Ok I won’t lie, I’m really really scared to put this out there to you all. This poem is two years old and it’s the first poem I ever wrote. Actually, kind of the only poem I’ve ever written, aside from my last piece for this blog. It took me months to write because I kept stopping and starting and probably the reason why I’ve not been able to write anything since because this poem was so fucking real.

At the time, I was very depressed and had never been in a relationship. Sexual encounters, to whatever degree, were for me always extremely intimate and personal. Even if I had only met the person that night, I found myself becoming emotionally attached. So when there inevitably was no reply to my text or someone casually declined going out for a drink the following week, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. What did I do? Why does this keep happening? More importantly – why the fuck do I care so much about someone I barely know? That question really, really angered me. I felt an immense sense of hatred towards myself and was ashamed of my body.
This cycle repeated itself for what felt like forever. It started when I began experimenting sexually as a teenager and only got worse when I actually started having sex. I desperately wanted to be the person that could do one-night stands and depersonalise the situation but I was a hopeless romantic. I had been brought up to believe that sex could be something casual and fun but I just couldn’t get there in my mind and because of that, I felt fucking abnormal. How can someone share my body with another person in that way and then never speak to them again? It wasn’t until after my first breakup that I was able to have sex with someone and not feel emotional about it the morning after. To not dwell on what had happened and beat myself about it if it didn’t lead to anything. But God, it took me so long to get there.

Today, I have an amazing boyfriend. He’s the love of my life, my soulmate, my best friend.
And I wish I could tell my 19 year old self that. I wish I could tell her that she is worth it and the morning after isn’t always going to be painful and humiliating. You won’t always have a voice in the back of your head reducing your encounters to failures. In fact, some day you’ll have fantastic sex with a stranger and be able to smile about it the week after. You’ll be able to feel comfortable in your body and sharing that with someone. Most importantly, there will come a day when you wake up the morning after and you won’t be alone. Someone is there, holding you close.


The morning after you held me in the palm of your hand,
You used both to push me away.
Your fingers traced my body like a map, knew every road,
In your arms I burned, I didn’t know what for,
But I didn’t need a reason, in that moment I was yours
And that’s something right? That wasn’t in my head
Because I wake up next to you feeling alive
But you’re already dead.
You don’t want more. You’ve had your share.
I mean we only met last night so why do I care?
With someone else it’ll happen again.
You’ll kiss again,
Give yourself again,
Let his hands explore your frame again,
I feel pain again but maybe I won’t next time.
I’m like a counterfeit King Midas,
Everything I touch doesn’t turn to gold but to shit
And I’m scratching at these embers, there are blisters on my hands
And I’m not angry with you, please understand
Cause you don’t owe me anything, I should owe it to myself
To be happy on my own terms and not to rely on someone else
But it’s getting harder to live in this body every single day
And there’s only so much pain which a blade can take away
And I’d rather feel something briefly than just remain numb
Scared to see this person I’ve become,
Alone in the darkness of my room,
Where the silence is deafening.
I stare at stars and my eyes burn.
I want love but I don’t fall in, I just fall and won’t learn.
Next boy is tobacco, knuckles and smirk,
He says he can’t do this because there’s someone else.
But at least he’ll hold your hand.
He says he can’t do this but I don’t dare let go.
He says he can’t do this but I don’t want to know.
The morning after, in the filtering light of day,
Hair matted with sweat, you say you can’t stay.
And I don’t ask why because I can already see.
Join those who’ve washed their hands of the stain that is me.


MORNING AFTER. Selin Ates. Unashamed.

Once I was young and I washed out my mouth
and I brushed my teeth twice and I cried and I cried
and I had a hot shower.

Once it had snowed and my feelings were high
and I looked at you sleep while I struggled to breathe
I was giddy and drunk on first love.
You had sighed and the pleasure was mine.

Once I felt tainted, my body you’d painted
and left me to dry as I searched for my clothes that you’d torn to the floor
and left through the door of that bathroom of yours.

Once I felt free like a manic sex dream, the control was all mine,
in your eyes I saw signs of what pleasure I gave,
then I left- unashamed.



Thank you so much for taking time to look at this new forum. So pleased with the feedback and relieved as even though I was all about ”opening up” it made me get butterflies and uncomfortable sense that I had taken all my clothes off in the middle of Trafalgar square. But thankfully I have had a talented army behind me who have also taken their clothes off and I think those clothed in Trafalgar square are regretting putting their pantaloons over their bare skin now !

I feel good. It was good for me !

So thank you to everyone who has shared as you are helping more to strip down. You are beautifully talented people.

The next topic is MORNING AFTER so lets continue to talk.


FIRST TIMES. Imogen Philips. The paradise Garden.

By the 15th April 2012, I was knickers, skirt and both legs over my head in love. It felt like that then, and now the wisened old prune me would perhaps re-label it ‘infatuation’ but it certainly was not.
The boy who took my virginity in the early hours of that beautiful spring day was, in my eyes, an absolute first prize. I felt as though I had won him, from a girlfriend he had when I first got to know him, and I treated him as I would a Fabergé egg, if it fell into my hands. I snuck, from my room, to my absent brother’s (sorry) where he was supposedly sleeping, in a carefully chosen t-shirt and knickers, and got into bed with him. The adrenaline running through my body was like hot treacle, and with almost every fibre of my being, or non-existent hair on my legs, I needed him, I needed to jump through what I saw as the final hoop to skip the queue and glide into the gardens of paradise.
And in a heart-wrenchingly vulnerable moment, my 1st prize did something wonderful, he told me, with his long lashes and curly hair looking down, that he loved me. ‘I love you Im’. Stars exploded, entire lorry-loads of heart-shaped confetti and glitter shot out of the sky all around me and I felt I had found a home, underneath this tall boy, who loved me. What I actually said in response was ‘I think I love you too’ – pretty cool and nonchalant of me no? But I didn’t have much time to be nonchalant because suddenly he was trying to get inside me and OH MOTHER TERESA THE PAIN. Ouch, ouch, ouchie Mcouchie the goddamn pain. We had to stop, but then couldn’t stop ourselves from starting again, and slowly but surely my virginity was tossed out the window like the condom we just used (s/o to Durex).
I put on a Bob Dylan album to try and bring back the memory of my first time as clearly as possible. I used my love of his music (actual knowledge of it very limited) at the time, to start conversations with the boy who I went on to fall in love with and lose my virginity to. But really, listening to You’re a Big Girl doesn’t make me see more clearly the duvet-tugs and sweat breaking on the back of his neck, it makes me think how far I have come to be the 20-year-old tofu guzzler I am now. For this boy, I grew out my fringe and shaved all the hair off my body in a weekly ritual before I saw him. Now, anyone just has to ask me to lift up my arm to know that normally there is a smattering of harmless hair there.
My first time taught me that I was a sexual being, and that I had a body that could give me and others’ pleasure. But it also taught me submission, and to stay quiet about a pain or a problem, so that the boy in the bed could get his pretty little moment at the end of the tumbling around. It is all the other times in between, the truly shit ones, the unwelcome ones and the delicious back-scratching ones too, that have taught me to be a woman, and to use that power however suits me. I don’t practice what I preach most of the time, and am guilty of letting boys come inside me even when I know that means a bleary-eyed trip to the student pharmacy later on, but listen, I’m a work in progress just like the Appleton Tower at Edinburgh, and who knows how long it’ll take to get that done.
The memory, now that I have taken it out to examine again, feels so tender that I almost can’t bring myself to comment on whether the sex was shit. Probably, but then again definitely not. My body was opened up like a flower to this 15-year-old boy, and he treated it with kindness and care. He went on to throw it around a bit, and toss that precious ball of love he had made for us away like a shit Pasante condom with no lube. But I will always attribute my sexual awakening to him, and to the fact that he looked not dissimilar to Michael Fassbender. He’s at Oxford now, and we aren’t in contact, but that doesn’t matter, because each of my petals he helped me to unfurl, are still unfurled, and I’m whole continents away from feeling as though any boy who I end up underneath, is more precious than I.