Tag Archives: sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

Yes, This is me. Face framed by plastic cocks, falling out of a Wendy House at dawn, with a spanking paddle in my hand. I shouldn’t have to explain that this was after a particularly messy hen party, but I will – just in case anyone thinks this photo illustrates an average Saturday night for me…it genuinely does not. Now I shall stop explaining before I protest too much.

It’s an embarrassing photo granted, and one that at the time I insisted be deleted immediately, never to see the breaking light of day, but it wasn’t deleted and I am re-publishing it here because I can. Because in the world I live in I am free to laugh about sex, to talk about sex, to have sex. I am also free not to have sex, to make my own choices, to expect those choices to be respected. I know this world I live in is not perfect, but I am still free to expect equality and fairness and justice, to have my voice heard. There is work left to do, but the UK is one of the best places for women to live right now, and being in this place of privilege I am finally realising it is important for me to speak up, after all we have only progressed this far through communication and education, education, education.

About a year ago I was invited to write for a brand new online erotic journal. It was an idea spawned from the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, but the concept behind it was the antithesis of that. We wanted to write real stories about real sex by real women. We all agreed that FSOG, while undeniably popular, was not true enough, was lacking in sensuality, did not reflect our real desires and was too narrow in its exploration of BDSM.

So we started writing. To date we have written seven erotic stories each (some from real experiences, some fantasy) and I have written one op-ed piece exploring the difference between pornography and erotica. This publication is still awaiting approval from the powers that be at Apple but the publishers have rushed through another publication, called Quite Frankly, which will be a high-quality luxury print magazine of erotic images chosen by women for women. It will showcase known and unknown artists, photographers and models and contains interviews with the contributors and also with women who are working in the erotic world. It’s going to be beautiful and brilliant.

Writing about sex and being so honest about it has really opened my eyes to how important it is to normalise our sexual experience, our bodies, our sexuality itself. I fear it is the on-going cloak and dagger approach to sex which is in part responsible for the explosion of hardcore pornography and the sickeningly easy availability of it online. I am so scared for a generation whose first exposure to sex will be this graphic and unrealistic interpretation. No matter how hard the censors try, it is not going to go away so I intend to fight fire with fire and am looking forward to being involved with Quite Frankly – sub-editing and sometimes writing for them too.

The publication is aimed at adults but it’s the kind of thing which might be found by teenage children, in the same way that I found ‘The Joy Of Sex’ (how innocent my first exposure to sex was!) and I would much rather they found Quite Frankly, in addition to any of the stuff they might see on the internet, and that it provoked frank and honest discussions with their parents. I am looking forward to being at least a small part of this movement to find the beauty and the FUN in our sexuality instead of focusing on the fear, control and inequality which gives sex such a bad name.

Issue One launches 1st September, register your interest here: http://www.quitefranklymagazine.com/



There is a character in my screenplay who, halfway through having sex with someone, suddenly realises she has been in this position before…and with the same man…

When this scene was read out during my screenwriting course, apart from a few sharp intakes of breath, a couple of people questioned whether this was a believable scenario or even whether it was possible? One of the biggest tips I learnt on that course is that when writing a screenplay you must ensure that what you are writing is believable, even if it is not ‘realistic’ – it doesn’t matter as long as you can make the audience believe. Well, I am not (too) ashamed to admit that this scene was loosely based on my own experience, and therefore I can safely say it is both realistic, and therefore,to my mind, believable.

Many MANY years ago, in my wild and crazy youth, I had sex with a very attractive friend of a friend. It happened at the end of a night filled of drinking and flirting and we rolled into bed and had, if memory serves (which it clearly doesn’t – more of that later) a very enjoyable time. That would have been the end of the story. However, a few years later I was about to watch the football with the same friend when he told me that some of his friends were coming to join us. I was pleased about this as it meant I wouldn’t have to pretend to roar and howl over England’s shitness quite as aggressively as I had anticipated.  In fact, only 2 of his friends turned up, one of them had a beard, and he was very attractive. I smiled when the mutual friend introduced **** and shook his hand. After the football (which we lost) we stayed in the pub until closing and I engaged in some not very subtle flirting with said bearded gentleman. I was having a lovely time until he went to the loo and my friend leaned over and whispered, “Going back for seconds eh?” The confusion on my face must have given away the fact that I had no idea what he was talking about. He continued “Didn’t you shag **** a couple of years back?”

Holy mother-fuck. Here I was, in a busy pub, innocently flirting with a man whose cock I had already seen. When he came back from the loo I had made my decision. I’d have to shag him again and make sure I remembered it this time so I was never put in this embarrassing situation again. So I did.

And that would have been the end of the story. However, a few years later, the mutual friend got married. I was doing a reading and **** was an usher….only I didn’t recognise him until after he had handed me the programme and very pointedly looked me in the eyes and said, “Hello Janey!” I saved face in the nick of time and gave him a hug as he ushered me pointedly into the registry office.  On that occasion I didn’t try to assuage my embarrassment from not recognising him by trying to sleep with him. Oh no, instead I created much larger and longer lasting embarrassment by coping off with the bride’s quite (very) young brother. Welcome to my world.

Fast forward to a few months ago. A friend (a different one) very kindly got me tickets to see The Stone Roses, I band I have loved since forever. When they started playing I got chills and was transported back to the mid-nineties when I was brave and knew everything there was to know in the world, ever. It was magical. I blame this nostalgia trip for what happened next. Walking through the crowd to get a better vantage point my friend stopped, “Hey, *******, what are you doing here?” She’d randomly bumped into a friend of hers in the crowd who was at the gig with her boyfriend – I smiled and waved at both of them, then turned back to the stage. We stood together for the whole gig, doing a bit of dancing, drinking and generally hanging out when towards the end my friend said to me, “You do know who *******’s boyfriend is, don’t you?” I looked closer, really close, and lo and behold…It was ****. THREE times I had failed to recognise a man I had sex with, THREE times a man I had been intimate with was essentially a stranger to me. I had to rectify this somehow. I danced over to him. “Hey, ****! So good to see you!” He smiled, “It’s been ages, how are you doing Janey?” (I’m pretty sure he hadn’t had the same memory lapse, but who can tell?). “I’m good!” I replied. “ I don’t think I’ve seen you since the wedding!” He looked at me, confused. I faltered. At this point I should probably mention that at the wedding we had actually exchanged numbers and several weeks AFTER the wedding we had met up, drunk whiskey and had sex. Only, at that moment in Finsbury Park, I had forgotten that detail. Again. Thankfully before the ground could actually swallow me up, his girlfriend decided that it was time for them to leave, to beat the traffic. And so, once again, I waved goodbye and said ‘see you later!’

I know I should have felt ashamed, and maybe it was just the power of the music, but at that moment I was buoyed – either by my sexual prowess, by the hilarity of the situation or by the sheer absurdity of my life. My friend and I staggered back to the tube, giggling about what a moron I was, but secretly I was enjoying the tale I would now get to tell and planning my next blog. When we got to the tube, the queue was a mile long and the chances of getting on within the next hour (i.e. before it shut) were remote to say the least. Then I remembered that a man I had briefly dated (shagged) earlier in the year lived nearby. It hadn’t gone anywhere but I had liked him and enjoyed his company and at that moment, being positively BUOYED by my sexual prowess and my ability to ‘have sex like a man’, I thought ‘Why not? So I texted him. “Poor me, I can’t get home, can I pop round for a cup of tea?” An hour later I received a reply: “Hello, sorry I’ve deleted some numbers – is this Derek?”

Modern definition of Hubris: Excessive pride – “pride goeth (goes) before a fall” (from the biblical Book of Proverbs 16:18)

AKA Janey Ballantyne. So there you have it. One door closes, another one slams…or whatever it is they say. I know they do say write what you know, and that is pretty much all I have done so far in my writing career, but the only thing I know for sure is that what I know, and what I think I know and what I remember and the way I remember things keeps evolving and may well be different from how it really is.

Despite all the jokes, this is not something which has happened more than once in my life, and I am genuinely sad that my attitude towards sex is such, that it has happened, even once. I have never really taken sex seriously, partly because it is actually funny, but mostly because I find it so difficult to be myself with someone, to be earnest, to be honest. Maybe after finding myself in this ‘unbelievable’ situation three, if not four times, I should start taking it seriously and at least try to find my own reality.

Let’s Write About Sex

In the blog I wrote on 25th March last year I lamented the fact that it might be my last Spring in London. Well, here I am a year and a month on (thanks Endless Winter) and sadly no closer to moving to New York. BUT things have happened, moved on, progressed and it has been a fulfilling year, which is all one can really hope for. I will see New York in the Spring again, I have no doubt.

Unlike last year, instead of making me as horny as a teenage rabbit, this Spring has re-awakened my long-dormant Romantic side. Music, flowers, sentimentality, the works… which is just a little bit ironic as I have spent the last couple of months writing sex. Proper, erotic, sexy sex for a new journal dedicated to erotica. The project is still in its infancy, but it is exciting and original and we are hoping to publish the first issue soon so I will keep you posted when I know more. Maybe then, I am thinking about romance because I am all sexed out? And it’s not just the writing, so far this year I have managed to really hurt someone I care about, royally screwed things up with someone I like and break my cardinal rule by taking someone from work home, for ‘cuddles’. And I think sex, or perhaps my attitude to it, was at least partly to blame for each of these disasters. So, I am taking a vow of celibacy. I am changing the habit of a lifetime. I am finally saying ‘no’ to instant gratification. No sex, just love. And here’s why.

In my opinion, Spinderella needs to cut it up one more time. Despite all of the liberation and sexual equality which western women have enjoyed since the sexual revolution, it seems to me that we are still just as fucked up about sex as we ever have been. As with food, I don’t know one woman who has an entirely healthy attitude towards sex. I’m not even sure I could define what a healthy attitude towards sex might be. I’m not saying that men have a healthy attitude towards sex either, but I’m afraid I can only talk about it from my perspective, as a straight woman, despite the fact I have been accused of having a ‘male attitude’ towards sex in the past… hmmm. The traditional view is that women attach feelings to sex and men don’t, but I find this view patronising and am not convinced that this is true….each encounter is different and every person responds in a different way with different partners, which is one of the things which makes sex so wondrous.

Although my female friends and I talk about sex openly, humorously and often in graphic detail, I don’t think we ever really talk about how it makes us feel which is weird as how it makes us feel, both physically and emotionally, should surely be the only reason we ever do it?

I did not receive, or at least I do not remember receiving any sex education at school which wasn’t purely anatomical and given by a cold and un-engaging teacher. For a young mind, the thought of doing that anatomical act is simply horrifying, and I think I blocked it out of my brain as soon as the lesson was over. Nothing at home either. To not be given any information or advice on the reasons why one might want to have sex and what it might mean to you is at best negligent and at worst incredibly damaging. It was a long time ago now so I don’t blame anyone…to use one of my least favourite phrases du jour ‘things were different back then’ but all we were ever told was to wait until we were in love… which is pretty terrible advice to be honest. Trusting someone is a lot harder than loving someone especially when as a teenager the overwhelming driving force of your hormones dictates that you will most probably confuse lust for love anyway. In fact, scrap the teenage hormones, I often still get the two confused.

In theory I was incredibly lucky in that I lost my virginity at 17 to a boy I both loved and trusted, but in practice I was giving handies to a local hash dealer in my friends attic at 13 because I fancied him and wanted him to like me…oh, and because I didn’t know any better! Just because it wasn’t full intercourse, doesn’t mean it didn’t massively inform my later attitude to sex. I’m not saying that if I had been better informed I wouldn’t have done it, I was pretty wild back then (even at 13 which is somewhat shocking to me now) and my hormones were racing, but at least I would have known what the milky sticky substance which ended up on my Swatch Watch was. The transition from child to teenager is brutal and I’m amazed so many of us survive it.

I would hope that sex education today is better than it was then, but I’m not convinced it is, especially with the apparent re-emergence of conservatism and the prevalence of faith schools. This is worrying because our attitudes to sex are formed at the transition from child to teenager and I suspect my story is actually pretty tame compared to what some young girls are experiencing right now. Once formed we can spend the rest of our lives trying to shake these attitudes off which is why it is so important to instil in girls and boys an understanding of the realities and complexities of sex as soon as they are mature enough to understand.

I am particularly worried when I think about the cold, unromantic and nasty sex which is available at the click of a button today. I have heard too many stories of young men who think not only is it normal to want to do it up the bum, but that a girl is frigid if she won’t. I have even heard a story about a 22 year old man who went to bed for the first time with a woman and on seeing her pubic hair actually said, ‘What’s that?’ These distorted perceptions of sex are becoming more common. Porn has always been available but until fairly recently it has been separated from reality by a certain societal disapproval. Porn mags were rightfully put on the top shelf and only (supposed to be) sold to over 18’s. Because of this, even when younger people got hold of them, they knew they were illicit and from another world. Now the barrier between real sex and pornographic sex is barely noticeable…with young women thinking they have to look and act like porn stars in order to get/keep a man and young men thinking this is acceptable.

Why then, am I about to add to this already over-saturated market of sex? Well, I have decided that if you can’t beat them, join them and beat them at their own game. Laid Bare will be erotic stories, not pornography, and I have written an editorial piece for Issue 2 exploring the difference between the two, and their individual merits. The journal will be real women writing about real sex in a fun, honest, sexy and entertaining way. If a teenager stumbled upon it, I would hope it would at least give them a different perspective on how sex can be, and for the women it is aimed at it will finally give them an erotic publication which they can relate to.

Polemic over. Luckily I have enough ‘experience’ to plunder for a few issues yet so I can maintain my celibacy and explore my own sexuality without the complication of sex. I’m actually looking forward to it.  Only by empowering women to view sex as a collaboration, a celebratory act of attraction and not simply as a way to keep ‘him’ happy will we start to regain control of our own sexuality and young women, not just women in their 30’s + who have spent years figuring it out, will understand and value themselves and their sexuality.


Boys Boys Boys

“Boys and girls in the summertime love,
In the summertime love on the beach tonight
Say hey say me say you say what?
Everybody’s gotta stop, I say stop, don’t stop
I say you say me gotta get in the groove!”

I’ve been wondering whether I should announce that I remember the entire rap from Sabrina’s classic 1988 song, ‘Boys, Boys, Boys’ on my internet dating profile? You want to stand out from the rest of the crowd right? This is the minefield I have entered into this week…and it’s not pretty…but more of that later. In 1988 I was 11 years old. I was about to go to senior school and I had just started to think about boys. I was lucky then, that there was an anthem that summer which expressed how I was feeling, even though I didn’t understand what that feeling was, and I memorised every word. The realisation which has struck me fairly recently is that I have been chasing boys (they have occasionally chased me) for 24 long years. Now it might be time to find a man.

The trouble, of course, is my plan to go to New York. I am not really in a position to commit to anyone if I’m about to bugger off and I also have so little spare time, that I can’t imagine when I would fit a ‘man’ friend in. But on the other hand, I can hardly put my life, and possibly my future, on hold in the hope that a miracle happens and I do find a way to get to the best city on earth – where it is apparently even harder to meet men. I haven’t tried internet dating before so I guess I should give it whirl, if nothing else it might be fun to go on a few dates. I’ve never admitted this, but in the back of my mind, I am always aware of the fact that a psychic told my mother a million years ago that I would marry an American man. I just want to make it clear that this IS NOT the reason I want to move to New York as I am surprisingly contented with myself without a man in my life, but anyway that phantom thought is always hovering around my cerebellum. I’ve had enough of it so am going to see what London has to offer.

Last Saturday night I allowed myself to have one last hurrah with a boy. To clarify, my definition of ‘boy’ is never inappropriate and has more to do with attitude than age, this one was about 30. I was in paradise and as the breeze blew across the steamy dancefloor I spotted a tall, dark stranger. No, that’s not right. I was actually in Paradise (by way of Kensal Green) and I was so drunk and sweaty that I stumbled onto this boy’s toes and elbowed him in the ribs (he was about 5’5”), but he did have nice dimples, and tattoos. We started chatting, or rather shouting, over the heavy soul music. Then the seduction dance began, lots of fumbling and groping, and finally some filthy snogging. It was so romantic

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I wrote a poem about it. After about half an hour, I grew a conscience about my friends and told him I had to leave. He asked if he could take me out to dinner, I put my number in his phone, and shouted, “My name’s Jane, by the way!” his reply, “I know, you told me. What’s mine?” Blank. I don’t think I’ll be hearing from him any time soon.

Clearly I need to stop drunkenly meeting boys in bars, and start soberly meeting men in coffee shops – how interminably dull. In the last week, since joining the internet dating community, I have learnt 3 things;

  1. Most ‘single’ men out there are called Paul, don’t ask me why.
  2. Many men think it’s ok to take their profile picture in the toilet. It’s not.
  3. Being stinking rich is often listed as what they like most about themselves. I’d hate to know what they dislike most about themselves.

I have also learnt that internet dating is a full time job – like I didn’t already have two of those! First you have to review your matches, respond to initial interest and then think of witty banter as you get to know random strangers who you most likely have nothing in common with. And then start all over again. The other night I had that moment any internet dater dreads. When reviewing my matches I came across someone that I interviewed once. If memory serves he got the job, but he wasn’t very good and his contract wasn’t renewed…ouch. Hang on, if I can see him that means he can see me, think it might be time to start exercising the ‘block’ button. All this in the first week – I can’t imagine what’s to come.

Anyway, I do have a date with one of them next week, we exchanged so many messages this week I thought he might be trying to make me fall in love with him before meeting and discovering that he’s actually 82. But he finally asked me out. He is not called Paul, he’s not unattractive (when did that become an acceptable description?) and I don’t think I’ve ever interviewed him, so watch this space. I may or may not report it here.


Happily Ever After?

My first proper boyfriend dumped me a few weeks before my 18th birthday party. I was heartbroken and thought very seriously about cancelling the party, locking myself in my room and watching Running On Empty on repeat, fantasising that if River Phoenix hadn’t so tragically died he would definitely have come to my rescue and we’d have lived happily ever after.

I’m trying to remember what my ‘happily ever after’ looked like when I was 18. I’m sure it was much simpler than my life has actually been, and I’m sure I didn’t expect to have quite as much fun – or heartache – along the way, but there is something missing from my happily ever after. A relationship and children.

At 35 and single, I realistically have 5 years to make that youthful presumption a reality.

I always admire women who know for sure whether or not they want children. Recently I heard a story about a woman who decided with her partner, when they were 24, that they never wanted to have children. She got sterilised. They are now in their 60’s, still together, blissfully happy and don’t have any regrets about their decision. I also know women for whom having children has been the focus of their entire life and they have been unable to conceive. Although they get on with their lives it must be hard not to feel that something is missing. We don’t always get what we want and there are not always happy endings.

With the opportunities afforded to women nowadays, many of us forget to think about starting a family until it’s too late. After a certain age it seems there are two tribes of women in this world – the ones with children and the ones without. Of course they overlap and are still friends but they will never truly understand each other again. Where do men fit into this equation? They don’t have a time limit on when they can choose to have children and consequently many men I know don’t want to think about having children until their mid-forties – but of course they have to because we do, even though science has made it very likely that my generation will live till they are 100, women’s bodies have not caught up with this evolutionary miracle. We have (very recently!) come up with ways to make the blind see again, but we still cannot find a way for women to have babies later in life easily and safely. If I want to live ‘happily ever after’, I need to make a decision soon before my biological clock strikes twelve.

It is difficult, though not impossible, to make this choice without a partner. Unless you have an overwhelming desire for motherhood, which many women do, it is a real conundrum to know what to do next if you are unsure. Maybe that’s why biology has not yet caught up with us – the arrogance of youth makes you stride into parenthood without wallowing in this mad middle-aged fear of the future.

I’m not gonna go out and find a boyfriend just to get knocked up, that would be mental. But maybe I should open myself to the possibility of falling in love, of settling down, rather than living for the moment.  One of the best reasons I’ve heard for having children came from my sister – because they make you laugh. That’s pretty much all we can wish for.

However, I suspect I’m approaching this all too logically, after all life is full of surprises, and I may not be able to have them anyway, who knows? I have never approached any aspect of my life with a plan so I don’t think I’m about to start now but in order to face what’s next, I need to make peace with the fact that I may never have children.

You’ll be pleased to hear I didn’t cancel my 18th birthday party and when I returned from sobbing in the toilets something wonderful happened. The music stopped and a couple of the boys started to click their fingers and walk towards me. Then I heard;

‘You never close your eyes any more when I kiss your lips…’

I found myself surrounded by 8 rugby playing teenagers singing badly, trying to be like Tom Cruise and just trying to make me laugh, which it did. There is always a smile around the corner.

So, in spite of the fear and anxiety about facing what’s next, I don’t think I’ll cancel my plans for a happily ever after. It might just be a different one to the one I pictured with River *sigh*.

My Big O

I like to think I’m an ordinary woman. I’m 35, I’ve got a good job, enough friends and I know how to enjoy myself. I’m currently single but I’ve had a few nice boyfriends and a few not so nice boyfriends…see? Ordinary. But I harbour a dark secret – I have never had an orgasm. That’s the hardest thing I’ve ever written so I am going to write it again. I have never had an orgasm. I’m defective, I’m abnormal, I’m a freak.

With so much open sexuality around these days, the pressure to divulge every aspect of your sex life has never been greater. Sex And The City paved the way for women of my generation to be open, even positively vocal about their sexuality and not be afraid of it, but I don’t remember Carrie and co. ever talking about the possibility of being Anorgasmic (what a charming word). In fact, the one time Samantha ‘lost’ her orgasm she cried for a week!

The most annoying thing is, I enjoy sex. A lot. I enjoy the intimacy and I do experience intense pleasure – I just can’t close the deal. Has this Anorgasmia affected my sex life? No, not really. I sometimes feel frustrated after sex but how can you miss something that you’ve never had? Has it affected my love life? Definitely yes. You see, my exes fall into two camps – the ones I told about my little problem and the ones I didn’t. The ones I told were sympathetic but immediately saw it as a challenge, declaring “I’m going to be the one to make you come!” Inevitably I didn’t come and we would both feel like failures. The ones I didn’t tell, I faked it with as best I could. However, if the relationship became serious I felt as though I’d been lying to them, but by then it was too late to admit it and so the relationship would break down. I have therefore found it easier to hover in a holding pattern of NSA relationships – booty calls by a musician who spent a lot of time on the road, a bartender who would come over after work, I once, maybe twice, met a stranger on a train (Erica Jong has a lot to answer for) and even got lucky at five out of five weddings one year – a lot of fun, but I’d quite like to get serious now.

In case you’re wondering – I have tried everything. Some of my nicer boyfriends came up with ingenious positions and bought me impressive sex toys but…nothing, and I have also spent literally days reading the ‘casual encounters’ section on craigslist and masturbating but…nothing!

I wrote a screenplay last year and in it I invented a character, an old hippy dude who knew the art of orgasmic meditation – it was a sub-plot really but I liked the idea. A few months later the only friend who knows about this (until now!) handed me a newspaper cutting about a guru who had helped hundreds of Anorgasmic women using his yogic massage technique. I went to see him. He was the embodiment of my character so I simply couldn’t take him seriously and frankly, my prudish English sensibilities just couldn’t handle it.

It did make me determined to finally get to the bottom of my inability to orgasm though so I went to see my Doctor. She didn’t really know what to say – it’s hardly a life-threatening problem, but she performed a physical examination, and thankfully told me my vagina was 100% normal – and that I have a clitoris, hooray! She referred me to a psychotherapist (I love the NHS but I did have to wait 12 long weeks) who said she couldn’t help me because my Anorgasmia clearly wasn’t caused by any trauma – I was never abused and haven’t had any terrible sexual experiences so there was nothing she could do. Back to square one.

I always just assumed it would happen one day, but the older I get the less likely that seems. The funny thing is it used to bother me a lot. I used to genuinely believe I was defective, abnormal, a freak and – much worse – not a real woman, but I now know these feelings were just projections of what the men I was with expected from me and what society’s expectations exacerbated. Recently I have started to accept that it is simply part of me, and not a massive part either, just a small part of what makes me, me. I don’t need to be ‘fixed’.

I’ve decided to share my story because I’m not ashamed of it anymore, and I’m not going to spend my life pursuing something which might never happen. According to statistics, an estimated 10-15% of women are Anorgasmic. That’s a shocking amount of women potentially feeling like failures, as I often have, and there is no reason why they should. Sex And The City may have kick-started the debate, but there’s a lot more to say and I just hope women continue to speak up and talk about sex in real terms, not just the pornographic, fantastical terms we are constantly bombarded with by the media.

Of course sex is a big part of a relationship, but it’s definitely not the biggest part and we should not feel ashamed that our experiences are different, that is what makes every woman both ordinary and extraordinary. I have decided that with my next partner I am going to be honest and if he’s a keeper he’s just gonna have to deal with it. At least he’ll know I’ll be happy with a quickie and I’ll never have to pant and scream like Sally Albright again.