1. What is the most expensive thing you have purchased that was not worth the price?
I bought a pair of shoes last week. I still am not in the habit of doing regular land based things so I didn’t check the price before deciding to buy them. Not sure what was happening there but when the sales assistant rang up the price it was higher than I would have considered reasonable at the time. I didn’t have the brain space to argue so I just paid and walked out the shop. They are leather shoes and I will wear them a lot so I am just telling myself that is enough to justify the price.
2. Has money ever ruined a relationship for you?
Not really. Money is something that I use and I am relatively careful with but it isn’t something that drives life decisions for me. I haven’t had a relationship that was dictated by money issues ever so I guess I am lucky.
3. What is a cheap thing you own that just makes you SO happy?
The cardigan I am wearing as I type this. I got it from the sale rack. It was damaged but it is so soft and cuddly. I love wearing it.
4. What is the most toxic quality about you?
I have inherited some of my mother’s passive aggressive tendencies. I am relatively skilled at inducing guilt in the people who care about me. I am super conscious about not turning into her so I try really hard but it slips out sometimes.
5. Why do you not like to talk about money?
Because for many people seeing someone with something they don’t have but think they want causes them to be jealous and negative. I don’t want to be judged or thought of as a snob.
When we purchased our yacht the question a lot of my teacher friends asked was “How much did it cost?” I could hear the unspoken question of “How did you afford that?” as they asked. I never told anyone how much it was. My standard response was “Enough”. Most people were happy to leave it at that. I didn’t want to advertise to my colleagues that I work primarily for reasons other than to pay my bills.
Bonus: What is the craziest thing you have done for love?
Bought a boat that cost the same as a house, took unpaid leave from my job and spent six months sailing the Queensland coast. I got a lot out of it and it changed me for life but ultimately this voyage was about me compromising with Mr Jones.
There is a concept phase, a working phase and a climax with a period of basking in the delight of what you have just done. However I don’t think that creativity is like sex, it is more a part of good sex. Without creativity sex is possible but the result is very meh. Kind of like the way McDonalds burgers are food.
2. What important successes have you had in life that people just don’t know about?
Well most people in my Gemma life know very little about one of my big life achievements, raising two humans.
Most people in my Mrs Jones life don’t know about my blog / writing. I have published a novella (a long time ago) and I have written quite a body of work on these pages which a lot of people seem to enjoy. For me that is an achievement.
3. What do you like more being a leader or a follower?
In a previous job the company would send all of their front line managers to these leadership bonding / development camps. During one activity the facilitator had to pull out all of his tricks and stops to keep me in line and foil the success of the group. Apparently I automatically get people to where they need to be. Which would make me a leader.
I wouldn’t say I like being a leader all of the time. But I really hate being designated a follower when the designated leader is an idiot.
4. If you could send a message to an alien species, what would it be?
Send another virus. Covid-19 is not killing the stupid people fast enough.
5. Have you ever been happy that you lied?
No. I make a point of trying to keep lying to a minimum in my life. Although sometimes I slip up. I am never happy about it though.
Bonus: What can you do that no one else can?
Mr Jones says that I can fuck a string of guys like no one else he knows. Not sure if that is something I feel good about. For myself I am going to say that I am awesome at coming up with out of the box ideas to solve problems.
Water was an issue when I was a child. We lived on a farm and relied on rainwater and a bore for our water so long showers and deep baths were totally out of the question. That has imprinted on me. To this day I cannot do long showers or deep baths. I do treat myself to a long bath but probably only about once a month and I feel guilty about it almost every time. .
As an aside living on the yacht means VERY short showers. That means when we hit a marina a good long shower is one of the top priorities.
2. Are you a good cook? And if so, what’s your specialty?
I consider myself to be a good cook. Although I would qualify that by saying I am a good basic cook. I am excellent at putting together balanced meals from the vegetables in the fridge with minimal fuss. I don’t do elaborate meals with fancy garnishes, but the food that comes out of my kitchen will nourish you. The dish I cook that gets the whole family going is lasagna. True to form it comes complete with hidden vegetables but this removes the need for a side salad.
3. Is there anything you regret not doing?
Not really. My wedding is a big regret in my life because I let my mother control it far too much. I don’t know how I wanted it exactly which is probably why she was able to take control. But I look at weddings of friends and I am envious that they have their dream day while I feel like I had her day.
4. Who was the nicest person you worked for?
My current Mathematics Academic Leader is one of the most amazing generous patient people I have ever met. Even when he is correcting you it feels like a hug.
5. Do you play an instrument?
Presently I would say no. As a child I learned the piano and was reasonably proficient. These days I have so many other things in my life I don’t have the discipline to practice enough to restore the skill.
Bonus: Do you dream?
In vivid technicolor yes. About all sorts of things. Including sex dreams about men that are taboo.
When May tweeted this 4Thoughts prompt I was chuffed that she thought I would have something valuable to add. I don’t consider myself a kinkster per se but some friends have convinced me recently that the delineation between kink and swinging is old fashioned and not valid. If it isn’t vanilla it is kink. Bearing that in mind my kink is non-monogamy with some other sprinkles added when the mood takes me. Mr Jones and I have been non-monogamous for more than ten years. I would consider us successful so logically it would seem we are in a good position to give advice.
Not really. Well, maybe, if a specific person asked a specific question about their specific set of circumstances, then we might chat with them but general advice for people starting out? It is too broad. There are too many variables. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to write something profound and life changing but it all just came out sounding like I was a mother giving a lecture to her child. Besides there are any number of websites, podcasts, blogs, videos and other sources of information out there. Who am I to add more to that?
Something that HAS happened that I feel is a bit more unique is my experience as a parent. I want to preface the next five hundred words or so by saying that I am not a parenting expert. I am just telling my story.
Mr Jones and I have never shoved our lifestyle in our children’s faces but we have not hidden it either. For most of their teenage lives they have been aware at some level that some of our friends are more than just dinner and games night companions. As they got older that level of knowledge got deeper. Gemma Jones has been an identity in our household since we named a boat after her about eight years ago. No questions were asked that couldn’t be answered honestly and matter of factly. Assumptions were probably made but I did my best to make sure there were no completely wild ones.
#1 Son is reserved. He doesn’t do public nudity (unlike the rest of us), he doesn’t discuss his sex life and from what I have observed said sex life is fairly vanilla. Or rather, like most late teenage / early twenties males, any sex is better than none. The Unicorn however is completely different. She is much more open and as she grows up our relationship is morphing into more of a friendship. An example of these changes is a recent facetime conversation during which she modelled her new bra and harness set. I must say I am slightly envious that she has better play clothing than me.
You read that right, play clothing. A couple of weeks before we departed on our voyage, she revealed that she is embarking on an exploratory journey into kink. My brain exploded. With the assistance of the internet, she found a man to help her with this exploration. He is considerably older than her and five months later I have not met him. At the time I was worried. She identifies as a submissive. I KNOW from experience that many men professing to be dominants are complete twats. And that is putting it politely. My parent brain went completely off the rails thinking about how a man like that would deal with a young, naïve, and inexperienced girl taking her first steps into kink at the same time as she takes her first steps into sex in general.
Over the years I have not shied away from talking about sex with my children. I have answered their questions and I have done my best to make sure they are informed. I have explicitly lectured #1 Son about the complications of fathering children with women who are probably not going to be long term partners. I have berated him about taking responsibility for his fertility and being careful about where he sticks his penis. I have made sure The Unicorn is aware of similar issues. Her openness allowed me to see that she seeks information and takes advice on board. I am confident that both of them are sure of themselves as people and while they will undoubtedly have relationships with people who are not right for them, they will navigate sex in general quite safely.
But kink? This was not something I never thought I would have to consider. I was well into my thirties before I thought about anything non-vanilla. I was grown up enough to get my own information and parental supervision was a very long way behind me. I had a husband to be my safety monitor, I wasn’t navigating this world as a single person. There is nothing in the parenting manuals that could prepare me for this one.
In then end the only thing I could really advise about is safety. All I could do was share my own experiences and express my concerns. She is too old for me to ban her exploration or ground her to prevent her from going out. It is irrelevant if I think it is a good idea or not really. My feelings about its suitability will not change her path. She is going to do what she is going to do. If I make too much fuss, then she will simply hide that part of her life from me, and I will have no input.
I reached out to other kinksters that I knew and talked to them about what was happening. For the most part they were reassuring. Those that had met my child assured me that she was a sensible being and is unlikely to get into a situation that is too out of control. They recognised my worry and reassured me that I had done all I could. Mr Jones is being careful not to say the wrong thing. He isn’t entirely happy about this, but he knows that opposing the situation won’t prevent it. Rather it will just mean he will no longer be able to talk to her about it.
The process is ongoing. Since April I have been absent from home. The Unicorn has gotten used to being able to have people over in relative privacy. Our voyage is coming to an end. We will be moving back into our house in four weeks’ time. The next few months will mean adjustments for all of us. Mr Jones and I will have to wear pants more often, The Unicorn and #1 Son will have to consider who they bring home and what they do with those people because the parents might be around. I will meet some of the new friends. That will be interesting. I am guessing meeting and interacting with parents who are also part of their world is something a lot of them have had to deal with. There are going to be some adjustments.
So that is my story. Do I have advice for any parents in the same situation? Not really. I will not presume to tell anyone how to raise their child. But I do believe that sharing stories and experiences can be a great way to gain insight. So, I hope by sharing I have given someone somewhere something.
That was such a long time ago. My high school years were spent at boarding school. My parents were very conservative and my mother was extremely controlling. I pretty much didn’t have a social life that went outside of school. I did manage to meet up with some boys at McDonalds from time to time. I guess that counts doesn’t it?
2. Which gift would you like to receive most from your significant other: a. $10,000 Diamond b. $10,000 vacation c. $5000 in cash
I am currently on a vacation which in real terms probably cost in excess of $10 000 and our cash is completely merged so Mr Jones giving me a cash gift is kind of moot. A $10 000 diamond would be kind of nice but I feel that all of these gifts are a bit of a cop out. I would rather something that he put some thought into. Something very personal that he remembered me admiring but not really asking for. In all honesty that probably won’t happen but the fantasy is nice.
3. Fill in the blank: The day I get/got married _____ .
My wedding was dominated by a very controlling parent. Most of the guests at my wedding were their friends and people they felt obliged to invite. My mother made my dress, I was allowed some input but in all honesty it was all about her. The one thing I remember was deciding on the morning of the wedding that I was going to enjoy myself regardless of what other people wanted. And I did.
If I had it over again it would be different and I don’t even know if I would invite her.
4. What is the first thing your significant other notices about someone attractive walking down the street?
I don’t think Mr Jones has a feature that he specifically looks at. It is more about the overall package. He does have a preference for blondes though.
5. Which adjective category best describes you? a. Sophisticated b. Down home, down to earth c. Sensuous
I am going with b. I consider myself to be pretty low maintenance. Most people I know tell me I am very straight forward and tell it like it is.
Bonus: What is the worst thing you or someone could eat in bed?
A few years ago on a short visit to the Whitsunday Islands The Unicorn, Mr Jones and I did a bushwalk in the rainforest. The Unicorn took a lot of pictures of small rainforest creatures. I used one of those images on my phone. The ant in the picture is edible tasting a little like a green sour lolly which is something we learned when The Unicorn was small and so is a part of our history.
2. What does your favorite coffee mug or tea cup look like? Post a pic.
When I am at home I have a cup that was given to me by a student. Primary school teachers always get a lot of presents at Christmas but as a high school teacher gifts are a bit hit and miss. I am not one of the cool teachers and so I treasure the few gifts I get.
3. Tell us about a regional food favorite of yours that you think the world simply must try.
I would say Vegemite but I think that most people know about that and have very strong opinions. For the record Marmite (the UK version) and Promite (the New Zealand Version) are NOT the same and cannot be substituted.
The food that the world should embrace is a meat pie. Chunky steak to be precise. Every town in Australia has a bakery that boasts award winning pies. Not all of them are that great but you can tell a good one when you eat it.
4. How often do you journal?
Journalling is a new thing for me. I started about two weeks ago. I still haven’t gotten my head around sitting down every day and emptying my thoughts but I am working on it.
5. How often do you blog?
Sporadically. Usually around 2 – 3 times per week. Not having a fixed routine is a little disruptive but hey that is just an excuse.
Bonus: Does your blog act as your journal?
No. But sometimes yes. I actually have a separate blog for journaling. As I said in Question 4 it is a new thing and I am still developing the habit. Persistence is the key.
This post is part of TMI Tuesday. To see who else is sharing click the badge below.
1. What do you think are the best and worst parts of human nature?
So I had this moment of being funny and spent way too much time looking up Human Nature videos. This is the one I liked the most.
In all seriousness he worst part of human nature is to be violent. Deliberately hurting a person for your own selfish reason is the lowest act a human can commit.
The thing that impresses the hell out of me about humans is our ingenuity. I am constantly impressed about how humans built amazing structures like the pyramids with a tiny amount of technology. It sometimes saddens me that we are starting to lose that ability
2. What is something terrifying that you have come to accept as a fact of life?
I am currently teaching a class some stuff about communicable diseases. We have been researching illnesses that are currently on the schedule for childhood vaccination in Australia. Diseases like measles, whooping cough and polio. With the world coming out of lockdown because of a virus the thing that terrifies me is that there are people in the world who think that vaccines are not that important or worse, that their choice to deliberately avoid vaccinating their children is a choice that only affects them.
3. What piece of media (book, movie, TV show, etc.) changed the way you viewed the world? How?
As a child I was an avid watcher of a Nature Documentary presenter called Harry Butler. He was kind of like a combination of Steve Irwin and Sir David Attenborough. I am also a huge David Attenborough fan but Harry was the first person to open my eyes to the wonder of the natural world. Being Australian he taught me about the plants and animals that lived in my own back yard. To this day I would rather explore all of the remote parts of my own country than get on a plane and spend 24 hours travelling to the Northern Hemisphere to jostle with a million other people to look at some statue.
4. You must pick one:
– Facebook or Twitter?
If I had to choose it would be Twitter. As long as I get to avoid people who insist on posting their opinion on American politics.
– Cake or Pie?
Cake every time. Unless we are talking Banoffee pie because Yum!
– Swimming or Sunbathing?
Swimming, I have extremely white skin (thanks to my Irish ancestors) so sunbathing is not really something I do very often. Swimming in the ocean is fun though.
I really miss the yacht….
– Nice Car or Nice Home Interior?
I really suck at making decisions. When I first read this one I was totally all about a nice home. Now I am not sure. I think not so much a designer home interior but definitely I like having a tidy, functional home.
Bonus: If pressing a button meant you received 5 million dollars (usd) but it also killed 5 people somewhere in the world, would you press it?
No! I can’t even imagine that anyone would!
This post is part of TMI Tuesday. Now that you have read my answers you absolutely should read everyone else’s
Another week over. I didn’t get a chance to answer the TMI questions but sitting on the couch on Friday night is as good a time as any.
1. What word is a lot of fun to say?
Unoriginal I know but ‘Fuck’ it is such a versatile word.
I am not sure if it is an Australian thing but we use fuck for a lot of things.some examples are;
“Fuck off” = go away.
“Fuck me” = didn’t see that coming
“Well that is fucked” = that is really broken/ not great
“He is a complete fuckwit” = this guy has no idea
On a side note I have noticed I use this word way too much. To the point I decided I should give it up for Lent (weird Catholic tradition you can read about it here). Since Lent started I seem to have used this word even more.
2. What is your go to euphemism for sexual intercourse?
I am really not great with subtleties. So despite using the word Fuck too much for things not relating to sex if I am asking for sex it is going to be something like “let’s fuck!”
3. What current trend do you hope will go away very soon?
As a teacher I get to learn about a whole lot of stupid teenage fads. Tick Tok is something which seems to be persisting for a while longer than expected. It has spawned a bunch of ridiculous behaviours and can have a bit of a sinister, online bullying undertone. Also like most social media/ online things it takes up way too much brain space and does little to foster genuine creativity.
I will be happy when I don’t need to police kids trying to use their phones to make Tick Toks when they are supposed to be studying.
4. If you could hack into any one computer, which computer would you choose?
I think the one the pathology laboratory keeps its results on. You never know what kind of juicy gossip you could find out from that!!!
5. Would you rather never be stuck in traffic again or never get another cold? Why?
Lounge poll of Mr Jones, boy child and myself revealed the following;
Mr Jones: Never get a cold because colds can kill you. He is a little bit influenced by reading too many Internet articles about Covid-19
Boy Child: Never get stuck in traffic because colds are not that annoying.
Gemma: Never get stuck in traffic because that is the pits. I have chosen jobs and house locations to avoid traffic so clearly it is a problem for me.
This post is part of TMI Tuesday. For other TMI revelations head on over to the TMI page.
1. What time of the day do you feel the most energetic and what do you usually do in those moments?
I am a morning person through and through. It comes from growing up on a farm. As a teenager and young adult I found it impossible to sleep past around 6am. These days I find it easier and am more like most people who struggle to get out of bed before the sun is well and truly up. However I am absolutely one of those people who is fully functioning as soon as my feet hit the deck. At this time of the day I do all sorts, some form of exercise, writing, and even on occasions like today some baking.
2. What’s the coolest thing about your life?
There are many cool things about my life. One of them is that I work because I choose to. Teaching is hard and stressful and sometimes it feels as if you are banging your head against a wall. Actually most times it feels that way. But there are moments when you see kids being excellent and it suddenly becomes worth it.
I have a line manager who I have had a difficult history with. She has publicly and aggressively attacked my professionalism and knowledge more than once. The most liberating thing about my life? The moment I realised that I could leave any time I chose to. That there was no pressing financial or other reason for me to stay in a job if I felt it was crushing my soul. Once I had that realisation suddenly all of my manager’s issues became insignificant and my job became so much better.
3. When are you most yourself?
Hard question. I feel most free and honest when I am playing with my lover. In that space there is no emotional baggage, no need to forgive any hurts or deal with mundane every day things. It is also the space when I feel the most attractive and desirable.
When I was pole dancing there were a lot of times when I also felt this way. It is one of the reasons why I grieved so much when that environment was lost and why I have been so indecisive about finding another studio. What if they don’t like me there? What if I don’t fit in?
4. Would you rather be an ugly genius or a hot moron?
It is hard to choose between these absolutes! Beauty is fleeting and also in the eye of the beholder. Genius is something that is so rare and extraordinary that it is noticed as much as beauty. At least that is what I would like to think. In all honesty The thing I would most like to be is ordinary. Ordinary people fade into the background and are always over looked.
5. Would you abandon your phone, internet, family, and friends for three months for a prize of 1 million dollars?
I have said many times recently that I would like to become a hermit. I had a conversation with someone who is much smarter than me about this and he told me some things about the reality of it. That was confronting. I am not as convinced now that it would be the Utopia that I imagine it to be.
Bonus: If you could wave a magic wand right now and have your life be perfect, what would that new life look like?
The possibilities are endless really. A perfect life would involve a larger house with a studio space for my sewing. Also maybe a fully equipped play space that is occupied regularly by some attentive skilled lovers would also be nice. Actually that would be a key part of the perfect life.
This post has been part of TMI Tuesday. For more TMI goodness click on over and check it out.