The Cane and the Pear Tree

Sex Education and Coffee with Cruella

Coffee with Cruella Newsletter 2017-05-26

It occurs to me that I am currently thinking hard about sex education whilst babysitting a chicken in the oven. Real life is never straightforward.

Hello there, darling.

I have just made myself a hot double-shot espresso, which is my favourite way to drink coffee when I am in a coffee-purist mood (perhaps you should be making a note of this, darling?) Today you and I are actually having our coffee date in my kitchen – somewhat forward for a second date, I know, but it can’t be helped. Circumstances this morning dictate that I work from home. So here I am, sitting at the breakfast bar, typing away at my laptop.

Shibari Chicken

Shibari Chicken is a well-loved recipe here at Cruella Towers. I always roast a whole chicken, because we enjoy the leftovers; and if I am being perfectly honest because I love tying the chicken legs together in wrap and cinch double column cuffs with kitchen twine. Surely, it’s not just me?

I have cooked this dish so many times, I can tell without looking, from the developing aroma weaving its way towards me, that the garlic, paprika and cumin I rubbed on the skin earlier are warming up and releasing their perfume. This perfume will soon trickle into the juices of the cherry tomatoes, that are currently bursting and popping, one after the other, in the rising heat.

The chicken skin isn’t crisp at this point, but it will be. For the moment, it’s letting out feeble hissing and sputtering sounds as moisture escapes in successive puffs, fizzling quiet protestations even as it attains perfection. And beneath all this high drama, the chickpeas on which the chicken rests, are patiently waiting to be transformed drop by drop, as they soak up all these ambrosial juices thirstily and insatiably.

I think, greed aside, the reason I love cooking so much is because it is a process that brings out the best in everyone involved. Just like kink.

However, I am not working from home just because I had an urge to hang out with a Sunday roast on a Friday morning. This does happen occasionally, as I don’t generally deny myself the pleasure of satisfying a strong craving. Unfortunately, though, the reasons I have rescheduled three meetings and cancelled a lunch date today are less than pleasurable:

I am stuck at home waiting for the world’s most inept plumber.

Sex Education versus Plumbing

My dislike of plumbing started early in life, during my formative years, in my sex education class at school. I instinctively objected to our instructor’s frequent analogy of our sexual organs to “plumbing.” Really? Plumbing? On top of that, this educator mainly indulged in systematic scaremongering as a substitute for informative discussion.

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I objected to my sex ed tutor’s analogy of my sexual organs to plumbing

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By the end of the year it was clear to me that using condoms was instrumental in avoiding:

  • genital herpes
  • chlamydia
  • gonorrhoea
  • and HIV

Lumped with the above was also pregnancy (and yet we wonder at the rising epidemic of sexism and misogyny in our world). This information was certainly useful to know and the importance of safe sexual practices cannot be either overstated or overestimated. But was it delivered in a balanced way?

After all, if impending doom and disaster lie in wait of anyone who has sex, why bother with all that huffing and puffing at all? What about the pleasure? The exploration and discovery? The intimacy? The deep understanding of one’s self and one’s sexual partner? The bonding? The bondage? Nobody during my sex education class ever deemed any of the above aspects of sex important enough to merit mention let alone, discussion. As far as I knew back then, the only one who seemed to have fun with plumbing was Super Mario.

Luckily, I had the foresight to take matters into my own hands. As it were. I started conducting my own research on the side, trusting my instincts and following a self-imposed, rigorous program of self-experimentation. It has served me well. But I often come across people (lift your mind out of the mire, darling, I mean in the sense of encounter) who have never learned to be comfortable with their bodies or successfully dissociated sex and guilt.

‘Plumbing-free’ Sex Education

And yet there is hope. Just last week I discovered a sex education project called Love Matters that is getting it right. Originally developed in the Netherlands by RNW Media, the project now boasts websites all over the world, including Kenya, Uganda, China, Egypt, Mexico, Venezuela and India.

The creators and contributors of Love Matters, understand one simple fact: that people cannot aspire to good sexual relationships if nobody shows them what a healthy sexual relationship looks like. Love Matters sites do educate people about safe sex practices, offering traditional sexual health and family planning information; but this is done within the context of love, respect, guilt-free pleasure and relationship satisfaction; as opposed to fear, intimidation and traumatising horror stories. And across all 7 websites there is never a reference to anyone’s fallopian tubes as ‘plumbing’.

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Sex education is more than hearing about Hide the Sausage

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And back to the plumber…

The actual plumber of course is late. In fact he was late fifteen minutes ago.

Our plumber is the type of craftsman who loves to make big promises and even bigger proclamations when he assesses the problem; even when, as in this case, he is the reason the problem exists in the first place. Maybe I have no appreciation of how complex it can be to keep water flowing in rather than alongside pipes, but at this point, with impending Plumber Visit #4 for the same leaking valve, I am officially out of patience.

Please note that people don’t call me ‘Cruella’ because of my clement and temperate nature: “out of patience” is code for “run while you can” around here.

Would this plumber benefit from some Cruella-sponsored sex education?

The thought of caning the plumber has occurred to me of course. But I cannot actually cane (or even just fire) this man because he shares some vague and convoluted kinship with the woman who cleans my mother’s house and because, from what I gather, his son attends the same primary school as my nephew, and my nephew thinks the world of him because he is the best in class at feeding donuts to the Cut the Rope monster.

And if these reasons make no sense to you, you haven’t lived on a small Mediterranean island as long as I have. It’s a bit like Cheers with sunscreen. Where everybody doesn’t just know your name but where, given half a chance, everybody can trace your name and ancestry back as many generations as necessary to prove to you that he or she is in fact your cousin.

For this plumber’s safety, if nothing else, I had to insert some anticipation of pleasure into my day. Hence the chicken. For the same reason, it’s a good thing you and I are having our little coffee break right now, darling. You are doing wonders for my mood. Feel free to pat yourself on the back for being instrumental in the continued well-being of a plumber with a van, and no plan. He shall for evermore remain innocent of all knowledge that a woman a foot shorter and 30 kilos lighter than him can make it impossible for him to sit comfortably for a week. Let’s all pretend that that’s for the best.

Oh! Thinking about caning the plumber has just reminded me of the most incredible news!

The Pear Tree is Catching up on its Sex Education

Sex Education for a pear tree
Sex Education for a pear tree

Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? You should!

Remember the story I told you? About the barren pear tree? It is shaming me on the internet. The tree has fruit!.

I hadn’t noticed there was anything there at all until the day before yesterday. This Spring the pear tree did what it always does, which is to make a reluctant, slipshod attempt at flowering and then promptly shrug and drop the blossoms before there is time for fruit to materialise.

Apparently, this year our pear tree didn’t shrug hard enough. Three blossoms must have escaped. And so I have just discovered three tiny pears, all huddled together, shyly swelling and blushing under the gentle ministrations of the May sunshine.

It just goes to show that there is nothing like public humiliation to reboot a languid relationship dynamic.

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My cane manufacturer is catching up on her sex education

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Sex Education for Sherlock Holmes

My little princess was with us for Easter and though I miss her terribly now that she is gone, I am rather enjoying the fact that she has left a little treasure trail of clues that she has just been to see us. Her perfume still hangs in the cardigan I lent her one evening when it got unexpectedly chilly; long black hairs mingle with mine on my hairbrush; ticket stubs from the show I took her to are still on the bedside table in the guest bedroom. My favourite echo of all the fun we had though were the different shades of lipstick smeared on my pillow case.

Due to an adolescence filled with far too many books and classic films, when faced with ‘forensic evidence’ of any sort, I can’t help but hear Sherlock Holmes in my head pronounce ponderously:

“Elementary, dear Watson. Three women have been kissing in this bed.”

Well, not quite so elementary, Mr Holmes.

While my adorable princess was here, I enforced an extra-pink week on my slave. It made for some very enjoyable evenings of girly fun and frolics, without unnecessary penis interruptions spoiling everyone’s fun and relaxation, (Thank you, Jail Bird!)

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It was extra-pink week; fun without unnecessary penis interruptions

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It’s worth noting that I am the Imelda Marcos of lipstick, with easily as many lipsticks as she had shoes – all of them red. Most of my lipsticks are gifts from my secondary, who loves to surprise me with her finds. So, with my insider knowledge, I can look at the smeared pillow and deduce (or even induce): Red for the Mistress; Hot pink for the feminised slut; and sugar pink for the little princess.

To be fair to Holmes, sharing Mrs Hudson’s rooms on Baker street with another man he was probably not lovers with, would perhaps not have prepared him for the many differently shaped relationships out there. And this is another area in which currently available sex education is sadly lacking: good sex education should enhance students’ awareness of alternative lifestyles too, rather than restrict learning to Hide the Sausage 101.

Sex stains!

Much as I enjoy the cheeky reminder of fun times on my pillow case, the lipstick had to come off because it would soon stop looking like lipstick kiss marks and start resembling Fifty Smudged Shades of Salmon. For obvious reasons, this was not a housekeeping tip I could not acquire from either my dear Mother, or, heaven forbid, Nana.

So, I called a friend via Google Search. The most common advice, hairspray, does not work half as well as the Internet claims. But rubbing alcohol and a long soak in washing up liquid – did the trick. Stands to reason. Lipstick is oil based. The rubbing alcohol dries it and stops it leaking. And one thing Fairy liquid is known to do is dissolve grease.

Now my bedsheets are looking virginally white and ready to be sullied by sinful antics once more.

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My bedsheets are looking ready to be sullied by sinful antics

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Responses to last week’s QotW

Before I wrap this up I have to acknowledge my favourite responses to last week’s Question of the Week.

I am still laughing at the suggestion by A Masterful Mind of a prog rock piece with yodelling. I’m not often at a loss for words, but this is definitely a time for speechless.

A close second for me was DerangedPiglet, my darling, you are the most fascinating person I have never met! The Teddy Bear’s Picnic? Would part of the sadistic experience be trying to keep a straight face?

I am seriously tempted to test flogging to both of these musical masterpieces and then put a video up on YouTube. Watch this space!

Question of the Week

By the way, I’m curious. Can you tell me briefly:

  • When you were growing up, did you have access to sex education?

Tell us the stories that you remember making you laugh or squirm. We won’t judge. Use the comments section below!

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QotW: When growing up, did you have access to sex education?

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Until next time…

I have got to run now darling. Unsurprisingly, the plumber is a no-show – maybe his instincts of self-preservation have kicked in. No matter! Thanks to you, my morning has been loads of fun. And now it’s time for some yummy chicken lunch.

Stay well, till next time,

Cruella deWinter

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