the luxury of consent that is only about sex; their consent has to be strategic.” This is because consent must take into account the reality that many marginalised communities face around misogyny, racism, economic injustice.

Consent assumes that all women have sexual agency and this isn’t always the case. Bay-Cheng also talks about ‘transaction scripts’ where someone feels they ‘owe’ another person sex, for example perhaps because they’ve paid for a date. Again, this would fall into that grey area, Thompson points to. 

So what does she suggest we can do about it?

Whilst pornography, she acknowledges, does play a role in the rise of some of these acts, banning pornography isn’t the answer. Ethical pornography is going some way towards filling this gap, but what we need is to change our relationship with porn.

Another key suggestion is the improvement in the kind of sex education we receive. This includes incorporating anti-racism in sex education curricula, promoting healthy attitudes towards disabled people in the bedroom,

She also suggests that media portrayals of sex play an importance role in how certain acts are viewed. She points to shows like Bad Education, I May Destroy You and Normal People

But she’s clear that this education needs also to take place outside of the classroom and that as adults we fill in the gaps in our knowledge.

Thompson goes on to look at everything from the fetishization, hypersexualisation and desexualisation of certain communities (women of colour, those with disabilities, bisexual women and the transgender community) upskirting and digital sexual violations such as cyberflashing. The law has notably failed to keep up with these image-based violations.

Legal language is so important, Thompson argues, because the law is used as a moral barometer. But if the law falls short and if we can’t rely solely on legal definitions by the justice system, especially for those that are most marginalised on society, then what is the answer?

She writes, “we cannot place our faith in the law or in educational syllabi – both of which are controlled by lawmakers looking to serve the interests of their own political agenda. Changing our sexual culture has to start at an individual level, through thinking about how you treat other people – even if they’re complete strangers – on a human level. But on a macro level, we also have a collective duty to understand and fight the ways systems of oppression operate in our sexual culture.”

#ManchesterInfluencer #ManchesterBlogger #ManchesterMum #SexBlogger #SexBlog #SexBloggerCommunity #BDSMCommunity #BDSM #Rough #BookReview #ReadingRecommendation #ManchesterBookBlogger #MancheserBookReviewer



Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2019 – I made the list!!



I really wanted to share with you all my great news, I made Kinkly’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2019!! I’m so overwhelmed with all the support I’ve received and I can thank everyone enough who votes, it’s very kind of you.

Creating a sex and lingerie blog was something that I thought about doing for a long time but it took a lot of courage to banish my doubts and the worries I had about what other people would think, and do it. So, to make the list with so many fantastic blogs, blogs I’d been reading long before I created my own, is wonderful.


I recommend you go and check out all the other blogs on the list as there’s some really good ones on there, with a broad spectrum represented.



Making Kinley’s Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes has  given me the motivation to keep going and creating interesting content because I really do love it, even on days when I feel like no one is reading what I’m writing.


The Importance of Sensuality

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘sensuality?’ Do you immediately think about it in a sexual context? I know before I started writing this blog and reading more widely, I did. So I decided to sit down and think about what sensuality means to me and how I incorporate it into my everyday life. What things did I find sensual? Hopefully this post will get you think about it in your own lives.

If ever a word evokes the emotion behind its meaning it’s the word ‘sensual’. For me, it conjures up thoughts of relaxation, of letting my emotions take over replacing thoughts with feelings. It’s something felt deeply. It’s purely about the senses; what can be felt, smelt, tasted, heard and touched.

It can but doesn’t have to be sexual in nature and I’ll talk about the non-sexual side a little later but for now I want to talk about the importance of sensuality in sexual relations. In my own sex life, sensuality is vital. Without it sex can feel devoid of emotion. When I think about some of the best sex I’ve ever had, there’s always been an element of sensuality, even with kinky or rougher sex.

I enjoy sex to its fullest when there are elements of sensuality and when my partner makes a real effort to be sensual. It can be something as simple as turning the lights off and lighting a candle but what it tells me is that for my partner, they recognise that sex is more than a mechanical act to be performed and completed without any focus on stimulating all my brain and in turn, my senses.  It’s about creating an intimate connection with another person. For this reason sensuality doesn’t have to be all about sex. Even if you’re not in a sexual relationship or are but want to introduce more sensuality into your life, there are ways to do so.

Here are some sexual and non-sexual ways to introduce more sensual experiences into your life:


When it comes to touch, the most obvious sensual experience for me is a massage. Again, this doesn’t have to be sexual in nature. One of my self-care routines is to make sure that at least every other month I treat myself to a massage. What I love is that you’re at the mercy of someone else’s hands and allowing yourself to be touched in ways that we’re not day to day. Recently I’ve started experimenting with different types of massage from hot stone to foot massages.

Another thing that I find sensual is having my hair touched, played with and brushed gently. I love having my hair stroked and I enjoy running my hands through another persons hair (as long as it’s clean). This I find slightly strange and contradictory  because I don’t enjoy going to the hairdressers. But head massages are wonderfully relaxing and I’d take one of those over a haircut any day.

Something I’ve not done much of myself is sex outdoors. But I can imagine this is a highly sensuous experience. For some people I know it’s more about the risks of being seen or caught, but for me it would be more about feeling the sun or a breeze on my semi-naked skin (this is the UK after all).

Being washed or bathed is another way of introducing the sensation of touch. The feel of warm water on your skin is deeply sensual and you could incorporate a body massage into this or have someone wash and massage your hair for you.

Finally, I dare anyone to disagree with me that the feel of soft, clean sheets against your skin is one of life’s great pleasures, (even better with newly shaved legs). Or the feel of faux fur rug or blanket on your skin when you’re having sex, plus it beats nasty carpet burns.


As I mentioned above, a long hot bath, being washed or bathed can ignite the senses especially if you incorporate scented candles, or one of my favourite things, essential oils.


Food is one of the ultimate sensual acts, in my opinion. What can be better than experiencing new tastes and flavours?

Whilst I’m really not a fan of eating food off another person, or have it eaten off me, I do enjoy being fed.


Savouring new flavours recently at a restaurant called Tattu in Manchester

Or how about treating yourself after a long and difficult week, to your favourite treat but rather than shovelling it down, take time to savour every mouthful. Notice the textures in your mouth as well as the tastes and don’t distract yourself when doing so by chatting or watching the tv. Be present in the moment, enjoy the experience and you’ll start to notice things you’d never noticed before.

Then there’s the obvious joy of tasting your partner, whatever that might mean for you.


It’s believed that men are stimulated sexually much more by visuals, Whether this is true or not, why not dress up for your partner. Put on some sexy lingerie or play dress up and try some role playing.

dress up.jpg

Ann Summers dress up

Alternatively, what about watching the sun rise and set? Or standing and watching a fire burn, especially a bonfire. The sights and smells of autumn are something I find incredibly comforting and it’s without a doubt my favourite season.


Sunset in over Lake Grasmere


Recently ASMR has grown in popularity. ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is suppose to have a calming effect that’s pleasurable and results in that tingling sensation. Its purpose is to reawaken the senses and ASMR has been popularised recently in adverts and music videos.  Since I have problems with my sleep, I’ve been incorporating ASMR into my night-time routine.

If we’re talking about sound, then is there anything that quite matches the sounds of your lover enjoying themselves? Or what about getting yourself in the mood with some sexy tunes? Personally I love listening to a song in a foreign language especially Spanish.

Connecting with your senses

What you don’t want to do is fall into the trap of experiencing sensory overload so try to introduce one or two of these at a time. You don’t want all your senses competing against one another. By being selective you can connect more with your body and senses and in turn help you feel more grounded.  Ultimately it’s about achieving a balance, as with anything in life, if you want to connect more with your sensual side.

The more you start to explore what sensuality means and the ways we can experience it, the easier it becomes to incorporate more of it into our lives, and explore doing so with or without a partner.

Kinkly’s Sex Blogging Superheroes

This is just a very brief post to say that this week I found out that I’d been added to Kinkly’s list of top sex bloggers. I’ve only been blogging since February so this came as something of a surprise to be included.

I still feel as if sex blogging is one of those areas of the blogging community that is largely ignored. Yet, it seems to me to be such a thriving area, including everything from erotica, personal stories and sex toy reviews. It also feels  like an incredibly inclusive community with writing by underrepresented voices from the LGBT+the and BAEM communities.

So I have a favour to ask.

It's Time to Vote for This Year's Sex Blogging Superheroes!

Kinkly are looking for their Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes. The aim is to promote sex blogs on the internet. In order to be considered you must get five votes, that’s all. So, if you have a spare minute and you enjoy reading this blog and would like to continue supporting it, then please feel free to click on the link below and vote for my blog.

Vote for Kinkly’s Top Sex Blogging Superhereos

If you want to read more about how the blogs are judged, you can do so here

Sex blogging superheroes

Today is the last day to vote before it closes tomorrow so if you love this blog, then get voting quick! Vote before Monday 14th October.

How my views about sex have changed over the years



Thanks to tantra or slow-sex, my views of both sex and intimacy have changed hugely.

I’d like to think I’ve always been very open when it comes to talking about sex, even before I have having any of it. A friend of my mum’s used to host ‘tranny parties’ as she called them. Even back then there never anything remotely odd about this to me. It was only when I openly talked about it amongst my friends at school that I saw their looks of confusion, horror and dismissal. It was then that I realised that not everyone was as accepting of difference as I was nor as open to talking about sex and alternative lifestyles.

Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to meet some very closed-minded people. I say lucky because I think it’s important to surround yourself not only with people who share your views but also hold opposing ones. It is only then that you appreciate the importance of having your views regularly challenged but also helped me clarify and re-examine mine. I never want to become complacent in my views or attitudes.

In terms of my views on my own sexual journey and how that may have changed over the years, it seems to me that it has gone through a number of stages. At first I found myself learning about the basics and the mechanics of sex, moving onto feeling more comfortable about asking my sexual partners what they wanted, to feeling confident and empowered enough to say what I wanted.

Rather than being linear, this is almost like a cycle where I find myself revisiting stages. But more recently I’ve found my views about sex changing to encompass a desire to have more non-goal orientated sex. In essence I’m right back where I began, re-learning to have sex and moving towards what’s known as ‘tantric’ or ‘slow-sex.’

Tantric sex otherwise known as slow-sex has changed my views about sex and intimacy hugely. Like anything in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. It isn’t about forcing anything but rather it’s about enjoying being in the moment. Foreplay is key! This can include anything from massages, controlling your breathing and if you want to go that far, meditation.

I’ve learnt to take my time, explore my partner’s body with a variety of touches. I know that it’s about more than just being touched, it’s also about where and how. I like to alternate using my hands, whether that’s the tips of my fingers or my finger nails to using my tongue, my mouth, my feet or even my nipples. I find this increases sensitivity and I start to feel more in touch with my senses. Sex becomes far more sensual and less about reaching orgasm or simply becoming hard and/or wet.

I’m certainly no expert at this and I still class myself as a complete beginner, but learning about tantric sex/tantra certainly has changed the way I view sex for the better and it’s something I’m keen to keep exploring and practising in order to increase intimacy in my sex life.

Sexual limits – what are yours?

I want to make one thing clear before I go any further, what I’m about to write isn’t meant to kink shame anyone. I want to write about something that’s considered, even within the kink community, to be on the more extreme end.

I was asked what my sexual limitations were and I’ve always known what they are and how to express them to my partners. Sure, they may have changed slightly over time, the more sexually experienced I’ve become and the more I’ve pushed my boundaries. Things I perhaps wouldn’t have dreamt of doing a year ago seem less scary now or are something I happily enjoy.

But there are still aspects of BDSM that I can’t see myself ever being comfortable with. For example, I’ve never been interested in needle or knife play. However, there is one area of BDSM that stands out for me and something I could never see myself doing and that’s what’s known as CNC.

CNC stands for Consensual Non Consent. Typical CNC scenarios include simulated rape, use of knives, drugging, being chased or pursued, used by multiple men, being tied down and blindfolded, abduction as well as being forced to do things against their will.

Even writing these things down makes me uncomfortable. They’re dark fantasies I know many people have. So rather than shying away from discussing them, I’m keen to know more and hear from those that do engage in CNC.

In terms of where I stand, I have a number of concerns that stop me from wanting to engage in CNC. One such are the legal implications, particularly concerning the men who engage in it. I’ve always wondered how you protect yourselves from accusations of rape?

On the woman’s part, where do you draw the line? How do you know when it’s gone too far for you? A woman is asking to have their control taken away. They want to know what it feels like to be raped whilst still being able to safeword out. It seems to me like a dangerously fine line.


I found that the further I delved into exploring this notion of limitations, the more I began to realise that having limitations are important and necessary. They’re there to protect us and keep us safe. I’ve always found it slightly worrying and even reckless hearing people say, they have ‘no limit’s’. I always wonder how much this is true.


Bi Visibility Day

Today, on BiVisibility Day, I thought I’d write a little something about my bisexuality, not because being bi is trendy or cool but because being sexually attracted to women is as natural for me as being attracted to men is.

Its not a phase

There’s no exact moment I can pinpoint when I ‘discovered’ I was bisexual. It was never that was. I think I always knew I was attracted to women but the mechanics of actually having sex with a woman seemed alien and scary to me. At school, in films and in the media I’d been inundated with images of heterosexuality as a teenager. Being ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ was touched upon briefly in the classroom, in an attempt to be more inclusive but bisexuality was never really mentioned. I never knew how ‘to be’ bi.

Even at University when many of my friends were openly bisexual, I still didn’t feel confident enough to explore this side of myself, manly because I was struggling with other aspects of my sexuality in general after experiencing a sexual assault.

My first sexual experience with a women was as part of a threesome with a married couple. I was attracted to both the husband and wife but I’d assumed going into it, that both myself and his wife would play with him and him with us. Prior to meeting we never discussed the wife and I playing together. It also happened to be my first threesome experience, so there were a lot of emotions and expectations flying around.

Upon first meeting the couple, they put me completely at ease. They said, if at any point I felt uncomfortable or didn’t want to go through with it, then I should let them know and we would stop. There was no pressure for me to do anything. This only made me want to spend the night with them even more. I knew they were the right people to have a threesome with and as the night drew on, the right woman to have my first bisexual experience with.


When it finally came to us all going back to the hotel room after dinner, it was all very relaxed and casual. The wife went into the bathroom to get changed into her lingerie and I lay on the bed kissing her husband. When she came out, wearing a black lace bodysuit I knew immediately that I wanted to have sex with her. She has a sumptuous curvy body and I desperately want to touch her.

The two of us started kissing and everything about it felt natural. I’d always been worried that I wouldn’t know what to do when the time came, but I need not have worried. She put me completely at ease and we kissed and touched for a long time, whilst her husband watched us. Then when it came to it, she initiated the oral sex and I reciprocated. It didn’t take me long to work out how she liked it and when she orgasmed, her whole entire body seemed to shake.

From then on, I knew this was something I was going to enjoy and was a natural part of my identity. I stopped thinking about my sexual orientation in terms of my relationship status. The two weren’t linked and it didn’t matter that I’d spent most of my life in relationships with men, I was still be bisexual. And more than that, it didn’t make me any less bisexual for having done so.

I’m writing this to challenge the biphobia I see all around me. The idea that eventually you’ll ‘pick a side’ or that you’re just ‘being greedy’.  I’m not ashamed of my bisexuality. It has made previous partners uncomfortable and I’ve tried to put them at ease as much as possible, but ultimately it is something that need reconcile themselves to and it isn’t my job to make them ok with my sexuality. When it came down to it, I know there was this fear that I would cheat on him with a woman. I’m not sure why he felt I wouldn’t cheat on him with a man, but nonetheless, he seemed far more concerned about that. This was largely down to having never been with a bisexual woman before.

Sex in my 30’s

Then & Now

Right now my sex life feels like the best it has ever been. It took reaching my 30’s for me to really start exploring my sexuality and experimenting. Prior to that I’d describe my sex life as unadventurous, with me lacking in confidence and overly self-conscious about my body especially during sex. I was worried about how I ‘looked’ during sex, I focused on the things parts of my body I didn’t like and would often find myself not really present during sex. It was like I was watching myself from afar having sex and picking fault.

However, when I hit my 30’s I started to notice things changing and a large part of that was down to a greater sense of confidence and an acceptance of my body shape and size.

I still have insecurities and I know I always will. I also know that unless I’m prepared to completely overhall my lifestyle and my eating habits, I’m always going to have roughly the body shape I have now and the older I’ve got the more I’ve realised that, if your partner is getting regular sex, they really don’t care about your cellulite and love handles. As soon as I started accepting that I was actually pretty damn sexy the way I was, I found that I was less insecure generally, and that they no longer got in the way of my sex life.

sex in my 30s

Comfortable in my own skin


I think another reason it changed because of the types of partners I was choosing. I was drawn, far more, to older men and women who were comfortable with themselves and their bodies and made me feel comfortable in mine. I was also less willing to accept spending time with people who didn’t make me feel good about myself.

Also, with age comes the realization that actually being thin is by far the least of your worries. When I found myself experiencing real ‘problems’ and difficult times, bereavement, family illness, a bout of poor health, I started to realise that I had far more important things to concern myself with.

Orgasms and Intimacy

I’m now in my mid-30’s and there’s very little I’d change drastically about my sex life. So I started thinking about what I love most about my sex life. A friend asked me last night about this and asked what I wanted from my sex life. I said ‘orgasms and intimacy’. I can honestly say, I get both and I couldn’t be more satisfied with my sex life.

This may sound simple and straightforward but actually it took a lot of time, experience, practice, self-acceptance, self-exploration opening myself up to new possibilities, to finally have these.

The last point is particularly important, because it was only when I truly decided to let myself go and try new things and be open to new experiences, that my sex life really changed.

Shower at the ready

One of those new experiences was water sports. I’d never really given it much thought and when I was asked a number of times about whether I’d done it or would consider doing it, I always assumed it wouldn’t hold any appeal.

That was until recently when I decided I’d like to give it a try. This may have been, in large part, down to the person I wanted to experience it with. I knew this was something he was experienced in and enjoyed it. There was something very erotic about knowing it turned him on and I wanted to be a part of that. My partner’s pleasure is incredibly important to me. I feed off their excitement and it increases my own. I enjoy watching my partner’s reactions, seeing them enjoying themselves and hearing them moan.

I was also curious to see if I’d be turned on by it. When it came to attempting it in his bath, I went first. It took a while to feel comfortable enough to just let go and release but when I did there was something liberating about it. There was also the excitement of doing something that’s considered a little taboo. Then it was my partners turn and boy had he saved plenty for me. I could see this was something that meant a lot to him and I was pleased I could do it for him.

Sex in my 30’s has been the best sex so far and who knows, I’m hoping it’ll only continue to get better in my 40’s and 50’s.


Sex Toy Review – Jumping on the wand bandwagon

Sex Toy Review

It would seem as if I’m the last person on the sex blogging Earth to go out and buy themselves a wand. My reluctance to purchase one stemmed largely from the fact that I currently own quite a few toys. I have a number of bullets, a rampant rabbit, a g-spot vibrator and a glass dildo. Why, when I own all of these, would I also need a wand? As it turns out, I was very wrong.

The one I opted for was the Classic Mains Powered Magic Wand Vibrator from Lovehoney in black. For me, the white wand looked rather cheap, whereas in black, it had a more expensive sleek look about it. Plus I figured it would be easiest to keep clean.

Lovehoney wand

Lovehoney wand

For those that don’t know anything about the wands, they were first used as massagers until some filthy bugger discovered you could use it elsewhere and now it serves to send many men and women weak at the knees.

My first impressions were of how heavy it was. There’s some real weight to it, I’m guessing to incorporate the powerful motor inside. I also noticed how loud it was on the higher settings so you might want to keep that in mind if you’re not blessed with thick walls. I’d also recommend starting off on the lower settings which sounds like common sense but boy are those higher settings powerful (don’t say I didn’t warn you).

The first time I used it was with a partner. I was tied up, spread eagle. We experimented using the wand in different positions on the vulva and holding in at various angles. I loved how big the head of the wand was. When placed lower down against your vulva it fits perfectly into the curve of your crotch. After some experimentation I found that I preferred this position, rather than having it placed directly onto my clitoris. It was far too intense and it ended up just feeling numb otherwise.

Once I got use to the sensation, we used it with my glass dildo. This helped achieve both a g-spot and clitoral orgasm. We alternated between holding the wand near my clitoris and pressing it against the glass so the glass vibrated inside me. I also found that I preferred moving the head on and off rather than keeping it held permanently there as it seemed to increase stimulation.

If direct stimulation is too much, I’d recommend starting off using it over the top of your underwear. It’s equally as pleasurable but the vibrations aren’t as intense, so great for foreplay.

What I like about the wand is how versatile it is. I discovered after I bought the wand, that it also comes with several attachments including one that resembles Gonzo from the muppets. This as well as using it for it’s original intended purpose means it’s great to use as part of a sensual erotic massage. I’m also looking forward to conjuring up other ways of incorporating it into my bedroom routine including using it on my male partner. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the wand has been a resounding success. Now that I have it, I’m not sure what I’d do without it. I’m also looking it getting a portable version for those naughty trips away.

This is not a sponsored post and the wand was purchased with my own hard earned cash.