I’ve been single for 6 years now, not for want of trying. I’m a girl’s girl, I have good strong friendships with lots of females, but for me there has always been something magnetic about men. All my adult life I have craved the feeling of being in the company of a man who I fancy who also fancies me. I love the feeling of chemistry and lust, but it was more than that, my constant search for a man was more about my need to feel loved and validated by a man than anything else.

I completely believe in fate and destiny, and the universe bringing us what is meant for us, but for years I have found it hard to sit back and let fate take its course, up until recently, when I wasn’t  dating someone or in a relationship, I’d be actively out there looking for someone new to see. But everything has changed for me. My last relationship was the final straw. In the 6 years since my last long term relationship I have been on  numerous dates, some disastrous, some hilarious, and had a few ‘relationships’ that have spontaneously com-busted within 6 months of starting. Nine times out of ten because he’s a fuckboy. (If you want to understand more about what makes a fuckboy then read my definitive guide to Fuckboys.)

Fuckboys have been the bane of my life and sadly I have become an expert in their behaviours, the red flags that I should have noticed at the time, little things that tell you in the early stages that this is a man to avoid. I have finally learnt from my mistakes. I have a qualifications in Psychology, counselling, sexual health, and sociology and I have spent my career helping people to work through, or leave, fucked up relationships. I was just never able to apply my own advice and expertise to my own life, up until now.

For the first time in my dating history I am completely man-free. I am not talking to anyone, I am not on any online dating sites, if I got drunk and wanted a booty call I would have absolutely no-one to text. I haven’t had sex since November and I’ve never been happier or more content. I’ve learnt how to weed the fuckboys out and I’ve also learnt how to deal with hurt. I’ve really changed.

I’ve always loved the buzz you get when there’s a spark, when you’re talking to someone new, wondering where it might go so it’s weird being completely single with no dates on the horizon. I had been actively Tindering and dating for a long time but I found myself repeatedly disappointed because that real spark that I was chasing is so rare. I was so desperate not to be single that I would go on dates with people who I knew were not right for me simply  because they look good and they happened to be the only person showing me any interest.  The need for attention, being told I’m sexy or beautiful, is what was motivating me when it came to dating. I always felt that I needed to be validated by a man. I hate saying that because trust me, I’m a feminist and I always have been, but I’m occasionally a needy and insecure feminist who seeks approval from men, that’s the bit that I’m currently working on.

My old mentality got me into a lot of situations that I regretted being in. The last time was a few months ago. I was sitting on the end of my bed dying inside whilst listening to a guy called Jason talk monotonously about DJing. I met him at a festival last year, he was sexy as fuck, we were both trashed and so we bonded through the power of festival vibes and booze, but we never met again despite having promised each other that night that we were going to be BFFs for life. My phone had been insanely dry for weeks, absolutely no exciting prospects on my line, no dates lined up, no good morning texts, nada, so when Jason messaged me out of the blue looking decent in his Whatsapp picture I thought fuck it, why not, I need some male attention.

It was winter and getting dressed and leaving my house was not appealing, so I invited him to mine to watch a film. A lot of people have got a lot to say about having a first date at your house. Most of my male friends say that it’s their preferred option because you get to talk properly, you are both more chilled, and the chances of fucking are far greater. And it’s that latter reason which makes most of my female friends say that it’s a bad idea.

I didn’t want to sleep with Jason. I purposely left my bikini line ungroomed as a clever tactic to ensure that whatever happened there was no way he was getting down there. It didn’t work. We had a nice evening, watched a movie, drank rum and talked. We got on, the conversation was OK, but there was no major spark. He was just as gorgeous as I had remembered him being, but there was no fire, I didn’t yearn to know everything about him, but I got tipsy and he suddenly became infinitely more attractive, so when he started kissing me and running his hand down my leg and then eventually over my vagina I caved in. I’m sorry, but when your vag is doing that mad throbbing thing it’s really hard to stop. I didn’t have sex with him, but we got to know each other pretty intimately. I came 3 times so I’m not going to say I didn’t enjoy it, but once it all stopped and we started putting our clothes back on I got this feeling of regret and loneliness.

“Yeah so basically, when I’m on the radio I play like, one verse then one chorus of each track, unless it’s Bashment, in which case I play one verse then one chorus, then another verse, but when I’m in a club I’ll play just an intro and a verse, unless it’s house, in which case….” This conversation seemed to go on forever, even though my only contribution to it was saying ‘cool’ every few minutes. As I listened to his riveting tale all I could think about was how I was going to get him to leave.

I started to tidy up around him and he took the cue. After he left I lay there feeling pissed off with myself. It’s all fun and games before you cum, but once that’s done it’s like a cold reality washes over you and you just think ‘urghhh’. I doubt men feel like this often, unless they are cheating or they have sunk really low in the ‘acceptable shag level’ stakes, but for women I think it’s more common. I messed around with him because I was drunk, horny, and I liked the attention, but it didn’t make me feel good after, and it’s not the first time.

I was a chubby kid, from the age of about Seven I had a pot belly and double chins, and as if that wasn’t enough, I was also ginger (dark Auburn, but that was enough for the kids). That combination does not go down particularly well at school, especially with the boys. I was never graceful as a child, I got expelled from ballet class for constantly biting my nails. I was like a little baby elephant. I stomped through life eating as much as I could, I was greedy and I found comfort in food, it didn’t help that my mum was an incredible cook but the taste didn’t even matter, I just wanted to eat.

I was also pretty geeky, I loved to read, and my biggest passion was learning the flags and capital cities for every country in the entire world, I spent a lot of time getting people to test me on it, I did a complete 360 degree turn when I was 13 though and went wild. Most of my childhood was lovely, I remember a lot of it fondly, particularly times with my sister and Mum, but  there were difficult times, and damage was done, damage that contributed to my approach to love and sex as a teenager and adult. I guess you could call it Daddy issues…..

My Dad was born and raised in Kings Cross London, he was born just after the war in 1955, the eldest of 4 brothers in a very poor working class household. My Nan was 20 when she had him, a fiery, cockney redhead who had been evacuated with her brothers and sisters during the war. She married my Grandad at 19. My Grandad was from Glasgow. He’d had a strict protestant upbringing. His best friend had got a contract playing with Chelsea Football Club and so my Grandad traveled down to London with him and made a life for himself here. He was big into music, he had been a drummer in clubs and had worked with some top people, my Nan loved to dance and they met in a dancehall and wed quickly after.

My Grandad was charming, charismatic, and dominant. An alpha male of the highest order. He was tall, dark and foreboding. I loved him deeply but he was a fucked up man.  He put my Nan through hell. I knew that she had left him when my Dad was a young teenager but I never knew why until I went to University to study psychology. We did a module on domestic violence and the tutor brought in a video, she warned us that the film was upsetting and disturbing, real women’s accounts of surviving real violence. I braced myself for the pain I was about to watch, I was not prepared for the first woman I saw to be my Nan. I felt paralyzed as I listened to her talking about a time when my Grandad had kicked her pregnant stomach with such force that she blacked out. The violence she described was depraved and inhumane, against his sons as well as his wife. And it wasn’t just physical violence.

My Grandad was a gambling addict. He ran about with notorious villains and he got himself involved in dangerous situations as a result. My Nan had to hide all of her money or he would take it and gamble it. She had been saving for a whole year for a holiday to the seaside and just before she went to pay for it she found that he had taken all of the money. They lived in a council flat but my Grandad went off one night and bet their home in a card game. He then disappeared for weeks on end leaving my Nan and teenage Dad to fend off gangsters with shotguns who were coming to claim their winnings. My Grandad eventually left for good and never came back when my dad was 16. I never really found out how my Dad rekindled his relationship with him, but my Grandad was around for my whole life and he was a big influence on me.

My Nan became a born again Christian and devoted herself to the church and to her career as a call handler and Union rep, unintentionally neglecting her son’s in the process. Sons who, not only looked like their Father, but who also possessed many of his qualities, sons who loved and idolised their Father and who blamed their Mother and her fiery personality for driving him away. They needed their Mother’s love but she was unable to show it to them, nowadays she would probably been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but back then she was just an uncaring Mother who prioritised her career over her family.

They lived in virtual poverty and she had to work all hours to keep a roof over their heads, she had no man and no money, but the boys didn’t see it like that. She was a fighter, she fought hard for her community and for women’s rights through the union at work, she fought for victims of domestic violence and eventually she became a local councillor. Her passion and commitment to fighting for strangers made my Dad and his brothers feel even more neglected. And from there my Dad’s unconscious hatred of women was born.

My Dad was a good looking man, tall, athletic, a proper cockney geezer, absolutely bursting with personality, the fact that he was a firefighter only increased his ability to be an absolute fanny magnet and boy, did he take advantage. He fell in love with my Mum, his polar opposite, on a fire brigade picket line in 1979, by 1980 they were married and a year later I was born. My parents argued about everything, literally, everything, from the tooth fairy to politics, they seemed to despise each other. I don’t remember a time where I ever saw or felt any love between them.

My Mum had a best friend Becky (she did not have good hair) who was like an Auntie to my sister and I, she lived opposite us and her and my mum had a cake making business on the side, she was at ours or we were at hers most days. Until the day that we found out that she had been secretly fucking my Dad and they had fallen in love. It wasn’t the first time my Dad had been unfaithful. When my Mum was 4 months pregnant with my sister she had a knock on the door from a random woman who had come to let her know that she had slept with my Dad the night before and that he didn’t want the baby my Mum was carrying.

My mum hated him, and I don’t blame her for not painting a rosy picture for me and my sister, the reality was/is that my Dad is a misogynistic prick and we didn’t need to be told or shown, we were able to see it for ourselves. My Dad and Becky moved away together after the affair came out, we didn’t see him much after that, but when we did it was often unpleasant or upsetting. I remember Mum dropping me and my sister to his door and him saying ‘Oh great, I had planned to take you two out for something nice to eat but you look so awful that I can’t be seen out with you’. We stayed in for the whole weekend because our Dad was too ashamed to be seen out with us. I was 8 years old and I felt awful that my ugliness had cost us a weekend of fun.

My Dad didn’t tell us he loved us until I was 19 years old, we had to force it out of him in a shouting, weeping, row. It was a break through though and now he tells us all the time. Now he’s loving and caring and affectionate, but he’s still massively fucked up, and my sister and I still take the brunt. When I received a 1st  Class Honours in my degree I was so excited to phone my Dad and let him know, but the first thing he said was ‘Well if I’d have had my way you would have done a lot better and done this degree years ago’. He didn’t bother coming to my graduation. I never had a positive male role model growing up and I had never seen an example of what a healthy relationship looked like.

And so at aged 14, my journey into the world of the Fuckboy began. I’m older and wiser now, and it took a long time for me to even connect the correlation between my issues with my Dad and my attitude to love and sex, but once I did, now that I understand, and now that I genuinely do love myself (89% of the time) I make far better decisions (mostly). The journey through Fuckboy Land has been epic but I’ve come through it relatively unscathed, and without hating men (not all of them anyway).

……. And that’s what this blog is going to be about, the waste men, the experiences, the heartache, the fanny flutters, the learning, the coming through it, the bad dates that made good stories, the pain, the pleasure, and the road to true love…….I’ll delve deeper into some of the subjects touched on above and how my past has affected my present, but I’ll also try to keep you up to date with my current love life (non-fucking-existent right now) and what I have learnt from my past disasters. I’ve learnt so much about men and love through my repeated mistakes and putting it to paper has really helped me, I hope that it can help you too.