An excerpt from

Don't Hold My Head Down

Lucy-Anne Holmes

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?

Him: Er..no.

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.

The next day I lay in bed clutching my head and belching, thinking about how I had cocked it up. I narrowed it down to hundreds of reasons but here are the top few

1) My body

He saw me naked and thought my bits were weird.

2) My personality

I terrified the poor bloke. I accosted him at a bus stop, told him I’d bought The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Tantric Sex and asked him if he wanted to learn it with me. Then I ran away and couldn’t speak to him for a week. I wanted to explore sex with him, I really really did, but I wasn’t used to leading in this way and it made me so shy and nervous that I behaved like a bit (well, a lot) of a twat.

3) My sexual prowess

It was a rubbish hand-job. But to be fair it was hard giving a man a hand job whilst holding a book.

4) My bedside manner

On our last morning I did a little fart in bed. But although it was little I’d been holding it in for some time, so perhaps it was that and something I’d eaten, whatever it was it was, that little fart was fierce and when it reached max potency I fully expected gasping birds to come tumbling out of the sky.

*I don’t normally fart. I don’t normally talk about farting. But this one was so epic it demanded space on the page.

5) This sensitive actor with the nice eyes just simply wanted to be with someone better.

Clutching one eye and debating whether the first step on my journey to discover divine sex had ended because of a fart or a hand-job wasn’t really what I had in mind for my own personal sexual revolution.

Neither were those overwhelming and familiar feelings that I wasn’t good enough, that I should be better, thinner, quieter, more confident, less mental, more knowledgeable on current affairs, have bigger breasts, that there should be at least one muscle in my bottom. I could go on. Forever.

I had sooo many insecurities and, the strange thing was, they felt very old. I think I’d had most of them since I was about 11 or 12, since I first started thinking about boys. Sometimes I would look in the mirror and be shocked that I was a proper woman, because I felt so very, very young and insecure. I still felt like a little girl who just wanted a boy to like her.

But was bored of feeling so weak. I wanted to feel strong. Not scarily badass bossy. Just secure in myself. I wanted to be able to ask a man if he wanted to learn tantric sex without having to literally canter away screaming afterwards. I also very much wanted a man to be able to say, ‘I’m just not feeling it with you’ without me wailing into numerous special price cocktails.

And I wanted to stop being such a bitch to myself. I didn't have the time for all this self-flagellation, I had a sexual revolution to commandeer. And I had a sneaky feeling that I wouldn’t be able to have beautiful sex until I felt beautiful.

And I didn’t think feeling properly beautiful meant cutting my hair or losing a stone or a guy telling me I was fit, I thought it would probably come from me loving what I’d already got.