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November 22, 2009

It’s not just a case of adjusting to new living surroundings, it’s adjusting to a new model. Living with flatmates can bring a host of disadvantages but one thing that is (or should be) constant is the idea of privacy. Living with family can blur those lines a little bit.

For a little background, I had absolutely no privacy as a young person and this has had a knock-on effect in how I dealt with the issue as an adult. It didn’t matter the time of day, what I was doing or how much clothing I had on, I learned to deal with it by darting around the room quickly or hiding behind whatever furniture I could. When footsteps came towards the door, I knew that I wasn’t even going to get a warning knock.

The future direction I took in response to this could have fallen into two paths: either becoming hugely neurotic or decidedly brazen (as a friendly ‘hey, if you’re going to be like that, then you don’t have the right to be embarrassed when you see what I’m doing’). I guess I took a little from both. I wouldn’t necessarily mind ~ coming into the bathroom if it was a matter of a knock and the door and asking, but unlocking the door from the outside really got the blood pressure going. The brazen side of things was more verbal than a string of amusing anecdotes. I did find a ‘to do’ list in an old journal, ‘Appear in naked in public at least twice’. I was unable to tick off that box. I had wanted to model for a life drawing class but chickened out at the last minute. The other time was an ‘almost’ situation in a nightclub where I undid the top clasps on my corset to breathe and experienced some spillage.

Upon reaching adulthood, my mother mellowed out so I can happily pour out any creative thoughts sat at the laptop in candlelight, doused in massage oil. My grandmother is yet to catch on, but her good intentions are there. 

Friday evening came as a shock. I returned from supper with friends to find my dresser drawers wide open. My underwear which had been sat in bin liners had been kindly unpacked. The bottle of massage oil was sitting on top of the dresser. And neatly stashed in a small open box instead of their usual location of the top drawer… a small vibrator and dildo. Oh God. In hindsight, the scene actually looked quite cute, ‘Hey! Remember us? We don’t like being hidden under your pants, keep us out!’ but I wondered if my grandmother actually knew what she had stumbled across and this was her way of voicing her disapproval. 

I’m going to take a gamble and guess it was ignorance.  That’s the bonus of having sex toys which don’t look like sex toys.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. elle permalink
    November 22, 2009 11:47 pm

    Hey stranger,

    I was thinking about privacy yesterday, from the point of view of a potential parent. I concluded that it probably isn’t that hard to train even fairly young kids to knock before they go into someone else’s bedroom – but it ought to be reciprocal.

    “You knock before you come into our room, and we’ll knock before we come into yours.” That way they get some autonomy, and once their room feels like their space it’d be pretty easy for them to see the value of a warning before that space was invaded.


    • November 27, 2009 9:23 pm


      I often worry I’ll do a 180 when I sprog: “I want you to have the privacy I never had as a child, here are the keys to your own house!”

      x x

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