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Don't Hold My Head Down

By Lucy-Anne Holmes

Bridget Jones meets Erin Brockovich and Elizabeth Gilbert – wearing a strap on, at a sex party

Women | SALE
106% funded
523 supporters

Publication date: February 2019

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Limited edition ‘Don’t Hold My Head Down’ print by Jo Harrison, Signed 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
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Launch Party

Two tickets to ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ launch event, Limited edition ‘Don’t Hold My Head Down’ T-shirt, from the Fashion Move, limited edition ‘Don’t Hold My Head Down’ print by Jo Harrison, 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book.
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Relight Your Fire Workshop

Sex life in a slump? Lucy will lead a fun, informal workshop to get you your mojo back. Fully clothed, but with open minds. Plus a signed copy of the hardback. Done in groups of 5 women, plus Lucy. London-based, travel not included. (limited to three groups of 5, but can be booked individually) £175 p.p

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What is the book about?

Don’t Hold My Head Down is a memoir about sex. It starts with me having a disappointing and drunken wank to internet porn and ends with me having three day long orgasms and taking on the most powerful newspaper in the country. Basically it’s one valiant idiots journey into self-love and empowerment through sex. Bridget Jones meets Erin Brockovich and Elizabeth Gilbert – wearing a strap on, at a sex party.

The bare bones of the story

I have an epiphany.
I’m in my mid thirties and I don’t think I’ve skimmed the top of how amazing sex can be – what have I been doing with my time?!

I make a list.
I want to experience slow sex, different types of orgasm, work out what to do with a penis, be sexual with other women, try some BDSM, go to a sex party, make porn.

I attempt to do the things on the list. Um…would you er, like to try um, you know..with me? GAHHHHH!

I am beset by obstacles and disasters. I hate my body, I hate myself, I am incapable of asking for what I want, I use alcohol for courage, it takes me ages to find someone to practice with, he dumps me after the worst handjob in the world, etc etc etc.

Amazing things happen. I get to know myself, get to quite like myself, discover that I, Lucy-Anne Holmes, person with a pussy am a pleasure machine! I meet some incredible people and it might sound a bit over the top but my life starts to feel like a wonderful, no, magical adventure. I am happier, calmer, and just generally less afraid of everything.

Why am I writing it?

Yes, why am I, Lucy-Anne Holmes, nice convent girl, founder of a campaign to stop pictures of topless women in the paper, writing an explicit memoir. Well, I told some of these anecdotes when I was travelling around the country campaigning and the response was generally a huddle of people afterwards who wanted to talk to me and the word I heard most was inspiring. They would tell me how refreshing it was to hear someone talk so frankly about sex and porn, or ask me how I had managed to learn to actually love my body. If telling this story might inspire just one young woman that she doesn’t have to compare herself to images she sees in magazines, or take part in sex that she feels uncomfortable with or if it inspires her to start a petition and challenge something that makes her feel small. Well, if my story could do that, then I feel it is a story worth telling. Exploring my sexuality has been the most incredible thing I have ever done, I found gold, and now I want to share the treasure.

Why am I crowd funding?

I’ve been lucky enough to have had 4 novels published via the traditional publishing route, but with each book, big compromises had to be made. I had no say on the titles or covers and was told I wasn’t allowed to write about certain subjects. I felt that Don’t Hold My Head Down was a book that I didn’t want to compromise too much on. A watered-down book about female sexuality seemed a bit pointless and I didn’t want cupcakes on covers or a title like ‘Lost Without Him.’ Unbound got this, and most of all they got the book. I am excited to be with them.


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$30  + shipping
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1st edition hardback, ebook edition
Buy now
234 pledges


Ebook edition
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  • Lucy-Anne Holmes avatar

    Lucy-Anne Holmes

    Lucy-Anne Holmes is a writer and campaigner. Her last novel Just a Girl Standing In Front of a Boy won the Romantic Novelists Association 'Rom Com of the Year 2015' and she founded the successful No More Page 3 campaign.

    She lives in Hertfordshire with her partner and young son.

  • Chapter 4: Gasping Birds

    Now I had thought that there was some magic there….but then this conversation happened.

    On the street. Approx 11pm.

    Student night. Think Shaun of the Dead, but with drunk teenagers in high shoes lolloping past us.

    Me: Do you want to come back to mine?

    Him: Er…hmmm…hmmm…I think I should probably stay at mine tonight.

    Me: Are you ok?

    Him: Yeah…

    Me: Quick move over here, that girl looks like she’s going to be…

    Him: Urghhh.

    Me: Sick.

    Him: Thanks.

    Me: So, tell me. What’s up?

    (a painful pause)

    (this pause is really starting to hurt… owwwwww…badly)

    Him: I’m just having a few doubts, that’s all.

    Me: Oh.

    Him: A bit of a wobble.

    Me: Um…but well.. us learning tantric sex together, it can’t really happen if one of us doesn’t want to….Can it?


    So that was that then.

    But it was fine.

    In fact it was better than fine. I was the leader of the sexual revolution after all. It was another growth opportunity. I simply smiled and wished him well in a warm and ever so slightly nonchalant manner.

    Hmmmmmmm, that’s not quite what happened, is it Lucy?

    Well, no, not exactly.. but one day, one day…

    So what really happened?

    I cried on the street. Then I met some friends. Got drunk. Bought a cheeseburger from a chip van and wailed ‘I feel such a plum’ as I ate it on a step.

  • 11th September 2019 Lots of Exciting Things

    Beautiful people,

    I have so many exciting things to share that I might explode!

    THE PAPERBACK! - we did it! Thanks to you spreading the word we sold enough copies of the hard back for the good people of Unbound to take a punt on releasing a PAPERBACK! (So handy for the handbag) Set to be released on 6th Feb. I will share the cover design when I get it.


    AUDIO BOOK! - An audio book of…

    17th May 2019 A little update about Don't Hold My Head Down

    Hello hello!

    Just zooming in with a little update about Don’t Hold My Head Down.

    • Very excitingly I was asked to write quite a long feature for a Guardian Weekend , Sex and Intimacy, supplement. It should be in tomorrow’s edition along with a um VERY ORANGE photoshoot of me.

    Please do keep an eye out for it and send it some love!


    • Also, I’m going to be doing a few talkies over…

    28th February 2019 Come and see me in March!

    Hello hello,

    I hope you are well.

    I have loved launching Don't Hold My Head Down into the world. Particularly being a 'Number 1 best seller in sex' on Amazon, I may pop that on a business card. And MP Hannah Bardell telling everyone present to put it on their reading list during the recent debate on Sex and Relationship eductation in the House of Commons.

    I have got quite a lot of talkies…

    7th February 2019 PUBLICATION DAY!!!

    Hello hello!

    It is publication day for Don't Hold My Head Down and I am buzzing and bursting with gratitude.

    THE BIGGEST THANK YOU to you for supporting this project.

    Yesterday I went on Woman's Hour and was interviewed about it by Jenny Murray. The response since has been wonderful. I lept from somewhere in the region of 130,000 in the Amazon chart to 89th out of the whole Amazon chart yesterday…

    25th September 2018 A little proposition for you...

    Hello to you 444 dear kind wonderful people who have bought the first copies of my book,

    Good news!!

    The book is (SO NEARLY) FINISHED! Proof copies are being printed right now and Don’t Hold My Head Down will be out in the world and landing on your doormat in early February. It is all very exciting.

    Aaaaand I have a little proposition for you all. A mission, should you choose to accept it…

    17th August 2017 Good news!

    Hello wonderful people!

    I just wanted to stop by and update you on the book.

    I have completed an early first draft! Whoop!

    High five. I thank you.

    I call it an early first draft as it is still a bit rubbish, but it’s a starting point on which to build. I haven’t sent it to Unbound just yet, it is currently with some buddies I trust and admire who will tell me where it is particularly crap…

    14th June 2017 Wahooooo!!!

    Hello! Hello! Hello! *high kick, wiggle

    You may have spotted I'm rather jolly this morning!!

    Well...that is because...


    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO SO SOOO MUCH for pledging, for sharing and for believing in me and the project.

    Now, I just have to finish the manuscript and make it really good so you are proud to have your…

    18th May 2017 69%

    Good afternoon wonderful people!

    How are you diddling? I do hope well.

    I am thrilled to say that I am 69% funded! Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking but that isn’t the only reason why this is exciting….it is exciting because the good people at Unbound tell me that no one has got to 70% and not made it. We are so close!

    Also, rather wonderfully, I was interviewed about the project by industry…

    30th April 2017 An update about my sex book

    Hello kind people who have supported my sex book!

    First of all, I am very sorry it has taken me TWO YEARS to get in touch. But you see they were a very busy two years, with an awful lot going on, so I had to put 'crowdfunding my sex book' on the back burner for a wee while. There were my two very poorly parents (thankfully doing really well now) there was a birth (cor blimey, that was a bit full…

    9th April 2015 Hello Shed People!

    Ooo I'm a bit excited to be writing in my Shed!

    Apologies for it taking me so long to get acquainted with this space and to pop up and say a massive and really heartfelt thank you to you all for supporting this project.

    In excuse of my terrible tardiness, things have been a bit busy of late. Page 3 went, then reappeared, but now thankfully seems to be really properly gone. Boom! I wrote a little…

  • These people are helping to fund Don't Hold My Head Down.

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    Lachlan Wood

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    Mary Somers

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    Donald Meyer

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    David Watson

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    Elgan Owen

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    An anonymous donor

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    Karen Pierce

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    Ashley Foskett

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    Ashleigh Mills

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    Paul Baker

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    Katey Walker

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    Lizzie Huxley-Jones

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    Nick Cooper

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    Fabrizio Pedrazzini

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    Derek Wilson

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    Emily Maycock

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    Gramps Oldman

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    sina bonita

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    Dan Jackson

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    Pete Ruddy

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    Louise Tierney

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    Duncan Hiscock

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  • Philip Stewart
    Philip Stewart asked:

    Does love come into it?

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hi Philip! Yes, it certainly does.

    Eddie Marshall
    Eddie Marshall asked:

    Lucy Anne, thank you for being brave enough to want to tell your story. I think it is fascisinating. Even as a Heterosexual man I think have a lot to learn from women like yourself. I am proud to support the book and hope its publication will inspire women to be more confident sexually and help them stand up for the respect they deserve. Good luck with the project. I truly think you are brilliant! Men can be such b*stards towards women but it doesn't have to be that way. What you are doing with this book and the No More Page 3 Campaign will, I hope, go a long way to rectifying the inequality and disrespect that is meated out on women. I, for one, don't feel this has any place in the 21st Century! I wish you all the good luck in the world. You are an inspirational woman! Sorry that is not a question and more a rambling comment!

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    oh wow, Eddie, I'm so touched by your kind post. Thank you :)

    Veronica Morgan
    Veronica Morgan asked:

    What's the chapter structure? Sort of thematic, or chronological, or pieces of advice?

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hi Veronica, Good question!! Currently it's mainly chronological, with the feel hopefully being of a friend telling you a story, but deviating off here and there for a rant or to impart some info. That is the plan I'm working with at this first draft stage anyway.

    Brian Taylor
    Brian Taylor asked:

    Alternative title - or sequel: Let Go of My Ears: I Know What I'm Doing

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Ha! That is brilliant (sorry! just saw this!!)

    Norah Myers
    Norah Myers asked:

    Hi Lucy Anne, I write for BookMachine and I would love to interview you about your experience with Unbound. May I? All best, Norah

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hello Norah! If you are still keen I would love to do this! I have nearly finished a first daft of the book and am relaunching the campaign to get to 100% (and beyond) with Unbound.

    Jade Eve Foxall
    Jade Eve Foxall asked:

    You are my favourite author. Your rom-com books are all i need to make me laugh until i snort at any time in the day! You say things the way they are and it's something i've always failed to do. I'm a creative writing student (it's not what i want to be but it's something i've enjoyed) and you made me realise what kind of writer i want to be. You make things seem so real, in your books, and it makes me feel like there's someone who completely gets me. Sex is also something i've worried about, being a young adult, the expectations, insecurities, what's expected of me in this society and i know that once i read Don't Hold My Head Down, i'll have all the confidence i need, you make me feel better about myself and i know this isn't a question but i just needed to say thank you and good luck. You're bloody brilliant.

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hello Jade, I'm a bit speechless by your lovely post. Thank you so much. X

    Rebecca Quinn
    Rebecca Quinn asked:

    Hi Lucy-Anne, I'm studying Fashion Communication at Northumbria, I'm focusing my dissertation on 'Is Nudity Acceptable in Fashion Publications in 2015?' Examples of high end publications such as LOVE and Vogue which both use explicit nudity, in comparison to The Sun and Zoo...Do you think context has anything to do with how they 'get away' with it? You are so admirable, I would love your view! Thank you!

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hi Rebecca, So I am two years late in responding to this. I am so sorry! I hope the dissertation went well!

    Jane Elmor
    Jane Elmor asked:

    Hi Lucy - no question - just wanted to say good for you! Good for everyone! Jxxx

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hurrah to this! Thank you! X

    Prue Nichols
    Prue Nichols asked:

    Lucy I loved the sample chapter you shared. You are such an inspiration. Keep writing - the world needs you.

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Ooo thank you! Feeling a bit warm and fuzzy now. X

    Maj Ikle
    Maj Ikle asked:

    Im writing an explicit memoir and am worried about violent/creepy/friend loss reactions, have you had any bad reactions?

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hi Maj! Luckily, no! Not yet at least. In fact I was just thinking earlier today how much I like discussing sex and sexuality and feel really privaleged how often people then share their experiences and vulnerabilities with me. Good luck with yours!

    Henrietta Heald
    Henrietta Heald asked:

    Hi Lucy-Anne I am another Unbound author and I came across your book by chance. I was really impressed by the video and have made a pledge. Hope to meet you some day. Good luck with everything, Henrietta

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hi Henrietta!! THANK YOU!! I admire yours too! All the best with it. Yes, it would be wonderful to meet. Perhaps Unbound could have an authors soiree!! (I will definitely be pledging for yours when I am a little richer, it is very much on my radar) x

    Gwen Rahardja
    Gwen Rahardja asked:

    Hi Lucy! About the alternative porn titles.... possibly but corny etc but things that come to mind (after giving it some thought!): - The Builder - His hands (suppose it could them be, his tongue, his..., etc!) - An awakening (hmmm I know, not terribly sexy!) Or the Rising? - The slow tease - The garden flat (!) (I don’t know, thinking could revolve round flat viewings and real Estate agents, who knows? Or maybe a female estate agent decides to seduce a couple viewing a flat... or they seduce her... but it would be property porn as well as actual porn?!) And right now I’m totally not envious of people who have to come up with these titles!

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    I can't believe I have only just seen these, Gwen! Thank you! Will see if it is not too late to submit them. Loving the property and actual porn fusion you have created here! x

    Jonathan Griffith
    Jonathan Griffith asked:

    Well done Lucy! The book should be in every Quaker Meeting's library! There would probably be fuss, but good and necessary! Continuing in the tradition of 'Towards a Quaker View of Sex'. (are you old enough to remember that? Slow progress.) I'm severely incapacitated now - - and need 'intimate care' and I wish I had several friends who felt comfortable looking after me, just as part of everyday friendship - and sex could be a natural part of that.. As it is, there're so many inhibitions and taboos to get through. May I 'suggest your name' to the Swarthmore Lecture Committee? But you would have to speak more slowly!

    Lucy-Anne Holmes
    Lucy-Anne Holmes replied:

    Hello, fellow Quaker! Thanks so much for messaging. I will check out your blog. Yes, I hear you regarding the taboos and inhibitions regarding sex. And I think we have a very base interpretation of what sex actually is. I’d be honoured if you would suggest me for the Swarthmore Lecture. And ha! Yes indeed I would have to speak slower. Thank you, Jonathon, and all the best to you. Lucy x