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DAY 352: Having tantric sex

18 Aug

I’VE been determined to explore tantra as one of my missions, but the only morsels my Melbourne forays unearthed were a thinly veiled prostitution service, in which Tatiana offered to touch me all over while we were both naked for a mere $250, and a website for Tantric Dave, who lies stretched out with one thigh positioned over his ‘wand of light’.

Then I found a less salacious lady in Sydney.

The reason I’ve been determined to try this is because it sounds so excruciating. I mean, tantra’s all about spirituality, eye contact and effort, isn’t it? I doubt Sting saw his virginity as an indignity to be got rid of fast, or treats wanking like an aggressive formality.

My tantra teacher today is Brazilian, and therefore well placed to laugh at the sexual repression of the English. She greets me in leisurewear, but then produces a couple of skimpy kaftans. A room of her apartment is decked out New Age-style, with candles, incense, cushions, didgeridoos chorbling away and the heat up stiflingly high. Let me just open my kaftan a notch…

We start off with some pelvic floor exercises to get the blood flowing to the nethers and to learn how to, you know, sort of massage a man.

Breathing deeply through our mouths, we clench away, and Beatriz suggests I move my hand up my body to help me visualise pulsing the good feeling right up to my heart. It’s no use, though – try as I might, I can’t extend the warmth beyond the physiological vicinity of my reproductive organs. I feel like I’m swinging a hammer at a test-your-strength machine and not pushing past ‘puny’. Meanwhile, Beatriz is clearly dinging the bell.

Next, we sit opposite each other on cushions and take turns musing on “what touches my heart”, while staring into each other’s eyes. I know what you’re thinking – belt up the kaftan and run – but by now I’m so comfortable with Beatriz and her good vibes that the excrucio-factor is zero.

Beatriz talks about sexuality and how Gen Z girls are expected to recreate porn scenarios while so liquored up they can’t feel anything anyway. Tantra’s a method of being aware of your body and its every nuance. But anyway, on to the masturbation.

Sitting side by side, we slide our right hands down onto our sexual chakras, with our left hands over our hearts, where I find mine is opportunistically having a sly tweak of my nipple. Beatriz starts rocking in a figure of eight, arching her back in and out of the yoga cat pose. “It’s okay to moan,” she gasps. We’re supposed to be visualising a golden sphere of light, but thanks to years of an oppressive male regime, I’m only able to picture a massive cock.

When she’s done, Beatriz gets me to lie on my front and she skims my hair, then places her hands gently on the top and base of my back. They feel like they’re burning hot. I’m so relaxed I could just melt into this authentic Balinese mat.

Then it’s time for the strokes. Leaping up impishly, Beatriz pulls a phallus out of a drawer and lies down on the floor, holding it above her groin by the balls. She demonstrates a variety of imaginative ways to stroke it – ways other than furiously choking it, I mean – and gives me a go as well. I can now pop a cork and firestick someone with no worries at all.

That’s it for our session, and I’m feeling really good. There’s definitely something to be said for taking the time to acknowledge and nurture the sensations you’re feeling. Although, problematically, the idea of a bloke being into tantra makes my ovaries deflate.

Keeper? Yes.

DAY 343: Wearing high heels to work

9 Aug


I’M filling in at a magazine where four-inch heels are protocol*, so I manage to track down a beginner’s pair I can walk in without looking too comedic. Pencil skirts, cinched waists and brushed hair are go!

Pro: I’m getting comments from random dudes in the street, which hasn’t happened for five years. And I’ve reached an age where I can be gracious about it.

Con: I pop into a pub to roll a cigarette and thoughtlessly spend my bus fare on a drink. The next hour is spent grizzling and hobbling down the entire length of King Street, like a drag queen after a punch-up with a rake.

Keeper? Yes, but in a more genteel, baby-steps kind of a way

* My waxer the other day told me that one of her male clients always goes to have his cigarette break outside the front doors of this magazine empire, so that the chicks who work there will assume he works there too. Then he goes back to his office again.

DAY 340: Going to a Suitcase Rummage

6 Aug

Keeper? Once a month, free, in Brisbane CBD. Worth a visit.

DAY 316: Employing a personal shopper

14 Jul

MY sartorial style is something like ‘tomboy’ meets ‘half-hearted Audrey from Twin Peaks’ meets ‘still-got-my-rockabilly-wardrobe from my twenties’.

Given that I’ve now got less than two months to write about me, me and me, I decide to see what another woman makes of ME.

Adele is a professional stylist who moonlights as a personal shopper. I meet her in giganto-mall Chadstone; a complex stuffed with designer labels. She leads me to Sportsgirl.

No, that’s okay, really. I do shop at Sportsgirl. And clearly Adele thinks I deserve to.

I tell Adele I want her to pick out what shapes and colours she thinks will suit me, and that I’m totally willing to be open minded.

As if to test this theory, Adele immediately picks out revolting tan stretch pants made of some kind of shiny material, and an orange net top. The idea is that these autumnal colours will warm up my pallor.

I wind up trying on a variety of coloured blouses my mother would balk at, and pants – all of which have a low-hanging gusset.

I do learn a useful piece of advice from Adele and a saleswoman, though: cat’s whiskers across a pussy are okay (that’s the wrinkles across said gusset), but camel toe’s a no. Repeat after me, girls!

I’ll file that little nugget alongside “I must, I must, I must improve my bust.

Keeper? No.

DAY 314: Getting shellacked

12 Jul

SHELLAC is a revolutionary new product! But only for your nails. It comes in colours like ‘Fedora’, ‘Red Baroness’ and ‘Negligee’. I plump for ‘Tropix Pink’.

The salon’s in Chadstone, and Jenna paints, then ‘cures’ my nails three times each under a UV light. This takes some time, and we discover our common ground is that we would both quite like to go to the new Pancake Parlour across the road later in the day. But not together.

The new Shellac treatment is designed not to chip or be chewed off. In fact, it’s only removable with acetone – normal nail varnish remover won’t make a dent. After a couple of weeks you’ll start getting regrowth of your nail showing underneath, so you’ll be obliged to go back, get it removed, and try ‘Negligee’.

Keeper? Yes. Great if you’re a dentist, a washer upper, a gardener or a grot.

DAY 313: Being in a Hello mag-style shoot

11 Jul

The ladygarden needs a bit of a groom.

GENTLEWOMAN photographer Lee Sandwith comes to my humble country abode to take some pictures for her forthcoming project of debonair tattooed people lounging around in their natural habitat.

Since I’m a country girl now, I’m captured squirting cream onto Baker’s Oven scones and looking wistfully over my white picket fence.

Keeper? Yes. There’s a forthcoming exhibition. Squeal!

DAY 302: Learning etiquette from a piss peddler

30 Jun

ETIQUETTE and gin have never gone together in my experience, but boutique piss peddlers Hendricks are determined to prove otherwise.

They’ve spirited pop-up shops into fetching streets in Sydney, Melbourne and – soon – Adelaide, in which they serve gin in bone china teacups with slices of cucumber.

While you’re quaffing delicately, Dr Humphrey Sixwivs and Mrs Isabella Forlornicate learn you in the ways of fancy etiquette with their Refined Courtship Clinic.

Our lesson this afternoon is the art of using one’s fan to flirt. One uses one’s fan to hide one’s mouth as one titters over one’s shoulder, or merely to wave as one’s eyes dart about the room, steadfastedly ignoring any chap who might be trying to get one’s attention. Beating the air frantically means you urgently require a drink, while snapping it shut and pointing it at a chap means you’d like to show him something outside – now.

Strikes me all the techniques we’re shown are alive and well today, with long, flicky hair or an iPhone – on which a lady humourlessly pretends to be texting – being the prop of choice.

Keeper? Might try the covert-glance move we’re shown. Watch out.

DAY 227: Giving things a right roasting

15 Apr


A SNORESOME day, to be sure.

With the exception of the humble jacket potato, I am a roasting rookie, on account of I like to watch things cook – and in an urgent fashion.

Taking some advice from my Facebook pals I learn how to roast beetroot (wrap in foil, put in the oven) and eggplant (halve, salt, put in the oven). Magic.

Keeper? Yes. My grandmother died when she set her tea towel on fire though, so this afternoon’s burny incident should be avoided in future.

DAY 223: Pampering the shit out of my face

11 Apr

Now 90 per cent more pink.

CONTINUING my quest to become a real girl, I clatter off to a random make-up artist in Myer and bid her to do as she will.

Suzi eagerly sets about turning my face into an approximation of hers, layering on primer, foundation, concealer, three or four eye shadows, tinted eyebrow wax, mascara, bronzer, blush, lip pencil, pink lipstick and lipgloss. I do wear make-up every day, but that’s 10 products and 30 minutes more than I’m accustomed to.

A French artiste called André (actually, I can’t remember his name, but that’ll do) hovers the whole time, giving a running commentary on what Suzi’s doing and snatching brushes out of her tiny hands, replacing them with what he’d use if he was her. He laments my eyebrows, which are admittedly in need of a bit of a trim, practically wringing his hands in agitation.

I manage to block him out when Suzi does my eyes, as it’s very soothing. I get to pondering the word ‘pamper’ and how it’s become a ‘you deserve it’ kind of marketing tool aimed at the privileged. Golden goddess pamper pack. Pamper yourself stupid this pampering Pamperday. It’s a curious sounding word, so I look it up when I regain the use of my iPhone hand:

Pampe’ can be traced back to ancient religious manuscripts. As in: ‘Thus the devil fareth with men and wommen; First, he stirith hem to pappe and pampe her fleisch, desyrynge delicous metis and drynkis.’

Steady thyself!

Then there’s the Bavarian word, ‘pampfen’, meaning ‘to cram oneself with pap or broth’.


“Are you Dutch?” André interrupts my reverie. “You have very Dutch features: dark skin and green eyes.”

I’m unable to enquire as to whether he’s had a recent knock to the head with his hair straighteners, as Suzi is slicking something like Dunkin’ Donuts glaze on my mouth.

Now all I need to do is write a crime novel called Midnight’s Daughter and this can be the author photo on the jacket.

Glacial pink gloss, I venture as I peer in the mirror, is not appropriate for a 36-year-old woman. Suzi disagrees, and André gasps that it’s perfectly acceptable for a “woman of your age”. In fact, he reckons, I might even try mature modelling work.

“What, in a catalogue?” I quip.

“Yes,” he agrees earnestly. “Cheap catalogues are where the money is.”

Picture me flouncing out of Myer, spitting hair out of my lip gloss.

Keeper? Secretly enjoyed it.

DAY 220: Baking bread

8 Apr

“DON’T blame me if this doesn’t work out,” says Clare, who said the same thing about my marriage, but I’ve let bygones be bygones.

Clare reads out bread-baking instructions over the phone and I slap a loaf together in real time. I add magic ingredients caraway seeds and Weetabix (that’s English for Weet-Bix) for a special touch. It turns out really good, and I think taking it out too early makes it even more gummy and tasty.

This lack of trust by my friends in my domestic skills is shocking though, because today I’ve darned shorts, hoovered the rug, arranged the pantry with Tupperware boxes, paired my socks and baked a loaf – all without incident. If somebody could teach me how to make a lasagne, I reckon I’ve got everything covered.

Keeper? Curiously, this all felt really satisfying. My house smells of scented candles, chai tea and freshly baked bread, instead of rabbit mess.